Apr. 05, 2019

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Supporting First Responders in PA
 
With fire and emergency medical service organizations across the state struggling due to a lack of volunteers and financial resources, the House and Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness committees held an informational meeting to discuss recommendations put forth late last year to address these challenges.

According to testimony offered at the meeting, the decline of volunteers in fire and EMS services across the state is having a significant impact on municipalities’ ability to reliably and safely provide public safety services to their citizens.

Much of the decline in volunteers can be attributed to societal and economic changes, such as longer working hours and longer commutes. However, lawmakers were encouraged to consider incentives such as tax credits or college loan forgiveness programs to help recruit new volunteers. Affordable and accessible training was also encouraged as a way to remove barriers to volunteering.

These were among more than two dozen broad recommendations offered by the Senate Resolution 6 Commission, which was charged with studying issues such as recruitment and retention, government support, innovation, training and operations, and more.

One of the report’s recommendations, which requires insurers to reimburse ambulance companies for services provided even if no transport takes place, was signed into law last year. Lawmakers plan to build on that success this year as they prepare to introduce legislation implementing some additional recommendations.

View the full report HERE.

You can also see the footage of Monday’s joint House and Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee hearing HERE.
                                           

Sunbury Fire Police Banquet
I had the privilege of attending the Sunbury Fire Police Banquet last week in recognition of our dedicated men and women who volunteer to serve our community. There was also an annual swearing in ceremony for the fire police.

 
Sunbury Fire Police swearing in.

 
Bill Whipple received an award for his over-30 years of service with the Sunbury Fire Police.

 
Myself with Sunbury Fire Police First Lieutenant Mary Colyer, Captain Bruce Colyer and State Fire Commissioner Bruce Trego. 
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Help for Lyme Disease Treatment
 
Pennsylvania has consistently ranked among the highest in the country in confirmed cases of Lyme disease.

To help those affected by this disease and other related tick-borne illnesses, the House Health Committee approved legislation that would require health insurers to cover treatment plans for Lyme disease or related tick-borne illnesses as prescribed by a patient’s health care practitioner, regardless if the treatment plan includes short-term or long-term antibiotic treatment.

Lyme disease can be successfully treated with antibiotics when caught and treated early. If untreated, the disease can cause joint swelling, cardiac or neurologic complications. The most severe cases can be debilitating.

House Bill 629 now moves to the full House for consideration.

For more information on the signs and symptoms of Lyme disease, and how to protect yourself from tick bites, click here.
 

Local Boy Scout Matthew Kern Achieves Eagle Scout Rank
Congratulations to Matthew Kern who recently achieved the rank of Eagle Scout! I was happy to join Martha Milbrand from Sen. John Gordner’s office to present citations to Matthew at his Court of Honor Ceremony.

 
Matthew’s Eagle Project was to repaint the kitchen at Upper Augusta Volunteer Fire Company and additionally organize the construction of a wall to divide their firefighter lounge and office areas. He is a senior at Shikellamy High School and a full-time student at Bloomsburg University through their ACE program for high school seniors.

Keep up the great work, Matthew!
                      

Opening Day of Trout Season Next Saturday
Spring has arrived and fishing season is not far behind! The statewide opening day of trout season is coming up on Saturday, April 13.

Of course, before you can fish anywhere, be sure to purchase your fishing license. They are available at more than 700 issuing agents across the state and at county treasurers’ offices. The price of a resident fishing license this year is $22.90. The most popular add-ons, a trout-salmon stamp and a Lake Erie permit, cost $9.90 each, or $15.90 for a combination permit.

New this year are several voluntary permits anglers can purchase to provide financial support to specific programs or projects. The voluntary permits include: bass ($11.90); musky ($11.90); habitat/waterways conservation permit ($11.90); and wild trout and enhanced waters permit ($26.90). The prices listed are for annual permits; however, the voluntary permits may also be purchased for a period of three years, five years or 10 years. Click here for details about how funds generated by the sale of the permits will be used.

For more information about fishing in PA, visit fishandboat.com.
 

Adult Trout Stocking by County on FBC Website
You can find the dates for all available trout stockings throughout the state on the Fish and Boat Commission website HERE.
 

Good Money Habits Training Resource for Kids
 
To help high school and college students make smart money decisions, Pennsylvania is launching a new program called the “FinLit Forum.”

The program addresses many “real life” financial issues of young people, including banking basics, introduction to budgeting, understanding credit reports and scores, scams and identity theft, insurance 101, and financial aid.

Learn more here.
 

Tax Day Approaching
 
The Monday, April 15, deadline to file your federal, state and local taxes is fast approaching.

If you received more than $33 in total gross taxable income in calendar year 2018, you must file a Pennsylvania Personal Income Tax return by midnight on April 15.

You can file online for free through PAdirectfile, a secure, state-only electronic income tax filing system by clicking here.

If you want to use an online tax preparing service, Pennsylvania has deals with certain providers for free e-filing. You can learn more about these services by clicking here.

Income tax assistance is available through the department’s Online Customer Service Center, or by calling 717-787-8201 between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Pennsylvanians can also visit a Department of Revenue district office for basic state personal income tax filing assistance. Assistance at these offices is available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
 

Have an Issue or Concern?
If you are a resident of the 108th district and need assistance with a state agency, please feel free to contact my Sunbury office at 570-286-5885 or toll free at 1-800-924-9060. One of my staff members will be more than happy to assist you.
 

Stay in Touch with Me on Social Media
You can stay up to date on my latest news and activities by visiting my House website, lyndaculver.com, or my official Facebook page. You can watch my House floor speeches and press interviews at my YouTube channel HERE.
 
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Office Locations
106 Arch Street, Sunbury, PA 17801 | (570) 286-5885 | 1-800-924-9060 | Fax: (570) 988-1627
402B Irvis Office Building, PO Box 202108, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2108 | (717) 787-3485 | Fax: (717) 782-2892
Email: lculver@pahousegop.com
TTY: 855-282-0614 
 
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