ERIE, Aug. 19 – State Rep. Bob Merski, D-Erie, held a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing today at Mercyhurst University to discuss ways Pennsylvania can bolster its technology workforce. “It’s clear that the tech industry is only continuing to grow, fueled by businesses’ demand for state-of-the-art information technology and cybersecurity services,” Merski said. “Cities like Erie are quickly becoming home to startup tech companies that bring jobs and help stimulate the economy.” Joining Merski were legislators from across the state, including Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. Sturla added: “Companies need highly skilled workers to compete, and bridging the skills gap is especially challenging in the tech field, which is constantly evolving.Today’s hearing on how we can bolster our tech workforce to keep pace with demand was a great first step.” Testifiers included Dr. Leanne Roberts, provost and vice president for academic affairs, Mercyhurst University; Steven Mauro, vice president of academic administration, Gannon University; and Karl Sanchak, president and CEO, Erie Innovation District. The hearing was one in a series being held across the state on House Democrats’ Plan4PA, focused on putting people first by growing good jobs, providing health care access, creating quality schools and providing training for jobs in a fair economy. More information about the plan is Read more
ERIE, Aug. 19 – A robust and enthusiastic crowd attended the 7 th Annual Senior Fair & Older Living Expo today hosted by State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie. Visitors who packed the first floor of McDowell Intermediate High School this morning browsed dozens of exhibits and filled their bags with program brochures, state applications and free samples. Many participated in free health screenings. Bizzarro said he particularly enjoyed getting to talk one-on-one with seniors around the community. “Today’s event was one of our best yet, and that’s a testament to the energy and enthusiasm of the nearly 1,700 seniors who stopped by,” Bizzarro said. “I had the chance to talk one-on-one with so many seniors in our community, and once again this year, they wowed me with their enthusiasm and their insights. “There are few things more satisfying than seeing the folks I serve coming out to engage with the community and knowing that they’re leaving with a feeling that they’ve learned some new ways to enrich their lives.” Bizzarro will join state Sen. Michele Brooks to co-host a similar free event – the Edinboro Senior Fair – from 10 a.m. to noon on Friday, Sept. 27, at the Edinboro Volunteer Fire Department, 125 Meadville St. in Edinboro. Read more
SPRINGFIELD, Aug. 19 – State Rep. Jennifer O’Mara, D-Delaware, today announced her appointment to the state legislature’s Public Higher Education Commission. The purpose of the commission is to review and make recommendations related to higher education funding, affordability and effectiveness, administration and operations. O’Mara, who also organized the House Student Debt Caucus, will help develop a higher education funding formula for the 14 Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education universities and four state-related universities, which are Penn State, Pitt, Temple and Lincoln universities. Funding for the 18 higher education institutions will be determined on a case-by-case basis considering factors such as goals for higher education, the commonwealth’s higher education needs, graduation, retention and enrollment rates, student debt and financial aid, and any other factors related to higher education and the distribution of funding. The General Assembly would then need to authorize the proposed funding formula. O’Mara said the commission will also review and make findings and recommendations to the commonwealth, consult with and utilize expert advice, hold public hearings, review other states’ higher education funding formulas and develop proposed legislation based on the commission’s findings. “I’m honored and excited to be in a role where I can actively work toward fighting the student debt crisis Read more
“Let me be clear: I support our rate payers and our workers, and I know that Chester Water is the best water available. Let the conversation begin, and let’s stop the politics.” Read more
The event will take place from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 7 in the parking lot of Tom Masano Auto Retailers USA at 841 W. Wyomissing Blvd. in Reading. Read more
STROUDSBURG, Aug. 19 – As part of her commitment to address community issues, Rep. Maureen Madden, D-Monroe, is holding a town hall meeting. The meeting is scheduled for 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8 at the Eastern Monroe Public Library, 1002 North Ninth St., Stroudsburg. Citizens can voice their thoughts and concerns regarding Property Tax/Rent Rebate, Real ID and other topics of interest. “Hearing constituents’ concerns is a critical part of improving the neighborhood,” Madden said. “It is an opportunity to speak with them and to not only listen to their concerns, but offer real solutions face to face.” Media is invited to attend. Attention News Editors : Please include the following in your community calendar listings if possible: State Rep. Maureen Madden invites you to her town hall meeting from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8 at the Eastern Monroe Public Library, 1002 North Ninth St., Stroudsburg. For more information, please call Madden’s office at (570) 420-2850. Read more
