PHILADELPHIA, June 2 – At a dedication ceremony held in Philadelphia today, state Rep. Bill Keller, D-Phila., renamed the portion of Columbus Boulevard between Oregon and Washington avenues the William J. Guarnere and Edward "Babe" Heffron Memorial Boulevard. "This is a permanent thank you to two American heroes who helped shape the course of history," said Keller, Democratic chairman of the House Transportation Committee. "Having met both men and experienced their love for their country and their home of Philadelphia, I know they would be honored to be recognized in this way." Guarnere and Heffron served with Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, in the 101st Airborne Division. Their stories were chronicled in the 2001 miniseries "Band of Brothers," produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, which highlighted Easy Company’s missions during World War II. "These men constantly put themselves in grave danger to fight for our freedom," Keller said. "I can only imagine that what we see on screen, however harrowing the depiction may be, pales in comparison to the terror and destruction these men witnessed firsthand. Their camaraderie, courage and dedication will never be forgotten." Guarnere, known as "Wild Bill," graduated from South Philadelphia High School in 1941 while working for Baldwin Locomotive Works building Sherman tanks for the U.S. Army. After Read more
Forms for Pennsylvania’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program for the 2015 tax year are available at my district office – and my staff is ready to help you file yours for free ! The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians 65 or older, widows and widowers 50 or older, and people with disabilities 18 or older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters. Half of Social Security income is excluded and the maximum standard rebate is $650. Claimants must reapply for rebates every year because they are based on annual income and property taxes or rent paid each year. Spouses, personal representatives or estates may file rebate claims on behalf of deceased claimants who lived at least one day in 2015 and meet all other eligibility criteria. The oft-extended deadline to apply for a rebate on property taxes or rent paid in 2015 is June 30, 2016, and the rebates normally are distributed by the Deparment of Revenue beginning July 1. So, the sooner you file, the sooner you will receive your money. Read more
PACE, PACENET and PACE plus Medicare are Pennsylvania's prescription assistance programs for older adults, offering low-cost prescription medication to qualified residents, age 65 and older. As of this year, the legislature passed a law excluding Social Security Medicare Part B premiums from being counted towards income levels. Read more
Pennsylvania has a Children's Health Insurance Program that provides free and low-cost health insurance to children. CHIP is not welfare – it covers children of working parents whose employers don't offer coverage and who can't afford private insurance. If you can't afford health insurance for your children, chances are they are eligible for CHIP. Read more
Each year, the Pennsylvania Treasury receives millions of dollars of unclaimed property. It is estimated that roughly one in 10 Pennsylvanians has unclaimed property. Read more
In Pennsylvania, you can choose the company that generates your electricity – also known as your electric supplier. This means that you have the power to switch to a competing supplier who can offer the lowest price, or provide a specific service you want, such as “green” or renewable energy. Read more
HARRISBURG, Dec. 21 – Gov. Tom Wolf has signed into law legislation authored by state Rep. Bill Keller, D-Phila., honoring a pair of World War II veterans from Philadelphia portrayed in the HBO miniseries “ Band of Brothers .” House Bill 1279 , now Act 87 of 2015, designates Columbus Boulevard between Oregon and Washington avenues in Philadelphia the William J. Guarnere and Edward “Babe” Heffron Memorial Boulevard. “These hometown heroes deserve to be recognized in a permanent way that reminds everyone of the great sacrifices they made,” said Keller, Democratic chairman of the House Transportation Committee. “When I had the honor of befriending both men, it was apparent how much they loved our city and our country. I’d like to thank my colleagues for their support of this legislation, and our veterans throughout the commonwealth for their committed service.” Guarnere and Heffron served with Easy Company, 2 nd Battalion, 506 th Parachute Infantry Regiment, in the 101 st Airborne Division. Their stories were part of the 2001 miniseries “ Band of Brothers ,” produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, which chronicled Easy Company’s missions during World War II. Guarnere, known as “Wild Bill,” graduated from South Philadelphia High School in 1941 and worked for Baldwin Locomotive Works before joining the U.S. Army the following year. He served as a staff sergeant and Read more
