Schweyer lauds House passage of medical marijuana bill

(Mar 16, 2016)

HARRISBURG, March 16 – State Rep. Peter Schweyer praised today’s House passage of legislation that would legalize the use of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. The House passed an amended version of S.B. 3, which originally passed the Senate in May 2015. The amended bill would require a prescribing doctor to be registered with the Department of Health before they would be authorized to prescribe the use of cannabis for the following conditions: intractable seizures, cancer, HIV/AIDS, ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, Huntingdon's disease, Crohn's disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, glaucoma, autism and neuropathic pain for which traditional therapies are contraindicated as well as other neuropathies and certain spinal cord injuries. The main amendment of the bill was the result of a bipartisan task force, of which Schweyer was the only Lehigh Valley member, which worked together for months to craft a bill that would be acceptable to a majority of legislators. "It’s a great day in Pennsylvania and while it took a long time, we are closer than ever to finally seeing the legalization of medical marijuana," Schweyer said. "I’m proud to have been a part of a working group of legislators from both sides of the aisle who put politics aside and placed the health and well-being of people at the forefront. "There is a real need for this critical treatment Read more


Schweyer: We Need a Balanced Budget

(Mar 10, 2016)

As budget hearings wind down, Pa. state Rep. Peter Schweyer expresses optimism that both sides now acknowledge the commonwealth's true fiscal picture and are better prepared to negotiate a solution. Also, Schweyer questions where upcoming budget cuts could be seen, noting that the Allentown School District has already had close to 400 teaching positions eliminated due to budget cuts from previous years. Read more


Schweyer Discusses Public Health Concerns

(Mar 08, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Peter Schweyer, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, speaks with members of the Department of Health about various health concerns facing citizens of the Commonwealth including lead in Pennsylvania's aging infrastructure, smoking cessation programs, and PTSD. Read more


Schweyer on Military Suicide Prevention & PTSD

(Mar 04, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Peter Schweyer asks the Dept. of Military and Veterans Affairs about their efforts in suicide prevention among active personnel and veterans. The discussion occurred at a House Appropriations Committee hearing on the 2016-17 Pa. state budget. Read more


Schweyer on Tuition Costs

(Mar 03, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Peter Schweyer discusses how tuition costs might become skewed when state funding is reduced with the heads of Pennsylvania's state-related Universities: Penn State, Temple, Lincoln and University of Pittsburgh. The discussion was part of the House Appropriations Committee hearings on the proposed 2016-17 budget. Schweyer is a member of the Appropriations Committee. Read more


Schweyer to host telephone town hall

(Feb 18, 2016)

ALLENTOWN, Feb. 18 – State Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, invites residents of the 22nd Legislative District to participate in a live Tele-Town Hall meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24. Residents of Schweyer’s district will receive an automated phone call at approximately 7 p.m. Wednesday inviting them to join the meeting. To participate, people simply need to remain on the line once they receive the call. “This is a great way to bring district residents into a community discussion without having to leave the comfort of their homes,” said Schweyer. “I look forward to talking with my constituents about a variety of issues that have an impact on them and their families.” During the live event, Schweyer will discuss and take questions on a variety of state issues, and participants will be asked to weigh in on poll questions using their touch-tone phones. Anyone who doesn’t have a chance to speak during the phone meeting will be able to record a question at its conclusion. Questions will be forwarded to Schweyer’s office for a future response. Those interested also may email questions to Schweyer before the Tele-Town Hall meeting begins at . Constituents also can call Schweyer’s district office at 610-791-6270 to confirm or be added to the list to receive the call. Read more


Property Tax/Rent Rebate forms available at my office

(Feb 15, 2016)

Forms for Pennsylvania’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program for the 2015 tax year are available at my district office – and my staff is ready to help you file yours for free ! The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians 65 or older, widows and widowers 50 or older, and people with disabilities 18 or older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters. Half of Social Security income is excluded and the maximum standard rebate is $650. Claimants must reapply for rebates every year because they are based on annual income and property taxes or rent paid each year. Spouses, personal representatives or estates may file rebate claims on behalf of deceased claimants who lived at least one day in 2015 and meet all other eligibility criteria. The oft-extended deadline to apply for a rebate on property taxes or rent paid in 2015 is June 30, 2016, and the rebates normally are distributed by the Deparment of Revenue beginning July 1. So, the sooner you file, the sooner you will receive your money. Read more


Pa. House adopts Schweyer amendment to protect public transportation workers in assaults

(Feb 10, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 10 – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives has approved an amendment authored by state Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, designed to stiffen penalties for aggravated assaults against public transportation company employees. Schweyer’s amendment to H.B. 1219 would add this category of employees to the list of victims for which the alleged assailants are subject to an offense of a second-degree felony. “Our bus drivers, train operators and other employees of our public transportation agencies deserve the same protection as other public service employees," Schweyer said. "But beyond protecting these transit workers, this also would increase the safety for all transit riders and motorists in general. “This amendment is a commonsense way to help protect our roads, riders and operators.” House Bill 1219, which Schweyer also co-sponsored, today passed the House and will go to the Senate for consideration. Read more


PACE prescription programs benefit seniors

(Feb 10, 2016)

