PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 29 – State Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., today spoke at a news conference hosted by U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and the Gray Coalition, to urge Amtrak to rename its 30th Street Station as the William H. Gray III 30th Street Station. Bullock was joined by state Reps. W. Curtis Thomas and Jordan Harris, both D-Phila. “I say it’s time that we build upon the legacy that Congressman Gray has left behind,” Bullock said. “Yes, we talk about African American contributions to Philadelphia, our commonwealth, and even our country. But somehow, that’s all it is: just talk.” In 2014, Congress unanimously passed H.R. 4838 to rename 30th Street Station as the William H. Gray III 30 th Street Station. In August 2014, President Barack Obama signed H.R. 4838 into law. Since then, Amtrak has failed to rename the station after the late Congressman Gray. To urge Amtrak to change the name of the station immediately, Bullock co-sponsored H.R. 419 , which was unanimously adopted by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. “Congressman Gray built upon the legacy and sacrifice of those who came before him,” Bullock said. “His contributions to our nation matter. Congress thought so. President Obama thought so. Even Amtrak has said so. So what’s the holdup?” ### Read more
HARRISBURG, Sept. 29 – State Rep. Bill Kortz, D-Allegheny, is announcing two popular constituent events scheduled for mid-October: his 10 th annual Senior Fair and his fifth annual Shred-It Event. Kortz said the Senior Fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12 at Broughton VFD, 1030 Cochrans Mill Road, Pittsburgh (South Park). The Senior Fair features representatives from the state's departments of Aging and Human Services, as well as from local and county agencies and vendors who provide services to seniors. Attendees will be able to receive a free flu shot if they present their Medicare card, and blood pressure screenings will be available. The Shred-It Event will be held 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 14 at West Mifflin #3 VFC, 3722 Rodeo Drive, West Mifflin. Kortz reminds participants there is a two-box limit per vehicle and the Shred-It Event is for household items only, not for businesses. The shredding event enables local residents to dispose safely and securely of unneeded personal papers containing confidential information such as health or military records, Social Security numbers or financial information. “These two constituent service events always draw large crowds in the 38 th Legislative District, as seniors seek to avail themselves of information, programs and help available to them, and residents show up to safely dispose of confidential information like that printed on credit card and banking statements,” Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 29 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., today announced Puerto Rico is gradually reestablishing postal and money transfer services. “I’ve confirmed that postal office and money transfer services are gradually getting back to normal, and I want to provide constituents in Philly with the information so they can send goods, supplies and money directly to their families,” Cruz said. “We all know there’s been a logistics issue to distribute donations, and people are desperate to fulfill the particular needs of their families.” Please be aware of the following updates: The United States Postal Service continues to increase access to P.O. Box mail and package pickup services at its offices in Puerto Rico. There are currently no deliveries. Residents must pick up packages at the post office. Services are currently available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 49 of its 174 facilities on the island (last updated Sept. 28 at 6:30 p.m.). Retail, PO Box mail and package pickup services PO Box mail and package pickup services (no retail) Aguirre, 00704 Añasco, 00610 Arecibo, 00612 Bayamón, 00959 Boquerón, 00622 Cabo Rojo, 00623 Camuy, 00627 Carolina, 00983 Carolina Pueblo, 00985 Cataño, 00962 Cayey, 00736 Ciales, 00638 Cidra, 00739 Comerío, 00782 Cupey, 00926 Dorado, 00646 Guaynabo, 00969 Read more
Rep. Pam Snyder reports that the five public school districts in Greene County will share a $10,000 state grant to prepare students for careers through collaborative activities and a countywide career awareness day. Read more
FOLSOM, Sept. 28 – State Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky, D-Delaware, issued the following statement on today’s Pennsylvania Supreme Court opinion: “Today’s Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision was a victory for the children of our commonwealth. Congratulations to the plaintiffs, including William Penn School District, on winning an important battle in what has proven to be a long fight for equitable funding for our public schools. "The equality gap in public school funding is especially stark in Delaware County, as documented recently by National Geographic . Today, I'm thinking of students like Jameria Miller, a senior at Penn Wood High School, whose belief in herself and in what she and all students deserve is a call for elected officials to act. "I believe today's decision reinforced what legislative Democrats and Governor Tom Wolf have said every time: Under the GOP-controlled legislature, our commonwealth is failing to provide a ‘thorough and efficient’ education for young people. The Supreme Court, in allowing our students, parents and school districts to seek legal redress, makes clear that the law is on our side. “I urge my colleagues in the General Assembly to recognize that ongoing inequity in our schools is a dire threat to the future of the commonwealth – and deeply unfair to our blameless young people – and to work together and in good faith toward a fair, responsible budget Read more
