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State Rep Justin Simmons Report

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The Weekly Roundup
Friday, June 14, 2019  The latest news from the State Capitol

Ensuring Sexual Harassment is not Hidden

To help address the problem of sexual harassment in the workplace, the House approved legislation this week to help prevent these offenses – and the offenders – from being hidden and dealt with.

House Bill 849 would prohibit employers from requiring employees and prospective employees to sign a nondisclosure agreement related to sexual harassment as a condition of employment.

This would ensure workers who face sexual harassment in the workplace can exercise their voice to report such egregious offenses they may suffer at the hands of a co-worker or superior. Employees and employers would still be able to voluntarily enter into such agreements.

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Lowering Health Insurance Costs

Pennsylvanians who buy their health insurance on the federal exchange could see lower prices under legislation adopted by the House this week.

House Bill 3 would establish a state-based health insurance exchange and reinsurance program, an option offered by the Trump administration and supported by the Wolf administration as a means for helping make health care more affordable for Commonwealth citizens.

The proposal is also expected to save taxpayer money, as the cost of the state running its own exchange is expected to be about half the cost of fees currently being paid to the federal government to run it for us.

The bill now goes to the Senate for its consideration.

Property Tax/Rent Rebate Deadline Extended to Dec. 31

Older adults and Pennsylvanians with disabilities now have until Dec. 31 to apply for the state’s 2018 Property Tax/Rent Rebate program. The original deadline was June 30.

The rebate program benefits eligible residents age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters, and half of Social Security income is excluded. The maximum standard rebate is $650.
Eligibility information and forms are available on my website at RepSimmons.com or by contacting one of my district offices, where assistance in filling out the applications is available free of charge. There is no need to pay a private firm for help. Learn more about the rebate program here.

Beware of Financial Aid Scams Targeting Unsuspecting Students and Borrowers

The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency is warning students and borrowers to be wary of financial aid scams that could expose them to identity theft and significant financial loss.

The most effective way to avoid becoming the victim of a scam is to be alert and vigilant when asked to provide any form of personal information or when engaging in financial transactions.

Recent scams include:

  • Student loan forgiveness scams in which complete forgiveness is guaranteed in exchange for a fee.
  • Tuition scams in which someone claiming to work for your school’s administrative office calls to warn you that your tuition is late and you risk being dropped from class unless you pay immediately. Hang up and contact your school directly.
  • Students and borrowers are also commonly targeted with unnecessary fees for services that can be easily accessed for free.

Let’s Get Connected
 
Our District
Web Site

RepSimmons.com
Office Locations
21 N. Main Street, Unit 9, Coopersburg, PA 18036 | Phone: (610) 282-0160
191 Main St., Suite 104, Emmaus, PA 18049 I Phone: (610) 965-5830
 56 W. Fourth St., Second Floor, Red Hill, PA 18076 I Phone: (215) 679-3152
5 East Wing, PO Box 202131, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2131 | (717) 783-1673
Email: jsimmons@pahousegop.com
TTY: 855-282-0614

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