Rep. Shusterman, Democratic colleagues, urge Supreme Court to protect Pennsylvania renters and homeowners during COVID-19 pandemic

(May 14, 2020)

PAOLI, May 14 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, accompanied by many House and Senate colleagues, sent a letter to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court today urging an order to halt evictions and foreclosures for 90 days after a county is moved from the “red” to the “yellow” phase by Gov. Tom Wolf and his administration. Currently, an executive order from the governor extends a stay on foreclosures and evictions through July 10. “I deeply appreciate and value the moratorium on all foreclosures and evictions for the next two months, but individuals who will be living in ‘red zones’ beyond then shouldn’t have to worry about keeping a roof over their heads during a global pandemic,” Shusterman said. “Supporting families and small businesses during this crisis also includes ensuring their stability once we rid Pennsylvania of COVID-19. This virus has taken a lot from us and Pennsylvanians have undoubtedly sacrificed so much so we can flatten our curve. The fear of homelessness should not be a consequence of all the progress we’ve made.” With the support of many other lawmakers in both legislative chambers, the letter highlights a shared concern that COVID-19 could continue to cause serious challenges for many Pennsylvanians whose counties were among the first to shut down and will remain in the red phase for a longer period of time. The order would cover Read more

 

COVID-19 Mental Health Resources

(May 08, 2020)

I understand that stay-at-home orders and the anxiety associated with overcoming a global pandemic can be extremely stressful for many people. Please remember that it’s ok to ask for help. Our community has many resources available to help you work through any feelings of isolation, depression anxiety or any difficult experience or emotions you’re struggling to process. Please see the resources listed below for more information and contact my office if you have any questions at RepShusterman@pahouse.net or (484) 200-8260. Mental Health Services: Council for Relationships https://councilforrelationships.org/home/about-us/ Council for Relationships is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help individuals strengthen their most important relationships. Minding Your Mind Foundation https://mindingyourmind.org/virtual-resources/ The Minding your Mind Foundation provides mental health education to adolescents, teens and young adults, parents, teachers and school administrators. The link above contains a list of virtual resources available during the COVID-19 pandemic. National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Main Line https://namimainlinepa.org/ NAMI provides free services to individuals in need of mental health services as well as their families and friends. Chimes https://chimes.org/services/behavioral-health/ Chimes is a not-for-profit entity providing Read more

 

COVID-19 Food Resources

(May 07, 2020)

During this difficult time, I understand that many Pennsylvanians worry about feeding themselves or their family. Thankfully, our community has several resources to help. No one should ever go hungry, so please contact my office if you need further information at RepShusterman@pahouse.net or 484-200-8260 Chester County: Phoenixville Area Community Services (PACS) https://www.pacsphx.org/our-message-about-covid19 T&E Care https://www.tecare.org/ Chester County Food Bank https://chestercountyfoodbank.org/community-partners/member-agencies/ Meals on Wheels of Chester County https://mowcc.org/ Montgomery County: MontCo Anti-Hunger Network (MAHN) https://www.montcoantihunger.org/mahn-member-food-pantries.html MontCo Hunger Solutions Emergency Food Map https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?ll=40.18809327328347%2C-75.31793603559663&z=9&mid=15AUNRCRvScSiwZ5ydnMITwUbFO4 Map of Montgomery County Schools Providing Meals to Students and Food Banks: https://data-montcopa.opendata.arcgis.com/pages/covid-19-food Meals on Wheels of Montgomery County https://www.mowmc.org/ Read more

 

Shusterman votes to safely reopen Pennsylvania garden centers

(May 01, 2020)

PAOLI, May 1 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, said today that lawn and garden centers are one step closer to opening thanks to the passage of House Bill 2429. This legislation included an amendment supported by Shusterman and fellow Democrats that would provide critical health and public safety requirements for employees and customers. The bill must be passed in the Senate before going to Gov. Tom Wolf. Shusterman said that the requirements to protect workers are in line with Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine’s direction to keep people safe and calm while reopening the economy. “I voted in favor of HB2429 when it was brought up for a vote on Thursday in order to help our garden centers reopen. Professionals in this community wait all year to harvest their work, denying them their prime season would be devastating,” Shusterman said. “I support these incremental steps to reopening our economy, and garden centers are just the beginning. Additionally, this bill would ensure that workers have clean working conditions, hazard pay, PPE and paid sick leave. I hope that this measure, which was supported across the aisle, will serve as an example moving forward.” All garden centers that receive a waiver and operate as a result of the legislation would be required to provide, at minimum, the following protections for an essential employee: Additional hazard Read more

