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Friday, December 4, 2015

Headline Harrisburg

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Headline Harrisburg
Friday, December 04, 2015
The latest news from the State Capitol 

Senior Pennsylvanians….
have a short time to enroll in or change their Medicare plan as the Medicare open enrollment period ends this Monday, Dec. 7.

More than 670 trained APPRISE counselors work through the local Area Agency on Aging and can answer questions about Medicare Supplemental Insurance, Medicaid, and long-term care insurance, and they help older adults to compare plans and determine which one best meets their needs. To learn more about the APPRISE Program, call 1-800-783-7067 or visit

Medicare beneficiaries can also complete their own plan comparisons by accessing the plan finder tool on the Medicare website at or call 1-800-MEDICARE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Keystone Exams -
The state House has advanced legislation to delay the implementation of the Keystone Exam as a graduation requirement until the 2018-19 school year. Currently, the class of 2017 must take and pass the Keystone Exam in Algebra I, literature and biology in order to graduate.

This delay would allow time for the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) to re-evaluate the policy and recommend potential changes, while granting school districts, students and their families more preparation time.

The delay is also being sought to ensure that exams are not prohibiting students from seeking vocational and technical education opportunities in the trades, since one of the major concerns of job creators is a shortage of skilled workers.

In addition to the delay, Senate Bill 880 would require the department to investigate alternatives to the exam and issue its findings and recommendations within six months.

The legislation was sent back to the Senate for concurrence.

Recognizing Our Future Leaders -
 PennDOT has awarded two Clearfield Area School District students with certificates for writing winning PSAs in conjunction with the Operation Safe Holiday initiative. The winners are Benjamin Leighow (elementary school winner) and Josh Serena (high school winner).

The contest was open members of the district’s gifted class from first to 12th grade. The students were tasked with writing a PSA to persuade radio listeners to not drive a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol/drugs during this holiday season. There was one winning PSA chosen from the first- to seventh-grade group and another chosen from the eighth- to 12th-grade group. Benjamin and Josh both received a certificate signed by Secretary of Transportation Leslie S. Richards, and also had the opportunity to record the PSA they wrote.

The PSAs will be aired through Sunday, Jan. 3, on radio stations throughout PennDOT District 2, which includes Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, Juniata, McKean, Mifflin, and Potter counties. 

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