HARRISBURG, June 7 – At a Capitol news conference today, state Rep. Steve McCarter, D-Montgomery, and House Democratic Policy Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, called attention to legislation that would amend the Public School Code to change the way cyber charter schools are funded. Their bill — H.B. 1206 — seeks to cap the amount of funding unaffiliated cyber charter schools receive for students who live in an area in which the school district or an intermediate unit operates its own cyber charter school. Under their proposal, unaffiliated cyber charter schools would receive either the per-student funding amount of the school district cyber school program or the intermediate unit cyber school program, whichever figure is higher. “The actual cost of cyber charter education has dropped dramatically in the 20 years since Pennsylvania’s charter school legislation was passed, whereas our reimbursement formula for cyber charters, which is still based on the cost of a brick-and-mortar education, has not, and the Pennsylvania taxpayer has shouldered the burden,” McCarter said. Sturla added: “I want all Pennsylvania kids to have access to exceptional educational opportunities and to do that, we need to have fair, reasonable and accountable reimbursement practices in place. The proposal by Representative McCarter and myself is a fair and reasonable approach that makes sure cyber charters aren’t receiving more than what it Read more
HARRISBURG, June 7 – The state House of Representatives today passed a bill (H.B. 119) that includes an amendment by Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., which would ensure that all drug and alcohol recovery houses in Pennsylvania comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Dawkins’ amendment would prohibit drug and alcohol recovery houses throughout Pennsylvania from discriminating against people with a physical or mental disability, including substance abuse disorders. "I am happy to see that the Pennsylvania House of Representatives is finally taking the issue of drug recovery seriously," Dawkins said. "I would like to thank Representative Kaufer for bringing the bill forward and for the opportunity to bring all of the new recovery houses in the Commonwealth in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990." To receive taxpayer funding and be deemed compliant, drug and alcohol recovery houses would have to meet the new standards set forth within the bill by the amendment. "Drug and alcohol recovery houses shelter and treat our most vulnerable residents," Dawkins said. "We have to make sure that they meet the same standards of accessibility as other medical facilities throughout the Commonwealth. This amendment would help to ensure that." The bill now goes to the state Senate. Read more
ALLENTOWN, June 7 – Area veterans are invited to take part in a support program next week at the office of state Rep. Peter Schweyer. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, June 7 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., released the following statement regarding the double homicide shooting that took place near the 1000 block of Sydney Street in East Mount Airy, located in the 200 th Legislative District: “I am profoundly saddened to learn of the double homicide of two young lives that took place near the 1000 block of East Sydney Street in East Mount Airy. I was also deeply disturbed to learn of the home invasion and murder, also in Northwest Philadelphia. I am extending my deepest condolences to the victims and their families during this very difficult time. However, our thoughts and prayers are not enough. “Our communities are awash in trauma from lethal weapons and we must fix that. We can’t let this become normal. The issue is not about eliminating guns. This is about owning up to the simple fact that too many people are dying, being shot or traumatized by senseless violence. This is about demanding sensible, evidence-based solutions to this crisis. “There are desperate and traumatized people who need genuine help, not more ammunition. I am partnering with Northwest Victim Services to assist in providing some coping tools to get through the trauma. I’m also facilitating conversations with the community and our police districts to equip everyone with tools to be vigilant about safety. We must attack this problem together and never let this become normal.” Read more
HARRISBURG, June 7 – State Rep. Mike Hanna, D-Clinton/Centre, today announced that Clinton County’s William T. Piper Memorial Airport was awarded $250,000 in state funds through the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Aviation Transportation Assistance Program. Hanna said that with the assistance of $10 million in state investments, a total of nine airports throughout the state will use this funding to perform safety upgrades and expand operation opportunities. “Airports stimulate economic activity in communities by providing well-paying jobs within industries such as aviation and hospitality,” Hanna said. “These funds will ensure continued growth and development of the commonwealth’s airport system.” According to PennDOT’s Bureau of Aviation, the Aviation Transportation Assistance Program is a Capital Budget grant program funded with bonds. The program complements the state’s Multimodal Fund, which will dedicate $6 million to aviation in this fiscal year alone. The fund was created by Act 89, a far-reaching transportation funding program that clears the way for significant investments in all transportation modes. According to Lock Haven City Manager Richard Marcinkevage, this funding will be used to make improvements to the two main hangers on site by providing for roof and door replacement and to repair the heating and ventilation system within the office space in hanger 1. Read more
