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Liquor privatization would come with many unintended consequences

(Feb 27, 2015)

On Thursday, the House voted on legislation that would do much more than privatize the sale of wine and spirits. The legislation, which I opposed, would possibly triple the number of stores from 600 to up to 1800 stores that could sell alcohol. Do we really want a liquor store on every corner? I want you to have the facts to understand why the commonwealth of Pennsylvania should continue to oversee the sale of alcohol, the No. 1 drug in this country. Read more

 

Full time? Not so much

(Feb 27, 2015)

Pennsylvania has one of the nation’s 10 “full-time” state legislatures. That, by itself, raises the question of why the Legislature has to be full time, since 40 other states seem to be getting by without the costs that full-time legislatures impose on taxpayers. State lawmakers are the second-highest paid in the land, with a base salary of about $85,000 a year, second only to California’s $90,000. But California, with 39 million residents, has just 80 representatives and 40 senators. Pennsylvania’s 13 million residents fund 203 representatives and 50 senators. Read more

 

DeLuca calls for legislators to limit outside income

(Feb 25, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 25 – State Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Allegheny, today hosted a news conference to unveil legislation that would require additional disclosure of lawmakers' outside income and place a limit of that income as well. "The Pennsylvania General Assembly is a full-time legislature that is paid full-time and works hard in Harrisburg and in our respective legislative districts. Our constituents deserve our full attention and the only clock we should be punching is the one for them," DeLuca explained. Read more

 

DeLuca to discuss limiting outside income for legislators Feb. 25

(Feb 18, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 10 – State Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Allegheny, will host a news conference to discuss legislation that would limit outside income for legislators and update disclosure requirements for public officials when declaring outside income. Read more

 

Ignition Interlock Saves Lives

(Feb 11, 2015)

This week, I attended a news conference in support of legislation that would protect Pennsylvanians from drunk drivers. At the event, stakeholders discussed Senate Bill 290 and House Bill 278, which would require convicted drunk drivers with illegal blood-alcohol concentration of .10 or greater to use an ignition interlock for a minimum of six months. Ignition interlock systems test a driver's breath for alcohol. Read more

 

Don’t delay- sign up for health care coverage by 2/15

(Feb 10, 2015)

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and there is no better way to show your loved ones you care than making sure your personal and financial well-being is protected with health insurance. If you do not currently have health insurance, I strongly urge you to consider visiting www.healthcare.gov to enroll by the Feb. 15, 2015 deadline. Read more

 

Working with Penn Hills School District to protect taxpayers

(Feb 02, 2015)

Working with Penn Hills School District to protect taxpayers I am working closely with Penn Hills School District administrators to reduce the number of nonresident students attending district schools. Nonresident students who attend Penn Hills schools place an increased burden on local taxpayers, and adults who assist nonresident students are breaking the law. The district currently has approximately 400 students attending school on affidavits (sworn statements by parents or guardians attesting the pupil is legally residing full-time in the district). That number is significantly higher than in surrounding districts. Read more

 

Protecting the middle class

(Jan 28, 2015)

In a continued effort to keep you informed on topics that impact you, I wanted to bring this issue to your attention. I recently came across an article that affects the middle class and highlights the continued disparity between the wealthiest and working classes. Read more

 

House Insurance Committee moves first bill of 2015-16 Legislative Session

(Jan 27, 2015)

As Democratic chairman of the House Insurance Committee, I am proud to report that the committee has moved the first bill up for a vote this legislative session. House Bill 159 will be up for second consideration on Wednesday, Jan. 28. Read more

 

Raise the Wage in Pa.

(Jan 13, 2015)

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DeLuca sworn in to Pa. House of Representatives

(Jan 06, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 6 – State Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Allegheny, officially began his 17th term as state representative after being sworn in during a special ceremony at the state Capitol today. The swearing-in ceremony marked the beginning of the Pennsylvania General Assembly’s 199th Legislative Session. The legislature is mandated by the state constitution to convene at noon on the first Tuesday of January following an election.DeLuca will retain his post as Democratic chairman of the House Insurance Committee. "I am honored to continue to serve the people of the 32nd Legislative District. As Insurance Committee chairman, I’ve fought hard for their access to quality and affordable health care at our region’s best medical facilities. I will continue to help residents navigate the health insurance climate in western Pennsylvania,” DeLuca said.“I also look forward to working with Governor-elect Tom Wolf’s administration to improve the quality of education for children throughout the commonwealth, better protect consumers and strengthen Pennsylvania’s economy.”Residents can sign up for periodic email updates from DeLuca on state issues and services by visiting his legislative website, www.pahouse.com/DeLuca, and clicking on the “Sign up for emails” link under the “Contact” button on the page. Read more

 

Pa. lawmaker faces uphill battle to limit state pols’ outside income

(Dec 29, 2014)

