HARRISBURG, June 14 – Chester County’s Democratic state Reps. Carolyn Comitta, Melissa Shusterman, Kristine Howard, Danielle Friel Otten, Dan Williams and Christina Sappey announced that $1.2 million worth of grant funds from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency will be distributed across the county to increase safety and help crime victims. Within Comitta’s legislative district, Domestic Violence Center of Chester County will receive $531,835 to provide direct services for domestic abuse survivors. Additionally, the Crime Victims’ Center of Chester County, Inc. will receive $624,328 to meet the needs of crime victims. “I am grateful for the grants awarded to the Crime Victims’ Center of Chester County and the Domestic Violence Center of Chester County. These local organizations have a tremendous impact across our county, and they deserve our full support to continue to provide critical services to residents,” Comitta said. Represented by Shusterman, Phoenixville Borough will receive $7,685 to install security cameras at their police department’s impound lot. “I’m proud to work with my colleagues to bring state money back to Chester County,” Shusterman said. “I’m confident that this initiative will make our communities safer by curtailing crime in and around the impound lot.” Howard’s district, including West Pikeland and Easttown townships, will receive grants Read more
HARRISBURG, June 14 – On Friday, the Commonwealth Court announcement that it would not intervene in the impending June 30 dissolution of the consent decree between UPMC and Highmark saddened state Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Allegheny. In a statement, the Insurance Committee Democratic chairman vowed to find a legislative answer: “It’s with disbelief and a heavy heart that I’ve learned that the Commonwealth Court is not going to step in and provide a way out of this ongoing, toxic feud between UPMC and Highmark, which ultimately will negatively affect many western Pennsylvania residents in the weeks and months to come. “It’s a tough pill to swallow knowing that even if we decide to take institutions like UPMC to court, and follow all the legal steps to enact change, nothing will change. The only way to truly enact change is to redraft and change laws. “This case still has a way to go as it makes its way through the courts, but in the meantime thousands of Pennsylvanians will now have to face the harsh reality of being cut off from their doctors and one-of-a-kind medical care. “We were all very hopeful when UPMC announced that despite the ongoing feud, they would allow patients undergoing cancer treatment to access their facilities, regardless of the name on their insurance cards. It was a glimpse of hope for some but left many unanswered questions for others who continue to suffer from other chronic health conditions. Read more
The grants vary in size and scope, and the PCCD’s goals through this funding are to improve the justice system and the lives of crime victims, and to make communities safer. Read more
HARRISBURG, June 14 – State Rep. Carol Hill-Evans, D-York, today lauded the announcement of more than $2 million in grants for York County family, women, victim and related countywide services. The grants were approved by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency at its meeting Wednesday. The following York County groups were approved for grants. YWCA of York $966,806 YWCA of Hanover - Safe Home $455,705 York County Children's Advocacy Center $16,628 York County Commissioners - Project Open Door $148,934 York County Commissioners - Vivitrol Re-entry Program $384,432 York County Commissioners - Blue Light: Intelligence Unit Tools and Training $42,145 “Our county departments working in criminal justice and corrections are receiving the financial tools they need to continue successful programs,” she said. “These dollars also provide our nonprofits with tools to support their mission to reach women and children in need.” Hill-Evans’ office keeps a list of contacts to send all state grant opportunities in the 95 th district. Organizations that wish to be included in those announcements can contact her office to update their points of contact, including any changes when they occur. Read more
HARRISBURG, June 14 – The Commonwealth Court announcement today that it would not intervene in the impending June 30 dissolution of the consent decree between UPMC and Highmark is extremely disappointing and should be a call to action for legislators, said state Rep. Bill Kortz, D-Allegheny. Last month, the state Supreme Court had overturned an earlier decision by Commonwealth Court that the June 30 termination date in the UPMC/Highmark agreements cannot be modified. Today, Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson issued an order that the date could not be changed. “To say I am deeply disappointed is an understatement and is an affront to patients, who deserve continued access to the health care facilities and providers they know and trust,” Kortz said. “This decision makes it crystal clear that if we want UPMC and institutions like it to do the right thing, the laws need to change. People’s lives are at risk. “I am imploring Attorney General Josh Shapiro to consider appealing today’s decision. In addition, I’m asking UPMC’s board of directors to take a stand and do what’s right. I’m asking my colleagues to support House Bill 1211 , which would require charity hospital-insurance company hybrids to behave in the public interest and stop them from taking advantage of sick and vulnerable Pennsylvanians. “While this case will make its way through the court system and appeals will likely be filed in Read more
