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, Oct. 18 – Hoping to make it undesirable for some municipalities to turn a blind eye to unauthorized alien criminals, state Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, voted Monday for a bill that would withhold state funding and allow primarily cities to be sued if they continue the practice. Burns supported H.B. 1885, which passed the House 136-55 and had a Republican prime sponsor, because he believes it’s morally wrong to fail to detain and turn over such people to federal deportation authorities. “We are a society that’s built on having law and order, so it makes zero sense to purposely allow an entire group of people to slip through the cracks,” Burns said. “The safety and security of our citizens and law enforcement officers should not be compromised by self-perceived ‘do-gooders’ who are in actuality putting everyone at risk.” The bill supported by Burns would hold sanctuary municipalities liable for damages to people or property as a result of criminal activity by unauthorized aliens if: It has been determined by federal immigration officials that the person who engaged in the criminal activity is an unauthorized alien; The unauthorized alien is a resident of the sanctuary municipality; The unauthorized alien is convicted of the crime; and The criminal activity is a proximate cause of the injury. The bill also would prohibit restrictions that keep an official or employee of the municipality from: Read more
State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, is reminding constituents in the 3 rd Legislative District and throughout the region that free flu shots will be provided from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20 in his district office 1101 Peninsula Drive., Suite 209. "I am encouraging anyone who hasn’t been able to afford or obtain a flu shot to take advantage of this free illness-prevention opportunity," Bizzarro said. Flu shots will be administered to people between the ages of 9 and 99 by LifeWorks. There are no upfront costs. All insurances will be billed. Bizzarro said that those interested in getting a flu shot should bring their insurance card and ID. For more information on the flu shots event, or any state-related issue, contact Bizzarro’s district office at (814)835-2880. ATTENTION NEWS/ASSIGNMENT EDITORS : Media coverage is invited Read more
HARRISBURG, Oct. 18 – State Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Allegheny, Democratic chairman of the House Insurance Committee, has introduced a bill that would require charities to spend at least 60 percent of their revenue on program expenses in order to qualify for a state sales tax exemption. Current state law only requires an organization to be licensed as a charity in order to qualify for the state sales tax exemption. "There have been too many reports of charities spending only a small portion of their expenses on the actual programs," DeLuca said. "Some organizations spend much more on promotional and other fundraising costs and exorbitant salaries for their CEOs. "This bill would protect Pennsylvania donors by ensuring that the money being donated is going for the purpose intended, and not to line a director's pockets. "The state should not be giving tax breaks to charities that do not spend a significant portion of their funding on their mission. We need to ensure the charities actually assist communities in order to qualify for this break. Donors deserve to know the money they are giving will benefit their intended groups," he said. DeLuca said he encourages potential donors to visit the Federal Trade Commission's charity website, ftc.gov/charityfraud to investigate the organizations before donating. ### Read more
SCRANTON, Oct. 18 – Area veterans are invited to take part in the monthly support program from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 26 at the office of state Rep. Marty Flynn. Read more
HARRISBURG, Oct. 17 – State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., forcefully opposed an anti-immigration bill (H.B. 1885) in the House today in part because it would lead to increased crime and punish Philadelphia taxpayers. "There are so many unanswered questions about this 'sanctuary cities' bill. Even the prime sponsor of the bill, Republican Representative Martina White of Philadelphia, couldn't answer several questions about it clearly," Sims said. "We don't know what would be 'reasonable cause' for a police officer to stop or detain someone, or how someone has to look or sound for an officer to ask for their papers or let them go, or whether it would apply to victims of crime. "What we do know is Philadelphia and other cities would be stuck with massive legal bills because of this vague legislation, just as Arizona's infamous 'papers please' law cost millions of dollars and six years in court before that state finally dropped it. Wrongful detention has also led to lawsuits throughout Pennsylvania and is a major reason why local governments across the state no longer hold people on federal immigration detainers. "What we also know is this bill would increase crime by reducing cooperation with the police by victims and witnesses. That's the wrong way to go." Video of Sims' remarks in the House chamber can be found on his website, www.pahouse.com/Sims . ### Read more
State Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky, D-Delaware, announced today that she will be hosting a veteran’s expo and a shred event this week open to residents of the 161st Legislative District. Read more
CONSHOHOCKEN, Oct. 17 – State Rep. Mary Jo Daley, D-Montgomery, applauded a Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant totaling $1 million to help transform a former brownfield site in Conshohocken into office space and create high-paying jobs. Daley said the grant will assist in paying for the construction of a 300,000-square-foot office building along the Schuylkill River. The project is expected to generate thousands of medical, technological and education jobs for the c ommonwealth within the next three years. "These jobs will keep Pennsylvania competitive, and will also give our young people an incentive either to stay in our area or return home once they finish college," Daley said. "I’m happy this project converts land that has been only marginally useful into improved, state-of-the-art business space that could provide a positive economic impact to our community." Daley thanked Gov. Tom Wolf for approving the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant. The RACP grant program is administered by the G overnor’s Office of the Budget to foster economic, cultural, civic and historical projects with significant potential for improving economic growth and new jobs. Read more
