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.
HARRISBURG, July 29 – State Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, D-Erie, today announced that Erie County and several area municipalities have been awarded a total of $637,999 in state grants from the Community Development Block Grant Program. “I am pleased that area projects are receiving such significant support from the state,” Bizzarro said. “These grants will benefit the health and safety of residents, and help improve the quality of life here in Erie County.” Erie County will receive $277,768 for projects in the county. The county will also receive the following awards on behalf of area municipalities: Edinboro Borough, $100,959; McKean Township, $84,899; Girard Township, $90,384; and North East Borough, $83,989. The Community Development Block Grant Program through the Department of Community and Economic Development provides funding for such community developments as housing rehabilitation, public services, community facilities, infrastructure improvement, development and planning. More information about the program can be found online at www.newpa.com . Read more
EBENSBURG, July 27 – The 40,000-strong Pennsylvania Fraternal Order of Police has thrown its support behind state Rep. Frank Burns’ bill that would make assaulting law enforcement officers a hate crime, an endorsement Burns hopes will help propel the legislation to swift passage. In a letter to Burns, Joseph Regan, legislative committee chairman of the FOP’s Pennsylvania State Lodge, wrote, “Law enforcement officers risk their lives daily so the people of this commonwealth can enjoy peace and security. They deserve the highest level of protection from targeted acts of violence the law can provide.” In addition to voicing appreciation for Burns’ H.B. 2261, Regan noted, “The legislation will give law enforcement officers, as well as corrections officers at state or county institutions, additional protections under the state’s ‘hate crimes’ statute by raising the penalties for such heinous crimes.” Burns said he welcomes the unequivocal backing of the state FOP, a respected and bipartisan organization whose members deserve to have their employment status treated the same as ethnic intimidation. “This FOP support is a major boost for my bill, which is currently before the House Judiciary Committee,” Burns said. “We need to send a clear signal that assaults or attacks on law enforcement officers will draw the highest of penalties in Pennsylvania, and I’m Read more
HARRISBURG —Throughout the summer and fall, Republicans and Democrats in the state Legislature are joining forces to attempt to tackle the state’s opioid crisis. Led by House Majority Policy Committee Chairman Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin) and House Minority Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla (D-Lancaster), members of the House of Representatives and state Senate will be traveling the state to gather testimony from law enforcement, medical professionals, treatment centers, employers, educators, advocates and everyday Pennsylvanians about the state’s drug epidemic and how it is impacting communities. At a press conference on June 24, Speaker of the House Mike Turzai made the request of the governor to call a special session this fall to continue the work of addressing the addiction crisis. Gov. Tom Wolf stood with Republican and Democrat members of the House of Representatives to support the need for heightened attention on this issue. “The epidemic we face is not a Republican issue or a Democrat issue,” Benninghoff said. “It is a crisis impacting Pennsylvanians from every region, background and walk of life. Opioid addiction does not discriminate – it is killing our young people, our veterans, our friends, our family members and our neighbors. Working together is critical so we can get our arms around this growing crisis before it takes more precious lives.” Opioids are a class of drugs derived from or Read more
PHILADELPHIA, July 22 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio announced today that she will hold in August “Pam’s Policy Pow-Wows” – informal, roundtable-style discussions on policy issues with a high likelihood of being voted on in the Pennsylvania General Assembly before Nov. 30. All of “Pam’s Policy Pow-Wows” will take place from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at her district office, 6511 Ridge Ave. in Philadelphia. “This is an opportunity for more in-depth discussion with my constituents interested in these policy topics in addition to any other state policy matters constituents would like to discuss,” she said. “Light refreshments will be provided, but feel free to BYOB – alcoholic or non-alcoholic.” Bills to be discussed include: Wednesday, August 3 H.B. 1510 – Known as the PA Fairness Act, legislation to prohibit discrimination based on an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression 2016-2017 Budget Revenue Bill – How are we paying for the 2016-2017 budget – what taxes are going up and what taxes are not, and why Wednesday, August 17 H.B. 1947 – Statute of limitation reform legislation that would also eliminate all criminal statutes on future child sex crimes H.B. 1948 – Pain Capable/Dismemberment Pro-Life Legislation, one of the strictest abortion-ban laws in the country Wednesday, August 31 H.B. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, July 22 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, will host a seminar on employment law issues from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 4 at the First Baptist Church of Paschall, 2210 S. 71 st St. Those with questions about their rights as an employee are encouraged to attend. "When there are problems in a job situation, the employee is often at a big disadvantage," McClinton said. "Employers hold the power with the threat of termination, as well as access to funding should a case end up in litigation. This seminar will help employees understand their rights." Local experts will discuss such topics as: Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Employment discrimination based on race, gender or pregnancy, Hostile work environments, and Unemployment compensation. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact McClinton's office staff at (215) 748-6712 . ### Read more
UPPER DARBY, July 22 – State Rep. Margo Davidson, D-Delaware, is hosting a series of summer Senior Celebration events for area seniors this summer. The first event was held July 13 for residents of Simpson Gardens in Lansdowne. The second event will be for residents of Grace Court in Yeadon on July 26. The final event, which will be open to the public, will be from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 10 at Watkins Center, 326 Watkins Ave., Upper Darby . Davidson said there will be resources for senior citizens, an ice cream social and her staff will be on-site to provide state services and free notary service. They also will be taking photos for the new SEPTA senior ID cards. "This is a great opportunity for seniors, their family members and caregivers to learn more about programs and services available to them in our community," Davidson said. For more information, please call Maureen McGrory at 610-259-7016 or email email@example.com . ### Read more
