JOHNSTOWN, Oct. 23 – State Rep. Bryan Barbin, D-Cambria/Somerset, is pleased to announce the Central Park Center at the Pennsylvania Highlands Community College in downtown Johnstown received $60,000 in funding for a project that will help develop classroom space and a conference room. The new classroom will seat 30 peop le and the conference area will have space for 12 seats, in addition to being able to host meetings and other small events, Barbin said. The announcement was made Monday, in conjunction with officials from Penn Highlands during a news conference. “This project will be transforming for downtown Johnstown,” Barbin said. “This will make higher education more accessible, and even allow high school students to take dual enrollment courses, which will drive down their cost of college.” The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development provided $40,000 for the project; with $20,000 matching the grant from three different entities that include $8,000 from the Penn Highlands Community College Foundation, a $7,000 Community Foundation for the Alleghenies grant and $1,000 from five local banks. Construction on the project is expected to begin shortly and open by January. Also Monday, Barbin, along with DCED Secretary Dennis Davin, disclosed that a $500,000 grant was awarded to the Bottle Works Ethnic Center in Johnstown to support renovations that include a green roof and an adjacent outdoor performing space. The Read more
SOLEBURY, Oct. 23 – State Rep. Helen Tai today awarded $133,000 worth of grants to three different projects at a presentation at Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve in Solebury Township. “Since taking office I’ve been honored to help bring over $4.6 million in investments to fund projects that help address the problems I hear about every day from constituents,” Tai said. “Today’s recipients are no different. This $133,000 in funding will go towards important programming to do things like expand learning opportunities for our children, increase accessibility for underserved communities, and help our most vulnerable seniors.” Tai said that every borough and township in the district she represents has been awarded at least one state grant since she took office. All of the grants announced today were for the full requested amount by each applicant and were awarded by the Department of Human Services. The funding consists of: New Hope Borough: $77,000 grant for Cornerstone Club for its Parkinson’s Program; and $3,000 grant for Free Library of New Hope-Solebury for adult/children yoga. Solebury Township: $50,000 grant for Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve for an expansion of access to underserved communities. At the presentation Tai congratulated each recipient for successfully applying for the funding. “Thanks to your initiative and commitment, our community has more funding Read more
It’s estimated this expansion will allow for an additional 17,000 seniors to be eligible for the program. Read more
It’s estimated the expansion will allow for an additional 17,000 seniors to be eligible for the program. Read more
HARRISBURG, Oct. 23 – Bipartisan legislation crafted by state Reps. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Luzerne, Democratic chairman of the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, and Kathy Watson, R-Bucks, Republican chairwoman of the House Children and Youth Committee, was signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf today signaling a major victory for grandparents raising grandchildren across Pennsylvania. “We’ve been fighting for this legislation for years, so to finally get it through not only the House, but also the Senate and on to be signed into law by Governor Wolf is a tremendous win for grandparents raising grandchildren in Pennsylvania,” Pashinski said. “I’m incredibly appreciative for the support Chairwoman Watson gave these bills, along with the support of my colleagues in the House and Senate and Governor Wolf himself. Governor Wolf was a vocal advocate for this bipartisan package of bills and I look forward to working with the governor and my colleagues in the General Assembly on more grandparents raising grandchildren issues in the future.” “This legislation is a win for the thousands of grandparents across this state who need some help,” Watson said. “Temporary guardianship will allow grandparents to be able to make decisions for their grandchildren, especially at a time of crisis. These children – many of whom are the latest victims of the ongoing opioid crisis – need a sense of permanence and Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 23 – In an effort to provide young people with a safe environment to celebrate Halloween, state Reps. Joanna McClinton and Jordan Harris, both D-Phila., will partner with the 12 th District Police Station to host a Fall Festival for local families. The event will take place from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31 at The Common Place, 5736 Chester Ave. There will