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PACE prescription programs benefit seniors

(Feb 10, 2016)

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

 

CHIP offers kids protection and parents peace of mind

(Jan 29, 2016)

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

 

Pa. Treasury could be holding your unclaimed property

(Jan 01, 2016)

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

 

PA Power Switch: Ask the right questions

(Dec 30, 2015)

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

 

Mentored youth fishing day set for April 11

(Mar 10, 2015)

Spring is just around the corner, and so is the start of trout fishing season. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will hold a mentored youth fishing day on approved trout waters in our area from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. April 11 – one week before the official start of trout fishing throughout most of the state. To participate, anglers younger than 16 must obtain a Mentored Youth Fishing Permit or Voluntary Youth Fishing License and be accompanied by an adult with a Pennsylvania fishing license and a trout/salmon permit. The Mentored Youth Permit is free. The Voluntary Youth License is $2.70. Youth permits and voluntary licenses are available at GoneFishingPA.com or at any of the more than 900 licensing agents across the state. More details about the program are available by clicking here . Read more

 

Oral chemotherapy bill passes House

(Feb 25, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 25 – State Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, on Tuesday voted for a bill that would require health insurance providers that cover intravenous cancer chemotherapy to cover oral chemotherapy treatment equally. The bill (H.B. 60) passed the House and was sent to the Senate. "Chemotherapy in pill form is the newest option for chemo. It is more convenient for patients because it can be taken at home and has fewer side effects, compared to the traditional intravenous chemotherapy, which also requires a hospital visit for its administration," Longietti said. "However, oral chemotherapy also is more expensive. This bill would put oral chemotherapy more in line with other chemotherapy treatments." Intravenous chemotherapy treatments are usually covered under a health plan's medical benefit and require a minimal payment. Orally administered treatments are covered under a health plan's pharmacy benefit. Some insurance companies have placed orally administered treatments on "specialty tiers," requiring those who need the drugs to pay as much as one-third of the cost. Typically, a person will pay $1,500 to $3,000 per prescription for a specialty tier drug, according to a study by the Pennsylvania Legislative Budget and Finance Committee. Longietti said this is unaffordable for many patients. House Bill 60, which Longietti co-sponsored, would prohibit insurance companies from placing oral Read more

 

Longietti details Mercer County priorities in meeting with the governor

(Feb 10, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 10 – State Rep. Mark Longietti met with Gov. Tom Wolf on Monday to discuss issues of importance to residents of the 7 th Legislative District in Mercer County. Longietti told the governor that jobs and economic development, education, and workforce development are top priorities. Specifically, Longietti advocated for expansion of City Revitalization Improvements Zones (CRIZ) to smaller cities like Sharon, Farrell and Hermitage; and an expansion of a CRIZ pilot program to include smaller boroughs, like Greenville. CRIZ uses state tax revenue received from jobs created by an economic development project to help finance the project. Longietti also stressed that financially distressed communities under Act 47 need to be a priority in CRIZ legislation, so places like Farrell and Greenville can rebuild their tax base. In regard to education, Longietti emphasized the importance of investing state dollars in quality early childhood education programs. Longietti said every dollar invested produces a return of $7 to $17 through reduced special education and juvenile delinquency costs and, ultimately, the receipt of more state tax revenue as educated people become productive workforce members. According to Longietti, a collection of studies shows nearly 90 percent of a child’s brain connections are formed by age 5 and it becomes very difficult to make up lost ground if a child misses that development. Finally, Read more

 

Longietti’s Greenville office now open

(Feb 02, 2015)

GREENVILLE, Feb. 2 – State Rep. Mark Longietti’s new Greenville office is now open. The office is in the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce Building, 182 Main St. It is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The phone number is 724-588-1005. The fax number is 724-588-1023. Longietti said opening the new office was necessary because the boundaries of the 7th Legislative District were changed during redistricting. The borough of Greenville and West Salem Township were added to Longietti’s district. The cities of Farrell, Hermitage and Sharon; the boroughs of Clark, Sharpsville, West Middlesex and Wheatland; and the townships of Lackawannock, Pymatuning, Shenango and South Pymatuning remain in the district. "The new office will give my constituents in the Greenville area convenient access to assistance with a variety of state programs and services," said Longietti, D-Mercer. Longietti said those programs and services include free help applying to the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program, providing state tax return forms, providing criminal and child abuse clearance forms and delivery of those forms for expedited processing, birth and death certificate applications, and helping constituents with unemployment compensation and workman’s compensation issues. Longietti also said his staff helps secure driver's licenses, non-driver photo IDs and handicapped placards; deals with Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Read more

 

General Assembly’s Basic Education Funding Commission to meet Thursday in Greenville

(Jan 26, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 26 – The Basic Education Funding Commission will hold a hearing beginning at 10 a.m. Thursday at Greenville Junior/Senior High School, 9 Donation Road, Greenville, state Rep. Mark Longietti announced. "This hearing will allow school officials from Mercer and neighboring counties to provide input about how the state distributes money to help support basic education," said Longietti, who is a member of the commission. "The hearing is open to the public, and we have set aside time at the conclusion of the meeting to listen to comments from local residents." The agenda for the hearing is: 10:05 a.m. – Testimony from Greenville Area School District Superintendent Mark Ferrara, Sharon City School District Superintendent Michael Calla, Hermitage School District Superintendent Daniel J. Bell and Sharpsville Area School District Superintendent Brad Ferko; 11:05 a.m. – Testimony from Austin Area School District Acting Superintendent Jerome Sasala; 11:35 a.m. – Testimony from Propel Schools Foundation founder and Executive Director Jeremy Resnick and Keystone Charter School CEO Mike Gentile; 12:15 p.m. – Testimony from Erie School District Superintendent Jay Badams and Corry School District Superintendent Bill Nichols; Public comments. The bipartisan, bicameral 15-member commission was created by Act 51 of 2014, and consists of senators and representatives from across Read more

