Jun. 07, 2019

Raising Awareness About Food Allergies, General EpiPen Prescriptions


Last month, I sponsored a House resolution designating the week of May 12-18 as “Food Allergy Awareness Week” in the Commonwealth. After the vote, I shared the story of how my wife and I discovered our son’s severe food allergy and how food allergies have such a significant impact on individuals and families. It is important for all of us – not just people with food allergies and their families – to understand the seriousness of this condition.

Also in response to my experience with my son, I sponsored legislation – now Act 93 of 2018 – that allows law enforcement agencies and a variety of other organizations to obtain a general, non-patient-specific prescription for epinephrine auto injectors (EAIs), commonly referred to as EpiPens, to keep the medication on hand in case of emergency.

The following are considered authorized entities and may obtain general prescriptions from health care practitioners or pharmacists: Recreation/summer camps, colleges and universities, day care centers, youth sports leagues, amusement parks, restaurants, places of employment, sports arenas and law enforcement agencies.

Under the law, a designated employee or employees of an organization that chooses to obtain EAIs must complete an anaphylaxis training program before being permitted to handle or administer the medication. This training must be conducted by a nationally recognized organization experienced in training laypersons in emergency health treatment or an entity approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

To learn more about this law, visit health.pa.gov.
Champion Frazier Wrestlers Recognized in State House


I was honored to welcome Frazier School District wrestlers Thayne and Rune Lawrence to the state House last month. Thayne, a junior at Frazier Area High School, won his second straight PIAA Class AA state championship at Hershey in March. Rune, a seventh-grader, became Frazier Area School District’s first junior high state champion when he won the Pennsylvania Junior Wrestling Junior High Championship at 132 pounds at Johnstown in March.

Pictured from left: Speaker of the House Mike Turzai, me, Rune Lawrence, Thayne Lawrence, Rep. Bud Cook, Frazier High School Wresting Coach Buck Watkins and Middle School Wrestling Coach Craig Kordich.
Call to Action on Taxpayer Protection Act

Earlier this week, I joined several House and Senate lawmakers in calling for action on our legislation to put much-needed spending limits in place for the annual state budget to protect YOU, the hard-working taxpayer.

My House Bill 1316 and Senate Bill 116, sponsored by Sen. Camera Bartolotta, propose to amend the state Constitution to limit annual budget spending growth to a rate based on inflation and population change. This change would help ensure government lives within its means and is fiscally responsible. It also opens the door to better economic growth and job opportunities.

Check out my comments in the video below.                                   


Bills Advance to Grow PA Agriculture

Recognizing the important contributions of the state’s agriculture industry, the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, on which I serve as a member, this week approved a package of bills to support current and future farmers in the Commonwealth.

Among the bills approved by the committee are ones to create a Rapid Response Disaster Readiness Account to ensure a quick state-level response to threats such as invasive species or disease; establish a Pennsylvania Agricultural Business Development Center to help farmers create a business plan, transition plan or succession plan; and empower the State Conservation Commission to provide technical assistance and financing options for implementing best management practices.

To ensure our youth have greater exposure to and understanding of the importance of farming, other bills would revive the PA Farm-to-School Program to support child nutrition and reestablish the former Agriculture and Rural Youth Development Program to fund youth organizations that promote development in agriculture, community leadership, vocational training and peer fellowship.

Other measures aim to boost enrollment in the veteran farmer Homegrown by Heroes program, provide specialty crop block grants, aid with meat inspection costs for small or new processors and protect agritourism business from lawsuits where no party is at fault for injuries or damages.

The bills now go to the House for consideration.
Remembering D-Day


Yesterday marked the 75th anniversary of D-Day. On that day in 1944, more than 160,000 Allied troops – about half of them Americans – landed in Normandy, France, to begin the liberation of Europe. These brave souls fought, and many died, to bring freedom to the oppressed peoples living under Nazi tyranny. We must always remember those who took part in the great crusade to rid the world of Nazism.

On Wednesday, the House held a moving ceremony to honor those dedicated men and women, and we were blessed to be joined by several World War II veterans: Louis Cinifici, Walter Davis, Charles Eberwein, William Gordon, Dr. Cedric Jimerson, Bernadine Smith, Ethan Smith, Kenneth Mosser, John Fleming and Joseph Charles Zebertavage.

This video aired as part of the ceremony, and I wanted to share it with you. It's a stark reminder of the sacrifices made for us.