Calling it a tremendous victory for grandparents raising grandchildren in Pennsylvania, state Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Luzerne, praised the Senate for passing H.B. 1539, which now goes to Gov. Tom Wolf for his signature into law. “I’m incredibly thankful to my fellow House and Senate members who voted to pass this legislation and ensure it’s signed sooner rather than later to help our grandparents raising grandchildren,” Pashinski said. “But even more so, I’m thankful that grandparents will now have legal rights when they step up to the plate and take over primary care for their grandchildren when the parents are not in the picture.” Read more
HARRISBURG, Oct. 16 – State Rep. Carolyn Comitta today announced money stemming from pipeline work infractions will be returned to the community as watershed restoration and stormwater management grants. In the 156 th Legislative District, projects in East Goshen Township, West Goshen Township and the West Chester School District were selected to receive part of a $12.6 million penalty that the Department of Environmental Protection collected from Sunoco Pipeline over work violations on the Mariner East 2 pipeline. West Chester Area School District will receive $61,656 to help remove invasive species and restore natural diverse forest in Westtown Township. East Goshen Township will receive $350,000 to enhance water resources and recreation opportunities in the township. West Goshen Township will receive $215,273 for stormwater management to reduce impacts to Taylor Run and $110,142 to restore a riparian buffer in the Chester Creek watershed. “This grant money comes directly from fines imposed on Sunoco for infractions that harmed our watersheds, so the grant money must be used to improve those watersheds and the stormwater infrastructure impacted by its Mariner East project,” said Comitta, D-Chester. “I am pleased that a portion of this fine money has been granted to our community to improve overall environmental health and safety, which my constituents and I consider our top priority.” The projects were among 61 Read more
Rep. Chris Sainato was recognized by Pennsylvania Adjutant General Anthony Carrelli through the presentation of the Pennsylvania Meritorious Service Award at a ceremony in Fort Indiantown Gap. Read more
WEST CHESTER, Oct. 16 – Signs reminding drivers to “Merge with Mercy” and a memorial garden were erected this weekend at the PA Route 100 spur approaching U.S. Route 202, where Bayard Rustin High School graduate Bianca Roberson was shot and killed by an enraged motorist last year. Roberson, who would have celebrated her 20th birthday Wednesday, aspired to be an FBI agent but was killed three weeks following her high school graduation. The Bianca Roberson “Merge with Mercy” project began with the vision from Bianca’s mother, Michelle Roberson, who wanted to turn tragedy to beauty by planting a tree and garden in memory of Bianca under Pennsylvania’s beautification area program. The sign she designed further reminds people to “merge with mercy.” The project became a joint effort of the state Transportation Department, local volunteers and donor businesses, Roberson’s friends and family, and state Rep. Carolyn Comitta, who also recently introduced state legislation to outlaw driving with a loaded gun. “The garden and signs remind us to treat one another with respect and mercy and to resist anger on the road,” said Comitta, D-Chester. “This beautiful display will remind us to thoughtfully share the road. “As a lawmaker, it’s my duty to propose legislation that will help deter preventable tragedy. The mere presence of a loaded gun in a vehicle was a huge factor in this Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 16 – State Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., will host her Third Annual Fall Environmental Justice Panel from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 25 at The Discovery Center, 3401 Reservoir Drive, 19121. Bullock will be joined by Aaron Mair, past national president of the Sierra Club, environmental and housing advocates to discuss inclusion, equity and environmental gentrification. “Green initiatives may address pollution or bring sustainable solutions like gardens, parks, greenways and bike lanes to the community, but often times these initiatives also increase local property values, attracting wealthier residents and pushing away low-income neighbors who have lived in a specific area their entire lives. “This event will help us come up with solutions to promote green communities without displacing citizens. We will start building a connection between environmental projects and sustainable affordable housing,” Bullock said. Refreshments will be provided. Staff will be on hand to assist with state-related issues. For more information, call (215) 684-3738. Read more
