Policy Committee listens to concerns for people with intellectual disabilities

(Apr 11, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, April 11 – State Reps. Stephen Kinsey and Isabella Fitzgerald, both D-Phila., hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing today at SpArc Philadelphia to discuss concerns for people with intellectual disabilities. "This hearing is an opportunity to hear from those on the front lines,” said Kinsey, a longtime advocate for individuals living with disabilities. “At the end of the day, it is incumbent upon us as a lawmaking body to help the thousands of disabled Pennsylvanians who are disadvantaged get the support and services they need and deserve. I look forward to continuing this conversation by working with my colleagues and finding ways to ensure that we are providing the necessary means to support the needs of our most vulnerable citizens here in the commonwealth." “It’s our responsibility to help each individual, regardless of disability, to reach their maximum level of achievement and independence, given their specific circumstances,” Fitzgerald, cohost of today’s hearing, said. “We’re here to empower people with disabilities and provide them equal access to opportunities. They need to be treated fairly because they certainly have a lot to teach us and a lot to offer to society.” “As policy makers, we need to work together with all stakeholders to pinpoint where the greatest needs lie. From there, we can establish ways to ensure those in need receive the care and support Read more

 

Kinsey, Fitzgerald, Rabb to host Policy Committee hearing on concerns for people with intellectual disabilities Tuesday in Philadelphia

(Apr 06, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, April 6 – State Reps. Stephen Kinsey, Isabella Fitzgerald, and Chris Rabb, all D-Phila., will host a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing on concerns for people with intellectual disabilities. The public hearing will be held 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 11 at SpArc Philadelphia, 2350 W. Westmoreland St., Philadelphia. Kinsey, Fitzgerald, and Rabb requested the hearing to collect input from local groups about how state government can better address concerns of the intellectual disabilities community. The current agenda is: 10:00 a.m. Welcome and opening remarks 10:10 a.m. Panel from Philadelphia Intellectual disAbility Services Larry Pace , director of operations Liat Richardson Owens , program manager 10:30 a.m. Panel Two: Kathy Brown-McHale , CEO, Special People In Northeast, Inc. Marsha Drenth , program director, Deaf-Blind Living Well Services Marian Baldini , president and CEO, KenCrest Services 11:10 a.m. Panel Three: Audrey Coccia , co-executive director, Vision for Equality Ed McNicholas , advocacy manager, Vision for Equality Marian Baldini , consumer and family satisfaction team manager, Vision for Equality Boyd Carroll , resident, Inglis House 11:50 a.m. Closing Remarks Read more

 

Fitzgerald/Kinsey host public meeting on 'Stop-and-Go' issues

(Mar 23, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, March 23 – Philadelphia state Reps. Isabella Fitzgerald and Stephen Kinsey today hosted a public meeting on the issues relating to stop-and-go establishments that sell alcohol and how they impact surrounding communities. "This is an opportunity to address this issue head on. Bringing everyone together under one roof allows concerns to be addressed and provides an avenue for all of us to be part of the solution," Fitzgerald said. "I remain committed to working with local and state agencies and organizations to reverse the negative trend of consequences associated with the nuisance establishments that are taking advantage of the state's liquor laws." In addition to discussing the effect of these stop-and-go establishments on a state level, the public meeting also addressed how these stores may disrupt local communities. "Overwhelmingly, this boils down to a public safety issue. The residents of northwest Philadelphia, south Philadelphia, northeast Philadelphia and the entire city deserve to live their lives without the problems caused by stop-and-go issues," Kinsey said. "I am encouraged by the actions taken today to ensure that we continue the conversation on how we can answer the public's call to provide them with the best quality of life as possible." Among the testifiers were Inspector Anthony L. Washington, Northwest Police Division commanding officer and personnel from Pennsylvania State Police Read more

 

