Wheatley announces funding to combat, prevent homelessness in Allegheny County

(Jun 23, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, June 23 – Allegheny County has been awarded approximately $176,000 to help families affected by homelessness and to support affordable housing programs, state Rep. Jake Wheatley announced. Wheatley, D-Allegheny, said the funding comes from the federal Emergency Solutions Grant program and is being distributed statewide through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. “Everyone deserves a safe place they can call home, and these funds will help ensure we assist those in need and also provide the necessary resources and support in our communities toward affordable, reliable housing,” Wheatley said. More information can be found at the following link: https://dced.pa.gov/programs/emergency-solutions-grant-esg/ . Read more

 

Wheatley applauds state’s efforts to update state contracting process to improve opportunities for diverse businesses

(Jun 16, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, June 16 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley applauded Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan to improve opportunities for minority, women, LGBT, veteran and disabled-owned businesses to compete for state contracts. Wheatley, D-Allegheny, said the governor’s changes, part of his Diversity, Inclusion and Small Business Opportunities in Commonwealth Procurement and in Pennsylvania’s Economy executive order, would accomplish the following: Each competitive state procurement would use goal setting for small diverse businesses, with the intent of achieving a 26.3% state contract spending with SDBs. This would replace the previous scoring process used by the Pennsylvania Department of General Services to evaluate submitted proposals for construction projects over $300,000 (as of June 15) and for goods and services solicitations over $250,000 (beginning Aug. 17). DGS will set a goal of 4.6 percent of state contract spending to veteran-owned businesses through its Veteran Business Enterprise program, as recommended by the 2018 Statewide Disparity Study , which examined disparities in the state’s contracting system and made improvement recommendations. State agencies will be required to have at least 15% of their contract spending to go to eligible, state-certified small businesses through the Small Business Reserve program under DGS. This program helps all qualified businesses to compete as prime contractors on state contracting Read more

 

Reps. Wheatley, Gainey and Austin Davis issue statement on passing of former state Rep. Bill Robinson

(Jun 10, 2020)

HARRISBURG, June 10 – State Reps. Jake Wheatley, Ed Gainey and Austin Davis, all D-Allegheny, have issued the following statement on the passing of former state Rep. Bill Robinson: State Rep. Jake Wheatley: “Bill Robinson was committed to our community, and his service did not end after he left the General Assembly. He continued to work to the benefit of all residents in the city of Pittsburgh and beyond. My deepest sympathies go out today to his family and loved ones.” State Rep. Ed Gainey: “ It was with a heavy heart that I learned of Bill’s passing. He was one of those individuals who broke the mold, and who everyone seemed to know. From his time in the legislature, to his work on the city and county councils and throughout our community, Bill showed younger generations what it meant to serve, and was an outstanding role model for so many. I pray for him and for his family, and our entire community. We have lost so much these last few months, but we must remain strong and continue our long march toward justice, freedom and equality.” State Rep. Austin Davis: “Today, we remember the legacy and life of Bill Robinson, a true trailblazer and tireless public servant. Bill served our community at the city, state and county levels, always fighting to improve the condition of the African Americans in our region. Many of the African American elected officials in our region today stand on his shoulders and have walked in the Read more

 

Black Pittsburgh lawmakers’ protest forces action

(Jun 09, 2020)

Historic disruption of legislature causes speaker to call for special session as lawmakers vow to keep pressure on Read more

 

Police Reform Working Group releases statement on progress toward reform

(Jun 04, 2020)

The Police Reform Working Group, a collection of elected officials and advocates working to bring accountability and transparency reforms to law enforcement, released the following statement on Gov. Tom Wolf’s adoption today of their request for a state-level deputy inspector general aimed at improving law enforcement conduct, as well as Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s, along with the Fraternal Order of Police’s, support of a confidential database to track complaints against police officers: Read more

 

Lawmakers call on Republican leadership to take up police-community legislation

(Jun 04, 2020)

Pittsburgh-area lawmakers urged House leadership to address numerous law enforcement reform bills that have been languishing in House committees and to add session days if necessary Read more

 

Wheatley: Allegheny County to move to green reopening designation

(May 29, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, May 29 – Allegheny County will be allowed to move from the yellow to green reopening designation, effective 12:01 a.m. on Friday, June 5, said state Rep. Jake Wheatley. “Our county has made progress in flattening the curve and curbing the virus’ spread, and today’s announcement is welcome news and will allow more of our businesses to reopen,” said Wheatley. “Moving forward, we need to ensure we continue to do our part and follow the health guidelines and help our communities heal from the impacts of this pandemic.” Wheatley said state and Centers for Disease Control health guidelines must be followed during the green reopening phase, and health officials will continue to monitor public health indicators and adjust orders and restrictions on counties as needed. Counties in the green designation must follow these restrictions: Work-related restrictions: Continued telework strongly encouraged. Businesses with in-person operations must follow updated business and building safety requirements. All businesses operating at 50% occupancy in the yellow phase may increase to 75% occupancy. Childcare facilities may open and must comply with state guidelines. Congregate care restrictions in place. Prison and hospital restrictions determined by individual facilities. Schools subject to CDC and state guidance. Social restrictions: Large gatherings Read more

