EASTON, Aug. 9 – State Rep. Robert Freeman announced today that the Simon Silk Mill in Easton was awarded $200,000 in tax credits through the 2017-18 Historic Preservation Tax Credit program, leveraging more than $7 million in estimated construction expenditures. “The use of these historic tax credits will greatly assist the ongoing revitalization of the former silk mill complex," said Freeman, D-Northampton. "We have already seen how the Simon Silk Mill is being transformed into apartments, restaurants and other commercial spaces. This funding will compliment that effort and help keep it moving forward." Freeman said the use of historic tax credits for the rehabilitation of the impressive 19 th -century buildings that make up the silk mill complex reflects the historic significance of this National Historic Register-listed property. “The Simon Silk Mill complex demonstrates the great potential that comes from the adaptive reuse of older factory buildings,” Freeman noted. The Department of Community and Economic Development, in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, administers the Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program. Since 2013, the program has invested more than $15 million to revitalize 81 historic buildings across the commonwealth that contribute to the distinct character of Pennsylvania. The application date for fiscal year 2018-19 is Nov. 1. More information about the program can be Read more
Rep. Marty Flynn is pleased to announce that the Samter Building project in Scranton has been selected to receive a $150,000 historic preservation tax credit. Read more
CHESTER, Aug. 9 – Agri-Kind LLC, a Chester County-based medical marijuana business, has been issued a grower permit by Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration as part of Phase II of the state’s Medical Marijuana program, according to state Rep. Brian Kirkland, D-Delaware. “This is an exciting opportunity for Agri-Kind to bring new jobs and increased spending to our area,” Kirkland said. “Agri-Kind will also play an important role in expanding access to medical marijuana for qualified residents who want to purchase their medicine closer to home.” Phase I of Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana program built a framework to give Pennsylvanians suffering from one of 21 serious medical conditions access to medical marijuana. Phase II will expand the program to ensure that more patients have options in their own towns. Wolf signed the program into law April 17, 2016. Since then, more than 30,000 Pennsylvanians have received their identification cards and are eligible to purchase medical marijuana from a dispensary. Those interested can visit www.medicalmarijuana.pa.gov for more information about the Medical Marijuana program. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 9 – State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing at Temple University on the PA Promise Act, his legislation that would provide free tuition for students attending Pennsylvania’s community colleges, state system universities, and state-related institutions. Roebuck was joined by Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, and state legislators from across the commonwealth. The committee discussed H.B. 2444 , which would remove substantial financial burdens on students and their families and make college more affordable. “Free tuition makes sense. The success is proven. The pressures of getting into a good college can be stressful. The overwhelming cost that comes with it should not be one of them,” Roebuck said. “Graduates should be able to concentrate on getting good jobs and starting families, not be concerned with drowning in debt for years to come. And it is our duty to help create that reality.” Sturla added, “Pennsylvania families are afforded the right to an excellent and thorough public education in their state constitution, but when it comes to higher education many of students are still unable to afford it. As policymakers, we must understand that investments in education are the key to move our state forward. Having people ready to fill the jobs that businesses and corporations are offering will create an enormous economic opportunity Read more
MILL HALL, Aug. 8 – State Rep. Mike Hanna, D-Clinton/Centre, joined Clinton County residents in honoring a fallen war hero today as a Mill Hall bridge was named in honor of U.S. Navy Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer David M. Collins. “David was a true American hero,” Hanna said. “No action or gesture can adequately express our gratitude for his service. It’s my sincere hope that his family and friends – and our entire community – can take pride and solace in today’s dedication, which will forever serve as a reminder of David’s courage and commitment to his country.” A Lock Haven native, Collins served in operations Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. His numerous medals and awards included the Bronze Star, which he received during Iraq’s national election period while serving as the primary tactical shift leader for the Iraqi prime minister’s protective security detail. Collins reportedly directed the safe execution of more than 300 high-risk movements throughout Iraq and parts of the Middle East. He retired from naval service in September 2012. He died in March 2014 as a result of a combat-related traumatic brain injury and chronic brain disease. “This bridge is an important piece of infrastructure in our community – but now it’s much more,” Hanna said. “It’s also a permanent reminder of the courage of a local hero.” The Read more