Fitzgerald to host town hall meeting

(Mar 15, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, March 15 – State Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald, D-Phila., announced she will host a town hall meeting to discuss quality-of-life issues impacting residents in the 203rd Legislative District. The meeting will take place 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 23 at Simons Recreation Center, 7200 Woolston Ave., Philadelphia, 19138. Fitzgerald said government officials and community organizations that provide quality-of-life services in area neighborhoods will be on hand, including law enforcement and public safety, neighborhood beautification, public health, youth advocacy and senior services. “The purpose of this event is to provide a platform for our residents to learn about the services available to them in our community,” Fitzgerald said. “I encourage everyone to come out and become engaged in this informative event.” For more information, constituents can call Fitzgerald’s district office at (215)-549-0220. Read more

 

Fitzgerald/Kinsey to host public meeting on 'Stop-and-Go' issues

(Mar 15, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, March 15 – Philadelphia state Reps. Isabella Fitzgerald and Stephen Kinsey will host a public meeting on the issues relating to stop-and-go convenience stores that sell alcohol and how they impact surrounding communities. It will take place at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 23 at the Oak Lane Library, 6614 N. 12 th St., 19126. Along with the representatives, personnel from the Liquor Control Board and Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement will be on hand to address concerns and discuss potential solutions. For more information, constituents can call Fitzgerald’s district office at (215) 549-0220 or Kinsey's district office at (215) 849-6592. Read more

 

Avoid having your utilities shut off, apply for LIHEAP today!

(Feb 28, 2017)

If you or someone you know received notice that you are delinquent on your PECO account, you may be eligible for assistance with grants from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). LIHEAP offers one-time cash grants of $200 to $1,000 that are sent directly to your utility company, and crisis benefits of $25 to $500 for households in immediate danger of losing heat. Income guidelines do apply . As one example, if you’re living in a household of four people with total income less than $36,450, you qualify for LIHEAP. You can apply now online using Pennsylvania’s COMPASS website. Read more

 

Fitzgerald hosting office open house Feb. 25 (with video)

(Feb 21, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 21 – State Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald, D-Phila., announced she will host an open house at her district office for constituents of the 203rd Legislative District. The free event will take place 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25 at 7178 Ogontz Ave., Philadelphia, 19138. “I’m thrilled to take this opportunity to have my constituents stop by the office, meet me and my staff and learn how we can assist them with any state-related program and service,” Fitzgerald said. Refreshments will be served. Fitzgerald added people can visit her website – www.pahouse.com/Fitzgerald – which has links to information on state services and includes a form that enables constituents to email her. Fitzgerald also maintains a legislative Facebook page at www.facebook.com/RepIzzy and Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/RepIzzy . Read more

 

Fitzgerald Office Ready to Serve

(Feb 08, 2017)

Pa. state Rep. Izzy Fitzgerald has a constituent service office now open and ready to serve the people of West Oak Lane, Olney and Lawncrest in North Philadelphia. Fitzgerald's office at 7178 Ogontz Ave. can help with a variety of issues related to state government. Read more

 

Save the date for the Family Health Fair and Fun Day -- Feb. 18

(Feb 01, 2017)

State Rep. Izzy Fitzgerald would like to invite you to her Family Health Fair and Fun Day on Saturday, Feb. 18. Read more

 

Fitzgerald to introduce legislation to insure breast density screenings

(Jan 26, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 26 – State Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald, D-Phila., announced she is currently seeking co-sponsors for her first piece of legislation as state representative. The legislation would extend mandated insurance coverage for ultrasound screening and an MRI if a mammogram indicates dense breast tissue or if a woman is believed to be at increased risk of breast cancer due to family history, or because of her prior personal history of breast cancer, positive genetic testing or other factors as deemed necessary by a physician. “Whether it’s a mother, sister, daughter, wife or a friend, everyone in Pennsylvania has known someone or has been impacted by someone who has battled breast cancer,” Fitzgerald said. “My legislation would allow women to easily get these life-saving screenings to prevent this deadly disease.” Fitzgerald said if her legislation became law, Pennsylvania would be among the first states in the nation to require full insurance without co-pays for all breast screenings and supplemental imaging, including MRI and breast ultrasound, for women with dense breast issue. Read more

 

