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Longietti: More than $16.5 million in CARES Act funding allocated for Mercer County schools

(Jan 15, 2021)

HERMITAGE, Jan. 15 – More than $16.55 million in funding to Mercer County school districts and schools will ensure area students continue learning during the pandemic, state Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, announced today. Longietti said the funding to seven school districts and one charter school will help them meet new challenges created by the pandemic. “School districts face tough challenges under any circumstances, but as a result of the pandemic, districts, officials and educators have been confronted by a slew of new logistical and funding issues. The grants announced today are going to allow districts to allocate resources where they are most needed to keep students safe and engaged, and it will allow officials to do comprehensive planning needed for the year ahead. “I’m encouraging all districts to apply for the funding as soon as they are able. “I am also looking forward to my new role as Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee and the opportunity it will give me to help districts in Mercer County and throughout the state overcome the challenges facing them.” Longietti said districts will be able to apply for the following amounts: Farrell Area School District – $3.7 million. Greenville Area School District – $2.1 million. Hermitage Read more

Sainato: More than $15.6 million to Lawrence County schools to support continued learning during pandemic

(Jan 15, 2021)

NEW CASTLE, Jan. 15 – Lawrence County school districts will receive approximately $15.65 million in federal funding under the CARES Act to ensure students have the resources they need to continue learning during the pandemic, state Rep. Chris Sainato announced today. Sainato said the funding will help the districts overcome ongoing challenges created by the pandemic. “Our schools have faced extreme financial burdens because of the pandemic, and those will continue in the months ahead,” Sainato said. “This funding is going to help ease those burdens and allow our dedicated educators to continue providing quality curriculum. “The funding can also be used to ensure that our students have the safest possible learning environment, to bolster after-school programs and to support food service, technology equipment and other essential resources. I’m encouraging school districts to apply as soon as they are able.” Sainato said districts will receive the following funding: Laurel School District - $720,600. Mohawk Area School District - $1.25 million. Neshannock Township School District – $494,882. New Castle Area School District - $8.88 million. Shenango Area School District - $1.42 million. Union Area School District - $914,362. Read more

Merski, Harkins: More than $41.4 million to Erie schools to support continued learning during pandemic

(Jan 15, 2021)

ERIE, Jan. 15 – Area school districts will receive approximately $41.44 million in federal funding under the CARES Act to ensure students have the resources they need to continue learning during the pandemic, state Reps. Bob Merski and Pat Harkins announced today. The lawmakers, both D-Erie, said the funding to four school districts and three charter schools will help ensure educators have the resources and supports needed to continue a quality, safe curriculum. “Erie is fortunate to have incredibly dedicated school officials, teachers and support staff who are 100% dedicated to keeping quality instruction flowing at all levels K-12,” Merski said. “Throughout the pandemic, they have been working to keep the curricula engaging despite wrestling with tight budgets and strained resources. The funding announced today is going to put more resources into their hands to help them ensure students keep learning and thriving in a safe environment.” Harkins said: “The pandemic has tested the limits of our public education system. This much-needed infusion of funding is going help our talented educators continue inspiring kids and our districts ensure that all the planning and protections are in place to keep them safe. I am encouraging districts to apply as soon as they are able.” The lawmakers said districts will receive the following funding: Erie City School District Read more

Merski, Harkins: More than $41.4 million to Erie schools to support continued learning during pandemic

(Jan 15, 2021)

ERIE, Jan. 15 – Area school districts will receive approximately $41.44 million in federal funding under the CARES Act to ensure students have the resources they need to continue learning during the pandemic, state Reps. Bob Merski and Pat Harkins announced today. The lawmakers, both D-Erie, said the funding to four school districts and three charter schools will help ensure educators have the resources and supports needed to continue a quality, safe curriculum. “Erie is fortunate to have incredibly dedicated school officials, teachers and support staff who are 100% dedicated to keeping quality instruction flowing at all levels K-12,” Merski said. “Throughout the pandemic, they have been working to keep the curricula engaging despite wrestling with tight budgets and strained resources. The funding announced today is going to put more resources into their hands to help them ensure students keep learning and thriving in a safe environment.” Harkins said: “The pandemic has tested the limits of our public education system. This much-needed infusion of funding is going help our talented educators continue inspiring kids and our districts ensure that all the planning and protections are in place to keep them safe. I am encouraging districts to apply as soon as they are able.” The lawmakers said districts will receive the following funding: Erie City School District Read more

Harkins announces committee appointments for 2021-22 legislative session

(Jan 12, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 12 – State Rep. Pat Harkins announced today that he has been appointed to the House Professional Licensure, Liquor Control, and Game and Fisheries Committees for the 2021-22 legislative session. Harkins said he is looking forward to playing an active role in developing legislative solutions that speed recovery to the community and small business owners . “Even as we begin the normal committee work of reviewing new legislation, there is nothing normal about this year,” Harkins said. “With community businesses and working families struggling to get back on their feet, we will be laser-focused on moving bills that help return the commonwealth to more stable economic ground. “In the months ahead, I will be working on promoting legislative solutions from the ground level, whether they involve expanding opportunities for licensed employees and constructive use of licensing fees, ensuring the most effective use of liquor sale revenue, or ensuring safe, affordable recreational opportunities for sportsmen and anglers. “Above all, we will be working to ensure that legislation designed to speed recovery and improve life for residents makes it to the full House for a vote.” The Professional Licensure Committee reviews bills involving licensing for qualified employees and businesses and includes Read more

Sainato: More than $262,000 awarded to expand freight rail track capacity

(Jan 12, 2021)

