HARRISBURG, Aug. 23 – In response to a BuzzFeed News story that claims major home and auto insurers around the country have urged law enforcement to intimidate and prosecute customers to boost company profits and avoid paying claims, state Rep. Tony DeLuca, Democratic chairman of the House Insurance Committee, released the following statement: “The accusations, and I reiterate, the accusations made by this news organization claiming the existence and use of a co-opt plan by major insurance companies and law enforcement to falsely prosecute insurers to boost company profits – which, as a result, pay police salaries – are unfounded and false. “As Democratic chairman of the House Insurance Committee, I work closely and am in-tune with the rules, regulations and practices upheld by the state’s Insurance Department. The department would never tolerate actions that suggest the insurance industry is misusing fraud reporting, and it surely would act if brought to its attention. “Moreover, the Insurance Fraud Prevention Authority was enacted to assist insurers in reporting fraud, not tear down the system. This story suggests the opposite, claiming the relationship between insurers and law enforcement in Pennsylvania goes deeper than arresting and prosecuting criminals who deceptively steal money from state residents. This, among others, is another false accusation made on behalf of this news organization. “In 2018, there were Read more
HARRISBURG, Aug. 23 – State Rep. Christina Sappey will host a House Policy Committee public hearing in October to examine the numerous negative impacts to state and local infrastructure brought about by increasingly severe weather in Pennsylvania. The hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15 in the East Bradford Township Building, 666 Copeland School Road in West Chester. Sappey, D-Chester, requested the hearing to discuss the issue of severe storms and best-practices for managing them. She will be joined by fellow House members, including Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. “It’s no secret that our roads and bridges are failing, and the increase in severe storms that we are experiencing is exacerbating the problem,” Sappey said. “We all have witnessed the aftermath and dealt with the consequences of flooding, erosion and washed-out roadways.” According to the National Weather Service, Chester County received more than 22 inches above normal rainfall in 2018. The severity and number of storms also have been increasing across the commonwealth. “Since taking office, I have met with many municipal officials throughout the 158 th Legislative District,” Sappey said. “Plain and simple, we need to address how we handle stormwater. It’s a serious safety concern and a top priority for me. “I hope to see you for this important discussion.” Read more
FOLSOM, Aug. 23 – State Rep. Leanne Krueger invites community members to a Pet Expo, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 7 at the Folsom Fire Co., 411 Sutton Ave. Krueger is co-hosting the event with state Sen. Tim Kearney. The event will feature pet resources, including information on Victoria’s Law and other animal-related legislation, pet-related vendors, light refreshments, a low-cost vaccine clinic and more. A pet costume parade will be held at noon. The low-cost vaccine clinic will be offered by Providence Animal Center on a first-come basis. Dogs must be leashed. The clinic is not recommended for cats for their safety, since the clinic is outdoors. The clinic will offer one-year shots including Dewormer, Distemper, Bordetella, Rabies, Lepto, Canine Flu and Lyme, as well as microchips. Pets are welcome but must be leashed. Anyone with questions can call Krueger’s office at 610-534-6880. Read more
ABINGTON, Aug. 23 – State Rep. Ben Sanchez, D-Montgomery, will hold his annual Senior Fair from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Rydal Park on Wednesday, Sept. 4. This event is free and open to the public. Attendees will learn about state and local resources that are available to Montgomery County seniors in areas such as health and wellness, transportation, affordable food programs and more. “This year’s Senior Fair will feature over 50 vendors and connect attendees with the programs and services that they need to lead healthy, productive lives,” Sanchez said. “This is a convenient, ‘one stop shop’ event that brings the community together, and I’m looking forward to meeting with constituents.” In addition to the government and exhibitor information, the Senior Fair will also feature several door prizes, a catered lunch and refreshments. For more information on the Senior Fair, please call Sanchez’s office at (215) 517-6800 or visit the official Facebook event page. Read more
DOYLESTOWN, Aug. 23 – In response to requests from legislators, civic and environmental groups and the public at large, the state departments of Environmental Protection and Conservation and Natural Resources have agreed to perform further study on how any changes to Lake Nockamixon Dam could affect Tochickon Creek before changing the waterway’s designation, state Rep. Wendy Ullman, D-Bucks, announced today. “Thanks to our collective efforts, any DEP reassement of this treasured waterway must await new findings and up-to-date data,” Ullman said. According to Ullman, DEP had earlier proposed downgrading Tohickon Creek as a trout-stock-fishery designation, which would have a serious negative impact on tourism and property values. Working with the Tinicum Conservancy, Ullman had encouraged local residents to petition DEP to designate the Tohickon Creek as Exceptional Value in order to protect all existing uses of the stream and safeguard the quality of its water. Over 900 public comments were received. In the interim, Ullman has had conversations with DCNR Secretary Cindy Dunn and DEP Director of Legislative Affairs Gregory Kauffman to push for further evaluation of Lake Nockamixon Dam and Tohickon Creek. The letter Ullman received from DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell agreeing to this request for further study says: “The stream evaluation of Tohickon Creek is currently at the draft report stage. Further evaluation of the Lake Read more