Fitzgerald receives 2017-18 committee assignments

(Jan 24, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 24 – State Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald, D-Phila., announced that she has been appointed to serve on several key House standing committees for the 2017-2018 legislative session. The freshman legislator said she was selected to serve on the Aging and Older Adult Services, Children and Youth, Local Government; State Government; and Urban Affairs committees along with the Committee on Committees. “I am pleased to have been appointed to these important committees and I am eager to get to work with my colleagues on issues that impact my constituents and all Pennsylvanians,” Fitzgerald said. Fitzgerald said while all these committees are crucial in dealing with matters concerning the commonwealth, the Children and Youth and Urban Affairs committees are two that coincide with her community involvement and her neighborhood. “As a member of an organization that is working to effectively and positively impact the lives of our youth, I am committed to actively engaging in dialogue to keep children first in Pennsylvania,” Fitzgerald said. “While children and their well-being is one of my main priorities, I will also work to keep public safety top of mind.” Fitzgerald added residents can stay up-to-date with her work on her committees by signing up for her periodic e-mail updates through her website, http://www.pahouse.com/Fitzgerald . Fitzgerald represents the 203rd Legislative District , which consists of a portion of Read more

 

Fitzgerald sworn in for first term at state Capitol

(Jan 03, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 3 – During a ceremony at the state Capitol that opened the 2017-18 legislative session, Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald took the oath of office to represent northwest Philadelphia in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. “I am honored to have the opportunity to represent the residents of the 203rd Legislative District,” said Fitzgerald, who takes office after serving as legislative assistant for former state Rep. Dwight Evans, who now represents the area in Congress. “I’m excited to start working on the issues and problems confronting the constituents in my district and the people of Philadelphia.” Fitzgerald’s legislative interests include youth and public safety; pre-k, basic and higher education; and economic development. “In addition to making these issues a priority in Harrisburg, I am working on legislation that would financially assist women who are in need of more intensive breast screening beyond the mammogram,” said Fitzgerald, D-Phila. “I will fight to continue to bring resources and services to my constituents and keep the agenda moving forward.” Fitzgerald’s constituent service office is up and running at 7178 Ogontz Ave., Philadelphia, 19138. The number is 215-549-0220. She also invites people to visit her website – www.pahouse.com/Fitzgerald – which has links to information on state services and includes a form that enables constituents to email her. Read more

 

Fitzgerald opens office in the 203rd Legislative District

(Dec 08, 2016)

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 8 – State Rep.-elect Isabella Fitzgerald, D-Phila., announced that her constituent services office for residents of the 203rd Legislative District is now open. The hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The office is located at 7178 Ogontz Ave. The number is 215-549-0220. “The office is in a location that many people may be familiar with,” Fitzgerald said. “My staff and I look forward to serving the constituents of the district with any state-related issue they may have.” Fitzgerald will be sworn-in Tuesday, Jan. 3. Read more

 

PA Power Switch: Ask the right questions

(Dec 01, 2016)

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. All Pennsylvania residents have the right to choose their electric supplier, but your ability to switch depends on where you live. Competitive offers may not be available in all areas. PAPowerSwitch provides much of the information that you need. Before approving any agreement with a supplier, you should always read the contract thoroughly and understand the product you are purchasing, its price, when the contract ends, cancellation or other fees, and any other terms and conditions that apply, including if and when the price might change. As always, if you need more help or have questions about your situation, please contact my office . Read more

 

Sign up for the Do-Not-Call list

(Nov 30, 2016)

To register for the Pennsylvania and national do-not-call lists, visit Pennsylvania's Do-Not-Call list or call 1-888-777-3406. Registration is free. There is a rolling enrollment; individuals may sign up at any time and the registration is good for five years. After that, you can re-enroll. And, signing up on Pennsylvania's list automatically adds those numbers to the national do-not-call list. If you continue to receive unwanted telemarketing phone calls, complaints can be filed with the Bureau of Consumer Protection in the state Attorney General's Office by calling 1-800-441-2555. Violation of the law carries a civil penalty of up to $1,000 and as high as $3,000 if the person contacted is 60 or older. Please keep in mind that existing law does not prevent telemarketers from calling those with whom they had an established business relationship within 12 months preceding the call, or telemarketers calling on behalf of charities, political parties or candidates. Read more

 