be children’s games, food, a trick or treat candy giveaway, and more free family fun. Health and wellness vendors will also be on site to provide information on the importance of exercise and healthy eating. “Halloween is a very special holiday for children, and we want to make sure they are able to celebrate it with their families and neighbors in a safe environment,” McClinton said. “While we wanted to make this event fun for the local youth, we also wanted to provide something for everyone so it could be just as fun as it is informative for all families.” McClinton said this event is a great opportunity for children in her district to have a fun and safe space to go for Halloween. The event will offer treats and refreshments, activities for families as well as information on health and state-related programs. For more information, constituents can call McClinton’s office at (215) 748-6712. ### CONTACT: Daniel Bixler House Democratic Communications Office Phone: 717-787-7895 ext. 6221 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Read more
CHESTER, Oct. 23 – As part of the House Democratic Caucus’ Plan4PA, state Rep. Brian Kirkland, D-Delaware, will host a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing on jobs and economic development. The hearing will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, in City Council Chambers at Chester City Hall, 1 E. 4 th St. Kirkland requested the hearing to discuss the importance of creating more jobs that offer good pay and benefits while boosting local economic development. Kirkland 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. State panel: Carol Kilko , deputy secretary for business financing, Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development Eileen Cipriani , deputy secretary for workforce development, Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry 10:45 a.m. Local panel: Drake Nakaishi , executive director, Chester Economic Development Authority John Daly , executive director, Delaware County Workforce Development Board 11:20 a.m. Closing remarks The meeting is one in a series being held across the state on the House Democrats’ Plan4PA, which includes putting people first by growing good jobs, investing in quality schools and working toward a fair economy. Visit www.plan4pa.com for additional information about the Plan4PA and Read more
A Centre County swimming pool and two Clinton County youth sports leagues received grant funding through separate Keystone Communities grant awards. Read more
JOHNSTOWN, Oct. 22 – State Rep. Bryan Barbin, D-Cambria/Somerset, along with the Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin, announced a $500,000 grant was awarded to support renovations for the Bottle Works Ethnic Arts Center. Barbin said the Bottle Works Ethnic Arts Center will use the funds to create a green roof, along with providing an adjacent outdoor performance space. The green planting areas of the project will utilize sustainable, low-maintenance, native plants. The information regarding the upgrades for the center were made during a news conference held this afternoon at Bottle Works. “The Bottle Works Ethnic Arts Center has been a great asset to the Johnstown area, especially in its work to ensure diversity and education through the work of its artists,” Barbin said. “This grant means a lot, because it allows the center to expand its mission and to continue to provide art, dance and expression.” Bottle Works, where soda used to be produced, is housed in the former Tulip Bottling Co. at 411 Third Ave., and was later remodeled into an arts center. The grant is provided through DCED’s Keystone Communities Program, which encourages partnerships between public and private sectors to support growth and social and economic diversity. Since 2015, approximately $100 million has been secured for the Johnstown region for a multitude of projects that include transportation, business development and Read more
WEST CHESTER, Oct. 22 – A program to train electricians in Chester County received state government funding, state Rep. Carolyn Comitta announced today. The Chester Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee will receive $15,000 from the Pennsylvania Department of Education to train electricians on technical instrument calibration. “From Day 1, this administration’s goal has been to invest in jobs to grow the economy and empower earners,” said Comitta, D-Chester. “I have shared that priority since taking office and am proud every time we put the funding behind the promise. “Congratulations to the CJATC on securing this competitive grant money. The hard work of its staff and trainers reflect highly on our region.” The training course takes place at IBEW Local Union 654. Electricians who complete it will earn their EPRI Part B Instrumental Certification. Read more
