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Legislative roundup

Legislation sponsored by Rep. Tomlinson to establish safe patient limits under the care of an individual nurse has passed the House

State Rep. KC Tomlinson

Lowering patient-to-caregiver ratio

Legislation sponsored by Rep. KC Tomlinson to establish safe patient limits under the care of an individual nurse in Pennsylvania hospitals has passed the House.

“Nurses across the state are being assigned to an increasing number of patients, sometimes 10-12 patients at one time,” Tomlinson said. “It’s very simple. The more patients a nurse must care for creates greater opportunities for errors – errors that could cost patients their lives.”

Known as the Patient Safety Act, House Bill 106 would set appropriate ratios for Pennsylvania hospitals dependent upon the acuity of the unit’s patient needs.

The Patient Safety Act will enhance patient care by ensuring health care professionals can respond properly to their patients.

A lower patient-to-caregiver ratio would also facilitate better care coordination among health care professionals and reduce staff burnout.

“By alleviating the burden on individual caregivers, we would be allowing them to maintain their well-being, job satisfaction and overall performance,” Tomlinson said. “Nurses are doing all they can to save the lives of Pennsylvanians and now it’s time for our Legislature to do its part to protect patients and nurses in our communities.”

The bill now moves to the Senate. ••

A boost for intermediate units

State Reps. Kristin Marcell and Joe Ciresi introduced a bill aimed at helping the state’s intermediate units.

House Bill 1526 would permit IUs to own facilities, allowing them to own instructional space and use facilities they already have for instructional purposes.

Currently, IUs are only permitted to own office space and warehouse facilities, a limitation that prohibits them from owning facilities used for instructional space that does not apply to school districts, area career and technical schools or charter schools. Many IUs operate classrooms and other instructional spaces as providers of special education, preschool programs and other educational services. All these instructional facilities must be leased, burdening IUs with rental costs that sometimes greatly exceed what it would cost the IU to purchase and own the facility themselves.

Marcell was a member of the Council Rock School Board from 2018-23, which included one year as vice president.

“Intermediate units – ultimately taxpayers – currently incur unnecessary higher costs for the education of students with disabilities and children enrolled in preschool programs,” she said. “By removing this limitation, we can help our IUs to be more fiscally responsible and provide Pennsylvania’s students with the appropriate spaces needed for their educational programs.”

Pennsylvania’s 29 intermediate units provide special education, professional development and technical assistance services to school districts, charter schools and private schools.

House Bill 1526 has been referred to the House Education Committee. ••

Presentations on estate planning

Bucks County Register of Wills and Clerk of Orphans’ Court Linda Bobrin will be giving presentations at senior centers across Bucks County, addressing the importance of estate planning.

Half-hour-long presentations will be held on the following dates: July 13 at 12:30 p.m., at Central Bucks Senior Center; July 19 at 11 a.m., at Morrisville Senior Center; July 26 at 10:30 a.m., at Bristol Borough Area Active Adult Center; Aug. 1 at 1 p.m., at Eastern Upper Bucks Senior Center; Sept. 11 at 11 a.m., at Upper Bucks Senior Center; Sept. 19 at 10 a.m., at Bensalem Senior Citizens Association; and Oct. 6 at 9:30 a.m., at Northampton Township James E. Kinney Center.

For more information, email Rachel Landsberg at ralandsberg@buckscounty.org. ••

Farry office hours in Bensalem

State ​​Sen. Frank Farry (R-6th dist.) is offering satellite office hours the first Wednesday of every month, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Bensalem Township Municipal Building, 2400 Byberry Road, Bensalem.

Farry’s staff will be on site to assist with state government services; Property Tax/Rent Rebate applications, birth and death certificate applications, SEPTA Senior Key card registrations and renewals; and unemployment issues. ••

Lower South supervisor meeting schedule

The Lower Southampton Township Board of Supervisors will meet on Wednesday, July 12, at 7:30 p.m., at the Township Building, 1500 Desire Ave., Feasterville.

Future meetings, all at the same times and location, are scheduled for Aug. 9, Sept. 13 and 27, Oct. 11 and 25, Nov. 8 and 20 and Dec. 13 and 20. ••

Bensalem Council meeting schedule

Bensalem Township Council meetings are generally held on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7 p.m. in the Municipal Building at 2400 Byberry Road, Bensalem.

Meetings can be viewed live on Comcast Xfinity Channel 22 in Bensalem and on Verizon Fios Channel 34 throughout Bucks County. They can also be streamed live on the Bensalem Township YouTube channel.

The schedule is July 24, Aug. 14 and 28, Sept. 11, Oct. 16, Nov. 13 and 27 and Dec. 4 (budget meeting) and 11. ••

Bensalem school board meeting schedule

The Bensalem Township Board of School Directors holds meetings on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at the Dorothy D. Call Administrative Center, 3000 Donallen Drive, Bensalem.

Upcoming meetings will take place on Aug. 22, Sept. 26, Oct. 24, Nov. 28 and Dec. 19 (third Tuesday).

The public is invited to attend.

Due to summer vacation, the board will not meet during July.

The School Board annual reorganization meeting will be held on Monday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m. ••

Commissioners meeting July 19

The Bucks County Commissioners will hold their next meeting on Wednesday, July 19, at 10:30 a.m. at the Bucks County Administration Building, 55 E. Court St., in Doylestown.

The meeting will be broadcast on the county’s YouTube channel.

Future meetings will be on Aug. 2, Aug. 16, Sept. 6, Sept. 20, Oct. 4, Oct. 18, Nov. 1, Nov. 15, Dec. 6 and Dec. 20. ••

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