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Progress Report: Here’s How Hard I Am Working for You

Bizzarro, Harkins, Merski: $32 million loan to ensure safe water supply for Erie

(1 day ago)

ERIE, Oct. 16 – A $32 million low-interest loan from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority will ensure that Erie residents continue to enjoy reliable access to safe drinking water, state Reps. Ryan Bizzarro, Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, all D-Erie, announced today. The loan to Erie City Water Authority will fund projects that enhance service for more than 57,000 residents. “Ensuring a safe, reliable water supply depends on smooth, coordinated functioning of multiple systems, from pumps and chlorination equipment to treatment, testing and storage facilities,” Merski said. “This funding is essential to help us address long-standing issues such as pump stations that are at the end of their useable lives and an 80-year-old treatment plant building long overdue for upgrades.” Harkins agreed, noting, “The water authority has already invested more than $60 million in upgrading filtration equipment and standby power. The new financing builds on those improvements by addressing plant infrastructure issues, remedying code violations and expanding water storage to ensure Erie and surrounding towns have a plentiful, continuous supply.” Bizzarro added that the funding allows Erie to continue to fulfill its most important duties to residents. “Safeguarding public and community health is the No. 1 priority for government,” he said. “The Read more

 

State Board of Education Schedules Vote on Erie County Community College

(1 day ago)

ERIE, Oct. 16 -- The Pennsylvania State Board of Education announced today that it will consider the application to establish a new community college in Erie County at its November 13-14 meeting. The vote will follow The Board’s High Education Sub-Committee has scheduled a meeting on October 29 to review the application and make a recommendation to the Board. State Representative Ryan Bizzarro issued the following statement regarding the Board’s action: “The local case has been made for a community college in Erie County. We applaud our local elected officials, business and education leaders and the community college advocates for their hard work. “Working with the Governor’s office and the Pennsylvania Board of Education our state delegation was able to advance this vote, which will rise or fall on the strength and merit of the application. “I will continue to work with Governor Wolf and my colleagues to ensure Erie County’s education needs are fully considered. Erie County deserves this vote, one way or the other.” Read more

 

Bizzarro, Harkins, Merski: $500,000 grant brings Erie closer to becoming ‘smart city’

(Oct 10, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 10 – Erie is one step closer to becoming a “smart city,” thanks to a $500,000 grant that will fund the city’s broadband deployment program and provide free public Wi-Fi access, state Reps. Ryan Bizzarro, Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, all D-Erie, announced today. The grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission will expand Erie’s “Secure Smart City Pilot” – a project launched last year to help the city use electronic data collection to better manage resources, fight crime, and improve efficiency. “I’m especially excited about how this program is going to make us a safer community,” Harkins said. “I have been working with law enforcement for some time on this project, and this infusion of funding is going to enhance security in areas that are prone to crime. We’ll be seeing urban security solutions that include traffic monitoring, analytics that can be tracked on a visualization dashboard, and better lighting, including the ability to remotely control streetlights.” Merski noted that the technology also will enable Erie to save money and operate more efficiently. “The theory behind smart cities is that they use information t echnology to capture data that can pinpoint exactly where resources are needed,” Merski said. “That allows us to target specific areas needing assistance while reducing wasteful spending. It Read more

 

Bizzarro to host Senior Fair & Older Living Expo Sept. 27

(Sep 23, 2019)

ERIE, Sept. 23 – Area seniors will want to mark their calendars for the fifth annual Senior Fair and Older Living Expo co-hosted by state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, and state Sen. Michele Brooks, R-Crawford/Mercer/Erie/Warren. The free event will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on Friday, Sept. 27 at the Edinboro Volunteer Fire Department, 125 Meadville St., in Edinboro. Bizzarro said the fair is extremely popular each year because it offers something for everyone. “Seniors love our fair because it offers a one-stop-shop experience,” Bizzarro said. “Visitors can get a flu shot and free health screening; pick up brochures and applications for state programs; and browse exhibits by local vendors offering services on financial planning, housing, transportation and dozens of other resources important to older adults. St aff will be available, as well, to answer questions.” Bizzarro added that there will also be door prizes and light refreshments. Residents interested in learning more should contact his district office at 814-835-2880. Read more

 

