HARRISBURG, July 27 – State Rep. Mike Hanna, D-Clinton/Centre, will co-host a Senior Expo with STEP Office of Aging from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 2, at the Clinton County Community Center, 124 E. Walnut St., Lock Haven. Local, state and national agencies and organizations will be on hand to provide information on senior issues. A light lunch will be available to purchase. River Valley Transit provides services to the Senior Center as part of its route. Hanna said the purpose of the event is to connect seniors to the variety of services available to them. “I am proud to partner with STEP, our local office of aging, for this event to help seniors enhance their quality of life,” Hanna said. STEP Office of Aging works to advance the well-being of Pennsylvania’s senior adults who reside in Lycoming and Clinton counties. If you have any inquiries about the event, please contact Hanna’s Lock Haven office at 570-748-5840. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, July 27 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., applauded the progress of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania, just over two years after S.B.3, known as Act 16 of 2016, was passed and signed into law. DeLissio recently updated constituents on the program at her 75 th Town Hall meeting with special guest Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine. The discussion focused on an update on the rollout of medical marijuana and the efforts that the commonwealth has undertaken to combat the opioid crisis. "Medical marijuana is an important treatment option for citizens, and my office is committed to helping any constituent who needs assistance navigating the medical marijuana process,” DeLissio said. DeLissio said that if someone thinks that they have a condition that qualifies them for medical marijuana, they should consult with their physician and go online to www.medicalmarijuana.pa.gov to view the list of qualifying conditions. Originally there were 17 qualifying conditions, and four have been added recently. On the website is a list of doctors who are approved to recommend medical marijuana. DeLissio said that the list is not comprehensive, as some physicians may choose not to be listed in the online registry. Eligible patients are required to register, and this process also can be completed online at the same website. Currently there are 84 physicians in Montgomery County and 133 in Read more
NEWTOWN, July 27 – State Rep. Helen Tai, D-Bucks, will host a Senior Fair from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14 at the New Hope Eagle Fire Co., 46 N. Sugan Road in New Hope. Constituents will find information about health care, the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program, local theaters, legal assistance and much more. The event also will feature refreshments, health care screenings, giveaways and door prizes. There will be a senior group fitness class at 2 p.m. led by Cornerstone Health and Fitness. The New Hope Eagle Fire Co. also will give free tours of their Fire Museum. “ I’m proud to host this event, so deserving seniors can learn more about the state programs that are designed to help them lead active inspired lives well into their older, wiser years,” Tai said. Read more
AMBLER, July 26 – Ambler-area seniors who need their photo taken for a SEPTA Key senior ID can have their picture taken and applications filed during a free application Day at Ambler Senior Adult Activities Center from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 10. SAAC is located at 45 Forest Ave. Cards will be delivered by mail. State Rep. Mary Jo Daley, D-Montgomery, and her staff will be on hand during the event to help seniors with state programs and other services. Applicants must bring a photo ID to apply – preferably either a driver’s license or state issued ID. Seniors will no longer be able to use paper Pennsylvania Senior Citizen Transit ID Cards for SEPTA travel starting on Sept. 1, and SEPTA no longer accepts Medicare cards. A SEPTA Key Senior photo ID will be needed to take advantage of free rides on Transit and $1 Regional Rail fares. Read more
EBENSBURG, July 26 – Peppered with complaints from seniors upset that shared ride bus routes were cut to several popular spots July 1, state Rep. Frank Burns has moved front and center to lobby for restoration of those services. Burns, D-Cambria, has written the Cambria County Transportation Authority, which made the decision, and the Cambria County commissioners, urging reversal of the locally made decision. “It has come to my attention that CamTran has drastically cut bus services for seniors by limiting the shared ride program’s destinations. I am requesting that CamTran fully restore these bus services for seniors immediately,” Burns wrote in both letters. “By eliminating travel to and from several very popular locations that seniors have enjoyed visiting – such as the Flight 93 National Memorial – you are hampering the quality of life for seniors in Cambria County.” Burns also penned an open letter to his 72 nd Legislative District constituents, explaining the situation and advising them to direct their complaints to the local decision-makers, CamTran at 814-471-6601 or the county commissioners at 814-472-1600. “Please be advised that neither my office nor the state Department of Transportation was involved in this decision,” Burns wrote. “Although CamTran receives state funding to defray the cost of this shared ride program, my office confirmed with PennDOT that CamTran made the decision on its Read more
