Three Major Farry Bills Headed to Governor’s Desk - PACENET expansion and pet protection measures included
HARRISBURG — As the 2017-18 legislation session wraps up, three major pieces of legislation, authored by Rep. Frank Farry (R-Bucks), are headed to the governor’s desk to be signed into law, including measures to extend prescription drug coverage for seniors, protect pets left unattended in hot cars and enhance sentencing for certain DUI and vehicular crimes.

The first piece of legislation, House Bill 270, would increase the income eligibility guidelines for the PACENET program, extending prescription drug coverage to more than 17,000 older Pennsylvanians.

The PACE and PACENET programs provide low-cost prescription drugs to nearly 282,000 Pennsylvanians age 65 and older. Both programs are funded from proceeds of the Pennsylvania Lottery.

“The income eligibility limits haven’t changed in 14 years. That’s quite a long time both for seniors who are currently in the program and risk disqualification due to a change in income and for seniors who are trying to enroll in the program for the first time,” Farry said. “Expanding this program is the right thing to do.”

Another Farry measure which is included in a comprehensive rewrite of the state’s DUI law (Senate Bill 961) would allow for enhanced sentencing for an individual who was driving without a valid license while committing aggravated assault by vehicle, aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI, homicide by vehicle and/or homicide by vehicle.

The legislation was introduced in memory of Lt. Dennis DeVoe, a Harrisburg firefighter who was struck by a hit-and-run driver who was under the influence, speeding, driving a stolen vehicle, driving without a license and ran a stop sign. It is also inspired by Ryan Viola, a Bucks County Technical High School senior who was struck by an individual driving without a valid license on the way to his bus stop.

“Without a valid license, these individuals should never have been driving in the first place,” Farry said. “Lt. DeVoe and Ryan Viola would still be alive if the offenders never got behind the wheel.”

Additionally, Farry’s Motor Vehicle Extreme Heat Protection Act (House Bill 1216) is expected to be signed into law. The legislation would prohibit the confinement of a dog or cat in an unattended motor vehicle in a manner that would endanger the health and well-being of the animal. This violation would be a summary offense.

“This is legislation we’ve been working on for several years, and I’m happy to see it finally cross the finish line. Every year, countless animals die after being left behind while their owners work, visit, shop or run other errands, and these deaths are entirely preventable,” he added.

Representative Frank Farry
142nd District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Abbey Haslam