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Rep. Shusterman's September 2021 Newsletter

Shusterman applauds nearly $1.2 million in tax credits for senior housing in Phoenixville

(Oct 18, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 18 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, today announced that Phoenixville was awarded nearly $1.2 million in tax credits through the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency. Funding was awarded through the PHFA board using Low Income Housing Tax Credits, PennHOMES funding, and National Housing Trust Funds to construct 1,974 affordable multifamily rental units in Pennsylvania. “This money will allow us to expand upon our mission of ensuring our most vulnerable neighbors have equitable access to affordable and stable housing,” Shusterman said. “We have seen during the course of the pandemic how vital these resources are, and I am happy to see such an investment to improve the lives of our aging population.” The tax credits will be utilized as the 50-apartment complex continues to be built at 115 Buchanan St. in Phoenixville. The units, reserved for those 62 and older, will be available at or below 60% of the area median income. The Phoenixville project was announced in conjunction with awards totaling more than $43.6 million in LIHTC, more than $7.4 million in PennHOMES funding, and more than $15.9 million in National Housing Trust Funds. “This news will be a welcome sign of relief for some of those within our senior community who may be looking for more affordable housing options,” Shusterman said. “For those on a fixed Read more

 

Lawmakers introduce legislation to ensure paid time off for workers experiencing pregnancy loss

(Oct 15, 2021)

“This bill offers compassion to people who have suffered a great loss,” Shusterman said. “Nothing can prepare an expecting parent for the loss of a pregnancy, but this bill would provide people with the time they need to recover and regroup. It makes an unbearable situation a little less horrible.” Read more

 

Main Street pandemic recovery focus of hearing

(Oct 14, 2021)

PHOENIXVILLE, Oct. 13 – At the top of the legislative agenda for House Democrats is helping Pennsylvanians stay safe and recover from the pandemic. That means prioritizing small, community businesses like those in Phoenixville. “The Borough of Phoenixville provides a rich case study for how a community of business owners, non-profit organizations, and residents came together to preserve its main street through the challenges of COVID-19,” said Rep. Shusterman, D-Chester. “I am pleased to host this event and invite the public, press, and my fellow legislators to hear their stories. I believe these insights will be critical to our Commonwealth's ongoing economic recovery.” House members participated in a hearing on the business impact of Covid prior to a tour of Phoenixville. During the formal hearing municipal leaders and small business owners spoke of operating through the pandemic, despite hardships. During a tour of downtown Phoenixville small businesses, House members spoke with owners who worked with local government to make sure that the pandemic restrictions didn’t lead to closure. “We need policy that prioritizes small businesses and communities throughout Pennsylvania,” said Chair of the Democratic Policy Committee, Rep. Bizzarro, D-Erie. “The legislature has the ability to deploy funds allocated to communities like Phoenixville, and serve as liaisons for municipal leaders to work together with Read more

 

Shusterman to host free shred event October 9

(Oct 05, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 5 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, will host a free shredding event this upcoming Saturday to help residents of the 157 th Legislative District properly dispose of unneeded documents. The shred event will be held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9 at the Technical College High School Pickering Campus, 1580 Charlestown Road, Phoenixville, PA 19460. In a printed newsletter sent to constituents in the district several weeks ago, the address was incorrectly listed. The correct address is 1580 Charlestown Road. “Protecting confidential information through shredding unnecessary, old documents is an important step in ensuring you do not fall victim to identity theft. Sadly, identity theft occurs every day and has greatly accelerated in frequency over the last several years. This event will give you an opportunity to take a proactive approach in making certain your private information does not fall into the wrong hands,” Shusterman said. There is a limit of three boxes for each household, and attendees are asked to open their trunks and please remain in their vehicle while Shusterman and her team unload your vehicle. Please bear in mind that newspapers, magazines and journals will not be accepted. Shusterman said the event will be held rain or shine and may end sooner than scheduled if the truck is full. Shredding is done on site, and all shredded paper will be Read more

 

Now open for applications: Long Term Care, Bullying, Substance Abuse, Housing, and Agriculture Funding Opportunities

(Sep 23, 2021)

