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Bizzarro, Harkins, Merski encourage Erie residents, businesses to apply for low-interest disaster loans

(1 day ago)

ERIE, Dec. 12 – State Reps. Ryan Bizzarro, Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, all D-Erie, are urging residents and business owners who suffered property damage from area storms Oct. 31-Nov. 1 to apply for a low-interest Small Business Association loan. Federal assistance from the SBA’s Disaster Loan Program is now available after the agency approved Gov. Tom Wolf’s request to declare a disaster based on the severe storms, high winds and flooding that damaged numerous buildings and businesses. “Unexpected storm damage can wreak havoc with residents’ lives and cause interruptions that impact a small business’s bottom line,” Bizzarro said. “I strongly encourage residents and business owners who suffered property damage from these storms to take advantage of this program, which can provide access to critical resources for rebuilding – especially when that damage is not covered by insurance.” Harkins agreed, saying, “Homeowners may borrow up to $200,000, and owners and renters may be eligible for up to $40,000, to repair or replace personal property. In addition, businesses and nonprofits that suffered damage to their buildings, equipment or inventory can apply for up to $2 million in assistance. This is funding that can help residents put their affairs back in order and help businesses get back on their feet.” Merski added that the SBA will be establishing a help center at the North Read more

 

Bizzarro, Harkins, Merski: Nearly $461,000 to strengthen protection and advocacy for victims of child abuse

(Dec 11, 2019)

ERIE, Dec. 11 – Grants totaling $460,735 will expand protection and advocacy services for children throughout Pennsylvania and enhance those supports and services for Erie-area children and families, state Reps. Ryan Bizzarro, Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, all D-Erie, announced today. The funding – administered by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency – includes $400,000 to an Erie-based organization that trains support professionals on best practices and adherence to national standards in investigating and treating child abuse. “We’ve worked hard to secure this funding, which will allow us to broaden the reach of child protection and advocacy services throughout Pennsylvania – especially to unserved and underserved areas,” Bizzarro said. “I saw the effects of abuse while working as a witness coordinator and victims’ advocate, and I know how important access to those services can be. They need to be available to all children, regardless of where they live.” Harkins added that some of the funding will go to promote best practices in the Erie region. “Investigating and prosecuting abuse can place huge stresses on children who have already suffered unthinkable trauma,” Harkins said. “This funding will help ensure that children have a safe, supportive environment for evaluation and counseling and that professionals are trained on Read more

 

Rep. Bizzarro announces more than $11k award to Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit 5

(Dec 11, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 11 – Homebound students who receive services from Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit 5 will benefit from a Keystone Telepresence grant, announced state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie. IU5 can use the $11,045 grant to acquire audio and video equipment to help educate students homebound for extended periods due to serious medical conditions. Funds may also be used to train staff on how to adequately use the equipment. School districts within the regional education service agency may borrow the equipment to enable students to participate in classroom activities and curriculum in real time with classmates and teachers. “I am glad to see that the state is willing to invest in technology to improve students’ access to quality education. Kids dealing with medical setbacks will now have the opportunity, as able, to stay connected and not fall behind on learning with their peers,” explained Bizzarro. The grant is funded through the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Special Education state appropriation from the 2019-20 Fiscal Year budget. Read more

 

Lawmakers speaking out regarding future of Minor League Baseball franchises

(Dec 06, 2019)

The Erie SeaWolves today praised congressional efforts to save Minor League Baseball. A task force has been created by members of Congress to prevent Major League Baseball from eliminating 42 Minor League franchises. Read more

 

Rep. Bizzarro resolution urges MLB to save minor league teams

(Dec 04, 2019)

Erie, Dec. 4 -- State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, said he is introducing a resolution calling on Major League Baseball to reconsider eliminating select Pennsylvania minor league baseball teams. According to a recent announcement from MLB, Pennsylvania teams at stake are the Erie SeaWolves, State College Spikes and the Williamsport Crosscutters. Bizzarro cited the economic and community benefits these teams bring to their regions, specifically Erie. “I was taken aback that the MLB would even consider eliminating these teams. They offer an affordable experience for baseball enthusiasts and families, create jobs, boost economic activity and community revitalization. The economic impact to downtown Erie, including restaurants and hotels, could be more than $10 million annually,” Bizzarro explained. Erie Events, UPMC Park facility manager, was recently awarded $12 million from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program for much-needed upgrades to the ballpark. The total project costs will tally $16 million. “The state made great investments in UPMC Park, and it’s important that this team stay open for our community to fully realize the benefits of that investment.” Read more

