Apr. 26, 2019


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News You Can Use

 The latest news from the State Capitol

This email includes:
  • Permit Needed Due to Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine
  • My Child Safety Legislation Advances to State Senate
  • Dog Wardens to Canvass 22 Counties for Current Dog Licenses, Rabies Vaccinations Now Through June
  • State College Grant Deadline Approaches
  • Safely Dispose of Unused Prescriptions This Saturday
  • Share the Road
  • April is Autism Awareness Month
  • Bringing State Government to You
  • Bitten By A Tick?
  • Standing Room Only!
Permit Needed Due to Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine


The PA Department of Agriculture (PDA) has established a quarantine zone for counties where the presence of the destructive spotted lanternfly has been confirmed. Neighboring counties Carbon, Monroe and Schuylkill are part of this zone, while Lackawanna, Luzerne and Wyoming counties are not.

Beginning this Wednesday, May 1, businesses and organizations conducting business in the quarantine zone must have permits from PDA to move vehicles, equipment and goods within and out of the zone.

Please click here to find out if you need to apply for the free permit or have questions that need answered.
My Child Safety Legislation Advances to State Senate

I’m hoping the “third time’s a charm” when it comes to my legislation that would provide civil immunity for damages that result from entry into a motor vehicle for the purpose of rescuing an individual.

In two previous sessions, this legislation has advanced through the House without drawing a single vote of opposition. It’s my hope the bill will rapidly move to Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk, especially in light of similar immunity being available when an attempt is made to rescue an animal.

Under House Bill 279, which passed the House unanimously and sits with the Senate Judiciary Committee, such immunity would be granted based on several criteria, including a belief that the individual is in imminent danger of suffering harm and is unable to exit the motor vehicle without assistance. A reasonable attempt to locate the driver and contact law enforcement or an emergency responder must also be made prior to entry.

House Bill 279 is the final piece to a puzzle. There should be no stumbling block that prevents giving the same right to a Good Samaritan trying to save a child that has already been given to a concerned citizen attempting to rescue an animal.
Dog Wardens to Canvass 22 Counties for Current Dog Licenses, Rabies Vaccinations now through June

State dog wardens will conduct dog license and rabies vaccination checks in 23 counties from now until the end of June. This program aims to raise awareness of the importance of up-to-date dog licenses, and rabies vaccinations for dogs and cats to the health and safety of Pennsylvania communities.

This month, wardens are canvassing Centre, Chester, Franklin, Huntingdon, Lackawanna, Mercer, Perry, Pike, Schuylkill, and Westmoreland counties.

In May, wardens will canvass Allegheny, Carbon, Cumberland, Dauphin, Erie, Franklin, Luzerne, Montgomery, Northumberland, Perry, Wayne, and York Counties.

Pennsylvania law requires all dogs three months and older to be licensed by Jan. 1 of each year. The fee is $6.50 for each spayed or neutered dog and $8.50 for other dogs. Older adults and persons with disabilities may purchase a license for $4.50 for spayed or neutered dogs, and $6.50 for others. Dog licenses are available through county treasurers’ offices.

All dogs and non-feral cats three months of age and older must also be vaccinated against rabies. Booster vaccinations must be administered periodically to maintain lifelong immunity.

Violators may be cited with a maximum fine of $300 per violation, plus court costs.

Dog wardens drive vehicles and wear uniforms labeled with “Pennsylvania Dog Law Enforcement Warden” in a keystone with a state seal. They wear a badge and state identification.

Wardens will request proof of licensure and proof of rabies vaccination. They will leave written notice for someone who is not home or does not answer the door. Dog wardens will not enter a home or building without the owner’s permission.
State College Grant Deadline Approaches

This Wednesday, May 1, is the deadline for students and families to submit their 2019-20 PA State Grant application.

This deadline applies to all renewal applicants and first-time applicants who plan to enroll in a college, university, or college transfer program at two-year public or private colleges (except community colleges and designated Pennsylvania Open Admission institutions).

To apply for a PA State Grant, applicants must first complete the 2019-20 FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form, which can be accessed online at PHEAA.org/FAFSA or fafsa.gov. Completing the FAFSA online saves time and reduces application and processing errors, although paper applications are also available for download and manual completion,

First-time applicants must also submit a PA State Grant Form (SGF). First-time applicants who submit the FAFSA online will be automatically redirected to the SGF by following the onscreen prompts on the confirmation page.

First-time applicants who have already submitted their FAFSA but have not completed the SGF will receive an email directing them to PHEAA’s secure Account Access site for completion. Both applications are free to submit.
Safely Dispose of Unused Prescriptions This Saturday

Residents have an opportunity to remove opioids and other unused medicines from homes this Saturday, April 27, as part of the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

More than 18 tons of prescription drugs were disposed of across Pennsylvania in the Prescription Drug Take Back Day held last October. The initiative helps prevent unused medications ending up in the wrong hands.

Please click here for a list of locations to safely dispose of unused drugs.

You can also find permanent disposal boxes in your community by clicking here.
Share the Road

As the weather continues to warm up, more and more Pennsylvanians will ride their bicycles on the roads.

Both motorists and bicyclists can work together to ensure everyone shares the road and gets home safely.

Motorists and bicyclists have the right to use the roads in Pennsylvania and should work to maintain a 4-foot barrier between each other when passing.

Motorists are allowed to overtake a bicycle in a no-passing zone, provided they leave a 4-foot clearance.

You can learn more about Pennsylvania’s bicycle laws here.
April is Autism Awareness Month

April is Autism Awareness Month in Pennsylvania. An estimated 30,000 Pennsylvanians live with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

To help families, providers and those with autism access services to help meet their needs, Pennsylvania’s Bureau of Autism Services maintains a comprehensive online resource at PAautism.org.

The General Assembly further supports people with autism by dedicating funding to autism intervention and services in the annual state budget. In the current 2018-19 budget, funding totals more than $31 million, an increase of $3.6 million over the previous fiscal year’s spending.
Bringing State Government to You

This Wednesday, May 1, a member of my district office staff will be available to answer your state government questions from 9-11 a.m. at the Dalton Borough Building, 105 West Main St., and then from noon to 2 p.m. at the Factoryville Borough Building, 161 College Ave.

We’re here to serve you!
Attention Veterans

This Wednesday, May 1 - a claims consultant from the American Legion will hold office hours at the Tunkhannock district office, 133 West Tioga St., Suite 4, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Area veterans may seek assistance and information pertaining to specific benefits and programs.
Bitten By A Tick?

Pennsylvania’s Lyme disease and tick-borne illness issue impacts most all of the state. Last year a $500,000 state grant went to East Stroudsburg University (ESU) to allow all Pennsylvania residents to have ticks (found on them or a family member) tested for free.

Testing the tick is critical for us as a state to understand the pathogens ticks are carrying to aid in further research and medical decisions and to also help residents understand their possible risk/exposure to these diseases. All but two of our 67 counties have submitted ticks so far and 42% of the ticks tested positive for a tick-borne disease, confirming the health risks in Pennsylvania.

Please click here for all the details about The Tick Lab, which is located within the Dr. Jane Huffman Wildlife Genetics Institute at ESU.  
Standing Room Only!

Thursday night’s Concealed Carry Seminar at the Back Mountain Regional E.M.A. Building in Lehman Township featured a great crowd and tremendous exchange of information. Thank you to Luzerne County First Assistant District Attorney Sam Sanguadolce and Sheriff Brian Szumski for your presentation and leading the discussion.  

Our District

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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