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, Dec. 9 – The House Transportation Committee today amended and reported out a bill, authored by state Rep. Mike Schlossberg, D-Lehigh, to strengthen provisions intended to keep infants safe while traveling in a vehicle.
"On Monday, at a public hearing held by the House Transportation Committee, I was pleased to see wide, bipartisan support for efforts to improve child safety in Pennsylvania," Schlossberg said. "After a productive and frank discussion, it was clear that there was sufficient support to strengthen my bill by amending it to offer even better protections for our youngest and most vulnerable citizens. I fully support that effort."
House Bill 1551, which originally would have required children younger than 1 to be secured in a rear-facing car seat, was amended by the committee to require children to be secured in a rear-facing car seat while in a vehicle until age 2 unless otherwise stated by the manufacturer’s specification of the car seat in use.
Schlossberg noted that this change to his bill follows recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics. During the House Transportation public hearing, Ted Leonard, executive director of the Pennsylvania AAA Federation, voiced AAA’s support for efforts to enhance the requirement to secure children under age 2 in rear-facing car seats or until that child reaches the maximum height and weight for the car seat as noted by the manufacturer.
"As a father of two young children, I find it hard to belie Read more
HARRISBURG, Dec. 7 – State Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, has introduced H.B 1692, which would make it easier for family members to commit a loved one for drug and/or alcohol treatment.
“Too many families watch their loved ones deal with alcohol or drug abuse problems and can only standby while they spiral into despair, or worse,” Readshaw said. “I have been working with family members, law enforcement, the district attorney, the minor courts and others to ensure that my bill would offer remedies for families seeking help for their loved one.
"I introduced this bill at the request of my friend, a constituent who recently lost his son because of a drug overdose," he added.
Readshaw said that Pennsylvania families are the front lines of the opiate epidemic in this Commonwealth, and this bill is an effort to provide families with another avenue of resources.
House Bill 1692 would provide for involuntary treatment requirements and procedures for individuals suffering from alcohol and other drug abuse; and imposing duties on the Department of Health and the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs. Presuming the person has a reasonable benefit of recovery and the individual presents an imminent danger or imminent threat of danger to self, family or others as a result of alcohol and other drug abuse, or there exists a substantial likelihood of such a threat in the near future, a family member would be able to petition the Court of Common Pleas to initiate proceedings for in Read more
PITTSBURGH, Dec. 2 – State Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny announced the state's heating assistance program, LIHEAP, is accepting applications for the winter.
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program provides federal aid to eligible families to help pay winter heating bills and cover emergency heating equipment needs.
"LIHEAP ensures that qualified households can pay for their heating costs, such as gas, oil or electricity," Readshaw said. "Emergency funds are also available for households without heat or fuel, or those facing cut-off from a supplier.
"My staff can help complete the application."
Household income limits to qualify vary according to family size:
Household Size Maximum Income
The household income level increases by an additional $6,240 for each additional person.
"Since this program is based on federal money, the state budget impasse should not affect the funding for this program," Readshaw said.
Applications also can be completed online at www.compass.state.pa.us, and can be obtained at local county assistance offices, which can be found at www.alleghenycounty.us/dhs/CAO-locations.aspx.
HARRISBURG, Nov. 16 – State Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, and state Rep. Tom Murt, R-Montgomery/Phila., announced today that they will host a private advance screening of the film “Spotlight” on Tuesday, Nov. 17 at the Midtown Cinema, 250 Reilly St. The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape and Turning Point are the event sponsors.
A complimentary reception will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., prior to the movie. Remarks will be offered by the sponsors and hosts in support of legislation that would modify the Pennsylvania statute of limitations to allow victims to seek civil action against abusers and the institutions that shield them.
“Spotlight” is the true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child sexual abuse and cover-up within the local Boston Archdiocese.
More information about the event is available by contacting Rozzi’s Harrisburg office at (717) 783-3290. To reserve tickets, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/private-advance-screening-of-spotlight-tickets-19499631924. Seating is limited.
HARRISBURG, Oct. 28 – State Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, will host a flu shot clinic from 10 a.m. to noon on Thursday, Nov. 5 at Concord Presbyterian Church, 1907 Brownsville Road, Pittsburgh, 15210.
Pneumonia shots also will be available.
"The earlier you can get a flu shot, the longer you are protected through the flu season," Readshaw said. "It is important to remember that flu is not just a nuisance. It can be a serious, even fatal, illness, especially for those young children, elderly and anyone who may have a weaker immune system."
