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.
Calling their courage an inspiration to the community, state Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, announced today that 13 fire and ambulance companies in the 7th Legislative District are receiving state grants. Read more
NEW CASTLE, April 20 – State Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, congratulated the eight fire companies in his legislative district that will receive more than $101,000 in state grants “The volunteers with these fire companies put their lives on the line every day to help protect and serve others, so we need to make sure they have everything they need to continue their work,” Sainato said. “These grants are a vital source of funding, which helps them focus on their service to their communities.” Sainato said the grants are made possible by the Fire Company and Volunteer Ambulance Service Grant Program, which is funded by gaming revenue. With the grant program set to expire on June 30, 2016, Sainato recently voted in favor of H.B. 1877, which would extend the program for another four years. The bill passed the House and is currently awaiting action in the Senate. Organizations in the 9 th Legislative District receiving grants are: Hickory Township Volunteer Fire Company, $11,511; Mahoning Township Volunteer Fire Department, $12,651; Neshannock Township Volunteer Fire Company, $13,790; New Castle Fire Department, $13,790; North Beaver Township Volunteer Fire Department, $12,878; Shenango Township Volunteer Fire Department, $12,651; South New Castle Boro Volunteer Fire Department, $12,651; and Union Township Volunteer Firemans Association, $11,967. Grants can be used toward repairing, building or renovating facilities. Read more
ERIE, April 20 – State Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, D-Erie, today announced that several fire and ambulance companies in the 3rd Legislative District will receive about $108,586 in state grants. "Our first responders put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe, but they must have the proper equipment and training to do their difficult jobs," Bizzarro said. "I am thankful the state recognizes this important need, and is supporting our firefighters and EMS professionals in such a meaningful way." Funding for the grants comes from the Fire Company and Volunteer Ambulance Service Grant Program, which is funded by gaming revenue. The program is set to expire on June 30, 2016, but Bizzarro recently co-sponsored and supported H.B. 1877 , which would extend the program for four years. The bill passed the House unanimously and is awaiting further review in the Senate. Grant recipients in the 3rd Legislative District include: Central Erie County Paramedic Association, Inc., $7,202; Edinboro Volunteer Fire Department, $13,790; Edinboro Volunteer Fire Department EMS, $7,202; Kearsarge Fire Department, $13,790; Lake Shore Fire Department, $12,423; Lake Shore Fire Department EMS, $7,202; McKean Hose Company, $12,423; McKean Hose Company EMS, $7,202; West Lake Fire Department, $13,562; and West Ridge Fire Department, $13,790. Money from the program can be used to repair, build or renovate facilities, purchase new equipment, Read more
AMBRIDGE, April 20 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today that 14 fire and ambulance companies in his legislative district will receive more than $170,000 in state grants.The grants are from Pennsylvania's Fire Company and Volunteer Ambulance Service Grant Program and were awarded in February. In all, 2,538 grants were awarded statewide. The grants are funded partly by gaming revenue."Public safety has been and will remain one of my top legislative priorities," Matzie said. "This investment from the commonwealth will provide our first responders with the resources they need to ensure they are at the ready if called upon."Grant recipients include:•Aliquippa Bureau of Fire, $13,789;•Ambridge Volunteer Fire Department, $12,650;•Baden Volunteer Fire Department, $11,739;•Conway Volunteer Fire Department, $13,789; •East Rochester Borough Volunteer Fire Department, $11,511;•Economy Volunteer Fire Department, $13,106;•Freedom Volunteer Fire Department, $11,511;•Hopewell Township Volunteer Fire Department, $11,967;•Monaca No. 1 Volunteer Fire Department, $11,000; •Monaca No. 4 Volunteer Fire Department, $12,422;•Monaca No. 5 Volunteer Fire Company, $11,600;•Rochester Township Volunteer Fire Department No. 1, $13,789;•Rochester Volunteer Fire Department, $12,878;•Leetsdale Fire Department, $12,194;Grants can be used toward repairing, building or renovating facilities. Grant money also can be applied toward the purchase of new eq Read more
Rep. Pam Snyder reports that state grants totaling more than $390,000 are coming to 37 fire and ambulance companies in the 50th Legislative District. And, the state House voted recently to extend the vital grant program for another four years. Read more
