Jan. 13, 2017

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Weekly Roundup
#Listrak\DateStampLong# The latest news from the State Capitol

Working to Keep SCI Waymart Open

Over the past week, I have heard from hundreds of you regarding the potential closure of SCI Waymart. I would like to share the following response, posted earlier this week on my legislative Facebook page.

Thank you for reaching out. You can be assured that I am using every resource available (myself, Sen. Lisa Baker, Rep. Mike Peifer, county commissioners, township supervisors, Corrections Officers’ Lobby, Wedco, the chamber and the media) to fight for SCI Waymart.

Part of this exercise is who can make the most noise. “Squeaky wheel gets the grease” approach. I am asking you and all of your colleagues and neighbors to send an email to the governor and the Secretary of Corrections:

1) Governor at governor.pa.gov/contact/
2) Secretary John Wetzel at ra-crpadocsecretary@pa.gov

Please keep the communication short and easy to read, but please cite the following;
First, that family sustaining jobs in Wayne County are very hard to come by. SCI Waymart is one of our largest employers and the closure would be devastating to our region’s economy.

Second, SCI Waymart is a specialized mental health facility and only one of three facilities licensed by the Department of Health to provide inpatient mental health treatment.

I will continue to engage media outlets to make as much noise as possible, BUT I need you to urge your colleagues and neighbors to make noise as well, by making contact as expressed above. Please understand that Secretary Wetzel and, ultimately, Governor Wolf will decide which facility closes.

Let’s work together on this,

Rep. Jon Fritz, 111th District
LIHEAP Can Help with Home Energy Bills

Residents who are struggling with their home heating bills can apply for assistance from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) this winter.

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 level income. For an individual, the income limit is $17,820; for a couple, the limit is $24,030; and for a family of four, it is $36,450.

Residents may apply for LIHEAP online or by contacting the County Assistance Office in their county of residence. Click here for details
Testing Your Home for Radon

As part of national Radon Action Month in January, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) reminds residents that radon – a colorless, odorless, and radioactive gas -- is a known human carcinogen and the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.

Radon occurs naturally from the breakdown of uranium in soil and rocks and enters homes through cracks in the foundation or other openings. Due to its geology, Pennsylvania is prone to high radon levels, and has been detected in all 67 counties, with about 40 percent of homes having levels above national safety standards.

Winter is an ideal time to test, because doors and windows are generally closed, producing the most conservative results. High levels of radon tend to be found in basements, but the gas can be found anywhere in the home. Simple radon test kits are inexpensive and available at home improvement and hardware stores.

For more information on radon, testing and daily tips, visit here.
Farm Show Attracts Thousands

The 101st Farm Show will wrap up Saturday, with hundreds of thousands of visitors expected to walk through the doors at the Farm Show Complex near Harrisburg. There’s still time to stop by if you haven’t yet visited the largest indoor exposition of its kind along the East Coast.

This week, I visited the Farm Show and had the chance to meet up with several residents who either entered their animals or products in competitive exhibits, participated in the many interactive contests, took in the entertaining and educational displays or tasted the hundreds of different food items made right here in Pennsylvania.

Check out my interview with Sharon Atland, executive director of the PA Farm Show, here.

Locally, the 111th District is boasting several blue-ribbon entries in this year’s Farm Show. Be sure to check out list of winners on the Farm Show website at farmshow.state.pa.us/page/show.aspx. The site also includes hundreds of photos from the week, categorized by competition, and recipes from the award-winning baking contests.

It was my pleasure to speak with Bill Phillips, from the PA Maple Syrup Producers Association, at the PA Farm Show earlier this week.
Beer Sales Changes Start Saturday

Under a new law aimed at improving customer convenience, consumers will be able to buy six-packs and refillable growlers at the state’s beer distributorships this Saturday.

The law also allows retail licensees to start selling on Sundays at 9 a.m. instead of 11 a.m.; permits a person licensed by another state to apply for a “malt or brewed beverage shipper license,” which allows the direct shipment of up to 192 fluid ounces of beer to be delivered to a customer per month, though only 96 fluid ounces of a specific brand of beer may be shipped per year to an adult resident; and allows liquor to be sold (in shatterproof containers) before, during and after professional and amateur athletic events in the same manner that is currently permitted for the sale of malt or brewed beverages.

The new law is the latest in a series of steps taken by lawmakers to make beer, wine and liquor sales more convenient to consumers. Other recent changes allowed the sale of wine at approved grocery stores.
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Office Locations
16501 State Route 706, Suite 2, Montrose, PA 18801 | Phone: 570-278-3374 
32 Commercial Street, Suite 300, Honesdale, PA 18431 | 570-253-5533
414 Irvis Office, PO Box 202111, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2111
Email Address: JFritz@pahousegop.com