Feb. 18, 2019

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Weekly Roundup
The latest news from the State Capitol
Budget Hearings Focus on Accountability in Tax Dollar Spending

The House Appropriations Committee held its first series of 2019-20 state budget hearings this week. The hearings are designed to give members the opportunity to question state officials about their funding requests and ensure state government is accountable for how it spends taxpayer dollars. Members will also focus on ensuring the budget supports policies that improve the state’s economic climate and support the creation of private sector jobs.

The first slate of hearings included appearances by the Independent Fiscal Office, Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and the departments of Revenue, Aging, and Conservation and Natural Resources.

The next week of hearings, beginning Monday, Feb. 25, will feature the departments of Corrections, General Services, Health, Drug and Alcohol Programs, and Transportation, along with the Liquor Control Board and the Gaming Control Board.

The full schedule is available here. The site also includes video of the archived hearings once available.
Efforts Honored

I am extremely honored to receive the Freedom Fighter Award from the Alliance of Bikers Aimed Toward Education (A.B.A.T.E.) Pennsylvania Chapter! I also took part in the group's legislative panel. Thank you, A.B.A.T.E., for your steadfast advocacy for rider safety and education.
Appearance on Face the State

I was recently a guest on CBS 21’s Face the State. If you missed it, click here to watch the episode.
Take Steps to Avoid Scams This Tax Season

As tax season begins, it is important to protect yourself and your family from scams and phishing schemes designed to steal your money or personal financial information.

One common scam to keep an eye out for involves phony “Final Demand for Payment” notices threatening the seizure of a taxpayer’s property if the recipient of the notice fails to make immediate payment.

Pennsylvanians should also beware of phishing schemes that use fraudulent email messages, deceptive software or malicious files that are designed to steal sensitive information, such as passwords, usernames or personal financial information.

To avoid these scams, individuals should not provide any personal information until they are sure they are speaking to a legitimate representative, keep an eye out for vague communications and never click on suspicious links or attachments.

Pennsylvanians should also know that any scenario in which they are asked to pay their debt with reloadable debit cards, gift cards or money wiring services are scams. No government agencies use these methods for payment.
If you think you are a victim of identity theft or discover a fraudulent Pennsylvania personal income tax return was filed using your identity, contact the Department of Revenue’s Fraud Detection and Analysis Unit at 717-772-9297 or RA-RVPITFRAUD@pa.gov.
Extra, Extra! Column Published

Thanks to the York Dispatch for publishing my column on a proposed rule change by the court that could put your health care at risk. Read an excerpt from the column below, or click here to read it in full.

“Here in south-central Pennsylvania, we’re blessed with great health-care providers and facilities. In addition to our long-established medical centers, a brand-new hospital is under construction in West York, and eastern Cumberland County has a premier facility just a few years old.

“We’re also fortunate in that, for many cases, we can stay close to home to get the health care we need.

“Sadly, if the state court system approves a rule change that reverts back to a situation in the early 2000s, the health of those hospitals and our communities could be at risk.”
Need a REAL ID? Check Out my Helpful Event

With REAL IDs about to be made available in Pennsylvania, I will host an event to assist residents with pre-verifying documents required to obtain a REAL ID. The event will be held in the cafeteria Northern High School, 653 S. Baltimore St., on Tuesday, Feb. 26, from 5-8 p.m.

This will help speed up the application process for those who wish to obtain a REAL ID. Under federal guidelines, a REAL ID, or other approved identification, such as a passport, will be needed to board a commercial flight or visit a secure federal building starting next year. Obtaining a REAL ID is optional for residents.

Representatives from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) will scan attendees’ personal documents needed to obtain a REAL ID. Those documents include:
  • Proof of identity (original or certified copy of a birth certificate with a raised seal or valid U.S. Passport).
  • Social Security card.
  • Proof of all legal name changes (state or county marriage certificate or court order).
  • Two proofs of current, physical Pennsylvania address (current, unexpired PA license or ID, vehicle registration card and a no more than 90-day-old bank statement).
When the application process opens in March, residents who attend the event will already have the necessary documents on file with PennDOT.
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12 North Baltimore Street,Dillsburg, PA 17019 | 717-432-0792
422 Irvis Office, PO Box 202092, Harrisburg PA 17120-2092 | (717) 783-8783 / 3-8783
Email Address: DKeefer@pahousegop.com