HARRISBURG, July 12 – State Rep. Carolyn Comitta announced that West Chester Borough was awarded a $688,000 state grant for traffic signal upgrades. West Chester’s grant will be for the installation of radio communications and modernization of traffic signal controllers to 23 traffic signals in the borough with a connection to the PennDOT District 6 Regional Traffic Management Center. “This funding is great news for West Chester and will help improve systems to keep traffic running smoothly and safely in the borough,” said Comitta, D-Chester. The borough was among 70 municipalities around the state that will receive more than $31 million through the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Green Light-Go program. The grants are provided as reimbursement to municipalities for updates to improve the efficiency and operation of existing traffic signals. Grants can be used for projects such as installing LED technology, traffic signal retiming, upgrading to the latest technology and more. Read more
HARRISBURG, July 12 – State Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, today announced that four Pre-K Counts and Head Start Supplemental Assistance programs within the 35 th legislative district have been awarded early childhood education grants. McKeesport Area School District, Allegheny Intermediate Unit, West Mifflin School District and the Duquesne City School District are among the 2018-19 recipients of the early childhood grants, which will help to expand the number of available pre-k and head start slots. Davis was notified of the grants by the Department of Education. “Providing high-quality, early childhood education is important to the development of a child and it gives them a head start on the road to success,” Davis said. “Grants like these are important in providing a ladder of opportunity to working class families.” The Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program provides state funding to Head Start programs to serve families at or below 130 percent poverty, or a family of four earning approximately $32,630 annually. Additionally, families who have children ages 3 and 4, and living in up to 300 percent of poverty, or a family of four earning $75,300 annually, are eligible to apply to the Pre-K Counts program. The grants, awarded through the department of education’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning, will create nearly 2,125 new Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts seats and 490 new slots. To apply to the Pennsylvania Pre-K Read more
RICHBORO, July 12 – State Rep. Helen Tai, D-Bucks, today said Northampton Township will soon work to improve traffic and pedestrian flow on local roads thanks to a $208,850 transportation grant from the state. According to Tai, Northampton will use the grant from Pennsylvania’s Green Light-Go program to modernize three traffic signals along Jacksonville and Almshouse roads to include the installation of video detection, radar dilemma zone detection, ADA-compliant push buttons and battery back-up. “I am happy to see this significant state investment coming to the community, to make our roads safer for local residents and benefit from a more efficient trip through this busy corridor,” Tai said. “I thank PennDOT for seeing the value of this project and look forward to seeing the improvements.” The Department of Transportation’s Green-Light-Go program was established in 2013 as a traffic signal modernization and improvement program for critical corridors designed to improve safety and mobility by reducing congestion and improving efficiency on key state highways. The program is competitive, requiring an at least 20 percent match for municipalities, counties or planning organizations that request assistance. Projects that qualify for the program include study and removal of unwarranted traffic signals; traffic signal retiming; development of detour, special event and operations plans, LED replacement, asset Read more
PHILADELPHIA, July 12 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., today commended Gov. Tom Wolf for signing Executive Order 2018-04 to enhance workforce development efforts in the commonwealth by adding the Department of Corrections as a member of the Pennsylvania Workforce Development Board (PA WDB). With the executive order, the WDB also becomes the leading entity for the coordination among the public, private sectors and multiple state agencies to provide the most effective services and job training strategies. “Finding employment after being incarcerated is an important step in the reintegration process. In fact, lack of employment is still a leading factor in recidivism,” Cephas said. “I’m honored the Governor took my recommendation to include the Department of Corrections on the board to increase access to apprenticeships and job training to help returning citizens get the skills for meaningful employment.” Cephas has been working with the PA WDB and stakeholders across the commonwealth to build a strong workforce development system aligned with state education policies and economic development goals. As a chairwoman of the Women and Girls of Color Subcommittee and member of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus , she has introduced legislation to fix many inefficiencies and inequities of the state’s criminal justice system, focusing on collaboration as a path to create a sustainable reentry process. “Across the Read more