HARRISBURG, Dec. 10 – A bill naming the section of Columbus Boulevard in Philadelphia after a pair of World War II veterans portrayed in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers now awaits the governor’s signature. The Pennsylvania House of Representatives today unanimously passed legislation on concurrence proposed by state Rep. Bill Keller, D-Phila., which would designate Columbus Boulevard between Oregon and Washington avenues in Philadelphia the William J. Guarnere and Edward “Babe” Heffron Memorial Boulevard. “Both of these heroes loved their home city of Philadelphia, and left everything behind to valiantly defend our way of life,” Keller said. “It’s only fitting that we recognize these men in such a permanent way so that future generations come to know their stories and sacrifices.” House Bill 1279 notes both men served with Easy Company, 2 nd Battalion, 506 th Parachute Infantry Regiment, in the 101 st Airborne Division. Their stories were portrayed in the 2001 miniseries Band of Brothers , which was produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg and chronicled Easy Company’s missions during World War II. Guarnere, known as “Wild Bill,” graduated from South Philadelphia High School in 1941 and enlisted in the U.S. Army the following year. He served as a staff sergeant and paratrooper who made his first combat jump on D-Day as part of the Allied invasion of France, and also fought during Read more
HARRISBURG, June 28 – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives today unanimously passed a measure authored by state Rep. Bill Keller, D-Phila., that would designate a section of Columbus Boulevard after two World War II veterans portrayed in HBO’s miniseries Band of Brothers . Keller’s H.B. 1279 would designate Columbus Boulevard between Oregon and Washington avenues in Philadelphia the William J. Guarnere and Edward “Babe” Heffron Memorial Boulevard. Both men served with Easy Company, 2 nd Battalion, 506 th Parachute Infantry Regiment, in the 101 st Airborne Division. “I had the honor of meeting both gentlemen, and can attest that they loved the city of Philadelphia just as much as they loved their country,” Keller said. “I can’t think of two men who are more deserving of this type of recognition. I am encouraged to know that future generations will come to realize just how important these men were, and how greatly they sacrificed so that we may all be free.” Guarnere, or “Wild Bill,” was a staff sergeant and paratrooper who made his first combat jump on D-Day as part of the Allied invasion of France. Due to his bravery and additional service during the Battle of Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge, he was awarded the Silver Star and the Purple Heart with two oak-leaf clusters, among other recognitions. Guarnere died last year at 90. Heffron, known as “Babe,” was a private first Read more
HARRISBURG, June 27 – State Rep. Bill Keller, D-Phila., issued the following statement after the 2015-16 Republican state budget plan passed the House today: “The Republican budget represents more of the previous administration’s failed policies and disastrous cuts. Once again, it kicks the can down the road and doesn’t address the most pressing problems facing Pennsylvania today. Pennsylvanians were very clear last fall that they wanted the state to head in a new direction, but unfortunately, with the Republican budget plan, we’re seeing more of the same. “The plan does nothing to help our students in Philadelphia, who have gone without badly needed resources for years. It also ignores the needs of taxpayers, who have signaled that they want property tax relief. It’s time to make some serious changes in Pennsylvania, but they won’t occur under the Republicans’ plan. “Ultimately, I could not support this plan, which so widely misses the mark. I am confident the governor will see through the smoke and mirrors and call this plan what it is: another sham.” Read more
HARRISBURG, April 10 – State Rep. Bill Keller, D-Phila., today announced that the Pennsylvania Transportation Department is seeking public input on the commonwealth’s transportation priorities. “As Democratic chairman of the House Transportation Committee, one of my top priorities is to help ensure that Pennsylvanians have a say in infrastructure changes and improvements,” Keller said. “I encourage all residents to take advantage of this important opportunity to help shape the state’s blueprint of its transportation projects.” Keller said PennDOT is hosting an interactive online public meeting from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 16 as part of its update to the state’s 12-Year Transportation Program, which assesses multimodal transportation improvements over a 12-year period. Pennsylvanians may register for the event at www.TalkPATransportation.com and submit questions in advance to email@example.com . PennDOT Acting Secretary Leslie Richards is expected to highlight Pennsylvania’s transportation performance report and the public comment period. In addition, PennDOT is set to launch an online survey to allow residents to submit feedback at their convenience. The survey, to be posted April 16, can also be accessed at www.TalkPATransportation.com . Pennsylvanians may also submit feedback by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (717) 787-2913 and requesting a printed survey copy. The public comment period Read more