While the flu vaccinations are not free, the costs are covered by all Medicare Part B plans as well as many other medical insurance plans. Vaccination recipients must bring their insurance cards when they get their shots.
Readshaw reminds people who may have the flu to see a doctor as quickly as possible. There are treatments which may lessen the severity of the illness if taken quickly enough.
Joined by Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, state Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky, D-Delaware, will host a town hall from 10:30 a.m. to noon Thursday, Oct. 6 at the Brookhaven Municipal Center, 2 Cambridge Road, Brookhaven, to discuss government waste and what more can be done to ensure taxpayer dollars are spent appropriately. Read more
Rep. Pam Snyder has introduced legislation that would upgrade the state standard for broadband service, increasing broadband download and upload speeds exponentially for many rural residents and businesses. Read more
EBENSBURG, Oct. 4 – Knowing many 72 nd Legislative District residents treasure their Second Amendment rights, state Rep. Frank Burns is reminding constituents to attend his Concealed Carry Seminar at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5 at Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Co., 176 Adams Ave., Vinco. Burns said law enforcement representatives will speak on the rules and regulations regarding firearm transport and use in Pennsylvania – including primers on concealed carry, the Castle Doctrine, using firearms for personal protection and related legal liabilities. “I’m inviting everyone to come find out your rights as a law-abiding gun owner,” Burns said. “We live in an increasingly dangerous world and response to this event has thus far been extremely positive. Some who cannot make it at this time have asked us to schedule another one.” Anyone wishing to attend the Concealed Carry Seminar is asked to call Burns’ Portage office at (814) 736-7339. Burns said he is also prepared to update meeting attendees on his Blue Lives Matter bill, which seeks to make assault on a police, corrections, probation or parole office a hate crime, with commensurate stiffer penalties. Read more
ALLENTOWN, Oct. 4 – State Rep. Mike Schlossberg, D-Lehigh, hosted a news conference today at Lehigh Valley Active Life to discuss two pieces of legislation he recently introduced that would offer older Pennsylvanians additional resources and enable them to receive health care while continuing to live in their homes. “Allowing a senior to age in place is good for the person and it is sensible public policy,” Schlossberg said. “Preserving an older Pennsylvanian’s opportunity to live in the independence of their home can offer between 72 and 74 percent savings when compared to the cost of a nursing facility and can significantly increase their quality of life.” House Bill 2371 would establish the Caregiver Tax Credit, which would allow taxpayers who qualify for the federal dependent care credit to apply for a tax credit against their state income tax liability. As of 2015, 23 other states have a similar tax credit in place. “As a state, we are getting older. In the past four years, our population over the age of 65 had increased by 8.9 percent and outpaced our overall population growth. It is everyone's responsibility to ensure that older Pennsylvanians have the tools and resources they need to live happy and full lives,” Schlossberg said. House Bill 2372 would establish the Livable Home Tax Credit, which would offer a tax credit for homeowners or construction contractors renovating or building senior-accessible Read more
ERIE, Oct. 4 – State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, held a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing to learn more about the issues surrounding personal assistance service providers. The hearing was held Monday at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center and was co-chaired by Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. "Personal assistance service providers deliver home and community-based care services that allow people to stay in their homes instead of entering nursing facilities," Bizzarro said. “What we learned today from some of those who provide personal assistance to the disabled and the elderly on a daily basis is that they help people maintain their independence, and that's a valuable resource." Bizzarro also said that they learned from the testifiers that the personal assistance service field is a tough one, with low pay and high turnover, which not only impacts workers, but also those they care for. Sturla said, "It's important that workers earn a living wage that is commensurate with the level of care and service they provide. Representative Bizzarro is leading the discussion to ensure that great care is provided to those who need and that involves retaining a caring workforce that is paid a fair wage." "The providers who testified said that workforce retention is a major challenge and they're losing workers to less challenging industries, such as fast food and retail," Bizzarro said. "This Read more
Gov. Tom Wolf joined state Rep. Steve Samuelson and state Sen. Lisa Boscola to announce a $1.5 million state grant to aid in the construction of a 14,500 square-foot expansion to the Ben Franklin TechVentures technology incubator/post-incubator facility on Lehigh University’s campus in Bethlehem. Read more
SCRANTON, Oct. 3 – State Rep. Marty Flynn, D-Lackawanna, offered the following comment regarding today’s $3 million grant announced by Gov. Tom Wolf for expansion at Lackawanna College. Read more
Joined by Philadelphia Sheriff Jewell Williams, state Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., Democratic chairman of the House Human Services Committee, announced today that he and Williams will be hosting a drug takeback event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 22 at Cruz’ district office, 3505 North B St., Philadelphia. Read more
Citing the trouble of women too often suffering in silence, state Rep. Dan Miller, D-Mt. Lebanon, will host a roundtable discussion on violence against women at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 5 at Dormont Library, 2950 W. Liberty Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15216.
