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Proposal Would Expand Responsible Alcohol Management Training
Irresponsible alcohol use often leads to disastrous consequences that can have a lasting impact on the entire community, such as a drunk driving case that claimed the lives of three people in Lancaster County in 2007. After speaking with the mother of one of the innocent victims of this tragedy, I have introduced a proposal that would help prevent similar accidents by ensuring alcohol service personnel are trained to identify the signs of intoxication.
The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board offers a Responsible Alcohol Management Training program to help educate business owners and alcohol service personnel about the signs of intoxication and the consequences of serving alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person. Current law requires owners and managers of liquor-licensed establishments to participate, as well as at least 50 percent of alcohol service personnel. My bill would expand this requirement to include all alcohol service personnel.
The bill would improve the current process and ensure employees who serve alcohol are trained to respond to alcohol-related problems. In the 2007 tragedy, the driver who caused the accident had been served alcohol at multiple local businesses prior to the accident, despite visible signs of intoxication, and had a BAC more than double the legal limit. Even worse, after being ordered to leave the bar, the bouncer helped guide the visibly intoxicated patron to her car after she unsuccessfully tried to enter the wrong vehicle.
With proper training, employees could have potentially identified the problem and taken the appropriate action to prevent such an accident. I am hopeful that requiring better education for alcohol service personnel will help prevent similar tragedies in the future.
Putting Wolf’s Proposed Spending and Tax Increases in Perspective
As the Senate returns to session after three weeks of budget hearings, our top priority must be creating a fiscally responsible state budget. The graph below presents the historic new highs in state spending proposed in Governor Wolf’s plan, an approach which would require tax increases totaling $12 billion over the next two years.
Increasing state spending without addressing cost-drivers in the budget is a bad deal for taxpayers. Developing a more responsible approach will be a priority in the weeks to come. For more information on Governor Wolf’s budget proposal visit http://www.senatoraument.com/budget-2015-16/.
AlertPA System Keeps Local Residents Informed
Severe weather and other emergency situations can strike at any time. In order to receive timely and pertinent information during an emergency, local residents can sign up for e-mail and text updates through the AlertPA software application.
Users can receive texts or emails regarding a wide range of emergency situations, such as traffic accidents, public health hazards, fires, severe weather and other natural or man-made disasters. State residents also have the option to choose the kinds of alerts they wish to receive and their regions of interest in order to avoid receiving unwanted communications.
District residents can sign up for alerts or learn more about the AlertPA system online at https://alert.pa.gov.
The state’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) has been extended until May 1.The program offers cash grants, sent directly to the utility company, and crisis grants for households in immediate danger of being without heat.
Residents can apply for LIHEAP online at COMPASS. They can also contact their local county assistance office or call the LIHEAP hotline at 1-866-857-7095, Monday through Friday (individuals with hearing impairments may call the TDD number at 1-800-451-5886).
Senate Box 203036