In this Edition:
Senator Scavello to Host Tdap Vaccine Clinic
On February 23 from 10 a.m. 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 questions or would like to make an appointment, please call the PA Department of Health at 610-250-1825.
Scavello Helps Launch Major Bipartisan Economic Development Initiative
On Tuesday, I took part in an important, bipartisan Capitol news conference to announce a significant economic development initiative.
I joined Sen. John Blake (D-22), Sen. Guy Reschenthaler (R-37) and dozens of stakeholders from the business, labor and clean energy communities to announce legislation that would generate significant economic development statewide, create jobs and enhance the state’s clean energy portfolio.
The legislation lays the groundwork for counties and municipalities to create Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing programs.
PACE financing allows business owners, contractors, and private investors to arrange long-term loans that are repaid through the property taxes on a building, allowing for limited or no upfront cost for the business.
The inclusion of loan payments in the building’s property taxes relegates responsibility of payment to the current owner of the building for the duration of the loan.
The property tax mechanism, which is administered by local governments, is attractive to the business owner, who is not forced to tie up valuable capital or be bound to a property for an extended period, as well as the investor, who can count on regular payments towards the loan. The all-around incentives of the PACE program have made it a popular plan that has been authorized in 33 states and the District of Columbia.
Many commercial, industrial and residential buildings throughout Pennsylvania will be made more efficient by energy upgrades, and significant economic development and job creation through enhancement of the state’s clean energy portfolio which benefits citizens statewide. There are many businesses in my district that have been able to capitalize on the benefits of solar. Some of those businesses were able to afford the upgrades, but others can’t, and this program helps those who do not have the funds readily available, but can afford a long-term loan.
Legislation Eliminating Child Abuse Statute of Limitations Approved by Senate
The Senate on Wednesday eliminating the statute of limitations for child sex abuse cases.
Senate Bill 261 eliminates the statute of limitations for child sex abuse crimes and gives victims additional time to file civil actions against their abuser. Currently, victims have until age 30 to file a civil claim. Senate Bill 261 would set the deadline at 50 years of age.
The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Measure to Improve Law Covering Cruelty to Horses Passes Senate
On Tuesday, the Senate approved legislation I am co-sponsoring to improve the enforcement and application of Pennsylvania’s cruelty laws covering horses.
Senate Bill 69 will amend Title 18 (Crimes) to better define “torture” and to provide appropriate penalties with language drafted with the assistance of the Farm Bureau. The bill will also amend Chapter 37 of Title 22 (pertaining to Humane Society Police Officers) to provide necessary guidance and uniformity to those who are tasked with protecting the humane treatment of these large animals. The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Senate Votes to Update Review of Volunteer Firefighter/EMS Support
On Tuesday, the Senate approved a measure to review Pennsylvania’s progress in providing essential support to its volunteer fire departments and EMS organizations.
Senate Resolution 6 calls for a “reboot” of Senate Resolution 60 of 2003, the comprehensive study of fire and EMS issues completed in 2004. SR 6 calls for a new commission made up of legislators, first responders and representatives from municipalities. The panel would follow up on the impact of SR 60 and study issues currently affecting first responders. The commission would then provide its recommendations to the General Assembly by June 30, 2018.
Scavello Bill Allowing Sunday Hunting with Falcons Passes Committee
The Senate Game and Fisheries Committee on Wednesday approved legislation I am sponsoring that adds falconry to the list of activities exempt from the Sunday ban on hunting in Pennsylvania.
Falconry is the sport of hunting small game species with birds of prey, which need to fly and eat daily. A falconer who wishes to take his or her bird of prey out in the wild, even for daily flight and not to hunt, would still be in violation of the Sunday hunting prohibition. Senate Bill 123 adds falconry to the list of exemptions for Sunday hunting.
Endangered birds of prey have benefited from the long-standing tradition of falconry in that these birds of prey have historically been used as the source for re-introduction of the species. I hope the Senate will approve this legislation and continue to support this tradition.
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.
Northampton County-Wide Housing Rehabilitation Program
This program may be able to provide low-income owner-occupants of single-family residences with a zero-interest, partially-forgivable, deferred-payment loan for up to $20,000 in home improvements. Improvements can include necessary health, safety and code compliance requirements. Staff are available to help loan recipients through the process and develop of plan, choose a contractor and help manage the construction process. The program is administered by the non-profit Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley (CACLV) on behalf of Northampton County.
Applicants are welcome to apply if they meet the following criteria:
Interested applicants should call CACLV at 610-691-5620.
START Hospitality Certificate Training
Northampton Community College Monroe Campus is offering a FREE Hospitality Certificate Training starting the Spring Session on February 27, 2017.
Contact Gregg Marzano for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Can you hear me?” Phone Scam
Please be aware of a recent phone scam where the caller first asks "Can you hear me?" or "Are you the homeowner?"
Many variations of these phrases are being used in robo-calls to unsuspecting consumers to trick them into saying "Yes," according to consumer watchdog groups. A recorded call could be setting you up to generate proof – you said “Yes” after all – that you signed up for a service.
The caller begins the conversation by asking “Can you hear me?" If you answer “Yes,” the fraudster combines the recording with other personal information they have gathered from or about you, including credit card information.
Even if they don't have your banking information, the scammer might play back a person's "Yes" remarks and try to intimidate you into paying up, according to the Better Business Bureau.
The Senate reconvenes Monday at 1 p.m. You can watch session at PASenateGOP.com.
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