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, March 9 – State Rep. Carolyn Comitta, D-Chester, today urged members of the House Appropriations Committee to include in its ongoing state budget negotiations a strong funding plan to address the consequences of natural-gas drilling on the environment and public safety. Comitta made those remarks before members of the House Appropriations Committee, which today concluded three weeks of public hearings on Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed 2017-18 state budget. Comitta said while there are myriad concerns to address in the annual state budget, including adequate investments in schools and job training initiatives, a great concern in her Chester County legislative district is the natural-gas pipeline infrastructure and its effect on environmental and public safety. She encouraged the committee to ensure adequate funding for the Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and for the legislature to remain focused on it. “Right now, pipelines are coming through our state, passing by our homes, our businesses and our schools,” Comitta told the committee. “It is essential that we have oversight of construction, inspection and maintenance of these pipelines, and that we have highly trained professionals working on the installation and maintenance of these pipelines. It is essential that our municipalities and emergency responders plan and train for accidents, and take into Read more
MT. LEBANON, March 9 – State Rep. Dan Miller, D-Mt. Lebanon, announced today he will host his fourth annual Children and Youth Disability and Mental Health Summit in Pittsburgh on March 22, 23 and 24 at Beth El Congregation, 1900 Cochran Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15220. Due to the event’s overwhelming popularity, the summit has expanded from two to three days. The Support Services Resource fair will be open on March 22 and 23, and the Employment & Transition Resource Fair on March 24. Additionally, the summit will offer more than 30 hours of informative workshops and breakout sessions. "We will again be combining the traditional resource fair event with seminars over all three days on a variety of current and critical topics in the fields of disability and mental health that can provide important information and open discussions on topics that will benefit parents, young adults, and professionals alike," Miller said. "Continuing education credits will be offered for professionals including lawyers, teachers and social workers." Miller is partnering with The PEAL Center and its 11th annual Inclusion Conference on Wednesday. Keynote speaker Sue Swenson, the president-elect of Inclusion International, served in both the Clinton and Obama administrations. Ted Dallas, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, will open Thursday's program at 9 a.m. with his keynote address. Thursday's program concludes with the third Read more
EBENSBURG, March 9 – State Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, announced that the state Department of Environmental Protection's Bureau of Abandoned Mines Reclamation will build a plant in Cresson to process and clean acid mine drainage. "This plant will create between 40 and 50 construction jobs, plus several permanent plant operator positions upon its completion," said Burns, who has made economic development a top priority. “The plant will help restore 20 miles of streams, while also repurposing a coal refuse pile in Cresson Township, which takes advantage of otherwise useless land." The plant will process underground mine pools from three abandoned mines, Cresson No. 9, Gallitzin Shaft and Argyle Stone Bridge. The three mine pools drain into Trapp Run, Bradley Run and Sugar Run. When operational, the plant will be able to process more than 6 million gallons of acid water per day, and will discharge the cleaned water into Trapp Run, which feeds Clearfield Creek. DEP is accepting bids on the project through April 6 and construction is expected to take about 18 months to complete. Read more
Marriage before the age of 18, which is legal in Pennsylvania, can result in short- and long-term harm to a child, and would be outlawed under a bill introduced this week by state Rep. Perry Warren, D-Bucks. Read more
ERIE, March 8 – The importance and benefits of biodiesel fuels, wind power and solar power in the state’s renewable energy portfolio was a key feature of today’s House Democratic Policy Committee hearing at SB3, requested by state Rep. Patrick Harkins. Harkins, D-Erie, asked for the hearing as a means for the public and legislators to gather insight on how to smoothly manage integration of renewables into the energy mix, while maximizing the burgeoning industry’s job-creation potential. “One thing that’s certain regarding our energy future is that demand is going to continue growing, which means there’s room at the power-generation table for long-established sources, as well as relatively new ones,” Harkins said. “We must make sure that the Erie area, as well as the state, does not miss out on any opportunity that could have a positive economic impact.” State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, the Policy Committee chairman who co-chaired the public hearing with Harkins, said the gathered testimony will be valuable in crafting meaningful state legislation. “Representative Harkins hosted a great hearing on how we can better utilize renewable energy sources,” Sturla said. “Renewable energy sources have the potential to create jobs and are less of a burden on our environment. Hearing from industry experts provided a greater understanding of how we can move forward to support these efforts.” Read more
