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2020 Capitol Scenes Calendar

Matzie lauds auditor general’s call to action on pharmacy benefit manager legislation

(1 day ago)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 23 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, today issued the following statement in response to Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale’s call for the state Senate to act on legislation increasing transparency and oversight of pharmacy benefit managers. “I applaud the auditor general for once again bringing this issue to light. He has been steadfast in his protection of taxpayers who subsidize these PBMs and in his support of patients who rely on local pharmacies. “In the House, my House Bill 941 and several other pieces of legislation to remedy this situation were passed in November. They’ve been sitting in the Senate for months. I join in his call for action.” House Bill 941 , which passed the House unanimously on Nov. 20, would bring transparency to the pricing practices of PBMs in the state’s Medicaid program. Third-party PBMs are responsible for deciding which drugs are covered by managed care plans and how much to reimburse the pharmacies that fill those prescriptions. Matzie, who is House Democratic chair of the bicameral, bipartisan Community Pharmacy Caucus, has been urging action to increase oversight of PBMs based on reports that they are operating in bad faith, overcharging patients and forcing local pharmacies to close their doors. Read more

 

House unanimously passes Matzie bill to bolster efficient operation of historic preservation commission

(Jan 22, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 22 – A bill the House passed unanimously this week would keep Pennsylvania’s Historical and Museum Commission operating with maximum efficiency by consolidating the regulations governing its work in one statutory source, according to the bill’s prime co-sponsor, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny. Matzie, who serves on the commission, said he introduced H.B. 1981 with Rep. Parke Wentling, R-Mercer/Crawford/Erie/Lawrence, to make sure the provisions governing the PHMC are centralized. “The Pennsylvania’s Historical and Museum Commission is the keeper of our state’s history,” Matzie said. “The work it does preserves Pennsylvania’s unique heritage and keeps it alive for future generations. Because it plays such an important role, we need to keep it operating as effectively and efficiently as possible. “Currently, the regulations governing the commission are not centralized. Most are in the History Code, but other important provisions – including those prohibiting compensation of commission members and establishing the volunteer program – are still in the Administrative Code of 1929. My bill would consolidate all of the provisions in the History Code, where they belong.” The PHMC was established in 1945, through an act that amended the Administrative Code. Among other things, the commission oversees the State Museum of Read more

 

Matzie announces nearly $160,000 in fire, EMS grants

(Jan 21, 2020)

AMBRIDGE, Jan. 21 – Thirteen area fire and EMS companies will receive $159,685 in grants to help foot the cost of training, equipment and other essential resources, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. “Securing this funding is critical for our local fire and EMS companies, which must continually stretch dollars to meet training, building and equipment needs,” Matzie said. “Our rescue workers step up without hesitation to combat any kind of emergency that threatens our community. It’s up to us to make sure they’re going out into the field with the training and resources they need to stay safe. These grants are going to help us accomplish that.” The following grants were awarded to companies in the 16th Legislative District: Aliquippa Bureau of Fire – Fire Company, $13,152 Ambridge Borough Fire Department – Fire Company, $12,194 Ambridge Volunteer Fire Department – Fire Company, $13,015 Baden Volunteer Fire Department – Fire Company, $14,111 Conway Volunteer Fire Department – Fire Company, $12,878 Economy Volunteer Ambulance Service – EMS, $9,192 Economy Volunteer Firemen’s Association – Fire Company, $13,700 Freedom Volunteer Fire Department -- Fire Company, $11,509 Harmony Township Volunteer Firemen Inc. – Fire Company, $13,563 Hopewell Read more

 

Matzie: $70,000 in state grants to expand computer science for Beaver County students

(Jan 17, 2020)

AMBRIDGE, Jan. 17 – Computer science will play an expanded role in the curriculum for Beaver County students, thanks to $70,000 in state funding under the PAsmart Initiative, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. Matzie said Ambridge Area School District and Beaver Valley Intermediate Unit 27 will each receive $35,000 PAsmart targeted grants from the state Department of Education. “Computer science teaches students essential problem-solving skills and a provides a fluency with technology that is relevant in nearly any work setting,” Matzie said. “Even if a student isn’t planning to work in a traditional computer-based field such as data management or software design, the computing and logic skills they learn will be needed in a wide range other fields, particularly in today’s digital world, where everything is tech-driven. “Securing this funding ensures that our students will keep pace with modern workplace demands and that our business and industry has a tech-savvy pool of new workers.” The grants – a component of Gov. Wolf’s PAsmart Initiative – are part of a $5.7 million package providing $35,000 a piece to 162 school districts, charter schools and intermediate units statewide. The funding is designed to help schools introduce and expand computer science programming and to provide teacher training in computer science. The awardees Read more

