Merski, Harkins: Nearly $80,000 awarded to fight veteran hunger, food insecurity

(21 hours ago)

“The sacrifices our veterans made were never small ones," Harkins said. "They risked their lives and gave up precious time with loved ones to protect and defend our nation. Some faced trauma and still live with the after-effects. I am deeply grateful for their courage and selflessness, and also thankful for the funding that will help make their lives a bit easier.” Read more

 

Erie lawmakers announce nearly $70K investment for Gannon University

(Apr 10, 2024)

“The new funding will allow Gannon students to team with local manufacturers on innovative projects that will yield new industry methods and techniques,” said state Rep. Pat Harkins, who represents portions of the city of Erie as well as Lake Erie and Lawrence Park townships. “It’s the kind of work that will shape progress in the region and keep Erie business and industry highly competitive – both here at home and globally. I’m excited to see what the future will bring, and I’m thankful to DCED and to our state and local partners who helped bring this funding home.” Read more

 

Bizzarro, Merski, Harkins tout $835,000 grant for violence intervention and prevention efforts

(Mar 27, 2024)

Erie County has been awarded grant funding to help bolster public safety and violence prevention efforts, state Reps. Ryan Bizzarro, Bob Merski and Pat Harkins, all D-Erie, announced Wednesday. Read more

 

Harkins applauds Flagship Niagara League, Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission’s agreement on continued partnership

(Mar 25, 2024)

HARRISBURG, March 25 – In a move that will continue a longstanding Erie legacy, the Flagship Niagara League’s Board of Directors voted to move forward with becoming the associate group for the Erie Maritime Museum, state Rep. Pat Harkins, D-Erie, announced today. While a few underlying issues, such as the future of the Lettie G. Howard and other FNL sailing programs, still need to be addressed, Harkins expressed optimism that another organization with a shared vision will continue the proud tradition of these programs. “This teamwork-oriented approach ensures the story of Erie’s rich history continues to be told,” said Harkins. “Preserving and maintaining key relics, such as the U.S. Brig Niagara, is critical in our collective quest of understanding the framework of our region’s history. “This ongoing collaboration will allow for diverse, interactive educational experiences for visitors that highlight key events like the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. I am ecstatic this endeavor will continue benefiting the wonderful people of the Greater Erie community.” Read more

 

Harkins: Lawrence Park Township awarded $80,000 to develop financial management plan

(Mar 14, 2024)

“Having a five-year financial management plan in place can be extremely helpful for township officials when it comes to community planning,” Harkins said. “It’s a road map that can guide decision making and help them develop strategies, identify priorities, pinpoint new opportunities and assess possible risks." Read more

 

Harkins re-appointed as member of Great Lakes Commission

(Mar 07, 2024)

HARRISBURG, March 7 – State Rep. Pat Harkins, D-Erie, announced today that he has been re-appointed by Gov. Josh Shapiro to serve as a member on the Great Lakes Commission. “I’m excited to continue serving on this esteemed commission, which works in unison across eight U.S. states and two Canadian provinces to advocate for shared priorities,” said Harkins. “The Great Lakes are a tremendous environmental and economic asset, and a part of my duties on the commission is balancing the use and development of the Great Lakes while preserving their natural beauty. “I wanted to thank Governor Shapiro for entrusting me to continue the excellent progress we have made on the commission, and I look forward to working alongside my colleagues as we champion the upward trajectory of the Great Lakes Region.” Harkins has served on the Great Lakes Commission since 2018. Read more

 

Winter 2024 Newsletter

(Feb 26, 2024)

Winter 2024 Newsletter Read more

 

Harkins, Merski: Over $190,000 secured for Erie fire, EMS

(Feb 16, 2024)

ERIE, Feb. 16 – Erie County fire and EMS departments are getting a boost thanks to a slew of grants administered by the Office of State Fire Commissioner, state Reps. Pat Harkins and Bob Merski announced today. The lawmakers, both D-Erie, said the funding from the Fire Company and Emergency Medical Services Grant Program will be utilized to upgrade necessary equipment for both fire and EMS services. “Erie’s firefighters and paramedics, many of whom are volunteer, embody the spirit of selfless public service,” Harkins said. “They willingly dedicate their time to keeping our communities safe, and aiding them in reducing operational expenses is a good government initiative that everyone can support.” “Our dedicated first responders risk their lives every day to protect our communities from fires, accidents, and other emergencies,” Merski said. “They deserve our gratitude and our assistance, and we thank the commonwealth for recognizing the vital role of our volunteer fire and EMS departments and for investing in their future." Recipients in the 1 st and 2 nd Legislative Districts received a combined total of $191,794 in grant funding. These recipients include: Brookside Fire/EMS: $30,006. City of Erie Fire Department: $16,951. Emergycare, Inc.: $15,000. Fairfield Hose Company VFD: $14,034. Harborcreek Fire/EMS: $30,201. Kul Hose Company Read more

