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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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State Funding for Our Bridges
10/5/2018
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Harrisburg Update

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


State Funding for Our Bridges
This week, nearly $957,000 in state funding was approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) for two improvement projects in our area.

Hegins Township received a $479,098 grant through the Multimodal Transportation Fund to replace Forest Drive bridge, an existing one-lane bridge that spans Deep Creek. The bridge is in poor condition with deteriorated concrete facing with exposed stones at the water’s edge.

Washington Township received a $477,602 grant also through the Multimodal Transportation Fund to replace the deteriorating bridge along Kutz Road, north of its intersection with Sweet Arrow Lake Road. The funding will remove the existing 29-ton load posting.

I advocated for the funding to help tackle the area’s backlog of needed bridge repairs. The Multimodal Transportation Fund provides grants to encourage economic development and ensure that a safe and reliable system of transportation is available to Pennsylvania residents.

This is wonderful news! Properly maintained bridges and roadways are critical to our region’s overall safe travels.
 

Schuylkill Technology Centers Awarded Safe School Grant
This week, the Department of Education (PDE) announced the awardees for the 2018-19 Targeted Safe School Grants. These grants, which totaled $8.4 million, assist schools in reducing unnecessary student disciplinary actions and promoting an environment of greater productivity, safety and productivity. The funds also assist in enhancing antiviolence efforts between schools and parents, local governments, law enforcement and community organizations.

The Schuylkill Technology Centers were awarded $13,580 to purchase safety and security-related equipment to prevent and reduce violent incidents and to provide for the training and compensation of school resource and police officers.

PDE’s program is separate from the new $60 million School Safety and Security Grant program created this year and administered by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD). 
 

REAL ID Grace Period Extended
 
Pennsylvania has been granted an extended grace period to comply with REAL ID requirements set by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The grace period was set to expire Oct.10, 2018 but has now been extended until Aug. 1, 2019. A final federal deadline for all states to comply is Oct. 1, 2020.

This grace period extension means that Pennsylvania residents will not face access issues when entering federal facilities or boarding commercial aircraft through at least Aug. 1, 2019.

REAL ID is voluntary for Pennsylvania residents, but encouraged for those who may need to access certain federal facilities, such as military bases, or fly commercial flights within the United States. Residents wishing to obtain REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and photo ID cards can obtain them, beginning in March 2019.

One of the required documents is a certified copy of a birth certificate, which can take up to several months to process, depending on one’s circumstances. My office can help with birth certificate applications. Call or stop by for more information.

More information about REAL ID, including frequently asked questions, can be found at dmv.pa.gov.
 

Ensuring Upkeep of Veterans’ Graves
 
This week, the House unanimously approved legislation to help ensure proper upkeep of the graves of Pennsylvania veterans.

Under current law, counties are required to place a marker and a U.S. flag on the graves of all honorably discharged veterans. These U.S. flags are to remain up from Memorial Day through the Fourth of July.

However, House Bill 1471 would enhance current law to ensure cemeteries remove torn and weathered flags after the Fourth of July annually, and allow a veteran’s family member to keep them if they choose.

The bill now moves to the state Senate for review.

Helping Parents with Day Care Decisions
 
Bipartisan legislation designed to help parents with day care decisions was passed by the House this week and sent to the Senate.

House Bill 1742 would require all state licensed child care centers to post their Keystone STARS rating in a prominent location and on their websites.

The Keystone STARS program sets quality requirements for early childhood educators based on a four-star rating system. All licensed child care centers that meet the state’s health and safety requirements are required to be part of the Keystone STARS system.

The goal of the proposal is to help educate parents about day care choices and to encourage low-rated child care centers to improve their programs.


 
To honor those who have fought breast cancer or are fighting it now, the fountain at the Pennsylvania State Capitol’s East Wing was dyed pink on Tuesday for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The pink fountain is also a reminder to all women of the importance of mammograms and early detection. This week, the House also passed House Resolution 1048 recognizing October 2018 as “National Breast Cancer Awareness Month” and Oct. 19, 2018 as “National Mammography Day” in Pennsylvania.
 
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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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