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Senator Mario Scavello

In this Edition:

  • Scavello Introduces Measure to Modernize PA History Code, Preserve Items
  • Scavello Appointed to Key Senate Committees for 2017-18 Session
  • Committees Review Possible State Prison Closures
  • Veterans Assistance Day – February 14
  • Pocono Alliance Offers Energy Assistance Programs
  • Property Tax and Rent Rebates Available
  • Senator Scavello to Host Tdap Vaccine Clinic
  • Senate Committee Roundup
  • Next Week

Scavello Introduces Measure to Modernize PA History Code, Preserve Items

On Tuesday I introduced legislation with Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-25) to update laws governing Pennsylvania historic preservation.

The legislation, introduced as Senate Bill 178, will amend Title 37 (Historical & Museums) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes. This legislation has several key provisions to update and modernize the History Code.

Key provisions of the measure include:

  • Adding definitions for Archival Records, the State Archives and State Archivist.
  • Removing language on the operation of the Conservation Center which the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) no longer operates.
  • Modernizing the sale and disposition of property as well as adding language on abandoned property on loan to the PHMC.
  • Including language that the State Archives shall be the official repository for the permanent and historically valuable public records of the Commonwealth.
  • Adding a new section on the protection and recovery of historical Commonwealth and local government records.
  • Opening access to older public records after 75 years, unless specifically prohibited by law.
  • Removing from Title 37 certain historical properties that the PHMC either has transferred or sold to other entities.

Preservation of historical items, properties such as buildings, landscapes and other components of historical significance is essential. Pennsylvania has a rich and vibrant history and we must do all we can to ensure that our heritage is preserved for future generations.


Scavello Appointed to Key Senate Committees for 2017-18 Session

I have been appointed to several key Senate committees as the 2017-18 legislative session gets underway.

In addition to chairing the Senate Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee, which was previously announced, I will serve as Vice Chairman of the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee.

I will again serve on the influential Senate Appropriations Committee.

Also, I will be a member of the Senate Game and Fisheries, Transportation, Urban Affairs and Housing committees. In addition to the preceding Senate standing committees, Senator Scavello also serves on the Senate Majority Policy Committee.

It’s at the committee level where bills are vetted for the first time and public hearings are held on major topics. I am eager to use my position on these committees to tackle the major issues facing the 40th District and our Commonwealth.


Committees Review Possible State Prison Closures

1/23/17 - Review of Proposed Prison Closings

Three Senate committees held a joint public hearing on Monday to review the Wolf administration’s decision to potentially close two state prisons.

The Senate Majority Committee, and Democratic Policy Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee held the hearing to look at various aspects of the proposed closings including cost to taxpayers, public safety, transparency, prison overpopulation and the impact on local communities.

On January 6, the Department of Corrections announced that it would close two State Correctional Institutions in June. Five state prisons are currently under consideration, including SCI Frackville, SCI Mercer, SCI Pittsburgh, SCI Retreat and SCI Waymart.


Veterans Assistance Day – February 14

On the second Tuesday of each month, the American Legion holds a Veterans Assistance Day at my Tannersville district office (2989 Route 611, Suite 103, Tannersville). The next Veterans Assistance Day is Tuesday, February 14th.

A service officer with the American Legion Pennsylvania Department will be on site from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to assist veterans with issues including: compensation and pension claims, education benefits, enrollment in the VA health care system, burial and survivor benefits, state benefits, and obtaining military personnel and medical records.

Veterans do not need to be a member of the American Legion to receive these services. Please contact the Tannersville office to schedule an appointment at 570-620-4326.


Pocono Alliance Offers Energy Assistance Programs

If you do not qualify for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) through the Monroe County Assistance office, you may be eligible for Pocono Alliance's Charitable Energy Program. The Charitable Energy Program seeks to ensure low-income residents can meet their energy needs by securing energy assistance funding and readily available information. Residents qualify for the program if they are between 151 to 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines.

In addition, Pocono Alliance is Monroe County's provider of PPL's Operation Help program, which pays energy bills for PPL customers unable to do so due to financial hardships. Operation Help is available for PPL customers meeting income guidelines and funded by donations from customers, company employees and PPL.

Pocono Alliance is located at 912 Main Street in Stroudsburg and their phone number is 570-517-3953.


