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Police Reform Working Group releases statement on progress toward reform

(1 day ago)

The Police Reform Working Group, a collection of elected officials and advocates working to bring accountability and transparency reforms to law enforcement, released the following statement on Gov. Tom Wolf’s adoption today of their request for a state-level deputy inspector general aimed at improving law enforcement conduct, as well as Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s, along with the Fraternal Order of Police’s, support of a confidential database to track complaints against police officers: Read more

 

Lawmakers call on Republican leadership to take up police-community legislation

(1 day ago)

Pittsburgh-area lawmakers urged House leadership to address numerous law enforcement reform bills that have been languishing in House committees and to add session days if necessary Read more

 

Davis: Allegheny County to move to green reopening designation

(May 29, 2020)

HARRISBURG, May 29 – State Rep. Austin Davis today announced Allegheny County will be allowed to move from the yellow to green reopening designation, effective at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, June 5. “This is welcome news for our residents, who have been doing their part to curb the virus’ spread,” said Davis, D-Allegheny. “This is also good news for our businesses, but we can’t let our guard down and must continue to follow state and federal health guidelines.” Davis added that state health officials will continue to monitor public health indicators and adjust orders and restrictions as needed. Counties in the green designation must follow these restrictions: Work-related restrictions: Continued telework strongly encouraged. Businesses with in-person operations must follow updated business and building safety requirements. All businesses operating at 50% occupancy in the yellow phase may increase to 75% occupancy. Childcare facilities may open and must comply with state guidelines. Congregate care restrictions in place. Prison and hospital restrictions determined by individual facilities. Schools subject to CDD and state guidance. Social restrictions: Large gatherings of more than 250 persons prohibited. Restaurants and bars can open at 50% occupancy. Personal care services (including hair salons and barber shops) can open at 50% Read more

 

Davis’ legislation advocating for rental assistance rolled into crucial fiscal code bill

(May 29, 2020)

HARRISBURG, May 29 – In May, state Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, began his push to advocate for residents struggling to make ends meet during the COVID-19 pandemic by introducing legislation geared toward providing rental assistance to those in need. On Thursday, portions of his legislation were rolled into the final supplemental fiscal code bill. Davis said he was encouraged and thankful to see portions of his bill included in H.B. 2510, which passed the House on Thursday, and noted he was able to advocate for the inclusion of his legislation through his role on the House Appropriations Committee. “I’m grateful to see portions of my legislation included in this bill, most notably because it’s legislation that will benefit state residents which, by the way, is the reason we’re all here,” Davis said. “It’s my hope that members from both sides of the aisle can continue to work in bipartisan fashion, especially during times of crisis, so that we can do what is best for commonwealth residents.” Davis said his legislation was wrapped into H.B. 2510 under the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency. Specifically, section 191-C dedicates a minimum of $150 million to rental assistance through the proposed COVID Relief Rent and Mortgage Assistance Grant Program. Homeowners or renters may be eligible for assistance if they became unemployed after March 1, 2020, or their annual household income was reduced by 30% or Read more

 

You can get tested tomorrow for COVID-19

(May 28, 2020)

The Allegheny Health Network’s mobile COVID-19 testing unit will be in Duquesne tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Read more

 

Davis votes to freeze cost-of-living adjustments for public officials

(May 26, 2020)

HARRISBURG, May 26 – Calling it an obvious choice as families continue feeling the economic effects of the pandemic, state Rep. Austin Davis voted yes today on a measure that would freeze cost-of-living adjustments for public officials. House Bill 2487 , which passed the House unanimously, would amend the Public Official Compensation Law to freeze COLAs through 2021 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. “As our working families struggle to cope with the devastating effects of this pandemic, we have been reassuring them that we will get through this,” Davis said. “As public officials, it's incumbent on us to make sure that’s not an empty promise, and that means working to save taxpayer dollars in every way possible. “Freezing cost-of-living adjustments for public officials may be just one small step, but it’s something we can do to help now, when every dollar is critical." The bill now heads to the state Senate for consideration. Read more

 

Davis bill approved by House Consumer Affairs Committee

(May 26, 2020)

