PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 21 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, will co-host a weekly radio program from 11 a.m. to noon every Thursday on radio station WTTM, 1680 AM. The program, entitled "Voices from the Inside," will focus on the state's prison system and reducing crime. McClinton will be joined by co-hosts state Rep. Leslie Acosta, D-Phila., Esteban Cabrera and author Hugh Taft-Morales. "I am excited to have this opportunity to discuss our criminal justice system," McClinton said. "This new program will offer a voice to those currently incarcerated and will promote the sharing of ideas between prisoners and us on the outside. Thanks to Rep. Acosta, who developed the idea and invited me to participate in such a meaningful program. "By meeting those currently in prison, I hope that the listeners will understand the need for changes and improvements in our current system. We need to establish more humane methods to house our prisoners and work with them so they can be rehabilitated and can return to society and contribute. We waste so much money incarcerating those who have committed minor offenses and by locking them up for extended periods of time, we make it harder for them to blend back in to society and hold a meaningful job. "Additionally, we will be discussing community programs which may reduce violence and crime." The program will air live at 11 a.m. every Thursday on 1680 AM, and it can also Read more
HARRISBURG, Dec. 9 – The House Transportation Committee today amended and reported out a bill, authored by state Rep. Mike Schlossberg, D-Lehigh, to strengthen provisions intended to keep infants safe while traveling in a vehicle.
"On Monday, at a public hearing held by the House Transportation Committee, I was pleased to see wide, bipartisan support for efforts to improve child safety in Pennsylvania," Schlossberg said. "After a productive and frank discussion, it was clear that there was sufficient support to strengthen my bill by amending it to offer even better protections for our youngest and most vulnerable citizens. I fully support that effort."
House Bill 1551, which originally would have required children younger than 1 to be secured in a rear-facing car seat, was amended by the committee to require children to be secured in a rear-facing car seat while in a vehicle until age 2 unless otherwise stated by the manufacturer’s specification of the car seat in use.
Schlossberg noted that this change to his bill follows recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics. During the House Transportation public hearing, Ted Leonard, executive director of the Pennsylvania AAA Federation, voiced AAA’s support for efforts to enhance the requirement to secure children under age 2 in rear-facing car seats or until that child reaches the maximum height and weight for the car seat as noted by the manufacturer.
"As a father of two young children, I find it hard to belie Read more
HARRISBURG, Dec. 7 – State Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, has introduced H.B 1692, which would make it easier for family members to commit a loved one for drug and/or alcohol treatment.
“Too many families watch their loved ones deal with alcohol or drug abuse problems and can only standby while they spiral into despair, or worse,” Readshaw said. “I have been working with family members, law enforcement, the district attorney, the minor courts and others to ensure that my bill would offer remedies for families seeking help for their loved one.
"I introduced this bill at the request of my friend, a constituent who recently lost his son because of a drug overdose," he added.
Readshaw said that Pennsylvania families are the front lines of the opiate epidemic in this Commonwealth, and this bill is an effort to provide families with another avenue of resources.
House Bill 1692 would provide for involuntary treatment requirements and procedures for individuals suffering from alcohol and other drug abuse; and imposing duties on the Department of Health and the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs. Presuming the person has a reasonable benefit of recovery and the individual presents an imminent danger or imminent threat of danger to self, family or others as a result of alcohol and other drug abuse, or there exists a substantial likelihood of such a threat in the near future, a family member would be able to petition the Court of Common Pleas to initiate proceedings for in Read more
PITTSBURGH, Dec. 2 – State Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny announced the state's heating assistance program, LIHEAP, is accepting applications for the winter.
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program provides federal aid to eligible families to help pay winter heating bills and cover emergency heating equipment needs.
"LIHEAP ensures that qualified households can pay for their heating costs, such as gas, oil or electricity," Readshaw said. "Emergency funds are also available for households without heat or fuel, or those facing cut-off from a supplier.
"My staff can help complete the application."
Household income limits to qualify vary according to family size:
Household Size Maximum Income
The household income level increases by an additional $6,240 for each additional person.
