WILKES-BARRE — Division of Human Companies (DHS) Performing Secretary Meg Snead this week joined Public Utility Fee (PUC) Chair Gladys Brown Dutrieuille to announce the beginning of the annual Low-Earnings House Vitality Help Program (LIHEAP) utility course of for the 2021-22 season.
LIHEAP is a federally funded program administered by DHS that gives help for house heating payments so low-income Pennsylvanians can keep heat and secure throughout the winter months. Help is on the market for renters and owners. The LIHEAP utility interval has been prolonged for this season and is open from Oct. 18, 2021, to Could 6, 2022.
“No person ought to ever have to fret that their warmth shall be shut off throughout the coldest and darkest months of the 12 months. As winter approaches and we put together to spend much more time indoors, these payments are solely going to get dearer,” mentioned Performing Secretary Snead. “LIHEAP helps a number of the commonwealth’s most susceptible residents – kids, older Pennsylvanians, individuals with disabilities, and low-income households — make ends meet and preserve their house secure via the winter. I encourage anybody who could need assistance, or anybody who has family members or neighbors who may benefit from this program, to use for LIHEAP right now.”
“Working collectively, LIHEAP and numerous PUC-required utility help packages assist a whole lot of 1000’s of Pennsylvania households keep related, secure and heat,” mentioned PUC Chair Gladys Brown Dutrieuille. “We strongly encourage households to use for LIHEAP and #CallUtilitiesNow to discover all of the obtainable choices.”
Because of the availability of funds via the federal American Rescue Plan Act, DHS is ready to present elevated LIHEAP advantages for this season. Because of this households will see a rise within the minimal LIHEAP money grant from $200 to a minimal grant of $500, and a rise within the most money grant from $1,000 to a most of $1,500.
Those that want the LIHEAP disaster grant — the profit for individuals who meet the poverty limits and are in jeopardy of getting their heating utility service terminated — will see the utmost disaster grant enhance from $600 to a most of $1,200. LIHEAP is distributed on to a family’s utility firm or house heating gasoline supplier within the type of a grant, so the person or households should not have to repay help.
The revenue restrict for this system is 150 % of the Federal Poverty Restrict. For a family of 4, this could be $39,750 gross revenue per 12 months. Pennsylvanians don’t have to know their very own eligibility so as to apply for these packages. Those that utilized and have been denied beforehand however have skilled a change in circumstances can reapply.
In the course of the 2020-21 LIHEAP season, 303,123 households statewide obtained $84,919,469 million in LIHEAP Money advantages, and these households obtained a median season good thing about $280. 116,639 households statewide obtained $50,763,178 million in LIHEAP Disaster advantages, and these households obtained a median cost of $435.
State hosts dialogue with teenagers on secure driving
Representatives from the Pennsylvania Division of Transportation (PennDOT), State Police, Division of Schooling and native training and legislation enforcement representatives held a face-to-face discussion board at Cedar Cliff Excessive Faculty in New Cumberland right now, sharing their collective information with college students from Cedar Cliff and Purple Land excessive colleges to mark Teen Driver Security Week in Pennsylvania.
“We are able to all do our half to make highways safer by working collectively to assist new drivers achieve worthwhile expertise and information,” mentioned PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. “Mother and father and academics are an integral a part of establishing a mentality of security behind the wheel amongst teen drivers.”
The discussion board was held to name consideration to teen driver security and share vital info immediately with teen drivers throughout the nationwide observance October 17-23. The question-and-answer format gave teenagers an opportunity to glean worthwhile info from educated sources they could not in any other case work together with. Motorcar crashes are a number one reason for demise for teenagers.
From 2016 to 2020, there have been:
• 82,066 crashes in Pennsylvania involving a minimum of one 16-to-19-year-old driver leading to 530 fatalities.
• Of these crashes, 45.6 % concerned the driving force driving too quick for situations (18,635 crashes), driver inexperience (7988), driver distraction (8,574) or improper/careless turning (7,490).
• A complete of 39,399 crashes included a number of of those elements.
The danger of a crash involving any of those elements might be decreased via apply, limiting the variety of passengers driving with a brand new driver, obeying all guidelines of the street, and utilizing widespread sense.
“Mother and father and caregivers ought to encourage secure driving habits lengthy earlier than their teen will get a learner’s allow by constantly modeling good habits behind the wheel,” mentioned Colonel Robert Evanchick, commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police. “Set a optimistic instance by guaranteeing everybody within the automobile is buckled up, remove distractions within the car, obey the velocity restrict and bear in mind to drive defensively.”
PennDOT suggests that oldsters contemplate the next suggestions to assist their kids grow to be secure and accountable drivers:
• Set an excellent instance with your individual driving habits.
• Have common conversations together with your teen about secure driving expertise earlier than they get their learner’s allow.
• Set up a mum or dad/teen driving contract.
• Experience together with your teen sometimes after they obtain their license to watch driving expertise.
• Implement observance of velocity limits and different guidelines of the street.
• Strongly encourage your teen to keep away from distractions behind the wheel, comparable to speaking or texting on their cellphone.
• Restrict the variety of passengers they’ve of their car.
• Restrict daybreak, nightfall, and nighttime driving till your teen beneficial properties extra expertise and implement a curfew. Keep in mind, state legislation prohibits 16- and 17-year-olds with a junior license from driving between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.
• Step by step enhance the period of time/distance your teen is permitted to drive.
Wolf unveils laws to fight campus sexual assaults
Constructing on his profitable It’s On Us PA initiative, Governor Tom Wolf this week unveiled a four-bill bundle that may additional strengthen protections for college students and fight sexual assaults on campuses. The governor has made Pennsylvania a nationwide chief in addressing sexual violence and altering the tradition on campuses throughout the state.
“We’ve made lots of progress in combating sexual violence and harassment in colleges, however we have to do extra to make sure all of our college students are secure,” mentioned Gov. Wolf. “These 4 legislative proposals are the subsequent step to stopping assaults and violence and guaranteeing victims get the assistance they deserve.
The governor’s four-bill bundle would:
• Enact a ‘sure means sure’ legislation that requires all post-secondary establishments to have insurance policies with clear requirements of what’s and isn’t consent. California, Connecticut, Illinois, Minnesota and New York have comparable legal guidelines to guard each companions by guaranteeing a mutual understanding.
• Faculties additionally should have sexual violence consciousness packages and agreements with native rape disaster facilities and home violence packages so survivors get the tutorial, residing and different lodging that may assist them keep in class.
• Strengthen protections for victims of on-campus crime by requiring the colleges to tell victims of their rights and companies and to offer protecting lodging or protecting measures, if requested by the sufferer.
• Train center and highschool college students to know and stop relationship violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment and stalking.
• Create a process pressure to review sexual assault, relationship violence, home violence and stalking in grades 6-12 and post-secondary establishments.