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136th District receiving $296,000 in state funding

(Mar 30, 2017)

HARRISBURG, March 30 -- State Rep. Robert Freeman, D-Northampton, today announced Easton and Hellertown Borough will benefit from a share in $296,000 in state funding awarded to the district. Read more

 

McCarter joined by legislators, advocacy groups to announce formation of Climate Caucus

(Jan 25, 2017)

Citing the very real threat posed by climate change, state Rep. Steve McCarter, D-Montgomery, was joined today by legislators and advocacy groups to announce the formation of the bicameral Climate Caucus. Read more

 

Freeman reappointed chairman of House Local Government Committee for the Democrats

(Jan 06, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 6 – State Rep. Bob Freeman, D-Northampton, this week was reappointed Democratic chairman of the House Local Government Committee. Read more

 

Freeman ready for new term in Pa. House

(Jan 03, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 3 – State Rep. Bob Freeman, D-Northampton, was sworn in today at the state Capitol to begin his 16th two-year term representing the 136th Legislative District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Read more

 

136th District receiving $1.7 million in state funding

(Dec 06, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 6 - State Rep. Robert Freeman, D-Northampton, today announced Easton will benefit from a share in $1.7 million in state funding awarded to the district. Read more

 

Easton gets $1 million in state funding for N. 4th St. parking deck

(Nov 23, 2016)

EASTON, Nov. 23 – Easton is set to construct its second new parking deck in two years thanks to $1 million in state funding announced today by state Rep. Robert Freeman, D-Northampton, and approved by Gov. Tom Wolf. According to Freeman, the city was awarded $1 million in Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program funding to assist in the construction of a 350-car parking garage at North Fourth Street to accommodate the growing economy and population in downtown Easton. "This state grant funding is a key piece in responding to Easton’s downtown rebirth over the past several years, including the recent improvements made to the Easton Public Market, museums, festivals and downtown shopping," Freeman said. "This project will benefit the economic development efforts of Easton and help more residents find parking as they visit downtown. I am delighted to see these funds approved for this important project." The Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program is a statewide economic development program that provides grants to local communities for the construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational and historical improvement projects. Read more

 

Your Report from Rep. Robert Freeman: Fall 2016

(Sep 12, 2016)

My Fall 2016 newsletter is now available. Read more

 

136th District beneficiary of nearly $4 million in state funding

(Jul 01, 2016)

HARRISBURG, July 1 – State Rep. Robert Freeman, D-Northampton, said Easton, Hellertown and Williams Township will benefit from a share in $3.96 million in state funding awarded to the district. "This funding is great news for Lafayette College, the city of Easton and its school district, Hellertown and Williams Township," Freeman said. "Through these grants, these entities can move forward on important projects for the region -- projects that are designed to enhance safety or protect the environment." The projects and awards are as follows: Lafayette College in Easton will receive $1.1 million for its travelways improvement plan from the state's Multimodal Transportation Fund, which provides grants to enhance communities, improve pedestrian safety and boost transit revitalization. Easton will receive $128,697 to improve pedestrian walkability and bicycle safety along the 13 th Street corridor from the Multimodal fund; and $250,000 from the state's Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program to erect a pedestrian bridge on the 2.5-mile Karl Stirney Arts Trail to connect the trail to the Simon Silk Mill. The greenways program promotes greenways, recreational space, open space, trails, parks and river conservation. Easton Area School District will receive $2 million to renovate the K-5 th grade Paxinosa Elementary School into a high performance building, complete with LED lighting, lighting occupancy sensor, low-flow water Read more

 

Your Report from Rep. Robert Freeman: Winter 2015-16

(Feb 25, 2016)

My Winter 2015-16 newsletter is now available. 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

 

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

 

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

 

Scenes from the Capitol - 2016 Calendar

(Dec 22, 2015)

Click here to download a 2016 calendar with pictures of the Capitol throughout the seasons. Read more

 

