Erie Delegation to tour LECOM Tuesday

(Aug 02, 2021)

ERIE, Aug. 2 – State Representatives Pat Harkins, Bob Merski and Ryan Bizzarro are welcoming members of the House Democratic Policy Committee for a tour of Lake Erie College of Medicine, the nation’s most applied-to medical school. The tour will begin at 1 p.m. Tuesday, August 3 at 1858 W. Grandview, Blvd., Erie. The media is encouraged to attend and can submit inquiries to policy@pahouse.net . A roundtable discussion will follow the facility tour, aimed at learning more about LECOM’s impact on education, medical care and Erie’s economy. Information about this and other House Democratic Policy Committee hearings can be found at www.pahouse.com/policycommittee . Read more

 

Rep. Bizzarro, Policy Committee to tour Presque Isle State Park Monday

(Jul 30, 2021)

ERIE, July 30 – In an effort to highlight the economic and environmental beauty that is Presque Isle State Park, state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro is welcoming DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn and members of the House Democratic Policy Committee for a tour of the 3000+ acre state park. The tour will begin at 1 p.m. Monday, August 2 at Presque Isle State Park, 301 Peninsula Dr., Tom Ridge Center. The media is encouraged to attend. Inquiries may be submitted to policy@pahouse.net . Information about this and other House Democratic Policy Committee hearings can be found at www.pahouse.com/policycommittee . Read more

 

Burns: Cambria County must receive fair share of opioid pharma settlement

(Jul 23, 2021)

County among the hardest hit by pill dumping, overdoses Read more

 

Longietti: More than $4 million awarded to modernize Greenville water lines

(Jul 23, 2021)

HERMITAGE, July 23 – A state grant of nearly $4.1 million will fund a major overhaul of Greenville’s water distribution system, including replacement of the aging, corroded pipes used to supply the borough’s drinking water, state Rep. Mark Longietti announced today. Longietti, D-Mercer, said the funding from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority will allow the Greenville Water Authority to replace existing cast iron and lead pipes with 9,600 feet of new main, addressing longstanding problems caused by aging, corroded infrastructure. “Greenville residents have been living with an antiquated water distribution system plagued by a history of leaks, main breaks and service interruptions,” Longietti said. “In some cases, the pipes are more than 100 years old. It’s an issue that has affected quality of life and could lead to health risks if not addressed. “The funding awarded today will bring much-needed, long-overdue modernizations that will prevent future service interruptions, enhance public health and create jobs.” Longietti said that in addition to construction of new water main, the project will include construction and installation of new fire hydrants, service lines, connections, valves and related upgrades. Greenville is an Act 47 Distressed Community, and Longietti said the project would not have been possible without the funding. The grant was Read more

 

Nomination period for annual Charlie Vizzini Volunteerism Award extended

(Jul 23, 2021)

Deadline for nominations extended until Aug. 2 Read more

 

Merski hosting grant seminar for small businesses, nonprofits

(Jul 22, 2021)

ERIE, July 22 – Area businesses and nonprofits can get expert tips on tapping into state funding opportunities by attending “A Guide to Pennsylvania Grants” – an Aug. 5 seminar co-hosted by state Rep. Bob Merski, D-Erie, and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. The event will be held at 10 a.m. in the Admiral Room of the Blasco Library, at 160 E. Front St. “With so many small businesses and nonprofits still hurting from the pandemic, it’s more important than ever to know what funding opportunities are out there and how to tap into them,” Merski said. “Our seminar will feature expert tips and a question-and-answer session to help business owners and organizations maximize their chances for success.” Merski said participants will receive a copy of the updated grant guide and state literature with contact information. Attendance is limited, so those interested should RSVP in advance by calling 814-455-6319. Anyone who cannot attend but would like a copy of the updated grant guide can pick one up at Merski’s 3901 Liberty St. office Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Read more

 

Burns’ Blue Lives Matter Caucus welcomes Rigby as GOP chairman

(Jul 20, 2021)

Bipartisan effort centered in Cambria County Read more

 

Matzie urges DEP to deny Penn Energy petition to source water from Big Sewickley Creek

(Jul 19, 2021)

AMBRIDGE, July 19 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, has written to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection urging it to deny Penn Energy’s request to withdraw water from Big Sewickley Creek. In a July 16 letter to DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell, Matzie expressed his opposition to the permit application, which would allow Penn Energy to withdraw 3 million gallons of water daily from the creek. Read more

 

Kinkead, Pashinski to discuss driving down drug costs

(Jul 08, 2021)

