State Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Luzerne, was joined by state Rep. Tom Murt, R-Montgomery, in honoring former Kings College head wrestling coach Ned McGinley today on the House floor. Read more
HARRISBURG, April 18 – The state House of Representatives today passed legislation that would provide emergency funding to restore some of the unemployment services lost in December after Senate Republicans refused to support the state’s call service centers used by jobless people seeking unemployment compensation, according to state Rep. Peter Schweyer. Read more
State Rep. Pam Snyder reports that the Pennsylvania House of Representatives unanimously passed her legislation that would eliminate confusion over when a minor’s consent is needed for mental health examinations and other health services. Read more
HARRISBURG, April 18 – The state House of Representatives today unanimously adopted a resolution recognizing April 22-29 as National Infant Immunization Week in the commonwealth, according to prime sponsor Rep. Peter Schweyer. Read more
SCRANTON, April 18 – Area veterans are invited to take part in the monthly support program next week at the office of state Rep. Marty Flynn. Read more
FOLSOM, April 17 – To celebrate Earth Day, state Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky is holding a free shredding event for constituents to safely dispose of confidential, unwanted documents from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 22 in the rear parking lot at Strath Haven High School. Attendees are asked to enter from Brookhaven Road. Common types of unwanted items that should be shredded include credit card statements, credit card applications, bank statements, canceled checks, income tax information, insurance records and retirement or pension fund information. There is a limit of no more than five bags or boxes; paper clips should be removed. Staples are OK. Paper will be shredded on site and recycled. More information is available by calling Krueger-Braneky’s office at 610-534-6880. Read more
HARRISBURG, April 17 – State Rep. Steve McCarter, D-Montgomery, will soon introduce legislation to include charter schools in the teacher evaluation system used for all other public school educators. Pennsylvania adopted a system of educator evaluation in 2011 that requires the combination of a structured observation system and various pieces of student performance data be used to calculate ratings for teachers, principals and other professional staff members. However, charter schools are currently not required to use the system. “We want effective, high-quality teaching for all of our students, regardless of what type of school they attend. So why wouldn’t we evaluate teachers in the same way at all schools?” McCarter said. “This bill will ensure that we’re using the same system to assess the instruction all of our public school students are receiving on a daily basis.” The legislation would require that charter schools and cyber charter schools use the same evaluation system as other public schools starting in the 2018-19 school year. McCarter said charter schools and traditional public schools should be treated equally under law since both receive tax dollars and both are considered public schools under Pennsylvania law. Read more
HARRISBURG, April 17 – The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency approved grants totaling $220,000 for two programs in Lackawanna County, according to state Rep. Marty Flynn. Read more
LEVITTOWN, April 17 – State Rep. Tina Davis will hold a free shredding event for constituents to safely dispose of confidential, unwanted documents from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, April 22 across the street from her office at 4530 New Falls Road. There is a five-bag/box limit, and paper clips should be removed. Staples are OK. Paper will be shredded on site and recycled. Davis requests that attendees bring a canned food donation to the event, as well, although it is not necessary. Her office staff will post a collection box at the event and deliver the food to an area food bank for vulnerable families in the community. Common types of unwanted items that should be shredded include credit card statements, credit card applications, bank statements, canceled checks, income tax information, insurance records and retirement information. More information is available by calling Davis’ office at 267-580-2660. Read more
PITTSBURGH, April 13 – House Democratic Caucus Chairman Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, released the following statement on Pittsburgh Steelers owner and Hall of Famer Dan Rooney, who passed away today at age 84: "Dan Rooney had a major impact on the city of Pittsburgh throughout his life. He ensured that the Steelers stayed in Pittsburgh and helped turn our city into a top-tier sports town. Just as important, he was pivotal in ushering in the reinvention of Pittsburgh. He truly loved this town. "But Dan was also someone who was completely engaged with politics and keeping people involved in the process. I can remember him coming in to Soldiers and Sailors Hall in 2008 to encourage students to stay in line and vote. That’s the kind of leader and motivator Dan Rooney was. "I will miss his friendship but I will always remember him as a guiding force that positioned the city of Pittsburgh as a national and international leader in both sports and civic engagement." ### Read more
