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Freeman supports limited reopening of real estate market

(May 19, 2020)

HARRISBURG, May 19 – State Rep. Robert Freeman said he supports reopening segments of the Pennsylvania real estate market, in accordance with a letter sent to Gov. Tom Wolf this week by House and Senate Democratic Caucus leaders. Read more

 

Freeman lauds $350,000 in grants for local projects

(May 14, 2020)

HARRISBURG, May 14 – Five local projects today were awarded $350,759 in state grants, according to Rep. Robert Freeman. Read more

 

Fill out the 2020 census!

(Mar 30, 2020)

In Pennsylvania, everyone counts and April 1 is National Census Day! If you haven’t already, don't forget to fill out your census form. Our population count determines our voice in government and how much federal funding we’ll receive for education, health care, transportation and more. Whether you respond online, mail or by phone , participate and help shape PA’s future. Your responses are anonymous and protected by law. To learn more, visit pa.gov/census #PAcounts #2020Census Read more

 

COVID-19 Helpful Resources

(Mar 26, 2020)

In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic affecting Pennsylvania, we wanted to provide you with the following resources and information to help you and your family in the days ahead. Please note that this webpage will be updated as needed with additional information and resources. State Services and Resources The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has created a COVID-19 guide to assist everyone. It includes information on social distancing, mental health resources, unemployment, food assistance, changes from PennDOT and resources for small business: https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/ For individuals : https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/#ForIndividuals For families : https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/#ForFamilies For businesses : https://dced.pa.gov/resources COVID Support for PA Businesses : The following provides information and and links to federal, state, local and private resources. https://www.pahouse.com/News/?id=113388 **Self-employed, independent contractors, gig economy workers: Apply here for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits .** https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/#ForBusinessesUtilities Information from the PA Dept. of Labor and Industry on the federal CARES Act: https://www.uc.pa.gov/COVID-19/CARES-Act/Pages/default.aspx The following link provides you with Read more

 

Freeman provides information on governor’s Stay at Home Order for Northampton County

(Mar 25, 2020)

HARRISBURG, March 25 -- State Rep. Robert Freeman, D-Northampton, provided information on the Stay at Home order for Northampton County issued today by Gov. Tom Wolf and Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine. “Northampton County has been added to the Stay at Home order already implemented in nine counties across the Commonwealth,” Freeman said. “While difficult, these are the steps needed to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.” The Stay at Home order now includes 10 counties: Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Erie, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton and Philadelphia. The amended order for Lehigh and Northampton counties takes effect at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 25 and will continue until April 6. The full Stay At Home Order is available to view here . Guidance on permitted activities under the order is available here . Read more

 

Closure List Exemptions

(Mar 20, 2020)

The PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) has established a new resource account where businesses and staff can submit questions on exemptions regarding the closure of physical locations for non-life-sustaining businesses in the Commonwealth. Businesses seeking exemptions from closure: Please contact ra-dcexemptions@pa.gov . Other questions about closures can be directed to ra-dcedcs@pa.gov . For more COVID-19 business information, DCED has set up a web site that continually will be updated as information becomes available: https://dced.pa.gov/resources . Read more

 

Rep. Freeman announces $15K grant to fund census outreach

(Mar 19, 2020)

HARRISBURG, March 19 – State Rep. Robert Freeman, D-Northampton, today announced a $15,000 state grant to fund outreach encouraging participation in the U.S. Census. The grant to the City of Easton was awarded under the Census 2020 Outreach Grant Program and will fund the city’s outreach efforts. “The census response rate is critical, as the number of people who respond ensures our community will get its share of resources for infrastructure, schools, and hospitals,” Freeman said. The Census 2020 Outreach Grant Program, administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development, supports grassroots efforts promoting awareness and participation in the 2020 Census across Pennsylvania. The program focuses on supporting efforts that target hard-to-count populations including, but not limited to, those who do not speak English as their primary language; ethnic minority, immigrant, and rural communities; children; the elderly; the LGBTQ population; and people experiencing homelessness. Read more

 

