House Health Committee unanimously approves Matzie bill to address predatory practices by pharmacy benefit managers

(Jun 11, 2019)

HARRISBURG, June 11 – The House Health Committee today unanimously approved a bill that would bring much-needed transparency to the practices of middlemen companies hired to manage prescription drug benefit plans, according to the bill’s prime cosponsor, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny. Matzie said he introduced H.B. 941 with co-prime sponsor, state Rep. Doyle Heffley, R-Carbon, to address mercenary practices by pharmacy benefit managers that threaten to destroy local pharmacies and injure consumers – particularly those in the state’s Medicaid program, where 90 percent of patients are served by managed care companies that contract with PBMs. “Pharmacy benefit managers are supposed to be working on behalf of consumers to lower drug costs,” said Matzie, who is co-chair of the state Community Pharmacy Caucus. “Instead, we’re finding that they’re overcharging patients and taxpayers millions and engaging in predatory pricing practices. “We’ve invested these middlemen companies with tremendous power. As rate-setters, they determine what drugs will be covered and how much pharmacies will be reimbursed. At the same time, we haven’t imposed much-needed oversight to ensure that they don’t abuse this power. The state’s consumers and small businesses are now paying the price. “For two years, I’ve been hearing from local pharmacies about how PBMs are slashing drug Read more

 

Matzie: Low-interest loan will help area employer modernize operations, expand jobs

(Jun 06, 2019)

HOPEWELL, June 6 – A low-interest loan will help a longstanding area transportation business update its aging information technology infrastructure, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. Matzie said the low-interest loan to Hopewell-based flatbed transport business PGT Trucking Inc., will allow the company to purchase new servers, desktop computers, laptop computers and software essential to grow operations. The company was approved for a $400,000, five-year loan at a 3.5% rate through the Beaver County Corporation for Economic Development. “I’m delighted to learn that our efforts to help secure this loan were successful,” Matzie said. “Investments in companies like PGT yield multiple returns for the community in terms of building our local economy, promoting a healthy local business environment and providing family-sustaining jobs. Today’s loan will help an important area employer update and modernize its operations so that it can function more efficiently and expand, creating more jobs and giving back to our economy.” Matzie added that the company is expected to create 25 full-time jobs and retain 140 existing jobs. The loan was one of a package approved through the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority for businesses in eight counties statewide. The loans are designed to help businesses at various stages of development – from startups to established businesses seeking to expand – Read more

 

Matzie: Aliquippa, Quaker Valley school districts to receive nearly $50,000 for security equipment

(May 20, 2019)

HARRISBURG, May 20 – Grants totaling $49,714 will boost school safety for two school districts in Pennsylvania’s 16 th Legislative District by funding the purchase of security-related equipment, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. Matzie said the funding from the state Department of Education – which includes $24,722 to Quaker Valley School District and $24,992 to Aliquippa School District – will allow the districts to expand existing security measures. “Our schools are safest when they employ a variety of different security measures, and to that end, our districts have carefully analyzed what combination of programs, personnel and equipment best meets their specific needs,” Matzie said. “The funding announced today will complement existing safety resources by permitting schools to equip buildings with emergency communications devices, electronic locksets and other security-related technology they’ve determined is needed. “I’m delighted that we were successful in obtaining this funding, which will allow our districts to continue implementing their plans to ensure our students and school employees enjoy the safest environment possible.” Matzie said the funding – part of a statewide package of competitive Safe Schools Targeted grants of up to $25,000 – may be used to purchase student, staff and visitor identification systems; metal detectors; protective lighting; Read more

 

Matzie bill would bring transparency to pharmacy benefit manager practices

(May 10, 2019)

