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Senator Mario Scavello

In this Edition:

  • Medical Marijuana Update
  • Around the 40th District
  • PennDOT Advises Customers of REAL ID Preparations
  • Pennsylvania Number Three in Collisions with Deer
  • Flu Season Precautions
  • Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
  • Love Your Dog, License Your Dog

Medical Marijuana Update

Many individuals have contacted my office asking for an update regarding the Commonwealth’s progress on making medical marijuana available for those waiting for treatment. More than 6,000 patients and more than 300 caregivers have registered for Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program since the Medical Marijuana Patient and Caregiver Registry launched November 1.

PA Home Page (WBRE) recently aired a report that provides a good snapshot of the development of new grower and dispensary facilities in the state. You can view it here.

More information is available at the official Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program website.

Around the 40th District

Congratulations to Kariz Cutz in Tannersville (2716 Route 611) and owner Kevin Allen for receiving a loan through the NEPA Alliance for the purchase of land and a building for their Barber Shop location. We wish you the best as you continue to grow and serve the Poconos.

Congratulations to Jonathan Warner, the newest Eagle Scout of Troop 76 in Nazareth. It was a pleasure to attend your ceremony and honor your prestigious achievement. The skills and character you have developed in Scouting will serve you for a lifetime.

Congratulations to those honored at Middle Smithfield Township’s “Person of the Year” event. The three finalists were Thomas Gansel of Reformed Church of Bushkill’s Community Dinner, Diane Jiorle of Angels Closet and Jan Korb with Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry. Thank you for all you continue to do on behalf of our community.

Monroe County Habitat for Humanity helped a single mother and her three children purchase a beautiful home this week, a wonderful example of helping provide a hand up for those in need. Wishing you many wonderful “firsts” in your new home.

Thank you to the crew of West End Fire Company’s Truck 43 for their courageous acts in the line of duty that led to the rescue of a local citizen who went into cardiac arrest. Had these gentlemen not assisted EMS with forced entry into the home and quick access to the patient, the outcome would have been very different. We are grateful for your action and for all you and our other firefighters do to assist in times of crisis.

PennDOT Advises Customers of REAL ID Preparations

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is reminding customers that there are steps that they can take now to help prepare for when REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and ID cards are available to customers who want them in spring 2019.

A federally accepted form of identification (whether it's the forthcoming Pennsylvania REAL ID driver's license or ID card, a U.S. Passport/Passport Card, a military ID, etc.) must be used as identification to board a commercial flight or visit a secure federal building on and after October 1, 2020. 

If a customer decides that they do want a REAL ID, federal regulations require that to be issued a REAL ID-compliant product, PennDOT must verify the following documents:

  • Proof of Identity (Original or certified copy of a birth certificate with a raised seal or valid U.S. Passport)
  • Proof of Social Security Number (Social security card)
  • Proof of all Legal Name Changes (Marriage license or court order issued by your county's family court)
  • Two Proofs of Current, Physical PA Address (Current, unexpired PA license or ID and a no more than 90-day-old bank statement or utility bill with the same name and address) 

PennDOT strongly advises its customers to begin gathering the required documents as soon as possible, especially if they will need to obtain replacement documents. Some states may take up to six months to process duplicate birth certificates, so it is advisable to begin that process right away.

Beginning in March 2018, these customers will be able to visit PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website (or call PennDOT’s call center or visit an authorized agent for assistance) to request that PennDOT confirm the customer’s required documents are on file. Most of PennDOT’s customers, however, received their initial product BEFORE September 2003, so PennDOT does not have their required REAL ID documents on file. Customers in this group who want a REAL ID will need to bring the required documents to a Driver’s License Center so they can be verified in person. Beginning in September 2018, PennDOT’s 71 Driver’s License Centers will be equipped to verify these documents.

Customers will pay a one-time fee of $30, plus a renewal fee (current renewal fee is $30.50 for a four-year non-commercial driver’s license or a photo ID). Pennsylvania is currently under an enforcement extension from the Department of Homeland Security until October 10, 2018, and will continue to apply for extensions until becoming fully compliant with the REAL ID Act.

More information about REAL ID, including frequently asked questions, can be found at

Pennsylvania Number Three in Collisions with Deer

Ranking third among states experiencing deer collisions, Pennsylvania drivers have a 1-in-63 chance of colliding with a deer or other large animal, according to a 2017 insurance industry report.  Analysts expect a 6.3 percent increase this year over 2016 collisions.

Deer-involved crashes are not considered at-fault.  A surcharge cannot be added to the policyholder’s premium, as a result.  Contact the PA Insurance Department’s Consumer Services Bureau online or at 1-877-881-6388 for related problems.

Insurance industry reports tie increased collisions between vehicles and deer during autumn to outdoor enthusiasts, from hikers to hunters, and the breeding season when yearling bucks seek new territory and adult bucks roam the home range seeking doe.

Flu Season Precautions

Pennsylvania experienced nearly 71,000 confirmed cases of flu and 148 deaths from flu complications during the last flu season, increasing the need for exercising precaution, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

You can protect yourself and your loved ones this flu season by getting vaccinated and taking specific preventive actions: 

  • Wash hands with soap and warm water or an alcohol-based hand-sanitizer.
  • Cover nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and throw away used tissues.  Cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.
  • Keep hands away from your face, eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Disinfect frequently-used surfaces like doorknobs, light switches, TV remotes, and countertops.
  • Avoid personal contact with those experiencing symptoms of the flu.
  • Remain at home until at least 24 hours after your fever subsides without the use of fever-reducing medicine.

Flu symptoms come on quickly and may include a fever, headache, fatigue, dry cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, and body aches.  Populations at particular risk include the very young, older Pennsylvanians, pregnant women, and those with chronic health conditions.

Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Homes with wood-burning fireplaces and stoves, gas-fired fireplaces, appliances, grills, generators, and motor vehicles are susceptible to the release of deadly carbon monoxide as a result of the incomplete burning of combustible materials, according to the Pennsylvania Office of State Fire Commissioner (PAOSFC).

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, often mistaken for the flu, include nausea, headaches, dizziness, disorientation, fatigue, and death, if undetected.  On average, carbon monoxide poisoning claimed the lives of 73 Pennsylvanians annually between 2009 and 2013.

The PAOSFC recommends installing carbon monoxide detectors and changing the batteries in the fall and spring when resetting your clocks and replacing smoke alarm batteries.

Love Your Dog, License Your Dog

Did you know your dog must be licensed by January 1 of each year if you are a Pennsylvania resident?

Dog owners may purchase an annual license for $8.50 or a lifetime license for $51.50.  The annual fee for spayed or neutered dogs is reduced to $6.50 annually or $31.50 for a lifetime.  Older adults and those with disabilities may apply for a discounted dog licensing fee.

Purchase your dog license from your local county treasurer.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement reminds dog owners, a current license is the fastest way to have a lost dog returned home rather than having it become a statistic among the more than 5,000 dogs in shelters across Pennsylvania.

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Senate Box 203040
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3040
Phone: (717) 787-6123

Monroe County Office
DePue Plaza
2989 Route 611, Suite 103
Tannersville, PA 18372
Phone (570) 620-4326
FAX (570) 620-4379
8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

Northampton County Office
2 North Robinson Avenue
Pen Argyl, PA 18072
Phone (610) 863-1200120000
FAX (610) 863-1214
8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

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