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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.
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
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
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:
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
New School Year Brings School Buses Back to
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
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
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
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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2015 © Senate of Pennsylvania