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Comitta's Corner: Fall 2019 Newsletter

Extreme heat tips

(Jul 19, 2017)

Extreme heat tips Read more

 

State pipeline safety legislation proposed by Comitta

(Jul 19, 2017)

CHESTER, July 19 – State Rep. Carolyn Comitta, D-Chester, has announced plans to introduce three new pieces of legislation that would bolster the state’s ability to protect private wells for its citizens, enhance interagency communication and create pipeline siting authority. These bills follow her recent announcement calling for a state Pipeline Safety and Communication Board. “After reading the Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force Report from February 2016 and speaking with residents, municipal officials, first responders, the secretary of Department of Environmental Protection and the chair of the Public Utility Commission, it was clear to me that we could be doing a lot more to ensure better communication and safety as it pertains to pipelines,” Comitta said. “Talking with these agency heads helped to identify what was needed and areas where legislation would be helpful to them. I am happy to respond to this need.” The first bill would address the PUC’s lack of siting authority for intrastate pipelines. A second bill would amend the PUC Confidential Security Information Disclosure Protection Act in order to permit agencies to communicate sensitive information with each other. The disclosure act was passed after 9/11 with the intent to protect information from getting into the wrong hands; however, it overreaches and restricts sharing of certain information between agencies, an unintended Read more

 

Comitta Continues Fight For Pipeline Safety

(Jul 11, 2017)

Pa. state Rep. Carolyn Comitta updates us on her continuing fight for pipeline safety in Pennsylvania Read more

 

Comitta Supports Budget that Helps Schools

(Jul 06, 2017)

Pa. state Rep. Carolyn Comitta voted to pass an on-time state budget that invests in schools, helps communities care for those in need and provides vital tools to battle the heroin epidemic – all without higher sales or income taxes. Read more

 

Comitta Fighting To Keep Pipelines Safe

(Jun 14, 2017)

The creation of a Pipeline Communication and Safety Board is needed, as our state government struggles to keep residents up to date on pipeline construction, operation and maintenance. The Pipeline Communication and Safety Board will ensure timely and effective dissemination of relevant information to help all citizens, and make our government agencies more efficient. Read more

 

REAL ID Frequently Asked Questions

(Jun 13, 2017)

What is REAL ID? Passed by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act established minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards, and prohibits Federal agencies from accepting, for official purposes, licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards. What is Pennsylvania doing about REAL ID? On May 26, 2017, Governor Wolf signed Act 3 of 2017 (SB133) into law, which did the following: Repeals Act 38 of 2012, which prohibited any state agency from complying with REAL ID. Creates a an Opt-in system, where Pennsylvanians can choose to get a standard-issued driver’s license or photo ID that DOES NOT comply with REAL ID, or a new driver’s license or photo ID that DOES comply with REAL ID. Prohibits the Commonwealth from mandating REAL ID for any reason. With the enactment of Act 3 of 2017, the PA Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is currently in the process of working with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to implement REAL ID. How will REAL ID affect me? A standard-issued PA driver’s license and photo ID does not currently comply with REAL ID. As a result of Act 3 of 2017, PennDOT applied for an extension for compliance until October 2020. DHS has recently granted Pennsylvania and six other states a grace period through July 10, 2017. Meaning, a PA driver’s license or photo ID WILL BE accepted to access Federal facilities, military installations Read more

 

Comitta supports pension reform bill

(Jun 08, 2017)

HARRISBURG, June 8 – State Rep. Carolyn Comitta today voted for meaningful pension reform, saying it is past time to address Pennsylvania’s pension crisis. “I am proud to have had the opportunity to vote on this very important issue,” Comitta said. “Senate Bill 1 might not be perfect, but it is an important, positive step to move Pennsylvania forward.” Senate Bill 1 , which passed 143-53 , is expected to save the state $1.4 billion over 30 years. It does so by increasing employee contributions for new hires of the State Employees’ Retirement System and Public School Employees’ Retirement System while reducing benefits, beginning in 2019. Current employees can opt in as well. It would not affect current employees who choose not to opt in or retirees already receiving benefits. The plan offers future public employees a choice among three retirement savings options – two hybrid defined benefit/defined contribution plans and a defined contribution retirement plan. The element of shared risk provides better protection for future generations of taxpayers, Comitta said. Comitta said the bill, which has the support of Gov. Tom Wolf, is the result of years of bipartisan work and compromise. “I’ve spent my entire career working on initiatives that have brought diverse stakeholders together to affect change that improves people's lives, and this is a great example of collaboration,” Comitta said. Read more

 

Constituent Services

(Jun 05, 2017)

My West Chester office is open, with free parking, to help people with a variety of state government programs and services. Ground floor of Washington Square Apts - former Biddle Street Elementary School, where I student taught!" Please click the video to find out more. https://youtu.be/L52FKTn5Z6o?list=PLjtqNtfs0bgUQFE7H99227EtaDj-dVQmw Read more

 

Want to know how we voted on legislation?