HARRISBURG, July 8 – The runaway costs of prescription medication will be the focus of a virtual hearing of the Subcommittee on Progressive Policies for Working People hosted by state Reps. Elizabeth Fiedler, Emily Kinkead and Eddie Day Pashinski. The hearing will be held at 1 p.m. Monday, July 12. The media and public are invited to watch online at www.pahouse.com/policy or on the committee’s Facebook page--@PADemPolicy. Media inquiries may be submitted via email to policy@pahouse.net . Kinkead, D-Allegheny, and Pashinski, D-Luzerne, will be joined by Subcommittee Chair Elizabeth Fiedler, D-Phila., and members of the House Democratic Policy Committee to discuss innovative approaches to reducing drug costs, providing pathways to low-cost prescriptions, and how drug costs factor into Pennsylvania’s healthcare framework. Information about this and other House Democratic Policy Committee hearings can be found at www.pahouse.com/policycommittee . Read more

 

Sainato: More than $200,000 awarded to modernize New Castle traffic signal

(Jul 07, 2021)

NEW CASTLE, July 7 – A $201,600 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will give the green light to modernizing upgrades at a busy New Castle intersection, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. Sainato said the grant – awarded under PennDOT’s Green Light-Go Program – will fund important safety-related upgrades to the traffic signal located at the intersection of Taylor Street, East Washington Street/Route 65 and Butler Avenue. “It’s great to know that modernizing improvements are on the way for this intersection,” Sainato said. “The funding is going to allow for much-needed upgrades, including installation of new signal heads and support structures; a new signal controller and cabinet; an updated vehicle detection system; and pedestrian accommodations, including ‘walk’ signal heads, pushbuttons, curb ramps and signage. “It all spells greater safety and smoother traffic flow for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.” The grant is part of a package of more than $15.6 million awarded for signal upgrades in 50 municipalities statewide under the Green Light-Go program. Green Light-Go grants reimburse municipalities for updates to improve traffic signal efficiency and operation. The grants can be used for projects such as installation of LED technology; traffic signal retiming; developing special event plans; monitoring Read more

 

Conklin announces spotted lanternfly mitigation grant for Penn State

(Jul 01, 2021)

HARRISBURG, July 1 – Pennsylvania State University has been awarded $69,767 in state funds to mitigate the impacts of spotted lanternfly in the hardwood ornamentals industry, state Rep. Scott Conkin announced. Conkin, D-Centre, said the Pennsylvania Specialty Crop Block Grant program, part of the historic PA Farm Bill , supports projects to help grow and protect high-priority crops, including hardwoods. “Thirty-four counties in our state, including Centre, are battling this invasive pest,” Conklin said. “If it isn’t contained, the spotted lanternfly could potentially drain our state economy of at least $324 million each year, and it has quite the appetite for many of our economically vital plants, including maple, black walnut, birch, willow and other trees. This grant will be extremely helpful in supporting Penn State’s efforts to curb the insect’s spread.” The state Specialty Crop Block Grant program was created to enhance the federal Specialty Crop Block Grant program by establishing a state program for crops that are either not currently eligible for federal support, or that are designated as high-priority specialty crops. In addition to hardwoods, high priority crops include hemp, hops and honey; and barley, rye, and wheat for distilling, brewing and malting. Projects aim to enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of specialty crops through research to Read more

 

Burns urges libraries to apply for state grant program

(Jun 30, 2021)

Money could be used for development, technical assistance Read more

 

Harkins, Merski announce nearly $103,000 in fire, EMS grants

(Jun 30, 2021)

ERIE, June 30 -- State Reps. Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, both D-Erie, announced that fire and rescue crews in their districts will be receiving $102,670 in state grant funding for equipment, training and other needed resources. “Our fire and EMS companies really took a hit during the pandemic,” Harkins said. “In addition to dealing with new risks and logistical issues, departments lost critical fundraising income because of shutdowns and restrictions. This grant funding should ease the burden a bit for those who work so hard at the front lines.” Merski said: “Departments have been dealing with recruitment, retention and funding issues for years, but the past year added a whole new layer of challenges. This funding won’t solve the longstanding issues, but it will at least allow departments to upgrade aging equipment, perform building repairs and ensure crews have the ongoing training and other resources they need to stay safe on the job.” The lawmakers said the funding includes : Belle Valley Fire Department Inc. – fire company, $12,767. City of Erie Fire Department – fire company, $15,000. EmergyCare Inc. – EMS, $8,993. Lawrence Park Volunteer Fire Department – fire company, $11,698. Lawrence Park Volunteer Fire Department – EMS, $8,993. Perry Hi-Way Hose Co. – fire company, $15,000. Perry Hi-Way Hose Co. – EMS, $8,993. Read more

