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
PHILADELPHIA, March 10 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., will hold her 62nd town hall meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 23, in the Mifflin Elementary School Auditorium, 3624 Conrad St., Philadelphia. “We will discuss the legislative process, how and why legislation moves or stalls, and the channels a bill must take in order to become law,” DeLissio said. “The legislative process in Pennsylvania has many steps and discussing how decisions are made in the capitol is a topic that I want to share with constituents. “I look forward to this town hall as an opportunity to dialogue with my constituents about current legislative priorities. “Understanding the legislative process and where to go to get legislative updates on bills that are important to you is integral to knowing how to advocate and help advance legislation. DeLissio said that this town hall is perfect timing for those seeking to become actively engaged in governmental issues, or those seeking to learn more about current Pennsylvania legislative priorities. Best practices for being proactive and involved will be shared. Street parking is available. If traveling by bus, the school is on routes 9 and 32. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, March 10 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., testified today before Philadelphia City Council’s Committee on the Disabled and Persons with Special Needs about Pennsylvania’s Health Choices program. At the hearing, Dawkins spoke about the state Department of Human Services procurement process for managed-care organizations. "Between the initial RFP and today, the process has been plagued by litigation, cancelled awards, scoring errors and lack of transparency," Dawkins said. "I have two primary concerns with these developments. First, that they run counter to some of the early lessons we’ve learned through the roll-out of the Medicaid expansion. And second, that this saga demonstrates the urgent need for reform to the way our state conducts procurement." Dawkins expressed concern that the process could impact health outcomes for patients, and increase costs for taxpayers. He also called for reforms to the procurement process. "The opaque nature of the department's requirements and scoring process has been cause for significant concern. It has resulted in the process being interrupted and contested by numerous parties at multiple stages. And even at this late date, the awards are being questioned," Dawkins said. "I am also troubled by the role the Commonwealth’s policy towards small and diverse business enterprises played in this process. This was reportedly one of the metrics that Read more
Calling it a disservice to the constituents they both share, state Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky, D-Delaware, urged Congressmen Pat Meehan to vote against the TrumpCare plan being rushed through Congress. Read more
State Rep. Carolyn Comitta will host an open house event at her district constituent service office, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, March 24. Her district office, which is open now, is located at 21 W. Washington St., Suite A. The 156 th Legislative District includes West Chester Borough, West Goshen, East Goshen, Westtown, Birmingham and Thornbury/Chester County. This open house event is an opportunity to meet Comitta and her staff and to learn about the services they provide locally. All are invited to this free event. Light refreshments will be served and no RSVP is required. Parking is also available. “I’m excited to welcome residents of the 156 th and for them to know we are here for them,” Comitta said. “We can assist with all state-related business, and refer out when necessary, so we encourage constituents to come in or contact us anytime.” Office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Read more
HARRISBURG, March 9 – State Rep. Neal P. Goodman has reintroduced legislation that would establish a "Made in PA" program to encourage Pennsylvanians to buy products made in the commonwealth. Read more
Calling it paramount to restore proper funding to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, state Rep. Greg Vitali, D-Delaware/Montgomery, testified before the House Appropriations Committee today highlighting numerous statistics and consequences that show the agency’s ability to protect Pennsylvania’s environment is being severely handicapped. Read more
Calling it a dangerous proposition that hasn’t been properly vetted, state Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Montgomery, was joined today by House and Senate Democrats, as well as officials from Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration, to call on Pennsylvania’s congressional Republicans to reject the Trumpcare plan that would devastate Pennsylvania by increasing the deficit and most importantly, leaving millions without access to adequate health care. Read more
