PITTSBURGH, Dec. 14 – Speaking at a news conference today, state Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, called for commonsense gun reforms at the local level and highlighted the need to empower Pittsburgh city officials to enact those measures. Joining Frankel at the event to call for local gun reform were state Sen. Wayne Fontana, D-Allegheny, Gov. Tom Wolf, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, city council members, gun safety advocates, gun violence victims and concerned residents. “We’re tired of inaction and stonewalling at the state level as residents continue to die in gun violence and mass shootings like the Tree of Life massacre,” Frankel said. “Our neighbors are demanding stronger protections from weapons, but our elected leaders’ hands are tied by provisions in state laws designed to block local action. That’s why I’m introducing legislation this week that would eliminate those provisions and pave the way for commonsense gun reform. “We can’t afford to wait any longer to protect residents and stem the violence. Other cities have acted to create local regulations for firearms. It’s time to act, before more lives are lost.” Fontana lauded renewed efforts by city officials and community activists to pass proposals similar to measures he recently introduced on the state level. They include bills that would ban assault weapons and allow family members or law enforcement to petition to have a gun Read more
“These funds will go a long way in helping our kids learn and achieve." Read more
NEWTOWN, Dec. 13 – State Rep. Perry Warren, D-Bucks, released the following statement marking six years since the school shooting massacre in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, took place Dec. 14, 2012. “Friday is the six-year anniversary of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Twenty-eight people died that day, including 20 elementary schoolchildren, six staff members and the shooter and his mother. “Having five children, having lost a child, and living five doors from my kids' elementary school – and at the time serving on borough council in a community named Newtown – this tragedy really hit home with me. We sent condolences to Newtown, Connecticut, and held a memorial service in our own Newtown. “Many people said, ‘never again,’ yet the shootings have continued, and this year, our own state was struck by the mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. “While last year, on the fifth anniversary of the shootings, I wrote that ‘little has been done to prevent further tragedies,’ in 2018 – in the aftermath of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida – the House Judiciary Committee held hearings on proposed gun safety legislation, and a single gun safety bill was passed by the House and Senate and signed into law by Governor Wolf. It's not enough, but it's a start. “As we mourn the losses of the children and teachers on Read more
SCRANTON, Dec. 13 – State Rep. Marty Flynn, D-Lackawanna, today announced that several schools in the Scranton School District have been designated in need of support to improve students’ educational experiences by the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) State Plan. “As a community, it is our duty to ensure each student receives the support and tools necessary to receive a quality education,” said Flynn. “By identifying areas of needed improvement and helping school leaders devise strategies and tactics to solve these complexities, we are improving lives of countless students in Lackawanna County and across Pennsylvania.” An estimated 6 percent of all public schools in Pennsylvania have been prioritized for Additional Targeted Support and Improvement (A-TSI). Four schools within the Scranton School District were given this designation, including Isaac Tripp Elementary School, Scranton High School, West Scranton High School and West Scranton Intermediate School. A-TSI schools are based on the performance of individual student groups, including students with disabilities and English language learners, among others. These schools will receive technical assistance from the state while developing and implementing a locally approved improvement plan. Flynn noted and applauded the Wolf administration’s innovative and fair approach to assessing school and student Read more
HARRISBURG, Dec. 13 – Two Child Advocacy Centers located in Fayette and Washington counties today each were awarded the maximum $47,000 in state funding by the Child Advocacy Board of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, according to state Rep. Pam Snyder, D-Greene/Fayette/Washington. “I’m excited to announce funding that will play a crucial role in helping the commonwealth further protect at-risk children in our community,” Snyder said. “Sexual abuse is no laughing matter, especially when children are involved. So, it’s reassuring to know that these centers, which continue to serve as a safety net for at-risk children, have received the proper funding needed so that they can help as many children as possible.” The funding will be used to provide continued access to high-quality services for suspected child abuse victims. Funding also will be used to support the positions of forensic interviewer, outreach liaison and intake coordinator. The grant money comes from the Children’s Advocacy Center Funds through Act 28 of 2014, which highlighted the importance of Children’s Advocacy Centers and established a dedicated funding stream for CACs and training of mandated reporters. Centers were eligible to receive up to $47,000. Sto-Rox Neighborhood Health Council Inc. requested the funding for the Fayette and Washington CACs. In addition to helping children from those counties, both centers provide Read more
EBENSBURG, Dec. 13 – In the wake of robust attendance at his town hall meeting last night on the controversial Laurel Ridge wind turbine project, state Rep. Frank Burns said he expects momentum to carry over to today’s 3 p.m. meeting of the Greater Johnstown Water Authority. Burns, D-Cambria, said the town hall attracted 200 citizens hungry for additional information on the project’s timeline, scope and impact. He expects at least some of them to seek additional insights from the water authority, which owns the property, during today’s meeting at 640 Franklin St., Johnstown. “What we emphatically learned last night is that many people who live in the area are craving answers and eager to provide input,” said Burns, who plans to attend the water authority meeting for observational and educational purposes. “These constituents approached me for help in their quest; as an elected official, I am committed to guiding them to sunlight at the end of what they currently perceive as a dark tunnel.” Burns said residents who live in the area – and would be most impacted by the possible erection of up to 60 wind turbines – deserve to be kept fully in the loop and treated as partners in any project that has the potential to disrupt their lifestyle. Read more
