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Get free assistance with your Property Tax/Rent Rebate

Get free assistance with your Property Tax/Rent Rebate

(Jan 24, 2019)

Forms for Pennsylvania’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program for the 2018 tax year are available – and my office staff is ready to help you file yours for free ! The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians 65 or older, widows and widowers 50 or older, and people with disabilities 18 or older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters. Half of Social Security income is excluded and the maximum standard rebate is $650. Claimants must reapply for rebates every year because they are based on annual income and property taxes or rent paid each year. Spouses, personal representatives or estates may file rebate claims on behalf of deceased claimants who lived at least one day in 2018 and meet all other eligibility criteria. The rebates normally are distributed by the Department of Revenue beginning July 1. So, the sooner you file, the sooner you will receive your money. Read more

 

Pa. House Democrats want to make sure Your Vote Counts

(Jan 14, 2019)

HARRISBURG Jan. 14 – More than a dozen House Democrats today began seeking support for bills to increase voter turnout, make it easier for citizens to register to vote and to cast a ballot, and restore peoples’ faith in their elections. “American democracy started here in 1776, but in 2019 special interests have too much power that should belong to the voters,” House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody said. “We have a plan to take Pennsylvania from one of the toughest states in which to vote to one of the easiest for a voter to get registered, get informed and get heard.” Your Vote Counts includes bills to make it easier to cast a ballot, including: Election Day Starts NOW – four separate bills sponsored by Reps. Pam Snyder, Eddie Day Pashinski, Tony DeLuca and Jennifer O’Mara – ends the 19 th century practice of having Election Day on one Tuesday and allow people to vote up to a month in advance of the scheduled Election Day at designated locations. This is already is happening in 40 other states. Say goodbye to long lines, overburdened poll workers and overwhelmed, obsolete voting machines. Your Mailbox is Your Ballot Box – sponsored by Rep. Rob Matzie – helps every voter, but especially police officers, firefighters, medical personnel and other voters who can’t find time to cast a ballot, by allowing everyone to submit their ballot by mail. It’s secure, safe Read more

 

Democratic committee chairmen named

(Jan 07, 2019)

Democratic committee chairmen named HARRISBURG, Jan. 7 – House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody today named the Democratic minority chairmen of the standing committees which are assigned to consider legislation before it advances to the full House. Rep. Matt Bradford of Montgomery County was chosen separately by a November vote of all the Democratic members to be chairman of the Appropriations Committee. The House Democratic chairmen for the 2019-20 session are: Aging and Older Adult Services: Rep. Steve Samuelson, 135th Legislative District, Northampton County. Agriculture and Rural Affairs: Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, 121st Legislative District, Luzerne County. Children and Youth: Rep. Joseph Petrarca, 55th Legislative District, Westmoreland, Armstrong and Indiana counties. Commerce: Rep. John Galloway, 140th Legislative District, Bucks County. Consumer Affairs: Rep. Rob Matzie, 16th Legislative District, Beaver and Allegheny counties. Education: Rep. James Roebuck, 188th Legislative District, Philadelphia County. Environmental Resources and Energy: Rep. Greg Vitali, 166th Legislative District, Delaware and Montgomery counties. Finance: Rep. Jake Wheatley, 19th Legislative District, Allegheny County. Game and Fisheries: Rep. William Kortz, 38th Legislative District, Allegheny County. Gaming Oversight: Rep. Scott Conklin, 77th Legislative District, Centre County. Health: Rep. Dan Frankel, 23rd Legislative Read more

 

House Democrats Welcome Pension Commission’s Report

(Dec 20, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 20 – The special panel charged with finding new ways to save money for Pennsylvania’s two pension systems issued its final report today and House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody said he is pleased it acknowledges the State Employees’ Retirement System’s and the Pennsylvania School Employees’ Retirement System’s efforts to save money and streamline services as they continue to pursue diverse investment strategies. The Public Pension Management & Asset Investment Review Commission voted to approve its final report today after holding public meetings and engaging with respected public pension experts throughout the fall. The panel was established by a 2017 law and tasked with doing this report. “What we heard during the public meetings is PSERS and SERS have been working to save money on investment fees,” Dermody said. “Remember, they have already saved billions of dollars. “But the commission identified new ways in which PSERS and SERS could save even more, and I am sure each retirement system’s board of trustees will thoroughly and seriously consider those recommendations.” Dermody said House Democrats generally support the commission report’s emphasis on transparency, stress testing, the consolidation of investment activities, and making sure the systems are getting the best value for each dollar invested. “While we agree with many of the principles outlined in Read more

