Conklin issues 2021-22 budget statement

(Jun 25, 2021)

HARRISBURG, June 25 - State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, issued the following statement on the passage of the state’s 2021-22 fiscal year budget: “This budget will send much-needed education funding to our local schools, one of the key components of the Pennsylvania Rescue Plan that I have supported over the last few months. “We are investing $300 million in K-12 funding, with a third of that set aside for our most underfunded districts. This will help level the playing field and continue our work toward allowing every student – regardless of zip code, a chance to succeed. “The budget also provides an additional $350 million to help students rebound from the disruptions of the past year, due to the pandemic. "While this is good news for our schools, our children and our families, today's budget is, once again, a missed opportunity. This budget does not provide any asisstance to the local businesses impacted during the state COVID-19 shutdown, including restuarants, gyms, salons, and barber shops. It's baffling that, after more than a year of claiming to support small businesses during the pandemic, this budget contains nothing to help them on a path to recovery. We were sent billions of dollars to help our local businesses, and we should be using it, not letting it sit in savings. “And like last year, this year’s budget does not contain a minimum wage increase, Read more

 

Burns backs no-tax bipartisan budget deal

(Jun 25, 2021)

Rep. Frank Burns voted to pass a no-tax bipartisan budget that invests in education while saving money for the future. Read more

 

Burns: House approves two bridge-naming proposals

(Jun 25, 2021)

WWII veteran, first responder immortalized Read more

 

Conklin announces hemp production grant for Penn State

(Jun 25, 2021)

HARRISBURG, June 25 – State Rep. Scott Conklin has announced a $126,730 grant to Pennsylvania State University to support its hemp production efforts. Conkin, D-Centre, said the Pennsylvania Special Crop Block Grant, part of the historic PA Farm Bill , would fund the university’s project, which is focused on optimizing genotype selection and hemp production management practices. “Thanks to the PA Farm Bill, this grant will be beneficial to support this high-priority specialty crop and further support our strong agriculture sector,” Conklin said. The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program assists with the growth, certification of seed and marketing of eligible crops, including hemp, hardwoods, honey and hops; and barley, rye and wheat for distilling, brewing and malting purposes only. More information on the grant program can be found at this link: https://www.agriculture.pa.gov/Pages/Specialty-Crop-Block-Grant-Program.aspx . Read more

 

Burns: $10 billion excess should fund property tax relief

(Jun 24, 2021)

State flush with cash, hardworking taxpayers deserve break Read more

 

Conklin: House Bill 1300 is nothing but ‘smoke and mirrors’

(Jun 21, 2021)

STATE COLLEGE, June 21 – State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, issued the following statement on H.B. 1300 : “This bill is disguised as an effort to protect voter integrity and security but, in reality, it is designed to drive down voter turnout and make it harder and more complicated for Pennsylvanians to cast their vote. “Our past two elections in the commonwealth were fairly run, free and transparent. So, why are Republicans pushing for election audits for each county following an election? Why do they want each voter to have a special ID in order to cast their ballot, severely limit drop boxes and put an end to voting by mail? It’s because they want to silence your voice and your right to vote freely and fairly. That should make you very angry and, rest assured, I will fight this bill. “This is an attempted power grab, plain and simple, by the Republican party. This bill would also add unnecessary barriers to your right to vote, put more governmental bureaucracy upon counties and needlessly delay election results. “I’m truly disappointed that, once again, the leadership in the House is playing politics with a bill that will never be signed into law. We should be focused on how best to use the billions of surplus dollars to provide property tax relief and quality education for our residents. Instead, we are wasting valuable time posturing for corporate donors. It’s time to dispense with the rhetoric and focus on Read more

 

Burns named co-leader of House Steel Caucus

(Jun 21, 2021)

Looks forward to working with GOP counterpart Read more

 

Merski kicks off 2021 ‘flag takeback’ program

(Jun 14, 2021)

ERIE, June 14 – As the nation celebrates Flag Day, state Rep. Bob Merski announced that he is kicking off his annual flag takeback program, providing Erie residents an easy way to retire their worn, torn or faded American flags. Merski, D-Erie, is sponsoring the program in partnership with Summit Township to help residents prepare for the July 4 holiday. “If you’re preparing to fly your flag this Fourth and find that the colors are faded or the cloth is a bit worn or tattered, you can bring it to our office, and we will retire it for you,” Merski said. “You can rest assured that we will dispose of it properly, with the respect and dignity Old Glory deserves.” Merski said residents can drop off flags at the following office locations: District office - 3901 Liberty St., 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Summit office - 1230 Townhall Road W., 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. every Tuesday. The program will run through July 16. Read more

