Week of June 8, 2015
Bills Pass Senate, Go to House
Executive Nominations Confirmed by Senate
Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program Application Deadline
Each year the department evaluates the program as the June 30 deadline approaches to determine if funds are available to extend the deadline. To date, funding has been available to allow all who qualify to take advantage of this program. As of May 22, the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue received 449,224 applications. Rebate distribution will begin on July 1, and after June 30, rebates will be distributed as claims are received.
Applicants may obtain Property Tax/Rent Rebate claim forms (PA-1000) at my Lebanon District Office, Room 101 Municipal Building, 400 South 8th Street, Lebanon; calling the Department of Revenue toll-free at 1-888-222-9190, or; online at www.revenue.pa.gov. Status of claims can also be checked online.
Persian Gulf Theater Veterans One-Time Bonus
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund Faces Never Forgotten
Column – Update: Medical Cannabis
We recently took another important step as the Pennsylvania Senate overwhelmingly passed my Senate Bill 3, 40 – 7. This is the second time the Senate has considered and passed legislation to allow medical cannabis as a treatment option for people with diseases and debilitating conditions. SB 3 is a more comprehensive bill than last Session’s SB 1182 thanks to the tireless efforts of advocates and the continued strong support of my Senate colleagues.
I especially want to thank Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-46, Beaver, Greene, and Washington Counties) who partnered with me to strengthen and expand SB 3. Working together, we were able to get a number of key changes into the bill, including an expansion of the list of diseases and treatable conditions to include Crohn’s Disease, Diabetes, and chronic or intractable pain.
We were also able to add vaporization as a delivery method for cannabis, which would be particularly beneficial to children with seizures and veterans with PTSD. I’m pleased Senator Bartolotta and I were able to explain the important differences between nebulization and vaporization.
Nebulization is the process of creating a fine mist from a liquid. Vaporization is the process of creating a fine mist, or vapor, from a liquid or a solid. An example of the difference between the two is Vicks VapoRub, which can be vaporized but not nebulized to create a vapor that can be taken into the sinuses and lungs where the medicine has a more immediate impact.
This is especially important when administering medical cannabis. Vaporized cannabis has a more rapid effect because it’s delivered to the lungs as a mist and goes directly into the blood stream within seconds. Ingesting cannabis can take an hour or more to take effect, which is a problem for veterans suffering panic attacks due to PTSD where time is of the essence.
With vaporization, the dosage is also better minimized and adjusted. The patient can start with a low dose, knowing they can safely and rapidly escalate the dose and not have to wait hours to get it right, as with ingested cannabis.
Senate Bill 3 as passed by the full Senate represents countless hours of discussion, deliberation, debate, and drafting and redrafting. I’m so grateful to everyone who labored to fine tune and pass this legislation.
However, our work is not over as we now begin the journey in the House of Representatives, which has not had the same opportunities to study this issue as has the Senate. I look forward to working with the House to bring them up-to-date on the provisions of SB 3 and to help explain the importance of bringing this medicine to Pennsylvania.
While there will continue to be concerns with medical cannabis and some will not be able to support SB 3 because of these concerns, please know you’re not my enemies. I too have opposed bills I could not support in my heart and I understand and appreciate the dilemmas with SB 3 because I too have been there. Hopefully, as this journey continues, you too will be convinced.
Finally, to those who are disappointed we weren’t able to get more into Senate Bill 3, I’m sorry – we tried. And, we have a solid foundation with which to begin deliberations in the House.
When contacting my office by e-mail, mail, or telephone, please be sure to share your e-mail, telephone number, and address so that we can follow up with you in a timely manner. Many inquiries can be handled with a phone call or email.
Was this message forwarded to you? Visit my website if you would like to receive your own copy of "Mike's Memo."
If you no longer wish to receive "Mike's Memo," please click
here to unsubscribe.
101 Municipal Building