In this Update:
Last week, I attended Penn State’s Ag Progress Days where I joined PA Department of Agriculture Secretary Redding in speaking with members of the PA 4-H Council and the new PA FFA officers. I also helped lead the Senate and House Agriculture & Rural Affairs committees during a joint informational hearing where we opened the floor to discussions on the potential impacts of the impending Federal Farm Bill.
Join Us for Our Upcoming Free Senior Expo on Sept. 29
Reminder! Our Free Annual Senior Expo will be held on Friday, Sept. 29, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Community College of Beaver County located at 1 Campus Drive in Monaca.
For more information, contact our Cranberry District Office at 878-978-2575.
Higher Property Tax/Rent Rebates Available Next Year
The Senate passed legislation that will increase the amount of rebates for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program and expand the income eligibility for it. The changes will take effect beginning next year.
Because income eligibility limits weren’t raised for 16 years, the number of recipients of the program dropped from about 600,000 individuals to an estimated 398,000 in the current year. The legislation also includes an annual cost of living adjustment so the program will keep pace with inflation and people won’t lose their rebate just because they received a modest increase in their Social Security benefits.
Review the new rebate amounts, available next year, here.
$36 Million in Grants Will Improve Traffic Safety
Nearly $36 million will be used to relieve traffic in 77 Pennsylvania municipalities through traffic signal upgrades and measures to increase safety and mobility.
The Green Light-Go grants are provided as reimbursement to municipalities for updates to improve the efficiency and operation of existing traffic signals. They may be used for LED technology installation and traffic signal retiming.
In our area, East Rochester Borough (Beaver County) was awarded $230,000 for updated signal equipment at Ohio River Blvd. (Route 65) & East Rochester Monaca Bridge; and Cranberry Township (Butler County) was awarded $165,600 for updated vehicle detection throughout the township.
Call 988 for Suicide Prevention and Crisis Support
Pennsylvanians facing mental health challenges need our support. Senate Republicans have dedicated funding to mental health services in schools and more support staff in nursing facilities. The budget passed this year by Senate Republicans, when it becomes law, would provide $100 million for student mental health.
This effort complements other resources. Dialing 988 connects callers considering suicide, self-harm or any behavioral or mental health need with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. It can also assist people looking for help for a loved one. Lifeline services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at no cost to the caller.
Trained professionals can provide therapeutic interventions, make referrals for outpatient services or transportation for further evaluation and even activate a mobile mental health crisis team to arrive on site. Learn more here.
DMAP Permits for State Game Lands on Sale Now
Permits are on sale now for hunters to harvest antlerless deer – one per tag – on some state game lands through Pennsylvania’s Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) to enable successful forest management. Overbrowsing by deer is hurting those efforts.
While DMAP has been around for years, it was previously offered only on other public lands and private lands to help landowners achieve land use goals or to limit the spread of chronic wasting disease.
Keep Your Pets Safe in the Summer Heat
As the dog days of summer drag on, we have to protect our pets from the heat. The American Red Cross has tips to help your pets stay safe:
Even taking proper precautions, pets can overheat. Heat stroke is a common problem for pets. Learn the signs and what to do if you suspect your pet has heat stroke here.
In addition to elevated temperatures, summer brings other potential safety issues for pets. Swimming in a pool is a great way to stay cool, but it can be dangerous for animals. Never leave your pets unsupervised around a pool. Barbecues can also be unsafe, so keep your pets away from the grill and know what foods can be poisonous to them.
Celebrating Back to School Month by Brushing Up on School Bus Safety
Parents, students and teachers are preparing to head back to school to start the new academic year. Soon, school buses will be transporting students again, and that requires additional caution from all drivers.
Pennsylvania law requires motorists to stop at least 10 feet away from school buses when their red lights are flashing and their stop arm is extended. Motorists following or traveling alongside a school bus must also stop until the red lights have stopped flashing, the stop arm is withdrawn, and all children have reached safety. Do not proceed until all the children have reached a place of safety. Read more about school bus safety here.
Penalties for failure to obey school bus safety laws can result in a $250 fine, five points on a driving record and a 60-day license suspension.
Please contact me to provide input on any state-related matter, or to receive help in dealing with a state agency.
If you do not wish to receive this email, click here to unsubscribe.