Brooks Offers Free Assistance at Property Tax Form Clinics in February

LAWRENCE – Sen. Michele Brooks (R-50) invites all eligible 50th District residents to use free Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program application assistance provided by her district office on Monday, Feb. 13, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the New Castle Senior Center, 2706 Mercer Road, Shenley Square, New Castle and on Tuesday, Feb. 21, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Ellwood City Senior Center, 1405 Woodside Ave., Ellwood City.

Staff at Brooks’ district office at 1905 W. State St. in New Castle is also able to process these applications Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The deadline to apply for the rebates is June 30.

Eligible program participants can receive a rebate of up to $650 based on their rent or property taxes paid in 2022. The program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians who are 65 years or older, widows and widowers 50 years or older and those 18 years or older with disabilities.

“Understanding the process of completing these forms can be confusing, we are here to help. There is no need to pay a private entity for assistance with filling out the property tax rent rebate forms,” Brooks said. “We are here to make accessing the available relief as convenient as possible for residents.”

Income limits for homeowners are set at the following levels, excluding 50% of Social Security benefits:

  • $0 to $8,000, maximum $650 rebate (homeowners and renters).
  • $8,001 to $15,000, maximum $500 rebate (homeowners and renters).
  • $15,001 to $18,000, maximum $300 rebate (homeowners only).
  • $18,001 to $35,000, maximum $250 rebate (homeowners only).

All first-time filers must provide proof of age. First-time filers who are permanently disabled must also provide a copy of their award letter.

There is no cost to fill out the PA-1000 form. To process claims quickly and accurately, residents are asked to bring proof of all annual income (1099s). Examples of income include Social Security, pension, wages, interest and dividends. Property owners must provide photocopies of their 2022 real estate tax bills that have been marked “PAID” by the tax collector, and renters must provide a rent certificate signed by their landlord.

Anyone who has a question about what is needed is encouraged to call Brooks’ office at 1-800-457-2040.

Residents who wish to complete the Property Tax/Rent Rebate claim forms on their own may access them by visiting revenue.pa.gov/PTRR. Copies will also be available at Brooks’ Greenville, Meadville and New Castle district offices during normal business hours.

 

CONTACT: Christi Martone, 814-337-8132

Brooks to Offer Outreach Hours on Fridays in Sharon

MERCER – To provide continued convenient access to state services for district residents, Sen. Michele Brooks (R-50) will be hosting regular outreach hours on Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. beginning Jan. 27 at the Sharon American Legion Post 299, 1395 E. State St., Sharon, PA 16146-3202.

Services available at the Sharon American Legion are the same services available at Brooks’ other offices, including assistance with Property Tax/Rent Rebate applications, unemployment and PennDOT paperwork. Staff can also provide information about state legislation and make referrals to agencies to resolve state-related matters. Residents can find a full list of constituent services at SenatorBrooks.com/constituent-services.

“Thanks to the American Legion for sharing space, my team will be available on Fridays in Sharon for the foreseeable future,” Brooks said. “We look forward to providing the same wonderful services to district residents as we do in our offices.”

Staff is always available to assist with state-related issues at Brooks’ other offices:

  • Greenville office: 100 Hadley Road, Greenville, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Phone: 724-588-8911.
  • Meadville office in the Vernon Township building: 16678 McMath Ave., Meadville, Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Phone: 814-337-8132.
  • New Castle office: 1905 W. State St., New Castle, Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Phone: 724-654-1444.

 

CONTACT: Christi Martone, 814-337-8132

Brooks to Host Office Hours in Sharon on Jan. 13 and 20

MERCER – Sen. Michele Brooks (R-50) will be hosting outreach hours on Friday, Jan. 13, and Friday, Jan. 20, in Sharon to provide more residents of the district convenient access to state services. These office hours will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Sharon American Legion Post 299, 1395 E. State St., Sharon, PA 16146-3202.

Services available during office hours are the same services available at Brooks’ other offices, including assistance with unemployment and PennDOT paperwork. Staff can also provide information about state legislation and make referrals to agencies to resolve state-related matters. Residents can find a full list of constituent services at SenatorBrooks.com/constituent-services.

“I wanted to make my team available again for constituents at a different location,” Brooks said. “Providing convenient access to important state services for residents will always be one of my top priorities.”

Staff is always available to assist with state related issues at Brooks other offices:

  • Greenville office: 100 Hadley Road, Greenville, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Phone: 724-588-8911.
  • Meadville office in the Vernon Township building: 16678 McMath Ave., Meadville, Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Phone: 814-337-8132.
  • New Castle office: 1905 West State St. New Castle, Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Phone: 724-654-1444.

 

CONTACT: Christi Martone, 814-337-8132

Brooks to Host Office Hours in Hermitage on Jan. 10

HARRISBURG – Sen. Michele Brooks (R-50) today announced that she will be hosting outreach hours on Tuesday, Jan. 10, in Hermitage to provide more residents of the district convenient access to state services. These office hours will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Hickory VFW, 5550 E. State St., Hermitage, PA 16148.

