Sep. 22, 2017


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News You Can Use


 The latest news from the State Capitol

Recognizing Constitution Day with the Preamble Challenge
This year is the 230th anniversary of the United States Constitution. In celebration of this historic occasion, I introduced a House resolution encouraging school districts across the Commonwealth to take part in the Preamble Challenge on Constitution Day, Sept. 18.

Constitution Day became a national observance in 2004, when Congress passed the Byrd Amendment. The amendment requires all educational institutions that receive federal funding and federal agencies to teach the Constitution on Sept. 17, the date that the document was signed in Philadelphia. This year, Constitution Day was celebrated on Sept. 18.

The Preamble Challenge asks students to take the 52 words in the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution and recite them, sing or dance to them, create a video, or a skit. Teachers across the Commonwealth could visit the Civics Renewal Network online to have their classroom join in on this challenge.

Check That New Car for Signs of Hurricane Damage

With hundreds of thousands of vehicles damaged recently by hurricanes along the Gulf Coast, consumers should take caution when purchasing a new or used vehicle.
After major flood events, some flood-damaged vehicles are cleaned and taken out of state to be sold to unsuspecting customers as new or used, but not identified as flood damaged.
These damaged vehicles can legally be sold as long as they are titled as such, but owners of these vehicles will likely get lower payments on insurance claims than for non-flood damaged vehicles.
As always, if something sounds too good to be true, research the vehicle further. For tips on finding out if the car you’re interested in purchasing has been damaged, click here and click on “Auto” under “Insurance Coverage Resources.”

Stopping Welfare Checks to the Deceased
Recently introduced legislation in the state House aims to save taxpayer money by preventing welfare checks from going to individuals who have passed away.
About a year ago, an audit found the Department of Human Services (DHS) provided nearly $700,000 in welfare benefits to more than 2,300 individuals who had been dead for at least 60 days.
House Bill 1614 would require DHS to regularly cross-reference its list of welfare recipients with the death records maintained by the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) and the Social Security Administration. Funds that would have gone to deceased individuals would then be redirected to help those truly in need or reverted back to the General Fund.
The bill has been referred to the House Health Committee.

Decreasing Stigma Against Suicide
With September designated as Suicide Prevention Month in Pennsylvania, House Resolution 401 seeks to raise awareness that suicide is preventable, improve education about suicide, spread information about suicide awareness and decrease stigmatization regarding suicide.
According to the World Health Organization, more than 1,800 Pennsylvania lives are taken by suicide annually. For every person who dies of suicide, 20 or more may attempt to end their lives.
Suicide is a serious public health problem that affects people of all ages, and is the 10th leading cause of death for Americans.
For more information, visit or call the national suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Fall in Love with PA’s Autumn Colors
The fall colors are beginning to brighten across several areas in Pennsylvania, helping to boost tourism activities in many regions.
According to the Pennsylvania Tourism Office, Pennsylvania has a longer and more varied fall foliage season than any other state in the nation.
Both in-state and out-of-state visitors can find the best places to view fall foliage and track the locations of the peak colors throughout the state, beginning in late September.
Click here to read more about Pennsylvania’s fall tourism activities.

Keep PA Beautiful Invites Schools to Participate in Litter Free School Zone Program
Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful invites schools in Pennsylvania to participate in its Litter Free School Zone Program, a comprehensive program that encourages young people to play an active role in protecting and improving our environment through recycling, litter awareness and community stewardship.
Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful provides a sign recognizing the participating school as a Litter Free School Zone. The school, in turn, organizes two cleanup or beautification events per year. Currently over 70 schools participate in the program. All schools are welcome – elementary through high school.
The Litter Free School Zone program is sponsored by the PA Department of Environment Protection. Anyone interested in participating should visit here.

Outreach Hours Offered in Laceyville, University of Scranton to Visit Tunkhannock Office
On Tuesday, Sept. 26, a member of my staff will be at the Laceyville Borough Building, located at 342 Church St., Laceyville, from 3-5 p.m. to provide assistance with Property Tax/Rent Rebate forms, PennDOT paperwork, state-related issues and more.

A representative from the University of Scranton Small Business Development Center will be at the Tunkhannock district office on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 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.

Around Our Community
I was pleased to participate in the opening ceremonies at the Dallas Harvest Festival on Sunday. The event was held at Dallas High School.

I was honored to lead the Pledge of Allegiance with students from Lake Lehman and Dallas School Districts.

I joined Sen. Lisa Baker, Dallas Township Supervisors Liz Martin and Bill Grant, and members of the Dallas American Legion at last Sunday’s Dallas Harvest Festival.

It was my pleasure to present a House citation to DGK Insurance Company to recognize its 100th anniversary. Pictured with me are Beth Davis O’Malley, Jeff Kyle and James Davis.

I attended the Open House for Silver Springs Ranch in Monroe Township, Wyoming County, on Saturday. Welcome to our community! Pictured with me are owners Ron Walsh, Ken Churchill and Monica Churchill.

Concealed Carry Seminar Set for Oct. 12
I will be co-hosting a Concealed Carry Seminar with Reps. Tarah Toohil and Aaron Kaufer 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 present 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