Wolf Signs Law Requiring Child Passenger Restraint System For Children Under 2

governor tom wolfOn Monday, June 13th, 2016, Governor Tom Wolf (D) signed a bill requiring the use of a rear-facing child passenger restraint system for children under 2 years of age.

Act 43, which was previously known as Senate Bill 1152, was sponsored by Senator Pat Browne (R-Lehigh). Children under 2 years of age must be in a rear-facing child passenger restraint system while in a vehicle up until the child has outgrown the manufacturer specified maximum weight and limits. Wolf issued the following statement when he signed Senate Bill 1152 into law, “We have no greater responsibility as public servants than protecting our most vulnerable, including especially young children… I commend Senator Browne, Representative Schlossberg and their colleagues for their efforts to ensure children in vehicles are safer and more secure.”

Before the law was signed, children under 4 years of age had to be secured in a child passenger restraint system, but the way the seat faces was not spelled out in the law. According to Browne, several studies show that rear-facing car seats are more well equipped to protect an infant’s spine, head, and neck. Browne issued the following statement on May 23rd before Wolf signed the bill, “After hearing from health care professionals and after seeing safety studies that have shown that children under two are better protected in car accidents when they are in rear-facing car seats, it was crucial that we changed the law in Pennsylvania to better ensure the safety of young children.”

Senate Bill 1152 is the same as legislation that Representative Mike Schlossberg (D-Lehigh) had formerly introduced in the House. Schlossberg issued the following statement on May 23rd before the bill was signed by Wolf, “As a father of two young children, I know parents and caregivers want to be doing the right thing for their child, especially when it involves that child’s safety. The best thing we can do for our children while they are traveling with us in our vehicles is to ensure they are properly secured… Efforts such as this, which bring together both sides of the aisle and both chambers serve Pennsylvania best. I was glad to be able to work with Senator Browne to make that happen and as a result, Pennsylvania’s children will be safer.”

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommendations, infants weighing at or under 20 pounds and infants at or under 1 year of age should be in a rear-facing child passenger restraint system. According to Schlossberg, the federal guidelines suggest that rear-facing car seats should be required for infants.

Pennsylvania is now the fourth state to require a rear-facing child passenger restraint system for children under the age of 2. The other three states with such a law are New Jersey, Oklahoma, and California.

The law will be in effect in two months. A verbal warning will be issued by police for the first year. After the first year, anyone violating the law will have to pay a $125 fine.

 

Marcellus Shale Development Continues in PA After Natural Fuel Gas Company Reworks Pact

National Fuel Gas Company logoMarcellus Shale natural gas will continue to be developed in Pennsylvania after Natural Fuel Gas Company announced that a pact with a Texas company has been reworked.

The announcement was made on Monday, June 13th. Marcellus Shale natural gas development will proceed in the north-central Pennsylvania counties of McKean, Elk, and Cameron. The pact is between Dallas affiliate IOG CRV – Marcellus LLC and Seneca Resources Corp. Seneca Resources Corp. is the production and exploration subsidiary of National Fuel (NYSE: NFG), which is based out of Williamsville.

In a news release, the companies stated that an agreement was reached in regards to an amended extension of the joint development agreement the companies have for assets in McKean, Elk, and Cameron counties. So far, 39 joint development Marcellus Shale wells were completed and went to sales or were drilled and are nearing completion. There are a total of 75 joint development Marcellus Shale wells, so 36 will be developed under the amended agreement. In addition, IOG was given the option to partake in a 7-well Marcellus pad to be completed before December 31st, 2017. If IOG opts to take part in the 7-well Marcellus pad, there would be a total of 82 wells under the joint development agreement.

Presently, IOG has an 80% working interest in the joint development wells. The other 20% working interest is held by program operator Seneca. The contract’s royalty structure has also been amended.

The President and CEO of National Fuel Gas Company, Ronald Tanski, issued the following statement regarding the deal, “For National Fuel, it allows us to leverage the competitive advantage of our low cost, fee acreage in the Marcellus and reduce the level of capital investment in our upstream business over the next two years, while maintaining operational efficiencies and providing the throughput necessary to support our pipeline expansion projects. Given National Fuel’s large Appalachian footprint and the alignment of our strategic goals, we think there could be additional opportunities to work with IOG in the future to accelerate value creation for our shareholders.”

