ERIE, Aug. 13 -- State Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, D-Erie, received a great turnout for his sixth annual free Senior Fair and Older Living Expo Monday at the McDowell Intermediate High School, 3320 Caughey Road. “Over 1,000 people turned out to attend the event,” Bizzarro said. “The Senior Fair is a great way for me to connect with the community and I look forward to it every year.” Dozens of local, state and federal organizations and exhibitors provided health screenings, veterans’ benefits information and other useful information for older residents. “Having the opportunity to speak on a personal level with the constituents that I serve is really what it’s all about,” Bizzarro added. “Being able to bridge the gap between the resources that are available and our senior citizens will always remain a priority.” Bizzarro will host another free Senior Fair and Older Living Expo from 10 a.m. to noon Sept. 14 at Our Lady of the Lake Church, 128 Sunset Drive in Edinboro in conjunction with state Sen. Michele Brooks, R-Erie, Crawford, Mercer and Warren counties. A video of Bizzarro's remarks on the senior fair is available here . Read more
What is REAL ID? Passed by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act established minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards, and prohibits Federal agencies from accepting, for official purposes, licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards. Pennsylvania has been granted an extension to the REAL ID Act through October 10, 2018. What does that mean? The extension means that current PennDOT-issued driver's licenses and identification cards can be used to enter federal facilities and board domestic commercial flights through October 10, 2018. What is Pennsylvania doing about REAL ID? On May 26, 2017, Governor Wolf signed Act 3 of 2017 (SB133) into law, which did the following: Repeals Act 38 of 2012, which prohibited any state agency from complying with REAL ID. Creates a an Opt-in system, where Pennsylvanians can choose to get a standard-issued driver’s license or photo ID that DOES NOT comply with REAL ID, or a new driver’s license or photo ID that DOES comply with REAL ID. Prohibits the Commonwealth from mandating REAL ID for any reason. With the enactment of Act 3 of 2017, the PA Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is currently in the process of working with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to implement REAL ID. On August 25, 2017, PennDOT submitted an initial report to the General Assembly outlining the planned deployment and Read more
State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila/Delaware, will host her annual Delaware County Back to School Community Resource Fair from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4 at the Darby Recreation Center, 1022 Ridge Ave., Darby. Read more
ALLENTOWN, Aug. 13 – Area veterans are invited to take part in a support program next week at the office of state Rep. Peter Schweyer. Read more
State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, will host the sixth annual Health and Wellness Weekend from Friday, Aug. 17 through Sunday, Aug. 19. Read more
State Rep. W. Curtis Thomas, D-Phila., joined with victims’ families, community organizations and activists at a rally today to call attention to the senseless violence tormenting Philadelphia. Read more
HARRISBURG, Aug. 10 – State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, today announced a total of $75,000 in 2017-18 Historic Preservation Tax Credits has been awarded to the 77 th Legislative District. Conklin said the allocated tax credits will aid in the rehabilitation of Philipsburg’s historic Hoffer Building and leverage an estimated $350,000 in construction expenditures. The building will be rehabilitated for housing and commercial use. “The tax credits awarded through this program will play a vital role in revitalizing the Philipsburg Historic District, which in part will strengthen the local economy and bring new residents to the 77 th Legislative District,” Conklin said. The Historic Preservation Tax Credit program is administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Since 2013, the Historic Preservation Tax Credit program has invested more than $15 million to rehabilitate 81 historic buildings leveraging an estimated $1.3 billion in construction expenditures. The investments have helped preserve buildings that contribute to the distinct character of Pennsylvania’s boroughs, townships and cities. This year, a total of $3 million was awarded to 21 projects statewide in 2017-18 Historic Preservation Tax Credits. Read more
