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.
HARRISBURG, Sept. 9 – Electronics manufacturers would be required to recycle more of their devices, under legislation recently introduced by state Rep. Marty Flynn. Read more
State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., reminds constituents that certificates of appreciation for the brave men and women who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom are available from his office. Read more
ALLENTOWN, Sept. 8 – State Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, today said his Tele-Town Hall meeting Wednesday night showed many of the residents in his legislative district desire to have their voices heard on various state and local issues. During the hour-long meeting, the 1,534 participants were asked to weigh in on poll questions. Of those who responded, 88 percent support raising the minimum wage in Pennsylvania, 32 percent said the legislature should invest more money in treatment and rehabilitation programs in the planned special session on opioid abuse this fall, 32 percent responded jobs and crime and drug abuse are the biggest issues facing the area. In addition, 68 percent of responders like at least one, if not all, components of the modernized state store system, including the longer hours and Sunday hours at Fine Wine and Good Spirits Shops, ability to buy six-packs of beer at convenience stores and wine in grocery stores, and direct shipment of wine to their homes with the state’s new modernized alcohol laws. "It’s always great to hear from my constituents about what’s important to them, and this event is a convenient way for us to collectively share feedback on just some of the issues," Schweyer said. "Following my recent Policy Committee hearing on the minimum wage, I was pleased to hear participants in my Tele-Town Hall support raising it in Pennsylvania. "When I return to Harrisburg in a few weeks, I Read more
LEVITTOWN, Sept. 8 – State Rep. John Galloway, D-Bucks, is hosting his 10th annual Senior Expo from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, at Westaby Hall, 425 Hood Blvd., Fairless Hills. A number of free health and wellness opportunities will be offered, including blood pressure and pulse oximetry. Representatives from a number of government and nonprofit agencies and local businesses will also participate. Veterans can apply for ID discount cards if they bring their DD-214. Additionally, attendees can sign up for a free SEPTA Key pass. Door prizes, giveaways and light refreshments will be available during the event. For more information, contact Galloway's constituent services office at (215) 943-7206 . ### Read more
NANTICOKE, Sept. 8 – The need for jobs and how to create them in Pennsylvania were the topics of state Rep. Gerald Mullery’s House Democratic Policy Committee hearing today in Nanticoke. "We are seeing many small businesses popping up throughout our region that are providing some employment opportunities, but it’s not enough," Mullery said. "We must find ways to attract larger businesses that will employ a large amount of people at one time." Testifiers included Scott Dunkleberger, deputy secretary for business financing, Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development; Thomas Leary, president, Luzerne County Community College; Kenneth Okrepkie, regional manager, Ben Franklin Technology Partners; Joseph Boylan, vice chairman of economic development, Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce; Mary Malone, president, Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce; and W. Kevin O’Donnell, president, Greater Hazleton Can Do, Inc. Mullery noted that as of July 2016, the unemployment rate was 6.8 percent in the Wyoming Valley. Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate was 5.6 percent compared to 4.9 percent nationwide. Read more
KING OF PRUSSIA, Sept. 8 – As the new school year gets under way, state Rep. Tim Briggs, D-Montgomery, is urging his colleagues in the General Assembly to seriously consider his legislation that would study the effects of a later start time to the school day for high school students in Pennsylvania.
"Teens don’t get as much sleep as they should. While this is nothing new, and in fact science suggests their changing bodies are at least partly responsible, we should be doing everything in our power to allow them to get the 8½ - 9½ hours of sleep they need to be properly rested," Briggs said.
NANTICOKE, Sept. 8 – State Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Luzerne, announced he will offer constituent outreach in September at various locations throughout the 119th Legislative District. The schedule is as follows: 10 a.m. to noon Sept. 20, Mountaintop Active Adult Center, 460 S. Main Road, Mountaintop. 10 a.m. to noon Sept. 21, Nanticoke Active Adult Senior Center, 145 E. Green St., Nanticoke. 10 a.m. to noon Sept. 22, Plymouth Active Adult Center, 160 E. Main St., Plymouth. Residents can receive help on a variety of state matters, including the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program, the PACE/PACENET prescription-drug program for seniors, unemployment compensation, hunting and fishing licenses, the Children's Health Insurance Program, consumer protection, and many more. Mullery said constituents may visit his district office from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday at 156 S. Market St., Nanticoke. The number is 570-740-7031. Residents can also stop by his Freeland office from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday at 532 Centre St. The number is 570-636-3500. Read more
HARRISBURG, Sept. 7 – State Rep. Patty Kim, D-Dauphin, will host her fourth annual senior health fair from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9 at the Goodwin Memorial Baptist Church Family Life Center, 2430 N. 3rd St., Harrisburg. This year’s fair will focus on the health and welfare of senior citizens and will include: Free health screenings Information on programs to benefit seniors Free dental consultations A diverse group of vendors will offer information on transportation, fitness, insurance, housing disability and health care services. In addition, there will be free giveaways and light refreshments. "I hope many seniors will attend and gather information that may be helpful to them," Kim said. "I look forward to providing valuable information to my older constituents." Constituents may contact Kim’s office at 717-783-9342 with questions about the event. ### Read more
State Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky, D-Delaware, issued the following statement in light of news that hundreds of millions of tax dollars from Pennsylvania, invested through the Pennsylvania Public School Retirement System (PSERS), are benefiting Energy Transfer Partners (ETP):
"The scene we have seen out of North Dakota is deeply disturbing. Videos are emerging of peaceful protesters being pepper sprayed and attacked by vicious dogs handled by a private security force associated with Energy Transfer Partners. It is unacceptable that members of North Dakota’s Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, who are simply trying to preserve sacred burial grounds and protect the environment they depend on to live, are being treated this way.