Freeman announces grants to benefit local historical organizations

(Mar 04, 2020)

HARRISBURG, March 4 – Two Northampton County historical organizations will receive $16,564 in state funding through the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission’s Cultural and Historical Support Program, state Rep. Robert Freeman, D-Northampton, announced today. “These organizations provide a wonderful investment in our community by preserving our history and culture for current and future generations to learn about our past,” Freeman said. “I am pleased to see this funding coming back to our area to support their invaluable efforts.” The organizations receiving the grant funding are as follows: $9,154 for the Northampton County Historical and Genealogical Society. $7,410 for the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor. Cultural and Historical Support grants are to provide general operating support to Pennsylvania museums and official county historical societies that are not directly supported by other state agency operating support programs. An eligible museum must have an annual operating budget exceeding $100,000 and at least one full-time professional staff person. Read more

 

Lehigh Valley school districts awarded $625K in school safety grants

(Feb 27, 2020)

Lehigh Valley, Feb. 27– State Reps. Bob Freeman, D-Northampton, Jeanne McNeill, D-Lehigh, and Steve Samuelson, D-Northampton, announced that seven school districts in Northampton and Lehigh counties have received a total of $625,000 in school safety and security grants. The following school districts were awarded funding: Bethlehem Area School District -- $385,000 Catasauqua Area School District -- $35,000 Easton Area School District -- $45,000 Salisbury Township School District -- $35,000 Saucon Valley School District -- $40,000 Wilson Area School District -- $40,000 Whitehall-Coplay School District -- $45,000 “This funding will go far with enhancing anti-violence efforts in schools,” Freeman said. Lawmakers said the funding will be used to fund a counseling psychologist and for mental health and behavioral services and for other security system programs. “We can’t take anything for granted anymore in schools as far as safety is concerned so our teachers and students must be prepared,” McNeill said. Samuelson said the demand for school safety funding is a priority. “A safe learning environment ensures the overall development of a child,” Samuelson said. The funds will be provided through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency’s School Safety and Security Committee. This committee is the result of Act 44 of 2018 Read more

 

Your Report from Rep. Robert Freeman: Winter 2019-20

(Feb 24, 2020)

Click here to view the latest newsletter. Read more

 

Freeman bill to help communities with high percentage of tax-exempt properties moved out of committee

(Jan 22, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 22 – A bill introduced by Rep. Robert Freeman to financially help municipalities with high levels of tax-exempt property cleared its first hurdle today when the House Local Government Committee reported out the bill by a 22-1 vote. Tax-exempt property that may impact municipalities include colleges and universities, nonprofit medical facilities, county and other government offices or state forests and game lands. "Because of the effect tax-exempt properties have on the real estate tax base of several communities in the Lehigh Valley and across Pennsylvania, affected municipalities often have difficulty providing the essential services expected from local government," said Freeman, D-Northampton. "By providing annual funding to these municipalities, we can enable them to fix and maintain infrastructure and to provide the essential services that ensure the health and safety of their residents." House Bill 1677 would establish the Tax-Exempt Property Municipal Assistance Fund to help municipalities with 15% or more of their total assessed property value as tax-exempt property within their borders. It would be funded by the state's existing 18% Liquor Tax, known as the Johnstown Flood Tax. "The Johnstown Flood Tax was created to help Johnstown rebuild after it was devastated by a flood in 1936," Freeman said. "That was a long time ago, and that money can be used to help other communities facing Read more

 

Rep. Freeman helps secure $67,500 in state funding for local projects

(Jan 22, 2020)

State Rep. Robert Freeman, D-Northampton, today announced that his area will benefit from a share of state funding awarded to the 136th Legislative District. Read more

 

Freeman announces $50,000 in state funding approved for Easton community revitalization effort

