Budget Hearings Focus on Spending, Mismanagement
3/6/2020
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#Listrak\DateStampLong# The latest news from the State Capitol
                          
Budget Hearings Focus on Spending, Mismanagement

Citing concerns with overspending and mismanagement in the current year’s budget, members of the House Appropriations Committee kicked off this year’s budget hearings by grilling administration officials about their actual funding needs for the upcoming 2020-21 fiscal year.

Earlier this month, Gov. Tom Wolf proposed a $36 billion budget, which represents a spending increase of more than $2 billion over the current year’s enacted budget. Nearly $1 billion of that increase is the result of the administration’s overspending in this year’s budget. The committee met with officials from the departments of Revenue, Aging, State, Military and Veterans Affairs, Corrections, and Labor and Industry.

I attended the Pennsylvania Department of State hearing last Wednesday. I’d like to thank Rep. Lynda Schlegel Culver for asking questions about my Applied Behavioral Analysis legislation, House Bill 1900.

Several major state agencies are on the upcoming agenda. For a full schedule of these and other remaining hearings, or to watch live streams or archived video of the hearings, click here.

Additional information about the 2020-21 state budget proposal may be found here.  
                
         
HealthierPA Initiatives Signed into Law

Two measures advanced by the House earlier this year as part of our HealthierPA Initiative are now law.

Act 6 of 2020 will help improve cancer treatment options for patients with Stage IV metastatic cancer by requiring insurance companies to cover the medication and treatments prescribed by the patient’s doctor, regardless of what their insurance plan typically covers.

The law recognizes time is of the essence for patients fighting cancer. They should not have to get sicker and sicker before being allowed to try something their doctor is recommending that could extend the length and quality of their lives.

Act 7 of 2020 will help protect infants who receive donated breast milk through milk banks. Banked donor milk is used in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) and by outpatients with medical issues. When a mother’s own milk is unavailable in the NICU, the use of banked donor milk has been shown to decrease mortality rates and the incidence of serious complications.

The new law will require the state Department of Health to regulate milk banks, which are entities that gather, process and distribute mothers’ milk for medically fragile newborns. Milk banks would be required to medically screen donors and to contact the health care provider of the donor’s baby to verify adequate growth. The donor milk must be processed to inactivate pathogens (pasteurized), and post-processing bacterial cultures must be performed. The law does not regulate breast milk donors or affect informal milk sharing that may occur.
                  
         
Committee Discusses Bill to Better Coordinate Fire, EMS Services

Continuing the commitment to supporting the state’s fire and emergency services system, the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee held a public hearing recently on a proposal to create a Pennsylvania State Fire Commission to better coordinate resources and services.

The bill is based on a recommendation offered by the Senate Resolution 6 Commission to ensure fire and EMS coverage, which is provided by volunteers in the majority of the state’s communities, remains available across the state.

Testifiers at the hearing included Bruce Trego, state fire commissioner; Dylan Ferguson of the PA Department of Health’s Bureau of Emergency Medical Services; David Chiaramonte and Adam Perreault of the PA Professional Firefighters Association; Charles McGarvey Sr. and Jay Delaney of the PA Career Fire Chiefs Association; and Steve Bair of the PA Fire and Emergency Services Institute.

Last fall, as part of our “Helpers and Heroes” initiative, the House passed a series of bills designed to improve recruitment and retention of volunteers for fire and ambulance companies, boost access to training and increase funding options. Most of the measures are now awaiting action in the Senate. Late last year, Act 106 was signed into law, making online training more readily available to current and prospective first responders.
                  
         
Think Spring! Trout Stocking Schedules Available

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has announced its 2020 trout stocking schedules are now available online and on the FishBoatPA mobile app. They also are available in my Hershey office and various locations throughout the district, as are books about fishing in Pennsylvania.

The schedule is searchable by county, lists the waterways in alphabetical order, and indicates stocking dates and the species of trout that will be stocked. The commission plans to once again stock approximately 3.2 million trout in 707 streams and 130 lakes open to public angling. PFBC plans to double the amount of trophy-sized trout being stocked to approximately 60,000 fish, 70% of which are slated to be stocked during the preseason.

The 2020 trout season will officially open Saturday, March 28, with the Regional Mentored Youth Trout Fishing Day program in 18 southeastern counties, including: Adams, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Franklin, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Perry, Philadelphia, Schuylkill and York. The following weekend – Saturday, April 4 – kicks off the Regional Opening Day of Trout Season in the same 18 southeastern counties.

A second Mentored Youth Trout Fishing Day will be held on April 11, the Saturday before the April 18 regular statewide opening day of trout season.

For more information on trout stocking, trout season and how to obtain a 2020 fishing license, visit www.fishandboat.com.
                  
         
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It was nice to see such great turnout for Swatara Township’s Coffee with a Cop. The 106th District is blessed to have such great officers protecting our communities.

Let’s Pretend reopened in Westporte Center in late 2019. Co-owner Kerri Meyer developed Let’s Pretend with the idea that adults and children would play together free of modern-day distractions. We’re glad to have them in Middletown!

Welcome, Rotunda Brew Pub, to the 106th District! We’re thrilled to have this rebranded business in Hershey. I enjoyed meeting with the owner, Dave, and the assistant manager, Anthony.
                  
         
Upcoming Events

Below please find information on my March 19, 2020, Open House and my April 3, 2020, Health Expo. I hope to see you there.

 
 
                  
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repmehaffie.com
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159-B East Wing | PO Box 202106 | Harrisburg, PA 17120-2106 | Phone: (717) 787-2684
Email  Address: TMehaffie@pahousegop.com