HARRISBURG, March 16 – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives has unanimously adopted a measure authored by state Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, recognizing March 2016 as “National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania. “Experts suggest up to 60 percent of deaths from colorectal cancer could be prevented if people age 50 and older were regularly screened and appropriately treated for this disease,” Donatucci said. “As uncomfortable as some people may be discussing colorectal cancer, it’s important to raise awareness about the illness so that people don’t live in fear.” The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, killing 49,700 Americans in 2015. Donatucci noted she understands the devastating toll the disease can have on families if left undetected. “I lost my father to colon cancer in 1998,” Donatucci said. “I want to make sure other families don’t have to go through what my family and I did, especially so many cases of this disease are preventable.” Donatucci’s H.R. 709 noted colorectal cancer often begins as a polyp, which is a growth that forms on the inner wall of the colon or rectum. In addition to polyps, risk factors for colorectal cancer can include age, family history, certain genetic mutations, excessive alcohol use, obesity, Read more
HARRISBURG, March 23 – State Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, today issued the following statement after Gov. Tom Wolf announced he will allow H.B. 1801 , the GOP-crafted state budget for 2015-16, to become law without his signature: “The governor has brought an end to the budget impasse, but I still believe there are important issues that need to be addressed in order to balance the upcoming 2016-17 budget and do what’s right for Pennsylvania. “Harrisburg is broken, and has become more and more like Washington with each passing week. The commonwealth still faces a massive structural deficit that will remain if we don’t raise the necessary revenues to pay our bills. Our schools will continue to be underfunded and our human service providers will be forced to contemplate closing their doors if we don’t fix the way we budget. The state could truly be headed for disaster if we let the budgeting gimmicks of the prior administration continue to stand. “As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I’m committed to doubling down with my colleagues and working to prevent another budget stalemate like the one we’ve all just had to live through. It’s time to stop putting politics before our children, seniors and most vulnerable residents. Let’s get to work on fixing Pennsylvania’s fiscal house, and ensure our 2016-17 budget is a much more sustainable, responsible one than the plan that’s Read more
HARRISBURG, March 23 – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives has unanimously adopted a measure authored by state Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, recognizing March 2016 as “National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania. “Experts suggest up to 60 percent of deaths from colorectal cancer could be prevented if people 50 or older were regularly screened and appropriately treated for this disease,” Donatucci said. “As uncomfortable as some people may be discussing colorectal cancer, it’s important to raise awareness about the illness so that people don’t live in fear.” The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, killing 49,700 Americans in 2015. Donatucci noted she understands the devastating toll the disease can have on families if left undetected. “I lost my father to colon cancer in 1998,” Donatucci said. “I want to make sure other families don’t have to go through what my family and I did, especially since so many cases of this disease are preventable.” Donatucci’s H.R. 709 noted that colorectal cancer often begins as a polyp, which is a growth that forms on the inner wall of the colon or rectum. In addition to polyps, risk factors for colorectal cancer can include age, family history, certain genetic mutations, excessive alcohol use, Read more
Pa. state Rep. Maria Donatucci helps spread awareness about colorectal cancer, which is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Donatucci’s father died from the disease in 1998 and did not undergo regular screening for the disease, which can be successfully treated if detected early. Donatucci’s House Resolution 709 names March 2016 as “National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania and encourages residents to get screened and maintain a healthy lifestyle to help prevent colorectal cancer. Read more
HARRISBURG, March 16 – State Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, today announced the Pennsylvania House of Representatives has unanimously approved her resolution designating March 9, 2016 as “Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day” in Pennsylvania. Donatucci’s H.R. 708 explained registered dietitian nutritionists are food and nutrition experts who use nutrition to find solutions for healthy living. To be considered a registered dietitian nutritionist, a person must complete an accredited supervised practice program, pass a national examination and complete continuing professional educational requirements to earn their credential. Many of these professionals work in hospitals, schools, public health clinics, nursing homes, fitness centers, the food industry and other entities. “Experts say maintaining a healthy diet is key in preventing illness and boosting overall wellness,” Donatucci said. “The work being done by our registered dietitian nutritionists is so important in improving public health and educating communities about how to be healthy. I’d like to thank my colleagues for their support of this measure honoring these vital professionals.” Approximately 3,700 residents of the commonwealth are members of the Pennsylvania Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, an affiliate of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This year, the academy’s theme for “National Nutrition Month” is Read more
Pa. state Rep. Maria Donatucci asks Randy Albright, Pennsylvania's Budget Secretary, about the perils of not passing a 2015-2016 budget and the challenges it puts in front of the 2016-2017 budget. 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