 

Democratic leaders will serve on Redistricting Reform Commission

(Dec 03, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 3 – The Democratic leaders of the House and Senate will both serve on the bipartisan Pennsylvania Redistricting Reform Commission formed by Gov. Tom Wolf and they intend to participate fully in the panel’s work. Sen. Jay Costa and Rep. Frank Dermody look forward to helping in a comprehensive review of Pennsylvania’s redistricting process and offering recommendations later in 2019 to improve its integrity and fairness. “The commission has no authority to change state law and will simply be offering ideas for the governor and legislature to consider using during the redistricting process,” Dermody said. “That’s a worthy purpose and we’re proud to join Governor Wolf’s appointees in undertaking a serious effort that will offer needed perspective.” “A key part of the group’s effort will be getting citizens to engage in our work. For too long they have felt shut out of a meaningful role in redistricting,” Costa said. “The upcoming work of the commission will prioritize hearing what the public has to say.” Wolf established the commission with an executive order last week and appointed 11 of the 15 members. The remaining four slots are for legislators chosen by the respective leaders of the four legislative caucuses. Wolf also named David Thornburgh of the Committee of Seventy in Philadelphia to lead the commission and gave the group nine months to do its work and Read more

 

Fighting hunger this holiday season

(Nov 20, 2018)

With the holidays upon us, I want to remind everyone that the commonwealth offers some excellent resources to help families who may be struggling with food insecurity. Check out these links to: a list of food banks by county ; an interactive map of food pantries ; a list of state food programs ; a list of Allegheny County programs and services to help meet basic needs ; a program through which hunters can share extra venison ; and ideas for fighting hunger in your community . If you don’t need help but want to volunteer your time or resources, you’ll find plenty of opportunities in the links above. This holiday season, let’s work together to make sure everyone has blessings to count. Read more

 

More than words; how Pennsylvania supports veterans

(Nov 08, 2018)

As Veterans Day nears, I wanted to share information on programs that benefit veterans and their families. To those in Allegheny and Westmoreland Counties who have bravely served our country, thank you and Happy Veterans Day. Read more

 

Heating aid via LIHEAP now open

(Nov 01, 2018)

The 2018-2019 Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program – LIHEAP – is accepting applications for heating assistance grants. LIHEAP offers cash grants of $200 to $1,000 that are sent directly to the utility company to defray heating costs for eligible households, and crisis benefits of up to $600 for households in immediate danger of being without heat. Remember: These are grants and do not have to be repaid. This season’s income guidelines for both LIHEAP cash and crisis grants are $18,210 for an individual, $24,690 for couples and increases for each additional person in the household. Please click here for more LIHEAP information. Please consider visiting my office if you need help filing a LIHEAP application. Besides my office, LIHEAP information is available by: Contacting local County Assistance offices by phone or in person. Calling the LIHEAP Client Helpline at 1-866-857-7095 or PA Relay at 711 for the hearing impaired. Applying online at https://www.compass.state.pa.us . Read more

 

Statement on Pittsburgh shooting

(Oct 27, 2018)

OAKMONT, Oct. 27 – House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody issued the following statement in response to this morning's shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh: "I thank police and first responders for their quick response and bravery during the situation. "Please join me in keeping the victims and their families in our thoughts and prayers. As Pennsylvanians, we must come together to offer the victims, their families and the community whatever assistance and support they need. "Moving forward, I and my colleagues in the legislature will continue to support law enforcement and our local communities, and by working together, we can help make our state a place where all people are safe in their homes, schools and daily lives, and where we all respect the contributions, dignity and humanity of every Pennsylvanian." Read more

 

Senior prescription program expanded to help more people

(Oct 23, 2018)

I voted for a new law that will help more senior citizens in our area to pay for their prescriptions. Putting people first and focusing on health care is part of the House Democrats' Plan for Pennsylvania. Read more

 

