Rep. Freeman reappointed Democratic chiarman of the House Local Government Committee

(Jan 07, 2019)

Freeman reappointed Democratic chairman of the House Local Government Committee HARRISBURG, Jan. 7 – State Rep. Bob Freeman, D-Northampton, has been reappointed Democratic chairman of the House Local Government Committee by House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody. Freeman has served as the Democratic chairman of the House Local Government Committee since 2006. He authored legislation that created the state’s Elm Street program, which assists older urban residential areas in revitalizing their neighborhoods. He was also one of the leaders in the Municipalities Planning Code revisions enacted in 2000 that became Acts 67 and 68 of that year. “I am extremely honored to serve as Democratic chairman of the House Local Government Committee since 2006,” Freeman said. “I have many shared goals with local governments to implement legislation that would benefit the communities of Pennsylvania." The 136 th Legislative District includes Easton, all of Williams and parts Lower Saucon and Palmer townships, and the boroughs of Freemansburg, Glendon, Hellertown Read more


2019 Capitol Scenes Calendar

(Nov 29, 2018)

Please download and enjoy this free 2019 calendar featuring seasonal photos of our beautiful state Capitol. Read more


Samuelson, Freeman to hold holiday diaper drive starting Dec. 3

(Nov 28, 2018)

Samuelson, Freeman to hold holiday diaper drive starting Dec. 3 BETHLEHEM, Nov. 28 – State Reps. Steve Samuelson and Bob Freeman, both D-Northampton, will be accepting donations of children’s and adult diapers at their constituent services offices. The diaper drive will be held from Dec. 3-21 at Freeman’s office at 215 Northampton St., Easton and Samuelson’s office at 104 E. Broad St., Bethlehem. “I am encouraging everyone to donate diapers during this holiday season because many families in our community struggle to cover the cost of diapers, and having an adequate supply of diapers available is a basic necessity for those who care for children and incontinent seniors,” Samuelson said. Samuelson and Freeman said they are accepting adult and children’s disposable diapers including newborn to size six, as well as adult diapers and undergarments sizes small, medium, large and extra-large. “The diaper drive will greatly help families with what can be a sizeable part of a limited family budget,” Freeman said “We are seeking to collect diapers to help needy families because there is no federal or state safety-net program to specifically cover the cost of diapers, which can run $900 or more per year,” Samuelson said. “And our network of food banks in the Lehigh Valley do not receive regular donations of diapers. Many families and seniors on fixed incomes are simply unable to afford Read more


More than words; how Pennsylvania supports veterans

(Nov 08, 2018)

As Veterans Day nears, I wanted to share information on programs that benefit veterans and their families. To those from Northampton County who have bravely served our country, thank you and Happy Veterans Day. Read more


Heating aid via LIHEAP now open

(Nov 01, 2018)

The 2018-2019 Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program – LIHEAP – is accepting applications for heating assistance grants. LIHEAP offers cash grants of $200 to $1,000 that are sent directly to the utility company to defray heating costs for eligible households, and crisis benefits of up to $600 for households in immediate danger of being without heat. Remember: These are grants and do not have to be repaid. This season’s income guidelines for both LIHEAP cash and crisis grants are $18,210 for an individual, $24,690 for couples and increases for each additional person in the household. Please click here for more LIHEAP information. Please consider visiting my office if you need help filing a LIHEAP application. Besides my office, LIHEAP information is available by: Contacting local County Assistance offices by phone or in person. Calling the LIHEAP Client Helpline at 1-866-857-7095 or PA Relay at 711 for the hearing impaired. Applying online at . Read more


Statement from Jewish members of Pa. House on Pittsburgh synagogue shooting

(Oct 27, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 27 – State Reps. Robert Freeman, D-Northampton, Michael Schlossberg, D-Lehigh, and Jared Solomon, D-Phila., today issued the following statement on the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh: “We are shocked, horrified and deeply saddened by the tragic shooting today at the Tree of Life synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Our deepest sympathies are with the victims, their families and friends, and the entire community as we all begin to come to terms with what transpired today. We are also immeasurably grateful to the swift and courageous response of local law enforcement who managed to force the suspect into surrendering, and we salute particularly those officers who were injured in the fight. “These acts of hate and violence have no place in our communities, our Commonwealth or our country. Sadly, they have become all too common. And for it to occur in a synagogue on the Sabbath is all the more heartbreaking, that someone would take the holiest of days to murder innocent worshipers. “With each shooting we all ask, 'Will this be the one that prompts real change?' Yet, instead of fostering change, it seems to foster a numbness and a callousness in our culture, a culture that accepts these incidents as a fact of life. We cannot and will not live in a society where we have to explain to our children and their children that this behavior is something that just happens in the United Read more


