Education officials, advocates call for adequacy and equity in basic education funding at Samuelson virtual hearing

(Sep 01, 2021)

BETHLEHEM, Sept. 1 – Citing that only a small portion of overall education is run through the Fair Education Funding Formula, state Rep. Steve Samuelson held a virtual hearing to learn more from educators and advocates on how Pennsylvania can fulfill its constitutional obligation to provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of public education to serve the needs of the Commonwealth. “Adequate state funding can make education resources more equitable based on the way we choose to allocate money,” Samuelson said. “The Fair Funding Formula was approved in 2016 but has not yet been fully implemented. We made progress this year with $100 million in Level Up funding distributed to underfunded districts like the Bethlehem Area School District. We need to continue efforts to fully implement the Fair Funding Formula.” Sean Brandon, Budget Analyst for the House Appropriations Committee began his presentation noting the importance of that constitutional commitment and shared how the Fair Funding Formula and budget practices allocate funds to school districts across the state. Joseph Roy, Bethlehem Area School District Superintendent and Karen Beck-Pooley, Bethlehem Area School District Director, shared from a district-level perspective of how they use the state funds received, noting challenges with charter school reimbursements and rising special education costs. Communities of color are disproportionately Read more

 

Fair Funding Formula for Equitable Education

(Aug 31, 2021)

A hearing on fair funding formula hosted by state Rep. Steve Samuelson. Read more

 

Fairly funding education focus of Samuelson hearing Wednesday

(Aug 31, 2021)

Bethlehem, Aug. 31 – Pennsylvania regularly falls at the bottom nationally when it comes to adequately funding basic education and state Rep. Steve Samuelson is hosting a public hearing to discuss how the fair funding formula can help better serve students and the economy. The hearing will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 1 online at www.pahouse.com/policy . The public and media are welcome to tune in online. Media inquiries may be submitted to policy@pahouse.net . Samuelson, D-Northampton, will be joined by Policy Committee Chairman Ryan Bizzarro and members of the House Democratic Policy Committee, to further discuss how education investments ultimately result in economic returns to the state in the form of a more prepared workforce and productive citizens. Level Up funding from the current fiscal year will also be discussed. Read more

 

Education and Fair Funding - Testimony

(Aug 31, 2021)

Testimony from Rep. Steve Samuelson's hearing on education and fair funding. Read more

 

Schweyer to highlight Allentown’s Neighborhood Improvement Zone at Policy Committee tour Tuesday

(Aug 30, 2021)

LEHIGH, Aug. 30 – The benefits of Pennsylvania’s Neighborhood Improvement Zone program will be on display for policy makers at a Democratic Policy Committee tour hosted by state Rep. Peter Schweyer. The tour -- from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 31 -- will begin at the IBEW Local 375, 101 S. 7 th St., Allentown. The media is encouraged to attend. Lawmakers from across the state, including Chairman Ryan Bizzarro, will join Schweyer for a look at how the NIZ -- currently funded by 97% state tax revenue and 3% local revenue -- has worked to attract developers and revitalize downtown Allentown. Media inquiries may be submitted to policy@pahouse.net . Read more

 

Fireworks Legalization Impact on the Community- Testimony

(Aug 30, 2021)

Testimony from Rep. Jeanne McNeill's hearing on the impact of fireworks legalization on the community. Read more

 

McNeill to host public hearing Monday on community impact of fireworks law updates

(Aug 26, 2021)

WHITEHALL, Aug. 26 -- Updates to the state fireworks law have had many unintended consequences that impact public safety and are putting a strain on law enforcement throughout the state, and state Rep. Jeanne McNeill is hosting a public hearing to discuss what the legislature can do. The hearing will be held at 1 p.m. Monday, Aug. 30 at the Teamsters Local 773 Union Hall, 3614 Lehigh St., Whitehall. The public is welcome, and the media is encouraged to attend. McNeill, D-Lehigh, will be joined by Policy Committee Chairman Ryan Bizzarro and members of the House Democratic Policy Committee, many of whom have similar concerns amidst increases in community concerns and pyrotechnic related accidents. McNeill, along with state Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, has introduced H.B. 988 aimed at repealing the most recent changes to the fireworks law and reinstating provisions as they existed pre-Act 43. Media inquiries may be submitted to policy@pahouse.net . Read more

 

Fireworks Legalization - The Impact on the Community

(Aug 26, 2021)

Rep. Jeanne McNeill to host a Policy Committee hearing on fireworks legislation and its impact on the community. Read more

 

Fireworks Legalization - The Impact on the Community

(Aug 26, 2021)

A hearing with state Rep. Jeanne McNeill. Read more

 

Cumberland Mine Tour

(Aug 25, 2021)

A tour and roundtable discussion with Rep. Pam Snyder. Read more

 

Cumberland Mine Tour

(Aug 25, 2021)

A tour and roundtable discussion with Rep. Pam Snyder. Read more

 

