state Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, today introduced the most comprehensive adult-use cannabis legalization bill to date. Read more
State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, and state Sen. Vincent Hughes, D-Philadelphia/Montgomery, held an event in Harrisburg recognizing Feb. 7, 2019 as National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in Pennsylvania. Read more
EBENSBURG, Feb. 4 – Supporting local transit agencies and their riders, state Rep. Frank Burns is co-sponsoring legislation to delay potentially costly and disruptive changes to the state’s Medical Assistance Transportation Program. The program – which offers shared rides to medical appointments for Medical Assistance recipients when other means are unavailable – currently operates at a local level that takes account of each region’s geographic needs. A new law requires the state Department of Human Services to move to a statewide or three-region system. Burns joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers in supporting a bill that would require DHS to study the issue further before making changes to the program. “We cannot allow the state to dismantle a system that works simply because some bureaucrats claim they could save money when they haven’t looked at the true cost to our communities,” said Burns, D-Cambria. “Before any contracts are issued, DHS needs to bring local transit agencies to the table to negotiate the best way to provide Medical Assistance transportation moving forward.” Burns, chairman of the Northwest Democratic Caucus, said he’s heard from CamTran and other transit agencies that losing the ability to provide the Medical Assistance trips could lead to cutbacks in service areas and hours, as well as steep fare hikes. Moved by their concerns, Burns wrote a Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 4 – State Rep. Rosita Youngblood, D-Phila., announced today that a Mural Arts project at Wayne Junction has been awarded more than $68,000 in funding through the Multimodal Transportation Fund. The $68,128 grant will be used to improve the safety and utilization of Wayne Junction, a multimodal hub, through the addition of public art. “I am happy to see this area get some attention and renovations,” Youngblood said. “This grant will help make Wayne Junction safer and more beautiful, and will hopefully encourage more residents to enjoy the space.” This project is one of 50 projects awarded grants from the state’s Multimodal Transportation Fund. For more information about the program, visit www.penndot.gov and click on Multimodal Program under the “Projects & Programs” button. Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 4 – The House today unanimously adopted H.R. 66, designating February 2019 as “Esports Month” in Pennsylvania, according to the resolution’s prime sponsor, state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie. “There’s a revolution going on in the video gaming industry, which has become a competitive, spectator sport with a global following and billion-dollar revenues,” Bizzarro said. “Projections are that this exploding industry will have a global audience of 600 million by the end of 2020. "Here in the commonwealth, we’re already seeing opportunities in the form of successful franchises, athletes and college programs such as the one planned for Edinboro University. There’s already a well-established national collegiate esports association, and commentators believe leagues could become as popular as traditional college sports," he said. “In the education field alone, esports offers so many potential benefits for the commonwealth – it’s a way for colleges to boost admissions, a way schools can tie into traditional computer programming and animation courses, and a way to provide high school kids with scholarship opportunities. Beyond that, it’s a burgeoning industry that is sparking technological innovation and jobs. But Pennsylvania needs to be ready.” Bizzarro said he is doing all he can to spread awareness of the benefits of esports and is calling on his colleagues in Read more
ALLENTOWN, Feb. 4 – State Rep. Peter Schweyer will host a session with APPRISE counselors from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12 at his Allentown district office, 1912 S. Fourth St. APPRISE is a free health insurance counseling program designed to help older Pennsylvanians with Medicare. Counselors are specially trained staff and volunteers who can answer questions about Medicare, Medicare Supplemental Insurance, Medicaid and long-term care insurance. “Sitting down with an APPRISE counselor can help older residents learn the latest information and news on health care and ensure they are enrolled in the most appropriate plan to meet their medical and financial needs,” Schweyer said. Schweyer said constituents should bring their Medicare cards, other insurance information such as PACE -- the state's prescription assistance program for seniors, Veterans Administration and ACCESS cards and a list of medications with their dosages and quantities. Appointments are required, and can be made by calling Schweyer’s office at 610-791-6270 . Read more
SCRANTON, Feb. 4 – Older residents with questions about Medicare or health insurance coverage should visit state Rep. Marty Flynn’s office during his monthly outreach next week. Read more
THORNDALE, Feb. 1 – A pair of state grants totaling $2.8 million will fund upgrades and improvements to Chester County Airport and to Mortonville Road in East Fallowfield Township, state Rep. Dan Williams announced today. The grants, which come through the Multimodal Transportation Fund, provide funding throughout the state. That includes the following projects in Williams’ 74 th Legislative District: $1.8 million to Chester County Airport to extend the existing terminal building (first constructed in 1993), which will allow for the addition of a public terminal, a new Fixed-Base Operator space, and expansion of the parking and access way. $1 million for repairs to Mortonville Road in East Fallowfield Township, including embankment stabilization, drainage improvements and roadway reconstruction. “This is outstanding news for our community,” Williams said. “This funding will help improve our airport as well as make one of our roads much safer. It’s great to see these funds invested back into our infrastructure and local projects that will also help create jobs.” The funds are part of a package of 50 highway, bridge, transit, aviation, and bike and pedestrian projects in 23 counties receiving $44.5 million in funding provided through the fund. The state Transportation Department evaluated the applications and selected the projects based on