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*Sportsmen's Call to Action - 1st Day of Rifle Deer Hunting*

COVID-19 Helpful Resources

(Mar 18, 2020)

In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic affecting Pennsylvania, we wanted to provide you with the following resources and information to help you and your family in the days ahead. Please note that this webpage will be updated as needed with additional information and resources. State Services and Resources The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has created a COVID-19 guide to assist everyone. It includes information on social distancing, mental health resources, unemployment, food assistance, changes from PennDOT and resources for small business: https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/ For individuals : https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/#ForIndividuals For families : https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/#ForFamilies For businesses : https://dced.pa.gov/resources https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/#ForBusinessesUtilities The following link provides you with information on what steps Pennsylvania utilities have taken to assist customers, including a moratorium on shutoffs for all regulated utilities: https://pahouse.com/News/?id=113134 Sign Up for PA Alerts Sign up for emergency and weather alerts, health notifications, building alerts and other updates from state and federal agencies: https://public.coderedweb.com/CNE/en-US/BF5CCF5B2AB3 Regional Resources Residents can access these links for resources Read more

 

Miller, ACHDD seek to support school districts, families, first responders and small businesses during outbreak

(Mar 13, 2020)

HARRISBURG, March 13 – State Rep. Dan Miller, chairman of the Allegheny County House Democratic Delegation, and fellow ACHDD members on Friday announced their legislative priorities to support Pennsylvania during the coronavirus outbreak, including the need to support low-income and working-class families without paid family leave or the ability to work from home. Miller, as well as state Reps. Austin Davis, Dan Deasy, Tony DeLuca, House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody, Dan Frankel, Ed Gainey, Sara Innamorato, Bill Kortz, Anita Kulik, Summer Lee, Brandon Markosek, Adam Ravenstahl, Harry Readshaw and Jake Wheatley issued the following statement in response to Friday’s statewide school closure: “The delegation, first and foremost, wants to be supportive of the school districts during this time. It is clear that both they and the governor are motivated by an abundance of concern for the health and safety of both their students and staff. We respect their decision and will work to support their needs in Harrisburg. However, while the closure may have been a necessary step, it is not without its subsequent challenges -- and those challenges must be addressed by the legislature. “At a minimum, in order to help people across Pennsylvania, Harrisburg should prioritize the following items for discussion and vote: Paid family leave legislation. Emergency funding for childcare support. Assistance for Read more

 

Kortz: Decision to close school districts statewide is the right thing to do

(Mar 13, 2020)

DRAVOSBURG, March 13 – Calling it the right decision to make, state Rep. Bill Kortz said Gov. Tom Wolf’s decision today to close schools in light of the COVID-19 pandemic was the right call. Kortz, D-Allegheny, said he has heard from several school officials in his legislative district in recent days who have expressed significant concerns about the virus’s spread and also considering next steps to protect students and staff, including the closure of schools. “I’m pleased that Governor Wolf and the state Department of Education have showed good leadership and decision-making in light of an ever-changing situation,” Kortz said. “I’ve heard from several school officials and parents, who have been understandably anxious and concerned regarding coronavirus, and this decision is the best one to make to help curb the spread of this virus.” Kortz added that updated information on COVID-19, including state and national updates and prevention tips, can be found by visiting the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s website at www.health.pa.gov . Read more

 

*Sportsmen's Call to Action - 1st Day of Rifle Deer Hunting*

(Feb 26, 2020)

Rep. Kortz is urging all sportsmen in the district to make their voices heard regarding a proposal on the official start of rifle deer season in Pennsylvania. Read more

 

House committee unanimously approves Kortz bill to assist professionals

(Feb 03, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 3 – A bill that would help licensed professionals do their jobs more efficiently and accurately was approved unanimously today by the House Professional Licensure Committee, according to the bill’s author, state Rep. Bill Kortz, D-Allegheny. House Bill 1566 would remove a restriction in the law that prevents state licensing boards from providing licensees important guidance, such as whether a planned action could violate state regulations. “The vast majority of Pennsylvania’s professionals want only to do the right thing when they provide services, yet our restrictive laws prevent licensing boards from advising them when they need guidance,” Kortz said. “As a result, professionals are often placed in the impossible position of having to guess whether a proposed action complies with regulations, only to be told later that it did not and that they are being fined. The situation poses a financial drain, can jeopardize a person’s livelihood and slows the efficient delivery of quality services. “My bill would remove the guesswork for professionals by allowing licensing boards to answer their questions by way of advisory opinions. This would give professionals the information they need – when they need it – and allow them to move forward with the peace of mind of knowing that they’re complying with state law along the way.” The bill now heads to the House Read more