STATE PROGRAMS NOW OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS: Pennsylvania Department of Human Services : American Rescue Plan Act Funding for Long-Term Care Providers ( Funding Source: Federal Funding) Who May Apply : Nursing facilities, personal care homes, and assisted living residences in DHS’ Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) system. All nursing facilities currently eligible and enrolled in Pennsylvania’s Medicaid program, Medical Assistance, will automatically receive direct payments. Any nursing facility that is not enrolled in Medicaid, as well as all personal care homes and assisted living residences, must complete the Facility Acceptance Form and return it to OLTL for DHS to issue the payment. Use : For COVID-19-related costs. Funds : See guidelines for funding distributions. Facility Acceptance Form Deadline : None given. Facility Acceptance Form must be returned to DHS’ Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) for payment. More Information : Click on https://www.dhs.pa.gov/providers/Providers/Pages/Long-Term-Care-Providers.aspx . Pennsylvania Department of Health : Olweus Bullying Prevention Program ( Funding Source: Federal Funding) Who May Apply : 501c3 nonprofit youth organizations. Use : To implement the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program to promote the reduction of bullying among 12 to 17 year-old youth. Funds Read more

 

Rep. Shusterman's September 2021 Newsletter

(Sep 16, 2021)

Read the latest news from around the district and Harrisburg here! Read more

 

Hurricane Ida Resources

(Sep 10, 2021)

Hurricane Ida: Our Community in Recovery For many, Labor Day weekend looked very different this year. After Hurricane Ida ripped through much of the southeast region, stories of immeasurable loss and incredible resilience were seen throughout much of our district. I am in awe of the cleanup efforts organized by our municipal and township leaders, EMS service providers, non-profits, and area volunteers. Enormous amounts of donations were collected, and our community came together in full strength to help our neighbors. I felt fortunate to be able to lend a hand and speak to many residents who needed assistance. However, I know that many are still struggling, and that the effects of this storm will be felt for quite some time. With well over $100 million in reported damages, complete recovery is a work in progress. My office is currently fielding as many questions as possible, getting out to join cleanup and donation efforts, and continuing to share resource information as it is announced. Below is a list of currently available resources. If you are able, please spread the word to those who do not currently have access to their homes or mailboxes to receive this publication. Resources will also be posted to my website and social media accounts. Reporting Damage Property damage reports should be filed with your county of residence. For forms, and most up to date county assistance, please head to www.chesco.org/4996/Ida Read more

 

Shusterman announces nearly $690K grant for block pavement improvement in Chester, Montgomery Counties

(Sep 09, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 8 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, today announced that the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has awarded a grant of $689,496 to rehabilitate the block pavement on Gulph Road in Valley Forge National Historical Park, part of the National Memorial Arch in Upper Merion Township, Montgomery County and Tredyffrin Township, Chester County. Shusterman was instrumental in securing the funding for this project and has continued to focus on restoring important infrastructure in the 157 th Legislative District. “This influx in state funding to rehabilitate such an important part of our area’s history is a step in the right direction to ensure future generations continue to enjoy this national park,” Shusterman said. “While I have the privilege of representing the 157 th Legislative District, I will continue fighting for these important state dollars, which will be properly utilized in improvement and rehabilitation projects such as this.” Using the grant, PennDOT’s contractor will restore approximately 180 linear feet of deteriorated granite block on Gulph Road in front of the National Memorial Arch while maintaining the roadway’s historical significance and providing an improved riding surface for the public. Shusterman said she wants the public to know that due to the nature of the project, Gulph Road will be closed and Read more

 

E-BLAST (June 28): Legislature passes timely budget, misses opportunity for structural change

(Jul 01, 2021)

E-mail detailing this year's budget that has been signed into law. Read more

 

Shusterman backs legislation ensuring success of special education students

(Jun 24, 2021)

