Sep. 29, 2023

 
Capitol Report
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The latest news from the State Capitol
 
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Playing Softball to Support the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank

I had a blast suiting up to play ball at FNB Field during Tuesday's Capitol All-Stars Game! Teams Yinz and Youse were represented by both Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate, who came together to raise money for the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank. Thank you to all who helped make this event for this important organization so much fun.

 
 
Key Dates for Upcoming Election


The 2023 Municipal Election is coming up on Tuesday, Nov. 7. Voters will have the opportunity to elect a new state Supreme Court justice, judges to serve on the Superior and Commonwealth courts, and an array of county, municipal and school district officials.

If you are not already registered to vote, the deadline to do so is Monday, Oct. 23. You may register in person at your county elections office, by mail or by visiting the state’s online voter registration website.

The last day to apply for a mail-in or civilian absentee ballot is Tuesday, Oct. 31, by 5 p.m. Completed ballots must be returned by 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 7.

For more information about voting in the Commonwealth, including how to check your registration and voting location, visit www.vote.pa.gov.
 
 
Policy Committee Examines Pathway to More Affordable Higher Education

As students struggle with the finances necessary to pursue their lifelong goals, the House Republican Policy Committee held a hearing at the state Capitol this week to delve into the escalating expenses of higher education and options that will eliminate obstacles to opportunity.

Testifying at the hearing were Dr. Daniel Greenstein, chancellor, Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE); Tom Foley, president, Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP); and Dr. Quintin Bullock, president, Community College of Allegheny County, on behalf of Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges.

The testifiers highlighted the importance of education access to the state’s economy, as ensuring a sufficient workforce in the Commonwealth is necessary to attract and retain family-sustaining jobs and careers. They also highlighted the importance of initiatives such as dual enrollment to save students money on tuition, as well as partnerships for purchasing necessary software, bond financing for capital projects and more.

To watch the hearing, click here.
 
 
Ag Grant Programs Accepting Applications

The Center for Dairy Excellence is reminding dairy producers of five key grant programs now accepting applications for funding.

  •   Dairy Excellence Grants: Support projects to improve dairy farm efficiency, cow comfort, milking facilities, housing facilities or feeding systems.
  •   Marketing, Branding and Labeling Consultant Grants: Help value-added dairy businesses looking to build their brand, develop an effective label, create a marketing plan, and identify appropriate strategies to increase product sales and consumer access.
  •   Climate-Smart (CARAT) Grants: Support a move to climate-smart agriculture that is profitable, regenerative, actionable and trustworthy.
  •   Dairy Decisions Consultants Grants: Provide dairy farm families with one-on-one professional consulting resources to help make decisions that will shape the future of their farm.
  •   Team Program Grants: Help individual farms to establish either a Dairy Profit, Transition or Transformation Team.
 
 
Fall Driving Tips


Now that fall has arrived, PennDOT is reminding motorists that wet leaves, fog, sun glare and frost are a few driving hazards they will encounter this season. Weather conditions can be unpredictable in the fall and an increase in deer activity adds yet another danger of which to be aware.

There are steps drivers can take to help make their commutes safer. PennDOT offers the following fall driving tips:

  1.   Increase your following distance in severe weather, at dusk and dawn, and when in an area with wet leaves. If you are being tailgated, let the other driver pass.
  2.   Check your vehicle's headlights, taillights and turn signals to ensure they are working properly since darkness will be a part of many drivers’ morning and/or evening commutes. Make sure you turn on your headlights as the sunlight fades.
  3.   Have your vehicle's heating and wiper systems checked to ensure they are working properly.
  4.   Be sure you have tires with sufficient tread depth in case of an early season snow.
  5.   Watch for deer. Autumn brings an increase in deer activity, and drivers are reminded to watch carefully for deer darting across and along roadways.

For more traffic safety information, please visit www.penndot.pa.gov/safety.
 
 
Boating Facility Grant Program


The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is seeking applications for the next round of Boating Facility Grants to help communities capitalize on the surge in new boating activity.

The Boating Facility Grant Program provides grants for planning, acquisition, development, expansion and rehabilitation of public boating facilities located on the waters of the Commonwealth. Funding requests require a 50% match.

The PFBC encourages townships, boroughs, and municipal and county governments to apply. Nonprofit groups, including land trusts, conservancies and watershed associations, are also eligible to apply. Private businesses and service clubs are not eligible for direct funding but are encouraged to partner with their local county or municipality.

The deadline to apply is Saturday, Dec. 30. More information is available here.
 
 
Scam Alert!


The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) is warning Pennsylvanians of a potential scam in which individuals receive a phone call from the “Department of Public Welfare” – the former name of DHS – asking for information about individuals’ utility assistance. The scammer then states that the individual overpaid for utilities and asks for bank card information to provide a refund.

DHS will never ask for information about any public assistance programs or personal financial information via unsolicited or random phone calls or texts. Please report any texts or calls about DHS benefits that seem suspicious by calling the DHS fraud tip line at 1-844-DHS-TIPS (1-844-347-8477).

DHS does send informational text messages and phone calls to people who receive SNAP, Medicaid, and other benefits from the number 1-833-648-1964. However, DHS’ text messages will not include: details about a person’s benefits, such as the amount of SNAP they are authorized to receive; a request for specific personal information; and/or links to unofficial websites. Most DHS texts will direct people to dhs.pa.gov, COMPASS, or a site that ends in .gov or .org.

For more information, click here.
 
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