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Comitta's Corner: Fall 2019 Newsletter

Comitta announces $448k grant to support school safety and security

(May 01, 2019)

HARRISBURG, May 1 – State Rep. Carolyn Comitta, D-Chester, announced today that two school districts in her legislative district have been awarded Pennsylvania school safety and security grants totaling $448,450. The funds will be provided through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency’s School Safety and Security Committee. This committee is the result of Act 44 of 2018 , and is responsible for establishing the standards schools must meet when performing school safety and security assessments. Grant recipients in Comitta’s district are: Unionville-Chadds Ford School District, receiving $48,400. West Chester Area School District, receiving $400,050. It will be the choice of the school districts to determine how exactly the funds will be used. Eligible purposes include, but are not limited to: safety and security assessments, emergency preparedness, violence prevention, intervention training programs, training of school police officers and counseling services for students. “These grants serve as an investment benefitting our children’s education and well-being,” Comitta said. “I’m proud to support our schools and students in every way that I can to foster the safest learning environment possible.” Further information about the grants can be found here: https://www.pccd.pa.gov/schoolsafety/Pages/default.aspx . Read more

 

Comitta, McCarter seek to modernize Pennsylvania’s renewable energy standards

(Apr 17, 2019)

HARRISBURG, April 17 — At a Capitol news conference, state Reps. Carolyn T. Comitta, D-Chester, and Steve McCarter, D-Montgomery, joined state Sens. Art Haywood, Thomas H. Killion and Steven J. Santarsiero to call attention to climate change, its grave impacts and the urgent need to modernize the commonwealth’s renewable energy standards. Comitta and McCarter are both members of the bicameral, bipartisan Pennsylvania Climate Caucus. Comitta is vice chair; McCarter is its founder and chair. Their bill and a Senate companion bill introduced by Haywood, Killion and Santarsiero both seek to implement stronger renewable energy goals within the commonwealth to create good jobs, cut pollution and ensure a sustainable and prosperous Pennsylvania for future generations. “I am proud to join the calls for modernizing the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards,” Comitta said. “Our state has already made important investments in alternative and clean-energy technologies, but we must do more. Adjusting our electrical energy requirements to 30 percent by 2030 will solidify our path to reducing our carbon footprint and advance Pennsylvania toward becoming a national energy leader.” The Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act was a forward-looking policy when it was enacted in 2004. But in the intervening years, Pennsylvania has fallen behind neighboring states like New Jersey and Maryland, which have enacted stronger energy standards, creating Read more

 

Pipeline town hall scheduled Wednesday, March 27 in Downingtown

(Mar 22, 2019)

EXTON, March 22 – Mariner East Town Hall: Know Your Rights! will take place from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 27 in the Shamona Creek Elementary School Gymnasium, 501 Dorlan Mill Road in Downingtown. State Reps. Danielle Friel Otten, Kristine Howard and Carolyn Comitta organized the town hall to help ensure that residents know how to protect their homes and property during pipeline construction. As Mariner East construction continues, temporary workspace easements are beginning to expire. Uwchlan Township Solicitor Mark Freed will explain property rights and easement agreements. Friel Otten, Howard and Comitta will hear and address concerns from their constituents. The three state lawmakers are members of the General Assembly’s newly formed Pipeline Safety Caucus, whose mission is to keep Pennsylvanians safe as pipeline infrastructure grows across the commonwealth. All community members are invited to attend. For more information, contact Friel Otten’s office at 484-200-8259. Read more

 

Chester, Delaware lawmakers urge Wolf to halt Mariner operations until safety protocols are in place

(Mar 11, 2019)

HARRISBURG, March 11 – Pennsylvania lawmakers representing 11 House districts and three Senatorial districts across Chester and Delaware counties have signed a letter to Gov. Tom Wolf asking him to impose a moratorium on the transmission of natural gas liquids products through the Mariner East pipeline system until the mandated protocols are in place for local responders to properly manage a pipeline emergency. Chester County Emergency Services and local school districts along the pipeline, including Downingtown Area School District, Rose Tree Media School District and West Chester Area School District have requested Energy Transfer Partners' subsidiary SPLP to provide its Emergency Response Plan for the Mariner East project, which the responders and school districts need to complete their comprehensive All Hazards Emergency Response Plans and fulfill their statutory requirements under Title 35 of state law . The letter urges Wolf to preserve the health, welfare and safety of constituents who live, work and raise their families in the high-consequence areas of Chester and Delaware counties within the impact radius of Mariner East. “We have pipelines currently transporting highly volatile products through our communities, and our local first responders are not able to adequately plan their emergency response or mitigate our risk because the operator has failed to cooperate with repeated requests for their Emergency Response Plan,” said Read more

