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

 

Join my COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall on Tuesday, April 21!

(Apr 16, 2020)

I know you may have a lot of questions and concerns related to the current COVID-19 pandemic. That’s why I would like to invite you to my virtual town hall on Tuesday, April 21 starting at 5:30 p.m . This gives you an opportunity to ask questions and get vital information, including updates on resources and programs to help you during this time. You can join using your mobile device or your laptop/desktop – please see details below. Mobile device (smartphone, iPad, etc.) To participate, you will need to download the Microsoft Teams application: Click here for Apple devices Click here for Android devices Click here for Amazon devices ***Note: if you choose to use the app to participate in town hall and you are using the friends and family option, please ignore the redirect to the Skype application. Please select “business” and enter a business name to participate in the virtual town hall. From a laptop or desktop Simply click on this link by 5:30 p.m. to join the virtual town hall. I look forward to hearing from you! If you need help now, please call The People’s Office at 412-471-7760 or contact me by email at RepWheatley@pahouse.com Read more

 

Wheatley announces effort to address uncompensated care related to COVID-19 pandemic

(Apr 13, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, April 13 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley announced he will officially introduce legislation designed to assist Pennsylvania hospitals with uncompensated care costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Wheatley, D-Allegheny, said his bill would allow hospitals to apply for reimbursement of a portion of uncompensated care directly related to COVID-19. A special fund would be created and paid for through a general bond, he added. “As the number of our state’s uninsured continues to rise with many Pennsylvanians out of work and losing their employer-provided insurance, our hospitals will be confronted with an unprecedented amount of uncompensated care,” Wheatley said. “During these unprecedented times, our legislature can be proactive and take steps to prevent thousands of residents from being faced with medical-related debt, which we know can devastate their credit and plague them for years. “With the governor announcing last week that PENNVEST funds will be used to help hospitals with vital equipment and supplies, I am confident my bill would take this commitment a step further to help hospitals continue to fight on the front lines against this devastating virus.” More information on Wheatley’s bill can be found here . Read more

 

Wheatley: Pa. needs better demographic data on COVID-19 cases in order to effectively respond, curb virus’ spread

(Apr 08, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, April 8 – Citing concerns that minority populations are more likely to be at high risk for contracting COVID-19 and less likely to have access to healthcare resources – including testing – state Rep. Jake Wheatley said he will be introducing a bill to require state agencies to collect better data to address health disparities during the current pandemic. Wheatley, D-Allegheny, said he is concerned that low-income communities of color aren’t effectively being tracked and that’s significantly hampering efforts to curb the virus’ spread. He added that minority populations have higher rates of chronic diseases, such as asthma, hypertension and heart disease, which puts them at higher risk for contracting the virus. “Several cities in the U.S., including Philadelphia, Detroit and Chicago, are showing that minority populations are dying of COVID-19 at higher rates,” Wheatley said. “In order for our state to better respond to this pandemic, it’s vital we have the correct data. My legislation would require the state departments of Health and Human Services to work closely with local officials and private labs to ensure correct data is being collected.” More information on Wheatley’s bill can be found here . Read more

 

Wheatley urges Gov. Wolf to consider temporary furlough of non-violent offenders

(Apr 06, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, April 6 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley has asked Gov. Tom Wolf to consider temporarily furloughing inmates and non-violent offenders in state correctional facilities to curb the spread of COVID-19. Wheatley, D-Allegheny, said while the governor’s March 29 decision to place more than 44,000 inmates into quarantine was the right one, he said he is especially concerned for inmates who are at higher risk for contracting the virus, and because prisons were never built to handle situations like a pandemic. “I plan to introduce a resolution that would urge the governor to sign an executive order to direct the state Department of Corrections to furlough all non-violent offenders, pregnant women and inmates over the age of 65 until the state’s current emergency declaration is over,” Wheatley said. “Such action could significantly curb the spread of the virus among inmates and staff, because right now, they are in a dangerous and unhealthy situation, compared to the actions we’re taking in our communities to limit the virus’s spread. “By taking this proactive step, it would provide corrections officials sufficient time to implement a more efficient and safer plan to house these non-violent offenders, moving forward,” Wheatley added. More information on Wheatley’s resolution can be found here. Read more

 

COVID-19 support for PA business

(Apr 04, 2020)

COVID-related information for businesses Read more

 

Wheatley: Bill would provide emergency relief to affected workers during COVID-19 pandemic

(Apr 02, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, April 2 – In an effort to provide widespread help to essential workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic, state Rep. Jake Wheatley has introduced a measure that would provide multiple levels of assistance. Wheatley, D-Allegheny, said H.B. 2380 would include the following: Provide additional wages to essential workers, including those who make less than $15 an hour. Ban employers from requiring employees to use their Paid Time Off directly preceding a layoff due to a health emergency. Suspend all mortgage and rent payments for workers who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic (beginning April 1, 2020, and ending one month following the end of the state emergency declaration). Landlords would be able to apply for reimbursement for lost rent during this period. Forgiveness of student loans in full for essential employees who work more than 150 hours during the outbreak (with proof of essential employee status and hours worked). The legislation would be paid for by a general bond not to exceed $10 billion, Wheatley added. “Right now, we are living in unprecedented, uncertain times, and it’s vital we take action and respond to the immediate needs of residents who have been impacted by this pandemic, due to their work or the loss of their jobs,” Wheatley said. “We have an opportunity to provide and support thousands of Pennsylvanians during this challenging time, and I urge my Read more

