Sep. 22, 2017

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Weekly News Update


 The latest news from the State Capitol

Check That New Car for Signs of Hurricane Damage
With hundreds of thousands of vehicles damaged recently by hurricanes along the Gulf Coast, consumers should take caution when purchasing a new or used vehicle.

After major flood events, some flood-damaged vehicles are cleaned and taken out of state to be sold to unsuspecting customers as new or used, but not identified as flood damaged.

These damaged vehicles can legally be sold as long as they are titled as such, but owners of these vehicles will likely get lower payments on insurance claims than for non-flood damaged vehicles.

As always, if something sounds too good to be true, research the vehicle further. For tips on finding out if the car you’re interested in purchasing has been damaged, click here and click on “Auto” under “Insurance Coverage Resources.”

Stopping Welfare Checks to the Deceased
Recently introduced legislation in the state House aims to save taxpayer money by preventing welfare checks from going to individuals who have passed away.

About a year ago, an audit found the Department of Human Services (DHS) provided nearly $700,000 in welfare benefits to more than 2,300 individuals who had been dead for at least 60 days.

House Bill 1614 would require DHS to regularly cross-reference its list of welfare recipients with the death records maintained by the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) and the Social Security Administration. Funds that would have gone to deceased individuals would then be redirected to help those truly in need or reverted back to the General Fund.

The bill has been referred to the House Health Committee.

Decreasing Stigma Against Suicide
With September designated as Suicide Prevention Month in Pennsylvania, House Resolution 401 seeks to raise awareness that suicide is preventable, improve education about suicide, spread information about suicide awareness and decrease stigmatization regarding suicide.

According to the World Health Organization, more than 1,800 Pennsylvania lives are taken by suicide annually. For every person who dies of suicide, 20 or more may attempt to end their lives.

Suicide is a serious public health problem that affects people of all ages, and is the 10th leading cause of death for Americans.

For more information, visit or call the national suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Fall in Love with PA’s Autumn Colors
The fall colors are beginning to brighten across several areas in Pennsylvania, helping to boost tourism activities in many regions.

According to the Pennsylvania Tourism Office, Pennsylvania has a longer and more varied fall foliage season than any other state in the nation.

Both in-state and out-of-state visitors can find the best places to view fall foliage and track the locations of the peak colors throughout the state, beginning in late September.

Click here to read more about Pennsylvania’s fall tourism activities. 

Columbia County Energy Production

Recently, I joined several of my colleagues in a tour of the Susquehanna nuclear power plant near Berwick to see how this facility is producing safe and reliable energy for Pennsylvania homes and businesses. We also discussed challenges within the industry and what type of legislative efforts can be advanced at the state level to help support the industry. The facility provides more than 1,000 family-sustaining wage jobs for the area.

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

Thanks for Attending Our Drug Forum


Thank you to all those who attended our drug forum at Berwick High School on Wednesday, Sept. 6. Pictured with me from left are Dr. William Rakauskas, Geisinger Medical Center; Jason Hoch, Geisinger Medical Center pharmacist; Jeremy Reese, Columbia County coroner; Brandon Shultz, Berwick Police narcotics officer; Jessie Moore, court rehab program; Amanda Flynn, Carbon Monroe Snyder Union (CMSU) Mental Health; Alexis Toburen, CMSU liaison at Berwick School; and Kenneth Strish, Berwick police chief.

Upcoming Events
• 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.
• A craft show will be held on Saturday, Sept. 30, and Sunday, Oct. 1, at the old Berwick Armory from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• A representative from the VA will be in the Bloomsburg district office from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 3. By appointment only. Call 570-387-0246 to make an appointment.
• Our Senior Caregivers Forum will be held on Thursday, Oct. 5, at the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation beginning at 6 p.m. Call 570-759-8734 to reserve your seat.
• Bloomsburg University’s Homecoming will be held on Saturday, Oct. 7.
• Offices will be closed on Monday, Oct. 9, for Columbus Day.
• Berwick Riverfest will be held from Friday, Oct. 13, through Sunday, Oct. 15, at Test Track Park.
• Monthly Radio Address: Thursday, Oct. 26, at 8:30 a.m. on WHLM 94.7 FM.
• A craft show will be held on Saturday, Oct. 28, at S.S. Cyril and Methodius Church in Berwick from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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Office Locations
904B Orange St., Berwick PA, 18603 | Phone: (570) 759-8734
Market Street Plaza, 1000 Market St. (Suite 39), Bloomsburg, PA 17815 | (570) 387-0246
316 Main Capitol, PO Box 202109, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2109 | Phone: (717) 783-1102
TTY: 855-282-0614