Services available during office hours are the same services available at Brooks’ other offices, including assistance with unemployment and PennDOT paperwork. Staff can also provide information about state legislation and make referrals to agencies to resolve state-related matters. Residents can find a full list of constituent services at SenatorBrooks.com/constituent-services.

“No matter where in the district people live, I am committed to helping them with any state-related question or concern they have. Hopefully these outreach hours will make accessing state services more convenient for residents who live farther from my other district offices,” Brooks said.

Staff is always available to assist with state related issues at Brooks other offices:

  • Greenville office: 100 Hadley Road, Greenville, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Phone: 724-588-8911.
  • Meadville office in the Vernon Township building: 16678 McMath Ave., Meadville, Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Phone: 814-337-8132.
  • New Castle office: 1905 West State St. New Castle, Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Phone: 724-654-1444.

 

CONTACT: Christi Martone, 814-337-8132

Brooks Begins Third Term Serving the 50th District

HARRISBURG – 

With this ceremony, Brooks begins her third term in office. The day’s proceedings also included the formal election of Sen. Kim Ward (R-39) as Senate president pro tempore, as well as a vote on rules to govern the body for the next two years.

“It is an absolute honor to serve the people of the 50th District, and I am humbled to have been elected as their state senator for a third time. I look forward to continuing our work that we’ve begun, not only for the coming days ahead, but for our future generation,” Brooks said. “If there is any way I can help, I encourage people to let me know.”

Residents of the 50th District are invited to reach out with their state-related questions and concerns by calling the Greenville office at 724-588-8911 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or the Vernon office in Meadville at 814-337-8132 Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“The new year will bring exciting new developments in the district with the reopening of Tuttle Point Campground and the enhancements of the McKeever Environmental Learning Center. I am also eager to continue my work with tick-related issues impacting the health and well-being of so many families,” Brooks said. “I am also excited to cover the new part of the district in Lawrence County, where my staff and I are available at Sen. Elder Vogel’s old office.”

The Lawrence County office is located at 1905 W. State Street in New Castle and can be reached by calling 724-654-1444 Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Senate will return to voting session on Monday, Jan. 9. Brooks has not yet been assigned to the committees on which she’ll serve, but will announce that information when it is available.

Brooks noted that residents are encouraged to visit her website at SenatorBrooks.com and her Facebook page at Facebook.com/SenatorMicheleBrooks. There, they will find information on the latest legislative developments in Harrisburg, state programs and the latest happenings in the 50th District.

Watch a video of the PA Senate swearing-in ceremony here.

 

CONTACT: Christi Martone, 814-337-8132

Brooks Announces $1.5 Million in Local Law Enforcement Agency Grants

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) approved grants totaling more than $1.5 million to help local law enforcement agencies better protect their communities, according Sen. Michele Brooks (R-50).

The grants were awarded as part of PCCD’s Local Law Enforcement Support Grant Program, which was created by lawmakers in the state budget approved in July.

“Police officers deserve our support and the tools necessary to do the important job of keeping our communities safe, which is why my colleagues in the General Assembly and I prioritized this critical funding as part of the budget,” Brooks said. “The grants can be used in many ways to help our dedicated officers, as well as to preserve their safety.”

Program funding can be used for many different projects or purchases to enhance public safety, such as communications system upgrades, body-worn or in-car cameras, recruitment and retention, training, surveillance cameras, automated license plate readers and more.

Local grant recipients include:

  • Cambridge Springs Borough: $45,585
  • Meadville City: $445,650
  • Titusville City: $132,721
  • New Castle City: $224,839
  • Hermitage City: $520,257
  • Pymatuning Township: $110,542
  • Sharpsville Borough: $24,000

PCCD approved grants to 197 law enforcement agencies totaling $135 million statewide.

 

CONTACT:  Christi Martone, 814-337-8132

Brooks to Open New Castle Office on Dec. 12

LAWRENCE – To ensure a smooth transition for residents, Sen. Michele Brooks (R-50) will continue serving residents of the 50th Senatorial District at the former location of Sen. Elder Vogel’s office on Monday, Dec. 12. As a reminder, the office is located at 1905 W. State St., New Castle. The office can be reached by calling 724-654-1444 Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Because all Senate districts were redistricted to account for population changes of the last decade, Brooks’ district was updated on Dec. 1.

“I greatly enjoyed serving residents of Erie and Warren counties and am sad that they are no longer part of the 50th District. Both counties were special parts of the district,” Brooks said.

“Of course, moving back down into Lawrence County is like coming home as I previously served residents there during my time as a representative. Please stop by as we’re eager to help anyone with all state-related questions or concerns, including PennDOT and Property Tax/Rent Rebates.”

The New Castle office replaces the office in Edinboro, which closed on Dec. 2 as it is no longer part of the 50th District.

To view maps of both the previous and current 50th District, please visit SenatorBrooks.com/district-map.

 

CONTACT:  Diane Helbig, 724-588-8911

Public Hearing regarding the BHC Report

Senate Health and Human Services Committee

Tuesday, November 15 | 10:00 a.m.

