Dec. 17, 2021 / Press Release

Mehaffie Message
#Listrak\DateStampLong# The latest news from the State Capitol
House Sends Broadband Expansion Measure to Governor’s Desk

The state House and Senate approved legislation this week aimed at boosting access to high-speed internet service in rural and other underserved areas of the Commonwealth.

House Bill 2071 would establish the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority to facilitate funds anticipated through a federal infrastructure bill recently approved by Congress. The Commonwealth is expected to receive at least $100 million initially with the potential to obtain more after the authority develops a statewide plan for broadband expansion.

Under the bill, the authority also would serve as a single point of contact for parties interested in developing broadband or having broadband developed, helping to minimize duplication and maximize the use of existing infrastructure. Additionally, the authority would be charged with identifying access to funding sources and helping to coordinate joint efforts for broadband buildout.

The authority would sunset in 10 years or when all federal funds have been exhausted and obligations fulfilled.

The bill is now pending the governor’s signature.

Beware of Holiday Charity Scams

With so many people donating to charities at this time of year, the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities (DoBS) and Pennsylvania Department of State (DOS) are offering tips to help consumers make sure their contributions are going to legitimate charitable organizations.

Be on the lookout for these red flags:
  •   Similar Sounding Name – Scammers often use names that sound similar to legitimate charities to intentionally create confusion.
  •   High Pressure Solicitation – Fraudsters will try to force a hasty decision by turning up the pressure. They may cold call, identifying you as a previous contributor, and ask for your renewed support or to update your credit card information.
  •   100% Guarantee – Every organization has some level of administrative cost, which can include mailing and printing, rent and utilities, staff or fundraising. An organization that promises 100% of your funds are going directly to an individual in need might require additional scrutiny.
  •   Donation by Wire Transfer or Gift Card – Legitimate charities will not ask you to make payment via money order or wire transfer. A charity may ask for donations of gift cards such as from a grocery store to supply to someone in need. Never read the information from a gift card over the phone or provide it via email. After verifying the legitimacy of the charity, take any physical gift card donation directly to the location of the charity and request documentation of your contribution.

To help avoid becoming a victim, visit the Department of State’s online charities database to verify an organization’s basic financial information about expenses for program services, fundraising and management. You may also check whether an organization is registered with the Internal Revenue Service as a tax-exempt organization here.

Other tips include checking websites closely, avoiding wire transfers or money order donations, doing your research rather than giving in to the pressure to donate, and always directing your payment to a charity rather than an individual.

If you’ve been the victim of a charity scam, contact the Department of State’s Division of Charities Investigation Unit/Audits at or use the online complaint form. You should also file a report with the Federal Trade Commission at and contact local law enforcement through non-emergency channels.
Pennsylvania State Police Launches Program for Teens

The Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Training and Education announced the launch of The Hill Impact Program, a 15-week program for children between the ages of 15 and 18.

The program provides teens who are considering a career in law enforcement with insight on what it takes to be a state police trooper. Students will have one-on-one interaction with troopers while learning about various aspects of law enforcement, including the Pennsylvania crimes code, vehicle code, rules of criminal procedures, principles of law enforcement, and participating in physical fitness.

The Hill Impact Program will take place at the Pennsylvania State Police Academy, commonly known as The Hill, which sits atop one of the highest summits in Hershey and has served as the training grounds for thousands of troopers since 1960.

There is no charge to attend the 15-week program, which will begin in February 2022. Participants will meet once a week for two hours in the evening and one Saturday a month for three hours.

Any teen who has a serious interest in attending is encouraged to contact Trooper Clint Long no later than January 7, 2022, at or 717-497-4577. Class size is limited.

I recently talked with third-graders at Milton Hershey School about my responsibilities as a state legislator. The students were very welcoming. I'm grateful for the invitation.

It was an honor to join Stephania Matincheck’s family and friends to celebrate her 100th birthday. I enjoyed presenting a House citation and talking with Stephania during the party held to acknowledge this monumental occasion.

Sen. Chris Gebhard, Sen. John DiSanto and I recognized the Lower Dauphin High School field hockey team this week for its PIAA District III Class AAA championship win. Congratulations, girls!