News for Constituents

Consumer Financial Protection Unit Begins Operation

A Consumer Financial Protection Unit is being set up within the Bureau of Consumer Protection of the PA Office of Attorney General

The newly-created unit will focus on financial matters, such as unscrupulous lenders who prey on seniors, families with students, and military members, including for-profit colleges and mortgage and student loan services. 

Financial scam complaints are being accepted by phone at 1-800-441-2555 or email to scame@attorneygeneral.gov

Spare the Crops – PA Urging Calls to Invasive Species Report Hotline

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) is asking residents and tourists to help prevent the further spread of the invasive spotted lantern fly threatening our $20.5 million grape, nearly $134 million apple, more than $24 million stone fruit, and $12 billion hardwood industries. 

The non-native species was first discovered in Berks County in the fall of 2014.  Certain activities are restricted in areas included in the quarantine.  Residents and visitors are asked to comply with the PDA decision. 

The Spotted Lantern Fly quarantine restricts moving the following:

  • The egg, nymph, and adult stages
  • Yard waste
  • Landscaping, remodeling, and construction waste
  • Logs, stumps, or any tree parts
  • Firewood of any species
  • Decorative and nursery stock grapevines
  • Nursery stock
  • Crated materials
  • Outdoor household articles, including recreational vehicles, lawn tractors and mowers, mower decks, grills, grill and furniture covers, tarps, mobile homes, tile, stone, deck boards, mobile fire pits, any associated equipment and trucks or vehicles not stored indoors.

Take a more active role in preventing the spread of the spotted lantern fly and report sightings to the Invasive Species Hotline at 1-866-253-7189.  You may also submit a photograph to Badbug@pa.gov

Safeguarding Your Charitable Donations

Over 11,000 charities and some 400 professional solicitors and fundraising counsels operate within Pennsylvania, according to the Bureau of Charitable Organizations for the PA Department of State, and are subject to the State’s strict laws for registration and operations, from raising dollars to fulfilling the charities’ missions. 

Requests received through the U.S. Postal Service, email, websites, phone, and door-to-door solicitations do not necessarily require an immediate decision on making a donation.  Take advantage of the State’s online resources to determine legitimacy and a shared vision for the use of your charitable dollars.  Tips for charitable giving can help you make informed decisions before you donate. 

The Bureau has made it simple to review the monthly list of disciplinary actions or see the comprehensive list of sanctioned charitable organizations, professional solicitors and professional fundraising counsel.  You can also search the Bureau’s online database or call 1-800-732-0999 to determine if the charity is legally registered with the Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations or to report fraudulent or deceptive solicitation practices. 

Marking History for Today and Tomorrow

For many years, Pennsylvania has been recognizing and preserving its rich history through more than 2,000 of those beloved blue and gold roadside markers.  The program, administered by the PA Historical and Museum and Commission, accepts nominations  in remembrance of the people, places, events, and innovations that are uniquely Pennsylvanian. 

Since playing during General Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, Virginia at the end of the Civil War to the150th anniversary of the solemn event that marked that war’s end, the Repasz Band, founded in 1831, is one of the oldest continuously operating community bands in the U.S.  The Band’s first national performance was during the 1844 convention nominating Henry Clay to become president of the U.S.  The Band also played at the inaugural parades of Presidents Theodore Roosevelt in 1905 and William Howard Taft in 1909, among many other honorable performances.  Today the Repasz Band continues to present many monumental performances. 

Locate those local jewels connecting us to our past.  From leaders like Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, to sports like baseball and basketball and industrialization supported by coal, oil, and gas; Pennsylvania’s history is etched across impressive markers strategically located across the Commonwealth.  Consult the Fall 2014 issue of the Pennsylvania Heritage magazine article, entitled “A Century of Marking History: 100 Years of the PA Historical Marker Program”.

Roundabouts Reducing Injuries and Deaths

Roundabouts are preventing injuries and savings lives, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). 

Examining Pennsylvania’s first modern roundabouts, PennDOT witnessed a reduction in minor and moderate-injury crashes.  At the same time, major-injury crashes and fatalities were eliminated where roundabouts replaced traffic signals and stop signs. 

Modern roundabouts (p.6), being adopted by federal, state, and local governments, require a few simple steps for safe counterclockwise navigation

  • Approach slowly.
  • Yield to pedestrians upon entering and exiting the roundabout.
  • Do not stop in the roundabout.
  • Allow approaching emergency vehicles to enter and exit the roundabout before you enter.
  • Motorists already in a roundabout when an emergency vehicle approaches should continue through the structure and leave at the intended exit before pulling to the side of the road, allowing the emergency vehicle to continue.