HARRISBURG, Sept. 28 – State Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Allegheny, will hold his annual Senior Fair on Thursday, Oct. 5 from 10 a.m. to noon at 3 Lakes Golf Course, 6700 Saltsburg Road, Penn Hills. The event is free of charge. There will be numerous representatives from a wide range of state, federal and local agencies – and organizations on hand providing information about their programs and services. In addition, there will be free health screenings as well as free flu, pneumonia and whooping cough shots (but you must bring your Medicare card). Participants are also encouraged to bring unused, unwanted or expired prescriptions to the fair to have them properly disposed of through the Allegheny County Sheriff's Project DUMP (Disposal of Unused Medications Properly). A sheriff's deputy will be on site to collect the medications. There will also be free refreshments and door prizes. No pre-registration is required. Please be advised: To allow the vendors adequate time to set up their displays, the doors to the fair for participants absolutely will not open until 10 a.m. Lines of participants are frequently long in the parking lot hours before the event begins and there is no place to sit down. So, if you are physically disabled or using a walker you may want to wait to come to the fair until later in the morning. Read more
ALLENTOWN, Sept. 28 – State Rep. Mike Schlossberg, D-Lehigh, issued the following statement regarding today’s Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision about school funding: “I applaud today’s Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling. The majority opinion paid great deference to the General Assembly and balanced the need to respect the constitutional rights of our citizens and students. In reading the decision, it becomes quite clear to me that Pennsylvania’s method for funding education is broken. No further proof is needed than a look at the Allentown School District, which has lost nearly 20 percent of its teachers since 2010 as a direct result of funding cuts. It is clear to me that our current system of education funding doesn’t violate students’ rights to equal protection under the law and to receive a ‘thorough and efficient’ public education. “I hope this gets the state to change Pennsylvania’s method for funding public education. The quality of education students receive should not be determined by their ZIP code. Pennsylvania has the biggest gap in the country between the richest and the poorest school districts, ranks 47th in state support for public education and places too much of the funding burden on homeowners in low-income communities like Allentown. This directly results in enormous property tax bills for Allentown residents, businesses and property owners. While we have made great strides in Read more
UPPER DARBY, Sept. 28 – State Rep. Margo Davidson, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey and U.S. Rep. Bob Brady will host an Immigration Forum to help untangle increasingly complicated immigration policy. On Thursday, Oct. 19 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Philadelphia Sikh Society, 6777 Market St., Millbourne, the Immigration Forum will address topics that include: DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program The road and rights to citizenship Green card: What it means to be a temporary resident vs. a permanent resident Visas and appropriate identification Medical coverage for undocumented residents Newly naturalized citizens Many agencies and organizations that have programs for the immigrant community will be on hand to provide help and information, including on local, state and national resources. “Our communities are better and more diverse because of the immigrants who live and work here,” said Davidson, D-Delaware. “Immigration can be a difficult, years-long process, and this event is a great place to help people navigate the system and understand the policies that affect them.” For more information and to register, call Davidson’s office at 610-259-7016 or email email@example.com . Read more
HARRISBURG, Sept. 27 – Several members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus have responded to Facebook comments made by former Cecil Township Volunteer Fire Department No. 2 Chief Paul Smith. Chairman Jordan Harris, D-Phila., released a joint statement with state Rep. Jason Ortitay, R-Washington/Allegheny, earlier today calling Smith’s behavior out of step with the values of average Pennsylvanians. Harris said, “Unlike athletes, celebrities, or even other citizens, he is a public servant who has held the trust of the general public in the capacity in which he serves them. That capacity came under question, due to his behavior, and he did the right thing by resigning.” State Reps. W. Curtis Thomas, James Roebuck, Isabella Fitzgerald and Stephen Kinsey, all D-Phila., also commented on Smith’s actions. Roebuck said, “His comments were inappropriate and brought into question his ability to do the job he was delegated to perform.” Thomas said, “The actions of Fire Chief Smith were way out of line. I am glad that he has removed himself from a public institution. Now is the time for us to stand together, not apart from one another.” Fitzgerald said, “Hate speech is unacceptable anywhere especially when one has the duty of protecting all citizens.” Kinsey said, “Mr. Smith’s comments are unacceptable and should never be tolerated. This is yet another unfortunate reminder that although Read more