HARRISBURG, Feb. 10 – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives has unanimously adopted a measure authored by state Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, marking "K9 Veterans and Services Day" in Pennsylvania on March 13, 2016, which is 74 years after the United States K9 Corps was created. "These dogs and their handlers serve and protect us all so that we may be safe," Donatucci said. "They put themselves in grave danger to save lives, and some even make the ultimate sacrifice. The least we can do is recognize them for their efforts and show our appreciation for their unwavering dedication." Donatucci’s H.R. 678 notes besides dogs and their handlers, K9 services include trainers and other helpers involved in customs, search and rescue, border patrol, police services, secret service and drug enforcement. They are used by the military, law enforcement and other governmental agencies. Though the official United States K9 Corps was established to acknowledge K9 services in World War II and beyond, military working dog handler Joseph J. White later initiated a movement to honor "K9 Veterans and Services Day" each year to raise awareness about the importance of K9 participants. To mark this year’s celebration, Donatucci will present a citation to Melissa Wallace, canine enforcement officer with the federal Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection, and her K9 service dog, 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
HARRISBURG, Feb. 9 – State Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, issued the following statement after Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget address for the 2016-17 fiscal year: "Obviously, the state is in a unique situation right now, but the fact remains that there are two paths we can take in Pennsylvania: one that puts us back on the path of fiscal stewardship, and another that continues the irresponsible cuts from the past five years and further damages our credit. We’ve had enough of the status quo, so it’s time to take action. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I look forward to working with my fellow colleagues throughout the entire budget process to ensure we get Pennsylvania back on track. "Governor Wolf was elected in large part because of his commitment to funding public education. The funding boost he is proposing will help some of our most vulnerable schools, especially in Philadelphia, where too many students are crammed into small classrooms with fewer teachers. If we want future generations to succeed – and I know we do – we must invest in education now . Our children and grandchildren will be better off. "We also need to pass a balanced budget that addresses the projected $1.9 billion budget deficit for the upcoming fiscal year. Instead of cutting programs to the bone and using funding gimmicks to cover what’s missing, we need to pay our bills and help Pennsylvania build a better economy 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
HARRISBURG, Jan. 28 – In connection with tomorrow’s seventh anniversary of the signing of the federal Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law, state Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, is renewing her call for the House Labor and Industry Committee to consider her H.B. 1250 , which would update the state’s Equal Pay Law. Donatucci is participating in “Equal Pay Can’t Wait Week” along with other legislators nationwide to help bring attention to the gender wage gap. “It’s downright shameful that in 2016, women are paid, on average, only about 78 cents for every dollar a man brings in,” Donatucci said. “Everyone deserves to be paid fairly for their work, no matter their gender. It’s long past time for us to close this embarrassing chapter in our history and pay women and men equally.” Donatucci’s H.B. 1250 would increase fines to between $2,500 and $5,000 per day of violation and per violation for employers that knowingly violate the state’s Equal Pay Law, falsify related records or interfere with investigations under the act, among other things. Penalties under the act have not been updated since the law was established in 1959. “The law was enacted more than 50 years ago, and life has certainly changed since then,” Donatucci said. “We need to bring the penalties for knowingly paying women less than men for equal work in line with the 21 st century.” Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 27 – A resolution authored by state Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, and unanimously approved by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives names January 26, 2016 “Kawasaki Disease Awareness Day” in the commonwealth. “Fifty-five years ago, Japanese pediatrician Dr. Tomisaku Kawasaki first discovered a set of symptoms that would later become Kawasaki Disease,” Donatucci said. “However, many of us still haven’t heard of this disease, so it’s important we spread awareness so that parents can recognize the symptoms of this serious illness.” There is no known cure for Kawasaki Disease, which is characterized by inflammation of the blood vessels throughout the body and most commonly affects young children and infants. Symptoms include fever lasting at least five days; bloodshot eyes; rash; inflammation of the mouth, lips and throat; and swollen hands, feet and lymph nodes. Donatucci’s H.R. 652 notes the disease is more prevalent in boys than in girls, and more often presents itself in children of Asian and Pacific Island descent, thought it affects all racial and ethnic groups. If left untreated, approximately one-quarter of affected children develop heart disease. “We all want to protect our children and grandchildren however we can,” Donatucci said. “I thank my colleagues for helping to start a dialogue about this disease and further the mission of improving 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
Pa. state Rep. Maria Donatucci says it's time to restore funding cuts to the critical human service programs that help people with mental illness and intellectual disabilities, the homeless, and those looking for jobs. After years of budget cuts, Donatucci says it's time for Republicans to give these programs the funding they need to help all those who need it for the long run. Read more
HARRISBURG, June 16 – Legislation recently reintroduced by state Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, would increase eligibility for breast and cervical cancer screenings through the state Department of Health’s HealthyWoman Program. Read more
HARRISBURG, June 10 – Fifty-two years after President John F. Kennedy signed the federal Equal Pay Act into law, state Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, today announced she has reintroduced legislation to update Pennsylvania’s Equal Pay Law. Donatucci’s H.B. 1250 would increase fines for employers that knowingly violate state law, falsify records or interfere with investigations under the act. It would also allow employees to file a legal action up to three years after the violation.
The Senate and House Democratic policy committees hosted a joint hearing at Philadelphia City Hall to discuss legislation that aims to improve public health and safety by giving workers the opportunity to accrue paid sick leave. Read more
HARRISBURG, May 26 –The Senate and House Democratic Policy Committees will hold a joint public hearing on paid sick leave at 10 a.m. Thursday, May 28 at Philadelphia City Hall, Courtroom 253, Broad and Market Streets, Philadelphia. Read more
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