 

Matzie: $100,000 grant to connect students with the workplace

(Jan 16, 2020)

AMBRIDGE, Jan. 16 – Beaver County students will have the chance to develop real-world connections with area businesses thanks to a $150,000 state grant that will fund school-business partnerships , state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. Matzie said the grant from the state Department of Labor and Industry will fund the Southwest Corner Workforce Development Board’s “Business Education Partnership” project, aimed at helping students from Beaver County and surrounding areas develop the skills they need for informed career choices. “The classroom-to-workplace connections made possible by this grant will give students, parents and educators an invaluable look at the needs and demands of today’s employers,” Matzie said. “Out of these partnerships come real-world opportunities for students – who benefit from programs such as career mentoring, internships and workplace shadowing – and real-world advantages for employers, who benefit from a better-prepared pool of job candidates.” The grant is part of a $2.4 million package of Business-Education Partnership grants to 19 workforce development boards throughout the state. The grants are fully funded through federal money made available from the Innovation and Opportunities Act. More information about the grants is available through the Department of Labor and Industry’s website . Read more

 

Matzie: ‘Teacher in the Workplace’ grants totaling $50,000 will help match school curricula to workforce needs

(Jan 06, 2020)

AMBRIDGE, Jan. 6 – Funding of $50,000 from the state Department of Education will allow Beaver County teachers to visit area businesses so they can shape classroom instruction to fit the latest skills demanded by area employers, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. Matzie said the funding – including $25,000 each to the Freedom Area School District and the Hopewell Area School District – will advance career readiness for Beaver County students seeking jobs in high-demand fields. “ The modern workforce is constantly evolving, and with those changes comes a constant demand for new skills – particularly as it relates to high-tech jobs requiring science, technology, engineering and math skills,” Matzie said. “T he funding announced today will help provide a successful path from the classroom to the workplace by allowing teachers to learn what skills employers need and to supplement their teaching in a way that equips students to hit the ground running. “Strengthening our workforce in this way will also benefit our area businesses by helping eliminate the skills gap that can slow productivity and affect competitiveness.” Both PDE grants are part of a $2.2 million package providing competitive grants of $25,000 each to 92 local education agencies statewide. The grants are funded through federal money made available through Title II, Part A, of Read more

 

Matzie: More than $1 million to help Beaver County youth transition from justice system to workforce

(Dec 20, 2019)

AMBRIDGE, Dec. 20 – Area youth will have a better chance to successfully transition from the justice system to the workplace, thanks to two grants from the state Department of Labor and Industry totaling about $1.03 million, state Rep . Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. “Securing this funding means a brand-new chance for area youth who ended up incarcerated or involved in the criminal justice system,” Matzie said. “The programs funded will provide these young people with education, vocational training, mentoring and other resources they need to move into productive jobs and rejoin the community. When that happens, we all benefit because it saves taxpayer dollars and boosts the local economy. “An investment like this also sends the message to these youth that their past does not have to determine their future and that it is not too late for a fresh start in life.” Matzie said the following grants will go for these projects: Southwest Corner Workforce Development Board – A $500,000 grant to the Youth Reentry Cooperative Network for a program that will provide post-secondary education, soft-skills training, and advanced training for justice system youth ages 18-24 from Beaver, Fayette, Greene, Washington, and Westmoreland counties. Three Rivers Workforce Development Board – A $527,464 grant to create a partnership between Partner4Work, Allegheny County Read more

 

2020 Capitol Scenes Calendar

(Dec 19, 2019)

Check out my 2020 Capitol Scenes calendar! Read more

 

Matzie: $700,000 awarded to rehabilitate Beaver County freight rail track

(Dec 12, 2019)

