Senator Jake Corman E-Newsletter

View this email in a browser

In this Update: 

  • Tuesday: Emergency Declaration Questions on the Primary Election Ballot
  • Vaccine Options in the 34th District
  • Senate Approves Plan to Offer Additional Year of Education Due to COVID-19
  • Senate Acts to Preserve Prescription Drug Assistance for Seniors
  • Measure to Boost Donations for Breast Cancer Research Passed by Senate
  • PA Set to Transition to New Unemployment Compensation System
  • No Answers from Administration on Data Breach Affecting 72,000
  • Taking Time to Honor our Police Officers

Tuesday: Emergency Declaration Questions on the Primary Election Ballot

As I’ve reported to you in previous updates, the May 18 primary election features two proposed constitutional amendments to improve Pennsylvania’s emergency declaration process. There has been a great deal of confusion about what the amendments would accomplish.

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions:

Will voting YES on the amendments immediately end the current emergency declaration?

No. Voting YES would only give lawmakers the opportunity to collaborate with the Executive Branch to avoid many of the negative consequences we have seen as a result of Governor Wolf’s unilateral actions.

Is the General Assembly able to meet quickly enough to respond to emergencies?

Absolutely. The PA General Assembly proved its ability to move quickly after the governor’s COVID-19 shutdown orders, becoming the nation’s first legislature to meet virtually. Lawmakers quickly delayed the primary election, authorized small business assistance, enacted local government emergency provisions, removed school mandates and ensured healthcare workers had PPE.

Can the General Assembly meet frequently enough to extend emergency declarations every 21 days?

Yes. Senate and House leaders can alter the schedule to accommodate votes to extend an emergency declaration every three weeks, if necessary.

Would the state risk losing federal money for food assistance and other emergency funding if the amendments are approved?

No. Legislative leaders intend to work with the governor cooperatively and in the best interests of the people of Pennsylvania to preserve access to federal emergency relief funding, while protecting lives and livelihoods. 

Will these amendments apply only to the current governor?

No. This would apply to all future governors, Republicans and Democrats.

You can find more information, including ballot wording and opinions from around the state, here.

Vaccine Options in the 34th District

There are vaccine options available in the 34th District. They include:

  • Bryce Jordan Center – Eligible residents can schedule an appointment at pema.trackmyvaccine.com. The clinic offers both the single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine and the two-dose the Moderna vaccine.
  • Mt. Nittany Hospital – Community residents can register for the COVID-19 Vaccine here. If you cannot sign up for the COVID Vaccine Waitlist online, eligible community members can call the hospital’s COVID vaccine phone line at 814.234.7606, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and someone will help add residents to the waitlist.
  • Centre Volunteers in Medicine – Upcoming clinics are scheduled at Penns Valley High School, Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center, Panorama Village, State College Area High School and Mount Nittany Middle School. To be considered for an appointment at a vaccination clinic, you must add your name to their waiting list.  This can be done by filling out the online waiting list form. https://cvim.net/
  • Geisinger Health Systems – Located in Lewistown and Jersey Shore. You can sign up by calling 570.284.3657 or visit https://www.geisinger.org/coronavirus/patients-and-visitors/covid-19-vaccine-faqs to sign up for the waiting list.
  • Central PA Clinic – Located in Belleville. Visit http://centralpennsylvaniaclinic.org/ or call 717.935.2065.
  • Primary Health Network – Located in Yeagertown. Visit https://primary-health.net/   or call 724.699.9211.
  • Mifflintown Family Health Practice – Located in Mifflintown. Visit https://www.fpcdoctors.com/mifflintown/ or call 717.436.8283.

Senate Approves Plan to Offer Additional Year of Education Due to COVID-19


Parents would have the option to allow their children to repeat a grade level due to the learning disruptions created by COVID-19 under a bill I sponsored that was approved by the Senate this week.

In current practice, the decision on whether to hold a student back is made solely by the child’s school and teachers. Senate Bill 664 would give parents the option to make that decision for the 2021-22 school year since they are in the best position to gauge their child’s development and educational needs after students have spent much of the past year learning at home.

It would also allow parents to extend enrollment in special education programs for an extra year, preventing students with special needs from aging out of the system at age 21. More information about the bill is available here and in the video below.

 5/12/21 – Optional Year of Education Due to COVID-19 (SB 664)

Senate Acts to Preserve Prescription Drug Assistance for Seniors

The Senate adopted a plan that will allow thousands of older Pennsylvanians to retain eligibility for prescription drug assistance.

PACE and PACENET are the state’s prescription drug assistance programs that provide life-sustaining medications to 257,000 seniors. Eligibility for the programs are based on income. The Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2021 is estimated to result in almost 5,100 PACE and PACENET cardholders exceeding the income eligibility limits, meaning those seniors will lose their benefits.

Senate Bill 323 extends the current moratorium on increases in income due to a Social Security COLA for PACE and PACENET enrollees for two additional years until Dec. 31, 2023, benefitting 17,800 seniors.

Measure to Boost Donations for Breast Cancer Research Passed by Senate

The Senate approved legislation that would allow individuals renewing vehicle registrations or driver’s licenses to include an optional $5 donation to the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition. 

An estimated 2,000 women in Pennsylvania and 42,170 women nationwide will die from breast cancer this year, and one in eight women in the United States will develop breast cancer in her lifetime.

The Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition has been leading the fight against breast cancer since 1993. Throughout the years, PBCC has spent more than 1,500 hours on patient advocacy and contributed more than $4.5 million to breast cancer researchers in Pennsylvania.

PA Set to Transition to New Unemployment Compensation System

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s Unemployment Compensation system is finally ready to move on from outdated technology and will transition to a new system May 30-June 7, with the new system going live June 8.

The system will be offline for several days during next month’s transition from an outdated, 40-year-old system to a modern software solution, but department officials say the planned timeline has been positioned to allow most individuals to file their biweekly claims as scheduled.

Find out about disruptions this will cause, and access user guides and virtual workshops, here.

No Answers from Administration on Data Breach Affecting 72,000

The Senate Communications and Technology Committee convened a public hearing Tuesday to seek answers about a massive data breach of personal health data impacting more than 72,000 Pennsylvanians.

After initially agreeing to testify, Department of Health public officials said they would not testify nor answer questions from members. The committee also invited the third-party vendor that was awarded the $22.9 million state contract for COVID-19 contact tracing, but the company did not participate.

The committee conducted the hearing to read questions into the record and announced it will evaluate all legal options to get answers for impacted citizens.

Taking Time to Honor our Police Officers

National Police Week runs through Saturday, but recognizing the risk police officers face is a year-round obligation.

Citizens elect lawmakers to pass laws, and society needs police officers to enforce them. It’s a dangerous, often thankless job that has to be done, and it takes a special kind of person to step into that role. Please join me in thanking our local police for vital service they provide to our communities.

Facebook Twitter Instagram

If you do not wish to receive this email, click here to unsubscribe.

2022 © Senate of Pennsylvania | https://www.senatorcorman.com | Privacy Policy