EBENSBURG, April 20 – An Ebensburg water treatment plant operated by the Nanty Glo Water Authority is receiving a $3.5 million, low-interest state loan for significant upgrades, state Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, announced today. Burns said the plant is at the end of its useful life and the 20-year loan, awarded by the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority, will help lower maintenance costs and improve water quality. “This Pennvest project will bring the plant into compliance with Safe Drinking Water Act regulations, which is of utmost importance to the health and safety of residents, as well as create 10 construction-related jobs,” Burns said. “As the national controversy over lead in the water of Flint, Michigan demonstrates, we can never take safe drinking water for granted.” Technically speaking, Burns said the plant will benefit from a new, dual-unit, 800-gallons-per-minute upflow clarifier/filtration system; a backwash water supply pump station, waste equalization tank and plate settler; a reclaim water meter and pit; an on-site shallow injection well/absorption bed; a plate settler overflow; and minor repairs and maintenance to Williams Run Dam. The water system serves 1,604 medium- and low-income households, and is the bulk water supplier for Jackson Township. The interest rate on the loan is 1 percent for the first five years, rising to 1.72 percent for the remaining 15. Read more
HARRISBURG, April 20 -- State Rep. Joseph Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, said 25 fire and ambulance companies in the 55 th Legislative District are sharing $327,234 in state grants. The grants are from Pennsylvania's Fire Company and Volunteer Ambulance Service Grant Program and were awarded in February. In all, 2,538 grants were awarded statewide. 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 are a vital source of funding, which helps them focus on their service to their communities." Grant recipients and amounts awarded in the 55 th District are as follows: Armstrong County Apollo Volunteer Fire Dept. Hose Co. No. 2 -- $12,195 Apollo Volunteer Fire Dept. Hose Co. No. 3 -- $11,967 Leechburg Volunteer Fire Co. -- $11,511 Lower Kiski Ambulance Service Inc. -- $12,650 Parks Township Volunteer Fire Dept. -- $11,511 Indiana County Saltsburg Volunteer Fire Dept. -- $12,422 Westmoreland County Avonmore Volunteer Fire Dept. -- $11,511 Bell Township Volunteer Fire Dept. -- $12,195 Derry Volunteer Fire Dept. -- $11,739 Derry Township Volunteer Fire Dept. No. 1 of Bradenville -- $12,195 Freewill Volunteer Hose Co. No. 3 and 4, Read more
HARRISBURG, April 19 – State Rep. Margo Davidson, D-Delaware, joined Gov. Tom Wolf at a ceremony for the signing of a new law creating the ABLE savings account program. Under the ABLE program, which stands for Achieving a Better Life Experience, families are encouraged to set aside tax-exempt funds for future costs related to the disability of a family member. “As a member of the Autistic and Intellectual Disabilities Caucus, I’ve been a leader in making sure that all people, regardless of any challenge, have access to the highest possible quality of life,” Davidson said. “The number one concern for parents with special needs children is providing for their child after a parent’s death. This legislation gives parents peace of mind that their loved ones will have the resources and services they need throughout their lives.” The ABLE program was authorized under section 529A of the Internal Revenue Code and allows tax-exempt ABLE savings accounts to be opened for eligible individuals for payment of qualified disability expenses. Davidson was a co-sponsor of the House version of the bill, H.B. 1319, and as a member of the House Finance Committee, helped to craft the language of the bill and was instrumental in its passage. Attn. editors: High resolution photos of the bill signing to accompany this release are available by clicking here. ### Read more
HARRISBURG, April 19 – State Rep. Margo Davidson, D-Delaware, joined Gov. Tom Wolf, state legislators and advocates at a ceremony and press conference for the signing of the medical marijuana bill into law. Davidson said the new law will improve the quality of life for patients and their families by helping them to avoid relieving their pain by narcotics and becoming addicted to drugs such as heroin. Under the new law, medical marijuana will be available to patients who are under a physician’s care for the treatment of a serious medical condition. Patients with serious medical conditions will be able to access medical marijuana with a physician’s certification at designated state dispensaries. The bill includes language drafted by Davidson that would include sickle cell anemia as a qualified medical condition to use medical marijuana. "People suffering from sickle cell are usually prescribed opiates to fight the pain of the disease," Davidson said. "Medical marijuana has been proven to alleviate chronic pain and help reduce reliance on opiates." The bill also includes Davidson’s language that ensures employment and business opportunities for minority , women and veterans businesses in the new medical cannabis industry in Pennsylvania. "If we are going to create a new industry in Pennsylvania to support growth and distribution of medical marijuana, I want to ensure that every Read more
SCRANTON, April 19 – Area senior citizens are invited to join state Rep. Marty Flynn and the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office for a Senior Crime Prevention seminar on May 13. Read more