Senior prescription program expanded to help more people

(Oct 23, 2018)

I voted for legislation that would allow more senior citizens in Northampton County and across the state pay for their prescription medication. Putting people first and focusing on health care is part of the House Democrats' Plan for Pennsylvania. Read more


Pennsylvania receives extension for REAL ID

(Oct 11, 2018)

Pennsylvania has been granted a REAL ID enforcement extension by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through August 1, 2019. This extension means that Pennsylvania residents will not face access issues when entering federal facilities or boarding domestic commercial aircraft through at least that date. REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and photo ID cards will be available from PennDOT at the customer’s option beginning March 2019. PennDOT is encouraging customers to pre-verify for REAL ID the required documentation as soon as possible, giving them ample time to prepare. More information about what documents will be required is available on PennDOT's Driver and Vehicle Services website . More information about REAL ID, including frequently asked questions , can be found at . Read more


Your Report from Rep. Robert Freeman: Fall 2018

(Sep 06, 2018)

Be sure to check out my latest newsletter. Read more


Freeman announces preservation grant for Easton’s Simon silk mill project

(Aug 09, 2018)

EASTON, Aug. 9 – State Rep. Robert Freeman announced today that the Simon Silk Mill in Easton was awarded $200,000 in tax credits through the 2017-18 Historic Preservation Tax Credit program, leveraging more than $7 million in estimated construction expenditures. “The use of these historic tax credits will greatly assist the ongoing revitalization of the former silk mill complex," said Freeman, D-Northampton. "We have already seen how the Simon Silk Mill is being transformed into apartments, restaurants and other commercial spaces. This funding will compliment that effort and help keep it moving forward." Freeman said the use of historic tax credits for the rehabilitation of the impressive 19 th -century buildings that make up the silk mill complex reflects the historic significance of this National Historic Register-listed property. “The Simon Silk Mill complex demonstrates the great potential that comes from the adaptive reuse of older factory buildings,” Freeman noted. The Department of Community and Economic Development, in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, administers the Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program. Since 2013, the program has invested more than $15 million to revitalize 81 historic buildings across the commonwealth that contribute to the distinct character of Pennsylvania. The application date for fiscal year 2018-19 is Nov. 1. More information about the program can be Read more


Property tax circuit breaker proposed by Freeman

(Jul 31, 2018)

HARRISBURG, July 31 – Homeowners would be protected from property tax overload under legislation (H.B. 2577) introduced by state Rep. Robert Freeman, D-Northampton. Read more


Hellertown transportation project awarded state grant

(Jul 12, 2018)

HELLERTOWN, July 12 – State Rep. Robert Freeman, D-Northampton, said Hellertown Borough has received $67,982 in state grant funding from PennDOT’s Green Light-Go Program for a transportation project to improve safety and enhance mobility. Read more


Lehigh Canal project gains Historic Preservation Grant

(Jun 13, 2018)

HARRISBURG, June 13 – The Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor was awarded a $25,000 Keystone Historic Preservation Grant, according to state Rep. Bob Freeman. Read more


Rep Freeman bill would help communities with high percentage of tax-exempt properties

(Apr 20, 2018)

State Rep. Robert Freeman, D-Northampton, has reintroduced legislation H.B. 2271 ) that would provide funding to municipalities with high levels of tax-exempt property, such as major universities, non-profit medical facilities, government offices or state forests and game lands. "Municipalities with a significant amount of tax-exempt property, including several in the Lehigh Valley, have difficulty providing the essential services expected from local government because of the effect tax-exempt properties have on the real estate tax base of the community," Freeman said. "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 citizens." The bill would establish the Tax Exempt Property Municipal Assistance Fund to help municipalities with 15 percent or more of tax-exempt property within their borders. It would be funded by the state's 18 percent Liquor Tax, known as the Johnstown Flood Tax. The tax generated approximately $270 million in the 2009-10 fiscal year. "The tax did its job a long time ago, and that was to rebuild Johnstown after it was devastated by a flood," Freeman said. "It's time to target that money to municipalities that are falling further into financial distress simply because they have significant amounts of tax-exempt properties within their boundaries. This legislation can Read more


Rep. Freeman bill would promote redevelopment of abandoned factory buildings

(Apr 19, 2018)

