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
NORRISTOWN, Oct. 19 – S tate Rep. Matthew Bradford today announced that Norristown was awarded a $31,500 state grant to perform an environmental assessment of the former Howie Corporation site, with the goal of transforming it into a residential/mixed use property. The grant is through the Industrial Sites Reuse Program. The program aims to clean up former industrial sites and prepare them for occupation by businesses and residential properties. “This grant money is critical to supporting Norristown’s continued economic growth,” said Bradford, D-Montgomery. “The new property will attract critical investments and will truly be an asset to the region.” Under the program, if properties contain environmental contamination, developers must first perform an extensive environmental clean-up before the property can be developed. The ISRP provides loans and grants to help offset the costs of environmental assessments and remediation to foster the cleanup of the contaminated material at these industrial sites. Read more
At a Capitol news conference, Pa. state Rep. Helen Tai speaks in support of legislation that would protect people in Pennsylvania from having their health insurance denied because of a pre-existing condition even if those protections are eliminated at the federal level. Read more
MT. LEBANON, Oct. 18 – State Rep. Dan Miller, D-Allegheny, hosted a Substance Abuse Forum today as part of his ongoing efforts to help Pennsylvanians struggling with addiction. The free event took place from noon to 6 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Pittsburgh. Miller said there are no small successes when it comes to helping people break free of substance abuse. “Addiction and our inability to address it in a quicker fashion is a plague for us – one that destroys lives and families and limits peoples’ hopes and dreams and realities,” Miller said. “If we can do anything that helps somebody find their way to long-term recovery – even one person – then our effort here is worth it.” In addition to a resource fair, the forum featured remarks by state Department of Corrections Secretary John Wetzel and state Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Secretary Jennifer Smith. Breakout sessions featured discussions on paying for care, addiction and the brain, and adolescent screening and treatment, among other topics. Read more
RICHEYVILLE, Oct. 18 – The sharp decline in the number of volunteer firefighters was discussed at a public hearing held today by the House Democratic Policy Committee and hosted by state Rep. Pam Snyder. Snyder, D-Greene/Fayette/Washington, brought the committee and its chairman, state Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, to the Richeyville Volunteer Fire Company Hall. They heard testimony from local fire department officials on how their ranks are dwindling and what might be done to reverse that trend. “For decades, volunteer firefighters have formed the strong backbone of our area’s emergency response system,” Snyder said. “We can’t afford to have that spine weakened to the point where the ability to fight fires and respond to accidents becomes spotty. Today, we gathered information on the scope of the problem, which will be useful as we help craft the state’s response in terms of law and policy.” Sturla, who commended Snyder for keeping this issue on the radar, said, “Coming from a rural district, Representative Snyder is acutely aware of the importance of volunteer firefighters, whose work not only provides a vital service but also alleviates the burden on local taxpayers.” In addition to Bruce Trego, the acting Pennsylvania state fire commissioner, testifiers included: Jeff Marshall, chief, Waynesburg-Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Co.; Scott Dolan, chief, Hiller Volunteer Fire Co.; Mark Giovanelli, first Read more
HARRISBURG, Oct. 18 – The Ferndale Area School District was awarded a $1,397 grant in order to help students explore future employment opportunities and post-secondary training, state Rep. Bryan Barbin, D-Cambria/Somerset, announced today. The Ferndale Area School District was among 41 school districts across the state to be awarded the Career Readiness Mini-Grants from the Department of Labor and Industry and Team Pennsylvania. The funding for the school district, which is located in Johnstown, will be used for programs such as Paws for Jobland and Virtual Job Shadowing, Barbin said. “Career readiness and education is important in preparing our young people for the future,” Barbin said. “This grant will help introduce students to all of the options that are available to them upon graduation.” Some of the mini-grant funding can be used for the following: job shadowing, field trips, facilitating professional development for educators, hosting career fairs, guest speakers or mock interviews, establishing or sustaining career pathways, and engaging or educating parents and guardians about industries in the region, among other things. Team Pennsylvania is a nonpartisan, charitable nonprofit created to bring government and private sector leaders together for the betterment of the commonwealth. The Pennsylvania Association of Intermediate Units works to ensure the strength of individual intermediate units, and to strengthen the system of Read more
