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.
EBENSBURG, July 8 – The sniper-induced deaths of five Dallas police officers underscore why state Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, will soon unveil “Blue Lives Matter” legislation designed to put attacks on police and corrections officers on par with ethnic hate crimes. Burns, whose legislation was already in the production pipeline, plans to introduce his bill and seek House co-sponsors as early as Monday. “I respect the difficult job police and corrections officers perform keeping us safe from criminals and I’m appalled that all too often, officers themselves are targeted for assault, ambush or – as we found out in Dallas – death,” Burns said. “If ever there was a group in need of being a protected class, it’s those who put their lives on the line every day to keep the rest of us safe from the criminal element.” Burns said cowardly acts like those perpetrated in Dallas against unsuspecting police officers warrant stiff punishment and a clear message needs to be sent that such targeting will not be legally tolerated. Burns’ bill seeks to give law enforcement officers of the commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions, as well as corrections officers at state or county institutions, protected status under the state’s ethnic intimidation law. As such, the legislation would give them the same treatment as race, color, religion or national origin when it comes to crimes motivated by Read more
HARRISBURG, July 7 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton said a Cobbs Creek teenager has been awarded a $1,000 college scholarship from the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus. The PLBC recognized 10 Pennsylvania high school seniors as scholarship recipients last week during a program at the state Capitol. One winner is from McClinton's district: Ricardo Burton Jr. of Cobbs Creek, who will attend Temple University this fall. "I am incredibly pleased to have presented Ricardo one the scholarships from the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus," McClinton said. "The scholarships are the caucus' way to help make higher education a reality for hardworking students of color in Pennsylvania, and this young man certainly fits the bill. I wish him much success as he embarks on his future academic plans." Burton graduated from Franklin Learning Center in June with a 3.5 grade-point average. He was active in sports and other extracurricular activities and community service, while holding down a part-time job. Burton plans to study business management at Temple. The scholarship program was initiated in 2010. Students are selected based upon their academic success, leadership, extracurricular and community participation, and financial need. "This scholarship program is an excellent opportunity to encourage minority students to pursue a higher education, while also providing incentive for students who are still in high school," McClinton Read more
PHILADELPHIA, July 7 – State Rep. Kevin Boyle, D-Phila./Mont., is hosting two events at his Fox Chase office during the month of July. A Department Service officer from the American Legion will be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, July 18th., in Boyle’s district office at 7801 Hasbrook Ave in Fox Chase to assist with Veteran service issues . The service officer is able to answer questions and offer assistance in completing paperwork for Veterans’ services. Appointments are available and walk-ins are accepted. Rep. Boyle will also be partnering with the Fox Chase Cancer Center to host his annual mobile mammography event outside of his district office at 7801 Hasbrook Ave in Fox Chase. Women interested in receiving a breast screening are required to make an appointment . Appointments are available starting at 9 a.m. Additional requirements include: Must be 40 or older. Name and address of one of your doctors. Prescription from your doctor. May not be breast feeding nor have breast fed within the last nine months. Must not have had a breast cancer diagnosis within the past three years. Must not be under treatment for breast cancer. Must not have had a mammogram in 12 months. Must be able to board the van and stand while being examined. For more information on either event, please call his district office at 215-695-1016. ### CONTACT: Amanda Zellner Phone: 215-331-2600 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Read more
ERIE, July 7 – State Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, D-Erie, said he is pleased to honor Dr. Wei-Shin Lai with a House of Representatives citation for her recognition as Entrepreneur of the Year, awarded annually by Ernst & Young. Lai, CEO of AcousticSheep LLC, was presented with the EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2016 Award in the Retail and Consumer Products category in the Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia region. “Our community is very proud of Dr. Lai’s recent accomplishments. This citation is just one way of showing that her recognition was not only noticed, but also applauded by everyone in Erie, as well as the House of Representatives,” Bizzarro said. After winning the regional award, Lai is now eligible for consideration for the Entrepreneur of the Year national award, hosted in Palm Springs, Calif., in November. “It is great knowing that so much innovation and creative thinking is happening within the Third District. We are very pleased to have Acoustic Sheep headquartered right up the road from us, and wish nothing but continued success for Dr. Lai and her colleagues.” AcousticSheep is an Erie-based company which strives to “create a world of happy, healthy and well-rested people with its comfortable headphones, allowing for easy sleep and enjoyable exercise. The company was formed in 2007 by Lai and her husband. Read more
