Fighting Drug and Alcohol Addiction
12/14/2018
New Tool to Fight Drug and Alcohol Addiction

Building on the work of lawmakers to develop policies to combat the opioid crisis, the Departments of Drug and Alcohol Programs and Human Services recently unveiled a Drug and Alcohol Referral Tool (DART) to help individuals identify drug and alcohol treatment options and support services for themselves or a loved one.

DART is not a diagnostic assessment and does not gauge eligibility for any programs. It is designed to assist people who are looking for services but are not sure where to begin. Users get the results based off their answers to survey questions. They can skip a question at any point.

After completing the questionnaire, people can email, download, and/or print their results. The tool does not ask for any identifying information.

The tool is a free, anonymous resource and can be found here.

I am hopeful we can gain the momentum needed and drive the resources out that will be necessary to appropriately battle this health care crisis that is claiming lives of every race, gender, age and economic background across our country.
 
 
Firefighter of the Year


 

My congratulations to Todd Skirble for being named Firefighter of the Year at the Town of McCandless Fire and Rescue Services 20th annual appreciation banquet. Todd is with the Peebles District Volunteer Fire Company. We are pictured with Cindy Kirk, Allegheny County Councilwoman.
 
 
Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce Dinner


 

This week, I had an outstanding time at the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce dinner. The chamber holds three legislative receptions throughout the year with stakeholders and regional policymakers to help strengthen relationships between our region’s business community and elected officials. It was nice discussing our legislative agenda and getting input on how to make Pennsylvania a better place to work and live. Picture with me are (from left) Allegheny County Councilmen Sam DeMarco and Tom Baker, and Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce President Matt Smith.
   
 
Clean Slate Law Ready to Take Effect


Pennsylvania was the first state in the nation to enact “clean slate” legislation. Residents with low-level offenses on their records who have gone 10 years without a subsequent arrest, prosecution or conviction will have their records automatically sealed under this new law.

Act 56 of 2018 allows records of second- and third-degree misdemeanor criminal convictions to be automatically sealed after a 10-year period without subsequent offenses. The new law does not apply to violent offenses or those committed with a firearm or other dangerous item; sexual offenses; cruelty to animals; or corruption of minors.

This legislation balances the opportunity for low-level, nonviolent offenders to move forward, while at the same time not shielding the records of violent criminals.

The law will go into effect later this month.
 
 
House Scholarships Now Available

High school seniors interested in receiving financial assistance to help pay for college can now apply for a 2019 Pennsylvania House of Representatives Scholarship.

Each year the program awards four-year scholarships to two students preparing for post-secondary education.

The program is open to graduating high school seniors who are Pennsylvania residents with plans to attend a Pennsylvania college, university or career school as a full-time student.

Students must have attained a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average in high school in order to be eligible for a scholarship. The application is available through the foundation’s website at tfec.org. Once on the site, click on the “Scholarship” tab at the top of the page. Then click on any of the counties listed underneath or the link entitled “any other in the state of Pennsylvania” to access the scholarship information. The application deadline is March 1, 2019.
 
 
Renew Dog Licenses


Pet owners are reminded to renew their dog’s license for 2019. All dogs three months of age or older must be licensed in Pennsylvania, either on an annual basis or with a lifetime license.

Annual licenses are $8.50, while lifetime licenses are $51.50. Dogs who are spayed or neutered can be licensed for $6.50 for the year, or $31.50 for a lifetime license. Discounts are available for senior citizens and those owners with disabilities. Applications for license renewals can be found here. Completed applications must be returned to the owner’s county treasurer’s office.

Under Pennsylvania state law, owners who fail to license and/or immunize their dogs could face fines up to $300 per violation for each dog three months of age or older. In addition, owners of non-vaccinated pets may be fined up to $300 plus court costs.
 
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