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State Rep Justin Simmons Report

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The Weekly Roundup
Friday, October 26, 2018  The latest news from the State Capitol

Preventing Food Stamp Fraud

Legislation was signed into law this week to help prevent food stamp fraud by imposing tougher penalties for the illegal trafficking of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Violators of Senate Bill 1127 must pay restitution of up to three times the amount of fraud they committed.

The legislation stems from a case uncovered last year in which a Harrisburg restaurant traded drugs for electronic benefit transaction (EBT) cards and bought thousands of dollars of supplies from a food wholesale club to be resold for profit. This serious problem across Pennsylvania takes food from our most vulnerable citizens.

Help for Grandparents Raising Grandkids

Two bills were signed into law this week to help Pennsylvania grandparents struggling to raise their grandchildren.

Act 89 of 2018, which I co-sponsored, will establish the Kinship Caregiver Navigator Program, an informational resource that would operate both as a website and a toll-free hotline. The website will offer information on support and services available, and a specially trained navigator will provide support and guidance, and serve as a mediator to establish relationships between kinship caregivers and government agencies.

Act 88 of 2018 grants temporary guardianship to grandparents when the parents of the grandchildren are unable to care for them primarily due to substance abuse issues.

Gun Laws Explained

We had a great turnout for our Concealed Carry Seminar last week in Emmaus. My thanks to everyone who attended and to our presenter, Attorney Joshua Prince, who did a good job explaining Pennsylvania firearms laws and answering questions.

Safely Dispose of Your Expired Drugs on Saturday

To help keep prescription medications out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them, the U.S. Department of Justice, working with local law enforcement, will hold a prescription drug take-back event in our area on Saturday, Oct. 27.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., residents can drop their medications off at the local sites listed here.

Nearly 5,000 tons of old prescription drugs have been collected since the program began in 2010.

In the District

Congratulations to the Upper Perkiomen Chamber of Commerce on receiving this big check from Verizon. I’m proud to help be a part!

On Monday, I had the pleasure of speaking at Salisbury High School. The National Association of School Resource Officers has recognized Salisbury as one of only nine model school resource officer programs nationwide. Congratulations!

What a parade! I enjoyed walking all 3 miles in the Upper Perk Halloween Parade last weekend.

Heating Assistance Program to Open Next Week

Eligible residents who are struggling with their home heating bills can apply for assistance from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) beginning Thursday, Nov. 1.

LIHEAP is a federally funded program that helps individuals and families pay their heating bills through home heating energy assistance grants. It also provides crisis grants to help in the event of an emergency or if a resident is in danger of losing his or her heat due to broken equipment, lack of fuel or termination of utility service.

Residents may apply for LIHEAP online or by contacting their County Assistance Office.

Veterans Outreach

Free assistance is available to area veterans and their families at my district office in Coopersburg on Friday, Nov. 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.

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