(Dec 30, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 30 – State Rep. Robert Freeman, D-Northampton, today announced that Easton will receive $50,000 through the Department of Community and Economic Development’s Keystone Communities Program. The funding will be used by the Greater Easton Development Partnership in collaboration with the Easton Main Street Initiative for property and business owners in the form of matching grants for renovations, restorations and repairs to existing building façades and new signage benefitting at least ten storefronts. “This funding will help to restore and enhance façades to assist Easton’s ongoing revitalization, which has made it an attractive place for visitors and residents alike,” Freeman said. “By making investments like this, our local businesses will continue to boost our economy and help enhance the quality of life for everyone who lives in or visits Easton.” The Keystone Communities program supports local initiatives designed to grow and stabilize neighborhoods and communities, foster effective public-private partnerships and enhance the overall quality of life for residents. More information on the program can be found here . Read more

 

Freeman bill would provide voters with additional campaign contribution reports

(Dec 18, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 18 – State Rep. Bob Freeman, D-Northampton, has introduced legislation that would require Pennsylvania House and Senate candidates to file campaign expense reports at more frequent intervals in order to create a more transparent record-keeping process during an election year. The legislation (H.B. 2142) would require candidates for the Pennsylvania General Assembly to also file campaign expense reports on or before the sixth Tuesday before the election. They are currently only required to file on the second Friday before the election, but this legislation would add the additional filing, matching the campaign expense report filing requirement of candidates for statewide office. "The change would provide earlier disclosure and greater transparency on who is contributing to candidates for the General Assembly," Freeman said. "This is information voters should have access to earlier in a campaign than they currently do." The currently required second-Friday expense report is filed just 10 days before the election. Freeman said that filing comes so close to the election that the information about where a candidate is getting contributions tends to get lost in the last week of campaign literature and other information. "This would put everything on the table and allow voters to see who is backing which candidates and what they stand for, or more importantly, who they stand with," Freeman said. "It Read more

 

Click here to learn more about this year's holiday diaper drive

(Dec 04, 2019)

Freeman, Samuelson holding holiday diaper drive through Jan. 25. The drive will go through Jan. 25 at Freeman’s office at 215 Northampton St., Easton and Samuelson’s office at 104 E. Broad St., Bethlehem. Read more

 

Freeman introduces property tax circuit breaker legislation

(Nov 20, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 20 – Homeowners would be protected from property tax overload under legislation (H.B. 2074) introduced by state Rep. Robert Freeman, D-Northampton. “Many families and especially older Pennsylvanians on a fixed income are struggling to stay in their homes as property taxes rise and the bills get more difficult to pay,” Freeman said. Under H.B. 2074, the state constitution would be amended to allow property tax circuit breakers to be used in Pennsylvania. It would allow local taxing authorities to exempt a taxpayer from paying the portion of their property tax that exceeds a certain set percentage of their household income. “My proposal would amend our state constitution to allow for property tax circuit breakers to be used in Pennsylvania. A property tax circuit breaker is quite simple: it would protect taxpayers from a property tax overload just like an electric circuit breaker. Specifically, it would allow local taxing authorities to exempt a taxpayer from paying the portion of their property tax that exceeds a certain set percentage of their household income,” Freeman said. “This proposal will offer Pennsylvania homeowners needed property tax relief and build fairness into the property tax system by ensuring that property taxes never exceed a set percentage of household income,” he said. In Pennsylvania, a proposed constitutional amendment Read more

 

Freeman announces $428,200 in grants to renovate parks

(Nov 14, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 14 – State Rep. Robert Freeman said $428,200 in state grants will lead to renovations and improvements at local parks in Hellertown and Williams Township. Read more

 

Freeman announces $1.33M in grant funding for Easton

(Nov 12, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 12 -- A $1.33 million state grant will fund safety improvements along Bushkill Drive in the city of Easton, state Rep. Robert Freeman announced today. Read more

 

Freeman votes to support fire companies, emergency medical services

(Oct 30, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 30 – State Rep. Robert Freeman recently voted for several bills that would provide more support to fire companies and emergency medical service providers across Pennsylvania. Read more

 

New Life: Redeveloping PA Factories and Mills

(Oct 15, 2019)

EASTON, Pa. (WLVT) - The Simon Silk Mill is hard to miss. It was built in 1883 and abandoned in the 1960s -- but now, it's home to residents and businesses. Read more