The Mehaffie Message 8/26/22 - Emailed Newsletter
Mehaffie Message
#Listrak\DateStampLong# The latest news from the State Capitol
Investing in Education

This 2022-23 state budget sets a record high investment in PreK-12 education of $15 billion. We increased basic education funding by $525 million to $7.08 billion, including a $225 million “Level Up” initiative that provides additional funding to the poorest 100 school districts. Special education funding is up by $100 million to $1.3 billion.

We increased funding for early childhood education by $60 million for Pre-K Counts and $19 million for Head Start. Career and technical education is up by $6 million. We dedicated $100 million for school safety and security funding and a first-time investment of $100 million for a new school mental health initiative.

To help give students more options, we increased funding for the Educational Improvement Tax Credit program to $405 million, an additional $125 million or 45% increase. The program provides tax credits to eligible businesses that contribute to a scholarship organization, educational improvement organization, and/or a pre-kindergarten scholarship organization.

Finally, the budget supports students seeking a higher education by increasing the maximum PHEAA grant award from $5,000 to $5,700, as well as boosting funding for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) and community colleges.
Ag and Youth Grant Program Now Accepting Applications

The Department of Agriculture is inviting proposals for this year’s Ag and Youth Grant Program.

The program provides direct grants of up to $7,500 and matching grants of up to $25,000 to support projects, programs and equipment purchases by youth-run organizations, and those with programs that benefit youth or promote development in agriculture, community leadership, vocational training and peer fellowship.

The grant program was created by the Legislature in 2019. Additional information about the program is available here.  

Grant applications must be submitted online through the PA Department of Community and Economic Development Electronic Single Application. Applications are due by 4:59 p.m. on Sept. 30, 2022.
Get Ready for REAL ID

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is reminding residents that enforcement of the federal REAL ID Act will begin May 3, 2023.

As of that date, you will have to present a federally accepted form of identification to board a commercial domestic flight or visit a secure federal building that requires ID at the door. Federally accepted forms of identification include a Pennsylvania REAL ID driver’s license or ID card, a U.S. Passport or Passport Card or a military ID.

To date, approximately 1.6 million Pennsylvanians have chosen to get a REAL ID product. However, REAL ID is not mandatory. PennDOT continues to offer standard-issue driver’s licenses and photo IDs.

Full enforcement of the law has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which was hindering efforts to process REAL ID applications across the country.

To learn more about REAL ID and how to obtain one, visit
Mark Your Calendar: Veterans’ Appreciation Event

Mark your calendar for my veterans’ appreciation breakfast Friday, Nov. 4, from 8-10 a.m. at Lower Swatara Fire Department, 1350 Fulling Mill Road, Middletown. This event is open to active-duty military personnel and veterans.

Accommodations can be made for disabled attendees requiring assistance. Registration is required. Register online at or call 717-534-1323.