Forms for Pennsylvania’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program for the 2015 tax year are available at my district office – and my staff is ready to help you file yours for free ! The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians 65 or older, widows and widowers 50 or older, and people with disabilities 18 or older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters. Half of Social Security income is excluded and the maximum standard rebate is $650. Claimants must reapply for rebates every year because they are based on annual income and property taxes or rent paid each year. Spouses, personal representatives or estates may file rebate claims on behalf of deceased claimants who lived at least one day in 2015 and meet all other eligibility criteria. The oft-extended deadline to apply for a rebate on property taxes or rent paid in 2015 is June 30, 2016, and the rebates normally are distributed by the Deparment of Revenue beginning July 1. So, the sooner you file, the sooner you will receive your money. Read more
Pa. state Rep. Rosita Youngblood congratulates her colleague, Pa. state Rep. Angel Cruz on his election as President of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators. Read more
PACE, PACENET and PACE plus Medicare are Pennsylvania's prescription assistance programs for older adults, offering low-cost prescription medication to qualified residents, age 65 and older. As of this year, the legislature passed a law excluding Social Security Medicare Part B premiums from being counted towards income levels. Read more
Pa. state Rep. Rosita Youngblood says it's time for lawmakers to put people before politics and take Pennsylvania down a path where schools are funded, those in need get help and our homeowners don't face higher property taxes every year. Read more
Pennsylvania has a Children's Health Insurance Program that provides free and low-cost health insurance to children. CHIP is not welfare – it covers children of working parents whose employers don't offer coverage and who can't afford private insurance. If you can't afford health insurance for your children, chances are they are eligible for CHIP. Read more
Each year, the Pennsylvania Treasury receives millions of dollars of unclaimed property. It is estimated that roughly one in 10 Pennsylvanians has unclaimed property. Read more
In Pennsylvania, you can choose the company that generates your electricity – also known as your electric supplier. This means that you have the power to switch to a competing supplier who can offer the lowest price, or provide a specific service you want, such as “green” or renewable energy. Read more
Responding to the concerns of many legislators and a wide range of adult volunteers, Gov. Tom Wolf did the right thing Wednesday by announcing the waiver of $10 criminal background check and child abuse clearance fees applying to volunteers who work with children. It’s important to note that volunteers working with children – including firefighters and EMS personnel, as well as those working with Little Leagues, social organizations and schools – will still be required to obtain the clearances. Because of Wolf’s move, they just won’t have to pay for them. This rectifies an oversight in a well-intended 2014 law designed to better protect our children. It also alleviates widespread concern that imposition of the fees would make recruiting and retaining adult volunteers more difficult. In another good move, for people seeking employment for work with children and others legally required to obtain them, Wolf also said the state Department of Human Services and Pennsylvania State Police will reduce the cost of child abuse and criminal history record checks from $10 to $8. I support the governor’s actions to fix this problem administratively, as well as ongoing efforts to put these fixes into law. More information about clearances required under the Child Protective Services Law can be found at www.keepkidssafe.pa.gov . If you need clearances, you can go directly to www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis to create an account and apply Read more
Do you want to know what I’m working on to put People 1st in Pennsylvania, or tell me what you think needs to be done to improve our community? If so, please plan to attend my upcoming "Community Conversation" designed to foster the information flow between me and you. It’s set for 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 6, at Kenderton Charter School, 1500 W. Ontario St. This will be the last "Community Conversation" in the 198th District before we vote on a new state budget. Click HERE to view or print a flyer with more details. It’s available, along with loads of other useful information, on my state website . As always, please contact my office for help regarding any state-related matter. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, May 12 – Seeking to end Pennsylvania’s status as one of only two states that fail to tax state lottery winnings, state Rep. Rosita C. Youngblood, D-Phila., plans to introduce bills to close that loophole and start generating millions of dollars in new revenue. Youngblood’s two-bill package will mirror H.B. 1969 and H.B. 1970 from last legislative session, with the former removing the State Lottery Law tax exemption for winnings and the latter striking the exemption from the state Tax Reform Code. California is the only other state that doesn’t tax its state lottery winnings, said Youngblood, noting that Pennsylvania’s 3.07 percent personal income tax already applies to winnings from casino gambling, pari-mutuel thoroughbred horse racing and harness horse racing, games of chance and bingo. “These proposals have the potential to raise significant revenue for the commonwealth, without negatively impacting consumers, the poor, small businesses, working families or anyone relying on a fixed income,” Youngblood said. “Plus, my initiatives would end a double standard, whereby all gambling proceeds are subject to the state personal income tax except those doled out by the Pennsylvania lottery.” Youngblood, who serves as secretary of the House Democratic Caucus and has launched a legislative agenda called People 1st, said obtaining needed state revenue by closing loopholes fits Read more
