A nightmare on our doorstep: Deep cuts, painful impact

(Apr 21, 2017)

I have been deeply troubled by the first budget presented by President Trump, which puts the Community Development Block Grant and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Community Services Block Grant programs on the chopping block. The Courier Times article from March 21st detailed just how devastating these cuts would be for our community. Read more

 

Briggs: Pennsylvanians deserve transparency from presidential candidates

(Apr 18, 2017)

When Donald Trump ran for president he promised to “drain the swamp” and change the way things are done in Washington. He claimed that the government is “rigged.” And I agree, Washington is rigged, rigged by the corporate interests and wealthy few, and we need to make government work again for working families and the middle class. President Trump was right that we need to change the way things are done in government. Instead of secrecy and backroom deals, our elected officials should be open and transparent. But on Tax Day, when millions of Pennsylvanians are dutifully filing their income tax returns, we’re reminded that Donald Trump is the first presidential candidate in 40 years to refuse to publicly disclose his. And despite repeated promises to do so once in office, President Trump still will not grant the public access to his full tax returns. So I have joined other legislators across the country in proposing legislation that would require all presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns in order to appear on the ballot. My legislation, House Bill 222, would require U.S. presidential candidates to make their five most recent available years of Federal income tax returns public to be eligible to appear on the primary ballot in Pennsylvania. Additionally, candidates would be required to provide written consent for the Secretary of the Commonwealth to publicly disclose their returns in order to be listed on the Read more

 

Daley, Policy Committee discuss importance of early childhood education

(Apr 13, 2017)

MERION STATION, April 13 – State Rep. Mary Jo Daley, D-Montgomery, today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing at Saint Joseph’s University on the importance of investment in early childhood development programs in Pennsylvania. “Children are incredibly impressionable and medical reports consistently state that the most rapid brain development happens between ages 3 and 4. A recent study confirmed that children who did not participate in early learning is 70 percent more likely to be arrested for a violent crime by 18. That number is staggering, and the precise reason why we need to continue to stress the need for investment in early childhood education. I see it as a down payment in our future and I thank the Policy Committee for coming to hear testimony on how and why we should make this investment,” Daley said. House Democratic Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, added, “Studies show, time and time again, that early childhood education is worth the investment. Every $1 invested returns $7 back to Pennsylvania. Better prepared children, higher test scores and reduced crime rates are all benefits of that investment. I’ll continue to support investing in our children at this hearing and in our state budget.” Testifiers included Ailene Keys, maternal child health supervisor, Montgomery County Health Department; Nadine Miller, program improvement administrator, Montgomery County Office of Read more

 

Pa. Tax Amnesty Program runs from April 21 to June 19, 2017

(Apr 13, 2017)

A tax amnesty period for Pennsylvanians will run from April 21, 2017 through June 19, 2017. During this limited 60-day period, the state Department of Revenue will waive all penalties and half of the interest on eligible tax delinquencies for anyone who participates in the 2017 Tax Amnesty Program. For more information, please click here . Read more

 

Warren calls for toll tax credits for commuters, businesses

(Mar 21, 2017)

HARRISBURG, March 21 – State Rep. Perry Warren introduced legislation today to establish a commuter and commerce toll tax credit program. House Bill 926, which is similar to a bill originally introduced in 2015-16 by former state Rep. Steve Santarsiero, would offer an annual state income tax credit of 50 percent of tolls paid, with a $500 cap per filer. Eligible tolls would include those on the Pennsylvania Turnpike and bridges across the Delaware River. Individuals, corporations and small businesses with tax liability would be eligible. “Many of our working families and local businesses use tolled routes frequently and would benefit from the relief this tax credit would bring,” Warren said. “Due to recent shifts in tolling rates and routes that remain un-tolled in Pennsylvania, commuters in the southeast wind up disproportionately paying for the rest of the state’s transportation infrastructure spending. This bill seeks to remedy that situation." The tax credit would also be extended to Pennsylvania residents and Pennsylvania-based companies that shoulder additional costs when accessing the toll bridges operated under the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission, the Delaware River Port Authority of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and the Burlington County Bridge Commission. A U.S. Department of Transportation Research and Innovative Technology Report found that Pennsylvania has the fourth most toll-road miles with 533, behind Read more

 

Daley to host town hall on redistricting reform March 27

(Mar 21, 2017)

