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
State Rep. Dan Miller reports that over three dozen community organizations, groups and leaders have signed on to partner in a Unity Rally at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 18 at the Mt. Lebanon Rec Center Plaza at 900 Cedar Blvd. Read more
VANDERGRIFT, Dec. 13 – State Rep. Joseph Petrarca announced today that state grants have been awarded to Derry Township and Avonmore from the Community Conservation Partnerships Program. Derry Township Municipal Authority received $474,000 to develop 4.7 miles of trail from Keystone State Park to New Alexandria Borough. Avonmore received $10,000 to help with a structured community planning effort to rehabilitate and further develop the 10-acre Pasternak Recreational Area. "Green space and recreation opportunities can contribute to a happier quality of life, and these grants will help area communities enhance those prospects for their residents," said Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana. The work at Pasternak Recreational Area will include site development, the construction drawings and budget, and bid packet. In addition to construction of the Loyalhanna Trail, the funding will cover Americans with Disabilities Act access, landscaping, project signage and other related site improvements. The state's Community Conservation Partnerships Program is administered by the Bureau of Recreation and Conservation in the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. It uses funding from a variety of state sources, including the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund (Key ’93); the Environmental Stewardship and Watershed Protection Act (Growing Greener); the Act 68 Snowmobile and ATV Trails Fund; the federal Land and Water Read more
EBENSBURG, Dec. 13 – Seeking to reward those working the front lines of emergency services, state Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, wants the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency to award scholarships to fire company, ambulance service and rescue squad volunteers. Burns is seeking co-sponsors for his proposed Volunteer Recruitment Service Scholarship Act, which would authorize PHEAA to award the scholarships to eligible active members of the aforementioned groups. "We all know about the shortage of volunteers, particularly for fire departments, and this is one practical way to provide an inducement to undertake community service," Burns said. "Many of our smaller communities – where people pay their share of state taxes – can’t afford to pay for these services and thus rely on volunteers. Offering them scholarships through PHEAA is a novel and effective way to keep these services staffed." Burns said under his upcoming bill, applicants would be required to be a member of a volunteer organization for at least six months and maintain active volunteer status, have graduated from high school or have received a high school equivalency diploma. They would also have to enroll in a degree-producing curriculum at an institution of higher education within a 50-mile radius of the volunteer organization (or if none exists, the next-closest institution), be a legal resident of the commonwealth, maintain a minimum 2.0 grade-point Read more
HARRISBURG, Dec. 12 – In an effort to limit the length of the imminent shutdown for unemployment compensation service centers in Allentown, Altoona and Lancaster, state Rep. Peter Schweyer plans to reintroduce legislation that would extend program funding for one year. Read more
SCRANTON, Dec. 12 – A staffer from state Rep. Marty Flynn's office will provide outreach assistance next week in South Abington Township. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 9 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., today announced the approval of a $1.21 million Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) grant to improve Manayunk’s Main Street pedestrian walkway and another $550,000 CFA grant for river trail improvements in Lower Merion Twp. The Manayunk Development Corporation and Manayunk Special Services District will use the money to buy and install pedestrian-scale street lighting and LED luminaires to improve safety at eight pedestrian crossings between Shurs and Green lanes. “The added street lighting will assist in providing greater visibility and ease when strolling and crossing the streets of Manayunk, particularly where there may not be a traffic signal,” DeLissio said. “The lighting is expected to help the district become more pedestrian and cycling friendly. “These improvements will enhance the Manayunk Street Corridor section of Philadelphia, heightening its safety and vibrancy, and encourage pedestrian traffic to frequent this long established and welcoming business corridor.” In Lower Merion Twp., Penn Real Estate Group will use this grant to further the Pencoyd Landing Redevelopment Project by developing a public-use walking and biking trail along the Schuylkill River in Lower Merion Twp., Montgomery County. These plans also call for repairing and renovating a deteriorated river wall for safety measures and beautification. “This 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
PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 8 – State Rep.-elect Isabella Fitzgerald, D-Phila., announced that her constituent services office for residents of the 203rd Legislative District is now open. The hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The office is located at 7178 Ogontz Ave. The number is 215-549-0220. “The office is in a location that many people may be familiar with,” Fitzgerald said. “My staff and I look forward to serving the constituents of the district with any state-related issue they may have.” Fitzgerald will be sworn-in Tuesday, Jan. 3. Read more
TEMPLE, Dec. 8 – The Central Pennsylvania Chapters of the Gold Star Mothers of America and the Blue Star Mothers of America will partner with the national Wreaths Across America organization for the annual wreath-laying ceremony at noon Saturday at the Capitol in Harrisburg, said state Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, who will participate in the ceremony. Wreaths Across America is a nonprofit organization founded to continue and expand the annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Ceremony. Its mission, “Remember, Honor, Teach,” is carried out in part by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies each December in all 50 state capitols. The keynote speaker will be Col. David E. Wood, chief of staff of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard’s 28th Infantry Division. John Brenner, chairman of the Pennsylvania State Veterans Commission, also will speak. State Rep. Stephen Barrar, Republican chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness, will preside over the ceremony. Individual wreaths, signifying every branch of the armed services, will be formally presented by respective representatives of the military in addition to the remembrance wreath. The ceremonial wreaths are provided by the Worcester Wreath Co. as a donation to the Wreaths Across America campaign. Staff Sgt. Ian Bowling of the U.S. Army Soldiers' Chorus and the Central Dauphin High School choir, under the direction of John Madas, will perform at the ceremony. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 7 -- State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, hosted her second annual Senior Holiday Health and Fitness Expo on Dec. 6 at Motivation High School. McClinton said more than 300 area seniors attended the event, which offered them a chance to receive free health screenings and other services, including flu shots. "This event was designed to connect seniors with valuable services that impact so many aspects of their daily lives, but we also wanted to put some icing on the cake by getting everyone together in a fun, celebratory atmosphere," said McClinton. "Holiday entertainment, music, dancing and a holiday lunch helped make the day such a success." The event was sponsored by Gateway Health Plans, Keystone VIP Choice and Mercy Health Systems, and included special guests state Sen. Anthony Williams, City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, former state Rep. Ronald Waters and Philadelphia ward leaders Anne Brown and Anthony Faulk. "A thank you isn't enough to everyone who participated, volunteered their time and their service, particularly the students from Hardy Williams High School and NSA Multicultural Academy," McClinton said. "I look forward to marking the third annual expo next year!" Participating vendors were Gateway Health Plans, Keystone VIP Choice, Mercy Health Systems, Always Best Care, Philadelphia Corporation for Aging, Philadelphia Gas Works, Energy Coordinating Agency, Colonial Life, Health Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 7 – Following approval by the Commonwealth Financing Authority, state Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, announced a $900,000 grant has been awarded to the Schuylkill River Development Corp. McClinton said the organization will use the funding to help construct a multi-use connector trail along the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia. “It’s always great for the people of Southwest Philadelphia when investments like these are made to help better our community,” McClinton said. “This grant will not only assist the SRDC in moving forward with its project, it will make improvements to a recreational area utilized by many families and help boost the local economy.” The Schuylkill River Development Corp. is constructing a connector trail along the west bank of the river, known as the Bartram’s Mile Trail. The project will expand recreational access and safe, off-road commuting for thousands of families in Kingsessing and Bartram’s Village. It also will spur economic development on some of the riverfront parcels of land that are being primed for reuse. The project includes the construction of the trail and the installation of lighting, benches, trash containers, bollards and bike racks. "The SRDC is thrilled to receive this grant which will assist in extending the Schuylkill River Trail deeper in southwest Philadelphia,” said Joseph R. Syrnick, president and CEO of the Schuylkill River Read more
