Plan for Pennsylvania: A New Way Forward This week I joined House Democrats to urge legislators on the other side of the aisle to move forward with our Plan for PA , which advances the values of working, middle-class families in Pennsylvania. There are four components of policies and legislation: putting people first, creating good jobs, providing quality schools and establishing fair taxes. Click here to listen to my comments on our Plan for PA or here to read my full news release. For more information please visit http://plan4pa.pahouse.com . Saving seniors money on auto insurance As time passes, you may find yourself driving less but not necessarily paying less. I want to make sure you’re not shelling out your hard-earned money for specific car insurance coverage you no longer need. Here’s a checklist seniors, especially retired seniors, should review: Wage replacement (income loss) : You may have bought coverage to pay bills if you couldn’t work for a period of time, but if you no longer work and have job-related wages, you probably don’t need coverage anymore; Commuting vs. pleasure driving : You may be paying a higher rate for driving in rush hour traffic every day when you no longer do that; Annual mileage : If you no longer make the daily commute, you may drive significantly fewer miles each year. Driving fewer miles could decrease how much you pay; and Empty Nesters : Make sure grown children Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 7 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, has been appointed by House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody to serve on the Pennsylvania Sentencing Commission. She is the first woman from the House of Representatives to serve on the commission. "I'm honored to have this added opportunity to work for criminal justice reform," McClinton said. "Having served as an assistant public defender in Philadelphia for seven years, I am very familiar with how our criminal justice system works and how it needs to work better, to keep our communities safe and to help ex-offenders reintegrate into society." The commission is charged with creating and maintaining a consistent and rational statewide sentencing policy through the adoption of guidelines that promote fairer and more uniform sentencing throughout the commonwealth. It is also required to develop resentencing guidelines, state and county parole guidelines and state recommitment ranges. McClinton's efforts on criminal justice reform include hosting events to help returning citizens apply for pardons or expungements and introducing legislation that would reform Pennsylvania’s pretrial and bail procedures to provide a fairer, effective and less costly criminal justice system. She also has introduced legislation with Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., that would direct Pennsylvania courts to sentence the primary caretakers of children younger than 18 to individualized Read more
Rep. Ryan Bizzarro joined House Democrats as they rolled out their Plan For Pa, a new way forward for Pennsylvania that emphasizes good jobs, quality schools and fair taxes. “Putting people first means working for fair opportunities for all families,” Bizzarro said. Read more
HARRISBURG, Dec. 6 – State Rep. Mary Jo Daley joined a group of House Democratic lawmakers today to unveil Plan For PA, a comprehensive plan that puts people first, supports good jobs, fights for quality schools and promotes a fairer tax structure. “The Plan for PA is all about creating jobs, ensuring our educational system is as top notch as it can be, and really having a focus on working families,” said Daley, D-Montgomery. The House Democratic Plan for PA focuses on four components: A People First Plan for PA that protects the safety, health, financial security, and dignity and opportunity that every Pennsylvanian deserves, not just those at the top. A Jobs Plan for PA that attracts good jobs that support families, moves the economy forward, expands opportunities for working people, and protects the financial security of the middle class. A Quality Schools Plan for PA that gives every child access to a safe school and a quality education, and allows adults to gain the skills and training they need to do the jobs businesses are looking to fill. A Fair Taxes Plan for PA that eases the tax burden on working people and homeowners and prevents corporations and the wealthy from exploiting the middle class. “The idea of creating jobs and having really world class education from kindergarten through college or technical school, prepares our young folks for jobs of the future,” Daley said. “I think this is really important Read more
HARRISBURG, Dec. 6 – State Rep. Tina Davis, D-Bucks, joined a group of House Democratic lawmakers today to unveil Plan For PA, a comprehensive strategy that puts people first, supports good jobs, fights for quality schools and promotes a fairer tax structure. The plan involves several legislative initiatives sponsored among House Democrats. Davis is introducing a bill that would reinvest money made from Pennsylvania’s Business in Our Sites program into more shovel-ready projects. Sites targeted under the program are old or undeveloped properties that are planned and zoned for improvement. Initially, the Commonwealth Financing Authority allocated $300 million in BIOS grant and loan funds for businesses to improve sites and create jobs. Repayment on the loans is then used to fund more projects. Davis’s bill would allow the CFA to use its current portfolio as security to raise an additional $50-$100 million for even more projects. “Too many bills coming out of Harrisburg are falling tone-deaf on families out here in the real world,” Davis said. “Our plan is to put the focus back on families and the good jobs they need. Add that to other bills in the package focused on education and health care, and that’s how we improve things in Pennsylvania. It’s really that simple.” The House Democratic Plan for PA focuses on four components: A People First Plan for PA that protects the safety, health, financial Read more
