Apr. 21, 2017

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Weekly News Update


 The latest news from the State Capitol

House OKs Bill to Get Unemployment Centers Back Open

As a way to reopen unemployment centers and get people the unemployment compensation (UC) benefits they have earned in a timelier manner, the House passed Senate Bill 250 that would provide $15 million in funding to the Department of Labor and Industry.

The governor laid off about 450 employees and closed three UC centers late last year after state funding was halted due to complications arising from a failed computer system upgrade. As a result, residents seeking to submit claims or obtain information from the bureau have experienced lengthy delays or lack of response.

This funding is intended to be temporary to improve operations of the UC system. The legislation contains specific provisions the department must meet to regain more permanent funding.

The bill now moves back to the Senate for concurrence.
Millville Elementary Holds Career Day
It was my pleasure to speak with fourth-through-sixth grade students at Millville Elementary during their career day on Thursday. What a great group!
Allowing Terminally Ill Patients the Right to Try

Legislation that would permit eligible patients with a terminal illness to use investigational drugs, biological products and devices not yet approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) passed the House on Tuesday.
With the FDA approval process often too slow to save patients suffering from terminal illness, 31 other states allow these patients the right to try medicines, products and devices.

House Bill 45 would permit a manufacturer to make these products available to eligible patients once the products successfully complete the first phase of clinical trials. Under the bill, physicians would not be held liable for recommending experimental products to their terminally ill patients, nor would the bill create a private cause of action against the manufacturers that make the drugs. While the bill does not require insurers to cover these products, they may do so at their own discretion.

The bill now moves to the state Senate.
Stuart Tank Memorial Highway
House Bill 93, a proposal I introduced which would designate a portion of Route 93 in Columbia County as the Stuart Tank Memorial Highway, unanimously passed the House on Tuesday.

Read more here.
Dismantling the Archaic Liquor System in PA
In further efforts to gradually dismantle the antiquated system Pennsylvania uses to sell alcohol, the House Liquor Control Committee approved two bills to further divest the wholesale system of wine and spirits.

House Bill 975 would allow retailers to negotiate prices and allow products to be delivered directly to retail markets, without having to go through state stores, while also permitting additional retailers to sell wine and allowing wine to be sold in grocery store aisles, with other products and at greater quantities.

House Bill 1075 would divest the whole system for both wine and spirits.

Both measures now move to the full House for a vote.
State Grant Deadline is May 1 for PA College Students
The deadline for students and families to submit their applications for the 2017-18 Pennsylvania State Grant program is May 1. This deadline applies to all renewal applicants and first-time applicants who plan to enroll in colleges, universities or a college transfer program at two-year public or private colleges (except community colleges and designated Pennsylvania Open Admission institutions).

To apply for a Pennsylvania State Grant, applicants must first complete the 2017-18 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Applicants can access the FAFSA online at PHEAA.org/FAFSA or fafsa.gov. Completing the FAFSA online saves time and reduces application and processing errors.

Students and families with questions about the FAFSA or the State Grant Program can call 800-692-7392 for personal assistance.
Upcoming Events
• The Columbia County Quilts of Valor ceremony will be held on Saturday, April 22, at the Columbia Mall gazebo at 11 a.m.
• Monthly Radio Address: Thursday, April 27, at 8:30 a.m. on WHLM 94.7 FM.
• A drug take-back event will be held on Saturday, April 29, at the Berwick Police Department from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• The Renaissance Jamboree will be held on Saturday, April 29, on Main Street in Bloomsburg starting at 10 a.m.
• Our Spring Art Expo will be held on Monday, May 1, at our Bloomsburg district office from 6-8 p.m.
• The Bloomsburg Fire Department Carnival will be held from Wednesday, May 3, through Saturday, May 6.
• An addiction awareness event will be held on Saturday, May 6, at Wesley United Methodist Church, Bloomsburg.
• Our Senior Caregiver Support Forum will be held on Thursday, May 11, from 6-8 p.m. at 702 Sawmill Road, Bloomsburg. Call 570-387-0246 to RSVP.
• Celebrate Historic Berwick will be held on Saturday, May 13, beginning at 11 a.m. on the 500 block of Market Street.
• Offices will be closed on Tuesday, May 16, for Primary Election Day.
• The United Way Trash to Treasure event will be held on Saturday, May 20, at the Bloomsburg Fair Grounds.
• An ALS Walk will be held on Saturday, May 20, at Bloomsburg Town Park beginning at 9 a.m.
• Monthly Radio Address: Thursday, May 25, at 8:30 a.m. on WHLM 94.7 FM.
• The Mifflinville Carnival will be held from Friday, May 26, through Sunday, May 28, at Mifflinville Park.
• PA Fish For Free Day will be held Sunday, May 28.
• Offices will be closed on Monday, May 29, for Memorial Day.
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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
Email: dmillard@pahousegop.com
TTY: 855-282-0614