The Mehaffie Message 3/31/23 - Emailed Newsletter
Mehaffie Message
#Listrak\DateStampLong# The latest news from the State Capitol
Mark Your Calendar for Upcoming Events

I’m excited to announce I have several events coming in 2023.

Health Expo
All are welcome to attend a free Health Expo from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, April 27, at
the Leader Center for Active Life, 605 Cocoa Ave., Hershey. No pre-registration is required for attendees, although vendors must pre-register. Learn how to safeguard your health and plan for the future, while discovering what resources are available in Dauphin County and throughout the Commonwealth.

Document-Shredding Event
Protect yourself from identity theft by shredding documents with sensitive information (like bank statements) from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 6, at the East Hanover Township municipal building, 8848 Jonestown Road, Grantville. Paper clips and staples can be handled by the shredder. Cardboard, hanging file folders, binder clips, three-ring binders, CDs and DVDs cannot be shredded. Limit of four boxes per household. No businesses, please.

National Night Out
National Night Out is a fantastic program linking first responders with the communities they serve. This year’s National Night Out is scheduled for Aug. 1. I plan to visit all participating communities in the 106th District. I hope to see you there!

Active Shooter Safety Seminar
Learn best techniques for reacting to an active-shooter situation. Join us from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14, at Hummelstown Chemical Fire Co., 249 E. Main St. Please register by calling 717-534-1323.

Veterans Breakfast
My annual breakfast for veterans and active-duty military personnel will be held from 8 to 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 3, at Lower Swatara Fire Department, 1350 Fulling Mill Road, Middletown. Details for the event are being finalized, but you can call 717-534-1323 now to ensure you receive details closer to the date.

Tea with Tom
Couples who have been together for 50 years or longer are invited to join me from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, Nov. 16, at the South Hanover Township municipal building, 161 Patriot Way, Hershey. Call 717-534-1323 to be notified of details closer to the event.
Hummelstown Highlights World Down Syndrome Day

March 21 every year is World Down Syndrome Day to recognize the triplication of the 21st chromosome, which precipitates Down syndrome. A group of people with connections to Down syndrome started 3.21 For Life PA to offer support and success for individuals with Down syndrome. That group again this year marked World Down Syndrome Day with festivities at Rubber Soul Brewing Co. in Hummelstown. I completed a “passport” they made, asking that I buy merchandise, say “cheers” with someone, make a new friend, purchase raffle tickets, and, yes, dance. My dancing may have been subpar compared to some of my new friends’ moves, but I still had a fantastic time and want to thank Rubber Soul for its willingness to host the event.
Shop for Lower Electricity Rates

Consumers concerned about their electric bills are being encouraged by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) to shop for lower prices through

According to the PUC, after an extended period of rising energy prices, offers from competitive suppliers in many parts of the state can now be found at well below the electric generation price currently available from many utilities. Because energy costs typically make up more than half a total utility bill, lower energy prices can have a noticeable impact on the size of monthly bills.

According to data compiled by the PUC’s PAPowerSwitch website, more than 3.9 million residential customers across Pennsylvania could cut the size of their monthly bills by using competitive electric suppliers.

When selecting an electric supplier, take note of whether you are signing up for a fixed rate or variable rate contract, since the latter will fluctuate based on demand. Also pay attention to any additional fees that may be included.

Read more about how you can save here. 
In-Person Help for Unemployment Claimants

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry (L&I) is extending its program that enhances Pennsylvanians’ access to the Unemployment Compensation (UC) system by offering in-person appointments to claimants in communities throughout the Commonwealth.

The program, now called UC Connect, has served nearly 34,000 UC claimants with in-person appointments at 58 PA CareerLink® locations since its launch in May 2022 with grant funding through the U.S. Department of Labor.

In-person services for UC claimants are designed to assist individuals who do not have proper technology, equipment or technical skills; individuals without access to home Internet or broadband; and individuals with limited-English proficiency. To schedule an appointment, claimants should contact a PA CareerLink center directly. More information about UC Connect, including how to find your local CareerLink, is available here.  

The UC system failed miserably during the pandemic, and I am hopeful this program continues to provide our citizens with the assistance they deserve. 
PFBC Offers Grants to Inspire Interest in Fishing and Boating

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is seeking applicants for grants to support education programs that promote new and renewed interest in fishing and boating.

The grants aim to connect Pennsylvanians with the fun of Commonwealth waterways by teaching fishing and boating skills and providing quality locations where these activities can be enjoyed. Organizations are encouraged to engage groups under-represented in the fishing or boating population to learn the benefits of these activities, including community, wellness and taking advantage of the outdoors.

The grants will reimburse qualifying organizations up to $25,000 for eligible expenses for the period of July 1 to June 30, 2024. The grants require a minimum of 25% match of total project costs. The deadline to submit applications is April 14.

More information, including the application, can be found on the PFBC R3 Grant Program page on the PFBC website.
New Military-Themed License Plates Now Available

Three new military-themed license plates are now available from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT): the Air Medal license plate, Afghanistan and Iraq Veterans license plate, and Blue Star Family license plate.

