Local First Responders to Benefit from Annual Grant Program
More than $205,000 in state gaming proceeds will benefit fire and ambulance companies throughout the 109th District.
These grants, which are not funded by General Fund tax dollars, will allow local first response agencies to better afford training, equipment, facility improvements and other needs.
The program, which provides $30 million to fire and ambulance companies statewide, is administered by the Pennsylvania Office of Fire Commissioner within the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA).
Click here for the list of local recipients.
Opening Up More Access to Treatment
To help those battling addiction better access life-saving treatment, the House passed legislation last week that would help health care professionals track down available beds at treatment centers.
House Bill 825, which now goes to the Senate, would create a detoxification bed registry to facilitate treatment for drug addiction. The proposal would require the Department of Human Services to develop and administer an internet-based detoxification bed registry to collect, aggregate and display information about available beds in public and private inpatient psychiatric facilities and licensed detoxification and rehabilitation facilities.
The registry would contain information for facilities and licensed providers; the number of beds available at a facility; and a search function to identify available beds that are appropriated for the treatment of a substance abuse emergency.
This legislation is in addition to several other bills having passed the House in the last few years to help fight the opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania.
Who’s That Calling You?
To help consumers fight back against fraud, the House will take up legislation soon to increase penalties for those found guilty of caller identification spoofing.
Spoofing occurs when individuals use technology to make it appear that a call is coming from a number or business other than that of the actual caller. Spoofing can be used to defraud, harass or induce call recipients into divulging sensitive or confidential information, especially senior citizens.
House Bill 979, which was recently passed out of the House Judiciary Committee, would make it a misdemeanor for any person to cause false caller identification information to be displayed on a recipient’s telephone, with the intent to harass or defraud the call recipient.
PennDOT’s 2018 Summer Employment Program
PennDOT is sponsoring an extensive Summer Maintenance Program for college students. The program runs April through August to supplement the permanent workforce.
The students assist with completing summer maintenance work and sign upgrade services, provide maintenance and custodial services at roadside rest facilities, and perform laboring and flagging duties in maintenance organizations and highway worksites.
To be eligible for consideration, candidates must be at least 18 years of age, enrolled as a full-time college student for fall 2018 and have a valid Pennsylvania driver’s license. The hourly rate is $13.23.
If interested, please contact my office at (717) 783-1102 no later than Thursday, Feb. 15. Candidates must also apply online at www.employment.pa.gov in the “Summer Maintenance Program” category under the Open Jobs section of the website. Technical support is available at 717-787-5703.
Wear Red Feb. 2 to Raise Awareness of Women’s Heart Disease
Women across the country are encouraged to wear red today, Feb. 2, as part of the “Go Red for Women” campaign to raise awareness of women’s heart disease. Legislative efforts over the years, such as House Resolution 654 this year, have made the official designation in Pennsylvania as a way to remind women of the risks of heart disease.
Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, causing one in three deaths each year, or about one per minute. According to the American Heart Association, 90 percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease.
The symptoms of heart disease can be different in women vs. men, and are often misunderstood. By increasing awareness, speaking up about heart disease and empowering women to reduce their risk for cardiovascular disease, we can save thousands of lives each year.
New Medicare Cards: Watch Out for Scams
Beginning April 2018, Medicare beneficiaries will receive a New Medicare Card that will have a unique Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI), thereby removing the Social Security number from the Medicare card.
Medicare will automatically mail the new card at no cost to the address on file with Social Security. Medicare beneficiaries should ensure their official mailing address with the Social Security Administration is current but otherwise do not need to do anything to receive their card.
More information about the cards – including a fact sheet and video -- is available at www.Medicare.gov.
The distribution of new cards will take about a year.
Congratulations Are in Order
Congratulations to high school student Dana Klingsbury, from Benton High School, who recently achieved the milestone of scoring 1,000 points in her basketball career.
Around the Community
Last week, I had the opportunity to meet with Sarah Evans, a doctoral student at Carlow University. She is working on a project relating to public health and policymaking. Thank you for your time, Sarah!
• A Trash to Treasure event will be held at the Kehr Union Building on the third floor from Thursday, Feb. 1, through Saturday, Feb. 3.
• On Saturday, Feb. 3, a craft show will be held at the N4C’s in Benton from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
• Holy Family School in Berwick will hold an open house on Tuesday, Feb. 6, from 6:30-8:00 p.m.
• Columbia-Montour Area Vocational Technical School will hold an open house on Sunday, Feb. 11, from 1-4 p.m.
• Our Legislative Farmers Breakfast will be held on Friday, Feb. 23, at 7 a.m. For more information and to RSVP call our Bloomsburg office at 570-387-0246.
• Offices will be closed on Monday, Feb. 19, for President’s Day.
• Monthly Radio Address: Thursday, Feb. 22, at 8:30 a.m. on WHLM 94.7 FM.