 

Legislators respond to DEP decision to suspend review of Energy Transfer permits

(Feb 08, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 8 – State Reps. Carolyn Comitta, Danielle Friel Otten, Kristine Howard, Leanne Krueger, Christina Sappey and Melissa Shusterman met with Gov. Tom Wolf and his staff last week to address the growing problems with Energy Transfer’s Mariner East project. Today, those representatives have issued the following statement regarding news that the Department of Environmental Protection has suspended review of all permit applications and other pending approvals for Energy Transfer due to noncompliance: “We applaud the unwavering efforts of community members who continue to make their voices heard and draw attention to serious hazards and areas of oversight that need improvement. "The action taken by the Department of Environmental Protection today is a step in the right direction. "We are grateful for the opportunity to have a seat at the table for our communities and we look forward to continued collaboration with our state agencies and the governor’s staff to put the interests of the people of Pennsylvania first and foremost. There is still a lot of work to be done and we will use every tool available to us to make our community’s voice heard." The same six representatives sent a letter to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission earlier this week, urging action related to a recent sinkhole along the Mariner East 1 pipeline. The letter can be found here. A statement sent last week by the legislators to the Read more

 

Comitta to review governor’s budget proposal through Appropriations appointment

(Feb 08, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 8 – State Rep. Carolyn Comitta said today that she looks forward to reviewing Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed 2019-20 budget as a member of the House Appropriations Committee. “I’m pleased to see the governor’s plan to continue to boost our investment in education, starting with early childhood programs. Providing children with quality education programs from an early age is key to preparing them for a successful future,” said Comitta, D-Chester. “With my recent appointment to the Appropriations Committee, I’ll be reviewing the entire budget proposal in more detail and look forward to helping the legislature adopt a plan that works for all of us.” The House Appropriations Committee, which reviews bills that regulate state spending, will hold a series of hearings on the governor’s budget proposal beginning Monday, Feb. 11. Comitta was also recently appointed to the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. As pipeline projects have cut through her district, Comitta has been a strong advocate for putting the health and safety of residents first. She recently convened a meeting of multiple state and federal agencies to give residents the opportunity to ask questions about the safety of pipeline projects. “Serving on the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee gives me a greater opportunity to advocate for pipeline safety on the community’s behalf,” Comitta said. Read more

 

Comitta to co-host public Q&A session on Mariner East safety concerns

(Jan 23, 2019)

WEST CHESTER, Jan. 23 – State Rep. Carolyn Comitta and Sen. Tom Killion will hold a public Q&A session with state agencies on Mariner East safety concerns. At the request of East Goshen Township, Comitta, D-Chester, and Killion, R-Chester/Delaware, will hold the session with representatives from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (invited, but not confirmed due to the federal government shutdown). The session, open to the public, will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31, in the auditorium at Fugett Middle School, 500 Ellis Lane in West Chester. The event is an opportunity for attendees to ask questions about siting, permitting, construction, safety, pipeline accidents, eminent domain, and environmental risks and damages. Anyone with questions should call Julia Loving at 610-696-4990. Read more

 

Comitta to host district office open house Feb. 1

(Jan 18, 2019)

WEST CHESTER, Jan. 17 – State Rep. Carolyn Comitta will hold an open house from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Friday, Feb. 1. Residents of the 156 th District are invited to stop by her West Chester office, at 21 Washington St., Suite A, inside the Washington Square Apartment Building. Attendees can meet Comitta and her staff and learn more about the services offered through her office. Light refreshments will be available. “I am delighted to again welcome residents to my district office,” said Comitta, D-Chester. “Our office is within walking distance for borough residents or up to a 15-minute drive from anywhere in our district, with abundant parking in the lot in front of our office. If anyone is unable to come to our open house, we are here Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. I look forward to seeing everyone on Feb. 1!” Anyone with questions should call Comitta’s office at 610-696-4990. Read more

 

