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Burns pushing bullying legislation

Burns: Nominations to be accepted for annual volunteerism award

(1 day ago)

State Rep. Frank Burns said his office will accept applications from Nov 1 through Nov. 22 at his Ebensburg office for the fourth annual Charlie Vizzini Volunteerism Award, which honors an outstanding volunteer in the 72nd Legislative District. Read more

 

Burns: Ferndale Area, Westmont Hilltop School Districts receive Safe Schools Targeted funds

(Oct 17, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 17 – In an effort to complement existing safety and security resources, the Ferndale Area Hills and the Westmont Hilltop School Districts were each awarded Safe School Targeted Grants funding of approximately $24,000 to use toward the purchase of safety and school-related equipment, state Rep. Frank Burns announced today. Burns, D-Cambria, said the competitive 2019-20 Safe Schools Targeted Grants from the state Department of Education are awarded to schools to prevent and reduce violent incidents, purchase safety and security-related equipment, and provide for the training and compensation of school resource and police officers. Ferndale Area School District received $24,800 and Westmont Hilltop School District received $24,610. “These are wise investments of state dollars to ensure our school students – and teachers – are safe,” Burns said. “It’s no secret that students perform better in school when they feel safe and secure, and these state funds will help our schools meet the goal of providing a safe learning environment.” This funding is part of the $7.3 million in School Safety Grants the Pennsylvania Department of Education is awarding to both public school districts and non-public schools throughout the commonwealth. Read more

 

Burns: $5.5 million awarded to Jackson East Taylor Sewer Authority for sewer upgrades

(Oct 16, 2019)

EBENSBURG, Oct. 16 – Approximately $5.5 million in funding to restore reliable sewer service in Jackson Township has pushed state investment in the 72 nd Legislative District to $19 million this year, state Rep. Frank Burns announced today. Burns, D-Cambria, said the Jackson East Taylor Sewer Authority will be able to address a multitude of malfunctioning sewer system issues, including pollution of properties and streams, with the latest round of help from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority. “Proper sewage treatment is vital for the 72 nd Legislative District to grow economically and to provide proper quality of life for those who live there,” Burns said. “I’ve made acquisition of state funds a top priority, to the point of adding a grant writer to my staff, and those efforts continue paying off big-time.” Burns said the Pennvest money will allow the authority to extend nearly 22,000 feet of gravity sewers, extend 3,000 feet of force main sewers, build a new pump station, and provide pump replacements in two existing pump stations – all to enhance service to residents and businesses. “While this is great news, rest assured that I’ll continue fighting to make sure Cambria County gets its fair share of state funding, whatever the program,” Burns said. Pennvest funds sewer, storm water and drinking water maintenance and improvement projects throughout Pennsylvania. Read more

 

Burns: ‘Concealed Carry’ seminar extremely successful

(Oct 15, 2019)

EBENSBURG, Oct. 15 – Over 400 people attended a free informational Concealed Carry seminar on Monday hosted by state Rep. Frank Burns as part of his ongoing efforts to ensure lawful gun owners know their constitutional rights. “As a Cambria County Democrat, I’ve tirelessly fought for gun owners’ rights and I will continue to do so,” said Burns, D-Cambria. “We were successful in fighting efforts for a yearly $10 registration fee for every gun, and I will continue to strongly oppose this and any other backdoor attempts at gun control.” “We had a great turnout and obviously there’s a great deal of interest by the public on concealed carry and other laws related to firearm transport and use, and I applaud Representative Burns for hosting this event,” said Tom Owens, commander of the Cambria County SERT team and presenter at yesterday’s Concealed Carry seminar. Burns thanked the Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Co. for allowing him and his staff to host the event and added more events like these will be planned in the near future to educate the public on their constitutional rights and firearms laws. “With the strong turnout and demand for such events, it shows people really care about protecting their constitutional rights and knowing firearm laws.” The seminar covered many topics, including gun training options, concealed carry, the Castle Doctrine and the stand your ground law. Read more

