Dec. 01, 2023

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#Listrak\DateStampLong# The latest news from the State Capitol
In this Edition:
  •   PUC Reminds Consumers of Dec. 1 Energy Price Changes
  •   Making it Easier for Students of Military Families to Enroll in School
  •   Deadline Nears for Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program
  •   Your Input Can Help Broadband Expansion Program
  •   Need a Gift for an Angler?
  •   Happy Holidays!
PUC Reminds Consumers of Dec. 1 Energy Price Changes

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) reminds consumers that many utilities, including all PUC-regulated electric utilities, are adjusting their energy supply prices on Dec. 1 – and encourages consumers to understand those changes and explore #SaveInPA opportunities to reduce energy usage and manage winter energy bills.

During cold weather months, the cost of energy used – either electricity or natural gas – can account for more than half of a typical customer’s bill, so the price of that energy is very important.

Consumers should understand the two major parts of their monthly electric or natural gas bills:

• Generation/supply charge – This charge covers the cost of the energy (electricity or natural gas) used during the month – and this charge is influenced by whether a customer chooses to “shop” for their energy. The energy cost for this portion of the bill is determined by a consumer’s contract with a competitive supplier or, for consumers who do not shop, the utility’s “Price to Compare” (PTC).

• Delivery/distribution charge – This charge includes the cost for the operation and maintenance of the poles, wires, pipelines and other infrastructure that delivers energy to your home or business. This portion of your monthly bill supports your local utility. Consumers may not shop for energy delivery/distribution services.

To learn more about prices, natural gas, as well as shopping options and the impact of winter weather, please click here.
Making it Easier for Students of Military Families to Enroll in School

Members of the military make great sacrifices to serve our Commonwealth and our country. It is important we also remember the sacrifices their family members make as a result of their service.

I was honored to support a new state law that will help students in military families enroll in school. Every year, an estimated 185,000 military students move between schools, and this change will make the move less stressful and more orderly for children and parents.

Under the prior law, students of military families who are transferring on official military permanent change-of-station orders are not eligible to register in classes, enroll in specialized academic programs, or submit their children’s names in lotteries for charter or magnet schools until they are physically located within the district boundaries. The delay can cause students to miss deadlines, requiring them to shift their planned courses of study and ultimately may force them to take summer classes or even graduate later than expected.

Act 24 of 2023 now allows families to establish residency for purposes of enrollment in the school district in which they will be residing by providing the school district with a copy of their military transfer order. This will allow them to access registration and enrollment at the same time it is open to the general population.
Deadline Nears for Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program

Older adults and Pennsylvanians with disabilities have until Dec. 31 to apply for the state’s 2022 Property Tax/Rent Rebate program. Remember, assistance through my office is always free. You need not pay a private firm for assistance.

The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters, and half of Social Security income is excluded.  

For additional information and applications, click here, or call my office, (717) 534-1323, for assistance. 
Your Input Can Help Broadband Expansion Program

The Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority (PBDA) is seeking public input about its Digital Equity Plan.

Because many Pennsylvania communities lack access to high-speed internet, an unfortunate divide is created that impacts families and businesses. With your input, the PBDA will seek federal funding through the Digital Equity Act, which intends to promote digital inclusion and ensure that all individuals and communities can experience the benefits of our digital economy.

Earlier this year, the PBDA approved its multi-year “Connecting the Commonwealth” plan to secure more than $1 billion in federal resources through the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment program.

Click here to download and review the PBDA’s Digital Equity Plan.  

Click here to submit your comments.  

The deadline for submissions is Monday, Jan. 8.
Need a Gift for an Angler?

Beginning today, you can purchase a 2024 fishing license for yourself or someone you know from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. In the new year, an annual license for a Pennsylvania resident will cost $26 and senior resident annual licenses go for $12.50. Please click here to make a purchase and check out the full list of license options.

Now is also a good time to mark your 2024 calendars for the statewide opening day of trout season on Saturday, April 1; statewide Mentored Youth Trout Day on Saturday, March 25; and Fish for Free Days on Memorial Day (Monday, May 28) and Thursday, July 4.
Happy Holidays!

The Christmas tree recently arrived in Harrisburg where it will soon be decorated and lit. As we move into the holiday season, I’d like to wish you all a happy, safe and healthy holiday!