Shusterman returns to Harrisburg today, outlines legislative priorities

(Sep 17, 2019)

State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, returns to Harrisburg today to start the post-budget legislative session. Earlier this year, which was Shusterman’s first time in session, she introduced five bills and two resolutions , and co-sponsored 91 bills and 37 resolutions. Her resolution declaring March 21 as “Rosie the Riveter Day” in Pennsylvania was adopted by the House unanimously. Shusterman also serves in the following roles: secretary of the House Judiciary Committee. Intellectual Disabilities and Autism Caucus co-chair. Democratic chairwoman of the House Travel and Tourism Committee’s Subcommittee on Arts and Entertainment. Aging and Older Adult Services Committee member. Additionally, Shusterman is deputy whip for the House Democratic Caucus. Shusterman was the first freshman legislator to earn this title. “Today is the first day back in session since we passed the budget on June 28th,” Shusterman said. “I’m ready to hit the ground running and continue to fight for the issues my district is most passionate about.” Prior to the start of today’s legislative session, Shusterman spoke at a Moms Demand Action rally, emphasizing the need for Extreme Risk Protection Order laws to prevent suicides. Shusterman said in the coming weeks, she plans on introducing three bills that would increase firearm Read more

 

Shusterman co-hosts successful all-abilities morning at Elmwood Park Zoo

(Sep 09, 2019)

PAOLI, Sept. 9 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, co-hosted Early Access morning at Elmwood Park Zoo on Saturday, Sept. 7. Early Access Morning was an opportunity for individuals with intellectual disabilities and their caretakers to enjoy a low-traffic experience at the zoo with minimal environmental stressors and sensory triggers. It is part of a larger all-abilities event series with Elmwood, the first zoo in the world to earn certification as a Certified Autism Center. The designation, given by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards, is awarded to organizations that have completed a training and review process with the goal to better serve individuals with autism and other sensory needs. “Early Access Morning is a forward-thinking, inclusive concept that sets the standard for all-abilities events,” Shusterman said. “The highly accredited facility conditions, skilled staff and genuine passion for community engagement exhibited here gives me added motivation to keep fighting for children of all ability levels.” Shusterman is a co-chair on the Autism and Intellectual Disabilities Caucus and has been active in the disabilities rights and awareness movements both locally and in Harrisburg. Shusterman has been an avid spokesperson on topics such as assistive technology, the direct support professional crisis and working toward eliminating waitlists for disabilities vouchers. Read more

 

Shusterman Works To Eliminate Waitlist For Care

(Aug 21, 2019)

Pa. state Rep. Melissa Shusterman joined the House Democratic Policy Committee to discuss how to reduce the home- and community-based services’ waitlist. She explains why addressing this issue is critical to those living with autism and intellectual disabilities across the commonwealth. Read more

 

Shusterman calls for legislative special session to address gun violence

(Aug 06, 2019)

PAOLI, Aug. 6 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, is one of several House Democrats urging Gov. Tom Wolf to call a special joint session of the legislature to address gun violence and extremism in the wake of two mass shootings within 13 hours of each other last weekend. Shusterman, accompanied by members of the PA SAFE Caucus , called for a special session to consider legislation in the House and Senate that would address access to guns for people at risk of violence to themselves or others, close the loophole for gun background checks, and to ban assault weapons. “We cannot afford another preventable tragedy in our own backyard. What happened in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio can be avoided here in Pennsylvania, so instead of wallowing in this seemingly never-ending cycle of tragedy, let's end it,” Shusterman said. “We can go into session right now and pass legislation that would make it more difficult to put guns in these people’s hands.” Shusterman and members of the PA SAFE Caucus noted that most public opinion polls reveal that the most Americans support mandatory background checks on gun purchases, as well as other safety legislation. “When two of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history happen within the same news cycle you know our nation is in a dark place. It is clear that we as a society have become numb to such events,” Shusterman said. “I’ve heard the cliché Read more

 

Chester County receives $3.08 million in PHARE funding to support affordable housing

(Jul 12, 2019)