On June 10th, National Fuel shares closed at $56.04.

Frein’s Lawyers, Prosecution Agree To Outside Jury Pending Judge Decision

The prosecutors and defense lawyers dealing with the case against Eric Frein, the man who allegedly ambushed a Pennsylvania State Police trooper in October of 2014, are in agreement with having a jury outside of the area rule over the case.

Eric Frein’s lawyers and prosecutors came to their agreement on Friday, June 10th, at a pretrial hearing that took place in Milford. Although the jury will be outside of the area, the trial will be kept in Pike County where the charges against Frein were filed. The decision has to be approved by a judge, however the judge is expected to approve the decision.

Frein allegedly fatally shot State Police Corporal Bryon Dickson and allegedly wounded Trooper Alex Douglass. The alleged shootings took place in Blooming Grove Township. Defense lawyers argued that a trial in Pike County would not be fair due to the extensive media coverage about the alleged ambush. Frein pleaded not guilty, and authorities are pursuing the death penalty.

Judge Orders Release of Documents Regarding Claims Paterno Allegedly Knew of Sandusky Abuse

Joe Paterno
Joe Paterno

Sealed documents from a lawsuit that will be released publicly as ordered by a Philadelphia judge may contain details regarding claims that the late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno was told by a boy that he had been molested by Jerry Sandusky.

The request was made by The Associated Press among other news outlets. Judge Gary Glazer made the decision to release the records publicly within a month on Thursday, June 9th. This claim pertaining to Paterno was disclosed by Glazer in May when he made a ruling regarding payments made by Penn State’s insurer, Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association Insurance Co., to people claiming that Sandusky abused them. Sandusky was Paterno’s former assistant.

Glazer made his decision after he was the presiding judge on a hearing in which the lawyer for Penn State wanted him to meet with the victims before making his decision. According to Glazer, any identifying information about the victims will be kept private. On Friday, Penn State approved of Glazer’s decision to keep the alleged victims’ names private.

Glazer said the following in a written statement, “Under the state and federal constitutions and the common law… the public’s right of access to civil court records, and the public’s continued concern regarding the unfortunate events underlying this coverage action, weigh heavily in favor of unsealing the record.” The records contain reports from experts in which the settlements and the potential responsibility of the insurer were evaluated.

In a written statement, the judge said that Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association Insurance Co. had evidence alleging that an assistant coach witnessed Sandusky engaging in “inappropriate contact” with a child at Penn State in 1987. In addition, another person allegedly “witnessed sexual contact” between Sandusky and another child in 1988. According to what Penn State president Eric Barron stated in May, Penn State did not have evidence supporting what an alleged victim had claimed.

Paterno died from lung cancer in 2012. Prior to his death, Paterno said he did not get his first complaint against Sandusky until 2001. According to Penn State, it paid $92 million in settlements in regards to 32 civil claims of abuse by Sandusky starting in 1971. Sandusky claims he is innocent, and he is appealing a conviction in which he was convicted of 45 counts for abusing ten boys.

 

Senate Committee Approves Bill Requiring Continuing Medical Education in Prescribing Opioids

Senator Gene YawSenator Gene Yaw (R-23) and Senator John Wozniak (D-35) announced that the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee approved a bill requiring medical professionals to undergo two hours of continuing medical education (CME) in both “opioid prescribing practices” and “pain management” on Tuesday, June 7th, 2016.

Known as Senate Bill 1202, the bill would require people that are applying for a license for the first time or are renewing their license or certification in Pennsylvania to undergo the training. The goal of the bill is to fight against the abuse of opioids and prescription drugs in Pennsylvania. Many people who abuse drugs such as OxyContin and Vicodin end up using heroin. In fact, hearings conducted by the Center for Rural Pennsylvania found that around 80% of heroin addicts used prescription opioids before becoming addicted to heroin. According to Yaw and Wozniak, Pennsylvania currently ranks number seven in the United States for drug-related overdose deaths.

Yaw explained more about Senate Bill 1202 in his statement. He said, “Approximately 80 percent of heroin addicts can trace their addiction back to prescription opioids… Senate Bill 1202 would incorporate pain management and opioid prescribing practices within existing curricula requirements for medical prescribers, and as a portion of the total continuing education required for biennial renewal. I want to thank Senator Tomlinson and the Committee members for approving this important measure that will aid in the fight against opioid abuse. I also would like to thank the Pennsylvania Medical Society for working with us on this legislation.”