PITTSBURGH, June 14 – The Commonwealth Court’s announcement Friday that it would not intervene in the impending June 30 dissolution of the consent decree between UPMC and Highmark should be a call to action for legislators, said state Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny. “I am deeply disappointed to learn that the Commonwealth Court is not going to help provide a way out of this cynical game of brinksmanship that UPMC is foisting upon the people of Pennsylvania. “It is now crystal clear that if we want institutions like UPMC to do the right thing, the laws need to change. While this case makes its way through the courts, I implore my colleagues to pass my bipartisan legislation to require charity hospital-insurance company hybrids to behave in the public interest and stop the predatory business practices. “While appeals are expected and could change the course of this impending calamity, thousands of vulnerable Pennsylvanians must now prepare to be cut off from their doctors. This path is causing a terrible breach of trust for patients and their loving family members who believed that UPMC represented a caring support system, and it undermines the relationships of 50,000 doctors and nurses and other health care providers who will be forced to tell their patients they can't see them anymore. “UPMC had already tacitly admitted their own wrong-doing by walking back the most harmful policies that they had previously threatened. That Read more
HARRISBURG, June 14 – Nearly $1.33 million in grants will fund programs and services to reduce crime, assist victims, address substance abuse and support at-risk youth in Erie County, state Reps. Ryan Bizzarro, Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, all D-Erie, announced today. The funding – administered by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency – includes eight grants to various Erie County criminal justice, protection and advocacy, and community service agencies. “Our community thrives when all of us thrive,” Bizzarro said. “By funding evidence-based projects and pilot programs, these grants will help us reach those in our community who are at risk, whether they’re residents struggling with substance abuse, family members living with the threat of domestic violence or youth who are falling into crime or delinquency.” Harkins said he was especially encouraged by the funding to advocacy and victims’ agencies. “Our safety as a community is important, but it’s also critically important to ensure that those who have been victimized by domestic abuse, sexual abuse, or other violent crimes receive the assistance they need to rebuild their lives,” Harkins said. “This funding will help provide essential protective services, counseling and most importantly – hope – to residents whose lives have been turned upside down by violent crime.” Merski noted that the grants Read more
HARRISBURG, June 14 – Nearly $1.33 million in grants will fund programs and services to reduce crime, assist victims, address substance abuse and support at-risk youth in Erie County, state Reps. Ryan Bizzarro, Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, all D-Erie, announced today. The funding – administered by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency – includes eight grants to various Erie County criminal justice, protection and advocacy, and community service agencies. “Our community thrives when all of us thrive,” Bizzarro said. “By funding evidence-based projects and pilot programs, these grants will help us reach those in our community who are at risk, whether they’re residents struggling with substance abuse, family members living with the threat of domestic violence or youth who are falling into crime or delinquency.” Harkins said he was especially encouraged by the funding to advocacy and victims’ agencies. “Our safety as a community is important, but it’s also critically important to ensure that those who have been victimized by domestic abuse, sexual abuse, or other violent crimes receive the assistance they need to rebuild their lives,” Harkins said. “This funding will help provide essential protective services, counseling and most importantly – hope – to residents whose lives have been turned upside down by violent crime.” Merski noted that the grants will Read more