EBENSBURG, June 7 – As part of a multi-pronged effort to combat opioid abuse, state Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, has introduced H.B. 1501 , which would require those who experience a drug overdose event to seek addiction treatment within 30 days. In Burn’s vision, funding for that treatment would come from pharmaceutical companies that have promoted the opioid crisis, as he earlier this year wrote letters to Gov. Tom Wolf and Attorney General Josh Shapiro urging a state lawsuit against “Big Pharma” for fostering the problem while lining its own pockets via prescription drugs. “On the one hand, we need to have accountability and responsibility on the part of those who overdose. They should either accept treatment or go to jail, because repeatedly reviving them with naxalone without solving their underlying problem is insane,” Burns said. “On the other hand, taxpayers who had nothing to do with causing this epidemic shouldn’t be asked to foot the bill for treatment. Payment should come from those who profited by promoting the problem.” Burns’ bill is companion legislation to a similar proposal in the state Senate, S.B. 654 , which seeks to toughen existing state law relating to drug overdose response immunity. “While I support the good intention of Act 139, the Drug Overdose Good Samaritan Law, we have learned from first responders that they have been repeatedly called to the same location for the Read more
HARRISBURG, June 6 – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted today to pass bipartisan legislation introduced by Reps. Neal P. Goodman and Keith Gillespie that would expand Pennsylvania’s mentored hunting program to people ages 12 to 17. Read more
HARRISBURG, June 6 – State Rep. Perry Warren, D-Bucks, Pennsylvania Physician General Rachel Levine and members of the National Eating Disorders Association spotlighted Warren’s bill to bring awareness to eating disorders during a Capitol news conference today. House Bill 531, which has received bipartisan support, would require schools to annually provide information regarding eating disorders to parents with children in grades 5 through 12. Its companion in the Senate, S.B. 730, was introduced by state Sen. Chuck McIlhinney, R-Bucks, and also has bipartisan support. Additionally, both bills would create guidelines for local school boards to pursue the optional development of an eating-disorder screening program, specify training requirements for personnel and volunteers, and provide the framework for parental notification procedures in the event of a positive indication of an eating disorder. “People, especially children, who struggle with eating disorders, need to seek, or be provided with, professional help,” Warren said. “The earlier a person with an eating disorder seeks treatment, the greater the likelihood of physical and emotional recovery.” “Eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder are serious conditions that can lead to significant, even life threatening, medical complications,” Levine said. “Treatment involves a multi-disciplinary team, and the Read more
CONSHOHOCKEN, June 6 – In an effort to better serve constituent needs, state Rep. Mary Jo Daley will hold monthly office hours at the Ambler branch of the Wissahickon Valley Public Library on the second Monday of each month. Beginning June 12, a member of her staff will be available from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. there. The library is located in Ambler Borough at 209 Race St. Daley said that anyone who seeks help with a state-related matter should visit during those hours and come prepared with any paperwork relevant to the matter at hand. Daley’s office can help with handicap placards, many PennDOT services, senior programs – including property tax/rent rebates and Medicare prescription coverage – as well as unemployment compensation claims, birth and death certificates and more. To plan ahead for a visit or for more information, those interested can contact her district office at 610-832-1679. Read more
HARRISBURG, June 6 – Lehigh Valley International Airport today was approved for more than $6 million in state aviation grants, according to state Rep. Dan McNeill. Read more
Rep. Ryan Bizzarro's H.R. 368 designates the first week of June as “Parental Alienation and Hostile Aggressive Parenting Awareness Week” in Pennsylvania and addresses the harms caused when children are used as weapons or pawns during marriage, divorce and custody disputes Read more
