Schweyer: Allentown City School District, local charter schools to receive over $90M in federal funding

(Mar 29, 2021)

ALLENTOWN, March 29 – State Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, today congratulated the Allentown City School District and two Allentown charter schools who are expected to receive federal funding totaling $93.17 million to help return students to classrooms. “The COVID-19 pandemic dealt a significant toll on students, their families and school districts across Pennsylvania,” Schweyer said. “These federal dollars will ensure that our schools have the necessary equipment, training, and support to allow students and faculty to return to a safe and clean learning environment.” Schweyer said the breakdown of the federal funding for schools in Allentown is as follows: Allentown School District - $88.1 million Roberto Clemente Charter School -$3.15 million Arts Academy Elementary Charter School - $1.92 million The funding is part of the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) Fund passed by Congress and signed by President Biden. The money can be used for food service; professional training; technology purchases; sanitization and cleaning supplies; summer and after-school programs; mental health supports and more. At least 20% of this money is meant to address learning loss and the social, emotional, and academic needs of Read more

 

PA House Democrats Launch Effort to Defend Democracy

(Mar 29, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 29 – Responding to the Capitol insurrection in January and the signing of new restrictions on voting rights last week in Georgia, House Democrats are taking action to protect American democracy. Today, a website was launched that summarizes policy proposals to defend democracy as well as links to more information and the ability for people to quickly email their elected officials, noting their support of the bills. The House Democratic Caucus has been working on these proposals since a House Democratic Policy Committee Hearing in January, when members were briefed by legal scholars, hate crimes experts and members of Congress on the language of false conspiracy and election fraud being used to undermine democracy. That same language has shifted from encouraging outright attack to what many perceive as insidiously undermining basic voting rights. “We cannot allow the outrage and disgust of the American people watching an armed invasion of our government to be subverted by a slick rebranding into attacks on our right to fair and free elections” Policy Committee Chairman Ryan Bizzarro said. Members of the House Democratic Caucus have introduced dozens of measures to expand voting rights, preserve election security, protect access to mail-in ballots and polling places, and to clarify and consolidate the often-outdated Election Code. Bizzarro said the site – www.pahouse.com/policy/defendingdemocracy -- will serve as a great Read more

 

Instead of disbanding PASSHE, Chancellor Greenstein should resign

(Mar 19, 2021)

For the better part of the last two years, we have been hearing from PASSHE Chancellor Dan Greenstein that we need to reform the way we manage our Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education or increase the state’s funding for it. Yesterday, he publicly offered another solution: disband the system all together. I am here to offer an even better next step: Dan Greenstein should resign. Despite many in the legislature supporting higher state investment in the PASSHE schools (myself included), he has been unable to secure a greater increase in funding from the state. But candidly, he has not tried very hard. Instead, he has offered his own plan of consolidation, essentially turning six colleges into two. I have participated in several public hearings with the chancellor where he has been, in my opinion, evasive and vague, explaining just how his plan helps Pennsylvania’s students. If he hasn’t been able to convince me – a strong supporter of the PASSHE system – then it stands to reason that perhaps he is struggling to gain support for his consolidation plan. So, he offers what can only be described as a nuclear option: disband the entire system. There are more than 84,000 Pennsylvanians who are learning either full or part time at a PASSHE school, 2,452 of whom reside in Lehigh County. What kind of message is he sending to those students? As someone who has been in Harrisburg for some time, Read more

 

Schweyer, prime co-sponsors introduce bill to repeal Pa. fireworks law

(Mar 19, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 19 – State Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, along with state Reps Jeanne McNeill, D-Lehigh, Robert Freeman, D-Northampton, Steve Samuelson, Mike Schlossberg, all D-Lehigh, and Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, today introduced a bill which would repeal Pennsylvania’s law allowing residents to purchase and set-off powerful fireworks. “For the past few years, I, along with many of my neighbors have been awakened at all hours of the night from the loud barrage of fireworks near my home and with the Fourth of July holiday approaching, it is time again to address this problem,” Schweyer said. “This goes beyond the borders of Allentown. Many of my colleagues in the House from Philadelphia to Easton and Pittsburgh to Erie have all shared similar fireworks problems in their communities. This legislation would repeal the most recent changes made to the fireworks law and would provide all municipalities more power to enforce the law and help restore quality of life back to city residents.” "As the Memorial Day weekend draws closer, followed by the July Fourth holiday, so too will the inevitable calls and complaints to my office about fireworks activity," McNeill said. "Last summer, as noted by conversations I had with many residents throughout Lehigh County, it seemed as though the COVID pandemic produced an uptick in pyrotechnic use. This increased nighttime activity added to the stresses in our communities: upsetting pets, Read more

 

Community Conversation with Allentown Police Chief Glenn Granitz Jr.