HARRISBURG, May 10 – Increasing transparency in pharmacy benefit manager pricing practices is the goal of legislation recently introduced by state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny. Matzie said he introduced H.B. 941 with co-prime sponsor, state Rep. Doyle Heffley, D-Carbon, to address PBM practices in the state’s Medicaid program – in which nearly 90 percent of the state’s Medicaid patients are served by managed care companies that contract with PBMs. “Greater transparency is essential because these third-party PBMs – which are charged with deciding what drugs will be covered and how much to reimburse pharmacies – wield a tremendous amount of power through their rate-setting, yet are operating with little transparency,” Matzie said. “At the same time, they are having a profound impact on small, independent pharmacies. “Over the past two years, I have been hearing increasing complaints from local pharmacies about how PBMs are slashing drug reimbursement rates, especially with regard to Medicaid patients. As these third-party companies set rates well below the costs paid by local pharmacies, these small, trusted businesses are being forced to close their doors. “The situation is threatening both the health of our local economy and the well-being of our area seniors, including some of our most vulnerable citizens who rely for their medications on these local neighborhood pharmacies. It’s time Read more

 

Matzie issues statement on Three Mile Island planned shutdown

(May 08, 2019)

HARRISBURG, May 8 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, issued the following statement today in response to Exelon Generation’s statement that it will cease operations at its Three Mile Island nuclear plant. “It’s disappointing to hear that Exelon is continuing down this path, when a minimal investment in their own plant would afford us the time in the legislature to work on a solution that would be fair to all,” Matzie said. “Let’s be clear, the federal government has shirked its responsibility to the nuclear industry and foisted that burden onto the state. We have had less than two months to examine and internally debate legislation that is as complex and as far reaching as anything we’ve seen in decades. We responded with a sense of urgency by holding no less than four hearings and countless meetings focusing on legislation that, by any assessment, is not guaranteed to save TMI and does nothing to protect workers or the community. “Make no mistake, when the nuclear industry asks the legislature to ‘value carbon-free energy,’ they mean asking the ratepayers of Pennsylvania for $3 billion. They should expect to have that request thoroughly vetted. “What’s more, in my opinion, there has been significant movement toward a potential resolution over the last few weeks, making this announcement even more concerning. Regardless, I remain committed to working toward a policy that balances Read more

 

House unanimously adopts Matzie’s ‘National Train Day’ resolution

(May 07, 2019)

HARRISBURG, May 7 – The House today unanimously adopted a resolution designating May 11 as “National Train Day” in Pennsylvania, according to the author, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny. House Resolution 295 recognizes the history and importance of railroads in the commonwealth and throughout the country. “National Train Day has special significance here in Pennsylvania because of the way railroads transformed our economy and way of life,” Matzie said. “With rail transport, industries flourished throughout the state, smaller towns became urban centers, and the demand for iron and coal catapulted the commonwealth into an industrial powerhouse. Pennsylvanians are aware of this rich history and proud of how the railroads are an essential part of our industrial roots.” Matzie added that rail travel remains an important mode of transportation that eases congestion on our roads and in the skies, links cities and rural communities, and provides a more environmentally friendly mode of transportation that contributes to our energy security. National Train Day was first established in 2008 to educate the public about the rich history of our nation’s trains and the advantages of rail travel. The day is marked annually on the Saturday closest to May 10, which is the day the nation’s first transcontinental railway was completed in 1869 in Promontory, Utah. Read more

 

Matzie: House Consumer Affairs Committee hears from additional stakeholders in weighing nuclear subsidy bill

(May 06, 2019)

HARRISBURG, May 6 – Members of the House Consumer Affairs Committee heard additional testimony today during a fourth public hearing to consider legislation that would provide ratepayer-subsidized credits to Pennsylvania’s nuclear energy providers, according to the committee’s Democratic chair, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny. “The committee has been hearing from a broad segment of community stakeholders to fully understand the potential impacts of this bill,” Matzie said. “With our state’s working families in mind, we’re weighing a multitude of factors, including the impact on jobs, the economy and our communities; the cost to consumers; the need for a diverse energy portfolio; and the impact on other energy producers and industries, among other factors. "While the testimony and dialog from these public hearings has been extremely helpful, our inquiry remains incredibly complex, and it’s complicated by the fact that we’re dealing with issues ordinarily addressed by federal agencies. What’s clear, however, is that we need to move slowly and judiciously to ensure that any decision reflects the best interests of Pennsylvania’s working families.” Matzie noted that the committee heard testimony today from representatives of PJM, the regional transmission organization that monitors and coordinates electric generators and high-voltage transmission lines in Pennsylvania and a Read more

