Mar. 08, 2019

 
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Legislative Report
#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.                                    

At this week’s budget hearings, I questioned officials from the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System about the deficit acquired by the state retirement system.
 

Reading to Lyter Elementary School in Montoursville
I always enjoy reading to local elementary school students! Last Friday, I had the pleasure of reading Dr. Seuss to a class at Lyter Elementary. Thank you, again, to the staff at Lyter for hosting me.

   

 
 

Black Bear Den Livestream Launches
The Game Commission has launched its second livestream of the season – video and audio captured at a Monroe County black-bear den and streamed in real time to viewers at pgc.pa.gov.

The black bear den livestream can be accessed through “Quick Clicks” on the homepage of the game commission’s website.
 

DEP’s North-Central Regional Office Hosts “DEP Connects” Event
On Monday, March 18, from 6-8 p.m., the Department of Environmental Protection will be joined by local, and non-profit agencies on the campus of Lycoming College to discuss the permitting requirements, technical and financial resources available to landowners, municipalities and others seeking to work in streams impacted by flooding and erosion. The event is co-sponsored by the Clean Water Institute of Lycoming College. RSVPs are suggested but not required by contacting Megan Lehman at meglehman@pa.gov or (570) 327-3659.
 

Geisinger Jersey Shore Participating in Pennsylvania Rural Health Model Initiative
Geisinger Jersey Shore Hospital will be among five hospitals participating in the Pennsylvania Rural Health Model. The program provides rural hospitals with stable funding while transitioning away from a traditional fee-for-service reimbursement model. Read more here.
 

In the News: Talking Top Issues with the Sun Gazette
This week, I sat down with the editorial board of the Sun Gazette to discuss top issues currently facing the General Assembly.

To read my thoughts on the governor’s proposed minimum wage hike, severance tax and budget proposals, along with my ideas for voting reform, click here.
 

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) 546-2084.
 

Veterans Outreach Hours at My Office
I want to remind the veterans in the 84th District that American Legion Service Officer Dan Falls will be available at my office starting Feb. 26 to meet with them. After this date, he will be available at the office every fourth Tuesday of the month, or by appointment.

Call (570) 546-2084 to schedule an appointment in advance.

Veterans in the 84th Legislative District can also contact MSGT George W. Heiges, Jr. (Ret.), Director of Veterans Affairs, Lycoming County Office of Veterans Affairs at (570) 320-2101 or (570) 327-2365. In Union County, contact Director J.D. Kerstetter, Union County Office of Veterans Affairs at (570) 524-8677.

Services to veterans and their dependents include assistance with:
• Compensation, pension, and death benefits.
• Education and health care.
• Veterans benefits.

Veterans do not need to be a member of the American Legion to receive services.
 
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Office Locations
Penn Hills Plaza, Halls Station, 21 Kristi Road, Suite 1, Muncy, PA 17756 | Phone: (570) 546-2084
Tiadaghton Valley Mall, Room 105, 701 Allegheny Street, Box 4. Jersey Shore, PA 17740 | Phone: (570) 398-4476               
401 Irvis Office Building, PO Box 202084, Harrisburg PA 17120-2084 | Phone: (717) 787-5270
Email: geverett@pahousegop.com
TTY: 855-282-0614 
     
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