State Rep. Steve McCarter, D-Montgomery, hosted the House Democratic Policy Committee today at Curtis Hall to discuss the value of pre-K education funding and how to ensure it’s properly funded in Pennsylvania. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, March 10 – Following last week’s death of Philadelphia police officer Robert Wilson III in the line of duty, state Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown, D-Phila., chairwoman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, and the PLBC membership expressed condolences and personal sentiments to his family and friends. Wilson died Thursday evening after being shot in the head attempting to stop a robbery that began while he was inside a north Philadelphia video game store. "Police officer Robert Wilson III died while protecting his fellow Philadelphians," Brown said. "While the death of any public servant in the line of duty is a tragedy, his death is heartbreaking as he was already in the store when the robbery began. Video surveillance tapes show he protected others in the building by moving himself away from customers and clerks before confronting the two robbers, so they wouldn’t be in any line of fire. "The PLBC would like to recognize the life of this brave man and salute his eight years of service as a Philadelphia police officer. We also offer condolences to his family, including 10-year-old and 1-year-old sons who have lost their father, and the entire Philadelphia police community that grieves as well." Wilson was the first Philadelphia police officer to die from a gunshot in the line of duty since August 2012, when Officer Moses Walker was shot after finishing his shift. ### Read more
Rep. Samuelson is sponsoring a special outreach on veterans’ benefits and housing from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, March 20, at his downtown office, 104 E. Broad St., Bethlehem. Officials from the Northampton County’s Office of Veterans Affairs and Community Hope, a regional nonprofit, will be available to assist veterans and their families. Rep. Samuelson’s staff also will be available to provide information and answer questions in English and Spanish. Read more
UPPER DARBY, March 9 – State Rep. Margo Davidson, D-Delaware, will host her 4 th Annual Financial Fitness Forum on Thursday, March 19 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Philadelphia International Alliance Church, 6839 Chestnut St., in Upper Darby. This expo will include free information on a variety of financial issues. Exhibitors and speakers will provide presentations on money management, shopping for a mortgage, college financing, unclaimed property, retirement and real estate planning, preventing foreclosures, home ownership and much more. “This expo is an excellent opportunity for area residents to gather information to help them improve their current financial situation or to prepare for the future,” Davidson said. “We will have a number of financial experts to provide resources on money matters and my staff will help with state programs and services that affect family finances.” Historically this event has been well attended. Davidson encourages residents to register as soon as possible. For more information or to register, please contact (610) 259-7016 or firstname.lastname@example.org . ### Read more
JOHNSTOWN, March 10 – State Rep. Bryan Barbin, D-Cambria/Somerset, will host an open house at his new constituent service office in Sidman from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday. No RSVP is needed, and light refreshments will be served. "I invite my constituents to meet me and my staff at my new office in Sidman," Barbin said. "After the reapportionment process, I opened the office to better serve the constituents of the eastern part of the 71st Legislative District, including Adams and Richland townships, as well as Summerhill, South Fork, Ehrenfeld, Scalp Level and Paint boroughs.” The new office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Services available at the office include help with PennDOT forms, birth and death certificates, voter registration and absentee ballot applications, Property Tax/Rent Rebate applications and any state-related service. Read more
State Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown, D-Phila., is encouraging her constituents to nominate local women for the 190th Legislative District Image Awards of 2015.
The theme of the awards is, "Women working together for change."
HARRISBURG, March 9 – In recognition of National Nutrition Month, state Rep. Sid Michaels Kavulich, D-Lackawanna, is collecting healthy, non-perishable food items at his Taylor office this March.
Residents wishing to donate can drop off food from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at 802 S. Main St., Taylor from now through March 27.
