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
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
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
HARRISBURG, Feb. 19 – State Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, D-Erie, has reintroduced legislation that aims to cut down on the theft of prescription medication from older adults. Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 6 – State Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, D-Erie, has introduced H.B. 299 , which is designed to combat elder abuse committed by people acting with power of attorney. "Pennsylvania has one of the fastest-growing populations of senior citizens 65 and older in the country," Bizzarro said. "Many of these two million Pennsylvanians suffer from dementia or other mentally debilitating diseases, so they grant power of attorney to others to help them with financial responsibilities. Unfortunately, many of these agents take advantage of those they’ve been entrusted to assist and misuse their funds. It is time to put an end to this egregious practice and make sure we protect our older Pennsylvanians and those who need extra support." The legislation, which has garnered bipartisan support, would revise the state’s Power of Attorney Acknowledgement to indicate that failure to comply with the document’s directives could result in criminal charges against the person with power of attorney. "Many times, people acting with power of attorney will commit theft, but claim they did not know their actions could be considered criminal," Bizzarro said. "My legislation would negate this shameful excuse." In addition, in cases of suspected abuse, H.B. 299 would allow local aging agencies to obtain evidence related to financial transactions made on behalf of a mentally incapacitated person. Bizzarro noted he introduced Read more
ERIE, Feb. 2 – State Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, D-Erie, today announced that several fire and ambulance companies in the 3rd Legislative District will receive more than $111,000 in state grants. "Our first responders play a crucial role in keeping our communities safe," Bizzarro said. "I am pleased to see the state supporting their efforts in a way that will allow them to continue their important work." Funding for the grants comes from the Fire Company and Volunteer Ambulance Service Grant Program, funded by gaming revenue. Money from the program can be used to repair, build or renovate facilities, purchase new equipment, train and certify staff, or repay debt related to equipment purchases or facility building and maintenance. Grant recipients in the 3rd Legislative District include: Central Erie County Paramedic Association, Inc., $7,444.80; Edinboro Volunteer Fire Department, $14,284.70; Edinboro Volunteer Fire Department EMS, $7,444.80; Kearsarge Fire Department, $14,284.70; Lake Shore Fire Department, $12,622.62; Lake Shore Fire Department EMS, $7,444.80; McKean Hose Company, $11,791.59; McKean Hose Company EMS, $7,444.80; West Lake Fire Department, $14,007.69; and West Ridge Fire Department, $14,284.70. The grant program was expanded in 2013 to increase its annual funding from $25 million to $30 million and extend eligibility to 35 municipal departments across the state. In addition, the average amount of grants Read more
EDINBORO, Jan. 26 – State Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, D-Erie, is expanding his Veterans Assistance Program to include monthly visits at his new Edinboro office. Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 22 – State Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, D-Erie, today announced that he has been appointed to serve on several key House standing committees for the 2015-16 legislative session. Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 14 – State Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, D-Erie, today began his second term in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, where he will continue to represent the 3rd Legislative District in the 2015-16 legislative session. Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 13 – State Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, D-Erie, announced several Erie County watershed protection projects will receive a total of more than $1.3 million in state funding. The $1,328,573 in grants comes from the state Department of Environmental Protection’s Growing Greener Program, which is awarding more than $17.3 million in grants statewide."Clean water is fundamental to the health of our environment and our communities," Bizzarro said. "I am pleased to see that so many deserving projects are receiving funding to help reduce water pollution and improve quality of life in our area."Environment Erie will receive a total of $682,802 for five projects: $41,585 for BeginANEW residential stormwater education and vacant lot beautification; $190,850 for Cascade Creek restoration phase 7; $110,188 for Scott Run watershed protection and restoration; $366,640 for septic system improvements; and $33,539 for service learning projects. Erie County Conservation District will receive $443,880 for its 2014 AG BMP cost share program, and Pennsylvania State University will obtain $141,891 for its Sevenmile Creek stream corridor restoration.The Growing Greener Program is funded by the Environmental Stewardship Fund. The program’s primary goals are investing in initiatives protecting watersheds from impairment and restoring those already impaired.More information about the Growing Greener Program can be found online at Read more
ERIE, Jan. 12 – State Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro was joined by local officials and residents of the 3rd Legislative District for today’s grand opening of his new satellite office in Edinboro. Read more
Pennsylvania's children have a new protection thanks to Hannah's Law, named after Hannah Ginion of Bristol Township, who suffered from the rare genetic disorder called Krabbe disease. Hannah passed away on Dec. 28, 2014. Read more
Erie-area lawmakers say there's way out of state budget hole Read more
Landmark legislation passed during the 2013-14 Legislative Session now allows first responders, including law enforcement, fire fighters, EMS or other organizations the ability to administer a medication known as naloxone, a life-saving opioid-overdose antidote.
The law also allows individuals such as friends or family members who might be in a position to help a person at risk of experiencing an opioid-related overdose to obtain a prescription for naloxone. Additionally, Act 139 provides immunity from prosecution for those responding to and reporting overdoses.
House Bill 993, which renamed the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare as the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, was signed into law as Act 132 during the 2013-14 Legislative Session.
According to advocates for the change, renaming the department was long overdue, and as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported, the name change better reflects the department’s mission. Read more
As we get into the coldest months of winter, many people are worried about affording their increasing heating costs. If you or someone you know qualifies, my office could help you take advantage of a program set up to curtail high home heating bills. Read more
The open enrollment period for health care coverage is now underway. If you or someone you know is in need of health insurance, please consider visiting the federal Marketplace at www.HealthCare.gov. Applicants have until Feb. 16, 2015 to enroll.
Everyone, no matter what age, needs health insurance. A random accident or unexpected illness could put you in danger of losing not only your good health but also your financial future. Read more
To register for the Pennsylvania and national do-not-call lists, visit http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/dnc.aspx or call 1-888-777-3406. Registration is free. There is a rolling enrollment; individuals may sign up at any time and the registration is good for five years. After that, you can re-enroll. And, signing up on Pennsylvania's list automatically adds those numbers to the national do-not-call list. Read more
Last year’s bitterly cold winter left many people struggling to pay higher-than-normal home energy bills. As we head toward the coldest months of the year, there are ways you can winterize your home to keep heat in, cold air out, and money in your pocket. Many businesses offer professional home energy audits, but you can perform your own by inspecting areas where heat escapes and cold air leaks in. Read more
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