State Rep. Bob Freeman, D-Northampton, has reintroduced legislation (H.B. 2269) that would establish tax incentives to promote redevelopment and reuse of vacant factory or mill buildings in municipalities in Pennsylvania. "Adaptive reuse or using a building for the purpose other than which it was originally intended, is a way to reuse buildings that have stood in our communities for decades. Repurposing an old factory or mill for retail, office or arts space, or transforming them into dwellings, encourages economic development and improves the quality of life of a community," Freeman said. "Some of these buildings have withstood the test of time for more than 100 years. They might be vacant, but they are still standing. My bill would provide an incentive to breathe new life into these buildings – many of which are part of a community heritage and identity." Freeman’s bill would establish three types of tax incentive programs: A 25 percent tax credit for the rehabilitation and reconstruction costs incurred by the owner; A business tax credit equal to the salaries and wages paid to full-time employees, up to a maximum of $5,000 per employee; and An interest income tax credit of 10 percent on the interest from loans for the expenditures within the building. The limit would be up to $10,000 per taxable year. The loan holder also would be eligible for a 100 percent tax credit, up to $20,000 per taxable year, on interest Read more


State grant for transportation project awarded in Hellertown

(Feb 26, 2018)

State Rep. Robert Freeman, D-Northampton, said Hellertown Borough has received $126,173 in state grant funding for a transportation project to improve safety and mobility and reduce congestion. Freeman said Main Street pedestrian countdown indicators will be installed in Hellertown. “This funding will allow Hellertown Borough to maintain and improve traffic in the community to keep the road safe for pedestrians and drivers,” Freeman said. The state funding comes from revenue generated from automated red light enforcement violations in Philadelphia. Under the state law that established the program, projects that improve safety, enhance mobility and reduce congestion can be considered for funding. The grants are administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Maintenance and Operations. Freeman said projects were chosen on criteria that included project benefits and effectiveness, cost, local and regional impact and cost sharing. Read more


Your Report from Rep. Robert Freeman: Winter 2017-2018

(Feb 01, 2018)

Be sure to check out my latest newsletter. Read more


Freeman announces $1.5 million in state grants for Easton and Freemansburg

(Dec 22, 2017)

State Rep. Robert Freeman, D-Northampton, is pleased to announce that two projects in his legislative district have been awarded Redevelopment Assistance Capitol Program grants totaling $1.5 million. Freeman said the two projects are as follows: $1 million for the North Fourth Street Parking Deck. $500,000 for Freemansburg Borough Municipal Complex improvements. “The state’s sizable investment shows that the projects are headed in the right direction,” Freeman said. ‘The projects are significant investments in Easton and Freemansburg.” “The parking garage project is seen by the city as important to address the increased number of people coming to downtown Easton for its many tourist attractions, restaurants, and community venues such as the Centre Square Farmers Market and the indoor Easton Public Market,” he said. “The funding for the Freemansburg Borough Hall is needed to upgrade and improve borough facilities in a community with a limited tax base. The improvements envisioned will enhance the operation of Freemansburg's borough government and emergency services operations,” he said. The RACP grant program is administered by the governor’s Office of the Budget to foster economic, cultural, civic and historical projects with significant potential for improving economic growth with new jobs. Read more


Freeman bill would require auditor general to examine legislature's expenses

(Dec 21, 2017)

State Rep. Bob Freeman, D-Northampton, is urging the legislature to take up legislation he has introduced ( H.B. 1257 ) which would require the Pennsylvania auditor general to audit the financial affairs of the General Assembly and its legislative service agencies. “In light of recent revelations regarding settlements being paid out, my legislation is very timely,” Freeman said. “I think it is in the best interest of the people of Pennsylvania that we have greater transparency and more accountability as to how the legislature spends taxpayers’ money.” As it now stands, the General Assembly is audited by a certified public accountant hired by the Legislative Audit Advisory Commission. Freeman said that under his bill, the auditor general would be required to perform annual audits of the legislature’s finances and would be permitted to perform special audits if deemed necessary as well. Copies of the audits would be provided to the president pro tempore of the Senate, minority leader of the Senate, speaker of the House and minority leader of the House. “We continually talk of the need for greater financial transparency in government, so this is a chance for us to open the books and reveal just how taxpayers’ money is being spent by the legislature,” Freeman said. Freeman said the completed copies of the audits would then be available to the public. Freeman introduced H.B. 1257 in April and has introduced it in Read more


2018 Capitol Scenes Calendar

(Dec 18, 2017)

Please download and enjoy this free 2018 calendar featuring seasonal photos of our beautiful state Capitol. Read more