TOBYHANNA, Feb. 26 – Area residents are invited to join state Rep. Maureen Madden for a Community Connections Expo that will include various government agencies plus local businesses and organizations. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 26 – State Reps. Jason Dawkins and Emilio Vazquez, both D-Phila., announced a $500,000 grant to improve vehicle and pedestrian safety at transit stops along Roosevelt Boulevard. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will distribute this money from its Automated Red Light Enforcement funding to improve five traffic signal intersections along Roosevelt Boulevard: Pratt Street; Langdon Street; Rising Sun Avenue; Fifth Street; and Broad Street. “This money will use automated enforcement to put the brakes on drivers who run red lights at these intersections and ensure our residents are protected,” Dawkins said. Vazquez explained, “Safety is a number one priority in my district. This grant funding will institute changes that will make taking transit safer as well as more enjoyable.” Dawkins and Vazquez worked with Sens. Christine Tartaglione and Sharif Street, both D-Phila., along with Gov. Tom Wolf to confirm the money for this project. Projects were selected by an eight-member committee based on criteria such as benefits and effectiveness, cost, local and regional impact, and cost sharing. Under state law, fines from red light violations at 30 intersections in Philadelphia supply the grant funding. ### Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 26 – State Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, announced today a $1.5 million grant for the realignment of the 20 th St., Penrose, Moyamensing and Packer intersection. “The City of Philadelphia is moving in the right direction. We continue to support important infrastructure projects to ensure that a safe and reliable system of transportation is available. I’m glad that we were able to secure a grant for this particular intersection, not only for the safety of our community, but also for the people who drive around on a daily basis,” Donatucci said. “This funding is crucial to make the intersection more efficient, facilitate better traffic flow, increase pedestrian safety, and decrease or eliminate potential traffic crashes.” The Automated Red Light Enforcement (ARLE) funding program is a state-administered competitive grant program established in 2010 to improve safety by reducing vehicle crashes and injuries due to red-light-running at signalized intersections. It uses net revenue from traffic violation fines to fund road safety projects statewide. Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 26 – State Rep. Anita Kulik, D-Allegheny, today announced the award of a $165,000 state grant to Coraopolis for its 4 th Avenue and Mulberry Street Traffic Signal Replacement Project. Kulik said the source of funding – PennDOT’s 2017 Automated Red Light Enforcement Program – comes from red light violations in Philadelphia. An eight-member committee then distributes the money statewide for relatively low-cost projects that improve safety, enhance mobility and reduce congestion. “I’m pleased to report that a project in the 45 th Legislative District has qualified for some of this funding,” Kulik said. “But it’s even more satisfying to know that because of this money, an important intersection in Coraopolis will be upgraded. “This is a very competitive grant program, so local officials should be proud of their success in this safety-enhancing endeavor.” Kulik said the grants can be applied for and used for improvements to traffic signals, roadways at intersections with traffic signals, or school zones – and such things as installing guiderails or making roadside safety enhancements. Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 26 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, plans to introduce a House resolution in honor of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh’s centennial year. The Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh was founded in 1918 and promotes racial equality, self-reliance and community empowerment. Programs focus on housing, financial literacy, youth leadership and development, family support and advocacy within the community. “For the past 100 years, the lifework of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh has centered on empowering communities and changing lives,” said Wheatley, who is the Democratic chairman of the House Finance Committee. “So many African-Americans and minorities have been able to flourish and succeed because they were empowered through the Urban League’s mission of economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights.” The Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh is located at 610 Wood St. The nonprofit organization is an affiliate of the National Urban League. Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 26 – State Rep. Pam Snyder, D-Greene/Fayette/Washington, joined by a contingent of other state legislators, has sent a letter to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission asking for fast, reliable broadband service across the commonwealth on behalf of the 800,000 people in the state who do not have it. The letter requests that rules be finalized to allow at least three white space channels in each U.S. market designated to be used by broadband internet. In doing so, the private sector and other companies could work on transforming rural communities by offering affordable and reliable broadband services, the letter states. “As an advocate for access to broadband service to the people who need it the most, some members of the General Assembly and I are asking that the private sector be allowed to access white space to develop technological advances in rural broadband,” said Snyder. “By improving the technological advances available in rural communities, people will be better equipped with more educational and economic opportunities.” Last year Snyder introduced H.R. 630 urging the FCC to support a joint petition filed by the State Utility Commission and Department of Community and Economic Development, which would safeguard Connect America funding. Additionally, Snyder joined state Rep. Kristin Phillips-Hill, R-York, in introducing H.B. 1642, legislation that would expand the availability of high-speed broadband internet Read more
NANTICOKE, Feb. 26 – To promote his effort to reach more constituents in the southern Luzerne County portion of his district, state Rep. Gerald Mullery has announced his March satellite office schedule. Read more
