Current Illegal Drug Trends in Pennsylvania

Oct. 23, 2017 /

This week in Harrisburg, I joined other members of the House Judiciary Committee at an informational meeting about current illegal drug trends in Pennsylvania. What we learned was startling.

Bills Would Prevent Welfare Fraud

Oct. 13, 2017 /

Legislation to ensure public benefits are reserved for American citizens was recently passed by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

Protect Yourself against West Nile Virus

Aug. 18, 2017 /

Pennsylvania’s first probable case of West Nile virus this year in a human was recently detected in Montgomery County. As a result, state officials are strongly recommending that all residents take steps to minimize their exposure to mosquitoes, which carry the disease.

Lyme Disease: What You Need to Know

Aug. 11, 2017 /

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.

Bills Would Protect Children and Pets Trapped in Hot Cars

Jul. 17, 2017 /

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.

Bill to Protect Newborns Moving through PA General Assembly

Jun. 30, 2017 /

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.

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren a Growing Trend in PA

Jun. 27, 2017 /

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 Go on Sale June 19

Jun. 16, 2017 /

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.

Health and Safety Bills Advancing in Harrisburg

Jun. 13, 2017 /

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.

Remembering and Honoring Our Veterans

May. 30, 2017 /

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.

Enhancing Pennsylvania’s 2-1-1 System

May. 19, 2017 /

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.

Pennsylvania Tax Amnesty Program Now Open

May. 05, 2017 /

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.

PA House Passes Animal Protection Bill

Apr. 28, 2017 /

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.

I Support Mandatory Minimum Sentences

Apr. 17, 2017 /

Legislation to restore mandatory minimum sentences for drug and gun offenses in Pennsylvania passed recently in the House of Representatives, with my support.

Raising Awareness about Organ Donation

Apr. 07, 2017 /

This week, the House of Representatives unanimously adopted House Resolution 209, legislation of mine that designated April 2017 as “National Donate Life Month” in Pennsylvania.

Restitution Bills Seek to Help Crime Victims

Mar. 31, 2017 /

To make it easier for Pennsylvania crime victims to receive the restitution owed to them, the state House of Representatives recently passed four bills designed to make sure criminals pay their legal obligations.

Raising Awareness about Intellectual Disabilities

Mar. 24, 2017 /

The House of Representatives has adopted a resolution, which I sponsored, that designates the month of March as “Intellectual Disabilities Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania. House Resolution 132 aims to raise public awareness regarding the support of those individuals with intellectual disabilities and the services that improve their lives.