 

House Democrats have a plan to make sure PA HEALS

(Apr 24, 2020)

The coronavirus pandemic is the greatest challenge many Pennsylvanians have ever faced or will ever face. For many families, it’s brought personal or financial tragedy. But it has also shown all of us that when we work together, Pennsylvania is strong enough to handle any challenge. Pennsylvanians have been staying home and saving lives. Our state’s amazing nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals are redefining the word “hero” every day. And, our grocery store employees, pharmacists, warehouse workers and truckers have kept PA supplied and moving. We owe it to them, and to each other, to stay the course until the virus is defeated and our workers, families and communities are safe. If we keep making good, commonsense choices based in facts and science, this crisis will be over soon. In the meantime, House Democrats have developed a plan to put People First, reward hard work, support community based businesses and make sure PA is H elping E mployers A nd L abor S ucceed once this crisis has passed. PA HEALS is just the first steps, but they are crucial to an effective start: Local Businesses Matter – Rep. Joe Ciresi This legislation would use $100 million from the state’s Rainy Day Fund to provide 0% interest loans to smaller, local businesses that were shut out of the COVID-19 Working Capital Access Loan Program when it ran Read more

 

Shusterman and Briggs draft legislation to revive Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 loan program for small businesses

(Apr 22, 2020)

HARRISBURG, April 22 — State Reps. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, and Tim Briggs, D-Montgomery, are introducing legislation that would restore the state’s COVID-19 Working Capital Access (CWCA) loan program and provide no-interest loans to Pennsylvania’s smallest businesses and life science organizations. The lawmakers drafted the bills due to the rapid exhaustion of Pennsylvania’s CWCA loan program. Both bills propose replenishing the program by transferring $100 million from the state’s Rainy Day Fund. A total of $61 million was originally available when the program launched in late March, but applications quickly outpaced the funds available and the program was closed in less than a week. Briggs also noted that many life science businesses were ineligible for CWCA loans due to the way life science entities are structured. In addition to reopening the program, Shusterman’s legislation contains measures that would create two new programs specifically for businesses with five employees or less. Shusterman said that microloans of up to $15,000 at a 0% interest would be available to mom and pop shops with no payments required for the first year. Additionally, a grant program to provide these small businesses with grants of up to $15,000 to cover working capital expenses would be created. “I’ve heard from countless small businesses struggling to stay afloat during the COVID-19 health Read more

 

Helpful COVID-19 Resources

(Apr 16, 2020)

In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic affecting Pennsylvania, my staff and I wanted to provide you with the following resources and information to help you and your family in the days ahead. State Services and Resources The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has created a COVID-19 guide to assist everyone. It includes information on social distancing, mental health resources, unemployment, food assistance, changes from PennDOT and resources for small business: https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/ For individuals: https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/#ForIndividuals For families: https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/#ForFamilies For businesses: https://dced.pa.gov/resources/ The following provides information and links to federal, state, local and private resources. https://pahouse.com/News/?id=113388 Information from the PA Dept. of Labor and Industry on the federal CARES Act: https://www.uc.pa.gov/COVID-19/CARES-Act/Pages/default.aspx The following link provides you with information on what steps Pennsylvania utilities have taken to assist customers, including a moratorium on shutoffs for all regulated utilities: https://pahouse.com/News/?id=113134 Sign Up for PA Alerts Sign up for emergency and weather alerts, health notifications, building alerts and other updates from state and federal agencies: https://public.coderedweb.com/CNE/en-US/BF5CCF5B2AB3 Chester County Resources Chester Read more

 