 

Matzie: House Consumer Affairs Committee hears from additional stakeholders in weighing nuclear subsidy bill

(May 06, 2019)

HARRISBURG, May 6 – Members of the House Consumer Affairs Committee heard additional testimony today during a fourth public hearing to consider legislation that would provide ratepayer-subsidized credits to Pennsylvania’s nuclear energy providers, according to the committee’s Democratic chair, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny. “The committee has been hearing from a broad segment of community stakeholders to fully understand the potential impacts of this bill,” Matzie said. “With our state’s working families in mind, we’re weighing a multitude of factors, including the impact on jobs, the economy and our communities; the cost to consumers; the need for a diverse energy portfolio; and the impact on other energy producers and industries, among other factors. "While the testimony and dialog from these public hearings has been extremely helpful, our inquiry remains incredibly complex, and it’s complicated by the fact that we’re dealing with issues ordinarily addressed by federal agencies. What’s clear, however, is that we need to move slowly and judiciously to ensure that any decision reflects the best interests of Pennsylvania’s working families.” Matzie noted that the committee heard testimony today from representatives of PJM, the regional transmission organization that monitors and coordinates electric generators and high-voltage transmission lines in Pennsylvania and a number Read more

 

Matzie: Center at the Mall to benefit from $42,700 grant

(May 06, 2019)

HARRISBURG, May 6 – A $42,700 grant will enhance resources for seniors at The Center at the Mall, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. The Beaver County community wellness center provides fitness and nutrition classes, programs, trips, and other activities for adults over 50. “I’m extremely pleased to see that our efforts to secure this funding were successful,” Matzie said. “Our seniors have invested so much of their lives enriching our community and making it what it is today. Providing resources that can help keep them healthy, active and engaged during their retirement years is a great way to give something back.” Matzie noted that the funding is part of a statewide package from the Pennsylvania Department of Aging’s 2018-19 Senior Community Center Grants that will allow senior centers to refurbish facilities, expand programming and attract a new generation of participants. The grants are funded by the Pennsylvania Lottery. The grant announcement coincides with national Older Americans Month – a time to pay tribute to older adults and their contributions to the country and their communities. Read more

 

Matzie: Center at the Mall to benefit from $42,700 grant

(May 06, 2019)

HARRISBURG, May 6 – A $42,700 grant will enhance resources for seniors at The Center at the Mall, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. The Beaver County community wellness center provides fitness and nutrition classes, programs, trips, and other activities for adults over 50. “I’m extremely pleased to see that our efforts to secure this funding were successful,” Matzie said. “Our seniors have invested so much of their lives enriching our community and making it what it is today. Providing resources that can help keep them healthy, active and engaged during their retirement years is a great way to give something back.” Matzie noted that the funding is part of a statewide package from the Pennsylvania Department of Aging’s 2018-19 Senior Community Center Grants that will allow senior centers to refurbish facilities, expand programming and attract a new generation of participants. The grants are funded by the Pennsylvania Lottery. The grant announcement coincides with national Older Americans Month – a time to pay tribute to older adults and their contributions to the country and their communities. Read more

 

Matzie: Center at the Mall to benefit from $42,700 grant

(May 06, 2019)

