JOHNSTOWN, Aug. 25 – Regional detox centers were the topic of state Rep. Bryan Barbin’s House Democratic Policy Committee hearing today. The hearing examined Barbin’s H.B. 2200 that would establish eight regional detox centers throughout Pennsylvania. The bill was drafted in an effort to address the recent heroin/opioid, prescription drug epidemic. “Cambria County experienced 57 opioid-related overdose deaths last year,” said Barbin, D-Cambria/Somerset. “We need to devote resources to treatment and making sure treatment facilities have the resources to help those seeking recovery support. Launching regional detox centers will go a long way in giving statewide access to addicts looking for a clean slate.” “As evidenced, the heroin-opioid-prescription drug epidemic is a statewide problem,” said Rep. Mike Sturla, chairman of the House Democratic Policy Committee. “Legislators are reaching across the aisle and working closely with Governor Tom Wolf to come up with statewide solutions to this tragic epidemic. Representative Barbin’s bill attempts to tackle this problem regionally and statewide.” Testifiers included Jason Snyder, communications director, Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs; Laura Conrad, legislative director, Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs; Jeff Lees, Cambria County coroner; Kelly Callihan, Cambria County district attorney; Tom Chernisky, Cambria County Read more
JOHNSTOWN, Aug. 22 – State Rep. Bryan Barbin, D-Cambria/Somerset, will host a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing to discuss establishing regional detox centers throughout the state. Read more
HARRISBURG, July 20 – Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf today signed state Rep. Bryan Barbin’s legislation to allow victim restitution to be intercepted from a debtor’s state tax refund. House Bill 1167, now known as Act 93 of 2016, was introduced as a part of a package of bills recommended by the Office of Victim Advocate’s 2011 Restitution in Pennsylvania Task Force. “Restitution is a core component of any justice system, and it’s one of the most important things we can work to guarantee,” said Barbin, D-Cambria/Somerset. “While it can be difficult to ensure that perpetrators fulfill their legal obligations to victims, tax-refund interception is a commonsense tool.” Read more
JOHNSTOWN, July 20 – State Rep. Bryan Barbin, D-Cambria/Somerset, announced today the award of a $5.8 million Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority grant and a $5.09 million low-interest loan for ongoing sewer improvements in Johnstown. Barbin said he is happy to announce that this award follows the previous two loans and grants, now totaling $35.7 million over the last year. This Pennvest loan, which is issued at 1 percent interest, and grant together will fund 40,000 feet of replacement sanitary sewers for 90-year-old pipes, as well as manholes and lateral inspection ports, in the Eighth Ward in the City of Johnstown. User rates are not expected to rise, and the project is expected to create 20 jobs. Without the funding, user rates would have risen 4 percent. The project will help divert sewage runoff from reaching Stony Creek. Read more
HARRISBURG, July 13 – State Rep. Bryan Barbin today cast a yes vote on a package to fund the commonwealth’s operations for the 2016-17 fiscal year, helping keep schools open and nonprofit human-service agencies serving Pennsylvanians. “There was no alternative that would fund our schools or nonprofit services,” he said. Barbin, D-Cambria/Somerset, also said that he voted against the fiscal- and school-code bills because they fail to reform charter schools and pensions. “I voted against the school code because it failed to reduce $1.5 billion in spending for the nation’s most expensive cyber- and charter-school programs,” he said. Read more
HARRISBURG, July 1 – The Pennsylvania Senate today approved state Rep. Bryan Barbin’s legislation to allow victim restitution to be intercepted from a debtor’s state tax refund. House Bill 1167, which now heads to Gov. Tom Wolf for his signature, was introduced as a part of a package of bills recommended by the Office of Victim Advocate’s 2011 Restitution in Pennsylvania Task Force. “Restitution is a core component of any justice system, and it’s one of the most important things we can work to guarantee,” said Barbin, D-Cambria/Somerset. “While it can be difficult to ensure that perpetrators fulfill their legal obligations to victims, tax-refund interception is a commonsense tool.” Read more
HARRISBURG, June 29 – State Rep. Bryan Barbin, D-Cambria/Somerset, said today that he supported the 2016-17 Pennsylvania state budget bill before the House on Tuesday only to avoid the consequences of last year’s 10-month late budget. "I leave to next year’s budget, a kinder, wiser and more just compromise," he added. "No faction of this government, be it legislative, executive or judicial, Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, religious or agnostic, has the right to disrupt the orderly administration of government. "No faction has the right to impose interest of $67 million as a carrying cost to ensure the success of its political ideology, for monies properly owed to counties, non-profits and local governments that provide human services." Read more
State Rep. Bryan Barbin, D-Cambria/Somerset, said that he supported the 2016-17 Pennsylvania state budget bill in the House June 28, 2016 only to avoid the consequences of last year’s ten-month late budget. "I leave to next year’s budget, a kinder, wiser and more just compromise," he added. "No factions of this government, be it legislative, executive, or judicial, republican or democrat, conservative or liberal, religious or agnostic, has the right to disrupt the orderly administration of government. "No faction has the right to impose interest of $67,000,000, as a carrying cost to ensure the success of its political ideology, for monies properly owed to counties, non-profits and local governments that provide human services." Read more
Pa. state Rep. Bryan Barbin would like to see more spending cuts, decreased tax burdens for Pennsylvanians and a fix for pension costs in the proposed 2016-17 state budget. However, he does support it because it will be on time and will continue to keep schools open and fund necessary human services in the Commonwealth. Read more