HARRISBURG, March 9 – State Rep. Carolyn Comitta, D-Chester, today urged members of the House Appropriations Committee to include in its ongoing state budget negotiations a strong funding plan to address the consequences of natural-gas drilling on the environment and public safety. Comitta made those remarks before members of the House Appropriations Committee, which today concluded three weeks of public hearings on Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed 2017-18 state budget. Comitta said while there are myriad concerns to address in the annual state budget, including adequate investments in schools and job training initiatives, a great concern in her Chester County legislative district is the natural-gas pipeline infrastructure and its effect on environmental and public safety. She encouraged the committee to ensure adequate funding for the Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and for the legislature to remain focused on it. “Right now, pipelines are coming through our state, passing by our homes, our businesses and our schools,” Comitta told the committee. “It is essential that we have oversight of construction, inspection and maintenance of these pipelines, and that we have highly trained professionals working on the installation and maintenance of these pipelines. It is essential that our municipalities and emergency responders plan and train for accidents, and take into Read more
MT. LEBANON, March 9 – State Rep. Dan Miller, D-Mt. Lebanon, announced today he will host his fourth annual Children and Youth Disability and Mental Health Summit in Pittsburgh on March 22, 23 and 24 at Beth El Congregation, 1900 Cochran Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15220. Due to the event’s overwhelming popularity, the summit has expanded from two to three days. The Support Services Resource fair will be open on March 22 and 23, and the Employment & Transition Resource Fair on March 24. Additionally, the summit will offer more than 30 hours of informative workshops and breakout sessions. "We will again be combining the traditional resource fair event with seminars over all three days on a variety of current and critical topics in the fields of disability and mental health that can provide important information and open discussions on topics that will benefit parents, young adults, and professionals alike," Miller said. "Continuing education credits will be offered for professionals including lawyers, teachers and social workers." Miller is partnering with The PEAL Center and its 11th annual Inclusion Conference on Wednesday. Keynote speaker Sue Swenson, the president-elect of Inclusion International, served in both the Clinton and Obama administrations. Ted Dallas, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, will open Thursday's program at 9 a.m. with his keynote address. Thursday's program concludes with the third Read more
EBENSBURG, March 9 – State Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, announced that the state Department of Environmental Protection's Bureau of Abandoned Mines Reclamation will build a plant in Cresson to process and clean acid mine drainage. "This plant will create between 40 and 50 construction jobs, plus several permanent plant operator positions upon its completion," said Burns, who has made economic development a top priority. “The plant will help restore 20 miles of streams, while also repurposing a coal refuse pile in Cresson Township, which takes advantage of otherwise useless land." The plant will process underground mine pools from three abandoned mines, Cresson No. 9, Gallitzin Shaft and Argyle Stone Bridge. The three mine pools drain into Trapp Run, Bradley Run and Sugar Run. When operational, the plant will be able to process more than 6 million gallons of acid water per day, and will discharge the cleaned water into Trapp Run, which feeds Clearfield Creek. DEP is accepting bids on the project through April 6 and construction is expected to take about 18 months to complete. Read more
Marriage before the age of 18, which is legal in Pennsylvania, can result in short- and long-term harm to a child, and would be outlawed under a bill introduced this week by state Rep. Perry Warren, D-Bucks. Read more
ERIE, March 8 – The importance and benefits of biodiesel fuels, wind power and solar power in the state’s renewable energy portfolio was a key feature of today’s House Democratic Policy Committee hearing at SB3, requested by state Rep. Patrick Harkins. Harkins, D-Erie, asked for the hearing as a means for the public and legislators to gather insight on how to smoothly manage integration of renewables into the energy mix, while maximizing the burgeoning industry’s job-creation potential. “One thing that’s certain regarding our energy future is that demand is going to continue growing, which means there’s room at the power-generation table for long-established sources, as well as relatively new ones,” Harkins said. “We must make sure that the Erie area, as well as the state, does not miss out on any opportunity that could have a positive economic impact.” State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, the Policy Committee chairman who co-chaired the public hearing with Harkins, said the gathered testimony will be valuable in crafting meaningful state legislation. “Representative Harkins hosted a great hearing on how we can better utilize renewable energy sources,” Sturla said. “Renewable energy sources have the potential to create jobs and are less of a burden on our environment. Hearing from industry experts provided a greater understanding of how we can move forward to support these efforts.” Read more
