Jul. 26, 2019

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The Weekly Roundup
 The latest news from the State Capitol
 
Clean Slate Law Offers Second Chances

The new, automatic sealing of criminal records 10 years or older is now in effect under the state’s Clean Slate Act. Officials expect to process 2.5 million records per month over the next year.

The Clean Slate Act created an automated computer process to seal arrests that did not result in convictions within 60 days, summary convictions after 10 years, and some second- and third-degree misdemeanor convictions if there are no subsequent convictions for a period of 10 years. Certain first-degree misdemeanors can be sealed by petition.

The law is designed to ensure that people who have turned their lives around are not haunted by minor, nonviolent indiscretions that occurred a decade earlier. The law does not apply to violent offenses related to endangerment of a person; firearms or other dangerous articles; sexual offenses and registration; cruelty to animals; and corruption of minors.

The House is considering additional criminal justice reforms this session, including House Bill 1555 which would make a series of probation and parole reforms, and House Bill 1477, which would ensure past convictions are not prohibiting someone from obtaining occupational licensure, unless the conviction is related to the career field.
 
 
New Law Will Help People Stay on Track with Medications

Recognizing the challenges some patients face in staying on track with their medications, the General Assembly has adopted a new state law to make it a little easier.

Act 46 of 2019 will allow consumers to synchronize the refilling of their prescriptions, meaning they can pick up all of their medications on one day rather than having to make multiple trips to the pharmacy. This will be especially helpful for senior citizens, busy families and others who have limited transportation options.

The law, which takes effect next summer, will enable consumers to synchronize their prescription refills and bar insurance companies from denying coverage for a partial fill of a script in order to facilitate medication synchronization. Thirty-five other states have enacted or introduced similar legislation.
 
 
National Guard Parity Bill Now Law

Working to ensure equity for the dedicated members of the Pennsylvania National Guard, a new law requires them to be compensated at the same level as their U.S. military counterparts.

Specifically, the law requires pay for deputy adjutant generals and general officers in command positions permanently employed by the Commonwealth be equivalent to the federal military base pay. In addition to specifying the eligibility requirements and conditions for the pay increase, this new law also determines how the cost-of-living adjustment is to be calculated.

Under previous law, the Pennsylvania National Guard adjutant general and uniformed deputy adjutant generals earned significantly less than their active duty counterparts, though they maintain the same military standards and comparable senior executive responsibilities.
 
 
Attention, Area Veterans

Free assistance is available to area veterans and their families at my district office in Coopersburg on Friday, Aug. 2. A veterans outreach specialist from the American Legion will be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to answer questions about veteran benefits and help file claims.

Please call (610) 282-0160 to schedule an appointment. The office is located at 21 N. Main Street, Unit 9, in the borough.
 
 
Emergency Programs Can Save Lives

Drivers are reminded of two voluntary programs aimed at saving the lives of residents in emergency situations. Participation in both programs is free of charge.

Under PennDOT’s Yellow Dot program, participants fill out the program form with emergency contact, medical contact and medical information, insert it in the program’s folder and then place it in their vehicle’s glove compartment. A yellow dot sticker affixed to the rear window alerts emergency responders to the availability of information to help them provide better care to crash victims.

The Emergency Contact Information program offers Pennsylvania driver’s license and PennDOT-issued ID holders the opportunity to log into a secure database and list two emergency contacts. Participants can update their records as needed, but only law enforcement officials can view the information in the system. In the event of an emergency, law enforcement can use a participant’s ID to find his or her emergency contact information.

The Yellow Dot program is used only in vehicle crashes, but the Emergency Contact Information program can be used in other emergencies as well as crashes.
 
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RepSimmons.com
 
Office Locations
21 N. Main Street, Unit 9, Coopersburg, PA 18036 | Phone: (610) 282-0160
191 Main St., Suite 104, Emmaus, PA 18049 I Phone: (610) 965-5830
 56 W. Fourth St., Second Floor, Red Hill, PA 18076 I Phone: (215) 679-3152
5 East Wing, PO Box 202131, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2131 | (717) 783-1673
Email: jsimmons@pahousegop.com
TTY: 855-282-0614 
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