State Rep. Bryan Barbin, D-Cambria/Somerset, right, shakes hands with Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf in the Capitol on June 23, 2016 during a news conference detailing plans to addresd the opioid and heroin epidemic in Pennsylvania. Opioid overdose deaths, 57 in Cambria County in 2015, have reached epidemic proportions and are endangering the addict, his family, and the community in Pennsylvania. Addicts that overdose and are taken to ER’s, given Naloxone, and thereafter refuse treatment walking out of the ER’s in many cases before the police arrive. Involuntary Commitment under current law, does not apply and District Attorneys cannot charge the overdose patient with possession of the illegal substance. We need to do more than hope that addicts voluntarily get treatment. That is why I am sponsoring three bills that will close loopholes that allow the opioid addict to beat the system. The three bills require addicts to receive effective treatment to end addiction by: Establishing Eight Regional Detox Centers , paid for with tobacco settlement funds, in the following areas: Allentown Altoona and Johnstown Erie Greensburg Pittsburgh Philadelphia Reading Scranton Providing for Involuntary Commitment for Emergency Opioid Overdoses Reinstating Criminal Liability for Emergency Overdose Events . Read more
JOHNSTOWN, April 21 – State Rep. Bryan Barbin, D-Cambria/Somerset, announced today that 22 local fire and EMS companies were approved for more than $288,000 in state grants. The grants are made possible by the Fire Company and Volunteer Ambulance Service Grant Program, which is funded by gaming revenue. With the grant program set to expire on June 30, Barbin recently voted in favor of H.B.1877, which would extend the program for another four years. The bill passed the House and awaits action in the Senate. He also supported changes to the program in 2012, which increased grants by an average of $2,000 per fire company, along with the transferring of additional funds from the Property Tax Relief Reserve Fund. “These additional investments are entirely appropriate, because it supports the more than 50,000 workers who save Pennsylvania taxpayers millions of dollars per year,” Barbin said. Fire and EMS companies in the 71st Legislative District that received grants are: Riverside Vol. FD, $11,967; Seventh Ward Civic Assoc., $5,473; Conemaugh Valley Reg. Ambulance, $7,201; East Hills Amb., $7,201; Forest Hills Area Amb. Assoc. Inc., $7,201; West Hills Reg. FD, $7,201; Riverside Vol. FD, $11,967; Conemaugh Vol. FD, $12,194; Dale Boro Fire Co., $12,650; Adams Twp. Vol. FD Dunlo #1, $13,789; South Fork Vol. FD, $12,878; Summerhill Borough FD, $13,106; Franklin Boro Vol. FD, $13,561; Adams Twp Vol. FD #2, $12,878; Read more
JOHNSTOWN, April 20 – State Rep. Bryan Barbin, D-Cambria/Somerset, announced today that Johnstown received a $3 million Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (Pennvest) grant to slip line 11,400 feet of clay pipe, repair manholes and improve laterals. The grant provides funds necessary to do city sewer improvements at the same time as the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority’s $18 million construction project in Hornerstown. Read more
Pa. state Rep. Bryan Barbin explains his amendment to a bill changing the statute of limitations for sex crimes. Barbin’s amendment, which was approved in the House Judiciary Committee, would waive sovereign immunity in cases involving gross negligence on the behalf of a public entity, such as a school. Read more
Forms for Pennsylvania’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program for the 2015 tax year are available at my district office – and my staff is ready to help you file yours for free ! The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians 65 or older, widows and widowers 50 or older, and people with disabilities 18 or older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters. Half of Social Security income is excluded and the maximum standard rebate is $650. Claimants must reapply for rebates every year because they are based on annual income and property taxes or rent paid each year. Spouses, personal representatives or estates may file rebate claims on behalf of deceased claimants who lived at least one day in 2015 and meet all other eligibility criteria. The oft-extended deadline to apply for a rebate on property taxes or rent paid in 2015 is June 30, 2016, and the rebates normally are distributed by the Deparment of Revenue beginning July 1. So, the sooner you file, the sooner you will receive your money. Read more
PACE, PACENET and PACE plus Medicare are Pennsylvania's prescription assistance programs for older adults, offering low-cost prescription medication to qualified residents, age 65 and older. As of this year, the legislature passed a law excluding Social Security Medicare Part B premiums from being counted towards income levels. Read more
Pa. state Rep. Bryan Barbin says it's time for lawmakers to put people before politics and take Pennsylvania down a path where schools are funded, those in need get help and our homeowners don't face higher property taxes every year. Read more
Pennsylvania has a Children's Health Insurance Program that provides free and low-cost health insurance to children. CHIP is not welfare – it covers children of working parents whose employers don't offer coverage and who can't afford private insurance. If you can't afford health insurance for your children, chances are they are eligible for CHIP. Read more
State Rep. Bryan Barbin, D-Cambria/Somerset, announced today the award of $28.5 million in Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority funds for two area stormwater and sewer projects.
Pennvest approved a 1-percent $18.5 million loan to replace 6,900 feet of sewer interceptors in the Hornerstown area of Johnstown. The work is necessary to prevent sewage from running into Stony Creek.
Each year, the Pennsylvania Treasury receives millions of dollars of unclaimed property. It is estimated that roughly one in 10 Pennsylvanians has unclaimed property. Read more
In Pennsylvania, you can choose the company that generates your electricity – also known as your electric supplier. This means that you have the power to switch to a competing supplier who can offer the lowest price, or provide a specific service you want, such as “green” or renewable energy. Read more
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