(Mar 11, 2021)

In this Community Conversation, Pa. state Rep. Peter Schweyer virtually joins Allentown Police Chief Glenn Granitz Jr. to discuss the recent reduction of crime in Allentown and some new initiatives to make the community a better place to live, work, and raise a family. Read more

 

Schweyer: We Need Equity for Poor and Diverse School Districts

(Mar 01, 2021)

At a House Appropriations Committee budget hearing with the Department of Education, Pa. state Rep. Peter Schweyer says the antiquated buildings in the Allentown School District pose health and safety concerns, particularly during the pandemic. Schweyer is asking for the necessary resources to upgrade the school district's infrastructure. Read more

 

Schweyer Pushes for Vaccine Equity

(Feb 25, 2021)

At a House Appropriations Committee budget hearing, Pa. state Rep. Peter Schweyer pushes for vaccine equity, particularly in the Allentown School District, which has unique needs and challenges. Schweyer also calls for additional translations on COVID-19 vaccine materials, saying we aren't adequately reaching large groups of people who speak different languages. Read more

 

Schweyer to resume monthly veterans outreach with virtual appointments

(Feb 19, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 19 – State Rep. Peter Schweyer is alerting local veterans his monthly support program will resume next month by virtual appointment only due to COVID-19. A representative from the American Legion will be available for virtual appointments at Schweyer’s district office, 1501 Lehigh St., Suite 206. Appointments are available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the third Friday of every month, starting on March 19. The service officer will assist veterans and their families with benefits and services available to them. The representative also will be available to discuss pensions and other compensation, as well as education, health care and death benefits Legion membership is not required; however, anyone interested in speaking with the adviser should schedule a virtual appointment by contacting Schweyer’s office at 610-791-6270. Masks are required and CDC guidelines must be followed during the appointment. Read more

 

Schweyer Discusses COVID-19 Challenges for Local Prisons

(Feb 17, 2021)

In a budget hearing with the Pa. Department of Corrections, state Rep. Peter Schweyer discusses the challenges facing local prisons due to COVID-19. Schweyer asks Secretary John Wetzel about his efforts to protect inmates and staff, and what the legislature can do to provide any additional resources he needs during this pandemic. Read more

 

Schweyer Community Conversation with PPL Electric Utilities

(Feb 05, 2021)

On this episode of Community Conversation, Pa. state Rep. Peter Schweyer sits down with Melinda Stumpf from PPL Electric Utilities to discuss several assistance programs PPL offers to help customers manage their bills during these difficult times. Read more

 

Schweyer issues statement in response to governor’s budget address

(Feb 03, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 3 – State Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, released the following statement regarding the proposals Gov. Tom Wolf unveiled during his 2021-22 budget address today. “The gap between the wealthiest and poorest school districts, the difference in access to health care and economic inequality have always existed and have always been grossly unfair,” Schweyer said. “But those inequities have been exacerbated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We all know this, Governor Wolf included. “I’m tired of waiting for a solution and the people I represent are tired of waiting and hoping that something will happen. I’m tired of watching neighbors and friends struggle to keep the lights on and put food on the table. I’m tired of generational poverty spurred on by underfunded schools and inequitable economic opportunities. “Clearly, Governor Wolf is tired of this as well. It has been said many times that a budget proposal really is a statement of priorities and I’m proud to share Governor Wolf’s priorities here. We must make real, structural changes to help provide people across Pennsylvania an equal opportunity to good schools, family sustaining wages and appropriate health care. “This is only the very beginning of the budget process and as a member of the Appropriations Committee, I will continue to take an active role in Read more

 

Harris names deputy whips for 2021-22 legislative session

(Jan 26, 2021)

The PA House Democratic whip, state Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., today announced that state Reps. Jessica Benham, D-Allegheny; Donna Bullock, D-Phila.; Danilo Burgos, D-Phila.; Morgan Cephas, D-Phila.; Patty Kim, D-Dauphin; Kyle Mullins, D-Lackawanna; Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh; Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery; Pam Snyder, D-Greene/Fayette/Washington; and Jared Solomon, D-Phila., will serve as deputy whips for the 2021-22 legislative session. Read more

 

Schweyer announces committee assignments for 2021-22 legislative session

(Jan 12, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 12 – State Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, today announced his Pennsylvania House committee assignments for the 2021-22 legislative session. “I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues on these committees, which cover a wide range of issues, including Pennsylvania’s state budget, the status of our state and local economies and keeping an eye on public utility and telecommunications companies while protecting consumers from scams,” Schweyer said. “In these troubling and uncertain times, there is a great deal of work to do this session, and I have confidence that by working together we can make an impactful difference for all Pennsylvanians.” Schweyer said he will be working in the following committees for this session: Appropriations Committee on Committees Consumer Affairs Professional Licensure Schweyer has previously served on the House Appropriations and the Consumer Affairs committees in the 2019-20 legislative session. This is Schweyer’s fourth term serving the 22 nd District. Read more

