Working to Pass My Gun Reform Legislation
8/17/2018

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Working to Pass My Gun Reform Legislation
 
I’ve spent much of the summer meeting with colleagues to encourage them to support my bill to help families and law enforcement better prevent suicides and gun violence.

Now that House Bill 2227 has been voted out of the House Judiciary Committee, I’m hoping to have the bill considered by the full House of Representatives when we return to session in September.

House Bill 2227 would create an Extreme Risk Protective Order (ERPO) to allow a court to take precautions when provided with clear and convincing evidence a subject poses an extreme risk to themselves or others. If a court issues an ERPO prohibiting an individual from possessing firearms, that information would be promptly submitted to the Pennsylvania State Police to prevent the individual from purchasing firearms as well.

Under this bill, a court could immediately issue a temporary ERPO, but it must follow up with a full expedited hearing where the subject of the order may participate and offer evidence and testimony before a final order is issued. Final orders must be as short as safety allows but may not last more than one year.

Approximately two-thirds of all gun deaths are suicides in Pennsylvania. Sadly, we lose almost 1,000 people to firearms suicide each year in Pennsylvania-- that’s nearly three people every day!

A recent study found that when similar legislation was enacted in Indiana and Connecticut, suicides by firearms dropped by 7.5 percent and 13.6 percent respectively.

We must get my bill through the House and on to the Senate.
 

Fire, EMS Grant Program to Open First Week of September
Fire companies and ambulance services throughout Pennsylvania are encouraged to apply for the 2018-19 Fire Company, Emergency Medical Services Companies Grant Program from the Office of State Fire Commissioner.

The application period will open the first week of September and remain open for 45 days. Exact dates will be listed at osfc.pa.gov closer to the grant application period opening.

Grants may be used for construction or renovation of a unit’s station, the purchase or repair of equipment, training or debt reduction. The maximum grant amount is $15,000 for fire companies and $10,000 for volunteer ambulance services.

A total of $30 million will be awarded through the program, which is funded by state gaming proceeds.

For more information about the program, click here.
 

Be Smart About Financial Aid
 
The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) is encouraging college-bound students and their families to visit MySmartBorrowing.org to help make informed choices about student loans.

This free, easy-to-use tool helps users understand how different career, school and financial decisions can influence the cost of an education and their ability to repay student loans, while maintaining a comfortable lifestyle long after graduation.

The site was recently updated with enhanced college and career projection data through 2026. This includes expected college costs for various majors at different schools and future employment opportunities and salary levels for different careers and geographic locations.

This data helps provide a personalized look at a student’s potential cost of attendance at different schools, while highlighting salary expectations for a particular degree and future employment prospects. Students are encouraged to use the site more than once so they can compare different scenarios, using different schools and careers, to see how the choices they make can affect their futures.

For more information about financial aid opportunities, visit PHEAA.org.
 
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  515 Stump Road, North Wales, PA 19454 |  Phone: 215-368-5165
  4A East Wing, PO Box 202151, Harrisburg PA 17120-2151  |  Phone: 717-260-6163
  Email:  Tstephen@pahousegop.com
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