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PA Power Switch: Ask the right questions

(Dec 30, 2016)

In Pennsylvania, you can choose the company that generates your electricity – also known as your electric supplier. This means that you have the power to switch to a competing supplier who can offer the lowest price, or provide a specific service you want, such as “green” or renewable energy. Read more

 

Neilson announces 2017 House Scholarship Program

(Dec 28, 2016)

State Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., announced the application process is now open for students to apply for the Pennsylvania House Scholarship Program. Neilson said the program is open to graduating high school seniors who are Pennsylvania residents with plans to attend a Pennsylvania college, university or career school as a full-time student. Students must have attained a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade-point average in high school to be eligible. Other factors taken into consideration are a student’s commitment to community, leadership qualities, extracurricular activities and financial need. Read more

 

Pa. needs a real solution to its REAL ID woes

(Dec 14, 2016)

Imagine walking into a federal building, like the federal courthouse in Center City, and being told that your Pennsylvania driver's license is not a valid form of identification to gain entry. Imagine trying to board a domestic flight, not just in Pennsylvania but at any airport in America, and being turned away at security because a Transportation Department-issued identification card is no longer sufficient proof of identity. Read more

 

Neilson office is Toys for Tots drop-off point

(Nov 10, 2016)

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 10 – State Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., today announced his constituent service office is a drop-off location for this year’s U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots campaign. Residents may drop off new or unopened toys until Dec. 16 at Neilson’s constituent service office at 16 Old Ashton Road. The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots campaign collects toy donations each year to be distributed to needy children, meant as a message of hope to the less fortunate and help in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens. More information can be found online at www.toysfortots.org. Neilson’s office also will be collecting new or gently used winter coats and other winter accessories for local children and families in need until Nov. 21. More information is available by calling Neilson’s office at 215-330-3714. Read more

 

Neilson announces school safety grant for Politz Hebrew Academy

(Nov 03, 2016)

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 3 – State Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., announced today that safety at Politz Hebrew Academy will be enhanced thanks to a $40,000 state grant. Politz Hebrew Academy, located in the Bustleton neighborhood, will receive $40,000 from the state's Safe Schools Initiative Targeted Grant Program. The grant will assist the school in paying for salary and other compensation for a school resource or police officer's position for the school year. Up to $2,000 of the grant may be used for approved safety training. "It is crucial that students feel safe in school. A secure environment is needed for education to truly happen," Neilson said. "These funds will help us further our goal of providing a quality education to every child in the community." Neilson said the grants will be formally announced Friday by state Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera. Safe School Initiative grants are competitive grants awarded by the state Education Department to help school districts prevent and reduce school violence through school resource and police officers, prevention programs and security-related technology. Read more

 

Neilson applauds passage of payroll debit card legislation

(Oct 26, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 26 – State Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., today applauded the final passage of legislation that would allow employers to pay wages through debit cards while also providing protections to limit fees on employees accessing those wages. Senate Bill 1265, which is similar to legislation Neilson introduced in the 2013-14 legislative session, would allow employers to pay wages through check, electronic fund transfer or payroll cards. "This legislation will help Pennsylvanians who are unable to open or maintain a bank account to still have convenient access to the wages they earn," Neilson said. "While a traditional bank account still has its advantages, these debit cards will allow employees to avoid the high cost and other fees associated with check cashing and money orders." This legislation, which now heads to Gov. Tom Wolf for his expected signature, would establish requirements and parameters for employers to use payroll debit cards in the payment of employee wages and penalties for those employers found to be in violation of the law. Read more

 

Neilson raises awareness about dyslexia, effective interventions

(Oct 19, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 19 – State Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., today held a news conference to highlight October as “Dyslexia Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania and to urge his colleagues in the General Assembly to consider legislation to help students born with the learning condition, in the next legislative session. Neilson spoke at the news conference, which he cohosted with the Pennsylvania Dyslexia Literacy Coalition, about his family’s experiences with dyslexia. “Often children like my son, who was eventually diagnosed with dyslexia, are afraid to speak up and tell their teachers or even their parents that they are having trouble reading,” Neilson said. “It is our job as legislators to raise awareness not only of the learning condition, but also the importance of early detection and interventions we know to be effective.” Neilson also gave an informal update of the Dyslexia and Early Literacy Intervention Pilot Program, which was created as a result of legislation he introduced in 2013. “While the pilot program is still in its early stages, initial indicators suggest there is plenty of reason to be optimistic,” Neilson said. “Once we have the official report from the program and we can establish the benefits of early detection and intervention, it is my hope that we will be able to roll it out statewide. In the meantime, I will be working with my colleagues in the House and Senate to prepare additional bills for the next legislative session to help promote literacy throu Read more

