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. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, has changed the topic for his House Democratic Policy Committee hearing to issues surrounding personal assistance service providers. The hearing still will be held at 4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3 at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center, 301 Peninsular Drive. House Democratic Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, will co-chair the hearing. “Personal assistance service providers deliver home and community-based care services that allow people to stay in their homes instead of entering nursing facilities,” Bizzarro said. “Keeping people at home not only increases their quality of life, but it also keeps down the high costs the state absorbs from placement in a nursing facility. However, these providers are having a difficult time keeping quality staff due to the low reimbursement rate that is well below a living wage.” Bizzarro noted that many staff are leaving for higher pay at nursing facilities or elsewhere. This high turnover severely limits the providers’ ability to service consumers in need and forces Pennsylvanians into nursing homes earlier than necessary. The hearing agenda is as follows: 4 p.m. Welcome and opening remarks 4:10 p.m. Panel of providers: Carl Berry , Finance Committee chair, PA Providers Coalition Association Chi Bon , social services manager, Helpmates Inc. Deborah Pavlek , director, Family to Family Home Healthcare 5:10 p.m. Panel Read more
HARRISBURG, Sept. 29 – State Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, hosted his 16 th Annual “Ride to Gettysburg” on Sept. 24, with an estimated 400 riders participating in the motorcycle ride from the fountain on Commonwealth Avenue in Harrisburg to Gettysburg. Readshaw and his riders, called “Readshaw’s Raiders,” make the annual trek to support the need to restore and maintain the Pennsylvania Civil War unit monuments on the Gettysburg battlefield. The riders were led to Gettysburg by the God Bless America Motorcycle Color Guard. "This year's ride was special for several reasons," Readshaw said. "Last year’s Journey of Hope participant, Paula Bowman Cummings, a central Pennsylvania resident, was able to ride with us again. Journey of Hope is a Make-A-Wish organization for adults. And Colt Romberger, whose father, a U.S. veteran, died last year of Agent Orange exposure, announced his ‘Ride for Veterans’ which will be a horseback ride across the country next summer to raise money for veterans who are suffering from diseases related to the dreaded herbicide." Among those who joined the ride this year were ride marshals state Reps. Bryan Barbin, Cambria and Somerset counties; and Dan Moul, Adams County. Former state Rep. Teresa Forcier, Crawford County, brought 22 members of the “Motor Maids” from around the state, as well as four from New York, along with some Read more
AMBRIDGE, Sept. 29 – State Reps. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, and Tedd Nesbit, R-Mercer/Butler, introduced legislation today in an effort to control the ever rising cost of education in Pennsylvania.
House Bill 2388 would require any school entity in the state to use a Department of Education-approved, prototypical design in the construction of new school facilities. The legislation would direct the department to establish a prototypical school design clearinghouse, which could be accessed and used by any school entity in Pennsylvania.
“This legislation is designed to save taxpayers money by simplifying the process for school districts to design and construct new facilities,” Nesbit said. “For school districts, one of the largest capital expenses they face is the design and construction of new facilities. Allowing districts to choose from a variety of architectural designs from a statewide database not only saves on costs, but gives school officials many more options to consider.”
The legislation would also require the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to conduct a study, after the clearinghouse has been in use for five years, to determine the savings incurred by school entities that used the system.