HARRISBURG, Aug. 10 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, announced today that projects to renovate four buildings in Pittsburgh’s 19 th Legislative District have received Historic Preservation Tax Credits totaling $530,000. The credits will leverage construction costs of about $50.5 million. “These buildings are a unique part of our history,” Wheatley said. “The renovations made possible by these tax credits will not only help us preserve this history for future generations, they will revitalize the surrounding residential and business districts and create new jobs. It’s an exciting development on the horizon.” The tax credits will be allocated to the following projects: 521 Armandale St. Rehabilitation of a historic row house in the Mexican War Streets Historic District, which will be turned into affordable housing. An $86,303 tax credit allocation will leverage $345,211 in estimated construction costs. 1010 Morrison St. Rehabilitation of a historic row house in the Old Allegheny Rows Historic District, which will be turned into affordable housing. A $43,697 tax credit allocation will leverage $182,855 in estimated construction costs. Arrott Building . Rehabilitation of an historic office building in the Fourth Avenue Historic District, which will be turned into a hotel. A $200,000 tax credit allocation will leverage about $43.2 million in estimated construction costs. Bonn Building . Rehabilitation Read more
ERIE, Aug. 10 – In aligning with the House Democratic Caucus’ Plan4PA, state Rep. Pat Harkins, D-Erie, announced that he will host a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing to discuss technical education and career readiness. The hearing will be held at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 15 at the Erie County Technical School’s cafeteria, located at 8500 Oliver Road. Harkins, who served as Democratic chairman of the Select Subcommittee on Technical Education and Career Readiness, said he requested the hearing because expanding and improving career readiness education is needed in order to meet the demands of the future workforce. Harkins will be joined by a number of state representatives from across the Commonwealth, including Policy Chair Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. The current agenda is: 9 a.m. Welcome and opening remarks 9:10 a.m. Panelists: Dr. H. Fred Walker , director, Erie County Technical School Joe Tarasovitch, principal, Erie County Technical School Pam Mackowski, director of career and technical education/adult education, Erie’s Public Schools/Erie High School 10 a.m. Closing remarks The meeting is one in a series being held across the state on the House Democrats’ Plan4PA that includes putting people first, good jobs, quality schools and fair taxes. Visit www.plan4pa.com for additional information about the Plan4PA and www.pahouse.com/policycommittee for Policy Committee Read more
HARRISBURG, Aug. 10 – State Rep. Patty Kim, D-Dauphin, today announced a $1 million state grant has been awarded to Second Street Associates, LLC for development of the Blackberry Office Center from the state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program. “Congratulations to Second Street Associates, LLC for winning this highly competitive grant to help rehabilitate and improve this underutilized land in downtown Harrisburg,” Kim said. “I also want to thank Governor Tom Wolf for investing in our city through this grant. This project will preserve a historic part of the city while creating new opportunities for businesses to succeed.” Second Street Associates, LLC plans to redevelop two contiguous parcels along South 2nd Street. One building is a historic, underutilized six-story office building at 17 S. 2nd St. and the other is a vacant lot at 21 S. 2nd St. Demolition of the former building on this site occurred in 2017. The RACP project proposed will rehabilitate the existing building and construct the new six-story tower on vacant land to connect both new and old buildings for one contiguous office tower. This contiguous office tower will provide a showcase location for a new corporate office headquarters located adjacent to Market Square in downtown Harrisburg. The street-level portion of the building is intended to be occupied by retail tenants. The Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program is a grant program administered by the Read more
ERIE, Aug. 9 – State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, announced today that he will host a public hearing to discuss the economic impact of tourism, as part of the House Democratic Caucus’ Plan4PA. The House Democratic Policy Committee hearing will be held at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14 at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center, Room 112, 301 Peninsula Drive in Erie. Bizzarro, who also serves as vice-chairman of the House Democratic Policy Committee, said tourism helps generate revenue for the state’s economy and ultimately helps to secure more jobs. Bizzarro will be joined by other state representatives from across the commonwealth, including Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. The meeting is one in a series being held across the state on the House Democrats’ Plan4PA that includes putting people first, good jobs, quality schools and fair taxes. Visit www.plan4pa.com for additional information about the Plan4PA and www.pahouse.com/policycommittee for Policy Committee materials. Read more
