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Schlossberg applauds House Transportation Committee’s vote to strengthen rear-facing child seat measure

(Dec 09, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 9 – The House Transportation Committee today amended and reported out a bill, authored by state Rep. Mike Schlossberg, D-Lehigh, to strengthen provisions intended to keep infants safe while traveling in a vehicle. "On Monday, at a public hearing held by the House Transportation Committee, I was pleased to see wide, bipartisan support for efforts to improve child safety in Pennsylvania," Schlossberg said. "After a productive and frank discussion, it was clear that there was sufficient support to strengthen my bill by amending it to offer even better protections for our youngest and most vulnerable citizens. I fully support that effort." House Bill 1551, which originally would have required children younger than 1 to be secured in a rear-facing car seat, was amended by the committee to require children to be secured in a rear-facing car seat while in a vehicle until age 2 unless otherwise stated by the manufacturer’s specification of the car seat in use. Schlossberg noted that this change to his bill follows recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics. During the House Transportation public hearing, Ted Leonard, executive director of the Pennsylvania AAA Federation, voiced AAA’s support for efforts to enhance the requirement to secure children under age 2 in rear-facing car seats or until that child reaches the maximum height and weight for the car seat as noted by the manufacturer. "As a father of two young children, I find it hard to belie Read more

 

Schlossberg resolution designates May as ‘Mental Health Awareness Month’

(May 03, 2016)

HARRISBURG, May 3 – In an effort to raise awareness about mental health, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives today unanimously adopted a resolution authored by state Rep. Mike Schlossberg, D-Lehigh. House Resolution 764 designates May 2016 as “Mental Health Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania. “Resolutions like this are meant to bring attention to important problems, to things that affect our constituents deeply. One out of every five adults in this country and in this commonwealth actively suffers from some sort of mental health challenge, and one out of every two will over the course of their lifetime,” Schlossberg said. “But only 30 to 40 percent of those people will seek treatment. There are a variety of reasons to explain this but the stigma that surrounds mental health disorders is a big part of the issue.” According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 43.6 million adults in the United States suffer from a mental illness. Mental health disorders can affect individuals of any race, religion, age or economic status. Schlossberg, who is the co-chair and co-founder of the bipartisan Mental Health Caucus, said that during his own personal struggle with mental illness he was shocked at how often others wrote off what he was going through as a weakness in character. “I would encourage everyone in the course of their daily lives to remind those who suffer from some sort of mental health challenge, or those who love or know someone who suffers from a simi Read more

 

Here's why Pa. should update its equal pay act

(May 02, 2016)

The Equal Pay Act was signed into law in 1963. After 53 years, the goal of equal pay for equal work continues to allude many of our workers. The promise of ending gender discrimination in pay is one Washington has neglected. It is up to Pennsylvania to deliver on this promise for the well-being of our families. In Pennsylvania, women only earn 79 percent of what a man earns, yet in 40 percent of households with children, a female is the sole or primary breadwinner. Read more

 

Wolf signs intimate-partner violence bill at Allentown LGBT center

(Apr 22, 2016)

Gov. Tom Wolf signed a bill today at the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center in Allentown that makes it easier for victims of intimate-partner violence to get divorced. Adrian Shanker, executive director of the LGBT center, witnessed the signing, as did Lori G. Sywensky, executive director of Turning Point of Lehigh Valley, an organization that helps those affected by domestic violence. Turning Point rents space from the LGBT center, which opened this month at 522 W. Maple St. The organization has additional administrative offices elsewhere in Allentown. “It was a huge honor to have the governor here,” Shanker told PGN. “The governor sees the value in having LGBT community centers.” Sywensky said Turning Point is really committed to its partnership with the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT center. Read more

 

Wolf signs Schlossberg bill to better protect domestic violence victims seeking divorce

(Apr 21, 2016)

ALLENTOWN, April 21 – State Rep. Mike Schlossberg, D-Lehigh, joined Gov. Tom Wolf today for the signing of a bill that will help protect abused spouses seeking divorce. Schlossberg, who was the prime sponsor of House Bill 12, joined Wolf and other community advocates at Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center in Allentown for the ceremony. "I am thankful to my colleagues in the General Assembly and Gov. Wolf for their support of this legislation," Schlossberg said. "This new law will help ensure that no one in this state is forced to remain legally attached to their abuser through marriage." Schlossberg said that before his bill was signed into law, an abuser could entrap their spouse in a marriage for two years by refusing to consent to a divorce. Additionally, courts had the ability to impose up to three counseling sessions in these cases, which further endangered an abused spouse by forcing them to continually interact with their abuser. "Potentially forcing a victim to continually face their abuser is an unthinkable and precarious outcome of how Pennsylvania’s divorce laws were written," Schlossberg said. "With my bill now signed into law, abused spouses will have the legal rights and protections they need to protect themselves and their children." This is the second bill Schlossberg has advanced to help victims avoid the perpetrator of crimes against them. Last year, the governor signed into law Schlossberg's proposal closing a loophole that potentially for Read more