NEW HOPE, Oct. 22 –State Rep. Helen Tai, D-Bucks, today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing at the Event Center by Cornerstone to highlight the need for commonsense gun safety measures in Pennsylvania. Tai was joined by Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, and state legislators from across the commonwealth. The committee discussed current and proposed legislation, including Tai’s package of bills introduced this summer which require the safe storage of firearms and the reporting of lost or stolen weapons by owners. Tai said the objective of today’s hearing was to bring together experts, gun owners as well as those affected by gun violence to find common ground and take meaningful action like the legislature did with the recent passage of Act 79. The new law tightens the time frame and manner in which court-ordered defendants in domestic violence cases have to surrender their firearms. “Today’s hearing was an important discussion about the impact of gun violence on Pennsylvanians and what we can do to make our communities safer,” Tai said. “As we saw today, there is broad consensus on a number of commonsense gun safety measures. It will not be easy, but if the passage of Act 79 has taught us anything, it is that gun safety reform is possible in Pennsylvania.” Sturla added, “Commonsense policies that will prevent future injuries and deaths from firearms are some of the most Read more
Rep. Ed Gainey, D-Allegheny, has proposed legislation that would require Pennsylvania House and Senate members to undergo random drug testing. Read more
LEVITTOWN, Oct. 22 – State Rep. Tina Davis will hold her annual free “Salute to Veterans” dinner for veterans living in the 141 st District at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 29 at the Bristol Township Senior Center, 2501 Bath Road, Bristol. “Local men and women have made great sacrifices to protect our nation’s freedom by serving in our Armed Forces,” Davis said. “This annual dinner is my way of saying thank you to our veterans for all that they have done to preserve the American way of life.” The event’s special guest speakers include Erica L. Webster, an advocate for homeless female veterans, who will serve as the keynote speaker, and Dan Fraley, director of Bucks County Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. There will be live music and an award presentation. Local businesses will be sponsoring the event. Veterans are invited to bring immediate family and special guests to the event. Davis requests that veterans who would like to attend contact her Levittown office by phone at 267-580-2660 or by email at RepDavis@pahouse.net by Oct. 24. Read more
HARRISBURG, Oct. 22 – In hopes of creating a safety net for commonwealth residents affected by and prone to landslides, state Rep. Anita Astorino Kulik, D-Allegheny, currently has a bill in the House of Representatives geared toward creating a Landslide Insurance and Assistance Program. Kulik’s measure is a companion bill to S.B. 1131 , which was introduced by state Sen. Jay Costa, D-Allegheny. “Landslides are a significant geological hazard throughout the commonwealth and have caused millions of dollars in damage this year alone to western Pennsylvania,” Kulik said. “Sadly, this type of disaster typically is not covered by most insurance policies and can leave families with insurmountable financial and emotional damage. It’s because of this that I’ve introduced a bill that calls for the establishment of the Landslide Insurance and Assistance Program, which would give victims the help they need.” Kulik’s H.B. 2743 looks to establish the Landslide Insurance and Assistance Program within the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. It is intended to provide sound insurance coverage to homeowners, as well as assistance to local governments that wish to mitigate the risk of landslides within their communities. Her bill was referred to the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee. Costa’s bill also looks to establish the Landslide Insurance and Assistance Program in Pennsylvania. Under his Read more
HARRSIBURG, Oct. 22 – A bill that will help to rebuild low-income communities through projects aimed at affordable housing, crime prevention and workforce development, is currently awaiting the governor’s signature, said state Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny. Wheatley, the Democratic chairman of the House Finance Committee who helped push for H.B. 645 , said the legislation was necessary in order to keep making investments throughout local communities and to strengthen Pittsburgh’s economy and landscape. “Enhancing the quality of life for residents in Allegheny County and surrounding areas has and always will be important to me,” Wheatley said. “This program ultimately helps in so many ways through education, to employment and development, and even helps curb crime.” The Neighborhood Assistance Program, which serves as a resource for non-profits, businesses and distressed neighborhoods, seeks to improve the lives of people who live in distressed neighborhoods through the creation of partnerships between community-based organizations, businesses and corporate communities. The