PHILADELPHIA, March 5 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., reminds people that the City of Philadelphia now is offering a program to forgive older unpaid parking tickets and that his district office staff can help them navigate the process. The Parking Amnesty Program runs now through April 30 and will forgive any unpaid parking tickets issued before 2013 as long as a person does not have unpaid parking tickets between Jan. 1, 2013 and Dec. 31, 2017. If someone has parking tickets from between those dates, they must pay them either in full or under a payment plan before the tickets issued prior to 2013 are forgiven. Cruz said the program does not cover any traffic or moving violation tickets. “Whether it’s a matter of forgetting to pay them or having financial difficulty, dealing with unpaid parking tickets can be a burden but should be addressed,” Cruz said. “My staff and I are available to help people with the process and come up with a plan to resolve these unpaid tickets.” Constituents who would like assistance with their unpaid parking tickets can call Cruz’s district office at (215) 291-5643 or stop by at 3503 North B St., Unit 7, 19134. Read more
STROUDSBURG, March 5 – State Rep. Maureen Madden invites residents to join her for a town hall meeting on March 17. Read more
EBENSBURG, March 1 – Recognizing the importance of keeping children safe, state Rep. Frank Burns is building that theme into his inaugural “Breakfast with the Easter Bunny” set for 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 31 at the Young Peoples Community Center, 300 Prave St., Ebensburg. Burns, D-Cambria, said child fingerprinting and IDs, bicycle safety tips and an appearance by McGruff the Crime Dog will figure prominently in the event. Free breakfasts from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. for children under 12 and the opportunity for photographs with the Easter Bunny will also be offered. “Given everyone’s heightened concern for the safety of children, my staff and I decided that adding this event to our annual schedule would be an appropriate way to educate and help protect them, wrapped within the aura of having some fun,” Burns said. “Make no mistake, though: While we’re gearing up for everyone to have a good time, the primary focus of child safety is quite serious.” Burns said Cambria County Crimestoppers will collect a requested $5 donation from any adult who wishes to have breakfast. Anyone wishing to attend is asked to RSVP at (814) 736-7339 no later than Tuesday, March 20. Read more
HARRISBURG, March 5 – State Rep. Ed Gainey, D-Allegheny, a member of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus , has announced that the PLBC’s annual scholarship competition is accepting applications up to April 30. “I’m more than happy to announce that it’s again that time of year where the PLBC is offering to assist minority students in pursuing higher education,” Gainey said. “This is a wonderful opportunity for students to showcase their dedication and commitment to enrolling in college and pursuing their dreams.” The scholarships are available for high school seniors and first-year college students who will be enrolled in an accredited two- to four-year Pennsylvania college or university. Gainey said the students applying for the scholarship must be an ethnic minority student, have a minimum grade-point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale, reside in the legislative district of and be sponsored by a PLBC member, and demonstrate leadership qualities. Additionally, a 500-word essay on the student’s academic plans and career goals also must be submitted. Only the first 250 applications submitted will be considered and the PLBC only will acknowledge receipt of those first 250. So, while applications will be accepted up to April 30, students are encouraged to submit their applications as soon as possible, Gainey said. Finalists will be contacted in mid-May. If selected, the recipient will receive a $1,000 award. Read more
HARRISBURG, March 2 – State Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, announced that he learned today the state will be awarding Cambria County a grant for construction and maintenance of new ATV trails at Rock Run Recreation Area. “My office is committed to assisting organizations apply for grants,” Burns said. “It’s great to see the state making investments in our region by expanding outdoor recreational opportunities.” The $86,000 in funds will go toward the purchase of equipment that will be used to construct and maintain approximately 140 miles of off-highway vehicle trails at the recreational area. The grant, administered by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, is being funded through the department’s ATV Management Restricted Account. Read more
YORK, March 2 – As part of House Democrats’ Plan4PA and efforts to put people first, state Rep. Carol Hill-Evans, D-York, will host a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing on fair education in the commonwealth. The hearing will be held 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 7, in the Hannah Penn K-8 School’s auditorium, 415 Boundary Ave. The public is invited to attend. Hill-Evans will be joined by local school officials, policy experts and state legislators, including Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, to learn how funding education in an equitable manner will benefit students, educators and the commonwealth as a whole. The current agenda is: 2:00 p.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks 2:10 p.m. Panel One: Dr. Eric Holmes , superintendent, York City School District Richard Snodgrass , business manager, York City School District Dr. Todd Davies , superintendent, West York Area School District Dr. Larry Redding , acting superintendent, York Suburban School District 2:40 p.m. Questions from Committee Members 3:10 p.m. Panel Two: Dolores McCraken , President, PSEA John Callahan , Chief Advocacy Officer, Pennsylvania School Boards Association 3:30 p.m. Questions from Committee Members 3:50 p.m. Closing Remarks Those interested in learning more can visit http://planforpa.pahouse.com for additional information about the Plan4PA and www.pahouse.com/policycommittee for Policy Read more
