Jan. 30, 2019

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The Rothman Report


 The latest news from the State Capitol

In the Community
                              Taking the Oath of Office
During the swearing-in ceremony of the 203rd Pennsylvania General Assembly held January 1 at the state Capitol, I took the oath of office as state representative of the 87th Legislative District, for the third time since winning a special election in August 2015 and re-election in 2016.

In the next session, I hope we can continue to put aside differences that impede important legislation on which we can all agree. I’ll be introducing bills that concern transparency, safety and eliminating old, overburdensome taxes, on which I think Republicans and Democrats can come together. I look forward to proudly serving the constituents of the 87th District for another two years.

You’re Invited to a Concealed Carry Firearm Seminar!
I will be hosting a concealed carry firearms seminar along with Rep. Barb Gleim on Wednesday, February 13. If you want to learn more about gun safety, laws concerning concealed carrying, and the castle doctrine, please come out to this informative event. Seating is limited so please RSVP by calling my district office at 717-975-2235 or by filling out the form on my website. The event will be held at the Mechanicsburg Sportsmen’s Association located at 493 Sample Bridge Road in Enola from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

103rd Pennsylvania Farm Show

It was a pleasure to attend the 103rd Pennsylvania Farm Show and the Public Official’s Day Luncheon this year. This year’s show, themed “Inspiring Pennsylvania’s Story,” included events like a daily story time for children, interviews with real Pennsylvanians working in agriculture, and opportunities for attendees to engage and tell their own stories.

I had the opportunity to discuss agricultural issues with fellow elected officials, as well as hear from influential Pennsylvanians in our state’s agricultural sector. I am proud to hail from a Commonwealth with such a strong agricultural foundation and I look forward to this event again next year.

PennDOT Attends I-81 Luncheon
Hosted by the Carlisle Chamber of Commerce, a much-anticipated update on the future of Interstate 81 was given on January 8. This update highlighted the ongoing safety issues constituents face. We also discussed future development plans to ensure a high quality of life for residents who frequent this interstate. Thank you to PennDOT District 8 Executive Director Mike Keiser and Cumberland County Director of Planning, Kirk Stoner, for leading the conversation on this important subject.

The Governor Visits Winding Creek Elementary

Governor Tom Wolf visited the newly built Winding Creek Elementary School in Mechanicsburg during his Schools That Teach Tour. The Schools That Teach Tour celebrates the teaching and learning taking place in Pennsylvania classrooms every day, and provides a forum for communities across the state to discuss how to create and improve educational opportunities for students, regardless of their Zip Code. As an alumni of Cumberland Valley School District, I was proud to see this district highlighted for its innovation and student success.

Annual Harrisburg Regional Chamber Legislators’ Forum
Joining legislators from Cumberland, Perry, and Dauphin counties, I participated in the annual Harrisburg Regional Chamber PA House of Representatives Legislators’ Forum. During the forum, I had to opportunity to share with the attendees my legislative priorities for the year, which includes transportation and infrastructure issues, fiscal responsibility, and government transparency. I look forward to this event every year, as I enjoy hearing directly from business leaders in Central Pennsylvania and the issues that directly affect them.

Sam’s Spoons Foundation Grand Opening
Congratulations to Sam’s Spoons Foundation on its grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony. Sam’s Spoons Foundation was created to help defray the out of pocket expenses incurred by families affected by chronic medical conditions from Lyme disease and co-infections. This nonprofit organization is focused on helping those in need financially, while working with other nonprofit organizations to raise awareness, provide educational outreach efforts for youth and their families, instill the importance of prevention, and push important policies around tick bites and Lyme disease in Pennsylvania.
State Government News
Ready to Get to Work in New House Session
On January 15, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives convened so that the oath of office could be administered to House members. The House is now comprised of 110 Republicans and 91 Democrats, including 43 first-term members. There are two vacancies.

On swearing-in day, the House also unanimously selected Rep. Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) as speaker of the House for the third consecutive session. The day also included certification of election results and adoption of rules that will govern the chamber.

Keep up with the latest news from the Capitol and the district at my website, RepRothman.com, and my Facebook page at Facebook.com/RepRothman.


My New Roles for the Upcoming Year
I am pleased to report that I have been assigned to serve on five standing committees during the 2019-20 legislative session: Appropriations, Insurance, Liquor Control, Transportation and Urban Affairs.

I’m thrilled to now be serving on the Appropriations and Insurance committees, in addition to the other committees I served on during the last legislative session. I’m committed to fighting for a responsible state budget that spends within our means, and ensuring Pennsylvanians have affordable and quality health care and insurance.

