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Donatucci resolution promotes colorectal cancer awareness

(Mar 23, 2016)

HARRISBURG, March 23 – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives has unanimously adopted a measure authored by state Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, recognizing March 2016 as “National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania. “Experts suggest up to 60 percent of deaths from colorectal cancer could be prevented if people 50 or older were regularly screened and appropriately treated for this disease,” Donatucci said. “As uncomfortable as some people may be discussing colorectal cancer, it’s important to raise awareness about the illness so that people don’t live in fear.” The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, killing 49,700 Americans in 2015. Donatucci noted she understands the devastating toll the disease can have on families if left undetected. “I lost my father to colon cancer in 1998,” Donatucci said. “I want to make sure other families don’t have to go through what my family and I did, especially since so many cases of this disease are preventable.” Donatucci’s H.R. 709 noted that colorectal cancer often begins as a polyp, which is a growth that forms on the inner wall of the colon or rectum. In addition to polyps, risk factors for colorectal cancer can include age, family history, certain genetic mutations, excessive alcohol use, Read more


Donatucci: Get Screened to Prevent Colorectal Cancer

(Mar 23, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Maria Donatucci helps spread awareness about colorectal cancer, which is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Donatucci’s father died from the disease in 1998 and did not undergo regular screening for the disease, which can be successfully treated if detected early. Donatucci’s House Resolution 709 names March 2016 as “National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania and encourages residents to get screened and maintain a healthy lifestyle to help prevent colorectal cancer. Read more


Donatucci measure honors Pa. registered dietitian nutritionists

(Mar 16, 2016)

HARRISBURG, March 16 – State Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, today announced the Pennsylvania House of Representatives has unanimously approved her resolution designating March 9, 2016 as “Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day” in Pennsylvania. Donatucci’s H.R. 708 explained registered dietitian nutritionists are food and nutrition experts who use nutrition to find solutions for healthy living. To be considered a registered dietitian nutritionist, a person must complete an accredited supervised practice program, pass a national examination and complete continuing professional educational requirements to earn their credential. Many of these professionals work in hospitals, schools, public health clinics, nursing homes, fitness centers, the food industry and other entities. “Experts say maintaining a healthy diet is key in preventing illness and boosting overall wellness,” Donatucci said. “The work being done by our registered dietitian nutritionists is so important in improving public health and educating communities about how to be healthy. I’d like to thank my colleagues for their support of this measure honoring these vital professionals.” Approximately 3,700 residents of the commonwealth are members of the Pennsylvania Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, an affiliate of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This year, the academy’s theme for “National Nutrition Month” is Read more


Donatucci: What are the Pitfalls of Not Passing a Budget?

(Mar 10, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Maria Donatucci asks Randy Albright, Pennsylvania's Budget Secretary, about the perils of not passing a 2015-2016 budget and the challenges it puts in front of the 2016-2017 budget. 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


Donatucci honors K9 services in Pa. with approved resolution

(Feb 10, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 10 – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives has unanimously adopted a measure authored by state Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, marking "K9 Veterans and Services Day" in Pennsylvania on March 13, 2016, which is 74 years after the United States K9 Corps was created. "These dogs and their handlers serve and protect us all so that we may be safe," Donatucci said. "They put themselves in grave danger to save lives, and some even make the ultimate sacrifice. The least we can do is recognize them for their efforts and show our appreciation for their unwavering dedication." Donatucci’s H.R. 678 notes besides dogs and their handlers, K9 services include trainers and other helpers involved in customs, search and rescue, border patrol, police services, secret service and drug enforcement. They are used by the military, law enforcement and other governmental agencies. Though the official United States K9 Corps was established to acknowledge K9 services in World War II and beyond, military working dog handler Joseph J. White later initiated a movement to honor "K9 Veterans and Services Day" each year to raise awareness about the importance of K9 participants. To mark this year’s celebration, Donatucci will present a citation to Melissa Wallace, canine enforcement officer with the federal Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection, and her K9 service dog, 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


Donatucci lauds Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget plan to help students, middle class

(Feb 09, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 9 – State Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, issued the following statement after Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget address for the 2016-17 fiscal year: "Obviously, the state is in a unique situation right now, but the fact remains that there are two paths we can take in Pennsylvania: one that puts us back on the path of fiscal stewardship, and another that continues the irresponsible cuts from the past five years and further damages our credit. We’ve had enough of the status quo, so it’s time to take action. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I look forward to working with my fellow colleagues throughout the entire budget process to ensure we get Pennsylvania back on track. "Governor Wolf was elected in large part because of his commitment to funding public education. The funding boost he is proposing will help some of our most vulnerable schools, especially in Philadelphia, where too many students are crammed into small classrooms with fewer teachers. If we want future generations to succeed – and I know we do – we must invest in education now . Our children and grandchildren will be better off. "We also need to pass a balanced budget that addresses the projected $1.9 billion budget deficit for the upcoming fiscal year. Instead of cutting programs to the bone and using funding gimmicks to cover what’s missing, we need to pay our bills and help Pennsylvania build a better economy 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


Donatucci marks ‘Equal Pay Can’t Wait Week’ with revived push to end gender wage gap in Pa.

