New House Session Open for Business
1/4/2019
New House Session Opens with a Majority of 110 Republican Members

This week, the 2019-20 Session of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives opened, and I was honored to be elected as House Speaker for the third consecutive session. The new session also includes 43 new members. The House also adopted a set of rules governing how the body operates.

We have an opportunity to move forward and find common ground as we begin this session with a clean slate. Family-sustaining jobs, educational opportunities, bettering our communities, and working together to eliminate the scourge of opioids are some of the common goals we will tackle together, Republican and Democrat, over the next two years.

To watch my comments, which includes our legislative priorities, click here.

You can also find out more as the session goes along at www.RepTurzai.com and my Facebook page.

 

It was my honor to be sworn in as Speaker of the House by the Honorable Joy Flowers Conti, Senior Judge, U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania. I am committed to making the House and state government more open and transparent.


 

To have my family present on swearing-in day, is extremely emotional. They have totally supported me throughout my career. My love for them is off the charts.
Pictured with me (from left) are son, Stephen; wife, Lidia; and sons Andrew and Matthew.
                                
 
Veterans: Applying for Benefits Should Never Come with a Fee

The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) reminds veterans and their dependents that they should never have to pay for help to apply for veterans benefits.

My district office in McCandless serves as a site for these services. At various times throughout the year, a veterans’ outreach specialist meets with local veterans and assists them with issues they may be experiencing.

These veteran service officers are experienced, trained professionals who provide veterans with the best advice and assistance available at no cost.

If you have any questions, please contact my district office at (412) 369-2230.
 
 
PA Farm Show Starts on Saturday


Just a reminder, the 103rd Pennsylvania Farm Show will kick off Saturday, Jan. 5, and run through Saturday, Jan. 12. This year’s theme is “Inspiring Pennsylvania’s Story.”

In addition to all the delicious food offerings, the Farm Show features 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 300 commercial exhibitors.

Admission to the show is free, but parking is $15 per vehicle. Shuttle service is provided. If you’re participating in or attending the Farm Show, take your camera or phone along and snap some photos. You can share your memories and photos on my Facebook page. And when you’re posting the photos, don’t forget to insert the hashtag #PAFS19.

More information is available at farmshow.pa.gov.
 
 
New Law Cracks Down on Repeat DUI Offenders


A new law cracking down on habitual DUI offenders is now in effect. Statistics show repeat offenders cause 40 percent of all DUI-related crashes.

Pennsylvania was previously one of four states that did not punish repeat DUIs as felonies. Act 153 of 2018 fixes that by increasing penalties for repeated DUI crimes. Under the new law, any individual convicted of his or her third DUI with a BAC of 0.16 or higher could be found guilty of a felony offense.

The same penalty would apply to all individuals convicted of four or more DUI offenses. Repeat offenders who are convicted of homicide while DUI now face a minimum prison sentence of five or seven years, up from the previous three-year minimum.
 
 
Increased Funding to Aid Ambulance Services

Ambulance companies across Pennsylvania will see a much-needed increase in Medicaid reimbursement rates this year.

Approved as part of the 2018-19 budget, reimbursement rates have increased from $200 to not less than $300 for Advanced Life Support (ALS) services and from $120 to $180 for Basic Life Support (BLS) services, effective Jan. 1.

To further support these life-saving services, another new law, Act 103 of 2018, requires both private insurers and Medicaid to reimburse for treatment provided regardless of whether transport takes place. This is a common occurrence with patients suffering with diabetes as well as for drug overdose calls.

Additional initiatives to shore up the state’s fire and emergency response organizations were outlined in a recent report released under Senate Resolution 6 of 2017. The report includes 92 concepts incorporated into 27 recommendations to address challenges in the fire and EMS communities, with most of them focused on staffing, funding and training needs.
                    
 
Keep Kids Safe: Follow School Bus Safety Laws


There have been too many tragic stories in the news lately about children getting hit by vehicles when getting on or off a school bus. These crashes can be avoided if motorists obey the Pennsylvania School Bus Stopping Law which requires motorists to stop at least 10 feet away from school buses that have their red lights flashing and stop arm extended.

Motorists must stop when they are behind the bus, meeting the bus or approaching an intersection where a bus is stopped. Motorists following or traveling alongside a school bus also must stop until the red lights have stopped flashing, the stop arm is withdrawn, and all children have reached safety.

A common question is whether a motorist must stop on a multi-lane highway when a bus is stopped. The answer is yes, a motorist must stop unless they are in the opposing lane of a highway divided by a physical barrier. Physical barriers include grassy medians, traditional or cable guide rails, or concrete median barriers. If there is no physical barrier between lanes, all lanes of traffic must stop if a school bus stops with its red lights flashing and stop arm extended.

Penalties for failure to obey school bus safety laws can result in a $250 fine, five points on a driving record and a 60-day license suspension.

Click here for more information and tips on school bus safety.
   
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