HARRISBURG – Legislation is being proposed that would extend civil liability to anyone who, in an effort to save a child from heatstroke-related death, breaks a window or forcibly enters a parked, locked vehicle. Good Samaritan laws are extended to bystanders in other emergency situations. These laws exist to encourage bystanders to intervene quickly to help people in life-threatening situations. A recent video of a woman smashing in a window to help a child trapped in a locked, hot car gained national attention. At least 16 states have Good Samaritan laws for those who take action to prevent the death of a child, due to heatstroke, in a locked vehicles. On average, nationwide a child dies every 10 days from heatstroke in a vehicle. Last year, 31 children across the nation died from vehicular heat stroke. Sen. Dominic Pileggi of Chester & Delaware Counties is seeking co-sponsorship of the proposal.
ANNAPOLIS, MD (AP) – Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan says he’s lost hair but is killing cancer cells “like crazy.” Hogan’s office released a photo showing the bald governor wearing sunglasses with a wide smile outside the governor’s reception room. In a Facebook posting, Hogan says: “Thanks to my treatments, I’m sporting a new aerodynamic look.” Hogan also writes that he’s saving time by not having to wash or comb his hair or shave. Last week, the 59-year-old Republican governor finished his second five-day round of chemotherapy. He announced the diagnosis for B-cell non-Hodgkins lymphoma on June 22.
DOVER, DE (AP) – AAA Mid-Atlantic says Delaware drivers need to slow down and pay better attention when behind the wheel. Alarmed by an upward trend in road deaths this year, the motor club says too many drivers are engaging in unsafe behavior, including running red lights, speeding, driving when tired, and texting and talking on their cellphones. AAA says the Delaware Office of Highway Safety reported an above-average number of fatalities over the past three months, compared to the five-year average. Statewide, there were 34 fatalities between May and July, and 62 persons have been killed in crashes this year.
HARRISBURG – Secretary of Health Dr. Karen Murphy urged residents of Pennsylvania to take special precautions if they plan to spend extended periods of time outdoors this summer. Due to the recent spike in hot weather, as well as the air quality alert issued by the Department of Environmental Protection, All Pennsylvanians are urged to drink plenty of water, avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol, or large amounts of sugar, as they can cause dehydration; Stay indoors in air conditioning as much as possible; and if you must be outside in the heat, limit activity to morning and evening hours, try to rest often in shady areas and use a sunscreen of SPF15 or higher. The most common heat-related illnesses are heat stroke, and heat exhaustion. Heat stroke warning signs include extreme body temperature, rapid pulse, throbbing headache, dizziness and confusion. Anyone developing heat stroke symptoms should seek immediate medical assistance. Heat exhaustion symptoms are heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, and fainting.
HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Wolf wants to hear from Pennsylvanians on Facebook this afternoon. He is holding his first Facebook Q&A live online today at 5:15 p.m. The event takes place on his Facebook page at facebook.com/GovernorWolf. Users may submit any questions starting now through the duration of the Q&A session.
HARRISBURG – Legislation improving public safety on college campuses has passed the state House. Senate Bill 678 clarifies the zones in which campus police officers employed by the 14 state owned universities have arrest powers. Lancaster County Sen. Lloyd Smucker, Chairman of the Senate Education Committee, drafted the legislation. The House amended some language in the bill prior to its passage. The measure now returns to the state Senate for a concurrence vote.
HARRISBURG (AP) – Victims of some of Pennsylvania’s most horrific sexual crimes are getting better information about offenders’ status under a new partnership between the State Police and the Office of Victim Advocate. Officials described today how the state agency has taken over the process of updating victims of sexually violent predators whenever the convict’s status changes. That can mean a change of job or address, or their release from behind bars. The program is being funded this year with $143,000 in federal money that’s administered by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. The Office of Victim Advocate already provides more than 20,000 notifications annually for other types of crimes. Officials say they think adding victims of sexually violent predators may increase that workload by more than 5,000 notifications.
NEW YORK (AP) – The Boy Scouts of America’s top policy-making board has voted to end its ban on homosexual adult leaders while allowing church-sponsored Scout units to maintain the exclusion if that accords with their faith. In 2013, the BSA decided to let openly gay boys become scouts. That prompted conservative Christians to launch Trail Life USA as a scouting alternative. Several religious denominations that continue to sponsor large numbers of Boy Scout units – including the Roman Catholic church and the Southern Baptist Convention – have been apprehensive about the BSA lifting its ban on gay adults. The Rev. Russell Moore, the Southern Baptists’ public policy chief, says he’s seen a definite cooling on the part of Baptist churches toward the Scouts. The Boy Scouts’ top leaders have pledged to defend the right of any church-sponsored units to continue excluding gays as adult volunteers. But Trail Life Chairman John Stemberger predicts that the new BSA policy will expose churches to discrimination lawsuits if they adhere to their faith’s teachings.
HARRISBURG (AP) – The PA House Majority Speaker says his members won’t vote for any sort of tax increase without privatization of the state liquor system, and that lawmakers may eventually override the Democrat governor’s vetoes. Republican Mike Turzai said a Pennsylvania Press Club luncheon Monday that recent budget talks have amounted to “constructive dialogue,” but negotiations have been around the edges rather than at the heart of their disputes. Pennsylvania is about four weeks into the new fiscal year with talks at a stalemate. Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed the budget, liquor privatization, and pension reform legislation that were passed by the Legislature. Wolf wants billions of taxpayer’s money to spend more on education and services. The Republican-passed budget did not include a tax increase.
HARRISBURG (AP) – A Philadelphia judge could become the first independent candidate to make the ballot for Pennsylvania’s highest court in more than two decades. A spokesman said that Paul Panepinto’s signature-gathering effort has passed 22,000. Panepinto is running as an independent and must file at least 16,639 voter signatures by Aug. 3 to quality for the ballot. Panepinto’s announcement comes after a federal judge threw out provisions in Pennsylvania law that he says make it unconstitutionally difficult for independent or minor-party candidates to get onto ballots. An unprecedented three Supreme Court seats are up for grabs in the Nov. 3 election. Analysts say the last time a minor-party or independent candidate made the high court ballot was a Patriot Party candidate in 1993. Three Republicans and three Democrats are also running.