Featured News

Johnson-Harrell, Policy Committee meet to discuss gun violence as a public health epidemic

McClinton to co-host weekly radio program

(Mar 28, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 21 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, will co-host a weekly radio program from 11 a.m. to noon every Thursday on radio station WTTM, 1680 AM. The program, entitled "Voices from the Inside," will focus on the state's prison system and reducing crime. McClinton will be joined by co-hosts state Rep. Leslie Acosta, D-Phila., Esteban Cabrera and author Hugh Taft-Morales. "I am excited to have this opportunity to discuss our criminal justice system," McClinton said. "This new program will offer a voice to those currently incarcerated and will promote the sharing of ideas between prisoners and us on the outside. Thanks to Rep. Acosta, who developed the idea and invited me to participate in such a meaningful program. "By meeting those currently in prison, I hope that the listeners will understand the need for changes and improvements in our current system. We need to establish more humane methods to house our prisoners and work with them so they can be rehabilitated and can return to society and contribute. We waste so much money incarcerating those who have committed minor offenses and by locking them up for extended periods of time, we make it harder for them to blend back in to society and hold a meaningful job. "Additionally, we will be discussing community programs which may reduce violence and crime." The program will air live at 11 a.m. every Thursday on 1680 AM, and it can also Read more

 

Schlossberg applauds House Transportation Committee’s vote to strengthen rear-facing child seat measure

(Dec 09, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 9 – The House Transportation Committee today amended and reported out a bill, authored by state Rep. Mike Schlossberg, D-Lehigh, to strengthen provisions intended to keep infants safe while traveling in a vehicle. "On Monday, at a public hearing held by the House Transportation Committee, I was pleased to see wide, bipartisan support for efforts to improve child safety in Pennsylvania," Schlossberg said. "After a productive and frank discussion, it was clear that there was sufficient support to strengthen my bill by amending it to offer even better protections for our youngest and most vulnerable citizens. I fully support that effort." House Bill 1551, which originally would have required children younger than 1 to be secured in a rear-facing car seat, was amended by the committee to require children to be secured in a rear-facing car seat while in a vehicle until age 2 unless otherwise stated by the manufacturer’s specification of the car seat in use. Schlossberg noted that this change to his bill follows recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics. During the House Transportation public hearing, Ted Leonard, executive director of the Pennsylvania AAA Federation, voiced AAA’s support for efforts to enhance the requirement to secure children under age 2 in rear-facing car seats or until that child reaches the maximum height and weight for the car seat as noted by the manufacturer. "As a father of two young children, I find it hard to belie Read more

 

Readshaw bill would offer relief for families dealing with drug epidemic

(Dec 07, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 7 – State Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, has introduced H.B 1692, which would make it easier for family members to commit a loved one for drug and/or alcohol treatment. “Too many families watch their loved ones deal with alcohol or drug abuse problems and can only standby while they spiral into despair, or worse,” Readshaw said. “I have been working with family members, law enforcement, the district attorney, the minor courts and others to ensure that my bill would offer remedies for families seeking help for their loved one. "I introduced this bill at the request of my friend, a constituent who recently lost his son because of a drug overdose," he added. Readshaw said that Pennsylvania families are the front lines of the opiate epidemic in this Commonwealth, and this bill is an effort to provide families with another avenue of resources. House Bill 1692 would provide for involuntary treatment requirements and procedures for individuals suffering from alcohol and other drug abuse; and imposing duties on the Department of Health and the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs. Presuming the person has a reasonable benefit of recovery and the individual presents an imminent danger or imminent threat of danger to self, family or others as a result of alcohol and other drug abuse, or there exists a substantial likelihood of such a threat in the near future, a family member would be able to petition the Court of Common Pleas to initiate proceedings for in Read more

 

Readshaw encourages low-income families to apply for heating help

(Dec 02, 2016)

