Lawmakers hear from healthcare workers, first responders, administrators and advocates impacted by hospital consolidation

(Oct 12, 2021)

EAST BRANDYWINE, Oct. 12 -- Last month, Tower Health announced that it will sell Chestnut Hill Hospital in Philadelphia and close Jennersville Hospital in West Grove, Pa. With the fate of Tower’s Brandywine, Phoenixville, Pottstown, and Reading hospitals up in the air, local healthcare workers, first responders, administrators and advocates addressed concerns and impacts on quality and access to health care, and township services. The event, called Saving Community Hospitals: Keeping Care Close, took place at 11 a.m. today at East Brandywine Township Building, 1214 Horseshoe Pike, Downingtown. “The pandemic has exposed how badly people need close and affordable healthcare,” said Rep. Dan Williams, D-Sadsbury Township. “Discussion today emphasized that we need to keep healthcare facilities open and improve care. Hospital consolidation can be a good thing if healthcare workers are respected and services to patients are upgraded.” Hospital administrators, Andrew Wigglesworth, vice president of Wojdak Government Relations, and Bill Ryan, vice president of Einstein Health Network/Urban Health Care Coalition, described how hospitals are dependent on Medicare or Medicaid, sharing that more than 62% of payers use that public funding mechanism. The funding mechanism results in strains on hospitals and could lead to more consolidations, such as those happening in the region. “Closures and consolidations impact our seniors and put stress Read more

 

Victim, advocates urge lawmakers to decriminalize HIV during hearing

(Oct 06, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 6 -- Pennsylvania has laws on the books that criminalize or control behaviors through HIV-specific statues and regulations. During a hearing today, PA House Democrats heard testimony from a victim of these laws and those advocating for change. “HIV is not a crime but there are outdated laws that make it a crime in Pennsylvania,” said Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Philadelphia. “We cannot have people losing lives and livelihoods because of this.” The victim who spoke at the hearing was Julie Graham, a resident of Cumberland County, who described the impact of these laws on her life after she was charged with four crimes, including two felonies, based on allegations by a man she had dated who claimed she didn’t disclose her HIV status. Due to these allegations, she faced personal and professional consequences that forever impacted the trajectory of her life. “I support and applaud your courage and advocacy to testify here today,” said Rep. Mary Isaacson, D-Philadelphia, who was the Co-Chair of the Policy Committee and host for the hearing today. “Being HIV positive is not a crime and we must do better in supporting those in Pennsylvania who are living with HIV.” PA House Democratic Policy Committee Chair, Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, was also in attendance and added: “HIV decriminalization is important to the entire Democratic Caucus and I am grateful to the testifiers who came today to speak on Read more

 

Fall 2021 Newsletter

(Sep 16, 2021)

Read my Fall 2021 Newsletter now! Read more

 

Eviction Moratorium Letter

(Sep 08, 2021)

More than 45 House members wrote to the Pa. Supreme Court to ask them to stop evictions for those who have applied for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program while they wait for applications to be processed. Read more

 

Legislation responds to hypocrisy of Republican voting restrictions

(Aug 17, 2021)

Republicans have decided that a number of outrageous voting restrictions are needed, arguing that these restrictions would not infringe upon the voting rights of American citizens. If these restrictions truly do not infringe upon Americans’ right to vote, then surely these same restrictions will not infringe upon Americans’ right to bear arms. Read more

 

Philadelphia schools share how they are tackling a third pandemic year

(Aug 11, 2021)

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 11 – Reopening Philadelphia’s schools was the focus of a tour and roundtable of the House Democratic Policy Committee hosted by state Rep. Mary Isaacson, D-Phila., on Wednesday. Philadelphia School District Chief Information Officer Melanie Harris led the tour of Kensington Health Sciences followed by a roundtable with legislators to discuss the challenges faced this year and beyond. “Over the last 18 months, we have invested in solutions for students to safely learn virtually from home, and now, with COVID-19 still very much with us and variants on the rise, we are asking school districts — not just in Philadelphia but across the Commonwealth — to create the answers for how our students can safely return to schools and keep them open," Isaacson said. "This is a question that we've never had to answer, one that the CDC is constantly revising as the virus mutates. Today, we heard concerns and sought answers as to how our students will return to classrooms and be provided a quality education in a structured, safe and welcoming classroom when so much is uncertain and ever-changing. Much needs to be done to help our schools navigate these uncharted waters or our children and the next generation are the ones who will be lost.” “The flexibility and resilience of the Philadelphia School District has been impressive,” said Policy Chairman Ryan Bizzarro. Read more

