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Supporting Grandparents Seeking Custody
On October 2, I spoke at a Harrisburg press conference to launch the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s public education campaign addressing “When Grandparents and Others Can Seek Custody.” Stories about grandparents being denied the right to care for children were the impetus behind a new law I prime-sponsored (SB 844, Act 21) which expands custody rights for them and other third parties in cases where parents are deceased or absent. Audio
Veterans Organizations Encouraged To Apply For State Grants
The state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs is now accepting applications for Veterans’ Trust Fund grants to help veterans’ organizations across the state. Applications for the grants can be found at www.vtf.state.pa.us. The deadline for submissions is 3 p.m., November 30.
Grants will be awarded in the following areas:
The Veterans Trust Fund was established by the state legislature in 2012 to supplement state appropriations for veterans’ programs and support new partnerships with charities and veterans’ service organizations. Since its inception, 126 grants totaling $2,932,860 have been awarded to organizations providing services to veterans in Pennsylvania.
The Veterans Trust Fund is supported by donations from Pennsylvanians when they apply for, or renew, a driver’s license, photo ID or motor vehicle registration. It also benefits from the proceeds from the sale of the “Honoring our Veterans” license plates for cars and motorcycles.
Donations of checks or money orders to the Veterans’ Trust Fund may be sent to: DMVA Office of Veterans Affairs, Bldg. 0-47, Fort Indiantown Gap, Annville, PA 17003-5002. Online donations to the Veterans’ Trust Fund can be made at www.donate.dmva.pa.gov.
Honored as a Guardian of Small Business
I was honored to receive the Guardian of Small Business Award from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) in Pennsylvania. This award recognizes legislators who have showed consistent support of small businesses in the Commonwealth.
Grants Available Now to Support Dairy Operations
Dairy farmers throughout Pennsylvania have been struggling for years due to challenging market conditions and low prices for their product. A new grant program that was created in June will provide $5 million in grants to support the dairy industry.
The Pennsylvania Dairy Industry Investment Program will support investments in projects to improve the production, processing and distribution of dairy products throughout the state. Grants of up to $100,000 will be available for research and development and marketing projects, and grants of up to $50,000 will be offered for value-added processing projects and dairy operations transitioning to organic products.
Funding is only available for projects that are not already underway.
Applicants must apply online with the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Electronic Single Application for Assistance at www.esa.dced.state.pa.us. Additional program details are available on DCED’s website at www.dced.pa.gov.
State Museum to Honor World War I Centennial
The State Museum of Pennsylvania, adjacent to the State Capitol in Harrisburg, will honor the centennial of the end of World War I on Sunday, November 11 with a ceremonial bell ringing and the opening of a new display.
The “Bells of Peace” ceremony will feature the tolling of a full-size replica Liberty Bell, originally exhibited at the 1964 World’s Fair, followed by brief remarks and readings commemorating the service of Pennsylvanians in World War I.
At noon, the museum will open Dressed for Service: Pennsylvanians in the Great War, a display that spotlights the contributions and sacrifices of six Pennsylvanians who volunteered for service during World War I.
The museum’s Pennsylvania at War gallery will feature Pennsylvania at War: World War I Posters from the Pennsylvania State Archives — a display of recruitment and public mobilization posters of the era — and Pennsylvania at War: The Saga of the USS Pennsylvania, an exhibit depicting the history of the flagship of the U.S. Navy in the Pacific during World War II.
The State Museum is open Wednesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults (ages 12-64), $6 for senior citizens (ages 65 and up), and $5 for children (ages 1-11).
Pennsylvania’s Unemployment Rate Unchanged in September
Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate of 4.1 percent in September was unchanged from August and remained the lowest rate since July 2000, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry. Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate declined by seven-tenths of a percentage point from September 2017.
The number of employed Pennsylvanians rose by 15,000 in September to a record high of 6,134,000. The number of unemployed residents was unchanged from August.
Farmers and Small Businesses Can Apply for Grants
Grants to promote energy efficiency and pollution prevention projects by small business owners and farmers are available from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) through the Small Business Advantage Grant program.
Pennsylvania-based small business owners with up to 100 full-time employees are eligible for the grants. Projects must save a minimum of $500 and 25 percent annually in energy consumption or pollution-related expenses. Natural resource protection projects are exempt from the minimums, however the projects must be able to quantify sediment and nutrient reductions into nearby waterways.
Businesses can apply for 50 percent matching funds for equipment or materials, up to $9,500, when adopting energy-efficient or pollution prevention equipment or processes. Applications are considered on a first-come, first-served basis, and will be accepted until fiscal year 2018-19 funds are exhausted, or April 12, 2019, whichever occurs first.
The complete grant application package, which includes step-by-step instructions for completing the online application as well as all related forms, is available by visiting the DEP Small Business Ombudsman’s Office website.
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