Mar. 14, 2024

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The Barb Wire
#Listrak\DateStampLong# The latest news from the State Capitol
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Honoring Extraordinary Citizens in Our Community

Carlisle is proud of its colonial origin and of its traditions, including its first national celebrity, who is Mary Ludwig Hays, better known as Molly Pitcher. Molly was a heroine of the Battle of Monmouth and decorated by George Washington for her compassion in bringing drinking water to the thirsty artillerymen, one of whom was her husband, William Hays, and for actually joining as a teammate in firing the canon when one of the soldiers fell wounded. The pitcher is symbol of the public service rendered by Molly Pitcher and of the community service rendered by the person to whom it is presented to each year by Carlisle Area Chamber of Commerce as "Citizen of the Year."

Presented every year since 1969, the Molly Pitcher Award honors local citizens who have made extraordinary and outstanding volunteer contributions to their church, their country, their community and their profession.

The recipients of the Molly Pitcher Award are honored for many years of continued service to others in the spirit of the Exchange Club Covenant of Service, the original creator of this award. Typically, the service includes devotion to church and family, patriotic service to government, public spirited support of community activities and high accomplishments in one's career. The award itself is a silver pitcher of the design created by Paul Revere.

The Exchange Club of Carlisle, in conjunction with the Carlisle Chamber, this year chose siblings Ray ‘Buz’ Wolfe and Sondra Wolfe Elias to be honored as the recipient of the prestigious Molly Pitcher Award as Citizen of the Year for 2023. Last Friday, I was honored to present them both with an official Pennsylvania House citation to commemorate the occasion. Thank you for your service and dedication to our community, Wolfe family!

Award Coming to the 199th!
Congratulations! The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) has awarded a 2024 Boating Facility Grant for design and construction of canoe/kayak access at Yellow Breeches Creek in the Susquehanna River Watershed.

Through this program, the PFBC provides grants for the planning, acquisition, development, expansion, and rehabilitation of public boating facilities located on the waters of the Commonwealth. The goal of the program is to ensure Pennsylvania's recreational boaters have convenient and high-quality boating facilities. Funds for this program are derived primarily from boat registration fees and state motorboat fuels taxes. In certain instances, federal aid is also used, if appropriate.

Urban Churn
Last Wednesday, Lexi Peterson from my staff helped Urban Churn celebrate a new location in Carlisle with some delicious ice cream. Welcome to the 199, Urban Churn!

PHFA Homeowners Assistance Fund Re-Opens for Applications
The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) announced that the Pennsylvania Homeowner Assistance Fund (PAHAF) is reopening on Monday, March 18, 2024, to homeowners struggling as a result of pandemic-related financial hardships. PAHAF provides financial assistance to eligible homeowners for mortgage and housing-related expenses to address delinquency and avoid default, foreclosure or displacement from their homes.

Pennsylvania was awarded $350 million for the administration of the program and the disbursement of funds as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. As of March 7th, 2024, more than 15,500 Pennsylvania households have received over $205 million, with approximately $92 million remaining. There is approximately $42 million encumbered to complete the processing of the pending applications that were transitioned. PHFA estimates that $48-$50 million in remaining PAHAF funds will be available to eligible new applicants for pandemic-related mortgage reinstatement, forward mortgage assistance, tax assistance and delinquent utility bills.

Funds will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis to eligible applicants until the remaining monies are exhausted with priority given to homeowners facing an imminent adverse action (IAA) such as a notice of foreclosure, sheriff sale or utility shut-off notice. Applicants should understand that submitting an application does not guarantee funding. PHFA has encumbered what is believed to be adequate funds to process the remaining transitioned applications.

Interested Pennsylvania homeowners should visit for more information, eligibility requirements, and instructions on how to submit their application. If homeowners have questions, they can contact the dedicated PAHAF Call Center at 888-987-2423, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, please be in touch or visit

Next meeting of the State-wide FPR work group is scheduled for Thursday, April 11, 2024.

PA ABLE Helps Save for Disability-Related Expenses
The PA ABLE Savings Program, an initiative created to help people with disabilities and their families save for future expenses, continues to grow in the Commonwealth. The Pennsylvania Treasury, which oversees the program, recently announced it has surpassed $100 million in assets.

ABLE stands for Achieving a Better Life Experience. It offers seven different tax-free savings and investment options, including a checking account. PA ABLE account owners can contribute up to $18,000 per year. Contributions can be deducted from PA state income taxes, and PA ABLE account owners pay no federal or state income tax on account growth when used for qualified withdrawals.

The money can be used for everything from groceries, rent, health care and transportation to longer-term expenses including education and assistive technology.

Learn more at

PA Tourism Office Releases 2024 Travel Guide
Suffering with the winter doldrums? Check out the 2024 Pennsylvania Travel Guide and get started on your spring and summer travel plans!

The free guide highlights must-see attractions, kid-focused fun, exciting events and many more great vacation ideas.

Sign up to receive a free hard copy of the guide or click here to view it online.   Happy travels!
Register for my April 11 Concealed Carry Seminar
Sign up online at or call 717-249-1990 to register.

Grant Opportunities to Consider
The Carlisle Chamber recently released a comprehensive list of available grants and programs that may be of interest to residents and business owners in the 199th District!