 

Longietti announces nearly $163,000 in fire, EMS grants

(Jun 29, 2021)

HERMITAGE, June 29 – State Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, announced that 13 fire and EMS companies in the 7 th Legislative District were awarded $162,652 in state grants. “Over the past year, our first responders remained on the front lines, standing between our community and danger, despite a litany of new risks and challenges,” Longietti said. “Securing this funding will help them with essential needs such as training, building repairs and restoring unanticipated expenses created by the pandemic.” Longietti said the following fire companies will receive grants in these amounts: Clark Volunteer Fire Department – $12,767. Farrell Volunteer Fire Department Inc. – $11,876. Greenville Fire Department – $13,302. Greenville Fire Department (EMS) – $8,993. Greenville Volunteer Fire Company – $11,698. Sharon Fire Department – $15,000. Sharpsville Volunteer Fire Department – $13,837. Shenango Township Volunteer Fire Department – $12,411. South Pymatuning Township Volunteer Fire Association – $11,698. Transfer Volunteer Fire Department – $13,837. West Middlesex Volunteer Fire Department – $13,302. West Salem Fire Department – $12,233. Wheatland Volunteer Fire Department – $11,698. The grants are made possible by the Fire Company and Emergency Medical Service Read more

 

Sainato announces nearly $109,000 in fire, EMS grants

(Jun 29, 2021)

NEW CASTLE, June 29 – State Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced that eight fire and EMS companies in his district have been awarded $108,974 in state grants for training, equipment and other operating costs. “Frontline workers faced new risks and huge obstacles fundraising because of the pandemic,” said Sainato, who is Democratic chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee. “Securing this funding is going to help get critical resources into the hands of those who continue to protect us so vigilantly.” Sainato said these fire and EMS companies will receive the following amounts: Hickory Township Volunteer Fire Co. – $11,520. Mahoning Township Volunteer Fire Dept – $12,411. Neshannock Township Volunteer Fire Co. – $14,193. North Beaver Township Volunteer Fire Dept. – $12,054. Pulaski Township Volunteer Fire Co. – $12,233. Pulaski Township Volunteer Fire Co. (EMS) – $8,993. Shenango Township Vol. Fire Dept. – $25,159. Union Township Volunteer Firemans Association – $12,411. The grants come from the Fire Company and Emergency Medical Service Grant Program, which is administered by the Office of the State Fire Commissioner. Eligible projects include Read more

 

Burns: Local fire companies receive $296,000 in state grants

(Jun 29, 2021)

Burns urges fire, EMS companies to get agreements in before deadline Read more

 

Merski: Budget full of missed opportunities

(Jun 26, 2021)

HARRISBURG, June 26 – Saying that it fell “far short of what the moment requires,” state Rep. Bob Merski cast a “no” vote Friday for the Pennsylvania budget plan. Merski, D-Erie, cited multiple missed opportunities to fully fund education and provide meaningful assistance to small businesses and working families. “Although I was glad to see a $7 million increase to the Erie School District, it's merely 10% of what the governor proposed in his budget,” Merski said. “We had a chance to be bold and finally fully fund education, something we've been talking about for decades now. “We also had an opportunity to invest in our small businesses, including my bill to provide assistance to our local gyms, fitness centers and dance schools, but we left those small businesses hanging while they are still hurting and not fully recovered from the pandemic.” Merski acknowledged that there are some positive aspects to the new state spending plan. “While the shortfalls made it impossible for me to vote for the budget, there are some encouraging aspects to the plan,” Merski said. “Importantly, it holds the line on taxes so it will not add any new burdens on residents, and it will provide rent and utility assistance. "And while education funding fell far short of the full, fair funding we need, the Read more

 

Longietti/Nelson bill to help rehab patients heads to governor’s desk

(Jun 26, 2021)

HARRISBURG, June 26 – A bill headed to the governor’s desk would give families of drug rehabilitation patients a chance at lifesaving intervention when those patients check themselves out against medical advice, state Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, announced. House Bill 944 , which Longietti introduced with state Rep. Eric Nelson, R-Westmoreland, would require inpatient rehabilitation facilities to notify a patient’s designated emergency contact – a measure considered best practice but not currently mandated under state law – when the patient leaves addiction treatment against the provider’s advice. “This legislation offers a chance for family members to learn of a loved one’s decision – often impulsive and made under pressure or impaired judgment – to leave treatment and return to the lure of addictive drugs,” Longietti said. “By requiring timely notification of the emergency contact, we are giving family members the chance they deserve, when seconds count, to try to get their loved one to safety. There are no guarantees, but by mandating notification, we are at least opening a window of opportunity.” In April, the House unanimously passed a version of the bill, which was then amended in the state Senate. The amended version clarifies that the provider meets it obligation under the proposed law by making at least one attempt to notify the emergency contact using the method designated by Read more

