The Bucks County Republican delegation advanced several legislative initiatives that either recently passed as freestanding legislation or were included in the $42.8 billion budget passed by the House of Representatives.
Rep. K.C. Tomlinson sponsored a bill that significantly increases the Film Tax Credit for Pennsylvania production, which will increase both direct and indirect economic activities in the state. Another Tomlinson-sponsored bill adds to the already existing law on “sextortion,” sentencing enhancements for predators whose abuse leads to serious bodily harm or death, named “Lindsey’s Law” for Bensalem crime victim Lindsey Piccone. Tomlinson also sponsored a bill establishing record-keeping rules for internet third-party sellers to prevent the resale of items stolen during group retail thefts. And she authored a bill that would dedicate millions to individuals to make repairs not covered by insurance or other funding resources after they were affected by a natural disaster.
Rep. Frank Farry sponsored bills that would provide scholarship grants as reimbursement of EMS training; allow for providers, facilities and health plans to share patient information with the patient’s approval to improve care for those seeking mental health care; instruct the Joint State Government Commission to conduct a study of the Office of Developmental Programs to improve the lives of those with disabilities; and implement certain fireworks discharge restrictions and address concerns with the existing law, dedicating the existing fireworks taxes to first responder programs. In addition, a bill includes language Farry authored in “Cash’s Law,” which allows for a sentencing enhancement when a criminal kills or harms a domestic animal during the commission of a burglary.
Rep. Wendi Thomas sponsored bills that would increase compensation to veterans who perform burials with military honors for interred veterans at any one of the state’s three national cemeteries, including Washington Crossing, to $250 per day; dedicate $100 million to create a Blue-Ribbon Mental Health Commission to implement expansion of mental health services such as collaborative care cooperatives so primary care physicians can help patients receive mental health care with psychiatrists in their cooperatives; and set the foundation for projects throughout the state, such as monuments, trails and veterans memorials that need revitalization, which would both improve the state and commemorate its heritage.