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 bill to help create jobs and revive Pennsylvania’s economy clears House Commerce Committee

(Mar 23, 2021)

Established in 2004, the Second Stage Loan program was funded with $50 million. Today, $46.6 million still remains undistributed. Shusterman's bill calls for transparency and efficiency improvements to make this program work for Pennsylvania's businesses now. Read more

 

Shusterman, O’Mara, Bullock and Davis hosting virtual press conference on Equal Pay Day

(Mar 17, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 17 -- State Reps. Melissa Shusterman, Jennifer O’Mara, Donna Bullock and Tina Davis will host a virtual news conference to discuss the gender wage gap and their legislation to help close it on Equal Pay Day, March 24. The public may livestream the event at 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 24 by visiting PAHouse.com . “We’re going to talk about pay inequality on March 24 because this day marks how far into the year the average woman must work to earn what the average man earns in the previous year, regardless of experience or job type,” said Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery. “Equal Pay Day should be January 1 for everybody. Pay disparities among women, especially women of color whose Equal Pay Day does not come until later in the year, cause them to annually miss out on tens of thousands of dollars. It is long overdue that we close the gender wage gap.” “On average, a woman who works full-time in Pennsylvania earns 20% less than our commonwealth’s working men,” said O’Mara, D-Delaware. “It’s time that we discuss what contributes to this wage gap and how we can close it so Pennsylvania women can better support themselves and their families. Our commonwealth has not updated its equal pay law in half a century, so this is a topic we desperately need to revisit to ensure that working women are protected.” “I know women who were paid less than men while performing the same Read more

 

WEEKLY E-BLAST (March 16): Vaccine FAQs, updated mitigation measures

(Mar 16, 2021)

I’m in Phase 1A, when will I get my vaccine? Gov. Wolf and members of Pennsylvania’s bipartisan COVID-19 Task Force announced new targeted vaccination strategies on Friday, March 12. Read more

 

Miss my latest Tele-Town Hall? Catch the discussion here.

(Mar 03, 2021)

Find out what your friends and neighbors had to say about the vaccine, the state budget and other issues that matter. Read more

 

Shusterman presents House citation to group providing COVID-19 protection

(Feb 25, 2021)

PHOENIXVILLE, Feb. 25 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester and Montgomery, recently presented a citation to a constituent who founded a group that produces and delivers essential personal protective equipment to organizations across the 157 th District and neighboring counties during the COVID-19 pandemic. The citation from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives honors Shai Perednik and the PA COVID-19 Makers Group, which is made up of over 200 volunteers. The group’s mission is to produce and deliver essential personal protective equipment to local medical teams. Among their achievements: 27,000 face shields created. 10,000 handmade masks created. 200 organizations helped. “The PA COVID-19 Makers Group has been a beacon of light during this pandemic. The volunteers stepped up to provide essential protection to health care workers, first responders, community organizations and nursing homes when there was a shortage,” said Shusterman. “Our world has changed in many ways, but kindness and service remain the cornerstone of what makes our community great.” Chief Rafael Henin of the Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Company, which received face masks and face shields from the group, helped to deliver the citation. Shusterman also held a virtual session to celebrate the group’s volunteers. Photos of the citation presentation can be found on state Rep. Read more

 

Shusterman hosting COVID-19 vaccine telephone town hall

(Feb 22, 2021)

PHOENIXVILLE, Feb. 22 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, will partner with local health officials to host a vaccine telephone town hall at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 2. The town hall will include input from Chester County Commissioner Maria Moskowitz and Janet Panning, a representative from the Montgomery County Office of Public Health, on vaccine rollout, accessibility, eligibility and more. Residents of the district will receive a call to their home phones around 7 p.m. that day. To “attend” the meeting, people will be asked to stay on the phone. Anyone wanting to make sure they receive the phone call, or to register a cellphone, should register at bit.ly/3s3VMsy . “My staff have been fielding countless questions, concerns and frustrations regarding the vaccine,” Shusterman said. “This event aims to connect anyone interested with public health professionals that have more information on the vaccine in a safe, accessible way.” People can listen in and ask questions or leave feedback when the meeting has ended. Questions can be submitted in advance by emailing RepShusterman@pahouse.net . Questions also may be directed to Shusterman’s office by calling 484-200-8260. Read more

 

