COVID-19 Resources and Information

(Mar 21, 2020)

** Below is a list of informational links for resources in and around Philadelphia related to COVID-19. This will be updated as more/new information becomes available ** The latest info on COVID-19 cases and other data statewide from the Pennsylvania Department of Health : https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx The latest information on COVID-19 cases and other data in Philadelphia from the City of Philadelphia Department of Public Health : https://www.phila.gov/services/mental-physical-health/environmental-health-hazards/covid-19/ The Philadelphia Department of Public Health has activated a Greater Philadelphia Coronavirus Helpline . It’s available 24/7. If you have questions about symptoms and risk factors, what to do if you think you may have been exposed, testing resources, or recommendations for social distancing, you can contact the helpline at 1-800-722-7112. More info: https://www.phila.gov/2020-03-14-greater-philadelphia-coronavirus-helpline-opened-by-health/?fbclid=IwAR2HZUc0yYdy66IMO4nrx8g4Z8vKMHE9qWUXmmLDe3OZFIjVhiwGDu0ZFIo List of essential Philadelphia services and how to access them: https://www.phila.gov/2020-03-18-essential-city-services-remain-open-here-is-how-to-access-them/?mc_cid=7f7be1d618&mc_eid=eda5e48c86 . Information about how SEPTA is operating: http://www.septa.org/service/rail/midday-schedule.html Information about how Amtrak is Read more

 

Philadelphia House leadership, legislators, call on Governor Tom Wolf to halt all Public Utility Commission utility disconnections in wake of the COVID-19 virus

(Mar 12, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, Mar. 12 – Members of Philadelphia leadership team in the state House were joined by fellow Philadelphia legislators in asking Gov. Tom Wolf to place a moratorium on the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission from further utility shutoffs for the foreseeable future for all Pennsylvanians in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Philadelphia members in leadership positions, including Reps. Jordan Harris, Democratic whip; Joanna McClinton, Democratic chairwoman; Rosita Youngblood, Democratic secretary; Jason Dawkins, Philadelphia Delegation chairman; Stephen Kinsey, Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus chairman; and Jim Roebuck, Education Committee chairman, were joined by Philadelphia Reps. Donna Bullock, Morgan Cephas, Joe Hohenstein, Malcolm Kenyatta, Brian Sims, Maria Donatucci, Danilo Burgos, Isabella Fitzgerald, Mike Driscoll, Mary Isaacson, Pam DeLissio, Chris Rabb, Elizabeth Fiedler, Jared Solomon and Kevin Boyle in issuing the following statement: “The COVID-19 virus situation is literally evolving by the hour in Pennsylvania as we continue in what’s a situation many Pennsylvanians have never experienced. Many of our neediest residents have life-saving medical equipment that they use in their home, and it’s of the utmost importance that they have consistent access to that equipment through their electric utility. Our emergency rooms and first responders can’t be asked to spend finite resources on Read more

 

Driscoll announces $30K in grants from PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency awarded to two nonprofit organizations

(Mar 12, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, March 12 – State Rep. Michael Driscoll announced today that the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency has awarded grants to two nonprofit organizations in his district to fund safety and security measures. “The safety of all people in my district is a top priority,” Driscoll said. “People should be safe where they worship and gather for fellowship. These grant awards will help in that effort.” Philadelphia True Vine Church Community of the Christian and Missionary Alliance was awarded a $7,500 grant and The Muslim Society of Delaware Valley was awarded a $23,000 grant. The grants were awarded by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency during its first round of grant awards in a new program, the Nonprofit Security Grant Fund Program, which was created after legislation establishing the fund was signed into law last year. Grants awarded from the program are to be used by nonprofit organizations that serve people or groups often targeted by hate crimes because of race, religion, sexual orientation, disability and gender. The awards can be used for any safety or security improvement the nonprofit organization wants to put in place, including training and planning, the purchase of technology or equipment, or the improvement of the nonprofit’s facilities. The commission received more than 800 applications for grant funding and approved 113 of those Read more

 

Driscoll announces $4K state grant for Glen Foerd Conservation Corp.

