HARRISBURG, June 25 – State Rep. Michael Driscoll, D-Phila., announced today that he has introduced legislation to modify the eligibility guidelines for the Philadelphia Property Tax Freeze Program. “The Philadelphia Property Tax Freeze Program has undeniably been a godsend to senior citizens living in our commonwealth’s largest and most expensive city. However, it hasn’t been responsive to changing economic conditions,” Driscoll said. “Today, many seniors face living on fixed incomes that haven’t risen as health care and living costs have.” Under current law, the eligibility for the program is tied to the income limits established for the state's PACE and PACENET prescription-drug programs, which have not been updated since 2006. H.B. 529 would set income eligibility to 225 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. “While working closely with the majority leader, City Councilman Bobby Henon, we felt this legislation would be an attractive avenue to help the seniors in our districts. Councilman Henon was extremely helpful,” Driscoll said. Driscoll said that using the federal guidelines as a basis for property tax relief eligibility would ensure the requirements reflect current economic conditions and help direct relief to those who need it most. The bill has been referred to the House Finance Committee. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, June 15 – State Rep. Mike Driscoll, D-Phila., witnessed the signing of legislation that minimizes financial uncertainty and encourages fairer treatment for contractors and subcontractors in Pennsylvania. House Bill 566, signed into law as Act 27 of 2018, allows contractors to suspend their work if they are not paid per contract terms. “This law will significantly impact the lives of many Pennsylvania families. Contractors and subcontractors often face a greater risk of going unpaid because they are compensated in full after the services are provided,” said Driscoll, co-sponsor of the bill. “I think our legislation will strike the right balance in making sure contractors are paid for the work they do. Consequently, we’ll help support families who depend on that income.” Under the new law, contractors and subcontractors will be able to stop working on a project if payment is not received per contract guidelines. To be eligible to suspend work, 30 days from the end of the billing cycle must pass. Then, they would have to provide written notice via mail or email and wait an additional 30 days. If payment is not received, they would have to provide at least 10 calendar days of notice by certified mail. If payment is not received during those 70 days, work may be suspended without penalty. The law becomes effective in 120 days. Read more
HARRISBURG, May 23 – Today, the House voted on concurrence on a bill drafted by Reps. James R. Santora, R-Delaware, and Michael Driscoll, D-Phila., to permit contractors to suspend their work if they are not paid per contract terms. It now heads to the governor for his signature. “Because contractors and subcontractors are not paid in full before they provide their services, they face a much greater risk of going unpaid than is typical for other workers. This impacts families who depend on payments that are rightfully owed for goods and services that were provided,” Santora said. “Our bill works to minimize that uncertainty and encourage fairer treatment for contractors and subcontractors.” Under the bill, contractors and subcontractors would be able to stop working on a project if payment is not received per contract guidelines. To be eligible to suspend work, 30 days from the end of the billing cycle must pass. Then, they would have to provide written notice via mail or email and wait an additional 30 days. If payment is not received, they would have to provide at least 10 calendar days of notice by certified mail. If payment is not received during those 70 days, work could be suspended without penalty. Before being amended by the Senate, the bill stated that contractors and subcontractors could suspend their work if at least 60 days have passed since the end of the billing period and seven calendar days’ notice was given of their Read more
PHILADELPHIA, March 19 – State Rep. Mike Driscoll, D-Phila., announced today that Marano Truck Lines and Warehouse Inc. will receive a $210,000 grant for the purchase and installation of a rooftop solar photovoltaic system on its facility in Northeast Philadelphia. “Universal access to sustainable energy is essential to support our communities and develop a sustainable city,” Driscoll said. “I’m glad to see businesses transitioning to clean energy and creating a framework to bolster energy independence and security across the commonwealth.” The funding will go towards the purchase and installation of a rooftop solar PV system that will generate 100 percent of the building’s energy consumption. The total project cost is $419,900, with Marano Truck Lines and Warehouse Inc. providing matching funds. The Solar Energy Program provides financial assistance in the form of grant and loan funds to promote the use of solar energy in Pennsylvania. The program is administered jointly by the Department of Community and Economic Development and the Department of Environmental Protection under the direction of the Commonwealth Financing Authority. The CFA is charged with identifying and supporting projects to improve the quality of life and financial health in communities around the state. To find out more about CFA programs, visit www.newpa.com . Read more