HARRISBURG, May 6 – A $42,700 grant will enhance resources for seniors at The Center at the Mall, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. The Beaver County community wellness center provides fitness and nutrition classes, programs, trips, and other activities for adults over 50. “I’m extremely pleased to see that our efforts to secure this funding were successful,” Matzie said. “Our seniors have invested so much of their lives enriching our community and making it what it is today. Providing resources that can help keep them healthy, active and engaged during their retirement years is a great way to give something back.” Matzie noted that the funding is part of a statewide package from the Pennsylvania Department of Aging’s 2018-19 Senior Community Center Grants that will allow senior centers to refurbish facilities, expand programming and attract a new generation of participants. The grants are funded by the Pennsylvania Lottery. The grant announcement coincides with national Older Americans Month – a time to pay tribute to older adults and their contributions to the country and their communities. Read more

 

Spring 2019 Newsletter

(May 06, 2019)

Click here to read my latest newsletter, including information on my May 18 shred event! Read more

 

Matzie announces nearly $187,000 in fire, EMS grants

(May 03, 2019)

HARRISBURG, May 3 – Fourteen fire and EMS companies in the 16 th Legislative District will receive $186,951 in grants, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. “Our firefighters and EMS professionals work tirelessly on the front lines to keep us safe, often while contending with tight budgets that stretch resources,” Matzie said. “These grants will help ensure they have the training, equipment and other essential resources they need to carry on their life-saving work.” Matzie said the funding is as follows: Allegheny County Leetsdale Fire Department – $12,172 Beaver County Aliquippa Bureau of Fire – $13,326 Ambridge Borough Fire Department – $12,007 Ambridge Volunteer Fire Department – $12,832 Baden Volunteer Fire Department – $14,646 Conway Volunteer Fire Department – $13,656 Economy Vol Ambulance Service – $7,155 Economy Volunteer Firemen’s Association – $14,151 Freedom Volunteer Fire Department – $11,512 Harmony Township Volunteer Firemen Inc. – $13,162 Hopewell Township Volunteer Fire Department – $12,007 Monaca #4 Volunteer Fire Department – $12,172 Monaca No. 1 Volunteer Fire Department – $11,842 Rochester Fire Department – $26,311 The grants are provided by the Fire Company and Emergency Medical Service Grant Program, which is administered by the Office of the State Fire Commissioner. In addition to Read more

 

Matzie: Beaver, Allegheny County schools to benefit from nearly $500,000 in safety grants

(May 01, 2019)

HARRISBURG, May 1 – Three state grants totaling $489,027 will boost safety in Beaver County schools and fund a community violence prevention program, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. Matzie said the funding – administered by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency -- is part of a package of competitive grants that will fund program, equipment and personnel-based resources for schools and other entities statewide. “It’s hard to imagine a more important investment than the safety of our children,” Matzie said. “Our school districts have worked hard to assess needs and identify resources that will best ensure security. The funding announced today will allow our schools to put those plans into effect and create the kind of environment in which students and educators feel safe and secure so they can focus on learning and teaching. I was pleased to support this funding.” Matzie said the funding includes: $160,154 to Quaker Valley School District for training and compensating school resource officers and school police officers. 132,681 to Hopewell Area School District for conflict resolution and restorative justice programs, a peer helper program, security planning and purchase of security-related technology, and increased student and school employee access to quality trauma-support services and behavior health care. $196,192 to the Women’s Center of Beaver County to fund the Read more

 

House unanimously adopts Matzie’s ‘World Asthma Day’ resolution

(Apr 30, 2019)

HARRISBURG, April 30 – Increasing awareness and support for the more than 1 million Pennsylvanians living with asthma is the goal 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. 256 – recognizing May 7, 2019, as “World Asthma Day” in Pennsylvania – both to raise awareness on behalf of those living with asthma and to encourage others to help them in controlling their symptoms. “In Pennsylvania alone, nearly 1 million adults and nearly 400,000 children suffer from asthma,” Matzie said. “As they work to manage their conditions, there’s a lot the rest of us can do to help – particularly because asthma attacks are frequently provoked by environmental triggers. By taking the time to learn the warning signs and the factors that can cause an attack, friends, family members and co-workers can all play a meaningful role in supporting those with asthma.” Matzie noted that an asthma attack happens when the sides of the airways in the lungs swell, causing the airways to shrink and restricting the amount of air that can get in and out of the lungs. The problem is compounded when mucus clogs the airways even further. Attacks may result in coughing, chest tightness, wheezing and difficulty breathing. Matzie’s resolution parallels “World Asthma Day,” an international event that encourages people to Read more