Wozniak also talked about Senate Bill 1202 in a statement. He said, “The legislation will help keep the focus on addressing the heroin epidemic by requiring additional training in pain management and opioid prescribing practices… It is clear that our ability to deal with heroin addiction requires maximum effort and energy in a variety of areas. An excellent way to stop the heroin from spreading is through the implementation of sensible practices and policies that come from more education about opioids.”

A National Survey of Primary Care Physicians found that nine out of ten doctors believe that prescription drug abuse is a “moderate to large” issue in their areas. In addition, 85% of doctors think prescription drugs are “overused” in the medical world. Both Yaw and Wozniak are a part of the Center for Rural Pennsylvania. According to the Center for Rural Pennsylvania website, it “is a bipartisan, bicameral legislative agency that serves as a resource for rural policy within the Pennsylvania General Assembly.” The Center for Rural Pennsylvania has held ten public meetings discussing the heroin and opioid problem in Pennsylvania since 2014.

Yaw is also co-sponsoring other legislation related to combating prescription drug abuse. On Monday, June 6th, Yaw said he would introduce legislation that would require medical schools to have Safe Opioid Prescribing Curriculum. In addition to knowing how to safely prescribe opioids, the curriculum would also require students to show proficiency in the use of the heroin overdose antidote naloxone.

Senate Bill 1202 is now headed to the Senate.

Wolf Inks Bill Allowing Wine to be Sold at Grocery Stores and Gas Stations

governor tom wolfJust two days after the Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted 157-31 on a bill allowing wine to be sold in grocery stores, Governor Tom Wolf (D) signed the bill into law on Wednesday, June 8th, 2016.

As Wolf signed House Bill 1690 into law, he remarked, “This bill, as all of us know, is truly historic.”

The law will go into effect in 60 days and it allows wine to be sold at grocery stores, restaurants, and hotels that serve prepared food. Wine and six packs of beer to go will be allowed to be sold at establishments that sell gasoline and prepared food, but alcohol must be sold in a different location than gas is sold. Grocery stores, restaurants, and gas stations must already have a liquor license in order to sell alcohol. Restaurants and hotels that have liquor licenses must pay a $2,000 permit fee which will allow them to sell up to four bottles of take-out wine. They also have to buy the wine from Pennsylvania with a 10% discount, and the wine cannot be sold at a lower price. Moreover, restaurants and hotels have to pay a 2% renewal fee on wine sales.

Wolf also said the following, “This bill will improve the customer experience, this bill will make pricing more competitive, it will make the purchase of these products more convenient and it will produce more revenue for the commonwealth of Pennsylvania… It will also show, once again, that Democrats and Republicans can work together.”

Casinos will also be allowed to sell beer and liquor during all hours of operation. Casinos that opt to sell alcohol must pay a $1 million application fee that has to be renewed every four years. Furthermore, Pennsylvania residents will be permitted to purchase out-of-state wine and have it shipped to their doorsteps. The 18% liquor tax on wine, also known as the Johnstown Flood Tax, is now a $2.50 “gallonage” tax. A wine auction permit will be allowed for nonprofit, college, and university fundraisers.

In addition, state-run liquor store hours will be expanded to include later hours and Sundays. Additionally, Pennsylvania lottery tickets will be sold at state stores. The Liquor Control Board (LCB) will auction as many as 50 dormant liquor licences in each county. The LCB has to reduce the mark-up on specialty orders to 10%. The LCB is also permitted to establish new pricing schemes for customers. Wolf and the Legislature will put a commission together in order to study the state’s role in the liquor industry.

Speaker of the PA House of Representatives Mike Turzai (R- Allegheny) was the bill’s prime sponsor. Turzai issued a statement after Wolf signed the law. His full statement may be read below:

“This historic legislation is a tremendous leap toward bringing Pennsylvania into the 21st century,” said Turzai, the prime sponsor of the legislation.  “This privatization bill will bring consumers the added choice and convenience they have been asking for since Prohibition.”

“I am confident this law is the first incremental step into a future for which Pennsylvanians have waited far too long,” said Turzai.

