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.
SCRANTON, June 9 – A staffer from state Rep. Marty Flynn's office will provide outreach assistance in South Abington Township on Wednesday, June 15. Read more
HARRISBURG, June 8 – State Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Luzerne, today applauded Gov. Tom Wolf for signing into law a bill (H.B. 1690) that will modernize and expand retail sales of wine in Pennsylvania and makes other steps to increase consumer convenience. Mullery, who voted for the bill, said the legislation will allow wine to be sold in many more locations, including grocery stores that already sell beer; give more flexibility to the Liquor Control Board to set prices and store hours across the state; and permit direct shipment of wine by licensed producers to consumers at their homes. “Consumers are finally getting what they have been requesting for years and that is greater convenience to purchase wine and spirits,” Mullery said. “While the legislation isn’t perfect, I am thankful that we were able to come up with a bipartisan compromise to move Pennsylvania forward.” Mullery said the legislation, which is expected to generate up to $150 million a year in new revenue for the commonwealth, will also protect nearly 5,000 family sustaining jobs. “By providing more convenience to consumers, the LCB has the power to set longer hours for Sunday sales, open stores on holidays and offer customer loyalty programs,” Mullery said. “The increase in sales in the Fine Wine and Spirits Stores alone will boost revenue and could potentially provide more jobs in the commonwealth. “I applaud the governor’s quick Read more
HARRISBURG, June 8 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, applauded Gov. Tom Wolf today for promptly signing legislation into law that will modernize and expand retail sales of wine and liquor in Pennsylvania while preserving jobs.
House Bill 1690, which passed the House yesterday with a vote of 157-31, will allow wine to be sold in many more locations, including grocery stores that already sell beer, give more flexibility to the Liquor Control Board to set prices and store hours across the state, and permit direct shipment of wine by licensed producers to consumers at their homes.
“Finally the people of Pennsylvania will be able to enjoy the same conveniences they would expect from any modern business when they are shopping for wine and liquor,” Matzie said. “While this bill is far from perfect, it is a good first step that gives the people what they really want: convenience, without sacrificing thousands of well-paying jobs.”
Matzie said the law, which is expected to generate up to $150 million a year in new revenue for the commonwealth, will also protect nearly 5,000 family-sustaining jobs.
“This legislation will give the LCB flexibility in terms of pricing and store hours, including the authority to open more of their stores on Sunday. These changes will bring our state store system into the 21st century and may even result in the creation of additional jobs,” Matzie said. “I applaud Governor Tom Wolf for his quick action on this bill, and I hope this moment Read more
PHILADELPHIA, June 3 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio’s 57th Town Hall, which was scheduled for June 17, has been cancelled and will be rescheduled to a date yet to be determined. For budget updates, go to www.pahouse.com/DeLissio and follow DeLissio on Facebook and Twitter. Stay tuned for further notification for her next Town Hall. Read more
HARRISBURG, June 8 – State Rep. Greg Vitali, D-Delaware/Montgomery, said that the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee passed a bill today that would cancel a portion of Chapter 78 regulations related to conventional drilling. The bill, S.B. 279 , is supported by Gov. Tom Wolf, even though the regulations were recently approved by the Pennsylvania Independent Regulatory Review Commission. Vitali, Democratic chairman of the committee, said he is very disappointed that Wolf has succumbed to the pressure of the drilling industry. “Cancelling any portion of these regulations would be very bad for Pennsylvania,” Vitali said. “I hope Governor Wolf reconsiders his support for this bill so we can protect public health and our environment.” The regulations are designed to make both conventional and unconventional drilling safer in Pennsylvania, but conventional drillers continue to fight attempts to regulate them. Conventional drilling is characterized by vertical wells into conventional rock formations. Unconventional drilling involves horizontal boring into tightly packed shale formations - most notably the Marcellus formation. Both use hydrofracking. About 12,500 conventional and 8,500 unconventional wells were drilled in Pennsylvania from 2008 to 2014. Vitali said the regulations should apply to conventional drillers because they are a significant part of the problem. According to the DEP: Conventional drillers were Read more
