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.
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
HARRISBURG, Sept. 6 – State Rep. Joseph Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, is giving busy constituents a chance to participate in democracy from the comfort of their own homes, by hosting a Telephone Town Hall meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8. Read more
Rep. Pam Snyder reports that a poll during her Sept. 1 Telephone Town Hall shows respondents favor replacing property taxes with sales and personal income taxes by a better than 3-to-1 margin.
Another poll question revealed that more than 80 percent of respondents to the poll favor no-excuse absentee voting and early voting mechanisms for elections, which her H.B. 521 would provide.
PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 2 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., said she continues to be amazed over the confusion and turmoil that has resulted in what should have been a simple ballot question put to voters regarding the retention of judges in Pennsylvania. She is encouraging voters to review its history to better understand what they will be voting on Nov. 8. On the Nov. 8 General Election ballot is a proposed amendment to Pennsylvania’s Constitution that, if voted affirmatively, would increase the age of mandatory retirement for all judges from 70 to 75. “Constituents who have attended any of my 56 Town Halls in the past five and half years have most likely heard me say that in Harrisburg I witness politics trumping policy at the expense of the greater good of our citizens with alarming frequency and this ballot initiative is an example of that maneuvering,” DeLissio said. To amend the state constitution, legislation must pass both chambers of the House and Senate in two successive legislative sessions. Appropriate notice is then provided to citizens and the amendment will appear on the ballot for citizens to ultimately decide. DeLissio said the question that will be put to voters regarding the constitutional amendment has had many twists and turns on its way to November’s ballot, involving multiple court challenges and lawsuits. It was first advertised to appear on the April 26 Primary Election Read more
HARRISBURG, Sept. 2 – The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection recently awarded recycling grants to the city of Wilkes-Barre and to Luzerne County, said state Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Luzerne. A $38,680 grant was given to Luzerne County under the County Planning Grant Program of Act 101 of 1988. It will be used to reimburse up to 80 percent of the costs to revise the county’s solid waste management plan. A $77,935 grant was awarded to Wilkes-Barre under the Recycling Performance Grant Program of Act 101 of 1988. It’s based on the 5,931.70 tons recycled in 2014 and the municipality’s population. “These grants will help both the city and the county improve upon their top-notch recycling efforts,” Pashinski said. “I applaud the residents of Wilkes-Barre for doing a tremendous job by recycling and not throwing out additional waste that unnecessarily ends up in our landfills.” Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 2 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., announced that constituents 65 and older can make an appointment at her district office to obtain an application and have a photo taken for their SEPTA Key photo ID card. DeLissio’s district office is located at 6511 Ridge Ave. in Philadelphia. Constituents should call 215-482-8726 to make an appointment. SEPTA Key is the modern fare payment and collection system being used by the SEPTA. It offers seniors an alternative to using their Pennsylvania driver’s license or state-issued ID card as proof of age for riding free. "A great number of our senior residents rely on SEPTA for their everyday travel throughout the city and suburbs,” DeLissio said. “My staff and I can help our older adult constituents complete the application and photo process for obtaining their SEPTA Key cards in a friendly and convenient location and my district office is that location.” According to DeLissio, the new Key cards have contactless chips, so riders will only need to swipe it to ride for free. Currently, all Pennsylvania residents, age 65 years or older, who possess a PA Driver’s License or state-issued ID card can now use either form of ID to ride free on SEPTA transit. Valid (unexpired) Driver’s Licenses or state-issued IDs can be swiped at turnstiles or onboard transit vehicles or shown to a Regional Rail Conductor. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 1 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, said hundreds of people joined her for her "Celebrating Bartram Village" Health and Wellness Community Event on Aug. 27 in Bartram Village. McClinton was joined by state Rep. Dwight Evans, Sharif Street, Anna Brown and Dr. Branville Bard Jr., public safety director for the Philadelphia Housing Authority. "I was thrilled with the community support for my first Bartram Village Community Day," McClinton said. "Thank you to all of the local organizations that offered information, fun and entertainment for local residents of all ages. We were able to offer face painting, fitness classes, interactive games and live musical entertainment." More than 200 registered residents from the Bartram and Southwest Philadelphia area were offered a number of free health screenings and other health and wellness information. Some 100 youths received book bags and school supplies in preparation for the school year. Cookout food was prepared by the Bartram Village Council and was provided by the Philadelphia Housing Authority and Brown's Shop-Rite. Other sponsors that contributed to the day included: ACHIEVEability, Comcast, Gateway Health Plan and the Outreach to Youth program of Open Door Church. Dr. Kim C. Davis and Dr. Juwan Bennett provided musical entertainment with an inspirational concert. Children's activities, including games and face painting, were run by Read more
