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REMINDER: Medicaid Management Changes Coming January 1
On January 1, a new managed care program will begin for Medicaid recipients in our area. No services will be reduced or eliminated for any participant as part of the program, but new options will be available to help meet the health needs of local participants.
The Community HealthChoices program will allow participants to choose one of three plans that best fit their medical needs. Each plan will include the same basic services that participants are already receiving, as well as additional services to help improve the health of patients.
I recently discussed these changes in my “Focus on the 46th” TV show which can be viewed here. A detailed look at the program is also available in an op-ed I authored which can be found here. I encourage local participants to learn more about the new managed care program to better understand the new options that are available.
The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office sponsors a drug-free calendar contest each year that challenges students to create a work of art encouraging their friends to avoid drug and alcohol abuse. Two local students from the 46th Senatorial District were selected as winners this year. Congratulations to Marissa Barto of North Strabane Intermediate Unit in Washington and Brianna Stonemark of Cecil Intermediate Unit in McDonald for their winning entries.
Legislative Update: CHIP Program Extended
Amid a flurry of legislative activity last week, I was pleased to support legislation that will extend the life of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The bill, which was signed into law by the governor, will extend the program through the end of 2019.
Other noteworthy bills that were recently passed by the Senate include:
Senate Bill 3, a bill that amends the Abortion Control Act to reduce the maximum gestational age for legal abortions from 24 to 20 weeks and prohibits dismemberment abortion.
Senate Bill 252, which amends the Pittsburgh Parking Authority’s enabling act to assist in supporting private development.
Senate Bill 446, legislation that provides for the regulation and certification of addiction recovery houses.
Senate Bill 458, a measure which provides new penalties for illegal household goods movers.
House Bill 561, which amends the Crimes Code to repeal a sunset provision relating to the issuance of administrative subpoenas in an investigation involving child sexual exploitation or abuse.
Senate Bill 728, a proposal to exempt Schedule V epilepsy drugs currently included in the state’s prescription drug monitoring program requirements.
House Bill 1231, legislation to establish a veterans’ registry to provide veterans with information regarding state benefits, programs, and services.
House Bill 1420, which sets new auditing thresholds for charitable organizations that receive annual contributions.
House Bill 1421, which makes changes to the filing time frame for charitable organizations, professional fundraising counsels and professional solicitors.
Senate Bill 844, a proposal to expand legal standing for individuals seeking to gain custody of children in cases where no biological or adoptive parent has custody.
Senate Bill 196, legislation that allows judges to order an electronic monitoring device on a defendant in a protection from abuse order.
Senate Bill 354, a bill that strengthens licensee reporting requirements to the Department of State.
House Bill 1175, which amends state law relating to lobbying disclosure to provide for an electronic registration filing system and to increase fines and penalties for violations of the act.
I joined Governor Wolf and representatives of the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the National Math and Science Initiative for a press conference honoring schools that have seen impressive gains on Advanced Placement exams. Two of these schools are located in the 46th Senatorial District: Trinity Area High School and Ringgold Senior High School.
Property Tax and Rent Rebate Application Period Open Through January 2
The deadline for low-income seniors and disabled individuals to apply for the state’s Property Tax Rent Rebate Program is January 2.
The program refunds a portion of rent or property taxes paid during the previous year.
Information and applications for the Property Tax Rent Rebate Program are available online at www.revenue.state.pa.us or by calling toll-free 1-888-222-9190. If community residents have any questions regarding the program and the application process, please feel free to contact one of my district offices for assistance.
Wishes for a Happy & Healthy Holiday Season
The holiday season offers a chance for all of us to spend time with loved ones, reflect on the past year and look forward to the year ahead. It also serves as a reminder of our need to treat every person with dignity and respect and approach each new situation with an eye toward making the world a better place for others.
I am grateful to live in and represent a community with so many people who are willing to devote their time and energy to many different causes to improve the quality of life for their friends and neighbors. The people of Greene, Washington and Beaver counties are our most precious resource, and I am thankful for all of the individuals and groups who are working to build stronger communities. Your efforts are deeply appreciated.
I wish all members of our local communities a safe and joyous holiday season!
For more information on issues of importance to southwestern Pennsylvania, please visit my website at www.senatorbartolotta.com and connect with me on Facebook (www.facebook.com/senatorbartolotta) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/senbartolotta).
SouthPointe District Office
Greene County Office Building