House passes Rothman/Matzie bill that would limit use of automatic plate readers

(Jan 23, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 23 – Rep. Rob Matzie is pleased to announce that the House today passed H.B. 1811, legislation that would limit the state’s use of Automated License Plate Reader Systems to law enforcement purposes only. ALPRs are systems that combine mobile or fixed high-speed cameras with computer algorithms that convert images of registration plates into computer-readable data. States, counties and local agencies use the data for law enforcement. Matzie, the prime co-sponsor of the bill along with Rep. Greg Rothman, R-Dauphin, said that while ALPRs provide vital data, controls are needed to protect motorists’ personal information. Matzie has previously voiced concerns over the sale of data collected by the state Transportation Department and has introduced legislation to prohibit third parties from selling such information. He fears that without proper regulation, data generated by ALPR systems may be sold to, or shared with, third parties, compromising motorists’ privacy. “I have been leading the fight to protect personal data -- in any form -- for many years,” said Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny. “While ALPR data is a valuable and necessary tool for law enforcement, the consequences of that data falling into the wrong hands can be devastating and can ruin lives. It is critical to protect that information.” In addition to limiting ALPR use to law enforcement purposes, the bill would provide that government entities may Read more

 

Matzie resolution highlighting rheumatoid arthritis is adopted

(Jan 23, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 23 – A resolution introduced by Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, that designates Feb. 2, 2018 as “Rheumatoid Awareness Day” in Pennsylvania has been adopted. The resolution, H.R. 649, is in honor of the approximately 2 million Americans living with the disease, including Matzie’s father. Seeing first-hand how the effects of rheumatoid arthritis had on his dad, Matzie said early detection and treatment is critical to fighting the debilitating disease. Although there is no cure, treatment is aimed at relieving pain, preventing organ damage and stopping inflammation. “Rheumatoid Awareness Day comes at the start of American Heart Month, underscoring the impact rheumatoid disease has on the heart prior to diagnosis,” Matzie said. “The Mayo Clinic states that rheumatoid arthritis patients have a 50 percent higher risk of heart attacks, twice the risk of heart failure and an increase in peripheral vascular disease, than people who do not have rheumatoid arthritis. Patients are twice as likely to experience silent heart attacks and sudden cardiac deaths.” The chronic disorder causes severe pain, frequent disability and increased mortality. Symptoms may include fatigue, fever, weight loss, swollen, warm or tender joints and joint stiffness, according to the Mayo Clinic. Read more

 

Matzie talks workforce development, Plan4PA at House Democratic Policy Committee roundtable

(Jan 17, 2018)

MONACA, Jan. 17 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee roundtable to discuss workforce development at the Community College of Beaver County. Members of the House Democratic Policy Committee, including Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, joined Matzie for the discussion with local labor leaders and policy experts. The roundtable focused on job training for employment opportunities in Southwest Pennsylvania. “Programs have been developed to take advantage of the Shell cracker plant and Southwest Pennsylvania’s abundant supply of energy. This tells a good story of the role community colleges play in preparing the workforce, planning and filling positions based on demand,” Matzie said. “Workforce development often begins at community colleges. Whether recent high school graduates are continuing their education or adult learners are looking to further their education and careers, they offer the key to a family-sustaining career path,” Sturla emphasized. “Representative Matzie is an example of those who attended community college and have achieved both personal and professional success. I look forward to further discussion on developing a workforce for the needs of today and the future.” Participants included: John Goberish, dean of Workforce Development and Continuing Education, Community College of Beaver County; Elizabeth McIntyre, director Read more

 

Matzie: $365,000 state grant to aid Aliquippa redevelopment

(Jan 03, 2018)

ALIQUIPPA, Jan. 3 – The redevelopment of a site adjacent to Aliquippa Industrial Park will be expedited by a $365,000 state grant, state Rep. Rob Matzie announced today. Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, said the Keystone Communities program funding will help Aliquippa demolish three remaining commercial buildings on the eastern end of Franklin Avenue, immediately adjacent to State Route 51 and the entrance to the industrial park “The clean-up of a main artery into the city is part of the overall plan to continue rebuilding a new Aliquippa,” Matzie said. The local project is one of 22 approved for funding statewide, worth a combined $5.4 million. Administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), the Keystone Communities program is designed to encourage the creation of partnerships between the public and private sectors in the community, supporting local initiatives that grow and stabilize neighborhoods and communities. Other program goals are to ensure social and economic diversity, and to enhance the overall quality of life for residents. These partnerships create more attractive places to live and will encourage business and job expansion and retention in Pennsylvania, Matzie said. Read more

