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 – 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
State Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., announced the application process is now open for students to apply for the Pennsylvania House Scholarship Program.
Neilson said the program is open to graduating high school seniors who are Pennsylvania residents with plans to attend a Pennsylvania college, university or career school as a full-time student. Students must have attained a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade-point average in high school to be eligible. Other factors taken into consideration are a student’s commitment to community, leadership qualities, extracurricular activities and financial need.
HARRISBURG, Dec. 28 – State Rep.-elect Maureen Madden invites residents of the 115th District to an open house at her new Coolbaugh office in Tobyhanna. Read more
YORK, Dec. 21 – State Rep.-Elect Carol Hill-Evans will host an open house from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Jan. 4 at her district office, 53 E. North St., Suite 3. There will be refreshments, information on state programs and initiatives, and a ceremony marking her official swearing into the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, which will take place Jan. 3 in Harrisburg. “It’s an honor to begin work as state representative, and I hope to meet as many people as possible during the open house,” said Hill-Evans, D-York. “There is a wealth of state resources and help available here, and I look forward to connecting people with programs and solving problems with state services.” Hill-Evans was elected after former state Rep. Kevin Schreiber stepped down to take a position advocating for economic development in York County. Those interested can learn more about Hill-Evans during her open house, by visiting her website at www.PaHouse.com/Hill-Evans , or on Facebook and Twitter . Read more
Harrisburg – State Sen. Michele Brooks and Rep. Mark Longietti announced a $1 million Multimodal Transportation Program grant that will allow NLMK Pennsylvania to upgrade its Farrell rail operation and help retain more than 700 jobs. The grant will permit rehabilitation of 8,300 feet of track, crossties and ballast and improve grade crossings in its 13-mile rail network at the plant. The company also will replace locomotives and install and modify loading docks. “Our area competes not only against others states, but globally, for jobs. It is important that our region and Pennsylvania is competitive in keeping these family sustaining manufacturing jobs,” said Senator Brooks. “If NLMK is able to flourish here, there will be correlative opportunity for employment and economic development in the region. I was happy to have the opportunity to be a partner in helping obtain this funding.” “This grant will allow NLMK to move a sufficient amount of product to remain competitive, thereby helping to retain over 700 well-paying jobs in our community,” Representative Longietti said. “I am pleased to have played a role in securing this funding which will help preserve these important jobs.” The grant application was submitted by Penn Northwest Development Corporation on behalf of NLMK, formally known as Duferco Farrell Corporation. The scrap salvage company makes metal casing for Whirlpool, Frigidaire and other products for Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 19 – State Rep.-elect Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., has reopened the 192nd Legislative District office in west Philadelphia. The district includes Wynnefield, Overbrook Farms, Morris Park, Overbrook Park, Overbrook, Haddington, Hestonville and Carroll Park. "I am excited to begin serving the people of the 192nd District. My staff and I can help you with state-related concerns and services such as help with home heating bills, the Children's Health Insurance Program, PACE/PACENET prescription-drug coverage for seniors, the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program, car tag renewals and much more," Cephas said. The office is at 1991 N. 63rd St. and is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The phone number is 215-879-6625. Cephas is also providing information on her website -- www.pahouse.com/Cephas -- and can be reached at RepCephas@pahouse.net . She said, "Residents are encouraged to come by and get to meet some of the new staff. In mid-January we will be hosting a soft opening so STAY TUNED!!!" Cephas will be sworn in officially on Jan. 3 in Harrisburg. ### Read more
ALLENTOWN, Dec. 19 – With the Allentown Unemployment Compensation Service Center closing today due to a funding dispute in Harrisburg, state Rep. Peter Schweyer is urging people affected to get as much information as possible to maintain benefits. Read more
State Rep. Brandon Neuman is drafting legislation to further improve testing of evidence from sexual assaults. Neuman said his new measure will provide the next step toward finding a comprehensive remedy against domestic and sexual violence. Read more
