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Senator Don White

Harrisburg Happenings
A Report on the Legislative Session Week
July 13, 2015

Dear Friend,

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 July 13, 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 you do not wish to receive these e-newsletters, please click the "unsubscribe" button at the bottom of the page. If you would like to contact my office, please go to my web page and click the "contact" button. Please do not "reply" directly to this e-mail.

Sincerely,

Don White


Bill Honoring Vietnam War Hero Signed by the Governor

Governor Wolf recently signed into law a bill I introduced honoring a Vietnam War hero.

Senate Bill 438, which was signed into law as Act 19 of 2015, designates a bridge on State Route 982 over the Loyalhanna Creek, Westmoreland County, as the Lance Corporal Joseph E. Roble Memorial Bridge.

Lance Corporal Roble was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star for his actions as a member of 3rd Platoon, Company E, 2nd Battalion, 26th Marines, 9th Marine Amphibious Brigade in the vicinity of Quang Tri Province on September 15, 1968.

During furious combat with the enemy, Lance Corporal Roble courageously rushed forward from a position of relative safety to assist two fallen Marines until additional Marines were able to join the action, forcing the enemy to withdraw.

His Bronze Star citation praised Lance Corporal Roble for his actions to “engage the enemy, repeatedly exposing himself to small arms fire and grenades, while maneuvering to gain fire superiority.”

Lance Corporal Roble was killed in action the following day.

Lance Corporal Roble is truly a local hero who risked all to save his fellow Marines and ultimately made the supreme sacrifice for his nation. It is only fitting and proper that we provide a lasting memorial to his service.

Senate Passes Bill Protecting Utility Workers during Emergencies

The Senate passed legislation on Tuesday that would add electric utility workers to the list of protected workers during disaster emergencies. Senate Bill 765 now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Currently, state law provides additional protection for first responders, highway maintenance and construction workers and tow truck operators during emergencies. Motorists are required to travel cautiously at reduced speeds and carefully follow traffic markers, road flares, signs, or directions of emergency responders.

Additionally, emergency service responders may file a written report with the police officer upon observing a violation. Violators may be fined up to $500 per offense and pay restitution costs if warranted.

Other bills approved by the Senate this week include:

Senate Bill 404 sets guidelines and procedures for the investigation and interrogation of correctional officers by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections as a result of a complaint of alleged misconduct.

Senate Bill 430 expands access to the State Intermediate Punishment Program to those convicted of crimes due to a gambling addiction.

Senate Bill 474 requires Senate confirmation of the Chief Executive Officer of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.

Senate Bill 652 amends the Local Tax Enabling Act to exclude active duty military pay from the existing definition of “earned income.”

Senate Bill 683 strengthens the use of DNA technology to fight violent crime.

Senate Bill 925 updates the qualification standards for the commercial driver learner’s permit and the commercial driver’s license.

DHS Will Waive Some Clearance Fees for Volunteers as of July 25

I am pleased to report that under a new policy, the state Department of Human Services will waive some fees for mandated state background checks for volunteers beginning July 25.

The policy calls for the waiver of the $10 fees charged for the Department of Human Services child abuse clearance and the Pennsylvania State Police background checks required for volunteers. The Department also announced a reduction of those fees for all other applicants, other than volunteers, from $10 to $8.

Fees for required Federal Bureau of Investigation federal criminal history clearances ($27.50 through the Department of Human Services and $28.75 through the Department of Education) are not affected by the policy change.

For more detailed information about Pennsylvania’s background check requirements, visit www.keepkidssafe.pa.gov.

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