Latest News

DeLissio, Miller: Identogo fingerprinting for state clearances available online

(16 hours ago)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 28 – Applicants for certain clearances who register under Identogo for fingerprints and are cleared to work with children in Pennsylvania can now receive their results electronically via email, according to state Reps. Pam DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila, and Brett Miller, R-Lancaster. The lawmakers called the move a huge assist to both applicants and employers to recruit staff. Earlier this year, Miller’s H.B. 764 was signed into law as Act 12 of 2022. This act allows certain employers to provisionally hire an individual for up to 45 days before all required child care clearances are obtained. The goal of this bill was to address the delay that child care employees were experiencing in receiving their clearances via the US Mail, which often took weeks. This prevented the timely hiring of employees in many instances. “While the improvements of House Bill 764 were good, I began looking at finding ways to further increase protections for children. One way to accomplish this was by further reducing the time it took for a prospective employee to receive their FBI clearances,” DeLissio said. “The solution was to have clearances issued electronically.” To solve this, DeLissio and Miller worked together over 18 months with the departments of General Services, and Human Services, as well as the Pennsylvania State Police, who in turn needed to coordinate with the FBI. The result is that now, FBI background checks can be Read more

Delaware Valley Friends School awarded $2.5 million

(Nov 21, 2022)

PAOLI, Nov. 21-- State Rep. Melissa Shusterman is pleased to announce Delaware Valley Friends Schoo l , located in the 157 th Legislative District, has been awarded $2.5 million in Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program funds. Phase One of the expansion and renovation project will include sitework, extensive stormwater management systems, a new building addition with more classrooms and offices, a new accessible school entrance, an outdoor café courtyard, renovations to the current cafeteria, and a full-size kitchen. “These improvements will help the Delaware Valley Friends School meet the needs of a growing student body,” said Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery. “As co-chair of the House Autism and Intellectual Disability Caucus, and as a person who could have benefited from a unique approach to learning, I know how important it is to have a school that addresses the needs of kids who learn differently. I am proud to have this school right here in our district and I’m happy I was able to assist in securing this funding.” Head of School Kirk Smothers commented, “DVFriends is tremendously grateful to Representative Melissa Shusterman and Senator Carolyn Comitta for recognizing the school's important mission and helping to secure a $2.5M RACP grant. The funds will enable the school to continue its trajectory of growth and serve even more students Read more

Senator Santarsiero and Representative Davis Secure $2 Million for Warehouse Redevelopment Project in Bristol Township

(Nov 21, 2022)

BUCKS COUNTY – State Senator Steve Santarsiero (D-10) and Representative Tina Davis (D-141) announced $2 million in state funds from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) will go to a redevelopment project in Bristol Township, transforming a warehouse space and creating both short-term construction jobs and permanent jobs in the area. “This warehouse redevelopment project would be a welcome addition to Bristol Pike and the township, creating jobs for the construction phase and permanent jobs upon completion,” said Senator Santarsiero. “I’d like to thank Governor Wolf for supporting my request to dedicate RACP funds for this project, which will help grow Bristol Township’s local economy.” “These state funds will help support the ongoing revitalization of manufacturing industries in the area through the redevelopment of an industrial and logistics warehouse,” Rep. Davis said. “I thank Gov. Tom Wolf for allocating these RACP funds to this project which will create new jobs and support industry, energizing Lower Bucks’ economy.” The current property holds a low-occupancy hotel located at 6201 Bristol Pike. The property has been rezoned as Heavy Manufacturing, paving the way for the redevelopment. The project will include demolition of the current structure and construction of a 130,000 SF industrial and logistics warehouse that will include the addition of private water, Read more

O’Mara unanimously re-elected as chairwoman of the House Democratic Caucus’ Southeast Delegation

