|New Legislation to Improve Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority
The stability of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) to serve its customers requires fiscal responsibility and best practices, both of which are lacking. That is why my House colleague Harry Readshaw (D-Allegheny) and I will be introducing legislation to place the PWSA under the oversight of the Public Utility Commission (PUC).
The PSWA faces many service issues. They include multi-million dollar debt, unmetered accounts, incorrect billing, system leaks, and noncompliance with federal water quality mandates. Additionally, the system has thousands of lead service lines, many of which have not been identified or located. These issues call into serious question the sustainability of PWSA and the health and safety of those served by the system.
Recently, I was interviewed by Robert Mangino, reporter, at KDKA NewsRadio 1020 in Pittsburgh. Click here to listen to my thoughts.
Memorial Day 2017
I was honored to participate in Memorial Day ceremonies at the Richland Township Community Park in Bakerstown. We should be grateful and humbled by the men and women who sacrificed their lives serving in our nation’s military.
Major U.S. Petrochemical Conference to take place in Pittsburgh
This summer, on June 19 and 20, executive stakeholders of petrochemical sector development in the Northeast region will gather for the 2nd annual Northeast U.S. Petrochemical Construction Conference in Pittsburgh. Organizers of the conference specifically chose Pittsburgh due to the tremendous opportunity that exists in Southwestern Pennsylvania, as a result of Shell’s Beaver County cracker plant.
The agenda will include discussions and analyses of how the region’s transport and feedstock infrastructure will be built up, strategies for successful project execution, the best way to assemble a supply chain if you are an employer and the best way to win a place in one if you are a contractor or manufacturer. They will also look at the need to create a skilled workforce.
I am honored to be invited to address the group and look forward to meeting with them on Monday morning, June 19.
More information about the conference can be found here.
Keeping Children Safe from Online Sexual Predators
The House approved legislation to allow the state attorney general and district attorneys to continue to have the authority to use information pertaining to child sex predators transmitting child pornography.
This bill was first enacted in 2014 but included a sunset date of Dec. 31, 2007. House Bill 561 would remove the sunset date and give this authority to prosecutors permanently.
Since its enactment, this law has been a vital tool for law enforcement to make it easier to track child sex predators.
The bill is with the Senate for review.
Strengthening Penalties for DUI
Recently, the House passed legislation to strengthen penalties for those who have been convicted of DUI and continue to operate a vehicle under a suspended driver’s license.
House Bill 1049 would create a tiered system that increases the fines and sentences with each subsequent offense. Those sentence enhancements would range from a $1,000 fine and minimum 90-day jail term for a second offense, to a $5,000 fine and no less than two years in jail for a fourth offense.
In addition, the legislation would allow a judge to impose a maximum five-year jail sentence if the offender is also convicted of homicide by vehicle.
The bill is now with the Senate.
New Immunization Requirements for PA Schools This Fall
The Pennsylvania Department of Health has issued a new regulation to revise Pennsylvania’s school immunization requirements for the 2017-18 school year.
The new rules require parents to get their children fully immunized prior to the fifth day of school or the students will be excluded from school. Previously, parents had eight months to meet school immunization requirements.
If a student is in the middle of an immunization series and it is too soon for the next dose, the parents must provide the school nurse with a written plan, signed by their health care provider, within the first five days of school.
For more information, contact your health care provider, visit health.pa.gov or call 1-877-PA-HEALTH.