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Friday, April 1, 2016

Capitol Update

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Capitol Update
Friday, April 01, 2016 The latest news from the State Capitol

Outreach Hours Set for April 7

To help ensure access to state government information and services, I will hold outreach office hours at the following locations on Thursday, April 7:
  • Emporium Borough Office – 9-10 a.m.
  • Port Allegany Borough Office – 11 a.m. to noon.
Services available include assistance with any state-related issues or concerns, driver license and vehicle registration applications, and applications for various state programs, such as the senior citizen Property Tax/Rent Rebate and PACE/PACENET prescription drug assistance programs.

As always, you are welcome to stop by my offices in Bradford (78 Main St., first floor), Coudersport (107 S. Main St., Room 1) or Kane (55 Fraley St.) Monday through Friday, or visit my website at or my Facebook page at for the latest news from state government.

Hearing Shines Light on Heroin Epidemic, Treatment Needs

The Center for Rural Pennsylvania hosted an informative hearing about the heroin and opioid addiction problem plaguing our communities and the entire Commonwealth at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford earlier today (Friday).

Several panels were assembled to discuss issues related to law enforcement, prevention and treatment. One of the prevention tools discussed was the state’s prescription drug monitoring database, which was adopted into law in 2014 and is expected to be up and running by August. Since many opiate addictions begin with prescribed medications, the database will help identify people who may be “doctor shopping” to feed their prescription drug addiction.

There was also an extensive discussion of the shortage of resources for treatment to help people recover from addiction.

Thank you to Dr. Livingston Alexander, university president and a board member with the Center for Rural Pennsylvania, for bringing the center to our area and helping to raise awareness of this growing epidemic.

To learn more about the Center for Rural Pennsylvania, click here.


Veterans Assistance Hours in April

If you are a veteran in need of assistance with issues such as compensation, education, pension, health care or death benefits, help will be available at each of my local offices during the month of April. The schedule is as follows:
  • Melissa Davis of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) will be at the Kane office, 55 Fraley St., on Monday, April 4, from 1-3 p.m. She will be at the Bradford office on Monday, April 11, also from 1-3 p.m. No appointments are necessary.
  • Dan Falls of the American Legion will be at the Coudersport office, 107 S. Main St., from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, April 7. Appointments are required and should be made by calling 814-274-9769.
For information about future veterans outreach dates and locations, click here.

Check Out the PA Lumber Museum…For Free!

Enjoy free admission to the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum during its Community Day this Sunday, April 3! A variety of special events are planned, including historic trade demonstrations in the lumber camp, guided forestry walks on the museum’s Sustainable Forestry Trail, and a 5-mile group hike on the trails surrounding the museum. Community-based groups and organizations will have booths set up in the museum program room where they can spread awareness and interact with the public.

For more information about the museum, click here.

April is Donate Life Month

More than 8,500 Pennsylvanians are currently waiting for a life-saving organ transplant, and April has been designated as Donate Life Month, to encourage residents to learn more about organ donation.

In addition to those waiting for organs, thousands more are waiting for tissue transplants to greatly enhance their quality of life.

One organ and tissue donor may save up to eight lives and heal more than 50 people. In fact, anyone, regardless of age or medical history, can sign up to be a donor.

To date, more than 4.5 million people have added the donor designation to their driver’s licenses, learner’s permits or state ID cards, about half of those eligible to do so. To add the organ donor designation to an existing driver’s license or identification card, visit and select the “Donate Life Pennsylvania” icon at the bottom of the page.

To help encourage living organ donation, Act 193 of 2014 was enacted to offer tax credits to employers who offer paid leave to workers who choose to donate an organ or bone marrow to someone in need.

Fishing Season Right Around the Corner

The statewide opening day of trout season is just two weeks away, on Saturday, April 16, but young anglers will have the opportunity to get a head start on a special Mentored Youth Trout Day coming up next weekend.

On Saturday, April 9, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) invites the next generation of anglers to spend a day fishing with their mentors before the traditional rush of opening day. Participants can fish in any PFBC-stocked trout waters. Kids can keep two trout, which must measure at least seven inches. Mentors must have a fishing license and trout stamp.

Last year, more than 28,000 kids signed up to participate, either by purchasing a $1 voluntary youth fishing license or by acquiring a free mentored youth fishing permit.

For more information about Mentored Youth Trout Day, click here.

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