Featured News

Davis hosts policy hearing on increasing state’s minimum wage

Ban the Box; Money coming back to the district; Mon Valley Youth Expo

(Mar 27, 2019)

In an effort to give state residents with a criminal record a chance to find meaningful, family-sustaining jobs, I recently introduced House Bill 898, which would prohibit employers from inquiring about a prospective employee’s criminal history until a conditional offer of employment has been made. Read more

 

Davis: $200,000 state grant awarded to White Oak for safety improvements for pedestrians, drivers

(Mar 26, 2019)

HARRISBURG, March 26 – New light poles, ADA-compliant and slip-free crosswalks, and street signs will come to White Oak by way of a $200,000 state grant, state Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, announced today. Davis said the funding – awarded through the Commonwealth Financial Authority’s Multimodal Transportation Fund program – will support an improvement project on Lincoln Way in the borough. PennDOT recently widened the road and installed new sidewalks between Capital Street and State Route 48. “These upgrades put the finishing touches on a project that began with a much-needed road widening in a busy area,” said Davis. “This grant is vital to ensure public safety and will immensely benefit vehicular and pedestrian traffic.” Davis said the grant will also fund related safety, accessibility and aesthetic improvements. The Multimodal Transportation Fund provides grants to encourage economic development and ensure a safe and reliable system of transportation. Funds can be used for development, rehabilitation and enhancement of transportation assets to communities – including lighting, sidewalk enhancements, pedestrian safety, and transit-oriented development. Read more

 

Lawmakers comment on acquittal of white police officer in fatal shooting of Antwon Rose

(Mar 23, 2019)

PITTSBURGH , March 23 – Pittsburgh-area lawmakers today released the following statement regarding the acquittal of former East Pittsburgh Police Officer Michael Rosfeld, who fatally shot Antwon Rose II, an unarmed black teenager, in the back last summer. “First and foremost, our deepest sympathies go out to Michelle Kenny and Antwon Rose Sr. as well as the rest of Antwon’s family and friends. Our community lost a 17-year-old boy. We will continue to mourn this senseless and pointless loss of the life. The life he lived as well as the life he could’ve gone on to live. “While no verdict can bring Antwon back, we had hoped to see justice for his murder. Unfortunately, there will be no justice for Antwon. This outcome, while extremely disappointing, is far from surprising. Our region has a troubling history of racial injustices. The loss of an unarmed Antwon with no punishment for the police officer who shot him three times as he tried to flee will be added to that history. “America has a problem with police officers murdering African-American men and women that our region is not immune to. From Freddie Gray, to Sandra Bland, to Philando Castile and now Antwon Rose, police officers time and time again have used excessive, unnecessary force against African-American civilians and faced no criminal convictions for their actions. “As a nation, we simply cannot sit back, express our outrage for a few days and then return to our Read more

 

Learn & Earn wants YOU!

(Mar 21, 2019)

In a continued effort to promote good jobs and educational opportunities across the commonwealth, I want to inform Allegheny County teens and young adults about an excellent part-time summer job program taking place right in our backyard. Read more

 

House Democrats fight for seniors and families by delivering on Promise of Care

(Mar 20, 2019)

HARRISBURG, March 20 – House Democratic lawmakers, in response to widespread concerns about patients and clients in nursing homes, assisted-living facilities and long-term care homes not getting the quality care they deserve, announced a comprehensive package of bills to protect seniors and give family members the vital information they need to make the right choice for their grandparents and parents. As pension plans increasingly become a thing of the past and families become smaller and unable to care for elderly relatives in their own homes, House Democrats believe people need to know the long-term care options for their loved ones are the best possible – because, someday, we’ll all need a place to call home. While most facilities do a good job caring for patients and clients, as well as providing a stable place of employment for healthcare professionals, seniors, families and potential employees need the facts and protections these bills would deliver. The Promise of Care package includes: Making a Home truly a Home (Sponsored by Rep. Angel Cruz): A long-term care home shouldn’t feel like a hospital ward. This bill creates a voluntary Culture & Quality of Life Certification Program that would reward homes that go the extra mile to offer a rich, life-affirming program that treats residents like the individual people they are. Reporting Requirements when a Resident Passes (Two bills sponsored by Rep. Frank Burns): People Read more

 

Davis introduces legislation to help job applicants with criminal records

(Mar 19, 2019)