WHITEHALL, Sept. 7 – State Rep. Daniel McNeill, D-Lehigh, and Hanover Township, Lehigh County will host a town hall meeting on the heroin and opioid addiction epidemic that is plaguing the area. To date, there have been over 90 suspected drug overdose deaths in Lehigh County alone. The event will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14 at the Days Inn Hotel Allentown Airport /Lehigh Valley, 3400 Airport Road, Allentown. Some of the speakers scheduled to appear include: Trooper Marc Allen, CommunityServices Officer, PA State Police, Bethlehem Barracks; Scott Grim, Lehigh County Coroner; Layne Turner, Lehigh County Administrator for Drug and Alcohol; Donna Jacobsen – Leader, Lehigh Valley Parent Group; Bill Stauffer – Executive Director, Pennsylvania Recovery Organization–Alliance (PRO-A); and Nicholas Labar, Recovering addict and advocate for clean and sober living. The meeting will focus on how and why adults, teens, and children become involved with drug use, where and how to seek treatment for those who are addicted, how to identify the signs of drug abuse, and what the community can do to fight back and prevent the use and abuse of such addictive narcotics. Media coverage is invited. ### Read more
HARRISBURG, Sept. 7 – State Reps. Bill Kortz, D-Allegheny, and Hal English, R-Allegheny, today said they introduced legislation aimed at not penalizing ethical hunters who self-report a mistaken kill. Specifically, the bill would remove the threat of a license suspension for those truthful hunters who make an honest mistake and then contact the Pennsylvania Game Commission, turn in the animal and plead guilty to the offense. "Given the facts that borders of wildlife management units and of special areas within them can be easily confused, and that the commission is now using staggered dates around the state for some big game seasons, hunters can think they are legally hunting when in fact they aren’t," Kortz said. "For hunters who make an inadvertent mistake, due to a few yards or recently changed dates, to face the same revocations as a common poacher who is hunting out of season or at night isn’t fair." The language of H.B. 2315 was drafted in a bipartisan effort working closely with the Game Commission. "Unfortunately, honest mistakes can happen while hunting." English said. "Whether because of changes and complications in hunting seasons and boundaries, or mistaken game kills, a hunter could break the law without any intent at all. Our bill spells out the limited circumstances in which hunters can then immediately turn themselves in, surrender the animal, and face all the appropriate penalties, minus the added Read more
SCRANTON, Sept. 7 – Older residents with questions about Medicare or health insurance coverage should visit state Rep. Marty Flynn’s office during his monthly outreach Monday, Sept. 12. Read more
ALLENTOWN, Sept. 6 – The need to increase the minimum wage in Pennsylvania was the topic of state Reps. Peter Schweyer and Mike Schlossberg’s House Democratic Policy Committee hearing today in Allentown. Both Schweyer and Schlossberg say they support raising the minimum wage in the state to $10.10. “Working families in the Lehigh Valley and across the commonwealth need a minimum wage that is a livable wage in order to provide the basic necessities without having to struggle or work several jobs to make ends meet.” said Schweyer, D-Lehigh. “Pennsylvania is long overdue to raise the minimum wage. “I am a co-sponsor of House Bill 250, which will provide the needed increase in the minimum wage. We need to get this bill through the legislature, hopefully during the fall session, so the governor can sign it into law.” “Raising the minimum wage is a moral imperative. Workers need to be able to take care of themselves and their families,” said Schlossberg, D-Lehigh. “I believe it is long past time to increase Pennsylvania’s minimum wage and index it with inflation. The economic recovery after the Great Recession has been greatly slowed by limited wage growth for far too many workers. “This proposal would raise the wages of 1.2 million Pennsylvania workers and help to boost the state economy with $1.8 billion in new wages.” “Thanks to Representatives Schweyer and Schlossberg for Read more
NANTICOKE, Sept. 6 – State Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Luzerne, is inviting everyone to come and donate blood during his blood drive to support first responders and corrections officers. It will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17 at the Plymouth Borough Building, 162 W. Shawnee Ave., Plymouth . Mullery said it is important to honor these men and women for their service and dedication. “They put their lives on the line every day to serve and protect us, so this just one small way we can thank them for all that they do,” Mullery said. “I encourage everyone to come roll up their sleeves and donate blood during my blood drive on Sept. 17.” Read more
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