Troy Talk

Happy 4th of July

tt-july4.pngNext Tuesday, our country celebrates its 241st birthday. As we prepare for the commemoration of our independence, I'm reflecting on what it means to be American, our shared dreams, and the future of our country.

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Promoting Fairness And Safeguards For Prepaid Debit Cards

tt-debit-cards.jpgI recently drafted a proposal, A4965, which regulates prepaid accounts by limiting the fees that may be charged in connection with those accounts. The proposal would also limit a consumer’s liability for an unauthorized electronic fund transfer involving the consumer’s prepaid account, and require financial institutions holding prepaid accounts to disclose certain information to consumers. It is mirrored off of the regulations that were issued by the Consumer Financial Protections Bureau (CFPB), which have been under assault by President Trump and members of the Congressional leadership.

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Voting Rights Under Assault

tt-voter-fraud.jpgIntense and often highly partisan battles over the right to vote have gripped our nation. It is critically important to safeguard the integrity of our electoral process. However, in the fervor to achieve that goal, we must not intentionally or otherwise undermine access to the ballot box. Some in our country have tried to make exaggerated claims of voter fraud as a mask to subvert the ability of all Americans to have a say in our sacred democracy. This should chill all of us regardless of our political stripe. The price that was paid by so many for the right to vote in our country demands that we speak in a unified voice against those who seek to deny this constitutional right.

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Continuing The Search For Equality

tt-lgbtq.jpgJune is LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) Pride Month. It is not an “official” holiday, but the cause for celebration is in what it represents: that equality matters and it's important for everyone to stand together to allow our neighbors to love whomever they choose.

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Connecting The Pieces Of The Health Care Puzzle

tt-health-care-puzzle.jpgThe first step in solving the health care puzzle in the United States is to recognize that there is no single idea or a one-size-fits-all legislation that makes the problem go away. It is too broad and too complex. However, by creatively examining each piece of the puzzle, we can design an interlocking package of health care solutions. This is what I have attempted to do on the state level along with other well-intentioned legislators, to offer an encompassing umbrella that covers a broad segment of health care issues.

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Repeating The Insanity Of The War On Drugs

tt-war-on-drugs_(1).jpgFew clichés have entered the lexicon with such persistence as the one that maintains that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Unfortunately, this cliché survives and it aptly describes United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ proposed sentencing guidelines applied to convicted drug users.

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Human Trafficking: Closing Down The Traffickers

tt-human-trafficking-v2.jpgIn the war against human trafficking, a first-of-a-kind lawsuit against a Philadelphia motel signals a new and important crime prevention tool. In Pennsylvania, this new law allows victims of sex trafficking to sue the hotel or motel where the abuse occurs.

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Scrapping "Essential Benefits" May Be Biggest Health Care Change

tt164.jpgThe conversation surrounding health care in our country can be oftentimes complicated and difficult to grapple with. Trying to decipher the impact of block grants and state waivers, Medicaid and Medicare, and how it affects your financial and physical well being can be overwhelming. Compounding this debate is that health care is a very emotional issue because we rarely think about until we or our loved ones absolutely need it.

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Reaching The Golden Years With Confidence

tt163_(1).pngIt's a sad truth. Most Americans don't save enough for retirement. Studies by the United States Bureau of Labor show that the majority of workers do not have a retirement savings plan through their employer, and less than 10 percent of all workers contribute to a plan outside of work. It's a discomforting thought, and it's an economic punch that people will have to live with — day by day — during a period that is supposed to be their "golden years."

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A National Drug Policy: Focus On The Future, Not The Past

tt162.jpgWhen does a national policy finally reach the point where it is an acknowledged failure, regardless of how well-intentioned it was when we first promulgated it? When does it become necessary to raise the obvious yet fundamental assertion that our efforts to contain and curtail illegal drug use as a major policy approach have been a dismally unsuccessful?

In the medical field, if you test a drug as a possible cure and the results demonstrate its ineffectiveness, a scientist would move on, seeking another solution. We had waged war against drugs for 50 years when the United States glommed onto the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs in 1961. Ten years later, President Nixon followed with the “war on drugs.”

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