Below is a recap of this week’s legislative activity in the Senate. It covers votes by the full Senate and committee hearings, plus a look ahead.
Also, I’d like to remind constituents that I’ll be holding an open house at our new Northampton County district office on Saturday, April 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The office is located at 2 North Robinson Avenue in Pen Argyl. An RSVP is appreciated but not required. You can RSVP by calling 610-863-1200.
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Scavello Tele-Town Meeting Set for Monday
I’d like to invite 40th Senatorial District residents to join my telephone town hall event Monday, April 20 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. to discuss state and local issues.
The tele-town hall format allows community residents to participate in a discussion on the issues without the need to travel throughout the region. Participants may ask questions or simply remain on the line to listen to the discussion.
The event will also feature a live audio stream page that allows smartphone, tablet and computer users to listen in and submit questions for the Senator online. A link to the live audio stream will be available at http://vekeo.buzz/t0F immediately prior to the event.
I look forward to hearing from citizens throughout our region and having a constructive conversation on the issues that matter most. Whether you want to ask a question or just follow the discussion, I hope residents check it out.
*UPDATE* Identity Theft and Cyber Safety Forums
Due to the lack of responses received for my Identity Theft and Cyber Safety Seminar at Bushkill Fire Company in Nazareth on April 28, this event has been cancelled. The Identity Theft and Cyber Safety Seminar held the following day in Brodheadsville is still on and all are welcome to attend.
The event will take place Wednesday, April 29, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Chestnuthill Park Building, Route 715 in Brodheadsville. I’m co-hosting the seminar with Rep. Jack Rader (R-176), Rep. David Parker (R-115) and Rep. Rosemary Brown (R-189).
Representatives from the Attorney General’s Office will discuss:
Light refreshments will be available. For more information and to register for the forum, please contact my office at 570-620-4326 or e-mail Grace Marks at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senate Passes “Stolen Valor Act” Targeting Military Frauds
The Senate approved legislation imposing penalties on those who falsely wear military awards and decorations.
Senate Bill 43 would prohibit a person from falsely representing oneself as having received a medal or decoration authorized by Congress for the Armed Forces of the United States. In order to be culpable, the person must have the intent to use the false representations to commit fraud, obtain employment or be appointed to public office.
A person who violates the Act would be guilty of committing a third-degree misdemeanor. Enhanced penalties would be available if a person falsely wears a Congressional Medal of Honor, Navy Cross, Air Force Cross, Silver Star or Purple Heart. The bill was sent to the House of Representatives.
Other Bills Sent to the House of Representatives for Consideration
Senate Bill 61 officially recognizes bike medics and permits them to operate their bicycles in the same manner as a police officer on a bicycle.
House Bill 152 amends the Emergency and Law Enforcement Personnel Death Benefit Act by extending the filing period for the death benefit. This bill returns to the House for concurrence on Senate amendments.
Senate Bill 333 provides for state preemption of local mandated leave ordinances.
Senate Bill 485 increases the criminal grading for impersonating a medical doctor and providing medical treatment from a second-degree misdemeanor to a first-degree misdemeanor.
Committee Explores Public Pension Reform Plans
Public pension reform is a top issue for the General Assembly this year. The unfunded liabilities of the State Employees Retirement System and the Public School Employees Retirement System pose one of the greatest budgetary challenges in a generation. Underfunding in previous years, combined with the recession’s impact on pension fund investments have caused skyrocketing pension payments for the state and school districts.
The Senate Finance Committee heard several plans to address the crisis during a Wednesday public hearing on “Proposals to Change the Design of Public Pensions.” You can view the hearing and read testimony here.
The Senate returns to voting session on Monday. You can watch session live at PASenateGOP.com.
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Senate Box 203040
Monroe County Office
Northampton County Office
2 North Robinson Avenue