House Democrats fight to protect your right to work without fear

(Feb 11, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 11 – To better protect workers, independent contractors and even volunteers at businesses of all sizes, House Democratic lawmakers announced new proposals today to help end workplace discrimination and harassment. The “Work Without Fear – It’s Your Right” plan is designed to give people the tools they need to protect themselves and their coworkers while also helping companies make sure everyone knows the rules. The plan includes: The PA Fairness Act – sponsored by Rep. Dan Frankel, Allegheny County – finally brings Pennsylvania into line with surrounding states by making sure nobody can be fired from a job or denied housing because of who they are or who they love. Until now, we’ve been counting on individual counties and cities to do the right thing and people and our economy has suffered. Give Victims Time for Justice – sponsored by Rep. Margo Davidson, Delaware County, and Rep Mary Isaacson, Philadelphia – gives victims the power to choose when to seek justice and guarantees them a right to trial by jury to seek damages by extending the timeline to file a complaint beyond the current 180 days. Ignorance is No Excuse – sponsored by Rep. Melissa Shusterman, Chester & Montgomery counties, makes sure workers and employers have the facts by requiring Employment Fair Practices notices posted in the workplace to include clear descriptions and examples of abuse so everyone is on the Read more

 

Shusterman appointed to House Judiciary, Tourism, Aging committees

(Jan 28, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 28 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman today announced she was appointed to three House committees, including the powerful Judiciary Committee. Shusterman was also appointed to serve on the Tourism and Recreational Development Committee, and the Aging and Older Adult Services Committee. “I am honored to be placed on the Judiciary, Tourism and Aging committees. I was elected to be a leader for my community, and these committee assignments give me the ability to affect change and provide the transparency that my constituents expect,” said Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery. “I will use these assignments to work with my colleagues in a bipartisan way to meet the needs of my community.” The Judiciary Committee reviews bills related to law enforcement and corrections, and the committee provides oversight for a number of state agencies including the Pennsylvania State Police, Department of Corrections and the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. The Tourism and Recreational Development Committee oversees legislation pertaining to the state’s large tourism industry and has jurisdiction over the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Shusterman is committed to historic preservation and the important role it plays in the tourism industry. The Aging and Older Adult Services Committee reviews bills that affect senior citizens in Pennsylvania and works with the Department of Aging. Shusterman took office Read more

 

Shusterman named Deputy Freshman Whip

(Jan 17, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 17 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman was named Deputy Whip for the House Democratic Caucus, the first freshman legislator to earn the title. “The freshman class of representatives is full of extraordinary leaders,” said Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery. “It is a strong and diverse group. I look forward to using this role to work with my freshman colleagues and listen to them so we can achieve our goals together.” Shusterman was appointed by House Democratic Whip Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila. “Pennsylvanians sent a historically diverse group of first term legislators to Harrisburg,” Harris said. “I look forward to working with Representative Shusterman to integrate the freshman members into the House as we push forward an agenda to benefit citizens across the commonwealth.” The whip is considered the second-in-command in the caucus and is responsible for making sure that Democratic members attend session and generally understand the specifics of legislation and procedural votes in the House. The deputy whips serve to assist the whip on the House floor in ensuring members are present for votes and in tallying support prior to a vote. “My constituents are looking for me to bring a new level of transparency and reform to our state government,” Shusterman said. “I will use this leadership position to help meet their expectations.” Shusterman, who took office Jan. 1 as Read more

 

Pa. House Democrats clean up Valley Forge National Park amid federal government shutdown

(Jan 11, 2019)