State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, and members of the House Democratic Policy committee held a meeting in Erie to discuss policies that would enhance innovation and spur new business development with the goal of employing more people and keeping human capital in Pennsylvania. Bizzarro held the meeting with the objective of bringing together the public, practitioners in business, leaders in technology and the legislators for a discussion on policy changes that would advance job creation in the region. Bizzarro co-chaired the hearing with House Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. “The Erie region and Pennsylvania are facing tough economic challenges to not only create more jobs but keep them here in the Erie Region and across the state,” Bizzarro said. “I brought elected officials from all across the state here to Erie to see what we are up against in our battle to attain good-paying jobs.” “Pennsylvania has to keep up with the times to grow our economy and create family-sustaining jobs,” Sturla said. “We need to keep Pennsylvania residents here and give people a reason to relocate here. Representative Bizzarro’s hearing brought together a lot of great testifiers to help get an understanding of how we can improve the job market in Erie and across the state.” Panelists included Brian Slawin, Ben Franklin Partnership NW regional director and portfolio manager; Dr. Valerica Vlad, professor of Read more
PITTSBURGH, March 7 – In conjunction with the national “A Day Without a Woman” event called for by organizers of the recent Women’s March on Washington, D.C., state Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, is giving all female employees of his Pittsburgh and Harrisburg offices Wednesday off with pay. Wheatley, who recently arranged for 200 high school girls to see the inspirational movie “Hidden Figures” and who supports measures to reduce gender inequality – including pay inequity, said his decision was made to show solidarity with all women in the 19 th Legislative District whose voices deserve to be heard. Wheatley said women in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, and especially that region’s African-American women, are some of the most impoverished in the country. “Women make invaluable contributions in the workplace, yet they continue to lag behind their male peers in terms of pay and promotion,” Wheatley said. “Giving my female employees the day off is one way to add more voices to the growing chorus that’s demanding policy changes to help women achieve parity, in the workplace and elsewhere. “We need to recognize their voices and do something to improve their lives. What I am doing Wednesday is just a small part, but I recognize that much more is needed.” Wheatley said the day without women also seeks to recognize women’s vulnerability to discrimination, sexual harassment and Read more
SCRANTON, March 6 – A staff member from state Rep. Marty Flynn's office will provide outreach assistance from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday, March 15 at the Clarks Green Borough Building, 104 N. Abington Road. Read more
HARRISBURG, March 7 – State Rep. Marty Flynn today took part in a ceremony kicking off Irish-American Heritage Month at the state Capitol. Read more
HARRISBURG, March 6 – In an effort to help people recover lost revenue and property, state Rep. Maureen Madden’s offices will hold a two-day unclaimed property event next week. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, March 6 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., voiced his strong opposition to District Attorney Seth Williams’ decision to seek life without parole sentences in at least three cases with juvenile defendants. “Last year, District Attorney Williams did what was right, and announced that he would no longer pursue life without parole for those under 18 years old,” Dawkins said. “It is disheartening to see him go back on his word, and I condemn in the strongest terms his decision to revive a punishment the Supreme Court has called cruel and unusual.” In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled in Miller v. Alabama that mandatory sentences of life without parole for juvenile offenders violate the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. The court later held in Montgomery v. Louisiana that its decision in Miller applied retroactively. Dawkins said as the courts began resentencing hearings, Williams announced that his office “will not be asking for cases going forward for life without the possibility of parole for people under the age of 18” in order “to give all of these individuals some light at the end of the tunnel.” “I hope that the district attorney returns to his original position, and provides these individuals – whose decades in prison began in their teenage years – what he once called ‘some light at the end of the tunnel,’” Dawkins said. Read more