PACE, PACENET and PACE plus Medicare are Pennsylvania's prescription assistance programs for older adults, offering low-cost prescription medication to qualified residents, age 65 and older. As of this year, the legislature passed a law excluding Social Security Medicare Part B premiums from being counted towards income levels. Read more


Schweyer supports Wolf’s budget proposal to help students, homeowners

(Feb 09, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 9 – State Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, released the following statement in response Gov. Wolf’s 2016-17 budget proposal: “A very smart, community-minded business leader once told me ‘No money, no mission.’ His organization dealt with the very sick and very poor, and as much as they truly wanted to do everything for those they served, he was acutely aware this was impossible without fiscal stability. “Today, Governor Wolf essentially gave that same sage wisdom to the House and Senate. He made it clear that without an honest budget, our state will go broke. And if that happens, our schools and the children they educate will suffer, our property tax rates will spike, and seniors will be put at greater risk. “In Allentown, we already lost over 400 teachers and yet our property taxes keep increasing. Adoption agencies, domestic violence and rape crisis centers, and early childhood schools have reduced hours and laid off workers. No money, no mission indeed. “Feelings may have been hurt today, but we in Harrisburg need to put that aside, be adults and do our job. I remain committed to working with Democrats and Republicans to find common ground and put this harmful budget impasse behind us. And I remain as always committed to the people of Allentown and our working-class values.” Read more


Rep. Schweyer Winter 2016 Newsletter

(Feb 02, 2016)

Read Rep. Schweyer's Winter 2016 Newsletter. Read more


CHIP offers kids protection and parents peace of mind

(Jan 29, 2016)

Pennsylvania has a Children's Health Insurance Program that provides free and low-cost health insurance to children. CHIP is not welfare – it covers children of working parents whose employers don't offer coverage and who can't afford private insurance. If you can't afford health insurance for your children, chances are they are eligible for CHIP. Read more


Schweyer Priorities for 2016

(Jan 06, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Peter Schweyer talks about his legislative priorities for 2016 in the House of Representatives and the Lehigh Valley. Read more


Pa. Treasury could be holding your unclaimed property

(Jan 01, 2016)

Each year, the Pennsylvania Treasury receives millions of dollars of unclaimed property. It is estimated that roughly one in 10 Pennsylvanians has unclaimed property. Read more


PA Power Switch: Ask the right questions

(Dec 30, 2015)

In Pennsylvania, you can choose the company that generates your electricity – also known as your electric supplier. This means that you have the power to switch to a competing supplier who can offer the lowest price, or provide a specific service you want, such as “green” or renewable energy. Read more


Schweyer set to return to Harrisburg after line-item veto

(Dec 29, 2015)

ALLENTOWN, Dec. 29 – State Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, released this statement after Gov. Tom Wolf announced a line-item veto on the budget passed by the Senate last week: "Governor Wolf did the right thing to get schools and our social service agencies the money they need to keep the doors open. Citizens shouldn’t have to suffer any more while we in Harrisburg figure out this mess that we created. "The governor also made the right call to keep fighting for what we need: 1) a fiscally sound spending plan that reverses the trend of out-of-balance budgets; and 2) a budget that gives our students the tools they need for a lifetime of success. "I want to go back to work today. I’m calling on our legislative leaders to bring us back into session so we can work in a bipartisan manner to get a permanent budget done and done right. Simply put, I am ready to do the right thing, to work across the aisle, to end this impasse, no matter what it takes, just like the people of the Lehigh Valley have been telling me since day one of this impasse. "Pennsylvanians may have voted for divided government, but they never agreed to dysfunctional government. Continuing without a permanent budget is dysfunctional; borrowing money from our kids is dysfunctional; shortchanging those same kids with bad schools is dysfunctional. The people of Pennsylvania deserve better. Once again to our legislative leaders, let us all go back to work." Read more


Schweyer Ready to Work, Ready for a Real Budget

(Dec 23, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Peter Schweyer speaks out against the sudden cancellation of the vote on the state’s 177-day-overdue budget scheduled for Wednesday and demands the Speaker bring the House back into immediate session so schools, social services and citizens statewide can get vitally needed funding. Read more


Schweyer Speaks on Civil Service Center

(Dec 01, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Peter Schweyer spoke before the Lehigh Valley Workforce Development Board about his initiative to reopen the Civil Service Testing Center in the Lehigh Valley Read more


Schweyer: Reopen Civil Service Center

(Nov 17, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Peter Schweyer is trying to reopen the Lehigh Valley Civil Service Testing Center so that people have easier access to the resources in obtaining family sustaining jobs. Read more


Schweyer’s fairness in Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program eligibility bill passes House

(Nov 16, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 16 – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives has passed a bill introduced by state Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, that would allow additional retirees to qualify for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program. Schweyer’s bill would permit federal civil service retirees who do not receive Social Security to deduct a portion of their other federal retirement income while calculating eligibility for the PTRR Program. “After years of dedicated service to our nation, retired federal workers should be entitled to apply for the same beneficial programs offered to other older Pennsylvanians,” Schweyer said. “This bill would allow these retirees to take advantage of a very popular and successful program that returns money to our seniors’ pockets each year.” Schweyer added this bill would provide the same measure of fairness to this group of retirees that has been given to retirees of the railroad industry. While both groups of retirees are not eligible for Social Security, railroad retirees are able to determine eligibility for Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program. The bill (H.B. 1162) now goes to the Senate for consideration. Read more