Otten, Williams applaud $150K CTE grant for Chester County Workforce Development Board

(20 hours ago)

EXTON, Jan. 16 — State Reps. Danielle Friel Otten and Dan Williams today congratulated the Chester County Workforce Development Board for its $150,000 award to help businesses and school districts work together to better prepare students for in-demand careers. “Career and technical education allows students to discover their individual talents and explore rewarding career pathways that may not require a four-year degree,” Otten said. “Grants like this help us grow opportunities for students ready to make their mark in the workforce. I’m grateful to the administration for steering these grants into Chester County, and I congratulate the Workforce Development Board for earning the award.” “Our economy is telling us that specific jobs are in great demand but short supply,” Williams said. “These investments in workforce development and training will ensure that Pennsylvania students are well prepared to succeed in the working world. My thanks to Governor Wolf for these awards.” The Department of Labor & Industry awarded $2.4 million for Business-Education Partnership grants to 19 local workforce development boards across the commonwealth. The partnerships will connect schools, employers and students to provide career-related experiences and opportunities through soft-skills development, internships, workplace shadowing and career mentoring, all with the goal of preparing students for good local jobs. Read more

 

Updates on Mariner East and from Harrisburg

(Jan 15, 2020)

I’m back in Harrisburg this week for the start of the 2020 legislative session. I enjoyed the opportunity to connect with constituents over our holiday break, and I look forward to a productive session working for everyone in the 155th! Read more

 

Otten, Muth urge constituents to submit comment on proposed pipeline changes

(Jan 09, 2020)

EXTON, Jan. 9 – State Rep. Danielle Friel Otten, D-Chester, and state Sen. Katie Muth are taking steps this week to ensure that residents affected by a proposed route modification to the Mariner East Pipeline in Upper Uwchlan Township have every opportunity to make their voices heard. In the Dec. 14, 2019, PA Bulletin , DEP published notice of a 30-day public comment period on Energy Transfer/Sunoco's proposed permit revisions for portions of the Mariner East Pipeline, including a segment along Meadow Creek Lane in Upper Uwchlan Township. On Jan. 3, DEP lifted a statewide permit bar after reaching a Consent Order and Agreement with ETC Northeast Pipeline, the Energy Transfer subsidiary responsible for the 2018 explosion in Beaver County that leveled a house and barn. Lifting the permit bar, which had been in place since February 2019, clears the way for permit approvals and new pipeline drilling and construction. “We knew it was inevitable that the permit bar would be lifted at some point,” Otten said. “It’s unfortunate that our lack of regulatory oversight has allowed this bad actor to continue to damage property, put people’s lives at risk, and impact the health and safety of Pennsylvania residents across the state.” The proposed route modification in Upper Uwchlan would bring the pipeline down the middle of Meadow Creek Lane, obstructing residents’ access to their Read more

 

Public Comment Submission for Mariner East Pipeline Route Modification Meadow Creek Lane, Uwchlan Township (HDD-280)

(Jan 08, 2020)

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection recently announced public comment period for Energy Transfer/Sunoco's proposed construction plans for a segment of the Mariner East Pipeline along Meadow Creek Lane in Upper Uwchlan Township. All Comments are due Tuesday, January 28, 2020, to submit public comment on this Permit Modification Request. Given the timing of the comment period, which was announced just before the holidays, I asked the DEP to extend the deadline. They agreed and extended the deadline by 15 days from its original date of January 13. The public comment submission process is not as simple or straightforward as it could be, so my office is here to help. Please consult the following resources for assistance in filing your public comment, and please contact my office my office can help you with your submission in any way. Maps showing original route and proposed route modification. Sunoco’s responses to questions from Upper Uwchlan Township, as provided at public meeting October 14, 2019 Sunoco’s full (300+ page) application on the DEP website . Scroll down to the section that begins, “On April 30, 2019, DEP received a modification request for installation method change at PA Turnpike/HDD 0280, Upper Uwchlan Township, Chester County.” Announcement of public comment period in the PA Bulletin , page 7361. Joint letter and Read more