 

Our view: Abuse laws protect pets and people

(Dec 03, 2019)

Not that long ago, humane officers would have had scant legal recourse in the case of Izzy, an 11-month-old Erie Labrador retriever beaten so severely in October she had to be euthanized.But in 2017, state lawmakers advanced and Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law Libre’s Law, a comprehensive overhaul of the state’s animal cruelty laws.Named after Libre, a starving Boston terrier left for dead in Lancaster County, it made animal abuse resulting in severe injury or death a felony, and toughened other aspects of the law, including the conditions under which dogs could be left tethered outside. State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-3rd Dist., was a co-sponsor. Read more

 

Wolf asks MLB not to cut ties with minor league teams in Erie, State College and Williamsport

(Dec 02, 2019)

Gov. Tom Wolf is going to bat for three Pennsylvania minor league baseball teams that could lose their affiliations as Major League Baseball looks to trim the ranks of those feeder clubs. Read more

 

House unanimously adopts Bizzarro resolution designating Nov. 22 Veterans Suicide Prevention and Awareness Day

(Nov 21, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 21 – State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro announced the unanimous passage of his House Resolution 608 designating Nov. 22, 2019 as Veterans Suicide Prevention and Awareness Day. Bizzarro, D-Erie, championed the resolution to draw attention to the heroes communities across Pennsylvania have lost as well as those who may continue to be lost if this public health epidemic goes unaddressed. The date further serves as a reminder of the estimated 22 veterans who die by suicide daily. “Our nation’s veterans have served our country and we have an obligation to serve and support them. I want each and every veteran to know there are resources available to help them heal from the scars of war,” expressed Bizzarro. The resolution urges family members and care providers to initiate free and confidential conversations with Veterans Health Administration Providers via the Veterans Crisis Line at 800-273-8255, online at veteranscrisisline.net/chat or via text to 838255. “The United States loses more than 8,000 veterans to suicide each year. That is more than the number of veterans who died in combat deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq combined. We have to work earnestly to make sure these men and women who have given our nation so much know there is no shame in seeking help and make it easy for vets and their families to reach out,” Bizzarro explained. “In an effort to be a Read more

 

Resolution designates Nov. 22 as Veterans Suicide, Prevention Awareness Day

(Nov 21, 2019)

State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro pushed for resolution designating Nov. 22 as Veterans Suicide Prevention and Awareness Day. Read more

 

House designates November 2019 as National Epilepsy Awareness Month

(Nov 19, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 19 – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives today unanimously adopted Rep. Ryan Bizzarro's resolution designating November 2019 as National Epilepsy Awareness Month in the commonwealth. Epilepsy is known for the recurring seizures this neurological disorder causes. More than 3.4 million Americans have epilepsy, and more than 50,000 people die each year as a result of epilepsy. "Epilepsy is a serious condition, but it is treatable. That's why it is so important that we support those affected and recognize those who help bring awareness and educate the public on how to respond to those experiencing a seizure. That knowledge can help save lives," Bizzarro said. The resolution (H.B. 570) notes that the Epilepsy Association of Western and Central Pennsylvania and the Epilepsy Foundation Eastern Pennsylvania lead the fight to stop seizures, find a cure and overcome the challenges created by epilepsy. "Even in today's world, misinformation and misperceptions about epilepsy still remain," Bizzarro said. "Education and awareness programs seek to combat stigma in the hope of improving the quality of life for people with epilepsy, and I am hopeful that with today's adoption of this resolution we may contribute to that effort in some small way." Read more

 

Rep. Bizzarro: Arts, animals, housing and health subjects of latest tax credit awards

(Nov 15, 2019)

ERIE, Nov. 15 – A number of redevelopment projects in the Erie region will benefit from $26.5 million in tax credits, state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro announced today. The projects Bizzarro advocated for range from arts and culture, to emergency housing and health. “These tax credits will further encourage businesses and programs to continue to invest in our region,” Bizzarro said. “I am excited to see the state continue to support the good work that has already been done to revitalize and reinvigorate the greater Erie community.” Although a number of tax credits were awarded for projects throughout the Erie Region, these are the recipients and amounts that Bizzarro was directly involved with: Erie Philharmonic -- $30,250 to develop a concert experience for students in third through fifth grades in the Erie School District. Teachers will follow a curriculum that ties in music with classroom learning and engages students in the arts. Erie Center for Arts and Technology -- $82,500 to add pharmacy service to Wayne School area, making it easier for families to reach a pharmacy for needed medication. Mother Theresa Academy -- $20,625 to make needed roof repairs. Erie Zoological Society -- $11,000 to make renovations with the goal of expanding the zoo campus to accommodate increased crowds. SafeNet --$24,750 to create shelter housing and handle repairs and maintenance, which will make the Read more

