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Friday, April 4, 2014

Capitol Update By Rep. Martin Causer

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Capitol Update
Friday, April 04, 2014 The latest news from the State Capitol

Advocating for Rural Education Opportunities

One of the many issues I have been working on to benefit our region is legislation to create a community college pilot program to serve 11 northcentral and northwestern Pennsylvania counties, including Cameron, McKean and Potter. Since April is “Pennsylvania Community College Month,” I thought this was a good time to again make the case for this important initiative, which will help our students and our economy. Click here to read more.

In Case You Missed It…

I recently had the opportunity to talk with Anne Holliday for WESB’s LiveLine program. We covered a wide range of topics, including the community college legislation referenced above, my proposal to boost compensation by the Commonwealth for state-owned lands, and a variety of issues related to my chairmanship of the House Game and Fisheries Committee. In case you missed it, you can listen to the recording here.

Working to Protect PA Children

The state House continued its work toward protecting Pennsylvania’s children this week with the passage of several initiatives recommended by the Task Force on Child Protection. House Bill 316, now on its way to the governor’s desk, provides dedicated funding to help support child advocacy centers (CACs) around the state. The centers serve as a comprehensive treatment program for abused children. House Bill 2063 would require thorough employment history reviews prior to offering employment to any applicant for a position involving direct contact with children in order to prevent school districts from hiring teachers who have been accused of abuse. The bill is in response to the practice of “passing the trash,” which occurs when a school employee accused of abuse quietly resigns and then gains employment at another school. That bill is awaiting action in the Senate. The House also endorsed House Bill 1163, which would make it a third-degree misdemeanor to harass a child through electronic communication, known as “cyber harassment,” and House Bill 431, which would require training in child abuse recognition and reporting for professionals who are licensed by the Department of State and are considered by law to be mandated reporters of abuse. So far this session, more than a dozen bills have passed the House to strengthen the state’s laws for reporting cases of child abuse and holding perpetrators accountable for their heinous actions.

Donate Life Month Raises Awareness About Organ Donation

April is National Donate Life Month in Pennsylvania, a time to raise awareness about the importance of becoming an organ donor. More than 8,000 people in Pennsylvania are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant, while thousands more wait for tissue transplants that would greatly enhance their quality of life. According to PennDOT, nearly 46 percent of driver’s license and identification card holders are registered organ donors – that’s more than 4.5 million Pennsylvanians. To add the organ donor designation to an existing driver’s license or identification card today, visit and select the “Donate Life Pennsylvania” icon at the bottom of the page. More information about organ and tissue donation in Pennsylvania, including how to become a living donor, can be found at  

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