Office Locations 
District Offices
2030 Center Street
Northampton, PA 18067
Telephone: (610) 502-2701
FAX: (610) 502-2704
Hours: M – F
9:00 am – 4:30 pm 
                    
Slatington Borough Hall
125 South Walnut Street
1st Floor
Slatington PA 18080
Telephone: (610) 760-9805
FAX: (610) 821-6109
Hours: M - F
9:00 am – 4:30 pm 

Capitol Address Information
402 Irvis Office Building
PO Box 202183
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2067
Telephone: (717) 772-5398
Fax (717) 783-7667


Heating Assistance Program Opens Soon
10/26/2017
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Weekly Roundup
#Listrak\DateStampLong# The latest news from the State Capitol

Heating Assistance Program Opens Soon
Residents who are struggling with their home heating bills can apply for assistance from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) beginning Wednesday, 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 $18,090; for a couple, the limit is $24,360; and for a family of four, it is $36,900.

Assistance in obtaining and filling out the application is available in either of my district offices. The offices can be reached at 610-502-2701 or 610-760-9805. Residents also may apply for LIHEAP online or by contacting the County Assistance Office in their county of residence.


Another Extension Granted to Comply with REAL ID
Late last week, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) extended the compliance deadline for when Pennsylvania residents must use a REAL ID or other acceptable forms of enhanced identification.

Under this extension, Pennsylvania residents can use their existing driver licenses through Oct. 10, 2018. This will apply to both federal facilities and domestic airline travel.

PennDOT has begun work on the implementation of REAL ID and estimates that REAL ID-compliant driver licenses and identification cards will be available, as an option for residents, in March 2019. It is expected that Pennsylvania will continue to apply for extensions until the state has met complete compliance.

DHS has established Oct. 1, 2020, as the final REAL ID compliance deadline for all states.

Information on Pennsylvania’s REAL ID, including frequently asked questions, is available at dmv.pa.gov.
 

Property Tax Referendum on Nov. 7 Ballot
On the Nov. 7 general election ballot, voters will have an opportunity to vote on a property tax reform measure.

Currently, the state Constitution permits local governments – counties, municipalities and school districts – to exclude up to 50 percent of the median assessed home value from a homeowner’s tax bill. However, the referendum on the ballot will allow voters to decide if the maximum homestead exclusion could be increased to 100 percent of primary residences. For example, under the current homestead exclusion, if the average home value in your school district is $100,000, up to $50,000 can be excluded from your tax bill if your school district elected the full 50 percent exclusion rate. If the value of your home is assessed at $150,000, your local property tax rate would only be applied to $100,000 of that value.

If the resolution amending the Constitution is approved, the General Assembly would still have to pass a law to implement the change, and local governments would still be responsible for establishing exclusion amounts for homesteads within each district.
 

Improving Educational Options
The House approved two proposals this week to improve educational options for students.

House Bill 429 would allow public school students who earn credit for a course in personal financial literacy to use that credit to satisfy a graduation credit requirement in social studies, math or consumer science. This would help encourage students to acquire the knowledge necessary to make wise financial choices as adults.

The second measure, House Bill 1653, would allow students pursuing postsecondary education online to receive financial aid. Currently, this is operated as a pilot program, which was created by Act 59 of 2013, for students who take more than 50 percent of their credits online from a college or university headquartered and located in the Commonwealth. During the 2014-15 grant year, more than 5,900 students received grant awards, which totaled $8.52 million because of the pilot program.

Both bills now head to the Senate for consideration.
 
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Office Locations
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
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