O’Mara to hold Policy hearing on student loan debt Wednesday in Radnor

(Oct 10, 2019)

RADNOR, Oct. 10 – State Rep. Jennifer O’Mara, D-Delaware, will hold a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing next week on the student debt crisis. The hearing will take place at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16 at Cabrini University’s Grace Hall Atrium, 610 King of Prussia Road. The media and public are invited to attend. O’Mara requested the hearing to discuss how the state legislature can relieve this financial burden that many Pennsylvanians carry and how it affects Pennsylvania’s economy. O’Mara will be joined by legislators from across the state, including Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, and Republican members of the House Student Debt Caucus. O’Mara is the founder of the bipartisan House Student Debt Caucus and serves on the Public Higher Education Commission. She also plans to introduce legislation that would create a student borrowers’ bill of rights. The current agenda is: 10:00 a.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks 10:10 a.m. Panel One: Rebecca Yacker , West Chester University graduate Shannon Bertoni , West Chester University graduate Ken Mash , president, Association of Pennsylvania State College & University Faculties Tom Foley , president, Association of Independent Colleges & Universities of Pennsylvania 10:40 a.m. Questions & Answers 11:00 a.m. Nathan Hench , senior vice Read more

 

O’Mara announces three upcoming community events

(Oct 07, 2019)

SPRINGFIELD, Oct. 7 – State Rep. Jennifer O’Mara invites constituents to her upcoming, free community events next week. Events include a casual discussion of state-related matters while hiking along the Springfield trail, an interactive event about an invasive pest and an information session on Pennsylvania’s newest form of ID. From 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Oct. 12 , meet O’Mara and Fourth Ward Commissioner Lisa Borowski for a casual, two-hour hike in Ithan Valley Park. O’Mara and Borowski will meet attendees at 625 Ithan Ave. in Radnor. This is an opportunity to voice your questions, concerns and opinions on state-related matters in an informal setting. From 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 15, join O’Mara and an expert from the Penn State Extension to learn everything you need to know about the spotted lanternfly, an invasive pest that is detrimental to Pennsylvania’s environment. This event will take place at the Springfield Township Building, 50 Powell Road in Springfield, and will cover how the spotted lanternfly is a threat to our environment and what steps are being taken to combat this damaging insect. From 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 17, O’Mara will explain what REAL ID is, how to obtain one and how her office can help you with the process. This informational event will take place at Morton Borough Hall, 500 Highland Ave. O’Mara encourages Read more

 

O’Mara invites constituents to Springfield Walk & Talk event this weekend

(Oct 02, 2019)

SPRINGFIELD, Oct. 2 – State Rep. Jennifer O’Mara invites residents of the 165th District to casually discuss state-related matters this Saturday on the Springfield Trail. O’Mara encourages those interested to bring their questions, concerns and opinions regarding the state legislature, along with a good pair of walking shoes. The two-hour trek will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 5 at the C.C. Hancock Church parking lot, 542 Wesley Road in Springfield. O’Mara said this is an opportunity for constituents to discuss relevant affairs, new ideas, or ask about what the district office of the 165th District offers its residents. “This is a unique event because constituents can ensure their voices are heard, but it will be a very informal setting,” O’Mara said. “I’m looking forward to a great conversation while enjoying the beautiful autumn weather together as a community.” O’Mara will host another Walk & Talk this month in Radnor. More information on both Walk & Talk events can be found on O’Mara’s official Facebook events page. Read more

 

O’Mara announces 3 community events for next week

(Sep 20, 2019)