Bizzarro bill to improve charitable fundraising heads for House vote

(Sep 19, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 19 – Legislation that would help non-profit organizations host more successful fundraising events for charity is heading to the House chamber for a vote after being added to another bill approved by the House Liquor Committee today, state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, announced. Bizzarro’s H.B. 1406 would address a major obstacle affecting nonprofit organizations hosting charitable fundraising events: A provision of the state Liquor Code governing special occasion permits prohibits the companies these non-profits hire to plan and organize the events from managing the funds. As a result, the fundraisers are not as efficient or successful as possible. Bizzarro said his legislation would change all that. “Non-profit organizations such as churches and community groups often turn to event planning and organizing companies because of their expertise when it comes to fundraising events,” Bizzarro said. “Unfortunately, the law prevents these organizers from managing the funds, which greatly affects the success and efficiency of these events. My legislation would remove that obstacle by permitting event organizers and planners to collect and manage the funds as long as the non-profit organization is the primary host of the event and the funds are being raised for a charitable purpose. “I’m delighted that this legislation is advancing to the House. Successful fundraising events are Read more

 

Bizzarro: State grant awarded for Edinboro Legion Pool maintenance

(Sep 17, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 17 – State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, today announced the Edinboro Legion Pool is receiving more than $20,000 for structural maintenance and improvements to the pool and its operating facilities. “The Edinboro Legion Pool is the only publicly accessible pool available in Edinboro Borough. It was in need of repair and I’m proud to report that the state recognizes its value to our community and is investing in making it better for our neighbors and friends,” Bizzarro explained. Funds will be used to repair cracks in the pool, replace the rotting pumphouse door frame, secure pipes, fix damaged cement concrete walls and to replace a broken ice cream chest used for food storage. The grant, approved by the Commonwealth Financing Authority, is via the Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program. Projects funded via the grant involve development, rehabilitation and improvements to public parks, recreation areas, greenways, trails and river conservation. Bizzarro said he encourages local organizations to reach out to his Peninsula Plaza Office, 1101 Peninsula Drive, Suite 209, at 814-835-2880 office if interested in identifying and applying state grant opportunities. Read more

 

Bizzarro, Harkins, Merski: More than $376,000 for programs to address domestic violence and abuse, curb gun violence

(Sep 12, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 12 – State grants totaling $376,741 will bolster Erie programs aimed at reducing gun violence and supporting victims of domestic violence and abuse, 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 three grants totaling nearly $127,000 under the Victims of Crime Act and one grant of nearly $250,000 under the 2019/20 Gun Violence Reduction Initiative. “In addition to helping victims of domestic violence and abuse rebuild their lives, this funding will benefit our entire community by reducing gun violence and the shadow of fear it casts,” Bizzarro said. “The Gun Violence Reduction Initiative being funded is based on a deterrence model that has proven successful by targeting high-risk individuals and groups through direct communication, enforcement and outreach. I’m hopeful that we’ll see meaningful results in Erie.” Harkins added that the funding will also make a difference for those victimized by domestic violence or abuse. “More than anything, innocent residents whose lives have been shattered by domestic violence or abuse need to feel safe and free from the ongoing threat of violence,” Harkins said. “The PCCD funding will go toward programs that help victims free themselves from the specter of ongoing violence or abuse by obtaining protective Read more

 

Bizzarro learns to fight the blaze at Allegheny County Fire Academy

(Sep 04, 2019)

ERIE, Sept. 4 – As a member of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, recently took part in course and field exercises at the committee’s tour of the Allegheny County Fire Academy. The academy tour involved Bizzarro running into burning buildings, climbing ladders and putting out fires. The Erie legislator said he has a whole new appreciation for Pennsylvania’s hardworking volunteer and paid firefighters. “Today, we’re getting hands-on experience of what they have to go through every single day,” Bizzarro said. “I had the privilege of suiting up in full fire-fighting gear and practicing many of the procedures and tactics that firefighters use to respond to fires and emergencies throughout the state. It was challenging and exhilarating and helped me gain a whole new level of gratitude for those who are constantly on call.” The Allegheny County Fire Academy offers fire, rescue, hazardous materials and terrorism training to emergency service personnel and private industry emergency response teams. Bizzarro and the committee discussed what legislators can do at the state and federal levels to improve public safety efforts and ensure firefighters have the resources needed to respond to emergent situations. “I’ve always been a strong advocate for the women and men who fulfill the calling to run into these most dangerous situations,” Bizzarro said. Read more

 

Erie International Airport gets state grant

(Aug 29, 2019)

Equipment upgrades are coming to the Erie International Airport but some of the finances still must be worked out. Read more

 