 

Public Comment on HDD280

(Jan 08, 2020)

Public comment on HDD280 written by Rep. Danielle Friel-Otten and Sen. Katie Muth. Read more

 

Pennsylvania Grant Book

(Jan 07, 2020)

2019-20 Pennsylvania grant & resource directory. Read more

 

Otten bills address food waste, food insecurity

(Dec 04, 2019)

EXTON, Dec. 4 – State Rep. Danielle Friel Otten, D-Chester, hosted constituents in her district office Tuesday evening for an overview and discussion of her proposed food waste reduction bills, followed by the screening of a documentary on food waste . “More food reaches our landfills and incinerators than any other single material in our everyday trash stream,” Otten said. “Today, 40 percent of the food produced in the United States goes to waste, and food waste accounts for 20 percent of the material in our landfills. We need to both redefine what we think of as waste and create a more sustainable system for processing the waste we do produce.” Otten has introduced legislation to reduce food waste, reduce food insecurity, and improve sustainability. House Bill 1950 , Expanding Food Donor Immunity, would encourage food donations by ensuring that restaurants, farms, schools, institutions, and others who donate food to charitable organizations or needy individuals can do so without concerns over potential liability, as long as the donation is made in good faith and reasonable steps are taken to inspect the food at the time of donation. House Bill 1959, Food Date Labeling Requirements, would reduce the amount of food unnecessarily thrown away by requiring food manufacturers to include a “use by” date on food labels that indicates the final date at which the food is safe for human consumption. Read more

 

November News from Harrisburg and the District

(Nov 22, 2019)

It has been a very busy past few weeks in Harrisburg and here in the district, and I am looking forward to spending lots of time with family over the upcoming holiday weekend. My staff and I wish all of our neighbors in the 155th district a very happy Thanksgiving! Read more

 

Otten, Muth announce $315K grant award to East Pikeland Township to increase pedestrian safety

(Nov 12, 2019)

EAST PIKELAND, Nov.12 – State Rep. Danielle Friel Otten and state Sen. Katie Muth today announced that East Pikeland Township will receive $315,000 from the Multimodal Transportation Fund to increase pedestrian safety along state routes 23 and 724. The Multimodal Transportation Fund provides grants to encourage economic development and ensure that a safe and reliable system of transportation is available to the residents of the commonwealth. Otten and Muth said that the grant will go toward completing sidewalks beginning at the newly signalized intersection where Route 23 and Route 724 meet and end at Township Line Road. The township seeks to fill gaps in the sidewalk structure along the corridor by installing new sidewalks and ADA-compliant ramps to improve mobility and access. “I applaud East Pikeland Township’s proactive efforts to promote walkability and improve pedestrian safety and access to businesses and bus stops,” Otten said. “More than 20,000 vehicles travel these routes daily, and the existing sidewalks are inconsistent and disconnected. I’m thankful that we were able to bring these funds to the township.” “Improving pedestrian transportation ensures we are keeping our residents safe,” Muth said. “Safety should always be a first priority, and it is long overdue that an investment be made in East Pikeland. I look forward to seeing how these improvements will benefit our area.” Read more

 

Otten votes against SB 421, citing voter suppression and purge of voter rolls

(Oct 30, 2019)

SB 421 passed the House of Representatives yesterday and is expected to be signed by Governor Wolf Thursday. I voted against this bill because while I believe we should do all we can to make it easy for Pennsylvanians to exercise their right to vote, I am extremely concerned that this legislation will have the opposite effect, ultimately suppressing votes and creating confusion at the polls. SB 421 contains the biggest changes to our voting process since the 1930s, and we're rolling it out with no money or time allocated to inform or educate voters. My colleagues and I fought to roll these changes out gradually or push implementation to 2021, but if the governor signs the bill as expected, all changes will be implemented before the primary election on April 28, 2020. Most concerning to me is the required purge of the voter rolls, which must be completed and certified by party leaders before the April primary in order for counties to receive funding. While periodic cleanup of the voter rolls is standard practice, I'm very concerned that (1) this implementation schedule does not allow proper time for notification of voters, or for active voters to re-register if they are removed from the voter rolls in error, (2) county funding for new voting equipment is tied to the completion of the purge, and (3) the legislation requires the purge completion for each county to be certified by politicians rather than Read more

