NANTICOKE, Feb. 18 – State Rep. Gerald Mullery is reminding residents that they don’t have to pay to complete application forms for the state's Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program. Mullery, D-Newport Township, said a local senior citizen brought to his attention a mailing from a private company in Harrisburg, offering to fill out senior citizens' Property Tax/Rent Rebate forms, and asking for income and homeownership information, as well as a $47 processing fee. “Anyone who receives one of these letters should throw it in a trash can where it belongs, because there’s no need to pay to complete forms for a state-sponsored program such as the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program," Mullery said. "Seniors can receive free assistance with the forms by contacting my office." Mullery has an office located at 156 South Market St., Nanticoke, He also maintains an office at 532 Centre St., Freeland. The phone number for the Nanticoke office is 570-740-7031. The phone number for the Freeland office is 570-636-3500. In addition, Mullery’s staff will hold workshops throughout his legislative district to provide free assistance with applying for the state’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program. The workshops will be held Thursday and March 5 at the Plymouth Active Adult Center, 160 E. Main St., Plymouth; March 5 at the Freeland Active Adult Center, 701 Chestnut St., Freeland; March 19 at the Read more
State Rep. Mike Schlossberg, D-Lehigh, recently introduced legislation to combat identity theft by permitting a parent or legal guardian to obtain a security freeze on behalf of any minor or adult under their care.
The move would prevent credit reporting agencies from releasing credit information to a third party without prior authorization, said Schlossberg, giving parents and legal guardians access to a crime-fighting tool already in place for themselves. Read more
State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, today applauded Gov. Tom Wolf's ability to work with the legislature and the federal government after it was announced the families enrolled in the Children's Health Insurance Program Buy-in Plan will not face tax penalties in 2015. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 13 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., announced today she will hold her February town hall meeting over the phone at 7 p.m. Feb. 26. Residents of the 194 th Legislative District will automatically receive the call if their phone number is in the constituent database. To "attend" the meeting, residents must stay on the line. “February’s Town Hall will be my 43rd in 51 months,” DeLissio said. “I welcome the opportunity to engage as many constituents as possible and having the call in the comfort of people’s homes is a great way to hear as many of those voices as possible.” The meeting will consist of an hour-long dialogue similar to a radio talk show, with constituents encouraged to ask questions about state-related legislation and matters. Constituents can listen in, ask questions and take part in polls using their touch-tone phones. Those who don’t have questions answered during the session can record them after the meeting, and they will be forwarded to DeLissio’s office. Residents also can email a question before the telephone town hall to Townhall@pahouse.net . Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 13 – State Reps. Rosita C. Youngblood , D-Phila., and Seth Grove , R-York, have joined forces to introduce a resolution urging the federal government to officially rename a Somerset County mountain in honor of a French and Indian War hero. Youngblood said Negro Mountain, a 30-mile-long ridge of the Allegheny Mountains spanning from Maryland north into Somerset County, took its name from a battle during that war. In 1756, a clash broke out between Native Americans and volunteers, including British-born pioneer Thomas Cresap. History reports that a black frontiersman named Nemesis was mortally wounded during the battle, but instead of taking shelter, he told the remaining members of his party to leave, bravely sacrificing himself so they could retreat to safety. All accounts highlight that the mountain took its name from this battle, notably from the heroism of Nemesis, who gave his life to protect the other volunteers. Youngblood and Grove said it is time for Nemesis to receive the respect and recognition he deserves. "During a time when people of color were identified more as property than as individuals, it might have seemed a fitting honor to name the site of this battle ‘Negro Mountain,’” Youngblood said. “Although the term ‘Negro’ may not be seen by some commonwealth residents as a derogatory term, it’s outdated. And the fact remains that the hero of this battle had a Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 12 – State Rep. Joseph Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, said his offices have application forms for the state Department of Revenue’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program. Eligible residents can claim rebates on property taxes or rent paid in 2014. This program benefits Pennsylvania residents 65 or older, widows and widowers 50 or older, and disabled people 18 or older. The filer’s income must not exceed $35,000 a year for homeowners or $15,000 a year for renters, and half of Social Security income is excluded. The deadline to apply for a rebate on property taxes or rent paid in 2014 is June 30. Rebates will be distributed beginning July 1. “It's free to apply and I encourage my constituents to remember that filing assistance is available cost-free at any one of my office locations,” Petrarca said. Petrarca's offices are located at 239 Longfellow St. in Vandergrift; 620 N. Chestnut St. in Derry; or in the Latrobe Municipal Building at 901 Jefferson St., Latrobe. Applications can also be filed online at www.revenue.pa.gov or by calling 1-888-222-9190. Additionally, changes to the program last year, which Petrarca supported, now allow rebate claims to be filed by spouses, personal representatives or estates on behalf of deceased claimants who meet all qualifying criteria and lived at least one day in 2014, rather than the entire year. Another change also excludes Social Security Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 12 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., today announced creation of an informal, bicameral and bipartisan Latino Affairs Caucus within the Pennsylvania General Assembly. “With the Latino population in Pennsylvania continuing to grow exponentially each year, I truly believe it is time to finally recognize the importance of Latinos in our public policies,” Cruz said. “I’m especially proud that the Latino Affairs Caucus will be represented in a bipartisan, bicameral manner. This will serve as a benefit to all Pennsylvanians as we work together across party lines and across both chambers to education the public about Latino issues and advance Latino causes.” Cruz said the Latino Affairs Caucus will focus on issues important to Pennsylvania’s Latino communities and explore what public policies are necessary to address the needs of Latinos across Pennsylvania. The caucus is open to all members of the General Assembly, regardless of ethnicity or whether they represent a large Latino population in their district. Read more
