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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Capitol Update By Rep. Martin Causer

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Capitol Update
Thursday, June 15, 2017 The latest news from the State Capitol
Bill to Enhance Forest Management in ANF Earns Committee Approval

Recognizing the importance of the Allegheny National Forest to our region, the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee unanimously approved legislation I co-sponsored to enhance forest management and maximize the benefits of the forest.

House Bill 1494 authorizes the Commonwealth to enter into a Good Neighbor Agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to allow the state to help manage the 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. This bill will help enhance the long-term health and productivity of the forest.

The bill now goes to the full House for consideration. Read more here.  
CHIP Extension to Help More PA Kids

To help ensure children can access health care coverage, the House recently passed legislation to continue the Pennsylvania Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which is set to expire on Dec. 31.

CHIP provides insurance coverage to uninsured children and teens (up to age 19) whose families earn too much to qualify for Medical Assistance, but who cannot afford to purchase private insurance. CHIP is supported by both state and federal funds and provides payment for health care coverage for eligible children who meet income and other criteria.

House Bill 1388 received unanimous support in the House and now goes to the Senate for consideration.

More than 174,000 children are currently enrolled in CHIP. Information about the program is available at
Protecting Senior Eligibility for Prescription Coverage

About 12,000 senior citizens currently enrolled in the state’s prescription drug assistance programs would be able to keep their coverage thanks to legislation that passed the House recently.

House Bill 425 would prevent seniors from losing their eligibility for PACE and PACENET programs due to a Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) by extending the COLA moratorium until Dec. 31, 2019. Without this legislation, a small Social Security COLA can make a senior ineligible for benefits.

The state’s PACE and PACENET programs provide prescription drug assistance to about 300,000 Pennsylvania seniors. A 2015 state law allowed seniors previously eligible to not lose their PACE and PACENET benefits due to a Social Security COLA. However, this law sunsets in December.

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.
Hunting Licenses on Sale Monday

Just a reminder that hunting licenses for the 2017-18 hunting season go on sale this coming Monday, June 17.

By law, all first-time hunters and trappers, regardless of age, must successfully complete Hunter-Trapper Education training before they can buy a hunting or trapping license. If you are looking for a nearby class, or are interested in enrolling in an online class, click here.
Plan Some Summer Fun

The 2017 Pennsylvania Fair Guide is now available online, offering information about more than 100 county and community agricultural fairs across the Commonwealth through the summer and early fall.

Fairs offer affordable and educational fun for families and people of all ages. Be sure to mark your calendars for any, or all, of our local fairs:

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