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
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Wishing You and Yours a Happy 2018!
1/5/2018
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Harrisburg Update

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


Happy New Year!
HAPPY 2018!! This week marks the start of our brand-new year. I wish you all a happy, healthy and wonderful year ahead! The House is coordinating a legislative agenda for 2018 that focuses on work and economic opportunity, educating for success, escaping government dysfunction, and protecting families and communities. Click here to read our year-end report and to review the list of bills passed by the House in 2017.                                   
                                   

Stay Warm Out There!


With Pennsylvania in the grips of one of the season’s first cold spells, the Pennsylvania Department of Health has offered several tips to keep warm. Dangerously cold temperatures can lead to life-threatening health problems like hypothermia and frostbite. Lower-than-normal temperatures and higher wind speeds can cause heat to leave your body more quickly than normal and result in serious health issues.

If venturing outdoors, make outdoor trips brief and dress warmly in layers; cover your ears, head, mouth and face; never ignore shivering; and know the symptoms of hypothermia and frostbite. Hypothermia causes shivering, exhaustion, confusion, memory loss, slurred speech or drowsiness in adults and bright red, cold skin and very low energy in babies. Frostbite causes a loss of feeling and color in affected areas, and symptoms include a white or grayish-yellow area of skin, numbness or skin that feels unusually firm or waxy.

Infants and older Pennsylvanians are at greater risk of serious cold-related health issues and should be checked frequently to ensure they are warm enough during cold weather. Pet owners are also reminded of a new state law that prohibits animals from being tethered outside for more than 30 minutes in weather colder than 32 degrees. For more winter-weather tips, click here.
 

Welfare Reform Efforts Unveiled
To help contain costs and bring about real reform to Pennsylvania’s welfare system, I joined Rep. Aaron Kaufer and several of our House colleagues on Tuesday to announce a package of bills we are sponsoring to give more Pennsylvania families an opportunity to improve their quality of life, while tackling waste, fraud and abuse from within the current system.

The legislation would require able-bodied adults without dependents to work, perform community service, participate in a work program or be enrolled as a full-time student in order to receive SNAP benefits; limit temporary assistance beyond five years and establish a cumulative 48-month lifetime limit; and start a pilot program that encourages companies to hire individuals receiving welfare.

The goal of the measures is focused on ensuring benefits are directed to those who are truly in need while making every effort to prevent waste, fraud and abuse. These bills are the latest in a series to bring more integrity back to state government and escaping government dysfunction.

Click here to watch the press conference.

Click here to read the press release.


Grant Funding Approved for Pottsville
Earlier this week, Rep. Neal Goodman, Sen. Dave Argall and I announced funding to re-establish a façade improvement program in the city of Pottsville. The Pottsville Area Development Corporation (PADCO) has been awarded $50,000 to incentivize façade improvements by commercial property owners in the city’s business districts. The grant will be used as matching funds for interested participants, with a maximum grant of $5,000 for completed projects. Participants would be required to pay a minimum of 50 percent of the project costs.

Administered by the state Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), the Keystone Communities program is designed to encourage the creation of partnerships between the public and private sectors in the community, supporting local initiatives that grow and stabilize neighborhoods and communities; ensure social and economic diversity; and enhance the overall quality of life for residents.

A couple months ago, we asked DCED Secretary Dennis Davin to come up to Pottsville, and we are thrilled that he recognized the potential in our city to provide grants to allow for further growth and development. I think this will be a benefit to the entire region. This has been a joint effort among the business community and local and state officials. Click here to read the full press release.
                                    

Revitalizing Downtown Pottsville
A public workshop to help develop the strategic action plan to make Downtown Pottsville thrive will be held on Thursday, Jan. 18, at 7 p.m., at the Lodge at Sharp Mountain, located at 201 South 26th St., in Pottsville. I encourage residents of the area interested in helping to attend the meeting.
 

2018 Farm Show Begins Saturday

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In case you missed it, the 102nd Pennsylvania Farm Show will kick off Saturday, Jan. 6, and run through Saturday, Jan. 13. This year’s theme is “Strength in Our Diversity.” In addition to all the delicious food offerings, the Farm Show features 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 300 commercial exhibitors. Admission to the show is free, but parking is $15 per vehicle. Shuttle service is provided. More information is available at farmshow.pa.gov.
 

DEP Encourages Residents to Periodically Test Homes for Radon


The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is encouraging Pennsylvanians to resolve to make 2018 a safer, healthier year by testing homes for radon and encouraging family, friends and neighbors to do the same. With 40 percent of homes in our state having higher levels of radon than the EPA considers acceptable, DEP is encouraging residents to perform a simple test for this known human carcinogen.

DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell explained that Pennsylvanians are at risk of exposure to high radon levels because of the state’s geology. High levels of radon tend to be found in basements, but the gas can be found anywhere in the home. He encourages residents to pick up a test at a hardware store, open it and set it on a surface in the basement, and in a few days, mail the test of the lab.

Winter is a good time to test for radon, because doors and windows are generally closed, providing more accurate results. If you’d rather not use a do-it-yourself test kit, hiring a qualified radon professional to conduct a test is another option.

The EPA action level is 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) of air. The EPA and U.S. Surgeon General recommend taking action to lower the level if a home’s level tests higher than this. January is National Radon Action Month. Visit DEP’s site about radon in the home for more information, including contacting the Radon Division, home testing instructions, what to do if your home radon results are high, how DEP can help, and more helpful resources for homeowners.
                                    
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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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