HARRISBURG, March 12 – State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, today announced that two companies in the 3 rd Legislative District received over $9,000 in state funding through Pennsylvania’s premier incumbent worker training program, WEDnetPA . Disabled Veteran Solutions , a nationally recognized provider of business and customer relationship management services, received $7,718 in funding. Micro Mold Co. Inc. , a precision mold manufacturer, was awarded $1,700. “I’m excited to announce the securing of these funds for two reputable businesses that are providing jobs and additional training to those in the Erie region,” Bizzarro said. “Additionally, the work done by WEDnetPA remains consistent with what House Democrats are trying to accomplish with our Plan for PA initiative by putting a strong and continued emphasis on workforce development.” WEDnetPA provides qualified employers training for new and existing employees. This training allows companies to remain competitive while keeping employee skills current and relevant. The funding can be used for a wide range of training that falls under Essential Skills training or Advanced Technology training . Essential Skills training provides instruction in general skills needed to be successful in the workplace. Advanced Technology training provides instruction in high-tech and advanced manufacturing subjects. WEDnetPA’s network of 26 community colleges, state system Read more
McNeill: Saquon Barkley Day in Pennsylvania Wednesday State Rep. Jeanne McNeill, D-Lehigh, has announced that Saquon Barkley of Coplay, Lehigh County will be recognized with a resolution (H.R .697 ) 11 a.m. Wednesday, March 14 by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. McNeill said immediately after the resolution presentation, Barkley will be available to the news media outside the Governor’s Reception Room, 2 nd Floor Main Capitol. Media coverage is invited . Read more
SCRANTON, March 12 – A staff member from state Rep. Marty Flynn's office will provide outreach assistance from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday, March 21 at the Clarks Green Borough Building, 104 N. Abington Road. Read more
HARRISBURG, March 12 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, hosted an entrepreneurial inclusion summit and business mixer on Monday at the Capitol in Harrisburg . The annual event recognized Minority, Women and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Day. It kicked off with a news conference with Wheatley and Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus Chairman Jordan Harris, D-Phila. “As the House Finance Committee Democratic chairman, supporting and providing fairness and equal opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses is important to me,” said Wheatley. “Having an open dialogue between business owners, service agencies and legislators is a good way to keep the lines of communication open about how we can provide them with better resources and support.” The MWDBE program is designed to encourage minority, women and other disadvantaged business owners to bid for and compete in state and local government bidding opportunities. Harris said, "We believe it's important for businesses owned by people of color, women and disadvantaged people to have a fair shot at competing for state contracts that their tax dollars fund." Additional speakers included Brian A. Hudson Sr., the executive director and CEO of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, and Curt Topper, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of General Services. Following the news conference, participants were invited to attend a networking lunch, and work group Read more
HARRISBURG, March 12 – Parents of school bullies would be on the hook for up to a $500 fine and possible community service requirement under legislation being proposed by state Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, in an attempt to curb the problem of students taunting and terrorizing their peers. “Bullying is underreported and often unaddressed in any meaningful way,” said Burns, who made it his mission to visit classrooms throughout his district last year to talk about bullying and have students sign an anti-bullying pledge. “When it’s not addressed, bullying can escalate quickly from taunts and hurtful online posts to physical assaults and—in worst cases—suicide. Holding students, parents and officials at all levels accountable is the only way to put an end to this scourge.” Burns’ bold parental accountability measure—one of a package of three bills Burns plans to introduce shortly—would require schools to notify parents each time their child bullies another child. After the first incident, parents would be told what action the school took. After a second incident, parents would be required to take a parenting class on bullying and would be asked to attend a bullying resolution conference. But if a student bullies a third time or more in the same school year, Burns’ bill would ensure that the bully’s parents receive a court citation and the related stiff penalty of a fine up to $500 Read more
