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Killion Bill One of the First of Several in Opioid Abuse Package to Reach Governor
Legislation that I sponsored – in an effort to stem the state’s growing opioid addiction crisis – that would implement Safe Opioid Prescribing Curriculum in Pennsylvania’s medical training facilities, is now on the Governor’s desk.
Senate Bill 1368 calls for a focus in five key areas, including pain management; multimodal treatments for chronic pain that minimize the use of a controlled substance containing an opioid; instruction on safe methods of prescribing a controlled substance containing an opioid that follows guideline-based care; identification of patients who have been identified as at-risk for developing problems with prescription opioids; and teaching medical students how to manage substance abuse disorders as a chronic disease.
This week, a House amendment was added to require the Department of Health (DOH), in consultation with the statewide professional organizations for physicians, nursing homes, professional nurses, emergency medical system and health care facilities to develop and publish a voluntary non-opioid directive form that may be used by a patient to deny or refuse the administration or prescribing of an opioid drug by a practitioner. The voluntary non-opioid directive form must be in a downloadable format on the DOH website.
I’m pleased that the governor and the legislature recognize the serious impact of opioid abuse in communities throughout this state. We need to have people properly trained in the areas of pain management and prescribing practices. Our response to the heroin and opioid epidemic continues to evolve. As such, we need to evolve our curricula being taught in our medical training facilities. Training in certain areas, such as pain management, is a pivotal first step.
According a recent report by the Drug Enforcement Administration, nearly 3,400 drug-related overdose deaths were reported in Pennsylvania in 2015, an increase of more than 23% over 2014. In approximately four out of five of those deaths, the presence of heroin or at least one opioid was reported.
Nearly half of all young people who inject heroin surveyed in three recent studies reported abusing prescription opioids before starting to use heroin, showing some proof to the research that pain medication may actually open the door to heroin use.
My legislation will ensure that future medical professionals are trained in prescribing opioids safely and effectively. I am hopeful the Governor signs it immediately (keep watch for status).
Killion Voted To Ensure Funding for the City of Chester and Delaware County
On Wednesday, October 26, I voted for legislation that would keep money flowing from casino fees to local municipalities, including more than $10 million annually to the City of Chester.
House Bill 1887, which passed the Senate by a vote of 46-1, was drafted in response to a state Supreme Court ruling that invalidated local share provisions in the Gaming Act providing more than $140 million in casino fees to communities. It was imperative that the Senate do its due diligence for Pennsylvania communities impacted by the Court decision that struck down a vital source of revenues used to cover costs for police, fire and other services.
Municipalities rely on this funding for core services for constituents. It is vital that we ensure that they continue to receive this revenue and can balance their budgets until we can develop a long-term fix for this issue.
The Supreme Court ruled the law violated the constitution's taxation uniformity clause because it forced casinos to pay a host fee of $10 million or 2 percent of slot revenue, whichever was greater.
The Senate stop-gap bill would set a flat prorated $10 million fee to be paid on a monthly basis, starting on Jan. 1 and expiring on May 1. Killion said it is only meant to ensure the local communities continue to receive funding until a long-term fix can be negotiated next year. This unexpected loss of revenue could be devastating for the City of Chester and Delaware County.
I want to ensure that local officials and residents in my district are not adversely affected in the short-term by this court decision. (Will keep watch on the status of HB 1887).
Sen. Killion, State Senate Recognize Local Students for Efforts to Prevent Bullying
On Wednesday, October 26, during remarks floor of the State Senate, I recognized two students, one from Strath Haven Middle School and one from Strath Haven High School, located in Wallingford, Delaware County, for their efforts to prevent bullying in schools.
Jessica Yohey and Izabella Cipresso organized an anti-bullying walk at their school in September, which helped increase awareness of the prevalence of bullying on children of all ages. The students were joined in the Senate gallery by their parents, families and friends.
I’m very proud that these young people worked so hard to organize this event, and in doing so helped to educate people about serious bullying is and how devastating it can be for victims. Bullying can be prevented, especially when the power of a community is brought to bear. I’m pleased that Jessica and Izabella are leading community outreach efforts that will help identify and support children who are bullied and change the attitudes of adults and youth who tolerate bullying behaviors in peer groups, schools, and communities.
As part of that effort, I introduced Senate Resolution 490, designating the month of October 2016 as “Bullying Prevention Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania. The goal is to encourage communities to work together to stop bullying and cyberbullying by increasing awareness of the prevalence and impact of bullying on children of all ages.
According to statistics compiled by the Department of Education, bullying affects 28 percent of students in grades 6 to 12 and 20 percent of students in grades 9 to 12.
Thank you to the residents of Fox Hill Farm and The Chester County Chamber Foundation Youth Leadership Program Students for making the trip up to Harrisburg last week. It was great meeting you all.
Last Friday, I held my first ever Senior Expo at Pennsylvania State Brandywine Campus. Hundreds of seniors from all over the 9th Senatorial District enjoyed entertainment, refreshments and over 50 vendors representing local, state and federal agencies along with non-profits all geared toward helping senior citizens. Thanks to all who participated.
Influenza (Flu) Season
Flu season is upon us, and the Department of Health has provided a website for Pennsylvanians to better educate themselves on the disease. To learn more about the symptoms or even to find the closest Influenza Vaccine Clinic to you, as well as a whole host of other useful information please visit http://www.health.pa.gov/My%20Health/Diseases%20and%20Conditions/I-L/Pages/Influenza.aspx#.WBM_T2bD-Um
How We Can Help You
Here are some of the ways that my office can assist you:
Satellite offices have been set up to provide close-to-home services to area residents. The locations and hours are listed here:
Nether Providence Township Building
Edgmont Township Building
Borough of Marcus Hook
Kennett Township Building
The Chester Township Municipal Building
How to Contact Me
I have staffed offices in the district and Harrisburg to provide you with top-notch constituent service and provide answers to legislative inquiries.
The district office is located at 100 Evergreen Drive, Suite 113 in Glen Mills PA, 19342. The phone number is (610) 358-5183. It is open Monday through Friday from 9 am to 4:30 pm.
My Harrisburg office can be reached by phone at (717) 787-4712 or by mail at Senate Box 203009, Harrisburg, PA 17120.
If you are having any problems with state agencies or need help with a problem relating to government, my staff and I will be happy to assist you.
Senate Box 203009
100 Evergreen Drive