Senator Tom Killion E-Newsletter

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Lifesaving CPR Legislation Sent to Governor

CPR Rally

This week, the Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 115, my legislation to establish model curriculum for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) instruction in Pennsylvania’s high schools. This legislation now awaits the signature of Governor Tom Wolf.

With over 350,000 cardiac arrests occurring outside of hospitals each year, I am hopeful this new CPR law will help teach generations of students an important lifesaving skill.

This new law will ensure that all schools are providing the most current method of administering CPR, the hands-only technique. The law also affords schools flexibility in how their students are taught, such as working with community organizations like the American Heart Association to facilitate the student training.

In passing this bill, Pennsylvania joins 38 other states in providing guidelines to ensure up-to-date standards for CPR education. The enhanced academic standards in this new law have been a priority of both the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association for several years.

Numerous organizations participated in crafting Senate Bill 115, including the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA), the PA Athletic Trainers’ Society, Independence Blue Cross, the PA Medical Society, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation, the American College of Cardiology, and the Foundation for Delaware County. 

 My CPR legislation was universally supported in the General Assembly. It was unanimously approved by the entire House of Representatives and the entire Senate, including in their respective committees.

More about my Senate Bill 115 can be found HERE.

In anticipation of the Governor’s signature on Senate Bill 115, I participated in a CPR training session hosted by the YMCA of Greater Brandywine along with Independence Blue Cross Foundation President Lorina Marshall-Blake, sudden cardiac arrest survivor Stephanie Austin, and other advocates.


Major Infrastructure Plan Introduced, Forcing Gas Drillers to Pay Their Fair Share

Severance Tax 

Pennsylvania is the only major gas-producing state that does not levy a severance tax on drillers, meaning we have lost out on billions of dollars to invest in our communities. Even worse, our state has major infrastructure needs, and it has been challenging to find the funds to pay for long overdue infrastructure projects.

This week, Senator John Yudichak and I formally introduced Senate Bill 725, which is Governor Tom Wolf’s bipartisan Restore PA proposal for major infrastructure enhancements in Pennsylvania.

Restore PA would inject $4.5 billion into infrastructure projects across Pennsylvania over the next four years. These projects would be paid for by a commonsense severance tax on natural gas drillers.

Restore PA’s severance tax would not only allow us to meet many of our critical infrastructure needs, it would also help unleash a flood of new economic activity in our state as these infrastructure projects are undertaken.

It should be noted that Pennsylvania currently charges an impact fee on gas drillers, but most of these funds benefit only the counties in other parts of the state where drilling occurs. Very few of these funds help communities in other counties where little or no drilling takes place, such as here in Chester and Delaware Counties.

The natural gas in our state is a resource owned by all Pennsylvanians, and all our families should benefit when it is extracted for profit by private companies, especially those of us living in communities negatively impacted by pipelines that transport this natural gas.

It is long past time for Pennsylvania to join other gas-producing states in implementing a sensible severance tax that benefits all our citizens while also jumpstarting important infrastructure projects.

More about Senate Bill 725 can be found HERE.


Reforming Our Criminal Justice System

Criminal Justice Reforms

This week, legislation I proposed to reform our criminal justice system was unanimously approved by the Senate.

This legislation, Senate Bill 501, would streamline the placement of offenders in drug treatment programs and other intermediate punishment programs, while improving the parole process for non-violent offenders.

Senate Bill 501 emphasizes drug treatment and punishments other than incarceration for non-violent offenders with major addiction issues. This reform will help break the cycle of addiction by streamlining the placement of offenders in drug treatment while helping make our criminal justice system more efficient and less costly for taxpayers.

Passed along with two companion bills, Senate Bill 501 is part of a Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI) approach to reducing corrections spending and reinvesting savings in strategies to reduce recidivism and improve public safety. Specifically, this legislation would:

  • Rename the State Intermediate Punishment Program as the State Drug Treatment Program and streamline the process for placement;
  • Incorporate county intermediate punishment programs into county probation;
  • Allow parole agents to quickly detain parolees for violations; and
  • Help improve the process for paroling persons who receive a short sentence to prison.

