Hearing Highlights Need for New Resources to Combat Childhood Cancers
A cancer diagnosis is one of the most terrifying challenges that any family can face, and the concerns are even more profound when the patient is a child. The Senate Finance Committee recently held a hearing regarding the need for new resources to help identify and treat childhood cancers, with a focus on a bill I authored that could generate up to $100 million in private donations to support pediatric cancer research.
One of the testifiers was pediatric cancer patient Noelle Weinhold from Ephrata, who shared her deeply personal story about all of the negative impacts that her treatment had on her health. We also heard from passionate advocates and oncologists who specialize in pediatric cancer. The message to lawmakers is clear – we need to do more to support additional research and better treatments for our young cancer warriors!
More information about the hearing is available here. Full video of the hearing is available below.
Bill Would Create Work Requirements for Able-Bodied Medicaid Recipients
The Medicaid program is designed to ensure health care coverage for vulnerable populations. However, the program is also among the biggest cost-drivers in the state budget. It is critical to ensure this program remains in place to help individuals and families in need without cutting critical services or raising taxes on Pennsylvania families and employers.
I recently joined my colleague Senator David G. Argall to introduce a bill that would require healthy, able-bodied Medicaid recipients to search for a job or volunteer in their community in order to continue to receive benefits. The bill would not apply to a wide range of individuals who would have extreme difficulty in holding a job, including individuals who are:
The goal is not to limit coverage for people who genuinely need help; the legislation only aims to help encourage more able-bodied individuals to climb out of poverty and achieve financial independence. The Governor has previously vetoed proposals to implement Medicaid work requirements. By adding new classes of people who would be exempt from the requirements, the new version of the bill is intended as a compromise to address concerns that have been raised in the past.
More information about our bill is available here.
Fair season in Lancaster County means celebrating our communities and our rich history of agriculture. This year, I was pleased to participate in both the 70th Annual Solanco Fair and the 95th Annual West Lampeter Community Fair.
New Law Will Cut Down on Telemarketing Calls
Community residents often raise concerns about the timing and frequency of telemarketing calls. A new law that I supported will help consumers minimize the number of these calls they receive.
Act 73 of 2019 allows phone numbers to be placed on Pennsylvania’s Do Not Call list permanently, instead of requiring consumers to re-register every five years. The law also prohibits telemarketing on legal holidays and prevent robocalls from 900 numbers or any other numbers for which charges exceed local or long distance charges.
More details about the bill are available here.
Real ID Requirements Go Into Effect Next October
As part of the REAL ID Act of 2005, the federal government requires state-issued driver’s licenses and photo ID cards to meet stringent new security standards in order to be used as valid identification for entering federal government facilities and boarding commercial aircraft.
As a result, normal driver’s licenses and photo IDs will not be recognized as a federally acceptable forms of identification beginning on October 1, 2020.
PennDOT has developed a new type of driver’s license and photo ID that complies with the federal requirements. Pennsylvanians can voluntarily purchase a new REAL ID-compliant driver’s license now.
More details about how to purchase one of the new REAL IDs is available here.