PHILADELPHIA, April 25 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, recently hosted local families for a visit to the Philadelphia Zoo. Built on last year’s success, McClinton extended an invitation to the residents of the 191 st Legislative District again for this year. Families were able to receive information on a number of Pennsylvania Game Commission issues involving wildlife, conservation and wetlands. “I want to thank the Philadelphia Zoo, Principal Gaddy of W.C. Bryant Promise Academy Achievability and Bartram Village Resident Council for helping to make this visit possible,” McClinton said. “We want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to see what their local zoo has to offer in education and attractions,” she said. "It’s also a great chance to enjoy a family friendly outlet within the community.” The Philadelphia Zoo is home to nearly 1,300 animals, both rare and endangered. Seeing more than 1.2 million visitors per year, its mission is to leverage its platform as “America’s First Zoo” and serve as a model for children’s zoos nationwide. The 191 st District includes parts of west and southwest Philadelphia, as well as the boroughs of Darby and Yeadon. Read more
HARRISBURG, April 25 – Members of the House PA SAFE Caucus today expressed opposition to firearm pre-emption legislation that would make it easier for gun groups such as the NRA to sue Pennsylvania municipalities at taxpayers’ expense. House Bill 671 would permit individuals to sue municipalities they feel have “adversely affected” their firearm rights. The bill would put municipalities on the hook for legal expenses if the individual is successful, but would not require those taking legal action to cover expenses if the municipality prevails. The bill would also extend to outside organizations those individuals are members of, meaning organizations like the NRA could file suits. “This legislation would dangerously inflate Pennsylvania’s firearm pre-emption laws, giving extraordinary power to groups that could file frivolous lawsuits for their own gain. And our taxpayers would be the ones stuck with the bill, no matter the outcome,” said state Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Montgomery , who co-chairs the PA SAFE Caucus. “We shouldn’t open our municipalities up to this kind of threat, nor should we take control from municipalities to provide for the safety of their residents.” Members of the SAFE Caucus said there are better ways for the legislature to be looking at the issue of firearms. “Instead of going out of our way to make it easier for the gun lobbyists to sue local municipalities that seek to Read more
HARRISBURG, April 25 – State Rep. Mary Jo Daley, D-Montgomery, received the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network’s “Distinguished Advocacy Award” today for her work to prevent the repeal of the electronic cigarette tax last year. The award was presented during ACS CAN’s Day at the Capitol event. “It is a privilege to receive an advocacy award from such a distinguished organization,” Daley said. “ACS CAN is an important partner in the push for smart policies to treat and prevent cancer. I thank them for recognizing the importance of minimizing the use of electronic cigarettes by ensuring they are taxed the same as other tobacco products.” ACS CAN’s “Distinguished Advocacy Award” is presented to select officials who have demonstrated leadership and commitment in the area of cancer-related public policy advocacy. “It was an honor to award Representative Mary Jo Daley the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network’s Distinguished Advocacy Award,” said Diane Phillips, director of government relations for ACS CAN in Pennsylvania. “Representative Daley was awarded for her work last year to prevent the rollback of the recently implemented electronic cigarette tax.” Because of Daley’s leadership, ACS CAN said the effort to roll back the tax did not make it through the House before the end of last session and it remains difficult for this issue to gain Read more
Network of Care demonstrations provide unique attraction ERIE, April 25 – Offering a unique anchor attraction, state Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, D-Erie, will host his 2017 Veterans Expo from 9 a.m. to noon on Thursday, April 27 at Rainbow Gardens, 220 Waldameer Park Road . A key feature of this year’s event will be free demonstrations of the Network of Care , a highly interactive web portal created to assist veterans, service members and military families. The portal is funded by the state Department of Human Services. Attendees at Bizzarro’s inaugural and free veterans’ event also can avail themselves of dozens of vendor resources, including Veterans Administration claims reporting, legal and financial programs, and state services and programs. Bizzarro and his staff will be on hand to answer questions, and light refreshments will be served. Door prizes will also be awarded. Contact Bizzarro’s office at (814) 835-2880 for more information. Media coverage is invited. Read more