Pa. Treasury could be holding your unclaimed property

(Nov 30, 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. Unclaimed property may include: Closed bank accounts; Uncashed checks, including paychecks; Lost stocks and bonds; Contents of safe deposit boxes; Proceeds from the demutualization of insurance companies; Expired gift cards/gift certificates. To find out if you have unclaimed property, search your name in the Unclaimed Property database at www.patreasury.gov/Unclaimed/Search.html , call 1-800-222-2046, or contact my office . There is NO CHARGE to claim your unclaimed property. Read more

 

Weatherizing your home saves you money on energy bills

(Nov 29, 2016)

If you choose to have a professional home-energy audit and meet the requirements, you might qualify for the Pennsylvania’s Weatherization Assistance Program . Last year’s bitterly cold winter left many people struggling to pay higher-than-normal home energy bills. As we head toward the coldest months of the year, there are ways you can winterize your home to keep heat in, cold air out, and money in your pocket. Many businesses offer professional home energy audits, but you can perform your own by inspecting areas where heat escapes and cold air leaks in. One easy way to start is by locating air leaks. Common air leak locations include gaps along baseboards and doors to the outside, along with windows and junctures of the walls and ceiling. These leaks can sometimes be fixed by caulking holes and gaps or by applying weather stripping to doors and windows. It’s also easy to lose heat through poor insulation. Especially in older homes, insulation in attics and garages can wear down over time or simply not be adequate by today’s standards. Inspecting the quality and type of insulation you have and replacing it if necessary could keep your home much warmer during the winter and cooler during the summer. The type of light bulb you use can also save money on energy bills. Consider replacing inefficient bulbs with energy-saving incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps or light-emitting diodes (LEDs). If you choose to have a professional Read more

 

Beware IRS phone scams

(Nov 29, 2016)

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. Additionally, it is important for you to know that the IRS: Never asks for credit card, debit card or prepaid card information over the telephone; Never insists that taxpayers use a specific payment method to pay tax obligations; Never requests immediate payment over the telephone and will not take enforcement action immediately following a phone conversation. Taxpayers usually receive prior notification of IRS enforcement action involving IRS tax liens or levies. Consider the other characteristics of a scam. Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves. Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security number. Scammers spoof the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it’s the IRS calling. Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS emails to some victims Read more

 

CHIP offers kids protection and parents peace of mind

(Nov 28, 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. What does CHIP cover? Immunizations Routine Check-ups Diagnostic Testing Prescriptions Dental, Vision, Hearing Services Emergency Care Maternity Care Mental Health Benefits Up to 90 Days Hospitalization in any Year Durable Medical Equipment Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Partial Hospitalization for Mental Health Rehabilitation Therapy Home Health Care Does my family qualify? The following factors are considered for a child's eligibility for CHIP: Must not be eligible for Medicaid or have any other health insurance. Must be under age 19. Must be a U.S. citizen or lawful alien. Must be a Pennsylvania resident for at least 30 days, except for a newborn. The family's income is below the following levels: Income guidelines: Family Size Free CHIP Subsidized CHIP* 2 $31,020 $31,021 - $46,530 3 $39,060 $39,061 - $58,590 4 $47,100 $47,101 - $70,650 5 $55,140 $55,141 - $82,710 6 $63,180 $63,181 - $94,770 7 $71,220 $71,221 - $106,830 8 $79,260 Read more

 

Check out charities before making holiday donations

(Nov 28, 2016)

While it may be the season for charitable giving, scammers don't take a holiday. The Pennsylvania Department of State offers a simple way to ensure a charity is legitimate and that your donation will be used properly. The Department of State's Charities Database contains a list of over 10,000 charities and professional fundraisers, their addresses, telephone numbers, total income and total contributions. In addition, the database breaks down costs for programming, administration and fundraising. In addition, the site provides helpful tips for charitable giving, such as hanging up on aggressive and harassing solicitors and asking who will benefit from your contribution. While not every charity is listed on the department's site, you can email or call the bureau about charities not on the list. The site also lists organizations that are prohibited by law from operating within the commonwealth, donation warnings and alerts issued by the state and federal government, and information on how to file a complaint. Read more