I will be sending out periodic Enewsletters to keep you informed about legislative action in Harrisburg and local items of interest. I hope that you find this information useful and share it with others.
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Please do not hesitate to contact me to express your views or to receive assistance with any issue or problem pertaining to state government.
Senator Killion Signs On as a Co-Sponsor for Upcoming Legislation in 2017
This week, I signed-on as a co-sponsor to several new pieces of legislation that will be formally introduced next month.
One bill I co-sponsored would seek to protect the Unemployment Compensation rights of spouses of active duty members of the United States Armed Forces. Currently, if an active duty member of the Armed Forces is transferred to a new duty station, and if, as a result, his or her spouse is forced to resign their employment, it is possible under Pennsylvania law that the resignation will be considered voluntary. Generally, workers who voluntarily leave employment without a “necessitous and compelling” reason run the risk that they will not qualify for Unemployment Compensation benefits. This legislation would clarify that a spouse’s move to follow his or her active duty spouse will not be considered voluntary if the Department of Labor & Industry determines that continued employment would be impractical or unreasonably difficult. Pennsylvania is one of only four states (the others being Idaho, North Dakota and Ohio) that does not have a specific military spouse clause. According to the latest 2014 data from the Defense Manpower Data Center, there are 1,657 military spouses in Pennsylvania. Two states, Florida and Washington, actually track the unemployment claims of military spouses. This bill would align Pennsylvania with the vast majority of other states and would protect the families of our service men and women at an extraordinarily meager expense.
Another bill I co-sponsored would raise the charge for animal cruelty against a dog or cat from a summary offense, to a misdemeanor of the third degree. Additionally, for a second of subsequent offense against a dog or cat, the charge would be a misdemeanor of the second degree. Willfully injuring, starving, or neglecting dogs or cats is deplorable, and I believe that it is time to raise the penalty of these actions. It is my hope that raising these penalties will discourage the ill-treatment of these loyal animals.
I will be continuing to review all co-sponsorship memos as they are received and as we approach the start of the 2017-2018 Legislative Session.
Property Tax and Rent Rebate Deadline Approaching
Pennsylvania Property Tax and Rent Rebate Program deadline is December 31st for eligible Pennsylvanians. Just as a reminder that free application assistance is available through local Area Agencies on Aging, Senior Centers and PA Department of Revenue district offices.
Age, income and disability are critical eligibility factors. First time filers will need photocopies of documents providing proof of age, a spouse’s death certificate if widowed, and proof of permanent disability, if applicable.
Obtain the Property Tax and Rent Rebate Program application online or by mail or call 1-888-PATAXES. Questions may be answered by the Online Customer Service Center. More information may be found on the Department of Revenue website. If you have already applied and 8 to 10 weeks have lapsed since filing, contact the PA Department of Revenue for a status report on your rebate.
Pennsylvania State Police Application Deadline Approaching
The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) is currently accepting applications for State Police Cadets now through December 31, 2016. PSP is looking to fill approximately 500 job vacancies throughout the state. I encourage anyone who is interested to apply as soon as possible. Cadet eligibility requirements and other specific information is available on the PSP website. Candidates may apply online.
Apply Now for Home Heating Assistance Program
Pennsylvania’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is taking applications through March 31, 2017 for home heating assistance to qualifying low- and fixed-income individuals and families, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services.
Income eligibility for heating assistance for a household of one is $17,820, increasing incrementally with a family of ten’s income eligibility set at $73,815. Each additional person over ten raises the limit by $6,240.
Apply online or download an application through COMPASS, Pennsylvania’s secure website for many health and human service programs.
On Monday, December 19, this week, I met with Jolen Hsu, a fifth grade student at Nether Providence Elementary School in Delaware County, who was a winner of the Office of Attorney General’s 20th annual Drug-Free Calendar Contest.
The contest called on fifth-grade students from across the Commonwealth to create original artwork illustrating a drug-free message of their choice. The artwork of 13 students was selected to appear in the calendar, which is circulated throughout the commonwealth in an effort to educate the public about the dangers of drug abuse. The winning entries were chose from 8589 entries from 208 schools in 47 counties throughout the state. The students’ artwork was selected for inclusion in the calendar based on the artists’ creativity and ability to illustrate and convey a drug-free message.
Jolene’s entry, shown below, was chosen for February 2017. I met with Jolene in the Senate Chamber and presented her with a congratulatory certificate, recognizing her for her outstanding achievement and her work in conveying to all individuals, students, families, educators and legislators the importance of learning about the dangers of drug abuse.
Agents and specialists from the Attorney General’s office visit schools throughout the year to meet with children of all ages to educate them about the importance of being drug free. The programs feature customized lessons, interactive presentations and powerful messages that speak directly to the audience.
How We Can Help You
Here are some of the ways that my office can assist you:
How to Contact Me
I have staffed offices in the district and Harrisburg to provide you with top-notch constituent service and provide answers to legislative inquiries.
The district office is located at 100 Evergreen Drive, Suite 113 in Glen Mills PA, 19342. The phone number is (610) 358-5183. It is open Monday through Friday from 9 am to 4:30 pm.
My Harrisburg office can be reached by phone at (717) 787-4712 or by mail at Senate Box 203009, Harrisburg, PA 17120.
If you are having any problems with state agencies or need help with a problem relating to government, my staff and I will be happy to assist you.
Senate Box 203009
100 Evergreen Drive