CARMICHAELS, July 26 – Washington Greene County Job Training Agency Inc. is getting a $411,400 grant to help people who’ve received treatment for opioid use return to the workforce, state Rep. Pam Snyder announced today. Snyder, D-Greene/Fayette/Washington, said Pennsylvania was one of six states awarded the National Health Emergency Dislocated Worker Demonstration Grant, which will be administered by the state Department of Labor and Industry to provide job training and employment support. “In addition to helping people receive the treatment they need to overcome addiction, a much-needed second step of the recovery process should be assisting them in finding employment,” Snyder said. “The ultimate goal should be helping people become productive members of society, and there’s no better way to fuel one’s self-esteem than by having a job.” Snyder said the funds will be used to: Connect Pennsylvania CareerLink employment services to Pennsylvania Centers of Excellence. Develop a mobile app to link people to workforce and support resources. Increase the number of certified recovery specialists and provide additional training to retain existing specialists. Engage employers in recovery friendly workplace initiatives. Snyder said these efforts will include such things as encouraging employers to hire and work with people who are in recovery, helping guide those individuals to support or employment services they Read more
HARRISBURG, July 26 – State Rep. Mike Hanna, D-Clinton/Centre, is encouraging local residents to participate in his concealed carry seminar on Thursday, Aug. 9. The free seminar runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Beech Creek/Blanchard Fire Hall, 38 Locust St., in Beech Creek. Pre-registration is required. Hanna said this educational seminar will teach responsible gun owners how to apply for and receive a concealed carry permit. “Everyone should learn the facts about Pennsylvania’s concealed carry laws,” Hanna said. Attendees will hear from a number of guest speakers, including: Clinton County Sheriff Kerry Stover, who will talk about concealed carry permits and the difference between open vs. concealed carry; Clinton County District Attorney Dave Strouse, who will discuss the state’s current concealed carry laws and Pennsylvania’s Castle Doctrine, which allows homeowners to use deadly force if threatened by an intruder; representatives with the Pennsylvania State Police, who will talk about armed civilians safely interacting with law enforcement; and a representative from the Pennsylvania Game Commission, who will discuss gaming laws vs. using concealed carry pistols while hunting. Last year, Hanna held concealed carry seminars in Clinton and Centre counties, both of which brought out more than 100 residents. Residents may register online at www.pahouse.com/hanna , by calling his Lock Haven office at 570-748-5480, or the Read more
ALLENTOWN, July 25 – The House Democratic Policy Committee today heard from insurance and medical-related officials on a bill ( H.B. 2552 ) introduced by state Rep Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, that would stop health insurers doing business in Pennsylvania from denying coverage based on a pre-existing condition. “I requested this hearing in an effort to protect people from having their health insurance terminated because of a pre-existing medical condition,” Schweyer said. “If the federal Department of Justice persists in refusing to defend a provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, many of people across Pennsylvania may be left without health insurance or face expensive health insurance premiums.” Schweyer co-chaired the hearing with state Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, who serves as Democratic House Policy Committee chairman. “It is imperative to the people of Pennsylvania that we discuss this topic in order to pass a state law that would preserve the pre-existing condition protection if the ACA is proved to be invalidated by the courts,” Sturla said Schweyer’s legislation is a companion bill to ( S.B 958 ), introduced by state Sen. Vincent Hughes, D-Phila. Those testifying at the hearing included: Allison Beam, chief of staff, Pennsylvania Insurance Department; Ken Bertka, family physician and vice president of clinical integration, St. Luke’s Care Network; Doug Furness, senior director of Read more
