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Coronavirus Considered a Global Health Emergency

(Jan 30, 2020)

Dear Friends, Earlier this week, I sent out an email concerning the coronavirus, a massive outbreak of a new respiratory illness first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, and I promised to update you as things changed. Today, they did: A 16-person panel of independent experts with the World Health Organization (WHO) met today in Geneva to assess the current situation and decide whether the spread of the coronavirus constitutes an international emergency—a declaration they were disinclined to make last week because the panel felt it did not have enough information. Today, they felt they did and declared the coronavirus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). The WHO has made only five PHEICs in the last decade: the H1 virus that caused an influenza pandemic (2009), West Africa’s Ebola outbreak, polio (2014), Zika virus (2016), and the ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (2019). To date, according to Chinese officials, the coronavirus has sickened more than 7,700 people in China and killed 170, most of whom have been older people with underlying illnesses. Cases have been confirmed in every province and region of the country, and as of yesterday, 68 cases had been reported around the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 20 countries, including Hong Kong, have confirmed cases of the coronavirus. The United States is one of them. As of yesterday, the CDC reports that 165 Americans across 36... Read more

 

Coronavirus Update

(Jan 28, 2020)

Dear Friends,As I’m sure you are aware, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring a massive outbreak of a new respiratory illness first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Infections caused by the virus, which is a kind of virus called a coronavirus, are being reported in a growing number of countries internationally, including the United States. The CDC reports that as of today, there are five confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the U.S. and 110 people in 26 states who are under investigation.This situation is rapidly evolving both here and abroad, and the statistics and health advisory information will likely change with it. But we can answer a few key questions now:What is a “coronavirus”?Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that cause infections in mammals, including humans, and birds. In humans, the virus causes respiratory infections that can range from mild, like the common cold, to deadly.What are the symptoms of this coronavirus?A fever, dry cough, shortness of breath and trouble breathing. The CDC believes the incubation period is anywhere from 2 to 14 days. Reports out of China suggest that patients may be infectious before the onset of their symptoms, although the CDC has no clear evidence of that yet here in the United States.What are its origins?Early on, many of the patients in the outbreak in Wuhan, China, reportedly had some link to a large seafood and animal market there, suggesting animal-to-person spread.... Read more

 

Stay Up to Date with ONE CLICK

(Jan 22, 2020)

Dear Friends, Want to stay up to date about what’s happening here and in Harrisburg? Click on the link below to continue receiving updates from my office on a whole host of issues including REAL IDs, PennDOT plans and road closings, SEPTA Key Cards—the works. According to House rules, I’m not allowed to contact you at all during a 60-day “blackout” period prior to a House election unless you indicate you want me to do so. So please, tell me to do so: Opt in to stay connected to what’s happening at the local, county and state level. As always, if you need additional information about any state government-related issue, don’t hesitate to reach out to my office at 115 E. Glenside Ave., Suite 8, Glenside, PA 19038 by calling (215) 572-5210 or emailing me at RepMcCarter@pahouse.net . Sincerely, Steve McCarter Pennsylvania State Representative Serving Cheltenham Township, Springfield Township and Jenkintown Borough Read more

 

PA House Members laud Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf as he moves his draft methane rule to the state’s Environmental Quality Board

(Dec 17, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 17 – Heeding the call of a majority of Pennsylvanians across the state who support immediate and multi-pronged action on climate, the administration of Gov. Tom Wolf today presented its draft methane rule to the Department of Environmental Protection’s Environmental Quality Board. Legislators statewide, including members of the Pennsylvania Climate Caucus, led in the House of Representatives by Co-Chair state Rep. Steve McCarter, D-Montgomery, and Vice Chair state Rep. Carolyn Comitta, D-Chester, have urged the governor to act forcefully on climate, as families and communities in the commonwealth experience the increasingly harmful impacts of global warming. Methane, the primary component of natural gas, is a potent greenhouse gas. Its emissions -- leaked from thousands of sources of natural gas development and infrastructure in the state -- are estimated to be five times higher than what is reported to DEP, or over 500,000 tons annually. Pennsylvania is the second-largest producer of natural gas in the U.S. “Members of the Pennsylvania Climate Caucus came together in the Capitol this fall to call on Governor Wolf to move quickly to regulate methane emissions, and we are thrilled to say today that the governor heeded that call and those of Pennsylvanians across the commonwealth by taking action and launching a rulemaking process at the EQB,” McCarter said. “This is the kind of leadership we need on Read more

