Grants Awarded to Enhance School Safety
10/12/2018

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Updating the 85th District
The latest news from the State Capitol
 
Grants Awarded to Enhance School Safety

Last week, nearly $90,000 in state grant funding was awarded to two area school districts to help make the facilities safer for students.

The Mifflinburg Area School District received a $23,735 grant to fund the purchase of safety and security-related equipment, while the Selinsgrove Area School District received a $25,000 grant for equipment and a $39,900 grant to fund training and compensation of a school police officer.

More than $8 million in funding was awarded for school safety statewide. A separate school safety grant program created in the 2018-19 state budget will provide an additional $60 million in funding to help keep students safe at school.
  
 
Feds Extend REAL ID Grace Period

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 also have the option to use other, non-REAL ID forms of enhanced identification. Click here for that list

Residents wishing to obtain REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and photo ID cards can obtain them, beginning in March 2019. In the meantime, customers are encouraged to pre-verify for REAL ID the required documentation as soon as possible, giving them ample time to prepare.

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 residents 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
 
 
Giving Students Flexibility for Graduation Requirements

As a way to ensure students get the most out of their educational experience, the House passed legislation this week that would remove the heavy focus on standardized testing as a requirement to graduate and instead allow students various options to show proficiency in pursuing their own career paths.

Senate Bill 1095 would provide Pennsylvania students with additional options to fulfill high school graduation requirements beyond the Keystone Exams. Students who do not score proficient on the Keystone Exams would be able to demonstrate their readiness to graduate through alternative routes.

Specifically, the bill outlines several commonsense options for assessing student performance while also giving teachers more flexibility with classroom instruction time. Some alternatives include a student’s successful completion of work-based learning programs, a service learning project, or an offer of full-time employment as evidence of post-secondary readiness.

As part of the bill, the Keystone Exam graduation requirement would be put on hold until the 2021-22 school year. The alternate graduation options in Senate Bill 1095 would take effect when that delay expires.

This legislation, which now goes back to the Senate, seeks to enhance a multi-bill package to expand career and technical education to benefit both students and employers looking to fill jobs in high-demand fields. 
 
 
House Passes Bill to Crack Down on Hazing

Legislation that seeks to better ensure the safety of students on college campuses by cracking down on hazing passed the House this week.

Senate Bill 1090 is a comprehensive overhaul of the state’s anti-hazing law to give law enforcement better tools to prosecute hazing-related activities and to encourage those nearby to call for assistance for someone who may need help.

Specifically, the bill would increase penalties for those involved in hazing; require schools to have policies and reporting procedures in place to stop hazing; and ensure that parents and students are provided with information related to the issue. The legislation also would establish clear parameters on hazing for organizations such as fraternities and sororities.

The legislation is named in memory of Tim Piazza, a Penn State student who died as a result of hazing in 2017 and was denied medical care for hours. The measure now heads back to the Senate for concurrence. 
 
 
Check Out These Upcoming Events!!

Lewisburg Children’s Museum Activities: Weekends in October and November. Learn about wooly worms (Oct. 13), forests (Oct. 20) and chemistry (Oct. 27); or take part in “Munchkins and Pumpkins,” featuring a variety of fall activities (Oct. 28). In November, make an autumn tree picture (Nov. 3); enjoy STEM stations with Bucknell University (Nov. 10); make poppy wreaths to honor veterans (Nov. 11); use materials and objects to create your own mini Mayflower (Nov. 17); make fall-themed slime (Nov. 18); join in reading “Pete the Cat: The First Thanksgiving” (Nov. 24); and learn coding fundamentals (Nov. 28). Click here for additional information

Fremont Apple Harvest Festival: Friday and Saturday, Oct. 12-13. Food stands, vendors, old country store, baked goods wheel, Chinese auction tickets, barrel train rides, bounce houses, kids zone and more! Click here for additional information

Selinsgrove Halloween Parade: Tuesday, Oct. 16, 7 p.m. (Rain date is Oct. 17). Selinsgrove Projects Inc. will host a Halloween Parade in downtown Selinsgrove. Pre-register by Oct. 12. Click here to register and for additional information

Bannerville Fire Co. Haunted Hayride: Fridays and Saturdays, Oct. 19, 20, 26 and 27, 7-10 p.m. Cost is $5 for adults, $3 for children, and free for children age 5 and under. Handicap accessibility. For more information, call 570-658-6477 or 570-765-4040.

Halloween Costume Judging: – Saturday, Oct. 20. Registration starts at 11 a.m. at the Arts Council table on Selinsgrove Commons. Every child gets a treat, and the first 40 signing up get free mini-pumpkins courtesy of Selinsgrove Farmers Market. Judging begins at noon on the Commons. Costumes will be judged in two age categories: infant-kindergarten and grades 1-5. Six monetary prizes will be awarded. Volunteers from the Regional Engagement Center (REC) will offer a kids’ activities area. Click here for additional information

McClure Bacon Fest: Saturday, Oct. 27, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Arts and crafts vendors, local farm vendors, direct sales vendors and lots of bacon themed items! This year’s event also includes a Chasin’ Bacon 5K Run/Walk! Click here for additional information

For additional events across Central PA, visit the Susquehanna Valley Visitor Bureau’s website here
   
 
Look, Listen and Learn During Fire Prevention Week

The Office of State Fire Commissioner is urging residents to “look, listen and learn” as part of this year’s theme for Fire Prevention Week, which lasts through Saturday, Oct. 13.

With today’s homes being filled with synthetic materials that burn hotter and faster, residents may have as little as two minutes to safely exit a burning structure. The theme focuses on three basic but essential ways to quickly and safely escape a home fire: Look for places fire could start; listen for the sound of the smoke alarm; and learn two ways out of every room.

A home escape plan includes working smoke alarms on every level of the home, in every bedroom and near all sleeping areas. It also includes two ways out of every room, usually a door and a window, with a clear path to an outside meeting place that is a safe distance from the home.

For additional information about Fire Prevention Week and home escape planning, visit www.firepreventionweek.org
 
 
PennDOT Tips for Sharing the Road with Slow-Moving Vehicles

Vehicles designed to travel 25 mph or less and horse-drawn vehicles are required by law to display a fluorescent orange triangle surrounded by red band. When you see this symbol on the rear of any vehicle, slow down immediately and maintain a safe following distance.

Do not pass a slow-moving vehicle if:

  • You cannot see clearly in front of you and the vehicle you intend to pass.
  • There are curves or hills in the road ahead.
  • You are in a designated “No Passing Zone.”
  • You are within 100 feet of any intersection, railroad crossing, bridge, elevated structure or tunnel.
  • Watch closure time while on rural roads. Closure time is the time a driver must recognize and respond to a slow-moving vehicle. Farm vehicles usually travel less than 25 mph, while horse-drawn vehicles range in speeds between 5 and 8 mph. Be alert and prepared to stop.

 According to PennDOT data, in 2017 there were 106 crashes, including 64 injuries and five fatalities, involving farm equipment on rural roads in Pennsylvania.
 

 
What’s Happening in the PA General Assembly?

If you want to know more about what’s happening in your state government, look no further than the Pennsylvania General Assembly website. You will find information about upcoming committee meetings, specific bills, roll call votes, House and Senate calendars, existing state statutes and more. You can even watch session live through the site. Check it out here
 
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Office Locations
Mifflinburg Government Center, 343 Chestnut Street, Suite 1, Mifflinburg, PA 17844 | (570) 966-0052 or (570) 837-0052
428 Irvis Office Building, PO Box 202085, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2085 | (717) 787-3443
TTY: 855-282-0614 
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