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

 

WEEKLY E-BLAST (Feb. 09): COVID-19 vaccine update

(Feb 09, 2021)

I’ve heard from many of you expressing your frustrations and grievances with Pennsylvania’s coronavirus vaccine distribution process. I share in your concerns as countless people eligible to receive the vaccine cannot access it. Read more

 

Shusterman hails legislation that could bolster food donations throughout the commonwealth

(Feb 05, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 5 – A bill that would provide food donors with legal protections for donating food in good faith passed the House today, announced state Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, who first suggested the action last session. House Bill 187 would expand the current immunity from civil and criminal liability to explicitly apply to the donation of food that has exceeded the manufacturer’s “best by” date, but is still fit for human consumption. Shusterman said she introduced an identical bill two years ago as many people misinterpret “best by” dates as expiration dates or indicators of food safety. “I’ve been fighting for this measure since 2019 and encouraging food donations is more important than ever as Pennsylvanians continue struggling from the economic impacts brought on by the coronavirus pandemic,” Shusterman said. “Too often, food that’s completely safe to eat gets thrown away because people mistake its freshness date for an expiration date. This is unacceptable as food banks throughout the commonwealth struggle to keep up with the surge in demand.” Shusterman also introduced a House resolution last year encouraging food donations. Her resolution would both encourage food donations and recognize the importance of the federal Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act and Pennsylvania’s Read more

 

Shusterman to host virtual community resource roundtable this week

(Feb 01, 2021)

PAOLI, Feb. 1 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, invites community members to her virtual roundtable this week that will highlight several local resources available to individuals in need. The roundtable will be livestreamed on her website, RepShusterman.com , at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4. Panelists joining the roundtable will be: Mojdeh Keykhah - director of development and communications, Women's Resource Center in Wayne. Mary Fuller - executive director, Phoenixville Area Community Services. Trisha Larsen - executive director, Minding Your Mind Foundation. Stacey Dougherty - director of community outreach, Laurel House. Julie Guadan - executive director, Phoenixville Senior Center. Nina Guzman - executive director, Alianzas de Phoenixville. Deborah Steeves - attorney, LegalAid of Southeastern PA. Paula Schafer - executive director, MontCo Anti-Hunger Network. Amelia Rayburn - director of education programs, Domestic Violence Center of Chester County. Walter Urban Jr. - site administrator, PA CareerLink - Chester County. Katelyn Malis - director of programs, Open Hearth. Christi Seidel - president & CEO, Surrey Services. Leslie Holt - founder, A Child's Light. “I’m Read more

 

Shusterman appointed as member of PennSERVE, state community service commission

(Jan 28, 2021)

PHOENIXVILLE, Jan. 28 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, today announced that Gov. Tom Wolf appointed her as a member of PennSERVE, a state service commission that promotes volunteering and community service for people of all ages and levels of physical ability. “The last year has been extremely difficult for millions of Pennsylvanians and I know that many who are able to help want to, they just don’t know how. Through PennSERVE, I’ll be able to coordinate volunteer efforts on a larger scale that benefit all residents of the commonwealth,” Shusterman said. Shusterman is one of two state representatives to serve on this commission. Throughout her first term, Shusterman championed policy issues benefitting individuals living with disabilities, seniors and women. She noted that working with PennSERVE will further help her develop volunteer and social opportunities to marginalized groups of people. The PennSERVE Community Service Advisory Board supports, advises and consults with PennSERVE on its core mission of encouraging civic engagement through planned and structured community service. It focuses on promotion of the service ethic and volunteerism in its strategic planning to produce and implement a long-term, comprehensive vision and plan of action for community service initiatives throughout the state. Questions may be directed to Shusterman’s office by calling (484) Read more

 

Harris names deputy whips for 2021-22 legislative session

(Jan 26, 2021)

The PA House Democratic whip, state Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., today announced that state Reps. Jessica Benham, D-Allegheny; Donna Bullock, D-Phila.; Danilo Burgos, D-Phila.; Morgan Cephas, D-Phila.; Patty Kim, D-Dauphin; Kyle Mullins, D-Lackawanna; Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh; Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery; Pam Snyder, D-Greene/Fayette/Washington; and Jared Solomon, D-Phila., will serve as deputy whips for the 2021-22 legislative session. Read more

 

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

WEEKLY E-BLAST (Feb. 09): COVID-19 vaccine update
Feb 09, 2021

Shusterman hails legislation that could bolster food donations throughout the commonwealth
Feb 05, 2021

Shusterman to host virtual community resource roundtable this week
Feb 01, 2021

Shusterman appointed as member of PennSERVE, state community service commission
Jan 28, 2021

Harris names deputy whips for 2021-22 legislative session
Jan 26, 2021