NEWS For The 144th From State Representative KATHY WATSON
Legislation Becomes New Law
Summer is fast drawing to a close; Noted below are several pieces of legislation which were signed by the governor and
students are returning to school; and are now laws in Pennsylvania. Perhaps you or someone you know may ﬁnd this informa-
many are hoping for cooler weather. tion helpful.
Writers, poets, songwriters and TV Act 8 (SB 125) amends the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cos-
newscasters often refer to summer as a metic Act and adds a section prohibiting the knowing possession of substances
“lazy, hazy time when life slows down.” used to manufacture methamphetamine. Provisions regarding the offenses of metham-
However, in the 144th district there has phetamine production, the operation of a methamphetamine lab and the illegal dumping
been no slow time, as both district of methamphetamine waste are also included in Act 8. In addition to any restitution,
ofﬁces have been very busy working a person convicted of the offense of operating a methamphetamine laboratory will be
with constituents on all types of state- required to provide reimbursement for funds used for the clean-up of the environmental
related issues including, unemployment, hazards associated with the operation of a laboratory as part of the new law.
housing, transportation and health Act 9 (HB 1533) extends the expiration date of the “Military Family Relief Fund”
care. While the General Assembly is in program to June 30, 2016. In addition, Act 9 expands the deﬁnition of “eligible service
“recess” during July and August, there member” to include PA National Guard members and military reservists. This legislation
has been no “recess” in basic needs, as further broadens the scope of the program to allow families to continue receiving funds
daily contacts requiring a return e-mail, for up to one year after the service member is released from active duty. Act 9 also
a phone call, or additional research so contains provisions extending beneﬁts to discharged members of the armed forces with
that a follow-up letter can be sent, have service-related medical conditions or disabilities for a period of two years after discharge
increased to more than 80 per day! under speciﬁc circumstances.
This summer, I have been busy Act 12 (HB 416) establishes the crime of impersonating a holder of a professional
making day trips to attend committee or occupational license within Title 18 (Crimes Code). A person pretending to hold a
meetings and hearings on a variety of license issued by a commission or licensing board under the Bureau of Professional and
subjects, while doing additional reading Occupational Affairs who acts to further this false claim, commits a misdemeanor of the
and research on Marcellus shale and second degree, which carries a sentence of up to two years in prison and/or a ﬁne of up
its extraction, including the practice of to $5,000. A violation with intent to harm, defraud or injure is a misdemeanor of the ﬁrst
“fracking.” As described in the 2010-11 degree and could result in up to ﬁve years in prison and/or a ﬁne of up to $10,000. Act
Budget story, part of the settlement for 12 also reduces the penalty for impersonating a notary public from a misdemeanor of
this year’s budget included a promise by the ﬁrst degree to a misdemeanor of the second degree.
leaders of both parties and both legisla- Act 13 (SB 206) prohibits a school district from restricting members of the active
tive bodies to bring the issue of taxing and retired armed services, reserves or the National Guard from wearing ofﬁcial military
the extraction of Marcellus shale to a uniforms while on school district property. Additionally, Act 13 prohibits restrictions
vote in October. That issue demands on such individuals who are in compliance with the school district’s visitors’ policy from
careful study and analysis before either meeting with a student or school district employee. Any violation of this act is a summary
a YES or NO vote can be given. offense and upon conviction carries a ﬁne of $500.
We have also spent considerable time Act 14 (SB 237) amends the Insurance Company Law to extend the expiration of
and effort trying to ﬁnd a location for our the “Children’s Health Care Act” (CHIP) from December 31, 2010 to December 31, 2013
annual Senior Expo, since Delaware and creates the Health Insurance Coverage Parity and Nondiscrimination
Valley College was unable to offer us Act which will implement the requirements of three federal laws.
the space this October due to increased Act 15 (SB 297) amends the Oil and Gas Act to require operators of Marcellus
use of their facility. We are still search- Shale wells that produce gas to ﬁle semi-annual reports with the Department of Environ-
ing - so stay tuned for a decision and mental Protection (DEP) specifying the amount of production on a well-speciﬁc basis.
announcement before the September Initial reports must be ﬁled by August 15, 2010 and will appear on DEP’s website by
2 deadline for mass mailings. We are November 1, 2010. Subsequently, reports must be ﬁled by February 15 and August 15
trying to ﬁnd a suitable date in November of each year. Act 15 also removes the provision that allowed well production records
as an alternate. to be conﬁdential for ﬁve years.