Comitta sworn in to begin second term as state representative

(Jan 01, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 1 – State Rep. Carolyn Comitta was sworn in to represent Pennsylvania’s 156 th Legislative District for a second term during a Capitol ceremony today. A former educator, councilwoman and mayor of West Chester, Comitta said she seeks to focus on issues including commonsense gun safety reform, community revitalization and development, education and the environment. She also said she’s committed to working in bipartisan coalitions to achieve successes that benefit everybody. “I’ve dedicated my life to public service: first as a teacher, then as a council member, a mayor, now as state representative,” Comitta said. “I have found the most important thing a public servant can do is bring people together to improve our community.” Comitta served on several important committees her first term, including Environmental Resources & Energy and Aging & Older Adult Services, and was appointed to the Pennsylvania Joint Legislative Air & Water Pollution Control & Conservation Committee. She also was appointed by Gov. Tom Wolf to the Pennsylvania Commission for Women. Comitta’s efforts blend with the broader Plan for PA , which seeks to build a stronger economy for working families instead of serving special interests. More information about her is available on her legislative website at www.pahouse.com/Comitta . The Pennsylvania House of Representatives swearing-in ceremony corresponds with Read more

 

Comitta commends Brandywine Airport investment from state

(Dec 06, 2018)

WEST CHESTER, Dec. 6 – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation awarded a $150,000 competitive grant to the Brandywine Regional Airport to improve the airfield with new hangar space, state Rep. Carolyn Comitta said today. Twenty-six airports across the commonwealth will make infrastructure and equipment upgrades to maintain safety and expand aviation-related operational and economic opportunities with the help of over $6 million in targeted state investments announced by Gov. Tom Wolf today. “I’m pleased that the Brandywine Airport is getting this attention from the state – it’s an amazing economic multiplier for our region – and the development there is sure to create jobs,” said Comitta, D-Chester. “I look forward to supporting more development at Brandywine, as officials there continue to grow and improve its services and infrastructure.” State funding from PennDOT’s Aviation Development Program comes from the state’s jet fuel tax, and $4 million from the Multimodal Transportation Fund. Read more

 

Opinion: Women send a message throughout halls of government

(Nov 20, 2018)

As we reflect on the 2018 midterm election results, there is a notable trend nationwide and in Pennsylvania. A record number of women ran for office and won seats at both the national and local level. According to data acquired by the Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics at Chatham University, the number of women in the Pennsylvania General Assembly will rise from 19 percent to about 25 percent. A total of 134 women ran for the General Assembly this year, and 63 won – 52 in the House and 11 in the Senate. In the state House where I serve, Democrats picked up 11 seats to make the count there 110 Republicans to 93 Democrats. The 116 th Congress will have at least 125 women serving, where women will represent 23 percent of total seats, reaching a step closer to Vision 2020’s goal of a 50-50 shared representation among men and women. In Pennsylvania, we will go from having no women in our congressional delegation to having four represent our southeast region in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 2010, I was the first woman elected mayor in the borough of West Chester. Since then, I have continued to work and promote women’s issues. After I was elected as state representative for the 156 th Legislative District, I was appointed by Gov. Tom Wolf to serve on the Pennsylvania Commission for Women. The commission is a bipartisan organization that works as an advocate and advisor to the governor on policies and legislation that impact women; supports Read more

 

Comitta: WCASD awarded $5,000 for job-shadowing program

(Oct 24, 2018)

WEST CHESTER, Oct. 24 – West Chester Area School District was awarded a $5,000 grant by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry to increase job shadowing opportunities for students by partnering with post-secondary institutions, state Rep. Carolyn Comitta said. The Career Readiness mini-grants were awarded to 41 school districts across the commonwealth. The grants will help students learn about career opportunities and create stronger connections between schools and community partners. “This is another example where WCASD stood out and invested directly into its students,” said Comitta, D-Chester. “I’m always proud to help connect district interests with career education and apprenticeship program funding from the state. A state that invests in students is sure to grow economically.” The career readiness activities funded by the mini-grants include: • Conducting work-based learning experiences, job shadowing and field trips to job sites; • Providing online programs that assist students with career awareness and exploration; • Facilitating professional development for educators; • Hosting career fairs, guest speakers and mock interview programs; • Establishing, scaling or sustaining career pathways; and • Educating and engaging parents/guardians about high-demand industries in the region. This is the second year that the Career Readiness mini-grants were awarded. In the 2017-18 Read more

 

Comitta announces $15,000 state funding for local electrician training

(Oct 22, 2018)

WEST CHESTER, Oct. 22 – A program to train electricians in Chester County received state government funding, state Rep. Carolyn Comitta announced today. The Chester Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee will receive $15,000 from the Pennsylvania Department of Education to train electricians on technical instrument calibration. “From Day 1, this administration’s goal has been to invest in jobs to grow the economy and empower earners,” said Comitta, D-Chester. “I have shared that priority since taking office and am proud every time we put the funding behind the promise. “Congratulations to the CJATC on securing this competitive grant money. The hard work of its staff and trainers reflect highly on our region.” The training course takes place at IBEW Local Union 654. Electricians who complete it will earn their EPRI Part B Instrumental Certification. Read more