HARRISBURG, March 19 – In an effort to give state residents with a criminal record a chance to find meaningful, family-sustaining jobs, state Rep. Austin Davis today introduced legislation that would prohibit employers from inquiring about a prospective employee’s criminal history until a conditional offer of employment has been made. Coined “Ban the Box,” Davis’ H.B. 898 is modeled after a similar application process currently in place in Allegheny County. It’s a system Davis said has yielded positive results. “We live in a land of hope and opportunity, but sometimes fair opportunities are squandered because of mistakes made in the past. That’s not what this country was built on – everyone deserves a second chance, especially when it comes to being able to provide for one’s family,” said Davis, D-Allegheny. “Applicants with criminal histories are automatically disqualified for certain jobs before the ink dries on their application, and that’s unacceptable. This bill would not only reduce repeat offenders but also provide qualified workers for our growing workforce.” If enacted into law, Davis’ measure would still allow employers required by state or federal law to inquire about criminal histories at the appropriate, required time. Read more

 

Thanks for participating; Don't miss these grant opportunities -- and more!

(Mar 13, 2019)

I’d like to thank all the residents who participated Tuesday in my Tele-Town Hall. Read more

 

Don't miss my Tele-Town Hall!

(Mar 06, 2019)

Do you have a state matter or issue that is important to you? If so, I want to hear all about it! Read more

 

Davis: $45,000 grant awarded to local nonprofit veterans program

(Mar 01, 2019)

HARRISBURG, March 1 – A national nonprofit organization situated in West Mifflin is receiving a $45,000 state grant to help fund the group’s initiative of providing welcome home kits to at-risk veterans, announced state Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny. Davis said Operation Troop Appreciation, located at 1200 Lebanon Road, has been selected by the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs to get the grant through the Veterans Trust Fund, which is replenished by generous Pennsylvanians who make a voluntary $3 donation when applying for or renewing their driver’s license or photo ID, or renewing a vehicle registration. “Since becoming a nonprofit organization in July 2004, Operation Troop Appreciation – which we’re proud to have located in our district – has been a source of hope and appreciation for veterans abroad and for those returning home,” Davis said. “This selfless organization, which is completely run by volunteers, works tirelessly to make sure veterans have what they need while overseas and ensures veterans don’t end up on the streets once they return home. It’s with great appreciation and gratitude that I announce this grant for Operation Troop Appreciation.” Aside from grant money, funding for OTA comes by way of donations. Read more

 

Davis responds to orders against U.S. Steel, calls for cleaner operation

(Feb 28, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 28 – State Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, today released the following statement in response to the Allegheny County Health Department’s announcement that it will impose an enforcement order against U.S. Steel’s Mon Valley Works facilities for daily sulfur dioxide emissions after the December 2018 fire at the Clairton Coke Works site: “I’m encouraged to hear that the Allegheny County Health Department has imposed this order against U.S. Steel because the public’s health is of the highest priority. I’d also like to applaud the health department for using this tool to ensure Clean Air Standards are met. But I am disappointed to know that a major source of employment in our district has continued to expose the community and its employees to high levels of sulfur dioxide. “Unfortunately, U.S. Steel has continued to be in gross violation of its permit in recent years, and due to the company’s negligence, both the public and workers have suffered the consequences. The orders imposed today lay forth the building blocks to ensure a cleaner operation. “I call on U.S. Steel to take swift action and enact the proper policies and procedures that will rectify this problem and reign in the level of sulfur dioxide emissions to Clean Air standards." Read more

 

Join me for my Tele Town Hall on March 12 -- and more!

(Feb 27, 2019)

On Tuesday, March 12, I will be holding a Tele Town Hall geared toward discussing Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget proposal, and to get your feedback on state issues that matter most to you and your family. Read more

 

Fighting for a minimum wage increase; my stance on the AG intervening in UPMC/Highmark dispute

(Feb 12, 2019)

Pennsylvania needs to increase its state minimum wage – that’s just the facts. Read more

 

Full Video of Joint Hearing on Improving Air Quality

(Feb 11, 2019)

Full Video of Joint Senate-House Democratic Policy Committees hearing on improving air quality held on February 7 in Clairton hosted by Rep. Austin Davis. Read more

 

Davis lauds AG’s decision to take legal action against UPMC

(Feb 07, 2019)

