In order to keep local residents up to date on state government happenings and community events, I provide electronic news updates on a regular basis for interested citizens. These electronic newsletters allow me to provide regular updates while saving on printing and mailing costs.
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You Can Help “Save PA”
While it is the responsibility of lawmakers to reduce costs and manage the Commonwealth’s assets, every citizen can play a role in making government operate more efficiently. As such, I welcome your suggestions regarding ways to reduce government spending and save tax dollars.
You can help out by visiting the #Save Pa page on my website http://www.senatoraument.com/savepa/ and offer your suggests on how the state can save money. I have said it before and it deserves to be repeated, you are my best resource. I look forward to reviewing the ideas you share with me.
Income Tax Forms Now Available
State tax forms are now available by visiting my District Office at 301 East Main Street, Lititz, PA 17543 or calling (717) 627-0036. Federal tax forms are available upon request. Property Tax/Rent Rebate forms should arrive in early February, but those who received a rebate in the past should receive the form in the mail.
My staff is available to assist in the completion of these forms. Free tax preparation assistance is also available at http://www.uwlanc.org/VITA or by calling 211.
“Citizen Report” Features Farm Show Visit
This month’s edition of “Citizen Report” features my visit to the 100th Pennsylvania Farm Show.
Veterans Organizations Encouraged To Apply For State Grants
The state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs is now accepting applications for Veterans’ Trust Fund grants to help veterans’ organizations across the state. Applications for the grants can be found at www.vtf.state.pa.us. The deadline for grant submissions is 4 p.m., February 5.
Grants will be awarded in the following areas:
· Up to $400,000 will be awarded for competitive grants to veterans’ service organizations and non-profit organizations with a mission of serving Pennsylvania veterans, focusing on four areas of emphasis: homelessness, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), employment and workforce development initiatives, and other programs or services that address newly identified, unmet or emerging needs of veterans and their families.
· Up to $150,000 will be awarded for competitive grants to County Directors of Veterans Affairs or the Pennsylvania Association of County Directors of Veterans’ Affairs, focusing on three areas of emphasis: veteran outreach initiatives, veterans’ court initiatives, and other programs or services that address newly identified, unmet or emerging needs of veterans and their families.
The Veterans Trust Fund was established by the state legislature in 2012 to supplement state appropriations for veterans programs and support new partnerships with charities and veterans’ service organizations. More than $830,000 has been awarded in competitive grants from the fund.
The Veterans Trust Fund is supported by donations from Pennsylvanians when they apply for, or renew, a driver’s license, photo ID or motor vehicle registration. It also benefits from the proceeds from the sale of the “Honoring our Veterans” license plates for cars and motorcycles.
Donations of checks or money orders to the Veterans’ Trust Fund may be sent to: DMVA Office of Veterans Affairs, Bldg. 0-47, Fort Indiantown Gap, Annville, PA 17003-5002. Online donations to the Veterans’ Trust Fund can be made at www.donate.dmva.pa.gov.
Talking State Government on “Your Local Government”
I recently joined Representative Mindy Fee at Blue Ridge Communications to discuss state government activities for an upcoming segment of “Your Local Government” with Bob Miller. The show is scheduled to air at the following times: 10:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Monday, January 25; 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, January 26; 4 p.m. on Wednesday, January 27; 11:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Thursday, January 28; 10:30 a.m. on Friday, January 29; and 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 30.
Deadline for Persian Gulf Veterans’ Bonus Extended to 2018
The deadline for Pennsylvanians who served in the Persian Gulf Theater of Operations -- including Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm -- to apply for the Persian Gulf Conflict Veterans’ Bonus has been extended to Aug. 31, 2018.
The bonus program was set to expire in 2015 before the enactment of Act 50 of 2015, a measure I supported that extended the application period to August, 31 2018.
The bonus pays $75 per month for qualifying, active-duty service members, up to a $525 maximum. For personnel whose death was related to illness or injury received in the line of duty in Operations Desert Shield or Desert Storm, there is an additional $5,000 available to the surviving family. Service members who were declared prisoners of war may also be eligible for an additional $5,000.
Approximately 11,500 Persian Gulf veterans have applied for the one-time cash bonus program since the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) began accepting applications in 2008. The DMVA is encouraging veterans who were previously denied the bonus to reapply to have their claims reviewed again.
Applications and more information are available online atwww.persiangulfbonus.state.pa.us
Senate Box 203036