Contact My Office 

E-mail:  mtobash@pahousegop.com

District Office
988 East Main Street
Suite A
Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972
Phone: 570-385-8235
Toll-free: 855-271-9384
Hours: Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 4 pm

Williamstown District Office
Borough Building
200 S. West St., Williamstown
Phone: 717-647-7208
Hours: Mondays and Wednesdays 8:30 am to 4 pm

Capitol Office
4B East Wing
PO Box 202125
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2125
Phone: 717-260-6148

Satellite Office
View my Satellite Office Information

House Approves State Budget Reforms, Spending Control Measures
12/14/2017
 
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Harrisburg Update

A quick look at what’s happening in Harrisburg
and the 125th Legislative District...


House Approves State Budget Reforms, Spending Control Measures
In ongoing efforts to stand up for taxpayers, the House this week approved historic legislation to change budget-making in Harrisburg by bringing integrity, transparency and spending limits to the state budget and budget process.

The legislative package – House Bills 1940-1945 – requires transparency through an official estimate of how much money the state will have, more information about the balances in taxpayer-supported special funds used to provide grants and subsidies, and the creation of monetary reserves during revenue shortfalls.

Additionally, a proposed state constitutional amendment to limit state spending, House Bill 110, would impose a cap based on recent increases in the Consumer Price Index and state population growth. A constitutional amendment must be approved in two consecutive legislative sessions and then by the state’s voters. These measures, which are now headed to the Senate, are in addition to a new state law requiring performance-based budgeting. This information will help legislators decide which programs to fund and which to shut down.


Congratulations, Schuylkill Haven Area Football Team!

Congratulations to the Schuylkill Haven Area football team for capturing the District 11 Class AA championship! We are proud of your hard work and dedication. I visited the team on Thursday and presented a House citation recognizing this accomplishment. Great job, guys!
 

Area Flood Control Grants Awarded
Earlier this week, Sen. Dave Argall and I announced two Department of Environmental Protection Growing Greener grants that will support flood control efforts in the Swatara Creek Watershed in Tremont Township and Pine Grove Borough.

The Schuylkill County Conservation District will be awarded $230,000 to begin phase 1 of the Good Spring Creek Floodplain restoration project and $2.9 million for a flood remediation project that will help the Borough of Pine Grove. The Pine Grove project will supplement the $2 million announced recently from the Department of Community and Economic Development’s Disaster Recovery program.

This grant is an example of how communities, individuals and stakeholders can work together to achieve positive results. After the flooding in 2011, coordinated efforts and hard work led to obtaining the resources to get these projects completed. I am glad we were able to work together to support the citizens and businesses in our area. Click here to read the full press release.
 

Reminder: Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program Deadline is Jan. 2
Older adults and people with disabilities have until Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, to apply for rebates on property taxes and rent paid in 2016. The rebates are available through Pennsylvania’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program. The deadline was extended to ensure those who are eligible have ample time to apply for property tax and rent rebates. The maximum state rebate is $650, but supplemental rebates for qualifying homeowners can boost rebates to $975.

Applicants may obtain Property Tax/Rent Rebate claim forms (PA-1000) and related information online at revenue.pa.gov or by calling 1-888-222-9190. It’s free to apply and my office offers free assistance will filling out the forms.

The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limits are $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters. Half of Social Security income is excluded.
   

Farmers Be Counted! Census of Agriculture Underway

Farmers across Pennsylvania are encouraged to take part in the 2017 Census of Agriculture being conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The census seeks to count anyone who earns at least $1,000 per year growing food or other crops. The data is used to develop food and agriculture policies and programs for the entire country, including funding decisions.

Census questionnaires are being mailed to farmers, ranchers and growers this month. The 2017 census form, which requires an estimated 50 minutes to complete, must be returned by Feb. 5, 2018, but respondents are encouraged to respond online at agcensus.usda.gov.

The web-based questionnaire allows access from any electronic device, and farmers can return their draft responses as their schedules allow. The new online form saves time and improves convenience for respondents, while capturing a more detailed account of U.S. farming and ranching. With Pennsylvania a leader in the agriculture industry, it is important our farmers and producers stand up and be counted.
 

Christmas at the Capitol

Last Friday, the state Capitol’s Christmas Tree was illuminated during a special holiday ceremony. The 22-foot Douglas fir came from a farm in Lehighton, Carbon County, and is decorated with ornaments made by preschoolers from around the state. You can see more photos of the tree at  Facebook.com/RepTobash. Did you know that Pennsylvania is third in the nation for our number of Christmas Tree farms? Also, Indiana, PA, is known as the Christmas Tree Capitol of the World. Wishing you and your families a wonderful holiday season filled with love and happiness.
 

Children’s Health Insurance Program Extension
To help ensure coverage of the popular and successful Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), legislation is currently on the governor’s desk to extend the program for two more years. For 25 years, CHIP has provided insurance coverage to uninsured children and teens (up to age 19) whose families earn too much to qualify for Medical Assistance, but who cannot afford to purchase private insurance.

CHIP is supported by both state and federal funds and provides payment for health care coverage for eligible children who meet income and other criteria. More than 180,000 children are currently enrolled in CHIP. More information about CHIP is available online at CHIPCoversPAKids.com.
 

Renew Your Dog Licenses Now
Pet owners are reminded to renew their dog’s license for 2018. All dogs three months of age or older must be licensed in Pennsylvania, either on an annual basis or with a lifetime license. Annual license fees vary from $6.50 to $8.50, with fee reductions for senior citizens and those owners with disabilities. Lifetime license costs are $31.50 or $51.50. Applications for license renewals can be found here. Completed applications must be returned to the owner’s county treasurer’s office.

Under Pennsylvania state law, owners who fail to license and/or immunize their dogs could face fines up to $300 per violation for each dog three months of age or older. In addition, owners of non-vaccinated pets may be fined up to $300 plus court costs.
http://www.licenseyourdogpa.pa.gov
http://www.agriculture.pa.gov/Protect/DogLaw/PA%20Dog%20Licensing/Pages/County-Treasurers.aspx#.VmcyPL_wwdZ

Contact Us
Schuylkill Haven District Office
988 E. Main St., Suite A
Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972
570-385-8235
As of Sept. 11, the Schuylkill Haven office is now open Mondays-Fridays, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Williamstown District Office
Borough Building, 200 S. West St., Williamstown
717-647-7208
The hours at the Williamstown office are as follows: Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Satellite Office Hours
Pine Grove - American Legion

42 S. Tulpehocken St., Pine Grove
By appointment only.

Gratz Community Center
125 N. Center St., Gratz
By appointment only. Call 570-385-8235 or 717-647-7208 to confirm date and time.

Tri-Valley Public Library
633 East Main St., Hegins
First and third Fridays from 9 a.m. to noon.
Call 570-385-8235 or 717-647-7208 to confirm date and time.

Northern Dauphin Human Services Building
295 State Drive, Elizabethville
Fourth Wednesday of the month from 8:30 a.m. to noon.
Call 570-385-8235 or 717-647-7208 to confirm date and time.

Tower City - Municipal Building
(Mayor’s office)
219 E. Colliery Ave., Tower City
By appointment only. Call 570-385-8235 to schedule.
 
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Office Locations
988 Route 61 South, East Main Street, Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972 | Phone (toll free) (855) 271-9384
Borough Building, 200 S. West St., Williamstown, PA  Phone (717) 647-7208
4B East Wing, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2147 
Email: mtobash@pahousegop.com
TTY: 855-282-0614 
 
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