 

Sanchez and McCarter to host LGBTQ+ resource fair this weekend

(Oct 16, 2019)

ABINGTON, Oct. 16 – State Reps. Ben Sanchez and Steve McCarter, both D-Montgomery, invite LGBTQ+ community members and allies to their resource fair from 1-3 p.m. this Saturday, Oct. 19 at Penn State Abington, 1600 Woodland Road. This free event will feature over 40 vendors from the greater Philadelphia area, including local businesses, nonprofits, organizations, area legislators and more. “The event is open to everyone and we hope to see many members of the LGBTQ+ community there along with allies,” Sanchez said. “I look forward to meeting with attendees and introducing them to the resources they’re looking for. Whether they want an update on our state legislature’s efforts to protect LGBTQ+ rights or want to be connected to advocacy groups, we will have something there for everyone.” “It is critical in a democracy that every community’s voice is heard and their needs are met,” McCarter said. “Our first LGBTQ+ Resource Fair provides a great opportunity for the LGBTQ+ community and their allies to voice their concerns and to find resources, both in organizations and in legislators and their staff, that support LGBTQ+ advocacy, wellness, community and education in the area.” Questions may be direct to Sanchez’s office at (215) 517-6800. ### Read more

 

Get informed about voting

(Oct 04, 2019)

Check out this event alert from Montgomery County. Scroll down for more information. Montgomery County will host a demonstration of our new voting system from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, October 5 at College Hall, Montgomery County Community College, 340 Morris Road, Blue Bell, PA 19422. Try Montgomery County’s New Voting System Montgomery County Voter Services is hosting an Open House on Saturday, October 5 from 9 a.m. to noon at College Hall, Montgomery County Community College, 340 Morris Road, Blue Bell, PA 19422, for voters interested in learning more about the county’s new voter-marked paper ballot voting system. Five simulated polling locations will be in place so you can experience the new process firsthand. For more information on the new voting system, click here . For more information on the feedback Montgomery County officials received about the new voting system on primary election day in May and the steps the county has taken to address the reported concerns, click here . If you have any questions about any state government-related matter, don’t hesitate to call (215) 572-5210 or email Read more

 

Climate Caucus Praises Governor’s Proposal to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

(Oct 04, 2019)

HARRISBURG- State Senator Steve Santarsiero (D-10) and state Representative Steve McCarter (D-154), co-chairs of the bipartisan, bicameral Climate Caucus, along with vice-chair state Representative Carolyn Comitta (D-156) offered praise for Governor Tom Wolf’s Executive Order this morning instructing the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). RGGI is a cooperative effort among nine states to cap and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through regulation or legislation. “Pennsylvania joining RGGI allows yet another avenue for Pennsylvania to combat climate change while promoting economic innovation throughout the Commonwealth,” said Sen. Santarsiero. “In recent years, Pennsylvania has been seriously outpaced by stronger energy standards in neighboring states like Maryland, which is already a RGGI member, and New Jersey, which soon will be,” said Rep. McCarter. “Joining RGGI is an important step in reducing our CO2 emissions, improving our energy profile, spurring innovation in the clean energy economy and creating green jobs.” "I applaud Governor Wolf for his leadership,” said Rep. Comitta. “We must take strong action to stop climate change and shape a healthy future for our children. Joining RGGI, positions Pennsylvania to protect our children’s future while strengthening our economy.” The states currently Read more

 

Some More Good News Out of Harrisburg on Climate Change

(Oct 03, 2019)

Last spring, I wrote to you about joining Gov. Tom Wolf to announce Pennsylvania’s membership in the U.S. Climate Alliance. By joining the U.S. Climate Alliance, the commonwealth became one of 24 states committed to upholding the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. I titled that email: “FINALLY some good news out of Harrisburg about climate change.” I’m happy to report, I have some MORE good news out of Harrisburg: Today, the governor announced that Pennsylvania will be joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (or RGGI, pronounced “Reggie”), a cooperative effort among nine states—Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont—to cap and reduce CO2 emissions from the power sector. New Jersey and Virginia will soon be a part of RGGI. Pennsylvania will be the 12th state on board. This is a great step in the right direction, and I applaud the governor for making the move. Here in Pennsylvania and across the globe, every industry, every project and every sector will be impacted by climate change. It will require our creativity and dedication to assure communities and workers impacted that they will not be left behind to suffer the ravages of change while others benefit. This is a challenge the commonwealth took steps to meet today. In recent years, Pennsylvania has been seriously outpaced by stronger energy standards in neighboring states like Read more

