DDAP Visits Allegheny Co. on Statewide Listening Tour | Five for the weekend

Good weekend to all.

State officials from Pennsylvania Department of Drugs and Alcohol Programs continued its county-level listening tour this week, visiting Allegheny County Hear from substance use disorder treatment providers and prevention specialists about local addiction management efforts.

“This is a comprehensive way to learn about local efforts to address the addiction crisis in Allegheny County, which has lost a devastating number of individuals to overdoses in recent years. only”, said DDAP Secretary Jen Smith. “It is also an opportunity to hear directly from people in this area of ​​the state about the successes and challenges they are currently experiencing and how our multiple levels of government can move forward collectively to address the trends in substance use, while addressing the behavioral health crisis more broadly. we live.

The state agency began the listening tour in 2021 in response to rising overdose deaths and polysubstance use across the Commonwealth.

Preliminary data from the Pennsylvania Department of Health show that 5,319 people died of overdoses in 2021, with 716 deaths reported in Alleghany County.

“The pandemic has been particularly difficult for people with substance use disorder,” Maisha Howze, deputy assistant director of the Allegheny County Department of Social Services Office of Behavioral Health. “In Allegheny County, we have been fortunate to have the ability to adapt and respond to new and changing service needs.

So far, the DDAP has held 10 round tables in counties across the state, including Cambria and Crawford counties.

As always, the top five stories from this week are below.

(c) R. Gino Santa Maria – Stock.Adobe.com
Fireworks at night over dark blue sky

1. Pennsylvania Senate approves bill restricting fireworks

The Republican-controlled Pennsylvania Senate on Thursday approved legislation proposing reform of the state’s existing fireworks law, including restrictions on when they can be set off.

The bill, introduced by Rep. Frank Farry, R-Bucks, passed the upper house with a 44-6 vote. It now returns to the House of Representatives for approval.

After the legislature legalized the sale and use of consumer fireworks in 2017, lawmakers received complaints from communities and law enforcement about noise and safety.

Pennsylvania House Speaker Bryan Cutler, R-Lancaster, speaks during a press conference at the State Capitol Thursday, July 7, 2022 (Capital-Star photo by Cassie Miller).

2. Pa. House approves $45.2 billion budget and sends it to the Senate

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives on Thursday passed a roughly $45.2 billion budget plan that includes an $850 million increase for K-12 school districts, more money for mental health and the biggest investment in environmental protection in a decade.

The vote on the Omnibus Appropriations Bill – billed as a bipartisan compromise that invests in the people and the future of the Commonwealth – passed by a vote of 180 to 20 and is now heading to the Senate.

Erica Clayton Wright, spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward, R-Westmoreland, told the Capital-Star that the GOP caucus was going through the spending plan line by line. She added that no formal agreement had been reached by Thursday afternoon.

Image via pxHere.com)

3. York County Legislator Says He’ll Move Video Game Expansion On Truck Stops

As budget negotiations drag on five days past the June 30 deadline, a York County lawmaker announced on Tuesday that he would introduce a bill that would increase the number of truck stops eligible for video game licenses.

Rep. Seth Grove, R-York, said he would soon introduce legislation to end the requirement that a video game terminal licensee sell at least 50,000 gallons of diesel fuel each month in mean.

“It just doesn’t make sense to tie a licensee to a commodity. Think of it this way, would the Commonwealth tie a tavern license to the number of wings a tavern sells per month? Grove wrote in a memo seeking co-sponsors for his proposal.

The Pennsylvania House (Capital-Star photo by Stephen Caruso)

4. To Engage the “Will of the Voters,” You Must Also Empower Them | Opinion

If some members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly are successful, Commonwealth voters could soon vote on constitutional amendments that would shorten the terms of justices and state Supreme Court justices, allow the Legislature to decide the salaries of Pennsylvania judges and limit the Supreme Court’s regulatory abilities and its authority to draw maps of Congress.

And that’s just a sample of the proposed constitutional amendments related to the judiciary – there are also a host of other proposed amendments at various stages in Harrisburg related to expanding the power of the General Assembly to overrule executive orders. , lowering the voting age to 16, creating a vote-by-choice ranking in Pennsylvania, establishing that there is no right to abortion under Pennsylvania law and requiring ID to vote.

Pennsylvania Capitol.  24 May 2022. Harrisburg, Pa. (photo by Amanda Berg, for the Capital-Star).
Pennsylvania Capitol Building on Tuesday, May 24, 2022. (Photo by Amanda Berg, for the Capital-Star).

5. Pennsylvania Senate Republicans propose late-night constitutional amendment package on abortion, voter ID

Despite opposition from Senate Democrats, Republicans in the upper house have advanced a proposal to add language to the Pennsylvania Constitution stating that the guiding document does not guarantee any abortion rights or public funding for the procedure. .

After voting in favor of a waiver of a rule prohibiting voting after 11 p.m., the Senate Rules Committee passed proposed amendments on Thursday, including language requiring voters to show identification at polling stations. vote, allowing gubernatorial candidates to select their running mates and creating a system for election audits. . The bill also includes language that would allow lawmakers to disapprove of regulations without a possible veto from the governor.

And this is the week. We’ll see you here next week.

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