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.
I am holding my 4th annual Salute to Veterans this Saturday, May 21 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 5800 Germantown Avenue (Vernon) Park in Philadelphia. Please join me and elected officials from the Northwest as we host a memorial ceremony at Vernon Park. The event will include POW/MIA ceremony, Martin Luther King High School ROTC, Veterans Resources, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder information, health screenings, movie screening, food and beverages. Please call my office at 215-849-6592 for more information. Read more
State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., announced the city of Philadelphia has received $391,000 through the Keystone Communities program for community revitalization. Kinsey said the city of Philadelphia will receive $241,000 for 40 housing modifications as part of the city’s Adaptive Modification Program. Another $150,000 will be used to revitalize at least 20 commercial facades within several Philadelphia neighborhood commercial corridors. “I commend Governor Tom Wolf for supporting revitalization projects in Philadelphia and across the state,” Kinsey said. “The program allows the public and private sector to work together to make neighborhoods and businesses areas economically strong.” The program is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. The Keystone Communities program is designed to bring community-based organizations, public agencies, business leaders, private developers, financial institutions and private citizens to work in partnership with local government to develop a plan for community development and housing needs. "We must clean up, maintain and revitalize the deteriorating commercial buildings that are in many of our cities, boroughs and townships so that we can attract new businesses to these areas," Kinsey said. Wolf’s 2016-17 budget supports an increase of $8.65 million for the Keystone Communities program to encourage further revitalization throughout Read more
HARRISBURG, May 18 – State Rep. Joseph Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, said that the Latrobe Community Revitalization Program is the recipient of $50,000 in state funding from the Keystone Communities program. The money will be used to complete 10 façade rehabilitation projects in the downtown district. "While these projects might not seem like much individually, one's appearance helps make a first impression," Petrarca said. "These projects will help downtown Latrobe make a beautiful first impression, which will encourage increased business, job expansion and development. “This grant is important to Latrobe, and I was happy to intervene on behalf of the Latrobe Community Revitalization Program and help get this grant funded." The projects are designed to improve the exterior appearance, functionality and efficiency of the buildings. Such improvements may include cleaning, sealing or painting, and the addition, improvement or replacement of doors, windows, trim, signage and awnings for the buildings. Each of the Latrobe Community Revitalization Program's projects will be funded by $5,000 of the grant, with the owner of the property to provide matching funds. Administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development, the Keystone Communities program is designed to encourage the creation of partnerships between the public and private sectors in the community that jointly support local initiatives Read more
PHILADELPHIA, May 18 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, will co-host a community shredding event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 18 at the Cobbs Creek Shopping Center, 58th Street and Baltimore Avenue, Philadelphia. The shredder will be set up next to AutoZone. State Sen. Anthony H. Williams is co-hosting the event. Local residents are invited to bring unneeded paper items to be shredded for disposal, including old bills, health records and financial records, as well as any other paper items of a personal nature. Staples can be shredded, but paper clips must be removed. "Identity theft becomes a bigger problem every year," McClinton said. "Proper disposal of sensitive material is your best defense against becoming a victim of this type of crime. "Identity theft has also been leading to an increase in tax fraud. Criminals are stealing tax information and claiming refunds before legitimate filers submit their tax returns. "In addition to protecting your identity, you are protecting the environment, as the shredded paper will be recycled." Constituents can learn more about identity theft at the Pennsylvania Treasurer's website, www.patreasury.gov/learn/idtheft/ . The event is open to the public, but only personal papers will be shredded. Business papers will not be accepted at this event. In addition to the shredding service, McClinton's staff will be Read more
