In this Update:
I had a great conversation with Bill Flanagan of WPXI-TV Pittsburgh’s Our Region’s Business!
Rep. Nick Pisciottano, Steel Center for Career and Technical Education’s Executive Director, Kevin Rice and I sat down with Bill to talk Steel Center’s recently awarded $4 million Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant, the importance of investing in workforce development and what this means for training in our region.
You can catch our full segment on WPXI March 12th!
New Law Targets Growing Number of Fentanyl Overdose Deaths
Fentanyl-laced heroin and counterfeit pills are killing an increasing number of Pennsylvanians. Legislation enacted by the General Assembly is now in effect to prevent overdose deaths by legalizing fentanyl test strips for personal use.
Effective Jan. 1, Act 111 of 2022 amended the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act of 1972 to no longer define fentanyl test strips (FTS) as drug paraphernalia in Pennsylvania, making them a legal, low-cost method to prevent drug overdoses.
The Pennsylvania departments of Drug and Alcohol Programs, Health, and Human Services, along with the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, created a survey for substance use disorder stakeholders to gauge demand for FTS while work is underway to make them available across the commonwealth. The survey contains questions on currently available trainings and materials, preferred brands and current distribution methods.
You Can Provide Input on Traffic Safety with Online Survey
Motorists have until Feb. 28 to provide input on traffic safety and driving behaviors through an online survey by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).
In 2021, 1,230 people died on Pennsylvania roadways. Many of these deaths could have been prevented by safer driving. PennDOT works with educational and enforcement grantees to deliver programming each year to help prevent crashes, fatalities and injuries on our roadways. This survey seeks information on motorists’ behavior behind the wheel to help inform program planning.
The voluntary questionnaire covers several topics including seat belt use, impaired driving, speeding and distracted driving, as well as bicycle, pedestrian and motorcycle safety. It should take about five minutes to complete and all responses are completely anonymous. You can find information on safe driving here.
Help Available to Boost Security at Nonprofits and Religious Institutions
Applications are being accepted for state Nonprofit Security Grants for nonprofit organizations and religious institutions.
Administered by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, the program provides grants to nonprofit organizations that principally serve individuals, groups or institutions that are included within a bias motivation category for single bias hate crime incidents as identified by the FBI’s Hate Crime Statistics publication.
Grant awards can range from $5,000 to $150,000 for a wide variety of eligible items, including:
The application period closes March 2.
Extra SNAP Payments Set to End
During the COVID-19 emergency, the federal government allowed states to issue additional SNAP food assistance payments that increased the maximum available for households by at least $95 each month.
These extra payments will be ending after February and SNAP recipients will only receive one regular SNAP payment starting in March.
If you or someone you know needs help, there are food assistance programs available in your community. Visit the Department of Human Services or Department of Agriculture for information on food assistance programs and where to find local resources. Additionally, if recipients currently have extra funds on their cards, they will still be available. SNAP benefits only expire if cards are not used for nine months.
To ensure households are receiving the maximum SNAP benefit based on their individual circumstances, Pennsylvanians are encouraged to report changes to their household size, income or expenses online at dhs.pa.gov/COMPASS via the myCOMPASS PA mobile app or by calling 877-395-8930.
Veteran Discounts are Available All Year
Some businesses offer discounted prices for military service members and veterans on special days, but many others feature them all year.
A list of veteran discounts offered year-round by national businesses is maintained by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Check local businesses for their participation.
It’s a small way to show appreciation for the men and women who served our country, as well as the families they support.
2023 Adult Trout Stocking Schedule Available
The 2023 adult trout stocking schedule is now available. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will stock approximately 3.2 million adult trout in 697 streams and 126 lakes open to public angling.
The trout stocking schedule is searchable by county, lists the waterways in alphabetical order, and indicates stocking dates, meeting locations for volunteers, and the species of trout that are planned to be stocked at each location. Pennsylvania’s statewide Opening Day of Trout Season is April 1. A single, statewide Mentored Youth Trout Day will take place March 25.
Trout to be stocked will include approximately 2.3 million Rainbow Trout, 707,000 Brown Trout and 168,000 Brook Trout. As with past practice, the average size of the trout produced for stocking is 11 inches in length with an average weight of .58 pounds.
State Tax and Rent Rebate Forms Available at My Office
State tax and rent rebate forms are available at my office or for delivery to local libraries or municipal buildings. Please contact my offices for more information.
I am honored to announce that I have been reappointed by Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward as a member of the Port of Pittsburgh Commission and the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority.
In addition, I have been appointed as a member of the Advisory Council for the Southwestern Veterans’ Center.
I am humbled to receive these appointments and look forward to representing the Senate in these capacities.
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