Protecting Students from the Sun
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Weekly News Update


 The latest news from the State Capitol

Protecting Students from the Sun
In a commonsense measure, the House endorsed legislation that would allow students to apply sunscreen and use other sun-protective clothing during school hours or at a school-sponsored activity.

Under current state law, only the school nurse can administer sunscreen because it is considered an over-the-counter medication by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As a result, students must have a doctor’s order, not just their parent’s permission, and the sunscreen has to be administered by a nurse. Students can’t even bring sunscreen to school and apply it themselves.

House Bill 1228 would specifically allow students, during school hours or at a school-sponsored activity, to apply a topical sunscreen product without a physician’s note or prescription if the product is approved by the FDA for over-the-counter use.

In addition to the application of sunscreen, House Bill 1228 would also allow other sun-protective clothing, including but not limited to hats, for outdoor use. The items must still follow a school’s dress code.

The legislation is now with the state Senate.

Bills Clear House to Help Grandparents Raising Grandchildren
Legislation to help grandparents who are the sole caregivers of their grandchildren received overwhelming support in the state House last week. The bills now go to the state Senate for consideration.

House Bill 2133 would establish the Kinship Caregiver Navigator Program, an informational resource to operate both as a website and a toll-free hotline. The website would offer information on support and services available, and a specially trained navigator would be able to provide support and guidance to kinship caregivers.

House Bill 1539 would grant temporary guardianship to grandparents when the parents of the grandchildren are unable to care for them primarily due to substance abuse issues.

Additionally, House Resolution 390 would study the trend of grandfamilies in Pennsylvania and include a focus about how the opioid crisis is impacting this growing trend. The rise of the opioid crisis in Pennsylvania has increased the number of grandparents who take on this role.

An estimated 82,000 grandparents are the sole caregivers for nearly 89,000 grandchildren in Pennsylvania.

High Tunnel Farm Structure Exemption Signed into Law
As a way to help farmers struggling through recent agriculture challenges, legislation was signed into law last week as Act 15 of 2018 to waive storm water management plans for high tunnel structures, which are temporary buildings often used to raise produce through the early spring and late into the fall.

The legislation was needed to clarify storm water requirements put in place by the Department of Environmental Protection in 2016, which required them for these temporary structures. In many instances, the cost of a storm water engineering plan and executing that plan is more expensive than the high tunnel itself.

The use of high tunnel structures is not limited to professional agriculture. They are also being used in suburbs – on empty lots and even on rooftops – to raise fresh food in decent quantities in an urban setting where larger crop plantings would otherwise be difficult.

The new law takes effect early this summer.

Traffic Deaths Hit a New Low in 2017
Traffic deaths in the Commonwealth last year dropped to the lowest level since record keeping began in 1928, according to a recent report from PennDOT. In 2017, 1,137 people died on Pennsylvania roadways, 51 fewer than 2016.

PennDOT officials attribute the reduction to educational outreach, effective enforcement and low-cost safety improvements.

Significant decreases were noted in fatalities involving impaired drivers, pedestrians and unrestrained occupants. Work zone fatalities increased slightly, as did fatalities among drivers ages 75 and older, and red light runners.

More information on highway safety and safety initiatives is available at

Safely Dispose of Unused Prescriptions This Saturday
Residents have an opportunity to remove opioids and other unused medicines from homes this Saturday, April 28, as part of the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

More than 18 tons of prescription drugs were disposed of across Pennsylvania in the Prescription Drug Take Back Day held last October.

Locations to safely dispose of unused drugs are listed at

Upcoming Events
• The Renaissance Jamboree will be held in Bloomsburg on Saturday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• The Berwick ALS Walk will be held at Crispin Field on Saturday, April 28, at 9 a.m.
• The Bloomsburg Fire Department Carnival will be held from May 2-5.
• Our semi-annual art show will be held on Tuesday, May 8, from 6-8 p.m., at my Bloomsburg office, 1000 Market St., Suite 39, Market Street Plaza.
• Our fourth Spring Drug Forum will be held at Catawissa Fire Hall on Wednesday, May 9, at 6 p.m.
• My offices will be closed on Tuesday, May 15, for Primary Election Day.
• The ALS Walk in Bloomsburg will be held on Saturday, May 19, at 9 a.m. at Town Park.
• The Mifflinville Community Carnival will be held from May 25-27.
• My offices will be closed on Monday, May 28, in observance of Memorial Day. Thank you to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
May 31 – Monthly Radio Address: Thursday, May 31 at 8:30 a.m. on WHLM 94.7 FM.
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Office Locations
904B Orange St., Berwick PA, 18603 | Phone: (570) 759-8734
Market Street Plaza, 1000 Market St. (Suite 39), Bloomsburg, PA 17815 | (570) 387-0246
316 Main Capitol, PO Box 202109, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2109 | Phone: (717) 783-1102
TTY: 855-282-0614