HARRISBURG, Dec. 6 – State Rep. Mike Hanna, D-Clinton/Centre, today joined his colleagues in the House to urge legislators on the other side of the aisle to move forward with their Plan for PA, which advances the values of working, middle-class families in Pennsylvania. The four components of policies and legislation discussed are putting people first, creating good jobs, providing quality schools and establishing fair taxes. Hanna said members of the House Democratic Caucus share common beliefs that match the values and needs of Pennsylvania families and small businesses. "Pennsylvania's economy is stagnating while our working people, middle-class families and small businesses lose ground," Hanna said. "House Democrats are offering a plan that puts people first by embracing a core set of values and policy choices the people of Pennsylvania want government to focus on.” The House Democratic Plan for PA features four components: A People First Plan for PA that protects the safety, health, financial security, and dignity and opportunity that every Pennsylvanian deserves, not just those at the top. A Jobs Plan for PA that attracts good jobs that support families, moves the economy forward, expands opportunities for working people, and protects the financial security of the middle class. A Quality Schools Plan for PA that gives every child access to a safe school and a quality education, and allows adults to gain the skills Read more
State Rep. Maureen Madden, D-Monroe, is pleased to announce that a new company, Terrafina LLC, will be relocating to Monroe County and creating over 100 jobs. Gov. Tom Wolf announced that Terrafina, a manufacturer of healthy snacks, will be relocating to East Stroudsburg from New York City and bringing with it 120 new jobs. “ I will continue to work with the governor to strengthen our economic climate and create more new jobs in the Poconos,” Madden said. Madden said the Northeast is a prime location to do business in Pennsylvania and she welcomes additional manufacturing companies to locate here. “We are centrally located in the Poconos for interstate commerce to flourish because of the vast transportation opportunities we have in our area,” Madden said. Terrafina will purchase a 72,000-square-foot facility in East Stroudsburg due to lower operating costs in Pennsylvania, as well as the company outgrowing space constraints in New York City. Madden said Terrafina received a funding proposal from the Department of Community and Economic Development for $240,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits to be distributed upon creation of the new jobs and $54,000 in WEDnetPA employee training funding. Established in 2005, Terrafina offers a variety of health snack options under its own brand and private labels. The company manufactures blending nuts, dried fruits and trail mixes, and offers a number of packaging Read more
HARRISBURG, Dec. 6 – State Reps. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, and Kevin Boyle, D-Phila./Montgomery, today joined fellow legislators for a Capitol news conference laying out the House Democrats' Plan for Pennsylvania . At the news conference, House Democrats outlined the plan’s goals to put Pennsylvanians first through investing in good jobs, quality schools and a fairer tax system. McClinton, secretary/treasurer of the Philadelphia County Delegation, spoke on the importance of putting everyday Pennsylvanians first through fighting for fair wage policies such as increasing the minimum wage and ensuring equal pay for equal work. “Each day, I speak with countless neighbors in West and Southwest Philadelphia and they are tired of living paycheck to paycheck,” McClinton said. “As legislators, it is our duty to make sure that all Pennsylvanians are not only employed, but are financially secure. The Plan for PA allows us to find solutions to the complex problems residents face whether they live in Delaware County or Centre County.” Boyle, vice chairman of the House Democratic Policy Committee, spoke on the importance of growing Pennsylvania’s economy and investing in good jobs that would not only protect Pennsylvania’s middle class, but expand it. “The success of the Plan for PA starts with good jobs, but not just any job that offers a paycheck, but those that provide enough income for families to put food Read more
HARRISBURG, Dec. 6 – A group of House Democratic lawmakers today said it is time for legislators to move forward with their Plan for PA, a comprehensive policy strategy that offers a stark contrast to the failed legislative leadership and policies currently hindering the commonwealth. Democratic state Reps. Ryan Bizzarro of Erie County, Leanne Krueger-Braneky of Delaware County, Joanna McClinton of Philadelphia/Delaware counties, Ed Gainey of Allegheny County, Mike Schlossberg and Peter Schweyer of Lehigh County, Kevin Boyle of Philadelphia and others joined at a Capitol news conference to contrast the priorities in the House Democratic Plan for PA with the legislative agenda put up by the Republican majority in recent weeks. “Putting people first means working for fair opportunities for all families,” said Bizzarro as he kicked off a morning Capitol news conference. “The majority Republicans have proven time and time again that they are incapable of leading and producing substantive policies that benefit all Pennsylvanians. While they prefer to continue to play hyper-partisan political games that are crippling our commonwealth, we intend to counter their incompetence with the Plan for PA and put Pennsylvanians back to work. Whether you are a Democrat, Republican or Independent, wealthy, middle class or barely making it by, our Plan for PA delivers for you and your family, now, and for future generations to come.” The Read more
State Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky, D-Delaware, joined a group of House Democratic lawmakers today to unveil Plan For PA, a comprehensive strategy plan that puts people first, supports good jobs, fights for quality schools, and promotes a fairer tax structure. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 6 – State Reps. Jordan Harris, chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, and James Roebuck, both D-Phila., and Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, today announced that they are hosting a joint town hall meeting to address the unique concerns affecting residents of southwest Philadelphia. The town hall meeting will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 14 at the Richard Allen Preparatory Charter School, 5151 Warren St. Harris, Roebuck and McClinton will inform residents of legislative developments in Harrisburg that impact their respective districts. There will also be a “Get to know your rep.” breakout session where residents will be able to ask their representative questions one-on-one. The meeting is open to the community, and constituents with questions should contact Harris’ district office at 215-952-3378, Roebuck’s office at 215-724-2227, or McClinton’s office at 215-748-6712. “We have debated this bill every year that I have been here, and it’s obvious that we have not been listening. Senate Bill 3 seeks to take away a decision between a woman and her doctor. Neither the House Health Committee, nor the Pennsylvania Legislature, have the right to pass legislation that clearly puts women at risk. This is true for men in particular. It’s time to listen for a change to people who are actually experts in the field.” ### Read more
HARRISBURG, Dec. 5 – State Rep. Mike Hanna, D-Clinton/Centre, announced today that ClearWater Conservancy of Central PA, Inc., the City of Lock Haven and Renovo Borough are all recipients of Community Conservation Partnership Program grant awards through the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Hanna said a total of 266 projects statewide are receiving more than $44 million in conservation grant funding. “In my region, ClearWater Conservancy of Central PA, Inc. received $50,000, the City of Lock Haven received $80,200 and Renovo Borough received $40,000,” he said. According to DCNR’s Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn, additional investments throughout the state include: 49 trail projects; protecting nearly 8,000 acres of open space; nine projects for planting riparian buffers along streams; 14 projects for rivers conservation; and over 100 projects to develop or rehabilitate recreation, park and conservation areas and facilities. "The investments we make today will provide enhanced recreational opportunities, conserve natural resources and help revitalize local communities for our future generations,” said Hanna. “When we invest in our communities, we help attract new businesses and create family sustaining jobs.” Details of each project throughout Clinton and Centre counties are as follows: ClearWater Conservancy of Central PA, Inc. ($50,000): Construction of approximately 12 acres of riparian forest Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 5 – State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., and community partners are collecting socks for seniors, homeless people and students in their annual "People for People" sock drive. "It may seem like a small thing, but having a pair of warm socks in cold weather can make a big difference," Roebuck said. "Please help if you can." Roebuck thanked the community partners, who include the Mini Town Watch of the Squirrel Hill Police Substation and the University City Review. New socks are being accepted through Dec. 16 at Roebuck's office, 4712 Baltimore Ave., from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, and at the Squirrel Hill Sub-Police Station, 4619 Chester Ave., from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays. Questions about the sock drive can be answered by Roebuck's office; phone 215-724-2227. ### Read more
HARRISBURG, Dec. 5 – State Rep. Tina Davis, D-Bucks, announced today that the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources awarded Bristol Township a grant for $265,000 to continue work at Policeman’s Park. The money will go toward construction of a spray park and parking area, filtration and recirculation systems, handicap access, signage and other improvements. “Congratulations are in order for Bristol Township for saving taxpayer money and landing this competitive grant,” Davis said. “We’re all looking forward to the completion of Policeman Park, and this grant certainly helps us get there.” The grants are administered by DCNR through the Community Conservation Partnerships Program and are part of a $44 million investment for 266 projects across Pennsylvania to create new recreational opportunities, conserve natural resources, and help revitalize local communities. Read more
HARRISBURG, Dec. 5 – State Rep. Perry Warren announced that Lower Makefield Township was awarded a $250,000 grant for further development of Lower Makefield Township Memorial Park. The Community Conservation Partnerships Program grant will help fund improvements at the park, including the construction of pedestrian walkways, tennis and bocce ball courts, horseshoe pits, a gazebo and a pavilion, as well as the installation of fitness station equipment with safety surfacing and fencing. Work also will include accessibility features, landscaping and more. “Our parks are such a valuable resource in our community, providing space for residents to gather and enjoy healthy recreational activities,” said Warren, D-Bucks. “This work will greatly enhance Memorial Park, and I’m pleased that the Lower Makefield Township Board of Supervisors pursued the grant opportunity and that the project received support from Gov. Tom Wolf and the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.” The CCPP is administered by DCNR’s Bureau of Recreation and Conservation. It provides financial and technical assistance to local governments, river and trail organizations, land trusts and other nonprofits for the planning, acquisition and development of park, recreation, conservation and greenway projects. Read more
