Merski, Harkins: $50,000 awarded to support Erie historical preservation efforts

(Jun 02, 2021)

ERIE, June 2 – State grants totaling $50,000 from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission will fund projects to preserve and promote Erie’s unique history, state Reps. Bob Merski and Pat Harkins announced today. The lawmakers, both D-Erie, said the commission awarded two separate grants under the Keystone Historic Preservation Grant Program, including $25,000 each to the city of Erie and Presque Isle Light Station. “Erie’s history is filled with fascinating stories and places, but preserving them takes planning and preparation,” Merski said. “The funding awarded today is going to help ensure that historic sites like the Presque Isle Lighthouse and other uniquely Erie landmarks are around for future generations.” Harkins said, “This funding is truly an educational investment, because it will help us preserve the kind of connections to our past that future generations can touch and see and visit. Those insights into our roots are invaluable.” The lawmakers said the funding will go to the following projects: City of Erie – $25,000 to support newly formed historic preservation program The funding will allow the city to update its historic resource ordinance, create a permanent Historic Review Commission, pursue Certified Local Government designation, and hire a preservation planner to help develop a three-year plan for Read more

 

Sainato: More than $136,000 awarded for renovation, repair of historic Lawrence County sites

(Jun 02, 2021)

NEW CASTLE, June 2 – State grants totaling $136,250 from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission will fund critical renovations for several Lawrence County historic sites to ensure their continued safe and efficient operation, state Rep. Chris Sainato announced today. Sainato, D-Lawrence, said the funding awarded under the Keystone Historic Preservation grant program will support needed electrical, cooling and masonry work, among other renovations. “Lawrence County has some beautiful old buildings that give us a unique landscape and showcase our region’s fascinating history,” Sainato said. “At the same time, many sites also welcome residents for practical activities, so keeping them safe for visitors is as important as preserving them for historical purposes. Securing these grants is going to help us accomplish both.” Sainato said the grants include the following: $100,000 to Hoyt Center for the Arts for a mechanical system project The project will increase the center’s capacity to host public programming in the Hoyt West Period House through installation of a VRF cooling system on the ground level and rehabilitation and enhancement of interior lighting, wiring and receptacles throughout. $31,250 to Human Services Center for office space improvements The project will allow the behavioral center to make needed structural improvements to the historic Read more

 

Burns: Grants available for broadband infrastructure

(Jun 02, 2021)

Up to $1 million available for projects to expand high speed access Read more

 

Longietti: Nearly $33,000 awarded to fund Mercer County veterans’ food program

(Jun 02, 2021)

HERMITAGE, June 2 – A $32,762 grant from the Veterans’ Trust Fund will ensure Mercer County veterans and their families will not have to face food insecurity, state Rep. Mark Longietti announced today. Longietti, D-Mercer, said the funding to Community Food Warehouse of Mercer County under the Military Share Program will help the organization continue an important program that has expanded in recent years. “Our veterans have put aside various life opportunities and sacrificed precious time with loved ones to serve our nation. The least we can do is ensure that these proud patriots and their families never struggle to put food on the table. “The Community Food Warehouse of Mercer County has been successfully serving veterans and their families through a unique distribution system that takes place outside of distribution to the general public, preserving dignity and privacy for these military families. “The program recently exceeded its goals by tripling the number of households served. Securing this new grant will allow the organization to build on that success and continue giving back to those who occupy such a special place in our community.” Longietti said the CFWMC is a member of the Feeding America network of food banks, which conducted a national study indicating that approximately 20% of households served by these food banks has at least one member who served in the military. More Read more

 

Burns: Suspend zombie liquor license auctions until compliance with law

(Jun 01, 2021)

Required commission and study still not done after five years Read more

 

Conklin issues statement in support of Congresswoman Dean, We The People PA

(May 27, 2021)

STATE COLLEGE, May 27 – State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, issued the following statement on today’s We The People PA event with Pennsylvania Congresswoman Madeleine Dean at the Montgomery County Courthouse: “I fully support Congresswoman Dean and the We The People PA organization regarding the American Rescue Plan. This plan will benefit all Pennsylvanians as we continue to recover from the economic downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “The Pennsylvania House Democratic Caucus has worked together to create the Pennsylvania Rescue Plan . Using the $7.3 billion earmarked for Pennsylvania, our plan makes wise investments in public health infrastructure and preparedness, support for families, workforce development, investments in job creation, technology, and much more. Some of the highlights of the Pennsylvania Rescue plan include $500 million to create jobs and spur economic growth across the state, $250 million to promote affordable housing, $10 million in funds for those whose unemployment checks were delayed, and $75 million to invest in healthcare research and education. “Our job as legislators is to help Pennsylvanians come out of this pandemic stronger, and it’s vital we support these investments as they meet the needs of all residents – families, workers, small businesses and farmers.” Read more

