News For Constituents

From Senate Republican Policy Development & Research Office

Purchase A Convenient Multi-Year Fishing License

The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission is now selling 3-year and 5-year fishing licenses.  Interested anglers can order multi-year licenses through The Outdoor Shop or through one of the more than 900 issuing agents, including county treasurers’ offices, and PFBC regional offices, located throughout the Commonwealth.  Along with the convenience of having a fishing license in hand for 3 or 5 years, customers will avoid annual transaction and processing fees.

In addition, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) has been busy replenishing waterways with a fresh supply of brook, brown and rainbow trout.  Before you head out for your first day of fishing with your new multi-year license, check out the 2013 Trout Stocking Schedules to improve your odds.

Obtain Free Veterans Application Assistance

Veterans and their dependents should not pay for help to apply for veteran’s benefits, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA).

Turn to your County Director of Veterans Affairs for assistance in identifying, determining eligibility for, and applying for county, state, and federal veteran’s benefits and programs.  Many chartered veteran service organizations also provide assistance with the preparation of benefit claims, often regardless of membership.

Among available programs are the payment of burial allowances; ensuring grave markers and headstones are properly requested and placed; direct application for state programs like the Disabled Veterans Real Estate Tax Exemption Program, Veterans Emergency Assistance, Blind and Paralyzed Veterans Pensions, and the Education Gratuity Program; as well as federal health care benefits, service connected disability and non-service connected disability pensions, and survivor benefits.

Join PA’s Life-Saving Yellow Dot Program

Do you or a loved one have a history of medical problems or a particular condition?  Perhaps you are allergic to commonly prescribed medications.  Whatever the malady, participating in the Yellow Dot program can save lives in the event of a vehicle accident, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

When your program materials arrive, complete an individual medical information sheet for each participant, adding a separate sheet of additional information as necessary.  Attach an approximately 3” x 3” current photo to each individuals medical information sheet and store the Yellow Dot program folder in your glove box.

Place the Yellow Dot in your vehicle’s rear window alerting first responders to check your glove compartment for vital information to ensure the vehicle’s occupants receive the appropriate medical attention.

Avoid Electric Utility Scams & Pressure Sales Techniques

Pennsylvania is seeing a rash of electric utility scams and aggressive sales techniques delivered by phone or in person by individuals appearing at your front door, according to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.

Before engaging in a discussion to switch your electric supplier, the PUC recommends the following:

  • Request photo identification
  • Identify the name of the sales representative
  • Obtain company name, address, and phone number
  • Call the company to verify it is conducting door-to-door sales
  • Call the PUC at 1-800-692-7380 to confirm that the company being represented is a licensed supplier

After taking steps to verify the legitimacy of the sales call, ask the electric supplier or distribution company to provide you with the PTC or price to compare.  This information will allow you to compare the generation costs of your current supplier with the potentially new supplier’s generation portion of your electric bill.

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Alert System Offers Protection

Springtime naturally presents emergency weather alerts such as late season freezing conditions, rain, high winds, and tornados, according to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Alert System.

Current warnings include a fire watch due to high winds and low humidity; reports of a possible influenza outbreak; airport delays; and a pet food recall.  At any given time, you may find specific emergency and weather alerts are accompanied by tax notifications, building alerts and updates to steer, guide, and warn you on all your devices, including:

  • Email (work, home, other)
  • Cell phone
  • Pager
  • Smartphone/PDA

Notifications will include Amber Alerts containing descriptive information regarding the victim, the suspect and, if applicable, the suspect’s vehicle information.  Find answers to your questions, and then sign up to keep up with important information for your health and well-being.

Time for Radon Testing & Remediation Recommendations

DEP is recommending homeowners test for elevated levels of radon before you throw up the windows for spring.  When homes and buildings are closed, radon can build to unhealthy levels allowing for more precise measurements.

Radon, the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S., is lurking in some 40 percent of Pennsylvania homes, according to the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas occurring naturally through the breakdown of uranium in soil and rocks.  Seeping into homes through cracks in basements and foundations, radon can build up inside to unsafe concentrations.

PA residents can obtain a free radon test kit through the American Lung Association.  For additional assistance go to DEP’s testing and mitigation webpages.