Welcome to my first newsletter of 2018. Hopefully by the time you’re reading this, the Eagles have won the Super Bowl, Punxsutawney Phil has not seen his shadow, and I have been able to keep to my New Year’s gym resolution. Anyway, there are a lot of exciting events and plans for our district this year. We hope to see around the community!
Know About Events!
Learn about Available Money-Saving Resources
March 1, 2018
3 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Norristown Library, 1001 Powell St, Norristown, PA 19401
On March 1st, Senator Leach will be holding an event at the Norristown Library, where members of the community can learn tips on becoming more energy efficient from PECO. During the event, Senator Leach’s staff will complete COMPASS applications for anyone interested in applying for Pennsylvania Health and Human Services’ programs such as SNAP, medical assistance, etc.
For COMPASS assistance, please RSVP at 610-768-4200.
Protect Yourself Against Elder Scams and Abuse
March 13, 2018
9:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Ludington Library Auditorium,
5 S. Bryn Mawr Ave, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
ElderNet of Lower Merion and Narberth invite you to hear from experts about how to protect yourself and your family from elder scams and abuse. Presentations will be from the PA Office of the Attorney General, Lower Merion Police Department and the Senior Law Center. Senator Leach’s staff will also be in attendance to provide resources.
Individuals over the age of 65 will have an opportunity to register for the Senior Septa Keycard during the event.
Know Our Constituent Services!
- The 2017 Personal Income Tax Forms have been released. Stop by my office to pick up the forms or visit the Department of Revenue’s website.
- The 2017 PA Property Tax and Rent Rebate forms are now available. The Property Tax/Rent Rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The deadline to apply for a rebate on property taxes or rent paid in 2017 is June 30, 2018. Contact my office to apply for your rebate.
- The 2017-2018 Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) will accept applications from November 1st, 2017 through April 6th, 2018. LIHEAP helps low-income families pay their heating bills through a cash grant sent directly to the utility company. Drop by my office for help with your application.
- Did you know my office offers a free notary service? Schedule an appointment today by calling my office at 610-768-4200.
- If you are over the age of 65, you can apply for a Senior Septa Keycard at my office. The keycard enables seniors to travel for free on all transit routes and $1.00 on the Regional Rail. Please call in advance to schedule a time to meet with a representative of my office at 610-768-4200
Know Your Community Resources!
901 East 8th Avenue, Suite 200, King of Prussia 19406
Tel: (610) 834-1040 Fax: (610) 834-1087
Since 1973, RSVP has been the region's leading volunteer placement agency for adults. RSVP volunteers serve a variety of groups throughout Montgomery, Delaware and Chester counties and educationally disadvantaged children, youth and veterans in Philadelphia.
Every day, countless RSVP volunteers tutor struggling students - in classrooms or virtually, drive homebound seniors to medical appointments, counsel juvenile offenders, present STEM career choices to students, counsel Medicare recipients, help adults improve their literacy skills, mentor at-risk youth, provide counseling help to struggling nonprofits, read to Head Start preschoolers, lead tours at historic sites & museums, deliver meals-on-wheels, staff domestic hotlines, and so much more.
If you’re interested in volunteering email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Marguerite Cunning at (610) 834-1040, ext. 123. Check out the dates for their Volunteer Information Sessions.
Know Your Legislation
Senate Bill 577: Shark Fin Ban
Recently, President Trump was quoted as saying that he wishes all sharks would die. This is a naïve statement – shocking, I know! - because their decline poses a real threat to our ocean ecosystem. A loss in sharks could mean a decline in coral reefs, seagrass beds, certain species, and ultimately, even the loss of commercial fisheries. Sadly, many shark species are in danger of extinction and it is estimated that shark populations along the East Coast of the United States are down 90% from past levels.
One reason for the rapid decline of our shark population is that these apex predators have been turned into prey. Shark finning, as the name implies, is the process of slicing off a shark’s fin and discarding the rest of the still-living body, often by throwing it back in the ocean to suffer and die. The market for shark fins (think shark fin soup) is what drives this cruel practice and the over-fishing that accompanies it.
One way that I’m working to combat this issue is to implement a shark fin ban in Pennsylvania. Shark finning is illegal under federal law, but the possession of shark fins is not. Therefore, I have introduced SB 577, which prohibits the sale, possession, and distribution of shark fins in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The entire West Coast and Hawaii have already banned this unsustainable practice, and several East Coast states are currently poised to act.
SB 577 has unanimously passed the Senate Judiciary Committee, and has undergone one of the three needed considerations in the Senate.
Coming Soon: Medical Marijuana
The Department of Health is in the process of inspecting the first round of licensees to ensure that they meet the standards established through Act 16; the first dispensaries expect to be open and able to sell medical marijuana to patients in mid-to-late February. Currently, 10,135 patients have registered to participate in the program and around 700 doctors have been approved or are awaiting approval to certify patients.
Patients that wish to participate in the program must create a profile in the Patients and Caregiver Registry. From there, they are required to obtain a certification from an approved doctor verifying that they suffer from one of the 17 serious medical conditions. After being approved, the patient needs to pay for their medical marijuana id card and then purchase their medicine at an approved dispensary in PA.
For more information, please visit http://www.medicalmarijuana.pa.gov/. If you have any questions about the program, don’t hesitate to contact my office.
Upcoming Mobile District Office Schedule for February
Tuesday, February 6, 2018, 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Outreach at the Wayne Senior Center
Thursday, February 8, 2018, 10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Outreach at the Montco Senior Adult Activities Center
Thursday, February 15, 2018, 9:30 a.m. -10:30 a.m.
Outreach at New Horizons Senior Center
Thursday, February 15, 2018, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Outreach at the Montco Norristown Public Library
Thursday, February 22, 2018, 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Outreach at Upper Merion Senior Center