 

Wheatley announces $378,000 in grants to assist community food banks, shelters

(May 21, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, May 21 – Approximately $378,544 in state grants have been awarded to several nonprofit organizations in Allegheny County and the city of Pittsburgh that provide food assistance, state Rep. Jake Wheatley announced today. Wheatley, D-Allegheny, said the following organizations have received a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Food Recovery Infrastructure Grant Program: Mt. Ararat Community Activity Center (Allegheny County): $130,000 Earthen Vessels Outreach (Allegheny County): $40,699 Alpha House Inc. (Allegheny County): $74,157 Latino Community Center (Allegheny County): $4,373 Community Kitchen Pittsburgh: $93,600 Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania Northside Food Pantry: $35,725 “The grants allow these organizations the necessary funds to cover costs of equipment purchases so they can properly prepare, transport and store food they receive from farms, wholesalers and retailers,” Wheatley said. “Our food banks and shelters do so much to help those in need, especially during this pandemic, and these funds will ensure food can be quickly stored and properly prepared to ensure it doesn’t go to waste.” Examples of eligible equipment include refrigerated or non-refrigerated box trucks, industrial-sized refrigerators, pallet jacks and/or dollies. More information on the grant program can be found at this link: Read more

 

Rep. Jake Wheatley details some of his legislative efforts re: COVID-19

(May 15, 2020)

As our communities continue to recover from the effects of an unprecedented pandemic, I remain committed to paving the way to help affected individuals, businesses, and institutions with immediate and long-term assistance and support. Read more

 

Wheatley applauds confirmation of Khadija Diggs to Pa. Parole Board

(May 14, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, May 14 – Today state Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, announced the unanimous confirmation vote of Khadija Diggs, Esq., to the Pennsylvania Parole Board from the state Senate. Diggs, from Verona, Allegheny County, has an extensive legal background, having worked as an assistant solicitor for the City of Pittsburgh Law Department, the Allegheny County Office of the Public Defender, and with the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania. She currently serves as assistant legal counsel for the Pennsylvania Office of General Counsel. Diggs is a commission member for the Pennsylvania Interbranch Commission for General, Racial and Ethnic Fairness and earned her juris doctorate from Howard University School of Law. “I am proud and honored in the governor’s nomination of Khadija to this board,” said Wheatley. “She has a proven track record of success in the legal profession, including her current work in the state Office of General Counsel, not to mention her ongoing volunteer efforts serving the greater Pittsburgh community and statewide. I am confident Khadija’s experience, expertise and drive will further enhance the board in its mission to promote public safety and ensure a fair, efficient and transparent parole process that’s respectful of all people in our commonwealth.” "She's someone I believe will be an outstanding addition to the board,” Read more

 

Wheatley: Virtual MWDBE scheduled for May 14

(May 12, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, May 12 – Due to ongoing concerns related to COVID-19, state Rep. Jake Wheatley has announced that the Minority Women and Disadvantaged Business Event he hosts annually will now be held virtually beginning at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 14. Wheatley, D-Allegheny, said a variety of agencies and organizations are scheduled to take part in the event, including the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce, the POISE Foundation, the Pennsylvania Department of General Services, Rivers Innovation and the Pittsburgh Black Elected Officials Coalition. To join the virtual MWDBE event, please click on the following link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/virtual-town-hall-meeting-for-small-business-tickets-104200632898 . Read more

 

Reps. Wheatley, Deasy urge governor to waive liquor license fees for bars, restaurants

(May 08, 2020)

HARRISBURG, May 8 – State Reps. Jake Wheatley and Dan Deasy have sent a letter to Gov. Tom Wolf requesting that liquor license fees be waived for restaurants and bars, citing the devastating impacts the industry has experienced due to the pandemic. Wheatley and Deasy, both D-Allegheny, said community restaurants and bars have either had to close or significantly curb their hours and operations in order to slow the spread of the virus. They have requested the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board waive or refund this year's license renewal and/or validation fees for liquor licensees that have remained closed or that have demonstrated significant loss of 25% or more to their business. “These businesses truly deserve a break, especially when you consider that many of them have already experienced significant losses of income,” said Wheatley, Democratic chairman of the House Finance Committee. “They’ve been responsible and what better way can we help them get back on their economic feet than to give them this break on the liquor license fees. It’s the right thing to do.” “It is critical that we help our local restaurants and bars in their time of need, because these establishments connect communities,” said Deasy, Democratic chairman of the House Liquor Control Committee. “We cannot sit back and watch these businesses that provide not only employment but are the fabric of our community. They bring us Read more

