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.
KING OF PRUSSIA, May 24 – State Rep. Tim Briggs, D-Montgomery, announced today that he intends to introduce legislation shortly that would direct the Pennsylvania Department of Education to conduct a study on the effects of implementing a later start time for secondary schools in the state.
Briggs legislation would require the Department of Education to consider the recent recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics as it studies the issues, benefits and options related to instituting a later start time to the school day for high schools throughout the state.
"My legislation would study the issue of delaying the start time of the school day for high schools in Pennsylvania, not because it is what teenagers want but because it is most likely what is good for them," Briggs said. "Emerging science has proven what many of us have known for years, teenagers need more sleep than they are getting. The consequences of failing to do so are serious, so this idea is worthy of consideration and study."
According to the AAP, adolescents who do not get enough sleep are more likely to suffer from physical and mental health problems, are at an increased risk of being involved in an automobile accident, and are more likely to decline in academic performance.
Briggs said he was grateful to a concerned group of parents of Lower Merion School District students, who have been encouraging the Lower Merion Board of School Directors to consider moving high school start times to Read more
NANTICOKE, May 24 – State Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Luzerne, announced he will offer constituent outreach in June at various locations throughout the 119th Legislative District. "This is a great opportunity for my constituents to ask questions and get the assistance they may need on state services," Mullery said. "I look forward to meeting with residents in these communities and helping them with any issue they may have." Residents can receive help on a variety of state matters, including the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program, the PACE/PACENET prescription drug program for seniors, unemployment compensation, hunting and fishing licenses, the Children's Health Insurance Program, consumer protection, and many more. The schedule is as follows: 10 a.m. to noon June 1 and 15, White Haven Borough Building, 312 Main St., White Haven. 10 a.m. to noon June 2, Plymouth Active Adult Center, Dan Flood Towers, 160 E. Main St., Plymouth. 10 a.m. to noon June 9, Mountain Top Active Adult Center, Wright Manor Apts., 460 S. Main Road, Mountain Top. 10 a.m. to noon June 14 and 28, Rose Tucker Active Adult Center, 145 E. Green St., Nanticoke. Mullery said constituents may visit his district office from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday at 156 S. Market St., Nanticoke. The number is 570-740-7031. Residents can also stop by his Freeland office from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:30 Read more
HARRISBURG, May 24 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, today is encouraging any area businesses, municipalities, or other eligible organization to consider applying for a grant from the Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program.
Matzie said that any organization currently contemplating projects that involve the development, rehabilitation or improvement of a public park, recreation area, greenway, or trail should consider apply for a GTRP grant.
"Making smart investments in our parks, trails and other green areas is a wise move that is bound to lead to further economic development and an increased quality of life for the region," Matzie said. "I encourage any eligible group to consider applying for a GTRP grant."
The goal of the Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program, which is overseen by the Commonwealth Financing Authority, is to promote the preservation and use of greenways, recreational trails, open space, parks and river conservation.
The application deadline for project consideration at a September 2016 CFA meeting is Thursday, June 30.
Grants from the GTRP program are limited to $250,000 for any project. A 15 percent match of the total project cost is also required.
HARRISBURG, May 24 – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives has recognized the "Bob Pantano Saturday Night Dance Party" radio program as the first and longest-running radio dance party in the United States, thanks to a resolution authored by state Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware. "Bob Pantano is a south Philadelphia native and Temple University graduate who is one of the most recognizable voices on radio today," Donatucci said. "Many of us grew up listening to his live dance party and have great memories set to the soundtrack of his program. I look forward to the continued success of greater Philadelphia’s favorite Saturday night radio tradition." House Resolution 178 , which was unanimously adopted by the House, notes that the "Bob Pantano Saturday Night Dance Party" program first premiered in 1977, and features music from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. The program is broadcast live from the Adelphia Restaurant and Nightclub in Deptford, N.J. It airs each Saturday night in Philadelphia on 98.1 WOGL-FM, and in New Jersey on 96.1 WTTH-FM in Atlantic City and 93.1 EZ-FM in Cape May. Donatucci added Pantano has received a number of awards throughout his career, including the Kal Rudman Philadelphia Radio Milestone Award, Millay Club’s Man of the Year Award, and the Philadelphia Phillies Gamble & Huff Community Partnership Award. He has also been inducted into both the Temple University School of Read more
