Senator Collett Attends Budget Hearings, Presses Administration on PFAS, Infrastructure, and Emergency Preparedness
Last month, Governor Tom Wolf addressed a joint session of the state legislature to announce his 2019-2020 proposed budget plan, which focused heavily on investments in education, workforce modernization, and promoting a fair economy that works for all of us.
As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I have had the opportunity to question representatives from various state departments -- including Corrections, Emergency Preparedness, Environmental Protection, Health, Human Services, Judiciary, Revenue, and Transportation -- about what they’ve done, what they hope to do, and what needs improvement.
Fire Commissioner Trego and I discussed the need to implement better measures to recruit, retain, and care for Pennsylvania’s first responders and emergency personnel. I pressed PennDOT Secretary Richards about the need to ramp up PennDOT’s efforts to reduce the number of poorly rated roads and bridges. And I urged Department of Health Secretary Levine to work collaboratively with our community members and stakeholders as they prepare to apply for the upcoming CDC/ATSDR multi-site PFAS health study and to make more of an effort to educate local health professionals about PFAS. I also extended an invitation for Dr. Levine to visit our district to meet with community members affected by the PFAS crisis.
LIHEAP Events Held in North Wales and Warminster
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is an important program that helps qualifying Pennsylvania families heat their homes during the winter months. I recently hosted two events to aid residents who could benefit from assistance through the program.
“Home heating assistance is a vital service that helps many Pennsylvanians in these cold, winter months. Local events like these help us connect with residents and provide them with the necessary information and assistance they need to apply.”
Whether it is a standard application for the program or an emergency requiring a heating crisis grant, I encourage all residents to learn more about LIHEAP to ensure that families in need can keep their homes warm.
LIHEAP is administered through the Department of Human Services. More than 300,000 households statewide received home heating assistance through the program in 2017-2018.
Tax Assistance Available for Low-Income Households
Have you started thinking about filing your taxes yet? There are some great organizations in our community that you can utilize to help you get your paperwork together to file your taxes easily, and for free. This graphic can help get you started in the right direction.
“Filing taxes can be a difficult and confusing process. Offering free tax assistance provides residents the chance to have their questions answered and receive the necessary help to file their taxes correctly and on time.”
The assistance provided through the events can help households earning $54,000 or less in 2018.
Around the Town
My team and I are having a blast continuing to get to know the people and places of the 12th District. We finished our tour of our district’s eighteen municipalities and are in the process of touring our eight school districts! I was proud to attend the kick-off of the 43rd annual Keith Valley Challenge at Keith Valley Middle School, one of the largest charitable events held by a middle school in the entire country. This year, the students raised nearly $48,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Philadelphia!
I learned more about local programs for seniors at the Ambler Senior Adults Activity Center, and helped them prepare some meals for homebound seniors. In celebration of Read Across America Day, I was a guest reader at Southampton Free Library’s story time on March 1st! And in preparation for Fat Tuesday, I learned how to make fastnachts, delicious Pennsylvania Dutch donuts, at Little Zion Lutheran Church with Telford Mayor David Snook.
If you have a suggestion of where I should visit next, let me know!
Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman will be in Montgomery County on March 12 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. as part of his listening tour on the legalization of recreational marijuana and he wants to hear from you. The event will be held at the Perkiomen Valley High School located on 509 Gravel Pike in Collegeville. All are welcome to attend and share their feelings on legalizing recreational marijuana.
The next quarterly community meeting of the Willow Grove Naval Air Station Restoration Advisory Board (RAB), at which they will provide the latest updates about their PFAS remediation efforts, is on March 14th at 6 PM at the Horsham Public Library (435 Babylon Road Horsham).
Our first district office is open! You can stop in between 9:00am and 4:30pm at the Gwynedd Corporate Center, 1180 Welsh Road, Suite 130, North Wales, PA 19454. Please excuse our appearance while our office is under construction! You may also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (717) 576-5983 if we can be of service.
Also, if you haven’t visited my Facebook page, join the conversation by ‘liking’ the page and follow me on Twitter and Instagram. Plenty of information is available on these pages about community events and issues affecting our friends and neighbors. If you have questions or concerns, send me a direct message or post you thoughts.
Offices of State Senator Maria Collett
Gwynedd Corporate Center
1180 Welsh Road |
North Wales, PA 19454
183 Capitol Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3012