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A victory for people over entrenched special interests

(Jan 22, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 22 – House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody commented on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s order that new congressional districts be put in place in time for the upcoming 2018 primary and general elections: “Gerrymandering, the voter ID law, shrinking the House and other measures that impact some communities more than others are cynical ploys by the Republican majority to choose their voters rather letting voters choose their representatives in fair elections. The Supreme Court’s decision sends a strong signal that change is at hand in Pennsylvania politics and government. “It’s a victory for people over entrenched special interests. “The contorted 2011 congressional map never passed a simple eye test. Now the Supreme Court has clearly said it doesn’t pass the legal test either. “House Democrats will be active participants in a bipartisan effort to meet the very tight deadline set by the court to enact congressional districts that are constitutional.” Read more

 

PA HOUSE DEMOCRATS: Disaster declaration allows for timely and comprehensive response to public health crisis

(Jan 10, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 10 -- House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody and state Rep. Ed Gainey, Democratic co-chairman of the legislative Heroin, Opioid Prevention and Education Caucus, released the following statement today on Gov. Wolf's declaration of a state of emergency regarding the heroin and opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania. "Pennsylvania's drug-addiction emergency is impacting individuals, families and communities on just as large a scale as any other natural disaster our state has experienced in our lifetime. Our response now must match our response to those crises," Dermody said. "Republican and Democratic legislators have been instrumental in responding to the heroin and opioid addiction crisis," Gainey said. "Scores of legislators have joined our HOPE Caucus dedicated to leading Pennsylvania from addiction to recovery. The General Assembly worked with the governor to propose and pass new laws to reduce the prescribing and availability of opioids that can lead to addiction, to expand access to treatment and counseling for those trapped by addiction, and to enable the distribution of life-saving medications like naloxone that reverse the effects of heroin and opioid overdoses and save lives.” "The House Democratic Caucus pledges to continue those efforts and do even more to combat this public health emergency and reduce its devastation on our state," Dermody said. "In 2018, House Democrats want to focus on a Plan Read more

 

2018 Capitol Scenes Calendar

(Dec 15, 2017)

Please download and enjoy this free 2018 calendar featuring seasonal photos of our beautiful state Capitol. Read more

 

Democratic Leader Frank Dermody discusses the Budget Impasse on KQV-AM Pittsburgh

(Oct 06, 2017)

Rep. Dermody talks about how House Republican obstruction has led to an extended budget impasse Read more

 

Dermody says House Republican budget failure costs Pa. taxpayers

(Sep 20, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 20 – House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody said today’s announcement from Standard and Poor’s of a lower credit rating for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a direct result of the failure of House Republican leaders to honestly deal with the state’s budget situation. “We were warned multiple times that this could happen, yet a few House Republican leaders in position to do something productive about it chose to do nothing instead,” Dermody said. “After every House Republican leader voted for a budget spending $32 billion on June 30, that same leadership group proved incapable of finding an honest and realistic revenue plan to pay for it. “The plan that House Republicans finally passed last week was a bad joke. It cuts vital services and doesn’t add up. They employed almost every gimmick that the credit rating agencies specifically warned against. The result of that irresponsibility is no joke. Every Pennsylvania taxpayer will pay a price for the House Republican leadership’s obstruction. So will every county, city, borough and township,” Dermody said. “It didn’t have to be this way. It shouldn’t be this way. Today’s news is a blow to our state’s fiscal standing. It’s also an opportunity for everyone, including House Republicans, to take stock of the situation and get back to work on a real budget solution that includes recurring revenue.” Read more

 

House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody statement on GOP budget scheme

(Sep 05, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 5 – House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody issued this statement regarding today’s House Republican news conference: “On June 30, a large bipartisan House majority passed a $32 billion General Fund budget to support state programs and services important to the people of Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, this budget has not yet been paid for. For the last six weeks, a group of Republicans from central Pennsylvania tried to identify restricted receipts money in non-General Fund accounts. Now that we have their product, Democrats in the House will give it careful review. There are a host of unanswered questions. “At the outset of our review I question the legality of raiding accounts that are restricted by law for special purposes. Then there’s the larger question of whether their math is correct. Is this money truly available in the amounts they claim? I’m deeply concerned this plan would lead to destructive cuts in programs and services that Pennsylvanians need to have, such as education, health care and a half billion dollars cut in transportation. “I appreciate the effort made by this group and we’ll evaluate what they brought forward today. It will be revealing to see how the other 100 or so Republicans in the House react to it, as well. “Our perennial budget problems of the last decade resulted from the overuse of one-time gimmicks and faulty revenue estimates. Fantasy Read more

 

