Two projects in Pittsburgh’s Lower Hill District have been chosen to receive more than $2 million in state funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 1 – On Thursday, state Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Allegheny, sent a letter to state Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera, asking the Department of Education to deny Penn Hills School District’s request to increase property taxes beyond the established state index. DeLuca voiced opposition to the district’s request to raise property taxes above the Act 1 index to cover its administrative shortcomings and misspending, which ultimately saddled the district with $172 million in debt and placed it in state-mandated financial recovery status. DeLuca noted that in order to raise property taxes above the state index, the state Department of Education must approve the school district’s waiver application. DeLuca strongly advised the department against giving such approval. “I am asking you to deny this request and require the school district to reduce the tax-rate increase to no more than the index, or require it to submit a referendum question for voter approval in the next election,” DeLuca said. “The Act 1 index was deliberately put in statute to limit excessive tax increases, and it should be allowed to serve its purpose as designed.” DeLuca’s letter to the Department of Education can be found here . Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 1 – State Rep. Leanne Krueger, D-Delaware, this week announced that she has been appointed to additional responsibilities in the state House while continuing to serve on the Appropriations, Environmental Resources and Energy and Labor and Industry committees. Krueger’s new responsibilities include being appointed the Democratic chair for the subcommittee on Government and Financial Oversight for the House Appropriations Committee and regional vice chair for Delaware County within the House Democratic Southeast Delegation. “With the new session comes new responsibilities and I am honored that my colleagues have entrusted me with these expanded committee and delegation leadership roles,” Krueger said. “That includes making sure taxpayer dollars are being used responsibly and as intended as the Democratic chair for the subcommittee on Government and Financial Oversight.” The Southeast Delegation, the largest in the PA House, is one of the most powerful delegations. With 35 members, 14 of whom are freshman, the delegation is also one of the fastest-growing. Members in the delegation represent eight counties: Berks, Bucks, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Montgomery and York. “My appointment as regional vice chair for Delaware County is a tremendous opportunity to give Delco a strong voice in the House’s largest delegation,” Krueger said. “I look forward to continuing to work with my Read more
DARBY, Jan. 31 – In her continuing effort to give residents in her district a second chance, state Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, recently partnered with state Sen. Anthony Williams to hold an expungement clinic. “There are countless people who run into unnecessary roadblocks because of a minor criminal offense and they can’t get a job or buy a home,” McClinton said. “This expungement clinic provided them with the means to gain a fighting chance at a brighter future.” More than 45 people received assistance at the Academy Park High School to have their criminal records expunged. Free legal services also were offered at the event. “I would like to thank Academy Park High School for hosting our clinic and thanks to Senator Williams, Legal Aid of Southeastern PA and the Chester Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. for partnering with me to make it a success,” McClinton said. Local residents who believe they may be eligible for an expungement or would like to apply for a pardon, but were unable to attend the event, are encouraged to contact McClinton’s office at 215-748-6712 for information. Read more
RIDLEY PARK, Jan. 31 — State Rep. Dave Delloso announced that from Feb. 1 through May 31 the Commonwealth Financing Authority is accepting applications for the programs it administers . CFA board approval of applications is anticipated at its September 2019 meeting. “These state grants help improve quality of life for all by funding improvements throughout the district,” Delloso said. “My staff and I are happy to help entities such as municipalities, communities, businesses and organizations apply for a share of the funding.” CFA is accepting applications for the following programs: Abandoned Mine Drainage Abatement and Treatment Program - Grants are used for abatement of AMD and/or treatment of AMD through treatment facility system construction. Grants may also be awarded for treatment system repair, upgrade or operation and maintenance of existing passive and active treatment systems. Baseline Water Quality Data Program - Grants are used to fund statewide initiatives to establish baseline water quality data on private water supplies. Flood Mitigation Program - Grants are used to fund statewide initiatives to assist with flood mitigation projects. Greenways, Trails, and Recreation Program - Grants are used for planning, acquisition, development, rehabilitation and repair of greenways, recreational trails, open space, parks and beautification projects. Orphan and Abandoned Well Plugging - Read more