 

City of Aliquippa, Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank to receive funding through Neighborhood Assistance Program

(Dec 20, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 20 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, said he is excited to announce that two community investment projects located within his district will receive financial assistance following Gov. Tom Wolf’s approval of $17.9 million in funding through the Department of Community and Economic Development’s Neighborhood Assistance Program . The City of Aliquippa Economic Development Corp., located in Beaver County, will receive $400,000. “Mayor Walker and his administration were tenacious in their effort to sell the Commonwealth on Aliquippa and its needs. He (Walker) was a tireless advocate, stressing how this investment will be utilized and the dividends that will come as a result,” Matzie said. “Many say it takes a village. In this case it takes One Aliquippa! This investment and the hopeful legacy it will leave can be a catalyst for a new and better Aliquippa.” The funds will be used for a number of community needs, including the creation of a digital media center and classroom in the B.F. Jones Memorial Library to offer digital programming to youth and skills development classes for all ages. Weekly job success workshops that will provide instruction on resume writing, job searches and interviewing, plus individual counseling for personal job development and re-entry into the workforce will also be implemented. “Education is the foundation for our youth and all to excel and this funding will help Read more

 

2018 Capitol Scenes Calendar

(Dec 18, 2017)

Click here and download Rep. Matzie's 2018 Capitol Scenes Calendar. Read more

 

Matzie: Central Valley, Quaker Valley, Ambridge Area school districts awarded combined $130,000 for resource, police officers

(Nov 17, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 17 – The state Department of Education has notified state Rep. Rob Matzie that $130,000 in grants for the training and compensation of school resource and police officers will be awarded to the Central Valley, Quaker Valley and Ambridge school districts. Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, said Central Valley is getting $60,000, Quaker Valley will receive $40,000 and Ambridge Area is slated for $30,000. Matzie said official notices are expected to be sent to all three school districts today. “Nothing is more important than the well-being of our children, especially when they are at school,” Matzie said. “As lawmakers, our goal should be to help in any way to create a safe environment of learning for students. The grants will help these districts work toward and achieve that goal.” The money is coming from the Safe Schools School Police/Resource Officer Grant program. Applicants are eligible for a maximum individual grant of $60,000 for a school resource officer and $40,000 for a school police officer. Local police agencies and municipalities can apply and receive a grant but they must have prior consent of the governing board of the school to place school resource officers on the school’s premises. Read more

 

Matzie, Vogel announce grants: $199,508 for Rochester parks, $100,000 for Ambridge parks, $111,377 for Baden water plant road

(Nov 15, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 14 – The Commonwealth Financing Authority has approved grants totaling $410,885 for three municipalities in the 16 th Legislative District, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, and state Sen. Elder Vogel, D-Beaver, announced today. Vogel and Matzie said two of the grants come through the CFA’s Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program, which funds development, rehabilitation and improvements to public parks, recreation areas, greenways, trails and river conservation. These grants, which cannot exceed $250,000 and require a 15-percent match of the total project cost, are: $199,508 to Rochester Borough for rehabilitation of two memorial parks, including moving the Rochester Area War Memorial plaques over to the Soldiers and Sailors Monument area on new granite stones, refurbishing the existing sandstone memorial with new sign panels to showcase local history, and replacing existing walkways, lighting, benches, flagpoles and trees. $100,000 to Ambridge Borough for improvements at the 8 th Street and Walter Panek parks, including resurfacing and renovation of the Panek Street Park basketball court, and new playground equipment and picnic shelter at the 8 th Street Park. Regarding the grants, Vogel said, “I am thankful for the commonwealth’s investment in these projects. The Rochester area is proud of their veterans, and these upgrades will help to give them the recognition and honor they deserve. Special Read more

 

‘Credit Union Week’ in Pa. declared by Matzie resolution

(Oct 16, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 16 – Pennsylvania’s more than 400 credit unions and their 3.8 million members are being recognized per a resolution from state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, unanimously approved by the House today. Matzie said his H.R. 557, which designates Oct. 16-20 as “Credit Union Week” in the Keystone State, is designed to acknowledge their different approach they take to doing business. “Rather than focusing on turning a profit for shareholders, like traditional banks, credit unions concentrate their efforts on providing valuable financial services to their members,” Matzie said. “They combine their member’s personal resources with the leadership abilities of the board of directors, forming a cooperative that benefits all.” Matzie said that because credit unions are controlled and operated by their membership, they act as financial democracies, affording a vote to each and every member. He said they also offer lower-than-average bank card rates and low-interest loans, in addition to providing financial education. “These institutions also support and sponsor members’ charitable work, spurning involvement in local communities,” Matzie said. “They exist to unite like-minded individuals, working for a better financial and economic future, with a philosophy of ‘not for profit, not for charity, but for service’ to their members.” Read more

