Long-awaited substance use recovery grant program passes Pa. House

(1 day ago)

The Pennsylvania House on Wednesday passed a bill establishing a lifetime grant program for substance use recovery. Read more

 

Venkat’s opioid overdose awareness toolkit bill passes PA House

(Jun 12, 2024)

HARRISBURG, June 12 – State Rep. Arvind Venkat’s bill that would require the creation of materials to circulate information about the ongoing opioid public health crisis passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives with a bipartisan majority today. The legislation, H.B. 1783 , would require the state Department of Health to consult with the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs to create a poster, to be displayed in public and private settings, which provides information about opioid overdose. The information would include: Signs of an opioid-related overdose. What to do if an opioid-related overdose occurs. Locating an agent to reverse opioid effects. Additional resources. “I’ve treated many patients in the throes of an opioid overdose as an emergency physician, and proactive measures to help stem the tide of this crisis are imperative,” Venkat, D-Allegheny, said. “I’m grateful to bipartisan House colleagues, especially Representative Jim Struzzi (R-Indiana), not only for their affirmative votes, but for their commitment to saving as many lives as possible with this legislation.” The legislation additionally would authorize the creation of a Lifetime Recovery from Substance Use Grant Program to assist in the development, expansion or improvement of recovery support services delivery in Pennsylvania. Spearheaded by state Reps. Jim Gregory, R-Blair/Huntingdon, and Read more

 

Benham PBM reform bill clears House Health Committee

(Jun 12, 2024)

Legislation to reel in pharmacy benefit managers advances Read more

 

Venkat’s legislation to ease restrictions on physician assistants voted out of committee unanimously

(Jun 12, 2024)

HARRISBURG, June 12 – State Rep. Arvind Venkat’s bills that would put a flexibility component in place for physician assistants and the supervising physicians they work with were voted out of the House Professional Licensure Committee unanimously today. The legislation ( H.Bs. 2294 and 2295 ) would amend the physician licensure acts in Pennsylvania and allow physician assistants to work with either classification of physician, a Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. Current law on the books mandates that physician assistants and supervising physicians must be licensed by the same state medicine board as the supervising physician. “These bills are commonsense measures that connect more doctors and physician assistants with the patients in need of their skills and expertise,” said Venkat, D-Allegheny. “As a physician-legislator, I’m committed to supporting my peers and helping to remove barriers to the highest quality of care.” The bills now head to the full House for consideration. Read more

 

House passes Kinkead bill to support dairy farmers

(Jun 11, 2024)

“This bill would help a lot of small daily farms that are struggling to survive,” said Kinkead, D-Allegheny. Read more

 

House Insurance Committee unanimously approves Markosek legislation for coverage of speech therapy for childhood stuttering

(Jun 11, 2024)

“As someone who stutters, I still use the tools that I learned through speech therapy when I was a child, but many families aren’t aware that speech therapy is an option,” Markosek said. “This legislation would put speech therapy in reach for those children, which would help give them the confidence they need to use their voice inside the classroom and in their everyday lives.” Read more

 

Powell introduces bill requiring medical insurers to cover consultations between physicians

(Jun 11, 2024)

HARRISBURG, June 11 – State Rep. Lindsay Powell, D-Allegheny, has introduced a bill that would help Pennsylvanians access the consultations and care they need, while keeping the price of this treatment low. Powell’s legislation ( H.B. 2385 ) would mandate that consultations between doctors, often done virtually, are covered under health insurances policies statewide. “The collective knowledge of more than one medical professional is often vital when our neighbors receive care. Interprofessional consultations are one tool physicians employ to effectively diagnose and treat patients,” Powell said. “This bill would help ensure that costs facing patients are reduced and would provide better peace of mind on the path to recovery. The burden of scheduling additional doctor appointments would also be removed and save patients considerable time and money.” The bill has been referred to the PA House Insurance Committee. A related bill Powell has introduced would prohibit employers in Pennsylvania from denying medical benefits to workers who are on strike. That legislation is co-sponsored by state Rep. Dan Miller, D-Allegheny. Read more

 

Powell’s legislation to revitalize designated neighborhoods passes House

(Jun 10, 2024)

HARRISBURG, June 10 – State Rep. Lindsay Powell’s bill that would help keep individuals and families in their homes passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives today. The legislation, H.B. 1064, would update the Tax Increment Financing Act and allow TIF districts to fund affordable housing, foreclosure and rental assistance, and workforce programs with funds collected from the implementation of the act. The bill would also increase the lifespan of TIF districts from 20 to 25 years, allowing more revenue generated from these projects to ensure development is equitable and to support homeowners who may be impacted by resulting property tax increases. “These commonsense changes to the TIF Act are investments not only in the economic health and viability of neighborhoods but are investments in our neighbors who call these communities home,” said Powell, D-Allegheny. “Strengthening our community bonds and supporting residents is a bipartisan issue, and I'm glad my colleagues on both sides recognized the need for these protections.” TIF districts are communities deemed “blighted” or “distressed” and coordinated through a partnership with a city and its respective county and school districts. The legislation now moves to the Senate for consideration. Read more

