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State Rep Justin Simmons weekly report

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The Weekly Roundup
Friday, February 23, 2018  The latest news from the State Capitol

Budget Hearings Focusing on Accountability

During this year’s hearings about the 2018-19 state budget proposal, the House Appropriations Committee is focusing on better accountability of tax dollars, private sector jobs and the opioid epidemic.

This week’s slate of hearings included appearances by the Independent Fiscal Office, Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and the departments of Revenue, Transportation and Conservation and Natural Resources.

Next week’s hearings will feature the departments of Environmental Protection, Agriculture, Corrections, General Services, Health, Drug and Alcohol Programs, and Military and Veterans Affairs along with the Liquor Control Board and the Office of Attorney General.

You can watch the hearings live at www.pahousegop.com.

Let’s Discuss the Issues

Next month, I am hosting a series of “Coffee and Conversation” events at my district offices. It’s a chance for me to discuss state and local issues with constituents in a casual setting. I look forward to seeing you there!

Feel free to stop in during any of the following times:

  • Friday, March 16, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
    Red Hill District Office
    Red Hill Borough Hall, 56 W. Fourth St., Second Floor
  • Friday, March 23, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
    Emmaus District Office
    191 Main St., Suite 104
  • Thursday, March 29, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
    Coopersburg District Office
    Village Center, 21 N. Main St., Unit 9

Attention Area Veterans

Free assistance is available to area veterans and their families at my district office in Coopersburg on Friday, March 2. A veterans outreach specialist from the American Legion will be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to answer questions about veteran benefits and help file claims. Please call (610) 282-0160 to schedule an appointment. The office is located at 21 N. Main Street, Unit 9, in the borough.

New 445 Area Code to Take Effect March 3

Beginning March 3, the new 445 area code may be assigned to new phone lines in Berks, Bucks, Lehigh and Montgomery counties, as well as Philadelphia. The new area code is being placed into service because the remaining supply of numbers in the current 215/267 area codes is nearly exhausted.

Current customers will keep their existing 215 or 267 phone numbers, but starting March 3, residents or businesses seeking new telephone lines may be assigned numbers in the 445 area code.

According to the Public Utility Commission (PUC), the activation of this new area code will not change the way they dial calls or result in any changes to their service. Local calls under your current calling plan will remain local calls.

Voting Machine Open House

Montgomery County officials will host an open house on Saturday, Feb. 24, to give residents an opportunity to try out the new voting machines the commissioners plan to purchase. Residents will also be able to offer public comment.

The open house will run from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the main gym at Montgomery County Community College, 340 Dekalb Pike in Blue Bell. More information about the event is available here.
                  

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