Senator Ward, J E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Veterans Outreach Services
  • Join Me at Discover STEM
  • Fighting Fraud
  • Communicate with Your Utility Companies to Avoid Disconnection
  • New Military Themed License Plates Now Available
  • Treasury’s Transparency Portal Now Shows Additional Data
  • Summer Internship Opportunity with the Office of Open Records
  • Complete an Annual Renewal to Maintain Insurance Coverage
  • Happy Easter and Passover to You and Your Family
  • 30th Happenings

Veterans Outreach Services

Join Me at Discover STEM

ALL AGES WELCOME! No need to register. Hope to see you there! 

Bring your children and join me at Discover STEM: A Day for Families, an event I am hosting in partnership with the Science in Motion Consortium and Juniata College. 

This will be an educational, interactive, and immersive day filled with the exploration of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). 

At the event, you and your child can: 

  • Explore the StarLab, 
  • Watch ice cream develop before your eyes, 
  • Code your way through the world of robots, 
  • Discover secrets of the animal kingdom, 
  • And many more hands-on activities! 

Discover STEM will take place on Saturday, April 22, from 10 a.m. until noon, at the Kennedy Sports and Recreation Center, Juniata College, 1700 Moore St, Huntingdon. 

Science in Motion is a state partnership program of colleges and universities. Science in Motion educators bring science and technology learning to the students of the commonwealth. 

I hope to see you at Discover STEM! 

Fighting Fraud

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. 

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: 

  • How much unclaimed property is available;
  • How much unclaimed property has been returned since Jan. 1, 2021;
  • The number of open PA 529 and PA ABLE accounts;
  • Total assets in PA 529 and PA ABLE; and
  • The number of registered Keystone Scholars accounts.

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 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 what or how you celebrate, may you and your family enjoy happy, heartwarming time together. Warmest wishes for many blessings.

30th Happenings

It was an absolute honor to recognize Charles Thomas Streightiff, Chief of the Huntingdon Borough Police Department, for receiving a 2023 Blue Ribbon Champion for Safe Kids Award by the Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance during a ceremony this week at the Capitol. What a true servant leader he is for our community.

This week we welcomed the PA Farm Bureau to Harrisburg, as members visited to advocate on issues our farmers are currently facing. It is always a great time getting to speak with so many wonderful farmers from the 30th District! Pictured is Juniata County resident, Chris Hoffman, who is the PA Farm Bureau President.

Photo taken by the Office of the Governor of Pennsylvania

Earlier this week, Governor Josh Shapiro visited Altoona to discuss the importance of funding for fire and emergency services in the Commonwealth. It is essential that these services have proper funding to ensure we can all receive help in the event of an emergency. Thank you to all the brave men and women who answer the call in our times of need.

Pictured is Mayor Matt Pacifico speaking and Pat Miller, Altoona firefighter and western vice president of the Pennsylvania Professional Firefighters Association, is standing behind the Governor.

Congratulations to the 2023 Claysburg Area Hall of Fame Inductees who were honored recently at the annual event at Claysburg -Kimmel High School. A well-deserved group of individuals were acknowledged for a variety of services to our communities:

Claysburg Volunteer Fire Company
John and Elaine Smith
Matt Treon
Clyde E. Wlater, Jr. (posthumously)
Donald T. Witherspoon (posthumously)

Pictured, I am presenting a citation to one of the recipients, Chief Scott Eicher, of the Claysburg Volunteer Fire Company.

This past weekend I met with community leaders and residents of the Williamsburg community in Blair County to discuss Emergency Management Services, Broadband issues, and other issues that their community is facing.


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