HARRISBURG, May 18 – Leaders of the PA SAFE Caucus released a statement in response to Friday’s deadly school shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas, calling again for action on gun safety measures that could save lives. "My heart breaks for the lives lost in Santa Fe High School, and for the families and friends that will never be the same,” said PA SAFE Co-Chair Madeleine Dean, D-Montgomery. “But we must resist the urge to be speechless. This senseless violence cannot continue. For the sake of our children and families, we can, we must, and we will do better to keep those we love safe." “Our thoughts are with the victims of this terrible tragedy in Texas today,” said PA SAFE Co-Chair Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny. “It’s upsetting just how common this feels. Mass murder and gun violence should never feel like the norm. That’s why we owe it to our constituents, and to our family and friends, to continue to advance common-sense gun safety legislation that will greatly reduce this kind of violence in our schools and communities.” Next week, the Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee is set to hear from community stakeholders during a public hearing on gun violence and firearm laws. The hearing is set for 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 22, at Harrisburg University, Room 1454, 326 Market St., Harrisburg. Dozens of lawmakers, including many members of the PA SAFE Caucus, testified before the committee in April Read more
PHILADELPHIA, May 18 – Following approval from the Office of the Budget, state Rep. Joanna McClinton was joined by Lt. Gov. Mike Stack to present a check for a $1.25 million grant to the Free Library of Philadelphia. With the grant, obtained through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP), the Paschalville Branch will receive interior and exterior renovations, new furniture, fixtures and equipment, as well as technology and mechanical upgrades. “I am proud that we were able to allocate much needed funding for the Free Library of Philadelphia and the Paschalville Library,” McClinton said. “Our library system not only helps children and youth with their school assignments. They are a hub for people to take skill development courses and trainings, to look for jobs and take an active role in the community.” RACP is administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational, and historical improvement projects. RACP projects are authorized in the redevelopment assistance section of a capital budget itemization act, have a regional or multi-jurisdictional impact, and generate substantial increases or maintain current levels of employment, tax revenues, or other measures of economic activity. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, May 17 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., will host a landlord-tenant clinic at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 30 at his district office, 4667 Paul St., 19124. “I encourage everyone who's facing possible eviction, habitability problems, rent increases or other landlord-tenant issues to attend this clinic. We’ll have staff from local nonprofit organizations offering free guidance about your rights as tenants and connecting you to further resources,” Dawkins said. Philadelphia VIP will also provide information about tenant and landlord rights and responsibilities, relevant housing laws, and basic information about the court process for tenants. An RSVP is required. More information is available by calling Dawkins' office at 215-744-7901. ### Read more
EBENSBURG, May 17 – State Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, is accepting applications from June 1 through 20 at his Ebensburg office for the third annual Charlie Vizzini Volunteerism Award, which will honor an outstanding volunteer in the 72 nd Legislative District. Burns presented the annual award last year to co-recipients Tiffany A. Jones of Jackson Township and Conner C. Hagins of Upper Yoder Township. Burns started the award in 2016 in honor of its initial recipient Charlie Vizzini, who has amassed more than 9,200 hours by volunteering in Burns’ legislative office – fielding more than 1,400 constituent service matters and saving taxpayers an estimated $95,000. “This is a wonderful opportunity to honor someone from the district who gives and volunteers to make our community a better place,” Burns said. “Please consider submitting a nomination if you are – or know someone who is – one of those people who should be celebrated for their efforts in improve the lives of others in our community.” To be eligible, one must: Be a resident living within Burns’ 72 nd Legislative District; Regularly volunteer to make the community a better place to live; and Be able to verify any stated volunteerism. Written nominations should include: The name and contact information of the person making the nomination, and the name and contact information for the person being nominated. An essay of no Read more
HARRISBURG, May 17 – State Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, announced today that he has been selected to receive the Community Service Citation from the Pennsylvania Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery. In a letter to Readshaw, who is Democratic chairman of the House Professional Licensure Committee, the academy wrote that it had selected Readshaw in recognition of his “dedication to maintaining quality health care and continued advocacy for patient safety.” “It’s an honor to be selected by this group of highly dedicated professionals,” Readshaw said. “The qualities that academy members embody -- dedication to patient care, adherence to best practices and standards of the profession and an ongoing commitment to continuing education -- are the essence of professionalism. If my work as Democratic committee chair helps the academy promote these standards, I’m humbled.” Readshaw will receive the citation at the academy’s annual scientific meeting on Friday, June 22. The academy presents the citation annually to a community member who has provided “outstanding service to community in support of quality health care.” Past recipients have included the late U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter and former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge. Read more
State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., announced that the City Avenue Special Services District was awarded a $986,715 grant to help fund Phase III of the City Avenue Project. Read more
HARRISBURG, May 17 – Calling the timing critical, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, is urging the state Gaming Control Board to act quickly in issuing the regulations needed to implement sports betting provisions in Pennsylvania’s gaming law. Read more