State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., announced $2 million was awarded to the Logan Pointe Roadway Improvements Project to redevelop the land and improve access in the area of Ninth Street and Wyoming Avenue in North Philadelphia. The grant was awarded through the state Transportation Department's Multimodal Transportation Fund. "This project is designed to make improvements to the Logan Triangle by performing a road reconstruction project," Kinsey said. The Multimodal Transportation Fund provides grants to encourage economic development, create jobs and ensure that a safe and reliable system of transportation is available to residents. Kinsey said funds may be used for the development, rehabilitation and enhancement of transportation assets to existing communities, pedestrian safety and streetscape, lighting and sidewalk enhancement. Read more
HARRISBURG, Oct. 17 – State Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Allegheny, announced that Allegheny County has received a state grant totaling $175,000 to help disabled residents make accessibility accommodations so they can remain in their current residences. Allegheny County has been awarded the grant as part of the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement fund, which is funded through Marcellus Shale impact fees. "These funds will help homeowners or renters in Allegheny County pay for accessibility improvements to allow permanently-disabled residents remain in their current homes," DeLuca said. "These improvements could include making entryways or bathrooms handicapped-accessible, among other changes. "Those who qualify for the grant program may also be eligible for additional state, local or federal funds." DeLuca encourages those who need to make these types of improvements to contact his office at (412) 793-2448 for help in applying. DeLuca added that these grants are available only for those in the county who live outside the Pittsburgh city limits. ### Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 14 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., will hold her 58th town hall meeting at 7 p.m. Oct. 27 in the Community Room of Falls Ridge, 4349 Ridge Ave. DeLissio said there is plenty of free parking by the entrance in the lot off of Merrick Road. This location is served by SEPTA Bus Route 9. “There is still much legislation expected to be discussed and passed in the six upcoming session days,” DeLissio said. “It is uncertain what will be brought up on the voting calendar, but legislation pertaining to pension reform, election reform, gun control, ride-sharing permitting – Uber and Lyft – to operate, and eliminating the criminal and civil statutes of limitation for sexual abuse of children may be brought to the House floor.” Discussion will center on the significant legislation that will be headed to the governor’s desk as a result of the end of the two-year legislative session. Technically the last day of the two-year session is Nov. 30, and any legislation not passed by both the Senate and House will die and will need to be re-introduced after the next General Assembly is elected. The last session day scheduled for the House and Senate is Oct. 26. To date, a total of 3,691 bills have been introduced in the General Assembly with 252 of those bills signed into law. “The end of session can be a fast-moving time for the legislature, and I look forward to keeping my Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 14 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., today announced approval of an $889,846 Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Multimodal Transportation Fund grant for corridor improvements along City Avenue. The planned improvements, which also received funding from the Commonwealth Financing Authority this summer , will provide for new drainage, turning lanes, crosswalks, signal upgrades and lighting. "Revitalization of the City Avenue corridor is critical to driving economic growth in our community, and I’m happy to announce this latest round of financing," DeLissio said. "The state has recognized an excellent investment in our community and in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania." Work has already begun, thanks to new zoning in both Philadelphia and Lower Merion Township and ongoing expansion at Saint Joseph’s University, she said. The project is one of 37 highway, bridge, bike and pedestrian projects that will receive $40 million in Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Multimodal Transportation Fund grants, announced today by Gov. Tom Wolf and PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards. The Multimodal Transportation Fund was created by Act 89, Pennsylvania’s transportation funding plan. DeLissio voted for legislation to create the fund in November 2013. Complete second-phase work along the corridor is estimated to cost $3.8 million. "Between recent zoning changes and Read more
HARRISBURG, Oct. 14 – State Rep. Ed Gainey said a $2.5 million grant released today by Gov. Tom Wolf will enhance the Bakery Square development and further connect it with the surrounding community. Read more
HARRISBURG, Oct. 14 – Westmoreland County is receiving two state grants for transportation improvements, totaling $310,000, according to state Rep. Joseph Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana. Derry Borough has been awarded a $210,000 grant to reconstruct East Owens Avenue from State Route 217 to the intersection with North Ligonier Street, while Latrobe received $100,000 to enhance the safety and accessibility of the downtown intersection at Main and Ligonier streets. “It’s always good to see the state return tax dollars to help with local projects and these latest grants are no exception,” said Petrarca, who worked directly with Transportation Department Secretary Leslie Richards regarding acquiring the money from the state’s Multimodal Transportation Fund. Petrarca said the first grant will help the borough demolish the existing bridge on North Ligonier Street at the intersection with State Route 217. The bridge currently provides the only access to North Ligonier Street and East Owens Avenue, which provides access to numerous residences and a cemetery. In lieu of replacing the structure, the borough will extend East Owens Avenue to connect SR 0217 to maintain access to the development. When the bridge is demolished, a concrete barrier will be installed to protect the drop-off area. East Owens Avenue will be reconstructed from the SR 0217 connection to the intersection with North Ligonier Street to provide two-way access. The Read more
State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., applauded a $1 million state Redevelopment Assistance Capitol Program grant to the Eye Institute of Salus University, formerly the Pennsylvania College of Optometry, for a patient-centered medical home within the facility. “This is very good news for our area in terms of continued revitalization in the 201 st Legislative District,” Kinsey said. As planned, the patient-centered medical home would occupy a space of about 12,000 square feet. “The funding is being invested in the right area and this is more of a facility expansion to an already existing business and building,” Kinsey said. Kinsey thanked Gov. Tom Wolf for approving the grant to help revitalize the area he represents. The RACP grant program is administered by the governor’s Office of the Budget to foster economic, cultural, civic and historical projects with significant potential for improving economic growth and new jobs. Read more
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