PACE prescription programs benefit seniors

(Feb 10, 2016)

PACE, PACENET and PACE plus Medicare are Pennsylvania's prescription assistance programs for older adults, offering low-cost prescription medication to qualified residents, age 65 and older. As of this year, the legislature passed a law excluding Social Security Medicare Part B premiums from being counted towards income levels. Read more

 

CHIP offers kids protection and parents peace of mind

(Jan 29, 2016)

Pennsylvania has a Children's Health Insurance Program that provides free and low-cost health insurance to children. CHIP is not welfare – it covers children of working parents whose employers don't offer coverage and who can't afford private insurance. If you can't afford health insurance for your children, chances are they are eligible for CHIP. Read more

 

Pa. Treasury could be holding your unclaimed property

(Jan 01, 2016)

Each year, the Pennsylvania Treasury receives millions of dollars of unclaimed property. It is estimated that roughly one in 10 Pennsylvanians has unclaimed property. Read more

 

PA Power Switch: Ask the right questions

(Dec 30, 2015)

In Pennsylvania, you can choose the company that generates your electricity – also known as your electric supplier. This means that you have the power to switch to a competing supplier who can offer the lowest price, or provide a specific service you want, such as “green” or renewable energy. Read more

 

Comcast Newsmakers: Structural Deficit and Education Funding in PA State Budget

(May 07, 2015)

State Representative Mike Sturla discusses the need to increase revenue to address Pennsylvania's structural deficit in the current budget and education funding. Read more

 

Spring 2015 Newsletter

(May 06, 2015)

State Representative P. Michael Sturla's Spring 2015 Report to the 96th. Inside: Policy Committee update, upcoming events and more. Read more

 

Policy Committee discusses pre-K funding in Wilkinsburg

(Apr 29, 2015)

WILKINSBURG, April 29 – State Rep. Ed Gainey and the House Democratic Policy Committee today heard from several local education officials about the status of pre-K funding in Pennsylvania during a public hearing at Hosanna House. Gainey requested the hearing and served as co-chairman with HDPC Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. "Every child deserves a quality education regardless of where they live, and it’s vitally important that we reach these students at an early age," said Gainey, D-Allegheny. "Representative Gainey realizes that an investment in early childhood education is an investment in Pennsylvania’s future. Today’s panelists made it clear that a quality start to education will give Pennsylvania’s children the best chance at a successful future," Sturla said. Testifiers expressed overwhelming support for Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget proposal to increase funding for early childhood education by $120 million in the 2015-16 state budget. Following questioning from Sturla, Michelle Figlar, executive director of Pittsburgh Association for the Education of the Young Child, agreed that the investment would still fall short of providing for all families and noted that an additional 100,000 children would be left unserved. Figlar estimates that a $120 million annual increase over the next five years would allow early childhood educators to reach all Pennsylvania children. State Rep. Joe Markosek, D-Allegheny, Read more

 

Policy Committee hearing in Scranton discusses education funding

(Apr 08, 2015)

SCRANTON, April 8 – State Rep. Marty Flynn, D-Lackawanna, today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing with committee chairman Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, to discuss the issue of public education funding. The hearing, held in Scranton High School, focused on how local districts have been impacted by decreased state funding over the last few years, and what Gov. Tom Wolf's proposed budget will mean for them. ”When it comes to our children's education, it is important that we make sure our school districts have the tools to help our children succeed," Flynn said. "Today's hearing was a way for us to learn how districts have struggled to continue to do that in the wake of the Corbett administration's decreases in state funding for education.” Flynn added, “Governor Wolf’s ‘Jobs that Pay, Schools that Teach, and Government that Works’ initiative is one to improve an entire society. By ensuring Pennsylvanians have access to fundamental resources like a good education and well-paying jobs, he’s making it possible for our citizens to better provide for themselves and their families and achieve the American dream.” Echoing that sentiment, Sturla said, "The testimony we heard today here in Representative Flynn's district was not unique in that a majority of school districts across the state have been faced with difficult decisions because of the previous Read more

 

Raise the wage, boost the economy

(Apr 02, 2015)

An increase in the state's minimum wage would lift many low-wage workers out of poverty and provide a boost to local economies. Rep. Sturla co-hosted a recent House Democratic Policy Committee hearing on the issue. Read more

 

Harkins, Policy Committee examine commonwealth’s commitment to education funding

(Mar 23, 2015)

Requested by state Rep. Pat Harkins, D-Erie, the House Democratic Policy Committee held a public hearing today on Gov. Tom Wolf’s education funding proposal to collect input from local school superintendents and a fair education funding advocate. “House Democrats and I believe the key to a better future starts with a solid education that requires a stronger investment from the state,” Harkins said. “Hearing the testimonies of our local superintendents brings the need for, not only more funding, but also a fair funding formula into clear focus.” Read more

 

McCarter, House Democratic Policy Committee explore pre-K funding in Pa.