(Mar 05, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, March 5 – State Rep. Michael Driscoll announced today that Glen Foerd Conservation Corp. has been awarded a $4,600 grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. “Glen Foerd Conservation Corporation provides a beautiful place for the public to recreate and learn about art and conservation,” Driscoll said. “Funding that helps places like Glen Foerd, which aim to serve the public, preserve history and support the arts and conservation, is invaluable.” The grant awarded to Glen Foerd Conservation Corp. was one of 153 grants totaling $2 million approved Wednesday for eligible museums and official county historical societies from 58 Pennsylvania counties. The grant awards provide general operating support. To be considered for a grant award, an eligible museum must have had an annual operating budget exceeding $100,000, excluding capital and in-kind services, and at least one full-time professional staff person. Learn more about the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission by visiting its website, https://www.phmc.pa.gov/Pages/default.aspx . ### Read more

 

Driscoll introduces legislation to protect volunteer park organizations from liability for volunteer public services, projects

(Feb 14, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 14 – Rep. Michael Driscoll today announced legislation that would prevent a volunteer park organization from generally being held liable for volunteer public services, programs and projects. “Our volunteer park organizations that so often organize the advocacy, care and enhancement of our community and public parks give back to the communities they serve in countless ways,” Driscoll said. “It is only right that these volunteer organizations are not open to liability for the volunteer public services and activities they provide, but there’s currently no law that protects them. That’s why I’ve introduced House Bill 2310, to ensure that our volunteer organizations are protected from liability that should never be placed on their shoulders to begin with. “Volunteers should be rewarded not punished by lawsuits,” Driscoll said. Driscoll said the volunteer park organizations are often doing invaluable work that falls under the authority of local municipal or county governments, and that no matter how well organized an organization or effort is, there are always risks for accidents. His intention is to protect the volunteer park organizations that help their communities by eliminating the risk of liability to them. Learn more about this proposed legislation and others online here: Read more

 

1/17/20 – Pre-K Reimbursements Rates & Early Education – Philadelphia

(Jan 17, 2020)

Materials from a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing hosted by State Rep. Mike Driscoll. Read more

 

Driscoll, Policy Committee discuss Pre-K reimbursement rates and early childhood education at Policy roundtable

(Jan 17, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 17 – State Rep. Michael J. Driscoll, D-Phila., hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee public roundtable today to discuss Pre-K reimbursement rates and early education. “Pre-K and early learning are vital to our children and to the world in which they will need to function as they grow into young adults and finally adults who will compose our work force,” Driscoll said. “It is imperative that we find solutions to properly fund Pre-K and early childhood educational opportunities for all children across Pennsylvania so that the burden of footing the bill doesn’t fall solely to providers.” Driscoll requested the roundtable to explore how state funding gaps impact early childhood education programs. He was joined by fellow state legislators, including HDPC Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. “Today’s discussion shows there are many opportunities for us to consider as we continue to make investing in early childhood education a priority,” Sturla said. “With gaps as high as 30% between current funding provided by the state and the operational costs of these programs, early childhood education programs at SPIN and across the state are seriously underfunded, resulting in underpaid teachers, programs that operate in deficit, and potential for program closures.” Panelists of the roundtable included Tracey Campanini , deputy secretary of the PA Office of Read more

 

Driscoll to host Policy roundtable to discuss Pre-K reimbursement rates and early education Friday in Philadelphia

(Jan 14, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 14 – State Rep. Michael J. Driscoll, D-Phila., will host a House Democratic Policy Committee public roundtable discussion on Pre-K reimbursement rates and early education. The discussion will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 17, at SPIN, 10980 Norcom Road, Philadelphia, Pa. 19154. Members of the public and media are invited to attend. Driscoll requested this roundtable to explore how state funding gaps impact early childhood education programs. He will be joined by fellow state legislators, including HDPC Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. Panelists include: Tracey Campanini, deputy secretary, Pa. Office of Child Development and Early Learning Kathy McHale, president & CEO, SPIN Fred Wright, president, AFSCME Local 1739 Ann O’Brien, CEO, Wonderspring Maddy Malis, president & CEO, Federation Early Learning Services Donna Cooper, executive director, Public Citizens for Children and Youth Tyrone Scott, director of government and external affairs, First Up This roundtable is among a series being held across the state on House Democrats’ Plan4PA, focused on putting people first by growing good jobs, providing health care access, creating quality schools and providing training for jobs in a fair economy. More information about the plan is available at www.plan4pa.com and hearing materials are at www.pahouse.com/policycommittee . ### Read more

