The Mehaffie Message 10/8/21 - Emailed Newsletter
Mehaffie Message
Fire Prevention Week Highlights Importance of Alarms

This week was National Fire Prevention Week, an annual event to help raise awareness about how to prevent fires and fire-related injuries. This year’s theme is “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety!” It aims to educate everyone about the different sounds of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and how to respond when those alarms go off.

Three loud beeps from a smoke alarm means smoke or fire. Anyone inside when the alarm sounds should get out and call 9-1-1. A continuous set of four loud beeps from a carbon monoxide alarm means the gas is present in the home and anyone inside should get out and call 9-1-1. A chirping noise from either type of alarm means the battery is low and must be replaced.

For more information from the National Fire Protection Association, click here.
Committees Discuss Higher Education Funding

The House Education Committee’s Subcommittee on Higher Education and the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Education held a joint hearing this week to discuss higher education funding in Pennsylvania.

The 2021-22 budget allocates more than $1.86 billion to support higher education. That includes funding for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE); state-related universities; community colleges; and grants for students through the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA).

Testimony focused on how funding from the Commonwealth is used and its impact on students and families. Watch the full hearing here.
Ensuring Access to Senior Prescription Benefits

The House this week approved legislation that would ensure thousands of senior citizens are able to retain their eligibility for the PACE or PACENET prescription drug benefit despite an anticipated Social Security cost of living adjustment (COLA).

House Bill 291
would extend until Dec. 31, 2023, a “COLA moratorium” that enables senior citizens to continue these life-saving prescription drug benefits even if slight increases in their Social Security income pushes them beyond income eligibility limits. For the PACE program, income limits are $14,500 for individuals or $17,700 for married couples. For PACENET, income limits are $27,500 for individuals and $35,500 for married couples.

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

More information about PACE and PACENET is available at
Redistricting Hearings to Conclude This Month

The House State Government Committee will hold a half dozen hearings over the next three weeks to conclude its work to ensure transparency in this year’s congressional redistricting process.

Hearings are scheduled in Wellsboro, Tioga County, and York, York County, on Tuesday and Wednesday next week. The committee will be in Kingston, Luzerne County, on Monday, Oct. 18; Spinnerstown, Bucks County, on Tuesday, Oct. 19; and Philadelphia on Wednesday, Oct. 20. The final hearing is set for Thursday, Oct. 28, at the state Capitol.

Citizens interested in offering testimony can do so in writing through Oct. 13. The deadline to testify in person for next week’s hearings has passed; however, people can register to testify for the hearings the following week through Oct. 13 as well.

Details about the hearings and how to offer testimony, along with video of past hearings and other resources, is available at
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

To honor those who have fought breast cancer or who are fighting it now, the fountain at the Pennsylvania State Capitol’s East Wing has been dyed pink again this year in recognition of October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The pink fountain is also a reminder to all women of the importance of mammograms and early detection. Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer in the state, and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women, exceeded only by cancer of the lung and bronchus.

People with low to moderate income, who are uninsured or underinsured and meet certain age requirements may qualify for testing through the Pennsylvania Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, which is a free early detection program funded through a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

To learn about the program and eligibility, click here.

I’m pictured above with breast cancer survivors Rep. Sue Helm and Rep. Pam DeLissio.

Congratulations to the Hummelstown Sun on celebrating an awesome milestone of 150 years!

Bentley’s Bakery at Angelina’s Pizza (1100 Fulling Mill Road, Middletown) has opened, and everyone I know is talking about how good the pastries are.

Congratulations to Troop 594's newest Eagle Scouts: Nathan Russo, Caden Prisbe and Michael Astfalk Jr. Nathan and Caden told me this week about their service projects. Michael couldn't join us because of his college schedule. Join me in wishing these young men well.

Stopped by Hummelstown Chemical Fire Co. No. 1 earlier this week for its open house, which was a great night. Lower Swatara Volunteer Fire Department is holding its own open house from 6 to 8 p.m. tonight (Thursday) to mark National Fire Prevention Week. Make sure to thank our firefighters!