 

Burns unveils anti-bullying bills to improve school safety

(Oct 09, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 9 – Continuing his strong anti-bullying efforts, state Rep. Frank Burns unveiled legislation today that would hold parents accountable for a child’s repeated bullying and require schools to more effectively track, investigate and report bullying and cyberbullying incidents. Burns, D-Cambria, formally introduced his pair of bills on National Stop Bullying Day, highlighting the need for students, parents and school officials to work together to eliminate bullying. “Schools should be places of learning, not places of fear,” Burns said. “The only way we can put an end to this scourge is to work together. These measures will make our schools safer places for our kids and put the focus where it needs to be – on learning.” Burns said H.B. 1936 would clearly outline the role of parents in preventing and remedying bullying and hold them accountable if their child repeatedly bullies others. The bill establishes a three-step system of parental notification and participation following a bullying event. After the first verified bullying report, parents of all students would be notified of the incident and told what action the school took. After a second incident, parents would be required to take a class on bullying and would be asked to attend a bullying resolution conference to devise a plan to address the bullying behavior. Upon a third or subsequent incident in the same school year, school officials could Read more

 

Burns touts Cambria County in meeting with Amazon

(Oct 08, 2019)

EBENSBURG, Oct. 8 – In his latest effort to bring good-paying jobs and economic development to the region, state Rep. Frank Burns said he met with Amazon’s point person for Pennsylvania about Cambria County’s competitive advantage thanks to its recent Keystone Opportunity Zone designation. Burns, D-Cambria, recently met with Jillian Irvin in his Capitol office as a follow-up to his correspondence with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos inviting him to tour Cambria County in the company’s search for future offices and distribution centers. “Meeting face-to-face with Amazon’s liaison to Pennsylvania was the next step in the process of getting Amazon to Cambria County,” Burns said. “I explained how the KOZ works and how Amazon could take advantage of this incredible economic development tool. Where others have snubbed the retail giant’s proposed investments, I let her know our area would welcome them with open arms.” Burns spearheaded the effort in this year’s state budget to reserve a KOZ of up to 375 acres in Cambria County. A KOZ designation allows for state and local tax benefits within specific underdeveloped and underutilized areas of the state. Land within the zone can be large plots or subdivided into parcels of fewer than 10 acres. Irvin told Burns that Amazon is more interested in working with cities and states that want them rather than those that protest their relocation efforts. Read more

 

Burns: E-verify expansion huge win for Pennsylvania workers

(Oct 07, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 7 – A bill sponsored by state Rep. Frank Burns became law despite Gov. Tom Wolf’s refusal to sign it. The new law expands the mandatory use of the E-verify program to employers in the construction industry. Burns, D-Cambria, said the bill became law on Sunday after Gov. Wolf chose not to sign or veto it. In Pennsylvania, a bill that has been passed in the state House and Senate automatically becomes law if the governor neither vetoes nor signs it within 10 days of its passage. Burns said he believes this new law will level the playing field for contractors who do the right thing and hire documented workers. “This is about saving Pennsylvania jobs by penalizing unscrupulous contractors who hire illegal workers,” said Burns. “It’s about time we hold corporate American accountable for profiting from illegal immigration.” According to a 2018 article in The New York Times, undocumented immigrant workers account for 15% of those employed in construction – or about 1.35 million workers nationally. “For years, I have demanded we crack down on companies that knowingly hire illegal immigrants who are willing to work for less,” said Burns, D-Cambria. “The passage of this law shows Pennsylvania is serious about stopping illegal immigration by preventing companies from hiring and exploiting illegal workers for profit.” Burns added that the state already requires E-verify to Read more

 

