Honoring our Heroes on Veterans Day

(Nov 14, 2016)

As those across the nation and our great commonwealth prepare to honor our Veterans this Friday, Nov. 11 th , I wanted to take the time out to say thank you to all the veterans and their family members who have made the sacrifice to protect what makes our country great. As a former active-duty Marine, I often reflect on how fortunate we are for the service of these extraordinary individuals. I have made a concerted effort to ensure that my gratitude for our veterans is reflected in my legislation in Harrisburg, introducing legislation that would offer tax-deductions to employers hiring veterans and legislation that would increase veteran-owned business participation in Commonwealth contracts. It is important that at all levels of government we fight to ensure our veterans have ample opportunities and resources commiserate with their dedication of service. Today is also the 241 st birthday of the United States Marine Corps. Marines are known for their bravery, and their fighting spirit was the difference at many important battles, including Iwo Jima and Operations Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Every Marine is making a difference, and for 241 years, that difference is what has made America strong. “Semper Fi” to my Marine brothers, we owe you all a huge debt of gratitude for ensuring we are free. This November, I have been particularly reflective when thinking about the nearly 940,000 veterans here in Pennsylvania and whether we Read more


Wheatley bill would create driver’s license amnesty program

(Sep 21, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 21 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, today announced he has introduced legislation that would provide an amnesty program to give individuals who have lost their driver’s license because of the inability to pay fines, fees or penalties the opportunity to have their license reinstated upon payment of those delinquent fines, fees and penalties. Wheatley said according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, over 1 million Pennsylvanians have a suspended driver’s license. “Many license suspensions are due to individuals’ inability to afford fines, fees and penalties associated with traffic tickets,” Wheatley said. “As a result of those suspensions, those individuals are also uninsured so if they get behind the wheel of a car, which is bound to happen, they are putting us all at risk financially.” Wheatley said his bill, H.B. 2362, would get people back on the road and save significant money. The legislation is based on a California program that began in October 2015. Within the first 21 days of the program, Los Angeles alone received almost 40,000 applicants. “This program has worked in California to get drivers back on the road responsibly and it will do the same for Pennsylvania,” Wheatley said. ### Read more


Getting Up Close with PA Rep. Jake Wheatley

(Jul 06, 2016)

Getting Up Close with PA Rep. Jake Wheatley Read more


Wheatley votes for medical marijuana bill

(Apr 13, 2016)

HARRISBURG, April 13 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, today voted for legislation ( S.B. 3 ) that was sent to the governor’s desk which would legalize medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. Wheatley said legalizing medical marijuana will help people who are suffering in their daily lives, including children who are experiencing daily seizures, veterans enduring post-traumatic stress disorder and many others who need this medication to relieve their pain. "Medical marijuana will enable people to relieve their pain without seeking other narcotics, which will lessen the growing number of people addicted to opioid drugs," Wheatley said. He also said he was pleased to see the Senate did not remove an amendment he sponsored ensuring that no dispensary could be located within 1,000 feet of a public, private or parochial school or a day-care center. Under the bill, medical marijuana would be dispensed through licensed distributors and available to those who have been certified by their physicians to benefit from the drug. The bill also would regulate the growing, processing and dispensing of the product. Gov. Tom Wolf has indicated he will sign the bill. ### Read more


Budget is done but difficult issues still remain

(Mar 24, 2016)

HARRISBURG, March 24 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, Democratic chairman of the House Finance Committee, issued the following statement regarding Gov. Tom Wolf’s decision to allow the latest budget bill to become law: “Yesterday, Governor Wolf made the impossible decision to allow an unbalanced budget that was pushed by the Republican majorities of the House and Senate to become law in an attempt to move our process forward. “Although, I completely understand his rationale and concern for assisting our schools, human service agencies and significant services by allowing the budget bill to become law, we must now turn our collective minds and spirits toward getting back to the negotiating table to deal with the very real financial cliff that is the projected structural deficit of close to $2 billion. “There are no more gimmicks, there can be no more delayed actions - we must act! Our commonwealth is on a collision course with real economic consequences to each and every resident of the state and we have no time to waste. “I look forward to getting our collective process ramped up for the 2016-17 budget and I am anxiously awaiting the House and Senate Republicans’ plan to close this significant budget deficit with sustainable, long-term revenues. We cannot continue to hide and run from our realities.” ### Read more


