Dec. 15, 2023

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#Listrak\DateStampLong# The latest news from the State Capitol
In this Edition:
  •   Scam Alert!
  •   State Museum Adds Holiday-Inspired Programming
  •   Plan Now for Parks, Recreation Grants
  •   Saving for Higher Education
  •   License Your Dog in 2024
  •   Out and About
Scam Alert!

Pennsylvania Treasurer Stacy Garrity is warning residents of a new scam involving false promises of a state grant and fraudulent requests to pay taxes using gift cards.

In this scam, unsuspecting residents receive a call, an email and/or a letter claiming to be from the Pennsylvania Treasury Department or the Federal Reserve Bank, fraudulently indicating the recipient will be awarded grant money but first must pay taxes. In at least one case, the recipient was told to make the supposed tax payments with gift cards.

Treasury does not announce grant awards, and it does not collect taxes. In addition, Treasury will never request a payment be made with a gift card, and neither will any other legitimate government agency.

In one case, an elderly Indiana County resident was initially contacted by telephone and told he would receive a $25,500 grant from the state but had to pay thousands of dollars in taxes first, using gift cards. He purchased the cards, called the scammer back and provided the information needed to access the gift cards. This happened multiple times.

Treasury has provided information about this scam to the appropriate law enforcement agencies.

Anyone who believes they have been the victim of a scam or attempted scam should immediately report it to the Federal Trade Commission, the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General and their local law enforcement agency.

If you or anyone you know has received suspicious correspondence claiming to be from the Pennsylvania Treasury Department, please contact Treasury here or by calling 717-787-2465.
State Museum Adds Holiday-Inspired Programming

The State Museum of Pennsylvania is adding a few special holiday happenings to its regular schedule of programs and events: a planetarium show, museum store sales days, and a family-friendly way to ring in the new year. For a full listing of all available programs, visit

For more information about the museum, including the full schedule of exhibits, programs and events, visit The State Museum online or follow on Facebook and Twitter.
Plan Now for Parks, Recreation Grants

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) is reminding county and local governments, nonprofit organizations, state heritage areas and others of the next round of Community Conservation Partnerships Program Grants.

The application period for the grant program, which supports an array of parks, conservation and recreation projects, opens Tuesday, Jan. 16.

Videos to learn about the grant program and eligible project areas are available here.

Additional information about the grants and how to apply is available here.
Saving for Higher Education

If you’ve been thinking about saving for your child’s future education, now may be the time to do it. The Pennsylvania Treasury, which administers the state’s tuition savings programs, recently announced the PA 529 Investment Plan (IP) was named one of the two best plans in the entire country.

The PA 529 IP received its first-ever Morningstar Gold Rating, rating it as one of the very best plans for families. The PA 529 IP was previously rated as silver for three consecutive years (2020-22) and bronze in 2019. The upgrade to gold reflects outstanding management and recent fee reductions which make the PA 529 IP one of the most cost-effective plans in the country.

There are two PA 529 plans available for families to choose from when saving for their child’s future education – the PA 529 IP, and the PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan (GSP).

PA 529 plans help families steadily and strategically save for education expenses like tuition, fees, books, room and board, and more at qualifying technical, collegiate and apprenticeship programs. PA 529 plans provide great state and federal tax benefits, and savings don’t impact Pennsylvania state financial aid eligibility.

Learn more at
License Your Dog in 2024

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is reminding dog owners to license their pets for 2024.

All dogs three months of age and older are required to be licensed by Jan. 1 of each year. Dog owners may choose to purchase single year licenses or a lifetime license, if their dog has some form of permanent identification, such as a microchip or tattoo. Single year licenses cost $6.70 for altered animals and $8.70 for unaltered animals. Lifetime licenses cost $31.70 for altered animals and $51.70 for an unaltered animal.

Please note that license fees will be increasing effective Feb. 1.

Licenses are available for purchase through county treasurers. A list of treasurers and their contact information is available here.
Out and About

Middletown High School Junior, Landon Cochran, was 1 of 50 out of 300,000 students in the U.S. selected to represent Team USA in the Caribbean Classic All Stars baseball series. Landon and Team USA played against the Dominican Republic in Santo Domingo, where the U.S. brought back the championship belt. Landon has also been doing charity work and giving back for over two years. He has raised an estimated $22,000 for his charity group "Pitching for Pediatrics" for the Program 15 Foundation and its partner children's charities.

It was so nice to honor Landon, along with Middletown School District Superintendent Dr. Cheldon Hunter, Athletic Director Scott Govern, and Landon’s parents, Tasha and Andy Cochran, for his amazing accomplishments. Well done, Landon!