Freeman introduces bills to provide greater transparency in legislature and political campaigns

(Dec 09, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 9 – State Rep. Bob Freeman, D-Northampton, has introduced legislation designed to offer greater transparency regarding how money is spent by the General Assembly and who's donating to its candidates. The first bill (H.B. 1744) would require the state auditor general to audit the General Assembly and its legislative service agencies, rather than hiring a certified public accountant. "The auditor general is the chief watchdog of how state funds are spent," Freeman said. "His office audits the various agencies of state government on a regular basis. Having the auditor general do the legislative audits will make it a more public and transparent process and has the added benefit of saving money since the need for hiring an outside firm would no longer be required." Freeman's bill would require the auditor general to audit all financial accounts of the General Assembly annually, and to provide for special audits if necessary. Copies of the audits would be submitted to House and Senate leaders and be made available to the public. His second bill (H.B. 1745) would require candidates for the General Assembly to follow the same expense report requirements as candidates for statewide office. Currently, both General Assembly and statewide office candidates are required to file a report on the second Friday before an election, but only candidates for statewide office are required to report on or before the sixth Tuesday before Read more

 

Freeman Proposes Compromise To Resolve Budget Impasse

(Oct 21, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Bob Freeman held a press conference to unveil his legislative budget package designed to resolve the current stalemate regarding the 2015-16 state budget. Read more

 

Freeman proposes legislative package, methods to resolve budget impasse

(Oct 21, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 21 – At a Capitol news conference today, state Rep. Bob Freeman, D-Northampton, unveiled his legislative budget package designed to resolve the current stalemate regarding the 2015-16 state budget. "This proposal seeks to explain the nature of the current stalemate in Harrisburg and present a commonsense, compromise plan to pass a budget, increase funding for public education, address the state's structural deficit and deliver meaningful school property tax relief," Freeman said. "I've also addressed how to attain these goals and gain legislative approval on this compromise." Freeman's package includes enacting a stop-gap budget from July 1 through Dec. 31, 2015, and a final budget covering Jan. 1 to June 30, 2016. This compromise, he said, would give legislators and the governor time to properly negotiate a budget. His plan would use a modest increase in the state Personal Income Tax and a 1 percent increase in the Sales and Use Tax to generate revenue to address the structural deficit, pay for enhanced property tax relief, expand the poverty exemption and restore funding for public education cut by the Corbett administration. His proposal would temporarily increase the PIT rate from 3.07 percent to 3.5 percent from Oct. 1, 2015 to March 31, and then drop it to 3.25 percent on April 1. Overall, this would generate an increase of $1.04 billion in new revenue for the current fiscal year and $720 million in new Read more

 

Freeman introduces bill to let housing authorities set up police departments

(Jun 10, 2015)

HARRISBURG, June 10 – State Rep. Bob Freeman, D-Northampton, has introduced a bill that would let public housing authorities form their own police force. "Philadelphia and Pittsburgh housing authorities already have this ability under current law, but smaller cities in the state face the same problems with criminal activity that larger cities do," Freeman said. "All public housing authorities should have the ability to set up their own police force in order to better combat crime. "A public housing police force also would greatly enhance community policing efforts, making public housing projects safer for their residents and their families, especially children." Under Freeman's bill, the housing authority police officers would patrol public housing projects. They would be required to complete the same course of instruction and accreditation as is required for municipal police officers under state law. Funding for these police forces would come from public housing authority budgets. While every housing authority would have the option to form a police force under Freeman’s bill, they would not be required to do so. "Some authorities may choose to simply hire a detective rather than create a full-blown police force," Freeman said. "Either way, they could determine what would be the most appropriate approach to enhancing law enforcement efforts." Besides reducing crime and enhancing public safety, Freeman Read more

 

Guest Column: Education, minimum wage increase keys to reducing income inequality

(Jun 01, 2015)

GUEST COLUMN by Rep. Robert Freeman: Education, minimum wage increase keys to reducing income inequality Read more