STROUDSBURG, Aug. 17 – State Rep. Maureen Madden, D-Monroe, invites residents of the 115th District to participate in a Tele-Town Hall at 7 p.m. Aug. 23. Read more
State Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, is happy to announce today that the City Center of Duquesne Redevelopment project has been selected to receive a $500,000 state grant to assist in the continued redevelopment of the former U.S. Steel site. Read more
CRESSON, Aug. 17 – Surrounded by the sisters, nephews and nieces of a Vietnam War hero killed in action while loading injured fellow Marines onto a medical helicopter, state Rep. Frank Burns presided over dedication of the Cpl. Robert J. Sherwood Jr. Memorial Bridge this morning at Cresson American Legion Post 238. Burns noted that Sherwood, who was born in Altoona but resided in Cresson when he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, died at 19 after being mortally wounded in the 1967 skirmish in Quang Tin province. “Corporal Sherwood embodied the highest American ideals, that being love of country and a willingness to sacrifice his own life in an attempt to aid members of his unit after they came under enemy attack while on patrol,” Burns said. “He did not duck and cover; instead, he threw himself in harm’s way, a noble decision that cost him his own life. We should all have such a dedicated friend.” The renaming of the bridge in Sherwood’s honor was legislatively initiated by Burns as H.B. 1251 and became law with passage of Act 9 of 2018. The bridge is located on a portion of Pennsylvania Route 53 over U.S. Route 22 in Cresson Township. Sherwood’s sisters Nora Sherwood, Ella Conigy and Donna Sherwood are among the family members who attended the ceremony. Nieces Eunice Wilkins, Regina Hill and Jessica Link were also on hand, along with nephews Gregory Gaida and Steve Gaida Jr. Burns noted that Sherwood is honored on Read more
HARRISBURG, Aug. 16 – The Pennsylvania Department of Education awarded more than $3 million to nine community college improvement projects across the state, including Bucks County Community College, state Rep. Perry Warren announced today. Bucks County Community College will receive $229,839 for construction of its new academic building. The total cost of the project is $14.1 million and will help to increase classroom space on the campus. “Congratulations to Bucks County Community College for landing this funding,” said Warren, D-Bucks. “The college plays an outstanding role in our district and in the lives of its graduates. This investment will help the school complete work on its current addition while keeping costs down.” Read more
HARRISBURG, Aug. 16 – The Community College of Beaver County will receive more than $170,000 from the Pennsylvania Department of Education for an improvement project, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. Matzie said a total of $172,437 will be disbursed to CCBC for the expansion of a state-of-the-art training facility that will prepare learners for current and future high-demand jobs. Total cost of the project is $4 million, and the state Department of Education will ultimately provide 50 percent of the annual capital expense for the project. “Work qualifications continue to change and new jobs are on the way,” Matzie said. “This funding will help give CCBC the ability to prepare workers to get and keep good jobs. I’m proud to support their efforts.” The CCBC is one of nine community colleges to receive funding this year from the Department of Education for improvement projects. Read more
NANTICOKE, Aug. 20 – In alignment with the House Democratic Caucus’ Plan4PA, state Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Luzerne, announced that he will host a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing to discuss technical education and career readiness. Read more
As part of the House Democratic Caucus’ Plan4PA, state Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Luzerne, will host a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing on House Democrats tax fairness plan. The hearing will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, Aug. 20 at King’s College, Sheehy-Farmer Campus Center, Walsh Room, 3rd Floor, 116 N. Main St. in Wilkes-Barre. Read more
HARRISBURG, Aug. 16 – Members of the legislature's LGBT Equality Caucus today welcomed a state agency's decision to interpret existing law on sex discrimination to protect LGBT people from discrimination, as several courts and agencies have already done. Members of the caucus provided public comment last year in support of the change. The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission , which enforces state non-discrimination law, has updated how it interprets the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act. That law bans discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations based on several categories, including sex. The commission also made a similar update to how it interprets the Pennsylvania Fair Educational Opportunities Act. State Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, co-chairman of the LGBT Equality Caucus, said, "While I still believe we need the bipartisan Pennsylvania Fairness Act passed and signed into law to avoid any ambiguity, I fully support interpreting existing laws to include anti-LGBT discrimination. As Equality PA noted in its public comment, a federal appeals court stated, 'Any discomfort, disapproval, or job decision based on the fact that the complainant -- woman or man -- dresses differently, speaks differently, or dates or marries a same-sex partner, is a reaction purely and simply based on sex ... It would require considerable calisthenics to remove the 'sex' from 'sexual orientation.'" The bipartisan Fairness Read more