 

Gov. Wolf comes to Allentown for bill signing

(Apr 21, 2016)

When you’re a lawmaker who has stood by the governor who is a member of the same party, you get treated special sometimes. Thursday was one of those times for Rep. Mike Schlossberg, D-Lehigh. That’s when Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf came to Allentown to sign into law legislation, House Bill 12, that Schlossberg, as prime sponsor, was able to get passed the Republican-controlled House and Senate. The new law makes it easier for abused spouses to get a divorce. In a statement, Schlossberg said that before his bill was signed into law, an abuser could entrap their spouse in a marriage for two years by refusing to consent to a divorce and the divorce would only be granted after the couple went through up to three counseling sessions. Read more

 

Gov. Wolf in Allentown eases divorce for abused spouses

(Apr 21, 2016)

A Pennsylvania bill signed into law Thursday in Allentown simplifies the process for victims of spousal abuse to get divorced. Under current law, a spouse who refuses to consent to divorce can draw the process out for up to two years, with the potential for three face-to-face counseling sessions required by the court. Gov. Tom Wolf visited the new Bradury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center at 522 W. Maple St. in the city to sign the measure, sponsored by state Rep. Michael Schlossberg, D-Lehigh. Read more

 

Helping Those in Need with Medical Marijuana

(Apr 13, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Mike Schlossberg speaks about the House’s passage of a medical marijuana bill Wednesday that will help deliver vital medicine to people who are suffering. The bill now goes to the governor to be signed into law. Read more

 

Senate approves Schlossberg bill to protect domestic violence victims seeking divorce

(Apr 13, 2016)

HARRISBURG, April 13 – The Pennsylvania Senate has approved a bill introduced by state Rep. Mike Schlossberg, D-Lehigh, that would help protect abused spouses seeking divorce. Schlossberg said that under current law, if an abusing spouse does not consent to a divorce, the abused spouse may be trapped in the marriage for up to two years. Additionally, the court may impose up to three counseling sessions in cases where the parties do not agree to divorce. “It is untenable to force a victim to be shackled to an abuser for multiple years and multiple contacts while the divorce is processed,” Schlossberg said. “My legislation is simple. It would limit this torment by letting an abused spouse promptly obtain a divorce as if both sides consented.” Schlossberg's bill (H.B. 12) would allow someone whose spouse had been convicted of certain personal injury crimes to use that crime as grounds for a divorce and for the divorce to occur in 90 days, instead of the two years. Current law allows an abusive spouse to withhold consent, which can drag out the divorce process. “There is no valid reason to force an abused spouse to continually interact with their abuser,” Schlossberg said. “In fact, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that it could be potentially dangerous for the abused spouse to continue making contact with their abuser. This legislation would stop any victim from being legally forced into that precarious position.” His proposal also would prevent judges from order Read more

 

Schlossberg Supports Social Service Providers

(Apr 12, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Mike Schlossberg joined social service and community health providers today at a rally for adequate funding in the 2016/17 budget to support programs that help children and adults who need vital mental health, drug and alcohol, intellectual and developmental disabilities, medical rehabilitation, and brain injury services. Read more

 

Schlossberg appointed to Education Committee

(Apr 11, 2016)

HARRISBURG, April 11 – State Rep. Mike Schlossberg, D-Lehigh, today announced that he has been appointed to serve on the House Education Committee for the remainder of the 2015-16 legislative session. The Education Committee reviews bills that pertain to educational funding, school choice and charter schools, teacher standards and more. “I am thankful and honored to receive an appointment to this crucial committee, which plays a vital role in setting educational priorities for the commonwealth,” Schlossberg said. “I look forward to the opportunity to work with my colleagues on the committee to ensure our community schools are providing a quality education to every child, no matter the child’s ZIP code.” Schlossberg said the committee is also responsible for reviewing bills regarding the Department of Education, the State Board of Education, the State Board of Private Academic Schools, State Board of Private Licensed Schools, State Public School Building Authority and Pennsylvania State Employees System for elementary and secondary schools, as well as the Pennsylvania Higher Education Association, the Higher Education Facilities Authority and the Board of Governors of the State System of Higher Education, and also the professional Standards and Practices Commission. Schlossberg also serves on the Health, Transportation, Human Services, and Environmental Resources and Energy committees. Read more

 

Proposed tightening of Pennsylvania abortion options gets positioned for House floor vote next week

(Apr 07, 2016)

Rep. Mike Schlossberg, a Democrat from Lehigh County, noted that medical marijuana bill was only voted by the House last month after multiple public hearings across the state. "Contrast that process with the way we are flying forward on this particular piece of legislation, which has the potential to impact thousands of women," Schlossberg said. Read more

 