 

New Pa. bill aims to hold contractors accountable for properties they damage in construction accidents

(Dec 20, 2019)

On Monday, State Rep. Michael J. Driscoll (D., Phila.) introduced a bill designed to protect property owners whose homes are damaged by construction next door. The legislation provides homeowners an avenue to collect money if contractors are responsible for the damage. Read more

 

Driscoll introduces legislation to hold contractors on building projects accountable for damage to adjoining property

(Dec 17, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 16 – State Rep. Michael J. Driscoll on Monday introduced legislation to protect property owners from damages caused by construction performed on an adjoining property and allow them an avenue to collect money for damages to their property. “Innocent bystanders have been on the hook for the cost of damages to their property caused by contractors doing work on adjoining property, and it’s not right,” Driscoll said. “I’m introducing commonsense legislation to put an end to property owners finding themselves with bills for damage caused to their home through no fault of their own. This legislation will also help contractors who might otherwise find themselves in the middle of a dispute.” Driscoll’s legislation, H.B. 2140, would require contractors to obtain a $500,000 surety bond for each property adjoining to the one where they’re performing work, ensuring the owners of the adjoining properties aren’t liable in the event the contractor causes damage to their property. It would require that the bond be available only to cover the cost of damages caused by the property to the adjoining property, and a contractor would have to provide proof of bonding to the municipality where the work will be performed. The bill would allow for a civil penalty of $10,000 to for a first offense and $20,000 for each subsequent offense for any contractor who doesn’t Read more

 

Driscoll co-introduces bipartisan auto-IRA program bill

(Nov 22, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 22 – State Reps. Michael Driscoll, D-Phila., and Michael Peifer, R-Pike/Wayne, introduced bipartisan legislation that would make Pennsylvania the latest state to enact an auto-IRA program. The legislation would establish the Keystone Saves Program, a voluntary program that aims to expand access to private retirement savings plans to more than 2 million Pennsylvanians who currently do not have a workplace retirement plan. “We must do more to ensure retiring Pennsylvanians aren’t plagued with financial burdens as a result of rising costs and unforeseen expenses during what is supposed to be their golden years,” Driscoll said. “I am proud that this legislation transcends partisanship and allows lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to focus our attention on doing what’s right for residents of the commonwealth.” Driscoll said the program would allow enrolled employees to have a portion of their income automatically deposited into an account overseen by the state Treasury. There, the state treasurer will manage the accounts like the previously enacted 529 College and Career Savings Act, while also consulting with private financial planners to ensure the maximum return and minimal risk for enrollees. Additionally, Driscoll added, employees will be the sole proprietor of all funds they deposit into these accounts, meaning the money cannot be used or become property of the state. As it stands, economic Read more

 

Driscoll introduces legislation to help protect Pa. workers, businesses

(Oct 31, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 31 – State Rep. Mike Driscoll, D-Phila., today announced he has introduced legislation that would help protect Pennsylvania employers and their workers from payroll processing fraud. House Bill 1976 would require a payroll processing company operating in the commonwealth to be fiscally bonded to cover any financial mistakes or fraudulent activity. The businesses served by the payroll processor would be protected in the event of errors or criminal activity. “Pennsylvanians work hard, and they should not have to worry whether the proper taxes are being taken out of their paychecks. Yet, there are some payroll processors that could create errors, resulting in both workers and employers paying in the end,” Driscoll said. “My legislation is designed to help avoid such issues and make the processors be responsible for their financial mistakes.” Under the legislation, the processing company would have to report annually to the Department of Revenue to ensure proper bond coverage is maintained. If found to not have proper coverage, a payroll processor would be fined $1,000 for the first offense and $5,000 for each subsequent offense. Read more

 

