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Friday, September 23, 2016

Capitol Update

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Capitol Update
Friday, September 23, 2016 The latest news from the State Capitol
Thanks for Coming!

We had another great turnout at this year's Senior Citizens Expo in Kane. Thank you to all of the seniors who came out for the event, as well as the exhibitors, staff and volunteers who helped to make it a success! We have one more expo coming up on Friday, Oct. 7, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Roulette Fire Hall. Hope to see you there!
Honored to Serve on New Penn Grade Crude Advisory Council
Earlier this week, Speaker of the House Mike Turzai appointed me to the newly formed Pennsylvania Grade Crude Development Advisory Council.

The council was created in Act 52 of 2016, a law which also halted implementation of regulations that threatened to force many conventional oil and gas operations out of business. In an effort to prevent that from happening again, the council was created to advise and assist the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) with any future regulatory changes.

The council is also charged with developing a plan to increase production of Pennsylvania grade crude oil to more adequately supply refineries, such as ARG, which depend upon the high-quality oil. It will also look at ways to promote the long-term viability of the conventional oil and gas industry.

Read more here.    
New State Law Changes Process for CDL Holders, Permit Seekers
To comply with federal regulations, a new state law is now in effect that may affect individuals who hold commercial driver licenses (CDL) or those who will be seeking them. Most of the changes went into effect earlier this year. The changes are a result of Act 49 of 2015, which seeks to enhance public and driver safety while making the process a bit simpler for those who are seeking to renew a CDL.

All new CDL applicants and current holders required to renew or make any changes or upgrades to their CDL will need to do so in person. License holders are required to prove citizenship or legal presence in the form of a birth certificate, passport, naturalization documents or current immigration documents in person. The requirement to prove citizenship or legal presence for permanent residents and citizens will only need to be done once as a notation will be made on the customer’s record confirming the verification was made and the date it was made.

Additionally, residency documents will be required initially, at renewal and any time an address change occurs. Proof of residency can be accomplished by providing tax records, lease agreements, mortgage documents, W-2 form, current weapons permit, current utility bills (water, gas, electric, cable, etc.), a letter from PennDOT or a current license.

More information is also available via PennDOT’s website at by typing “CDL” in the search bar.
September Named Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
A House resolution designating September 2016 as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month passed the House of Representatives this week with unanimous, bipartisan support.

House Resolution 973 is intended to bring awareness to childhood cancer and to honor each of the precious little ones who have tragically lost their lives to childhood cancer, as well as those who continue to wage their battles.

The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 10,380 children in the United States under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer in 2016. Childhood cancer is the second leading cause of death in children younger than 15 years old.

Although childhood cancer rates have been slightly increasing for the past few decades, because of major treatment advances, more than 80 percent of children diagnosed with cancer now survive five years or more. By comparison, in the mid-1970s, the five-year survival rate was less than 60 percent.
Veterans Assistance Available
A veterans service officer will be available in my Kane and Bradford offices in October to assist veterans and their family members with issues such as compensation, education, pension, health care and death benefits.

The schedule is as follows:
  • Monday, Oct. 3, 1-3 p.m. – Melissa Davis of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) will be at the Kane office, 55 Fraley St. No appointments are necessary.
  • Monday, Oct. 10, 1-3 p.m. – Melissa Davis of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) will be at the Bradford office, 78 Main St. No appointments are necessary.
Veterans assistance hours in Coudersport will resume in November.

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

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