State Rep. Joseph Petrarca said he is delighted to announce that Saint Vincent College in Latrobe has been selected to receive a $1 million state grant which will assist the college with its $19 million expansion of the Latimer Family Library on campus. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 6 – As part of the House Democratic Caucus’ Plan4PA, state Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., will host a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing on the PA Promise Act, legislation that would provide free tuition for students attending Pennsylvania’s community colleges, state system universities, and state-related institutions. The hearing will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 9 at Temple University, Shusterman Hall, 1834 Liacouras Walk, 19122. Roebuck requested the hearing to gather insight on innovative ways to reduce the financial burden on Pennsylvania’s students and their families, and provide support for the state’s community colleges and universities. Roebuck will be joined by state legislators from across the state, including Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. The current agenda is: 10 a.m. Welcome and opening remarks 10:10 a.m. Mark Price, labor economist, Keystone Research Center 10:40 a.m. Panel from higher education: Dr. Chae Sweet, dean of liberal studies, Community College of Philadelphia Dr. Ivan Turnipseed, professor and coordinator – hotel, restaurant and tourism management, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania Mark Rimple, professor, music theory and composition, and APSCUF chapter president, West Chester University of Pennsylvania 11:20 a.m. Closing remarks The meeting is one in a series being held across the state on the House Read more
HARRISBURG, Aug. 6 – State Rep. Perry Warren congratulated Council Rock School District for participating in the Department of Environmental Protection’s 2018 chemical cleanout. Council Rock is one of 11 schools or districts in seven counties to participate in the 2017-18 Schools Chemical Cleanout Campaign . To be eligible to apply for a one-time cleanout, schools must complete the Department of Environmental Protection’s chemical management training and complete a laboratory chemical inventory. The department then coordinates a chemical cleanout event over the summer, when hazardous and nonhazardous wastes are transported to the appropriate permitted disposal facilities. “I’m pleased to see Council Rock School District taking the proactive steps to participate in this program,” said Warren, D-Bucks. “Proper training to ensure chemicals are handled, stored and disposed of properly will help protect students and staff and keep our schools safe.” The Schools Chemical Cleanout Campaign is provided by DEP at no cost to schools, and training for 2018-19 will begin in October. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 3 – As part of the House Democratic Caucus’ Plan4PA, state Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila., will host a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing on probation reform. The hearing will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8 at the Philadelphia City Hall, City Council Chambers (Room 400), 1400 John F. Kennedy Blvd., Philadelphia, 19107. McClinton requested the hearing to discuss potential legislation that would update Pennsylvania’s probation policies, reduce recidivism, create reforms and give returning citizens a second chance and save taxpayer dollars. McClinton will be joined by state legislators from across the state, including Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. The current agenda is: 2 p.m. Welcome and opening remarks 2:10 p.m. Panel: Christian Stephens, deputy secretary for field services, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Helene Placey, executive director, County Chief Adult Probation & Parole Officers Association Holly Harris, executive director, Justice Action Network 2:50 p.m. Panel: Office of the Philadelphia District Attorney Mark Houldin, policy director, Defender Association of Philadelphia Leslie Jones, policy and advocacy director, Montgomery County Public Defender Office, and member, Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers 3:30 p.m. Panel of parolees John Thompson Crystal Walker 3:50 Read more
State Reps. Helen Tai and Tina Davis, both D-Bucks, held a joint event with PennEnvironment to discuss H.B. 2132, legislation that would set a goal of transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 2 – State Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald, D-Phila., today announced she will host a National Night Out celebration in northwest Philadelphia from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 7 at Masjidullah, The Center for Human Excellence Parking Lot at the corner of Washington Lane and Limekiln Pike. Fitzgerald said the free event will feature games and activities for children of all ages, free food and more family fun. State and local resources will also be on hand to assist with any concerns or issues families may have. Representatives from the 14 th and 35 th police districts will be present. “Bringing our neighborhoods together is one of my favorite parts of my job,” Fitzgerald said. “This is a great opportunity for the community to have some fun while getting to know the law enforcement in the neighborhood.” Started in the Philadelphia area in 1984, National Night Out has since expanded to 16,000 communities across the country with more than 38 million neighbors involved. The program’s mission is to promote community involvement in local anti-crime programs, heighten neighborhood spirit and to increase knowledge on crime and drug prevention. For more information, call Fitzgerald’s office at (215) 549-0220. Media coverage is invited. Read more