PHILADELPHIA, March 2 – Leaders of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus thanked Gov. Tom Wolf for calling gun violence a crisis during his visit to Philadelphia today. State Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., chairman of the PLBC, hosted Wolf as the governor and PLBC members visited a memorial to local victims of gun violence. The governor and legislators then held a public roundtable with members of the local community who have been affected by gun violence as well as other local leaders, including Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. Harris said: "Illegal gun violence in Pennsylvania is a public health crisis and it's important that we call it that. We must be concerned about the neighborhood shootings that take lives one or two at a time as well as the tragic mass shootings that tend to dominate the headlines. Every victim matters. "So we appreciate Governor Wolf coming to Philadelphia and calling illegal gun violence what it is – a public health crisis. We look forward to working with the administration to identify resources to help stem the tide of gun violence in our communities." Wolf said: "We do need to make sure we are approaching this as the health crisis that this is. We need to make sure that we do everything we can to change the mindset of a nation, a whole nation, that is taking an entirely too casual approach to gun violence." State Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., vice chair of the PLBC, said: Read more
PHILADELPHIA, March 1 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, announced that her Southwest Energy Forums at the 12th and 18th District police stations were a success. McClinton said there were more than 60 seniors in attendance at each energy forum who learned more about how to weatherize their homes properly during the winter months. “I was excited to host my Southwest Energy Forums and provide residents with the information on how to save money on utility bills this winter and the winter months to come,” McClinton said. “On average, low-income communities and communities of color spend 26 percent of their income on utilities. It’s time we teach residents how they can best save money on energy costs and spend those extra dollars elsewhere. “I would like to give a special thanks to representatives from PECO, Philadelphia Gas Works, Energy Coordinating Agency, the Department of Human Services, the Pennsylvania Utilities Commission and PennEnvironment for providing attendees with vital information that will save them hundreds of dollars each year.” ### Read more
ALLENTOWN, March 1 – State Reps. Mike Schlossberg and Peter Schweyer, both D-Lehigh, issued the following statements after the guilty verdict in the trial of Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski. Rep. Peter Schweyer: “The people of Allentown are some of the proudest and toughest folks in all of Pennsylvania. We have seen ups and downs, good times and bad. Today’s announcement that Mr. Pawlowski has been found guilty by an impartial jury of breaking the public’s trust is certainly a sad day for my hometown, but gives us the chance to move forward. “There has been a cloud hanging over City Hall over the last few years which caused tension and frustration for city employees, business and everyday citizens. But the illicit activity perpetrated by Mr. Pawlowski has not hurt our strong neighborhoods, has not curtailed our economic recovery and hasn’t stopped the remaining dedicated city workers from working hard for each and every one of us. “I’m a lifelong Allentownian and I am fully confident that our best days are ahead of us. We will do today what we do best: roll up our sleeves and get to work on building a better community. You have my word that I will be right there with you. “ Rep. Mike Schlossberg: “Today is not a joyful day, it’s the conclusion of a tragedy. But hopefully, and more importantly, today marks the end of a painful chapter for the people of Allentown. Read more
LANCASTER, March 1 – As part of the House Democratic Caucus’ Plan4PA, Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, will host a House Democratic Policy Committee roundtable on workforce development. The roundtable discussion will take place at 3 p.m. Tuesday, March 6 at Tec Centro, 102 Chester St., Lancaster. The media and public are invited to attend. Sturla requested this meeting to collect input on how to improve workforce development. The discussion will feature local leaders, policy experts and state legislators from all across the state. The current agenda is: 3:00 p.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks 3:10 p.m. Discussion with Panelists: Jerry Oleksiak , secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Labor & 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 Baldridge , president & CEO, Lancaster Chamber Scott Fiore , vice president/partner, TriStarr Staffing Vanessa Philbert , household stability impact team leader, Community Action Partnership Dr. Zoann Parker , vice president for academic affairs, Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology Victor Ramos , vice president, HACC-Lancaster and Lebanon Campuses Victor Rodgers , associate provost for workforce development and continuing education, HACC Matt Johnson , Mayor’s chief of Read more