CONSHOHOCKEN , March 21 – State Rep. Mary Jo Daley, D-Montgomery, will co-host a town hall meeting on redistricting with Fair Districts PA at 7 p.m. Monday, March 27 at Colonial Elementary School, 230 Flourtown Road in Plymouth Meeting. “Redistricting 101: A Conversation with Fair Districts PA and Rep. Mary Jo Daley” will feature discussion and a question-and-answer segment. Every 10 years following the most recent U.S. Census, the boundaries of Pennsylvania's state House and Senate districts, as well as its congressional districts, must be redrawn to reflect changes and shifts in population. These plans are drawn by five people – the Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate, and a fifth member selected by the legislative leaders. If the four members are unable to agree on the fifth member of the Legislative Reapportionment Commission, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court selects the final member. According to Daley, who is a member of the State Government Reform Caucus, politics often plays too big of a role in the process, and bringing attention to the matter is the only way to affect change. “Redistricting reform is one of the most important topics we have to deal with in the legislature because it affects nearly every partisan vote we face in session,” she said. “Too often, the party in power has too much influence on drawing political boundaries, and the process becomes nothing more than gerrymandering. Read more

 

Warren introduces bill to examine flood mapping, insurance

(Feb 21, 2017)

YARDLEY, Feb. 21 – State Rep. Perry Warren, D-Bucks, introduced a bill this month to create the Flood Insurance Premium Assistance Task Force in Pennsylvania. The task force would study the federal Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act’s effect on premiums for flood insurance, the latest FEMA flood maps that classify new flood zones and the federal discount program to identify areas and neighborhoods that need additional assistance to keep flood-insurance premiums affordable. “Flood zones shift and can cause someone who didn’t need flood insurance before to now need it. That can cause a significant change in a homeowner’s budget,” Warren said. “We need to examine these issues closely.” According to the National Flood Insurance Program, Pennsylvania is among the 10 highest states for flood insurance payouts between January 1978 and March 2011, ranking eighth at $773 million. Warren added that almost every legislative district is impacted by the new flood maps and the flood insurance premium increases. House Bill 530, which has been referred to the House Insurance Committee , has bipartisan support and would address the impact upon residents across Pennsylvania. It would require that the task force, comprised of nine appointed members from state government, issue a final report within six months of its creation. The task force’s recommendations would include: Potential programs that provide premium Read more

 

Pa. House Democratic Southeast Delegation pens letter blasting Trump's Muslim ban

(Feb 16, 2017)

HARRISBURG, FEB. 6 - Members of the Pa. House Democratic Southeast Delegation sent a letter to Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and Pa. Attorney Gen. Josh Shapiro criticizing President Donald Trump's recent executive order banning refugees from entering the United States. In it, they state, "We, the members of the Southeast Delegation of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, state, in the strongest possible terms, our opposition to President Trump’s January 27 th , 2017 Executive Order to bar the entry of nationals – visitor and refugee – from seven majority Muslim countries, and halting all current refugee programs." The entire letter can be viewed here . Read more

 

Kim holds Policy Committee hearing on raising minimum wage

(Jan 30, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 30 – State Rep. Patty Kim, D-Dauphin, today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing on raising the minimum wage. Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, co-chaired the hearing at the YWCA, which discussed the effects of increasing the minimum wage. “Pennsylvania is long overdue for an increase in the minimum wage,” Kim said. “It’s been eight years since the floor was raised to $7.25 in Pennsylvania. In 2016, the inflation-adjusted minimum wage was about one-third below its 1968 level – even though productivity has doubled since 1968.” “When we talk about a minimum wage, we should be talking about a livable wage,” Sturla said. “Pennsylvanians who work 40 hours a week should not be living in poverty. I support raising the minimum wage, and I’m glad the Policy Committee can bring more attention to the issue.” Currently, someone earning minimum wage who works 40 hours per week only earns $15,080, some $4,700 below the poverty line, requiring many people to rely on government assistance programs to get by. Testifiers were Sean Ramaley, deputy secretary at the state Department of Labor and Industry; John Traynor, owner of Harrisburg Midtown Arts Center and the Kitchen Bar; Mary Quinn, president and CEO of the YWCA Harrisburg; and Mark Price, Ph.D., a labor economist from the Keystone Research Center. For hearing testimonies, Read more

 

Briggs introduces bill requiring presidential candidates to publically disclose tax returns