 

Neilson Fights For Dyslexia Awareness

(Oct 19, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Ed Neilson hosted a news conference today to highlight his efforts to raise awareness of dyslexia throughout the state and to highlight October as Dyslexia Awareness Month. Read more

 

Neilson: BLOCS donation will help students throughout Philadelphia region access quality education

(Sep 27, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 27 – State Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., today said he was pleased to learn that the Business Leadership Organized for Catholic Schools, an Educational Improvement Organization, received a donation that will enable it to help provide students throughout Philadelphia access to a quality education. UnitedHealthcare presented representatives from BLOCS today with a ceremonial check for $600,000 during a student assembly at Our Lady of Calvary Catholic School. The funds will be used to further BLOCS’ mission of providing financial assistance to families in need, bolstering school infrastructure and expanding education opportunities for families in the Philadelphia area. “Every child deserves a high-quality education, and the donation from UnitedHealthcare will help make that a reality for children across the Philadelphia region,” Neilson said. “These funds will make a quality education, like the one offered by Our Lady of Calvary school, obtainable for families that would otherwise have little choice in their child’s schooling.” Our Lady of Calvary School is one of over 150 Catholic schools to benefit from partial student tuition scholarship funding from BLOCS. At today’s assembly, representatives from UnitedHealthcare and BLOCS joined with school and city officials for a Health Bee competition. The Jeopardy-styled competition pitted two teams composed of Our Lady of Calvary students against each other as they answered questions about health, fitness and nut Read more

 

Neilson and Dawkins fight to give poll workers a raise for Election Day

(Sep 21, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 21 – State Reps. Ed Neilson and Jason Dawkins, both D-Phila., urged their colleagues in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to amend legislation under consideration today to raise the minimum pay for poll workers on Election Day. Neilson’s amendment would have increased the minimum compensation for individuals serving as judges or inspectors of election from $75 to $150. Clerks and machine operators would have seen their minimum compensation raise from $70 to $140. “The hard-working men and women who serve our communities on Election Day are a vital component in preserving our democracy,” Neilson said. “Without them, the integrity and efficacy of our elections would be nonexistent.” Dawkins’ amendment would have set a fixed rate of pay for judges of election, inspectors of election, clerks and machine operators at a minimum of $10.10 per hour. "Poll workers have not seen a pay increase in 10 years, while legislators in Harrisburg get one every year," Dawkins said. "This is unfair, and the time has come to provide fair pay to the people who serve our communities and make sure our elections run effectively and efficiently." Philadelphia City Commissioner Lisa Deeley said she was disheartened to see efforts to ensure fair wages for hard-working poll workers throughout the state defeated. “One must consider the rationale of the legislators who voted no. Would they work a 14-hour day and earn $6.78 per hour as an inspector of election, or $7.14 Read more

 

ROOSEVELT BLVD.: Can Speed Cameras Tame America’s Most Dangerous Highway?

(Sep 19, 2016)

Pedestrians are a major problem on the boulevard because it cuts through busy neighborhoods, forcing people to walk across it. State Rep. Ed Neilson (D-Northeast) noted his own district has two schools right on the highway. Read more

 

Neilson: Don't Reward Nuisance Bars

(Jun 24, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Ed Neilson speaks on the house floor, questioning the merits of a proposal to legalize Video Gaming Terminals in Pennsylvania. Read more

 

Neilson: VGTs would harm Philadelphia and surrounding communities

(Jun 22, 2016)