PITTSBURGH, Dec. 2 – State Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny announced the state's heating assistance program, LIHEAP, is accepting applications for the winter. The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program provides federal aid to eligible families to help pay winter heating bills and cover emergency heating equipment needs. "LIHEAP ensures that qualified households can pay for their heating costs, such as gas, oil or electricity," Readshaw said. "Emergency funds are also available for households without heat or fuel, or those facing cut-off from a supplier. "My staff can help complete the application." Household income limits to qualify vary according to family size: Household Size Maximum Income 1 2 3 4 $17,655 $23,895 $30,135 $36,375 The household income level increases by an additional $6,240 for each additional person. "Since this program is based on federal money, the state budget impasse should not affect the funding for this program," Readshaw said. Applications also can be completed online at www.compass.state.pa.us, and can be obtained at local county assistance offices, which can be found at www.alleghenycounty.us/dhs/CAO-locations.aspx. Read more

 

Rozzi and Murt team up with PCAR and Turning Point for private screening of 'Spotlight'

(Nov 16, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 16 – State Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, and state Rep. Tom Murt, R-Montgomery/Phila., announced today that they will host a private advance screening of the film “Spotlight” on Tuesday, Nov. 17 at the Midtown Cinema, 250 Reilly St. The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape and Turning Point are the event sponsors. A complimentary reception will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., prior to the movie. Remarks will be offered by the sponsors and hosts in support of legislation that would modify the Pennsylvania statute of limitations to allow victims to seek civil action against abusers and the institutions that shield them. “Spotlight” is the true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child sexual abuse and cover-up within the local Boston Archdiocese. More information about the event is available by contacting Rozzi’s Harrisburg office at (717) 783-3290. To reserve tickets, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/private-advance-screening-of-spotlight-tickets-19499631924. Seating is limited. Read more

 

Readshaw hosting flu shot clinic on Nov. 5

(Oct 28, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 28 – State Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, will host a flu shot clinic from 10 a.m. to noon on Thursday, Nov. 5 at Concord Presbyterian Church, 1907 Brownsville Road, Pittsburgh, 15210. Pneumonia shots also will be available. "The earlier you can get a flu shot, the longer you are protected through the flu season," Readshaw said. "It is important to remember that flu is not just a nuisance. It can be a serious, even fatal, illness, especially for those young children, elderly and anyone who may have a weaker immune system." While the flu vaccinations are not free, the costs are covered by all Medicare Part B plans as well as many other medical insurance plans. Vaccination recipients must bring their insurance cards when they get their shots. Readshaw reminds people who may have the flu to see a doctor as quickly as possible. There are treatments which may lessen the severity of the illness if taken quickly enough. Read more

 

Mullery votes for careful pension changes for future public employees

(Jun 15, 2016)

HARRISBURG, June 15 – State Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Luzerne, voted in favor of a pension reform bill that maintains benefits for current public employees and retirees while changing the pension structure for most future state and school employees. “Pennsylvanians have been demanding the General Assembly address the state’s public pension challenges and I feel this bill is a step forward,” Mullery said. “This bill will save nearly $6 billion in future pension costs. “I believe this bipartisan compromise is a vast improvement on the approach of previous years. While this action is not linked to the budget, it moves us closer to being able to focus on crafting a balanced state budget that invests properly in education and begins to fix our deficit.” The bill (S.B. 1071), which was amended in the House, would shift some financial risk away from taxpayers and reduce future pension costs while protecting retirement security for current employees and those who are already retired. 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

 

Dermody backs careful pension changes for future public employees

(Jun 14, 2016)

HARRISBURG, June 14 – Democratic Leader Frank Dermody today joined 135 of his House colleagues in approving a landmark pension reform bill that maintains benefits for current public employees and retirees while changing the pension structure for most future state and school employees. "The people of Pennsylvania want the legislature to address the state's public pension challenges," Dermody said. "This bipartisan approach to pension legislation is a huge step forward and a vast improvement to other failed attempts in recent years. The House’s amendment to the bill (S.B. 1071) would shift some financial risk away from taxpayers and would reduce future pension costs while protecting retirement security for current employees and people who already retired. “Public workers have been regularly paying their share into the system. They deserve a secure retirement," Dermody said. "At the same time, this legislation maintains a comparable level of security for teachers, state employees and other public servants hired in 2018 or later,” he said. “That's important for making sure those future workers won’t have to rely on public assistance or other safety net programs when they retire – at significant cost to state taxpayers. "Moving forward on this now will let us turn our attention to the state's larger retirement challenge: the difficulty that all workers, not just public employees, face in Read more

