May. 17, 2019

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Legislative Update


 The latest news from the State Capitol

Come to My Disabilities Walk this Sunday
I will be hosting a walk to raise awareness of disabilities this Sunday, May 19, starting at 1:30 p.m. Registration is at 1 p.m.

The event will take place at Hatboro Baptist Church, 32 N. York Road in Hatboro.

The goal of the walk is to support and raise community awareness of individuals with disabilities.

The route of the walk is approximately 1 mile. It will start at Hatboro Baptist Church, proceed south to Horsham Road, cross York Road and return north on York Road back to the church.

It is critical that those with special needs have the proper support and access to programs to enrich their quality of life. I encourage participation for what is sure to be a fun and community-inspiring day.

Increasing Lottery Profits to Help our Seniors

The House Aging and Older Adult Services Committee, which I chair, unanimously passed my bill to increase lottery profits by lowering the rate of return of lottery games. The increased profits would go to programs for seniors that are funded by the Pennsylvania Lottery.

This change is important in order to ensure that the lottery has enough revenue to continue to fund necessary programs benefiting a dramatically growing population of older Pennsylvanians.

Act 201 of 2014 reduced the mandated rate of return from 27% to 25%. This relief gave the lottery the ability to update products in order to meet consumer demand and maximize profits for programs benefiting older Pennsylvanians. As the lottery system continues to try to increase ticket sales to increase revenues available for senior programs, it has requested an additional reduction of the statutorily mandated rate of return beginning in Fiscal Year 2019.

House Bill 956 would temporarily reduce the rate to 23% for the next three fiscal years until June 30, 2022.

Lowering the percentage of game payouts allows the lottery to increase profits by not binding the lottery on how much it can sell of certain games, especially high-profit games like scratch-offs.

The lottery sets the game payouts based on the statutorily mandated rate of return months in advance. By changing the mandated rate of return now, it provides the lottery with the ability to prepare the future game portfolio to maximize profits.

Dementia Awareness Month in Pennsylvania
The House also passed House Resolution 321, my resolution marking May 2019 as Dementia Awareness Month in Pennsylvania. Joining me at our press conference was my constituent Ross Schriftman, who spoke about his mother’s battle with dementia.

No one should have to fight dementia alone. Listen to our comments from the press conference here.

Visit to the Union Library

It was great to stop by the Union Library Book and Plant Sale last Saturday, where I had a chance to meet the Union Library mascot. Thank you to the staff and volunteers at Hatboro's Union Library for the excellent work they do!

Supporting Our National Guard Members and Their Families
Recognizing the sacrifices made by the families of PA National Guard Members, the House approved legislation to provide them with education benefits.

House Bill 1324 would extend our current Pennsylvania National Guard Military Education Program by including a Guard member’s spouse or child in this benefit program.

The benefit would pay for 10 semesters/quarters, or five years equivalent, at the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education tuition rate.

The Guard member could earn these educational benefits for his or her spouse and/or children by committing to a second obligation of six years with the Pennsylvania National Guard. This would help retain current National Guard members and attract transitioning military service members to Pennsylvania while also supporting Guard families.

The bill now moves to the Senate for its consideration.

May Is Mental Health Awareness Month
Working to support people struggling with depression or other mental health conditions, the House recently designated May as “Mental Health Awareness Month” in the Commonwealth.

Mental illness is not always visible, but it affects Pennsylvanians from all walks of life. This invisibility can make people feel isolated and unable to share their experiences.

Only about half of people impacted by mental illness seek treatment, and too many people struggle in silence. It is important that all Pennsylvanians understand mental illness is a biologically based disorder that requires medical attention.

You can learn more about mental health and services available in Pennsylvania by clicking here

Fish for Free Next Weekend
If you’ve been thinking about trying fishing or wanting to introduce your child or a friend to the joys of fishing, you’ll have a great chance to do so next weekend!

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will host the first of its two annual Fish for Free Days next Sunday, May 26.

On Fish for Free Days, anyone -- resident or non-resident -- can legally fish on all Pennsylvania waterways without a license.

All other fishing regulations will still apply.

For your convenience, there are even opportunities to borrow equipment from certain sites at state parks and other locations. You can find those locations by clicking here.

The second Fish for Free day is scheduled for Thursday, July 4, 2019.
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Office Locations
19 South York Rd., Hatboro, PA 19040 | Phone (215) 674-3755
110 Ryan Office Building, PO Box 202152, Harrisburg PA 17120-2152 | Phone (717) 787--6886
TTY: 855-282-0614