Subscribe to this e-update  
Senator Wayne D. Fontana
66th annual KDKA Free Care Fund Benefit Show
Senator Fontana appeared on the 66th annual KDKA Free Care Fund Benefit Show for UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh on Thursday to present a check for $5,000 to the Free Care Fund.  Senator Fontana raffles off a chance to win a golf outing at Laurel Valley Golf Course each year with the proceeds benefitting local organizations that support children and their families during cancer treatment and recovery.  This year, a total of $20,000 was raised from the raffle and distributed to Connecting Champions, and Children’s Hospital’s Cancer Survivorship Clinic, Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology Program, and
Free Care Fund.

Deadline for Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program – DEC. 31!

Property TaxAs the year winds down, I again want to remind everyone the deadline to submit an application to the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue for the 2018 Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program is quickly approaching!  Applications will be accepted through Dec. 31, 2019 and applications are available at my district offices, online at www.revenue.pa.gov or by calling 1-888-222-9190.  As always, my staff would be happy to assist you in preparing your application.

The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians 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.  Please keep in mind, half of Social Security income is excluded.

Did You Know…

Did you know that since the program’s 1971 inception, older and disabled adults have received more than $6.9 billion in property tax and rent relief?

Offices Closed

All Senate offices will be closed on Wednesday, Dec. 25 in observance of the Christmas holiday. My offices will re-open on Thursday, Dec. 26 as scheduled.  I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!

New Senior Citizen ConnectCards

Senior Citizen ConnectCardsThe Port Authority of Allegheny County continues to issue new Senior Citizen ConnectCards and my office can assist. The new cards will replace the current blue or yellow PA Senior Transit ID cards and will have a photo of the cardholder on the card. These new cards will enable the user to ride Port Authority and other public transit vehicles for free across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Please note that effective January 1, 2020, seniors will no longer be able to use a Medicare ID card to ride free on Port Authority buses, inclines or light rail vehicles.  The Port Authority will continue to accept blue or yellow PA Senior Transit ID cards indefinitely but customers are encouraged to get the new ConnectCard.

Both my Brookline and Kennedy Township offices are equipped to help seniors get their new cards. Simply visit either office and bring with you ONE valid document that shows proof-of-age.  This includes a driver’s license or state-issued photo ID card, birth certificate, PACE ID card, or passport to name a few. My staff will enter your information into Port Authority’s system and upload your photo and a copy of your proof-of-age document. 

Upon receiving the information from my office, the Port Authority will produce a new Senior Citizen ConnectCard and then mail the card to my office where you can return to pick up the card. New cards should take a couple weeks to arrive at my office from the time Port Authority receives the information. When you return to get your new card, please bring with you your current senior bus pass so we can exchange it for your new ConnectCard.

Anyone age 65 or over is eligible to receive this new card and ride Port Authority and other public transit vehicles for free.

LIHEAP

LIHEAPThe Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) began accepting applications for this season’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) on Nov 1.  The program helps low income families pay their heating bills.  You can apply and check the status of your application on the state’s COMPASS website (www.compass.state.pa.us).  You can also pick up an application in my district offices or download one yourself from the DHS LIHEAP website. Completed paper applications should be returned to the Allegheny County Assistance Office, located at 5947 Penn Avenue, 4th Floor, Pittsburgh, PA, 15206.

Funding for LIHEAP is provided by the federal government and eligibility is based on the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines.  The income limits for this season are as follows:

Household Size Income Limit
1 $18,735
2 $25,365
3 $31,995
4 $38,625
5 $45,255
6 $51,885
7 $58,515
8 $65,145
9 $71,775
10 $78,405

After your application is received you will receive a written notice explaining your eligibility and the amount of assistance you will receive.  Payments are generally sent directly to a utility company or fuel provider and will be credited to your heating account.  Crisis grants may also be available if you have an emergency situation and are in jeopardy of losing your heat.  For more information, please contact the LIHEAP hotline at 1-866-857-7095.

Gaming Revenue Increases in November

CasinoThe Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board announced recently that total revenue from gaming, including table games, slot machines, fantasy contests and sports betting in Pennsylvania during the month of November increased more than 13 percent compared with November 2018. Total gaming revenue in November came in at more than $292 million compared with $258.1 million in November 2018.  Total tax revenue generated from all forms of gaming and fantasy contests was more than $119.2 million in November.

For a complete breakdown of revenues generated from all forms of gaming in Pennsylvania, please visit www.gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov. The state’s gaming industry employs over 16,000 people and generates approximately $1.4 billion annually in tax revenue from both slot machines and table games. 

Fontana Fact

During World War I, an unofficial Christmas truce took place between British and German troops. The truce began on Christmas Eve 1914, and decorations were put up, carols were sung, and gifts were exchanged. The truce also allowed for recently fallen soldiers to be bought back behind their lines by burial parties.

Offices of State Senator Wayne D. Fontana

Brookline District
1039 Brookline Boulevard
Suite 2
Pittsburgh, PA 15226
Phone: 412-344-2551
Weekdays – 9 am – 5 pm
Harrisburg
543 Main Capitol | Box 203042
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Phone: 717-787-5300
Fax: 717-772-5484
Weekdays – 8:30 am – 5 pm
Kennedy Township
Kenmawr Plaza
524 Pine Hollow Road
Kennedy Twp, PA 15136
Phone: 412-331-1208
Weekdays – 10 am – 4 pm
Beechview Satellite
1660 Broadway Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15216
10 a.m. – 3 p.m. – First Tuesday of each month or by appointment