I hope everyone has recovered from the Thanksgiving tryptophan turkey coma!
November has been an exciting month with the midterm elections and preparation for the holidays in full swing. I am thrilled to share that the Safe Harbor Act amendments, which were co-sponsored by myself and Stewart Greenleaf, were recently signed into law. I am proud to have passed a trilogy of anti-human trafficking bills in a bi-partisan way.
At the beginning of the month, I also sent a letter to all 67 counties asking them to assure that medical marijuana patients on probation and parole can use their medical marijuana, properly obtained from a medical marijuana dispensary, without risk of penalty in accordance with Act 16 of 2016 – Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act. We have already received a positive response from several judges.
My office is always working hard to serve our constituents. Let us know how we can help you!
Know About Events!
Winter Clothing Collection Drive - November 27 through November 30
Bateman Gallagher American Legion Post 668 is collecting winter clothing for Veterans in need. They will also accept toiletries, shoes and boots. Items can be dropped off after 4pm daily. The address for drop off is 401 E Lancaster Ave, Wayne, PA 19087. If you have any questions, call 610-688-9713.
Narberth Dickens Festival - December 2, 12pm to 4pm
In this Dickens-themed event, the town of Narberth is transformed into 1840's London, as all the characters from A Christmas Carol roam the streets for the afternoon. There is entertainment and activities for all ages, including horse-drawn carriage rides, holiday crafts, carolers, ballet performances, magicians, puppet shows, ice sculptors, and a free Dickens-themed scavenger hunt for children.
For more information, click here.
Toys for Our Township Drawing Contest - November 21 through December 16
The Upper Merion Township Police Department is partnering with Upper Merion Emergency Aid (UMEA) to collect new, unwrapped toys of all kinds to be given to Upper Merion residents in need. Before toy drive can begin, UMTPD needs a promotional flyer to get the word out, so they are holding a drawing contest to see who can create the best holiday promotional flyer for this great cause.
To find out more information and to see how you can enter the contest, click here.
Know Our Constituent Services!
Heating Assistance / LIHEAP
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, also known as LIHEAP, is now open for 2018! LIHEAP helps families living on low incomes pay their heating bills in the form of a cash grant. With cash grants, a one-time payment is sent directly to the utility company/fuel provider and will be credited on your bill. The grants do not need to be repaid. Cash grants range from $200 to $1,000 based on household size, income, and fuel type. To see if you are eligible or to apply, visit: http://www.dhs.pa.gov/citizens/heatingassistanceliheap/index.htm
For the second year in a row, our office partnered with ElderNet to supply two families in the community with ingredients for their Thanksgiving dinners.
Speak at MCCC LIR Government Program
Montgomery County Community College brought back its Legislator in Residence (LIR) Program. LIR is where MCCC has several legislators come by throughout the semester and speak with political science students about different areas of politics and government. I spoke at the American National Government class on November 8 about gerrymandering because even with the new maps, it is still an issue, especially with the changes to SB 22.
Know Your Legislation
Safe Harbor Amendments Signed into Law
On November 14, Senate Bill 554, Safe Harbor in Human Trafficking, was signed into law as Act 130 of 2017. This piece of legislation amends current Pennsylvania statutes to prevent child victims of human trafficking from criminal prosecution. It also requires the Department of Human Services to work with county agencies to develop programs that address the needs of exploited children, including housing, education, employment and life skills, case management, health care substance abuse treatment, clothing and other needs.
Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal industries in the world. Traffickers reap billions in profits by using force, fraud or coercion to rob victims of their freedom through labor or commercial sex. In Pennsylvania, victims of sex and labor trafficking include U.S. citizens, foreign nationals, minors and adults.
PA is a “Pass-Through” State as well as a destination for Human Trafficking. Traffickers utilize the many highways of the state to move victims between trafficking hotspots in Ohio, New Jersey and New York.