Matzie: Nearly $500,000 in grants to fund water improvements for Beaver County

(Sep 18, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 18 – Nearly $500,000 in grants will help fund improvements to water storage and distribution systems serving Beaver County residents, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. The grants – both approved by the Commonwealth Financing Authority – include the following: • $425,000 to the Municipal Water Authority of Aliquippa to replace water valves through the Aliquippa and portions of Hopewell, Raccoon and Potter townships. Because of the age of the system, the valves are often inoperable or do not seal properly. Replacement will enable smaller portions of the system to be shut down during maintenance so that fewer customers are affected. The total project cost is $500,000. • $67,000 to the Creswell Heights Joint Authority, which provides treated water to four municipal locations, to install new solar mixers at three water storage tanks. Enhancing the mixing capacities of the tanks will help maintain water quality, help cut down on the disinfectant required, and help maintain the life of the tank. The total project cost in $79,090. “When people turn on the faucet, they expect clean, safe water to come out,” Matzie said. “That takes maintenance and upgrades, which are costly. These grants help to ensure the continued availability of safe drinking water while reducing service interruptions.” Matzie said both grants are funded by the Pennsylvania Small Water and Sewer Program. Read more

 

State auditor general joins Matzie at hearing on unfair pharmacy benefit manager practices

(Sep 17, 2018)

MONACA, Sept. 17 – State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale joined state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, and others today for a public hearing on practices by some pharmacy benefit managers that are hurting taxpayers, consumers and local pharmacies. Practices by at least one PBM are currently under investigation by the auditor general. “PBMs hired by employers, unions and health care plans to manage prescription drug benefit plans are supposed to be negotiating with drug makers and setting fair reimbursement rates – they’re supposed to be working to lower drug costs,” said Matzie, who is co-chairman of the state Community Pharmacy Caucus. “Instead, what we’re finding is that some of them are reimbursing pharmacies for way below their dispensing costs, up-charging the insurance plans and keeping the profit. “What you have is a largely unregulated middleman that can do a tremendous amount of harm. Unfair practices by PBMs can cost taxpayers millions, drive up the cost of health care, and force mom-and-pop pharmacies out of business.” Matzie said the hearing featured testimony by independent pharmacists, who explained how they are being squeezed out of the business by unfair PBM practices. He said he believes the ongoing investigation is a positive first step. “We have entrusted these companies with an enormous responsibility and an enormous amount of taxpayer dollars – $3.4 billion in 2017 alone. Yet Read more

 

Administrators Meet To Debate Fairness Of Public, Private Schools Competing For Same PIAA Championships

(Sep 07, 2018)

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — High school sports teams compete with dreams of winning state championship under the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association. But many public high schools say there’s an uneven playing field. Read more

 

PIAA Legislative Oversight Committee to hold hearing on boundary vs. non-boundary debate Wednesday

(Sep 07, 2018)

State legislators are bringing the boundary vs. non-boundary debate to Western Pennsylvania. The PIAA Legislative Oversight Committee will hear testimony Wednesday at Heinz Field from public school administrators who are demanding separate PIAA playoffs for private, parochial and charter schools. Read more

 

PIAA law to get reviewed in playoff dispute

(Sep 07, 2018)

A 1972 law is about to get the equivalent of a video review in the debate over whether Pennsylvania should stage separate sports playoffs for private and charter schools and traditional public schools. Read more

 

Matzie: More than $170,000 in funding awarded to the Community College of Beaver County for improvement project

(Aug 16, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 16 – The Community College of Beaver County will receive more than $170,000 from the Pennsylvania Department of Education for an improvement project, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. Matzie said a total of $172,437 will be disbursed to CCBC for the expansion of a state-of-the-art training facility that will prepare learners for current and future high-demand jobs. Total cost of the project is $4 million, and the state Department of Education will ultimately provide 50 percent of the annual capital expense for the project. “Work qualifications continue to change and new jobs are on the way,” Matzie said. “This funding will help give CCBC the ability to prepare workers to get and keep good jobs. I’m proud to support their efforts.” The CCBC is one of nine community colleges to receive funding this year from the Department of Education for improvement projects. Read more