HARRISBURG, May 24 – The week of May 21 through 27, 2016 is National Safe Boating Week in the commonwealth, thanks to a resolution sponsored by state Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, D-Erie, and adopted by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. “Now that the weather is a bit nicer, many people will be out on Lake Erie or the surrounding waterways, enjoying the beautiful scenery,” Bizzarro said. “But no one wants a fun day outside to be ruined because of reckless behavior. That’s why throughout the week, boating groups will stress the importance of boating safety and wearing life jackets.” Bizzarro’s H.R. 903 noted Pennsylvania requires anyone born after Jan. 1, 1982 to obtain a boating safety certificate to operate a personal watercraft or a powerboat with a motor greater than 25 horsepower. Nearly 15,000 new boating safety certificates were issued last year. Last year, Pennsylvania had 58 reportable recreational boating accidents, a decrease of 17 percent from 2014. Though only four of these accidents resulted in fatalities, Bizzarro said more needs to be done to raise awareness about boating safety. “I encourage anyone interested in learning more about how to stay safe out on the water to look into boating courses offered by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission,” Bizzarro said. “In addition, we must be aware of the vessels around us, travel at the appropriate speed, and be cognizant of rocks and other Read more
HARRISBURG, May 23 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., said the House Education Committee today approved legislation to help military members and veterans and their spouses who already hold teaching certificates to reinstate their state certification. Read more
HARRISBURG, May 23 – State Senator Pat Browne, R-Lehigh, and Rep. Mike Schlossberg, D-Lehigh, today applauded House passage of S.B. 1152, which would require infants younger than 2 to be restrained in a rear-facing child safety seat while in a vehicle.
Browne’s S.B. 1152, which is identical to legislation Schlossberg previously introduced in the House, is now on its way to Gov. Tom Wolf for signature into law.
UPPER DARBY, May 23 – State Rep. Margo Davidson, D-Delaware, said that her community health fair held Thursday was a success, and potentially saved the life of an area resident. One resident attending the fair at Yeadon Presbyterian Church received a free blood pressure screening, and he was discovered to have stroke level blood pressure, which is 180 or higher for the systolic pressure (top number) or 110 or higher for the diastolic pressure (bottom number). His pressure was checked a second time 15 minutes later and there was no change. The RediClinic nurse practitioner immediately transferred him to a local hospital emergency room for further evaluation. Siobhan D. Smith, the Rite Aid Wellness Ambassador who tested the man’s blood pressure at the health fair, said that he believed the free testing saved the man’s life. “Had the man not attended this event, I am worried to think of the outcome that may have happened later that night or in the coming days,” Smith said. Davidson said she is relieved that the man attended her health fair and that he will be OK. "I hold constituent service events like my community health fair to meet the needs of the community right where they live,” Davidson said. “Many people attended the event who do not have access to health care. It is extremely gratifying that we were able to help this man and prevent a tragedy. That's what we are here to do, help people." ### Read more
PHILADELPHIA, May 23 – State Rep. Ed Neilson is hosting an event for older Pennsylvanians and residents with disabilities to obtain their SEPTA Key photo ID cards from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, June 2 at his district office, 16 Old Ashton Road, Philadelphia.
SEPTA Key is the modern fare payment and collection system being unveiled by the transit agency. It offers seniors an alternative to using their Pennsylvania driver’s licenses or state-issued ID cards.
The new Key cards will have contactless chips, so all riders will have to do is pass it across the face of the validator to pay for their ride.
While an appointment isn’t required to attend the event, interested attendees can call Neilson’s office to reserve their spot. For questions, or more information about the event, call Neilson’s office (215) 330-3714.
State Reps. Stephen Kinsey and Rosita Youngblood, both D-Phila., are holding a conversation event with Pennsylvania Secretary of Human Services Ted Dallas in Philadelphia this week. The discussion will occur 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, May 26 at the Horizon House, 3275 Stokley St. The conversation will center on the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), long-term living/home and community-based services, child and adult care food programs and many more topics. Kinsey said people will have the opportunity to participate in the discussion during a question and answer section of the program. "My constituents are interested in human services topics because they are directly affected by these programs so I know a one-on-one discussion with Secretary Dallas will be valuable to them," Kinsey said. "This should be a very productive and enlightening meeting, and I encourage all of my constituents to attend," Youngblood added. In 2015, Gov. Tom Wolf appointed Dallas as secretary of the Department of Human Services. Since taking over the department, Dallas has implemented a full Medicaid expansion program that has provided health care to about 450,000 Pennsylvanians who were previously uninsured. Dallas was recently chosen to receive a national award from the Casey Family Programs for his contributions to the child welfare field and his efforts to improve the lives of children and families. Previously he was awarded the Thomas J. Zuber Memorial Read more
HARRISBURG, May 20 – State Rep. Mark Rozzi hosted a roundtable discussion this week with Phil Saviano, the real-life “Spotlight” whistleblower, to highlight the need for statutes of limitation reform efforts in Pennsylvania.