 

Steelers’ patriarch Dan Rooney honored by Matzie resolution

(Oct 04, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 4 – The life and achievements of Pittsburgh Steelers patriarch Dan Rooney, a western Pennsylvania sports legend who died in April, were celebrated by a condolence resolution put forth by state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, and approved by the House today. Matzie’s H.R. 499 recognized Rooney, a key figure in the Steelers’ rise to NFL prominence starting in the 1970s, for contributions that went beyond his notable success in the sports world. “The late Dan Rooney was a philanthropist, businessman, pioneer of equality, architect of the modern NFL and U.S. ambassador to Ireland,” Matzie said. “Few Pennsylvania natives have been as admired or beloved as he was.” Matzie said that Rooney, who started running the team in the 1960s, helped turn a perennial also-ran into a championship-caliber operation that won four Super Bowls in a six-year span in the 1970s. Matzie added that the winning imprimatur stamped on the franchise by Rooney, who was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000, resulting in the Steelers winning two more NFL championship trophies in that decade. “Dan Rooney was, quite simply, a legend whose influence extended far beyond Pittsburgh and western Pennsylvania,” Matzie said. “It is my privilege to honor him in this way.” Rooney, who held the title of team chairman, died at age 84 on April 13. EDITORS/ASSIGNMENT DESKS : An audio clip of Rep. Matzie Read more

 

Matzie resolution declaring ‘Wine, Wineries and Grape Month’ in Pa. approved by House

(Oct 03, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 3 – A resolution designating October as “Wine, Wineries and Grape Month” in Pennsylvania, sponsored by state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, was approved by the House today. Matzie said H.R. 507 acknowledges the economic importance of the state’s 200 licensed wineries and 280 wine grape growers, an industry that adds $2.35 billion to the economy and attracts 1.2 million visitors a year. “Pennsylvania is the fourth-largest producer of wine grapes in the nation, with an impressive 14,000 acres devoted to growing grapes,” Matzie said. “This resolution recognizes the significant and invaluable contributions made by the grape and wine industries to this commonwealth's history, economy and quality of life.” Matzie said the industry directly creates more than 8,600 jobs with a total payroll in excess of $400 million, and is responsible for an estimated $222 million in tourism-related spending. “Numbers like these prove how valuable Pennsylvania wines, wineries and grapes are to the state's economy,” Matzie said. Read more

 

‘Agent Orange Awareness Month’ proclaimed by Matzie resolution

(Oct 02, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 2 – October will be “Agent Orange Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania, per a resolution from state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, that gained unanimous House approval today. Matzie said his H.R. 508 serves as a reminder that approximately 19 million gallons of Agent Orange and other herbicides were used during the Vietnam War, saddling thousands of veterans with exposure-related cancers, other health disorders and death. “Veterans with Agent Orange-related health problems live with the knowledge that genetic damage resulting from their exposure may be handed down through generations,” Matzie said. “In fact, federal law provides for the presumption that certain diseases are a direct result of exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides used during the Vietnam War.” Matzie said approximately 498,000 men and women from Pennsylvania served during the Vietnam War era, with an estimated 172,000 of them directly participating in the war. “At the time, this was the longest conflict in American history, and American servicepersons displayed heroic courage and determination under some of the most difficult circumstances ever encountered by the U.S. military,” Matzie said. “Years after the conflict officially ended, many of them found out that they were also fighting a previously unseen enemy in the after-effects of Agent Orange.” Matzie said his resolution also honors those who bravely Read more

 

Matzie resolution declaring ‘Rail Safety Week’ approved by House

(Sep 13, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 13 – A resolution designating Sept. 24-30 as “Rail Safety Week” in Pennsylvania, sponsored by state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, earned overwhelming House approval today. “Shockingly, in the United States, a person or vehicle is hit by a train about every three hours,” Matzie said. “We need a renewed dedication to saving lives near tracks and trains.” Matzie said the goals of H.R. 468 are to raise awareness across the commonwealth of the need for rail safety education and to empower the public to keep themselves safe near railroad tracks. “While gains have been made in highway-rail crossing safety, much more remains to be done,” Matzie said, noting that while crossing collisions plummeted by 83 percent over the past four decades, preliminary 2016 federal statistics show crossing fatalities rose nearly 14 percent, resulting in 265 deaths. Trespassing is an even bigger problem, Matzie said, as people are walking, exercising and taking pictures on or too close to railroad tracks. This resulted in 988 deaths and injuries – up nearly 15 percent from last year. Matzie’s resolution will run in conjunction with “U.S. Rail Safety Week,” with the common goal of reducing collisions, fatalities and injuries at highway-rail crossings and preventing trespassing on or near railroad tracks. Video of Rep. Matzie speaking on H.R. 468 is available HERE . Read more

