News For Constituents
From Senate Republican Policy Development & Research Office
November 25, 2013
Home Energy Assistance Program Ready to
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is encouraging
eligible Pennsylvanians to apply now for the 2013-14 heating season, according
to the Pennsylvania Department of Public
LIHEAP eligibility is set at 150 percent of the federal poverty income
guidelines. Maximum income eligibility for a household of one is set at $17,235
and at $71,505 for a household of ten. Each additional person in a household
adds $6,030 to the maximum income allowed for eligibility.
Applications can be processed
online, by phone, or through submission of a
hard copy. The LIHEAP Hotline is available at 1-866-857-7095. Your
local county assistance office is also prepared to offer guidance during the
Safe Holiday Food Prep
Thawing the frozen foods and cooling the cooked dishes are among the keys to
safe holiday food
preparation, serving, storage, and reheating , according to the
Pennsylvania Department of
fundamentals of food safety include proper use of a
food thermometer from freezer to refrigerator to oven. Consult the chart for
recommended cooking temps from poultry to
plant foods while never underestimating the value of beginning with
clean hands .
Consult the Departmentís
Bureau of Food Safety and Laboratory Services for programs and publications
to enhance your safe food preparations year around.
Fireplace and Winter Fire Safety
According to the
Pennsylvania Office of State Fire Commissioner (OSFC), nationwide statistics
fire causes over 3,000 deaths and more than 17,000 injuries annually.
Residential or home fires are blamed for the deaths of 2,500 and injuries to
Among the leading causes are
fireplace and woodstove fires occurring outside when hot embers are removed
from a fireplace or woodstove and then placed in a paper sack or cardboard box.
While not immediately visible, embers can stay hot for several days. Even when
deposited in a metal container, embers should be placed at a distance from your
home and away from anything flammable.
For a safe fireplace or woodstove burning experience begin with proper
installation and maintenance. Adopt the following tips:
- Inspect and clean chimneys annually.
- Never use flammable liquids to ignite or accelerate any fire.
- Leave the damper open while hot ashes remain.
- Ensure the fire is out before going to sleep.
- Never connect a wood stove to a fireplace chimney unless the fireplace
has been sealed off.
- Never connect a wood stove to a chimney serving another appliance
burning other fuels.
- Keep a glass or metal screen in front of the fireplace opening and keep
the stove door closed to prevent embers or sparks from jumping out.
- Limit the use of paper to build a fire.
- Never burn charcoal in your woodstove or fireplace due to the release of
lethal amounts of carbon monoxide.
- Burn only clean, dry hardwood.
- Never burn plastics, garbage, or wood treated with a preservative,
paint, or other chemicals causing corrosion and the release of toxic gases.
Consult the OSFC regarding additional information on
home fire safety by calling 800-670-3473 or
Holiday Shopping PA Style
Start with center city chic and move onto a mall shopping spree. Top it all
with a stop at a bustling boutique brimming with handcrafted wares and
collectibles to complete your
holiday shopping PA style .
Later on, take
a trip back in time to the sights and sounds of Victorian carolers strolling
the streets, sleigh bells on horse-drawn carriage rides, and beautiful living
window displays. An old-fashioned holiday wonderland awaits just around the
In case you want to make a weekend of it,
VisitPA can help you find over
1,600 stores and book a room
Money Management & Your Kids
Do your kids understand the perks of budgeting and saving money? ThePA
Department of Banking and Securities and
Friend are facilitating financial learning opportunities for you and your
Introducing the four basic budget components: income, expenses, spending, and
savings just got a little easier with the recent release of a series of
free online and
mobile games designed to be entertaining and educational.
The online library of fun and innovative games include:
- Bite Club
: Save for retirement while running a vampire nightclub.
Celebrity Calamity : Manage celebrity credit cards and spending.
Blitz : Manage farm resources to build savings and survive financial
Groove Nation : Dance and budget on the Road to LA.
Rush : Help clients split tax refunds and save during tax time.
The series is winning
and accolades from such respected publications as The Wall Street Journal
and The Economist.
Extra Caution Required to Avoid Wildlife on the PAís Roadways
Crashes involving Pennsylvania
other wildlife are capturing the attention of highway safety advocates and
wildlife conservationists at both thePA
Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the
Factors compounding Pennsylvania driversí autumn and early winter crash
risks, particularly at dawn and dusk, are:
- Breeding season
- Hunting season
- Outdoor enthusiasts
- Upcoming hibernation
- Crop harvesting
- Nocturnal feeding
An annual average of nearly 3,000 crashes statewide involve deer and result
in more than 600 injuries and five fatalities. A quick review of PennDOTís
motoristís safety tips can help you avoid property damage, injuries, and
death. Motorists are encouraged to call PennDOT at 1-800-FIX-ROAD to report a
dead deer for removal from state roads.