(Nov 18, 2022)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 18 -- Members of the House Democratic Caucus’ Southeast Delegation unanimously re-elected Rep. Jennifer O’Mara, D-Delaware, as chairwoman for the 2023-24 legislative session. As chairwoman, O’Mara will lead the 43-member delegation on legislative initiatives and negotiations within the chamber. The Southeast Delegation is the new majority caucus’ largest and fastest-growing delegation, consisting of members from Berks, Bucks, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Montgomery and York counties. “I’m so grateful to once again serve as chairwoman of the Southeast Delegation. As leader of the caucus’ largest delegation, I’m able to lift up the voices of the people we represent and the issues that matter most to the people of Delco and the surrounding region,” O’Mara said. “I’m humbled to lead this group of lawmakers for the next two years and I look forward to what we can accomplish working together.” O’Mara will begin her third term in office and second term as delegation chair after she is sworn in in January 2023. She said that in her new term, she will continue to focus on supporting veterans and first responders, increasing access to mental health services, preserving the commonwealth’s environment and addressing the student debt crisis. A photo of O’Mara in the House chamber may be downloaded here: Read more

Bullock, Curry highlight issue of student homelessness

(Nov 15, 2022)

HARRISBURG, NOV. 15 – State Reps. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., and Gina Curry, D-Delaware, held a news conference Monday to mark Student Homelessness Awareness Week and educate the public about the prevalence of students experiencing homelessness in Pennsylvania. In the 2020-21 school year, 32,666 students in Pennsylvania schools were homeless or living without adequate housing. “It’s unacceptable that more than 32,000 of our students have recently experienced homelessness or have dealt with inadequate housing. While that number represents a decrease from previous years, it’s still too high,” Bullock said. “We want residents of the commonwealth to recognize that education provides stability and support to youth experiencing homelessness and is a key to preventing future homelessness. We need to do everything we can to support education and our students.” Out of 786 local education agencies in Pennsylvania, 713 are receiving McKinney-Vento subgrants to abate the challenges in their communities. The McKinney-Vento Act states that an individual or family who lacks a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence is considered homeless. Identifying homelessness can be difficult. According to experts, families experiencing homelessness often keep their situation and circumstances hidden from friends, program staff and others. Many families say that they worry about being judged or are fearful of child welfare involvement. Read more

GRANT MEMO: Workforce Support, Historic Preservation, and Criminal Justice Disparity Research Funding Opportunities For Your District

(Nov 14, 2022)

STATE PROGRAMS NOW OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS: Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry: Pennsylvania Nursing Pathway Apprenticeship Industry Partnership (Funding Source: Federal Funding) Who May Apply : Pennsylvania local workforce development boards. Use : To support the convening of Nursing Pathway Apprenticeship Industry Partnerships in lower moderate-income communities and guide the development and registration of healthcare apprenticeship programs, with emphasis on nursing occupations, through group sponsorships. Funds : Up to $260,000. Application Deadline : November 30, 2022 More Information : Click on . Pennsylvania Department of Human Services: Work Force Support Grant (WFSG) 2.0 (Funding Source: Federal Funding) Who May Apply : Eligible DHS certified childcare providers. Use : To provide funding to eligible DHS certified childcare providers (providers) for staff retention and staff recruitment purposes. Funds : Variable depending on staff levels. Application Deadline : December 6, 2022 More Information : Click on . Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency: 2022 Read more

Santarsiero and Davis bring home $500,000 in state tax credits

(Nov 03, 2022)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 3 – State Sen. Steve Santarsiero and Rep. Tina Davis, both D-Bucks, announced today that they secured $500,000 in Neighborhood Assistance Program tax credits to revitalize Croydon and Bristol through support for local business projects. “I am very glad to have secured these state funds for our district as they will provide critical financial assistance to local businesses, which will in turn help keep Lower Bucks on the path towards revitalization,” Davis said. “These tax credits will be used to improve the functionality and aesthetics of a business property in Croydon and aid in the achievement of long-term plans for a company expansion in Bristol. This state funding will help to drive economic development in Lower Bucks, reaping benefits for local businesses, their employees and area residents. I want to thank Senator Santarsiero for working with me to secure this funding and Gov. Tom Wolf for allocating them.” “These Neighborhood Assistance Program funds are a key investment to help businesses keep jobs in our community and continue to grow,” Santarsiero said. “The tax credits offered through this program help boost our local economy and incentivize businesses to be strong community partners.” The tax credits will assist in the rehabilitation of these local projects: $250,000 to EDC Real Estate, LLC to purchase and improve Read more