 

A reminder from Matzie about landmark Pa. animal protection law now in effect

(Aug 30, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 30 – A landmark overhaul of Pennsylvania’s animal protection laws went into effect this week, and state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, wants the public to understand the changes. Named after a Boston terrier puppy rescued from near death on a Lancaster County farm last summer, Libre’s Law will allow felony charges for first-time animal cruelty offenders. This is a first for the state. According to Humane PA, this level of punishment was usually used in cases of animal fighting or killings of endangered species. The new law also spells out the rules for tethering an animal. It specifically requires: A leash must be three times the length of the pet or 10 feet, whichever is longer. No tow or logged chain or pinch, choke, or prong collars used with a tether. A well-fitted collar and no open sores or wounds on the dog's body. The lead must be on a swivel and ideally a lead that has a coated cover to avoid getting tangled. The area where the pet is kept must be kept clear of excessive feces, with access to drinkable water and shade. No more than nine consecutive hours on a leash in a day's time. No more than 30 minutes tied up when temperatures are lower than 32 degrees or higher than 90 degrees. Anyone who tethers a dog outside in extreme weather or severely abuses a horse will face more than a summary offense. In the past, that’s all animal cruelty was considered, which Read more

 

Matzie votes in favor of state spending plan, citing hikes for education and job training

(Jun 30, 2017)

HARRISBURG, June 30 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, cast a favorable vote on a new $32 billion state spending plan today, which includes increases of $100 million for basic education, $25 million for special education and $25 million for Pre-K Counts. Matzie said the 2017-18 spending plan, the product of bipartisan negotiation, also provides additional funding for job training and the State System of Higher Education – critical components for the commonwealth’s future economic growth. “This budget is not perfect. But, as elected officials, we have a responsibility to govern,” Matzie said. “This spending plan increases education funding -- for special education, Pre-K, K through 12, and state colleges. “There is additional money for job training in emerging markets in manufacturing, something desperately needed in Beaver County. Additionally, this on-time spending plan provides funding to further combat opioid addiction – all without requiring an increase in the sales tax or the Personal Income Tax.” Matzie acknowledged that, “We still have some work to do next week, but I’m cautiously optimistic that we’ll be able to finish the business at hand in a timely fashion.” Read more

 

Matzie encouraged by Supreme Court decision to hear sports betting appeal

(Jun 27, 2017)

Rep. Rob Matzie applauds the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to address a federal law banning states from authorizing sports betting. "It's the furthest any challenge has gone in the courts and would be a big boost to our gaming revenue in Pennsylvania," Matzie said. Read more

 

Matzie resolution declaring ‘Pollinator Week in PA’ adopted by House

(Jun 19, 2017)

HARRISBURG, June 19 – House Resolution 387 declaring June 19 through 25 as Pollinator Week in Pennsylvania, sponsored by state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, was unanimously adopted by the House today. “Specifically, this resolution recognizes the importance of bees and other pollinators, as well as beekeepers, in the production of many of the foods produced in the commonwealth,” Matzie said. “Pollinators are often critical to an ecosystem. Their work ensures full harvests of crops and contributes to healthy plants. An estimated one-third of all foods and beverages are delivered by pollinators.” Matzie said that according to the Pollinator Partnership, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and promotion of pollinators and their ecosystems, pollinators provide important services to over 180,000 different plant species and more than 1,200 crops, adding $217 billion to the global economy. He noted that honey bees alone account for $1.2 billion to $5.4 billion in agricultural productivity in the United States. Additionally, his resolution noted that pollinators support healthy ecosystems that clean the air, stabilize soils, provide protection from severe weather and support wildlife. Matzie’s resolution also recognized the Pennsylvania Beekeepers Association, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Pennsylvania State University Cooperative Extension and Delaware Valley College – Read more

 

Matzie bill would allow voting by mail in Pennsylvania

(Jun 13, 2017)

