Sturla honors the life of Lancaster icon Nelson Polite

(Apr 11, 2016)

HARRISBURG, April 11 – The state House of Representatives unanimously adopted H.R. 773 honoring the life of Lancaster civil right leader Nelson M. Polite Sr., introduced by state Rep. Mike Sturla, D- Lancaster. Polite, who died in February at 92, served as former president of Lancaster City Council and former chairman of the Lancaster City Planning Commission. In addition to his service to the city, he was a member of the NAACP, Crispus Attucks Community Center, Lancaster Recreation Commission, Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church and the United Way. A member of the Boy Scouts, Polite formed Troop 15 in 1947. He was also a member of the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite Masons and was a 33rd Degree Mason, the highest honor in the Free Masons. During the civil rights era, Polite protested segregation in Lancaster. He helped to lead protests at the segregated Rocky Springs pool and outside downtown stores that offered few jobs to African-Americans. After the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., he walked the streets to urge calm. Polite was a civil rights icon who always worked for equality and fairness. “I am privileged to commemorate Nelson Polite’s life and contributions to Lancaster. He truly embodied a good citizen and I am proud to have called him a friend. I will miss him and his profound advice and explanations, and I’m sure all who knew him will miss him as well,” Sturla said. Read more

 

Gov. Wolf right to let Republicans own their policies

(Mar 23, 2016)

HARRISBURG, March 23 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, released this statement following Gov. Tom Wolf’s announcement that he will allow the most recent budget proposal to become law without his signature: “Governor Wolf has made extensive efforts to work with legislators on both of sides of the aisle to craft a budget that provides for the needs of all Pennsylvanians, pays down the structural budget deficit and improves our fiscal outlook. Unfortunately, Republican majorities repeatedly sent unbalanced budgets that protect special interests and continue to increase the structural deficit to the governor’s desk. After three separate attempts by the governor at compromise over nearly 10 months, a change in direction had to happen. “By simply allowing this budget to stand without his signature, the governor forces the Republican majorities to own their failed policies in this budget. Time is already telling by the multiple credit downgrades from independent credit rating agencies. We’ve seen increased school property taxes, teacher and school staff layoffs, increased class sizes and plummeting test scores in our school districts. Pennsylvania cannot afford to go down this same path, but that is the only path that Republicans will allow for now. “In the interest of moving forward and focusing efforts on the 2016-17 budget, I stand with the governor and hope we can focus on finding sustainable revenue sources that produce Read more

 

Sturla calls for action on Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint

(Mar 02, 2016)

HARRISBURG, March 2 – Following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint, state Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, released this statement: “Pennsylvanians want and need clean water resources. We need to focus on these efforts for ourselves, as well as for those downstream from us. “It’s important that the Pennsylvania Departments of Environmental Protection, Conservation and Natural Resources and Agriculture work together to identify ways to reduce pollution in the most effective and cost-efficient manner. That does not mean that agriculture should bear all of the financial burden. It is in all our best interests to share in the cleanup costs because the benefits will be reaped by everyone in the watershed. “I realize some may view the Supreme Court’s ruling as detrimental to agricultural operations; however, the ruling should be viewed as an opportunity for everyone to roll up our sleeves and work together for the common environmental good and restoring the Chesapeake.” Read more

 

Sturla and community groups to express concern TODAY AT 3 P.M. about possible elimination of magisterial district in Lancaster

(Feb 24, 2016)

LANCASTER, Feb. 24 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, today announced that he will join the Crispus Attucks Self Determination Matters Committee and other Lancaster community organizations to express concern about the possible elimination of a magisterial judge district in Lancaster city. WHEN: Today, Feb. 24 at 3 p.m. WHERE: Crispus Attucks Community Center, Multi-Purpose Room, 407 Howard Ave., Lancaster WHAT: Lancaster County President Judge Dennis Reinaker is considering a preliminary staff proposal to reduce the magisterial judge districts in Lancaster from five to four, by redrawing neighboring districts, including the currently vacant magisterial district 02-2-01 in Southeast Lancaster. Media coverage is invited and encouraged. CONTACT: Jim Dawes Office of State Rep. Mike Sturla Phone: 717-772-0036 Email: jdawes@pahouse.net Read more

 

Property Tax/Rent Rebate forms available at my office

(Feb 15, 2016)