Rep. Ryan Bizzarro was honored with the Humane Legislator of the Year award by The Humane Society of the United States. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, April 24 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila, is hosting a Senior Chat ‘N’ Chew from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 3 at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, located at 5732 Race St., Philadelphia. “The event is free and will provide assorted medical screenings at no charge, as well as access to information from local and state agencies that will help our seniors remain healthy and safe within their communities,” Cephas said. “Plus, the interaction enables me and my staff to better serve constituents.” The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has the third highest percentage of elderly residents in the United States with nearly 2 million residents over the age of 65. “The fastest growing segment of Pennsylvania's elderly population are those who are 85 years of age or older. Given these statistics, I will provide an update on the policies and budget recommendations that will have an impact on the everyday lives of our loved ones,” she added. Cephas and her staff will provide seniors help with programs and services, such as applying for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program and the SEPTA Key ID. Registration is not required. Residents with questions may call Cephas’ office at (215) 879-6625. ### Read more
PHILADELPHIA, April 24 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila., is hosting two free events in the Cobbs Creek community this May. A shredding event will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 6 at the Cobbs Creek Shopping Center; 5740 Baltimore Ave. Constituents are encouraged to bring unneeded paper items to be shredded for disposal, including old bills, health records and financial items, as well as any other paper items of a personal nature. “With the identity theft rate increasing every year, it’s our responsibility to educate people about this issue,” McClinton said. “Improper disposal of old documents is a leading cause of identity theft and we’re bringing the constituents the best defense against becoming a victim of this of crime by organizing shredding events.” McClinton is also inviting citizens to join her from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for 2017’s Community Day on Saturday, May 20 at Add B. Anderson Elementary School, 1034 S. 60th St. According to McClinton, the event will feature a parade for peace, free health screenings, health and wellness information, children’s activities and main stage entertainment. “This is a wonderful opportunity for me meet with constituents face to face and outline for them the services they may not know they can utilize through my district office,” she said. “It also gives me a chance to discuss with them one-on-one the issues and problems that concern Read more
HARRISBURG, April 24 – The Bucks County Association of Township Officials pledged its support recently for H.B. 355, sponsored by state Rep. Tina Davis, D-Bucks, which would establish a certification process for recovery residences and treatment protocols for the administration of Narcan. “The Bucks County Association of Township Officials pledges its support to House Bill 355,” Dan Rattigan, BCATO president said in a letter to Davis. “This bill will help to provide recovery facilities that will provide a higher success rate of achieving long-lasting sobriety …” Davis’ legislation would establish the State Board of Recovery Residences within the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs. The board would develop and administer a voluntary certification program and code of ethics for recovery residences. A residence applying for certification would be inspected and monitored by the board. The bill also would require recovery homes to implement training and treatment protocols for the administration of Narcan. “The townships BCATO works to support on a daily basis see firsthand how unsafe, unhealthy and non-conducive to sobriety some of these recovery homes can be,” Davis said. “I am honored and encouraged to have BCATO’s support for my bill to strengthen the recovery system while our community addresses the ongoing heroin and opioid addiction epidemic.” Created in 1907, BCATO’s mission Read more
Rep. Rob Matzie reports that Norfolk Southern has been awarded a $20 million grant to rehabilitate 14 bridges and lower tracks to accommodate double stack rail cars. Read more
Rep. Adam Ravenstahl reports that a $1 million state grant has been awarded to the Allegheny County Valley Railroad Co. to rehabilitate the 36th Street Trestle to eliminate weight restrictions and increase capacity. Read more
