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Relief to restaurants, bars & clubs to help workers a top priority in House Democratic legislative package

Wheatley reminds health care professionals of upcoming deadline to renew license with Pa. Department of State

(Mar 31, 2021)

PITTSBURGH, March 31 – Many health care professionals in Pennsylvania who have not applied for license renewal with the Pennsylvania Department of State’s Board of Medicine only have until April 30 to do so. Wheatley, D-Allegheny, who serves as Democratic chairman of the House Professional Licensure Committee, said despite a recent 90-day extension that allowed licensees additional time to renew, there are many who have not applied. “Health care professionals who wait to reapply could put themselves at risk of their license expiring before the State Board of Medicine can process their renewal application,” said Wheatley. “That could mean that physicians whose license have not been renewed could find themselves unable to practice. In addition, the board will be reviewing many recent graduate license applications, which consume a great deal of time, so it is vital that health care providers submit their license renewals as soon as possible.” “While the pandemic certainly prompted licensing extensions, it is imperative our health care providers are property licensed,” said state Rep. Anita Kulik, D-Allegheny, who is also a member of the House Professional Licensure Committee. “I would strongly encourage these providers to renew their licenses as soon as possible, notably since there are many who have not applied for this renewal and could find themselves unavailable to safely practice, come April 30.” Read more

 

PA House Democrats Launch Effort to Defend Democracy

(Mar 29, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 29 – Responding to the Capitol insurrection in January and the signing of new restrictions on voting rights last week in Georgia, House Democrats are taking action to protect American democracy. Today, a website was launched that summarizes policy proposals to defend democracy as well as links to more information and the ability for people to quickly email their elected officials, noting their support of the bills. The House Democratic Caucus has been working on these proposals since a House Democratic Policy Committee Hearing in January, when members were briefed by legal scholars, hate crimes experts and members of Congress on the language of false conspiracy and election fraud being used to undermine democracy. That same language has shifted from encouraging outright attack to what many perceive as insidiously undermining basic voting rights. “We cannot allow the outrage and disgust of the American people watching an armed invasion of our government to be subverted by a slick rebranding into attacks on our right to fair and free elections” Policy Committee Chairman Ryan Bizzarro said. Members of the House Democratic Caucus have introduced dozens of measures to expand voting rights, preserve election security, protect access to mail-in ballots and polling places, and to clarify and consolidate the often-outdated Election Code. Bizzarro said the site – www.pahouse.com/policy/defendingdemocracy -- will serve as a great Read more

 

Rep. Wheatley to host ‘Pathway to Pardon’ event

(Mar 29, 2021)

PITTSBURGH, March 29 – In an effort to help residents who want to obtain a pardon or expungement of a past criminal conviction, state Rep. Jake Wheatley will be hosting a virtual community event to help educate the public about the pardons process. Wheatley, D-Allegheny, said the “Pathway to Pardon” virtual event will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 31 via his Facebook page ( facebook.com/RepWheatley ). “Far too many Pennsylvanians are impacted by past convictions, preventing them from having the life they want – including a job and a home – even after they’ve paid their debt to society,” Wheatley said. “This event will help participants learn how to navigate the pardon process during COVID-19.” Registration is available by clicking the following link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/representative-jake-wheatley-jr-pathway-to-pardon-tickets 145737084543?fbclid=IwAR1oD9jUDEbOiRC5x5mZEZNnEg8v-DQbELYvcCiN4-Th_t5CFhqErhnSuwU . Interested participants can also contact Rep. Wheatley’s office at 412-471-7760 to register or for more information. Read more

 

Wheatley reintroduces bill to create police oversight board

(Mar 26, 2021)

