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Gov. Wolf Signs Three Bills to Protect Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Rozzi measures recognize commitment of military and their families

(Oct 25, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 30 – State Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, has introduced several bills designed to facilitate job opportunities for military members and their families. “Our commonwealth is home to military service members and families representing every branch of the armed forces, and military service members make noble sacrifices for the American people every day,” Rozzi said. “We cannot honor the men and women in uniform enough for that. It is important that we also address the personal support systems of our service members – their families.” Rozzi's first bill (H.B. 1675) would offer military spouses greater ease in obtaining the transfer of their professional license to Pennsylvania. "The lives of military spouses are marked by frequent deployments, relocations and extended periods of single parenthood. These unique circumstances post a significant obstacle to the maintenance of professional licenses. House Bill 1675 would allow military spouses to move more rapidly and efficiently into the workforce by providing a streamlined process for transferring their professional license to this state," Rozzi said. His second bill (H.B. 1678) would create the Veteran's Entrepreneurial Training and Support Program to provide small-business services to veterans and reservists, with the goal of helping them obtain the necessary skills to create, manage and operate a small business. "It is critical that we pursue policies that stimulate the economy, move businesses forward and crea Read more


Rozzi, volunteers to rehab Veterans Grove starting Oct. 17

(Oct 15, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 15 – State Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, the Berks County Monument Preservation Committee, Reading JROTC and Berks County will begin a project to rehab and beautify Reading's City Park Veterans Grove. The work will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 17. "Veterans Grove is an area of the park dedicated to the men and women who fought for our country, and we should not let that memorial to them deteriorate," Rozzi said. "These monuments were erected in their honor, but there isn't any funding in place for their perpetual care, and the elements are taking their toll. Unfortunately, the city of Reading just isn't in a financial position to maintain the monuments and markers. Our goal with this project is to clean and spruce up the area to help extend the life expectancy of these memorials." Rozzi and about 30 volunteers will extensively clean the monuments, in some cases, removing decades of dirt and grime from their facades. They will wax the bronze plaques to remove dirt and extend their life expectancies, and prep and paint the large gun stands. Landscaping work also will take place, including adding mulch and planting perennials and grasses, edging the walkways, and picking up trash. "We want to make sure that Veterans Grove in Reading City Park remains a proper tribute to our veterans. It's the least we can do in their honor and memory," Rozzi said. Rozzi said he expects the work to be completed before Veterans Day. Read more


Rozzi: Say ‘No More’ to Domestic Violence

(Oct 13, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Mark Rozzi takes part in the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence's honoring of women and men who’ve died as a result of domestic violence in the past year. Rozzi reads the names of those who’ve lost their lives in Berks County and says it’s time to bring more awareness and encourage people to say “no more” to domestic violence and sexual assault. More information about this issue can be found at www.pasaysnomore.com. Read more


Rozzi, Monument Preservation Committee and Wilson Student volunteers to restore veterans monument Thursday

(Oct 13, 2015)

TEMPLE, Oct. 13 – State Rep. Mark Rozzi, along with the Berks County Preservation Committee and student volunteers from the Wilson High School Interact Club at Wilson High School will clean and beautify the military monuments and plaques and the surrounding areas in Charles Evans Cemetery in Reading. The volunteers will begin the work at 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 15 at the cemetery, 1119 Centre Ave., Reading. "I continue to be amazed at the support we are getting from all corners of the county, both financially and physically," said Rozzi, D-Berks. "With the Preservation Committee still in its infancy, we continue to make strides towards ensuring these memorials all over the county are well cared for and show the respect which the honored men and women deserve for their sacrifices." In addition to caring for the county's historical monuments, the Berks County Preservation Committee also seeks to educate about them. “We are also rolling out an educational piece, where local historians will be speaking to and teaching our volunteers about the eras and battles the monuments on which we are working. We are excited to hopefully get young folks and adults alike excited about what these monuments represent," said Preservation Committee and Fund President Chad Schlanger. “My students are excited to team up with the Preservation Fund and Representative Rozzi and do this valuable work. Community Service at its core is our mission and this fits perfectly with what my students want to Read more


