News for Constituents

PA Expands Eligibility for Pharmaceutical Assistance

Income eligibility limits for PACENET are increasing to provide coverage to an additional 17,000 Pennsylvanians who are aged 65 and older with a minimum 90 days state residency, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Aging.  

The PACENET expansion, extends coverage to singles with an income between $14,500 and $27,500 and married couples earning between $17,700 and $35,500 who are not enrolled in the PA Department of Human Services Medicaid prescription benefit. 

Eligible residents may utilize the online enrollment wizard or complete and return the application by fax (1-888-656-0372) or mail to PACE/PACENET, PO Box 8806, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8806.  For additional information call 800-225-7223. 

Fallen Leaves Camouflage Frosty Roadways

Fallen leaves and frosty roadways are creating dangerous camouflage, especially at dawn and dusk, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.  Adding fog to the slippery conditions makes travel hazardous. 

PennDOT recommends drivers slow down, use low beams, wear sunglasses, keep a clutter-free visor and dashboard, and clean the windshield. 

Remember to be prepared for increased movement of wildlife as winter approaches.  Deer are naturally nocturnal and fall is breeding season.  Farmers busy harvesting and preparing for spring planting also cause deer to move.  Motorists can call 1-800-FIX-ROAD to report safety hazards on state roadways, including a deer carcass. 

Pennsylvania’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program Accepting Applications

Pennsylvania’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is accepting applications through April 12, 2019 for help paying heating bills or a heating emergency, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services.

Cash grants are one-time payments sent directly to the utility company or fuel provider.  Eligible individuals may also apply for crisis grants when a home is without fuel, in imminent danger of being without fuel, or to restore home-heating services. 

Applications for LIHEAP are being accepted through COMPASS, Pennsylvania’s portal to apply for assistance with health care, food and nutrition, home- and community-based service referrals.  For additional information consult the brochure, “LIHEAP May Be Able to Help You” or call 866-857-7095 to get started.  Applicants may prefer to visit or mail the completed form to the nearest county assistance office.  

Winterize Your Home Before Temps Turn Cold

Warmer than usual fall temperatures lend themselves to doing some weatherization around your home, according to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission

Replace old weather-stripping around windows and doors and seal air leaks with the appropriate caulking compound while temperatures permit.  When temperatures drop, try some additional tips to save energy.  Turn down the temperature on your water heater and only wash full loads in washers and dishwashers. 

Consider a few investments to further reduce home energy costs, including a thermal blanket for your hot water tank, installation of a programmable thermostat and replacement of old appliances with Energy Saving units.  Along with routine maintenance of your furnace, following these tips will result in reduced energy bills. 

What Do You Need to Know Before Deer Season?  

For everything you need to know to hunt in Pennsylvania, print and read the 2018-19 Hunting & Trapping Digest.  You may want to add the Pennsylvania Game Commission app to your phone to have official information at your fingertips. 

The 2018-19 Pocket Guide of the Hunting and Trapping Digest is available online for your printing convenience onto 8 1/2” by 14” paper.  Tucked in a pocket, this format provides a quick reference on fluorescent orange requirements, seasons/limits, general hunting regulations, Wildlife Management Units, and contact information for reporting your harvest. 

Hunters are encouraged to call Operation Game Thief at 1-888-PGC-8001 or submit online reports of wildlife violations. 

School Bus Safety for Everyone

School students are annually transported more than 346 million miles to school, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.  Cautious driving and an understanding of the School Bus Stopping Law can prevent needless injuries and the death of our students. 

Motorists are encouraged to review the School Bus Stopping Law and understand the penalties for violations include 60-day driver’s license suspension, five points on your driving record, and a $250 fine. 

Observing PennDOT’s school bus safety tips for parents and students (fifth heading) include recommendations for arrival and waiting, as well as calm and quiet behavior on a bus. 

Recently, Senate Bill 1098, sponsored by Senator Pat Browne, was signed into law as Act 159 of 2018.  This legislation authorizes school entities to install side stop signal arm enforcement systems on school buses for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of Section 3345 (relating to meeting or overtaking school bus) of the Vehicle Code.