Magee Women's Health Center Tour

(Aug 24, 2021)

The House Democratic Policy Committee partnered with the Women's Health Caucus for a tour of Magee Women's Health Center, followed by a roundtable discussion. The event, held on Tuesday, August 24, 2021, allowed for members to discuss with the staff at UPMC Magee-Women's Hospital about what they are doing, and what the state could be doing to help save lives. Thank you to Chairs Dan Frankel, Mary Jo Daley and Morgan Cephas for hosting the discussion and being champions of women's health. Due to COVID-19 safety and mitigation efforts, this meeting was only open to legislators and staff. Read more

 

Magee Women's Health Center Tour

(Aug 24, 2021)

A tour of UPMC Magee Women's Health Center. Read more

 

Labor and Its Impact on PA

(Aug 24, 2021)

State Reps. Tina Davis and Nick Pisciottano welcomed the House Democratic Policy Committee to Pittsburgh to tour area trades facilities. The tour highlighted how unions don't just build pyhsical things, they build the middle class and economy. The committee toured Insulators Local #2, EAS Carpenters, IBEW Local #5, and SteamFitters Local #449. Follow @PADemPolicy on Twitter for more information from the tour. Due to COVID-19 safety and mitigation efforts, this event was closed to the media and public. Read more

 

Labor and Its Impact on PA

(Aug 23, 2021)

A House Democratic Policy Committee tour with Representatives Tina Davis and Nick Pisciottano. Read more

 

Herrin highlights PA childcare needs at public hearing

(Aug 18, 2021)

WEST CHESTER, Aug. 18 -- Strengthening Pennsylvania’s childcare system and supporting children and families was the focus at state Rep. Dianne Herrin’s House Democratic Policy Committee hearing. Herrin’s hearing took a comprehensive look at the vital role quality child care plays in children’s development and Pennsylvania’s economy. “Well-funded early childhood education and high-quality child care set a foundation for the future success of our children,” Herrin said. “This is not just a women’s issue or a family issue, but an issue that impacts all of our communities, our economy, and our long-term success as a society and nation. I believe shining a light on the significant staffing shortage our providers face, insufficient government funding, and need for high-quality care will bring about bipartisan policy solutions that will ensure healthy growth and development of our children. This will benefit all of us.” Betsy Billie, executive director of the West Chester Area Day Care Center, focused on the difficulty of retaining staff and challenges faced through the COVID-19 pandemic. Jonathan Ragonese shared a parent perspective, including the difficulty of balancing costs with work and family expenses. The real cost of quality child care is akin to tuition at a state-funded university. Carol Austin, executive director of First Up and Kimberly Early, director of public policy and advocacy with Read more

 

Childcare Access & Early Childhood Education- Testimony

(Aug 17, 2021)

Testimony from Representative Herrin's hearing on childcare access and early education. Read more

 

Police, Labor Relations topic of public hearing hosted by Pa. Legislative Black Caucus Wednesday

(Aug 17, 2021)

Philadelphia, Aug. 17 – State Rep. Donna Bullock is convening a meeting of the House Democratic Policy Committee and Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus to discuss the role of labor in police reforms. The hearing will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, August 18 at Temple University, Fox Gittis Room, 1776 N. Broad St., Philadelphia . The Fox Gittis Room is located just off the Broad Street Lobby, Alumni Hall at the Liacouras Center. The media and public are encouraged to attend. Masks are required. Additional information about this and other House Democratic Policy Committee hearings is available at www.pahouse.com/policy . Read more

 

Hill-Evans hearing vets legislative efforts to back veterans

(Aug 16, 2021)

YORK, Aug. 16 -- York state Rep. Carol Hill-Evans welcomed state Sen. Katie Muth and members of the PA House Democratic Policy Committee for a discussion on how to help veterans working to overcome their post-traumatic stress disorder. “Ensuring those who sacrificed so much for their country are receiving the proper care and services they need are always a top legislative priority. This public hearing made certain these priorities continue to be at the forefront of the policy discussions in Harrisburg,” Hill-Evans explained. The committee heard testimony from Lee Horowitz, legislative director and senior executive vice Commander, National & State Navy Club USA; Diane Yoder, president and CEO of the Jarett Yoder Foundation, and mother of CW2 Jarett Yoder; Craig Trebilcock, York County Court of Common Pleas judge; and York County District Attorney Dave Sunday about how legislative modifications can help veterans get the support they need and overcome the scars of war. Hill-Evans said she’s grateful to the committee for the platform for her legislation, H.B.s 688 and 691, and looks forward to continuing to develop policies that address veterans’ needs, including homelessness and post-conviction reviews for veterans with PTSD or traumatic brain injury. Full testimony from the hearing is available at www.pahouse.com/policy . Read more

 

Veterans Support - Testimony

(Aug 16, 2021)

Testimony from state Rep. Hill-Evans' hearing on supporting veterans suffering from PTSD. Read more