FILADELFIA, Sept. 27 – El Representante Estatal Emilio Vázquez, D-Fila., convertirá sus oficinas en centros de acopio de suministros para ayudar a Puerto Rico tras del azote del Huracán María. “Nuestros corazones y oraciones están con nuestras familias y amigos en Puerto Rico”, dijo Vázquez. “No estamos allí fisicamente, pero también sufrimos la destrucción que dejó María a su paso. Sabemos que casi la isla entera continúa a oscuras, sin agua y sin comunicación”. “El hecho de que muchos puertorriqueños – incluyéndome – no han podido escuchar las voces de sus seres queridos empeora la situación. Por eso, me uní a varias organizaciones sin fines de lucro para recoger suministros y ayudar a Puerto Rico en el proceso de recuperación. Va a tomar tiempo, pero Puerto Rico volverá a brillar, y mucho más de lo que brillaba antes”. Los artículos deben ser llevados de lunes a viernes de 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. a 511 W. Courtland St. o los lunes, miércoles y jueves de 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. a 1421 W. Susquehanna Ave. Vázquez también está reclutando voluntarios para ayudar a organizar los artículos. Para más información, debe contactar su oficina de distrito al (215) 457-5281. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 27 – State Rep. Emilio Vázquez, D-Phila., will turn his offices into collecting sites for supplies to aid Puerto Rico after the devastation of Hurricane Maria. “Our hearts and prayers are with our families in Puerto Rico,” he said. “We may not be there physically, but we are certainly suffering the destruction that Hurricane Maria left behind. Nearly the entire island has no power, water or any type of communication.” “Also, the fact that a lot of Puerto Ricans – including me – haven’t been able to hear the voice of their loved ones makes the situation even worse. That’s why I partnered with local nonprofit organizations to collect supplies and help Puerto Rico in the process of recovery. It may take a while, but Puerto Rico will shine brighter than it did before.” Items can be dropped off from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday at 511 W. Courtland St. or from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 1421 W. Susquehanna Ave. Vázquez also is calling for volunteers to help organize items. For more information, contact his constituent service office at (215) 457-5281. Read more
HARRISBURG, Sept. 27 – State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., and Rep. Tom Murt, R-Montgomery/Phila., have introduced legislation ( H.B. 1809 ) that would prohibit the use of electroconvulsive therapy on children across Pennsylvania. “The use of electroshock therapy on children is outright cruel and unacceptable,” Kinsey said. “The side effects of ECT can be debilitating even for adults. Children should not be forced to undergo a treatment that can have a lasting impact on their physical and mental wellbeing.” “While ECT remains a controversial treatment for adults, it’s deplorable when done on children who have no say on whether to agree to this brutal treatment,” Murt said. “Yet, kids are still being shocked today. This treatment can cause brain damage. To me, it’s a form of child abuse.” ECT, also known as electroshock therapy, is used to treat a number of mental illnesses. It sends up to 450 volts of electricity through an individual’s brain, inducing a grand mal seizure. The Food & Drug Administration reports that these seizures can cause complications, including heart attacks, difficulty breathing, confusion, permanent memory loss, brain damage and even death. “Many side effects of ECT can be dangerous for children who are still growing and developing into adults,” Kinsey added. The nationwide statistics for ECT are alarming, with an estimated 100,000 Americans Read more
Rep. Adam Ravenstahl won unanimous approval from the House Professional Licensure Committee for his House Bill 1737, which would enable chiropractic educational programs to expand in Pennsylvania . Read more
EBENSBURG, Sept. 27 – State Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, is announcing the co-recipients of the 2017 Charlie Vizzini Volunteerism Award – Tiffany A. Jones and Conner C. Hagins, both of Johnstown. Those 72 nd Legislative District residents will be honored at the 2 nd Annual Charlie Vizzini Award banquet, scheduled for 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19, at the Noon-Collins Inn, 114 E. High St., Ebensburg. The award is named after Charlie Vizzini, who amassed more than 8,000 hours by volunteering in Burns’ legislative office – fielding more than 1,000 constituent service matters and saving taxpayers an estimated $80,000. “Through this award, we’re trying to recognize someone in the district who has volunteered to make the community a better place,” Burns said. “In reviewing this year’s nominations, there is no question that Tiffany and Conner fit that bill. They are fine examples of being unselfish and contributing to the well-being of others.” According to her nomination essay, Jones has been especially active in St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, where as a member of its Youth Group she’s volunteered to help people with yard work, painting, odd jobs and other home-related projects they cannot physically perform or afford. Jones has traveled to a remote part of Peru to deliver toiletries and other items to a village where they conducted a Bible School for youngsters. Her other volunteer Read more
HARRISBURG, Sept. 27 – State Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, and state Rep. Jason Ortitay, R-Washington/Allegheny, released the following statement in response to a written comment by Cecil Township Volunteer Fire Department No. 2 then-Chief Paul Smith: “There is no place in society for racism and hate, and the language used by Mr. Smith should be eliminated from everyone’s vocabulary,” Ortitay said. “That is a derogatory and hurtful term and should never be used. I strongly condemn this type of language. It is my understanding that Mr. Smith resigned Tuesday afternoon. “Those in positions of authority and leaders in the community need to be careful about the language they use. Words matter. Others, especially children, take note of the language used by those in positions of influence and the attitudes promoted by such language. We need to set a better example of respect and compassion for each other.” "Chief Smith's behavior was out of step with the values of the average Pennsylvanian," Harris said. "Unlike athletes, celebrities, or even other citizens, he is a public servant who has held the trust of the general public in the capacity in which he serves them. That capacity came under question, due to his behavior, and he did the right thing by resigning. “He could no longer be trusted to serve the general public in his current capacity as the very Read more