 

Longietti appointed to key House committees

(Jan 21, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 21 – State Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, was appointed to serve on four House committees for the 2015-16 legislative session: Commerce, Education, Tourism and Recreational Development, and Consumer Affairs. "I will be a strong voice for Mercer County residents as these committees vet legislation," Longietti said. "These committees handle legislation that affects the day-to-day lives of everyone in Pennsylvania, and I’m excited to serve on them." Longietti also was unanimously re-elected to serve as chairman of the Northwest Democratic Caucus. The Northwest Democratic Caucus is one of six regional caucuses within the House Democratic Caucus. "This position allows me to advocate for our region’s interests," Longietti said. Longietti was reappointed vice chairman of the House Democratic Policy Committee by its chairman, state Rep. Michael Sturla, D-Lancaster. As a vice chairman, Longietti will help develop the caucus' policy agenda, determine topics for public hearings and act as a liaison to other caucus members on policy ideas. Longietti is serving on the Basic Education Funding Commission, which is charged with developing a formula to best distribute money from the state to help fund basic education. Longietti also serves as co-chairman of the 130-member, bicameral, bipartisan Early Childhood Education Caucus. Read more

 

Act soon for college financial aid

(Jan 15, 2015)

June will be here before we know it, and many graduating seniors and their parents are thinking about college applications and, more importantly, how to pay tuition bills. I’m urging college-bound high school seniors and their families to consider applying as soon as possible for financial assistance by submitting the FAFSA – the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA is a must for determining eligibility for most need- and income-based financial assistance, including the Pennsylvania State Grant , Pell grants and other federal student loans, work-study programs and various scholarships. The FAFSA may be completed online at www.fafsa.gov . The form is also available on my website by clcking on the education tab under Help & Services. Read more

 

Community Library of the Shenango Valley, Stey-Nevant Library win state grants

(Jan 08, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 8 – State Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, announced that two local libraries will receive state grants totaling nearly $83,000.  The Community Library of the Shenango Valley will receive $53,150 and the Stey-Nevant Public Library in Farrell will receive $27,656. The Community Library of the Shenango Valley plans to make the front entrance and restrooms handicapped accessible, Longietti said. Stey-Nevant Library, Longietti said, will use the grant to replace old light fixtures, which use bulbs that are no longer being manufactured, with modern, energy-efficient lighting and replace back doors, which have become worn and are difficult to latch securely. "These libraries are important community resources, and I’m pleased that the state will be providing much needed assistance to make these upgrades," said Longietti, who wrote a letter of support for the libraries’ grant applications. Stey-Nevant Librarian Margaret Orchard and Frank Gargiulo, board president for the Community Library of the Shenango Valley, welcomed the news. "This is the answer to my prayers," Orchard said. "It will certainly make a difference in the look of the library." "Our board and staff thank the state for viewing the project worthy of funding," Gargiulo said. "We appreciate the work and support of all those who contributed to this effort." The grants were awarded through the Keystone Fund Read more

 

State grant will aid Greenville’s plans to expand, renovate its library

(Jan 07, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 7 – State Rep. Mark Longietti announced that Greenville has received a $500,000 state grant to expand and renovate the Greenville Area Public Library. “During the past five years, the Greenville Area Public Library has had a 120 percent increase in attendance,” said Longietti, who wrote a letter in support of the library’s grant application. “The library needs improvements to properly serve the community, and this grant is critical to the borough’s plan.” “We are delighted that the commonwealth is investing in the Greenville Public Library,” said John Hauser, president of the Greenville Area Public Library Board of Directors. ”We have a dynamic program and this will help us move to the next level.” Hauser thanked Longietti, former state Sen. Bob Robbins and current state Sen. Michele Brooks for supporting the grant application. The $1.4 million project includes additions to the west side and front of the library to add 1,535 square feet of space, moving the children’s library to the lower level so it has more room to accommodate the growing children’s program, and installing an elevator and making the entire building handicapped accessible. The work also includes adding a new meeting/reading room, renovating work room areas to improve efficiency, and installing LED light fixtures.  This is the first renovation to the building since it opened in Read more

 

Longietti sworn in for a fifth term in Pa. House, looks to extend perfect attendance record

(Jan 06, 2015)

State Rep. Mark Longietti today was sworn in for a fifth, two-year term representing the 7th Legislative District in Mercer County during a ceremony at the state Capitol that started the 2015-16 legislative session. Longietti, D-Mercer, will look to extend his eight-year record of perfect attendance when the House is in session. Read more

 

Hope for Hannah legislation becomes law

(Dec 28, 2014)

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

 

Beware IRS phone scams

(Nov 29, 2014)

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. Read more

 

HEROIN: What you need to know about Pennsylvania’s Good Samaritan Law

(Nov 24, 2014)

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. Read more

 

In the News: Dept. of Human Services name change better reflects mission

(Nov 24, 2014)

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

 

Do you need help paying heating bills?

(Nov 24, 2014)

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

 

Apply for health insurance by Feb. 16

(Nov 23, 2014)

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