HARRISBURG, June 13 – Seeking to increase voter participation, cut election costs and reduce voter fraud, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, today introduced H.B. 1546, which would permit voting by mail. Matzie said his bill was one of several proposed bills to bring Pennsylvania’s voting system into the 21 st century. Under Matzie’s legislation, any eligible Pennsylvania voter would have the option of casting their ballot by mail. “As elected representatives in state government, I believe it is our duty to find ways to make voting for our constituents easier, more accessible and more secure,” Matzie said. “One of those ways, as other states have shown, is to allow any eligible voter to cast their ballot for any and every election by mail.” Matzie said the ability to vote is the most basic tenet of U.S. democracy – and access methods should change with the times to enable participation by the maximum number of eligible voters “Currently, 22 states have provisions allowing certain elections to be conducted entirely by mail, and three of those states – Oregon, Washington and Colorado – hold all elections entirely by mail. California will begin holding all-mail elections in 2018,” Matzie said. Matzie’s bill directs the Department of State and the commonwealth’s county election boards to establish a vote-by-mail system in Pennsylvania. Voters would only have to request a mail-in Read more

 

Matzie endorses PennDOT audit

(May 24, 2017)

HARRISBURG, May 24 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, applauded the announcement that Auditor General Eugene DePasquale has started an investigation into the state Transportation Department's selling of drivers' personal information and other issues as part of a wide-ranging performance audit. Matzie previously has called for an audit regarding the selling of the potentially private information. “I specifically asked the auditor general to review the benefits, as well as the potential dangers of selling this information, and to ensure the safety of the information that may be released,” Matzie said. “With the regular announcement of security breaches at so many different companies and government entities, limiting our resident’s potential exposure is essential. “The process which the auditor general just began actually goes beyond my initial request and will also include an evaluation of the entire PennDOT procurement, bidding and project oversight processes.” The transportation funding plan (Act 89 of 2013) gave PennDOT the authority to sell personal data such as information on drivers, registrations, titles and security interests to other individuals and businesses. The act also gave those third parties the authority to resell that information for an unspecified fee and without the payment of any additional fee to PennDOT. Matzie introduced legislation in both the Read more

 

Rep. Matzie visits Freedom Area High School, May 16, 2017

(May 17, 2017)

Local state Rep. Rob Matzie joined students at Freedom Area High School on May 16 for a special Election Day edition of FHS Meets the Press and took questions from our staff on a number of topics including the role of local government and the importance of transparency, fake news, healthcare, partisanship in today's political landscape, family and his roots as a broadcast journalist covering Pittsburgh sports. Matzie, who sponsored HR 136, designating March 12-18 as Sunshine Week in Pennsylvania, brought official citations of the legislation for each member of the Press staff during his visit. Photos are avaialble to view online at: http://www.pahouse.com/Matzie/PhotoGallery?g=3880 Read more

 

House passes Rothman/Matzie bill that would limit use of automatic plate readers
Jan 23, 2018

Matzie resolution highlighting rheumatoid arthritis is adopted
Jan 23, 2018

Matzie talks workforce development, Plan4PA at House Democratic Policy Committee roundtable
Jan 17, 2018

Matzie: $365,000 state grant to aid Aliquippa redevelopment
Jan 03, 2018

City of Aliquippa, Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank to receive funding through Neighborhood Assistance Program
Dec 20, 2017

2018 Capitol Scenes Calendar
Dec 18, 2017

Matzie: Central Valley, Quaker Valley, Ambridge Area school districts awarded combined $130,000 for resource, police officers
Nov 17, 2017

Matzie, Vogel announce grants: $199,508 for Rochester parks, $100,000 for Ambridge parks, $111,377 for Baden water plant road
Nov 15, 2017

‘Credit Union Week’ in Pa. declared by Matzie resolution
Oct 16, 2017

Steelers’ patriarch Dan Rooney honored by Matzie resolution
Oct 04, 2017

Matzie resolution declaring ‘Wine, Wineries and Grape Month’ in Pa. approved by House
Oct 03, 2017

‘Agent Orange Awareness Month’ proclaimed by Matzie resolution
Oct 02, 2017

Matzie resolution declaring ‘Rail Safety Week’ approved by House
Sep 13, 2017

A reminder from Matzie about landmark Pa. animal protection law now in effect
Aug 30, 2017

Matzie votes in favor of state spending plan, citing hikes for education and job training
Jun 30, 2017

Matzie encouraged by Supreme Court decision to hear sports betting appeal
Jun 27, 2017

Matzie resolution declaring ‘Pollinator Week in PA’ adopted by House
Jun 19, 2017

Matzie bill would allow voting by mail in Pennsylvania
Jun 13, 2017

Matzie endorses PennDOT audit
May 24, 2017

Rep. Matzie visits Freedom Area High School, May 16, 2017
May 17, 2017