May. 26, 2017

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Weekly News Update


 The latest news from the State Capitol

Bill Aims to Ensure Pennsylvanians’ Access to Flights, Federal Buildings Continues


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 between 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.

Helping Kids with Allergies


Legislation was signed into law recently that helps ensure the health and safety of students who suffer from severe allergic reactions.

Act 2 of 2017 provides civil immunity to school bus drivers and crossing guards who administer an epinephrine auto-injector, or epi-pen, to a student who experiences an allergic reaction.

Under the new law, a bus driver or crossing guard must first complete a training program developed by the state Department of Health and comply with school district policy to be qualified to use the epi-pen. It does not mandate that school districts or school bus companies enact an epi-pen policy, only that such a policy would allow for civil immunity if the guidelines are met.

The new law will take effect before the beginning of the 2017-18 school year.

Protecting Our Second Amendment Rights

Remembering Our Heroes
Monday, May 29, is Memorial Day, honoring the men and women who have sacrificed their lives serving in our nation’s military.

Please consider joining me at the Berwick-Nescopeck Memorial Day Parade on Sunday, May 28, beginning at 12:45 p.m. I will be speaking in Pine Grove Cemetery at 2 p.m.

For more information on Memorial Day and its history, click here.

Press Enterprise Staffers Earn Honors
Congratulations to Kristin Baver, Julye Wemple, Shannon Flynn and Jimmy May, staff members for the Press Enterprise, who were recently honored with awards at the Pennsylvania Press Conference in Lancaster. 

Bridge Replacement on Mainville Drive in Columbia County Begins Next Week
On Tuesday, May 30, a PennDOT crew in Columbia County will begin a bridge replacement project on Route 2009 (Mainville Drive) in Main Township.

The existing concrete slab bridge, which spans a tributary to Catawissa Creek, was built in 1930. It will be replaced with a precast concrete box culvert.

Car, truck and bicycle detours will be in place during this project.

The car detour will use T-820 (East Hillcrest Drive), Route 2020 (Pee Wee Hill Road) and Route 339.

The truck detour will use Route 487, Route 11, Interstate 80 and Route 339.

A bicycle detour will use T-409 (Mount Pink Road) and T-500 (Church Road).

This project is expected to be completed in mid-July.

Traveling Over Memorial Day? Check Traffic Conditions on
Travelers can log onto to check current traffic impacts from construction, traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 770 traffic cameras. The service is free and available 24 hours a day.

511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.

Travelers are always reminded to buckle up, put their phones away and stay sober when behind the wheel.

In other PennDOT news, driver license and photo centers will be closed Saturday, May 27, through Monday, May 29, for the holiday. Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services online through PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website,

ALS Walk Held in Bloomsburg


Jorge’s Walk to Fight ALS was held last Saturday in Bloomsburg and it was my pleasure to meet with several walkers. Pictured with me are representatives from each of the teams.


Pictured with me is Connie Yurczyk, organizer of the Steve’s Steelers team, which raised over $9,000 this year.

Upcoming Events
• The Ber-Vaughn Pool Carnival will be held from Tuesday, May 23, through Saturday, May 27, in Berwick.
• The Mifflinville Carnival will be held from Friday, May 26, through Sunday, May 28, at Mifflinville Park.
• The Ber-Vaughn Pool opens on Saturday, May 27.
• The Benton Community Yard Sales will be held on Saturday, May 27.
• The Catawissa Community Yard Sales will be held on Saturday, May 27.
• PA Fish For Free Day will be held Sunday, May 28.
• The Berwick-Nescopeck Memorial Day Parade will be held on Sunday, May 28, beginning at 12:45 p.m. I will be speaking in Pine Grove Cemetery at 2 p.m.
• A Memorial Day Military Ceremony will be held at Pine Grove Cemetery in Berwick on Sunday, May 28, at 2 p.m.
• The Mifflinville Memorial Day Parade will be held on Monday, May 29, at 8:45 a.m.
• Our offices will be closed on Monday, May 29, for Memorial Day.
• Celebrate Historic Berwick will be held on Saturday, June 3, beginning at 11 a.m. on the 500 block of Market Street.
• The Bloomsburg YMCA Community Yard Sale will be held on Saturday, June 3.
• A representative from the American Legion will be in the Bloomsburg district office on Tuesday, June 6, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. by appointment. Call 570-387-0246 to make an appointment.
• A representative from Congressman Lou Barletta’s office will be in the Bloomsburg district office on Thursday,June 8, from 1-3 p.m.
• The Park Place Village-Berwick Community Yard Sales will be held on Saturday, June 10.
• The Sherwood Village-Bloomsburg Community Yard Sales will be held on Saturday, June 10.

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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