House passes legislation to criminalize possession of animal fighting equipment

(Mar 04, 2015)

HARRISBURG, March 4 – State Rep. Chris Sainato joined his colleagues in the state House today to unanimously pass legislation that would make it a crime to possess equipment used in animal fighting. “Pennsylvania prohibits animal fighting, so it makes sense to extend our laws to ban equipment used in this barbaric activity,” said Sainato, D-Lawrence. Sainato added that the legislation would help hold offenders accountable in cases where law enforcement is not able to arrive while an animal fight is occurring, but later find equipment used for animal fighting Under H.B. 164, possessing animal fighting paraphernalia would be a third-degree misdemeanor, carrying a maximum penalty of a year in prison and a fine of $2,500. Read more

 

Bill to make orally administered cancer treatments more affordable passes Pa. House

(Feb 24, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 24 – State Rep. Chris Sainato has voted for a bill that would put the cost of orally administered chemotherapy treatments within reach of more Pennsylvanians. The bill (H.B. 60) passed the state House today 197-3. "Pennsylvanians fighting for their lives should have affordable access to chemotherapy," said Sainato, D-Beaver/Lawrence. "It should not matter if the treatment recommended by a doctor is ingested or injected." Intravenous chemotherapy treatments are usually covered under a health plan's medical benefit and require a minimal payment. Orally administered treatments are covered under a health plan's pharmacy benefit. Some insurance companies have placed orally administered treatments on "specialty tiers," requiring those who need the drugs to pay as much as one-third of the cost. Typically, a person will pay $1,500 to $3,000 per prescription for a specialty tier drug, according to a study by the Pennsylvania Legislative Budget and Finance Committee. Sainato said the median annual household income in Pennsylvania is $50,000, so the course of treatment would be unaffordable to many residents. House Bill 60 would prohibit insurance companies from placing oral anti-cancer medications on a specialty tier or charging a co-insurance payment for the medication. Sainato noted that the LBFC study found that more than 30 percent of people who were prescribed a drug on a specialty Read more

 

Sainato meets with Gov. Wolf, discusses potential initiatives to help Lawrence County

(Feb 10, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 9 – State Rep. Chris Sainato met with Gov. Tom Wolf this morning to discuss legislative initiatives to help his constituents in Lawrence County. Sainato told the governor that development of the proposed Lawrence Downs racetrack and casino, legislation to address blight, economic development and education top this list of priorities. "I appreciate Gov. Wolf taking time to learn about the needs and concerns of the people I represent," Sainato said. "I hope this is the start of a good working relationship that will produce initiatives that help move the 9th Legislative District and all of Lawrence County forward." Sainato said he wants to see the Lawrence Downs project come to fruition because it will create up to 1,000 construction jobs and 600 permanent jobs. "This project will stimulate economic development in the region, and the people of Lawrence County have consistently said they want the casino to be built," Sainato said. Sainato also told the governor he’s interested in initiatives that help third-class cities such as New Castle address blight. Sainato said the expansion of City Revitalization Improvements Zones (CRIZ) could help New Castle. CRIZ uses state tax revenue produced by jobs created in an economic development project to help finance the project. Sainato said financially distressed communities under Act 47, such as New Castle, must be a priority in Read more

 

State House passes Sainato bill to extend death benefits to Pa. Civil Air Patrol

(Feb 03, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 3 – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives on Tuesday unanimously passed state Rep. Chris Sainato's bill that would extend the same death benefits to members of the Pennsylvania Civil Air Patrol that are available to other emergency responders. The state's Emergency and Law Enforcement Personnel Death Benefits Act provides $100,000 to families of emergency responders who die while performing their duties. The bill authored by Sainato, who serves as Democratic chairman of the Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, would amend the act to include the Civil Air Patrol. The Civil Air Patrol is a federally supported, nonprofit organization that serves as an official civil auxiliary arm of the United States Air Force. It consists of 2,200 volunteers who support emergency service responders across the country by conducting search-and-rescue operations, providing disaster relief and performing homeland security missions. “These volunteers work alongside of police, firefighters and other emergency responders during dangerous situations,” said Sainato, D-Lawrence. “They deserve to have the same benefits as their peers.” Sainato said the Civil Air Patrol has provided valuable assistance in Pennsylvania and other parts of the country. Members of the organization helped communities in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Delaware recover from Hurricane Sandy. They also Read more

 

Sainato sworn in for his 11th term

(Jan 06, 2015)

State Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, was sworn in today during ceremonies at the state Capitol to begin his 11th term in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives serving the 9th Legislative District. The state constitution requires each term of the legislature to begin on the first Tuesday of the year. "I’m honored that residents of the 9th Legislative District have trusted me to continue to represent them in the General Assembly," Sainato said. "It’s an honor to be their voice in Harrisburg.” Demonstrating his commitment to public service, Sainato has not missed a session day since he was first elected. The 9th Legislative District consists of New Castle City, Hickory, Mahoning, Neshannock, North Beaver, Pulaski, Shenango and Union townships and Bessemer, S.N.P.J. and South New Castle boroughs. Sainato has been reappointed by House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody to serve as minority chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee for the 2015-16 legislative session. Sainato said staff at his local office, located at Z-Penn Building, 20 S. Mercer St., New Castle, is available to help constituents with any state-related issue. The phone number is 724-656-1112. Sainato also invites residents to visit his website -- www.pahouse.com/Sainato -- which has links to information on state services and includes a form that allows constituents to e-mail him. Read more

 

Hope for Hannah legislation becomes law

(Dec 28, 2014)

Pennsylvania's children have a new protection thanks to Hannah's Law, named after Hannah Ginion of Bristol Township, who suffered from the rare genetic disorder called Krabbe disease. Hannah passed away on Dec. 28, 2014. Read more

 

Winter 2013 Senior Report

(Dec 03, 2014)

Read Rep. Sainato's Senior Report here. Read more

 

Beware IRS phone scams

(Nov 29, 2014)

Recently, my office received information about phone calls received statewide in which an individual claimed to be from the IRS and demanded payment on taxes owed. Please be aware – this phone call is a scam, and the IRS will NOT initiate first contact with you on the phone about taxes owed. Always be wary of unsolicited phone calls in which an individual claims to represent a business or government entity and aggressively demands payment. The IRS does not operate this way and will always send official correspondence through the mail to make its first contact with you. Read more

 

HEROIN: What you need to know about Pennsylvania’s Good Samaritan Law

(Nov 24, 2014)

Landmark legislation passed during the 2013-14 Legislative Session now allows first responders, including law enforcement, fire fighters, EMS or other organizations the ability to administer a medication known as naloxone, a life-saving opioid-overdose antidote. The law also allows individuals such as friends or family members who might be in a position to help a person at risk of experiencing an opioid-related overdose to obtain a prescription for naloxone. Additionally, Act 139 provides immunity from prosecution for those responding to and reporting overdoses. Read more

 

In the News: Dept. of Human Services name change better reflects mission

(Nov 24, 2014)

House Bill 993, which renamed the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare as the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, was signed into law as Act 132 during the 2013-14 Legislative Session. According to advocates for the change, renaming the department was long overdue, and as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported, the name change better reflects the department’s mission. Read more

 

Do you need help paying heating bills?

(Nov 24, 2014)

As we get into the coldest months of winter, many people are worried about affording their increasing heating costs. If you or someone you know qualifies, my office could help you take advantage of a program set up to curtail high home heating bills. Read more

 

Apply for health insurance by Feb. 16

(Nov 23, 2014)

The open enrollment period for health care coverage is now underway. If you or someone you know is in need of health insurance, please consider visiting the federal Marketplace at www.HealthCare.gov. Applicants have until Feb. 16, 2015 to enroll. Everyone, no matter what age, needs health insurance. A random accident or unexpected illness could put you in danger of losing not only your good health but also your financial future. Read more

 

Sign up for the Do-Not-Call list

(Nov 22, 2014)

To register for the Pennsylvania and national do-not-call lists, visit http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/dnc.aspx or call 1-888-777-3406. Registration is free. There is a rolling enrollment; individuals may sign up at any time and the registration is good for five years. After that, you can re-enroll. And, signing up on Pennsylvania's list automatically adds those numbers to the national do-not-call list. Read more

 

Weatherizing your home saves you money on energy bills

(Nov 20, 2014)

Last year’s bitterly cold winter left many people struggling to pay higher-than-normal home energy bills. As we head toward the coldest months of the year, there are ways you can winterize your home to keep heat in, cold air out, and money in your pocket. Many businesses offer professional home energy audits, but you can perform your own by inspecting areas where heat escapes and cold air leaks in. Read more

 

Check out charities before making holiday donations

(Nov 20, 2014)

While it may be the season for charitable giving, scammers don't take a holiday. The Pennsylvania Department of State offers a simple way to ensure a charity is legitimate and that your donation will be used properly. Read more

 

Fall 2014 Newsletter

(Sep 09, 2014)

Read Rep. Sainato's Fall Newsletter here. Read more

 

Summer 2014 Medical Professionals Legislative Update

(Aug 05, 2014)

Read Rep. Sainato's Medical Professional Legislative Update here. Read more

 

Summer 2014 Sportsmen Report

(Jul 28, 2014)

Read Rep. Sainato's Sportsmen Report here. Read more

 

Summer 2014 Senior Report

(Jul 22, 2014)

Read Rep. Sainato's Senior Report here. Read more

 

Summer 2014 Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee newsletter

(Jul 15, 2014)

Read Rep. Sainato's Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee newsletter here. Read more