HARRISBURG, June 22 – State Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., today said he voted against an amendment that would have resulted in an explosion of gambling across the commonwealth because it would harm Philadelphia and further embolden nuisance bars throughout the city. “I don’t have a problem with gaming,” said Neilson, who is the only Philadelphia member to sit on the House Gaming Oversight Committee. “I do take issue with any legislation that would allow 75,000 video gaming terminals to pop up across the state basically overnight.” House Bill 2150 was originally introduced to regulate the fantasy sports industry in Pennsylvania and protect consumers using their services. However, an amendment, which Neilson opposed, was offered in the House that would have allowed the use of video gaming terminals at liquor establishments and truck stops. That amendment was unsuccessful. “If the VGT legislation had been amended into this bill and it became law, obviously revenues from the casinos and the lottery would have been affected, which would have directly impacted the amount of funds available for property tax relief and senior programs like PACE. Even a 10 percent loss in casino revenues, which I think is a modest estimate, would have led to serious funding issues and the inevitable loss of casino jobs,” Neilson said. “We have seen that trend in every state that has allowed these machines to take root in their communities. But my largest concern has been and continues to be about t Read more

 

Neilson announces Property Tax/Rent Rebate deadline extension

(Jun 06, 2016)

PHILADELPHIA, June 6 – State Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., announced today that the application deadline for the popular Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program has been extended to the end of the year. "This extension allows everyone who is eligible the opportunity to apply for the rebate program," Neilson said. "I encourage residents to stop by my district office to find out if they qualify and for assistance with applying to take advantage of this rebate on 2015 property taxes or rent." The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program is available to eligible Pennsylvanians 65 or older; widows and widowers 50 or older; and people with disabilities 18 or older. Homeowners are limited to a $35,000 maximum annual income, while renters' income may be no more than $15,000, although applicants may exclude half of their Social Security income. The maximum standard rebate is $650. The program is supported by the Pennsylvania Lottery and from slots gaming revenue. Applications are available online through the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue at www.revenue.state.pa.us, or by calling 1-888-222-9190. Rebates will be distributed starting July 1. Since the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program’s 1971 inception, older and disabled adults have received more than $5.9 billion in property tax and rent relief. Neilson said constituents can get help filling out the application by visiting his district office, located at 16 Old Ashton Road. While at the office, eligible residents can also apply for a SEPTA Read more

 

Neilson to host SEPTA Key photo ID event

(May 23, 2016)

PHILADELPHIA, May 23 – State Rep. Ed Neilson is hosting an event for older Pennsylvanians and residents with disabilities to obtain their SEPTA Key photo ID cards from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, June 2 at his district office, 16 Old Ashton Road, Philadelphia. SEPTA Key is the modern fare payment and collection system being unveiled by the transit agency. It offers seniors an alternative to using their Pennsylvania driver’s licenses or state-issued ID cards. The new Key cards will have contactless chips, so all riders will have to do is pass it across the face of the validator to pay for their ride. While an appointment isn’t required to attend the event, interested attendees can call Neilson’s office to reserve their spot. For questions, or more information about the event, call Neilson’s office (215) 330-3714. Read more

 

Area ambulance companies receive nearly $29,000 in state grants

(Apr 21, 2016)

PHILADELPHIA, April 21 -- State Reps. Mike Driscoll, Ed Neilson, Jason Dawkins and Kevin Boyle announced today that four ambulance companies in Northeast Philadelphia are sharing nearly $29,000 in state grants. "First responders are essential to public safety, and these grants provide them with resources so they can remain more focused on saving lives than on raising funds," Driscoll said. "These men and women make a tremendous sacrifice, and I applaud their service to our communities." The grants are from Pennsylvania's Fire Company and Volunteer Ambulance Service Grant Program and were awarded in February. In all, 2,538 grants were awarded statewide. The grants are partly funded from gaming revenue. "Northeast Philadelphia relies on these ambulance companies and their volunteers to be there for us when every second counts," Neilson said. "These grants will help them continue to provide this invaluable services to our community." Grant recipients and amounts awarded in Northeast Philadelphia are as follows: • Northeast First Aid Corps – $7,202 • Burholme First Aid Corps Inc. – $7,202 • Rhawnhurst Bustleton Ambulance Association Inc. – $7,202 • Wissinoming Volunteer First Aid Corps – $7,202 "Serving on the front lines whenever there is a fire, accident or other calamity, these essential service providers are among the most worthy recipients of state aid," Dawkins said. "These funds will allow them to continue their mission of providing life-saving services for our Read more