CLAIRTON, Feb. 7 – State Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, today released the following statement applauding Attorney General Josh Shapiro for calling upon UPMC and Highmark to end their dispute and get back to doing what they do best – putting the health and well-being of Pennsylvanians first: “The dispute between UPMC and Highmark has gone on for quite some time, publicly and privately. Despite continued efforts to rectify this problem, a solution has yet to be found, which has led the Attorney General’s Office to take legal action. “While it’s unfortunate that this dispute has spiraled so far out of control that the Attorney General’s Office had to step in, it’s also reassuring to know that the office’s motive is geared toward ensuring all residents – regardless of their insurance provider – will have access to quality health care services. “The public’s health has and always will be of utmost importance to my office, which is why I find it necessary to speak out regarding this matter and applaud state Attorney General Josh Shapiro for staying true to the commonwealth’s core values and putting the health and well-being of Pennsylvania’s residents first and above all else. “It’s my hope that both UPMC and Highmark can come to terms in the near future and get back to providing high-quality health care and medical treatment to those who need it.” Read more

 

Davis issues statement regarding Gov. Tom Wolf’s state budget address

(Feb 05, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 5 – State Rep Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, today issued the following statement regarding Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget address: “The building blocks laid forth today in Governor Tom Wolf’s budget address stand in conjunction with that of the working-class families in the Mon Valley. I’m encouraged and excited to assess the budget proposal in the coming weeks in the House Appropriations Committee, and I’m hopeful my colleagues and I will be able to bring it to resolution in June. “Workforce development and a continued emphasis and push to advance the commonwealth’s educational entities – K-12, higher education and career training –are areas of extreme importance to the Mon Valley, so I’m thankful to know that I’ll have a chance to examine a budget that reflects the core values of my constituents. “We have a long way to go, but the progressive and calculated budget proposal offered before the House today reflects the base of House Democrats’ Plan for PA initiative, which includes putting people first, quality schools and a fair economy.” Read more

 

State Legislative Hearing on Air Quality, Community Notification Issues Set for Clairton Next Week

(Feb 01, 2019)

In the wake of the Clairton Coke Works fire, the state Senate and House Democratic Policy committees will hold a joint public hearing on ways to improve air quality, community notification procedures and emergency response. The hearing is scheduled for noon on Thursday, February 7 at the Clairton Municipal Building, 551 Ravensburg Blvd, Clairton, Pa 15025. The hearing is being held in Clairton at the request of state Senator Jim Brewster (D-Allegheny/Westmoreland) and Representative Austin Davis (D-Allegheny). It was prompted by a December 24 fire at the Clairton Coke Works that resulted in emissions of high levels of sulfur dioxide and damage to the facility’s gas processing system. “We need to see to it that air quality standards are properly monitored, and that local emergency response and community notification procedures are accurate and timely,” Brewster said. “To accomplish this goal, we must bring together officials from U.S. Steel, the Allegheny County Department of Health, local governments and emergency responders to find workable solutions. I am committed to doing my part at the state level to meet this challenge.” Davis added, “Improving the air quality in our communities is my top priority. I look forward to the testimony of all stakeholders. As we look to improve air quality it’s imperative that we look for effective ways to do so.” The hearing will be jointly chaired by state Sen. Lisa Boscola Read more

 

Davis introduces bills to address water shutoff risk

(Jan 31, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 31 – State Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, today unveiled legislation designed to protect consumers, notably those who live in multi-unit housing complexes, from unexpected water shutoffs. “When a single water meter is shared between all units of a building or complex, it can create a nightmare for residents,” Davis said. “There have been several instances in Pennsylvania where residents lost water usage because a homeowners association misappropriated the funds collected and the water utility suspended their service. No one should have to wonder if their water service will be cut off because of someone else’s irresponsible actions.” One of Davis' bills would require homeowners associations that collect money from individual units and then pay water bills on their behalf to be regulated by the state Public Utility Commission. A separate bill would require that if an individual unit of a multi-unit dwelling were to be sold, each occupied unit must have a separate water meter. Davis said every Pennsylvanian has a right to clean, drinkable water. “Pennsylvanians deserve a fair deal, no matter where they choose to live, and they should not have to worry about a surprise shutoff,” Davis said. “My legislation will ensure their rights – and access to water – are protected.” House Bills 291 and 293 are expected to be referred to the House Consumer Read more

 

New opportunities, responsibilities -- and more!