YARDLEY, Dec. 7 – Bucks County Community College will receive $27,975 to help prevent sexual assault on its campus, state Rep.-Elect Perry Warren announced today. The grant is funded by Gov. Tom Wolf’s ‘It’s On Us’ administration initiative to prevent sexual assault on college campuses. Bucks County Community College will use the money to implement strategies to keep students safe on campus and reduce violence and assault. “These funds are important to help curb rape, sexual assault and other types of violence, which unfortunately occur on campuses all across the country,” Warren said. “Fortunately, there are professionals at BCCC who work to reduce such crime, and these funds will help them continue and expand that important work. “Congratulations are in order for BCCC, and I’d like to thank the administration for helping students in our district focus on their school work.” Pennsylvania is the first state to launch its own ‘It's on Us’ campaign, modeled on the national campaign launched by President Barack Obama in 2014. Read more
Joining community members and local officials, state Rep. John Galloway, D-Bucks, took part in a groundbreaking ceremony at the new Tullytown Canal Park behind the Levittown Town Center. Read more
Calling on the community to come together in a show of inclusion and acceptance, state Rep. Dan Miller, D-Mt. Lebanon, announced today that his office will host a Rally for Unity at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18 at the Mt. Lebanon Rec Center Plaza, 900 Cedar Blvd., Pittsburgh, PA 15228. Miller will be joined by the Mt. Lebanon School District and municipality, as well as many local religious groups, community organizations and elected officials. Read more
ALLENTOWN, Dec. 7 -- State Rep. Peter Schweyer believes there is nothing better than hands-on learning in the classroom, and joined Mosser Elementary students today as he welcomed the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau’s "AG on The Go Van" at their school for a morning of interactive learning. "It’s because of programs like this, that our students are able to engage with science in such an interactive and immersive curriculum," Schweyer said. "These programs bring science and agriculture alive right before their eyes. It’s a program that every school should welcome into their classrooms. "I wholeheartedly support these endeavors and was pleased to partner with the state Farm Bureau and Allentown School District and to participate in today's activities at Mosser Elementary. This is another way we can teach our youth about how agriculture impacts our lives." Classes are led by a state-certified teacher with materials that have been aligned to state standards for science and technology, and the environment and ecology. Participating districts may select from two available lesson plans, "Farming, The Environment and You" or "Food, Nutrition and You," designed to not only emphasize a different aspect of agriculture, but also the various science concepts. Funding for the traveling science class has been provided by the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau Agricultural Foundation. Read more
HARRISBURG, Dec. 7 – State Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Luzerne, plans to introduce legislation that would create the Prescription Drug Donation Program. Pashinski’s proposal would require the State Board of Pharmacy to establish a voluntary program under which health care facilities may donate unused prescription drugs to vendor pharmacies that would repackage and redistribute the donated drugs to community-based clinics that provide primary health care services to financially disadvantaged Pennsylvanians. “The high cost of prescription drugs often discourages people from seeking medical help in the first place,” Pashinski said. “Under my plan, we would increase the availability of prescription medications to Pennsylvania’s neediest residents.” In order for a prescription drug to be donated, it would have to be in the original unopened, sealed and tamper-evident unit dose packaging. Additionally, the legislation would require that entities volunteering to participate must be approved by the State Board of Pharmacy and comply with all applicable laws associated with safety and procedure. Pashinski is seeking co-sponsors for the legislation and will introduce it when the 2017-18 session convenes in January. Read more
NANTICOKE, Dec. 5 – State Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Luzerne, announced he will offer constituent outreach in December at various locations throughout the 119th Legislative District. The schedule is as follows: 10 a.m. to noon Dec. 13, Mountaintop Active Adult Center, 460 S. Main Road. 10 a.m. to noon Dec. 14, Nanticoke Active Adult Center, 145 E. Green St. 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Dec. 15, Plymouth Active Adult Center, 160 E. Main St. 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 between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Friday at 156 S. Market St., Nanticoke. The number is 570-740-7031. Residents can also stop by his Freeland office between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Friday at its new location at 407 Centre St. The number is 570-636-3500. Constituents also may contact Mullery through his website at www.pahouse.com/Mullery . Read more
SCRANTON, Dec. 7 – Older residents with questions about Medicare or health insurance coverage should visit state Rep. Marty Flynn’s office during his monthly outreach next week. 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
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