HARRISBURG, July 12 – Chester County’s Democratic state Reps. Carolyn Comitta, Kristine Howard, Melissa Shusterman, Dan Williams, Christina Sappey and Danielle Friel Otten announced that housing programs in Chester County will receive $3.08 million through the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement fund. The PHARE fund is managed by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, and funds are sourced from Marcellus shale fees, realty transfer taxes and the national housing trust fund. Awardees within Comitta’s legislative district will receive the following: Housing Authority of the County of Chester’s Locust Court Windows: $100,000 Charles A Melton Arts & Education Center; Melton Center Expanded Services Program: $200,000 Melton Center Apartments (LIHTC); The NRP Group LLC: $875,000 Safe Harbor of Chester County, Inc.: $150,000 Housing Locator Program through the Housing Authority of the County of Chester: $100,000 Friends Association for Care & Protection of Children’s Homeless Prevention Program $75,000 Gaudenzia Concord Place: $50,000 Chester County Department of Community Development’s Decade to Doorways System Prioritization and Realignment: $350,000 “I am absolutely thrilled to see state funds directed to such incredible programs in our community. These funds will allow our local organizations to continue providing their critical services, as well as expand in order to Read more

 

Shusterman votes ‘no’ to 2019-20 budget, cites missed opportunities

(Jul 09, 2019)

PAOLI, July 3 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, issued the following statement regarding her ‘no’ vote on this year’s state spending plan: “When I was elected to represent the people of the 157th legislative district, I vowed to stand up for commonsense legislation. Topics such as preserving our environment, fighting for Pennsylvanians in need, improving infrastructure and imposing a fracking tax on our out-of-state drillers are among my top priorities. However, the budget that Gov. Tom Wolf signed does not prioritize measures in any of these categories. “In Pennsylvania’s Constitution, residents are guaranteed a right to clean water and air. This budget strips away the funding that went toward preserving that right, our ecosystems and their inhabitants. The health and prosperity of our Commonwealth’s environment are in jeopardy under this budget. Furthermore, it does not allot for any additional DEP staffing to keep up with our environment’s conservational upkeep. “The sweetheart deal this Commonwealth maintains with oil and gas drillers will also go unchanged, and we will remain the only major gas-producing state in America that does not tax them. Funds that would have been collected from this tax would have gone toward much-needed infrastructure upgrades, but they will continue to pillage Pennsylvania for oil and gas and give nothing in return. “This budget also neglects Read more

 

Shusterman announces major repairs to Tredyffrin bridge

(Jul 08, 2019)

TREDYFFRIN, July 8 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, announced today that a bridge in her district will soon receive much-needed repairs, thanks to Pennsylvania Department of Transportation funds. The bridge in Tredyffrin on Route 252, otherwise known as Bear Hill Road, over Norfolk Southern Railroad will soon be under construction. According to PennDOT, the focus of this project involves repairs to address the poor condition of bridges in Chester, Montgomery and Bucks counties to maintain safe and efficient conditions for travelers. This bridge improvement project is financed 100 percent with state funds. “Protecting our infrastructure, and making lives easier for the people who use it, is a top priority,” Shusterman said. “Repairing and maintaining our bridges will ensure safe daily travel and prevent major issues from occurring in the future.” Construction is expected to begin this summer and finish by late 2020. ### Read more

 

Reps. Shusterman and Kenyatta team up to return emergency relief program for those hurt by elimination of General Assistance

(Jul 03, 2019)

HARRISBURG, July 3 – With the General Assistance program and the lifeline it provides to more than 11,000 Pennsylvanians set to expire on Aug. 1, state Reps. Melissa L. Shusterman and Malcolm Kenyatta are introducing legislation to provide emergency relief to those previously receiving General Assistance. “We must help our most vulnerable citizens,” said Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery. “Our neighbors who relied on the roughly $200 a month General Assistance provided are veterans and their caregivers, victims of domestic violence, adults receiving substance abuse treatment and grandparents caring for their grandchildren. “The benefits of the program for our neediest neighbors far exceeded the cost,” Shusterman said. “That’s why Representative Kenyatta and I are introducing legislation to create a new Emergency Relief fund.” Funding for the Emergency Relief program would come from the state’s general fund. Kenyatta, D-Phila., said he and Shusterman plan to visit one another’s districts and hear from the people who’ll be hurt when the General Assistance program ends. “Those who stand to lose out when General Assistance ends are real people,” Kenyatta said. “We want to hear their stories and see their faces. We want them to know we will do all we can to help them achieve stability and self-sufficiency, and we believe an Emergency Relief program is a way to give them a hand Read more

 

$200 can make all the difference for struggling Pennsylvanians

(Jun 25, 2019)