At Capitol event, Rozzi commemorates victims of domestic violence

(Oct 13, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 13 -- State Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, participated in a ceremony held today by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence honoring the Pennsylvania victims of domestic violence killed over the past year. This is the second consecutive year for PCADV’s ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda, as it commemorates October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the commonwealth. Rozzi was accompanied by over a dozen members of the General Assembly, family members of victims of domestic violence and advocates against domestic violence, including the executive director of PCADV, Peg Dierkers, who delivered the ceremony’s opening remarks. "It doesn’t matter what socio-economic status you come from," Rozzi said. "Anyone can be a victim. We need to do more to help them." In an act of commemoration, Rozzi and the other legislators read the names of the 120 Pennsylvania victims of domestic violence killed in the past year. To help pay tribute to the victims, advocates against domestic violence pieced together a puzzle of an image of Pennsylvania, the pieces of which presented the names of the past year’s victims. Dierkers called domestic violence an “issue for everyone,” with the number of cases “still at epidemic proportions.” She emphasized the need for Pennsylvanians to come together in standing up to domestic violence. “Each loss of life is a loss for all,” she said. Also in attendance was the Commonwealth’s Victim Advocate, Jennifer Storm, and the CEO of th Read more


Rozzi: Help Child Abuse Victims Now

(Sep 21, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Mark Rozzi says child sex abuse victims must be given more time to get justice against their abusers. His H.B. 661 would raise the age for an adult victim of child sex abuse to file a civil claim from 30 to 50 years old, among other things. Rozzi, a victim of child abuse himself, adds it takes some victims years, and even decades, to come forward with their stories of abuse, so there shouldn’t be an expiration date barring them from seeking action against perpetrators. Read more


Rozzi joined by advocates, stakeholders to modernize child sex abuse statutes of limitations

(Sep 21, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 21 — State Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, held a Capitol news conference today to highlight the drastic need for reform of Pennsylvania’s archaic laws affecting victims of child sexual abuse. Rozzi was accompanied by state Sen. Rob Teplitz, D-Dauphin/Perry; Rep. Louise Williams Bishop, D-Phila.; Rep. Tom Murt, R-Montgomery/Phila.; and prominent reform advocates to discuss their respective bills, which are largely modeled after previously introduced legislation that would modify the statute of limitations to allow victims to seek civil action against perpetrators. Rozzi’s House Bill 661 and Teplitz’s Senate Bill 582, which is an identical Senate companion bill, would raise the age for an adult victim of child sex abuse to file a civil claim from 30 to 50 and permit previously time-barred victims to bring suit. "Five million dollars has been allocated in our state budget to ensure the Pope’s safety this week in Philadelphia," Rozzi said. "Hours were spent in last month’s 'mock' House session decrying how we don’t care about funding for rape victims and yet not one finger has been lifted in the past ten years by our leaders to enact laws which will actually stop the culture of abuse in this commonwealth." "There’s no expiration date on the pain survivors endure, there should be no expiration date on when they seek justice," Teplitz said. "Our legislation is a fair and reasonable reform measure that needs to be considered now." Bishop’s House Bill 655 would el Read more


Rozzi slams Republicans for using victims of rape as a political football during budget debates

(Aug 25, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 25 – State Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, today voted against the state House Republicans’ budget line-item veto override attempts, stating that the votes were an “unconstitutional stunt” that inappropriately attempted to use victims of sexual abuse as justification. Rozzi, who has worked closely with the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, said victim rights groups are focused on expanding the ability of survivors of child sexual abuse to seek justice and accountability and that it is inappropriate to drag these victims into a partisan debate about the state budget. Rozzi pointed out that victims of child sexual abuse constitutes nearly 30 percent of cases at PCAR’s rape crisis centers. “I understand that political differences can cause tempers and tensions to rise, but that is not an excuse for the majority party in the General Assembly to use victims of rape and sexual abuse as a political football,” Rozzi said. “How dare they say they are fighting for these victims when they are also simultaneously blocking legislation that would reform the archaic and arbitrary laws that prevent true justice in our state.” Rozzi noted that statute of limitation reform legislation has been held up in committee by the Republican majority for 10 years. Currently, Rozzi’s reform legislation, H.B. 661, is awaiting consideration from the House Judiciary Committee. “If my colleagues from the other side of the aisle are ready to get serious about doing what is right for the Read more


Rozzi holds Disability Resource Fair

(Jul 30, 2015)

TEMPLE, July 30 – State Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, hosted constituents and community partners this week at a Disability Resource Fair. Rozzi said he hosted this fair to ensure that the people of Berks County knew about state and federal resources available for individuals with disabilities or those taking care of them. The fair also focused on resources available for veterans and for older Pennsylvanians. “Since I have been in office, I have encountered so many families and individuals who are looking for resources to help them address these type issues,” Rozzi said. “By bringing such a diverse program close to home, I hope that we can connect more people and increase opportunities for everyone." At the fair, community partners and disability advocates presented seminars on a variety of topics. Rozzi held an informative legislative update during the event, including a question-and-answer segment. Fair attendees also had the opportunity to visit with a wide range of exhibitors. "I am happy to be able to provide so many resources in one location to my constituents, and I am very grateful to the individuals and organizations that made this Disability Resource Fair such a success," Rozzi said. "I look forward to holding similar events that bring valuable information and resources to the community in the near future." Read more


Rozzi: Republican Math Fails Pa.