Wheatley and Gainey announce creation of scholarship fund

(Mar 20, 2016)

PITTSBURGH, March 4 – State Reps. Jake Wheatley, and Ed Gainey, D-Allegheny, announced the creation of a new annual scholarship fund for needy students in Allegheny County on Thursday night. The new scholarship will be the Speaker K. Leroy Irvis Scholarship Fund, named after the former Speaker of the Pennsylvania House and Representatives, and the first African American Speaker of the House in the United States. Wheatley and Gainey will each donate $2,500 to fund the scholarship, which will be housed within and administered by NEED, the oldest community-based, nonprofit, minority, higher education assistance program in Pennsylvania. NEED’s vision is to unlock the power of education by helping youth meet their highest potential and enhance their quality of life, thereby strengthening the Pittsburgh regional economy. “Former Speaker Irvis left a tremendous legacy of fighting for social justice and civil rights,” Wheatley said. “He dedicated his life and talents to improving the lives of the people of the commonwealth. I am hopeful a scholarship in his name will help fund the education of future African American leaders to follow in his footsteps.” ### Read more


Wheatley to host annual small business day at the Capitol on March 21

(Mar 16, 2016)

HARRISBURG, March 16 – Each year, state Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, hosts a day for minority, women, disadvantaged, and veteran-owned businesses to get to know the people who are responsible for opening business opportunities for them at the state Capitol. This year's event is Monday, March 21 and an opportunity to learn about what is happening at the federal and state level as it relates to finding real business opportunities. Wheatley has added a component to put the state agencies and their purchasing personnel in the same room with the business men and women who attend. The day’s schedule includes: 11 a.m. to noon – Roundtable discussion with elected officials and federal and state agency/department representatives in Hearing Room 2, North Office Building, followed by a Q&A session Noon to 12:30 p.m. - News conference in Capitol Media Center 12:30 p.m. - Luncheon in Capitol Media Center All are welcome and those who are interested in attending should contact Jamie Barton at 717-783-3783 or jbarton@pahouse.net . ### Read more


Wheatley participates in roundtable discussions on education in Pa.

(Mar 15, 2016)

HARRISBURG, March 15 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, recently participated in two roundtable discussions about the future of education in Pennsylvania. With Pittsburgh King K-8 as the background of the meeting, Wheatley joined Pennsylvania Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera and teachers, administrators and students; community leaders; stakeholders and education advocates to discuss the best ways in which to develop a school accountability system that will support schools and help students succeed. Wheatley said participants discussed strategies to support students’ transition from high school to higher education or a career following graduation, what role the community can play in student achievement and how state agencies can better collaborate to better prepare students for continuing education or to match them with careers. "I thank Secretary Rivera for taking the time to visit our community and to talk with those who are at the forefront of educating the future of Pennsylvania," Wheatley said. "The roundtable discussion was interesting and lively, and it left me encouraged as I listened to so many people voice their commitment to seeing our kids become great learners and productive adults." In Harrisburg, as part of his annual review and discussion around how best to improve education for all students, Wheatley convened a panel of national and Pittsburgh-area educational leaders, and legislators from both side of the 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


Governor’s budget proposal puts state on the right path

(Feb 09, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 9 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, Democratic chairman of the House Finance Committee, said today that Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget proposal sets a path that can lead Pennsylvania to a brighter future. Wheatley specifically expressed support for the governor’s efforts to improve job training and create more Jobs that Pay. This effort includes: making job training more responsive to employers’ needs by engaging with industry-driven workforce partnerships; increasing the number of Pennsylvanians who have college degrees or industry-recognized skill credentials or certificates; linking job training to career pathways, so that training leads to jobs that provide higher pay over time; and enabling youth to gain skills and work experiences by providing opportunities for summer jobs, internships, apprenticeships and other types of work-based learning. Wheatley said the governor’s proposal also addresses the projected $2 billion structural deficit, increases funding for education and will help build a stronger, larger middle class. These elements are all part of the governor’s continued commitment to create jobs that pay, schools that teach and government that works. "The governor has been open and honest about the budget crisis we are facing," Wheatley said. "Without additional revenue, the structural deficit will grow to more than $2.5 billion in future years. As chairman of the Finance Committee, I look Read more


