Merry Christmas to You and Yours
The Weekly Roundup
 The latest news from the State Capitol
Merry Christmas to You and Yours

From my family to yours, I want to extend the warmest wishes for a merry Christmas and happy New Year! May you have a wonderful and safe holiday season that is full of peace and good cheer.

Our district offices will close on Friday, Dec. 22, at 1 p.m., so my staff can celebrate the holiday. They will reopen on Wednesday, Dec. 27.

Also, PennDOT Driver License Centers will be closed on Saturday, Dec. 23, through Monday, Dec. 25, for Christmas, and on Monday, Jan. 1, for New Year’s. Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services online here.
Helping Seniors Stay in Their Homes

The House recently passed legislation that would make it easier for seniors to maintain their independence and receive care in their homes.

Currently, a disparity in Pennsylvania law limits access to in-home care, which can force some seniors into nursing homes when home care would have been more appropriate, preferred and less expensive. When an individual applies for Medicaid, he or she can be “presumed eligible” for nursing home services and receive those services immediately while their Medicaid application is being fully reviewed. However, if the individual wishes to receive in-home care, he or she must wait until the application is fully approved, which sometimes takes months.

House Bill 1829 would extend “presumptive eligibility” to those who meet the qualifications for Medicaid and wish to remain in their own homes instead of in a more costly and restrictive setting. Home care has been shown to promote more rapid recovery, greater mobility and an overall better quality of life.

The measure now moves to the Senate for consideration.
SEPTA Reminds Riders of Medicare Card Phase Out

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) has announced that Medicare and Railroad Retirement Cards will no longer be accepted as proof of age for free and reduced-fare rides beginning Jan. 16, 2018.

As of that date, senior citizens will be able to continue to travel for free on all SEPTA Transit Routes and $1 on Regional Rail within Pennsylvania using any of the following three proofs of age:
  • SEPTA Key Senior Photo ID cards (preferred)
  • Paper Pennsylvania senior citizen transit ID cards
  • Pennsylvania driver’s license and non-driver’s license photo IDs issued prior to mid-June 2017
Individuals 65 and older who are interested in signing up for the SEPTA Key Senior Photo ID card are welcome to submit an application at my Red Hill district office. The ID card is free of charge. Please call my Red Hill office at (215) 679-3152 with any questions about the application process, or click here for more information.
House Scholarship Applications Now Available

High school seniors interested in receiving financial assistance to help pay for college can now apply for a Pennsylvania House of Representatives Scholarship.

Each year the program awards four-year scholarships to two students preparing for post-secondary education. The scholarship is privately funded by individual and corporate donors; no tax or other public funds are used.

The program is open to graduating high school seniors who are Pennsylvania residents with plans to attend a Pennsylvania college, university or career school as a full-time student. Students must have attained a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average in high school in order to be eligible for a scholarship. Other factors taken into consideration for the awards are a student’s commitment to community, leadership qualities, extracurricular activities and financial need.

The application is available here. Once on the site, click on the “Scholarship” tab at the top of the page. Then click on any of the counties listed underneath or the link entitled “any other county in the state of Pennsylvania” to access the scholarship information. The application deadline is March 1, 2018.
102nd Farm Show Kicks off Jan. 6

Celebrating one of Pennsylvania’s top industries, the Pennsylvania Farm Show near Harrisburg will kick off Saturday, Jan. 6. The show will run through Saturday, Jan. 13.

The Farm Show, which features 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 300 commercial exhibitors, emphasizes the importance of agriculture in daily life, highlights the latest in ag technology and advancements, and offers attractions for all ages.

Admission to the show is free, but parking is $15 per vehicle. Shuttle service is provided. Learn more here.
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