SCRANTON, July 6 – Older residents with questions about Medicare or health insurance coverage should visit state Rep. Marty Flynn’s office during his monthly outreach Monday, July 11. Read more
HARRISBURG, July 6 – State Rep. Joseph Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, today introduced his bill to abolish the gasoline tax increases slated for next year and beyond. "Gas prices are an important part of the discussion as tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians take to the roads for vacations this summer," Petrarca said. "And while gas prices might be falling, there's a limit to how far the prices can drop because of the amount of state and federal taxes imposed on each gallon of gas." Pennsylvania collects 51.4 cents on each gallon of gas sold in the commonwealth. That's nearly double the average collected nationwide. The latest state gasoline tax increase, expected to be as much as 10 cents in January, is the result of a law Gov. Tom Corbett signed in 2013 to uncap the Oil Company Franchise Tax, the tax on wholesale gasoline purchases. Although the OCFT is a tax on wholesalers, the tax has been passed down to drivers at the pump. Petrarca's bill would cancel the statutorily required January increase, keeping the wholesale price level, effectively preventing future gasoline tax increases based on this formula. "I did not support the 2013 law because it was going to increase gasoline prices, and now it's expected to increase them by another 10 cents in January. An increase in the gas tax hurts all of us, but especially for people on limited means or who live on fixed incomes. Pennsylvania already has the highest Read more
NANTICOKE, July 6 – State Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Luzerne, announced he will offer constituent outreach in July at various locations throughout the 119th Legislative District. The schedule is as follows: 10 a.m. to noon July 19, Nanticoke Active Adult Senior Center, 145 E. Green St., Nanticoke. 10 a.m. to noon July 20, White Haven Borough Building, 312 Main St., White Haven. 10 a.m. to noon July 21, Plymouth Active Adult Center, 160 E. Main St., Plymouth. 10 a.m. to noon July 26, Mountain Top Active Adult Center, 460 S. Main Road, Mountain Top. Residents can receive help on a variety of state matters, including the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program, the PACE/PACENET prescription drug program for seniors, unemployment compensation, hunting and fishing licenses, the Children's Health Insurance Program, consumer protection, and many more. Mullery said constituents may visit his district office from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday at 156 S. Market St., Nanticoke. The number is 570-740-7031. Residents can also stop by his Freeland office from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday at 532 Centre St. The number is 570-636-3500. Read more
State Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky, D-Delaware, today announced three grants for Aston Township totaling $882,525 from the Commonwealth Financing Authority’s Act 13 Program.
“This funding will be used to help complete projects vital to Aston Township and the entire 161st Legislative District,” Krueger-Braneky said. “I look forward to seeing the improvements and the economic and environmental benefits they will provide for our community.”
HARRISBURG, July 1 – State Rep. Frank Burns, one of nine House Democrats to oppose a 2016-17 state budget bill Thursday night, said its unraveling in the Senate today over how to raise more than $1 billion validates his position. Burns, D-Cambria, said he had grave concerns that the budget was heavily laden with back-door taxes on working families, levies that would take more money from those who heat with natural gas and who use smokeless tobacco. “It’s ludicrous that we would ask those folks to dig deeper into their wallets, while refusing to close the Delaware loophole that gives big corporations a huge tax break,” Burns said. “It also makes no sense to me to tax people who heat with natural gas, while Pennsylvania remains the only major gas-producing state without a severance tax. Talk about backward priorities.” Burns said he had deep reservations that the budget agreement was not based on any firm revenue footing and thus was susceptible to falling apart. “My suspicions appear to have been justified,” Burns said. “I sincerely hope that we can build something more solid in the days to come.” Read more
HARRISBURG, July 1 – Three regional conservation, watershed protection and civic improvement groups will receive $470,000 in state investments for their ongoing efforts to protect and enhance the outdoor experience for Berks County residents. Sen. Judy Schwank and Reps. Thomas Caltagirone and Mark Rozzi said the Commonwealth Financing Authority today approved grants for: Implementation of the Berks County Conservancy’s Angelica Park master plan, $200,000; Recreation Commission of the Antietam Valley, Carsonia Park Improvement Project and Watershed Restoration Project, $215,000; Berks County Community Foundation, 18 th W.O.N.D.E.R. Neighborhood Improvement Project, $55,000. "All three of these projects are especially significant because they not only will vastly improve regional recreational resources and preserve the local environment, but also because they are the result of remarkable cooperation among a diverse array of elected and appointed officials and community-based organizations and agencies," Schwank said following CFA’s approval of the new investments. "I am just as grateful for the dedication, passion and vision of the many people who work for these groups and strive to improve the quality of life for all Berks Countians." "These grant awards are great news for the city of Reading and surrounding communities," Caltagirone said. "Everyone who worked so hard to put together such high-quality Read more
