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
One of the most interesting aspects of my role as your representative includes my involvement in the House Appropriations Committee and participation in the yearly state budget hearings. It’s a great experience to learn how each department works and what resources they require to move forward. Read more
With other members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus and state agencies in Harrisburg, I participated in an event to celebrate Black History Month. In my remarks, I talked about the progress African-Americans have made and our contributions to American history in the creation of a better country. Read more
Rep. Ed Gainey participated in a Capitol news conference to discuss legislation that would limit outside income earned by state legislators. Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 24 – State Rep. Ed Gainey, D-Allegheny, today issued his support for a Senate bill that would legalize medical marijuana in the commonwealth. Introduced by state Sens. Daylin Leach and Mike Folmer, S.B. 3 would regulate the medical cannabis industry in Pennsylvania to ensure a controlled, but safe and quality product, while also permitting universities to conduct medical research and study of the drug. Gainey, who introduced his own version of the bill last session, said that the use of medical cannabis has been proven to benefit people of all ages in relieving pain and other debilitating symptoms, from providing children relief from seizures and veterans an alternative to dangerous narcotics for treating post-traumatic stress disorder, to offering pain relief for senior citizens and people suffering from cancer. "We have an obligation as state legislators to ensure that our sick friends, family members and neighbors have access to the best medicine available that can help them," Gainey said. "It seems unjust to deny people medicine that will help them feel better, especially when we routinely prescribe far more toxic medications for many of the same conditions that can be relieved by medical marijuana. "Senate Bill 3 would make the option of medical cannabis as a treatment legal." Gainey said that the licensing and application fees provided for in the bill would cover the cost of implementing the Read more
Today, with my fellow Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus members behind me, I stood in the House chamber to pay tribute to a man whose message of equality through peace and nonviolence helped change the world. I offered H.R. 8 to name the week of Jan. 18-25 as “Martin Luther King Jr., Week of Remembrance” in Pennsylvania. The resolution was unanimously adopted. I spoke about the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy, and for the General Assembly to be mindful of his spirit and his words and work together for the betterment of all of Pennsylvania. We all have our different ideas and proposals, but if there's one thing we can agree on, it's that it's a beautiful day when we continue to judge people by the character of their content and not by their race, sex or anything else. On Tuesday, the commonwealth welcomed a new governor, Tom Wolf. I look forward to working with him and the rest of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for a better Pennsylvania. Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 20 – State Rep. Ed Gainey has been appointed to five state House of Representatives committees for the 2015-16 legislative session. Chief among them, Gainey will begin serving on the Appropriations Committee. "This year marks the first of my involvement with the House Appropriations Committee, and while all committee assignments are important, I am particularly pleased to be working on this committee that is responsible for crafting the state's budget," Gainey said. "Pennsylvania is facing some serious fiscal challenges and it's important that we all work together to resolve them." His other new appointments include the House Gaming Oversight and Local Government committees. "Gaming is a relatively new industry in the commonwealth, and the Gaming Oversight Committee works with the state Gaming Control Board to evaluate legislation that affects gaming in the state and how the proceeds are used," he said. The Local Government Committee reviews legislation that affects counties, cities, boroughs and townships, including statewide zoning regulations and municipal pensions. In addition, Gainey will continue to serve on the House Insurance and Transportation committees. "The state has just begun to address the federal Affordable Care Act with respect to Pennsylvania, and with a new governor on board, that discussion is sure to continue. We must make sure that health care is Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 9 – State Reps. Jim Cox, R-Berks and Ed Gainey, D-Allegheny, plan to reintroduce legislation that would legalize medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. The legislation would allow Pennsylvania doctors to recommend medicinal cannabis to patients who would medically benefit from such a treatment. There are 21 states and the District of Columbia with similar laws.Both legislators introduced similar bills in the 2013-14 legislative session with bipartisan support. The current measure is identical to legislation that passed the Senate 43-7 in September, but which never received a vote by the House."The Senate-passed bill represented months of hearings, discussions, changes, and compromises with one goal in mind: helping those with medical challenges – especially children with seizure disorders – to benefit from a medicinal strain of cannabis," Cox said. "Some children suffer hundreds of seizures a day, making normal childhood development impossible and forcing parents to helplessly watch their children suffer."He said prescribed narcotic cocktails of highly addictive and dangerous drugs have little effect on these disorders and often provide only a few weeks or months of pause in the decline of a child’s health."It is cruel and irrational to deny people medicine to alleviate their suffering – especially when we routinely prescribe far more addictive, powerful, and toxic medications for the same Read more
"My constituents sent me to Harrisburg to represent their best interests and that means looking out for the working men and women, senior citizens and students in Allegheny County. Ensuring that our communities are safe is a priority of mine, as well as encouraging economic development and job opportunities for everyone." 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
Recently, my office received information about phone calls received statewide in which an individual claimed to be from the IRS and demanded payment on taxes owed.
Please be aware – this phone call is a scam, and the IRS will NOT initiate first contact with you on the phone about taxes owed.
Always be wary of unsolicited phone calls in which an individual claims to represent a business or government entity and aggressively demands payment. The IRS does not operate this way and will always send official correspondence through the mail to make its first contact with you.
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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