In this Update:
Senator For a Day Event at Neshaminy High School
Former Governor Schweiker, Senator Frank Farry, State Rep. Joe Hogan and Mr. Josh Stoner (Neshaminy High School – Social Studies Dept.) with the 15 Neshaminy student “senators.”
To encourage civic engagement and help students understand the legislative process, I hosted a mock legislature event allowing local students the opportunity to be a “Senator for a Day.”
More than 50 high school students from 6 different schools participated in the program, which took place at Neshaminy High School. The participating students were from Bensalem High School, Bucks County Technical High School, Conwell-Egan Catholic High School, Holy Ghost Preparatory School, Neshaminy High School, and William Tennent High School.
The students were divided into committees where they debated and amended real bills that have been introduced in the Senate of Pennsylvania. They finished the day with a mock general session where six pieces of legislation were considered for vote by the full group of “senators.”
The goal of the program is to not only give students a glimpse of how government functions with a hands-on experience of the legislative process, but hopefully teaches them the values of compromise and respect and the importance of coming together for a common good.
It was encouraging to see the students so immersed in the issues, developing their own positions and actively engaging in debates with the other students. I am looking forward to what these future leaders will accomplish in the future.
You can view a recap of the program here: https://vimeo.com/pasenategop/102723farrysgs
Are You Owed Unclaimed Property?
The Pennsylvania Treasury Department is currently holding more than $4.5 billion in unclaimed property, with about one in 10 residents eligible to recoup that property.
Unclaimed property includes dormant bank accounts, uncashed checks, insurance policies and contents of forgotten safe deposit boxes. The amounts can range from a few dollars to a few thousand dollars, with the average value of a claim being about $1,600.
To find out if you or a member of your family is entitled to unclaimed property, please visit www.patreasury.gov. Unclaimed property can now be returned via direct deposit, and the process can be further expedited if the claimant provides their Social Security number when filing a claim. Because all property will be returned free of charge, there is no need to pay a private service to submit a claim.
If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact my office at 215-638-1784.
Medicare Beneficiaries: Get Free Health Benefits Counseling
The open enrollment period for Medicare beneficiaries is active now until Dec. 7. Any new coverage selected or changes to existing benefits will take effect Jan. 1, 2024.
During open enrollment, new Medicare beneficiaries can sign up for Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage and health plans to complement Medicare, and current Medicare beneficiaries can review and join, switch or drop Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug Coverage so that it better meets their needs.
To help Medicare beneficiaries understand their options, the Pennsylvania Department of Aging offers free, objective health benefits counseling through Pennsylvania Medicare Education and Decision Insight (PA MEDI). Available at Pennsylvania’s 52 Area Agencies on Aging, PA MEDI counselors can assist Medicare beneficiaries with plan comparisons, help with enrollment in a new plan and evaluate eligibility for any of Pennsylvania’s Medicare cost-savings programs. Learn more here.
Recognizing Outstanding Pennsylvania Educators
Pennsylvanians are encouraged to nominate their favorite teacher to be the commonwealth’s 2025 Teacher of the Year by Friday, Dec. 15. The Teacher of the Year Program celebrates excellence in teaching and honors individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the young people of Pennsylvania.
The state’s 2025 Teacher of the Year will be announced at an awards ceremony in early December 2024 and will represent the commonwealth at various local, regional and national functions culminating in the National Teacher of the Year ceremony at the White House.
Nominate your favorite teacher here.
Heating Assistance Program Open Now
Residents struggling with their home heating bills may apply for assistance from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
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 $21,870 for an individual, $29,580 for a couple and $45,000 for a family of four. Find limits for other family sizes here. Residents may apply for LIHEAP online or by contacting their local county assistance office.
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