Sainato: $20,000 grant to develop plans for new Shenango Township community park

(2 hours ago)

NEW CASTLE, Sept. 24 – A $20,000 grant from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will fund plans to develop a new community park in Shenango Township, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. Sainato said the grant – awarded through DCNR’s 2020 Community Conservation Partnerships Program – will fund preparation of a master site development plan for the 20-acre Shenango Township Community Park. “Life during the pandemic has highlighted the importance of safe, affordable options for exercise and relaxation,” Sainato said. “Securing this funding is going to lay the groundwork for new outdoor spaces where Shenango Township families can relax, play and bond with neighbors.” The grant is part of a package of approximately $23.4 million in funding to 158 projects statewide. C2P2 grants fund planning, acquisition and development of public parks, recreation areas, motorized and non-motorized trails, river conservation and access and conservation of open space. A complete list of funding awarded is available here and more information on C2P2 grants is available here . Read more

 

Sainato hails passage of bill to broaden restaurant guidelines

(1 day ago)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 23 – Calling it a victory for restaurant and bar owners, state Rep. Chris Sainato lauded today’s House vote to pass the Senate-amended H.B. 2513, which would expand capacity for restaurants and bars to a minimum of 50% provided they comply with CDC safety guidelines. Sainato, D-Lawrence, said the bill – which also would allow permit patrons to again sit at bars and remove the requirement of a meal with the purchase of alcohol – is critical for keeping restaurants and bars in business. “Our restaurant and tavern industries, our private clubs and our VFWs have all been shut down for six months, and many can barely survive,” Sainato said. “It’s time to stop penalizing these hardworking mom-and-pop businesses who are playing by the rules and doing everything they can to keep patrons safe. It’s time to go after the bad actors and stop punishing those who are acting responsibly to protect their customers. “Sadly, some of these well-loved community establishments have already shut down and are not coming back. If we don’t act now, we’ll only lose more. I’m glad a number of my colleagues joined me in deciding that it’s time to trust our local business owners and give them the respect they deserve so they can continue supporting their families – and our local economy.” The bill passed on a concurrence vote of 145-56 and now heads to the Read more

 

Sainato urging veto override on school sports bill

(Sep 22, 2020)

NEW CASTLE, Sept. 22 – Saying the Wolf administration is treading where it does not belong, state Rep. Chris Sainato is calling on the House to reconvene and override the governor’s veto of legislation that would allow school officials to decide rules on fall sports and spectators. Sainato, D-Lawrence, said he co-sponsored H.B. 2787 – which would authorize school officials to determine whether fall sporting events, spectators and other extracurricular activities should go forward during COVID-19 – because it leaves these fundamental safety decisions in the hands of those best qualified to make them. “We don’t need to be telling school administrators and staff how to do their job,” Sainato said. “We routinely trust them when it comes to protecting our kids from all kinds of hazards, from fire to flu to security issues. We trust them when it comes to assessing building security, requesting resources and developing and implementing safety plans. And we can trust them now because we know student safety is their No. 1 priority. “It’s time to return these decisions to the school officials and staff who are in the best position to make them. They are the ones who understand their districts’ unique facilities and capabilities, and they are the ones who should be making these calls, not the governor. I’m calling on my colleagues to reconvene and override this veto Read more

 

Sainato: Grant funding will provide New Castle students access to fresh fruits, vegetables

(Sep 21, 2020)

NEW CASTLE, Sept. 21 – Grant funding to two Lawrence County schools will help ensure that students have access to plentiful fresh fruits and vegetables. Sainato announced today that funding awarded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program includes grants to the Harry W. Lockley Early Learning Center and Washington Intermediate School in the New Castle Area School District. “Diet is a key component in learning,” Sainato said. “We have known for years that students with access to healthy, nutritious foods focus better, do better on tests and generally perform better in the classroom. “Unfortunately, COVID-19 makes it more difficult for some households to enjoy a fresh supply of produce on the table. This funding will help more students in those homes find access to the fruits and vegetables that they need for the best possible start in life.” The funding is part of a package of more than $7 million in grants to 230 elementary schools. Under the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, schools will receive between $50 and $75 per student, based upon the federal allocation to the state. Funding priority was given to the schools with the highest rates of students eligible for free and reduced-price meals. More information on the grants is available here . Read more

