Public Hearing on State contract with Credentia providing testing for Certified Nurse Aides

Senate Health and Human Services Committee

Tuesday, June 21, 2022 | 10:00 a.m.

North Office Building, Hearing Room 1

AGENDA

Public Hearing on State contract with Credentia providing testing for Certified Nurse Aides

Schedule

10:30 – Opening Remarks

  • Senator Michele Brooks, Majority Chair, Health & Human Services
  • Senator Maria Collett, Minority Chair, Aging & Youth
  • Senator Art Haywood, Minority Chair, Health & Human Services

10:40 – Panel

  • Jennifer Mankowski, BSN, RN
    Executive VP Program Management & Development, Credentia
  • Zach Shamberg
    President & CEO, Pennsylvania Health Care Association (PHCA)
  • Kerri Kubalak
    DCW Heroes Program Manager, Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit (CSIU)
  • Zach Zobrist
    Director of Workforce Development, SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania

11:00 – Questions and Open Discussion

11:30 – Recess to the Call of the Chair

Meeting to consider SB 1227, SB 1229, HB 2426

Senate Aging and Youth Committee

Tuesday, June 14, 2022 | 11:00 a.m.

Main Capitol, Room 461

Agenda

Meeting to consider SB 1227, SB 1229, HB 2426

Schedule

  • SB 1227 (BAKER): Amends Act 21 of 1967, the Human Services Code, to make its mandates covering the provision of services for dependent and delinquent juveniles consistent with those of the Juvenile Act.
    • Amendment A04740 (BAKER): Makes technical changes to the bill. 
  • SB 1229 (BAKER): Amends Act 21 of 1967, the Human Services Code, to add the cost of counsel to the list of costs for which the Department of Human Services is to reimburse counties in juvenile proceedings.
  • HB 2426 (HICKERNELL): Amends Title 67 (Public Welfare) of Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes by incorporating the provisions of Act 68 of 2005, the Resource Family and Adoption Process Act, and Act 73 of 2005, the Resource Family Care Act. The Department of Human Services is directed to promulgate regulations to ensure compliance. 

Ward: Senate Approves Frozen Dessert Law Update

HARRISBURG – The Senate approved legislation today that rolls back a burdensome monthly testing requirement in the Frozen Dessert Law, Senator Judy Ward (R-30) announced.

Ward sponsored Senate Bill 960 after a business in her district explained how costly, duplicative and outdated the mandate is for frozen dessert licensees, who must test for bacteria in dessert samples each month under the 1965 law. More than 2 million tests have been performed over the last five decades and not one has uncovered an issue, Ward said.

“This bill is long overdue,” said Ward.  “A long time has passed since the Frozen Dessert Law was enacted, and now there are countless federal and state food safety laws and regulations.  It is time we lessen these unnecessary testing burdens from our food manufacturers and small businesses.”

The bill would reduce the testing requirement to once a year, which will be sufficient with current food safety practices and align with restaurant license and inspection requirements under the Retail Food Facility Safety Act.

The legislation will now receive consideration in the House of Representatives.

CONTACT: Nathan Akers, 717-787-2421

Fairness in Women’s Sports News Conference Set for Tuesday, June 7

WHAT: Members of the House and Senate, along with the Pennsylvania Family Institute, held a press conference on Tuesday, June 7, to discuss the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act.  Introduced as Senate Bill 1191 by Sens. Judy Ward (R-30) and Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-28) and House Bill 972 by Reps. Barb Gleim (R-199), Martina White (R-170), Dawn Keefer (R-92), Valerie Gaydos (R-44), and Stephanie Borowicz (R-76), the legislation proposes that school athletic teams designated for women should not be open to those of the male sex. The legislation defines “sex” as the biological distinction between male and female, based on reproductive biology and genetic make-up.

WHO:  Sen. Judy Ward, other members of the Senate and House, and the Pennsylvania Family Institute

WHERE:  Main rotunda of the Capitol building

WHEN:  Tuesday, June 7, at 2:00 p.m.

