Improving rail, roads, waterways, technology could fuel jobs and public safety efforts

(Feb 17, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 17 – Economic recovery, job creation, improved infrastructure and statewide development could benefit from a $4 trillion National Infrastructure Bank as discussed at today’s House Democratic Policy Committee hearing. The committee heard testimony and held a roundtable discussion on how implementation of the National Infrastructure Bank would help the state improve broadband access, address transportation needs and invigorate the economy. “We’re in need of a revolutionary approach to addressing technological and public safety needs. Invoking the National Infrastructure Bank would have impacts that reach every community of this state,” Policy Committee Chairman Ryan Bizzarro said. State Rep. Ed Neilson, co-host of today’s hearing, added, “If we have an opportunity to bridge the digital divide for both cities and rural areas, we must take it. Ultimately, our future depends on this investment. We can improve the trajectory of our economic recovery, help develop a workforce for the future and be a leader in both.” Macroeconomist Alphecca Muttardy noted that every $1 invested via the National Infrastructure Bank could generate a $3 to $7 return and that .09 cents of every dollar would go back to the state government in revenues. This return would help repay the low-interest loans used to fund projects. Stanley Forczek, an infrastructure expert having previously served Amtrak, highlighted that Read more

 

PA Lawmakers Push for Online COVID-19 Vaccine Registry

(Feb 17, 2021)

Week after week we bring you stories of local residents frustrated trying to schedule their COVID-19 vaccine and not being able to get through. Read more

 

Pennsylvania needs a vaccine registry, not a vaccine lottery

(Feb 17, 2021)

Imagine trying to play the lottery, but, instead of just buying a ticket at your local dealer you had to use a piece of technology you’ve never seen before, there were only a limited number of lottery tickets (and nobody knows the number), and the form you fill out is in another language. Read more

 

Erie Lawmakers Urge Gov. Wolf to Increase COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution to Erie County

(Feb 17, 2021)

An effort to make sure Erie County is getting its fair share of COVID-19 vaccine under Pennsylvania's distribution plan is underway, state Reps. Bob Merski and Pat Harkins (both D-Erie) announced Wednesday. Read more

 

Collaboration and accountability between administration, care providers key in long-term care COVID-19 recovery

(Feb 16, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 16 -- State Rep. Joe Hohenstein, D-Phila., hosted today’s House Democratic Policy Committee hearing where legislators heard from state agencies and long-term care facility staff about how long-term care facilities are navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more

 

Pennsylvania lawmakers propose legislation to create statewide COVID-19 vaccine registry

(Feb 16, 2021)

The Vaccine Registry Act would direct the state Department of Health to create a database of Pennsylvanians who are eligible and willing to get the vaccine. Read more

 

Proposed legislation to make it easier for Pennsylvanians to register for the COVID-19 vaccine

(Feb 16, 2021)

Pennsylvania lawmakers propose legislation that would make it simple for people to register for the covid-19 vaccine. Read more

 

Bill would create central vaccination registry in Pennsylvania

(Feb 16, 2021)

The Central Vaccine Registry, if it is established, would be a clearinghouse for people who want the Covid-19 to register their names into a central Department of Health database as well as schedule vaccination times for themselves, spouses and their parents. Read more

 

COVID-19 Vaccine Registry Act solution to PA vaccine registration troubles

(Feb 15, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 15 – In response to challenges faced by eligible Pennsylvanians seeking to get vaccinated, Reps. Ryan Bizzarro, Pam Snyder, Jennifer O’Mara, and Austin Davis are introducing legislation that would streamline the registration and notification process. The Vaccine Registry Act would direct the Pennsylvania Department of Health to create a statewide database of people who are eligible and willing to accept the vaccine and permit them to schedule for themselves, their spouses or significant others, and their families. Registrants may also provide evidence of risk status and proof of eligibility and make note of how far they are willing to travel to be vaccinated. Vaccine providers would be required to commit to accessing the registry and prioritizing registrants for scheduling appointments, to prevent people from spending hours trying to find and sign up for available appointments. “We cannot flounder any longer without a plan which allows people to easily register for vaccine access for themselves and their families, the frustration is real and growing and we cannot wait any longer. I look forward to working with the Department of Health and Governor Tom Wolf on this creative solution for a centralized system that recognizes the independence of our providers,” said Bizzarro, D-Erie, and chairman of the House Democratic Policy Committee. Snyder, D-Greene/Fayette/Washington, added: Read more

