News for Constituents

Your PA Summer Vacation is Just a Click Away

Planning a Pennsylvania vacation is a click away at VisitPA, the Commonwealth’s official tourism website.

Choose a Destination, then find Things to Do and Places to Stay. Not sure where you want to go this summer? Select Trip Ideas that can take you from an Arts excursion to exploring one of PA’s many Zoos.

Still can’t make up your mind? Select a PA Road Trip centered around food, kids, shopping, golfing and so much more to round out your summer fun. Whatever you decide, sign up for a copy of the 2015 Vacation Guide or view it online.

PA Offers Family Fishing Programs

Create and capture new memories through the PA Fish and Boat Commission’s Family Fishing Programs.

Visit the Commission’s Calendar of Events to select a convenient location for catching some family fishing fun. Select Fishing Programs from the “Categories” menu to locate opportunities during July and August.

No equipment? No problem. Approximately 74 tackle loaner sites are located across the state where you can borrow rods, reels and a tackle box with ample supplies. Check out Basic Fishing Skills before heading out for a day on the water to enhance your experience. See Frequently Asked Questions for additional information.

Summer Fire Safety for Your Family Gatherings

The PA Office of the State Fire Commissioner (OSFC) cautions that across the country, over 370,000 annual residential home structure fires cause more than 2,500 deaths, 13,000 injuries and some $6.9 billion in direct damage.

If the summer picnic or family reunion is headed to your backyard, no doubt your kitchen will see a lot of activity. Exercising some simple kitchen fire safety measures can help you avoid a catastrophe.

The OSFC urges special care when children under 5 and adults over 65 are present. Over 100,000 fires are linked to children annually. Statistics reveal more than 1,200 senior citizens die annually in preventable fires.

Fact: Seat Belts Save Lives

Pennsylvania witnessed over 800 fewer unbelted motor vehicle crashes in 2014 over the previous year, according to the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP).

Separate five facts from perceptions about when and where to use seat belts:

  • Three out of four crashes occur within 25 miles of home.
  • Unrestrained back seat passengers pose a risk to other passengers.
  • The likelihood of being killed by ejection from a motor vehicle is 25 times greater for those who are unbelted.
  • Lap belts should fit snugly over the hips and pelvis and below the belly of pregnant individuals.
  • An increase in high-risk driving at night is met with an increase in nighttime police enforcement efforts.

In spite of increased seat belt compliance, 383 people lost their lives on PA roadways during 2014. Consult Just Drive PA for more on seat belt usage and child passenger safety laws.

Enter Your Name and Search for Unclaimed Property

Bank accounts, stocks, insurance payments, gift cards, paychecks, safe deposit box contents and other property, including jewelry, paintings, and antiquities, totaling more than $2.5 billion are waiting to be claimed by their rightful owners, according to the Bureau of Unclaimed Property within the PA Treasury.

Recent changes to the law move unclaimed property to the State Treasury after three (instead of five) years of inactivity. That reduction resulted in increasing the average annual unclaimed property totals from $240 million to $625 million. Subtracting claims payments from current receipts, the Treasury contributed nearly $528 million to Pennsylvania’s General Fund.

Website modernizations improved navigation and mobile capabilities, while adding multi-language translation options to the Unclaimed Property website.

Stopping the Spread of Avian Flu

Avian competitions at state-approved agricultural fairs are suspended for the remainder of 2015 and at the 2016 PA Farm Show to stave off the accidental spread of Avian Flu, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. Further, PA is implementing 72-hour interstate quarantines on domesticated poultry and eggs to head off an outbreak in PA.

Proactive steps focus on the prevention of a situation similar to the 1983 and 1984 loss of 17 million birds worth $65 million. Today, the spread of Avian Flu could have a significant impact on PA’s $13 billion poultry and egg industry.

Efforts are underway to protect PA farms and domesticated fowl, including chickens, ducks, quail, pheasants, guinea fowl and turkeys, while 20 other states are grappling with the loss of nearly 50 million birds to Avian Flu.