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Late yesterday, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) delivered its final rule to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) regarding overtime pay under the Minimum Wage Act. According to IRRC’s website, a public hearing on the final rule will be held on Thursday, November 21st.
The highlights of L&I’s final rule are as follows:

  • Raises the salary threshold to $875 per week ($45,500 annually) – an over 92% increase over the current $455 per week ($23,660) – and there is an automatic escalator
  • The employee still must meet both the salary test and the duties test to qualify as exempt.

All documents concerning L&I’s final Overtime Rule can be found below.

If you recall, the Federal Department of Labor published its final rule on Friday, September 27th. The Federal rule:

  • Raises the salary threshold from the current $23,660 ($455/week) to $35,568 ($684/week)
  • Effective 1/1/2020
  • No automatic updates or changes to the duties test
  • Allow non-discretionary bonuses, incentive payments and commissions to satisfy up to 10 percent of the salary requirement

According to the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry (PA Chamber), Pennsylvania employers generally accept the Federal Department of labor’s final overtime rule as a reasonable update to overtime regulations and employers are unlikely to challenge the Federal final rule.

At a minimum, RCPA will be recommending that L&I’s rule should mirror the Federal rule, so it easier for businesses to comply with this requirement. RCPA will be working with the PA Chamber and other businesses on this issue.

In the meantime, please send me your initial thoughts/concerns by close of business on Monday, October 21st, because State House Leadership and Chairman Cox of the House Labor Committee would like to know what objections our members have about L&I’s final rule.

Questions, please contact Jack Phillips, RCPA’s Director of Government Affairs.

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Last week, while RCPA held its Annual Conference at the Hershey Lodge, our colleagues at the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry (PA Chamber) informed us that the Federal Department of Labor submitted its final overtime rule. The PA Chamber stated the final overtime rule was published in the Friday, September 27 edition of the Federal Register. The highlights of the final rule are as follows:

  • Raises the salary threshold from the current $23,660 ($455/week) to $35,568 ($684/week);
  • Effective 1/1/2020;
  • No automatic updates or changes to the duties test;
  • Allows nondiscretionary bonuses, incentive payments, and commissions to satisfy up to 10 percent of the salary requirement; and
  • Increases the Highly Compensated Employees exemption threshold from $100,000 to $107,432 — though, as previously noted, this option is not available for employers in PA.

According to the PA Chamber, Pennsylvania employers generally accept the final overtime rule as a reasonable update to overtime regulations and employers are unlikely to challenge the final rule. Additionally, there have not been any updates on how the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry will proceed with their overtime proposal.

Thanks again to our friends at the PA Chamber for keeping health and human service providers in the loop on this important issue. Please contact Jack Phillips, RCPA Director of Government Affairs, with questions.

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Yesterday, Senator Vogel introduced SB 857 – The Telemedicine Act. The Telemedicine Act authorizes the practice of telemedicine by health care providers. It requires each licensure board to promulgate regulations within 24 months of the effective date and provides for the publishing of temporary regulations within 60 days. The bill further provides for evaluation and treatment, insurance coverage, and Medicaid program reimbursement. The provisions regarding insurance coverage and Medicaid program reimbursement shall take effect in 90 days and the remainder shall take effect immediately.

As you may recall, Senator Vogel had a similar bill pass the Senate last legislative session but it died in the House. SB 857 has been listed as a legislative fall priority for both the House and Senate. Please take the time to review the legislation, and provide any feedback to Jack Phillips, RCPA’s Director of Government Affairs.

RCPA would like to congratulate Jonathan Rubin and Amy Grippi on their new positions with the Department of Human Services. We look forward to collaborating in the future, to continue improving the quality of life for our children across the Commonwealth.


(From DHS Secretary Teresa Miller)

DHS Staffing Update

I am excited to announce that Jonathan (Jon) Rubin will join the Department of Human Services as the Office of Children, Youth, and Families’ Deputy Secretary. Jon has led Bucks County’s Housing and Human Services division since 2014, overseeing the county’s child welfare agency, behavioral and developmental health programs, drug and alcohol services, mental health and developmental programs, housing services, and Area Agency on Aging.  As director, Jon has focused on creating a more integrated approach to Housing and Human Services’ work, encouraging two-generation, whole-family focuses and facilitating public-private partnerships and generative program development.

Jon started his career spending 15 years with the Bucks County Children & Youth Social Services agency, beginning as a social worker and eventually serving four years as a child protective services manager. He has also worked to strengthen the child welfare system on a state level, working at the Pennsylvania Child Welfare Resource Center, providing technical assistance and training to children and youth agencies around Pennsylvania, and later with Deloitte as a senior consultant and child welfare subject matter expert, helping implement the Child Welfare Information Solution project. Jon has also worked at the national level supporting child welfare systems across the country when he served as an Organizational Effectiveness Consultant for the American Public Human Services Association.