Forms for Pennsylvania’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program for the 2015 tax year are available at my district office – and my staff is ready to help you file yours for free ! The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians 65 or older, widows and widowers 50 or older, and people with disabilities 18 or older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters. Half of Social Security income is excluded and the maximum standard rebate is $650. Claimants must reapply for rebates every year because they are based on annual income and property taxes or rent paid each year. Spouses, personal representatives or estates may file rebate claims on behalf of deceased claimants who lived at least one day in 2015 and meet all other eligibility criteria. The oft-extended deadline to apply for a rebate on property taxes or rent paid in 2015 is June 30, 2016, and the rebates normally are distributed by the Deparment of Revenue beginning July 1. So, the sooner you file, the sooner you will receive your money. Read more

 

Sturla introduces plan to better meet transportation, state police funding needs

(Feb 10, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 10 – State Rep. Mike Sturla has introduced a bill that would increase funds available for transportation projects and ensure adequate, reliable funding for the Pennsylvania State Police. House Bill 709 would establish the State Police Municipal Patrol Services Act, which would establish a fee structure for municipalities to pay for the routine state police patrol services that some are currently receiving for free and restore an estimated $450 million to the Motor License Fund. A yearly fee of $156 would be assessed annually per capita and would be billed to municipalities who fully rely on state police coverage. Municipalities with part-time local police and part-time state police coverage would be assessed a discounted rate of $52 per capita annually. Municipalities that employ a full-time local police force would not be charged a fee. “Each year, nearly $750 million, or about 30 percent of the total funds available for roads and bridges, is transferred from the Motor License Fund to pay for the Pennsylvania State Police instead. At a time when our state is in drastic need of funds to repair our aging infrastructure, we need to spend every dollar effectively,” Sturla said. “Sacrificing vital transportation dollars while giving away free policing services doesn’t make sense.” “About 74 percent of the state’s population pays for full-time local police coverage, and 6 percent is paying for part-time Read more

 

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

 

Sturla calls for bipartisan solution to end budget impasse, start 2016/17 strong

(Feb 09, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 9 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, released the following response to Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget address for the 2016/17 fiscal year: “Today, Governor Wolf had a very frank discussion directly with the citizens of Pennsylvania about the ongoing budget impasse and the impending crisis if appropriate action is not taken to deal with the state’s fiscal woes. “Even at this juncture, with rating agencies threatening more downgrades and the Independent Fiscal Office predicting a $2 billion structural deficit in next year’s budget without increases to any line items beyond mandated expenditures, there are still some in the legislature who would further run Pennsylvania into the ground and cause the kind of devastating consequences that the state experienced in 2010. “Those impending devastating consequences include local school property tax hikes, again; 20,000 more teacher layoffs, beyond the bare-bones staffing complements that resulted from 2010 layoffs; increased class sizes; and lower student test scores. Programs that provide health care and prescriptions for seniors would also take devastating hits; social services for the disabled would see cuts, waiting lists would get longer and government services would slow to a crawl. Local municipal, county and school governments would be left to raise taxes and pick up the pieces. That is not responsible state governance; that is passing the buck and running from Read more

 

Sturla: End the Budget Crisis

(Feb 09, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Mike Sturla says it's time for lawmakers to put people before politics and take Pennsylvania down a path where schools are funded, those in need get help and our homeowners don't face higher property taxes every year. 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

 

Sturla unveils sliding scale tax plan on Marcellus Shale

(Jan 12, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 12 – State Rep. Mike Sturla is seeking support for his legislation that would implement a graduated severance tax on Marcellus Shale to fund pension obligations at state and local levels. “The proposal is a fair approach that would capture much-needed funding for the commonwealth for one of our most valuable resources while providing a break to the industry when prices are down,” Sturla explained. Sturla’s plan would tax natural gas at the following rates: Tax rate Gas value 4% $0-$.99/mcf 5% $1-$1.99/mcf 6% $2-$2.99/mcf 7% $3-$3.99/mcf 8% $4-$4.99/mcf 9% $5 and above/mcf The legislation would exempt gas severed from a stripper well; severed from a storage field; and used within 5 miles of the well for manufacturing in Pennsylvania. Additionally, the current impact fee, post production costs and initial capital costs would be deductible from a severance tax liability. Funds generated would be used to fund the unfunded pension liability before Act 120 of 2010 pension obligations for SERS and PSERS, unfunded municipal pensions and post Act 120 of 2010 pension obligations for local school districts and the state. “There are myriad aspects of this legislation that have long-term benefits and impacts. I look forward to working with stakeholders to come to an agreement that provides a benefit to all involved,” Sturla said. 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

