Latest News

Borowski introduces bill to provide new funding source for EMS

(1 day ago)

HARRISBURG, March 21 – State Rep. Lisa Borowski announced today she has introduced a bill that would support emergency medical service providers by providing Medicaid reimbursement for every mile a patient is transported by ambulance. The bill, also sponsored by Rep. Greg Scott, D-Montgomery, would amend the Fiscal Code to eliminate the provision that limits the per-mile Medicaid reimbursement of at least $4 to each mile beyond 20 miles of patient transportation. “The ongoing hospital closures around the commonwealth are limiting Pennsylvanians’ access to care in many ways – one of them is by adding to the intense strain on our EMS system,” Borowski said. “This is a commonsense move to help deliver much-needed funding to these essential providers, giving them more flexibility to provide timely responses to medical emergencies in this unpredictable healthcare environment.” “Building this funding mechanism between Medicaid and our EMS providers would provide money for the critical work being performed,” Scott said. “We cannot continue to burden patients with thousands of dollars in medical debt any more than we can leave EMS providers without payment for lifesaving work. And as an EMT myself, I’m especially proud to partner with Rep. Borowski on this legislation.” Borowski said she has been visiting her district’s EMS providers to discuss the challenges they face. Their main concern Read more

Ciresi introduces legislation to protect patients and medical personnel from retaliation

(1 day ago)

HARRISBURG, March 21 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, today introduced legislation, (H.B. 641) that would protect patients and medical personnel from health care facility retaliation for filing grievances and complaints. “When mistakes are made at a medical care facility, patients can suffer physically, emotionally and financially,” Ciresi said. “Patients and medical personnel should be able to report errors and unsafe conditions without fear of retaliation for speaking up.” House Bill 641 would protect patients and medical personnel who file grievances or complaints with the facility or its staff, entities charged with accrediting or evaluating health care facilities or a governmental entity. It would also protect people who initiate, participate in, or cooperate with investigations or administrative hearings related to facility quality of care, services or conditions. As part of the protection, the bill would establish a rebuttable presumption that discriminatory treatment against patients and medical personnel was retaliatory if done within a set time after the filing of a grievance or complaint. If a facility is found to have engaged in discrimination or retaliation, victims would be entitled to civil and criminal penalties, including fines and restitution, for lost wages, work benefits and legal costs. “When passed, my legislation will help guarantee the vital right of patients and medical personnel to report unsafe Read more

Senate, House Dems discuss need for COLA for PSERS and SERS retirees

(Mar 21, 2023)

“I’m astounded to see that for 20 years – dating back to a time when I was still in college – no movement has taken place on this issue to assist public and state employees, including my own mother who is a retired public school teacher,” Malagari said. “We gathered today to express our support for these seniors, many of whom are struggling with health care needs on a fixed income, and it’s important to note that fixed income’s purchasing power continues to shrink each year.” Read more

Scott secures $857K for Norristown transportation and infrastructure projects

(Mar 17, 2023)

HARRISBURG, March 17 – State Rep. Greg Scott, D-Montgomery, announced that he helped secure $857,258 in state grants for projects in the 54th District from the Commonwealth Finance Authority. “I am proud to have been able to help secure $857,258 for area transportation and infrastructure improvements because two things are key to Norristown’s growth—developing our economy and improving our quality of life,” Scott said. “These state grants will enable the districts to make critical investments in our freight transportation and municipal waste systems, so Norristown will strengthen its position as a critical rail hub for the transport of goods and protect the health of its residents.” The grants went to the following projects: $500,000 to renovate the Norristown Freight Station at Trail Junction Center (TJC). $387,258 to install sanitary sewer line replacements along Washington Street in Norristown Borough. The grants were awarded by the Commonwealth Financing Authority, which oversees the state’s distribution of gaming revenues to support public projects. Read more

Daley brings home $2M for transportation and public projects in the 148th

(Mar 16, 2023)

State Rep. Mary Jo Daley, D-Montgomery, announced that she brought in $2,032,125 in state grants for projects in the 148th District to improve transportation, increase emergency services response times, and strengthen the local economy from the Commonwealth Finance Authority. Read more

Ciresi brings $1.7 million for area transportation and infrastructure improvements: Funding will advance project to restore Reading-Philadelphia passenger rail service

(Mar 16, 2023)

HARRISBURG, March 16 – As a longtime, successful advocate for transportation and infrastructure programs in the 146th Legislative District, State Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, announced today that he has helped to secure 1.7 million in state grants for area transportation and infrastructure projects through the Commonwealth Financing Authority. “I am proud to have secured $1.7 million in grant funding for these significant and far-reaching projects, particularly the feasibility study that will help establish passenger service between Reading and Philadelphia,” Ciresi said. “This funding will improve our area through investments in projects to reduce traffic, make our streets safer, and increase access to residential, business and recreational areas.” The funding will be used for the following projects: $250,000 toward reconstructing and aligning Lightcap Road in Limerick Township to support the increase in traffic caused by development in the area. $200,000 for the restoration of First Avenue from Arch Street to the trailhead parking area in Royersford Borough to improve access to residences, businesses, and amenities; support the broader Royersford business climate; and ensure a safe and well-maintained connection to the Schuylkill River Trail and other connected trails. $1 million to replace outdated streetlights in Pottstown Borough with new, energy efficient LED lights and control systems, and to install crime prevention Read more

