Aug. 25, 2023

Capitol Report
The latest news from the State Capitol
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Back to School in the Midstate

Three of the school districts which I represent - Carlisle Area, Cumberland Valley and South Middleton – have begun the 2023-24 school year, while the Mechanicsburg Area (Monday, Aug. 28 and Tuesday, Aug. 29) and West Shore School districts (Monday, Aug. 28) start classes early next week. To all students and teachers, I hope the new year is a great one.

Drivers – remember to allow extra time for bus routes and watch for walkers.

Mark Your Calendar for Upcoming Events

Human Trafficking Community Workshop

Town Hall

Protect Yourself from Scams

In the wake of recent arrests involving scams against older Pennsylvanians, the Office of Attorney General (OAG) is again reminding people of all ages to be on the lookout for someone trying to cheat them out of their hard-earned money.

Some tips to keep in mind:  
  •   Never send money or gift cards to someone you do not know. Also, gift cards are for gifts, not for paying debts or bills.
  •   If you are suspicious or have concerns about a solicitation, call your local police or the OAG hotline at 800-441-2555.
  •   If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. “Sweepstakes” scams have been common for years, so be vigilant and use common sense. If you did not sign up for a sweepstakes, you could not have won.
  •   Sign up for scam warning text alerts from the Office of Attorney General. Mobile carrier rates may apply.

Additionally, the OAG recommends an acronym to evaluate unsolicited phone calls or emails:
  •   S: Sudden – The call or email is unexpected.
  •   C: Contact – Scammers will contact you by phone, email or in-person.
  •   A: Act Now – The request will be urgent and assert penalties if you do not act quickly.
  •   M: Money or Information – The scammer will request money or personal information.

Pennsylvanians who believe they have been victims of a scam should file a complaint with the Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection by calling 800-441-2555 or emailing
Summer Isn’t Over Yet!

While many kids across the state have returned to school, that doesn’t mean summer weather is behind us. The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) is offering these tips to stay cool and save money during any late summer surges in temperatures.

Some low and no-cost hints stay cooler include:  
  •   Fan Yourself – Fans circulate the air, keeping you feeling cooler, even at higher temps. Circulating air with a fan can help you feel up to 4 degrees cooler, without needing to lower your thermostat.
  •   Follow the Shade – Relax in rooms that do not receive direct sunlight.
  •   Block the Heat – Use window blinds and coverings at the sunniest time of day to reduce unwanted heat buildup.
  •   Don’t Add Extra Heat – Postpone using heat-producing appliances, such as clothes dryers, dishwashers and stoves until it is cooler.
  •   Cookout, Anyone? – Consider cooking with outdoor barbecue grills or microwaves, rather than stoves or ovens, which add indoor heat.

The PUC also offers these tips to save on energy bills:
  •   Check your Thermostat – The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill. Every degree you raise your air conditioning thermostat above 72 degrees can save up to 3% on cooling expenses.
  •   Clean is “Green” – Clean and replace air conditioner filters regularly and make sure air circulation paths are clear.
  •   Power Off – Turn off non-essential appliances and lights to reduce power use and unwanted heat.
  •   Don’t Cool Unneeded Space – Close off unused rooms and adjust air vents or thermostats to avoid unnecessary cooling expenses.
  •   Keep the Heat Outside – Seal cracks and openings to prevent warm air from leaking into your home.

If you’re struggling with utility bills, contact your providers for information on customer assistance programs that may benefit you.
Attention First-Time Hunters!

Hunter-Trapper Education courses are required for all first-time hunters and trappers before they can buy a license in the Commonwealth. The Pennsylvania Game Commission offers both in-person and online options.

Participants, whether in-person or online, will receive a training certificate recognized throughout North America when they pass a test at the end of the course. The course covers responsible hunting behavior, firearms basics and safety, basic shooting, wildlife conservation and management, outdoor safety and survival, hunting techniques, trapping and furtaking basics, and hunting safety.

Free in-person training is offered in various locations across the Commonwealth and is open to anyone age 11 or older. To find and register for a course near you, click here. 

There are several online options.
  •   The Game Commission’s official online course is available to anyone age 16 and older and costs $34.95 to complete.
  •   The Interactive Pennsylvania Hunter-Trapper Education course is open to anyone age 11 and older and costs $50 to complete.
  •   The National Rifle Association offers a free online hunter education course open to anyone age 11 and older.

Learn more about hunter-trapper education here.
PennDOT Safety Assessment for Cyclists, Pedestrians

PennDOT is seeking feedback to help evaluate the state’s safety performance for pedestrians and cyclists, and to develop a plan to improve safety. Specifically, the department is seeking input on what the Federal Highway Administration terms “high-risk areas” for vulnerable road users across Pennsylvania. Click here to participate.