PITTSBURGH, March 26 – Recent incidents involving some Pittsburgh-area law enforcement officers have prompted state Rep. Jake Wheatley to reintroduce legislation that would establish an oversight board to set standards for training, certification and provide ongoing education for law enforcement. Wheatley, D-Allegheny, said a recent article highlighted some disturbing posts on a private Facebook group with current and retired police officers, which included transphobic posts and bullying against members of law enforcement who marched with or supported Black Lives Matter protests. “Their conduct was and is unbecoming and disturbing, to say the least,” Wheatley said. “These are officers we trust to protect the public and keep us safe, and they should be property vetted and trained. That means meeting professional standards, education requirements and proving good moral character, the same criteria we expect from other licensed and certified professions, including doctors, lawyers and veterinary technicians.” Wheatley’s legislation would implement certification and decertification standards for law enforcement, including state police troopers, municipal and correctional officers, and sheriffs. The measure would also establish a venue to address behavioral misconduct concerns. “While certification and training standards currently exist for these positions, the certification and training standards are separate, based on Read more

 

Allegheny County rental relief program now accepting applications

(Mar 15, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 15 – Financial assistance is now available to help Allegheny County residents struggling to pay rent or utilities during the COVID-19 pandemic as part of a program that is partially funded by legislation members of the Allegheny County Democratic Delegation helped to pass. The Allegheny County Emergency Rental Assistance program has a total of $79.9 million to distribute to eligible county residents. Of that funding, $43 million came from Act 1 of 2021, which Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law last month. Eligibility requirements for the program include: having at least one person who qualifies for unemployment, has lost income or suffered financially due to COVID-19. being at risk of experiencing homelessness. having a total income below 80% of the Area Median Income for Allegheny County. ACDD Chairman state Rep. Austin Davis, as well as state Reps. Jessica Benham, Dan Deasy, Tony DeLuca, Dan Frankel, Ed Gainey, Sara Innamorato, Emily Kinkead, Anita Kulik, Summer Lee, Brandon Markosek, Robert Matzie, Dan Miller, Nick Pisciottano and Jake Wheatley, issued the following statement: “People living in Allegheny County have been struggling for over a year during this pandemic. This program has been a long time coming and helps provide direct relief to those who’ve been scrambling to pay their rent and bills during this Read more

 

Rep. Wheatley hosting virtual minority, women and disadvantaged business owners event

(Mar 11, 2021)

PITTSBURGH, March 11 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley is taking his annual minority, women and disadvantaged business entrepreneurs’ event virtual this year, providing them with an opportunity to gain recognition for their business savvy and receive valuable information from local, regional and state business experts. This year’s MWDBE event will be held from 5:30 p.m - 7 p.m. on Monday, March 29 and will feature state agency and department representatives and local organizations, including Community Development Financial Institutions and other financial institutions. Participants will have the opportunity to take part in breakout rooms for further discussion, networking and to ask questions. Organizations scheduled to attend this virtual event include the Pennsylvania Department of General Services, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, PNC Bank, and the Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority. To register for this event, entrepreneurs can use the following link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/rep-wheatleys-annual-minority-women-disadvantaged-businesses-lobby-day-tickets-145553346979 . More information is available by calling The People’s Office at 412-471-7760. Read more

 

Allegheny County Delegation announces $1.5 million in security grants for nonprofit organizations

(Mar 10, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 10 – Members of the PA House Democratic Allegheny County Delegation said $1.5 million will be awarded to nonprofit organizations across the county for security projects. The funding is being provided through the Nonprofit Security Grant Fund, set up by Act 83 of 2019 and administered by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. The goal is to better protect individuals, groups and organizations that are susceptible to hate crimes. The program was created largely as a result of the Squirrel Hill synagogue attack of 2018 that claimed the lives of 11 Pennsylvanians. Grant recipients can use the funds for security enhancements designed to protect the safety of the users of the facility that is owned and operated by the nonprofit organization. These include safety and security planning, purchase of security equipment, safety and security training, and other safety-related projects. The following nonprofit organizations will receive grants through the Nonprofit Security Grant Fund in 2021: Chabad Lubavitch of the South Hills Inc.: $25,000 Congregation Poale Zedeck: $150,000 Tzohar Seminary: $56,312 Saint Brendan’s Episcopal Church: $25,000 Beth El Congregation of the South Hills/ United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism: $56,391 Yeshivath Achei Tmimim of Pittsburgh: $75,000 Ebenezer Baptist Church: $120,000 The Neighborhood Academy: $ 18,800 Read more

