News For Constituents

From Senate Republican Policy Development & Research Office

Motorists Urged to Report Potholes

As highways and roads begin to succumb to winter and the freeze-thaw cycle, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is ramping up early to respond to the resulting potholes.

Dial 1-800-FIX-ROAD to report potholes and roadway washouts.  The Department urges drivers to also report other potential problems and roadway obstructions, including deer carcasses, missing signs, accidents, and disabled vehicles.

Motorists may also send an e-mail to the District and County Customer Care Center, selecting the correct county from the drop-down box.  Click on the Driver and Vehicle Services page for additional questions and concerns.

Prepare Now for Online Tax Filing

January is the perfect time to prepare for tax filings due on Tuesday, April 15, 2014, according to the PA Department of Revenue.

Begin by familiarizing yourself with Pennsylvania’s personal and, if applicable, business websites.  Explore the benefits and savings offered through online filing while gathering tax documents prior to the arrival of your W-2 or 1099 and other necessary documentation.

In anticipation of your filing, you may wish to consult the Online Customer Service Center for Frequently Asked Questions.  Further assistance is available by emailing your question to the Department.

2014 PA Game Commission Calendars Now Available

Kick off 2014 supporting wildlife conservation across Pennsylvania through the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) and The Outdoor Shop.

Follow the Featured Merchandise Page to Miscellaneous Items to purchase a copy of the 2014 PA Wildlife Calendar.  The 13” x 10 ½” calendar is filled with striking wildlife photographs and corresponding seasonal thoughts.

Find plenty of room to jot down appointments and notes along with tracking major holidays.  Outdoor enthusiasts appreciate the contact information for the PGC’s Harrisburg headquarters and 6 regional offices.  If you have made the leap to e-calendars, the PGC offers an online calendar and recommends hunters and trappers also access a copy of the 2013-14 PA Hunting & Trapping Digest.

January is for Dog Licensing

Pennsylvania Dog Law Enforcement, managed by the PA Department of Agriculture and the state’s 67 county treasurers, requires the licensing of all dogs three months of age or older.

Mail or deliver to the appropriate county treasurer’s office your completed dog license application for all dogs three months of age or older.  Failure to comply will result in a maximum fine of $300 per violation plus court costs.

Spayed or neutered dogs are licensed annually for $6.45 or $31.45 for a lifetime license.  Otherwise, an owner is required to submit $8.45 annually or $51.45 for a lifetime license.  Fees support the enforcement of laws and regulations relating to individual dogs and the licensing and inspection of kennels.

Adopt AlertPA to Protect Your Family, Home, & Business

AlertPA provides timely information necessary for informed decision-making to protect yourself and your family from natural and manmade issues and disasters.

Alerts and notifications guide everyone from moms to motorists on the mix of weather advisories, watches, and warnings that lie ahead.  Receive critical state and nationwide health and safety notifications.  PA Department of Corrections updates the general public on drills, exercises, and real incidents.

Whatever the notification, receive details on the electronic device of your choosing.  Authorized senders provide real-time updates and instructions on where to go, what to do, and other important response information directly to your work, home, and other email accounts through your cell phone or smartphone and pager.  Simply complete the registration page to begin receiving alerts.

Recycling Your Christmas Tree

If that once lovely Christmas tree is now lying outside beside your trash, get ahead of the latest trends in real Christmas tree recycling.  The options for Christmas tree recycling span water and land, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

Recently, real Christmas trees were employed in the rebuilding of sand dunes after Hurricane Sandy.  Dune restoration, fortifying coastlines, creating beneficial habitat, and contributing to the nation’s energy requirements are occurring thanks to the growers, and ultimately the purchasers, of real Christmas trees.

Pennsylvania ranks second in the country in the number of real Christmas trees cut each year and acres in production.  With more than 1,200 farms covering nearly 35,000 acres, PA harvests 1.2 million trees annually.  Across the U.S., farmers manage the growth of nearly 350 million real Christmas trees and harvest 28 – 32 million spruces, pines and firs annually.