I am pleased to send you this edition of my electronic newsletter. These e-newsletters enable me to provide information about issues, events and activities in Harrisburg and around the 41st Senatorial District to you in a timely manner while saving postage costs.
If you find this e-newsletter useful, I invite you to visit my website www.senatordonwhite.com for more information about your state government. You can also keep up to date through www.facebook.com/senatordonwhite.
If you do not wish to receive these e-newsletters, please click the "unsubscribe" button at the bottom of the page.
CWM Environmental Breaks Ground for New Facility
I was pleased to join with Armstrong County officials to help CWM Environmental, Inc. break ground on April 1 for its new 9,600 square-foot building in the West Hills Industrial Park. The new building will consolidate CWM Environmental's administrative offices and laboratory.
Transportation Plan Provides Boost to Municipalities
In addition to the many highway and bridge projects that have been expedited by Act 89 of 2013 , that comprehensive transportation funding plan is providing a significant boost to local municipalities through increased state liquid fuels funding.
Liquid fuels allocations are annual payments to municipalities to help pay for highway and bridge-related expenses such as snow removal and road repaving. There are 119,847 miles of public roads in Pennsylvania, with 77,889 of those miles owned by municipalities and eligible for liquid fuels. The formula for payments is based on a municipality’s population and miles of locally owned roads.
The charts below show the five-year trends in funding for municipalities in the 41st Senatorial District in Armstrong, Butler, Indiana and Westmoreland counties.
Local Veterans Encouraged to Use Indiana VA Clinic
More than 800 local veterans have signed up for services at the Indiana County VA Health Care Outpatient Clinic since it opened at 1570 Oakland Avenue in Indiana last October, but we know that many local veterans are still traveling to Pittsburgh, Johnstown, Altoona and Greensburg for their care.
That’s why I am helping to get the word out to local veterans that this facility is here to help them. The clinic provides:
If you would like more information about eligibility and enrollment please call Enrollments and Eligibility at (814) 943-8164, extension 7084. You can also contact the clinic directly at (724) 349-8900.
Attorney General's Office Launches UPMC/Highmark Helpline
The state Attorney General’s Office recently launched a toll-free helpline and will act as an intermediary between consumers and UPMC and Highmark. Consumers who call the helpline, (844) 743-2015, will speak with a specialist who will listen to their complaint and assist with processing their information. The helpline will operate on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
In order to expedite the process, consumers should provide basic information about themselves, and be prepared to: describe in as much detail as possible the conflict they experienced with either UPMC or Highmark; provide any correspondence they may have received from either company; provide insurance coverage information because of the variety of plans that exist.
For more information about the UPMC/Highmark transition plan, consent decree or frequently asked questions, visit www.stayinformed.pa.gov .
2015-16 Budget Hearings Summaries, Video on My Website
The Senate Appropriations Committee recently wrapped up three weeks of public hearings on Governor Wolf’s proposed state budget for the 2015-16 Fiscal Year. I have posted weekly wrap-ups and videos of the hearings on my website www.senatordonwhite.com. Go to the “Newsroom” tab and click on “E-newsletters.” The files are listed under “Session-Wraps.”
The first week features: Governor’s Budget Office, Independent Fiscal Office, General Services, Attorney General, Treasury, Auditor General, Judiciary, State Police, Drug & Alcohol Programs, Gaming Control Board, State System of Higher Education, and Community Colleges.
The second week includes: PUC, SERS/PSERS, Health, Aging, Thaddeus Stevens, State-Related Universities, DEP, Corrections, PLCB, Human Services, DCED, and State.
The final week wraps up with: Education, Labor & Industry, Banking, Revenue, Historical Commission, Transportation, Agriculture, PEMA, DCNR, Military & Veterans Affairs, and Insurance.
More information on the budget is also available at: www.pasenategop.com/state-budget/.