 

Wheatley, Hughes recognize National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in Pennsylvania

(Feb 05, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 5 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, and state Sen. Vincent Hughes, D-Philadelphia/Montgomery, are recognizing Sunday, Feb. 7 as National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in Pennsylvania. National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day began more than two decades ago as a grassroots effort with hundreds of organizations. This yearly initiative encourages Black people to get tested in the hope of putting an end to the disease. “While the current pandemic has taken center stage as it relates to public health, the HIV/AIDS epidemic is far from over,” Wheatley said. “Nearly 1.2 million people nationwide are living with the virus; 14% of those don’t know they’re infected. African Americans have accounted for 42% of the diagnoses in 2018, the most recent statistics available, while they comprise just 13% of the overall population nationwide. With treatment and medication, people are living longer lives, but sadly, there’s still no cure and prevention remains the best option. That’s why it’s so important to get tested.” “As we remain in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and its disproportionate impact on Black and brown people, let us not forget the that we must remain vigilant in the fight against HIV/AIDS, which has plagued the Black community for years,” Hughes said. “Getting tested, knowing your status and practicing safe behaviors are just as important now as they have ever been. We Read more

 

Wheatley and Lt. Governor Fetterman: It’s time to legalize it

(Feb 04, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 4 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley has joined Lt. Gov. John Fetterman in urging the legislature to consider his updated measure to legalize adult-use cannabis. Wheatley, D-Allegheny, said this renewed effort includes a call to action on his website, www.repwheatley.com , where Pennsylvanians can click on, fill out and automatically send a message to their state representative and state senator and make their voices heard. “Both Lieutenant Governor Fetterman and I have heard from thousands of Pennsylvanians over the past few years who have made their support clear for this initiative,” Wheatley said. “Not only would this measure provide millions in much-needed revenue and create jobs, but it also includes a provision to expunge cannabis-related offenses for non-violent offenders. My bill would also be a boon to our agriculture industry and support grant programs to help our communities and our minority- and women-owned businesses. The governor is also on board with legalizing adult-use cannabis because he also sees its multi-pronged benefits to our great state. Bottom line: Pennsylvanians have waited long enough – it’s time.” “It’s time for legal weed in Pa.,” Fetterman said. “This is common sense criminal justice reform that will also generate billions when Pennsylvanians need it the most. It’s time to stop spending millions per year to ruin the lives of Read more

 

Wheatley: Governor’s budget proposal a bold step forward for PA

(Feb 03, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 3 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, released the following statement regarding Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed 2021-22 budget unveiled today: “Once again, Governor Wolf has made a bold attempt to push our commonwealth and its many kings and queens of the General Assembly forward. He has put forth a reasonably straightforward budget proposal that attempts to put equity and fairness at the center and begin to modernize our very outdated and insufficient revenue structures, while simultaneously focusing on our hard-working men and women. “Some legislators will focus on those elements they believe will make easy political points, but we should applaud our governor for being bold and focusing on our state’s future and not on its past. “I am looking forward to working with this administration as we move ahead over the next few months and embark on ways to bring our families and communities' interests to the budgetary process. Whether it's enacting an adult-use cannabis legalization system; further reforming our criminal justice system; or leading the charge to bring more Pennsylvanians tax relief while also finding the needed revenues to continue long term investments in our educational system, childcare systems and workforce systems, I'm here to be an advocate, partner and active participant. “Governor Wolf has set the stage and laid out a pathway forward. Now, it’s time to see if Read more

