Oct. 11, 2019 / Weekly Roundup

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The latest news from the State Capitol
Medicare Open Enrollment Starts Oct. 15

The state Department of Aging is reminding beneficiaries of the Medicare open enrollment period starting Tuesday, Oct. 15, and continuing through Saturday, Dec. 7. During this time, you may make changes to your current Medicare coverage, as well as join, switch or drop Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug Coverage plans.

Pennsylvania offers a free health insurance counseling program, APPRISE, through the local Area Agency on Aging. APPRISE counselors are specially trained staff and volunteers who can provide objective, easy-to-understand information at no cost to you. They can help you understand Medicare eligibility, enrollment, financial assistance programs and coverage options, among other Medicare-related topics.

For more information, contact the local Area Agency on Aging or call the toll-free APPRISE Helpline at 1-800-783-7067, which is available Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Information is also available here.  
REAL ID Deadline Less Than One Year Away


The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is reminding customers that federal enforcement of the REAL ID Act will begin at airports and secure federal facilities nationwide starting on Oct. 1, 2020.

As of that date, you will have to have a federally accepted form of identification – such as a Pennsylvania REAL ID driver’s license or identification card, or a U.S. passport/passport card or military ID – to board a commercial flight (including domestic flights) or visit a secure federal building that requires ID at the door.

Since March 2019, when REAL ID first became available in the Commonwealth, more than 400,000 Pennsylvanians have chosen to get a REAL ID-compliant product. Based on data from other states with optional REAL ID programs, PennDOT anticipates that approximately 1.3 million of its customers will get a REAL ID before the federal enforcement deadline next year.

Federal regulations require that to be issued a REAL ID-compliant product, PennDOT must verify a variety of documents to prove a person’s identity, including documentation of name changes, as well as their Social Security number and place of residence.

For information about required documents, how to get them verified and other frequently asked questions about REAL ID, click here. 
Register for My Veterans Events on Nov. 2

I am proud to officially announce that my 13th annual Veterans Breakfast, Expo and Recognition Ceremony will be held from 9-11:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, in Misericordia University’s Insalaco Hall.

This event is so special to us every year; it is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to the brave men and women who have served our country with distinction. The Veterans Recognition Breakfast is open to any resident of the 117th District who served in the nation’s armed forces. Both non-combat veterans and those who served during wartime are encouraged to attend this event.

Veterans may be accompanied by a spouse or guest to the breakfast at no charge. The breakfast will be followed by a special appreciation program held in the Lemmond Theater, to honor the veterans.

The deadline to register for the breakfast is Monday, Oct. 28. To RSVP, call my offices at 570-675-6000 or 570-836-4777. Residents can also call toll-free at 800-278-3939 or register online at www.RepBoback.com. I hope to see you there!
Recognizing Domestic Violence Awareness Month

With approximately 95,000 victims seeking services through the Commonwealth’s domestic violence programs each year, the state House unanimously approved House Resolution 467 designating October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Pennsylvania.

Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior used to establish power and control over an intimate partner, causing both physical and emotional harm. Victims may be subjected to abuse, harassment, threats, vandalism, trespassing, burglary, theft and stalking.

As one of the most chronically underreported crimes, domestic violence affects men and women in all racial, ethnic, religious, educational, social and economic backgrounds.

More information about domestic violence and services available to help victims is available here.
Attention, Students!

Seventh- and eighth-grade students of the 117th Legislative District (which includes the Lake Lehman, Dallas, Tunkhannock, Northwest and Lackawanna Trail school districts) are invited to participate in an art/essay contest that focuses on our veterans. The following three themes can be represented as either a drawing or an essay. The themes are: “What the word veteran means to me,” “A veteran in my life,” and “How veterans help me.”

Entries may be mailed to one of my district offices or hand delivered between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. (The addresses are at the bottom of this email.) All entries must be received by Monday, Oct. 21.

All entries will be judged by my Veterans Advisory Committee. Winners and their parents will be invited to attend our annual veterans’ event, on Saturday Nov. 2, at Insalaco Hall on the campus of Misericordia University, where they will be recognized. All entries will remain on display until Veterans Day.

Students are invited to call one of our offices for more information.
PennDOT Closures for Columbus Day Weekend

All PennDOT driver license and photo centers, including its full-service center in Harrisburg, will be closed Saturday, Oct. 12, through Monday, Oct. 14, in observance of Columbus Day. Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services, including all forms, publications and driver-training manuals, online through PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website, www.dmv.pa.gov.
PA Fish and Boat, Game Commissions Warn of Licensing Fraud Attempts

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) and Pennsylvania Game Commission are warning anglers and hunters to avoid online scams when purchasing their licenses. The warning follows several recent reports of customers paying for licenses through third-party websites not affiliated with either agency, then never receiving a license.

"The only proven, reputable and reliable methods for purchasing Pennsylvania fishing licenses and permits are through the PFBC's online portal, The Outdoor Shop, or in-person from a retail license issuing agent," said Bernie Matscavage, Director of the PFBC Bureau of Administration. "If you choose to use a third-party website offering to sell you a fishing license, you risk wasting your money and putting your personal information at risk."
The Game Commission, which sells hunting and fishing licenses and permits through The Outdoor Shop, has received similar reports from hunters and trappers who tried to purchase their licenses online through unaffiliated vendors and never received them.

Customers should be aware of several lookalike websites that mimic the agencies' branding and offer customers the ability to purchase licenses and related permits. In one case, an imposter website uses a logo closely resembling the PFBC logo and offers to "broker" or "simplify" the purchase of a fishing license for an added fee, in some cases up to $50.00 (a resident PA fishing license costs just $22.90). The customer is then asked to provide personal information, including their social security number, as well as payment information to complete the online transaction. After submitting their information, the customer is informed that they will receive a printable, electronic version of their fishing license within 72 hours.

"There is absolutely no advantage to using a third-party website to buy a license," added Matscavage. "Customers to these websites are being asked to provide the same information as they would if they purchased a license securely through the agencies directly. The difference is that by using a third-party site, you are paying an unnecessary added fee, compromising your identity, and will likely not end up receiving a license at all."

When you purchase your fishing license from the PFBC through the Outdoor Shop, a printable electronic version (.pdf) of your fishing license is issued immediately. Hunting licenses purchased online through the Outdoor Shop are confirmed at the time of sale through an official email from the Game Commission and licenses are mailed to the buyer within two weeks of purchase.

Anyone who encounters a website offering the sale of a Pennsylvania fishing or hunting license that does not link to The Outdoor Shop to complete the transaction should call the PFBC Fishing License Help Line at (877)707-4085 or the Game Commission's license division at 717-787-2084. Victims of a fishing or hunting license scam should notify the PA Attorney General by completing a Scams Complaint Form.
Next Week’s Satellite and Outreach Hours

We have several satellite hours and outreach events planned for the week ahead. Please note, my office will be closed Monday, Oct. 14 in observance of Columbus Day.

Tuesday, Oct. 15 – Satellite hours from 9-11 a.m. at the Benton Township Community Center
Tuesday, Oct.15 – Attorney General’s office Outreach from 10 a.m. to noon at my Tunkhannock District Office
Tuesday, Oct. 15 – A VFW representative will be at my Dallas D.O. from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Thursday, Oct.17 – A representative from the Disabled Veterans office at PA Career Link will be at the Dallas D.O. from 1 to 4 p.m.
Catch Me on Veterans Views This Friday!


Be sure to tune into Veterans Views on WYOU this Friday, Oct. 11 at 5:30 to watch my segment and hear me discuss veterans’ issues with Judge Tom Munley.
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