HARRISBURG, July 1 – Historic Skyline Drive soon will be receiving needed upgrades thanks to a $969,298 Multimodal Transportation Fund grant approved today by the Commonwealth Financing Authority to reconstruct a 2.4-mile stretch of Skyline Drive in Alsace and Lower Alsace Townships and the city of Reading, according to Sen. Judy Schwank and Reps. Thomas Caltagirone and Mark Rozzi. All three state legislators worked together to strongly advocate for the grant's approval. According to the state legislators, Lower Alsace Township will receive the grant and will work with Alsace Township and the city to complete the project. As part of the reconstruction of Skyline Drive, road markings will be added to create shared pedestrian/bicyclist lanes and crosswalks added at key locations to improve safety. Stormwater facility upgrades will be installed to improve water runoff and limit potential water damage to the roadway in the future. "This project represents an important investment in improving one of Berks County’s most iconic roadways," Schwank said. "This effort is especially significant because it involves cooperation among three municipalities, incorporates multiple modes of transportation, and improves safety for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians alike." "Skyline Drive provides access to some of the most beautiful vistas in all of Pennsylvania, as well to our city’s most recognizable and historic landmark, the Read more
HARRISBURG, July 1 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., said at a news conference Tuesday that Pennsylvanians should have equal access to oral chemotherapy drugs and has supported H.B. 60 over the six years that she has been in office. DeLissio said that she is thrilled that the bill has finally made it to the governor's desk and looks forward to this legislation being signed into law shortly. Orally administered anti-cancer medications are typically covered under a health plan's pharmacy benefit and classified in the highest tier of a health plan’s cost-sharing system, requiring patients to pay a percentage of the total cost of the drug, generally between 25 and 30 percent. House Bill 60 would prohibit insurance policies from placing oral anti-cancer medications on a specialty tier or charging co-insurance payments that are more than would have been charged for IV therapy or injectables, helping more patients afford a more convenient form of cancer treatment. As of August 2014, 34 states have enacted oral chemotherapy access laws. “It cannot be overstated just how important these drugs are in saving lives,” DeLissio said. “Oral anti-cancer medications have become incredibly effective in fighting cancer, and no one should go without that powerful tool in their fight because they can’t afford it. Citizens should not have to make difficult choices about affording food and rent or mortgage payments Read more
HARRISBURG, July 1 – State Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, today announced the approval of nearly $200,000 in state grants for local projects. Readshaw said the Commonwealth Financing Authority approved $73,500 in Greenways, Trails and Recreation funding for the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy for the 21st Street Greenway project, and $125,000 in transportation funding for the second phase of the Mt. Oliver Borough Brownsville Road sidewalk safety and accessibility project. The conservancy plans to improve the 21st Street corridor in Pittsburgh to improve access points to a neighboring park and complete green infrastructure retrofits. This project specifically covers the planning and design, which includes hydrologic and transportation engineering as well as landscape design and construction drawings for the entire 21st Street enhancement. ### Read more
HARRISBURG, July 1 – State Rep. Mike Schlossberg, D-Lehigh, announced today that a $1 million grant has been awarded to the Riverside Drive project at the Waterfront, which sits on the former site of the Lehigh Structural Steel Company.
The Multimodal Transportation Fund grant has been awarded to the Waterfront Development Company to assist in the construction of a 3.5-mile, two-lane road and a paved trail along the path of a former railroad bed.
"I’ve long said that community development efforts won’t be successful, unless everyone in our community – from the richest to the poorest – is able to benefit and this project will achieve exactly that," Schlossberg said. "Riverside Drive will better connect Allentown, and not just physically. It will connect residents with a slew of new jobs and recreational activities that will invariably lead to further growth and an increased quality of life for our community."
The Commonwealth Financing Authority’s Multimodal Transportation Fund, which was created by the transportation funding plan, provides grants to encourage economic development and ensure that a safe and reliable system of transportation is available to the residents of the commonwealth.
"Not only will this project make it easy for workers to get downtown while alleviating congestion along nearby corridors, but it will also help to complete a crucial link currently missing in the 165-mile Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor Trail," Schlossberg said. "Once Read more
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