A Budget That Puts People First
In working to complete the 2017-18 budget package, the state House this week approved legislation to generate enough revenue to close the projected budget gap. The “Putting People First” revenue package stands up for taxpayers by providing a fiscally responsible plan which contains no new or increased taxes or borrowing.
The revenues to fund the $1.5 billion deficit from 2016-17, as well as the anticipated revenue needed for the current budget of approximately $600 million, would come from legislative reserves; transfers from special accounts with excess or dormant funding; other fund transfers; multi-year agency lapsed funds; gaming reform proceeds; liquor transfers; and the sale of a portion of the Tobacco Settlement money.
The various transfers are not expected to negatively impact any current or future program or service to state residents.
The measure now goes to the Senate for concurrence. For more information, visit www.PAHouseGOP.com.
Helping Our Veterans
Legislation to help veterans and their spouses by enhancing their eligibility for state programs and services passed the House this week.
House Bill 980 would exempt 100 percent of a veteran’s federal disability compensation or pension from income calculations for any state program or benefit, such as the PACE and PACENET prescription drug programs or Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
In addition, the legislation would extend the exclusion of the compensation benefits to the veteran’s unmarried surviving spouse.
The bill now goes to the state Senate.
Keeping Your Personal Info Safe
In light of recent news about a data breach at Equifax, a national credit-reporting agency, residents are encouraged to learn more about identity theft and how to protect their information from being used fraudulently.
It is unknown how many Pennsylvania consumers the breach has affected; however, the Office of Pennsylvania Attorney General is leading a national investigation into the data breach.
In the meantime, consumers are urged to be proactive in monitoring their credit reports and financial account statements, such as credit cards and utilities, and in reporting any suspicious activity to the attorney general office’s hotline at 1-800-441-2555 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Federal Trade Commission has also provided www.identitytheft.gov, an identity theft prevention website.
What Do You Think about Highway Safety?
Motorists are encouraged to submit their input on a number of highway issues, such as highway safety, traffic safety enforcement and driving behaviors, as part of PennDOT’s annual online survey.
The brief survey is available until Sept. 27, and focuses on seat belts, impaired driving, speeding, motorcycles and distracted driving. People completing the survey may remain anonymous, but are asked to provide their gender, age and county of residence.
Last year, 6,619 people responded to the survey. As a result of this feedback and recent trends in crash data, PennDOT has further increased its usage of social media to share highway safety information and is highlighting personal responsibility in future media campaigns.
To complete the survey, click here.
Senior Caregiver Support Forum Set for Oct. 5
I will be offering a Senior Caregiver Support Forum on Thursday, Oct. 5, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation, located at 725 W. Front St. in Berwick.
The forum will include brief, informational sessions and will allow for a question and answer discussion. This is a great opportunity to learn about local resources available for seniors and caregivers.
Please RSVP by calling my office at 570-759-8734 or by visiting www.RepMillard.com.
• The Orangeville Fire Department Craft/Vendor show will be held on Saturday, Sept. 16, at the carnival grounds from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• Col-Mont Community Days will be held at the Bloomsburg Airport on Saturday, Sept. 16, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• A Vendor Craft Fair will be held at Columbia Park in Lime Ridge on Saturday, Sept. 16, beginning at 11 a.m.
• The 162nd Annual Bloomsburg Fair will be held from Friday, Sept. 22, through Saturday, Sept. 30.
• Monthly Radio Address: Thursday, Sept. 28, at 8:30 a.m. on WHLM 94.7 FM.