-HARRISBURG UPDATES -
By Rep. Anita Kulik
With elections coming up, the end of this session cycle is approaching in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
Any bills – and there are hundreds – which did not receive consideration in the past two years, will effectively “die” in committee.
Numerous other bills came out of committees and will hopefully be considered by the senate and the governor before the session year ends.
With only a couple of weeks left in Harrisburg, the house considered several bills for floor vote.
Every once in a while, we come across a law that at one point in our state’s history had relevance, but now seems oddly out of place.
Act 49 of 1933 is one such law. This law prohibited any person, association, etc. from staging or engaging in any baseball or football games on a Sunday before 2 p.m. or after 6 p.m. unless the voters in the municipality had voted in favor of such games on a Sunday.
The penalty for violating this prohibition was a fine not to exceed $10, which back in 1933 would have been a rather large sum. If you failed to pay the fine, you could go to jail for up to five days.
This past week, close to 90 years after passage, the House voted to repeal this law. Could any of us imagine a Sunday without the NFL or youth games?
Applying for medical assistance, especially for the elderly and their families can be a daunting task.
Nursing home residents are especially vulnerable to uncertainties and misunderstandings. Most people do not understand the process of protecting assets when entering a nursing home, nor do they understand their rights with regards to their assets.
While nursing facilities provide information for residents, it has not been clear to patients or their families that they have the right to consult an attorney at these critical times.
House Bill 1693, which passed from the House, will require a notice to a resident of a nursing home that they reserve the right to consult and hire an attorney of their choice to apply for medical assistance.
Understanding the process of applying for assistance and what assets are subject to disclosure is confusing for most of us.
This bill will make it clear to those entering care and their families that they have a right to talk to a lawyer and seek aid outside of the facility before signing away assets.
The House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee met and addressed issues of importance to our first responders.
With rising costs of operations, supplies and training, some of our fire and EMS departments, along with their municipal governments are making hard decisions on either mergers or closures. For some of our smaller municipalities, these are the realities.
Fire and emergency medical service companies across the state apply yearly for grants which are automatically given when the company applies.
The concern had been that when there is a merger, the “new” company loses out on the grant from a former company.
A law had previously been passed that allowed the merged company to receive the grant from the former company for a period of 10 years.
The house has now passed a bill to allow this to continue in perpetuity. Once passed into law, this will provide much-needed help to our first responders.