HARRISBURG, Oct. 18 – State Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., is applauding her colleagues for unanimously passing S.B. 1156 with her amendment to rename a portion of State Route 3011, also known as 29th Street, between Master Street and Thompson Street as the Frank L. Oliver Memorial Highway. The legislation, which would designate multiple bridges and highways throughout the commonwealth, now awaits the governor’s signature. “Frank was a staple in our community, playing an active role as an advocate for minority hiring and inclusion, affordable housing and criminal justice reform. His inspirational fight to protect our most vulnerable populations ended in much-needed laws being passed. With the designation of 29th Street as the Frank L. Oliver Memorial Highway, we honor his contributions and remind everyone of his hard work and dedication to the people of Philadelphia,” Bullock said. Frank L. Oliver represented the 195th Legislative District from 1973 to 2010 and retired as the most senior African-American elected official in the commonwealth and the longest-serving member of the Pennsylvania General Assembly after 37 years of service. During his tenure in the state legislature, he introduced legislation that enhanced first amendment freedoms and benefits for women and minority civil service employees. Read more
HARRISBURG, Oct. 18 – Legislation drafted by state Rep. Mike Schlossberg, D-Lehigh, and state Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Pat Browne, R-Lehigh, aimed at curtailing vehicles illegally passing school buses in Pennsylvania is on its way to the governor’s desk. The approved legislation is designed to place stop-arm cameras on school buses to catch drivers illegally passing school buses. The bill also will establish a grant program, funded by a portion of fines collected from violations, to help defray the cost for school districts to install stop-arm cameras. Both legislators introduced identical companion bills. Senate Bill 1098, authored by Browne, was approved by both the Senate and the House and sent to Gov. Tom Wolf to be signed into law. “Every day, thousands of Pennsylvania students take the bus to school,” Schlossberg said. “Our children’s arrival to and from home is on the mind of parents, bus drivers and teachers so we must keep them as safe as possible during their daily journey.” “There have been many instances where the safety of our children has been endangered as they travel to and from school by drivers not following laws currently in place,” Browne said. “This legislation provides police with an additional tool to help identify and reprimand those who fail to follow the law and stop for school buses when the red lights are flashing and the arm bar is out.” The Lehigh County Read more
HARRISBURG, Oct. 18 – A $5,000 state grant to the Blairsville-Saltsburg School District will give students a chance to explore careers in STEM-related fields and artificial intelligence, state Rep. Joseph Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, announced today. Petrarca said the grant from the state Department of Labor and Industry will fund a district-wide initiative targeting career and college awareness learning experiences in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math, as well as artificial intelligence. “This funding will give students a unique opportunity to learn more about STEM and AI-related jobs and how their own skills and interests match up with certain careers,” Petrarca said. “It’s an incredibly helpful first step for many young Pennsylvanians who are interested in these high-demand fields and are starting to navigate educational and career choices for the future.” The grant is part of a package of Career Readiness Mini-Grants awarded to districts statewide and funded through a Strategic Innovation Grant from L&I with state Reemployment Fund dollars. Read more
HARRISBURG, Oct. 18 – The Clairton City School District will receive a $5,000 grant to help students learn about workforce development, state Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, announced today. The Clairton City School District was among 41 school districts across the state to be awarded the Career Readiness Mini-Grants from the Department of Labor and Industry and Team Pennsylvania. The funding for Clairton will be geared toward providing meaningful job shadowing experiences for students, Davis said. “It’s imperative for students to meet people from different careers,” Davis said. “We want our students to not only explore, but to be educated about jobs that are in high demand, so that when they graduate high school they have some sense of the direction they want to take their lives.” In addition to job shadowing, the mini-grants were awarded for a myriad of things, including field trips to facilitating professional development for educators, hosting career fairs, and educating parents and guardians about industries in the region. All of the districts will share in the total amount granted of $180,000. The maximum amount awarded to an individual district was $5,000. Team Pennsylvania is a non-partisan, charitable, non-profit created to bring government and private sector leaders together for the betterment of the commonwealth. The Pennsylvania Association of Intermediate Units works to ensure the strength of individual Read more