Presque Isle, Moraine State Parks up for National Honor
You can help three western Pennsylvania state parks earn national honors as family-friendly fishing and boating spots.
Moraine State Park in Butler County, Presque Isle State Park in Erie County and Keystone State Park in Westmoreland County are among 276 parks from across the country vying in the 2015 America’s Top Family Fishing and Boating Spots Sweepstakes, sponsored by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation’s (RBFF) Take Me Fishing™ campaign.
Other Pennsylvania competitors are Lackawanna State Park in Lackawanna County, Little Buffalo State Park in Perry County, Nockamixon State Park in Bucks County, and the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, Philadelphia and Delaware counties.
Entrants can vote daily for the three parks they feel offer the best experience based on family amenities, location and the likeliness to catch a fish or enjoy a day on the water. The contest runs through April 12.
At the end, the parks with the most votes will be placed on the list of 2015 America’s Top 100 Family Fishing and Boating Spots, which RBFF will use to entice families and newcomers to visit during National Fishing and Boating Week in June, as well as throughout summer.
Those who enter the sweepstakes will have a chance to win a weekly prize: a Get Started Fishing Kit, including two South Bend® Spinning Combos, an Eagle Claw® Tackle Kit, as well as a Take Me Fishing hat, tumbler, backpack and luggage tag. One lucky grand prize winner will receive their own memory-making experience from Take Me Fishing: a 3-night, 4-day stay for 4 at the Walt Disney World® Resort, including a Guided Fishing Excursion. Full prize information can be found in the Official Rules.
To learn more about the sweepstakes and to vote for our local parks, visit America’s Top Family Fishing and Boating Spots Sweepstakes .
Mentored Youth Trout Day, Trout Season Opening Nearing
With warmer weather finally arriving, local anglers are gearing up for the opening day of trout season and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s (PFBC) popular Mentored Youth Trout Day.
The statewide opening day of trout season is April 18.
The Mentored Youth Trout Day, which has been expanded this year to include all PFBC-stocked trout waters, will be held on April 11 from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Anglers and their mentors can each keep a combined species total of two trout, at least seven inches in length. To participate, adult anglers (16 years and older) must have a valid fishing license and trout/salmon permit and be accompanied by a youth.
Youth anglers must obtain a free PFBC-issued permit or a voluntary youth fishing license (only $2.70 including all fees) and be accompanied by a licensed adult. Both licenses and permits are available at www.GoneFishingPA.com or at any of the more than 900 licensing agents across the state.
The PFBC plans to stock more than 3.2 million trout in at least 820 Pennsylvania lakes and streams this year. The stocking includes approximately 2.01 million rainbow trout, 641,000 brown trout and 525,000 brook trout.
The 2015 trout stocking schedule and complete fishing license information is available online at www.fish.state.pa.us.
Insurance Department Urges Property Owners to Consider Flood Insurance
Since spring flooding is common throughout Pennsylvania, the state Insurance Department is urging property owners to consider purchasing flood insurance to protect their homes, businesses, and possessions.
Federal Emergency Management Agency statistics show residents in 66 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties filed nearly 18,000 flood insurance claims in the nine years from 2006 through 2014, and received more than $551 million in payments.
Information on coverage and how to obtain flood insurance can be found at www.floodsmart.org, the official site of the National Flood Insurance Program, a federally funded resource for flood victims.
Property owners can take a number of steps to minimize flood damage:
Additional information on emergency preparations are available online at www.ReadyPa.org.
Mark Your Calendar
I am pleased to join with State Representatives Dave Reed, Jeff Pyle and Cris Dush, as well as the Indiana County Commissioners; the Indiana County Chamber of Commerce; and the PA CareerLink® Indiana County in announcing that Job Fair 2015 will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 16, at the S&T Bank Arena at White Township Recreation Complex in Indiana. The Job Fair is free and open to the public. Candidates of all ages, experience levels, and industries are encouraged to attend.
286 Main Capitol