News for Constituents

Important for Older Adults to Participate in the US Census

The September 30 deadline to complete the 2020 Census is quickly approaching, and older adults are urged to participate to benefit their community.  Older adults can participate whether they live with family, receive in-home care, or reside in a long-term living facility.  The population count determines the federal support that aging Pennsylvanians receive through programs such as Medicaid, Medicare Part B, nutrition services and more.

While Census workers are currently visiting homes of citizens who have not yet completed the Census, it is also advised that older adults stay alert for potential scam artists.  Verify the workers identity by making sure they have a valid ID badge with their picture, a US Department of Commerce watermark and expiration date.  If you question a worker’s identity, call 1-844-330-2020 to speak to a Census Bureau representative.

Elk Cam Goes Live 

You can now experience the Pennsylvania elk bugling season without leaving your home as the PA Game Commission is once again livestreaming elk activity from its camera on State Game Lands 311 in Elk County.  Video and sound from the camera are being livestreamed at www.pgc.pa.gov.  Not only will viewers see elk, but turkey, deer and other wildlife as well.

The PA Game Commission’s webpage also contains information on Pennsylvania’s elk and provides a link to the Pennsylvania Great Outdoors website which includes useful information for anyone visiting elk country, including giving the elk space and not feeding the elk.

The elk country live stream is slated to run until the end of bugling season, sometime in mid-October.  The best time to see elk on the camera is late in the afternoon.

Cultural and Historical Support Grants Now Available for Museums and County Historical Societies

The PA Historical & Museum Commission (PHMC) is now accepting applications from qualified museums and official county historical societies for nearly $2 million in Cultural and Historical Support Grants.  This is the eighth year the state legislature has provided funding for the program.

Applicants must meet organizational eligibility requirements.  Awards are based on a calculation that uses the operating budget from the most recently completed fiscal year.

The goals of the Cultural and Historic Support Program are to strengthen the PA museum community; provide general operating support to museums and official county historical societies that are not supported by other state agency funding programs; and provide financial assistance as unrestricted operating support to address primary needs of museums.

Museums must be located in Pennsylvania with annual operating budgets exceeding $100,000 and at least one full-time staff person.  The maximum award for a museum is $65,000.  The awards for county historical societies range from $2,500 to $4,000.

All applications must be completed by Wednesday, October 14, 2020 through the Commonwealth’s Single Application for Assistance system.  Grants are expected to be approved at the December 2, 2020 PHMC meeting.

Become a Poll Worker in Pennsylvania!

September 1st was National Poll Worker Recruitment Day.  Established by the US Election Assistance Commission, National Poll Worker Recruitment Day’s goal is to encourage potential poll workers to sign up to Help America Vote in 2020.  Those interested in becoming a poll worker can find more information at www.votespa.com/getinvolved.

Poll workers must be 18 years old and registered to vote in the county in which they wish to serve as a poll worker.  Exceptions to the age requirement exist for high school students who are at least 17 years old who must meet additional requirements.  Poll workers receive training and are paid by their county.  Government officials and employees are not allowed to serve as poll workers.

Expirations for CDLs, Commercial Learner’s Permits and Hazardous Materials Endorsements Extended 

The PA Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced expiration dates for commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) and commercial learner’s permits will be extended for Pennsylvania residents through September 30, 2020.

The following products’ expiration dates will be extended:

  • Commercial learner’s permits scheduled to expire from March 16, 2020 through September 30, 2020;
  • Commercial driver’s licenses scheduled to expire from March 16, 2020 through September 30, 2020; and
  • Hazardous Materials Endorsements (HME) for individuals who are a Pennsylvania-licensed commercial driver’s license holder and who held a valid, unexpired HME with a determination of no security threat on or after March 6, 2020.

For a list of open driver’s license and photo license centers, the services provided and their hours of operation, visit www.dmv.pa.gov.

Constitution Week

September 17, 2020 marks the 233rd anniversary of the framing of the Constitution of the United States by the Constitutional Convention.  The Constitution of the United States adopted the principles upon which our Republic was established.

Each year, the President of the United States issues a proclamation designating September 17 through 23 as “Constitution Week”.  Senate Resolution 357 has been introduced to also recognize this week in Pennsylvania, and to urge all Pennsylvanians to reaffirm the ideals the Framers of the Constitution had in 1787 by vigilantly protecting the freedoms guaranteed to us through this guardian of our liberties.