Nov. 17, 2023

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

In this Issue:
   • Blocking Unwanted Phone Calls
   • PA Insurance Marketplace Now Open
   • Bill Package Unveiled to Address Sexual Harassment
   • Be Alert for Property Tax Rent Rebate Scam
   • Happy Thanksgiving!
   • Supporting Small Businesses
   • Safety Tips for this Hunting Season
   • Hunters Can Share Their Harvest
   • Out and About Photos

Blocking Unwanted Phone Calls
Do you receive unwanted phone calls from scammers and telemarketers? There is both a federal and state no-call list where you can register home and cell phone numbers. The registrations are now permanent. If you have done this in the past, make sure you do it again as your numbers could previously only remain on the no-call list for five years. To obtain information, to confirm your home and cell phone numbers are on the registry, or to report unwanted calls, please access the websites or call the telephone numbers listed below:

Federal no-call list: Click here, or call 1-888-382-1222.

State no-call list: Click here, or call 1-888-777-3406.

PA Insurance Marketplace Now Open
Pennsylvania’s official health insurance marketplace,, is now open for Pennsylvanians to enroll in health coverage for 2024. This annual open enrollment period is the time when Pennsylvanians can compare quality health plans at the lowest costs through Pennie.

The deadline to enroll in coverage that starts New Year’s Day is Dec. 15. Plans and prices change every year, so anyone who needs coverage should review their options even if they have looked before. Anyone currently enrolled in Pennie should make sure their family size, income and contact information are up to date.

Pennie is the only place where Pennsylvanians can get financial savings to reduce the cost of health coverage and care. Currently, nine in 10 enrollees qualify and save more than $500 a month on average.

Pennie coordinates with Pennsylvania’s Medicaid program and picks up where Medicaid leaves off. Pennsylvanians who no longer qualify for Medicaid because of changes in income can see large savings on private health plans through Pennie. For anyone who is no longer eligible for Medicaid and still needs coverage, the open enrollment period is the last chance to enroll for 2024. For more information, click here.                                   

Pennsylvanians interested in shopping for and purchasing health coverage through Pennie can visit or call Pennie customer service at 1-844-844-8040. Individuals in need of assistance navigating coverage options, can go to to find help.      
Bill Package Unveiled to Address Sexual Harassment
In response to recent cases of sexual harassment at the Capitol, I joined four of my female colleagues in announcing that we will soon introduce a legislative package to make significant reforms to protect taxpayers and victims.

In March, then-Rep. Mike Zabel resigned after it became public that over several years he sexually harassed a lobbyist, another legislator and his former campaign manager. More recently, the state paid out a $295,000 sexual harassment settlement to a woman who worked for Mike Vereb. At the time of the offense, Vereb was Gov. Josh Shapiro’s secretary of legislative affairs.

The legislation includes a resolution that would tighten House Rules and increase transparency related to the number of complaints filed before the House Ethics Committee; amend the Commonwealth’s Right-to-Know Law to redact the name of a victim of sexual harassment or assault before a settlement agreement is released to the public; amend the PennWATCH Act to include information on each settlement paid to an individual or an employee of a Commonwealth agency, as a result of an action taken by a state employee; set forth a clear and detailed framework allowing the Commonwealth to seek reimbursement and accountability from those individuals whose improper and unlawful action result in settlements or judgments paid by the Commonwealth; and enshrine the federal non-disclosure agreement law into state law.
Be Alert for Property Tax Rent Rebate Scam
Scammers claiming to be from the Pennsylvania Treasury have been calling Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program participants and asking for bank account information in an effort to steal valuable personal data.

No one from the state will call and ask for bank information for this program. In this scam, the caller claims the information is needed so a Property Tax/Rent Rebate payment can be made by direct deposit. People should never give out their bank account information or other personal financial information simply because someone calls and asks for it.

The best way to contact the Pennsylvania Treasury with questions is with the form available at

Happy Thanksgiving!
For centuries, Americans have come together in the spirit of thanksgiving. From the earliest traditions that began in Plymouth, Mass., in 1621 to the first official national observance in 1863, families have gathered in November to celebrate bountiful harvests and all that has been given to them.

In honor of the Thanksgiving holiday, state offices will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 23, and Friday, Nov. 24, along with my offices. PennDOT Driver License Centers will be closed on those dates as well, though many services are available online at

If you are traveling, be sure to check for the latest traffic and weather information.

From my family to yours, may you all have a safe, healthy and happy Thanksgiving.