Shusterman authors legislation to bolster small businesses, reform state lobbying practices

(Feb 17, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 17 - State Rep. Melissa Shusterman introduced three pieces of legislation that would boost Pennsylvania’s economy and reform the commonwealth’s lobbying laws. Shusterman’s H.B. 267 would ensure that early and mid-stage businesses using the Second Stage Loan program create more job opportunities in Pennsylvania, and businesses that receive loan guarantees are not only located in Pennsylvania, but stay in Pennsylvania. “The Second Stage Loan Program provides vital assistance to help businesses grow and thrive, and we want to make sure we’re boosting Pennsylvania’s economy, too,” Shusterman said. “This bill would provide a stronger economy and create sustainable jobs in my district and around the state.” The Second Stage Loan Program is a loan guarantee administered by the Commonwealth Financing Authority that guaranteed loans made by commercial lending institutions to life science, advanced technology or manufacturing businesses. The program provides banks with an extra measure of security to encourage them to provide early-stage companies with working capital. Shusterman said that in order to receive a loan guarantee, her bill would require businesses to remain and conduct services within the commonwealth. Shusterman’s lobbying reform legislation, H.Bs. 268 and 269 , both currently await consideration in the House State Government Committee. House Bill 268 would institute a Read more

 

Rep. Shusterman's Jan. 2021 Newsletter

(Feb 10, 2021)

After closing out a year that was filled withhardship and loss, I’m filled with hope for abetter new year. Although we are still in thebeginning of 2021, we are already off to areassuring start as COVID-19 cases steadilydecline and we are distributing the vaccinethroughout our commonwealth. Read more

 

Regional COVID-19 Vaccination Locations

(Feb 09, 2021)

Montgomery County DVCH Norristown Regional Health Center 1401 DeKalb St Norristown, 19401 267-758-5300 https://www.dvch.org EINSTEIN MEDICAL CENTER MONTGOMERY 559 W GERMANTOWN PIKE East Norriton, 19403 484-622-1000 Erics RX Shoppe 810 Welsh Rd Horsham, 19044 215-509-5597 https://www.ericsrx.com Evergreen Pharmacy 1222 Welsh Rd North Wales, 19454 215-393-0902 Evergreen Pharmacy II Inc 702 Dekalb Pike Blue Bell, 19422 610-616-0608 https://evergreenpharmrx.com/ Horsham Pharmacy LLC 316 Horsham Road Horsham, 19044 267-282-5747 https://www.Horshamrx.com Horsham Square Pharmacy 575 Horsham Road Horsham,19044 215-674-5050 https://WWW.HORSHAMSQUAREPHARMACY.COM Jaisohn Medical Center 51 Medical Campus Drive Lansdale, 19446 215-997-2101 LaCons Pharmacy 1336 Powell Street Norristown, 19401 610-279-0140 https://www.laconspharmacy.com Lansdale Hospital 100 Medical Campus Drive Lansdale, 19446 https://jefferson.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eaFnRURFGL4npsx?utm_source=cv19banner Montgomery County EMS Office-Public Safety,EOC 50 Eagleville Road Norristown, 19403 833-875-3967 https://www.montcopa.org/3660/COVID-19-Vaccine Norristown Health Center Montgomery County 1430 DeKalb Street Norristown, 19404 610-278-5117 https://www.montcopa.org/3660/COVID-19-Vaccine Tower Health-Pottstown Hospital 1600 Read more

 

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

Shusterman bill to help create jobs and revive Pennsylvania’s economy clears House Commerce Committee
Mar 23, 2021

Shusterman, O’Mara, Bullock and Davis hosting virtual press conference on Equal Pay Day
Mar 17, 2021

WEEKLY E-BLAST (March 16): Vaccine FAQs, updated mitigation measures
Mar 16, 2021

Miss my latest Tele-Town Hall? Catch the discussion here.
Mar 03, 2021

Shusterman presents House citation to group providing COVID-19 protection
Feb 25, 2021

Shusterman hosting COVID-19 vaccine telephone town hall
Feb 22, 2021

Shusterman authors legislation to bolster small businesses, reform state lobbying practices
Feb 17, 2021

Rep. Shusterman's Jan. 2021 Newsletter
Feb 10, 2021

Regional COVID-19 Vaccination Locations
Feb 09, 2021