Ciresi applauds $136,250 in state funds for Pottstown blight remediation

(Nov 03, 2022)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 3 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, announced today that he secured $136,250 in Neighborhood Assistance Program tax credits to assist Genesis Housing Corp. in its investment in revitalizing blighted properties in Pottstown. “This $136,250 in state tax credits will help fight blight in Pottstown,” Ciresi said. “Not only will this money assist efforts to improve aesthetics and increase community supports, but it will also provide money for critical repairs to keep at-risk homeowners in their homes. This funding will improve the quality of life for area residents and keep Pottstown on the road to revitalization.” The investment will assist Genesis Housing Corporation’s rehabilitate projects in Pottstown: $80,000 to support GHC’s coordinated efforts with local organizations to address blighted properties and drive revitalization efforts to improve safety, housing and commercial development. Expected measurable outcomes will include exterior renovations (including housing rehab and façade grants), housing counseling services, improved community access to gardens and support for community improvement programs. GHC is partnering with Pottstown Community Action, Mosaic Community Land Trust and Hobart’s Run. $56,250 for GHC’s proposed Pottstown Homeowner Property Rehab program, which will provide rehab grants for owner-occupied single-family homes in Read more

Healthcare Advocates Sound Alarm about Disturbing Trends in Maternal Care Access, Especially for Black Women

(Nov 01, 2022)

Lansdowne, PA – Acting Secretary of Health and Pennsylvania Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson today joined fellow state leaders and patients during a visit to an organization serving expectant mothers and families to address Black maternal health disparities and maternal health deserts across Pennsylvania. “As a board-certified OBGYN who spent decades caring for people during their pregnancies, I understand the importance of working harder to provide access to quality maternal care services for everyone during pregnancy and afterward,” said Dr. Johnson. “The latest data show that in Pennsylvania, more than 105,000 women 18-44 years of age live in counties with little or no obstetric care. That is completely intolerable.” During a news conference today at the Pettaway Pursuit Foundation – a non-profit educational and community outreach organization for expectant mothers and families – leaders from the Department of Health, Pennsylvania Commission for Women and the Governor’s Advisory Commission on African American Affairs highlighted disturbing trends in maternal care access. According to a recent March of Dimes report , maternity deserts are growing in Pennsylvania, with six counties considered maternity care deserts, up from five counties in the previous report. A maternity care desert is a county where there’s a lack of maternity care resources, no hospitals or birth centers offering Read more

Shusterman: Valley Forge Park Alliance awarded $500K

(Nov 01, 2022)

PAOLI, Nov. 1 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman is pleased to announce the Valley Forge Park Alliance has been awarded $500,000 in Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program funding for the Maurice Stephens House project to convert the home into a new headquarters for the Valley Forge Park Alliance and a café. “For years, the Valley Forge Park Alliance has provided excellent services to park visitors that have complimented official park programming, including bird walks, historical lectures and wellness workshops,” said Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery. “The Maurice Stephens House project will allow them to not only continue these valuable programs but also expand their impact on visitors by having their headquarters located right on the grounds of the park.” The funds will be used to either build an addition or pay for the design fees and site work for the property surrounding to building. That work would include rehabilitating an existing parking lot, installing sidewalks, electricity to the parking lot, signage and landscaping. “Valley Forge brings in more than a million visitors every year and is a significant tourist and historic attraction in the region,” Shusterman said. “This project will be a wonderful addition to the park and will provide a place for visitors to take a break, before exploring more of the 3,500 acres.” The RACP is a grant program Read more