Senator Cris Dush E-Newsletter

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In this Issue:

  • Senate Accomplishments: Health Care
  • PA Farm Show Kicks Off Saturday
  • Resource Page for COVID-19 Prevention and Treatments
  • Citizens Can Comment on Proposed Redistricting Plans
  • Clinton and Potter Counties Receive Funding to Assist with Revising its Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance
  • Applications Now Being Accepted for Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP)
  • New 511PA Travel Information Features

Senate Accomplishments: Health Care

Senate Accomplishments Health Care

In its ongoing effort to improve access to quality health care, the Senate rounded out 2021 by passing new laws to preserve and expand prescription drug assistance for Pennsylvania senior citizens.

Passed by the Senate and signed into law last month was legislation that extends the Social Security cost-of-living-adjustment moratorium for individuals enrolled in PACE and PACENET to preserve access to these senior citizen prescription drug programs.

The Senate also passed a new law that expands income eligibility for PACENET, allowing an additional 24,000 Pennsylvania seniors to receive help with prescription drug costs.

Other new healthcare laws passed by the Senate boosted donations to fight breast cancer, created the Living Donor Protection Act, encouraged more physician assistants to stay and practice in the Commonwealth, reduced nursing home labor shortages, continued to confront the opioid crisis, and more.

PA Farm Show Kicks Off Saturday

2022 Farm Show

The 106th Pennsylvania Farm Show kicks off this Saturday in Harrisburg, and will feature nearly 6,000 animals, 12,000 competitive events and exhibits, 300 commercial exhibits and hundreds of educational and entertaining events.

From the youth involved in 4H and FFA programs to seasoned competitors in baking and other specialties, the competitions are, well, very competitive.  The exhibits show traditional agricultural practices as well as latest tech, some that can be used in our everyday homes.

In addition to the farm animals and competition, the Farm Show is known for the Food Court smorgasbord. You can find a complete schedule of events here.  Take a minute to look at all that is being offered.

Visitors to the Farm Show Complex will not be required to wear a mask, but the Department of Agriculture is encouraging people to wear masks and practice social distancing at the event. Entrance is free, but parking costs $15 per car at all Farm Show complex lots.

The Pennsylvania agricultural sector supports 593,000 Pennsylvania jobs and annually contributes $132.5 billion to the state economy.

Resource Page for COVID-19 Prevention and Treatments

COVID-19 Prevention and Treatment

There are now multiple COVID-19 prevention and treatment options authorized by the FDA for emergency use in patients at high risk of developing severe COVID-19. While they’re not substitutes for vaccines, they might be right for many people.

The state Department of Health website has information regarding the distribution of COVID-19 Prevention and Treatments, covering:

You can find locations for prevention medicines and treatment at Therapeutics Distribution | HHS Protect Public Data Hub and information also can be found on local distributions of the oral antiviral medications Paxlovid and Molnupiravir. The supply of oral antiviral medications is extremely limited until national production increases. Consult with your healthcare provider on the appropriateness and availability of these treatments.

Citizens Can Comment on Proposed Redistricting Plans

Legislative Reapportionment Public Feedback

Hearings begin this week by the Legislative Reapportionment Commission to gather feedback from Pennsylvania citizens regarding the preliminary plans for state Senate and House of Representatives legislative redistricting.

The hearings will be held in Hearing Room 1 of the Capitol’s North Office Building and will use Zoom to allow virtual participation. The hearings will also be livestreamed.

To speak at a hearing (in person or virtual), the commission requires registration in advance:

To accommodate as many speakers as possible, the commission will limit the remarks of each speaker to five minutes. The submission of written testimony prior to the hearing is requested but not required. Written testimony can be submitted on the Commission’s public website portal.

Clinton and Potter Counties Receive Funding to Assist with Revising its Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance

Earlier this week, 11 projects throughout the state were approved for a total of $471,248 in funding through the Municipal Assistance Program (MAP), which exists to assist local governments with planning for zoning and updating of comprehensive plans.

Clinton County received $22,000 to update its Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance (SALDO), which has not been updated since 1991 and reflects outdated statutory and case law, with land development needs and regulatory practices that are more than three decades old.

The county’s ordinance covers 15 municipalities – three boroughs and 12 townships – that do not have their own SALDO, and their plan review and enforcement practices need to be matched to current administrative capacity and updated for users.

Potter County received $16,845 to revise its SALDO, which has not had a thorough revision in more than a decade.

Due to the adoption of the County Action Plan (CAP) and a recent Comprehensive Plan adoption, it is crucial to perform a thorough revision for SALDO.

The revision will ensure compliance with the Pennsylvania Municipal Planning Code, implementation of the county’s CAP Best management practices (BMP) and ensure local and regional consistency for plans and design guides like the PA Wilds design guide and Lumber Heritage region.

Applications Now Being Accepted for Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP)

For those in need of some help with their water bills, the Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) is a temporary emergency program designed to help low-income families pay overdue water bills.

LIHWAP is a grant, so you don’t have to repay the assistance you receive.

LIHWAP crisis grants may be available if you have an emergency situation and are in jeopardy of losing your water service. You can receive one crisis grant for your drinking water service and one crisis grant for your wastewater service, up to $2,500 each.

Crisis situations include past-due water bills, termination of utility service, danger of having utility service terminated (you received a notice that service will be shut off within the next 60 days).

For how to apply and more information about the program, see the program website.

New 511PA Travel Information Features

New 511PA Features for Travelers

The 511PA traveler information service has new features and alert customization for passenger vehicle and commercial vehicle drivers.

511PA allows motorists to set up personalized travel alerts for specific roadways, days of the week, and times of the day. Users can now select the type of alerts they would like to receive, rather than receiving all alerts. Categories include incidents, roadwork, general travel information, travel restrictions, and weather-related alerts.

Additionally, motorists can now use just an email or mobile phone number for speed and vehicle restrictions or full roadway closures without creating a personalized account.

For commercial vehicle drivers, 511PA now includes locations for all bridges under legal height (13′ 6″) over state roads to improve information that drivers may be receiving from third-party navigation systems. This information can be viewed on the web map and is also available as an alert that can be heard in drive mode on the mobile app.

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