HARRISBURG, July 22 – Coinciding with the start of the Democratic National Convention where the Democratic Party is expected to nominate the first woman for president of the United States, The Walnut Club – a private, professional women’s organization – has selected state Rep. Rosita C. Youngblood as one of the first recipients of its “Women Making History” award. Youngblood was nominated for the award, along with other accomplished women in all aspects of business, media, arts and politics, for her efforts as a state representative in the Pennsylvania House, and for becoming the first black female elected to a leadership position in the history of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, which was first formed in 1692. She was elected to serve as the House Democratic Caucus Secretary in November 2014, breaking through the racial and gender divide that had existed in leadership posts for more than three centuries. “There are truly no words to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude for this honor, and for being selected alongside such a group of successful, powerful and ambitious women," Youngblood said. "It is overwhelmingly humbling to be recognized by an organization working and fighting for equality, and one that believes in the great power of women helping women.” Youngblood said that this award, and her election to leadership in 2014, is lifted on the backs of so many women who came before her in the state Read more
State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, joined Gov. Tom Wolf, state and local elected officials, labor leaders, business leaders and education officials Thursday at Penn State Beaver for a roundtable discussion on how Beaver County’s workforce and infrastructure can prepare for the construction of the Shell ethane cracker plant expected to deliver thousands of construction jobs and thousands of operational and ancillary jobs to the region. Read more
Joining several of her fellow legislators from Pennsylvania and a total of 15 state legislators from around the country, state Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky, D-Delaware, attended a State Legislative Leadership Briefing at the White House today to discuss domestic policy priorities and opportunities for collaboration between state legislators and the White House. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, July 20 – State Rep. Donna Bullock and House Democratic Policy Chairman Mike Sturla today hosted a public hearing on Bullock’s Fair Chance Housing legislation, which would prohibit landlords from asking certain questions about a tenant’s criminal background. Bullock, D-Phila., said that her legislation would model a recent policy change within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that disregards criminal records as a condition for housing approval. "Too often, individuals who have criminal histories – and have turned a new leaf – find it difficult to find adequate housing," Bullock said. "As a basic right, and a condition of successful recovery, access to housing should not be based on one’s prior violations or indiscretions." "Our neighbor Ohio has had success with programs aimed at assisting those with arrest histories," Bullock said. "The nationwide recidivism rate is 49.7 percent; Ohio’s is 27.5 percent. My proposal is a modest pivot toward changing how the commonwealth rehabilitates those with arrest histories." "I applaud Rep. Bullock for her dedication to helping those looking to make a fresh start," said Sturla, D-Lancaster. "Access to housing is a basic need. Discriminating against those looking to get back on their feet and reintegrate in to society only serves to make them feel as though they need to turn back to old Read more
SCRANTON, July 20 – Area veterans are invited to take part in the monthly support program from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, July 27 at the office of state Rep. Marty Flynn. Read more
EBENSBURG, July 20 – Approximately 1,000 customers of the Glendale Valley Municipal Authority will receive new water meters thanks to a $2.75 million Pennvest loan announced today by state Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria. Burns said the low-interest, 20-year loan will enable the authority to install the meters at the 1,000-acre Glendale Yearound resort community. The project will also entail splitting shared connections into discreet services, each with a shut-off, service connection and backflow preventer. “In addition to enabling the authority to ensure customer billing equity, this will also promote water conservation at the community, which adjoins Prince Gallitzin State Park,” Burns said. “The work is expected to begin late this year and end in December 2017.” Burns said the multi-million-dollar state investment will benefit a water customer service population area of 1,500, which is great news for the 72 nd Legislative District. “I’d like to thank the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority board for choosing to fund this project, which will have long-term benefits to the Glendale Yearound area,” Burns said. Read more
State Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, and Parke Wentling, R-Mercer/Crawford/Erie/Lawrence, announced today a $3.8 million investment through the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) for the Greenville Municipal Water Authority, which serves Greenville Borough and portions of Hempfield and West Salem townships. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, July 19 – The House Democratic Policy Committee today heard from SEPTA and other interested parties about defective SEPTA train cars and affected services, at a hearing convened at the request of state Rep. Kevin Boyle, D-Phila./Montgomery. “Since SEPTA’s announcement a few weeks ago that it was taking the defective cars out of service, travelers have been affected by modified schedules and crowded trains,” Boyle said. “I called this meeting to determine SEPTA’s long-term plan to improve this situation. I am hopeful that their plans will reduce delays and inconvenience for local transit riders.” At the hearing, SEPTA General Manager Jeffrey Knueppel gave a presentation explaining the current situation and outlining the agency’s latest plans. He said the agency has expanded service, including an extended rush hour, leased four trains to provide additional seating capacity (up to 2,420 seats) and increased parking options. He said they are continuing to work on optimizing railroad schedule operation and developing express bus service to supplement rail service. With regard to the defective train cars, Kneuppel said SEPTA is working on two replacement options for the broken train cars. He expects service to continue to be impacted through at least August as they work on fixing the problem. Held at CORA Services in Northeast Philadelphia, other participants included: William Shanahan, director of government Read more
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