Jon will join DHS on November 4. At that point, Amy Grippi will transition into a new role, Child Services Executive Director, in the Secretary’s Office. This role will focus on synthesizing initiatives and priorities around child services and create a stronger bridge between OCYF and the Office of Child Development and Early Learning. Amy will be focused on strengthening services provided to children around Pennsylvania, including our work to implement the enterprise case management system and Family First, increasing the incorporation of predictive analytics and trend analyses through improved data collection, and other initiatives.

I think this new role will be an invaluable asset to help enhance and support the work done at DHS and at the county level, and I know Amy’s skills and experience will help us do more to support children and families around Pennsylvania.

I want to thank Amy for her tireless work and leadership as OCYF’s Acting Deputy Secretary over the last few months, and I am so excited to welcome Jon to the agency. I look forward to seeing the good work that DHS and OCYF will accomplish as we move forward.

Thank you,
Secretary Teresa Miller

Composite of Calendar Pages and Clock

(From DHS)

08/27/2019

DHS Announces Time, Venue Changes for Polk, White Haven State Center Public Hearings

Harrisburg, PA – The Department of Human Services (DHS) today announced changes to the times and locations for the public hearings on the planned closure of Polk and White Haven State Centers.

“We heard the concerns from families, legislators, and stakeholders about time of day and location for the hearings, and we want as many interested people as possible to be able to attend these hearings,” said DHS Secretary Teresa Miller. “We are committed to hearing from the community, and these hearings will give affected individuals, advocates, and stakeholders to the opportunity to formally raise concerns and share their perspectives to inform the transition process.”

Under Act 3 of 1999, DHS is required to hold public hearings within 30 days of announcing plans to close a facility for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Comments offered at these hearings will guide DHS during the transition process and help DHS understand resources and options that will need to be available to residents and families during the transition.

The hearings are now scheduled for:

·  Polk State Center – Monday, September 9, 5 p.m. – Atlantic Avenue Church, 160 Atlantic Ave., Franklin, PA – updated start time

·   White Haven State Center – Thursday, September 12, 5 p.m. – St. Patrick’s Church, 411 Allegheny St, White Haven, PA 18661 – updated start time and location

A toll-free hotline has been established for family members of Polk and White Haven residents who have questions during the closure process. Family members will be able to speak with staff from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday by calling 1.888.565.9435 or by email at RA-PWRAStateCenters@pa.gov.

For more information regarding services for people with intellectual disabilities and the closures, visit www.dhs.pa.gov.

MEDIA CONTACT: Erin James – 717-425-7606

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Going to the RCPA Conference? Start the week with attending the RCPA PAC Golf Outing on Monday, September 23, 2019. Members have requested that RCPA move its Golf Outing back to conference week. Conference attendees, exhibitors, sponsors, and presenters can now register to participate in the RCPA PAC’s 7th annual golf outing at the beautiful Hershey Country Club (East Course), 1000 East Derry Road, Hershey, PA 17033.

Registration starts at 10:30 am, lunch begins at 11:00 am, followed by a putting contest and 12:30 pm shotgun start. Sponsorships are available for this worthwhile cause. We hope you will consider becoming a golf outing sponsor; it is a great way for your organization to get name recognition and an opportunity to support the RCPA PAC.

The RCPA PAC raises money and supports campaigns of state legislators and representatives who advance our interests on Health & Human Services issues. The funds raised through RCPA PAC can make a difference. Further questions may be directed to Jack Phillips, RCPA Director of Government Affairs.

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Governor Wolf Signs Executive Order Increasing Protection of Vulnerable Populations

HARRISBURG (July 31, 2019) — Today, Governor Wolf has signed an Executive Order that begins an overhaul of systems to best help Pennsylvanians most in need of protection and care. The announcement was made at the Capitol in the Governor’s Reception Room.

“Our protective and oversight systems have been built to prioritize institutions over human beings,” stated a release from the Governor’s Office, “Governor Wolf wants to dramatically shift these systems to first-and-foremost advocate, protect, and empower our most vulnerable citizens.”

RCPA President and CEO Richard S. Edley, PhD remarked, “RCPA congratulates the Governor on taking these important steps toward keeping the citizens of our Commonwealth safe and protected, by increasing oversight and accountability of its institutions, as well as improving responsiveness to incident management.” Dr. Edley added, “It is clear that Governor Wolf’s administration is committed to improving the system’s ability to address, and help prevent, the mistreatment of Pennsylvanians in vulnerable situations.”

As part of this initiative, the Governor has created a Council on Reform to review the entire system and compile a report with recommendations by November 1. RCPA’s Richard Edley has been asked to serve on this Council.

In addition to the executive order and action steps by the administration, the Governor will pursue extensive regulatory and legislative actions with input from the General Assembly. A series of announcements on these actions is expected over the coming months.

About the Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association (RCPA):
With well over 350 members, the majority of who serve over 1 million Pennsylvanians annually, Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association (RCPA) is among the largest and most diverse state health and human services trade associations in the nation. RCPA provider members offer mental health, drug and alcohol, intellectual and developmental disabilities, children’s, brain injury, medical rehabilitation, and physical disabilities and aging services, through all settings and levels of care. Visit www.paproviders.org for more information.

Media contact:
Sharon Militello, RCPA Director of Communications
717-364-3280
smilitello@paproviders.org

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