News For Constituents

From Senate Republican Policy Development & Research Office

Number of Flu Cases Skyrocket in the New Year

Increasing reports of influenza outbreak are stirring discussions at the Pennsylvania Department of Health about expanding the numbers of those receiving an annual flu vaccine. Health officials are stressing it is not too late to receive the influenza vaccine.

Discerning between the influenza and common cold is important in knowing when to seek treatment. The influenza virus appears suddenly and attacks the human respiratory tract. Symptoms considered flu-like may include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Tiredness, possibly extreme
  • Dry cough
  • Sore throat
  • Nasal congestion
  • Body aches

Get the facts and review other PA Department of Health recommendations on avoiding exposure and preventing the spread of an infection from the influenza.

Visit PA for Your Winter Getaway

The weather is cooperating with Pennsylvania’s ski industry, according to VisitPA and SkiPA. Pennsylvania resorts are welcoming the novice along with experienced skiers to enjoy the slopes.

Take advantage of the SkiPA promotion, January Learn to Ski & Snowboard Month, should you fall into the novice category or just want to brush up on your ski and boarding skills. Enter the Pick a PA Pass Contest to win a 2012-13 Season Pass to the PA ski area of your choice, selecting from one of 21 ski resorts.

Don’t leave home without turning to VisitPA to book your winter getaway. Choose a special discounted Ski & Stay Package. Hotels, lodges and villas offer special amenities, including indoor pools, Jacuzzis, and spa treatments. Find discounted lessons and equipment rentals. Make PA your northeast headquarters for winter adventures.

2013 Farm Show Recipes

The Annual Pennsylvania Farm Show entices some of the state’s best cooks to show off their talents, according to the PA Department of Agriculture. Competition for the best sticky bun, fudge, angel food cake, thumbprint cookie, apple pie, and so much more fills the January air around the Complex.

Don’t fret if you are unable to attend the 2013 Show. Search PA Preferred Recipes for tried and true selections for appetizers, entrees, side dishes, and desserts. Visit the 2013 PA Preferred Culinary Connection Recipe Book, for an A-Z collection from Autumn Quinoa Salad to Veal Zurichoise. Search Winning Recipes from contests conducted from 2004-2012, including those from celebrity chefs appearing annually at the PA Farm Show.

The PA Preferred program strives to identify and promote food and agricultural products grown, produced, or processed in the Commonwealth. Pennsylvania farmers and agribusinesses are the leading economic driver in our state with $5.7 billion in cash receipts annually from production agriculture.

PGC 2013 Calendar Ready

Fill your office during 2013 with birds, deer, bear, and elk for just $8.95 and you will support the preservation, conservation, and management of Pennsylvania’s wildlife resources and habitats, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Visit the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Outdoor Shop and Merchandise tab. Next click on Miscellaneous Items to order your copy of the “2013 Connect With Wildlife” calendar. You also may order agency merchandise over the phone by calling 1-888-888-3459.

The full-color, 13 x 10 ½ inch calendar features a screech owl, muskrat, Carolina wren, male turkey, Eastern bluebird, black bear, a pair of bald eagles, trio of white-tailed deer, bull elk, drake wood duck, ruffed grouse, and a buck.

The PA Game Commission, created in 1895, is responsible for managing all wild birds and mammals, as well as the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat. The Game Commission does not receive any general state tax dollars.

Time to License Your Dog

Current and prospective dog owners are reminded that all dogs three months of age or older must be licensed by the County Treasurer. Dog control and a current rabies vaccine are among the legal requirements for dog ownership in Pennsylvania. Also, the Dog Law Enforcement Office of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture reminds pet owners that a current, intact county-issued dog tag can be the identifying factor facilitating the safe return of a lost, beloved pet.

An annual dog license is $8.45 and a lifetime license is $51.45. For spayed or neutered animals, the annual fee is $6.45 and lifetime is $31.45. Discounts are available to older adults and people with disabilities.

License Your Dog PA helps dog owners access a dog license application, county treasurer contact information, Pennsylvania’s dog laws and more. Direct additional questions by email to or call the PA Dog Law Enforcement Office at 717-787-3062.

2013 PennDOT Service Center Holiday Closings

The 2013 list of holiday closings for PennDOT Driver and Photo License Centers statewide is now available, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

The Centers will observe Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Saturday, January 19 and Monday, January 21.

Holiday closings for the remainder of 2013 are as follows:

  • February 16 & 18, 2013 – Presidents Day
  • May 25 & 27, 2013 – Memorial Day
  • July 4, 2013 – Independence Day
  • August 31 & September 2, 2013 – Labor Day
  • October 12 & 14, 2013 – Columbus Day
  • November 9 & 11, 2013 – Veterans Day
  • November 28, 2013 – Thanksgiving Day
  • December 25, 2013 – Christmas Day
  • January 1, 2014 – New Year’s Day

Pennsylvanians can also turn to the Department’s Driver and Vehicle Services website 24/7, 365 days a year to fill out and print forms, download fact sheets, find service locations, and learn about special programs. Motorists may contact PennDOT with driver and vehicle-related questions and suggestions. Consult the list of Frequently Asked Questions for information about conducting Online Transactions.