A second bill, H.B. 2389, would require publishers of post-secondary textbooks to offer an identical digital equivalent for any college textbook sold within the state. Publishers would have two years from the date of publication to make the digital version availab Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 29 – State Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., is inviting area residents to her "Increase Your Financial IQ" workshop with Philadelphia City Councilmen Bill Greenlee and Allan Domb, as well as Michael Calafati from New York Life. The workshop will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Oct. 8 in the Philadelphia Art Museum’s Perelman Building, 2525 Pennsylvania Ave., Philadelphia, 19130. The workshop aims to help broaden financial horizons with a panel of dedicated experts who specialize in public and private financial matters, including ones concerning insurance, taxes, real estate, savings and more. Small-business finance will be discussed as well. The event coincides with Bullock’s Financial Planning Week resolution. Each year, the House of Representatives affirms the value of financial literacy, consumer education and professional outreach by representatives of the financial services industry. There is no need to RSVP, but for more information, those interested can call Bullock’s office at 215-684-3738. Read more
ALLENTOWN, Sept. 29 – State Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, is partnering with the Allentown Health Bureau for a free child car seat safety check event. It will be held 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7 in the parking lot between St. Luke’s Neighborhood Center and St. Luke’s Evangelical Lutheran Church at 417 N. 7th St., Allentown. Schweyer said technicians from the health bureau will make sure children’s car seats are properly installed. “In June, a new law went into effect requiring all children under age 2 to be in rear-facing child car seats. It’s more important than ever for parents to make sure they know the correct way to secure their child’s car seat,” Schweyer said. “This event is a great opportunity to help parents keep their children safe on the road.” Schweyer said no appointments are necessary. For more information, call Schweyer’s district office at 610-791-6270. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 28 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, said about 750 people joined her for her "60 th Street Health and Wellness Community Summer Jam" held last month in Southwest Philadelphia. This community festival was held along 60 th Street between Chestnut and Arch streets and extended from 59 th to 61 st streets, as well. This huge block party was the first of its nature ever held on the 60 th Street corridor! There were a number of fun activities for children, including face painting, bounce houses, waterslides and games. Adults were offered a number of health screenings, including blood pressure, glucose and HIV tests, and the Penn Mobile Mammography truck also was available. "I was thrilled with the turnout for the 60 th Street neighborhood," McClinton said. "Thank you to all of the local organizations that offered information, fun and entertainment for local residents of all ages. Children and adults enjoyed fun games and live musical entertainment at the mainstage. I also wanted to give a special recognition to all neighbors and volunteers who braved the excessive heat." McClinton was joined by her partners for the event, District Attorney Seth Williams, Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell and Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. and ACHIEVEability. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney joined this community celebration as well! A variety of food items were provided by event Read more
HARRISBURG, Sept. 28 – State Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, praised today's state Supreme Court decision striking down the "gag rule" portion of a law that many doctors feared would limit their ability to discuss with their patients the chemicals involved in natural gas fracking. "The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has protected patients and doctors by striking down the gag rule in Act 13 of 2012," said Frankel, the prime sponsor of a bill to repeal that portion of the law . "Patients trust that their doctor is telling them the truth, the whole truth, and that their health is the doctor’s primary concern. We should protect that trust. Patients shouldn’t worry that they are on the receiving end of a political agenda when they go to the doctor," Frankel said. "And doctors and nurses shouldn’t have to choose between caring for their patients, or following a law that would have forced them to practice bad medicine." Frankel also introduced a broader bill aimed at keeping politics out of the provider-patient relationship. House Bill 1105 , known as the Patient Trust Act, would prohibit government entities from requiring providers to care for patients in a way that is not considered medically appropriate or forcing providers to tell patients anything that is not medically accurate. ### Read more
HARRISBURG, Sept. 28 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, today joined representatives from Carnegie Mellon College of Engineering to test drive an autonomous vehicle around the Capitol.
Matzie road in Carnegie Mellon’s autonomous Cadillac SRX on closed-off streets in Harrisburg to get a close-up look at the new technology.
“Self-driving cars sound like the stuff of science fiction, but the reality is that they could be sharing the road with us in the next decade,” Matzie said. “They have the potential to transform how we think about transportation.”
As a member of the House Transportation Committee, Matzie said his test drive will provide him insight as the committee works with PennDOT’s Autonomous Vehicle Policy Task Force.
“Self-driving cars are being used by Uber in Pittsburgh right now. Western Pennsylvania has evolved into a technology and education hub, and we are poised to be at the forefront of this exciting technology. This has the potential to be a boon to our economy, while creating a substantial number of job opportunities throughout our region,” Matzie said.
State Rep. Steve McCarter, D-Montgomery, issued the following statement after Gov. Tom Wolf addressed a joint session of the General Assembly on Pennsylvania’s opioid epidemic:
"We are in the grip of an escalating crisis in Pennsylvania. Last year, nearly 3,400 drug-related overdose deaths were reported in the Commonwealth—an increase of nearly 25 percent from just the previous year. Heroin and opioid addiction and overdose are now the leading cause of accidental death in Pennsylvania, surpassing even motor vehicle accidents.