HARRISBURG, June 8 – In an effort to help promote and recognize the economic and social benefits of Pennsylvania’s amusement and water parks, state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, today voted to designate June 10 as Amusement Park Day in Pennsylvania. The House unanimously adopted the resolution (H.R. 877) to recognize Pennsylvania’s 18 family theme parks and water parks that entertain more than 12 million visitors annually and support more than 16,000 jobs, including Waldameer Park and Water World in Erie County. “From its beginnings as a popular family picnic area in the late 1800s to its thrill rides and giant wave pool today, Waldameer Park and Water World remains a treasure of the Erie community,” Bizzarro said. “Waldameer and all of Pennsylvania's theme parks are among the best vacation attractions for families and friends in the nation, and it is an honor to recognize their important contributions to our overall state economy and local communities.” “Our parks have something to offer everyone. Whether you are looking for a leisurely stroll with family, heart-pounding thrill rides or fun in the water, Pennsylvania parks provide outstanding adventure, fun and memories to last a lifetime. I encourage all Pennsylvanians to get out and have some fun at our parks this summer,” Bizzarro added. In addition to Waldameer, H.R. 877 honored the long-established Camelback Lodge and Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark, Conneaut Read more
HARRISBURG, June 8 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., today introduced legislation that would establish the Task Force on Juvenile Life Sentences. Dawkins said the task force would develop recommendations on how to best handle appeals and applications for post-conviction relief from the hundreds of people who were sentenced to mandatory life without parole when they were under 18. In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Miller v. Alabama that mandatory life without parole sentences for people who were under 18 at the time of the offense are unconstitutional. Then, on Jan. 25, 2016, the court ruled in Montgomery v. Louisiana that its decision in Miller must be applied retroactively. Dawkins says that this creates a greater challenge for Pennsylvania to comply with Miller and Montgomery than most states, as it is home to nearly 500 of the nation’s 2,000 "juvenile lifers." "My legislation calls for a thorough and comprehensive review of laws, court decisions, policies and procedures," Dawkins said. "This will ensure an efficient appeals and post-conviction relief process that will provide just and fair sentences that are in line with the Supreme Court's rulings in Miller v. Alabama and Montgomery v. Louisiana ." The task force would be comprised of 11 experts knowledgeable and experienced in issues relating to criminal appeals, post-conviction relief, and the appropriate sentencing of youth offenders. It would be Read more
Rep. Steve Samuelson reports that the state House has unanimously passed legislation that would expand prescription drug coverage to over 32,000 older Pennsylvanians by increasing income eligibility guidelines for the PACENET program. “It’s been more than a dozen years since the PACENET income limits have been increased,” said Samuelson, Democratic chair of the House Aging and Adult Services Committee and a leading sponsor of the legislation. “By updating the income limits, we can ensure access to affordable prescription drugs and help thousands of senior citizens maintain their quality of life.”
HARRISBURG, June 7 – State Rep. Tim Briggs, D-Montgomery, today applauded the passage of a bill that would modernize and expand retail sales of wine and liquor in Pennsylvania and take other steps to increase consumer convenience.
The legislation would allow wine to be sold in more places, including grocery stores that already sell beer; it would give more flexibility to the Liquor Control Board to set prices and store hours across the state in ways that are better for consumers; and it would permit direct shipment of wine by licensed producers to consumers at their homes.
"Consumers throughout Pennsylvania expect modern conveniences from retailers including our state stores," Briggs said. "This legislation will give the LCB flexibility in terms of pricing and store hours to provide that convenience consumers are looking for while preserving nearly 5,000 family-sustaining jobs."
Briggs said the legislation is expected to generate up to $150 million a year in new revenue for the commonwealth while protecting the overwhelming number of well-paying jobs in the community.
"While this bill is far from perfect, I think it is a strong step in the right direction," Briggs said. "Consumer convenience is a good thing but only if we can continue to ensure responsible oversight of alcohol sales. I believe this bill does just that and I look forward to continue working with my colleagues on this issue."
House Bill 1690 must be signed by the governor before becoming law.
