Following is a listing of executive and legislative action for the week of Oct. 2. At press time the Pennsylvania Senate was scheduled to return to session Oct. 4, and the state House of Representatives was scheduled to reconvene on Oct. 16.
Opioid Addiction Treatment
The Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs was awarded a $5.7 million Medication-Assisted Treatment Prescription Drug and Opioid Addiction grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to fight against opioid addiction.
The grant, according to a press statement provided by the Pennsylvania governor’s office, funded by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “will help the state expand or enhance its access to evidence-based medically assisted treatment services.”
According to the press release, in 2016 there were over 4,000 drug-related overdose deaths in Pennsylvania with a reported increase of 37 percent from 2015.
Prohibiting Internet-Based Education
State. Rep. Russ Diamond, R-Lebanon, issued a memorandum declaring his intention to allow a parent or guardian to prohibit their child from school instruction that uses internet-based technology.
According to Diamond’s memo, Act 197 allows schools to install software and servers that block access “to visual depictions of obscenity, child pornography, and material that is harmful to minors.” However, Diamond said, students are able to access “inappropriate material.”
Under his proposed legislation, a child’s parent or guardian can choose to excuse their child from instruction that uses technology with internet access and the school would be required to provide that child with alternative instruction that doesn’t require technology with internet access.
School entities, under his proposed legislation, would include public school districts, intermediate units, area vocational-technical schools, regional charter schools and charter schools.
Personal Loans to Campaigns
A state representative has proposed legislation that would restrict Pennsylvania political candidates from recovering their personal loans to their political campaign after 30 days from the certification of election or 30 days after the final decision of any appeals for the position they ran for.
In the memo released by Pennsylvania Rep. Harold English, R-Allegheny, reimbursement of personal loans after the election and 30 days after a final appeal would not be reimbursed. Candidate loans not reimbursed, according to his memo, would become candidate donation to their campaign account.
English said his legislation’s time limit would prohibit candidates from rolling over their loans to future campaigns and the candidate’s loan would become a donation and have “no priority for payback or recovery ahead of other donations.”
After the Equifax Inc. breach, which exposed the Social Security and credit card numbers of 143 million Americans, state Sen. Wayne Fontana, D-Allegheny, said Pennsylvanians should have the option to place a lifetime freeze on their credit and require all credit reporting agencies to charge no more than $5 to temporarily unfreeze someone’s credit.
According to Fontana’s memo regarding his proposed legislation, it costs $10 to place a credit freeze or temporarily unfreeze one’s credit with credit reporting agencies. •
Public and private partners gathered today at the headquarters of PSECU to announce a pioneering partnership and program that aims at reducing recidivism-the holding of five simultaneous Financial Reality Fairs on Oct. 14 in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Erie and Reading.