Green and Shusterman announce loan forgiveness legislation for health workers

(Apr 08, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, April 8 – State Reps. Roni Green, D-Phila., and Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, announced the introduction of legislation to provide Pennsylvania health workers with student loan forgiveness. The loan forgiveness program would reward nurses and employees of personal care and assisted living facilities who have been forced on the front lines of the COVID-19 public health emergency. “Through a loan forgiveness program, we can reward and support these front-line personnel working around the clock, while also encouraging more people to enter the caring professions,” Green said. Average monthly student loan payments are $196 for nurses with an associate’s degree and $234 for those with a bachelor’s. Nurses with a master’s degree face monthly bills of $544, on average. Providing loan forgiveness for nurses would bring much needed financial relief to ensure the well-being and safety of those who work so hard to safeguard the health of Pennsylvanians. The measure would also demonstrate that the commonwealth values and appreciates the contributions nurses and health workers make caring for the most vulnerable and working at the forefront of the difficult and growing COVID-19 pandemic. “Nurses and personal care workers rarely get the recognition they deserve for the vital work they do during normal times, making it more important than ever that we say thank you to them for being Read more

 

PA Legislature Takes Action in Response to COVID-19

(Apr 03, 2020)

This is a challenging time for Pennsylvanians throughout the commonwealth, but I wanted to check in with you and ensure that you are receiving the most accurate, up-to-date information available. Read more

 

Kenyatta, Shusterman demand protections for gig economy workers in final federal COVID-19 recovery bill

(Mar 25, 2020)

HARRISBURG, March 25 – As a historic $2 trillion COVID-19 financial response legislation package struck a deal in Congress early Wednesday morning, state Reps. Malcolm Kenyatta and Melissa Shusterman today introduced a resolution urging federal lawmakers to ensure unemployment compensation for the nation’s 57 million independent contractors and “gig” economy workers (or app based independent contractors) is included in the final financial aid legislation aimed at helping workers during the coronavirus crisis. “These employees comprise over a third of the country’s working population and remain among the most critically under-protected workers, with many not qualifying for unemployment benefits. During this pandemic, they were left with the terrible ultimatum of continuing to work to make ends meet or do their part in reducing spreading the virus by staying home. Many have chosen the latter, resulting in loss of income at alarming rates and the prospect of recouping those losses is uncertain,” Kenyatta, D-Phila., said. “We’re demanding that all independent contractors are protected in any final package.” Shusterman, D-Chester, concurred with Kenyatta’s assertion saying, “It is important that we help this sector of our work population navigate this crisis with immediate relief and action.” Kenyatta said that a copy of the resolution would also be sent to President Donald Trump and Vice Read more

 

Your Localized COVID-19 Update

(Mar 17, 2020)

Your Localized COVID-19 Update Read more

 

Shusterman announces office closure due to COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak

(Mar 12, 2020)

PAOLI, March 12 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, announced that her office will remain closed until further notice beginning immediately. Shusterman said that the closure aligns with Gov. Wolf’s and Secretary of Health Rachel Levine’s guidance on how to slow down the spread of the virus in Montgomery County. “The health and safety of constituents is my top priority which is why I’ve chosen to close my office for the time being,” Shusterman said. “It will re-open when I receive notice from the Department of Health that it is safe to do so.” Shusterman encouraged those who need help with any state-related matters to contact her through her website: https://www.pahouse.com/Shusterman/Contact Read more

 

Shusterman applauds $240K in grants to enhance safety and security

(Mar 11, 2020)

PAOLI, March 11 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, today announced that two community organizations each received grants from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency to enhance their safety and security measures. Valley Forge Educational Services received a $150,000 grant and Khair Inc. received a $90,952 grant. Funds may be used toward safety and security planning, purchase of security-related technology such as metal detectors, surveillance equipment and theft control devices, threat awareness and response training and any other safety or security-related project. “Every Pennsylvanian deserves the opportunity to learn and worship in peace,” Shusterman said. “It is disheartening that our society needs to resort to installing metal detectors at schools or members of faith-based organizations must be escorted in by a guard, but these funds will ensure people can safely practice any religion or pursue an education across the commonwealth, including right here in our community.” The grants are provided through PCCD’s Nonprofit Security Grant Fund Program following the passage of Act 83 of 2019 . The act directs PCCD to administer grants to nonprofit organizations who have been or who are likely to be targets for hate crimes, according to the FBI’s 2017 Hate Crime Statistics publication. Priority consideration for funding was given to organizations that indicated they – or their Read more

