Mar. 01, 2019

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Legislative Report

#Listrak\DateStampLong#   The latest news from the State Capitol

Recognizing Greensburg Salem Boys’ Cross Country
                                   
 
Last week, I hosted the Greensburg Salem High School Boys' Cross Country Team at the Capitol. During their visit, I honored the team on the House floor for its 2018 PIAA Class AA Boys’ Cross Country State Title earned on Nov. 3 in Hershey.
                                                   

House Passes Nelson’s Medical Synchronization Bill
For the second consecutive legislative session, the House has passed my legislation that would allow consumers to synchronize the refiling of their prescriptions.

House Bill 195 would allow consumers to receive their prescription medications from a pharmacy on the same day each month. It would bar an insurance company from denying coverage for a partial fill of a script in order to facilitation medication synchronization. Thirty-five other states have enacted or introduced similar legislation.

The bill now goes to the Senate for its consideration.
 

Protecting the Rights of Crime Victims
 
Understanding the struggle many crime victims face when seeking justice, lawmakers have been working to advance a package of bills designed to protect the rights of crime victims.

Last week, the House Judiciary Committee approved five bills for consideration by the full House. The package includes:
House Bill 276, a joint resolution known as Marsy’s Law, would add a victims bill of rights to the Pennsylvania Constitution.
House Bill 502 would ensure victims can attend proceedings against their abusers.
House Bill 503 would help victims and witnesses with intellectual disabilities or autism testify in court.
House Bill 504 would shield rape victims from irrelevant cross examination.
House Bill 505 would strengthen protections for young abuse victims.

Just as those accused of a crime have certain rights, House Republicans are ensuring crime victims are treated with dignity and respect throughout the entire criminal justice process.
 

Budget Hearings Continue
 
The second full week of budget hearings wrapped up on Thursday, with members of the House Appropriations Committee asking agency and department officials a variety of questions about executive functions, programs and efficiencies. These questions, along with submitted written testimony, will serve as the foundation for budget negotiations this spring.

This week’s hearings featured the Pennsylvania State Police, as well as the departments of Transportation (PennDOT), Corrections, General Services, Health, and Drug and Alcohol Programs, as well as the Liquor Control Board and the Gaming Control Board.

Next week concludes the House’s budget hearings with appearances by the departments of Education, Agriculture, and Military and Veterans Affairs, as well as the Public School Employees’ Retirement System and State Employees’ Retirement System.

The full schedule is available here. The site also includes links to video of the archived hearings once available.
 

Bill to Save on State Pensions
Last week, House Republicans passed House Bill 60 to prohibit future hires of the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC), which serves three states, from participating in the State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS).

The SRBC was created by federal law in 1970 that also was adopted by the legislatures of Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania.

According to the Independent Fiscal Office – a non-partisan entity created to provide unbiased information to the state Legislature – there were 65 employees of the SRBC who were active, contributing members of SERS in 2017.

The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.
 

PennDOT to Start Issuing REAL IDs
 
Effective this Friday, March 1, PennDOT will begin issuing REAL IDs.

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.

Under state law, REAL ID is optional for Pennsylvania residents. PennDOT will continue to offer standard-issue driver’s licenses and photo IDs.

Pennsylvanians who have pre-verified their required documentation for obtaining a REAL ID may apply online to receive it without visiting a driver license center. PennDOT has indicated those IDs will be mailed out to recipients in 10 business days.

Residents who have not pre-verified but wish to obtain a REAL ID will be required to bring original versions or certified copies of the following documents for verification to a local driver license center:
• Proof of identity, such as an original or certified copy of your birth certificate with a raised or embossed seal, or a valid U.S. passport or passport card. Birth certificates with a sticker rather than an embossed seal will not be accepted.
• Proof of Social Security number by providing your Social Security card. The name on the card must match the name on your current driver license or photo identification card.
• Proof of legal name changes, such as marriage certificates or court orders issued by a family court. You must have documentation to show all name changes from your original name on your birth certificate to your current name.
• Proof of current, physical address, such as your current, unexpired driver license or state issued ID card, vehicle registration or utility bill. TWO forms of proof must be provided.

More information about REAL ID in Pennsylvania, including frequently asked questions and additional guidelines on documents required for REAL ID, can be found at penndot.gov/REALID. For additional information, please call my office at 724-834-6400.
 
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101 Ehalt Street, Suite 105, The Train Station, Greensburg, PA 15601-2300 | Phone: (724) 834-6400
Youngwood Borough Bldg, 17 South 6th Street, Youngwood, PA 15697 | Phone: (724) 925-5490                                  
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Email: mailto:enelson@pahousegop.com
TTY: 855-282-0614 
   
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