PATTON, April 24 – The Volunteer Recruitment Service Scholarship Act proposed by state Rep. Frank Burns to help boost sagging membership in the unpaid emergency services field took center stage during a noon news conference yesterday at the Cambria County Fire School. Before suiting up to engage in scheduled afternoon training sessions with firefighters, Burns, D-Cambria, outlined the merits of his H.B. 48 , which would provide state scholarships to fire company, ambulance service and rescue squad volunteers. Burns said he drafted the bill with a two-fold mission: as a means to allow emergency services to attract and retain volunteers, and as a way to help young people defray the cost of higher education while introducing them to important community service. “We are all aware of the serious manpower shortages facing, in particular, the volunteer fire departments that have served our communities so well for so long,” Burns said. “The situation is reaching crisis proportions, and I believe that offering Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency scholarships to volunteers is one way to think outside the box to solve this problem.” Under Burns’ bill, recipients would be required to be a member of a volunteer organization for at least six months and maintain active volunteer status, have graduated from high school or have received a high school equivalency diploma. They would also have to enroll in a degree-producing curriculum Read more
CHESTER, April 24 – State Rep. Brian Kirkland, D-Delaware, will host a free Career Counselling and Resume Building Workshop from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, May 5 at the Chester Salvation Army, 151 W. 15 th St., 19013. The workshop will provide attendees assistance with drafting a resume, interviewing techniques and career counseling. One-on-one support will be provided with assistance from the Delaware County Phi Beta Sigma Chapter and Pennsylvania CareerLink. “Helping constituents achieve gainful employment is one of my top priorities,” Kirkland said. “I am excited to be able to help ensure people have the resources and skills they need to find work and be a part of building a thriving local economy.” To attend, guests must bring a copy of a current resume and RSVP by calling Kirkland’s office at 610-876-6420 or emailing Malcolm Yates at email@example.com . Read more
NANTICOKE, April 24 – State Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Newport Township, announced he will host a free shredding event from 10 a.m. to noon May 6 in the parking lot of Greater Nanticoke Area High School off of Kosciuszko Street. Read more
Rep. Dan Deasy reports that a Port Authority of Allegheny County Ticket Vending Machine is now available outside of his office at 436 S. Main St. in the West End. Read more
HARRISBURG, April 21 – State Rep. Mike Hanna, D-Clinton/Centre, announced today that the Pennsylvania Institute for Conservation Education in Clinton County and ClearWater Conservancy in Centre County both received Environmental Education Grants through the Department of Environmental Protection. Hanna said a total of 79 projects statewide are receiving more than $1.18 million in Environmental Education Grant funding. Out of that statewide award, the PA Institute for Conservation Education Wildlife Leadership Academy received $41,292 and the ClearWater Conservancy Central PA Water Project received $49,987. "These critical education grants better our environment by promoting a sense of connection through community involvement,” said Hanna. “By providing funding for projects that enhance sustainable living, air quality, energy and promote the connection of children with nature, to name a few, DEP has proven to be a leader in environmental education.” According to DEP, projects addressing water education and climate change were prioritized. In addition, for the first time, grants were provided to applicants that illustrated a desire to educate, empower and enable disadvantaged communities to champion environmental and public health issues. Further developments in this grant program included 26 general grants of up to $50,000 for projects with a broad or statewide focus and 53 traditional mini-grants of up to Read more
HARRISBURG, April 21 – State Rep. Carol Hill-Evans has introduced legislation that would offer additional protections for students and taxpayers in the event of a charter school’s closure. Under House Bill 1249 , a charter school that has been notified that its charter will not be renewed or will be terminated may not continue to enroll new students unless the charter school has filed an appeal. If the school’s appeal is denied by the state Charter School Appeal Board, the charter school would have to immediately stop enrolling new students. “In York, we know how difficult the closure of a charter school can be. We shouldn’t allow charter schools to continue enrolling students if they know they are going to close,” Hill-Evans said. “It’s unfair to those children and unnecessarily disruptive to their education.” Making this change would also alleviate concerns about charter schools that are anticipating closure enrolling more students in order to artificially inflate any payments based on enrollment when a school closes its doors. The bill only applies if a charter school hasn’t appealed a non-renewal or termination decision or if that appeal has been denied, Hill-Evans said. H.B. 1249 has been referred to the House Education Committee. Hill-Evans initially offered the bill as an amendment to the Republican-backed House Bill 97 – legislation she said that falls short of providing much-needed reform Read more