 

Harkins votes for new budget, citing strong investments in education

(Jun 25, 2021)

HARRISBURG, June 25 – State Rep. Pat Harkins, D-Erie, issued the following statement after the House and Senate Friday evening passed the new Pennsylvania budget: “I voted to support the budget because it holds the line on taxes and makes critical investments in education, including an increase of $300 million in funding for basic education. From that funding, the budget plan will allocate $100 million to the state’s most grossly underfunded school districts, including the Erie City School District. That investment is long overdue, and it should go a long way in helping to level the playing field and help our students compete for good, family-sustaining jobs. “I am also encouraged by the budget’s investment of nearly $5 million to help support the startup, growth and operation of the new Erie Community College as it attracts students and jobs to the area and builds our workforce. “Finally, the budget allocates $450 million in rent and utility assistance and provides funding to bolster public transit – a vitally important resource for working families. “Despite these investments, the budget contains a number of missed opportunities. For years, residents have been carrying the burden of property taxes without seeing the benefits, and I believe the spending plan missed an important opportunity to provide that relief for taxpayers. Read more

 

Longietti votes for budget, citing sensible investments, funding to ‘level up’ underfunded school districts

(Jun 25, 2021)

HARRISBURG, June 25 – State Rep. Mark Longietti voted to support Pennsylvania’s new budget plan, which passed the House and Senate this evening. Longietti, D-Mercer, said he believes the $40 billion plan strikes a good balance between funding existing programs and services, reserving “rainy day” funding for future emergencies, and investing to bolster educational resources for school districts where those resources have been lacking. “I’m encouraged that the plan we passed holds the line on taxes while also increasing basic education funding by $300 million,” said Longietti, who is Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee. “That increase includes $100 million to level the playing field for grossly underfunded schools, including those in the Farrell Area, Greenville Area, and Sharon City school districts. “It’s critical to ensure that students from lower-income communities receive the same opportunities to compete for good, family-sustaining jobs as those in wealthier districts. I believe the budget we passed today brings us one step closer to that.” Longietti said other education increases include $50 million for special education; $30 million for early childhood education, and $11 million for early intervention for 3- to 5-year-olds. “Additional support to give kids the right start in life makes a huge difference in determining future success, Read more

 

Erie Delegation to tour LECOM Tuesday
Aug 02, 2021

Rep. Bizzarro, Policy Committee to tour Presque Isle State Park Monday
Jul 30, 2021

Burns: Cambria County must receive fair share of opioid pharma settlement
Jul 23, 2021

Longietti: More than $4 million awarded to modernize Greenville water lines
Jul 23, 2021

Nomination period for annual Charlie Vizzini Volunteerism Award extended
Jul 23, 2021

Merski hosting grant seminar for small businesses, nonprofits
Jul 22, 2021

Burns’ Blue Lives Matter Caucus welcomes Rigby as GOP chairman
Jul 20, 2021

Matzie urges DEP to deny Penn Energy petition to source water from Big Sewickley Creek
Jul 19, 2021

Kinkead, Pashinski to discuss driving down drug costs
Jul 08, 2021

Sainato: More than $200,000 awarded to modernize New Castle traffic signal
Jul 07, 2021

Conklin announces spotted lanternfly mitigation grant for Penn State
Jul 01, 2021

Burns urges libraries to apply for state grant program
Jun 30, 2021

Harkins, Merski announce nearly $103,000 in fire, EMS grants
Jun 30, 2021

Longietti announces nearly $163,000 in fire, EMS grants
Jun 29, 2021

Sainato announces nearly $109,000 in fire, EMS grants
Jun 29, 2021

Burns: Local fire companies receive $296,000 in state grants
Jun 29, 2021

Merski: Budget full of missed opportunities
Jun 26, 2021

Longietti/Nelson bill to help rehab patients heads to governor’s desk
Jun 26, 2021

Harkins votes for new budget, citing strong investments in education
Jun 25, 2021

Longietti votes for budget, citing sensible investments, funding to ‘level up’ underfunded school districts
Jun 25, 2021