Mar. 15, 2019

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Legislative Report 
The latest news from the State Capitol
 
Matching Good-Paying Jobs with the Right Training

 
House Republicans are focusing on good jobs and careers for all Pennsylvanians, working to improve our workforce development and career and technical education opportunities, and advancing policies to help transition people from minimum wage jobs to family-sustaining careers.

This week, a package of bills that will help us achieve these goals earned committee approval and will now advance to the full House for a vote.

This package includes bills that would boost awareness of workforce needs and increase the flexibility for secondary CTE programs. Bills would also create a comprehensive online CTE resource center and coordinate a state-level career exploration and workforce development opportunities.

Improving the way CTE works in Pennsylvania also would include putting at least one K-12 career and technical center administrator on each Workforce Development Board and creating a database with information on where courses, programs, certificates, and diplomas transfer among public schools and institutions of higher education.

Learn more about #GoodJobs4PA at PaHouseGOP.com/goodjobs.
 
 
Never Pay for Property Tax/Rent Rebate Assistance


My district office staff will once again be available to provide FREE application assistance for the state’s 2018 Property Tax/Rent Rebate program on Thursday, March 21, from 9 a.m. to noon, Liberty Towers, 520 Liberty St., California, PA 15419.

The program is designed to help eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older to receive up to a $650 rebate from the property taxes or rent they paid in 2018.

To be eligible, homeowners must earn less than $35,000 a year and renters less than $15,000 with half of Social Security income excluded.

Certain supplemental rebates can boost homeowner rebates up to $975. The supplemental rebates are automatically calculated by the Department of Revenue for qualifying homeowners.

District 49 residents should not pay a private entity for assistance in filing the forms. Copies of the forms, as well as assistance with filing them, are also available at my Bentleyville office and www.RepBudCook.com at no cost.

Applicants should be prepared to provide all the necessary income, property tax or rental information required to process claims quickly and accurately. Applications are due by June 30.
                                    
 
Funding Available to Help Volunteer Fire Companies Combat Wildfires

Funding is now available to help our rural communities better guard against the threat of fires in forested, undeveloped and unprotected areas.

The grants, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, are available to local firefighting forces in rural areas or communities with fewer than 10,000 residents. Priority will be placed on projects that include the purchase of wildfire suppression equipment and protective clothing.

Grants also may be used for purchasing mobile or portable radios, installing dry hydrants, wildfire prevention and mitigation work, training wildfire fighters, or converting and maintaining federal excess vehicles. These vehicles are presented to the local departments exhibiting the greatest needs and those that commit to outfitting them for fire suppression.

This is a cost-share program. Financial assistance on any project during any fiscal year cannot exceed 50 percent of the actual expenditures, including expenditures of local, public and private nonprofit organizations participating in the agreement. The maximum grant for 2019 is $10,000.

In 2018, almost $647,000 was awarded to 132 volunteer fire companies serving rural areas and communities where forest and brush fires are common.

The grant program is administered by the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and applications are due to the agency no later than 4 p.m. Thursday, May 2.

Applicants must apply online and may do so by clicking here
 
 
Report Potholes to PennDOT

With the thaw out of spring comes the growth of potholes on Pennsylvania’s roads.

Extreme fluctuations in temperatures, coupled with an active snow season, can contribute to more potholes on our roads.

To help combat potholes and prevent them from becoming a danger to vehicles and drivers on the road, you can report potholes to PennDOT.

You can report potholes by calling 1-800-FIX-ROAD or by clicking here to file a report online.
 
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repbudcook.com
Office Locations
Big Jim Plaza, LLC, 55 Gosai Drive, Suite 112, Bentleyville PA 15314 | 724-669-2242, 724-669-2290, 724-669-2293 | Fax: 724-669-2296
B-15 Main Capitol, PO Box 202049, Harrisburg PA 17120-2049 | (717) 783-8655 / 3-8655
Email Address: BCook@pahousegop.com
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