HARRISBURG, June 6 – In an effort to ensure a quality higher education system for students and for Pennsylvania’s future workforce needs, state Rep. Mike Hanna, D-Clinton/Centre, today joined other state lawmakers to push for a comprehensive study of every public college and university in the state. Hanna was joined at a Capitol news conference by state Reps. James Roebuck, D-Phila., Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, Scott Conklin, D-Centre, and others to discuss and promote a long-term sustainability and viability study of Pennsylvania’s public institutions of higher education. The lawmakers discussed House Resolution 331 , which would direct the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to conduct the feasibility study and analyze all 14 universities of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, the state’s 14 community colleges, the Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, the Rural Regional College of Northern Pennsylvania, the Allegheny College of Maryland and four state-related universities. Hanna said that there are many proposals suggesting studies of one institution over another. However, in order to provide an accurate and thorough analysis of the future of public higher education in this state, he said it is important for the LBFC to analyze not just PASSHE, but all of the state’s public institutions of higher education. “All Pennsylvania residents benefit from the skills and education gained Read more
Rep. Pam Snyder, recalling how his death in Vietnam shook the community, wins House approval of her measure that would name a Greene County bridge as the Private First Class Brent A. McClellan Memorial Bridge. Read more
HARRISBURG, June 5 – State Rep. Mike Hanna, D-Clinton/Centre, said the House of Representatives today unanimously passed legislation designating the bridge at the junction of State Route 150 and State Route 64 over Fishing Creek in Mill Hall Borough, Clinton County, as the U.S. Navy SOC David M. Collins Veterans Memorial Bridge. Hanna’s legislation, H.B. 1270 , honors the life and legacy of Chief Petty Officer David Michael Collins. David was born and raised in Lock Haven. In 1988, David enlisted in the United States Navy where he served in the first Gulf War, the Iraq War and Operation Enduring Freedom. After 25 years of service, David retired in September 2012 as a chief petty officer. On March 12, 2014, at age 45, David passed away in Virginia Beach, Va. “Residents of Bald Eagle Township and Mill Hall Borough wished to honor Chief Petty Officer David Michael Collins’ life,” Hanna said. “So it’s only fitting that we remember this hero with a lasting tribute. I am happy to be able to contribute in this way.” According to Hanna, if signed into law, the state Transportation Department will be required to erect and maintain appropriate signs indicating the designation to traffic. House Bill 1270 now goes to the Senate for consideration. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, June 5 – Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law the bill that would help put Pennsylvania in line with federal Real ID rules and ensure that state residents don’t face difficulty using their IDs for air travel or visits to federal facilities, said state Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila. “Pennsylvania, and more specifically Philadelphia has experienced significant changes in its ethnic and racial composition over the last two decades. That’s why this law is especially important for us. Thousands of Latinos, Asians and residents of other races often visit their families back in their home countries. This will allow them to continue to do so, obtaining a compliant Real ID,” said Cruz. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will provide Pennsylvanians the option of choosing a standard driver’s license or photo ID card, or IDs that are Real ID-compliant. Before those changes can take effect, the federal Department of Homeland Security is expected to issue extensions that would allow Pennsylvanians to continue using their standard driver's license to fly and access federal buildings until 2020. The federal Real ID Act of 2005 was established by Congress and signed by President George W. Bush on recommendation by the 9/11 Commission after the Sept. 11 attacks. That law requires driver's licenses and ID cards to have security enhancements and to be issued to people to prove they are legally in the United States. Pennsylvania Read more
HARRISBURG, June 5 – State legislators and leaders in the fight against hunger spoke at a Capitol news conference today about bipartisan legislation that would stop "lunch shaming" in Pennsylvania schools. The term includes a wide variety of practices by a school to embarrass a child whose family is behind on their lunch payments, such as: ordering cafeteria workers to throw away the hot lunches of children who owe money – "yes, this actually happens!" said state Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., the lead sponsor of the House bill to ban lunch shaming ( H.B. 1403 ); making the children work to pay off the debt; and publicly stigmatizing a student who cannot pay for a meal or who owes a meal debt by, for example, requiring that the child wear a wristband or hand stamp. "These things often result in children being humiliated and embarrassed in front of their peers. These things often result in tears. Of course we all want parents to stay current on their children's lunch accounts, but publicly shaming the child to collect that debt is shocking and completely unacceptable. And we need to help parents to apply if their kids qualify for free or reduced-price lunches," Bullock said. "Lunch shaming is counterproductive. It is cruel. And it only hurts a child's ability to learn. Under my bill, based on a recently enacted New Mexico law, these practices would be banned and schools would be required to direct Read more
