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.
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 12 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton is hosting a summer street party Saturday for her constituents. The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 13 on 60th Street, between Chestnut and Arch streets. "It's a way for area residents to learn more about keeping healthy and staying fit in a fun atmosphere," said McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware. "Free fresh fruit salads, water ice and other refreshements will keep all neighbors cool. This event is a way to enjoy the summer, while providing helpful and informative information about one's health and safety as well." McClinton said a number of public officials will be on hand, with introductions and brief remarks planned at 2 p.m. Those attending include Mayor Jim Kenney, state Sen. Anthony Williams, state Sen. Vincent Hughes and District Attorney Seth Williams. Throughout the day, there will be free food and children's activities and information about state programs and services. The event also features a full slate of entertainment, from gospel, dance and hip-hop, to rap, R&B, and jazz beginning at 11:45 a.m. A musical battle between contestants will be held at 3:40 p.m., with the winner announced at 4 p.m. "Saturday promises to be a fun-filled educational event. I hope everyone will come out and spend the day," McClinton said. Read more
Rep. Pam Snyder and the House Consumer Affairs Committee will conduct a public informational hearing at 10 a.m. Aug. 17 at Waynesburg University’s Miller Hall to discuss broadband deployment and issues with internet quality. Read more
SCRANTON, Aug. 11 – Responding to the alarming rate of heroin and prescription drug overdoses affecting the area, state Rep. Marty Flynn will host an Aug. 31 public hearing of the House Democratic and Republican Policy committees. Read more
EBENSBURG, Aug. 11 – State Rep. Frank Burns is hosting a “Heroes” Kids Fair from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 18 at the Patton Park, Beech and 1 st avenues, Patton 16668. Police officers, firefighters and EMTs will be on hand to be recognized for their service, and event highlights will include a landing by the MedStar emergency medical helicopter from Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center. The free event will also feature games, activities, prizes and healthy snacks for children – and valuable information for adults from state, county and private agencies. Burns and his staff will also be on hand to answer questions and provide help concerning any state-related program. “We encourage everyone with children to come out and enjoy the festivities, and to bring along any inquiries and feedback they may have,” Burns said. “It’s a fun and action-packed time for all.” Call Burns’ Ebensburg office at 814-472-8021 for more information. Read more
WHAT: Republicans and Democrats in the state Legislature are joining forces to attempt to tackle the state’s opioid crisis. Led by Chair of the House Majority Policy Committee Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin) and Chair of the House Minority Policy Committee Mike Sturla (D-Lancaster), members of the House of Representatives and state Senate are traveling the Commonwealth to gather testimony about the growing drug epidemic and how it is impacting communities. At the conclusion of the tour, the joint committee will make legislative and policy recommendations for the Legislature to consider when it reconvenes this fall for a special session on the opioid crisis. The eight-stop tour commenced last week with three hearings in Western Pennsylvania and will continue next week with hearings in Bucks County and Philadelphia. The fourth hearing in the tour, hosted by Rep. Kathy Watson (R-Bucks/144th), will be held on Monday in Warrington. WHO: Members of the House and Senate policy committees. Testifiers will include: Dr. Scott Shapiro, president of the Pennsylvania Medical Society; Judge Rae Boylan, Bucks County Drug Court; Judge Craig Dally, Northampton County Drug Court; Julie Williams, Penn Foundation; Randy Trauger, Upper Bucks Heroin Task Force; Cathleen Palm, Center for Children’s Justice; and Chris Fiore, “Anthony’s Act.” WHEN: Monday, Aug. 15, from 1-3:30 p.m. WHERE: The Health and Wellness Center, 847 Easton Road, Read more
