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The Amazing Coudersport Ice Mine

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Friday, March 1, 2019

Capitol Update by Rep. Martin Causer



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Capitol Update
Friday, March 1, 2019 The latest news from the State Capitol

PennDOT to Start Issuing REAL IDs

Effective today (March 1), PennDOT will begin issuing REAL IDs. A federally accepted form of identification must be used as identification to board a commercial flight or visit a secure federal building starting Oct. 1, 2020. A Pennsylvania REAL ID will fulfill this requirement, as will a U.S. Passport.

Under state law, REAL ID is optional for Pennsylvania residents. PennDOT will continue to offer standard-issue driver’s licenses and photo IDs.

Pennsylvanians who have pre-verified their required documentation for obtaining a REAL ID may apply online to receive it without visiting a driver license center. PennDOT has indicated those IDs will be mailed out to recipients in 10 business days.

Residents who have not pre-verified but wish to obtain a REAL ID will be required to bring original versions or certified copies of the following documents for verification to a local driver license center:
  • Proof of identity, such as an original or certified copy of your birth certificate with a raised or embossed seal, or a valid U.S. passport or passport card. Birth certificates with a sticker rather than an embossed seal will not be accepted.
  • Proof of Social Security number by providing your Social Security card. The name on the card must match the name on your current driver license or photo identification card.
  • Proof of legal name changes, such as marriage certificates or court orders issued by a family court. You must have documentation to show all name changes from your original name on your birth certificate to your current name.
  • Proof of current, physical address, such as your current, unexpired driver license or state issued ID card, vehicle registration or utility bill. TWO forms of proof must be provided.
More information about REAL ID in Pennsylvania, including frequently asked questions and additional guidelines on documents required for REAL ID, can be found here.
 

Need Help with Your Property Tax/Rent Rebate Forms?

Our series of Property Tax/Rent Rebate clinics at area senior centers wraps up next week at the following locations:

Tuesday, March 5
  • Bradford Senior Center, 60 Campus Drive, Bradford – 9:30-11:30 a.m.
Wednesday, March 6
  • Oswayo Valley Senior Center, 106 S. Oswayo St., Shinglehouse – 9:30-11 a.m.
  • Coudersport Senior Center, 171 Route 6 West, Coudersport – 1-2:30 p.m.
Income eligible senior citizens are invited to stop by free assistance in filing for a rebate of up to $650 on rent or property taxes paid in 2018. Be sure to bring all necessary income, property tax or rental information required to process claims quickly and accurately.

The program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians who are 65 years or older, widows and widowers 50 years or older, and those 18 years or older with disabilities. Eligibility income limits are set at $15,000 for renters and $35,000 for homeowners, excluding 50 percent of Social Security, Supplemental Security Income and Railroad Retirement Tier 1 benefits. Also, applicants with veterans disability benefits and/or pensions do not need to declare that income.

If you can’t make it to any of the remaining clinics, you are welcome to stop by my offices in Bradford (78 Main St., first floor, phone 814-362-4400); Coudersport (107 S. Main St., Room 1, phone 814-274-9769); or Kane (55 Fraley St., phone 814-837-0880) for assistance. Forms are also available for download here.
 

Outreach Hours Set for March 7

To help ensure access to state government information and services, I will hold outreach office hours at the following locations on Thursday, March 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 RepCauser.com or my Facebook page at Facebook.com/RepCauser for the latest news from state government.
 

Veterans Assistance Available

Working to ensure area veterans receive the services and support they need, Melissa Davis of the American Legion will be available at each of my local offices in March. The schedule is as follows:
  • Kane: Monday, March 4, from 1-4 p.m. The Kane office is located at 55 Fraley St. Please call 814-837-0880 to schedule an appointment.
  • Coudersport: Thursday, March 7, from 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The Coudersport office is located at 107 S. Main St. Please call 814-274-9769 to schedule an appointment.
  • Bradford: Monday, March 11, from 1-4 p.m. The Bradford office is located at 78 Main St., first floor. Please call 814-362-4400 to schedule an appointment. 
Davis will offer veterans assistance with issues such as compensation, education, pension, health care and death benefits. You need not be a member of the American Legion to participate.                                    
 

Lumber Museum Offers Free Admission March 10 for Charter Day

To help the Commonwealth celebrate its 338th birthday on Charter Day, March 10, the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum in Potter County will be among nearly two dozen historic sites across the state offering free admission. Learn more about the museum here.

Pennsylvania was created when England’s King Charles II granted a charter to William Penn in 1681. Once each year, the Pennsylvania State Archives displays the original document, for a limited time, at the State Museum of Pennsylvania. For the remainder of the year the charter is safeguarded in a special vault within the archives.

Charter Day celebrates the founding of the Commonwealth and gives visitors to The State Museum of Pennsylvania a rare opportunity to see the original Charter of Pennsylvania written in 1681. This year, documents relating to the 19th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, granting women the right to vote, including Pennsylvania’s copy of the “Joint Resolution of Congress Proposing an Amendment to the United States Constitution Extending the Right of Suffrage to Women” and Pennsylvania’s “Joint Resolution for Ratification of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution” will be on display. The documents will be on display until 1 p.m. Friday, March 15.

For a complete list of the participating museums and historic sites in this year’s celebration, click here.
 

Protecting the Rights of Crime Victims

Understanding the struggle many crime victims face when seeking justice, lawmakers have been working to advance a package of bills designed to protect the rights of crime victims.

Last week, the House Judiciary Committee approved five bills for consideration by the full House. The package includes:
  • House Bill 276, a joint resolution known as Marsy’s Law, would add a victims’ bill of rights to the Pennsylvania Constitution.
  • House Bill 502 would ensure victims can attend proceedings against their abusers.
  • House Bill 503 would help victims and witnesses with intellectual disabilities or autism testify in court.
  • House Bill 504 would shield rape victims from irrelevant cross examination.
  • House Bill 505 would strengthen protections for young abuse victims.
Just as those accused of a crime have certain rights, House Republicans are ensuring crime victims are treated with dignity and respect throughout the entire criminal justice process.

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