Contact Information 
District Office
1739 Rostraver Road
Belle Vernon, PA 15012
Phone: (724) 929-2655
Hours: M-F 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Mount Pleasant Borough Hall
1 Etze Ave., Suite 212
Mount Pleasant, PA 15666
Phone: (724) 542-0349
Hours: Tues., Thurs. and Fri. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Satellite Offices
Jeannette Public Library
500 Magee Ave.
Jeannette, PA 15644
Hours: First and Third Wednesdays Noon to 6:30 p.m.

Sewickley Township Public Library
201 Highland Ave.
Herminie, PA 15637
Hours: Second and Fourth Wednesdays 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Capitol Office
B-12 Main Capitol
PO Box 202058
Harrisburg PA 17120-2058
Phone: (717) 783-3825
FAX: (717) 782-2964
         
                      
Senior Expo a Success
10/12/2018
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Weekly Roundup
#Listrak\DateStampLong# The latest news from the State Capitol

Senior Expo a Success

 
Last week, I held my second annual Senior Health and Wellness Expo at the Rostraver Central Volunteer Fire Department. Attendees gathered important information from government agencies and nonprofit organizations. It was great to see so many familiar faces and meet new people.
 

Disaster Aid Available for September Storm
 
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved a disaster declaration for Westmoreland County after significant flood damage to homes and businesses from a severe storm on Sept. 9, 2018.

Homeowners, renters and businesses impacted by the storm in Westmoreland County may be eligible for low-interest disaster loans through the SBA Disaster Loan Programs.

The SBA will establish a Disaster Loan Outreach Center (DLOC) to assist anyone who wishes to apply for a loan. The DLOC will be open on Friday, Oct. 12, at 11 a.m., at the West Newton Public Library, 124 North Water St., West Newton. The center will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13. It will cease operations on Friday, Oct. 19, at 4 p.m.

SBA customer service representatives will be on hand at the center to issue loan applications, answer questions about the disaster loan program, explain the application process and help individuals to complete their applications.

Individuals and businesses unable to visit the center in person may obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the hearing impaired), or by emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Loan applications also can be downloaded at  sba.gov/disaster.

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Dec. 10, 2018. The deadline to return economic injury disaster loan applications is July 9, 2019.
 

Two Pancake Breakfasts Scheduled
In the coming weeks, I will be hosting two free Pancake Breakfasts in the 58th Legislative District.

The first, on Thursday, Oct. 18, from 9-10:30 a.m., at the Epiphany of Our Lord Church, 44 Pennsylvania Blvd., Monessen, will feature a representative from the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office presenting information on scams and how to prevent identity theft. Please RSVP no later than Monday, Oct. 15, by filling out the form at  RepWalsh.com or calling my district office at (724) 929-2655.

The second breakfast, on Thursday, Oct. 25, from 9-10:30 a.m., at the American Legion Post No. 344, 109 S. 5th St., Jeannette, will include a presentation on PennDOT’s Yellow Dot Program and additional safety-related road issues. Please RSVP no later than Thursday, Oct. 18, by filling out the form at RepWalsh.com or calling my district office at (724) 929-2655.

I hope to see you at one of these breakfasts!
 

Giving Students Flexibility for Graduation Requirements
As a way to ensure students get the most out of their educational experience, the House passed legislation this week that would remove the heavy focus on standardized testing as a requirement to graduate and instead allow students various options to show proficiency in pursuing their own career paths.

Senate Bill 1095 would provide Pennsylvania students with additional options to fulfill high school graduation requirements beyond the Keystone Exams. Students who do not score proficient on the Keystone Exams would be able to demonstrate their readiness to graduate through alternative routes.

Specifically, the bill outlines several commonsense options for assessing student performance while also giving teachers more flexibility with classroom instruction time. Some alternatives include a student’s successful completion of work-based learning programs, a service learning project, or an offer of full-time employment as evidence of post-secondary readiness.

As part of the bill, the Keystone Exam graduation requirement would be put on hold until the 2021-22 school year. The alternate graduation options in Senate Bill 1095 would take effect when that delay expires.

This legislation, which now goes back to the Senate, seeks to enhance a multi-bill package to expand career and technical education to benefit both students and employers looking to fill jobs in high-demand fields.
 

New Law Enhances Training, Oversight of Humane Officers
To help ensure the state’s animal cruelty laws are enforced in the fairest way possible, legislation has been signed into law to strengthen the training and oversight of Humane Society police officers.

Act 77 of 2018 increased initial and annual training hours for Humane Society police officers, and requires the training to include the proper procedure to file citations and warrants, including when and how to contact other law enforcement.

Other provisions of the new law require training in farm operations and biosecurity, including at least one on-site visit to a working commercial farm operation. Any organization that employs Humane Society police officers will be subject to the state’s Right-to-Know Law.

Additionally, a Humane Society police officer must be a resident of Pennsylvania. If the appointment of a Humane Society police officer is revoked in one county, it would be revoked in all counties.
 

House Passes Bill to Crack Down on Hazing
Legislation that seeks to better ensure the safety of students on college campuses by cracking down on hazing passed the House this week.

Senate Bill 1090 is a comprehensive overhaul of the state’s anti-hazing law to give law enforcement better tools to prosecute hazing-related activities and to encourage those nearby to call for assistance for someone who may need help.

Specifically, the bill would increase penalties for those involved in hazing; require schools to have policies and reporting procedures in place to stop hazing; and ensure that parents and students are provided with information related to the issue. The legislation also would establish clear parameters on hazing for organizations such as fraternities and sororities.

The legislation is named in memory of Tim Piazza, a Penn State student who died as a result of hazing in 2017 and was denied medical care for hours. The measure now heads back to the Senate for concurrence.
 

Look, Listen and Learn During Fire Prevention Week
The Office of State Fire Commissioner is urging residents to “look, listen and learn” as part of this year’s theme for Fire Prevention Week, which lasts through Saturday, Oct. 13.

With today’s homes being filled with synthetic materials that burn hotter and faster, residents may have as little as two minutes to safely exit a burning structure.

The theme focuses on three basic but essential ways to quickly and safely escape a home fire: Look for places fire could start; listen for the sound of the smoke alarm; and learn two ways out of every room.

A home escape plan includes working smoke alarms on every level of the home, in every bedroom and near all sleeping areas. It also includes two ways out of every room, usually a door and a window, with a clear path to an outside meeting place that is a safe distance from the home.

For additional information about Fire Prevention Week and home escape planning, visit firepreventionweek.org.
 
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Office Locations
1739 Rostraver Road, Belle Vernon PA 15012 | (724) 929-2655
1 Etze Ave., Suite 212; Mount Pleasant, PA 15666 | (724) 542-0349
415 Clay Ave., Jeannette, PA 15644 | (724) 523-2739
B-12 Main Capitol, PO Box 202058, Harrisburg PA 17120-2058 | (717) 783-3825
Email Address: JWalsh@pahousegop.com
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