Hello! Thank you for subscribing to my E-newsletter. I am honored to serve the 23rd Senate District and look forward to working with you toward building a better future for Pennsylvania!
This E-newsletter serves to keep you updated on what is happening throughout Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan, Tioga and Union counties and what I am doing as your state senator in Harrisburg. I hope that you will find this E-newsletter helpful, and if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.
What We’re Watching…
Public input is still needed on the recently released Federal Communications Commission (FCC) National Broadband Maps. Challenges regarding the locations and services provided at those locations should be made by January 13, 2023.
$2.3 million awarded to Bradford, Lycoming law enforcement agencies.
More farmland preserved in Tioga, Union Counties.
Wellsboro Food Pantry, others, dealing with rising prices, lower donations and more needs. Donate today.
Dec. 31 is the deadline to apply to the state’s property tax and rent rebate program.
PA to receive $98 million to expand public health services.
Winter Storm Safety Tips
Knowing your utility hotlines is one of the timely tips offered by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on storm preparation, power outages and other winter challenges.
Know Your Utility Hotlines: Write down, print or save toll-free outage hotlines for your electric utility and/or your natural gas utility, which are listed on your monthly bills and posted on the PUC website.
Save Utility Website Address: Your utility’s outage reporting system can provide updates on repair and restoration efforts. Bookmark these electric utility outage sites and natural gas company websites.
Secure Supplies: Keep necessary food, medicine and other supplies on hand, including batteries for flashlights.
Keep Your Cell Phone Charged: A well-charged phone will keep you in contact with your utility, other emergency services and family members during any power outage.
Find more advice here on storm prep and what to do when the power goes out.
Appropriations Monthly Update Highlights Five-Year Budget Outlook, Inflation
Each month, the Senate Appropriations Committee provides an update on the state’s current revenue performance, as well as information on issues of financial importance for Pennsylvania in the months and years to come. These reports help inform the decisions we make in Harrisburg, while providing a critical layer of transparency for you to know how your tax dollars are being utilized.
This month’s edition highlights the state’s five-year budget outlook, as well as the impacts of inflation, the state’s new revenue reporting system, and more. Monthly Report
2021-22 Legislative Session: Bills Passed to Aid Families and Children
From cracking down on crimes against children and care-dependent Pennsylvanians to supporting family caregivers and workers with disabilities, and more, we passed more than a dozen new laws this session to aid children and families.
You can find a complete list here.
‘Tis the Season for Bogus Charity Appeals
With many people planning charitable giving this time of year, the Pennsylvania Department of State offers tips and best practices to help consumers make sure their contributions are going to legitimate charitable organizations and causes.
Here are some red flags of potential charity scams:
Similar sounding name: Scammers often use names that sound similar to legitimate charities to intentionally create confusion.
High-pressure solicitation: Fraudsters will try to force a hasty decision by turning up the pressure. They may cold call, identifying you as a previous contributor, and asking for your renewed support or to update your credit card information.
Donation by wire transfer: Legitimate charities will not ask you to make payment via money order or wire transfer. If you are being solicited for a donation and are asked to pay by these means, hang up immediately.
Donation by gift card: A charity may ask for donations of gift cards, such as from a grocery store, to supply to someone in need, but you should never read the information from a gift card over the phone or provide it via email. After verifying the legitimacy of the charity, take any physical gift card donation directly to the location of the charity and request documentation of your contribution.
You can visit the online charities database to verify that an organization is registered to solicit in Pennsylvania and to see its basic financial information about expenses for program services, fundraising and management.
The Capitol Gets into the Holiday Spirit
The Capitol Christmas Tree is decorated in all its glory. The 20-foot Douglas fir from Crystal Spring Tree Farm in Lehighton, Carbon County is adorned with more than 900 LED lights and more than 700 handmade ornaments donated by students and seniors throughout the commonwealth.
In addition to the tree in the rotunda, there is also a 20-foot tree outside on the Capitol steps. The inside tree is lit daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and the outside tree is lit from 5 p.m. to midnight through Jan. 6. You can plan a visit to see it here.
Holiday Safe Driving
By: Kimberly A. Smith, Safety Press Officer
December is a busy time on the roads. Folks are rushing around during the weeks leading up to the holidays, preparing for holiday gatherings and getting into the seasonal mood. If you plan to head out to festivities, make sure you plan a sober ride home, because driving drunk should never be an option. Even one drink is one drink too many if you’re the driver.
If you plan on drinking, plan on not driving. Doing so could change your life, not to mention the lives of your passengers, of pedestrians, or of other drivers and passengers nearby. If you’re the designated driver, make sure you keep that promise of safety to yourself and your passengers. Stay hydrated with water and other non-alcoholic beverages.
Support other designated drivers, too. It can be a long night, but people are counting on you, not to mention the other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians on the streets. Take the role of designated driver seriously — people are relying on you.
PennDOT recommends these safe alternatives to drinking and driving:
For more information on impaired driving, visit www.penndot.pa.gov/safety.
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