Restore Pennsylvania initiative seeks to improve infrastructure while reducing environmental impact

(May 24, 2019)

Our environment is rapidly changing. Our roads and bridges are crumbling. Our jobs are disappearing. Restore Pennsylvania, or #RestorePA, addresses these problems by launching a united front, making us safer and more secure, while moving toward a more prosperous and environmentally responsible future. This plan has broad support from House members across the Commonwealth, and I want to thank my Chester County colleagues – State Reps. Melissa Shusterman, Dan Williams, Carolyn Comitta and Christina Sappey – for signing on to the #RestorePA plan. By banding together as a coalition, Pennsylvania – and Chester County specifically – will continue to be a great place to live and work. Only together will we find meaningful solutions. The #RestorePA plan is just such an innovative and forward-thinking solution to a number of problems plaguing Pennsylvania. A major defect in previous plans is budgeting – year after year, the legislature passes a budget with major funding gaps. We must ensure we have an adequate funding source to pay for desperately needed infrastructure repairs and improvements. The old standby measures have not worked. We need to find creative avenues to secure funding. A severance tax could be that creative solution. Despite being the second-largest natural gas producer, Pennsylvania is the only major gas-producing state that does not tax drillers for their pillaging. Why are these companies not paying their Read more

 

Kids Fest

(May 20, 2019)

Join me from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 1 for Kids Fest at Kathryn Markley Elementary School. Festivities will include face painting, touch a firetruck, story time with the Rep. and more! Read more

 

Rep. Howard to host Kids Fest on June 1

(May 15, 2019)

MALVERN, May 15 – State Rep. Kristine Howard, D-Chester, announced that she will hold a Kids Fest from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 1 at Kathryn Markley Elementary School, located at 354 Swedesford Rd., Malvern, PA 19355. Several local organizations will participate, including the East Whiteland Fire and Police Departments, the SPCA, the Chester County Historical Society, and the Chester County Library. Festivities will include activities such as face painting, touch a firetruck, story time with the Rep. and more! Read more

 

Howard announces $513,588 in school safety and security grants

(May 13, 2019)

HARRISBURG, May 13 – State Rep. Kristine Howard, D-Chester, said $513,588 in state funds was recently awarded to two local schools to enhance and implement school safety and security initiatives. Howard 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 , and is responsible for establishing the standards schools must meet when performing school safety and security assessments. Grant recipients in Howard’s district include: West Chester Area School District, receiving $400,050. Great Valley School District, receiving $113,538. According to Howard, school districts can choose how the funds will be used. Eligible purposes include, but are not limited to, safety and security assessments, emergency preparedness, violence prevention, intervention training programs, training of school police officers and counseling services for students. "Ensuring the safety of our children is my top priority, especially when they are in a learning environment, which is a place where all children should unquestionably be and feel safe," Howard said. "I’m thankful that these two schools in my district will receive these state funds, because these were competitive grants that I know the school districts worked hard to secure." Further information about the grants can be found Read more

 

APPRISE Medicare 101 Session

(May 09, 2019)

Learn the basics of APPRISE Medicare at my information session from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 15. Read more

 

Rep. Howard questions Sunoco’s purchase of homes in West Whiteland

(May 05, 2019)

MALVERN, May 5 – Rep. Kristine Howard, D-Chester, called on the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to investigate Sunoco’s recent purchase of two homes on Lisa Drive in West Whiteland Township, the site of multiple sinkholes, including one in January that exposed part of the Mariner East 1 pipeline. According to documents posted on the Chester County Recorder of Deeds website, Sunoco bought the two homes for $400,000 apiece. No other information has been made public, and the residents are subject to nondisclosure agreements. “Where is the transparency?” Rep. Howard wondered. “What about the rest of the homes on the street? Are residents safe? Why buy these homes and not all the homes along the pipeline? What are we not being told? “The DEP needs to compel Sunoco to release more information regarding their actions. Sunoco needs to be a better member of the community.” ### About Rep. Kristine Howard – Kristine Howard (D-Chester) was elected state representative for the 167th Legislative District in November 2018. The district includes parts of Charlestown, East Whiteland, Easttown, West Pikeland, West Whiteland, Willistown Township, and Malvern Borough. Read more

 

Rep. Howard commends Environmental Hearing Board’s ruling

(May 03, 2019)

MALVERN, Pa. – Today, Rep. Kristine Howard, D-Chester, commended the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board (EHB) for ruling that the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Prospective Purchaser Agreements (PPAs) with Constitution Drive Partners (CDP) were void. The PPAs would have allowed for the development of the contaminated Bishop Tube site in East Whiteland Township, and the EHB’s decision prohibits CDP developer Brian O’Neill from building homes on the toxic waste site. The DEP entered into two PPAs with CDP in 2018. The EHB ruled on April 26 that the steps taken by the DEP to provide notice and secure comment on those PPAs were inadequate, and so they were declared void. “This is a terrific first step,” Rep. Howard said. “Progress is being made, and now, we can begin moving forward with the clean up of the Bishop Tube site. Rep. Howard met with the DEP on Wednesday to discuss further steps regarding the remediation of the former Superfund site. Read more

