Oct. 10, 2022

Mehaffie Message
Protecting Against Elder Abuse

A bill to better protect senior citizens in long-term care facilities from the dangers of elder abuse has been approved by the state House.

House Bill 2425 would ensure a clear line of communication between departments that have oversight over long-term care facilities by requiring any allegations of abuse involving individuals over 60 that are incorrectly made to the Department of Human Services or the Department of Health be referred to the local Area Agency on Aging (AAA) for investigation, which is overseen by the Department of Aging.

Current law requires the local AAA to investigate allegations within 72 hours, but there was no specific provision in the law to ensure the sharing of information.

The bill is pending action in the Senate.
Open Enrollment Begins Soon for Medicare, Pennie

Pennsylvanians looking to enroll in or update their health care coverage should note upcoming open enrollment periods for both Medicare and Pennie, the state’s online insurance marketplace.

Medicare open enrollment runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. Learn more here.  

Pennie open enrollment runs from Nov. 1 through Jan. 15, 2023. Learn more at Pennie.com.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

To honor those who have fought breast cancer or who are fighting it now, the fountain at the Pennsylvania State Capitol’s East Wing has been dyed pink again this year in recognition of October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States, except for skin cancers. It represents about 30% of all new female cancers each year. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, second only to lung cancer.

The pink fountain is also a reminder to all women of the importance of mammograms and early detection. People with low to moderate income who are uninsured or underinsured and meet certain age requirements may qualify for free testing through the Pennsylvania Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. To learn about the program and eligibility, click here.  
Fire Prevention Week Highlights Importance of Escape Plans

National Fire Prevention Week, an annual event to help raise awareness about how to prevent fires and fire-related injuries, kicks off this Sunday, Oct. 9. This year’s theme is “Fire won’t wait. Plan your escape.”

According to the National Fire Protection Association, today’s homes burn faster than ever. That means people may have as little as two minutes or less to safely escape a home fire from the time the smoke alarm sounds. The ability to get out of a home during a fire depends on early warning from smoke alarms and advanced planning.

In addition to creating an escape plan, it is important for everyone in the home to practice the escape. Residents are also reminded to ensure their smoke alarms are in good working order to allow as much time as possible for an escape.

More information from the National Fire Protection Association, including sample escape plan grids and action plans, are available here.
PennDOT Driver License, Photo Centers Closed for Columbus Day Holiday

All PennDOT driver license and photo centers, including the Riverfront Office Center in Harrisburg, will be closed Saturday, Oct. 8, through Monday, Oct. 10, in observance of Columbus Day.

Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services online through PennDOT's Driver and Vehicle Services website, www.dmv.pa.gov.

Driver and vehicle online services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and include driver's license, photo ID and vehicle registration renewals; driver-history services; changes of address; driver license and vehicle registration restoration letters; ability to pay driver license or vehicle insurance restoration fee; driver license and photo ID duplicates; and driver exam scheduling. There are no additional fees for using online services.
Security Funding Available for Organizations Targeted by Hate Crimes

The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) is now accepting applications for funding through its Nonprofit Security Grant Program. The funds may be used to support security enhancement projects for nonprofit organizations that may be targeted by hate crimes.

The grant program was created in 2019 in response to the tragic shooting at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue, which claimed the lives of 11 people.

Grant awards can range from $5,000 to $150,000 for a wide variety of eligible items, including safety and security planning and training; purchase of safety and security equipment and technology; upgrades to existing structures that enhance safety and security; and vulnerability and threat assessments.

Applications are due by Monday, Oct. 31. Additional information about eligibility and applications is available here.
PHMC Accepting Grant Applications to Support Museums, County Historical Societies

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) is now accepting applications from qualified museums and official county historical societies for nearly $2 million in Cultural and Historical Support Grants.

The program is available to eligible museums located in Pennsylvania with annual operating budgets exceeding $100,000 and at least one full-time professional staff person (some museums are not eligible if they are eligible for grant support from other state agencies), with the maximum award being $65,000; and official county historical societies, with awards ranging from $2,500 to $4,000.

Applications must be completed by Monday, Nov.7. For more information, click here.
Updates for Outdoors Enthusiasts

Have you signed up to receive my sportsmen’s newsletter next year? If not, visit this page.

Also, my office has hunting and trapping pocket guides and digests for 2022-23 available. Give us a call if you need a copy.
Mark Your Calendar: Veterans’ Appreciation Event

Mark your calendar for my veterans’ appreciation breakfast Friday, Nov. 4, from 8-10 a.m. at Lower Swatara Fire Department, 1350 Fulling Mill Road, Middletown. This event is open to active-duty military personnel and veterans.

Accommodations can be made for disabled attendees requiring assistance. We are currently at maximum capacity with registrations, but please call my office at 717-534-1323 to be added to a waiting list should space become available. We can also provide a packet for you after the event.

September was Hunger Action Month. The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank hosted several of us, including Reps. Patty Kim and Joe Kerwin, to talk about its work. One in 10 Dauphin County residents is food insecure, meaning nearly 12,000 children are affected.