Senator Fontana spoke at the annual Memorial Service in Beechview at the Memorial Parklet on Saturday.
Medical Marijuana Update
Earlier this year, the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed Act 16 which legalizes medical marijuana for eligible individuals. The State Department of Health has been tasked with coming up with the regulations and it has been estimated that it will take between 18 months and two years before patients can seek medical marijuana. In April, the Department of Health released more information specifically for those that are interested in becoming an approved grower or processor as well as physicians that are looking to be designated prescribers of the drug.
Under the new regulations that have been released, the Department may issue permits initially for no more than 25 growers/processors and no more than five growers/processors may be issued a dispensary permit. The application process requires one to apply for a permit, provide certain information, complete a two-hour training course and provide an initial fee of $10,000.
The Department will issue permits initially for no more than 50 dispensaries with each dispensary having no more than three separate locations. The application process requires one to apply for a permit, provide certain information, complete a two-hour training course and provide an initial fee of $5,000.
For growers/processors and dispensaries, the Department is required to begin issuing temporary regulations by November 17, 2016.
For a physician looking to become a registered participant, they will need to apply to the Department to be registered with the program, demonstrate to the Department training and expertise in treating serious medical conditions, complete a four-hour course and hold a valid Pennsylvania license to practice medicine. The Department will establish and maintain an electronic database that includes a list of practitioners that are registered with the program.
For more detailed information on the newly released medical marijuana regulations, please visit the Pennsylvania Department of Health website, under the “Hot Topics” section at www.health.pa.gov.
Senator Fontana participated in the grand opening ceremony for 5 Generation Bakers at their new location on Chartiers Avenue in McKees Rocks on May 24. Congratulations to Scott Baker and the entire Baker family and thank you for your commitment to McKees Rocks!
Small Business Event
I want to make small business owners aware of an upcoming free event in Pittsburgh. The Pennsylvania Treasury Department is bringing its Small Business Initiative (SBI) to the University of Pittsburgh this Thursday, June 2. The SBI is being held on Pitt’s campus in Alumni Hall, located at 4227 Fifth Avenue from 7:45 a.m. – 2 p.m. Space is limited.
The SBI is a statewide initiative aimed at increasing revenue and job growth of Pennsylvania-based small businesses. It features an array of subject matter experts from the nation’s leading global and regional businesses to help small businesses address the most pressing issues affecting their businesses.
To register for this free event or for more information please call 717-787-2991 or visit www.patreasury.gov.
Did You Know…
Did you know that an approximate one million small businesses in Pennsylvania employ 2.4 million workers?
Seniors Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program
Qualifying seniors in Allegheny County will soon be able to pick up vouchers for locally grown fruits and vegetables. The Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program is a federal program that is administered at the state level by the Pennsylvania Department of Aging in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. This program attempts to provide seniors who are nutritionally at risk a means to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables from approved Pennsylvania farmers.
The program provides recipients with four $5 voucher checks for a total year benefit of $20 to redeem at qualified farmers’ markets. Checks may be spent through November 30th on produce that is grown in Pennsylvania or purchased directly from a Pennsylvania farmer.
Some examples of produce that may be purchased under the vouchers are apples, beans, berries, carrots, grapes, melons, spinach and tomatoes. Customers must spend the entire $5 check and change will not be given.
The distribution of voucher checks will take place on Tuesday, June 14 at senior centers throughout Allegheny County. Checks are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Seniors are asked to bring identification showing proof of age and residency to the distribution site.
To be eligible, individuals must be an Allegheny County resident who will be 60 years old by December 31, 2016. The income limit for a one-person household is $21,978 and is $29,637 for a two-person household. Married couples may each receive one set of checks. If an eligible consumer requires a proxy to receive their checks, the proxy is responsible for signing for and spending the checks for the individual. All individuals must completely fill out a proxy form in order to have a proxy receive checks for them.