 

Rep. Kortz announces retirement from Pa. House

(Jan 21, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 21 – State Rep. Bill Kortz, a lifelong resident of the Mon Valley, today announced he is retiring from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives at the conclusion of the 2019-20 legislative session. Kortz, D-Allegheny, who currently serves as chairman of the House Game and Fisheries Committee, which recently helped pass Act 107 of 2019 , known as the Sunday hunting law, was first elected to the House in 2006. He also serves as co-chair of the House Steel Caucus. "During my legislative career, I have worked tirelessly with my tremendously talented staff to address the needs of our constituents. We have assisted many residents on a variety of issues, as well as honored their achievements. "It’s been a tremendous honor and privilege to serve the good people of the 38 th Legislative District, and I am very proud of the success we’ve had in rebuilding and replacing several bridges and roads in the district, as well as working with Senator Jim Brewster to secure funding for the final leg of the Mon Fayette Expressway. Retiring certainly wasn’t an easy decision, because I enjoy helping residents with home heating assistance, rent rebates, PennDOT and tax preparation, to name a few. But, it’s now time for me to take care of my health and step aside for future leaders of this great district." Kortz graduated from McKeesport High School in 1973, and from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1977 Read more

 

Kortz: Reminder: Pa.’s Do Not Call List is permanent

(Jan 13, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 13 – State Rep. Bill Kortz is reminding residents and businesses that they no longer must re-register every five years to be on Pennsylvania’s Do Not Call List. Kortz, D-Allegheny, said that the bill signed into law in October amended the state’s Telemarketer Registration Act to remove a five-year time limit for enrollment on the Do Not Call List for residents. In addition, businesses can now register to be included on the list. The new law also bans telephone solicitations by telemarketers on legal holidays and requires robocalls to start a phone call with a clear way for recipients to opt out of future calls. “With the holiday season now behind us, I want make sure that residents and businesses are aware of these changes,” Kortz said. “Keep in mind that if a telemarketer calls you and leaves a voicemail message, that message must include a phone number that you can call to prevent future calls to your home or business. I encourage consumers who have yet to register on the Do Not Call List to consider doing so.” Kortz adds there are some exceptions, including: Calls made by businesses to existing customers or to consumers who have conducted business with the company in the past 12 months. Debt collection calls. Calls from charitable, fraternal, or veterans’ organizations. Calls made on behalf of political groups or candidates. Anyone violating the new law Read more

 

2020 Capitol Scenes Calendar

(Dec 19, 2019)

Check out my 2020 Capitol Scenes calendar! Read more

 

Kortz issues statement following Sunday hunting bill signed into law

(Nov 27, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 27 – State Rep. Bill Kortz, D-Allegheny, Democratic chairman of the House Game and Fisheries Committee, issued the following statement today after Gov. Tom Wolf signed S.B. 147 , which will allow hunting on three specific Sundays, into law: “I am elated that this new law ends a ban on Sunday hunting that was in effect for over 300 years. It specifically allows hunting on three Sundays only: one during archery season, one during rifle season, and one that will be determined by the Pennsylvania Game Commission. For many people, including those working six days a week and many high school and college students who may not have time during the week, these Sundays are likely the only opportunity they will have to enjoy this sport. "This bill was the culmination of compromise with all parties involved, including both chambers of the General Assembly and the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau. Of note, we ensured specific language was included that will require hunters to receive written permission from a landowner before hunting on those three Sundays. In addition, the measure also makes trespassing a primary offense. "With the governor’s signature today, only two states remain that don’t allow hunting on Sundays. I’m proud that Pennsylvania has taken such a historic step in ending a ban that was a holdover from the days when our great nation was under British rule.” Read more

 

Home inspectors licensing bill passes House

(Oct 31, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 31 – An effort to provide additional protections to Pennsylvania homebuyers moved one step closer following passage of a bipartisan measure sponsored by state Reps. Bill Kortz, D-Allegheny, and Sue Helm, R-Dauphin. House Bill 21 would license home inspectors under the State Board of Real Estate Appraisers, set qualifications for licensure, and prohibit unlicensed individuals from conducting inspections or claiming that they are licensed home inspectors. Additional consumer protections in the bill include a requirement that home inspectors would notify clients of evidence of interior mold found during the inspection process. “A home is usually the most expensive – and the most important – purchase an individual will make in their entire life,” Kortz said. “We have heard stories from across Pennsylvania of home inspectors who never notified prospective homebuyers of widespread internal mold. As a result, these consumers were forced to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars remediating the mold, suffering financial devastation and risking their health. Our legislation will make sure that does not happen to another homebuyer, and I look forward to seeing it advance further through the legislative process.” “The passage of House Bill 21 represents an important step forward in consumer protection during the home buying process,” Helm said. “Home inspectors are the only individuals Read more

