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Friday, June 23, 2017

Capitol Update By Rep. Martin Causer




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Capitol Update
Friday, June 23, 2017 The latest news from the State Capitol
                          
House OKs Bill to Enhance Forest Management in ANF

The state House has approved legislation highlighted in last week’s email update, authorizing the Commonwealth to enter into a Good Neighbor Agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to allow the state to help manage the Allegheny National Forest through timber harvesting, promoting forest regeneration, and restoring or improving habitats.

Many of our communities rely on the financial support that comes from harvesting timber on the ANF, as well as the jobs the industry supports. House Bill 1494 would help enhance the long-term health and productivity of the forest, benefitting both the environment and the local economy.

The bill now goes to the Senate for its consideration.
                
         
E-Prescribing Bill for Opioids Heads to Senate

Legislation to address the ongoing opioid abuse crisis by preventing paper prescriptions from falling into the wrong hands has been approved by the state House. Under current state law, opioids must be prescribed by hand.

House Bill 353 would require opioids to be prescribed electronically, allowing doctors to send their orders directly to the patient’s pharmacy and preventing handwritten prescriptions from being used fraudulently or stolen. Opioids would be prescribed and transmitted like all other prescriptions.

This change would not have any adverse impact upon prescriptions for legitimate purposes and may even provide greater convenience for patients.

The measure now moves to the state Senate for its review.
                  
         
REAL ID Extension to Allow Access Through October 2017

Pennsylvania residents will be able to use their current driver license to access federal facilities through Oct. 10, 2017, under an extension granted by the federal government last week.

The extension was granted after Pennsylvania adopted a plan to comply with REAL ID requirements, known as Act 3 of 2017.

According to PennDOT, REAL ID-compliant driver licenses and identification cards will be available to consumers who wish to obtain them in 2019. This will allow ample time for customers who want a REAL ID license to obtain one before the final federal effective date of Oct. 1, 2020.

More information about REAL ID and Act 3 is available here.
                  
         
Working to Boost Ag Education

Recognizing the value of agriculture education opportunities in ensuring the future of the industry, the House this week approved legislation to change the way agriculture education programs are developed and delivered in the Commonwealth’s schools.

House Bill 944 would create the Commission of Agricultural Education Excellence made up of members with knowledge of agriculture and agricultural education, and have dual oversight by both the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Education.

The bill now goes to the Senate for its consideration.
                  
         
June Celebrates Pennsylvania’s Dairy Industry

A measure passed the House this week to salute the men and women who make dairy one of Pennsylvania’s top agriculture sectors. House Resolution 403 designates June 2017 as Dairy Month and Dairy Farmers Appreciation Month.

Pennsylvania has the second largest number of dairy farms nationally and ranks sixth nationally in total milk production from 2014 to 2016. An estimated 99 percent of Pennsylvania’s dairy farms are family owned.
                  
         
Congratulations to Dick and Peggy Kallenborn on their 50th wedding anniversary this past Saturday! They are a wonderful couple who have given so much to our community over the years. It was an honor to present them with a House citation recognizing this special occasion. Are you or someone you know celebrating a milestone anniversary? Contact my office so we can help you celebrate!

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