 

LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus condemns bill that discriminates against athletes

(Aug 04, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 4 – A bill that would discriminate against LGBTQ+ students by restricting their ability to participate in their school’s sports programs as the gender they identify with was condemned by the LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus after a House Education Committee hearing on the proposed Republican legislation, according to the caucus’ co-chair, state Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila. House Bill 972 would prohibit trans girls and women from playing scholastic and collegiate sports. “Republicans are again advocating for open discrimination against LGBTQ+ youth masked as a bill to protect girls and women,” Sims said. “As a former collegiate athlete, I know that LGBTQ+ kids, like all kids, see countless positive outcomes from engagement in sports. The opportunity to build skills, foster friendships and learn to work as a team are essential in development, especially for Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable population, trans kids. The trans community is at higher risk of being victims of assault and experiencing depression, anxiety and, tragically, suicide. The fact that the majority party would aim to subject trans and non-binary youth to further exclusion and harassment is sickening and it is also illegal. We should be striving for inclusion in Pennsylvania, not sending a message of hate to LGBTQ+ youth and their families.” “Republican leaders are holding a hearing on a pretend issue and on a bill that stands zero chance of Read more

 

Legislature must extend opioid disaster declaration by Aug. 26

(Aug 03, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 3 – As the opioid addiction crisis rages on and access to treatment and monitoring programs hangs in the balance, two Philadelphia area state lawmakers are urging House Republican leaders to end the summer recess now so lawmakers can vote to extend the governor’s statewide opioid disaster declaration. On Jan. 10, 2018, Gov. Tom Wolf signed an executive order declaring a statewide disaster emergency due to the opioid epidemic and has continued to renew it since. Wolf said he intends to renew this declaration again on Aug. 5, but recent changes to the Pennsylvania Constitution will cause the emergency order to expire 30 days from that date unless the Pennsylvania General Assembly votes to extend it. As such, the renewal would expire on Aug. 26. The House is not scheduled to return to voting session until Sept. 27. State Reps. Mary Isaacson and Joe Hohenstein, both D-Phila., on Monday sent a letter to House Speaker Bryan Cutler , R-Lancaster, urging him to bring lawmakers back to session before that Aug. 26 expiration so they can vote to extend the emergency declaration. “The opioid epidemic continues to ravage communities throughout our state. Last year, over 5,000 individuals died in Pennsylvania from overdose -- a 16% increase from 2019,” the lawmakers wrote to Cutler. “Each of those numbers represents a life cut short. Each represents families who will never be whole again.” Isaacson and Hohenstein said the Read more

 

Celebrating Park and Recreation Month 2021 by recognizing local recreation sites and their staff members and volunteers

(Jul 29, 2021)

In honor of Park and Recreation Month 2021, which wraps up at the end of the July, I am honoring 15 parks, recreation centers and playgrounds across our district, along with the employees and volunteers who help those sites operate. Our community benefits from having these sites nearby, and from the hard work and dedication of those people who allow them to exist and keep them maintained. Green spaces and places to get some recreation and enjoy the outdoors bring us closer to our environment and enrich our lives. Learn more about Park and Recreation Month, ways to protect open space, connect children to nature and more at https://www.nrpa.org/ . To all the following parks, recreation centers and playgrounds, and to all the people who make them possible, I say THANK YOU! Read more

 

Carbon capture and Pennsylvania’s energy future focus of Wednesday hearing in Philadelphia

(Jul 20, 2021)

