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, July 1 – State Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, today announced approval of a $100,000 state grant he sought to help complete the Frick Environmental Center . "I'm proud to help secure funding for this center, which will be both a welcome facility and a gateway to Frick Park that will help learners use the park as a classroom," Frankel said. The project is a partnership between the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and the city of Pittsburgh. According to the conservancy, the center was designed with input from more than 1,000 residents and stakeholders at a series of public meetings, and it will: Use 40 percent less energy than a typical building of its size in the Northeast; Power all electrical systems using energy generated from solar panels; Filter and treat all wastewater before releasing it naturally on site; Be constructed using materials that are produced locally whenever possible and safe for both humans and the environment; and Balance a spirit that promotes appreciation and protection of the environment and a public space that is functional and welcoming. The center will be the first municipal-owned Living Building Challenge-certified structure in the world. The conservancy will manage the facility and ensure that best management practices (BMPs) for energy efficiency and green infrastructure are used, to serve as a model. In all, there will be more than 20 green infrastructure BMPs on site, including the solar Read more
Rep. Dan Deasy reports that redevelopment efforts in McKees Rocks received a major boost with the awarding of a $100,000 state grant. The funding will help implement redevelopment programs dealing with reinvestment, land use, brownfield development and transit.
Rep. Pam Snyder reports that a $20,000 grant has been approved for an engineering study of the Waynesburg Wastewater Treatment Plant and system lines. While applauding the efforts to secure the grant, Rep. Snyder said she supports the borough's efforts to see if some of the grant money can be used to purchase a backup generator in the wake of the recent fire that damaged the plant’s electrical distribution system. Read more
HARRISBURG, July 1 – State Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Luzerne, today announced that several projects in his legislative district were approved by the Commonwealth Financing Authority for more than $2.5 million in grants. "These grants will provide my communities with excellent projects that will create and sustain jobs and enhance the quality of life for the residents," Pashinski said. "I thank Senator John Yudichak for helping to secure the funding for many of these projects and send a special shout out of CFA advisors for their good work and approval." The grants approved in Pashinski's district are: • $100,000 for Huber Breaker Preservation Society, Inc. to develop the Anthracite Coal Region Miners Memorial Park in Ashley; • $130,000 for King’s College to build a multi-purpose facility at the Robert L. Betzler Athletic Complex; • $550,000 for Hanover Safe Streets; • $650,000 for Wilkes University; • $249,465 for the Children’s Service Center to build a new outpatient clinic; • $50,000 for Wilkes-Barre to renovate the Wyoming Valley Art League’s building; • $278,351 for Hanover Township to rehabilitate the Solomon Creek Interceptor, a dilapidated 100-year-old sewer line that runs through Ashley Borough and Hanover and Wilkes-Barre townships. • $181,250 for Wilkes-Barre to renovate the Greater Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA’s rooftop playground, pool and wellness Read more
HARRISBURG, July 1 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, said a grant for more than $100,000 today was awarded to Allegheny Petroleum.
The $116,454 Multimodal Transportation Fund grant will be used by Allegheny Petroleum to expand its facilities in Ambridge and perform needed upgrades.
“This grant will not only allow Allegheny Petroleum to move more of its products efficiently over rail, it will also improve the safety of that rail activity,” said Matzie. “This investment in the rail infrastructure of Beaver County will undoubtedly lead to increased economic activity for the region and an improved quality of life for our communities.”
The 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 Pennsylvania residents.
The grant was approved by the Commonwealth Financing Authority, an independent state agency that evaluates and administers funding for projects that create jobs and improve cultural and recreational assets.
HARRISBURG, July 1 – State Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, is announcing the award of $219,000 to Rock Run Recreation Inc. of Patton to build a new tar-and-chip access road and 38 primitive campsites at its Chest Township property. Burns said the campsites will be sized to accommodate vehicles with ATV trailers, and other improvements include a shower house building with ADA-accessible parking, sanitary sewer infrastructure for recreational vehicles and an improved composting toilet restroom facility. “This state money will help speed along a big development project with a total price tag of $800,000,” Burns said. “Rock Run is a major outdoor attraction in the Patton area, and its further development will greatly aid the area’s tourism industry.” These projects were all funded via grants applied for by the local community agencies and disbursed via the Commonwealth Financing Authority, an independent agency of the Department of Community and Economic Development focused on fostering economic growth. Read more
HARRISBURG, July 1 – State Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Luzerne, today announced that several projects in his legislative district were approved for nearly $3.5 million in grants by the Commonwealth Financing Authority. "Today’s investments approved by the CFA will prove to be beneficial to Luzerne County," Mullery said. "The scope of the projects is vast, but they help to enhance the quality of life for our residents and visitors." The grants approved in Mullery's district are: • $40,073 for improvements to the Newport Township Community Park walking trail; • $75,000 for improvements at Plymouth's John Mergo Community Park; • $1 million for the extension of Hazle Township boulevard; • $673,000 for the acquisition and demolition of properties in Nanticoke City's downtown corridor; • $85,000 for upgrades of the Askam Borehole Mine Drainage Treatment System; • $505,000 for the Lower South Valley COG to purchase road restoration and construction equipment; • $241,351 to excavate and resurface borough streets in Plymouth; • $500,000 to construct a new municipal complex in Freeland; • $200,000 to excavate and resurface township roads in Rice Township; • $184,000 to complete renovations of the White Haven municipal building; • $250,000 to construct a pole barn in Newport Township to store township and COG equipment; and • $35,000 for improvements at Read more
State Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, announced today two grants for Sharon and Shenango Valley totaling $325,000 from the Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program administered by the Commonwealth Financing Authority.