HARRISBURG, Aug. 2 – On Wednesday, state Rep. Mike Hanna, D-Clinton/Centre, will host a bridge dedication ceremony in Lock Haven for U.S. Navy Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer David M. Collins. The dedication will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday at the junction of state Route 150 and state Route 64 over Fishing Creek, in Mill Hall, Clinton County, in the grassy area near the Creekside Restaurant. In the event of rain, the ceremony will be held at the Bland J. Rossman VFW Post #1630 in the John J. Russo Hall of Honor, 1110 E. Water St., Lock Haven. “I’m more than proud to honor this local veteran for the sacrifices he made for his family and country,” Hanna said. “The dedication of the U.S. Navy SOC David M. Collins Veterans Memorial Bridge is a small way of showing Collins’ family how grateful we all are for his honorable and distinguished service in the U.S. Armed Forces.” Collins, a Lock Haven native, was a decorated war veteran and former Navy SEAL, serving in Operation Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Collins retired from naval service in September 2012. He died in March 2014 as a result of a traumatic brain injury and chronic traumatic encephalopathy suffered in combat. During his time in the U.S. Navy, Collins was the recipient of numerous awards and decorations. In 2005, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal – the fourth-highest military decoration for valor – for his meritorious Read more
PITTSBURGH, Aug. 2 – House Democratic Caucus Chairman Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, today issued the following statement on the federal government’s final rule on the expansion of short-term, limited duration health plans: “I am dismayed and deeply troubled by the Trump administration’s latest attack on consumers and the Affordable Care Act. The president’s plan to expand the availability of short-term, limited duration junk health plans which fall far short of the insurance protections currently required under the ACA, is both dangerous and extremely short-sighted. “These plans, which had previously only been available for up to three months, would now be available for a full 12 months with the option to renew for additional years. We know that such plans are not required to cover essential health benefits, prescription drugs or preventative care, and are unlikely to cover a consumer’s pre-existing conditions. “It cannot be stated loudly enough: short-term, limited duration plans that don't cover essentials are not a meaningful substitute for major medical health-care coverage and should not be marketed as a realistic alternative. “I look forward to working closely with the Wolf administration and Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman, as well as my colleagues in the General Assembly, to do whatever is in our power to educate consumers about these dangerous short-term plans and mitigate any damage they may Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 2 – As part of the House Democratic Caucus’ Plan4PA, state Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., and the Women and Girls of Color Subcommittee of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus will host a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing on how a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on unions impacts women of color. The hearing will be held at noon Tuesday, Aug. 7 at District 1199 Union Hall, 1319 Locust St., 19107. Cephas requested the hearing to discuss the Janus vs. AFSCME case and how the justices’ ruling against unions affects women of color. According to the National Women’s Law Center, Women represented by a union are paid 15 percent more than those who are not, and women of color represented by unions are closer to closing the wage gap with black women making 77 cents and Latina women making 75 cents to every dollar white men make. Cephas will be joined by state legislators from across the state, including Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. The current agenda is: 12 p.m. Welcome and opening remarks 12:10 p.m. Panel One: • Amal Bass, staff attorney, Women’s Law Project • Representative from POWER 12:40 p.m. Panel of union leaders: • Chris Woods, executive vice president, District 1199C • Bonnee Breese Bentum, board member, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers • Lynn Read more
HARRISBURG, Aug. 2 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., will hold her 76 th Town Hall meeting at 7 p.m. Aug. 16 in Wolcoff Auditorium – Roxborough Memorial Hospital, 5800 Ridge Ave., Philadelphia. Pennsylvania Secretary of Corrections John Wetzel will be guest speaker, and the discussion will focus on re-entry programs, rehabilitation vs. punishment and the cost of operating prisons vs. educating our youth. "As always, my goal is ongoing dialogue with constituents. Bring your questions and concerns about these three aspects of our criminal justice system, and I look forward to our discussion," DeLissio said. “I’m looking forward to seeing new and familiar faces from all parts of the legislative district.” More information can be obtained by calling DeLissio’s office at (215) 482-8726 or found on her website at www.pahouse.com/DeLissio . Read more