 

Shusterman announces cultural and historical grant awarded to Wharton Esherick Museum

(Mar 04, 2020)

PAOLI, March 4 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, today announced that the Wharton Esherick Museum received a $4,490 cultural and historical support grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. “The Wharton Esherick Museum is a critical piece of Chester County showcasing how art and history go hand in hand and contribute to the fabric of our community,” Shusterman said. “I’m proud that I could help bring these funds home to preserve the works of Wharton Esherick, so residents can continue to find inspiration and meaning in his beautiful work.” The grants are from the PHMC’s Cultural and Historical Support grant program. The purpose of the program is to provide general operating support to Pennsylvania museums and official county historical societies that are not directly supported by other state agency operating support programs. Anyone who needs more information can contact Shusterman’s office at 484-200-8260 or visit https://www.phmc.pa.gov/Preservation/Grants-Funding/Pages/Museum-Support.aspx . Read more

 

Chester County Democratic Reps applaud $2.1 million awarded in school safety grants county-wide

(Feb 26, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 26 – Chester County’s Democratic state Reps. Carolyn Comitta, Kristine Howard, Dan Williams, Melissa Shusterman and Danielle Friel-Otten announced that 13 school districts throughout the county received $2.1 million in grant funding to enhance school safety and security. Awardees in Chester County received the following: Avon Grove School District: $45,000 Chester County Intermediate Unit 24: $256,693 Coatesville Area School District: $45,000 Downingtown Area School District: $45,000 Great Valley School District: $244,660 Kennett Consolidated School District: $45,000 Owen J. Roberts School District: $343,588 Phoenixville Area School District: $495,000 Royer-Greaves School for the Blind: $26,133 Tredyffrin-Easttown School District: $480,065 Unionville-Chadds Ford School District: $45,000 West Chester Area School District: $45,000 “I am thankful for these funds that will go directly to support and protect Chester County students. It is our duty to make sure we are creating a safe and healthy school environment for our students to prosper,” Comitta said. “As a former child welfare investigator, ensuring the safety of our community’s children has always been a top priority of mine. A safe learning environment is a productive learning environment, and I thank the Wolf administration for prioritizing our Read more

 

Shusterman weighs in on Governor Wolf’s budget, addresses workforce development and economic sustainability

(Feb 06, 2020)

The governor’s proposed budget plan for 2020-21 contained multiple elements that would benefit the future of Pennsylvania’s children, our developing workforce, and the emerging fields and industries that I believe will significantly help move Pennsylvania forward. Affordable Education & Workforce Development I support the governor’s proposal to invest $60 million with PHEAA to increase the amount of grants for students, on one condition. Instead of students receiving their education in Pennsylvania then moving away and utilizing their new skills and talents elsewhere, grants should be awarded to those who commit to staying in Pennsylvania post-graduation. This would incentivize graduates to help move Pennsylvania forward, and see to it that the state gets a positive return on its investment. We cannot afford to keep exporting the skills of our talented Pennsylvanians to other states, but we also need to hold up our end of the bargain. A strong job market and continual workforce development are key to attracting more generations to put down roots in PA—and that doesn’t stop with college students. Building trades are back on the rise, with a 22% increase of registered apprentices since 2016. Salaries to build a family on, good benefits, and debt-free education are at the forefront of recruiting new talent to fill trades positions. We must set the standard and prove that Pennsylvania can be an Read more

 

Shusterman invites families to 2nd Annual Winter Kids Fest next Saturday

(Jan 23, 2020)

PAOLI, Jan. 23 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, invites families of the 157th Legislative District to her 2nd Annual Winter Kids Fest. The event will run from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 1 at Technical College High School, 1580 Charlestown Road in Phoenixville. Multiple children’s activities will be available including an interactive nature exhibit, mini bowling, indoor soccer goal shoot, make and take art projects and more. Additionally, parents and guardians will have the opportunity to connect with Shusterman and learn about state and local resources available to them. “I encourage anyone raising children to come out and enjoy the festivities,” Shusterman said. “My staff and I will also be on-site to assist attendees with any state-related issue.” For more information, visit the official Facebook event page or call Shusterman’s office at (484) 200-8260. Read more

