Senator Coleman E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Test the Tick
  • Senate Approves Bill Renaming State Road after Two Local Fallen Firefighters
  • Bucks and Lehigh Residents Benefit from $1.2 Million in Natural Gas Impact Fee Revenue
  • Share Your Opinion about Sunday Hunting
  • Senate Bill Fights Porch Pirating
  • Senate Passes Bill Protecting Prescription Coverage for Social Security Recipients
  • Senate Acts to Exempt Newer Vehicles from Emissions Test
  • Senate Approves Expanding Access to Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners
  • Women Veterans to Benefit from Health Care Task Force
  • Recognizing National Cancer Survivor Month

Test the Tick

Did you know the Pennsylvania Tick Research Lab provides their tick testing service for free to Pennsylvania residents? Check them out at www.ticklab.org

Senate Approves Bill Renaming State Road after Two Local Fallen Firefighters

The state Senate this week approved legislation I introduced that would rename a portion of state Route 143 in Lynn Township in honor of two local firefighters who lost their lives in December 2022.

Senate Bill 770 would rename part of state Route 143 in Lynn Township from the intersection of state route 309 to the Berks County border in honor of deceased New Tripoli firefighters Zachary Paris and Marvin Gruber.

Paris and Gruber died in the line of duty Dec. 7, 2022, when they became trapped while fighting a house fire in West Penn Township, Schuylkill County.

Learn more about these heroic firefighters by reading the rest of this article here.

Bucks and Lehigh Residents Benefit from $1.2 Million in Natural Gas Impact Fee Revenue

Residents in Bucks and Lehigh counties recently benefitted from more than $1.2 million in funding made available through Pennsylvania’s Impact Fee on unconventional natural gas wells.

“The revenue from Pennsylvania’s Impact Fee on natural gas producers is making it possible to fund important community projects in Bucks and Lehigh counties,” Coleman said.

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) anticipates nearly $280 million in Impact Fee revenue will be distributed across the commonwealth in 2023, representing a 19% increase compared to 2022.

More than $770,000 in Impact Fee revenue was delivered to Bucks County in 2022. The county has benefitted from more than $6.7 million in funding since the Impact Fee revenues were first distributed.

Lehigh County benefitted from nearly $450,000 in funding made available in 2022 through Impact Fee revenues. The county has received more than $3.8 million since the fee was enacted.

Learn more about the impact fee disbursements by reading the rest of the article here.

Share Your Opinion about Sunday Hunting

I want to know what you think about Sunday hunting in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania in recent years has provided limited opportunities – usually three days per year – for hunting on Sundays. The new guidelines have been in place for several years and Pennsylvanians have had a chance to see the results of the new policy.

I have created an online survey because I want to know your thoughts and opinions about this important topic.

Sunday hunting generally is permitted for foxes, coyotes and crows. Other Sunday hunting opportunities are strictly regulated. Learn more by visiting the Pennsylvania Game Commission website.

Senate Bill Fights Porch Pirating

Legislation cracking down on “porch pirating” was approved by the Senate this week.

In Pennsylvania, theft of mail – also known as porch pirating – is currently charged under other theft offenses based solely on the value of the item taken. The average cost of a package stolen in Pennsylvania is $43, and nearly 2 million Pennsylvanians have been victimized by a porch pirate.

Senate Bill 527 would implement specific penalties for theft of mail, which includes a package, bag or letter. The grading of this offense would increase if the person had prior convictions for theft of mail.

Senate Passes Bill Protecting Prescription Coverage for Social Security Recipients

The Senate passed Senate Bill 607 to protect PACE and PACENET participants who may be pushed beyond the eligibility limits due solely to a cost-of-living increase in Social Security payments.

The PACE and PACENET programs help Pennsylvanians age 65 or older to afford their prescription medications. Eligibility for the programs is based on income, and Pennsylvanians on Social Security received an 8.7% cost-of-living increase in their benefits for 2023.

Single older Pennsylvanians earning $14,500 or less are eligible for PACE, while those earning between $14,500 and $33,500 are eligible for PACENET. Married couples earning $17,700 or less are eligible for PACE. Those earning between $17,700 and $41,500 are eligible for PACENET.

Senate Acts to Exempt Newer Vehicles from Emissions Test

To relieve motorists from outdated and unnecessary emissions testing, the Senate approved Senate Bill 561 to exempt the five newest model-year vehicles.

Pennsylvania is mandated by the federal government to implement an emissions inspection and maintenance program to comply with federal 1990 Clean Air Act amendments. Pennsylvania’s program requires motorists in 25 counties to participate in an annual emissions test.

As fuel-efficient cars have become more widespread, a vehicle emissions test has proven to be less effective at reducing air pollution. Between 2010-19, there were more than 21 million newer vehicles that passed the emissions test 99.65% of the time. Newer vehicles consistently pass emissions tests due to newer, more fuel-efficient vehicles on the market.

Senate Approves Expanding Access to Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners

To provide comprehensive, trauma-informed quality care to survivors of sexual assault, the Senate passed Senate Bill 414 to improve access to Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs).

SANEs collect critical forensic evidence when a sexual assault survivor seeks medical attention after an attack. In addition to conducting forensic exams or rape kits, SANEs may provide expert testimony if a case goes to trial.

There are less than 50 certified SANEs across Pennsylvania despite the state having about 280 hospitals. Most hospitals do not offer access to a SANE.

The bill would improve SANE availability as it identifies a funding stream for hospitals to establish and maintain operation of SANE programs; and directs the Department of Health to compile a list of all hospitals in the commonwealth that offer SANE services and to make that information available statewide.

Women Veterans to Benefit from Health Care Task Force

To provide care for the unique health needs of women veterans, the Senate approved a measure establishing the Task Force on Women Veterans’ Health Care in Pennsylvania.

The task force will study health issues facing women veterans and make recommendations to the governor and General Assembly. The panel will be composed of individuals with relevant specialties, including the chair of the State Veterans’ Commission and health care providers.

Senate Resolution 46 would also pave the way for Pennsylvania to potentially receive additional federal funding to address women veterans’ health care issues.

Recognizing National Cancer Survivor Month

National Cancer Survivor Month, celebrated every June, recognizes those who have fought cancer and those who are still in treatment.

Because of the advancement of treatment and the increased accessibility to it, there are more than 18 million cancer survivors in the United States.

To provide Pennsylvanians with important tools to fight cancer, the Senate passed Act 1 of 2023, which eliminates out-of-pocket costs for genetic testing of hereditary cancer syndromes and supplemental breast screenings for women at high risk of developing breast cancer. Learn more here.

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