 

Wheatley sworn into office, returns with new chairmanship

(Jan 12, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 12 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, has been sworn in for another two-year term in the House and has also been named as the Democratic chairman of the House Professional Licensure Committee. He previously served two terms as Democratic chairman of the House Finance Committee. “I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues on several issues – among the most urgent is securing much-needed relief for residents and minority-owned businesses who continue to be adversely impacted by the ongoing pandemic,” said Wheatley. “I’ve seen firsthand how the pandemic has led to extreme stress and anxiety, especially for people who want to work and have either struggled, due to no fault of their own, to get or renew the proper licensing for their respective occupations. I see this committee being among the most vital in directly impacting our workforce. A strong workforce is going to be the foundation toward our state’s recovery, and we need to do all we can to make the licensing process for employees and businesses as smooth and efficient as possible to keep Pennsylvanians working.” Wheatley added that, based on a recent national study , 41% of Black-owned businesses, 32% of Latino-owned businesses and 26% of Asian-owned businesses shut down between February and April 2020, compared to 17% of white-owned businesses during that same time period. Wheatley was first elected to the Pennsylvania House of Read more

 

Wheatley: More than $32 million in state grants coming to district

(Dec 23, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, Dec. 23 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley announced more than $32 million in state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grants for the 19 th Legislative District. “This is great news for our portion of the city,” said Wheatley, D-Allegheny. “I was pleased to help bring this funding to the district and I thank Governor Wolf for releasing the funding for these worthwhile projects.” Here is a brief description of each of the projects and amount awarded: Sports and Exhibition Authority of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County -- $2 million for COVID-19 renovations and construction to each of its four facilities, including preventative sanitization, touchless areas, mechanical and air filtration systems and other construction to main entrance and retail food/service areas. Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, downtown – $1 million to renovate its first and second floors for new spaces for children and teens to support creative and connected learning, meeting rooms, adult space and extending the elevator and stairs to the second floor. City’s Edge -- $1.2 million for construction of a community health care center and pharmacy, outdoor space and parking on Lot F, a vacant surface parking lot in the 1400 block of Colwell Street. David L. Lawrence Convention Center -- $2 million for critical roof repairs and new programmable event space, including phase 2 of the fourth floor terrace. Read more

 

Wheatley announces grants to support Pittsburgh museums impacted by effects of pandemic

(Dec 03, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, Dec. 3 – The Carnegie Museum of Natural History and Carnegie Science Center and the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh are among 155 museums and historical centers statewide to receive grants designed to support them during the current pandemic, state Rep. Jake Wheatley announced. Wheatley, D-Allegheny, said each museum has received a $40,000 grant awarded by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission under the Cultural and Historical Support Grant Program . “Our museums and historical centers have certainly felt significant financial impacts during this pandemic, and my hope is that these grants will help them continue their efforts to educate and enlighten visitors,” said Wheatley. “These funds will provide much-needed support to keep their doors open and continue to provide opportunities to share our region’s rich history and culture.” Wheatley emphasized the goal of the program is to strengthen the commonwealth’s museum community by supporting the operations of eligible museums and county historical societies that are not supported by other state agency funding programs. An eligible museum must have an annual operating budget exceeding $100,000 (excluding capital and in-kind services) and at least one full-time professional staff person (or approved equivalent). More information can be found here . Read more

 

Helpful resources for veterans & active duty military during the holiday season

(Dec 02, 2020)

No doubt, this year has posed some significant challenges for many of us, and that includes our veterans and active military personnel. Read more

 