STROUDSBURG, Dec. 12 – The Children’s Advocacy of Monroe County was awarded $46,939 to enhance and expand child-related services within Monroe County and the surrounding counties, state Rep. Maureen Madden announced today. “Monroe County needs this type of funding to oversee the day-to-day activities at the child advocacy center,” said Madden, D-Monroe. “Centers like this are an integral part of our community development, especially when children are involved in the healing and recovery efforts.” Funding also will be used to support the salary of an executive director, an intake/administrative assistant and other operating needs. A goal of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency is to increase the number of children served by child advocacy centers in Pennsylvania, increase the number of under resourced, geographically isolated, rural and /or underserved communities. Also, CCD centers seek to improve the quality of joint investigations, forensic interviews, expert medical evaluations and trauma-informed mental health interventions provided to help child abuse victims. 73 grants from six different categories totaling $5.7 million were awarded by the Children’s Advocacy Center Advisory Committee across the state. Money for grant is awarded through Act 28 of 2014 and through a portion of the NCAA’s penalty money resulting from the Penn State/Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal to aid the victims of child Read more
PITTSBURGH, Dec. 13 – Two state grants totaling $117,360 will enhance services for minor victims of abuse who are evaluated and treated at Pittsburgh’s Children’s Hospital, state Rep. Adam Ravenstahl, D-Allegheny, announced today. “The advocates and providers at Children’s Hospital and the hospital’s Child Advocacy Center play a critical, multi-dimensional role in detecting, preventing and treating physical and sexual abuse,” Ravenstahl said. “The grants announced today will fund additional training and equipment for staff and expand access to services. This empowers advocates and staff to do the essential work of helping child victims heal and bringing abusers to justice.” Ravenstahl noted that the funding comes from two separate grants: $47,000 to Children’s Hospital that will fund specialized training and education for emergency medical personnel, the purchase of equipment including two portable colposcopes and digital video and camera equipment, the use of a consultant for cross-educational and networking opportunities for multidisciplinary team members, and parking assistance for families’ transportation and parking costs; and $70,360 to the Center for Victims to allow it to continue the counselor advocate position co-located onsite at Children’s Hospital’s CAC. The position focuses specifically on child sexual abuse cases that come through the CAC and the hospital’s Read more
NEW CASTLE, Dec. 13 – A $46,989 grant to the Children’s Advocacy Center of Lawrence County will help support the center’s services on behalf of physically and sexually abused children, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. “The center performs the vital work of protecting child abuse victims by providing them a safe, supportive environment where they can be evaluated and treated and by giving them a voice, through advocates who represent their interests,” Sainato said. “Protecting abused kids requires the efforts of a multidisciplinary team and state-of-the-art training. The funding awarded today will help ensure that child victims in our community receive the support they need to heal and a chance at a new future. It will also aid the center in its critical task of rooting out abusers and bringing them to justice.” Sainato said the funding will be used to partially support positions at the center, including the executive director, a family advocate and two trauma therapists; provide forensic interview training; purchase equipment necessary for specific therapy and provide reference material for the team. Money for the grant – part of a package of funding to 39 child advocacy centers statewide – is awarded through Act 28 of 2014, which highlighted the importance of children’s advocacy centers and multi-disciplinary teams and established a dedicated funding stream for mandated reporters, Read more
EBENSBURG, Dec. 13 – Enhanced services for abused children will be boosted by a $46,968 state grant to the Cambria County Child Advocacy Center, state Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, announced today. Burns, a leader in the statewide effort to hold child abusers accountable, said the grant through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency will help young victims of physical and sexual abuse with healing – and will help bring abusers to justice. “Our region has been devastated by decades of documented sexual abuse by clergy, but we all know the abuse doesn’t stop there,” Burns said. “This funding is all about giving abused kids a second chance – and rooting out and punishing their abusers – by ensuring that the center has the state-of-the art resources it needs for investigating, evaluating and treating abuse.” Burns said the Cambria County CAC was awarded close to the maximum of $47,000 to provide high-quality medical evaluations and mental health screenings for abused children, and to ensure that forensic interviews are conducted to help hold perpetrators accountable. The grant comes through Act 28 of 2014, which highlighted the importance of children’s advocacy centers and established a dedicated funding stream for the training of mandated reporters, and for CACs. Read more
HARRISBURG, Dec. 13 -- State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, announced today that the Children's Advocacy Center of Erie County Inc. will receive a $47,000 state grant to help prevent child abuse and those who have experienced abuse. Additionally, the Pennsylvania Chapter of Children's Advocacy Centers and Multidisciplinary Teams, located in Erie, will receive $400,000. Specifically, the local CAC grant will be used to partially support the salaries and benefits of the executive director and forensic interviewer, as well as for its subscription to management and tracking software for casework, supplies, and operating expenses of the agency. It received the maximum grant awarded for this category. "The funding will go to support core Children's Advocacy Center functions that currently do not have a source of dedicated funding," Bizzarro said. "By supporting these expenses, the Children's Advocacy Center of Erie County can reduce the uncertainty of relying on donations and fundraising and focus on helping the children of Erie County. "The state chapter of CACs will use its $400,000 award to provide training, assistance and support to children's advocacy centers and multidisciplinary teams to help increase their number throughout the commonwealth." The money for these grants was awarded by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. "I've had the opportunity to work Read more