HARRISBURG, June 13 – Members of the House Democratic Southeast Delegation today lauded the announcement of more than $1.4 million in grants for Delaware County family, women, victim and related countywide services. “The public investments coming to our communities in Delco reflect the hard work and collaboration among its citizens and public servants first and foremost,” said state Rep. Margo Davidson, D-Delaware. “I’d also like to thank the Wolf administration for putting public money back into the hands of the people.” The grants were approved by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency at its meeting Wednesday. “Helping a victim become a survivor is the kind of work we must support with all our might,” said Rep. Mike Zabel, D-Delaware. “It is not easy work, and it often comes at a price that exceeds what local taxes can support. Any time that the state invests in the systems working on the ground directly with people, we’re delivering literal hope to those who need it most.” “I have been to visit service providers here in Delaware County and have seen firsthand the need for these services. The difference this funding makes is truly life-changing for survivors, women, children, their families and our community,” said Rep. Leanne Krueger, D-Delaware. “I will always fight for survivors.” “Congratulations to these hardworking groups that go to work for Read more
HARRISBURG, June 13 – Cambria County was awarded a $101,400 grant to spur its efforts to reduce opioid abuse deaths and support individuals in recovery, state Rep. Frank Burns announced today. Burns, D-Cambria, said the two-year grant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency will assist the Cambria County Drug Coalition in its overdose training efforts and also support the recovery community. “Our area has seen first-hand how devastating – and deadly – opioid abuse is in our communities,” Burns said. “This grant will provide funding for proven programs designed to prevent substance abuse and addiction, while also helping those in recovery.” Burns added the Cambria County Drug Coalition and nearly 160 community partners will use these funds to continue their collaborative work to reduce overdose deaths by implementing evidence-based addition reduction and prevention strategies countywide. Read more
WEST NORRITON, June 13 – State Rep. Joe Webster announced today that Laurel House was awarded grant funding by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. Laurel House, in Norristown, was awarded $366,226 for its domestic violence shelter and supportive services through the 2019-20 Victims of Crime Act funding program. “Laurel House does important work to support domestic violence survivors, and I’m pleased to see funding awarded to help them,” said Webster, D-Montgomery. More information about the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency is available here . Read more
ROYERSFORD, June 13 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi today announced that multiple agencies in Montgomery County were awarded state grants through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. “These grants are going to programs that provide valuable services in our community – supporting children and crime victims, domestic violence prevention and support, and more,” said Ciresi, D-Montgomery. “I’ve spoken directly with some of these agencies to learn more about their work and how we can connect residents to the resources they need. I appreciate their service to our communities, and I’m glad to see the state support their work with funding.” The following agencies were awarded 2019-20 Victims of Crime Act funding: Child Advocacy Center of Montgomery County - $89,324 Laurel House - $366,226 Mothers Against Drunk Driving – PA State Office - $225,592 Victim Services Center of Montgomery County - $696,725 Women’s Center of Montgomery County – $366,228 The following received State Violence and Delinquency Prevention Programs funding: Family Service of Montgomery County - $150,000 for Montgomery County CTC Positive Parenting Initiative The following received Children’s Advocacy Center Advisory Committee Endowment Act – Programs Assisting Victims funding: Child Advocacy Center of Montgomery County - $100,000 More information about the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime Read more
DOYLESTOWN, June 13 – State Rep. Wendy Ullman announced today that the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency awarded $2.6 million in state grants to the 143 rd legislative district. “I’m thrilled that these programs have received these grants because they serve some of the most vulnerable populations in our community,” Ullman said. “It’s critical that these programs have sufficient funds to perform the vital work they do. I will continue to look for more opportunities to support Bucks County.” The following grants were awarded: Criminal Justice Advisory Committee (CJAC)-Byrne Justice Assistance Grant: $10,000 for the Central Bucks Regional Police Department for a technology upgrade CJAC-2019 County Jail-Based Vivitrol Program : $500,000 to the Bucks County Commissioners for the Bucks County Jail-Based Recovery Programs. CJAC-Residential Substance Abuse & Treatment (RSAT) Funds: $125,000 to Bucks County Commissioners for the Bucks County Corrections HEART Program. Victims Services Advisory Committee (VSAC)-2019-2021 Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Funding (Competitive): $541,940 to A Woman’s Place to expand critical domestic violence services. VSAC-2019-2020 Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Funding (Non-Competitive): $510,506 to A Woman’s Place for VOCA 19-20 Non-Competitive FA extension 15 months. $850,846 to Network of Victim Assistance (NOVA) VOCA Project Extension Read more