 

Howard appointed secretary in House Children and Youth Committee

(Apr 17, 2019)

HARRISBURG, April 17 – State Rep. Kristine Howard, D-Chester, was appointed Democratic secretary of the House Children and Youth Committee. She will serve as secretary with Democratic committee Chairman Joseph Petrarca. “My experience as a caseworker with the Chester County Department of Children, Youth and Families puts me in position to be a strong advocate,” Howard said. “As secretary, I am committed to creating a safer, more supportive community for the children of Pennsylvania.” The Children and Youth Committee focuses on Pennsylvania’s youngest residents, reviewing bills that impact the Office of Child Development and Learning, as well as the Office of Children, Youth and Families under the Department of Human Services. Those interested in learning more about Howard and her committee appointments can call her district office at 610-251-1070 or visit her website at www.pahouse.com/Howard . Read more

 

Real ID Information Session: May 2

(Apr 10, 2019)

State Rep. Kristine Howard will host a REAL ID Information Session from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 2 at Charlestown Elementary School, 2060 Charlestown Road in Malvern. Read more

 

167th Legislative District Listening Tour

(Apr 08, 2019)

State Rep. Kristine Howard invites you to join her at one of her "Listening Tour" events starting now through May 16th throughout the district. Read more

 

Senior SEPTA ID Event: May 5, 2019

(Apr 08, 2019)

Rep. Kristine Howard will host a Senior SEPTA ID event from 1:30p.m. to 4 p.m. on May 5 at the Chester County Library, 450 Exton Square Pkwy in Exton. Read more

 

Howard: We Must Reunite Not Rip Parents From Their Children

(Mar 13, 2019)

As a former childhood abuse investigator, Pa. state Rep. Kristine Howard opposed a bill that would strip rights from an incarcerated parent. She explains why the legislation would be detrimental to the commonwealth. Read more

 

Chester, Delaware lawmakers urge Wolf to halt Mariner operations until safety protocols are in place

(Mar 11, 2019)

HARRISBURG, March 11 – Pennsylvania lawmakers representing 11 House districts and three Senatorial districts across Chester and Delaware counties have signed a letter to Gov. Tom Wolf asking him to impose a moratorium on the transmission of natural gas liquids products through the Mariner East pipeline system until the mandated protocols are in place for local responders to properly manage a pipeline emergency. Chester County Emergency Services and local school districts along the pipeline, including Downingtown Area School District, Rose Tree Media School District and West Chester Area School District have requested Energy Transfer Partners' subsidiary SPLP to provide its Emergency Response Plan for the Mariner East project, which the responders and school districts need to complete their comprehensive All Hazards Emergency Response Plans and fulfill their statutory requirements under Title 35 of state law . The letter urges Wolf to preserve the health, welfare and safety of constituents who live, work and raise their families in the high-consequence areas of Chester and Delaware counties within the impact radius of Mariner East. “We have pipelines currently transporting highly volatile products through our communities, and our local first responders are not able to adequately plan their emergency response or mitigate our risk because the operator has failed to cooperate with repeated requests for their Emergency Response Plan,” said Read more

 

Howard calls on state officials to investigate pipeline players

(Jan 24, 2019)

MALVERN, Jan. 24 – Today, Rep. Kristine Howard called on Attorney General Josh Shapiro and Auditor General Eugene DePasquale to open a criminal investigation into Sunoco’s activities regarding the Mariner East 1 and 2 pipelines, and to audit the Public Utilities Commission and the Department of Environmental Protection. Howard’s actions were spurred by the opening of a large sinkhole in a residential area of West Whiteland Township on Sunday evening, which exposed the Mariner East 1 pipeline. This is the latest in a series of pipeline-related incidents in the high-density area, including numerous other sinkholes and complaints of tainted well water. Howard said the area’s limestone geology is a large factor in the appearance of sinkholes, and many critics have noted the unsuitability of the area for pipeline development. “Both Sunoco and the PUC were quick to claim there was no danger to the neighborhood,” Howard said, “but the stark fact remains – this is not the first time this issue has occurred. Nor the second. Nor the third. Something needs to change, and that is why I have called on the attorney general and the auditor general to provide greater scrutiny and accountability for this major public safety concern.” About Rep. Kristine Howard – Kristine Howard was elected state representative for the 167th Legislative District in November 2018. The district includes parts of Charlestown, East Whiteland, Read more