 

Matzie: $3 million grant awarded to Monaca Gateway Initiative project

(Aug 14, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 14 – A $3 million grant for roadway improvements was awarded today to the Monaca Gateway Initiative project, as announced by state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny. Matzie said the funding will be used to improve more than 6,000 feet of State Route 18 and to construct a roundabout at the intersection of State Routes 18 and 51. “I’m happy to announce that because of a joint effort by state and local government officials, we were able to secure this funding for our district,” Matzie said. “This is a prime example of how state and local governments can work together to better our community.” “Employment and infrastructure go hand-in-hand,” Matzie said. “As in, jobs and roads. This project will expand access to our industrial corridor on the Ohio River in Monaca, while helping alleviate current and future traffic issues on Routes 18 and 51. It’s a huge win for Monaca and for Beaver County.” The grant, administered in cooperation with PennDOT through economic development transportation funding, was formally presented today in Monaca. Read more

 

CBS 3 Philadelphia on Matzie's effort to protect your personal information

(Aug 07, 2018)

"The government should not be in the business of selling this information." Read more

 

Matzie: Early childhood grants help to expand pre-K, Head Start education

(Jul 12, 2018)

HARRISBURG, July 12 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today that early childhood education grants have been awarded to the Ambridge Area School District and to other entities that serve children within the 16 th Legislative District. Funded through the state’s Department of Education’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning, these competitive grants will help to create nearly 2,125 new pre-K seats and 490 new Head Start slots statewide, said Matzie. The following Pre-K Counts and Head Start Supplemental Assistance Programs in Matzie’s district are among the 2018-19 recipients: Hap Enterprises Inc., a childcare center in Beaver County Lifesteps Inc., a licensed nursery school in Armstrong, Beaver and Butler counties PIC of Westmoreland/Fayette Inc., for Head Start programs in Allegheny, Beaver, Fayette and Westmoreland counties “These programs give kids a chance,” said Matzie. “A chance to learn, to grow, to compete and be successful. All children should have the opportunity to achieve prosperity based on their ability and determination. The earlier that learning becomes a part of their lives, the better the results.” The Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program provides state funding to Head Start programs to serve families at or below 130 percent poverty, or a family of four earning approximately $32,630 annually. Families that have children ages 3 or 4, and are Read more

 

Matzie: Monaca grant will fund vital roadway improvements

(Jun 28, 2018)

HARRISBURG, June 28 – Monaca will receive up to $3 million for roadway improvements, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. Matzie said the money for the Monaca Gateway Initiative project will be used to improve more than 6,000 feet of State Route 18 and to construct a roundabout at the intersection of State Routes 18 and 51. “It was a pleasure working with state Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin and Governor Tom Wolf to secure this funding,” Matzie said. “This is a prime example of how state and local government can work together to better our community. The community presented me with their vision, which I shared with the secretary. He expressed his interest, so I set up a meeting in May. The borough formally presented the plan, the secretary endorsed it and it was launched.” Matzie said infrastructure needs are a natural corollary of industry and job growth. “Employment and infrastructure go hand in hand,” Matzie said. “Jobs and roads. This project will expand access to our industrial corridor on the Ohio River in Monaca while helping to alleviate current and future traffic issues on 18 and 51. It’s a huge win for Monaca and for Beaver County.” Monaca Mayor Simon Short expressed his appreciation for the funding. “I would like to thank Governor Wolf, Secretary Davin, and Representative Matzie for acknowledging infrastructure concerns Read more

 

Matzie: Spending plan boosts education, school safety without raising taxes

(Jun 20, 2018)