 

Matzie urges ongoing scrutiny as committee considers nuclear subsidy bill

(Apr 29, 2019)

HARRISBURG, April 29 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, counseled fellow members of the House Consumer Affairs Committee to continue careful deliberations as hearings resumed today on a House bill that would provide ratepayer-subsidized alternative energy credits to Pennsylvania’s nuclear energy providers. In the third hearing to consider the potential impacts of H.B. 11, the House Consumer Affairs Committee heard testimony from representatives of industrial energy customers, the Retail Energy Supply Association and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Matzie, who is Democratic chairman of the committee and co-chairman of the bipartisan, bicameral Nuclear Energy Caucus, explained that the issues posed by the bill are multi-faceted. “The issue of energy subsidies is a highly complex one, with much at stake,” Matzie said. “Today’s hearing focused on the possible impact of HB 11 on large-scale industrial customers and suppliers, as well as getting the point of view from organized labor as to worker implications. Because of the many issues impacting jobs, families, and consumer rates, I’m committed to proceeding deliberately by examining all potential repercussions before we reach a final decision.” Currently, nuclear energy providers are excluded from the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act, which requires that 18 percent of power sold in Pennsylvania be derived from alternative energy Read more

 

Matzie: $400,000 grant to fund freight rail storage track in Allegheny County

(Apr 29, 2019)

HARRISBURG, April 29 – A $400,000 state grant will fund the construction of additional freight rail storage track in Allegheny County, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. Matzie said the grant to Leetsdale Industrial Corp. will boost commerce while generating area jobs. “Construction of additional storage track will allow for increased rail car capacity and more efficient storage and transportation of goods and materials,” Matzie said. “That adds up to greater productivity for our area businesses and industries. At the same time, the project will create jobs that sustain area families. It’s an investment that benefits everyone.” Matzie said the grant will fund the construction of one-half mile of storage track. Read more

 

Matzie calls for full, thorough vetting of nuclear plant energy bill to support solution that works for all

(Apr 15, 2019)

HARRISBURG, April 15 – State Rep. Rob Matzie today joined colleagues on the House Consumer Affairs Committee in ongoing public hearings to consider a bill that would add nuclear energy to the list of alternative energy sources benefiting from ratepayer-subsidized credits. Matzie, who is Democratic chairman of the committee and co-chairman of the bi-partisan, bi-cameral Nuclear Energy Caucus, heard testimony from industry representatives on the potential impacts of H.B. 11, which would require that utilities purchase an additional 50 percent of energy credits from nuclear power plants. As the committee weighs the bill, Matzie cited the importance of a thorough vetting process that includes open dialog and transparency. “House Bill 11 is the most impactful and complex public policy legislation we’ve had before us in decades,” Matzie said. “As Democratic chairman of the House Consumer Affairs Committee, it is my view that nothing less than a full vetting and public conversation is merited. This is the second of four scheduled hearings. We are putting in the work. Only then will legislators, and the public at large, be able to make an informed decision. “I am supportive of a solution that keeps a diverse energy portfolio, like we currently have, alive and well in Pennsylvania. I’m supportive of a solution that will help lower carbon emissions. I’m supportive of a solution that protects workers and communities. And I’m Read more

 

‘Teacher in the Workplace’ grant of more than $44,000 to bring job-based learning to Beaver County schools

(Apr 11, 2019)