 

Shusterman announces $70K in grants for two local school districts

(Jan 17, 2020)

PAOLI, Jan. 17 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, today announced that Tredyffrin-Easttown and Phoenixville school districts each received a $35,000 PAsmart Targeted grant to expand computer science classes and teacher training. The grants are one component of the PAsmart initiative to improve computer science and STEM – or science, technology, engineering and mathematics – education. These funds will be used to help schools introduce and expand computer science programming and to provide educators from pre-kindergarten through grade 12 with training to teach CS. “The STEM field is constantly growing and changing, so these jobs will always be in high demand,” Shusterman said. “Ensuring that the next generation of our workforce is highly trained in Pennsylvania and then gives back to the commonwealth through their expertise is crucial to keep us moving forward and a leader in the industry. I’m extremely grateful for this investment in our children and commonwealth’s future.” For more information about Pennsylvania’s education policies and programs, visit the Department of Education’s website . Read more

 

Shusterman hosting Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service to benefit local charities

(Jan 14, 2020)

DEVON, Jan. 14 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, and Mt. Zion AME Church will host a day of service from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Monday, Jan. 20 at Mt. Zion AME Church, 380 N. Fairfield Road in Devon, in honor of Dr. King’s life and legacy. Donation items and volunteers for the event are needed. Items needed include food donations, new socks, school and art supplies, feminine hygiene products, postage stamps, winter weather clothing items, fleece fabric to make tie blankets out of and more. A complete list can be found on the official Facebook event page. “Dr. King made such a profound difference in our country, and I think one of the best ways to celebrate his legacy is to give back to your community,” Shusterman said. “A little bit of compassion and generosity can certainly go a long way for those who need it most, like the senior citizens, homeless college students and military personnel whom this event will benefit.” The day of service will benefit the following organizations: Socks for Seniors, Walker House, The Clinic – Phoenixville, Surrey Services for Seniors, Trinity House and Student Closet – West Chester University. Items will also be used to assemble military care packages. Constituents with questions may contact Shusterman’s office at (484) 200-8260. Read more

 

2020 Winter Newsletter

(Jan 07, 2020)

Read my latest newsletter to learn about achievements in our community and in Harrisburg throughout 2019. Read more

 

Rep. Shusterman, Democratic colleagues, urge Supreme Court to protect Pennsylvania renters and homeowners during COVID-19 pandemic
May 14, 2020

COVID-19 Mental Health Resources
May 08, 2020

COVID-19 Food Resources
May 07, 2020

Shusterman votes to safely reopen Pennsylvania garden centers
May 01, 2020

House Democrats have a plan to make sure PA HEALS
Apr 24, 2020

Shusterman and Briggs draft legislation to revive Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 loan program for small businesses
Apr 22, 2020

Helpful COVID-19 Resources
Apr 16, 2020

Green and Shusterman announce loan forgiveness legislation for health workers
Apr 08, 2020

PA Legislature Takes Action in Response to COVID-19
Apr 03, 2020

Kenyatta, Shusterman demand protections for gig economy workers in final federal COVID-19 recovery bill
Mar 25, 2020

Your Localized COVID-19 Update
Mar 17, 2020

Shusterman announces office closure due to COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak
Mar 12, 2020

Shusterman applauds $240K in grants to enhance safety and security
Mar 11, 2020

Shusterman announces cultural and historical grant awarded to Wharton Esherick Museum
Mar 04, 2020

Chester County Democratic Reps applaud $2.1 million awarded in school safety grants county-wide
Feb 26, 2020

Shusterman weighs in on Governor Wolf’s budget, addresses workforce development and economic sustainability
Feb 06, 2020

Shusterman invites families to 2nd Annual Winter Kids Fest next Saturday
Jan 23, 2020

Shusterman announces $70K in grants for two local school districts
Jan 17, 2020

Shusterman hosting Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service to benefit local charities
Jan 14, 2020

2020 Winter Newsletter
Jan 07, 2020