HARRISBURG, July 25 – Pointing to the success similar programs are having in other states, Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, said he plans to introduce legislation which would legalize the sale of marijuana in Pennsylvania. “States from coast to coast have embraced legalization and those states are reaping the economic and criminal justice benefits,” Wheatley said. “It is time Pennsylvania joins with those states in leaving behind the ugly stigma of marijuana.” A recent report by state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale estimated that legalizing marijuana could generate more than $580 million in annual tax revenue for Pennsylvania. Nine other states and Washington, D.C. have legalized marijuana for adult use, generating hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue while reducing spending and criminal justice costs. “This is why it comes as no surprise that recent polling shows that a majority of Pennsylvanians support legalization,” Wheatley said. “This is an idea whose time has come.” Wheatley’s legislation would further establish a retail market for marijuana and expunge criminal records for any marijuana-related conviction that would be considered lawful under the act. Wheatley said marijuana legalization is the natural path forward given Pennsylvania’s successful medical marijuana program, for which more than 52,000 patients have registered. Passed in 2016, the state’s medical marijuana law Read more
PHILADELPHIA, July 25 – State Rep. Jared Solomon, D-Phila., and the 2nd District of the Philadelphia Police Department today announced a partnership to enforce a new law to combat litter in northeast Philadelphia. “With the passage of Act 62 in Harrisburg, we have another tool to tackle the pervasive problem of litter in northeast Philadelphia,” Solomon said. “But laws without enforcement are not effective. That is why I am glad that we have a police captain willing to use all the tools at his disposal to make our streets and neighborhoods clean.” Act 62 of 2018, which Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law in June, will make those who dump rubbish responsible for picking it up. The new law sets fines for a first offense at $50 to $300. Offenders will also be required to pick up litter or illegally dumped trash for five to 30 hours within six months. Repeat offenders will pay a $300 to $1,000 fine and will be required to pick up for up to 100 hours over a year. Businesses will pay triple fines. Interim 2nd Police District Capt. Robert Zaffino said: “I am committed to working in partnership with Rep. Solomon to address littering, by having officers issue citations when they see violations. I want to keep our streets clean, safe, and free from unsightly trash, debris, and rubbish. To all members of the Northeast Philadelphia community: use proper receptacles to dispose of your trash, take pride in your neighborhoods, and keep your streets Read more
BETHLEHEM, July 24 – The House Democratic Policy Committee today heard from human services leaders at a hearing requested by state Rep. Jeanne McNeill, D-Lehigh. The hearing focused on the importance of state and local services in helping people with physical and intellectual disabilities. “Quality human services programs are a vital necessity for the disabled so that they can effectivity function on a day-to-day basis,” McNeill said. “I wanted to discuss the options that are available to them and if needed, formulate a better plan across the state.” McNeill co-chaired the hearing with state Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, who serves as Democratic House Policy Committee chairman. “I commend Representative McNeill for taking up this important issue that affects many citizens across Pennsylvania,” Sturla said. “My hope is that the issue of creating better programs for the disabled will be at the forefront of our discussion in the General Assembly when we return to session.” Those testifying at the hearing included: Sheila Theodorou, director of Bureau of Supports for People with Intellectual Disabilities, Pennsylvania Department of Human Services; Dr. Ed Norris, Department of Psychiatry chairman, Lehigh Valley Health Network and Shane Adams, supports coordinator supervisor, Service Access and Management. Also speaking on behalf of the Lehigh County Human Services Department were Josh Bridges, administrator of Read more
