Mar. 11, 2022 / Press Release

Mehaffie Message
#Listrak\DateStampLong# The latest news from the State Capitol
Spring Ahead: Turn Clocks Ahead One Hour This Weekend

Daylight saving time will begin on Sunday, March 13, at 2 a.m. Be sure to turn your clocks ahead one hour Saturday night before going to bed.

This is also a good time to check and/or change batteries in both smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms. The alarms should also be replaced every 10 years.
DMVA to Host First Virtual Veteran Town Hall Meeting Wednesday

The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) will host the first in a five-part series of virtual Veteran Town Halls on Wednesday, March 16, from 5-6:30 p.m. The topic will be veteran suicide prevention, with a focus on the support and resources available to veterans throughout the Commonwealth.

Presenters for this first event will be Brig. Gen. Maureen Weigl, DMVA deputy adjutant general for Veterans Affairs; and Rick Hamp of DMVA, Pennsylvania’s lead for the federal Veterans Administration – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Governor’s Challenge to Prevent Suicide Among Service Members, Veterans and Their Families.

Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions of the presenters live during the WebEx through the chat feature. Attendees can participate by using this WebEx link.

The series will provide the Commonwealth’s nearly 800,000 veterans with a convenient platform to learn and ask questions about programs and services earned through their military service. Additional meeting dates are as follows. All sessions are held from 5-6:30 p.m.
  •   Wednesday, May 18 – Serving Older Veterans.
  •   Wednesday, July 13 – Resources for Homeless Veterans.
  •   Wednesday, Sept. 14 – Transportation Issues Facing Veterans.
  •   Wednesday, Nov. 2 – Honoring Veterans for Their Service and Sacrifice.
Credit-Monitoring Service Available for Unemployment Compensation Claimants

Pennsylvania unemployment compensation claimants will soon receive correspondence with guidance to register for free credit-monitoring to ensure the safety of their personal data.

The Department of Labor & Industry announced in January it would offer these services amid an ongoing investigation into unusual account changes within Pennsylvania’s system. Unemployment compensation systems nationwide have been targeted by fraudsters since unemployment spiked to historic levels at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and caused unprecedented demand for benefits.

L&I has partnered with Identity Theft Guard Solutions Inc. (IDX) to offer eligible UC claimants up to 12 months of credit monitoring, a $1 million insurance reimbursement policy and fully managed identity recovery services.

This week, the department began the process of mailing notifications about these services to all eligible individuals. The letter claimants receive from IDX will have the information required for registration and answers to potential questions, so the registration process cannot be started by a claimant until they receive the letter. Eligible individuals can register at or call 833-774-1231 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The deadline to enroll is June 8, 2022.
Tick-Borne Disease Threat Growing

Spring is just around the corner, and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is encouraging people to plan now to protect themselves and their families against potentially serious tick-borne diseases, including Lyme disease and the rare but dangerous Deer Tick Virus (DTV), which has been found in ticks at high levels for the first time in multiple locations around the state.

The Deer Tick Virus, which is a type of Powassan virus, is rare in the United States, but positive cases have increased in recent years. It is spread to people primarily by bites from infected ticks and does not spread person-to-person through coughing, sneezing or touching. There are no vaccines to prevent or medicines to treat Powassan viruses, so prevention is the best way to reduce risk of infection and disease.

Areas recently discovered to have a high presence of Deer Tick Virus include: Fisherman’s Paradise public fishing area on Spring Creek in Centre County; Iroquois Trail near Tunkhannock in Wyoming County; and Lawrence Township Recreational Park in Clearfield County.

Recommended precautions for anyone venturing outdoors include: 
  •   Apply tick repellents containing permethrin to clothing, and EPA-registered insect repellents such as DEET to exposed skin before heading outdoors. Reapply as needed according to product label instructions.
  •   Wear light-colored outer clothing and tuck shirts into pants and pants into socks.
  •   Walk in the center of trails and avoid wooded and brushy areas with low-growing vegetation and tall grasses that may harbor ticks.
  •   After returning home, remove all clothing, take a shower and place clothing into the dryer on high heat to kill any lingering ticks. Examine gear such as backpacks for ticks.
  •   Conduct a full-body tick check using a hand or full-length mirror, including hidden areas such as the scalp, ears, armpits, belly button and between the legs.
  •   Check over any pets exposed to likely tick habitats each time they return indoors.
  •   If a tick is found attached to your skin, use tweezers to remove it carefully, including the head. Monitor for symptoms and contact your doctor with any questions.

Free tick testing is available at the PA Tick Lab at East Stroudsburg University. Learn more here.

Nye Elementary School from Lower Dauphin School District sent a group of students to tour the Capitol on Thursday. One student asked me if I’m the president. (I’m quite happy in my current role with the 106th District.) If you would like to schedule a tour for your group, please call my Harrisburg office at 717-787-2684.