PHILADELPHIA, April 13 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., participated in the PA Blue Ribbon Champion for Kids award ceremony April 5 in the Capitol to recognize Child Abuse Awareness Month. The PA Blue Ribbon Champion for Kids award recognizes those who have been instrumental in protecting children in the commonwealth with the goal of heightening awareness of the role each Pennsylvanian plays in safeguarding children from abuse and neglect. DeLissio had the honor of nominating one of the award recipients, Sarah Pesi, who was recognized for helping to craft and advocate for state legislation that expanded protection of abuse orders to cover people who are less than acquainted with their abusers. Before the legislation was signed into law in 2014, a PFA could only be applied to a relative or current/former intimate partner. Sarah, at age 12, was stalked and harassed by an adult coach while she was a youth referee and was shocked to learn that she could not file for a PFA under her circumstances. She spent her time researching other states’ laws and eventually was successful in lobbying the commonwealth to pass a law that covered her situation, and hundreds, if not thousands, of other Pennsylvanians’ circumstances. “Sarah is a remarkable young lady and when this nomination opportunity arose, she immediately came to mind,” said DeLissio, who met her through the Women and Girl’s Foundation’s Girl Gov Read more
PHILADELPHIA, April 13 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., will hold a town hall meeting at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 27 in the Bala Cynwyd Library, 131 Old Lancaster Road in Bala Cynwyd. She will provide the latest information on legislation in Harrisburg and anecdotes to what takes place in the halls of the House. “If you are interested in the back story, understanding the process, and hearing what is happening without spin, join me for candid conversation about how what happens in Harrisburg impacts our daily lives here at home,” DeLissio said. Parking is available, free, in the library lot, and the library is on the SEPTA No. 9 and 65 bus routes. More information can be obtained by calling DeLissio’s office at (215) 482-8726. “I am always energized by speaking with constituents,” DeLissio said. “I look forward to hearing from those who participate because constituent input and feedback is important to me.” Read more
HARRISBURG, April 13 – Area veterans are invited to take part in the monthly support program April 24 at the office of state Rep. Kevin Haggerty. Jeff Saunders of the American Legion will be in Haggerty's Dunmore office -- located at the Dunmore Community Center, 1414 Monroe Ave. -- from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 24 to provide information on services available to veterans and their families, including retirement, benefits and more. Legion membership is not required to take advantage of the help, but anyone interested is recommended to schedule an appointment through Haggerty’s office at 570-342-2710. Haggerty said the veterans outreach program alternates on the fourth Monday of each month between his Dunmore and Eynon offices. The next visit will be May 22 at Haggerty’s Eynon office – 307 Betty St., Suite 4. Appointments for that date may be scheduled by calling 570-876-1111. Read more
State Rep Mike Schlossberg, D-Lehigh, plans to introduce legislation that would require an internet service provider or telecommunications company to notify consumers of its privacy and security policies in easy-to-read language. Schlossberg’s legislation is part of a six-bill online privacy and security package. "My constituents and all citizens across Pennsylvania need to know how their data or profiles are being used and sold and they need to be protected," Schlossberg said. "My bill would require ISPs and telecommunications companies to notify customers of privacy and security policies in easily understandable language." Schlossberg said Congress recently passed a bill that will reverse and block internet privacy rules that were passed by the Federal Communications Commission. These FCC rules were designed to protect consumers, but because of a federal administration reversal of opinion by the Trump administration, the personal information of millions of American can be sold by ISPs and telecommunication companies to advertisers and other third parties. In addition, under Schlossberg’s bill, any violation would be considered a breach of trust under the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law. "Privacy is a fundamental right. This includes privacy from government and big business intrusion," Schlossberg said. Nobody -- government or business -- has the right to profit off of somebody else’s Read more
MERION STATION, April 13 – State Rep. Mary Jo Daley, D-Montgomery, today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing at Saint Joseph’s University on the importance of investment in early childhood development programs in Pennsylvania. “Children are incredibly impressionable and medical reports consistently state that the most rapid brain development happens between ages 3 and 4. A recent study confirmed that children who did not participate in early learning is 70 percent more likely to be arrested for a violent crime by 18. That number is staggering, and the precise reason why we need to continue to stress the need for investment in early childhood education. I see it as a down payment in our future and I thank the Policy Committee for coming to hear testimony on how and why we should make this investment,” Daley said. House Democratic Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, added, “Studies show, time and time again, that early childhood education is worth the investment. Every $1 invested returns $7 back to Pennsylvania. Better prepared children, higher test scores and reduced crime rates are all benefits of that investment. I’ll continue to support investing in our children at this hearing and in our state budget.” Testifiers included Ailene Keys, maternal child health supervisor, Montgomery County Health Department; Nadine Miller, program improvement administrator, Montgomery County Office of Read more