New Law Rep. Baker Worked on Quickly Bans Substances Used to Make Designer Drugs

matt bakerA new law has been signed that will quicken the process of banning new substances used to make designer drugs, and Representative Matt Baker (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter) worked on the legislation for years prior to the signing of the law.

New substances that are used to manufacture designer drugs can now be added to the list of banned drugs in Pennsylvania. Law enforcement officers can then arrest and prosecute people that use drugs containing the banned substances. Baker issued the following statement after the law was signed,”‘Today’s criminals are smart and savvy and have learned how to use different chemicals to create new drug combinations to try and avoid prosecution… My legislation combats those efforts by allowing the use of these substances and combination chemicals to be quickly added to a banned list – a process that use to take a fair amount of time to accomplish. Law enforcement will now be able to keep up with the quickly changing illegal drug market and prosecute those who possess these substances with the intent to manufacture illegal drugs.”

The Pennsylvania Department of Health Secretary will now be permitted to ban substances on a temporary basis so that they can go through a full regulatory review. Presently, the General Assembly must act on banning substances under the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act. Usually, that process is lengthy.

Baker went on to say the following, “This is one more step forward in our fight against the illegal drug market… Drug abuse and misuse has become an epidemic and I have been a leader and avid supporter of new laws to help combat this trending crime. Next to prescription drug abuse, these new designer drugs are a major plague on our society with individuals exposing themselves to unknown chemicals and toxins in order to get a ‘high.’ Giving law enforcement the tools they need to thwart illegal drug manufacturers can help save lives.”

Under the new law, Pennsylvania’s schedule of controlled substances will be modified to match federal controlled substance laws. The following departments support the new law: the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association, the Pennsylvania Fraternal Order of Police, the state Office of Attorney General, the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association, the Pennsylvania State Police Troopers Association, and the Pennsylvania State Police.

Shell to Build Ethane Cracker Plant in Beaver County, Wolf and Baker Issue Statements

Shell logoShell Chemical Appalachia has decided to build an ethane cracker plant in Pennsylvania, and both Governor Tom Wolf and Representative Matt Baker (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter) issued statements supporting Shell’s decision.

Natural gas production may increase, and more jobs could become available in the region as a result of the ethane cracker plant being built in Beaver County. According to Shell in a statement, “The complex will use low-cost ethane from shale gas producers in the Marcellus and Utica basins to produce 1.6 million tonnes of polyethylene per year.” Specifically, the plant will be built where the Horsehead zinc smelter used to be in Potter Township. The site was purchased by Shell for $13.5 million in 2014. The cracker will be at the site, as will two units that convert ethylene into polyethylene pellets. Polyethylene is used in automotive components, food packaging, containers, and much more. In addition, there will be a natural gas-fired power plant, a wastewater plant, and a loading dock.

The ethane cracker plant is a multibillion-dollar project. In Beaver County alone, there will be 600 permanent jobs created at 6,000 construction jobs during the building of the plant. The main construction is expected to begin in approximately 18 months. Commercial production should start sometime within the next ten years, Shell said in a statement.

Shell’s decision was five years in the making. In 2012, Shell decided on the Beaver County location. At that time, the then-Governor Corbett (R) worked on a tax break in which Shell would receive a $2.10 credit per barrel of ethane it purchased from gas and oil operators in Pennsylvania. Additionally, Shell will get tax cuts and exemptions for fifteen years due to the fact that the site is a Keystone Opportunity Zone.

Representative Matt Baker (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter) issued the following statement on Tuesday, June 7th, regarding Shell’s decision to build an ethane cracker plant in Pennsylvania, “With the need for large amounts of natural gas in the plastic manufacturing process, this type business should lead to an increase in production of natural gas from our area… With the natural gas industry taking hits the past couple of years with lower gas prices, we have had some companies move out of the area and others decreasing their job force. I am hopeful the new Shell plant will help put more people back to work and even create new ancillary jobs in our region.”

According to Baker, a third-party study found that as many as 17,500 direct, indirect, and induced jobs could result from the plant. Baker went on to say the following, “This is a business deal that has been years in the making, and thanks to sound business policies we have enacted and our determination to keep business taxes in check, the people of Pennsylvania will benefit from an influx of new job opportunities that will reach well beyond the borders of Beaver County.”

