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, Jan. 3 – At a state Capitol ceremony that opened the 2017-18 legislative session today, Rep. Joseph Petrarca was sworn into office to represent the 55 th Legislative District, which includes portions of Westmoreland, Armstrong and Indiana counties. "It's an honor to represent the 55 th District and those who live in it," Petrarca said. "It's been my goal to represent the interests of those I serve, even when those interests buck the status quo, and this term will be no different. "I've opposed tax increases because our region can't afford to take on more of the state's financial responsibility, and I've worked to maintain and create jobs. As Democratic chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, I've forwarded legislation to make our streets safer, while also protecting those who protect and serve. "Seeing medical marijuana authorized in the state was a particularly proud moment for me last year. Now families with children who have disabling diseases and conditions, can get the palliative care they need to help alleviate their children's suffering," he said. "All of these issues and more, including the ongoing budget deficit and state's pension crisis, are on my radar in this session." Today's swearing-in ceremony marked the beginning of the 201st session of the General Assembly. The oath of office was administered by Northampton County Judge Craig Dally. Petrarca is Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 3 – State Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Allegheny, officially began his 18 th term as state representative after being sworn in during a ceremony at the state Capitol today. The swearing-in ceremony marked the beginning of the Pennsylvania General Assembly’s 201st legislative session. The legislature is mandated by the state constitution to convene at noon on the first Tuesday of January each year. DeLuca is expected to retain his post as Democratic chairman of the House Insurance Committee. "I am honored to continue to serve the people of the 32 nd Legislative District. As Insurance Committee chairman, I’ve fought hard for their access to quality and affordable health care at our region’s best medical facilities. I will continue to help residents navigate the health insurance climate in western Pennsylvania,” DeLuca said. “I also look forward to continuing work with Governor Tom Wolf’s administration to improve the quality of education for children throughout the commonwealth, better protect consumers and strengthen Pennsylvania’s economy.” Residents can sign up for periodic email updates from DeLuca on state issues and services by visiting his legislative website, www.pahouse.com/DeLuca , and clicking on the “Sign up for emails” link under the “Contact” button on the page. ### Read more
State Rep. Gerald Mullery was sworn in for a fourth term representing the 119 th Legislative District during a ceremony today at the state Capitol that marked the beginning of the 2017-18 session of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. “It is humbling and a wonderful honor to be entrusted with the issues and concerns affecting the citizens of the 119 th Legislative District,” Mullery said. “Continuing to serve the people of Northeastern Pennsylvania will be at the forefront of my agenda.” Mullery, D-Newport Township, said property tax reform, attracting and retaining family-sustaining jobs, providing for quality schools and safe neighborhoods remain his top priorities. “My constituents are concerned with the escalating level of property taxes and their inability to pay them,” Mullery said. “I will continue to support the Property Tax Independence Act and efforts to eliminate property tax for homeowners.” Recently, Mullery was recognized as an environmental champion by the state’s four largest citizen-based environmental advocacy groups. The champions scored 90 percent or higher. Members of the House and Senate were scored on votes cast on legislation relating to fracking, climate change and privatizing public lands. “Environmental issues are important to all of us,” Mullery said. “We want safe drinking water, cleaner air and pristine woodlands not only for us but for future Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 3 – At a ceremony at the state Capitol today, state Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, was sworn in to represent the 72nd Legislative District for a new two-year term in which he promised to hold fast to conservative fiscal principles. As the House chamber marked the beginning of the 201st legislative session, Burns said he plans to remain a stalwart against higher sales and income taxes, while supporting efforts to end fraud, waste and abuse in state spending. He also plans to focus highly on economic development, including full redevelopment of the former SCI-Cresson prison property. "I believe my constituents wholeheartedly support my public policy stances,” Burns said. “The people in the 72 nd Legislative District know that my priorities are their priorities – and they’ve given me a mandate to continue those battles in the upcoming legislative session." One of a handful of House Democrats who broke ranks to help end a nine-month budget stalemate in the last legislative session, Burns said he’s encouraged to hear that early proposals for the 2017-18 state spending plan do not seek hikes in the state sales or income tax. “While I philosophically hope budget negotiators can make do with cuts and efficiencies, I will reserve final judgment until I see exactly where these cuts and efficiencies are coming from,” Burns said, noting, “Stay tuned, because I have some of my own ideas on that.” Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 3 – State Rep. Patrick Harkins, D-Erie, was sworn in today to a sixth term in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. The swearing-in ceremony in the House chamber marked the beginning of the 201st legislative session. The state constitution mandates that the legislature convene at noon on the first Tuesday of January each year. The state House is scheduled to return to voting session in Harrisburg on Jan. 23. Harkins will renew his push for legislation to provide Occupational Safety and Health Administration job safety protection to public workers. The need for this legislation was inspired by Jake Schwab, a mechanic with the Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority, who lost his life due to a workplace incident in 2014. "I will keep up the fight to protect our public employees while they are on the job," Harkins said. "It is unbelievable to me that public employees have less protection than private employees. "I will also continue to work with state Representatives Flo Fabrizio, Ryan Bizzarro and Curt Sonney to provide the necessary funding for the Erie School District. We have had extensive discussions with House Republican leadership and have communicated with the governor about the dire situation facing our students." Harkins' constituent service office is located at 460 E. 26th St. in Erie and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The telephone number is (814) 459-1949 . He can be Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 3 – State Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, was sworn in today for a 10th term representing Pittsburgh's 23rd Legislative District. He is also serving for a fourth term as Democratic caucus chairman, the third-highest ranking member of the caucus leadership. "We have important work to do on behalf of Pennsylvanians, including passage of a state budget that continues to adequately fund education and vital human services, while also responsibly addressing our structural deficit. I will also focus on priorities such as reintroducing the bipartisan Pennsylvania Fairness Act to protect LGBT residents from discrimination, the Patient Trust Act to take politics out of health care, and legislation banning surprise health-care fees such as 'facility fees,'" Frankel said. "Pennsylvanians expect their legislators to work with Governor Tom Wolf to achieve positive change and solve problems, not to oppose him out of reflexive partisanship." Frankel was first elected to the House in 1998. He previously served as chairman of the Allegheny County Democratic Delegation. As a legislator, he has championed numerous initiatives, such as increased funding for mass transit, community and economic development in Pittsburgh and other cities, public education, biomedical research and expanded access to health care, as well as improving gun safety and fighting discrimination. He continues to co-chair the Women's Health Caucus, the LGBT Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 3 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, was sworn in today for his fifth term serving residents of the 16th Legislative District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Today’s ceremony marks the beginning of the 2017-2018 legislative session, the 201st of the Pennsylvania General Assembly. The state House returns to voting session Jan. 23. “I intend to continue the job of putting Pennsylvania and our people before partisan politics, focusing on jobs and the economy – and ensuring the voices and needs of my district and region are represented in Harrisburg,” Matzie said. Matzie also will continue to serve as chairman of the Southwest County Delegation. Residents may visit Matzie's constituent service office located at 1240 Merchant St., Ambridge or call 724-266-7774 for free assistance with state-related services, including help with driver and vehicle matters and Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program applications. Matzie also invites residents to visit his website – www.pahouse.com/Matzie – which has links to information on state services and includes a form that allows constituents to email him. Read more
State Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski was sworn in today to begin his sixth term representing the 121 st Legislative District during a swearing-in ceremony at the state Capitol for the 2017-18 legislative session. Pashinski, who has become one the legislature’s senior members and one of the leading voices in the legislature, reiterated his support for reducing health care costs for working families and improving education in school districts. “Prior to last year, the state had underfunded school districts for years, forcing the major financial burden of operation on the local districts, and in turn, on the taxpayers,” Pashinski said. “One of the outstanding concerns I hear from constituents is the need to lower their property tax bill, and I agree,” Pashinski said. “We must continue to advocate in a bipartisan manner for bills that would provide property tax relief for our local citizens.” In addition, Pashinski said his priorities for the new session continue to be greater access to medical care for the working class and improved services and benefits for senior citizens. The Luzerne County lawmaker plans to reintroduce legislation that would create a prescription drug donation program, clarify gaming-funded school property tax relief notices and create a budget impasse negotiation act that would provide for continued budget negotiations during a proposed budget impasse. “Grandparents raising grandchildren also will Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 3 – During a ceremony at the state Capitol that opened the 2017-18 legislative session, Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald took the oath of office to represent northwest Philadelphia in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. “I am honored to have the opportunity to represent the residents of the 203rd Legislative District,” said Fitzgerald, who takes office after serving as legislative assistant for former state Rep. Dwight Evans, who now represents the area in Congress. “I’m excited to start working on the issues and problems confronting the constituents in my district and the people of Philadelphia.” Fitzgerald’s legislative interests include youth and public safety; pre-k, basic and higher education; and economic development. “In addition to making these issues a priority in Harrisburg, I am working on legislation that would financially assist women who are in need of more intensive breast screening beyond the mammogram,” said Fitzgerald, D-Phila. “I will fight to continue to bring resources and services to my constituents and keep the agenda moving forward.” Fitzgerald’s constituent service office is up and running at 7178 Ogontz Ave., Philadelphia, 19138. The number is 215-549-0220. She also invites people to visit her website – www.pahouse.com/Fitzgerald – which has links to information on state services and includes a form that enables constituents to email her. Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 3 – During a ceremony at the state Capitol opening the 2017-18 legislative session, Rep. Marty Flynn today was sworn in to begin his third term fighting for the residents of Lackawanna County. Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 3 – State Rep. Donna Bullock today was sworn into office as representative for the 195th Legislative District during a ceremony at the Pennsylvania Capitol. The Pennsylvania House of Representatives swearing-in corresponds with the first Tuesday in January, every two years. This year is Pennsylvania’s 201st legislative session. “I am excited for the opportunity to continue representing and fighting for the residents of the 195 th District, both at home and in Harrisburg,” Bullock said. “We have new challenges ahead in this upcoming session and I am ready to work with my colleagues to bring positive change to the commonwealth.” In addition to beginning her first, full two-year term as state representative, Bullock has been chosen to serve as vice chairwoman for the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus. “I am honored that my peers selected me to serve in this position for such a very important caucus,” said Bullock, D-Phila. Bullock said residents are encouraged to sign up for periodic e-mail updates by registering through her website, www.PaHouse.com/Bullock . Constituents can also stay up to date with news from Harrisburg and Philadelphia by adding her on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/RepDonnaBullock and following her on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/RepDonnaBullock . Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 3 – State Rep. Ed Neilson was sworn into office today to represent Northeast Philadelphia’s 174th Legislative District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
“As a new session begins, I am ready to serve the people of Northeast Philadelphia,” Neilson said. “It is an honor to serve as their advocate in the House.”
Neilson’s resume is familiar to most throughout the city and state. He previously served as an at-large member of Philadelphia City Council and in the executive offices of former Gov. Ed Rendell, as well as being a long-time member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Neilson also is a family man with his wife Doris and five sons.
HARRISBURG, Jan. 3 – During a ceremony at the state Capitol today opening the 2017-18 legislative session, state Rep. Mike Driscoll, D-Phila., took the oath of office to begin his second term in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
Driscoll said his legislative priorities for the new term include addressing retirement security, expanding the local job base and advocating for law enforcement officers and first responders.
