HARRISBURG, Jan. 16 – About $500,000 remains in a fund that provides a small stipend to veterans from Pennsylvania who served in the Persian Gulf, and state Rep. Neal P. Goodman wants to ensure those eligible to benefit from it receive their share. Goodman, D-Schuylkill, has introduced H.B. 175 to extend the deadline to apply to the state’s Persian Gulf Veterans' Bonus Program to Aug. 31, 2018. The program is scheduled to end Aug. 31 this year. “The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs receives about 60 new applications to the program every month,” said Goodman, who is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. “I do not want to risk denying these benefits to eligible veterans when we can simply extend the deadline. This is a small thank you to the brave men and women who have risked their lives serving our country in the Persian Gulf War.” Goodman wrote the law that led to a November 2006 referendum asking Pennsylvania if the state should create the program. The referendum was overwhelmingly approved. “I will do all I can to ensure the money in the program is used as Pennsylvanians intended – to help as many Persian Gulf War veterans as possible,” Goodman said. The maximum bonus is $525 under the program. Since the enactment of the law, the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs has processed nearly 11,000 claims totaling more than $3.5 million. The Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 16 – According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation executive for District 6, the length of Ridge Avenue from the county line at Northwestern to Dauphin is slated to be repaved when the weather breaks for spring, state Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio announced today. “With great anticipation, drivers and riders have been looking forward to the resurfacing of Ridge Avenue, which has been a rough ride for some time,” said DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila. “After the damage caused by last year’s harsh winter, this spring cannot get here soon enough.” All travel lanes will be open between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m. and between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. There will be one travel lane in each direction open during all other times. All milling and paving work will be performed between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m., and Philadelphia police will provide assistance for safety and traffic control. Travel-lane restrictions or any work that might impede traffic will not be permitted over the Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day weekends. DeLissio said that constituents’ patience has been appreciated as the Philadelphia Gas Works and the Philadelphia Water Department first needed to address underground infrastructure that required repair along the seven-mile stretch prior to PennDOT tackling the resurfacing of the roadway. She explained that the Ridge Avenue resurfacing project commenced in the fall of 2014 with some base repair at Read more
AMBRIDGE, March 21 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, today announced that Beemac Trucking has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the state Department of Environmental Protection. Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 15 – The Portage Area Sewer Authority received approval for $8.1 million of Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority funding to help improve the sewer system, said state Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria. The authority will construct 50,000 linear feet of new sewers to provide a public sewage collection system in the Martindale area of Portage Township, as well as rehabilitate the sewage collection system in a section of Portage Borough. “The project will help upgrade parts of the sewer system that are malfunctioning and it will also rehabilitate 75-year-old pipelines,” Burns said. “This is just another example of the state recognizing the need for investments in infrastructure in our region.” The Pennvest funding package includes a $5 million low-interest loan. Twenty jobs are expected to be created by the improvements. Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 15 – State Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, said today that students may now apply for the Pennsylvania House Scholarship Program. The program provides four-year scholarships to two high school seniors each year. Each scholarship consists of the value of one semester of tuition at a State System of Higher Education school, automatically renewable for up to four years, provided the recipient maintains his or her eligibility. Although the value is based on a SSHE school, the scholarship may be used at any Pennsylvania college. “We’re getting to the time of year when high school seniors and their families are beginning to finalize college decisions, and one of the biggest decisions is how they will pay for tuition and books,” Schweyer said. "With many families struggling to pay for college, this scholarship could be a huge help to a student in need of financial assistance." To be eligible, a graduating high school senior must: Be a legal resident of Pennsylvania; Attend a Pennsylvania college, university or career school as a full-time student; Have a minimum 3.0 cumulative high school grade-point average; Be committed to their community and have leadership qualities; Participate in extracurricular activities; and Have financial need. More information and the application for this program are available online at http://is.gd/HofRscholarships or on Schweyer’s webpage, Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 14 – State Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, D-Erie, today began his second term in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, where he will continue to represent the 3rd Legislative District in the 2015-16 legislative session. Read more
PITTSBURGH, Jan. 14 – State Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, today commended Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto for standing by the city's gun-safety laws in the face of a lawsuit from the National Rifle Association. Frankel strongly opposed the new state law that allows the NRA and other groups to sue Pennsylvania communities that have local ordinances requiring the reporting of lost or stolen guns. Some smaller communities have begun to repeal their ordinances rather than face legal bills from lawsuits by the NRA or other groups. "I commend Mayor Peduto for standing up for gun safety and common sense to protect Pittsburgh residents and visitors, and I hope he and the city council will continue to do so. I believe there is a good chance the new state law can be overturned in court as unconstitutional, and then an attempt at reviving it would have to get past Governor-elect Wolf instead of being rubber-stamped as Governor Corbett did last year," Frankel said. "The new legislature also needs to focus on top priorities, such as closing the $2 billion deficit Governor Corbett is leaving behind, restoring school funding and raising Pennsylvania from our dead-last rank in job creation. Wasting more time on special-interest legislation like what I call the ‘NRA Lawyer Employment Act’ would not help with any of those dire needs," Frankel added. ### Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 14 – State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., is continuing his push for commonsense priorities as he begins his second term representing Philadelphia's 182nd Legislative District. Sims said, "In addition to seeking to restore vital school funding, addressing the $2 billion deficit Governor Corbett is leaving and reversing the drastic decline in Pennsylvania's job-creation record, I will continue working with allies from both parties to reintroduce legislation on other important issues," such as:LGBT equality, including equal protections in the workplace and a ban on harmful "conversion therapy" for minors;sustainable development and manufacturing;merit selection of judges;fair compensation for people harmed by a local government's action or inaction – like Philadelphians who only got 19 cents on the dollar for electrical and water damage done to their homes by a 4-foot-wide water main break in 2012; andproactive women's health initiatives. Constituents who want to learn more about the legislation Sims has worked on and plans to reintroduce will have the opportunity to ask him during his first town hall meeting of 2015, which will be held Feb. 12 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Bonnell Large Auditorium, Community College of Philadelphia, 1700 Spring Garden St. The auditorium is located on 16th Street between Callowhill and Spring Garden streets. The legislature's term began in December, and the state Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 13 – State Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, D-Erie, announced several Erie County watershed protection projects will receive a total of more than $1.3 million in state funding. The $1,328,573 in grants comes from the state Department of Environmental Protection’s Growing Greener Program, which is awarding more than $17.3 million in grants statewide."Clean water is fundamental to the health of our environment and our communities," Bizzarro said. "I am pleased to see that so many deserving projects are receiving funding to help reduce water pollution and improve quality of life in our area."Environment Erie will receive a total of $682,802 for five projects: $41,585 for BeginANEW residential stormwater education and vacant lot beautification; $190,850 for Cascade Creek restoration phase 7; $110,188 for Scott Run watershed protection and restoration; $366,640 for septic system improvements; and $33,539 for service learning projects. Erie County Conservation District will receive $443,880 for its 2014 AG BMP cost share program, and Pennsylvania State University will obtain $141,891 for its Sevenmile Creek stream corridor restoration.The Growing Greener Program is funded by the Environmental Stewardship Fund. The program’s primary goals are investing in initiatives protecting watersheds from impairment and restoring those already impaired.More information about the Growing Greener Program can be found online at Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 13 – State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee, invites west Philadelphia residents to join him at a Dr. Martin Luther King Day event Monday morning at West Philadelphia High School, 49th and Chestnut streets. The "Day of Consciousness Raising: Going Beyond 'the Dream'" program will begin at 10 a.m. Monday, after a coffee reception from 9:15 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. The event is sponsored by the West Philadelphia High School student government and the 188th Legislative District Education Committee. The event will feature a panel discussion with students and alumni of the school and guests, including Roebuck and Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell. It will also include performances by students. "I invite everyone to come and hear students and community members share their views on how to move our neighborhood forward," Roebuck said. For more information, please call Roebuck's office at 215-724-2227. ### Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 13 – State Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, has continued his efforts to build support for "patient trust" legislation, including speaking on the issue to a national doctors' organization last week. Frankel, co-chair of the legislature's Women's Health Caucus, spoke to the American Medical Association Friday in New Orleans about keeping politics out of the provider-patient relationship. His proposed Patient Trust Act would ban government entities from requiring providers to care for patients in a way that is not considered medically appropriate or forcing providers to tell patients anything that is not medically accurate. Frankel plans to reintroduce the bill, which was H.B. 2303 in the 2013-14 session. Frankel said, "Patients trust that their doctor is telling them the whole truth, and that their health is the