If there is anything in this newsletter Act 19 (HB 602) amends “The Dental Law” by expanding the scope of practice for
about which you would like more infor- expanded function dental assistants (EFDAs). According to the provisions of Act 19,
mation, please call one of the district of- under the direct supervision of a dentist, an EFDA may perform ﬂuoride treatments, take
ﬁces. We will try to get you the answers impressions of teeth for athletic appliances, and perform coronal polishing. Also, the leg-
you seek. Enjoy the rest of Summer and islation adds an EFDA and one dentist to the State Board of Dentistry, thereby increasing
the start of Fall! the Board from 13 to 15 members.
Act 24 (HB 961) amends the Municipal Waste Planning, Recycling and
Sincerely, Waste Reduction Act by extending the sunset date of the $2 per ton recycling fee on
continued on page 2
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FROM REP. WATSON
If you would like to receive automatic news alerts or information about important state government programs and services, please
visit www.KathyWatson144.com and click on “Sign Up for E-News Updates.” By signing up, you will receive news releases and leg-
Fourth-grade students from the Pennridge
School District and Saint Jude Elementary
School visited Harrisburg in the late spring and
Electric Consumers May Beneﬁt
toured the State Capitol, including the House, By Shopping Around
Senate and Supreme Court chambers.
State-imposed rate caps on electric use already have expired for those
who receive electricity through PPL, and will expire on December 31, 2010
for those within PECO’s service area. As the rate caps were set in 1997
as part of the Electric Generation Consumer Choice and Competition Act
(commonly referred to as “deregulation”), it is expected that rates will now
rise to the current market price of electricity.
Pennsylvania consumers who are shopping for a competitive electric
generation supplier should know that the Public Utility Commission (PUC)
is offering a one-stop shop website for residential, commercial and industrial
customers. Located at www.papowerswitch.com, the website includes
information about electric shopping, what it is, how to shop and which sup-
pliers are available, as well as the PUC’s list of competing suppliers and
pricing information. Residents are able to search by ZIP-code for all suppliers
and offers in a given area.
For more information on electric deregulation, please visit the PUC at
John M. Grasse Elementary School www.puc.state.pa.us, or contact either of Rep. Watson’s district ofﬁces.
LEGISLATION ... continued from page 1
solid waste from January 1, 2012 to January 1, 2020. Act 24 also allows
for the transfer of $1.25 million annually from the Recycling Fund to the
“Used Tire Pile Remediation Restricted Account” for FY 2009-10 through
FY 2012-13. These funds are to be used for the remediation of waste tire
piles located throughout Pennsylvania. The Department of Environmental
Protection (DEP) is required to provide an annual report on the use of the
Saint Jude Elementary School funds in the Used Tire Remediation Restricted Account and post the report
on its website.
Act 32 (HB 1641) establishes the Circulating Nurse Act, requiring
that the circulating nurse in certain operating rooms be a registered nurse
and licensed as required by Pennsylvania law. This rule applies to all pro-
cedures done in a hospital or Class C ambulatory surgical facility.
Act 33 (HB 1720) adds a new offense of “organized retail theft” to the
Crimes Code (Title 18). According to the deﬁnition, organized retail theft is
committed if a person organizes, coordinates, controls, supervises,
ﬁnances or manages any of the activities of an organized retail theft
enterprise. The offense is classiﬁed as a felony of the second or third degree
depending on the retail value of the merchandise.
Act 44 (SB 928) establishes the Protecting Pennsylvania’s In-
vestment Act. This law requires that any “public funds” of which the State
Treasurer is custodian, including the Public School Employees’ Retirement
M.M. Seylar Elementary School System (PSERS), the State Employees Retirement System (SERS) and
the Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement System (PMRS), divest certain
holdings in Iran and Sudan or in any “scrutinized company” domiciled in
Iran or Sudan.
Act 50 (HB 1186) establishes the Department of Drug and Alco-
hol Programs as a cabinet position within the Administration effective
July 1, 2011. This department previously operated under the Department
of Health. Act 50 also provides for changes to the governing body of the
Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA).
Act 57 (SB 87) extends in-state tuition rates to military personnel on
active duty assignment in Pennsylvania, as well as their dependents, while
taking college courses or receiving educational services through the Internet
or electronically. In-state tuition rates apply to community colleges, state-
M.M. Seylar Elementary School related or state-owned institutions of higher learning.
