In this Update:
Eagle Scout Patrick Sisca Recognized on Senate Floor
This week I was pleased to welcome Eagle Scout Patrick Sisca and his family to the Capitol and recognize them on the Senate floor.
Patrick is a member of Troop 192 in New Cumberland and earned his Eagle Scout rank after constructing a patio with a fire pit and memorial stone at the West Shore Sportsmen’s Association. He has also held several leadership roles within his troop over the years.
It is always a pleasure to meet young people from the district who are serving their community and achieving goals they set for themselves. Patrick is one of them, and I look forward to what the future holds for him.
Click here to watch my floor introduction of Patrick and his family.
Committee Advances Nomination of Cumberland County Resident Elena Cross to UC Board of Review
This week the Senate Labor and Industry Committee advanced the nomination of Cumberland County resident Elena Cross to the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review.
Elena is a resident of Lower Allen Township and has served the Commonwealth most recently as the Governor’s Chief of Staff. During her time in government she has been involved in labor and workforce issues and was instrumental in the Workforce Command Center, which is focused on training qualified workers for Pennsylvania businesses.
I was pleased to support Elena’s nomination and know she will continue to serve the Commonwealth well.
Regan Congratulates Senate President Pro Tempore Corman on Retirement
It was bittersweet for my colleagues and I this week as we congratulated our President Pro Tempore Jake Corman on his retirement from the Senate.
Jake, who has been a friend and colleague since I joined the Senate in 2016, is the epitome of an excellent leader. And just as important as his work on legislative issues, he showed us how to balance the demands of being a Senator while still prioritizing his family.
I will certainly miss Jake, but I know the legacy he leaves behind will guide me and so many others in our work going forward.
Senate Approves Measures to Support Police and Crime Victims
As the 2021-2022 legislative session comes to a close, the Senate this week passed several measures to support law enforcement and crime victims.
House Bill 103 establishes the crime of intentionally causing a law enforcement officer to come into contact with a bodily substance such as saliva, blood, or feces. Recall, I worked to amend this bill to advance it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee in September.
House Bill 1546 further protects law enforcement by prohibiting the release of a public safety official’s personal information such as their home address or telephone number with the intent to cause harm. The Senate Law and Justice Committee, which I chair, moved this bill out of committee last week with an amendment I offered to expand the list of covered public safety officials.
While criminal prosecutions punish offenders, restitution for crime victims often falls short. When that happens, victims turn to the civil justice system.
The Senate passed House Bill 2525 to make it easier for crime victims to obtain relevant information learned by law enforcement during the investigation of the crime. Crime victims can then use that information in civil legal actions to recover damages for their injuries.
In addition, the Senate approved House Bill 140, which requires the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate and prosecute crimes committed within Philadelphia’s mass transit system.
These efforts build on the work that has been accomplished over the past two years to protect crime victims and strengthen penalties for criminals who seek to elude officers.
Legislation Approved by Senate Adds Sex Traffickers to Sex Offender Registry
A measure requiring offenders convicted of a sex trafficking-related crime to register as sex offenders received final legislative approval this week.
Senate Bill 118 adds these crimes to the reporting requirements of Pennsylvania’s Megan’s Law. The law requires the State Police to maintain a public, online registry of persons who reside, work or attend school in the Commonwealth and who have been convicted of or pleaded guilty to certain sexual offenses in Pennsylvania or another jurisdiction.
Most defendants in the FBI’s human trafficking cases had prior criminal records and are prone to recidivism. The Megan’s Law Registry has proven to be a deterrent to subsequent sexual offenses committed by those who are on it. The bill was sent to the governor for enactment.
Measure to Improve Notification of Government Data Breaches Sent to Governor
Legislation requiring that state agencies, their contractors and local governments provide timely notification to victims of a data breach received final approval.
Breaches involving personally identifiable information must be reported within seven days of such a breach being determined, under Senate Bill 696.
In addition to timely notification, the measure requires the state Attorney General to be notified of a state-level breach and county district attorneys to be notified of county, municipal and school district breaches. The bill was sent to the governor for enactment.
Health Care Reform Measure Receives Final Approval
The Senate gave final approval of a measure that would standardize and streamline the process of prior authorization and step therapy for medical services.
Prior authorization is the process in which health care providers obtain advance approval for purposes of payment coverage and reimbursement from an insurer before a specific procedure or service is delivered to the patient. Step therapy allows insurers to recommend different drug treatment option(s) to patients to address costs.
A recent survey of physicians found that 91% of doctors said prior authorization delays can lead to negative clinical impacts on patients, and 78% of doctors said that prior authorization delays can lead to their patients abandoning treatment plans.
Senate Bill 225 would create standards and timely feedback for commercial health insurance plans, as well as Medicaid plans, when health care providers seek prior authorization approval from insurers. The bill also reforms step therapy protocols. The bill was sent to the governor to be signed into law.
Mail-In Ballot Application Deadline is Nov. 1
Tuesday, Nov. 1, is the deadline to apply for mail and absentee ballots for the Nov. 8 General Election.
Instructions for preparing and returning your ballot can be found here. Ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day.
Recognizing the Contributions of First Responders
We sometimes take for granted the sacrifice and dedication of first responders, without whom our communities could not safely function.
Thank you, police officers, firefighters, emergency medical personnel and everyone else who answers the call, anytime, day or night.