STROUDSBURG, Aug. 16 – In alignment with the House Democratic Caucus’ Plan4PA, state Rep. Maureen Madden, D-Monroe, announced she will host a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing to discuss school safety. The hearing will be held at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 21 at Hughes Library, 1002 N. Ninth St., Stroudsburg. Madden, who serves on the House Education Committee, said she requested the hearing because ensuring that Pennsylvania schoolchildren can learn and teachers can teach in a safe and secure environment are vital to the learning process. Madden will be joined by a number of state representatives from across the commonwealth, including Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. The current agenda is: 5:30 p.m. Welcome and opening remarks 5:40 p.m. Panel One: Marcus Brown Deputy chief of staff, office of Gov. Tom Wolf Derin Myers Acting executive director, Pennsylvania Commission on Crime & Delinquency Lt. Joseph Sparich Troop N Stroudsburg station commander, Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Kevin Jancewicz Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Risk & Vulnerability Assessment Team member, Pennsylvania State Police 6:20 p.m. Panel Two: Jill Shoesmith Educational director, Evergreen Community School Sarah Henry Student, Evergreen Community School Olivia DeRosa Member, The Acceptance Project Taha Vahanvaty Read more
LANCASTER, Aug. 16 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, will hold his seventh annual Back to School Giveaway from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 19 inside Lancaster Barnstormers’ Clipper Magazine Stadium, 650 N. Prince St. During the event, School District of Lancaster students will receive a free haircut, backpack, uniform, shoes, and book while also enjoying music, food, games and community activities. Students will also be provided a free meal and free ticket to the 5 p.m. Lancaster Barnstormers game. Students must be in attendance and accompanied by an adult to receive items during the giveaway portion of the event, which will start at 2 p.m. Sturla expanded the event this year to include students up to 8 th grade. Nearly 2,000 students have already registered to attend. Sturla’s staff and other community partners will also be on site to field questions about state-related issues and provide information about state programs and other services. Read more
HARRISBURG, Aug. 15 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, announced that Phillip Battista has joined his staff as legislative assistant and liaison officer. “Phil comes to us after studying and teaching political science,” Wheatley said. “With this strong background, he brings great experience to the job. I’m excited by his energy, his enthusiasm and his interest in serving the community. He’s a great addition to the staff.” A Pennsylvania native, Battista grew up in Pittsburgh’s Knoxville neighborhood. He graduated from California University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in history and from Duquesne University with a master’s degree in history. Battista left the Pittsburgh area in 2013 to study political science and obtained a second master’s degree in that field from the University of New Orleans. He spent three years working for the university as a professor in political science and a research analyst for the university’s Survey Research Center. Battista moved back to Pennsylvania earlier this year, motivated by a desire to return home to the Pittsburgh area. Read more
PITTSBURGH, Aug. 15 – State Rep. Ed Gainey, D-Allegheny, will host a Back to School Giveaway for students in grades K through 5 from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18 at the Destiny International Ministry, 7061 Lemington Ave., Pittsburgh. The annual event is an opportunity for Gainey to meet students from the community as they prepare for the new school year. Each student in attendance will receive a backpack and supplies for the school year. The event will also feature information on state programs for kids, safety information, music and food. “The Back to School Giveaway is an event I look forward to every year,” Gainey said. “A new school year provides students an opportunity to take on new challenges, and I enjoy playing a role in helping them grow. Our students truly are our future, and we must do everything we can to help them reach their greatest potential.” Gainey said he is encouraging all grade students in his community to attend this family-friendly event and hopes to see a strong turnout. Any individuals or businesses interested in donating supplies, backpacks or food for the event should contact’s Gainey’s office at 412-665-5502. Read more
ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Aug. 15 – With fall right around the corner, state Rep. Dan Deasy, D-Allegheny, is reminding constituents that he is hosting three community-centered events in September. “Next month I will be hosting my annual Senior Expo, a Veterans Outreach Clinic and a Job Fair,” Deasy said. “All of these outreaches are important to me because they connect our residents with important resources that can help them stay healthy, educated, informed and employed.” Here are more details on the free upcoming events: 10 th Annual Senior Expo will be held from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., on Friday, Sept. 7 at the St. Pamphilus Church Hall, 1000 Tropical Ave. in Beechview. The event features health screenings, flu and pneumonia vaccines, vendors, voter registration, and more. The Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office will also be on hand to conduct prescription drug medication take back, which ensures safe disposal of unwanted or unneeded medications. Veterans Outreach Clinic , in partnership with U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle and the Veterans Leadership Program, will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 21 at Deasy’s district office at 436 S. Main St., Suite 100 in Pittsburgh. You can get information on veteran and survivor benefits, discharge papers, securing claimed medals and benefit counseling, among other things. Job Fair , in conjunction with state Sen. Wayne Fontana, state Rep. Anita Kulik, Building Bridges for Read more
NEWTON, Aug. 15 – State Rep. Helen Tai, D-Bucks, will hold a town hall at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28 in the Northampton Free Library, located at 25 Upper Holland Road, Richboro. The town hall serves as an opportunity for Tai to meet constituents from around the 178 th Legislative District and answer any questions people have. The evening also will include a discussion among Tai and constituents for her to hear firsthand about the issues important in the community. Tai hosted a telephone town hall earlier this summer and will host another on Sept. 6 with intentions to reach as many constituents as possible. “I have enjoyed meeting thousands of new constituents over the past several months, and I look forward to continue meeting even more,” she said. “Hearing from people firsthand on what matters most to them and how my office can assist them is helpful, and allows me to understand what issues to advocate for in Harrisburg.” Individuals from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation also will be in attendance at the town hall in Richboro, answering transportation related questions and providing information on projects underway and being planned in Bucks County. For additional information, those interested can contact Tai’s office at 215-598-7615 Read more
WHITEHALL, Aug. 15 – State Rep. Jeanne McNeill, D-Lehigh, today announced the former Crane Iron Works site located in Catasauqua, Lehigh County, received $1.5 million in funding for redevelopment purposes. “I am happy to see this important project received the funding it deserves,” McNeill said. “The revitalization of this site will play a crucial role in bringing jobs and private investments to our communities. I would like to thank Governor Tom Wolf for releasing the funding for the redevelopment, and I look forward to working with officials from Catasauqua and the state to ensure this project reaches its greatest potential.” The funds will be used to help transform the 12-acre property from a vacant and deteriorating property into a site full of commercial, residential and public uses. The site currently includes a $10 million building that serves as home to borough offices, fire department and police station. Specifically, the funding will be used to demolish obsolete industrial buildings and to install roadways, water, sewer, storm water, electric, gas and other infrastructure. McNeill noted the governor’s commitment to creating family-sustaining jobs, and hopes the project will lead to greater economic and employment implications for the Lehigh County. The project received funding through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program which works to provide economic stimulus to communities across Pennsylvania with hopes to Read more