Property Tax and Rent Rebates Available

Property Tax and Rent Rebates (PA-1000) are now available in my district offices for taxes or rent paid in 2016. You can either obtain a rebate form at my office or one of my staff can assist you in completing the information. The Property Tax/Rent Rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. Eligible applicants are homeowners with income up to $35,000 and renters with income up to $15,000. Only half of Social Security income is included in the total.

If you would like assistance filling this out, please bring with you the following:

  • Household 2016 Income
    • 2016 Social Security Income
    • 2016 Pension/Annuity/IRA Distributions
    • Income from salaries, wages, gain or loss on sale of property, business or net rental
    • 2016 PAID Property Tax Receipts or Rent Receipts

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact my office and my staff will be happy to assist you.


Senator Scavello to Host Tdap Vaccine Clinic

On February 23 from 10 to 11:30 a.m., I will be hosting a Tdap Clinic in partnership with the PA Department of Health at my Pen Argyl District Office (2 N. Robinson Ave, Pen Argyl, PA).

Tdap is a combination booster vaccine that inoculates against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough).

The vaccine will be administered at no cost if you are underinsured (your insurance does not cover the vaccine) or uninsured (you have no insurance).

If you have further questions or would like to make an appointment, please call the PA Department of Health at 610-250-1825.


Senate Committee Roundup

Transportation

The Senate TRANSPORTATION Committee held a public hearing on winter preparedness and modernization on Tuesday and approved three bills.

Senate Bill 170 requires comprehensive reform measures at the Delaware River Port Authority.

Senate Bill 171 requires Senate confirmation of the Chief Executive Officer of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.

Senate Bill 172 provides a five-year trial period for PENNDOT to place speed cameras in active work zones on limited access highways.

Environmental Resources & Energy

The Senate ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES & ENERGY Committee approved two bills Tuesday.

Senate Bill 138 gives royalty interest owners the opportunity to inspect records of the gas company to verify proper payment.

Senate Bill 139 prohibits gas companies from retaliating against a royalty interest owner by terminating the lease agreement or ceasing development because a landowner questions the accuracy of the royalty payments.

Judiciary

The Senate JUDICIARY Committee approved five bills Tuesday.

Senate Bill 42 imposes criminal penalties for those who falsely wear military awards and decorations.

Senate Bill 59 authorizes joint ventures between correctional facilities and private industry.

Senate Bill 60 requires cash-for-gold dealers to retain each item of precious metal for 10 business days, instead of five, after purchasing it. The extension will allow burglary victims to discover and report the theft and will enable police to investigate the theft.

Senate Bill 62 protects and provides services for children of incarcerated parents.

Senate Bill 69 addresses the enforcement and application of Pennsylvania’s cruelty laws as they pertain to horses.

Local Government

1/25/17 - Consideration of Senate Bill 10 and Senate Bill 128

The Senate LOCAL GOVERNMENT Committee approved two bills Wednesday.

Senate Bill 10 prevents municipalities and counties from designating themselves as “sanctuary cities” in order to thwart federal efforts to combat illegal immigration.

Senate Bill 128 provides for clear state preemption of local mandated leave ordinances.

Urban Affairs & Housing

The Senate URBAN AFFAIRS & HOUSING Committee approved two bills Wednesday.

Senate Bill 50 requires disclosure of a property's flood history.

Senate Bill 51 amends the Landlord and Tenant Act to require disclosure of a property's flood history.

Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness

The Senate VETERANS AFFAIRS & EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS Committee approved two measures on Wednesday.

Senate Resolution 6 calls for a “reboot” of Senate Resolution 60 of 2003, the comprehensive study of fire and EMS issues completed in 2004.

Senate Bill 137 codifies the Civil Air Patrol’s state operations in Title 51 under the leadership of the Adjutant General.

Next Week

The Senate will return to voting session on Monday at 1 p.m. You can watch session live at PASenateGOP.com.


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Offices

Senate Box 203040
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3040
Phone: (717) 787-6123

Monroe County Office
DePue Plaza
2989 Route 611, Suite 103
Tannersville, PA 18372
Phone (570) 620-4326
FAX (570) 620-4379
8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

Northampton County Office
2 North Robinson Avenue
Pen Argyl, PA 18072
Phone (610) 863-12001200
FAX (610) 863-1214
8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

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