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Local Musicians Visit State Capitol
I was pleased to meet students and faculty from the Seeds of Faith Christian Academy when they recently visited the State Capitol. Their band, “Lifted,” performed in the State Capitol East Wing Rotunda as part of PMEA Music Advocacy Day. Thanks for making the trip from Indiana and for sharing your musical talents with us.
Senate Opens Hearings on Department Consolidation Proposal
The Senate recently held the first of a series of public hearings looking into the Wolf Administration’s proposal to consolidate four state departments.
The Senate Aging & Youth, Health & Human Services and Intergovernmental Operations committees and the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Health and Human Services held a joint public hearing on the proposed merger of the Departments of Health, Human Services, Aging and Drug and Alcohol Programs.
The merger initiative is a major element of the Governor’s proposed Fiscal Year 2017-18 state budget and would affect countless organizations and individuals across Pennsylvania.
The first half of the joint hearing focused on agency implications of the proposed merger as the committees heard from Human Services Secretary Ted Dallas, Health Secretary Dr. Karen Murphy, Secretary of Aging Teresa Osborne and Acting Drug and Alcohol Programs Secretary Jennifer Smith.
The second half of the hearing focused on fiscal, policy and personnel aspects of the proposed merger as the panel of testifiers included Budget Secretary Randy Albright, Policy and Planning Secretary Sarah Galbally and Administration Secretary Sharron Minnich.
Never Pay a Fee to Apply for Veterans Benefits
The Department of Military & Veterans Affairs (DMVA) is advising veterans, active military and their dependents that they should never pay for help to apply for veteran’s benefits.
Free assistance is available through credible organizations such as the DMVA, county veterans affairs offices, the American Legion, the VFW and the Disabled American Veterans. Accredited veteran service officers provide veterans and their dependents free assistance to identify, determine eligibility for and apply for a wide range of benefits on the local, state and federal levels.
To locate your County Director of Veterans Affairs or for more information on other veterans service organizations and to find out more about veterans benefits, visit the DMVA online at www.dmva.pa.gov and click on Veterans Affairs, or follow DMVA on Facebook at www.facebook.com/padmva or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/padmva.
Expanding the Murrysville Heritage Trail
I was pleased to participate in the recent groundbreaking ceremony in Murrysville to celebrate Phase 3 of the Westmoreland Heritage Trail – nearly 6 miles from Trafford to Murrysville. Congratulations to the many volunteers, the Westmoreland County Parks staff and all the local government officials and agencies who helped bring this project to fruition - a job well done! And thank you to Betsy Aiken and Dorothea Motto who assisted me with shovel duties.
PENNDOT Offering Free Motorcycle Training Classes
With the approach of warmer temperatures and the motorcycle riding season in Pennsylvania, PENNDOT is offering free motorcycle training courses.
These courses for novice through seasoned riders are offered at numerous locations statewide to Pennsylvania residents who have a motorcycle learner’s permit or motorcycle license. All training courses are conducted on a riding range, under the supervision of certified instructors.
Motorcycle learner’s permit holders who successfully complete the course will be issued a motorcycle license. For more information or to enroll in a course, visit www.pamsp.com.
New Mobile App Assists Crime Victims
The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency recently unveiled a mobile application designed to assist victims of crime in Pennsylvania.
The application is available for both iPhone and Android through the App Store and Google Play Store under the name “PA Crime Victims.”
The application will allow victims of crime to more easily find the services available to them. Victims of crime will be able to access local advocates who can assist them with services such as legal and medical services and compensation assistance, and to access information regarding their rights and protections as a victim of crime. Victims will be able to choose from a list of services available within the distance they set.
Victims will also be able to check the status of their claim with the Victims Compensation Assistance Program via the application. The Victims Compensation Assistance Program helps victims and their families through the emotional and physical aftermath of a crime by easing the financial impact placed upon them.
Victims of crime may be eligible to receive financial help for a variety of expenses related to their victimization, such as medical and counseling expenses, loss of earnings, funeral expenses, crime scene cleanup, and other crime-related expenses.
PENNDOT Announces PPAC Meeting Schedule
PENNDOT recently released the Pedestrian and Pedalcycle Advisory Committee (PPAC) meeting schedule for 2017. The purpose of the PPAC is to advise and comment on all phases of cycling and pedestrian program activities being undertaken or financially assisted by PENNDOT.
The PPAC will meet April 5, June 1, September 7 and December 5. All meetings are open to the public and held at the Keystone Building in Harrisburg beginning at 12:30 p.m. For more information about the PPAC visit PennDOT.gov, About Us, Pedacycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee.
Mark Your Calendar
I will be speaking at the Alle Kiski Strong Chamber luncheon set for 11:30 a.m., Wednesday, April 5, in the Belmont Complex, 415 Butler Road, Kittanning.
I am pleased to join with State Representatives Dave Reed, Jeff Pyle and Cris Dush, as well as the Indiana County Commissioners; the Indiana County Chamber of Commerce; and the PA CareerLink® Indiana County in announcing that Job Fair 2017 will be held on Thursday, May 4, in the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. The Job Fair is free and will run from 10:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. Candidates of all ages, experience levels, and industries are encouraged to attend.
286 Main Capitol