HARRISBURG, April 23 – State Rep. Mike Hanna, D-Clinton/Centre, today announced the City of Lock Haven is expected to receive $30,000 in grant funding through the Department of Community and Economic Development’s Early Intervention Program. Hanna said the city will use the funds to develop and implement a five-year financial management plan and operational strategy. “This project enhances Gov. Tom Wolf’s efforts to revitalize and grow communities in Pennsylvania,” Hanna said. “I was happy to support the city and am pleased to see that our community is contributing towards this greater statewide effort.” According to DCED, projects of this nature significantly improve the capability of local governments to deliver services more efficiently and effectively, and work to promote growth and community improvements. “Any program that works to improve our community deserves our wholehearted support,” Hanna said. “As I have stated many times, the economic improvements we make today will have lasting impacts in our communities for years to come.” The city must now complete all applicable program requirements and comply with any special conditions contained within their contract in order to begin the requisition of project funds. While the Department of Labor and Industry has final authority to make all prevailing wage applicability determinations, prevailing wage appears not to be Read more
PHILADELPHIA, April 23 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., will host a landlord-tenant clinic from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, April 26 at his district office, 4667 Paul St., 19124. “I encourage everyone facing possible eviction, habitability problems, rent increases or other landlord-tenant issues to attend this clinic. We’ll have staff from the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia offering free consultations,” Dawkins said. The Public Interest Law Center will also provide information about tenant and landlord rights and responsibilities, relevant housing laws, and basic information about the court process for tenants. An RSVP is required. More information is available by calling Dawkins' office at 215-744-7901. Read more
State Rep. Sid Michaels Kavulich is working with local community leaders, volunteers and businesses to organize a regional spring cleanup event to remove litter and winter debris from roadsides, creeks and riverbanks, and parks and recreation areas in Taylor, Moosic and Old Forge. Read more
HARRISBURG, April 23 – State Rep. Patrick Harkins, D-Erie, today announced that the John F. Kennedy Senior Center will receive a $56,551 grant from the state Department of Aging. “The grant will help this vital community center continue providing the programs and services our area seniors find so useful,” Harkins said. “The funds will also help the center revitalize and expand its programs to attract newcomers.” The John F. Kennedy Senior Center is one of 41 senior centers throughout the commonwealth that will receive a total of $2 million in 2017-18 Senior Community Center Grants. The funding, which comes from the Pennsylvania Lottery, helps centers provide programs and classes on nutrition, exercise, financial counseling and other areas. “Seniors are such an essential part of our community,” Harkins said. “This funding will help ensure that they have the resources they need to remain healthy, active and engaged.” Read more
PHILADELPHIA, APRIL 23 – State Rep. Emilio Vazquez, D-Phila, will host a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing on alcohol poisoning prevention and education. The public hearing will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 26 at Temple University, Shusterman Hall, 1834 Liacouras Walk, Philadelphia. Vazquez requested the hearing to learn more about prevention and education efforts to reduce alcohol poisoning. The proposal would strengthen House Democrats’ Plan4PA, specifically putting people first with policies that improve health and wellness and public safety. Vazquez will be joined by state legislators from across the state, including Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. The current agenda is: 10:00 a.m. Welcome and opening remarks 10:10 a.m. Panel One: Mary Ciammeti , founder, the CTC Wellness Foundation dba “Don’t Stall, Just Call” Dr. Robert McNamara , professor and chair of emergency medicine, Temple University’s Lewis Katz School of Medicine 10:45 a.m. Panel Two: Stephanie Ives , dean of students, Temple University Eileen Behr , vice president of public safety/chief of police, Drexel University 11:20 a.m. Closing remarks The meeting is one in a series being held across the state on House Democrats’ Plan4PA that includes putting people first, good jobs, quality schools and fair taxes. Visit planforpa.pahouse.com for additional information about the Plan4PA Read more
State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., said that she voted against H.B. 2138 on Tuesday because of the lack of any meaningful process that brought the bill to a House vote and because it could unnecessarily cause covered citizens to periodically lose their health care.The legislation passed with a vote of 115-80. “The able-bodied citizens who the bill refers to are individuals who receive their health care through Medicaid, many of whom are now covered due to Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act,” DeLissio said. Read more
