Contact Information 
District Office
Carriage House Square
2785 Route 115, Suite 103
Effort, PA 18330
Phone: (570) 620-4341
Fax: (570) 620-4349

Tobyhanna Township Building
105 Government Center Way
Pocono Pines, PA 18350
Phone: (570) 643-7683

Capitol Office

Room 423, Irvis Office Building
PO Box 202176
Harrisburg PA 17120-2176
Phone: (717) 787-7732
Scenes from the West End Fair
8/25/2017
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Weekly Roundup
#Listrak\DateStampLong# The latest news from the State Capitol

Scenes from the West End Fair 

 

 

 

One of my favorite times of the year is fair week, and the 2017 West End Fair has certainly not disappointed. The fair runs through Saturday night so you still have time to come and enjoy rides, food and entertainment. On Wednesday, the fair had a special guest, Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding, who spoke about the impact of fairs on Pennsylvania’s culture. I would like to congratulate the 2017 West End Fair Queen Taylor Edman and the 2017 Fair Princess Sierra Borger! I’d also like to thank all the board of directors and the volunteers who make this week possible every year. 

State Reduces Mandated Testing for Students
In a win for Pennsylvania students, families and educators, mandated tests that are part of the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) will be reduced by 20 percent for the upcoming 2017-18 academic year. This will allow teachers to better instruct their students in specific subjects rather than increasing the amount of classroom time preparing for mandated exams.

Specifically, the state Department of Education is removing two sections – one in math, one in English/language arts – and additional questions from the science section, which could eliminate up to two full testing days for some schools.

This change impacts students and teachers in grades three through eight, who will now spend an average of 20 percent less time on statewide testing.

In similar efforts, the House continues to look at all facets of education to ensure a quality, affordable education for Pennsylvania families. Within the past year, the House has spearheaded legislation to further invest in public schools, ensure greater effectiveness and accountability with the PSSA, bring needed reforms to charter schools, and enhance career and technical education.

Our Annual Wellness Festival is Saturday, Sept. 16
Our Third Annual Fall Wellness Festival, co-hosted with St. Luke’s Hospital, will be held on Saturday, Sept. 16, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Northampton Community College’s Monroe Campus in Tannersville. This is a free event which will include health screenings, cooking demonstrations and more. For additional information about our expo, or to sign up as a vendor, call our Pocono Pines office at 570-643-7683.

East Stroudsburg University Opens New Residence Hall 

 

Last week, East Stroudsburg University unveiled its newest residence hall, Sycamore Suites. I am looking forward to getting to see more of the campus over this next year while I serve as the university’s legislative fellow for the 2017-18 school year.

Save for College with State 529 Plan

 

For families looking to plan for higher education, the Pennsylvania Treasury offers the PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan (GSP), in which growth is tied to the rate of college tuition inflation, and the PA 529 Investment Plan (IP), which offers 15 investment options by The Vanguard Group.

Contributions to PA 529 plans are deductible from Pennsylvania income taxes, grow tax free, and, when used for qualified educational expenses, are federal and state tax exempt. Both plans provide flexibility to pay for higher education expenses at most higher education institutions across the country.

The PA 529 GSP is designed to enable your savings to help keep pace with the rising costs of higher education. The PA 529 GSP contributions grow at the rate of tuition inflation but are subject to fees and premiums.

The PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan (GSP) is offering free enrollment – a $50 savings – for all new accounts opened before Sept. 30, at PA529.com. Use code “RADER” or “SUMMER2017” when prompted.

Pennsylvania also offers a second 529 plan, the PA 529 Investment Plan (IP), which features low fees and more than a dozen conservative and aggressive investment options from The Vanguard Group. No enrollment fee is charged for the PA 529 IP.
Families may also enter for a chance to win $529 to get started at PA529.com/contest until Sept. 30.

$1 Fishing Licenses to be Offered on Labor Day

 

To encourage the love of fishing, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is offering two special fishing opportunities to fish on Labor Day, Sept. 4.
The first is a $1 license for adult residents and non-residents good for Labor Day only.

The second opportunity is the Mentored Youth Panfish Day. This provides youth anglers, who have obtained a free mentored youth permit or have purchased a voluntary youth license, an opportunity to fish on 19 Panfish Enhancement lakes. Panfish include bluegill, pumpkinseed and redear sunfish, which are collectively called sunfish; black and white crappies; and yellow perch.

The 19 lakes will be open to all anglers all day, but only mentored youth participants (adults and kids) may keep fish under the minimum size. Panfish Enhancement lakes in Monroe County include Bradys Lake and Gouldsboro Lake. More information is available here.

To participate in the mentored youth program, adult anglers (16 years or older) must have a valid Pennsylvania fishing license and be accompanied by a youth. Accompanying youth anglers must have either a free PFBC-issued permit or a purchase a voluntary youth fishing license. Both permits and licenses can be obtained at www.GoneFishingPA.com.

Fire, EMS Grant Program to Open Sept. 6

 

Fire companies and ambulance services throughout Pennsylvania are encouraged to apply for this year’s grant program from the Office of State Fire Commissioner. The application period will open on Sept. 6 and close on Oct. 20.

Grants may be used for construction or renovation of a unit’s station, the purchase or repair of equipment, training or debt reduction. The maximum grant amount is $15,000 for fire companies and $10,000 for volunteer ambulance services. Career ambulance companies can apply for the grants, so long as they are designated as a municipality’s primary EMS provider.

A total of $30 million will be awarded through the program, which is funded through state gaming proceeds.

For more information about the program, click here. 

Blakeslee Rotary to Offer Wine and Cheese Reception
The Blakeslee Rotary will hold a Wine and Cheese Reception at the Blakeslee Community Center on Wednesday, Aug. 30, at 6 p.m. Attendees can learn about Rotary and meet with area business owners.

This is a free event. To RSVP, visit Janice Miller Lion at 610-662-4108 or email millerlion66@gmail.com

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Office Locations
Capitol: Room 423, Irvis Office Building, P.O. Box 202176, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2176 | Phone: (717) 787-7732
Districts: 2785 Route 115, Suite 103, Carriage House Square, Effort, PA 18330 I Phone: (570) 620-4341
Tobyhanna Township Building, 105 Government Center Way, Pocono Pines, Pa 18350 I Phone: (570) 643-7683
Email: jrader@pahousegop.com
 
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