criteria such as safety benefits, regional economic conditions, technical and Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 1 – State Rep. Frank Burns said he wants to alert municipalities, institutions of higher education, counties and community-based organizations of a grant opportunity to help them implement violence-prevention initiatives. "This funding can help ensure our schools and the communities that surround them are safe places,” Burns said. “Public safety should be a priority, and I encourage those who are eligible to apply for this funding." Applicants for 2019 Community Violence Prevention Grants may submit proposals for up to two-year projects designed to reduce community violence, and may request up to $350,000. All applications must be submitted by Feb. 7 to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. Awards will be approved and announced at the public meeting of the School Safety and Security Committee in April. Those interested in applying must visit https://www.pccdegrants.pa.gov/Egrants/Public/OpenAnnouncements.aspx . Interested applicants that are not already registered in PCCD’s E-grants system must register here before applying: https://www.pccd.pa.gov/Funding/Pages/Egrants-Home.aspx . Additionally, school entities that applied for School Safety and Security Grant Program funding by Oct. 12, 2018, will be able to revise and resubmit their applications between Feb. 4 and 25. Those applications may be accessed through the E-grants system. The funding for these grants became available in 2018-19 under Act Read more
This grant will help alleviate traffic at a dangerous intersection. Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 1 – State Rep. Pam DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Philadelphia, has personally proposed two Pa. House of Representatives rules reforms as part of a bipartisan effort to make government more transparent and accountable to the people of Pennsylvania. Eight lawmakers joined together earlier this week to push for reform after they were not given an opportunity on opening day of the 2019-20 House session to consider proposed changes to current rules that often prevent substantive debate on important issues, require votes on measures with little or no notice, sideline important legislation, and allow impactful bills, e.g. voting improvements or gift-ban legislation, to languish in committees. DeLissio introduced Resolutions 13 and 19, both of which are among the package of rules reforms supported by Fair Districts PA. Resolution 13 would allow any legislation with 20 co-sponsors from each party to get a committee vote and be designated as a priority bill upon the request of one of the majority co-sponsors and one of the minority co-sponsors. The bill would then receive first consideration and be positioned for second and third consideration votes on the House floor. Resolution 19 would reinforce that the only definition that should be used by the House for the word “germane” would be the Mason’s Manual definition. Regarding germaneness, the question is whether the amendment is relevant, appropriate and in natural and logical sequence to Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 1 – State Rep. Maureen Madden, D-Monroe, announced today that a Stroud Township project will received more than $500,000 in funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. The $521,616 grant will assist the township in replacing an existing steel beam crossing that carries Mervine Road over Cherry Creek, allowing motor vehicles and pedestrians to continue accessing the road. “I am happy to see this important project receive support from the state and PennDOT,” Madden said. “This grant will provide important improvements to Mervine Road, ensuring the safety of our community members and general maintenance benefitting those who regularly utilize the roadway.” The Stroud Township project is one of 50 projects awarded grants from the state’s Multimodal Transportation Fund. For more information about the program, visit www.penndot.gov and click on Multimodal Program under the “Projects & Programs” button. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 31 – Pennsylvania House leadership appointed Rep. Pam DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Philadelphia, to serve on four standing committees for the 2019-2020 legislative session. She will serve on Aging and Older Adult Services, Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Health, and State Government. “As this new session gets underway, I look forward to working with my colleagues and identifying ways that we can improve various programs and better prioritize how our funds are utilized to improve the lives of our citizens across the Commonwealth,” DeLissio said. "I am very pleased to continue the important work on these four committees. This will be my fifth term serving on the Aging and Older Adult Services Committee, and my professional background in long-term care and the demographics of our state indicate that we need to develop the best policy to meet the housing and service needs of our older citizens. I believe that my service for the past two years on the PA Long Term Care Council and my more recent participation on the newly convened state DHS Progressive Care Retirement Communities Workgroup has me uniquely positioned to evaluate and develop meaningful policy for our seniors. “I have served on the Health Committee since my first term, and policies ranging from presumptive eligibility for home care and behavioral health to abortion care are just a few examples of the impactful legislation that comes before this committee. “The Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 1 – A Northampton County bridge will be replaced thanks in part to a $219,640 state grant which was awarded today, according to Rep. Robert Freeman. Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 1 – The burgeoning “esports” industry of competitive video gaming is the subject of a resolution just introduced by state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie. Bizzarro said he introduced H.R. 66 – that would designate the month of February 2019 as “Esports Month” in Pennsylvania – to increase awareness about the industry and its tremendous economic potential so the commonwealth is positioned to reap the maximum benefits. “Esports has become the fastest-growing spectator sport in the world, with global revenues expected to reach more than $1.6 billion by the end of 2021,” said Bizzarro, who expects the resolution to be adopted overwhelmingly. “In Pennsylvania, the industry is making its mark through successful professional franchises, technological innovations and varsity programs at colleges and universities. Edinboro University is already on the leading edge, building off the success of its award-winning computer science and computer animation programs by preparing to launch a varsity esports program this fall. “We’re in a position to expand on these opportunities, but to do so, we need to raise awareness about the industry’s potential and help it continue growing. I’m urging educators, businesspeople, fellow legislators and others to work together to increase awareness of the ways in which esports can expand our economy, build our workforce and spur new Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 1 – State Sen. John Yudichak, D-Luzerne/Carbon, along with state Reps. Gerald Mullery and Eddie Day Pashinski, both D-Luzerne, today announced four projects in Luzerne County’s 14th Senatorial District will receive $1.9 million in grants through the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Multimodal Transportation Fund. Read more