 

Schweyer sworn in to fourth term as state representative

(Jan 05, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 5 – State Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, took the oath of office at the state Capitol today to begin his fourth term representing the 22nd Legislative District. The noon swearing-in ceremony marked the beginning of the 2021-22 session of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. “2021 is time for a fresh start and facing our challenges head-on,” Schweyer said. “As always, I will focus on providing more funding for the Allentown School District, increasing PA’s minimum wage and supporting policies that will create family sustaining jobs. But this year, we have to focus also on our economic and sociological recovery from the havoc COVID 19 has created.” Schweyer’s committee assignments for the 2021-22 session will be announced later this month. Schweyer said his office can help with a variety of state-related services, including home heating, children’s health insurance, prescription drug and property tax/rent rebate assistance. His office phone number is 610-791-6270 and the email address is RepSchweyer@pahouse.net . Residents also can learn more about Schweyer’s legislative priorities and the services his office provides by visiting his website at RepSchweyer.com , or by visiting his Facebook and Twitter accounts at facebook.com/RepSchweyer and Read more

 

Schweyer issues statement on Governor Wolf’s COVID-19 mitigation efforts

(Dec 10, 2020)

ALLENTOWN, Dec. 10 – State Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, issued a statement today in response to the latest COVID-19 mitigation efforts announced by Gov. Tom Wolf and Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine. “Today, in Pennsylvania alone, 11,972 people were confirmed COVID-19 positive. Of those, 371 were from Lehigh County and 413 from Northampton County. These are the facts. “We are not containing this virus and, in fact, the current spike of confirmed COVID-19 cases is significantly higher than any we experienced in March or April. Our healthcare professionals are legitimately scared. “No one wants to ask people to sacrifice more than they already have. No one is happy with Governor Wolf’s announcement. And, it will no doubt cause harm to those small businesses, cooks, servers and others in the restaurant industry. But honestly, at this point, we are in a real crisis and there aren’t many options left. “There is a vaccine right around the corner, so there is hope. But in the meantime, it will be on everyone to continue to pull together, to wear masks and socially distance, and to keep up our spirits in the months before the vaccine is available widespread. “If you are able, please consider purchasing restaurant gift cards as holiday gifts or even just doing take out one night. And please keep our healthcare professionals and frontline workers in mind during Read more

 

Schweyer, Schlossberg announce over $1.7M awarded to local criminal justice and victims’ programs

(Dec 09, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 9 – State Reps. Peter Schweyer and Mike Schlossberg, both D-Lehigh, today announced state funding totaling $1.73 million has been awarded to several local organizations to improve programs which support criminal justice and victims of abuse programs. “These programs go beyond keeping our communities safe,” Schweyer said. “They provide support and comfort to victims of abuse, young and old, every day. This funding ensures these unfortunate victims will have access to these services when they need them.” "This is another critical investment for the people of Allentown," Schlossberg said. "I am pleased the PCCD acknowledged the hard work and dedication of these organizations and this money will help them continue to have the staff and the resources needed to continue improving our criminal justive system and supporting victims of abuse." The grants awarded Wednesday in Lehigh County include: Lehigh County Chief Executive Officer, $741,623 to help fund operations at Lehigh County Victim/Witness Unit; and $125,000 for the Lehigh County STOP Violence Against Women Program. Crime Victims Council of Lehigh Valley, $239,570 for the Victims of Juvenile Offenders Program. Lehigh Valley Hospital Inc., $46,992 to strengthen the John Van Brakle Child Advocacy Center’s support of child victims of sexual and physical abuse. Lehigh County Probation, $573,536 to Read more

 

Utility Debt is a Crisis for All Pennsylvanians

(Dec 04, 2020)

For those who are out of work, scraping together enough cash to pay the rent or the mortgage is often very difficult. People rely on a small unemployment check, zero out their savings accounts or cash out retirement funds all while falling deeper in debt just so their families can have a roof over their head. Community activists and anti-poverty organizations rightfully paid a great deal of attention to the issue of evictions and foreclosures during the early days of the pandemic. Gov. Tom Wolf temporarily prohibited evictions and foreclosures while he and the state legislature created a $150 million rent-relief package. These were all wise choices based on a real and understandable concern for our neighbors who, through no fault of their own, lost their jobs because of the pandemic. These efforts remain ongoing since no one wants a neighbor to lose their home, especially during these hard times. But there was another crisis that failed to get as much attention, even though it can be as equally disruptive to those struggling to make ends meet: unpaid utility bills. A few weeks back, I chaired a Policy Committee meeting in Harrisburg regarding mounting utility debt among Pennsylvanians; what we learned was heartbreaking and terrifying. In June, 800,000 Pennsylvanians were facing utility shutoffs from their electric, natural gas or water companies. By September, that number jumped nearly 25% to 970,000 residential Read more

