HARRISBURG, Oct. 6 – State Rep. Joseph Petrarca is reminding fire, rescue and ambulance companies of the opportunity to share in $30 million in state grants. "With Sunday marking the start of National Fire Prevention Week, it's as good a time as any to remind our fire departments and emergency medical services of the state's grant program designed to help ease their financial burden," Petrarca said. "The deadline's still two weeks away, but those who are interested shouldn't wait to apply." The deadline to apply is 4 p.m. Oct. 20. All applications must be submitted electronically to the Office of State Fire Commissioner. Grants from Pennsylvania’s Fire Company, Emergency Medical Service Grant Program may be used toward repairing, building or renovating facilities. Grants also can be applied toward purchasing new equipment, training and certification of staff, or it may go to repay debt related to equipment purchases or facility building and maintenance. The maximum grant amounts available are $15,000 for fire departments and $10,000 for ambulance companies. "This grant program has been invaluable in helping our fire and EMS companies provide the services that keep us safe, and I'm proud to have supported legislation over the years to create, expand and continue the program," said Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana. "First responders sacrifice their time and safety for the benefit of others, Read more
Rep. Adam Ravenstahl reports that his Oct. 12 Job and Career Fair at the at West View VFW will feature two, 2-hour employment sessions. Building Bridges for Business is teaming with Rep. Ravenstahl to sponsor the fair. Read more
HARRISBURG, Oct. 6 – State Rep. Carol Hill-Evans will host a free shredding event on Saturday, Oct. 21. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Spring Garden Township Police Department, 340 Tri Hill Road, York. “Shredding documents that contain personal information is a great way to protect yourself from identity theft,” said Hill-Evans, D-York. “And the shredded paper is recycled, so it’s a win for the environment as well.” Documents suggested for shredding include any papers containing Social Security numbers, credit card or bank account information, insurance or income tax records, bank statements, and canceled or unused checks. The shredding will be done on-site. Donations of nonperishable food will also be collected for a local food bank. Anyone with questions can call Hill-Evans’ office at 717-848-9595. Read more
JOHNSTOWN, Oct. 6 – State Rep. Bryan Barbin, D-Cambria/Somerset, will host a House Democratic Policy Committee forum to discuss groundbreaking traumatic brain scan technology at 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 12 at the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown, John P. Murtha Center for Public Service and National Competitiveness, 450 Schoolhouse Road. The chief scientist of this technology, Dr. Walt Schneider from the University of Pittsburgh, will give an hour-long presentation, with questions to follow from state legislators, panelists and students. Barbin’s H.B. 1784 would provide additional funds to allow more veterans to access this new technology. The current agenda is: 10 a.m. – Welcome and opening remarks 10:10 a.m. – Panel from the University of Pittsburgh: Dr. Walt Schneider Senior scientist, Learning Research and Development Center Professor of psychology and radiology, University of Pittsburgh Professor of neurosurgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Executive board member, Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition Dr. Ava Puccio Co-director, Neurotrauma Clinical Trials Center Assistant professor of Neurological Surgery, University of Pittsburgh 11:10 a.m. – Questions 11:50 a.m. – Closing remarks Media coverage is invited. Read more
HARRISBURG, Oct. 5 – State Rep. Rosita C. Youngblood, D-Phila., House Democratic Caucus secretary, released the following statement demanding House Republicans to pass a state budget that puts Pennsylvanians over special interest groups: “The House had a chance to end the budget stalemate and offer a new way forward for our citizens. Instead, the Republican members of the House stood with special interests and bailed on working families. They would rather bend to corporate interests than stand up for fair taxes. It’s simply unconscionable. “With 121 members in the House, Republicans control 60 percent of the chamber, yet they expect Democrats to own 100 percent of the bad policies they offered, yet themselves, could not vote for. These political games are evident, and we have had enough. House Democrats have a plan for Pennsylvania – a new way forward that puts people first. And that starts with having a fair tax system for all Pennsylvanians. House Republicans only want to protect special interests, and that’s unfortunate.” ### Read more
