Jul. 21, 2023

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#Listrak\DateStampLong# The latest news from the State Capitol
Honoring Pennsylvania’s Fallen First Responders

Legislation that would establish a new state program that recognizes Pennsylvania’s fallen first responders passed unanimously in the House of Representatives recently.

The Keystone First Responder Award would honor those public servants who were either killed or suffered a career-ending injury in the line of duty. Those eligible for the award would include law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical services personnel, coroners, 911 dispatchers and other first responders.

The legislation would call for the creation of a committee to administer and develop the criteria for the award. The committee would then provide a list of potential recipients to the governor, who would choose the honorees and present the award annually at the end of September.

House Bill 358 now heads to the Senate for consideration.
Keystone ChalleNGe Academy Accepting Applications

The Keystone State ChalleNGe Academy (KSCA) is accepting applications for its fourth class of cadets which begins January 2024. The KSCA is designed to give academically challenged teens a second chance at obtaining their basic education, learn leadership, self-discipline and responsibility while working toward finishing their education and building a better life.

The program is open to 16- to 18-year-old Pennsylvania residents who are failing to progress in high school or may not be on a clear path to graduating. Applicants must be willing to be drug free, free of felony convictions and voluntarily commit to the program. The program lasts 17 months, with the first five months being residential training at Fort Indiantown Gap followed by one year of mentorship back in their home communities.

For detailed eligibility requirements and to begin the application process, click here.
PennDOT Seeking Workers for Winter Maintenance Program

While we are still feeling the summer heat, PennDOT is preparing for cooler temperatures by gearing up for its winter maintenance program.

Positions available may include CDL equipment operators, mechanics, dispatchers, tradesman helpers and semi-skilled laborers. The positions pay between $15.88-$22.80 an hour. The winter maintenance program runs from September through April.

Anyone wishing to apply should visit www.employment.pa.gov and go to the PennDOT Winter Maintenance Program posting under the “Open Jobs” section of the website.
Low-Cost Vehicle Registrations for Retirees

Retired Pennsylvanians receiving Social Security or other pen¬sion funds whose incomes are under $19,200 annually may register one passenger car or non-commercial light truck at a reduced rate. Instead of the regular $36 fee for a passenger vehicle or truck, retired Pennsylvanians pay just a $10 processing fee. The discount does not apply to title fees, transfer fees or sales tax.

For more information and to apply, click here.
Fee Reduction to Help PA Families Save for Future Education Expenses

Pennsylvanians looking to save for their child’s future education expenses will see a reduction in operational fees for the PA 529 College and Career Savings Program Investment Plan (IP).

The reduction will save PA 529 IP account owners an estimated $579,000 over the next year.

The PA 529 IP offers a variety of portfolios for families to choose from, including target enrollment date options that automatically reallocate assets as a child approaches their anticipated date of enrollment.

PA 529 accounts are designed to help Pennsylvania families steadily and strategically save for future educational expenses – including costs associated with universities, community colleges, trade schools, apprenticeships and K-12 education – all with significant state and federal tax advantages.

For more information about saving for education with PA 529, visit pa529.com or call 800-440-4000.
Sign Up Today for November Veterans Appreciation Breakfast

Mark your calendar for my veterans’ appreciation breakfast on Friday, Nov. 3, from 8-10 a.m. at the 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.

Seating is limited and registration is required online at RepMehaffie.com or by calling the district office at 717-534-1323.

At the event, we will be collecting worn, torn and defaced U.S. flags for proper disposal. The Dauphin County Veterans Affairs Office is also scheduled to be on-hand to answer any questions, and the Dauphin County Recorder of Deeds office will be on-site to register discharge papers, DD214s, and issue cards for the county’s Veteran ID Discount Card program.
Out and About

I had a great time at Second Friday in Hummelstown last week. In addition to meeting Whiskey the horse, I also got to listen to some great music by Timeless Review. I can’t wait until next month!

A group of students from the Milton Hershey School recently came to the Capitol for tour of the historic building and to learn more about how state government operates. It was great meeting them and answering any questions they had.