HARRISBURG, March 13 – A bipartisan pair of bills to help Pennsylvania consumers affected by data breaches passed the state House on Tuesday. These bills are sponsored by Commerce Committee Chairman Brian Ellis, R-Butler, and Rep. Mike Driscoll, D-Phila. Ellis’ H.B. 1846 would amend the Breach of Personal Information Act to further define “breach of security of the system” and “personal information” for clarification. The bill would require notice to Pennsylvania residents whenever there is a breach of security of the system. The notice would have to be in plain language, and include the date of the breach, the type of information subject to the breach and toll-free numbers to credit reporting agencies. This notice would have to be made within 45 days of learning of a breach. In addition, the breach would have to be reported to the Bureau of Consumer Protection in the Office of the Attorney General. If a state agency is the subject of a breach, the agency would have to provide notice of the breach to Pennsylvania residents without unreasonable delay. An agency under the governor’s jurisdiction would have to provide notice of the breach to the governor’s Office of Administration. If a county, school district or municipality is the subject of a breach, it would have to provide notice of the breach to residents without unreasonable delay as well. A county, school district or municipality would have to report its breach to the Read more
HARRISBURG, March 13 – State Rep. Michael Driscoll, D-Phila., announced he has introduced H.R. 706 , designating March 2018 as “Irish-American Heritage Month” in Pennsylvania. “Since the founding of this great nation, American citizens of Irish descent have been responsible for many significant contributions both within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the United States. Today, they continue to thrive and excel in many spheres of human endeavor, from academia to business and beyond,” Driscoll said. Celebration of Irish heritage is a long-standing tradition in the commonwealth, which hosts among the largest and oldest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the country each year. Irish heritage will be celebrated from Philadelphia, where the city's parade first took place in 1771, to Scranton, which hosts the second-largest St. Patrick’s parade in the country. “As a proud Irish-American myself, it is an honor to co-sponsor a resolution recognizing the impact Irish-Americans have been making since before our country’s founding. Thank you to my co-sponsors for their show of support and for extending their best wishes to the Irish community with House Resolution 706,” Driscoll said. The resolution’s co-sponsors include Reps. Marty Flynn, D-Lackawanna, Kevin Boyle, D-Phila./Montgomery, and Tim Hennessey, R-Chester/Montgomery. Read more
In response to Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget proposal, Pa. state Rep. Mike Driscoll supports investing in education, workforce development and human services for a stronger Pennsylvania. Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 6 – State Rep. Michael Driscoll, D-Phila., highlighted how Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget proposal for the 2018-19 fiscal year would provide Philadelphia residents with much-needed relief. “I would like to thank Governor Wolf for presenting us with a common-sense budget proposal that will help protect Philadelphia residents,” Driscoll said. “This includes investing in education, providing the necessary funding for successful workforce development initiatives, as well as increasing our resources to tackle the opioid epidemic that has impacted our city.” Wolf’s 2018-19 budget proposal includes: $120 million increase in basic and special education; $40 million investment to develop 21st-century job skills; $10 million for career and technical education; and $26.5 million investment in federal Cures Act funding to expand treatment to address the opioid drug epidemic. Driscoll added, “With these funding increases, we can finally give our constituents the break they deserve, without any broad-based tax increases.” ### Read more
