Toohil receives award
from Marsy’s Law group
HARRISBURG — Rep. Tarah Toohil, R-Drums, has been recognized by the Marsy’s Law for Pennsylvania organization for her support of legislation aimed at providing equal rights to crime victims by ensuring constitutional protections.
The Guardian of Victims’ Rights Awards are presented to individuals who have served as advocates and ambassadors for crime victims across the state, working to ensure they are treated with dignity and respect.
Marsy’s Law legislation, House Bill 276, was recently passed by the House Judiciary Committee and sent to the full House of Representatives for consideration. For the state constitution to be amended, legislation must pass in two consecutive sessions before being added to the ballot for voter approval. During the 2017-18 legislative session, Marsy’s Law passed unanimously in the House and Senate.
George, Casey’s staff talk
impact of stormwater fee
WILKES-BARRE — Mayor Tony George held a conference call Friday with staff members of U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Scranton, about the financial burden the recently imposed stormwater fee has had on residents.
George called for federal funds to pay for municipalities to comply with a federal mandate to reduce pollution in the Susquehanna River. Wilkes-Barre is required to have a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System or MS4 permit under the mandate. Along with more than two dozen other municipalities, it is participating in a regional program managed by the Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority that sets and collects fees from residential and commercial property owners.
In a press release, George said the Clean Water Revolving Fund should pay for the mandate.
“The fee distributed nationally would be pennies, compared to the costs placed on residents of the Wyoming Valley,” George said.
‘Taking it to Streets’
initiative to resume
WILKES-BARRE — The city’s “Taking it to Streets” initiative will resume Wednesday, March 27, in South Wilkes-Barre.
It is the third year for the initiative that aims to identify and abate nuisance properties and enforce the city’s Quality of Life ordinance.
The city released the weather-dependent schedule for neighborhoods:
• April 2, Rolling Mill Hill
• April 10, Heights
• April 17, East End
• April 24, North End
• May 1, Miners Mill
• May 8, Parsons
• May 15, Downtown
State House votes to expand
career, technical education
HARRISBURG — A bipartisan bill looking to boost career and technical education unanimously passed the state House of Representatives recently, according to prime sponsor Rep. Gerald Mullery.
Mullery, D-Newport Township, said as a commonwealth, it’s important to train students for the jobs that will be available in the future and successful career and technical education programs do just that.
Under Mullery’s H.B. 394, the Department of Education and the Department of Labor and Industry would conduct an inventory of existing workforce development programs at both the secondary and post-secondary levels with particular emphasis on opportunities for business-education partnerships. The goal would be to share those best practices learned with the various entities to help improve the delivery of career-focused opportunities.
The bill now heads to the state Senate for consideration.
Kingston municipal offices
to close for Good Friday
KINGSTON — The borough’s administrative offices will be closed Friday, April 19, in observance of Good Friday and will re-open Monday, April 22, at 8:30 a.m.
Residents of Zones 1 and 2A who normally place their recyclables curbside for pickup on Mondays are asked to do so on Friday, April 19. Public works will run its normal schedule Friday, April 19, and will be closed on Monday, April 22.
Rep. Boback announces
April outreach hours
DALLAS — Rep. Karen Boback, R-Harveys Lake, announced her outreach events and satellite hours for the month of April. Representatives from several different organizations will offer assistance at her district offices throughout the month.
A member of Boback’s staff will be available Tuesday, April 9, at the Hunlock Township Building, 33 Village Drive, Hunlock Creek, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
For more legislative information and other scheduled events, visit Boback’s website at www.RepBoback.com.
Misericordia to host program
on addiction treatment, recovery
DALLAS TWP. — The Center for Human Dignity in Bioethics, Health and the Holocaust and the Department of Social Work at Misericordia University are hosting the free program, “A Human Dignity Perspective on Addiction Treatment and Recovery.”
The program is set for Friday, March 29, from 10 a.m. to noon in the Huntzinger and Alden Trust Rooms of Sandy and Marlene Insalaco Hall. Registration for the public program begins at 9:30 a.m.
Panelists include state Sen. Lisa Baker, R-Lehman Township; Ricardo Horn, L.M.S.W., executive director, Pyramid Healthcare Inc.; and William Stauffer, executive director, Pennsylvania Recovery Organization-Alliance (PRO-A), who will serve as moderator. In addition, Charles Burns, M.D., a retired urologist, will speak as a community member in recovery.
All state prisons going
tobacco free by July 1
HARRISBURG — Secretary John Wetzel announced that the Department of Corrections will make all state prisons tobacco-free.
Beginning July 1, tobacco products no longer will be permitted inside the secure perimeter of any Pennsylvania state prison. Tobacco products discovered or used inside the prison after July 1 — by inmates or staff — will be considered contraband. The DOC identifies tobacco products as cigarettes, cigars, tobacco (smoking and smokeless), tobacco substitutes, lighters, pipes, pipe cleaners, filters, rolling papers, roller aprons and rollers.
Both inmates and employees will be permitted to use DOC-approved disposable/non-refillable e-cigarettes in designated areas.
Inmates will be provided with smoking cessation programs, educational materials and support services to assist them with this transition. Inmates, working with the prison’s medical department, may purchase nicotine replacement therapy patches through an approved outside vendor.
Toohil to sit on House panel
on Government Oversight
HARRISBURG — Rep. Tarah Toohil, R-Drums, has been appointed to serve on the newly created House Government Oversight Committee for the 2019-20 legislative session.
The nine-member committee has the power to issue subpoenas in its investigations into matters referred by the speaker, majority leader or minority leader. The majority party is tasked with appointing five members to the committee and the minority party appoints the remaining four.
Toohil also serves as vice chairman of the Children and Youth Committee, and as a member of the Human Services, Judiciary, Professional Licensure and Rules committees.
From left are Madison Scarfaro, staffer for Marsy’s Law for Pennsylvania; Janet Mackay, executive director of the Victims Resource Center in Carbon, Luzerne and Wyoming counties; and state Rep. Tarah Toohil, R-Drums. Toohil was recently recognized by the Marsy’s Law organization for her support of legislation aimed at providing equal rights to crime victims.