CRESSON, Aug. 19 – Building on his ground-breaking anti-bullying efforts from last year, state Rep. Frank Burns announced a two-pronged approach to curb bullying in schools during a news conference today at Penn Cambria High School. Burns, D-Cambria, laid out an aggressive package of legislation coupled with a pilot program that puts part of his anti-bullying plan into action in the real world. “With thousands of students in Cambria County heading back to school, I knew this was the time to redouble my efforts to address bullying,” Burns said. “Being taunted, tortured and terrorized by other students is far more prevalent than most people think. We cannot let another school year go by without addressing this epidemic.” Burns said he is reintroducing a bold proposal first put forth last year that would penalize the parents of habitual bullies with a fine of up to $750 and/or community service if the parents fail to do their part to stop their child’s destructive behavior. The measure garnered worldwide attention for its unusual approach: holding parents accountable for repeated acts of bullying. Additionally, Burns plans to introduce the Pennsylvania Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights, modeled after a similar law in New Jersey. Burns’ bill lays out the rights of students, parents and schools as they relate to bullying and builds on the Safe2Say anonymous violence and bullying reporting program that was implemented in schools Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 16 – State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, along with its Philadelphia members, applauded the brave efforts of the Philadelphia Police Department and thanked Gov. Tom Wolf for signing an executive order to implement comprehensive gun reforms, in the wake of the two mass shootings in Philadelphia this week. “Members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus as well as myself, commend the restraint and dedication of the Philadelphia Police Department in securing the scene that resulted in this heavily armed suspect being apprehended alive and no injuries to innocent bystanders ,” Kinsey said. “This career is rife with dangers, making returning home safely at the end of a shift a lingering uncertainty, but these men and women put those fears aside to fervently protect us.” A gunman began firing shots around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday when police were at a house in the Tioga section of North Philadelphia to serve an arrest warrant, according to news reports . Six officers were shot, all of them were eventually treated at the hospital and released, and the gunman was taken into custody after the standoff. State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta said he, too, was grateful the violence Wednesday ended without the loss of life or any additional injury to the suspect, officers or the public. “I was at the hospital Wednesday for hours and saw the bravery of Read more
HARRISBURG, Aug. 16 – State Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila., released the following statement regarding Gov. Tom Wolf’s executive order today on gun violence prevention: “After the shooting in Las Vegas, a ban on bump stocks was enacted because legislators realized that guns with a high rate of fire make it much easier to kill lots of people in a short amount of time. Unfortunately, we haven’t extended that same sense of urgency to banning all assault weapons. When we look at Dayton, where a gunman killed nine people in under a minute, it becomes even clearer that we must act now. “People are living in fear wondering if they will be the next victim of violence as more churches, schools and malls are targeted by shooters. Governor Wolf is taking an important step in protecting Pennsylvania citizens without infringing on our Second Amendment rights. “I strongly support the governor’s actions to reduce gun-related incidents in Pennsylvania and I believe that an executive order on gun violence is not enough. My colleagues and I must take up common sense gun legislation to prevent those who are deemed a danger to themselves or others from having access to guns. That is why I introduced House Bill 164 to create a voluntary no-buy list for weapons sales. This could help keep guns out of the hands of individuals with mental health issues who fear that they may harm someone at a future time. “The safety of all Pennsylvanians is Read more