(Jul 28, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Mark Rozzi joined other House Democrats in York to call for a responsible state budget leading to increased education funding and lower property taxes. They say Gov. Tom Wolf was right to veto the Republican budget, which was loaded with funding gimmicks and failed to address the state's $3 billion structural budget deficit, underfunded schools, and skyrocketing property taxes forcing Pennsylvanians out of their homes. Read more


Rozzi hopes to open eyes with the IVIEW program

(Jul 22, 2015)

TEMPLE, July 22 – State Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, introduced legislation today that would establish the Infant Vision Information, Education and Wellness program. Rozzi's legislation, House Bill 1478, is intended to increase early detection of vision and potentially life-threatening abnormalities, including cataracts, glaucoma, leukocoria and retinoblastoma, by requiring all newborns be screened for vision abnormalities before leaving the hospital. All newborns who are not born in a hospital would need to be screened within the first 30 days of life. "When a newborn is delivered in a Pennsylvania hospital, almost every part of the body is examined and tested to ensure that baby is healthy," Rozzi said. "The eyes are one major exception to this, though, and this oversight has resulted in serious ailments going untreated." Rozzi said he learned about the seriousness of eye ailments through his chief of staff, Chad Schlanger, whose son, Lawrence, was born with glaucoma. "Lawrence was born happy and seemingly healthy. It wasn't until mother and child were discharged from the hospital that they noticed a cloudiness in Lawrence's eye," Rozzi said. "A highly-skilled ophthalmologist diagnosed Lawrence with glaucoma, and after multiple surgeries and procedures, he is now doing well and staying healthy with medication." Rozzi explained that while Lawrence will have to wear glasses for the rest of his life due to the damage that was done to the optic nerve by high pressure befo Read more


Rozzi and staff lend a vet a hand as part of Operation Renovation

(Jul 10, 2015)

TEMPLE, July 10 – State Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, and his staff teamed up with community partners Thursday to help to renovate a local veteran's home as part of Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Berks' "Operation Renovation." "The brave men and women who've served our country in the armed forced deserve our respect and appreciation and I am happy to be able to do my part," Rozzi said. "Initiatives like Operation Renovation are great because they bring the community together to do something good for one of our neighbors." Rozzi and his staff assisted the homeowner with interior updates of the home, replacing lathe siding on the house and other repairs. Operation Renovation is a week-long event that encourages community members to assist veterans and their families with household repairs and renovations free of charge. Read more


Rozzi: Sham Budget Denies Property Tax Relief

(Jun 27, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Mark Rozzi voted “no” on a bad Pennsylvania budget that does nothing to help restore school funding cuts that have hurt students in our area and does nothing to reduce property taxes for homeowners. Read more


House passes Thomas bill to modernize Second Stage Loan Program

(Jun 24, 2015)

HARRISBURG, June 24 – State Rep. W. Curtis Thomas, D-Phila., announced today that legislation he authored to modernize and streamline the Second Stage Loan Program has passed the House of Representatives. "I'd like to thank my colleagues in the House and especially the members of the Commerce Committee for their support of this effort. Creating an environment that allows businesses to prosper is a vital component of ensuring a bright future for Pennsylvania," said Thomas, Democratic chairman of the House Commerce Committee. The Second Stage Loan Program, one of eight programs created in 2004 when the Commonwealth Financing Authority was established, provides loan guarantees to commercial lending institutions that make loans to Pennsylvanian businesses in the life sciences, advanced technology or manufacturing industries. The program is intended to help business that are past the startup phase but have not yet matured enough to be able to borrow funds based on their financial strength. House Bill 810 alters the requirements of the Second Stage Loan Program to allow business that have existed for more than seven years to participate. Currently, only businesses that are at least two years but less than seven years old are eligible for the program. The bill would also give the CFA the authority to determine the maximum loan guarantee and adjust it based on market conditions. "The restrictions on the age of the businesses and other components proved to be unnecessarily rest Read more


