House adopts Matzie resolution to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer

(Oct 18, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 18 – The state House of Representatives today unanimously adopted a resolution introduced by state Rep. Rob Matzie that designates November 2016 as "Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania. While pancreatic cancer only accounts for 3 percent of all cancer diagnoses in the United States, it is the fourth-leading cause of cancer death. The American Cancer Society estimates that 41,780 deaths and 53,070 new cases of pancreatic cancer are expected to occur in the United States in 2016. "By the time an individual experiences symptoms from pancreatic cancer, it is often too late to do much about it, which is why awareness efforts like this one are so important," Matzie said. "This disease must be better understood and more resources must be made available to research it before it is defeated, and I am grateful to be a part of that effort." Matzie noted that there is no cure for pancreatic cancer and there have been no significant improvements in early detection, treatment methods or survival rates in the last 25 years. The average life expectancy of those diagnosed with this type of cancer is only three to six months. Matzie said his mother is a pancreatic cancer survivor who underwent treatment and surgery in 2014 and today remains cancer-free. Read more

 

Matzie and Nesbit introduce legislation to stem rising education costs

(Sep 29, 2016)

AMBRIDGE, Sept. 29 – State Reps. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, and Tedd Nesbit, R-Mercer/Butler, introduced legislation today in an effort to control the ever rising cost of education in Pennsylvania. House Bill 2388 would require any school entity in the state to use a Department of Education-approved, prototypical design in the construction of new school facilities. The legislation would direct the department to establish a prototypical school design clearinghouse, which could be accessed and used by any school entity in Pennsylvania. “This legislation is designed to save taxpayers money by simplifying the process for school districts to design and construct new facilities,” Nesbit said. “For school districts, one of the largest capital expenses they face is the design and construction of new facilities. Allowing districts to choose from a variety of architectural designs from a statewide database not only saves on costs, but gives school officials many more options to consider.” The legislation would also require the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to conduct a study, after the clearinghouse has been in use for five years, to determine the savings incurred by school entities that used the system. A second bill, H.B. 2389, would require publishers of post-secondary textbooks to offer an identical digital equivalent for any college textbook sold within the state. Publishers would have two years from the date of publication to make the digital version availab Read more

 

Matzie test drives self-driving car

(Sep 28, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 28 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, today joined representatives from Carnegie Mellon College of Engineering to test drive an autonomous vehicle around the Capitol. Matzie road in Carnegie Mellon’s autonomous Cadillac SRX on closed-off streets in Harrisburg to get a close-up look at the new technology. “Self-driving cars sound like the stuff of science fiction, but the reality is that they could be sharing the road with us in the next decade,” Matzie said. “They have the potential to transform how we think about transportation.” As a member of the House Transportation Committee, Matzie said his test drive will provide him insight as the committee works with PennDOT’s Autonomous Vehicle Policy Task Force. “Self-driving cars are being used by Uber in Pittsburgh right now. Western Pennsylvania has evolved into a technology and education hub, and we are poised to be at the forefront of this exciting technology. This has the potential to be a boon to our economy, while creating a substantial number of job opportunities throughout our region,” Matzie said. Read more

 

Matzie honors Pennsylvania wine and wineries

(Sep 26, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 26 – The state House of Representatives today unanimously adopted a resolution sponsored by state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, that highlights the achievements of Pennsylvania wine producers. House Resolution 1010 designates October 2016 as “Wine, Wineries and Grapes Month” in Pennsylvania. “The grape and wine industry has made invaluable contributions to the commonwealth’s history, economy and quality of life,” Matzie said. “As the fourth-largest producer of wine grapes in the nation, Pennsylvanians in every corner of the state have benefited from the success and growth of this industry.” According to a study commissioned by the Pennsylvania Winery Association, the production of grapes for wines and juices contributes approximately $1.9 billion to the state economy annually. In addition, the industry directly supports 8,629 jobs with a total payroll of $401 million. “The high-quality product produced by Pennsylvania wineries, and the scenic landscapes where they can be found has become a draw for tourists from across the country and around the globe,” Matzie said. “The wine industry has much to offer this state and I am proud to do whatever I can to help support this important part of our regional economy.” Pennsylvania’s 180 wineries attract 1.2 million visitors every year and bring an estimated $222 million in tourism expenditures each year. Read more

 

Matzie introduces bills on quake insurance, fracking near reservoirs

(Sep 26, 2016)

State Rep. Rob Matzie has introduced two long-planned bills to address fracking near dams or reservoirs and insurance coverage of earthquakes regardless of their cause. Read more

 

Matzie introduces bills to increase protections for infrastructure, homeowners

(Sep 22, 2016)