EBENSBURG, Aug. 31 – Overwhelming majorities of respondents to polling conducted during state Rep. Frank Burns’ Telephone Town Hall meeting Tuesday night supported positions he’s staked out representing the 72 nd Legislative District. Burns said he was not surprised by results, gleaned from 2,691 who participated in at least part of the meeting, which showed: A whopping 98 percent believe welfare recipients should be required to take drug tests and prove U.S. citizenship. 95 percent think schools should be allowed to post the national motto “In God We Trust.” 85 percent support Burns’ proposal to make assaults on law enforcement officers a hate crime. 57 percent say Pennsylvania should not accept Syrian refugees, with another 38 percent saying they should be accepted only after rigorous vetting. “These responses fall in line with the values and positions of the majority of those I represent in Harrisburg,” Burns said. “It also was a pleasure – and democracy in action – to field questions from constituents during the Telephone Town Hall.” During the hour-long meeting, where people participated by staying on their phone line when the 7 p.m. call came through, Burns answered inquiries on property taxes, the drug problem, the state pension crisis, welfare fraud, job creation, the minimum wage, natural gas, buying American goods and helping seniors in need. Burns said the Read more
State Rep. Steve McCarter, D-Montgomery, was joined by an abundance of community members and local, state and federal elected officials today in designating the bridge at the Jenkintown-Wyncote Train Station the Honorable Lawrence H. Curry Bridge in honor of former state Rep. Larry Curry, who served the 154th Legislative District with intelligence and equanimity for 20 years until his retirement in 2012. Read more
ALLENTOWN, Aug. 31– State Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, is inviting residents of the 22nd Legislative District to participate in a live Tele-Town Hall meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 7. “From the heroin and opium epidemic to the start of the new school year, there are many, many important issues for the people of Allentown,” said Schweyer. “Before heading back to Harrisburg on September 19th, I want to hear from my constituents about the issues that are impacting them and their families.” During the live event, Schweyer will discuss and take questions on a variety of state topics, and participants will be asked to weigh in on poll questions. Also, anyone who doesn’t have a chance to offer their thoughts or ask a question during the conversation will be able to record a message at its conclusion that will be forwarded to Schweyer. Those interested also may email their questions in advance of the Tele-Town Hall meeting to RepSchweyer@pahouse.net . Constituents also can call Schweyer’s district office at 610-791-6270 to confirm or be added to the list to receive the call. Read more
Rep. Tina Davis reports that she will sponsor her annual Senior Expo and shredding event in September. Davis’ sixth annual Senior Fair will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Sept. 8 at Lower Bucks Hospital, Bristol. Her shred event will be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sept. 17 at Ben Franklin Middle School, Levittown.
HARRISBURG, Aug. 30 – State Rep. Donna Bullock has introduced legislation that would end the worry of thousands of senior citizens who qualify for Pennsylvania’s prescription drug assistance programs, PACE and PACENET. Bullock, D-Phila., said her legislation (H.B. 2306) would Amend Act 91 of 1971 – the State Lottery Law – to prevent PACE and PACENET participants from being removed from the program if their income increases solely due to a Social Security cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA. Specifically, it would exempt COLAs from counting toward income eligibility. According to Bullock, the General Assembly must revisit the lottery law every two years in order to protect PACE and PACENET participants from being disqualified upon receiving a Social Security COLA, a policy commonly known as the COLA moratorium. She said some seniors needlessly lose their PACE or PACENET coverage while lawmakers move the moratorium through the legislative process. “With the cost of living and prescription prices continuously rising, our seniors rely on increases in their Social Security payments and programs like PACE and PACENET to help them meet their essential needs,” Bullock said. “Seniors should not be punished by losing their prescription assistance because they receive a needed Social Security COLA, nor should they be forced to wait out a legislative process that has produced the same result since 2008.” Bullock said the last Read more
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