NANTICOKE, Feb. 12 – State Rep. Gerald Mullery will serve as Democratic vice chairman of the House Game and Fisheries Committee for the 2015-16 legislative session. Mullery, an avid fisherman and hunter, said this appointment is a good fit for him. “I, and many of the people I represent in Luzerne County, care deeply about Penn’s Woods and preserving and improving opportunities to hunt and fish,” said Mullery, D-Newport Township. “I want to make sure their voices are heard.” Mullery said he looks forward to working with Ted Harhai, the Democratic chairman of the committee from Westmoreland County, and Keith Gillespie, the Republican chairman of the committee from York County. The Game and Fisheries Committee reviews bills affecting the Game Commission and the Fish and Boat Commission, both of which rely on licensing and user fees for a significant portion of their funding. Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 11 – State Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, today said he has introduced legislation that would protect students from registered sex offenders who live in their neighborhood. "As our local police officers investigate the events in the case of the missing Summerhill girl, it is unknown if the person of interest who police are looking for was a sex offender," Burns said. "I feel it’s time Pennsylvania enact legislation to protect children to and from school." According to the state Department of Education website, currently schools are not required to provide transportation for students. The law also states that if a district chooses to provide busing, the school can make children living within one mile of the school walk every day, regardless of age. House Bill 372 would require school districts to provide transportation to all children to and from school if that student resides in a district where an offender is registered. "I urge school boards in the district to provide transportation for all students, whether they live near a sex offender or not," Burns said. "It’s about protecting our children -- that should be everyone's main priority." Currently, the Pennsylvania State Police list more than 12,000 sex offenders living in the commonwealth; 196 of them live in Cambria County. Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 11 – State Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, today said the House adopted his resolution to honor transit workers across the commonwealth. House Resolution 55 designates March 18, 2015 as Pennsylvania Transit Workers Awareness Day. It was adopted unanimously. “Public transportation is an integral part of the daily lives of many people who don’t think twice about the hard work by those who make sure it runs safely and efficiently,” Schweyer said. “This day will provide a small token of appreciation on behalf of all Pennsylvanians.” According to a recent report by the state Transportation Department, there are over 13,600 public transit workers and more than 443 million passengers who used public transportation. Read more
Honoring Donn R. Wuycik's many years of life and public service, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver, today offered H.R. 85, extending condolences to family and friends of a broadcaster who passed away Dec. 2 at age 60. Read more
SCRANTON, Feb. 11 – On Feb. 18, a staffer from state Rep. Marty Flynn's office will provide outreach assistance in Clarks Green. The visit will take place from 9 a.m. to noon Feb. 18 at the Clarks Green Borough Building, 104 N. Abington Road. The monthly outreach visits alternate on the third Wednesday of every month between Clarks Green and South Abington Township. Flynn's staff can help with PennDOT paperwork, unemployment compensation, workers' compensation, PACE/PACENET prescription-drug coverage, unclaimed property searches and any other state-related matters. His main office – in Jay's Commons, 409 N. Main Ave. in Scranton – is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The phone number is 570-342-4348. The March visit will be March 18 at the South Abington Township Building, 2nd floor meeting room, 104 Shady Lane Road in Chinchilla. Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 11 – The House Judiciary Committee recently held an informational meeting about the juvenile justice system, according to Democratic Chairman Joseph Petrarca. "This meeting was very informative and gave the committee a better idea of strides being made to reduce recidivism in the juvenile justice system, while also protecting the public," said Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana. Keith Snyder, executive director of the Juvenile Court Judges' Commission, said the goals of the justice system are to protect the community, ensure accountability and develop competency. He noted that as a result of several reforms, recidivism declined between 2007 and 2013. However, as the result of questioning from Petrarca, Snyder noted the JCJC's budget has declined over the last several years and staffing levels are down 25 percent. "While advances have been made, the executive director said the system is always seeking ways to improve. And, that's something we in the Judiciary Committee also are interested in, particularly as concerns community safety and ensuring juveniles in the system are able to get their lives back in order and become productive adults," Petrarca said. Read more
State Rep. Tim Briggs, D-Montgomery, said today that he is grateful to Gov. Tom Wolf for proposing a sensible solution to the state's education funding issues.