(Jan 26, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 26 – State Rep. Tim Briggs on Wednesday introduced legislation that would require U.S. presidential candidates to make their tax returns public in order to be eligible to appear on the Pennsylvania ballot. House Bill 222 seeks to make transparent a presidential candidate’s financial interests before being elected to the highest office in the nation. “The need for this tradition is clear,” Briggs said. “Many Americans, not to mention the national security community, want to know whether presidential candidates have personal or business interests that could undermine their commitment to act in the best interests of the United States should they become president. “More importantly, all Americans, whether they supported the president's election or not, must know whether there are any financial interests that may affect his or her decision making while serving.” Briggs’ introduction of the bill follows President Donald Trump’s recent reversal on his pledge to release his tax returns following what he described while campaigning as a routine audit. “President Trump’s refusal to release a most basic, yet vital, piece of information could be categorized as a text-book bait and switch,” Briggs said. “One or more states’ refusal to place a candidate on the ballot, on the other hand, could easily prevent something like this from ever happening again. All public Read more

 

DeLissio: Long-Term Care Council work begins in earnest

(Dec 01, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 1 – Members of the Pennsylvania Long-Term Care Council, including state Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., met in Harrisburg Wednesday to announce its launch and discuss the direction of the council. The 35-member body is charged with making recommendations on regulations, licensure, financing and any other responsibilities of the departments and agencies that relate to the commonwealth’s long-term care services and supports systems. “I’m thrilled to begin work on the council and look forward to helping shape long-term care policies in the commonwealth,” said DeLissio, who has nearly 30 years of experience in the fields of long-term care and small-business ownership and has been a member of the Aging and Older Adult Services Committee since elected to office in 2010. “As it stands, our services are difficult to navigate and one of my goals will be to ensure that the continuum of housing and services is as seamless as possible.” Pennsylvania ranks fourth in the country with the percentage of citizens 65 or older, and citizens 85 or older are the most rapidly growing segment of seniors in the commonwealth. Pennsylvania’s Long-Term Care Council Act, Act 64 of 2015, was passed by the General Assembly as a replacement for the Intergovernmental Council on Long-Term Care in order to reflect today’s broader long-term care continuum. The council is intended to Read more

 

DeLissio announces ‘Pam’s Policy Pow-Wows’ in August

(Jul 22, 2016)

PHILADELPHIA, July 22 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio announced today that she will hold in August “Pam’s Policy Pow-Wows” – informal, roundtable-style discussions on policy issues with a high likelihood of being voted on in the Pennsylvania General Assembly before Nov. 30. All of “Pam’s Policy Pow-Wows” will take place from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at her district office, 6511 Ridge Ave. in Philadelphia. “This is an opportunity for more in-depth discussion with my constituents interested in these policy topics in addition to any other state policy matters constituents would like to discuss,” she said. “Light refreshments will be provided, but feel free to BYOB – alcoholic or non-alcoholic.” Bills to be discussed include: Wednesday, August 3 H.B. 1510 – Known as the PA Fairness Act, legislation to prohibit discrimination based on an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression 2016-2017 Budget Revenue Bill – How are we paying for the 2016-2017 budget – what taxes are going up and what taxes are not, and why Wednesday, August 17 H.B. 1947 – Statute of limitation reform legislation that would also eliminate all criminal statutes on future child sex crimes H.B. 1948 – Pain Capable/Dismemberment Pro-Life Legislation, one of the strictest abortion-ban laws in the country Wednesday, August 31 H.B. Read more

 

DeLissio: City Avenue improvement project receives $2M state grant

(Jul 08, 2016)

PHILADELPHIA, July 8 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., today announced the approval of a $2.05 million Commonwealth Financing Authority grant to provide financial assistance for improvements along City Avenue between 50 th and 63 rd streets. The improvements, which qualified under CFA’s multimodal grant allocations, will include new drainage, turning lanes, crosswalks, signal upgrades and lighting. “Revitalization of the City Avenue Corridor has already begun, thanks to new zoning in both Philadelphia and Lower Merion Township and ongoing expansion at Saint Joseph’s University,” DeLissio said. “This ongoing revitalization has been hindered by traffic, drainage and safety issues that this City Avenue Project will address with the help of this grant. “This extremely busy federal highway that is maintained by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is used by thousands of residents and visitors travelling on foot, bicycle, buses and trains to attend classes, work and shop along this section of City Avenue. Greatly improving safety issues for all travelers is a key aspect of this project. “I use City Avenue frequently and can personally attest to the challenges of navigating this corridor in its present state. “This generous grant is a testament to how valuable our community is to the commonwealth,” DeLissio said. Read more

 

DeLissio: All Pennsylvanians deserve access to oral chemotherapy treatments

(Jul 01, 2016)