 

Burns seeking nominations for annual Charlie Vizzini Volunteerism Award

(Jun 14, 2021)

Award celebrates individual’s outstanding service to their communities Read more

 

Longietti hosting June workshops on Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program

(Jun 11, 2021)

HERMITAGE, June 11 – State Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, is hosting two free workshops this month to help residents learn more about the state’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program and assist them with the application process. “The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program has been around for 50 years and remains one of the most valuable programs the state offers,” Longietti said. “My two workshops this month will help residents learn more about the program, find answers to questions and even get help applying. “This week, the Department of Revenue announced that it was extending the application deadline to Dec. 31, but I encourage anyone interested – particularly those who may be newly eligible for the program – to get a jump on things by attending one of my sessions.” Both workshops will be held from 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Dates and locations are: Thursday, June 17 at the Pymatuning Township Building, 256 Edgewood Drive Ext., Transfer, PA 16154. Wednesday, June 23 at the Greenville Municipal Building (Council Chamber Room), 125 Main St., Greenville PA 16125. Longietti said residents who would like help applying for a rebate must bring identification, proof of 2020 income and a statement of 2020 rent paid (or a receipt of 2020 taxes paid, if homeowners.) Walk-ins are welcome, and there is no need to pre-register. Anyone with questions Read more

 

Sainato: $850,000 awarded to fund veteran housing, fight blight

(Jun 10, 2021)

NEW CASTLE, June 10 – State grants totaling $850,000 will support veterans facing mental health issues and help Lawrence County fight blight, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. Sainato said the funding – administered by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency through the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Fund – will go in part to help those who have sacrificed the most for the community. “Veterans have paid some heavy prices for their service, and some continue to live with post-traumatic stress and other mental health issues,” said Sainato, Democratic chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee. “Part of the funding awarded today will be used to help renovate a former Red Cross Building into a Fairweather Lodge for veterans with mental health needs. It’s hard to imagine a better investment than one that promises to bring hope to those who have sacrificed so much for the rest of us.” Sainato said additional funding will support community revitalization by allowing the county to continue with successful efforts to clear localized blight. The grants include: $250,000 to Human Service Center for the Veterans Fairweather Lodge Program. $400,000 to the Lawrence County Department of Planning and Community Development for its blight removal program. $200,000 to the Redevelopment Authority Read more

 

Longietti: $120,000 awarded to fully fund Sharon ‘Lots to Love’ revitalization program

(Jun 10, 2021)

HERMITAGE, June 10 – Grant funding of $120,000 will allow the city of Sharon to move forward with an innovative plan for repurposing vacant lots, state Rep. Mark Longietti, D- Mercer, announced today. Longietti said the funding – administered by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency through the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Fund – is going to build on efforts already underway to revitalize Sharon’s landscape. “This funding is wonderful news for the city of Sharon and complements last month’s funding of $150,000 the city received to help with demolition of 38 fire-damaged properties and preparation of those sites for redevelopment,” Longietti said. “Through that funding and other investments, Sharon has already committed significant resources to clearing blight. “The next step is repurposing those vacant lots before they become breeding grounds for vandalism or waste, and the Lots to Love program provides an innovative strategy for doing just that. Thanks to this new funding from the Housing Finance Agency, the program will now be fully funded, and Sharon can move forward with work that will transform those spaces into places of growth, revitalization and potential. It’s exciting news for Sharon’s future.” Longietti said funding for the grant comes from state realty transfer taxes. Read more

 

Harkins: Nearly $1 million awarded to fight homelessness, fund home repairs, building improvements

(Jun 10, 2021)

ERIE, June 10 – Grant funding of $985,000 will help some of Erie’s most vulnerable residents find housing while ensuring others can obtain needed safety repairs, s tate Rep. Pat Harkins, D-Erie, announced today. Harkins said the funding – administered by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency through the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Fund – will support programs to help residents at risk of homelessness secure housing and find paths to financial independence; assist low-income seniors needing home repairs; and allow the city housing authority to complete energy efficiency and security improvements to city buildings. “The pandemic has intensified hardships for Erie’s most vulnerable residents, including those who don’t have a safe place to call home,” Harkins said. “The funding awarded today is going to create new opportunities for our most vulnerable residents by giving them a path to housing and self-sufficiency. “Additional funding is going to help low-income seniors with essential housing repairs that can pose safety hazards and create safe, affordable housing for residents in need.” Harkins said the grants include the following: $160,000 to Greater Erie Community Action Committee for Senior Housing Improvement Program. $100,000 to Read more

