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
HARRISBURG, Dec. 6 – State Rep. Adam Ravenstahl, D-Allegheny, today announced the Commonwealth Financing Authority award of a $1 million grant for improvements around a section of Smallman Street and a $232,000 grant to redevelop three North Side properties. Ravenstahl said the CFA’s Multimodal Transportation Fund Program made the awards to: The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh, to complete excavation and reconstruction of Smallman Street between 16th and 21st streets. Currently there are no sidewalks, street lights or crosswalks, which makes this an unsafe pedestrian location. The reconstruction will consist of street reconfiguration, bike lanes, ADA compliant ramps, signage and traffic controlling devices, sidewalks and crosswalks. Total project cost is $5.76 million. Crow Hill Development, LLC, which is rehabilitating and redeveloping three properties that were formerly part of the H.J. Heinz Co.'s North Side operations. The proposed roadway project will significantly assist with truck traffic mitigation. Specific project activities will include asphalt paving of new roadways around the development, construction of new sidewalks around the property, streetscape improvements and street lighting. Total project cost is $331,539. “This $1.23 million in state funding is helping more than $6 million worth of projects come to fruition, in the effort to make our neighborhoods safer and more user-friendly,” Ravenstahl Read more
State Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Luzerne, has announced that he has secured $1.4 million in state funding for three projects. Pashinski said he is pleased that local officials now have the funding to improve these roads and to replace local sidewalks in compliance with the American Disabilities Act. The projects are as follows: $600,000 to Wilkes-Barre to replace the deteriorating sidewalks, sidewalk connections, crosswalks and pedestrian signs on George Avenue between Parkin Street and Scott Street. The project calls for installing handicapped ramps, new curbs and sidewalks. In addition, street lighting will be upgraded and trees planted to improve the overall safety and aesthetic appearance to the area. $430,000 for roadwork in Wilkes-Barre to improve a roadway between East Northampton and West Market streets and to make new sidewalks and crossing lights handicapped accessible. $100,000 to Ashley Borough to repair eight streets and to replace deteriorated sidewalks. “As part of the revitalization of the downtown area, these projects will continue the beautification and transformation of the city of Wilkes-Barre. The changes to Market Street Square will leverage private investment and enhance the whole appearance of the block, and the George Avenue streetscape will improve the small-business district by connecting the city to our neighborhoods,” Pashinski said. “The improvements to Ashley will not only improve Read more
EBENSBURG, Dec. 5 – As promised after his initial bill failed to move through the Republican-led House last year, state Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, is seeking co-sponsors from both parties for his planned reintroduction of a Blue Lives Matter bill in January. Burns’ legislation would classify crimes committed against law enforcement and corrections officers as hate crimes in Pennsylvania, something he believes is long overdue. His bill would add employment as a law enforcement officer to the categories of race, color, religion and national origin currently protected by the state’s hate crime law. “Law enforcement personnel have been singled out for attacks across the country, just because they wear the uniform,” Burns said. “While these incidents have taken place from Dallas to Des Moines, they also have hit close to home, with a suspect firing on two police officers in Canonsburg, Washington County, leaving one dead.” Mirroring his H.B. 2261 from the last legislative session, which had 22 co-sponsors, Burns’ upcoming bill would seek 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. Probation and parole officers also would be covered. Burns said his legislation has the support of the Pennsylvania chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police, which has Read more
HARRISBURG, Dec. 6 - State Rep. Robert Freeman, D-Northampton, today announced Easton will benefit from a share in $1.7 million in state funding awarded to the district. Read more
PITTSBURGH, Dec. 6 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, announced today that four grants, totaling more than $3.19 million, have been approved for four projects in the downtown and Station Square areas of Pittsburgh. The grants, part of the Multimodal Transportation Fund Program, have been authorized by the Commonwealth Financing Agency. McKnight South River Inc. will receive $2 million to assist the construction of a new connection from East Carson Street and the Three Rivers Heritage Trail. The construction plans include a ramp, new steps and an outdoor elevator, as well as improvements to the sidewalks, ramps, stairs and curbing along Third and Fourth avenues and East Carson Street. TC NE Metro Development will receive $500,000 to assist in developing a brownfield property, which is currently used as a parking lot. Project plans are to create a mixed-use development, including residences and office space. The grant will be used for structural improvements, such as sidewalks, bike and pedestrian trails and a bike-sharing station. The City of Pittsburgh will receive $492,616 to extend the bike and hike trail at the Monongahela Wharf Switchback. This grant will complete a missing 600-foot length, completing the trail from the Great Allegheny Passage to Point State Park. Duquesne University will receive a grant of $200,000 to assist in the replacement and upgrade of 545 feet of sidewalk along Forbes Avenue with ADA-approved crosswalks, as well as Read more
