May. 23, 2022 / Press Release

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#Listrak\DateStampLong# The latest news from the State Capitol
Armed Forces Day Saturday

This Saturday, May 21, is Armed Forces Day, a day set aside to recognize and honor the men and women who are currently serving in a branch of our armed forces.

The day was first celebrated in 1950, soon after the branches of the military were united under the leadership of the U.S. Department of Defense. In his proclamation marking the day, President Harry S. Truman called upon fellow citizens to “display the flag of the United States at their homes on Armed Forces Day and to participate in exercises expressive of our recognition of the skill, gallantry, and uncompromising devotion to duty characteristic of the Armed Forces in the carrying out of their missions.”

In other words, seek out opportunities to thank our men and women in uniform, not just this Saturday but every day.
House Advances Bipartisan Bill to Keep Voter Rolls Updated

Working to ensure the accuracy of the state’s voter rolls, the House recently gave unanimous approval to a bill that would require information from the Election Registration Information Center (ERIC) be used to purge deceased voters from the rolls.

The bill was introduced after discussions about election reform and improved maintenance of voter registration records revealed current law does not allow for the full use of information provided by the ERIC system.

ERIC is a nonprofit organization with the sole mission of assisting states to improve the accuracy of America’s voter rolls and increase access to voter registration for all eligible citizens. ERIC is governed and managed by states who choose to join and was formed in 2012 with assistance from The Pew Charitable Trusts. As of last fall, 31 states and the District of Columbia are members of ERIC.

House Bill 2507 now goes to the Senate for consideration.
Law Aims to Attract More Doctors to PA

At a time when parts of Pennsylvania are suffering doctor shortages and patients are struggling to acquire treatment, a new state law aims to help attract more doctors to the Commonwealth.

Graduates of U.S. and Canadian medical schools currently must complete two years of training through an approved residency program to apply for a medical license. However, international medical graduates are required to complete an extra year of training before they become eligible to apply for the same medical license.

Act 16 of 2022 will level the playing field so international medical students can apply for their medical license after two years of training. This will remove an unnecessary burden that is negatively impacting the number of medical professionals who can practice in Pennsylvania.

The law took effect when it was signed by the governor in late April.
LIHEAP Deadline Extended

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) season has been extended once more, with the deadline moving from May 20 to June 17. Pennsylvanians who are behind on or having trouble paying home heating bills should apply for assistance through the program before June 17.

LIHEAP helps some of the state’s most vulnerable citizens – children, older Pennsylvanians, people with disabilities, and low-income families – make ends meet and keep their homes safer. It is a federally-funded program administered by the Department of Human Services for renters and homeowners.

The minimum cash grant for LIHEAP is $500, and the maximum cash grant is $1,500. Those who need the LIHEAP crisis grant – the benefit for people who meet the income limits and are in jeopardy of having their heating utility service terminated or have less than two weeks’ worth of fuel – can receive a maximum grant of $1,200. LIHEAP is distributed directly to a household’s utility company or home heating fuel provider in the form of a grant, so the individual or households do not have to repay assistance.

The income limit for the program is 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Limit. For a household of four, this would be $39,750 gross income per year. Pennsylvanians do not need to know their own eligibility in order to apply for these programs. Those who applied and were denied previously but have experienced a change in circumstances can reapply.

Pennsylvanians can apply for LIHEAP and other public assistance programs online at  and can also apply for Medical Assistance (MA) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by phone at 1-866-550-4355. On-site County Assistance Office (CAO) services are available if clients cannot access online services or need assistance that cannot be accessed through the COMPASS website, the myCOMPASS PA mobile app, or by calling the Customer Service Centers at 215-560-7226 for Philadelphia clients or 1-877-395-8930 for clients in all other counties.
Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness about mental health and continuing the fight against the stigma people face when seeking help.

This year’s theme is “Together for Mental Health,” highlighting the need to join together to advocate for improving the nation’s mental health care system.

In Pennsylvania, mental health services are administered through county Mental Health and Developmental Services programs. To learn more about mental health care in Pennsylvania, click here. 

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. To reach Dauphin County’s mental health, autism, and developmental and early intervention programs, contact the case management unit at 717-232-8761 or 1-866-820-3516. Dauphin County Crisis Intervention can be contacted at 717-232-7511 or 1-888-596-4447.
Fish for Free Coming Up Next Weekend!

On Sunday, May 29, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) will host a Fish for Free day to allow anyone (resident or non-resident) to legally fish on all Pennsylvania waterways. No license is required, but all other fishing regulations still apply.

This is the first of two dates set by the PFBC to enhance fishing opportunities. The next day is Independence Day, Monday, July 4. This is a great way to expose the next generation of anglers to the outdoors. Find more information here.  

On May 7, I got to again participate in one of my favorite traditions each year. Volunteers raised the flags at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery. The flags line the main drive during the warmer-weather months.

I recently presented Linda Watson with a citation recognizing her as outgoing worthy grand matron of the PA Order of the Eastern Star, a fraternal organization. Best wishes to her as she moves on from that position.