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What is Pennsylvania’s biggest economic challenge?
On February 21, the National Governors Association held their 2015 Winter Meeting in Washington D.C. At that meeting, Governor Wolf was asked what the biggest economic challenge for Pennsylvania is.
Governor Wolf stated, “I think the biggest problem in Pennsylvania is low self-esteem.”
You can watch the video clip here.
What do you think? I want to hear from you – please take a moment to complete a survey.
Proposal requiring U.S. citizenship to receive welfare benefits clears Senate, heads to House
The Senate approved legislation on Tuesday that would ensure that illegal immigrants residing in Pennsylvania do not receive public benefits like Medicaid, welfare and unemployment compensation.
Senate Bill 9, sponsored by Sen. Patrick Stefano, is part of the ongoing effort in the Senate to reform the state’s welfare programs.
Last year, the Department of Public Welfare received $11.4 billion, just shy of Education’s budget at $11.6 billion. The people I represent do not want their hard-earned tax dollars paying for an individual living in this country illegally.
Under Stefano’s legislation, grants and loans from the state and local governments are also included as public benefits.
The legislation cleared the Senate by a vote of 40-8. The proposal now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Sen. Argall introduces legislation limiting insurer retroactive denials
On Monday, I stood with medical professionals to introduce legislation that would limit insurers’ ability to retroactively deny reimbursements to healthcare providers.
Senate Bill 554 will put safeguards in place for medical providers.
Currently, insurance companies may retroactively deny reimbursement to health care providers at any time and unilaterally reduce future payments to recover the denied amount. My legislation will limit that time period to one year.
Senate approves bill regulating Healthcare Exchange Navigators
The Senate approved legislation on Monday that would provide essential protection of consumers’ rights and personal information under ObamaCare.
Senate Bill 293, also known as the Navigator Accessibility and Regulation Act, would require Healthcare Exchange Navigators be certified by the Department of Insurance and pass a criminal background check.
ObamaCare relies on individuals, generally called “navigators,” to educate and enroll millions of uninsured Americans in either Medicaid or a private insurance plan. Although in many respects these navigators act like insurance agents, they have almost no qualifications or restrictions placed upon them.
Other bills approved by the Senate this week include:
Senate Bill 166 which would allow courts to grant expungement if the crime is a misdemeanor of the third or second degree and the individual has not been arrested or prosecuted for seven to ten years following the completion of the sentence or judicial supervision.
Senate Bill 179 which consolidates several statutes relating to hotels and other lodging establishments.
Senate Bill 316 which would provide more accountability in the awarding of state sole-source/no-bid and emergency contracts.
Pottsville Area High School government students visit state Capitol
It was a pleasure to welcome students enrolled in Pottsville Area High School’s Advanced Placement (AP) American Government class and American Government class to the state Capitol on Wednesday.
The students had the opportunity to tour the state Capitol and meet with the Schuylkill County legislative delegation.
I had the privilege of introducing the students to the Senate of Pennsylvania.
Read more about their visit here.
Committee holds public hearing on medical cannabis
The Senate State Government Committee held a public hearing on Wednesday on Senate Bill 33, sponsored by Senator Folmer, a measure that would allow physicians to provide medical cannabis to patients in Pennsylvania.
The purpose of the hearing was to discuss possible amendments to the bill, including Real-Time Registry; research supporting expansion of the list of diseases; and best methods of delivery for patients using medical cannabis. Senate Bill 3 would allow patients who have a recommendation from their doctor to purchase and use medical cannabis from centers licensed by a to-be-created State Board of Medical Cannabis Licensing.
Watch the hearing and learn more here.
Schuylkill Haven resident Josh Stranix visits Sen. Argall in Harrisburg
It was great to meet with Josh Stranix, who is a member of the Board of Directors for ARC, on Tuesday in my Capitol office. Learn more about The ARC on their website: www.thearcpa.org.