EBENSBURG, Jan. 31 – In furtherance of his multi-year effort to maximize local participation in grant opportunities, state Rep. Frank Burns is touting the availability of funds to help with parks, recreation and conservation projects. Burns, D-Cambria, said the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is accepting grant applications through April 10 for its Community Conservation Partnership Program. “These grants can fund planning, acquisition and development of public parks; recreation areas; motorized and non-motorized trails; river conservation and access; and conservation of open spaces,” Burns said. “I urge interested municipalities and their agencies, nonprofit organizations, state heritage areas, prequalified land trusts and for-profit enterprises that might qualify to make application.” Burns said the projects require a 50-percent local match and more information is available at https://www.dcnr.pa.gov/Communities/Grants . In a service Burns provides free of charge, any 72 nd Legislative District entity seeking help with preparing a grant application can contact his Portage office at (814) 736-7339 and ask for Brittany Blackham, who serves as in-house grant writer/assistant. Read more
Rep. Hill-Evans announces new and continuing committee assignments HARRISBURG, Jan. 30 – State Rep. Carol Hill-Evans will remain busy and dedicated to service with the announcement of her House of Representative committee assignments for this current term. Hill-Evans, representing the 95 th Legislative District in York County, is continuing her work with the Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee. “I’m most proud of our work on the Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee because it’s bipartisan, and we work well together to produce a lot of helpful legislation,” Hill-Evans said. She’s also returning to two others – the Education Committee and the Local Government Committee – as well as joining the Ethics Committee and the Tourism and Recreational Development Committee. In addition, Hill-Evans is excited for her post as secretary of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus. “I’m ready and excited for the new assignments. As a representative for all residents of the 95 th District regardless of ideology, I remain committed to actively listening to my constituents, voting for legislation that will best assist our Plan4PA, and voting with all concerns in mind,” Hill-Evans said. Hill-Evans was sworn in Jan. 1 to begin her second term serving her community. Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 31 – On Monday, the sixteen members of the Allegheny County House Democratic Delegation were assigned to their respective House committees, announced state Rep. Dan Miller, chairman of the Allegheny County House Democratic Delegation. In addition to state Rep. Frank Dermody serving as House Democratic Leader, seven ACHDD members hold chairman positions. They are: State Rep. Dan Deasy , Liquor Control Committee. State Rep. Tony DeLuca , Insurance Committee. State Rep. Dan Frankel , Health Committee. State Rep. Bill Kortz , Game and Fisheries Committee; vice chairman of Professional Licensure. State Rep. Rob Matzie , Consumer Affairs Committee. State Rep. Harry Readshaw , Professional Licensure Committee. State Rep. Jake Wheatley , Finance Committee. The other ACHDD members’ House committee appointments are: State Rep. Austin Davis , Appropriations, Consumer Affairs, Insurance and Urban Affairs committees. State Rep. Ed Gainey , vice chairman of Appropriations Committee; member of Transportation, Health and Education committees. State Rep. Sara Innamorato , Health, Transportation and Urban Affairs committees. State Rep. Anita Kulik , Gaming Oversight, Liquor Control, Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness, and Game and Fisheries committees. State Rep. Summer Lee , Judiciary, Local Government, and Children and Youth committees. State Rep. Brandon Markosek , Professional Licensure, Commerce and Gaming Read more
The plan, Restore Pennsylvania, was introduced by Gov. Tom Wolf at a press conference Thursday in Harrisburg. Read more
YORK, Jan. 31 – State Rep. Carol Hill-Evans, D-York, today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing highlighting the importance of apprenticeship programs, partnerships with career technical education and workforce development. Hill-Evans was joined by state legislators from across the state, including Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. “As legislators, it’s important that we work together with our educators to help get the word out about our children’s future opportunities,” Hill-Evans explained. “It takes people with all different backgrounds and talents to make our community work successfully. Today’s hearing helped us all understand that there are many programs and educational opportunities, other than the college track, where students can have successful careers.” Sturla added, “It’s important that students know lucrative, family-sustaining careers come from the trades. Apprenticeship and technical education programs provide fantastic opportunities that prepare today’s kids for tomorrow’s jobs and without a drastic financial burden. Thanks to Representative Hill-Evans for making working to make sure we spread that news.” The committee heard testimony from Eric Ramsay, director of