Hanna-Driscoll plan would offer Pennsylvanians a way to save for a more secure retirement

(Jan 26, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 26 – State Rep. Mike Driscoll, D-Phila., and Rep. Mike Hanna, D-Clinton/Centre, are preparing to reintroduce legislation that would establish the Keystone Retirement Security Program.The legislation, which will be similar to last session’s H.B. 2396, would provide private sector employees without access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan the opportunity to save for retirement through automatic payroll deduction. Each participant in the program would have the opportunity to set the amount deducted from each paycheck, up until a certain percentage. “Retirement security is a serious issue for the state, especially as a large number of residents begin to retire without the savings needed to meet their expenses,” Driscoll said. “Ignoring this ‘Silver Tsunami’ would have devastating effects on both future retirees and the financial well-being of the state as a whole. Currently, there are over 2 million workers in the state without access to this type of retirement savings account, which is simply unacceptable.” Read more


Driscoll begins second term representing 173rd District

(Jan 03, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 3 – During a ceremony at the state Capitol today opening the 2017-18 legislative session, state Rep. Mike Driscoll, D-Phila., took the oath of office to begin his second term in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Driscoll said his legislative priorities for the new term include addressing retirement security, expanding the local job base and advocating for law enforcement officers and first responders. Read more


Keystone Retirement Security Program would offer employees without pensions an easy way to save for the future

(Oct 21, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 21 – State Rep. Mike Driscoll, D-Phila., has introduced legislation with Rep. Mike Hanna, D-Centre/Clinton, that would offer Pennsylvanians without pensions a convenient process to ensure a more secure retirement. House Bill 2396 would provide a simple and convenient way for Pennsylvanians who do not have access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan to save money through automatic payroll deduction for their retirement. "As a large number of residents begin to retire without the savings needed to meet their expenses, Pennsylvania is facing what some are calling the ‘Silver Tsunami.’ Ignoring this issue is simply not an option for our state anymore," Driscoll said. "Failing to address this problem would have devastating effects for future retirees and the financial well-being of the state as a whole." Under the Hanna-Driscoll plan, employers with five or more employees that don't already offer a retirement plan would be required to offer their employees enrollment in the Keystone Retirement Security Program. Workers could decline if they choose; otherwise, a small portion of their pay would be automatically deducted and deposited into an account with the state Treasurer's Office. Treasury would manage the accounts similar to the way it manages the TAP 529 accounts. Driscoll has sought a legislative study on the concept since early 2015. "There’s no longer a need to study this," Driscoll said. "We know that it works well because a growing number of s Read more


Driscoll bill to assist families of fallen first responders passes the House

(Oct 18, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 18 – 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 932 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: House-passed budget is a step in the right direction

(Jun 28, 2016)

HARRISBURG, June 28 – State Rep. Mike Driscoll, D-Phila., today supported the passage of a state budget that would increase education funding and expand efforts to fight the commonwealth’s growing opioid addiction crisis. “This spending plan is far from perfect, but it is a step in the right direction to ensuring our schools have the funding they need to properly prepare our next generation,” Driscoll said. “While I am not happy with everything in this plan, I am glad we were able to find new funds for education without any broad-based tax increases and without a protracted impasse.” Senate Bill 1073 includes a $250 million increase for pre-K through 12 education funding, including $200 million for K-12, $30 million for pre-K and Head Start, and a $20 million increase for special education. The bill also would provide a $452 million increase for the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services and dedicate $15 million to combat heroin and opioid addiction, including funds for emergency addiction treatment and behavioral health services. “The new funds dedicated to combating the heroin and opioid epidemic facing our communities is crucial for so many families. I am glad the House was able to come together in a bipartisan fashion to support a critical resource needed by so many families throughout the state,” Driscoll said. “I urge my colleagues in the Senate to act quickly so that we can send the budget to the governor and give Pennsylvania the on-time budget it deserves.” Read more


Driscoll hosting free shredding event May 14

(May 06, 2016)

PHILADELPHIA, May 6 – State Rep. Mike Driscoll, D-Phila., will sponsor a free shredding event for residents of Northeast Philadelphia from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, May 14, at the Linden Avenue Boat Launch, located at Linden Avenue and the river. "Shredding is a great way to get rid of sensitive documents in an environmentally friendly way and also protect your identity from fraud," Driscoll said. "This is a great opportunity to dispose of sensitive papers following the tax season." Residents are encouraged to bring any unneeded documents that contain personal information, such as Social Security numbers, credit card statements and applications, medical records, banking statements, canceled checks, income tax information, insurance records and retirement or pension fund information. To ensure all attendees have the opportunity to shred their documents, attendees are asked to limit what they bring to three boxes per person. "The event is free for district residents, and documents will be shredded on site for recycling," Driscoll said. "We are requesting personal documents only – no businesses, please." More information is available by calling Driscoll’s office at (215) 281-3414. Read more


Driscoll honors fallen firefighters and their survivors

(May 03, 2016)

HARRISBURG, May 3 – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives today unanimously adopted a resolution authored by state Rep. Mike Driscoll, D-Phila., that commemorates firefighters who have sacrificed their lives in the line of duty and their survivors. House Resolution 841 designates the week of May 9-15 as Fallen Firefighters Survivors’ Week and May 13 as Fallen Firefighters Survivors’ Day in Pennsylvania. "Firefighters and their loved ones know that they are risking life and limb each time they answer the call of duty. To those who did not make it home, there remains a terrible void in the lives of all their friends, family and fellow firefighters," Driscoll said. "This resolution is offered in some small way to recognize these men and women and their survivors as true heroes." Read more


