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.
LANCASTER, Aug. 22 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, is inviting residents to join him for a Conestoga River cleanup in recognition on United Way's annual Day of Caring. The cleanup will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9. Participants will meet on South Conestoga Drive behind Conestoga View on East King Street. Volunteers should wear weather-appropriate clothing and long pants are recommended. Lunch, shirts and gloves will be provided. Participants can register at the link at Sturla’s website- www.pahouse.com/Sturla or call Sturla’s constituent service office at 717-295-3157 for additional information. While registration is not required, it is encouraged to ensure there will be enough supplies and refreshments for all volunteers. Media coverage is encouraged . Read more
ERIE, Aug. 19 – State Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, D-Erie, will host his fourth annual free Senior Fair & Older Living Expo from 9 a.m. to noon Monday, Aug. 29 at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center, 301 Peninsula Drive, Erie. “I always enjoy meeting new neighbors and seeing familiar faces at my annual Senior Fair & Older Living Expo,” Bizzarro said. “This year, more than 65 local and state organizations will provide veterans’ benefits information, health screenings, and flu shots, and my staff and I will outline how my office can help seniors access programs like the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program and PACE and PACENET. We’ll also have door prizes and refreshments. This event is always a fun time, and I hope residents will spread the word to anyone who may be interested in attending.” Bizzarro added a shuttle service will transport seniors from nearby parking lots to the event’s door. No RSVP is required. For more information, contact Bizzarro’s office at (814) 835-2880 or visit 1101 Peninsula Drive, Suite 209 in the Peninsula Plaza in Erie. Media coverage is invited . Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 19 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., will host a free Senior Expo from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15 at Roxborough Memorial Hospital, 5800 Ridge Avenue. The Expo will be under the tent in the Rector Street parking lot. The Senior Expo will be held in conjunction with the Good Neighbor Day Health Fair sponsored by Roxborough Memorial Hospital. “I’m excited to again partner with Roxborough Memorial Hospital in this endeavor to connect our area’s older adults with information and services and to build on last year’s very successful event,” DeLissio said. “The Senior Expo will feature services offered by state agencies and not-for-profit organizations that provide services and programs for older adults. Thanks to my background in long-term care, I know that seniors are active and important members of the community – and that older adults are interested in life-long learning and opportunities for employment, in addition to a variety of health, home and other service needs.” DeLissio said she will continue to offer a diverse group of exhibitors at the expo to acknowledge seniors’ varied interests and needs. “For example, we are hoping to include opportunities to adopt a furry friend in need of a happy home, volunteer and work opportunities, and information on organizations such as Road Scholar – formally known as Elderhostel,” she said. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 18 – State Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., will host a roundtable discussion on equal pay for African-American women on Black Women’s Equal Pay Day at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 23 at Philadelphia City Hall, 4 th Floor Caucus Room, 1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd. Representatives from The Women’s Law Project and other elected officials, including state Reps. Joanna McClinton, Brian Sims and Rosita Youngblood, all D-Phila., will be on hand to discuss gender and racial pay discrimination and possible solutions to the problem. For more information, contact Bullock’s office at (215) 684-3738. Media coverage is invited. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 18 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila., today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing to discuss criminal justice reform in Pennsylvania. McClinton requested the hearing to create a dialogue on reforming the criminal justice system that would be fair to those in the system and taxpayers. “I thank Chairman Sturla for allowing the Policy Committee to give this worthy cause a platform,” McClinton said. “We are looking to make reasonable changes that would give citizens a second chance, restore their right to vote and remove criminal charges from their records that they have been absolved of. Addressing the pipeline to prison and making sure we devote resources to reduce incarceration rates will restore dignity to our citizens and save taxpayer dollars.” "We have to come up with alternatives to incarceration and Representative McClinton is doing a great job leading that discussion,” said House Democratic Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. “Those alternatives should include investing in early childhood education, mental and behavioral health services and rehabilitation efforts. If we can address these pivotal components, we can have a meaningful impact on communities and reduce our prison populations." Hearing testifiers included George Mosee, First Assistant District Attorney, Office of the Philadelphia District Attorney; Keir Bradford-Grey, Chief Public Defender, Read more
CARMICHAELS, Aug. 18 – State Rep. Pam Snyder, D-Greene/Fayette/Washington, will serve as host for a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing on the opioid and heroin epidemic in Pennsylvania from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 23, in the Jefferson Volunteer Fire Hall, 1483 Jefferson Road, Jefferson. Requested by Snyder, the public hearing will be co-chaired by House Democratic Policy Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. "I urge public participation to learn more about the addiction epidemic that is wreaking havoc throughout Pennsylvania," said Snyder, one of four legislators named to a Joint State Government Commission Task Force charged with tackling opioid abuse. "The deaths and devastation from this scourge will not subside without a comprehensive response." Snyder said the hearing will provide a local perspective on the magnitude of the problem and the strategies needed to counteract its deadly growth. "The epidemic is affecting everyone and its effects were highlighted by the recent report that southwestern Pennsylvania had had the highest drug death rate – almost 33 deaths per 100,000 population – in the state last year," Snyder said. "Heroin and related opioids are at the root of the devastation." The current agenda for Tuesday’s hearing is: 2 p.m. – Welcome and opening remarks 2:10 p.m. – Ashley Potts, team leader, Southwestern PA Human Services, Crisis Diversion Unit 2:30 Read more
