News For Constituents

From Senate Republican Policy Development & Research Office

Utility Choice is Waiting For You

Utility choice has never been easier in Pennsylvania, according to the PA Public Utility Commission.  If you rely on natural gas or electricity to meet your family’s energy needs, you will find consumer information and answers for frequently asked questions on the Commission’s website to help you make the best choices.

Go to PAPowerSwitch for specifics on shopping for electricity, switching suppliers, and saving money.  Click on PAGasSwitch to obtain similar information allowing for an informed choice in selecting your natural gas supplier.

Consult the PUC’s Consumer Information links for telecommunications, water/wastewater, and transportation resources to save you time and money.

Honoring Our Veterans Everyday

You can join in paying tribute to our veterans through the purchase of a new license plate emblazoned with the American flag, a bald eagle, and the words “Honoring Our Veterans,” according to the PA Departments of Transportation and of Military and Veterans Affairs.

Fifteen dollars from the sale of the $35 license plate will go to the Veterans Trust Fund administered by the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.  The funds will be used to support and assist Pennsylvania veterans and their families through grants to veteran service organizations and other charitable organizations.

Go to the Special Fund Plates webpage of the Department of Transportation and access Form MV-914, “Application for Honoring Our Veteran License Plate” to purchase the plate.  Several military and veterans organizations participate in PennDOT’s Specialty Plate Program.  For a listing of approved organizations, visit the Specialty Plate Program page.

February’s Five Steps to Financial Aid Fitness

Straight from one of the nation’s leading student aid organizations, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) recommends five steps you can begin this February to achieve financial aid fitness for your college education.

Don’t believe the student aid myths, says PHEAA, and beware of the scholarship scams that may inhibit your future educational opportunities.  Instead, follow PHEAA’s Five Steps to Financial Aid Fitness:

1.      Look for “free” money first.

2.      Know your specific deadlines.

3.      Fill out the FAFSA.

4.      Compare schools’ financial aid offers carefully.

5.      Be sure you have the money you need.

Find a wide assortment of financial aid tools and resources courtesy of PHEAA to help you prepare and pay for college.

2013 Bluebird Box Building Project Underway

The Pennsylvania Game Commission is encouraging birders and wildlife enthusiasts to get ready for the return of the Eastern Bluebird in early March.

Facing stiff competition for choice, semi-open nesting options across orchards, farmland, open woodlots, and suburban gardens and parks, the PGC is once again offering nesting boxes that meet bluebird requirements.  Boxes are easily mounted and designed for observation and ease of cleaning.

Purchase assembled or as a woodworking kit for $10.60.  Individuals, families and civic organizations are encouraged to participate in welcoming and helping to sustain habitat conditions conducive to the Eastern Bluebird.  Using the drop-down menu under “General Store”, hover over “Howard Nursery” and select the “Wildlife Homes Order Form”.

Tap Pa Preferred Maple Syrup  

Like clockwork, Pennsylvania’s maple syrup producers are tapping sugar, black, and red maple trees in anticipation of another successful season, according to the PA Department of Agriculture.

Boiled and reduced, 40 gallons of maple sap produces one gallon of the natural sweetener recognized for its antioxidants and minerals.  Attend a Maple Syrup Tasting and Tour Weekend to participate in the annual tradition.  Consult the Consumer’s Guide to PA Farm Markets for maple syrup vendors near you.

More than 5,000 bags of maple cotton candy and 550 gallons of PA Preferred maple syrup were sold by the PA Maple Syrup Producers at the 2012 Farm Show, alone.  Ranking fifth in the nation in maple syrup production, PA taps over 500,000 trees and yields an estimated 96,000 gallons annually.  The Pennsylvania maple industry generates approximately $51 million in economic impact and $5.1 million in cash receipts.

Something for Everyone to Love in February at the State Museum

The State Museum of Pennsylvania will offer something for everyone during the month of February, according to the PA Historical & Museum Commission.  Story time at the Curiosity Connection for the little ones; exploration of the winter constellation Orion for those in pre-K through second grade, and an examination of our “Ice Worlds,” connecting the ecosystems of the Arctic and the Antarctic, for those in grade 4 and up will delight and entertain the kids during February.

Adults are encouraged to participate in the “3rd in the Burg” Event on Friday February 15th – one of Harrisburg’s popular art tours.  Catch an artist’s discussion of “Where There Is Light”, a year-long photographic project on exhibit through the Susquehanna Art Museum (SAM) then hit the DOSHI Gallery for a pairing of works by students and their professors from a number of central Pennsylvania colleges and universities.

Year around, adults and children alike will enjoy the Museum’s popular exhibits including Fine Art, Industry and Technology, Archaeology, Ecology, Paleontology and Geology, and The Civil War.