Serving on the Liquor Control Committee gave me the opportunity to be part of liquor law liberalization and de-regulation efforts, and being part of the Transportation and Urban Affairs committees allowed me to make Cumberland County’s voice heard as we dealt with numerous transportation issues in the district and fought efforts to raise taxes on commuters.

In addition, I was appointed to be a deputy whip for the 2019-20 session. Deputy whips have a variety of responsibilities, including aiding the majority whip in advancing important pieces of legislation and informing their fellow Republican colleagues on upcoming policy issues.
I’m looking forward to getting to work in these new roles and to tackle issues relevant to our district.

New Law Cracks Down on Repeat DUI Offenders
A new law cracking down on habitual DUI offenders is now in effect. Statistics show repeat offenders cause 40 percent of all DUI-related crashes.

Pennsylvania was previously one of four states that did not punish repeat DUIs as felonies.

Act 153 fixes that by increasing penalties for repeated DUI crimes.

Under the new law, any individual convicted of his or her third DUI with a BAC of 0.16 or higher could be found guilty of a felony offense.

The same penalty would apply to all individuals convicted of four or more DUI offenses.

Repeat offenders who are convicted of homicide while DUI now face a minimum prison sentence of five or seven years, up from the previous three-year minimum.

Increased Funding to Aid Ambulance Services
Ambulance companies across Pennsylvania will see a much-needed increase in Medicaid reimbursement rates this year.

Approved as part of the 2018-19 budget, reimbursement rates have increased from $200 to not less than $300 for Advanced Life Support (ALS) services and from $120 to $180 for Basic Life Support (BLS) services, effective Jan. 1.

The increases, to be funded by $4 million in state funds and approximately $8 million in federal matching funds, are necessary to help meet growing costs faced by the Commonwealth’s emergency medical service providers. It is the first increase since 2004.

To further support these life-saving services, another new law, Act 103 of 2018, requires both private insurers and Medicaid to reimburse for treatment provided regardless of whether transport takes place. This is a common occurrence with patients suffering with diabetes as well as for drug overdose calls.

Additional initiatives to shore up the state’s fire and emergency response organizations were outlined in a recent report released under Senate Resolution 6 of 2017. The report includes 92 concepts incorporated into 27 recommendations to address challenges in the fire and EMS communities, with most of them focused on staffing, funding and training needs.
Program, Services, and Opportunites
Veterans Should Review Benefits
As the New Year starts, the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) suggests veterans review the benefits they have earned through their service.

Veterans should check with a veterans service officer to see if a change in their circumstances or in benefit policies could make them eligible for different programs.

Veterans are encouraged to apply for federal health care and state benefits by visiting their local county director of veterans affairs or area accredited service organizations. County directors can be found by clicking here.

DMVA officials stress that veterans and their dependents should never pay for help to apply for benefits. There are about 200 veterans service officers in Pennsylvania who work with organizations such as the DMVA, county veterans affairs offices, and several veterans service organizations available to provide assistance at no cost.

To get timely information about state benefits, programs and services, veterans are urged to sign up for DMVA’s Veterans Registry at register.dmva.pa.gov.

Increasing Access to Life-Saving Medication
As the spring semester gets underway at colleges and universities across the state, students with known or unknown food allergies could have an extra layer of protection in the event of an allergic reaction.

Act 93 of 2018 authorizes colleges and universities to have non-patient specific epinephrine auto-injectors on hand in case of an emergency. The law also applies to law enforcement agencies, summer camps, restaurants, amusement parks, sports facilities and other facilities to carry non-patient specific epinephrine auto-injectors.

With food allergies becoming more prevalent in our society, increasing access to life-saving medication is more important than ever.

Experts estimate 1 in 13 children in the United States have food allergies and allergic reactions result in 90,000 emergency room visits and approximately 1,500 deaths annually.

Safe2Say Tip Line Now Live
The statewide Safe2Say tip line designed to give students, teachers, parents and community members the ability to anonymously report potential threats and other problems is now live in Pennsylvania.

To report a possible dangerous or violent situation, individuals can call the state tip line at 844-723-2729. Tips can also be reported to safe2saypa.org or through the Safe2Say app on iPhone and Android devices.

New Tool to Fight Drug Abuse
To help continue efforts to fight prescription drug abuse, there is a new tool available for health care providers and the general public to report suspicious activity involving prescription medication.

The Suspicious Activity Report form, administered by the Office of Attorney General, gives an easy way for people to report fraudulent, stolen or altered prescriptions, or a suspicious doctor/pharmacy.

The form and answers to frequently asked questions can be found here.
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Office Locations
1200 Camp Hill Bypass, Suite 202, Camp Hill, PA 17011 | Phone: 717-975-2235
163A East Wing, Capitol Complex, PO Box 202087, Harrisburg, PA 17120 | Phone: 717-783-2063
TTY: 855-282-0614