In this Update:
Bradford Is Booming
During the past week, I had the opportunity to experience first hand the tremendous economic growth, job-creating expansion and infrastructure improvements that are taking hold across McKean County.
Destination Bradford: University of Pittsburgh-Bradford
On March 31, the University of Pittsburgh-Bradford officially dedicated the new George B. Duke Engineering and Information Technologies Building. Even though this day was 12 years in the making, the long-term investment will last for generations.
Thank you to all the companies in Bradford who generously supported this project. It’s the collaboration of local industry leaders like you who helped demonstrate the need, helped define the curricula and provided much of the resources who are ensuring that these future engineering graduates will stay here, work here, raise a family here and hopefully call our region home.
I also want to say a special thank you to Mychal Berlinski (pictured with me above) who is a junior Energy Engineering Technology student. Thank you for sharing your engineering story and how you came to find Pitt-Bradford. Your mother said it best that this truly is a proud moment for you. My best wishes to you in all your future endeavors.
Destination Bradford: W.R. Case & Sons
On April 3, it was an honor and privilege to visit W.R. Case & Sons in Bradford to celebrate the enactment of House Bill 1929, which eliminated the antiquated criminalization of automatic knives in Pennsylvania.
The company has recently hired 50 new employees. Once the design work is completed for automatic knives production, the prospects are excellent for many more family-sustaining jobs to be created.
Destination Bradford: Roulette Township Water and Sewer Authority
On Monday afternoon, I visited Roulette Township Water and Sewer Authority to receive an update on the extent of Department of Environmental Protection permitting issues and funding for the critical water supply. This small community has some unique challenges but a dedicated crew that doesn’t want to let their neighbors down.
Thanks to everyone for the work you do, day in and day out, to maintain a safe and reliable water source.
Duke Military Operations Area Environmental Assessment Available for Public Comment
The residents of Clinton and surrounding Cameron, Potter, Tioga, Elk, and McKean counties – all part of the Pennsylvania Wilds region will be given opportunity to comment on of a proposal from the Maryland Air National Guard (ANG), which is proposing to conduct low-altitude military training in the region.
The PA Wilds Center and the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources are requesting that the ANG do a deeper study of the impact of the proposal and conduct public meetings in each of the impacting counties.
Communicate with Your Utility Companies to Avoid Disconnection
As the annual winter termination moratorium effectively ended on Monday, it is more important than ever for consumers with high or past-due balances on their utility bills to call their provider to discuss options to remain connected.
Utilities are reaching out to customers who are at risk of utility shutoffs and sending bill reminders, letters, termination notices and Public Utility Commission (PUC)-approved shutoff forms. If a customer’s service is shut off, the utility must provide a notice indicating why the service was shut off and what steps the customer can take to restore service.
If you, a family member or neighbor are in a situation where utilities may be shut off, don’t avoid the utilities; contact them.
Utilities can help enroll consumers in assistance programs, guide them to other available resources and discuss new payment plan options to address overdue balances. If a consumer is unable to resolve an issue or obtain needed information from the utility, they may contact the PUC’s Bureau of Consumer Services toll free at 1-800-692-7380.
New Military Themed License Plates Now Available
Because of legislation passed by the General Assembly, new military themed license plates will be available throughout the commonwealth. Two of these new plates – the Air Medal license plate and the Afghanistan and Iraq Veterans license plate – recognize veterans’ special contributions during their service. The third is the Blue Star Family license plate for family members of an active-duty, Reserve or National Guard service member.
All three are available for passenger cars or trucks with a registered gross weight of not more than 14,000 pounds for a fee of $23.
More information, including eligibility requirements and images of license plates, is available here.
Treasury’s Transparency Portal Now Shows Additional Data
Treasurer Stacy Garrity announced a new feature on Treasury’s Transparency Portal that gives the public easy access to county- and state-level data about Pennsylvania’s unclaimed property program, the PA 529 College and Career Savings Program, Keystone Scholars and the PA ABLE Savings Program.
The new feature includes four interactive maps displaying data for unclaimed property, PA 529, Keystone Scholars and PA ABLE. Users can now see county-by-county details such as:
Statewide data is also available, and the data will be updated quarterly. Information about all of Treasury’s consumer programs can be found here.
Summer Internship Opportunity with the Office of Open Records
The Office of Open Records is offering a paid summer internship opportunity in Harrisburg to undergraduate students and recent graduates who are interested in government accountability and transparency. Interns may work from home on Mondays and Thursdays, but full-time telework will not be approved.
The office was established to create a free, simple method for citizens to appeal a public records denial by a local or state government agency. Decisions made by the Office of Open Records have an enormous impact that can lead to changes at all levels of government in Pennsylvania.
Email a resume and cover letter that includes your preferred start and end date to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications will be considered until the position is filled. Learn more, including internship requirements, here.
Complete an Annual Renewal to Maintain Insurance Coverage
All Medical Assistance (MA) and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) recipients must complete an annual renewal to keep coverage. Pennie, Pennsylvania’s state-affiliated health insurance marketplace, offers financial assistance to lower the cost of health and dental coverage. It can help ensure continuous coverage for Pennsylvanians who have lost or are losing MA benefits.
Approximately 30-45 days before Medicaid recipients’ renewal date, they will receive their renewal packet in the mail. This must be completed and returned as soon as possible. They can also complete their renewal online via COMPASS or over the phone.
People who are no longer eligible for Medicaid may have options for coverage available through Pennie and CHIP.
Happy Easter and Passover to You and Your Family
This week, we celebrate two holy holidays: Easter and Passover. No matter which (I know some will celebrate both) or how you celebrate, may you and your family enjoy happy, heartwarming time together. Warmest wishes for many blessings.
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