EBENSBURG, Sept. 25 – State Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, will partner with Seniors for Safe Driving to offer a state Transportation Department-approved class at the Portage Senior Center that could earn participants a 5 percent automobile insurance discount for three years. Burns said the discount, mandated by state law, is one benefit of the $16 class scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 27, the other being that it sharpens awareness for older drivers. “My office has offered these classes in the past and we’ve had a great reception,” Burns said. “Any time we can do something to save seniors some money, while helping them learn to stay safer behind the wheel, we’ll do it.” The Portage Senior Center is located at 505 Farren St. in Portage. This will be classroom instruction only; no on-the-road driving or classroom testing will occur. Burns said the course is specifically geared toward mature drivers – those 55 or older – and allows them to refresh driving techniques, regain lost confidence and develop a positive driving attitude. Anyone desiring to register or obtain more information is asked to contact Burns’ Portage office at (814) 736-7339. More information on the program can also be found at www.SeniorsForSafeDriving.com or by calling 800-559-4880. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 26 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., welcomed over 6,000 attendees to his annual Puerto Rican Coquí Festival, this year to promote relief efforts for Puerto Rico after the devastation caused by hurricanes Irma and María. “I’m thrilled by the amazing turnout we had this year. Particularly, because we want to raise awareness on Puerto Rico’s current situation and funds to help rebuild the island,” Cruz said. “María was the strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in almost 100 years. Thousands lost everything. Millions remain without power, water, food and medical supplies. It is our responsibility to stand with our families and friends along the way.” Cruz said he wanted to thank Aspira, Penalta Food Market, Classic Pizza, Cousins Food Market, Impact Services, Hungarian Club, S & F Meat Corp., Mayor Jim Kenney, Gov. Tom Wolf, community partners and volunteers. Cruz is encouraging people to donate at www.concilio.net/donate and to find out more information on how to help visiting www.unitedforpuertorico.com . Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 26 – State Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., will speak at a news conference hosted by U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and representatives from the Gray Coalition at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 29 at Amtrak’s 30th Street Station in Philadelphia. Bullock will urge Amtrak to rename 30th Street Station as the “William H. Gray III 30th Street Station.” Bullock is a co-sponsor of H.R. 419 , which urges Congress to direct Amtrak to comply with H.R. 4838 of 2014 and immediately rename the 30th Street Station as the "William H. Gray III 30th Street Station." Also scheduled to attend are state Reps. W. Curtis Thomas and Jordan Harris, both D-Phila. Media coverage is invited . ### Read more
HARRISBURG, Sept. 26 – State Rep. Perry Warren, D-Bucks, recognized the Morrisville Little League 12-and-under softball team in the state House of Representatives on Tuesday for the team’s state championship win. Morrisville clinched the state title July 16 in a 15-0 win over Clearfield. The Morrisville team, led by coach Joe Sesar, previously won the District 21 and Section 8 titles and went on to make it to the final four of the Eastern Regional Tournament. Warren and Rep. John Galloway, D-Bucks, congratulated the team on the floor of the House on Tuesday. “Our community is very proud of these talented athletes, and I’m grateful to their coaches and families for supporting them throughout their outstanding season,” Warren said. “It’s a pleasure to be able to congratulate them on a job well done.” Read more
HARRISBURG, Sept. 26 – Kicking off “Diaper Need Awareness Week” in Pennsylvania, and continuing to promote a plan for Pennsylvania that puts people first, state Reps. Rosita C. Youngblood, D-Phila., and Carol Hill-Evans, D-York, along with state Sen. John Blake, D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe, announced today their efforts to advocate and raise awareness about the growing “diaper gap” among many families living in communities across the state. Earlier in the day, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives unanimously adopted a resolution introduced by Hill-Evans and Youngblood ( H.R. 506 ) dedicating the week of Sept. 25 through Oct. 1 as “Diaper Need Awareness Week” in the Commonwealth. Youngblood said the basic, yet essential, necessity of having a reliable stream of clean diapers for babies, and incontinence products for adults, is often overlooked by many lawmakers and government officials. “We need to focus on a clear plan for Pennsylvania – one that puts people first and establishes a new way forward for our state,” Youngblood said. “Access to a reliable supply of clean diapers is a necessity for the health and well-being of Pennsylvania's children and incontinent adults, but, unfortunately, across our commonwealth, and across this country, there is a growing epidemic as many working families and seniors on fixed incomes are simply unable to afford disposable diapers and undergarments. The long-term Read more
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