PHILADELPHIA, March 9 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., served as co-chairman of today’s House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing on education funding in Philadelphia. Dawkins requested the hearing, citing the need for a fair education funding formula that would give students in urban districts an equal opportunity at a quality education in Pennsylvania. "As a new legislator, the oath of office is fresh in my mind," Dawkins said. "We have a constitutional obligation to provide a quality education to all Pennsylvania children. We need to do everything in our power to uphold that commitment, regardless of where students live." Those testifying at the hearing included: Pedro Rivera, acting secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Education; Philadelphia City Council members Maria Quinones-Sanchez, 7th District, and Jannie Blackwell, 3rd District; Isaiah Thomas, associate dean of students at Sankofa Freedom Academy Charter School; Helen Gym, co-founder, Parents United for Public Education; Nelson Diaz, partner at Dilworth Paxson LLP; Brett Schaeffer, communications director and policy analyst at the Education Law Center; Dr. Joan Duvall-Flynn, Education Committee chair of the PA State Conference of NAACP Branches; and Bishop Dwayne Rouster, executive director of Philadelphians Organized to Witness Empower & Rebuild (POWER). Dawkins said each panelist contributed a meaningful perspective on the commonwealth’s need Read more
Rep. Brandon Neuman reports that his constituent-service offices in downtown Washington and in North Strabane Township are geared to help district residents recover some of the $17.8 million in unclaimed property originating from Washington County. Read more
State Rep. Steve McCarter, D-Montgomery, today announced the agenda for the House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing on pre-K funding in Pennsylvania, which will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 10 at Curtis Hall, 1250 W. Church Road, Wyncote, PA 19095. Read more
HARRISBURG, March 6 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., released the following statement on Gov. Tom Wolf's proposed budget: "On Tuesday March 3rd, Governor Wolf presented his first budget. Among my tweets that day were 'If you did not know he was an elected Democrat you would think this was a Republican budget.' "Among other things, the governor is proposing reducing business and property taxes and increasing spending for basic education funding and higher education funding. I look forward to making many of his visions a reality – e.g. – creating a climate that can produce additional manufacturing jobs and reducing the regulatory burden in general for business and streamlining the bureaucracy that delivers our government services. "I am impressed because he is committed to negotiating a budget that is fair. He is committed to conducting the budget discussions in a pragmatic manner. I am convinced that he is willing to listen and dialogue as evidenced by the meetings he held with both Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate leading up to his budget address. This certainly did not happen under the previous administration. As one of my Republican colleagues commented – I have met with the governor five times this session and that is one more time than I met with the previous governor over four years. "I was a little disappointed, but not necessarily surprised, Read more
PHILADELPHIA, March 6 – State Rep. W. Curtis Thomas, D-Phila., released the following statement today in response to the murder of Philadelphia Police Officer Robert Wilson III:
"My staff and I would like to express our deepest sorrow for the brutal murder of Officer Wilson, and offer our condolences to his family. As an eight-year veteran with the 22nd District, we had the opportunity to interact with him and we knew him to be a fine and upstanding officer who was dedicated to closing the gap between the community and the police department. He served the people of this city with courage, integrity and commitment; he will never be forgotten.
"This is the second officer from the 22nd District to be killed in the line of duty in the past three years, and my heart goes out to the entire department for their loss. I don't want to miss this opportunity though to make another call to restrict the illegal access of guns. Officer Wilson was shot as he tried to intervene in an attempted robbery. The two punks who outgunned him both had records, and neither should've had access to a gun.
"That is why I am renewing my cry for an amendment to the Uniform Firearms Act. Cities like Philadelphia, Harrisburg, York and Erie need to have the authority to protect their citizens by enforcing sensible municipal regulations. How many more babies and cops need to die before we are ready to do something about this tragic loss of life?"
HARRISBURG, March 6 — State Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, today announced the Reading Muhlenberg Career Technology Center will be involved with making parts for the international space station.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is partnering with the Reading Muhlenberg CTC Shop to machine parts for use by space station astronauts. John Keck, liaison between NASA and the local career and technology center, will visit Reading Muhlenberg CTC at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 10 to examine students’ progress.
