HARRISBURG, June 4 – State Reps. Peter Schweyer and Mike Schlossberg today announced the Allentown City School District was awarded $1.35 million in 21st Century Learning Center grants by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Read more
HARRISBURG, June 4 – Seeking to beat back local government attempts to regulate firearms, state Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, has thrown his weight behind a Republican-sponsored bill designed to deter such activity. Burns, who proudly serves as the Democratic chairman of the legislature’s Second Amendment Caucus, said he sees the recent moves taken by some cities and municipalities as backdoor attempts at gun control that infringe on the rights of law-abiding Pennsylvanians. “Despite a specific provision in our state’s Crimes Code that bans local regulation of firearms, time and time again, we’ve seen local governments continue their attempts to take away responsible gun owners’ rights,” Burns said. “We just saw it happen in Pittsburgh recently, and I found the move insulting and an outright attack on legal firearms ownership.” Burns said the bill he supports would require that any party that successfully challenges the legality of such an ordinance would be able to collect reasonable attorney’s fees and related costs. Burns added that the bill also includes a requirement to give the municipality 60 days’ written notice to voluntarily repeal the ordinance, prior to a legal challenge being filed. “These local laws fly in the face of existing law and our constitution, which I took an oath to defend – and which protects the rights of all Pennsylvanians to defend Read more
HARRISBURG, June 4 – Legislation authored by state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., to make Pennsylvania’s law that better deals with “stop and go” nuisance establishments ironclad, today was approved by the House Liquor Control Committee. Kenyatta’s bill (H.B. 1434) would move the language that cracks down on nuisance establishments, which was originally included in the state Fiscal Code (Act 44 of 2017), to the state Liquor Code. He said the Liquor Code is the correct place for this important law. “They key to holding ‘stop and go’ businesses accountable is to ensure the law is solid and enforceable,” Kenyatta said. “Since this landmark law passed in October 2017, we have seen an increase in investigations by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board and, ultimately, stricter compliance. However, the language of the law was placed in a state code that deals with financial matters of state government. It’s no place for liquor enforcement, and I am glad the members of the Liquor Control Committee agree.” Under the 2017 law, if the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board finds that a licensed establishment does not meet the seating, square footage, food, or health requirements under the state Liquor Code, it can suspend the license immediately. The law also gives local governments the power to recommend that the LCB investigate establishments believed to be failing to meet code requirements. “I am Read more
“For 40 years, Jayson has shared his unique perspective on America’s pastime with his readers in Bucks County and throughout the world.” Read more
SCRANTON, June 4 – Older residents with questions about Medicare or health insurance coverage should visit state Rep. Marty Flynn’s office during his monthly outreach next week. Read more
HARRISBURG, June 4 – State Rep. Youngblood, D-Phila., announced that H.B. 1001 passed the House Monday. The bill would license and regulate donor human milk banks in Pennsylvania. “We understand that many mothers face obstacles in producing enough milk and donor milk can provide life-saving health benefits,” Youngblood said. “It’s important that we regulate these banks so that distribution is effective and milk supplies remain safe.” The bill would call on the Pennsylvania Department of Health to license milk banks if they comply with regulations, or if they are recognized by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America or another nationally recognized accrediting organization. This legislation would also create licensing fees and establish prohibited practices to preclude the direct or indirect sale of human milk by entities not licensed in Pennsylvania. “Too often, mothers rely on milk from online and unknown sources. The Food and Drug Administration warns about the dangers of this,” Youngblood added. “I’m hopeful that this bill will help more mothers access safe breastmilk in Pennsylvania.” The bill, which was introduced by Youngblood and Rep. Donna Oberlander, R-Clarion/Armstrong/Forest, had bipartisan support in the House and passed in a nearly unanimous vote. Read more
HARRISBURG, June 3 – Providing in-state tuition rates to college students in active-duty military families in Pennsylvania – even if their parent is reassigned to another state before they can begin their education – is one step closer to reality following its unanimous passage in the House, state Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, announced today. House Bill 1050 , authored by Burns, would guarantee the in-state tuition rate for military families as soon as a student enrolls in a public college or university, regardless of where their military parent is later reassigned, Burns said. “These students shouldn’t be penalized because of their mother’s or father’s reassignment, which is beyond their control,” Burns said. “Veterans and their families count on us to ensure they get the benefits they deserve.” Under current law, Burns said dependents of military personnel in Pennsylvania who enroll at a public college or university in Pennsylvania are charged in-state tuition rates. However, the U.S. Department of Defense found some students lost the in-state rate, due to a parent’s reassignment outside of Pennsylvania, between the day the student was accepted to the college or university and the first day of the semester. The bill now heads to the state Senate for consideration. Read more
