Pa. state Rep. Marty Flynn says it’s long past time for the commonwealth to legalize medical marijuana for patients suffering from cancer, HIV/AIDS, Multiple sclerosis, glaucoma and other serious conditions. He says public support is behind the issue and too many Pennsylvanians are suffering from chronic pain to go without this important resource. Read more
HARRISBURG, March 16 – State Rep. Marty Flynn, D-Lackawanna, issued the following statement regarding his vote for legislation which passed the House Wednesday that would legalize medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. "The statistics show that there are nationally about 40,000 overdose deaths a year from aspirin, 100,000 related to alcohol and about 48,000 from prescription drugs, but there are zero overdose deaths from marijuana. That’s not 5, not 100, not 1,000 overdose deaths from marijuana, but zero," Flynn said. According to Flynn, states that have legalized medical marijuana have shown a decrease of nearly 25 percent in annual prescription drug overdose deaths. "I’ve seen the children and their families who are experiencing daily seizures and other medical conditions, veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and the elderly with cancer who need this to help relieve their pain. "Legalizing medical marijuana in Pennsylvania is a commonsense answer and we need to pass it now, so we can help all of those who are suffering in their daily lives. "This is an important step forward for Pennsylvania and I was proud to cast my vote for the bill," Flynn said. The legislation (S.B. 3) returns to the Senate for consideration of the House amendments. Gov. Tom Wolf has indicated his strong support for the issue. Read more
SCRANTON, March 14 – State Rep. Marty Flynn, D-Lackawanna, will host the monthly veterans support program from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 23 at his office. A representative from the American Legion Service Office Outreach program is in Flynn's office -- Jay's Commons, 409 N. Main Ave. -- on the fourth Wednesday of every month to provide information on services available to veterans and their families. The American Legion representatives are available to discuss pensions and other compensation, education, health care and death benefits. Legion membership is not required to take advantage of the help, but anyone interested in speaking to the advisers is recommended to schedule an appointment through Flynn’s office at 570-342-4348. Flynn also reminds veterans that Gov. Tom Wolf has signed a law that restores an exemption from the state’s Earned Income Tax for active-duty military service members. Act 6 of 2016 exempts military personnel from the EIT on military pay, regardless of where it is earned. An oversight caused the exemption to lapse, creating unwarranted repercussions for active-duty military service members, including National Guard members who may be called up at a moment’s notice to assist with natural disasters, such as this winter’s blizzard. Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 19 – State Rep. Marty Flynn has introduced legislation that would allow Scranton to participate in the state’s City Revitalization and Improvement Zone program. The CRIZ program, created in 2013, provides critical opportunities to selected third-class cities (with a population of at least 30,000) to spur new growth, revive downtowns, and create jobs for residents through the development of vacant, desolate, underused or abandoned space. "It’s unfair to restrict Pennsylvania’s only second class A city, Scranton, which has a population of over 75,000, from being eligible to apply for the program," said Flynn, D-Lackawanna. "This is a simple fix that I hope will move quickly through the legislative process and be signed by the governor, so Scranton can add this economic development tool to its plans." The CRIZ program is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, Department of Community and Economic Development and the governor’s budget office. Flynn’s legislation (H.B. 1869) has 22 co-sponsors and will be referred to a House committee for consideration in the coming weeks. 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
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
SCRANTON, July 23 – A group of local state lawmakers joined House Democratic Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla Thursday morning at Scranton High School to call for responsible state budget negotiations that will lead to increased funding for education and lower property taxes. State Reps. Marty Flynn and Sid Michaels Kavulich, both D-Lackawanna; Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Luzerne; and Sturla, D-Lancaster; said Gov. Tom Wolf’s veto of the Republican budget was necessary because that spending plan failed to address core issues facing Pennsylvania, including a $3 billion structural budget deficit, a drastically underfunded school system, and rising property taxes for seniors and middle-class families. “I stand with Governor Tom Wolf and House Democrats in fighting for a budget that puts Pennsylvania’s children first and says goodbye to the budgeting gimmicks of the past. We cannot continue down the same path that Republicans and former Governor Tom Corbett did,” Sturla said. “Pennsylvanians made it clear that they valued education as a top priority and want a reasonable Marcellus Shale severance tax to fund our schools when they elected Governor Wolf.” Sturla added, “It’s pretty simple: We want a balanced budget with no future structural deficit, funding for schools with revenue from a reasonable Marcellus Shale severance tax and property tax relief for hard-working, middle-class families.” Wolf’s Read more
The deadline to apply to the state’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program for a rebate on property taxes or rent paid in 2014 has been extended from June 30 until Dec. 31, 2015. Read more
HARRISBURG, May 27 – State Rep. Marty Flynn, D-Lackawanna, said the Commonwealth Financing Authority today approved nearly $800,000 in state gaming grants for important projects in portions of Lackawanna County he represents.
“While the casinos have provided thousands of jobs and helped the horse racing industry in Pennsylvania, an additional benefit is the local economic development dollars that are provided to adjacent counties,” Flynn said.
