News from Representative Smucker

   

National Police Week

This week is National Police Week – an opportunity to express our sincere gratitude and appreciation for the brave men and women who protect our communities. I had the privilege to ride along with the Lancaster City Police (pictured above) on Monday evening. I want to thank all law enforcement officers in our district, and across Pennsylvania and the nation, who put on the blue uniform each day. Five officers in Pennsylvania lost their lives in the line of duty in 2016. Their names will be added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C.

I’ve had conference calls with Police Chiefs in our district and have reached out to numerous county-level law enforcement officials about how we can work together. In recognition of National Police Week, I cosponsored two bills to help our law enforcement officers. The Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act would increase federal grant funding for identifying officers with mental health issues to help them get the care they need. The suicide rate for police officers is four times higher than the rate for firefighters, and one in four police officers have thought about suicide. This bill will help address this issue.

Additionally, the Protecting Lives Using Surplus Equipment Act would provide lifesaving equipment to police departments across the country to help protect officers and members of their communities. The House also voted this week on a number of bills to support our police officers. You can learn about those bills here.

 

Strengthening Career and Technical Education

We’re fortunate to have many schools in the district that are already preparing students for jobs of the 21st century. In the past, I’ve been fortunate to work with Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology and will continue that relationship. More recently, I’ve also visited Reading Area Community College and the Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences. The students, faculty, and staff at these schools care deeply about the success of these programs. I also hosted a conference call with CTE stakeholders in the 16th District on which he learned more about the demand to grow CTE programs.

It’s important we accommodate the needs of many different types of students that are ready to learn and willing to work. In fact, I experienced a non-traditional education. I took college courses at night while operating a small construction company during the day. State and local education leaders know their students better than bureaucrats in Washington. 

This week, the House Education and the Workforce Committee passed bipartisan legislation to help more Americans enter the workforce with the skills necessary to compete for good-paying, in-demand jobs. I am an original cosponsor of this legislation, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act. It will help local education leaders align their priorities based on the specific needs of their students. I am proud to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to advance this important bill.

You can learn more about this legislation here, and watch a video of me discussing some of my priorities for the Education and the Workforce Committee here.

 

American Health Care Act Resources

Many false allegations are circulating about the American Health Care Act. I want to provide you with the facts. Below are a number of resources available on my website where you can find out for yourself what exactly this bill does and does not do.

American Health Care Act Myth vs. Fact

Protections for those with preexisting conditions, essential health benefits, and continuous coverage are just some of the topics coveredhere

Coverage for Preexisting Conditions

Page 91 of the AHCA states: "Nothing in this Act shall be construed as permitting health insurance issuers to limit access to health coverage for individuals with preexisting conditions." Learn how the AHCA protects people with preexisting conditionshere.

What Happens to Me Under the AHCA?

Whether you receive health care through your employer, Medicare, Medicaid, or the individual marketplace, you can learn exactly how the AHCA impacts youhere.

The Patient and State Stability Fund

This $130 billion fund will help repair state markets damaged by Obamacare, and will be used to help stabilize costs as we transition to a patient-centered system. Learn how this fund is distributedhere.

Addressing Medicaid Expansion

The AHCA returns regulatory power to the states -- where it belongs -- so that governors can run state-specific programs that best fit the needs of their constituents. Read about how the AHCA reforms Medicaidhere.

Medicaid Per Capita Allotment Reform

Medicaid is currently on an unsustainable path. A per capita allotment reforms and protects the program and does not change Medicaid rules regarding access to care. Read about the specific reformshere.

Lastly, if you'd like to read the bill for yourself -- like I did -- you can find the full texthere. I'll continue to speak with countless constituents and experts on these issues to better inform my decisions on this important matter.

 

Photo Journal

I recently visited the New Story School in Mountville. This school provides special education and behavioral health services to children up to age 21 who have been diagnosed with autism or emotional or behavioral disorders. If you’d like me to visit a school, organization, or business, you can invite me here.

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Last week, my office organized an opportunity for prospective students of the Service Academies to meet with military liaison officers. The goal is to educate high school students on the process and requirements that are necessary to attend one of the Academies. I appreciate the service of all of those involved and the opportunity to meet with some of our brightest students. You can learn more about applying to a Service Academy here.

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I also recently hosted an art reception for high school students that submitted their artwork for the Congressional Art Competition. It was wonderful to meet and speak with so many talented artists. Thank you to Garden Spot Village for hosting the reception – the artwork will be on display for the rest of the month! The winners are…

First Place: Hannah Lieberher (junior at Garden Spot High School) with “Beneficent” (pictured above)

Second Place: Samantha William (junior at Lampete-Strasburg High School with “Lemonade” 

Third Place: Loghan McFalls (junior at Conestoga Valley High School) with “Flag”

You can learn more about the Congressional Art Competition here, and see more photos from the evening here.

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I was glad to have the opportunity to meet with faith leaders from the Hispanic community in our district. We discussed a number of issues, including religious freedom, immigration, and how we can work together moving forward. If you’d like to contact me and share your thoughts on any of these issues or others, you can email me here.

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Sincerely,

Lloyd Smucker

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