doctor’s primary concern. We should protect that trust. Patients shouldn’t worry that they are on the receiving end of a political agenda when they go to the doctor." The legislation is in response to laws that have passed in several states, including Pennsylvania, that force providers to practice medicine in a way that is not in line with basic medical standards. Last year, the National Partnership for Women & Families detailed a number of problematic intrusions on medical decision-making in its report: "Bad Medicine: How a Political Agenda is Undermining Women’s Health Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 13 – Gift cards are popular presents for the holidays, birthdays and special occasions, and state Rep. Neal P. Goodman wants to ensure Pennsylvanians who receive them get the full value of the card. Goodman, D-Schuylkill, is preparing to introduce legislation that would ban inactivity fees and expiration dates that deplete the value of gift cards over time. State Sen. Rob Teplitz, D-Dauphin/Perry, is introducing the same legislation in his chamber. "Sen. Teplitz and I are working to protect Pennsylvanians who receive gift cards from a potential unpleasant surprise if they wait to redeem it," Goodman said. "Without additional protections that our legislation offers, many stores -- national chains in particular -- will continue to impose inactivity fees and expiration dates." A 2009 federal law called the CARD Act provides consumers with some gift card protections, including limits on expiration dates and fees. Store- and bank-issued cards cannot expire less than five years from the date of purchase or when money was last loaded onto the card. Inactivity fees are banned unless the card is not used for 12 months. Goodman said his legislation would offer protection already provided in many other states. He said thirty-eight states have enacted additional protections beyond the CARD Act, with most eliminating expiration dates and inactivity fees. Goodman said gift cards are big business in Read more
UPPER DARBY, Jan. 13 – State Rep. Margo Davidson, D-Delaware, will host a Stay Warm Energy Fair from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 22 at Beverly Hills Presbyterian Church, 500 Midvale Road, Upper Darby.This event will help area residents learn how to conserve energy and save money on their energy bills.Government and non-profit agencies will be on-hand to provide information about energy assistance, weatherization and energy conservation.“We are starting the coldest part of the winter so it is important that people know how to properly weatherize their homes to conserve energy and save money,” Davidson said. “This type of information and help with applications for the LIHEAP energy assistance program will be available at my energy fair.”For more information or to RSVP, please contact Maureen McGrory at (610) 259-7016 or firstname.lastname@example.org.### Read more
ERIE, Jan. 12 – State Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro was joined by local officials and residents of the 3rd Legislative District for today’s grand opening of his new satellite office in Edinboro. Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 12 -- State Rep. Frank Dermody, D-Allegheny, announced that applications are available for the 2015 Pennsylvania House of Representatives Scholarship. "I encourage all students planning to attend college to consider applying for this scholarship," Dermody said. "As college tuition rates continue to rise, this scholarship could provide needed assistance." The scholarship amount is the equivalent of one semester's tuition at a State System of Higher Education university. However, recipients may use the scholarship at any Pennsylvania public or private university or career school. The scholarship may be renewed for each year of a student's four years of undergraduate study. To be eligible, a student must be a graduating senior living in Pennsylvania with a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade-point average. He or she must participate in extracurricular activities, have community and leadership skills and demonstrate financial need. The scholarship program, which is privately funded by individual and corporate donations, is administered through the Foundation for Enhancing Communities. Applications are available at the Foundation for Enhancing Communities' website, www.tfec.org. In addition to the application, students must submit other scholarship information, a student resume, information about their community and leadership skills and their FAFSA student aid report. Applicants also must submit an Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 9 – State Rep. Pam DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., is preparing to stomp and squeeze her way into the Pennsylvania Farm Show this year by participating in two events this year: the Celebrity Milking Contest and the Celebrity Grape Stomp. Last year, DeLissio's team came in second in the milking contest, and she said she no longer considers herself a novice. "I look forward to once again facing off against Agriculture Secretary Greig at the milking stool," DeLissio said. "This is the 2nd year that I have been in this contest, and I only get better with practice, thanks to the encouragement and coaching of W.B. Saul High School's agricultural science teacher David Ruvarac. Fortunately for me, I have been able to receive a refresher lesson with Chelsea, one of many cows who resides in the barn at the school which is located in the 194th District."W.B. Saul Agricultural High School is the only agricultural high school in the state and only one of three in the nation. DeLissio also will put her bare toes to the test and stomp as many grapes as she can in the Celebrity Grape Stomp, which is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 15. The Celebrity Cow Milking Contest will be held at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 16. "It's all good, clean fun and I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and pant legs with an eye toward capturing the number one trophy, all the while bringing much-deserved