Nov. 01, 2019 / Weekly Roundup

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#Listrak\DateStamplong# The latest news from the State Capitol
Join Me this Saturday to Honor Our Veterans!

This Saturday, Nov. 2 marks a very special day, as I will host my 13th annual Veterans Breakfast, Expo and Recognition Ceremony at the Lemmond Theater on the campus of Misericordia University. This event is open to the public.

This ceremony is so important to me, as year after year it serves as a way for our community to extend a collective “thank you” to veterans for their many sacrifices. During the ceremony, we will announce the student winners of this year’s Veterans Day Essay and Art Contest. Exhibitors also will be on-hand offering several useful services to veterans and their families. Our keynote speaker this year is Judge Thomas Munley. You won’t want to miss this wonderful ceremony.

I hope to see you there!
Halloween at the Luzerne County Fairground

It was another awesome event at the Luzerne County Fairgrounds on Wednesday night. The crowd was estimated at near 10,000 attendees for the annual Halloween event. Families came from all over to celebrate Halloween.

Thanks to the Luzerne County Fair Committee, local organizations, fire companies and businesses as well as the numerous volunteers who always make the event such a huge success! I am pictured here standing in front of the booth organized by the Rotary Club of Dallas.
Kiwanis Club Celebrates Children’s Halloween Festivities

It was a pleasure to join the Kiwanis Club of Dallas at their annual Halloween Parade and Party for children last Sunday at the Back Mountain Regional Fire & EMS Station

The Kiwanis Club of Dallas has hosted this Halloween event for area children for more than 60 years, and this year’s event was another hit!
House Advances Key Election Reforms

Senate Bill 421 makes the most significant changes to modernize and improve Pennsylvania’s elections since the 1930s. These changes include eliminating the straight-party ticket option from ballots, establishing mail-in voting and giving Pennsylvanians more time to register to vote ahead of elections.

The governor signed this legislation into law this week.
Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

I attended a “Grandparents Raising Grandchildren” event this past week where I met with Pennsylvania Secretary of Aging, Robert Torres and Brenda Saba, president of the Advocacy Fund for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren.
Railing Against School Bullying

I was proud to take part in a rally against school bullying this week in the Capitol. As a former teacher, a mother and a grandmother, I am very aware of the scourge of bullying in schools. I was glad to stand beside parents and children who are working to flip the script on bullying and foster a friendlier, more positive environment in our schools. I am shown here with Dylan, a fifth-grade visitor at the Capitol. Take note of his terrific shirt! 
House Recognizes Teen Driver Safety Week

I offered remarks on the House Floor this week, thanking my colleagues for supporting me in recognizing this week as Teen Driver Safety Week in the Commonwealth. It’s a terrible thing to imagine, but motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for adolescents in the country. What’s more, many of these deaths occur because of unsafe driving habits and are therefore preventable.

The purpose of Teen Driver Safety Week is to raise awareness of the things teen drivers can do to be safer on the road and to empower our young people to put these practices into action. You can hear my full remarks here:

Click here to view video.
Trick-or-Treating at Misericordia

I met Misericordia University’s Government and Foundation Relations Manager, Kate Totino and her son, Nathan, trick or treating on campus this week!
House ‘Helpers and Heroes’ Package Awaits Senate Action

Click here to view video.

During session this week, I spoke about our continued commitment to supporting first responders, the “helpers and heroes” of our communities. This week, we completed work on more than a dozen measures designed to boost volunteerism, offer more flexibility in funding and assure better access to training.

These changes are vital to shoring up our public safety infrastructure across the state, as fire and ambulance companies struggle to recruit both volunteers and staff and obtain the necessary financial support to keep their doors open.

Learn more about the full package, which now awaits action in the Senate, here.         
Heating Assistance Program Opens Nov. 1

Residents who are struggling with their home heating bills can apply for assistance from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) beginning Friday, Nov. 1.

LIHEAP is a federally funded program that helps individuals and families pay their heating bills through home heating energy assistance grants. It also provides crisis grants to help in the event of an emergency or if a resident is in danger of losing his or her heat due to broken equipment, lack of fuel or termination of utility service.