 

State representatives across Pennsylvania push for a simpler solution to help you book your COVID-19 vaccine

(Feb 15, 2021)

State representatives across Pennsylvania are pushing for a simpler solution to help you book your COVID-19 vaccine. Read more

 

Long-term care facility challenges amidst COVID-19 focus of House Democratic Policy Committee hearing Tuesday

(Feb 12, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 12 – State Rep. Joe Hohenstein will host a House Democratic Policy Committee meeting to hear how state officials and workers at long-term care facilities can work together during the pandemic to improve safety for staff and residents. The hearing will be held virtually from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16 and can be viewed at www.pahouse.com/policy or via the Policy Committee’s Facebook account -- @padempolicy. The media and public are invited to tune in. Media questions can be submitted at policy@pahouse.net . Specifically, Chairman Ryan Bizzarro, Hohenstein and members of the Policy Committee look forward to learning more on the state Department of Health’s efforts to protect vulnerable populations and their caregivers. COVID recovery efforts are part of the House Democratic Policy Committee’s objectives for the 2021-22 Legislative Session. Read more

 

Vaccine shortage and technology demands highlight of House Democratic Policy Committee

(Feb 08, 2021)

HARRISBURG | Feb. 8 – General consensus among testifiers at today’s House Democratic Policy Committee highlights that vaccine supply and scheduling limitations are the primary source of delays in Pennsylvania vaccination efforts. “Pennsylvanians need a more streamlined approach to ensuring we can get people vaccinated and return to some semblance of normal,” Bizzarro explained. Those tasked with administering vaccines at the state and county levels, including pharmacies, reiterated that there are not enough vaccines being allocated to meet demand, especially with the recent expansion of the 1A group. County officials shared the strain they have experienced with dwindling employee complements expected to tackle the pandemic and other ongoing public health issues that remain. Keara Klinepeter, executive deputy secretary at the Pennsylvania Department of Health; Barry Niccolai, executive director of Centerville Clinics; and Vicky Kistler, director of health for the city of Allentown, provided deep insight into how the state and local governments are working to distribute the vaccines that Pennsylvania does receive. “I greatly appreciate the efforts at the state, local and business level to join forces and do everything in their power to secure vaccines from the federal government and efficiently distribute them,” Bizzarro said. Hospital system representatives, including Dr. Charles Barbera and Kathy Reeves, shared their concerns Read more

 

State Grant Programs Now Open for Applications: March 31 Update

(Feb 03, 2021)

STATE PROGRAMS NOW OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS: Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development: Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) (Funding Source: General Fund) Eligibility : 501c3 nonprofits Use : Tax credit program to encourage businesses to invest in projects by eligible nonprofits to serve low-income individuals and improve distressed areas. Projects can include affordable housing, community economic development, community services, education, neighborhood conservation, crime prevention, job training, or charitable food assistance. A special-priority category this year is COVID-19 Pandemic and Social Justice Issues, which can include a variety of COVID related services as well as projects that strive to increase awareness of or improve social justice issues within marginalized communities in Pennsylvania. See guidelines for more information. Funds : State tax credits up to 80%, depending upon the program category, for businesses that donate to the nonprofit. Application Deadline : May 28. Applicants submitting a solicitation plan in lieu of firm commitments must have their contributors confirmed by August 31, 2021. More Information : Click on https://dced.pa.gov/programs/neighborhood-assistance-program-nap/ . Applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss their projects prior to application with their Regional DCED Office: https://dced.pa.gov/dced-regional-offices/ . Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Read more

