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Mullery secures $298,870 to fight blight in Newport Township

(May 25, 2021)

HARRISBURG, May 25 – State Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Luzerne, today announced a state grant totaling $298,870 was awarded to Newport Township for its ongoing effort to fight blighted properties. “Removing blighted properties is a win-win for our communities,” Mullery said. “It not only makes neighborhoods beautiful for residents to enjoy, but also makes these communities more attractive to tourists and visitors. I am pleased to see this project get the funding it needs, so these unsafe eyesores can be demolished.” “ Prior to the pandemic starting, Newport Township was working hard with Representative Mullery’s office to make blight a priority. We were worried that the pandemic was going to hinder our progress until today. These funds will go a long way to combat blight in Glen Lyon and throughout Newport Township,“ said Joe Hillan, Newport Township manager. The funding comes from the Blight Remediation program and will be used to remove 18 blighted properties that are either currently on the Luzerne County Repository list or with owners who are willing to cooperate with the removal process with the understanding they will retain ownership. The funding will be used for demolition, engineering, legal and administrative costs. The Blight Remediation program was created under the Commonwealth Financing Authority in 2019. It is a reimbursable grant Read more

 

House L&I Committee Dem. Chairman Mullery urges making critical changes to unemployment system

(May 25, 2021)

HARRISBURG, May 25 – Thousands of Pennsylvanians experiencing issues applying for and receiving unemployment benefits will continue to deal with unnecessary delays and roadblocks even after the new unemployment compensation system launches in two weeks, House Labor and Industry Committee Democratic Chairman Gerald Mullery, D-Luzerne, told listeners at a news event following yesterday morning’s committee hearing. “Right now, there are still many roadblocks that will remain and cause delays for filers, such as the waiting week that makes people ineligible for benefits during their first week of unemployment -- and the process of determining credit weeks, which regularly causes delays in benefits being paid and confusion amongst both employers and claimants,” Mullery said. “Right now, my bill, House Bill 549, would eliminate the waiting week and streamline the income verification process leading to a more effective and efficient system. Despite near universal agreement of these facts, the chances of this bill being brought up for a vote in committee remains remote. “It has become quite clear since the start of this legislative session the majority party is more concerned with appeasing the Chamber of Commerce and special interest groups, as opposed to the thousands of hardworking and frustrated Pennsylvanians who have been waiting for their benefits so food can be put on the table and bills can be paid. Democrats and Republicans Read more

 

Mullery Working to End Roadblocks for Unemployment Claims

(May 24, 2021)

Despite recent updates to the state's unemployment compensation process, many people are still struggling to file claims and receive their benefits. Mullery says his House Bill 549 would make the claims process more effective and efficient and says it's time to put partisan politics aside and fix the system. Read more

 

Mullery to host free paper shredding event May 29

(May 06, 2021)

NANTICOKE, May 6 – State Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Luzerne, will be holding a free paper shredding event to help residents safely dispose of their unwanted and personal documents. The event will be held 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 29 at Greater Nanticoke High School, 425 Kosciuzsko St., Nanticoke. “Shredding documents is a great way to protect personal information from getting into the hands of thieves and fraudsters,” Mullery said. "I'm pleased that my staff and I can again provide this public service as previous shredding events before the pandemic have been well attended." Mullery said this will be a drive-thru shredding event. Residents are asked to place items in the back of their vehicles to be removed by a member or staff and then wait in their vehicles for the boxes or bags to be returned. Common types of unwanted documents for shredding include credit card statements, credit card applications, bank and investment statements, canceled checks, income tax information, insurance and health records, and retirement or pension fund information. This event is only for residential documents. Business documents will not be accepted. Documents will be shredded on site. For more information, residents may call Mullery's Nanticoke office at 570-740-7031. Read more

 

119 Seconds with Jerry

(May 05, 2021)

On this episode of 119 Seconds with Jerry, Pa. state Rep. Gerald Mullery continues to highlight how the PA Rescue Plan would benefit Luzerne County residents with investments in hazard pay for frontline workers, paid sick and family leave, and remediation of toxic school buildings. Read more

 

Mullery Pushes for Food Processor Protections

(Apr 28, 2021)

