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 urges gaming board to act quickly in issuing sports betting regulations

(May 17, 2018)

HARRISBURG, May 17 – Calling the timing critical, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, is urging the state Gaming Control Board to act quickly in issuing the regulations needed to implement sports betting provisions in Pennsylvania’s gaming law. Read more

 

Matzie: Beaver County schools get nearly $50,000 to expand school breakfast programs

(May 16, 2018)

HARRISBURG, May 16 – More Beaver County students will start their day with a healthy breakfast under a new state funding initiative designed to help area schools set up or expand breakfast programs, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. The funding – part of the governor’s School Breakfast Initiative – will provide nearly $50,000 in funding to 12 area schools. “We’ve known for a long time that it’s easier for kids to learn and retain information when they start the day with a decent breakfast,” Matzie said. “In fact, studies show that students who eat breakfast before starting class are twice as likely to perform well on tests as those who don’t. Making sure our area students have a healthy meal at the start of the day goes hand-in-hand with ensuring that we’re providing them with the best possible education.” Matzie said the following Beaver County schools will receive grants under the program: Ambridge Area SD -- Ambridge Junior High School – $3,000 Beaver Valley IU – New Horizon School -- $1,500 Central Valley SD – Central Valley Middle School -- $4,367 Central Valley SD – Center Grange Elementary School -- $4,380 Central Valley SD – Todd Lane Elementary School -- $3,332 Central Valley SD – Central Valley High School -- $4,922 Hopewell Area SD – Hopewell Senior High School -- $4,400 Hopewell Area SD – Hopewell Junior Read more

 

Rep. Matzie joins Dom Giordano on WPHT 1210 to discuss Sports Betting in PA

(May 16, 2018)

What will Sports Betting mean to the state's gaming industry and the state budget debate? Rep. Matzie and 1210 WPHT's Dom Giordano talk about the details. Read more

 

Rep. Matzie talks with 93.7 The Fan's Starkey & Mueller Show about legalized sports betting

(May 14, 2018)

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court Decision to allow states to pursue legalized sports betting, prime sponsor Matzie talks to Starkey & Mueller about when and how it will happen in PA Read more

 

Matzie: Supreme Court clears the way for sports betting in state’s casinos

(May 14, 2018)

HARRISBURG, May 14 – A ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court will clear the way for Pennsylvania’s casinos to offer sports betting, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. Matzie worked to ensure that language from his sports-betting bill was included in gaming legislation Gov. Wolf signed last year so that the state would be competitively positioned to offer sports betting if and when it became legal. “It only took us to 2018 to do what should have been legal for years.” Matzie said. “I believed when I first introduced this language last year that the commonwealth was in a good position to regulate sports betting in all forms and that we needed to put the cart before the horse and be ready. With the inclusion of my language and some tweaks to the gaming bill last year, Pennsylvania is ready.” The Supreme Court’s decision struck down a 1992 federal law that barred state-authorized sports betting, with a few exceptions. New Jersey challenged the law, arguing that Congress overstepped its authority in enacting it. The high court agreed, holding that although Congress has the authority to regulate sports gambling directly, if it elects not to do so, each state is free to act on its own. Matzie said that given the prevalence and popularity of sports betting, the court’s decision is likely to generate great business for the state’s casinos, and he is encouraged that his efforts have helped Pennsylvania Read more

 

Matzie resolution slating May 12 as National Train Day in Pennsylvania adopted by state House

(May 02, 2018)

HARRISBURG, May 2 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, today announced that a measure he recently introduced, H.R.864 , which would designate May 12 as National Train Day in Pennsylvania, was unanimously adopted by the full state House. “Rail travel connects our cities and rural areas, while also providing a more environmentally friendly mode of transportation that contributes to our energy security, which is why it was so vital to introduce and adopt this resolution,” Matzie said. 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, Matzie noted This observation, Matzie said, is held 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. Since then, the development of rail travel has revolutionized the commonwealth and transformed Pennsylvania into an industrial powerhouse across the region and country, Matzie added. Read more

 

Matzie: Resolution designating May 1 as World Asthma Day adopted by state House

(Apr 30, 2018)

HARRISBURG, April 30 – In an effort to raise awareness and improve asthma care throughout the commonwealth, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, today announced that his resolution, H.R. 863 , which designates May 1 as World Asthma Day in Pennsylvania, was unanimously adopted by the House. “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s estimated that 979,527 adults and 281,301 children in Pennsylvania suffered from asthma in 2014,” Matzie said. “By recognizing and adopting this resolution, we are supporting those who suffer from asthma and encourage others to help them control their symptoms. That said, I’d like to thank all my colleagues for understanding the importance of this resolution and adopting it to promote awareness of this disease.” In an effort to raise awareness and improve asthma care throughout the world, advocates annually celebrate the first Tuesday of May as World Asthma Day, Matzie said. This occasion encourages individuals to focus on daily asthma management and to identify allergens and irritants that can lead to and worsen asthma attacks, he added. Asthma is defined as a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows airways resulting in reoccurring periods of wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and chronic coughing. The CDC reports that approximately 18.4 million adults and 6.2 million children in the United States have asthma. Read more

 

Matzie: Closing power plants comes with severe consequences

(Apr 17, 2018)