HARRISBURG, April 15 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., issued the following statement regarding her vote Wednesday in favor of legislation that would legalize medical marijuana in Pennsylvania: “Our vote this week would allow medical cannabis to be used by patients who have had limited to no success with standard medications. Over the past year, many hearings were held to ensure that both the House Health and Judiciary committees were as well-informed as possible regarding the merits of this legislation. “The hearings provided an opportunity to listen to poignant and powerful stories, including those from mothers of children with a form of seizures that are not sufficiently controlled with medications that are currently available, and who often experience severe side effects from these medications. Passage of this bill will provide an opportunity for many citizens to try an alternative course of treatment for chronic conditions such as seizure disorders. “Discussion of Senate Bill 3 was the focus of one of my town halls in May 2015 and a straw vote during that meeting found that the overwhelming majority of attendees were in favor of this bill. Interestingly, it was the information presented at the meeting that helped some constituents understand the facts of the matter differently, and more than a few became supporters by the end of the presentation.” Senate Bill 3, which was twice put through each chamber Read more
HARRISBURG, April 15 – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed a bill this week reforming the statute of limitations regarding child sexual abuse cases, state Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio announced. The bill would abolish the criminal statute of limitations for future criminal prosecutions for serious child sexual abuse crimes relating to human trafficking, sexual servitude, rape, statutory sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault, institutional sexual assault, aggravated indecent sexual assault and incest. The bill also would waive sovereign immunity for state and local public institutions in cases of gross negligence, which would allow civil cases to be filed against them. "This is a bill of historical proportion for survivors of sexual abuse, in particular those who became victims in their childhood,” said DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila. "Through the efforts of many advocates over more than a decade, the Pennsylvania House came to recognize that predators were not being identified in a timely manner and therefore not indicted or convicted for their crimes. The most recent grand jury report of the cover-ups that occurred as recently as three years ago in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown was the final straw for many of my colleagues.” It also would increase the length of time, from age 30 to age 50, for when child sexual abuse victims could file civil claims. As amended by the House on Monday, this Read more
HARRISBURG, April 15 – “Take It All Back Day” will be recognized tomorrow, April 16, 2016 in Pennsylvania, thanks to a resolution sponsored by state Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, and recently adopted by the state House of Representatives. “The goal of ‘Take It All Back Day’ is to raise awareness about sexual assault and abuse in all forms,” Donatucci said. “Unfortunately, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified sexual assault as an urgent public health crisis, while the Federal Bureau of Investigation has reported that sexual violence is the most underreported crime. Clearly, our society needs more education about sexual assault if we want to stop it in our communities.” House Resolution 793 recognizes Women Organized Against Rape and the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape for their work to inform the public about sexual assault. WOAR organizes an annual “Take It All Back Community Walk,” honoring sexual assault victims, to shed light on the issue. Donatucci also cited a recent report issued by Pennsylvania State University in which 80 percent of female students surveyed at its main campus said they had experienced some form of sexual harassment. “This particular news is extremely troubling,” Donatucci said. “College campuses should be welcoming environments where our children can learn, and shouldn’t have to worry about feeling unsafe. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, April 14 – State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., and city officials today announced nearly $1 million in investments at Markward at Schuylkill River Park, with state funding as the largest single source. Sims said the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will provide $388,000 from the Recreation and Conservation Fund. Sims said, "Today illustrates the best of what Philadelphia communities can do when we work together. I’m proud to be presenting this check today to help fund this important project and make this necessary investment in our neighborhoods. Philadelphia is home to some of the best parks in the nation and these funds will go a long way in ensuring that exceptional tradition continues." Councilman Kenyatta Johnson has secured $300,000 for the project, and Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell announced the department will invest an additional $300,000. The parks department said the Markward at Schuylkill River Park rehabilitation and development project includes demolition and site improvements to the heavily used Center City park. To continue to meet the needs of the community and to bring the park into compliance with current standards, including disability access, safety and the Universal Construction Code, the park is being upgraded. The project will upgrade a park which has not undergone any renovations since the mid-1980s. A design team worked with the community to Read more
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