State Rep. Neal P. Goodman and state Sen. David G. Argall announced that they helped secure $2.477 million in state grants to help replace a bridge, extend an airport runway and repair a road in Schuylkill County. Read more
HARRISBURG, Dec. 6 – State Rep.-elect Maureen Madden, D-Monroe, said a $1.69 million low-interest state loan today was approved to help modernize and reopen the Penn Stroud Hotel in Stroudsburg. Read more
State Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky, D-Delaware, announced today that the Commonwealth Financing Authority approved a grant totaling $750,000 for Nether Providence Township to create walkable and bikeable pathways. Read more
Calling it a critical project to expand connectivity within the community and provide safe, ADA-compliant walking and biking trails in Upper Merion Township, state Rep. Tim Briggs, D-Montgomery, announced a $1.25 million grant that he had strongly supported and advocated for.
The grant was approved today by the Commonwealth Financing Authority from the Multimodal Transportation Fund and will go towards the first two segments of the Crow Creek Trail project. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 6 – State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., today announced that a $1.2 million grant has been awarded to help fund the redevelopment of Logan Triangle. The grant, which was authorized by the Commonwealth Financing Authority’s Multimodal Transportation Fund Program, will help transform a blighted 40-acre site east of North Broad Street into a vibrant commercial and community development. “This is a crucial investment into our community that will create jobs and other opportunities for the people of the Logan community. This grant will also help to ensure the safety of pedestrians and motorists while greatly increasing quality of life for the community,” Kinsey said. “I want to thank Gov. Tom Wolf for understanding the important nature of this investment in the future of Philadelphia.”When complete, the project will include approximately 582,000 square feet of retail, convenience, professional and medical office space. The project also will include a $25 million youth-sports and education facility. Grant funds also will be used to make improvements to the failing infrastructure around Logan Triangle, including the replacement of concrete curbing, sidewalks and Americans with Disabilities Act curb ramps. Additionally, the grant will allow for the installation of crossing lights and signage, ornamental street lighting, trash receptacles, pavement markings for bicycles and bus routes, as well as bike and pedestrian pathways throughout. Read more
EBENSBURG, Dec. 5 – State Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, is informing 72 nd Legislative District entities that the Keystone Communities grant program is accepting fiscal year 2016-17 Round 2 applications through Jan. 25. Burns said eligibility is open to local governments, redevelopment and/or housing authorities, certain nonprofit organizations, community development corporations and business/neighborhood/downtown improvement districts (or similar organizations incorporated as authorities). “Anyone who thinks their agency could benefit from this state grant money should seriously look into applying,” Burns said. “If they need questions answered or any help along the way, my offices can assist.” Operated through the state Department of Community and Economic Development, this financial assistance tool can be used for such things as planning activities, facade grant programs, accessible housing programs and development grants. It encourages public and private sector partnerships, and allows communities to tailor assistance to meet specific revitalization efforts. Burns said communities may want to consider designation through the Keystone Communities program as a Keystone Main Street, Keystone Elm Street, Keystone Enterprise Zone or Keystone Community. More information on the program and how to apply is available at http://dced.pa.gov/programs/keystone-communities-program Burns’ district office in Ebensburg can be reached at Read more