Wheatley: $1.2 million in grants to help homeless in Allegheny County

(Nov 30, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, Nov. 30 – Three Allegheny County organizations will receive a total of more than $1.2 million in grant funding to help individuals experiencing homelessness, state Rep. Jake Wheatley announced. Wheatley, D-Allegheny, said ACTION Housing/Team PSBG, Community Human Services and Pittsburgh Mercy are recipients of “Code Blue” program funding. The program was created by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development through the state’s second allocation of Emergency Solutions Grant Funding from the CARES Act. The funds will be used for emergency shelter and temporary emergency shelter for residents who are experiencing homelessness in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, he added. “The current pandemic and colder temperatures make it imperative that many residents need immediate help to secure safe housing, and this funding is truly a lifeline,” said Wheatley. “The grants will allow these agencies to provide life-saving shelter and also prepare for future needs as the winter season approaches.” For more information on the program, including a full list of grant recipients, residents can visit the following link: https://dced.pa.gov/download/emergency-solutions-grant-cv-code-blue-award-recipients/?wpdmdl=104658 . Read more

 

Wheatley issues statement regarding committee action on H.R. 1100

(Nov 23, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, Nov. 23 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, issued the following statement regarding today’s vote by the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee against performing an audit of the 2020 general election as called for by H.R. 1100 : “Today, the bipartisan, bicameral Legislative Budget and Finance Committee voted 2-to-1 against conducting a risk limiting audit of our state’s most recent election. After substantial discussion, the committee felt that staff would be unable to conduct such an audit and were also unable to find a consultant who could conduct it, given the 60-day to 90-day timeframe. “As the committee’s treasurer, I believe it’s imperative we use our state’s finances and resources in a responsible manner. That is a responsibility shared by each member of this committee. To conduct such an audit, on top of the actions taking place by the Pennsylvania Department of State to certify election results, would truly be an exercise in futility. We currently have processes in place to validate our election results to ensure the process, from beginning to end, was fair. “Today’s actions put an end to a process that was fraught with politics from its inception and would have disenfranchised the thousands of Pennsylvanians who exercised their right to vote. Now is the time to move forward and prepare for a busy and productive legislative session.” Read more

 

Wheatley issues statement on budget discussions

(Nov 20, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, Nov. 20 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, issued the following statement regarding state budget negotiations in the House: “We have thousands of families struggling to find their financial footing because of this raging pandemic that has closed or limited their abilities to feed themselves and their families. Thousands of our students don’t have the ability to access school instruction because of limited access to technology and reliable internet service. We have hundreds of our small businesses and venues still waiting for some financial relief. “To that end, we have $1.3 in federal dollars for the sole purpose of offering some short-term financial relief. Instead, Harrisburg is holding the money so that it can be used toward a sham of a budget. “It's yet another case of those in the state Capitol who fail to understand or care about what’s best for our residents and are only thinking of their own interests. What happened to the belief that, during times of difficulty, we work together to come up with ideas and solutions and collaborate? Instead, there’s a push toward actions that are short-sighted and short-termed. That is what will happen if we continue forward with short-sighted and irresponsible budgeting. “What about closing some of our corporate tax loopholes, or consider emerging industries, such as our cannabis industry, to resolve the state’s $3 billion deficit? There have been Read more

 

Wheatley announces $291K in school safety grants, urges colleagues to do more to help schools, communities during ongoing pandemic

(Nov 16, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, Nov. 16 – While announcing $291,725 in Safe Schools Targeted Grants awarded to area schools, state Rep. Jake Wheatley is also renewing a call to do more to help schools and school districts impacted by inequities in funding and support that have been laid bare in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “While these grants will certainly help our schools’ efforts in providing a safe learning environment for students and staff, I also implore my colleagues in the House to work together to create a funding source to address the digital and racial divides that have been exposed during this ongoing pandemic,” said Wheatley. “We have many schools across our state that lack affordable, reliable broadband access, as well as the vital resources necessary to support our students and families in need who continue to struggle to make ends meet. We can and must continue to do more.” The grants, awarded by the state Department of Education, are aimed toward preventing and reducing violence. The funds can also be used to purchase safety and security-related equipment and provide training and compensation of school resource and police officers. Under this program, the PDE’s Office for Safe Schools offers four types of safety grants: equipment grants of up to $25,000; program grants of up to $20,000; school police officer grants of up to $40,000; and school resource officer grants of up to $60,000. The grants are designed to Read more