YARDLEY, April 20 – State Rep. Perry Warren announced today that Lower Makefield Township was awarded a $300,000 Keystone Communities Public Improvement grant to help upgrade a portion of Oxford Valley Road. The grant, awarded by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, will be used to reconstruct more than a half mile of Oxford Valley Road, from Mill Road to Edgewood Road, including full-depth reclamation of the road, and the construction of concrete curbs and ADA-compliant curb ramps where there are none. “It’s important to keep our highly traveled roads in good condition to ensure that community members can get around easily and safely,” said Warren, D-Bucks. “This project will improve the travel conditions for drivers and pedestrians alike, and I’m pleased that the state awarded these funds.” The Keystone Communities program is designed to encourage the creation of partnerships between the public and private sectors that jointly support local initiatives, such as the growth and stability of neighborhoods and communities, social and economic diversity, and a strong and secure quality of life. Read more
YARDLEY, April 20 – State Rep. Perry Warren announced today that the Morrisville Senior Servicenter was awarded a $145,329 state grant for job training and transportation needs. The senior center was among the recipients of the Pennsylvania Department of Aging’s 2017-18 Senior Community Center grants, totaling $2 million in funding from the Pennsylvania Lottery. “The Morrisville Senior Servicenter is a hub of activity in our community, providing valuable resources and engagement opportunities for the seniors here,” said Warren, D-Bucks. “The center truly makes a difference in the lives of older adults, and I’m pleased to see that work continue with the help of this grant.” There are more than 500 senior community centers throughout Pennsylvania, and just 41 received grants. “Perry Warren didn’t miss any chance to remind both me and the governor about the need to support the Morrisville Senior Center,” said Democratic Leader Frank Dermody. “His determination paid off handsomely, because Morrisville is getting one of the largest grants awarded to any senior center in the state.” The Department of Aging grants are designed to help centers provide services that attract a new generation of participants. Read more
PITTSBURGH, April 20 – House Democratic Caucus Chairman Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, released the following statement in regard to a Facebook post from Republican House State Government Committee Chairman Daryl Metcalfe: “I am deeply disturbed and angry at inflammatory comments made today by Representative Metcalfe. “At the conclusion of an unhinged Facebook rant wherein he called one of my close House Democratic colleagues a ‘lying homosexual,’ Metcalfe admitted that he ‘blocks all substantive Democrat legislation’ sent to his committee. “He’s right. Not a single Democratic bill has come out of the State Government Committee this Session. That includes my House Bill 1410 – the PA Fairness Act – which would once and for all prohibit discrimination against the LGBT community. My bill has been repeatedly referred to Chairman Metcalfe’s committee by House Speaker Mike Turzai where it has failed to ever receive a vote or even a fair hearing. This legislation is supported by 72 percent of Pennsylvanians and is currently cosponsored by 75 bipartisan members in the House. The PA Fairness Act has the support of countless advocates, local leaders and the business community across the state. “Last week, Metcalfe gutted a very popular proposal that would have created an independent redistricting commission (House Bill 722). These partisan games have to end. For years, Chairman Metcalfe and Speaker Turzai Read more
PHILADELPHIA, April 20 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, hosted a How to Save Your Home Workshop this week at her monthly police captain meeting at the 18th Police District. Residents in the 191st Legislative District were able to receive information from various local government entities on how to save their home from foreclosure. “While foreclosure activity has decreased nationwide, residents in Philadelphia and Delaware counties have not been as fortunate,” McClinton said. “In fact, Pennsylvania has the 10th-highest foreclosure rate in the nation. I was happy to provide residents with the resources available to make affordable payments on their mortgage and back taxes, so that they can keep their homes.” Representatives from the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Revenue , Philadelphia Legal Assistance’s Save Your Home program, as well as the Philadelphia Council for Community Advancement, were available to offer information on the following programs and services: the Homestead Exemption program; the Senior Tax Freeze and Tax Deferral program; foreclosure assistance; free legal assistance; and housing and loan counseling. ### Read more
