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Governor Wolf Calls for Commonsense Gun Safety Reform

Today Governor Wolf stood alongside Acting State Police Commissioner Lt. Col. Robert Evanchick, legislators and stakeholders to call for legislation that will keep Pennsylvanians safer.

Today Governor Wolf stood alongside Acting State Police Commissioner Lt. Col. Robert Evanchick, legislators and stakeholders to call for legislation that will keep Pennsylvanians safer.

KDKA News Radio reported:

“As many Americans continue to call for gun reform, Governor Tom Wolf is urging state lawmakers to pass commonsense gun safety legislation, including universal background checks.”

Governor Wolf urged lawmakers to pass legislation that would require everyone who wants to purchase a firearm to go through the State Police background check. There are currently dangerous loopholes in Pennsylvania gun laws that do not require a background check for certain firearms transactions. Instituting a universal background check system would prevent guns from getting into the hands of dangerous individuals.

The governor also called for the House to quickly send him Senate Bill 501, so that he can sign it into law. This legislation prevents domestic abusers with protection from abuse orders from owning or possessing guns.

“All of Pennsylvania’s citizens have the right to live happy, healthy lives free from fear about their and their family’s personal safety,” Governor Wolf said. “Unfortunately, in the past decades we have seen that sense of security, that sense of safety, threatened. I am calling on the legislature to take up additional commonsense gun reform bills that will help us close dangerous loopholes and keep weapons out of the hands of individuals who pose a threat to Pennsylvania’s citizens.

Governor Wolf Leads on Criminal Justice Reform

Yesterday, Governor Wolf joined a bipartisan group of legislators and advocacy groups in a call-to-action for criminal justice reforms that are long overdue and necessary

Yesterday, Governor Wolf joined a bipartisan group of legislators and advocacy groups in a call-to-action for criminal justice reforms that are long overdue and necessary to provide consistency and uniformity in the system.

According to WGAL News 8:

“Gov. Tom Wolf is calling for widespread changes to Pennsylvania’s criminal justice system that he says will make the state safer and save taxpayers money.”

The governor’s plan consists of eight reform initiatives that will help to improve our criminal justice system in a way that protects victims while also ending a cycle of incarceration that has left so many people feeling trapped, helpless and without an opportunity to return to society after they have been released.

“We need to do the work to make our criminal justice system fairer, more equitable and more focused on rehabilitation,” Governor Wolf said. “Since I became Governor, I have worked hard to reform our system so that it leads to better outcomes and saves taxpayer dollars – while also leading to less crime and fewer victims.

“Let’s continue to work towards building the criminal justice system we all want to see in Pennsylvania.”

Governor Wolf Pushes For Voting Reforms

Since he took office, Governor Wolf has worked tirelessly to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to fair and equal elections. On Monday, he continued that commitment by introducing his 21st century voting reform plan.

Since he took office, Governor Wolf has worked tirelessly to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to fair and equal elections. On Monday, he continued that commitment by introducing his 21st century voting reform plan.

These proposed reforms are a continuation of the progress Governor Wolf has already made. When he entered office, he launched online voter registration which has been used by more than a million Pennsylvanians, a voter information texting initiative, and a program to get more high school seniors registered to vote. But there is still more progress to be made, and Governor Wolf is dedicated to making that change happen.

As the Philadelphia Inquirer reported:

“A week after two courts decided not to intervene in a challenge to Pennsylvania’s redrawn congressional district boundaries, Gov. Wolf on Monday renewed his call for legislators to create an independent commission to draw the state’s electoral maps.”

Gerrymandering reform is just one of the many badly needed reforms proposed by the governor. He also called for voting rights reform including same day registration, automatic voter registration, and modernizing absentee ballots, as well as campaign finance reform to reduce the influence of special interests in elections.

Governor Wolf recognizes that Pennsylvanians have been victims of outdated and unfair voting policies for too long. “To rebuild trust in Harrisburg, we must have fair and accessible elections for all citizens from our rural communities to our big cities,” he said. “These reforms have been championed by House and Senate Democrats to modernize our voting laws and put the people of Pennsylvania back in control of our elections. It’s time to remove barriers to voting, end gerrymandering, and curb special interests.”