WHAT: Republicans and Democrats in the state Legislature are joining forces to attempt to tackle the state’s opioid crisis. Led by Chair of the House Majority Policy Committee Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin) and Chair of the House Minority Policy Committee Mike Sturla (D-Lancaster), members of the House of Representatives and state Senate are traveling the Commonwealth to gather testimony about the growing drug epidemic and how it is impacting communities. At the conclusion of the tour, the joint committee will make legislative and policy recommendations for the Legislature to consider when it reconvenes this fall for a special session on the opioid crisis. The eight-stop tour commenced last week with three hearings in Western Pennsylvania and will continue next week with hearings in Bucks County and Philadelphia. The fifth hearing in the tour, hosted by Rep. Maria Donatucci (D- Phila./Delaware), will be held on Tuesday in Philadelphia. WHO: Members of the House and Senate policy committees. Testifiers will include: Sam Marshall, Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania; Dr. Mike Consuelos, The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania; Gary Riddle, Healthcare Distribution Alliance; Brian O’Neill and Deni Carise, Ph.D., Recovery Centers of America; Linda Donovan-Magdamo and Lisa Feldman, Resources for Human Development; Art Fastman, NHS Human Services; and Kathleen Reeves, MD FAAP, and Ellen Unterwald, Ph.D., Lewis Katz School of Read more
WHAT: The House Majority Policy Committee and House Minority Policy Committee will host a joint, bipartisan hearing to discuss Pennsylvania’s growing Life Science industry, which has a heavy concentration in southeastern Pennsylvania. Testifiers will give legislators a glimpse into the expanding industry, as well as the challenges facing both its startup and established businesses as they work on cutting edge innovation and technology. WHO: Democrat and Republican House Policy Committee members. Testifers will include Dr. Christopher Molineaux, Pennsylvania Bio; Dr. Stephen Tang, University City Science Center; Jane Hollingsworth, Militia Hill Ventures and Immunome Inc.; Joe Camaratta, Quantitative Radiology Solutions and Biosignal Analytics; Dr. Nicholas Siciliano, Invisible Sentinel; and Dr. Maxine Gowen, Trevena. WHEN: Wednesday, Aug. 17, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Following the hearing, legislators will take a tour of several businesses located at the University City Science Center. WHERE: University City Science Center, Quorum Room, Suite 800, 3711 Market St., Philadelphia. WATCH LIVE: Barring technical difficulties, the hearing will be live-streamed at www.pagoppolicy.com . Read more
LATROBE, Aug. 10 – State Rep. Joseph Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, said the consensus of today's House Judiciary Committee hearing on police body cameras was that the General Assembly needs to address the use of the cameras. The hearing was held in the Fred Rogers Center at Saint Vincent College, with a number of testifiers from the enforcement, legal, media and human rights fields. "We had a variety of speakers today with differing perspectives, but the overall position was that police body cameras provide additional safety for both the police and the public, but more guidance on how they should be used is necessary," said Petrarca, House Judiciary Committee Democratic chairman. "In particular are the three r's, recording, retention and redaction -- when to record and not record, how long to keep the video and what, when and how should information be kept confidential." Pittsburgh Police Commander Ed Trapp said that body cameras are a highly effective tool in collecting evidence, but the state wiretap law needs to be changed to permit police to record inside homes, which is where the camera is needed. Petrarca asked Trapp about the recent media issue regarding the availability of the department's policy on body cameras. Trapp acknowledged the issue and said his department was working to separate policy from procedure, so that their policies would be more readily available to the public. The ACLU's Sara Read more
HARRISBURG, Aug. 10 – State Rep. Mike Hanna, D-Centre/Clinton, today announced the Fine Wine & Good Spirits store in downtown Lock Haven will debut new Sunday hours as part of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board’s efforts to make the state system more convenient for consumers. Hanna said the historic liquor reforms of Act 39 took effect Monday and allow for consumers to take full advantage of increased convenience measures. Hanna voted for the modernization proposal when it was considered in the House on June 7 and applauded Gov. Tom Wolf for acting swiftly in signing the proposal into law the very next day. Among many improvements, the law eliminates restrictions on specific hours, Sunday sales or state-mandated holidays. Beginning Aug. 14, the downtown Lock Haven store will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. “This is wonderful news for the residents of Lock Haven,” said Hanna. According to the PLCB, Sunday hours will be expanded in all 188 stores that were previously open from noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. In addition, the PLCB plans to add Sunday hours for 26 more stores beginning Sept. 4, bringing the total number of stores open on Sundays to more than 300, or about half of all Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores throughout the commonwealth. “My colleagues and I have always pushed for consumer convenience, longer hours and direct shipment of wine,” Hanna said. “Not only did my constituents in Read more