HARRISBURG, June 7 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., introduced legislation that would abolish sentences of life without parole in Pennsylvania and extend parole eligibility to those already sentenced to life imprisonment. Specifically, Dawkins’s bill would permit a person sentenced to life imprisonment to be released on parole after spending at least 15 years in prison. It also would extend parole eligibility retroactively to those sentenced before the legislation's effective date. Dawkins said that all life sentences in Pennsylvania are imposed without the possibility of parole, which means that people sentenced to life imprisonment may not be considered for parole, no matter how much they have reformed themselves and no matter how unlikely they are to reoffend. "Those sentenced to life in Pennsylvania have no chance of release, even if their age or health make it extremely unlikely that they will ever reoffend," Dawkins said. "Not only is this an injustice to those who are incarcerated and have demonstrated their commitment to rehabilitation, it also is fiscally irresponsible to require taxpayers to foot the bill for sentences that are longer than necessary." Dawkins added that his bill would not grant a right to parole, and that the Board of Probation and Parole would continue to thoroughly examine parole requests. "The Board of Probation and Parole will continue to carefully consider requests for parole. This bill Read more
HARRISBURG, June 7 – State Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, today voted for a bill that would modernize and expand retail sales of wine in Pennsylvania and would take other steps to increase consumer convenience. House Bill 1690 as amended by the Senate would allow wine to be sold in many more locations, including grocery stores that already sell beer, give more flexibility to the Liquor Control Board to set prices and store hours across the state, and permit direct shipment of wine by licensed producers to consumers at their homes. Schweyer said the legislation is expected to generate up to $150 million a year in new revenue for the commonwealth while protecting the overwhelming number of well-paying jobs in the community. "It’s not a perfect bill, but it is a compromise that reflects many months of negotiations," Schweyer said. "I was unsure how I would vote because I am worried about the loss of some jobs, not to mention the potentially negative impact on some small businesses, most notably beer distributors. "In the end, I have been assured that this is only the first of a number of bills that would modernize alcohol sales in Pennsylvania. As a member of the House Liquor Control Committee, I will be actively involved in the process of writing those changes." House Bill 1690 must be signed by the governor before becoming law. Read more
SCRANTON, June 7 – State Rep. Marty Flynn joined his House colleagues Monday in unanimously passing legislation that would expand prescription drug coverage to over 32,000 older Pennsylvanians by increasing income eligibility guidelines for the PACENET program. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, June 7 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila/Delaware, announced that two recent events provided assistance to a number of local residents. On June 1, McClinton joined with the state's CareerLink and Turning the Tide employment centers for a pre-employment workshop. The workshop provided information to local residents as they search for jobs. While the workshop was valuable on its own, it was designed to serve as an introduction for a follow-up career fair which is being held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 11, at Christian Compassion CDC, 6148 Cedar Ave. " Many neighbors came out to prepare for Saturday's upcoming Career Fair," McClinton said. "CareerLink shared the 'Dos and Don'ts' of interviewing. After the presentation, the leadership team of Turning the Tide reviewed resumes and conducted practice interviews." On June 2, McClinton partnered with Malik Carter of Carter Realty Group and Jamilah Thompson of Common Ground Realtors LLC for a housing and credit workshop aimed at first-time homebuyers. More than 20 attendees learned the basics of financial management, such as improving their credit score, which can make purchasing a home easier and less expensive, as well as the potential for real estate investment in the 191 st Legislative District. "Everyone present was eager and excited to learn how to rebuild wealth through credit repair and home purchases," McClinton Read more
HARRISBURG, June 7 – The House of Representatives today passed a bill that would modernize and expand retail sales of wine in Pennsylvania and take other steps to increase consumer convenience. Democratic Leader Frank Dermody and Liquor Control Committee Democratic Chairman Paul Costa supported the move. “This legislation will allow wine to be sold in more places, including grocery stores that already sell beer, and it will give more flexibility to the Liquor Control Board to set prices and store hours across the state in ways that are better for consumers,” Dermody said. “In addition, it’s also going to increase revenue for the state which is a positive step toward beginning to close the long-term budget deficit,” he said. The bill (H.B. 1690) also would permit direct shipment of wine by licensed producers to consumers at their homes. “There are many components to this bill that reflect discussions in the House and Senate for the last five years. Little got passed in that time because the privatization issue was a constant sticking point,” Costa said. “With this legislation, we’re taking the initiative to modernize the system so it works better for consumers while protecting nearly 5,000 existing jobs of the men and women who work in wine and spirits shops in every part of the state,” he said. The bill must be signed by the governor before becoming law. Read more
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