Burns pressures Wolf to sign E-verify into law

(Oct 05, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 5 – Continuing his efforts to stand up for Pennsylvania workers and jobs, state Rep. Frank Burns said that Gov. Tom Wolf should do the same by signing a bill that would expand the mandatory use of E-Verify to employers in the construction industry. Burns, D-Cambria, said H.B. 1170 , which passed in the House and the Senate with bipartisan support, would require construction companies to use the internet-based system to determine the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States. “As someone who always fights for workers, this bill is about saving Pennsylvania jobs by penalizing unscrupulous contractors who hire and exploit illegal workers for profit,” Burns said. “If the governor really wants to take a stand and protect jobs and workers from employers who’d rather break the law, he should sign the bill, instead of waiting for it to automatically become law on Sunday, October 6.” In Pennsylvania, a bill that has passed in both chambers of the General Assembly automatically becomes law if a governor neither vetoes nor signs a bill within 10 days of its passage. “We know that E-verify works and has worked successfully for years. When these contractors hire undocumented workers, they are likely skirting payroll and required taxes. Construction companies – just like other employers – must follow the rules, or face the music, which can include the loss of their state-issued Read more

 

Burns: Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative will hurt, not help Pennsylvanians

(Oct 04, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 4 – State Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, released the following statement regarding Governor Tom Wolf’s executive order, directing the state Department of Environmental Protection to draft regulations to join the nine-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Doing so means that the state will set a cap on power plant emissions and require plants that exceed that limit to purchase additional allowances. “I clearly oppose the governor’s efforts to implement RGGI. RGGI won’t protect jobs in our area or keep energy rates low. It will actually do the opposite by devastating our state’s already-struggling coal plants and will force them out of business. Taxing coal to pay for subsidies for other forms of energy is not the American way. “Our coal industry accounts for 20 percent of the power in our state and supports more than 17,000 jobs. If those plants close their doors, that would be a proverbial economic punch to the gut, both in lost jobs and higher power bills. “If Pennsylvania officially joins this initiative, areas of the state that have suffered job and industry losses due to RGGI should be the first ones compensated from any savings or revenue that’s gained. “It makes me angry that the governor decided to bypass the legislature on this effort. I’d like to know who gave him the power to do this. It’s un-American and extremely unfair to all hard-working Read more

 

Burns to hold ‘Concealed Carry’ seminar on Oct. 14

(Oct 03, 2019)

EBENSBURG, Oct. 3 – In an effort to ensure residents are aware of their Second Amendment rights, state Rep. Frank Burns is hosting a free informational Concealed Carry seminar at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 14 at the Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Co., located at 176 Adams Ave. in Mineral Point. Burns, D-Cambria, said local law enforcement representatives will be on-hand to discuss the rules and regulations regarding firearm transport and use in Pennsylvania – including primers on concealed carry, the Castle Doctrine, using firearms for personal protection and related legal liabilities. “I encourage everyone to attend to ensure you know your rights as a law-abiding gun owner,” Burns said. “This valuable seminar will provide attendees with information on concealed carry permits, including state requirements and how to carry, as well as an opportunity to ask questions.” Anyone wishing to attend the Concealed Carry seminar is asked to call Burns’ Portage office at 814-736-7339 no later than Monday, Oct. 7. Read more

 

Burns: State grants available to support Pa. dairy industry

(Oct 02, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 2 – Local farmers, organizations and entities that support or are connected to the state’s dairy industry are encouraged to apply for the Pennsylvania Dairy Investment Program, state Rep. Frank Burns announced today. Burns, D-Cambria, said the program will provide $5 million in grants to support Pennsylvania’s dairy industry in adopting organic processes, research and development initiatives, value-added processing and marketing efforts. Individuals, businesses, nonprofits, schools, and institutions of higher learning are eligible to apply. “This second year of grant funding was made possible by the passage of the PA Farm Bill package earlier this year, which I supported,” Burns said. “These grants are a great way to help our local farmers and companies stay competitive and support innovative processes designed to keep our dairy industry strong and vibrant for generations to come.” For more information on the program, visit: https://dced.pa.gov/programs/pennsylvania-dairy-investment-program-pdip/ The deadline to apply for the grant is Friday, Nov. 15 . To apply, visit the following website: www.esa.dced.state.pa.us/login.aspx Burns added that Brittany Blackham, his own in-house grant writer, can provide information and assistance regarding the grant application. She can be reached at his Portage office at 814-736-7339. Read more

 

Should the number of liquor licenses in Pa. be public information? A Cambria County lawmaker thinks so. So he’s suing the state.