The Education Reinvestment Act, which Wolf announced today at a news conference in Thorndale, would increase the money available for Pennsylvania schools by levying a reasonable severance tax on natural gas production.
The state House unanimously approved Rep. Pam Snyder’s legislation honoring two members of America’s armed forces from southwestern Pennsylvania killed in action in Vietnam and Somalia. H.B. Bill 178 would name the Exit 28 Mon-Fayette Expressway Interchange in Washington County as the Marine Corporal Thomas R. Matty Memorial Interchange. H.B. 179 would designate the Route 88 bridge over Muddy Creek in Greene County as the Army Corporal Richard W. Kowalewski, Jr. Memorial Bridge. Read more
State Rep. Tim Briggs, D-Montgomery, announced that in addition to his appointments to five prominent House standing committees (Appropriations, Judiciary, Environmental Resources and Energy, Professional Licensure and Transportation) he will serve as the House Democratic chairman of three important caucuses in the Pennsylvania General Assembly.
Briggs will serve as the chairman of the Arts and Culture Caucus, working in conjunction with Rep. Stan Saylor, R-York; Sen. Pat Browne, R-Lehigh; and Sen. Jay Costa, D-Allegheny. He will also serve as chairman for the Bio Technology/Life Sciences Caucus with Rep. Scott Petri, R-Bucks, and the Brain Injury Caucus with Rep. Tina Picket, R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna. Read more
State Rep. Mike Schlossberg, D-Lehigh, announced today that he intends to sponsor bipartisan legislation that would limit the types of immunization exceptions granted in Pennsylvania.
Current state law allows for three exemptions to childhood immunization – medical, religious and philosophical. Schlossberg's proposal, which is also sponsored by Rep. Becky Corbin, R-Chester, would eliminate immunization exemptions that are requested for philosophical reasons.
"I am happy to work in a bipartisan manner with members of the Health Committee to attack this problem and improve Pennsylvania’ public health," Schlossberg said.
UPPER DARBY, Feb. 11 – State Rep. Margo Davidson, D-Delaware, will host an immigration conference from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 19 at Faith-Immanuel Lutheran Church, 65 Penn Blvd., East Lansdowne. This event will provide assistance with programs to benefit immigrants. Topics to be covered include: The Road and Rights of Citizenship: Completing the forms, preparing for the test, preparing financially Your Green Card: Permanent vs. Temporary Resident Visas and appropriate identification Medical coverage for undocumented residents Inoculation for international travel Securing a driver’s license regardless of immigration status Congressman Robert Brady and White House Commissioner N. Nina Ahmad, who serves on the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, will also be in attendance to discuss new federal immigration policies. "With more than 70 languages spoken at the district’s schools, it’s obvious that there is a need for this type of event," Davidson said. "I am proud to bring this event to the 164th Legislative District to support the residents in the district who are immigrants, new and long-standing, nationalized citizens and their loved ones." For more information or to RSVP, please contact Carolyn Collins at (610) 259-7016 or firstname.lastname@example.org . ### Read more
State Rep. Gerald Mullery announced his staff will hold workshops throughout his legislative district to provide free assistance with applying for the state’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program. The workshops will be held Feb. 19 and March 5 at the Plymouth Active Adult Center, 160 E. Main St., Plymouth; March 5 at the Freeland Active Adult Center, 701 Chestnut St., Freeland; March 19 at the Mountaintop Active Adult Center, 460 S. Main Road, Mountaintop; March 25 at the White Haven Borough Building, 312 Main St., White Haven.
PITTSBURGH, Feb. 11 – State Rep. Adam Ravenstahl announced that he will hold office hours at the Avalon Borough Building, 640 California Ave., every Thursday morning from 8:30 a.m. to noon beginning Feb. 19. "This office will provide convenient service to my constituents in Avalon and Bellevue," Ravenstahl said. "It will offer the same top-notch service and assistance as my main office in Pittsburgh, and there’s no extra cost to taxpayers." Ravenstahl said some of the most common requests for assistance he provides include car registrations, special tags and license applications, birth and death certificate applications, help with problems with state agencies and assistance in filling out state forms of all kinds. Residents are asked to call his Pittsburgh office at 412-321-5523 to make an appointment at the Avalon office. Ravenstahl said his Pittsburgh office at 3689 California Ave. will remain open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Read more
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