HARRISBURG, May 26 – State Rep. Austin Davis’ legislation, which would provide a level of consumer protections to residents’ rights to clean, drinkable water, was unanimously voted out of the House Consumer Affairs Committee on Tuesday. Read more

 

Now YOU can get tested for COVID-19

(May 20, 2020)

A recent partnership in Allegheny County has resulted in the ability to test all communities within the county, regardless of a patient’s insurance or inability to pay. Read more

 

I asked PUC to investigate PA American’s recent rate-increase request; More than $100K in Fire Company and EMS grants awarded to numerous entities in 35th Legislative District

(May 14, 2020)

I recently wrote a letter of concern to the Public Utility Commission regarding a recent rate-increase request by Pennsylvania American Water. Read more

 

Davis urges federal government to approve state application for school funding

(May 07, 2020)

HARRISBURG, May 7 – Under an emergency federal funding program enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, schools in the 35 th Legislative District could receive a total of $4.4 million, announced state Rep. Austin Davis, as he is urging federal officials to quickly approve the state’s funding application. “The current public health crisis continues to affect us all near and far, and we’ve yet to really see how this pandemic will affect our schools’ budgets,” Davis said. “While we’re all hoping for the best, it wouldn’t be wrong to assume that COVID-19 will have moderate or severe affects for our schools, which is why we’re asking the federal government to quickly expedite the state’s application, so that this money can be allocated for the districts that need it most.” This week, the state filed an application to the U.S. Department of Education to obtain approximately $523.8 million in emergency one-time funds to help schools respond to COVID-19 impacts. Locally, it is estimated that the following school districts would receive the follow funding: Clairton City School District - $533,425 Duquesne City School District - $536,075 McKeesport Area School District - $1,891,316 South Allegheny School District - $380,156 Steel Valley School District - $557,161 West Mifflin Area School District – $571,338 State Read more

 

Davis: More than $100K in Fire Company and EMS grants awarded to numerous entities in 35th Legislative District

(May 06, 2020)

HARRISBURG, May 6 – A combined total of $100,700 in Fire Company and Emergency Medical Service grants was awarded Wednesday to numerous fire and EMS companies in the 35 th Legislative District, announced state Rep. Austin Davis. Davis, D-Allegheny, said the following entities received funding: City of McKeesport Fire Department – $13,700 Munhall Area Prehospital Services (EMS) -$11,920.24 Munhall Fire & Rescue Co. 5 - $12,331.03 Munhall Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 - $11,783.31 Rainbow Volunteer Fire Company - $12,467.96 Versailles Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 Inc. - $14,248.03 White Oak Emergency Medical Service - $12,057.17 White Oak Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 - $12,194.10 “Now, more than ever, it is crucial that our first responders have the funding needed to safely respond to emergency situations,” Davis said. “Despite the impact COVID-19 has had on the state system, the Office of the State Fire Commissioner has remained steadfast in ensuring our fire and EMS personnel are receiving what they need so that they can continue to provide outstanding emergency services to their communities.” Davis said the funding can be used for the construction and renovation of facilities; purchasing equipment; debt reduction; training and education; and overtime cost associated with backfilling positions while firefighters are attending training. The Read more

 

Davis calls on PUC to investigate PA American’s recent rate-increase request

(May 01, 2020)

HARRISBURG, May 1 -- In response to a recent rate-increase request filed by Pennsylvania American Water to the Public Utility Commission, state Rep. Austin Davis wrote a letter of concern asking the commission to hold public hearings and conduct an investigation into the necessity of the requested rate increase. A copy of Davis’ letter can be found here . “COVID-19 has left millions of Pennsylvanians without jobs, and the economic effects this virus will have on families across the commonwealth is overwhelming,” said Davis, D-Allegheny. “Experts predict the economic loss families in my district and across the state will incur will last well into 2021. I think at the very least families shouldn’t have to fear the loss of services for their most basic needs due to an inability to pay.” Davis noted in his letter he was aware Pennsylvania American Water began the process of examining needed investments to continue to ensure safe and reliable water and wastewater services before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, he said he’s troubled the company would continue its push for a significant increase during a health crisis. The requested increase wouldn’t go into effect until 2021. In 2018, the PUC unanimously approved a settlement that allowed Pennsylvania American Water to raise water and wastewater rates. Davis said the primary factor for the increase was to allot for Read more

 

Honoring former Munhall Mayor on the House floor; Virtual news conference regarding my Right-to-Repair bill; My support for the COVID-19 Response Task Force for Health Disparity -- and more!