HARRISBURG, April 13 – Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, is set to introduce legislation that would provide savings for both state and local taxpayers. Donatucci called for support of her reform bill that would provide a clear process for school administrators to follow when closing a school building due to financial, enrollment, charter revocation under the state charter school law or other applicable reasons. Under current state law, there are no procedures in place to guide administrators who are in the process of closing a school. “The closing of a traditional or charter school can generate chaos for any local community and force area parents into a frustrated scramble for alternatives,” Donatucci said. The bill, H.B. 1204, would require administrators to provide ample notification of a school closing to parents, the community and the state, and set forth a clear procedure for reporting and transitioning students to other facilities and programs. This legislation would also protect students, parents, taxpayers and communities, and provide guidance and assistance to administrators at all types of public schools in Pennsylvania -- including traditional neighborhood, brick-and-mortar charter, and cyber-charter schools. Donatucci said that with enactment of her bill, the state also would have the opportunity to develop a database for those unused or underutilized school facilities in Pennsylvania to ensure Read more
PHILADELPHIA, April 13 – State Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., today reminded his constituents that they’re invited to his senior expo from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, April 28 at Cannstatters, 9130 Academy Road. Neilson said there will be free health screenings, giveaways, music, light refreshments and ways to discover valuable resources they can use. “This event is a great opportunity for seniors in the community to come out and learn more about state programs that are available to help them lead happier, healthier lives,” Neilson said. “We’ll be hosting multiple local and state agencies, and my staff and I will be on hand to answer any questions that may arise.” Neilson said constituents with any questions should contact one of his district offices at (215) 330-3714. Read more
HARRISBURG, April 13 – State Rep. Vanessa Brown, D-Phila., today said she introduced legislation that would require internet service providers to take reasonable steps to protect customers’ personal information. The bill would order each ISP to identify foreseeable internal and external control risks for the security of personal data that would result in unauthorized disclosure, misuse, alteration, destruction and access to or use of such information. “Without this legislation, companies can use a person’s browsing history, geolocation, financial, medical and many more bits of information to manipulate the market. This clearly promotes unfair and disloyal competition and increases the risk whereby an unauthorized person can gain access to customers’ accounts and steal valuable assets,” Brown said. Brown said that ISPs should have the flexibility they need to innovate and improve their services, but not at the expense of sharing consumer’s sensitive data. “The government is supposed to work for and protect our families, not the big companies that want to exploit our personal information and online activity for private profit,” she said. House Bill 1323 is part of an Internet Privacy Legislation Package House Democrats introduced to restore online privacy protections for Pennsylvania residents after Republicans in Congress voted to allow telecom companies and other internet service providers to sell and share Read more
State Rep. Rob Matzie is reintroducing his Protecting Commonwealth Data legislation that would require state employees conducting state business to use encryption to protect personal, online information from being viewed or modified by a third party. Read more
HARRISBURG, April 13 – State Rep. Tim Briggs, D-Montgomery, announced today a proposal to protect Pennsylvanian’s online privacy by restoring part of the privacy protections recently stripped by congress and President Donald Trump. Briggs’ legislation is part of a package of commonsense privacy and consumer protection bills designed by House Democrats to mirror the recently repealed Federal Communications Commission internet privacy protection rules. “Republicans in Washington recently voted to sell your private information to the highest bidder and it’s up to Pennsylvania to restore those protections,” Briggs said. “My proposal, and others proposed by my colleagues, would prevent big companies from exploiting your personal information and online activity for private profit while requiring them to notify you should a breach occur.” Briggs’ proposal would require internet service providers and telecommunications companies to notify their customers when a data breach of customer personal data occurs and to establish, implement and maintain safeguards reasonably designed to ensure the security of personal data of its customers. “Online users have a right to know when their sensitive information has been compromised. This bill helps to fix Washington’s failure to protect consumers by holding service providers accountable for securing sensitive data and requiring them to notify you in a timely manner if Read more
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