Ready to Get to Work in New House Session
On Tuesday, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives convened so that the oath of office could be administered to House members. The House is now comprised of 110 Republicans and 91 Democrats, including 43 first-term members. There are two vacancies.
On swearing-in day, the House also unanimously selected Rep. Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) as speaker of the House for the third consecutive session. The day also included certification of election results and adoption of rules that will govern the chamber.
Keep up with the latest news at reppeifer.com
where you can follow information regarding session at the Capitol or district related information.
PA Farm Show Starts on Saturday
Just a reminder, the 103rd Pennsylvania Farm Show will kick off Saturday, Jan. 5, and run through Saturday, Jan. 12. This year’s theme is “Inspiring Pennsylvania’s Story.”
In addition to all the delicious food offerings, the Farm Show features 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 300 commercial exhibitors.
Admission to the show is free, but parking is $15 per vehicle. Shuttle service is provided.
If you’re participating in or attending the Farm Show, take your camera or phone along and snap some photos. You can share your memories and photos on my Facebook page at facebook.com/reppeifer
. And when you’re posting the photos, don’t forget to insert the hashtag #PAFS19.
More information is available at farmshow.pa.gov
New Law Cracks Down on Repeat DUI Offenders
A new law cracking down on habitual DUI offenders is now in effect. Statistics show repeat offenders cause 40 percent of all DUI-related crashes.
Pennsylvania was previously one of four states that did not punish repeat DUIs as felonies.
Act 153 of 2018
fixes that by increasing penalties for repeated DUI crimes.
Under the new law, any individual convicted of his or her third DUI with a BAC of 0.16 or higher could be found guilty of a felony offense.
The same penalty would apply to all individuals convicted of four or more DUI offenses.
Repeat offenders who are convicted of homicide while DUI now face a minimum prison sentence of five or seven years, up from the previous three-year minimum.
Increased Funding to Aid Ambulance Services
Ambulance companies across Pennsylvania will see a much-needed increase in Medicaid reimbursement rates this year.
Approved as part of the 2018-19 budget, reimbursement rates have increased from $200 to not less than $300 for Advanced Life Support (ALS) services and from $120 to $180 for Basic Life Support (BLS) services, effective Jan. 1.
The increases, to be funded by $4 million in state funds and approximately $8 million in federal matching funds, are necessary to help meet growing costs faced by the Commonwealth’s emergency medical service providers. It is the first increase since 2004.
To further support these life-saving services, another new law, Act 103 of 2018
, requires both private insurers and Medicaid to reimburse for treatment provided regardless of whether transport takes place. This is a common occurrence with patients suffering with diabetes as well as for drug overdose calls.
Additional initiatives to shore up the state’s fire and emergency response organizations were outlined in a recent report released under Senate Resolution 6 of 2017
. The report includes 92 concepts incorporated into 27 recommendations to address challenges in the fire and EMS communities, with most of them focused on staffing, funding and training needs.
Representative Mike Peifer
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Abby Krueger