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.
Tourism Committee Begins Preparations for America’s 250th Birthday
On Wednesday morning, the Tourism and Recreational Development Committee met to hear a presentation titled “Pennsylvania Keystone of the Semiquincentennial” by Andrew Hohns, board chair for USA250, an organization working to develop the semiquincentennial celebrations. As some of you may remember, we celebrated America’s bicentennial in 1976 with plenty of festivities honoring our nation’s rich history.
The Semiquincentennial (250th anniversary) of American Independence is coming up in 2026 and much of the celebrations are set to be based in Philadelphia. This occasion provides the opportunity for another generation to join in on the observances. The presentation was fascinating and covered a brief history of the centennial, sesquicentennial and bicentennial celebrations, as well as some potential considerations/ideas for the semiquincentennial events.
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.
• The Benton Fire Department Carnival will be held from Wednesday, June 21, through Saturday, June 24.
• The ALS George Curry Memorial Walk will be held on Crispin Field beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday, June 24.
• The 114th Six County Fireman’s Convention and Parade will be held on Saturday, June 24, in Jermyn.
• Monthly Radio Address: Thursday, June 29, at 8:30 a.m. on WHLM 94.7 FM.
• The Millville Fire Department Carnival will be held from Friday, June 30, through Saturday, July 8.
• The Lightstreet Fire Department Carnival will be held from Monday, July 10, through Saturday, July 15.
• A representative from Congressman Lou Barletta’s office will be in the Bloomsburg district office on Thursday, July 13, from 1-3 p.m.
• A representative from the VA will be in the Bloomsburg district office from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, July 18. By appointment only. Call 570-387-0246 to make an appointment.
• The Orangeville Fire Department Carnival will be held from Friday, July 21, through Saturday, July 29.
• A World War II reenactment will be held at Berwick Test Track Park on Saturday, July 22, and Sunday, July 23.
• A World War II Swing Dance will be held at Reliance Fire Company on Saturday, July 22, from 6-9 p.m.