Jan. 27, 2017

REAL ID Update

 
This week, I joined 115 of my House colleagues in signing on to a letter to President Donald Trump asking for his administration to re-examine the application of the REAL ID Act and encourage Congress to make changes to the law in order to resolve the constitutional and cost issues associated with it. You can read the letter here.

As you may know, Pennsylvania was recently granted an extension by the federal government to comply with REAL ID. The Commonwealth now has until June 5 to fix state law to meet the requirements of the act.

The delay will allow Pennsylvania residents to continue using their driver’s licenses as identification to enter federal buildings. Without the extension, residents would have needed an additional photo ID, such as a passport, to gain access to military buildings, nuclear power plants and federal facilities starting on Jan. 30.
 
 
Visiting the Capitol

 

It was my pleasure to welcome Ethan Harrell and his mother, Rayna, of Franklin Park to the state Capitol in Harrisburg. Ethan attends Our Lady of Sacred Heart High School and is a member of the National Honor Society. He also plays on the varsity basketball team.
 
 
Property Tax/Rent Rebate Applications Now Available


 
Forms for the state’s 2016 Property Tax/Rent Rebate program are now available for download from the Department of Revenue’s website. Paper forms will be accessible in the coming weeks.

You do not need to pay a private entity for assistance in filing the forms. Copies of the forms, as well as assistance with filing them, are available at no cost at my district office. You should be prepared to provide all the necessary income, property tax or rental information required to process claims quickly and accurately. Applications are due by June 30.

Eligible participants can receive a rebate of up to $650 based on their rent or property taxes paid in 2016. The program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians who are 65 years or older, widows and widowers 50 years or older, and those 18 years or older with disabilities. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters, and half of Social Security income is excluded.

For more information, visit my website at RepTurzai.com, or click here.
 
 
Visiting the Capitol

 

My friend and constituent Rich Wagner joined me on the House floor. Rich is the independent safety consultant for Allegheny County HAZMAT Silver 430.
 
 
Save Our Volunteer Fire, EMS Companies


 
This week, a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the House and Senate unveiled a 16-bill package to support fire and ambulance services across the Commonwealth.

The legislation is designed to address growing financial costs faced by companies, the shortage of volunteers and the lack of affordable and easily accessible training options.

On the funding side, measures seek to raise Medicaid reimbursement rates, support the Emergency Medical Services Operating Fund, and provide new billing options for fire departments and EMS organizations.

To address the volunteer shortage, the package includes bills to promote recruitment and retention.
 
Emergency Programs Can Save Lives

 
To help first responders help motorists and passengers who may be injured in car crashes, PennDOT offers two programs aimed saving the lives of Pennsylvanians in emergency situations – the Yellow Dot and Emergency Contact Information programs.

The Yellow Dot program is used only in vehicle crashes, but the Emergency Contact Information program can be used in other emergencies as well as crashes.

To learn more, click here.
 
 
Farewell!

 

Recently, I joined Rep. Sue Helm (R-Dauphin/Lebanon) to present retiring House employee Tom Pyne a House of Representatives citation. Tom, who founded the House Republican Video Department, and most recently supervised our Legislative Outreach Bureau, is retiring after 35 years of service.
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