"Since this program is based on federal money, the state budget impasse should not affect the funding for this program," Readshaw said.
Applications also can be completed online at www.compass.state.pa.us, and can be obtained at local county assistance offices, which can be found at www.alleghenycounty.us/dhs/CAO-locations.aspx.
HARRISBURG, Nov. 16 – State Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, and state Rep. Tom Murt, R-Montgomery/Phila., announced today that they will host a private advance screening of the film “Spotlight” on Tuesday, Nov. 17 at the Midtown Cinema, 250 Reilly St. The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape and Turning Point are the event sponsors.
A complimentary reception will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., prior to the movie. Remarks will be offered by the sponsors and hosts in support of legislation that would modify the Pennsylvania statute of limitations to allow victims to seek civil action against abusers and the institutions that shield them.
“Spotlight” is the true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child sexual abuse and cover-up within the local Boston Archdiocese.
More information about the event is available by contacting Rozzi’s Harrisburg office at (717) 783-3290. To reserve tickets, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/private-advance-screening-of-spotlight-tickets-19499631924. Seating is limited.
HARRISBURG, Oct. 28 – State Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, will host a flu shot clinic from 10 a.m. to noon on Thursday, Nov. 5 at Concord Presbyterian Church, 1907 Brownsville Road, Pittsburgh, 15210.
Pneumonia shots also will be available.
"The earlier you can get a flu shot, the longer you are protected through the flu season," Readshaw said. "It is important to remember that flu is not just a nuisance. It can be a serious, even fatal, illness, especially for those young children, elderly and anyone who may have a weaker immune system."
While the flu vaccinations are not free, the costs are covered by all Medicare Part B plans as well as many other medical insurance plans. Vaccination recipients must bring their insurance cards when they get their shots.
Readshaw reminds people who may have the flu to see a doctor as quickly as possible. There are treatments which may lessen the severity of the illness if taken quickly enough.
State Rep. Sid Michaels Kavulich, D-Lackawanna, said $666,400 in state funding has been awarded to help fund nine local projects ranging from improving the safety of police officers, to addressing municipal issues, to opening up new options for public recreation.
HARRISBURG, June 30 – State Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Luzerne, today supported passage of a state budget plan that increases education funding and expands efforts to fight our commonwealth’s growing opioid addiction crisis. "This plan isn’t perfect, but it provides much needed education funding, something our school districts have been anticipating for years," Mullery said. "The budget is on-time and doesn’t increase broad-based taxes." Senate Bill 1073 includes a $250 million increase for pre-K through 12 education funding, including $200 million for K-12, $30 million for pre-K and Head Start, and a $20 million increase for special education. According to information provided by the House Appropriations Committee Democratic staff, Mullery said school districts in his 119th Legislative District are slated to receive substantial increases. Mullery said the bill also provides funding for three additional Pennsylvania State Police cadet classes; transfers millions from the Oil and Gas Fund to the General Fund to give money to conservation programs and dedicates $15 million to combat heroin and opioid addiction, including funds for emergency addiction treatment and behavioral health services. "This funding would help my district put more patrols in municipalities that don’t have local police," Mullery said. "The $15 million allocated to combat the heroin and opioid epidemic is crucial for so many families Read more
Harrisburg, PA – With the Pennsylvania Military Community Enhancement Commission (PMCEC) set to receive a substantial funding increase in the new state budget, Lt. Governor Mike Stack met with three legislative commissioners and staff yesterday regarding future efforts on behalf of the bases within Pennsylvania. Stack, chairman of the 17-member panel, met with commissioners Rep. Harry Readshaw (D-Allegheny), Rep. Nick Miccarelli (R-Delaware) and Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna), along with PMCEC executive director Frank Sullivan, to discuss ways to increase the value of the bases to the U.S. Department of Defense and to the local and state economies. The 10 major military installations within Pennsylvania already contribute $30 billion to the state economy and provide 270,000 jobs. “Our bases are a tremendous asset and the state is now intensifying its commitment to them,” said Stack, who is a former captain in the Pa. National Guard. “We want to protect them when the Defense Department evaluates its future size and structure, and we want to take full advantage of opportunities to expand their role.” The appropriations bill passed by the House of Representative and the Senate this week contains $798,000 for PMCEC in Fiscal Year 2016-17, and creates a new separate line item for the commission within the Department of Community and Economic Development. Previously, the commission received $485,000 through that Read more