attention to the Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 9 – State Reps. Jim Cox, R-Berks and Ed Gainey, D-Allegheny, plan to reintroduce legislation that would legalize medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. The legislation would allow Pennsylvania doctors to recommend medicinal cannabis to patients who would medically benefit from such a treatment. There are 21 states and the District of Columbia with similar laws.Both legislators introduced similar bills in the 2013-14 legislative session with bipartisan support. The current measure is identical to legislation that passed the Senate 43-7 in September, but which never received a vote by the House."The Senate-passed bill represented months of hearings, discussions, changes, and compromises with one goal in mind: helping those with medical challenges – especially children with seizure disorders – to benefit from a medicinal strain of cannabis," Cox said. "Some children suffer hundreds of seizures a day, making normal childhood development impossible and forcing parents to helplessly watch their children suffer."He said prescribed narcotic cocktails of highly addictive and dangerous drugs have little effect on these disorders and often provide only a few weeks or months of pause in the decline of a child’s health."It is cruel and irrational to deny people medicine to alleviate their suffering – especially when we routinely prescribe far more addictive, powerful, and toxic medications for the same Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 8 – State Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, announced that two local libraries will receive state grants totaling nearly $83,000. The Community Library of the Shenango Valley will receive $53,150 and the Stey-Nevant Public Library in Farrell will receive $27,656. The Community Library of the Shenango Valley plans to make the front entrance and restrooms handicapped accessible, Longietti said. Stey-Nevant Library, Longietti said, will use the grant to replace old light fixtures, which use bulbs that are no longer being manufactured, with modern, energy-efficient lighting and replace back doors, which have become worn and are difficult to latch securely. "These libraries are important community resources, and I’m pleased that the state will be providing much needed assistance to make these upgrades," said Longietti, who wrote a letter of support for the libraries’ grant applications. Stey-Nevant Librarian Margaret Orchard and Frank Gargiulo, board president for the Community Library of the Shenango Valley, welcomed the news. "This is the answer to my prayers," Orchard said. "It will certainly make a difference in the look of the library." "Our board and staff thank the state for viewing the project worthy of funding," Gargiulo said. "We appreciate the work and support of all those who contributed to this effort." The grants were awarded through the Keystone Fund Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 7 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., was sworn in to the House of Representatives Tuesday, beginning her third term as a legislator. Tuesday’s swearing-in ceremony marked the beginning of the 2015-16 legislative session, the 199th term of the Pennsylvania General Assembly. “I continue to be honored to represent and serve the 194th Legislative District and Pennsylvania, and I look forward to building on the successes of my first four years in office," DeLissio said. “During my first two terms I focused on building relationships within my caucus and across the aisle to promote respectful dialogue and foster an atmosphere where policy for the greater good would trump politics.“This session, I will continue these efforts to work on policy that is important to my constituents. My commitment to ongoing dialogue will also continue via my ‘Voices of the Community’ budget hearings, town hall meetings, and outreach in the community. My policy priorities include a fair and equitable funding formula for basic education, and investigating and advocating for additional revenue dollars to ensure that the state budget going forward is sustainable.”Noting her passionate interest in strong policy that leaves its footprint on the greater good of the commonwealth’s underserved, DeLissio said that she promises once again to ardently represent her community and looks to strengthen the Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 7 – State Rep. Mark Longietti announced that Greenville has received a $500,000 state grant to expand and renovate the Greenville Area Public Library. “During the past five years, the Greenville Area Public Library has had a 120 percent increase in attendance,” said Longietti, who wrote a letter in support of the library’s grant application. “The library needs improvements to properly serve the community, and this grant is critical to the borough’s plan.” “We are delighted that the commonwealth is investing in the Greenville Public Library,” said John Hauser, president of the Greenville Area Public Library Board of Directors. ”We have a dynamic program and this will help us move to the next level.” Hauser thanked Longietti, former state Sen. Bob Robbins and current state Sen. Michele Brooks for supporting the grant application. The $1.4 million project includes additions to the west side and front of the library to add 1,535 square feet of space, moving the children’s library to the lower level so it has more room to accommodate the growing children’s program, and installing an elevator and making the entire building handicapped accessible. The work also includes adding a new meeting/reading room, renovating work room areas to improve efficiency, and installing LED light fixtures. This is the first renovation to the building since it opened in Read more
Contact form was unable to load. If the problem continues, please contact the webmaster.
Please use the form below to sign up for email updates. By completing this form your are acknowledging your request to receive periodic email updates.
Find your representative by address, district, or member's name. Click a button below to start your search.