(Apr 30, 2020)

On Monday I took a moment on the House floor to honor and remember former Munhall Mayor Ray Bodner, an honorable man and extremely influential individual in our community. He will be greatly missed. Read more

 

Davis, Lee, Gainey and Wheatley pen letter of support for COVID-19 Response Task Force for Health Disparity

(Apr 28, 2020)

HARRISBURG, April 28 – State Reps. Austin Davis, Ed Gainey, Summer Lee and Jake Wheatley, all D-Allegheny, on Tuesday penned a letter of support to Gov. Tom Wolf praising his administration’s enactment of the COVID-19 Response Task Force for Health Disparity , which was designed to help identify how the pandemic is affecting the state’s minority and vulnerable populations. A copy of the joint letter sent to the governor on Tuesday can be found here . “The COVID-19 pandemic – even in its earliest days – quickly shed light on many longstanding issues of inequality faced by minority communities,” Davis said. “Unfortunately, these are key issues these minority populations have dealt with for many years, COVID-19 just illuminated it for the rest of the state to see. So, while I’m hopeful and grateful for the institution of this task force, it’s my sincerest hope that this produces real results, saves lives and leads to longstanding change for Pennsylvania’s minority communities.” Lee added: “The coronavirus has brought to the surface all of the structural inequalities that marginalized communities in our state are dealing with – including those in our healthcare system. While I appreciate this effort, I would also hope that this task force is a starting point for us as a society to acknowledge and address the disparities in our healthcare Read more

 

Pennsylvania at a crossroads – We must reforge our social compact

(Apr 27, 2020)

We live in a commonwealth – a society that is supposed to exist for the common good, with a government that is supposed to look out for the health, safety and welfare of the people. Read more

 

Davis announces $114K in Continuing Education Equity Grants

(Apr 22, 2020)

HARRISBURG, April 22 – Today, the state Department of Education awarded its first round of equity grants to assist school districts in purchasing technological equipment that would allow for remote learning and continued education during the COVID-19 crisis, announced state Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny. “COVID-19 brought a stop to our normal day-to-day lives, but it’s important all children have the resources they need to learn now and, in the future,” Davis said. “So, it gives me great pleasure to announce these grants, which will directly benefit our children and their families and allow for the remote learning of hundreds of students. The grants awarded today will guarantee that students who once lacked sufficient access to resources will now have the equipment and support they need.” The grants may be used to purchase computer equipment, such as laptops, tablets, and internet hot spots, or used toward providing instructional materials, such as paper lessons and coursework. Schools with the highest percentage of students lacking access to resources were given priority in receiving these grants. Davis said the following school districts received funding: Duquesne City School District: $8,900 South Allegheny: $8,350 Steel Valley School District: $75,900 Young Scholars of McKeesport: $21,762 Continuing Education Equity Grants are designed to help provide access and inclusion for Read more

 

Davis holds virtual news conference discussing Right-to-Repair bill

(Apr 22, 2020)

HARRISBURG, April 22 – State Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, on Wednesday held a virtual press conference centered around his Right-to-Repair bill, a measure that would give power back to the consumer and has the potential to save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. “The right to repair your own device, which you bought, seems like a practice that should be commonplace, given the fact you purchased the product with your own money,” Davis said. “Unfortunately, that’s not the case here in the commonwealth. This legislation would amend this issue, giving consumers the ability to make self-repairs on their own.” Davis’ bill, H.B. 2326 , would require original equipment manufacturers to provide necessary information to assist consumers in repairing the digital devices they own. It also would grant consumers access to the software, parts and instructions required in making self-repairs safely. Davis said his legislation is all-encompassing in regard to self-repair, but noted its extreme importance to the current healthcare crisis surrounding COVID-19 and ventilators, which has been a heavily reported topic since many manufacturers have been withholding repair manuals. “This is legislation that goes far beyond the current health crisis affecting the nation. But make no mistake – this is a bill that could help fight the COVID-19 pandemic in Pennsylvania and save the lives our Read more

