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, 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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http://www.goerie.com/news/20170207/lawmakers-say-funding-fight-not-over-for-erie-schools Read more
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
HARRISBURG, Feb. 7 – State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., praised Gov. Tom Wolf’s “sensible” approach to the 2017-18 state budget, introduced by the governor today during an address to a joint session of the General Assembly. Kinsey said Wolf's proposed budget would build on the last two state budgets by boosting investments in education and fighting the opioid crisis while keeping spending increases below the rate of inflation and making significant inroads in eliminating Pennsylvania's ongoing fiscal deficit. “Governor Wolf’s proposal would invest more than $200 million in schools, funding that is badly needed and especially in Philadelphia, without a broad-based tax increase,” Kinsey said. “The proposal would offer reforms to save the state more than $2 billion, while still being able to expand the school breakfast program so students from disadvantaged backgrounds can start the day ready to learn. I applaud Governor Wolf for his commitment to our schools and students.” Kinsey said Wolf’s budget proposal would also fully fund the coming year's pension obligations to avoid further debt, reduce waiting lists for intellectual disability services, and streamline and simplify services through health and human services agency-related consolidation. These savings and efficiencies are targeted at saving the state as much as $2.1 billion. “Today's address by Governor Wolf is just a starting Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 7 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., released the following statement in response to Gov. Tom Wolf's 2017-18 budget address: “As a freshman legislator, I am beyond ecstatic that I was able to attend my first budget address for the commonwealth of Pennsylvania and to hear some of the priorities for Philadelphia and particularly the 192nd Legislative District discussed in the governor’s budget address. “With my experience in government, I realized early on that you can always tell a society's priorities by looking at their budget and their investments. “As Governor Wolf mentioned in his budget address, there is no greater priority than educating our young people, protecting our seniors and putting people to work. The governor is looking to work together with the General Assembly to build the foundation started last year by providing more funding for education – from pre-K to college – in this year’s budget. “One of my main priorities for my district is helping our seniors. I applaud the governor for making these citizens a top priority in his budget by working to assure they continue to get the highest quality of care and services in our commonwealth. “Pennsylvania must also move ahead with job creation. Governor Wolf indicated there are 82,000 more people working than there were two years ago. That number must remain on an upward path. “To the governor’s credit, Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 7 – State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee, welcomed the education funding increases in the budget proposal Gov. Tom Wolf unveiled today. "Pennsylvania schools and colleges suffered major cuts during Governor Tom Corbett's four years in office. Governor Tom Wolf has been a breath of fresh air. Under Governor Wolf, Pennsylvania has restored $465 million in funding for K-12 education, $14.6 million for early intervention, $81.4 million for higher education and $60 million for early childhood education. "This latest budget proposal from Governor Wolf would build on those successes with an additional $125 million for K-12 classrooms, $75 million to expand high-quality early childhood education and $8.9 million for our state-owned universities. I look forward to working with the governor and fellow Democratic legislators to deliver more funding for our students and their families and teachers." ### Read more
State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, said he is pleased with Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed new budget investments which would mean additional funding for pre-K through higher education, providing effective treatment for people battling opioid addiction, retaining family-sustaining jobs and safeguarding our seniors. “All of the proposed state budget funding would be funding real life issues; we need to make smart decisions that balance the cost of government without sacrificing services to people,” Bizzarro said. “We are working out the budget without changes to the Personal Income Tax or sales tax rates.” Bizzarro said Pennsylvania faces a large deficit and passing a budget will not be easy. “I look forward to studying the governor’s plan in detail and that will take some time to review,” Bizzarro said. Bizzarro said additional funding is being proposed for the 14 state-owned universities. “I fully support an increase in funding to Edinboro University because it would be funding well spent and an investment in our future,” Bizzarro said. Bizzarro said it is a different kind of budget that would cut the cost of government while protecting what matters. The departmental budget hearings with the House Appropriations Committee begin Feb. 21 and end March 9. Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 7 – Centre County state Rep. Scott Conklin released the following statement in response to Gov. Tom Wolf's 2017-18 budget address: "I am pleased that Governor Wolf and I share the same focus on education. From making sure students get a healthy breakfast to start their day, to recognizing the need to keep our colleges and universities at the front of education, this is an ambitious plan to invest in education. We need to fund education in a comprehensive manor by investing at the pre-K level all the way through to job training and workforce development. "As a whole, this is a time to make smart decisions that put people first. Protecting gains that we have made is important, however, it is incumbent upon the General Assembly to make sure government is protecting people during these hard times. "The budget address is the beginning; it's the blueprint of the state's checkbook. The governor has laid his foundation and the focus will now shift to the House and Senate to lay the groundwork to strike the appropriate balance," said Conklin. Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 7 – House Democratic Caucus Chairman Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, provided the following statement about the budget proposal Gov. Tom Wolf released today: "Governor Wolf has put forth a bold budget proposal that will address the historic $3 billion structural deficit we’re facing,” Frankel said. “I am reviewing this plan carefully, and so far, I’m encouraged by the governor’s strong commitment to increased education funding, enhanced drug treatment proposals and a call for reasonable revenue generators, including a severance tax on natural gas drilling, raising the minimum wage to $12 an hour, and requiring municipalities that receive State Police protection to pay a fair share for that service. "It's very reasonable to ask businesses to pay their fair share by closing certain corporate tax loopholes. Doing this would also allow us to achieve the education funding restorations and increases Governor Wolf is proposing, such as $200 million more for K-12 basic education, including $25 million for special education and $75 million for early childhood programs; as well as a $2 million increase for healthy school breakfast programs to help kids focus on learning. I'm also pleased that Governor Wolf is calling for $10 million more to fight the opioid and heroin crisis, including expanding access to naloxone, and for new money to expand specialty drug courts. Governor Wolf is making a serious effort to work Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 7 – State Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Luzerne, offered the following statement in response to Gov. Tom Wolf’s 2017-18 state budget proposal that was unveiled today at the Capitol. Read more
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