Jul. 15, 2019

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The latest news from the State Capitol
Saving for the Future

Due to our controlled spending in recent years, the Rainy Day Fund received an infusion of $317 million on Tuesday.

The Rainy Day Fund acts as a savings account for the state. It is important to have a robust Rainy Day Fund to protect from future economic downturns.

The Rainy Day Fund was at levels where it could only sustain the state’s operations for a few hours. Now, largely because of the latest deposit, it can be a safety net for weeks during a crisis.
Bills to Support Crime Victims Signed into Law

Delivering on our commitment to help support victims of crime and ensure justice is served, I’m pleased to report several new crime victim protection bills were signed into law by the governor this month. The House focused heavily on these issues back in April.
    • Act 21 of 2019 criminalizes the act of female genital mutilation by making it a first-degree felony.
    • Act 23 of 2019 ensures a victim is permitted to be present in any criminal proceeding unless the court determines the victim's own testimony would be altered by hearing other witnesses.
    • Act 24 of 2019 helps protect victims of rape by preventing prosecutors from bringing up the victim's sexual history or prior allegations of sexual abuse while prosecuting certain crimes.
    • Act 29 of 2019 makes updates to the Sexual Assault Testing and Evidence Collection Act, including requiring the Pennsylvania State Police to create procedures for anonymous victims and establishing timelines for submitting, testing and storing rape kits.
    • Acts 30 and 31 of 2019 expand the circumstances under which out-of-court statements may be used, including those from victims and witnesses with intellectual disabilities or autism spectrum disorder (Act 30) and adding new crimes to the list that allows such statements made by a child under age 12.
In addition to these new laws, the General Assembly has approved a proposed constitutional amendment to include a Victim’s Bill of Rights in the Pennsylvania Constitution. Voters will have the opportunity to approve the proposed amendment in the upcoming November election.                                    
Supporting Our National Guard Members and Their Families

A new initiative to help our Pennsylvania National Guard members and their families has been signed into law.

Act 32 of 2019 extends the current Pennsylvania National Guard Military Education Program by including a Guard member’s spouse or child in this benefit program. The benefit will be offered in exchange for a Guard member’s six-year reenlistment.

Under the law, the educational benefit can be used at any Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) institution or any institution of higher learning approved by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency. If the approved institution costs less than the annual tuition rate charged by the state system schools, the student would not pay anything. If it costs more than PASSHE’s annual tuition rate, the student would only pay expenses in excess of PASSHE’s annual tuition rate.

Pennsylvania National Guard members became eligible for the benefit beginning July 1. Their family members may begin claiming the benefit on Aug. 1, 2020.
National Night Out

This year’s National Night Out is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 6.

National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign to promote partnerships between police and neighborhoods. It brings police and citizens together in positive circumstances.

Events in the 106th legislative district at which my office will have a presence:
  • Borough of Hummelstown – Schaffner Park (Poplar & Water Streets) from 7-9 p.m.
  • Borough of Middletown – Hoffer Park (Race & Mill Streets) from 6-8 p.m.
  • Derry Township – first block of West Caracas Avenue from 6-8 p.m.
  • Swatara Township – Vanatta Park (behind 7-Eleven on Derry Street) from 6-9 p.m.

Happy 90th Birthday to Richard Huber of Middletown! It was great to talk with him and present him with a citation to mark the occasion.

Thanks to Insulators Local Union 23 for inviting me to its board meeting June 13. I recently supported their Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program application for their new training facility.

Recently, I was pleased to host Peyton Hunt from Middletown Area High School and Ananya Narayanan from Hershey High School as House guest pages.

Click here to view video.
Congratulations to Treyvon Ferguson, who will represent the United States in track and field in Costa Rica. He is a Milton Hershey School graduate who will compete in the Pan American U20 Championship.
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250 W. Chocolate Avenue, Suite 2 | Hershey, PA 17033 | Phone: (717) 534-1323
159-B East Wing | PO Box 202106 | Harrisburg, PA 17120-2106 | Phone: (717) 787-2684
Email Address: TMehaffie@pahousegop.com