Featured News

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

Kortz: South Allegheny and West Mifflin receive Safe Schools Initiative grants

(Nov 04, 2016)

DRAVOSBURG, Nov. 4 – State Rep. Bill Kortz, D-Allegheny, announced that two local school districts will receive money through the state's Safe Schools Initiative Grant Program. South Allegheny School District will receive $40,000 from the state's Safe Schools Initiative Targeted Grant Program. The grant will assist the school district in paying for salary and other compensation for a school resource or police officer's position for the school year. Up to $2,000 of the grant may be used for approved safety training. West Mifflin Area School District will receive $25,000 from the state's Safe Schools Initiative Equipment and Program Grant program. The grant will help fund the district's School Wide Positive Behavior Program. The district's Positive Behavior Program teaches and promotes positive school behavior. "Keeping our students safe while they are in school is critical," Kortz said. "Students can't learn if they are afraid of bullying, violence or drugs in the building. Studies clearly show that students who feel safe in their school environment perform better academically. "Having a trained officer on-site can make students think twice before engaging in risky, dangerous or otherwise offensive behavior, and can also dramatically reduce official response time in the event of an incident." "Thank you to Governor Tom Wolf, Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera and state Senator Jim Brewster for working Read more

 

Kortz on Alzheimer's Awareness

(Oct 26, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Bill Kortz speaks on the House Resolution designating the month of November 2016 as "Alzheimer's Disease Awareness and Caregivers Month" in Pennsylvania. Kortz relates his personal experience with his mother who suffered from the disease. Read more

 

Reps. Kortz, Boback civics education bill receives committee hearing

(Sep 26, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 26 – State Rep. Bill Kortz, D-Allegheny, called for increased civics education in schools at a joint hearing this morning before the House Education and Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness committees regarding H.B. 1858 , which was introduced by Kortz and state Rep. Karen Boback, R-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Wyoming. The bill would require Pennsylvania high school students to demonstrate a basic understanding of American history and civics as a condition of graduation. "This bill would ensure that our students will be taught basic civics in our schools," Kortz said. "We need to do this so they can understand our nation and our government, to understand our representative republic so they can be better prepared to be engaged as citizens in our democracy. "House Bill 1858 would require students to pass the U.S. Citizenship test to graduate high school. Students should know who the current president of the United States is. Some do not." Kortz and Boback were joined by state and national leaders in civics education to encourage the committees to support the legislation. Speaking in support of the bill were Dr. Lucian Spataro, chairman of the Civics Education Initiative for the Joe Foss Institute, who provided a video clip demonstrating college students' lack of knowledge, such as not knowing who won the Civil War, and being unable to name the current vice president. The institute has been instrumental in Read more

 

Kortz on Civics Education

(Sep 26, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Bill Kortz spoke at a joint hearing of the House Education and Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committees about his legislation that would require civics education in schools and create a high school graduation requirement on civics. Read more

 

Kortz 20-16 Senior Health & Wellness Fair is Oct. 13

(Sep 22, 2016)

At the Broughton VFD in South Park Read more

 

Kortz, English introduce bipartisan ethical hunting legislation

(Sep 07, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 7 – State Reps. Bill Kortz, D-Allegheny, and Hal English, R-Allegheny, today said they introduced legislation aimed at not penalizing ethical hunters who self-report a mistaken kill. Specifically, the bill would remove the threat of a license suspension for those truthful hunters who make an honest mistake and then contact the Pennsylvania Game Commission, turn in the animal and plead guilty to the offense. "Given the facts that borders of wildlife management units and of special areas within them can be easily confused, and that the commission is now using staggered dates around the state for some big game seasons, hunters can think they are legally hunting when in fact they aren’t," Kortz said. "For hunters who make an inadvertent mistake, due to a few yards or recently changed dates, to face the same revocations as a common poacher who is hunting out of season or at night isn’t fair." The language of H.B. 2315 was drafted in a bipartisan effort working closely with the Game Commission. "Unfortunately, honest mistakes can happen while hunting." English said. "Whether because of changes and complications in hunting seasons and boundaries, or mistaken game kills, a hunter could break the law without any intent at all. Our bill spells out the limited circumstances in which hunters can then immediately turn themselves in, surrender the animal, and face all the appropriate penalties, minus the added Read more