(Oct 01, 2019)

Opinion piece on Rep. Burns' suit against the PLCB regarding the number of restaurant liquor licenses in Pennsylvania. Read more

 

Burns seeks Wolf’s support to shake loose public information from Pa. LCB

(Sep 26, 2019)

EBENSBURG, Sept. 26 – Appealing for help from the highest level of state government, state Rep. Frank Burns is asking Gov. Tom Wolf to file a “friend of the court” brief in support of his legal battle to obtain public information from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. Burns, D-Cambria, sent official correspondence , highlighting that Wolf took office making “ transparent government that works in Pennsylvania one of his top priorities ,” and urging the governor’s help to put that philosophy into action. Burns noted that he understands this is early in the process, however he wanted to provide the governor with plenty of advanced notice as a courtesy. “I am asking you to file an Amicus Brief with Commonwealth Court in support of my efforts to overcome the PLCB’s refusal to provide me – and thus the public – with a county-by-county breakdown of the number of restaurant liquor licenses this state agency has available for auction,” Burns wrote. Burns continued, “The PLCB has put up stiff resistance to my request, to the point of arguing that such information is a ‘trade secret.’ As someone who shares my belief in transparent government, I hope you also share my belief that an agency that works for, and is paid by, state taxpayers should not be keeping ‘trade secrets.’” Burns noted that although the state Office of Open Records sided with him and Read more

 

Burns: disappointed liquor bill amendment failed in House

(Sep 25, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 25 – Calling it a missed opportunity to help local, small businesses, state Rep. Frank Burns said he is disappointed by the failure of his colleagues to support an amendment to a liquor bill that would have given local taverns and restaurant owners a significant break. Burns, D-Cambria, said his amendment to H.B. 1048 would have eliminated the $700 annual license surcharge imposed by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board not only for fire companies and veterans’ organizations, but for all liquor licensees. The amendment failed by a vote of 185 to 14. “This surcharge is financially burdensome not only to these organizations, but to mom-and-pop restaurants and taverns across Pennsylvania,” said Burns. “It’s not as if the LCB is hurting – they continue to report record profits and sales. In good economic times, it’s only fair that we give these small businesses and nonprofit organizations a financial break. “Despite what happened today on the House floor, I remain undeterred in my efforts to support the hardworking, local business owners in my community and across Pennsylvania.” The bill moves on for a final vote in the House. Read more

 

Burns encourages Sherwin-Williams to consider Cambria County as location for new headquarters

(Sep 23, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 23 – As part of his ongoing efforts to promote Cambria County as a great place for business, state Rep. Frank Burns sent a letter to CEO John Morikis of Sherwin-Williams, inviting him to tour the county as he considers possible locations for a new global headquarters and research and development facility. Burns, D-Cambria, said the paint manufacturing company is considering multiple sites in Ohio and several other states, due to its significant growth and expansion over the last several decades at its current location in Cleveland, Ohio. “I would welcome the opportunity to showcase all that Cambria County has to offer, from its strong workforce and our recent designation of 375 acres as a Keystone Opportunity Zone,” said Burns. “That designation means we can offer substantial state and local tax incentives and offer flexibility to work with companies of any size who are interested in creating jobs in our region. This could be a great opportunity to help Sherwin-Williams in its quest for a new location for its global headquarters, its research and development facility, or both.” Burns also touted the county’s proximity to Ohio as another potential benefit to relocation and has vowed to work with Sherwin-Williams and elected officials from both parties to make a deal that could benefit everyone involved. “Having a company like Sherwin-Williams relocate to Cambria County would be a substantial boon Read more

