Helping Veterans and Firefighters
10/11/2019
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The Weekly Roundup
The latest news from the State Capitol
 
Helping Veterans and Firefighters

I want to remind you that the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote the week of Oct. 21 on my legislation to eliminate a licensee surcharge to our national veterans’ organizations and volunteer fire companies. 

House Bill 1048 would amend Act 39 of 2016 that requires a $700 renewal surcharge for all licenses that are renewed or validated on an annual basis. This applies to all restaurants, hotels, clubs, breweries, importing distributors, distributors and eating place retail dispensers.

This surcharge is financially burdensome. My legislation would only exempt veterans organizations and firefighter organizations from this increase in hopes that they can continue to be viable assets to our community.

The bill has bipartisan support. I will give you an update when the House votes on my legislation.
 
  
Manufacturing is a Major Part of Our Economy

My House and Senate colleagues and I had a great discussion at a Legislative Roundtable in Barnesville sponsored by the Northeast PA Manufacturers & Employers Association. Manufacturing is truly the engine that drives the economy. Thanks for inviting me!
    
 
REAL ID Deadline Less Than One Year Away

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is reminding customers that federal enforcement of the REAL ID Act will begin at airports and secure federal facilities nationwide starting on Oct. 1, 2020.

As of that date, you will have to have a federally accepted form of identification – such as a Pennsylvania REAL ID driver’s license or identification card, or a U.S. passport/passport card or military ID – to board a commercial flight (including domestic flights) or visit a secure federal building that requires ID at the door.

Since March 2019, when REAL ID first became available in the Commonwealth, more than 400,000 Pennsylvanians have chosen to get a REAL ID-compliant product. Based on data from other states with optional REAL ID programs, PennDOT anticipates that approximately 1.3 million of its customers will get a REAL ID before the federal enforcement deadline next year.

Federal regulations require that to be issued a REAL ID-compliant product, PennDOT must verify a variety of documents to prove a person’s identity, including documentation of name changes, as well as their Social Security number and place of residence.

For information about required documents, how to get them verified and other frequently asked questions about REAL ID, click here. 
 
 
Medicare Open Enrollment Starts Oct. 15

The state Department of Aging is reminding beneficiaries of the Medicare open enrollment period starting Tuesday, Oct. 15, and continuing through Saturday, Dec. 7. During this time, you may make changes to your current Medicare coverage, as well as join, switch or drop Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug Coverage plans.

Pennsylvania offers a free health insurance counseling program, APPRISE, through the local Area Agency on Aging. APPRISE counselors are specially trained staff and volunteers who can provide objective, easy-to-understand information at no cost to you. They can help you understand Medicare eligibility, enrollment, financial assistance programs and coverage options, among other Medicare-related topics.

For more information, contact the local Area Agency on Aging or call the toll-free APPRISE Helpline at 1-800-783-7067, which is available Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Information is also available here.
 
 
Recognizing Domestic Violence Awareness Month

With approximately 95,000 victims seeking services through the Commonwealth’s domestic violence programs each year, the state House unanimously approved House Resolution 467 designating October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Pennsylvania.

Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior used to establish power and control over an intimate partner, causing both physical and emotional harm. Victims may be subjected to abuse, harassment, threats, vandalism, trespassing, burglary, theft and stalking. As one of the most chronically underreported crimes, domestic violence affects men and women in all racial, ethnic, religious, educational, social and economic backgrounds. More information about domestic violence and services available to help victims is available here.
 
 
PennDOT Closures for Columbus Day Weekend

All PennDOT driver license and photo centers, including its full-service center in Harrisburg, will be closed Saturday, Oct. 12, through Monday, Oct. 14, in observance of Columbus Day. Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services, including all forms, publications and driver-training manuals, online through PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website, www.dmv.pa.gov.
 
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202 East Broad Street, Tamaqua, PA 18252 | Phone: 570-668-1240
61 North Third Street, Hamburg, PA 19526-1501 | Phone: 610-562-3411
314C Main Capitol, PO Box 202124, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2124 | Phone: 717-787-9029
Email: jknowles@pahousegop.com
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