PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 21 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, will co-host a weekly radio program from 11 a.m. to noon every Thursday on radio station WTTM, 1680 AM. The program, entitled "Voices from the Inside," will focus on the state's prison system and reducing crime. McClinton will be joined by co-hosts state Rep. Leslie Acosta, D-Phila., Esteban Cabrera and author Hugh Taft-Morales. "I am excited to have this opportunity to discuss our criminal justice system," McClinton said. "This new program will offer a voice to those currently incarcerated and will promote the sharing of ideas between prisoners and us on the outside. Thanks to Rep. Acosta, who developed the idea and invited me to participate in such a meaningful program. "By meeting those currently in prison, I hope that the listeners will understand the need for changes and improvements in our current system. We need to establish more humane methods to house our prisoners and work with them so they can be rehabilitated and can return to society and contribute. We waste so much money incarcerating those who have committed minor offenses and by locking them up for extended periods of time, we make it harder for them to blend back in to society and hold a meaningful job. "Additionally, we will be discussing community programs which may reduce violence and crime." The program will air live at 11 a.m. every Thursday on 1680 AM, and it can also Read more
HARRISBURG, Dec. 9 – The House Transportation Committee today amended and reported out a bill, authored by state Rep. Mike Schlossberg, D-Lehigh, to strengthen provisions intended to keep infants safe while traveling in a vehicle.
"On Monday, at a public hearing held by the House Transportation Committee, I was pleased to see wide, bipartisan support for efforts to improve child safety in Pennsylvania," Schlossberg said. "After a productive and frank discussion, it was clear that there was sufficient support to strengthen my bill by amending it to offer even better protections for our youngest and most vulnerable citizens. I fully support that effort."
House Bill 1551, which originally would have required children younger than 1 to be secured in a rear-facing car seat, was amended by the committee to require children to be secured in a rear-facing car seat while in a vehicle until age 2 unless otherwise stated by the manufacturer’s specification of the car seat in use.
Schlossberg noted that this change to his bill follows recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics. During the House Transportation public hearing, Ted Leonard, executive director of the Pennsylvania AAA Federation, voiced AAA’s support for efforts to enhance the requirement to secure children under age 2 in rear-facing car seats or until that child reaches the maximum height and weight for the car seat as noted by the manufacturer.
"As a father of two young children, I find it hard to belie Read more
HARRISBURG, Dec. 7 – State Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, has introduced H.B 1692, which would make it easier for family members to commit a loved one for drug and/or alcohol treatment.
“Too many families watch their loved ones deal with alcohol or drug abuse problems and can only standby while they spiral into despair, or worse,” Readshaw said. “I have been working with family members, law enforcement, the district attorney, the minor courts and others to ensure that my bill would offer remedies for families seeking help for their loved one.
"I introduced this bill at the request of my friend, a constituent who recently lost his son because of a drug overdose," he added.
Readshaw said that Pennsylvania families are the front lines of the opiate epidemic in this Commonwealth, and this bill is an effort to provide families with another avenue of resources.
House Bill 1692 would provide for involuntary treatment requirements and procedures for individuals suffering from alcohol and other drug abuse; and imposing duties on the Department of Health and the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs. Presuming the person has a reasonable benefit of recovery and the individual presents an imminent danger or imminent threat of danger to self, family or others as a result of alcohol and other drug abuse, or there exists a substantial likelihood of such a threat in the near future, a family member would be able to petition the Court of Common Pleas to initiate proceedings for in Read more
PITTSBURGH, Dec. 2 – State Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny announced the state's heating assistance program, LIHEAP, is accepting applications for the winter.
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program provides federal aid to eligible families to help pay winter heating bills and cover emergency heating equipment needs.
"LIHEAP ensures that qualified households can pay for their heating costs, such as gas, oil or electricity," Readshaw said. "Emergency funds are also available for households without heat or fuel, or those facing cut-off from a supplier.
