Feb. 25, 2019

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Weekly Roundup
The latest news from the State Capitol
Supreme Court Responds to House Pressure, Delays Venue Rule Change

You may recall a column in a recent e-news update about a potential rule change by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to allow “shopping” for venues. Because of you raised your voices, the court has postponed its consideration until a study on the impact of the rule change is conducted later this year.

Physicians, administrators, attorneys and industry professionals told members of the House Majority Policy Committee recently that the Supreme Court should not change a rule dealing with medical malpractice lawsuits. Shortly after the hearing concluded, the Supreme Court decided to postpone its consideration.

But we aren’t out of the woods just yet. The pending proposal would reverse a rule that requires malpractice cases be brought in the county where the malpractice occurred, thereby prohibiting “shopping” for venues, such as Philadelphia, where jury awards tend to be higher.

Reversing the rule would also reverse progress that has been made to ensure access for all Pennsylvanians, regardless of ZIP code, to quality health care. Prior to the rule’s implementation, skyrocketing malpractice insurance rates were forcing many doctors and specialists to retire early or move their practices out of state. Rural areas were hit especially hard, and a reversal of this rule could again put health care into a crisis situation.
I Want to Hear from You

Residents of the 92nd Legislative District, I want to hear from you! I want to learn what state-related issues impact you the most and what you want to see changed in our state. If you live in the 92nd Legislative District, I ask that you take a few minutes to fill out the survey, which can be found by clicking here. Your input will help guide me as your representative during the 2019-20 Legislative Session.

Thank you for taking the time to share your opinions with me. I enjoy hearing your feedback concerning current issues that are affecting the Commonwealth and our community. If my office, or I, can be of additional assistance to you, please contact us at (717) 432-0792.
Preparing PA Students for Careers

As a foundational part of the #GoodJobs4PA initiative, the House Education Committee unveiled a package of bills aimed at improving career and technical education (CTE) in Pennsylvania.

The package of bills includes:
  • House Bill 265, which would expand the online database that allows students and potential students to plan where courses, programs, certificates and diplomas transfer among public schools and institutions of higher education.
  • House Bill 297, which would direct the State Department of Education to develop materials outlining workforce needs, including training opportunities and future earning potential.
  • House Bill 334, which would expedite the approval of important educational programs to respond better to industry and workforce demands.
  • House Bill 393 (to be introduced soon), which would create an online career resource center.
  • House Bill 394 (to be introduced soon), which would require the Pennsylvania Department of Education to inventory workforce development programs offered at secondary and postsecondary institutions.
  • House Bill 395 (to be introduced soon), which would require CTE programs to establish occupational advisory committees.
  • House Bill 396 (to be introduced soon), which would add at least one member from a Career and Technical Center to each Workforce Development Board.
  • House Bill 522, which would create a CTE investment incentive program, including tax credits for contributions to support CTE programs and enrollment expansion programs.
These bills are designed to increase awareness of job-training opportunities and high-demand careers for students.
Don’t be Fooled by Call Spoofing

The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) is working to stop the scourge of illegal robocalls.

Unwanted calls are far and away the biggest consumer complaint to the FCC with over 200,000 complaints each year – around 60 percent of all the complaints it receives. Some private analysts estimate that U.S. consumers received approximately 2.4 billion robocalls per month in 2016. Unfortunately, advancements in technology make it cheap and easy to make robocalls and to “spoof” caller ID information to hide a caller's true identity.

For more information, including tips on how not to fall victim to these scams, click here.

In addition, the House recently passed House Bill 318 to cut down on the number of telemarketing calls they receive. The bill gives Pennsylvanians the ability to sign up for the state’s telemarketing do-not-call list without requiring them to re-register every five years.

The bill also aims to cut down on the annoyance of telemarketing calls during holidays by banning telemarketing calls on legal holidays. It would also ban the use of calls from computerized auto-dialers (robocalls).
Need a REAL ID? Check Out my Helpful Event

With REAL IDs about to be made available in Pennsylvania, I will host an event to assist residents with pre-verifying documents required to obtain a REAL ID. The event will be held in the cafeteria of Northern High School, 653 S. Baltimore St., on Tuesday, Feb. 26, from 5-8 p.m.

This event will help speed up the application process for those who wish to obtain a REAL ID. Under federal guidelines, a REAL ID, or other approved identification, such as a passport, will be needed to board a commercial flight or visit a secure federal building starting next year. Obtaining a REAL ID is optional for residents.

Representatives from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) will scan attendees’ personal documents needed to obtain a REAL ID. Those documents include:
  • Proof of identity (original or certified copy of a birth certificate with a raised seal or valid U.S. Passport).
  • Social Security card.
  • Proof of all legal name changes (state or county marriage certificate or court order).
  • Two proofs of current, physical Pennsylvania address (current, unexpired PA license or ID, vehicle registration card and a no more than 90-day-old bank statement).
Please be prepared to pay by check for either the Real ID license fee or the birth certificate fee should you need to apply.

When the application process opens in March, residents who attend the event will already have the necessary documents on file with PennDOT.
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Office Locations
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