HARRISBURG, June 30 – Consumers and business owners in Rep. Joe Markosek’s 25 th District will continue to have a strong advocate fighting on their behalf in Harrisburg thanks to budget legislation the Democratic chairman of the House Appropriations Committee shepherded through the General Assembly. Markosek worked to bring Republicans and Democrats to bipartisan approval on his nine budget bills worth more than $270 million, and he did that before the July 1 start of the 2016/17 fiscal year. “While most lawmakers will make the tough votes, it sometimes takes experience and hard work to remind them how not voting for good legislation would affect their constituents,” Markosek, the Democratic chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said. “I am pleased that my bills won overwhelming bipartisan support and the folks in my Allegheny County district will have people in Harrisburg, besides me, who will fight for their consumer and business interests.” Of the nine Markosek bills on their way to the governor, one sends $164,000 more ($1.47 million total) for the Office of Small Business Advocate, while another adds another $224,000 ($5.5 million total) to the budget of the Office of the Consumer advocate, who represents consumers in electric, gas and telecommunications disputes. Markosek said the governor is expected to sign his legislation in conjunction with the 2016/17 General Appropriations legislation being finalized this Read more
State Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, announced today that his legislation amending a section of the Estate Code that hasn’t been updated in 21 years unanimously passed the House.
House Bill 1974 would increase the amount an employer may pay directly to a surviving relative for a deceased family member’s final paycheck from $5,000 to $10,000. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.
HARRISBURG, June 30 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D- Lancaster, released the following statement following the passage of the 2016-17 Fiscal Year Budget: “This is the first budget in five years, assuming we can get the revenue, which does not increase the structural budget deficit. While it doesn’t reduce the existing deficit, at least it doesn’t continue the practice of spending more than we have in the state coffers. “I still have some concerns including the practice of stealing money from the Motor License Fund, a total of $814 million this year. This budget increases money to basic education, but does not solve the problems of inequity in funding those schools. It removes some people with disabilities off of waiting lists for services; however, there is still a five year waiting list for people hoping to access services. Can you imagine if we ran other parts of our government this way? “I challenge those who refused to support this budget with the excuse that they wanted more cuts to propose what specifically they would like to cut and not just rely on the blanket statement of identifying ‘waste, fraud and abuse’. Propose specifically which classes they’d like to cut from school curriculum, how many prisoners to let out of jail or how many seniors to kick out of nursing home care facilities. The frivolous claim to find dollars where they do not exist is simply not enough and has not been enough for Read more
Rep. Pam Snyder reports that a 2016-17 spending plan sent to the governor is a workable compromise on key issues such as education funding, taxes, human services and funding programs and services to counter the opioid addiction epidemic. Rep. Snyder said the $31.6 billion plan features an additional $250 million investment in education, with $200 million more for basic education, $25 million more for pre-K, $5 million more for Head Start and $20 million more for special education. Read more
HARRISBURG, June 30 – State Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, and chairwoman of the Philadelphia County Delegation to the House of Representatives, issued the following statement after the House passed the state budget bill today: “I am hopeful that today’s bipartisan support of Senate Bill 1073 means that Pennsylvania will soon have a balanced, timely budget. Our schools and human service organizations, especially those in Philadelphia, cannot afford another lengthy and irresponsible budget impasse. “As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I have had some time to reflect on the fiscal spending plan. While the legislation will not solve all of the state’s financial woes, especially in such a difficult budget year, it will go a long way in supporting our students and vulnerable residents. “Pennsylvania’s schools will receive an increase of $250 million overall from the previous fiscal year, which is welcome news. This figure includes $200 million for K-12, $30 million for pre-K and Head Start, and a $20 million increase for special education. As a result, the School District of Philadelphia would receive a basic education funding increase of $47,067,862, or 4.6 percent, and a special education funding boost of $3,210,990, or 2.4 percent. “Philadelphia’s students have gone far too long with fewer teachers, extracurricular activities and support staff. We have a constitutional obligation to provide Read more
