News for Constituents

Senate Library Exhibit Honors Members Who Served Their Country

The Senate Library’s current exhibit – “We Remember: Service to the State and Nation” — shares stories of Senate Members and Senate Librarians who served during wartime.  The exhibit honors the legacy of these individuals who served both our Commonwealth and our Nation.  A similar exhibit debuted last year in conjunction with Memorial Day.  The exhibit was such a success, the Senate Library reprised it this year with new pieces added.

Previous exhibits include Spirit and Substance, which celebrated the 100 year anniversary of Violet Oakley finishing her Senate Chamber Murals, and Pennsylvania Senate: The Early Years, highlighting the first Legislative Journals of the Senate.

The Senate Library also hosts a virtual scavenger hunt so kids can explore the history of the institution as well.

Senate Majority Policy Committee Holds Meetings on Reopening Pennsylvania

The Senate Majority Policy Committee recently held a series of informational meetings on reopening Pennsylvania for business.  Each meeting focused on a region of the state including the Western, Northeastern, Southeastern, and Southcentral areas.

Each hearing included testimony from leaders in manufacturing, hospitality, health services, and other industries.

The Majority Policy Committee also recently held a hearing on the safe reopening of Pennsylvania’s schools.

Bitten, now what?

Every summer, outdoor enthusiasts are reminded to avoid situations and conditions conducive to tick and mosquito exposure.  Lyme Disease and West Nile Virus (WNV) may be lurking from those nearly inevitable bug bites, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.  Left untreated, both Lyme and WNV may lead to serious life-long health concerns including neurological conditions. 

Lyme Disease, caused by a bacteria, may begin with a bull’s eye rash, fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes.  Following a two- to four-week course of antibiotics prescribed by a physician, recovery usually occurs quickly.  Untreated Lyme may spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system. 

West Nile Virus symptoms, which typically last a few days and are similar to the flu, may include a fever, headache, body aches, a rash, and swollen lymph nodes.  While less than one percent of those exposed to WNV will develop a severe illness, hospitalization for intravenous fluids, pain medication, and nursing care may be necessary.  Symptoms may last for weeks and neurological effects may be permanent and severe. 

Beware of Scams

Unscrupulous email, phone or door-to-door solicitation scammers employ a range of behaviors and tactics that appear normal upon first impression, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities (PA DBS). 

Scammers are currently exploiting Covid-19, especially through foreclosure bailouts, charitable donations and fraudulent health claims. 

Exercise caution and consider primary clues to fraudulent schemes such as: 

  • Advanced fees;
  • Pressure to invest quickly;
  • Emphasis on enticing friends, relatives, and colleagues;
  • Demanding and authoritative conduct;
  • Effort to establish a bond or provide you with a profile of similar interests and background;
  • Processing fees for a foreign lottery or sweepstakes; and
  • Request for personal information.

The top ten scams are presented individually in a helpful publication available from the Department of Banking and Securities, along with a list of precautions, and specific contacts for victims.  Pages 12-13 provide a valuable list of contacts to assist with the reporting recommendations for each scam.  For questions contact the PA DBS at 1-800-600-0007 or by fax at 1-717-724-6869. 

Identifying and Removing Poison Hemlock

Roadsides, fence rows, and the forest’s edge are increasingly lined with a deceivingly lovely but deadly white flower, frequently mistaken for the harmless wild carrot, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR). 

Invasive Poison Hemlock develops small white flowers forming an umbrella shape and growing from hollow, purple-spotted stems possible of reaching six to eight feet in height.  Upon identification, DCNR recommends removal of the plant, including the entire root.  Mowing or cutting prior to flowering is effective in preventing the spread of over 30,000 seeds produced by each poison hemlock plant.  New growth should be treated with herbicides. 

Poison Hemlock is ranked as a severe threat to Pennsylvania’s native plants.  Because it is fatal for humans, pets, and livestock, anyone engaged in removal should wear protective clothing, including a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, gloves, socks, and shoes to prevent direct contact with the plant. 

After Flooding – Safety and Recovery

Disruption of your family’s routines following flooding can be eased through preparation and knowingly anticipating possible problems when you re-enter your property, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health

The first step in flood recovery begins with making the necessary calls to power down all possible sources of fire, electrocution, or explosions to re-enter your home.  Four additional issues to address include: 

  • Cleanup – Twenty-four to forty-eight hours of home flooding causes mold growth.  One cup of household laundry bleach per one gallon of water kills surface mold. 
  • Immunizations – Increases in communicable diseases and open wounds may occur post-flooding.
  • Swiftly Flowing and Standing Flood Water – Risks range from drowning to diarrheal diseases to encounters with displaced animals, insects and reptiles. 
  • Chemical Hazards – Household, medical, and industrial chemicals can contaminate the environment.  

Follow debris removal guidelines to safely expedite cleanup.  Consult the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s checklists for post-disaster cleanup recommendations