Jul. 14, 2023

[[Share On Facebook]]
Please do not reply directly to this email, as it returns to an unmanned account.
You are welcome to contact me through this link.

Mehaffie Message
#Listrak\DateStampLong# The latest news from the State Capitol
Expanding Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program

Legislation that would make more Pennsylvania seniors and people with disabilities eligible for property tax or rent relief was recently approved by the House.  

House Bill 1100 would increase income limits for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program for homeowners and renters to $45,000. The bill would also raise the maximum amount each homeowner or renter can receive from $650 to $1,000.

This bill will help expand the reach of property tax and rent relief to more than 150,000 additional individuals and help make Pennsylvania a more affordable place to live. The measure is pending the governor’s signature to become law.

The rebate program benefits eligible residents 65 years and older; widows and widowers 50 years and older; and people with disabilities 18 years and older. Currently, the income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters, and half of Social Security income is excluded. Contact my office for additional information or assistance with filing an application. Information is also available online here.
House Passes Bill to Relieve Teacher Shortages

By a unanimous vote, the House recently advanced legislation to address teacher shortages in Pennsylvania.  

House Bill 27 would extend a law passed during the COVID-19 pandemic that gave Pennsylvania schools flexibility in the hiring of substitute teachers. The bill would make permanent the ability for retired educators and staff to work as substitutes in our public schools for more than 20 days without any impact on their pension, as well as the use of locally issued temporary certification for substitutes for people who have completed the educator preparation program but have not yet graduated.

The measure would also extend the portions of the law that allow for classroom monitor permits and prospective teachers who are in the process of completing their educator preparation program to also serve as substitutes until the end of the 2025-26 school year.

The measure now goes to the Senate for consideration.  
Low-Income Water Assistance Program Now Available

The Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) is now accepting applications to help qualified Pennsylvanians maintain access to drinking water and wastewater services.

Funded by the federal government, LIHWAP provides eligible households one crisis grant for drinking water service and one crisis grant for wastewater service of up to $2,500 each. Crisis situations can include past-due water bills, termination of utility service, and having received notice that service will be shut off within the next 60 days.

Receiving utility assistance through another program like the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) does not prevent a household from receiving assistance through LIHWAP if the applicant meets LIHWAP eligibility criteria. If a household has previously received LIHWAP for one water type, they cannot receive another LIHWAP grant for the same water type but could receive it for the other.

More information is available here.

I want to congratulate Hershey High School graduate Carson Pedaci, who is in his third year at Penn State, on his selection to be the next drum major of Penn State’s Blue Band! Carson is studying data sciences at Penn State and has been in the Blue Band since his first year. Way to go, Carson! You can read more about his journey to drum major here.

You’re Invited to Tea with Tom

Couples who have been together for 30 years or longer are invited to join me on
Thursday, Nov. 16, from 10 a.m. to noon at the South Hanover Township municipal building, 161 Patriot Way in Hershey. During the event we will enjoy tea and other light refreshments, celebrate your marital milestones, and discuss state programs and services available to those in attendance. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 717-534-1323.

Fun for All Ages Awaits at PA Fairs

Summer is in full swing, and so is Pennsylvania fair season! Communities across the Commonwealth are hosting dozens of fairs featuring food, fun and entertainment, as well as competitive exhibits highlighting animals, produce, crops, crafts, baking and more.

To plan your fair visit, check out the 2023 PA Fair Guide here.
Out and About in the 106th District

Earlier this week, Dauphin County celebrated the preservation of its 20,000th acre of farmland to protect it from future development. This milestone was achieved in South Hanover Township, which is part of the 106th District. I presented certificates to the farm’s longtime owner, Elizabeth S. Gault, and the soon-to-be-new owners, Matthew and Jessica Schnupp. Agriculture preservation is important to ensure we have family farms for future generations.

I was able to tour the Pennsylvania Petroleum Association Technical Education Center (PPATEC) in Middletown this week. While there, I had the opportunity to meet with both staff and trainees. The center offers some outstanding training opportunities!