HARRISBURG, June 24 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman’s measure that would allow parents of special education students to decide if they want their child to repeat a grade after a year of virtual learning passed the House in the form of S.B. 664. Shusterman’s bill (H.B. 909) was incorporated into S.B. 664. If enacted, S.B. 664 would give all students in the commonwealth the choice to repeat a grade level during the 2021-22 school year due to potentially lost educational opportunities in the last year due to COVID-19. “Virtual learning was a viable option for many students last year in the midst of a global pandemic. However, students enrolled in special education have unique needs that were not always met through computerized classrooms,” Shusterman said. “If parents feel that their child needs to repeat a grade level, particularly parents of special education students, that option should be available to them. Online schooling was the only option for almost an entire school year and that’s not suitable for everyone, so I want to make sure that students are getting the most out of their education here in Pennsylvania.” Shusterman’s H.B. 909 and S.B. 664 would also allow students with an individualized education plan who have turned 21 (aged out) since the disaster emergency proclamation on March 6, 2020, to continue their enrollment in school for remainder of 2021-2 academic year. “For some students with IEPs Read more

 

Shusterman invites area veterans to summer BBQ

(Jun 21, 2021)

PHOENIXVILLE, June 21 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, will host a veterans’ summer BBQ open to the community’s servicemen and women on Saturday, July 10. The BBQ will take place from noon to 3 p.m. on July 10 at Black Rock Pavilion, 1286 Black Rock Road in Phoenixville. Veterans interested in attending may bring their families; Shusterman said this is an all-ages event. RSVPs are required. Veterans of any military branch who wish to attend must call Shusterman’s office at 484-200-8260 or email RepShusterman@pahouse.net to make reservations and reserve guest spot(s) by July 1. “Veterans have sacrificed more than we know to preserve some of our most cherished freedoms,” Shusterman said. “This summer BBQ is my staff’s and my way of thanking veterans for all they’ve done for our commonwealth and our country.” Anyone interested may view the official Facebook event on Shusterman’s legislative Facebook page: https://bit.ly/3qdBSvs . Read more

 

Shusterman invites area seniors to drive-thru info fair this week

(Jun 08, 2021)

OAKS , June 8 - State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, will host a drive-thru senior information fair at the Oaks Expo Center Fairgrounds from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. this Thursday. “Attendees will receive goodie bags filled with resource information and handy tools and an opportunity to sign up for a free SEPTA Key Senior Fare Card,” Shusterman said. “I’m looking forward to connecting with seniors at this socially distanced event so I can bring their concerns and priorities to Harrisburg as we begin budget season.” Shusterman noted that the Expo Center Fairgrounds are located off Station Road, across from The Dump furniture store. For more information, contact Shusterman’s office at 484-200-8260. Read more

 

Shusterman: $35K awarded to historic church restoration project

(Jun 02, 2021)

DEVON, June 2 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, today announced that Mt. Zion church received a $35,220 grant to restore 10 stained glass windows. According to Tredyffrin Township records, the church’s windows date back to approximately 1922. This grant will go toward the removal of wooden window frames and the stained glass as one whole piece, repair and rehabilitation expenses, and reinstallation of windows and wooden frames. “Mt. Zion church played an important role in Pennsylvania’s history, specifically in the fight against ‘separate but equal.’” Shusterman said. “Mt. Zion church housed one of the most influential and powerful initiatives in Pennsylvania’s Black history. Families and patrons of this church who stood up against this unjust law ultimately assisted in the passing of Pennsylvania’s equal rights bill.” This grant comes from the Keystone Historic Preservation grant program. The program is used to fund preservation, rehabilitation, and restoration activities of historic sites that are eligible for or listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Questions may be directed to Shusterman’s office by calling (484) 200-8260 or emailing RepShusterman@pahouse.net . Read more

 

Shusterman appointed to Pennsylvania Workforce Development Board

(May 26, 2021)

PAOLI, May 26 -- State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, will serve on the Pennsylvania Workforce Development Board and help strengthen the commonwealth’s workforce. “We need a strong, yet sustainable workforce now more than ever,” Shusterman said. “As a member of the Pennsylvania Workforce Development Board, I’ll have the opportunity to speak on issues impacting our commonwealth’s workers, such as the need for a minimum wage increase and barriers that people with disabilities face when seeking employment.” The PA WDB’s mission is to ensure that Pennsylvania's entire workforce system, covering many programs in multiple departments and agencies, meets employers' needs for skilled workers and workers' needs for career and economic advancement. The board is also responsible for providing policy guidance and direction to policymakers, evaluating performance and recommending continuous improvements. "The commonwealth's economy and workforce are on the rebound after a tremendously difficult year. I am excited to bring my ideas forward to rebuild a diverse and robust economy that prioritizes building a strong middle class through small business and a well-trained workforce that keeps Pennsylvania workers in Pennsylvania,” Shusterman said. A complete list of members can be accessed here. For more Read more

