Mar. 31, 2017

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Weekly Roundup
#Listrak\DateStampLong# The latest news from the State Capitol

How Can Tech Save Tax Dollars?

 
The House Majority Policy Committee recently learned more about ways in which technology can be better managed to save taxpayers money while still providing quality services.

Already, state agencies have spent millions of taxpayer dollars to upgrade and build technology systems and databases to make government run more efficiently and effectively. Yet, despite the money being spent, the data collected may not be used to its fullest potential, personnel costs are climbing, fraud and system abuse continues, and Pennsylvania is still years behind in its technology capabilities.

The committee heard from several technology companies about ways in which technology can do a better job of detecting welfare fraud, saving money within Medicaid or allowing agency databases to instantly share information.

To watch the hearing, click here and select the March 22 date.
 
 
Applications Available for Rural Fire Assistance Grants

 
Applications for federal grants to help Pennsylvania’s rural communities better guard against the threat of fires in forested, undeveloped and underprotected areas will be accepted until May 18.

The grants are designed to organize, train and equip local forces in preventing, controlling and suppressing fires that have the potential to threaten human life, livestock, crops, pastures, woodlands, orchards and farmsteads.

Grants can be used for the purchase of wildfire suppression equipment, wildfire protective gear, wildfire prevention and mitigation, wildfire training, mobile or portable radios, and installation of dry hydrants. The funds may also be used for conversion and maintenance of federal surplus property vehicles. The vehicles are presented to local departments exhibiting the greatest needs and those that commit to outfitting them for fire suppression.

For more information, click here.
 
 
Sheriff Lance Benedict Encourages Local Residents to Attend April 20 Concealed Carry Seminar
“A couple hours of your time now could save you years down the road”

 
To familiarize area residents about their responsibilities as gun owners, Rep. Tina Pickett and I will host a concealed carry seminar at the Hop Bottom Fire Hall on Thursday, April 20. The seminar will be held from 6-8 p.m., with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. Susquehanna County District Attorney Robert Klein and Sheriff Lance Benedict will share their expertise and answer questions from area residents about state firearms laws.

These seminars have been quite popular in our area, as they have not only familiarized our local gun owners with state firearms laws, but they have included information about the Castle Doctrine and how that law is applied in cases of self-defense. Since our area is so close to the New York border, many questions have been answered regarding residents’ ability to cross state lines with their firearms.

In addition to an overview of the state’s firearms laws, the seminar will include information on how to safely interact with police when carrying a firearm, as well as the legal aspects of Pennsylvania’s Castle Doctrine, which allows a homeowner to use deadly force if necessary when threatened by an armed intruder.

Registration is required for this event and can be made by clicking here or call my Montrose office at 570-278-3374. Seating is limited. Light refreshments will be served.
 
 
Protecting Children Against Abuse

 
Thousands of Pennsylvanians in schools, social service agencies, churches and neighborhood groups throughout Pennsylvania are working hard to nurture and support the victims of child abuse and prevent future mistreatment.

In 2015, more than 4,200 cases of child abuse or maltreatment were investigated in Pennsylvania, with an estimate that one of every 1,000 children is a victim of abuse.

While the General Assembly passed more than two dozen laws a few years ago to help prevent, investigate and prosecute abuse cases, the House is currently working to help victims of child sexual abuse hold their abusers accountable.

With April designated as Child Abuse Awareness Month by House Resolution 173, several activities are planned statewide throughout the month to equip residents with the information they need to recognize and report suspected child abuse in their communities. Those events include free training programs for community members, mandated reporters (those who, by reason of their occupation or profession, must report suspected child abuse) and trainers. Click here for that list of events.  
 
 
State Veterans Agency Seeks Vietnam Veterans

 
As a way to pay tribute to all of the men and women from Pennsylvania who died as a result of the Vietnam War, the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) is asking the public for help in finding the remaining 105 Vietnam veterans from Pennsylvania who are not yet included in the agency’s Wall of Faces project.

For the past two years the DMVA has partnered with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) in Washington, D.C., to find a photo of every Pennsylvanian whose name appears on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. The VVMF is posting the photos on a virtual Wall of Faces to put a face and a story to every name, allowing these Vietnam veterans to be honored by family, friends and others from around the world.

A complete list of Pennsylvania Vietnam Veterans whose photos are still needed can be found by going to veterans.pa.gov, and clicking on Wall of Faces. Instructions on how to submit a photo can be found here.

To view the virtual Wall of Faces, go to vvmf.org/Wall-of-Faces.
 
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Office Locations
16501 State Route 706, Suite 2, Montrose, PA 18801 | Phone: 570-278-3374 
32 Commercial Street, Suite 300, Honesdale, PA 18431 | 570-253-5533
414 Irvis Office, PO Box 202111, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2111
Email Address: JFritz@pahousegop.com
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