HARRISBURG, July 11 – On Tuesday, state Reps. Jake Wheatley, Ed Gainey and Austin Davis, all D-Allegheny, sent a letter to House Speaker Mike Turzai, urging the Allegheny County Republican to call House members back to the Capitol to focus on law enforcement safety and accountability . Their request is one of many attempts as of late by House Democrats to bring the police-involved shooting deaths of African-Americans across the country and state to the forefront. The letter, which was co-signed by a majority of the Allegheny County Democratic Delegation, made clear to Turzai that its intentions to call House members back to Harrisburg were by “no means a witch hunt” to what has “become a repetitive cycle of incidents involving law enforcement and the tragic death of young African-American men.” Instead, the letter states the goal is to lead “by example” by having representatives return to a session that solely would be dedicated to examining state laws and making changes in “an effort to establish higher standards of accountability and professionalism for those who choose a career of service to their communities.” Wheatley, Gainey and Davis recently advocated for improved police-community relations following the death of Antwon Rose, an unarmed 17-year-old who was shot and killed June 19 by police during a traffic stop in East Pittsburgh. The police offer who shot Rose has since been charged with criminal Read more
PHILADELPHIA, July 11 – In his continued effort to promote health and well-being of constituents in the 200th Legislative District, state Rep. Chris Rabb will host a Summer Health Fair and Mammogram event. It will take place from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, July 19 at his satellite office located at Wadsworth Library, 1500 Wadsworth Ave., 19150. Various community groups will be present to provide blood pressure screenings, healthy food samples and information about choosing and living a healthy lifestyle. Fox Chase Cancer Center also will be in attendance with its mammography van. Women may receive a mammogram if they are 40 or older, have not had a mammogram in the last 12 months and if they get a prescription from their physician to give to the technician. “Whether it’s a family member, friend or colleague, many of us know someone who has battled breast cancer,” Rabb said. “Early detection is so important, so I urge all eligible women to make an appointment to get a lifesaving screening.” Women interested in scheduling a screening should contact Debra Resnick at (215) 214-1682. Space is limited. Read more
MCKEESPORT, July 11 – State Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, today announced he will tour state roads and areas throughout the 35 th Legislative District with Cheryl Moon-Sirianni, an executive director for District 11 of the state Department of Transportation. The tour will begin at 9 a.m. Wednesday, July 18 at Whitaker Way in Munhall and will continue to Whitaker, McKeesport, Clairton, Lincoln, and conclude in White Oak. “I look forward to discussing ways we can improve our roadways and solutions for how we can address issues such as littering, potholes, drainage and landslides, among other things in our area,” Davis said. “Improvements to infrastructure is a priority and a necessity in order to increase safety in our communities.” Constituents interested in sharing their local transportation priorities should contact Davis’ office by calling (412) 664-0035 or by going to www.pahouse.com/ADavis/Contact . Read more
CARMICHAELS, July 10 – Saying their participation will bolster her effort to bring modern internet to rural areas , state Rep. Pam Snyder is asking 50 th Legislative District residents to take a 30-second online broadband speed test at http://broadbandtest.us/ Snyder, D-Greene/Fayette/Washington, said the test is part of the Pennsylvania Broadband Mapping Initiative being conducted by the Center for Rural Pennsylvania and Penn State University. “By participating in this short test using your home computer, you’ll be helping document actual internet speeds in your area, which helps document the nature and scope of the problem,” Snyder said. “Having this empirical data on hand gives those of us fighting for better broadband yet another tool to make our case.” Snyder has partnered with state Rep. Kristin Phillips-Hill, a Republican from York County, to lead the legislative effort to bring modern internet service to the 800,000 Pennsylvanians living in underserved and unserved areas. In addition to introducing a four-piece legislative package, Snyder and Phillips-Hill earlier this year were on hand as the governor announced a commitment to address internet service deficiency through creation of a new state office and financial incentive program. The state Office of Broadband Initiatives is headed by Mark Smith, a former Bradford County commissioner. The Pennsylvania Broadband Investment Incentive Program is offering up to $35 Read more
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., July 10 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., announced today that she has been selected to participate in the 2018 Emerging Leaders Program, sponsored by the State Legislative Leaders Foundation and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. “As leaders during these trying times, we must build a coalition across the aisle and across the country to ensure we are making strategic investments in our communities and moving our states forward,” Cephas said. “Programs like Emerging Leaders are critical to examine best practices and exchange insights on public policy and issues we may have in common.” This prestigious program is held every year on the campus of the University of Virginia for a select group of state legislators who have been nominated by their respective speakers of the House, presidents of the Senate or minority leaders, based on their qualities and leadership—integrity, compassion, intelligence, vision and common sense. The training will be held from Monday, July 9 through Thursday, July 12 in Charlottesville. The goal of the program is to inspire leaders to continued careers in public service. Class discussions will examine qualities and characteristics of leadership including: ethical leadership, the art of compromise and coalition building, and the philosophical underpinnings of representative democracy. Stephen G. Lakis, president of the State Legislative Leaders Read more