HARRISBURG, June 5 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, chairman of the House Democratic Policy Committee, said the committee held a public hearing in the state Capitol today to discuss the potential agency unification of the Pennsylvania departments of Human Services, Health, Aging and Drug and Alcohol Programs. “I am glad the committee was able to hear from Secretary Designee Miller about the potential implications of the unification. It’s important that we continue to have these discussions to make the transition as seamless as possible on Pennsylvania families who rely on services from any division of the new agency,” said Sturla, D-Lancaster. Gov. Tom Wolf has proposed the creation of a new agency, the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Human Services. The committee heard testimony from Secretary Designee Teresa Miller on how the unification will impact operations and Pennsylvania residents. Miller was joined by Eric Hagarty, deputy chief of staff, Governor’s Office; Meg Snead, deputy secretary of policy, Governor’s Office; and Jen Swails, special advisor to the secretary, Office of the Budget. More information about the proposed agency unification is available at www.governor.pa.gov/health-and-human-services . Read more
HARRISBURG, June 2 – State Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., will hold a news conference Monday with legislative colleagues and leaders on fighting hunger about bipartisan legislation to stop "lunch shaming" in Pennsylvania schools. Lunch shaming can include a wide variety of practices by a school to embarrass a child whose family is behind on their lunch payments. The news conference will be held at 1:30 p.m. Monday in the Capitol Media Center. Live video of the event is also expected to be available on www.pahouse.com . Bullock, the lead sponsor of the House bill to stop lunch shaming in Pennsylvania, is scheduled to be joined by the following speakers: Stacy Koltiska, who made national news last fall when she resigned as a cafeteria worker due to a lunch shaming policy at the Canon-McMillan School District in Washington County Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa, D-Allegheny, lead sponsor of the Senate bill to stop lunch shaming in Pennsylvania Rep. Dan Miller, D-Allegheny Rep. Perry Warren, D-Bucks Jane Clements-Smith, executive director, Feeding Pennsylvania Glenn Bergman, executive director, Philabundance Media coverage is invited. ### Read more
PHILADELPHIA, June 5 – State Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald, D-Phila., has introduced legislation that would require school districts across the commonwealth to implement full-day kindergarten. A similar bill was introduced in the last legislative session. The bill would require each school district to establish and maintain a full-day kindergarten program for children between the ages of three and five by the start of the 2018-19 school year. It would also call for the creation of a Full-Day Kindergarten Implementation Advisory Committee. The committee would be responsible for developing and implementing a state plan for full-day kindergarten, advising each school district on how to best implement a full-day kindergarten program, and providing technical assistance and other resources to school districts. “Educating and preparing Pennsylvania students for the world is not a part-time job and it should not be treated as one,” Fitzgerald said. “It is vital that we provide our students with a quality education as early as possible. Only offering half-day kindergarten programs is a disservice to students and robs them of the opportunity to successfully compete with their peers from other states and around the globe.” The state plan prepared by the Full-Kindergarten Implementation Advisory Committee would be required to include a description of the full-day kindergarten program that would be developed, a statement of the program’s goals, a Read more
Rep. Pam Snyder emphasizes her continued support for extending the Mon-Fayette Expressway 14 miles to the Interstate 376 – Parkway East – in Monroeville. “Extending the expressway to Monroeville has been and remains the priority with me,” Snyder said. “Its completion is vital to Fayette County, eastern Greene County and the entire Mon Valley.” Read more
Contact form was unable to load. If the problem continues, please contact the webmaster.
Please use the form below to sign up for email updates. By completing this form your are acknowledging your request to receive periodic email updates.
Find your representative by address, district, or member's name. Click a button below to start your search.