HARRISBURG, Oct. 16 – A bipartisan pair of bills to help Pennsylvania consumers affected by data breaches has advanced out of the House Commerce Committee to the full House of Representatives. The bills are sponsored by Commerce Committee Chairman Brian Ellis, R-Butler, and Rep. Mike Driscoll, D-Phila. Ellis said, "It is my hope that future massive data breaches do not occur, but if they do, the safeguards in these pieces of bipartisan legislation will help protect and assist consumers after a breach happens." Driscoll said: "I believe our bipartisan cooperation bodes well for passing this legislation and making real progress on this issue that affects millions of Pennsylvanians. I am pleased to work with Chairman Ellis and Attorney General Josh Shapiro to move forward on this." Ellis' bill ( H.B. 1846 ) would require notification of a breach from the entity where the breach occurred to the affected consumer. The notification would include the date the breach occurred, the type of information subject to the breach, a toll-free number and the address of credit reporting agencies. This notice would have to be made available within 30 days of the breach of the system. Additionally, an entity with a breach would have to notify the state Attorney General’s Office. The entities also would have to develop policies to safeguard and discard personal consumer information. Driscoll’s bill ( H.B. 1847 ) would waive the current credit Read more
Pa. state Rep. Mike Driscoll has introduced legislation as part of a package to protect consumers and their sensitive personal information in the event of an online data breach, like the Equifax breach in the summer of 2017. Read more
Pa. state Rep. Mike Driscoll congratulates the St. Hubert Catholic High School cheerleaders, who recently won the National High School Cheerleading Championship in Orlando, Florida. Read more
In a move to support the survivors of some of the community's most important people, Pa. state Rep. Mike Driscoll sponsored a House Resolution designating the week of May 8-14, 2017, as "Fallen Firefighters Survivors' Week" in Pennsylvania; and designating May 12, 2017, as "Fallen Firefighters Survivors' Day" in Pennsylvania. Read more
HARRISBURG, May 8 – State Rep. Michael Driscoll, D-Phila., said adoption this week by the House of Representatives of the fallen firefighters survivors resolution he introduced recognizes the brave men and women who play one of the most important roles within our communities. “Throughout the Commonwealth, thousands of firefighters put their lives at risk with each emergency response they make. Tragically, not all who respond to such calls make it back to the station alive,” Driscoll said. “It is fitting that we honor them, helping their survivors and recognizing the valuable contribution they make to our lives every day.” House Resolution 194 designates May 8-14 as "Fallen Firefighters Survivors' Week" and May 12 as "Fallen Firefighters Survivors' Day" in Pennsylvania. Driscoll said the resolution also recognizes the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation for being a pioneer in providing support programs and scholarships to the survivors. The organization offers preventative training to fire departments across the country with the goal of reducing line-of-duty firefighter deaths by 25 percent in five years. “I’m proud to honor and thank those who help us, and express our gratitude for all the sacrifices made not only by the firefighters, but the sacrifices made by their families, as well,” he said. Driscoll said it is extremely important to provide support to and empower the survivor Read more
PHILADELPHIA, May 4 – State Rep. Mike Driscoll, D-Phila., will sponsor a free shredding event for residents of Northeast Philadelphia from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, May 20, at the Linden Avenue Boat Launch, located at Linden Avenue and the river. "Identity theft remains a constant threat in our modern world," Driscoll said. "That is why I am pleased to host this event again this year to offer a convenient way to safely dispose of confidential documents." Unwanted items that should be shredded include credit card statements, credit card applications, bank statements, canceled checks, income tax information, insurance records and retirement or pension fund information. Documents will be shredded on-site, and all material collected will be recycled. Residents are also encouraged to bring old televisions, computer monitors or other electronic equipment to be recycled in an environmentally friendly manner. More information is available by calling Driscoll's office at 215-281-3414 or email RepDriscoll@pahouse.net . Read more
HARRISBURG, March 13 – State Rep. Michael Driscoll, D-Phila., announced he has introduced H.R. 143, designating March 2017 as “Irish-American Heritage Month” in Pennsylvania. The resolution’s co-sponsors include Reps. Marty Flynn, D-Lackawanna, Kevin Boyle, D-Phila./Montgomery, and Tim Hennessey, R-Chester/Montgomery. “Irish Americans have made immeasurable contributions to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and our nation as a whole,” Driscoll said. “They have been and continue to be political, religious, cultural and artistic leaders. In American history, soldiers who were born in Ireland or of Irish descent were major contributors the Continental Army under George Washington’s command during the American Revolution, while an Irish immigrant, John Barry, is credited as the Father of the American Navy for his service as captain of the Continental Navy.” Celebration of Irish heritage is a long-standing tradition in the commonwealth, which hosts among the largest and oldest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the country each year. Irish heritage parades will be celebrated from Philadelphia, where their parade has taken place since 1791, to Scranton, which hosts the second-largest St. Patrick’s parade in the country. “As a proud Irish-American myself, it is an honor to co-sponsor a resolution recognizing the impact Irish-Americans have been making since before our country’s founding. Thank you to my Read more