HARRISBURG, May 17 – The House Judiciary Committee today reported out a bill introduced by state Rep. Joseph Petrarca that is designed to improve the state's outdated organ and tissue donation law. The bill would establish a comprehensive framework for public education on organ and tissue donations, clarify the methods for making such donations, streamline the process of working with law enforcement in deaths under investigation and update the law to reflect the best clinical practices to support donations for transplantation. The law would be known as the Donate Life PA Act. "Pennsylvania's Uniform Anatomical Gift Act was once a law that other states modeled for their own laws, but the law is becoming antiquated because it hasn't been updated since its enactment more than 20 years ago," Petrarca said. "Even in this day and age with all of the advances in medicine and technology, the number of people waiting for a transplant continues to grow. This measure will make more organs available for those in need." Public education would include providing information about organ and tissue donation to high schools, and medical and nursing schools. The bill also would reinforce the priority of transplantation in the law and affirm that anatomical donations must be initially referred to a federally designated organ procurement agency, so that donations are subject to regulatory oversight. Pennsylvania's current law was crafted in 1994 Read more
HARRISBURG, May 17 – A measure authored by state Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, that would better protect the identity of victims, witnesses and other people placing 911 calls is on its way to Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk. The Pennsylvania House of Representatives today unanimously voted to concur in Senate amendments of Donatucci’s H.B. 1310 . “The passage of this bill demonstrates that the legislature is taking the right to privacy very seriously,” Donatucci said. “No one should feel hesitant to call 911 because they fear retribution or are concerned their private information will be made public. Think about a domestic violence victim who flees to a friend’s house and calls 911. Their abuser shouldn’t be able to find out where they are calling from and harm them even further. This legislation would give people peace of mind when they find themselves in the unfortunate situation of having to call 911.” Under H.B. 1310, in response to a request under the state’s Right-to-Know Law, a public safety access point is prohibited from releasing the name, telephone number and home address of victims, witnesses or people calling 911. The only case in which this information would be made available is if the 911 center or a court determines it is in the public’s best interest to have such information. “We know that a person who calls 911 is likely a victim or witness, but that’s not always the Read more
HARRISBURG, May 17 – State Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, introduced H.R. 893 , which would look at options for dealing with heroin and other opioid addiction. The resolution would direct the Joint State Government Commission to conduct a study and publish a report for the Legislature on the benefits, costs and drawbacks of alternative opioid dependence treatment programs that use FDA-approved medications. The study would also look at the feasibility of re-opening state hospitals for detox, rehabilitation and re-entry facilities. "The state hospitals are already in place," Readshaw said. "This would be a way to offer treatment opportunities for individuals who are looking to get off heroin and other opiates while utilizing facilities already owned by the Commonwealth and will provide family-sustaining jobs throughout the state. "The families who are on the front lines dealing with heroin addiction know that this is a serious problem today. We need to stop talking about the epidemic and begin providing real solutions for our families and friends. I am confident that the House will vote on my Resolution in the immediate future." ### Read more
KING OF PRUSSIA, May 17 – State Rep. Tim Briggs, D-Montgomery, today said that Lower Merion Township will receive more than $500,000 in state transportation funding to install and upgrade traffic signals.
“The Green Light-Go program is a terrific partnership between the state and municipalities,” Briggs said. "It was made possible by the Act 89 transportation plan, and these funds will go a long way toward improving traffic flow as well as public safety.”
Enacted in 2013, Act 89 created a comprehensive transportation funding plan to invest billions of dollars into improving the state’s transportation network. Briggs was a vocal supporter of the plan.
Lower Merion Township will receive $503,947 to install three adaptive traffic signals at the intersections of Lancaster Avenue and Old Wynnewood Road, Penn Road and Wynnewood Road, and Wynnewood Road and Williams Road. Funds will also be used to upgrade existing loop detectors with video detection systems at 45 intersections throughout the township.
“These three intersections are some of the busiest areas of the township, and my office is continuously working with the township on how to ensure safety of both drivers and pedestrians,” Briggs said. “I’m glad that the state was able to step in and help alleviate some of the costs for these important projects.”
The program requires matching funds from municipalities.
