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Friday, September 27, 2019

Capitol Update by Rep. Martin Causer

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Capitol Update
Friday, September 27, 2019 The latest news from the State Capitol

Bills to Aid Emergency Services Advance

Continuing our commitment to supporting the state’s emergency services agencies, the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee this week approved several bills, including one I sponsored to provide a much-needed boost in funding for training as well as equipment.

With EMT class costs approaching $1,000, my House Bill 1838 aims to make training more affordable by increasing funding for the Emergency Medical Services Operating Fund (EMSOF) and requiring at least 30% of the funding to be used to provide training to underserved rural areas.

In addition, the bill would require 10% of the funds to be provided directly to EMS providers to help with purchasing medical equipment for their ambulances.

Another bill I cosponsored, House Bill 1869, would allow the Department of Health to grant waivers to staffing requirements on a Basic Life Support (BLS) service ambulance in sixth- through eighth-class counties. Current law requires that a BLS ambulance be staffed at a minimum with at least one individual who is certified as an emergency medical responder (EMR) or higher and one who is licensed as an emergency medical technician (EMT).

In some instances, it is extremely difficult for a rural ambulance company to maintain that level of staffing around the clock. These waivers could mean the difference between an ambulance getting out the door to help someone in need or being forced to stay in the station because they don’t meet the staffing requirement.

To read more about other bills passed by the committee, click here.

Discussing PA Fireworks Laws

The House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, which I chair, held a hearing this week on fireworks legislation. Among the testifiers was Jerry Ozog (left), executive director of the Pennsylvania Fire and Emergency Services Institute. I first met Jerry when he was a paramedic with Bradford Hospital many years ago...small world! We are pictured with Jay Delaney, chief of the City of Wilkes-Barre Bureau of Fire and president of the Pennsylvania Career Fire Chiefs Association (second from left), and Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, Democrat chairman of the Ag Committee. If you’re interested in the hearing, or other proceedings of the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, click here.

Outreach Hours Set for Oct. 3

To help ensure access to state government information and services, I will hold outreach office hours at the following locations on Thursday, Oct. 3:
  • Emporium Borough Office – 9-10 a.m.
  • Port Allegany Borough Office – 11 a.m. to noon.
Services available include assistance with any state-related issues or concerns, driver license and vehicle registration applications, and applications for various state programs, such as the senior citizen Property Tax/Rent Rebate and PACE/PACENET prescription drug assistance programs.

As always, you are welcome to stop by my offices in Bradford (78 Main St., first floor), Coudersport (107 S. Main St., Room 1) or Kane (55 Fraley St.) Monday through Friday, or visit my website at or my Facebook page at for the latest news from state government.

Veterans Assistance Available

Working to ensure area veterans receive the services and support they need, Melissa Davis of the American Legion will be available at my offices in Coudersport and Kane in October. Office hours in Bradford are canceled for the month due to the Columbus Day holiday.

The schedule is as follows:
  • Coudersport office: Thursday, Oct. 3, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Coudersport office is located at 107 S. Main St. Please call 814-274-9769 to schedule an appointment.
  • Kane office: Monday, Oct. 7, from 1-4 p.m. The Kane office is located at 55 Fraley St. Please call 814-837-0880 to schedule an appointment.
Davis will offer veterans assistance with issues such as compensation, education, pension, health care and death benefits. You need not be a member of the American Legion to participate.

Join Us at the Potter County Senior Citizens Expo Oct. 11

Area senior citizens, as well as family members and caregivers, are again invited to our 17th annual Senior Citizens Expo coming up on Friday, Oct. 11, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Roulette Fire Hall, located at 12 River St.

The expo provides access to a wide range of information in one convenient location. State, county and local exhibitors will be on hand to distribute information and answer questions about issues such as health care, insurance, nutrition and exercise, fire safety, financial planning, fraud protection, government services, hunting/fishing, personal safety and more. Health screenings will also be offered, and door prizes will be awarded.

The event is free to attend, and lunch will be provided.

I hope to see you there!

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