FOLSOM, March 1 – State Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky will hold events in March to help constituents discover any unclaimed property the state might hold, as well as connect veterans with needed benefits. “I’m glad to be able to make state services more easily accessible for community members,” said Krueger-Braneky, D-Delaware. “My staff and I are ready to help with these services as well as other state-related needs residents might have.” Both events will take place at Krueger-Braneky’s district office, 701 E. MacDade Blvd., Folsom. Unclaimed property search - March 14 and 15, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The state Treasurer’s Office has $3.2 billion in unclaimed property that it wants to return to the rightful owners. Unclaimed property can include closed bank accounts, uncashed checks, lost stocks or bonds and more. Constituents should bring their driver’s license or appropriate identification to this event, and staff can help them determine if the state has unclaimed property that belongs to them. PA Mobile Veterans Outreach Van – March 15, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Pennsylvania Mobile Veterans Outreach Van will be on site to help accredited veterans and their family members connect with needed benefits, such as disability, health care, pension, education, career assistance and more. Anyone with questions should call Krueger-Braneky’s district office at 610-534-6880. Read more
HARRISBURG, March 1 – The House Finance Committee’s Select Subcommittee on Tax Modernization and Reform held a second hearing to discuss Pennsylvania’s income tax and businesses on Feb. 20, said House Finance Committee Democratic Chairman Jake Wheatley. Leaders from the National Federation of Independent Business and the Pennsylvania Certified Institute of Certified Public Accountants provided testimony. Discussions focused on business taxes, what drives entrepreneurs to other states and how they, along with college graduates, could be kept in Pennsylvania. Democratic members in attendance included Wheatley, D-Allegheny, and Rep. Mary Jo Daley, D-Montgomery. For more information about the Democratic members of the House Finance Committee, visit its webpage . Read more
HARRISBURG, March 1 – State Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, issued the following statement regarding the latest news story about a member of the Pennsylvania General Assembly being accused of sexual assault. Read more
GREENVILLE, March 1 – State Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, is reminding eligible veterans that they have six months to apply for a maximum $525 under the state’s Persian Gulf Conflict Veterans Bonus program. Longietti said veterans who served on active duty in the Persian Gulf Theater of Operations from Aug. 2, 1990 to Aug. 31, 1991 are eligible. He added that an additional $5,000 is available for surviving family of personnel whose death was related to illness or injury received in the line of duty in Operations Desert Shield or Desert Storm, and that service members declared prisoners of war may also be eligible for $5,000. “I urge every veteran who meets the qualifications to apply, and the same goes for any surviving family member,” Longietti said. “Even though the deadline is six months away, please don’t wait until the last minute if you can avoid that. If you have any questions, my offices are available to help.” To be eligible for the bonus, a service member must have: Served with the U.S. Armed Forces, a reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces or the Pennsylvania National Guard Served on active duty in the Persian Gulf Theater of Operations during the period from Aug. 2, 1990 to Aug. 31, 1991 Received the Southwest Asia Service Medal Been a legal resident of Pennsylvania at the time of active duty service Been discharged from active duty under honorable conditions, if not Read more
PITTSBURGH, March 1 – State Rep. Paul Costa, D-Allegheny, today praised the award of $705,985 in grants from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board for 13 projects – three of them in Allegheny County – to promote and enhance the state’s beer industry. As Democratic chairman of the House Liquor Control Committee, Costa played a key role in passage of Act 39 of 2016, which authorized the PLBC to approve up to $1 million annually for development and marketing of the Pennsylvania beer industry. The act also created the Pennsylvania Malt and Brewed Beverages Industry Promotion Board. “One of the things we set out to accomplish is growth in the commonwealth’s $5.8 billion malt and brewed beverage industry, which has grown 300 percent in the last six years and now includes approximately 300 licensed breweries,” Costa said. “All of the projects receiving grant funding were recommended for approval by the promotion board formed by Act 39.” Costa identified the three local awards as: $35,000 to the Master Brewers Association of Pennsylvania – Pittsburgh District, for a professional development and education program. The effort will include helping Western Pennsylvania brewers increase their knowledge and improve the quality of beer produced. $30,000 to the Pittsburgh Brewers Guild, to develop an interactive online and print “Pittsburgh Brewery Guide” focusing on Allegheny County breweries, Read more
