Sep. 15, 2017


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 The latest news from the State Capitol

House Passed My Bill Benefiting Veterans
The House this week unanimously approved my legislation to exclude veterans’ compensation benefits from income calculations for Commonwealth programs.
We owe our veterans a debt of gratitude. This legislation is a small way to ensure their federal disability compensation or pension does not prevent them from accessing a Commonwealth program or benefit, such as the PACE/PACENET program, food stamps, housing and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
House Bill 980 would require 100 percent of a veteran’s disability compensation or pension not be included as income when calculating eligibility for a Commonwealth program or benefit. The bill also would extend this exclusion to an unmarried surviving spouse.
The bill will now go to the Senate for its review.

Keeping Your Personal Info Safe
In light of recent news about a data breach at Equifax, a national credit-reporting agency, residents are encouraged to learn more about identity theft and how to protect their information from being used fraudulently.

It is unknown how many Pennsylvania consumers the breach has affected; however, the Office of Pennsylvania Attorney General is leading a national investigation into the data breach.

In the meantime, consumers are urged to be proactive in monitoring their credit reports and financial account statements, such as credit cards and utilities, and in reporting any suspicious activity to the attorney general office’s hotline at 1-800-441-2555 or

The Federal Trade Commission has also provided, an identity theft prevention website.

What Do You Think about Highway Safety?
Motorists are encouraged to submit their input on a number of highway issues, such as highway safety, traffic safety enforcement and driving behaviors, as part of PennDOT’s annual online survey.

The brief survey is available until Sept. 27, and focuses on seat belts, impaired driving, speeding, motorcycles and distracted driving. People completing the survey may remain anonymous, but are asked to provide their gender, age and county of residence.

Last year, 6,619 people responded to the survey. As a result of this feedback and recent trends in crash data, PennDOT has further increased its usage of social media to share highway safety information and is highlighting personal responsibility in future media campaigns.

To complete the survey, click here.

Outreach and Satellite Hours Offered Next Week
A member of my staff will be available at the following locations next week to provide assistance with Property Tax/Rent Rebate forms, PennDOT paperwork, state-related issues and more.

• Tuesday, Sept. 19, at the Benton Township Community Center, located at 16043 Route 407 in Fleetville, from 10 a.m. to noon.

• Wednesday, Sept. 20, at the Falls Senior Center, located at 2813 Sullivan’s Trail in Falls, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

A caseworker for U.S. Congressman Lou Barletta (R-Hazleton) will be at the Tunkhannock district office on Monday, Sept. 18, from 10 a.m. to noon. 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 Center for Independent Living is available for appointments at the Tunkhannock district office on Tuesday, Sept. 19. Please call the Tunkhannock office at 570-836-4777 to make an appointment.

Free Mammograms Available Through Pennsylvania’s Healthy Woman Program
The PA Breast Cancer Coalition offers free mammograms through PA’s HealthyWoman Program for uninsured or underinsured women. Free breast cancer treatment is available through the Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment (BCCPT) program.

To learn more, contact the PA Breast Cancer Coalition by visiting or by calling 800-377-8828.

Around Our Community 


Pictured with me at last Friday’s Back Mountain Chamber event are Chamber President Tom Mosca, Andrea Mosca, Royle Sutton, and EDC Chairperson Lynn Banta. The basket raffle to benefit Misericordia University's Women with Children Program was a huge success!

Scenes from the Endless Mountains Rendezvous Muzzleloader Show


Pictured with me are local authors Karla Uccellini and Deborah Courville.


 I’m pictured with reenactors Juanita and Mitchell Smith, from Millstone Forge, demonstrating the forging of steel. 


I also stopped by Laura Gingher’s honey display.

Out and About 


I was a guest at the Veterans Membership Appreciation Day on Saturday, Sept. 9, at the Black Walnut American Legion Post 510 in Laceyville. It was a great day to honor veterans!

I’m pictured with Tina Westbrook, Kathy Shaver and Harry Shaver.


Here I am with Steve Grow, President of Creek Junction Park in Wyoming County on Saturday.


Pictured with me is Ron Furman, President of the Community Center of Mehoopany in Wyoming County on Saturday.


Pictured with me at the Our Lady of the Abingtons Annual Bazaar are Joe and Cathy Strauch on Sunday in the Abingtons.

Nicholson Bridge Days 


I visited with members of Lackawanna Trail’s Interact (Junior Rotary) Club.


Pictured with me are members of American Legion Post 928. 


Pictured with me is Marian Sweet, from the Nicholson Heritage Association.

Pictured in the next three photos are members of the Nicholson Women's Club, which is celebrating 26 years of service to their community.


Concealed Carry Seminar Set for Oct. 12
Reps. Aaron Kaufer, Tarah Toohil and I are co-hosting a Concealed Carry Seminar on Thursday, Oct. 12, from 6-8 p.m. at the Luzerne Volunteer Fire Department, located at 66 Tener St., Luzerne.

The seminar will feature Luzerne County officials, including District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis and Sheriff Brian M. Szumski. They will include information about how recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions affect the Second Amendment rights of citizens.

Due to space limitations, those planning to attend are required to RSVP in advance. There is no fee to attend. To register, visit or call my offices at (570) 675-6000 or (570) 836-4777. 


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Office Locations
1108 Twin Stacks Drive, Dallas PA 18612 | (570) 675-6000, (800) 278-3930
133 West 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