Senator Lisa Baker E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Senators Push Bi-Partisan Juvenile Justice Reforms
  • Where to Vote on May 17
  • Clearing Up Questions About Local Option Small Games of Chance Law
  • Concealed Carry Seminar May 26
  • Gypsy/Spongy Moth Spraying on State Game Lands
  • Avoiding Lyme Disease in a State Where It’s Prevalent

Senators Push Bi-Partisan Juvenile Justice Reforms

Legislation to strengthen Pennsylvania’s juvenile justice system has been introduced to implement reforms needed to improve outcomes for youth, families, and communities, with a continued focus on protecting public safety.  Last year, Pennsylvania’s Juvenile Justice Task Force issued its Juvenile Justice Task Force Report containing policy recommendations following a comprehensive review of current practices. The 30-member panel assessed the state’s juvenile justice system and reviewed data from court and state agencies and examined how current practices can better align with what research says works best. 

I’m proud to be working with my colleagues to advance a package of bills intended to achieve taxpayer savings that can then be reinvested to implement more effective research-based policies.  Read more about this package of bills here.

Where to Vote on May 17

The May 17 primary election is approaching, and if you’re not sure where to vote, the polling place search tool can help.

Enter your address information in the drop-down menus and the tool will locate your polling place. It can also provide directions from your residence to the site.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day. Mail ballots must be received by your county board of elections by 8 p.m. on Election Day.

Clearing Up Questions About Local Option Small Games of Chance Law

Questions are being raised by volunteer fire companies and other clubs regarding the Local Option Small Games of Chance (SGOC) law.  Many of these groups are under the mistaken impression that a state law exists allowing clubs to conduct online fundraising during the pandemic. 

Two bills (Senate Bill 243 and House Bill 290) to authorize online SGOC and raffles during the emergency declaration and for one year afterward, or through May 1, 2022, have been introduced in both chambers of the General Assembly. While both bills have advanced through one of those chambers, they have not received final approval from both chambers.

In 2020, the General Assembly did enact Act 118, which allows SGOC licensees to forgo their annual donation requirement (SGOC law requires that licensees donate 60% of their SGOC revenue to charity, leaving them with 40% for their own operating expenses) so that, presently, clubs may use 100% of their SGOC revenue for operating expenses.

However, that authorization is set to expire on June 10, 2022. Senate Bill 1159 has been introduced to extend Act 118 through Dec. 31, 2022.

Concealed Carry Seminar May 26

This spring Representative Jonathan Fritz and I are partnering together to host a Concealed Carry Seminar on Thursday, May 26, from 6-8 p.m. at the Forest City Historical Society Building (633 Main St in Forest City). All constituents of the 20th Senatorial District and 111th House District are invited to attend this informal session.  Concealed carry and firearm laws in Pennsylvania will be discussed. 

Doors will open for attendees starting at 5:30 p.m. Registration is required for this event and space is limited. Those who wish to attend please call Rep. Fritz’s Honesdale office at 570-253-5533, or RSVP by submitting an online form here.

Gypsy/Spongy Moth Spraying on State Game Lands

The Pennsylvania Game Commission announced plans to spray more than 62,000 acres of state game lands this spring to protect against spongy moths, previously known by the common name gypsy moth.

Spraying will occur on 27 different state game lands – 62,934 acres in all – and will begin as soon as leaf-out occurs and spongy moth egg masses hatch, likely in late April and May.

The insecticide to be used is Mimic 2LV, the active ingredient of which is tebufenozide. This agent generally is considered safe to humans. As with any chemical, it may cause eye or skin irritation if exposed, and it is recommended to wash any affected area if irritation occurs.

More information on spongy moths and the Game Commission’s spraying program, including a map updating the status of this year’s spraying, is available on the commission’s interactive web page.

Avoiding Lyme Disease in a State Where It’s Prevalent

Lyme disease is a bacterial disease transmitted by the bite of a blacklegged tick or deer tick. It can cause flu-like symptoms and a rash in the early stages, but can progress to arthritic, neurologic and cardiac symptoms if it is not treated.

Pennsylvania led the nation with 6,763 confirmed cases of Lyme disease in 2019, the most recent year reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Find out how you can prevent getting Lyme disease, how to spot symptoms and more here.

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