HARRISBURG, Oct. 16 – House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody said House members and staff are grief-stricken at the passing of Rep. Sid Michaels Kavulich of the 114th District. Kavulich died early this morning at a Philadelphia hospital where he had been since undergoing major surgery in early October. “Sid was always gracious and engaging. He enjoyed working with people and really getting to know them. That’s why being a representative was such a good fit for him,” Dermody said. “We knew Sid had a big challenge and we were pulling hard for him. Just yesterday nearly all of us in the Democratic Caucus signed a huge Get Well card for him.” Kavulich, 62, was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2010 after earlier careers as a television sportscaster and state Senate staff person in northeastern Pennsylvania. He represented constituents in 18 Lackawanna County communities including North Abington and Scott townships, Carbondale, Clarks Summit, Moosic, Old Forge and Taylor. Kavulich’s death came just one day after that of another House Democrat, Rep. Mike O’Brien of Philadelphia. “These are very tough days for the members and staff of the House,” Dermody said. “The happy memories of both Sid and Mike will help to sustain us all.” Kavulich is survived by his wife Linda, daughters Loni and Ariel, and son Zachary. Funeral arrangements are incomplete. Kavulich’s constituent Read more
HARRISBURG, Oct. 16 – Two state grants totaling $445,500 will fund projects to reduce storm water runoff and improve water quality in Derry Township, state Rep. Joseph Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, announced today. Petrarca said the grants the state Department of Environmental Protection awarded include $250,000 for storm water management to reduce runoff pollution to Sulfur Run and $195,500 for wetland construction along Lower Saxman Run. “These grants will fund practical ways to alleviate runoff pollution, which has been exacerbated by the severe storms that have hit Westmoreland County,” Petrarca said. “Runoff has posed a particular problem in the areas surrounding Sulfur Run and Lower Saxman Run, where mine discharge contaminants pose a threat to safe drinking water. Cost-effective solutions such as stormwater management and wetland construction have proven effective in restoring water quality. I fought hard for this funding, and I’m so glad to see these projects that will protect residents’ health now becoming a reality.” Petrarca noted that the DEP grants are being funded from the historic penalty assessed to Sunoco for violations related to the Mariner East 2 pipeline project. Grants were awarded for stormwater management, invasive species removal, forest restoration, farm runoff reduction, streambank restoration, and many other projects that ultimately improve water quality in Pennsylvania. Grantees Read more
Schweyer/Hughes defend health insurance protections for people with pre-existing conditions HARRISBURG, Oct. 16 – State Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, and state Sen. Vincent Hughes, D-Phila., today held a Capitol news conference outlining their legislation designed to stop health insurers from denying coverage to people based on pre-existing conditions. Schweyer, who authored H.B. 2552 , said we must protect people from having their health insurance denied because of a pre-existing condition. “People deserve equal access to health insurance regardless of whether they have a pre-existing condition and they shouldn’t lose their house paying for it. By not defending the Affordable Care Act, the Trump administration is putting the lives of hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians at risk and H.B. 2552 is our way to fight back,” Schweyer said. Schweyer’s legislation is a companion bill to S.B. 958 introduced by Hughes. “The federal proposal to strip benefits from those with pre-existing conditions is despicable,” Hughes said. “We are fighting politicians who would penalize people in dire straits and make their lives more difficult by taking away health care rights under the Affordable Care Act. Senate Bill 958 will protect Pennsylvanians with preexisting conditions and I’m happy to work with Representative Schweyer in the House on this important cause.” Schweyer said a pre-existing condition is a Read more
The grants come from the historic $12.6 million penalty assessed to Sunoco for violations related to the Mariner East 2 pipeline project. Read more
