Senator Ward, J E-Newsletter

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In this Issue:

  • Update on Election Investigation in Fulton County
  • Senate Accomplishments: Health Care
  • PA Farm Show Kicks Off Saturday
  • Resource Page for COVID-19 Prevention and Treatments
  • New 511PA Travel Information Features

Update on Election Investigation in Fulton County

election investigation

Several media outlets have shared stories recently about the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee’s investigation of our election system. I wanted to share the most recent information with you as it pertains to Fulton County.

Last month, the committee chair, Senator Dush, sent a letter to Fulton County requesting permission to gather data from the voting machines that were decertified by the Department of State last year. Although the county commissioners voted to cooperate with the investigation, the Department of State and Dominion have taken legal action to prevent this review from taking place.

While these legal challenges are resolved in court, I stand behind Commissioners Ulsh and Bunch as they carry out their duty to the people they represent. It is my hope that this phase of the investigation can move forward in the near future so we can provide a more accessible and secure election system to the people of our great Commonwealth.

Senate Accomplishments: Health Care

Senate Accomplishments Health Care

In its ongoing effort to improve access to quality health care, the Senate rounded out 2021 by passing new laws to boost donations to fight breast cancer, created the Living Donor Protection Act, encouraged more physician assistants to stay and practice in the Commonwealth, reduced nursing home labor shortages, continued to confront the opioid crisis, and more.

One additional bill, Senate Bill 416, I was proud to cosponsor was passed into law that recognizes Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists under Pennsylvania statute to prevent them from leaving Pennsylvania because of designation issues. Before, there was no definition for “certified registered nurse anesthetist” under the state’s Professional Nursing Law.

With 12 nurse anesthetist programs spread out across Pennsylvania’s colleges and universities, our commonwealth ranks among the top and draws nationally for CRNA students seeking training and education. However, without an official CRNA designation in statute, many graduating students frequently had to wait as long as six months or more to get credentialed in a facility as those state boards must verify students meet the requirements necessary to be classified appropriately in those states. Now CRNA designation will help these bright individuals stay in the Commonwealth and care for Pennsylvanians.

PA Farm Show Kicks Off Saturday

2022 Farm Show

The 106th Pennsylvania Farm Show kicks off this Saturday in Harrisburg, and will feature nearly 6,000 animals, 12,000 competitive events and exhibits, 300 commercial exhibits and hundreds of educational and entertaining events.

In addition to the farm animals and competition, the Farm Show is known for the Food Court smorgasbord. You can find a complete schedule of events here.

Visitors to the Farm Show Complex will not be required to wear a mask, but the Department of Agriculture is encouraging people to wear masks and practice social distancing at the event. Entrance is free, but parking costs $15 per car at all Farm Show complex lots.

The Pennsylvania agricultural sector supports 593,000 Pennsylvania jobs and annually contributes $132.5 billion to the state economy.

Resource Page for COVID-19 Prevention and Treatments

COVID-19 Prevention and Treatment

There are now multiple COVID-19 prevention and treatment options authorized by the FDA for emergency use in patients at high risk of developing severe COVID-19. 

The state Department of Health website has information regarding the distribution of COVID-19 Prevention and Treatments, covering:

You can find locations for prevention medicines and treatment at Therapeutics Distribution | HHS Protect Public Data Hub and information also can be found on local distributions of the oral antiviral medications Paxlovid and Molnupiravir. The supply of oral antiviral medications is extremely limited until national production increases. Consult with your healthcare provider on the appropriateness and availability of these treatments.

New 511PA Travel Information Features

New 511PA Features for Travelers

The 511PA traveler information service has new features and alert customization for passenger vehicle and commercial vehicle drivers.

511PA allows motorists to set up personalized travel alerts for specific roadways, days of the week, and times of the day. Users can now select the type of alerts they would like to receive, rather than receiving all alerts. Categories include incidents, roadwork, general travel information, travel restrictions, and weather-related alerts.

Additionally, motorists can now use just an email or mobile phone number for speed and vehicle restrictions or full roadway closures without creating a personalized account.

For commercial vehicle drivers, 511PA now includes locations for all bridges under legal height (13′ 6″) over state roads to improve information that drivers may be receiving from third-party navigation systems. This information can be viewed on the web map and is also available as an alert that can be heard in drive mode on the mobile app.

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