Latest News

Davis, Snyder sex-offender bill aims to keep children safe near schools

(Oct 24, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 24 – State Reps. Tina Davis and Pam Snyder this week introduced H.B. 1882 , which would restrict convicted sex offenders from living near schools. Under the bill, a sex offender registered under Megan’s Law would not be allowed to live within 2,500 feet of a public, private or parochial school, pre-school or child-care facility in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania State Police report that there are 21,685 registered sex offenders living in the commonwealth, convicted of offenses ranging from possession of child pornography to rape. “Right now, there are no laws preventing offenders from moving in right next door to the school attended by your child, grandchild, niece or nephew,” said Davis, D-Bucks. “Our legislation aims to address this problem and keep kids safe at school and on their way to and from school.” “We must do all we can to protect our most vulnerable citizens from those with a proven record of predatory – and in some cases violent – behavior,” said Snyder, D-Greene/Fayette/Washington. “Our legislation simply mandates a buffer zone between an offender and a school or child-care facility to keep children safe. “It’s past time Pennsylvania had a law like this on its books.” Read more

Snyder named Democratic chairman of bipartisan House Coal Caucus

(Jan 25, 2017)

Rep. Snyder reports that she has been named Democratic chairman of the Pennsylvania House Coal Caucus to support and advance the coal industry and its contributions to the state. “We have new opportunities to bolster a critical part of our energy portfolio and help the industry and its workers,” Snyder said. Read more

Matzie: Bipartisan effort is our only option in ending opioid crisis

(Jun 23, 2016)

HARRISBURG, June 23 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, joined Gov. Tom Wolf and a group of bipartisan legislators today for a Capitol news conference to highlight details of a joint effort to combat the opioid and heroin crisis in the state. In the Rotunda, Democratic Leader Frank Dermody joined Speaker of the House Mike Turzai, Majority Leader David Reed and other House members to announce the completion of recommendations from the Task Force and Advisory Committee on Opioid Prescription Drug Proliferation. “For the past several years, the General Assembly has been focused on the opioid and heroin crisis gripping our state,” Matzie said. “While there is still much to do to wipe this scourge from our communities, today represents progress in that fight. The recommendations from the task force will make a real difference in ending this crisis.” The Task Force and Advisory Committee on Opioid Prescription Drug Proliferation, which was created through the adoption of a resolution in 2014, made several legislative recommendations, including H.B. 1737 and H.R. 590, both of were recently approved by the House. Also announced at the news conference was a special legislative session focused on the opioid crisis, which is expected to be convened in September. “This issue isn’t a partisan one. Individuals from all across our state and from all walks of life have fallen victim to addiction,” Matzie said. “As a member of the Health Committee, I have seen members from bo Read more

External Link >>>

Shell's 'history making' decision has state legislators excited about the future

(Jun 07, 2016)

“It’s really a combination of excitement and relief,” said state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-16, Ambridge. “It’s the equal of hitting the lottery.” Matzie said those who own property along the Ohio River are eager to see what Shell’s announcement means for potential peripheral businesses coming to the area. “For manufacturing to come back in any way … this is really the key,” he said Read more

External Link >>>

27 overdose deaths reported in Beaver County this year

(Jun 06, 2016)

HOPEWELL TWP. -- An estimated 221 overdoses have occurred in Beaver County since January -- 27 of which were fatal, according to the district attorney's office. While seven of the overdose fatalities are still awaiting toxicology reports, 20 were ruled deaths as a result of an opioid overdose. Beaver County District Attorney David Lozier said the data comes from the county dispatch center. Since his election, Lozier has implemented a program requiring police and first responders to report suspected overdoses, fatal or otherwise, to the Beaver County 911 Center. Read more

Matzie announces over $3 million in statewide historical grants

(Jun 03, 2016)