 

Otten, Democratic lawmakers strive to increase accessibly of menstrual hygiene products, end period poverty

(Oct 23, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 23 – State Rep. Danielle Friel Otten, D-Chester, accompanied by Reps. Sara Innamorato, D-Allegheny, and Isabella Fitzgerald, D-Phila., and state Sen. Maria Collett, D-Bucks/Montgomery, on Tuesday hosted a press conference on their bills that seek to end period poverty in Pennsylvania. Period poverty, or the lack of access to menstrual hygiene products, is a problem that Otten said affects 1 in 5 American women. Her bill, H.B.1708, would require Pennsylvania’s public schools to supply pads and tampons in bathrooms serving students in grades six through 12. "Menstrual products are not a luxury, but a basic necessity,” Otten said. “This is an issue of access, beyond just dollars and cents. It's an issue of our children's health, safety and well-being. It's about setting up our girls and young women with what they need to have a level playing field. It's about ensuring dignity and equity for half our population so that they can fully participate in school, the workplace and society." Innamorato spoke on her bill that would require Pennsylvania’s public colleges and universities to supply menstrual hygiene products at no cost inside campus bathrooms. “When you enter a public restroom on a college or university campus, you’re provided hand soap and towels to support hand hygiene. Why don’t we treat menstruation as a basic hygiene need for our students?” Innamorato Read more

 

10/18/19 – Youth Mental Health – Exton

(Oct 18, 2019)

Materials from a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing hosted by State Rep. Danielle Friel Otten. Read more

 

Otten, Policy Committee examine youth mental health

(Oct 18, 2019)

EXTON, Oct. 18 – State Rep. Danielle Friel Otten, D-Chester, hosted a House Policy Committee hearing at the Lionville YMCA on youth mental health and efforts being made to end the stigma associated with discussing or seeking help for mental health issues. She was joined by lawmakers from across the state, including Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. “There is a growing youth mental health crisis throughout the country,” Otten said. “Our kids need our help now. I want to ensure that the Pennsylvania legislature is doing all we can to improve mental health supports, build capacity in every part of the community, and increase access to mental health services for children, teens and families.” “Ensuring the well-being of Pennsylvania’s children is among my top priorities,” Sturla said. “Opening up a dialog on how we can improve the access, quality and outcomes of care to youth in need helps us lawmakers better understand what we could be doing in Harrisburg to end this crisis.” The committee heard testimony from the following: Dr. Jane Thompson, psychotherapist, Chester Springs Clinical Associates LLC. Anna Wojcik, student, Downingtown East High School. Sara Stein, student, Downingtown East High School. Mary Kwiatkowski, parent, Owen J. Roberts School District. Dr. Bradley J. Dyer, pediatrician and founder, All Star Pediatrics. Read more

 

Otten, Democratic lawmakers to hold news conference on legislation to increase accessibility of menstrual hygiene products

(Oct 18, 2019)

EXTON, Oct. 18 – State Rep. Danielle Friel Otten, D-Chester, will hold a news conference next week on H.B. 1708 , which would require public schools serving students in grades six through 12 to provide free menstrual hygiene products in school bathrooms. Reps. Sara Innamorato, D-Allegheny, and Isabella Fitzgerald, D-Phila., and state Sen. Maria Collett, D-Bucks/Montgomery, will also speak on menstrual equity bills they will be introducing. The news conference will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22 in the Capitol Rotunda. Otten said her bill was inspired by one student’s concern over “period poverty,” or the lack of access to menstrual hygiene products. Seventeen-year-old Lilly Minor from Owen J. Roberts High School told Otten that access to these products is limited in school bathrooms, and while they can be obtained at the nurse’s office, this is not the most accessible solution. “Lilly brought this issue to my attention and reminded me that this issue is occurring even in a relatively affluent area, so the problem is likely to be significantly worse in less well-off regions of our commonwealth,” Otten said. “If girls and women cannot access these products, it impacts their ability to work, go to school and enjoy aspects of everyday life.” Innamorato’s bill will focus on providing free menstrual hygiene products in the bathrooms of classroom buildings at Read more

