Flynn, Diamond Introduce Bill to Restore Agricultural Production of Industrial Hemp

(Apr 13, 2015)

HARRISBURG, April 13 – From the mid-1700s until the 1970s, industrial hemp was an important agricultural component of the Commonwealth’s economy. If two lawmakers have their way, the crop could soon return to Pennsylvania fields. Reps. Russ Diamond (R-Lebanon) and Marty Flynn (D-Lackawanna) today introduced legislation, House Bill 967, that would take the first step toward allowing Pennsylvania farmers to again cultivate industrial hemp. The product, which is widely used in a variety of everyday consumer items, is currently allowed to be grown only in pilot programs reserved for universities and agricultural research facilities under a provision of the 2014 federal Farm Bill. Diamond and Flynn said their bill would bring Pennsylvania in line with current federal law. Because it is considered likely that federal regulations will ease further in the near future, the bill would put the state ahead of the pack once domestic production is permitted to get into full gear. “Industrial hemp is a common and safe agricultural product that is grown worldwide,” said Diamond. “It is one of world’s most durable fibers and can be found in products ranging from automobile dashboards to home insulation. It’s also been used as a soil fertilizer and is in a wide array of building materials and food items. Pennsylvanians are missing out on these economic benefits, while we continue to import products containing industrial hemp from overseas. Read more

 

Policy Committee hearing in Scranton discusses education funding

(Apr 08, 2015)

SCRANTON, April 8 – State Rep. Marty Flynn, D-Lackawanna, today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing with committee chairman Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, to discuss the issue of public education funding. The hearing, held in Scranton High School, focused on how local districts have been impacted by decreased state funding over the last few years, and what Gov. Tom Wolf's proposed budget will mean for them. ”When it comes to our children's education, it is important that we make sure our school districts have the tools to help our children succeed," Flynn said. "Today's hearing was a way for us to learn how districts have struggled to continue to do that in the wake of the Corbett administration's decreases in state funding for education.” Flynn added, “Governor Wolf’s ‘Jobs that Pay, Schools that Teach, and Government that Works’ initiative is one to improve an entire society. By ensuring Pennsylvanians have access to fundamental resources like a good education and well-paying jobs, he’s making it possible for our citizens to better provide for themselves and their families and achieve the American dream.” Echoing that sentiment, Sturla said, "The testimony we heard today here in Representative Flynn's district was not unique in that a majority of school districts across the state have been faced with difficult decisions because of the previous Read more

 

Flynn: Scranton to benefit from reinvestment funds

(Mar 11, 2015)

HARRISBURG, March 11 – State Rep. Marty Flynn, D-Lackawanna, announced approval of a $6 million loan for the Pennsylvania Reinvestment Fund LLC from the Commonwealth Financing Authority. PRF is focusing on stimulating urban revitalization in Scranton and Bethlehem. The entity plans to help revitalize down business districts by creating mixed-use development and new commercial buildings through redeveloping vacant lots or underutilized buildings. “I’m pleased to see financial attention paid to maintaining Pennsylvania’s historic cities,” Flynn said. “With this investment, we hope the city will see a much-anticipated rebirth to bring jobs back into the city of Scranton.” In 2010, PRF redeveloped the previously vacant eight-story Connell Lofts into residential units, offices and retail space, providing residential growth and igniting renovation of the former Chamber of Commerce building two blocks away. Flynn said that by further developing Scranton’s downtown, PRF believes the city will entice students from nearby schools and colleges to ultimately establish residence. He believes these professional residents will attract businesses of all types, creating a self-sustaining urban area. PRF has several opportunities under analysis as potential 2015 projects in Scranton, including: • Historic rehabilitation/adaptive reuse of a former mill building. • Historic rehabilitation/adaptive reuse of a four-story Read more

 

Flynn: Governor's budget plan a promising start

(Mar 03, 2015)

"Governor Wolf campaigned on offering a new approach to governing and the budget plan he outlined today proves he was serious. "While his budget address is just the first step in a long process, I hope it is completed by the mandated June 30 date. The proposal he unveiled today offers much for Pennsylvania. Read more

 

Flynn: Selling off liquor stores not right for Pennsylvania

(Feb 26, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 26 – State Rep. Marty Flynn, D-Lackawanna, voted against a liquor bill Thursday that he said was wrong for Pennsylvania: "There are many things wrong with this proposal, not the least of which is looking at this sell off as a financial windfall for the state, solving the fiscal problems we're facing. "This is essentially a fire sale of a valuable, revenue-generating asset. The Liquor Control Board generates $80 million in profits annually for the state's General Fund. Even if we were to get the full amount that is being claimed from the sale of licenses, which is unlikely, it's a one-time proposition. We'll still end up losing a steady source of revenue in exchange for a one-time payment that will not responsibly address the projected $2.2 billion structural deficit facing the state. "We have to get what the system is worth, and this proposal does not offer that, but instead will increase prices, decrease selection and eliminate 5,000 family-sustaining jobs," he said. "Liquor store privatization has adverse ramifications on jobs, tax revenue and our society. I think the state can offer increased customer convenience without these negative impacts to our commonwealth; advances in consumer convenience have already been made, and that should be allowed to continue." Read more

 