 

Schlossberg: Pension reform bill proves compromise is still alive in Harrisburg

(Jun 14, 2016)

HARRISBURG, June 14 – State Rep. Mike Schlossberg, D-Lehigh, today released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed a pension reform bill: “Since taking office, I have repeatedly voted in opposition to a variety of pension reform proposals. In each instance, I was concerned about the constitutionality of the proposals; the impact the proposals would have on current, future and retired employees; the degree to which the proposals would undermine retirement security; and, finally, the negative financial impact these proposals would have on the taxpayers of Pennsylvania. “Recently, I voted in favor of Senate Bill 1071 because I believe it preserves benefits for current employees, maintains a benefit system providing for retirement security and allows current, retired and future employees to benefit from that same retirement security. I do believe this legislation is necessary to ensure the long-term solvency of Pennsylvania’s system of retirement for public employees. “Senate Bill 1071 is a reflection of the compromise Harrisburg has not had since before I took office. Last year, a variety of proposals, which would not have withstood constitutional scrutiny and left our retirement system in shambles, were approved by the General Assembly, mostly along party lines. Thankfully, those proposals were vetoed by Governor Tom Wolf. At the same time, the 2015-16 budget accomplished very little in the way of new investments in education, a direct result of t Read more

 

Veterans outreach June 22 at Flynn’s office

(Jun 14, 2016)

SCRANTON, June 14 – Area veterans are invited to take part in the monthly support program from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, June 22 at the office of state Rep. Marty Flynn. Read more

 

Panel approves bill ensuring pepper spray for state corrections officers

(Jun 14, 2016)

State Reps. Pam Snyder and Timothy S. Mahoney report that the House Judiciary Committee has unanimously approved their legislation that would ensure all state corrections officers are equipped with oleoresin capsicum, better known as pepper spray, to deter prison assaults. Read more

 

Schweyer introduces legislation to expand neighborhood tax credit program

(Jun 14, 2016)

HARRISBURG, June 14 – State Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, today introduced legislation that would add another category to the commonwealth’s Neighborhood Assistance Program tax credits. House Bill 2162 would amend the Neighborhood Assistance Act (Act 48 of 1994) to add “Public Health Concerns” to the eligible project criteria. "Every community has a community health need. It could be lead in the water or heroin on the streets; it could be high incidents of asthma or diabetes,” Schweyer said. “This is a way to incentivize our business community to invest in the health and well-being of our neighborhoods without costing the taxpayers of our community one more dollar." The Neighborhood Assistance Program is administered through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and provides tax credits to encourage businesses to invest in projects which improve distressed areas. The programs include the Neighborhood Partnership Program, Special Program Priorities, Charitable Food Program and Enterprise Zone Program. Schweyer said his legislation would add more flexibility for each community to decide how to allocate those dollars. Read more

 

Burns: DEP to hold June 21 public hearing on natural gas-fired power plant

(Jun 14, 2016)

EBENSBURG, June 14 – Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, is reminding residents that a public hearing on the air quality plan for a proposed natural gas-fueled power plant in Jackson Township will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 21 at the Jackson Township Fire Hall, 176 Adams Ave., Mineral Point. The public hearing will be preceded by a 6 p.m. question-and-answer session. Both events are under the auspices of the state Department of Environmental Protection, which is overseeing the proposal by CPV Fairview, LLC to construct a combined cycle natural gas-fired power station with an approximate generating capacity of 1,040 megawatts. Burns said anyone wishing to make comments should register with DEP Community Relations Coordinator John Poister by emailing jpoister@pa.gov or calling (412) 442-4203 by noon on June 21. Commenters may also register at the door on the evening of the hearing. Those unable to attend the hearing may submit written comments to Devin Tomko, Department of Environmental Protection, 400 Waterfront Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. Persons unable to attend the conference and hearing may submit three copies of a written statement and exhibits within 10 days thereafter to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Air Quality Program, 400 Waterfront Drive, Pittsburgh, PA, 15222. Each written statement must contain the name, address, and telephone number of the person submitting the statement and identification of the proposed plan approval Read more

