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.
HARRISBURG, May 11 – State Rep. Joseph Petrarca plans to introduce a bill to abolish the gasoline tax increases for next year and beyond. "Pennsylvania already has the highest gas tax in the nation," Petrarca said. "The state collects 51.4 cents on each gallon of gas sold in the commonwealth, nearly double the average collected nationwide. And, because of a 2013 law that I did not support, our gas tax could go up another 10 cents in January. "Pennsylvanians can't afford to pay more and more at the pump, especially when so many of us rely on our vehicles to get to work, buy groceries, and take our children and parents to doctor's appointments. Because transportation is a necessity, an increase in the gas tax hurts all of us, but is especially difficult for people on limited means or who live on fixed incomes." In 2013, Gov. Tom Corbett uncapped the Oil Company Franchise Tax, which is the tax on wholesale gasoline purchases. Although the OCFT is a tax on wholesalers, Petrarca said the tax is certainly passed down to drivers at the pump. "I opposed the 2013 law because it was going to increase gas prices, and it did," said Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana. "Now that same law is expected to increase them even more come January. The price of gas is already volatile. It's time to enact my legislation so we can ensure that when the price of gas increases, and it will, it's not because of the Read more
UPPER DARBY, May 11 – State Rep. Margo Davidson, D-Delaware, will sponsor a community health fair from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, May 19 at Yeadon Presbyterian Church, 541 Holly Rd, Yeadon . “My community health fair is a perfect opportunity for residents of the 164 th Legislative District to receive free screenings – and get lots of health questions answered -- by making just one visit,” Davidson said. “I think it’s very important for the health and safety of my constituents who may not have access to health care that my office provides this service.” Medicare and the Affordable Care Act experts will be on hand to answer questions about the federal health care programs. The health fair will also include: Free health screenings. Information on health wellness from providers, state and county agencies, and nonprofits. Door prizes and giveaways. For more information about the health fair, please call Maureen McGrory at 610-259-7016 or email firstname.lastname@example.org . ### Read more
Rep. Pam Snyder alerts residents of a telephone scam in which taxpayers receive unsolicited calls from people claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service and demanding payment or risk a lawsuit. First and foremost, Rep. Snyder notes, the IRS DOES NOT initiate contact over the phone.
KING OF PRUSSIA, May 10 – In recognition of May as National Water Safety Month, State Rep. Tim Briggs, D-Montgomery, has introduced legislation that would strengthen regulations for public swimming pools and bathing places in Pennsylvania.
House Bill 2056 would require the Department of Health to update regulations periodically to be consistent with the Model Aquatic Health Code prepared by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"I was shocked to learn that regulations affecting public pools in Pennsylvania haven’t been updated since the 1970s. It is hard to think of anything that hasn’t been updated in that long, let alone crucial public health standards," Briggs said. "Once enacted into law, my legislation will allow Pennsylvanians to once again enjoy a day at the pool without worry about what microbes or pollutants are lurking in the water."
The model code, which is updated about every two years, is intended to implement best practices and replace the patchwork of regulations that exists throughout the country. The code covers safety, preventive maintenance, health hazards and employee training for pools and public bathing places.
"Swimming pools may seem innocuous, but if they are improperly cared for they can be tainted with a variety of contaminants ranging from fecal matter to the bacteria that can lead to Legionnaires’ Disease," Briggs said. "The public has the right to expect safety and sanitary Read more
House Democratic Policy Committee hear testimony on Cheyney University funding State Reps. Stephen Kinsey, Jordan Harris, and James Roebuck, all D-Phila., today heard testimony on state funding at Cheyney University during a House Democratic Policy Committee. Kinsey had some concerns about the university’s financial stability because of declining enrollment. “I am hoping that university officials could financially turn the school around because many students who are enrolled at the college come from Philadelphia and those students are primarily low-income,” Kinsey said. “It would be devastating if these college bound students would not have an opportunity to continue their education.’ Many students at the college believe that they are being punished for selecting certain major fields of study because of low class participation. Rep. James Roebuck, Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee, said, "I and several other members of the legislature have been working to raise awareness of the uniquely affordable opportunities available at Cheyney , in addition to our work to help the university achieve a sustainable future. Qualified Pennsylvania students can receive full scholarships for undergraduate education at Cheyney and/or for graduate school after their time at Cheyney." Rep. Jordon Harris said concerns about the university did not happen overnight but are the result of inadequate Read more
AMBRIDGE, May 10 – The state House of Representatives unanimously adopted H.R. 835, authored by state Rep. Rob Matzie, which designates May 14 as National Train Day in Pennsylvania.