State Rep. Robert Freeman, D-Northampton, said Hellertown Borough has received $126,173 in state grant funding for a transportation project to improve safety and mobility and reduce congestion. Freeman said Main Street pedestrian countdown indicators will be installed in Hellertown. “This funding will allow Hellertown Borough to maintain and improve traffic in the community to keep the road safe for pedestrians and drivers,” Freeman said. The state funding comes from revenue generated from automated red light enforcement violations in Philadelphia. Under the state law that established the program, projects that improve safety, enhance mobility and reduce congestion can be considered for funding. The grants are administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Maintenance and Operations. Freeman said projects were chosen on criteria that included project benefits and effectiveness, cost, local and regional impact and cost sharing. Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 26 – State Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Allegheny, today announced a $200,000 grant to Verona Borough for the installation of a traffic signal at Allegheny River Boulevard and Wildwood Avenue. The source of funding – PennDOT’s Automated Red Light Enforcement Program – comes from red light violations in Philadelphia. An eight-member committee distributes the money statewide for relatively low-cost projects that improve safety, enhance mobility and reduce congestion. “This is excellent news for the borough of Verona,” DeLuca said. “Installing a traffic signal at this busy intersection will not only minimize congestion, but it will also ensure the safety of our residents who travel these busy roadways on a daily basis.” DeLuca said the grants can be applied for and used for improvements to traffic signals, roadways at intersections with traffic signals, or school zones. The grants also can be used for installing guiderails or making roadside safety enhancements. DeLuca said any municipality interested in applying for 2018 funding should contact one of his offices. Read more
LEVITTOWN, Feb. 26 – State Rep. John Galloway announced that Bristol Township was awarded a state grant for a traffic signal improvement project. Bristol Township was awarded $256,603 for a traffic signal modernization project at South Oxford Valley Road and Queen Anne Drive. The local grant was among more than $11 million awarded to 35 municipalities across the state through the Automated Red Light Enforcement program. “I’m glad to see the state award this funding to enhance safety at this intersection,” Galloway said. The Bristol Township project includes improving traffic signal supports, installing LED modules, improving pedestrian facilities and upgrading controller and detection systems. The ARLE program is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Maintenance and Operations. The grants are funded by revenue generated from red light violations at 30 intersections in Philadelphia and are used for projects that improve safety, enhance mobility and reduce congestion. Read more
CONSHOHOCKEN, Feb. 26 – State Rep. Mary Jo Daley today announced a new location for mobile office hours in Ambler starting in March. Beginning next month, a member of her staff will be available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the third Monday of each month at the Senior Adult Activities Center (SAAC), 45 Forest Ave., Ambler. Constituents who need help with a state-related issue can visit during those hours and should bring along any paperwork relevant to the matter at hand, Daley said. “These mobile office hours make it easier for residents to get the help they need, even if they can’t make it to the district office,” said Daley, D-Montgomery. Daley’s office can help with handicap placards, many PennDOT services, senior programs – including property tax and rent rebates and SEPTA Senior Key cards – as well as unemployment claims, birth and death certificates, and more. Daley’s office also holds mobile office hours at Narberth Borough Hall, 100 Conway Ave., from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month. Anyone with questions can call the district office at 610-832-1679. Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 23 – On behalf of the Pittsburgh Black Elected Officials Coalition, state Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, issued the following statement regarding resolution of the Pittsburgh teachers’ contract negotiations: “As community leaders and concerned parents, the members of the Pittsburgh Black Elected Officials Coalition have watched and read all the discourse regarding the current teachers’ contract negotiations for the Pittsburgh Public School District. “To be clear, we are not involved in the negotiations and we don't intend to insert ourselves into the process. However, on behalf of the families and communities we represent, we feel duty-bound to express a deep concern with any possible teachers’ strike. “Families are already stretched thin trying to find ways to make sure their children are receiving the high-quality instruction they need to achieve their goals and reach their dreams. Working parents struggle every day to balance their work and life schedules with their kid's school and childcare needs. We all know how an unexpected disruption to this delicate balance easily pushes families over the edge. “If the final hurdle to finding a resolution is about the principal's authority to assign teachers where they are most needed in their buildings, then we have confidence a strike can be avoided. We strongly encourage both sides to continue to work together to find a solution. Under no Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 22 – Pennsylvania House Democrats and members of the PA SAFE Caucus are calling attention to the scores of gun safety reform bills that have received little to no attention under Republican leadership this session and in previous sessions. “Even before the tragedies at Parkland, Las Vegas, Orlando, Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook, many House Democrats have been introducing and proposing meaningful gun safety reform legislation,” said PA SAFE Caucus Co-chair Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny. “Each time tragedy strikes, we are faced with the reality that the majority party in Harrisburg continues to keep our legislation bottled up in committee without a vote or even a hearing. We are now joined by students across the Commonwealth and Americans everywhere to say that enough is enough.” House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody said, “After the Parkland tragedy there’s been a surge of interest in making schools and other locations safer, and that’s certainly welcome. Most of the proposals now being offered were introduced by Democrats in the House as much as a year ago and have been stuck in a committee without any action. This has to change. Democrats want to work with the Republican majority on reforms that make sense and will save lives.” PA SAFE Caucus Co-chair Madeleine Dean, D-Montgomery, said, “The bills that PA SAFE advocates for are commonsense pieces of legislation that offer real solutions to the Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 22 – State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., released the following statement