 

Kortz applauds passage of bill to allow Sunday hunting

(Oct 30, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 30 – A bill to allow for Sunday hunting in Pennsylvania is one step closer to becoming law following a 144-to-54 vote in the PA House chamber, state Rep. Bill Kortz announced today. Senate Bill 147 would allow hunting on three Sundays – one during rifle season, one during archery season, and one to be determined by the Pennsylvania Game Commission. The bill also includes specific language that would require hunters to receive written permission to hunt on private property on those three Sundays and strengthens laws to make trespassing a primary offense. “This measure, once signed into law, would effectively end a ban that’s been in effect in Pennsylvania for 337 years, a holdover from when our country was under British rule,” Kortz said. “Our state is one of three that have such a ban in place, and it’s long overdue that we become the next state to move forward and allow Sunday hunting. For many people, Sundays are the only days where they have the opportunity to hunt and spend time outdoors.” The bill now heads back to the Senate for further consideration. Read more

 

Harley-Davidson owners may soon be riding a Pa. state symbol

(Oct 30, 2019)

Just months after naming the Eastern Hellbender as the official state amphibian, some lawmakers are ready to add Harley-Davidson motorcycle to Pennsylvania’s collection of objects associated with the Keystone State. Read more

 

Kortz issues statement on passage of bill to allow Sunday hunting in Pa.

(Oct 21, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 21 – State Rep. Bill Kortz, D-Allegheny, chairman of the House Game and Fisheries Committee, has issued the following statement regarding S.B. 147 , also known as the Sunday hunting bill. The measure was reported out of committee by a vote of 21 to 4 and will head to the House for further action: “I’m very pleased we were able to get this bill through committee today, which included my amendment that specified hunters must get written permission in order to hunt on private property. "This bill would provide hunting on three Sundays – one during rifle season, one during archery season, and one Sunday to be determined by the state game commission. "This ban has been in effect for 337 years, a holdover from British rule. We are one of only three states where such a ban is the law of the land. It’s time for our state to move forward. "For some people, the only time they have for hunting is on Sundays. There are a lot of people who are in that same boat and they deserve the opportunity to hunt and spend time outdoors. "I feel we have a good shot of getting this through the House and I’m very encouraged by today’s vote.” Read more

 

Kortz: Informative, productive meeting on Pa.’s steel future

(Oct 16, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 16 – The future of steel in Pennsylvania remains bright, despite myriad challenges, but continued bipartisan work is needed to ensure it remains strong for generations to come, said state Rep. Bill Kortz, D-Allegheny. Kortz, co-chairman of the state House Steel Caucus, said those were the key themes following a special informational meeting held today on the steel industry at the U.S. Steel Research and Technology Center in Munhall. The meeting focused on a variety of topics, including workforce training and the best ways to work together to balance the needs of the environment with continued support of the industry. “Today’s bipartisan roundtable discussion was very informative and lively, and we all agreed that we need to do all we can to keep these vital, family-sustaining wage jobs in Pennsylvania,” said Kortz. “Overall, the steel industry has provided several substantial and positive impacts in our state. Most people may not be aware that for every direct steel worker job, there are five to six additional jobs that are created. “As someone who spent over three decades working in the industry, and who has seen it weather many challenges, I remain confident the steel industry will continue to prosper and have a strong future here in our great state.” Kortz added the steel industry provides more than $2 billion in state and local tax revenue and directly employs 34,000 people. Read more

 

Kortz urges consumers to be wary of online scams when purchasing hunting, fishing licenses

(Oct 15, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 15 – Anglers and hunters should use caution when purchasing a fishing or hunting license online following several reports of online scams, state Rep. Bill Kortz, D-Allegheny, announced today. Kortz said the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and the Pennsylvania Game Commission have received reports from consumers who paid for licenses through third-party websites and ending up being victimized. “Consumers who used these websites were taken advantage of in two ways: they lost money and they didn’t receive their license,” said Kortz. “These questionable websites actually mimic the agencies’ branding, charge more for a license, and in many cases, even ask for your social security number or other forms of personal information.” Kortz said the best way for consumers to ensure they are getting a legitimate fishing or hunting license is by visiting The Outdoor Shop online portal at www.pa.wildlifelicense.com . Once a fishing license is purchased, a printable electronic version is issued immediately by the PFBC. For a hunting license that is purchased online, consumers receive an official email from the PGC and licenses are mailed to the buyer within two weeks of their purchase, Kortz added. Those who encounter a website offering the sale of a state fishing or hunting license that appears questionable or does not link to The Outdoor Shop portal should contact the PFBC Fishing License Help Line at Read more

