PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 15 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., joined Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro on Thursday for a news conference to discuss a major drug bust in Kensington. Yesterday, more than 160 agents and officers representing all levels of law enforcement executed search warrants at 13 residences and of 15 vehicles. Eleven people were arrested in connection with the drug trafficking operation. “The breakup of this drug operation is a testament to what can happen when state, local and federal law enforcement work together. I’m grateful to Attorney General Shapiro and his office for their work,” Kenyatta said. “While we must actively and aggressively pursue criminal justice reform, we must also work to stem this tide of poison flowing into our communities. “I remain dedicated to doing all we can to fund drug treatment programs and workforce development initiatives. We must enhance social services to help folks get off of drugs and remain off of drugs. I stand ready and willing to work with law enforcement to ensure that those who make our communities less safe are held accountable and taken off the streets.” The estimated street value of the heroin, fentanyl and other drugs distributed by this criminal operation is roughly $7.7 million. In addition to 983 grams of crack cocaine and 4,900 grams of heroin and/or fentanyl, agents also recovered three handguns, $13,000 in cash, and a piece of heavy machinery Read more
SPRINGFIELD, Feb. 15 – State Rep. Jennifer O’Mara, D-Delaware, is encouraging constituents of the 165th Legislative District to attend her senior breakfast at 9 a.m. Friday, Feb. 22 at American Legion Post #805, 2340 West Chester Pike, Broomall, 19008 . "It’s important that our seniors know that we are here to help," O’Mara said. "I will be sharing with them how the governor’s new budget will advance initiatives that improve seniors’ lives. My staff and representatives from other state and county agencies will be there with helpful materials, including senior handbooks, estate planning books and other informational pieces." Residents with questions about the event are encouraged to call O’Mara’s office at 610-544-9878 or by email at RepOMara@pahouse.net . Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 15 – A state grant of nearly $7,500 will allow Apollo-Ridge Elementary school to purchase needed equipment for its cafeteria, including a display case, a refrigerated deli display and a countertop, state Rep. Joseph Petrarca announced. Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, said the grant is part of a package of competitive grants awarded to 79 elementary, middle and high schools statewide through a program administered by the state Department of Education. “We know students who have access to nutritious food perform better in the classroom, and these needed enhancements will go a long way to ensure Apollo-Ridge Elementary School can continue to provide the essential meals students need every day to learn and grow,” Petrarca said. The funding for the grants is made available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and is awarded to schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program and have 50 percent or more of students eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Schools often use the grants to purchase new refrigerators, freezers, stoves and dishwashers. Read more
Lt Gov. John Fetterman is conducting a statewide listening tour to hear from Pennsylvania residents about how they view proposals to legalize general adult-use marijuana. I also want to know what you think. Please provide your viewpoint and comment by filling out the form below. http://www.pahouse.com/Survey/?id=1177 Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 15 – Legislation introduced this week by state Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., would help police across the commonwealth remove illegal trespassers from residential properties. House Bill 546 would help address situations where people illegally move into a home or an apartment but claim to live there legally when police arrive. Law enforcement would have the authority to remove someone from a home if they have probable cause to believe the person is trespassing. Under the bill, the accused would be granted adequate opportunity to prove they live there legally before police can remove them. “There are cases when it’s one person’s word against another’s, so police often hesitate to remove the trespasser because the property owner could be attempting to evict rightful tenants illegally,” Neilson said. “There are certain situations when an owner may have to take legal eviction action, which could be expensive and time-consuming. My legislation would help eliminate that potential step for the property owner.” The bill would not affect landlord-tenant disputes, and a property owner making a false statement could be held criminally and civilly liable. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 15 – In his continued effort to connect with young people in his district, state Rep. Chris Rabb announced he will host his third annual millennial brunch from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23 at Mt. Airy Nexus, 520 Carpenter Lane, 19119. Rabb said the brunch is a great opportunity for residents, students, activists and leaders between the ages of 18 and 35 to gather for food and networking and to get information about what they can do to improve their schools, help fight crime and improve their neighborhood. Residents interested in attending are urged to call Rabb’s office at 215-242-7300. Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 14 – State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., announced that the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus will host a Black History Month program to celebrate the Tuskegee Airmen. The ceremony will be held from noon to 3 p.m. Feb. 23 at New Covenant Church of Philadelphia, 7500 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19119. "The Tuskegee Airmen’s excellent combat record served as an example to all who doubted the leadership skills of black Americans'” Kinsey said. “Even before the civil rights movement took shape, these heroes helped open doors for black Americans in the military and beyond.” The event will feature a panel discussion with members of the Greater Philadelphia Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen hosted by Junious R. Stanton. Speakers include Tuskegee Airmen and women Nathan O. Thomas, Dr. Eugene Richardson, Bertram Levy and Alma Bailey. Read more