 

Rep. Kortz Summer 2016 Newsletter - South Hills edition

(Sep 07, 2016)

The South Hills edition of my Summer, 2016 newsletter, is available to read online. Read more

 

Rep. Kortz Summer 2016 Newsletter - Mon Valley edition

(Sep 07, 2016)

The Mon Valley edition of my Summer, 2016 newsletter, is available to read online. Read more

 

Kortz announces October Senior Fair and shredding event

(Aug 26, 2016)

Rep. Bill Kortz reports that he will host his annual Senior Fair from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Broughton Volunteer Fire Department in South Park. His fourth annual shred-it event will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Oct. 15 at the West Mifflin #3 Volunteer Fire Company in West Mifflin. Read more

 

Port Vue awarded $100,000 state grant

(Jul 01, 2016)

HARRISBURG, July 1 – State Rep. Bill Kortz, D-Allegheny, announced that Port Vue Borough has been awarded a $100,000 grant for recreational opportunities to help build the PVAA Recreation Center. Kortz said the funds were awarded by Commonwealth Financing Authority under the state’s Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program. "Any time I can help secure funding for recreational opportunities in our communities, I do it," Kortz said. "Ballfields, playgrounds and outdoor space improve our region's qualify of life and this project will give our youth a dedicated facility in which to play and practice." The grant will be used to construct the 8,000-square-foot recreation center. There will be turf surfacing for youth football, soccer and cheerleading programs in a climate-controlled area. These programs serve more than 400 children a year. The total project cost is estimated at $287,500. The goal of the Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program is to promote greenways, recreational space, open space, trails, parks and river conservation. The Commonwealth Financing Authority is an independent state agency that administers several funding programs designed to help grow Pennsylvania’s economy, create jobs, and improve cultural and recreational assets in communities statewide. Read more

 

Kortz: Expanded Gaming Helps PA, Local Organizations

(Jun 22, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Bill Kortz took to the House floor to support expanding gaming in Pennsylvania. Kortz says it would bring new revenue in to help with the budget crisis while also supporting social organizations, veterans groups, fire departments and tavern owners. Read more

 

Kortz: Legalize Video Gaming Terminals

(Jun 07, 2016)

At a Capitol press conference, Pa. state Bill Kortz comments on a bipartisan proposal to legalize video gaming terminals, or VGT's. Kortz says the changes would help struggling local taverns, VFW's, and fire companies make ends meet while also bringing in revenue for the commonwealth. Read more

 

Reps. Kortz, Boback Emphasize Importance of Civics Education

(May 03, 2016)

HARRISBURG, May 3 – State Reps. Bill Kortz, D-Allegheny, and Karen Boback, R-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Wyoming, called for increased civics education in schools and were joined by state and national leaders in civics education to encourage the Legislature to support House Bill 1858, which would require Pennsylvania high school students to demonstrate a basic understanding of American history and civics as a condition of graduation. Several national studies and surveys have shown that students are unable to answer basic questions about the U.S. government and American history. To address this problem, Kortz and Boback have introduced House Bill 1858, which is adopted from the Civics Education Initiative. The bill would require high school students to pass a test on 100 basic facts of U.S. history and civics from the United States Citizenship Civics Test – the test all immigrants applying for U.S. citizenship must pass. "We need to reconsider our approach to civics education when only one out of four students can pass a citizenship test," Kortz said. "Knowledge of how our government works is essential for democracy to survive." "Our young people today face a crisis of knowledge with respect to their understanding of our country and its founding documents. It is incumbent on us, as lawmakers, to ensure that our education system provides schools with a mechanism to make certain that Pennsylvania’s students are adequately prepared to be Read more

 

Kortz Honors State Champion Wrestlers

(May 02, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Bill Kortz honors South Park Eagles wrestlers Jake Wentzel and Greg Bulsak on their consecutive gold medals at the PIAA State Wrestling Championships. Read more