 

Wheatley supports measure to expand coronavirus testing

(May 05, 2020)

HARRISBURG, May 5 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, voted in support of a bill designed to curb the spread of COVID-19 and help the state move forward in reopening its economy and ensuring public safety. Wheatley said H.B. 2455 would call for the state to develop a comprehensive testing plan. The bill would also fund research, development and manufacturing of COVID-19 testing equipment and supplies, contact tracing and other measures. In addition, she added the measure would require healthcare and other essential workers to be given testing priority once the plan is activated. “We know people want to get back to work, visit their loved ones and support local businesses, but we have to ensure we have a plan in place that protects us and curbs the virus’ spread,” Wheatley said. “I stand ready to work with my colleagues and state officials to make that happen, and this plan is indeed a step in the right direction.” The bill now moves to the Senate for further action. Read more

 

Wheatley supports bill to exempt federal COVID-19 payments from state, local taxation

(May 04, 2020)

HARRISBURG, May 4 – A measure to ensure Pennsylvanians who received federal pandemic cash payments would not be required to pay state or local taxes on those funds unanimously passed the House today, state Rep. Jake Wheatley announced. Wheatley said H.B. 2408 , introduced by state Rep. Brandon Markosek, also D-Allegheny, would ensure those who received the funds, would not be required to pay those taxes. The funds, which originated from the CARES Act, are already exempt from federal taxation and provided cash payments to individuals making less than $99,000 per year and couples making less than $198,000 annually, he added. “We know that our residents are hurting and struggling to stay afloat, and to have them pay state and local taxes on the very funds designed to help them would add insult to injury,” Wheatley said. “That’s why I supported House Bill 2408, because we need to do all we can to help Pennsylvanians through this crisis, now and in the weeks and months to come.” The bill, which has companion legislation in the Senate, now heads to the Senate for further action. Read more

 

Davis, Lee, Gainey and Wheatley pen letter of support for COVID-19 Response Task Force for Health Disparity

(Apr 28, 2020)

HARRISBURG, April 28 – State Reps. Austin Davis, Ed Gainey, Summer Lee and Jake Wheatley, all D-Allegheny, on Tuesday penned a letter of support to Gov. Tom Wolf praising his administration’s enactment of the COVID-19 Response Task Force for Health Disparity , which was designed to help identify how the pandemic is affecting the state’s minority and vulnerable populations. A copy of the joint letter sent to the governor on Tuesday can be found here . “The COVID-19 pandemic – even in its earliest days – quickly shed light on many longstanding issues of inequality faced by minority communities,” Davis said. “Unfortunately, these are key issues these minority populations have dealt with for many years, COVID-19 just illuminated it for the rest of the state to see. So, while I’m hopeful and grateful for the institution of this task force, it’s my sincerest hope that this produces real results, saves lives and leads to longstanding change for Pennsylvania’s minority communities.” Lee added: “The coronavirus has brought to the surface all of the structural inequalities that marginalized communities in our state are dealing with – including those in our healthcare system. While I appreciate this effort, I would also hope that this task force is a starting point for us as a society to acknowledge and address the disparities in our healthcare Read more

 

Wheatley praises creation of Gov. Wolf’s Response Task Force

(Apr 28, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, April 28 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, has issued the following statement regarding Gov. Tom Wolf’s announcement of the creation of the Response Task Force for Health Disparity: “I'm thankful that Governor Wolf has continued to be a leader who listens and understands the needs of all Pennsylvanians and ensures all voice are heard, especially in our communities of color. “It’s vital that all available resources are utilized to stop the spread of this devastating virus, but it’s also important that we begin to truly address the root causes that have made our citizens of color far more susceptible to more serious issues and even death. It is my hope that the focus of this task force will be on health system disparities, which would include expanded outreach to these communities, treating and recruiting a workforce for contact tracing, support of the minority businesses and nonprofits, and Election Day voter protection. “My hope is this task force – in the short term – will be able to address structural and systemic barriers. Looking forward, I am also hopeful that long-term objectives of this task force will include the creation of a transparent, accountable and equitable process for the distribution and allocation of state resources. “Again, I applaud the governor’s leadership and commitment to ensure every Pennsylvanian has a voice – and is Read more

 

Wheatley: Legislative efforts to provide relief, assistance to all Pa’s in responding to pandemic