Smith-Wade-El and Hill-Evans introduce bill to expand PTRR Program in PA

(Mar 14, 2023)

HARRISBURG, March 14 – State Reps. Izzy Smith-Wade-El, D-Lancaster, and Carol Hill-Evans, D-York, on Monday introduced legislation (H.B. 389) to expand the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program in Pennsylvania by equalizing income levels, increasing rebate amounts and raising the highest income bracket for homeowners and renters. “It has become too hard to afford a home in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” Smith-Wade-El said. “For many of our senior homeowners and renters, the place in which they live is a legacy of work, life, and love, and we have an obligation to protect them and that legacy by helping them stay in their homes. “Older Pennsylvanians in Lancaster and across the Commonwealth are struggling to pay for basic necessities like food and rent. Despite rising inflation and cost-of-living increases, PTRR’s income limits, rebate amounts and other provisions have not been modified to correspond to these economic changes, resulting in fewer people qualifying for the program and the program rebates failing to provide the necessary financial assistance. “In particular, the PTRR Program has too long discriminated against renters, saying that they deserve less support than homeowners. What we’re going to do differently with this legislation is make sure that all of our seniors and all of our neighbors with disabilities have the support they need to stay in their homes. “The changes Chairwoman Hill-Evans and I Read more

Ciresi, Haddock introduce legislation to expand property tax, rent relief

(Mar 09, 2023)

HARRISBURG, March 9 – State Reps. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, and Jim Haddock, D-Lackawanna/Luzerne, introduced this week H.B. 113, to expand the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program in Pennsylvania. “Pennsylvanians are struggling under high inflation to pay for basic necessities, especially housing,” Ciresi said. “I firmly believe that we must help our seniors and people with disabilities stay in the homes they’ve lived in for years for their own health and for community stability. Unfortunately, while inflation and cost of living has risen, PTRR’s income limits, rebate amounts and other provisions have not been updated to correspond with economic changes, so fewer people qualify for the program, and the rebates don’t provide the needed financial assistance.” “We must act now to expand PTRR as next year, thousands of seniors will lose eligibility because their Social Security cost-of-living adjustments will push them above the eligibility threshold,” Ciresi said. “It is time to make sure that our seniors can remain eligible, and that more individuals can seek assistance from this vital program.” The legislation would increase income limits for homeowners and renters to $50,000 and $25,000, respectively, recognizing the impact inflation has had since the last increase in 2006. In addition, the legislation would permanently reinstate a provision that would ensure individuals are not deemed ineligible for Read more

Ciresi highlights significant investment in property tax and rent relief in Governor Shapiro’s budget proposal

(Mar 09, 2023)

HARRISBURG, March 7 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, reacted to Gov. Josh Shapiro’s proposed 2023-24 budget unveiled today before a joint session of the General Assembly. “I was glad to hear a vision to invest in important and necessary priorities of property tax relief, mental health, school facilities, and public safety in Governor Shapiro’s first budget,” Ciresi said. “The call to expand the Property Tax/Rent Rebate program, which I’ve proposed legislation to do , would be a significant investment in housing affordability, providing property tax and housing relief to more than half a million seniors and individuals with disabilities.” The budget proposed expanding the Property Tax/Rent Rebate program by raising income eligibility caps to $45,000 for both homeowners and renters, indexing eligibility caps to inflation, and increasing maximum rebates to $1,000. These changes, the first major update since 2006, would expand program eligibility to 173,000 individuals, and increase assistance to an additional 398,000 people. Ciresi said the proposed budget also includes an additional $671 million for basic and special education statewide, delivering an increase of $5.8 million to school districts in the 146 th District, including: Pottsgrove School District: $1.2 million. Pottstown School District: $2.9 million. Spring-Ford Area School District: $1.7 Read more

Pashinski, O’Mara re-introduce legislation to reform hospital closure process

(Mar 08, 2023)

HARRISBURG, March 8 – State Reps. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Luzerne, and Jennifer O’Mara, D-Delaware, introduced legislation recently that would bring more accountability to the process of hospital closures, ensuring that Pennsylvanians can receive uninterrupted care and that hospital systems honor their duty to their patients, staff, and the communities they serve. The legislation is a companion to state Sen. Carolyn Comitta’s S.B. 184, introduced in January. “When hospitals and health care facilities close or drastically reduce services with little or no notice, their patients, doctors, nurses, and staff suffer,” Pashinski said. “We witnessed this in Luzerne County last year with the sudden announcement and subsequent closure of First Hospital without any apparent plans in place to provide for continuity of care or help their staff transition. This bipartisan, bicameral legislation would be a significant step toward ensuring health care facilities planning to close provide local communities and government agencies the time, information, and opportunity they need to adequately address these significant impacts and plan for related challenges.” “When a community hospital closes down, hundreds of thousands of people suddenly need to figure out how to access emergency health care. This especially applies to maternity wards, because if one of only two local labor and delivery units moves 30 minutes away, it creates a health Read more