EBENSBURG, Aug. 16 – In a ceremony organized by state Rep. Frank Burns, the family of a World War II Silver Star winner who died while serving with the U.S. Army in France will help dedicate the PFC Thomas A. Cooney Memorial Bridge at 11 a.m. Friday at Cresson American Legion Post 238. Burns sponsored H.B. 1260 to rename a bridge on a portion of Cooney Road spanning Route 22 in Munster Township in honor of Cooney, who was born April 28, 1917 and raised on a farm outside Lilly with his three brothers. While serving in the European Theater of Operation on Oct. 20, 1944, Cooney volunteered for a mine removal mission and continued in the face of enemy observation and direct hostile fire. He and his fellow Army engineers encountered heavy sniper and machine gun fire as they cleared mines along a strategically important road in France. Cooney was later killed in action along with three other engineers when a delayed-action mine detonated. Burns said his House bill to name the Cooney bridge was amended into a Senate bill (S.B. 1153) – a relatively common procedural occurrence – and was signed into law as Act 46 of 2016. The Cooney family includes his siblings Margaret, Charles, Edna, Thomas, James and Paul (and his wife Marcelle); nieces Joi, Patty, Cindy (deceased) and Joan Barret Garahan; nephew Tom Barret; and close family friend Carol Noon. Earlier this summer, Burns dedicated a bridge spanning U.S. 219 on Tower Road in Croyle Township as the Read more
SCRANTON, Aug. 16 – Area veterans are invited to take part in the monthly support program from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 24 at state Rep. Marty Flynn's office. Read more
SCRANTON, Aug. 16 – Older residents of the 113th Legislative District are invited to state Rep. Marty Flynn’s fourth annual Senior Fair. Read more
State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila., will host a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing on Ending the Pipeline to Prison in Pennsylvania 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 18 at the Richard Allen Preparatory Charter School, Library, 2601 S. 58 th St., Philadelphia. The hearing agenda is as follows: 10 a.m. Welcome and opening remarks 10:10 a.m. George Mosee, first assistant district attorney, Office of the Philadelphia District Attorney 10:40 a.m. Keir Bradford-Grey, chief public defender, Defender Association of Philadelphia 11:10 a.m. William Cobb, founder, Redeemed PA 11:40 Closing Remarks The hearing is open to the public . Read more
DERRY, Aug. 15 – State Rep. Joseph Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, announced that the state Transportation Department has agreed to repave approximately 4 miles of Route 217 from Industrial Boulevard in Kingston through Derry Borough to Chestnut Street. "It's a particularly bad stretch of rough road, with noise issues and potholes," Petrarca said. "The repaving should make a huge difference for those who live along this road and the hundreds of people who travel it daily." Petrarca said this project was initially on PennDOT's work agenda for this year, but was canceled. "After repeated discussions with PennDOT personnel, I'm happy to report they have agreed to repave this section of Route 217 this fall,” Petrarca said. "Residents deserve dependable roads -- roads that won't cause damage to their vehicles or tires. That's why I prioritize PennDOT-related issues. I have and will continue to work with PennDOT and local officials on area projects." Read more
EBENSBURG, Aug. 15 – State Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, is hosting a complimentary spaghetti lunch for veterans from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 28 at the Cresson Volunteer Fire Co., 223 Ashcroft Ave., Cresson 16630. Guests are welcome, but only veterans with a military ID qualify for the free lunch. Guests can eat for $5. To RSVP by Monday, Aug. 22, please call Burns’ Portage office at 814-736-7339. Burns has hosted the free meal for veterans in the past, as a way of showing appreciation for the sacrifices veterans have made in service to the country. “Once again, my staff and I have organized this event, and we’re encouraging all veterans who can make it to show up for food, camaraderie and recognition,” Burns said. “We’ll also be available to answer any questions veterans or their family members may have about state programs and services.” Read more
HARRISBURG, Aug. 12 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today that he intends to introduce legislation that would strengthen protections surrounding unconventional gas wells and their proximity to dams and reservoirs.
Matzie’s proposal would prohibit the drilling of unconventional gas wells within 4,000 feet of any existing dam or reservoir, such as the Ambridge Reservoir. Additionally, Matzie said his bill would prohibit the drilling of unconventional gas wells within 2,000 horizontal-feet of any existing water well, surface water intake or water supply extraction point used by a water purveyor without the written consent of the water purveyor.
“I remain a supporter of the responsible extraction of our natural resources and I applaud the economic lifeblood that it has pumped into our region over the past few years,” Matzie said. “But as new information becomes available, we have to make sure that the proper protections are in place so no unintended harm comes to our citizens or our communities.”
A recent multiyear engineering study completed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers found that the structural integrity of the Joe Pool Dam, located in Texas, was at risk of being compromised by nearby drilling, hydraulic fracturing, the injection of fluids and the extraction of natural gas.
As a result of that study, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers determined that the 20-year-old standard of a 3,000-foot exclusion zone surrounding the dam is not suffic Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 12 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton is hosting a summer street party Saturday for her constituents. The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 13 on 60th Street, between Chestnut and Arch streets. "It's a way for area residents to learn more about keeping healthy and staying fit in a fun atmosphere," said McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware. "Free fresh fruit salads, water ice and other refreshements will keep all neighbors cool. This event is a way to enjoy the summer, while providing helpful and informative information about one's health and safety as well." McClinton said a number of public officials will be on hand, with introductions and brief remarks planned at 2 p.m. Those attending include Mayor Jim Kenney, state Sen. Anthony Williams, state Sen. Vincent Hughes and District Attorney Seth Williams. Throughout the day, there will be free food and children's activities and information about state programs and services. The event also features a full slate of entertainment, from gospel, dance and hip-hop, to rap, R&B, and jazz beginning at 11:45 a.m. A musical battle between contestants will be held at 3:40 p.m., with the winner announced at 4 p.m. "Saturday promises to be a fun-filled educational event. I hope everyone will come out and spend the day," McClinton said. Read more
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