HARRISBURG, June 30 – State Rep. Marty Flynn said he voted for the 2016-17 state budget because of the $250 million pre-K through 12th grade education funding increase. Read more
HARRISBURG, June 30 -- The General Assembly finalized a bipartisan, on-time 2016-17 spending bill this evening and sent the budget legislation to Gov. Tom Wolf for his signature. The $31.53 billion budget bill (S.B. 1073) boosts funding for education at all levels and avoids broad-based tax increases, House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody said. "In a year when Pennsylvania is facing significant challenges and limited resources, I believe this is a good budget," Dermody said. "It's certainly not perfect, but Democrats and Republicans worked together to pass a budget that moves Pennsylvania forward on meeting those challenges," he said. "We did it on time and we did it in a way that is balanced." The House initially passed the budget bill two days ago with a $250 million increase for pre-K-through-12 education, including $200 million for K-12, $30 million for pre-K and Head Start, and $20 million for special education. The Senate on Wednesday added an additional $40 million for higher education at Pennsylvania's state-owned, state-related and community colleges. "House Democrats have been pushing to restore basic and higher education for the past several years," House Appropriations Committee Chairman Joe Markosek said. "Higher education received a 5 percent increase last year, and we are happy the General Assembly was able to find a way to provide another increase for those schools and for PHEAA student aid. Read more
HARRISBURG, June 30 – State Rep. Ed Gainey said he voted for the 2016-17 state budget because it begins to address the opioid addiction crisis devastating families across Pennsylvania and it starts to fund the new medical marijuana program. Read more
HARRISBURG, June 30 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, today supported the passage of a state budget plan that funds education at record levels, without a broad-based tax increase.
“While I will be the first to admit that this budget isn’t perfect, it is a solid step in the right direction especially for our schools and students,” Matzie said. “After the protracted impasse of last year, it is refreshing to see this compromise, especially as it contains historic education funding but doesn’t add to our structural deficit.”
Senate Bill 1073 includes a $250 million increase for pre-K through 12 education funding, including $200 million for K-12, $30 million for pre-K and Head Start, and a $20 million increase for special education.
“The spending plan that’s now on its way to Governor Tom Wolf is a workable compromise that will invest in our state without relying on a sales or income tax increase,” Matzie said.
Matzie said the bill also would provide funding for three additional Pennsylvania State Police cadet classes; transfer millions from the Oil and Gas Fund to the General Fund to give money to conservation programs, Growing Greener, and the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Fund; and dedicate $15 million to combat heroin and opioid addiction, including funds for emergency addiction treatment and behavioral health services.
HARRISBURG, June 30 – State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee, said the new state budget is far from perfect but does contain some positive items. "The new budget does include $250 million more for K-12 education, including a $200 million increase in the basic education subsidy, although this still leaves state classroom funding for schools below the level of six years ago. We are still digging out from four years of Corbett-Republican cuts that hit lower-income districts like Philadelphia the hardest," Roebuck said. Roebuck also welcomed the new budget's 2.5 percent increase in funding for higher education, including two historically black universities in Pennsylvania, Cheyney and Lincoln universities, both located in the Philadelphia suburbs. The new budget package also includes larger increases for two scholarship programs. It provides a $163,000 increase, or 30 percent more, for the Bond-Hill scholarship program, which helps students at Cheyney and Lincoln, and a $288,000 increase, or nearly 19 percent more, for Cheyney's Keystone Honors Academy. ### Read more
State Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, will vote tonight to pass S.B. 1073, the general appropriations bill for Pennsylvania’s fiscal year that begins tomorrow.
“This budget represents a true compromise between Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate, and Governor Wolf’s office,” Longietti said. “It provides a solid investment in our education system, including basic, special and higher education, without a broad-based tax increase that hits our working families hardest.”
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