Boost minimum wage to help workers and state

(Aug 30, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 30 – Labor Day is a time to celebrate the contributions working men and women make to our collective wealth and well-being. It's long past time for Pennsylvania workers to share in that wealth. Measured by corporate wealth and CEO income, America is the wealthiest country in the world at the wealthiest moment in our history. But those measures don't tell the whole story. Here in Pennsylvania and the rest of America, millions of working people and the middle class are being squeezed out. Between 1948 and 1979, two-thirds of income growth in the United States went to the bottom 90 percent of earners. Since 1979, that same share of income growth went to just the top 1 percent, and nearly all recent income growth in America went to the top 10 percent. Adjusted for inflation, income for almost everyone else actually declined. This Labor Day, tens of thousands of parents in Pennsylvania -- many of them women -- are working full-time for wages that don't allow them to pay the rent, put good food on the table, or afford someone to watch their children while they work. More of these families are falling behind and slipping into poverty without a living wage. Every state around Pennsylvania already raised its minimum wage. Pennsylvania's woefully inadequate minimum wage is hurting our lowest-paid workers, as well as the middle-class workers who earn just above them. An increase in the minimum wage would directly and indirectly boost Read more

 

Dermody’s office hosts monthly help session for veterans

(Aug 11, 2017)

HARMAR, Aug. 11 – Veterans with questions about their benefits can stop by Rep. Frank Dermody’s office between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday, Aug. 14 to meet with a claims consultant from the VA hospital in Butler. Dermody’s office is at 1331 Freeport Road in the Cheswick section of Harmar, next door to Futules Harmar House. As a service to veterans, the VA representative will return to Dermody’s office on the second Monday of every month to help veterans in understanding and accessing the resources available to them. Walk-in visits are welcome, or appointment times can be arranged with Tom Gehenio of Dermody’s staff at 724-274-4770 . Read more

 

Free Community Paper Shredding Event Aug. 12

(Aug 02, 2017)

Rep. Frank Dermody is sponsoring a free community paper shredding event from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Aug. 12. Check the link for more information. Read more

 

Costa, Dermody: House Republicans Using Universities as Budget Pawns

(Jul 19, 2017)

Harrisburg – July 19, 2017 – State Senator Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) and Representative Frank Dermody (D-Allegheny/Westmoreland) today issued the following statement in reaction to the House Republican leadership’s continuing refusal to call the House into session to work toward closure on the 2017-18 budget: “The House last met over a week ago without completing the work on revenue needed to finalize the state budget. Republican Speaker Mike Turzai has not advised lawmakers of when the House might reconvene. “This ongoing failure to finish our work on the budget means the state-related schools – the University of Pittsburgh, Penn State, Temple University and Lincoln University are in danger of not receiving any state appropriations this year. In addition, the University of Pennsylvania’s Veterinary School is unfunded. “It’s disturbing that we have hit late July and still do not have a finished 2017-18 fiscal year revenue plan. Four parties in the budget talks have been around the table working toward an agreement, but consistently the House Republicans have refused to engage. “This bizarre situation is unconscionable. We have an incomplete budget and Pennsylvania families are wondering what happens next, especially those families preparing to send their children to college in the next few weeks. Unfortunately, these families and our state-related universities are being used as budget pawns by the House Read more

 

House Democrats seek bipartisan budget compromise

(Jul 10, 2017)

HARRISBURG, July 10 – House Democratic leaders praised Gov. Tom Wolf’s decision to let the state’s spending plan become law tonight without his signature. “We passed a good bill that invests money where it’s needed – education, protection of seniors and services for people in need, and wider treatment of heroin addiction. Now we’ve got to find a way to pay for it with real recurring revenue,” said Democratic Leader Frank Dermody. “That work’s not done yet. We need to stay here and get it done. We have to do it in a responsible way to help the people of Pennsylvania.” House Appropriations Committee Democratic Chairman Joe Markosek said the Republican revenue package offered over the weekend fell short in a number of ways. “No more than 18 percent of their so-called ‘revenue package’ is actual recurring revenue, even if we accept some of their generous assumptions about what the new gaming taxes might raise,” Markosek said. “With a budget gap well above $2 billion, Republican leadership offered a plan that’s heavily reliant on borrowing more money and increasing state debt just to pay our current operating costs.” Democratic Whip Mike Hanna said the bipartisan commitment to improving education at all levels requires a similar bipartisan commitment to find real recurring revenue. “Democrats and Republicans need to compromise Read more

 

Dermody calls on Republicans to rethink emergency response cuts

(May 03, 2017)

