|By State Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne)
The new state budget, which took effect July 1, directs critical investments to support community protection efforts.
It includes funding to train three new state police cadet classes, which will add another 285 troopers to the statewide complement. In a win for rural areas, the budget also prevented a $25 per capita fee from being charged to local communities to pay for state police protection.
The budget also gives a boost to ambulance companies, which would see a much-needed increase in Medicaid reimbursement rates for an additional $4 million in state funds and nearly $8 million in federal matching funds, beginning Jan. 1.
A new law taking effect early this fall will help enhance the safety of police officers and the public. Act 57 of 2018
expands the types of officers who can act outside their jurisdictional boundaries in certain urgent situations. This will help facilitate more cooperation among different types of police departments and agencies, ultimately improving public safety for everyone.
Under another new law, individuals charged with sex offenses against children will be prohibited from being placed into the state’s Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program (ARD).
Act 50 of 2018
will help ensure that predators who sexually assault children will never avoid prosecution.
Finally, all schools in the Commonwealth will be required to publicly display a poster containing the statewide toll-free number for reporting suspected child abuse, beginning this fall. Known as ChildLine, Pennsylvania’s statewide toll-free hotline number to report suspected child abuse is 1-800-932-0313.
Posting this critical information in schools will let students know they have somewhere to turn if they need to report abuse or neglect that they’ve suffered or if they suspect another child is being abused or neglected.
Representative Tarah Toohil
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Rep. Toohil’s Office