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, Feb. 10 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., announced she will hold mobile offices hours for her constituents throughout the 192nd Legislative District. “I made a commitment to bring state services directly to the doors of my constituents in their neighborhoods,” Cephas said. Cephas said her staff will be available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. the first, third and last Thursday of every month at the following locations: Feb. 16 Overbrook Library, 7422 Haverford Ave., 19151 Feb. 23 Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. District Office, 5398 Wynnefield Ave., 19131 March 2 Wynnefield Library, 5325 Overbrook Ave., 19131 March 16 Haddington Library, 448 N. 65th St., 19151 March 23 Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. District Office, 5398 Wynnefield Ave., 19131 April 6 Overbrook Library, 7422 Haverford Ave., 19151 April 20 Haverford Library, 5543 Haverford Ave., 19139 April 27 Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. District Office, new location TBD May 4 Haddington Library, 448 N. 65th St., 19151 May 18 Wynnefield Library, 5325 Overbrook Ave., 19131 May 25 Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. District Office, new location TBD June 1 Haverford Library, 5543 Haverford Ave., 19139 June 15 Overbrook Library, 7422 Haverford Ave., 19151 June 22 Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. District Office, new location, TBD Cephas noted her staff will offer the services that are also offered at her main office, such as assistance with the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program, Read more
State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., said today she is reminding eligible residents in her district that 2016 Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program applications are now available in her district office. "This is an important program available for citizens across the Commonwealth, as it provides rebates to both those who own their homes and those who rent," DeLissio said. "Structured to provide relief to seniors and those who are disabled, this initiative offers financial aid to those who may otherwise be struggling.” The application deadline for eligible residents to receive a rebate on their paid 2016 property taxes or rent is June 30. “The free application materials are available at my district office, and my staff is available to offer assistance in their completion and submission to the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue,” DeLissio said. The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians 65 or older, widows and widowers 50 or older and people with disabilities 18 or older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters . Half of Social Security income is excluded ; and cost-of-living adjustments cannot be the basis to solely disqualify an applicant. The maximum standard rebate is $650, but supplemental rebates for certain qualifying homeowners can boost rebates to $975. The Revenue Department automatically calculates the supplemental rebates for Read more
Commenting on the budget address, state Rep. Pam DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., believes Gov. Tom Wolf’s approach to the 2017-18 state budget is responsible and different. Read more
http://www.meadvilletribune.com/opinion/columns/column-help-thwart-animal-abuse-by-supporting-hb/article_ffbcda8e-ed4a-11e6-a107-4310700ec828.html Read more
State Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky, D-Delaware, announced today that 16 local fire and ambulance companies in the 161st Legislative District are set to receive $214,974 in state grants. Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 9 -- State Rep. Joseph Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, said 23 fire and ambulance companies in the 55 th Legislative District will be sharing $308,865 in state grants. The grants are from Pennsylvania's Fire Company and Volunteer Ambulance Service Grant Program. The grants are funded from gaming revenue and property tax relief funding. "Our fire departments and emergency service providers often spend countless hours fundraising to ensure their equipment and training are up to date so they can help keep us safe," Petrarca said. "These grants help our first responders focus on their service to their communities, which is why this program is so vital. I was proud last summer to vote to extend this program for an additional four years." Grant recipients and amounts awarded in the 55 th District are as follows: Armstrong County Apollo Volunteer Fire Dept. Hose Co. No. 2 -- $12,358 Leechburg Volunteer Fire Co. -- $11,844 Lower Kiski Ambulance Service Inc. -- $13,902 for the fire company; $7,448 for EMS Parks Township Volunteer Fire Dept. -- $12,101 Indiana County Saltsburg Volunteer Fire Dept. -- $12,873 Westmoreland County Avonmore Volunteer Fire Dept. -- $11,844 Bell Township Volunteer Fire Dept. -- $12,616 Derry Volunteer Fire Dept. -- $12,358 Derry Township Volunteer Fire Dept. No. 1 of Bradenville -- $12,873 Free Service Fire Unit No. 6, Read more
State Rep Marty Flynn, D-Lackawanna, said he is pleased that the 2017-18 state budget proposal continues to provide vital services without increasing the cost of government. Flynn said in these hard-pressed financial times for people, it’s also refreshing that the budget proposal does not include any broad-based tax increases. “Many citizens are financially struggling and they do not need more money taken out of their paychecks for increased taxes so I’m happy the proposal holds the line on taxes,” Flynn said. "The proposal protects people’s health and safety and preserves the natural resources and community assets that benefit everyone. “It also targets state investments in workforce development for programs that match worker skills and the jobs businesses need to fill," he said. Flynn said the budget also provides the chance for every child to get a quality education, no matter where their parents live or which school they attend. The budget calls for investing an additional $75 million for pre-K/Head Start, $100 million for basic education, $25 million for special education and a proposed 2 percent increase for the State System of Higher Education. Flynn said many elderly people in his district are concerned about staying in their homes and not being forced to live in community nursing facilities. The governor‘s budget has proposed a program called Community HealthChoices, which is aimed at helping seniors Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 8 – State Rep. Maureen Madden invites residents of the 115th District to an open house at her new Stroudsburg office. Read more