Pa. state Rep. Mike Driscoll condemns the criminal vandalism that occurred at the Mount Carmel Cemetery in Northeastern Philadelphia. Read more
By State Reps. Michael Hanna and Mike Driscoll Working men and women and the middle class are the engines that drive our economy. But a secure retirement has become unattainable for many. The decline in retirement security is the result of many causes. The decimation of private-sector pensions, the stagnation of real wages and corporate cutbacks have all contributed to Pennsylvanians retiring with an uncertain future. Nearly one-third of American households have nothing at all saved for retirement and the other two-thirds have inadequate savings. Pennsylvanians need a bold plan, a secure plan and a commonsense plan that puts working people and families first. Right now, the Pennsylvania Legislature has an opportunity to address the unavailability of decent retirement savings vehicles for today’s working men and women. We can work in a bipartisan manner this year to help the 2.1 million Pennsylvanians who have been identified as being among the 40 percent of private-sector workers who do not have access to an employer-based plan. Recently, we reintroduced legislation to establish the Keystone Retirement Security Program in Pennsylvania. When approved, Keystone Retirement Security will provide private-sector employees who do not have access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan, with the opportunity to save for retirement through automatic payroll deduction. Studies show that employees who are offered automatic paycheck deduction options to save for their Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 26 – State Rep. Mike Driscoll, D-Phila., and Rep. Mike Hanna, D-Clinton/Centre, are preparing to reintroduce legislation that would establish the Keystone Retirement Security Program.The legislation, which will be similar to last session’s H.B. 2396, would provide private sector employees without access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan the opportunity to save for retirement through automatic payroll deduction. Each participant in the program would have the opportunity to set the amount deducted from each paycheck, up until a certain percentage. “Retirement security is a serious issue for the state, especially as a large number of residents begin to retire without the savings needed to meet their expenses,” Driscoll said. “Ignoring this ‘Silver Tsunami’ would have devastating effects on both future retirees and the financial well-being of the state as a whole. Currently, there are over 2 million workers in the state without access to this type of retirement savings account, which is simply unacceptable.” Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 3 – During a ceremony at the state Capitol today opening the 2017-18 legislative session, state Rep. Mike Driscoll, D-Phila., took the oath of office to begin his second term in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
Driscoll said his legislative priorities for the new term include addressing retirement security, expanding the local job base and advocating for law enforcement officers and first responders.
HARRISBURG, Oct. 21 – State Rep. Mike Driscoll, D-Phila., has introduced legislation with Rep. Mike Hanna, D-Centre/Clinton, that would offer Pennsylvanians without pensions a convenient process to ensure a more secure retirement.
House Bill 2396 would provide a simple and convenient way for Pennsylvanians who do not have access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan to save money through automatic payroll deduction for their retirement.
"As a large number of residents begin to retire without the savings needed to meet their expenses, Pennsylvania is facing what some are calling the ‘Silver Tsunami.’ Ignoring this issue is simply not an option for our state anymore," Driscoll said. "Failing to address this problem would have devastating effects for future retirees and the financial well-being of the state as a whole."
Under the Hanna-Driscoll plan, employers with five or more employees that don't already offer a retirement plan would be required to offer their employees enrollment in the Keystone Retirement Security Program. Workers could decline if they choose; otherwise, a small portion of their pay would be automatically deducted and deposited into an account with the state Treasurer's Office. Treasury would manage the accounts similar to the way it manages the TAP 529 accounts.
Driscoll has sought a legislative study on the concept since early 2015.
"There’s no longer a need to study this," Driscoll said. "We know that it works well because a growing number of s Read more
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