the Apprenticeship and Training Office, Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry; Kevin Schreiber, president/CEO, York County Economic Alliance; John Lloyd, Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 31 – State Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, today unveiled legislation designed to protect consumers, notably those who live in multi-unit housing complexes, from unexpected water shutoffs. “When a single water meter is shared between all units of a building or complex, it can create a nightmare for residents,” Davis said. “There have been several instances in Pennsylvania where residents lost water usage because a homeowners association misappropriated the funds collected and the water utility suspended their service. No one should have to wonder if their water service will be cut off because of someone else’s irresponsible actions.” One of Davis' bills would require homeowners associations that collect money from individual units and then pay water bills on their behalf to be regulated by the state Public Utility Commission. A separate bill would require that if an individual unit of a multi-unit dwelling were to be sold, each occupied unit must have a separate water meter. Davis said every Pennsylvanian has a right to clean, drinkable water. “Pennsylvanians deserve a fair deal, no matter where they choose to live, and they should not have to worry about a surprise shutoff,” Davis said. “My legislation will ensure their rights – and access to water – are protected.” House Bills 291 and 293 are expected to be referred to the House Consumer Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 30 – State Rep. Gerald Mullery was appointed to serve on four House committees for the 2019-20 legislative session: Education, Game and Fisheries, Judiciary and Labor and Industry. Read more
Petrarca announces $1.8 million in state funding to build new sewage collection system for Derry Township, Keystone State Park HARRISBURG, Jan. 30 – Funding to construct a new sewage collection system in Westmoreland County was approved by the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority, Rep. Joseph Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, announced today. The $1.8 million loan will allow the Derry Township Municipal Authority in Westmoreland County to begin construction to connect the Keystone State Park to the New Alexandria sewage treatment plant and add additional residents to sewer treatment services. “I’m pleased this funding from Pennvest will allow the township to rectify issues for residents who have had to deal with failing on-lot septic systems,” Petrarca said. “These funds also ensure that residents and visitors to Keystone State Park can continue to enjoy a variety of recreational activities free from any public health concerns that could have occurred with an outdated sewage treatment system.” The total cost of the project is estimated at $2.6 million. The 20-year loan is approved at 1 percent interest for the first five years and 1.74 percent for the balance of the term. The remaining $774,000 in project costs will be covered through local grants and contributions. Construction is scheduled to begin in April and finish by January 2020. Petrarca noted that without this state funding the project’s Read more
Rep. Maureen Madden is encouraging everyone to engage in heart healthy lifestyles. Madden believes everyone needs to raise awareness and urge family, friends and neighbors to try and lower their risk of developing heart disease. Rep Madden stands with her colleagues in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in support of heart month. Go red for women! Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 30 – Citing fears over a disruption in services, rider confusion, and possible cost increases, state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, is co-sponsor of a proposed bill that would delay implementation of 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 full-risk brokerage model – a move that concerns Bizzarro. “Given the program’s critical importance to residents, it’s incumbent on us to consider how this move will impact Erie and other geographically diverse regions of the state before implementing sweeping changes,” said Bizzarro, who together with the Northwest Democratic Caucus recently wrote DHS Secretary Theresa D. Miller urging a delay in implementing the changes. “A one-size-fits-all approach won’t work and is likely to do more harm than good. “Residents who rely on public transportation already have to navigate fixed-route bus schedules and shared ride options. Adding yet another provider into the mix for a limited group of riders creates an unnecessary level of complexity. Worse still, if the transit agencies lose the ability to provide MATP services, Read more
