Cutting Through the Red Tape
Last week, state lawmakers and business leaders from across the Commonwealth announced a multi-bill package specifically designed to rein in state government overregulation.
The bills include giving the Legislature the ability to initiate the repeal of any state regulation in effect; establishing the Independent Office of the Repealer to undertake an ongoing review of existing regulations; requiring legislative approval of an economically significant regulation; making the permitting process more transparent; requiring each agency to better educate the regulated community regarding implementation of any new regulation and its requirements; and improving the regulatory culture so the application of existing laws is collaborative and not punitive.
Also announced was a Regulatory Overreach Report, which showed that Pennsylvania’s restrictive regulatory environment kills family-sustaining jobs, strangles opportunity and cripples economic growth.
Pennsylvania currently has more than 153,000 regulatory restrictions that stretch across every industry in the Commonwealth.
Montrose Bible Conference Celebrates Life
It was my honor to attend the Breakfast for Life in Montrose last weekend. Melissa Ohden, a pro-life advocate with an incredibly powerful personal testimony, was the featured speaker.
Opioid Emergency Shouldn’t Impact Second Amendment
To help ensure that residents’ Second Amendment rights are not inadvertently impacted by the governor’s declaration of a state of emergency in the fight against opioid addiction, new legislation has been unveiled to protect that right.
With the emergency declaration, the governor activated an automatic trigger in the Crimes Code dealing with the Second Amendment. While this may make sense in the context of a natural disaster, it could cause problems for law-abiding citizens now. Never before has a disaster emergency been declared for a public health reason.
Under state law, an emergency declaration criminalizes the open carrying in public or on public property of any firearm – whether a handgun, rifle or shotgun. The intent of this prohibition is to protect communities from looting and criminal behavior in the time of a natural disaster, and would last for the full duration of the declared disaster.
While the declaration of disaster for the opioid crisis gives the state tools to use to help Pennsylvania citizens in this public health crisis, the issue regarding the Second Amendment is not necessary and should not be in effect.
The legislation would simply clarify that the prohibition against open carrying of an otherwise lawful firearm only applies if the disaster declaration expressly declares that such a prohibition is required to maintain public safety. Because the governor’s recent disaster declaration made no such declaration, upon enactment of this bill, Second Amendment rights would once again be secure in Pennsylvania.
Honesdale FFA Receives Charter at PA Farm Show
This year at the Pennsylvania Farm Show, the Honesdale FFA (Future Farmers of America) Chapter received the FFA Charter as a new program in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Four Honesdale FFA members also received their first FFA jacket at the PA FFA Midwinter Convention.
Pictured with Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding are Honesdale FFA officers Dylan Card, Leah Neu, Brianna Wiest, Rachel Olver, Lily Fries, Nick Bochnovich and agriculture teacher Kayla Hack.
PennDOT Reminds Pennsylvanians that Current Driver’s Licenses and ID Cards are Acceptable for Domestic Air Travel
Pennsylvania is under REAL ID enforcement extension through Oct. 10, 2018
PennDOT reminds customers that Pennsylvania is under an enforcement extension from the Department of Homeland Security until Oct. 10, 2018, which means that Pennsylvanians may use their current driver’s license or ID card to board commercial aircraft or enter federal facilities that require ID until at least that date.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has stated that beginning Jan. 22, 2018, travelers who have driver’s licenses issued by a state that is not yet compliant with REAL ID and that has not received an extension will need to show an alternative form of acceptable identification for domestic air travel. Because Pennsylvania is currently under a REAL ID extension, travelers with PennDOT-issued driver’s licenses or ID cards may continue to use their licenses as usual.
PennDOT anticipates that REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and ID cards will be available to customers that want them in spring 2019, and will continue to apply for extensions from DHS until becoming REAL ID compliant.
More information about REAL ID, including frequently asked questions and information on documents required for REAL ID, can be found at www.penndot.gov/REALID.
January is Cervical Health Awareness Month
January is Cervical Health Awareness Month, a good time to raise awareness of cervical cancer and learn more about Pennsylvania’s HealthyWoman Program, which is a free breast and cervical cancer early detection program for those who are not insured or whose insurance doesn’t cover the screenings.
Nearly 13,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year, but the disease is virtually always preventable with vaccination and appropriate screening.
Among the services offered are pelvic exams, Pap smears and follow-up diagnostic tests for an abnormal screening result. Cervical cancer screenings are recommended for women beginning at age 21.
For more information, call the HealthyWoman hotline at 1-800-215-7494 or click here.