 

“What was that!” exclaims state Rep. Rozzi after Senate Judiciary hearing

(Jun 13, 2016)

HARRISBURG, June 13 – After a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the constitutionality of the retroactive component of House Bill 1947, Rep. Mark Rozzi rejoined a large group of abuse survivors and advocates who had demonstrated on the Capitol steps earlier. Rozzi called for immediate action on House Bill 1947, the statutes of limitation reform bill that overwhelming passed the House in April. “These perpetrators, and these institutions that have protected these pedophiles, have always gotten a free pass,” Rozzi said. According to Rozzi, state Sen. Stewart Greenleaf, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, allowed Attorney General Kathleen Kane to address the committee, after making his opening remarks noting that committee members were “acutely aware of the facts of the child abuse that had occurred.” Rozzi said four of the five witnesses were invited to testify against the constitutionality of H.B. 1947, along with the opinions submitted by six other sources. In contrast, he said Greenleaf allowed only one witness, Professor Marci Hamilton, in support of the bill, and one written submission by Professor Kermit Roosevelt. Both are affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania. “I’ve done this for almost three decades and I can tell you, I have never been asked to testify on constitutionality when it didn’t serve political ends,” Hamilton said. “I learned long ago to ask the question, ‘Is this hearing about saving the bill or killing the bill?’ The hearing Read more

 

More than 250 job seekers attend McClinton career fair

(Jun 13, 2016)

PHILADELPHIA, June 13 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, recently hosted a career fair which offered potential employment opportunities for more than 250 job seekers. About 35 different employers attended the June 11 event held at Christian Compassion CDC. "It was exciting to offer the chance for those in the job market to meet companies that are looking to hire," McClinton said. "Some were so eager to speak with the employers that we had a line of about 20 applicants waiting when the doors opened at 9 a.m. "Those looking for jobs had the chance to meet face-to-face with employers and their personnel staff in a one-on-one situation. "Too often, it feels like the resumes and applications are submitted but nothing ever happens. This career fair ensured that the job seekers were able to meet directly with employers and hopefully create a solid first impression." Among the employers who were looking to hire were the City of Philadelphia, city police and fire departments, the state Civil Service Commission, Temple University and a number of sales and service companies. The U.S. Department of Labor also had a table to provide job information for those in attendance. Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell also attended the fair. ### Read more

 

Vitali: Committee passes bill delaying state climate change plan

(Jun 13, 2016)

HARRISBURG, June 13 – State Rep. Greg Vitali, D-Delaware/Montgomery, said the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee today approved a bill supported by Gov. Tom Wolf that would delay the state’s plan to address climate change. Vitali, Democratic chairman of the committee, said the bill, S.B. 1195 , would allow the legislature to delay implementation of the state’s Clean Power Plan as long as possible without a federal plan being imposed on it. Vitali said Wolf indicated he will not oppose the bill, which marks the third time he has recently succumbed to the pressure of the fossil fuels industry. “First, it was the forced resignation of DEP Secretary John Quigley, next, it was agreeing to remove conventional drillers from the Chapter 78 regulations, and now, it’s agreeing to delay the Clean Power Plan,” Vitali said. “It is incredibly disappointing that the governor continues to side with the industry over the health and well-being of Pennsylvania citizens.” The federal Clean Power Plan, which was recently stayed by the U.S. Supreme Court, requires Pennsylvania to develop a state climate change implementation plan to reduce greenhouse gases. Under Environmental Protection Agency regulations, Pennsylvania is required to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 33 percent by 2030. “This is an enormous challenge and every day we delay makes this task harder,” Vitali said. “Climate change is too Read more

 

Legislators and advocates counter unprecedented attacks on Pa.’s environment

(Jun 13, 2016)

State Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky, D-Delaware, hosted environmental groups and legislators today at the Capitol to speak out against legislation that represents the latest example of unprecedented attacks on Pennsylvania’s environment and public health. “With a background in economic development, I understand the need to create good family-sustaining jobs, but I also know that we can achieve that goal while protecting our air, water, public health and climate future,” Krueger-Braneky said. “I want to thank my colleagues for standing strong in support of climate action.” Read more

 

Caltagirone, advocates rally support for more pediatric cancer research funding in Pa.

