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Senator Wayne D. Fontana

State Grant Deadlines for Students

PHEAA PHEAA As Vice Chair of the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) board of directors, I want to remind first-time Pennsylvania State Grant applicants who plan to attend a community college during the 2017 academic year that the program’s application deadline is August 1.  The August 1 deadline also applies to students who are first-time applicants enrolled in a two-year program of study at business school, trade or technical schools, hospital schools of nursing and community, junior or four-year colleges or universities who are enrolled in a non-transferable program of study.

Students enrolled in the 2017 summer semester are required to complete the application by August 15.

State Grant applicants must meet all eligibility requirements, including being enrolled at least half-time in an approved course of study.  For more information on the program, including a complete list of eligibility requirements, please click here or visit

To determine eligibility for a State Grant applicants must complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and a State Grant Form (SGF), which collects additional information not requested on the federal application.  Completing the SGF is only required for first-time State Grant applicants.  Applicants can access the FAFSA at either or  First-time applicants can access the SGF directly from the FAFSA on the Web, allowing them to easily complete the entire process from a single website.

Students who have already submitted their FAFSA but not their SGF will need to visit their Account Access through the Secure Sign-In at to complete their SGF. 

studentsPHEAA also cautions students and families to watch out for scams promising a State Grant award or offers of unnecessary assistance in completing the FAFSA or SGF in exchange for a fee.  Families must be vigilant against scammers and others who are trying to take advantage of those who can least afford to lose money.  The State Grant application process is easy to complete and a variety of free resources are available to assist students during the application process, so there is never a need to pay for assistance.

Need-based State Grant awards are determined by a PHEAA-administered awarding formula and no one can be guaranteed to receive an award regardless of any promises made by fraudulent organizations or other third parties.

For information on the higher education financial aid process, schedules for financial aid nights and FAFSA Completion Sessions, reminders of financial aid deadlines, and videos offering tips and information pertaining to planning for higher education, students can join PHEAA on Facebook at or visit

Did You Know…

Did you know that for the 2017-18 school year, the State Grant Program is funded by a $273.391 million appropriation from the Commonwealth and $87 million from PHEAA’s business earnings, and is expected to serve approximately 128,000 Pennsylvania students?

FontanaFest Fun Run/Walk & FontanaFest

FontanaFest Fun Run/Walk FontanaFest Fun Run/Walk Are you interested in helping the cause of ending childhood cancer?  Do you like to run? Are you a casual walker?  Do you enjoy the beauty of our riverfronts?  If the answer is “yes!” to any of those questions then consider participating in the 1st annual FontanaFest One Mile Fun Run/Walk sponsored by Highmark and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC on Saturday, August 19! 

The FontanaFest Fun Run/Walk will take place at Highmark Stadium with runners beginning at 10:30 a.m. and walkers at 10:45 a.m.  The unique course will start inside Highmark Stadium before turning onto the river trail, ultimately ending inside the stadium.  All participants will get a t-shirt and awards will be presented following the race. 

Registration is $10 for individuals and can be done by clicking here or visiting  Families with three or more people can register for a flat fee of $25.  Proceeds from the race will be donated to organizations in support of fighting childhood cancer and supporting families – Allegheny Health Network Cancer Institute, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer.

Following the race, awards will be presented on the field at Highmark Stadium while the 13th annual FontanaFest kicks off at 11 a.m. 

FontanaFest, a free community event, is perfect for families and children, promoting healthy and active lifestyles by providing many fun activities, games and crafts.  Children will have the chance to play on several inflatables, an obstacle course, and a climbing wall, and visit with a temporary tattoo artist, face painter and balloon maker.  All attendees also are provided with the opportunity to engage with more than a dozen organizations from around the region and receive important information on available services and programs, nutrition, health care and much more. 

The following organizations are participating in FontanaFest this year: The Home Depot; Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh; Homeless Children’s Education Fund; Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater; WQED-TV; Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy; Calgon Carbon; Gateway Health Plan; Holy Family Institute; Crisis Center North; Pittsburgh Organ Donor Awareness; and the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children.

A Roving Puppet Stage from Pittsburgh Puppet Works will be present from noon – 2 p.m. and guests can also mingle with the Pirate Parrot and Iceburgh.

Parking will be free in the stadium’s West Lot, compliments of Forest City. 

Whether you’re an avid runner or just like the idea of taking a casual stroll along our riverfronts, consider participating in the 1st annual FontanaFest Fun Run/Walk while supporting the worthwhile cause of ending childhood cancer and providing support for families and then stay for the 13th annual FontanaFest!

