Home Heating: Protect Yourself from Scams; Plus Real Tips to Save You Money

(Jan 09, 2015)

State law enforcement officials are reminding PA residents that there are criminals who will try to take advantage of you during these frigid cold temperatures.Con artists will sometimes pose as contractors, offering to do work on your home in order to scam you out of money. According to the state law, all home improvement and repair contractors are required to provide you with specific information before beginning a project, includingthe contractor's registration number, which must be included in all contracts, estimates and advertisements;a written contract for any project costing more than $500;information about the consumer's three-day right to cancel a contract;details about the total sales price, and materials and labor for the project; andan approximate start date and end date for the project.Here are some tips to help save money on your heating bills:Maintain your heating system by having it checked by a professional at least once a year and changing the filters regularly.Replace old thermostats with programmable units to lower temperatures when your home is not occupied or you are sleeping.Have adequate insulation throughout the house and around your water heater.Install weather stripping or plastic sheeting to seal cracks and holes around windows and doors to prevent heat from escaping.Keep your energy costs down by using space heaters or fireplaces to heat smaller rooms and conserving energy on heating, hot water and cooking.If you or someone you know needs Read more


Pennsylvania lawmakers, chief justice sworn in

(Jan 08, 2015)

HARRISBURG — They marveled at the murals of exploration, science, business and war. They gaped at the six 41/2-ton chandeliers. They looked in wonderment at the 24 circles of stained glass where the gilded ceiling meets the marble walls. Freshmen and veterans in the House of Representatives felt the power and prestige the art, gold and smooth stone symbolize as they were sworn in to office Tuesday for the 199th legislative session. Read more


Schweyer ready to help

(Jan 06, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Peter Schweyer outlines his priorities for the 2015-16 legislative session and his key goal of fighting for public education funding. He also invites constituents to learn more about state-related services by visiting his office on South 4th St. in Allentown and checking out his web page at www.pahouse.com/Schweyer. Read more


Schweyer sworn in for first term as state representative

(Jan 06, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 6 – State Rep. Peter Schweyer today began his first term in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, where he will represent the relocated 22nd Legislative District in the 2015-2016 legislative session.Schweyer said his legislative priorities include properly funding public schools and supporting affordable access to higher education, including the DREAM Act.Prior to his election, Schweyer worked as director of community and government affairs for Sacred Heart Hospital. He also served as chief of staff for former state Rep. Jennifer L. Mann and as legislative assistant for state Sen. Lisa M. Boscola and state Rep. Steve Samuelson. Later, Schweyer became the youngest member of Allentown City Council when he took office in 2008.“As a longtime resident of Allentown, I look forward to representing my friends and neighbors,” Schweyer said. “Both sides of the aisle need to work together on the issues that matter most to everyone; not just in my district, but across the Commonwealth.The 22nd Legislative District took over sections of Center City Allentown from the old 132nd District due to the legislative redistricting process. The district includes the city’s South Side and a portion of the East Side. Before redistricting, the 22nd district was across the state in the Pittsburgh area.  Schweyer invites Allentown residents to visit his newly redesigned webpage, www.pahouse.com/Schweyer, for information about constituent Read more


Schweyer Opens Office

(Jan 05, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Peter Schweyer officially opened his new Constituent Service Office with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The office is located at 1912 S. Fourth St. in Allentown, in the new 22nd Legislative District. 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


Schweyer, Chamber of Commerce to cut ribbon for new district office

(Dec 22, 2014)

State Rep.-elect Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, will cut the ribbon for the new office in the 22nd Legislative District at 11 a.m. Monday, Dec. 29. Read more


Schweyer, Schlossberg detail district boundary shifts effective Dec. 1

(Dec 17, 2014)

Significant geographic changes are in place as Allentown streamlines from four to two House legislative districts: state Rep. Mike Schlossberg’s 132nd District, whose composition changes by one-third; and state Rep. Peter Schweyer, whose newly created 22nd District takes over sections of Center City from the old 132nd District. 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


Sign up for the Do-Not-Call list

(Nov 22, 2014)

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


Weatherizing your home saves you money on energy bills

(Nov 20, 2014)

Last year’s bitterly cold winter left many people struggling to pay higher-than-normal home energy bills. As we head toward the coldest months of the year, there are ways you can winterize your home to keep heat in, cold air out, and money in your pocket. Many businesses offer professional home energy audits, but you can perform your own by inspecting areas where heat escapes and cold air leaks in. Read more


Check out charities before making holiday donations

(Nov 20, 2014)

While it may be the season for charitable giving, scammers don't take a holiday. The Pennsylvania Department of State offers a simple way to ensure a charity is legitimate and that your donation will be used properly. Read more