 

Lawmakers announce nearly $160,000 to support technical schools

(Feb 08, 2024)

“This grant funding will help our region’s tech schools ensure students have state-of-the-art equipment while simultaneously offering individuals the opportunity to strengthen their skill set and prepare to excel in a competitive job market,” state Rep. Pat Harkins said. Read more

 

Harkins: Legislative Audit Advisory Commission accepts audit of General Assembly’s 2023 finances

(Feb 07, 2024)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 7 – State Rep. Pat Harkins, majority chairman of the bicameral Legislative Audit Advisory Commission, announced that the commission met Tuesday and accepted the independent audit of the General Assembly’s finances for 2023. Harkins, D-Erie, said that as majority chairman, he will continue to ensure the commission fulfills its responsibility of keeping the public informed about the General Assembly’s finances. “Ensuring continued transparency of the budgets and finances of the General Assembly is fundamental to good government,” Harkins said. “Being the majority chairman provides me with unique insight as we continuously strive to keep the public fully informed about the finances of the Pennsylvania House and Senate. “Working aside Representative Dunbar has made my transition to majority chairman of the commission seamless, allowing us to focus on delivering this constitutionally mandated report. I thank him for his unwavering dedication to ensuring government is working effectively and efficiently. In addition, I would like to personally thank Gregory Jordan for volunteering countless hours of his time throughout the last several years as a public member of the commission. Gregory’s dedication to the commission’s obligations exemplifies what it means to be a public servant.” Harkins said the audit the commission reviewed – conducted by the independent Read more

 

Harkins, Merski: $55,000 secured to illuminate Bayfront Connector

(Jan 30, 2024)

ERIE, Jan. 30 – New grant funding of $55,000 will fund the replacement of 201 city-owned streetlights along the Bayfront Connector, state Reps. Pat Harkins and Bob Merski announced today. The lawmakers, both D-Erie, said the funding from PennDOT’s Automated Red-Light Enforcement program will allow the city to replace and upgrade streetlights along a vital section of roadway in Erie. “Motorists and pedestrians alike will be safer thanks to the upgrading of streetlights along one of our area’s busier corridors,” Harkins said. “Enhancing visibility along the Bayfront Connector will have a direct impact on the safety and well-being of all who utilize this roadway,” Merski said. Funding for ARLE grants comes from fines for red light violations at 34 intersections in Philadelphia. The funding can be used for projects that improve safety, enhance mobility or reduce congestion. Since 2010, ARLE has awarded $141.5 million, funding 576 transportation enhancement projects. More information about this round of funding through the ARLE program is available here. Read more

 

Harkins, Merski, Bizzarro: More than $260,000 in Lake Erie coastal grants awarded

(Jan 24, 2024)

ERIE, Jan. 24 – Grant funding of $268,048 from the state Department of Environmental Protection will support efforts to protect and preserve Lake Erie’s coastal zone region and fund related projects, state Reps. Bob Merski, Pat Harkins and Ryan Bizzarro, all D-Erie, announced today. The lawmakers said the grants will fund technical support and assistance for ongoing efforts to manage and protect the Lake Erie watershed; tracking the habits of Yellow Perch migration between Presque Isle Bay and Lake Erie; establishing a Lake Friendly program to address marine debris; and other projects. “Erie County is blessed with abundant natural resources and remains a premier destination for recreational and outdoor activities,” said Harkins, who is a member of the Great Lakes Commission. “Lake Erie is a vital resource for our commonwealth, and we must continue to be diligent in protecting it from existential threats. This funding is going to help us preserve Lake Erie for generations to come.” Merski said: “Lake Erie is woven into the fabric of our community, enriching the lives of millions who have had the privilege to explore its vast offerings. From fishing for Steelhead or Yellow Perch, to taking a walk along its miles of pristine shoreline, Lake Erie has always been there for us. These investments in wide-ranging initiatives will ensure the lake remains the focal point of cultural Read more

 

Harkins, Merski: Gannon University receives $40,000 ‘It’s On Us’ grant to enhance student safety

(Jan 23, 2024)