HARRISBURG, June 20 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, voted today in favor of the new $32.7 billion state spending plan, citing the bill’s emphasis on strengthening education and career training in the commonwealth while promoting school safety and attacking the opioid addiction crisis. “Kids deserve good schools and workers need access to training,” Matzie said. “High school graduates should have affordable options. This budget bill does that. “At the same time, the bill addresses funding for school safety and combatting the heroin and opioid addiction crises. House Bill 2121 – the general appropriations bill the House passed today – would increase funding to accomplish these goals without imposing any kind of tax increase. “This budget bill isn’t perfect. No budget bill is. What it does is adequately deliver the core functions of government without increasing taxes.” The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration. Read more

 

Matzie: Bill would create commission to review impact of potential plant closures

(Jun 19, 2018)

HARRISBURG, June 19 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, today announced he will introduce legislation that would create a commission to review the potential adverse impacts of deactivating coal and nuclear electric plants before making decisions on whether to close those plants. Matzie, co-chairman of the House Nuclear Energy Caucus, said the proposed commission would make decisions on deactivations only after hearing from state and local government officials, affected employees, business owners and other stakeholders. “Over the last several years, we have witnessed the closing of a record number of Pennsylvania-based coal and nuclear electric plants,” Matzie said. “But no entity exists to examine the negative impacts ahead of time. These closings affect local economies, they affect electric reliability and they affect the environment. “What’s worse, there’s no requirement to give any sort of notice to the workers whose livelihoods are changed forever by the decision to close. We need to have a level of input and oversight. This legislation would provide employee protections such as minimum requirements for severance payments and the continuation of health care benefits. So it is not just industry focused, but worker focused as well.” Matzie said the proposed legislation also would require the owner of a coal fired plant to remediate the facility and the surrounding area in order to receive approval to Read more

 

Matzie, others meet with PIAA on leveling the playing field in public-private school sports competitions

(Jun 18, 2018)

HARRISBURG, June 18 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, and fellow members of the Pennsylvania Athletic Oversight Committee heard testimony this morning from the director of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athlete Association – the state’s governing body for high school athletics – and others to address concerns that private schools have an unfair advantage over public schools under the current state playoff system – particularly when it comes to high school basketball and football. A central topic: how to deal fairly and effectively with situations in which students transfer schools. PIAA rules prohibit student athletes from transferring for athletic reasons. While the rules are designed to prevent abuses of the system – such as when a student moves to a school to compete in playoffs and then moves back – Matzie noted that many students transfer for legitimate socio-economic, safety or family-related reasons. “Every case is different,” Matzie said. “We need to consider those circumstances.” PIAA recently tightened the rules to mandate that if a student transfers during the season, he or she must sit out 21 days before becoming eligible to complete in PIAA-sanctioned events. And if a student is eligible to participate in 50 percent of a season at one school, he or she would not be eligible to play that season at the transfer school. But problems persist. As one charter school representative Read more

 

House unanimously adopts Matzie’s ‘Pollinator Week’ resolution

(Jun 15, 2018)

HARRISBURG, June 15 – The House Wednesday unanimously adopted a resolution recognizing the week of June 18 to June 24 as “Pollinator Week” in Pennsylvania, according to the resolution’s author, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny. H.R. 971 recognizes the significant role pollinators such as honey bees play in the production of the state’s food supply. The resolution also recognizes the important work of beekeepers and other groups that promote pollination. “Bees and other pollinators are a critical link in our ecosystem,” Matzie said. “Assisted by the efforts of beekeepers and other groups that promote pollination, they produce about one-third of all foods and beverages, including so many of the foods we take for granted. Honey bees alone account for between $1.2 billion and $5.4 billion in U.S. agricultural productivity.” Matzie noted that according to Pollinator Partnership – a nonprofit group that promotes and protects pollinators and their ecosystems – pollinators serve more than 180,000 different plant species and more than 1,200 crops, adding $217 billion to the global economy. They also promote healthy ecosystems that clean the air, stabilize the soil, protect crops from severe weather and support other wildlife. In addition to the work of Pollinator Partnership, the resolution recognizes the efforts of the Pennsylvania Beekeepers Association, the state Department of Agriculture, the Read more

 