On Tuesday, June 7th, 2016, Governor Tom Wolf issued a statement after Shell told him they are going to build an ethane cracker plant in Pennsylvania. Governor Tom Wolf’s statement may be read in full below:

“Over the past four years, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has worked with Royal Dutch Shell to finalize plans to construct an ethane cracker plant in Western Pennsylvania, and this morning I was notified that Shell has taken the final step to move ahead with this game-changing plant and create thousands of jobs in Pennsylvania.

“The commonwealth began its efforts on this project in 2012, and I would like to thank former Governor Tom Corbett and his Secretary of Community and Economic Development C. Alan Walker for all of their efforts to bring the plant to Western Pennsylvania.

“Since first taking office, I have worked in close collaboration with my Secretary of Community and Economic Development Dennis Davin, the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, local officials in Western Pennsylvania, and Royal Dutch Shell to make the proposed plant a reality. The commonwealth engaged the company with the goal of creating jobs, spurring economic development, and taking the next steps to connect the energy industry with long-term, sustainable economic growth.

“My administration is committed to creating jobs in the energy industry through responsible, well-regulated extraction and long-term, creative industrial growth. We have worked to develop strategies for safe and responsible pipeline development that brings resources to markets and facilities and we have prioritized the Shell plant to show the world that Pennsylvania is a leader in energy manufacturing and downstream production.

“The success of this project is part of a much-needed, longer term plan to translate our abundant resources to make Pennsylvania a leader in downstream production. The commitment of the Shell cracker plant in Western Pennsylvania is an important step toward this goal.

“This critical effort spanned four years, and two administrations, and today I want to congratulate all of those involved, including both Republican and Democratic officials, and thank Royal Dutch Shell for providing this unique and exciting economic development opportunity to the people of Western Pennsylvania.”

PA House Passes Bill Allowing Wine to be Sold in Grocery Stores

Pennsylvania House of RepresentativesOn Tuesday, June 7th, 2016, the Pennsylvania House of Representative approved a plan that was amended by the Senate allowing wine to be sold in grocery stores.

The House vote was 157-31, and it was a bipartisan vote. Majority Leader Dave Reed (R-Indiana) announced the results of the vote. Reed said the following in a statement, “We’re in the 21st century, and our constituents ask for and expect better convenience and accessibility; this legislation provides it… These improvements to wine, beer and liquor sales include a number of changes requested by consumers and will allow consumers to buy wine at their grocery stores by Thanksgiving.”

If Wolf signs the bill, grocery stores would be allowed to sell take-out wine. In addition, restaurants and hotels could sell take-out wine. Only those businesses with existing licenses would be permitted to sell wine. Customers could buy up to four bottles of wine at a time.

The bill, known as House Bill 1690, has several liquor and wine sale reforms. The bill also makes it possible for private wine wholesalers to sell wine directly to customers in Pennsylvania. According to Reed, the bill will generate millions in revenue. Reed went on to say, “This legislation will generate approximately $150 million initially and growing revenues each year to aid the budge… It is time to put that money where it belongs, instead of propping up an antiquated and outdated liquor system.”

The bill requires the monetary worth of the state store system to be studied. In addition, there would be proposals to eventually privatize liquor sales. Though the bill passed in the Senate last year, House Republicans would not vote on the bill due to the fact that it did not allow for the whole system to be privatized.

Governor Tom Wolf is expected to sign the bill. He said the following in a statement regarding the House passing the bill, “Today the House concurred with the Senate on historic liquor modernization legislation that provides greater customer convenience to the people of Pennsylvania… As I have always said, my goal is to modernize the sale of liquor and beer in Pennsylvania to ensure convenience and satisfaction for customers. Once the bill reaches my desk, I will conduct a final review of the legislation to ensure it meets my goals of enhancing the customer experience, increasing much-needed revenue to help balance our budget, and bringing our wine and spirits system into the 21st century.”

Wolf has recently been supportive of expanding liquor sales in Pennsylvania. In late May, he sent a letter to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) asking them to approve license applications allowing businesses to sell as much as 192 ounces of brewed or malt beverages. The PLCB approved nine applications after Wolf sent his letter.

