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December 2017

Working To Prevent Prescription Drugs From Falling Into The Wrong Hands

As Pennsylvania continues fighting a severe opioid crisis, the potential for abuse of hospice drugs prompted the Senate Health and Human Services Committee to approve a remedy this month.

Until recently, when a home hospice patient died, unused medications were appropriately discarded by their hospice or homecare provider. A change to federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) rules now prohibits that practice, unless specifically authorized by the state. The drugs are instead classified as personal property, burdening the family with removal, and opening the door to misuse. 

It makes no sense. These are controlled substances. We need to leave their disposal to the medical professionals, and let families attend to the details of their bereavement.

I introduced legislation to correct the problem after Wyoming County Coroner Tom Kukuchka alerted me to the situation earlier this year.

“Overdose fatalities are at record highs,” Kukuchka told me. “One of the ways we can help counteract this epidemic is to prevent properly prescribed drugs from falling into the wrong hands.”

I believe the measure is an important step in the addiction battle.

We are finding too many ways, and too many places, in which these highly addictive drugs are available or accessible. A lot of seemingly minor steps will hopefully constitute a big remedy.

SB 978 is supported by the Pennsylvania Homecare Association and Bayada Home Health Care among other organizations.

Click here to see the attached letters in support of the bill.


Property Tax/Rent Rebate Deadline Nears

The deadline to apply for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate program is December 31st. Those eligible for assistance include Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with permanent disabilities age 18 and older. The annual income limit is $35,000 for homeowners and $15,000 for renters, but applicants are only required to include half of their Social Security earnings.

Applications and additional information are available online or by calling toll-free (888) 222-9190. The status of claims previously submitted may be checked here or by calling 1-888-PATAXES.

Please contact my office if you need assistance completing these forms. 

Welcoming State Champion Dallas Mountaineers To The Capitol

The Dallas Mountaineers Boys Baseball team paid a visit to the state Capitol recently, after capturing the 4A baseball title earlier this year. They defeated South Park High School 5-0 in the title game played at Penn State’s Medlar Field.

I was proud to congratulate my alma mater and recognize these student athletes for their dedication to their sport, to teamwork, and to the commitment it takes to be the best.

Front row, from left: Assistant Coach John Kashatus, Head Coach Ken Kashatus, players Christo Huntington, Mike Caravaggio, Mike Collins and Darren Kerdesky, Senator Lisa Baker, players Adam Sutton, Beaudyn Lewis, Andrew Kovalick, E.J. Williams, Ethan Zawatski, J.D. Barrett and Alex Kapral.
Back row: Players Justin Finarelli, Will McCrum, Nick Kocher, Drew Patton, Josh Lydon, Mike Luksic, Ben O’Connell, Charles Giacometti and Matt Mathers, Assistant Coaches Jim Casey, Bob Aten and Paul Narcum.

LIHEAP Applications Open to Eligible Residents

Pennsylvania’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is taking applications through March 31, 2017, for home heating assistance to qualifying low- and fixed-income individuals and families, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services.

Income eligibility for heating assistance for a household of one is $17,820, increasing incrementally with a family of ten’s income eligibility set at $73,815. Each additional person over ten raises the limit by $6,240.

Please contact my office if you need assistance completing an application. All required documents should be brought with you in order to verify accurate information. You can also apply online or download an application through COMPASS, Pennsylvania’s secure website for many health and human service programs. Learn more here.

Season’s Greetings and Best Wishes For A Happy New Year

Senator Killion

As you gather with friends and family to celebrate the holidays, please accept my very best wishes for a season that embodies all the warmth of this special time of year, and for a spectacular 2018!

Offices of Senator Lisa Baker

Harrisburg Office
362 Main Capitol
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Phone: 717-787-7428
FAX: 717-787-9242
M-F: 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Western District Office

22 Dallas Shopping Center
Memorial Highway
Dallas, PA 18612
Phone: 570-675-3931
FAX: 570-674-5037
M-F: 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Eastern District Office

2512 Route 6
Hawley, PA 18428
Phone: 570-226-5960
FAX: 570-226-5964
M-F: 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM