Sep. 24, 2021 / Press Release

House, Senate Adopt Resolution Extending Ida Disaster Declaration

Recognizing the long recovery ahead in many areas of the state that suffered extensive damage related to Tropical Storm Ida, the state House and Senate this week approved a resolution extending the governor’s disaster emergency declaration issued Aug. 31.

The resolution proposes to extend the declaration through Oct. 27.

This is the first time the General Assembly has voted to extend a disaster emergency since voters approved an amendment to the state Constitution limiting a governor’s disaster declarations to a maximum of 21 days. Anything beyond 21 days requires legislative approval.
Bill Aimed at Preventing Suicide Sent to Governor’s Desk

As the Commonwealth marks National Suicide Prevention Month in September, legislation to hold accountable a person who instructs, causes or solicits another person to commit suicide is now awaiting the governor’s signature.

“Shawn’s Law” is named after Shawn Shatto, a young woman who took her own life in her parent’s Newberry Township home after she received a step-by-step guide on how to die by suicide from an online chat forum. She was provided the instructions to make the poison to take her own life. Shawn did so and then contacted the forum members saying she was scared to follow through with ending her life. At least one person on the forum told her that suicide was the best route and wished Shawn well on her journey instead of encouraging her to seek help.

House Bill 184 184 calls for sentences to be increased for a person who encourages another individual to die by suicide, when the individual is under the age of 18 or has an intellectual disability. Under the law, intellectual disability is defined as someone, regardless of age, who has significantly below average intellectual functioning and has significant limitations in two of the following areas: communication, self-care, home living, social and interpersonal skills, use of community resources, self-direction, functional academic skills, work, health or safety.

Assistance to prevent suicide can be found by calling The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) 24-hours a day, seven days a week. The lifeline provides free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources, and best practices for professionals.
Mark Your Calendars: Drive-Through Veterans Lunch

I will be hosting a drive-through Tribute to Veterans Event to honor veterans who gave so freely and sacrificed the most. A lunch and commemorative pin will be presented to each veteran from the 106th District who registers. Please join me Friday, Nov. 5, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Lower Swatara Volunteer Fire Department, 1350 Fulling Mill Road, Middletown. To register, call 717-534-1323. If you have flags that are ready for disposal, please bring them with you and they will be given the appropriate retirement ceremony.

Congratulations to Hershey Elementary School on being selected a National Blue Ribbon School!

The program, now in its 39th year, recognizes public and private elementary, middle, and high schools based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

Congratulations to every student and staff member for all your hard work and dedication!

The weather was beautiful last Saturday for the Hummelstown Arts Festival. My thanks to the organizers and vendors. The art on display showed off the talent in our region.

Last Saturday, the Hope Springs Farm fundraiser helped to support the organization's programs for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. I had so much fun meeting everyone, including a few of the farm animals. Check out the great work being done on the farm!