AMBRIDGE, Dec. 12 – A $700,000 grant from the state Department of Transportation will fund the rehabilitation of freight rail track in Beaver County, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. Matzie said that the grant, awarded to Pittsburgh Intermodal Terminals Inc., will improve about one mile of track to bolster operations and generate area jobs. “Successful commerce is all about the smooth, seamless flow of goods,” Matzie said. “Securing this funding allows us to improve rail track in critical areas so that freight will move more efficiently, boosting production capacity for our entire region. In addition, this project is going to create area jobs for workers. It’s a win-win all around.” Matzie said the project will entail replacement of ties and switch timbers, new ballast, and surfacing. He added that in addition to the Beaver County track project, the following grants will fund these projects in Allegheny County: $399,105 to Pittsburgh & Ohio Central Railroad to replace deteriorated open deck bridge timbers on the McKees Rocks Bridge. $700,000 to TMS International to rehabilitate and construct about one-half mile of track and increase storage capacity. $689,500 to United States Steel Corporation for track upgrades to accommodate increased rail volume from USS’s new hot rolling mill in Braddock. $2.5 million Read more

 

Matzie: Nearly $322,000 to combat opioid abuse, expand child protection and advocacy services

(Dec 11, 2019)

AMBRIDGE, Dec. 11 – Two state grants totaling $321,923 will bolster resources to combat the opioid addiction crisis statewide and expand services locally for victims of child abuse, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. Matzie said a $274,923 grant to Commonwealth Prevention Alliance will fund the statewide PA STOP campaign to expand public awareness about the dangers of opioid use. “This funding will allow us to target new groups – including students and faith-based communities – in driving home the dangers of opioid use,” Matzie said. “That’s critically important because, although the public is aware that we have a crisis, so many people – and especially young people – feel invulnerable to the risk and fail to appreciate just how addictive these drugs are.” Matzie said a second grant of $47,000 will fund continuing services for the Beaver County satellite branch of A Child’s Place, which provides protection and advocacy services for children. “Professionals and support workers at the Beaver County satellite office do critical work advocating on behalf of children traumatized by abuse and helping them heal,” Matzie said. “The office itself provides a supportive, non-threatening environment where children can feel safe as they speak to law enforcement, doctors and other workers. Securing this funding helps ensure that this essential Read more

 

Matzie: $35,000 grant will expand marketing of historic ‘Old Economy Village’

(Dec 04, 2019)

AMBRIDGE, Dec. 4 – A $35,000 state grant will bolster marketing of Old Economy Village, allowing promotion of the local historic settlement to a larger number of potential tourists, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. Matzie said the funding – awarded by the state Department of Community and Economic Development – will build on a successful marketing initiative already underway. “Over the past two years, marketing efforts through the ‘Bringing History Alive’ program have increased visitors to Old Economy Village by nearly 30%, drawing tourists from 40 states and several foreign countries,” Matzie said. “Securing this funding will allow us to expand on those efforts by marketing to a larger geographic area. “Based on the success of efforts to date, I’m optimistic that expanding promotion of the village’s unique historical and educational attractions will spur even greater tourism, and with it, increased revenue and jobs.” Site administrator Michael S. Knecht echoed those sentiments, saying, “Old Economy Village and the Friends of Old Economy Village are delighted to receive this significant grant from the Department of Community and Economic Development to enhance our marketing program. “Old Economy Village, a National Historic Landmark, provides visitors with the opportunity to explore 19th century Read more

 

Matzie: $26,500 grant to allow Aliquippa to update city plan

(Nov 25, 2019)

ALIQUIPPA, Nov. 25 – A $26,500 grant will allow the City of Aliquippa to undertake a new, comprehensive plan to replace its current, outdated plan, which has not been updated for more than 20 years, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. Matzie said the new plan will allow the city to exit its Act 47 financially distressed designation and properly prepare for its fiscal future. Additionally, the city intends to update its Zoning Ordinance and its Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance. “Securing this funding, as with previous grants, has occurred only as a result of the city administration, the mayor, council members and other key players working together to prioritize and determine what direction they want to take regarding the city’s identity,” Matzie said. “It’s a solid investment by the commonwealth when there is a big-picture team approach across many fronts that includes improving transportation, addressing blight, bolstering workforce development, strengthening infrastructure improvements and improving education.” Funding for the grant comes from the Municipal Assistance Program, administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development. MAP provides technical resources and assistance for municipalities, consolidation and regional efforts, as well as serving as a resource for local government officials, developers and citizens interested in planning Read more

 

Matzie: $160,000 grant to help finance residential, commercial projects in Aliquippa

(Nov 22, 2019)