STATE COLLEGE, Feb. 15 – Citing concerns from several school districts statewide that the current high school sports playoff system is unfair, state Rep. Scott Conklin introduced legislation that would establish separate playoffs for public and private schools. Conklin, D-Centre, said the current system’s rules, as mandated by the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, which operates all state championship tournaments, gives an unfair advantage to private and parochial schools, which aren’t confined by geographic boundaries that public schools must follow. “As a result, many of those private schools’ sports programs have become so large that they’re now dominating playoffs, and that’s not fair,” said Conklin. “My legislation would change a 1972 law, removing a mandate that these schools compete with public schools, and allow for separate playoffs.” Conklin discussed his bill during a news conference at the Penn Stater Hotel and Convention Center in State College, where the Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches Association Clinic was being held. Read more
KENNETT SQUARE, Feb. 14 – State Rep. Christina Sappey today announced she was appointed to the General Assembly’s Local Government Commission. The commission, created in 1935, is a bicameral, bipartisan legislative service agency that provides the General Assembly with research and analysis on matters affecting local governments. “I’m honored to receive this appointment. I am ready to join my colleagues on the commission and eager to learn from them,” said Sappey, D-Chester. “Local governments play a huge role in our everyday lives, and I look forward to tackling some of our larger, more complex local government issues in a way that best serves local governments and the taxpayers.” Sappey’s record of working with residents, local governments and state agencies to address traffic concerns, protect natural resources and preserve open space will allow her to contribute to the commission’s vision of bridging gaps between constituents and local governments throughout the commonwealth. Sappey was recommended for the commission by House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody and appointed by House Speaker Mike Turzai. The commission is made up of five House members and five Senate members. Sappey also was appointed to the House Local Government Committee, as well as the Agriculture and Rural Affairs, and Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness committees. Learn more about the Pennsylvania Local Government Commission Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 14 – A state grant of nearly $27,000 will allow Union Memorial Elementary School to purchase a new electric combination oven, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. “This is a terrific investment,” Sainato said. “A combination oven – which enables cooking through steam, convection or a combination of both – will improve the taste, appearance and nutritional quality of the school’s meals. Food that’s better-looking and more flavorful is key when we’re trying to get elementary school kids – who are notoriously picky eaters – to eat healthy. Multiple studies have shown that kids who have regular access to nutritious meals perform better.” Sainato added that the new equipment will also help the school serve more students more quickly. The funding is part of package of competitive grants awarded to 79 elementary, middle and high schools through a program administered by the state Department of Education. Funding for the grants is made available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and is awarded to schools which participate in the National School Lunch Program and have 50 percent or more of students eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Schools often use the grants to purchase new refrigerators, freezers, stoves and dishwashers. Read more
UPPER DARBY, Feb. 14 – State Reps. Margo Davidson and Mike Zabel, both D-Delaware, will host a free shredding event from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Feb. 27 at Barclay Square Center Shopping Center parking lot, 1500 Garrett Road. Residents of the 163 rd and 164 th Legislative Districts can bring documents that contain personal or confidential information to be shredded for free on-site. “I want to help my constituents protect themselves from identity theft by offering a safe and free way to dispose of sensitive materials like bank statements, credit card statements, credit card applications, canceled checks, income tax information, insurance records and retirement or pension information,” Davidson said. The event is part of Davidson’s Financial Fitness Month offerings to support constituents’ financial health. “Identity theft can damage your finances and your credit score. I encourage everyone in my district to take advantage of this opportunity to get rid of those old papers safely and in an environmentally friendly way,” Zabel said. No electronics will be accepted. Read more