State Rep. Matt Bradford, D-Montgomery, today announced a $500,000 Pennsylvania Department of Education grant for the Norristown Area School District’s athletic complex. Read more
HARRISBURG, May 17 – State Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Allegheny, announced that Linton Middle School in the Penn Hills School District was awarded a grant in order to help make breakfast more available to students. Linton Middle School , which serves about 966 students in grades 5-8, was granted $4,998 through the School Breakfast Initiative. The funds can be used to implement or expand alternative breakfast options ranging from breakfast in the classroom, to grab-and-go, or second chance breakfast during study hall. “No child should start the day hungry,” DeLuca said. “Ensuring that our children have a breakfast in the morning will help them to focus more on learning, socializing with peers and help them to lead healthier lives.” The goal of the School Breakfast Initiative is to increase and sustain breakfast participation by 20 percent. Additionally, the 60 percent of students who benefit from free and reduced lunch, will also participate in school breakfast by the year 2020. More than half of the students who attend Linton are economically disadvantaged. In Allegheny County, 17 percent of children are faced with food insecurity, based on 2016 statistics from Just Harvest . Read more
State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., announced today the Manayunk Canal was awarded a $1 million grant that will help to restore the lower locks of the canal located near Lock Street. Read more
HARRISBURG, May 16 – More Beaver County students will start their day with a healthy breakfast under a new state funding initiative designed to help area schools set up or expand breakfast programs, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. The funding – part of the governor’s School Breakfast Initiative – will provide nearly $50,000 in funding to 12 area schools. “We’ve known for a long time that it’s easier for kids to learn and retain information when they start the day with a decent breakfast,” Matzie said. “In fact, studies show that students who eat breakfast before starting class are twice as likely to perform well on tests as those who don’t. Making sure our area students have a healthy meal at the start of the day goes hand-in-hand with ensuring that we’re providing them with the best possible education.” Matzie said the following Beaver County schools will receive grants under the program: Ambridge Area SD -- Ambridge Junior High School – $3,000 Beaver Valley IU – New Horizon School -- $1,500 Central Valley SD – Central Valley Middle School -- $4,367 Central Valley SD – Center Grange Elementary School -- $4,380 Central Valley SD – Todd Lane Elementary School -- $3,332 Central Valley SD – Central Valley High School -- $4,922 Hopewell Area SD – Hopewell Senior High School -- $4,400 Hopewell Area SD – Hopewell Junior Read more
HARRISBURG, May 16 – The Greater Latrobe School District will be able to increase school breakfast participation by 20 percent by expanding its breakfast options following the disbursement of $8,100 through the state’s School Breakfast Initiative, state Rep. Joseph Petrarca announced today. “Breakfast is one the most important meals of the day, especially for students,” Petrarca said. “This funding will allow students to focus less on their empty stomachs and more so on their schoolwork.” Half of the allotted funding – $4,050 – will be dispersed to the district’s junior high school. The other half will be utilized by the district’s senior high school. The funding is part of Gov. Tom Wolf’s School Breakfast Initiative, a measure included in his 2017-18 state budget proposal. Schools can use the grants to increase and sustain breakfast participation by implementing or expanding alternative breakfast options. “The state’s Department of Education notes that school staff members report improved attendance, attention and behavior when breakfast is served at school,” Petrarca said. “So, not only will students have enhanced breakfast options, but they also may notice an improvement in their performance and participation within the classroom.” Read more
State Rep. Matt Bradford, D-Montgomery, today announced a $4,000 Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission grant for the Historical Society of Montgomery County. Read more
HARRISBURG, May 16 – In her continued effort to create safer learning environments for young people in Philadelphia and throughout the commonwealth, state Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown, D-Phila., announced the application process is now open for Safe Schools Targeted Grant opportunities. The Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Office for Safe Schools is providing grants for schools to help fund programs that address school violence. The money can be used for school resource and police officers, safety equipment and programs or trainings. “A potential threat of violence in our schools can be a disruptive and frightening time for students,” Brown said. “This funding is a great way for school officials to take a proactive approach in creating a safer learning environment by getting the tools they need to protect students and employees.” The deadline to apply is July 31. For more information, visit the Department of Education’s website at www.education.pa.gov . Read more
HARRISBURG, May 16 – An $85,700 business education partnership grant will provide Pittsburgh students greater access to real-world learning programs, a pipeline to entry-level jobs at area businesses and a career track in the medical field, state Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, announced today. “By strengthening the tie between the classroom and the workplace, the funding will give students interested in high-tech careers greater access to real-world learning programs like internships, apprenticeships and mentoring,” Readshaw said. “Beyond that, it will open the door to entry-level jobs at area businesses and create a career track for students interested in the medical field through a partnership with career and technology centers, the Community College of Allegheny County and UPMC.” The grant -- awarded by the state Department of Labor & Industry through the Three Rivers Workforce Development Board -- is one of 18 such grants totaling $2 million awarded statewide through workforce development boards. In addition to creating pathways for real-world learning and career opportunities, the Three Rivers grant will be used to help younger students explore technical careers. Readshaw said the grants are an excellent investment on several levels. “Giving our next generation of workers real-world, hands-on experience gives them a leg up in a high-tech, quickly evolving job market,” he said. “This puts Pennsylvania’s Read more
