Jul. 04, 2022 / Press Release

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Mehaffie Message
A Budget Update

We are in the process of finalizing the 2022-23 state budget. It is difficult for me to release details while the negotiations are ongoing and things are quickly changing, but rest assured we are making significant investments in education, public safety, mental health care and more. I’ll provide more information as soon as I’m able. I’m particularly fighting to ensure we have adequate funding for early-childhood education, as research tells us time and time again that children with a solid foundation do so much better in later schooling and careers. There have certainly been challenges when crafting this year’s spending plan, but we are close to a conclusion. I’m looking forward to passing the budget as soon as possible.
Expanding Tools to Prevent Overdose Deaths

The state House recently approved House Bill 2727, which would expand Good Samaritan protections for the use of new opioid overdose reversal drugs in advance of their anticipated approval by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

In 2014, the General Assembly passed Act 139, providing Good Samaritan immunity to those who administer naloxone, commonly known by its trade name, Narcan. “Next generation” opioid reversal drugs will likely soon receive FDA approval. House Bill 2527 would expand Act 139 to include protections for use of the new reversal drugs as well.

In a four-year period ending in January, the PA Department of Health reports more than 67,000 doses of Narcan have been administered by EMS with still tens of thousands more administered by others. Its broad distribution has no doubt saved countless lives.

House Bill 2527 now moves to the Senate for consideration.
Bill to Protect Rape Victims’ Identities Passed by House

A measure aimed to protect crime victims in the Commonwealth passed the House recently.

House Bill 2032, known as the Sexual Assault Testing and Evidence Collection Act, would create an exception to reporting identifying information in sexual assault cases where victims wish to remain anonymous. The change would recognize the trauma of such crimes and address the fear of retaliation and invasion of privacy concerns felt by survivors of these crimes.

The bill also would require Pennsylvania State Police (PSP), in consultation with the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, to conduct a study about establishing and sustaining a rape kit tracking system. The report would aim to identify the most efficient way of creating an online database accessible to victims of rape and allowing data to be entered in and stored by law enforcement agencies, forensic labs, hospitals and health care facilities.

The bill is awaiting action in the Senate.
FirstEnergy Provides Energy-Savings Tips

FirstEnergy Pennsylvania (Met-Ed, Penelec, Penn Power and West Penn Power) recently provided my office with tips to improve your home’s energy efficiency and lower cooling costs. I wanted to pass them along to you. The tips include:
  •   Set thermostats as high as comfort will allow. Every degree your temperature is increased on the thermostat can use 3% less energy.
  •   Use a programmable or smart thermostat to keep temperatures higher when no one is home.
  •   During sunny days, close drapes or blinds to prevent direct, radiant heat from impacting the temperatures inside.
  •   Check air conditioner and furnace fan filters.
  •   Avoid using heat-producing appliances during the hottest hours of the day.
Happy Independence Day!!

A few important reminders as you plan to celebrate our nation’s independence this weekend.

If you are going to set off fireworks, be smart, be careful and be considerate of your neighbors. The Office of the State Fire Commissioner offers the following tips:
  •   Never allow children to play with fireworks, even sparklers.
  •   Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  •   Never pick up or try to relight fireworks that have not fully ignited.
  •   Never use fireworks after consuming alcohol or other substances that impair judgement or the ability to act quickly.

If you choose to use fireworks, only allow adults to light one at a time then quicky back away. Keep a bucket of water or garden hose handy in case of fire, and fully douse burned fireworks in water before picking them up or throwing them away.

If you are traveling, check out www.511pa.com. Free and available 24 hours a day, the site provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 1,000 traffic cameras. 511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.

PennDOT will close its driver license service centers on Saturday, July 2, and Monday, July 4. Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services, including all forms, publications and driver training manuals, online through PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website, www.dmv.pa.gov.

Have a safe and happy July Fourth!
Fish for Free Monday!

On Monday, July 4, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) will host a Fish for Free day to allow anyone (resident or non-resident) to legally fish on all Pennsylvania waterways. No license is required, but all other fishing regulations still apply. This is a great way to expose the next generation of anglers to the outdoors! Find more information here.