The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 777, which would continue the state’s Social Security cost of living adjustment moratorium until Dec. 31, 2015.

The extension would allow many people to remain under the income limit that determines eligibility for PACE and PACENET prescription benefits.

The legislature initially adopted Act 21 of 2011 to permit approximately 30,000 PACE and PACENET cardholders to retain the benefits they otherwise would have lost due to Social Security COLA increases.

The bill would also exclude Medicare Part “B” premium payments from the definition of income, which, for about 8,200 senior citizens, is equivalent of $1,200 a year.

House Bill 777 is now before the governor for his consideration.


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            The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 374, which would add the Westmoreland County Park Police to the list of police officers that must receive training from the Municipal Police Officers’ Education and Training Commission.

Under the bill, the county would be responsible for the agency’s training costs.

The bill is now in the House.


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            The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 807, which would create a voluntary license for a bachelor of social work.

The application fee for the license would be $40, with a $75 renewal fee. Only people who are licensed as bachelor social workers would be permitted to style themselves as licensed bachelor social workers and use the letters “L.B.S.W.” in connection with their names.

Bill proponents claim that Pennsylvania social workers have been pushing for bachelor degree licensure for years. Other states have it.

The bill now goes to the House.


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The Senate unanimously passed House Bill 1559, which would require Youth Suicide Awareness and Prevention Education for professional educators in school buildings serving students in grades six through 12. Training received under this act could be used to satisfy continuing professional education requirements.

The bill now goes back to the House for concurrence.



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