Jan. 13, 2017


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News You Can Use


 The latest news from the State Capitol

LIHEAP Can Help with Home Energy Bills

Residents who are struggling with their home heating bills can apply for assistance from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) this winter.

LIHEAP is a federally funded program that helps individuals and families pay their heating bills through home heating energy assistance grants. It also provides crisis grants to help in the event of an emergency or if a resident is in danger of losing his or her heat due to broken equipment, lack of fuel or termination of utility service.

The income eligibility guidelines for LIHEAP are set at 150 percent of the federal poverty level income. For an individual, the income limit is $17,820; for a couple, the limit is $24,030; and for a family of four, it is $36,450.

Residents may apply for LIHEAP online or by contacting the County Assistance Office in their county of residence. Click here for details.  
Prepare Now for Driving in Winter Weather

Motorists are being encouraged to prepare their vehicles and take time to familiarize themselves with winter safety laws as part of Winter Driving Awareness Week.

Drivers should plan and prepare their vehicles ahead of time, as weather patterns can change rapidly. Drivers should frequently check all fluid levels, lights and wiper blades. Tires should also be examined often for the correct level of air pressure and adequate tire-tread depth to perform on ice and snow. Finally, the traveling public should also prepare or restock a vehicle emergency kit.

Did you know: All vehicles should be fully clear of ice and snow before winter travel. If snow or ice is dislodged or falls from a moving vehicle and strikes another vehicle or pedestrian causing death or serious bodily injury, the operator of that vehicle could receive a $200 to $1,000 fine.

When winter weather does occur, drivers should be extra cautious around operating snow-removal equipment.

For more detailed tips on winter weather emergency preparedness, click here.
Testing Your Home for Radon

As part of national Radon Action Month in January, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) reminds residents that radon – a colorless, odorless, and radioactive gas -- is a known human carcinogen and the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.

Did you know: Radon occurs naturally from the breakdown of uranium in soil and rocks and enters homes through cracks in the foundation or other openings. Due to its geology, Pennsylvania is prone to high radon levels, and has been detected in all 67 counties, with about 40 percent of homes having levels above national safety standards.

Winter is an ideal time to test, because doors and windows are generally closed, producing the most conservative results. High levels of radon tend to be found in basements, but the gas can be found anywhere in the home. Simple radon test kits are inexpensive and available at home improvement and hardware stores.

For more information on radon, testing and daily tips, visit here.
Out and About in the 117th Legislative District

This week, I had the opportunity to visit with Cub Scout Pack No. 155.

It was my pleasure to attend a special presentation addressing opioid abuse in Pennsylvania earlier today at Misericordia University. Secretary of Health Dr. Karen Murphy was the featured speaker.

I recently attended the grand opening for Pennsylvania’s newest Fine Wine and Good Spirits store located in Tunkhannock. Stores like this provide increased exposure and opportunities for our local wineries.

Our “Lock ‘Em Up Day in Lackawanna County PA” event on Wednesday, Jan. 11, was a great success. “Lock ‘Em Day” addresses the ongoing problem of medication diversion (the illegal distribution or abuse of prescription drugs or their use for unintended purposes). Thank you to all those who helped us educate the public on the importance of medication diversion prevention.

Our third and final “Lock ‘Em Up” event is coming up on Friday, Jan. 27. Luzerne County Sheriff Brian Szumski and Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis will join me for “Lock ‘Em Up Day in Luzerne County PA” on Friday, Jan. 27, at 1:30 p.m. at the Luzerne County Courthouse rotunda to share information with area residents about medication diversion. The public is invited to attend.

It was my pleasure to commend Marge Bart, CEO of Blue Chip Farm Animal Refuge, for her tireless work on behalf of displaced animals. I am pictured with Marge and Rep. Aaron Kaufer.
Beer Sales Changes Start Saturday

Under a new law aimed at improving customer convenience, consumers will be able to buy six-packs and refillable growlers at the state’s beer distributorships this Saturday.

The law also allows retail licensees to start selling on Sundays at 9 a.m. instead of 11 a.m.; permits a person licensed by another state to apply for a “malt or brewed beverage shipper license,” which allows the direct shipment of up to 192 fluid ounces of beer to be delivered to a customer per month, though only 96 fluid ounces of a specific brand of beer may be shipped per year to an adult resident; and allows liquor to be sold (in shatterproof containers) before, during and after professional and amateur athletic events in the same manner that is currently permitted for the sale of malt or brewed beverages.

The new law is the latest in a series of steps taken by lawmakers to make beer, wine and liquor sales more convenient to consumers. Other recent changes allowed the sale of wine at approved grocery stores.
PA Department of Health to Offer Blood Pressure Screening 
The PA Department of Health will be conducting a blood pressure screening and education clinic on the third Friday of each month at the Falls Active Adult Center, 2813 Sullivans Trail, Falls.

The clinic will take place from 9-9:30 a.m. For more information, contact the Wyoming County State Health Center at 570-836-2981.
Upcoming Events

All offices will be closed on Monday, Jan. 16, for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The outreach hours originally scheduled for Monday, Jan. 16, with a caseworker from U.S. Congressman Lou Barletta’s office (R-Hazleton), at the Tunkhannock district office from 10 a.m. to noon have been rescheduled for Monday, Jan. 23, from 10 a.m. to noon at the same location.
Assistance will be available for constituents who are having problems with federal agencies and programs, and constituents are encouraged to bring documents they have received from federal agencies related to their issues.

A representative from the University of Scranton Small Business Development Center will be at the Tunkhannock district office on Tuesday, Jan. 17, from 10 a.m. to noon. The University of Scranton Small Business Development Center provides educational programs and no-cost, confidential consulting services to entrepreneurs looking to start or grow a small business.

Veterans outreach hours will be offered on Tuesday, Jan. 17, at the Dallas district office, located at 1108 Twin Stacks Drive in Dallas, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. A claims consultant from the Wilkes-Barre Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) will be on hand to address questions and concerns of local veterans and their families.

An outreach specialist from the Center for Independent Living will be at the Tunkhannock district office on Tuesday, Jan. 17, from 10 a.m. to noon. These hours are offered by appointment only. To make an appointment, call my Tunkhannock office at 570-836-4777.

Luzerne County Sheriff Brian Szumski and Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis will join me for “Lock ‘Em Up Day in Luzerne County PA” on Friday, Jan. 27, at 1:30 p.m. at the Luzerne County Courthouse rotunda to share information with area residents about medication diversion.

Outreach hours will be canceled in the case of inclement weather. Please contact the district offices for outreach updates. For more legislative information, visit my website at RepBoback.com

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Office Locations
1108 Twin Stacks Drive, Dallas PA 18612 | (570) 675-6000, (800) 278-3930
133 East Tioga Street, Suite 4, Tunkhannock, PA 18657| Phone: (570) 836-4777
314-C Main Capitol, PO Box 202117, Harrisburg PA 17120-2117 | Phone: (717) 787-1117
Email: kboback@pahousegop.com