Adrianne’s Story: “My life came to a crashing halt” (Guest Blog)

By Adrianne Gunter My name is Adrianne Gunter, I’m 33 years old, and I have multiple sclerosis. Multiple sclerosis is an auto-immune disease that attacks

By Adrianne Gunter

My name is Adrianne Gunter, I’m 33 years old, and I have multiple sclerosis.

Multiple sclerosis is an auto-immune disease that attacks the central nervous system. Science doesn’t know what causes it, but scars, known as lesions, form in the brain and the spinal column. These lesions interfere with the way the body receives information from the brain and this makes everything difficult. I walk with a cane, but it’s hard to pick up my legs. My hands don’t grip the way they used to and I need help getting the lid off a jar of peanut butter. No matter how well I chew my food, I have difficulty swallowing. I have full-body tremors and I never know when they’re going to happen. I have all of these problems and more.

But the most important thing to remember is that there is no cure for multiple sclerosis.

I graduated from the University of the Arts in 2013 with a BFA in Writing for Film and Television. It was the best four years of my life — I loved every minute of it. So imagine my surprise when MS struck my senior year. Suddenly, I’m turning in my homework late. Suddenly, I’m missing class. Suddenly, I’m tired all the time. Suddenly, my muscles ache. Suddenly, I don’t understand. I thought it was stress; nevertheless, after graduation, I thought the stress was over and I could focus on getting my career together. My plan was to get an internship working with the Philadelphia film scene, save some money, and study for my GRE because I wanted a MFA in film. I was going to be a writer-director. And that’s when I lost vision in my left eye.

The neuro-ophthomologist I went to diagnosed it as optic neuritis. It heals over time, but the neuro-ophthomologist encouraged me to get an MRI because she said, and I quote, “Optic neuritis is one of the first signs of multiple sclerosis.”

My life came to a crashing halt. Instantly, I because unemployed and unemployable. The fatigue, the brain fog, and the muscle weakness were only getting worse. As a result, I have 68 thousand dollars in student loan debt. It took 878 days for me to qualify for Social Security Disability, and MS is a degenerative disease, meaning I need all the help available so I can live my best life. For two years, I applied for health insurance and was denied four times. It’s only when Tom Wolf was elected Governor of Pennsylvania and signed the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion that I was finally able to get insurance. But by then, the lesions in my brain had migrated from my mid-brain to my hindbrain, and now I have two lesions in my spinal column in an area that, if left untreated, can cause total and permanent paralysis. I already feel like a burden, I don’t want to become an invalid.

There is no cure for multiple sclerosis, but there is treatment. Treatment doesn’t repair the damage — those lesions aren’t going anywhere — but treatment can prevent new lesions from forming. My first treatment was covered through the ACA’s Medicaid expansion. Without coverage, the medication would have cost thousands of dollars, but thanks to the Medicaid expansion, the most I’ve ever had to pay is three dollars. Medicaid also covers my doctor’s appointments. Medicaid covers the MRIs that track the progression of this disease. Medicaid also gives me hope that if I have a terrible reaction to medication, or a fall where I break my bones, or anything I can’t predict, it will be covered and I won’t be buried in endless medical bills.

I am voting for Governor Tom Wolf because he has put people first. I am supporting Governor Wolf’s 2018 re-election campaign because the fight for our healthcare isn’t over and we need strong leadership in order to protect what we have. I endorse Governor Wolf because he has vowed to protect Medicaid. If Medicaid goes away — if the Affordable Care Act is repealed — it’s the same as punishing people for being sick.

I didn’t ask for this disease. I don’t want it. If I could reach inside myself and rip this disease out of me, I would, but I can’t. There is no cure for multiple sclerosis. I’m 33 years old. This is the rest of my life.

Thank you, Governor Tom Wolf, for looking out for the people of Pennsylvania. You have given me hope.