Sep. 13, 2019 / Weekly Roundup

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The Weekly Roundup
 The latest news from the State Capitol
 
White Haven Center Update

I joined hundreds of family members and employees at Thursday’s emotional public hearing conducted by the Department of Human Services (DHS) on the pending closure of White Haven Center (WHC).

We learned from a DHS official that their decision is final and the testimony gathered would help in the transition of the center’s 112 residents to community-based settings within the next three years.

Rep. Tarah Toohil and I are fighting to keep WHC open. We are currently working with the chairman of the House Human Services Committee to hold an urgent meeting on the issue.

It is concerning to us that this is no longer a proposal. Instead, the governor is moving forward with closure procedures. We are hopeful that he will hear the cries of those who testified at the hearing and reverse this decision.
 
 
Never Forget

It was my privilege to take part in the Carbon County 9/11 Memorial Service in Jim Thorpe on Wednesday. State, county and local officials joined with first responders and veterans organizations to remember the lives lost and sacrifices made during the terrorist attacks 18 years ago.
 
 
Committee Highlights Tick-Borne Diseases, Tick Testing

Working to address the ongoing threat of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases in Pennsylvania, the House Health Committee held a public hearing in East Stroudsburg this week.

The committee heard from health and wildlife professionals, local officials, advocates for tick-borne disease treatment and awareness, and officials with East Stroudsburg University’s (ESU) Tick Research Lab.

Testimony focused heavily on the importance of early diagnosis and treatment in helping people successfully recover from Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. Three bills designed to help combat the disease were also highlighted, including one that would require nurses to remove a tick when it is found on a child during the school day and to notify parents; one that would require continuing education for physicians; and one to require health insurers to cover recommended treatments that may include short-term or long-term courses of antibiotics.

Members participating in the hearing also learned more about ESU’s tick lab, which provides a FREE base test on ticks submitted for Lyme disease as well as three additional tests based on the species of tick. Pennsylvanians can send a tick sample to the lab and receive the test results. These samples can be mailed to 562 Independence Road, East Stroudsburg, PA 18301.

For more information about tick-borne diseases or how to submit a tick for testing, visit www.ticklab.org.
 
 
Free Naloxone Available at Health Centers Sept. 18, 25

In ongoing efforts to prevent opioid overdose deaths, free naloxone will be available at 95 locations across the state later this month to any Pennsylvania resident who wants it to help save lives.

Distributions will primarily take place at state health centers and county or municipal health departments on Wednesday, Sept. 18, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Wednesday, Sept. 25, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., or while supplies last. For specific locations and hours, click here.
 
 
School Event Focuses on the Opioid Epidemic

I was honored to join Rep. Jerry Knowles as a guest speaker during the recent Opioid Crisis Forum at Marian Catholic High School in Tamaqua. Thanks to all the sponsors for putting on this very informative event that helped students better understand the impact of Pennsylvania’s opioid epidemic.
 
 
Economic Update

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s General Fund revenue collections for August were $2.27 billion, which was $27 million more than the official estimate. So far this fiscal year, General Fund collections have totaled $4.5 billion, which is $26 million or more than expected. Learn more here.
 
 
Online Absentee Ballot Applications Launch Monday

Starting with this year’s General Election, voters who need to vote by absentee ballot may apply for the ballot online.

The mobile-friendly, online application site, available at votesPA.com/ApplyAbsentee, will go live on Monday, Sept. 16, the first day that registered voters may apply for absentee ballots for the Nov. 5 election.

When an applicant completes the online form, the information is forwarded directly to the appropriate county elections office for processing. The applicant will then be provided with a ballot that must be completed and either mailed or hand-delivered to the appropriate county election office by the deadline, which is 5 p.m. on the Friday before the election, or Nov. 1 this year.

The online application system will be accessible for all domestic Pennsylvania voters this year and to military and overseas voters by 2020.

Absentee ballots may be cast by individuals with illnesses or disabilities, individuals who will be away from their municipality on business on Election Day, and Pennsylvania students attending out-of-state colleges or universities, among others. Learn more here.
 
 
Congratulations!

It was my pleasure to present a House citation recently to Dolon-Jones-Martino American Legion Post 304 in Jim Thorpe in recognition of its 100th anniversary.
 
 
PennDOT Accepting Applications for Transportation Improvement Projects

PennDOT is now accepting applications to fund improvement projects that will enhance Pennsylvania roadways, bridges, transit facilities, park and ride facilities, sidewalks and more under the Multimodal Transportation Fund. The deadline to apply is Nov. 8.

Eligible applicants include municipalities, councils of governments, business or nonprofit organizations, economic development organizations, public transportation agencies, public airports, airport authorities, and ports and rail entities. Projects that will be considered should coordinate local land use with transportation assets to enhance existing communities.

Last year, 49 projects were awarded $43 million in grant funding in 23 counties.
For more information about the program and previous years’ applications and awards, visit www.penndot.gov and click on Multimodal Program under the “Projects & Programs” menu.
 
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RepHeffley.com
Office Locations
204B Bridge St., Weissport, PA 18235 | (610) 377-6363
2681 State Route 903, Unit 3, Albrightsville, PA 18210 | (570) 722-8700
Room 420 Irvis Office Building, PO Box 202122, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2122 | (717) 260-6139
Email: dheffley@pahousegop.com
TTY: 855-282-0614 
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