AMBRIDGE, Sept. 22 – In an effort to ensure the health and safety of Pennsylvania residents and their communities, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, introduced two bills today that would strengthen protections for basic infrastructure and homeowners. House Bill 2366 would prohibit the drilling of unconventional gas wells within 4,000 feet of any existing dam or reservoir, such as the Ambridge Reservoir. Additionally, the bill would prohibit the drilling of unconventional gas wells within 2,000 horizontal-feet of any existing water well, surface water intake or water supply extraction point used by a water purveyor without the written consent of the water purveyor. As a result of a study on the structural integrity of Texas’ Joe Pool Dam, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers determined that the 20-year-old standard of a 3,000-foot exclusion zone surrounding the dam isn't sufficient and should be increased to 4,000 feet to ensure the safety of the dam, the lake, and the health and safety of local residents. Matzie said his legislation would take that recommendation and codify it into Pennsylvania law. "The safety of our water and our infrastructure is of the utmost importance. I am grateful for the expert analysis of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as it will help us ensure that the proper protections are in place so no unintended harm comes to our citizens or our communities," Matzie said. "If longer setbacks are good enough for Texas, they should be good enough for Read more

 

Summer 2016 Newsletter

(Aug 15, 2016)

Dear neighbors, It has been over a year since I reached out to you with a newsletter. While it has always been my goal to keep you up to date about what is going on in Harrisburg and around the district, I did not think it was right to spend those funds during the budget impasse of last year. However, much has happened recently and I wanted to ensure you were updated with that information. As you may already know, the biggest news for the region is Shell Oil’s recent determination that it will build an ethane cracker plant in Potter Township. I have long supported this proposed plant, both locally and in Harrisburg. I was the lead Democrat in the House spearheading legislation to attract this facility to the region, and I reached across the aisle and worked with labor and the business community to gain passage of legislation key to Shell selecting Beaver County for construction. Read more

 

Matzie proposal would increase setback requirements for drilling near

(Aug 12, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 12 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today that he intends to introduce legislation that would strengthen protections surrounding unconventional gas wells and their proximity to dams and reservoirs. Matzie’s proposal would prohibit the drilling of unconventional gas wells within 4,000 feet of any existing dam or reservoir, such as the Ambridge Reservoir. Additionally, Matzie said his bill would prohibit the drilling of unconventional gas wells within 2,000 horizontal-feet of any existing water well, surface water intake or water supply extraction point used by a water purveyor without the written consent of the water purveyor. “I remain a supporter of the responsible extraction of our natural resources and I applaud the economic lifeblood that it has pumped into our region over the past few years,” Matzie said. “But as new information becomes available, we have to make sure that the proper protections are in place so no unintended harm comes to our citizens or our communities.” A recent multiyear engineering study completed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers found that the structural integrity of the Joe Pool Dam, located in Texas, was at risk of being compromised by nearby drilling, hydraulic fracturing, the injection of fluids and the extraction of natural gas. As a result of that study, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers determined that the 20-year-old standard of a 3,000-foot exclusion zone surrounding the dam is not suffic Read more

 

Matzie joins governor, labor, business and education leaders to help Beaver County prepare for the Shell ethane cracker plant

(Jul 22, 2016)

State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, joined Gov. Tom Wolf, state and local elected officials, labor leaders, business leaders and education officials Thursday at Penn State Beaver for a roundtable discussion on how Beaver County’s workforce and infrastructure can prepare for the construction of the Shell ethane cracker plant expected to deliver thousands of construction jobs and thousands of operational and ancillary jobs to the region. Read more

 

New Shell Ethane Cracker Plant means new workforce

(Jul 22, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Rob Matzie took part in Governor Tom Wolf's roundtable discussion in Beaver County Thursday. State and local leaders discussed the changes needed as Shell builds a massive petrochemical plant in the coming years including educating the local workforce and infrastructure improvements. Read more

 

Matzie announces more than $100,000 grant for Allegheny Petroleum

(Jul 01, 2016)

HARRISBURG, July 1 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, said a grant for more than $100,000 today was awarded to Allegheny Petroleum. The $116,454 Multimodal Transportation Fund grant will be used by Allegheny Petroleum to expand its facilities in Ambridge and perform needed upgrades. “This grant will not only allow Allegheny Petroleum to move more of its products efficiently over rail, it will also improve the safety of that rail activity,” said Matzie. “This investment in the rail infrastructure of Beaver County will undoubtedly lead to increased economic activity for the region and an improved quality of life for our communities.” The Multimodal Transportation Fund, which was created by the transportation funding plan, provides grants to encourage economic development and ensure that a safe and reliable system of transportation is available to Pennsylvania residents. The grant was approved by the Commonwealth Financing Authority, an independent state agency that evaluates and administers funding for projects that create jobs and improve cultural and recreational assets. Read more

 

Matzie calls state spending plan a step in the right direction

(Jun 30, 2016)