ERIE, Jan. 23 – New grant funding of $40,000 from the Pennsylvania Department of Education will help Gannon University bolster security and keep the campus safe from the threat of sexual violence, state Reps. Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, both D-Erie, announced today. The lawmakers said the funding comes from the It’s On Us PA Grant Program administered by the state Department of Education. “Keeping our colleges and universities safe places for students to learn is paramount, and this grant will help Gannon University implement and build upon prevention programs and services to educate students, teachers and administrators, but also provide the vital resources and services to help survivors of sexual assault,” Harkins said. Merski said, “As a former educator, I believe that every student deserves a safe and respectful learning environment, and that we must end the culture of silence and impunity that enables sexual violence. This grant funding will help ensure Gannon University students maintain a safe environment that encourages young adults to pursue their dreams.” The grant will provide funding through May 2025 to help implement strategies on campus to address goals of the It’s On Us PA campaign, including improving prevention, reporting, and response systems regarding sexual violence incidents on college campuses and removing barriers that prevent survivors from Read more

 

Harkins, Merski: Nearly $170,000 in state grants earmarked to enhance Erie police equipment, code enforcement vehicles

(Jan 22, 2024)

ERIE, Jan. 22 – Two grants totaling $169,700 are being awarded to help Erie’s dedicated public servants continue to provide high-quality service to their communities, announced state Reps. Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, both D-Erie. The lawmakers said the grants from the state Department of Community and Economic Development will help offset the cost of replacing the city’s code enforcement vehicles, while also assisting the city’s police department in upgrading motorcycle equipment. “Providing the necessary tools and resources to public servants who dedicate their careers to keeping our communities safe is always a sound investment,” said Harkins. “These grant dollars will have a direct effect on Erie’s perpetual quest to enhance the quality of life for its residents.” "As a fomer city councilman, I understand the financial constraints of the city budget," said Merski. "Grants such as these allow the city to improve its fleet and to do their work efficiently and effectively without having to raise taxes on local property owners. I'm proud to work with Representative Harkins and the city to bring these resources back to Erie." Anyone with questions about these grant awards may contact Harkins’ office at 814-459-1949 or Merski’s office at 814-455-6319. Read more

 

Harkins, Merski: Over $3.1 million secured to electrify Erie’s fleet of refuse collection trucks

(Jan 10, 2024)

ERIE, Jan. 10 – A $3.12 million grant will give a jolt of electricity to Erie by replacing a large swath of the city’s refuse collection trucks with electrically powered vehicles, announced state Reps. Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, both D-Erie. The lawmakers said the grant from the state Department of Environmental Protection’s Medium and Heavy-Duty Zero Emission Vehicle Fleet Pilot Grant Program will help offset the cost of replacing five of the city’s existing trucks with modern, efficient battery-powered electric trucks. “The importance of receiving this multimillion-dollar grant is twofold in that it modernizes critical public services while lessening the burden on taxpayers,” said Harkins. “Making the switch to electric trucks will save money on expensive repairs, vehicle maintenance and fuel costs. The switch to electric vehicles should be met with enthusiasm as they will play a key role in Erie’s success story.” Merski said: Electric vehicles are the way of the future, and Erie taking the initiative to be a step ahead demonstrates our ability to adapt to an ever-changing world. In addition to the benefits of less noise, pollution, and carbon emissions, this $3 million investment in the city’s refuse fleet doesn’t have to come out of local property taxes. This is a win-win for every Erie resident.” This Medium- and Read more

 

Harkins, Merski: Erie would receive economic boost under proposed bill

(Jan 09, 2024)

ERIE, Jan. 8 – In a collaborative effort to help bolster the city of Erie’s local economy, state Reps. Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, both D-Erie, announced the introduction of legislation that would create a City Revitalization Improvement Zone for Erie. The lawmakers said the of the legislation, H.B. 1949 , would help spur new economic growth within the city by reshaping certain sects of the downtown and creating new family sustaining employment for Erie residents. “The city of Erie has tremendous opportunity for growth and rejuvenation,” said Harkins. “Establishing a CRIZ for Erie would give the city a leg up in preparing to compete economically for the next half-century and beyond. “We have seen staggering investments in Erie ranging from various infrastructure projects to strengthening our offerings for tourism and recreation, and adopting this plan would expand our ability to continue prioritizing the economic development of our region,” he added. “The upward trajectory of Erie’s economic standing is the result of community and business leaders banding together and putting in the work for the betterment of our entire area,” Merski said. “While we have made great strides in this collective endeavor, there is no time for stagnation and complacency. Establishing a CRIZ is the appropriate response to continue this Read more

 

Harkins, Merski: More than $308K to bolster Gannon University stormwater infrastructure

(Jan 05, 2024)

