Helping Our Veterans
While we honor our veterans annually on Veterans Day, it is important to support these brave men and women all year. This session, the House is working on several initiatives to help our veterans, including one that is now law.
Known as the Stolen Valor Law, Act 9 of 2017 makes it a crime for someone to misrepresent military service or honors for the purpose of fraudulently attempting to obtain money, property or other benefits.
House Bill 1878 seeks to assist members of the National Guard with employment protection, as the bill would extend current employment protections to Pennsylvania citizens who are members of another state’s National Guard. Currently, the employment protection only applies to members of the Pennsylvania National Guard. The bill is currently in the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee and is expected to advance.
To recognize the meritorious service of military members, House Bill 165 would create and add the Pennsylvania Medal of Achievement and the Pennsylvania Veterans Service Award to the list of existing medals, badges and awards that are authorized and presented by the governor in the name of the Commonwealth, while House Bill 1762 would add the Honor and Remember Flag to the list of flags authorized to be flown on any public grounds or buildings in the Commonwealth. House Bill 165 passed the House earlier this year, and House Bill 1762 is in the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee.
Join me at our third annual Veterans Expo on Saturday, Nov. 18, from 9 a.m. to noon at Central Columbia High School in Bloomsburg. Exhibitors with veteran-related information will be available.
Stuart Tank Memorial Highway Dedication
We will officially dedicate a portion of Route 93 in Berwick as Stuart Tank Memorial Highway on Sunday, Nov. 12, at 1 p.m. The dedication will be held at 1901 Orange St., Berwick (Atomic Academy Brazilian Jiu Jitsu parking lot). All are welcome to attend.
Earlier this year, House Bill 93, which designated a portion of Route 93 as Stuart Tank Memorial Highway, was passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf.
The American Car and Foundry-Berwick employed thousands of citizens from northeastern Pennsylvania during the World War II era. These workers produced over 15,000 Stuart Light Tanks as their contribution to the Arsenal of Democracy and to the thousands of soldiers, Marines and Allied forces who rode these tanks to victory over tyranny.
I felt compelled to introduce this legislation to recognize and honor the role of the Stuart Tank in the history of our community, our Commonwealth and the nation.
New Travel Tool Helps with Winter Preparedness
This winter, Pennsylvania motorists can check online to see when a state-maintained roadway was last plowed. The information will be posted on the “plow trucks” section of www.511pa.com. PennDOT operates 2,200 plow trucks each winter.
More information about PennDOT’s winter services and winter-driving resources are available at www.penndot.gov/winter. The site also has a complete winter guide with detailed information about winter services in each of PennDOT’s 11 engineering districts.
PennDOT is responsible for maintaining 40,000 miles of roadways, which translates into 96,000 snow-lane miles, enough miles to circle the globe nearly four times. In doing so, the department deploys about 4,800 on-the-road workers, has more than 652,000 tons of salt on hand across the state and will take salt deliveries throughout the winter.
Hunters Can Share Their Harvest
For more than 25 years, the Hunters Sharing the Harvest (HSH) program has encouraged hunters from across the Commonwealth to share their deer harvest and provide thousands of pounds of venison to Pennsylvania families in need.
The program partners with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, Department of Agriculture and many other sportsmen and charitable organizations. Since 1991, HSH has distributed 1.2 million pounds of donated venison.
Hunters can donate all or part of a harvested deer by taking it to a participating processor, which will then distribute the ground venison to food banks and pantries.
In an average hunting season, the HSH program’s goal is to channel about 100,000 pounds of processed venison through the state’s 20 regional food banks, which then redistribute to more than 5,000 local provider charities such as food pantries, missions, homeless shelters and churches, as well as individual families.
To find a list of local processors or for more information, visit www.ShareDeer.org.
Avoid Student Loan Scams
To help students and their families from falling victim to student loan scams, the National Council of Higher Education Resources offers the following advice through an easy-to-understand infographic.
Borrowers should remember four points to help keep them safe.
o Notice fake government seals and logos.
o Never pay for help.
o Keep your Federal Student Aid ID private.
o Fast student loan forgiveness does not exist.
The infographic also includes phone numbers and websites for legitimate student loan assistance and urges borrowers to contact the Federal Trade Commission with information about scams.
Thanks for Attending Our Fall Artist Reception
We had a wonderful turnout on Monday evening at our Fall Artist Reception in my Bloomsburg district office. Local artists William Whitmoyer, Julie Doucette-Renner and Mark Golomb (pictured) showcased their talents, and their work will be on display in our Berwick, Bloomsburg and Harrisburg offices.
Thank you to all those who attended this special event.
PennDOT Driver License, Photo Centers Closed for Veterans Day
PennDOT’s full-service center in Harrisburg and all of its driver license and photo centers, except for its Pittsburgh State Office location, will be closed Saturday, Nov. 11, for Veterans Day.
Due to the Saturday holiday and their standard work schedules, the Pittsburgh State Office location at 708 Smithfield St., Pittsburgh, and the motor vehicle services counter at the Riverfront Office Center in Harrisburg will be closed on Friday, Nov. 10.
Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services, including all forms, publications and driver training manuals, online through PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website, www.dmv.pa.gov.
Driver and vehicle online services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and include driver’s license, photo ID and vehicle registration renewals; driver-history services; changes of address; driver license and vehicle registration restoration letters; ability to pay driver license or vehicle insurance restoration fee; driver license and photo ID duplicates; and driver exam scheduling. No additional fees are charged for using online services.
• Offices will be closed on Friday, Nov. 10, for Veterans Day.
• An event designating Route 93 as Stuart Tank Memorial Highway will be held on Sunday, Nov. 12, at 1901 Orange St., Berwick, at 1 p.m. All are welcome to attend.
• The Great American Smoke-Out will be held on Thursday, Nov. 16.
• Our Third Annual Veterans Expo will be held on Saturday, Nov. 18, at Central Columbia High School from 9 a.m. to noon.
• The 106th Run for the Diamonds will be held on Thursday, Nov. 23, at 10:30 a.m.
• The Berwick Santa Parade will be held on Friday, Nov. 24, at 10:30 a.m.
• The Bloomsburg Lights Up the Night Parade will be held on Friday, Nov. 24, at 6 p.m.
• Monthly Radio Address: Thursday, Nov. 30, at 8:30 a.m. on WHLM 94.7 FM.