(Apr 27, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, April 27 – As Pennsylvania continues to recover from the effects of an unprecedented pandemic, state Rep. Jake Wheatley said he is committed to paving the way to help affected individuals, businesses and institutions with immediate and long-term assistance and support. To date, Wheatley, D-Allegheny, has introduced several measures to provide relief and support, including the Emergency Relief of COVID-19 Workers Act , which would provide additional wages and support for essential workers, including those who have lost their jobs, and the creation of a special uncompensated care fund for Pennsylvanians who have lost their employer-provided health insurance coverage, due to being out of work. In addition, Wheatley is crafting a $10 billion business relief package that would set aside $5 billion for small businesses, $3 billion for minority businesses, $1.5 billion for the food and hospitality industry and $500 million for sole proprietors. The package is designed to help preserve and bolster small business owners, the backbone of our commonwealth’s economy, he added. “Residents in Allegheny County and across our state are hurting, and I am working diligently with my colleagues in the House to bring each of them immediate relief, and that includes our family-owned small businesses, our hospitality and healthcare workers, our seniors and our schools,” said Wheatley. “While there has been some federal help offered, Read more

 

Wheatley, Gainey and Street to host live stream on prohibition of cannabis in Pa.

(Apr 20, 2020)

HARRISBURG, April 20 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley will join state Rep. Ed Gainey, both D-Allegheny, and state Sen. Sharif Street, D-Phila., for a Facebook Live discussion on ending the prohibition of cannabis today at 4:20 p.m . The public Facebook Live event link is here: https://www.facebook.com/events/528667574478579/ Wheatley will discuss H.B. 2050 , a bill he introduced that would legalize adult-use cannabis, which includes provisions to help disadvantaged populations and victims of the war on drugs. Reporters/Editors : please join the Zoom conference call at 4 p.m. today by using the login information below: Zoom meeting link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84305442677?pwd=Wk51TnVJTGorUktSR2dQZ3NYUFMzZz09 Meeting ID: 843 0544 2677 Password: 125162 Media coverage is invited. Read more

 

Rep. Jake Wheatley's bill could boost Pennsylvania's economy following pandemic turmoil

(Apr 17, 2020)

Getting a recreational cannabis bill passed is no easy feat. Only 11 states have done it, while 33 have legalized medical marijuana. Bills have been introduced in Pennsylvania over the years without ever realistically coming close to passing. But the turmoil caused by the pandemic could actually bolster the argument for legal cannabis in the commonwealth, as record-breaking unemployment and dormant businesses threaten the economy and the state's budget stretches to provide for more emergency funding. Read more

 

Wheatley invites residents to virtual town hall

(Apr 17, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, April 17 – In an effort to respond to questions and concerns related to the current COVID-19 pandemic, state Rep. Jake Wheatley has announced he will host a virtual town hall at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 21. Wheatley, D-Allegheny, said this will give residents an opportunity to ask questions and receive information and updates on resources and programs to assist them during this time. Information on how to take part in the virtual town hall can be found by visiting www.pahouse.com/wheatley and clicking on the “Virtual Town Hall” link on the landing page. Anyone with questions can contact The People’s Office at 412-471-7760 or by email at RepWheatley@pahouse.com . Read more

 

Wheatley announces funding to combat, prevent homelessness in Allegheny County
Jun 23, 2020

Wheatley applauds state’s efforts to update state contracting process to improve opportunities for diverse businesses
Jun 16, 2020

Reps. Wheatley, Gainey and Austin Davis issue statement on passing of former state Rep. Bill Robinson
Jun 10, 2020

Black Pittsburgh lawmakers’ protest forces action
Jun 09, 2020

Police Reform Working Group releases statement on progress toward reform
Jun 04, 2020

Lawmakers call on Republican leadership to take up police-community legislation
Jun 04, 2020

Wheatley: Allegheny County to move to green reopening designation
May 29, 2020

Wheatley announces $378,000 in grants to assist community food banks, shelters
May 21, 2020

Rep. Jake Wheatley details some of his legislative efforts re: COVID-19
May 15, 2020

Wheatley applauds confirmation of Khadija Diggs to Pa. Parole Board
May 14, 2020

Wheatley: Virtual MWDBE scheduled for May 14
May 12, 2020

Reps. Wheatley, Deasy urge governor to waive liquor license fees for bars, restaurants
May 08, 2020

Wheatley supports measure to expand coronavirus testing
May 05, 2020

Wheatley supports bill to exempt federal COVID-19 payments from state, local taxation
May 04, 2020

Davis, Lee, Gainey and Wheatley pen letter of support for COVID-19 Response Task Force for Health Disparity
Apr 28, 2020

Wheatley praises creation of Gov. Wolf’s Response Task Force
Apr 28, 2020

Wheatley: Legislative efforts to provide relief, assistance to all Pa’s in responding to pandemic
Apr 27, 2020

Wheatley, Gainey and Street to host live stream on prohibition of cannabis in Pa.
Apr 20, 2020

Rep. Jake Wheatley's bill could boost Pennsylvania's economy following pandemic turmoil
Apr 17, 2020

Wheatley invites residents to virtual town hall
Apr 17, 2020