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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

 

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 says Springdale-Cheswick traffic relief is near

(Feb 03, 2015)

HARMAR, Feb. 3 – State Rep. Frank Dermody said good progress is being made on emergency repairs to the damaged overpass on Pittsburgh Street in Springdale that has forced the rerouting of traffic since Friday. “My office has been working with PennDOT staff, the Springdale mayor and police chief, and NRG to speed this process up and get this main artery open again,” Dermody said. “Everybody pitched in and things are getting done hour by hour. It’s not possible yet to be sure when the road will reopen but we are hopeful for Wednesday.” The span over Pittsburgh Street was struck by a loaded truck Friday. Dermody said PennDOT inspections showed the damage was much more extensive than first thought. “Everyone in the area has been inconvenienced by this situation, but people’s safety has got to be our first concern. State and local officials are working together to get the road open again as soon as possible,” Dermody said. He noted that the emergency repair work on the overpass is a temporary measure. “Sometime later this year it’s likely the road will close again for a short time for more complete repairs, but we’ll be able to give everyone plenty of notice about that before it happens.” Read more

 

House Democrats excited to work with new governor

(Jan 20, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 20 – House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody, D-Allegheny/Westmoreland, released the following statement today on the swearing-in of Pennsylvania's 47th governor, Tom Wolf: "House Democrats are excited to work with Governor Wolf in the upcoming session. Pennsylvania is a very diverse state, but we can only move forward as one family, not a collection of special interests. Governor Wolf understands that and I believe his approach to governing Pennsylvania will reflect that. "There is no shortage of challenges facing our state, foremost among them a budget deficit that tops $2.3 billion. House Democrats are ready to work with the governor and our Republican colleagues in the House and Senate to address those challenges. "We need to build a strong, sustainable middle class, and grow decent jobs in industries that support family-sustaining wages. We need to begin restoring the funding to our schools the previous administration cut, and we need to develop a fair funding formula that ensures every child in Pennsylvania receives a quality education and every public school in Pennsylvania can provide one. "We need to honor the workers who drive the engine of our economy by making sure they earn a fair wage, enjoy a safe workplace and job and retirement security, and are free from discrimination. And we need to develop our natural resources in a responsible way that protects our environmental legacy and benefits all Pennsylvanians. Read more

 

Dermody: House Democrats excited to work with new governor (with video)

(Jan 20, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 20 – House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody, D-Allegheny/Westmoreland, released the following statement today on the swearing-in of Pennsylvania's 47th governor, Tom Wolf: "House Democrats are excited to work with Governor Wolf in the upcoming session. Pennsylvania is a very diverse state, but we can only move forward as one family, not a collection of special interests. Governor Wolf understands that and I believe his approach to governing Pennsylvania will reflect that. "There is no shortage of challenges facing our state, foremost among them a budget deficit that tops $2.3 billion. House Democrats are ready to work with the governor and our Republican colleagues in the House and Senate to address those challenges. "We need to build a strong, sustainable middle class, and grow decent jobs in industries that support family-sustaining wages. We need to begin restoring the funding to our schools the previous administration cut, and we need to develop a fair funding formula that ensures every child in Pennsylvania receives a quality education and every public school in Pennsylvania can provide one. "We need to honor the workers who drive the engine of our economy by making sure they earn a fair wage, enjoy a safe workplace and job and retirement security, and are free from discrimination. And we need to develop our natural resources in a responsible way that protects our environmental legacy and benefits all Pennsylvanians. Read more

 

House of Representatives scholarships available to high school seniors

(Jan 12, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 12 -- State Rep. Frank Dermody, D-Allegheny, announced that applications are available for the 2015 Pennsylvania House of Representatives Scholarship.  "I encourage all students planning to attend college to consider applying for this scholarship," Dermody said. "As college tuition rates continue to rise, this scholarship could provide needed assistance." The scholarship amount is the equivalent of one semester's tuition at a State System of Higher Education university. However, recipients may use the scholarship at any Pennsylvania public or private university or career school. The scholarship may be renewed for each year of a student's four years of undergraduate study. To be eligible, a student must be a graduating senior living in Pennsylvania with a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade-point average. He or she must participate in extracurricular activities, have community and leadership skills and demonstrate financial need. The scholarship program, which is privately funded by individual and corporate donations, is administered through the Foundation for Enhancing Communities. Applications are available at the Foundation for Enhancing Communities' website, www.tfec.org. In addition to the application, students must submit other scholarship information, a student resume, information about their community and leadership skills and their FAFSA student aid report. Applicants also must submit an Read more

 

Dermody: Budget crisis offers legislators 'chance to make positive mark'

(Jan 06, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 6 – State Rep. Frank Dermody, D-Allegheny/Westmoreland, today began his third term as Democratic leader in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives as members from across the state took the oath of office at noon in the House chamber to begin the 2015-16 legislative session.The legislature faces the new two-year session with a budget deficit that is estimated to be more than $2 billion and a new governor taking office. Read more

 

Swearing in floor remarks

(Jan 06, 2015)

Democratic Leader Frank DermodyJan. 6, 2015Thank you Mr. Speaker.I would like to start by congratulating my good friend and long-time colleague Mike Turzai on his arrival to the House Speaker's chair.While the new Speaker and I have certainly not always seen eye to eye, we have worked alongside each other respectfully in several capacities going back many years.Mr. Speaker, I look forward to continuing to work with you in the new session.I also want to congratulate the new Republican Leader, Dave Reed.As majority leader facing the challenges that Pennsylvania does, your job will be difficult.I sincerely want to work with you as Democratic Leader to do what I know both of us – and the caucuses that we lead – want to do:Move Pennsylvania forward.I also want to take a moment to acknowledge our incoming governor, Tom Wolf.The governor-elect brings a wealth of experience and success in both private and public service.But I'm not sure he – or any governor – ever faced challenges like those he will face as chief executive of Pennsylvania.I personally pledge my efforts and those of the Democratic caucus to work with him in every way we can to meet those challenges.We want to, once again, make Pennsylvania an economic, educational and environmental leader in the nation.Finally, to each of my colleagues here today – both Republicans and Democrats; those of you who are returning and to our new members – congratulations and welcome!I am sure 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

 

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