DOYLESTOWN, Aug. 12 – State Rep. Wendy Ullman, D-Bucks, will host a telephone town hall at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 21 to discuss the upcoming session in Harrisburg and issues such as gun safety, education, the environment, taxes and transportation. Residents of the district will receive a call to their home phones at 7 p.m. that evening. To “attend” the meeting, they can simply stay on the phone. Anyone who wants to make sure they will receive the phone call, or who wants to register a cell phone, can sign up at https://tthm.wufoo.com/forms/m1l3w72j15agofi/ People may listen in and ask questions, or leave feedback when the meeting has ended. Questions can be submitted in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org . “This is a great opportunity for residents to learn more about the issues we’ll be discussing in Harrisburg in the fall and to ask questions about the issues that matter most to them – all from the comfort of their homes,” said Ullman. “I look forward to a great discussion with community members.” Anyone with questions should call Ullman’s office at 267-768-3671. Read more
DOYLESTOWN, Aug. 16 – State Rep. Wendy Ullman, D-Bucks, announced her strong support of Gov. Tom Wolf’s executive order to address the public health crisis of gun violence in Pennsylvania. “In light of the growing gun violence epidemic, Governor Wolf’s executive order is a necessary first step to end gun violence in Pennsylvania,” Ullman said. The executive order makes widespread changes to executive branch agencies and programs to reduce the number of suicides, homicides and mass shootings in Pennsylvania. The order names Charles Ramsey, chair of the PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD), to lead a new Office of Gun Violence Prevention within the agency, and the office will contain a Special Council on Gun Violence which will meet within 60 days to begin developing a plan to reduce gun violence in Pennsylvania. The executive order also creates a Division of Violence Prevention within the Department of Health. Together, the two offices will address gun violence from gun safety and public health perspectives. The offices will establish new oversight and data sharing, work to reduce community gun violence, combat mass shootings, and stop domestic violence related and self-inflicted shootings. Ullman said that the legislature must partner with the governor to have an impact on the gun violence epidemic. Ullman said, “Executive action cannot address the crisis alone. It is absolutely imperative that legislators come Read more
LEVITTOWN, Aug. 16 – State Rep. Tina Davis, D-Bucks, applauded Gov. Tom Wolf’s executive order to address the public health crisis of gun violence in Pennsylvania, saying it was necessary to pass reforms to increase community safety and reduce the threat of gun injuries and deaths. “We need to take drastic action now to preserve people’s lives and the governor’s executive order is a necessary first step,” Davis said. The executive order makes widespread changes to executive branch agencies and programs to reduce the number of suicides, homicides and mass shootings in Pennsylvania. The order names Charles Ramsey, chair of the PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD), to lead a new Office of Gun Violence Prevention within the agency, and the office will contain a Special Council on Gun Violence tasked with meeting within 60 days to begin developing a plan to reduce gun violence in Pennsylvania. The executive order also creates the Division of Violence Prevention within the Department of Health. Together, the two offices will address gun violence from gun safety and public health perspectives. They will establish new oversight and data sharing, and work to reduce community gun violence, combat mass shootings, and stop domestic violence related and self-inflicted shootings. Davis specifically mentioned that the legislature needs to take a leadership role by enacting “red flag” laws to get guns out of the hands of Read more
HARRISBURG, Aug. 16 – House members of the PA SAFE Caucus and others today joined Gov. Tom Wolf in announcing a slate of executive actions to make sweeping changes to state agencies and programs to better target the public health crisis of gun violence. At a news conference Friday in Harrisburg announcing the executive actions, Wolf directed his administration to create new state offices focused on violence prevention and reduction, expand programs that promote safety, refocus departments on combatting gun violence as a public health crisis, and increase collaboration and data sharing between the public, government agencies and other states. Reps. Dan Frankel (D-Allegheny) and Jordan Harris (D-Philadelphia) joined Wolf at the news conference and spoke of the significance of the governor’s actions in light of recent events in their districts, expressed gratitude for Wolf’s leadership and said the state legislature must commit to taking on gun violence when it returns to session in September. Speaking on the tragic impact of gun violence in not only his district, but in those across Pennsylvania, Harris said, “This must stop. It must end. There are far too many victims, there are far too many people who have lost their life to gun violence in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Time is out for the talk. We have to do action, and we have to do it now.” Furthering this call for action, Frankel said, “We currently have about two dozen Read more