 

Burns votes to reinstate work-search requirements for unemployment

(May 25, 2021)

Legislation would help businesses find employees Read more

 

Sen. Brooks, Rep. Longietti announce grant awards for blight remediation in Greenville and Sharon

(May 25, 2021)

HARRISBURG, May 25 – The borough of Greenville and the city of Sharon have been awarded state grants to fight blight, Sen. Michele Brooks and Rep. Mark Longietti announced today after a meeting of the Commonwealth Financing Authority. In the Greenville project, the borough will receive $212,220 to support the demolition and rehabilitation of seven structures along Main and Shenango streets. To advance the Sharon project, $150,000 was awarded to help with the strategic demolition of 38 fire-damaged properties and the preparation of these sites for redevelopment. “Funding for these two projects will help to increase the value and appeal of properties in the community, and can be a catalyst for new jobs, economic growth and a larger community renaissance,” Brooks said. “These grant funds will build on the community’s investment in these critical areas of our hometowns.” Longietti said: “Greenville has been making strides as it works to exit its status as a distressed community, and several downtown property owners have already committed resources for renovation. Blight is still an obstacle to additional redevelopment, however. The grant awarded today will fund blight remediation for seven downtown buildings and properties, helping the borough continue redefining and revitalizing itself. “Likewise, Sharon has been working to attack blight through a coordinated plan that identifies demolition of Read more

 

Burns launches effort to broaden LCB board, pare members’ salaries

(May 25, 2021)

Bills would leave governor with just one appointment, decrease pay 40 percent Read more

 

Burns’ in-state tuition for military families bill passes key vote

(May 24, 2021)

Legislation heads to full House for consideration Read more

 

Longietti: $350,000 awarded to fund Sharpsville home rehabilitation projects

(May 20, 2021)

HERMITAGE, May 20 – The borough of Sharpsville was awarded $350,000 to fund home rehabilitation projects for low-income families, state Rep. Mark Longietti announced today. Longietti, D-Mercer, said the grant funding under the HOME Investments Partnership Program will allow the borough to rehabilitate 12 owner-occupied homes. “Aging homes present a host of problems that can make life dangerous and difficult for low-income families, and the pandemic has only made it more difficult for homeowners to find room in the budget for repair costs,” Longietti said. “Sharpsville has a large percentage of aging homes and has benefitted from HOME funding for nearly two decades. Securing this funding means the program will continue to help residents ensure a safe place for their families.” The grant is part of a package of more than $7 million to projects in 13 counties under the HOME program, which is administered by the state Department of Community and Economic Development. The program provides federal funding to help municipalities and local governments preserve and expand affordable housing for low-income Pennsylvanians. The funds can be used for a variety of critical housing needs, including market-oriented approaches that offer opportunities such as homeownership or rental activities to revitalize communities with new investment. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provides DCED the funds through the Read more

 

Sainato: $1.25 million awarded to help rehabilitate Lawrence County homes

(May 20, 2021)

NEW CASTLE, May 20 – Grant funding of $1.25 million will help bring safer living conditions for low-income residents in Lawrence County by financing needed renovations to owner-occupied homes, state Rep. Chris Sainato announced today. Sainato, D-Lawrence, said the funding under the HOME Investments Partnership Program will help some residents address code deficiencies that have prevented access to other home-related assistance programs. “The challenges of the past year have highlighted the importance of having a safe, secure place to call home,” Sainato said. “With the pandemic straining budgets everywhere, low-income residents have found it tougher than usual to make needed home repairs. In some cases, homes are facing code deficiencies that have prevented residents from accessing other important programs, such as weatherization assistance. Today’s funding is going to help them move forward with those repairs so they can protect their families.” Sainato said the grants include the following funding: $750,000 to the city of New Castle to rehabilitate 18 owner-occupied homes (to be administered by third-party provider Lawrence County Community Action Partnership). $500,000 to Lawrence County to rehabilitate 12 owner-occupied homes (with grant administration by third-party provider LCCAP). Eligibility will be owner-occupied homes deferred from the county’s Read more

