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Senate Republicans desert workers in need of help

(Nov 18, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 18 – House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody said reduced services for thousands of unemployed Pennsylvanians and the imminent furlough of up to 600 workers are the direct result of a refusal to act by state Senate Republican leaders like Scott Wagner. Read more

 

PA House Democrats choose leaders for 2017-18

(Nov 15, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 15 – Returning and newly elected members of the Pennsylvania House Democratic Caucus chose their leadership team today for the 2017-18 legislative session. "As the minority party we face a continuing challenge, but we embrace it and look forward to working with Governor Tom Wolf to keep getting things done," Democratic Leader Frank Dermody said. "House Democrats will continue to fight hard at the Capitol and in our communities for a Pennsylvania that works better for all people, not just the special interests. "We want a Pennsylvania that offers good jobs that support careers and family. We want a state with quality public schools, clean air and water, and a place that offers a fair opportunity for everyone who wants to work hard and make to their life better," he said. "We look forward to working with Democrats and Republicans to fight for policies that support these values and against the worst and most extreme ideas of those who would take Pennsylvania, its economy and its residents backwards." House Democrats elected the following legislators to leadership positions for the 2017-18 term: Democratic Leader Frank Dermody , 33 rd Legislative District (Allegheny and Westmoreland counties). Representative since 1991. Democratic Whip Mike Hanna , 76 th Legislative District (Clinton and Centre counties). Representative since 1991. Caucus Chairman Dan Frankel , 23 rd Legislative District (Allegheny County). Read more

 

Dermody backs careful pension changes for future public employees

(Jun 14, 2016)

HARRISBURG, June 14 – Democratic Leader Frank Dermody today joined 135 of his House colleagues in approving a landmark pension reform bill that maintains benefits for current public employees and retirees while changing the pension structure for most future state and school employees. "The people of Pennsylvania want the legislature to address the state's public pension challenges," Dermody said. "This bipartisan approach to pension legislation is a huge step forward and a vast improvement to other failed attempts in recent years. The House’s amendment to the bill (S.B. 1071) would shift some financial risk away from taxpayers and would reduce future pension costs while protecting retirement security for current employees and people who already retired. “Public workers have been regularly paying their share into the system. They deserve a secure retirement," Dermody said. "At the same time, this legislation maintains a comparable level of security for teachers, state employees and other public servants hired in 2018 or later,” he said. “That's important for making sure those future workers won’t have to rely on public assistance or other safety net programs when they retire – at significant cost to state taxpayers. "Moving forward on this now will let us turn our attention to the state's larger retirement challenge: the difficulty that all workers, not just public employees, face in Read more

 

Dermody and Costa welcome action to improve wine purchases

(Jun 07, 2016)

HARRISBURG, June 7 – The House of Representatives today passed a bill that would modernize and expand retail sales of wine in Pennsylvania and take other steps to increase consumer convenience. Read more

 

Dermody praises Wolf action to end budget impasse

(Mar 23, 2016)

HARRISBURG, March 23 – House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody believes Gov. Tom Wolf made the right decision in choosing to let the remainder of Pennsylvania’s 2015-16 budget become law without his signature. “Harrisburg is broken and because of that Pennsylvania faces a budget emergency. The governor is taking steps to buy us all some time,” Dermody said. “In talking with Republican leaders during the last week it’s heartening that they acknowledged the state’s large budget deficit. The problem is identified. Now we must continue working to fix it,” Dermody said. Dermody said the spending plan that will become law at 12:01 a.m. Monday doesn’t adequately meet current needs and it fails to solve the state’s continuing budget imbalance. But the measure will allow delayed payments to flow to school districts, service providers and other entities after months of unpaid bills. “Although this marks the end of the 2015-16 budget impasse, it’s really more of a stopgap measure. It will quickly become clear that we have not yet raised the necessary revenue to pay for the things the state’s obligated by law to do,” Dermody said. “The problem remains, we lack the resources to pay our bills. A majority of legislators in both parties agree on this. After five years of deficit spending it’s time to face economic reality. “This can never Read more

 

House Democratic leader praises Wolf action on fair pay

(Mar 07, 2016)