To assist grandparents who have sole caregiving responsibilities for their grandchildren, Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Luzerne, and Rep. Kathy Watson, R-Bucks, today discussed legislation at the state Capitol that would give grandparents better access to already existing resources.An estimated 82,000 grandparents are the sole caregivers for the nearly 89,000 grandchildren in Pennsylvania. That number is increasing due to the devastating opioid crisis across the commonwealth. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, March 9 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., will host a free SEPTA Key Senior Photo ID Card event to help seniors in the 194th Legislative District obtain their ID card to use for SEPTA travel. The event will take place from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 28 at DeLissio’s district office, 6511 Ridge Ave. This event is in addition to the weekly SEPTA photo appointments that the office has been hosting since August 2016. This is by appointment only for residents of the 194 th who are 65 or older and have yet to get their SEPTA Key ID photo taken. Those constituents can call the district office at 215-482-8726 . In collaboration with SEPTA, many legislators’ district offices are assisting with the rollout of the SEPTA Key Senior ID Cards by taking photos and sending the information to SEPTA. SEPTA processes the ID cards and then mails the card directly to residents a few weeks later. “My staff is known for their fun and painless photo ops, as we have been providing this constituent service to ensure a smooth and efficient experience,” DeLissio said. “Our office has taken well over 2,400 photos so far, and we look forward to many more!” To participate, seniors must bring at least one appropriate form of identification including, but not limited to: a birth certificate, Pennsylvania driver’s license, passport, or a statement of age verification from the U.S. Social Security Read more
PHILADELPHIA, March 9 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., will hold her 71st Town Hall at 7 p.m. Monday, March 19 in the Community Room at Falls Ridge, located at 4349 Ridge Ave. DeLissio will continue the discussion that began at her 70 th Town Hall, which focused on the governor’s budget proposal and the legislature’s budget process, and discuss H.B. 153, a constitutional amendment to reduce the size of the House chamber in the state legislature. “The topic of H.B.153, whether or not size matters when it comes to our state legislature, was on our agenda for last month’s town hall but due to such vigorous dialogue on the budget process and the congressional redistricting remedial map, we ran out of time,” DeLissio said. “I look forward to updating constituents on where we are in the budget process after House Appropriations Committee hearings ended this week. We will also discuss the potential impacts of H.B. 153 if it were to be passed and enacted. “We will also review the status of a number of bills that have been introduced on gun safety. “Speaking with my constituents energizes me. Constituent input and feedback is important to me, and I look forward to hearing from those who participate. As always, I am happy to take your questions about state policy and discuss your concerns.” More information can be obtained by calling DeLissio’s office at (215) 482-8726 . Read more
HARRISBURG, March 8 – State Rep. Dan Miller, D-Mt. Lebanon, joined by other legislators, will host a “Mental Health and School Safety” news conference at 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 13 in the Capitol Media Center. Spurred in part by national reaction to the recent school shooting tragedy in Parkland, Fla., the legislators want to ensure that any aspect of mental health discussed in relation to school violence is appropriately tailored and addressed in way that will not increase stigma or reinforce negative stereotypes. While they agree this is a very important discussion to have, the legislators also want to underscore that too many have fought too hard for parity, acceptance and support to allow the roughly 20 percent of U.S. residents with a mental health issue to unjustly shoulder the blame for all acts of school violence. Additionally, participants intend to stress the reality that people with a mental health issue are much more likely to be victims of crime than its perpetrators. Participating legislators will be joined by spokespeople from key stakeholder groups, such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness and the Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association. In addition to Miller, state Reps. Mike Schlossberg, Tom Murt, Gene DiGirolamo, Jason Ortitay and Judy Ward are among those expected to attend. Media coverage is invited. Read more
