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In this Update:
- Historic Breast Cancer Screening Bill Unanimously Passes Senate
- First Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee Meeting as Chairman
- Governor’s Budget Proposal and My Response
- Honoring Sergeant Fitzgerald
- Honoring Jim McFadden for 60 years with Parkland Fire Company
- Daylight Savings Time Begins this Weekend
Historic Breast Cancer Screening Bill Unanimously Passes Senate
The Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 8, a comprehensive breast cancer screening and genetic testing bill. The bill now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.
The bill eliminates out-of-pocket costs associated with BRCA-related genetic testing and counseling, as well as supplemental screening such as breast MRIs and ultrasound for women at high-risk. High-risk conditions covered by the bill include dense breast tissue, a personal or family history of breast cancer, genetic predisposition and prior radiation therapy.
The legislation expands on Act 52 of 2020, which required insurers to cover breast MRIs and ultrasounds for women with high-risk factors. Senate Bill 8 is step two, eliminating costs including co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance for those screenings and BRCA-related genetic testing and counseling.
First Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee Meeting as Chairman
On Wednesday, I chaired my first voting meeting as the Chairman of the Senate Urban Affairs Committee. The committee passed Senate Bill 295 in strong bipartisan fashion to allow the establishment of first time home buyer savings accounts. These accounts will allow someone to put money towards a buying their first home and then deducting that money from their state income tax once they purchase a home. I believe this is good legislation to help ensure current and future generations of Pennsylvanians can achieve the American dream of homeownership.
Governor’s Budget Proposal and My Response
Gov. Josh Shapiro started the 2023-24 state budget process this week with the introduction of his spending plan. As a new Senator and member of the Appropriations Committee, I think there were some great proposals that came out of his budget proposal, such as investing in mental/behavioral health. There were also some areas of concerns.
This is just the beginning of the budget process. The Senate Appropriations Committee will begin a series of public hearings on the proposal March 20, after which work will continue to create a final spending plan. I will work with my colleagues to enact a responsible budget that respects taxpayers and funds essential services.
Honoring Sergeant Fitzgerald
Christopher Fitzgerald was posthumously promoted to sergeant after being tragically killed in the line of duty on February 18th. This past Wednesday, The Senate of Pennsylvania presented Sergeant Fitzgerald’s family with a condolence resolution on the Senate floor honoring his life and dedication to serving his community. I was honored to have the opportunity to meet Sergeant Fitzgeralds’ wife, mother, and other family members to personally convey our condolences on behalf of the community.
Honoring Jim McFadden for 60 years with Parkland Fire Company
This past Saturday, Jim McFadden was honored by Parkland Fire Company for his sixty years of dedicated service. Currently serving as Chief Engineer and a member of the Board of governors, McFadden also served as Chief for twenty years, President for nineteen years and a life member for forty years.
Along with Congressman Fitzpatrick and Representative Joe Hogan, we presented McFadden with citations honoring his years of service protecting our community.
Daylight Saving Time Begins This Weekend
Reminder: Daylight Saving Time begins this Sunday, March 12, at 2 a.m. While cell phone and computer clocks usually change automatically, most people move their standard clocks ahead one hour on Saturday night.
It’s also a good time to check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. If the devices are older than 10 years, experts suggest upgrading to 10-year, sealed battery alarms. They don’t require any battery replacement throughout their lifetime. Regardless, it’s still a good idea to press the test button on the alarms at least once every month.
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