(Jun 13, 2016)

HARRISBURG, June 13 – State Rep. Thomas Caltagirone, D-Berks, today held a state Capitol news conference to rally support for several pieces of legislation he has introduced designed to increase funding for pediatric cancer research throughout Pennsylvania. Caltagirone was joined by pediatric cancer physicians and researchers, as well as families affected by pediatric cancer to raise awareness and garner support for his three-bill package that would allocate more than $100 million over 10 years for pediatric cancer research. House Bill 746 would establish a Pediatric Cancer Research registration license plate. It would be made available to be purchased for $50 through the state Department of Transportation. House Bill 1804 would establish a check-off box on Pennsylvania's state income tax form where a taxpayer could voluntarily contribute no less than $5 for pediatric cancer within the commonwealth. House Bill 1865 would offer $100 million in tax credits over the next 10 years to Pennsylvania businesses that contribute to pediatric cancer research institutions. The funding would be distributed to the four eligible institutions in Pennsylvania that conduct research relative to pediatric cancer: The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Cancer Center; Penn State Hershey Pediatric Hematology/Oncology; Abramson Cancer Center, the University of Pennsylvania; and the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. "We truly have a life-saving Read more

 

Galloway: Local fire companies receive corporate donations

(Jun 13, 2016)

LEVITTOWN, June 13 – State Rep. John Galloway, D-Bucks, joined four local fire companies as Waste Management donated money to the fire companies which serve the communities surrounding the Tullytown landfill. The donations were part of the proceeds from the trash processing company's annual corporate golf tournament. The donations were presented to the fire departments of Fairless Hills, Falls, Levittown and Tullytown. Galloway was joined by Falls Township Supervisor Bob Harvie and Waste Management managers John Schneider and John Hambrose during the recent check presentation, which was held at the Fairless Hills Fire Co. "Our local fire departments protect and serve 24-7," Galloway said. "I was proud to attend the check presentation which demonstrates the corporate support of our local firefighters." Also at the check presentation were representatives from the Fairless Hills, Levittown and Tullytown fire companies. ### Read more

 

McClinton to co-host weekly radio program
Mar 28, 2017

Schlossberg applauds House Transportation Committee’s vote to strengthen rear-facing child seat measure
Dec 09, 2016

Readshaw bill would offer relief for families dealing with drug epidemic
Dec 07, 2016

Readshaw encourages low-income families to apply for heating help
Dec 02, 2016

Rozzi and Murt team up with PCAR and Turning Point for private screening of 'Spotlight'
Nov 16, 2016

Readshaw hosting flu shot clinic on Nov. 5
Oct 28, 2016

Mullery votes for careful pension changes for future public employees
Jun 15, 2016

Matzie recognizes Pennsylvania’s pollinators
Jun 15, 2016

Dermody backs careful pension changes for future public employees
Jun 14, 2016

Schlossberg: Pension reform bill proves compromise is still alive in Harrisburg
Jun 14, 2016

Veterans outreach June 22 at Flynn’s office
Jun 14, 2016

Panel approves bill ensuring pepper spray for state corrections officers
Jun 14, 2016

Schweyer introduces legislation to expand neighborhood tax credit program
Jun 14, 2016

Burns: DEP to hold June 21 public hearing on natural gas-fired power plant
Jun 14, 2016

“What was that!” exclaims state Rep. Rozzi after Senate Judiciary hearing
Jun 13, 2016

More than 250 job seekers attend McClinton career fair
Jun 13, 2016

Vitali: Committee passes bill delaying state climate change plan
Jun 13, 2016

Legislators and advocates counter unprecedented attacks on Pa.’s environment
Jun 13, 2016

Caltagirone, advocates rally support for more pediatric cancer research funding in Pa.
Jun 13, 2016

Galloway: Local fire companies receive corporate donations
Jun 13, 2016