November 8, 2019
Senate Panel Approves Bill to Protect Sexual Assault Victims
Young victims of sexual assault deserve our love and understanding, and they should never be put in a situation in which they face the prospect of seeing their attacker every day. Unfortunately, that nightmare scenario played out for one local student who was raped by a classmate. Even after her assailant was adjudicated delinquent for committing the crime, she was forced to attend the same school with her attacker.
The Senate Education Committee recently took an important step to prevent similar situations in the future by passing a bill I authored to mandate the removal of any student who is convicted or adjudicated delinquent of sexual assault against a student who attends the same school.
Learn more about the bill here and in the video below:
Bill to Provide More Resources for Pediatric Cancer Research Moves Forward
Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease for children throughout the country. However, the National Cancer Institute spends just 4 percent of its research dollars on pediatric cancer. We can, and must, do better.
The Senate Finance Committee recently approved a bill I sponsored that could generate up to $100 million in private donations over the next decade to support childhood cancer research. The bill would create a tax credit program for qualifying donations to Pennsylvania pediatric cancer research hospitals.
More details about the bill are available here.
Election Modernization Bill Signed Into Law
Millions of voters went to the polls this week to exercise one of our most treasured rights – the right to vote. I recently supported passage of a new law that will make it easier for more Pennsylvanians to participate in our elections.
The bill made a number of changes to election law, including extending deadlines to submit absentee ballots, creating a permanent mail-in voter list, extending the amount of time for new voters to register before an election, and ensuring individual candidates are considered based on merit – not solely by political affiliation.
In addition, the new law includes a proposal I authored that allows counties to print only an additional 10% more ballots than the highest number of voters in previous similar elections. This would save counties money by not having to print as many ballots that would likely go to waste.
More information about the bill is available here.
Feeling Tired? Blame the Time Change
If you are feeling groggy following the time change, you are not alone. Studies show that the twice-a-year time change results in more accidents, health problems and a loss of productivity of more than $400 million annually.
There is no good reason why we need to continue this archaic tradition. Earlier this year, I introduced a resolution urging Congress to make Daylight Saving Time permanent in the United States. This step would ensure more families can enjoy the extra hour of daylight in the evenings and avoid dangerous driving conditions when many people are coming home from work.
More about my effort to end the twice-yearly time changes is available here.
Honoring Pennsylvania’s Veterans
Pennsylvania is home to more than 840,000 men and women who have answered the call to serve in the military. We owe them our thanks, our admiration and our deepest respect for the sacrifices they made to protect our way of life and make the world safe for democracy.
Veterans Day offers the perfect opportunity to recognize the incredible bravery and contributions of Pennsylvania’s veterans. I encourage all community residents to thank a veteran for all they have done for our community, our state and our nation.
Spotted Lanternfly Presents a Threat to PA Agriculture
The Spotted Lanternfly is an invasive species that threatens a number of sectors of Pennsylvania agriculture, including the grape, tree-fruit, hardwood and nursery industries. If you see one of these pests, it is important to kill it and report it by calling 1-888-422-3359.
More information about identifying and reporting sightings of the Spotted Lanternfly is available here.