HARRISBURG, Sept. 28 – State Rep. Ed Gainey, co-chairman of the bipartisan, legislative Pennsylvania Heroin, Opioid Prevention and Education Caucus (PA-HOPE), issued the following statement regarding Gov. Tom Wolf’s address to a joint session of the General Assembly. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 28 – State Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown, D-Phila., will honor Native Americans and others indigenous to the Western Hemisphere at the fifth annual Indigenous Peoples Day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 1 in Clara Muhammad Square Park, 47th Street and Lancaster Avenue. Brown has previously introduced resolutions recognizing the first Saturday in October as Indigenous Peoples Day in Pennsylvania. "Native cultures existed in Pennsylvania and most of the Western Hemisphere long before Christopher Columbus and other explorers landed here," Brown said. "We need to recognize and acknowledge their culture in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and beyond." U.S. Census records from 2010 show more than 9,000 Philadelphia residents claim Native American ancestry. The Oct. 1 celebration will feature speakers from different indigenous nations of America, indigenous performers and highlight native artists and speakers at noon. Brown's staff will be available to assist constituents with state issues. Eligible constituents will be able to get help signing up for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or PACE or PACENET prescription-drug plans or other state programs. For more information, contact Brown's constituent service office at 215-879-6615 . ###l Read more
HARRISBURG, Sept. 27 – State Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., today said he was pleased to learn that the Business Leadership Organized for Catholic Schools, an Educational Improvement Organization, received a donation that will enable it to help provide students throughout Philadelphia access to a quality education.
UnitedHealthcare presented representatives from BLOCS today with a ceremonial check for $600,000 during a student assembly at Our Lady of Calvary Catholic School. The funds will be used to further BLOCS’ mission of providing financial assistance to families in need, bolstering school infrastructure and expanding education opportunities for families in the Philadelphia area.
“Every child deserves a high-quality education, and the donation from UnitedHealthcare will help make that a reality for children across the Philadelphia region,” Neilson said. “These funds will make a quality education, like the one offered by Our Lady of Calvary school, obtainable for families that would otherwise have little choice in their child’s schooling.”
Our Lady of Calvary School is one of over 150 Catholic schools to benefit from partial student tuition scholarship funding from BLOCS.
At today’s assembly, representatives from UnitedHealthcare and BLOCS joined with school and city officials for a Health Bee competition. The Jeopardy-styled competition pitted two teams composed of Our Lady of Calvary students against each other as they answered questions about health, fitness and nut Read more
HARRISBURG, Sept. 27 – The state Capitol will be lit teal next week following the House adoption of a resolution sponsored by state Rep. Mike O'Brien, D-Phila., which recognizes Friday, Oct. 7 as Trigeminal Neuralgia Awareness Day in Pennsylvania. Trigeminal Neuralgia is a disease characterized by episodes of intense pain in the face originating from the trigeminal nerve. O'Brien is among the one in 20,000 people who suffer from the disease, though the incidence of it may be higher due to misdiagnosis. Because of its intense pain, characterized as the most excruciating pain known, it is sometimes referred to as the "suicide disease." O'Brien said he introduced the resolution ( H.R. 1024 ) to highlight illnesses that are debilitating for many people but are not as widely known to the public. In addition to his personal experience, he noted there is a higher incidence of the disease among women. As a member of the legislature's Women's Health Caucus, he said he seeks to sponsor bills and measures that highlight the need for better health care and health choices for women. "The reasons people suffer from Trigeminal Neuralgia are not fully understood, and the higher incidences among women are still being studied," O'Brien said. "By raising awareness as a public body we can help raise hope that better diagnosis and treatment options can be found." The message is beginning to take hold in Read more
HARRISBURG, Sept. 27 – After a March grand jury report documented widespread child sex abuse in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese, state Rep. Frank Burns was still trying to fathom the magnitude of a decades-long cover-up when Shaun Dougherty , a friend of more than 20 years, called him to detail his experience as one of the victims. “My heart dropped and I was speechless,” Burns recounted at a Capitol news conference held today to push for statute of limitations reform in such cases. Dougherty also wanted to know how close this change was to becoming law, telling Burns, “I don’t know if I want to come forward unless this has a real legitimate chance at passing.” In the face of a sickening pattern of abuse that included his friends like Dougherty and his classmates at Bishop McCort High School, Burns resolved to support the reform effort led by state Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, who hosted today’s event to help press for Senate approval of H.B. 1947, which the House passed earlier this year. “I could not sit there and do nothing,” Burns said. “Leaders in the past had done nothing. And that’s why we’re here (seeking justice) today. I promise each and every one of you: we will fight for you, and together we can change the world.” Dougherty, 46 and a U.S. Navy veteran, said the retroactive component of Rozzi’s statute of limitations reform bill is critically needed so that people like him can Read more
Contact form was unable to load. If the problem continues, please contact the webmaster.
Please use the form below to sign up for email updates. By completing this form your are acknowledging your request to receive periodic email updates.
Find your representative by address, district, or member's name. Click a button below to start your search.