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Freeman announces nearly $695K in COVID funding for local colleges, universities

(10 hours ago)

State Rep. Robert Freeman, D-Northampton, today announced that three local colleges and universities were awarded $694,780 to aid in creating safe and healthy learning environments amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more

 

Freeman announces $300K state grant to fund Wilson bridge replacement

(Jul 16, 2020)

HARRISBURG, July 14 – State Rep. Robert Freeman, D-Northampton, today announced $300,000 in state funding has been awarded to Wilson Borough from the Commonwealth Finance Authority. The funds will be used to replace the Lehigh Drive Bridge, which is deteriorating rapidly, with a concrete box culvert. “I’m always pleased when we can secure critical funding for needed projects in our local communities,” Freeman said. “This funding will provide a critical improvement to the Lehigh Drive Bridge and give motorists and pedestrians a sense of safety when they cross it.” Freeman added the grant comes through the state's Multimodal Transportation Fund , which encourages economic development and ensures safe and reliable transportation is available to Pennsylvania residents. It is part of a package of $30.2 million in grants awarded to fund 27 projects in 23 counties statewide. More information about the grant and program is available here . Read more

 

$1.74 million grant awarded to Easton Area Joint Sewer Authority

(Jul 14, 2020)

HARRISBURG, July 14 – The Easton Area Joint Sewer Authority today was awarded a $1.74 million state grant, announced Rep. Robert Freeman. Read more

 

Freeman introduces bill to help quiet fireworks

(Jul 09, 2020)

HARRISBURG, July 9 – Responding to concerns from residents about the proliferation of fireworks being discharged beyond the Independence Day holiday, state Rep. Robert Freeman introduced legislation this week that would give municipalities more authority to regulate the use of fireworks and would increase penalties for violating those regulations. Read more

 

Renter and homeowner aid available

(Jun 30, 2020)

Renters and homeowners who were financially impacted by the economic slowdown related to the coronavirus pandemic will be able to access applications for rent and mortgage relief beginning Monday, June 29. At that time, applications will be accessible from a red banner on the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency’s website at www.PHFA.org . Homeowners who became unemployed after March 1 or who suffered at least a 30 percent reduction in annual income due to reduced work hours and wages related to COVID-19 may be eligible for financial assistance to help with missed mortgage payments. To qualify for the Pandemic Mortgage Assistance Program, the applicant must be an owner-occupant of their residence, the dwelling must consist of one or two separate units, the mortgage must be at least 30 days delinquent, and the applicant-homeowner’s annual household income must not exceed the Area Median Income for their county of residence adjusted for the number of people in their home. For renters to be eligible for financial assistance under the CARES Rent Relief Program, they will need to document at least a 30 percent reduction in annual income since March 1 related to COVID-19, or they must have become unemployed after March 1. If unemployed, they must have filed for Unemployment Compensation. Their household income cannot exceed the Area Median Income for their county of residence adjusted for the number of people in their home. For more information Read more

 

Freeman bill would allow additional local regulation of fireworks, increase penalties

(Jun 29, 2020)

HARRISBURG, June 29 – Municipalities would have more authority to regulate the use of fireworks and penalties would be increased for violating those regulations under legislation proposed by state Rep. Robert Freeman. Read more

 

Rep. Freeman announces $20K conservation grant for Nurture Nature Center Inc.

(Jun 26, 2020)

EASTON, June 26 – State Rep. Robert Freeman, D-Northampton, is pleased to announce that Nurture Nature Center Inc. has been awarded a $20,000 conservation grant by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection under the Environmental Education Grant Program. The center will use the grant funding to develop a Watershed Friendly Properties Certificates Program throughout Pennsylvania. An October kick-off forum will engage local businesses, school and college leaders, community leaders, municipal leaders and residents. “It’s really remarkable that a multifaceted environmental center based in Easton is environmentally influencing government policies, business strategies and providing critical information to the public across the state,” Freeman said. “The center is dedicated to engaging the public in learning about environmental risks ranging from development to flood education.” Nurture Nature Center is a joint project of two nonprofits and is directly engaged in a wide array of environmental projects. Founded in 2007 in the wake of the repetitive flooding in the Delaware River Basin, it began as a center for flood education and outreach, achieving a national reputation for its work in the area. The center’s work in the area of flood risk communication and their methods of engaging the community about environmental issues have been cited as models, and many of the educational Read more

 

Small Business Assistance grants available

(Jun 25, 2020)

Applications are expected to be available June 30 for a new program aimed at providing critical funding to local businesses hurt by the coronavirus. Read more

 

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