Mar. 08, 2019

Supporting PA National Guard Families

Ensuring a better future for our Pennsylvania National Guard members and their families is the driving force behind a first-of-its-kind Military Family Education Program.

The proposal builds on the state’s existing National Guard Military Education Program by extending benefits to a guard member’s spouse or children in exchange for the guard member committing to a second obligation of six years in the Guard.

The initiative not only recognizes the sacrifices made by Guard families but also helps retain current National Guard members and attract transitioning military service members to Pennsylvania.

The program would provide for 10 semesters of tuition-free education for family member(s). The benefit must be used at a Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency approved educational institution, and at the tuition rate set by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.
 
 
Calling All Veterans!


The desire to help veterans in need reflects a fitting gratitude for service to our country. On Friday, March 22, I will partner with the American Legion to assist veterans and their families at my district office in McCandless. Through this outreach, we have been able to provide some direct links between our veterans and the services and programs available just for them.

Ensuring Pennsylvania’s 800,000 veterans get all of the benefits they have earned is an important mission of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) and state lawmakers.

I encourage veterans to sign up for the DMVA’s Veterans Registry at register.dmva.pa.gov to get timely information about state benefits, programs and services.

DMVA also offers two Mobile Veterans Outreach Vans that travel the Commonwealth to give veterans one-on-one assistance so they can learn about and apply for the benefits they have earned.

To learn more about the vans, and schedule one for a community event, click here. This page also includes a calendar of upcoming events.

Please call my office at 412-369-2230 to schedule an appointment. My district office is located at 125 Hillvue Lane, first floor, in McCandless.
   
 
Budget Hearings Conclude


Making sure every dollar of state tax money is used to its maximum benefit, the House Appropriations Committee wrapped up its three-week series of budget hearings this week, with the committee looking into all aspects of the governor’s budget proposal.

This week, the committee heard testimony and asked questions to the departments of Education,
Agriculture, and Military and Veterans Affairs, as well as the Public School Employees’ Retirement System and State Employees’ Retirement System.

The Appropriations Committee will take the testimony gathered from these hearings into negotiations for the 2019-20 budget. All of the hearings are available here.
 
 
Resources to Help with Problem Gambling

 
With March being observed as National Problem Gambling Awareness Month, officials from the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and the Pennsylvania Lottery highlighted the warning signs of problem gambling and available resources to help.

Gambling can become a problem when a person develops strained relationships with loved ones; borrows money to gamble; gambles to get a “high”; or misses work, school or other activities and obligations in order to gamble.

In the Commonwealth, the Council on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania works to educate Pennsylvanians on compulsive and problem gambling to prevent development of dangerous gambling habits. It operates the Pennsylvania Problem Gambling helpline, 1-800 GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537). More resources, including a 24-hour chat service, are also available at pacouncil.com.
 
 
Free Admission at Several Local Museums


 
This Sunday, March 10 is Charter Day – a day to celebrate Pennsylvania’s 338th birthday. In honor of the occasion, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) will offer free admission to the Fort Pitt Museum in Pittsburgh and many historic sites and museums along the Pennsylvania Trails of History on Sunday, March 10.

Charter Day celebrates the founding of the Commonwealth and gives visitors to The State Museum of Pennsylvania a rare opportunity to see the original Charter of Pennsylvania written in 1681. This year, documents relating to the 19th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, granting women the right to vote will be on display until 1 p.m. Friday, March 15.

For a complete list of the participating museums and historic sites in this year’s celebration, click here.
 
 
Spring Ahead: Turn Clocks Ahead One Hour This Weekend


 
Daylight saving time will begin on Sunday, March 10, at 2 a.m., and residents are reminded to turn their clocks ahead one-hour Saturday night.

This is also a good time to check and/or change batteries in both smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms. The alarms should also be replaced every 10 years.
 
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