 

Kortz: Do Not Call bill signed into law

(Oct 07, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 7 – A bill that would allow Pennsylvanians and businesses to permanently register their phone numbers on the state’s Do Not Call list was signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf, state Rep. Bill Kortz announced today. Kortz, D-Allegheny, who was a co-sponsor of H.B. 318 , said the bill amends the state’s Telemarketer Registration Act to remove a five-year time limit for enrollment on the Do Not Call list. For the first time, business telephone subscribers can also sign up to be included on the list. In addition, the measure also bans telephone solicitation on legal holidays and creates a legal procedure for the use of robocalls. “This new law provides substantial protections to consumers and businesses who have no desire to receive these calls,” Kortz said. “It includes a requirement that those utilizing robocalls must provide a way for a caller to opt out at the beginning of a call, and in the event they leave a voice mail message with a consumer, they must provide a toll-free number for them to opt out of future calls.” The bill , which received unanimous support in the both chambers of the General Assembly, will take effect in 60 days. Consumers and businesses who want to register on the Do Not Call list can visit the following link on the state Attorney General’s website: https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/protect-yourself/do-not-call-list/ Enrollment by phone is also available by Read more

 

Kortz to hold policy hearing on homecare in Pa. Monday in Pittsburgh

(Oct 02, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 1 – State Rep. Bill Kortz, D-Allegheny, will hold a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing on homecare issues impacting residents across Pennsylvania. Read more

 

Kortz to host shredding event with Sen. Iovino on Oct. 5

(Oct 01, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 1 – State Rep. Bill Kortz, D-Allegheny, is partnering with state Sen. Pam Iovino, D-Allegheny/Washington, to host a free shredding event from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 5 at the West Mifflin No. 3 Volunteer Fire Co., located at 3722 Rodeo Drive in West Mifflin. “With the number of incidents of identity theft becoming more common, shredding sensitive documents you no longer need is the best way to protect against identity theft and financial fraud,” Kortz said. “This event provides a good opportunity to safely dispose of these documents and lessen the chances of someone gaining access to your personal information. In addition, you’re also protecting the environment, as the shredded paper will be recycled.” “If you have unneeded documents that contain sensitive information, I invite residents to take advantage of this free and convenient way to safely shred and recycle those papers,” Iovino said. “It is important that we serve our residents both in Harrisburg and in the communities where they live. I am glad to partner with Representative Bill Kortz to offer this very popular service.” Individuals are asked to remove all binder clips from papers that are to be shredded. Donations of non-perishable food, hygiene and cleaning supplies are also being accepted at the shredding event for Operation Troop Appreciation. A donation is not required to participate in the shredding event. More Read more

 

Kortz to host 12th annual Senior Fair Oct. 10

(Sep 30, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 30 – State Rep. Bill Kortz, D-Allegheny, has announced his 12 th annual Senior Health and Wellness Fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10 at the Broughton Volunteer Fire Department, located at 1030 Cochran Mills Road in Pittsburgh (South Park). “I look forward to this free event each year,” Kortz said. “I get the opportunity to meet with and talk with older residents in the district, and also provide them with information on a variety of senior-focused programs and services.” In addition to exhibitors and light refreshments, the Port Authority of Allegheny County will be on hand to issue new ConnectCards to seniors. A drug drop-off box will also be on site to collect unused or expired medications for proper disposal. Flu shots will also be available with an eligible Medicare card. More information on the event is available by calling Kortz’s office at 412-466-1940. Read more

 

Kortz: Bill to clarify laws regarding tasers, stun guns approved in committee

(Sep 24, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 24 – A measure to ensure Pennsylvanians are not arrested for possessing tasers or stun guns for self-defense purposes was favorably reported out of the House Judiciary Committee, state Rep. Bill Kortz announced today. Kortz, D-Allegheny, said House Bill 585 was prompted by an incident involving a constituent, whose taser device was confiscated during a routine traffic stop. This constituent was later charged with violating Title 18, which addresses unlawful possession of an offensive weapon. However, Title 18 contains a provision that allows such devices to be used for the propose of self-defense, Kortz added. “My constituent was unfairly charged with a crime following this traffic stop and had to pay over $2,000 in legal costs and related fees, all due to inconsistencies with current state statutes,” Kortz said. “My bill would make it clear that possessing and using a Taser or stun gun for the purpose of self-defense is legal, eliminating any future confusion and preventing future Pennsylvanians from being wrongfully arrested or convicted.” The measure now heads to the full House for consideration. Read more