Route 363 (Trooper Road); Lower Providence Township LANE CLOSURE at Ridge Pike. Every weekday and some Saturdays 9AM- 3PM from 3/25/19-8/30/1, due to Intersection Improvements. Fitzwatertown Road; Abington, Upper Dublin Lane Closures with flagging between Susquehanna Road and Thunderhead Road, weekdays 9AM- 3PM from 3/19/19-8/30/19, due to Utility. Johnson Highway; East Norriton Township FULL CLOSURE between North Hills Drive and Rahway Avenue from 5/13/19-10/1/19, due to Bridge Replacement. DETOUR POSTED. North Lane Road; Whitemarsh Township Road Closure between Hector Street and Butler Pike. Closure during working hours 9 AM - 3 PM from 5/20/19-10/15/19, due to Water Main Work. Croton Road; Upper Merion Township Road Closure between Alder Brook Drive and Sentry Lane, weekdays 9 AM - 3 PM from 5/28/19-9/30/19, due to Water Main Work. DETOUR POSTED. Route 63 (Sumneytown Pike); Upper Salford Township Lane Closure and temporary signal between Long Mill Road and Shady Lane 24/7 from 5/28-19-12/31/19, due to Bridge Replacement. Route 63 (Summneytown Pike), Upper Salford Township Road Closure between Thompson Road and Gerryville Pike from 5/28/19-12/31/19, due to Bridge Replacement. DETOUR POSTED Route 63 (Summneytown Pike); Upper Salford Township Road Closure between Moyer Road and Bergey Road from 5/28/19-12/31/19, due to Bridge Replacement. DETOUR POSTED Jenkintown Road; Abington Township Lane Closure between Easton Road and Read more
WEST GOSHEN, Aug. 22 – State Reps. Carolyn Comitta and Kristine Howard today toured the Mariner East 1 pipeline with Gov. Tom Wolf and Department of Environmental Protection Executive Deputy Secretary Ramez Ziadeh. A high-consequence area, Pennsylvania’s Chester County is disproportionately affected by pipelines, with over 600 miles of pipe crisscrossing the county, including the 80-year-old Mariner East 1 pipeline. Constituents are concerned with safety and transparency. Comitta and Howard are committed to improving lines of communication among elected officials, regulatory agencies, and operators to ensure proper oversight. “Public health and safety must always be our number one priority,” said Comitta, D-Chester. “Our families deserve to be and feel safe in their homes, schools and places of work. It is the job of elected officials to do all we can to protect the people we serve. “We appreciate very much that Gov. Wolf is here in our community listening to the serious concerns of residents who live along the Mariner East pipeline. We will continue to work closely with the governor to keep public safety our top priority.” “Nowhere else in the commonwealth do pipelines zig-zag through so many high-density residential areas as here in our own backyard,” said Howard, D-Chester. “We let Governor Wolf know that Chester County will not be kept in the dark. My constituents – and my family – Read more
DOYLESTOWN, Aug. 22 – State Rep. Wendy Ullman, D-Bucks, hosted a telephone town hall on Wednesday evening to discuss the upcoming session in Harrisburg and issues such as transportation, gun safety, the environment, and property taxes. “I appreciated everyone who took the time join the telephone town hall to share what is most important to them,” Ullman said. “I’ll be taking this information with me back to Harrisburg.” The 50-minute town hall was divided into two parts: polling questions on which listeners could vote and live questions from some attendees to which the representative responded. Respondents said that the biggest issue facing the 143 rd Legislative District was roads and infrastructure (57%), followed by access to health care (21%), schools (15%) and jobs (6%). An overwhelming percentage of respondents (88%) voted that gas drilling companies which use hydro-fracking technology should be required to pay their fair share as they do in other states. In order to stop school shootings, 51% percent of respondents said that military-style assault weapons should be banned and 24% said that background checks should be required for every firearm purchase. Sixty-eight percent of respondents voted that Pennsylvania should follow the lead of New Jersey, New York, Ohio and other surrounding states to raise the minimum wage. “Residents in the 143 rd are very informed and passionately engaged with local and state Read more
HARRISBURG, Aug. 22 – State Rep. Gerald Mullery said the Sept. 12 public hearing regarding the state closure of the White Haven Center should be canceled because it’s nothing more than a charade. Read more
