Apr. 27, 2018

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Mark Your Calendars
My office will be hosting a number of events in the coming months.

An evening coffee will be held on Thursday, May 3, from 6:30-8:30 p.m., at Panera Bread, Walmart Plaza, 300 Greengate Centre Circle, Greensburg. This will be another opportunity to discuss state-related issues. Reservations are not required, but appreciated. To RSVP, please call 724-834-6400.

My annual Senior Expo is scheduled for Thursday, May 24, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Delmont Volunteer Fire Department, 2360 State Route 66, Delmont. A wide variety of vendors and exhibitors will be available from local, state, federal and nonprofit organizations to answer questions on health care, insurance, nutrition, personal safety and much more.

Concealed Carry Seminar a Success

We had a great crowd at my Concealed Carry Seminar at Word of Life in Greensburg on Saturday. About 150 people learned about Pennsylvania’s concealed carry laws and firearms safety. The program included Attorney Ed Bilick and Kim Stolfer, a National Rifle Association-certified training instructor. Thank you to everyone who came out.

Bills Clear House to Help Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

Legislation to help grandparents who are the sole caregivers of their grandchildren received overwhelming support in the state House last week. The bills now go to the state Senate for consideration.

House Bill 2133 would establish the Kinship Caregiver Navigator Program, an informational resource to operate both as a website and a toll-free hotline. The website would offer information on support and services available, and a specially trained navigator would be able to provide support and guidance to kinship caregivers.

House Bill 1539 would grant temporary guardianship to grandparents when the parents of the grandchildren are unable to care for them primarily due to substance abuse issues.

Additionally, House Resolution 390 would study the trend of grandfamilies in Pennsylvania and include a focus about how the opioid crisis is impacting this growing trend. The rise of the opioid crisis in Pennsylvania has increased the number of grandparents who take on this role.

An estimated 82,000 grandparents are the sole caregivers for nearly 89,000 grandchildren in Pennsylvania.

High Tunnel Farm Structure Exemption Signed into Law
As a way to help farmers struggling through recent agriculture challenges, legislation was signed into law last week as Act 15 of 2018 to waive storm water management plans for high tunnel structures, which are temporary buildings often used to raise produce through the early spring and late into the fall.

The legislation was needed to clarify storm water requirements put in place by the Department of Environmental Protection in 2016, which required them for these temporary structures. In many instances, the cost of a storm water engineering plan and executing that plan is more expensive than the high tunnel itself.

The use of high tunnel structures is not limited to professional agriculture. They are also being used in suburbs – on empty lots and even on rooftops – to raise fresh food in decent quantities in an urban setting where larger crop plantings would otherwise be difficult.

The new law takes effect early this summer.

Traffic Deaths Hit a New Low in 2017
Traffic deaths in the Commonwealth last year dropped to the lowest level since record keeping began in 1928, according to a recent report from PennDOT. In 2017, 1,137 people died on Pennsylvania roadways, 51 fewer than 2016.

PennDOT officials attribute the reduction to educational outreach, effective enforcement and low-cost safety improvements.

Significant decreases were noted in fatalities involving impaired drivers, pedestrians and unrestrained occupants. Work zone fatalities increased slightly, as did fatalities among drivers ages 75 and older, and red light runners.

More information on highway safety and safety initiatives is available at  penndot.gov/safety.

Safely Dispose of Unused Prescriptions This Saturday
Residents have an opportunity to remove opioids and other unused medicines from homes this Saturday, April 28, as part of the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

More than 18 tons of prescription drugs were disposed of across Pennsylvania in the Prescription Drug Take Back Day held last October.

Locations to safely dispose of unused drugs are listed at  takebackday.dea.gov/.
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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: enelson@pahousegop.com
TTY: 855-282-0614