HARRISBURG, April 11 – A $44,044 grant will give Beaver County educators the knowledge and experience to integrate real-world, job-based learning into the curriculum, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. The grant, awarded under the state Teacher in the Workplace Program, will allow 15 teachers to explore six area businesses and meet with employers to develop an in-depth understanding about local business opportunities, job skill sets and workforce trends. “This funding will allow our Beaver County educators to take real-world information they learn from employers, carry it back to the classroom, and enhance the learning experience for students in an incredibly valuable way,” Matzie said. “Bolstering the curriculum with real-work applications in mathematics and other subjects helps students become versed in the skills they’ll need in the modern workforce and makes it easier for them to step into real-world positions. Beyond that, it gives our local employers a better-qualified, better-prepared pool of new employees, which in the end strengthens the entire workforce.” In addition to the Beaver County grant, Matzie noted that multiple schools in Allegheny County will benefit from additional grants totaling nearly $250,000. Those grants will fund efforts to increase educators and students' awareness of high-priority occupations and to introduce work-readiness subjects into the curriculum. Read more

 

Matzie introduces vote-by-mail bill

(Apr 03, 2019)

HARRISBURG, April 3 – Voting that is easier, more efficient and more secure is the aim of a new vote-by-mail bill introduced today by state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny. House Bill 1059 would permit Pennsylvania voters to cast their ballots by mail. Voters would request a ballot once and then continue receiving ballots for every election until they opted out. “The right to vote is at the heart of our democracy, but the system we use to cast and count ballots can help or hinder the process,” Matzie said. “Voting by mail has numerous advantages over traditional voting: it increases voter participation, saves taxpayer dollars and reduces the already low chance of fraud. “There are many other advantages, as well. No concern about the weather. No issues with making it to work on time, or to the polls on time. No hassle for first responders or emergency workers. No worrying about a ride to the polls. Easier for seniors. Easier for those with disabilities. Easier for those who travel for work. Easier for students. Easier for everyone. “We already trust the postal service to handle sensitive personal documents, so we can feel confident in their ability to handle our ballots. A vote-by-mail system is already working in 22 other states, including three – Oregon, Washington and Colorado – that hold their elections entirely by mail. I’m encouraging my colleagues to support this bill, which will get more citizens Read more

 

House Health Committee unanimously approves Matzie bill to address predatory practices by pharmacy benefit managers
Jun 11, 2019

Matzie: Low-interest loan will help area employer modernize operations, expand jobs
Jun 06, 2019

Matzie: Aliquippa, Quaker Valley school districts to receive nearly $50,000 for security equipment
May 20, 2019

Matzie bill would bring transparency to pharmacy benefit manager practices
May 10, 2019

Matzie issues statement on Three Mile Island planned shutdown
May 08, 2019

House unanimously adopts Matzie’s ‘National Train Day’ resolution
May 07, 2019

Matzie: House Consumer Affairs Committee hears from additional stakeholders in weighing nuclear subsidy bill
May 06, 2019

Matzie: House Consumer Affairs Committee hears from additional stakeholders in weighing nuclear subsidy bill
May 06, 2019

Matzie: Center at the Mall to benefit from $42,700 grant
May 06, 2019

Matzie: Center at the Mall to benefit from $42,700 grant
May 06, 2019

Matzie: Center at the Mall to benefit from $42,700 grant
May 06, 2019

Spring 2019 Newsletter
May 06, 2019

Matzie announces nearly $187,000 in fire, EMS grants
May 03, 2019

Matzie: Beaver, Allegheny County schools to benefit from nearly $500,000 in safety grants
May 01, 2019

House unanimously adopts Matzie’s ‘World Asthma Day’ resolution
Apr 30, 2019

Matzie urges ongoing scrutiny as committee considers nuclear subsidy bill
Apr 29, 2019

Matzie: $400,000 grant to fund freight rail storage track in Allegheny County
Apr 29, 2019

Matzie calls for full, thorough vetting of nuclear plant energy bill to support solution that works for all
Apr 15, 2019

‘Teacher in the Workplace’ grant of more than $44,000 to bring job-based learning to Beaver County schools
Apr 11, 2019

Matzie introduces vote-by-mail bill
Apr 03, 2019