 

Sturla’s office to host health insurance sign-up Dec. 11

(Dec 01, 2015)

LANCASTER, Dec. 1 – In an effort to help residents navigate the Health Insurance Marketplace, free assistance will be available at state Rep. Mike Sturla’s 150 E. King St. office on Friday, Dec. 11. Sturla said Daniel Sosa, a health insurance navigator with SouthEast Lancaster Health Services, will provide enrollment help to residents from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on a first-come basis. "This is a great opportunity for those with questions about obtaining health insurance or making changes to their existing policies. The event is free and all exchanges with the navigator are confidential," Sturla said. Residents are urged to bring their Social Security card and have the full names, birth dates and Social Security numbers of any dependents they wish to enroll. Additional information is available by calling Sturla’s office at 717-295-3157. Read more

 

Veterans outreach will begin Dec. 9

(Nov 30, 2015)

LANCASTER, Nov. 30 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D- Lancaster, announced today that starting Dec. 9, on the second Wednesday of each month a Veterans Service Officer will be available at his office, to connect veterans or their surviving beneficiaries with valuable programs and services. “Oftentimes, veterans and military families aren’t fully aware of all the benefits they may be entitled to. I am thrilled to partner with the American Legion to offer this free service to help those who have served our country,” Sturla said. Terry Gendron, an accredited Veterans Service Officer, will be available in Sturla’s office located at 150 E. King St. to help with navigating VA compensation benefits, health benefits, educational opportunities, survivor benefits and more. “My staff also will be available to provide information and answer questions in English and Spanish. Ultimately, we hope to make it as easy as possible to help our service men and women access benefits in the most convenient manner,” Sturla said. Appointments are required to ensure there is adequate time to fully serve those in need. Residents may call 717-295-3157 to schedule an appointment for Dec. 9 and future dates. Read more

 

Policy Committee explores living wage for nursing home employees

(Nov 16, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 16 – The House Democratic Policy Committee held a public hearing at the Capitol today to learn more about state Rep. Ed Gainey’s legislation that would incentivize nursing home employers to pay workers a living wage of $15 per hour. The hearing, co-chaired by Gainey, provided information on the impact that the Allegheny County legislator’s House Bill 1449 , the Nursing Facility Accountability Act, would have on workers and facilities. “House Democrats have been advocating for raising the minimum wage for quite some time now. Doing so for nursing home workers would be a great start. Representative Gainey has a proposal that would help workers facing challenging working conditions who deserve far more than a minimum wage,” said Sturla. “The Keystone Research Center found that one in six nursing home workers received SNAP, Medicaid or both. We need to pay a living wage so workers are less dependent on social services and are proudly able to provide for their families, especially those workers who are so dedicated to tirelessly serving others in some of their most difficult times.” Gainey added, “Nursing home workers endure physically and mentally demanding jobs. Raising the wage to a living wage commensurate with their level of work is beyond reasonable and would not only empower workers, it would reduce turnover costs to employers and improve patient care. With a growing elderly population, we must urge Read more

 

House Democratic Policy Committee to hold public hearing on living wage for nursing home employees Monday in Capitol

(Nov 12, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 12 – House Democratic Policy Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, announced today that the committee will hold a public hearing on state Rep. Ed Gainey’s House Bill 1449 that would incentivize nursing home employers to pay $15 an hour to workers through the creation of a statewide Living Wage Certification Program. The hearing will be held 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, November 16 in 418 Main Capitol Building, Harrisburg. Gainey, D-Allegheny, requested the hearing and will serve as co-chairman. His legislation would also require nursing home employers to reimburse the state for the costs incurred by providing public assistance benefits to workers. A recent Keystone Research Center report found that one in six nursing home workers received benefits from SNAP (supplemental nutrition assistant program), Medicaid or both. The current hearing agenda is: 11:00 a.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks 11:10 a.m. Panel from Pennsylvania State Agencies: Christine Filipovich , Deputy Secretary for Quality Assurance Larry Clark , Director of the Office of Policy Jen Burnett , Deputy Secretary for Office of Long-Term Living, Department of Human Services 11:40 a.m. Panel from SEIU Healthcare: Matt Yarnell , Executive Vice President for Long Term Care Tisheia Frazier , Nurse Aid, Philadelphia Brittney Perri , Nurse Aide, Plymouth Dharnell Bridges , Housekeeping/Laundry Worker, Easton 12:10 p.m. W. Russell McDaid , Read more

