Senator Lisa Baker E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • The Officer John Wilding Law – Act 95 of 2022
  • Special Education Additional School Year Notification Deadline is Monday
  • New Law Improves Access to Home Health Care Services
  • Help for Veterans and Beneficiaries Facing Unexpected Hardships
  • Watch Out for Energy Marketing Scams

The Officer John Wilding Law – Act 95 of 2022

This week a press conference was held at the Fallen Officers’ Memorial to celebrate Senate Bill 814 – The Officer John Wilding Law – being officially enacted into law as Act 95 of 2022. The bill strengthens the crimes code by adding penalties for fleeing an officer by foot to evade arrest. Seven years ago, Scranton Police Officer John Wilding lost his life in pursuit of suspects, who fled the crime scene to evade arrest.  I was honored to work with Senator John Yudichak and Senator Marty Flynn to advance this important measure, which became law on July 17.

Whenever a criminal act contributes to the death of a law enforcement officer, we must make certain that state law contains sufficient penalty for such an offense.  The loss of Officer John Wilding was an unfortunate tragedy that shook the community and was a painful example of the unimaginable taking place.  It exposed a gap in Pennsylvania law and brought together elected officials committed to developing and approving a law to fill the void in criminal sanctions. 

We are forever grateful to Officer Wilding’s mother, Mary Wilding, who became a strong and determined voice for her son, and played a critical role in helping our northeastern delegation to push this measure through the General Assembly.  We honor Officer Wilding’s service and sacrifice through this legislation, that will offer greater protection to law enforcement going forward.

Special Education Additional School Year Notification Deadline is Monday

The General Assembly recently passed a proposal to provide an additional year of instruction to special education students who reached the age of 21 during the 2021-22 school year or before the 2022-23 school year starts.

Due to COVID-19, many of these students suffered immense learning loss and need a bridge before aging out of the public school system.

Information about this provision is available here. Parents must submit the Act 55 of 2022 Student Enrollment Notification Form to their school district by this Monday, Aug. 1. 

New Law Improves Access to Home Health Care Services

Legislation recently passed by the General Assembly and enacted into law will help improve access to home health care services by making permanent two regulations waived during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prior to the pandemic, non-physician practitioners were unable to order or oversee orders for home health care services. Additionally, registered nurses were not able to perform remote visits to patients in need of home health care services.

Due to great need, those regulations were waived during the pandemic. Act 30 of 2022 makes these exceptions permanent, so health care services are more accessible to those individuals who cannot leave their homes to obtain care or treatment. 

Help for Veterans and Beneficiaries Facing Unexpected Hardships

Pennsylvania veterans and beneficiaries facing a crisis can receive financial relief for necessities of life such as food, shelter, fuel and clothing through the Veterans Temporary Assistance program.

Eligible veterans or their beneficiaries can qualify for up to $1,600 in a 12-month period. Eligibility requirements include: a person who served in the U.S. Armed Forces (discharged under honorable conditions), died in service or was killed in action, or suffered a service-connected disability.

To apply, contact the County Veterans Affairs Director in your county.

Watch Out for Energy Marketing Scams

Consumers should be alert for potential energy marketing scams, especially unsolicited telemarketing calls requesting immediate action and promising far-reaching savings on energy bills.

One type of misleading solicitation involves robocalls from unidentified sources making vague and potentially misleading statements about customer discounts, refunds, rebates and bonuses if the customer acts now. The calls often appear as a local telephone number on recipients’ caller ID, which is often fake or “spoofed,” or the calls fail to display any number at all.

According to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, if the sales agent fails to immediately identify themselves and the reason for the call, the consumer should end the call. Find out more about scammers and how to avoid them here.

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