Contact Information 

District Offices

Somerset Office
301 Georgian Place

Somerset, PA 15501
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Phone: (814) 443-4230
Fax: (814) 443-3866

Windber Office
1605 Graham Avenue
Windber, PA 15963
9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday - Tuesday - Thursday - Friday
Closed on Wednesday 
Phone: (814) 467-4011

Hyndman Office
158 Washington St.
Hyndman, PA. 15545
Open on Wednesdays only from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. 
(814) 842-3362
TOLL-FREE: (866) 779-1477
Fax: (814) 842-3367
Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., or by appointment
.

Capitol Office
Room 111 Ryan Office Building
PO Box 202069
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2069
(717) 783-8756
Fax: (717) 782-2911

Continuing the Fight Against Heroin, Opioid Abuse
11/16/2016
Continuing the Fight Against Heroin, Opioid Abuse
 
 
Communities across Pennsylvania have been impacted the growing problem of opioid and heroin addiction and overdose. There is no single, easy solution to this crisis; however, the General Assembly has taken significant steps over the past two years in devising policies to help reduce addiction risk and save lives.

As the 2015-16 session drew to a close, we adopted five new laws to help address this crisis:
  • Act 122 of 2016 will prohibit a health care practitioner from prescribing more than seven days of an opioid product to a patient in an emergency department or urgent care center, or who is in observation status in a hospital. The measure also will require caretakers to refer patients who show signs of addiction to treatment.
  • Act 123 of 2016 will allow for the proper disposal of unused prescriptions and over-the-counter medications.
  • Act 124 of 2016 will require medical professionals to receive continuing education in pain management, identification of addiction and the use of opioids as effective treatment. The law also will require them to check the newly created prescription drug monitoring database each time a patient is dispensed an opioid or controlled substance and to update the database within 24 hours when issuing an opioid prescription.
  • Act 125 of 2016 will call for a medical training facility to implement key opioid-related curriculum.
  • Act 126 of 2016 will limit opioid prescriptions given to minors to a seven-day period, unless there is a medical emergency that puts the child’s health or safety at risk.
Also, earlier this year, the state implemented a prescription drug database that will help medical professionals identify potential addicts who may be “doctor shopping” and obtaining opioid prescriptions from multiple doctors. We also passed a law making the overdose reversal drug naloxone more readily available.

For more information about heroin and opioid abuse, visit the state Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs at ddap.pa.gov.
 
 
New Laws to Benefit Veterans
 

 
Two new laws, passed by the General Assembly and signed by the governor, seek to help veterans start their own businesses or ease their tax burden.

House Bill 1600, now Act 135 of 2016 and known as “Startups for Soldiers,” will waive state business startup fees for individuals transitioning to the civilian workforce from the United States Armed Forces, including reserve units and the National Guard.

House Bill 683, now Act 117 of 2016, will eliminate veterans’ disability payments from income eligibility under the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program starting in 2018. This will allow more veterans to qualify for the program, which offers rebates on rent and property taxes for senior citizens and those with permanent disabilities.
 
 
Bill Changing Beer Sales in PA Now Law
 
 
In a second step to reform the way alcohol is sold in Pennsylvania this year, the General Assembly approved and the governor signed legislation that allows beer distributors to sell different quantities of beer, including six-packs and growlers.

Act 166 of 2016 also allows for the direct shipment of up to 192 ounces of beer (about the same size as a 12-pack) per month from wholesalers and retailers to consumers, such as those enrolled in Beer of the Month clubs. Mixed drinks will also be permitted to be consumed at stadiums in the same areas as beer, and licensees with Sunday sales permits can begin sales at 9 a.m., rather than 11 a.m.

The new law follows on the heels of Act 39 of 2016, which is designed to give consumers more options in purchasing alcoholic beverages, including offering wine in grocery stores and six-pack shops, expanded Sunday and holiday hours in state stores, direct shipment of wine and flexible pricing.
 
 
Hunters Can Share Their Harvest
 
 
In its 25th year of helping Pennsylvania families in need, hunters from across the Commonwealth can continue to share their deer harvest and provide thousands of pounds of venison through the Hunters Sharing the Harvest (HSH) program, which partners with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, Department of Agriculture and many other sportsmen and charitable organizations.

Hunters can donate all or part of a harvested deer by taking it to a participating processor, which will then distribute the ground venison to food banks and pantries. In an average hunting season, the HSH program’s goal is to channel about 100,000 pounds of processed venison through the state’s 20 regional food banks, which then redistribute to more than 5,000 local provider charities such as food pantries, missions, homeless shelters and churches, as well as individual families. To find a list of local processors or for more information, visit ShareDeer.org.
   
 
Property Tax/Rent Rebate Deadline Nears
 

 
Homeowners and renters who have not yet applied for the state’s 2015 Property Tax/Rent Rebate program have until Dec. 31 to do so.

Eligible participants may receive a rebate of up to $650 based on their rent or property taxes paid in 2015. The program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians who are 65 years or older, widows and widowers 50 years or older, and those 18 years or older with disabilities. Complete eligibility information is available here.

Residents are reminded that they need not pay a private entity for assistance in filing the forms. Copies of the forms, as well as assistance with filing them, are available at my office at no cost.

Claimants who already applied for their rebates may check the status of claims online at revenue.pa.gov or by calling, toll-free, 1-888-PATAXES.
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