CARMICHAELS , Dec. 5 – As President-elect Donald Trump embarks on a "thank-you" tour to states that helped him win, state Rep. Pam Snyder is inviting him to Greene County to meet coal miners and view the economic importance of their industry. Snyder, D-Greene/Fayette/Washington, today mailed Trump a letter, congratulating him on his win and reminding him that revitalizing the coal industry was part of his successful campaign platform. "Your words have echoed through my district as a spark of hope for a bright and prosperous future," Snyder wrote. "I would personally like to invite you to the 50th Legislative District of Pennsylvania, in the heart of coal country, to meet and discuss how we can best help my constituents." Snyder, who has long championed coal as a reliable energy source, has been a tireless advocate for the mining industry and the good-paying jobs it has provided many families in the 50th Legislative District. In her letter, Snyder also urged Trump to support the federal Miners Protection Act, which would enable coal miners to receive retirement and health care benefits promised them by redirecting excess money from the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund. Regarding her letter to Trump, Snyder said, "I am among those who fervently hope that President-elect Trump was sincere in promising that his administration would represent a rebirth for the coal industry. I wanted to invite him here, so he can see firsthand Read more
YORK, Dec. 5 – State Rep.-Elect Carol Hill-Evans, D-York, announced that she is accepting applications for interns in her constituent service office for students seeking a hands-on experience working in state government. Hill-Evans said that duties will include assisting with handling constituent relations, answering phones, planning events and engaging the community of the 95 th Legislative District. "We are looking for students who are excited to learn more about Pennsylvania's legislative process and who want to assist constituents with state-related issues," Hill-Evans said. "Students will become familiar with a variety of legislative issues, while serving as valuable assets to the residents of the 95 th Legislative District.” Interested students should complete an application and send it along with a resume to: Office of Rep.-Elect Carol Hill-Evans, 53 E. North St., Suite 3, York, PA 17401. The information also may be sent via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org . The application deadline for the spring semester is Friday, Jan. 6. Additional information about the internship, student eligibility and applications are available by contacting Hill-Evans' constituent service office at 717-848-9595 , or by visiting her website at www.pahouse.com/Hill-Evans . ### Read more
LATROBE, Dec. 2 – State Rep. Joseph Petrarca today toured Quality Mould Inc., with Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin. Quality Mould received a $190,000 low-interest loan from the state last fall to expand the Unity Township business, retaining and creating jobs. "It was a pleasure to show DCED Secretary Davin firsthand what QMI has accomplished with investment from the state," Petrarca said. "It demonstrates the ingenuity of our region and that we're doing our part to increase economic development and job opportunities in the area." During the tour, Petrarca and Davin observed the company's day-to-day operations, discussed the impact of the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority loan and learned about the company's job creation efforts. The loan was just part of the company's $1.67 million expansion plans, which included a 33,000-square-foot building, warehouse racks, a crane, compressors, air-drying system, and creating and retaining jobs, to enable it to keep up with customer demand. As a result, Petrarca said, the company has retooled and streamlined its manufacturing process, and positioned itself for new markets. "Quality Mould is doing well and is an example of how well industry can do in our area," he said. Quality Mould was established in 1983. It is a multi-functioning, six-axis precision machine shop located in western Pennsylvania that produces a wide 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, Dec. 1 – Members of the Pennsylvania Long-Term Care Council, including state Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., met in Harrisburg Wednesday to announce its launch and discuss the direction of the council. The 35-member body is charged with making recommendations on regulations, licensure, financing and any other responsibilities of the departments and agencies that relate to the commonwealth’s long-term care services and supports systems. “I’m thrilled to begin work on the council and look forward to helping shape long-term care policies in the commonwealth,” said DeLissio, who has nearly 30 years of experience in the fields of long-term care and small-business ownership and has been a member of the Aging and Older Adult Services Committee since elected to office in 2010. “As it stands, our services are difficult to navigate and one of my goals will be to ensure that the continuum of housing and services is as seamless as possible.” Pennsylvania ranks fourth in the country with the percentage of citizens 65 or older, and citizens 85 or older are the most rapidly growing segment of seniors in the commonwealth. Pennsylvania’s Long-Term Care Council Act, Act 64 of 2015, was passed by the General Assembly as a replacement for the Intergovernmental Council on Long-Term Care in order to reflect today’s broader long-term care continuum. The council is intended to Read more
Rep. Adam Ravenstahl reports that two state grants totaling $2.5 million have been approved to transform a vacant food-processing plant into upscale apartments in Pittsburgh's Troy Hill neighborhood and to develop an office complex in the Strip District. Read more
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