HARRISBURG, June 30 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, today supported the passage of a state budget plan that funds education at record levels, without a broad-based tax increase. “While I will be the first to admit that this budget isn’t perfect, it is a solid step in the right direction especially for our schools and students,” Matzie said. “After the protracted impasse of last year, it is refreshing to see this compromise, especially as it contains historic education funding but doesn’t add to our structural deficit.” Senate Bill 1073 includes a $250 million increase for pre-K through 12 education funding, including $200 million for K-12, $30 million for pre-K and Head Start, and a $20 million increase for special education. “The spending plan that’s now on its way to Governor Tom Wolf is a workable compromise that will invest in our state without relying on a sales or income tax increase,” Matzie said. Matzie said the bill also would provide funding for three additional Pennsylvania State Police cadet classes; transfer millions from the Oil and Gas Fund to the General Fund to give money to conservation programs, Growing Greener, and the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Fund; and dedicate $15 million to combat heroin and opioid addiction, including funds for emergency addiction treatment and behavioral health services. Read more

 

Matzie Supporting Sports Betting

(Jun 30, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Rob Matzie asks the Federal government to lift the ban on sports betting and allow certain states to regulate it through their own licensed casinos. Read more

 

Matzie: Feds should entrust Pennsylvania with sports betting decision

(Jun 29, 2016)

HARRISBURG, June 29 – The state House of Representatives today adopted a resolution sponsored by state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, that urges the federal government to lift the ban on sports betting. “Just last week, the National Hockey League announced the awarding of a franchise to the City of Las Vegas,” Matzie said. “This shows just how drastically public opinion and policy has shifted over time and should deliver the killing blow to the notion that professional athletics cannot coexist with legal sports wagering.” House Resolution 619, which was adopted by a vote of 140-59, urges Congress to repeal the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 which prohibits sports betting in every state except Nevada, Oregon, Montana and Delaware. “Pennsylvania responsibly oversees and regulates various forms of gaming throughout the state including the lottery, slot machines and horse racing. But an arbitrary law, which hasn’t been revisited by the federal government in more than two decades, prevents us from seriously considering sports betting,” Matzie said. “While discussions would be needed about how sports betting would work in the Pennsylvania, I think it verges on ridiculous that the federal government would prevent us from even exploring the option.” If the federal government lifts the ban, any state with authorized, license and regulated casino gaming would have the authority to legalize sports betting at its licensed facilities. “I would f Read more

 

Matzie: Bipartisan effort is our only option in ending opioid crisis

(Jun 23, 2016)

HARRISBURG, June 23 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, joined Gov. Tom Wolf and a group of bipartisan legislators today for a Capitol news conference to highlight details of a joint effort to combat the opioid and heroin crisis in the state. In the Rotunda, Democratic Leader Frank Dermody joined Speaker of the House Mike Turzai, Majority Leader David Reed and other House members to announce the completion of recommendations from the Task Force and Advisory Committee on Opioid Prescription Drug Proliferation. “For the past several years, the General Assembly has been focused on the opioid and heroin crisis gripping our state,” Matzie said. “While there is still much to do to wipe this scourge from our communities, today represents progress in that fight. The recommendations from the task force will make a real difference in ending this crisis.” The Task Force and Advisory Committee on Opioid Prescription Drug Proliferation, which was created through the adoption of a resolution in 2014, made several legislative recommendations, including H.B. 1737 and H.R. 590, both of were recently approved by the House. Also announced at the news conference was a special legislative session focused on the opioid crisis, which is expected to be convened in September. “This issue isn’t a partisan one. Individuals from all across our state and from all walks of life have fallen victim to addiction,” Matzie said. “As a member of the Health Committee, I have seen members from bo Read more

 

Democrats take leap of faith into budget talks with GOP

(Jun 20, 2016)

It's the big head-scratcher in the Pennsylvania Capitol. House Democrats this month helped pass bills that advanced a couple long-sought Republican priorities — scaling back traditional public pension benefits and breaking state-control over wine sales — apparently without any assurance that the Legislature's huge GOP majorities will return the favor to Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf. With less than two weeks until the fiscal year ends, the question now is what Wolf will get from tax-averse Republicans to advance his efforts to wipe out a damaging deficit and close huge funding inequities between wealthy and poor school districts. "We're negotiating with them," said House Minority Whip Mike Hanna, D-Clinton. "That's probably the biggest thing in the world. I mean, at this point last year, (House Republicans) had told us we weren't in the room, that they were going to pass their budget with no Democratic input." Wolf and lawmakers spent much of the last year mired in a bare-knuckled partisan fight over Wolf's first budget, an embarrassing crisis that all sides seem determined to avoid repeating, particularly in an election year. Read more

 

Matzie recognizes Pennsylvania’s pollinators

(Jun 15, 2016)