HARRISBURG, Oct. 5 – Members of the Philadelphia Delegation in the state House of Representatives continue to push for commonsense ways to balance Pennsylvania's overdue budget. "The main spending bill was passed on June 30, on a bipartisan basis, and it became law on July 10. Democrats have offered commonsense, popular ways to pay for that budget. Unfortunately, House Republican leaders have kept the people's representatives from voting on these commonsense proposals," said delegation chair Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware. Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., vice chair of the delegation, said, "On Wednesday nearly all House Republicans voted to block consideration of a natural gas extraction tax, also known as a severance tax, even though every other major natural-gas state already has one. About 75 percent of the proposed tax would be paid by out-of-state customers, just as Pennsylvanians already pay it to other states on natural gas that's sent here." Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., said, "There are commonsense solutions out there already – the natural-gas extraction tax, closing corporate tax loopholes and raising the minimum wage. Higher pay earned by workers would mean more revenues for the state -- without the need for a tax increase. And it would mean less money spent in the state and communities for assistance programs. That's a win-win!" Rep. Mike O'Brien, D-Phila., Read more
Rep. Ryan Bizzarro is reminding constituents that free flu shots will be provided from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6, in his district office at 1101 Peninsula Drive, Suite 209, Erie. Read more
State Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, is uniting with the Allentown Health Bureau for a free child car safety check vent. The event will be held 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19 in the parking lot at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, 417 N. 7 th St., Allentown. “The single most important thing you can do to protect your children is to buckle them up properly inside vehicles,” Schweyer said. Schweyer said technicians from the health bureau will make sure children’s car seats are properly installed. Schweyer is encouraging people to call his office to schedule an appointment time for the car seat check. His office telephone number is 610-791-6270. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 5 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, welcomed more than 200 constituents of the 191 st Legislative District to the Re-Entry Resource Fair: Pathways to Pardons and Expungement Clinic, co-hosted by state Sen. Anthony Williams and Lt. Gov. Mike Stack. "This event opened the window of opportunity for those who may have made a mistake years ago as young adults and were still paying for it today. This also helps reduce costs associated with our overburdened criminal justice system," said McClinton. “The Defender Association of Philadelphia and Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity provided more than 50 expungements. Many people learned exactly how to apply for a pardon. Others in attendance have family members who are currently incarcerated but needed to learn how to seek commutation. With strong community partnerships and government working together we can empower neighbors to move forward,” McClinton added. McClinton said she wanted to thank Williams and Stack for co-hosting the event, and resource vendors who provided citizens the information needed to move forward, such as Gateway to Re-Entry, Career Wardrobe, Pennsylvania CareerLink, the Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of Reintegration Services (R.I.S.E.) and JEVS Prison Program. Access photo gallery here. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 5 – State Reps. Donna Bullock and Emilio Vazquez, both D-Phila., today announced that they will host the Golden Life Senior Fair 2017 at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 20 at Temple University’s Mitten Hall, 1913 N. Broad St. The event will be held in collaboration with Philadelphia City Council President Darrell L. Clarke. Residents in the 195th and 197th Legislative Districts will be able to receive various city and state-related services, access to senior service providers and more. Free food will also be served. The event is open to the community, and transportation to and from senior centers will be provided. ### Read more
State Reps. Madeleine Dean, D-Montgomery, and Dom Costa, D-Allegheny, announced their plan to introduce legislation to update the state definition of offensive weapons to include firearm modifications that assist in rapid firing, like the ones used in the Las Vegas shooting, which resulted in 59 deaths and over 500 injured. Read more
YARDLEY, Oct. 4 – State Rep. Perry Warren, D-Bucks, released the following statement on gun safety legislation in light of Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas. “Long before the mass murder in Las Vegas, I fully supported meaningful gun safety legislation in Pennsylvania (and nationally). I write today to share some of my legislative initiatives that respect the Second Amendment while promoting sensible gun safety. “I am a vice-chair of the House PA SAFE Caucus and am the sponsor of House Bill 528 , the ‘no fly, no buy’ bill, which would ban gun sales to suspected terrorists on the ‘no-fly’ list. “Moreover, I am a co-sponsor of House Bill 1400 , the universal background check bill. That bill was first introduced several years ago by former Rep. Santarsiero. This year a bipartisan and geographically diverse group consisting of a Republican representative, a former Pittsburgh chief of police and the chair of the PA SAFE Caucus joined together as the prime sponsors of the reintroduced bill. Their sponsorship of the bill increased its exposure and its likelihood of moving forward, and I became the first co-sponsor.” “In addition, I have supported other gun safety bills, including gun violence restraining order legislation and legislation proposing background checks on individuals attempting to purchase ammunition, even when the purchase of a firearm is not involved. “Further, I voted and argued Read more