 

Sainato calls return to 50% capacity good news for local restaurants but questions alcohol service restrictions

(Sep 08, 2020)

NEW CASTLE, Sept. 8 – State Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, said he is encouraged by news that restaurants may return to 50% indoor capacity beginning Sept. 21, subject to a self-certification requirement, but he questioned new and existing alcohol service restrictions he said could negate or dilute any positive economic impacts. “ We called on the governor to lift an overly broad, arbitrary rule that placed restaurants in an economic stranglehold, and we succeeded. The administration’s response abolishing the rule comes none too soon, with so many restaurants struggling to survive. Restoring the 50% capacity rule makes sense and will help our businesses get back on the path to economic vitality. “At the same time, the administration is keeping certain harmful restrictions in place, including a ban on bar service and a requirement that alcohol can only be served for on-premises consumption when in the same transaction as a meal. Those requirements – together with another that will require restaurants to stop serving alcohol by 10 p.m. – stand to counter many of the positive impacts achieved by restoring broader occupancy. “Restaurants depend on a robust after-dinner patronage, and many social and veterans’ clubs are not set up to serve food. Absent a sound, health-based justification, I would urge the governor to reconsider these restrictions.” Read more

 

Sainato: House passes measure permitting school districts to decide on sports, spectators, activities

(Sep 02, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 2 – The House today passed a bill that would empower local school districts to determine whether fall sports and other activities can go forward, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. Sainato said he co-sponsored H.B. 2787 – which would allow local districts to determine rules regarding practices, games and spectators – because he believes school district officials, rather than the governor, are in the best position to make the decision. “When it comes to keeping students, athletes and spectators safe, I believe the individual school districts – not the governor – are in the best position to make the call,” Sainato said. “They understand their schools’ unique capabilities, facilities and other features that will determine what activities are safe and whether spectators such as parents can safely attend to watch their kids compete. “Their No. 1 interest is protecting the safety and wellbeing of their students and staff, and I believe we can trust them to make the right decisions.” The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration. Read more

 

Sainato calls on state to issue new round of hazard pay grants

(Aug 26, 2020)

NEW CASTLE, Aug. 26 -- Citing the many frontline workers excluded from the recent round of grants under the COVID-19 hazard pay program, state Rep. Chris Sainato is urging officials in charge of the program to “do it right” and issue a new round of grants to those left out. In a letter to Dennis Davin, secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development, Sainato and several colleagues wrote that workers who were considered essential in March and April are struggling to understand why they have been excluded from that category now. “As chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, I work with EMTs, with firefighters and police,” Sainato said. “When residents were asked to stay in and limit exposure, these frontline heroes were the ones going in day after day, despite huge risks to themselves and their families. Yet they were left out of the hazard pay program, along with nurses, healthcare workers and so many others. “If we were calling these workers essential then, why were they suddenly hung out to dry when it came time to reward their courage and dedication? These first responders and other frontline workers have given everything to keep us safe – and they’re still at it. This is no time to pass them by. It’s time to do something for these heroes.” Read more

 

Sainato: More than $131,000 in targeted funding to support historically underserved students

(Aug 25, 2020)