Whenever voters are especially frustrated with the state Legislature, there are suggestions to switch lawmakers to part-time status and trim or eliminate the generous fringe benefits such as pensions and free health care for life. After all, only nine states have full-time legislatures. Why can’t Pennsylvania operate with a smaller, less costly General Assembly? It’s worth noting that Pennsylvania ranks at the top of the lists for pay, benefits and cost, including staff costs. Overall, Pennsylvania has the largest and most expensive state legislature. The National Conference of State Legislatures grouped different types of state legislaturesto include:Green — meaning full-time, well paid, with large staffs Gray — a hybrid structure Gold — meaning part-time, with lower pay, smaller staffs In that survey, Pennsylvania is one of just three states in the Green category, the others being California and New York. Yet, when it comes to population, Pennsylvania is more in line with “Green lite” or Hybrid states. California and Texas have more than twice the 12.7 million population of Pennsylvania. Yet, state lawmakers in Pennsylvania have created a structure with one of the top pay scales and the largest legislative staff in the nation. As troubled as voters might be by this, only lawmakers themselves can change it. Unlike the rules in many other states, voters here do not have direct influence, through Read more

 

Hope for Hannah legislation becomes law

(Dec 28, 2014)

Pennsylvania's children have a new protection thanks to Hannah's Law, named after Hannah Ginion of Bristol Township, who suffered from the rare genetic disorder called Krabbe disease. Hannah passed away on Dec. 28, 2014. Read more

 

New website offers information and clarity on Highmark/UPMC transition

(Dec 09, 2014)

A new arrangement for services between UPMC and Highmark is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1 and will affect many western Pennsylvanians.There is a new state website designed to help alleviate any uncertainty and cut through the confusion has been launched to help answer questions. Going forward, both of these entities will abide by consent decrees that each party signed with the state.The website, stayinformed.pa.gov offers a detailed explanation about the transition. Information and other resources are also available to explain the consumer protections that House Democrats fought to ensure were part of the agreement.  As the New Year arrives, there will likely continue to be issues as this transition is implemented, but the mediation efforts of UPMC and Highmark will be closely monitored to ensure that access to the region’s quality health care is protected. However, officials are urging that the single most important thing people who might be affected can do is contact their physician’s office and ask if their health insurance will be accepted after Jan. 1. Read more

 

Beware IRS phone scams

(Nov 29, 2014)

Recently, my office received information about phone calls received statewide in which an individual claimed to be from the IRS and demanded payment on taxes owed. Please be aware – this phone call is a scam, and the IRS will NOT initiate first contact with you on the phone about taxes owed. Always be wary of unsolicited phone calls in which an individual claims to represent a business or government entity and aggressively demands payment. The IRS does not operate this way and will always send official correspondence through the mail to make its first contact with you. Read more

 

HEROIN: What you need to know about Pennsylvania’s Good Samaritan Law

(Nov 24, 2014)

Landmark legislation passed during the 2013-14 Legislative Session now allows first responders, including law enforcement, fire fighters, EMS or other organizations the ability to administer a medication known as naloxone, a life-saving opioid-overdose antidote. The law also allows individuals such as friends or family members who might be in a position to help a person at risk of experiencing an opioid-related overdose to obtain a prescription for naloxone. Additionally, Act 139 provides immunity from prosecution for those responding to and reporting overdoses. Read more

 

In the News: Dept. of Human Services name change better reflects mission

(Nov 24, 2014)

House Bill 993, which renamed the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare as the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, was signed into law as Act 132 during the 2013-14 Legislative Session. According to advocates for the change, renaming the department was long overdue, and as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported, the name change better reflects the department’s mission. Read more

 

Do you need help paying heating bills?

(Nov 24, 2014)

As we get into the coldest months of winter, many people are worried about affording their increasing heating costs. If you or someone you know qualifies, my office could help you take advantage of a program set up to curtail high home heating bills. Read more

 

Apply for health insurance by Feb. 16

(Nov 23, 2014)

The open enrollment period for health care coverage is now underway. If you or someone you know is in need of health insurance, please consider visiting the federal Marketplace at www.HealthCare.gov. Applicants have until Feb. 16, 2015 to enroll. Everyone, no matter what age, needs health insurance. A random accident or unexpected illness could put you in danger of losing not only your good health but also your financial future. Read more

 

Sign up for the Do-Not-Call list

(Nov 22, 2014)

To register for the Pennsylvania and national do-not-call lists, visit http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/dnc.aspx or call 1-888-777-3406. Registration is free. There is a rolling enrollment; individuals may sign up at any time and the registration is good for five years. After that, you can re-enroll. And, signing up on Pennsylvania's list automatically adds those numbers to the national do-not-call list. Read more