(Jun 05, 2017)

As always, I will continue to keep you informed about legislation that’s important to you. You can click below and find out about votes cast, and bill and session information. An online resource to view bills, resolutions, amendments and session information is available by clicking here . Read more

 

US 202 ITS project information

(Jun 05, 2017)

Some of you have contacted my office with regard to the proposed work on US 202. I’d like to share the following information, as it was provided to me via PennDOT recently. PennDOT has initiated the SR 202-ITS project under a Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) grant. As you know, US 202 and Route 1 are very heavily traveled corridors in our region. Currently, there are adaptive traffic signals on US 202 from the Delaware state line to US 202 and on Route 1 from US 202 to US 322. In addition, there are Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) devices within the corridors along with fiber optic cable. Despite these existing locations, there are gaps in the adaptive signal and ITS network. There are no adaptive signals on US 202 from Matlack Street to Route 1, and on Route 1 there are no adaptive signals from Lenape Road to US 202. The proposed project will install 7 adaptive traffic signals along US 202 and 11 adaptive traffic signals along Route 1 to improve traffic flow, reduce congestion and improve air quality along these corridors. The proposed project will also include implementing Bluetooth Readers, DMS signs and CCTV cameras along these corridors. The proposed ITS equipment will connect to PennDOT’s Regional Traffic Management Center and provide information that will help PennDOT better manage traffic flow in the event of an incident. Since Brandywine Creek in this area is prone to flooding, the proposed ITS equipment will allow Read more

 

Comitta announces grants for local historical sites

(May 30, 2017)

HARRISBURG, May 30 – Two West Chester organizations will receive funding through the Cultural and Historical Support Grant Awards from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, state Rep. Carolyn Comitta announced Tuesday. The American Helicopter Museum and Education Center was awarded a grant of $7,577 and the Chester County Historical Society was awarded $23,692, according to the museum commission. “Both the Chester County Historical Society and the American Helicopter Museum and Education Center preserve and share important stories from our past,” said Comitta, D-Chester. “I’m so pleased to see these organizations receive funding that will help them continue their valuable work in our community.” Almost $2 million was awarded to 141 eligible museums and official county historical societies from across Pennsylvania, to be used for general operations. The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission is the official history agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Read more

 

Comitta: Legislature passes measure to comply with Real ID law

(May 25, 2017)

HARRISBURG, May 25 – The state House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill that would help put Pennsylvania in line with federal Real ID rules and ensure that state residents don’t face difficulty using their IDs for air travel or visits to federal facilities, said state Rep. Carolyn Comitta, D-Chester. Once S.B. 133 is signed into law, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will provide Pennsylvanians the option of choosing a standard driver’s license or photo ID card, or IDs that are Real ID-compliant. Gov. Tom Wolf’s office has indicated that he will sign the bill in short order. Before those changes can take effect, the federal Department of Homeland Security is expected to issue extensions that would allow Pennsylvanians to continue using their standard driver's license to fly and access federal buildings until 2020. “Our freedom to travel shouldn't be hindered because of a decision legislators made on your behalf back in 2012,” Comitta said. Pennsylvania had been given a deadline of June 6 to adhere to the 2005 federal Real ID Act, which set minimum standards for issuing identification cards. Otherwise, residents could have been prohibited from using their state-issued identification to board a plane, starting in 2018, or enter certain federal buildings, starting this summer. The Real ID Nonparticipation Act prohibited state agencies from complying with the federal Real ID law. Pennsylvania and Read more

 

Comitta Rallies For Teachers

(May 23, 2017)

Pa. state Rep. Carolyn Comitta speaks at a Capitol rally in support of "Teacher Education Day" in Pennsylvania and to honor the outstanding service of teacher educators who prepare teachers for Pennsylvania's classrooms. Read more

 

Comitta announces $180,000 state grant to improve area traffic flow

(May 11, 2017)

HARRISBURG, May 11 – State Rep. Carolyn Comitta, D-Chester, today announced a $180,000 Pennsylvania Department of Transportation grant to improve area traffic signals. Read more

 

Comitta congratulates West Chester Business Improvement District on winning 2017 Great American Main Street Award