HARRISBURG, May 14 – State Rep. Mike Hanna, D-Clinton/Centre, today announced that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has decided to not lower the water levels at Foster Joseph Sayers Dam and Reservoir. “I am pleased to hear that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers agrees with the people of Centre County and will not change the water levels at Foster Sayers,” Hanna said. “Foster Sayers Lake and the surrounding Bald Eagle State Park must remain the recreational gem it is today. This decision ensures continued economic success and outdoor entertainment opportunities for the entire community.” Currently, the reservoir is drawn down about 20 feet in late fall and winter and returned to normal pool level by late spring. According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a study was being conducted to investigate the reservoir’s potential to sustain aquatic habitat during these low-flow months – July through November – by exploring options that modify amounts and times of water releases when triggered. The decision to discontinue the study is due to mixed results and community outcry, Hanna said. A Corps’ analysis reports that while environmental benefits could occur through alternatives to control and modify water release times, the benefits are marginal and potentially could have required physical modifications to structures like marinas and beaches. In addition, feedback gathered at last year’s public workshop , as Read more
HARRISBURG, May 14 – A ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court will clear the way for Pennsylvania’s casinos to offer sports betting, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. Matzie worked to ensure that language from his sports-betting bill was included in gaming legislation Gov. Wolf signed last year so that the state would be competitively positioned to offer sports betting if and when it became legal. “It only took us to 2018 to do what should have been legal for years.” Matzie said. “I believed when I first introduced this language last year that the commonwealth was in a good position to regulate sports betting in all forms and that we needed to put the cart before the horse and be ready. With the inclusion of my language and some tweaks to the gaming bill last year, Pennsylvania is ready.” The Supreme Court’s decision struck down a 1992 federal law that barred state-authorized sports betting, with a few exceptions. New Jersey challenged the law, arguing that Congress overstepped its authority in enacting it. The high court agreed, holding that although Congress has the authority to regulate sports gambling directly, if it elects not to do so, each state is free to act on its own. Matzie said that given the prevalence and popularity of sports betting, the court’s decision is likely to generate great business for the state’s casinos, and he is encouraged that his efforts have helped Pennsylvania Read more
PHILADELPHIA, May 14 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., today announced the awarding of a $200,000 state education grant for Trades for a Difference, which is based in the Mt. Airy neighborhood. "I'm pleased to announce this grant for an organization that's already made a difference in East Mt. Airy by converting a former nuisance bar into a community learning hub, for example," Rabb said. "The goal of Trades for a Difference’s project is to prepare today’s youth for careers in the building trades so they can land family-sustaining jobs. Through a unique combination of hands-on experiences, technology-based learning, strength training and safety instruction, mentees will learn about employment in the construction industry. They will be poised to gain entry-level construction jobs, enter union apprenticeship programs or seek additional education in for-profit trade schools. In addition to these vocational goals, mentees will be able to learn about building personal wealth, creating stronger family relationships and the use of technology in construction." Rabb also recently announced a $200,000 state grant to the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians for entrepreneurial training and development opportunities in areas of greatest need within the Mt. Airy and West Oak Lane neighborhoods. Rabb represents the 200th Legislative District, which includes part or all of three northwest Philadelphia neighborhoods: Chestnut Hill, Read more
CENTRE COUNTY, May 14 – State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, announced the award of a $4,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission to the Centre County Historical Society. “I am pleased to know that the Centre County Historical Society, also the oldest and largest organization in Centre County, is receiving this grant in order to continue to preserve our history and culture,” Conklin said. “Grants like these are imperative to helping our local county, regional and state museums continue to thrive.” Grant monies are intended to strengthen the commonwealth’s communities by supporting the general operations of eligible museums and official county historical societies that are not supported by other state agency funding programs. The CCHS was founded in 1904 and disseminates Centre County history, offers programs and exhibits to both children and adults, maintains artifacts, books, maps, photographs and manuscripts, and publishes publications, according to its website. CCHS was one of 142 museums and official county historical societies from 55 counties in Pennsylvania that were awarded a part of almost a total of $2 million in grants. For information about the grants, visit PHMC or CCHS to learn more about the Historical Society. Read more
SCRANTON, May 14 – Area veterans are invited to take part in the monthly support program next week at the office of state Rep. Marty Flynn. A representative from the American Legion Service Office Outreach program will be in Flynn's office – Jay's Commons, 409 N. Main Ave. – from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 23 to provide information on services available to veterans and their families. The American Legion representatives are available to discuss education, health care and death benefits. Legion membership is not required to take advantage of the help, but anyone interested in speaking to the advisers is recommended to schedule an appointment through Flynn’s office at 570-342-4348 . Read more
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