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
Citing the growing concern both nationwide and in Pennsylvania about the dangers of hidden lead poisoning, state Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., will introduce a package of legislation aimed at increasing lead testing in several main areas.
"It’s a tragedy that the events in Flint had to remind us of the dangers of lead poisoning, but the danger is real and the danger is high," Cruz said. "Studies from the Department of Health show that multiple cities across Pennsylvania are dealing with children testing positive for high blood lead levels, including Allentown, Scranton, York, Harrisburg, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, among others. This is not an issue we can afford to take lightly."
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
State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., was announced today as the newest president of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators.
Serving along with Cruz on the NHCSL’s Leadership Board will be:
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
State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., was elected president of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators on Saturday at the organization's annual conference.
"This is a tremendous honor and an extreme privilege, and I could not be more ecstatic to hold this position and help guide the national discussion on Hispanic issues at the state level," Cruz said. "As the Hispanic population continues to grow in both Pennsylvania and around the country, we must bring forward issues that impact our Hispanic constituents, and there is no better time than now to formulate an aggressive strategy to achieve that."
State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., announced he will be introducing a resolution providing for the enforcement of the House rules in standing committee business by the Speaker.
“Though the rules of the House do currently apply in standing committees, they are rarely enforced and the disrespect we saw in last week’s State Government Committee hearing by Chairman Metcalfe shows that lack of enforcement,” Cruz said. “Business in committee hearings is supposed to be conducted in a civil, orderly and respectful manner, and last week’s outburst showed zero civility or respect.”
Citing the growing worldwide Hispanic population, state Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., will introduce resolutions calling for Spanish to be designated as the official language of Pennsylvania and urging Congress to designate it as the official language of the United States. Read more
State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., will be introducing four resolutions honoring the contributions Hispanic-Americans have made to Pennsylvania’s history, including one resolution designating Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 as Hispanic Heritage Month in Pennsylvania.
“Latinos are the largest minority ethnic group in the United States today, with more than 838,000 residing in Pennsylvania,” Cruz said. “Hispanic-Americans have made substantial contributions in all facets of business, culture, education, science, sports, politics, industry and the arts in Pennsylvania and they deserve to have their efforts recognized.”
Citing the inherent danger to police and civilians, state Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., is collecting co-sponsors for legislation that would outlaw the sale of toy or imitation firearms unless constructed in a way that they obviously do not resemble real firearms.
“In a situation where someone is defending themselves against a perceived threat, the determination as to whether a gun is real or fake needs to be made within a split second,” Cruz said. “Unfortunately, with how lifelike toy guns have become, that decision is not easily made and can have life-altering consequences for both parties.”
State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., praised S.B. 663, which included language he had written, as it passed the House Tuesday and moved to the governor to be signed into law.
Senate Bill 663 allows for the involuntary termination of parental rights, but specifically prohibits termination of support obligations, when a child is conceived as a result of certain sexual offenses. It also limits custody awards to a parent convicted of such offense.
Following his negative vote today on the Republican-created budget bill, state Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., issued the following statement:
“For the past four years, we suffered through entirely too many budgets full of smoke and mirrors that didn’t truly help Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, that’s the same type of budget we voted on today.
Rep. Angel Cruz says it’s long past time for Pennsylvania to raise its minimum wage, which is currently $7.25 an hour. An increase in the minimum wage would help thousands of hardworking Pennsylvanians put food on the table and climb out of poverty, and would also increase productivity in the workplace. By supporting H.B. 250, which would raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, and other similar measures, Cruz continues to fight for the rights of workers across the state.
HARRISBURG, April 2 – State Rep. Mike Schlossberg, D-Lehigh, today participated in a House Human Services Committee public hearing titled "Eliminating Stigma in Mental Health," supporting a change in societal perception he believes is long overdue.
“Too often, people live in fear and embarrassment about their mental health struggles. This is unnecessary and results in wasted lives and needless pain," Schlossberg said. "The purpose of this hearing was to learn more about what we, as a government and as elected officials, can do to combat this stigma. I am incredibly grateful for the work of the groups who joined us today in shining light on this important issue.”
State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., Democratic chairman of the Human Services Committee, said, “One of the biggest issues facing those who suffer from mental health disabilities is the stigma that comes attached to their diagnosis. It can be debilitating and often times compound the issues that they are already having.”
Echoing Schlossberg’s concern, Cruz added, “Discussions like the one we had today will go a long Read more
Citing the importance Latino culture in Pennsylvania, state Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., thanked Gov. Tom Wolf today for appointing several Latinos to prominent positions in his administration. Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 24 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., thanked House members this week for their unanimous adoption of House Resolution 86 , which honored Rep. Rosita Youngblood, D-Phila., on her accomplishment of becoming the first African-American female elected to a House leadership position. "This is a tremendous honor for Representative Youngblood, and I couldn’t think of a more deserving candidate," Cruz said. "Since taking office over 20 years ago, she has dedicated herself to not only improving the lives of her constituents, but also the lives of women and minorities across the state. I am positive she will continue to be a perfect example of how to use public service for the greater good of her community and all of Pennsylvania." Following her election to an 11th term in the state House, Youngblood was elected by members of the House Democratic Caucus to serve as the Democratic Caucus secretary, becoming the first African-American female to hold a leadership position in the history of the General Assembly. "There are truly no words to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude for the support from my colleagues in the House," Youngblood said. "It is overwhelmingly humbling to be recognized by my peers, colleagues and friends, and I truly appreciate each and every one of them, especially Rep. Cruz, for their kindness and support. To become the first ever African-American woman elected to a House leadership Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 12 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., today announced creation of an informal, bicameral and bipartisan Latino Affairs Caucus within the Pennsylvania General Assembly. “With the Latino population in Pennsylvania continuing to grow exponentially each year, I truly believe it is time to finally recognize the importance of Latinos in our public policies,” Cruz said. “I’m especially proud that the Latino Affairs Caucus will be represented in a bipartisan, bicameral manner. This will serve as a benefit to all Pennsylvanians as we work together across party lines and across both chambers to education the public about Latino issues and advance Latino causes.” Cruz said the Latino Affairs Caucus will focus on issues important to Pennsylvania’s Latino communities and explore what public policies are necessary to address the needs of Latinos across Pennsylvania. The caucus is open to all members of the General Assembly, regardless of ethnicity or whether they represent a large Latino population in their district. Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 9 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., Democratic chairman of the House Human Services Committee, praised Gov. Tom Wolf’s announcement today that Pennsylvania would fully expand Medicaid. “I applaud Governor Wolf’s decision to finally do what should’ve been done during the last governor’s term and bring full Medicaid expansion to Pennsylvania,” Cruz said. “The Healthy PA, or lite version of Medicaid expansion which was not nearly as beneficial, was ill-conceived, confusing and unnecessarily complicated. It’s time we moved to a system that will work for Pennsylvania. “This expansion makes complete sense for the people of Pennsylvania. It’s estimated to create between 35,000 and 40,000 jobs and cover hundreds of thousands of uninsured Pennsylvanians, including over 20,000 veterans. Furthermore, it will bring an infusion of federal dollars into our state as we face a nearly $2 billion budget shortfall, thanks to the failed policies of the last administration and the legislature's refusal to enact Medicaid expansion sooner. “It’s really a no-brainer. Pennsylvania will see more jobs, federal funding, and most importantly, healthier citizens. I look forward to working to ensure that the expansion is fully implemented and Pennsylvanians around the state are aware of how to benefit from the expansion.” Read more
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