“Speaking as a victim, Phil Saviano deserves credit for the countless hours of hard work and dedication to uncovering the sexual abuse occurring in Boston,” Rozzi said. “Spotlight didn’t make this event possible, Phil Saviano did. I don’t know if we would be here today without his hard work because what happened in Boston happened everywhere across the country. It is a proud day for us, because for so long we have been shut out and silenced, but when someone breaks through that barrier it creates hope for all of us.”
At the roundtable, Saviano, whose story was recently featured in the Academy Award-winning film “Spotlight”, spoke about how it took considerable time and effort to expose the systematic abuse and cover-ups that were occurring in the Archdiocese of Boston and beyond.
“At some point I realized the man that assaulted me as a kid had a very long career of molesting children in several parts of the country. I had a hard time grappling with that because I had just assumed he would be caught and thrown out of the priesthood and yet the exact opposite happened,” Saviano said. “Over the next couple of years, I learned there were at least seven bishops in four states that knew this priest was a child molester. Not only had he been caught over and Read more
ALLENTOWN, May 19 – State Rep. Dan McNeill today hosted a roundtable discussion with Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Secretary Gary Tennis on addiction and treatment services. "Addiction is a problem that is plaguing not only the Lehigh Valley but the entire state," McNeill said. "We must get a handle on this problem, and today’s roundtable at St. Luke’s continues the conversation we started at my town hall in February." McNeill, joined by state Reps. Mike Schlossberg and Peter Schweyer, said he requested this discussion to raise awareness of the human cost surrounding Pennsylvania’s rapidly growing drug problem. "We are in the midst of the worst ever overdose death epidemic and the worst public health crisis of the last 100 years," Tennis said. "Governor Tom Wolf has made addressing the epidemic a top priority, and the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs has taken a lead role in helping keep Pennsylvanians alive and getting them into treatment and recovery." According to a study by the Pennsylvania Coroners and Medical Examiners, there were 2,488 drug-related deaths in 2014 with 85 of them in Lehigh County. "Pennsylvania unfortunately ranks among the top 10 states in per capita heroin and opioid deaths," Schlossberg said. "But discussions like the one hosted today by Representative McNeill are an important step in changing that reality. "What I heard today Read more
HARRISBURG, May 19 – A measure adopted by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and authored by state Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, designates May 2016 as Sleep Apnea Awareness Month in the commonwealth. “Having lost my husband to complications from sleep apnea, I know the devastating toll this condition can take on families,” Donatucci said. “I encourage anyone who suspects they or a loved one might be living with this disorder to discuss their symptoms with their doctor.” Donatucci’s H.R. 884 noted sleep apnea is a common chronic disorder affecting more than 18 million adults, and up to three percent of children, in the United States. People who suffer from sleep apnea experience shallow breaths or pauses in breathing while sleeping, which can last from a few seconds to a few minutes. Symptoms include loud snoring, obesity, persistent daytime sleepiness, awakening out of breath during the night and waking up in the morning with a dry mouth or headache. Experts say those who suffer from sleep apnea can help reduce the severity of the disorder by losing weight, avoiding alcohol and quitting smoking. Sleep apnea treatments can include the use of a continuous positive airway pressure device, dental appliances, repositioning the lower jaw and tongue, and upper airway surgery to remove tissue in the airway. Left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, depression and other Read more
PATTON, May 19 – Responding to continued concerns from Patton Borough residents over drinking water quality, state Rep. Frank Burns will conduct a combination open house/game plan update from 6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. Thursday, May 26 at the Patton Senior Center, 405 Park Ave. The 45-minute update portion will begin at 6:30 p.m., immediately after a 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. open house at Burns’ Patton office, located in the same building. Burns has been peppered with constituent complaints ever since residents began getting water from three newly drilled wells mandated by the state Department of Environmental Protection. To help allay those fears, Burns has written a letter to DEP Secretary John Quigley, asking for confirmation in writing that the drinking water is safe. He will discuss that letter, as well as a recent meeting between Patton Borough officials and DEP safe drinking water experts, at next Thursday’s meeting. A copy of Rep. Burns’ letter to Secretary Quigley is available HERE . Read more
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