 

State to fund Peninsula Drive pedestrian, bike lane

(Nov 14, 2019)

Ryan Bizzarro, D-3rd Dist., helped secure $1.5 million in House funding, while state Sen. Dan Laughlin of Millcreek, R-49th Dist., secured Read more

 

Northwest birding economic impact study to receive state funding

(Nov 14, 2019)

Report will include feasibility study for birding visitors center at Presque Isle Read more

 

Bizzarro and Laughlin announce $2.5 million in grant funding coming to Millcreek

(Nov 12, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 12 – Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, announced today that the Commonwealth Financing Authority approved $2.5 million from the Multimodal Transportation Fund to Millcreek Township. “I am proud to have worked to secure $1.5 million in House funding for this MultiModal Grant for Millcreek,” Bizzarro said. “Senator Dan Laughlin secured $1 million in Senate funding to bring the grand total to $2.5 million. This was a bipartisan effort to maximize state investment in Erie. Our community has been seeking support to improve public safety and access to Presque Isle and this grant will help make that happen. Cyclists, pedestrians and public transit will all benefit from this investment. It will especially improve safety between the Sara’s Complex and residential condos by improving sidewalk access on Peninsula Drive.” “This is good news for pedestrians and bicyclists who travel along Peninsula Drive between the Tom Ridge Center and Presque Isle,” Senator Laughlin said. “Currently those walkers and bikers must use the roadway shoulders. That is a heavily traveled four-lane highway, which makes it a dangerous proposition. This grant will truly improve the safety aspect for everyone, walkers, bikers and motorists included.” Millcreek will use the funding to construct a multipurpose trail from Presque Isle State Park to Tom Ridge Environmental Center, improving Read more

 

Bizzarro: Efforts to protect valuable French Creek Watershed get boost from state grant

(Nov 07, 2019)

An effort to protect the biodiverse French Creek Watershed – home of the Eastern Hellbender, Pennsylvania’s official amphibian – in Erie, Crawford, Mercer and Venango counties has been awarded a state conservation grant Read more

 

Learn how to properly handle a firearm at tomorrow’s FREE event

(Nov 06, 2019)

I want to send out a friendly reminder regarding tomorrow’s Firearm Safety Seminar, where area residents can learn how to properly handle a firearm. Read more

 

Bizzarro votes to support fire companies, emergency medical services

(Oct 30, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 30 – State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, said he was honored to vote for legislation providing more support to fire companies and emergency medical service providers across the state. The Fire Company and Emergency Medical Service Grant Program would be extended until 2024 via House Bill 1834. Program revisions under the bill would allow for grant funds to be used for membership recruitment efforts and building new facilities. “Volunteer fire services keep our families and neighbors safe and while you can’t put a price tag on that, their volunteer services save an estimated $10 billion annually. It’s imperative that we provide support to volunteer emergency service providers to help them secure and retain volunteers; have appropriate safety equipment and safe facilities to work in,” explained Bizzarro. Bizzarro said in addition to expansion of the grant program, the House unanimously approved the following legislation that would provide additional support to organizations: S.B. 146: Would make online training more readily available to current and prospective first responders. H.B. 1448: Would expand the career and volunteer loan assistance program for career and volunteer fire and ambulance agencies. H.B. 1838 : Would increase funding available to EMS delivery systems. H.B. 1758 : Would provide police vehicle accident reports to fire and EMS companies free of Read more

 

Rep. Bizzarro: Eliminating straight ticket voting will expand voter wait times, disenfranchise voters

(Oct 29, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 29 – State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, today cast his vote against a bill that would eliminate the option of straight ticket voting during elections. This bill, Bizzarro said, would result in voters taking longer to cast their ballot and could have unintended consequences on down-ballot races. "Voters already have the option of selecting each candidate one by one, or they can choose to make their selection all at once through straight ticket voting," Bizzarro said. "The goal of voting laws should be making it easier for people to vote. This bill does the opposite. This bill reduces choices, will create longer lines at polling precincts and leaves many questions unanswered.” Bizzarro said that after North Carolina eliminated straight ticket voting in 2013, polling place wait times went up dramatically, having the longest wait times in the country, even though the state also had early voting. "At a time when so many working individuals are struggling to carve time out of their busy day to vote amid their already hectic work schedules and family responsibilities, longer wait times pose an unnecessary burden. "Additionally, when you factor into that the unfamiliarity with the new voting machines that we in Erie County, and many other counties throughout the commonwealth, will be using for the first time next year, voting wait times are only going to get longer. Unfortunately, I foresee many people Read more

