|REAL ID Extension to Allow Access Through October 2017
Pennsylvania residents will be able to use their current driver license to access federal facilities through Oct. 10, 2017, under an extension granted by the federal government last week.
The extension was granted after Pennsylvania adopted a plan to comply with REAL ID requirements, known as Act 3 of 2017.
According to PennDOT, REAL ID-compliant driver licenses and identification cards will be available to consumers who wish to obtain them in 2019. This will allow ample time for customers who want a REAL ID license to obtain one before the final federal effective date of Oct. 1, 2020.
More information about REAL ID and Act 3 is available at http://www.pahousegop.com/realid.aspx.
Protecting Excellent Teachers
Legislation designed to keep excellent teachers in the classroom was endorsed by the House Education Committee this week.
House Bill 1495 would end the mandate that forces local school boards to furlough teachers based on seniority and allow schools to base those decisions on performance evaluations. Reinstatement would also be based on performance, instead of seniority.
Under current law, school boards must eliminate entire education programs – and the educators who are part of them – during times of economic challenges. This may force good teachers with excellent performance out of the classroom.
The measure now moves to the full House for consideration.
Around the Capitol
This week, I had a chance to meet with area students from the Keystone Girls State and Keystone Boys State programs. These summer educational programs for rising high school seniors help them develop leadership skills and encourage civic engagement. As part of the programs, students will campaign, run for office and work through the legislative process. It was my pleasure to speak with these young leaders.
Pictured with me is Traig Dempsey.
Pictured with me are Deanna Stople, Jill Bartel and Gabriella Hernandez.
E-Prescribing Bill for Opioids Heads to Senate
Legislation to address the ongoing opioid abuse crisis by preventing paper prescriptions from falling into the wrong hands has been approved by the state House. Under current state law, opioids must be prescribed by hand.
House Bill 353 would require opioids to be prescribed electronically, allowing doctors to send their orders directly to the patient’s pharmacy and preventing handwritten prescriptions from being used fraudulently or stolen. Opioids would be prescribed and transmitted like all other prescriptions.
This change would not have any adverse impact upon prescriptions for legitimate purposes and may even provide greater convenience for patients.
The measure now moves to the state Senate for its review.
June Celebrates Pennsylvania’s Dairy Industry
A measure passed the House this week to salute the men and women who make dairy one of Pennsylvania’s top agriculture sectors.
House Resolution 403 designates June 2017 as Dairy Month and Dairy Farmers Appreciation Month.
Pennsylvania has the second largest number of dairy farms nationally and ranks sixth nationally in total milk production from 2014 to 2016. In fact, 99 percent of Pennsylvania’s dairy farms are family owned.