Honoring the Humane Officers of the Year

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Honoring the Humane Officers of the Year

I was proud to host advocates for animal safety this week as the Humane Society of the United States came to the Capitol to present awards to this year’s humane officers of the year. Those celebrated included Ron Hollister as the Humane Officer of the Year, the Pennsylvania SPCA and Officer Nicole Wilson as Humane Officer Team of the Year, and Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman, who was honored with the Humane Law Enforcement Award.

You can watch the awards ceremony here.

Appearing on HHTV

I spent some time with the students at Hatboro-Horsham High School where I was welcomed by the HHTV students who interviewed me. They crafted their questions based on what they thought the majority of the student body wanted to know about their state representative! Stay tuned for the finished video.

Before leaving I had to buy a smoothie from the HottSpot Cafe which is run by life skills students as they sell smoothies and treats to their peers.

A special thanks to these teachers who have dedicated their lives to our next generation and a shout out to the students of Hatboro Horsham High School that have always amazed me!

Promoting Self-Sufficiency with Welfare Work Requirements
To ensure that public assistance programs can benefit those in legitimate need, the House is advancing three measures designed to encourage self-reliance through work experiences. In other states with work requirements, families have seen their incomes double and have been able to follow their dreams of self-sustainability.

Passing the House this week was House Bill 2138, which would require the Department of Human Services (DHS) to institute work or community engagement requirements for able-bodied Medical Assistance recipients. The work requirements include being employed or attending a job training program for 20 or more hours a week or completing 12 job training program-related activities in a month. Exceptions apply for those unable to work.

Also before the House is House Bill 1659, which would require healthy (able-bodied) adults without children to work, perform community service, participate in a work program or be enrolled as a full-time student in order to receive SNAP (food stamp) benefits.

Another bill advancing to help ensure maximum efficiency of welfare programs is House Bill 1618, which would require the forfeiture of any assistance allotments that are unused after a six-month period.

Filling In-Demand Jobs Now and in the Future
To help job creators fill in-demand jobs now and in the future, the House is considering a nine-bill bipartisan package this week seeking to improve career and technical education opportunities and enhance science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curriculum.

The package includes measures to promote public-private partnerships; remove barriers for qualified career and technical educators; expand awareness of training opportunities and future earning potential; increase flexibility for innovative secondary career and technical programs; enhance and promote articulation agreements; develop and maintain a comprehensive online career resource center; coordinate state-level career exploration and workforce development opportunities; improve local and occupational advisory committees; and add K-12 teachers to the membership of the Workforce Development Board.

The package was developed following recommendations made by the House Select Subcommittee on Technical Education and Career Readiness, which was created to study and review the Commonwealth’s career and technical education policy.

The bills are expected to receive a final vote in the House the week of April 30.

More information is available here.  

Keeping Students Aware of College Debt
To help college students track their student loan debt and make more informed decisions about borrowing, legislation passed the state House unanimously this week to require colleges and universities to annually notify students about their debt obligations.

House Bill 2124 would require colleges and universities, which receive federal student loan information for their students, to send letters to students with loans each year, updating them on their current student loan debt level and obligation. The letters would be mailed or emailed in advance of a student’s acceptance of additional funding and would include estimates of the student’s total debt at graduation and projected monthly payments.

Similar legislation in other states has substantially reduced student borrowing and helped students and their families to make more enlightened financial choices.

Outstanding student loan debt in this country has reached an unprecedented $1.3 trillion.

The measure is now with the state Senate for review.
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  4A East Wing, PO Box 202151, Harrisburg PA 17120-2151  |  Phone: 717-260-6163
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