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Senator Mario Scavello


In this Edition:

  • Delay of Keystone Exam Graduation Requirement Sent to Governor
  • Bill Provides Options for Schools to Meet State 180-Day Requirement
  • Committee Approves Scavello Bill Defining Three-Wheeled “Autocycles”
  • Committee Approves Bill Reducing General Assembly Size
  • Scavello, American Legion Offer Monthly Veterans Assistance Days at Tannersville District Office
  • Join Senator Scavello on Pocono 96.7 Every Thursday
  • Delay of Keystone Exam Graduation Requirement Sent to Governor

Delay of Keystone Exam Graduation Requirement Sent to Governor

1/20/16 - Senate Bill 880 (Delaying Keystone Exams by Two Years)

The Senate concurred Wednesday on House amendments to legislation delaying the graduation requirement associated with the state’s end-of-course tests.

Senate Bill 880, which I co-sponsored, delays the implementation of the Keystone Exams (algebra, biology and literature) as a graduation requirement until the 2018-2019 school year. It now goes to the Governor for his signature and enactment into law.

I have opposed the use of the Keystone Exam as a graduation requirement for years. Although SB 880 does not propose to get rid of the graduation requirement, only delay its implementation, I view the legislation as a positive step forward in our efforts to reduce the amount of time students spend on preparing for tests, the actual assessments and any post-remediation that is necessary.

With that said, I think it’s important for us to acknowledge that while this legislation technically provides a two-year delay in the graduation requirement, in practice it’s only one year. Thousands of high schoolers are halfway through their junior year.

I wish we could have passed SB 880 over the summer so these students wouldn’t have lost out on valuable educational opportunities that enrich their lives and drive their enthusiasm for learning. I hope that as we examine whether the graduation requirement should stand for 2019, we don’t make this same mistake again.


Bill Provides Options for Schools to Meet State 180-Day Requirement

The Senate approved a measure on Wednesday that would give schools greater flexibility to meet the state’s 180-day requirements for classroom instruction after emergency and weather-related closings.

House Bill 158 would provide potential scheduling options for school entities facing extended closings that include a school year with a minimum number of hours of instruction, in lieu of the 180-day requirement, and approving additional instruction days on not more than one Saturday a month.

The bill returns to the House of Representatives for concurrence on Senate amendments.

The Senate also approved and sent to the House Senate Bill 936, which provides for a one-time fee of $50 to cover the employer’s costs in setting up the wage garnishment to comply with the enforcement of a child support order.


Committee Approves Scavello Bill Defining Three-Wheeled “Autocycles”

Legislation I sponsored to establish a legal definition for increasingly popular, three-wheeled “autocycles” was unanimously approved Wednesday by the Senate Transportation Committee.

Senate Bill 1108 will make clearer the distinction between these newly developed three-wheeled vehicles with two forward wheels and the more recognizable three-wheeled, trike-style motorcycles which have been around for many years. Models of the newer vehicles include the Tanom Motors “Invader” and the Polaris “Slingshot.”

Specifically, the legislation will define these vehicles as an autocycle and register and title them by creating a special designation under the existing motorcycle definition.

This effort will help to clarify crash reporting statistics, assist law enforcement with determining which laws to enforce, and ultimately, provide a safer environment on the road. Additionally, under this legislation the autocycle would be operated with a motor vehicle license instead of a motorcycle license, due to the likeness in vehicle configuration and driving experience with a traditional motor vehicle.

The measure was sent to the full Senate for consideration.


Committee Approves Bill Reducing General Assembly Size

The Senate State Government Committee approved legislation that would reduce the size of the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

Senate Bill 488, which would decrease the Senate from 50 to 45 Senatorial Districts and the House of Representatives from 203 to 153 districts. The proposed change requires an amendment to the state constitution, which means the same bill must be debated and passed by both the House and Senate in two consecutive sessions, and subsequently approved by referendum vote of the people of Pennsylvania.

The committee also approved House Bill 153, a Constitutional amendment to reduce the size of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to 153 members, and House Bill 1484, legislation to further preserve Soldiers’ Grove, located across the street from the Capitol Complex.

All three bills now go to the full Senate for consideration.

Click here to watch the meeting and review testimony.


Scavello, American Legion Offer Monthly Veterans Assistance Days at Tannersville District Office

On the second Tuesday of each month, the American Legion holds a Veterans Assistance Day at our Tannersville district office.

The district office is located at 2989 Route 611, Suite 103 in Tannersville.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., a service officer with the American Legion Pennsylvania Department will be on site to assist veterans with issues including: compensation and pension claims, education benefits, enrollment in the VA health care system, burial and survivor benefits, state benefits, and obtaining military personnel and medical records.

Veterans do not need to be a member of the American Legion to receive these services. Please contact the Tannersville office to schedule an appointment at 570-620-4326.


Join Senator Scavello on Pocono 96.7 Every Thursday

Senator Scavello

Please join me Thursdays on Pocono 96.7 on “Gary in the Morning” in the car, at work, or in your home. Call in to ask your questions at 7 a.m.

You can listen online here.


Next Week

The Senate returns to voting session on Monday. You can watch session live at PASenateGOP.com.


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Offices

Senate Box 203040
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3040
Phone: (717) 787-6123
Fax: (717) 772-3695

Monroe County Office

DePue Plaza
2989 Route 611, Suite 103
Tannersville, PA 18372
Phone: (570) 620-4326
FAX: (570) 620-4379
Monday - Friday
9 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Northampton County Office

2 North Robinson Avenue
Pen Argyl, PA 18072
Phone: (610) 863-1200
FAX: (610) 863-1214
9 a.m.- 5 p.m.

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