SPRINGFIELD, Sept. 20 – State Rep. Jennifer O’Mara will host three events next week. They are all free and open to the public. Thursday, Sept. 26 , from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., O’Mara will hold a behavioral health awareness open house at her district office, located at 905 West Sproul Road, Suite 203 in Springfield. “This is a topic that’s extremely important to me, and I want to ensure that my constituents are aware of all the resources available to them,” O’Mara said. “My staff and I will be present to discuss state-related issues regarding behavioral health, and expert vendors will share information on mental health and wellness.” Friday, Sept. 27 , from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., seniors in the 165th District are invited to O’Mara’s senior breakfast at American Legion Post #805 in Broomall. “I’m excited to have the opportunity to sit down and connect with constituents over a casual breakfast,” O’Mara said. “Attendees also will hear from guest speakers on state and local senior services, and my staff will be available to help seniors get SEPTA Senior Key Passes.” Saturday, Sept. 28 , from 9 a.m. to noon, O’Mara and Sen. Tim Kearney invite constituents to O’Mara’s district office to securely shred and recycle their paper documents and properly discard tech items containing personal information at their free shred event. Read more

 

O’Mara blasts DeVos as negligent toward public school pupils

(Sep 19, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 19 – State Rep. Jennifer O’Mara, D-Delaware, and founder of the House Student Debt Caucus, issued the following statement regarding Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ visit to Harrisburg today: “As the secretary of education, DeVos took an oath to stand for all students from kindergarteners to college seniors. However, her agenda today clearly revealed otherwise. “Today DeVos met with only a few chosen leaders, none of which were members of the House Student Debt Caucus. Furthermore, Devos failed to step outside of one particular facility visit, and instead chose to ignore the diverse educational options Pennsylvania offers its families and students. “It is well known that DeVos did not attend a public school, nor did her children attend schools within the public education system. Her continued failure to engage in expanding her knowledge outside of private institutions is not only a great disservice to Pennsylvania families and students, but to all students and families across the country. Without broadening her understanding of all educational options, needs and realities, like increased student debt, it’s clear where DeVos’ loyalty lies, and it isn’t with students and families throughout the commonwealth. “Devos left Harrisburg today with zero information on Pennsylvania’s public-school system, even though millions of our residents Read more

 

O’Mara resolution urging the use of sensitive language related to suicide unanimously clears Human Services Committee

(Sep 19, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 19 – State Rep. Jennifer O’Mara’s House resolution ( H.R. 399) unanimously cleared the House Human Services Committee on Wednesday and will now move to the full House for consideration. O’Mara’s resolution would urge the use of sensitive language by all branches of Pennsylvania government when discussing instances of suicide. Her resolution seeks to adopt the phrase “death by suicide” instead of “committed suicide,” which O’Mara said implies criminality. “My hope is that my resolution serves as a steppingstone toward eliminating the stigma surrounding suicide, because using the word ‘committed’ shows a lack of compassion toward the topic,” O’Mara said. “The way we address sensitive matters like this all boils down to simply how we communicate them.” O’Mara added that approximately 1,970 Pennsylvanians die by suicide each year, and Pennsylvania’s suicide rate increased by 34% between 1999 and 2016. “We need to show our residents who are grieving the loss of a loved one to suicide that we understand their needs and we’re working toward eliminating the stigma here in Pennsylvania,” O’Mara said. More information on HR 399 can be found here. Read more

 

O’Mara congratulates Delco playground and hiking trail on securing $375k in grants

(Sep 17, 2019)

SPRINGFIELD, Sept. 17 – State Rep. Jennifer O’Mara, D-Delaware, said she congratulates two Delaware County outdoor recreation sites for securing $375,000 worth of Commonwealth Financing Authority grant funding. One grant worth $125,000 will go toward improving the Veterans Memorial Park complex in Marple Township. The funds will be used to upgrade the park’s playground by installing ADA-compliant playground equipment, ADA curb ramps to the play areas and a rubber playground surface area. “Senator Tim Kearney and I are thrilled to see that children of all abilities will be able to enjoy this community resource,” O’Mara said. “These funds will create a more inclusive play area for all local children to utilize together.” A grant of $250,000 was also awarded to Friends of Smedley Park Corp., with the help and support of Springfield Township, to rehabilitate and realign Springfield Trail. The project will install new trail-head and wayfinding signage, as well as new yellow blazes to increase safety on the trail. Additionally, trail markers will be installed and the GPS coordinates will be registered with the county's emergency services. SEPTA has identified three points where the trail currently intersects with the Route 101 Trolley Line, an active light rail line. The project will work with SEPTA to reroute these crossings, mitigating trail conflicts with the active Read more