“The statistics are staggering: one woman is fatally shot by a spouse, ex-spouse or dating partner every 14 hours,” Miller said. “This simply cannot continue. As a community, we have a responsibility to work toward ending domestic violence, while also ensuring women have access to the proper support structure and resources that they need.” Read more
EBENSBURG, Oct. 3 – Seeking up-to-date insights to help stoke the local economy, state Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, will host a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing on economic development at 10 am. Thursday, Oct. 6 at the Ebensburg Borough Municipal Building, 300 W. High St., Ebensburg, 15391. House Democratic Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, will co-chair the hearing. Burns said he requested the hearing to further explore what more can be done to increase economic development in the region. Burns also plans to discuss his initiative to change state law to permit the hiring of a broker to facilitate the sale of state properties such as the dormant 327-acre SCI-Cresson prison site. The hearing agenda is: 10 a.m. Welcome and opening remarks 10:10 a.m. Panel from local unions: Augie Didiano, president, Johnstown Building and Construction Trades Council Don Arena, business agent, Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Union 354 10:40 a.m. Debi Balog, workforce development director, Johnstown Area Regional Industries 11 a.m. Barry Surma, director, Saint Francis University Small Business Development Center 11:20 a.m. Closing remarks Read more
SCRANTON, Oct. 3 – Because of the Columbus Day holiday, the monthly Medicare outreach offered at state Rep. Marty Flynn’s office has been moved to Tuesday, Oct. 11. Read more
LATROBE, Sept. 30 – State Rep. Joseph Petrarca announced that $77,000 in Volunteer Firefighters' Relief Association funding from the state is being released to Derry Township. The funding was withheld from Derry Township by the state Auditor General's Office after it determined it necessary, pending the outcome of the criminal trial regarding Eastern Derry Volunteer Fire Department's alleged financial abuses and mismanagement. That trial is scheduled to begin in December. "With the shuttering of Eastern Derry Volunteer Fire Department in 2014, the lion's share of fire and emergency calls that otherwise would have gone to Eastern have been dispatched to Bradenville Volunteer Fire Department," Petrarca said. "Bradenville responds to hundreds of calls a year. This extra call volume has put additional stress and expense on the Bradenville company. The relief association funding is desperately needed, and I’m happy to report that it's now on its way." Petrarca noted that Derry Township is one of the largest townships in the commonwealth at more than 97 square miles in size. Municipalities receive funding annually from the Volunteer Firefighters' Relief Association to distribute to their volunteer fire departments to provide training, purchase equipment and insurance, and pay for death benefits for volunteer firefighters. The funding is distributed by the Auditor General's Office. Petrarca reached out to Read more
State Rep. Neal P. Goodman and Gov. Tom Wolf announced that Lehigh Valley Hospital-Schuylkill will receive a $2 million state grant that will allow it to continue providing quality health care and preserve family-sustaining jobs. Read more
EBENSBURG, Sept. 30 – Shocked over a state audit finding that 2,324 dead people received $693,161 in ACCESS card benefits during a 12-month period, state Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, is renewing his call to place photo IDs on the cards, among other welfare reforms. Burns said the report released by state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale was an eye-opener, uncovering an instance of $800 in ACCESS card purchases seven months after that cardholder’s death, post-death ACCESS card spending of between $601 and $1,945 in nine of 30 cases examined more closely, and aggregate ACCESS card spending of $14 million in Florida and $6 million in North Carolina. “Clearly, our welfare system is being abused, which isn’t fair to the hardworking taxpayers of Pennsylvania,” Burns said. “I have long supported placing a photo ID on ACCESS cards as a means to cut down on fraud. Hopefully, with facts like those documented by Auditor General DePasquale, a majority of the legislature will start to feel the same.” Burns has favored adding photo IDs to welfare benefits cards as a means of cracking down on fraud as far back as 2011, when he was a co-sponsor of H.B. 487 , one of several bills that has sought the change, none of which had garnered enough legislative support over the years to become law. Burns has also sponsored or supported welfare reform bills that would require drug testing to receive public assistance, enhance income eligibility Read more
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