NEW CASTLE, Aug. 25 -- Student groups in Lawrence County identified as consistently underperforming will have new support thanks to $131,022 in grant funding to two school agencies and districts, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. Sainato said the grants, awarded under the Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund, will provide targeted support where it is most needed. “This kind of investment helps to level the playing field,” Sainato said. “Students in historically underserved areas can slip behind, and without the necessary support, it can be difficult for them to catch up. The difficulties are compounded because of changes and extra resources demanded by the pandemic. “These funds will help ensure all students in our area get the support they need to perform and thrive – at a time when it is most needed.” The grants include the following: New Castle Area School District – $79,043. Midwestern Intermediate Unit 4 – $51,979. The funding is part of a package of approximately $17 million to help 220 local education agencies including school districts, to improve educational services for approximately 180,000 students at schools designated for Additional Targeted Support and Improvement under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. The act requires Pennsylvania and other states to develop plans to assist Read more

 

Sainato: Nearly $50,000 awarded to ensure area students with special needs continue learning

(Aug 20, 2020)

NEW CASTLE, Aug. 20 -- Grant funding totaling $49,522 will help ensure that Lawrence County students with special needs do not fall behind during the pandemic, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. Sainato said that the funding, which will be split among seven area school districts, will allow educators to implement specially tailored strategies as schools turn to remote and virtual learning. “Our Lawrence County teachers are both dedicated and flexible, and they have worked to put new methods into place to keep kids learning during the pandemic,” Sainato said. “A critical challenge, however, has been ensuring that students with special needs – who benefit particularly from direct, in-person learning – don’t fall behind because of suspended in-person, classroom learning. “This funding is going to help our teachers and support staff meet that challenge by providing resources for real-time learning and other supports that ensure these students continue thriving and learning.” The grants include the following: Laurel School District – $3,767. Mohawk Area School District – $10,432. Neshannock Township School District – $5,000. New Castle Area School District – $13,499. Shenango Area School District – $5,000. Union Area School District – $5,000. Wilmington Area School District – Read more

 

Sainato: Nearly $1 million to fund Lawrence County sanitation projects

(Aug 17, 2020)

NEW CASTLE, Aug. 17 – Two grants totaling $950,000 will help the New Castle Sanitation Authority continue improving the infrastructure that provides a safe, clean water supply for Lawrence County residents, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. Sainato said the funding from the Commonwealth Financing Authority includes $750,000 for upgrades to the New Castle wastewater treatment plant and $200,000 to rehabilitate Union and New Castle sewer lines. “The wastewater treatment plant, which was built more than 50 years ago, has been experiencing hydraulic overloads during wet weather, which has caused flows to bypass secondary water treatment,” Sainato said. “This funding is going to address that problem, which poses a potential health risk and has been the subject of a consent decree enforcing federal regulations. “Additional funding will rehabilitate area sewer lines, some of which have partially collapsed. Both grants – together with funding the sanitation authority received last month – are going save taxpayers in the long run and help ensure that our community has a reliable, safe water supply for decades to come.” Sainato said the $750,000 grant comes from the H20 PA grant program and will fund improvements to the wastewater treatment plant’s headworks building, construction of new wet-weather facilities, modifications to yard piping and existing storm Read more

 

Sainato: $335,000 to fund blight removal, housing counseling services for Lawrence County

(Aug 13, 2020)

NEW CASTLE, Aug. 13 – Funding totaling $335,000 to two area organizations will help address blight in Lawrence County and expand housing counseling services for residents, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. Sainato said the Lawrence County Department of Planning and Community will receive $300,000 for a blight removal program, while Housing Opportunities of Beaver County will receive $35,000 to expand housing counseling services for residents. The funding is administered by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency through the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Fund. “This funding is going to bring exciting developments that change the landscape, quite literally, for the better,” Sainato said. “Funding for the Lawrence County Blight Removal Program will identify neighborhoods where blight removal can kickstart private investment, which will work to rejuvenate the local economy. “At the same time, funding to the housing opportunities organization will allow it to expand its housing counseling to Lawrence County so that more of our residents here have the benefit of developing the solid skills and knowledge they need for successful homeownership. Securing this funding is going to open doors for more Lawrence County residents who need safe, secure housing,” Sainato said. Money comes into PHARE from three sources: Marcellus Shale Impact Fees, Realty Read more