ERIE, Jan. 5 – A $308,098 grant to Gannon University will help ensure both the university and surrounding neighborhoods have enhanced, efficient stormwater infrastructure announced state Reps. Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, both D-Erie. The lawmakers said the grant from the state Department of Environmental Protection Growing Greener Program will fund the implementation of stormwater best management practices on the university’s campus. “Protecting our watershed and addressing wastewater and nutrient and sediment reduction is vitally important in Erie County,” said Harkins, who is a member of the Great Lakes Commission. “Properly investing in Erie’s stormwater infrastructure will directly impact the health, safety, and fiscal solvency of our community. These ‘forward-thinking’ type projects will help ensure the next generation of Erie County residents have a solid foundation to continue building upon.” Merski said: “Being proactive when it comes to stormwater infrastructure is a sound investment as it prevents devastating flooding that could not only result in tremendous damage costing millions of dollars, but also put members of our community in harm’s way. Unfortunately, flooding due to poorly designed and managed stormwater infrastructure is becoming more prevalent across the country. Thankfully, this grant will help ease the stress on our Read more

 

Bizzarro, Harkins, Merski announce $1.9M in grant funding for Erie County

(Dec 19, 2023)

Nearly $2 million in state grant funding has been awarded to several Erie County organizations, state Reps. Ryan Bizzarro, Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, all D-Erie, announced Tuesday. Read more

 

Bizzarro, Harkins, Merski announce $26K+ for Erie Co. historical organizations

(Dec 11, 2023)

Two Erie County historical organizations have been awarded grants through the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission (PHMC), state Reps. Ryan Bizzarro, Pat Harkins and Bob Merksi, all D-Erie, announced Monday. Read more

 

Merski, Harkins applaud $3.3 million in tax credits for Erie County

(Nov 22, 2023)

ERIE, Nov. 21– Expanding on their joint effort to bolster Erie based services, facilities, and educational opportunities, with a distinct focus on reinvigorating neighborhoods, state Reps. Bob Merski and Pat Harkins, both D-Erie, announced today that Erie County will receive $3.3 million worth of state tax credits. The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development announced earlier this week that 26 projects across Erie County will be supported by these tax credits through an array of funding mechanisms via the Neighborhood Assistance Program. Tax credits worth $500,000 were awarded to renovate the Renaissance Center in Downtown Erie with plans to convert the historic landmark into a 200-room hotel that would serve as a destination for occasions ranging from weddings to work conferences. Tax credits worth $206,205 will be earmarked to support renovations at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center, including a replacement of the facility’s roof, along with a complete kitchen upgrade. Additionally, Gannon University will receive tax credits of $247,000 that will be utilized to fund initiatives aimed toward combatting housing and food insecurity, crime, and blight. “Receiving these community-influenced tax credits is a game changer and will have a direct, positive influence on our local economy, neighborhoods and tourism industry right here in Erie County,” Merski said. “We continue Read more

 

Merski, Harkins: Nearly $80,000 awarded to fight veteran hunger, food insecurity
21 hours ago

Erie lawmakers announce nearly $70K investment for Gannon University
Apr 10, 2024

Bizzarro, Merski, Harkins tout $835,000 grant for violence intervention and prevention efforts
Mar 27, 2024

Harkins applauds Flagship Niagara League, Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission’s agreement on continued partnership
Mar 25, 2024

Harkins: Lawrence Park Township awarded $80,000 to develop financial management plan
Mar 14, 2024

Harkins re-appointed as member of Great Lakes Commission
Mar 07, 2024

Winter 2024 Newsletter
Feb 26, 2024

Harkins, Merski: Over $190,000 secured for Erie fire, EMS
Feb 16, 2024

Lawmakers announce nearly $160,000 to support technical schools
Feb 08, 2024

Harkins: Legislative Audit Advisory Commission accepts audit of General Assembly’s 2023 finances
Feb 07, 2024

Harkins, Merski: $55,000 secured to illuminate Bayfront Connector
Jan 30, 2024

Harkins, Merski, Bizzarro: More than $260,000 in Lake Erie coastal grants awarded
Jan 24, 2024

Harkins, Merski: Gannon University receives $40,000 ‘It’s On Us’ grant to enhance student safety
Jan 23, 2024

Harkins, Merski: Nearly $170,000 in state grants earmarked to enhance Erie police equipment, code enforcement vehicles
Jan 22, 2024

Harkins, Merski: Over $3.1 million secured to electrify Erie’s fleet of refuse collection trucks
Jan 10, 2024

Harkins, Merski: Erie would receive economic boost under proposed bill
Jan 09, 2024

Harkins, Merski: More than $308K to bolster Gannon University stormwater infrastructure
Jan 05, 2024

Bizzarro, Harkins, Merski announce $1.9M in grant funding for Erie County
Dec 19, 2023

Bizzarro, Harkins, Merski announce $26K+ for Erie Co. historical organizations
Dec 11, 2023

Merski, Harkins applaud $3.3 million in tax credits for Erie County
Nov 22, 2023