Bizzarro: Nearly $170,000 to fund new equipment, vehicles for Erie International Airport

(Aug 28, 2019)

ERIE, Aug. 28 – A state grant of $168,750 will ensure that Erie International Airport/Tom Ridge Field continues to operate smoothly and safely, state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, announced today. Bizzarro said the grant will fund the purchase of equipment needed to maintain the airport’s facilities – including the turfed and paved areas – and additional vehicles to support airport operations. “I’m so glad we were successful in our efforts to secure this funding,” Bizzarro said. “Erie International Airport is more than a convenient transportation hub. It sustains hundreds of regional jobs, supports tourism, helps bolster commerce and serves as a connection point to worldwide destinations. Funding to keep it functioning safely and efficiently is one of the most important investments the state can make.” Bizzarro noted that the funding provides an excellent opportunity to build on progress enabled by a $1.7 million grant the airport received last year for a major renovation of the terminal building. The funding is part of a package of grants to 29 airports statewide totaling $13.7 million and funded through the state Transportation Department's Aviation Transportation Assistance Program, Aviation Development Program and the Multimodal Fund. As of April 2019, Pennsylvania ranks 13th in the country in the number of public-use aviation facilities with 127 airports, heliports and seaplane bases. Read more

 

Bizzarro’s Senior Fair attracts large turnout, enthusiastic crowd

(Aug 19, 2019)

ERIE, Aug. 19 – A robust and enthusiastic crowd attended the 7 th Annual Senior Fair & Older Living Expo today hosted by State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie. Visitors who packed the first floor of McDowell Intermediate High School this morning browsed dozens of exhibits and filled their bags with program brochures, state applications and free samples. Many participated in free health screenings. Bizzarro said he particularly enjoyed getting to talk one-on-one with seniors around the community. “Today’s event was one of our best yet, and that’s a testament to the energy and enthusiasm of the nearly 1,700 seniors who stopped by,” Bizzarro said. “I had the chance to talk one-on-one with so many seniors in our community, and once again this year, they wowed me with their enthusiasm and their insights. “There are few things more satisfying than seeing the folks I serve coming out to engage with the community and knowing that they’re leaving with a feeling that they’ve learned some new ways to enrich their lives.” Bizzarro will join state Sen. Michele Brooks to co-host a similar free event – the Edinboro Senior Fair – from 10 a.m. to noon on Friday, Sept. 27, at the Edinboro Volunteer Fire Department, 125 Meadville St. in Edinboro. Read more

 

Check out my Summer 2019 newsletter!

(Aug 12, 2019)

Check out the latest edition of my Summer 2019 newsletter for a look at all the progress we’ve made so far this year and for news about the new budget plan, millions in grants returning to the district, a special medal for Korean War veterans, and more! You’ll also find photos from here in Harrisburg and around the district! Click here to read the Bizz Report → http://www.pahouse.com/files/Documents/Newsletter/2019-08-08_091414__003 Summer NL-6 Pg Trifold 0719 v2.pdf Read more

 

Presque Isle Downs & Casino Celebrates Grand Opening of BetAmerica Sportsbook

(Aug 12, 2019)

LOUISVILLE, Ky., Aug. 08, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Churchill Downs Incorporated (“CDI”) (Nasdaq: CHDN) is celebrating the grand opening of its BetAmerica Sportsbook today at Presque Isle Downs & Casino (“Presque Isle Casino”) in Erie, Pennsylvania, coinciding with the start of this year’s NFL preseason. The new sportsbook, which features the addition of 50 state-of-the-art sports wagering kiosks at Presque Isle Casino, expands CDI’s ever-growing national reach into sports betting. Read more

 

Bizzarro to host Senior Fair & Older Living Expo Aug. 19

(Aug 09, 2019)

ERIE, Aug. 9 – State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, will host his 7 th annual Senior Fair & Older Living Expo from 9 a.m. to noon Monday, Aug. 19 at McDowell Intermediate High School, 3320 Caughey Road. The free event will feature about 80 exhibitors, valuable information on state programs, free health screenings, refreshments, door prizes and more. “The fair is one of the most exciting events I host each year because of all the energy our senior community brings,” Bizzarro said. “Erie’s seniors are an active, engaged group who understand that Pennsylvania offers a wealth of programs and services for older adults. The fair provides a great opportunity for them to learn about new and existing programs; pick up applications and brochures; and talk to staff, who will be on-hand to answer questions. “Once again this year, the fair will feature dozens of community exhibitors offering a look at all the latest resources important to older adults – from health, nutrition and fitness, to housing, home care, transportation and financial services. The best part is that every year, seniors come away with a better understanding of how to make the most of their retirement years.” Additional parking will be available in the parking lot adjacent to the Gus Anderson Field, located off Caughey Road, with shuttle service available to and from the fair. Residents interested in learning more should contact Bizzarro’s office Read more

 

Check out my Summer 2019 newsletter!

