Oct. 13, 2017

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Weekly News Update


 The latest news from the State Capitol

Concealed Carry Seminar Set for Oct. 19
I am hosting a Concealed Carry Seminar on Thursday, Oct. 19, from 6-8 p.m. at the Northern Columbia Community Center in Benton.

The seminar will feature Columbia County District Attorney Thomas Leipold and Sheriff Timothy Chamberlain. They will include information about Pennsylvania’s concealed carry laws and how to safely interact with police while carrying a firearm.

Due to space limitations, those planning to attend are required to RSVP in advance. There is no fee to attend.

To register, visit RepMillard.com or call (570) 387-0246.

REAL ID Grace Period Now Through January 2018
Pennsylvania residents who need REAL ID to access certain federal facilities now have a grace period through Jan. 22, 2018, according to an announcement this week by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

This grace period went into effect Oct. 11. PennDOT submitted an extension request to the federal agency in early September and is currently awaiting its response. The enforcement grace period applies only to entrance to federal facilities. There is no enforcement on commercial air travel until Jan. 22, 2018.

PennDOT has begun work on the implementation of REAL ID, and estimates REAL ID-compliant driver licenses and identification cards will be available at the customer’s option in March 2019. This will allow ample time for customers who want a REAL ID product to get one before the final DHS effective date of Oct. 1, 2020.

Information on REAL ID in Pennsylvania, including frequently asked questions, is available at dmv.pa.gov.

Work Requirements for Welfare Recipients
To help contain escalating costs for the state’s Medical Assistance (MA) program, the House recently approved legislation that would allow for work or work-search requirements for able-bodied individuals receiving MA benefits. Work requirements are already in place for food stamp and cash assistance programs.

As part of House Bill 59, the Department of Human Services would be required to design work or work-search requirements for those who do not have a qualifying disability, are not pregnant and are not elderly. The federal government would have to approve such requirements.

Another provision in the bill would require the department to see additional cost savings before seeking any more from the state’s General Fund.

Medical Assistance is one of the largest cost-drivers in the $32 billion state budget, accounting for 29 percent.

The bill, which is headed for the governor’s desk, faces an uncertain future. The governor has vowed to veto the bill.

Preventing Fires in Your Home
To help prevent residential fires, October has been designated across the nation as a time to remind people of fire dangers in their homes and communities, as well as to educate the public about simple fire prevention steps to make everyone safer.

House Resolution 546 designates October as Pennsylvania Fire Prevention Month, and also marks Oct. 8-14 as National Fire Prevention Week.

This year’s Fire Prevention Week theme -- “Every Second Counts: Plan Two Ways Out!” -- seeks to remind people to have an escape plan that includes at least two exits in the event one of those exits is blocked by fire.

The National Fire Prevention Association also encourages families to practice their home fire drill twice a year, once at night and once during the day, and to practice using different ways out.

Raising Awareness of Domestic Violence
To help raise greater awareness of the dangers of domestic violence, House Resolution 525 officially designates October Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Pennsylvania.

One in every four women and one in every nine men will experience domestic violence in his or her lifetime, with nearly 1.3 million women and 835,000 men being physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually in the United States. It affects people from all racial, ethnic, religious, educational, social and economic backgrounds.

Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior within an intimate relationship that is used by one partner to gain power or control over the other partner. It takes on many forms, including abuse, harassment, threats, vandalism, trespassing, burglary, theft and stalking.

It often escalates, causing victims to suffer physical and emotional trauma, anxiety, stress, sleep deprivation and fear, as well as injury or death by suicide or homicide.

Domestic violence is one of the most chronically underreported crimes, and fewer than 20 percent of victims who report an injury from an intimate partner seek medical treatment following the injury.

To find out more about domestic violence programs and support, visit pcadv.org.

All Veterans Can Get New Photo ID Cards
Under a federal law passed in 2015, all honorably discharged veterans of every era will be able to receive a photo ID card from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), starting in November. This will allow veterans to prove their service without showing a copy of their official DD 214 discharge documents.

The law, known as the Veterans Identification Card Act 2015, orders the VA to issue a hard-copy photo ID to any honorably discharged veteran who applies. The card must contain the veteran’s name, photo and a non-Social Security identification number.

Veterans may apply for the free card online, but a timeline for how long it will take to receive a card after application has not been finalized. Other details are not yet available.

In Pennsylvania, veterans can apply for a specially designated driver’s license under Act 176 of 2012. More information is available here

Upcoming Events

• Berwick Riverfest will be held from Friday, Oct. 13, through Sunday, Oct. 15, at Test Track Park.
• The Col-Mont Aging Office will hold its Apple Festival at the Espy Fire Department from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 17.
• Our Concealed Carry Seminar will be held on Thursday, Oct. 19, from 6-8 p.m. at the Northern Columbia Community Center in Benton. Registration is required. Register and learn more by visiting RepMillard.com.
• Applications for the 2017-18 State Fire/EMS grant program close on Friday, Oct. 20.
• A photography exhibit, featuring the photos of Harry Ackerman, will be on display at the Northern Columbia Community Center through November. A “meet the artist” reception will be held on Sunday, Oct. 22, from 2-4 p.m.
• The Berwick Elks Halloween Parade will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 24, beginning at 6 p.m.
• Monthly Radio Address: Thursday, Oct. 26, at 8:30 a.m. on WHLM 94.7 FM.
• The Catawissa Halloween Parade will be held on Saturday, Oct. 28, beginning at 7:30 p.m.
• 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.
• A representative from the VA will be in the Bloomsburg district office from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 1. By appointment only. Call 570-387-0246 to make an appointment.
• The Bloomsburg Veterans Parade will be held on Saturday, Nov. 4, beginning at 9 a.m.
• Our Fall Art Show is set for Monday, Nov. 6, at our Bloomsburg district office, from 6-8 p.m.
• Our 3rd Annual Veterans Expo will be held on Saturday, Nov. 18, at Central Columbia High School from 9 a.m. to noon.
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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
Email: dmillard@pahousegop.com
TTY: 855-282-0614