 

Neilson votes for medical marijuana bill

(Apr 13, 2016)

HARRISBURG, April 13 – State Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., today supported the final passage of a bill to legalize medical marijuana, sending the legislation to Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk. “Patients shouldn’t be forced to decide between the medicine they need and breaking the law, and when this bill is signed into law they won’t have to,” Neilson said. Neilson said legalizing medical marijuana will help people who are suffering in their daily lives, including children who are experiencing daily seizures, veterans enduring post-traumatic stress disorder and many others who need this medication to relieve their pain. “Today is a good day. The commonwealth will finally allow some of our most vulnerable patients to use this urgently needed medicine,” Neilson said. “Today is a victory for commonsense and compassion.” Under the bill, authorized doctors would be only be able to prescribe medical marijuana for the following conditions: intractable seizures, cancer, HIV/AIDS, ALS, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, Huntingdon's disease, Crohn's disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, glaucoma, autism and neuropathic pain and certain spinal cord injuries. The governor has indicated he will sign such legislation. Read more

 

Neilson applauds passage of medical marijuana bill

(Mar 16, 2016)

HARRISBURG, March 16 – State Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., praised today’s House passage of legislation that would legalize the use of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. “Today, Harrisburg was able to come together in a bipartisan fashion to ensure that citizens in our state who suffer from debilitating diseases can obtain the medicine they need,” Neilson said. “Misunderstandings about this medicine and fears about its potential abuse shouldn’t tie the hands of doctors who are trying to offer relief to their patients.” The House passed an amended version of S.B. 3, which originally passed the Senate in May 2015. The amended bill would require a prescribing doctor to be registered with the Health Department before they could prescribe the use of cannabis. “The need for this medicine has been great and the inability to acquire it has caused real pain throughout this commonwealth,” Neilson said. “I have heard of multiple families moving out of Pennsylvania to a state that allows medical marijuana simply to ensure a child or other loved one has access to the medicine. Patients shouldn’t be forced to decide between the medicine they need and breaking the law, and when this bill is signed into law they won’t have to.” Under the bill, authorized doctors would be only be able to prescribe medical marijuana for the following conditions: intractable seizures, cancer, HIV/AIDS, ALS, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, Huntingdon's disease, Crohn's disease, post-t Read more

 

Neilson: Castor Ave. office is closing, but I’m still here to help

(Feb 24, 2016)

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 24 – State Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., is reminding constituents that although his Castor Avenue constituent service office will be closing at the end of the week, his Old Ashton Road constituent service office remains open and ready to assist them. Due to unforeseen circumstances, Neilson will close his 8100 Castor Ave. constituent service office at 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25. "It is my goal to ensure that each and every resident of the 174th Legislative District has easy access to the services my office can provide," Neilson said. "While it is unfortunate that this office had to close, I am currently looking at other options that would enable my staff and me to offer the same opportunities to the district in a more convenient location." Neilson said his main constituent service office, located at 16 Old Ashton Road, will remain open and can be reached at (215) 330-3714. "My Old Ashton Road office remains fully functional and my staff is equipped to handle a variety of questions about issues related to city, state or federal government," Neilson said. "I hope constituents think of our office as a one-stop shop if they need help with car registrations, signing up for the PACE or PACENET prescription drug programs, obtaining birth or death certificates, or other services." Read more

 

Property Tax/Rent Rebate forms available at my office

(Feb 15, 2016)

Forms for Pennsylvania’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program for the 2015 tax year are available at my district office – and my staff is ready to help you file yours for free ! The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians 65 or older, widows and widowers 50 or older, and people with disabilities 18 or older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters. Half of Social Security income is excluded and the maximum standard rebate is $650. Claimants must reapply for rebates every year because they are based on annual income and property taxes or rent paid each year. Spouses, personal representatives or estates may file rebate claims on behalf of deceased claimants who lived at least one day in 2015 and meet all other eligibility criteria. The oft-extended deadline to apply for a rebate on property taxes or rent paid in 2015 is June 30, 2016, and the rebates normally are distributed by the Deparment of Revenue beginning July 1. So, the sooner you file, the sooner you will receive your money. Read more