Mar. 08, 2019

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Weekly Roundup
#Listrak\DateStampLong# The latest news from the State Capitol

Supporting PA National Guard Families
Ensuring a better future for our Pennsylvania National Guard members and their families is the driving force behind a first-of-its-kind Military Family Education Program.

The proposal builds on the state’s existing National Guard Military Education Program by extending benefits to a guard member’s spouse or children in exchange for the guard member committing to a second obligation of six years in the Guard.

The initiative not only recognizes the sacrifices made by Guard families but also helps retain current National Guard members and attract transitioning military service members to Pennsylvania.

The program would provide for 10 semesters of tuition-free education for family member(s).

The benefit must be used at a Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency approved educational institution, and at the tuition rate set by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.
                                   

Budget Hearings Conclude
Making sure every dollar of state tax money is used to its maximum benefit, the House Appropriations Committee wrapped up its three-week series of budget hearings this week, with the committee looking into all aspects of the governor’s budget proposal.

The committee heard testimony and asked questions of the departments of Education, Agriculture, and Military and Veterans Affairs, as well as the Public School Employees’ Retirement System and State Employees’ Retirement System.

The Appropriations Committee will take the testimony gathered from these hearings into negotiations for the 2019-20 budget. All of the hearings are available here.
 

Resources to Help with Problem Gambling
 
With March being observed as National Problem Gambling Awareness Month, officials from the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and the Pennsylvania Lottery highlighted the warning signs of problem gambling and available resources to help.

In the Commonwealth, the Council on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania works to educate Pennsylvanians on compulsive and problem gambling to prevent development of dangerous gambling habits. It operates the Pennsylvania Problem Gambling helpline, 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537). More resources, including a 24-hour chat service, are also available at pacouncil.com.

Click here for more information on how to recognize the warning signs of a gambling problemClick here to find information about treatment options.  
 

Spring Ahead: Turn Clocks Ahead One Hour This Weekend
 
Daylight saving time will begin on Sunday, March 10, at 2 a.m., and residents are reminded to turn their clocks ahead one hour Saturday night.

This is also a good time to check and/or change batteries in both smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms. The alarms should also be replaced every 10 years.

Daylight saving time will end on Nov. 3.
 

Free Admission at Several Local Museums
 
To help the Commonwealth celebrate its 338th birthday on Charter Day, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) will offer free admission to the State Museum in Harrisburg and many historic sites and museums along the Pennsylvania Trails of History on Sunday, March 10.

Charter Day celebrates the founding of the Commonwealth and gives visitors to The State Museum of Pennsylvania a rare opportunity to see the original Charter of Pennsylvania written in 1681. The document will be on display until 1 p.m. Friday, March 15.

For a complete list of the participating museums and historic sites in this year’s celebration, click here.  
 

PennDOT to Start Issuing REAL IDs
 
PennDOT is now issuing REAL IDs.

A federally accepted form of identification must be used as identification to board a commercial flight or visit a secure federal building starting Oct. 1, 2020. A Pennsylvania REAL ID will fulfill this requirement, as will a U.S. Passport.

Under state law, REAL ID is optional for Pennsylvania residents. PennDOT will continue to offer standard-issue driver’s licenses and photo IDs.

Pennsylvanians who have pre-verified their required documentation for obtaining a REAL ID may apply online to receive it without visiting a driver license center. PennDOT has indicated those IDs will be mailed out to recipients in 10 business days.

Residents who have not pre-verified but wish to obtain a REAL ID will be required to bring original versions or certified copies of the following documents for verification to a local driver license center:

o Proof of identity, such as an original or certified copy of your birth certificate with a raised or embossed seal, or a valid U.S. passport or passport card. Birth certificates with a sticker rather than an embossed seal will not be accepted.
o Proof of Social Security number by providing your Social Security card. The name on the card must match the name on your current driver license or photo identification card.
o Proof of legal name changes, such as marriage certificates or court orders issued by a family court. You must have documentation to show all name changes from your original name on your birth certificate to your current name.
o Proof of current, physical address, such as your current, unexpired driver license or state issued ID card, vehicle registration or utility bill. TWO forms of proof must be provided.

More information about REAL ID in Pennsylvania, including frequently asked questions and additional guidelines on documents required for REAL ID, can be found at penndot.gov/REALID. For additional information, please call my office at (570) 321-1270
 
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Office Locations                                                                                                                                                                      
349 Pine St. Suite 1, Williamsport, PA 17701 I Phone: (570) 321-1270  
Room 427, Irvis Office Building, PO Box 202083, Harrisburg PA 17120-2083 | Phone: (717) 787-2885 
Email: jwheeland@pahousegop.com
 
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