HARRISBURG, June 15 – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives unanimously adopted a resolution authored by state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, that would designate the week of June 20-26 as Pollinator Week in Pennsylvania. Matzie’s resolution is intended to highlight the necessity of pollinators, including birds, insects and especially bees, both in the ecosystem and for the security of the food supply. “Many types of birds and insects, in particular bees, are essential partners for farmers in the commonwealth and across the globe,” Matzie said. “My resolution also recognizes the important role beekeepers play in the pollination process, which enables the production of many of the foods produced in Pennsylvania's agriculture industry.” Matzie’s resolution recognizes the state’s Bee Law, which provides conservation assistance for the protection and maintenance of pollinators and their habitats through the Department of Agriculture. "Our pollinators also play a vital role in preserving the health of our national forests and grasslands, which provide fish, wildlife, timber, water, mineral resources and recreational opportunities,” Matzie said. “It is clear to me that without our pollinators, the commonwealth would be a very different place.” It also notes the work of the Pollinator Partnership, a nonprofit organization that protects the health of native pollinating animals vital to North American ecosystems; the Pennsylvania State Beekeepers Association; the D Read more

 

Matzie joins wide-bipartisan effort to improve wine purchases, consumer convenience while preserving jobs

(Jun 08, 2016)

HARRISBURG, June 8 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, applauded Gov. Tom Wolf today for promptly signing legislation into law that will modernize and expand retail sales of wine and liquor in Pennsylvania while preserving jobs. House Bill 1690, which passed the House yesterday with a vote of 157-31, will allow wine to be sold in many more locations, including grocery stores that already sell beer, give more flexibility to the Liquor Control Board to set prices and store hours across the state, and permit direct shipment of wine by licensed producers to consumers at their homes. “Finally the people of Pennsylvania will be able to enjoy the same conveniences they would expect from any modern business when they are shopping for wine and liquor,” Matzie said. “While this bill is far from perfect, it is a good first step that gives the people what they really want: convenience, without sacrificing thousands of well-paying jobs.” Matzie said the law, which is expected to generate up to $150 million a year in new revenue for the commonwealth, will also protect nearly 5,000 family-sustaining jobs. “This legislation will give the LCB flexibility in terms of pricing and store hours, including the authority to open more of their stores on Sunday. These changes will bring our state store system into the 21st century and may even result in the creation of additional jobs,” Matzie said. “I applaud Governor Tom Wolf for his quick action on this bill, and I hope this moment Read more

 

Sale of Pa. drivers' records causes ID theft concern

(Jun 08, 2016)

The York Dispatch reports on Rep. Matzie's bill to make it illegal for third parties to sell driver and vehicle records obtained through PennDOT. Read more

 

Shell's 'history making' decision has state legislators excited about the future

(Jun 07, 2016)

“It’s really a combination of excitement and relief,” said state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-16, Ambridge. “It’s the equal of hitting the lottery.” Matzie said those who own property along the Ohio River are eager to see what Shell’s announcement means for potential peripheral businesses coming to the area. “For manufacturing to come back in any way … this is really the key,” he said. Read more

 

House adopts Matzie resolution to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer
Oct 18, 2016

Matzie and Nesbit introduce legislation to stem rising education costs
Sep 29, 2016

Matzie test drives self-driving car
Sep 28, 2016

Matzie honors Pennsylvania wine and wineries
Sep 26, 2016

Matzie introduces bills on quake insurance, fracking near reservoirs
Sep 26, 2016

Matzie introduces bills to increase protections for infrastructure, homeowners
Sep 22, 2016

Summer 2016 Newsletter
Aug 15, 2016

Matzie proposal would increase setback requirements for drilling near
Aug 12, 2016

Matzie joins governor, labor, business and education leaders to help Beaver County prepare for the Shell ethane cracker plant
Jul 22, 2016

New Shell Ethane Cracker Plant means new workforce
Jul 22, 2016

Matzie announces more than $100,000 grant for Allegheny Petroleum
Jul 01, 2016

Matzie calls state spending plan a step in the right direction
Jun 30, 2016

Matzie Supporting Sports Betting
Jun 30, 2016

Matzie: Feds should entrust Pennsylvania with sports betting decision
Jun 29, 2016

Matzie: Bipartisan effort is our only option in ending opioid crisis
Jun 23, 2016

Democrats take leap of faith into budget talks with GOP
Jun 20, 2016

Matzie recognizes Pennsylvania’s pollinators
Jun 15, 2016

Matzie joins wide-bipartisan effort to improve wine purchases, consumer convenience while preserving jobs
Jun 08, 2016

Sale of Pa. drivers' records causes ID theft concern
Jun 08, 2016

Shell's 'history making' decision has state legislators excited about the future
Jun 07, 2016