These reforms build on the success of JRI measures approved in 2012. Over the past six years, the inmate population in state prisons has been reduced by more than 4,000, and the crime rate has decreased by approximately 3.7 percent, providing $400 million in projected savings to taxpayers.

These new initiatives will further reduce costs in the justice system and ensure the money saved through these reforms is put to good use by providing assistance to our county probation and parole offices in evaluating public safety risks and compensating crime victims.

The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, Pennsylvania District Attorneys’ Association, Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, and other law enforcement agencies and officials provided input and assistance in crafting this legislation.  

Addiction is a disease, and those suffering from it need treatment. Ensuring non-violent offenders receive the addiction treatment they need is smart, cost-effective public policy. It reduces crime, promotes rehabilitation and saves taxpayers millions of dollars a year.

This legislation now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration. More about my Senate Bill 501 can be found HERE.


75th Anniversary of D-Day

6/5/19 – 75th Anniversary of D-Day

June 6th was the 75th anniversary of D-Day. It was my honor to offer a Senate resolution commemorating this incredible event. 156,000 allied troops participated in the largest amphibious assault in history, and more than 4,400 Allied Soldiers made the ultimate sacrifice on the beaches of Normandy to ensure our freedom. May their legacy never be forgotten.


Helping Young Pennsylvanians With Student Debt

Pennsylvanians carry an average of nearly $36,000 in student debt, the second largest burden in the nation, behind only New Hampshire. This debt is crushing many of our young people. This week, I hosted a free Student Debt Seminar for residents with officials from the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency and Penn State University at Penn State’s Brandywine Campus. Useful strategies were discussed to help navigate and alleviate student debt.


It was a pleasure to visit the 4th grade classes of Unionville Elementary yesterday at the invitation of Clare Voss.  The daughter of Jennifer and Bradley Voss of East Marlborough Township, Clare completed a school project on Victoria’s Law, my bill to end puppy mill cruelty by prohibiting pet stores from selling animals obtained from unlicensed breeders.


Assistance for Veterans

I partner with the Pennsylvania American Legion every month to assist local veterans at my Brookhaven office.  A representative from this organization will be helping veterans with issues on:

Date: Wednesday, June 26th

Time: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Location: Senator Killion’s Brookhaven Office, 4110 Edgmont Avenue, Brookhaven, PA

I encourage veterans and their families who have questions about benefits and programs to schedule an appointment during these assistance hours.  Appointments can be made by contacting my office at (610) 447 – 3163.  This service is offered the fourth Wednesday of each month.

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How I Can Help

My offices provide many services to families in our area. Here are some of the ways we can help.

  • Free notary service
  • Pennsylvania birth certificates
  • SEPTA Key Senior Photo IDs
  • PennDOT assistance with driver’s licenses and forms
  • Information on financial assistance for higher education
  • Assistance with preparation of Property Tax/Rent Rebate applications
  • Citations from the Pennsylvania Senate for notable local accomplishments and family milestones
  • Assistance with PA insurance programs: Medical Assistance and CHIP
  • Fishing and hunting information
  • Pennsylvania personal income tax forms
  • Pennsylvania road maps
  • Requests for copies of legislation, bills and regulations
  • Requests for literature for students and senior citizens
  • Tours of the State Capitol for individuals or groups
  • Unemployment compensation issues
  • Assistance with state agency related issues

How to Contact Me

Please visit my website at www.SenatorKillion.com.

I have staffed two offices in the district to provide you with top-notch constituent service and provide answers to legislative inquiries. Both offices are open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Locations are noted below.

If you are having any problems with state agencies or need help with an issue relating to government, my staff and I will be happy to assist you.

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