 

Burns calls on governor to suspend state gas tax in wake of pipeline cyber attack

(May 13, 2021)

Says, ‘Give families a break’ as gas prices skyrocket ahead of summer travel season Read more

 

Nearly $7,500 to bolster urban agriculture in the Erie curriculum

(May 12, 2021)

ERIE, May 12 – Erie students will benefit from hands-on lessons in urban agriculture, thanks to a $7,478 grant that will support the Erie City School District’s urban greenhouse and garden project, state Reps. Bob Merski and Pat Harkins, both D-Erie, announced today. The lawmakers said the funding under the state Department of Agriculture’s Ag and Youth Program – the second set of urban agricultural grants to Erie this month – will teach highly practical lessons in an outdoor classroom setting. “The past year has shown us the importance of equipping the next generation with skills that can empower residents in times of hardship and help our community be better prepared during emergencies and food shortages,” Merski said. “Securing this funding is going to enrich the Erie curriculum by including lessons in urban agriculture that teach these life-sustaining skills.” Harkins said, “The funding awarded today is going to support the Erie City School District’s Urban Greenhouse and Garden Project, which gives kids hands-on experience in growing food. Lessons like that, which yield real-life results, are the most lasting and powerful ones we can provide because they teach kids self-sufficiency. They also plant a seed of interest that will lead some students into agriculture as a career.” The 2021-22 Ag and Youth Program funded 57 projects, including 14 for Read more

 

Harkins, Merski join Acting Labor and Industry Secretary in calling for minimum wage increase

(May 12, 2021)

ERIE, May 12 – Pennsylvania’s working families have been waiting years for an increase in the state’s minimum wage that never comes, even as they watch workers in neighboring states benefit from increased purchasing power, state Reps. Bob Merski and Pat Harkins told listeners at a virtual press event today with the Department of Labor and Industry. Speaking at the event with Acting Labor and Industry Secretary Jennifer Berrier and an Erie child and home care worker, the lawmakers, both D-Erie, urged support of the administration’s plan to raise the state’s minimum wage of $7.25 per hour to $12 per hour, with a pathway to $15. “If the past year showed us anything, it’s that we could not have made it without the efforts of store clerks, delivery people, childcare workers and scores of other frontline workers,” Harkins said. “We’ve praised them and told them how much we value them, but at the end of the day, we haven’t done very much to put more money in their pockets or make it any easier for them to pay their bills. “Our minimum wage has been stuck at $7.25 per hour since 2009, even as all the states surrounding us have raised theirs. When I was Democratic chairman of the House Labor and Industry Committee, we pushed hard to find common ground with Republicans in the House and Senate to raise the minimum wage. We made progress in the Senate, but the House Read more

 

PA Rescue Plan, $1.7 billion investment in workers’ focus of House Democratic leaders’ rally in State College Wednesday

(May 11, 2021)

STATE COLLEGE, May 11 – The workers who have been hit hardest by the pandemic need support. The PA House Democratic leadership team is hosting a rally Wednesday to make the case for workers’ rights to a fair wage, hazard pay and paid family and sick leave and how the PA Rescue plan would do just that. The rally will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 12 at The Borough Building, 243 S. Allen St., State College . The media is encouraged to attend. The PA Rescue Plan includes more than $1.5 billion for job training, hazard pay, wage boosts for direct-care workers and job creation efforts to kickstart the economy in communities across the state. The PRP aims to ensure federal American Rescue Plan funding is invested for immediate impact and long-term success. Additional information about the plan is available at www.pahouse.com/parescueplan . Read more

 

Harkins: Nearly $15,000 awarded to boost urban agriculture in Erie

(May 07, 2021)