HARRISBURG, April 20 – During a series of hearings on gun violence this week before the House Judiciary Committee, state Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, addressed the disparity in coverage of gun violence between low-income communities of color and more affluent majority-white communities. During her testimony, McClinton, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, called on the committee to acknowledge gun violence as a public health crisis just like opioids, immediately advance legislation that would keep guns out of the wrong hands, and provide adequate funding for prevention programs and to the Office of the Attorney General for its Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. She said, “While it took tragedies like the Parkland and Las Vegas shootings to gather us here today, I would like to remind everyone that communities of color in Philadelphia, Delaware, Berks, Dauphin, Cambria and Allegheny counties have been victims of gun violence for decades. “In fact, the Center for American Progress reports that African-Americans and Hispanics represent nearly 79 percent of all gun homicides in Pennsylvania. From 2005 to 2014, Pennsylvania ranked fourth in the nation for the rate of gun deaths among African-Americans. Although African-Americans make up about 12 percent of Pennsylvania’s population, they account for nearly 70 percent of gun homicides in our commonwealth. Moreover, Pennsylvania ranked second in the nation for the highest gun death Read more
READING, April 20 – State Rep. Tom Caltagirone, D-Berks, said that he congratulates Berks Encore for a $99,200 state grant award announced today. The grant, which will go toward renovations and improvements throughout its senior community center, comes from Pennsylvania Lottery proceeds. “With many worthy senior programs and homes across the commonwealth to choose from, Berks Encore’s selection for this competitive grant reflects highly on its skilled management and commitment to excellence in the senior services industry,” Caltagirone said. “Congratulations are in order, and I look forward to helping bring more state investment for seniors in Reading and Berks County.” Berks Encore will use the money to replace flooring and ceilings, improve lighting, upgrade electrical and security systems, and further improve ADA compliance. Berks Encore was one of 41 senior centers throughout the commonwealth to receive a Department of Aging 2017-18 Senior Community Center Grant. Total investment across the state this round totals $2 million from the Pennsylvania Lottery. Read more
HARRISBURG, April 20 – State Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, announced today that LifeSpan Mon Valley at Olympia Resource Center has been awarded $54,300 from the state’s Department of Aging, in order to expand and revitalize services for seniors. Located in McKeesport, the Mon Valley at Olympia Resource Center is among eight LifeSpan community centers in Southern Allegheny County offering transportation, meals, information and assistance, and a variety of activities. “I am pleased that LifeSpan Mon Valley at Olympia Resource Center has received this grant in order to keep serving older adults living in our Mon Valley communities,” Davis said. “It’s important that we invest in places where our seniors can go to receive support, services and social interactions should they need them.” Forty-one senior centers throughout the commonwealth were recipients of the Department of Aging’s 2017-18 Senior Community Center Grants. Funding for the grants are awarded through the Pennsylvania Lottery and totaled $2 million. The grants are intended to attract a new generation of participants to the centers. There are over 500 senior centers located in Pennsylvania. Read more
HARRISBURG, April 20 – State Reps. Jake Wheatley and Ed Gainey, both D-Allegheny, will be introducing legislation that would create a liaison for Historically Black Colleges and Universities within the state’s Department of Education. The liaison would be responsible for coordinating with state departments and agencies, the private sector, educational associations and philanthropic organizations to strengthen and improve the participation of HBCUs in state programs, Wheatley said. The liaison also would work toward fostering partnerships to promote research and programmatic excellence at each HBCU. “The commonwealth is home to two of the oldest HBCUs in the nation, Cheyney University and Lincoln University, making this legislation imperative to the prosperous progression and advancement of these historic schools that continue to provide higher education opportunities to African-Americans,” Wheatley said. Gainey added: “HBCUs are necessary; they provide the proper nourishment that it takes to prepare young people, particularly African-Americans, to enter the workplace with understanding, knowledge and personal accomplishment that traditional history doesn’t teach.” HBCUs are institutions established before 1964 with a principal mission to provide higher education to African-American communities. They offer all students – regardless of race – an opportunity to further their education and develop their skills and Read more