HARRISBURG, Jan. 3 – State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., is continuing his push for commonsense priorities as he begins his third term representing Philadelphia's 182nd Legislative District. Members of the legislature were sworn in today. Sims said, "In addition to seeking to restore more of the school funding that was cut during the Corbett years, I will continue working with allies from both parties in the coming months to introduce legislation on other important issues," such as: LGBT equality, including equal protections in the workplace and a ban on harmful "conversion therapy" for minors; sustainable development and manufacturing; increased accessibility and convenience in voting and ending partisan gerrymandering; fair compensation for people harmed by a local government's action or inaction – like Philadelphians who only got 19 cents on the dollar for electrical and water damage done to their homes by a 4-foot-wide water main break in 2012; and proactive women's health initiatives. "I'm honored and grateful for the opportunity to continue representing the people of the 182nd District and to serve as their voice in Harrisburg," Sims said. "Pennsylvania has taken important steps forward in Governor Tom Wolf's first two years, and I look forward to working with the Wolf administration to achieve more positive change in 2017 and 2018." Sims, a policy attorney and civil rights Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 3 – State Rep. Neal P. Goodman was sworn in for an eighth term to represent the 123rd Legislative District during a ceremony today at the state Capitol that marked the beginning of the 2017-18 session of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. “It is an honor to have the residents of the 123 rd District put their faith and trust in me again to serve as their state representative,” Goodman said. “Our state continues to face many serious challenges, and I am ready to do my part to take on these challenges to move the commonwealth and Schuylkill County forward.” Goodman is the highest-ranking Democrat from Schuylkill County to serve in the state House, and will again hold a leadership position. He was re-elected to the position of Democratic Caucus administrator in November by his peers. Goodman is the first House Democrat from Schuylkill County to hold a leadership position in the caucus since his uncle, James Goodman, served as chairman of the House Democratic Policy Committee from 1977 to 1980. Goodman said his legislative priorities are job creation and economic development, eliminating property taxes, improving the quality of life in Schuylkill County, helping veterans and preserving the environment. The 123 rd District consists of Wards 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 in Pottsville, the townships of Blythe, Branch, Butler, Cass, Delano, East Norwegian, Foster, Mahanoy, New Castle, Reilly, Ryan Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 3 – Addressing an unsavory perception, state Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, is seeking co-sponsors for a bill that would double to two years the length of time former officials or employees must wait before lobbying the government entity they left. Burns said current law mandates a mere one-year wait, which does little to combat the public belief that many government officials cash in on contacts made in their former jobs. “While the current law is a progressive step, the General Assembly should go further,” Burns said. “To protect the integrity and transparency of the commonwealth’s governmental bodies, my legislation would amend the law to require former officials or employees to wait two years. This cooling-off period would help stall government officials from cashing in on their former jobs.” Burns said many of his constituents in the 72 nd Legislative District are aligned with the belief that government officials are too self-serving, a trend he hopes to reverse by passage of the legislation he plans to introduce soon. “A proposal like this won’t get universal support, but I am confident it will be embraced by members on both sides of the aisle,” Burns said. “We need to do something to put the ‘public’ back in ‘public service.’” Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 3 – State Rep. Kevin Boyle, D-Phila./Montgomery, today was sworn into office for his fourth term as representative for the 172nd Legislative District during a ceremony in the Capitol. “As a lifelong resident of Philadelphia, it is truly an honor to continue serving the people of the city in the Pennsylvania General Assembly,” Boyle said. “As a new year and a new session is upon us, I am ready to get back to work fighting to make this state a better place for every man, woman and child in the commonwealth.” Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 3 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., was sworn into office today during a ceremony at the Capitol for a second term as representative for the 179th Legislative District.The swearing-in ceremony marks the beginning of the 201st session of the General Assembly. The oath of office will be administered by Northampton County Judge Craig Dally. Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 3 – State Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, was sworn in today for a fourth term representing the 185th Legislative District in the House of Representatives, which consists of portions of the city of Philadelphia, as well as Colwyn Borough, Sharon Hill Borough and part of Darby Township in Delaware County."I don’t think I can name a more humbling experience than this," Donatucci said. "Serving the people I represent is a great opportunity and even greater responsibility." Read more
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