Oct. 02, 2019

Lebanon Boy No.1 in Tae Kwan Do


In the House chamber, I presented a House citation to 7-year old Joshua Aguirre of Lebanon on his first place showing in the 2019 Costa Rica Open International Tae Kwan Do Championship. This remarkable young man is the youngest Pennsylvanian to earn a black belt in Tae Kwan Do and the third youngest to do so in the nation. The son of Jorge Aguirre and Milena Escolar, Joshua is a student of Master Agustin Cuascut of Cuascut’s Academy of Martial Arts in Lancaster. Congratulations Joshua!
Spreading the Word About Property Tax Elimination


On Monday, I appeared on PCN Call-In where I talked about House Bill 13, my legislation to eliminate school property taxes. During the hour-long program, I answered several thoughtful questions from Pennsylvania residents who wanted to know how the School Property Tax Elimination Act would affect them. The input I have gained on programs such as this and in my travels across the Commonwealth, has helped me to refine my legislation. My bill is not in final form yet. If you have not done so already, please send me your feedback. See RepFrankRyan.com for the latest revision. I also had the opportunity to sit down with WHTM-TV anchor Dennis Owens on This Week in Pennsylvania to discuss my property Tax elimination bill. Visit ABC27.com to see the program that aired on Sept. 30.
Establishing a Victims’ Bill of Rights

The Senate passed legislation that I co-sponsored to get a question before voters’ on establishing a crime victims bill of rights. House Bill 276 would amend the state constitution to ensure crime victims receive information about their rights; receive notification of proceedings related to their cases; can be present at court hearings; be heard at plea and sentencing proceedings; and be treated with fairness, respect and dignity. The Senate passed House Bill 276 by a unanimous vote. The measure now goes before voters in a referendum.
No Public Assistance Funds for Tobacco

The House recently approved House Bill 847, which I co-sponsored, to prohibit the purchase of tobacco products using public assistance funds on electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards. The Human Services Code already prohibits the purchase of liquor and alcohol with EBT cards. Personal funds on EBT cards would be exempt. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.
Supporting PA’s First Responders

The House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee approved several bills designed to address staffing and funding challenges facing volunteer fire and emergency medical services (EMS) companies. The committee approved bills to expand and increase the maximum loan amounts available through the Volunteer Loan Assistance Program, and to reauthorize the Fire and EMS Grant Program administered by the Office of State Fire Commissioner. (House Bills 1448, 1816 and 1834) Two other measures aim to address stress management and post-traumatic stress injuries for first responders. (House Bills 432 and 1459)  House Bill 1839 would authorize counties to offer a property tax credit for volunteer first responders as an incentive to get more people involved in the emergency services. To help rural EMS providers, House Bill 1869 would allow the Department of Health to grant waivers for staffing requirements on a Basic Life Support (BLS) service ambulance in sixth- through eighth-class counties. Finally, House Bill 1838 would increase funding for the Emergency Medical Services Operating Fund and require 30% of the funds to be used to provide training to underserved rural areas and 10% of the funds to be used for medical equipment for ambulances. The bills are awaiting action in the full House.
State Issues Warning About New Mosquito-Transmitted Disease

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) was been confirmed in Erie, Carbon and Monroe counties. The Pennsylvania Departments of Agriculture and Health have issued warnings aimed at protecting people and animals – particularly horses – from exposure to the potentially deadly virus, which is carried by mosquitoes. Because of the high mortality rate in horses and humans, EEE is regarded as one of the most serious mosquito-borne diseases in the United States. Through mid-September, there have been 18 cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control with the majority of the cases in the northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. Some have been fatal. The symptoms of EEE include a high fever of 103-106 degrees, stiff neck, headache and lack of energy. The symptoms typically show up three to 10 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito and can progress quickly. When outside, take steps to protect against mosquito bites by consistently using DEET-containing insect repellants and covering exposed skin with lightweight clothing. To reduce mosquito populations around your home, eliminate sources of standing water, such as containers and pots, wading pools, bird baths, gutters and more. Read more here.