Matzie highlights unfair reimbursement practices by pharmacy benefit managers

(Jun 13, 2018)

HARRISBURG, June 13 – At a Capitol news conference today, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, called attention to an unfair practice that has injured the state’s taxpayers and consumers and damaged the ability of local pharmacies to purchase prescription medications. Matzie, co-chairman of the state Community Pharmacy Caucus, also applauded the state auditor general for agreeing to investigate the pharmacy benefit managers involved in the practice. “To put it simply, they are operating in bad faith and need to be investigated,” Matzie said. They are overcharging patients and taxpayers untold millions and trying to drive local pharmacies out of business in order to fatten their own bottom lines.” Pharmacy benefit managers negotiate with drug companies and insurers to help define which drugs are covered by health insurance plans. They also set drug reimbursement rates for community and chain pharmacies. There are examples of PBMs slashing reimbursement rates for local pharmacies to the point where they could not compete with the larger chains. “This issue is about fairness,” Matzie said. “It’s about an even playing field. It’s about patients and taxpayers being ripped off and mom and pop stores being forced out of business. Your local pharmacist can’t tell you how to save money on the medicine you need. Not because they don’t want to – but because they are forced not to – by Read more

 

State Rep. Rob Matzie speaking at a Capitol news conference on unfair pharmacy rate reimbursement practices

(Jun 13, 2018)

Rep. Rob Matzie spoke today at a Capitol news conference with state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale on the need to investigate unfair pharmacy rate reimbursement practices that have injured Pennsylvania's consumers, taxpayers and local pharmacies. Read more

 

Matzie speaks on importance of Growing Greener III environmental program

(Jun 12, 2018)

HARRISBURG, June 12 – At a Capitol news conference today, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, spoke on the importance of legislation establishing a framework for the Growing Greener III program, which is designed to protect the state’s water, land and other natural resources while stimulating economic growth. House Bill 2485 is currently in the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. Matzie, a co-sponsor, is urging the committee chairman to move the bill to the House chamber, citing the success of prior Growing Greener programs and the program’s ongoing importance, both statewide and to residents of western Pennsylvania. “Since the Growing Greener program began nearly 20 years ago, it has been a proven success,” Matzie said. “But funding has declined by 75 percent. It’s absolutely critical that we establish the necessary framework to get Growing Greener III up and running. “Under the first two iterations of Growing Greener, over 1,600 acres of abandoned mine land were restored. This was vital to all Pennsylvanians, but particularly to those in the southwest. This work needs to continue and expand. “Equally essential is Growing Greener’s role in the continued development of brownfields. Exciting, large-scale manufacturing development is happening in Beaver County and southwest Pennsylvania as we speak, and reclaimed brownfields are a big part of the reason why. “Growing Greener has Read more

 

House unanimously adopts Matzie resolution commemorating RFK assassination

(Jun 06, 2018)

HARRISBURG, June 6 – The House today unanimously adopted a resolution commemorating the 50 th anniversary of Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination, according to the resolution’s sponsor, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny. Matzie said he introduced H.R. 951 to keep alive the memory of one of our nation’s most passionate voices in the fight for social justice. “Bobby Kennedy was a fierce advocate for social justice and civil rights at a time when our nation was struggling to find its public conscience,” Matzie said. “Leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. were calling for peaceful change in turbulent times, and Bobby answered the call by saying, ‘You’re not alone. We’re with you.’ “Why a resolution to commemorate his assassination? Because it challenges us to ask: ‘How are we doing today? Have we moved closer to his vision of a just, equal society?’ To be sure, we have a long road ahead. But our way is clearer thanks to Bobby and those like him. He reminded us that without social justice and equality, the other victories are meaningless.” Read more

 

Matzie commends gaming board’s swift regulatory response on sports betting

(May 30, 2018)

