In an effort to keep you informed about state and local issues, I have developed this e-newsletter which I will be sending out to residents of the 34th District. I think it is a fast, convenient and affordable way to get news out to area residents. I hope you find this e-newsletter useful and informative – and if you know of someone else who would like to receive it, please feel free to forward this email.
Legislation Would Target Repeat Alcohol Abuse Violations
I recently introduced a three-piece legislative package (Senate Bills 1466, 1467, and 1468) aimed at deterring repeated alcohol abuse and funding police efforts to prevent the violations associated with problem drinking.
Many people who drink do it responsibly. This legislation targets individuals who are committing the offenses. If they are going to cause more resources to be necessary, they are the ones who should pay for them.
The bottom line is that about two-thirds of the 7,000 crimes reported each year in State College are alcohol-related. The municipalities are living with the negative effects and paying the majority of the costs. This bill helps to reimburse those municipalities and hopefully, will drive down the actual number of offenses, which is good for the community and good for public safety.
Property Tax/Rent Rebate Applications Available Now
The state's popular Property Tax/Rent Rebate program provides rebates on property taxes or rent paid in the previous year for seniors and disabled Pennsylvanians who are living on a fixed income.
To be eligible for a rebate, applicants must be Pennsylvania residents age 65 or older, widows and widowers age 50 or older and individuals with disabilities 18 years or older.
Seniors can receive a rebate of up to $650 on property taxes paid in 2009 if household income does not exceed $35,000, not including 50 percent of Social Security payments, Supplemental Security income and Railroad Retirement benefits. Renters can earn up to $15,000 and still be eligible for a rebate. The amount of the rebate is determined by household income, with lower-income households receiving larger rebates.
District residents can apply by calling toll-free 1-888-222-9190 weekdays between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. or by visiting www.revenue.state.pa.us. Applicants who have already signed up for the program and would like to check on the receipt and status of their claim can call toll-free 1-888-PATAXES. Applications are also available at my district offices.
Applications Being Accepted through Oct. 22
Harrisburg – Applications are now being accepted for the 2010-11 Volunteer Fire Company, Volunteer Ambulance Service Grant Program.
Created by the General Assembly in 2003, the program provides grants of up to $15,000 to volunteer fire and rescue companies, and up to $10,000 to volunteer ambulance companies, to help pay for construction, equipment, training or debt reduction.
Grants to eligible fire companies will be contingent on their agreeing to participate in the Pennsylvania Fire Information Reporting System.
Guide to Student Aid Now Available Online
Students and families can now access PHEAA's 2011-12 Student Aide Guide online.
The guide provides extensive information on all student aid programs (grants, scholarships, loans and work-study) available to Pennsylvania students, including the need-based state grant. It can be accessed online at PHEAA.org.
There are several federal and state grant and loan programs available for students and the 2011-12 Student Aid Guide provides the information that will help families secure that money. This financial assistance can provide real relief for families as they work to put together the money to cover the ever increasing costs of higher education.
The guide provides:
Open Records Law Making Government More Accessible
One year after the revamped Right-To-Know Law went into effect, the Office of Open Records reported that they have fielded more than 5,000 inquiries, issued decisions on 1,200 Right-To-Know appeals and have held 250 training sessions around the state.
Ninety percent of the requests for government information come from private citizens seeking a wide range of information from local and state agencies. People want to see financial record, land development plans, police reports, engineering studies and many other government documents. Pennsylvania used to rank among the worst states in providing citizens with access to public documents.
The revised law has made thousands of additional government
records available for public inspection and has served as a model program across
the nation. Making government more transparent and accessible can restore trust
in government and prevent abuses of power. Additional amendments to the Open
Records Law will be proposed to clarify issues that have arisen through the
appeals process. Find out more information by visiting the
Mifflin County District Office
Perry County District Office