ERIE, Oct. 4 – To thank and honor Vietnam War-era veterans, state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro and the office of U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey are serving as hosts of a commemorative pin ceremony at 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12, at the Millcreek American Legion Post 773, 4109 W. 12th St. "This is a continuation of the event we held in June," Bizzarro said. "The initial response was so overwhelming that we decided to hold a second event to make sure we were able to properly honor everyone we could not accommodate at the summer ceremony. "Senator Toomey and I are humbled by the response and are gratified to be able to have this opportunity to honor area men and women who served and sacrificed so much for all of us and for our great nation. The commemorative pins to be awarded are a token of the respect and admiration they truly deserve now and have always deserved." The recipients of the Oct. 12 ceremony will be those who originally registered in June but were unable to be recognized due to capacity restraints of the venue. They are living U.S. veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time between Nov. 1, 1955, and May 15, 1975, regardless of service location. Bizzarro will serve as master of ceremonies and Robert DeSousa, who serves as Toomey’s state director and as a colonel in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, will attend on the senator’s behalf. Sign-ins for the event will begin at 4:45 p.m., with the ceremony Read more
HARRISBURG, Oct. 4 – The life and achievements of Pittsburgh Steelers patriarch Dan Rooney, a western Pennsylvania sports legend who died in April, were celebrated by a condolence resolution put forth by state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, and approved by the House today. Matzie’s H.R. 499 recognized Rooney, a key figure in the Steelers’ rise to NFL prominence starting in the 1970s, for contributions that went beyond his notable success in the sports world. “The late Dan Rooney was a philanthropist, businessman, pioneer of equality, architect of the modern NFL and U.S. ambassador to Ireland,” Matzie said. “Few Pennsylvania natives have been as admired or beloved as he was.” Matzie said that Rooney, who started running the team in the 1960s, helped turn a perennial also-ran into a championship-caliber operation that won four Super Bowls in a six-year span in the 1970s. Matzie added that the winning imprimatur stamped on the franchise by Rooney, who was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000, resulting in the Steelers winning two more NFL championship trophies in that decade. “Dan Rooney was, quite simply, a legend whose influence extended far beyond Pittsburgh and western Pennsylvania,” Matzie said. “It is my privilege to honor him in this way.” Rooney, who held the title of team chairman, died at age 84 on April 13. EDITORS/ASSIGNMENT DESKS : An audio clip of Rep. Matzie Read more
Rep. Brandon Neuman reports that the state Senate unanimously approved his measure dedicating a Washington County bridge to honor slain Canonsburg police officer Scott Bashioum. H.B. 103 awaits the governor's signature into law. Read more
EBENSBURG, Oct. 4 – State Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, reminds landowners that the state is making $1 million in grant money available for planting trees along streams to improve water quality, while another $250,000 is being expended for snowmobile/ATV trails and projects. Burns said applications are being taken now through Dec. 20 for these Community Conservation Partnership Program grants through the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. He urged anyone who needs help applying to contact his Ebensburg office at (814) 472-8021. “Pennsylvania has a goal of planting nearly 100,000 acres of streamside buffers by 2025, to improve water quality, slow down runoff and reduce sedimentation and fertilizer pollution,” Burns said. “Eligible snowmobile/ATV trail projects include acquisition, planning, development, rehabilitation or maintenance of designated routes on land for motorized recreation activities – including the purchase of related equipment.” Burns said individual landowners, businesses, nonprofit organizations, local governments and educational institutions are all eligible for the buffer grants, but must be prequalified. Information about how to prequalify is available online on the DCNR grant portal, available at https://www.grants.dcnr.state.pa.us/Dashboard/Grants . Funding for snowmobile/ATV projects is through the ATV Management Restricted Account and the Snowmobile Management Restricted Account, both Read more