ERIE, May 7 – State grants totaling nearly $15,000 will enhance urban agriculture in Erie by funding materials to start a new urban farm and supplying equipment for two existing businesses, state Rep. Pat Harkins announced today. Harkins, D-Erie, said the funding from the state Department of Agriculture includes $10,000 to the SSJ Neighborhood Network, which will use the funds for a project to convert two vacant parcels into a new urban farm; $2,500 to Green Thumb Organics for a water line, and $2,497 to Wild Field Urban Farm for refrigeration. “As urban farming takes root in Erie, small farms are creating jobs, stimulating the economy, bringing together neighbors, and expanding access to fresh foods,” Harkins said. “Securing this funding is especially exciting because it is going to allow SSJ Neighborhood Network to complete the groundwork on its project to create a new urban farm. “The funding will also allow two area businesses to grow by helping fund the equipment they need for production and storage operations. It’s terrific to see urban agriculture continue to flourish in the district.” The grants are part of a package of nearly $500,000 in funding to 42 projects statewide. The Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Grant Program provides reimbursement grants that improve urban agriculture infrastructure in Pennsylvania by investing in the system, filling gaps, encouraging Read more

 

Burns: Disabled veterans should get elk hunting license lottery

(May 06, 2021)

Bill proposes making two permits per year available Read more

 

Burns backs election junk-mail bill

(Apr 28, 2021)

EBENSBURG, April 28 – After hearing from numerous constituents during the last election about confusing and excessive ballot applications being mailed to their homes, state Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, has taken action and backed a bill that would ban the practice. “Just like all my neighbors, my mailbox was flooded by these ballot applications from third parties,” Burns said. “It was excessive, unnecessary and frustrating. This legislation would put a stop to that and hold these groups accountable.” In 2020, a record number of Pennsylvanians cast their votes by mail, but many eligible voters across the state were frustrated and confused by mail-in ballot applications sent to them by third-party organizations. Most third-party organizations do not ensure the accuracy of their mail-in ballot applications, leading to outdated or inaccurate prefilled information being sent to voters. House Bill 1270 , which Burns is co-sponsoring, would prohibit third-party organizations from sending ballot applications to eligible voters. Read more

 

Conklin supports measure to reform redistricting processes in Pa.

(Apr 28, 2021)

STATE COLLEGE, April 28 – State Rep. Scott Conklin is supporting a bill designed to reform the redistricting efforts in both state legislative and congressional districts. Conklin, D-Centre, said H.B. 22 would provide enhanced transparency, allow more input from Pennsylvanians, and create a user-friendly website with data, proposed maps, public comments and related information. “Our residents are beyond tired of partisan politics, especially in the redistricting process, and I am happy to join Fair District PA’s efforts to move this legislation forward,” said Conklin. “The redistricting process should be fair and open, with more participation and accountability.” The legislation would also ban gerrymandering, place limits on splitting counties beyond what’s required by population, end the division of voting precincts, and ensure protection of racial and language minorities against discrimination in the mapping process. House Bill 22 is under consideration in the House State Government Committee. Read more

 

Merski, Harkins: $50,000 awarded to support Erie historical preservation efforts
Jun 02, 2021

Sainato: More than $136,000 awarded for renovation, repair of historic Lawrence County sites
Jun 02, 2021

Burns: Grants available for broadband infrastructure
Jun 02, 2021

Longietti: Nearly $33,000 awarded to fund Mercer County veterans’ food program
Jun 02, 2021

Burns: Suspend zombie liquor license auctions until compliance with law
Jun 01, 2021

Conklin issues statement in support of Congresswoman Dean, We The People PA
May 27, 2021

Burns votes to reinstate work-search requirements for unemployment
May 25, 2021

Sen. Brooks, Rep. Longietti announce grant awards for blight remediation in Greenville and Sharon
May 25, 2021

Burns launches effort to broaden LCB board, pare members’ salaries
May 25, 2021

Burns’ in-state tuition for military families bill passes key vote
May 24, 2021

Longietti: $350,000 awarded to fund Sharpsville home rehabilitation projects
May 20, 2021

Sainato: $1.25 million awarded to help rehabilitate Lawrence County homes
May 20, 2021

Burns calls on governor to suspend state gas tax in wake of pipeline cyber attack
May 13, 2021

Nearly $7,500 to bolster urban agriculture in the Erie curriculum
May 12, 2021

Harkins, Merski join Acting Labor and Industry Secretary in calling for minimum wage increase
May 12, 2021

PA Rescue Plan, $1.7 billion investment in workers’ focus of House Democratic leaders’ rally in State College Wednesday
May 11, 2021

Harkins: Nearly $15,000 awarded to boost urban agriculture in Erie
May 07, 2021

Burns: Disabled veterans should get elk hunting license lottery
May 06, 2021

Burns backs election junk-mail bill
Apr 28, 2021

Conklin supports measure to reform redistricting processes in Pa.
Apr 28, 2021