HARRISBURG, May 3 – House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody remarked on the warning issued by Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency Director Richard D. Flinn Jr. about deficiencies within a Republican budget plan. “The PEMA director offered a needed reality check for my House Republican colleagues who voted for a budget put together by their leadership in early April,” Dermody said. “Their bill poses a real danger to the state’s ability to respond to emergencies around the clock. “Crisis situations usually happen without warning and are rarely limited to normal business hours. The state must invest wisely in PEMA so its personnel can remain on watch 24 hours a day.” Dermody noted the House Republican budget, which passed without any Democratic votes, also would slash $4.7 million in disaster relief funds earmarked as a required state match for federal flood relief funds for households and businesses hurt by severe October flooding in Bradford, Centre, Lycoming and Sullivan counties. “Without that state money, we will lose considerable federal aid. It mystifies me that every Republican representing those four counties carelessly voted to cut this money, but they did,” he said. “Because of how federal and state dollars flow to emergency management agencies, the Republican budget cuts threaten the jobs of some county emergency staff, as well as the state employees who work to Read more

 

Democrats will fight to restore funding for veterans

(Apr 28, 2017)

HARRISBURG, April 28 – House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody remarked on the assessment made public today by the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs about the threat posed by a Republican budget bill passed on April 4. “It’s astonishing that my House Republican colleagues would vote to cut funding and degrade services for our state’s military veterans, but that’s just what they did,” Dermody said. “Is it possible these Republican legislators just didn’t realize what they were doing? The contents of the bill were disclosed just one day before the House Republican leaders insisted on bringing it to a vote, so perhaps those who voted yes didn’t understand the harm it would do to veterans in their districts. “I’m proud to say not one House Democrat voted for the bill. “Fortunately the budget process still has a long way to go. Democrats will keep fighting on the side of veterans to reverse the callous Republican budget cuts to veterans’ outreach programs, services and health care. “We can do no less for the men and women who served our nation honorably.” Read more

 

House Democrats look to protect online privacy of consumers

(Mar 31, 2017)

HARRISBURG, March 31 -- House Democrats will seek ways to restore online privacy protections for Pennsylvania residents after Republicans in Congress voted to allow telecom companies and other internet service providers to sell and share customers' web browsing history without their consent. The mostly party-line vote by Congress does away with rules adopted by the Federal Communications Commission in October that required companies like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T to get customers' explicit permission before storing, sharing or selling sensitive data like Social Security numbers, health information, children's information, even the tracking of a person’s whereabouts from minute to minute. The FCC rules also required internet service providers to inform consumers and law enforcement when a potential harmful data breach occurred. "Donald Trump ran a populist campaign but his vision for the FCC and protecting consumers' privacy is shaping up to be the exact opposite," Democratic Leader Frank Dermody said. "These big companies want to change the rules midstream and Congress just voted to let them do it. “Unless states like Pennsylvania take action, this powerful special interest will be allowed to exploit people's private information and personal browsing habits for its own profit. The consumers who our government is supposed to be working for will be left with no protection at all," he said. Dermody noted that Read more

 

Democrats appeal to Congress to keep health care law

(Mar 22, 2017)

HARRISBURG, March 22 – With a moment of reckoning fast approaching in Congress, several Democratic state lawmakers outlined the catastrophic effects a repeal of the Affordable Care Act would have on Pennsylvania patients and families, people struggling with addiction to painkillers, and hospitals. House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody said the reckless action contemplated by President Trump and congressional Republican leaders puts the entire nation at risk. “If they are successful, the fallout will be felt in every Pennsylvania town and city, in every hospital emergency room, in every doctor’s office,” Dermody said. “We just can’t afford for that to happen. It would devastate our Commonwealth and lead to disease and deaths that can and must be prevented.” Rep. Anthony DeLuca, the Democratic chairman of the House Insurance Committee, noted the opposition of AARP and other groups representing older Americans. He said the stakes could not be higher. “Repealing the Affordable Care Act would send us back to a time when too many people couldn’t afford to buy health insurance, had no primary care physician, and all too often ended up in an emergency room with a medical crisis,” said DeLuca, D-Allegheny. “Emergency care is the most expensive kind of treatment and all of us end up paying for it when patients lack insurance.” Rep. Pam DeLissio, D-Phila./Montgomery, emphasized the human impact of doing Read more

 

Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program applications available in Dermody's office

(Feb 21, 2017)

My office has received Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program applications for eligible residents to begin claiming rebates on property taxes or rent paid in 2016, and the staff is ready to help! 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 rebates are based on annual income and property taxes or rent paid annually. Spouses, personal representatives or estates may file rebate claims on behalf of deceased claimants who lived at least one day in 2016 and met all other eligibility criteria. The rebates normally are distributed beginning on July 1. So, the sooner you file, the sooner you will receive your money! The deadline to apply, for now, is June 30, 2017, but it is routinely extended until the end of the year. Please ignore offers to assist with filing the application for a fee. My offices offer help at no charge, and the Revenue Department does not charge a fee to process your application. Applications also are available online at www.revenue.pa.gov or by calling 1-888-222-9190. Read more

 