 

Shusterman: Bipartisan group of elected representatives calling for $540 million to be distributed to intellectual disability and autism community

(May 25, 2021)

HARRISBURG, May 25 -- State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, accompanied by Democratic and Republican state representatives and intellectual disability/autism advocates, tomorrow will call on the legislature to distribute $540 million in federal relief funds to Pennsylvania’s disabilities service. The news conference will take place at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 26, in Soldier’s Grove behind the state Capitol. “Services for these individuals have been underfunded for decades. The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed us to the breaking point and this support is desperately needed,” said Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery. “We know that Individuals with intellectual disabilities or autism are more than twice as likely to die from COVID-19 as members of the general population. This funding will help save lives. “Distributing $540 million would also benefit the direct support professionals who consistently work long hours for low wages. Their work is invaluable and they deserve fair compensation for their selfless, hard work.” In addition to Shusterman, the following are scheduled to speak: Rep. Frank Farry, R-Bucks. Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler, D-Phila. Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila. Rep. Eric Nelson, R-Westmoreland. Mark Davis, Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources for Autism and Intellectual Disability. Beth Ryan, director of employment services, People Employing People. A family member of someone with ID/A. Anne Couldridge, Read more

 

Now open for applications: Services for mental health and substance use disorder, boating infrastructure

(May 21, 2021)

Below are some funding programs that recently opened for applications, including a federal grant opportunity for community-based organizations to hire and mobilize community outreach workers, community health workers, social support specialists, and others to increase vaccine access for the hardest-hit and highest-risk communities. STATE PROGRAMS NOW OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS: Pennsylvania Department of Human Services: Solicitation RFA 16-21 Mental Health & Substance Use Disorder Intervention Funding Source: General Fund) Who May Apply : Nonprofit organizations that provide prevention, intervention, and treatment services to Pennsylvania residents, and their families, with mental health, substance use, and/or behavioral health needs. Use : Prevention, intervention, and treatment services to support individuals with lived experience, as well as their families. Funds : Awards up to $500,000 for Fiscal Year 2021-22. Solicitation Due Date : June 3 More Information : http://www.emarketplace.state.pa.us/Solicitations.aspx?SID=RFA%2016-21 . Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission: Boating Infrastructure Grant Program (Funding Source: Federal Funding) Who May Apply : Public and private operators of open-to-the-public boating facilities, including municipal agencies (cities, towns, counties, etc.), state agencies (State Parks, DNR, Fish & Wildlife, etc.), and other Read more

 

Pennsylvania’s waitlist system is an injustice to its disabilities community

(Apr 29, 2021)

Countless Pennsylvanians living with autism or an intellectual disability and their families have their lives put on hold as they remain on a waitlist, in some instances for years, to receive critical support that helps them lead productive and healthy lives. Pennsylvania’s medical assistance program includes home and community-based services (HCBS) waivers, which provide disabled Pennsylvanians with necessary support and care. This includes accessible housing and employment opportunities, granting people the opportunity to live more independently. Those with ID and autism or a physical disability may utilize this waiver system to receive care that Medicaid will cover and avoid institutionalization. While this mission aims to increase the inclusivity and quality of life for people with ID or autism, funding from the state legislature continues to dwindle. As funding diminishes, the HCBS waivers waitlist grows. As of March 2020, nearly 13,000 people were on Pennsylvania’s list awaiting these services. Over 5,000 list members were in the “emergency” category, meaning they need services immediately or by no later than six months. Meanwhile, the nearly 3,000 people in the “planning needs” category will need assistance within five years. It is unacceptable to leave a vulnerable community waiting indefinitely on services they need to survive. This is why my Democratic colleagues and I are fighting for our Pennsylvania Read more

 

The PA Rescue Plan tackles long-term care for our most vulnerable

(Apr 21, 2021)

