Sep. 08, 2017

House Returns to Session to Finish Budget Business

Members of the House will return to voting session at the state Capitol on Monday, Sept. 11, with the goal of finishing up the 2017-18 state budget process.

Among the outstanding items to be resolved is identifying the revenue necessary to fill last year’s budget shortfall. Lawmakers have been standing up for taxpayers by pursuing alternatives to a Senate-approved proposal that seeks to increase taxes on a variety of consumer utility bills and sales taxes on online purchases, among others.

Earlier this week, a group of more than a dozen House members outlined their proposal to make use of taxpayer dollars that appear to be sitting idle in a variety of special government accounts.

The plan is designed to prevent any impacts on jobs, services or agencies while making use of money already collected from taxpayers. The measure also aims to improve transparency regarding how tax dollars are spent.

Other ideas being advanced by the House include further privatization of liquor sales and an expansion of gaming opportunities.

Talks will continue until an agreement is reached.
 
 
Bonus Available to Persian Gulf Conflict Veterans

Veterans who served on active duty in the Persian Gulf Theater of Operations, including Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, are reminded to apply for the Persian Gulf Conflict Veterans’ Bonus.

The bonus pays $75 per month for qualifying, active-duty service members, up to a $525 maximum. For personnel whose death was related to illness or injury received in the line of duty in Operations Desert Shield or Desert Storm, there is an additional $5,000 available to the surviving family. Service members who were declared prisoners of war may also be eligible for an additional $5,000.

To qualify, the service member must have:
    • Served with the U.S. Armed Forces, a reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces or the Pennsylvania National Guard.

    • Served on active duty in the Persian Gulf Theater of Operations during the period from Aug. 2, 1990, to Aug. 31, 1991, and received the Southwest Asia Service Medal.

    • Been a legal resident of Pennsylvania at the time of active duty service.

    • Been discharged from active duty under honorable conditions, if not currently on active duty.

Since 2008, more than 9,000 Persian Gulf Conflict veterans have applied for and received a bonus for their war efforts. Individuals who received a bonus or similar compensation from any other state are not eligible for the Pennsylvania program.

The deadline to apply for this one-time payment is Aug. 31, 2018. Click here for more information about how to apply.
 
 
2017 Shooting Expo Coming Sept. 30


My staff and I will have a legislative information table at the 2017 Shooting Expo Saturday, Sept. 30, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Consolidated Sportsmen of Lycoming County, State Route 87, outside Montoursville. The event is sponsored by National Sporting Goods.

In addition to our table, there will be informational displays from various groups, companies and manufacturers.

The event is designed for the entire family, as a safe youth shooting area will be provided. This is a free event.

For more information, click here.
                                     
 
Don’t Be Scammed by Skimmers

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is warning consumers to be on the lookout for credit or debit card skimmers that steal your information when the card is swiped or inserted.

Often combined with a concealed camera, thieves can also record your Personal Identification Number (PIN). With this information, thieves can withdraw money from your bank account and make unauthorized purchases. Additionally, the thieves may sell this information to others.

To help protect yourself, take the following steps:
    • Use ATMs in well-lit, secure locations and avoid using ATMs that are stand-alone units in corners of stores or other out-of-the-way locations.

    • Look at the card reader slot and surrounding areas to see if anything looks out of place, mismatched or loose.

    • Consider using your credit card instead of your debit card to avoid compromising your PIN and to gain other consumer protections. 

    • Choose gas pumps that are closer to and within the line of vision of the cashiers.

    • Check your bank and credit card statements frequently to watch for fraudulent activity and report any unfamiliar activity immediately.

Read more here.
 
 
Never Forget the Victims of Sept. 11, 2001


 

This Monday will mark the 16th anniversary of one of the worst days in our nation’s history. On Sept. 11, 2001, nearly 3,000 men and women were killed in devastating terrorist attacks in New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania.

The loved ones lost will be honored and remembered in observances across the country, including one at Pennsylvania’s own Flight 93 Memorial, near the site where one of the four planes hijacked that day crashed.

More information about the Flight 93 Memorial and planned observances is available here.
                                                      
 
Road Maintenance Info Available Online

To make your travels easier, the weekly road maintenance schedule is available at the PennDOT Regional Office website here. For statewide information, visit 511pa.com.



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