Citing the importance Latino culture in Pennsylvania, state Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., thanked Gov. Tom Wolf today for appointing several Latinos to prominent positions in his administration. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, March 6 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., announced today her March town hall meeting will feature discussion on Gov. Tom Wolf’s 2015-16 budget proposal. Read more
HARRISBURG, March 6 – State Rep. Paul Costa, D-Allegheny, this week said he has learned the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has issued an advisory opinion to allow distributors across the commonwealth to sell 12-packs of beer as a single container. Costa, the Democratic chairman of the House Liquor Control Committee, said under this legal opinion any brewery or manufacturer may now sell a prepackaged 12-pack to a local distributor for resale, as long as it’s either shrink-wrapped or securely held together in another container made of cardboard, plastic or paperboard, according to the state Liquor Code. “This is a step in the right direction to provide consumer convenience,” Costa said. “By allowing these 12-packs to be sold at beer distributors, customers get another choice in their beer selections. It provides family-owned distributors more options in their product line, which, in turn, provides more consumer traffic, giving opportunities to expand and sustain their businesses. It is also supporting our breweries in Pennsylvania, so it’s a win-win situation. “I believe this is just the beginning of modernizing Pennsylvania liquor sales, by providing consumers better convenience, and varied selection and prices through package reform. I look forward to continuing the fight for our consumers to get longer PLCB Fine Wine and Good Spirits Stores hours, more convenient locations and flexible pricing.” Read more
ALLENTOWN, March 6 – State Rep. Mike Schlossberg, D-Lehigh, is reminding constituents to check their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors this weekend as they turn their clocks ahead.
Daylight saving time begins Sunday at 2 a.m., and, while many digital clocks will adjust automatically, Schlossberg said he wanted to remind constituents to turn any other clock ahead by one hour.
"A good way to remember to set your clocks ahead is to do it Saturday night before you go to sleep," Schlossberg said. "It is also a good time to perform simple safety checks throughout your home like ensuring it's equipped with properly functioning smoke and carbon monoxide detectors."
Schlossberg said residents may also want to consider replacing any smoke detector more than 10 years old.
HARRISBURG, March 6 – On this National “Dress in Blue Day,” state Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, announced her resolution recognizing March 2015 as “National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania was unanimously adopted by the state House. Read more
HARRISBURG, March 5 – State Rep. Greg Vitali commended Gov. Tom Wolf on proposing a budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year that would increase environmental protection and invest in renewable energy and conservation. “Considering the difficult fiscal challenges the Commonwealth faces, Pennsylvania’s environment fares very well in this budget,” said Vitali, the Democratic chairman of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. The proposed budget increases state funding to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection by 5.6 percent to $147 million. The Department received about $200 million in state funding in fiscal year 2007-08 and has been cut most years since then. The budget also would provide an additional 50 oil and gas inspectors to DEP, with funding coming from a severance tax proposed by the governor, according to Vitali. Wolf’s budget increases funding for the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources by 10 percent, from $137 million to $151 million. Unfortunately, Vitali said, $117 million of this amount would come from the Oil and Gas Lease Fund, which receives its revenues from gas drilling on public land. The other $34 million would come from the General Fund. “Funding so much of DCNR with Oil and Gas Lease Fund money is a big problem because this money should be used for conservation purposes only,” Vitali said. Wind, solar and energy efficiency Read more
HARRISBURG, March 4 – State Rep. Chris Sainato joined his colleagues in the state House today to unanimously pass legislation that would make it a crime to possess equipment used in animal fighting. “Pennsylvania prohibits animal fighting, so it makes sense to extend our laws to ban equipment used in this barbaric activity,” said Sainato, D-Lawrence. Sainato added that the legislation would help hold offenders accountable in cases where law enforcement is not able to arrive while an animal fight is occurring, but later find equipment used for animal fighting Under H.B. 164, possessing animal fighting paraphernalia would be a third-degree misdemeanor, carrying a maximum penalty of a year in prison and a fine of $2,500. Read more
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