 

Rep. Bizzarro announces $2.25 million investment in local development project

(Feb 03, 2021)

ERIE, Feb. 3 – State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro said he is happy to announce Governor Tom Wolf has directed $2.25 million in Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority funding to Erie. “Bringing your tax dollars back to the region is an important part of community revitalization and economic recovery. This low-interest loan will make a big impact on the region and draw in millions in private investment for the development. Even more, the construction project will generate an additional economic boom to the region,” Bizzarro explained. The low-interest loan awarded to AnDi LLC. through Enterprise Development Center of Erie County Inc. will fund the purchase of 12.32 acres located in Fairview Business Park in Fairview Erie County. The company intends to build a 95,500 square-foot beverage facility for use by Allegheny Beverage Company; 10,000 square feet will be used as office space. The lease agreement stands at 15 years for the $7.85 million project. The loan will be contingent on the new facility retaining 70 employees from its current Erie-based facility, and the creation of an additional 10 full-time jobs within three years. “This is a great opportunity for local businesses to expand and increase job opportunities,” Bizzarro said “This funding is coming at a time when our community needs it the most and will be a welcome part of economic recovery from this pandemic.” Additional information about Read more

 

Gov. Wolf Approves $2.25 Million in Funding for Fairview Business Park Project

(Feb 03, 2021)

A distribution facility planned for the Fairview Business Park has received approval for a $2.25 million 15-year loan, Gov. Wolf announced Wednesday. Read more

 

PA budget: 5 things Erie wants to see, from community college funds to marijuana legalization

(Feb 02, 2021)

Ryan Bizzarro, D-3rd Dist., who is serving as chairman of the House Democratic Policy Committee, said Monday it's incumbent upon federal ... Read more

 

House Democratic Policy Committee hosts a hearing to discuss the 2020 Presidential Election

(Jan 25, 2021)

House Democratic Policy Committee hosts a hearing to discuss the 2020 Presidential Election Read more

 

Policy Committee finds lies and hate speech to be at center of Jan. 6 Capitol attack

(Jan 21, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 21 – Today, the House Democratic Policy Committee heard from an array of testifiers on how hate speech, lies and misinformation played a role in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and how those who’ve taken an oath of office may have played a part. “As public servants, we are held to a higher standard. The people deserve better from their public officials than manipulative rally cries fed by blatant lies,” Bizzarro said. Professor Gerry Gendlin, who works in Edinboro University’s History and Politics Department; Shira Goodman of the Anti-Defamation League; Dr. Lauren Bairnsfather, Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh; and Frederick Lawrence, Georgetown Law, all provided perspective on the how hate speech fueled the Capitol attack and insight into the role that those who’ve taken the oath of office had in it. “One of the most poignant remarks of the day was, just because it isn’t illegal, doesn’t mean it isn’t wrong. We heard today about how many of the elected officials that fueled the flames of insurrection took things just to the line. Wrong is wrong and we must call on our colleagues to acknowledge the role they played in that deadly day,” Bizzarro said. Congresswoman Susan Wild recounted her experience fleeing violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6. Congressman Conor Lamb highlighted his efforts to investigate and define the movements that are perpetuating hate. “I Read more

 

Defending Democracy focus of Tuesday’s House Democratic Policy Committee meeting

(Jan 19, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 19 – The House Democratic Policy Committee today met virtually to hear from state and county officials on their 2020 election experience and to discuss recent false allegations of election fraud. “The consistent theme from testifiers was that election staff was professional, diligent and facilitated a secure election. Our county election workers need the legislature to address pre-canvassing issues and streamline operations between the in-person and mail-in systems. Fortunately, many of these efforts have been put forth by my colleagues and we look forward to advocating for these commonsense measures,” Bizzarro said. The committee heard from Jonathan Marks from the Department of State on election security; Andrew Szefi, Allegheny County solicitor; Al Schmidt, Philadelphia city commissioner; and Bob Harvie, Bucks County election commissioner on their experiences through the 2020 election and improvements that could be made to streamline future elections. Testimony was also submitted by the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania that included recommendations for election reform that reinforced the need for pre-canvassing and additional time to process mail-in ballots. Dominion Voting Systems submitted their voting process for the record. “Ultimately, the people who carry out these elections are doing their job. They are Republicans, Democrats, independents; but more importantly, they are our neighbors, family Read more