(May 04, 2017)

WEST CHESTER, May 4 – Former West Chester mayor and council member, state Rep. Carolyn Comitta, D-Chester, congratulated the West Chester Business Improvement District today for winning one of three 2017 Great American Main Street Awards from National Main Street Center Inc., a national nonprofit dedicated to commercial district preservation. “West Chester’s main street rebirth took vision, patience and persistence – add in lots of hard work and entrepreneurial spirit, diverse partners and an exceptional BID and today we celebrate a revitalized, vibrant downtown,” Comitta said. “I am proud to have been mayor and now state representative, so I can help champion all the good work of our BID, our diverse partners and all the joys of our beautiful downtown!” The West Chester BID was recognized because of its efforts over the last 17 years to preserve historic and cultural heritage while modernizing the area into a fine-dining destination. Those efforts include leading the effort that successfully brought West Chester’s business vacancy rate from 22 percent to 4 percent, while adding nearly 250 businesses and 1,000 jobs for the area. “West Chester has become a dining and cultural destination thanks to the vision, entrepreneurial energy, and years of hard work by our exceptional BID,” Comitta said. “I extend particular congratulations and thanks to Malcolm Johnstone and the BID Board. They harness and direct Read more

 

Comitta announces grant for West Chester borough financial management plan

(Apr 27, 2017)

HARRISBURG, April 27 – State Rep. Carolyn Comitta, D-Chester, announced today that West Chester will receive a $40,000 state grant to develop a multi-year financial management plan. The grant comes through the Department of Community and Economic Development’s Early Intervention Program. “I’m pleased that West Chester will be able to use this funding to look at how to best deliver services in our community. I look forward to seeing the borough develop a plan that paves the way to a bright future,” Comitta said. The Early Intervention Program helps communities develop comprehensive financial plans and establish short- and long-term financial objectives. Read more

 

Comitta Fights To Keep West Chester Safe

(Apr 25, 2017)

Pa. state Rep. Carolyn Comitta speaks on the House Floor in support of an amendment to allow local municipalities to govern themselves in respect to firearms laws. Read more

 

House Democratic Southeast Delegation members oppose overreaching plastic-bag bill

(Apr 25, 2017)

HARRISBURG, April 25 – Members of the House Climate Change Caucus today announced their opposition to an overreaching and environmentally hazardous bill that would prevent Pennsylvania communities from protecting land and water from pollution caused by plastic bags. House Bill 1071 would permanently prohibit municipalities and other local authorities from banning or applying any surcharge or tax on the use of plastic grocery bags. York, Erie, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia represent just a few of the city councils across Pennsylvania that have voiced opposition to H.B. 1071. “This bill hamstrings local governments from protecting their land and water from ecologically hazardous and unsightly garbage,” said state Rep. Steve McCarter, D-Montgomery . “Proponents of this bill try to make the case that recycling numbers are up but leave out the fact that proliferation is the real cause for the increase in those numbers. Widespread and growing use is also to blame for the drastic increase in wayward and littered bags, too.” Currently, 165 municipalities across the country have adopted some form of single-use plastic bag fee legislation or bag regulation to positive results. Following implementation of a citywide bag fee in 2010, the presence of bags in Washington, D.C., decreased by 67 percent, saving waste collection services there both time and money. If H.B. 1071 is enacted, constituents would not have the opportunity to press their case for Read more

 

Pa. Tax Amnesty Program runs from April 21 to June 19, 2017

(Apr 13, 2017)

A tax amnesty period for Pennsylvanians will run from April 21, 2017 through June 19, 2017. During this limited 60-day period, the state Department of Revenue will waive all penalties and half of the interest on eligible tax delinquencies for anyone who participates in the 2017 Tax Amnesty Program. For more information, please click here . Read more

 

Comitta to host Evening with PennDOT

(Apr 06, 2017)

WEST CHESTER, April 6 – State Rep. Carolyn Comitta is inviting community members to an Evening with PennDOT from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. April 20 at Fugett Middle School. A panel of representatives from the state Transportation Department's District 6 will share information about how the department operates and makes decisions about roadway construction and maintenance projects. Attendees will have the chance to ask questions about local projects during a Q&A session at the end. “PennDOT plays such a big role in our community, keeping our roads in good shape so that we can go about our daily lives,” Comitta said. “But we don’t always know what’s happening behind the scenes. This event is a great chance to learn more about the work that keeps us moving.” Fugett Middle School is at 500 Ellis Lane, West Chester. The event will be in the auditorium. Read more