HARRISBURG, June 3 – State Rep. Jennifer O’Mara will host a Town Hall from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday in the Radnor Township Building, 301 Iven Ave. O’Mara will use the Town Hall to provide residents an update on state issues and address questions about state government and matters being debated in the General Assembly. Staff will be on hand to help with state-related programs and services, as well as SEPTA Key passes. To find out more, those interested can call O’Mara’s office at 610-544-9878. Read more
HARRISBURG, June 3 – Raising awareness about parental alienation – an insidious process in which a child is manipulated into showing unwarranted fear, disrespect or hostility toward a targeted parent or other family member – is the subject of a resolution the House unanimously adopted Monday, according to the author, state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie. Bizzarro said he introduced H.R. 337 – designating June 3 – 9, 2019, as “Parental Alienation and Hostile Aggressive Parenting Awareness Week” in Pennsylvania – to highlight the detrimental effects this manipulative practice has on children. “A parent is often a child’s entire world,” Bizzarro said. “Their sense of security, ability to love and trust, and to deal honestly with others – starts with the parent. Yet far too many kids find themselves caught in the crossfire of spousal conflict, and the effects can be devastating. “Kids exposed to this kind of manipulation, in which a parent attempts to poison a child’s mind against another parent, often develop low self-esteem, have difficulty trusting others and are more likely to suffer from depression and addiction. “I introduced this resolution because we desperately need to educate everyone – judges, lawyers, law enforcement, healthcare professionals, social workers, policymakers and the general public – about how this practice can destroy family relationships and Read more
HARRISBURG, June 3 – State Rep. Patty Kim, D-Dauphin, today gave a statement on the state petitioning the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas to place Harrisburg School District into receivership. “I will work hard to ensure that the newly elected school board members and community will continue to have a say in their school district’s operations. We need the receiver and school board to have a strong working relationship to ensure the plan is executed successfully,” Kim said. “Dr. Janet Samuels has already established ties within the local school district, ensuring that no one has to wait for another look at how important the recovery plan is and allowing us to move forward quickly, with minimal classroom interruptions. Dr. Samuels has my full endorsement. Changes were needed in the Harrisburg School District, and I know that by working hard together, we can take the Harrisburg School District to a unified and stronger future for our children and generations to come.” Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera today petitioned the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas to place the Harrisburg School District into receivership. In it, he recommended that the court appoint Dr. Janet Samuels, the current chief recovery officer, as receiver. When a receiver is appointed, the individual takes operational control of the district, assuming all the powers and duties of the CRO and the board of school directors, except the power to Read more
NANTICOKE, June 3 – State Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Luzerne, announced that applications for the next term of the 119th Legislative District Youth Advisory Council will be accepted through June 30. Read more
PHILADELPHIA – This week, the Fund Our Facilities Coalition, of which state Rep Jared Solomon D-Phila., is a member, announced a legislative package to be introduced by state Sen. Vincent Hughes that would invest $85 million to make critical repairs to Philadelphia’s school buildings. The dollar amount represents exactly half of the $170 million the coalition has said is needed to address immediate health and safety concerns, and to ensure every Philly school building is safe, clean and healthy. “Our Philadelphia Platform acknowledges the importance of securing more funds for our schools,” Solomon said. “It’s vital that students are able to learn in a safe, hazard-free environment. I’m honored to be a part of the coalition that is helping to make this a reality.” Hughes’ bills, S.B. 555 and S.B. 556, present two different options for funding the repairs through the Department of Education. Senate Bill 555 would establish a program funded from several Commonwealth special funds with outstanding balances. Senate Bill 556 would establish a program funded from the current state budget surplus. State Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler, D-Phila., plans to introduce companion legislation in the House, as well. The legislation calls for school districts to use the grant funding solely for the kinds of emergency repairs identified by the Fund Our Facilities Coalition. These include: lead and asbestos abatement or Read more