Area ambulance companies receive nearly $29,000 in state grants

(Apr 21, 2016)

PHILADELPHIA, April 21 -- State Reps. Mike Driscoll, Ed Neilson, Jason Dawkins and Kevin Boyle announced today that four ambulance companies in Northeast Philadelphia are sharing nearly $29,000 in state grants. "First responders are essential to public safety, and these grants provide them with resources so they can remain more focused on saving lives than on raising funds," Driscoll said. "These men and women make a tremendous sacrifice, and I applaud their service to our communities." The grants are from Pennsylvania's Fire Company and Volunteer Ambulance Service Grant Program and were awarded in February. In all, 2,538 grants were awarded statewide. The grants are partly funded from gaming revenue. "Northeast Philadelphia relies on these ambulance companies and their volunteers to be there for us when every second counts," Neilson said. "These grants will help them continue to provide this invaluable services to our community." Grant recipients and amounts awarded in Northeast Philadelphia are as follows: • Northeast First Aid Corps – $7,202 • Burholme First Aid Corps Inc. – $7,202 • Rhawnhurst Bustleton Ambulance Association Inc. – $7,202 • Wissinoming Volunteer First Aid Corps – $7,202 "Serving on the front lines whenever there is a fire, accident or other calamity, these essential service providers are among the most worthy recipients of state aid," Dawkins said. "These funds will allow them to continue their mission of providing life-saving services for our Read more


Driscoll: Historic vote to legalize Medical Marijuana

(Apr 13, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Michael Driscoll says today’s historic House vote brings Pennsylvania into line with 23 other states that already treat Medical Marijuana as medicine, and sets up standards for how the medicine will be distributed in the state. Read more


Driscoll views Penn's original charter

(Mar 22, 2016)

State Rep. Mike Driscoll visits the Pennsylvania State Museum to view William Penn’s original Charter, which was signed by King Charles II of England and granted Penn a tract of land that would eventually become known as Pennsylvania. 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


Driscoll: Put People Before Politics

(Feb 10, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Michael Driscoll 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


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


The Driscoll Dispatch -- Winter 2016

(Feb 04, 2016)

Last January, I was sworn in to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to represent the people of Northeast Philadelphia. My family and friends were present for this special day and stood witness as I took the oath of office. Since then, I have been focused on advocating for the people of the 173rd Legislative District, both in Harrisburg and at home in our district. 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


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


Neilson, Driscoll blast canceled session during budget impasse

(Dec 23, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 23 – State Reps. Ed Neilson and Mike Driscoll, both D-Phila., questioned today’s move by Republican House leaders to adjourn without taking up a bill that would end the nearly six-month state budget impasse. “I don’t understand why we aren’t in session right now voting on a budget compromise that has been largely agreed to by all parties involved,” Neilson said. “We were supposed to be in session on Sunday, but Republican leaders canceled it. We were supposed to be in session on Monday, but Republican leaders canceled it. Now, I have to return to Northeast Philadelphia and tell my neighbors that, because of the unwillingness of a few, the state will continue to be unable to fund counties, human service providers and nonprofits. The Philadelphia School District is just weeks away from being unable to open their doors and they try to pull this. It’s nothing but nonsense.” Senate Bill 1073, a General Appropriations bill that reflects the spending framework agreed to by Gov. Tom Wolf, House Democrats, Senate Democrats and Senate Republicans, passed the House yesterday on second consideration and was scheduled to receive its third and final consideration today, but the chamber’s GOP speaker abruptly canceled session. “This move to adjourn pulled by House Republican leaders is an unconscionable decision, especially as many individuals across this commonwealth are suffering because of this extended budget impasse,” Driscoll said. “Now, House Republicans are on Read more


Start Saving for College NOW with PA 529

(Dec 02, 2015)

If a college education is in your child’s future – even if that child is still in diapers – you may want to check out the two PA 529 College Savings Program options. To find out more or to enroll just visit www.pa529.com or call 1-800-440-4000. The Pennsylvania Treasurer's Office started this plan to help parents pay for future college costs by letting account owners save for tomorrow’s college expenses at today’s plan rates. Read more


Driscoll invites constituents to grand opening of Torresdale office

(Sep 02, 2015)

PHIILADELPHIA, Sept. 2 – State Rep. Mike Driscoll, D-Phila., is inviting area residents to attend the grand opening of his new constituent service office. The grand opening ceremony will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 12 and officially launch Driscoll’s new office located at 7104 Torresdale Ave. “It’s my goal to ensure that my staff and I are effectively serving all constituents no matter where they live in the district,” Driscoll said. “I am hopeful that this new convenient location will make it even easier for residents from all over the district to connect to the state-related services they need.” Driscoll said light refreshments will be available at the grand opening. In addition, Driscoll’s staff will be on hand to assist constituents with any questions they might have about state resources and programs. Beginning Sept. 14, the Torresdale office will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be reached at (215) 333-9760. Driscoll said in the meantime, if constituents have any questions, they should contact his main constituent service office, located at 3294 Red Lion Road. The phone number is (215) 281-3414. Read more