Aug. 20, 2019

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The latest news from the State Capitol
Hotline to Assist Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

A new hotline to help connect thousands of grandparents who are raising their grandchildren to the resources and programs available to them is now live.

The KinConnector hotline was established through Act 89 of 2018 to address the growing number of grandparents who have become primary caregivers to their grandchildren in the Commonwealth. It is a situation that has skyrocketed in recent years as a result of the state’s opioid epidemic. An estimated 82,000 grandparents are the sole caregivers for nearly 89,000 grandchildren in Pennsylvania.

KinConnector can be reached by calling 1-866-KIN-2111 (1-866-546-2111). The KinConnector helpline is staffed by social service professionals prepared to help families understand and access local, state and federal resources. A website of resources will also be available in the near future.
FCC Takes Next Step in Battle Against Robocalls, Spoofing

Recognizing the frustration and potential danger posed by spam calls and spoofing, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced new rules this week that will ban malicious caller ID spoofing of text messages and foreign calls.

The rules are designed to close a loophole in existing law that prevented the agency from pursuing scammers sending spoofed text messages and international bad actors making spoofed calls to Americans.

Earlier this summer, the FCC approved rules that could make it easier for AT&T, Verizon and other telecom giants to block suspected spam calls on behalf of their subscribers. It allows the companies to enroll consumers in their call-blocking services by default, as opposed to waiting for customers to sign up for such tools on their own.

While these changes are important steps in the fight against robocalls and spoofing, no one expects they will result in their elimination. Protect yourself by using some of the following tips provided by the FCC: don’t answer calls from unknown numbers; due to spoofing, don’t assume when the caller ID shows a local number that the caller is actually local; if you answer and the caller asks you to press a button to stop receiving calls or asks you to say “yes” in response to a question, hang up to prevent your response from being used for unauthorized charges; and if a caller claims to be from a legitimate company or organization, hang up and call them back using a valid number found online or a recent bill if you do business with the organization.

If you have lost money because of a scam call, notify your local law enforcement agency. If you receive a spam call, file a complaint with the FCC Consumer Complaint Center. 
Law to Eliminate Inheritance Tax for Children

Children age 21 or younger who suffer the loss of a parent will no longer have to pay the state’s 4.5% inheritance tax under a new law taking effect next January.

Act 13 of 2019 reduces the inheritance tax rate to 0% for the transfer of property to or for the use of a child 21 years of age or younger from a natural parent, adoptive parent or a stepparent of the child.

A prior law implemented a 0% tax rate on transfers from a child 21 years of age or younger to his or her parent.

The law will apply to transfers from a decedent who dies after Dec. 31, 2019.
Hunter-Trapper Education Courses Available

State law requires all first-time hunters and trappers, regardless of age, to successfully complete Hunter-Trapper Education (HTE) training before they can buy a Pennsylvania hunting or trapping license.

Prospective hunters age 16 years or older may complete the study course entirely online, or you may sign up for one of the classes being offered near you.

For a searchable database of classes currently scheduled, click here.
Veterans Breakfast

Thursday, Nov. 7, from 10 a.m. to noon*
Lower Swatara Volunteer Fire Department
1350 Fulling Mill Road, Middletown
*This event is open to veterans in residential facilities. Please RSVP to the activities coordinator at your facility by Oct. 15.

Friday, Nov. 8, from 8-10 a.m.

Lower Swatara Volunteer Fire Department
1350 Fulling Mill Road, Middletown

Veterans and U.S. military personnel residing in the 106th District are invited to join me for an appreciation breakfast and patriotic program. State-related veterans information will be distributed at this event. Worn, torn or defaced flags will be accepted at the event for proper retirement.

Seating is limited and registration is required. RSVP by calling 717-534-1323 by Oct. 28.
Thank you to the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) for the opportunity to speak at its summer leadership conference.

CVS Pharmacy in Middletown has added a medication disposal box, where unwanted and expired medications can be deposited. The medications are later incinerated. I’m grateful CVS and area police departments offer this service.

I had a great time at the veterans breakfast hosted by the Dauphin County Commissioners. It was nice to talk to all the veterans who attended.

I was recently invited to the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) in PA Initiative annual conference. This group seeks to improve access to high-quality interventions for those with autism spectrum disorder.
I was honored to receive the Leadership & Key Collaborator Award from Rep. Thomas Murt. We talked at the meeting about my legislative initiative to establish professional licensure for board-certified behavior analysts.

My bill will be formally introduced in the coming weeks.

(with photo file IMG4316) The National Night Out events in Middletown, Hummelstown, Derry Township and Swatara Township had great turnout and activities. It is an important night to build a sense of community and foster relationships between first responders and the public.

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