Matzie: County schools districts to receive nearly $300,000 in safety grants

(Oct 04, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 4 – Beaver and Allegheny County school districts have been awarded $297,664 in school safety grants, according to state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny. Matzie said the districts will use the grants for various resources, including implementing safety programs and hiring school resource or police officers. “No kid should be afraid to go to school. We need to do all we can to make our schools safer. This money is a good start,” Matzie said. “There are steps we can take – trained officers we can put in place, programs we can implement – that we know work. But there is a financial cost. This state funding takes some of that burden off of local taxpayers. Most importantly, it puts us on the right track to making our schools, and our kids, as safe as possible.” Matzie said the funding includes the following: A $20,000 2018-19 program grant to Hopewell Area School District. A $60,000 2018-19 school resource officer grant and a $30,000 2017-18 school resource officer grant to Central Valley School District. A $60,000 2018-19 school resource officer grant to Hopewell Area School District. A $47,664 2018-19 school resource officer grant to New Sewickley Township Police Department. A $60,000 2018-19 school resource officer grant to Rochester Area School District. A $20,000 2017-18 school police officer grant to Quaker Valley School District. The grants are awarded through the Read more

 

House unanimously adopts Matzie resolution designating October 2018 as “Agent Orange Awareness Month”

(Sep 26, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 26 – The House of Representatives today unanimously adopted H.R. 1075, designating October 2018 as “Agent Orange Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania, according to the resolution’s sponsor, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny. Matzie said the resolution is intended to serve as a reminder of the courage and sacrifices of thousands of Pennsylvanians who fought in the Vietnam War, as well as the devastating consequences so many suffered as a result of exposure to Agent Orange. “Of the more than 170,000 Pennsylvanians who served directly in the Vietnam War, more than 3,000 were killed in action, and many more were listed as missing in action,’’ Matzie said. “Tragically, there was a second, insidious enemy that was invisible to troops but just as deadly – Agent Orange and similar herbicides that were used to clear foliage that provided enemy cover. “Thousands of Pennsylvanians died from exposure to Agent Orange, while thousands more still live with cancers and other health effects. Worse still, many veterans live with the knowledge that genetic damage resulting from exposure to Agent Orange may be handed down through generations.” Matzie said the federal government has acknowledged that certain diseases are linked to Agent Orange and federal law provides a presumption that certain diseases are a direct result of exposure to the chemical and similar herbicides used during the Vietnam War. Read more

 

House unanimously adopts Matzie resolution declaring Wine, Wineries and Grapes Month

(Sep 25, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 25 – The state House of Representatives today unanimously adopted H.R. 1074, designating October as Wine, Wineries and Grapes Month in Pennsylvania, according to the resolution’s sponsor, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny. “This resolution recognizes the tremendous positive impact on our state’s economy by Pennsylvania’s more than 270 licensed wineries and 280 wine grape growers who farm about 14,000 acres of land,” Matzie said. “These industries have added billions in economic value and created thousands of jobs. They also stimulate tourism, with wineries attracting more than 1 million visitors and generating more than $400 million in tourism-related spending annually.” Matzie cited the results of a recent study commissioned by the Pennsylvania Winery Association showing that the commonwealth’s wine, grape and related industries have a total economic value to the state of $2.5 billion. The study also showed that wine, grapes and related industries have created more than 27,000 jobs, with a total payroll of $673 million. "Beyond the economic impact, our state’s vineyards and wineries help preserve and maintain the commonwealth’s farmland, contribute to our rich agricultural history and enhance our quality of life,” Matzie said. “We’re so fortunate to have these vibrant industries that contribute so much to the commonwealth.” Read more

 

House unanimously approves Matzie resolution declaring ‘Rail Safety Week’

(Sep 24, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 24 – A resolution designating the week of Sept. 23-29 as “Rail Safety Week” in Pennsylvania was unanimously adopted today, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced. “It’s a sobering fact that a U.S. motorist or pedestrian is struck by a train about once every three hours,” Matzie said. “Not only that, Pennsylvania makes the ‘top 15 states list’ in two categories – annual number of highway-rail crossing collisions and annual number of pedestrian trespassing casualties. The best way we can reverse the trend is by continuing to raise public awareness about the need for vigilance at crossings and the deadly dangers of trespassing near tracks.” With regard to train-vehicle collisions, Matzie noted that although annual highway-rail collisions and casualties nationwide have dropped sharply since 1981, which saw nearly 10,000 such incidents, the number has leveled off over the past decade, remaining in the vicinity of 2,000. “That’s still far too many incidents,” Matzie said. “No number is acceptable when you consider that a motorist struck by a train is 20 times more likely to die in a crash than a motorist struck by another vehicle.” Matzie added that trespassing by pedestrians poses an especially deadly problem, with deaths and injuries topping 1,000 nationally in 2016. “People may not realize that it can take a mile or more to stop a Read more

 

Matzie: $70,595 grant to fund new, ADA-accessible playground for Conway

(Sep 18, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 18 – A $70,595 state grant will help fund a new Conway playground with equipment that complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. The grant, approved by the Commonwealth Financing Authority, will allow the borough to replace the deteriorating, 20-year-old playground equipment at the former Conway Elementary School with new equipment that includes two ADA-accessible swings and a new wood-fiber surface and border. As part of the project – estimated to cost $83,053 – the borough will lease space to a learning center that offers therapeutic and educational programs for children with developmental disabilities. Matzie applauded the CFA board for approving the funding, which he said will allow the community to improve recreational facilities and make them more inclusive. “All kids should have a chance to play on a playground,” Matzie said. “This funding helps us achieve that. It’s important for us, as a community, to provide a safe environment for kids to get some exercise and have some fun. This grant helps get us there.” The grant is funded by the state Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program. Read more

 

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

 

Rep. Matzie's Summer Newsletter

(Aug 23, 2018)

Rep. Matzie's Summer 2018 Newsletter 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: County schools districts to receive nearly $300,000 in safety grants
Oct 04, 2018

House unanimously adopts Matzie resolution designating October 2018 as “Agent Orange Awareness Month”
Sep 26, 2018

House unanimously adopts Matzie resolution declaring Wine, Wineries and Grapes Month
Sep 25, 2018

House unanimously approves Matzie resolution declaring ‘Rail Safety Week’
Sep 24, 2018

Matzie: $70,595 grant to fund new, ADA-accessible playground for Conway
Sep 18, 2018

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

Rep. Matzie's Summer Newsletter
Aug 23, 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