In this Update:
Fairview Elementary Students Visit Capitol
On Thursday, I had the pleasure of welcoming a group of students, teachers, and parents from Fairview Elementary to the Capitol and onto the Senate Floor.
Regan Recognizes Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month
This week, I spoke on the Senate floor regarding Senate Resolution 356, which designates October as Sudden Cardiac Awareness Month in Pennsylvania.
The inspiration for this designation is Peyton Walker, a bright graduate of Trinity High School in Camp Hill who passed away in 2013 of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) at the age of 19. Since then, the Peyton Walker Foundation has advocated for the use of EKG testing and conducts screening events at schools across Pennsylvania. They also provide AEDs to assist with the timely response to a sudden cardiac arrest. Last session, I sponsored legislation, which was signed into law as Act 73 of 2020, known as Peyton’s Law. Thanks to Peyton’s Law, all Pennsylvania high school athletes and their parents receive information educating them about the benefits of EKG testing for Sudden Cardiac Arrest and the option for requesting a test as part of the athlete’s sports physical.
Please take a minute to watch my remarks above and to learn more about SCA. While Peyton’s Law is geared towards student athletes, SCA does not discriminate based on age.
Senate Law and Justice Committee Advances Two Police Bills
The Senate Law & Justice Committee, which I chair, met this week to consider two pieces of legislation.
The Committee unanimously advanced House Bill 1546, which prohibits the communication or publishing of personal information of a public safety official, such as a police officer, with the intent to cause harm.
The Committee also considered House Bill 1988, which grants the Municipal Police Officers’ Education Training and Commission (MPOETC) the authority to certify Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) Police Officers following the successful completion of police training. This bill advanced unanimously with an amendment I offered to extend similar certification allowances to School Police Officers within K-12 schools.
Regan Supports Nomination of Constituent Katie Zerfuss to Public Utility Commission
This week I had the pleasure of introducing and supporting Cumberland County resident Katie Zerfuss, who had been nominated to serve on the Public Utility Commission (PUC) during a meeting of the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee. She was later confirmed by a vote of the full Senate.
Katie brings more than 20 years of state government experience to the PUC. Katie has been helpful to my office both during her time as Deputy Secretary for Legislative Affairs in the Governor’s office and her time at the Departments of Revenue, Agriculture, and Transportation.
I also had the opportunity to ask questions of the other nominees regarding a ten-year-old statute that the PUC is just now interpreting as requiring landlords who resell natural gas to their tenants to be held to the same regulatory requirements as pipeline operators.
The Committee also moved three bills: House Bill 69, which adds motorcycles to the Automobile Lemon Law; House Bill 609, which updates the Engineer, Land Surveyor and Geologist Registration Law; and House Bill 2800, which fixes a certification provision that is currently blocking prosthetists, orthotists and other related professions from receiving a license. All three bills passed the Committee unanimously.
Senate Approves Measures to Help Women at High Risk of Breast Cancer
The Senate this week passed two bills to help women at high risk for breast cancer, ensuring coverage for MRIs, ultrasounds and genetic testing with no out-of-pocket costs.
Breast cancer is the second-most common cancer in women in the United States after skin cancers, and early detection is the key to saving lives. The Senate approved the following bills:
Senate Bill 1225 eliminates out-of-pocket costs for breast MRI and ultrasound for women with high-risk conditions such as dense breast tissue, a family history of breast cancer, personal history of breast cancer, genetic predisposition or prior radiation therapy.
Senate Bill 1330 removes costs associated with genetic testing and counseling for Pennsylvanians with a family history of breast and ovarian cancers. Genetic testing for heredity cancers provides the opportunity for earlier screenings and preventive treatments and procedures.
At a news conference celebrating passage of the bills, PA Breast Cancer Coalition President Pat Halpin-Murphy said: “Senate Bill 1225 and Senate Bill 1330 will arm the women of Pennsylvania with the best tools possible to find breast cancer at its earliest, most treatable stage.”
Other Bills Passed by the Senate this Week
In addition to bills expanding coverage for breast cancer prevention, the Senate approved the following measures this week:
Senate Bill 1243 improves personal financial literacy by requiring completion of a half-credit economics and personal finance course as a high school graduation requirement.
Senate Bill 139 directs the Department of Education to establish a model curriculum for instruction in the events and significance of Sept. 11, 2001 and provides for a moment of silence in schools on 9/11.
Senate Bill 1265 creates an online registry of fire courses for firefighters similar to what is maintained for medical responders, EMTs and paramedics.
Senate Bill 1282 grants land banks the same environmental protections other economic development agencies receive when dealing with brownfields.
You can find a list of all bills that received votes in the Senate this week here.
HARP Helps Hospitality Workers in Need
Hospitality Assistance Response of PA (HARP) provides immediate, emergency funding to servers, bartenders, front-desk workers, housekeepers, receptionists, cashiers, cooks and others in need in the hospitality field.
HARP is a 501(c)(3) funded by private donations and can help with medical bills or general hardship and provide immediate relief to hospitality employees experiencing a variety of other financial challenges. Grants are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis and subject to availability of funds.
If you want to donate or know a hospitality worker who needs help, you can find information here.
Cultural and Historical Support Grants Available
Applications are being accepted from qualified museums and official county historical societies for nearly $2 million in state Cultural and Historical Support Grants.
Among other uses, the grants can supply general operating support to museums and official county historical societies that are not supported by other state agency funding programs. Eligible museums must have annual operating budgets exceeding $100,000 and at least one full-time professional staff person (some museums are not eligible if they are eligible for grant support from other state agencies).
The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission has eligibility information and grant guidelines. The deadline to apply is Nov. 7.
Domestic Violence Awareness Month