A few days ago, House Republicans voted to eliminate a state program that provides roughly $200 per month to Pennsylvania adults who are temporarily or permanently unable to work. This General Assistance program costs $50 million per year and helps more than 10,000 Pennsylvanians. While $200 a month may seem insignificant to some in the legislature, it serves as a financial lifeline to our commonwealth’s most vulnerable residents. Adults with temporary or permanent disabilities, those caring for a severely ill or disabled loved one, adults in full-time substance abuse rehabilitation programs, displaced domestic abuse survivors and people waiting for their social security benefits to kick in, these are the populations that benefit from receiving $200 a month. These cash grants increase quality of life and allow for “dignity purchases,” in other words, the everyday things that we take for granted. In fact, this $200 is spent on necessities such as transportation, housing and toiletries. It keeps a roof over peoples’ heads, the lights on, and food on the table. Many of my colleagues welcome a $200 per diem to live and work comfortably during their time in Harrisburg, a practice that I have personally chosen to reject. Simply put, there is an irony here that is difficult to ignore. Surely, if $200 is justifiable when considering the comforts and needs of legislators, $200 a month for our most vulnerable citizens is a no-brainer. Our local Read more

 

Shusterman announces personal paycheck suspension until budget passage

(Jun 17, 2019)

HARRISBURG, June 17 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, announced today she will suspend her paycheck until a budget is passed as the state legislature commences budget season. “If my constituents don’t go to work, they don’t get paid, and I hold myself to the same expectation. I do not deserve to get paid unless I execute my job duties and serve my community, period,” Shusterman said. Throughout June, state legislators will be in the Capitol every week to complete the state budget. However, the budget process officially began in February when Gov. Tom Wolf delivered his budget address to the General Assembly. Budget proposals from the governor are rarely fully adopted, but they do form the foundation of what will be debated during weeks of budget hearings in the House Appropriations Committee. During these hearings, Republican and Democratic members may ask questions of the administration. These hearing occur in both the state House and Senate. Following discussions, leaders from all caucuses and the administration work to find a compromise that will both cover Pennsylvania’s bills and responsibly invest in our future. “At times, budget season can grow cumbersome because we can stay here well into the night debating. However, it is our job to work together to reach an agreement. If we can’t do that, then we should not be getting paid because we aren’t doing what we were elected to do, which is serve Read more

 

Chester County receives $1.25 million in grants to increase security measures, help crime victims

(Jun 14, 2019)

HARRISBURG, June 14 – Chester County’s Democratic state Reps. Carolyn Comitta, Melissa Shusterman, Kristine Howard, Danielle Friel Otten, Dan Williams and Christina Sappey announced that $1.2 million worth of grant funds from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency will be distributed across the county to increase safety and help crime victims. Within Comitta’s legislative district, Domestic Violence Center of Chester County will receive $531,835 to provide direct services for domestic abuse survivors. Additionally, the Crime Victims’ Center of Chester County, Inc. will receive $624,328 to meet the needs of crime victims. “I am grateful for the grants awarded to the Crime Victims’ Center of Chester County and the Domestic Violence Center of Chester County. These local organizations have a tremendous impact across our county, and they deserve our full support to continue to provide critical services to residents,” Comitta said. Represented by Shusterman, Phoenixville Borough will receive $7,685 to install security cameras at their police department’s impound lot. “I’m proud to work with my colleagues to bring state money back to Chester County,” Shusterman said. “I’m confident that this initiative will make our communities safer by curtailing crime in and around the impound lot.” Howard’s district, including West Pikeland and Easttown townships, will receive grants Read more

 

Shusterman announces preservation grant awarded to Wharton Esherick Museum

(Jun 10, 2019)

MALVERN, June 10 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, announced today that a Keystone Historic Preservation Grant worth $25,000 has been awarded to Wharton Esherick Museum to expand upon its educational outreach and programming. The funds come from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, which supports preserving, protecting and promoting historic and archaeological resources in Pennsylvania. Wharton Esherick Museum said they plan to use these funds to connect the two buildings on the property, Wharton Esherick Studio and Sunekrest, and eventually integrate Esherick’s 1956 Workshop, to create a master campus. Currently, the museum’s studio serves as its sole event and exhibit space. Wharton Esherick Museum’s executive director, Julie Siglin, said she’s looking forward to the upgrade, as the museum will be able to hold more visitors at a time and wheelchair accessible ramps will also be installed. “With the addition of Sunekrest, the museum is poised to expand its footprint by creating a master campus with increased exhibit and programming space, and improved accessibility,” Siglin said. “This planning process will allow us to explore the true breadth of that mission as we consider new ways to interpret his work and influence, beyond the walls of the studio.” “I’m excited to see this project completed,” Shusterman said. “It’s a Read more

 

Shusterman, Webster to co-host ‘Town Hall on Islamophobia: Confront Hate, Celebrate Diversity’ on June 13