 

Pa. House Democrats clean up Valley Forge National Park amid federal government shutdown

(Jan 11, 2019)

KING OF PRUSSIA, Jan. 11 – Four freshman Democratic state representatives spent Thursday morning picking up trash at Valley Forge National Park, helping to keep the historic site beautiful during the ongoing federal government shutdown. State Reps. Joe Ciresi, Kristine Howard, Melissa Shusterman and Joe Webster were joined by the staffs of U.S. Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, D-Chester/Berks, and state Sen. Katie Muth, D-Montgomery, at the National Memorial Arch. The newly sworn-in lawmakers said President Trump’s partial government shutdown means more than 800,000 hardworking Americans, including those who usually keep Valley Forge National Park looking spectacular, are furloughed and entering a financial bind. Friday, which was supposed to be a payday for federal employees, instead marks the record-tying 21 st day of the shutdown. For national parks, that means nobody on site to collect trash or service restrooms. So the four first-time Pa. representatives came together at Valley Forge to take a stand and lend some helping hands. “This is really about true public service and stepping up when there is a need in the community,” said Ciresi, who’s asked members of his staff to volunteer at least once a month with a service organization of their choice. “I didn’t run for office to sit at a desk in Harrisburg. Valley Forge is near all of our districts, so it’s up to us and all of you to help keep it beautiful.” Added Read more

 

Freshmen Pa. House Democrats to help clean Valley Forge National Park on Thursday

(Jan 09, 2019)

KING OF PRUSSIA, Jan. 8 – Freshmen Democratic state Reps. Joe Ciresi, Kristine Howard, Melissa Shusterman and Joe Webster will do their parts to keep Valley Forge National Historic Park beautiful this Thursday morning. The quartet, representing Chester and Montgomery counties, will visit Valley Forge National Park at the National Memorial Arch from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Thursday to participate in trash pickup. The trash piles have been growing during the federal government shutdown. Ciresi, Howard, Shusterman and Webster will be joined by staff members from the offices of U.S. Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, D-Chester/Berks, and state Sen. Katie Muth, D-Montgomery. Many national park services, including trash collection, are on hiatus during federal government shutdowns. And this collection of Pennsylvania representatives wants to help to keep the historic park clean. Members of the media seeking more information are advised to contact Mike Hays from Ciresi’s office via cell phone at 215-353-6142 or by email at mhays@pahouse.net . Read more

 

Howard sworn in for first term as state representative

(Jan 01, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 1 – State Rep. Kristine Howard took the oath of office during a swearing-in ceremony today at the Capitol, officially kicking off her first term as state representative for the 167th Legislative District. “I live in Chester County, and I am in tune with the issues that our communities are facing on a daily basis,” Howard said. “I am ready to start working with my neighbors to improve state programs and funding to offer quality education, healthcare, and career opportunities for all.” As a child advocate, Howard ran a legal and social services organization, stood up for youth in foster care with the Philadelphia Lawyers for the Arts, and investigated child abuse with the Chester County Department of Children, Youth, and Family services. “I’m a mother of seven and have focused on the principle of putting children first, ensuring their safety, and laying the right groundwork that leads to a bright future,” Howard explained. Those interested in learning more about Howard can call her district office at 610-251-1070, visit her website at www.pahouse.com/Howard , or follow her on Facebook and Twitter @RepKHoward. The Pennsylvania House of Representatives’ swearing-in corresponds with the first Tuesday in January, every two years. This year is Pennsylvania’s 203rd legislative session. Read more

 

Veterans services

(Dec 01, 2018)

Below are a number of programs and services available to help veterans and their families. Please share this list with any veterans in your life. Veterans Temporary Assistance Temporary help is available for veterans and their beneficiaries who need aid for essentials such as shelter, fuel, clothing and food. If eligible, a veteran or their beneficiary can qualify for up to $1,600 in a 12-month period. The Disabled Veterans Real Estate Tax Exemption Program Any honorably discharged veteran who is 100 percent disabled, a resident of Pennsylvania and has financial need can apply for this program, which provides real estate tax exemption on principal dwellings. Educational Gratuity Program Children of honorably discharged veterans with service-connected disabilities or children of veterans who died in service during a period of war or armed conflict qualify for up to $500 per semester/term to help defray educational costs. Military Family Relief Assistance Program Eligible Pennsylvania service members and their family members who have a direct and immediate financial need as a result of circumstances beyond their control can apply for up to $3,500 in grants. This program is available for active and past service members. Veterans’ Trust Fund Grant Program Grants are available for veterans’ services organizations, non-profit organizations with a mission of serving Pennsylvania veterans, individual eligible counties and the State Read more

 

Heating aid via LIHEAP now open

(Dec 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 https://www.compass.state.pa.us . Read more