 

Sainato: Nearly $75,000 in funding to ensure area students have access to remote learning

(Aug 07, 2020)

NEW CASTLE, Aug. 7 – Several Lawrence County schools will receive $74,800 in grants to ensure students have the resources needed to access remote and online learning, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today.Sainato said the grants – administered by the state Department of Education through the Continuity of Education and Equity Grant program – include the following: Mohawk Area School District – $33,000 Union Area School District – $21,500 Lawrence County Career and Technical Center – $20,300 “As many classrooms remain closed during the pandemic, remote lessons are providing a lifeline allowing students to remain active and engaged in learning,” Sainato said. “Participating can be a huge challenge, however, for students with limited access to computers or internet access. This funding is going to help remove those barriers by ensuring students are on equal footing when it comes to having the necessary resources to succeed.” Sainato said schools may use the funding to purchase computer equipment, such as laptops, tablets, and internet hot spots, and to provide instructional materials, including paper lessons and coursework. Schools with the highest percentages of students lacking access to resources were given priority in receiving these grants. Read more

 

Nearly $84,000 in COVID safety funding to Lawrence County Career and Technical Center

(Aug 06, 2020)

NEW CASTLE, Aug. 6 – The Lawrence County Career and Technical Center is set to receive $83,699 in federal funding to ensure safe operations, while Union Area School District will receive a $21,500 Continuity of Education Equity Grant, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. The funding to Lawrence County CTC comes from the CARES Act, which authorizes governors to determine the educational use of Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Funds. “By supplying a steady stream of well-trained applicants, our career and tech centers meet an essential need for our working families and our economy,” Sainato said. “Thanks to this funding, students will be able to return to learning secure in the knowledge that administrators have implemented comprehensive measures to keep them safe.” The funds may be used for a variety of resources, including protective equipment, hand sanitizer/cleaning products, equipment or technology to take classrooms online, installation of barriers or other protective devices in building structures, and the purchase of health apps to assist in contact tracing and monitoring of students. The funding is part of a $10.2 million package allocated to career and technical schools throughout the state. The money has been allocated by the governor, and schools will be able to access the funds in the next week. A complete list of the funding to career and tech schools Read more

 

News release: Sainato: More than $33,500 to New Castle School of Trades for COVID safety

(Aug 03, 2020)

NEW CASTLE, Aug. 3 – Federal funding of $33,568 will help ensure students attending New Castle School of Trades enjoy the safest possible learning environment, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. Sainato said the grant – part of a package of $28 million in federal funding to postsecondary organizations statewide – will allow school administrators to put critical planning in place. “Securing this funding means that school officials will have a wide range of resources at their disposal – from purchasing personal protective equipment and sanitization supplies to erecting barriers and other structural safety modifications to investing in online equipment – to keep students learning in the safest possible environment. It’s a terrific investment in one of our most important resources – our young adults.” Administered by the state Department of Education, the federal funding was based on both the shares of total enrollments by each postsecondary sector and the number of socioeconomically disadvantaged students served by institutions. Read more

 

Sainato, Longietti call on governor to lift 25% capacity for restaurants, bars

(Jul 28, 2020)

HARRISBURG, July 28 – Calling it unnecessarily restrictive and damaging to the local economy, state Reps. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, and Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, have written to Gov. Tom Wolf urging him to lift his recent restriction imposing a 25% indoor capacity on restaurants and bars. The lawmakers’ letter calls on Wolf to restore the previous 50% capacity guidelines, saying the new restriction does more harm than good. “The governor is punishing all restaurants and bars for the failure of a few bad actors who are failing to comply with safety guidelines,” Sainato said. “The problem with that approach is that it hurts everyone while failing to get at the root of the problem. “It’s noncompliance with safety procedures – not a particular number of patrons – that jeopardizes community health. We should be focusing on cracking down on the bad apples, not enforcing an overreaching measure that threatens to drive our local restaurants and bars out of business.” Longietti agreed, saying “Reducing the maximum patron capacity to 25% won’t help keep anyone safer; it will merely threaten the viability of restaurants and bars that are trying to comply and do the right thing. “The restriction is especially difficult for our local restaurants and bars because they must compete with businesses in nearby Ohio, which are operating Read more