CONTACT:  Nathan Akers, 717-787-5490

Meeting to consider SB 571, SB 1198, SB 1202 and HB 2401

Senate Health and Human Services Committee

Tuesday, June 7, 2022 | 10:30 a.m.

Main Capitol, Room 461

Agenda

Meeting to consider SB 571, SB 1198, SB 1202 and HB 2401

Schedule

  • House Bill 2401 (Wheeland) – COVID-19 waiver permanency/allowing CRNPs and PAs to order home health care
  • Senate Bill 571 (Argall) – Changes the distribution schedule of SNAP benefits
  • Senate Bill 1198 (Brooks) – Medicaid coverage for Assisted Living Residences
    • Amendment A0#### – Revisions provided by DHS and PID
    • Amendment A0#### (Cappelletti) – Prohibits Internet sales of human milk

Meeting to consider HB 1731, HB 1866, and HB 2214

Senate Aging and Youth Committee

Wednesday, June 8, 2022 | 10:30 a.m.

East Wing, Hearing Room 8E-B

Agenda

Meeting to consider HB 1731, HB 1866, and HB 2214

Schedule

  • HB 1731 (MIZGORSKI): Directs the Joint State Government Commission to establish the Pennsylvania Advisory Committee on Greater Father Involvement within the Commission.
  • HB 1866 (BOBACK): Amends Title 42 (Judiciary) and Title 67 (Public Welfare) of Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes to enhance permanency planning and improve outcomes for older youth in the foster care system. The bill clarifies the expectations that services, including counseling, must meet. The goal is to ensure that these services are effective in the development and support of permanency goals for youth in the system. It codifies practices from various statutory and court procedural sources to update and improve the foster system, particularly for older youths. It also makes editorial and organizational changes to Title 67.
  • HB 2214 (KLUNK): Adds a new section to Title 67 (Public Welfare) of Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes that renders unenforceable certain indemnification clauses in government contracts between county children and youth agencies and entities that provide children and youth services regulated under Title 55, Part V of the Pennsylvania Code.

 

***MEDIA ADVISORY*** Fairness in Women’s Sports News Conference Set for Tuesday, June 7

WHAT: Members of the House and Senate, along with the Pennsylvania Family Institute, will hold a press conference on Tuesday, June 7, to discuss the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act.  Introduced as Senate Bill 1191 by Sens. Judy Ward (R-30) and Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-28) and House Bill 972 by Reps. Barb Gleim (R-199), Martina White (R-170), Dawn Keefer (R-92), Valerie Gaydos (R-44), and Stephanie Borowicz (R-76), the legislation proposes that school athletic teams designated for women should not be open to those of the male sex. The legislation defines “sex” as the biological distinction between male and female, based on reproductive biology and genetic make-up.

The event is open to the media and will be livestreamed at https://www.pasenategop.com/blog/news-conf-060722/

WHO:  Sen. Judy Ward, other members of the Senate and House, and the Pennsylvania Family Institute

 

WHERE:  Main rotunda of the Capitol building

 

WHEN:  Tuesday, June 7, at 2:00 p.m.

 

CONTACT:  Nathan Akers, 717-787-5490

Meeting to consider SR 288

Senate Aging and Youth Committee

May 24, 2022 | 11 a.m.

Main Capitol, Room 461

Agenda

Meeting to consider SR 288

Schedule

  • SR 288, sponsored by Senator Judy Ward, directs the Joint State Government Commission to conduct a study of the wage rates for staff and contract nurses, as well as the rates charged by staffing agencies to provide those nurses. It will also look at the increase in wages from 2018 through today and measure it against the rate of inflation. The ratio of staff nurses to contract nurses will also be studied, as well as whether the facilities experienced an increase in the need for staff members with specific expertise or certification. The study is to be completed and submitted to the Senate within seven months.
    • Amendment A04225 (Collett) This amendment expands the study by directing the Joint State Government Commission to study wage rates for nursing facility administrators; any increase in wages paid to nursing facility administrators as compared to the nation’s inflation rate from 2018 through today; payments made by facilities to any corporate-related entities, including any parent or subsidiary corporation with a direct or indirect controlling in the facility’s operation; rent payments owed by facilities and increases in rents paid from 2018 through today, including whether the rent payments were made to a corporation or an entity related to the shareholders of the long-term care facility; and an analysis of changes in rent payments by the long-term care facility as compared to the national trends in rent increases over the same time period.