To read the full text of these new laws or any legislation,
Not only can a day at the Capitol be please visit the General Assembly’s website at www.legis.state.
informative, it can also be fun! For pa.us and click on “Session Information” under the section
information on how you may schedule a labeled “Find.”
tour of the Capitol or State Museum, please
call Meredith in our Harrisburg ofﬁce at
PennDOT News and Notes for the 144th District
New Age Requirement must accompany any applicant under the available on this website. An honorably
age of 18 to a PennDOT Driver License discharged veteran may ﬁll out the form and
for Photo ID Cards Center when an application for a photo ID mail it to PennDOT along with a certiﬁed
card is being made. copy of his or her DD-214 and a $20 fee.
PennDOT is now issuing Photo ID
Cards to Pennsylvania residents ages
10 and older. Previously, the requirement New License Plates for Call in PennDOT
for obtaining a photo ID was 16 years of Veterans Repairs
age. To apply, a form DL-54A, “Application
for Initial Photo Identiﬁcation Card” must Veterans of the Army, Air Force, Navy, PennDOT would like to make motorists
be completed and presented along with Marine Corps and Coast Guard may apply aware of a toll-free maintenance hotline, 1-
required identiﬁcation documents and a for the new military license plate being is- 800-FIX-ROAD (1-800-349-7623) that
fee of $12 at a PennDOT Driver License sued by PennDOT recognizing each branch can be used to report issues on state roads
Center. Forms are available on PennDOT’s of service. Form MV-150, “Application for including potholes, roadway washouts,
website, www.dmv.state.pa.us, under U.S. Military Veteran Registration Plate” is missing signs, shoulder drop-offs and other
the Driver License/Photo ID Information available at www.dmv.state.pa.us under potential roadway hazards. When calling in
Center. the Military License Plates link listed under a problem, motorists should try to provide
It is important to note that a parent, the Military Personnel/Veterans Information as much information as possible regarding
guardian or person in loco parentis Center. Images of the new plates are also the problem and the location.
Recently, two local athletes represented our region at
the USA Special Olympics National Games in Lincoln,
Nebraska. Earning the Silver Medal for women’s team play
in bocce were Carla Mortimer of Chalfont (left) and Janelle
McGroarty of New Britain (2nd from left). They are joined
by fellow team members Cheryl Rowe and Clara Ghaner, as
well as coach Debbie Trimble. Carla and Janelle also placed
fourth in the doubles event. Congratulations!
202 Parkway Project Presses On
By now, most residents of Central Bucks have observed at least some portion of the 202 Parkway construction. As of August of 2010,
here is a quick snapshot of where the project stands:
Section 701 (Welsh Road to Horsham Road) – Construction is virtually complete between Welsh Road and Knapp Road; paving
operations are set to begin between Knapp Road and Route 309; bridge parapets are under construction at the Route 309 overpass;
and work continues on grading for the pavement base between Route 309 and Horsham Road.
Section 711 (Horsham Road to Pickertown Road) – Clearing being completed, as environmental controls and storm drainage
systems are being placed; construction of the bridge deck continues at Mill Creek near Detweiler Road; curb construction has begun
at the Trailhead Parking Area off Stump Road; and controlled blasting to excavate bedrock is underway between Limekiln Pike and
Section 721 (Pickertown Road to Route 611) – Installation of environmental controls and clearing operations are taking place;
underground utility work occurring west of Stump Road and along the south side of Bristol Road; clearing is complete from Almshouse
Road to Lower State Road; and crews are preparing Bristol Road – which will be rebuilt approaching the Parkway – for an eastbound-
only detour between Lower State and Upper State Roads. The detour is scheduled to be in place later this Fall.
Keep up to date
with the latest travel
advisories and project
progress by visiting
com, calling 511 from
your phone, or visiting
the Parkway on Twit-
ter at https://twitter.
2009 Property Tax/Rent Rebate Time to Make a
Application Deadline Extended Clean Sweep?
Applications for the 2009 Property Tax/Rent Rebate are available at Rep. One date remains for 2010 Bucks Coun-
Watson’s Warminster and Hilltown district ofﬁces. Eligible applicants have ty Household Hazardous Waste and Old
until December 31, 2010 to ﬁle for a rebate on property taxes or rent Computer Collection Program
paid in calendar year 2009. Your last chance to get rid of those hazardous
To qualify, individuals must meet one of the following criteria: household products and old computers cluttering your
A person who is 65 years of age or older as of December 31, 2009; basement, attic or garage as part of Bucks County’s
A widow or widower 50 years of age or older Household Hazardous Waste and Old Computer Col-
as of December 31, 2009; lection Program is:
Individual under 65 years of age who resided in the same household September 25 at Quakertown Community
with a spouse age 65 or older as of December 31, 2009; Pool, Mill Street – Quakertown Borough
The collection will take place between 9 a.m. and
Disabled Pennsylvanians, age 18-64 as of December 31, 2009.
