Oct. 05, 2018

Facebook Website Bio Latest News State Forms Photo Gallery Contact

Legislative Report

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

Shredding Event Set for Monday, Oct. 22
As a free service to the community, I am hosting a shredding event to give residents of the 57th Legislative District a chance to safeguard themselves against identity theft by having their personal documents securely destroyed.

The event will be held on Monday, Oct. 22, from 4-6 p.m., at the North Hempfield Volunteer Fire Department, 145 Old State Route 66, Greensburg.

No more than four bags or boxes per household are permitted, and no businesses, please. Examples of items you may want to bring include bank and credit card statements, tax documents, insurance claim forms and anything that lists a Social Security number. Staples, paper clips and manila folders are acceptable. The documents received are securely shredded by a truck on-site and then taken to a local paper recycling plant to be treated and reused.

(Please note that this event may be cancelled by the shredding company should inclement weather be forecasted during the scheduled event times. Feel free to call my office at 724-834-6400 on the day of the event should you have any questions.) 

Coffee Talk with Rep. Nelson
Due to legislative session, I must cancel my coffee talk scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 11, at Bean and Baguette in Greensburg.

However, if you are still interested in dialoguing about state-related issues, please come to my final fall coffee talk on Thursday, Oct. 25, 8-10 a.m., Stanton Daily Grind, 818 Route 119 North, New Stanton. Light refreshments will be served.

Please call the district office at 724-834-6400 to register.

Feds Extend REAL ID Grace Period
Pennsylvania has been granted an extended grace period to comply with REAL ID requirements set by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The grace period was set to expire Oct. 10, 2018, but has now been extended until Aug. 1, 2019. A final federal deadline for all states to comply is Oct. 1, 2020.

This grace period extension means that Pennsylvania residents will not face access issues when entering federal facilities or boarding commercial aircraft through at least Aug. 1, 2019.

REAL ID is voluntary for Pennsylvania residents, but encouraged for those who may need to access certain federal facilities, such as military bases, or fly commercial flights within the United States. Residents also have the option to use other, non-REAL ID forms of enhanced identification. Click here for that list.

Residents wishing to obtain REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and photo ID cards can obtain them, beginning in March 2019. In the meantime, customers are encouraged to pre-verify for REAL ID the required documentation as soon as possible, giving them ample time to prepare.

One of the required documents is a certified copy of a birth certificate, which can take up to several months to process, depending on one’s circumstances. My office can help residents with birth certificate applications. Call or stop by for more information.

More information about REAL ID, including frequently asked questions, can be found at dmv.pa.gov.

Governor Expected to Sign Expanded PFA Legislation
Last week, the House approved House Bill 2060, without my vote. I am a strong supporter of protections for those impacted by domestic violence. My concern with this legislation is in its details. This bill mandates that an individual must turn over all weapons to a sheriff's office, state police barracks or their attorney within 24 hours after being subject of a final protection from abuse order (PFA). The penalty for an individual who does not comply is up to six months in prison and a $5,000 fine.

I have a big concern with the bill having no definition of “weapon,” and there is no clarification as to items like knives, swords, crossbows, hatchets, muzzleloaders, kitchen knives and other items. Will keeping a crossbow or kitchen knife potentially result in imprisonment?

I completely agree we want full protection for those in abusive relationships, but the expectation for compliance should be clarified.

Under current law, judges draft PFAs to fit the particulars of the circumstances of each case. For example, a PFA may permit the offending party to work in the same building as the person seeking the protection, but require that the offending party maintain a distance from the other party. The judge also uses his or her discretion in regard to other things, such as whether to order the removal of the offending party’s weapons.

Courts already possess the authority to order the removal of firearms when there is a credible threat. I prefer to allow local judges who actually meet the parties involved to continue to use their best judgement as to when firearms should be removed and when it is not necessary. That is why we have judges and why they hold hearings. Politicians in Harrisburg who do not know the parties or the circumstances are a poor substitute.

Despite my concerns, this week the Senate passed the bill, and it has been sent to the governor’s desk for his consideration.

Please click here to view my remarks on the House floor

Ensuring Upkeep of Veterans’ Graves
This week, the House unanimously approved legislation to help ensure proper upkeep of the graves of Pennsylvania veterans.

Under current law, counties are required to place a marker and a U.S. flag on the graves of all honorably discharged veterans. These U.S. flags are to remain up from Memorial Day through the Fourth of July.

However, House Bill 1471 would enhance current law to ensure cemeteries remove torn and weathered flags after the Fourth of July annually, and allow a veteran’s family member to keep them if they choose.

The legislation would also clarify current law to ensure greater communication between cemeteries, local veterans organizations and county commissioners, who are currently required to provide the flags.

The bill now moves to the state Senate for review.

Helping Parents with Day Care Decisions
Bipartisan legislation designed to help parents with day care decisions was passed by the House this week and sent to the Senate.

House Bill 1742 would require all state licensed child care centers to post their Keystone STARS rating in a prominent location and on their websites.

The Keystone STARS program, operated by the state Office of Child Development and Early Learning, sets quality requirements for early childhood educators based on a four-star rating system. All licensed child care centers that meet the state’s health and safety requirements are required to be part of the Keystone STARS system.

The Keystone STARS performance standards are grouped into four levels. The standards address staff qualifications and professional development, early learning programs, partnerships with family and the community, and leadership and management.

The goal of the proposal is to help educate parents about day care choices and to encourage low-rated child care centers to improve their programs.

PennDOT Closures for Columbus Day Weekend
All PennDOT driver license and photo centers, including its full-service center in Harrisburg, will be closed Saturday, Oct. 6, through Monday, Oct. 8, in observance of Columbus Day. Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services, including all forms, publications and driver-training manuals, online through PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website, dmv.pa.gov.

Fall in Love with PA’s Autumn Colors
Fall leaves are just about to turn across several areas in Pennsylvania, helping to boost tourism activities in many regions.

According to the Pennsylvania Tourism Office, Pennsylvania has a longer and more varied fall foliage season than any other state in the nation.

Both in-state and out-of-state visitors can find the best places to view fall foliage and track the locations of the peak colors throughout the state, beginning in late September. The weekly fall foliage report is available here.

Click here to read more about Pennsylvania’s fall tourism activities.

To honor those who have fought breast cancer or are fighting it now, the fountain at the Pennsylvania State Capitol’s East Wing was dyed pink on Tuesday for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The pink fountain is also a reminder to all women of the importance of mammograms and early detection. This week, the House also passed House Resolution 1048 recognizing October 2018 as “National Breast Cancer Awareness Month” and Oct. 19, 2018, as “National Mammography Day” in Pennsylvania. The American Cancer Society estimates that 268,670 women and men in the United States will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer this year, and that’s why it is important to continue to educate the public about breast cancer and stress the importance of routine self-breast exams, regularly scheduled doctor visits and yearly mammograms as recommended.
Let's Get Connected

Connect on Facebook
Our District

Web Site


[[Opt In Wide]]

Office Locations
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                                  
117B East Wing, House Box 202057, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2057 | Phone: (717) 260-6146
Email: mailto:enelson@pahousegop.com
TTY: 855-282-0614