Briggs also said that this year’s application period is now closed but should reopen later this year and be Read more
HARRISBURG, May 17 – State Reps. Joanna McClinton and Tonyelle Cook-Artis today welcomed members of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, who spent the day in Harrisburg as part of the annual ‘Delta Day’ at the state Capitol. The representatives also co-sponsored a resolution ( H.R. 879 ) that corresponded with today and was unanimously adopted by the House of Representatives. “It is a great honor to welcome and co-honor the strong, dynamic women of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority,” Cook-Artis said. “This sorority has such a staunch history in community activism and leadership, and it’s only fitting that I join in the celebration of these women and what they have accomplished, as well as what they will advocate for in the years to come.” Sorority members from chapters across the state visited Harrisburg to network with fellow members and meet local legislators, executing the organization's foundational thrusts of political awareness and involvement. They met with members of the House and Senate to discuss Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed 2016/17 budget, women’s health, voting, and youth and social services. “The Sisters of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority are well-represented internationally, nationally and statewide. There are active chapters in all four corners of the state, and at many of the schools in the State System of Higher Education,” McClinton said. “Their commitment to public service has Read more
SCRANTON, May 17 – State Rep. Marty Flynn, D-Lackawanna, will host the monthly veterans support program at his constituent service office from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 25. Read more
HARRISBURG, May 17 – At a Capitol news conference today, state Rep. Joseph Petrarca and Sen. Guy Reschenthaler discussed their respective bills that would institute cross-reporting measures for child and animal abuse. The bills (H.B. 2007 and S.B. 1231) would add animal control and humane society police officers to the list of mandated reporters -- those required to report suspected cases of child abuse -- while social services employees would be required to report suspected cases of animal abuse. "These bills would provide more protections against child abuse, while also cracking down on animal abuse," said Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana. "It's widely acknowledged that animal abuse can be a precursor to violence against a person, so it makes sense to require those tasked with investigating animal abuse to report anything they may see or suspect regarding child abuse when they are performing their job. Likewise, child welfare workers may witness or see signs of animal abuse in the course of their duties. We need to take advantage of all available resources in the fight against abuse." A number of studies connect animal abuse to family violence. A survey of pet-owning families with substantiated child abuse found that animals were abused in 88 percent of the homes. And, a study of women seeking shelter from abuse showed that 71 percent of those with pets reported their partner had threatened, hurt or killed their companion Read more
HARRISBURG, May 17 – State Rep. Mike Schlossberg, D-Lehigh, announced today he will receive an Allies in Action award from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention at an upcoming event in June.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention will honor Schlossberg for "his great support and advocacy work for people living with mental health conditions and for removing barriers to treatment."
"The stigma surrounding mental health challenges remains, despite the fact that one out of every five adults in this country actively suffers from one. It is one of the reasons only 30 to 40 percent of those people will seek treatment. This stigma has resulted in nothing more than wasted life and squandered potential," Schlossberg said. "I am deeply honored to receive this award in recognition of my work trying to uproot that stigma. I will continue to tell my story and fight to raise awareness about this issue."
The Allies in Action Award is presented annually to members of Congress, state legislators and advocates who have done exemplary work in preventing suicide, which is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States for all ages.
"Mike Schlossberg has proven himself as a leader on mental health issues and has repeatedly been able to provide a unique context to matters being discussed in the House," said Democratic Leader Frank Dermody, D-Allegheny. "He is a tireless advocate for the mental health community in Pennsylvania and is truly deserving of this honor."
Sc Read more
PHILADELPHIA, May 17 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, recently invited local families to be her guest for a day at the Philadelphia Zoo. More than 100 people from approximately 20 families from the 191 st Legislative District joined McClinton on May 14. "We are so fortunate to have a resource such as the Philadelphia Zoo in our region," McClinton said. "The opportunity to see so many exotic animals is not only interesting, but a truly educational experience as well. "Seeing the animals up close gave the children the chance to learn about wildlife conservation, wetlands and other animal habitats, both for domestic animals and others around the world. The Philadelphia Zoo is the nation's oldest zoo and recognized around the world. Thank you to my partners, Achievability, Empowered CDC, Bartram Village and other local groups that helped make this visit for city families possible," she said. "Too often, the cost to visit locations such as the zoo prevents locals from enjoying local attractions like the zoo." The 191 st District includes parts of west and southwest Philadelphia, as well as the boroughs of Darby and Yeadon. ### Read more
HARRISBURG, May 17 – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives has unanimously adopted a resolution authored by state Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, D-Erie, designed to educate and raise awareness of undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma, a type of soft tissue sarcoma. “Many people haven’t heard of undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma, which is one of about 50 different types of sarcomas,” Bizzarro said. “I was personally made aware of this type of cancer by a family in my legislative district, who is fighting an aggressive case of this disease. We want to raise awareness about this disease so we can help this family in any way that we can, and we especially want to make older adults aware of undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma as they are the ones usually affected by this cancer. I want to thank my colleagues for their support of this measure and their continued efforts to help fight cancer in Pennsylvania.” Bizzarro’s H.R. 684 notes that undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma develops from soft tissues like fat, muscle, nerves, blood vessels, or deep skin or fibrous tissues. It is often found in the arms or legs, but it can also form inside at the back of the abdomen. Symptoms include swelling or a lump that has grown over a period of time, abdominal pain, blood in stool or vomit and black, tarry stools. The disease is usually treated with surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and targeted therapy. Though scientists have not determined the Read more
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