Feb. 17, 2017

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Weekly Roundup
#Listrak\DateStampLong# The latest news from the State Capitol

Constituent Outreach Opportunities Offered Next Week

 
A member of my staff will be available at the following locations next week from 10 a.m. to noon:

• Tuesday, Feb. 21, at the Mt. Pocono borough hall, 1361 Pocono Blvd., Mt. Pocono.
• Thursday, Feb. 23, at the Tunkhannock Township municipal building, 1557 Long Pond Road, Long Pond.

Services available include assistance with PennDOT, LIHEAP, SNAP and Property Tax/Rent Rebate forms; information regarding state agencies and programs; and more.

Free tax preparation, provided by AARP, will be available for seniors who meet certain income eligibility requirements at my Pocono Pines district office, located at the Tobyhanna Township Building, 105 Government Center Way in Pocono Pines. The service will be available every Wednesday beginning Feb. 8 through April 12. Appointments are necessary. To make an appointment, call 570-643-7683. Seniors need not belong to AARP to take advantage of this service.
 
 
Detailed Look into Governor’s Budget to Begin Next Week

 
Members of the House Appropriations Committee will begin their detailed look into the governor’s $32.3 billion budget proposal as hearings begin on Tuesday, Feb. 21.

The opening day of hearings will include testimony from the Independent Fiscal Office, and the departments of Revenue and State.

The remainder of the week will include looks into the proposed budgets of the pension systems, departments of Labor and Industry and Transportation, treasury, offices of auditor and attorney general and the State System of Higher Education.

The full schedule is available here, which will also include video of the archived hearings.

More information about the governor’s proposal is available here.
   
 
Committee Accepts Hunting, Fishing Reports from State Agencies

 
The House Game and Fisheries Committee accepted the annual reports of the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) during meetings this week.

In the face of declining revenues, both groups advocated for legislation that would allow them to set their own license fees. Last session, similar legislation that originated in the Senate passed out of committee in the House but was never voted on the floor.

Among the PGC’s top issues presented to the committee were the recruitment of a new class of wildlife conservation officer cadets, the closing of two of Pennsylvania’s four pheasant farms due to insufficient funding and a decline of the ruffed grouse population.

The PFBC addressed the agency’s fiscal challenges, noting that license fees have not increased since 2005 and expenses are expected to exceed revenue during the current fiscal year.
 
 
Out and About in the 176th

Tamara from the Pennsylvania Department of Health recently visited the Five Loaves Food Pantry in Pocono Pines to discuss healthy eating habits.

This week, the United Way of Monroe County hosted a panel discussion focused on hunger in our community. The event was held at the Northampton Community College Monroe Campus in Tannersville.

Pictured speaking is Caryn Long Earl from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. She joined J. Marc Rittle from the United Way of Monroe County, and Jessica Dokachev and Janet Ney from the Second Harvest Food Bank of the Lehigh Valley.
 
 
Protecting Our Children

 
To help educate the public about ways to further protect children, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services has unveiled three new short YouTube videos that are also being aired statewide.

The videos are designed to raise awareness of the state’s child abuse reporting hotline (available
at 800-932-0313) and background clearance requirements for people who have routine and direct access to children.

The videos are also available on the newly redesigned KeepKidsSafe.pa.gov website, which includes information for mandated reporters, child abuse clearance links and contact information for other child protection-related concerns.
 
 
PennDOT Offers Internship Opportunities

PennDOT is offering internships for those seeking engineering, science and technical degrees, along with general government service, this summer.

A variety of internship positions will be filled, including those that may lead to full-time employment after graduation. Click here to learn more about the types of internships offered.

Applications for the summer program will be accepted through March 30.

More information, including application instructions, is available here
  
 
PennDOT Offices Closed for Presidents Day

 
In observance of Presidents Day, all PennDOT driver license and photo centers, including the full-service center in Harrisburg, will be closed Saturday, Feb. 18, through Monday, Feb. 20. Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services online through PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website, dmv.pa.gov.
 
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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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