In this Edition:
Latest Legislative Report: Student Government Seminar
This month's Legislative Report TV program showcases my annual Senator for a Day student government seminar at Northampton Community College’s Monroe Campus.
Students from area high schools learned about the legislative process from legislators, staffers, lobbyists and others. They served as Senators for a Day by introducing mock legislation, debating it and holding votes. It was a great learning experience and a joy to spend time with so many engaged students.
Report Outlines Five-Year Fiscal Trends, Economic Outlook for Pennsylvania
The Independent Fiscal Office has released a new report detailing the economic, demographic and fiscal trends that will affect the Commonwealth's expenditures and revenues over the next five fiscal years.
The IFO was created in 2010 to provide revenue projections for use in the state budget process along with impartial and timely analysis of fiscal, economic and budgetary issues.
You can view this report and a wide array of other interesting IFO findings here.
Online Donations Now Accepted for Vets, Military Families
Following the launch of a new website for the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, state residents can now offer donations online to support two of Pennsylvania’s most successful programs assisting veterans and military families -- the Veterans’ Trust Fund (VTF) and the Military Family Relief Assistance Program (MFRAP). Donations are now accepted via MasterCard, Visa, Discover or American Express online at www.donate.dmva.pa.gov.
The Veterans’ Trust Fund issues grants to statewide charitable organizations that assist veterans, veterans’ service organizations and county directors of veterans’ affairs to assist veterans in need of shelter and necessities of living. More information can be found at www.vtf.pa.gov .
The Military Family Relief Assistance Program provides financial assistance, in the form of grants, to eligible Pennsylvania service members and their eligible family members. Eligible members must have a direct and immediate financial need as a result of circumstances beyond their control. The amount of a grant is based on documented financial need up to a maximum of $3,500. More information can be found at www.mfrap.pa.gov .
Don’t Fall for Callers Threatening to Shut Off Your Electricity
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) is alerting consumers about a telephone scam by callers who claimed to be from their electric company and alleged that they had an unpaid bill.
The caller requests immediate payment over the phone to avoid termination of electric service.
According to the PUC, your utility will never call about a payment on the day of a scheduled termination. If you are a residential customer and your service is going to be terminated for a valid reason, you will receive written notice 10 days in advance. Commercial customers will receive notice three days prior to termination.
During winter months (Dec. 1 through March 31), if a utility company cannot reach a consumer at the time of termination, they will leave a 48-hour notice at the residence. Additionally, utility companies cannot terminate residential service from Friday through Sunday. These protections are part of the Responsible Utility Customer Protection Act .
IRS Warning Issued for Identity Theft Scams
The Internal Revenue Service has issued several consumer warnings about the fraudulent use of the IRS name or logo by persons trying to gain access to consumers’ financial information in order to steal their identity and assets.
Scam artists will use the regular mail, telephone, fax or email to set up their victims. When identity theft takes place over the Internet (email), it is called phishing.
The IRS does not initiate taxpayer communications through email. Unsolicited email claiming to be from the IRS, or from an IRS-related component such as EFTPS, should be reported to the IRS at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additionally, clicking on attachments to or links within an unsolicited email claiming to come from the IRS may download a malicious computer virus onto your computer. You may also report instances of IRS-related phishing attempts and fraud to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484.
Congratulations to Jack, Alex and Nikolaus on earning your Eagle Scout rank! Your hard work and team effort has helped all three of you become leaders. I wish you the best in your future endeavors.
Scavello on “The Gary in the Morning Show” on 96.7
I am a guest every Thursday on “Gary in the Morning” at 7 a.m. to answer your call-in questions. Thanks to everyone who has called in so far. I look forward to speaking to you in the future.
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If you find this e-newsletter useful, I invite you to visit my website www.MarioScavello.com for more information about your state government.
Senate Box 203040
Northampton County Office