 

House Democratic Policy Committee to examine the oath of office at Thursday’s virtual hearing

(Jan 19, 2021)

HARRISBURG | Jan. 19 – In continued efforts to defend democracy and uncover how the Jan. 6 attacks on our nation’s Capitol will impact it moving forward, the House Democratic Policy Committee will discuss the intersection of the constitution, the ethics act and culpability of those who incite or participate in violence and disinformation campaigns. The meeting will be held virtually from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21 and can be viewed at www.pahouse.com/policy or via the Policy Committee’s Facebook account --@padempolicy. The media and public are invited to tune in. Policy Committee Chairman Ryan Bizzarro and members hope to gather information on the oath of office, the spread of false information in regards to our recent elections, and what criminal violations may have been committed by those attempting to discredit American democracy. Gerry Gendlin, constitutional law professor, will discuss the history of constitutional remedies to sedition. Shira Goodman, Anti-Defamation League, and Dr. Lauren Bairnsfather, Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh, will discuss decoding hateful messaging and symbolism. U.S. Reps. Susan Wild and Conor Lamb will share their experience while under siege in the Capitol on Jan. 6. Frederick Lawrence is a hate crimes expert and will discuss the evolution of hate crimes and community and legal response. The meeting is one in a series addressing the false allegations of election fraud that Read more

 

Improving rail, roads, waterways, technology could fuel jobs and public safety efforts
Feb 17, 2021

PA Lawmakers Push for Online COVID-19 Vaccine Registry
Feb 17, 2021

Pennsylvania needs a vaccine registry, not a vaccine lottery
Feb 17, 2021

Erie Lawmakers Urge Gov. Wolf to Increase COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution to Erie County
Feb 17, 2021

Collaboration and accountability between administration, care providers key in long-term care COVID-19 recovery
Feb 16, 2021

Pennsylvania lawmakers propose legislation to create statewide COVID-19 vaccine registry
Feb 16, 2021

Proposed legislation to make it easier for Pennsylvanians to register for the COVID-19 vaccine
Feb 16, 2021

Bill would create central vaccination registry in Pennsylvania
Feb 16, 2021

COVID-19 Vaccine Registry Act solution to PA vaccine registration troubles
Feb 15, 2021

State representatives across Pennsylvania push for a simpler solution to help you book your COVID-19 vaccine
Feb 15, 2021

Long-term care facility challenges amidst COVID-19 focus of House Democratic Policy Committee hearing Tuesday
Feb 12, 2021

Vaccine shortage and technology demands highlight of House Democratic Policy Committee
Feb 08, 2021

State Grant Programs Now Open for Applications: March 31 Update
Feb 03, 2021

Rep. Bizzarro announces $2.25 million investment in local development project
Feb 03, 2021

Gov. Wolf Approves $2.25 Million in Funding for Fairview Business Park Project
Feb 03, 2021

PA budget: 5 things Erie wants to see, from community college funds to marijuana legalization
Feb 02, 2021

House Democratic Policy Committee hosts a hearing to discuss the 2020 Presidential Election
Jan 25, 2021

Policy Committee finds lies and hate speech to be at center of Jan. 6 Capitol attack
Jan 21, 2021

Defending Democracy focus of Tuesday’s House Democratic Policy Committee meeting
Jan 19, 2021

House Democratic Policy Committee to examine the oath of office at Thursday’s virtual hearing
Jan 19, 2021