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More than $5 million secured for water projects in Allegheny County

(Oct 21, 2021)

PITTSBURGH, Oct. 21 – State funding of more than $5.3 million dollars will help fund two local water projects that aim to continue efforts to eliminate lead from drinking water systems, the Allegheny County Democratic Delegation announced today. “Our communities depend on having clean and safe drinking water,” said state Rep. Austin Davis, ACDD Chairman. “The funding invested today shows a commitment to removing harmful lead from the aging drinking systems in many of our neighborhoods and improving safety for our future generations.” The Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority board approved funding for the following: Municipal Authority of the Borough of Edgeworth, $250,905 loan and $394,095 grant to replace 75 existing, lead-containing water service lines. The project will replace aged, lead water lines and reduce potential lead exposure throughout the system. Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, $1,830,833 loan and $2,875,679 grant to replace 200 public and 167 private lead service lines throughout the distribution system. The project will result in a significant reduction in water loss and will reduce potential lead exposure for users. PENNVEST awarded a total of $186 million for 33 drinking water, wastewater and non-point source projects across 20 counties throughout Pennsylvania. A full list of projects can be found here . Read more

Kinkead named to board of ALCOSAN by Pittsburgh City Council

(Oct 19, 2021)

State rep is committed to clean water, environment for region Read more

Davis secures $75k grant for historic Penn McKee hotel

(Oct 05, 2021)

McKEESPORT, Oct. 5 – State Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, announced today Pittsburgh Rebuilding Together was awarded $75,000 in state funding for the Penn McKee hotel stabilization project in the city of McKeesport. “The Penn McKee has been through its share of ups and downs. What was once the Mon Valley’s premier hotel and home to countless events, including the first debate between then-Congressmen John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon, has now stood vacant and in severe disrepair for a couple of decades,” Davis said. “I helped to secure this funding with the hopes that it will help to create a new chapter in the Penn McKee’s rich history, one that holds a brighter future for the blighted landmark and the city of McKeesport.” Davis said the funding comes from the state Department of Community and Economic Development and will be used for demolition, asbestos abatement, engineering and administration costs associated with the Penn McKee hotel stabilization project. The grant is from DCED’s Keystone Communities Program , which is designed to encourage the creation of partnerships between the public and private sectors that jointly support local initiatives such as the growth and stability of neighborhoods and communities, social and economic diversity, and a strong and secure quality of life. Read more

Davis unveils highway sign honoring Mon Valley Civil Rights leader

(Sep 24, 2021)

DUQUESNE, Sept. 24 – The life and legacy of local civil rights leader Clifton P. Pitts was honored today with a ceremony dedicating The Clifton P. Pitts Memorial Highway along a portion of state Route 837 in Duquesne and West Mifflin. State Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, whose legislation enabled the dedication, said the highway will serve as a lasting reminder of Pitts’ dedication to his community and his steadfast leadership. “Clifton Pitts was an influential trailblazer in the Mon Valley who not only fought to improve the lives of everyone he met, but also inspired many people, like myself, to follow his lead in dedicating their time and talents to serving others,” Davis said. “I introduced the proposal to establish the Clifton P. Pitts Memorial Highway so that those in our community would have a permanent place to remember and reflect on Mr. Pitts’ legacy.” Today’s ceremony was attended by members of Pitts’ family, state Sen. Jay Costa, state Sen. Jim Brewster, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and city of Duquesne Mayor Nickole Nesby. “The hard work, leadership and legacy left by Clifton Pitts in our communities and beyond is extraordinary. He worked every day to create the world that he wanted to see for himself and for future generations, and I am proud to join in the commemoration of this memorial highway in his honor,” Costa Read more

DeLuca demands answers from PA Turnpike Commission about more than $104 million in uncollected tolls

(Sep 22, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 21 – State Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Allegheny, demanded answers from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission regarding reports that more than $104 million in tolls went uncollected last year during its transition to electronic tolling. “This uncollected revenue is especially concerning to me because it may have been captured if the Turnpike had continued employing the approximately 500 fare-collection workers who were laid off in 2020 during the transition to electronic tolling,” said DeLuca, the Democratic chairman of the House Insurance Committee. “These fare-collection workers had good family-sustaining jobs and they made great contributions to their local economies.” DeLuca’s letter to Turnpike Commissioner Mark Compton sought answers to several questions, including if layoffs were cost-effective compared to the millions lost in uncollected tolls, along with the costs of mailing notices and initiating collections, if the uncollected tolls would have been captured if there had not been layoffs, and for solutions to collect money from unpaid invoices from the Turnpike’s Toll-by-Plate operations. A copy of DeLuca’s letter can be found here . “These unpaid tolls will raise rates for law-abiding drivers who do pay their tolls,” DeLuca said. “I’m asking these questions on behalf of those drivers and the former fare-collection workers who lost their jobs during this transition, and Read more

Davis to introduce legislation to reinstate, fund Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

(Sep 16, 2021)

McKEESPORT, Sept. 16 – State Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, will introduce legislation to reinstate and fully fund the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which recently expired. “Throughout the pandemic, PUA has been a critical lifeline for workers who are historically excluded from traditional unemployment compensation, such as gig workers, recent college graduates, contract workers, and the self-employed,” Davis said. “Low-wage and minority workers are also more likely to be part of this excluded workforce and are now left with little support during the Delta variant surge, a new school year, and an unemployment rate that remains well above pre-pandemic levels.” Davis said while the federal government ceased funding the PUA directly, the state legislature can and must step in to resume this critical program. He said his proposed legislation would utilize unspent American Rescue Plan dollars to fully fund the PUA program through the end of the year. “Pennsylvanians have stopped receiving help, but make no mistake, they’re still in need,” Davis said. “We have money available to reinstate this safety net for people who’ve been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and we need to ensure they receive the help they need as they work to acquire well-paid, life-sustaining employment.” Davis said he plans to introduce his legislation soon. Read more