NEW CASTLE, Jan. 12 – A $262,500 state grant will enable New Castle Industrial Railroad to expand its main line track capacity, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. Sainato said the grant approved by the State Transportation Commission is a critical investment in Lawrence County’s rail infrastructure. “Successful commerce relies on efficient channels of distribution, and that means having sufficient network of track to keep goods flowing,” Sainato said. “Funding from this grant will allow New Castle Industrial Railroad to construct additional track to minimize slowdowns and ensure the smoothest possible flow of products and materials. The project will also create new jobs for our community.” Sainato said the project will fund the construction of a new 3,200-foot siding that will expand the railroad’s main line track capacity and accommodate increased interchange traffic with CSX and NS railroads. The grant is part of a package of $31.3 million to 26 projects through the Rail Transportation Assistance Program and the Rail Freight Assistance Program. Pennsylvania has 65 operating railroads, which is more than any other state. PennDOT is committed to working with private rail operators and rail-served businesses to construct new rail lines and assist in maintaining and improving Pennsylvania’s roughly 5,600 miles of freight Read more

Merski announces House committee appointments for 2021-22 legislative session

(Jan 12, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 12 – State Rep. Bob Merski announced today that he has been appointed to serve on the House Insurance Committee and reappointed to second terms on the Gaming Oversight, Game and Fisheries and Urban Affairs committees. Merski, D-Erie, said he is looking forward to the nuts and bolts of committee work and the opportunity to help shape legislation from the ground level up. “Much of our committee work this year will focus on maximizing revenue and recovery as we rebuild from the pandemic,” Merski said. “Gaming is a vital source of state revenue, and I will be working with colleagues on the House Gaming Oversight Committee to ensure Pennsylvania is positioned to benefit quickly from the reopening of casinos and other gaming venues once the pandemic threat has ended. “Efforts to rebuild will involve new challenges for communities everywhere, and our work on the Urban Affairs Committee will focus on hastening economic recovery for Erie and other cities while improving life for residents. Quality of life depends on affordable recreational outlets, and my work on the Game and Fisheries Committee will focus on expanding those opportunities while bolstering the revenue that supports our state game and fish commissions. “Finally, I am excited to begin my new role serving on the House Insurance Committee. Insurance is an important industry for Erie, and I look forward Read more

Longietti appointed Democratic chairman of House Education Committee

(Jan 12, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 12 – State Rep. Mark Longietti announced today that he has been appointed Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee for the 2021-22 legislative session. Longietti, D-Mercer, said he is looking forward to his new role as an opportunity to help shape the future of Pennsylvania’s public education system and ensure that all families – regardless of economic status – have equal access to the opportunities it affords. “I am honored and excited to be appointed Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee,” Longietti said. “Quality public education can be a great equalizer and the gateway to economic success – but only if the strength and quality of that education is not dependent on a family’s ZIP code. One of my top priorities will be ensuring that the highest quality public education at all levels is within the reach of all Pennsylvania families.” Longietti said his passion for promoting quality education began early in life. “My mother taught at Sharpsville Area School District for 20 years and was an incredibly dedicated teacher and advocate of education,” Longietti said. “That inspired me to work as a school district solicitor, and over the course of 15 years, I counseled districts in Sharon, Sharpsville and Reynolds. The work fueled my passion for promoting education and gave me an in-depth understanding of the many challenges school districts face. Read more

Sainato reappointed Democratic chairman of House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee

(Jan 12, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 12 – State Rep. Chris Sainato announced today that he has been reappointed Democratic chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee for the 2021-22 legislative session. Sainato, D-Lawrence, said he embraces the opportunity to help guide the committee as it navigates additional challenges this year created by the pandemic. “I’m incredibly honored to be reappointed to serve Pennsylvania’s veterans and first responders as Democratic chair of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee,” Sainato said. “It is because of the courage, commitment and sacrifice of both groups that we live in freedom and safety. “Developing ways to minimize the ongoing impact of the pandemic will dominate VAEP’s agenda this year. COVID-19 rivals some of the toughest enemies our veterans and first responders have battled. Thankfully, all six state veterans’ homes have begun vaccination of residents and staff. Getting that vaccine into the arms of all Pennsylvania veterans will remain a top priority as we work to guide policy and pass legislation to protect those who have spent their lives protecting us. “The pandemic has struck a double blow for our police, fire and other first responders by adding risks and challenges on the job, while at the same time shuttering venues and suspending events that are essential for fundraising. In the year ahead, I will be working with Read more

Sainato: Nearly $5,000 awarded to Lawrence County senior center

(Jan 07, 2021)

NEW CASTLE, Jan. 7 – A state grant of nearly $5,000 will help a beloved Lawrence County senior center continue operating, state Rep. Chris Sainato announced today. Sainato, D-Lawrence, said the grant to the Lawrence County Area Agency on Aging – awarded by the state Department of Aging – will benefit Challenges: Options in Aging, in New Castle. “For seniors, the key to staying healthy is staying engaged,” Sainato said. “In our community, so many older adults find outlets for their energy and interests at our local senior center, which offers opportunities for socializing, wellness classes and countless other opportunities for a fuller, healthier life. “The funding announced today is going to help our Lawrence County center weather the economic hardships created by the pandemic so that it will be able to continue operating and, once the pandemic is no longer a threat, offer the full range of services and activities our seniors deserve and have come to love.” The grant is part of a package of $2 million in funding to the state’s 405 Agency on Aging-affiliated senior community centers. The funding – appropriated by the General Assembly from the Pennsylvania Lottery – may be used for COVID-19 mitigation, capital improvements and renovations, programs and services, technology, nutrition services, marketing and outreach, and rent and utilities. More information Read more