 

Burns votes to prevent welfare recipients from using benefits to buy tobacco

(Sep 19, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 19 – Continuing his efforts to ensure that those on the public dole don't take advantage of the system, state Rep. Frank Burns today supported a bill that would prevent people on public assistance from using those benefits to buy tobacco or related products. House Bill 847, which passed the House, would prevent the purchase of tobacco and tobacco-related products with Electronic Benefits Transfer or EBT Access cards, which is the electronic delivery system used by the state to provide public assistance and supplemental nutrition benefits to those who qualify. "One only needs to open a newspaper or website or watch the news to hear of another story where someone is abusing our welfare system," Burns said. "This isn't fair to the hardworking taxpayers of Pennsylvania." State law already prohibits the purchase of alcohol and gambling with public benefits. Burns said this just adds to the list. "When you have a dentist -- a licensed medical professional -- hiding the income from his dental practice in order to obtain more than $25,000 in SNAP benefits as he was charged with in June, prohibiting people from using their electronic Access card to buy their cigarettes may be just a drop in the bucket against those taking advantage of the system, but every step we take to crack down on fraud helps," Burns said. "I will continue to do everything I can to fight welfare fraud to ensure that taxpayers are Read more

 

Burns urges local fire, EMS companies to apply for grant program

(Sep 19, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 19 – As part of his ongoing efforts to support and assist local fire departments and emergency responders, state Rep. Frank Burns today announced the grant application for the 2019-20 Fire Company and Emergency Medical Service Grant Program is now open. “We count on our firefighters and emergency responders – including many who are volunteers – each and every day to respond to all types of emergencies, and I will continue to do all I can to make sure they have the support and resources they need,” Burns said. “I encourage volunteer and career fire companies, emergency medical services and volunteer rescue squads to apply before the October 18 deadline.” The grant program is offered through the Office of the State Fire Commissioner. Eligible organizations can apply for grants in the following categories: Facilities – construction or renovation of a facility, or the purchase or repair of fixtures and furnishings to maintain or improve the ability to provide emergency services. Equipment – purchase or repair of firefighting, ambulance or rescue equipment. Debt Reduction – associated with facility or equipment categories listed above Training – training and certification of members. Training and Education – collateral and related materials regarding fire prevention for the public. Career Departments Read more

 

Burns: $878,000 in state grants awarded to support several recreational, infrastructure projects in Cambria County

(Sep 17, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 17 – A total of $877,766 in state funds to provide needed infrastructure repairs and provide enhanced recreational opportunities for Cambria County were awarded by the Commonwealth Financing Authority, state Rep. Frank Burns announced today. Burns, D-Cambria, said a total of four projects will receive the following CFA funds: $499,800 to Portage Borough for the Trout Run Flood Protection project. Funds will be used to make improvements and repairs, including the restoration of stream bank stability and erosion remediation work, including the replacement of the failed portion of the crib wall, protection of exposed footing areas, removal of gravel bars and repair of settled ground surfaces. $247,000 to Washington Township for the Memorial Park Trail. Funds will be used toward a variety of improvements, including trail extension, installation of light fixtures, the planting of shade trees and work to mitigate storm water runoff. $70,616 to Gallitzin Borough for the Gallitzin Athletic Field Park to fund the multi-phase development of the park, including the installation of a walking trail extension to the upper parking lot, restroom facility, concession stand, park benches, picnic tables and the repair of exiting bleachers and trash receptacles. $60,000 to Washington Township Central Mainline Sewer Authority to rehabilitate 126 acres of a severely eroded stream bank of the Little Conemaugh River, Read more

 

Burns to sponsor safe driving class at Portage Senior Center on Oct. 2

(Sep 17, 2019)

