Jan. 12, 2024

Capitol Report
The latest news from the State Capitol
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Celebrating PA Ag at the 2024 Farm Show

Since it opened last Saturday, thousands of people from all over the state have visited the country’s largest indoor agricultural exposition under one roof to learn more about our state’s top industry, check out prize-winning animals and enjoy delicious Pennsylvania cuisine in the food court.

I had the opportunity to visit the Pennsylvania Farm Show on Wednesday and interview Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding. We had a great conversation about what's new at the show, how the 87th District's products are being displayed, local farmland preservation efforts in Cumberland County, the impact of FFA and more.

The Pennsylvania Farm Show draws to a close this Saturday, Jan. 13. If you want to catch the show before it ends, remember that admission is free, but parking is $15 per vehicle. Shuttle service is provided.

For all the latest news about the Farm Show, follow it on Facebook or visit www.farmshow.pa.gov.

Click here to view video.
Cutting the Ribbon at Chick-fil-A in Upper Allen Township

On Wednesday, I joined owner-operator Bill Lindoerfer as he cut the ribbon at his new Chick-fil-A location in Upper Allen Township. Bill has lived in the area for many years and is excited to serve the local community. In honor of the opening, Chick-fil-A is donating $25,000 to Feeding America to support the efforts of the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank. Congratulations to Bill and his team and best of luck in this new venture!

Carlisle Chamber Welcomes New Business Leaders

This week I was pleased to join the Carlisle Chamber at its Business Leaders Reception where the chamber community welcomes new business leaders each year. This year the chamber welcomed new leaders who serve the 87th Legislative District in various ways, including in business, education and non-profit organizations. Government works best when it works together with all of these industries for the betterment of our community.

January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness Month

Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing crimes in the nation, and sadly, Pennsylvania ranks 10th among states for the most reported cases. In the 87th District, I have held community workshops and roundtable discussions with local stakeholder groups to better educate the public about this abhorrent crime.

Human trafficking harms adults and children of all ages and demographics. Through force, fraud and coercion, traffickers push their victims into abuse. These crimes often remain hidden because victims are reluctant to seek help for a variety of reasons.

If you are a victim of human trafficking in need of help, or you suspect that someone else is a victim:  
  •   Call 911 if you are in immediate danger.
  •   Call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.
  •   Text HELP or INFO to BeFree (233733) to reach the National Human Trafficking Resource Center.
I also encourage you to attend our upcoming Human Trafficking Community Workshop to learn more about how this crime is affecting Pennsylvania and its residents. Together, we can put an end to human trafficking.

Health Coverage Enrollment Deadline Extended to Jan. 19

The deadline to enroll in 2024 health coverage through Pennie, the Commonwealth’s official health insurance marketplace, has been extended to Friday, Jan. 19, due to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Anyone who misses the deadline will need to wait until next November to enroll unless there is a qualifying life event like losing other health coverage or moving.

Pennie is the only place where Pennsylvanians can get financial savings to reduce the cost of coverage and care. Currently, nine in 10 enrollees qualify and save over $500 a month on average.

Health plans and prices change every year, so anyone needing coverage should review their options even if they have looked before. All health plans offered through Pennie provide comprehensive coverage, including care for pre-existing conditions and many free preventive screenings and vaccines. Current Pennie customers should update their account (family size, income and contact information) and see if they still have the best plan for their needs.

The monthly cost for health coverage through Pennie is based on income. Individuals making less will pay less, sometimes under $1 a month. Those with higher incomes will pay a higher share of the health insurance premiums, and no one will pay more than 8.5% of their household income.

Pennsylvanians interested in shopping for and purchasing health coverage through Pennie can visit pennie.com or call Pennie customer service at 1-844-844-8040. Individuals in need of assistance navigating coverage options, can go to pennie.com/connect to find help.
PennDOT Driver License, Photo Centers Closed for Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday

All PennDOT driver license and photo centers will be closed Saturday, Jan. 13, through Monday, Jan. 15, in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services, including all forms, publications and driver training manuals, online through PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website, www.dmv.pa.gov.
Does Your Home Contain Radon?

January is National Radon Action Month. An estimated 40% of Pennsylvania homes have higher levels of radon than national safety standards, due to the state’s geology. However, residents can perform a simple test to detect this gas, which is considered the second leading cause of lung cancer.

Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas that occurs naturally from the breakdown of uranium in soil and rocks and enters homes through cracks in the foundation or other openings. High levels of radon tend to be found in basements, but the gas can be found anywhere in the home.

Winter is a good time to test for radon, because doors and windows are generally closed, providing more accurate results. Simple radon test kits are inexpensive and available at home improvement and hardware stores.

To learn more about radon and how to test your home, click here.