Why Governor Tom Wolf Called a Joint Session to Address the Opioid Epidemic

first_img By: Mark Nicastre, Communications Director Why Governor Tom Wolf Called a Joint Session to Address the Opioid Epidemic   SHARE  TWEET Substance Use Disorder,  The Blog Governor Tom Wolf and legislators from both sides of the aisle have made addressing the opioid epidemic a top priority. Last year over 3,500 Pennsylvanians died from drug overdose – that is an astonishing 10 deaths a day and up from the more than 2,500 reported deaths in 2014. Pennsylvanians suffering from the disease of addiction cannot afford to wait for solutions. That’s why Governor Tom Wolf and legislative leaders called a Joint Session of the General Assembly to address the members of the House and Senate about our collective efforts to lead the nation in combatting the opioid and heroin crisis facing Pennsylvania.Governor Wolf said, “After consultation and discussion with legislative leaders, I believe we share the view that we can make the most profound and positive impact for the people of Pennsylvania by dealing with this issue as part of the remainder of the 2015-16 legislative session, rather than calling a special session.”Why not a special session?After extensive conversations, Governor Tom Wolf and legislative leaders decided that the most timely and efficient way to make progress in the fight against the opioid epidemic would be to call a joint session, rather than a special session as previously discussed. A special session would require bills to be reintroduced with co-sponsor memos to be circulated, and each new bill would take a minimum of six legislative days to reach the Governor’s desk. Special session committees would also have to be organized to review each new bill before the bill would be called up for a vote in the House or Senate. All told, this would amount to at least a two-week process. Several bills addressing this crisis have already passed the House and Senate in the current legislative session and are positioned to reach the Governor’s desk in a much timelier fashion. A four caucus workgroup has been working diligently throughout the summer to build consensus on these bills, and we are hopeful that by calling for a joint session, we can move many of these to the Governor’s desk for signature without further delay.What is a joint session?During the joint session, Governor Wolf will address both the house and the senate this fall about the importance of taking quick action to combat the opioid and heroin crisis . Following his address, Governor Wolf and the legislative leaders will address the opioid epidemic by looking at bills that have already been introduced and started the legislative processes which means that we can more swiftly tackle the opioid epidemic.What do we hope to achieve the joint session?Specifically, some of the goals of this legislative season are to require doctors and prescribers to check the Prescription Drug Monitoring Database every time they prescribe, increase education about opioid and pain management for current and future medical professionals, limit the quantities of opioids that can be prescribed in emergency rooms to a patient at one time, require insurance carriers to cover abuse deterrent opioids at the same cost as their non-abuse deterrent counterparts, add opioid misuse to existing public school curriculum on drug and alcohol abuse, and establish a voluntary directive for patients who don’t wish to receive opioids in their medical care.With 10 people a day in our commonwealth dying from drug overdoses, we cannot afford to stall. This fall, Governor Wolf and the legislature will make sure that battling the opioid epidemic is a top priority. September 16, 2016 Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

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On “Jobs that Pay” Tour Governor Visits Greiner Packaging, Discusses Apprenticeships

first_img April 26, 2017 Budget News,  Jobs That Pay,  Press Release,  Workforce Development Pittston, PA – Governor Wolf today toured Greiner Packaging in Pittston and participated in a roundtable discussion focused on apprenticeships and manufacturing workforce needs with Greiner employees, student interns, and community leaders. Representatives from the Governor’s Action Team and the Department of Labor & Industry’s Office of Apprenticeship also participated.“Apprenticeship programs such as the one Greiner Packaging has developed are providing access to great career pathways in manufacturing,” Governor Wolf said. “What better way to connect people to jobs that pay than an employer creating a training program that meets its needs for a skilled workforce.“I also see and understand the need for innovative and expanded apprenticeship programs; that’s why I have included an apprenticeship grant program in my 2017-18 budget.”The grant program – both for those leaving the K-12 education system and those transitioning into a new industry sector – can receive training aligned to business workforce needs, so workers are not training just to train, but have a job, a career path established.Greiner Packaging partnered with Luzerne County Community College on its “Gold Apprentice Program,” to train technicians needed to fill the workforce at the packaging manufacturer.“We are extremely honored to have the opportunity to showcase our growth and accomplishments to the Governor and his action team; specifically, through our Greiner Gold Apprentice Program,” David Kirkland, president of Greiner Packaging said. “Our program is unique to the area since students earn a degree whilst getting hands on experience from specially trained mentors. We are proud of our apprentices and excited to be part of their journey towards a successful long-term career at Greiner Packaging.”Governor Wolf’s budget continues to invest in 21st century manufacturing, workforce development and training programs while also implementing new safeguards to ensure taxpayer dollars for economic development projects are spent appropriately and intended outcomes are met.In addition to investments in apprenticeship and manufacturing training-to-career grant programs, Governor Wolf continues to make “jobs that pay” a top priority.Since taking office, his administration has secured over $2 billion in private sector investments in the commonwealth and commitments for the creation and retention of over 200,000 full-time jobs.Over the past two years, the governor has worked to increase the number of residents with college degrees and high-value industry-recognized credentials and to expand economic opportunities for residents and businesses while fighting for a minimum wage increase.Governor Wolf continues to travel the commonwealth to talk to business owners and workers about what the commonwealth can do to help them thrive. In this year’s budget, Governor Wolf is committed to continuing to grow our economy and create jobs.Greiner Packaging Corporation is a subsidiary of Greiner Packaging International and the company’s first U.S. location was established in Pittston to serve as the company’s corporate headquarters. In production since October 2014 with new technologies and state-of-the-art equipment, technologies include thermoforming, extrusion, injection molding, and direct print.For more information about the Governor’s Action Team or DCED visit dced.pa.gov/. On “Jobs that Pay” Tour Governor Visits Greiner Packaging, Discusses Apprenticeshipscenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

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