(Jun 05, 2019)

HARRISBURG, June 5 – State Reps. Melissa Shusterman and Joe Webster will co-host a town hall discussion on Islamophobia next week. “Town Hall on Islamophobia: Confront Hate, Celebrate Diversity,” will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. June 13 at the Islamic Society of Greater Valley Forge, 958 N. Valley Forge Road, Devon, PA 19333. Panel experts will deliver opening addresses, respond to audience questions, and talk about what community members can do to stand together against intolerance and build a more inclusive and diverse community. “While our differences can often invoke fear and misunderstanding, I hope this event will open lines of communication between our residents. This is an opportunity to learn about the common goals that our diverse communities can accomplish together for the commonwealth,” said Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery. Webster said: “Freedom to worship is at the heart of our democracy. Together, we can preserve that freedom and ensure our communities are welcoming places for everyone.” State Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell, D-Phila., will moderate the panel. In addition to Shusterman and Webster, the panel will include Robert Reed, Pennsylvania executive deputy attorney general; Timothy Welbeck, civil rights attorney for the Center for American-Islamic Relations – Philadelphia; and Marwan Kreidie, professor at West Chester University. Seating is limited, so RSVP is requested at this link. Read more

 

Shusterman to host telephone town hall on June 6

(May 28, 2019)

PAOLI, May 28 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman invites residents of the 157th legislative district to participate in a telephone town hall at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 6. Residents of the district will receive a call to their landlines inviting them to join the discussion. To “attend” the meeting, people will be asked to stay on the phone. Anyone who would like to make sure that they receive the phone call at home – or register a cellphone instead – should fill out this form , or call Shusterman’s office at 484-200-8260. The telephone town hall will include discussion of state-related issues such as jobs, schools and infrastructure, and attendees are encouraged to ask Shusterman questions and voice their concerns. “I’m looking forward to a productive discussion with my constituents,” Shusterman said. “I’m excited to learn more about what matters most to the people of the 157th District.” People may listen in and ask questions, or leave feedback when the meeting has ended. Questions can be submitted in advance by emailing townhall@pahouse.net . Anyone with questions can call Shusterman’s office at 484-200-8260. The 157th District includes Tredyffrin, Schuylkill and areas of Phoenixville in Chester County and Upper Providence in Montgomery County. Read more

 

Shusterman’s job bill clears Commerce Committee

(May 22, 2019)

HARRISBURG, May 22 – A bill authored by Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, aimed at creating thousands of jobs in the life sciences, advance technology and manufacturing industries has passed the House Commerce Committee. “This legislation would help businesses in these rapidly growing fields stay afloat and create a lot more job opportunities in Pennsylvania,” Shusterman said. According to Shusterman, H.B. 719 would help businesses within these industries thrive by providing them with loan guarantees through Pennsylvania’s Second Stage Loan Program under the agreement that recipients must keep their practices within Pennsylvania. “We must make sure that the program contains the right parameters to ensure guarantees are being delivered to Pennsylvania businesses who commit to Pennsylvania, who commit to the people living, working and raising families here,” Shusterman said. Due to the lack of bank history among businesses in these fields, Shusterman said banks are often reluctant to extend lines of credit or working capital to businesses in these fields, which commonly causes them to fail during their critical developing years. Pennsylvania’s Second Stage Loan Program offers guarantees for bank loans to second stage manufacturers, advanced technology, and life sciences companies in business for two to seven years. The bill was sent to the full House for consideration. Read more

 

Shusterman announces $580k in grants to support school safety and security

(May 01, 2019)

HARRISBURG, May 1 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, announced today that two school districts in her legislative district have been awarded Pennsylvania school safety and security grants totaling $580,672. The funds will be provided through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency’s School Safety and Security Committee. This committee is the result of Act 44 of 2018 , and is responsible for establishing the standards schools must meet when performing school safety and security assessments. Grant recipients in Shusterman’s district include: Phoenixville Area School District, receiving $194,480 Spring-Ford Area School District, receiving $386,192 It will be the choice of the school districts to determine how exactly the funds will be used. Eligible purposes include, but are not limited to, safety and security assessments, emergency preparedness, violence prevention, intervention training programs, training of school police officers and counseling services for students. “School safety is among my top priorities,” Shusterman said. “I’m happy to work with the school districts to secure these state funds to ensure our students have the safest learning environments possible.” Further information about the grants can be found here: https://www.pccd.pa.gov/schoolsafety/Pages/default.aspx Read more

