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New Alcohol Management Training Requirements Included in Liquor Reform Package
As part of the historic liquor reform bill that was signed into law this week, training requirements for alcohol service personnel will soon be improved in order to reduce the risk of tragedies resulting from the irresponsible use of alcohol. The new requirement mirrors legislation I introduced last year.
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. The new law expands this requirement to include all alcohol service personnel.
I introduced legislation that would improve alcohol management training following a meeting with the mother of one of three innocent victims who were killed in 2007 as a result of drunk driving. 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 ultimately help prevent similar tragedies in the future.
General Assembly Approves Bill Adding Korean War Representative to State Veterans Commission
This week, the House of Representatives approved legislation I sponsored to add the Korean War Veterans Association to the list of major veterans associations who serve on the State Veterans Commission.
The Commission is made up of more than a dozen organizations whose representatives meet regularly to consider pending legislation at the state and federal levels that affects veterans. The addition of the Korean War Veterans Association to the Commission will provide well-deserved representation for those who served during that conflict.
I appreciate Dr. Paul Cunningham and the members of the Lancaster Chapter of the Korean War Veterans Association for bringing this issue to my attention and for their tireless advocacy on behalf of the bill.
The legislation has been approved by the Senate and House of Representatives and sent to the governor to be signed into law. More information about the bill is available here.
Committee Endorses Proposal to Protect Marriage and Family Therapists
The House Professional Licensure Committee approved legislation I sponsored this week that will ensure only licensed marriage and family therapists will be able to offer services to couples and families in need.
In current practice, Pennsylvania marriage and family therapists are required to undergo extensive training and licensing requirements in order to provide a wide variety of mental health services to families and couples, including emotional and behavioral conditions that require treatment from a professional who has a high degree of knowledge and education.
Although unlicensed and unqualified individuals are currently prohibited from calling themselves “marriage and family therapists” without the proper license and training, they can exploit a loophole in current law by offering services under the guise of “family therapists” or “couples therapists”. My legislation will expand title protection to licensed marriage and family therapists and close this dangerous loophole that could potentially expose Pennsylvanians to fraud and abuse.
Committee approval of this legislation clears the way for the bill to be considered by the full House of Representatives in the near future. More information on the bill is available here.
Senate Box 203036