Legislation Would Create Program to Refinance Student Loans
Student loan debt is a serious financial burden on many graduates, and the nationwide student debt crisis is one of the most challenging issues facing current and future generations. The terms and interest rates of many of these loans create financial challenges that can last for decades.
I recently announced plans to introduce a bill to help Pennsylvania graduates better manage their debt and repayment plans. The bill would create a program to refinance student loan debt for applicants who live in Pennsylvania, are employed, and have significant public and private college debt. Repayment terms would be based on a percentage of the applicant’s income.
The program would be managed by the Pennsylvania Treasury and the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency through a revolving line of credit that would be repaid with program proceeds – without creating new taxes or debt in the state budget.
More details about the program are available here.
New Genetic Testing Scam Targets Seniors
Seniors, families and caregivers should be aware of a new scam targeting older Pennsylvanians. Taking advantage of the popularity of DNA testing to learn more about family history, scammers are now offering a fraudulent DNA testing service that they claim is covered by Medicare. In reality, it is simply an effort to gain access to a senior’s personal information in order to commit financial fraud.
The Pennsylvania Department of Aging is offering tips to help state residents avoid this scam and others like it. More information is available here.
It was my honor to present a Senate citation to Ephrata Borough Police Department Chief William Harvey in recognition of his many years of distinguished and honorable service.
Statewide Video Competition Challenges Students to Share Ideas on Farming
Agriculture has been the lifeblood of our local economy for generations, and it remains the state’s top industry today. The third annual “Talk To Your State Senator” statewide video competition challenges middle and high school students to share their ideas about how Pennsylvania can ensure the agriculture industry will have a bright future in our Commonwealth.
The contest, which is sponsored by the Senate of Pennsylvania and Rutter’s, is open to Pennsylvania students in grades 6 through 12, including all public school, private school and home school students. Participants are encouraged to submit video entries of no longer than three minutes that promote the future of farming in Pennsylvania.
A total of $10,000 in prizes will be awarded through the PA 529 college savings program administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Treasury. Contest entries must be submitted by January 31, 2020. More information on the contest is available online at www.legis.state.pa.us/talk-to-your-state-senator/.
Thanks to all of the students at Elizabethtown Area High School who participated in the student town hall event earlier this week. I appreciated the conversations, as well as the one-on-one interactions with two honors students for The “Bear” Political Facts podcast.
REMINDER: Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program Still Open
Eligible seniors and individuals with disabilities still have time to apply for rebates on property taxes and rent paid in 2018 through the state’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program. The deadline to submit an application is December 31.
Information and applications for the Property Tax Rent Rebate Program are available online at www.revenue.state.pa.us or by calling toll-free 1-888-222-9190. Property Tax Rent Rebate claim forms and more information are also available at my district office in Lititz. I encourage local residents to call my office if they have any questions about the program or the application process.
More information on the program is available here.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Approximately one out of every eight women in the U.S. will develop breast cancer in her lifetime, and breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide. October is designated as Breast Cancer Awareness Month in order to draw more attention to this disease and promote early detection to improve treatment options and patient outcomes.
More information about diagnosis, causes, treatments and early detection is available here.
Department of Health Urges Protection against Ticks, Mosquitos
Fall is a popular time for activities in the outdoors, including hiking, hayrides, apple-picking and a number of sports. The Department of Health recently issued a reminder that tick- and mosquito-borne illnesses still present a danger, and precautions should be taken to protect against these diseases.
Covering exposed skin, wearing lightweight and light-colored clothing, and using insect repellent are some of the easiest ways to protect against ticks and mosquitos. More information is available here.
Fall Marks the Beginning of Flu Season
The flu is a serious respiratory disease that can lead to severe illness and can lead to death. Flu season typically begins during the fall and runs through the winter. Receiving a flu vaccine and taking other precautions are some of the best ways to avoid contracting this dangerous disease.
More information about the flu is available here, including symptoms, vaccinations, prevention and potential complications.