Schlossberg: Rush Tactics Deny Due Process

(Apr 06, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Mike Schlossberg speaks on the House floor during a Republican attempt to change Pennsylvania’s abortion laws through swift action, avoiding the deliberative process needed for such a major piece of legislation. Read more

 

Schlossberg: Women's Health Before Politics

(Apr 05, 2016)

State Rep. Mike Schlossberg speaks out against another attack on women’s reproductive rights, saying that by taking safe options off the table we may be inadvertently forcing women to seek less safe alternatives. Read more

 

Schlossberg introduces legislation to protect kids from lead

(Mar 23, 2016)

State lawmakers are rolling out a trio of proposals they say could help Pennsylvania minimize lead poisoning and exposure among children. The plans were prompted by the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, where the governor declared a state of emergency in January. While lead popped up in contaminated water in Michigan, for Pennsylvania, the more prevalent source of lead is in chipping paint in old houses. Read more

 

Schlossberg Fights for Lead-Free Homes

(Mar 22, 2016)

In the wake of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, Pa. state Rep. Mike Schlossberg discusses the importance of new legislation aimed at protecting Pennsylvanians from potential lead contamination from aging paint and water pipes. Read more

 

Legislators join Cruz in call for support of lead-testing legislation

(Mar 22, 2016)

Citing the tragedy unfolding in Flint, Michigan, state Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., was joined by a bipartisan group of legislators today calling for support of a legislation package that aims to reduce the risk of lead poisoning in Pennsylvania. Read more

 

Schlossberg pushes for lead-free water

(Mar 17, 2016)

Bottled water, not drinking fountains line the halls of Grand View Health. This after elevated lead levels were found in the Bucks County hospital's water in 2013. "We are not aware of why they were elevated. Up until that point this was the first time ever exceeded any of the EPA regulations," COO Mark Horne said. According to the DEP, levels were between 61 and 230 parts per billion. The EPA sets the standard at 15 parts per billion but local doctors say any level is too much. According to a recent USA Today study since 2012, nearly 2,000 water systems across the U.S. have found elevated lead levels in tap water samples. Pennsylvania is second in the nation with more than 155 exceedances over that time span. Grand View says renovations caused the temporary spike in 2013. Horne says the hospital tests on a regular basis. "We know the water we are providing now is safe to drink. We've taken those abundances of precautions to make sure that is the case," he said. Read more

 

Schlossberg applauds passage of medical marijuana legislation

(Mar 16, 2016)

HARRISBURG, March 16 – State Rep. Mike Schlossberg, D-Lehigh, today released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed legislation that would legalize the use of medical marijuana for some patients in Pennsylvania: "Today is a good day. It has been a long time coming. When this legislation is signed into law, patients in Pennsylvania and their doctors will be able to have conversations and make decisions based on sound medical knowledge as opposed to outdated fears and ineffective laws. Politicians shouldn’t be limiting the legitimate options available to medical professionals and their patients without overwhelming reason. "People living with serious medical conditions like cancer, multiple sclerosis, PTSD or HIV/AIDS need options and comfort, not political roadblocks to treatment. They shouldn’t have to worry about the gridlock which delayed this bill from coming to a vote, just like they shouldn’t have to risk legal repercussions to get the medicine they need. We know medical marijuana is able to help some patients who suffer from debilitating diseases – in some cases it seems to be the only thing that is effective – and this legislation will allow the Commonwealth to assist these patients by providing them secure access while treating them with the respect they deserve. "I am proud to have been part of the effort to get this bill to the desk of Gov. Tom Wolf and equally glad we were able to achieve this as a bipartisan effort. It wasn’t an ea Read more

 

Schlossberg announces over $4 million in funds headed to the district

(Mar 03, 2016)

HARRISBURG, March 3 – State Rep. Mike Schlossberg, D-Lehigh, announced today that the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will distribute over $4 million in liquid fuels payments to municipalities in the 132nd Legislative District and over $12.4 million to municipalities in Lehigh County. The City of Allentown will receive over $3.5 million and South Whitehall will receive $797,099. This distribution marks a $621,000 increase over the $3.6 million distributed in 2015. “I voted for Act 89 to provide communities like Allentown and South Whitehall with the resources needed to maintain our network of public roads,” Schlossberg said. “We have taken steps to make our roads are safer, create jobs and help businesses better move goods and services in our communities. These funds will help take pressure off municipalities so they can maintain roads and not need to raise property taxes, which is good for homeowners and small businesses.” The liquid fuels funds, which were increased by Act 89, are annual payments to municipalities to help pay for highway and bridge-related expenses such as snow removal and road repaving. Since going into effect, Act 89 has provided liquid fuels fund increases of $1.57 million to municipalities in the 132nd Legislative District and $4.6 million in Lehigh County. There are 120,039 miles of public roads in Pennsylvania, with 72,759 of those miles owned by municipalities and eligible for liquid fuels. The formula for payments is based on a muni Read more