HARRISBURG, Aug. 22 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, today announced that the Pottstown School District will receive additional funding for its high school automotive department and program. A news conference will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 29 at Pottstown Senior High School, 750 N. Washington St., Pottstown, 19464. The school Auto Shop is located on Adams Street across from the Pottstown YMCA. There will be students on hand to greet visitors and point them in the right direction. The Pottstown School District will celebrate and thank its sponsors for contributing to the much-needed automotive alignment equipment that was installed over the summer. This device will allow students to be trained and tested on a vital piece of automotive technology, while helping them prepare to enter the workforce market with employable skills. In addition to Ciresi, who recommended the Pottstown School District for career and technical education funding from the state, the event will feature: Joe Rusiewicz, executive director of the Foundation for Pottstown Education, who helped secure local and private donors. Mike Hewitt, auto tech teacher. Dave Livengood, Director of Career and Technical Education. Stephen Rodriguez, Superintendent of Pottstown School District. Questions can be directed to Ciresi’s district office at 484-200-8265. Media coverage is invited. ### Read more
LANCASTER, Aug. 22 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, will hold his eighth annual Back to School Giveaway from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 25 inside Lancaster Barnstormers’ Clipper Magazine Stadium, 650 N. Prince St. During the event, School District of Lancaster students in grades K-8 will receive a free haircut, backpack, uniform, shoes, and book while also enjoying music, food, games and community activities. Students will also be provided a free meal and free ticket to the 5 p.m. Lancaster Barnstormers game. Students must be in attendance and accompanied by an adult to receive items. Over 1,300 students have already registered to attend. Same-day registration will also be available. Sturla’s staff and other community partners will also be on site to field questions about state-related issues and provide information about state programs and other services. ### ATTENTION NEWS EDITORS/ASSIGNMENT DESKS: Media coverage of this event is invited. CONTACT: Jim Dawes Office of Rep. Mike Sturla Phone: 717-787-3555 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Read more
EBENSBURG, Aug. 22 – Alarmed that several recent state parolees have been arrested for homicide, state Rep. Frank Burns has called for an independent, outside review of the parole process and a halt to new parole hearings until that occurs. Burns, D-Cambria, urgently requested the external review in a letter to Corrections Secretary John Wetzel that was also sent to Theodore W. Johnson, chairman of the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole. “Five recent Pennsylvania prison parolees have been charged with killing six people in just two months. Our process of determining who to release on parole is critically flawed and must immediately change,” Burns wrote. “We cannot sit idly by, watching murder after murder, in the name of soft-on-crime ‘reforms’ that loosen our parole policies. “We should be more focused on protecting innocent Pennsylvanians from senseless death at the hands of convicted criminals that about reducing our prison population at all costs. Please put any new parole hearings on hold until an independent, outside review can figure out why so many unrehabilitated murderers are slipping through your bars and back into society.” Burns noted that he stands with the Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers Association in demanding the review of parole policies and procedures. He called the spate of murders and arrests of recent state parolees “unfathomable” and Read more
ALLENTOWN, Aug. 22 – State Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, and Penn State Extension are partnering to hold a public forum on the threat of the spotted lanternfly. The forum will be from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 28 at South Mountain Middle School, 709 W. Emaus Ave . No RSVP is needed. Master gardeners from Penn State Extension will offer updates on combatting the spotted lanternfly and answer your questions. Attendees can learn more about this invasive insect and how they can help control its impact on the community. The spotted lanternfly can threaten Pennsylvania’s agricultural crops such as grapes, hops and hardwoods, and is affecting the quality of life for residents in heavily infested areas, according to the Department of Agriculture. This event is part of a series of public meetings Penn State Extension is holding across the state to inform residents about the spotted lanternfly and what they can do to stop its spread. Read more
HARRISBURG, Aug. 21 – Following Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross Jr.’s abrupt resignation on Tuesday, state Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., chairman of the Philadelphia Delegation in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and its members thanked Ross for his nearly 30 years of service to the city in law enforcement. “It has been an esteemed honor to stand beside Commissioner Ross in our efforts to improve the lives of all Philadelphians, especially to combat the increasing gun violence in the city,” Dawkins said. “Members of the delegation thank him for his nearly three decades of dedicated service to the city of Philadelphia. “However, we are disheartened to hear of the new accusations against the police force. As members of the House of Representatives, we take any charge of sexual harassment, gender or racial discrimination very seriously. “We trust that new leadership within the Philadelphia Police Department, presently under acting Commissioner Christine M. Coulter, will continue to work to overcome any issues of discrimination or harassment existing within the department.” Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 21 – In response to the shutdown of the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery yesterday and the resulting layoffs, state Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila., issued the following statement: “The Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery has been vital to our economy for over 150 years. Closing this site, which is the largest of its kind on the East Coast, is a nearsighted solution that doesn’t fully consider the impact of the loss of 1,000 good, family-sustaining jobs at the refinery, as well as thousands of jobs at other companies that are affected by the refinery’s operations. Also, thousands of people across the region will see increasing prices at the gas pump and for in-home oil heating. “The refinery has filed for bankruptcy before and I worked with many parties to prevent its shutdown and save jobs then. I’m disappointed that a solution couldn’t be reached at this time to help PES stay open for the employees and contractors who worked there. Although a handful of staff will be kept on board to keep the refinery stable until its fate can be determined, our community will feel the impact of this loss immediately. I always try to find the balance between the environment and economics and I’m continuing to look for a viable solution. “I am hopeful that more answers will emerge about the cause of the fire and the future of the refinery site as the investigation wraps up and the PES Refinery Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 21 – State Rep. Danilo Burgos, D-Phila., will host his End of Summer Blast, a communitywide festival, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31 at Rivera Recreation Center, located at 3201 N. Fifth St., 19140. “The End of Summer Blast is a great way to celebrate the end of the summer and to kick-off the upcoming school year,” Burgos said. “I’m proud to host this event to celebrate the 197 th Legislative District community.” The event will include: Food. Face painting. Live performances. Amateur boxing tournament. Burgos and his district office staff will be available to answer questions about state issues and programs. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 21 – State Rep. Donna Bullock today said she is the first and only legislator to represent Pennsylvania during this week’s Clean Energy Legislative Academy in Breckenridge, Colo. The four-day conference brings together a bipartisan group of state legislators and their staff from across the country to learn about emerging energy issues and resources they will need to develop effective clean energy policy in their states. “I’m honored to represent Pennsylvania at this important and informative conference. I plan on learning as much as I can from the seminars and panels and legislators from other states,” Bullock said. “Pennsylvania needs laws that will help fight climate change and convert to renewable energy. I want to bring my experiences from this conference back home to not only share with my colleagues, but to craft legislation that would provide better, efficient energy policies for now and our future.” The Clean Energy Legislative Academy will hit on such topics as climate and air quality, securing our energy future, financial markets response to climate risk, and getting to 100% innovation in clean energy technology. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 21 – With voters soon going to the polls and casting their ballots on new voting machine technology, state Rep. Angel Cruz will host an event where people can become familiar and comfortable with these new machines. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6 at Cruz’s district office at 3503 North B St., Unit 7, 19134. Representatives from the Philadelphia City Commissioner’s Office will be in attendance to provide demonstrations on how the new machines operate. For more information, constituents can call Cruz’s office at 215-291-5643. Read more
HARRISBURG, Aug. 21 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi, today announced a rally in support of S.B. 44, to be known as Victoria’s Law , that will feature several state senators and representatives, as well as local shelter and rescue representatives. The rally will take place at 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 25 at The Upper Merion Township Building Park, 175 W. Valley Forge Road, King of Prussia, PA 19406. In addition to Ciresi, D-Montgomery, the list of participants includes: Sen. Tom Killion , R-Delaware, co-sponsor of S.B. 44. Sen. Andy Dinniman , D-Chester, co-sponsor of S.B. 44. Rep. Frank Farry, R-Bucks. Rep. Tim Briggs, D-Montgomery. Kristen Tullo , Humane Society of the United States, Pennsylvania state director. Grace Kelly Herbert , Finding Shelter Animal Rescue, president and co-founder. Many other humane legislators and shelter/rescue representatives. Several shelters and rescues will be in attendance with rescue puppies and puppy mill survivors. Supporters are encouraged to wear purple and bring their rescued furry friend. Victoria’s Law is a consumer protection bill that would drive the pet market towards more humane sources by prohibiting the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores. The bill is named after Victoria, a German shepherd who bred over 150 puppies during her life in a puppy mill. Victoria passed down an incurable disease to her puppies and unknowing consumers who purchased her puppies were faced with high vet bills and Read more
State Reps. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, and Bridget Kosierowski, D-Lackawanna, announced legislation to promote childhood immunizations and protect Pennsylvania residents from preventable diseases. Read more
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