Senator Mario Scavello E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Join Senator Scavello at the Get Outdoors PA Festival Sept. 14 at Brodhead Creek Park
  • Scavello Urges Area Emergency Service Organizations to Apply for Grant Opportunity
  • Scavello, Committee Discuss Pathways to Property Tax Elimination
  • Attorney General Announces Deal with Phone Companies to Combat Robocalling
  • Municipal Officials Encouraged to Take Cybersecurity Survey
  • Please Remember PA School Bus Safety
  • Around the 40th District

Join Senator Scavello at the Get Outdoors PA Festival Sept. 14 at Brodhead Creek Park

Scavello Urges Area Emergency Service Organizations to Apply for Grant Opportunity

Volunteer fire companies and emergency service providers across Monroe and Northampton counties will soon be able to apply for funding through the State Fire Commissioner’s Fire Company, Emergency Medical Service Grant Program beginning September 4.

The on-line application period will begin the first week of September 2019 and will remain open for 45 days.   Exact dates will be listed on the Office of the State Fire Commissioner website closer to the grant window opening.

Eligible fire companies and EMS organizations may apply for a grant in up to two of the six eligible program categories:

  • Construction and/or renovation of the fire company’s or ambulance service’s facility and purchase or repair of fixtures and furnishings necessary to maintain or improve the capability of the company to provide fire, ambulance and rescue services.
  • Purchase or repair of firefighting, ambulance, or rescue equipment. Includes the purchase of fuel for company vehicles.
  • Debt reduction associated with the facility (1) or equipment (2) categories above.
  • Training and certification of members.
  • Training and education materials regarding fire prevention for the general public.
  • Career Fire Departments Only – Overtime costs associated with backfilling positions while firefighters are attending training.

This important funding opportunity comes at a time when many of our emergency service organizations are struggling financially, as well as having a difficult time getting volunteers.  This grant opportunity is representative of the legislatures commitment to helping these organizations succeed for the continued protection and overall wellbeing of our communities.

The 2019-20 Program Guidelines will be available for download in the coming weeks on the OSFC webpage at www.osfc.pa.gov.  Entities with additional questions can contact my district offices or Harrisburg office.

Scavello, Committee Discuss Pathways to Property Tax Elimination

 

Last week in York County, the Senate Majority Policy Committee held a roundtable discussion focused on the issue of Property Tax Elimination. I was a part of the discussion and offered my thoughts on the current efforts to solve this issue. If you were not able to attend, I encourage you to watch and stay up to date on this issue. Additionally, I recently posted an update on School Property tax elimination on my website.

Attorney General Announces Deal with Phone Companies to Combat Robocalling

Twelve major telecommunications companies have agreed to take steps to make it easier for people to block illegal robocallers, Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced Thursday.

The companies — AT&T, Bandwidth, CenturyLink, Charter, Comcast, Consolidated, Frontier, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, Verizon, and Windstream — have pledged to adopt eight principles targeted at improving prevention and enforcement of illegal robocalls.

Under the agreement announced Thursday, the phone companies agreed to help both prevent robocalls and help law enforcement crack down on illegal robocallers.

Among the planned steps:

The telecommunication companies will offer free call blocking services for customers and monitor their networks for robocall traffic;

They will also implement new technology to authenticate that callers are coming from a valid source;

To help law enforcement bust illegal robocallers, the companies have also agreed to alert authorities when they see evidence of illegal robocalling and to help trace calls once they are deemed suspicious;

The telephone companies will also require any service providers they contract with also cooperate with efforts to trace the identity of robocallers.

Residents who want to file a complaint about phone calls that appear to be violating the state’s Do Not Call law should document the name on Caller ID if available or the name of the caller as identified on the phone, said Karissa Hand, a spokeswoman for Shapiro’s office. In addition, the caller should document the time and date of the call, and what the caller was offering, she said.

To file a complaint, consumers registered on PA’s Do Not Call List can visit www.attorneygeneral.gov and select the Do-Not-Call complaint form.

Researchers from Penn State University-Altoona are encouraging PA municipal officials to participate in a survey to assess the cybersecurity readiness of their municipalities.

The survey is part of a project sponsored by the Center for Rural Pennsylvania and will take between 30-40 minutes to complete. Local officials who haven’t already received an email request can find contact and survey info here.

As the school year begins, please remember that PA laws require motorists to stop when a school bus has its red lights flashing and stop arm extended on all roadways with painted lines or grooved dividers, as well as all intersections. Drivers on the opposite side of a highway with a physical barrier do not have to stop.

More information on the laws, plus student and parent safety tips can be found here.


Around the 40th District

Wednesday afternoon, at the West End Fair Annual Luncheon I honored Donald Everett for his 40 years of unparalleled service as President of the West End Fair Association. Donald is the son of one of the fair’s founders and began his service to the fair as a child.

In 1960, he became one of the Directors, and he also served as Assistant Secretary and Vice President before being elected President in 1978. Donald held this positron until 2018. Thank you Donald for your decades of hard work and dedication to make the West End Fair into one of the preeminent fairs in the entire Commonwealth!

Congratulations to our newest Eagle Scout Bruno Henning. This young man has reached the highest level in scouting through hard work and commitment he will forever be an Eagle!

Thursday we celebrated the grand openings of two new business locations in Nazareth Borough. ESSA bank & Trust has recently opened a new Nazareth location at 76 South Main Street. Also, a delicious new business, Camp Cakes-DIY Decorating Studio, has also opened just down the street from ESSA.

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