National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day observed at Capitol

(Feb 08, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 8 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, commended the lawmakers and health-care leaders who came together at the state Capitol today to highlight National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, which was observed Feb. 7. Wheatley explained that the purpose of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is to build the capacity and increase awareness, participation and support for HIV prevention, care and treatment among African-Americans. "Even though African-Americans comprise about 14 percent of the United States population, almost one-half of the estimated new HIV/AIDS diagnoses in the United States in 2010 were for African-Americans,” Wheatley said. “Prevention is important, and we need people around the state to raise awareness of this problem.” At today’s event, state Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., said he plans to introduce two bills that would help prevent the spread of HIV by requiring private insurance companies to cover Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) HIV medication. "Low-income and minority Pennsylvanians are at much higher risk of contracting HIV, in large part because they lack access to these life-saving treatments,” Sims said. “Covering these preventive tools would save lives, reduce suffering and even save money in the long run for taxpayers and insurers.” Pennsylvania Physical General Rachel Levine and Dr. Albertha Graham-Ellison, vice president and Read more


Wheatley: Know Your HIV/AIDS Status

(Feb 08, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Jake Wheatley marks National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day at the state Capitol by urging African-Americans to learn about preventing HIV/AIDS and getting tested. Wheatley notes African-Americans are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS, and need to work together to help reduce stigma associated with HIV/AIDS. 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


Vick Joins Wheatley, Gainey in Supporting Animal Bill

(Dec 08, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Jake Wheatley, Ed Gainey and other members of the House were joined by Pittsburgh Steelers Quarterback Michael Vick at a rally in Harrisburg. They are calling on support for legislation that would make it a crime for anyone to leave an animal unattended in a car on a hot day. The bill would also shield officials from any liability for damages caused during the rescue of an animal in that situation. Read more


Wheatley and Gainey support legislation to protect pets from being left unattended in cars

(Dec 08, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 8 – State Reps. Jake Wheatley and Ed Gainey, both D-Allegheny, today joined Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Michael Vick at a news conference to promote legislation designed to stop the practice of leaving pets unattended in motor vehicles. Wheatley said that under the bill, known as the Motor Vehicle Extreme Heat Protection Act, it would be a summary offense to confine a dog or cat in a motor vehicle under conditions that jeopardize the pet’s health. “People often leave their pets in hot cars thinking they will be quick but it doesn’t take long for the inside of a car to reach an unsafe high temperature,” Wheatley said. “This legislation is aimed at protecting pets and preventing a tragedy, and I commend Michael Vick for leading the charge to make this proposal a reality.” Wheatley noted that on an 80-degree day, the temperature inside a car can reach 99 degrees in just 10 minutes, and 114 degrees within 30 minutes. He added that animals do not sweat like humans do, so they have no way to cool themselves down in hot conditions, causing irreversible organ damage, heat stroke, brain damage and, in extreme cases, death. Under the legislation, H.B. 1516 , a police officer or other public safety professional or humane officer would have the authority to remove the dog or cat from the unattended motor vehicle if they believe the animal is suffering and is endangered, after a reasonable search for the vehicle Read more


Wheatley: Lights On After School

(Oct 21, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Jake Wheatley thanks the House of Representatives for their unanimous approval of his resolution designating October 22, 2015, as "Lights on Afterschool Day" in Pennsylvania. Read more


Wheatley Community Appreciation Day

(Sep 14, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Jake Wheatley discusses the goals of his 13th annual Community Appreciation Day celebration. This is the signature event of his Health and Wellness Weekend, which promotes healthy lifestyles for his constituents. Read more


Wheatley Literacy Initative

(Sep 09, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Jake Wheatley joined community leaders to highlight an initiative of the Pittsburgh Brashear High School’s construction shop class to encourage reading and literacy throughout the city. Read more