Driscoll bill to assist families of fallen first responders passes House

(Oct 21, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 21 – State Rep. Mike Driscoll, D-Phila., applauded today’s House passage of his realty transfer tax legislation that would assist the family members of police, fire and other first responders who've died in the line of duty. "Thankfully, the number of families who lose a loved one as a first responder and therefore are eligible for the Emergency and Law Enforcement Personnel Death Act benefits is relatively low," Driscoll said. "But relief from this tax burden for their beneficiaries will continue to show our appreciation for the dedication and sacrifice of Pennsylvania's first responders and their families." House Bill 269 would exclude a surviving spouse or minor children of a first responder who receive benefits under the Emergency and Law Enforcement Personnel Death Benefit Act from paying the realty transfer tax, if their family home is sold within five years of the first responder's death. "First responders have made a tremendous commitment to our communities and are ready and willing to put their lives on the line every day," Driscoll said. "Offering their family this bit of relief is the least we can do to help repay that sacrifice." Driscoll’s legislation now awaits consideration in the Senate. Read more

 

Driscoll Helping Pennsylvanians Save For Retirement

(Oct 16, 2019)

Pa. state Rep. Mike Driscoll met with stakeholders to discuss the new bipartisan Keystone Saves proposal that would enact a state-facilitated, privately-administered auto-IRA program. A program Driscoll says would financially prepare more Pennsylvanians for retirement. Read more

 

Driscoll introduces legislation to outlaw untraceable firearms, require homemade/DIY firearms have identifiable mark from licensed dealer

(Aug 06, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 6 – State Rep. Mike Driscoll, D-Phila., has introduced legislation that would outlaw untraceable firearms and require firearms that are homemade or assembled from parts to have a serial number or other identifiable mark from a licensed dealer affixed to them. “Right now, teenagers and people prohibited from purchasing firearms can legally buy gun parts that they can assemble into a firearm, allowing them a workaround to get firearms they would otherwise be unable to lawfully obtain,” Driscoll said. “The legislation I’ve introduced would make these untraceable firearms traceable and, in turn, stop the flow of these deadly guns in our communities.” House Bill 1748 would also prohibit the possession, sale, delivery, transfer, manufacture, or advertising of DIY semiautomatic weapons, including the components of such firearms. Among other things, the legislation would update Pennsylvania law to require that all firearms, prior to being manufactured or assembled, have a unique serial number or other identifying mark assigned and affixed to them by a licensed dealer, beginning July 1, 2020. Additionally, by Jan. 1, 2021, any person who as of July 1, 2020, owns a firearm that doesn’t have a serial number assigned to it must apply to a licensed dealer for a serial number or other identification mark and then engrave or affix that number or mark to the firearm. “This legislation is a critical step toward keeping Read more

 

Driscoll to host National Night Out event Aug. 6

(Aug 05, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 5 – State Rep. Michael Driscoll, D-Phila., announced that The Tacony Holmesburg Town Watch will host this year’s National Night Out event for residents of the 202 nd Legislative District. The event will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6 at Russo Park Playground, 7301 Torresdale Ave. “National Night Out is a family-friendly event that is a great way to foster a solid rapport between the community, our local town watch and the police by raising awareness of crime and drug prevention through fun, interactive activities,” Driscoll said. “I look forward to helping our community come together and to make this event as successful as in previous years.” Driscoll said there will be free door prizes, more than 100 vendors, information about state and city resources, and chances to meet with local police and emergency personnel. He and his staff will also be available to help constituents with any state government concerns or issues. National Night Out is an annual event designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; generate support for, and participation in, local anti-crime programs; strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and send a message to criminals that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back. Read more

 

Driscoll co-sponsors unprecedented legislation for anti-indemnity statute in construction contracts

(Jul 23, 2019)

HARRISBURG, July 23 – State Reps. Michael Driscoll, D-Phila., and Todd Stephens, R-Montgomery, today introduced unprecedented, bi-partisan legislation ( H.B. 1737 ) that would establish an anti-indemnity statute regarding construction contracts. Indemnity clauses transfer the responsibility to pay damages, including attorney and court fees, from one party to another party, usually without regard to who caused the loss. “Due to the lack of any anti-indemnity statutes in Pennsylvania, construction contractors, particularly subcontractors, are faced with the unfair practice of having to accept liability for another party’s negligence when entering into construction contracts,” Driscoll said. “This legislation would bar any claim for indemnification for losses caused by the negligence of an owner or a general contractor.” “This is a about fairness,” Stephens said. “Without this legislation, many Pennsylvania construction contractors must accept liability for another party’s negligence. That can unfairly and unnecessarily add to the cost of a construction project.” In construction law, there are three forms of indemnity agreements: limited, intermediate and broad. Of these three forms of indemnity, H.B.1737 draws from limited indemnity, in which a subcontractor, if it is solely at fault, assumes responsibility for its own negligence. “This legislation would mandate a limited form of Read more

