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House Democrats fight to keep renters, homeowners Safe at Home

Cruz thanks Gov. Wolf for investment in lead abatement, but says more is needed to protect Pennsylvanians from the dangers of lead

(Jan 29, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 29 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., today thanked Gov. Tom Wolf for his plan to allocate money in the budget for lead abatement work in schools across the commonwealth, but said more must be done to truly protect Pennsylvanians from the dangers of lead. “I am grateful that Governor Wolf is making lead abatement in our schools a priority,” Cruz said. “But the fact remains that lead poses a risk to people outside of school buildings. Lead endangers many people in their own homes, as infrastructure in places like Philadelphia County, where more than 70% of the housing stock was built before 1960, likely contains lead paint, and lead levels in some municipal drinking water poses a risk to the public. “It’s for these reasons that I’ve advocated strongly for a package of legislation , including House Bills 211, 212, 215 and 213, that would, respectively, provide for lead testing in children, lead testing of water, lead testing in children’s institutions and care centers, and would require that rental properties built before 1978 be subject to the same requirements that federal law has laid out for the sale of residential homes,” Cruz said. “Again, I am very grateful that Governor Wolf has laid out his plan to help make schools safer for children in Pennsylvania. But this budget announcement must be followed by action by my colleagues in the House and Senate to pass this Read more

 

Dawkins and Philadelphia Delegation applaud Gov. Wolf’s budget allocation to address lead, asbestos issues in schools

(Jan 29, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 29 – Members of the House Democratic Philadelphia Delegation, led by Rep. Jason Dawkins, today applauded Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan to include funding to address lead issues in public schools, including those in Philadelphia, in the budget. “Our children deserve to learn, and our teachers deserve to teach, in schools that don’t make them sick,” said Dawkins, chairman of the Philadelphia Delegation. “This is something that we can all agree on. But for far too long, our children, teachers and anyone else who has entered school buildings in Philadelphia have taken their own lives into their hands because often lead and asbestos were lurking inside. “My delegation colleagues and I are overjoyed at the news that Governor Wolf will be making investments in lead and asbestos remediation projects in our schools. Finally, we can take the steps to make our school buildings safe places to learn and to teach,” Dawkins said. “After so many of us have fought for so long to bring attention to this crisis, we are so grateful that Governor Wolf is making this a priority.” Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler, D-Phila., secretary of the Philadelphia Delegation, agreed that it’s great news Wolf plans to prioritize the funding to allow schools to get rid of toxins. “We won’t rest until this money is a reality,” Fiedler added. “Every single Pennsylvania student Read more

 

BIZZARRO: Senate Judiciary Moves Legislation to Establish Statewide Veterans Courts

(Jan 29, 2020)

State Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, D-Erie, announced that today the Senate Judiciary Committee moved legislation to establish statewide veterans’ courts. Read more

 

$65 million state loan to help replace water pipes in Pittsburgh

(Jan 29, 2020)

Low-interest loan will continue effort to mitigate lead in water system Read more

 

Burns announces $4 million for Lower Yoder sewer project

(Jan 29, 2020)

Brings total investment in township project to $25.6 million Read more

 

Protecting workers, protecting businesses, protecting YOU from getting sick

(Jan 29, 2020)

A potential worldwide pandemic has cities quarantined, travel restricted and people terrified. But, here in Pennsylvania, in the highly unlikely event the Wuhan coronavirus arrived, someone who caught it would have to choose between protecting the public health or keeping their job. Here in Pennsylvania, right-wing extremists are fighting for your freedoms: The freedom to eat a hamburger cooked by someone with the flu (or worse) who is too sick to work, but also too broke to be able to afford to take the day off. The freedom to be handed a wad of slightly damp bills as change from a cashier who was up all night with the chills and diarrhea (or worse). The freedom to pass a case of pink eye (or worse) from one child at a day care to themselves and then to your child – and eventually to you. The freedom to potentially get the Wuhan coronavirus if you’re unlucky enough to cross paths with an infected worker who couldn’t stay home. By preserving Pennsylvania’s antiquated laws, laws that can be traced back to pre-Union days when workers had absolutely no rights and an injured miner or factory worker’s family would be charged for the damage their injuries caused to the company’s machines, we defend this funhouse mirror version of freedom. Or, we can get real and finally start providing paid sick leave to Read more

