Apr. 18, 2019

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Harrisburg Update

A quick look at what’s happening in Harrisburg
and the 125th Legislative District...

Helping to Put More Domestic Abusers Behind Bars

House Republicans are focused on protecting crime victims. This week, the House approved a bill to ensure victims of strangulation get the justice they deserve.

Prior to a 2016 law, strangulation could only be charged as a misdemeanor assault in Pennsylvania. Act 111 made it a criminal offense, and according to law enforcement officials across the state, the law has helped put more domestic abusers behind bars.

House Bill 854 builds on that progress by fully incorporating strangulation into our laws, ensuring any prior strangulation conviction will be recognized and considered in subsequent cases.

The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration. You can learn more about House Republicans protecting victims here.

Pension Forfeiture for Sex Offenses

Working to ensure public officials and employees are held fully accountable for their actions, the House approved legislation this week that would force them to forfeit their taxpayer-funded pensions if they are convicted of committing a sexual offense.

The bill builds on Act 1 of 2019, which requires any public official who is convicted of a felony to forfeit his or her pension.

Under House Bill 991, public employees and officials – including elected officials – would lose their pension if convicted of offenses such as indecent assault, indecent exposure or unlawful dissemination of an intimate image (commonly referred to as revenge porn).

The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

House Passes Bill to Ensure Timely Action on Economic Development Project Funding

Legislation that would require the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) to conduct business six times per year, on specific dates, passed the House overwhelmingly this week.

Current law requires the chairperson, a gubernatorial appointee, to schedule meetings of the board. During the last nine years, meetings of the CFA have been delayed or canceled, for extended timeframes, on five separate occasions.

House Bill 1045 requires the board to meet on the second Tuesday of the months of January, March, May, July, September and November. The chairperson would still have the flexibility to call meetings more frequently than this, as needed.

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Child Safety Legislation Advances to Senate

Legislation that would provide civil immunity for damages that result from entry into a motor vehicle for the purpose of rescuing an individual recently passed the House.

Under House Bill 279, such immunity would be granted based on several criteria, including a belief that the individual is in imminent danger of suffering harm and is unable to exit the motor vehicle without assistance. A reasonable attempt to locate the driver and contact law enforcement or an emergency responder must also be made prior to entry.

The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.

VA to Hold Veterans Information and Health Care Fair in Our Area

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs’ Lebanon VA Medical Center (VAMC) will hold a veterans information and health care enrollment event Thursday, April 25, from 2-4 p.m. at the Schuylkill County VA Clinic.

The event will provide veterans with the opportunity to register for health care on site, learn about the various benefits available, and speak to officials with questions. Veterans interested in on-the-spot enrollment should bring their DD214s, income tax return from 2018 and out-of-pocket household medical expenses from 2018.

The free event is open to the public. For more information about the Lebanon VA Medical Center, visit lebanon.va.gov.

The Schuylkill County VA Clinic is located at 1410 Laurel Blvd., Suite 2, in Pottsville.


Congratulations to the Upper Dauphin Archery team. They took first place at the 2019 state archery tournament. The title is the Trojans’ second in the last three years, and the team also finished second last year.

This week, the team stopped by the Capitol and are pictured above on the Rotunda steps.

Happy Holidays

I want to wish everyone celebrating Easter or Passover Seder this weekend peace, love and to have a blessed and happy holiday.
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Office Locations
988 Route 61 South, East Main Street, Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972 | Phone (toll free) (855) 271-9384
Borough Building, 200 S. West St., Williamstown, PA  Phone (717) 647-7208
4B East Wing, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2147 
Email: mtobash@pahousegop.com
TTY: 855-282-0614