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Senator Wayne D. Fontana

REAL ID Update

Do you need a real ID REAL ID FAQs Document Check PennDOT customers who received their first learner’s permit, driver’s license or photo ID after September 2003 have been able to apply online for REAL ID pre-verification on PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website,, since March 2018. Customers who received their initial product BEFORE September 2003 may now also pre-verify by bringing their required REAL ID documents for verification to any PennDOT Driver License Center. PennDOT staff will image the documents to the customer’s record, and when REAL IDs are available in March 2019, the customer can opt into the REAL ID program online. The customer’s REAL ID product will be sent through the mail, eliminating any need for them to visit a driver license center.

Online messengers for PennDOT may continue to guide customers who received their first product after September 2003 through the online pre-verification process. Customers who wish to pre-verify for REAL ID and received their first product before September 2003 must visit a PennDOT Driver License Center with the required documentation to pre-verify in person.

For additional information about REAL ID in Pennsylvania including what documentation is needed, please visit As a reminder, beginning October 1, 2020, Pennsylvanians will need a REAL ID-compliant driver's license, photo ID card, or another form of federally-acceptable identification (such as a valid passport or military ID) to board a domestic commercial flight or enter a federal building or military installation that requires ID.

Getting a REAL ID is optional for Pennsylvania residents, and they will be available in March 2019 to Pennsylvanians who want them.

Office Move

Brookline OfficeI want to remind everyone that my Brookline office has moved to a new location.  My Brookline office is now located at 1039 Brookline Boulevard, Suite 2. The hours will remain 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday and the phone number remains 412-344-2551.

My Kennedy Township office remains at Kenmawr Plaza, located at 524 Pine Hollow Road and is open Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.  The Kennedy office can be reached at 412-331-1208.

My Beechview office will open from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month.

Grant Opportunity for Museums, County Historical Societies

Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission (PHMC) The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission (PHMC) is accepting applications from qualified museums and official county historical societies for nearly $2 million in Cultural and Historical Support Grants.

This is the sixth year that the PHMC has worked with the state legislature to provide funding for museums through the grant program.  A total of $2 million was included in the 2018-2019 state budget for PHMC to use for the program.  Applicants must meet organizational eligibility requirements. Awards are based on a calculation that uses the operating budget from the most recently completed fiscal year. 

The goals of the Cultural and Historic Support Program are:

  • Strengthen the Pennsylvania museum community;
  • Provide general operating support to museum and official county historical societies that are not supported by other state agency funding programs;
  • Provide financial support as unrestricted operating support to address primary needs of museums;
  • Allow applicants to determine and describe how they will use funds;
  • Keep application process fair and simple;
  • Determine award amounts using an equation based on a percentage of the previous year’s operating budget; and
  • Achieve geographical balance in the distribution of grants.

The Cultural and Historical Support grant program is restricted to eligible organizations:
Museums located in Pennsylvania with annual operating budgets exceeding $100,000 and at least one full-time professional staff person (some museums are not eligible if they are eligible for grant support from other state agencies). The maximum award for a museum is $65,000; and
Official county historical societies. The awards for Official County Historical Societies range from $2,500 to $4,000.

The application period is now open. All applications must be completed by Friday, Jan. 25. Please note that all PHMC grant applications are now submitted on the Commonwealth’s Single Application for Assistance system at Eligibility information and grant guidelines can be found on the PHMC website.

To confirm eligibility or learn about the application process, please contact Rusty Baker, Executive Director of PA Museums, at (717) 909-4951 or PA Museums is assisting the PHMC with the administration of the grant program.

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission is the official history agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.


LIHEAP LIHEAP The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) is accepting applications for this season’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).  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 (  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 $18,210
2 $24,690
3 $31,170
4 $37,650
5 $44,130
6 $50,610
7 $57,090
8 $63,570
9 $70,050
10 $76,530

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.

Drug and Alcohol Referral Tool

Fight OpioidI want to make everyone aware of a new online tool to help individuals identify drug and alcohol treatment options and supportive services for themselves or a loved one.