HARRISBURG, July 1 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., said at a news conference Tuesday that Pennsylvanians should have equal access to oral chemotherapy drugs and has supported H.B. 60 over the six years that she has been in office. DeLissio said that she is thrilled that the bill has finally made it to the governor's desk and looks forward to this legislation being signed into law shortly. Orally administered anti-cancer medications are typically covered under a health plan's pharmacy benefit and classified in the highest tier of a health plan’s cost-sharing system, requiring patients to pay a percentage of the total cost of the drug, generally between 25 and 30 percent. House Bill 60 would prohibit insurance policies from placing oral anti-cancer medications on a specialty tier or charging co-insurance payments that are more than would have been charged for IV therapy or injectables, helping more patients afford a more convenient form of cancer treatment. As of August 2014, 34 states have enacted oral chemotherapy access laws. “It cannot be overstated just how important these drugs are in saving lives,” DeLissio said. “Oral anti-cancer medications have become incredibly effective in fighting cancer, and no one should go without that powerful tool in their fight because they can’t afford it. Citizens should not have to make difficult choices about affording food and rent or mortgage payments Read more

 

McClinton to host workshop for first-time homebuyers June 2

(May 12, 2016)

PHILADELPHIA, May 12 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila/Delaware, will host a seminar for first-time homebuyers from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. June 2 at the Paschalville Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia, 6942 Woodland Ave. Those looking to buy their first home will learn about hunting for the right home, purchasing the home and acquiring a mortgage and the need for homeowners insurance. "Buying a home is an exciting but possibly overwhelming process," McClinton said. "Doing it right can ensure that the homeowner gets the best mortgage rate, has appropriate legal protection and is treated fairly in the entire process. Getting the best deal up front can help reduce the risk of later foreclosure." In addition to the home purchasing information, attendees will also learn about other important financial information, such as building or rebuilding a solid credit rating, savings and other ways to increase or protect your finances. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact McClinton's office staff at (215) 748-6712 . ### Read more

 

DeLissio: Medical marijuana passage would help patients

(Apr 15, 2016)

HARRISBURG, April 15 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., issued the following statement regarding her vote Wednesday in favor of legislation that would legalize medical marijuana in Pennsylvania: “Our vote this week would allow medical cannabis to be used by patients who have had limited to no success with standard medications. Over the past year, many hearings were held to ensure that both the House Health and Judiciary committees were as well-informed as possible regarding the merits of this legislation. “The hearings provided an opportunity to listen to poignant and powerful stories, including those from mothers of children with a form of seizures that are not sufficiently controlled with medications that are currently available, and who often experience severe side effects from these medications. Passage of this bill will provide an opportunity for many citizens to try an alternative course of treatment for chronic conditions such as seizure disorders. “Discussion of Senate Bill 3 was the focus of one of my town halls in May 2015 and a straw vote during that meeting found that the overwhelming majority of attendees were in favor of this bill. Interestingly, it was the information presented at the meeting that helped some constituents understand the facts of the matter differently, and more than a few became supporters by the end of the presentation.” Senate Bill 3, which was twice put through each chamber Read more

 

DeLissio lauds passage of historic statute of limitations bill

(Apr 15, 2016)

HARRISBURG, April 15 – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed a bill this week reforming the statute of limitations regarding child sexual abuse cases, state Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio announced. The bill would abolish the criminal statute of limitations for future criminal prosecutions for serious child sexual abuse crimes relating to human trafficking, sexual servitude, rape, statutory sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault, institutional sexual assault, aggravated indecent sexual assault and incest. The bill also would waive sovereign immunity for state and local public institutions in cases of gross negligence, which would allow civil cases to be filed against them. "This is a bill of historical proportion for survivors of sexual abuse, in particular those who became victims in their childhood,” said DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila. "Through the efforts of many advocates over more than a decade, the Pennsylvania House came to recognize that predators were not being identified in a timely manner and therefore not indicted or convicted for their crimes. The most recent grand jury report of the cover-ups that occurred as recently as three years ago in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown was the final straw for many of my colleagues.” It also would increase the length of time, from age 30 to age 50, for when child sexual abuse victims could file civil claims. As amended by the House on Monday, this Read more

 

DeLissio bill would improve transparency and accountability on money spent in elections

(Apr 07, 2016)

HARRISBURG, April 7 – Concerned about the influence that special interests and advocacy groups have on elections, state Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., plans to introduce a bill that would require disclosure of expenditures for political communications. "Everyone has the right to make their voices heard, but with the proliferation of political and issue advertising in the wake of the Citizens United decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, it's difficult to know who is behind the advertising," DeLissio said. "My legislation would not restrict those voices, but help level the playing field by improving transparency and accountability regarding the money spent to influence elections." DeLissio’s bill would require individuals, advocacy groups and special interests engaging in organized political communication to register with the Department of State and file regular disclosure reports. "This would be similar to the reports that candidates and political parties are already required to file during election cycles. The reports would list the names of people and entities that contribute to the sponsors of the advertising," she said. Under the bill, any advertisement or message that refers to a candidate or elected official would be considered "political communication," and if the message or advertisement was made within 60 days of an election, it automatically would be considered political communication, Read more