program was created in 1967. The bill would increase the NAP cap from $18 million to $36 million. “The bill helps Pittsburgh in particular and has served as a great asset to our area,” Wheatley added. “Our neighborhoods are more stabilized and healthy because of NAP.” More than 190 applications were received in the 2017-18 Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 22 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila., held a free criminal record expungement and sealing clinic on Wednesday, Oct. 17. “We successfully helped over 70 people start the process of criminal record expungement,” McClinton said. “It is essential that those who have done their time in the criminal justice system get a second chance at a better life. I want to thank Senator Anthony Williams, the lawyers helping here and volunteering their time, and all of our partners for joining us in this effort to get folks back on their feet, and out of the criminal justice system.” Second chance and job resources were available for all people in attendance. Those who received assistance met these qualifications: Only Philadelphia County arrests. Non-conviction charges or summary convictions with no arrests in the past five years. No current criminal charges. Not be serving probation time. Some second- and third-degree misdemeanor convictions were sealed if 10 years had passed. McClinton partnered with Williams, the Defender Association of Philadelphia, Community Legal Services and the Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs for this event. Pennsylvania’s newly expanded Clean Slate law, signed in June, expands criminal record sealing to include more types of offenses, including some first-degree misdemeanors, which can be sealed by filing petitions. ### CONTACT: Daniel Bixler Read more
JOHNSTOWN, Oct. 19 – State Rep. Bryan Barbin, D-Cambria/Somerset, will be joined by the Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin at a news conference on Monday. The project includes new funding to create a “green roof,” and will also provide an adjacent outdoor performance space through a $500,000 grant from the Keystone Communities program. WHEN: 1 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22. WHERE: Bottle Works Ethnic Center, 411 Third Ave., in Johnstown. Read more
HARRISBURG, Oct. 19 – A bill introduced by state Reps. Steve Samuelson, D-Northampton, and Frank Farry, R-Bucks, that would open the PACENET prescription assistance program to thousands more seniors is on its way to the governor’s desk. House Bill 270, which passed unanimously in the House and Senate in the closing days of the legislative session, would increase the income limits for PACENET from $23,500 to $27,500 for individuals and from $31,500 to $35,500 for married couples. “This is the first time in 15 years we have increased the income limits for PACENET,” said Samuelson, Democratic chairman of the House Aging and Older Adult Services Committee. “This increase will not only allow nearly 3,000 PACENET enrollees whose incomes had risen above the limits this year to remain in the program, but will make thousands of seniors across the state eligible for the prescription assistance for the first time.” The Department of Aging estimates more than 14,000 new seniors will enroll in PACENET over the next two-and-a-half years. PACE and PACENET are lottery-funded programs that provide low-cost prescriptions to eligible seniors. “We need to remain vigilant that income limits for our senior programs, including PACENET, keep pace with inflation,” Samuelson said. “Our seniors should never have to choose between paying for medicine and paying for heat, rent or food.” The Read more
Lake Erie’s coastal region will benefit from five educational and environmental projects thanks to more than $182,000 in state grants. Read more
HARRISBURG, Oct. 19 – State Rep. Thomas Caltagirone is praising $424,193 in state funding announced to help clean up and redevelop two former industrial sites in Berks County for business use. The Industrial Sites Reuse Program awarded Fleetwood Borough a $285,443 grant to perform environmental remediation at the former Garden State Tannery site. The borough plans to transform the two-acre lot into a public parking facility for businesses on Main Street. The ISRP also approved a $138,750 grant for the Berks County Convention Center Authority to cover cleanup costs for a contaminated building at the Pearle Building Site in Reading. The organization plans on constructing a 33,000-square-foot, multi-level bar/restaurant in its place. “Blight can cripple any community, but the key is to recognize these areas and figure out ways to repurpose them that benefit our neighborhoods,” said Caltagirone, D-Berks. “This money will allow developers to restore and rebuild, while opening the door to new job opportunities and economic ventures for Berks County.” The Berks County projects were two of 11 approved across the commonwealth by Gov. Tom Wolf. Read more
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