AMBRIDGE, June 3 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, today announced that the Beaver County Historical Research and Landmarks Foundation and various other projects across the state have been awarded grants from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. The Beaver County Historical Research and Landmarks Foundation has been awarded a PHMC Cultural and Historical Support grant of $4,000. In total, 137 organization from 56 counties applied for and are receiving $1,997,605 worth of Cultural and Historical Support grants. Grant recipients were required to meet organizational requirements to be eligible for the grants, which are based on a calculation that uses the recipient’s operating budget. PHMC also awarded 30 organizations today with $1,233,114 in Keystone Historic Preservation grants. The program is used to fund the preservation, rehabilitation and restoration of historic sites that are eligible for or listed in the National Register of Historic Places. “Pennsylvania’s legacy is rooted in important historical moments and breathtaking cultural offerings, and preserving the institutions that protect and promote these historic sites is important to both our state’s economy and its heritage,” Matzie said. “These funds will allow future generations to experience our state’s rich history.” In total, PHMC awarded $3.23 million today to historical projects across the state through both grant programs. Matzie has served on the Pennsylvania Historical and Mu Read more

Matzie to participate in heroin/opioid epidemic public hearing on Thursday in his district

(May 26, 2016)

AMBRIDGE, May 26 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, said he is looking forward to a frank and productive discussion at next week’s Center for Rural Pennsylvania public hearing on Confronting the Heroin/Opioid Epidemic in Pennsylvania. “Addiction is an issue that every part of this state is currently in the midst of battling,” Matzie said. “But rural Pennsylvanian communities face very different challenges than communities in Philadelphia or even Pittsburgh. Discussions like this one allow us to understand those differences better so that any intervention effort can be made more effective.” The public hearing will start at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday June 2 at the Fez, 2312 Brodhead Road, Aliquippa, 15001. “Personally, my childhood friend Amy Scherfel-Watkins’ son, Brooks, was a victim of a heroin overdose in Washington County last year. Since then, Amy, her husband and her family have been telling the story about the devastation their family has endured hoping to capture the attention of anybody and everybody,” Matzie said. “As she told me, if they can help even one person than their son’s purpose here on earth will be fulfilled. I echo those statements and believe as a parent and a policy maker it is my duty to do all that I can to end this epidemic that is affecting families across Pennsylvania and our nation.” Matzie will join state Sen. Gene Yaw, chairman of the General Assembly’s Center for Rural Pennsylvania, and Beaver County state Sens. Elder Vogel and Came Read more

Matzie: New basic education funding formula ensures equity across zip codes

(May 25, 2016)

HARRISBURG, May 25 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, voted today for legislation containing the new Student-Weighted Basic Education Funding Formula, which is now on its way to Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk to await his signature. House Bill 1552 was amended in the Senate to include the formula, which was recommended by the Basic Education Funding Commission in 2015. "This formula will help ensure that the quality of our students’ education isn’t determined by their zip code," Matzie said. "I have long supported a truly equitable funding formula and we are now able to ensure that our students will have a fair chance to achieve." The new funding formula, which would take effect next school year, was designed to distribute education funds across the state in a more equitable manner while factoring variables including poverty rate, local effort and capacity and issues facing rural and small districts. Matzie reached across the aisle to implement a Fiscal Code bill earlier this year that contained a temporary formula and said he was glad to support the effort to make it permanent. "Governor Wolf has rightly pledged to sign this bill into law without delay so that schools across this commonwealth will be better able to, once again, start meeting the constitutional mandate of providing every child with a quality education," Matzie said. Read more

Matzie urges eligible groups to apply for GTRP grant before upcoming deadline

(May 24, 2016)

HARRISBURG, May 24 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, today is encouraging any area businesses, municipalities, or other eligible organization to consider applying for a grant from the Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program. Matzie said that any organization currently contemplating projects that involve the development, rehabilitation or improvement of a public park, recreation area, greenway, or trail should consider apply for a GTRP grant. "Making smart investments in our parks, trails and other green areas is a wise move that is bound to lead to further economic development and an increased quality of life for the region," Matzie said. "I encourage any eligible group to consider applying for a GTRP grant." The goal of the Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program, which is overseen by the Commonwealth Financing Authority, is to promote the preservation and use of greenways, recreational trails, open space, parks and river conservation. The application deadline for project consideration at a September 2016 CFA meeting is Thursday, June 30. Grants from the GTRP program are limited to $250,000 for any project. A 15 percent match of the total project cost is also required. Read more

External Link >>>

Inquirer editorial: PennDot puts drivers at risk of identity theft

(May 24, 2016)

With identity theft ranking among the most common consumer frauds today, one might think Pennsylvania is working hard to protect residents from that crime. Instead, one state agency may be enabling thieves by selling driver's license information to vendors who aren't being responsibly monitored. Read more