May. 26, 2017

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The Weekly Roundup


The latest news from the State Capitol

Legislature Passes Bill Addressing REAL ID
Pennsylvanians would not have to purchase identification that complies with the federal REAL ID Act under legislation on its way to the governor’s desk.

Under Senate Bill 133, residents would be able to choose to purchase a REAL ID or a standard driver’s license or photo ID. Residents who choose the standard form of identification would have to have a passport or other REAL ID-compliant identification to board an airplane or enter a federal building once the new system is in place.

It is not yet clear how long it will take to fully implement REAL ID in Pennsylvania, so the Commonwealth will be requesting an extension from the federal government. Assuming the extension is granted, Pennsylvanians will be able to continue using their current form of state-issued identification to board airplanes or enter federal buildings.

Offering residents a choice allows Pennsylvania to comply with the requirements of federal law while also avoiding unnecessary burdens on taxpayers who would face higher costs for the new form of identification.

Gov. Tom Wolf has indicated he will sign the bill.

Hope for Cancer Patients

To give hope to patients with Stage IV metastatic cancer, the House passed a bill this week to ensure they have access to the medication and treatments prescribed by their doctors without delay, no matter what their insurance typically covers.

Insurance companies currently have the ability to set average guidelines that govern how and when treatments are approved. Current standard practice requires Stage IV patients to first try an insurance-mandated series of medications that fail to improve the condition before being granted access to the oncology medication and treatments prescribed by their doctor.

House Bill 1280 now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Protecting Our Second Amendment Rights

On Monday, I joined with hundreds of Second Amendment supporters, including many from our area, and dozens of my colleagues in reaffirming our constitutional right to keep and bear arms and opposing attempts that seek to diminish these rights. In its 11th year, this year’s theme was Make the Second Amendment Great Again.

Remembering Our Heroes

Tuesday was a special day at the Capitol. I was joined by Michael and Sally Wargo, parents of Army Spec. Michael Wargo, for an event honoring Michael and Mission 22, an organization that helps prevent veteran suicide.

Mission 22 created a large-scale public memorial titled, “the War at Home,” which features the silhouettes of 20 veterans from across the country who died by suicide. Three veterans were chosen from Pennsylvania. Michael Wargo, of Carbon County; Nicholas Rodriguez of Northampton; and Michelle Langhorst of Pittsburgh.

Representatives from the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, Mission 22, the VALOR Clinic Foundation, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), the Legislature and the Wargo family spoke about the importance of addressing the tragic problem that is veterans suicide. After the event, we enjoyed refreshments from Mission BBQ. Walt’s Monuments made a special trip to Harrisburg to set up the statue. Thank you to all those who helped honor Michael’s memory.

Celebrating Jim Thorpe Day



Pictured with me are several attendees of the Jim Thorpe Birthday Celebration, held last weekend.

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