Feb. 27, 2020 / Weekly Roundup

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The Weekly Roundup
#Listrak\DateStampLong#  The latest news from the State Capitol
Local Schools to Receive $200K in Safety and Security Grants

Yesterday I was proud to announce that the School Safety and Security Committee has awarded $200,000 in School Safety and Security Grants to school districts in the 131st Legislative District.

Those school districts receiving grants are:

• East Penn School District – $45,000.
• Salisbury School District – $35,000.
• Saucon Valley School District – $40,000.
• Southern Lehigh School District – $40,000.
• Upper Perkiomen School District – $40,000.

This funding will make possible the necessary acquisition of security equipment and improvements to safety training that will make the schools of tomorrow safer environments for our children to learn and grow.

More information is available on my website at www.RepSimmons.com.  
Lawmakers Continue Study of Governor’s Budget Proposal

My colleagues in the House Appropriations Committee this week continued their work to dissect the governor’s $36 billion budget proposal for the 2020-21 fiscal year. The committee set its sights on eliminating waste and standing up for the taxpayers who foot the bill for the state’s spending.

Several departments with major impacts on the budget and the lives of all Pennsylvanians appeared before the committee this week, including the departments of Environmental Protection, Conservation and Natural Resources, Transportation, Agriculture, Health, and Community and Economic Development.

The final week of hearings is focused primarily on education and human services, the two largest state agencies in terms of funding.

To view a schedule of future committee hearings, or to access live streams and archived video, click here.

Additional information about the 2020-21 state budget proposal may be found here.
Health Committee Examines Prescription Drug Pricing

Recognizing the importance of making health care costs in Pennsylvania more transparent, more competitive and more affordable, the House Health Committee held a public hearing Tuesday to examine the impact of prescription drug pricing on patients.

The hearing featured testimony from Sarah Edmond, executive vice president of the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review; Jane Horvath, senior fellow at the National Academy for State Health Policy; Lauren Neves, director of policy for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA); and Antonio Ciaccia, CEO of 46 Brooklyn Research, which studies prescription drug pricing.

To watch the hearing in its entirety, click here.
Free Admission at Several State Museums for Charter Day

Celebrate Charter Day next Sunday, March 8, with free admission to the State Museum in Harrisburg and many historic sites and museums along the Pennsylvania Trails of History.

In honor of the Commonwealth’s 339th birthday, visitors to The State Museum of Pennsylvania will have a rare opportunity to see the original Charter of Pennsylvania written in 1681.

Additionally, in recognition of the 150th anniversary of the passage of the 15th Amendment, the Pennsylvania State Archives will exhibit two rarely seen documents: Pennsylvania’s Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery (1780) and the state’s ratification of the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (1869), which ensured the right of American men to vote, regardless of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” The documents will be on display until 1 p.m. Friday, March 13.

For more information about Charter Day activities, including a full list of participating museums and historic sites, click here.
Website Helps Voters Learn New County Voting Systems

With the Commonwealth’s April 28 primary election about two months away, the Department of State has launched 67 new webpages – one for each county – where voters can learn specifics about their county’s voting system and how to use it.

Each webpage includes a description of a county’s voting system along with photos and videos that guide voters through a step-by-step process of how to use it. The webpages also include accessibility information for voters with disabilities and contact information for county election offices if voters have additional questions.

The county webpages are part of the Department of State’s Ready to Vote 2020 initiative, which aims to educate voters about new voting systems and other changes enacted by the Legislature under Act 77 of 2019. Those changes include:
  •   Vote by mail-in ballot.
  •   Extended periods of time to submit absentee ballots and applications.
  •   Extended periods of time to register to vote.

For more information on voting in Pennsylvania, including key dates for upcoming elections, visit the Department of State’s website at www.votespa.com.
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