DEMOCRATS CALL FOR TOTAL GIFT BAN

Led by Democratic Gubernatorial hopeful Katie McGinty, a group of Democrats held a news conference Wednesday to call for a total ban on gifts to legislators.

“I’m here to call for an absolute, total, no asterisk, no footnote, gift ban,” McGinty stated.

She argued the current lack of government trust among the public requires current loopholes to be closed.

“What we are proposing here is not a radical new thought,” McGinty claimed. “Pennsylvania should join the 40 other states that essentially have an absolute gift ban.”

She noted any plan should leave no question as to what’s right or what’s wrong and give the public confidence again that state government is working for them.

She said any plan should include exemptions for gifts by friends and family and be aimed toward prohibiting gifts from those who have business before the state.

“People still have their personal lives. I’m not speaking here about their personal lives,” she said.

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014/Author: The PLS Reporter
Categories: News and Views
BILL REGULATING HEALTH EXCHANGE NAVIGATORS SUBJECT OF HEARING

BILL REGULATING HEALTH EXCHANGE NAVIGATORS SUBJECT OF HEARING

A bill regulating health care navigators and certified application counselors under the federal Affordable Care Act was vetted during a Wednesday hearing in the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee.

Senate Bill 1268, introduced by Sen. John Eichelberger (R-Blair), would require navigators and certified application counselors to undergo certification by the Insurance Department and submit to criminal background checks and fingerprinting.

“Federal law does not require navigators or certified application counselors to obtain a certified criminal background check even though they have access to enrollees pertinent personal information,” explained committee Chairman Don White (R-Indiana).

“This bill is drafted as a consumer protection measure,” explained Sen. Eichelberger. “When people are working to provide insurance coverage for the citizens of Pennsylvania, I believe the Pennsylvania Insurance Department should have some role in tracking them and having some oversight.”

Not everyone is so convinced such a sweeping measure is needed, however, including the Insurance Department.

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014/Author: The PLS Reporter
Categories: News and Views

PHARMACISTS RALLY AT CAPITOL

The Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association held a rally in the Main Capitol Rotunda today to highlight a number of issues they support and on which they would like to see further legislative action.

The association noted support for a prescription drug monitoring program, related good Samaritan laws, and the current drug take-back program. They also called for more regulation of pharmacy benefit managers, for fair pharmacy audit procedures, and expanded immunization opportunities.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014/Author: The PLS Reporter
Categories: Event Central
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INTIMIDATION TACTICS BILL CLEARS COMMITTEE, HEADS TO FULL SENATE

A loophole in the Pennsylvania Criminal Code allowing for violent intimidation tactics during collective bargaining negotiations is one step closer to being closed.

House Bill 1154, introduced by Rep. Ron Miller (R-York), passed the Senate Judiciary Committee today by unanimous vote. One amendment was adopted to the bill.

The bill as amended would close the loophole that allows certain harassment, stalking, and other intimidation tactics when they take place in conjunction with collective bargaining agreement negotiations. The amendment ensured that speech protected by the state and federal constitutions would remain protected under the crimes code; however, it also ensured that uses of weapons of mass destruction in such negotiations are completely illegal.

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014/Author: The PLS Reporter
Categories: News and Views

RALLY CALLS FOR BETTER HUMAN TRAFFICKING LAWS

Human trafficking is the second largest criminal operation in the world. Pennsylvania is one of only two states lacking a sex trafficking statute.

A group of Senators and advocates met in the Capitol Tuesday morning to show their support for a bill attempting to change both of those facts.

Senate Bill 75, introduced by Sen. Stewart Greenleaf (R-Montgomery), aims to provide a definition of human trafficking and prohibit it in Pennsylvania while also giving power to prosecute the perpetrator of human trafficking. The bill also provides training to respond to human and sex trafficking, details a coordinated response plan, and provides for victim services and protection.

“We have to stop treating victims as criminals,” said Sen. Greenleaf. “That’s what’s happening right now.”

Showing bipartisan support for the bill, Senators Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery) and Andrew Dinniman (D-Chester) agreed with Sen. Greenleaf.

“This is nothing short of human slavery,” opined Sen. Leach. He said Senate Bill 75 would make Pennsylvania one of the most progressive states in the country when it comes to human trafficking enforcement.

Sen. Dinniman stated the impetus to move the bill should come from Pennsylvania’s Quaker founding, a group that he said was vehemently anti-slavery. “We and you are part of a tradition in this Commonwealth, that every man and woman is of value,” Sen. Dinniman said.

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014/Author: The PLS Reporter
Categories: News and Views
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