HARRISBURG, Aug. 8 – State Reps. Mike Schlossberg and Peter Schweyer, and state Sen. Pat Browne announced today funding to renovate the Allentown Commercial and Industrial Development Authority’s manufacturing site, which will provide employment opportunities and further economic development for the Lehigh Valley. The project is supported by the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, and will provide 75 full-time, manufacturing jobs once completed. Funding will cover construction costs related to the renovation of the 52,000 square foot building at 606 S. 10 th St. in Allentown and will specifically be used toward the cost of roof replacement, wall and ceiling insulation as well as new or replacement of windows and doors. “The Allentown Metal Works is at the heart of Allentown’s manufacturing history,” Schlossberg said. “I am thrilled to work with Governor Wolf, Representative Schweyer and Senator Browne to help create jobs that pay at this location during these exciting times in Allentown.” “Allentown Metal Works is an old fabricating building that will be brought back to life by this project,” Schweyer said. “Through the vision of the entrepreneurs that will inhabit this space, our city will see light manufacturing start-ups playing a key role in the city’s continued economic redevelopment. I look forward to working with the administration, my colleagues and our local partners to invest in job Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 8 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing at the Philadelphia City Hall on probation reform. McClinton was joined by Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, and state legislators from across the commonwealth. The committee discussed initiatives and potential legislation that would update Pennsylvania’s probation policies, reduce recidivism, create reforms and give returning citizens a second chance and save taxpayer dollars. “For far too long administrations and policymakers have enforced probation and parole as a measure of public safety, but it didn’t work. Pennsylvania has the highest parole rate in the nation and nearly one third of our prison’s beds are occupied by citizens who don’t pose a threat to their communities,” McClinton said. “We must reverse the equation by redirecting the hundreds of millions we currently spend in prisons into the resources returning citizens need to succeed.” Sturla added, “This is the beginning of a comprehensive strategy to move probation reform forward. This issue also affects our institutions as probation and parole officers struggle to manage increasing caseloads. Thanks to Representative McClinton for taking the lead on this important conversation.” The committee heard testimony from Christian Stephens, deputy secretary for field services, Pennsylvania Read more
DARBY, Aug. 8 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, welcomed 150 constituents to her shredding event to help them properly dispose of old papers containing personal information. The event was held at Mercy Fitzgerald Campus and was co-hosted by state Sen. Anthony Williams. “Protecting your identity by shredding documents is a safe measure to get rid of things you no longer need,” McClinton said. “I am pleased to have partnered with Sen. Williams to co-host this event to allow constituents to dispose of important documents safely.” Constituents shredded documents containing information such as Social Security numbers, credit card or bank account numbers, credit card applications, canceled or unused checks and bank statements, among others. Read more
State Rep. Steve Samuelson, D-Northampton, will host a Senior Fraud and Scams Forum from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Monday, Aug. 13 at the Andrew W. Lizenberger House, 225 E. 4th St,. Bethlehem. Samuelson is hosting the forum to give local seniors the tools they need to avoid becoming a victim of financial abuse. Samuelson will be joined by state Secretary of Aging Teresa Osborne and state Secretary of Revenue Dan Hassell. The forum will include important tips on how to recognize fraud and scams and how to avoid falling victim. A question and answer period will follow. For more information, please call Samuelson’s office at 610-867-3890 . There is no registration required. Read more