 

Kortz Emphasizes Importance of Civics Education

(May 02, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Bill Kortz called for increased civics education in schools and were joined by state and national leaders in civics education to encourage the Legislature to support House Bill 1858, which would require Pennsylvania high school students to demonstrate a basic understanding of American history and civics as a condition of graduation. Read more

 

Trout stocking guides available in my offices

(Feb 25, 2016)

DRAVOSBURG, Feb. 25 – State Rep. Bill Kortz, D-Allegheny, said 2016 trout stocking schedules are now available in his constituent service offices. The schedule has an easy-to-read table that allows western Pennsylvania anglers to see an entire year’s worth of stockings at one time. The information is broken down by county, with stream sections and lakes listed alphabetically, and the type of trout being released at each location. "The state stocks our fishing locations from March through November," Kortz said. "The state stocking program shows the commitment to supporting the long tradition of fishing in Pennsylvania." Kortz added, "Remember, a fishing license is required for anyone age 16 or older." License information can be found on the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission website, http://fishandboat.com/license.htm . Kortz said the guides can be picked up at either of his constituent service offices – 751 Pittsburgh-McKeesport Blvd., Dravosburg or 5101 Old Clairton Road, Pittsburgh. Stocking schedules are also available on the Fish and Boat Commission's website, www.fish.state.pa.us . Choose "Fish" from the left menu and click on "Stocking." Read more

 

Online voter registration now available in Pennsylvania

(Feb 23, 2016)

DRAVOSBURG, Feb. 23 – State Rep. Bill Kortz, D-Allegheny, reminds Pennsylvanians that there is a new state website which allows online voter registrations as well as changes in a person's current voting information. The website www.register.votespa.com allows new voters to instantly register through a secure website and also allows current registered voters change their address or party affiliation as well. "This new website has already allowed 100,000 voters to register online -- 60,000 of the registrations were for first-time voters," Kortz said. "One of the big drawbacks of our election process is the low voter turnout. I hope that as registration becomes easier, more citizens exercise their right to vote." The deadline to register for the April 26 primary is March 28 and the deadline to request an absentee ballot is April 19. Allegheny County residents can get all the information necessary for requesting and voting by absentee ballot at the county website -- www.alleghenycounty.us -- and clicking on the elections link located under the LIVE tab at the top of the page. Voter registration forms are also available at his office locations: 751 Pittsburgh-McKeesport Blvd., Dravosburg, or 5101 Old Clairton Road, Pittsburgh. Read more

 

Property Tax/Rent Rebate forms available at my office

(Feb 15, 2016)

Forms for Pennsylvania’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program for the 2015 tax year are available at my district office – and my staff is ready to help you file yours for free ! The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians 65 or older, widows and widowers 50 or older, and people with disabilities 18 or older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters. Half of Social Security income is excluded and the maximum standard rebate is $650. Claimants must reapply for rebates every year because they are based on annual income and property taxes or rent paid each year. Spouses, personal representatives or estates may file rebate claims on behalf of deceased claimants who lived at least one day in 2015 and meet all other eligibility criteria. The oft-extended deadline to apply for a rebate on property taxes or rent paid in 2015 is June 30, 2016, and the rebates normally are distributed by the Deparment of Revenue beginning July 1. So, the sooner you file, the sooner you will receive your money. Read more

 

PACE prescription programs benefit seniors

(Feb 10, 2016)

PACE, PACENET and PACE plus Medicare are Pennsylvania's prescription assistance programs for older adults, offering low-cost prescription medication to qualified residents, age 65 and older. As of this year, the legislature passed a law excluding Social Security Medicare Part B premiums from being counted towards income levels. Read more

 

CHIP offers kids protection and parents peace of mind

(Jan 29, 2016)

Pennsylvania has a Children's Health Insurance Program that provides free and low-cost health insurance to children. CHIP is not welfare – it covers children of working parents whose employers don't offer coverage and who can't afford private insurance. If you can't afford health insurance for your children, chances are they are eligible for CHIP. Read more