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Matzie: More than $1 million in funding to help area food banks meet greater demand

(May 21, 2020)

AMBRIDGE, May 21 – Area food banks will receive more than $1.4 million in state grants to help them meet the increased demand and greater food insecurity created by the COVID-19 pandemic, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. “Our local food banks have always been important in helping residents combat food insecurity, but with the onset of this pandemic, their services are more critical than ever – and they are being called on to reach a much larger number of residents,” Matzie said. “Thanks to this funding, these important providers will be able to purchase the additional equipment and vehicles they need to meet this increasing demand safely and efficiently.” Some of the grants include – $200,000 to the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank. $145,027 to Beaver Falls Youth Network d/b/a Tiger Pause Youth Ministry. $133,416 to Faith Restorations. $53,341 to Adagio Health Inc. The grants are administered by the Department of Environmental Protection and are part of a $9.6 million package awarded to 145 food projects throughout the state. Providers may use the funding to purchase equipment such as refrigerated or non-refrigerated trucks, industrial refrigerators and pallet jacks. More information on the grants is available here. Read more

Matzie: More than $450,000 in funding to help Beaver County child care providers safely reopen

(May 21, 2020)

AMBRIDGE, May 21 – Federal funding of $450,100 under the CARES Act will help support Beaver County child care providers as they prepare to reopen their doors, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. Matzie said that as Beaver County reopens, it’s important to ensure that these businesses are up and running, with proper protections in place. “As Beaver County businesses begin opening their doors, parents will once again turn to trusted child care providers protect and nurture their kids. But these providers – like other businesses forced to close during the pandemic – have felt the impact of the shutdown profoundly. “Now, as they begin reopening, they face the added challenge of ensuring that the proper safety protocols are in place to protect our kids. This funding is going help ensure that they have the staff, training, equipment and other resources they need to get back up and running while continuing to provide safe havens for our kids.” The funding is part of an initial $51 million round of funding that will go to nearly 7,000 child care centers statewide preparing to reopen In all, Pennsylvania will receive a total of $106 million in funding to support child care providers. The second round of funding will be allocated after completion of a study assessing the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Pennsylvania’s child care providers. Read more

Wheatley announces $378,000 in grants to assist community food banks, shelters

(May 21, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, May 21 – Approximately $378,544 in state grants have been awarded to several nonprofit organizations in Allegheny County and the city of Pittsburgh that provide food assistance, state Rep. Jake Wheatley announced today. Wheatley, D-Allegheny, said the following organizations have received a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Food Recovery Infrastructure Grant Program: Mt. Ararat Community Activity Center (Allegheny County): $130,000 Earthen Vessels Outreach (Allegheny County): $40,699 Alpha House Inc. (Allegheny County): $74,157 Latino Community Center (Allegheny County): $4,373 Community Kitchen Pittsburgh: $93,600 Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania Northside Food Pantry: $35,725 “The grants allow these organizations the necessary funds to cover costs of equipment purchases so they can properly prepare, transport and store food they receive from farms, wholesalers and retailers,” Wheatley said. “Our food banks and shelters do so much to help those in need, especially during this pandemic, and these funds will ensure food can be quickly stored and properly prepared to ensure it doesn’t go to waste.” Examples of eligible equipment include refrigerated or non-refrigerated box trucks, industrial-sized refrigerators, pallet jacks and/or dollies. More information on the grant program can be found at this link: Read more

Ravenstahl votes to support Senior Protection Act

(May 20, 2020)

Bill would use $500M in federal funds to tackle coronavirus in nursing homes Read more

Ravenstahl, lawmakers ask Gov. Wolf to revise guidelines for restaurants

(May 18, 2020)

Letter asks governor to allow for outdoor seating as summer approaches Read more

Matzie: Governor has listened and responded; Beaver County to reopen May 22

(May 15, 2020)

AMBRIDGE, May 15 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, issued the following statement in response to Gov. Tom Wolf’s announcement today that Beaver County will move to the “yellow,” open phase of the state’s reopen plan on May 22. “I’m pleased the governor responded to our requests. The people in our county did their part, and ultimately, the data showed that we were ready for the next phase in safely re-opening our county. “These are unprecedented times. There is no foolproof instruction manual on how to deal with a global pandemic. It is inevitable that some governmental decisions may not work out as intended or be well received. “This announcement, along with the recent action taken by the Department of Health at Brighton Rehab and in long-term care facilities statewide, although long overdue, shows that the administration is listening. “I’m well aware that this phase does not send everyone back to work or reopen every business. But it’s a safe first step back towards life as we knew it.” Read more

Merski, Kortz bills would lower hunting, fishing fees for frontline workers

(May 14, 2020)

HARRISBURG, May 14 – Pennsylvania’s health care workers and first responders would pay just $1 for one-year hunting and fishing licenses under legislation being introduced by state Rep. Bob Merski, D-Erie, and state Rep. Bill Kortz, D-Allegheny. The lawmakers said they will be introducing the bills as a way to thank these frontline workers for their lifesaving efforts and to encourage them to take advantage of the state’s abundant fish and game opportunities. “Pennsylvania’s health care professionals and first responders have been there for us 24/7 throughout this pandemic, working tirelessly to save lives even when doing so puts their own lives at risk,” said Merski, who is a member of the House Game and Fisheries Committee. “Words are barely adequate to thank them, but we can give back in small ways. Offering reduced fees on hunting and fishing licenses is one way to do that while encouraging these frontline heroes to relax outdoors.” Kortz, the Democratic chairman of the committee, agreed, saying “Our first responders and health care workers have and are working in extremely unprecedented times and dealing with enormous amounts of stress. Being able to offer them these reduced licenses will encourage them to spend time outdoors and relax. This is just one way we can show our appreciation and tremendous thanks for all they do to help save lives and keep us safe.” The Read more

Ravenstahl co-sponsors bill to help small business, nonprofits weather COVID storm

(May 14, 2020)

Legislation introduced this week would inject $100m into existing state loan program Read more

Wheatley applauds confirmation of Khadija Diggs to Pa. Parole Board

(May 14, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, May 14 – Today state Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, announced the unanimous confirmation vote of Khadija Diggs, Esq., to the Pennsylvania Parole Board from the state Senate. Diggs, from Verona, Allegheny County, has an extensive legal background, having worked as an assistant solicitor for the City of Pittsburgh Law Department, the Allegheny County Office of the Public Defender, and with the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania. She currently serves as assistant legal counsel for the Pennsylvania Office of General Counsel. Diggs is a commission member for the Pennsylvania Interbranch Commission for General, Racial and Ethnic Fairness and earned her juris doctorate from Howard University School of Law. “I am proud and honored in the governor’s nomination of Khadija to this board,” said Wheatley. “She has a proven track record of success in the legal profession, including her current work in the state Office of General Counsel, not to mention her ongoing volunteer efforts serving the greater Pittsburgh community and statewide. I am confident Khadija’s experience, expertise and drive will further enhance the board in its mission to promote public safety and ensure a fair, efficient and transparent parole process that’s respectful of all people in our commonwealth.” "She's someone I believe will be an outstanding addition to the board,” Read more

Lee urges local school districts to apply for share of $523 million COVID emergency funding

(May 14, 2020)

Funding can be used for a wide range of purposes including technology, food, summer programs Read more