 

Pisciottano hosts meeting on future of Century III Mall

(Jun 07, 2024)

State lawmaker convenes local officials, owners of closed mall to discuss redevelopment Read more

 

Mayes, Curry bill to provide maternal and newborn supply kits passes PA House

(Jun 06, 2024)

HARRISBURG, June 6 – Building on their strong record of propelling initiatives aimed to assist Pennsylvania families, state Rep. La’Tasha D. Mayes, D-Allegheny, and state Rep. Gina H. Curry, D-Delaware, announced today that their legislation that would create a state program providing “Welcome Baby” kits to new moms and parents passed the Pennsylvania House. House Bill 2137 would establish a new state program to help ease the financial and emotional stress new moms and parents face by providing them with maternal and newborn supply kits and connecting them to additional support programs available at the state and county levels. “I believe that the arrival of a newborn should be a time of joy and hope, not stress and uncertainty,” said Mayes, D-Allegheny. “Our legislation would ensure that these families receive the support they need during this transformative time. “The Maternal and Newborn Supply Kit program addresses the social determinants of health like having a low income which can impact a person’s health outcomes. For new moms and parents, these kits are part an answer to combat the driving forces of maternal mortality and morbidity and a lifeline for struggling new families.” I stand firmly committed to advocating for policies that provide parents with the necessary resources to nurture their child from day one.” “Welcoming Read more

 

Abney introduces bill to help keep seniors eligible for state prescription programs

(Jun 05, 2024)

HARRISBURG, June 5 – State Rep. Aerion Abney, D-Allegheny, has introduced a bill that would exclude one portion of a person’s potential revenue when determining their financial eligibility for senior prescription programs in Pennsylvania. Abney’s legislation ( H.B. 2378 ) would not count the total dollar amount, including face value and interest earned, of savings bonds as part of an older Pennsylvanian’s income when they apply for either the Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for the Elderly or PACE Needs Enhancement Tier, otherwise known as PACE and PACENET. “Ever rising prescription drug costs have resulted in many seniors cashing in their savings bonds in order to afford the medications they need on a daily basis,” Abney said. “Our older neighbors should not risk disqualification from PACE or PACENET coverage simply because such transactions take place, and my bill would help ensure they remain enrolled.” PACE is funded entirely by the Pennsylvania Lottery and has helped more than 1.6 million PA seniors pay for more than 360 million prescriptions. PACE and PACENET currently serve more than 250,000 older Pennsylvanians. The bill has been referred to the PA House Aging & Older Adult Services Committee. Read more

 

Mayes, McClinton join advocates to rally for passage of PA CROWN Act

(Jun 04, 2024)

Call for state Senate to act on legislation to fight hair discrimination Read more

 

Venkat’s health care reimbursement legislation passes House

(Jun 04, 2024)

HARRISBURG, June 4 – State Rep. Arvind Venkat’s bill that would require health insurers to offer multiple payment options to in-network health care providers for payment for clinical services and disclose any associated fees with each method of payment passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives with bipartisan support today. The legislation, H.B. 1867 , would eliminate electronic credit card reimbursements being the sole method of payment and allow health care providers to choose the payment option best suited to their needs. Electronic credit card reimbursements with mandatory fees would only be permitted if the in-network health care provider agrees to that arrangement. “Today, PA doctors, nurses and medical professionals alike are a step closer to receiving the full compensation they deserve for the high quality of care they provide every day,” Venkat, D-Allegheny, said. “I want to thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for their affirmative votes, both as a fellow legislator and as a practicing physician.” According to a ProPublica article , almost 60% of medical practices said they were compelled to pay fees for electronic payment at least some of the time. These fees can cost larger medical practices $1 million a year, and small clinics can lose as much as $100,000 due to the fees. The legislation now moves to the Senate for consideration. Read more

 

Salisbury alerts residents about availability of lifesaving fentanyl test strips

(Jun 04, 2024)

BRADDOCK, June 4 – State Rep. Abigail Salisbury is reminding district residents that lifesaving fentanyl test strips are available for free from her district office and public libraries throughout the 34 th Legislative District. “Not too long ago, I had a heartbreaking visit from a district resident who told me her son had died after taking drugs laced with fentanyl,” Salisbury said. “She asked me to find a way to keep other people from dying the same way. “There are no simple solutions to addiction and the deadly risks adulterated drugs pose, but there is something we can do – we can make folks aware of the lifesaving power of fentanyl test strips and their availability here in the district. I want people to know that they can come to my office or to a public library in the district and get a free kit containing five fentanyl strips – no questions asked. The kits also contain resources on recovery for when people are ready for that step. “While we don’t want folks using illegal drugs, the consequences for doing so should not be death – especially when a tiny piece of paper can prevent it.” Salisbury said that her office can also provide Narcan. Earlier this year at a House Appropriations Committee budget hearing, Salisbury questioned state officials about what they can do to make fentanyl strips more widely available. ### Read more

 

Pisciottano announces $750,000 for Allegheny County Airport

(May 31, 2024)

State funds to revitalize airplane hangers Read more

 