HARRISBURG, Aug. 9 – State Rep. Adam Ravenstahl, D-Allegheny, today announced a total of $150,000 in 2017-18 Historic Preservation Tax Credits has been awarded to the 20 th Legislative District. Ravenstahl said the allocated tax credits will aid in the rehabilitation of the National Register-listed Bayard School in Upper Lawrenceville and leverage $3.2 million in estimated construction expenditures. The school will be rehabilitated into an apartment complex. “I’m happy to announce the allocation of these tax credits,” Ravenstahl said. “This funding will not only add to our local economy but hopefully bring a number of new residents to the 20 th Legislative District.” The Historic Preservation Tax Credit program is administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Since 2013, the Historic Preservation Tax Credit program has invested more than $15 million to rehabilitate 81 historic buildings leveraging an estimated $1.3 billion in construction expenditures. The investments have helped preserve buildings that contribute to the distinct character of Pennsylvania’s boroughs, townships and cities. This year, a total of $3 million was awarded to 21 projects statewide in 2017-18 Historic Preservation Tax Credits. Read more
EASTON, Aug. 9 – State Rep. Robert Freeman announced today that the Simon Silk Mill in Easton was awarded $200,000 in tax credits through the 2017-18 Historic Preservation Tax Credit program, leveraging more than $7 million in estimated construction expenditures. “The use of these historic tax credits will greatly assist the ongoing revitalization of the former silk mill complex," said Freeman, D-Northampton. "We have already seen how the Simon Silk Mill is being transformed into apartments, restaurants and other commercial spaces. This funding will compliment that effort and help keep it moving forward." Freeman said the use of historic tax credits for the rehabilitation of the impressive 19 th -century buildings that make up the silk mill complex reflects the historic significance of this National Historic Register-listed property. “The Simon Silk Mill complex demonstrates the great potential that comes from the adaptive reuse of older factory buildings,” Freeman noted. The Department of Community and Economic Development, in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, administers the Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program. Since 2013, the program has invested more than $15 million to revitalize 81 historic buildings across the commonwealth that contribute to the distinct character of Pennsylvania. The application date for fiscal year 2018-19 is Nov. 1. More information about the program can be Read more
Rep. Marty Flynn is pleased to announce that the Samter Building project in Scranton has been selected to receive a $150,000 historic preservation tax credit. Read more
CHESTER, Aug. 9 – Agri-Kind LLC, a Chester County-based medical marijuana business, has been issued a grower permit by Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration as part of Phase II of the state’s Medical Marijuana program, according to state Rep. Brian Kirkland, D-Delaware. “This is an exciting opportunity for Agri-Kind to bring new jobs and increased spending to our area,” Kirkland said. “Agri-Kind will also play an important role in expanding access to medical marijuana for qualified residents who want to purchase their medicine closer to home.” Phase I of Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana program built a framework to give Pennsylvanians suffering from one of 21 serious medical conditions access to medical marijuana. Phase II will expand the program to ensure that more patients have options in their own towns. Wolf signed the program into law April 17, 2016. Since then, more than 30,000 Pennsylvanians have received their identification cards and are eligible to purchase medical marijuana from a dispensary. Those interested can visit www.medicalmarijuana.pa.gov for more information about the Medical Marijuana program. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 9 – State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing at Temple University on the PA Promise Act, his legislation that would provide free tuition for students attending Pennsylvania’s community colleges, state system universities, and state-related institutions. Roebuck was joined by Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, and state legislators from across the commonwealth. The committee discussed H.B. 2444 , which would remove substantial financial burdens on students and their families and make college more affordable. “Free tuition makes sense. The success is proven. The pressures of getting into a good college can be stressful. The overwhelming cost that comes with it should not be one of them,” Roebuck said. “Graduates should be able to concentrate on getting good jobs and starting families, not be concerned with drowning in debt for years to come. And it is our duty to help create that reality.” Sturla added, “Pennsylvania families are afforded the right to an excellent and thorough public education in their state constitution, but when it comes to higher education many of students are still unable to afford it. As policymakers, we must understand that investments in education are the key to move our state forward. Having people ready to fill the jobs that businesses and corporations are offering will create an enormous economic opportunity Read more
