HEROIN: What you need to know about Pennsylvania’s Good Samaritan Law

(Nov 24, 2014)

Landmark legislation passed during the 2013-14 Legislative Session now allows first responders, including law enforcement, fire fighters, EMS or other organizations the ability to administer a medication known as naloxone, a life-saving opioid-overdose antidote. The law also allows individuals such as friends or family members who might be in a position to help a person at risk of experiencing an opioid-related overdose to obtain a prescription for naloxone. Additionally, Act 139 provides immunity from prosecution for those responding to and reporting overdoses. Read more


In the News: Dept. of Human Services name change better reflects mission

(Nov 24, 2014)

House Bill 993, which renamed the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare as the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, was signed into law as Act 132 during the 2013-14 Legislative Session. According to advocates for the change, renaming the department was long overdue, and as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported, the name change better reflects the department’s mission. Read more


Do you need help paying heating bills?

(Nov 24, 2014)

As we get into the coldest months of winter, many people are worried about affording their increasing heating costs. If you or someone you know qualifies, my office could help you take advantage of a program set up to curtail high home heating bills. Read more


Apply for health insurance by Feb. 16

(Nov 23, 2014)

The open enrollment period for health care coverage is now underway. If you or someone you know is in need of health insurance, please consider visiting the federal Marketplace at www.HealthCare.gov. Applicants have until Feb. 16, 2015 to enroll. Everyone, no matter what age, needs health insurance. A random accident or unexpected illness could put you in danger of losing not only your good health but also your financial future. Read more


Sign up for the Do-Not-Call list

(Nov 22, 2014)

To register for the Pennsylvania and national do-not-call lists, visit http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/dnc.aspx or call 1-888-777-3406. Registration is free. There is a rolling enrollment; individuals may sign up at any time and the registration is good for five years. After that, you can re-enroll. And, signing up on Pennsylvania's list automatically adds those numbers to the national do-not-call list. Read more


Weatherizing your home saves you money on energy bills

(Nov 20, 2014)

Last year’s bitterly cold winter left many people struggling to pay higher-than-normal home energy bills. As we head toward the coldest months of the year, there are ways you can winterize your home to keep heat in, cold air out, and money in your pocket. Many businesses offer professional home energy audits, but you can perform your own by inspecting areas where heat escapes and cold air leaks in. Read more


Check out charities before making holiday donations

(Nov 20, 2014)

While it may be the season for charitable giving, scammers don't take a holiday. The Pennsylvania Department of State offers a simple way to ensure a charity is legitimate and that your donation will be used properly. Read more


Burns supports 30-day moratorium on releasing police officer names

(Nov 22, 2006)

EBENSBURG, Nov. 22 – As a firm believer that people are innocent until proven guilty, state Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, disagrees with Gov. Tom Wolf’s recent veto of a bill that would have better protected police officers in the current incendiary and often reactionary social climate. Burns voted for H.B. 1538 when it passed the House 151-32 earlier this year. It would have prohibited police departments from releasing the identities of officers who discharged a gun or used force against someone in cases resulting in death or serious injury, until that officer was either charged with a crime or 30 days had passed. “While I am for full transparency in government, we must also consider the need for a cooling off period in situations where tensions run high,” Burns said. “With the propensity in some quarters to rush to judgment before all the facts are in, we are putting the lives and safety of police officers, as well as their families, in unnecessary jeopardy by prematurely releasing their names.” Burns said the bill, which sailed through the Senate 39-9, was overwhelmingly supported by both chambers of the legislature and should have been signed into law. “It obviously had bipartisan support, as well as support from the Pennsylvania Fraternal Order of Police,” Burns said. “No one is saying, ‘Never release the names.’ Supporters of this bill, like me, are saying, ‘Don’t release the names Read more