A team comprised of staff from the Departments of Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs and Human Services worked together to create the Drug and Alcohol Referral Tool (DART), a tool that centralizes ways to connect a person to drug and alcohol treatment and related support resources. This tool can be found at

The DART tool is a free, anonymous resource. Results are generated based off a person’s answers to survey questions and individuals may skip a question at any point. The tool is not a diagnostic assessment and does not gauge eligibility for any programs, rather the goal is to assist people who are looking for services but are not sure where to begin.

After completing the questionnaire, an individual will be able to email, download, and/or print their results. The tool does not ask any identifying information and does not save answers after the tool is closed.

DART can be a valuable resource for anyone looking for help. If you or anyone you know are seeking treatment, please consider using this online tool.

Did You Know…

Did you know a study in 2013 showed an estimated 22.7 million individuals age 12 and older needed treatment for a drug or alcohol use problem, but only 2.5 million (11 percent) received treatment?

Funding for Environmental Education Projects

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) invites schools, nonprofit organizations, and businesses to apply for 2019 Environmental Education Grants to support a wide range of enviro-education projects.

General grants of up to $25,000 will be awarded to larger, one-year, regional or statewide initiatives. Mini-grants of up to $3,000 will be awarded to one-year projects of any size.

Examples of eligible enviro-education projects include educating participants on climate change adaptation or the impact of emissions on public health, offering training on the DEP permitting process, connecting city residents to nature, and instruction on reducing abandoned mine drainage or non-point-source water pollution from fertilizers.

Applications must be submitted online through eGrants (first-time users need to register). The application deadline is January 11, 2019, at 11:59 PM.

Grant application guidelines and instructions are available at

Christmas Tree Recycling Programs

Allegheny County is again offering its annual Christmas Tree Recycling Program this holiday season.  County residents may drop off Christmas trees through Jan. 14 at all nine regional parks from 8 a.m. until dusk. All lights, decorations, tinsel and stands must be removed from trees prior to drop-off. Trees will be mulched and used in the county parks.  Drop-off locations are:Christmas Tree REcycling

Boyce Park – Soccer fields parking lot
Deer Lakes Park – Veterans Shelter parking lot
Harrison Hills Park – Parking lot at intersection of Chipmunk Dr. & Cottontail Dr.
Hartwood Acres Park – Mansion parking lot
North Park – Swimming pool parking lot
Round Hill Park – Alfalfa Shelter parking lot
Settlers Cabin Park – Wave pool parking lot
South Park – Wave pool parking lot
White Oak Park – Chestnut Shelter parking lot

The list of drop-off locations is also available online at

Additionally, the City of Pittsburgh is expanding its Christmas Tree Recycling program this year by providing ten drop-off locations for trees.  The program gives city residents the ability to have their trees recycled rather than sent to a landfill, which happens when the trees are left at the curb.  Only two drop-off sites were available last year. This year ten sites will be available for tree drop-off for one month, through January 26. (Three of the sites are DPW facilities that take yard waste year-round.)
All ornaments, netting, tinsel and tree stands must be removed from the tree before it is dropped off. The Forestry and Environmental Services divisions within the Department of Public Works are collaborating to chip the trees into pine mulch, which will be made available to the public for free this spring.   The tree recycling program also dovetails with the city’s Climate Action Plan, which has a zero-waste goal.

Residents may call 311 or click here for more information. The website features a map to help residents find their most convenient drop-off location.

Three DPW sites are available year-round for yard debris (including Christmas tree) drop-off, from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday through Saturday. They are:

Baum Grove Parklet   
400 Roup Avenue (off Fairmont Avenue)  
Pittsburgh, PA 15232 

Brighton Heights  
Jack Stack Parking Lot
600 Brighton Woods Road  
Pittsburgh, PA 15212

Squirrel Hill South
Prospect Drive at Hobart Street in Schenley Park
Pittsburgh, PA 15217

Brookline Recreation Center 
1400 Oakridge Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15226

Park Parking Lot at Surban Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15204

Highland Park
Parking lot off Lake Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15206


Sue Murray Swimming Pool Parking Lot, Corner of Cedar and Stockton Avenues (enter off Stockton)
Pittsburgh, PA 15212 

Fontana Fact

People of Denmark practice throwing dishes at the doorsteps of other people as part of their New Year celebration. This is believed to bring many new friends to the person on whose doorsteps the dishes are thrown.

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
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