Sep. 06, 2019

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 The latest news from the State Capitol

 
Volunteers from Wyoming County Fire and Ambulance organizations were honored for 50 or more years of service at the Wyoming County Fair last weekend. I was honored to present certificates to each of them.

I had the opportunity to attend the annual veterans ceremony at the Wyoming County Fair on Saturday, Aug. 31. The event is always well attended. Thank you Tunkhannock American Legion Post 457 for hosting this annual tribute!

Congratulations to Wyoming County Fair Queen Paige Zona! I am joined by (from left) Madison Sickler, 2018 fair queen; Paige Zona; Emma Loch, first alternate; Haley Finkler, second alternate; and Riley Campbell, third alternate.

On Monday, I visited with family and friends in Lackawanna County as we celebrated La Festa Italiana. This has become a popular, county event – it’s such a great time!

I attended the annual gathering of Cluster 7 Rotary Clubs on Thursday, Aug. 29, at Grotto Pizza Harveys Lake. It was a great turnout, allowing clubs to discuss fundraising projects and better ways to serve our communities.

Congratulations to Paul and Lois Wilson, who recently celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary!
 
 
Take Advantage of These Outreach Services!

On Tuesday, Sept. 10, a member of my staff will be holding satellite office hours from 9-11 a.m. at the Hunlock Township Building, located at 33 Village Drive, Hunlock Creek.

On Wednesday, Sept. 11, my staff will be available from 10 a.m. to noon for satellite hours at the Windham Township Municipal Building, located at 149 Palen St., Mehoopany.

Also on Tuesday, a staff member from the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General will be at the Dallas district office from 10 a.m. to noon to assist with any consumer-related issues or concerns. Please call the Dallas office at 570-675-6000 for information.
 
 
Disaster Relief Funding Available to Area Farmers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will make available disaster relief funding for farmland owners in seven Pennsylvania counites, including Lackawanna and Wyoming.

The funding will help with crop losses caused by extended rainfall and flash flooding that occurred from July 2018 through February 2019. It is the result of a secretarial disaster declaration and can include emergency loans from the federal Farm Service Agency (FSA).

Eligible farmers can apply for loans for up to eight months after a secretarial disaster declaration and should contact their local FSA office for assistance. More information on USDA’s disaster assistance program, including county lists and maps, can be found at http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov.

In addition to Lackawanna and Wyoming counties, farmers in Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Susquehanna and Wayne counties are eligible for assistance.
 
 
Prepared. Not Scared.

In recognition of September being National Preparedness Month, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency is encouraging all of us to take steps to plan for emergencies by participating in September’s 30 Days/30 Ways preparedness event.

This year’s theme for National Preparedness Month is “Prepared. Not Scared.” Much like a fire drill, knowing what to do in an emergency makes the situation a little less frightening for everyone.

Some simple steps to boost your preparedness include taking a basic first aid or CPR class, creating a family emergency plan, assembling a small kit of emergency supplies for your home and car, reviewing insurance coverage, and building up an emergency fund.

PEMA is inviting anyone who wants to participate to register here for weekly updates with helpful hints and tips to get them started on their journey to preparedness. At the end of the month, participants who fill out a brief survey about their experience will be entered to win a random drawing of a wind-up radio, flashlight or phone charger.

More information about how to prepare for an emergency, including specific information for people with access and functional needs or pets, is available on the ReadyPA webpage.
 
 
Educating All Students for Success

Working to ensure Pennsylvania’s special education students have access to the quality education they deserve, the General Assembly recently reestablished a Special Education Funding Commission to review the formula that determines payments to school districts across the Commonwealth.

First formed in 2012, the commission conducted several meetings to gather information and made recommendations to improve the special education funding formula by better reflecting student need, as well as community differences such as market value/personal income aid ratio, equalized millage rate, and small and rural school districts.

The changes were adopted by the General Assembly and since the 2013-14 fiscal year, lawmakers have continued their commitment to supporting all students, increasing funding for special education by 15.6% or $160 million. Total education funding has jumped by 29.5% from $9.85 billion to more than $12.75 billion this year.

The newly reestablished commission features a bipartisan group of House and Senate lawmakers, as well as the secretary of education and other representatives of the Wolf administration. The group will meet throughout the fall and intends to issue its report to the General Assembly no later than Nov. 30.
 
 
Schedule Your Capitol Tour!

President Theodore Roosevelt called Pennsylvania’s state Capitol “the handsomest building” he ever saw. Tours of the historic building, which highlight its artistic and architectural features as well as provide information about state government, are offered daily for individuals and groups of up to 80 people.

Reservations are required for groups of 10 or more, but all visitors interested in touring the Capitol are encouraged to make reservations through the Capitol tour office. Tour dates fill up quickly in the spring due to school field trip season.

Tour reservations may be made by calling the tour office directly at 1-800-868-7672, or call my office and we’ll set it up for you. When you call, have your group name, total number of participants and contact information ready.

Tours are available Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday, Sunday and most holidays at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The Capitol is closed for tours New Year’s Day, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Weekday tours begin at the top of the hour and every half hour. The tours last between 30 and 45 minutes depending on the size of the group.

You may also explore the Capitol using the self-guided tour mobile app available at Google Play and the App Store. Self-guided tours may only be done on regular weekdays.

More information about visiting the Capitol is available here.
  
 
Fighting Back Against Spotted Lanternfly

Recognizing the devastating impact the ongoing spread of spotted lanternfly could have on key sectors of the state’s agriculture industry, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is again inviting students to help spread the word about this threat.

For the second year in a row, first- through eighth-grade students are being invited to submit entries in a calendar contest designed to educate people about this invasive insect that was first identified in Berks County but has since spread to more than a dozen counties in the eastern and central regions of the state. Spotted lanternfly could be devastating to the state’s grape, hops and hardwoods industries.

All entries must include one fact about spotted lanternfly with artwork created by the student in an 11-by-17-inch, horizontal poster format. A completed contest submission form must be attached or emailed with each entry. All entries must be original artwork; no copies will be accepted.

More than 800 entries were received for the 2018 calendar contest. This year’s competition runs through Oct. 31. For contest rules and additional information, click here.
 

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RepBoback.com
Office Locations
105 Lieutenant Michael Cleary Drive, Dallas, PA 18612 | (570) 675-6000, (800) 278-3930
133 West Tioga Street, Suite 4, Tunkhannock, PA 18657| Phone: (570) 836-4777
41-B East Wing, Main Capitol, PO Box 202117, Harrisburg PA 17120-2117 | Phone: (717) 787-1117
Email: kboback@pahousegop.com
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