"My staff can help complete the application."
Household income limits to qualify vary according to family size:
Household Size Maximum Income
The household income level increases by an additional $6,240 for each additional person.
"Since this program is based on federal money, the state budget impasse should not affect the funding for this program," Readshaw said.
Applications also can be completed online at www.compass.state.pa.us, and can be obtained at local county assistance offices, which can be found at www.alleghenycounty.us/dhs/CAO-locations.aspx.
HARRISBURG, Nov. 16 – State Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, and state Rep. Tom Murt, R-Montgomery/Phila., announced today that they will host a private advance screening of the film “Spotlight” on Tuesday, Nov. 17 at the Midtown Cinema, 250 Reilly St. The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape and Turning Point are the event sponsors.
A complimentary reception will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., prior to the movie. Remarks will be offered by the sponsors and hosts in support of legislation that would modify the Pennsylvania statute of limitations to allow victims to seek civil action against abusers and the institutions that shield them.
“Spotlight” is the true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child sexual abuse and cover-up within the local Boston Archdiocese.
More information about the event is available by contacting Rozzi’s Harrisburg office at (717) 783-3290. To reserve tickets, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/private-advance-screening-of-spotlight-tickets-19499631924. Seating is limited.
HARRISBURG, Oct. 28 – State Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, will host a flu shot clinic from 10 a.m. to noon on Thursday, Nov. 5 at Concord Presbyterian Church, 1907 Brownsville Road, Pittsburgh, 15210.
Pneumonia shots also will be available.
"The earlier you can get a flu shot, the longer you are protected through the flu season," Readshaw said. "It is important to remember that flu is not just a nuisance. It can be a serious, even fatal, illness, especially for those young children, elderly and anyone who may have a weaker immune system."
While the flu vaccinations are not free, the costs are covered by all Medicare Part B plans as well as many other medical insurance plans. Vaccination recipients must bring their insurance cards when they get their shots.
Readshaw reminds people who may have the flu to see a doctor as quickly as possible. There are treatments which may lessen the severity of the illness if taken quickly enough.
PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 6 – State Rep. Maria Donatucci, chairwoman of the Philadelphia County Delegation to the House of Representatives , issued the following statement regarding Gov. Tom Wolf’s appointment of Ahmeenah Young to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board: "Today, as a proud Philadelphian, I applaud Governor Wolf's appointment of Ahmeenah Young to the state's Gaming Control Board. "Ms. Young holds an impressive resume that includes being president and chief executive officer of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority. She has worked extensively on economic development and job creation projects that have benefited the city of Philadelphia and the entire commonwealth. "I offer congratulations to her on this achievement and I look forward to working with her as a fellow public servant to the people of this commonwealth." The PGCB was established in 2004 by the legislature to oversee licensing and regulating all aspects of the slots gaming industry in Pennsylvania. Read more
EBENSBURG, Oct. 6 – State Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing on economic development today at the Ebensburg Borough Municipal Building. Committee chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, co-chaired the hearing, which Burns sought to explore established and innovative ways to promote solid job creation in the 72 nd Legislative District and surrounding region. “I chose economic development to focus on because our area is in need of something to simulate the local economy,” Burns said. “This gave us the opportunity to learn about initiatives to create jobs, especially in counties like Cambria, as well as a primer on employer needs and employee training. I thank chairman Sturla and the Policy Committee for seeing the value in this.” Sturla said, “The creation and retention of good-paying jobs is always a top priority in the commonwealth, and learning about specific local needs and challenges is one way we in the Democratic Caucus gather information to help guide state policy and programs. The concerns and ideas put forth today, at Representative Burns’ behest, will become part of that mix.” Burns also discussed his initiative to change state law to permit the hiring of a broker to facilitate the sale of state properties such as the dormant 327-acre SCI-Cresson prison site. Currently, the state is limited to posting the property’s availability on the state Department of Read more