The income eligibility guidelines for LIHEAP are set at 150% of the federal poverty income level. For example, the income limit for an individual is $18,735; for a couple, the limit is $25,365; and for a family of four, it is $38,625.

Residents may apply for LIHEAP online or by contacting the County Assistance Office in their county of residence.

Click here for additional information.
Turn Your Clocks Back This Weekend

Daylight saving time will end at 2 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 3. Be sure to turn your clocks back one hour before going to bed on Saturday night.

It’s also a good time to check or change the batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms in your home. Experts say these items should be replaced every 10 years. They should be located near bedrooms and on each level of the residence.
Next Week’s Outreach Hours

My office will host a representative from the American Legion for outreach hours on Wednesday, Nov. 6 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Tunkhannock district office.

Please call 570-836-4777 to schedule an appointment.
DEP to Offer Free Webinar on Applying for Environmental Education Grants

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is encouraging formal and informal environmental educators around the state to take part in a free webinar to learn how to apply for funding to support a wide range of environmental education projects.

Funding for schools, colleges, nonprofits, county conservation districts, and businesses is available through the Environmental Education Grant program. Environmental Education Director Bert Myers will walk through the application process and answer questions in a free, 75-minute live webinar on Monday, November 18, at 1:00 PM. Registration is required.

Projects with a local focus may receive up to $3,000, and regional or statewide initiatives may receive up to $20,000. Projects that engage students and teachers at the local, state, and national levels may be awarded up to $85,000. Since inception, the program has provided more than $12 million in grants to more than 1,890 organizations statewide.

While all topics are considered, water quality, climate change, and environmental justice are priority areas. Formal and nonformal education projects are eligible. Project examples include tours, hands-on workshops, and demonstrations focused on watershed stewardship and community action, renewable energy, energy conservation, vehicle idling, alternative transportation, and healthier air quality.

Applications must be submitted through eGrants (first-time users will need to register).  The application deadline is December 31, 2019, at 11:59 PM. Guidelines and instructions are available at DEP's Environmental Education Grants website.

The Environmental Education Grants program was established by the Environmental Education Act of 1993, which mandates setting aside five percent of the pollution fines and penalties DEP collects annually for environmental education in Pennsylvania.
Farmers’ Program Available in Our Community

The State Council of Farm Organizations (PSCFO) in conjunction with the Risk Management Agency of USDA will hold two community seminars this November on what tools family farms need for risk management.

These seminars are completely free of charge and will cover the basic elements of a farm risk management plan, including dealing with increasingly uncertain weather, crop insurance, and information on what to ask an insurance agent to ensure that small farmers’ insurance needs are met.

Details for the events are as shown below.

Thursday November 7, 2019
9:30-11:30 a.m. 
Hosted by PA Dept. Agriculture, Region 3
113 State Road 92 South
Tunkhannock, PA 18657
  Thursday November 14, 2019
9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Hosted by PA Dept. Agriculture, Region 2
542 County Farm Road
Montoursville, PA 17754 
Use Caution: Deer on the Move

The Pennsylvania Game Commission is reminding motorists to slow down and stay alert for deer on the roadways.

Deer become more active in the autumn with the lead-up to their fall breeding season, commonly referred to as the “rut.” Autumn also sees a number of people taking part in outdoor activities that might flush deer from forested areas or briar thickets, and deer are more actively feeding to store energy for winter months. Add to this the end of daylight saving time, which results in more traffic between dawn and dusk, and the chances of vehicle accidents with deer increase significantly.

In fact, Pennsylvania ranks third nationally in State Farm’s annual report on the likelihood drivers in each state will collide with a deer or other large animal. According to the report, Pennsylvania drivers have a 1-in-52 chance of experiencing a collision with a deer or other large animal.

Drivers can reduce their chances of collisions with deer by staying alert and better understanding deer behavior. Be especially alert in “Deer Crossing” areas, and remember deer tend to travel in family groups, so if you see one deer, more are likely coming.

To report a dead deer for removal from state roads, motorists can call the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation at 1-800-FIX-ROAD. If the deer is on a locally owned road, contact the appropriate municipality.
Offices Closed on Election Day

Please note, my offices will be closed this Tuesday, Nov. 5 for election day. Don’t forget to vote!
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