3 p.m., rain or shine. For speciﬁc questions about
what types of waste will be accepted, call the Bucks
Total household income from all sources may not exceed $35,000 County Planning Commission at 215-345-3400 or
for homeowners or $15,000 for renters. Only 50% of Social Security, the PADEP Recycling Hotline at 1-800-346-4242.
Supplemental Security Income, and Railroad Retirement Tier 1 beneﬁts Information is also available on the Bucks County
must be included. Other income which must be reported includes but is website at www.buckscounty.org. To request a copy
not limited to: of an informational brochure regarding the House-
Interest and dividends hold Hazardous Waste Collection Program, call Rep.
Pensions, annuities, IRA distributions Watson’s Warminster ofﬁce at 215-674-0500.
Veterans’ disability beneﬁts
Gambling and lottery winnings
Unemployment compensation and workers’ compensation; ATTENTION BUCKS
cash public assistance
Salaries, wages, bonuses, commissions, estate and trust income COUNTY VETERANS
Disability insurance beneﬁts
Inheritances, alimony, spousal support In an effort to assist them in the transition back to civilian life,
combat veterans and their families may now receive a variety
Miscellaneous income of services at the Bucks County Veterans Center. Located in
For a complete list of income sources that must be reported, please Bristol at 418 Mill Street in the Canal’s End ofﬁce complex,
refer to the 2009 Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program application the center is open weekdays 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with evening
booklet. hours as needed.
The rebate amount for both homeowners and renters is determined Services offered at the center include medical referrals,
based on total household income according to the following chart. Please counseling, assistance applying for VA beneﬁts, employment
note that an eligible recipient may not receive a rebate that is greater than assistance, etc. The center plans to expand services to satellite
the amount of property taxes or rent paid. ofﬁces in Central and Upper Bucks County later this year. For
$0-$8,000, $650 rebate (homeowners and renters) more information regarding outreach services and eligibility,
$8,001 to $15,000, $500 rebate (homeowners and renters) please call the Bucks County Veterans Center at 215-823-4590
$15,001 to $18,000, $300 rebate (homeowners only) or visit www.vetcenter.va.gov.
$18,001 to $35,000, $250 rebate (homeowners only)
Qualifying homeowners must provide a receipted copy of their 2009 real Special Note to Persian Gulf Veterans
estate tax bills that have been marked “paid” by the tax collector. Renters
must ﬁll out the Rent Certiﬁcate included in the application booklet. Applications are still being accepted for the Persian Gulf Conﬂict
Residents who have ﬁled for a rebate may now check the status of an Veterans’ Beneﬁt Program. In order to qualify, a member of the
application online six weeks after the date of submission. To do so, please armed forces who served on active duty between August 2,
visit Rep. Watson’s website at www.KathyWatson144.com and click on 1990 and August 31, 1991 in the Persian Gulf The-
“Where’s My Property Tax Refund?” Enter the claimant’s social security ater of Operations and received the Southwest Asia
number, date of birth and anticipated rebate amount to ascertain the status Service Medal must have been a legal resident of Pennsylvania
of a claim and when a rebate check may be expected. during military service. Applications and detailed information regard-
ing program eligibility requirements are available on the Pennsyl-
For an application or additional information, please call Rep. Watson’s vania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs website at www.
Warminster or Hilltown district ofﬁce. persiangulfbonus.state.pa.us or by calling the program directly at
1-866-458-9182. Brochures explaining the program are available, as
well, at Rep. Watson’s Warminster and Hilltown ofﬁces.
Eligible veterans or eligible beneﬁciaries of deceased veterans may
receive a payment of $75 per month of active service for a maximum
payment of $525. A $5,000 beneﬁt will be paid on behalf of a veteran
who died while on active service in the Persian Gulf Theater (between
August 2, 1990 and August 31, 1991), or as a result of service-con-
nected wounds, diseases or injuries sustained during active service.
Persian Gulf prisoners of war may also receive a one-time payment of
$5,000. The deadline to apply for the program is August 31, 2015.
How to Contact Warminster District Ofﬁce:
1410 West Street Road
Hilltown District Ofﬁce:
Hilltown Township Building
Representative Watson Warminster, PA 18974 PO Box 166, 13 W. Creamery Rd.
(215) 674-0500 Hilltown, PA 18927
Internet Website: www.KathyWatson144.com