 

Comitta announces pipeline safety grant covering training for 45 area municipal coordinators, responders

(Oct 17, 2018)

RG, Oct. 17 – State Rep. Carolyn Comitta today announced West Goshen Township was awarded a $135,000 state grant to send 45 local emergency responders, municipal managers, engineers, public works workers and emergency coordinators to intensive pipeline emergency response and regulation training. The state Department of Education grant will cover two educational trips: the first for responders, which is an intensive 40-hour course at Texas A&M covering hazardous material training, and the second will offer classroom learning for municipal coordinators at the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Transportation Safety Institute in Oklahoma City. West Goshen Township officials said in their grant application that they proposed the Midwest courses because they are cutting-edge educational opportunities in a part of the country that has more experience in energy pipeline work. “I commend West Goshen Township for capitalizing on an excellent opportunity to equip its managers and area first responders with world-class safety training,” said Comitta, D-Chester. “Residents here deserve nothing less than the best-trained public responders, and I thank the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Wolf administration for recognizing the same.” Read more

 

Comitta announces watershed improvements from pipeline infraction fines

(Oct 16, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 16 – State Rep. Carolyn Comitta today announced money stemming from pipeline work infractions will be returned to the community as watershed restoration and stormwater management grants. In the 156 th Legislative District, projects in East Goshen Township, West Goshen Township and the West Chester School District were selected to receive part of a $12.6 million penalty that the Department of Environmental Protection collected from Sunoco Pipeline over work violations on the Mariner East 2 pipeline. West Chester Area School District will receive $61,656 to help remove invasive species and restore natural diverse forest in Westtown Township. East Goshen Township will receive $350,000 to enhance water resources and recreation opportunities in the township. West Goshen Township will receive $215,273 for stormwater management to reduce impacts to Taylor Run and $110,142 to restore a riparian buffer in the Chester Creek watershed. “This grant money comes directly from fines imposed on Sunoco for infractions that harmed our watersheds, so the grant money must be used to improve those watersheds and the stormwater infrastructure impacted by its Mariner East project,” said Comitta, D-Chester. “I am pleased that a portion of this fine money has been granted to our community to improve overall environmental health and safety, which my constituents and I consider our top priority.” The projects were among 61 Read more

 

Comitta: Bianca Roberson Merge with Mercy project completed at PA 100 spur

(Oct 16, 2018)

WEST CHESTER, Oct. 16 – Signs reminding drivers to “Merge with Mercy” and a memorial garden were erected this weekend at the PA Route 100 spur approaching U.S. Route 202, where Bayard Rustin High School graduate Bianca Roberson was shot and killed by an enraged motorist last year. Roberson, who would have celebrated her 20th birthday Wednesday, aspired to be an FBI agent but was killed three weeks following her high school graduation. The Bianca Roberson “Merge with Mercy” project began with the vision from Bianca’s mother, Michelle Roberson, who wanted to turn tragedy to beauty by planting a tree and garden in memory of Bianca under Pennsylvania’s beautification area program. The sign she designed further reminds people to “merge with mercy.” The project became a joint effort of the state Transportation Department, local volunteers and donor businesses, Roberson’s friends and family, and state Rep. Carolyn Comitta, who also recently introduced state legislation to outlaw driving with a loaded gun. “The garden and signs remind us to treat one another with respect and mercy and to resist anger on the road,” said Comitta, D-Chester. “This beautiful display will remind us to thoughtfully share the road. “As a lawmaker, it’s my duty to propose legislation that will help deter preventable tragedy. The mere presence of a loaded gun in a vehicle was a huge factor in this Read more

 

Opioid, alcohol safe-harbor bills could save lives

(Oct 12, 2018)

WEST CHESTER, Oct. 12 – Two bills introduced by state Rep. Carolyn Comitta could help people overdosing from opioids or who are in danger after drinking while underage. The two bills would extend the immunity protections to victims in either case, including cases of self-reporting and Good Samaritan intervention. Comitta was joined during a news conference today in West Chester by state Rep. Mary Jo Daley, D-Montgomery, an early co-sponsor of the bills. “The opioid epidemic has proven to be the biggest public health crisis in a generation,” said Comitta, D-Chester. “Too many among us have witnessed firsthand its ravaging effects on our family, friends, neighbors and children. “Victims have been overlooked far too long and deserve compassion rather than punishment for making their best attempt to survive.” Daley is the state representative for Mary Ciammetti, whose son died from alcohol poisoning after a party. She said these protective bills could have saved Christian Ciammetti’s life. “When we look at the legislation introduced in Harrisburg, we have to ask ourselves: will it make a positive impact on Pennsylvania and will it help foster a healthier, better life for our constituents,” Daley said. “In this case, the answer is most undoubtedly yes. These bills will save lives. No one should have to choose between acting to save their life and admitting to a mistake that millions of people can make. Read more