PHILADELPHIA, July 20 – Carbon capture and its place in limiting greenhouse gas emissions and contributing to the green economy will be explored at a hearing hosted by state Rep. Joe Hohenstein. The hearing will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, July 21 at the Port of Philadelphia, 3460 N. Delaware Ave., 19134. The media is invited to attend and media inquiries may be submitted via email to policy@pahouse.net . Hohenstein, D-Phila., will be joined by Vice Chair Mary Isaacson and members of the House Democratic Policy Committee to discuss nationwide efforts to support carbon capture and its impact on the economy and environment. Information about this and other House Democratic Policy Committee hearings can be found at www.pahouse.com/policycommittee . ### CONTACT: Nicole Brunner The Office of State Representative Ryan Bizzarro Phone: 717-645-7316 Email: nbrunner@pahouse.net Read more

 

A list of grant opportunities available right now

(Jun 30, 2021)

From support for local businesses to job training, there are a number of grant funding opportunities in Pennsylvania. Here's a look at what's available right now: STATE PROGRAMS NOW OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection: Driving PA Forward Level 2 EV Charging Rebate Program (Funding Source: State Mitigation Trust - Volkswagen Emissions Settlement) Who May Apply : Business, charitable organizations, incorporated nonprofits, local government entities, school districts, and other entities. Use : Rebates for Level 2 EV charging equipment for public use at government owned property, public use at non-government owned property, non-public use at work places, non-public use at multi-unit dwellings. Funds : Maximum rebates of $4,000 per plug for full public access and networked charging projects, $3,500 per plug for multi-unit dwelling projects and $3,000 per plug for all other eligible projects, including workplace charging. Application Deadline : First come, first-served. More Information : Click on https://gis.dep.pa.gov/drivingpaforward/ . Pennsylvania Department of Human Services: Children’s Trust Fund (Funding Source: Children’s Trust Fund) Who May Apply : Any organization operating in Pennsylvania that provides direct services and meets the criteria in this Request for Applications (“RFA”) is eligible to apply. Use : To support community-based child abuse and neglect Read more

 

PA House Dems stand with election officials to defend democracy, preserve voter access

(Jun 22, 2021)

Pennsylvania House Democrats today voted against legislation that would make it more difficult for Pennsylvanians to vote, and members of the House Democratic Policy Committee and county executives shared their concerns. Read more

 

Now open for applications: Pregnancy support, career/technical training, museum, library and vaccine funding opportunities

(Jun 17, 2021)

STATE PROGRAMS NOW OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS: Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol: Pregnancy Support Services (Funding Source: Federal Funding) Who May Apply : Community service providers able to serve pregnant and postpartum women with stimulant or opioid misuse issues. Single County Authorities (county drug and alcohol offices) and Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) licensed treatment providers are not eligible to apply. Use : To provide pregnancy support services or make referrals to aid pregnant and postpartum women with opioid use disorder. Funds : Approximately 10 to 12 grants up to $600,000 each will be awarded for 18-month projects. Application Deadline : July 13 at 12 PM. More Information : Click on https://www.ddap.pa.gov/DDAPFunding/Pages/Funding-Opportunities.aspx . Pennsylvania Commission on Crime & Delinquency: 2021-22 PA Academic and Career/Technical Training (PACTT) Competitive Funding (Funding Source: General Fund) Who May Apply : Privately operated residential facilities, community-based providers, and juvenile probation offices that are not currently PACTT Affiliates. Use : To develop programs in the following PACTT service areas that adhere to PACTT Standards in order to gain affiliate status: core programming; academic instruction; work related services; and job skills training. Funds : Grants of up to $20,000. No Read more

 

Isaacson announces more than $3.3M in PHARE funding for 16 organizations in 175th District

(Jun 15, 2021)

State Rep. Mary Isaacson announced more than $3.3 million in Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement, of PHARE (PHARE) funds, has been awarded to 16 organizations in the 175th Legislative District. Read more

 

Isaacson announces $100K historical grant awarded in 175th District

(Jun 14, 2021)

It's always wonderful to share that grant dollars are coming back to our district! This award is one of 54 awarded to organizations through the state. Learn more about all the awards here . Read more

 

Investing in Women

(Jun 01, 2021)

