Jul. 07, 2023

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#Listrak\DateStampLong# The latest news from the State Capitol
State Budget Update

Five days into the new fiscal year, the state House passed a $45.55 billion budget Wednesday by a vote of 117-86.

This budget, among other things, provides $14 million for Career and Technical Education Programs; increases the cap for those eligible to apply for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate program; provides $16.4 million for four new State Police cadet classes; increases funding for schools, special education and school safety measures; and increases funding for Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education schools and PHEAA grants for college students.

Budget negotiations took time, but the end product will help continue to advance the state forward. The state budget is currently pending the governor’s signature.
Sign Up Today for Active Shooter Safety Seminar

Learn the best techniques for reacting to an active shooter situation. Join us on Thursday, Sept. 14, from 6-8 p.m. at Hummelstown Chemical Fire Co., 249 E. Main St. in Hummelstown. To register, call 717-534-1323.

I was happy to welcome the Lower Dauphin High School Boys’ Volleyball Team to the Capitol recently and personally congratulate each member of the PIAA AA Boys’ Volleyball State Champions on winning their third consecutive championship. Way to go, Falcons!

Save on Summer Energy Bills

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) is highlighting opportunities to help millions of consumers manage summer energy usage and utility bills, with some having the potential to save as much as 20% to 40% every month.

According to a recent sampling of supplier offers posted on the PUC’s electricity shopping website, PAPowerSwitch.com, there are substantial benefits for consumer energy costs, particularly in service territories for PPL, PECO and Duquesne Light. In each of these areas, potential savings are large enough to make a very noticeable impact on monthly electric bills – with estimated savings ranging from $18 to $32 per month for the average customer.

Even outside of those utility service areas, saving opportunities are available. Simply visit PAPowerSwitch.com and check the price to compare (PTC), be mindful of any sign-up or early termination fees, and pay attention to whether offers are fixed or variable rates.  

To learn more about shopping for electricity, click here.

To learn more about how to cut your energy usage, click here.

Read more from the PUC here.
Attention College-Bound Students: Complete the FAFSA

With a key Aug. 1 financial aid deadline approaching, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) is holding a statewide webinar later this month to guide college-bound students and their families in completing the 2023-24 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process.

The “FAFSA Line by Line Overview Presentation,” hosted by PHEAA’s Higher Education Access Partners, will guide attendees through each step in filing the 2023-24 FAFSA and the Pennsylvania State Grant application to assist them in meeting the Aug. 1 deadline. This is the filing deadline for students planning to enroll in a community college; a designated Pennsylvania Open-Admission institution; a business, trade or technical school; a hospital school of nursing; or a two-year program that is not transferable to another institution.

The webinar will be held on Monday, July 24, from 6-7 p.m. Click here to register.
Attention Veterans: DMVA Helps Locate Lost Military Documents

The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) is reminding veterans it can help locate their lost DD Form 214 (DD-214) and other military documents so they can get credit for time served and receive important benefits they have earned.

The DD-214 contains information needed to verify military service for benefits, retirement, employment and membership in veterans’ organizations. Without this key document, there could be significant delays when a veteran seeks benefits earned through their service to our nation. The DMVA can also assist with locating the DD-215, which is used to correct errors or make additions to a DD-214, helping to assure that veterans have accurate discharge documentation.

Anyone needing assistance from the DMVA to locate their DD-214/215, or other military documentation, can call toll-free 1-800-547-2838 or e-mail RA-REQ@pa.gov. More information about locating military documents can be found by visiting the Records Request Program.

Another way to stay in touch is for veterans, family members and people who work with veterans to sign up for the DMVA’s Veterans Registry by visiting www.register.dmva.pa.gov.
PGC Seeks Help Counting Turkeys

The Pennsylvania Game Commission again is seeking input from the public in surveying wild turkeys this summer. The Pennsylvania Wild Turkey Sighting Survey is open now through Aug. 31.

Participation is important for turkey population management. Survey data allow the agency to determine total wild turkey productivity and compare long-term reproductive success within Pennsylvania and across states, as this is a standard methodology used across the country. Data is also used in the turkey population model to track population trends.

Turkey sightings can be reported through the Game Commission’s website. The mobile app is no longer available. The agency recommends saving this link to your favorites for quick access to report turkey sightings.

On the website, participants are requested to record the number of wild turkeys they see, along with the county, township, wildlife management unit (WMU), date and contact information should agency biologists have any questions. Participants may also simply drop a “pin” on the map for the location data to automatically populate. Location data are used only for the survey, not for law enforcement and are not shared.