ALIQUIPPA, Nov. 22 – A $160,000 state grant from the Department of Community and Economic Development will help fund the groundwork for two development projects in the City of Aliquippa, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. Matzie said the funding will allow the city to contract with a professional residential and commercial development specialist, who will work with the city and its partners to complete the projects. “Funding for this grant will allow for essential planning and preparation of two major projects: a market-rate residential project at the Bricks site and a commercial redevelopment project at the Franklin Avenue Redevelopment site,” Matzie said. “Both will help address Aliquippa’s need for affordable housing and modern commercial space to attract local businesses. I’m happy to help both projects take shape.” The funding for the grant comes from the Municipal Financial Recovery Act. Administered by DCED, Act 47 is designed to help cities designated as financially distressed improve their finances and operations. Read more

 

House unanimously passes Matzie bill to bring transparency to pharmacy benefit manager practices

(Nov 20, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 20 – Pennsylvania is one step closer to ensuring fair drug-pricing practices in the state’s Medicaid program after the House today unanimously passed legislation sponsored by state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny. House Bill 941 – which Matzie introduced earlier this year with state Rep. Doyle Heffley, R-Carbon – would bring transparency to the pricing practices of pharmacy benefit managers in the state’s Medicaid program. Those third-party PBMs are responsible for deciding which drugs are covered by managed care plans and how much to reimburse the pharmacies that fill those prescriptions. “ Today we had a chance to fix a problem that has long been in need of fixing,” Matzie said. “As the House Democratic Chair of the bi-cameral, bi-partisan Community Pharmacy Caucus, I’ve come to know this issue well. “I’ve heard example, after example of PBMs operating in bad faith. Overcharging patients. Wasting untold millions of taxpayer dollars. And worst of all, squeezing local pharmacies out of business. “In Beaver County, local pharmacies are a literal lifeline to their communities and are critical to their patients. And they’re being put out of business. Today, we took the first step in stopping that. “We’re trying to ensure that these PBMs operate as intended – to the benefit, Read more

 

House adopts Matzie resolution to keep deadly disease in spotlight

(Nov 19, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 19 – Keeping the fight against pancreatic cancer foremost in the public’s mind is the aim of a resolution the House adopted unanimously today, according to the author, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny. Matzie said he introduced H.R. 566, designating November 2019 as “Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania, to keep the spotlight on a deadly disease for which successful treatment has proven elusive. “Every year, I introduce a resolution to raise awareness about pancreatic cancer because every year, the statistics on this insidious killer are still moving in the wrong direction,” Matzie said. “This year alone, it’s estimated that more than 45,750 people in the U.S. will die of the disease. That’s a 2% increase over last year. “There are glimmers of hope, however. Scientists are making new discoveries about the disease and its risk factors, and are developing new screening methods. Advances like this are critical, but they’re possible only through ongoing research. That’s why our advocacy is so important – we need to keep the focus on pancreatic cancer until survival is the rule, not the exception.” Matzie noted that the disease is a silent killer, often causing no symptoms in its earliest stages and only vague symptoms after that. At the same time, the disease can spread rapidly so that by the time it is Read more

 

2019 Home Heating Assistance Available

(Nov 18, 2019)

Do you need help heating your home this season? The 2019 Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program is now accepting applications. The program offers assistance with heating bills and crisis situations. Read more

 

Aliquippa redevelopment program selected to receive state support

(Nov 15, 2019)

A major initiative to combat blight and poverty in Aliquippa has been selected to receive a $400,000 tax credit to continue revitalization and job training programs in the city. Read more

 

Matzie: $500,000 state grant to finance improvements for part of Pennsylvania Avenue in Monaca

(Nov 12, 2019)

AMBRIDGE, Nov. 12 – A $500,000 state grant from the Commonwealth Financing Authority will fund streetscape renovations to a portion of Pennsylvania Avenue in Monaca, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. Matzie said the renovations are needed because overhead utilities are being relocated to underground as part of the Monaca Gateway Initiative project – a major infrastructure overhaul designed to enhance traffic flow to and from the new Shell cracker plant under construction. “My support for continued investment in downtown Monaca remains unwavering, as does my commitment to ensure that this community's vision is met,” Matzie said. “Renovations to Pennsylvania Avenue between 10 th and 14 th streets are going to transform this area in a major way, with improvements that will include new sidewalks, streetlights, crosswalks, bike racks, and many other features,” Matzie added. “Motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists are going to see a brighter, safer, more accessible commute as our area readies itself for the changes progress will bring. “Demonstrating to the CFA why this vital artery in the heart of Beaver County is deserving of funding can only occur when the community has a solid plan and cooperation among its leadership team. Monaca has continued to put their best foot forward with a clear vision of how they want their community to function and what they want the Read more