The House Democratic Policy Committee today heard from human services leaders at a hearing requested by state Rep. Jeanne McNeill, D-Lehigh. The hearing focused on the importance of state and local services in helping people with physical and intellectual disabilities. “Quality human services programs are a vital necessity for the disabled so that they can effectivity function on a day-to-day basis,” McNeill said. “I wanted to discuss the options that are available to them and if needed, formulate a better plan across the state.” McNeill co-chaired the hearing with state Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, who serves as Democratic House Policy Committee chairman. “I commend Representative McNeill for taking up this important issue that affects many citizens across Pennsylvania,” Sturla said. “My hope is that the issue of creating better programs for the disabled will be at the forefront of our discussion in the General Assembly when we return to session.” Those testifying at the hearing included: Sheila Theodorou, director of Bureau of Supports for People with Intellectual Disabilities, Pennsylvania Department of Human Services; Dr. Ed Norris, Department of Psychiatry chairman, Lehigh Valley Health Network and Shane Adams, supports coordinator supervisor, Service Access and Management. Also speaking on behalf of the Lehigh County Human Services Department were Josh Bridges, administrator of mental health and intellectual Read more
EBENSBURG, July 24 – State Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, is urging 72 nd Legislative District entities to apply for grant funding available to farmers and small businesses for pollution prevention, energy efficiency and natural resource protection projects through the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Small Business Advantage program. “Everyone who thinks they may be eligible should consider applying, and should contact my offices for help or clarification if they need it,” Burns said. “Brittany Blackham in my office is able to act as an on-staff grant writer for those who need assistance.” Examples of eligible projects are HVAC and boiler upgrades, high-efficiency lighting, solvent recovery and waste recycling systems, and auxiliary power units deployed as anti-idling technology for trucks. Last year, 150 small businesses were awarded more than $953,000 in grants for these types of projects. Pennsylvania-based small-business owners with 100 or fewer full-time employees are eligible. Projects must save the business a minimum of $500 and 25 percent annually in energy consumption or pollution-related expenses. Businesses can apply for 50-percent matching funds of up to $9,500 to adopt or acquire energy-efficient or pollution prevention equipment or processes. Only costs incurred between July 20, 2018 and June 30, 2019 are eligible. Applications will be considered on a first-come basis, and will be accepted until Read more
ERIE, July 24 – With the help of Lt. Gov. Mike Stack, the lights of the state Capitol dome will shine red, white and blue tonight in memory of state Rep. Flo Fabrizio, D-Erie, who died earlier today at 73 after a battle with cancer, state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, announced. “Flo was an incredible friend, father, husband, advocate and colleague,” Bizzarro said. “He embodied everything a representative should be: passionate about his work, dedicated to his constituents and compassionate toward those in need. He had a huge heart, and he put all of his heart into everything he did. “The Erie community – and the entire commonwealth – lost a unique and tireless advocate today. Flo’s legacy lives on in the countless people whose lives he touched. Those of us who were lucky enough to know and work with him personally are forever changed by his influence. The best way I can think of for us to honor Flo is to keep fighting the good fight – something he did his entire life.” Read more
CHESTER, July 24 – State Rep. Brian Kirkland, D-Delaware, will host an Across-Colors Cultural Festival from noon to 8 p.m. Aug. 4 in Chester Park, Edgemont and Elkington Avenue. Families and residents are welcome to enjoy musical entertainment, games for all ages, a moon bounce, swimming and more. The festival will include gospel, jazz, and rhythm and blues acts, cultural dances, and a host of other performances. Kirkland’s legislative staff also will be on hand to provide assistance with constituent services. “Come enjoy a day of music and fun with your neighbors and local elected officials as we celebrate the music and cultures in our area,” Kirkland said. “I’m happy to be able to bring fun events like this one to our community, while also making sure our constituent services are more accessible and convenient.” For more information, those interested can call Kirkland’s office at (610) 876-6420 . Read more
