Oct. 26, 2018

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The Weekly Roundup
The latest news from the State Capitol
 
Preventing Food Stamp Fraud

Legislation was signed into law this week to help prevent food stamp fraud by imposing tougher penalties for the illegal trafficking of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Violators of Senate Bill 1127 must pay restitution of up to three times the amount of fraud they committed.

The legislation stems from a case uncovered last year in which a Harrisburg restaurant traded drugs for electronic benefit transaction (EBT) cards and bought thousands of dollars of supplies from a food wholesale club to be resold for profit. This serious problem across Pennsylvania takes food from our most vulnerable citizens. 
 
 
Help for Grandparents Raising Grandkids

Two bills were signed into law this week to help Pennsylvania grandparents struggling to raise their grandchildren.

Act 89 of 2018 will establish the Kinship Caregiver Navigator Program, an informational resource that would operate both as a website and a toll-free hotline. The website will offer information on support and services available, and a specially trained navigator will provide support and guidance, and serve as a mediator to establish relationships between kinship caregivers and government agencies.

Act 88 of 2018 grants temporary guardianship to grandparents when the parents of the grandchildren are unable to care for them primarily due to substance abuse issues. 
 
 
 
Safely Dispose of Your Expired Drugs on Saturday

To help keep prescription medications out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them, the U.S. Department of Justice, working with local law enforcement, will hold a prescription drug take-back event in our area on Saturday, Oct. 27.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., residents can drop their medications off at the local sites listed here.

Nearly 5,000 tons of old prescription drugs have been collected since the program began in 2010. 
 
 
Driver Safety Class for Seniors

The very popular AARP driver safety course will be presented at the Newport Public Library on Monday, Nov. 12, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. This is the 4-hour “refresher” class, intended for those over age 55 who have previously completed the full, 8-hour class. Materials covered include strategies for safer driving, the effects of aging on driving skills and habits, and review of new Pennsylvania traffic laws.

The cost is $15 for AARP members and $20 for non-members. A certificate will be provided to those completing the class that can be used for an auto insurance discount.

The library is located at 316 N. Fourth St. in Newport. Please call either 717 567-6860 or 717 582-2235 to register for this class. 
 
 
Way to Go, Nick!
 
Congratulations to Nick Rinker of Newport, Perry County, who was named as the 2018 Self-Advocate Employee of the Year for the central region by Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources for Autism and Intellectual Disability (PAR). Nick works for Ingram Micro as a warehouse associate and is active in Special Olympics and as a volunteer with his local fire company. Nick and the other winners received their awards Monday during PAR’s “We Are Worth It” Ceremony in Harrisburg. 
 
 
 
Applications Now Being Accepted for Governor’s School

The Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh is now accepting applications from talented high school juniors for the summer 2019 program.

The school is an intensive, five-week summer residential program, which emphasizes cooperative learning and hands-on laboratory research, for 56 talented high school juniors pursuing careers in science and mathematics. Learn more here
 
 
Visiting the Capitol
 
These Susquenita High School students were in Harrisburg Wednesday for a tour of our state Capitol. This photo was taken in the House chamber, where I spent some time visiting with them. 
 
 
Heating Assistance Program to Open Next Week

Eligible residents who are struggling with their home heating bills can apply for assistance from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) beginning Thursday, Nov. 1.

LIHEAP is a federally funded program that helps individuals and families pay their heating bills through home heating energy assistance grants. It also provides crisis grants to help in the event of an emergency or if a resident is in danger of losing his or her heat due to broken equipment, lack of fuel or termination of utility service.

Residents may apply for LIHEAP online or by contacting their County Assistance Office. 
 
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Office Locations
Perry County Office, 18 West Main Street, PO Box 9. New Bloomfield PA 17068 | Tel: 717-582-8119
Cumberland County Office, 81 Walnut Bottom Road, P.O. Box 705, Shippensburg, PA 17257 | Tel: 717-477-0905
Room 108 , Ryan Office Building, PO Box 202086. Harrisburg, PA 17120-2086 | Tel: 717-783-1593
Email: mkeller@pahousegop.com
TTY: 855-282-0614 
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