 

Matzie resolution recognizes special benefits of credit unions

(Oct 29, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 29 – The House today unanimously adopted a resolution recognizing the unique ways Pennsylvania’s credit unions benefit their 4.2 million members, according to the resolution’s author, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny. Matzie said he introduced H.R. 523 – designating Oct. 13 - 19 as “Credit Union Week” in Pennsylvania – to highlight the distinct approach these member-owned financial institutions take that sets them apart from traditional banks. “Credit unions are known as ‘financial democracies’ because they’re owned and controlled by their members, and everyone gets a vote,” Matzie said. “Pennsylvania is home to about 365 of these unique cooperatives, which work so well because they allow like-minded members to pool their resources to achieve common goals. “Those goals are centered around building an organization that caters to individual needs while promoting the collective financial well-being of all members. Guided by the motto ‘Not for profit, not for charity, but for service,” credit unions exist to serve their members, rather than turn a profit for shareholders. Any gains are returned to members in the form of reduced fees, higher interest rates on deposits, lower-than-average bank card rates and low-interest loans. It’s a system that mutually benefits everyone.” Matzie added that credit Read more

 

House unanimously adopts Matzie resolution designating October as ‘Wine, Wineries and Grapes Month’ in PA

(Oct 24, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 24 – The state House of Representatives yesterday unanimously adopted a resolution declaring October as Wine, Wineries and Grapes Month in Pennsylvania, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced. Matzie said he introduced H.R. 521 to raise awareness about how Pennsylvania’s economy benefits from the commonwealth’s more than 270 licensed wineries and 280 wine grape growers farming about 14,000 acres throughout the state. “As the fourth-largest producer of wine grapes in the nation, Pennsylvania’s grape growers have a huge impact on our economy,” Matzie said. “In fact, the production of grapes for wines and juices contributes about $1.5 billion annually to the state’s economy, and the grape-growing industry has created nearly 10,000 jobs, with a payroll of $390 million. “Beyond the economic impact, the state’s wineries have a major positive impact on tourism, attracting more than one million visitors each year and generating an estimated $320 million annually in tourism-related spending.” Matzie added that the commonwealth’s vineyards and wineries perform other important roles, including helping to sustain Pennsylvania’s farmland, contributing to the state’s agricultural history and enhancing residents’ quality of life. “It’s pretty amazing to see the multitude of Read more

 

Matzie lauds auditor general’s call to action on pharmacy benefit manager legislation
1 day ago

House unanimously passes Matzie bill to bolster efficient operation of historic preservation commission
Jan 22, 2020

Matzie announces nearly $160,000 in fire, EMS grants
Jan 21, 2020

Matzie: $70,000 in state grants to expand computer science for Beaver County students
Jan 17, 2020

Matzie: $100,000 grant to connect students with the workplace
Jan 16, 2020

Matzie: ‘Teacher in the Workplace’ grants totaling $50,000 will help match school curricula to workforce needs
Jan 06, 2020

Matzie: More than $1 million to help Beaver County youth transition from justice system to workforce
Dec 20, 2019

2020 Capitol Scenes Calendar
Dec 19, 2019

Matzie: $700,000 awarded to rehabilitate Beaver County freight rail track
Dec 12, 2019

Matzie: Nearly $322,000 to combat opioid abuse, expand child protection and advocacy services
Dec 11, 2019

Matzie: $35,000 grant will expand marketing of historic ‘Old Economy Village’
Dec 04, 2019

Matzie: $26,500 grant to allow Aliquippa to update city plan
Nov 25, 2019

Matzie: $160,000 grant to help finance residential, commercial projects in Aliquippa
Nov 22, 2019

House unanimously passes Matzie bill to bring transparency to pharmacy benefit manager practices
Nov 20, 2019

House adopts Matzie resolution to keep deadly disease in spotlight
Nov 19, 2019

2019 Home Heating Assistance Available
Nov 18, 2019

Aliquippa redevelopment program selected to receive state support
Nov 15, 2019

Matzie: $500,000 state grant to finance improvements for part of Pennsylvania Avenue in Monaca
Nov 12, 2019

Matzie resolution recognizes special benefits of credit unions
Oct 29, 2019

House unanimously adopts Matzie resolution designating October as ‘Wine, Wineries and Grapes Month’ in PA
Oct 24, 2019