ERIE, Aug. 15 – State Rep. Pat Harkins, D-Erie, hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing to discuss how students can better prepare themselves for their future through technical education and career readiness at the Erie County Technical School. Harkins, who served as Democratic chairman of the Select Subcommittee on Technical Education and Career Readiness, helped to review secondary career and technical education programs and postsecondary institutions throughout the state, and later developed recommendations in order to enhance programs to meet the needs of future employers. He was joined by state legislators from across the state. “Talking about career and technical education is important because it provides students with skills they need in order to be successful should they chose to attend college or take a different route,” Harkins said. “More than 120 school districts throughout the commonwealth offer career and technical education because they realize it’s imperative in the 21 st century.” The committee heard testimony from Dr. H. Fred Walker, director, Erie County Technical School, Joe Tarasovitch, principal of the Erie County Technical School and Pam Mackowski, the director of career and technical education/adult education from Erie’s Public Schools/Erie High School. Testimony, photos and video from today’s hearing will be available at www.pahouse.com/policycommittee . The meeting is one in Read more
HARRISBURG, Aug. 14 – A $3 million grant for roadway improvements was awarded today to the Monaca Gateway Initiative project, as announced by state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny. Matzie said the funding will be used to improve more than 6,000 feet of State Route 18 and to construct a roundabout at the intersection of State Routes 18 and 51. “I’m happy to announce that because of a joint effort by state and local government officials, we were able to secure this funding for our district,” Matzie said. “This is a prime example of how state and local governments can work together to better our community.” “Employment and infrastructure go hand-in-hand,” Matzie said. “As in, jobs and roads. This project will expand access to our industrial corridor on the Ohio River in Monaca, while helping alleviate current and future traffic issues on Routes 18 and 51. It’s a huge win for Monaca and for Beaver County.” The grant, administered in cooperation with PennDOT through economic development transportation funding, was formally presented today in Monaca. Read more
HARRISBURG, Aug. 14 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, is excited to announce that Brandi Taylor will be joining his staff tomorrow as the new district office director of operations. “We’re so fortunate to have Brandi joining our team,” Wheatley said. “During her career, she has shown a special talent for inspiring, organizing and leading the community to bring positive change in so many areas. “Brandi has a wealth of experience in bringing together different segments of the community – including citizens, advocates, organizations, religious leaders, political and public figures, school administrators and students – for successful collaboration. She is an advocate and a passionate voice. She will be such a great addition to our staff.” Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Taylor moved to Atlanta in 1988 before returning home in 2008. Since returning to Pittsburgh, she has dedicated her career to promoting change through civic engagement in areas ranging from school reform to voter empowerment. Among other programs, Taylor has participated in the 2012 NEXT Leaders Northside Leadership Program through Coro; the 2014 Pittsburgh Parent Power cohort, led by Annenberg Institute of School Reform; and the 2015 Civic Leadership Academy, hosted by the City of Pittsburgh. Taylor also served as community liaison with The Black Political Empowerment Project – a non-profit organization established for the advocacy of Read more
State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing on tourism and its impact on the economy, at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center in Erie. Bizzarro was joined by House Tourism and Recreational Development Committee Democratic Chairman Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, and state legislators from across the state. “Tourism greatly impacts the state’s economy,” said Bizzarro, vice-chairman of the House Democratic Policy Committee. “When travelers spend their money at businesses, shops, hotels and restaurants, it all has a direct impact on suppliers and the wages of local workers.” In 2016, Bizzarro said in the Great Lakes region, which includes Crawford, Erie, Mercer and Venango counties, travelers spent close to $1.67 billion, according to a report completed by Tourism Economics. Longietti added, “Tourism is one of Pennsylvania’s leading industries. Our state has a rich history, diverse landscape and a wide variety of available activities to attract visitors.” Testifiers included: Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper; Chris Temple, director of communications for VisitErie; Dr. James Wertz, associate dean of College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, Edinboro University; Jonathan D’Silva, an attorney and small business consultant for MMI Intellectual Property; and Sean Candela, owner of Sara’s Restaurant. Testimony, photos Read more
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