East Wing, Hearing Room 8E-B


AGENDA

Hearing regarding the BHC Report

Schedule

10:00             Opening Remarks

                        Senator Michele Brooks, Majority Chair, Health & Human Services

                        Senator Art Haywood, Minority Chair, Health & Human Services                

10:15             Panel 1 – General Assembly appointees on the BHC

                        Senator Maria Collett, Senate Democratic Caucus

                        Representative Wendi Thomas, House Republican Caucus

                        Representative Mike Schlossberg, House Democratic Caucus

                        Questions and Open Discussion

10:45             Panel 2 – Statewide stakeholder feedback on the BHC Report

                        Zach Shamberg, President & CEO, Pennsylvania Health Care Association (PHCA) – Testimony

                        Jeff Bechtel, Senior VP, The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) – Testimony

                        Brinda Penyak, Deputy Executive Director, County Commissioners Association of Pa (CCAP) – Testimony

                        Questions and Open Discussion

11:30             Adjourn

Meeting to consider SB359, SB917, SB1136, SB1195, SR352, HB293, HB1443, HB1630, HB2293, HB2357 and HB2530

Senate Health and Human Services Committee

Tuesday, October 18 | 11:00 a.m.

East Wing, Hearing Room 8E-A


Agenda

Consideration of Legislation

  • SR 352 (Brooks) – JSGC Study on drug & alcohol addiction treatment provider rates
  • SB 359 (Schwank) – Expanding Medicaid coverage for postpartum women
  • SB 1136 (Mensch) – Amends the Vital Statistics Law to require data sharing with governmental agencies
  • SB 1195 (Argall) – Findings related to PA Lottery winners on public assistance rolls
  • SB 1358 (Brooks) – Ensuring patient access to health care practitioners by restricting non-compete clauses in their contracts and requiring patient notification
  • HB 293 (Oberlander) – Medicaid coverage for anti-obesity medications
  • HB 1443 (Hershey) – Allows PA-licensed labs to advertise their tests
  • HB 1630 (Fritz) – Requires the Auditor General to audit pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs) contracted with Medicaid managed care organizations
  • SB 917 (Aument) – Senate companion legislation
  • HB 2293 (Bonner) – Oversight of temporary health care agencies
  • HB 2357 (Pennycuick) – DOH oversight of Kratom products and prohibiting sale to individuals under 21 years of age
  • HB 2530 (Silvis) – COVID-19 Waiver flexibility for permanency by discontinuing DHS’ prudent pay policy for ODP providers

Recess to the Call of the Chair

Brooks Dedicates Local Bridge to State Trooper

CRAWFORD – Sen. Michele Brooks (R-50) had the honor of holding a ceremony to dedicate Bridge Key 13321, located on Geneva Road, over the Conneaut Outlet in Union Township to State Trooper John W. Marin.

“I would like to thank everyone who advocated for the bridge naming through legislation that designated the bridge in Trooper Marin’s honor – especially Greenwood Township Supervisor Kurt Dennis, who worked diligently to make sure Trooper Marin was recognized. I appreciate him reaching out to my office so we could facilitate the bridge dedication, which will make Trooper Marin’s memory everlasting. It has been truly an honor to learn the details of his life and service to others,” Brooks said. “I would also like to thank the Vernon Central Hose Company for flying the American flag.

After graduating from Conneaut Lake High School in 1963, Marin worked at the Meadville Malleable Iron Company before dedicating his career to public safety by joining the Pennsylvania State Police in 1968.

Marin served as a sniper, patrol trooper, public information officer and liaison to the U.S. Marshals Service, but he spent most of his career as a criminal investigator.

Due to the work Marin did as a criminal investigator, he received a Letter of Commendation for the critical role he played in bringing down one of the largest tractor trailer theft rings in the eastern United States. It involved multiple arsons, corrupt state officials, a murder conspiracy, a conspiracy to steal M-16 ammunition from an armory in Indiana and the prosecution of a corrupt sheriff in Georgia by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It culminated in a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) prosecution and conviction of the leader of this wide-ranging organization in Pittsburgh.

William V. Conley, who was serving as the first deputy attorney general at the time of the investigation, said, “Throughout my career as a county, state and federal prosecutor, I was fortunate to work with some of the best detectives and federal agents in the nation. Having worked closely with Trooper JW Marin for three years investigating a multifaceted criminal organization, which culminated in a RICO conviction of the ringleader after a two-week trial, I can state without hesitation that not only was Trooper Marin’s integrity unquestioned, but he was among the best criminal investigators with whom I had the privilege of working.”

But even as Trooper Marin worked to take down criminals, he treated everyone with respect and care. State Trooper Gary Knott never worked with Trooper Marin but did benefit from his kindness after Trooper Marin arrested his mother and stepfather as part of the investigation when he was only nine years old and continually checked on him.

“The service Trooper Marin provided to the Commonwealth, and to Crawford County in particular, is immeasurable, and the compassion he showed to one frightened little boy will never be forgotten,” said Trooper Knott.

Many of Marin’s family members and friends attended the ceremony, with some traveling from places as far as California. Area state troopers also joined.

 

CONTACT:  Diane Helbig, 724-588-8911