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Friday, July 19, 2019

Capitol Update by Rep. Martin Causer




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Capitol Update
Friday, July 19, 2019 The latest news from the State Capitol

REAL ID Informational Seminars Planned at Bradford Senior Citizens Expo

In addition to the helpful information from state, county and local agencies and organizations providing services to senior citizens, this year’s Senior Citizens Expo will feature two presentations about the Commonwealth’s REAL ID program.

The expo is slated for Friday, Aug. 2, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford Sports and Fitness Gymnasium. The REAL ID presentations will be held at 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. in one of the classrooms at the gymnasium facility.

REAL ID became available this spring and was established to comply with federal law. While there is no requirement that any Pennsylvania resident obtain a REAL ID (traditional driver licenses and ID cards will continue to be available), a federally accepted form of identification must be used as identification to board a commercial flight or visit a secure federal building starting Oct. 1, 2020. A Pennsylvania REAL ID will fulfill this requirement, as will a U.S. passport. A PennDOT representative will be on hand to discuss REAL ID, why residents may want to obtain one and how to go about doing so. Information about REAL ID is also available here.
 

 
Bradford City Water Authority Receives Low-Interest Loan

The Bradford City Water Authority has been awarded an $11.5 million low-interest loan by the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) to build a second water transmission main between the water filtration plant and reservoir No. 4.

The project will help prevent a repeat of the February 2015 catastrophic water line break that left the city without water for five days.

Specifically, the new water transmission main will consist of approximately 35,000 feet of 24-inch PVC waterline, valves and other waterline appurtenances. In addition to providing a redundant water transmission main with functioning shutoff valves, it will also allow the authority to complete a much-needed rehabilitation or replacement of the existing main, which was installed in 1955.

This is a necessary investment to ensure the people of Bradford and surrounding communities who are served by the city authority continue to have a safe and reliable water supply.
 

Hunter-Trapper Education Courses Available

State law requires all first-time hunters and trappers, regardless of age, to successfully complete Hunter-Trapper Education (HTE) training before they can buy a Pennsylvania hunting or trapping license.

You may complete the course entirely online (only for those who are 16 years of age or older), or you may sign up for one of the classes being offered locally.

The current schedule is as follows:
  • St. Marys – Tuesday and Wednesday, July 30-31, from 5:30-9 p.m. at St. Marys Area High School, 977 S. St. Marys Road, St .Marys.
  • Kane – Tuesday, Sept. 10, and Tuesday, Sept. 17, from 5:30-9 p.m. at Kane Fish and Game Sportsman’s Club, Dwight Road, Kane.
  • Ulysses – Saturday, Sept. 14, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Brookland Club, Telescope Road, Ulysses.
  • Eldred – Saturday, Sept. 21, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Eldred Conservation Club, 200 Whitetail Hollow Drive, Eldred.
  • Kersey – Saturday, Oct. 12, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Fox Township Sportsmen’s Club, 203 Ridge Road, Kersey.
  • Ulysses – Saturday, Oct. 19, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum, Route 6, Ulysses.
New classes will be added. To check the schedule for updates, click here. 
 

Supporting Foster and Adopted Children

Working to ensure success for children in the foster system and those who have been adopted, the General Assembly has enacted three new laws.

Act 14 of 2019 promotes the placement in adoptive homes of children who have disabilities or are otherwise hard to place due to age, sibling relationships or ethnicity. The law allows family members who are granted permanent legal custodianship for qualified children up to 21 years of age to receive subsidies for their care.

Act 16 of 2019 assists children in the foster care system with the challenges of accessing higher education opportunities by creating a tuition and fee waiver option for youth in foster care, who were adopted from the foster care system, or have aged out of foster care. Statistics indicate only 50% of foster youth graduate from high school, only 20% go to college and less than 10% complete their postsecondary education.

Act 47 of 2019 simplifies the process for certain adoptions by allowing a prison employee to serve as a witness to the completion of an adoption consent form by an incarcerated birth parent. If a second witness is unavailable, the new law allows the consent to be acknowledged before a notary public. Under prior law, potential adoptions were delayed for months, leaving the child stuck in the system rather than under the care of adoptive parents.
 

Removing Barriers to Employment

Building on our long-term efforts to promote economic opportunity and remove barriers to work, the General Assembly has passed a new law improving the portability of professional licenses.

Act 41 of 2019 requires the licensing boards and commissions under the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (BPOA) to provide licensure by endorsement for applicants who hold similar licenses in other states. It also offers a provisional endorsement license to quickly move these professionals into the work force.

Under prior law, professionals moving into the state – including members of the military and their families – faced a number of barriers and delays in obtaining the appropriate licenses to reenter the work force, creating a financial burden for them and their families. In some cases, the delays could lead to missed job opportunities or even a decision to avoid moving to the Commonwealth.

The law is a win-win for both employees and employers.
 

Help Track PA’s Thriving Bald Eagle Population

The Pennsylvania Game Commission is asking for the public’s help to track the state’s growing bald eagle population.

After reaching a low of just three nesting bald eagle pairs in the Commonwealth in the early 1980s, officials now estimate there are more than 300 nesting pairs here.

While bald eagles are no longer listed as a threatened species in Pennsylvania, they are still protected by the U.S. Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, which prohibits taking of the birds, nests or eggs.

If you spot a bald eagle nest, please use proper etiquette to avoid disturbing the birds. To review bald eagle nest guidelines, or to report your nest sighting to the game commission, click here.

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