EBENSBURG, Feb. 8 – State Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, has announced the award of $248,975 in state grants to 19 fire and ambulance companies in the 72nd Legislative District. The grants are made possible by the Fire Company and Volunteer Ambulance Service Grant Program, and can be used toward repairing, building or renovating facilities. The money also can be applied toward purchase of new equipment, training and certification of staff, or it may go to repay debt related to equipment purchases or facility building and maintenance. “Our fire departments and EMS providers perform vital work in our communities,” Burns said. “It’s also hard and dangerous work, as I found out when suiting up for a Cambria County Fire School training session. As someone who’s stood shoulder-to-shoulder with them for a taste of what they go through, I am proud to announce this funding to aid their continued operations.” Burns noted that recipients still need to complete and return original signed copies of their grant agreements by May 31 in order to receive their money. He urged any department that needs help with this requirement to contact his nearest district office. The grant list – by department and entity – is as follows. Ashville Fire Company – Fire Company, $14,159. Cambria Township Volunteer Fire Company – Fire Company, $14,417. Carrolltown Fire Company – Fire Company, $12,101. Cresson Area Read more
YARDLEY, Feb. 8 – State Rep. Perry Warren, D-Bucks, will host an open house from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13 at his new district office, located at 91 S. Main St. Warren, who is serving his first term as state representative, said that he is looking forward to the opportunity to meet as many constituents as possible. Warren’s office is prepared to help constituents with birth and death certificates, voter registration, unclaimed property, state Transportation Department forms, Property Tax/Rent Rebate filings, Department of Human Services programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP, Medical Assistance and LIHEAP, as well as unemployment compensation concerns, and with applications for handicap placards, driver’s and non-driver’s licenses and ID, and many other state-related issues. “Come visit and say hello and take care of state business,” Warren said. “There are many services offered here, and my staff and I are excited to get to know you and serve your needs.” Read more
Rep. Rob Matzie urges increased awareness of Multiple Sclerosis with unanimous adoption of his resolution designating March 5 through March 11 as “Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week” in Pa. Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 8 – State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., this week was elected vice chair of the PA SAFE caucus, which pushes for commonsense gun safety reforms in the Pennsylvania legislature. "I'm honored that my colleagues chose me for this role, and I will continue advocating for much-needed gun safety laws in Pennsylvania. So much attention is paid to terrorism when many more Pennsylvanians and Americans die each year from so-called 'routine' gun violence. There is solid public support for reforms such as 'no fly, no buy' to keep people on the terror watch list from buying guns, for example," Sims said. In the new legislative session, Sims plans to introduce new commonsense gun safety reforms he has crafted. More information about the PA SAFE Caucus is available at www.pahouse.com/PASafe/ Sims is in his third term representing the 182nd Legislative District, which includes Rittenhouse, Fitler and Logan squares, the Gayborhood and parts of Washington Square West, Bella Vista, Hawthorne, Graduate Hospital and Queen Village. Sims' constituent service office is located at 21 S. 12th St., Suite 182, Philadelphia; phone 215-246-1501. In addition to his website -- www.pahouse.com/Sims -- he provides information to constituents through his legislative Facebook and Twitter pages: www.facebook.com/RepBrianSims and www.twitter.com/repsims . ### Read more
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HARRISBURG, Feb. 8 – The House Insurance Committee held a public hearing this morning on H.B. 161 , introduced by state Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Allegheny, Democratic chairman of the House Insurance Committee. The bill would require increased pricing transparency from pharmaceutical companies in regard to the pricing of prescription medications. Testifiers included: Teresa Miller, Pennsylvania Insurance commissioner; Tara Ryan, vice president, state policy, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America; Samuel Marshall, president and CEO, Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania Inc.; Bob Baker, vice president, government affairs, Capital Blue Cross; Vince Phillips, Pennsylvania Association of Health Underwriters; Michael Yantis, vice president, state government affairs, Highmark Inc.; Kim Kockler, vice president government affairs, Independence Blue Cross; Ray Landis, advocacy manager, AARP Pennsylvania; and Pat Epple, CEO, Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association. During his opening remarks, DeLuca stated that the pharmaceutical industry "has a direct and significant impact on the public and it continues to operate with little to no transparency." DeLuca further pointed to recent massive price increases for established drugs and reminded those at the hearing that prescription drugs are the leading driver of increases in the health care system Insurance Commissioner Miller highlighted the fact that, Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 7 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., said he sees many positive aspects to the budget proposal Gov. Tom Wolf unveiled today. "Governor Wolf's budget proposal includes restoring more funding for K-12 education and pre-K, streamlining how new and prospective business owners are assisted by the state; reducing bureaucracy and administrative redundancies and the closure of a state prison in Pittsburgh in light of Pennsylvania's decreasing prison population," Rabb said. "I look forward to studying the proposal in more detail and learning more from the several weeks of budget hearings that are about to begin." ### Read more
State Rep. Carolyn Comitta, D-Chester, applauded many of the initiatives put forth by Gov. Tom Wolf in his third budget address this morning, specifically signaling out how the proposed budget would help middle-class Pennsylvanians. Read more
This budget is an important first step in giving us an opportunity to invest in the people and services that matter. (with VIDEO) Read more
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