 

Otten to hold policy hearing on youth mental health Friday in Exton

(Oct 15, 2019)

EXTON, Oct. 15 – State Rep. Danielle Friel Otten, D-Chester, will hold a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing on youth mental health. The hearing will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 18 at the Lionville YMCA, 100 Devon Drive. The media and public are invited to attend. Otten requested the hearing to discuss factors contributing to the growing youth mental health crisis, along with efforts and proposed solutions to end the stigma associated with mental health and improve access to care and outcomes for children and youth. Otten will be joined by state legislators from across the state, including Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. Panelists will include: Dr. Jane Thompson, psychotherapist, Chester Springs Clinical Associates LLC Anna Wojcik, student, Downingtown East High School Sara Stein, student, Downingtown East High School Mary Kwiatkowski, parent, Owen J. Roberts School District Bradley J. Dyer, pediatrician and founder, All Star Pediatrics Perk Musacchio, author, retired teacher and educational consultant Monica Reinhard-Gorney, author/educational counselor Cindy Kruse, Educational and Workforce consultant Dr. Pamela Brown, Southeastern Region president, PSEA Dr. Bridgette Miles, principal, Coatesville Area School District Cynthia Black, president, board of directors, Communities That Care of Greater Downingtown Candy Read more

 

Fall 2019 Community Newsletter

(Oct 10, 2019)

As your state representative, my role is to ensurethat constituents of the 155th Legislative District arerepresented in the law-making process in Harrisburg. Read more

 

Otten Supports Uwchlan Township supervisor’s request to Sunoco

(Oct 10, 2019)

EXTON, Oct. 10 – State Rep. Danielle Friel Otten, D-Chester, today issued a statement of support for a letter from Uwchlan Township Supervisor Mayme Baumann to Sunoco Pipeline L.P. regarding more unforeseen drilling in the community. Baumann’s letter took issue with Sunoco’s planned addition of new horizontal directional drilling sites along Devon Drive in Uwchlan Township, noting that Sunoco previously informed the township that the drilling rig for this segment of pipeline would be placed outside of Uwchlan Township. Baumann requested that Sunoco adhere to its original plan, under which Uwchlan Township would serve only as an exit point for drilling. Baumann cited concerns that the new proposal will have significantly more impact on the residents of Uwchlan Township, including substantially more noise and vibration. In a letter dated Sept. 27, 2019, Energy Transfer notified some residents of Uwchlan Township’s Marchwood neighborhood that “a certain construction activity known as Horizontal Directional Drilling (‘HDD’) for Mariner East 2…will recommence within thirty days from the date of this letter.” The Energy Transfer letter makes no mention of the change in entry or exit points, the addition of new rigs, or the duration of the drilling, which Sunoco advised township officials may last between 75 and 224 days. “This is the same letter our family and Read more

 

Otten invites community to health and wellness fair on Saturday

(Oct 08, 2019)

EXTON, Oct. 8 – State Rep. Danielle Friel Otten, D-Chester, will hold her first community wellness fair from noon to 5 p.m. this Saturday, Oct. 12 at Marsh Creek Community Church, 101 Crump Road, Exton. Otten said more than 30 local businesses, service providers and community agencies will be present to provide information to people interested on how to live physically and mentally healthy lives. The fair will also include a lineup of speakers, children’s activities, free chair massages, an acupuncture demonstration, a youth strength and conditioning class, a restorative qigong class, and more. Additionally, a local pharmacy will have flu shots available for those who bring their insurance or Medicare cards. “This is a free event that has something for everyone, whether you’re interested in youth mental health, health and wellness for seniors, or simply a new addition to your exercise routine,” Otten said. “I’m hoping that each attendee can leave with a better understanding of the resources available in our community and valuable information on how they can improve their health and their daily lives.” For more information about Otten's community wellness fair, those interested can call Otten’s office at 484-200-8259. Read more

