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Senator Wayne Langerholc, Jr
Legislation to Increase Mental Health Professionals in Schools
Senator Tom McGarrigle and I announced legislation to increase the ability of school districts to hire professionals to focus on the mental health needs of their students.
Through conversations with school officials in our districts, it is evident that we need to dedicate serious and sustainable funding to enable our schools to assist their students with mental health needs. Over the years, schools have reduced the number of guidance counselors yet have increased their responsibilities. This legislation will empower school districts to hire the professionals they need to fill this void.
The legislation will provide school districts options to hire a social worker, school psychologist, or guidance counselor to solely focus on mental health issues. Funding will come from the current filing fees for civil actions, legal proceedings, and property transfers; as well as, criminal, traffic, and summary filings.
By redirecting these fees to address mental health concerns in our schools, we will be preventing school violence and providing a resource to our schools that they desperately need. Identifying mental health issues early helps prevent a child from falling behind academically and possibly acting out violently. Our legislation sends the message that the mental health and safety of Pennsylvania students is a top priority.
Langerholc Legislation Passes the Senate and Moves to the House for Consideration
On Monday, the Senate unanimously passed legislation which I authored to update our Transportation laws to make us economically on par with neighboring states. Senate Bill 880 would extend the current maximum allowable width for tractor trailers to 102” or 8 ½-feet. Current law sets the maximum width at 96”, or 8-feet.
However, trailer manufacturers, including the ones headquartered in Pennsylvania, no longer make trailers smaller than 102”. In order to comply with state law, a business must special order a 96” trailer which adds thousands to the cost and a longer manufacture time.
Under federal law, the 102” trailers are allowed on all US Interstates and many of our larger highways. Senate Bill 880, when passed by the House and signed by the Governor, will level the playing field and make Pennsylvania a desirable place for companies to locate.
Visitors to Harrisburg
I would like to remind constituents, to please feel free to stop in my office, Room 185, when you are visiting the capitol. My staff and I welcome the opportunity to say hello to you. If you are visiting on a session day, I can also introduce you as my guest during session. Feel free to call 717-787-5400 if you know in advance that you will be visiting the capitol.
PSBA’s Advocacy Day was Monday, April 16. It was great having local superintendents and school board members in my Harrisburg office discussing education issues.
On Tuesday, April 17 members of the Cambria and Bedford County Farm Bureaus visited Harrisburg to discuss the importance of agriculture programs to be funded in the state budget.
On Wednesday, the cheerleading teams from Geistown-Richland Elementary School, winners of the UCA National Cheerleading championship in the Junior Recreational Division, and Bishop McCort High School, winners of the UCA National Cheerleading championship in the Large Varsity division during session.
Happenings at Home
On April 12 I had the opportunity to have breakfast and speak with students from Saint Francis University’s Student Government Association. I enjoyed the spirited discussion, and am thankful to Fr. Malachi and the students for welcoming me to campus.
Also on April 12, I presented a Senate Citation to Mikayla Ranker. Mikayla is a member of the Bedford County 4-H and won first place at the 58th Annual PA State 4-H Horse Show, in Miniature Horse In-Hand Trail, ages 14-18, with her horse Tucker.
The Wall That Heals
The Pennsylvania State Capitol is hosting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Foundation’s The Wall That Heals, a 375-foot, chevron-shaped replica of the original Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The event begins on May 9 and ends on May 13. It will truly be a memorable experience.
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