At a Harrisburg news conference, Pa. state Rep. Gerald Mullery offers his support for the Meatpacking and Food Processing Protection Act. Mullery says this legislation would bring added safety and protections to our meatpacking and food processing workers while also ensuring our food supply remains safe. Read more

 

119 Seconds with Jerry on the PA Rescue Plan

(Apr 23, 2021)

On this episode of 119 Seconds with Jerry, Pa. state Rep. Gerald Mullery discusses how the PA Rescue Plan will invest millions of federal dollars in our healthcare infrastructure, including expanded telehealth capabilities and more direct care workers for our seniors. Read more

 

Mullery lauds $1.4M in grant funding for infrastructure, rehabilitation projects

(Apr 21, 2021)

NANTICOKE, April 21 – State Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Luzerne, today announced over $1.4 million in state funding has been awarded for several infrastructure and rehabilitation projects in the 119 th Legislative District. “This is critical funding for several projects to make our region more attractive for businesses, residents and visitors,” Mullery said. “Whether its infrastructure investment for commerce and industry or widening roads for bicycle safe travel lanes, these funds will help make our communities better places to live and work.” Mullery said the following local projects are receiving state funding through several programs from the Commonwealth Finance Authority: Multimodal Transportation Fund: Nanticoke City - $750,000 for HUD Inc. doing business as Emerald Anthracite II to extend existing rail siding that will open thousands of acres for industrial development with rail access to the Canadian Pacific main line. Wright Township - $685,984 to widen Park Road, a heavily traveled roadway, and create a new bike lane, add curbs and a sidewalk, make stormwater improvements, remove trees and resurface the road and install pavement markings. The Commonwealth Financing Authority was established in 2004 as an independent agency of the Department of Community and Economic Development to administer Read more

 

Mullery: $1 million awarded for critical infrastructure improvements

(Apr 16, 2021)

WEST HAZLETON, April 16 – One million dollars in state funding today was awarded to West Hazleton for critical safety and traffic flow improvements along a busy stretch of road, announced state Rep. Gerald Mullery. “Safe and reliable transportation is critical for our day-to-day lives and to keep our local and state economies thriving,” said Mullery, D-Luzerne. “I will always support funding to keep our roads safe for residents, drivers, and visitors.” Mullery said the funds will be used to reconstruct 1,970 linear feet on Rotary Drive in the Valmont Industrial Park. The construction will address safety and traffic flow concerns while maintaining access for existing industries’ current employees and customers. The approved project was one of 43 announced statewide Friday through PennDOT’s Multimodal Transportation Fund, which addresses improvements in highway, bridge, rail, pedestrian trails and bike trails. PennDOT evaluated the applications and made selections based on criteria such as safety benefits, regional economic conditions, the technical and financial feasibility, job creation, energy efficiency and operational sustainability. Read more

 

Mullery: New unemployment compensation system launches in June

(Apr 08, 2021)

HARRISBURG, April 8 – The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry will be launching a new, streamlined unemployment compensation system on June 8, according to state Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Luzerne. “Our current decades-old system caused unnecessary and consistent frustration for thousands of Pennsylvanians this past year. Through no fault of their own, people struggled to pay their bills and provide for their families because of our antiquated unemployment compensation system,” Mullery said. “Modernizing our system will streamline the process and ensure the efficient and prompt payment of benefits. “ The Department of Labor & Industry said the programs that will transition to the new system include: Unemployment Compensation. Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation. Extended Benefits. Shared Work or Short-Time Compensation. Trade Readjustment Allowances. The new UC system will have a different look and feel than the current system and is better aligned with the user interface of modern websites, making it more intuitive to use. It will also provide access to more information and self-serve options and reduce the need for claimants to contact the UC service center. Mullery added, “This is a significant step to updating our unemployment compensation system, but Read more

 

Mullery introduces bill to require road repairs following underground work

(Apr 01, 2021)