 

Upcoming Events in October

(Sep 24, 2019)

I want to let you know about a bunch of community and legislative events in the next few weeks. The listing is immediately below; scroll down to find more information for each event in the list : October 3 : My REAL ID question-and-answer event October 5 : Free eye care and glasses for kids 17 and under October 5 : Montgomery County new voting system demonstration October 7 : Montgomery County Legislative Summit October 12 : Panel discussion on gun safety in Pennsylvania October 12: Cheltenham Harvest Festival; rain date: October 13 October 16: Late office hours at my office October 17: My Town Hall meeting focused on the climate crisis October 19: My first annual LGBTQ+ Resource Fair Learn More about REAL ID—and Save Time at the DMV Not certain whether your documents will pass muster with the DMV? Unsure whether you even need a REAL ID? Come to my REAL ID event from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, October 3 at Curtis Hall, 1250 W. Church Road, Wyncote, PA 19095. A PennDOT expert will be on hand to explain what the REAL ID is, whether you need one and what is required to get one. The PennDOT expert will also check your identifying documents and alert you to any problems. RSVPs are strongly encouraged. To RSVP and Read more

 

SIGN HERE to Support Taxing Plastic Bags in PA

(Sep 20, 2019)

As part of a budget-related bill, Gov. Tom Wolf recently signed legislation barring municipalities in the commonwealth from taxing or banning the sale or distribution of plastic bags for one year while the economic and environmental impact of plastic bags is studied. Let’s not wait a year — let’s do the math right now: If every person in Pennsylvania (12.8 million) used one plastic bag per day for a year (365 days), more than 4.6 billion plastic bags (12.8 times 365 equals 4,672,000,000) would be added to our environment in just one year. I am co-sponsoring a bill that I believe would represent a significant start at eliminating the ubiquitous, single-use plastic bag. The bill seeks to charge 2 cents for each non-reusable plastic bag used by purchasers of consumer goods at retail establishments. If enacted, this modest measure would gross more than $1 million annually — 50 percent of which would be returned to stores to help improve their recycling practices and 50 percent would be used to fund state recycling programs. Want to support this measure and our environment in the commonwealth? Click here to support taxing plastic bags in the commonwealth immediately. It’s the smart, forward-thinking thing to do. Sign Here Thank you for your support. Read more

 

Upcoming Events

(Sep 19, 2019)

I have some community news and alerts to share: The first case of West Nile Virus in Pennsylvania this year was detected in a Philadelphia resident. Camp William Penn and Historic La Mott Day will be THIS Saturday, September 21, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Camp William Penn Gate, 7322 Sycamore Ave., La Mott, PA 19027. PennDOT representatives will attend the Cheltenham Public Works meeting on October 2 at 7:30 p.m. at Curtis Hall (1250 Church Road, Wyncote, PA 19095) to discuss the Church Road/Greenwood Avenue improvement project. Get your questions answered and your documents checked at my REAL ID Event on Thursday, October 3 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Curtis Hall, 1250 Church Road, Wyncote, PA 19095. The PA House Democrats Montgomery County Delegation is sponsoring a Montgomery County Legislative Summit from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Monday, October 7 at the Science Center Theater at Montgomery County Community College, 340 Dekalb Pike, Whitpain Township, PA 19422. First Human Case of West Nile Virus in 2019 Discovered in Our Area The Department of Environmental Protection reported yesterday that Pennsylvania’s first probable human case of West Nile Virus (WNV) infection in 2019 has been detected in a Philadelphia resident. Read more

 

News in the Community

(Sep 17, 2019)

