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E-mail:  mtobash@pahousegop.com

District Office
988 East Main Street
Suite A
Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972
Phone: 570-385-8235
Toll-free: 855-271-9384
Hours: Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 4 pm

Williamstown District Office
Borough Building
200 S. West St., Williamstown
Phone: 717-647-7208
Hours: Mondays and Wednesdays 8:30 am to 4 pm

Capitol Office
4B East Wing
PO Box 202125
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2125
Phone: 717-260-6148

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Investing in Education
2/22/2019
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Harrisburg Update

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


Preparing PA Students for Careers


 
This week, legislation I sponsored was one of a package of bipartisan career and technical education bills unveiled by the House Education Committee.

House Bill 522 would provide tax credits to businesses that contribute to career and technical partnership organizations. Business contributions can be used to provide career and technical scholarships or to purchase industry standard equipment. This program is unique yet modeled after successful elements of the Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program (EITC).

There are almost 200,000 unfilled skilled jobs in Pennsylvania. This bill will partner business investment with our career and technical education students and secondary and postsecondary institutions to fill those position and grow our Commonwealth’s economy.

My colleagues and I have worked hard on this package of bills. They include:

House Bill 265, which would expand the online database that allows students to plan where courses, programs, certificates and diplomas transfer among public schools and institutions of higher education.
House Bill 297, which would direct the State Department of Education to develop materials outlining workforce needs.
House Bill 334, which would expedite the approval of important educational programs to respond better to industry and workforce demands.

House Bills 393, 394, 395 and 396 will be introduced soon.

In order to grow our economy, it is imperative that we connect our education system with the needs of job creators.
                         

Good Jobs for PA: Focusing on Careers, Not Minimum Wage

 
A key to economic success for all Pennsylvanians and the Commonwealth as a whole is to ensure our students and workers are prepared to fill the good-paying jobs of today and tomorrow.

The career and technical education bills highlighted in the above article are a key component of the House Republican #GoodJobs4PA initiative unveiled earlier this week. The initiative focuses on efforts to enhance our workforce development system to help students, under-employed and unemployed adults, as well as returning military veterans and others enter fulfilling, family-sustaining careers.

The bills aim to address the skills gap and worker shortages faced by industries across the state, as well as enhance educational programs and access to those opportunities for workers of all ages.

The launch coincided with the governor signing an executive order to create the Keystone Economic Development and Workforce Command Center. The center is charged with addressing barriers to employment and enhancing cooperation among education and workforce development entities.
 

Improving the Do-Not-Call List

 
Helping Pennsylvanians cut down on the number of telemarketing calls they receive is the goal of House Bill 318, which was passed this week.

The bill gives Pennsylvanians the ability to sign up for the state’s telemarketing “do-not-call” list without requiring them to re-register every five years.

The bill also aims to cut down on the annoyance of telemarketing calls during holidays by banning telemarketing calls on legal holidays. It would also ban the use of calls from computerized auto-dialers (robocalls).

The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.
 

PA Supreme Court Delays Venue Shopping Rule

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court decided to hold off on its consideration of a proposal to repeal a rule that was enacted in 2002 to prevent venue shopping in medical malpractice cases. Repealing the rule would negatively impact access to health care statewide.

In the early 2000s lawyers could maneuver malpractice cases to Philadelphia courts, all but guaranteeing vastly higher payouts and a much higher volume than the rest of the Commonwealth. As a result, premiums for medical malpractice insurance skyrocketed for all doctors, regardless of whether they practiced in Philadelphia or not.

Repealing that rule could lead to patients having to say goodbye to their physicians or patients having to drive great distances for care. Additionally, recruiting physicians and specialists would be difficult, and medical innovations may be halted.

Recently, the House Majority Policy Committee held a public hearing and learned the reduction in filings demonstrates that the tort reform measures enacted more than 15 years ago by the Legislature and the Supreme Court are working. Testifiers said this pending proposal would reverse progress that has been made to ensure health care access for all Pennsylvanians.
 

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful (KPB) is inviting us to adopt local roads, waterways, parks and other areas to help keep them litter free as part of the KPB Adoption Program.

Although we have not seen many signs of spring, you probably have caught glimpses of the trash lining our roads, neighborhoods and waterways. It is never too early to start planning a spring cleanup of the places you care about.

By joining the statewide adoption program, local areas such as municipal roads, communities, parks, neighborhood blocks, greenways, waterways and trails can be formally adopted and cared for by local individuals or groups. The commitment is two cleanups per year and in turn, the organization provides a sign recognizing the group’s efforts.

The KPB adoption program helps to mitigate the costs associated with cleaning up by encouraging residents to take ownership of their neighborhoods.

For more information on programs, initiatives and special events, visit the KPB website at keeppabeautiful.org.
 
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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 
 
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