 

Schweyer, Schlossberg announce state grants to support local museum and historical society

(Dec 02, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 2 – State Reps. Peter Schweyer and Mike Schlossberg, both D-Lehigh, today announced two state grants totaling $46,942 were awarded to two local organizations to continue their educational and historical endeavors. The lawmakers said the funding will be shared by the following organizations: The DaVinci Science Center - $40,000. Lehigh County Historical Society - $6,942. “ Allentown is fortunate to have educational, scientific and historical programs, that both residents and visitors can readily experience at our local museums,” Schweyer said. “DaVinci and the Lehigh County Historical Society offer some hands on learning and I am pleased these funds are coming back to our district to support these museums for future generations to enjoy.” "It's not every day you get to help organizations that benefit puppies, kittens, children and education,” Schlossberg said. “But DaVinci and LCHS are two fantastic groups that help thousands of lives, including those with two and four legs. I was happy to lend my support to these efforts." The funding is part of a package of nearly $2 million in grants awarded to 155 museums and county historical societies statewide under the Cultural and Historical Support Grant Program. Administered by PHMC, the program’s goal is to strengthen the commonwealth’s Read more

 

State lawmakers call for end to family deportations from Berks ICE facility

(Dec 02, 2020)

Legislators ask for release of families, children in face of COVID pandemic, unsanitary conditions Read more

 

Let’s be patient; Make sure every vote counts

(Nov 05, 2020)

As of this writing, there are approximately 750,000 Pennsylvania votes that need to be counted. That is more than 750,000 Pennsylvanians who lawfully casted their vote and deserve to be heard. Counting every citizen’s legal, timely vote is imperative. As workers securely make progress on tallying the results, we must be patient. This process may take several days, but the integrity and sanctity of the vote in our state must be maintained. Last Fall, in a bipartisan showing, the Pennsylvania General Assembly agreed to allow for mail-in ballots. Since then, House Democrats have made many efforts to help clarify any confusion about the process and give local election boards the tools needed to securely and expeditiously process votes cast by mail. Unfortunately, our Republican colleagues chose political gamesmanship over a genuine effort to ensure a smooth election. Their inaction failed to allow for the early processing of ballots received – as 32 other states permit-- and, in turn, why there is a delay in knowing the outcome of this election. The ambiguity in the law did not address their local official’s concerns; nor does it protect every Pennsylvanian’s constitutional right to vote and our obligation to make sure those votes are counted. Now, more than ever, we must ensure that we uphold the freedoms guaranteed in our state and nation’s constitution. In these unprecedented times, the voters must have the final say, not the candidates or Read more

 

Schweyer: Allentown City School District, local charter schools to receive over $90M in federal funding
Mar 29, 2021

PA House Democrats Launch Effort to Defend Democracy
Mar 29, 2021

Instead of disbanding PASSHE, Chancellor Greenstein should resign
Mar 19, 2021

Schweyer, prime co-sponsors introduce bill to repeal Pa. fireworks law
Mar 19, 2021

Community Conversation with Allentown Police Chief Glenn Granitz Jr.
Mar 11, 2021

Schweyer: We Need Equity for Poor and Diverse School Districts
Mar 01, 2021

Schweyer Pushes for Vaccine Equity
Feb 25, 2021

Schweyer to resume monthly veterans outreach with virtual appointments
Feb 19, 2021

Schweyer Discusses COVID-19 Challenges for Local Prisons
Feb 17, 2021

Schweyer Community Conversation with PPL Electric Utilities
Feb 05, 2021

Schweyer issues statement in response to governor’s budget address
Feb 03, 2021

Harris names deputy whips for 2021-22 legislative session
Jan 26, 2021

Schweyer announces committee assignments for 2021-22 legislative session
Jan 12, 2021

Schweyer sworn in to fourth term as state representative
Jan 05, 2021

Schweyer issues statement on Governor Wolf’s COVID-19 mitigation efforts
Dec 10, 2020

Schweyer, Schlossberg announce over $1.7M awarded to local criminal justice and victims’ programs
Dec 09, 2020

Utility Debt is a Crisis for All Pennsylvanians
Dec 04, 2020

Schweyer, Schlossberg announce state grants to support local museum and historical society
Dec 02, 2020

State lawmakers call for end to family deportations from Berks ICE facility
Dec 02, 2020

Let’s be patient; Make sure every vote counts
Nov 05, 2020