Apr. 21, 2017

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Weekly Roundup
#Listrak\DateStampLong# The latest news from the State Capitol

Thanks for Attending Our Concealed Carry Seminar
Thank you to everyone who attended the Concealed Carry Seminar Rep. Tina Pickett and I held last night (Thursday) at the Hop Bottom Fire Company in Susquehanna County. We had a great crowd turn out to hear from our special presenters, Susquehanna County Sheriff Lance Benedict and Susquehanna County District Attorney Robert Klein.

In addition to an overview of the state’s firearms laws, the seminar included information on how to safely interact with police when carrying a firearm, as well as the legal aspects of Pennsylvania’s Castle Doctrine, which allows a homeowner to use deadly force if necessary when threatened by an armed intruder.

Pictured with Rep. Pickett and me above are (from left) Susquehanna Commissioner Betsy Arnold, Sheriff Benedict, District Attorney Klein and Commissioner Alan Hall.
House OKs Bill to Get Unemployment Centers Back Open

As a way to reopen unemployment centers and get people the unemployment compensation (UC) benefits they have earned in a timelier manner, the House passed Senate Bill 250 that would provide $15 million in funding to the Department of Labor and Industry.

The governor laid off about 450 employees and closed three UC centers late last year after state funding was halted due to complications arising from a failed computer system upgrade. As a result, residents seeking to submit claims or obtain information from the bureau have experienced lengthy delays or lack of response.

This funding is intended to be temporary to improve operations of the UC system. The legislation contains specific provisions the department must meet to regain more permanent funding.

After the bill moved back to the Senate on concurrence, it now heads to the governor’s desk.
Allowing Terminally Ill Patients the Right to Try

Legislation that would permit eligible patients with a terminal illness to use investigational drugs, biological products and devices not yet approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) passed the House on Tuesday.

With the FDA approval process often too slow to save patients suffering from terminal illness, 31 other states allow these patients the right to try medicines, products and devices.

House Bill 45 would permit a manufacturer to make these products available to eligible patients once the products successfully complete the first phase of clinical trials. Under the bill, physicians would not be held liable for recommending experimental products to their terminally ill patients, nor would the bill create a private cause of action against the manufacturers that make the drugs. While the bill does not require insurers to cover these products, they may do so at their own discretion.

The bill now moves to the state Senate.
State Grant Deadline is May 1 for PA College Students

The deadline for students and families to submit their applications for the 2017-18 Pennsylvania State Grant program is May 1. This deadline applies to all renewal applicants and first-time applicants who plan to enroll in colleges, universities or a college transfer program at two-year public or private colleges (except community colleges and designated Pennsylvania Open Admission institutions).

To apply for a Pennsylvania State Grant, applicants must first complete the 2017-18 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Applicants can access the FAFSA online at PHEAA.org/FAFSA or fafsa.gov. Completing the FAFSA online saves time and reduces application and processing errors.

Students and families with questions about the FAFSA or the State Grant Program can call 800-692-7392 for personal assistance.
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16501 State Route 706, Suite 2, Montrose, PA 18801 | Phone: 570-278-3374 
32 Commercial Street, Suite 300, Honesdale, PA 18431 | 570-253-5533
414 Irvis Office, PO Box 202111, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2111
Email Address: JFritz@pahousegop.com