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

 

Pa. Treasury could be holding your unclaimed property

(Jan 01, 2016)

Each year, the Pennsylvania Treasury receives millions of dollars of unclaimed property. It is estimated that roughly one in 10 Pennsylvanians has unclaimed property. Read more

 

PA Power Switch: Ask the right questions

(Dec 30, 2015)

In Pennsylvania, you can choose the company that generates your electricity – also known as your electric supplier. This means that you have the power to switch to a competing supplier who can offer the lowest price, or provide a specific service you want, such as “green” or renewable energy. Read more

 

Kortz Supports Local Taverns And Clubs

(Dec 10, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Bill Kortz speaks on the House floor in support of expanding video gambling to small clubs and taverns. Read more

 

Kortz Recognizes Alzheimer's Awareness Month

(Nov 23, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Bill Kortz speaks on a House Resolution designating the month of November 2015 as "Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month" in Pennsylvania. Kortz is a co-chair of the Alzheimer's Caucus. Read more

 

Kortz: Protect Pa. Families

(Jun 30, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Bill Kortz speaks against the GOP pension plan that will devastate Pennsylvania public workers while not providing any relief to the state's pension problems. Read more

 

Kortz: Pension Changes Affect Women Harder

(Jun 30, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Bill Kortz says the GOP-led changes to the state's pension system puts women more at risk of losing their benefits and hurts families in the process, while bringing no relief to Pennsylvania's pension debt problems. Read more

 

Kortz: Property Tax/Rent Rebate deadline extended to Dec. 31

(Jun 04, 2015)

DRAVOSBURG, June 4 – State Rep. Bill Kortz, D-Allegheny, reminds Pennsylvania seniors 65 or older, widows and widowers 50 or older and disabled adults that they may be eligible for the state's Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program. The application deadline for a rebate on rent or taxes paid in 2014 has been extended through Dec. 31. Eligibility is based on income. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters, but half of Social Security income is excluded for both groups. The maximum property tax rebate for most people is $650, but some applicants may qualify for an additional supplemental rebate of up to 50 percent. "The constituent service specialists in my offices can answer any questions about the program," Kortz said. "They can also help you complete an application if you qualify." The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program is one of five programs supported by the Pennsylvania Lottery. Since the program’s 1971 inception, older and disabled adults have received more than $5.6 billion in property tax and rent relief. The expanded portion of the rebate program is paid for with revenue from slots gaming. Kortz reminds residents who would like assistance to bring their 2014 income tax records and proof of rent or property taxes paid in 2014 to his offices at 751 Pittsburgh-McKeesport Road, Dravosburg or 5101 Old Clairton Road, Pittsburgh. For more information Read more

 

Trout Season opens April 18; Kortz has trout stocking schedules

(Mar 02, 2015)

State Rep. Bill Kortz, D-Allegheny, announced that the 2014 Pennsylvania trout stocking schedules are now available for pickup in his constituent service offices, 751 Pittsburgh-McKeesport Blvd. and 5101 Old Clairton Road, Pittsburgh. Read more

 

House takes a solid step in combatting cyber harassment

(Feb 23, 2015)

I am happy to let you know that the state House of Representatives has taken a strong step toward protecting our school-aged children from cyber-bullying with the passage of H.B. 229 Monday afternoon. This bill would make it a crime to threaten a child through electronic communication. Repeatedly commenting on a child's sexual orientation, sexual activity, mental health or physical characteristics would also be treated as a crime. Read more

 

Kortz takes oath of office to begin fifth term

(Jan 06, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 6 – State Rep. Bill Kortz, D-Allegheny, was sworn in today to a fifth term as the 38th House District representative in the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Read more

 

Hope for Hannah legislation becomes law

(Dec 28, 2014)

Pennsylvania's children have a new protection thanks to Hannah's Law, named after Hannah Ginion of Bristol Township, who suffered from the rare genetic disorder called Krabbe disease. Hannah passed away on Dec. 28, 2014. Read more