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State lawmakers call for support for PA’s telecommunicators

(17 hours ago)

HARRISBURG, April 17 – State Reps. Roni Green and Tarik Khan, both D-Phila., were joined by a bipartisan group of their legislative colleagues, public safety telecommunicators and advocates at the state Capitol today to celebrate “National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week” and discuss how the legislature can work to help Pennsylvania’s telecommunicators and 911 dispatchers. The telecommunicators and advocates who were present included Jack Morgan III, 911 operator from Allegheny County; Sara Slote, dispatch manager, Lancaster County 911; Bill Perkins, state constable; Garrett Rienhardt, recipient of life-saving care; Tyler Griffith, dispatcher; AFSCME members; and Gordon Zimmet, Local 1637 president. At the news conference, the legislators discussed a resolution (H.R. 377), introduced by Green that recognizes the week of April 14-20 “Public Safety Telecommunicators Week” in Pennsylvania. The resolution was adopted by the House later in the day. “911 dispatchers are the point of first contact between the caller and first responders. The speed and efficiency with which they work saves lives. They parse through heaps of information in very chaotic situations and support callers during what is often one of the most difficult moments of their lives,” Green said. “It’s time for the commonwealth to give back to 911 dispatchers the kind of support they give us. My daughter worked Read more

Frankel, Venkat: House passes bill to bar noncompete agreements in health care employment

(17 hours ago)

HARRISBURG, April 17 – The PA House today passed legislation introduced by state Reps. Dan Frankel and Arvind Venkat that would prohibit medical employers from using restrictive noncompete agreements that prevent doctors, nurses and other medical professionals who leave a job from practicing elsewhere. The lawmakers, both D-Allegheny, said they introduced H.B. 1633 to end an unfair practice that limits options for providers, disrupts patients’ long-term relationships with their trusted physicians and makes it more difficult for Pennsylvania to attract talented medical professionals. “This legislation deals with employment contracts for health care providers, but it’s really about patient care – it protects the long-term patient-care giver relationship that builds trust and improves outcomes,” said Frankel, who is majority chairman of the House Health Committee. “We know it’s not always easy to find the right health care provider, and it’s important that our laws not interfere with your ability to maintain that crucial relationship.” Venkat said, “As a physician-legislator, I know that noncompete covenants unnecessarily restrict patient access to the clinician of their choice and make Pennsylvania a less desirable place for health professionals to practice. I am proud to have worked with Representative Frankel to pass this bipartisan legislation through the state House to improve patient access in Read more

State Reps. Smith-Wade-El, Kenyatta and Benham applaud two state boards’ opposition to conversion therapy

(20 hours ago)

HARRISBURG, April 17 – State Reps. Ismail Smith-Wade-El, D-Lancaster; Malcom Kenyatta, D-Phila.; and Jessica Benham, D-Allegheny, today applauded the Pennsylvania boards of Psychology and Osteopathic Medicine for their recent adoption of new policies opposing the practice of conversion therapy on LGBTQ+ minors. The representatives issued the following statement: “We applaud the state Boards of Psychology and Osteopathic Medicine’s adoption of a new Statement of Policies (SOP) that opposes the use of the discredited, pseudoscientific practice of conversion therapy on minors in Pennsylvania. Conversion therapy, also known as conversion abuse, is a dangerous practice aimed at changing an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression that has resulted in profound physical and psychological harm on patients, including depression, trauma, and suicide. “We hope that the state boards of Medicine, Nursing and Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Professional Counselors will vote in the coming weeks to adopt similar SOPs opposing the use of conversion therapy. “Although we are glad to see esteemed state medical boards gradually take steps to oppose the practice of conversion abuse, this is happening at too slow a rate. It is long past time that Pennsylvania joins the 20 other states outlawing the practice. Our bill, the Protection of Minors from Conversion Therapy Act, would prohibit a mental health Read more

Mayes’ legislation to expand Medicaid coverage for blood pressure monitors advances to House

(22 hours ago)

Screenings for hypertension decrease maternal mortality Read more

Deasy and advocates take pledge against domestic violence

(Apr 15, 2024)

“One in 3 women face domestic violence, with more than half killed by a current or former intimate partner,” state Rep. Deasy said. “The week we are recognizing calls us all to find out how can help crime victims and be prepared if someone confides in us. We need to make sure we are all familiar with the services available in our communities. Awareness is key.” Read more

Mayes to host shredding event Saturday, April 20

(Apr 15, 2024)

In addition to shredding paper, constituents will learn more about the services Mayes’ office provides, including assistance with applying for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program, PACE and PACENET, the state’s prescription assistance programs and more. Read more

House passes Kinkead resolution to study PA crime and justice codes

(Apr 12, 2024)

The Joint State Government Commission would establish a bipartisan task force to study the PA Crimes Code, Sentencing Code, Judicial Code, and all statutes, consolidated and unconsolidated, that carry a criminal penalty for language that is duplicative, inconsistent, unenforceable, carries improper offense grading, or is outdated for modern society under a concurrent resolution introduced by state Rep. Emily Kinkead that the PA House passed on Tuesday. Read more

Gergely’s bill to advance PA health care initiative heads to governor’s desk to become law

(Apr 11, 2024)

HARRISBURG, April 11 – State Rep. Matthew R. Gergely’s bill to protect plasma donated throughout Pennsylvania and preserve its suitability for use in health and medical forums passed the state Senate unanimously this week. The legislation (H.B. 1795) would require that source plasma, specifically, undergoes extensive testing upon donation and before it is ultimately integrated into essential pharmaceuticals. Gergely’s bill, co-sponsored by state Rep. Tim Briggs, D-Montgomery, would also allow more focus to be devoted to developing such pharmaceuticals by eliminating a signification portion of subsequent testing conducted in labs during the clinical development phase. “Plasma centers are a priority for me, as there are many in the communities I represent. Safeguarding healthy and viable plasma not only enhances quality of life for residents, it will save lives throughout the 35th District and the commonwealth at large,” said Gergely, D-Allegheny. “A huge thanks to Rep. Briggs for his collaboration and to the members of the Senate for all their efforts in getting this legislation to Governor Shapiro’s desk.” “We're on the verge of securing a lifeline for those battling serious medical conditions. With this bill’s imminent passage into law, we affirm our commitment to ensuring that every drop of plasma donated in our state is a beacon of hope for those in need,” Briggs added. “Let's Read more

Disability employment bill passes House

(Apr 10, 2024)

Bill would create position to promote employment policies Read more

Frankel: 10.27 Healing Partnership awarded $350K to support future operations

(Apr 09, 2024)

“Our community still has a long path to healing, and we will need the love, hope and support these programs provide," Frankel said. "I am deeply grateful to the 10.27 Healing Partnership and thankful to DHS and the state and community partners who helped us secure this funding, which will ensure that this remarkable group remains a part of our journey.” Read more