(Mar 10, 2015)

State Rep. Steve McCarter, D-Montgomery, hosted the House Democratic Policy Committee today at Curtis Hall to discuss the value of pre-K education funding and how to ensure it’s properly funded in Pennsylvania. Read more

 

Dawkins, HDPC discuss education funding

(Mar 09, 2015)

PHILADELPHIA, March 9 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., served as co-chairman of today’s House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing on education funding in Philadelphia. Dawkins requested the hearing, citing the need for a fair education funding formula that would give students in urban districts an equal opportunity at a quality education in Pennsylvania. "As a new legislator, the oath of office is fresh in my mind," Dawkins said. "We have a constitutional obligation to provide a quality education to all Pennsylvania children. We need to do everything in our power to uphold that commitment, regardless of where students live." Those testifying at the hearing included: Pedro Rivera, acting secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Education; Philadelphia City Council members Maria Quinones-Sanchez, 7th District, and Jannie Blackwell, 3rd District; Isaiah Thomas, associate dean of students at Sankofa Freedom Academy Charter School; Helen Gym, co-founder, Parents United for Public Education; Nelson Diaz, partner at Dilworth Paxson LLP; Brett Schaeffer, communications director and policy analyst at the Education Law Center; Dr. Joan Duvall-Flynn, Education Committee chair of the PA State Conference of NAACP Branches; and Bishop Dwayne Rouster, executive director of Philadelphians Organized to Witness Empower & Rebuild (POWER). Dawkins said each panelist contributed a meaningful perspective on the commonwealth’s need Read more

 

Sturla: Wolf budget a great start

(Mar 03, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Mike Sturla said the 2015-16 budget proposed by Gov. Tom Wolf signals a return to responsible leadership in the governor's office and a willingness to move Pennsylvania forward and rebuild its middle class. Read more

 

Sturla commends Wolf on bold plan for citizens of Pa.

(Mar 03, 2015)

HARRISBURG, March 3 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, today released this statement on Gov. Tom Wolf's proposed 2015-16 state budget following his address to the General Assembly: "I commend Governor Wolf for proposing a bold budget that would finally resolve our Commonwealth’s structural deficit instead of continuing to kick the can down the road with budget gimmicks. "The governor’s budget looks out for the citizens of Pennsylvania, not the special interests of Pennsylvania. Those criticizing his plan are looking out for those special interests by trying to defend the status quo of unsound budgets. Pennsylvanians elected a new governor because they want a fresh start, not more of the same. "I believe Governor Wolf’s plan will deliver property tax relief, effective investments in education, increased economic development, and meaningful pension reform that puts Pennsylvania back on the right fiscal path and benefits the citizens of Pennsylvania." Read more

 

Free assistance with Pa. Property Tax/Rent Rebate application available in Sturla’s office

(Feb 10, 2015)

LANCASTER, Feb. 10 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, today reminded constituents to stop by his Lancaster office for free help in completing an application for Pennsylvania’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program, which has a June 30 deadline. “Instead of going to a company that charges a fee to help fill out a Property Tax/Rent Rebate application, my constituents can contact my office to get the free assistance they deserve for this important state program,” Sturla said. “While the deadline typically is extended from June until December, there is no need to wait to apply.” The state’s rebate program benefits eligible residents 65 or older; widows and widowers 50 or older; and people with disabilities 18 or older. The income limit for eligibility is $35,000 a year for homeowners or $15,000 annually for renters, and half of Social Security income is excluded. The maximum standard rebate is $650, but supplemental rebates for qualifying homeowners can boost rebates to $975. The program is supported by the Pennsylvania Lottery and from slots gaming revenue. Sturla also said seniors across the state in past years were targeted and sent a mailing with a California postmark from the “Senior Advisory Center” offering assistance for $39; however, his office can help those eligible to apply for free. Residents in the 96th District (all of Lancaster city and parts of Manheim and Lancaster townships) interested in more Read more

 
 

Sturla begins 2015-16 House session, looks forward to new start

(Jan 06, 2015)

“We certainly have a lot of challenges facing us during the new session, and I look forward to working with Governor-elect Tom Wolf in getting rid of the multibillion-dollar budget deficit left by the previous administration, as well as re-establishing tax fairness and restoring state education funding.” Read more

 

Hope for Hannah legislation becomes law

(Dec 28, 2014)

Pennsylvania's children have a new protection thanks to Hannah's Law, named after Hannah Ginion of Bristol Township, who suffered from the rare genetic disorder called Krabbe disease. Hannah passed away on Dec. 28, 2014. Read more

 

HEROIN: What you need to know about Pennsylvania’s Good Samaritan Law

(Nov 24, 2014)

Landmark legislation passed during the 2013-14 Legislative Session now allows first responders, including law enforcement, fire fighters, EMS or other organizations the ability to administer a medication known as naloxone, a life-saving opioid-overdose antidote. The law also allows individuals such as friends or family members who might be in a position to help a person at risk of experiencing an opioid-related overdose to obtain a prescription for naloxone. Additionally, Act 139 provides immunity from prosecution for those responding to and reporting overdoses. Read more

 

In the News: Dept. of Human Services name change better reflects mission

(Nov 24, 2014)

House Bill 993, which renamed the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare as the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, was signed into law as Act 132 during the 2013-14 Legislative Session. According to advocates for the change, renaming the department was long overdue, and as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported, the name change better reflects the department’s mission. Read more