 

Sainato: $32 million to fund wastewater treatment plant upgrades

(Jul 22, 2020)

NEW CASTLE, July 22 – Combined grant and loan funding totaling $32 million will allow the New Castle Sanitation Authority to make major improvements to its wastewater treatment plant, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. Sainato said the funding from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure and Investment Authority – including approximately $19.13 million in grant money and a low-interest loan of about $12.87 million – will pay for important equipment renovations and upgrades. “Effective wastewater treatment is as important to public health as it is to the environment,” Sainato said. “In addition to keeping our waters safe for recreation and protecting beneficial plant and animal life, treatment prevents the environment from degrading and allowing harmful bacteria and chemicals to contaminate our drinking water. “The funding awarded today will permit the sanitation authority to make major improvements necessary to keep the plant operating at peak efficiency, including construction of a new anoxic tank and renovation of an activated sludge system and other equipment. It’s a terrific investment that will yield health and safety benefits for our community for years to come.” Sainato noted that an earlier phase of the project to upgrade aging equipment received Pennvest funding in July 2019. The grant is part of a package of $66 million in funding to water infrastructure Read more

 

Sainato: $8,000 grant to help guard against wildfire threat

(Jul 21, 2020)

NEW CASTLE, July 21 – An $8,000 grant to the Hickory Township Volunteer Fire Co. will help firefighters guard against the threat of wildfires and brushfires, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. Sainato said the grant from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will fund key resources at a time when they are most needed. “Hot, dry weather leaves our rural communities and forestland especially vulnerable to the risk of brush and wildfires, which under the right conditions can pose a grave danger to life and property,” Sainato said. “Our volunteer firefighters stand ready – as always – to protect us from the threat, even with limited resources. “This funding is welcome news because it should help the company pay for training, equipment such as mobile radios and water supply apparatus, and other resources that can keep our volunteers better equipped and better protected.” The grant is part of package of nearly $592,000 to 109 volunteer firefighting companies statewide. Recipients are selected based on vulnerability and adequacy of existing fire protection, and assistance is granted on a cost-share basis, with recipients supplying matching funds. More information is available by visiting this page . Read more

 

Hazard pay grants now available to support frontline workers

(Jul 17, 2020)

HARRISBURG, July 17 – Workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic could see hazard pay through funding advocated for by the Pennsylvania House Democrats. Eligible employers can now apply for $50 million in available grants to offer hazard pay to frontline workers in life-sustaining industries. Throughout the COVID-19 health crisis, the Pennsylvania House Democratic Caucus has fought to support frontline workers and worked to ensure federal CARES Act dollars were allocated as part of the state budget package. Businesses in the following industries are eligible to apply for the grant funding: Health care and social assistance Food manufacturing Food retail facilities Public transit and ground passenger transportation Security services Janitorial services to buildings and dwellings More information on the grants is available here . Since the very beginning of the pandemic, and during 2020-21 budget negotiations, House Democrats have advocated for fair compensation and protections for frontline workers. Democratic state representatives from across Pennsylvania lauded the opening of the new grant program. Northeast Region Rep. Maureen Madden, D-Monroe : "I am a strong advocate for better wages and conditions for all workers. During times of financial uncertainty, hazard pay is crucial for all frontline workers facing increased exposure to the COVID-19 Read more

 

Sainato: Grant of more than $102,000 for new senior living facility

(Jul 14, 2020)