HARRISBURG, Aug. 8 – State Rep. Mike Driscoll, D-Phila., has introduced legislation that would ensure Pennsylvanians don't fall prey to deceptive contracts and would strengthen protections for consumers. House Bill 929 would create penalties for companies that place false or misleading information in contracts intending to defraud customers. By adding deceptive practice language into current law, companies found guilty would be liable for penalties and damages reimbursements, allowing customers to reclaim lost assets. New Jersey currently has similar regulations in place, and Driscoll hopes to extend these protections to Pennsylvania consumers. “Pennsylvanians enter into contracts every day,” Driscoll said. “Whether it is a contract for cell phones, cable television, home improvement or another contract, full disclosure is necessary. But too often, companies use misleading language to take advantage of vulnerable communities and exploit their intentions. Protecting consumers from deceptive practices is one of my top legislative priorities, and this legislation to hold companies accountable for the contracts they draw up is among the reforms I continue to seek.” Driscoll has worked throughout his legislative career to protect consumer rights, sponsoring and co-sponsoring several pieces of consumer-friendly legislation. Act 27 of 2018 was signed into law this June, and allows contractors to suspend their work if they are not paid Read more
ERIE, Aug. 8 – State Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, D-Erie, will host his sixth annual free Senior Fair and Older Living Expo from 9 a.m. to noon Monday, Aug. 13, at the McDowell Intermediate High School, 3320 Caughey Road. “I look forward to this yearly event and in particular, connecting with all of the senior residents I serve,” Bizzarro said. “The Senior Fair provides a wealth of information to constituents related to health, how to access benefits, plan for retirement and finding housing, among other things.” Bizzarro said dozens of local and state organizations and exhibitors will provide health screenings, flu shots, veterans’ benefits information and other useful information for older residents. Additionally, there will be light refreshments, entertainment and door prizes for attendees. Bizzarro and his staff will be available to outline how his office can help seniors access programs such as the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program and prescription assistance through PACE and PACENET. No RSVP is required. More information is available by calling Bizzarro’s office at 814-835-2880 or visiting the office at 1101 Peninsula Drive, Suite 209, in the Peninsula Plaza. Read more
HARRISBURG, Aug. 7 – State Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, is hosting a complimentary spaghetti lunch for veterans from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 26 at the Cresson Volunteer Fire Co., 223 Ashcroft Ave., Cresson 16630. Guests are welcome, but only veterans with a military ID qualify for the free lunch. Guests can eat for $5. To RSVP by Friday, Aug. 17, please call Burns’ Portage office at 814-736-7339. Burns has hosted the free meal for veterans in the past, as a way of showing appreciation for the sacrifices veterans have made in service to the country. “My staff and I love hosting this event for our veterans,” Burns said. “It’s the least we can do to honor their service and thank them for dedicating their lives to our safety.” Veterans will also have the opportunity to ask any questions they may have about state programs and services. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 7 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., and the Women and Girls of Color Subcommittee of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing at the District 1199 Union Hall on a U.S. Supreme Court ruling and its impact on women. Cephas was joined by Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, and state legislators from across the commonwealth. The committee discussed how the Janus vs. AFSCME Council 31 decision threatens worker rights and all working families, particularly women of color. Cephas said labor unions have helped women of all backgrounds close gaps in pay and career advancement. Letting government workers benefit from union representation without paying union fees would make many institutions across the country smaller and poorer in the next few years. “My mother raised four young girls on her own and struggled with her wage, leave and her rights. She couldn’t fight the battles on her own, but her union was there for her,” Cephas said. “Unions lifted my mother and other women out of poverty. They were a vehicle for women of color to gain access to the middle class. It is our duty to continue the fight against powerful corporate special interests.” Sturla added, “The U.S. Supreme Court ruling dealt a blow to unions, but that will not stop the effort of helping working people in Pennsylvania obtain health care benefits, safe working Read more
State Rep. Tina Davis, D-Bucks, invites residents of the 141st District to participate in a Tele-Town Hall at 7 p.m. Aug. 16. Read more