FOLSOM, Oct. 16 – State Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky today announced Brookhaven was awarded a state grant to reduce pollution in local waterways. The Department of Environmental Protection awarded Brookhaven $110,000 for stormwater management work to reduce runoff pollution into Chester and Ridley creeks. Brookhaven was among 61 municipalities and agencies awarded watershed restoration and stormwater management grants, funded by a $12.6 million penalty DEP collected from Sunoco Pipeline because of permit violations related to construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline. The grants were open to projects to reduce or minimize pollution and protect clean water in the 85 municipalities along the pipeline corridor. “I’m pleased that Brookhaven will receive this funding to help keep our local waterways clean. But it’s important to remember that Brookhaven has already been affected by accidents and spills into the Chester Creek from Mariner East 2 construction,” said Krueger-Braneky, D-Delaware. “I’m glad the penalty funds are being put to good use for the protection of our waterways, but there must be continued stringent oversight for Mariner East 2 to prevent more damage from occurring.” Grants were awarded for stormwater management, invasive species removal, forest restoration, farm runoff reduction, streambank restoration, and many other projects that ultimately improve water quality in Pennsylvania. Grantees include Read more
HARRISBURG, Oct. 16 – State Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, addressed the House yesterday during a memorial resolution on behalf of the late 11-term state Rep. Jeffrey W. Coy, who died in June at 66. Coy represented the 89 th Legislative District for 22 years, from 1982 to 2004. Readshaw, who is Democratic co-chairman of the House Masonic Caucus, spoke of the many ways in which Coy served the commonwealth and his community, both individually, through his service in the House and through his membership in the Masons. “I would like to extend my sympathy and condolences to Jeff’s wife of 44 years, Jo Anne, and his other family members,” Readshaw said. “I knew the Honorable Jeff Coy as a colleague, as secretary of the Democratic Caucus and as a brother Mason. The last time I talked to Jeff was at the 205 th meeting of the Supreme Council in 2017. We spoke and reminisced about the good old days in the House. “Brother Coy was a man of abundant achievements. He honored his obligation to God and his fellow men. He was bestowed the highest degree as a Mason. People of Jeff’s caliber are missed by so many and in so many ways.” Readshaw also read a tribute memorializing Coy’s “relaxed and friendly demeanor, sharp wit and ability to hook his audience with a compelling story or wry joke” and his “pinpoint analysis, combined with excellent people skills,” which made him “an exceptional public Read more
HARRISBURG, Oct. 16 – State Rep. Helen Tai announced today that the state has awarded $263,000 in grants to six different projects in Northampton and Solebury townships. “I am proud to be able to continue delivering investments that address the issues most important to my constituents,” Tai said. “These grants will help increase handicap accessibility, fund senior programs, continue community improvements and help address the opioid crisis locally. I am excited to continue working with my constituents, local organizations, businesses and governments to continue securing funding for programs that are vital to improving the quality of life for residents.” Including these grants, the 178 th Legislative District has now been awarded $4.6 million since Tai was sworn in on June 5, 2018. Tai said that every borough and township in the district she represents has been awarded at least one state grant since taking office. All of the grants announced today were for the full requested amount by each applicant and were awarded by the Department of Human Services. The funding consists of: Solebury Township: $130,000 total $50,000 grant for Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve for a wheelchair-accessible trail; $77,000 grant for Cornerstone Club for its Parkinson’s Program; and $3,000 grant for Free Library of New Hope-Solebury for adult/children yoga. Northampton Township: $133,000 total $20,000 grant for Read more
State Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, chair of the Philadelphia Delegation of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, released the following statement today in response to the passing of Rep. Mike O’Brien, D-Phila. “On behalf of the Philadelphia Delegation, our prayers are with Mike’s family during this extremely difficult time. We’ll never forget his kind heart, positive attitude, and undeniable passion he exhibited in both Harrisburg and Philadelphia. “His accomplishments, endless knowledge, and determination as a state representative were truly an inspiration to all of us. Mike always put his community first by leading the charge for a fair, balanced and on-time state budget, while fighting for better schools, family sustaining jobs, and a safe environment. “Today, the Pennsylvania Legislature didn’t just lose a distinguished member but a loving husband, devoted father, and genuine friend whose legacy will live on forever,” Donatucci said. Gov. Tom Wolf ordered the commonwealth flag be lowered to half-staff at the Capitol Complex and at all public buildings and grounds throughout the state in honor of O’Brien. They will remain at half-staff through sunset on the day of his interment. Read more
State Rep. Mike Hanna, D-Clinton/Centre, was joined today in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives by two local state champion Keystone Little League teams. Read more
Flynn recognizes local Scranton teenager for saving life at restaurant HARRISBURG, Oct. 15 – State Rep. Marty Flynn, D-Lackawanna, today paid tribute in the chamber of the House of Representatives to a high school junior from Scranton for saving a woman’s life who was eating at his family’s restaurant. Sixteen-year-old Dominic Argenta, while working at Victoria’s restaurant, his family’s restaurant in Scranton, performed the Heimlich maneuver when the lady began choking on her food and was not breathing before the paramedics arrived. Flynn recognized Argenta in the House chamber for his heroic act of kindness. “Dominic reacted with ease to a life threatening situation that could have turned out devastating … but it didn’t,” Flynn said. Previously, Flynn honored Argenta and paramedics in his district who saved the woman’s life and thought it fitting to pay tribute to the family during a visit to the House of Representatives. ###rrc/2018/ta l:\print\releases\ArgentaRelease.113 ATTENTION NEWS EDITORS/DIRECTORS – A short video of the presentation may be found here . Read more
The Green Light-Go Program provides approximately $40 million annually to assist municipalities with improvements and upgrades to their traffic signal operations. Read more
Krueger-Braneky issues statement on the passing of Rep. O’Brien Read more
Bill would give first-time homebuyers a tax deduction for money saved toward purchase of a home Read more
HARRISBURG, Oct. 15 – State Rep. Maureen Madden, D-Monroe, joined animal advocates, representatives from shelters/rescues and other animal-related groups from Pennsylvania to show support for animal protection bills. The Justice for Libre animal advocacy action group, Finding Shelter Animal Rescue and the Humane Society of the United States-PA are supporting two animal welfare bills ( H.B. 1216 ) -- the animal in distress or “the hot car bill” -- and ( S.B. 1154 ) -- a retail sales bill that would require pet stores to source animals from shelters and rescues rather than from puppy mill operations and require license numbers to be posted with all puppies for sale to allow transparency for consumers. “Every year, many pets die from heat exhaustion because they are left in parked vehicles,” Madden said. ”We have got to stop the excuses, such as 'I only ran in the store for a minute' and start holding pet owners accountable for their actions.” According to the American Veterinarian Medical Association, the interior temperature of vehicles parked in outside temperatures ranging from 72 to 96 degrees F rose steadily as time increased. A vehicle can quickly reach a temperature that puts pets at risk of serious illness and even death. And cracking the window makes no difference In addition, Madden and state Rep. Jeanne McNeill, D-Northampton, are promoting legislation to ban the practice of pet leasing at pet stores. Read more
CHESTER, Oct. 15 – State Rep. Brian Kirkland announced today that two local municipalities were awarded grants to boost recycling and leaf collection programs. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection awarded $37 million in Recycling Development and Implementation Grants to 195 county and municipal governments for recycling collections and education, as well as leaf litter pickup. Upper Chichester Township was awarded $31,774 and Ridley Township was awarded $163,018. “It’s important that we encourage recycling for the health of our environment and our communities,” said Kirkland, D-Delaware. “I’m pleased to see the state award this funding to help local municipalities make it easier for residents to protect our environment.” Projects eligible for the grants include operating leaf compost facilities, developing web-based programs on recycling for consumers, expanding recycling processing facilities, and continuing or creating curbside recycling programs. Learn more at www.dep.pa.gov . Read more
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