FILE - PA Valerie Gaydos

Pennsylvania state Rep. Valerie Gaydos

Nine county jails to split $1.2 million grant to fight opioid use disorder

Nine county jails are splitting $1.2 million in grant funds that will be used to treat opioid use disorder through the Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) Program. The money is part of a $55.9 million federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) grant secured by the state to address the opioid and heroin crisis.

"Implementing evidence-based treatments such as MAT in criminal justice settings is an overarching goal for the PA Department of Corrections," Corrections Secretary John Wetzel said. "However, the rubber really meets the road at the county level, and I want to credit these counties for stepping up to impact individuals by providing this important treatment in their jails.”

The jails receiving funds are located in Armstrong, Buck, Cambria, Franklin, Lawrence, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northumberland and Washington counties.

Lawmaker says reducing the number of legislative districts will save taxpayers money

Rep. Valerie Gaydos is touting her bill that decreases the number of legislative districts from 203 to 151. The bill is currently in the House State Government Committee.

“Reducing the number of seats in the House of Representatives will not only provide a significant cost savings to taxpayers, but also streamline the legislative process and make it easier for lawmakers to reach consensus,” Gaydos said in a statement.

Rep. Jerry Knowles has previously called for similar legislation and is co-sponsoring the bill.

The Pennsylvania General Assembly has the second largest number of legislative districts in the nation.

State Ethics Commission fines former state representative, auditor

Four people, including a former member of the House of Representatives, were fined by the State Ethics Commission for failing to file financial reports.

Former Rep. Marc Gergely was fined $250 for failing to file 2017 financial disclosures by the May 1, 2018 deadline. He has since filed the reports.

Timothy Malthaner, an auditor with the Auditor General’s Office, was fined $250 for failing to file financial disclosures for the 2018 calendar year. He must file the disclosures or face further action.

The ethics commission also fined two constables from Erie and a member of the Blighted Property Review Committee for the City of Reading for failing to file financial disclosures in a timely manner.