In the wake of the Clairton Coke Works fire, the state Senate and House Democratic Policy committees will hold a joint public hearing on ways to improve air quality, community notification procedures and emergency response. The hearing is scheduled for noon on Thursday, February 7 at the Clairton Municipal Building, 551 Ravensburg Blvd, Clairton, Pa 15025. The hearing is being held in Clairton at the request of state Senator Jim Brewster (D-Allegheny/Westmoreland) and Representative Austin Davis (D-Allegheny). It was prompted by a December 24 fire at the Clairton Coke Works that resulted in emissions of high levels of sulfur dioxide and damage to the facility’s gas processing system. “We need to see to it that air quality standards are properly monitored, and that local emergency response and community notification procedures are accurate and timely,” Brewster said. “To accomplish this goal, we must bring together officials from U.S. Steel, the Allegheny County Department of Health, local governments and emergency responders to find workable solutions. I am committed to doing my part at the state level to meet this challenge.” Davis added, “Improving the air quality in our communities is my top priority. I look forward to the testimony of all stakeholders. As we look to improve air quality it’s imperative that we look for effective ways to do so.” The hearing will be jointly chaired by state Sen. Lisa Boscola Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 1 – State Rep. Joseph Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, announced today that $1.3 million in state transportation grants have been approved for a variety of roadway and traffic projects in Armstrong and Westmoreland counties. Petrarca said the awards through the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Multimodal Transportation Fund will provide for paving in Parks Township and traffic signal replacement in Leechburg in Armstrong County. In Westmoreland County, Petrarca said $400,000 will be used for improvements along the Route 119 corridor (3 rd and 4 th streets), including a new roadway; installation of ADA-compliant sidewalks, ramps and signals; and $100,000 will help Latrobe replace sidewalks in three downtown railroad underpasses, install curb ramps and update lighting. “These grants come as welcome news to our communities,” said Petrarca. “Ensuring our residents’ safety whether walking or driving should always be a top priority, and these vital improvements will ensure our roadways are accessible to everyone.” The Multimodal Transportation Fund was created by Act 89 of 2013. Program eligibility and project selections were made based on safety benefits, regional economic conditions, technical and financial feasibility, job creation, energy efficiency, and operational sustainability. Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 1 – Three state grants totaling more than $1.9 million will fund multiple road, sidewalk and intersection improvements in Mercer County, state Rep. Mark Longietti announced today. The grants – provided through the Multimodal Transportation Fund – will fund projects in Hermitage, Sharon and South Pymatuning Township. “It’s great to see our taxpayer dollars returning to the district to fund these critical projects,” Longietti said. “Our county’s hardworking residents depend on safe, well-maintained roads and walkways for access to jobs, businesses, schools, health care and recreation. It’s their efforts that keep the economy thriving, so it’s only fitting that these funds are invested back into local projects that will create jobs and benefit the local economy.” Longietti said the grants will fund the following projects: Nearly $1.3 million to the city of Sharon. This grant will largely fund Phase 3 of the city’s Neighborhood Revitalization Project and will include repaving and improving multiple streets throughout the city, completing ADA-compliant cutouts and sidewalks, and making these streets more accessible for commerce in the city. $345,541 to the city of Hermitage. This grant will fund construction of additional sidewalks linking to existing walkways in the city’s commercial district. The additional walkways will connect the district and residential Read more
PENN HILLS, Feb. 1 --- Today, Sen. Jay Costa and Rep. Tony DeLuca announced $3 million in state funds for a roadway project in Penn Hills Township. The grant comes from the Multimodal Fund and will be used to repave and improve roadways throughout the township most in need of repair, complete ADA-compliant cut-outs and sidewalks, and make streets more accessible for bicycle traffic. “Livable, walkable communities are one of the reasons that folks move to our area and this grant will make huge improvements in accessibility for Penn Hills,” said Senator Costa. “I look forward to seeing this project through, and opening up our roadways for pedestrians and cyclists to commute safely.” "When one thinks of improving infrastructure, one tends to think of building a new road or fixing a bridge, but repaving roads and making them and sidewalks more pedestrian- and cyclist-friendly is all part of building better infrastructure, which is key in making one's community a safer place to live for everyone," DeLuca said. "This grant is welcome news." The Multimodal Transportation Fund provides grants to encourage economic development and ensure that a safe and reliable system of transportation is available to the residents of the commonwealth. Funds may be used for the development, rehabilitation and enhancement of transportation assets to existing communities, streetscape, lighting, sidewalk enhancement, pedestrian safety, Read more
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