 

Cruz announces more than $22,000 in grants to help local schools provide quality meals for students

(Jan 28, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 28 – State Rep. Angel Cruz today announced $22,561 in grants to help fund cafeteria improvements for two local schools. Cruz, D-Phila, said Antonia Pantoja Community Charter School received $16,300 to purchase a Combi Oven, and Sheridan Philip H. School received $6,261 to purchase a walk-in refrigerator. The grants were part of more than $925,000 in competitive grants awarded to 72 elementary, middle and high schools across the state to buy new food service equipment for their cafeterias. “In our fight to end hunger, we must ensure our children are well fed in school,” Cruz said. “Quality nutrition is linked to quality performance in the classroom, and this funding plays an important role in helping fuel the mind of students.” Funding for the grants is made available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Grants are awarded to schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program and have 50% or more of students eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Schools often use the grants to purchase new refrigerators, freezers, stoves and dishwashers to ensure safe food handling. ### Read more

 

Neilson announces $5,800 in grants to help local schools provide quality meals for students

(Jan 28, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 28 – State Rep. Ed Neilson announced today that Robert B. Pollock School and Anne Frank School each received a grant of $2,908 to purchase needed equipment for their cafeterias, including a milk cooler. Neilson, D-Phila, said the grant is part of more than $925,000 in competitive grants awarded to 72 elementary, middle and high schools across the state to buy new food service equipment for their cafeterias . “A quality lunch plays a critical role in ensuring students have the energy they need to focus and excel in the classroom,” Neilson said. “This funding will go toward providing our schools the tools they need to prepare meals safely and help fuel the minds and bodies of our children.” Neilson noted that other two area schools also received funding: Stephen Decatur Elementary School: $8,314 for a walk-in freezer Abraham Lincoln High School: $3,193 for a reach-in refrigerator Funding for the grants is made available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Grants are awarded to schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program and have 50% or more of students eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Schools often use the grants to purchase new refrigerators, freezers, stoves and dishwashers to ensure safe food handling. ### Read more

 

Isaacson commends Gov. Wolf’s plan to fund lead remediation, testing in budget

(Jan 28, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 28 – State Rep. Mary Isaacson issued the following statement to commend Gov. Tom Wolf for making lead remediation and testing a priority in the budget in response to news that he will be proposing a budget with “significant resources” for toxin cleanup in schools across Pennsylvania . “I’ve been advocating tirelessly for legislation that would protect our children from the grave dangers of lead poisoning,” Isaacson said. “From introducing legislation to fund lead abatement to creating a Childhood Blood Lead Test Act, which would require all children ages 1 and 2 in Pennsylvania be tested for lead, I have been speaking out on this critical issue for years. “I am so incredibly grateful that Governor Wolf has decided to make our children’s health a budget priority by allocating these vital funds toward getting lead out of our schools,” Isaacson said. “I have been in enough meetings, heard from enough people and read enough research to know the horrific health risk lead exposure poses to our children. Knowing that children in Philadelphia schools, and other schools across our state, where lead paint coats their classrooms and hallways might be spared dire health outcomes because of this funding is an immense victory.” While Isaacson said that she is incredibly hopeful about the news for the budget allocation, she intends to continue fighting to protect Read more

 

Isaacson announces $126K grant awarded to Perrystead Dairy LLC to start a new creamery in Fishtown-Kensington