BROOKHAVEN, Aug. 7 – State Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky, D-Delaware, released the following statement congratulating first responders with Aston Township Fire Co. for its $1 million Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant announced by Gov. Tom Wolf today: “By winning this large highly competitive grant, Aston Township Fire Company not only stood out across the state, but its service to the community had to be second to none,” she said. “Congratulations to Aston Township, and thank you to Governor Wolf for recognizing a wise investment in Aston and its finest first responders. Under the leadership of Chief Mike Evans, these firefighters and EMS workers put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe. “The real winner is the community, of course. This award will help keep local taxes down and help keep people safe. I’m proud to have helped support this grant to the community and look forward to championing other great local projects.” Aston Township plans to renovate and expand the former Green Ridge Fire House, which is located on Duttons Mill Road. The existing building was constructed over 30 years ago and is outdated and undersized. The proposed improvements involve renovating the existing 5,250-square-foot building and constructing a 15,430-square-foot addition. The new firehouse will have six fire truck bays, two EMS bays, a recreation room, office space, meeting rooms, bunk rooms and storage and Read more
SCRANTON, Aug. 7 – A staffer from state Rep. Marty Flynn's office will provide outreach assistance next week in South Abington Township. Read more
SCRANTON, Aug. 6 – 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
HARRISBURG, Aug. 6 – State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., today thanked Gov. Tom Wolf for the governor's historic creation of the Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs, believed to be the only statewide commission of its kind in the United States. "Governor Wolf has consistently supported equal rights for LGBTQ Pennsylvanians, and today's announcement confirms that. I'm honored that he appointed me to serve on this commission," said Sims, the first out LGBTQ person elected to the legislature. "The work of equality also needs to move forward in the legislature. One example of stalled legislation is the Pennsylvania Fairness Act , which would include sexual orientation and gender identity or expression in the types of discrimination banned statewide in the workplace, housing and public accommodations. The people are ahead of the legislature on this: Polls have shown consistent 70-percent support for this in Pennsylvania for eight years. The Fairness Act has bipartisan support in the legislature, and there should be hearings and votes on it. We know Governor Wolf would sign it into law." ### Read more
ASTON, Aug. 6 – State Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky, D-Delaware, today at Neumann University hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing on connecting workers to good jobs. Krueger-Braneky was joined by Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, and state legislators from across the commonwealth. The committee discussed matching workforce development efforts to the real jobs that Pennsylvania businesses need to fill. Krueger-Braneky said that she is focused on policy efforts to help build a better pipeline from schools to jobs as well as reforms to build a stronger and more diverse workforce in Pennsylvania. “Connecting people with jobs begins with engaging local businesses and making investments in people,” she said. “Whether that involves connecting a business owner to qualified candidates or creating qualified candidates in schools, the commonwealth must commit the supporting legislation, funding and programs for the people. We also must support our workforce development agencies, local business community, pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs, and colleges and universities to create those outcomes. Community, regional and state economies don’t grow without strong stewardship from their leaders. Sturla added, “House Democrats have a plan for this kind of investment, and it hinges on helping current workers and college students adapt in a changing economy – keeping them productive and prepared. Read more
PITTSBURGH, Aug. 6 – House Democratic Caucus Chairman Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, today commended Gov. Tom Wolf for creating the Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs. "Governor Wolf is showing leadership by his historic creation of the only commission of this kind in the United States. It shows once again that he values all Pennsylvanians, and I'm honored he appointed me to serve on the commission," said Frankel, co-chairman of the LGBT Equality Caucus in the legislature. "This is a good step forward to determine needs for LGBT residents. But some things we already know: The legislature should pass the Pennsylvania Fairness Act . This bipartisan bill would include sexual orientation and gender identity or expression in the types of discrimination banned statewide in the workplace, housing and public accommodations. It's still legal in much of Pennsylvania for people to be denied a job or a place to live just because of who they are, and that's wrong," Frankel said. "The Fairness Act has had consistent 70 percent support in Pennsylvania polls for eight years. It's time for hearings and votes on this bipartisan, common-sense legislation. Governor Wolf would sign the Fairness Act into law – let's send it to his desk." ### Read more
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