Office Locations 
District Office
190 N. Main St., Suite 308
Washington, PA 15301
Phone: (724) 223-4541
Monday through Friday

Satellite Office
102 W. Pike St.
Houston, PA 15342
Phone: (724) 745-2925
Tuesdays and Thursdays


Capitol Office
52-B East Wing
P.O. Box 2020048
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2048
Telephone: (717) 787-3315
Visit to City Mission
10/26/2018
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Visit to City Mission

 
At the end of last week, I toured City Mission and met with Dean Gartland, president and CEO. This organization works to shelter, heal and restore the homeless to independent living. We are fortunate to have groups like this to help those in need in our community.
 

Reading to Children

 
On Tuesday, I read “Rufus Goes to Sea” to children during story time at Citizens Library in the city of Washington. Instilling a love of reading at an early age is important.
  

New Law to Protect Highway Workers
 
As a way to help enhance safety within highway construction zones, the General Assembly passed Senate Bill 172 – now Act 86 of 2018 – which will better protect construction workers along roadways.

Under the new law, automated speed enforcement cameras will be deployed as part of a five-year pilot program in active work zones along certain federal highways under PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission’s jurisdiction. A separate program is being implemented in Philadelphia for U.S. Route 1 (Roosevelt Boulevard) to reduce pedestrian-related crashes.

Motorists who exceed the speed limit by at least 11 mph when construction workers and these cameras are present will receive a written warning for the first offense, a $75 fine for the second offense and a $150 fine for third and subsequent offenses. Penalties imposed will not be a criminal conviction if paid, will not reflect on an owner’s driving record, and cannot be used for insurance purposes or to authorize imposition of surcharges on motor vehicle insurance coverage. Cameras could start appearing as early as the spring 2019 construction season.

This legislation was modeled after a similar law in Maryland, which saw a substantial reduction in work zone-related crashes.

In 2015, 1,900 crashes were reported within work zones, leading to 23 deaths across Pennsylvania. According to PennDOT, work zone crashes have been increasing at a rate of 5 percent annually since 2012.

For more information about highway safety, click here.
 

Fighting Back Against Food Stamp Fraud
A new law will help prevent food stamp fraud by imposing tougher penalties for the illegal trafficking of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

Act 160 of 2018 creates a new penalty for the fraudulent trafficking of SNAP benefits in an amount greater than $2,500. Violators will be required to pay restitution of up to three times the amount of fraud they committed. Under the prior law, the recipient who sells the benefits and the merchant who creates the illegal market for and trafficks in those benefits are treated the same.

The law stems from a case uncovered last year by the Office of State Inspector General in which a Harrisburg restaurant traded drugs for electronic benefit transaction (EBT) cards and bought thousands of dollars of supplies from a food wholesale club to be resold for profit. This serious problem across Pennsylvania takes food from our most vulnerable citizens.
 

Heating Assistance Program to Open Next Week
Residents who are struggling with their home heating bills can apply for assistance from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) beginning Thursday, Nov. 1.

LIHEAP is a federally funded program that helps individuals and families pay their heating bills through home heating energy assistance grants. It also provides crisis grants to help in the event of an emergency or if a resident is in danger of losing his or her heat due to broken equipment, lack of fuel or termination of utility service.

The income eligibility guidelines for LIHEAP are set at 150 percent of the federal poverty income level. For example, the income limit for an individual is $18,210; for a couple, the limit is $24,690; and for a family of four, it is $37,650.

Residents may apply for LIHEAP online or by contacting the County Assistance Office in their county of residence. 
 

Got Expired Drugs? Dispose of Them Safely on Oct. 27
To help keep prescription medications out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them, the U.S. Department of Justice, working with local law enforcement, will hold a prescription drug take-back event in our area on Saturday, Oct. 27. This event allows residents to drop off unwanted or expired prescription medications free of charge for safe and convenient disposal.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., residents can drop their medications off at the following local sites.  More sites are being added daily.

Since the twice-a-year disposal events began in the fall of 2010, the total amount of prescription drugs collected by DEA has reached 9,964,714 pounds, or 4,982 tons.

Several communities in our area also have permanent collection sites. Click here for those.
 

Veterans Organizations Can Apply for Trust Fund Grants
The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) is accepting applications for the 2018-19 Veterans’ Trust Fund (VTF) grant cycle. Up to $800,000 in VTF grant funding will be competitively awarded for programs and services benefiting Pennsylvania veterans.

The VTF is funded by Pennsylvanians who voluntarily donate when applying for or renewing driver’s licenses, photo IDs or motor vehicle registrations; purchasing Honoring Our Veterans license plates; or making private donations.

To learn more about the VTF and the grant application process, visit vtf.pa.gov or follow DMVA on Facebook at facebook.com/padmva.

Pennsylvania has the fourth-largest veteran population in the nation, with nearly 800,000 veterans.
 
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Office Locations
 District office: Details coming soon  
 Capitol office: 143B East Wing, P.O. Box 202048, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2048 | Tel: 717-787-3315 
                                                 
Email: toneal@pahousegop.com
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