HARRISBURG, April 1 – Under legislation introduced this week by state Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Luzerne, public utilities and municipal authorities would be required to repair and restore roadways to the same or better condition as when they started underground work. “Every day, Pennsylvania drivers are traveling on roads that remain unpaved or in desperate need of repairs, which can cause serious and dangerous damage to their vehicles,” Mullery said. “If a public utility or municipal authority conducts underground work under roadways, they should have the responsibility to repair the road when the underground work is complete.” Mullery said currently there are no established criteria regarding repaving or repairing road surfaces and once underground work is completed, roads often remain unpaved or in disrepair for extended periods of time. “Under my bill, Pennsylvania neighborhoods and drivers would avoid any unnecessary costs for road repair work and preventable damage to their vehicles,” he said. To help alleviate the problem, Mullery’s legislation would create the Utility Fair Share Roadway Repair Act and require contractors to restore a roadway to the same or better condition as when the work started. Any work would have to meet the satisfaction of either the secretary of Transportation or the municipal public works director, depending if the work was completed on a state or municipal road. Mullery’s bill, Read more

 

Mullery urges county tourism and visitor’s bureau relocation to White Haven

(Mar 31, 2021)

WHITE HAVEN, March 31 – Following media reports of Luzerne County Council considering relocation of the county tourism and visitors’ bureau to Wilkes-Barre city’s yet developed Central Railroad Station, state Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Luzerne, today sent the councilmembers a letter recommending the White Haven Community Library & Visitor Center as an alternate option. Mullery noted the White Haven property, originally constructed in 1889 as an engine repair shop for the former Lehigh Valley Railroad, has been deemed eligible for inclusion in the National Registry of Historic Buildings and has been dramatically transformed into a viable multi-purpose library and heritage visitor center. “Additionally, not only does the White Haven Area Community Library and Visitor Center have the space needed for this essential county service, but it is ideally located. The site is two miles from I-80; nine miles from I-81; and five miles from the Pennsylvania Turnpike. All 3 highways have available signage to attract motorists,” he wrote. Mullery cited commonwealth data indicating nearly 1 million people visited Hickory Run, Lehigh Gorge, and Nescopeck State Parks over the past two years and said White Haven Borough is considered the entrance community for all three parks. “The Luzerne County tourism and visitors’ bureau should be where tourists and visitors are, and I Read more

 

Letter to Luzerne County Council to consider White Haven location for county tourism and visitor bureau

(Mar 31, 2021)

A letter to the Wilkes-Barre City Council requesting they consider White Haven as the new location for the county tourism and visitor bureau. Read more

 

PA House Democrats Launch Effort to Defend Democracy

(Mar 29, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 29 – Responding to the Capitol insurrection in January and the signing of new restrictions on voting rights last week in Georgia, House Democrats are taking action to protect American democracy. Today, a website was launched that summarizes policy proposals to defend democracy as well as links to more information and the ability for people to quickly email their elected officials, noting their support of the bills. The House Democratic Caucus has been working on these proposals since a House Democratic Policy Committee Hearing in January, when members were briefed by legal scholars, hate crimes experts and members of Congress on the language of false conspiracy and election fraud being used to undermine democracy. That same language has shifted from encouraging outright attack to what many perceive as insidiously undermining basic voting rights. “We cannot allow the outrage and disgust of the American people watching an armed invasion of our government to be subverted by a slick rebranding into attacks on our right to fair and free elections” Policy Committee Chairman Ryan Bizzarro said. Members of the House Democratic Caucus have introduced dozens of measures to expand voting rights, preserve election security, protect access to mail-in ballots and polling places, and to clarify and consolidate the often-outdated Election Code. Bizzarro said the site – www.pahouse.com/policy/defendingdemocracy -- will serve as a great Read more

 

119 Seconds with Jerry

(Mar 26, 2021)

On this episode of 119 Seconds with Jerry, Pa. state Rep. Gerald Mullery discusses Gov. Wolf's new COVID-19 guidelines for business and events, the opening of trout season in Pennsylvania and his upcoming shredding event. Read more

 

Mullery concerned state facility closure program fails to protect impacted communities

