Stoltz of Coudersport

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Bokman of Wellsville

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UPMC Cole

Friday, April 12, 2019

Headline Harrisburg by Rep. Matt Gabler

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Headline Harrisburg
Friday, April 12, 2019
The latest news from the State Capitol 

This email includes:
  • The Process of Replacing Voting Machines Statewide
  • Keeping Our Kids Safe
  • Congratulations!
  • Strengthening Protections for Victims of Crime
  • Are You Ready?
  • Calling All Hunters
  • Holding Child Sexual Abuse Perpetrators Accountable
  • Recognizing Our Future Leaders
  • Construction in Our District
 

Statewide Voting Machines Replacement

Click here to view video.

The next time Pennsylvanians vote in a presidential election, it will most likely be on updated machines.

Last Monday, my House State Government Committee colleagues and I hosted an informational meeting at the state Capitol to examine the issue of replacing voting machines in all 67 counties. I support taking actions to improve the security and confidence in our elections, but I also want to ensure upgrades are done cost effectively and do not cause confusion for voters.

Please click on the video above to view a recording of the interaction I had with Acting Secretary of the Commonwealth Kathy Boockvar.
 

Keeping Our Kids Safe


House Bill 364, my legislation that would authorize the use of revolving or flashing yellow lights for school vehicles, such as vans and mini-vans, was passed Wednesday afternoon by the House Transportation Committee. It may now be taken up by the full House.

Under current law, school vehicles, which are vehicles smaller than school buses that transport school students, are not considered authorized vehicles for the purposes of visual signals such as revolving and flashing yellow lights.

The idea was proposed to me by an Elk County resident who is concerned about the lack of visibility on many rural roads. This bill will certainly keep our kids safer on their way to school each day.
 

Congratulations!


….to the DuBois Area School District on being recognized by the National Association of Music Merchants for its outstanding commitment to music education.

To qualify for this designation, school districts were required to answer detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities and support for music programs.
 

Strengthening Protections for Victims of Crime


With this week being National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, the House began working through a package of bills designed to help protect victims of crime.

A cornerstone of this package is Marsy’s Law, a bill that seeks to amend the state Constitution by adding a victim’s bill of rights.

Other bills in the package passed this week include measures to shield rape victims from being re-victimized by irrelevant cross examination; allow victims and witnesses with intellectual disabilities or autism to submit out-of-court statements rather than face their perpetrators in court; expand the types of crimes for which an out-of-court statement can be accepted; and allow crime victims to attend any proceeding relating to their cases, unless attending would materially alter the victims’ testimony.

The bills now head to the Senate for consideration.

Learn more about efforts to protect crime victims in Pennsylvania here
.
 

Are You Ready?


This Saturday, April 13, is the opening day of trout season in Clearfield and Elk counties. Please click here for more information, and good luck on the water!
 

Calling All Hunters


The Pennsylvania Game Commission is hosting a hunter training course on Sunday, May 4, at the St Marys Area Middle School Outdoor Classroom, 979 South St. Marys Road.

This course is required by law for all first-time hunters and trappers before they can purchase a license.

If you are interested in registering for the class, please click here.
 

Holding Child Sexual Abuse Perpetrators Accountable


As the Commonwealth marks April as Child Abuse Prevention Month, the House passed a two-bill package known as the Pennsylvania Hidden Predator Act to help empower victims of child sexual abuse.

House Bill 962, sponsored by Rep. Mark Rozzi (D-Berks), would change the civil statute of limitations for child sexual abuse, allowing childhood victims until age 55 to file suit, and provide for waivers of sovereign and governmental immunity relating to claims of childhood sexual abuse. It would also abolish the criminal statute of limitations for child sexual abuse moving forward.

House Bill 963, sponsored by Rep. Jim Gregory (R-Blair), would amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to provide a two-year window in which civil lawsuits alleging childhood sexual abuse may be filed in court, notwithstanding any otherwise applicable statute of limitations defense.

The House also started the process of amending the Pennsylvania Constitution to provide a two-year window to anyone for whom a statutory limitations period has expired to commence action arising from childhood sexual abuse.

These bills are slightly different from proposals passed in previous sessions. Provisions have been added to the package to address concerns with retroactivity and constitutionality.

Reporting suspected abuse is the best way to protect children. If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, you can call the Department of Health’s toll-free ChildLine at 1-800-932-0313.
 

Recognizing Our Future Leaders


Congratulations to Lucas Knarr and Josiah Shaffer of Troop 28 in DuBois, whose Eagle Scout Court of Honor will take place Saturday at TriCounty Church in DuBois.
 

Construction in Our District


This Monday, April 15, PennDOT will begin bridge repair and preservation work on eight I-80 structures near DuBois.

Beginning that day, drivers will encounter alternating lane closures both east and westbound during daylight hours between mile marker 98 (near the Falls Creek exit) and slightly east of the DuBois exit.

Starting Monday, April 22, long-term right lane closures will be in place in both directions at mile marker 98.5. This will include a 12-foot width restriction between the Falls Creek and DuBois exits.

The project is expected to last into November.

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