State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, will host a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing on 21 st century jobs at 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 7 at the Manufacturer & Business Association, Forum Room, 2171 W. 38 th St. House Democratic Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, will co-chair the hearing. Bizzarro requested the hearing to further explore what more can be done to increase job creation in the region. The hearing agenda is as follows: 4 p.m. Welcome and opening remarks 4:10 p.m. Panel One: Brian Slawin , Ben Franklin Partnership NW Regional Director and Portfolio Manager Dr. Valerica Vlad , professor of economics, Penn State Behrend Maggie Horne , director of Small Business Development Center, Gannon University Janet Anderson , Director of Partners for Performance, NWPA Workforce Development Board 4:50 p.m. Panel Two: Sean Fedorko , co-founder, Radius CoWork Beth Zimmer , co-founder and managing director, Innovation Collaborative Matt Wiertel, director of business development, Velocity Network 5:30 p.m. Closing remarks Read more
SCRANTON, March 6 – Older residents with questions about Medicare or health insurance coverage should visit state Rep. Marty Flynn’s office during his monthly outreach next week. Read more
State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, will host a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing on 21 st century jobs at 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 7 at the Manufacturer & Business Association, Forum Room, 2171 W. 38 th St. House Democratic Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, will co-chair the hearing. Bizzarro requested the hearing to further explore what more can be done to increase job creation in the region. The hearing agenda is as follows: 4 p.m. Welcome and opening remarks 4:10 p.m. Panel One: Brian Slawin , Ben Franklin Paretnership NW Regional Director and Portfolio Manager Dr. Valerica Vlad , professor of economics, Penn State Behrend Maggie Horne , director of Small Business Development Center, Gannon University 4:50 p.m. Panel Two: Sean Fedorko , co-founder, Radius CoWork Beth Zimmer , co-Founder and managing director, Innovation Collaborative Matt Wiertel, director of business development, Velocity Network 5:30 p.m. Closing remarks Read more
Rep. Joseph Petrarca reminds residents that March is the last month to apply for heating assistance through LIHEAP, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Read more
DRAVOSBURG, March 3 – State Rep. Bill Kortz, D-Allegheny, said 2017 trout stocking schedules are now available in his constituent service offices. Trout season opens statewide at 8 a.m. on Saturday, April 15. The schedule has an easy-to-read table that allows western Pennsylvania anglers to see an entire year’s worth of stockings at one time. The information is broken down by county, with stream sections and lakes listed alphabetically, and the type of trout being released at each location. Kortz said the guides can be picked up at either of his constituent service offices – 751 Pittsburgh-McKeesport Blvd., Dravosburg, or 5101 Old Clairton Road, Pittsburgh. The guides are also available at various locations throughout the district. Constituents can call his office staff at (412) 466-1940 or (412) 886-2870 for specific locations. Stocking schedules are also available on Kortz's web page, www.pahouse.com/Kortz "The state stocks our fishing locations from March through November," Kortz said. "The state stocking program shows the commitment to supporting the long tradition of fishing in Pennsylvania." Kortz added, "Remember, a fishing license is required for anyone age 16 or older." License information can be found on the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission website, http://fishandboat.com/license.htm . For those new to fishing, the state offers a free Mentored Youth Fishing Day on Saturday, April 8, the Read more
Rep. Pam Snyder introduces legislation that would enable fire relief funds to be used to pay basic utility costs at volunteer fire company stations. Read more
YARDLEY, March 3 – The following statement is attributable to Rep. Perry Warren, D-Bucks, in response to the report that Elcon Recycling Services, LLC has officially submitted an application with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for a commercial hazardous waste treatment and storage facility proposed for Falls Township. “Earlier this week, DEP Acting Secretary Patrick McDonnell responded to my request for public hearings and committed to scheduling them moving forward, saying, ‘Our review of any material submitted by Elcon will be rigorous and thorough, and we intend to be transparent in all aspects of our review.’ DEP has 90 days to determine if the application is considered administratively complete before beginning the official review process. “As I stated in my January letter, the public hearing process will allow residents and other interested parties the opportunity to ask questions and provide comment.” The Phase II process is the most detailed and extensive review of all design and operational information. The DEP will put the application on its website: http://www.dep.pa.gov/About/Regional/SoutheastRegion/Community Information/Pages/Elcon-Recycling-Services-LLC.aspx and also have copies for public review available at the Bucks County Library, 7311 New Falls Road, Levittown, Pa., and the Westampton Branch of the Burlington County Library, 5 Pioneer Boulevard, Westampton, N.J. Read more
State Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky, D-Delaware, announced today that following a successful Small Business Breakfast last summer, she will be hosting a second Small Business Breakfast at 8:30 a.m. Friday, March 10 at Neumann University’s Schmidt Multipurpose Room, 1 Neumann Drive, Aston, PA 19014. Read more
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