(Jan 28, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 27 – State Rep. Mary Isaacson announced today that Perrystead Dairy LLC has been awarded a $126,039 state grant, which it will use to purchase equipment for its new dairy processing facility in Philadelphia. “Supporting the dairy industry in Pennsylvania means helping our incredible dairy farms,” Isaacson said. “This grant will support the dairy business in our commonwealth by funding the equipment for Perrystead Dairy to process exceptional PA milk into high value dairy goods that can be sold in other states." Yoav Perry, owner, area resident and a long time cheesemaking consultant to dairies across the nation said: “Perrystead Dairy will be an urban creamery set in Philadelphia’s Fishtown-Kensington area to produce premium dairy beverages and world-class artisan cheese, helping our community, city, PA’s family farm s, animals and land.” He added: “We are looking into scalable production that can double by year two to support a growing number of PA family farms with great land and herd practices. Their success is essential to ours here in the city, so paying high premium for superior PA milk is common sense.” The grant announced today is funded through the Pennsylvania Dairy Investment Program, which is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, under the direction Read more

 

Burns urges local organizations to apply for public safety, support grants

(Jan 27, 2020)

Multi-agency grants available to help community programs Read more

 

Dermody statement on Speaker Turzai’s decision

(Jan 23, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 23 – Democratic Leader Frank Dermody issued this statement in reaction to House Speaker Mike Turzai’s decision not to seek another term in office: “Mike and I have been friends for a long time, going back to the 1980s before either of us was in the House. We’ve had and will always have many disagreements about the best ways for Pennsylvania government to carry out its responsibilities in education, health care, protecting the environment and supporting good job development. “While the political battles go on, I understand and respect his choice to go down another path in the future. House Democrats will continue working to achieve our Plan for Pennsylvania and expect the speaker to preside over the House fairly. “Speaker Turzai’s decision not to return in 2021 will mean a change in leadership for the Pennsylvania House. This year’s election will inspire more change and House Democrats are planning and working to be in position to elect a new speaker after the November election.” Read more

 

Freeman bill to help communities with high percentage of tax-exempt properties moved out of committee

(Jan 22, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 22 – A bill introduced by Rep. Robert Freeman to financially help municipalities with high levels of tax-exempt property cleared its first hurdle today when the House Local Government Committee reported out the bill by a 22-1 vote. Tax-exempt property that may impact municipalities include colleges and universities, nonprofit medical facilities, county and other government offices or state forests and game lands. "Because of the effect tax-exempt properties have on the real estate tax base of several communities in the Lehigh Valley and across Pennsylvania, affected municipalities often have difficulty providing the essential services expected from local government," said Freeman, D-Northampton. "By providing annual funding to these municipalities, we can enable them to fix and maintain infrastructure and to provide the essential services that ensure the health and safety of their residents." House Bill 1677 would establish the Tax-Exempt Property Municipal Assistance Fund to help municipalities with 15% or more of their total assessed property value as tax-exempt property within their borders. It would be funded by the state's existing 18% Liquor Tax, known as the Johnstown Flood Tax. "The Johnstown Flood Tax was created to help Johnstown rebuild after it was devastated by a flood in 1936," Freeman said. "That was a long time ago, and that money can be used to help other communities facing Read more

 

Rep. Freeman helps secure $67,500 in state funding for local projects

(Jan 22, 2020)

State Rep. Robert Freeman, D-Northampton, today announced that his area will benefit from a share of state funding awarded to the 136th Legislative District. Read more

 

House clears Neilson measure to recognize International Holocaust Remembrance Day in PA on Jan. 27

(Jan 22, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 22 – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives today adopted a resolution introduced by Rep. Ed Neilson to recognize Jan. 27, 2020 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day in Pennsylvania. “ Between 1933 and 1945, nearly 17 million people were tragically murdered in the horrifying, state-sponsored genocide known as the Holocaust,” Neilson said. “It is critical to our humanity and to the memory of the millions of people who were murdered during the Holocaust that we commemorate Jan. 27 – 75 years to the day of the liberation of the largest and deadliest concentration camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau – as International Holocaust Remembrance Day in Pennsylvania.” The Holocaust was a human rights crisis of epic proportions. While Jews were the priority target of Nazi racism, other groups within Germany were persecuted for racial reasons. Studies have shown that a growing number of Americans lack a basic knowledge of the Holocaust and the events that led up to it. Commemorating the day is one way to try to educate the public, Neilson said. It is also about more than just remembering history and honoring the victims, Neilson added. “ This is a day to remember and mourn, and a day to stand up against hate and violence,” Neilson said. “We have seen recent violent acts inspired by hate perpetrated against people throughout our country, including the Read more