HARRISBURG, May 30 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, today commended the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board on its swift action in approving temporary regulations that will move the commonwealth one step closer to offering sports betting. In a May 16 letter, Matzie urged the board to act quickly so that Pennsylvania – which already is positioned to offer sports betting – can compete with neighboring states also gearing up to offer such betting. “I applaud the gaming board’s swift action,” Matzie said. “We called on the board just two weeks ago to act as quickly as possible in approving temporary regulations so the state could take advantage of legislation already in place. This was the intent of my letter: get the ball rolling sooner rather than later, so that the commonwealth can benefit from this billion-dollar industry. The board heard us and rose to the occasion.” Last year, Matzie worked to ensure that language from his sports-betting bill was included in gaming legislation signed by the governor so that Pennsylvania would be competitively positioned to offer sports betting if and when it became legal. That happened earlier this month, when a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling cleared the way for states to offer sports betting. Days later, Matzie wrote the board, warning that neighboring states New Jersey, New York, West Virginia and Delaware were also moving quickly to offer sports betting and that Read more

 

Matzie warns against shuttering power plants at Nuclear Energy Caucus meeting

(May 23, 2018)

HARRISBURG, May 23 – Premature closure of the state’s five nuclear power plants would bring severe consequences, both for the state’s working families and its ability to meet residents’ energy needs, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, warned today at a meeting of the House Nuclear Energy Caucus at the state Capitol. As co-chairman of the caucus, Matzie, who called for today’s meeting, reiterated concerns that doing away with an essential industry would cut off critical jobs and jeopardize energy security for residents of southwestern Pennsylvania. “Job retention is more important than job creation,” Matzie said. “These are people who have put down roots – they work in the community – they coach Little League – they give back to their communities. Without the benefit of a large employer that has the ability to give back to the people who work so hard in those plants, it’s only going to get worse.” In addition to job retention, Matzie said shuttering the nuclear plants would severely impact Pennsylvania’s energy security. “Energy security is the term we use, but to the folks out there what that means is that, when you flip the switch, the light comes on. The heat works in the winter and the AC works in the summer.” Matzie asked panelist Kris Anderson, a representative from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, what would have happened if the state Read more

 

Matzie: Nearly $500,000 in grants to fund water improvements for Beaver County
Sep 18, 2018

State auditor general joins Matzie at hearing on unfair pharmacy benefit manager practices
Sep 17, 2018

Administrators Meet To Debate Fairness Of Public, Private Schools Competing For Same PIAA Championships
Sep 07, 2018

PIAA Legislative Oversight Committee to hold hearing on boundary vs. non-boundary debate Wednesday
Sep 07, 2018

PIAA law to get reviewed in playoff dispute
Sep 07, 2018

Matzie: More than $170,000 in funding awarded to the Community College of Beaver County for improvement project
Aug 16, 2018

Matzie: $3 million grant awarded to Monaca Gateway Initiative project
Aug 14, 2018

CBS 3 Philadelphia on Matzie's effort to protect your personal information
Aug 07, 2018

Matzie: Early childhood grants help to expand pre-K, Head Start education
Jul 12, 2018

Matzie: Monaca grant will fund vital roadway improvements
Jun 28, 2018

Matzie: Spending plan boosts education, school safety without raising taxes
Jun 20, 2018

Matzie: Bill would create commission to review impact of potential plant closures
Jun 19, 2018

Matzie, others meet with PIAA on leveling the playing field in public-private school sports competitions
Jun 18, 2018

House unanimously adopts Matzie’s ‘Pollinator Week’ resolution
Jun 15, 2018

Matzie highlights unfair reimbursement practices by pharmacy benefit managers
Jun 13, 2018

State Rep. Rob Matzie speaking at a Capitol news conference on unfair pharmacy rate reimbursement practices
Jun 13, 2018

Matzie speaks on importance of Growing Greener III environmental program
Jun 12, 2018

House unanimously adopts Matzie resolution commemorating RFK assassination
Jun 06, 2018

Matzie commends gaming board’s swift regulatory response on sports betting
May 30, 2018

Matzie warns against shuttering power plants at Nuclear Energy Caucus meeting
May 23, 2018