State Rep. Perry Warren, recognized the 150 th anniversary of the 14 th Amendment with H.R. 999. House Resolution 999, was introduced by Warren and adopted by the House of Representatives, commemorating the 150 th anniversary of the ratification of the 14 th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution on July 9. Originally ratified in 1868, the amendment granted rights that previously had been denied based on race and has been used to combat other various types of injustice. “Now more than ever we must recognize the importance of upholding equality and moving society forward,” Warren said. “Honoring this part of our nation’s history reinforces the idea that we must continue to champion those efforts diligently.” Read more
HARRISBURG, July 9 – As school districts across the commonwealth work to develop effective school safety plans, state Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, said he is encouraged that the new budget’s comprehensive funding will give districts the flexibility they need to devise plans best suited to their needs. “There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to school security needs across the state,” Readshaw said. “That’s why I’m encouraged that the $60 million school safety fund gives districts an array of more than 20 options, so they can apply for targeted grants ranging from building-related, equipment solutions such as metal detectors; to school resource officers; to program-based solutions such as in-school mental health counselors. Different combinations of tools are going to work best.” Readshaw said he is also encouraged by other aspects of the new school safety initiative, including the newly formed Safety and Security Committee that will oversee the grant program and an anonymous tip line that will allow students, teachers and others to report suspicious activity or behavior without fear of retaliation. He added that because at least half of the initial $60 million consists of one-time funds, it will be up to lawmakers to ensure that a well-funded program continues. He said he is firmly committed in that area. “It’s hard to imagine a more important priority than the safety of our kids and those who Read more
PHILADELPHIA, July 6 – State Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, and Lt. Gov. Mike Stack will host a "Pathways to Pardons" event at noon Monday, July 23 at the Good Neighbor Senior Center-Community Center, 1085 Hook Road, Sharon Hill, 19079. Donatucci said those in attendance can learn how the pardon process works in Pennsylvania and work toward a pardon for past convictions. "This event is a resource for those in need of a second chance. A pardon can allow citizens to better themselves and support their families," Donatucci said. The program will be interactive and questions from the audience will be welcome. For more information, or to RSVP, contact Beatrice Poe in Donatucci’s Sharon Hill office at (610) 522-2290. ### Read more
HARRISBURG, July 6 – State Rep. Michael Hanna, D-Clinton/Centre, said he hopes many residents of the 76 th Legislative District will participate in his Tele-Town Hall at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 10. Participants in Hanna’s district will receive an automated phone call at 7 p.m. Tuesday inviting them to join the Tele-Town Hall. To “attend” the meeting, listeners simply need to remain on the line once they receive the call. Anyone who wants to receive a call using a cellphone should visit Hanna’s website at www.pahouse.com/Hanna to register. “It’s my hope that my constituents will make time for this event and listen about what’s taking place across the district, as well as with state government,” Hanna said. “For those who plan to listen in, I look forward to hearing from you and answering your questions and concerns related to state government and the 76 th Legislative District.” During the Tele-Town Hall, Hanna plans to discuss a variety of issues pertaining to state government, including the 2018-19 state budget. Anyone who doesn’t get to speak during the phone meeting will be able to record a question at its conclusion. Questions will be forwarded to Hanna’s office. Those interested may also email questions to Hanna before or after the Tele-Town Hall meeting at RepHanna@pahouse.net . Read more
CARMICHAELS, July 6 – As a legislative leader in the fight to bring reliable, modern internet to rural areas where such service is spotty or nonexistent, state Rep. Pam Snyder will speak at the Pennsylvania Telephone Association’s annual conference in Hershey on Tuesday. Snyder, D-Greene/Fayette/Washington, said she welcomes the opportunity to tell a new and important audience about the package of legislation she and state Rep. Kristen Phillips-Hill, R-York, have crafted and are promoting to address this problem. “Representative Phillips-Hill and I, who chair the legislature’s newly formed Broadband Caucus, look forward to providing an overview of our initiatives, successes chalked up thus far, and where we are headed,” Snyder said. “This is an important issue to 800,000 Pennsylvanians, and we’re ecstatic to gain the support of the Pennsylvania Telephone Association as another key ally.” Previously, the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, which has 62,000 farm member families, joined the fight to bring better broadband to underserved and unserved areas. Last month, the state Public Utility Commission launched an action to take jurisdiction of utility pole attachments away from the federal government. Snyder and Phillips-Hill were invited to the governor’s announcement of his commitment in March. At that time, he announced creation of the Pennsylvania Office of Broadband Initiatives, which is responsible for Read more
