Pennsylvania continues to lead the nation in the number of Lyme disease cases, and it isn’t even close. More than 12,000 cases were reported in 2016, which is about 2,000 cases more than the previous year. New York comes in a distant second, with 4,000 cases reported.
Pennsylvania has the fourth-largest veteran population in the country and ensuring their health and welfare has always been a priority of the General Assembly.
We’ve all read the horrible headlines, about children or pets that have died after being left alone in a hot vehicle. Legislation is now moving through the Pennsylvania House of Representatives that would help to prevent these tragedies from occurring.
Pennsylvania’s Newborn Protection Act allows hospitals and police stations to accept unwanted newborns in order to ensure the children receive proper care. Since its enactment in 2003, the law has resulted in the safe abandonment of 33 babies statewide.
There is a growing trend in Pennsylvania – more and more grandparents are raising their own grandchildren. We learned about the challenges these older caregivers face during a hearing convened by the House Children and Youth Committee earlier this month in Harrisburg.
Pennsylvania hunting licenses for 2017-18 go on sale Monday, June 19, and are valid starting July 1. Hunters and trappers need to be aware of some important changes that have been implemented by the Game Commission.
I sometimes use this weekly column to answer your questions about matters relating to state government or any issue of concern. This week’s questions deal with a couple of bills that are currently moving through the Pennsylvania General Assembly that would enhance the health and safety of state residents.
HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) today restored $613,000 in Basic Education Funding (BEF) to the Hazleton Area School District (HASD) that had been cut from the district’s 2016-17 budget, according to Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne). The funding reduction had resulted from a recalculation of the district’s state allocation as required by the BEF formula.
This is a time of year when we think about the men and women who have served in our nation’s military throughout the course of history. Memorial Day is a reverent day to honor those who never made it back from war, and Flag Day and the Fourth of July reignite our patriotism and remind us that none of the freedoms we enjoy in this country would be possible without the brave men and women serving in our military.
HARRISBURG – Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne) today sent a letter to Gov. Tom Wolf requesting that he restore a cut in state funding to the Hazleton Area School District.
HAZLETON – Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne) is encouraging eligible seniors in Luzerne and Wyoming counties to take part in a Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture program that provides vouchers worth $20 that can be used to purchase produce at participating farmers markets and roadside stands.
I recently joined my colleagues on the House Human Services Committee in unanimously supporting legislation that would enhance the statewide 2-1-1 system. House Bill 211, which I am co-sponsoring, will next be considered by the full House of Representatives.
HAZLETON – A panel of experts provided a sobering look at Luzerne County’s drug problem during a public forum co-hosted by state Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne), U.S. Congressman Lou Barletta (R-11) and state Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon) at Hazleton Area High School last Thursday evening.
Pennsylvania residents and businesses that owe past-due state taxes now have a window of opportunity to pay them without being penalized. The tax amnesty program, administered by the state Department of Revenue, was adopted by the General Assembly as part of Act 84 of 2016.
HAZLETON – State Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne) is joining with U.S. Congressman Lou Barletta (R-11) and state Sen. John T. Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon) to co-host a forum on the heroin and opioid epidemic locally and statewide. The panel discussion will take place on Thursday, May 11, from 5-7 p.m. at Hazleton Area High School, 1601 W. 23rd St., Hazle Township.
HAZLETON – Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne) issued the following statement regarding Thursday’s vote by the Hazleton Area School Board to restore full-day kindergarten, reversing a decision made last year to go to half-day sessions.
This week, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed legislation that would be a comprehensive overhaul of the Commonwealth’s animal protection laws. House Bill 1238, which I supported, includes the provisions of Libre’s Law, which would strengthen the penalties for animal abuse. Libre is a Boston terrier whose story of severe neglect received widespread publicity last year after it was rescued from a puppy mill.
Legislation to restore mandatory minimum sentences for drug and gun offenses in Pennsylvania passed recently in the House of Representatives, with my support.
HARRISBURG – Tax-free savings accounts aimed at helping people with disabilities save money for future care and services are now available through the Pennsylvania Treasury, Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne) announced today.