Feb. 04, 2019

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Weekly Roundup
The latest news from the State Capitol
Policy Forum Focuses on Saving Our Health Care

Pennsylvania residents may soon face a crisis in health care, if the state courts repeal a rule which helped stave off a similar situation more than a decade ago, when physicians left their practices, moved to other states or retired early due to skyrocketing insurance premiums.

The rule currently requires medical malpractice cases to be brought in the county where the alleged malpractice occurred.

Repealing the rule could lead to patients having to say goodbye to their physicians or patients having to drive farther for care. Additionally, recruiting physicians and specialists would be difficult, and medical innovations may be halted. Overall, patient care would suffer and everyone would face higher health care costs.

The House Majority Policy Committee recently hosted a forum to examine the issue and hear from numerous stakeholders about the negative impact this rule repeal could cause. To learn more about the issue, click here.

The General Assembly is expected to submit its comments to the courts, but you can also let the courts know how this would impact you. Click here to submit your comments by Feb. 22.  
Meeting with York Tech Students

Did you know the York County School of Technology is the oldest on-going career and technical school in the United States? It is also a great example of how students can prepare for jobs straight out of high school.

It was my pleasure meeting with some of the school's students and advisers yesterday in Harrisburg. I learned a great deal of how our students of today are preparing for the workforce of tomorrow.
Governor’s Budget Address Set for Tomorrow

Tomorrow, Tuesday, Feb. 5, Gov. Tom Wolf will unveil his budget proposal for fiscal year 2019-20.

I am curious to hear what the governor will proposal. I will review the details in the coming weeks and the Appropriations Committee will begin its series of hearings on the proposal on Feb. 11.

Keep your eyes on my social media for updates and reactions.
Ensuring Victims’ Rights

Legislation to amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to add a victims’ bill of rights was reintroduced this week in a step toward putting the question before voters.

Last session, Marsy’s Law passed in the House and Senate unanimously. An identical bill must be passed this session before the question is placed on the ballot.

While Pennsylvania has protection for victims written into its laws, a constitutional amendment is the only way to ensure victims have equal footing with offenders and the only way to ensure the victims have some kind of redress when their rights are violated.

The amendment would require notice of hearings and other proceedings, physical and emotional protection from the accused, notice in cases of release or escape, proceedings free from unnecessary delay, the ability to confer with the prosecutor in the case, full and timely restitution from the offender, and notification of all of these rights.
PennDOT Making Plans to Roll Out REAL ID

Eligible Pennsylvania residents who wish to obtain a REAL ID should begin the pre-verification process now. Customers who want to obtain a REAL ID need to bring the required documents to a Driver License Center so they can be verified in person. Find a Driver License Center near you by clicking here.

PennDOT staff will scan the documents to the customer’s record, and when REAL IDs are available in March, the customer can opt into the program online, and their REAL ID will be sent through the mail.

REAL ID is optional for Pennsylvania residents. There is no requirement for any resident obtain a REAL ID and PennDOT will continue to offer standard-issue driver’s licenses and photo IDs. However, a federally accepted form of identification must be used as identification to board a commercial flight or visit a secure federal building starting Oct. 1, 2020. A Pennsylvania REAL ID will fulfill this requirement as will a U.S. Passport.

More information about REAL ID in Pennsylvania, including frequently asked questions and information on documents required for REAL ID, can be found at www.penndot.gov/REALID.

For additional information, please call my office at (717) 432-0792.
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12 North Baltimore Street,Dillsburg, PA 17019 | 717-432-0792
422 Irvis Office, PO Box 202092, Harrisburg PA 17120-2092 | (717) 783-8783 / 3-8783
Email Address: DKeefer@pahousegop.com