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Rep. Rebecca Walker and Rep. Quinn Johnson participated in the first statewide Sleeping Bag Drive launched in January to collect new sleeping bags for homeless children across the state of Delaware. Dozens of people visited them at the ACME on Main Street in Middletown to donate sleeping bags.
Taking bold action to ensure that Delaware law protects children from abuse and neglect, Governor Jack Markell today signed legislation spearheaded by Attorney General Beau Biden and child advocates that enacts tougher penalties against child abusers.
Rep. Rebecca Walker an emergency room nurse has seen multiple cases of child abuse firsthand – children with broken bones, punctured organs and burns.
“Children, especially the very young, are among the most vulnerable in our society and we have a duty to protect them,” said Rep. Walker, D-Townsend. “Up until now, there has been a gap in our criminal code that many of these child abuse cases I’ve seen have slipped through. Knowing that there are instances of kids being battered and the adult not being held accountable makes this even more of a priority. We need to strengthen our laws. And we need to protect all children from the lifelong and possibly deadly consequences of these vicious acts.”
With the signing of House Bill 265, known as the “Delaware Cancer Treatment Access Act”, Delaware joined 15 other states and the District of Columbia in addressing a longstanding disparity in access to anti-cancer medications.
Intravenous/infused anti-cancer medications are typically covered under a health plan's medical benefit. In this situation, patients are usually required to pay an office visit co-payment usually around $20-$30 at the time of the visit. Orally-administered anti-cancer medications, usually covered under a prescription plan, require patients to pay higher co-payments, which can sometimes be a percentage of the drug’s cost (e.g. 25-30% of total cost, often resulting in thousands of dollars each month). This disparity restricts patient access to life-saving oral cancer therapies.
Representative Walker said, “This bi-partisan bill gives patients better access to treatment, saves Delaware cancer patients money and goes a long way to level the healthcare playing field by improving treatment options. As a nurse, I'm proud to be a part of this achievement.”
Representative Walker took time to speak with about 240 students at St. Georges High School. During the visit she discussed various civic topics including volunteerism, the political process and how to become more involved in the community. Rep. Walker focused the discussion around service ideas that could have a positive impact or their futures and stressed the importance of young citizens staying engaged in their communities. During the visit she also took questions from the audience.
Sen. Bethany Hall-Long and Rep. Rebecca Walker stand with Gov. Markell as he signs the Senate Bill #160 officially banning designer drugs commonly known as “Bath Salts”. The bill signing officially made the emergency ban in September 2011 permanent. At the signing Rep. Walker said, “People under the influence of these bath salts are so out-of-control and violent that they’ve injured nurses and EMS providers, making it difficult to provide the necessary treatment. My biggest concern is for members of the community who may be violently attacked. Permanently banning this dangerous designer drug is an important step in protecting Delawareans.”
Under the new law, athletes and their parents will get information on concussions when they sign sports consent forms. Coaches will be required to receive training on how to spot possible concussions. The new law also puts into state law the DIAA’s current rule requiring athletes, who have sustained a concussion or are believed to have sustained a concussion to receive a medical clearance before they can resume play. During the signing Rep. Walker stated “This is the type of legislation that will protect our young people and have an everlasting effect on our athletes’ wellbeing. This type of legislation I came to Dover to introduce and have passed and signed into law.”