HARRISBURG, March 8 – State Rep. Mike Hanna, D-Clinton/Centre, announced today that Native Creations Landscape Services received a $94,750 grant from the Riparian Forest Buffer Grant Program. This funding is administered by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Hanna said Native Creations Landscape Services will use the funding to construct approximately 16 acres of multi-functional riparian forest buffers along waterways in the West Branch Susquehanna River Watershed located in both Centre and Clinton counties. Work will include landowner outreach and engagement, buffer plantings and post-planting establishment, and project sign and other related site improvements. "Riparian forest buffers improve local water quality and wildlife habitat and reduce nutrient and sediment pollution,” Hanna said. “This grant will allow Native Creations Landscape Services to better protect our waterways.” DCNR’s Riparian Forest Buffer Grant Program provides financial assistance to identify locations in need of riparian forested buffers and to design, establish, monitor and maintain those buffers. Pennsylvania has a goal of planting 95,000 acres of stream buffers by 2025. Maintaining and restoring buffers along rivers and streams is a key strategy for improving water quality and aquatic habitat. Through two previous grant rounds, DCNR has provided nearly $1.4 million statewide for stream buffers. Buffer grants Read more
HARRISBURG, March 8 – State Rep. Mike Hanna, D-Clinton/Centre, today said that his town hall meeting held Wednesday night provided residents with an opportunity to get their voices heard. “Since 1991, I have been honored to represent residents of Clinton and Centre counties,” Hanna said. “Being able to hear from multiple constituents at one time affords me the opportunity to better understand what’s important to them, which is always enlightening.” Hanna said a small crowd of constituents attended the event at the Milesburg Community Center and over 100 people viewed the live stream through Facebook. The following topics were discussed throughout the 90-minute event: Gov. Tom Wolf’s 2018-19 budget proposal, property taxes, Marcellus shale, school safety and security, the opioid epidemic, medical marijuana, agricultural issues, municipal concerns, transportation issues, the Game Commission, redistricting, gift bans and residential energy assistance concerns. “Having a small crowd in attendance tonight was nice,” Hanna said. “It allowed for constituents to feel comfortable, ask multiple questions and fully engage in the conversation. It also provided an opportunity to spend more time digging a little deeper into the issues affecting our everyday lives.” Hanna said he wants to thank everyone for participating either in person or online and reminds residents that he and his staff are always available to Read more
HARRISBURG, March 8 – State Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, announced that he will host his first two open houses at his district offices. The first has been postponed due to snow; the second open house will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 28 at Davis’ Clairton Office, located at 551 Ravensburg Blvd. The phone number is (412) 233-2505. Read more
YORK, March 7 – State Rep. Carol Hill-Evans, D-York, today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing at the York City School District Administration Building on fair education funding in Pennsylvania. Members of the House Democratic Policy Committee hearing, including Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, joined Hill-Evans for the discussion how funding education in an equitable manner will benefit students, educators and the commonwealth as a whole. “All Pennsylvania children should have access to a quality education experience, regardless of their zip code. It’s important we continue to have these meaningful discussions across the state to determine how fair and equitable education funding from the state can help our school districts and benefit our community,” Hill-Evans said. Sturla added, “As a member of the Basic Education Funding Commission, I had the opportunity to play a role in crafting the formula that’s currently in place. While the formula is a step in the right direction, it only applies to new money. It’s important that we continue to work on ways to make sure to improve funding to future generations.” Hearing testifiers included Dr. Eric Holmes, superintendent, York City School District; Richard Snodgrass, business manager, York City School District; Dr. Larry Redding, acting superintendent, York Suburban School District; Dolores McCraken, President, PSEA; and John Callahan, Chief Advocacy Officer, Read more
HARRISBURG, March 7 – A set of public hearings to explore legislation to help stem gun violence and mass shootings is scheduled next month, PA SAFE Caucus leaders announced today. “It has become acutely apparent that measures need to be taken to prevent these situations from happening in the future,” wrote state House Judiciary Committee Chairman Ron Marsico, R-Dauphin, in a letter Tuesday inviting House lawmakers to testify. The announcement follows a statewide push by the PA SAFE Caucus to funnel Pennsylvanians’ calls for reform to state Capitol leadership in the wake of mass shootings across the country. “This is one of the most important safety issues we face, and I am pleased that the Judiciary chair has recognized the need to address gun violence,” said PA SAFE Caucus Co-chairwoman Madeleine Dean, D-Montgomery. “The students in Parkland are leading the fight for real reforms; it is now up to us to listen and make sure these hearings lead to meaningful passage of legislation that will save lives.” “We look forward to a robust, honest and fair discussion about the specific actions we will take to turn the tide against gun violence and deliver on our promise as elected officials to keep Pennsylvanians safe,” said PA SAFE Caucus Co-chairman Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny. The hearings will be held: 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Monday, April 9 in Room 140, Main Capitol 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 10 in Read more