Democrats move to increase protection from harassment and discrimination

(Oct 02, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 2 – House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody and a bipartisan group of lawmakers are proposing a change to House rules to protect staff and legislators from sexual harassment and discrimination at the state Capitol and in legislative offices spread across Pennsylvania. “Meeting people and working closely on projects is at the core of every lawmaker’s life and work, but that interpersonal contact must never put anyone at risk of discrimination or harassment,” Dermody said. Dermody initiated discussion with Republican leadership more than two years ago on finding better ways to respond to workplace complaints involving members of the House. That led to a draft proposal to update House rules to authorize the House Ethics Committee to investigate complaints of discrimination or harassment concerning House members and require additional anti-sexual harassment and discrimination training for all lawmakers in each new legislative term. While Dermody hopes that Republican leadership will join him in supporting the change, he introduced House Resolution 1117 now to give all new and returning House members time to understand the proposal before the next session begins Jan. 1. He noted that House Democrats went further in taking steps to protect staff people, revising the caucus’s employee handbook with stronger policies against workplace harassment, discrimination and retaliation. “We provided more detailed definitions and Read more

 

Dermody comments on grand jury report

(Aug 14, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 14 – House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody responded to the release of the 40 th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury report issued today: “The hundreds of brave survivors who told their heartbreaking stories deserve our deepest thanks, and they also deserve justice. I believe the grand jury’s report and recommendations will help an untold number of people who suffered sexual abuse when they were children and who continue even now to suffer because of it. “I’m grateful that Attorney General Josh Shapiro fought hard to find the truth and to make sure the sad facts in this report were shared with the public,” Dermody said. “The residents of western Pennsylvania who served on the grand jury have done something extraordinary. They heard the words of many brave survivors of childhood sexual abuse and they gave us a path to follow to find justice and protect all children. Lawmakers should pay heed to the report and take the necessary steps.” Read more

 

Property Tax/Rent Rebate applications available

(Jun 01, 2018)

CHESWICK, June 1 – State Rep. Frank Dermody, D-Allegheny/Westmoreland, is reminding residents that applications for Pennsylvania's Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program are available in his Cheswick office. “This program can be a big help to seniors and others who find it hard to pay their property taxes and other bills," Dermody said. “It’s free to apply, and my office can help with the application. My staff can even arrange a visit to your home to assist you, if needed.” The Property Tax/Rent Rebate program provides a rebate on property taxes or rent paid in 2017. People who are 65 or older, widows and widowers 50 or older, and people with disabilities who are 18 or older are eligible for the program if they meet income guidelines. Homeowners with income up to $35,000 annually and renters with income up to $15,000 annually qualify, and may receive a rebate of up to $650. Some homeowners may qualify for a maximum rebate of $975. Half of Social Security benefits are not considered when determining income eligibility. Applications and assistance are available at Dermody's Cheswick office, 1331 Freeport Road; phone (724) 274-4770 . Residents seeking assistance with the application should bring proof of their local (county, borough and school) property taxes and proof of income, such as a 1099 form. Property Tax/Rent Rebate applications also are available at Department of Revenue district offices, local Area Agencies on Read more

 

Democrats reintroduce bills blocked by partisan chairman

(Apr 30, 2018)

HARRISBURG, April 30 -- Pennsylvania House Democrats today reintroduced roughly 88 bills and resolutions that Rep. Daryl Metcalfe has blocked in the House State Government Committee and called for Speaker Mike Turzai to repudiate Metcalfe’s obstructionism. Democratic Leader Frank Dermody sent a letter to notify Turzai of the reintroduction of dozens of bills and requested that the speaker refer each to different committees where they stand a chance of receiving the due consideration they deserve. Recently, Republican chairman Metcalfe bragged at a public meeting and on Facebook that he routinely blocks substantive Democratic bills in his committee without review. Because of Metcalfe, these bills never see the light of day nor a debate on their merits. Metcalfe acknowledged he is blocking the bills solely because they were introduced by Democrats and based on his personal biases and partisan extremism. "Our state government cannot work the way it’s supposed to if the committee system in the House of Representatives is hijacked and held hostage by one extremist with a personal agenda," Dermody said. "We all understand that politics plays a role in how quickly legislation moves forward in the House, but this is beyond the pale. “Never before have we seen a committee chairman whose own inability to tolerate dissent shows complete disdain for the legislative process, for other lawmakers, and for millions of people who care about these Read more

 

Leaders Dermody and Costa praise action on preserving health care for injured workers while combatting herion and opiod crisis

(Apr 27, 2018)