 

Otten introduces plan to amend Pa. constitution for local self-government

(Oct 03, 2019)

EXTON, Oct. 3 – State Rep. Danielle Friel Otten, D-Chester, today announced a proposal for an amendment to the Pennsylvania constitution. Otten’s amendment, H.B. 1813 , would allow municipal governments to enact laws protecting the health and safety of their communities without interference from corporations or pre-emption by the state or federal government. “Today, I stood with local elected officials and members of our community to announce a proposal for an amendment to the Pennsylvania constitution that would recognize the fundamental right of the people to local self-government and place the rights of citizens over the interests of private corporations,” Otten said. “Under current law in Pennsylvania, corporations can sue state and federal governments to override community attempts to protect themselves from projects with the potential to cause great personal or environmental harm. It is time we correct that failure.” Otten was joined by Uwchlan Township Supervisor Bill Miller, West Chester Mayor Dianne Herrin, community organizer and Downingtown Area School Board director Rebecca Britton, PA Community Rights Network President Malinda Harnish Clatterbuck and a volunteer leader with the Pennsylvania chapter of Moms Demand Action, Erin Buchner. Miller noted the current inability of townships to regulate the proliferation of cellular towers, the presence of guns in local parks or the sale of fireworks Read more

 

Otten to introduce amendment to PA constitution calling for local self-government

(Sep 27, 2019)

EXTON, Sept. 27 – State Rep. Danielle Friel Otten, D-Chester, will announce her proposal for an amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution next Thursday. The announcement will take place at 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3 at the Uwchlan Township building, 715 N. Ship Road in Exton. The media and public are invited to attend. Otten said her amendment would recognize the fundamental right of the people to local self-government. Otten explained that this would allow communities to make decisions on their own behalf to protect their own health and safety, or to move toward a sustainable future. “Under existing law, corporations can sue state and federal governments to override community attempts to protect themselves from projects with the potential to cause great personal or environmental harm,” Otten said. “My amendment places the rights of citizens over the interests of private corporations. This would empower communities and their municipal governments to enact local laws without interference from corporations or pre-emption by the state or federal government.” For more information or questions, call Otten’s office at 484-200-8259. Read more

 

Otten, Williams applaud $150K CTE grant for Chester County Workforce Development Board
20 hours ago

Updates on Mariner East and from Harrisburg
Jan 15, 2020

Otten, Muth urge constituents to submit comment on proposed pipeline changes
Jan 09, 2020

Public Comment Submission for Mariner East Pipeline Route Modification Meadow Creek Lane, Uwchlan Township (HDD-280)
Jan 08, 2020

Public Comment on HDD280
Jan 08, 2020

Pennsylvania Grant Book
Jan 07, 2020

Otten bills address food waste, food insecurity
Dec 04, 2019

November News from Harrisburg and the District
Nov 22, 2019

Otten, Muth announce $315K grant award to East Pikeland Township to increase pedestrian safety
Nov 12, 2019

Otten votes against SB 421, citing voter suppression and purge of voter rolls
Oct 30, 2019

Otten, Democratic lawmakers strive to increase accessibly of menstrual hygiene products, end period poverty
Oct 23, 2019

10/18/19 – Youth Mental Health – Exton
Oct 18, 2019

Otten, Policy Committee examine youth mental health
Oct 18, 2019

Otten, Democratic lawmakers to hold news conference on legislation to increase accessibility of menstrual hygiene products
Oct 18, 2019

Otten to hold policy hearing on youth mental health Friday in Exton
Oct 15, 2019

Fall 2019 Community Newsletter
Oct 10, 2019

Otten Supports Uwchlan Township supervisor’s request to Sunoco
Oct 10, 2019

Otten invites community to health and wellness fair on Saturday
Oct 08, 2019

Otten introduces plan to amend Pa. constitution for local self-government
Oct 03, 2019

Otten to introduce amendment to PA constitution calling for local self-government
Sep 27, 2019