Senate committee advances measure to protect women’s sports

HARRISBURG – The Senate Education Committee advanced a measure to establish the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, according to Sens. Judy Ward (R-30) and Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-28), who sponsored the legislation.

Senate Bill 1191 would prohibit students of the male sex, which the bill defines as the biological distinction between male and female based on reproductive biology and genetic make-up, from participating in athletic teams or sports that are designed for women or girls.

“I am grateful to the Education Committee for passing this important piece of legislation,” said Ward. “Women of all ages deserve a fair chance to succeed and achieve. This piece of legislation ensures that our young women will be able to pursue the life changing opportunities that sport provides.”

The bill would also prohibit a government entity or licensing, accrediting or athletic organization from entertaining a complaint, opening an investigation, or taking adverse action against a school entity or public institution of higher education for maintaining separate teams or sports for students of the female sex.

“Without the passage of this bill, young girls and women lose the opportunity for athletic success that every female deserves. Women have fought too hard to earn the right to their own competitive sports, and the dangerous trajectory we are on could alter that forever,” Phillips-Hill said. “We owe it to our girls because I have seen firsthand how competitive sports serve as a launching pad for future success in life. We must protect women’s sports.”

Having received support from the Senate Education Committee, the bill now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

Op-Ed: Rush to Marijuana Legalization for Recreational Use Ignores Real Public Health and Safety Concerns

There has been a lot of news surrounding the recent Senate Law and Justice Committee hearings regarding the legalization of recreational marijuana, and as a member of that committee, I am concerned about the discussions that have taken place. The hearings have seemed one-sided, and the topics covered have been used to advance recreational marijuana legislation rather than provide a thorough vetting of all aspects of this controversial issue. 

Marijuana is not as harmless as some who favor legalization claim, and the science is clear. The National Institutes of Health, the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic and the World Health Organization all agree that marijuana is an addictive substance that can trigger dependency and withdrawal symptoms. 

Research from the National Institute of Drug Abuse concludes marijuana use doubles a person’s risk for developing opioid addiction and that four in 10 users will abuse harder drugs in their lifetime. The statistics are worse when it comes to our youth. Sixty percent of new marijuana users each year are under age 18, and marijuana is the number one reason adolescents are admitted to substance-abuse treatment in the United States.

Aside from the physical consequences to the individual using the marijuana, there are real consequences to the community as well. We only need to look to other states to see that commercializing the sale of addictive marijuana products comes with more crime and more DUIs. For example, a 50-year study found that marijuana use is linked to seven times greater odds of subsequent violent crime. In Colorado and Washington, DUI fatalities involving marijuana have more than doubled over the last decade. Colorado has also seen a rise in marijuana-related emergency room visits among teens and reports the highest rate of first-time users under the age of 18 in the nation. 

To insist that marijuana use comes with zero risk of dependency is contradicted by science and the medical community. The American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the American Lung Association, the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society all stand opposed to legalization. And the list goes on. 

There are many consequences to legalizing marijuana, and they are not all good.  These consequences can be harmful and dangerous to ourselves, our children, and our communities.  They must be thoroughly vetted before making such a huge policy change that will affect us for years to come.  

I welcome the discussion surrounding adult-use legalization, but I urge caution among my fellow lawmakers who may be apt to vote “yes” without considering the long-term consequences. 

CONTACT: Nathan Akers, 717-787-2421