Applicants for the Air Medal plate and the Afghanistan and Iraq Veterans plates must submit a completed Form MV-150, along with a legible photocopy of their DD214. The Air Medal plate contains the standard Pennsylvania license plate colors and depicts an image of the Air Medal.

The Afghanistan and Iraq Veterans plate is offered only to veterans who served in both theaters of operation. The license plate contains the standard Pennsylvania license plate colors and depicts images of both the Afghanistan Campaign Medal and the Operation Iraqi Freedom Medal.

Applicants for the Blue Star Family plate must submit a completed Form MV-920 and certify they are a family member of an active-duty, Reserve or National Guard service member. The license plate contains the standard Pennsylvania license plate colors and depicts an image of the Blue Star Family flag, which has a red border around a white background with a blue star in the center.

All are available for passenger cars or trucks with a registered gross weight of not more than 14,000 pounds for a fee of $23.

More information about these and other specialty plates is available here.  
Investigating Public Assistance Fraud

The Office of State Inspector General (OSIG) filed public assistance fraud charges against 33 individuals during February 2023, according to a news release from the office. The restitution owed to the Commonwealth in these cases totals $151,802. Additional cost savings will be realized as the defendants will be temporarily disqualified from receiving public benefits in the programs they allegedly defrauded.

OSIG investigates and prosecutes public assistance fraud and conducts collection activities for the public benefits programs administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS).

During February 2023, OSIG filed felony charges of fraudulently receiving public assistance against a total of 31 individuals and misdemeanor charges against two separate individuals. It is alleged that these individuals misrepresented themselves and fraudulently received taxpayer-funded public benefits to which they were not entitled.

If convicted, the maximum penalty defendants face for public assistance fraud is seven years in prison and a fine of $15,000. In the case of SNAP, Cash Assistance, or Subsidized Day Care fraud, defendants also face a mandatory disqualification period from the benefits program they allegedly defrauded.

All persons charged are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

To anonymously report welfare fraud, call 1-800-932-0582.
PennDOT Reminds Pennsylvanians of Free Motorcycle Safety Training

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) reminds residents that free Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program (PAMSP) training opportunities are available to motorcycle riders across the state. Prospective, experienced, and new Pennsylvania riders who have a motorcycle learner’s permit or motorcycle license can develop and refresh operator proficiency through these free trainings.

PennDOT’s statewide third-party motorcycle safety training providers offer many training classes. A full list of providers and their locations can be found on PennDOT’s PAMSP page.

Successful completion of a basic or intermediate course waives the requirement to take a skills test at a PennDOT Driver License Center for those over the age of 18 and automatically earns the permit holder their motorcycle license. Motorcycle permit holders who complete a 3-wheel basic course will earn a motorcycle license with a restriction prohibiting the operation of a 2-wheel motorcycle.

Classes can be scheduled at multiple locations throughout Pennsylvania, and class schedules are coordinated by each third-party training provider at each individual location. Individuals interested in training should contact the training providers directly or check their websites for class availability, as additional courses may be offered, and providers may offer additional walk-in or waiting list opportunities.

The 16-hour Basic Riding Course (BRC), which consists of in-class or virtual instruction and practical riding, provides valuable training for new riders and gives experienced riders the opportunity to polish their skills and correct any unsafe riding habits they may have developed. Students are responsible for providing all protective gear. Act 84 of 2012 established the requirement that all permit holders under the age of 18 must successfully complete the BRC to receive their motorcycle license.

The eight-hour Intermediate Riding Course allows skilled riders to refresh their safety knowledge and hone their on-road skills. Students taking this clinic must provide their own motorcycle and protective gear and provide proof of insurance, current registration, and inspection for their motorcycle.

During the 3-Wheel Riding Course, riders learn the same skills and safety strategies taught in BRC, except on a 3-wheeled motorcycle. The clinic is comprised of classroom instruction and riding exercises. The majority of students must provide their own motorcycle and all of their own protective gear and provide proof of insurance, current registration and inspection for their motorcycle. However, select locations offering the course have 3-wheeled motorcycles on hand for student use. Please check with the location before signing up for a course.

The Advanced Riding Course, a one-day clinic for experienced riders who want to enhance their safety skills through attitude and awareness, rounds out the PAMSP offerings. The clinic is designed to enhance a rider’s ability to avoid a crash through honing their decision-making abilities, riding strategies, risk management and rider behavior and choices. Students taking this clinic must provide their own motorcycle and protective gear and provide proof of insurance, current registration and inspection for their motorcycle.

Additional classes and locations will continue to be added throughout the riding season. Registration for the 2023 training season is ongoing.
Linda and I attended a lovely benefit earlier in the month for Seven Sorrows Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic School. They raised more than $15,000 in one night.

Meals from the Londonderry Fire Co. are very popular (for good reason!) during the Lent season.

My granddaughter, McKenzie, joined me on a recent trip with the Pennsylvania Game Commission to monitor the health and movements of GPS-tracked black bears in Carbon County. I partner with the Game Commission as a member of the House Game & Fisheries Committee. Trips like these reiterate for me how talented and professional its wardens are.

Grantville Vol. Fire Co. continued its celebration of the department’s 75th anniversary with a banquet Saturday evening. It was a nice time to celebrate the past and look to the future.