 

Back to School, Back to Session for the 165th

(Sep 13, 2019)

I hope you and your family have had a smooth transition back into the school year over the last two weeks. Read more

 

O’Mara presents Radnor police department with $40,000 check

(Sep 11, 2019)

RADNOR, Sept. 11 – State Rep. Jennifer O’Mara, D-Delaware, and Delco Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 27 President John Fitzgerald and Detective John Santoliquito presented the Radnor Township Police Department with a $40,000 check at the Radnor Township Board of Commissioners meeting Monday night. O’Mara said the funding comes from grants administered by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency , acting on recommendations by various advisory committees. The Radnor police department was selected as a grant recipient so it can purchase body cameras. “I’m extremely grateful that Radnor police department was selected to receive these funds,” O’Mara said. “I have watched them work through many serious incidents and tragedies this year with great integrity and professionalism, all while maintaining an active presence in the community. I know these body cameras will only reinforce the trust between the officers and the residents they protect. I congratulate them for securing these funds and thank them for everything they do for us.” Click here to see photos of the check presentation. Read more

 

O’Mara to present $40k check to Radnor police department

(Sep 09, 2019)

RADNOR, Sept. 9 – State Rep. Jennifer O’Mara, D-Delaware, accompanied by the Delco Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 27, will present the Radnor police force with a $40,000 check at the board of commissioners meeting this evening. The meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. at the Radnor Township building, 301 Iven Ave., Wayne, 19087. The funds will be distributed through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency’s grant program and will be used to purchase body cameras. “I’m honored to have the opportunity to present this check to the Radnor police force,” O’Mara said. “I’m confident that these body cams will increase transparency with the community and help protect both the public and the officers who work tirelessly to keep us all safe.” Read more

 

Labor Day Weekend Update for the 165th

(Aug 30, 2019)

Between last week’s senior expo, gun violence town hall and Dining on Saxer, I had the pleasure of meeting many community members, and I had great conversations with all of you. Read more

 

Help our students thrive today!

(Aug 21, 2019)

Every child deserves to start the school year feeling prepared, confident and ready to learn. Read more

 

O’Mara appointed to Public Higher Education Commission

(Aug 19, 2019)

SPRINGFIELD, Aug. 19 – State Rep. Jennifer O’Mara, D-Delaware, today announced her appointment to the state legislature’s Public Higher Education Commission. The purpose of the commission is to review and make recommendations related to higher education funding, affordability and effectiveness, administration and operations. O’Mara, who also organized the House Student Debt Caucus, will help develop a higher education funding formula for the 14 Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education universities and four state-related universities, which are Penn State, Pitt, Temple and Lincoln universities. Funding for the 18 higher education institutions will be determined on a case-by-case basis considering factors such as goals for higher education, the commonwealth’s higher education needs, graduation, retention and enrollment rates, student debt and financial aid, and any other factors related to higher education and the distribution of funding. The General Assembly would then need to authorize the proposed funding formula. O’Mara said the commission will also review and make findings and recommendations to the commonwealth, consult with and utilize expert advice, hold public hearings, review other states’ higher education funding formulas and develop proposed legislation based on the commission’s findings. “I’m honored and excited to be in a role where I can actively work toward fighting the student debt crisis Read more

 

Firearms legislation survey - I want your opinion!

