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Senator Pat Browne


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I hope you find this E-newsletter useful and informative. If you would like to be removed from this list, click the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the page. If you have suggestions for how to make this E-newsletter better or more informative, I welcome your thoughts.

Sincerely,

Senator Pat Browne
Appropriations Committee Chairman
16th Senatorial District


In this Edition of the E-News:

  • Check if You Have Unclaimed Property
  • Energy Efficiency Grants Available for Small Businesses
  • Reminder that School Buses are Back on the Road
  • Farmers Market Vouchers Available for Seniors
  • Pick PA Preferred Produce

Bucky Boyle Community and Family Expo

I was pleased to host my 10th annual Community and Family Expo at Bucky Boyle Park on in Allentown on August 6, 2015. This free event was open to the public and designed to provide valuable information to parents, grandparents and children about the myriad of programs, information and other services available to them from government and community groups.

Some of the exhibitors included: Capital BlueCross-CHIP Program, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Allentown Health Bureau and Lehigh Valley Cops ‘N’ Kids, which provided a free book to all children.

Entertainment included: Flag Raising Ceremony by the Civil Air Patrol, PAO Lehigh Valley Squadron 805, William Allen Chorale, Xcape Dance Studio, Karate demonstration by The Legend of Kenpo, Puerto Rican Forklorics Dance by Puerto Rican Culture Preservation, Allentown Symphony Orchestra’s Musical Petting Zoo and Lehigh Valley Phantoms’ mascot, Melvin.

 


Enter Your Name and Search for Unclaimed Property

Bank accounts, stocks, insurance payments, gift cards, paychecks, safe deposit box contents and other property, including jewelry, paintings and antiquities totaling more than $2.5 billion are waiting to be claimed by their rightful owners via the PA Bureau of Unclaimed Property. Search for your property here: http://www.patreasury.gov/. You can also check the status of property claims you previously made.

Recent changes to the law move unclaimed property to the State Treasury after three (instead of five) years of inactivity. That reduction resulted in increasing the average annual unclaimed property totals from $240 million to $625 million.

Website modernizations improved navigation and mobile capabilities, while adding multi-language translation options to the Unclaimed Property website.


Energy Efficiency Grants for Small Business Now Available

Small businesses looking for help in implementing projects to trim energy costs and reduce pollution can now apply for state grants. The Small Business Advantage Grant Program (SBAG) through the state Department of Environmental Protection provides a 50 percent matching grant of up to $9,500 to adopt or acquire energy efficient or pollution prevention equipment or processes. Well-designed energy efficient or pollution prevention projects can help small businesses cut costs and reduce the risk of regulatory issues, while simultaneously protecting the environment.

Grants can provide improvements on systems such as lighting, heating, cooling, as well as building insulation projects and can provide funding to projects that include anti-idling technology for trucks, HVAC and boiler upgrades, high-efficiency lighting, solvent recovery systems and waste recycling systems.

Applications are accepted on a first come, first served basis and awards will be made until this fiscal year’s funding for this program has been spent. At that point, all applications received will be placed on a waitlist until the end of the fiscal year and processed if more funding becomes available. Unfunded applications still on the waitlist at the end of the fiscal year will not be funded but can reapply in the next funding round.

The application package and associated program forms are available at: http://www.elibrary.dep.state.pa.us/dsweb/View/Collection-12527.

More information is available by visiting www.dep.state.pa.us and clicking on the “Small Business Advantage Grant” button or by calling the Grants Center at 717-705-5400.


New School Year Brings School Buses Back to Roads

As the new school year gets underway, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation reminds motorists that they need to be vigilant in order to avoid potentially tragic crashes and strong penalties as school buses return to the roads to pick up students.

Motorists approaching a school bus with its red lights flashing and stop arm extended are required to stop in all directions at least 10 feet from the bus. The only exception to the law is when a school bus is stopped on the opposite side of a highway clearly separated by a divider, such as concrete barriers or grass medians. Even in this situation, motorists should remain watchful of students trying to cross the road to catch the bus.

If convicted of violating Pennsylvania’s school bus stopping law, drivers face a $250 fine, five points on their driving record and a 60-day license suspension.

In addition to watching for school buses, motorists should be alert in school zones, which become hubs of vehicle and pedestrian traffic. Motorists are required to slow down to the posted speed limit of 15 mph in school zones. If convicted, violators face a fine and three points on their driving record.

 For more information on Pennsylvania’s school bus stopping law, school bus safety tips and programs, visit PennDOT’s highway safety website, www.JustDrivePa.org, and select the “School Bus Safety” link under the Traffic Safety Information Center.


Farmers Market Vouchers Available to Eligible Seniors

The Lehigh County office of Aging and Adult Service is handing out Farmers Market Vouchers to eligible seniors while supplies last. The Farmers Market Nutrition Program vouchers are available to Lehigh County residents who are 60 years or older whose total gross household income is not more than $21,590 for a single person and $28,101 for a married couple.

The vouchers are being distributed at the Lehigh County Government Center’s Information and Referral Lobby (17 South 7th Street in Allentown) on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. only. Seniors receiving vouchers will also receive a list of local farmers markets where the vouchers may be used to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables. Vouchers must be used by November 30, 2015 and are not accepted at grocery stores.

 For more information on the Farmers Market Nutrition Program vouchers, contact Lehigh County Information and Referral at 610-782-3200.


Pick PA Preferred Produce

From almonds and apples to yams and zucchini, Pennsylvania is blessed with a wide variety of locally grown fruits and vegetables proudly labeled PA Preferred.

PA Preferred, a trusted symbol of quality and excellence, allows you to easily select produce grown, produced or processed in PA. Choose something new and locate an award-winning recipe for a special PA summer-harvest delight. The Pennsylvania Preferred Culinary Connection 2015 Recipe Book offers more than 80 pages of recipes, ideas, healthy tips and suggested wine pairings from executive chefs.

 The PA Farm Market Guide provides a list by county of markets, along with location, contact information, hours of operation and available products to help you begin selecting only the best for your family.


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Contact Senator Browne:

On the Web:
www.senatorbrowne.com

Allentown
702 W. Hamilton Street
Suite 101
Allentown 18101
610-821-8468
Toll-Free: 1-800-280-7728
FAX: 610-821-6798
Monday-Friday
9 AM to 5 PM

Harrisburg
281 Main Capitol
Harrisburg 17120
717-787-1349
FAX: 717-772-3458
TTY: 800-364-1581
Monday-Friday
9 AM to 4:30 PM

Western Lehigh County
Upper Macungie Township Building
8330 Schantz Road
Breinigsville 18031
610-366-2327
FAX: 610-366-2329
By Appointment Only

Northern Lehigh County
North Whitehall Township Building
3256 Levans Road
Coplay, PA 18037
610-769-5566
FAX: 610-769-5568
By Appointment Only