 

Sturla calls on Republicans to address structural deficit in ongoing budget negotiations

(Oct 07, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 7 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, said he voted today to eliminate the structural deficit and adequately fund education and human services. “Structural deficit spending has been going on for seven years now and it’s catching up with the state. Pennsylvania has received five credit downgrades in the past three years. The amendment that was defeated today would have addressed the deficit and went a long way in restoring the cuts to education and human services over the past administration’s tenure,” Sturla explained. Sturla said that while he is disappointed that the legislation did not pass, he pleased that legislators across the aisle are acknowledging the state’s fiscal problems. “It took 99 days for Republicans to finally acknowledge that there is a structural budget deficit. Moving forward, that information needs to be just as much a part of negotiations as adequately funding schools, human service and property tax relief for our most vulnerable citizens,” Sturla said. “It’s taken years for the poor fiscal management of years’ past to catch up with the state and result in credit downgrades. We need to act now to improve our finances because it will take years of sound decisions to climb out of the hole.” Sturla also noted that a modest personal income tax would keep Pennsylvania among the lowest personal income taxes in the nation. “The structural budget Read more

 

Sturla: We need a REAL budget

(Sep 24, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Mike Sturla speaks out against a short-term stopgap budget that does nothing more than create another budget crisis for schools and non-profit social service agencies until October and urges the passage of a true compromise budget that delivers long-term, sustainable funding. Read more

 

Sturla calls on Republicans to end political gamesmanship and move a responsible Pa. Budget

(Aug 25, 2015)

HARRISBURG, August 25 – Two months past the June 30 state budget deadline, state Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, called on Republicans to stop wasting time and negotiate a responsible budget for all Pennsylvanians. “Today’s political stunt was a waste of time and attempted overrides of a line-item budget that was vetoed by the governor. It’s a charade that makes it appear as though the same people that are responsible for the 10 percent cuts to human services are now looking out for our most vulnerable citizens. The bottom line is, today’s stunt won’t filter money to these organizations any faster and it won’t restore those cuts.” Sturla said Republicans should work on a budget that doesn’t contain accounting gimmicks and adjustments that result in structural deficits, and ultimately have led to five credit rating downgrades for the state over the last three years. “This is an unconstitutional process that is giving false hope to our local human service providers. I would implore my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to stop with the political gamesmanship and invest their time engaging in meaningful negotiations and concessions that move Pennsylvania forward, restore their cuts to education and human services and lift Pennsylvania from the bottom of the pack in job creation.” Read more

 

Sturla honors the life of Lancaster icon Nelson Polite
Apr 11, 2016

Gov. Wolf right to let Republicans own their policies
Mar 23, 2016

Sturla calls for action on Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint
Mar 02, 2016

Sturla and community groups to express concern TODAY AT 3 P.M. about possible elimination of magisterial district in Lancaster
Feb 24, 2016

Property Tax/Rent Rebate forms available at my office
Feb 15, 2016

Sturla introduces plan to better meet transportation, state police funding needs
Feb 10, 2016

PACE prescription programs benefit seniors
Feb 10, 2016

Sturla calls for bipartisan solution to end budget impasse, start 2016/17 strong
Feb 09, 2016

Sturla: End the Budget Crisis
Feb 09, 2016

CHIP offers kids protection and parents peace of mind
Jan 29, 2016

Sturla unveils sliding scale tax plan on Marcellus Shale
Jan 12, 2016

Pa. Treasury could be holding your unclaimed property
Jan 01, 2016

PA Power Switch: Ask the right questions
Dec 30, 2015

Sturla’s office to host health insurance sign-up Dec. 11
Dec 01, 2015

Veterans outreach will begin Dec. 9
Nov 30, 2015

Policy Committee explores living wage for nursing home employees
Nov 16, 2015

House Democratic Policy Committee to hold public hearing on living wage for nursing home employees Monday in Capitol
Nov 12, 2015

Sturla calls on Republicans to address structural deficit in ongoing budget negotiations
Oct 07, 2015

Sturla: We need a REAL budget
Sep 24, 2015

Sturla calls on Republicans to end political gamesmanship and move a responsible Pa. Budget
Aug 25, 2015