State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, and members of the House Democratic Policy committee held a meeting in Erie to discuss policies that would enhance innovation and spur new business development with the goal of employing more people and keeping human capital in Pennsylvania. Bizzarro held the meeting with the objective of bringing together the public, practitioners in business, leaders in technology and the legislators for a discussion on policy changes that would advance job creation in the region. Bizzarro co-chaired the hearing with House Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. “The Erie region and Pennsylvania are facing tough economic challenges to not only create more jobs but keep them here in the Erie Region and across the state,” Bizzarro said. “I brought elected officials from all across the state here to Erie to see what we are up against in our battle to attain good-paying jobs.” “Pennsylvania has to keep up with the times to grow our economy and create family-sustaining jobs,” Sturla said. “We need to keep Pennsylvania residents here and give people a reason to relocate here. Representative Bizzarro’s hearing brought together a lot of great testifiers to help get an understanding of how we can improve the job market in Erie and across the state.” Panelists included Brian Slawin, Ben Franklin Partnership NW regional director and portfolio manager; Dr. Valerica Vlad, professor of Read more
PITTSBURGH, March 7 – In conjunction with the national “A Day Without a Woman” event called for by organizers of the recent Women’s March on Washington, D.C., state Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, is giving all female employees of his Pittsburgh and Harrisburg offices Wednesday off with pay. Wheatley, who recently arranged for 200 high school girls to see the inspirational movie “Hidden Figures” and who supports measures to reduce gender inequality – including pay inequity, said his decision was made to show solidarity with all women in the 19 th Legislative District whose voices deserve to be heard. Wheatley said women in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, and especially that region’s African-American women, are some of the most impoverished in the country. “Women make invaluable contributions in the workplace, yet they continue to lag behind their male peers in terms of pay and promotion,” Wheatley said. “Giving my female employees the day off is one way to add more voices to the growing chorus that’s demanding policy changes to help women achieve parity, in the workplace and elsewhere. “We need to recognize their voices and do something to improve their lives. What I am doing Wednesday is just a small part, but I recognize that much more is needed.” Wheatley said the day without women also seeks to recognize women’s vulnerability to discrimination, sexual harassment and Read more
SCRANTON, March 6 – A staff member from state Rep. Marty Flynn's office will provide outreach assistance from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday, March 15 at the Clarks Green Borough Building, 104 N. Abington Road. Read more
HARRISBURG, March 7 – State Rep. Marty Flynn today took part in a ceremony kicking off Irish-American Heritage Month at the state Capitol. Read more
HARRISBURG, March 6 – In an effort to help people recover lost revenue and property, state Rep. Maureen Madden’s offices will hold a two-day unclaimed property event next week. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, March 6 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., voiced his strong opposition to District Attorney Seth Williams’ decision to seek life without parole sentences in at least three cases with juvenile defendants. “Last year, District Attorney Williams did what was right, and announced that he would no longer pursue life without parole for those under 18 years old,” Dawkins said. “It is disheartening to see him go back on his word, and I condemn in the strongest terms his decision to revive a punishment the Supreme Court has called cruel and unusual.” In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled in Miller v. Alabama that mandatory sentences of life without parole for juvenile offenders violate the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. The court later held in Montgomery v. Louisiana that its decision in Miller applied retroactively. Dawkins said as the courts began resentencing hearings, Williams announced that his office “will not be asking for cases going forward for life without the possibility of parole for people under the age of 18” in order “to give all of these individuals some light at the end of the tunnel.” “I hope that the district attorney returns to his original position, and provides these individuals – whose decades in prison began in their teenage years – what he once called ‘some light at the end of the tunnel,’” Dawkins said. Read more
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