(Aug 05, 2019)

Check out my Summer 2019 newsletter for all the latest on the new budget plan, news about millions in grants returning to the district, a look at recent bills I’ve drafted, a reminder about our upcoming senior far, and more! You’ll also find photos from around the district and here in Harrisburg! http://www.pahouse.com/files/Documents/2019-08-05_103615__003 Summer NL-6 Pg Trifold 0719.pdf Read more

 

Local legislators announce $10.5 million in grants for Erie projects

(Aug 01, 2019)

ERIE, Aug. 1 – State Reps. Ryan Bizzarro, Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, all D-Erie, announced today that $10.5 million in grants have been awarded under the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program to fund projects around the region. The legislators noted that the grants will provide benefits for generations to come. “I’ve always been a proponent of regional representation and understand the value of community assets that go beyond legislative district boundaries,” Bizzarro said. “I am proud to have worked diligently with my colleagues, House leadership, administrative leadership and community innovators to secure this funding for our community. “These grant benefits will extend far beyond the individual campus, facility or neighborhood project receiving the investment – they will enhance learning, living, shopping and economic opportunities for residents and generations to come in each of our legislative districts.” “These grants are incredible news for Erie,” Harkins said. “I’m especially pleased that we were successful in our efforts to help secure $2 million in funding for the project to expand Saint Vincent. My wife and I – and all three of our children – were born there, and we have many friends who work there. It is truly a regional investment.” Merski agreed, saying, “These state investments in the city of Erie are critical to accelerating our transformation. From Read more

 

Bizzarro: Fire Company, Emergency Medical Service Grant Program opening Sept. 4

(Jul 31, 2019)

ERIE, July 31 – Volunteer fire companies and emergency service providers throughout Pennsylvania will soon be able to apply for state funding through the Fire Company, Emergency Medical Service Grant Program in the Office of the State Fire Commissioner starting Sept. 4, announced Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie. Eligible fire companies, emergency medical services and volunteer rescue squads will have 45 days to apply for the grant to use funds for up to two projects in the following categories: Facilities - Construction and/or renovation of the fire company or ambulance service facility and purchase or repair of fixtures and furnishings necessary to maintain or improve the capability of the company to provide fire, ambulance and rescue services. Equipment - Purchase or repair of firefighting, ambulance or rescue equipment. Includes the purchase of fuel for company vehicles. Debt reduction - Debt reduction associated with the facility or equipment categories above. Training - Training and certification of members. Training and education materials regarding fire prevention for the general public. Career Departments Only - Overtime costs associated with backfilling positions while firefighters are attending training. “This grant provides needed funding to our emergency service providers including firefighters and EMTs,” Bizzarro said. “They will have the opportunity to make facility improvements and replace or repair equipment used in Read more

 

Harkins, Merski, Bizzarro: More than $250,000 in grants will bring fresh fruits and vegetables to school menus

(Jul 15, 2019)

ERIE, July 15 – Erie County elementary school students will see more fresh fruits and vegetables on the school menu thanks to $251,047 in grants awarded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, state Reps. Pat Harkins, Bob Merski and Ryan Bizzarro, all D-Erie, announced today. “The nutrients in fresh fruits and vegetables are essential for ensuring kids’ healthy growth and bolstering their immune systems, which is so important in a school setting, where kids are in constant close contact,” Harkins said. “I’m so glad we were successful in our efforts to secure this funding.” Merski agreed, noting, “As an educator for many years, I have seen how proper nutrition improves memory skills and boosts academic performance. I’m delighted that our students will be seeing this incredibly important addition to the school menu.” Bizzarro added that the grants help start healthy patterns, saying, “By introducing kids to fresh fruits and vegetables at an early age, we’re helping them understand that healthy eating is a choice that’s available to them and that it feels better than junk food, hopefully a lesson they’ll carry with them for life.” The grants to the First, Second and Third Legislative Districts, by school district, are as follows: Erie City School District Diehl Elementary School – $29,440 Edison Elementary School Read more

 

