I am pleased to send you this edition of my electronic newsletter. These e-newsletters provide information about issues, events and activities in Harrisburg and around the 6th Senatorial District to you in a timely manner while saving postage costs.
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Robert Tommy Tomlinson
Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board Accepting Applications for Grants to Reduce Underage and Dangerous Drinking
The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) is now accepting applications for grants to fund programs that discourage and reduce underage and dangerous drinking, and promote a message of responsible alcohol consumption by those of legal drinking age.
Eligible grant applicants include school districts, institutions of higher education, community organizations, municipal police departments, municipal officials, and non-profit organizations. Grant funded initiatives have included increased police patrols, social norms campaigns, “Parents Who Host, Lose the Most” campaigns, college alcohol assessment surveys, online alcohol education programs, peer training, and more.
The deadline to apply is noon on Friday, March 20. The grant application and guidelines can be found on the grants page of the PLCB website.
Pennsylvania 529 College and Career Savings Program
The Pennsylvania 529 College and Career Savings Program provides a smart, tax advantaged way for families to save for education. Administered by the Pennsylvania Treasury, PA 529 offers two plans: the PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan, in which growth is tied to the rate of college tuition inflation, and the PA 529 Investment Plan, in which investment returns are determined by financial markets.
Not only are contributions deductible from your Pennsylvania state income tax, the entire value of your account is exempt from Pennsylvania inheritance tax. Assets held in a PA 529 plan are not counted when determining state financial aid for college. Pennsylvanians can now also send state tax refunds directly to a PA 529 College and Career Savings account.
Mail-in Ballot Options Available for Upcoming Primary Election
Beginning with the Primary Election on April 28, voters will now have the option to mail in ballots instead of going to the polls. Applications for mail-in ballots must be received by the county election office by 5 p.m. on April 21. A voter can apply for a mail-in ballot online here or apply in person or by mail through their county election office.
The Department of State offers information on voting by mail here.
Department of Health Offers Coronavirus Info
Media coverage regarding the coronavirus has raised a number of concerns throughout the community. The Department of Health recently added an update to its website regarding the nature of the disease, how it is spread, and how to avoid it. Get the facts about the coronavirus here.
REAL ID-Compliant IDs Required Beginning October
Beginning October 1, 2020, Pennsylvanians will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, photo ID card, or another form of federally-acceptable identification (such as a valid passport or military ID) to board a domestic commercial flight or enter a federal building or military installation that requires ID. REAL IDs are now available to Pennsylvanians who want them. You can find more information here.
Make PA Count!
National Census day is April 1, 2020!
Many Pennsylvanians may wonder why the 2020 Census matters. There are three simple reasons. First, it’s in the Constitution that every resident must be counted every ten years. Second, it’s important to participate to make sure we have fair representation in Congress. And lastly, our census count will affect the next decade of federal spending, policy, and decision-making.
It’s about fair representation. The census is used to decide how many seats each state gets in the U.S. House of Representatives. Pennsylvania has 18 Congressional representatives. We used to have 19 but lost a seat after the 2010 Census.
Census data is used to decide how $675 billion in federal public funding is spent every year. Pennsylvania gets $26.8 billion annually from just our 16 largest federally-funded programs. That’s about $2,000 per Pennsylvanian each year. Federal funding supports many programs and services for Pennsylvanians, including healthcare, food security, education, transportation, housing, community development, families and more.
Everyone counts. Be a good neighbor and spread awareness in your community. Information and outreach resources are available at pa.gov/census.
The 2020 Census will provide a snapshot of our nation’s population, and the results are vitally important to our state. This once-a-decade federal requirement generates information that helps businesses, researchers, and communities make important decisions. It also determines congressional representation, and is used to direct hundreds of billions in federal funding to communities nationwide for hospitals, fire departments, school lunch programs, and other critical programs and services. So please, take the time to be counted. To learn more, click here.
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