Jan. 31, 2019

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Weekly Roundup
#Listrak\DateStampLong# The latest news from the State Capitol

Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program Applications Available
Applications for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program are now available on the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue website and at my district offices.

Residents do not need to pay a private entity for assistance in filing the forms. Copies of the forms, as well as assistance with filing them, are available at my office at no cost.

Applicants should be prepared to provide all the necessary income, property tax or rental information required to process claims quickly and accurately. Applications are due by June 30.
                                   

State Courts Could Cause Health Care Crisis
 
Pennsylvania residents may soon face a crisis in health care, if the state courts repeal a rule that helped stave off a similar situation more than a decade ago, when many physicians left their practices, moved to other states or retired early due to skyrocketing insurance premiums.

The rule currently requires medical malpractice cases to be brought in the county where the alleged malpractice occurred.

Repealing that rule could lead to patients having to say goodbye to their physicians or patients having to drive farther for care. Additionally, recruiting physicians and specialists would be difficult, and medical innovations may be halted. Overall, patient care would suffer and everyone would face higher health care costs.

This week, the House Majority Policy Committee held a press conference and hosted a forum to examine the issue and hear from numerous stakeholders about the negative impact this rule repeal could cause.

The House Majority Policy committee also will hold a public hearing on Feb. 12 at St. Luke’s Hospital in Bethlehem.

The General Assembly is expected to submit its comments to the courts, but you can also let the courts know how this would impact you. Click here to submit your comments by Feb. 22.
                                   

Governor’s Budget Address Set for Tuesday
 
On Tuesday, Feb. 5, the governor will unveil his budget proposal for fiscal year 2019-20.

We are looking forward to hearing the governor’s proposal and reviewing the details in the coming weeks as the Appropriations Committee will begin its series of hearings on the proposal on Feb. 11.

You can watch the address on my website at 11:30 a.m. and keep your eyes on my social media for updates and reactions.
 

Ensuring Victims’ Rights
 
Legislation to amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to add a victims’ bill of rights was reintroduced this week in a step toward putting the question before voters.

Last session, Marsy’s Law passed in the House and Senate unanimously. An identical bill must be passed this session before the question is placed on the ballot.

The amendment would require notice of hearings and other proceedings, physical and emotional protection from the accused, notice in cases of release or escape, proceedings free from unnecessary delay, the ability to confer with the prosecutor in the case, full and timely restitution from the offender, and notification of all of these rights.
 

Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission to Recruit New Class of Waterways Conservation Officer Trainees
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is recruiting the 22nd class of Waterways Conservation Officer (WCO) Trainees at its H.R. Stackhouse School of Fishery Conservation and Watercraft Safety.

The State Civil Service Commission (SCSC) began accepting applications Jan. 30 and they will be open until Feb. 19.

For more information on the position, visit the recruitment page on  fishandboat.com. Applications will only be accepted online. To view the announcement and apply, visit the SCSC website.
 
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Office Locations                                                                                                                                                                      
349 Pine St. Suite 1, Williamsport, PA 17701 I Phone: (570) 321-1270  
Room 427, Irvis Office Building, PO Box 202083, Harrisburg PA 17120-2083 | Phone: (717) 787-2885 
Email: jwheeland@pahousegop.com
 
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