Check out the Investing in Women presentation that the PA Department of Banking and Securities and I have partnered to give. Read more

 

Legislation aims to address gender pay gap

(May 30, 2021)

Nationally, women’s median weekly earnings are $891 versus men’s median weekly earnings of $1,082. That translate to women earning 82 cents for each dollar men earn. Read more

 

State Rep. Isaacson, Sen. Saval announce $14K grant awarded to fight blight in Fishtown

(May 25, 2021)

HARRISBURG, May 25 – State Rep. Mary Isaacson and Sen. Nikil Saval announced today that a $14,000 grant to fight blight in Fishtown has been awarded to the Fishtown Kensington Area Business Improvement District. “I am very excited to help bring this money home to the business district as well as Fishtown and Kensington neighbors to both address quality of living issues and make investments and improvements on a block-by-block basis,” Isaacson said. “Our public spaces are the hearts of our communities,” Saval said. “This grant is important for the health and vitality of the district and its residents, and I’m proud to join Representative Isaacson in offering support and congratulations!” The Fishtown Kensington Area Business Improvement District requested the funds because, it noted in its application, the Fishtown District has suffered from blight, hindering its economic growth. The Fishtown Kensington Area Business Improvement District said it would use grant funds to develop a comprehensive blight plan where one currently does not exist. “Blight, no matter what the scope, hinders the continued growth and vitality of the Fishtown/Kensington commercial corridor,” said Marc D. Collazzo, executive director of the Fishtown Kensington Area Business Improvement District. “We are gratified to receive this generous funding award to prepare an active and comprehensive plan to take blighted, vacant Read more

 

Isaacson: Invest in Education, Invest in Our Future

(May 06, 2021)

Pa. state Rep. Mary Isaacson explains how the #PaRescuePlan would invest in education and in our future. This plan is all about making sure that funding helps the hardworking families and children who need it most. Read more

 

Isaacson: Workers and Local Businesses are Key to Recovery

(Apr 27, 2021)

Pa. state Rep. Mary Isaacson and her colleagues in the House Democratic Caucus have a plan to make the most of billions in federal American Rescue Plan funds on their way to the Commonwealth. Two major components of the Pennsylvania Rescue Plan are helping local businesses and non-profits to reopen and making sure our workforce has the resources it needs to get back to work. Read more

 

Lawmakers hear from healthcare workers, first responders, administrators and advocates impacted by hospital consolidation
Oct 12, 2021

Victim, advocates urge lawmakers to decriminalize HIV during hearing
Oct 06, 2021

Fall 2021 Newsletter
Sep 16, 2021

Eviction Moratorium Letter
Sep 08, 2021

Legislation responds to hypocrisy of Republican voting restrictions
Aug 17, 2021

Philadelphia schools share how they are tackling a third pandemic year
Aug 11, 2021

LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus condemns bill that discriminates against athletes
Aug 04, 2021

Legislature must extend opioid disaster declaration by Aug. 26
Aug 03, 2021

Celebrating Park and Recreation Month 2021 by recognizing local recreation sites and their staff members and volunteers
Jul 29, 2021

Carbon capture and Pennsylvania’s energy future focus of Wednesday hearing in Philadelphia
Jul 20, 2021

A list of grant opportunities available right now
Jun 30, 2021

PA House Dems stand with election officials to defend democracy, preserve voter access
Jun 22, 2021

Now open for applications: Pregnancy support, career/technical training, museum, library and vaccine funding opportunities
Jun 17, 2021

Isaacson announces more than $3.3M in PHARE funding for 16 organizations in 175th District
Jun 15, 2021

Isaacson announces $100K historical grant awarded in 175th District
Jun 14, 2021

Investing in Women
Jun 01, 2021

Legislation aims to address gender pay gap
May 30, 2021

State Rep. Isaacson, Sen. Saval announce $14K grant awarded to fight blight in Fishtown
May 25, 2021

Isaacson: Invest in Education, Invest in Our Future
May 06, 2021

Isaacson: Workers and Local Businesses are Key to Recovery
Apr 27, 2021