 

Davis requests House committee hearing about UC problems

(Apr 20, 2020)

HARRISBURG, April 20 – – Addressing the backlogged and highly delayed response within the unemployment compensation system, state Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, is calling for the House Labor and Industry Committee to hold a hearing with Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry Secretary W. Gerard Oleksiak. “As legislators, we told residents help would be available to them, and we are going to follow through on that promise,” Davis said. “My office continues to hear from residents daily who are experiencing long delays with receiving benefits during this pandemic and that alone is completely unacceptable. We need to resolve the ongoing problems plaguing the Unemployment Compensation system.” Davis wrote a letter to committee Chairman Rep. Jim Cox requesting an immediate virtual hearing with Oleksiak. “I think state residents deserve to know why this is taking place, especially during this pandemic. They deserve to know why the Department of Labor and Industry is struggling to provide the benefits they deserve and what it is doing to rectify this situation. This, at the very least, is owed to Pennsylvanians struggling to get by during this pandemic,” Davis said. Read more

 

Davis demands action in processing unemployment claims

(Apr 17, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, April 17 – Amidst growing desperation by workers waiting to receive unemployment benefits, state Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, reiterated demands that the administration address the delays and problems that have plagued the system and prevented timely delivery of those benefits. “Our working families are suffering, they are struggling because they are not getting access to the unemployment compensation benefits to which they’re entitled,” Davis said. “The problem has been compounded for self-employed, independent contractors and gig workers, who are still waiting for directions on where to file. “Our workers have given their all to make Pennsylvania strong and productive, and now they are asking that the system respond by providing the assistance they need because of this pandemic. So far, the system has been mired in red tape. We need real solutions now – today – to cut the tape and get these benefits flowing. Lives are depending on it.” Davis said he and his colleagues have been doing all they can to address the issue but are hitting a wall. “I asked the Labor secretary what the department needs from the legislature to streamline this process and get results and the answer is ‘nothing,’” Davis said. “That’s not an acceptable answer. We all stand ready to help, but we can’t do that without more guidance and information from the Read more

 

Rep. Austin Davis 4 8 2020 letter unemployment compensation

(Apr 17, 2020)

Letter to DLI secy. 4 8 2020 unemployment benefits Read more

 

Police Reform Working Group releases statement on progress toward reform
1 day ago

Lawmakers call on Republican leadership to take up police-community legislation
1 day ago

Davis: Allegheny County to move to green reopening designation
May 29, 2020

Davis’ legislation advocating for rental assistance rolled into crucial fiscal code bill
May 29, 2020

You can get tested tomorrow for COVID-19
May 28, 2020

Davis votes to freeze cost-of-living adjustments for public officials
May 26, 2020

Davis bill approved by House Consumer Affairs Committee
May 26, 2020

Now YOU can get tested for COVID-19
May 20, 2020

I asked PUC to investigate PA American’s recent rate-increase request; More than $100K in Fire Company and EMS grants awarded to numerous entities in 35th Legislative District
May 14, 2020

Davis urges federal government to approve state application for school funding
May 07, 2020

Davis: More than $100K in Fire Company and EMS grants awarded to numerous entities in 35th Legislative District
May 06, 2020

Davis calls on PUC to investigate PA American’s recent rate-increase request
May 01, 2020

Honoring former Munhall Mayor on the House floor; Virtual news conference regarding my Right-to-Repair bill; My support for the COVID-19 Response Task Force for Health Disparity -- and more!
Apr 30, 2020

Davis, Lee, Gainey and Wheatley pen letter of support for COVID-19 Response Task Force for Health Disparity
Apr 28, 2020

Pennsylvania at a crossroads – We must reforge our social compact
Apr 27, 2020

Davis announces $114K in Continuing Education Equity Grants
Apr 22, 2020

Davis holds virtual news conference discussing Right-to-Repair bill
Apr 22, 2020

Davis requests House committee hearing about UC problems
Apr 20, 2020

Davis demands action in processing unemployment claims
Apr 17, 2020

Rep. Austin Davis 4 8 2020 letter unemployment compensation
Apr 17, 2020