HARRISBURG, March 3 – Below is a statement from s tate Rep. Rosita C. Youngblood regarding Gov. Tom Wolf’s 2015-16 budget proposal: "I was energized by Governor Wolf’s budget plan outlined today because it sets a new course for Pennsylvania by focusing on the issues that will put people first. His aggressive approach – which looks to solve the significant issues facing our commonwealth, not just cover them up with one-time band aids, while trying to undo the damage of the last four years – is impressive to say the least. It’s a comprehensive proposal that will provide our people with jobs that pay, schools that teach and a government that works. "I stand with Governor Wolf on his plan to provide dedicated state funding for our schools – and once again making the commonwealth a true partner in educating our kids. I also applaud his dedication to creating a fairer tax system that removes the burden of property and wage taxes and ensures that corporations will pay their fair share. And I commend his efforts to reverse the trend facing our state’s pension system by actually solving the crisis while respecting the value of our state and union workers. "All-in-all, I believe that Governor Wolf’s budget proposal will greatly impact the people of Philadelphia and all residents of this commonwealth. It’s bold, aggressive and challenging, especially amid the political realities Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 24 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., thanked House members this week for their unanimous adoption of House Resolution 86 , which honored Rep. Rosita Youngblood, D-Phila., on her accomplishment of becoming the first African-American female elected to a House leadership position. "This is a tremendous honor for Representative Youngblood, and I couldn’t think of a more deserving candidate," Cruz said. "Since taking office over 20 years ago, she has dedicated herself to not only improving the lives of her constituents, but also the lives of women and minorities across the state. I am positive she will continue to be a perfect example of how to use public service for the greater good of her community and all of Pennsylvania." Following her election to an 11th term in the state House, Youngblood was elected by members of the House Democratic Caucus to serve as the Democratic Caucus secretary, becoming the first African-American female to hold a leadership position in the history of the General Assembly. "There are truly no words to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude for the support from my colleagues in the House," Youngblood said. "It is overwhelmingly humbling to be recognized by my peers, colleagues and friends, and I truly appreciate each and every one of them, especially Rep. Cruz, for their kindness and support. To become the first ever African-American woman elected to a House leadership Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 13 – State Reps. Rosita C. Youngblood , D-Phila., and Seth Grove , R-York, have joined forces to introduce a resolution urging the federal government to officially rename a Somerset County mountain in honor of a French and Indian War hero. Youngblood said Negro Mountain, a 30-mile-long ridge of the Allegheny Mountains spanning from Maryland north into Somerset County, took its name from a battle during that war. In 1756, a clash broke out between Native Americans and volunteers, including British-born pioneer Thomas Cresap. History reports that a black frontiersman named Nemesis was mortally wounded during the battle, but instead of taking shelter, he told the remaining members of his party to leave, bravely sacrificing himself so they could retreat to safety. All accounts highlight that the mountain took its name from this battle, notably from the heroism of Nemesis, who gave his life to protect the other volunteers. Youngblood and Grove said it is time for Nemesis to receive the respect and recognition he deserves. "During a time when people of color were identified more as property than as individuals, it might have seemed a fitting honor to name the site of this battle ‘Negro Mountain,’” Youngblood said. “Although the term ‘Negro’ may not be seen by some commonwealth residents as a derogatory term, it’s outdated. And the fact remains that the hero of this battle had a Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 4 – State Reps. Rosita C. Youngblood and Jason Dawkins, both D-Phila., have introduced legislation to strengthen sibling visitation rights and recognize the importance of these relationships on the emotional and psychological development of children. The Philadelphia lawmakers say their proposal (H.B. 338) would simply provide standing in court to siblings who wish to petition for visitation rights, similar to grandparents' rights already provided under state law. The decision to grant sibling visitation rights would still rest in the hands of a judge. Youngblood, who introduced the legislation last session, said studies have documented the importance of sibling relationships in the development and growth of children. She said the bond between siblings is unique and powerful, and provides a structure beyond all other relationships critical to a child's development. "The state already acknowledges the importance of sibling relationships with regard to adoption and foster care, by doing everything possible to keep siblings together in those difficult circumstances," Youngblood said. "The same protection should be extended to all children separated from their siblings, especially in situations where the family structure has significantly changed. Once sibling relationships are established, the bond is an essential part of a child's life and we need to make sure that they have an opportunity to keep Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 2 – Pop Warner National Super Bowl Championship football team winners from the Germantown area of Northwest Philadelphia were honored on the House floor today, in a ceremony orchestrated