NANTICOKE, March 1 – State Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Luzerne, announced that applications for the 119th Legislative District's inaugural Youth Advisory Council will be accepted through March 31. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, March 1 – In an effort to bring job opportunities to the people of northeast Philadelphia, state Rep. Jared Solomon is hosting an event for people to connect with potential employers. The job fair will take place from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 10 at The Bustleton Learning Center, 6600 Bustleton Ave., 19149. Solomon said representatives from local businesses, PA CareerLink, city and state government, unions and recruiters will be in attendance to meet with people looking for work. “Finding employment can be a frustrating process. There are so many ways to go about it that sometimes a person isn’t able to find the right opportunity,” Solomon said. “I am hoping to change that with my job fair; it’s a great one-stop shop to help people get back to work.” Solomon added that he and his staff will be on hand to provide information about state programs and services. For more information, call Solomon’s office at (215) 342-6340. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, March 1 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., released the following statement today in response to Mayor Jim Kenney’s budget address: “I applaud Mayor Kenney for recognizing the importance of increasing funding for our schools and continuing to prioritize investments in our emergency services. “I am also pleased to see that the mayor has placed importance on bolstering programs that address our city’s homelessness epidemic and the raging opioid crisis. These programs are critical to maintaining the stability and health of all Philadelphians. “However, we must find other ways to generate this funding, rather than asking citizens to directly take on this burden. We have a responsibility to provide services to the taxpayers and citizens of our city, but we have to create innovative ways to fund these obligations. It is simply not sustainable to place additional burdens on our taxpayers. “We must work to diversify our city and state’s revenue stream. That means thinking outside of the box for long-term solutions that will benefit all who live, work and make their lives in Philadelphia. “There are many ways we can accomplish this. As first steps, I recommend that we evaluate the feasibility of eliminating the ten year tax rebate from new construction, to give the average homeowner a break. We should also aggressively pursue those who are delinquent in their tax payments, and consider offering a tax Read more
HARRISBURG, March 1 – State Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky, D-Delaware, on Thursday released the following statement regarding Rep. Nick Miccarelli, R-Delaware: “I am sickened by the report by the Philadelphia Inquirer and The Caucus that Representative Nick Miccarelli has been accused of sexually assaulting women. “Anytime an accusation this serious in nature is made, it is imperative that we alert all women working in the state Capitol, who would otherwise be unwittingly in proximity to an alleged sexual predator. As I have stated before, the women legislators, staff, and interns of the General Assembly deserve better than to find out in the newspaper that a prominent elected official has a concerning history of sexual assault or harassment allegations. The public deserves to know when elected officials have abused their power, period -- especially when the allegation is criminal in nature. “This is just another example of why we need a fair and transparent system to address complaints of sexual harassment. Both survivors said they remained silent for years because they feared speaking up would threaten their careers and possibly their lives. That is not the first time that we’ve heard about fear of retaliation from survivors who work in this state Capitol. Right now, there are four different processes for four different legislative caucuses, and ultimately political leaders in each Caucus usually get to decide how complaints are handled. Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 28 – State Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, sent letters today to Gov. Tom Wolf and Department of Corrections Secretary John Wetzel demanding that the state confiscate and permanently ban inmates’ heavy-soled work boots, like the ones an inmate wore earlier this month to inflict injuries that killed an SCI-Somerset corrections officer. Burns, founder and chairman of the Blue Lives Matter Caucus, is also demanding to know why the brutal attack on Sgt. Mark Baserman, who was kicked repeatedly in the head, had to happen before the DOC decided to stop selling those boots through the prison commissary system. “I want to know why a state corrections officer had to die before the Department of Corrections responded,” Burns said. “The department said they’re suspending commissary sales of these heavy work boots, but what about the hundreds of boots inmates are still wearing? Do we have to wait for another officer to die before the state acts to remove them completely?” Burns said he stands solidly with the state’s prison guards in their call for immediate removal and ban of the boots. “It’s not enough to suspend commissary sales,” Burns said. “We need to confiscate these weapons now. I don’t care if the inmates have to wear flip-flops if it means saving a corrections officer’s life.” Burns also is demanding answers on what footwear inmates are allowed to wear and when the Read more
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