EBENSBURG, Sept. 17 – State Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, will again offer a PennDOT-approved class at the Portage Senior Center where participating seniors will receive a 5 percent discount on their automobile insurance. Burns said the discount – mandated by state law – is one benefit of the $16 class, which is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2 at the Portage Senior Center, located at 5050 Farren St. in Portage. An additional benefit of the class is that it will help sharpen awareness for older drivers, Burns added. “My office has continually offered these classes and seniors have been very receptive,” Burns said. “Any time we can help our seniors save money, and also provide them tips on how to stay safer behind the wheel, we will do it.” The course is specifically geared toward mature drivers 55 or older and allows them to refresh driving techniques and develop a positive driving attitude. This will be classroom instruction only; no on-the-road driving or classroom testing will occur. Lunch is available for a donationto the senior center. Interested participants must register by Wednesday, Sept. 25 by calling Burns’ Portage office at (814) 736-7339 and providing their driver’s license. Read more

 

Burns taking legal action to battle the Liquor Control Board’s secrecy

(Sep 16, 2019)

EBENSBURG, Sept. 16 – On behalf of Pennsylvania citizens, state Rep. Frank Burns is taking legal action to battle the Liquor Control Board’s dogged refusal to comply with a request for public records. “I simply asked how many restaurant liquor licenses are able to be auctioned in each county, and it is shameful that we need a legal battle to obtain this necessary and basic public record,” Burns said. "The Office of Open Records ordered the release of this information, but the LCB refused to comply and instead went to court." Forced to pay an attorney on his own, Burns has hired Terry Mutchler , the founding executive director of the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records, to handle his case before Commonwealth Court. Burns, D-Cambria, said Mutchler and her seven years’ experience heading the OOR will be brought to bear on the LCB and its battery of taxpayer-paid attorneys in his quest to find out how many licenses the state agency has available in each county for auction, as allowed under Act 39 of 2016. “Since the LCB wants the court to overrule the OOR , which recently sided with me, I can think of no one better qualified than Terry Mutchler to take up this fight for transparent state government,” Burns said. “She is synonymous with Pennsylvania open records and has been inducted into the National Freedom of Information Coalition’s State Government Hall of Fame .” Burns said Mutchler Read more

 

Burns: Nominations to be accepted for annual volunteerism award
1 day ago

Burns: Ferndale Area, Westmont Hilltop School Districts receive Safe Schools Targeted funds
Oct 17, 2019

Burns: $5.5 million awarded to Jackson East Taylor Sewer Authority for sewer upgrades
Oct 16, 2019

Burns: ‘Concealed Carry’ seminar extremely successful
Oct 15, 2019

Burns unveils anti-bullying bills to improve school safety
Oct 09, 2019

Burns touts Cambria County in meeting with Amazon
Oct 08, 2019

Burns: E-verify expansion huge win for Pennsylvania workers
Oct 07, 2019

Burns pressures Wolf to sign E-verify into law
Oct 05, 2019

Burns: Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative will hurt, not help Pennsylvanians
Oct 04, 2019

Burns to hold ‘Concealed Carry’ seminar on Oct. 14
Oct 03, 2019

Burns: State grants available to support Pa. dairy industry
Oct 02, 2019

Should the number of liquor licenses in Pa. be public information? A Cambria County lawmaker thinks so. So he’s suing the state.
Oct 01, 2019

Burns seeks Wolf’s support to shake loose public information from Pa. LCB
Sep 26, 2019

Burns: disappointed liquor bill amendment failed in House
Sep 25, 2019

Burns encourages Sherwin-Williams to consider Cambria County as location for new headquarters
Sep 23, 2019

Burns votes to prevent welfare recipients from using benefits to buy tobacco
Sep 19, 2019

Burns urges local fire, EMS companies to apply for grant program
Sep 19, 2019

Burns: $878,000 in state grants awarded to support several recreational, infrastructure projects in Cambria County
Sep 17, 2019

Burns to sponsor safe driving class at Portage Senior Center on Oct. 2
Sep 17, 2019

Burns taking legal action to battle the Liquor Control Board’s secrecy
Sep 16, 2019