in support of the mission of the “Prepared4PA” rally that took place today at the state Capitol urging legislators to increase funding for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education : “As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, and a proud product of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, I strongly support substantial increases in funding for our state colleges and universities. In order to provide Pennsylvania’s future with the 21st century skills they need to build a career and sustain a family, we must make the necessary investments. “From my time as an undergraduate at West Chester University, I learned firsthand the pivotal role our state schools play in providing a quality education to countless Pennsylvania students, particularly those who would otherwise be unable to afford it. I am proud of the students, faculty, alumni and administrators from Pennsylvania’s 14 universities for speaking up for what’s right. I would also like to commend Governor Wolf for fulfilling his promise to increase funding for PASSHE. I will continue to support them in their future endeavors and they can count on my vote for increased school funding.” ### Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 22 – Noting that the recent deaths of 17 students and teachers in a Florida school shooting drives home the horrific realization that “something must be done,” state Rep. Bill Kortz, D-Allegheny, is proposing a $30 million hike in funding for Pennsylvania's Safe Schools Targeted Grants program. Kortz is currently seeking co-sponsors for his bill, which in addition to boosting the program from $8.5 million to $38.5 million, calls for incremental increases until a $50 million threshold is reached. Kortz’s legislation also would permit school districts to apply for Safe Schools grants yearly, instead of every two years. “This funding would continue to be purposed for the training and compensation of school resource officers and school police officers, as well as for funding programs or security-related equipment that would address school safety and violence,” Kortz said. “When students, teachers, administrators, parents, and staff enter their school buildings each day, they are supposed to walk in with a sense of security and trust in the school’s ability to protect them from harm.” Addressing the seriousness with which elected officials nationwide must take shooting tragedies like the one in Parkland, Fla., Kortz added that when it comes to schools, “We as lawmakers are responsible for ensuring their continued safety so that those inside may work, teach, learn, and play in peace.” Read more
State Rep. Kevin Haggerty, D-Lackawanna, has announced he is hosting a veterans outreach program next week. A representative of the American Legion will be in Haggerty’s Dunmore office -- located at the Dunmore Community Center, 1414 Monroe Ave. -- 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Feb 26 to provide information on services available to veterans and their families, including retirement, benefits and more. Legion membership is not required to take advantage of the help, but anyone interested is recommended to schedule an appointment through Haggerty’s office at 570-342-2710 . Read more
State Rep. Jeanne McNeill, D-Lehigh, has announced office hours at the Fountain Hill Borough Hall and extended hours at the Whitehall district office. For the convenience of her constituents, McNeill said beginning Friday, March 2, she will be holding satellite office hours inside the Fountain Hill Borough Hall. The visits will take place from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. on the first and third Friday of every month. “This will allow easier access to the services that our district office provide for my constituents in the Southwest part of the district,” McNeill said. The Fountain Hill Borough Hall location, 941 Long St., will serve residents in Fountain Hill, Salisbury Township and West Bethlehem. In addition, beginning Wednesday, Feb. 28, McNeill’s district office located at 1080 Schadt Ave. (across the street from Hackman’s Bible Book Store on Mickley Road) will remain open until 6 p.m. on the first and third Wednesday of every month. The normal business hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. McNeill reminds constituents that her office is located inside the ReMax building on the far left side when walking in the front door. Anyone who is unsure of the Whitehall or Fountain Hill satellite office hours or days, should contact McNeill’s district office in Whitehall at 610-266-1273 . Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 21 – State Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, said that he and other caucus members were deeply troubled by 16-year-old Nasihah Thompson-King and other student athletes being excluded from participating in sports activities simply because of their religion. Members are calling on the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association to abandon the waiver requirement because it unjustly profiles students based on their religion. Harris said, “Requiring students to sign off on a waiver to prove their religion is unacceptable and completely unnecessary. We are calling on the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association to abolish this discriminatory rule. We must ensure that Pennsylvania students never have to endure the humiliation and mistreatment that Nasihah Thompson-King faced because she chose to wear her hijab.” The PLBC vice chairwoman, Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., said student athletes should not be forced to choose between their religion and participating in sports. Bullock said, “The PIAA waiver put in place singles out young people for no other reason than their religious beliefs. Women of color have far too many obstacles to overcome as it is. Nasihah’s head garb in no way impedes upon her ability to play basketball or any other sport. It’s time for the PIAA to correct this wrong and update their policies regarding the place of religion in sports Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 21 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., announced that he is hosting a Philadelphia police officer recruitment event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27 at 3503 North B St., Unit 7, Philadelphia. At this informal event, representatives from the Philadelphia Police Department will be available to provide residents with information on the process of becoming a Philadelphia police officer. This event is free and open to the public. ### Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 21 – State Rep. Kevin Haggerty has introduced legislation that would require retail community pharmacies to install and maintain a drug collection receptacle on-site, which would help to curb the accessibility of unused opioids across Pennsylvania. Read more
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