 

Legalizing adult-use cannabis to provide second chance, reform criminal justice system | Editorial

(Oct 21, 2020)

Earlier this year, House Bill 2050 was introduced – a measure to allow for the legal sale of adult-use cannabis through a permitting structure for growers, processors, and dispensaries.There are several great components contained in this bill, including provisions to help our youth, support affordable housing, and provide resources to help minority and women-owned businesses. In addition, it would provide a much-needed influx of revenue to our state at a time when we face significant economic challenges.Unfortunately, one component of the bill that got lost in the media attention following its introduction is the Cannabis Clean Slate initiative, which would provide for the expungement of cannabis-related offenses for non-violent drug offenders. Read more

 

Wheatley introduces “Return Your Rights” legislation

(Oct 16, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, Oct. 16 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley has introduced a measure designed to end the cycle of branding nonviolent offenders, who have paid their debt to society, for their past mistakes. Wheatley, D-Allegheny, says H.B. 2942 would ensure their full rights as citizens are restored, provided they have served their time and paid all fines, fees and restitution. His bill would allow offenders to vote while in prison and once they are released. In addition, Wheatley’s measure would provide for the expungement of nonviolent felonies under the state’s The Controlled Substances, Drugs, Device, and Cosmetic Act and allow nonviolent offenders who have completed their sentence and paid any fines or related costs to obtain a firearm license. “When nonviolent offenders serve their time and have paid their debt to society, sadly it’s not uncommon for them to be subsequently denied basic rights and privileges that many of us take for granted,” said Wheatley. “While we’ve made some strides in recent years to implement meaningful criminal justice reforms, including the passage of clean slate legislation in 2018, we can and must do more. They deserve a second chance.” More information on the bill can be found at the following link: https://legis-pahofr.msappproxy.net/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20190&cosponId=30908 Read more

 

Wheatley reminds health care professionals of upcoming deadline to renew license with Pa. Department of State
Mar 31, 2021

PA House Democrats Launch Effort to Defend Democracy
Mar 29, 2021

Rep. Wheatley to host ‘Pathway to Pardon’ event
Mar 29, 2021

Wheatley reintroduces bill to create police oversight board
Mar 26, 2021

Allegheny County rental relief program now accepting applications
Mar 15, 2021

Rep. Wheatley hosting virtual minority, women and disadvantaged business owners event
Mar 11, 2021

Allegheny County Delegation announces $1.5 million in security grants for nonprofit organizations
Mar 10, 2021

Wheatley, Hughes recognize National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in Pennsylvania
Feb 05, 2021

Wheatley and Lt. Governor Fetterman: It’s time to legalize it
Feb 04, 2021

Wheatley: Governor’s budget proposal a bold step forward for PA
Feb 03, 2021

Wheatley sworn into office, returns with new chairmanship
Jan 12, 2021

Wheatley: More than $32 million in state grants coming to district
Dec 23, 2020

Wheatley announces grants to support Pittsburgh museums impacted by effects of pandemic
Dec 03, 2020

Helpful resources for veterans & active duty military during the holiday season
Dec 02, 2020

Wheatley: $1.2 million in grants to help homeless in Allegheny County
Nov 30, 2020

Wheatley issues statement regarding committee action on H.R. 1100
Nov 23, 2020

Wheatley issues statement on budget discussions
Nov 20, 2020

Wheatley announces $291K in school safety grants, urges colleagues to do more to help schools, communities during ongoing pandemic
Nov 16, 2020

Legalizing adult-use cannabis to provide second chance, reform criminal justice system | Editorial
Oct 21, 2020

Wheatley introduces “Return Your Rights” legislation
Oct 16, 2020