NEW CASTLE, July 14 – A renovation project to convert several New Castle buildings into a new, state-of-the-art senior housing facility in Lawrence County got a boost today with approval of a $102,456 grant, announced state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence. Sainato said the grant approved by the Commonwealth Financing Authority under the High Performance Building Program will help fund New Castle Real Estate LLC’s project to renovate four buildings into the future New Castle Wellness Center – a long-term senior housing facility with ancillary services, including up to 400 beds. “Our Lawrence County seniors deserve the safest, most habitable living environment we can provide,” Sainato said. “That means a facility designed with safety and comfort in mind, and one that incorporates state-of-the-art design and materials. “The funding awarded today will help ensure that the new facility provides the safest possible surroundings, that it complies with the highest possible standards for indoor air quality and energy efficiency, and that it accommodates the needs of all residents – from the most vulnerable to the hardiest. I can’t wait to see the new project take shape.” Sainato said the project will include rehabilitation of the former nursing school on the property and will consist of renovations to three multi-storied buildings and fourth single-story building, all totaling 188,870 Read more

 

Sainato: More than $3.3 million to combat area homelessness

(Jul 10, 2020)

NEW CASTLE, July 10 – Lawrence County Social Services will receive more than $3.35 million in funding to help district residents and those in surrounding counties who are struggling with homelessness or the threat of homelessness, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. Sainato said the grant – part of CARES Act funding provided through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – will help ensure that housing is available for residents and working families at a time when safe, affordable shelter is critical. “As the pandemic has swept through our state, the scourge of homelessness – once only a vague threat for so many hardworking families – is now a painful reality,” Sainato said. “Our working families are the backbone of our economy, and if our communities are to make a full economic recovery, it’s essential that all residents have a safe, secure place to call home. Securing this funding is going to help make that happen.” Sainato said that Lawrence County will share the grant with 14 other counties, including Beaver, Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clarion, Elk, Fayette, Forest, Greene, Jefferson, McKean, Potter, Venango and Warren counties. The grant is part of a package of nearly $19 million in funding to 52 counties statewide to help end or prevent homelessness caused by the pandemic. The funding is the first of two allocations of Emergency Read more

 

Sainato: $20,000 grant to develop plans for new Shenango Township community park
2 hours ago

Sainato hails passage of bill to broaden restaurant guidelines
1 day ago

Sainato urging veto override on school sports bill
Sep 22, 2020

Sainato: Grant funding will provide New Castle students access to fresh fruits, vegetables
Sep 21, 2020

Sainato calls return to 50% capacity good news for local restaurants but questions alcohol service restrictions
Sep 08, 2020

Sainato: House passes measure permitting school districts to decide on sports, spectators, activities
Sep 02, 2020

Sainato calls on state to issue new round of hazard pay grants
Aug 26, 2020

Sainato: More than $131,000 in targeted funding to support historically underserved students
Aug 25, 2020

Sainato: Nearly $50,000 awarded to ensure area students with special needs continue learning
Aug 20, 2020

Sainato: Nearly $1 million to fund Lawrence County sanitation projects
Aug 17, 2020

Sainato: $335,000 to fund blight removal, housing counseling services for Lawrence County
Aug 13, 2020

Sainato: Nearly $75,000 in funding to ensure area students have access to remote learning
Aug 07, 2020

Nearly $84,000 in COVID safety funding to Lawrence County Career and Technical Center
Aug 06, 2020

News release: Sainato: More than $33,500 to New Castle School of Trades for COVID safety
Aug 03, 2020

Sainato, Longietti call on governor to lift 25% capacity for restaurants, bars
Jul 28, 2020

Sainato: $32 million to fund wastewater treatment plant upgrades
Jul 22, 2020

Sainato: $8,000 grant to help guard against wildfire threat
Jul 21, 2020

Hazard pay grants now available to support frontline workers
Jul 17, 2020

Sainato: Grant of more than $102,000 for new senior living facility
Jul 14, 2020

Sainato: More than $3.3 million to combat area homelessness
Jul 10, 2020