(Aug 16, 2019)

It was a pleasure speaking with many of you during my town hall in Springfield last week. Read more

 

Help the 165 say good-bye to the spotted lanternfly

(Aug 02, 2019)

Recently, my district office staff and I had the pleasure of connecting with you at our Marple Town Hall and Spotted Lanternfly Interactive Awareness events. Read more

 

Summer 2019 Newsletter

(Jul 29, 2019)

Please enjoy the updates in the latest edition of my newsletter. Read more

 

Celebrating the 4th, a leadership program, and plenty of other news from Delco

(Jul 19, 2019)

These last few weeks have proven to be just as busy now that I’m back in Delco following budget season in Harrisburg. Read more

 

O'Mara standing with PES workers

(Jul 03, 2019)

On Tuesday, my staff and I attended a meeting at the United Steelworkers District 10-1 union hall in Norwood so we could hear directly from workers who are being impacted by the explosion and impending shut down of the oil refinery currently run by Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) in South Philadelphia. Also in attendance were Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon, members of Delco County Council, and state representatives from all over southeastern Pennsylvania, from both sides of the aisle. This is a nonpartisan issue, and I was glad to see so many come together to recognize that. The oil refinery in South Philadelphia has been in the industry since 1866 and has been instrumental in providing home heating oil, gasoline, and other refined sources of energy for states up and down the eastern seaboard for over a century. Now, after a recent explosion and fire, PES has announced they are suddenly shutting down the refinery, a huge surprise for thousands of workers in the region who depend on the refinery for their incomes. Thirteen families from my district are being impacted by the shut down, and that number only includes current employees, not retirees. In addition, over 2,000 union jobs and 30,000 tertiary jobs will be impacted in this region if we do nothing. One thing to me is abundantly clear — we owe it to the workers of the refinery to fight for their jobs. In the face of an emergency event that could’ve led to catastrophic results, the workers Read more

 

O’Mara lauds signing of PA GI Bill

(Jul 01, 2019)

HARRISBURG, July 1 – Members of the Pennsylvania National Guard can now send their spouses and children to college at no cost or at a substantially reduced cost if the guardsman reenlists for an additional six-year term, according to state Rep. Jennifer O’Mara, D-Delaware, who supported the new initiative. Gov. Tom Wolf today signed into law House Bill 1324, known as the PA GI Bill or Military Family Education Program. It is the first program of its kind in the nation. “Members of the Pennsylvania National Guard and their families make daily sacrifices to ensure the very rights we hold most dear,” O’Mara said. “These sacrifices include but are not limited to days and nights spent away from loved ones. “The PA GI Bill enables these same families the opportunity to continue their education without piling a financial burden onto their households.” The freshman state representative serves on the Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee and co-sponsored the bill. She has also served as an advocate with the Department of Veterans Affairs for her husband, a combat veteran and two-time Purple Heart recipient. PNG members are eligible for the Education Assistance Program as part of their initial service obligation of six years. It provides a non-transferable education benefit. The GI Bill provides members who reenlist the opportunity to receive five years of higher education benefits for their spouses and Read more

 

Veteran’s Trust Fund expected to get a boost from tax donations

(Jun 28, 2019)

HARRISBURG, June 28 – Legislation to put more money in the Veterans’ Trust Fund is headed to Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf for his signature, thanks in major part to a bill pioneered by state Rep. Jennifer O’Mara, D-Delaware. Under proposed changes to the state’s tax code, Pennsylvania residents would be able to designate a tax donation of any amount to the fund from their state income tax refund, increasing the opportunity to give directly to our vets. The change is expected to be signed into law by Sunday, along with the commonwealth’s package of annual budget bills . The VTF issues grants to statewide charitable organizations that assist veterans, veterans service organizations and county directors of veterans affairs to assist veterans in need of shelter and necessities of living. It serves any veteran who is in receipt of their DD Form 214. “Despite missing big opportunities to help more people and families, Harrisburg got this part of the budget deal right,” O’Mara said. “ By adding this voluntary contribution option, we are reaffirming our commitment to our nation's bravest heroes. "This funding comes from the hearts of others, where the capacity for Pennsylvanians to give for vets is stronger than currently encouraged," she added. "I'm confident that our citizens will heed this call and the Veterans' Trust Fund will see a vital boost in resources." The provisions of Read more