HARRISBURG, April 20 – In a revival of the popular Child Fest format that ended a few years ago, state Rep. Pam Snyder will host her inaugural Kids Fest from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 28 at the Greene County Fairgrounds. “Everyone loved the community’s Child Fest, so we’re bringing it back as a fun Saturday afternoon with games, activities and plenty of information for parents and guardians – plus a free lunch for everyone who attends,” Snyder said. “We’ll also offer useful tips and instruction on child safety, for youngsters and adults, so there’s a serious element as well.” For example, Snyder, D-Greene/Fayette/Washington, said the entire Greene County Human Services team will be on hand to provide information on all areas it covers, including counseling and food assistance. Snyder and her staff also will be available to help with state government-related programs, services and problems. Snyder will personally host a 1 p.m. Reading Corner where each child gets a free book before they leave. Blending their expertise with fun activities, Greene County Children and Youth Services will host a duck pond game, while the county’s Department of Recreation will provide costumed children’s characters. Snyder said other offerings include: Kittens and family-friendly dogs for adoption through the Greene County Humane Society. IPads for STEM and OSMO demonstrations, provided by Read more
State Rep. Robert Freeman, D-Northampton, has reintroduced legislation H.B. 2271 ) that would provide funding to municipalities with high levels of tax-exempt property, such as major universities, non-profit medical facilities, government offices or state forests and game lands. "Municipalities with a significant amount of tax-exempt property, including several in the Lehigh Valley, have difficulty providing the essential services expected from local government because of the effect tax-exempt properties have on the real estate tax base of the community," Freeman said. "By providing annual funding to these municipalities, we can enable them to fix and maintain infrastructure and to provide the essential services that ensure the health and safety of their citizens." The bill would establish the Tax Exempt Property Municipal Assistance Fund to help municipalities with 15 percent or more of tax-exempt property within their borders. It would be funded by the state's 18 percent Liquor Tax, known as the Johnstown Flood Tax. The tax generated approximately $270 million in the 2009-10 fiscal year. "The tax did its job a long time ago, and that was to rebuild Johnstown after it was devastated by a flood," Freeman said. "It's time to target that money to municipalities that are falling further into financial distress simply because they have significant amounts of tax-exempt properties within their boundaries. This legislation can Read more
HARRISBURG, April 20 – State Rep. Joseph Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, has introduced a bill that would redirect child victims of human trafficking from the criminal justice system into child protective services. Petrarca said H.B. 2289 would automatically refer children who are suspected victims of sexual trafficking to Children and Youth Services and would not charge them with a crime or incarceration. “Children who are trafficked for sex are victims, not criminals, and they deserve to be protected,” Petrarca said. “We want to give law enforcement the ability to give child sexual servitude victims the care they need, rather than be penalized and susceptible to another opportunity to be re-victimized.” With over 100,000 children who are sexually exploited each year in the United States, Petrarca said his bill would allow police to focus on capturing real criminals such as the traffickers and pimps who force children into sexual enslavement. Currently, children who are suspected of being forced into sexual activities, can be charged with a crime. The bill also would require police officers to be trained to identify and assist sexually exploited children. Additionally, the Department of Human Services would need to develop and implement a statewide protocol to deliver safe and stable housing, education, life-skills training, and counseling to the children who have been exploited. Read more
State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., will hold her 72nd Town Hall at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 25 in the Cathedral Auditorium at Cathedral Village, located at 600 E. Cathedral Road."I look forward to providing an update on our efforts to curtail gerrymandering in our state and new developments from an amendment that gutted and replaced vital language from H.B. 722," DeLissio said. "There is still much advocacy and work to be done to ensure that an independent redistricting commission is put in place to draw legislative district boundaries instead of partisan elected officials drawing those boundaries. Read more
PITTSBURGH, April 19 – House Democratic Caucus Chairman Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, has announced the awarding of up to $1.67 million in tax credits for the rehabilitation of the Riverview Towers senior housing complex, 52 Garetta St. "I was proud to support funding for this very worthwhile project. Riverview Towers provides affordable housing and dinner every day to seniors and enables them to age with dignity," Frankel said. The Low Income Housing Tax Credits, awarded through the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, will help fund the rehabilitation of the two nine-story buildings, which have a total of 191 units for people 62 or older. They include 42 fully accessible units; 99 units with Section 8 project-based assistance. The buildings have four elevators and include 76 efficiency, 108 one-bedroom, and seven two-bedroom units. ### Read more
State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio will hold a free shredding event for constituents to safely dispose of confidential, unwanted documents. Read more
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