MILL HALL, Aug. 8 – State Rep. Mike Hanna, D-Clinton/Centre, joined Clinton County residents in honoring a fallen war hero today as a Mill Hall bridge was named in honor of U.S. Navy Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer David M. Collins. “David was a true American hero,” Hanna said. “No action or gesture can adequately express our gratitude for his service. It’s my sincere hope that his family and friends – and our entire community – can take pride and solace in today’s dedication, which will forever serve as a reminder of David’s courage and commitment to his country.” A Lock Haven native, Collins served in operations Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. His numerous medals and awards included the Bronze Star, which he received during Iraq’s national election period while serving as the primary tactical shift leader for the Iraqi prime minister’s protective security detail. Collins reportedly directed the safe execution of more than 300 high-risk movements throughout Iraq and parts of the Middle East. He retired from naval service in September 2012. He died in March 2014 as a result of a combat-related traumatic brain injury and chronic brain disease. “This bridge is an important piece of infrastructure in our community – but now it’s much more,” Hanna said. “It’s also a permanent reminder of the courage of a local hero.” The Read more
HARRISBURG, Aug. 8 – State Reps. Mike Schlossberg and Peter Schweyer, and state Sen. Pat Browne announced today funding to renovate the Allentown Commercial and Industrial Development Authority’s manufacturing site, which will provide employment opportunities and further economic development for the Lehigh Valley. The project is supported by the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, and will provide 75 full-time, manufacturing jobs once completed. Funding will cover construction costs related to the renovation of the 52,000 square foot building at 606 S. 10 th St. in Allentown and will specifically be used toward the cost of roof replacement, wall and ceiling insulation as well as new or replacement of windows and doors. “The Allentown Metal Works is at the heart of Allentown’s manufacturing history,” Schlossberg said. “I am thrilled to work with Governor Wolf, Representative Schweyer and Senator Browne to help create jobs that pay at this location during these exciting times in Allentown.” “Allentown Metal Works is an old fabricating building that will be brought back to life by this project,” Schweyer said. “Through the vision of the entrepreneurs that will inhabit this space, our city will see light manufacturing start-ups playing a key role in the city’s continued economic redevelopment. I look forward to working with the administration, my colleagues and our local partners to invest in job Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 8 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing at the Philadelphia City Hall on probation reform. McClinton was joined by Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, and state legislators from across the commonwealth. The committee discussed initiatives and potential legislation that would update Pennsylvania’s probation policies, reduce recidivism, create reforms and give returning citizens a second chance and save taxpayer dollars. “For far too long administrations and policymakers have enforced probation and parole as a measure of public safety, but it didn’t work. Pennsylvania has the highest parole rate in the nation and nearly one third of our prison’s beds are occupied by citizens who don’t pose a threat to their communities,” McClinton said. “We must reverse the equation by redirecting the hundreds of millions we currently spend in prisons into the resources returning citizens need to succeed.” Sturla added, “This is the beginning of a comprehensive strategy to move probation reform forward. This issue also affects our institutions as probation and parole officers struggle to manage increasing caseloads. Thanks to Representative McClinton for taking the lead on this important conversation.” The committee heard testimony from Christian Stephens, deputy secretary for field services, Pennsylvania Read more
DARBY, Aug. 8 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, welcomed 150 constituents to her shredding event to help them properly dispose of old papers containing personal information. The event was held at Mercy Fitzgerald Campus and was co-hosted by state Sen. Anthony Williams. “Protecting your identity by shredding documents is a safe measure to get rid of things you no longer need,” McClinton said. “I am pleased to have partnered with Sen. Williams to co-host this event to allow constituents to dispose of important documents safely.” Constituents shredded documents containing information such as Social Security numbers, credit card or bank account numbers, credit card applications, canceled or unused checks and bank statements, among others. Read more
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