• The HerRise MicroGrant offers financial aid to U.S.-registered businesses that are majority-owned by women of color, with a focus on businesses with innovative community solutions that are still struggling to obtain funding. Applications are reviewed monthly.
• The Skip AI Innovation Grant will award $10,000 to fund the development of artificial intelligence-based innovation in business. The grant is open to all U.S.-based small business owners and entrepreneurs in all stages and sizes of business. Applications are due March 15.
• Small business aggregator Skip offers monthly grants for U.S.-based small business owners and entrepreneurs, typically $1,000. The deadline for the Skip Grant is March 25.
• The Skip $10,000 Perseverance Grant celebrates the grit and determination of small business owners. Entrepreneurs and small business owners at all stages of business are encouraged to apply. The deadline to apply is March 31.
• The Comcast Innovation Fund provides grants to support technology and research “for the betterment of the Internet.” Areas of interest for the 2024 grant year include open-source development, general and targeted research, and work that enhances the growth of the Internet. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until all funds for 2024 are disbursed.
• The FedEx Small Business Grant is set to award over $230,000 in grants and services to 10 U.S.-based small businesses. One grand prize winner will receive $50,000 and nine additional recipients will be granted $20,000 — along with various perks, including print credit, consultation services and more. The deadline to apply is April 1.
• The Walmart Spark Good Local Grants offers grants ranging from $250 to $5,000 to address the unique needs of local communities. Grant applications are accepted quarterly, with Q1 submissions accepted through April 15.
• The Accion Opportunity Fund grants small business loans ranging from $5,000-$250,000, along with educational resources, coaching and support networks in both English and Spanish. This program offers mentorship programs, microloans and a hubzone program for small business owners’ financial needs.
• The Awesome Foundation awards grants of $1,000 to individuals and groups looking to fund various projects. Though funding is not limited to businesses, startups and small businesses have been among the recipients of the monthly grants. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
• The Papaya Grant offers $10,000 to support the long-term success of a female-owned small business. U.S.-based female entrepreneurs focusing on their entrepreneurial challenges, brand missions and grant utilization intentions can apply by March 31.
• The Wish Local Empowerment Program assists Black-owned small businesses by dedicating a $2 million fund to support approximately 4,000 Wish Local partners. Recipients can receive financial assistance ranging from $500 to $2,000, with flexibility in fund allocation. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
• The 2024 Black Ambition Prize competition aims to level the playing field for Black and Hispanic innovators by providing access to capital, coaching and a supportive community. Awards range from $15,000 to $1 million, with up to 250 semi-finalists and one grand prize winner receiving $1 million. Eligible organizations can apply through May 6.
• The National Black Business Pitch competition aims to connect Black-owned businesses with corporations looking to diversify their supply chain by opening doors and fostering long-term relationships that can lead to sustainable contracts. Thirty finalists will pitch to corporate procurement and supplier diversity professionals, with three companies receiving cash prizes of up to $10,000 to promote business growth and opportunity. Applications are due by June 3.
• To support innovation within the blockchain industry, Casper Accelerate Grant Program is providing $25 million in grants for entrepreneurs who want to build apps to support infrastructure, end-user applications, and research innovation. Applications are on a rolling basis.
• The Small Business Digital Readiness Program helps small business owners succeed in a digital world with a free online curriculum and includes expert coaching, peer networking and other resources. Registrants take two courses to be eligible for a $10,000 grant. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
• The Binc Foundation Emergency Financial Assistance helps bookstore owners, booksellers, and comic store employees and owners facing unforeseen financial needs. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
• The Kitty Fund will award a total of $25,000 to 25 small business owners who identify as mothers in 2024. Eligible businesses must be based in the U.S., have annual revenues under $5 million, and employ between 2 to 50 people.
• America’s Seed Fund, sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF), offers up to $2 million for U.S.-based startups and small businesses that are developing innovative technology. Project pitches are accepted on a rolling basis, and official responses from NSF typically take one month.
• The Freed Fellowship Grant offers a monthly $500 prize, business feedback, and a two-month free membership in the Freed Studio – a community of ambitious business owners – to qualifying business owners in the US. Applicants are also eligible for an end-of-year grant of $2,500. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
• Streetview Grants: The goal of this program is to create and maintain an attractive and marketable commercial district by assisting building owners in maintaining their building exteriors within the business, historic, and downtown areas.
• The Incfile Entrepreneur Grant offers two $2,500 grant opportunities: the Young Entrepreneur Scholarship Grant for students with an interest in starting a business and the Fresh Start Business Grant for adult entrepreneurs planning to start a new business or grow an existing one. Applicants for both grants must complete an online application, create a two-minute video, and a sample business plan.
•, an online directory that provides a comprehensive database of grants for women globally, along with valuable advice on securing grants and information on relevant events and workshops for female business owners.
• The SheaMoisture Fund pledges to provide $1 million in direct funding annually to eligible Black-owned businesses in the U.S. through various business development programs and grants. With several programs available, applications are available on a rolling basis.

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District Office: 437 E North Street | Carlisle, PA 17013 | Phone: 717-249-1990
427 Irvis Office Building | House Box 202199 Harrisburg, PA 17120-2199 | 717-772-2280