(Jan 28, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 28 – In connection with tomorrow’s seventh anniversary of the signing of the federal Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law, state Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, is renewing her call for the House Labor and Industry Committee to consider her H.B. 1250 , which would update the state’s Equal Pay Law. Donatucci is participating in “Equal Pay Can’t Wait Week” along with other legislators nationwide to help bring attention to the gender wage gap. “It’s downright shameful that in 2016, women are paid, on average, only about 78 cents for every dollar a man brings in,” Donatucci said. “Everyone deserves to be paid fairly for their work, no matter their gender. It’s long past time for us to close this embarrassing chapter in our history and pay women and men equally.” Donatucci’s H.B. 1250 would increase fines to between $2,500 and $5,000 per day of violation and per violation for employers that knowingly violate the state’s Equal Pay Law, falsify related records or interfere with investigations under the act, among other things. Penalties under the act have not been updated since the law was established in 1959. “The law was enacted more than 50 years ago, and life has certainly changed since then,” Donatucci said. “We need to bring the penalties for knowingly paying women less than men for equal work in line with the 21 st century.” Read more


Donatucci measure acknowledges ‘Kawasaki Disease Awareness Day’ in Pa.

(Jan 27, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 27 – A resolution authored by state Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, and unanimously approved by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives names January 26, 2016 “Kawasaki Disease Awareness Day” in the commonwealth. “Fifty-five years ago, Japanese pediatrician Dr. Tomisaku Kawasaki first discovered a set of symptoms that would later become Kawasaki Disease,” Donatucci said. “However, many of us still haven’t heard of this disease, so it’s important we spread awareness so that parents can recognize the symptoms of this serious illness.” There is no known cure for Kawasaki Disease, which is characterized by inflammation of the blood vessels throughout the body and most commonly affects young children and infants. Symptoms include fever lasting at least five days; bloodshot eyes; rash; inflammation of the mouth, lips and throat; and swollen hands, feet and lymph nodes. Donatucci’s H.R. 652 notes the disease is more prevalent in boys than in girls, and more often presents itself in children of Asian and Pacific Island descent, thought it affects all racial and ethnic groups. If left untreated, approximately one-quarter of affected children develop heart disease. “We all want to protect our children and grandchildren however we can,” Donatucci said. “I thank my colleagues for helping to start a dialogue about this disease and further the mission of improving 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


Donatucci supports Philadelphia airport workers seeking better wages

(Nov 18, 2015)

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 18 – State Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, has issued the following statement after the announcement that subcontracted workers at Philadelphia International Airport are expected to go on strike tonight over better wages and anti-unionization threats: "I stand in solidarity with the hardworking subcontracted airline workers in Philadelphia who simply want to make better lives for themselves and their families. Though it’s unfortunate such a move has to come before the busy Thanksgiving travel holiday, the fight for fair pay for our workers can never afford to rest. "Years ago, these plane cleaners, baggage handlers and other employees would have been paid decent wages, without having to worry about taking up a second or third job to make ends meet. But now, many parents don’t even make enough to put food on the table for their children, or pay for their own medications. This is unconscionable. It’s long past time to let corporations insistent on breaking the law know that we won’t stand for their bullying and disrespect any longer. "Today’s announcement is part of the nationwide movement in support of a living wage for all of America’s workers. Everybody deserves to be treated with dignity, and paid fairly for the work they perform. I applaud Philadelphia International Airport’s hardworking men and women for calling attention to this basic right, and will do whatever I can to Read more


Donatucci resolution recognizes 'World Prematurity Day' today in Pa.

(Nov 17, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 17 – Today marks "World Prematurity Day" in Pennsylvania, thanks to a resolution sponsored by state Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, which recently passed the state House of Representatives. "Premature births occur at least three weeks before a baby’s due date, and are the leading cause of newborn deaths," Donatucci said. "Prematurity can take quite emotional toll on expectant parents. It’s so important we make sure people know the dangers associated with premature births, and the steps women can take to try to prevent them." Donatucci’s H.R. 487 notes any woman can give birth prematurely, but the known lifestyle risk factors for preterm birth are a woman’s use of tobacco, alcohol and drugs, and inadequate preconception and prenatal care. In addition, women who have had a previous preterm birth, are pregnant with twins or higher order multiples, or have certain uterine or cervical abnormalities are at the greatest risk of going into labor prematurely. The measure also noted while the state’s preterm birth rate has improved in recent years, the United States still ranks 131st in the world in terms of its preterm birth rate, which is almost tied with Somalia, Thailand and Turkey. "Women in the United States receive some of the best medical care in the world, but the threat of dangerous premature births still looms large," Donatucci said. "Babies who are born early Read more


