REAL ID Extension to Allow Access Through October 2017
Pennsylvania residents will be able to use their current driver license to access federal facilities through Oct. 10, 2017, under an extension granted by the federal government last week.
The extension was granted after Pennsylvania adopted a plan to comply with REAL ID requirements, known as Act 3 of 2017.
According to PennDOT, REAL ID-compliant driver licenses and identification cards will be available to consumers who wish to obtain them in 2019. This will allow ample time for customers who want a REAL ID license to obtain one before the final federal effective date of Oct. 1, 2020.
More information about REAL ID and Act 3 is available at http://www.pahousegop.com/realid.aspx.
E-Prescribing Bill for Opioids Heads to Senate
Legislation to address the ongoing opioid abuse crisis by preventing paper prescriptions from falling into the wrong hands has been approved by the state House. Under current state law, opioids must be prescribed by hand.
House Bill 353 would require opioids to be prescribed electronically, allowing doctors to send their orders directly to the patient’s pharmacy and preventing handwritten prescriptions from being used fraudulently or stolen. Opioids would be prescribed and transmitted like all other prescriptions.
This change would not have any adverse impact upon prescriptions for legitimate purposes and may even provide greater convenience for patients.
The measure now moves to the state Senate for its review.
June Celebrates Pennsylvania’s Dairy Industry
A measure passed the House this week to salute the men and women who make dairy one of Pennsylvania’s top agriculture sectors.
House Resolution 403 designates June 2017 as Dairy Month and Dairy Farmers Appreciation Month.
Pennsylvania has the second largest number of dairy farms nationally and ranks sixth nationally in total milk production from 2014 to 2016. In fact, 99 percent of Pennsylvania’s dairy farms are family owned.
Are You Interested in a Nonprofit, Anti-Fraud and Theft Prevention Seminar?
Have you been following local news stories regarding theft of funds at volunteer organizations? Do you have volunteers who manage the finances of your not-for-profit group? Then I have a program for you.
While 99.9 percent of our volunteers are beyond reproach, some are unscrupulous and have absconded with thousands of dollars raised by hard-working members. As a result, I have decided to offer an informational session to help your organization avert a financial catastrophe. The focus of the seminar would be on practical processes, procedures and internal controls for small organizations with few or no employees (PREDOMINANTLY VOLUNTEERS). Examples of local cases of financial mismanagement and specific controls where losses could have been prevented or at least minimalized will be discussed.
The presentation will be given by Dr. Fred Croop, CPA, dean of the College of Professional Studies and Social Sciences at Misericordia University. Dr. Croop has authored two publications addressing financial management and internal controls for volunteer organizations. Wyoming County District Attorney Jeff Mitchell will also be present to offer his perspective on financial mismanagement cases investigated through his office.
I have reserved the Wyoming County Emergency Management Building for Tuesday, July 25, from 6-8 p.m. for this presentation (depending on the response I receive). If there is not enough interest, I will not hold the seminar.
Please let me know if you are interested in attending this event. You can contact my Dallas district office at 570-675-6000, or my Tunkhannock district office at 570-836-4777.
Pictured with me is Dr. Fred Croop, CPA, dean of the College of Professional Studies and Social Sciences at Misericordia University. If sufficient interest is generated, Dr. Croop will be leading our non-profit, anti-fraud and theft seminar.
Around Our Community
It was my pleasure to present a certificate to Falls Lions Club President Karen Cokely, who received the Melvin Jones Award, which was bestowed upon her as an outstanding individual for her continuing and exemplary service to her club and the community served by it. Pictured with me are Lions Trudy Perez, Ida Ferguson, Al Cabral, Irene Masco, Warren Keller, Dalton Geary, Karen Cokely, John Headley, Darlene Headley, Nick Perez, Laura Houtz and Dale Ferguson.
Participants in the Keystone Girls State program visited the Capitol this week. Keystone Girls State is a leadership development and civic engagement summer educational experience.
I presented a citation to Tunkhannock Borough Chief Keith Carpenter recognizing the 100th anniversary of Tunkhannock Borough. Pictured with me are Chief Carpenter and Mayor of Tunkhannock Borough Norman Ball.
DEP Grants Available for Alternative Fuel Transportation
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is accepting grant applications for innovative, advanced fuel and vehicle technology projects that will result in cleaner advanced alternative transportation within the Commonwealth. DEP’s Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant (AFIG) Program offers funding for the purchase and use of alternative fuels and alternative fuel vehicles. Grant applications will be accepted throughout 2017 with submission period deadlines in July and December 2017.
The AFIG Program can assist school districts, municipal authorities, nonprofits, corporations, LLCs, and partnerships registered to do business in Pennsylvania in offsetting the costs of implementing alternative fuel using transportation projects. The Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant Program is funded by annual gross receipts tax on utilities.
Applications for grants in the AFIG program will remain open to receive proposals throughout the 2017 calendar year. The department will hold two submission periods. The first submission period deadline will occur on Friday, July 14, 2017, at 4 p.m. and the second submission period deadline will occur on Friday, Dec. 15, 2017, at 4 p.m.
The AFIG program will accept applications at any time during the year and evaluate the applications received after each submission period and determine awards. Project applications received during the first submission period that do not receive an award can be resubmitted immediately for consideration during the next submission period in accordance with the AFIG Program rules.
Outreach and Satellite Hours Offered Next Week
On Tuesday, June 27, a member of my staff will be available 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 Tuesday, June 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.
Please note: All offices will be closed on Tuesday, July 4, and satellite hours will not be offered on that date. This impacts satellite hours at the Mehoopany and Meshoppen locations. Hours in Mehoopany and Meshoppen will resume in August.