EBENSBURG, Dec. 19 – Hoping to follow at least 18 other states , state Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, wants Pennsylvania to ban cigarette lighters that look like toys, feature a flashing light or make musical sounds, mostly so children aren’t enticed to start fires or be injured. Burns said these novelty lighters – already illegal in neighboring New York and New Jersey – are readily available at hardware and convenience stores and gasoline stations, and in the wrong hands are easily mistaken for toys. “While an adult may readily know to reserve these lighters for cigarettes, pipes or cigars, a toddler or youngster might not make that important distinction,” Burns said. “Too often, these confusing lighters contribute to unintentional fires and injuries to children and families. Sometimes, even adults are mistaken.” Burns cited these examples as stimulus for the bill he plans to introduce in January for the new, two-year legislative session: In Maine, a 6-year-old picked up a miniature baseball bat, thinking it might be a flashlight, and burned part of his face as the flame shot out. In Arkansas, two children under 2 died after setting fire to their apartment with a motorcycle-shaped lighter. In South Carolina, a woman shot herself in the hand while attempting to light a cigarette with what she thought was a pistol-shaped novelty lighter. Burns, who is currently seeking co-sponsors for his bill, said the upcoming Read more
House Democratic Caucus Chairman Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, will again co-sponsor the National Popular Vote bill in Pennsylvania. The bill would commit Pennsylvania's presidential electors to the candidate who wins the most popular votes in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Read more
YARDLEY, Dec. 15 – State Rep.-Elect Perry Warren, D-Bucks, today announced a $75,000 state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources grant to help build a dog park in Lower Makefield Township. The project will include building the dog park and parking area, installing fencing, gates and utilities, access for those with disabilities and landscaping. “This is a great addition to the community and a wonderful infusion of grant money that will help offset its costs to local taxpayers,” Warren said. “Congratulations to Lower Makefield Township on the award. I look forward to the opening.” The grants are administered by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Community Conservation Partnerships Program. The sources of funding for the grant include the Keystone Fund, which is generated from a portion of the realty transfer tax; the Environmental Stewardship Fund; and the ATV/Snowmobile Fund generated through fees for licenses. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 15 – State Rep.-elect Chris Rabb, D-Phila., plans to introduce the National Popular Vote bill in Pennsylvania after he is sworn in Jan. 3. The bill would commit Pennsylvania's presidential electors to the candidate who wins the most popular votes in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. "This is not retroactive to the 2016 election – this is forward-looking, nonpartisan and could benefit a candidate of either party. Until the Electoral College is abolished, the National Popular Vote agreement is a fair and equitable way to have the will of the people expressed in participatory democracy, rather than an outdated, arcane intermediary. Most people haven't even realized they're voting for electors rather than a presidential candidate directly," Rabb said. The bill would have Pennsylvania add its 20 electoral votes to an agreement that already covers 165 electoral votes from 11 states and the District of Columbia. The agreement would take effect once it covers at least 270 electoral votes, the minimum needed to win the presidency. "Throughout the 240 years since the Declaration of Independence was signed here in Philadelphia, we've made other improvements to the founders' designs, and moving to a national popular vote system is another important way to do that," said Rabb, who is a descendant of Declaration of Independence signer Philip Livingston. "The founders of our country only Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 15 – State Rep.-elect Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., announced today that a state Community Conservation Partnership Program grant has been secured for the revitalization of Carroll Park, which is part of the 192 nd Legislative District Carroll Park community. The $300,000 grant, awarded to Philadelphia's Department of Parks and Recreation will be used to restore the park’s historic water fountain and play area, upgrade the children’s playground equipment, create an interactive spray ground system with matting and new benches, increase signage at the entrance of the park and improve lighting and greening space to create a safe environment. "Carroll Park serves as a central point and gathering place for families throughout the Carroll Park Neighborhood and I couldn't be happier that this funding is going to help transform the park into a multigenerational space that will be able to hold events, allow for exercise opportunities and active play," said Cephas. "Oftentimes, families aren’t able to afford vacations outside of the city, which forces us to transform our area parks and recreation centers into ‘staycations’ and destinations that offer a similar experience." Cephas added the need for the redevelopment project for the community was also identified through the efforts of the Carroll Park Neighbors Advisory Council in conjunction with Fairmount Park Conservancy and the Pennsylvania Read more