(Mar 15, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 15 – The State Facility Closure Transition Program, a measure designed to support communities and mitigate significant economic impact, authorized by Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration is being scrutinized by state Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Luzerne, for its lack of recurring funding and failure to adequately protect those areas most affected by the governor’s decisions. “Despite our initial satisfaction with this program’s inclusion in the 2020 budget, it was devastating to learn the administration had zero interest in a recurring funding program for these communities,” Mullery said. Luzerne County is eligible for $2.1 million given the prorated number of employees residing in the county at the time of the facility closures. It is estimated Luzerne County, which lost over 800 jobs with the closures of SCI Retreat and White Haven Center, will suffer over $100 million in direct, annual economic impact. “ What is equally important to note has been this administration’s failure to adequately protect the communities directly impacted by the closures of SCI Retreat and the White Haven Center. Despite countless meetings with the administration, they have refused to incorporate language in this program guaranteeing money to the host communities. Instead, the fate of these communities now lies at the mercy of Luzerne County officials. Read more

 

Mullery introduces two election reform bills

(Mar 09, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 9 – State Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Luzerne, today introduced two bills which would make critical changes to Pennsylvania’s Election Code to expand background checks and campaign donation disclosures. “Throughout our state, school board members interact with students but are not held to the same level of accountability as teachers and administrators,” Mullery said. “As a matter of safety, my bill would require anyone running to serve on a school board to undergo background checks before initiating their campaign.” House Bill 851 would change Pennsylvania’s Election Code by adding a new section for school board candidates to submit state and federal criminal history reports, a certificate from the Department of Health clarifying whether the candidate is a perpetrator in a child abuse investigation, and a full set of fingerprints. If a candidate does not obtain these clearances, they would be ineligible to run for school board. Additionally, Mullery said, “Nonprofit organizations have become more active in making campaign donations for candidates and, in most cases, they can remain anonymous. People have a right to know who’s making political contributions and under my bill, these loopholes would be closed so those donations can be made public.” House Bill 852 would require a nonprofit organization that has the expectation of making contributions or expenditures of $25,000 or more in a Read more

 

119 Seconds with Jerry

(Mar 01, 2021)

On this episode of 119 Seconds with Jerry, Pa. state Rep. Gerald Mullery discusses his committee assignments for the 2021-22 legislative session and shares some updates to constituent services in his Harrisburg and district offices. Read more

 

Mullery introduces critical employee protection legislation

(Feb 24, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 24 – State Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Luzerne, today announced two pieces of employee protection legislation have been re-introduced in the new legislative session. “Right now, there are serious loopholes in our laws that could have potentially devastating impacts on our workers,” Mullery said. “My bills would ensure every working Pennsylvanian would not have to worry about retaliation for doing the right thing or having their rights stripped away because of dishonest employers.” House Bill 660 would increase the penalties for employers who knowingly misclassify their employees to levels which would deter those employers from doing so. Misclassification is a recurring problem which robs employees of their rights while giving dishonest employers an unfair advantage over them. House Bill 661 would expand the Whistleblower Protection Act to ensure all employees of the Judicial Branch are covered. This expansion would cover Supreme, Superior, and Commonwealth Courts, courts of common pleas, minor judiciary, and all other bodies in the judicial branch of state government. Mullery, who serves as Democratic chairman of the House Labor & Industry Committee, said both bills are currently awaiting committee assignments for consideration. Read more

 

Mullery, Hanbidge introduce bill to improve overburdened unemployment compensation system

(Feb 17, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 17 -- In response to numerous Pennsylvanians reporting difficulties applying for and receiving unemployment benefits amid the COVID-19 pandemic, state Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Luzerne, and state Rep. Liz Hanbidge, D-Montgomery, have introduced a bill to make critical improvements to PA’s Unemployment Compensation system. “There is no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has overburdened our UC system; however, that is unacceptable for the thousands of Pennsylvanians trying to make ends meet and put food on their tables,” Mullery said. “Our proposal would simplify some of the most common roadblocks folks applying for benefits say they are running into.” House Bill 549 would make the following changes to the UC Law: Permanently eliminate the “waiting week” that makes claimants ineligible for benefits during the first week of unemployment. Eliminate credit weeks from the process of verifying income, which too regularly causes delays in benefits and confusion amongst employers and claimants. Eliminate severance pay requirements to minimize the occurrence of claims being sent to UC examiners for review, which further delays claims processing. Streamline the Shared Work Program to help claimants access benefits in a timelier manner. Said Hanbidge: “This past year has created numerous, insurmountable challenges for families and the time for action is now to get people paid Read more