NEWTOWN, June 13 – State Rep. Perry Warren announced today that the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) awarded $48,719 in state grants to Lower Makefield Township to upgrade its record management system. “This grant will help Lower Makefield upgrade its record management system, reduce costs and improve efficiency,” Warren said. “I will continue to look for opportunities to support municipal services in our communities.” Read more
ERIE, June 13 – State Rep. Pat Harkins, D-Erie, Democratic chairman of the House Labor and Industry Committee, issued the following statement in response to news that members of UE Locals 506 and 618 yesterday ratified a four-year labor agreement with their new employer, locomotive manufacturer Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corp., after 128 days of negotiations and a nine-day strike: “I’m exceedingly proud of the union for having the fortitude and determination to stand up and fight for its members. The negotiation process required the union to rewrite its entire contract from scratch, which was a long and difficult path with a lot riding on the outcome. Through it all, union leaders stood their ground to ensure Wabtec workers receive the benefits and protections they deserve. “I’m especially pleased that the new contract will provide workers with improved health and welfare benefits; five-year recall rights for laid-off workers; a commitment for new work equivalent to 100 full-time employees by the end of the contract; and a continued policy of volunteer, as opposed to mandatory, overtime, among other protections. It’s also a step in the right direction to see that new workers will be able to increase their wages over a 10-year period until they are on-par with the legacy employees. The negotiations proved that, in this day and age, labor and management can co-exist. “Most of all, I know members are relieved to return to Read more
ALLENTOWN, June 13 – State Rep. Peter Schweyer said people have more time to apply for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program because this week the deadline was extended until the end of the year. Read more
State Rep. Maureen Madden is pleased the state House of Representatives passed legislation that would require charter schools to share student records with one another within 10 days of receiving the request. Read more
HARRISBURG, June 12 – State Rep. Thomas Caltagirone, D-Berks, and Democratic chair of the House Urban Affairs Committee, today gave his thanks to the committee for reporting his bills out of committee with overwhelming support. Caltagirone’s two-bill package would accomplish two goals: House Bill 896 would expand the eligibility criteria for the Neighborhood Assistance Program to include homeless housing assistance projects located within land bank jurisdictions. House Bill 897 would expand the power of existing land banks to enter into partnerships with organizations in the private sector to create local solutions to address the lack of housing for the homeless population within their communities and would exempt all land bank transactions from both state and local realty transfer taxes. “I want to thank my colleagues for their support on this legislation,” Caltagirone said. “Between the two bills that I have sponsored, I truly believe that we can make a difference fighting against blight and homelessness across our state. Several other states have passed creative solutions to alleviating chronic poverty and the homelessness that follows. It is time Pennsylvania joins with them by working on substantive solutions tailored to our unique needs.” The Joint State Government Commission's 2016 study on homelessness concluded that one of the primary causes of homelessness is a lack of affordable housing. While some can take Read more
HARRISBURG, June 12 – Raising awareness about the essential role bees and other pollinators play in producing many of the commonwealth’s foods is the aim of a resolution the House adopted unanimously today, according to the author, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny. House Resolution 385, designating the week of June 17 to June 23, 2019, as “Pollinator Week” in Pennsylvania, also recognizes the critical contributions made by beekeepers and other groups that promote pollination. “It’s been said that bees are responsible for one out of every three bites of food we eat,” Matzie said. “That’s not surprising considering the vital role they play in maintaining natural plant communities and ensuring production of seeds in flowering plants. In fact, pollinators serve more than 180,000 different plant species and more than 1,200 crops, adding $217 billion to the global economy. “Unfortunately, honeybee colonies are declining as a result of pesticides, parasites and other factors, and their decreasing population could gravely impact our food supply. It’s my hope that this resolution will help raise awareness about the all-important role bees and other pollinators play so we can work toward better protecting them.” According to the Pollinator Partnership, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and promoting pollinators and their ecosystems, honeybees alone account for $1.2 billion to $5.4 Read more
HARRISBURG, June 12 – The Northeastern Intermediate Unit was recently awarded a $399,099 grant for use in the Scranton School District, according to state Rep. Kyle Mullins. Read more
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