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In this Email Update:
Latest Argall Report features new economic development proposal
My latest monthly television show explores the feasibility of creating a Waterfront Development Tax Credit program along Pennsylvania's largest rivers and small creeks.
The show highlights a recent hearing hosted by the Senate Majority Policy Committee which examined a proposal to promote private investment in waterfront areas across the state. The proposal would create a tax credit program to support economic development, environmental improvements and recreational opportunities for Pennsylvanians.
You can find more information here.
Reforms to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
Beginning March 1, able-bodied adults who receive SNAP benefits and do not have any dependents will be required to fulfill a federally mandated work requirement in order to receive benefits for more than three months during a three-year period.
SNAP recipients who will be affected by this change will be notified by the Department of Human Services in order to discuss the work requirement further and take the appropriate steps moving forward.
For more information about the SNAP program, please click here.
Preventing lead exposure
Ensuring that your home and water is not exposed to lead is critical. Given the numerous stories we hear throughout the country regarding lead exposure, it is important to take the necessary steps to prevent you and your loved ones, particularly children, from being exposed.
The Department of Health and the Department of Environmental Protection are responsible for providing Pennsylvanians with information and resources about lead poisoning prevention and what to do in the event that you or someone you know is affected.
Some ways you can reduce the risk of being exposed to lead include:
Dealing with identity theft
According to the Department of Justice, approximately 17 million Americans nationwide experienced cases of identity theft in 2014. In an effort to prevent identity theft and alleviate the burden for citizens who have fallen victim to this crime, the Federal Trade Commission has made enhancements to its identity theft website.
A feature of their website includes a program allowing victims of identity theft to create their own personalized recovery plan at no cost based on the type of identity theft they experienced. Once the user enters all of the important information regarding the theft, such as which accounts were jeopardized or opened without their consent, the site will produce forms, letters, and affidavits that the user can send to the appropriate agencies such as the IRS, police, and credit bureaus.
The site contains recovery plans for over 30 types of identity theft including, but not limited to child identity theft and medical identity theft. Once a user has provided all of the information required and completed their initial report, they will receive follow-up emails regarding the next necessary steps they should take to remedy the situation.
For more information about identity theft and how to start a recovery plan, please visit www.identitytheft.gov.
In order to take control of your personal information the following measures are recommended:
Home and Community Based Services Loan Program
The Department of Human Services, the Department of Aging and the Department of Community and Economic Development are working together to introduce the Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Loan Program in July.
The HCBS program will provide older Pennsylvanians and individuals with disabilities with the opportunity to choose where they want to live. The goal of this program is to allow seniors and those with disabilities to live independently while still receiving the proper amount of support to help them with their daily routines.
Loans will be given for projects that help aid Pennsylvania in reaching its goal of increasing opportunities for Pennsylvanians through long-term services and supports. It is anticipated that loans will range from $50,000 to $200,000 for startup, reconfiguration, or expansion projects.
The Department of Human Services’ Office of Long-Term Living will take loan applications all year round and will process applications on a first-come, first-served basis. The Department of Community and Economic Development will help with processing the loans.
More information about the loan program will be provided later in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
DiscoverE Program for children
The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center invites children ages 3-6 and an accompanying adult to join them for the DiscoverE Program: Spring Sprouts in Reading.
Since its creation, the DiscoverE series has offered Pennsylvanians ages 4-17 with enjoyable outdoor programs and activities. The goal of the series is to educate youth about Pennsylvania’s vast natural resources and historical sites, while also combining recreational activities that provide them with a hands-on, adventurous experience.
The spring series will be held at Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center on March 29, April 5, and April 12 from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Participants in this series will be able to walk the trails, create crafts, and enjoy nature in the springtime.
To register for this event, please call 610-796-3699 or email Noldeforestsp@pa.gov.
For more information about the DiscoverE program, click here.