 

Comitta: State awards West Chester Area SD $20K for safety program

(Oct 04, 2018)

WEST CHESTER, Oct. 4 – West Chester Area School District received a $20,000 Pennsylvania Department of Education Safe Schools grant, state Rep. Carolyn Comitta, D-Chester, announced today. The funding will establish a program within the district to prevent and reduce violent incidents. West Chester Area School District was one of 60 public school entities across the state that received funding. “This award signals a commitment from the administration and General Assembly to help keep students safe and focused on learning,” Comitta said. “I applaud the West Chester Area School District for achieving this grant on behalf of its students.” Today’s announcement follows the release in late August of the full report from the Pennsylvania School Safety Task Force created by Gov. Tom Wolf and Auditor General Eugene DePasquale after the high school shooting in Parkland, Fla. The report includes detailed recommendations on how the state, community and school officials should work collaboratively with each other and with students and families to use all the tools at their disposal to prevent school-based violence from occurring. Read more

 

Comitta introduces legislation prohibiting loaded firearms in vehicles

(Sep 25, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 25 – State Rep. Carolyn Comitta, D-Chester, this week introduced legislation that would prohibit motorists from carrying loaded firearms in their vehicles. Comitta modeled the legislation in the wake of the June 2017 road-rage killing of Bayard Rustin High School graduate Bianca Roberson. “Bianca was a talented student with a bright future that was cut short due to a senseless act of violence,” Comitta said during a Capitol news conference announcing the bill today. “What happened to Bianca should never have happened. We cannot allow residents of the commonwealth to live in danger of firearm violence as a result of road rage.” H.B. 2669 would prohibit a person from carrying a loaded firearm in any vehicle, with the exception of firearms related to game hunting, law enforcement, military personnel or security drivers. A person who is found carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle would be charged with a misdemeanor for a first offense, and a first-degree misdemeanor for a second or subsequent offense. “It might seem like a simple change, but studies show that drivers who have a firearm in their vehicle may be more prone to anger and more likely to engage in aggressive driving than those who did not have a gun,” Comitta said. “That gun should not be further ready to use. We already know that the mere presence of a gun in a home increases suicide rates and the Read more

 

9/18/18 – Age-Friendly Communities – West Chester

(Sep 20, 2018)

Materials from House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing hosted by State Rep. Carolyn Comitta. Read more

 

Comitta announces $448k grant to support school safety and security
May 01, 2019

Comitta, McCarter seek to modernize Pennsylvania’s renewable energy standards
Apr 17, 2019

Pipeline town hall scheduled Wednesday, March 27 in Downingtown
Mar 22, 2019

Chester, Delaware lawmakers urge Wolf to halt Mariner operations until safety protocols are in place
Mar 11, 2019

Legislators respond to DEP decision to suspend review of Energy Transfer permits
Feb 08, 2019

Comitta to review governor’s budget proposal through Appropriations appointment
Feb 08, 2019

Comitta to co-host public Q&A session on Mariner East safety concerns
Jan 23, 2019

Comitta to host district office open house Feb. 1
Jan 18, 2019

Comitta sworn in to begin second term as state representative
Jan 01, 2019

Comitta commends Brandywine Airport investment from state
Dec 06, 2018

Opinion: Women send a message throughout halls of government
Nov 20, 2018

Comitta: WCASD awarded $5,000 for job-shadowing program
Oct 24, 2018

Comitta announces $15,000 state funding for local electrician training
Oct 22, 2018

Comitta announces pipeline safety grant covering training for 45 area municipal coordinators, responders
Oct 17, 2018

Comitta announces watershed improvements from pipeline infraction fines
Oct 16, 2018

Comitta: Bianca Roberson Merge with Mercy project completed at PA 100 spur
Oct 16, 2018

Opioid, alcohol safe-harbor bills could save lives
Oct 12, 2018

Comitta: State awards West Chester Area SD $20K for safety program
Oct 04, 2018

Comitta introduces legislation prohibiting loaded firearms in vehicles
Sep 25, 2018

9/18/18 – Age-Friendly Communities – West Chester
Sep 20, 2018