State Rep. Ed Gainey, D-Allegheny, is demanding answers after an apparent racial incident occurred in Brushton in Pittsburgh on Thursday. Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 14 – The state must delay a plan that mandates shared ride services for Medical Assistance recipients go through statewide or regional vendors instead of county or locally based services, state Rep. Pam Snyder said. Snyder, D-Greene/Fayette/Washington – along with state Reps. Aaron Bernstein, R-Beaver/Butler/Lawrence, and Johnathan Fritz, R-Wayne/Susquehanna – said they will be introducing legislation that would ask the state Department of Human Services to hold off until a thorough review is conducted, citing concerns about access, as well as community needs and resources. “Pennsylvanians on Medical Assistance need safe, reliable transportation to their appointments – that point we all agree upon – but we need to ensure that any state requirements allow for flexibility, especially in the more rural and sparsely populated areas of our state,” Snyder said. “While we appreciate the department’s efforts, several issues arose in our communities showing a lack of understanding about local needs and resources, and that must be addressed first. Any transportation changes for MA recipients could cause confusion and result in significant impacts to their health care and needs. This plan could also adversely affect the senior shared ride program, and that also is a big concern of mine, if it were to go forward without a thorough review.” Last year, the state Human Services Code included the Read more
State Rep. Perry Warren, D-Bucks, today announced students of Bucks County Community College will benefit from a $100,000 pre-apprenticeship grant to support workforce development opportunities and enhance job training. Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 14 – State Rep. Tim Briggs, D-Montgomery, announced today that he is introducing gun safety legislation in the state legislature as the nation marks the first anniversary of the mass shooting in Parkland, Fla., where 17 students and staff were killed and another 17 were injured. “Keeping our communities safe from gun violence must be a top priority for Pennsylvania and the nation,” Briggs said. “I can think of no better way to honor the victims of Parkland, and the many other victims of gun violence throughout our country, than by enacting meaningful gun safety reforms to prevent future tragedies.” Briggs added that gun violence in the United States takes many forms, including accidental shootings and suicides by firearms that have impacted thousands of children and families. “Too often acts of gun violence could have been prevented with a few simple precautions,” Briggs said. “That’s why I am introducing commonsense legislation that will help put an end to gun violence by keeping guns out of the hands of Pennsylvania’s children. Those who fail to safely store their firearms are putting young lives at risk and should face consequences for their recklessness.” If passed, Briggs’ H.B. 525 would require the safe storage of firearms in homes where children may be present. Failure to comply with this rule would result in a third-degree felony if it is used Read more
Are you for or against recreational marijuana in PA? With Lt. Governor John Fetterman making his way around the commonwealth, talking about recreational use in Pennsylvania, I want to know what you think! USING THIS LINK ONLY, submit your feedback here → https://bit.ly/2GHzhFn . Thank you. Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 14 – State Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., today introduced legislation that would provide protection to local code enforcement officers if they are assaulted while on the job. House Bill 545 would include these public employees to a protected class in the event of an assault. The legislation would increase the penalty – from a misdemeanor of the second degree to a felony of the second degree – for an assault on a local code enforcement officer when they are on duty and they are injured. “These public servants are performing thankless jobs every day by enforcing the law. They face unexpected and, many times, unnecessary problems with citizens that could result in injury,” Neilson said. “Our local code enforcement officers deserve the same protections as those in similar jobs where telling people what they don’t always want to hear may lead them to become hostile.” Pennsylvania law currently provides such protection to constables, teachers, parking enforcement officers and public utility employees. Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 13 – State Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Luzerne, continued his constituent and community outreach service dubbed “One.19” with a visit to Hazle Township. Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 13 – The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is accepting applications through March 15 to fund programs aimed at promoting responsible – and legal – alcohol consumption, announced state Rep. Frank Burns. A member of the House Liquor Control Committee, Burns, D-Cambria, said school districts, institutions of higher education, police departments and municipalities are eligible to apply, as are nonprofit and for-profit organizations. “Nearly $1 million of these alcohol education grants were awarded in the last cycle of funding, so I once again urge eligible entities in our district to apply,” Burns said. “Anything that promotes safe and responsible drinking by those of legal age, while hopefully discouraging and reducing underage drinking, is a positive for us all.” The current grant cycle is for one year, from July 2019 through June 2020. Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis with a maximum award of $20,000. Applications will be received and evaluated by the PLCB’s Bureau of Alcohol Education. The grant application and related information can be found at https://www.lcb.pa.gov/Education/Programs/Pages/Grants.aspx . For additional assistance, contact Burn’s Portage office at (814) 736-7339 and ask for grant writer Britany Blackham. Read more
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