Donatucci honors medical assistants with House resolution

(Oct 19, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 19 – A resolution authored by state Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, names the week of October 19 through 23 “National Medical Assistants Recognition Week” in Pennsylvania. Donatucci’s H.R. 489 was recently unanimously adopted by the state House of Representatives. “These days, our medical assistants perform a wide variety of tasks, from answering phones and greeting patients, to taking medical histories and preparing patients for exams,” Donatucci said. “All the while, these professionals provide caring service to patients. Our physician’s offices, labs and other health care settings wouldn’t be able to function without them, so it’s important we recognize medical assistants for their hard work and dedication.” The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that nearly 25,000 Pennsylvanians work as medical assistants. Some medical assistants earn the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) credential offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) or the Registered Medical Assistant credential offered by American Medical Technologists. Those with CMA credentials have successfully completed an exam administered by the AAMA certifying board testing medical, administrative and clinical knowledge. In the commonwealth, the Pennsylvania Society of Medical Assistants, an affiliate of AAMA, helps provide medical assistants with education, certification and networking Read more


Donatucci measure marks 'National Mammography Day' today

(Oct 16, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 16 – Today is "National Mammography Day" in the commonwealth, thanks to a resolution put forward by state Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, that was recently adopted by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Donatucci’s H.R. 490 also recognizes October 2015 as "National Breast Cancer Awareness Month" in the state. "Breast cancer can be a devastating disease, but survival rates are improving with early detection and treatment," Donatucci said. "The goal of House Resolution 490 is to encourage people to talk with their doctors about their risk of the disease, and schedule their mammography appointments during this National Breast Cancer Awareness Month." Women age 40 and older are urged to undergo annual mammograms, while women between 50 and 74 are encouraged to have a mammogram every two years. Donatucci noted the American Cancer Society estimates that more than 231,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in American women this year, with more than 40,000 women dying of the disease. In addition, more than 2,300 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and more than 400 are expected to die from it in 2015. "For much too long, this disease was a ‘taboo’ subject, and wasn’t openly discussed," Donatucci said. "We’ve come a long way in raising awareness about the disease, but we still have a long way to go to make sure people understand how to Read more


Donatucci resolution honors ‘Day of the Girl’ in Pa.

(Oct 09, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 9 – State Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, today announced Sunday, Oct. 11 will mark “Day of the Girl” in Pennsylvania, thanks to a measure she authored. “The ‘Day of the Girl’ movement originated with a 2011 United Nations resolution declaring Oct. 11 of each year as the ‘International Day of the Girl Child,’” Donatucci said. “The goal of the campaign is to highlight the challenges facing girls around the world, including violence, gender stereotypes, lack of education, child labor, and economic inequality. We also want to promote female empowerment so that girls know their worth.” Donatucci said her H.R. 488 , which was recently adopted by the state House of Representatives, also focuses on the role education can play in helping girls realize their dreams. “We owe it to our girls to give them the best education we can, especially in Pennsylvania,” Donatucci said. “By exposing them to a variety of academic areas, including the male-dominated fields of science and technology, and encouraging them to pursue higher education, we can ensure our girls are strongly positioned to have a bright future ahead of themselves.” The resolution also honors the organizations involved in “Day of the Girl” activities in Pennsylvania, including Girls on the Run, the Girl Scouts, the Women’s and Girls’ Foundation, and the Girls Coalition of Read more


Donatucci supports education funding, property tax relief for seniors

(Oct 07, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 7 – State Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, released the following statement after supporting the commonsense tax increases included in Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget: “This budget isn’t just about getting through the next fiscal year; it’s about putting Pennsylvania on the right fiscal path now so that our children and grandchildren don’t have to clean up our mess later. “For years, the previous administration cut education and human service programs to the bone, while letting corporations off the hook. The results were just as you’d suspect: Pennsylvania now has the most inequitable schools in the nation, our state’s credit has been downgraded multiple times and our seniors are dealing with sky-high property tax rates. Something has to change. “Governor Wolf’s bold vision would restore education funding and include a $400 million increase for basic education. This means the Philadelphia City, Southeast Delco and William Penn school districts would be positioned to cut class sizes, offer advanced courses to prepare students for college and bring back teachers who were laid off due to budget cuts. “In addition, the plan would eliminate school property taxes for about 331,000 seniors and people with disabilities, and expand the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program to include another 569,000 households. It would also finally enact a reasonable severance tax on natural gas – just Read more


Pa. House passes Donatucci bill to protect privacy of 911 callers

(Oct 06, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 6 – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives today unanimously passed a bill authored by state Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, designed to protect people who call 911. Donatucci’s H.B. 1310 would prohibit the release of any identifying information related to a person calling a 911 center, including the person’s name, telephone number, address and location. “We want to protect the privacy of everyone who finds themselves in the unfortunate position of having to call 911,” Donatucci said. “Many times, victims or witnesses of crime or domestic violence may be hesitant to call 911 for fear of retribution. We want to make sure this doesn’t happen, and give Pennsylvanians peace of mind if they ever have to call 911 for help.” The legislation follows a 2011 Commonwealth Court ruling in the case of County of York v. Pennsylvania Open Records and Ted Czech. The court decided that the county had to release destination addresses or cross-street information with its 911 time response logs under Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law. “It’s important that we know how quickly our emergency service professionals are responding to calls, but we also need to maintain the privacy of those calling 911,” Donatucci said. “It’s a delicate balance, but we can manage it.” A similar measure unanimously passed the House last session. House Bill 1310 moves to the Senate for Read more