 

Sainato: Nearly $50,000 awarded to bolster Lawrence County probation services

(Jun 09, 2021)

NEW CASTLE, June 9 – Grant funding of $46,366 will enhance Lawrence County probation programs and services, state Rep. Chris Sainato announced today. Sainato, D-Lawrence, said the grant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency will fund programs and resources that help the county steer offenders away from crime and toward more successful outcomes. “What happens during probation can strongly influence whether an offender makes a successful transition to work and the community or returns to a pattern of repeat crimes,” Sainato said. “Today’s funding is going to support Lawrence County’s probation officers and other staff as they work to help guide offenders back on the path to productive lives with their families – and away from the kind of destructive behaviors that lead to recidivism. “Taxpayers benefit from fewer incarcerations, and our community regains responsible wage earners who can contribute back to the economy.” Sainato said that in addition to the direct grant to benefit probation services, the county will benefit from nearly $50,000 in grant funding to the Adams County Children’s Advocacy Center, which will use the funding to train therapists in Lawrence and several other counties on specialized treatment for child victims of sexual abuse. Read more

 

Longietti: More than $212,000 awarded to support Mercer County drug treatment court program, help residents in recovery

(Jun 09, 2021)

HERMITAGE, June 9 – Grant funding of $212,130 from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency will help Mercer County residents struggling with substance abuse and provide offenders treatment-based alternatives to incarceration, state Rep. Mark Longietti announced today. Longietti, D-Mercer, said the funding includes two separate grants – $122,130 to the Mercer County Behavior Health Commission to implement the Say it Straight program and $90,000 to the Mercer County Commissioners to support the Mercer County Treatment Court. "Securing this funding will allow Mercer County to implement the Say it Straight program, to help residents recovering from substance use disorder stay on the right path,” Longietti said. “That support also helps them restore healthy relationships with their families and reestablish jobs and productive ties in the neighborhood – all of which strengthens our community. “The funding will also bolster an important asset of our county justice system – the Mercer County Treatment Court – which works to reduce recidivism rates by helping offenders remain free of drug and alcohol addiction. That benefits taxpayers by reducing the costs of incarceration and returns former offenders to the community as productive wage earners.” More information on PCCD is available at www.pccd.pa.gov . Read more

 

Harkins, Merski: More than $1 million awarded to bolster Erie County probation services, substance abuse treatment and education

(Jun 09, 2021)

ERIE, June 9 – More than $1 million in grants from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency will improve Erie County probation services, help offenders transition to productive lives in the community and bolster resources for residents battling substance abuse, state Reps. Pat Harkins and Bob Merski announced today. The lawmakers, both D-Erie, said the county will use some of the funding to boost programs that cut recidivism rates by offering effective alternatives to jail time. “Court-ordered treatment programs can sometimes accomplish much more than incarceration by addressing addiction, mental illness and other root causes of crime,” Harkins said. “That gives offenders a better chance of returning to the community in productive roles rather than landing back in prison. It also saves taxpayers the costs of incarceration, reunites families and puts people back to work so they can contribute to the economy.” Merski said, “In addition to strengthening probation services and court-ordered treatment programs, some of the funding awarded today will bring new hope for residents battling substance abuse by allowing the county to implement family behavior therapy. These intensive programs include in-home intervention that can rebuild lives and restore family relationships, creating benefits that flow to the whole community.” The grants – which also provide Read more

 

Merski bill to revitalize fitness industry heads to House chamber

(Jun 09, 2021)

HARRISBURG, June 9 – The House Commerce Committee today unanimously approved a bill that would pump new life back into Pennsylvania’s hard-hit fitness industry, state Rep. Bob Merski announced today. Merski, D-Erie, said his H.B. 1438 would establish a COVID-19 recovery grant program for gyms, spas, dance studios and other fitness-related businesses to speed relief to an industry that was brought to a standstill during the pandemic. “The pandemic created hardships for all local businesses, but for fitness-related businesses like gyms, spas and dance studios, the impact of prolonged shutdowns has been devastating,” Merski said. “These businesses play an important role in local communities, helping people stay healthy and forging social bonds while boosting the local economy. “During the pandemic, gym owners faithfully complied with mitigation orders, shuttering venues and drastically reducing capacities. Now, it’s time to help them get back on their feet and moving again. By restoring the vitality of the industry, we help our entire economy grow stronger.” Merski said the COVID-19 Community Fitness Business Grant Program would allow fitness-related businesses with less than $1 million in annual gross receipts to apply for grants of up to $20,000 to help cover losses. Businesses would need to provide proof of losses and a plan for how the money will be used. The bill now heads to the full House for consideration. Read more

