Welcome to "Mike's Memo," an update on what's happening in the 48th Senatorial District and the State Capitol. If you haven't done so already, please take a moment to visit my website at www.senatorfolmer.com to learn more about my legislative priorities issues that may affect you and your family.
Week of January 21, 2019
Happy Belated 100th Birthday to Grace Clemens!
I’m a little late in wishing Grace Clemens (nee Kreider) of Cornwall, Lebanon County, a very happy 100th birthday! Grace celebrated her December 28 birthday with family and friends on December 29 at a party hosted by her four children, Fred, Tom, Colleen and Sue. I hope you enjoyed your day, young lady!
Archival Grant approved for York County Archives
SNAP Benefits during Partial Federal Gov’t Shutdown
My office recently received the following correspondence from PA Department of Human Services (DHS) regarding Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits during the partial federal government shutdown:
On January 8, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) notified states that February SNAP benefits will be fully funded. However, for February benefits to be funded, they must be issued by states on or before January 20. DHS has determined they will be able to meet this federal deadline. The February SNAP benefits for recipients who did not have a renewal in January, or whose renewal for January was completed by January 14, will be available on their electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards on January 18 (January 20 is a Sunday). Recipients whose renewal is due in January and their renewal is completed after January 14 will have their benefits available the day after their renewal is processed. This is the only benefit payment SNAP recipients will receive for the month of February. SNAP recipients will not receive a payment on their regularly scheduled February payment date.
Other benefits such as cash, LIHEAP or Medical Assistance will not be affected.
DHS is notifying recipients that this payment is not a bonus or an increase in their monthly payment. DHS is concerned, however, that this change may create confusion and additional challenges for SNAP recipients. SNAP recipients will need to make this early payment last through an undefined period if the shutdown persists. DHS is awaiting further guidance from USDA regarding the availability of benefits for March.
It is imperative that SNAP recipients understand that the January 18 payment is for their February benefit. DHS will continue to take new SNAP applications and will process renewal applications, so it is also important for recipients to continue to report changes and submit semi-annual reviews or renewals that they receive. DHS will continue to issue benefits to applicants found eligible in February until told to stop issuing by USDA.
All County Assistance Offices remain open and staff are available to assist applicants and recipients during this time, and the statewide center remains active at 1-877-395-8930. DHS will continue to work with the federal government and seek clarification from the USDA as they move through this process.
Growing Greener Grants Awarded in 48th Senate District
Following a year with unprecedented rain and catastrophic flooding, the PA Department of Environmental Protection has announced $3 million in grants for projects to help reduce and control stormwater for Pennsylvania communities. Grants were awarded for nine projects, two of which are in the 48th Senate District, funded through the Growing Greener program, including:
Londonderry Township, Dauphin County – Conewago Creek Stream Restoration – $738,752 to restore 3,000 linear feet of floodplain along Conewago Creek and tributary in Dauphin and Lancaster Counties
Swatara Township, Dauphin County – Spring Creek Restoration and Best Management Practice Implementation – $120,000 to design and permit streambank and floodplain restoration at two sites along Spring Creek in Swatara Township
DCNR Recreation and Conservation Grants Program
The PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources recreation and conservation grants program will be accepting applications from January 22 to April 10. The Bureau of Recreation and Conservation provides technical and grant assistance in support of community projects that help plan, acquire and develop parks, recreation facilities, trails and conserve critical conservation areas and watersheds. Bureau resources also support many of the Commonwealth’s conservation, recreation and heritage partners.
The Pennsylvania Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan 2014-2019 identifies PA outdoor recreation priorities, strategies and actions. Complementing the Recreation Plan priorities, the Bureau will also focus grant funds on a few Bureau priorities, including:
Community Parks and Recreation – planning and development projects that focus on rehabilitation of existing parks
Land Conservation/Watershed Protection – land conservation projects that protect critical habitat, forested watersheds, wetlands and riparian corridors, or create critical connections between public or conservation lands
Watershed Restoration/Rivers Implementation – projects that enhance public access to PA’s waterways, or that improve PA’s watersheds and waterways, including the planting of riparian forest buffers
Trails – projects that close priority trail gaps, or that rehabilitate or upgrade existing trails
More information on available grant programs can be found here. Those applying are encouraged to participate in a webinar on January 30 or February 27. The contact for counties within the 48th Senatorial District – Dauphin, Lebanon and York – is Lori Kieffer Yeich, Recreation and Conservation Manager. She can be reached at (717) 702-2043 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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