KING OF PRUSSIA, Jan. 11 – Four freshman Democratic state representatives spent Thursday morning picking up trash at Valley Forge National Park, helping to keep the historic site beautiful during the ongoing federal government shutdown. State Reps. Joe Ciresi, Kristine Howard, Melissa Shusterman and Joe Webster were joined by the staffs of U.S. Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, D-Chester/Berks, and state Sen. Katie Muth, D-Montgomery, at the National Memorial Arch. The newly sworn-in lawmakers said President Trump’s partial government shutdown means more than 800,000 hardworking Americans, including those who usually keep Valley Forge National Park looking spectacular, are furloughed and entering a financial bind. Friday, which was supposed to be a payday for federal employees, instead marks the record-tying 21 st day of the shutdown. For national parks, that means nobody on site to collect trash or service restrooms. So the four first-time Pa. representatives came together at Valley Forge to take a stand and lend some helping hands. “This is really about true public service and stepping up when there is a need in the community,” said Ciresi, who’s asked members of his staff to volunteer at least once a month with a service organization of their choice. “I didn’t run for office to sit at a desk in Harrisburg. Valley Forge is near all of our districts, so it’s up to us and all of you to help keep it beautiful.” Added Read more

 

Shusterman sworn in for first term as state representative

(Jan 01, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 1 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman was sworn into office today for her first term as state representative of the 157th Legislative District during a Capitol ceremony for The Pennsylvania House of Representatives. As a legislator, Shusterman said that she will prioritize bringing transparency to the role of representative, addressing Pennsylvania's infrastructure deficiencies, investing in public schools and reaching across the aisle to end partisan gridlock, as well as strengthening protections for the environment. Her efforts blend with the broader Plan for PA , which seeks to build a stronger economy for working families instead of serving special interests. “It’s time to get to work; it’s time for ordinary citizens to have a voice in their government,” said Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery. “I’m excited to use the same skills that made me successful in business to proactively advocate for reforms in the legislature that prioritize common sense over politics.” Prior to being elected to the state House, Shusterman launched a digital video company and raised her son as a single mother. Since then, Shusterman has successfully grown her business, working with organizations across Pennsylvania and the country, while residing in Schuylkill Township with her husband, Hans, and son, Paris. “As a fourth-generation area resident, I am honored to represent the people of Montgomery and Read more

 

Veterans services

(Dec 01, 2018)

Below are a number of programs and services available to help veterans and their families. Please share this list with any veterans in your life. Veterans Temporary Assistance Temporary help is available for veterans and their beneficiaries who need aid for essentials such as shelter, fuel, clothing and food. If eligible, a veteran or their beneficiary can qualify for up to $1,600 in a 12-month period. The Disabled Veterans Real Estate Tax Exemption Program Any honorably discharged veteran who is 100 percent disabled, a resident of Pennsylvania and has financial need can apply for this program, which provides real estate tax exemption on principal dwellings. Educational Gratuity Program Children of honorably discharged veterans with service-connected disabilities or children of veterans who died in service during a period of war or armed conflict qualify for up to $500 per semester/term to help defray educational costs. Military Family Relief Assistance Program Eligible Pennsylvania service members and their family members who have a direct and immediate financial need as a result of circumstances beyond their control can apply for up to $3,500 in grants. This program is available for active and past service members. Veterans’ Trust Fund Grant Program Grants are available for veterans’ services organizations, non-profit organizations with a mission of serving Pennsylvania veterans, individual eligible counties and the State Read more

 

Heating aid via LIHEAP now open

(Dec 01, 2018)

The 2018-2019 Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program – LIHEAP – is accepting applications for heating assistance grants. LIHEAP offers cash grants of $200 to $1,000 that are sent directly to the utility company to defray heating costs for eligible households, and crisis benefits of up to $600 for households in immediate danger of being without heat. Remember: These are grants and do not have to be repaid. This season’s income guidelines for both LIHEAP cash and crisis grants are $18,210 for an individual, $24,690 for couples and increases for each additional person in the household. Please click here for more LIHEAP information. Please consider visiting my office if you need help filing a LIHEAP application. Besides my office, LIHEAP information is available by: Contacting local County Assistance offices by phone or in person. Calling the LIHEAP Client Helpline at 1-866-857-7095 or PA Relay at 711 for the hearing impaired. Applying online at https://www.compass.state.pa.us . Read more