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed so many inequities in our country – from socio-economic to racial, medical conditions and age. These inequities existed long before the pandemic but have been laid bare over the past year in such a way that we can no longer refuse to address them. Our most vulnerable populations – seniors and people with disabilities – must have access to quality, affordable care. And that starts with support for the workforce charged with helping them. We know that, if given the choice, most seniors prefer to age in place from the comfort of their own homes. But as they age, the need may arise for assistance with day-to-day activities, transportation, medications and overall wellness. That’s where direct care workers make a huge difference. These workers are low-paid and often lack adequate health care and other benefits like sick or vacation leave. These jobs are also physically and emotionally demanding and are often characterized by heavy workloads, scheduling challenges, and limited training and career advancement prospects . Yet, these workers show up each day for their clients because they know someone is depending on them. In 2020, people 65 and older made up 19% of Pennsylvania’s population -- that is expected to grow to 22% by 2025 . The increase in our aging population will put additional pressure on our direct care workforce. However, the investment by the state in these important jobs remains persistently low. Read more

 

Shusterman applauds $9.15 million designated to help schools resume in-person learning

(Apr 14, 2021)

PAOLI, April 14 - State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, announced that three schools in her legislative district received a total of $9.15 million in federal relief funds, which will help get students back into the classroom full time. Spring-Ford School District received $4,355,676; Tredyffrin-Easttown School District received $1,503,594 and Phoenixville School District received $3,300,048. “It’s promising to see this multi-million-dollar investment into our local school districts as we work toward restoring a sense of normalcy in Pennsylvania,” Shusterman said. “This funding will help get students back into the classroom for in-person learning five days a week while following the necessary mitigation measures to protect everyone’s health and safety.” Schools must use at least 20% of the money to address learning loss and the social, emotional and academic needs of underrepresented students, including students from low-income families, students with disabilities, English learners, migrant students, students without permanent housing and children in foster care. Schools may use the rest of the funding for a wide range of activities, including food service, professional training, technology purchases, sanitization and cleaning supplies, summer and after-school programs, and mental health supports. The funding is part of the American Rescue Plan Read more

 

Watch Live @10AM: Equal Pay Day is March 24

(Mar 24, 2021)

March 24 marks the extra amount of time into the new year that women must work until in order to earn what a man made the previous year. Read more

 

Shusterman applauds nearly $1.2 million in tax credits for senior housing in Phoenixville
Oct 18, 2021

Lawmakers introduce legislation to ensure paid time off for workers experiencing pregnancy loss
Oct 15, 2021

Main Street pandemic recovery focus of hearing
Oct 14, 2021

Shusterman to host free shred event October 9
Oct 05, 2021

Now open for applications: Long Term Care, Bullying, Substance Abuse, Housing, and Agriculture Funding Opportunities
Sep 23, 2021

Rep. Shusterman's September 2021 Newsletter
Sep 16, 2021

Hurricane Ida Resources
Sep 10, 2021

Shusterman announces nearly $690K grant for block pavement improvement in Chester, Montgomery Counties
Sep 09, 2021

E-BLAST (June 28): Legislature passes timely budget, misses opportunity for structural change
Jul 01, 2021

Shusterman backs legislation ensuring success of special education students
Jun 24, 2021

Shusterman invites area veterans to summer BBQ
Jun 21, 2021

Shusterman invites area seniors to drive-thru info fair this week
Jun 08, 2021

Shusterman: $35K awarded to historic church restoration project
Jun 02, 2021

Shusterman appointed to Pennsylvania Workforce Development Board
May 26, 2021

Shusterman: Bipartisan group of elected representatives calling for $540 million to be distributed to intellectual disability and autism community
May 25, 2021

Now open for applications: Services for mental health and substance use disorder, boating infrastructure
May 21, 2021

Pennsylvania’s waitlist system is an injustice to its disabilities community
Apr 29, 2021

The PA Rescue Plan tackles long-term care for our most vulnerable
Apr 21, 2021

Shusterman applauds $9.15 million designated to help schools resume in-person learning
Apr 14, 2021

Watch Live @10AM: Equal Pay Day is March 24
Mar 24, 2021