Flu/Pneumonia Shot & Senior Clinic

shotI will be hosting my annual Flu/Pneumonia Shot & Senior Clinic on Thursday, September 28 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. in Quinn Hall at the Church of the Resurrection in Brookline.  American HealthCare Group will be providing free vaccinations to any senior with the Medicare Part B health insurance card.  Make sure to bring your card with you.

I am also pleased that several organizations from around the region will be present to provide seniors with important information on available services and resources.  Organizations scheduled to participate thus far include: Allegheny County Department of Human Services, Area Agency on Aging; Allegheny County Bar Association; Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh; Duquesne University Mylan School of Pharmacy; and the Office of the Consumer Advocate; with more to come.  I will continue to update you with additional information on this year’s Flu/Pneumonia Shot & Senior Clinic throughout this summer.

Table Games Revenue Rises in 2016-17

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board announced recently that revenue from table games increased 3.25 percent during the 2016-17 state fiscal year compared to the previous fiscal year.  Table games revenue was up nine of the 12 months during the fiscal year with total revenue in 2016-17 of more than $866 million compared to just over $839 million during the 2015-16 fiscal year.  Tax revenue produced from table games was up more than 15.74 percent in 2016-17, generating $138 million compared to $119 million last year.

In June, nearly $70 million in table games revenue was generated, a 2.16 percent increase from June 2016.

More than $3.2 billion of gross revenue was generated during the recently completed 2016-17 state fiscal year from the combined play of slot machines and table games, the second highest total to date.  This figure represents less than a 1 percent decrease from the previous fiscal year which had set a record.  Estimated combined tax revenue from slot machines and table games for the 2016-17 fiscal year was $1,375,191,506.

The state’s gaming industry employs over 17,000 people and generates approximately $1.4 billion annually in tax revenue from both slot machines and table games.  For more information on gaming in Pennsylvania and to read reports from the Gaming Control Board, please visit them online at

PUC Seeks Public Input on PA American Water’s Rate Increase Request

Smart Hearing The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) is hosting a “Smart Hearing” this Thursday, July 27 to gather public comment on a rate increase request filed by Pennsylvania-American Water Company.

The Smart Hearing, conducted by the PUC’s Office of Administrative Law Judge, will be held at the PUC’s headquarters in Harrisburg on:

Thursday, July 27, 1 p.m.
Commonwealth Keystone Building
Hearing Room 1
400 North Street
Harrisburg, PA 17120

PUC Smart Hearings are broadcast live on the PUC website at and enables residents and concerned parties throughout Pennsylvania to see and hear the testimony being offered without the need to attend the hearings in person.  As I wrote in last week’s edition, witnesses who contacted the PUC by last Friday will be able to offer their comments by telephone to be considered as part of the Commission’s review.  In-person testimony at the Harrisburg hearing site also will be included, for those who prefer to comment in that manner.  Individuals will have the option of not having their testimony live-streamed, if they prefer.  Attendance in person requires no prior action, simply show up and sign in.

For more information, please visit

Capitol Dome TourCapitol Dome

If you have never been to Pennsylvania’s Capitol Building in Harrisburg, you can now view its history and beauty without leaving your home.  You can click here or visit for a video tour of the Capitol’s Dome as presented by the Capitol Preservation Committee.

National Night Out

Next Tuesday, August 1 is National Night Out across the country.  This event, which began in 1984 by the National Association of Town Watch, is held on a selected night each year to raise crime and drug prevention awareness and generate support for local anti-crime programs while strengthening partnerships between communities and local law enforcement.

Last year more than 50 events were held in neighborhoods throughout the City of Pittsburgh.  To find an event in your neighborhood, please visit the city's Department of Public Safety website.

Fontana Fact

KennywoodKennywood Park, located in West Mifflin, first opened as a "trolley park" attraction at the end of the Mellon family's Monongahela Street Railway on May 30, 1899. It was purchased in 1906 by F. W. Henninger and Andrew McSwigan who later formed the Kennywood Entertainment Company, which owned and operated the park as a closely held family business for over 100 years.  Today, Kennywood still contains two major buildings dating from 1898 -- a carousel pavilion and a restaurant.

Offices of State Senator Wayne D. Fontana

Brookline District
932 Brookline Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15226
Phone: 412-344-2551
Weekdays – 9 am – 5 pm
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
By Appointment
Northside (Mobile Office)
Carnegie Library | Allegheny Branch
1230 Federal Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
By Appointment
National Night Out Capitol Dome Tour