by state Reps. Rosita C. Youngblood and Stephen Kinsey, both D-Phila. The Northwest Raiders, winners of the 2014 national Pop Warner title, defeated a team from Connecticut in a game held at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., and televised on ESPN2. Their accomplishment was acknowledged by H.R. 34 , jointly sponsored by Youngblood and Kinsey. "It is a pleasure and honor to recognize a group of young men who, in the truest display of dedication and teamwork, have accomplished such a lofty goal," Youngblood said. "Their success is proof that when you set a goal and put your mind to it, anything is possible. They have put themselves – and their community – on the national stage in an impressively positive way." Kinsey said, "The old adage goes, 'It's not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game.' We can be proud of the way the Northwest Raiders played the game – and doubly proud of the fact that they emerged victorious. In so doing, they've become role models for countless other youths." Youngblood made particular note of the strong educational component of the Pop Warner title, reiterating that the organization which operates in 42 states requires players to maintain academic standards Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 29 – State Reps. Rosita C. Youngblood and Stephen Kinsey, both D-Phila., will join members of the state House of Representatives at 1 p.m. Monday, Feb. 2 in the House chamber to honor the Northwest Raiders football team for winning the 2014 Pop Warner National Super Bowl Championship. Youngblood and Kinsey jointly sponsored H.R. 34 , which would recognize the Northwest Raiders’ accomplishment of capturing their first ever Pop Warner Super Bowl Championship since the program began back in 1971. The Super Bowl was held at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., and was nationally televised live on ESPN2 sports network. The Raiders, who hail from the Germantown area of Northwest Philadelphia, defeated Connecticut’s New Britain Raiders by a score of 26-6. “Pop Warner Little Scholars Inc. is a nonprofit organization that provides youth football and cheer and dance programs in 42 states across the country, and is the only youth football program that requires participants to maintain academic standards in order to play,” Youngblood said. “I am looking forward to recognizing these young men who not only have proven themselves on the football field, but also as students and positive members of our community.” “It is fitting to honor Philadelphia’s Northwest Raiders,” Kinsey added. “Not only for their significant athletic accomplishment in winning the 2014 Pop Warner Super Bowl, but Read more
I believe it’s time to focus on priorities that will help working families, children and our seniors, while building a stronger economy and a better Pennsylvania for all. Families I will focus on policies that provide Jobs that Pay right here in Pennsylvania so that families can work their way out of poverty. That is why I support: Raising the minimum wage, NOW Providing paid sick and maternity leave for ALL workers Strengthening pay equity laws for ALL workers, regardless of sex, race, family status or sexual orientation Students I am committed to investing in our children, from pre-K programs through college, so that we can provide Schools that Teach our students and that provide access to teachers, counselors and programs that will help them succeed. That is why I support: A fair and balanced funding formula for ALL public schools across the Commonwealth Expanding and improving early childhood education investments Helping to make college more affordable Taxpayers I believe that Pennsylvania must move above partisan politics and reach across party to have a Government that Works to protect our seniors, our working families and our middle class. We can achieve this by ending policies that benefit wealthy corporations above everyday taxpayers. That is why I support: Passing a reasonable Marcellus Shale tax on natural gas drilling Closing, once and for all, the Delaware Loophole. Preserving and expanding state assets Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 6 – Starting her 11th term as the first black female to hold a leadership post in the Pennsylvania General Assembly’s history, state Rep. Rosita C. Youngblood, D-Phila., took the oath of office for the 2015-16 legislative session vowing to fight for increased education funding, raising the minimum wage, expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act and ensuring equal opportunity for all citizens. Selected by her peers as House Democratic Caucus secretary, Youngblood now holds a key spot on the leadership team, with the added duties of helping chart and implement strategy and direction for House Democrats. First elected in 1994, Youngblood said she will continue to fight for the principles and priorities that put people first. And she stated that becoming the first black female to hold a leadership position in the history of the Pennsylvania legislature comes with a responsibility to focus on issues that support working families, including ensuring that every Pennsylvanian obtains equal pay for equal work, along with employment protection for pregnant and sick employees. “I am honored to be elevated by my fellow Democrats to their leadership team,” Youngblood said. “With the help of Governor-elect Tom Wolfe, we are enthusiastic about a change in direction and priorities from the previous administration, which failed the students of Philadelphia, and students all across the commonwealth, by short-changing needed Read more
Pennsylvania's children have a new protection thanks to Hannah's Law, named after Hannah Ginion of Bristol Township, who suffered from the rare genetic disorder called Krabbe disease. Hannah passed away on Dec. 28, 2014. Read more
To help constituents gain access to affordable health care, state Rep. Rosita C. Youngblood, D-Phila., hosted a "Get Covered!" health insurance enrollment event today, in conjunction with Enroll America and the Pennsylvania Health Access Network.
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