 

Shusterman to host Savvy Senior Expo on May 9

(Apr 23, 2019)

HARRISBURG, April 23 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, will host her first “Savvy Senior” Expo from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, May 9 inside Hall D of the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, 100 Station Ave. in Oaks. The expo event aims to connect area residents in their 50s or older – or those who care for seniors – to state, public and partner resources on health and wellness, travel and leisure, and more. Attendees should expect to enjoy light refreshments and an opportunity to meet the representative. “My district has a vibrant senior community; they are passionate and engaged in a wide variety of topics,” Shusterman said. “My hope is that this expo delivers on old favorites and introduces new and unexpected offerings.” For more information regarding this event, attendees can contact Shusterman’s office at 484-200-8260 or visit www.pahouse.com/Shusterman . Individuals not able to attend but interested in learning more can stop by one of Shusterman’s district offices. Read more

 

Shusterman to take leadership role on House Judiciary Committee

(Apr 15, 2019)

State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, today announced her appointment as secretary of the House Judiciary Committee. Read more

 

Shusterman to chair House Tourism and Recreational Development Subcommittee on Arts and Entertainment

(Apr 12, 2019)

State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, today was appointed Democratic chairwoman of the House Travel and Tourism’s Subcommittee on Arts and Entertainment. Read more

 

Shusterman joins in ‘Zero Waste PA’ bill package to address single-use plastics, litter and a ‘throwaway’ society

(Apr 10, 2019)

HARRISBURG, April 10 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman today joined other lawmakers and PennEnvironment to announce a package of bills aimed at addressing single-use plastics, pervasive issues of litter and the various environmental harms caused by a "throwaway" society. Legislation in the “Zero Waste PA” package works to address issues created by a disposable society including single-use plastics such as straws, plastic bags and Styrofoam takeout food containers, electronic waste, funding Pennsylvania’s recycling programs and more. “Non-recyclable plastic waste is a mounting environmental crisis in Pennsylvania. My legislation would ensure that sellers and distributors of plastic packaging are part of a recycling program, or they will not be permitted to sell or distribute plastic packaging in the commonwealth,” said Shusterman, D-Chester. “Every day, unwitting Pennsylvanians are barraged with products that we’re expected to purchase and use, and then throw away. Only, there is no ‘away,’” said PennEnvironment Executive Director David Masur. “Instead, it ends up in landfills where it can cause water pollution, in incinerators that cause air pollution, or blowing around in our neighborhoods in the form of litter. Nothing we use for a few minutes should pollute our environment, neighborhoods, rivers and oceans for centuries to come.” The measures that would be addressed in the Read more

 

Shusterman returns to Harrisburg today, outlines legislative priorities
Sep 17, 2019

Shusterman co-hosts successful all-abilities morning at Elmwood Park Zoo
Sep 09, 2019

Shusterman Works To Eliminate Waitlist For Care
Aug 21, 2019

Shusterman calls for legislative special session to address gun violence
Aug 06, 2019

Chester County receives $3.08 million in PHARE funding to support affordable housing
Jul 12, 2019

Shusterman votes ‘no’ to 2019-20 budget, cites missed opportunities
Jul 09, 2019

Shusterman announces major repairs to Tredyffrin bridge
Jul 08, 2019

Reps. Shusterman and Kenyatta team up to return emergency relief program for those hurt by elimination of General Assistance
Jul 03, 2019

$200 can make all the difference for struggling Pennsylvanians
Jun 25, 2019

Shusterman announces personal paycheck suspension until budget passage
Jun 17, 2019

Chester County receives $1.25 million in grants to increase security measures, help crime victims
Jun 14, 2019

Shusterman announces preservation grant awarded to Wharton Esherick Museum
Jun 10, 2019

Shusterman, Webster to co-host ‘Town Hall on Islamophobia: Confront Hate, Celebrate Diversity’ on June 13
Jun 05, 2019

Shusterman to host telephone town hall on June 6
May 28, 2019

Shusterman’s job bill clears Commerce Committee
May 22, 2019

Shusterman announces $580k in grants to support school safety and security
May 01, 2019

Shusterman to host Savvy Senior Expo on May 9
Apr 23, 2019

Shusterman to take leadership role on House Judiciary Committee
Apr 15, 2019

Shusterman to chair House Tourism and Recreational Development Subcommittee on Arts and Entertainment
Apr 12, 2019

Shusterman joins in ‘Zero Waste PA’ bill package to address single-use plastics, litter and a ‘throwaway’ society
Apr 10, 2019