Mar. 24, 2017

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Weekly Roundup
#Listrak\DateStampLong# The latest news from the State Capitol

Is PA Ready for Self-Driving Cars?

 
With highly automated vehicle technology currently being tested in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania could be at the forefront of this type of transportation, even though state law never anticipated this advancement.

That’s why members of the House and Senate Transportation committees learned more about highly automated vehicles, known as driverless or self-driving cars, during a joint hearing on Tuesday. The goal involves striking the right balance between encouraging innovation and ensuring public safety.

The hearing featured testimony from the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the Pennsylvania State Police, Carnegie Mellon University, Uber, General Motors, the Global Automakers, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania.

Experts in the field have said that driverless cars can lead to greater safety, mobility, innovation and economic development. Several of the cars were also on display after the hearing. 
 
 
Working to Protect Children from the Effects of Opioid Abuse

 
My colleagues and I on the House Children and Youth Committee approved legislation on Wednesday that would establish a task force to investigate the opioid abuse epidemic’s impact on infants and children. The bill now heads to the full state House for consideration.

You can view the bill by clicking here.  
 
Discount Vehicle Registration to Expand to More Retirees

 
More retirees on fixed incomes would be able to apply for discount vehicle registrations under legislation that passed the House on Tuesday.

Currently, PennDOT offers a vehicle registration at a discounted rate of $10 to retirees who receive Social Security or other pension income that does not exceed $19,200 annually. Only one vehicle per person may be registered at the discounted rate.

House Bill 188 would increase the income limit to $23,500, the same threshold set for the state’s PACENET prescription drug assistance program. The income limit for the program was last increased in 1998. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

Additional information about the existing program is available at dmv.pa.gov.
 
 
Monroe County Vietnam Veterans Memorial Dedication Set for March 29
 

Attention, local veterans! The dedication of the Monroe County Vietnam Veterans Memorial is set for Wednesday, March 29, at 11 a.m. in the Monroe County Courthouse Square. All are welcome to attend.
 
Celebrating Women’s History

 
To celebrate the contributions of women throughout the Commonwealth’s history, House Resolution 88 recognizes March as National Women’s History Month in Pennsylvania.

This year’s theme is Honoring Trailblazing Women in Labor and Business, which recognizes women who have successfully challenged the role of women in both business and the paid labor force and demonstrated that women can succeed in leadership roles in whatever jobs and careers they pursue.

House Resolution 88 passed the House unanimously on March 20.

For more information, click here.
 
 
Around Our Community

Today, Devereux Pocono hosted its 5th annual Intellectual Disability Awareness Month celebration. Devereux works with individuals with intellectual disabilities and provides behavioral health, life-sharing programs, school-to-work initiatives and other programs. Pictured with me are Rep. Madden, Taylor Munoz from Sen. Mario Scavello’s office, Joshua Walker from Rep. Rosemary Brown’s office, Andrew Seder from Sen. Lisa Baker’s office, Gina Ehrhardt from Rep. Mike Peifer’s office along with representatives from Devereux Pocono.

This week, the Greater Pocono Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual Economic Outlook Dinner in Stroudsburg. Economist Dr. Jay Bryson discussed the economic forecast locally, nationwide and globally, and answered questions from members of the community.
 
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