Pisciottano presents flags to fire departments in remembrance of September 11 attacks

(Sep 10, 2021)

DRAVOSBURG, Sept. 10 – In remembrance of the fallen and the first responders who risked their lives on Sept. 11, 2001, state Rep. Nick Pisciottano on Thursday evening presented flags flown over the U.S. Capitol to fire departments across the 38 th Legislative District. “As I reflect on the events of 9/11 and remember the fallen, I also want to honor the heroism of the first responders who risked their lives to save others,” said Pisciottano, D-Allegheny. “My appreciation extends to our first responders here at home, who volunteer to dedicate their time and risk their lives to keeping our communities safe.” Pisciottano and a representative from Congressman Mike Doyle’s office presented flags and certificates of appreciation from the Architect of the Capitol to the following fire departments: Liberty Borough Volunteer Fire Department Port Vue Vigilant Hose #1 Volunteer Fire Department Glassport Citizens Volunteer Hose #1 VFD Pleasant Hills Volunteer Fire Co. Broughton Volunteer Fire Co. Library Volunteer Fire Co. Whitehall Borough Volunteer Fire Co. Dravosburg Volunteer Fire Department #1 South Baldwin Volunteer Fire Department Option Independent Fire Co. Baldwin Independent Volunteer Fire Co. #1 West Mifflin #1 “Homeville” Volunteer Fire Co. West Mifflin #2 “Duquesne Annex” Volunteer Fire Co. West Mifflin #3 Read more

Davis: Mon Valley gun violence reduction and drug prevention programs awarded more than $587K in grants

(Sep 08, 2021)

McKEESPORT, Sept. 8 – State Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, announced the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency awarded $587,180 in grants to programs that prevent gun violence and substance abuse for youth and young adults in the Mon Valley. “Young people in underserved communities within the Mon Valley have alternatives to gun violence and substance use,” Davis said. “The funding awarded to these programs will help them continue to provide resources, skills and experiences to our youth that will help guide them toward a better future.” The following programs received PCCD funding: Healthy Village Learning Institute - $211,680 – Healthy Village Learning Institute will use the grant funding for its P.O.W.E.R. (Positive Outcomes With Excuses Removed) Prevention Program in McKeesport, Duquesne and Clairton. The program’s goal is to decrease gun use/abuse, increase self-esteem, improve family functioning, increase decision-making, develop problem-solving skills, improve academic performance and increase community awareness of negative factors affecting youth and young adults. Center for Victims - $225,000 – McKeesport is one of the Allegheny County communities that will benefit from the funding awarded to the Center for Victims to enhance and expand its Family & Community Support Team. The grant money will be used to find staff in the communities the Read more

Matzie: Nearly $400,000 awarded to educate, protect Beaver County kids from opioid risks

(Sep 08, 2021)

AMBRIDGE, Sept. 8 – More than $390,000 from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency will keep Beaver County students learning about the risks of opioids and help families develop the skills to keep kids safe, state Rep. Rob Matzie announced today. Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, said the funding includes $370,805 to Community Health Challenge of Southwestern Pennsylvania to continue the Beaver County Opioid Prevention Project – one of five pilot programs statewide that team counties with school districts, local nonprofits and the community. “The Beaver County programs are teaching students in the Aliquippa, New Brighton and Rochester Area school districts how to recognize and avoid the dangers of opioid abuse,” Matzie said. “The programs are also helping families develop skills to protect kids from the risks of substance abuse and other factors that can lead them into trouble. “The programs have already helped many students and families in our district over the past two years. Securing this funding will allow them to continue for another year.” Matzie said that a second grant of $22,313 to The Prevention Network will fund the Project Towards No Drug Abuse, which supports at-risk youth. Both grants were recommended by the PCCD’s Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Committee and come from federal State Opioid Response funds. Read more

Matzie, Marshall and Quinn lead public hearing on solar energy in Pennsylvania

(Aug 26, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 26 – As lawmakers continue searching for solutions on best energy practices, House Consumer Affairs Committee Democratic Chairman state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Allegheny/Beaver, majority chairman state Rep. Jim Marshall, R-Beaver/Butler, and state Rep. Chris Quinn, R-Delaware, led a public hearing today on solar energy and its impacts in Pennsylvania from an economic, business and community perspective. “I’m on record in favor of an all-in energy portfolio for Pennsylvania,” Matzie said. “That includes renewables like solar. This is a great opportunity for members to get information on where we are and what is needed to get to that diverse and, in my judgment, necessary energy mix.” Held at the Penn State Brandywine Campus, here are the testifiers who participated today and provided valuable input: Scott Elias, Solar Energy Industries Association. Mark Haas, PECO Energy Co. Kathleen Robertson, Sol Systems. Katie Rever, IGS Energy. Joel Harrington, Enel North America. Brent Alderfer, Community Energy. Leslie Elder, Coalition for Community Solar Access. Tim Mills, program manager, Renewable Energy Division, ARM Group (Renewable Works for PA). “With solar energy rising in popularity for customers, it is critical to hear how it could benefit Read more