State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, has announced that the Erie Child Advocacy Center will receive a $13,598 grant to ensure that victims of child sexual abuse are getting the services they need. Bizzarro, a former victim witness coordinator and advocate for the Erie County District Attorney’s office, said he has always supported child advocacy centers in the state, especially by voting for Act 28 of 2014 to expand access to child advocacy centers and increase their availability to serve child victims of sexual and physical abuse. “Having worked in the profession in the past, this topic is near and dear to my heart,” Bizzarro said. “We must help the children and adults who have suffered in the hands of abusers who now need further assistance and in Erie we will have that additional help.” The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) has approved more than $1.3 million in grant funding from the Endowment Act Fund. Grants were approved for 36 different organizations throughout the state that assist victims of child sexual abuse, including Erie. Over $700,000 will be distributed to 15 service organizations that provide direct services to child abuse victims. Nearly $1 million will be distributed to 21 Child Advocacy Centers to enhance services, including increasing the number of medical examinations and counseling services and to develop satellites in underserved areas. Bizzarro said The Endowment Act directs the PCCD Read more
In light of his election to the position of state representative for the 31st Legislative District, Newtown Borough Councilman and state Rep.-elect Perry Warren announced last night at the final Newtown Borough Council meeting of 2016 that he will resign from his position on Newtown Borough Council as of Dec. 31, 2016. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 14 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., said he is proud to have assisted in obtaining funding for the construction and opening of a new facility to further promote Latino culture in Philadelphia. Taller Puertorriqueno Inc. was founded in 1974 as a community-based cultural organization whose primary purpose is to preserve, develop and promote Puerto Rican arts and culture. The organization celebrated the grand opening of its new home on Dec. 7. Cruz said he was honored to work with Dr. Carmen Febo, executor director and CEO of Taller Puertorriqueno, to acquire two separate grants of $2.5 million each to go toward the construction of the new building. "The work that Taller Puertorriqueno does to promote Latino culture throughout our city is invaluable in enriching our personal experiences and the experiences of all Philadelphians," Cruz said. "I look forward to what the future holds in the city for this organization and the Latino community as a whole." Cruz noted that Taller is the largest Latino arts organization in Pennsylvania. Read more
Calling it a tragedy that needs to be remembered and learned from, state Rep.-elect Perry Warren issued the following statement on the 4th anniversary of the Sandy Hook school shooting:
“Today is the four-year anniversary of the senseless shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Twenty-eight people died that day, including 20 elementary schoolchildren, six staff members and the shooter and his mother.
PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 14 – State Rep.-elect Jared Solomon, D-Phila., announced that his constituent service office for residents of the 202 nd Legislative District opened Dec. 1 and is ready to serve his constituents. The hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday; Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m, and by appointment at 7012 Castor Ave., Philadelphia, 19149. The number is 215-342-6340. “My staff and I want to make government work for our constituents. We’ve set office hours that allow them to come visit us at their convenience,” Solomon said. “We were grateful to outgoing Representative Mark Cohen for his help in paving a smooth transition, allowing my staff and me to hit the ground running on December 1. “It is also great that we were able to keep the district office in a location that is familiar to the constituents of the 202 nd Legislative District here on Castor Avenue, which is such an important commercial corridor for our community.” Solomon will be sworn-in Tuesday, Jan. 3. Read more
State Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky, D-Delaware, reminded constituents today that the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program deadline to apply for a rebate on property taxes or rent paid in 2015 is approaching on Dec. 31. Read more
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