UPPER DARBY, Aug. 16 – State Rep. Margo Davidson, D-Delaware, announced her strong support of Gov. Tom Wolf’s executive order to address the public health crisis of gun violence in Pennsylvania, saying it was a necessary first step. “I applaud the governor’s decisive leadership to halt the epidemic of gun violence in Pennsylvania,” Davidson said. The executive order makes widespread changes to executive branch agencies and programs to reduce the number of suicides, homicides and mass shootings in Pennsylvania. The order names Charles Ramsey, chair of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, to lead a new Office of Gun Violence Prevention within the agency, and the office will contain a Special Council on Gun Violence which will meet within 60 days to begin developing a plan to reduce gun violence in Pennsylvania. The executive order also creates a Division of Violence Prevention within the Department of Health. Together, the two offices will address gun violence from the gun safety and public health perspectives. They will establish new oversight and data sharing, reduce community gun violence, combat mass shootings, and stop domestic violence related and self-inflicted shootings. In her roles as chair of the powerful Southeast Delegation and as a consistent leader in the PA Safe Caucus, Davidson said, "I will continue to lead the charge to enact commonsense gun safety reforms that will protect the lives of Read more
“I wish it didn’t require an executive order, but nevertheless I proudly stood with Governor Wolf as he outlined his plan to fix our weak gun laws and reduce the everyday danger. We need to do more to protect Pennsylvanians, and this action gets us off to a good start.” Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 16 – In the aftermath of a seven-hour police standoff that wounded six officers in north Philadelphia, state Rep. Kevin Boyle is renewing his call for the need to address gun violence in the commonwealth. “The act of violence that occurred Wednesday evening against our law enforcement and the community is a clear-cut sign that we have a public health and safety crisis in Philadelphia,” Boyle said. “The residents didn’t deserve to have their lives put on hold and potentially in harm’s way, and the Philadelphia Police Department certainly didn’t deserve the actions of this suspected gunman. “I applaud Governor Wolf’s initial action to sign an executive order aimed at reducing gun violence, and I appreciate that he postponed it out of respect for the Philadelphia police officers. Something must be done in the commonwealth to tackle the gun violence epidemic,” Boyle said. Recently, Boyle and fellow legislators called on Wolf to convene a special session of the House and Senate to address the gun violence issue following the mass shootings in Ohio and Texas. Because large capacity ammunition magazines were reportedly used in these shootings, Boyle introduced legislation ( H.B. 1762 ) that would prohibit this type of ammo magazine in Pennsylvania. “Whether the suspect in Wednesday’s police standoff used this type of magazine or not, I feel there is no Read more
The discussion was part of Wheatley’s 7th annual Health and Wellness Weekend, a three-day festival happening at sites this weekend across Pittsburgh. Read more
“The purpose of these book club meetings is to produce a dialogue that can inform me about constituents’ viewpoints on policy. Our first two meetings did exactly that.” Read more
I-95 South Ramp to Bridge Street FULL RAMP CLOSURE from May 1-Indef., due to water main break. DETOUR POSTED. Route 611 (Broad Street) SHOULDER CLOSURE between Allegheny Avenue and Clearfield Avenue from August 2-August 24 from 9 AM-3 PM, due to utility work. Route 611 (Old York Rd) Full Ramp Closure to Route 309 (Cheltenham Ave) between Valley Rd and 71st Ave. from August 5-October 5 from 9AM - 3 PM, due to utility work. DETOUR POSTED. Route 363 (Trooper Road); Lower Providence Township Intersection Improvements: LANE CLOSURE at Ridge Pike from March 25-August 30 on weekdays (some Saturdays) from 9 AM - 3 PM, due to intersection improvements. Fitzwatertown Road; Abington, Upper Dublin Lane Closures with flagging between Susquehanna Road and Thunderhead Road from Mach 19-August 30 on weekdays from 9 AM - 3 PM, due to utility work. Old Skippack Road; Lower Salford Township PERMANENT SOUTHBOUND CLOSURE for 250 feet from Salfordville Road intersection. Drivers will be permanently directed around from April 24-Indef., due to concrete island construction. Johnson Highway; East Norriton Township FULL CLOSURE between North Hills Drive and Rahway Avenue from May 13-October 1, due to bridge replacement. DETOUR POSTED. North Lane Road; Whitemarsh Township Road Closure between Hector Street and Butler Pike from May 20-October 15 from Closure 9 AM - 3 PM, due to water main repair. Croton Road; Upper Merion Township Road Closure between Read more
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