In this Edition:
Senate Adopts Mensch Resolution Establishing “Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day” in Pennsylvania
On Tuesday, the Senate adopted my resolution recognizing October 13, 2017 as “Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day” in Pennsylvania.
Metastatic breast cancer, also called stage IV or advanced breast cancer, is not a specific type of breast cancer, but rather the most advanced stage of breast cancer, which has spread beyond the breast to other organs in the body.
Metastatic breast cancer patients continue to face many unique challenges, such as the emotional and physical demands of continual treatment. Currently no cure exists for metastatic breast cancer and those with metastatic breast cancer will continue treatment indefinitely with the goal of extending the best quality life possible.
More than one in eight women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in their lifetimes. Nationally, about 252,710 women and 2,470 men in the U.S. will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 2017. In Pennsylvania, it is expected that 11,300 women and 111 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017.
Metastatic breast cancer cuts short the lives of too many people in Pennsylvania leaving a lasting effect on their families. It is important that we recognize the need for an additional focus on the personal and social burdens of metastatic breast cancer, the needs of the patient, and promising research efforts in the development of more effective treatments.
Three Measures Sent to Governor for Enactment into Law
Measures permitting patients with terminal illnesses to use certain products and devices not yet approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, honoring a fallen western Pennsylvania police officer, and amending the state Uniform Construction Code all received final legislative approval this week and were sent to the Governor for his signature and enactment into law.
House Bill 45 would allow eligible patients to request and use investigational drugs, biological products and medical devices not yet approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as long as the patient has a terminal illness and passes other requirements.
The FDA approval process for investigational drugs, biological products and devices in the United States aims to protect patients from premature, ineffective and unsafe medications and treatments. However, three rounds of clinical trials can take as long as 15 years, leaving many to die while awaiting treatment. HB 45 would allow manufacturers to make these products available to eligible patients after the products have successfully completed the first phase of clinical trials.
House Bill 103 designates a bridge over the Chartiers Creek in Canonsburg Borough, Washington County, as the Officer Scott L. Bashioum Memorial Bridge. Officer Bashioum of the Canonsburg Police Department was killed in the line of duty on Nov. 10, 2016, when he responded to a domestic violence call in which the alleged shooter, who took his own life, also killed a woman and her unborn son.
House Bill 409 makes comprehensive changes to the process used by the Uniform Construction Code Review and Advisory Council to evaluate and adopt building code updates.
Senate Approves Interstate Highway Safety Measure
Legislation requiring the installation of fencing on bridges over interstate highways was unanimously approved by the Senate on Tuesday.
Senate Bill 564, which requires PENNDOT to include protective fencing as part of new bridge projects and major renovations of existing bridges over interstate highways, now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration. The measure came after incidents in which motorists were seriously injured when objects were dropped from overpasses.
The Senate also approved Senate Bill 530. The bill updates Act 136 of 1998, the Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Professional Counselors Act.
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved five bills on Tuesday.
House Bill 203 amends the Probate, Estates and Fiduciaries Code to increase from $5,000 to $10,000 the amount an employer may pay directly to a surviving relative for the decedent’s final paycheck.
House Bill 352 reduces the period of time needed to acquire a title through adverse possession under specified circumstances.
Senate Bill 499 would allow the Board of Prison Inspectors in Eighth Class counties to meet less frequently.
Senate Bill 844 expands the legal standing for individuals seeking to gain custody of children where both biological parents are absent, whether due to death or for other reasons.
House Bill 1139 amends the Newborn Protection Act to expand the list of caregivers to whom a parent may surrender a newborn and provides for a program to install incubators so that newborns who are surrendered may be kept safely in a controlled environment.
Law & Justice
The Senate is in recess to the call of the President Pro Tempore. The next scheduled session day is Monday, October 16. You can watch session live at SenatorMensch.com.
Twitter and Facebook: I post regular updates on legislative action, committee developments, useful state-related information, happenings in the 24th Senatorial District and more on Twitter @SenatorMensch and on my Facebook page.If you find this e-newsletter useful, I invite you to visit my website www.senatormensch.com for more information about your state government.
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