JOHNSTOWN, Oct. 6 – A new Pennsylvania Department of Human Services office in the Hiram G. Andrews Center opened, bringing with it 50 new jobs, state Rep. Bryan Barbin said today. The location will serve as administrative support to the Dauphin County Assistance Office in an effort to improve customer service and operational efficiencies. “I’m pleased to announce that the Department of Human Services has made a wise choice by investing in Johnstown’s workforce,” said Barbin, D-Cambria/Somerset. “Johnstown residents are eager to work, and the state is capitalizing on a great opportunity. I look forward to continued growth in the center, and to new opportunities that bring jobs to our community.” Staff reported to the new location Sept. 23. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 6 – Share Food Program Inc. received a $1 million state grant to replace its warehouse roof and upgrade electrical systems, state Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio announced today. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and Office of the Budget Secretary Randy Albright released the latest round of Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grants Sept. 29. “Share is a true mission-oriented not-for-profit agency with stellar leadership, and they help many who experience food insecurity,” said DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila. “Share is powered by committed volunteers who assist with the unloading, storing and transporting of millions of pounds of food to more than 505 volunteer-led food cupboards. Share’s food relief helps an average of 607,000 low-income individuals each month and without Share, local food cupboards would not be able to meet the growing need. “This is a premier investment, and I wholeheartedly thank Governor Wolf for making this grant happen.” Infrastructure improvements being paid for by the grant include electrical-system repairs and a new roof on Share’s 133,000-square-foot warehouse at 2901 Hunting Park Ave. These integral improvements will keep Share’s large walk-in coolers and freezers working consistently and reliably; frozen food, consisting of chicken, fish, beef and pork, offers an important protein source for the low-income households that rely on food cupboard distributions. Read more
EBENSBURG, Oct. 5 – State Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, issued the following statement regarding today’s announcement that the state Department of Human Services has opened its client service center in the Hiram G. Andrews Center: “This move adds 50 stable jobs to the Cambria County economy, which is located in the 72 nd Legislative District portion of the county,” Burns said. “We all know that our region has been decimated by the demise of the coal and steel industries, and diversification like this is key to the rebuilding process. I’m proud to have been an early and active catalyst for this project. “These jobs are basically being moved from Dauphin County, where DHS has had trouble retaining employees due to the availability of other job options. The employees will still report to the Dauphin County Assistance Office, which is made possible by the use of electronic communications and technology. “The even better news is that no one lost their job because of this shift. DHS believes in the quality in the stability of the Cambria County workforce, which is a sentiment I share.” Staff reported to the new location Sept. 23. Burns is hosting a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing on economic development 10 a.m. tomorrow at Ebensburg Borough Municipal Building. Read more
Calling it a significant step forward for caring for loved ones with a disability, state Rep. Dan Miller, D-Mt. Lebanon, is encouraging residents of the 42nd Legislative District to explore options for greater financial security through Pennsylvania’s Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, which will soon be fully operational. Read more
Joined by Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, state Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky, D-Delaware, will host a town hall from 10:30 a.m. to noon Thursday, Oct. 6 at the Brookhaven Municipal Center, 2 Cambridge Road, Brookhaven, to discuss government waste and what more can be done to ensure taxpayer dollars are spent appropriately. Read more
Rep. Vanessa brown Read more
Rep. Pam Snyder has introduced legislation that would upgrade the state standard for broadband service, increasing broadband download and upload speeds exponentially for many rural residents and businesses. Read more
