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State Rep Justin Simmons Report

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The Weekly Roundup
 The latest news from the State Capitol
Condemning Hatred Earlier this week, my Red Hill office received a flyer in the mail promoting Nazi ideals and a neo-Nazi website. I understand that others in the Upper Perkiomen Valley also have received similar flyers.

I am extremely disappointed to see such horrible ideas being promulgated in our community. I have no doubt the community as a whole shares my disgust regarding the hateful message presented by these flyers.The envelope that my office received was postmarked ‘Philadelphia’ and did not have a return address, so it may very well be that the flyers originated outside the Upper Perkiomen Valley. Nonetheless, I know that our community will not tolerate such a message, or allow it to weaken or sever the bonds that hold all of us together, regardless of our various backgrounds.

It is my understanding that the sender or senders did not break any laws in mailing the flyer; the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits the government from abridging the speech of American citizens. Nevertheless, I strongly condemn the flyer and its divisive message

While this situation may be an opportunity for a civics lesson, it is more importantly an opportunity for the community to spurn calls to racism and hold fast in the resolve to respect every one of our neighbors while aspiring to the ideals of this great nation – liberty and justice for all.

Meeting to Focus on Spotted Lanternfly

On Wednesday, Oct. 18, the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee will hold an informational meeting to discuss the spotted lanternfly, the destructive insect that can damage grape vines, apple, pine and stone fruit trees. The lanternfly has been discovered in parts of Lehigh, Montgomery and Northamptong counties.

You can watch the meeting on my website, www.RepSimmons.com, beginning at 9 a.m.

REAL ID Grace Period Now Through January 2018

Pennsylvania residents who need REAL ID to access certain federal facilities now have a grace period through Jan. 22, 2018, according to an announcement this week by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. PennDOT submitted an extension request to the federal agency in early September and is currently awaiting its response.

There is no enforcement on commercial air travel until that same date. In the meantime, PennDOT will continue to apply for an extension for commercial air traffic through Oct. 1, 2020.

PennDOT has begun work on the implementation of REAL ID, and estimates REAL ID-compliant driver licenses and identification cards will be available at the customer’s option in March 2019. This will allow ample time for customers who want a REAL ID product to get one before the final DHS effective date of Oct. 1, 2020. Learn more here.

All Veterans Can Get New Photo ID Cards

Under a federal law passed in 2015, all honorably discharged veterans of every era will be able to receive a photo ID card from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, starting in November. This will allow veterans to prove their service without showing a copy of their official DD 214 discharge documents.

Veterans will be able to apply for the free card online, but a timeline for how long it will take to receive a card after application has not been finalized. Other details are not yet available.

Veterans also have the option of applying for a specially designated Pennsylvania driver’s license. Learn more here.

Raising Awareness of Domestic Violence

To help raise greater awareness of the dangers of domestic violence, House Resolution 525 officially designates October Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Pennsylvania.

One in every four women and one in every nine men will experience domestic violence in his or her lifetime, with nearly 1.3 million women and 835,000 men being physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually in the United States. It affects people from all racial, ethnic, religious, educational, social and economic backgrounds.

Domestic violence is one of the most chronically underreported crimes, and fewer than 20 percent of victims who report an injury from an intimate partner seek medical treatment following the injury. Learn more here.

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RepSimmons.com
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21 N. Main Street, Unit 9, Coopersburg, PA 18036 | Phone: (610) 282-0160
191 Main St., Suite 104, Emmaus, PA 18049 I Phone: (610) 965-5830
 56 W. Fourth St., Second Floor, Red Hill, PA 18076 I Phone: (215) 679-3152
5 East Wing, PO Box 202131, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2131 | (717) 783-1673
Email: jsimmons@pahousegop.com
TTY: 855-282-0614

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