HARRISBURG, March 7 – House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody praised Gov. Tom Wolf for acting today to raise the wages of the lowest-paid workers performing jobs for the state. "Governor Wolf's executive order affects a limited number of Pennsylvanians but it’s a clear call to action," Dermody said. "It’s time for the legislature to work together and increase the minimum wage for more than a million other Pennsylvania workers who need and deserve a raise. "House Democrats enthusiastically support the governor's action and once again call on Republican leaders to move bills introduced by Rep Patty Kim ( H.B. 250 ) and other legislators to raise the minimum wage for workers statewide,” he said. Pennsylvania has not adjusted its minimum wage in almost 10 years and every adjacent state requires a minimum wage above Pennsylvania's rate of $7.25. “Our workers need a raise,” Dermody said. "These other states clearly are not losing jobs to Pennsylvania, nor are they underperforming Pennsylvania economically. “The data and years of research show that a fair increase in the minimum wage would help full-time working adults to afford modest housing and other necessities without damaging Pennsylvania businesses or the economy." The Democratic leader noted that a statewide boost in the minimum wage would immediately help more than 1 million workers and contribute to closing the state’s $2 Read more

 

Property Tax/Rent Rebate forms available at my office

(Feb 15, 2016)

Forms for Pennsylvania’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program for the 2015 tax year are available at my district office – and my 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 2015 and meet all other eligibility criteria. The oft-extended deadline to apply for a rebate on property taxes or rent paid in 2015 is June 30, 2016, and the rebates normally are distributed by the Deparment of Revenue beginning July 1. So, the sooner you file, the sooner you will receive your money. Read more

 

State measure would ease financial burden on locked-out workers

(Feb 11, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 11 – Pennsylvania state legislators are making a bid to assist hundreds of workers idled by Allegheny Technologies Inc.’s six-month lockout who are about to see their unemployment benefits expire. Reps. Frank Dermody and Joe Petrarca this week teamed up to introduce a bill that would provide financial help to workers who were locked out of their jobs and have exhausted their regular unemployment benefits. "Workers and their families are in severe financial distress after being locked out of their jobs for half a year," Dermody said. “These workers helped make ATI what it is today. They take pride in the work they do and they want to get back to doing it. Until that happens, we need to help them weather the crisis.” The bill (H.B. 1857) introduced by Dermody and Petrarca would provide temporary unemployment benefits to any Pennsylvania workers who see regular unemployment benefits expire after being locked out of their jobs. Only unemployed workers affected by a lockout would be eligible and the state Department of Labor and Industry reports the locked-out ATI employees are the only ones in Pennsylvania currently affected. “Hundreds of people would rather be working, but instead they are about to lose unemployment benefits through no fault of their own,” Petrarca said. “Their families are suffering along with them, as well as all the local businesses that depend on the daily spending generated by Read more

 

PACE prescription programs benefit seniors

(Feb 10, 2016)

PACE, PACENET and PACE plus Medicare are Pennsylvania's prescription assistance programs for older adults, offering low-cost prescription medication to qualified residents, age 65 and older. As of this year, the legislature passed a law excluding Social Security Medicare Part B premiums from being counted towards income levels. Read more

 

Dermody: Put People Before Politics

(Feb 09, 2016)

Pa. House Minority Leader Frank Dermody says it's time for lawmakers to put people before politics and take Pennsylvania down a path where schools are funded, those in need get help and our homeowners don't face higher property taxes every year. Read more

 

CHIP offers kids protection and parents peace of mind

(Jan 29, 2016)

Pennsylvania has a Children's Health Insurance Program that provides free and low-cost health insurance to children. CHIP is not welfare – it covers children of working parents whose employers don't offer coverage and who can't afford private insurance. If you can't afford health insurance for your children, chances are they are eligible for CHIP. Read more

 