The resolution, which was adopted last week, seeks to highlight the role trains and railroads have held throughout history and the modern advantages of rail travel.
"As Democratic chairman of the House Transportation Committee's Subcommittee on Railroads, I feel it is important to offer this resolution to highlight the important role trains have played in this commonwealth’s past and present,” Matzie said. "Trains and railroads are the backbone of America's economic vitality and growth, and are crucial in bringing American goods to market both nationally and internationally.”
National Train Day, which was started in 2008 by Amtrak, is a national awareness campaign dedicated to educating the public about the rich history of trains and its intersection with American history. National Train Day is held annually on the Saturday closest to May 10, the anniversary of the pounding of the Golden Spike in Promontory, Utah, which marked the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in the United States.
“Rail travel is an essential part of our transportation infrastructure, helping to reduce congestion on the roads and in the sky, connecting cities and rural communities, and providing a more environmentally friendly mode of transportation that contributes to our energy security,” Matzie said Read more
STRATH HAVEN, May 9 – Joined by the House Democratic Policy Committee and Republican legislators, state Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky, D-Delaware, hosted the first legislative hearing on H.B. 1010 , which would enact commonsense firearm reforms. “Today we heard from the Pennsylvania State Police, the Upper Darby Police Department, victims of gun violence and national advocates, and the overwhelming theme that was repeated is that Pennsylvania needs the commonsense gun safety reforms House Bill 1010 would give us,” Krueger-Braneky said. “As legislators, we must not be paralyzed with the fear of what the NRA will say if we support his legislation. Our constituents support it and that should take priority over anything else.” Krueger-Braneky is a co-sponsor of H.B. 1010, which would require all purchasers of firearms – including the private sale of long guns – to first undergo a background check. It would also permit the issuance of a single background check approval that would remain valid for 48 hours for use at gun shows across Pennsylvania. "I commend Representative Krueger-Braneky for requesting this necessary hearing to bring attention to House Bill 1010," said Rep. Mike Sturla, chairman of the House Democratic Policy Committee. "This is a major milestone in both community safety and convenience for those looking to lawfully purchase guns. I'm proud to be a co-sponsor of this commonsense legislation and Read more
SCRANTON, May 9 – A staff member from state Rep. Marty Flynn's office will provide outreach assistance next week in Clarks Green. Read more
HARRISBURG, May 9 – In an effort to strengthen its fiscal capacity, the city of Wilkes-Barre will receive a $60,000 grant through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s Early Intervention Program, said state Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Luzerne. The purpose of the Early Intervention Program is to establish short-term and long-term financial and managerial objectives pertaining to revenue and expenditure trends and policies to build a strong fiscal capacity. The grant will be used for city leaders to develop and implement a five-year financial management plan and operational strategy to address fiscal difficulties in a timely and planned manner. "Wilkes-Barre and city officials have worked hard over the years to improve the fiscal stability of our city," Pashinski said. "I am pleased Wilkes-Barre is the recipient of this valuable grant which will provide the new administration the opportunity to strengthen the financial status of our city. "With proper planning, they will have the opportunity to design a financial plan that will be fiscally prudent and productive for the citizens of Wilkes-Barre for many years to come." As part of the plan, city leaders must hire a consultant, create and adopt a multi-year plan that identifies the city’s top three to five priorities, details the actions to be achieved and gets public input, and must evaluate and adjust the plan based on a master schedule that Read more
PATTON, May 9 – Patton residents upset with a rotten egg smell and other water quality issues can address state Department of Environmental Protection Safe Drinking Water staff at the 7 p.m. Thursday, May 12 borough meeting, said state Rep. Frank Burns. Burns, D-Cambria, said borough water customers began complaining to his office a few months ago, after the water source switched from Chest Creek to three wells drilled at the behest of DEP, which said the creek as an open water source carried a threat of contamination and could no longer be used. “The main issue is the smell and despite attempts to adjust chemicals in the water treatment process, many people remain upset,” Burns said. “Anyone with questions or comments on this problem should attend the meeting to address the DEP experts.” Burns said despite DEP assurances that the water is not detrimental to health, residents are unhappy with the taste and smell of their water since the DEP-mandated switch. “Responsive government is all about listening to the people, which is why I commend Patton Borough officials for hosting this meeting and urge anyone who has this problem to attend,” Burns said. The meeting will be held in the Patton Borough Building, 800 Fourth Ave. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, May 6 – State Rep. Mike Driscoll, D-Phila., will sponsor a free shredding event for residents of Northeast Philadelphia from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, May 14, at the Linden Avenue Boat Launch, located at Linden Avenue and the river.