In an effort to help Pennsylvanians battling addiction connect with available treatment, resources and services, state Rep. Harry Readshaw says the state has unveiled a new anonymous online survey available to anyone in the commonwealth. Read more
The committee represents state legislatures' interests to the federal government in various ways. Read more
PITTSBURGH, Dec. 12 -- Following the mass shooting attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill, the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) has granted a $1 million grant for the victims, Senator Jay Costa, Jr. and Rep. Dan Frankel announced today. On October 27, a gunman entered the Tree of Life Synagogue and opened fire – killing eleven people and wounding six more. There were at least 30 people present in the synagogue that morning. Following the attack, a Family Resource Center was set up to meet immediate needs of the victims, and the Center for Victims will now be able to provide more comprehensive victim services. The funds will pay for the Center for Victims to hire trauma informed counselors to reduce wait times for those in need. "The aftereffects of this shooting still reverberate across our neighborhood and city, in the lives of the individual victims, as well as to the congregations and community,” said Representative Frankel. “I'm hopeful that people will be able to take advantage of important resources necessary to find their path through healing." “The victims and their families of this horrific event have suffered beyond my imagination,” said Senator Costa. “As they grieve and move forward from this tragedy, they may need specialized counseling services and they should have easy, quick access to that. This grant will help provide the kind of care they’ll need, and I Read more
'We have entrusted these companies with an enormous responsibility and an enormous amount of taxpayer dollars, but it’s become clear that they are abusing that trust. ' Read more
HARRISBURG, Dec. 7 – Municipalities, institutions of higher education, counties, and community-based organizations implementing violence-prevention initiatives can apply to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency for competitive grant funding. Applicants for 2019 Community Violence Prevention Grants may submit proposals for one-time events or for one- or two-year projects, and may request up to $350,000. “The promise of wholly supported public safety in Pennsylvania represents an important change in priorities among the General Assembly, and I’m ready to make sure that initiatives from our communities get the state support they need to help keep us safe,” said state Rep.-Elect Christina Sappey, D-Chester. All applications must be submitted by Feb. 7. Awards will be approved and announced at the public meeting of the School Safety and Security Committee in April. Projects should begin May 1, 2019. Those interested in applying must visit https://www.pccdegrants.pa.gov/Egrants/Public/OpenAnnouncements.aspx . Interested applicants who are not already registered in PCCD’s E-grants system must register here before applying: https://www.pccd.pa.gov/Funding/Pages/Egrants-Home.aspx The funding for this grant became available in 2018/19 under Act 44 of 2018, which established the School Safety and Security Grant Program and specified that up to 12.5 percent, or $7.5 million, would be earmarked for community violence Read more
PHILADLEPHIA, Dec. 7 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., on Wednesday in Harrisburg was awarded the Champion for Long Term Care Award by the Pennsylvania Health Care Association. DeLissio was recognized for her passion, advocacy and support for legislation that addresses the commonwealth’s long-term care services and supports system. “Representative DeLissio began her career in long-term care, and she has never forgotten her roots,” PHCA CEO Russ McDaid said. “She has been a fantastic advocate for the providers, the direct-care workers and the seniors in her district and across the commonwealth. We are proud to present her with this award.” A member of the Pennsylvania Department of Aging’s Long-Term Care Council and the House Aging & Older Adult Services Committee, DeLissio said that she is a strong partner for stakeholders of long-term care due to her professional background in providing housing and services to older adults with limited incomes. Prior to her election to the legislature in 2010, DeLissio had nearly 30 years of experience in the fields of long-term care and small business ownership. She also played a major role in reviewing the state’s delivery of long-term care services and support for independent and care dependent older Pennsylvanians as member of the Joint State Government Commission’s Advisory Committee on Long Term Care Services and Supports for Older Pennsylvanians. Read more
State Rep. Carol Hill-Evans, D-York, today announced the city of York will receive $180,000 through the Department of Community and Economic Development. Read more
WEST CHESTER, Dec. 6 – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation awarded a $150,000 competitive grant to the Brandywine Regional Airport to improve the airfield with new hangar space, state Rep. Carolyn Comitta said today. Twenty-six airports across the commonwealth will make infrastructure and equipment upgrades to maintain safety and expand aviation-related operational and economic opportunities with the help of over $6 million in targeted state investments announced by Gov. Tom Wolf today. “I’m pleased that the Brandywine Airport is getting this attention from the state – it’s an amazing economic multiplier for our region – and the development there is sure to create jobs,” said Comitta, D-Chester. “I look forward to supporting more development at Brandywine, as officials there continue to grow and improve its services and infrastructure.” State funding from PennDOT’s Aviation Development Program comes from the state’s jet fuel tax, and $4 million from the Multimodal Transportation Fund. Read more
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