PHILADELPHIA, July 24 – State Rep. Kevin J. Boyle announced he will host a National Night Out event for residents of the 172nd Legislative District. It will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 7 in the Fox Chase Elementary School parking lot, 500 Rhawn St., 19111. Boyle said there will be games, prizes and giveaways, music entertainment, food, information about state and local resources, and chances to meet with local police and emergency personnel. National Night Out is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; generate support for, and participation in, local anti-crime programs; strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, July 24 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins has announced that he will host his annual Frankford Community Day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11 at the Gambrel Playground, 1900 Wakeling St., 19124. “I am excited to host my annual community day in Frankford,” Dawkins said. “For the past three years, I have been able to bring my community together and provide them with various resources to meet their needs. Once again, I look forward to this year’s event, meeting my neighbors face-to-face, and addressing any issues they have.” Dawkins said the free event will feature food, live music and entertainment, and local vendors. Representatives from local and state agencies also will be available to provide information about a variety of social services. For more information, contact Dawkins’ constituent service office at 215-744-7901. Read more
HARRISBURG, July 24 – State Rep. Carol Hill-Evans, D-York, released the following statement today in response to the passing of longtime state Rep. Flo Fabrizio, D-Erie, who died this morning after a yearlong battle with cancer. “Our hearts are with the Fabrizio family as we mourn the loss of a loving husband, a devoted father and a dedicated state representative. “A true political pioneer, I strive to have his never-give-up attitude and persistent work ethic that made him such a successful leader in the legislature. His passion and vigor to do what’s best for Erie earned him respect and is why so many in his community adored him. “While he may be gone, I’m blessed to have called him a colleague, a role model and a friend. He will be greatly missed,” Hill-Evans said. ### Read more
HARRISBURG, July 24 – House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody reflected on the life of Rep. Flo Fabrizio who died earlier today. “The loss of a good friend like Flo is terrible news to absorb. He was truly one of the most enjoyable people I’ve known. He spoke with intelligence and authority, dressed like a gentleman, and was always warm and friendly to other lawmakers, staff and Capitol visitors. “Flo’s personal touch endeared him to people of all backgrounds and political leanings. He was a class act all around. “Flo was a proud son of Erie who shared his love of his hometown with all of us, often meeting House colleagues when we came to Erie and making sure that we enjoyed the very best the city has to offer,” Dermody said. “I want to extend my deepest sympathy to Victoria, Flo’s wife of 30 years, his daughter Jill and stepsons Anthony and Matthew, his grandchildren, and to his staff people in Erie and Harrisburg. We are sharing the pain of their great loss.” Florindo “Flo” Fabrizio, 73, was first elected to the House in 2002 and since 2013 he served as the Democratic chairman of the Health Committee. Dermody noted that despite getting a serious health diagnosis in 2017, Fabrizio continued attending session in Harrisburg for months. Fabrizio even sponsored legislation updating state rules for ambulatory surgery centers and guided it through the Health Committee and the House. The bill was Read more
HARRISBURG, July 23 – The state Department of Environmental Protection is offering $1 million in Small Business Advantage grants for projects that reduce energy use, cut pollution and conserve natural resources, state Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, announced. “By funding projects that improve energy efficiency, these grants can be extremely valuable in helping small businesses cut operating costs and boost productivity,” Longietti said. “It’s a win-win for business and the environment.” Longietti noted that for the first time, the program will include farmers and ranchers, who may seek funding for projects that conserve and protect working lands. He added that because the grants are non-competitive and awarded on a first-come basis, it’s important for anyone interested to submit an application as soon as possible. Applications will be accepted until fiscal year 2018-19 funds are exhausted or April 12, 2019, whichever occurs first. Pennsylvania small business owners with 100 or fewer full-time employees are eligible. Projects must save the business a minimum of $500 and 25 percent annually in energy consumption or pollution-related expenses. Examples of eligible projects include HVAC and boiler upgrades, high-efficiency lighting, solvent recovery and waste recycling systems, and auxiliary power units deployed as anti-idling technology for trucks. Businesses can apply for 50 percent matching funds of up to $9,500 to adopt or Read more
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