HARRISBURG, May 30 – State Rep. Abigail Salisbury, D-Allegheny, introduced legislation today that would prohibit lobbyists from running state candidates’ political campaigns and then lobbying those same candidates once they are elected. “Lobbyists have whispered into the ears of political candidates, shaped their agendas and gotten rich while doing so for far too long,” Salisbury said. “My bill would put campaign control back into the hands of candidates and refocus elected officials’ attention on their constituents, not on pleasing lobbyists who also run campaigns.” Salisbury’s legislation ( H.B. 1223 ) also prohibits campaign consultants from lobbying state employees who work in the candidates’ offices. Read more
HARRISBURG, May 25 – State Rep. Abigail Salisbury, D-Allegheny, introduced legislation today that would aid communities that lack grant writing capacity. The legislation ( H.B. 1216 ) would create a Municipal Grant Assistance Program within the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development . Eligible municipalities would be able to access free grant writing services to when seeking state funding and would receive instruction in writing future grant proposals. “The current system perpetuates structural inequalities among communities by favoring those municipalities which already have the funding to pay for grant writing services,” Salisbury said. “My bill provides an escape from the chicken-egg loop wherein local governments literally cannot afford to get money from the state.” Salisbury developed the bill after receiving feedback from local elected officials in her district that they were struggling to access state funding programs. Read more
HARRISBURG, May 15 – State Rep. Abigail Salisbury, D-Allegheny, formally introduced her first bill today as a Pennsylvania state representative, legislation that would help communities address the problem of blighted and abandoned properties. The legislation ( H.B. 1163 ) would update current property law to allow communities to make blighted or abandoned properties subject to potential acquisition by land banks. Owners of such properties would be granted a set amount of time to make the repairs needed to reverse the designation and could appeal the designation. "In my five years as a borough council member, I saw firsthand how these neglected properties can become safety hazards and sources of frustration for communities. As a council member, however, my ability to help neighbors deal with problem properties was often limited by what the law allowed,” Salisbury said. “My goal with this legislation is to add another tool to local governments' toolboxes and help put properties back to productive use. My bill delivers a ‘use it or lose it’ message to urge property owners into action and improve communities' ability to address blight.” Salisbury said her legislation does not require land banks to acquire properties designated as abandoned and/or distressed. Read more
In a House Appropriations Committee hearing on the state budget, Pa. state Rep. Abigail Salisbury questions Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission officials about a failing railroad bridge in Swissvale Borough. Salisbury says the current policy in Pa. of transferring ownership of the bridge to the municipality is concerning and only benefits the multibillion-dollar railroad corporations. Read more
Projects include blight remediation, road improvements, STEAM academy Read more
“As a small business owner and borough council member, I've witnessed the challenges that people face when pursuing projects that would be beneficial for all, such as turning unused storefronts into locations for viable businesses,” Salisbury said. “Unfortunately, the process is often too burdensome and expensive for prospective local business owners to take on because it requires experienced lawyers to navigate all the complexities.” Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 21 – Abigail Salisbury , D-Allegheny, took the oath of office as PA’s 34 th Legislative District representative today at the state Capitol in Harrisburg. “I want to thank my neighbors for the enormous trust they have placed in me to be their voice in Harrisburg,” Salisbury said. “I feel deeply honored, and I pledge to do my very best to represent our communities in Harrisburg, and to fight for the smart, progressive policies we need to build a better Commonwealth – one that works for all Pennsylvania.” Salisbury has spent her career in legal service. Her background includes: working on human rights and microfinance issues in Kosovo, Senegal and Ethiopia. teaching First Amendment law to undergraduates at the University of Pittsburgh. establishing a law practice to provide nonprofits and small business with more affordable legal services. serving as executive director of JURIST.org . Salisbury served for five years on Swissvale’s Borough Council and was its president for two years. Key issues Salisbury said she plans to focus on include improving infrastructure, standing up for LGBTQ+ rights, fostering small businesses, supporting public schools and preserving the environment. Photos from today’s swearing-in can be found here . Read more
Neighbors can now apply to the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program . Spouses, personal representatives, or estates may also file rebate claims on behalf of claimants who lived at least one day in the claim year and meet all other eligibility criteria. Additionally, eligible senior Pittsburgh households with incomes under $30,000 will have their property tax rebates increased by an additional 50 percent , due to high wage/income tax rates. Click here to apply and to learn more. Apply by June 30th. Read more
The state Department of Human Services estimates that 5,000-20,000 households statewide will be disenrolled from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), due to a federal cost-of-living increase to Social Security that results in ineligibility. For these cases, January will be the final month of eligibility. Additionally, approximately 249,000 households will see a decrease in their monthly SNAP benefit, with the average reduction being $40 per household. This will take effect in March 2023, following the end of COVID-19 SNAP emergency allotments. I want to remind my neighbors that by clicking here , there is information on a host of additional programs that can ensure food stays on the table for you and your families. You can also check out the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank here for food assistance as well. Read more
Graduating high school seniors in the state can now apply for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Scholarship, offered in conjunction with The Foundation for Enhancing Communities . To review the criteria and to apply, click here . The deadline to apply is April 1st . Read more
Graduating high school seniors of color are encouraged to apply for the James R. Roebuck PLCB Scholarship. Awardees will receive a $1,000 scholarship for educational purposes such as tuition, fees, books, and school-related supplies. Roebuck served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 1985-2020 and served as chair of the House Education Committee and the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus. This scholarship was named for him to honor his deep commitment to expanding educational opportunities for all Pennsylvania students, especially students of color. Go to PaHouse.com/PLBC to apply. Read more
Pennsylvanians in need of energy assistance are encouraged to apply to the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for 2022-2023 winter heating season. To see if you qualify, view the table via the link above, and click here to apply online using COMPASS. A paper application can also be found here . Everyone should be able to keep warm during the coldest months of the year, and LIHEAP is a true security blanket for those who are in need. Read more
Each year, the Pennsylvania Treasury receives millions of dollars of unclaimed property. It is estimated that roughly one in 10 Pennsylvanians has unclaimed property. Unclaimed property may include: Closed bank accounts Uncashed checks, including paychecks Lost stocks and bonds Contents of safe deposit boxes Proceeds from the demutualization of insurance companies Expired gift cards/gift certificates To find out if you have unclaimed property, search your name in the Unclaimed Property database at https://www.patreasury.gov/unclaimed-property/ or call 1-800-222-2046. There is NO CHARGE to claim your unclaimed property. Read more
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