Absentee Voting Just Got Easier! Previously in Pennsylvania, the only option for completing an absentee ballot application was through mail or hand-delivery to a county election office. As of this week, you will be able to apply online for an absentee ballot for the Nov. 5 election. This will quicken the application process and make it more accessible for thousands of voters. The deadline to apply by paper or online is 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29. You will still have to mail or hand-deliver your completed ballot to your county election office by the deadline, which is 5 p.m. on the Friday before the election, or Nov. 1 this year. For now, you will need a PennDOT driver license or ID number for your absentee ballot to be processed electronically. Learn More Evening Office Hours, Wednesday, Sept. 18 My office and United States Congresswoman Madeleine Dean’s office will be staying open until 7 p.m. tomorrow, Wednesday, Sept. 18th, to allow constituents who are unable to visit our offices during normal business hours full access to state- and federal government-related services. Read more

 

McCarter announces $90,000 grant for Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel to implement stormwater management structures in Cheltenham Township

(Sep 17, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 17 – State Rep. Steve McCarter, D-Montgomery, today announced that Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel has been awarded a $90,000 state grant to implement stormwater management structures in Cheltenham Township. “This grant will benefit our local waterways by reducing both the velocity of the water and the number of pollutants running into the creek,” McCarter said. The $90,000 grant was awarded Monday by the Commonwealth Financing Authority, which holds fiduciary responsibility over funding programs and investments that benefit Pennsylvania's economic growth. The CFA is unique among state agencies in that project approval requires five affirmative votes, four of which must come from the legislative appointees who compose the board, along with the secretaries of the Department of Community and Economic Development, the Office of the Budget and the Department of Banking and Securities. The CFA provides funding for a multitude of projects that help businesses succeed, including those focused on development, water quality, energy infrastructure and more. The grant awarded to Cheltenham Township is from CFA’s Watershed Restoration Protection Program. The total cost of the project is $106,000. Reform Congregation Keneseth lsrael is located in the Tookanyffacony-Frankford watershed, which has local stream-water quality impairments caused by uncontrolled urban runoff. The proposed Read more

 

McCarter announces $75,000 grant for Jenkintown Borough to develop Cedar Street Park

(Sep 17, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 17 – State Rep. Steve McCarter, D-Montgomery, today announced that Jenkintown Borough was awarded a $75,000 state grant to help create a pocket park on Cedar Street. “This park will be an oasis for the Cedar Street neighborhood,” McCarter said. “It will help foster community by providing the young and old a place to relax, exercise and play.” The $75,000 grant was awarded by the Commonwealth Financing Authority, which holds fiduciary responsibility over the funding of programs and investments in Pennsylvania's economic growth. The CFA is unique among state agencies in that project approval requires five affirmative votes, four of which must come from the legislative appointees who compose the board, along with the secretaries of the Department of Community and Economic Development, the Office of the Budget and the Department of Banking and Securities. The CFA provides funding for a multitude of projects that help businesses succeed, including those focused on development, water quality, energy infrastructure and more. The grant awarded to Jenkintown Borough focuses on greenways, trails and recreation. The total cost of the project is $283,222. It will transform 36 acres of land on Cedar Streel into an attractive pocket park to provide the residents and visitors a unique opportunity to enjoy nature within the context of their close-knit neighborhood. Jenkintown Borough Read more

 

Bipartisan, bicameral legislators join call for quick, strong advancement of methane rules in face of federal rollbacks

(Sep 17, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 17 – A bipartisan group of state legislators joined environmental organizations today to urge Gov. Tom Wolf to advance a crucial state Department of Environmental Protection rule to cut methane pollution from the natural gas industry. The legislators urged the governor to act on his 2016 plan now, in the face of proposed rollbacks of federal methane standards by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Controls that Wolf’s administration already emplaced cover new oil and gas drilling technology. The lawmakers said they also want Wolf to enact standards that cover methane emissions on existing sources of infrastructure used for natural gas development. “The climate crisis is urgent, and targeting infrastructure that has been polluting Pennsylvania for nearly a decade is necessary to protect clean air – especially as the Trump administration moves in the opposite direction,” said Rep. Steve McCarter, D- Montgomery . Recent analysis by Environmental Defense Fund found that methane emissions from Pennsylvania’s oil and gas industry, the second largest in the nation, are five times higher than what is reported to the state Department of Environmental Protection – a staggering 520,000 tons of methane every year. “Gov. Wolf stood with us in July as we announced the state’s entry into the U.S. Climate Alliance and pointed to methane reduction as one of the solutions. Pennsylvania needed Read more

 

SIGN MY PETITION: TAX PLASTIC BAGS!