HARRISBURG, Oct. 18 – A constituent from the 1 st Legislative District will be recognized on Monday, Oct. 22 by the Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources for Autism and Intellectual Disability for her contribution to the intellectual disability and autism community, announced state Rep. Pat Harkins, D-Erie. Hope Noblit, an Erie resident, will be recognized and will receive an award Monday at the organization’s “We Are Worth It” awards ceremony taking place in Harrisburg. Noblit was nominated by Erie Homes for Children and Adults and will receive the Western Region Self Advocate Employee of the Year award. “I’m happy to announce that a resident in our district is making leaps and bounds in contributing to the intellectual disability and autism community,” Harkins said. “The 1 st Legislative District is filled with wonderful, amazing people. Hope Noblit is a testament to that statement, and I’m glad to know she is a positive, hard-working member of our community. Congratulations, Hope!” PAR serves and supports Pennsylvania’s children and adults with autism and intellectual disabilities. They are the largest and most active association of intellectual disability and autism service providers in Pennsylvania. Read more
HARRISBURG, Oct. 17 – State Reps. Perry Warren and Helen Tai today in the Capitol honored local members of the Newtown American Legion Morrell Smith Post 440 Junior Prep baseball team for their 2018 Bucks County League and Pennsylvania championships. It was the team’s second consecutive state championship. They won in 2017. “Despite a slow start to the season, Newtown stuck together and put together an improbable championship effort to finish their season on top,” said Warren, D-Bucks. “It was an honor to meet with and bring these tenacious young men to the Capitol.” “These young men should be proud of their hard work and dedication to each other and their team,” said Tai, D-Bucks. “Their season will not only be remembered for their state championship – but also for the lifelong friendships made and lessons learned together that will serve them both on and off the field.” After starting the 2018 season with zero wins and three losses and not even scoring one run for its first 19 innings of the season, the team finished the season strong, winning the championships. Team members are Shane Anhalt, Andrew Brown, Ryan Burkett, Quinn Erlandsen, Nick Focella, Tony Godonis, Jack Harar, Ishaan Hardaway, Joe Hughes, Jagger Matera, Lukas Mullen, Nate Rambo, Alex Stempin and Collin Williams. The manager is Joe Anhalt, who is assisted by Steve Brown, Dave Hughes and Sean Mullen. Read more
HARRISBURG, Oct. 17 – More women would have access to lifesaving breast cancer screenings through legislation introduced by state Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, which unanimously passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives today. Donatucci’s bill H.B. 562 would amend the Pennsylvania Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Screening Act to expand screenings to low-income, underinsured and uninsured women 30 to 65 through the Department of Health’s HealthyWoman Program. Currently, only women 40 to 49 are eligible for the program. Donatucci is a member of the Women’s Health Caucus, which is championing this bill as part of the Pennsylvania Agenda for Women’s Health. “About one in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime and some will be diagnosed with it at a young age. Many of them win the battle due to early detection,” Donatucci said. “We must ensure every eligible woman in the commonwealth has access to these potentially life-saving screenings.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates eight out of every 100,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year. According to Breastcancer.org, more than 40,000 women in the U.S. are expected to die this year from breast cancer, despite the decrease in death rates since 1989. House Bill 562 will now go to the Senate for consideration. ### CONTACT: Daniel Bixler House Read more