 

DeLissio: pensions remain a front-and-center topic in Harrisburg

(Jun 05, 2015)

PHILADELPHIA, June 5 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio announced today she attended two hearings this week on pension reform held by the House State Government Committee, participated in numerous briefings on the topic over the last few months, and has discussed many aspects of the issue at her monthly town halls. She said pensions will be closely linked to the unfolding budget debate and released the following statement. “As I listen to my colleagues and testimony from think tanks, business interests and labor unions, I continue to believe that the previous pension reform legislation, known as Act 120 of 2010, has set us on a path to rectify the fact that the state was deficient in its obligations to fund the two state pension plans (SERS and PSERS) over the past 10 to 15 years,” said DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila. “The hearings also demonstrated that there may be some additional willingness to further adjust what was accomplished in 2010. “Act 120 was a long-term fix designed for 20 to 25 years, and at this point there are only five years of results. “There are a few proposed pieces of legislation, specifically Senate Bill 1 and House Bill 727, which would place new hires – teachers and state employees – into a defined contribution plan versus the current defined benefit plan. The very serious problem with both of these pieces of legislation is that the current unfunded liability would still exist – and that will Read more

 

DeLissio remarks on reducing the size of the General Assembly

(May 08, 2015)

PHILADELPHIA, May 8 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio said today that she voted against H.B. 153 and H.B. 384 on Tuesday because any plan to change the size of the legislature must involve the adoption of a nonpartisan redistricting process. The current method for redistricting, which takes place every 10 years after the census, uses a highly partisan method for redrawing state House and state Senate legislative district boundaries, DeLissio said. The drastic downsizing that would occur under H.B. 153 and H.B. 384 would necessitate decisions about which districts to eliminate, she added. “The current process for redrawing legislative district boundaries is controlled by the legislative leadership, which creates maps for partisan political purposes,” said DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila. “The end result is a bipartisan incumbent-protection plan that makes most districts uncompetitive.” She also said that she believes switching to a part-time legislature would be effective, efficient and less costly. “If we are serious about reining in costs associated with the largest full-time legislature in the United States, while still offering a thorough level of citizen representation in Pennsylvania, then we should also be exploring the option of a part-time legislature,” DeLissio said. House Bill 153 would reduce the size of the House of Representatives from 203 to 153 members, while H.B. 384 would reduce the size of the Senate Read more

 

A nightmare on our doorstep: Deep cuts, painful impact
Apr 21, 2017

Briggs: Pennsylvanians deserve transparency from presidential candidates
Apr 18, 2017

Daley, Policy Committee discuss importance of early childhood education
Apr 13, 2017

Pa. Tax Amnesty Program runs from April 21 to June 19, 2017
Apr 13, 2017

Warren calls for toll tax credits for commuters, businesses
Mar 21, 2017

Daley to host town hall on redistricting reform March 27
Mar 21, 2017

Warren introduces bill to examine flood mapping, insurance
Feb 21, 2017

Pa. House Democratic Southeast Delegation pens letter blasting Trump's Muslim ban
Feb 16, 2017

Kim holds Policy Committee hearing on raising minimum wage
Jan 30, 2017

Briggs introduces bill requiring presidential candidates to publically disclose tax returns
Jan 26, 2017

DeLissio: Long-Term Care Council work begins in earnest
Dec 01, 2016

DeLissio announces ‘Pam’s Policy Pow-Wows’ in August
Jul 22, 2016

DeLissio: City Avenue improvement project receives $2M state grant
Jul 08, 2016

DeLissio: All Pennsylvanians deserve access to oral chemotherapy treatments
Jul 01, 2016

McClinton to host workshop for first-time homebuyers June 2
May 12, 2016

DeLissio: Medical marijuana passage would help patients
Apr 15, 2016

DeLissio lauds passage of historic statute of limitations bill
Apr 15, 2016

DeLissio bill would improve transparency and accountability on money spent in elections
Apr 07, 2016

DeLissio: pensions remain a front-and-center topic in Harrisburg
Jun 05, 2015

DeLissio remarks on reducing the size of the General Assembly
May 08, 2015