While the proportion of women veterans continues to increase, the unique health needs of women are often overlooked in providing services to the predominately male veteran population. Read more
“Residents of our district deserve fair, affordable housing, and too often hardworking folks are priced out of such opportunities,” Sanchez said. “I’m happy that this funding helps ensure some viable housing opportunities in Abington Township.” Read more
HARRISBURG, May 31 – Saying it bolsters his ongoing effort to put Cambria County on Harrisburg’s radar, state Rep. Frank Burns hosted House Minority Leader Frank Dermody on a fact-finding tour of the 72 nd Legislative District on Thursday. Dermody joined Burns during a visit to Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center – one of the region’s largest employers – and in meetings with officials from Saint Francis University and several businesses and nonprofit organizations. “I had a great day with Representative Burns and share his excitement about all that’s happening in Cambria County,” said Dermody. “In Harrisburg, Frank Burns is a tireless advocate for the people back home, and he works hard to bring attention to the area’s needs and secure funding to address them. I am really grateful that he took the time to give me a firsthand view of the situation.” Burns, who has helped procure more than $6.5 million in state funding for his district in the first 150 days of the current legislative session, said he hopes the first-ever official visit by Dermody during his tenure as a state representative portends even greater things. “While our area has its challenges, progress is being made and I’m sure the strong showing by our business and nonprofit communities left a positive impression on Leader Dermody,” Burns said. “Though we’ll always have our differences, I’ve always been Read more
DeLissio’s bill would provide grants to eligible agriculture and youth organizations, including but not limited to Pennsylvania Future Farmers of America, 4-H, Ag in the Classroom, the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, and other vocational education programs. Read more
HARRISBURG, May 30 – Indiana County will receive $300,000 in funds to help several households with permanently disabled and low-income residents with necessary repairs and modifications to bring their homes up to code standards, state Rep. Joseph Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, announced today. Petrarca said the HOME program, administered through the state Department of Community and Economic Development, provides federal funds to assist municipalities and local governments in their efforts to expand and preserve affordable housing options for low-income residents. Seven households in Indiana County will benefit from the program. “The HOME program ensures residents will have the repairs and modifications needed to keep their homes safe and comfortable,” Petrarca said. “I believe everyone deserves a place they can call home, and that includes our most vulnerable citizens.” A total of $3.4 million will be distributed to 10 counties. For more information on the HOME program, please visit the following website: https://dced.pa.gov/programs/home/ Read more
State Reps. Sheryl Delozier, R-Cumberland, House Democratic Whip Jordan Harris, D-Phila, Mike Jones, R-York, and Ed Gainey, D-Allegheny, today introduced bipartisan legislation aimed at reforming Pennsylvania’s probation and parole system to reduce recidivism, lessen the workload on Pennsylvania’s counties and help formerly incarcerated individuals avoid technical pitfalls that keep them trapped within the system. Read more
HARRISBURG, May 30 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila. /Delaware, today announced upcoming traffic projects scheduled along Cobbs Creek Parkway in Philadelphia, funded by a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Automated Red Light Enforcement program. The grant, supplied by fines from red light violations at 30 intersections in Philadelphia, totals in at $15.4 million distributed statewide, with $7.6 million staying in Philadelphia. A portion of the funding awarded to Philadelphia will be used towards guiderail system replacement on Cobbs Creek Parkway from 63 rd Street to Upland Street, and a proposed roundabout installation at Cobbs Creek Parkway and 70 th Street. “Driving along Cobbs Creek Parkway can be difficult, the deep winding roads has resulted in drivers veering off the road into the woods, and during rush hour, travel times are greatly increased due to traffic congestion,” McClinton said. “I am happy to see this grant used to possibly alleviate these issues by allowing traffic flow to move steadily and at a safe pace.” Since 2010, the Automated Red Light Enforcement program has funded 416 safety projects throughout Pennsylvania, totaling $78.49 million. This year, municipalities submitted 134 applications, totaling almost $38 million in requests. Projects were selected by an eight-member committee based on criteria such as benefits and effectiveness, cost, local and regional impact, and cost Read more
"It’s a win-win for our commuters and community.” Read more
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