(Sep 11, 2019)

As part of a budget-related bill, Gov. Wolf recently signed legislation barring municipalities in the commonwealth from taxing or banning the sale or distribution of plastic bags for one year while the economic and environmental impact of plastic bags is studied. Let’s not wait a year — let’s do the math right now instead. Read more

 

RSVP Now: My Town Hall is TONIGHT

(Sep 10, 2019)

oin me TONIGHT, September 10, at my Town Hall meeting at 7 p.m. at Wyncote Elementary School, 333 Rices Mill Road, Wyncote, PA 19095. A mong other issues, I’ll be talking about funding for public education and, in particular, how cyber charter school funding affects the stream of money flowing to traditional public schools like Wyncote. Larry Feinberg, founder of the Keystone State Education Coalition and a strong advocate for public education, will join me for this discussion. I n addition, I will also answer any questions you may have and discuss what you feel are the most important issues facing our state and how best to deal with them. Please come—and to help my office plan accordingly, RSVP by clicking the button below or by calling (215) 572-5210 or emailing RepMcCarter@pahouse.net . RSVP If you have any questions about this or any other state government-related matter, please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office . I hope to see you at Wyncote Elementary School this evening! Read more

 

RSVP Now: My Town Hall is TOMORROW

(Sep 09, 2019)

Join me tomorrow, September 10, at my Town Hall meeting at 7 p.m. at Wyncote Elementary School, 333 Rices Mill Road, Wyncote, PA 19095 . Among other issues, I’ll be talking about funding for public education and, in particular, how cyber charter school funding affects the stream of money flowing to traditional public schools like Wyncote. Larry Feinberg, founder of the Keystone State Education Coalition and a strong advocate for public education, will join me for this discussion. In addition, I will also answer any questions you may have and discuss what you feel are the most important issues facing our state and how best to deal with them. Please come—and to help my office plan accordingly, RSVP by clicking the button below or by calling (215) 572-5210 or emailing RepMcCarter@pahouse.net . RSVP If you have any questions about this or any other state government-related matter, please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office . I hope to see you at Wyncote Elementary School tomorrow evening! Read more

 

Upcoming Community Events

(Sep 06, 2019)

I want to alert you about four upcoming events in the community—opportunities for you to receive a naloxone kit for free, turn in any guns you want to get rid of, learn more about the 2020 U.S. Census and shred those important documents you’ve set aside for special disposal. Naloxone Distribution and Education Event: Tuesday, September 17 from 6 PM to 8 PM The Montgomery County Department of Health & Human Services Offices of Drug & Alcohol and Public Health are sponsoring free quarterly Naloxone distribution events—they’re giving out one Naloxone kit per family for free. The first event is from 6 PM to 8 PM on Tuesday, September 17 at St. Anthony’s of Padua Parish, 259 Forest Avenue, Ambler, PA 19002. Registration is required. Click here to register . Gun Turn-In Event: Wednesday, September 18 from 4 PM to 8 PM Saturday, September 21 from 9 AM to 1 PM The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office is sponsoring free gun turn-in events on Wednesday, September 18 and Saturday, September 21 at the Jenkintown Police Department, 700 Summit Avenue, Jenkintown, PA 19046. All unloaded firearms, including handguns, rifles and Read more

 

Helping Our Global Neighbors

(Sep 06, 2019)

We are only just beginning to learn the extent of the crushing devastation wrought by Hurricane Dorian. The first major hurricane of the 2019 storm season slammed into the Bahamas as a powerful Category 5 storm. Its forceful winds and heavy rains caused unprecedented flooding and damaged countless homes and businesses on the islands. The death toll is still largely unknown and is expected to rise. My heart goes out to the citizens of the Bahamas and to all those along the South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia coasts along the storm’s northward path. In our increasingly global community, we are all neighbors. And neighbors help neighbors. Here’s some information on how you might be able to lend a hand to our global neighbors in need: Before giving any monetary donation, you can conduct research on what charities are responding to the storm aftermath by clicking on these links: Charity Navigator Click on “Hot Topic” and then “Hurricane Dorian” to find a list of highly-rated organizations providing aid and relief. Pennsylvania Department of State database for charitable organizations American Red Read more