State Rep. Steve Malagari, D-Montgomery, today announced the Franconia Sewer Authority was awarded a $4.6 million low-interest loan for a sewage improvement project. Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 30 – Women’s health and affordable health care, a clean environment, a fair economy for all Pennsylvanians and accountability in government will be in focus for state Rep. Mary Jo Daley, D-Montgomery, who this week received her committee assignments for the two-year legislative session. Daley was appointed on Monday to serve on the House Ethics, Environmental Resources & Energy, Finance and Health committees. She also will serve as Democratic House chair of the Women’s Health Caucus. “Women’s health, mothers and babies, and the reproductive rights of women have been top legislative proprieties for me since taking office,” Daley said. “It is a great honor to lead the caucus and to serve on committees that have an impact on people’s constitutional rights. These committee assignments will allow me to work on legislation that matters to the people of Montgomery County and beyond. I am eager to be able to continue to advocate for women, protect Pennsylvania’s natural resources and the right to clean air and water, work toward a fair economy for all, and ensure quality health care that people can afford.” Daley said the Women’s Health Caucus is a bipartisan, bicameral group of legislators working together to develop and implement legislation and social policy to protect and respect a woman’s right to make private, personal medical decisions. This is Daley's first term as chair of Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 30 – A resolution to raise awareness about rheumatoid arthritis and its effects on the heart won unanimous support in the House today, according to the resolution’s sponsor, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny. House Resolution 42, naming Feb. 2, 2019, as “Rheumatoid Awareness Day” in Pennsylvania, is aimed at raising awareness about RA’s effects, its connection with cardiovascular disease and the importance of early detection and treatment. The resolution also honors approximately 1.3 million Americans, including Matzie’s father, who are currently living with an RA diagnosis. “I think most people understand that RA can cause joint pain and stiffness, but fewer people are aware of its connection to heart disease,” Matzie said. “Rheumatoid arthritis can impact a person’s heart well before the disease is ever diagnosed. That’s why early detection and treatment are so critical.” Matzie noted that Rheumatoid Awareness Day is planned to coincide with the start of American Heart Month to emphasize the link to heart disease. According to the Mayo Clinic, patients with RA have a 50-percent higher risk of heart attacks, twice the risk of heart failure and an increase in peripheral vascular disease compared to people without the disease. Moreover, patients are twice as likely to experience silent heart attacks and sudden cardiac deaths. Matzie urged people to visit their doctor if Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 30 – State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., encourages college students and recent graduates to apply for a summer fellowship at the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. “The PA Turnpike Commission is providing a tremendous opportunity to explore careers in transportation through their summer fellowship program,” Roebuck said. “Examples of successful projects in the past include the ‘Go Orange’ Campaign for Highway Safety, ‘Cashless-Tolling’ options, and ‘Turnpike 2040’, looking ahead to the future. These students are provided with one-on-one, mentored experiences with a good pay.” The Chief Executive Officer’s Intern Fellows Program for Diverse Groups is designed to attract and retain college juniors, seniors and recent graduates from underrepresented groups to careers in transportation through intern fellowships in the areas of engineering, administration, accounting, construction, information technology and maintenance with the Turnpike Commission. Roebuck said the turnpike CEO designates a high-level critical transportation issue and assigns a corresponding department to work alongside the interns as mentors. The department mentors assist the team to develop a solution, which is presented to the commission leadership, and eventually implemented. The fellowship serves to develop future transportation leaders through a strong emphasis on college disciplines in Science, Technology, Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 30 – State Rep. Robert Matzie (D-Beaver/Allegheny) today announced the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority has approved funding to modify a sewage treatment plant in Beaver County to eliminate sewage overflows during wet weather. The Rochester Area Joint Sewer Authority will receive a $35.4 million loan and a $1.59 million grant to upgrade its Center Street, West Madison and Freedom pump stations and also add a new detention tank for residents in Rochester, East Rochester and Freedom boroughs and in Rochester and New Sewickley townships. “These needed upgrades and improvements have been discussed for some time in the community, and I’m pleased that Pennvest funding has been secured to move ahead on this vital project,” said Matzie. “It will ensure clean water for our residents and better protect our waterways from system failures and overflows.” An additional $1.2 million investment in local funds will be used to pay for architectural and engineering costs associated with the project, which is slated to begin in mid-June and is expected to be completed by December 2020. Pennvest offers low-cost loans and grants to communities throughout Pennsylvania to fund sewer, storm water and drinking water maintenance and improvement projects. More information is available at www.pennvest.state.pa.us . Read more
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