"Shredding is a great way to get rid of sensitive documents in an environmentally friendly way and also protect your identity from fraud," Driscoll said. "This is a great opportunity to dispose of sensitive papers following the tax season."
Residents are encouraged to bring any unneeded documents that contain personal information, such as Social Security numbers, credit card statements and applications, medical records, banking statements, canceled checks, income tax information, insurance records and retirement or pension fund information.
To ensure all attendees have the opportunity to shred their documents, attendees are asked to limit what they bring to three boxes per person.
"The event is free for district residents, and documents will be shredded on site for recycling," Driscoll said. "We are requesting personal documents only – no businesses, please."
More information is available by calling Driscoll’s office at (215) 281-3414.
HARRISBURG, May 6 – The week of May 8 through 14, 2016 marks “National Nursing Home Week” in Pennsylvania, thanks to a resolution authored by state Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, and recently adopted by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. “There are more than 81,000 Pennsylvanians residing in some 700 nursing homes across the state,” Donatucci said. “These men and women are a living testament to our history and have greatly contributed to our communities. Many of these residents have fought in our wars, worked in our factories, and built our neighborhoods from the ground up. We owe them our appreciation not just during this special week, but every day.” Donatucci’s H.R. 794 noted this year’s national theme for “National Nursing Home Week” is “It’s a Small World, with a Big Heart.” The theme highlights the bond between staff and older adults and others who receive therapies or who have developmental disabilities. “The staff members who work at our nursing homes should also be commended for their compassion and dedication,” Donatucci said. “They keep our nursing home residents healthy and happy, and we are all appreciative of their efforts.” Read more
ABINGTON, May 5 – State Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Montgomery, announced she will host a Keystone Quiz trivia contest with local Catholic elementary schools. The Pennsylvania trivia contest will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 10 at Good Shepherd Catholic Regional School, 820 N. Hills Ave. in Ardsley. Students from Good Shepherd Catholic Regional School, St. Hilary School, and St. Joseph the Protector School will participate in a game show format to win prizes donated by local businesses for their class. Teachers, classmates, families and friends are invited to cheer on the competitors. “The Keystone Quiz is a fun event for students to show what they’ve learned about Pennsylvania over the year,” Dean said. “I’m always impressed with their knowledge of state history, geography, and trivia.” Read more
PHILADELPHIA, May 5 – State Reps. James Roebuck, Stephen Kinsey, and Jordan Harris, all D-Phila., today announced they will host a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing on Cheyney University's state funding. The hearing will be held 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 10 at PASSHE’s Mellon Independence Center, 701 Market St., Room 312, Philadelphia. Testifiers will include: Michael Coard, founder, Heeding Cheyney’s Call Robert Wright Sr., school board director, William Penn School District Nyrie Watson, student, Cheyney University Nicole Smith, student, Cheyney University The hearing is open to the public and media coverage is invited . Read more
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