Supporting Small Businesses
Consider showing some love to the small businesses in our community throughout the holiday season but especially on Small Business Saturday, which is coming up on Saturday, Nov. 25.

Launched by American Express in 2010, this day is celebrated each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving to encourage people to support the small businesses that help drive the economies of our communities.

Learn more about Small Business Saturday here.  

Safety Tips for this Hunting Season
Firearms deer season opens Saturday, Nov. 25. As you prepare to head out to our fields and forests, be sure to keep safety in mind. The Pennsylvania Game Commission offers these important tips:

Basic Safety
• Positively identify the target – Be sure you are shooting at legal game and not another hunter. And never shoot at sounds or movement.
• Stay in the zone! Hunters should be spaced 25 to 40 yards apart, and always in sight of one another. Each hunter’s zone of fire spans about 45 degrees directly in front of the hunter. Never shoot at game moving between you and someone else.
• Plan your hunt! Let someone know where you're hunting and when you'll return.
• Buckle up! If you hunt from an elevated stand, always wear a full-body, fall-restraint device as soon as your feet leave the ground until they return.
• Keep fit! Hunting is hard work. Don't become a statistic. Keep physically fit. Start with a check-up and follow your doctor's advice.
• Stay found! Become familiar with your hunting area. Learn how to use a map and compass or GPS unit. Be prepared for emergencies. Carry a basic survival kit and know how to use it.
• Be seen! Wear or display the required amount of fluorescent orange clothing.

Firearms Safety
• Handle all firearms as if they’re loaded. Never assume they are unloaded and double check to be sure.
• Always point the muzzle in a safe direction and don’t put your finger on the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
• Unload and place your firearm on the ground before crossing a fence, log or other obstacle, or climbing a tree.
• Shoot only when a safe and adequate backstop exists. Don’t shoot at hard, flat surfaces, water or a target on the horizon.

For more information, visit the Pennsylvania Game Commission website at

Hunters Can Share Their Harvest
The state Department of Agriculture and Pennsylvania Game Commission are again encouraging hunters to consider sharing their deer harvest to provide thousands of pounds of venison to people in need.

Hunters Sharing the Harvest (HSH) is Pennsylvania’s venison donation program for hunters who share their extra venison via a statewide network of participating butchers to food pantries and community assistance centers across the Commonwealth. One deer provides about 200 servings of high-protein, low-fat venison. Thanks to the program’s generous supporters, hunters pay nothing to ensure their venison helps to provide a warm meal to someone in need in their community.

The program reported record participation last year with 235,532 pounds of venison donated in the 2022-23 deer season. HSH has distributed 2.2 million pounds of donated venison since 1991. More information about the program and how to participate is available at
Out and About Photos
Tea with Tom
Yesterday morning, I hosted my first Tea with Tom event celebrating couples who have been married for 30 or more years. I had a great time celebrating the many happy couples, sharing secrets of successful marriage with laughs and jokes, providing information on government services and a legislative update, and fielding questions about state government and current legislation in the works.

Veterans Day Last Weekend
This Veterans Day, I had the great honor of joining the Hummelstown American Legion Post 265 for a flag retirement. Thank you to the Hummelstown Legion for inviting me to this wonderful ceremony.

This Veterans Day, I also had the honor of joining the Hershey American Legion Post 386. At 11:11, honoring the Armistice of World War I, Tim Roche, veteran and Derry Township police officer, recognized the importance of the day. Thank you to the Hershey Legion inviting me to this beautiful event.

Celebrating Service to Our Community
Recently, I had the great pleasure of presenting a certificate to Odette Bergloff for her many years of service to the Hershey Food Bank and dedication to our community. The depth of her heart is truly special - thank you Odette, for your service throughout our district.

Community Art Projects
Last week, I had the pleasure of joining Linda Bisset, Susan Cort and John Davis to celebrate the completion of the “Bloom and Belong” glass mosaic mural which includes 10,000 tiles. One thousand of these tiles were created by nearly 500 students from Hershey, Lower Dauphin, Milton Hershey and the Vista School.

Celebrating Local Businesses
Last week, I was excited to join Print House in Hummelstown to celebrate the opening of its new location and wishing continued success to our many local businesses doing great things!

Celebrating Student Successes
I was proud to travel to the Dauphin County Technical School to recognize the 10th grade Student of the Month, my grandson!

Congratulations, Caden, I am so proud of you and all of your accomplishments in the veterinarian program at Dauphin Technical.

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