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Friday, April 22, 2016

Capitol Update by Rep. Martin Causer




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Capitol Update
Friday, April 22, 2016 The latest news from the State Capitol

I had a great time reading to kids at the Bradford Family Center this week as part of the "One Book, Every Young Child" literacy initiative. This year, we read "Kite Day, A Bear and Mole Story" by Will Hillenbrand.
 

New Law to Improve Contract Transparency

All proposed collective bargaining agreements under the governor’s jurisdiction will now be subject to a cost analysis by the Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) under a new state law.

Act 15 of 2016 requires the governor’s Office of Administration and the Office of the Budget to provide the IFO with copies of proposed public employee collective bargaining agreements with their own cost analysis of the agreement 20 business days prior to the execution date of the agreement.

This is part of an ongoing effort to ensure that taxpayer dollars are used wisely and to improve state government transparency.
 

New Savings Account to Help People with Disabilities, Caregivers
 
 
A new law signed this week will help families better afford expenses associated with caring for a loved one with a disability.

Act 17 of 2016, formerly Senate Bill 879, creates the Pennsylvania Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (PA ABLE) so that families can establish tax-exempt savings accounts specifically for people with qualified disabilities. The accounts can be used for a wide range of disability-related expenses including health care, housing, and transportation without jeopardizing eligibility for important programs on which individuals with disabilities must often depend.

The tax-exempt savings accounts are modeled on section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code, which recognizes state-established savings programs to meet future college expenses. The Pennsylvania Treasury has been administering the Pennsylvania 529 program since 1993 and will administer the ABLE Program.

For more information about program benefits, click here.
 

Prescription Drug Take Back Set for April 30
 
 
Next Saturday, April 30, is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

The day is designed to ensure proper disposal of unused prescription drugs and to keep the drugs from being misused and abused. According to a 2011 survey in Pennsylvania, 14 percent of youth surveyed admitted to taking prescription drugs that were not prescribed to them and 18 percent felt that prescription drugs were not harmful.

Prescription drugs may be dropped off at the following locations in our area. Drop-off hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • McKean County Sheriff’s Department, 17129 Route 6, Smethport.
  • Pennsylvania State Police Coudersport Barracks, 3140 E. Second St., Coudersport.
  • Potter County Sheriff’s Department, Potter County Courthouse, 1 E. Second St., Room 24, Coudersport.
  • Coudersport Borough Police Department, 201 S. West St., Coudersport.
  • Pennsylvania State Police Emporium Barracks, 12921 Route 120, Emporium.

The Emporium Police Department also has a permanent drop-off box at 421 N. Broad St., Hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Click here for more information about National Prescription Drug Take Back Day
  

Veterans Assistance Hours in May
 
If you are a veteran in need of assistance with issues such as compensation, education, pension, health care or death benefits, help will be available at each of my local offices during the month of May. The schedule is as follows:
  • Melissa Davis of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) will be at the Kane office, 55 Fraley St., on Monday, May 2, from 1-3 p.m. She will be at the Bradford office on Monday, May 9, also from 1-3 p.m. No appointments are necessary.
  • Dan Falls of the American Legion will be at the Coudersport office, 107 S. Main St., from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, May 5. Appointments are required and should be made by calling 814-274-9769.

For information about future veterans outreach dates and locations, click here

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