EBENSBURG, Oct. 4 – Knowing many 72 nd Legislative District residents treasure their Second Amendment rights, state Rep. Frank Burns is reminding constituents to attend his Concealed Carry Seminar at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5 at Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Co., 176 Adams Ave., Vinco. Burns said law enforcement representatives will speak on the rules and regulations regarding firearm transport and use in Pennsylvania – including primers on concealed carry, the Castle Doctrine, using firearms for personal protection and related legal liabilities. “I’m inviting everyone to come find out your rights as a law-abiding gun owner,” Burns said. “We live in an increasingly dangerous world and response to this event has thus far been extremely positive. Some who cannot make it at this time have asked us to schedule another one.” Anyone wishing to attend the Concealed Carry Seminar is asked to call Burns’ Portage office at (814) 736-7339. Burns said he is also prepared to update meeting attendees on his Blue Lives Matter bill, which seeks to make assault on a police, corrections, probation or parole office a hate crime, with commensurate stiffer penalties. Read more
ALLENTOWN, Oct. 4 – State Rep. Mike Schlossberg, D-Lehigh, hosted a news conference today at Lehigh Valley Active Life to discuss two pieces of legislation he recently introduced that would offer older Pennsylvanians additional resources and enable them to receive health care while continuing to live in their homes. “Allowing a senior to age in place is good for the person and it is sensible public policy,” Schlossberg said. “Preserving an older Pennsylvanian’s opportunity to live in the independence of their home can offer between 72 and 74 percent savings when compared to the cost of a nursing facility and can significantly increase their quality of life.” House Bill 2371 would establish the Caregiver Tax Credit, which would allow taxpayers who qualify for the federal dependent care credit to apply for a tax credit against their state income tax liability. As of 2015, 23 other states have a similar tax credit in place. “As a state, we are getting older. In the past four years, our population over the age of 65 had increased by 8.9 percent and outpaced our overall population growth. It is everyone's responsibility to ensure that older Pennsylvanians have the tools and resources they need to live happy and full lives,” Schlossberg said. House Bill 2372 would establish the Livable Home Tax Credit, which would offer a tax credit for homeowners or construction contractors renovating or building senior-accessible Read more
ERIE, Oct. 4 – State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, held a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing to learn more about the issues surrounding personal assistance service providers. The hearing was held Monday at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center and was co-chaired by Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. "Personal assistance service providers deliver home and community-based care services that allow people to stay in their homes instead of entering nursing facilities," Bizzarro said. “What we learned today from some of those who provide personal assistance to the disabled and the elderly on a daily basis is that they help people maintain their independence, and that's a valuable resource." Bizzarro also said that they learned from the testifiers that the personal assistance service field is a tough one, with low pay and high turnover, which not only impacts workers, but also those they care for. Sturla said, "It's important that workers earn a living wage that is commensurate with the level of care and service they provide. Representative Bizzarro is leading the discussion to ensure that great care is provided to those who need and that involves retaining a caring workforce that is paid a fair wage." "The providers who testified said that workforce retention is a major challenge and they're losing workers to less challenging industries, such as fast food and retail," Bizzarro said. "This Read more
PITTSBURGH, Oct. 3 – State Rep. Dom Costa will hold a free shredding event in the parking lot of the Cherry City Volunteer Fire Department, 309 Davis Ave., from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 8. Area residents should bring unneeded personal documents containing Social Security numbers, credit card numbers and bank account numbers to be shredded on site. There is a five-box (of average size) limit. Boxes and containers will be given back to attendees. No business shredding will be accepted at this event. Iron City Workplace Services cannot accept phone books, spiral notebooks, binders, floppy discs, CD/DVDs, bound books or magazines, steel binder clips, steel ACCO fasteners and other hard metal or plastic materials. They cannot operate the mobile shredding equipment in the rain due to the risk of damage. If there is wet weather on the day of a scheduled event, Iron City will determine whether or not the equipment can be operated. If it is raining on the day of the event, those interested can call Costa’s office at 412-361-2040 and listen to a voicemail to find out if the event will be taking place. All paper will be recycled. Read more
Gov. Tom Wolf joined state Rep. Steve Samuelson and state Sen. Lisa Boscola to announce a $1.5 million state grant to aid in the construction of a 14,500 square-foot expansion to the Ben Franklin TechVentures technology incubator/post-incubator facility on Lehigh University’s campus in Bethlehem. Read more
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