The funds will go toward:
• $175,000 for the downtown Sharon Riverfront Urban Park; and
• $150,000 for the Shenango Valley YMCA equipment and expansion.
HARRISBURG, July 1 – State Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, D-Erie, is pleased to announce $930,000 in state grants has been awarded to local conservation and energy projects in Erie County. A $680,000 Alternative and Clean Energy Program grant awarded to CNG Services, LLC will be used to construct a public CNG fueling station in McKean Township. The station is estimated to displace more than 250,000 gallons of gasoline each year when operating at full capacity. “This project will provide motorists driving vehicles that run on compressed natural gas easy access to refueling in the area,” Bizzarro said. In addition, a $250,000 Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program grant awarded to Asbury Woods Partnership Inc. will help the organization acquire approximately 62 acres located along Sterrettania Road in Millcreek Township for recreation and access to Walnut Creek. “This grant will go a long way in helping to preserve the environment for future generations,” Bizzarro said. “Asbury Woods provides valuable recreational and education opportunities for residents and visitors, and I am grateful that the state is helping to protect and enhance it.” The grants were approved by the Commonwealth Financing Authority, an independent state agency that evaluates and administers funding for projects that create jobs and improve cultural and recreational assets. Read more
HARRISBURG, July 1 – State Rep. Marty Flynn said six projects in the portion of Lackawanna County he represents were approved today to receive $898,282 in funding by the Commonwealth Financing Authority. Read more
HARRISBURG, June 30 – State Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Luzerne, today supported passage of a state budget plan that increases education funding and expands efforts to fight our commonwealth’s growing opioid addiction crisis. "This plan isn’t perfect, but it provides much needed education funding, something our school districts have been anticipating for years," Mullery said. "The budget is on-time and doesn’t increase broad-based taxes." Senate Bill 1073 includes a $250 million increase for pre-K through 12 education funding, including $200 million for K-12, $30 million for pre-K and Head Start, and a $20 million increase for special education. According to information provided by the House Appropriations Committee Democratic staff, Mullery said school districts in his 119th Legislative District are slated to receive substantial increases. Mullery said the bill also provides funding for three additional Pennsylvania State Police cadet classes; transfers millions from the Oil and Gas Fund to the General Fund to give money to conservation programs and dedicates $15 million to combat heroin and opioid addiction, including funds for emergency addiction treatment and behavioral health services. "This funding would help my district put more patrols in municipalities that don’t have local police," Mullery said. "The $15 million allocated to combat the heroin and opioid epidemic is crucial for so many families Read more
Harrisburg, PA – With the Pennsylvania Military Community Enhancement Commission (PMCEC) set to receive a substantial funding increase in the new state budget, Lt. Governor Mike Stack met with three legislative commissioners and staff yesterday regarding future efforts on behalf of the bases within Pennsylvania. Stack, chairman of the 17-member panel, met with commissioners Rep. Harry Readshaw (D-Allegheny), Rep. Nick Miccarelli (R-Delaware) and Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna), along with PMCEC executive director Frank Sullivan, to discuss ways to increase the value of the bases to the U.S. Department of Defense and to the local and state economies. The 10 major military installations within Pennsylvania already contribute $30 billion to the state economy and provide 270,000 jobs. “Our bases are a tremendous asset and the state is now intensifying its commitment to them,” said Stack, who is a former captain in the Pa. National Guard. “We want to protect them when the Defense Department evaluates its future size and structure, and we want to take full advantage of opportunities to expand their role.” The appropriations bill passed by the House of Representative and the Senate this week contains $798,000 for PMCEC in Fiscal Year 2016-17, and creates a new separate line item for the commission within the Department of Community and Economic Development. Previously, the commission received $485,000 through that Read more
State Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, announced today that his legislation amending a section of the Estate Code that hasn’t been updated in 21 years unanimously passed the House.
House Bill 1974 would increase the amount an employer may pay directly to a surviving relative for a deceased family member’s final paycheck from $5,000 to $10,000. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.
HARRISBURG, June 30 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D- Lancaster, released the following statement following the passage of the 2016-17 Fiscal Year Budget: “This is the first budget in five years, assuming we can get the revenue, which does not increase the structural budget deficit. While it doesn’t reduce the existing deficit, at least it doesn’t continue the practice of spending more than we have in the state coffers. “I still have some concerns including the practice of stealing money from the Motor License Fund, a total of $814 million this year. This budget increases money to basic education, but does not solve the problems of inequity in funding those schools. It removes some people with disabilities off of waiting lists for services; however, there is still a five year waiting list for people hoping to access services. Can you imagine if we ran other parts of our government this way? “I challenge those who refused to support this budget with the excuse that they wanted more cuts to propose what specifically they would like to cut and not just rely on the blanket statement of identifying ‘waste, fraud and abuse’. Propose specifically which classes they’d like to cut from school curriculum, how many prisoners to let out of jail or how many seniors to kick out of nursing home care facilities. The frivolous claim to find dollars where they do not exist is simply not enough and has not been enough for Read more
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