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

 

Matzie sports betting bill approved by committee

(Apr 25, 2017)

HARRISBURG, April 25 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced that his bill that would legalize sports betting in Pennsylvania's casinos and their licensed facilities was unanimously voted out of the House Gaming Oversight Committee this morning. House Bill 519 would clear a legal path to allow sports betting in all of Pennsylvania's licensed casinos as soon as it is permitted under federal law. Current law only permits sports betting in Nevada, Oregon, Delaware and Montana. New Jersey has been pursuing a legal challenge to the sports betting limitations. In January, as part of an appeal, the U.S. Supreme Court invited the U.S. Solicitor General to file a brief on a legal challenge to the sports betting limitation that was raised by New Jersey. Matzie said the Solicitor General recently met with both sides and it is believed that the Supreme Court will follow the advice of the Solicitor General as to whether the case should proceed to the Supreme Court. "Sports betting in the United States totals an estimated $400 billion per year with only one percent taking place in legal form," Matzie told the committee. "Major sports leagues that have traditionally opposed the legalization of sports betting – the NBA and MLB specifically – have expressed a willingness to take a fresh look at the issue. The NFL’s Raiders are moving to Las Vegas and the NHL’s Las Vegas Golden Knights Read more

 

Norfolk Southern lands $20 million state grant

(Apr 24, 2017)

Rep. Rob Matzie reports that Norfolk Southern has been awarded a $20 million grant to rehabilitate 14 bridges and lower tracks to accommodate double stack rail cars. Read more

 

Matzie marks ‘National Train Day’ on May 13, salutes rail freight industry

(Apr 18, 2017)

Rep. Rob Matzie salutes trains, the rail freight industry and its workers with two measures adopted unanimously by the state House of Representatives. Read more

 

Matzie bill would help secure sensitive online data used by state

(Apr 13, 2017)

Rep. Rob Matzie is reintroducing his Protecting Commonwealth Data legislation that would require state employees conducting state business to use encryption to protect personal, online information from being viewed or modified by a third party. Read more

 

Matzie champions state’s community colleges, funding needs

(Apr 04, 2017)

Rep. Rob Matzie appeals for responsible funding for Pennsylvania’s 14 community colleges, emphasizing their importance to the commonwealth and its working families. “Education is the currency of progress, and Pennsylvania’s community colleges are the gold standard for expanding opportunities for its citizens,” Matzie said. Read more

 

Matzie resolution designates April as ‘Limb Loss Awareness Month’

(Mar 22, 2017)

HARRISBURG, March 22 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, today saw his H.R. 138 , designating April as “Limb Loss Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania, receive unanimous House approval. Before the vote, Matzie informed his colleagues that nearly 2 million U.S. residents live with an amputation, while another 28 million are at risk for one. “The primary causes of the 500 amputations that occur each day in our country are vascular disease, trauma and cancer,” Matzie said. “However, the general public is largely unaware of the physical, emotional and financial challenges faced by amputees and their families. Today, we voted to raise awareness of their plight.” Matzie said that 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. He added that the estimated cost to U.S. private and public insurance agencies is at least $12 billion annually. Video of Rep. Matzie’s floor remarks is available here . Read more

 

Matzie: Automated vehicles discussed in Harrisburg.

(Mar 21, 2017)

HARRISBURG, March 21 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, and other members of the House Transportation Committee joined the Senate Transportation Committee today in hosting a public hearing on Highly Automated Vehicles Testing legislation. Today's hearing focused on S.B. 427 , which would allow the expansion of the testing of Highly Automated Vehicles on Pennsylvania's roads. Currently, Carnegie Mellon University and Uber have received limited approval to test these vehicles. "Western Pennsylvania can become a leading center for this emerging technology," Matzie said. "Between Uber's self-driving vehicles, which began testing on the Pittsburgh streets last September and the technological research centers developing around Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon, we are in a prime location to lead the way. "Last September, I was able to take a test drive through the streets of Harrisburg in Carnegie Mellon's autonomous Cadillac. The ride was eye-opening and convinced me that self-driving vehicles are definitely part of our future. This bill can give us the opportunity to become an important part of that future." Nine states currently allow testing of HAVs, including California, Florida, Michigan and Virginia. Today's hearing included testimony from Dr. Raj Rajkumar, a professor in the Electric and Computer Engineering Department and Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, as well as representatives from Read more

 

Matzie recognizes Charter Day’s historical significance

(Mar 20, 2017)

HARRISBURG, March 20 – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives unanimously adopted House Resolution 137 today, sponsored by state Rep. Robert Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, designating March 14, 2017, as “Charter Day” in Pennsylvania. H.R. 137 commemorates the charter King Charles II of England granted William Penn on March 4, 1681, to repay Penn for the debt owed to his father and defining the boundaries of Pennsylvania. “Charter Day honors the important roles both King Charles II and William Penn played in the founding of Pennsylvania and this great nation,” Matzie said. “Not only were they responsible for establishing our commonwealth’s boundaries, William Penn wrote a Frame of Government establishing democratic principles still in use today such as freedom of worship, the use of elected representative assemblies and fair trials featuring independent juries.” In addition to recognizing the significance of Penn and King Charles II, H.R. 137 encourages state residents, schools and other educational institutions to participate in “Charter Day” activities held across the commonwealth. These events included the 18 th Annual Charter Day, hosted by the State Museum of Pennsylvania Day on Sunday, March 12. “The likeness of King Charles II still survives to this day on a 336-year old, four-page parchment charter that is currently on display at the State Museum in Harrisburg until March 17,” Matzie said. Read more

 

House adopts Matzie resolution highlighting need for government transparency

(Mar 20, 2017)

HARRISBURG, March 20 – State Rep. Robert Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced the adoption of H.R. 136 today, designating the week of March 12-18, 2017, as “Sunshine Week” in Pennsylvania, highlighting the importance of open and accessible government. Established by the American Society of News Editors in 2005, Sunshine Week is celebrated by journalists, civic groups, educators, citizens and elected officials by discussing the importance of access to public information. The PA NewsMedia Association is responsible for organizing many of the Sunshine Week activities in Pennsylvania. House Resolution 136 also stresses the necessity to protect our constitutional principles, including freedom of speech and freedom of the press in the pursuit of a free and transparent government. “Each year Sunshine Week coincides with James Madison’s birthday, widely considered the father of the U.S. Constitution and an architect of the Bill of Rights,” Matzie said. “Madison reminded us that knowledge and information are required for a free society to govern itself. The press is an indispensable tool for informing the public and as a legislator I support making government information more open and accessible when possible.” At a time when public trust in government is extremely low, Sunshine Week emphasizes the need for government officials to ensure decision making processes are as public and accessible as possible. Sunshine Week highlights Read more

 

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

Matzie sports betting bill approved by committee
Apr 25, 2017

Norfolk Southern lands $20 million state grant
Apr 24, 2017

Matzie marks ‘National Train Day’ on May 13, salutes rail freight industry
Apr 18, 2017

Matzie bill would help secure sensitive online data used by state
Apr 13, 2017

Matzie champions state’s community colleges, funding needs
Apr 04, 2017

Matzie resolution designates April as ‘Limb Loss Awareness Month’
Mar 22, 2017

Matzie: Automated vehicles discussed in Harrisburg.
Mar 21, 2017

Matzie recognizes Charter Day’s historical significance
Mar 20, 2017

House adopts Matzie resolution highlighting need for government transparency
Mar 20, 2017