HARRISBURG, April 27 - House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody and Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa, both D-Allegheny, praised the governor’s actions this week to combat the heroin and opioid crisis in Pennsylvania: “Governor Wolf continues to lead the way in fighting heroin and opioid addiction. This week he took executive action to limit overprescribing of opioids in the workers’ compensation system by creating prescription guidelines and utilization reviews to identify where problems may exist. The governor also ensured that the workers’ compensation system has access to the state’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program database. We applaud the concrete steps Governor Wolf took because they are effective and targeted actions that also preserve the rights of injured workers.” Read more

 

Spring 2018 News You Can Use

(Mar 28, 2018)

Rep. Frank Dermody's Spring 2018 newsletter includes useful information on state programs for seniors and veterans, news from the state Capitol and the variety of services his office provides. Read more

 

House and Senate Democratic leaders praise Wolf’s fair election initiative

(Mar 26, 2018)

HARRISBURG, March 26 – Top Democrats in the House and Senate embraced Gov. Tom Wolf’s pledge of support for their ongoing efforts to reform the way political campaigns are paid for in Pennsylvania. “Our democratic form of government is designed to be deliberative and to allow many different points of view to be heard. But the influence of big money has tainted the process so much that most people today don’t believe their government truly works for them,” House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody said. “Elections in Pennsylvania should be decided on the merits of a candidate and their platform, not by the depths of their pockets,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa. “Votes cannot and should not be bought; that’s why we need finance reform.” Costa and Dermody have spoken to Wolf about campaign finance reform and both said the governor’s commitment to reducing the unfair influence of special interests is sincere. The two Democratic leaders introduced twin campaign finance reform bills last year in the Senate (S.B. 11) and House (H.B. 1332) aimed at better reporting of donations and limiting the size of political campaign contributions. Neither measure has received a hearing in committees controlled by the current Republican majorities. Currently, Pennsylvania is one of a small number of states that have no legal limits on contribution amounts by individuals or political Read more

 

Dermody praises new congressional district map

(Feb 19, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 19 – Pennsylvania House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody said the congressional district plan released today by the state Supreme Court is a fair alternative that will permit free and equal elections as the state constitution requires. “This map represents fairness and competitiveness, rather than the gerrymandered monstrosity we were using that deprived too many voters of their voice,” Dermody said. “The 18 districts in this map make sense geographically and the court showed its understanding and respect for communities of common interest within the districts. “The creation of a Montgomery County-based district ensures that the state’s third most populous county will have the unified representation it lacked for too long. Indeed, this map features unified districts for Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Lancaster counties as well. “Similarly, the combination of Lehigh and Northampton counties in one district is a welcome return to past practice,” Dermody said. He noted the Supreme Court’s map splits just 13 counties. That’s fewer than half the splits of the map being replaced and it’s fewer county splits than any of the proposals submitted by parties in the case. “The new map is easy to understand and will reduce confusion for voters who will no longer have to figure out wildly contorted district shapes to determine who represents them in Read more

 

Dermody comment on congressional redistricting

(Feb 13, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 13 – House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody says Gov. Tom Wolf’s rejection of a partisan congressional district plan proposed by two Republican leaders will mean that the issue ultimately gets decided by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. “I want to thank the governor for making a careful, sound decision based on the evidence,” Dermody said. “We know that eventually the court will be doing the same kind of review so it’s in everybody’s interest to get this right. “In my view that means a plan that’s fair to all political parties and one that allows fair, competitive elections across Pennsylvania.” Dermody noted that Republican leaders never put their plan before the General Assembly for a vote as required by law. “In adherence with the Supreme Court’s guidance, House Democrats plan to offer input for the court’s review by this Thursday,” said Dermody Read more

 

Dermody welcomes Wolf’s education initiative in budget

(Feb 02, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 2 – House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody said his caucus will work strenuously to help achieve Gov. Tom Wolf’s requested increases for a variety of education lines in the state budget. “A budget is a statement of priorities,” Dermody said. “It’s how the elected representatives of the people make clear what we value most. “The governor’s seeking $120 million more for school districts across the state, as well as higher investment in pre-kindergarten and Head Start programs, state universities, and career and technical education. Beyond better schools and targeted job training, the money for districts also helps us control local property tax increases. “It’s directly in line with our own House Democratic agenda, the Plan For Pennsylvania, which focuses on quality schools, good jobs and fairer taxes,” he said. “As always, the challenge is finding a way to pay for this, but make no mistake, it’s needed. House Democrats will do everything we can to help make the governor’s vision for better education, skills training and lower property taxes a reality,” Dermody said. Read more