GLENSIDE, March 5 – State Rep. Steve McCarter, D-Montgomery, will hold special extended office hours from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, March 19 at his district office, 115 E. Glenside Ave., Suite 8. Congressman Brendan Boyle’s office staff will hold extended office hours in his office, which is located in Suite 1 in the same complex, on the same night. “It’s important that constituents who are unable to visit during normal working hours have full access to state- and federal-government services,” McCarter said. McCarter’s staff will be on hand until 8 p.m. to help with property tax and rent rebates, SEPTA Key Senior ID cards, birth and death certificate requests, PACE, PennDOT problems and all other state government-related issues. Boyle’s staff also will be available until 8 p.m. to address concerns involving Social Security, Medicare, veterans’ benefits, federal student loans, passports and visas, IRS issues and any other federal government-related issue. No appointments are necessary. Read more
LANCASTER, March 6 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee roundtable to discuss workforce development at Tec Centro in Lancaster. Members of the House Democratic Policy Committee joined Chairman Sturla, local community leaders and policy experts for a discussion on how job training and community partnerships can help workers find living-wage careers. “We received valuable input from a diverse group of stakeholders who all have a vested interest in preparing workers for the jobs of today and tomorrow,” Sturla said. “We learned that it really is a collaborative effort between government and private enterprises to help develop a well-rounded workforce that can meet the community’s needs at family-sustaining wages.” He added, “Our caucus’ Plan4PA recognizes that workforce development is a key component to ensuring a strong economy with quality jobs in our state.” Roundtable participants included: Jerry Oleksiak, secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry; Carlos Graupera, executive director, Spanish American Civic Association; Cathy Rychalsky, executive director, Lancaster County Workforce Development Board; Bob Shoemaker, project executive, Lancaster City Alliance; Tom Baldrige, president and CEO, Lancaster Chamber; Scott Fiore, vice president/partner, TriStarr Staffing; Tyrone Works, CEO, Lancaster Works; Vanessa Philbert, Read more
State Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, highlighted his legislation ( H.B. 985 ) before the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee that would establish a Veteran Suicide Prevention Grant Program to be administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. Schweyer said his legislation has two components: to establish the program for veterans to receive mental health and support and to provide a permanent funding stream in the state budget to specifically support veterans’ suicide prevention programs. “Often times we hear heartbreaking stories of how our veterans struggle with both the visible and invisible wounds of war,” Schweyer said. “Many veterans become frustrated and disenfranchised with the extremely complicated veterans’ benefits system and I want to change that.” The legislation would increase the fee for birth and death certificates by $2 each. The generated revenue would be deposited into a fund, administered by the DMVA, specifically for the competitive grant program. The Lehigh County lawmaker said that during the DMVA budget hearing last week, Adj. Gen. Anthony Carrelli testified the suicide rate for Pennsylvania veterans is twice the rate of non-servicemen and women in the state. “It is critical we ensure that all of our veterans across Pennsylvania and their loved ones have the necessary resources and support with both the physical and psychological Read more
PLYMOUTH, March 6 – As part of his ongoing constituent and community outreach service dubbed “One.19,” state Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Luzerne, this week visited Plymouth and Plymouth Township. Read more
SCRANTON, March 5 – 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, Mar. 5 – State Rep. Bryan Barbin, D-Cambria/Somerset, announced that the Greater Johnstown School District will receive a $200,000 grant from the state Department of Education. “This is great news for the district,” Barbin said. “The funding will allow the district to expand its technology programs.” Barbin added that educational grants like this one are investments that provide great returns. “Our economic future depends on the strength of our schools,” Barbin said. “Giving our students a strong foundation equips them to succeed, stay and raise families in the state and invest back in the local economy. Helping our students to succeed benefits everyone.” Read more
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