CARMICHAELS, July 5 – State Reps. Pam Snyder, D-Greene/Fayette/Washington, and Jason Ortitay, R-Washington/Allegheny, today issued the following statements in response to the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services issuing a new bulletin on guidance for the minors’ right to consent law: “This administrative action essentially achieves what I and Representative Ortitay have been seeking via legislation, which is clarity on a law put on the books in 2004,” Snyder said. “That law had a good intention, in that it allowed minors to consent to mental health examinations and treatment without parental consent. But because health care providers were interpreting the law differently, it meant that in some cases parents who knew or suspected that their child had a mental health issue were frozen out of the process. They could send their child for help, but if the child told a health care professional he or she didn’t think it was necessary, that’s often where it ended because the doctor couldn’t even discuss the case with the parents. This new rule restores some balance to the equation. And it accomplishes the same goal as bills I authored that passed the House in the last two legislative sessions.” “I’m pleased to see the department finally step up and issue this clarification in order to clear up confusion about the rights of parents and minors surrounding mental health treatment under the 2004 law,” Read more
PHILADELPHIA, July 3 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., said he voted in favor of the $32.7 billion state spending plan for 2018-19, citing emphasis on education, career training, school safety and human services. “I’m very pleased with this year’s budget process. The bill passed includes significant increases in funding for our schools and major investments to enhance job growth and workforce development. It protects essential services for our most vulnerable citizens and maintains funds for public safety, transportation, and other essential services families depend upon –without increasing the tax burden for Pennsylvanians. “I’m thrilled to see $140 million more allocated for basic, special and early education; and $40 million for career and technical education – to create new apprenticeship programs and develop STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers. “In a separate bill we committed $60 million to school and community safety. A long overdue investment for schools to fund violence-prevention programs, police officers and other initiatives. Unfortunately, gun violence in schools is a reality and we must work proactively to keep our kids safe. “We were able to maintain long-term care programs to provide both physical health and support to seniors and citizens with physical and intellectual disabilities, as well as access to quality child care. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, July 3 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, Sen. Anthony Williams, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson and the Philadelphia Police Department, hosted the 2018 Safe Sumer Gun Buyback. More than $30,000 in gift cards were awarded to participants for over 300 guns turned in. “I am amazed with the amazing turnout we had for this event. This shows that people understand that we need to get illegal guns off the streets and we need to ensure that people who own guns are legally able to do so,” McClinton said. “I look forward to hosting more buybacks and encourage people to contribute with this initiative to build a safer environment in our communities.” McClinton said she wanted to thank The Fresh Grocer, The Klutch Kings, the Philadelphia Anti-Drug/Anti-Violence Network, Power 99 FM, The Urban Art Gallery, Abiding Truth Ministries and the Church of the Christian Compassion. Access photo gallery here . Read more
PHILADELPHIA, July 3 – State Rep. Kevin Boyle announced he will again partner with Fox Chase Cancer Center to host breast cancer screenings at his Fox Chase office. The annual mobile mammography event will be held outside of his district office at 9 a.m. Friday, July 20 at 7801-A Hasbrook Ave. Those interested in receiving a breast cancer screening are required to make an appointment. “Many of us have had either a friend or loved one who has battled this deadly disease. About one in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime and some will be diagnosed with it at a young age,” Boyle said. “Early detection is so important in the fight against breast cancer and I am pleased to continue this partnership with Fox Chase Cancer Center to offer these lifesaving screenings.” Additional requirements include: Must be 40 or older. Name and address of the patient’s doctor. Prescription from a 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. To make an appointment or for more information, please contact Boyle’s district office at 215-695-1016. Read more
State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio D-Montgomery/Phila., announced that she voted in favor of the state’s 2018-19 spending plan, H.B. 2121. Read more
SCRANTON, July 2 – 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
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