HARRISBURG, Oct. 17 – State Rep. Jared Solomon, D-Phila., today commended his House and Senate colleagues for passing legislation that would make sure businesses have continued access to a critical online tool. Solomon said the bill would strengthen the Pennsylvania Business One-Stop Shop initiative – a program already set in place by Gov. Tom Wolf as a sole source to guide entrepreneurs and small businesses through all stages of development – by enacting it into state law. Solomon thanked Rep. Michael Peifer, R-Pike/Wayne, for authoring the bill, which Solomon amended when it was before the House. “The Department of Community and Economic Development continues to welcome new and current entrepreneurs to the initiative’s website. Since it launched in February, more than 71,000 people have visited the website and nearly 5,000 Pennsylvanians have contacted the department either by phone or email,” Solomon said. “It is great to see Pennsylvanians invigorated to become business owners or to have current entrepreneurs seek the resources they need to thrive. “I look forward to the ongoing growth of the One-Stop Shop once the governor signs House Bill 1284 into law.” The legislation passed the Senate this week and was sent to the governor’s desk. The One-Stop Shop, which is available at https://business.pa.gov/ , includes resources for: Planning a business. Registration and permitting. Hiring Read more
HARRISBURG, Oct. 17 – The House today unanimously adopted a resolution designating Nov. 10, 2018, as “Marine Corps Day” in Pennsylvania, according to the resolution’s sponsor, state Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny. A former Marine, Readshaw said he introduced the resolution in keeping with the tradition of previous legislators and fellow Marines including Sam Hayes, Richard Chess, Ed Zemprelli, Paul McHale, Tom Tigue, John Broujos, Merle Phillips and Bill DeWeese. “I introduced this resolution to honor the long and proud history of the U.S. Marine Corps, starting with the resolution that founded the Continental Marines on Nov. 10, 1775, and going forward with men and women serving throughout the world today,” Readshaw said. “The Marines truly embody the motto ‘Semper Fidelis,’ which translates from the Latin as ‘always faithful’ and signifies the defense of freedom and democracy worldwide.” Readshaw then read the final lines of “The Marines’ Hymn”: Here’s health to you and to our Corps Which we are proud to serve; In many a strife we’ve fought for life And never lost our nerve; If the Army and the Navy Ever look on Heaven’s scenes; They will find the streets are guarded By United States Marines. Readshaw added, “Mister Speaker, not to offend my brothers who served in other arms of the military, but the fact of the matter is, they will find the Read more
HARRISBURG, Oct. 17 – A bill that would allow judges to order tougher sentences for abusers who commit their crime in front of a child passed the General Assembly today and will head to the governor for his signature, said state Rep. Perry Warren, who voted for the measure today. Senate Bill 1092 was generated from the efforts of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association – including from the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office – and Cabrini College’s Center for Children of Trauma and Domestic Violence Education. Democrat Warren and his Republican colleagues Reps. Frank Farry and Kate Harper jointly introduced the House version of the bill. One study found that half of domestic violence crimes were committed in the presence of at least one child. “When someone commits an act of violence in front of a child, that child is also victimized and the perpetrator should answer to that offense,” Warren said. “I commend all my colleagues in the House for passing this legislation, as this bill was unanimously approved.” “When a child sees a family member hit another loved one, that moment can stay with a child throughout his or her lifetime,” Farry said. “That trauma can sadly manifest itself into other at-risk behavior years down the road. It’s time to put in place tougher penalties that would reduce these instances and better protect children.” There is a devastating impact Read more
HARRISBURG, Oct. 17 – The House of Representatives this week unanimously adopted a resolution introduced by state Rep. Maureen Madden, D-Monroe, honoring East Stroudsburg University’s 125 th anniversary of its founding. “For more than a century, East Stroudsburg University has played a monumental role in the educational, economic and cultural landscape of Monroe County and beyond. Its persistence to offer quality and affordable education to students from all backgrounds is truly remarkable. I applaud the Warriors for their continued excellence, and I look forward to seeing the prosperity of the university for years to come.” Madden noted she is a member of the East Stroudsburg Community, and served as a professor before being elected to represent the 115 th Legislative District. The institution of higher education was founded on Sept. 4, 1893 and welcomed 320 students to its two-year programs in elementary and science education. The school was named East Stroudsburg State College in 1960 before officially becoming East Stroudsburg University in 1983. Today, East Stroudsburg University is home to more than 6,000 students and offers 57 undergraduate programs, 21 master’s degree programs and one doctoral program. It is one of the 14 institutions in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, and strives to create an environment where each and every student can learn, grow and achieve. Read more
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