Sep. 01, 2017

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 The latest news from the State Capitol

Prepare Yourself for Emergencies
 
As the nation comes together to help those impacted by Hurricane Harvey, Pennsylvania officials are reminding residents that National Preparedness Month begins Sept. 1. Throughout the month, households, businesses and communities are encouraged to prepare and plan for emergencies.

Well before emergencies strike, simple steps can be taken to prepare a family, school, workplace or community for any type of incident that would disrupt the day-to-day routine. Citizens are encouraged to visit www.ReadyPA.org to find sample checklists, contact lists and other preparedness tools to take advantage of before an emergency occurs. In particular, people should think about loved ones who may have special needs that could inhibit their ability to help themselves.

Follow @ReadyPA on Twitter and 'like' facebook.com/BeReadyPA for additional helpful tips and information.

New Law Gets Tough on Animal Abusers
Animals now have greater protection thanks to a tough, new law targeting those who abuse animals which took effect Monday, Aug. 28.

Act 10 of 2017, also known as Libre’s Law, strengthens existing animal cruelty laws and makes it easier to prosecute a person who knowingly mistreats, abuses or neglects an animal.

Specifically, the new law outlines three tiers of cruelty and neglect, with charges ranging from a summary offense for denying an animal food or shelter to a third-degree felony for intentionally torturing an animal or causing serious bodily injury or death.

The new law also requires convicted animal abusers to forfeit their animals, sets limits on how long an animal can be tethered outdoors, and clarifies penalties for abusing a horse.

 

Scenes from the Wyoming County Community Fair
It was my pleasure to attend the opening ceremony for the Wyoming County Community Fair on Wednesday. The fair runs through Monday, Sept. 4. The annual veterans tribute will be held on Saturday at 1 p.m. Come out and support our veterans!


Pictured with me are Alisha Nudo, junior fair queen coordinator; Asha Kyttle, first alternate; Alexandria Glaush, fair queen; Sabrina Traver, past queen; and Laura Anderson, fair queen coordinator.
 
 
Pictured with me are Wyoming County Community Fair Treasurer Stephanie Scavone; President Marge Singer and Secretary Pam Burke.
 
 
Members of the Dallas Kiwanis Club of Dallas attended the opening ceremony of the fair.

Hunter-Trapper Education Boosts Safety
 
Interested in hunting or trapping in Penn’s Woods? By law, all first-time hunters and trappers, regardless of age, must successfully complete Hunter-Trapper Education (HTE) training before they can buy a Pennsylvania hunting or trapping license.

A training certificate, which is recognized throughout North America, is awarded when the individual passes the test at the end of the course. Individuals must be at least 11 years old to enroll in a class. The training is designed to produce safe, responsible, knowledgeable and involved participants. Hunter education aims to improve the safety of the sport.

Two options are available to complete the course -- in a classroom or entirely online (for those who are 16 years of age or older). Click here to learn more about HTE and view other training programs available

Traveling Over Labor Day? Check Traffic Conditions on 511PA.com

Travelers can log onto www.511PA.com to check current traffic impacts from construction, traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 770 traffic cameras. The service is free and available 24 hours a day.

511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.

Travelers are always reminded to buckle up, put their phones away and stay sober when behind the wheel.

In other PennDOT news, driver license and photo centers will be closed Saturday, Sept. 2, through Monday, Sept. 4, for Labor Day. Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services online through PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website, www.dmv.pa.gov

Our Lady of the Abingtons Celebrates 50 Years

I had the honor of presenting a House citation to Bishop Joseph Bambera, Bishop of the Scranton Diocese, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Our Lady of the Abingtons as a parish community.

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. 5, from 10 a.m. to noon at Mehoopany Township Municipal Building, located at 237 Schoolhouse Road, Mehoopany, and then at the Meshoppen Borough Building, located the intersection of Canal Street and Route 267 in Meshoppen, from 1-3 p.m.

•    Wednesday, Sept. 6, at the Dalton Borough Building, located at 105 West Main St., Dalton, from 10 a.m. to noon.

Please note, offices will be closed on Monday, Sept. 4, for Labor Day.

Attention Veterans: Upcoming Skills Training Offered
 
The Northeastern PA Industrial Resource Center (NEPIRC) has collaborated with more than 40 manufacturers, Lackawanna College, the Society for Manufacturing Engineers (SME), Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, and others to develop a NO-COST Four-Week Accelerated Manufacturing Skills Training Program specifically for area veterans.

The training covers soft skills, workplace skills and technical skills that our manufacturers are looking for – all delivered in a respectful adult-learning format of classroom, simulation, application and real plant tours. The program is FREE to all veterans (class can fit up to 30) and begins at Lackawanna College on Sept. 11.

The program, which is being taught by NEPIRC experts, Lackawanna College faculty, SME professionals and other certified trainers, graduates on Oct. 5. Manufacturers will be lined up to interview and hire program graduates since they (the manufacturers) helped develop the training program. More information is available here.

How to Help Survivors of Hurricane Harvey While Making Smart Choices

As a tremendous number of people, businesses and service organizations throughout the country begin collecting and donating goods and services to assist storm survivors in Texas and Louisiana, the Pennsylvania Department of State, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and Office of Attorney General want Pennsylvanians to know how they can best help and not hinder rescue and recovery efforts while also protecting themselves.

All three agencies offered the following tips:
• Do not give to a charity you know nothing about. Call the charity or do some research on your own. Search the name online — with the word “complaints” or “scams.” Check with the Better Business Bureau.
• Do not donate over the phone unless you are familiar with the organization.
• For door-to-door solicitors, ask to see the person’s identification and consider avoiding them altogether. Do not feel pressured into giving and allowing someone into your house.
• Do not give credit card numbers, bank account numbers or other personal financial information over the phone. Never wire money to someone claiming to be a charity.
• Whenever possible, write a check payable to the charity so you have a record of your donation. Or make a donation directly through a legitimate organization’s secure website, rather than a third-party website.
• Don’t click links in unsolicited emails or on social media. Unless you previously donated to an organization, assume that an unsolicited donation request by email is a scam. Plus, links in emails or social media can unleash malware.

To determine if a charitable group is properly registered, the public can search the Charities Online Database. The website also provides a list of organizations that have been subject to corrective actions taken by the Better Business Bureau. The public may also call 1-800-732-0999.

The Annual Charities Report online contains detailed information about charitable organizations registered in Pennsylvania and professional solicitors and fundraising counsels. For instance, the report outlines what percentage of every donated dollar goes to the charity and how much is charged by the solicitors or counsels for their services.

More helpful tips about informed giving can be found at the Charities section of the Department of State’s website.

To file a complaint about any charity soliciting donations in the Commonwealth, contact the Division of Investigations/Audits at 717-787-0700, by email at ra-stbeiciu@pa.gov, or by mail at 401 North St., Room 212, Harrisburg, PA 17120.

If you believe you’ve been scammed, call the Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. 1-800-441-2555 or email at scams@attorneygeneral.gov.

Locally, the American Legion Post 457 will be collecting cleaning products, water, toiletries and personal products in the Tunkhannock Perkins parking lot from Tuesday, Sept. 5, through Saturday, Sept. 16, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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 www.RepBoback.com 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
Email: kboback@pahousegop.com
 
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