A proposal to replace the mental requirements of “willfully and maliciously” with “intentionally, knowingly or recklessly” when an individual is accused of engaging in cruelty to domestic animals. Read more
I was proud to vote to renew the Children’s Health Insurance Program to make sure nearly 150,000 Pennsylvania children get the health care they need, and that their working parents have the peace of mind to know their children are covered for preventive and emergency care. The program, started by Democratic legislative majorities and Gov. Robert P. Casey, is for parents who work and make too much money for Medicaid, but lack private insurance. It was set to expire at the end of this year. I wasn’t going to let that happen. The healthier our children are, the better they’ll do in school and the more success they’ll have in life. Renewing this program is a smart investment in our state’s present and future. To find out more or to see if your child is eligible, contact my office or visit CHIP online at www.chipcoverspakids.com . Read more
HARRISBURG, April 21 – The state House of Representatives today unanimously adopted a resolution sponsored by Rep. Marty Flynn, D-Lackawanna, designating April 19-25 as Pennsylvania Family Center Network Week. The Family Center network serves nearly 5,000 families in the Parents as Teachers home visiting program and hundreds more families with supportive services. Sixty-five percent of the families served are considered high risk due to low educational attainment, poverty or disability. “Today, we make clear -- our belief and our commitment that all young children and their families deserve the same opportunities to succeed -- regardless of any demographic, geographic or economic considerations,” Flynn told a group of parents and children attending a Capitol rally to request more funding for the program, including several people from Lackawanna and Luzerne counties. “Parents as Teachers' vision is that all children will learn, grow and develop to reach their full potential – and the House of Representatives recognizes that the early years of life are critical for optimal development that will provide the foundation for success in both school and in life.” More than 60 percent of Pennsylvania’s population lives in the 28 counties served by family centers, in urban, rural and suburban communities and Family Center services are tailored to the resources and needs of each of the communities served. Family Centers promote Read more
HARRISBURG, April 15 – State Rep. Marty Flynn, D-Lackawanna, has joined Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, in reintroducing legislation that would establish veterans’ treatment courts across the commonwealth. The first veterans’ court started in Lackawanna County in 2009 under Judge Michael Barrasse. Since that time, the veterans’ court has shown to be a proven winner in positive results - both financially for the state and personally for veterans, according to Flynn. “The veterans’ experiences and injuries, both visible and invisible, have created undue stress on their families. Combine that with the poor job market and economic challenges and you have compounded crime, homelessness, family difficulties, and a high suicide rate among veterans. “This specialized court provides supervised treatment for veterans by veterans' advocates who understand the unique underlying problems that have resulted in their running afoul of the law,” Flynn said. The program is a problem-solving court that allows for rehabilitation instead of prison for veterans who have developed substance abuse or mental health issues. In addition to the main premise of establishing veterans’ courts in counties that don’t have one, the legislation ( H.B. 887 ) would allow president judges from different counties’ courts of common pleas to establish joint veterans’ courts, which would be particularly helpful in counties with smaller Read more
HARRISBURG, April 13 – From the mid-1700s until the 1970s, industrial hemp was an important agricultural component of the Commonwealth’s economy. If two lawmakers have their way, the crop could soon return to Pennsylvania fields. Reps. Russ Diamond (R-Lebanon) and Marty Flynn (D-Lackawanna) today introduced legislation, House Bill 967, that would take the first step toward allowing Pennsylvania farmers to again cultivate industrial hemp. The product, which is widely used in a variety of everyday consumer items, is currently allowed to be grown only in pilot programs reserved for universities and agricultural research facilities under a provision of the 2014 federal Farm Bill. Diamond and Flynn said their bill would bring Pennsylvania in line with current federal law. Because it is considered likely that federal regulations will ease further in the near future, the bill would put the state ahead of the pack once domestic production is permitted to get into full gear. “Industrial hemp is a common and safe agricultural product that is grown worldwide,” said Diamond. “It is one of world’s most durable fibers and can be found in products ranging from automobile dashboards to home insulation. It’s also been used as a soil fertilizer and is in a wide array of building materials and food items. Pennsylvanians are missing out on these economic benefits, while we continue to import products containing industrial hemp from overseas. Read more
SCRANTON, April 8 – State Rep. Marty Flynn, D-Lackawanna, today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing with committee chairman Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, to discuss the issue of public education funding. The hearing, held in Scranton High School, focused on how local districts have been impacted by decreased state funding over the last few years, and what Gov. Tom Wolf's proposed budget will mean for them. ”When it comes to our children's education, it is important that we make sure our school districts have the tools to help our children succeed," Flynn said. "Today's hearing was a way for us to learn how districts have struggled to continue to do that in the wake of the Corbett administration's decreases in state funding for education.” Flynn added, “Governor Wolf’s ‘Jobs that Pay, Schools that Teach, and Government that Works’ initiative is one to improve an entire society. By ensuring Pennsylvanians have access to fundamental resources like a good education and well-paying jobs, he’s making it possible for our citizens to better provide for themselves and their families and achieve the American dream.” Echoing that sentiment, Sturla said, "The testimony we heard today here in Representative Flynn's district was not unique in that a majority of school districts across the state have been faced with difficult decisions because of the previous Read more
HARRISBURG, March 11 – State Rep. Marty Flynn, D-Lackawanna, announced approval of a $6 million loan for the Pennsylvania Reinvestment Fund LLC from the Commonwealth Financing Authority. PRF is focusing on stimulating urban revitalization in Scranton and Bethlehem. The entity plans to help revitalize down business districts by creating mixed-use development and new commercial buildings through redeveloping vacant lots or underutilized buildings. “I’m pleased to see financial attention paid to maintaining Pennsylvania’s historic cities,” Flynn said. “With this investment, we hope the city will see a much-anticipated rebirth to bring jobs back into the city of Scranton.” In 2010, PRF redeveloped the previously vacant eight-story Connell Lofts into residential units, offices and retail space, providing residential growth and igniting renovation of the former Chamber of Commerce building two blocks away. Flynn said that by further developing Scranton’s downtown, PRF believes the city will entice students from nearby schools and colleges to ultimately establish residence. He believes these professional residents will attract businesses of all types, creating a self-sustaining urban area. PRF has several opportunities under analysis as potential 2015 projects in Scranton, including: • Historic rehabilitation/adaptive reuse of a former mill building. • Historic rehabilitation/adaptive reuse of a four-story Read more
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