HARRISBURG, April 17 – Following Tuesday’s Nuclear Energy Caucus at the state Capitol, Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, warned that the premature closing of four nuclear power plants in Pennsylvania and Ohio will have grave effects on the environment and the economy, including an annual increase in carbon dioxide emissions across the commonwealth and the loss of thousands of jobs. Matzie noted a recent report also shed light on the environmental and economic impacts associated with the retirement of these plants. According to the report, this will lead to an annual increase of over 20 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, which is equivalent to 4.5 million cars on the roadways. It also found that premature closing will: Increase annual emissions of harmful air pollutants like sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide; Increase annual electricity costs for Pennsylvania and Ohio residents by as much as $285 million; and Put more than 3,000 direct jobs at risk. “The premature retirement of these plants will drastically reverse more than 25 years of progress geared toward a future designed around low-carbon energy,” Matzie said. “We need to recognize the value and resiliency of emission-free nuclear energy to ensure a better future for all.” In 2017, the four nuclear power plants moving toward a premature retirement provided 1½ times as much zero-emission energy as the wind and solar resources across the entire PJM Read more

 

Matzie: $3.8 million awarded to complete rail freight project in Beaver County

(Mar 27, 2018)

HARRISBURG, March 27 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, today said he is pleased that Beaver County and southwestern Pennsylvania have been awarded more than $14 million through the Rail Freight Assistance Program (RFAP) and the Rail Transportation Assistance Program (RTAP). In Beaver County, a $3.8 million grant was awarded to Shell Chemical Appalachia LLC, to construct 10 miles of track from Aliquippa to Monaca, Pa. The new track will be used to transport construction materials for Shell’s plant and outbound product from the completed plant. Shell is constructing an ethane cracker plant in Potter Township, which is expected to employ an estimated 600 workers and anticipated to open in the 2020s. Matzie, who also is the chairman of the House Transportation Committee’s Sub-Committee on Rail, said that the investments are huge for the region and will show what investing in rail can do. “These investments mean retaining jobs, creating jobs and improving the economy,” he said. “Projects such as these help boost our overall infrastructure and economic development.” RFAP provides financial assistance for rail freight infrastructure investments by preserving rail freight service where economically feasible, and stimulating development through new or expanded service. Last year, Matzie was instrumental in the House adopting resolutions that commemorated National Train Day in May (H.R. Read more

 

Matzie resolution recognizes April as ‘Limb Loss Awareness Month’

(Mar 14, 2018)

HARRISBURG, March 14 – Reflecting the reality that 28 million U.S. residents are at risk for an amputation, state Rep. Rob Matzie’s resolution declaring April as “Limb Loss Awareness Month in Pennsylvania” was approved by the House today. Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, said H.R. 743 is designed to raise awareness of the prevalence of amputation and the plights faced by the 2 million people in the United States who’ve already lost a limb. “The leading causes of amputation are vascular disease, trauma and cancer – and all ages, races and genders are affected,” Matzie said. “It is a lifetime condition and the general public is largely unaware of the challenges – physically, emotionally and financially – facing amputees and their families.” Matzie noted that the men, women and children who wake up every morning and overcome the adversity of limb loss are true heroes, who demonstrate strength and fortitude. According to the Amputee Coalition of America, the U.S. amputee population is projected to more than double by the year 2050 to 3.6 million; also, the estimated cost to U.S. private and public insurance agencies is at least $12 billion annually. Video of Rep. Matzie speaking about H.R. 743 is available HERE. Read more

 

House adopts Matzie ‘Sunshine Week’ resolution supporting public access to government documents, meetings

(Mar 14, 2018)

HARRISBURG, March 14 – State Rep. Robert Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, today announced the adoption of his H.R. 720, designating the week of March 11-17, 2018, as “Sunshine Week” in Pennsylvania, highlighting the importance of open and accessible government. Matzie said that Sunshine Week emphasizes the need for government officials to ensure decision-making processes are as public and accessible as possible, a stance he robustly supports as an elected official. Additionally, Matzie said it also promotes the steps citizens can take to become more active participants in their local, state and federal governments, such as Pennsylvania’s Sunshine Act covering open public meetings and its Right to Know Law covering public documents. “A free and independent press remains vital as a check-and-balance on our democracy, and my stance has always been that access to government decision-making and public information should be as easy as possible,” Matzie said. “Sunshine Week coincides with the birthday of James Madison, one of our nation’s founders and a chief architect of the Bill of Rights, for a reason: Knowledge and access to information empowers those who are governed.” Sunshine Week was established by the American Society of News Editors in 2005 to spark discussion about the importance of open government and public access to government documents and meetings. Since its inception, the ASNE, the Reporters Committee for Read more

 

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

Matzie urges gaming board to act quickly in issuing sports betting regulations
May 17, 2018

Matzie: Beaver County schools get nearly $50,000 to expand school breakfast programs
May 16, 2018

Rep. Matzie joins Dom Giordano on WPHT 1210 to discuss Sports Betting in PA
May 16, 2018

Rep. Matzie talks with 93.7 The Fan's Starkey & Mueller Show about legalized sports betting
May 14, 2018

Matzie: Supreme Court clears the way for sports betting in state’s casinos
May 14, 2018

Matzie resolution slating May 12 as National Train Day in Pennsylvania adopted by state House
May 02, 2018

Matzie: Resolution designating May 1 as World Asthma Day adopted by state House
Apr 30, 2018

Matzie: Closing power plants comes with severe consequences
Apr 17, 2018

Matzie: $3.8 million awarded to complete rail freight project in Beaver County
Mar 27, 2018

Matzie resolution recognizes April as ‘Limb Loss Awareness Month’
Mar 14, 2018

House adopts Matzie ‘Sunshine Week’ resolution supporting public access to government documents, meetings
Mar 14, 2018