A Report on the Legislative Session Week
February 23, 2015
I am pleased to send you my Session Wrap Up e-newsletter. This
e-newsletter features events and legislative activities during the Session Week
of February 23, 2015.
If you find this e-newsletter useful, I invite you to visit my website
www.senatordonwhite.com for more information about your state government. If
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to this e-mail.
Residency Requirement Bill Sent 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 would require anyone requesting public benefits in the
Commonwealth to provide identification proving they are a legal resident. They
would also be required to sign an affidavit stating they are a U.S. citizen or
an immigrant lawfully present in the United States.
The Federation for Immigration Reform estimates the current local annual
costs of illegal immigration amount to about $36 billion nationwide. In
Pennsylvania, which has more than 100,000 illegal immigrants, the current
estimated cost is $285 million. That cost is expected to grow to $812 million
by the year 2020.
Earlier this year, Pennsylvania agreed to
pay the federal government $48.8 million to settle claims that it paid
non-emergency Medicaid, family assistance and food stamp benefits to immigrants
who did not qualify for them.
Senate Bill 9 now goes to the House of
Representatives for consideration.
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 the federal health care
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. The federal
Affordable Care Act (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.
Focuses on Veterans’ Issues
Senate Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee held a public hearing
on Wednesday to gather testimony on veterans’ issues. The panel heard from
federal and state officials as well as representatives from veterans’
organizations during the hearing. Video and testimony from the hearing is
Holds Public Hearing on Medical Cannabis
The Senate State Government Committee held a public hearing on Wednesday on
Senate Bill 3, 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.
here for video from the hearing.
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