HARRISBURG, Aug. 10 – State Rep. Mike Hanna, D-Clinton/Centre, joined administrators and preschoolers at the Lock Haven Area YMCA yesterday in support of the Alliance of YMCAs 3 rd annual Advocacy Week in Pennsylvania. Hanna said he was given a tour of the Lock Haven Area YMCA and was given an opportunity to read to the preschool children. “We are lucky to have the Y in our region,” said Hanna. Pennsylvania has more YMCAs than any other state with 65 corporate offices and 112 branches in diverse communities across the commonwealth. The Pennsylvania YMCAs serve 1,018,239 members and constituents and have nearly 32,000 volunteers who enrich the community. The Pennsylvania State Alliance of YMCAs has designated this past week as YMCA Advocacy Week to celebrate the work of the organization in local communities across the state. “YMCAs here and nationwide are committed to helping people get fit and stay healthy,” said Hanna. “The Y is a huge advocate for our community, offering a variety of youth development, social responsibility, and health development programs.” The Lock Haven Area YMCA serves approximately 285 children in their Preschool Child Care Program. In 2015, they granted nearly $65,000 in YMCA scholarships to parents that otherwise could not have afforded to send their children to this educational program. In addition, they have over 250 children enrolled in their sports leagues, have Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 9 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., today announced the second annual Frankford Community Day and Gospel Concert Series, which will be held 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13 at the Gambrel Playground, 1900 Wakeling St., Frankford. “I'm very excited to bring the community together and meet new people in my district," Dawkins said. “We will have something for everyone, so bring your entire family.” Dawkins said the event will feature carnival games, a dunk tank, moon bounces, water slides, live music and a book bag giveaway for children. Representatives from local and state agencies will also be available to provide information about a variety of social services. Free refreshments also will be served. For more information, contact Dawkins’ constituent service office at 215-744-7901 . ### Read more
State Rep. Matt Bradford, D-Montgomery, will be hosting Fox Chase Center’s Mobile Mammography Van at his Norristown office this month. Bradford said the van will be located outside his office at 1846 Markley St. starting at 9 a.m. Monday, Aug. 29 to offer cancer screenings. Women interested in receiving a screening are required to make an appointment at his office at 610-270-1150. Additional requirements for participants include: Must be 40 or older. Name and address of one of their doctors. Prescription from their doctor. May not be breast feeding nor have breast fed within the last nine months. Must not have a breast cancer diagnosis within the past two years. Must not be under treatment for breast cancer. Must not have had a mammogram in 12 months Must be able to board the van and stand while being examined. Read more
SCRANTON, Aug. 8 – A staffer from state Rep. Marty Flynn's office will provide outreach assistance next week in South Abington Township. Read more
HARRISBURG, Aug. 5 – The House Judiciary Committee is coming to Latrobe next week to hold a public hearing on police body cameras, said Rep. Joseph Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana. The hearing will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Aug. 10 in the Fred Rogers Center at Saint Vincent College, 300 Fraser Purchase Road, Latrobe. "I welcome the opportunity to have this public hearing in our area," said Petrarca, Democratic chairman of the committee. "This will give area residents and local law enforcement -- as well as the committee -- the opportunity to learn more about the pros and cons of police body cameras and see the committee at work. "The Judiciary Committee regularly holds hearings on important issues impacting our region and the entire state, and holding hearings in different parts of the state gives us added perspective on the issues," he said. Petrarca said the committee is interested in this issue because many police departments, including the Pittsburgh Police Department, are looking for state guidance on the use of body cameras, from the storage of data and accessibility to the public, to when police must have a warrant to use the body camera and how to notify the public they are being recorded. Expected to testify at the hearing are: Dr. Bruce Antkowiak, Saint Vincent College law professor; Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay; Point Park University Police Chief Jeff Besong; Sara Read more
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