May. 21, 2024

 
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An Update on the Case Against Frontier Commonwealth


The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) has given final approval to a settlement aimed at addressing long-standing service issues with Frontier Commonwealth. This settlement is the result of a more than 18-month effort launched after so many Frontier customers across the Northern Tier said, “enough is enough!”

Under the terms of the settlement, customers may be eligible for credits, refunds and other remedies based on certain past or future issues with their telephone or internet services. The settlement also requires Frontier to address system maintenance issues, including long-neglected wire centers and remote terminal batteries that help ensure continued service, as well customer service concerns, including staffing levels and a new consumer hotline.

Read more here.
    
 
Comments on Fish and Boat Commission


Legislative offices and state agencies in a lot of ways serve as customer service departments for the Commonwealth. We listen to concerns, answer questions and try to work with people to meet their needs and make our state the best it can be. We do this with unwavering professionalism because we know we work for you!

Our region’s outdoor assets make it a popular destination for fishing, boating and all kinds of phenomenal water recreation. As a steward for many of these assets, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission wants to make sure they are doing everything possible to provide positive experiences for our residents and visitors to the area, whether it’s environmental, fishing or boating. After a few unfortunate situations over the years, the department has provided complaint forms to our office.

If you would like to share your positive or negative experiences with the Fish and Boat Commission, including concerns from past encounters over the years or thoughts on how the agency can improve, I invite you to contact my offices in Wellsboro (570-724-1390) or Troy (570-297-3045) to share your experiences or access their Complaint Verification Document.
   
 
Connecting Cowanesque Valley High School to Harrisburg



Teacher Jamie-Jo Sickler and students of Cowanesque Valley High School had the opportunity to meet with Republican chairman of the House Transportation Committee Rep. Kerry Benninghoff, Tioga County Commissioners Marc Rice and Sam VanLoon, a staffer from Sen. Gene Yaw's office, and me as we continue to work on their idea for eliminating hurdles to taking a drivers knowledge test online within their school. The students are learning firsthand how an idea of theirs can potentially become law to help others all across our Commonwealth.

Given the distance to the local DMV, its limited hours and busy schedules for both parents and students, some kids are graduating high school without their driver’s license. This impacts opportunities for the graduate to enter the workforce, care well for a family, or accomplish most anything outside of their home. Thus, I introduced House Bill 1929, and we are currently working on getting more energy, eyes and understanding as to why this is important for students in many areas of our Commonwealth.

The students engaged well with all officials represented at this meeting. They articulated their experiences well and the need for change. They will continue to build coalitions and create energy and awareness around this need, so that not only CVHS students could spend less time going to and from the DMV, but all those students across our Commonwealth also will be positively impacted as well.

I am so proud to serve the 68th Legislative District and hear the voices of young people as they inspire positive change for future generations. Thank you, CVHS, for hosting a well-received meeting!
   
 
Celebrating National Skilled Nursing Care Center Week



Since 1967 the American Health Care Association has observed the week of Mother’s Day to recognize the role of skilled nursing care centers in caring for America’s seniors and individuals with disabilities.

In celebration of National Skilled Nursing Care Center Week, Rep. Tina Pickett and I were invited to join in the fun at the Towanda Skilled Nursing Facility where we led wonderful residents, staff, nurses and even some family members in many competitive games of PA State BINGO! Many residents participated and recalled all the special and unique qualities of life in Pennsylvania, from hunting the White-Tailed Deer, to learning the longest length of the Eastern Hellbender. From Gettysburg to Harrisburg, the Liberty Bell to the Declaration of Independence, and all the amazing state wildlife, plants, and animals, these residents enjoyed the memories and dreams of their experiences within the great state of Pennsylvania. And it was done all through a game of PA State BINGO.

I would like to share a very special thank you to the many men and woman of all our Skilled Nursing Care Centers. It takes a selfless, loving person to care well for this community. They are people who need the extra care, safety, and skill to live out the rest of their God-given lives in dignity, strength and courage. Thank you for caring well with excellence to those who need. It is always my pleasure to spend a little bit of time with all of you!
   
 
Honored to be a ‘Guardian of Small Business’

 

Small businesses are vital to state and regional economies. They employ our family, friends and neighbors, and contribute so much to our communities.

I was honored recently to be named a Guardian of Small Business by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). I am always happy to advocate for policies to support the hardworking men and women who run our small businesses and provide solid employment opportunities for our residents! Thanks to NFIB for recognizing me as part of its annual Legislative Scorecard.
   
 
Honoring Fallen First Responders


A new state law will allow us to provide much-deserved recognition to first responders who made the ultimate sacrifice while performing their duties. 

Act 11 of 2024 creates the Keystone First Responder Award to honor public servants who were either killed or suffered a career-ending injury in the line of duty from 2021 forward. Those eligible for the award include law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical services personnel, coroners, 911 dispatchers and other first responders. The award consists of a plaque and a medal.

Under the new law, a committee made up of representatives from state fire, police and emergency management organizations will be formed to administer and develop the criteria for the award. The committee will then work to provide a list of potential recipients to the governor, who will choose the honorees and present the award annually at the end of September.
 
 
Recognizing Emergency Medical Services Providers

This past Sunday, May 19, marked the start of the 50th annual National EMS Week, a time to recognize and appreciate the life-saving services provided by our emergency medical responders, emergency medical technicians, paramedics and more.

In response to the growing challenges facing our EMS system, the General Assembly recently approved a significant increase in Medicaid reimbursement rates and ensured ambulance crews will be reimbursed for all miles traveled with a patient on board.

This year’s theme for EMS week is “Honoring Our Past. Forging Our Future,” which aims to acknowledge the foundational work of past EMS personnel while striving to build and lead the EMS system into the future.

Thank you to all our volunteer and career emergency medical responders who provide care in those critical early moments of an emergency. 
 
 
Fish for Free Coming Up This Weekend!


On Sunday, May 26, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) will host a Fish for Free day to allow anyone (resident or non-resident) to legally fish on all Pennsylvania waterways. No license is required, but all other fishing regulations still apply.

This is the first of two dates set by the PFBC to enhance fishing opportunities. The next day is Independence Day, Thursday, July 4. This is a great way to expose the next generation of anglers to the outdoors. More information about fishing in Pennsylvania is available here.  
 
 
Grant Opportunity for Archival Records


The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) and the Pennsylvania State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB) are now accepting applications for the Historical and Archival Records Care (HARC) grant program. The application deadline is Aug. 1.

Funding is available for historical records repositories, such as historical societies, libraries, universities, local governments and school districts for collections care.

Individual grants will be funded up to $5,000 with no match required. Collaborative grants will allow two organizations to apply jointly for up to $10,000 or three organizations to apply collaboratively for up to $15,000, no match required. Funding is provided by PHMC.

The HARC program is designed to improve the preservation of historically valuable original records.

Applicants are required to use the web-based electronic grant application process (eGrant). For grant program guidelines and eGrant application instructions, visit the HARC grant web page.
 
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