Oct. 13, 2023

Capitol Report
The latest news from the State Capitol
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Honoring the 87th District’s First Responders

On Thursday, my team and I had the honor of hosting a dinner to honor the first responders who live and work in the district and their families. It was a privilege getting to connect with so many of our community’s brave men and women and express our gratitude for all they do and sacrifice. We are blessed to have such great police, firefighters and EMS right here in Cumberland County.

Touring Project SHARE Food Bank

This week, I had the opportunity to tour Project SHARE food bank in Carlisle. Project SHARE has been serving communities in Cumberland County since 1985 and is still proudly in operation today! The organization does its work through donated contributions, business food donations and buying food in bulk at a discounted price. I enjoyed meeting the team at Project SHARE and seeing how their work continues to reduce food insecurity for our friends and neighbors.

The food bank is currently in the middle of its holiday turkey drive. To learn more about Project SHARE, please click here.    

Back in the Classroom at Boiling Springs

It was great to be back at Boiling Springs High School to speak to another honors government class! The students had great questions about our state government and what it’s like to serve as a public official. I hope the class took a lot away from our discussion and I wish them all the best for the rest of the academic year!
Advocating for Mt. Holly Springs, Ridge Road Repair

Last week, I introduced an amendment to a fiscal code bill that would have held the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources accountable for fixing Ridge Road in Mt. Holly Springs. This mountain road is now impassable for emergency vehicles, making it extremely dangerous for the residents who live on and use the road. Repairing Ridge Road is long overdue.

I am ready to work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to benefit Pennsylvania and its residents. We can't afford more delays.

To listen to my comments on the floor of the House, please click here.
Click here to view video.
You’re Invited to My Upcoming Events

Town Hall Meeting

Veterans Breakfast

Veterans’ Trust Fund Grant Applications Now Open

The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) is inviting grant applications for the 2023-24 Veterans’ Trust Fund (VTF).

Grants are available to nonprofit organizations, veteran service organizations and county directors of veterans affairs across the state. The funding supports services such as transportation, food insecurity, housing insecurity, behavioral health/mental health/suicide prevention initiatives and legal assistance, among others.

Grant applications must be received no later than 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 8. Click here for more information about the program and how to apply.  
Scam Alert! Beware the ‘Phantom Hacker’

Senior citizens and all Pennsylvanians are being warned to be on the lookout for a new scam called “The Phantom Hacker,” which involves convincing victims that their financial accounts have been hacked.

According to the FBI, perpetrators of the Phantom Hacker scheme gain the trust of victims in three phases: First, they pose as a tech support representative and convince the victim to download a piece of software. Then they call a second time, pretending to be from the victim’s bank or another financial institution. Finally, they claim to be an employee of a federal agency.

The goal of the scam is to convince people to move their money into an “alias” account, where the scammers can steal it. The scam can include emails, texts, phone calls and even letters sent via the U.S. Postal Service.

All Pennsylvanians should be extremely cautious when receiving unsolicited texts, phone calls or emails which could lead scammers straight to your bank account. Think twice before providing any personal information. If you are at all suspicious, call your financial institution directly using a phone number you know to be affiliated with the institution.

Victims are urged to report any fraudulent or suspicious activities to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at www.ic3.gov. Suspected fraud can also be reported at www.ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
Bill Criminalizing Illicit Xylazine Possession Passes House

In an ongoing effort to combat drug misuse and abuse, the state House has passed legislation that would criminalize illicit possession of xylazine.

The bill recognizes the dangers of the drug, which is increasingly being found in mixtures of other illicit substances. But it also recognizes xylazine, a prescription-only animal sedative, plays an important role in large animal management and thus creates an exemption in the law for proper use of the drug.

House Bill 1661 now heads to the Senate for consideration.
Medicare Annual Open Enrollment Begins Oct. 15

The Pennsylvania Department of Aging is reminding older adults the annual open enrollment period for Medicare beneficiaries begins this Sunday, Oct. 15, and continues through Thursday, Dec. 7. Any new coverage selected or changes to existing benefits will take effect Jan. 1, 2024.

During open enrollment, new Medicare beneficiaries can sign up for Medicare prescription drug coverage and health plans to complement Medicare, and current Medicare beneficiaries can review and join, switch or drop Medicare Advantage or prescription drug coverage so it better meets their needs.

To help Medicare beneficiaries understand their options, the department offers free, objective health benefits counseling through Pennsylvania Medicare Education and Decision Insight (PA MEDI). Available at Pennsylvania's 52 Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs), PA MEDI counselors can assist Medicare beneficiaries with plan comparisons, help with enrollment in a new plan, and evaluate eligibility for any of Pennsylvania's Medicare cost-savings programs.

To learn more about PA MEDI assistance, click here. PA MEDI can also be reached at 1-800-783-7067 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Older adults may also call their local Area Agency on Aging for assistance. Click here for a link to contact information.
Security Funding Available for Organizations Targeted by Hate Crimes

The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) is now accepting applications for funding through its Nonprofit Security Grant Program. The funds may be used to support security enhancement projects for nonprofit organizations that may be targeted by hate crimes.

The grant program was created in 2019 in response to the tragic shooting at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue, which claimed the lives of 11 people.

Grant awards can range from $5,000 to $150,000 for a wide variety of eligible items, including safety and security planning and training; purchase of safety and security equipment and technology; upgrades to existing structures that enhance safety and security; and vulnerability and threat assessments.

Applications are due by Monday, Oct. 30. Additional information about eligibility and applications is available here.
Fire Prevention Week Highlights Cooking Safety

National Fire Prevention Week, an annual event to help raise awareness about how to prevent fires and fire-related injuries, comes to an end this Saturday, Oct. 14, but it’s important to pay attention to fire safety and prevention every day.

This year’s theme is “Cooking safety starts with YOU.”

According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the United States. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of cooking fires and deaths. Use the following tips to help prevent cooking fires:
  •   Watch what you heat. Always keep a close eye on what you are cooking. Set a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  •   Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. Always keep a lid nearby when cooking. If a small grease fire starts, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner.
  •   Have a “kid- and pet-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove or grill and anywhere else hot food or drink is prepared or carried.