Jan. 25, 2019

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

                            Helping Children Succeed
Last week, I attended the Whitehall-Coplay Communities That Care’s (CTC) annual meeting to celebrate the group’s nine years of increased youth resilience and to recognize the hard work and dedication of its members, the school district and the community.

The keynote speaker was Cathleen Palm, founder of The Center for Children’s Justice. Pictured with me (from left) are Denise Continenza, extension educator with the Penn State Extension, Lehigh County; and Palm.

Safe2Say Tip Line Now Live
The statewide Safe2Say tip line designed to give students, teachers, parents and community members the ability to anonymously report potential threats and other problems is now live in Pennsylvania.

To report a possible dangerous or violent situation, individuals can call the state tip line at 844-723-2729. Tips can also be reported to safe2saypa.org or through the Safe2Say app on iPhone and Android devices.

The Safe2Say tip line gives students a way to share information without fear of repercussions or blame from their peers.

Individuals are encouraged to report physical or verbal assault and bullying, discussion about an upcoming planned attack on the school or a person, depression, excessive guilt or hopelessness, suicidal threats or self-harm, substance abuse, or social isolation or withdrawal.

The tip line was modeled after the Safe2Tell program in Colorado, which has received more than 30,000 reports since its inception in 2004, including reports of a planned school attack, suicidal threats and child abuse.

Getting to Work with House Committee Assignments
Last week, the House Committee on Committees met to finalize assignments for the 25 standing committees to cover the 2019-20 legislative session. This term, I will be serving on the Aging and Older Adult Services, Finance, Professional Licensure, and Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness committees. I also will be serving as a deputy chair of the Policy Committee.

These assignments allow me to have a greater insight into the legislation and issues discussed and help me better represent our district. All bills are assigned to a standing committee to undergo review. Committees may hold hearings on legislation, consider amendments to pending bills and report them to the full House for a vote.

Free Tax Assistance Available

Certified AARP TaxAide volunteers are available again this year to provide free tax form assistance to middle- and low-income taxpayers, with special attention to those ages 60 and older.

To receive help filing your 2018 federal, state and local tax returns or your Pennsylvania Property Tax and Rent Rebate applications, taxpayers must bring copies of their 2017 tax returns plus all income information, real estate tax receipts, any deduction information and health care enrollment information pertaining to 2018. Taxpayers must also bring photo identification, Social Security cards, and if a direct deposit of refund is desired, a bank check to ensure correct account numbers.

Tax help will be available in the 183rd Legislative District during the times and days listed below. Do not call the sites unless a phone number is noted below. For other TaxAide sites, please call 1-888-AARPNOW (1-888-227-7669).

• Faith Lutheran Church, 3355 MacArthur Road, Whitehall, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays starting Feb 4. Walk-in appointments only.
• Slatington Vigilant Fire Co. Hall, East Church St and South Walnut St, Slatington, 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Wednesdays starting Feb 6. On site appointments can be made during operations.
• Northampton Recreation Center, 1 Lerchenmiller Drive, Northampton, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. by appointment on Mondays starting Feb 4. Appointments can be made at the Rec Center on Monday, Jan 28, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Wear Red Feb. 1 to Raise Awareness of Women’s Heart Disease

Everyone across the country is encouraged to wear red on Friday, Feb. 1, as part of the “Go Red for Women” campaign to raise awareness of women’s heart disease. Legislative efforts over the years, including a resolution currently being prepared for this year, have made the official designation in Pennsylvania as a way to remind women of the risks of heart disease.

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, causing one in three deaths each year, or about one per minute. According to the American Heart Association, 90 percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease.

The symptoms of heart disease can be different in women vs. men and are often misunderstood. By increasing awareness, speaking up about heart disease and empowering women to reduce their risk for cardiovascular disease, we can save thousands of lives each year.

You can learn more about the symptoms of a heart attack and what to do by clicking here

New Tool to Fight Drug Abuse
To help continue efforts to fight prescription drug abuse, there is a new tool available for health care providers and the general public to report suspicious activity involving prescription medication.

The Suspicious Activity Report form, administered by the Office of Attorney General, gives an easy way for people to report fraudulent, stolen or altered prescriptions, or a suspicious doctor/pharmacy.

Tips can be submitted anonymously or with your contact information included for follow up from the Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Narcotics Investigations.

The form and answers to frequently asked questions can be found here

Flu Season is in Full Swing - It’s Not too Late for a Flu Shot

The winter brings the dreaded flu season, but there are many things you can do to keep yourself from getting sick.

The most effective way to prevent the flu is to get a flu shot. While it is January, there is still time to get one to protect yourself.

Along with getting the flu shot, people should make sure to wash their hands often, cover their mouth and nose when sneezing, avoid touching their face, and stay home if they are sick to avoid spreading the disease.

You can learn more about the flu and the vaccine here
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2030 Center Street, Northampton, PA 18067 | Phone: 610-502-2701
Slatington Borough Hall, 125 S. Walnut Street, First Floor, Slatington, PA 18080 | Phone: 610-760-9805
402A Irvis Office, PO Box 202183. Harrisburg, PA 17120-2183 | (717) 772-5398
Email Address: ZMako@pahousegop.com