State Rep. Frank Dermody’s document shredding event, originally planned for Aug. 4, has been postponed due to previous inclement weather which caused a delay in construction work at the entrance to the Cheswick Shopping Center, where the event was to be held. Dermody was hosting this event to provide district residents the opportunity to dispose of documents containing personal information in a safe, secure manner, with the documents shredded onsite. “Identity theft is a real threat, and I want to empower people to take the proper steps to protect themselves,” Dermody said. “Lots of our personal documents contain sensitive information, so it’s important to dispose of them safely. Once I have a new date for this event, I will let everyone know.” The event will be rescheduled for a later date. Individuals with questions about the event should contact Dermody’s office at (724) 274-4770. Read more
HARRISBURG, Aug. 1 – A local facility is among 13 companies issued grower/processor permits for Phase II of the state’s Medical Marijuana Program, state Rep. Tony DeLuca announced today. The permit to Maitri Genetics, LLC, will allow the company to move forward with plans to ready its O’Hara Township facility for growing and processing operations. DeLuca said he is thrilled about the decision to grant Maitri the permit, noting that expanding the program will bring a critical resource to Pennsylvanians suffering from serious medical conditions. State law currently authorizes medical marijuana use for 21 different conditions. “For patients with debilitating pain, medical marijuana is more than just an option – it can be a lifeline,” DeLuca said. “I applaud the Wolf administration for issuing this permit to Maitri Genetics. It’s a move that will allow us to ease the suffering of patients in our region, while at the same time creating jobs and strengthening the local economy.” The latest round of permits is part of the Wolf administration’s plan to make medical marijuana available to every part of the state, including the southwest region. The state’s Medical Marijuana Program was signed into law in 2016, and Phase I involved laying the framework for the new program, which is being fully implemented and expanded in Phase II. To date, more than 52,000 patients and 1,000 physicians have registered to Read more
READING, Aug. 1 – State Rep. Tom Caltagirone will host a Utility Fair next week to help constituents find answers to their utility questions. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 8 at the Roger Schmidt Training Center at Reading Area Community College. Free parking will be available at the Front and Washington Street Parking facility next to the center. Attendees will be able to meet with representatives of utility and energy companies, as well as state government agencies, to discuss programs and billing issues. Agencies and companies expected to attend include First Energy/MetEd, the state Public Utility Commission, the state Auditor General’s office, the state Attorney General’s office, the state Consumer Advocate’s office, UGI, Small Business Advocate, Direct Energy and the Reading Water Authority. “This is a great opportunity for consumers to find answers to any questions they might have, or even learn about ways they can save money. I’m glad to be able to bring these organizations together in one spot to make it easier for everyone,” said Caltagirone, D-Berks. Anyone with questions should call Caltagirone’s office at 610-376-1529. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, July 31 – State Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, has released the following statement on today's announcement of a new research institute at Cheyney University: "I would like to congratulate Cheyney University on its establishing the Institute for the Contemporary African American Experience at the campus. The Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus was pleased to play the leading role in bringing the Starbucks Foundation and Cheyney together, and we hope this partnership will benefit everyone involved. "Today's announcement is a welcome one as it shows that Cheyney, our nation's first historically black college or university (HBCU), and a jewel of the Pennsylvania system, is on its way back to prominence. This Institute for the Contemporary African American Experience will serve as not only a think tank for the African American community but also a place where implementable solutions are developed. What better place than Cheyney for such an endeavor? "Thank you to our Governor Tom Wolf, Chair of the Board of Governors for the State System Cynthia Shapira, Chair of the Council of Trustees Robert Bogle, Cheyney President Aaron Walton and all other partners and supporters. Most importantly, thank you to the students, faculty, staff and alumni who have never given up on Cheyney University, a university that will not die, for its value in the African American community and the Read more
HARRISBURG, July 31 – Homeowners would be protected from property tax overload under legislation (H.B. 2577) introduced by state Rep. Robert Freeman, D-Northampton. Read more
Joined by families affected by gun violence, State Rep. Helen Tai today announced a legislative package that would provide common sense checks to protect children and the public against the illegal use of firearms by individuals in Pennsylvania. Read more
