Office Locations 
District Offices
16501 State Route 706
Suite 2
Montrose PA 18801
Phone: (570) 278-3374
FAX: (570) 278-2952
Hours: M - F
8 :30 am – 4:00 pm

32 Commercial St.
Suite 300
Honesdale, PA 18431
Phone: (570) 253-5533
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30 - 4:00

Capitol Office
414 Irvis Office
PO Box 202111
Harrisburg PA 17120-2111
(717) 783-2910
FAX: (717) 782-2957

                                            
Catholic Sons and Daughters Breakfast
11/1/2018
Catholic Sons and Daughters Breakfast

 

On Sunday Oct. 21, I was honored to be the keynote speaker at the Catholic Sons and Daughters breakfast. This group of high school seniors was great, and I wish them all the best as they will soon head off to college or tech school to prepare for the next chapter of their lives.
 
 
Penn State Military Appreciation Game

   

I have an annual tradition to head out to Happy Valley for the Penn State military appreciation game, which was this past Saturday, Oct. 27. The weather may have been less than ideal this year, but the ceremony and the game were absolutely first rate. It was a close game, but the Nittany Lions prevailed and pulled off a key win!
 
 
Safety Grants Awarded to Local Area School Districts from New State Program


This week, I announced that area school districts were awarded state grants this week as a part of a state-funded initiative to help these school districts improve student safety.

As a Legislature, one of our top priorities is the protection and safety of children in the Commonwealth which is why we created this School Safety and Security Grant Program. This program makes it possible for school districts to afford extra security equipment and develop necessary safety precautions to make sure they can continue to keep their students protected and provide a safe learning environment.

Each local school district that applied through the program was awarded a grant of $25,000. Local grant recipients include Delaware Valley School District, North Pocono School District, Wallenpaupack Area School District and Western Wayne School District.

The School Safety and Security Grant Program was created by lawmakers earlier this year to provide grants to school districts, intermediate units, area vocational-technical schools, charter schools and private residential rehabilitative institutions for a wide variety of projects to improve school safety.

Eligible uses for the grants include hiring school security officers, purchasing security-related technology, completing safety and security assessments, implementing violence prevention curricula, offering counseling services for students, and creating other programs to protect students.

The new program was created as part of a comprehensive school safety bill that was signed into law in June. More than $60 million in new funding was dedicated in the current year’s budget to improve school safety.
 
 
Vietnam Veterans Invited to Commemorative Pinning Ceremony in Hamlin


U.S. Senator Pat Toomey, in conjunction with state lawmakers from Pike and Wayne Counties, will host a ceremony honoring area Vietnam-era veterans with a 50th anniversary commemorative pin. Veterans from Wayne and Pike Counties are invited to attend and be honored at this event.

This ceremony will take place on Friday, Nov. 9, at 2 p.m., at the Hamlin Fire Company Banquet Hall, 582 PA-590, Hamlin.

Veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time between Nov. 1, 1955, and May 15, 1975, regardless of station location, will be eligible to receive a lapel pin at this ceremony. Family members and veterans from all periods of service are invited to attend the ceremony.

Senator Toomey co-sponsored legislation to permanently designate March 29 as National Vietnam War Veterans Day to recognize the bravery and sacrifice of veterans who served during the Vietnam War. The bill has been signed into law by President Donald Trump.

Vietnam-era veterans who wish to attend should RSVP by contacting Toomey’s office in Wilkes-Barre at 570-820-4088.
 
 
Turn Those Clocks Back This Weekend

Daylight saving time will end at 2 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 4, and Pennsylvania residents will be turning their clocks back one hour before going to bed on Saturday night.

Experts recommend using this reminder to check or change the batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms. Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms should be replaced every 10 years and located near bedrooms and on each level of the residence.
 
 
Fighting Opioid Abuse

A new law that requires opioids to be prescribed electronically will bring consistency in the way prescriptions are filled and will also prevent the fraudulent use of prescription pads to fuel the opioid crisis.

At one time, written prescriptions were the safest form of prescribing opioids, which state law required. Since that time and the rise of the opioid epidemic, providers’ prescription pads have been stolen, leading to fraudulent use and driving fake prescriptions for the addictive drug.                                    

Act 96 of 2018 (formerly House Bill 353) will make it more difficult to have fake prescriptions filled, while also making it more convenient for patients who have a legitimate need for the medication. Currently, most all medications are prescribed electronically.

Another benefit of e-prescribing is that the tracking of the prescription can go directly to the state’s prescription drug monitoring database to help ensure only those who have a legitimate medical need for these prescriptions can access them.
 
 
Assistance for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Now Law

Two new laws signed by the governor will assist grandparents raising their grandchildren and help them better access both private and public resources.

House Bill 2133, now Act 89 of 2018, will establish the Kinship Caregiver Navigator Program, an informational resource for these grandparents that will operate both as a website and a toll-free hotline.

The website will offer information on support and services available, and a specially trained navigator through the hotline will be able to provide support and guidance to kinship caregivers, and serve as a mediator to establish relationships between kinship caregivers and relevant federal, state and local agency staff.

The cost to state taxpayers will be greatly reduced, as the Commonwealth just received $479,307 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families to develop the program.

Another measure to help grandchildren, House Bill 1539, now Act 88 of 2018, will allow grandparents to have temporary guardianship when the parents of the grandchildren are unable to care for them primarily due to substance abuse issues.

An estimated 82,000 grandparents are the sole caregivers for the nearly 89,000 grandchildren in Pennsylvania.
 
 
Governor’s Vetoes Perplex Lawmakers

The governor’s decision to veto important cost-saving and education measures last week has perplexed lawmakers.

The bills would have dramatically reduced the state’s debt (House Bill 83), required the Department of Human Services to institute work requirements for Medical Assistance recipients (House Bill 2138), and expanded career and technical education (CTE) opportunities for students across Pennsylvania (House Bill 2157).

Specifically, both House Bill 83 and House Bill 2157 passed with overwhelming bipartisan majorities in both the House and Senate. House Bill 83 could have reduced outstanding general obligation debt by $1 billion over 20 years, and House Bill 2157 would have made it easier for schools to establish and renew vocational programs.

This is the second time that Gov. Tom Wolf has vetoed work requirements for able-bodied individuals on Medical Assistance, even though work requirements are in place for food stamp assistance.

All three bills are expected to be reintroduced in the new 2019-20 legislative session.
 
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