 

Deadline extended for Pa. Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program

(Jun 10, 2019)

I'm happy to announce that the deadline for the 2018 Pennsylvania Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program has been extended to Dec. 31, 2019. 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. You can get your application at www.revenue.pa.gov or by calling 1-888-222-9190. My office also can help you, so don’t hesitate to contact me. Read more

 

Driscoll introduces Irish-American Heritage Month resolution

(Mar 12, 2019)

HARRISBURG, March 12 – State Rep. Michael Driscoll, D-Phila., announced he has introduced H.R. 120 , designating March 2019 as “Irish-American Heritage Month” in Pennsylvania. “Since this nation’s founding, American citizens of Irish descent have made many significant contributions both within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the United States. Today, they continue to thrive and excel in many spheres of human endeavor, from academia to business and beyond,” Driscoll said. The celebration of Irish heritage is a long-standing tradition in the commonwealth, which hosts among the largest and oldest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the country each year. Irish heritage will be celebrated from Philadelphia, where the city's parade first took place in 1771, to Scranton, which hosts the second-largest St. Patrick’s parade in the country. “As a proud Irish-American myself, it is always an honor to sponsor a resolution recognizing the impact Irish-Americans have been making since before our country’s founding. Thank you to my co-sponsors for their show of support and for extending their best wishes to the Irish community with House Resolution 120,” Driscoll said. The resolution’s co-sponsors include Reps. Marty Flynn, D-Lackawanna, Kevin Boyle, D-Phila./Montgomery, and Tim Hennessey, R-Chester/Montgomery. ### Read more

 

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

 

COVID-19 Resources and Information
Mar 21, 2020

Philadelphia House leadership, legislators, call on Governor Tom Wolf to halt all Public Utility Commission utility disconnections in wake of the COVID-19 virus
Mar 12, 2020

Driscoll announces $30K in grants from PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency awarded to two nonprofit organizations
Mar 12, 2020

Driscoll announces $4K state grant for Glen Foerd Conservation Corp.
Mar 05, 2020

Driscoll introduces legislation to protect volunteer park organizations from liability for volunteer public services, projects
Feb 14, 2020

1/17/20 – Pre-K Reimbursements Rates & Early Education – Philadelphia
Jan 17, 2020

Driscoll, Policy Committee discuss Pre-K reimbursement rates and early childhood education at Policy roundtable
Jan 17, 2020

Driscoll to host Policy roundtable to discuss Pre-K reimbursement rates and early education Friday in Philadelphia
Jan 14, 2020

New Pa. bill aims to hold contractors accountable for properties they damage in construction accidents
Dec 20, 2019

Driscoll introduces legislation to hold contractors on building projects accountable for damage to adjoining property
Dec 17, 2019

Driscoll co-introduces bipartisan auto-IRA program bill
Nov 22, 2019

Driscoll introduces legislation to help protect Pa. workers, businesses
Oct 31, 2019

Driscoll bill to assist families of fallen first responders passes House
Oct 21, 2019

Driscoll Helping Pennsylvanians Save For Retirement
Oct 16, 2019

Driscoll introduces legislation to outlaw untraceable firearms, require homemade/DIY firearms have identifiable mark from licensed dealer
Aug 06, 2019

Driscoll to host National Night Out event Aug. 6
Aug 05, 2019

Driscoll co-sponsors unprecedented legislation for anti-indemnity statute in construction contracts
Jul 23, 2019

Deadline extended for Pa. Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program
Jun 10, 2019

Driscoll introduces Irish-American Heritage Month resolution
Mar 12, 2019

Get free assistance with your Property Tax/Rent Rebate
Jan 24, 2019