Newspaper Columns
04/28/2017
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.
04/17/2017
Legislation to restore mandatory minimum sentences for drug and gun offenses in Pennsylvania passed recently in the House of Representatives, with my support.
04/07/2017
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.
03/31/2017
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.
03/24/2017
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.
03/20/2017
A new program has been launched in the continuing effort by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to restructure state government and save taxpayer dollars. The initiative, which is called “State Employees Achieving Savings” (SEAS), seeks input from government employees on how the state can rein in spending.
03/10/2017
Spring is just around the corner, and that means motorcycle riders will be hitting the road. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) suggests that motorcyclists prepare for the upcoming riding season by taking one of several free training courses that are available through the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program (PAMSP).
03/07/2017
Trout season is just around the corner, and local anglers are now able to find out when their favorite stream will be stocked with trout by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC). The guides are available in print form at my district office in Hazleton, online at the PFBC website and on its FishBoatPA mobile app.
02/24/2017
Application forms for the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program are available for eligible residents to claim rebates for property taxes or rent payments they made last year.
02/17/2017
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.
02/13/2017
The Children and Youth Committee in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, on which I serve, is committed to opening up more loving homes for young people. With that goal in mind, committee members this week sent a package of bills to the House floor that would reform the state’s adoption process.
02/03/2017
This week, I reintroduced a bill in the House of Representatives that would assist mothers in Pennsylvania who are struggling with postpartum depression and their infants by making them eligible for Early Intervention services. During the 2015-16 session, I was the prime sponsor of a similar measure that stalled in committee.
01/27/2017
Pennsylvania was recently granted an extension by the federal government to comply with REAL ID. The Commonwealth now has until June 5 to fix state law to meet the requirements of the act.
01/23/2017
A new website has been launched for the state’s Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) savings program. The website, www.paable.gov, provides quick and easy access to essential information on the upcoming program to give individuals with qualified disabilities a tax-free way to save for future expenses.
01/13/2017
We are in the middle of the flu season, making this a good time to issue a reminder to get a flu shot. The state Department of Health has launched an awareness campaign called “Stopping the Flu Starts with YOU” to encourage Pennsylvanians to protect themselves and their loved ones against seasonal flu by getting vaccinated annually and taking other preventative measures.