 

Cephas, Hohenstein introduce legislation to expand notification time for hospital closures

(Jan 21, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 21 – Following the closure of Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia in September, state Reps. Morgan Cephas and Joe Hohenstein have introduced legislation that would help support the communities and staff impacted by sudden closures. “The closure of Hahnemann created a devasting ripple effect throughout Philadelphia and surrounding areas. For more than 170 years, the hospital served a low-income patient population and was a teaching hospital, training doctors and nurses,” Cephas said. “Since the announcement in June 2019 that Hahnemann would close its doors for good, the process that followed was swift, offering patients and employees little to no options in the aftermath.” The representatives said their bill (H.B. 2242) would help change that. It would require hospitals to provide written notice of intent to close within 180 days. Current law only requires 90 days. “I stood on the front lines in solidarity with labor unions representing the many hospital staffers who were left unemployed. I heard their grievances and I saw surrounding economically disadvantaged communities being deprived quality health care,” Hohenstein said. “Very few at the top benefit while countless people and families are left to suffer. We can no longer allow these closures to be carried out similarly to regular business dealings because there’s too much at stake. “ Read more

 

Malagari announces state grants for local volunteer fire, EMS organizations

(Jan 17, 2020)

State Rep. Steve Malagari announced state grants have been approved to support local volunteer fire and emergency service companies. Read more

 

Burns works to support local firefighters, EMS with $275,766in funding

(Jan 17, 2020)

Grants can be used for equipment, training or other needs Read more

 

$70,000 awarded to Northgate, Pittsburgh for school technology

(Jan 17, 2020)

Grants will be used to expand computer science programs Read more

 

Bizzarro announces more than $166k to district in Fire Company, Emergency Medical Service Grant Program awards

(Jan 17, 2020)

Volunteer fire companies and emergency service providers were awarded state funding from the Office of the State Fire Commissioner’s Fire Company, Emergency Medical Service Grant Program, announced Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie. Read more

 

Cruz thanks Gov. Wolf for investment in lead abatement, but says more is needed to protect Pennsylvanians from the dangers of lead
Jan 29, 2020

Dawkins and Philadelphia Delegation applaud Gov. Wolf’s budget allocation to address lead, asbestos issues in schools
Jan 29, 2020

BIZZARRO: Senate Judiciary Moves Legislation to Establish Statewide Veterans Courts
Jan 29, 2020

$65 million state loan to help replace water pipes in Pittsburgh
Jan 29, 2020

Burns announces $4 million for Lower Yoder sewer project
Jan 29, 2020

Protecting workers, protecting businesses, protecting YOU from getting sick
Jan 29, 2020

Cruz announces more than $22,000 in grants to help local schools provide quality meals for students
Jan 28, 2020

Neilson announces $5,800 in grants to help local schools provide quality meals for students
Jan 28, 2020

Isaacson commends Gov. Wolf’s plan to fund lead remediation, testing in budget
Jan 28, 2020

Isaacson announces $126K grant awarded to Perrystead Dairy LLC to start a new creamery in Fishtown-Kensington
Jan 28, 2020

Burns urges local organizations to apply for public safety, support grants
Jan 27, 2020

Dermody statement on Speaker Turzai’s decision
Jan 23, 2020

Freeman bill to help communities with high percentage of tax-exempt properties moved out of committee
Jan 22, 2020

Rep. Freeman helps secure $67,500 in state funding for local projects
Jan 22, 2020

House clears Neilson measure to recognize International Holocaust Remembrance Day in PA on Jan. 27
Jan 22, 2020

Cephas, Hohenstein introduce legislation to expand notification time for hospital closures
Jan 21, 2020

Malagari announces state grants for local volunteer fire, EMS organizations
Jan 17, 2020

Burns works to support local firefighters, EMS with $275,766in funding
Jan 17, 2020

$70,000 awarded to Northgate, Pittsburgh for school technology
Jan 17, 2020

Bizzarro announces more than $166k to district in Fire Company, Emergency Medical Service Grant Program awards
Jan 17, 2020