Seniors Prescription Drug Coverage Expansion to Cover 17,000 More
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Legislative Update


 The latest news from the State Capitol

Seniors Prescription Drug Coverage Expansion to Cover 17,000 More
Legislation to expand eligibility for the state’s PACENET prescription drug coverage program passed the House and the Senate and is headed to the governor. Up to 17,000 Pennsylvania seniors are expected to benefit from this expansion.

House Bill 270 would increase the annual maximum income limits in the PACENET program to $27,500 for a single person and to $35,500 for a married couple. Current maximum income requirements for the PACENET program, which covers those individuals with incomes exceeding PACE maximums, are $23,500 for a single individual and $31,500 for a married couple annually.

Additionally, the bill would allow two new pharmacy-based programs to be developed under the PACE program to assist seniors in monitoring their prescription drug usage.

This eligibility expansion would be the first since 2004, and it is funded by proceeds from the Pennsylvania Lottery.

Come to My Drug Take-Back Event

One of the best ways to combat opioid addiction is to properly dispose of unused prescription drugs. To help you, I will hold a Drug Take-Back event, Oct. 27, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the 7th Police District, 1701 Bowler St.

Items accepted include prescription and over-the-counter solid medications, tablets and capsules, liquid medications like cough syrups and cold medicines, prescription patches, medical creams and ointments, vitamins, nasal sprays, and pet medicines. No sharps can be accepted.

Call my office at 215-330-3711 with any questions.

Spinal Injury Grant Program Bill Overwhelmingly Passes
I’ve joined a huge bipartisan majority of my colleagues to pass Senate Bill 31 to create a research grant program aimed at discovering new and innovative treatments and rehabilitative efforts for spinal cord disabilities. The bill now goes to the governor.

This is an important step forward in helping people with spinal cord disabilities by dedicating $1 million for research to help individuals live a more vital life. Senate Bill 31 amends the Tobacco Settlement Act to create the Spinal Cord Injury Research Grant Program within the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Under the bill, funds from the program will be appropriated to develop research projects regarding spinal cord injuries and the necessary infrastructure to make the projects a reality. The money could also be used for peer reviews and performance reviews.

Pennsylvania leads the nation in medical breakthroughs at our invaluable research universities. That’s where the needed breakthrough in spinal injury research will happen. This grant program will fuel that research.

Giving the Gift of Life
Legislation that would help encourage organ and tissue donation in Pennsylvania is now on the governor’s desk.

Senate Bill 180, which unanimously passed the House last week, would expand the list of those persons authorized to decide on behalf of a decedent whether his or her organs are donated.

Among other provisions, it would also permit a minimally invasive blood or tissue test to be conducted to determine the suitability of a donor; call for education regarding organ and tissue donation and transplantation for high school students, as well as nursing and medical students; and increase the voluntary contribution made by citizens from $1 to $3 for driver’s license and vehicle registration renewals.

Currently, more than 800 Pennsylvanians are waiting for an organ transplant.

More information about organ donation in Pennsylvania is available here.

PennDOT Improves Customer Care Website
To make it easier to report concerns on state roads, PennDOT has modernized its online customer care center.

The new website will include new mapping capabilities, optional photo uploads and a mobile-friendly interface.

Concerns are sorted into several categories: road or bridge conditions; removing debris from a roadway; traffic, signs or signals; ongoing roadwork or projects; or general questions and concerns.

Motorists are asked to be as specific as possible when providing locations of concerns. Motorists should report the county, municipality, street name and state route number, which can be found on small black and white signs posted along state highways. In addition, a description of any familiar landmarks are helpful for PennDOT to locate the problem area.

As of Sept. 30, the previous Customer Care Center had nearly 45,000 concerns submitted this year, according to PennDOT, with more than 96 percent of those concerns being resolved.

Poster Contest Encourages Youth to Know When, Know How
As part of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board’s 27th annual Alcohol Awareness Poster Contest, this year’s theme is based on the agency’s new alcohol education campaign “Know When, Know How.” This campaign teaches parents how to start a conversation with their children about the dangers of underage drinking.

The contest is open to all Pennsylvania students in kindergarten through 12th grade, including those who are homeschooled or in private or parochial schools. Students may enter through their schools, clubs, Scout troops or individually.

Entries must feature a clear no-use message about underage drinking and may be created using any artistic medium. Students are encouraged to use positive messages and images, such as the benefits of being alcohol free or alternatives to underage drinking.

Several students with winning entries will receive $50, and one student from each grade (K-12) will receive $25. Some of the winning designs may be reproduced in various formats and distributed across Pennsylvania.

Entries must be postmarked no later than Friday, Nov. 16. For additional information about submission dates, guidelines and prizes, review the contest guidelines and entry form available at under “Education,” then “Poster Contest.”
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Office Locations
Harrisburg Office: B-13 Main Capitol Building, PO Box 202170, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2170  | (717) 787-6740
District Office:10752 Bustleton Ave., Suite C, Philadelphia, PA 19116  | (215) 330-3711
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