On Wednesday, June 8th, State Rep. Curt Sonney (R-Harborcreek) issued a statement in support of House Bill 1690. Sonney said the following:

“Pennsylvanians are now a signature away from being able to buy wine at their local grocery store and beer at their nearby convenience store. This legislation is not the full liquor privatization many of us have been pursuing, but it is a bill that answers consumers’ consistent call for convenience.

“House Bill 1690 would also allow tourists who visit out-of-state wineries to have that product shipped back home, provided the state they are visiting has similar laws in place. Direct shipment also benefits Erie County wineries, as anyone visiting them from another state will be able to have wine shipped to their homes.

“As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I’m also pleased with the estimated $150 million in non-tax revenue this legislation will produce. The money will go a long way toward increasing education funding in Pennsylvania.”

State Rep. Matt Gabler (R-Clearfield/Elk) also issued a statement supporting House Bill 1690 on Wednesday. Gabler said the following:

“Over the past few years, our citizens have clearly sent the message that they desire more choice and convenience in the beverage marketplace. This legislation takes a major step in providing just that. When this bill is signed into law, Pennsylvanians will be able to buy wine at their local grocery store and beer at their nearby convenience store. Our citizens who travel out of state will be able to have products from wineries they visit shipped to their doorstep – something they cannot currently do. In turn, our local wineries could provide the same service for visiting tourists.

“In addition, the estimated $150 million in state revenue we expect to realize with the enactment of this legislation will assist in balancing the state without the broad-based tax increases that some continue to advocate. I proudly voted for this bill and I will continue to support commonsense proposals that protect taxpayers and benefit consumers.”

State Representatives Mike Regan (R-Dillsburg), Seth Grove (R-Dover), Keith Gillespie (R-Hellam), Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York Township), Kate Klunk (R-Hanover), and Stan Saylor (R-Red Lion) issued a statement in support of House Bill 1690 on Tuesday, June 7th:

“Today, we are proud to join our colleagues on both sides of the aisle in supporting House Bill 1690, which is the first step towards complete liquor privatization in the Commonwealth. This legislation will expand consumer convenience by allowing for wine sales at grocery stores and six-pack beer sales at convenience stores. It will also allow direct shipment of out-of-state wine to the doorstep of Pennsylvanians’ and permit wineries in the Commonwealth to do likewise in states that have similar laws in place.

“House Bill 1690 will also provide $150 million in non-tax revenue for the budget, which is an important consideration during this difficult budget year and our efforts to oppose broad-based tax increases. While we continue to support full liquor privatization for the Commonwealth, this legislation will require the Liquor Control Board to consider free market reforms for savings and efficiency. We thank House Speaker Rep. Mike Turzai for his continued leadership on this issue.”

You can read more about House Bill 1690 here.

Senator Gene Yaw to Hold Telephone Town Hall Discussion About Opioid Addiction June 13

13412973_1065897653501804_5276507098264104434_nPennsylvania Senator Gene Yaw (R-23)  announced that there will be a town hall discussion via telephone regarding opioid and heroin addiction in Pennsylvania on Monday, June 13th, 2016.

Residents of Lycoming, Bradford, Union, Susquehanna, and Sullivan counties, and any other Pennsylvania resident, is invited to the special town hall discussion. The one hour telephone discussion will be held from 6:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. Those who attend the discussion will have the opportunity to ask questions. You may sign up for the telephone discussion at senatorgeneyaw.com. The call in number for the discussion is (877) 229-8493, and the PIN is 111880.

Director of the Center for Rural Pennsylvania Barry Denk and Center for Rural Pennsylvania Board Member and Professor of Nursing at Clarion University Dr. Nancy Falvo will be guests at the discussion. There will be a live audio stream that people on computers, tablets, and smartphones can listen to as well as ask Yaw questions. Right before the event begins, there will be a link to the event at senatorgeneyaw.com.

The 10th public hearing about the opioid and heroin problem in Pennsylvania was held on Thursday, June 2nd, by the Center for Rural Pennsylvania. The Center for Rural Pennsylvania is a bicameral and bipartisan legislative research agency, and it is a part of the General Assembly. The hearings started in 2014. Yaw was the chairman of the hearings. Two reports were produced in 2014 and 2015 as a result of the hearings. The reports outline legislative recommendations and include testimony. A third report is expected to be released in 2016.