Republican leadership ignores task at hand

(Jan 12, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 12 – As Pennsylvania’s budget impasse approaches its 200 th day, House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody commented on the unfinished work and said Republican leaders have failed to engage in substantive discussions since December. “Pennsylvania still needs a full-year budget and what we need from House Republican leaders is seriousness. Three weeks ago we were on the cusp of getting such a budget finished, less than a day away, but the Republican leaders instead shut the House down and sent everyone home. “The House resumed session this week and lawmakers returned hoping to get real work done, but all we got was more delay and distraction,” Dermody said. “The House Republican leaders dictated that rather than work on a real balanced budget, the House would spend its first two legislative days of 2016 considering bills to inadequately fund local schools for the remainder of the fiscal year, increase funds to a select group of universities even though there’s no budget to fund those appropriations, and reject a negotiated bipartisan funding plan that would be fairer to all schools. “Pennsylvania continues to make history with this budget impasse and the House Republican leaders are on the wrong side of that history. “They need to stop playing games and concentrate – along with the governor and the rest of the legislature -- on passing a complete, balanced and full-year state budget that fairly Read more

 

Pa. Treasury could be holding your unclaimed property

(Jan 01, 2016)

Each year, the Pennsylvania Treasury receives millions of dollars of unclaimed property. It is estimated that roughly one in 10 Pennsylvanians has unclaimed property. Read more

 

PA Power Switch: Ask the right questions

(Dec 30, 2015)

In Pennsylvania, you can choose the company that generates your electricity – also known as your electric supplier. This means that you have the power to switch to a competing supplier who can offer the lowest price, or provide a specific service you want, such as “green” or renewable energy. Read more

 

Republican plan would weaken public health and safety for political gain

(Oct 20, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 20 – House Democratic leaders today denounced a vote made by House Republicans attempting an end run on state regulations that protect public health, safety and more. The House voted on legislation that would add lengthy delays to the nonpartisan Independent Regulatory Review Commission process of finalizing regulations proposed by state government agencies. Under the bill (H.B. 965), the chairmen of standing committees could potentially bring the regulatory process to a halt by using a provision that prohibits IRRC from acting on a proposed regulation for a specified number of calendar days or “legislative” days, whichever is longer. Because of Republican majorities in the House and Senate, all committee chairmen are Republicans. House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody, D-Allegheny/Westmoreland, said the timing of the bill is significant. “Changing IRRC and ‘reforming’ the regulatory process only seems to interest Republicans when a Democrat moves into the governor’s office,” Dermody said. “A similar push was made when Governor Ed Rendell was in office. No significant attempt was made during Governor Tom Corbett’s time in office but now, yet again, Republicans want to revisit IRRC. “This legislation is a dangerous abuse of power that has no place in the checks and balance system that separates us from dictatorships,” Dermody said. House Democratic Whip Mike Hanna, Read more

 

Dermody Helps to Open Hulton Bridge

(Oct 20, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Frank Dermody proudly stands with Gov. Tom Wolf and hundreds of local residents, high school students, elected officials and construction workers to mark the opening of the new Hulton Bridge between Harmar and Oakmont. Dermody said with this new span over the Allegheny River, thousands of people every day will have easier trips to get to work, attend church, go shopping, reach the Turnpike, meet friends and go to school. Read more

 

Dermody: Invest in the Future of Pa

(Oct 07, 2015)

Pa. House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody says that Pennsylvania's most vulnerable are depending on a budget that restores cuts to education and human services, reduces or eliminates property taxes and invests in the future of this Commonwealth. Read more

 

Dermody: Students With Disabilities Have A Right To Work

(Sep 29, 2015)

House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody talks about the importance of legislation that will establish the Work Experience for High School Students with Disabilities Act. This legislation would designate the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) in the Department of Labor and Industry as the lead agency responsible for developing connections between local education agencies and employers to promote the successful transition from school to competitive, gainful employment. Read more

 

Dermody Holds Senior Fair

(Sep 28, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Frank Dermody held his popular Senior Health and Services Fair to help older residents of the Allegheny Valley and their families get access to the information and resources they need. Hundreds of people came to the Pittsburgh Mills Mall for the annual event. Read more

 

Dermody: We Need a REAL Budget

(Sep 24, 2015)

Pa. House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody speaks out against a short-term stopgap budget that does nothing more than create another budget crisis for schools and non-profit social service agencies until October and urges the passage of a true compromise budget that delivers long-term, sustainable funding. Read more