 

Sainato, colleagues unveil bipartisan bills to benefit Pa. veterans

(Jun 09, 2021)

HARRISBURG, June 9 – Continuing his efforts to improve life for Pennsylvania’s veterans, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, joined fellow lawmakers today at Soldiers’ Grove to highlight a package of bills that would improve services for the commonwealth’s large veteran community. Sainato, Democratic chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, said the bi-partisan bill package, “For Those Who Served,” would expand state resources and make life easier for veterans and their families. “The package includes my bill to supplement the Veterans’ Trust Fund with $1 million from the billions Pennsylvania is receiving under the American Rescue Plan,” Sainato said. “As Democratic chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, I have seen firsthand how grants from the fund can provide veterans in need with transportation, housing and other essential services. Tapping into this federal funding is a unique opportunity that would directly benefit those who have served and sacrificed so much for us. “Our committee worked together, in true bi-partisan fashion, to approve these bills for the benefit of our heroes, and I’m hopeful we’ll see them soon passed and signed into law.” Sainato said some of the bills include: H.B. 1389 , which would strengthen the Veterans Trust Fund by supplementing it with $1 million in American Read more

 

Burns: $255,000 awarded to support justice in Cambria County

(Jun 09, 2021)

State grants to support probation and parole programs Read more

 

Merski reopening Summit Township satellite office June 8

(Jun 03, 2021)

ERIE, June 3 – State Rep. Bob Merski announced today that he is reopening his satellite office in Summit Township on Tuesday, June 8. Merski, D-Erie, said the office – located in the Summit Township Municipal Building at 1230 Townhall Road West – will resume regular walk-in service every Tuesday during the same 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. hours that were in effect before the pandemic. “We understand that Summit Township and Belle Valley residents have missed the convenience of being able to drop into the municipal building for help with state-related questions and problems,” Merski said. “With the change in COVID-19 mitigation orders, we are delighted to reopen this location. “In addition to helping with state-related questions and problems, my talented staff can assist residents in applying for a variety of programs, including the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program. I encourage residents to drop in any Tuesday.” Merski said residents wishing to schedule an appointment for a day other than Tuesday should call 814-455-6319. Read more

 

Conklin issues 2021-22 budget statement
Jun 25, 2021

Burns backs no-tax bipartisan budget deal
Jun 25, 2021

Burns: House approves two bridge-naming proposals
Jun 25, 2021

Conklin announces hemp production grant for Penn State
Jun 25, 2021

Burns: $10 billion excess should fund property tax relief
Jun 24, 2021

Conklin: House Bill 1300 is nothing but ‘smoke and mirrors’
Jun 21, 2021

Burns named co-leader of House Steel Caucus
Jun 21, 2021

Merski kicks off 2021 ‘flag takeback’ program
Jun 14, 2021

Burns seeking nominations for annual Charlie Vizzini Volunteerism Award
Jun 14, 2021

Longietti hosting June workshops on Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program
Jun 11, 2021

Sainato: $850,000 awarded to fund veteran housing, fight blight
Jun 10, 2021

Longietti: $120,000 awarded to fully fund Sharon ‘Lots to Love’ revitalization program
Jun 10, 2021

Harkins: Nearly $1 million awarded to fight homelessness, fund home repairs, building improvements
Jun 10, 2021

Sainato: Nearly $50,000 awarded to bolster Lawrence County probation services
Jun 09, 2021

Longietti: More than $212,000 awarded to support Mercer County drug treatment court program, help residents in recovery
Jun 09, 2021

Harkins, Merski: More than $1 million awarded to bolster Erie County probation services, substance abuse treatment and education
Jun 09, 2021

Merski bill to revitalize fitness industry heads to House chamber
Jun 09, 2021

Sainato, colleagues unveil bipartisan bills to benefit Pa. veterans
Jun 09, 2021

Burns: $255,000 awarded to support justice in Cambria County
Jun 09, 2021

Merski reopening Summit Township satellite office June 8
Jun 03, 2021