Sep. 30, 2019 / Weekly Roundup

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Weekly Roundup
The latest news from the State Capitol
 
Working to Save Lives

Earlier this week, I was on Smart Talk to discuss my House Bill 1827, also known as Shawn’s Law. The legislation seeks to hold those accountable who encourage another person to commit suicide. Check out the interview above.

Click here to listen to the interview:  https://www.witf.org/2019/09/23/shawns-law-a-bill-to-combat-encouraging-suicide/
 
 
No Public Assistance Funds for Tobacco

The House recently approved legislation that would prohibit the purchase of tobacco products using public assistance funds on electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards.

Such benefits are intended to help Pennsylvanians who cannot afford life’s essentials, not unnecessary items such as tobacco.

House Bill 847 would forbid the use of EBT cards, issued by the Department of Human Services (DHS) to administer public assistance benefits, to purchase tobacco or tobacco-related products. Personal funds on EBT cards, such as child support that is in arrears, would be exempt. The Human Services Code already prohibits the purchase of liquor and alcohol with EBT cards.

The bill now goes to the Senate for its consideration.
 
 
Supporting PA’s Helpers and Heroes

Working to support the Commonwealth’s fire and ambulance services, the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee this week approved several bills designed to address challenges facing these vital public safety organizations.

Two measures (House Bills 432 and 1459) aim to address stress management and post-traumatic stress injuries for first responders.

House Bill 1839would authorize counties to offer a property tax credit for volunteer first responders as an incentive to get more people involved in the emergency services.

To help rural EMS providers, House Bill 1869 would allow the Department of Health to grant waivers for staffing requirements on a Basic Life Support (BLS) service ambulance in sixth- through eighth-class counties.

The bills are awaiting action in the full House.
 
 
Register Now for my Farmers’ Breakfast


Today is the last day to register for my free Farmers’ Breakfast on Thursday, Oct. 10. Residents interested in attending my breakfast, sponsored by PennAg Industries Association and Seneca Resources, can register at my website. www.RepKeefer.com. This year the breakfast is from 8-10 a.m. at the Wellsville Fire Company, 95 Community St., Wellsville.

During this informative event, attendees will receive an update on issues that impact them. The guest speaker this year is Jennifer Reed-Harry, an assistant vice president at PennAg Industries. She will speak about water issues the agricultural industry is facing.

There have been a lot of new and expanded efforts in agricultural programming in Pennsylvania. Understanding the challenges and pressures the state’s agriculture industry has been enduring, lawmakers worked with agricultural communities, businesses and stakeholders to develop a strategy to help agriculture grow in Pennsylvania. I’m excited to share these new opportunities and resources with farmers in my district.

The deadline to reserve a seat is Monday, Sept. 30. To RSVP, call my office at 717-432-0792, or go online to www.RepKeefer.com and click on the events tab.
 
 
State Issues Warning About New Mosquito-Transmitted Disease

Earlier this week, the Pennsylvania Departments of Agriculture and Health warned Pennsylvanians to take precautionary measures against mosquito bites for themselves and their animals – specifically horses – as the rare mosquito-transmitted viral infection Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) has been confirmed in Erie, Carbon and Monroe counties.

EEE is a virus carried by birds. If a mosquito bites an infected bird it can then transmit the potentially fatal virus to humans, horses and other birds. Because of the high mortality rate in horses and humans, EEE is regarded as one of the most serious mosquito-borne diseases in the United States.

Through mid-September, there have been 18 cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control from across the country in 2019, with the majority of the cases in northeastern or Mid-Atlantic states. Several cases have been fatal.

The symptoms of EEE include a high fever of 103-106 degrees, stiff neck, headache and lack of energy. The symptoms typically show up three to 10 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito and can progress quickly.

Take steps to protect against mosquito bites by consistently using DEET-containing insect repellants and covering exposed skin with lightweight clothing. To reduce mosquito populations around your home, eliminate sources of standing water, such as containers and pots, wading pools, bird baths, gutters and more.

Read more here.
 
 
Property Tax Town Hall Meeting Slated

Click here to view video.
I’m co-hosting with Rep. Barb Gleim (R-Cumberland) a Town Hall Meeting on Property Tax Reform at Monroe Elementary, 1240 Boiling Springs Road, Boiling Springs, on Thursday, Oct. 17, from 6:30-8 p.m.

School property tax reform has been discussed in the General Assembly for decades. This session, I am part of a bi-partisan, bi-cameral property tax work group, charged with the task of creating a property tax reform plan than can garner the votes required to get signed into law. I am hopeful we will come up with a viable plan to address this issue that impacts all property owners in Pennsylvania.

I recently released a column on school property taxes. To read it, click here. In addition, I urge you to watch the above video.
 
 
Learn About Scams and How Not to Fall Victim to Them


There are numerous scams, which are ever evolving and changing that target people of all walks of life. To help make people aware of the various scams, I teamed up with law enforcement and the state Department of Banking and Security to host Scam Jam at the Fairview Township office, located at 599 Lewisberry Road, New Cumberland, on Thursday, Oct. 24, from 2-4 p.m.

I urge you to attend this informative event to learn how to protect yourself from becoming a victim. To register, call my office at 717-432-0792, or go to my website, www.RepKeefer.com.
 
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repkeefer.com
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
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