Wolf Signs Langerholc Bill to Prevent Opioid Addiction
(HARRISBURG) – Gov. Tom Wolf signed Senate Bill 147 sponsored by Sen. Wayne Langerholc, Jr. (R-35) that would help to prevent opioid addiction by encouraging employers to provide employees with information about the risks associated with opioid use.
Act 57 of 2021 amends the Workers Compensation Act to require employers who have a certified safety committee as part of their workers’ compensation program to include information about the risks associated with the use of opioids.
Currently, employers may receive a discount of 5% on their workers’ compensation insurance premium if they establish a certified safety committee within their workplace. Safety committees are to be developed for the purpose of hazard detection and accident protection. An employer must provide annual verification to the Department of Labor and Industry that the safety committee continues to operate and meet the certification requirements.
Under Act 57, an employer would need to share material with employees about the risks associated with the use of opioids as part of their safety committee in order to be certified and receive the discount.
“We must continue to be vigilant in addressing our serious heroin and opioid epidemic,” Langerholc said. “This legislation is another step forward in our multi-faceted approach addressing the heroin and opioid epidemic that has scourged communities across the Keystone State.”
The bill received unanimous support from both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
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Gov. Wolf Signs Budget With Largest Education Funding Increase In State History
Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf signed a state budget that will help power the commonwealth’s recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic by making the largest investment in public education in state history, by investing in quality, affordable child care for parents who wish to return to the workforce and by helping Pennsylvanians struggling with mortgage or rent payments stay in their homes.
“This is a budget that invests in Pennsylvanians,” said Gov. Wolf. “It is a budget that will help those hit hardest by the pandemic get the support they need, while at the same time making crucial investments in our future by supporting the students and workers who will drive our economy forward in the years to come.”
The budget outlined in House Bill 1348 makes a historic $416 million increase in state funding for public education. The budget makes crucial investments to support the needs of schools and students, including a $200 million increase in the Fair Funding Formula, $100 million to support underfunded school districts through the Level Up initiative, $50 million in special education funding, $30 million for early education, $20 million for Ready to Learn, $11 million for preschool Early Intervention and $5 million for community colleges.
“While there is much to celebrate in this bill, it is disappointing that we could not come together to fully provide for the needs of schools across the commonwealth,” said Gov. Wolf. “We need all public education funding to go through the fair funding formula to ensure each school district and each student in our commonwealth are getting the support they need. There is more – much more – that needs to be done to fully provide for the needs of our commonwealth’s students and the future of our workforce.”
The governor also vetoed House Bill 1300, which creates unconscionable – and in some cases unconstitutional – barriers to voting in Pennsylvania and rolls back many of the bipartisan improvements made in Act 77 of 2019. This legislation would infringe on Pennsylvanians’ freedom to vote by imposing additional voter identification restrictions, limiting our mail-in voting system – which Pennsylvanians have widely embraced – and reducing the number of days to register to vote.
The governor signed and partially approved Senate Bill 255, the General Appropriation bill, while vetoing the line item providing funds for the establishment and operation of the Bureau of Election Audits contained in HB 1300.
The governor also signed HB 952, HB 1508, HB 1509, HB 1510, HB 1511, HB 1512, HB 1513, HB 1514; HB 1515, HB 1516, SB 265, SB 266, SB 267, SB 268, SB 269 and SB 381.
MEDIA CONTACT: Lyndsay Kensinger, firstname.lastname@example.org
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OMHP Releases FAQs about Upcoming HUD Code Changes
HUD’s Office of Manufactured Housing Programs (OMHP) just released a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document in response to questions about changes to the Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards (the HUD Code) that go into effect on July 12, 2021. In its announcement, OMHP stressed the statements in response to the questions are not intended to provide specific HUD guidance or direction related to compliance with the HUD Code. Click here to read the FAQs.
The final rule updating the HUD Code, which was published in January, was originally scheduled to be effective on March 15, 2021. However, MHI strongly advocated to HUD that the short implementation period within the final rule was problematic due to the impacts of COVID. HUD granted MHI’s request to extend the effective date of the final rule, citing the current level of backlogs at manufactured home construction facilities as well as supply chain slowdowns.
The final rule includes new standards for attached garages, carports, decks, and accessory buildings – eliminating the need for manufacturers to follow the Alternative Construction (AC) approval process for these add-on features. The final rule also includes new or updated standards for carbon monoxide detection, stairways, fire safety considerations for attached garages, draft stops and venting systems. Click here to view the final rule.
Tell FHFA that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Must Not Backtrack from Progress on Serving Manufactured Housing
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has released the 2022-2024 Duty to Serve (DTS) Underserved Markets Plans for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises). MHI believes that the proposed Plans do not adequately address Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s statutory requirement to serve manufactured housing and is calling on FHFA to hold the Enterprises accountable.
Duty to Serve requires the Enterprises to meet the needs of underserved consumers in manufactured housing. Yet the plans do little to expand financing options. Although both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac included commitments in their last three-year DTS Plans to create a secondary market for chattel financing, to date neither Enterprise has purchased any chattel loans. Further, the 2022-2024 DTS Plans do not include any objectives to purchase chattel loans by either entity. They also do not significantly increase financing for loans titled as real property. This was not the intent of Congress for meeting the affordable homeownership needs for the manufactured housing market. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac need to re-affirm their previous commitment to buying – and ultimately create a flow and securitization program – for chattel loans; and to expand financing for manufactured homes for all qualified consumers.
Join MHI’s Effort and Take Action Now!
It is critical that FHFA hear from all sectors of the manufactured housing industry. We need you to join MHI’s effort and tell FHFA they must hold Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac accountable for meeting their statutory Duty to Serve manufactured housing.
To participate in the Call to Action simply click the button below and follow the simple steps on MHI’s website. The letter to FHFA has already been composed – all you have to do is insert your home address and click submit.
CDC Extends Eviction Moratorium to July 31, 2021
On June 24, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) signed an extension to the eviction moratorium further preventing the eviction of tenants who are unable to make rental payments. The moratorium that was scheduled to expire on June 30, 2021 is now extended through July 31, 2021 and this is intended to be the final extension of the moratorium.