Santoni appointed to Pa. Gaming Control Board

(Feb 07, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 7 – House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody has appointed Dante Santoni of Reading, Berks County, to a two-year term on the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. Santoni served 20 years in the House of Representatives and served as Democratic chairman of the Gaming Oversight Committee. He voted for the 2004 law that permitted slots gaming at up to 14 venues and established the seven-member Gaming Control Board to regulate the new industry. “Dante Santoni is well versed in the issues and questions that come before the Gaming Control Board, and he understands the value of Pennsylvania’s gaming industry which employs thousands of people and delivers millions of dollars in tax relief every year,” Dermody said. Dermody noted that although the board was formed 12 years ago, it continues to deal with substantive questions relating to the maintenance and measured expansion of gaming in Pennsylvania. He said Santoni is well prepared to contribute his expertise to the board’s work. “He has a very important quality we always need in government, and that’s common sense,” Dermody said. “It’s an honor and a privilege to serve Pennsylvania in this new capacity,” Santoni said. Santoni is a graduate of Muhlenberg High School and earned a Bachelor of Science in accounting from Villanova University. Read more

 

Dermody praises Wolf move to shrink government, improve services

(Jan 30, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 30 – House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody said Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposal to combine four departments of the state government into one service-delivery agency has great potential and will be reviewed by legislators. “The governor’s not proposing to cut any services but instead to cut the size of the state bureaucracy itself. That’s something Democrats can support if we make sure that it’s done well,” Dermody said. “If this consolidation means less paperwork and confusion for all of us who depend on these services, then I’m all for it. So many programs in these four departments overlap with each other and help the same people – our parents, our children, our friends and ourselves. “It’s time to take a fresh look and see if we can cut down on costly duplication while improving the delivery of vital services to the people who rely on them,” Dermody said. “This will simplify things for all of us and should make it easier for all Pennsylvanians to see how much state government matters to us in our daily lives. “There are many unknowns in this process that we have to consider. House Democrats are eager to have this conversation and help move Pennsylvania forward.” Read more

 

Dr. Goldfarb to advise policymakers about medical marijuana

(Jan 20, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 20 – House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody has appointed Dr. I. William Goldfarb to the state’s new Medical Marijuana Advisory Board. Goldfarb, a Pittsburgh-based surgeon, will join the panel that is responsible for advising the Pennsylvania Department of Health on matters related to implementing the Medical Marijuana Act passed in 2016. “Dr. Goldfarb is a respected medical professional who has helped thousands of patients in western Pennsylvania over the years,” Dermody said. “I’m honored that he will serve on the advisory board because I know he recognizes a great opportunity to help many more people in coping with and treating a variety of diseases.” The advisory board consists of 15 people with expertise in medicine, patient advocacy and law enforcement. They are responsible for examining laws related to medical marijuana in Pennsylvania and other states; reviewing written comments from individuals and groups about the topic; and issuing a written report in spring 2018 about whether any provisions of the state’s medical marijuana law or regulations should be revised. Read more

 

Deadline nears for next state police academy class; Fishing licenses make great gifts

(Dec 14, 2016)

Democratic Leader Frank Dermody reports that the state police are reminding qualified candidates that time is running out to be considered for the next academy class. Dec. 31 is application deadline. Read more

 

A victory for people over entrenched special interests
Jan 22, 2018

PA HOUSE DEMOCRATS: Disaster declaration allows for timely and comprehensive response to public health crisis
Jan 10, 2018

2018 Capitol Scenes Calendar
Dec 15, 2017

Democratic Leader Frank Dermody discusses the Budget Impasse on KQV-AM Pittsburgh
Oct 06, 2017

Dermody says House Republican budget failure costs Pa. taxpayers
Sep 20, 2017

House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody statement on GOP budget scheme
Sep 05, 2017

Boost minimum wage to help workers and state
Aug 30, 2017

Dermody’s office hosts monthly help session for veterans
Aug 11, 2017

Free Community Paper Shredding Event Aug. 12
Aug 02, 2017

Costa, Dermody: House Republicans Using Universities as Budget Pawns
Jul 19, 2017

House Democrats seek bipartisan budget compromise
Jul 10, 2017

Dermody calls on Republicans to rethink emergency response cuts
May 03, 2017

Democrats will fight to restore funding for veterans
Apr 28, 2017

House Democrats look to protect online privacy of consumers
Mar 31, 2017

Democrats appeal to Congress to keep health care law
Mar 22, 2017

Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program applications available in Dermody's office
Feb 21, 2017

Santoni appointed to Pa. Gaming Control Board
Feb 07, 2017

Dermody praises Wolf move to shrink government, improve services
Jan 30, 2017

Dr. Goldfarb to advise policymakers about medical marijuana
Jan 20, 2017

Deadline nears for next state police academy class; Fishing licenses make great gifts
Dec 14, 2016