Supporting Our Veterans
1/19/2018
Updating the 85th District
The latest news from the State Capitol
         
Need Help with Veterans Benefits?

In appreciation for their service, both the state and federal governments offer a number of benefits and services to our veterans and their family members. If you have questions about or need assistance with obtaining these benefits, there are several options to help you.

Dan Falls, a veterans field service officer with the American Legion, is available at the Mifflinburg office this coming Wednesday, Jan. 24, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on the fourth Wednesday of each subsequent month. You need not be a member of the American Legion to obtain this assistance with issues such as compensation, education, pension, health care and death benefits. Appointments are required and may be made by calling the office at 570-966-0052 or 570-837-0052.

Both Union and Snyder counties also have offices of Veterans Affairs to assist you.
  • Union County Office of Veterans Affairs – Union County Government Center, 155 N. 15th St., Lewisburg. The telephone number is 570-524-8677, and the office is available online here.
  • Snyder County Office of Veterans Affairs – Snyder County East Building, 713 Bridge St. Suite 10, Selinsgrove. The telephone number is 570-374-0181, and the office is available online here.
                                                                                                               
         
Fighting Back Against Overregulation

Earlier this week, several lawmakers and business leaders from across the Commonwealth announced a multi-bill package specifically designed to rein in state government overregulation.

The bills include giving the Legislature the ability to initiate the repeal of any state regulation in effect; establishing the Independent Office of the Repealer to undertake an ongoing review of existing regulations; requiring legislative approval of an economically significant regulation; making the permitting process more transparent; requiring each agency to better educate the regulated community regarding implementation of any new regulation and its requirements; and improving the regulatory culture so the application of existing laws is collaborative and not punitive.

Also announced was a Regulatory Overreach Report, which showed that Pennsylvania’s restrictive regulatory environment kills family-sustaining jobs, strangles opportunity and cripples economic growth.

Pennsylvania currently has more than 153,000 regulatory restrictions that stretch across every industry in the Commonwealth.
                  
         
Property Tax/Rent Rebate Applications Available Monday

Applications for the 2017 Property Tax/Rent Rebate program will be available for download from the Department of Revenue’s website starting Monday, Jan. 22.

The program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians who are 65 years or older, widows and widowers 50 years or older, and those 18 years or older with disabilities. Eligibility income limits are set at $15,000 for renters and $35,000 for homeowners, excluding 50 percent of Social Security, Supplemental Security Income and Railroad Retirement Tier 1 benefits.

The Property Tax/Rent Rebate program is one of many initiatives supported by the Pennsylvania Lottery, which dedicates its proceeds to support programs for older Pennsylvanians.

For more information, contact the Mifflinburg office at 570-966-0052 or 570-837-0052; stop by the office at the Mifflinburg Government Center, 343 Chestnut St., Suite 1; or visit www.RepFredKeller.com.
                  
         
Does Your Home Contain Radon?

An estimated 40 percent of Pennsylvania homes have higher levels of radon than national safety standards, due to the state’s geology. However, residents can perform a simple test to detect this gas, which is considered the second leading cause of lung cancer
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Radon is an odorless, colorless radioactive gas that occurs naturally from the breakdown of uranium in soil and rocks and enters homes through cracks in the foundation or other openings. High levels of radon tend to be found in basements, but the gas can be found anywhere in the home.

Winter is a good time to test for radon, because doors and windows are generally closed, providing more accurate results. Simple radon test kits are inexpensive and available at home improvement and hardware stores.

January is national Radon Action Month. For more information on radon, testing and daily tips, click here.
                  
         
Protecting Families’ Access to Gravesites

In allowing Pennsylvania families to grieve their loved ones, a new law taking effect in late February will ensure reasonable access to all cemetery visitors in Pennsylvania, regardless of property ownership. It also requires cemetery owners to honor burial plots sold by previous owners.

The legislation was the result of situations in which cemetery properties changed ownership over time.

Under Act 64 of 2017, cemetery owners are able to establish reasonable access procedures, as well as designate the frequency, hours and duration of cemetery visits. If the cemetery owners fail to comply with the new law, persons denied access to a burial plot can file a lawsuit in the county’s Court of Common Pleas where the property is located.

The Office of Attorney General also may bring an enforcement action against the owner for violating Pennsylvania’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law.
                  
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