Senator Chris Gebhard E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Gov. Wolf Vetoes Legislation That Would Keep Violent Inmates in Jail Longer
  • Medicare Open Enrollment begins Oct. 15, Free Insurance Counseling Available
  • Program Providing Help with Water, Sewer Bills Ends Oct. 28
  • Conservation and Natural Resources Grants Available
  • Breast Cancer Screening Saves Lives
  • Legislative Survey
  • Veteran Appreciation Breakfast
  • Local Events

Gov. Wolf Vetoes Legislation That Would Keep Violent Inmates in Jail Longer

I am extremely disappointed that Gov. Tom Wolf has vetoed legislation supported by Republicans and Democrats that would tighten the parole process for violent offenders.

House Bill 146, or Markie’s Law, was named after Markie Mason, an 8-year-old Lawrence County boy who was brutally stabbed to death by a man who was paroled at the end of his minimum sentence for homicide, even after being convicted of committing two separate assaults of other inmates while in prison.

The bill would have postponed consideration of a violent inmate’s parole an additional two years following the inmate’s minimum release date for each conviction of a violent offense while incarcerated. This was a rational, responsible response to a horrific crime and Gov. Wolf’s veto is indefensible.

https://www.post-gazette.com/news/crime-courts/2022/10/03/pa-gov-tom-wolf-vetoes-bill-prisoners-parole-markies-law-mason/stories/202209300123  

Medicare Open Enrollment begins Oct. 15, Free Insurance Counseling Available

The annual open enrollment period for Medicare beneficiaries begins Oct. 15 and ends Dec. 7.

Pennsylvania Medicare Education and Decision Insight (PA MEDI) provides free and objective information about Medicare Advantage Plans, prescription drug plans and Medicare Supplement plans to help Medicare beneficiaries compare plans and determine what best meets their needs. This work is done with the help of nearly 650 volunteers across the commonwealth.

You can learn more about PA MEDI counseling or becoming a volunteer on the Department of Aging’s website or by calling the PA MEDI Helpline at 1-800-783-7067, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Older adults can also call your Area Agency on Aging.

Program Providing Help with Water, Sewer Bills Ends Oct. 28

Pennsylvanians who may need help with water bills or wastewater service costs have until Oct. 28 to apply for assistance.

The Low Income Household Water Assistance Program provides assistance for families who have past-due water bills, had their water service terminated or received a notice indicating their service will be terminated in the next 60 days. LIHWAP is a temporary federal assistance program. Households can receive grants for both drinking water service and sewer service. Grants are issued directly to water service providers, and families must meet income requirements.

Applications for LIHWAP, as well as other public assistance programs, can be submitted online at www.compass.state.pa.usCounty Assistance Offices are available for in-person support if clients cannot access online services or need assistance or information that is not on the COMPASS website or the myCOMPASS PA mobile app.

Conservation and Natural Resources Grants Available

The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) recreation and conservation grants program is accepting applications from municipal entities and non-profit organizations for a special fall funding round through Oct. 27.

Because of its unique funding source, the supplemental fall funding round has some differences from typical DCNR grant rounds. The primary difference is that for municipalities with populations under 5,000 people, the match requirement is 20% of the grant amount with no cap on project size.

DCNR’s Bureau of Recreation and Conservation offers a Frequently Asked Questions document, and more information about the fall round will also be published through the BRC e-newsletter.

Breast Cancer Screening Saves Lives  

An important message for Breast Cancer Awareness Month is that screening for signs can greatly improve survival rates.

In recent years, the General Assembly enacted laws to provide a new screening and reporting system for patients determined to have dense breasts, which can disguise cancer and delay its detection. It also expanded MRI coverage for patients and implemented a driver license check-off for breast cancer research funding.

Legislative Survey

Please take a moment to respond to my legislative survey. Do you believe financial education should be taught in our schools? My bill, SB 1243 would make a personal finance course a graduation requirement in Pennsylvania.

Click here to respond to my survey.

Click here to view SB 1243.

Veteran Appreciation Breakfast

Join me and Rep. Russ Diamond for a free Veteran’s Appreciation Breakfast and hear from Scott Kohr, Director of Lebanon County Veterans Affairs. Scott will highlight how the Lebanon County Department of Veterans Affairs can assist all Lebanon County veterans and their families in obtaining federal, state, and county benefits.  Dawn Blauch, the Lebanon County Recorder of Deeds will be present to issue Veteran ID Cards for free.  Please bring your DD214 Form if you would like an ID.

DATE: Friday, November 11, 2022
TIME: Check in 8am: Breakfast at 9am
LOCATION: Country Fare Restaurant

Seating is limited for the breakfast, so veterans and their families are asked to RSVP by Tuesday, Nov. 1, online at SenatorGebhard48.com/veterans-appreciation-breakfast or by calling my district office at 717-274-6735.

Local Events

Saturday, October 8 10am-4pm Fall Festival Indian Echo Caverns
Indian Echo Caverns
https://www.facebook.com/events/3222214821378095?ref=newsfeed

Saturday, October 8, 11am-2pm Harvest Festival
Coleman Memorial Park
https://www.facebook.com/events/1035405343792374?ref=newsfeed

Saturday, October 8, 11am-3pm Family Fun Fest
4899 Stoudts Ferry Bridge Rd, Reading
https://www.berksfun.com/event/family-fun-fest/

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