Benham, Nelson hear concerns from Westmoreland pharmacists

(May 30, 2024)

Pharmacy owners say PBM reform needed to lower drug prices, drive market competition Read more

 

Powell introduces resolution to draw attention to elder abuse

(May 30, 2024)

HARRISBURG, May 30 – State Rep. Lindsay Powell has introduced a resolution that would designate June 15, 2024 as Elder Abuse Awareness Day in Pennsylvania. “Mistreatment of our senior neighbors is not limited to what we can physically observe. Abuse encompasses psychological, emotional and financial manipulation and is made easier through widespread internet access,” said Powell, D-Allegheny. “They are our mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles who were there for us when we needed support. Now, we need to be present for them. We must keep them healthy and safe in their advanced age, and my resolution would help further this important conversation.” At least 10% of adults aged 65 and older will experience some form of elder abuse in a given year, according to one statistic compiled by the U.S. Department of Justice. In Pennsylvania , reports of elder abuse rose from 39,820 cases in fiscal year 2020-21 to 44,352 cases in fiscal year 2021-22. The resolution ( H.R. 453 ) was referred to the PA House Aging & Older Adult Services Committee, of which Powell is a member. Read more

 
 

Salisbury: Nearly $100,000 awarded to area food programs

(May 24, 2024)

BRADDOCK, May 24 – Two district food pantries are receiving nearly $100,000 in new funding to help them better serve the community, state Rep. Abigail Salisbury announced today. Salisbury, D-Allegheny, said the funding awarded by the state Department of Agriculture includes $50,000 to Rankin Christian Center and $49,360 to Swissvale Cares. “Our food bank programs and the volunteers who staff them have a critical connection to our community,” Salisbury said. “The new funding to Rankin Christian Center and Swissvale Cares will help these terrific nonprofits as they work to safely store and distribute fresh, nutritious food to as many families as possible.” The funding was awarded through The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) Reach and Resiliency Grants. More information is available here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Agriculture_details.aspx?newsid=1392#:~:text=%E2%80%8BHarrisburg%2C%20PA%20%E2%80%93%20Today%2C,TEFAP)%20Reach%20and%20Resiliency%20Grants . Read more

 

Salisbury: $25,000 awarded to expand powerful blight-fighting tool

(May 24, 2024)

BRADDOCK, May 24 – A $25,000 grant to the Turtle Creek Valley Council of Governments will enhance an important blight-fighting tool for the region, state Rep. Abigail Salisbury announced today. Salisbury, D-Allegheny, said the grant from the Department of Community and Economic Development will allow the council to expand its use of the blight-fighting software CodeNForce. “Blight isn’t just unsightly – it can pose health hazards to residents,” Salisbury said. “But we don’t have to stand by and let it happen. We can make inroads by attacking blight with a variety of tools and strategies, including my legislation that would allow local governments to refer severely blighted parcels for acquisition by land banks. “The new funding will give us another powerful tool in our toolbox by expanding the council’s use of code enforcement software that allows officials to identify owners and managers of blighted parcels, track prior violations and share that data across boundaries.” “Good code enforcement is about one thing: making our community a safe, healthy place to live,” said Amanda Settelmaier, executive director of the Turtle Creek Valley Council of Governments. “This funding is going to directly benefit residents by empowering local officials to work together toward that goal. “It couldn’t be more timely, with the growing trend of out-of-town LLCs buying properties in Read more

 

Long-awaited substance use recovery grant program passes Pa. House
1 day ago

Venkat’s opioid overdose awareness toolkit bill passes PA House
Jun 12, 2024

Benham PBM reform bill clears House Health Committee
Jun 12, 2024

Venkat’s legislation to ease restrictions on physician assistants voted out of committee unanimously
Jun 12, 2024

House passes Kinkead bill to support dairy farmers
Jun 11, 2024

House Insurance Committee unanimously approves Markosek legislation for coverage of speech therapy for childhood stuttering
Jun 11, 2024

Powell introduces bill requiring medical insurers to cover consultations between physicians
Jun 11, 2024

Powell’s legislation to revitalize designated neighborhoods passes House
Jun 10, 2024

Pisciottano hosts meeting on future of Century III Mall
Jun 07, 2024

Mayes, Curry bill to provide maternal and newborn supply kits passes PA House
Jun 06, 2024

Abney introduces bill to help keep seniors eligible for state prescription programs
Jun 05, 2024

Mayes, McClinton join advocates to rally for passage of PA CROWN Act
Jun 04, 2024

Venkat’s health care reimbursement legislation passes House
Jun 04, 2024

Salisbury alerts residents about availability of lifesaving fentanyl test strips
Jun 04, 2024

Pisciottano announces $750,000 for Allegheny County Airport
May 31, 2024

Benham, Nelson hear concerns from Westmoreland pharmacists
May 30, 2024

Powell introduces resolution to draw attention to elder abuse
May 30, 2024

Grant Memo: Agricultural, Environmental, Public Safety, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities
May 29, 2024

Salisbury: Nearly $100,000 awarded to area food programs
May 24, 2024

Salisbury: $25,000 awarded to expand powerful blight-fighting tool
May 24, 2024