 

Wheatley introduces bill to protect public school districts from lawsuits due to COVID-19 related operational changes

(Mar 31, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, March 31 – Public school districts statewide have had to make significant adjustments in how they educate students during the current COVID-19 pandemic, and state Rep. Jake Wheatley said his measure would help protect districts from frivolous lawsuits. Wheatley, D-Allegheny, said that House Bill 2375 would prevent legal actions against districts for operational changes that they have had to make due to the coronavirus pandemic in the current 2019-20 school year. “A school district’s primary job is to educate students – and many districts have had to be flexible in implementing ways to continue to teach, due to the restrictions that many families face,” Wheatley said. “My goal is to ensure that these districts can continue to operate as best as they can without fearing legal action due to a situation completely out of their control.” Wheatley added that his effort isn’t an attempt to restrict parents’ rights, but to help protect the state’s public school districts during a vulnerable time. Read more

 

Fill out the 2020 census!

(Mar 30, 2020)

In Pennsylvania, everyone counts and April 1 is National Census Day! If you haven’t already, don't forget to fill out your census form. Our population count determines our voice in government and how much federal funding we’ll receive for education, health care, transportation and more. Whether you respond online, mail or by phone , participate and help shape PA’s future. Your responses are anonymous and protected by law. To learn more, visit pa.gov/census #PAcounts #2020Census Read more

 

COVID-19 Helpful Resources

(Mar 18, 2020)

In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic affecting Pennsylvania, we wanted to provide you with the following resources and information to help you and your family in the days ahead. Please note that this webpage will be updated as needed with additional information and resources. State Services and Resources The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has created a COVID-19 guide to assist everyone. It includes information on social distancing, mental health resources, unemployment, food assistance, changes from PennDOT and resources for small business: https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/ For individuals : https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/#ForIndividuals For families : https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/#ForFamilies For businesses : https://dced.pa.gov/resources COVID Support for PA Businesses : The following provides information and and links to federal, state, local and private resources. https://www.pahouse.com/News/?id=113388 **Self-employed, independent contractors, gig economy workers: Apply here for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits .** https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/#ForBusinessesUtilities Information from the PA Dept. of Labor and Industry on the federal CARES Act: https://www.uc.pa.gov/COVID-19/CARES-Act/Pages/default.aspx The following link provides you with Read more

 

Miller, ACHDD seek to support school districts, families, first responders and small businesses during outbreak

(Mar 13, 2020)

HARRISBURG, March 13 – State Rep. Dan Miller, chairman of the Allegheny County House Democratic Delegation, and fellow ACHDD members on Friday announced their legislative priorities to support Pennsylvania during the coronavirus outbreak, including the need to support low-income and working-class families without paid family leave or the ability to work from home. Miller, as well as state Reps. Austin Davis, Dan Deasy, Tony DeLuca, House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody, Dan Frankel, Ed Gainey, Sara Innamorato, Bill Kortz, Anita Kulik, Summer Lee, Brandon Markosek, Adam Ravenstahl, Harry Readshaw and Jake Wheatley issued the following statement in response to Friday’s statewide school closure: “The delegation, first and foremost, wants to be supportive of the school districts during this time. It is clear that both they and the governor are motivated by an abundance of concern for the health and safety of both their students and staff. We respect their decision and will work to support their needs in Harrisburg. However, while the closure may have been a necessary step, it is not without its subsequent challenges -- and those challenges must be addressed by the legislature. “At a minimum, in order to help people across Pennsylvania, Harrisburg should prioritize the following items for discussion and vote: Paid family leave legislation. Emergency funding for childcare support. Assistance for Read more

 

Wheatley: MWDBE event postponed

(Mar 12, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, March 12 – Out of an abundance of caution due to concerns related to COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, state Rep. Jake Wheatley today announced that the Minority Women and Disadvantaged Business Event, scheduled for Monday, March 23, has been postponed until Monday, May 11 . The day’s events will begin with an 11 a.m. news conference in the Capitol’s Media Center, followed by a free and open networking mixer at noon. These events will be followed by several issue and industry-focused workshops and governmental engagement opportunities throughout the Capitol complex. There is free bus transportation with limited seats leaving from Pittsburgh at 6 a.m. and arriving back from the Capitol at 8 p.m. Please call The People’s Office at 412-471-7760 to RSVP or for more information. Agencies scheduled to take part in the MWDBE event include the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency and the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. Wheatley invites everyone to participate in the event by using the #MBETakeover2020 hashtag in Harrisburg. Read more

 

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

Join my COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall on Tuesday, April 21!
Apr 16, 2020

Wheatley announces effort to address uncompensated care related to COVID-19 pandemic
Apr 13, 2020

Wheatley: Pa. needs better demographic data on COVID-19 cases in order to effectively respond, curb virus’ spread
Apr 08, 2020

Wheatley urges Gov. Wolf to consider temporary furlough of non-violent offenders
Apr 06, 2020

COVID-19 support for PA business
Apr 04, 2020

Wheatley: Bill would provide emergency relief to affected workers during COVID-19 pandemic
Apr 02, 2020

Wheatley introduces bill to protect public school districts from lawsuits due to COVID-19 related operational changes
Mar 31, 2020

Fill out the 2020 census!
Mar 30, 2020

COVID-19 Helpful Resources
Mar 18, 2020

Miller, ACHDD seek to support school districts, families, first responders and small businesses during outbreak
Mar 13, 2020

Wheatley: MWDBE event postponed
Mar 12, 2020