Bizzarro, Harkins, Merski: $450,000 in funding to benefit Erie affordable housing, blight reduction projects

(Jul 12, 2019)

ERIE, July 12 – Erie County projects to expand affordable housing and reduce blight will receive $450,000 through the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement fund, state Reps. Ryan Bizzarro, Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, all D-Erie, announced today. “This funding is critically important for members of our community in need of housing – particularly those who may be homeless or struggling to make ends meet,” Harkins said. “It’s especially good to know that our efforts to help secure funding were successful because the organizations benefiting, such as Mercy Center for Women, do such vital work in helping residents regain productive lives.” Bizzarro agreed, noting that projects to expand affordable housing are good for the community on multiple levels. “These projects will not only expand affordable housing options for the working families of Erie, they will create jobs and spur increased economic activity,” Bizzarro said. “The projects will open doors for residents in so many ways.” Merski pointed out that the funding will also bolster efforts to revitalize vacant, blighted areas. “It’s great to see part of this funding go toward breathing life back into blighted, vacant areas of our community,” Merski said. “During my years on city council, I drafted the ordinance creating the city land bank for this very purpose. With this funding, the land bank can Read more

 

Bizzarro: New state-based insurance exchange a huge win for state’s insurance consumers

(Jul 03, 2019)

HARRISBURG, July 3 – State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, lauded Gov. Tom Wolf’s signing of legislation Bizzarro co-sponsored that will create a state-based insurance exchange for private plans under the Affordable Health Care Act. “This new law is tremendous news for the nearly 400,000 Pennsylvanians who rely on private insurance under the ACA and have been dealing with rising premiums,” Bizzarro said, noting that in the past, insurance consumers have relied on an insurance marketplace run by the federal government. “By stepping in and establishing its own state-run exchange, the commonwealth is paving the way for a more efficient system that will generate millions in savings. It’s a classic case of the state being able to accomplish something more efficiently than the federal government – with the savings realized going directly to the benefit of our state’s insurance consumers.” Bizzarro said Pennsylvania can operate its own insurance exchange at a cost of nearly one-third the amount the federal government collects from insurers to operate the federal exchange. The state can then use those millions in “user fees” no longer being paid to the federal government to create a reinsurance plan that will help insurers defray their risk. “The winner in all of this will be the state’s insurance consumers, who will benefit from lower, more stable premiums,” Bizzarro said. “We know these Read more

 

Bizzarro, Harkins, Merski: $32 million loan to ensure safe water supply for Erie
1 day ago

State Board of Education Schedules Vote on Erie County Community College
1 day ago

Bizzarro, Harkins, Merski: $500,000 grant brings Erie closer to becoming ‘smart city’
Oct 10, 2019

Bizzarro to host Senior Fair & Older Living Expo Sept. 27
Sep 23, 2019

Bizzarro bill to improve charitable fundraising heads for House vote
Sep 19, 2019

Bizzarro: State grant awarded for Edinboro Legion Pool maintenance
Sep 17, 2019

Bizzarro, Harkins, Merski: More than $376,000 for programs to address domestic violence and abuse, curb gun violence
Sep 12, 2019

Bizzarro learns to fight the blaze at Allegheny County Fire Academy
Sep 04, 2019

Erie International Airport gets state grant
Aug 29, 2019

Bizzarro: Nearly $170,000 to fund new equipment, vehicles for Erie International Airport
Aug 28, 2019

Bizzarro’s Senior Fair attracts large turnout, enthusiastic crowd
Aug 19, 2019

Check out my Summer 2019 newsletter!
Aug 12, 2019

Presque Isle Downs & Casino Celebrates Grand Opening of BetAmerica Sportsbook
Aug 12, 2019

Bizzarro to host Senior Fair & Older Living Expo Aug. 19
Aug 09, 2019

Check out my Summer 2019 newsletter!
Aug 05, 2019

Local legislators announce $10.5 million in grants for Erie projects
Aug 01, 2019

Bizzarro: Fire Company, Emergency Medical Service Grant Program opening Sept. 4
Jul 31, 2019

Harkins, Merski, Bizzarro: More than $250,000 in grants will bring fresh fruits and vegetables to school menus
Jul 15, 2019

Bizzarro, Harkins, Merski: $450,000 in funding to benefit Erie affordable housing, blight reduction projects
Jul 12, 2019

Bizzarro: New state-based insurance exchange a huge win for state’s insurance consumers
Jul 03, 2019