DARBY, July 31 – Today, state Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Philadelphia/Delaware, announced grants that provide fresh fruits and vegetables for students were awarded to local schools. Mitchell Elementary School received more than $24,000, while Joseph W. Catharine School received close to $30,000 in funding. Located in McClinton’s legislative district, both schools were among 200 other Pennsylvania elementary schools to qualify for the grant. McClinton is also happy to report more than 50 schools in Delaware and Philadelphia counties received this funding. To qualify, a school must have a free and reduced meal eligibility of 50 percent or more. The schools are required to spend a majority of the grant on purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables while also offering nutrition education to students and their families. “Giving our students the resources they need to succeed is a responsibility that other community leaders take very seriously,” said McClinton. “By making sure no child needs to worry where their next nutritious meal comes from, this program not only allows us to help students stay focused in school, but also sets our communities up for great success.” Funding is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, and was implemented in Pennsylvania in 2004 before expanding nationwide in 2008.The program’s mission is to provide healthier food choices in school Read more
PHILADELPHIA, July 31 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Philadelphia, today announced that Lewis C. Cassidy Academics Plus School has been awarded more than $19,000 in grants to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to students during the school day. Lewis C. Cassidy Academics Plus School, located in Cephas’ legislative district, was one of 200 Pennsylvania elementary schools to qualify for the grant. Cephas said 40 different schools throughout Philadelphia County received funding through this program. To qualify, a school must have a free and reduced meal eligibility of 50 percent or more. The schools are required to spend a majority of the grant on purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables while also offering nutrition education to students and their families. “I am elated to see local schools receive this vital funding,” said Cephas. “Our children’s education is of great importance to me, and by providing the necessary tools needed to have our students performing at their highest capacity, we are helping to shape the future of our communities.” Funding is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, and was first introduced in Pennsylvania in 2004. Now active across the nation, the program works to impact a student’s overall healthy by expanding school variety of fruits and vegetables, providing healthier food choices in school lunches and teaching students to make healthier Read more
Grants have been awarded to the Erie City School District and the Iroquois School District, in order to provide students with fresh fruits and vegetables during the school day, announced state Rep. Pat Harkins, D-Erie. The 2018-19 grants are funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, whose goal is to expand the variety of fruits and vegetables in schools by increasing consumption among students with the hope of impacting their present and future health. “When children eat healthy it benefits their overall well-being,” Harkins said. “These grants are essential in providing students with good nutrition that will hopefully lead them to make healthier choices leading into adulthood.” Below is a list of schools with the amount they received: Diehl Elementary School $27,639. Edison Elementary School$28,471.50. GECAC Community Charter School $18,648. Jefferson Elementary School $26,473.50. McKinley Elementary School $30,469.50. Iroquois Elementary School$38,073. The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program first started in the commonwealth in 2004 and is now in every state. Schools must have a free and reduced meal eligibility of 50 percent or more in order to qualify for the grants. Nearly 200 elementary schools across Pennsylvania were selected to receive the grants that total almost $5 million. Read more
READING, July 31 – State Rep. Tom Caltagirone, D-Berks, today announced that Saint Margaret School has been awarded a nearly $15,000 grant to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to students during the school day. Saint Margaret School, located in Caltagirone’s legislative district, was one of 200 Pennsylvania elementary schools to receive the grant. To qualify, a school must have a free and reduced meal eligibility of 50 percent or more, and must spend a majority of the grant on purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables. Schools are also then required to offer nutrition education to students. “Proper nutrition is essential to ensuring our students are performing at their highest potential,” said Caltagirone. “By providing students with a solid foundation, we are setting them on a path to success. I look forward to working with school officials to guarantee our students benefit greatly.” Funding is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, and was first introduced in Pennsylvania in 2004. The program’s mission is to provide healthier food choices in school lunches, to expand school variety of fruits and vegetables and to impact a student’s overall health. Read more
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