HARRISBURG, Dec. 5 – The House of Representatives on Tuesday adopted a resolution, introduced by state Rep. Perry Warren, recognizing Dec. 10 as Worldwide Candle Lighting Day in Pennsylvania. Worldwide Candle Lighting Day is for families to honor the memories of deceased sons, daughters, brothers, sisters and grandchildren by lighting candles and keeping them lit for one hour. The annual event was started in 1997 by The Compassionate Friends, a peer support group that has grown to nearly 700 chapters nationwide. The resolution also commemorates the work of the group, which publishes materials on grieving the loss of a child and engages with families through meetings, social media and an online community. “The Compassionate Friends organization provides much-needed support to those families, including my own family, who have experienced the devastating loss of a child,” said Warren, D-Bucks. “This annual remembrance is a way for families who have lost a child to show that those children will always be loved and never forgotten. I commend The Compassionate Friends for their work and thank my colleagues for supporting this resolution.” House Resolution 613 was adopted unanimously. Read more
HARRISBURG, Dec. 4 – State Rep. Neal P. Goodman (D-Schuylkill) and Sen. David Argall (R-Schuylkill/Berks) today announced six grants will support community improvement projects in Delano Township, Frackville Borough, Mahanoy City Borough, Mahanoy Township, Saint Clair Borough, and Shenandoah Borough. Delano Township will receive $40,000 to assist with improvements at Delano Township Park and its basketball court. Frackville Borough will receive $742,000 to rehabilitate the Frackville Community Pool. Mahanoy City Borough will receive $40,000 for improvements at East End Playground and its basketball court. Mahanoy Township will receive $40,000 for improvements to Morea Park and to install play equipment and safety surfacing. Saint Clair Borough will receive $30,000 to rehabilitate Third Street Playground and to install play equipment and safety surfacing. Shenandoah Borough will receive $80,000 for improvements to Girard Park including the basketball court. The grants were awarded by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources through its Community Conservation Partnerships Program. The program is funded through the Keystone Recreation, Park, and Conservation Fund (Key 93), the Environmental Stewardship Fund (Growing Greener 1), and several federal funding sources. “I commend these six communities for their hard work moving these projects forward and am pleased the state recognized their efforts through this funding,” Goodman Read more
Rep. Ryan Bizzarro reports that conservation and recreation projects in Erie County have been awarded more than $500,000 in state grants, including $164,500 for a new hiking trail and facilities in McKean Township. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 4 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., today announced that she secured a $300,000 grant from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to make vital improvements to Granahan Park, located in her west Philadelphia district . “Investing in our parks and recreation centers is an investment in our community,” Cephas said. “Parks are considered one of the most vital factors in determining how livable a community is. Our families and young people deserve to have safe and unrestricted access to the public spaces their tax dollars go towards. I’m excited that I was able to help secure this grant.” The grant will be used to invest in landscaping, a project sign, a spray pad, installing play equipment with the required safety surfacing and fencing, making the park accessible according to guidelines from the Americans with Disabilities Act, and other related improvements. Philadelphia City Councilman Curtis Jones said, "We are excited by state Representative Cephas' ability to attract new dollars to our aging playground infrastructure. City plus state dollars equal neighborhood improvements." Cephas said, “Kesho Watson, one of my constituents, was instrumental in helping to secure the funding needed to revitalize Granahan Park. Unfortunately, she is not with us today. Kesho always found time to invest in our parks and recreation centers – whether that meant organizing a park Read more
Madden and Brown honor 200 th anniversary of Stroud Township HARRISBURG, Dec. 4 – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives adopted a resolution ( H.R. 598) cosponsored by state Reps. Maureen Madden and Rosemary Brown, commemorating the 200 th anniversary of Stroud Township, Monroe County. Madden said Stroud Township was originally founded Jan. 22, 1817, as part of Northampton County. It later became part of Monroe County, which was formed in 1836. Madden said since the founding of Stroud Township, the municipality has experienced significant growth and development. “The township’s population of 1,206 in 1840, has swelled to 19,213 people who call Stroud Township home today,” Madden said. "Stroud Township has a rich and illustrious history, and is a good location to live, work and raise a family.” This year, members of the Stroud Township Bicentennial committee and officials from the Brodhead Creek Conservation District, the Broadhead Creek Regional Authority, the Pocono Arts Council and the Monroe County Historical Association held open hours to commemorate the bicentennial since the founding of Stroud Township. Madden represents the 115 th Legislative District. Read more
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