(Jan 30, 2019)

On Monday, I was notified that I was selected by House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody to serve on four House committees: Appropriations, Consumer Affairs, Insurance and Urban Affairs. Read more

 

Pennsylvania in dire need of a minimum wage increase

(Jan 30, 2019)

Everything in Pennsylvania – at least from a consumer, renter or commuter’s standpoint – is on the rise. The cost of housing is skyrocketing, as is the cost of daily household products. Inflation, cost-push or demand-pull induced, has dealt a tremendous blow to the economy, sending shockwaves through residents’ pockets statewide. Working-class Pennsylvanians have been hit hard, especially those who are dependent on the minimum wage for their livelihood. It’s a struggle I see in my district and across Allegheny County every day. We as legislators need to do more, which is why I have and will continue to advocate for a substantial increase to the state’s minimum wage. To be transparent, Pennsylvania has had minimum wage increases in the past, such as in 2006, where the minimum wage went from $5.15 an hour to $7.15 an hour. In 2009, the minimum wage was raised to $7.25. But it’s simply not enough. Legislators recently have made attempts to raise the state minimum wage with the introduction of H.B. 1520 in 2017. This legislation aimed to raise the state minimum wage to $12 at the beginning of 2019, with an overall increase of $15 an hour to be reached by 2024. Opponents of an increase to the state minimum wage claim it will wreak havoc on small businesses, however the research points to quite the opposite. According to the Keystone Research Center, raising the minimum wage benefits small businesses by “extending a Read more

 

Davis appointed to Appropriations Committee

(Jan 28, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 28 – State Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, announced today that he has been appointed to serve on four House standing committees: Appropriations, Consumer Affairs, Insurance and Urban Affairs. “It’s an honor and privilege to be appointed to the Appropriations Committee, as well as three other influential committees, that will allow me to ensure the needs of our Mon Valley communities are front-and-center in this upcoming legislative session,” Davis said. “Committees are where the majority of legislative business takes place, and I am excited to be in an even better position to fight for the priorities and needs of our community.” The Appropriations Committee considers fiscal-related matters and conducts budget hearings each spring to review and evaluate the Governor’s Executive Budget proposal. It also has jurisdiction over the state budget process, the office of Auditor General and State Treasurer and the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority. The Consumer Affairs Committee reviews bills pertaining to issues such as vehicle lemon laws, consumer privacy and contract language. It also has jurisdiction over the Public Utility Commission, as well as many consumer issues. The Urban Affairs Committee reviews bills that pertain to cities and counties of the first, second and third class. The insurance Committee reviews bills that regulate home, auto and health insurance, Read more

 

Ban the Box; Money coming back to the district; Mon Valley Youth Expo
Mar 27, 2019

Davis: $200,000 state grant awarded to White Oak for safety improvements for pedestrians, drivers
Mar 26, 2019

Lawmakers comment on acquittal of white police officer in fatal shooting of Antwon Rose
Mar 23, 2019

Learn & Earn wants YOU!
Mar 21, 2019

House Democrats fight for seniors and families by delivering on Promise of Care
Mar 20, 2019

Davis introduces legislation to help job applicants with criminal records
Mar 19, 2019

Thanks for participating; Don't miss these grant opportunities -- and more!
Mar 13, 2019

Don't miss my Tele-Town Hall!
Mar 06, 2019

Davis: $45,000 grant awarded to local nonprofit veterans program
Mar 01, 2019

Davis responds to orders against U.S. Steel, calls for cleaner operation
Feb 28, 2019

Join me for my Tele Town Hall on March 12 -- and more!
Feb 27, 2019

Fighting for a minimum wage increase; my stance on the AG intervening in UPMC/Highmark dispute
Feb 12, 2019

Full Video of Joint Hearing on Improving Air Quality
Feb 11, 2019

Davis lauds AG’s decision to take legal action against UPMC
Feb 07, 2019

Davis issues statement regarding Gov. Tom Wolf’s state budget address
Feb 05, 2019

State Legislative Hearing on Air Quality, Community Notification Issues Set for Clairton Next Week
Feb 01, 2019

Davis introduces bills to address water shutoff risk
Jan 31, 2019

New opportunities, responsibilities -- and more!
Jan 30, 2019

Pennsylvania in dire need of a minimum wage increase
Jan 30, 2019

Davis appointed to Appropriations Committee
Jan 28, 2019