 

Rep. Bizzarro to host Firearm Safety Seminar on Nov. 7

(Oct 28, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 28 – State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, will host a free Firearm Safety Seminar next week for area residents to learn more about how to safely handle firearms. "The ability to own a gun is one of our rights under the Constitution, but with it comes the responsibility of knowing how to safely handle and store firearms," Bizzarro said. "My seminar will utilize experts in the field to inform attendees about firearm laws and how to keep firearms out of the hands of children." The seminar will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7 in the Edinboro Borough Building, 124 Meadville St., with instruction provided by the Erie County District Attorney's Office and the county sheriff's Office of Firearms. The seminar will include such topics as firearm safety, storage and laws pertaining to personal ownership, conceal carry, and self defense. All local adults and children accompanied by a parent or guardian are invited to attend. For more information, please contact Bizzarro's office at 814-835-2880 . Read more

 

Bizzarro: More than $264,000 in grants to protect and restore Lake Erie Coastal Zone, area natural resources

(Oct 22, 2019)

ERIE, Oct. 22 – State grants of more than $264,000 will fund projects to protect and restore the Lake Erie Coastal Zone and preserve other area resources, state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, announced today. The grants – from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection – will fund multiple projects related to bluff erosion, shorebird monitoring and research of geographic sources of E. coli contamination at Presque Isle State Park beaches, among other projects. “Lake Erie and Presque Isle State Park are natural gems that provide unique recreational and tourism opportunities, but they’re also more than that,” Bizzarro said. They’re natural features that define our regional identity. That’s why it’s so important to protect them for future generations. “That’s not a simple task – it involves monitoring and preserving delicate ecosystems, land structures and wildlife. In some cases, it also involves eliminating dangers, such as harmful bacteria that has at times restricted swimming at Presque Isle. The funding announced today will allow us to continue being good stewards of the lake while also addressing and overcoming these challenges.” Bizzarro said the grant money will go to the following recipients for the following projects: Erie County $70,000 for coordination and technical assistance with Lake Erie Coastal Zone Read more

 

Bizzarro, Harkins, Merski encourage Erie residents, businesses to apply for low-interest disaster loans
1 day ago

Bizzarro, Harkins, Merski: Nearly $461,000 to strengthen protection and advocacy for victims of child abuse
Dec 11, 2019

Rep. Bizzarro announces more than $11k award to Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit 5
Dec 11, 2019

Lawmakers speaking out regarding future of Minor League Baseball franchises
Dec 06, 2019

Rep. Bizzarro resolution urges MLB to save minor league teams
Dec 04, 2019

Our view: Abuse laws protect pets and people
Dec 03, 2019

Wolf asks MLB not to cut ties with minor league teams in Erie, State College and Williamsport
Dec 02, 2019

House unanimously adopts Bizzarro resolution designating Nov. 22 Veterans Suicide Prevention and Awareness Day
Nov 21, 2019

Resolution designates Nov. 22 as Veterans Suicide, Prevention Awareness Day
Nov 21, 2019

House designates November 2019 as National Epilepsy Awareness Month
Nov 19, 2019

Rep. Bizzarro: Arts, animals, housing and health subjects of latest tax credit awards
Nov 15, 2019

State to fund Peninsula Drive pedestrian, bike lane
Nov 14, 2019

Northwest birding economic impact study to receive state funding
Nov 14, 2019

Bizzarro and Laughlin announce $2.5 million in grant funding coming to Millcreek
Nov 12, 2019

Bizzarro: Efforts to protect valuable French Creek Watershed get boost from state grant
Nov 07, 2019

Learn how to properly handle a firearm at tomorrow’s FREE event
Nov 06, 2019

Bizzarro votes to support fire companies, emergency medical services
Oct 30, 2019

Rep. Bizzarro: Eliminating straight ticket voting will expand voter wait times, disenfranchise voters
Oct 29, 2019

Rep. Bizzarro to host Firearm Safety Seminar on Nov. 7
Oct 28, 2019

Bizzarro: More than $264,000 in grants to protect and restore Lake Erie Coastal Zone, area natural resources
Oct 22, 2019