News for Constituents

From Senate Republican Policy Development & Research Office

Family Fishing Festivals

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is holding multiple Family Fishing Festivals throughout the Commonwealth during the months of May and June to introduce new anglers to the sport and promote the fun of fishing among families.

The festivals are open to new and former anglers ages 5 and up with no license required or cost to participate.  No experience is necessary and all equipment, bait and tackle will be provided.  PFBC staff will be present to teach skills and give assistance.  Registration may be required.

The remaining PFBC Family Fishing Festivals will be held at these locations:

  • May 10, SE Region:  Nockamixon State Park, Lake Nockamixon, Bucks County, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • May 17, SW Region:  North Park, North Park Lake, Allegheny County, 2 – 6 p.m.
  • June 7 NC Region:  Bald Eagle State Park, Foster Joseph Sayers Lake, Centre County, 4 – 8 p.m.
  • June 21, NW Region:  Presque Isle State Park, Waterworks Ponds, Erie County, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • June 28, NE Region:  Lackawanna State Park, Lackawanna Lake, Lackawanna County, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Other family-friendly fishing events can be found at on the commission’s website on the Take Me Fishing page.

Longer Grant Deadline for Community Colleges, Business Schools, and Others

While the deadline for the Pennsylvania State Grant application has passed for some students, first-time applicants planning to enroll in a community college, business, trade or technical school, a hospital school of nursing, or a non-transferable two-year degree program at a community, junior or four-year college have until August 1, 2014 to apply for 2014-15 academic year assistance.

Applicants must first complete the 2014-15 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  Students and families with questions about FAFSA or the State Grant Program can call 800-692-7392 for assistance.

Electric Car Charging Now Available on Pennsylvania Turnpike

Electric car drivers are now able to charge their vehicles at several service plazas located on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  Blink Level II Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations are now available at the following turnpike service plazas:

  • Bowmansville Service Plaza in Lancaster County
  • King of Prussia Service Plaza in Montgomery County
  • Oakmont Plaza in Allegheny County
  • New Stanton Plaza in Westmoreland County

The charging stations are located near the rear of the plaza parking lots – generally behind the service-plaza buildings.  Customers can pay and initiate a charging session with a free Blink InCard or by calling the toll-free number noted on the charging station to use a credit card.  The cost to charge is $1 per hour for Blink members and $2 per hour for customers using a credit card.

Made possible through a partnership between the Turnpike and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), electric charging stations will ultimately be offered at all 17 service plazas along the Turnpike.

Outdoor Programs for Young People

Pennsylvania State Parks offer outdoor programs for young people designed to help them experience the joy of the outdoors and teach them about conservation.

DiscoverE programs are offered at many state parks throughout the Commonwealth for young people ages 4-17 to explore the outdoors.  Trained educators and interpreters lead young learners through structured play, while older youth are challenged by gaining recreational skills, conducting special projects and participating in valuable experiences.

Parks individually schedule programs which may range from a few hours to week-long events, all aimed to explore the outdoors.  Program information may be found at the state parks and schedules can be found by searching DiscoverE under the Calendar of Events.

Education for Electricity Consumers

With the recent media attention on higher-than-expected variable electric rates, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission is working to provide as much education as possible to consumers in order to help them avoid exorbitant electric bills.

The Commission is urging residential customers who receive their electricity through a competitive supplier to review their contract.  Consumers with variable contracts or contracts set to expire need to look at their terms and conditions.  They can also see and compare all electric rates offered in their area at PAPowerSwitch.

Caring for Older Pennsylvanians at Home

Families often find themselves forced to make difficult choices regarding the extended care of older family members when there is very little time to make them.  They unexpectedly find themselves trying to figure out the where, when and how of care, while coming to terms with the deteriorating health of their loved one.

While it is never easy to think about the day when someone may not be able to care for themselves or could be facing end-of-life decisions, individuals and families can prepare for that time by researching options and resources before that day arrives.  The Pennsylvania Homecare Association offers a Bringing Care Home guide which can serve as a resource to families as they being to explore options including home care, adult day care, assisted living, skilled nursing, and hospice.