Flynn announces Property Tax/Rent Rebate assistance is available in his office

(Feb 23, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 23 – State Rep. Marty Flynn, D-Lackawanna, said his office has applications available for the state's popular Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program. “Eligible residents can claim rebates on property taxes or rent paid in 2014, and the deadline is June 30, 2015, so I recommend my constituents get a head start on filing their claims,” Flynn said. “If help is needed, don’t hesitate to come to my office for free assistance.” Flynn's office is located at 409 N. Main Ave. in Jay's Commons, Scranton; the phone number is 570-342-4348. This program benefits Pennsylvania residents 65 or older, widows and widowers 50 or older, and disabled people 18 or older. The filer’s income must not exceed $35,000 a year for homeowners or $15,000 a year for renters, and half of Social Security income is excluded. Applications can also be filed online at www.revenue.pa.gov or by calling 1-888-222-9190. Rebates will be distributed beginning July 1. Additionally, changes to the program last year, which Flynn supported, now allow rebate claims to be filed by spouses, personal representatives or estates on behalf of deceased claimants who meet all qualifying criteria and lived at least one day in 2014, rather than the entire year. Another change excludes Social Security cost-of-living adjustments from being considered, in case the COLA pushes an applicant out of eligibility. Last year, more than $276 million in property tax Read more

 

Clarks Green outreach slated for Feb. 18

(Feb 11, 2015)

SCRANTON, Feb. 11 – On Feb. 18, a staffer from state Rep. Marty Flynn's office will provide outreach assistance in Clarks Green. The visit will take place from 9 a.m. to noon Feb. 18 at the Clarks Green Borough Building, 104 N. Abington Road. The monthly outreach visits alternate on the third Wednesday of every month between Clarks Green and South Abington Township. Flynn's staff can help with PennDOT paperwork, unemployment compensation, workers' compensation, PACE/PACENET prescription-drug coverage, unclaimed property searches and any other state-related matters. His main office – in Jay's Commons, 409 N. Main Ave. in Scranton – is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The phone number is 570-342-4348. The March visit will be March 18 at the South Abington Township Building, 2nd floor meeting room, 104 Shady Lane Road in Chinchilla. Read more

 

Flynn announces fire grant awards

(Jan 30, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 30 – State Rep. Marty Flynn announced over $35,000 in state fire grants have been awarded to two emergency services organizations in the 113 th Legislative District. They are: Chinchilla Hose Co. of South Abington Township for its fire company, $14,284 Chinchilla Hose Co. of South Abington Township for its EMS, $7,444 City of Scranton Bureau of Fire, $14,284 “The vitality of our fire companies and volunteer EMS is important. With this grant, they can properly maintain important equipment and stay up to par with training regulations,” Flynn said. “These grants are much needed and appreciated, and I am very pleased to see emergency responders in my district receiving them.” The Pennsylvania Fire Company and Volunteer Ambulance Service Grant Program awards funding to local organizations to pay for construction or renovation of facilities, equipment or equipment repair, debt reduction, or training expenses. The program is administered by the Pennsylvania Office of the Fire Commissioner within the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. Read more

 

Flynn lands key committee posts for second term in state House

(Jan 20, 2015)

State Rep. Marty Flynn, D-Lackawanna, today announced that he has been appointed to five House of Representatives committees for the 2015-16 legislative session. Read more

 

South Abington outreach Jan. 21

(Jan 14, 2015)

On Jan. 21, a staffer from state Rep. Marty Flynn's office will provide outreach assistance in South Abington Township.
The visit will take place from 9 a.m. to noon Jan. 21 at the South Abington Township Building, 2nd floor meeting room, 104 Shady Lane Road in Chinchilla. The monthly outreach visits alternate on the third Wednesday of every month between South Abington Township and Clarks Green. Read more

 

Medicare help available through Flynn’s office

(Jan 08, 2015)

Older residents with questions about Medicare or health insurance coverage should visit state Rep. Marty Flynn's office Monday, Jan. 12 for assistance.Flynn said an APPRISE counselor will be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Jan. 12 at his office – 409 N. Main Ave. in Jay's Commons -- to help answer questions about original Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans, Medigap plans, Medicare drug plans, PACE/PACENET and various low-income assistance programs, such as the Medicare Savings Program and Extra Help.Appointments are suggested by calling the office at 570-342-4348. The outreach is available at his office on the second Monday of each month.The local APPRISE program is sponsored by the Voluntary Action Center and is funded by the Lackawanna County Area Agency on Aging. Read more

 

Flynn begins second term in state House

(Jan 06, 2015)

"I’m revved up and ready to get to work with my House colleagues and Governor-elect Tom Wolf and his new administration to help the hardworking men and women in Pennsylvania, many of whom have been forgotten during the past four years." 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

 

In the News: Dept. of Human Services name change better reflects mission

(Nov 24, 2014)

House Bill 993, which renamed the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare as the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, was signed into law as Act 132 during the 2013-14 Legislative Session. According to advocates for the change, renaming the department was long overdue, and as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported, the name change better reflects the department’s mission. Read more

 

Do you need help paying heating bills?

(Nov 24, 2014)

As we get into the coldest months of winter, many people are worried about affording their increasing heating costs. If you or someone you know qualifies, my office could help you take advantage of a program set up to curtail high home heating bills. Read more

 

Apply for health insurance by Feb. 16

(Nov 23, 2014)

The open enrollment period for health care coverage is now underway. If you or someone you know is in need of health insurance, please consider visiting the federal Marketplace at www.HealthCare.gov. Applicants have until Feb. 16, 2015 to enroll. Everyone, no matter what age, needs health insurance. A random accident or unexpected illness could put you in danger of losing not only your good health but also your financial future. Read more

 

Sign up for the Do-Not-Call list

(Nov 22, 2014)

To register for the Pennsylvania and national do-not-call lists, visit http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/dnc.aspx 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. Read more

 

Weatherizing your home saves you money on energy bills

(Nov 20, 2014)

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. Read more