For a complete listing of voucher check distribution locations and times, or to download a proxy form, please visit the Allegheny County Department of Human Services website at http://www.alleghenycounty.us/dhs/olderadults.aspx. A listing of distribution sites, farmers’ market locations and proxy forms can also be picked up in my district offices. Anyone with questions on the program can also call the Allegheny County SeniorLine at 412-350-5460.
Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program
The deadline to file for the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue 2015 Property Tax/Rent Rebate program is June 30. If you filed a paper rebate last year, you should have received a 2015 application by now. If you have not received an application, or did not apply last year and wish to apply this year, applications are available at www.revenue.pa.gov or at my district offices, and my staff would be happy to assist you in preparing your application.
The Property Tax/Rent Rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and over; widows and widowers age 50 and over; and people with disabilities age 18 and over. Homeowners with a maximum yearly income of $35,000 and renters with a maximum yearly income of $15,000 are eligible for a rebate. Keep in mind half of Social Security income is excluded. Some applicants who previously received rebates may continue to qualify despite Social Security cost-of-living adjustments that may have pushed their income past eligibility limits.
May is National Pet Month and serves as a good reminder to all dog owners to get a license for your dog. It shows you care for your pet and it happens to be the law. Annual dog licenses in Allegheny County are valid from January 1 – December 31 each year. All dogs three months or older must be licensed. Annual licenses cost $8.50 and are $6.50 if your dog is spayed or neutered. Discounts are also available to seniors and people with disabilities.
For more information on getting a dog license or to download an application, please visit the Allegheny County Treasurer’s office at http://www.alleghenycounty.us/treasurers-office/dog-license.aspx or click here. Dog owners in the City of Pittsburgh can visit http://www.pittsburghpa.gov/animalcontrol/dog_licenses.htm or click here.
Free Dental Clinic
The 4th annual Mission of Mercy in Pennsylvania (MOM-n-PA) dental outreach event is scheduled for this Friday and Saturday at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh. Hundreds of dentists, hygienists, dental students and volunteers will transform the Convention Center into a free dental clinic for underserved residents of Pennsylvania. With more than 100 fully equipped dental units, volunteer dentists are hoping to provide as many as 2,000 patient visits during the two-day free dental clinic. X-ray examinations, dental fillings, extractions, root-canal treatments and cleanings will be provided.
For more information on the free dental clinic please visit www.mom-n-pa.com. Patients are seen on a first-come, first-served basis.
Morningside Community Yard Sale
Morningside’s annual community yard sale will be held on Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26 from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. each day. There are upwards of 100 homes participating, starting on Baker Street at Jancey Street. Everyone is invited to join the fun, food and find a treasure or two. Proceeds from the yard sale benefit Morningside Area Community Council neighborhood events.
Lawrenceville Farmers’ Market
The Lawrenceville Farmers’ Market is returning in 2016 but at a new location. This year’s Farmers’ Market will be held in Arsenal Park beginning this Saturday from 1 – 4 p.m. Arsenal Park is located between 39th and 40th Streets and between Penn and Butler Streets. The market will be located on the 40th Street side of Arsenal Park. For more information on the 2016 Lawrenceville Farmers’ Market, please contact Cassandra Malis, the Market Manager at email@example.com or visit Lawrenceville United online at www.lunited.org. The Farmers’ Market will run each Saturday until October 29.
Pennsylvania has more amusement park rides than any other state in the country with more than 9,300.
Offices of State Senator Wayne D. Fontana
| Brookline District
932 Brookline Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15226
Weekdays – 9 am – 5 pm
543 Main Capitol
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Weekdays – 8:30 am – 5 pm
524 Pine Hollow Road
Weekdays – 10 am – 4 pm
| Beechview Satellite
1660 Broadway Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15216
Tuesdays – 10 am – 4 pm
|Northside (Mobile Office)
1230 Federal Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Wednesdays – 10 am – 4 pm
|Lawrenceville (Mobile Office)
279 Fisk Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15201
Thursdays - 11 am - 4 pm