PHILADELPHIA, April 20 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., will hold a free shredding event for residents of the 194 th Legislative District from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, April 29, in the lot behind the Magisterial District Court, 925 Montgomery Ave. in Narberth (it is located next to Staples). Availability is on a first-come basis. Shredding will take place at the designated time or until the truck is full. There is a limit of four bags per household (standard storage/banker boxes or grocery bags). "Safe disposal of documents with personal information is one of the best defenses against identity theft,” said DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila. "Shredding also is a great way to dispose of unneeded paper in an environmentally friendly way, and I am happy to offer this service to my constituents." DeLissio said common types of unwanted items that should be shredded include credit card statements, credit card applications, bank statements, canceled checks, income tax information, insurance records and retirement or pension fund information. This is a rain or shine event, and all shredding will be done on site. Shredded paper will be recycled. For more information, constituents can call DeLissio’s office at 215-482-8726. Read more
Rep. Joseph Petrarca announced that Saint Vincent College has been awarded a $50,000 state environmental education grant to advance its Screen to Stream program exploring local watersheds. Read more
HARRISBURG, April 20 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio (D-Montgomery/Phila.) held meaningful conversations on legislative issues with constituents during her recent “Policy Pow Wow,” held in her district office. The Pow-Wow format allows for a deep and balanced look at policy issues. About 20 people gathered April 12 for discussion on two subjects: Senate Bill 10, known as the Municipal Sanctuary and Federal Enforcement (SAFE) Act, which is related to the issue of sanctuary cities in Pennsylvania. Senate Bill 3, the Pain Capable/Dismemberment Legislation, one of the strictest abortion-ban laws in the country. “I was happy to hear from constituents interested in both of the subjects,” DeLissio said. “Those who attended were genuinely interested in understanding all points of view and understanding the process that has gotten the legislation to this point. My primary concern about the process is that no hearings were held in the Senate and no hearings are scheduled in the House on either of these bills. I’m glad I could host this event to help my constituents better understand what is happening in Harrisburg.” Several attendees said they appreciated the opportunity to listen, share and learn. “Conversation on these two topics was informative, lively and very timely,” said John Gray of Roxborough. Sara Stroman, from Manayunk, said, “I think these policy Pow Wows are fantastic and that Read more
HARRISBURG, April 20 – State Reps. Mary Jo Daley and Stephen McCarter, both D-Montgomery, will host an environmental town hall meeting from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, April 27 at the Ambler Borough Hall, 131 Rosemary Ave., in Ambler. Both Daley and McCarter are members of the bipartisan, bicameral Climate Caucus, which was formed to provide a free-flowing and informal discussion forum for legislators to address all manner of issues relating to climate change in Pennsylvania -- jobs, industry, manufacturing, clean air, clean water, and specific regional impacts among them. Both said the need for detailed, up-to-the-minute information and dialogue surrounding climate change is now greater than ever. “I am delighted to co-host a Town Hall in Ambler Borough on the environment along with my colleague, Representative Steve McCarter,” Daley said. “We are also pleased that Matt Stepp of PennFuture will join us for a lively discussion on important issues that affect all of us.” The evening will include a discussion about the following topics: Impact of climate change; Environmental protections and regulations nationwide and within Pennsylvania; Impact of budget and regulatory changes on clean air and water; What citizens can do to help protect the environment in Pennsylvania Storm water management; and Methane; “Our climate is changing. 2016 was the nation’s second-warmest year on record and the Read more
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