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State Senator Jake Corman

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“Talk to Your Senator” Video Contest Gets Students Involved in Fight Against Drug, Alcohol Abuse

I would like to urge Pennsylvania middle and high school students to help find solutions to the growing heroin and opioid epidemic facing the state by producing a video aimed at focusing greater awareness on the crisis.

“Talk to Your State Senator,” a statewide video competition sponsored by the Senate of Pennsylvania with support from members of the Drug and Alcohol Service Providers Association of PA, is intended to get students involved in legislative efforts to fight heroin and opioid abuse.  Students are encouraged to submit video entries of no longer than five minutes that highlight ways to combat abuse, help those who suffer from addiction and develop laws to address the current crisis.

“Talk to Your Senator” is open to Pennsylvania students in grades 6 through 12 and will provide a total of $10,000 in cash prizes to winning entries that focus on ways to prevent drug and alcohol abuse among young people.  Prize money will be awarded through the TAP 529 Account program in the PA Department of Treasury and will be deposited into a college savings account in the winner(s) name.  Videos will be judged based on creativity, content and effectiveness of message delivery.

Schools and students can find more information on the contest, including guidelines on submitting videos, content, judging, and prizes, at, a website established by the Pennsylvania Senate as a tool to provide information and resources on the heroin and opioid crisis.

Entries must be submitted using the registration form available online at The deadline for video entries is December 10, 2017.

Sharing the Story of PA Pension Overhaul Success

Recently, I was invited to speak at Harvard University and share Pennsylvania’s path to successfully reforming the state’s beleaguered pension system. I was honored to discuss our state’s success in addressing pension reform as part of a case-study panel that included Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Arizona and New Jersey.  The audience included financial experts, educators, government officials and economic policy specialist from across the United States.

The road to addressing Pennsylvania’s pension problem was long and difficult.  However, the Pennsylvania legislature took historic action to restructure the state’s two public employee pension systems. Act 5 of 2017 resulted in the most comprehensive transfer of risk away from taxpayers in the country with the potential to save more than $17 million and continues to receive national attention.

It was an honor to join such esteemed professionals to share how, in Pennsylvania, we were able to communicate the realities of the pension problem to show the impact on every resident and every program in the Commonwealth.

Touring J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital in Huntingdon, I saw how their new ER and cath lab are an important part of our local community.

New PA Law Allows Terminally Ill to Try Investigational Treatments

Pennsylvania is now the 38th state to pass legislation that allows terminally ill patients to try investigational treatments that could save or extend their lives.

The new Right to Try Law empowers terminal Pennsylvanians to pursue treatments that have passed the FDA’s Phase 1 safety trials but have not yet received final FDA approval.

I strongly supported this legislation because it gives terminally ill people an opportunity to explore further options when all others have been exhausted.

The FDA drug approval process can take up to 15 years.  This is far too long for dying patients to wait, particularly when many potentially life-saving treatments are available.  This legislation gives hope back to patients and their families.  No one can guarantee that a particular treatment will be effective, but this law returns choice and control over treatment options to where it is most effective: with patients and their doctors.

Students from the Young Scholars of Central Pennsylvania Charter School in State College recently visited the State Capitol.

Senate Approves Final Revenue Plan Without Broad Based Tax Increases

Following months of negotiations, the General Assembly has approved a final revenue plan. While not perfect, the final plan is one that meets our obligations to fund state programs and services without broad-based taxes and large increases in spending.

We faced many challenges in coming to an agreement that ensures the Commonwealth meets its commitment to human service organizations, school districts, and state residents. Facing a $3 billion deficit and little support for new spending and taxes, lawmakers were confronted with one of the most difficult budget situations in recent memory.  Finding consensus and compromise was not easy, but I am thankful that we have arrived at a solution and can now move forward.



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