State Rep. Bill Keller, D-Phila., has begun his 12th term representing residents of the 184th Legislative District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. He was also appointed by the House Democratic Leader to serve as Democratic chairman of the House Transportation Committee for the 2015-16 legislative session. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 29 – State Rep. Bill Keller, D-Phila., today recognized Philadelphia-area resident Eugene Smith for his upcoming retirement from the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) after more than 36 years of service. “Mr. Smith has been an exemplary SEPTA employee, and I am certain his absence will be deeply felt,” Keller said. “Not only was he named ‘Employee of the Month’ several times and rewarded for 30 years of safe driving, but he also never used a sick day. Mr. Smith’s dedication and tireless service are to be commended.” Keller presented Smith with a Pennsylvania House of Representatives citation today at a ceremony at SEPTA’s Southern District office at 20th and Johnston streets in Philadelphia. Smith began his career with SEPTA on Dec. 1, 1978 and will retire Jan. 1, 2015. Read more
Pennsylvania's children have a new protection thanks to Hannah's Law, named after Hannah Ginion of Bristol Township, who suffered from the rare genetic disorder called Krabbe disease. Hannah passed away on Dec. 28, 2014. Read more
Recently, my office received information about phone calls received statewide in which an individual claimed to be from the IRS and demanded payment on taxes owed.
Please be aware – this phone call is a scam, and the IRS will NOT initiate first contact with you on the phone about taxes owed.
Always be wary of unsolicited phone calls in which an individual claims to represent a business or government entity and aggressively demands payment. The IRS does not operate this way and will always send official correspondence through the mail to make its first contact with you.
Landmark legislation passed during the 2013-14 Legislative Session now allows first responders, including law enforcement, fire fighters, EMS or other organizations the ability to administer a medication known as naloxone, a life-saving opioid-overdose antidote.
The law also allows individuals such as friends or family members who might be in a position to help a person at risk of experiencing an opioid-related overdose to obtain a prescription for naloxone. Additionally, Act 139 provides immunity from prosecution for those responding to and reporting overdoses.
House Bill 993, which renamed the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare as the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, was signed into law as Act 132 during the 2013-14 Legislative Session.
According to advocates for the change, renaming the department was long overdue, and as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported, the name change better reflects the department’s mission. Read more
As we get into the coldest months of winter, many people are worried about affording their increasing heating costs. If you or someone you know qualifies, my office could help you take advantage of a program set up to curtail high home heating bills. Read more
The open enrollment period for health care coverage is now underway. If you or someone you know is in need of health insurance, please consider visiting the federal Marketplace at www.HealthCare.gov. Applicants have until Feb. 16, 2015 to enroll.
Everyone, no matter what age, needs health insurance. A random accident or unexpected illness could put you in danger of losing not only your good health but also your financial future. Read more
To register for the Pennsylvania and national do-not-call lists, visit http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/dnc.aspx or call 1-888-777-3406. Registration is free. There is a rolling enrollment; individuals may sign up at any time and the registration is good for five years. After that, you can re-enroll. And, signing up on Pennsylvania's list automatically adds those numbers to the national do-not-call list. Read more
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