Feb. 17, 2017

The 2017-18 session is just underway in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, but several bills of note are moving quickly through the legislative process. All three bills were unanimously passed by the House last week and sent to the Senate for consideration.

House Bill 17 would clarify that a parent or guardian is authorized to provide consent over the objection of a minor child regarding treatment of a drug or alcohol problem. The legislation would give parents a voice in their addicted child’s medical care and counseling.

House Bill 23 would update the state’s stroke center designation law, which was enacted in 2012. Under Act 54, the Department of Health maintains a list of “primary stroke centers” across the state, where there are currently 81 of them.

The measure would take advantage of new federal guidelines that create three specific levels of certified stroke centers to treat patients based on their individual needs – primary stroke centers, acute stoke-ready hospitals and comprehensive stroke centers.

House Bill 23 would direct emergency responders to take stroke victims to the nearest appropriate stroke center qualified to treat the severity and type of stroke that is occurring. This will ensure the best possible treatment and health outcomes for stroke victims.

Finally, House Bill 128 would increase penalties for criminals convicted of trafficking infants in Pennsylvania. Currently, they face a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Under this bill, they would face a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine because the crime would be reclassified as a first-degree felony.

The legislation would build on Pennsylvania’s commitment to respond to the tragic consequences that are brought about by human trafficking.

All three bills were passed by the House during the 2015-16 session but failed to come up for a vote in the Senate.

I sometimes use this column to answer your questions regarding any state government-related matter. Please email them to me at ttoohil@pahousegop.com. As always, I look forward to hearing from you.

Representative Tarah Toohil
116th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact: Rep. Toohil’s Office
RepToohil.com / Facebook.com/RepToohil