HARRISBURG, Oct. 3 – Members of the House PA SAFE Caucus released the following statement in response to Sunday’s shooting in Las Vegas: “We, the members of the PA SAFE Caucus, are deeply saddened by Sunday night’s horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas. Our prayers are with the victims, their families, and the thousands of concert attendees who witnessed the atrocity. With 59 people murdered, and over 500 others injured, the effects of this tragedy ripple throughout the nation. “While details about the shooter, and the weapons used continue to become available, what we know is that the shooter was, at the time, in possession of up to 23 weapons—including some with modifications to assist in rapid-firing. “But as we learn more about the shooting, the words of former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords , come to mind: ‘The truth is, for those who have the power to act and to save lives, thoughts and prayers are not nearly enough.’ “In Pennsylvania, the PA SAFE Caucus is actively working to advance measures that protect our communities from violence, including gun violence. We are eager to create an open dialogue with colleagues, advocates, and citizens on all sides of the gun rights and gun safety issue. “We are dedicated to passing meaningful legislation that promotes gun safety and keeps deadly weapons out of the hands of those who should not possess them—whether by closing background check loopholes, Read more
EBENSBURG, Oct. 3 – In conjunction with the month-long food drive being held at his constituent service offices, state Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, will sponsor a food collection event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15 at the Ebensburg Walmart, 300 Walmart Drive. Burns and his staff will be collecting nonperishable food donations, which will be added to items collected throughout October at his four offices, located at: 535 Fairfield Ave., Johnstown (Lower Yoder Township). 119 S. Center St., Ebensburg. 112-A Munster Road, Portage. 405 Park Ave., Patton. "This is an opportunity for folks in the 72 nd Legislative District to help their neighbors who aren’t as fortunate,” Burns said. “All donations will be forwarded to an outreach center located at St. Francis University that is dedicated to serving local families who are in need.” Please call the Ebensburg office at (814) 472-8021 for more information. Read more
HARRISBURG, Oct. 3 – A resolution designating October as “Wine, Wineries and Grape Month” in Pennsylvania, sponsored by state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, was approved by the House today. Matzie said H.R. 507 acknowledges the economic importance of the state’s 200 licensed wineries and 280 wine grape growers, an industry that adds $2.35 billion to the economy and attracts 1.2 million visitors a year. “Pennsylvania is the fourth-largest producer of wine grapes in the nation, with an impressive 14,000 acres devoted to growing grapes,” Matzie said. “This resolution recognizes the significant and invaluable contributions made by the grape and wine industries to this commonwealth's history, economy and quality of life.” Matzie said the industry directly creates more than 8,600 jobs with a total payroll in excess of $400 million, and is responsible for an estimated $222 million in tourism-related spending. “Numbers like these prove how valuable Pennsylvania wines, wineries and grapes are to the state's economy,” Matzie said. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 3 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., today announced that the state Department of Environmental Protection’s Environmental Educational Grants Program has awarded a $42,562 grant to the Overbrook Youth Environmental Stewardship Program. O’YES is a program created by the Juveniles Active in Science and Technology Development Services Inc. Cephas, a champion of environmental justice, helped JASTECH secure the grant. “I am excited to partner with JASTECH to encourage youth in the 192nd District to take an active role in protecting our environment,” Cephas said. “The center has been leading the charge on exposing our youth to becoming environmental stewards in their community. This grant will allow us to connect young stewards to community leaders who play a significant role in keeping Philadelphia’s air, water and land safe.” O’YES is a two-year environmental education camp that teaches high school science, technology, engineering and math students the best management practices to protect the environment. The O’YES program was developed through the Overbrook Education Center and operated by JASTECH Development Services Inc. Established as a non-profit, 501c3 entity in 1998, JASTECH continues to contribute to the improvement of the environment, education and public health. “This will be a great opportunity to create and expand career pathways for career technical education students by Read more
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