Rozzi applauds local farmers' and artists' market on grand opening

(Jun 24, 2015)

TEMPLE, June 24 – State Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, is encouraging constituents of the 126th Legislative District to join him at the Antietam Valley Farmers' and Artists' Market for a ribbon cutting and grand opening celebration. The grand opening event will take place at 8 a.m. Saturday at the historic Carsonia Park, 905 Byram St., Pennside. "I am always happy to support events that support our community and local businesses," Rozzi said. "The Antietam Valley Farmers' and Artists' Market is a valuable asset for the area that promotes locally grown food and artisan crafts. I wish them well on their grand opening and I look forward to attending the market regularly." More than 25 vendors will be present at the grand opening event offering goods ranging from fresh meats and produce to a variety of homemade products. The Antietam Valley Farmers' and Artists' Market will take place every Saturday until the end of October. Read more


Rozzi urges Kane to take up new Sandusky case

(Jun 05, 2015)

TEMPLE, June 5 – State Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, today said Attorney General Kathleen Kane should reconsider her decision to not take up the criminal complaint Anthony Spinelli Jr. filed against Jerry Sandusky – and is urging his General Assembly colleagues to support his legislation that would extend the statute of limitations in child sexual abuse cases. Rozzi said he believes Spinelli, who was reportedly assaulted by Sandusky in 1988 at a recruitment camp at Penn State, deserves his day in court. Spinelli filed a criminal complaint last year but no action has been taken by the Office of the Attorney General because Kane claims the statute of limitations has elapsed. "For victims of child sexual abuse, the pain and suffering never goes away. The perpetrators often suffer no consequences because of arbitrary time limits imposed on victims. But this case is different, Mr. Spinelli should be well within his rights to file a criminal complaint and Attorney General Kane should do everything within her power to pursue the case," Rozzi said. "This situation highlights the absurdity of statute of limitations laws for child sexual abuse cases. The legal system should be supportive of victims and not allow abusers to hide behind a technicality." Rozzi's legislation, H.B. 661, would raise the age at which an adult victim of child sex abuse could file a civil claim from 30 to 50 and allow previously time-barred victims to bring a suit to court. Rozzi is also supporting a Read more


Rozzi proposal seeks to increase early detection of eye abnormalities

(May 26, 2015)

TEMPLE, May 26 – In an effort to increase early detection of vision and potentially life-threatening abnormalities, state Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, said he intends to introduce legislation that would establish the Infant Vision Information, Education and Wellness program. Rozzi's proposal would ensure that all newborns are screened for vision abnormalities before leaving the hospital. All newborns who are not born in a hospital would need to be screened within the first 30 days of life. "The intent of the IVIEW program is to ensure every child in this commonwealth is properly screened for possibly debilitating vision abnormalities that potentially could cost them their vision or even their lives," Rozzi said. "The good news is that screening for these abnormalities is a simple process and early treatment often can resolve the underlying issue." Rozzi said the ailments that the IVIEW screening could detect include cataracts, glaucoma, leukocoria and retinoblastoma. The IVIEW program, which would be established within the Department of Health, also would provide all parents with information about the merits of continued screening and details about needed follow-up care. "A simple eye test can make a world of difference for children born with these abnormalities," Rozzi said. "I look forward to introducing my legislation shortly to address this crucial issue. Rozzi said the IVIEW program would bring Pennsylvania closer to meeting the current American Acade Read more


Rozzi thanks supporters for successful Statute of Limitations Reform Lobby Day

(Apr 15, 2015)

HARRISBURG, April 15 – After a strong showing of support from legislators, advocates and victims, state Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, called today’s lobby day in support of reforms to statute of limitations reform in cases of child sexual abuse a success. Read more


Rozzi: Advocates to lobby for statute of limitations reform bills

(Apr 14, 2015)

HARRISBURG, April 14 – State Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, announced today that survivors and advocates for statute of limitations reform in cases of child sexual abuse will be at the state Capitol to encourage House Judiciary Committee action on bipartisan legislation to protect victims better. Read more


Spring 2015 Rozzi Report

(Apr 13, 2015)

This January marked the beginning of my second term as your state representative. I am honored and humbled to serve you and represent the 126th Legislative District in the General Assembly. This session, my legislative priorities include property tax relief, public safety and small business development. I will also continue my work to help protect victims of sexual abuse. Read more