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.
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
PHILADELPHIA, June 7 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila/Delaware, is hosting a career fair from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 11, at Christian Compassion CDC, 6148 Cedar Ave., Philadelphia. A variety of local employers will be looking for both full- and part-time employees. Among the employers expected to participate are city agencies and businesses in the health and education fields and more. "This is a great opportunity to meet directly with personnel staff from major local employers," McClinton said. "A number of these agencies will be doing preliminary interviews at the fair so I encourage anyone looking for a good job to dress appropriately, bring copies of their resume and meet with the people in charge of hiring." In addition to meeting with various employers, job candidates also will have the opportunity to receive a free, professional headshot. In addition to the local employers, McClinton's staff will be available to assist with any issues regarding state agencies, such as PennDOT. For more information, contact McClinton's staff at (215) 748-6712 . ### Read more
HARRISBURG, June 7 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, said he was pleased today to learn that Shell Oil has officially announced that they will build a ethane cracker plant in Potter Township, Beaver County. Read more
HARRISBURG, June 7 – State Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Luzerne, voted for legislation that would expand prescription drug coverage to more than 32,000 older Pennsylvanians by increasing income eligibility guidelines for the PACENET program. The House voted unanimously in support of H.B. 2069, which would increase the annual maximum income limits in the state’s Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for the Elderly Needs Enhancement Tier from $23,500 to $31,000 for a single person and from $31,500 to $41,000 for a married couple. "Many of our seniors are struggling to get the things they need and something as vital as getting prescription medications shouldn’t break the bank," Pashinski said. "I believe we must do everything we can to assure that our seniors get the services and assistance they need and bumping up the income limits for the program would be a huge benefit." The last time income limits were adjusted was in 2003, but laws, known as COLA moratoriums, have been enacted periodically since 2008 to help seniors keep their prescription drug coverage. The laws keep Social Security cost-of-living adjustments from being counted as income and prevent many seniors from being pushed out of the program. The current moratorium was enacted in 2015 and is due to expire at the end of 2017. The income limits for the first tier of prescription drug assistance, PACE, remain at $14,500 or less for individuals and $17,700 or less for a Read more
HARRISBURG, June 6 – State Rep. Joseph Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, demonstrated his commitment to Pennsylvania's seniors today by voting for a bill that would expand the state's PACENET program, providing 32,000 more senior citizens with access to affordable prescription medications. The bill would increase the maximum income limits for the state's Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for the Elderly Needs Enhancement Tier from $23,500 to $31,000 for a single person and from $31,500 to $41,000 for a married couple. "Although I've voted for laws that made improvements to the state's prescription programs over the years, the most effective way to help seniors is by increasing eligibility requirements, and that's what this bill does," Petrarca said. "It's been more than a dozen years since the program's income limits have been increased, so this bill is well overdue. "I'm optimistic the Senate will follow the House's lead so we can send this bill to the governor for his signature." The last time income limits were adjusted was in 2003, however laws, known as COLA moratoriums, have been enacted periodically since 2008 to help seniors keep their prescription drug coverage. The laws keep Social Security cost-of-living adjustments from being counted as income and prevent many seniors from being pushed out of the program. The current moratorium was enacted in 2015 and is due to expire at the Read more
PHILADELPHIA, June 6 – State Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., announced today that the application deadline for the popular Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program has been extended to the end of the year.
"This extension allows everyone who is eligible the opportunity to apply for the rebate program," Neilson said. "I encourage residents to stop by my district office to find out if they qualify and for assistance with applying to take advantage of this rebate on 2015 property taxes or rent."
The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program is available to eligible Pennsylvanians 65 or older; widows and widowers 50 or older; and people with disabilities 18 or older. Homeowners are limited to a $35,000 maximum annual income, while renters' income may be no more than $15,000, although applicants may exclude half of their Social Security income.
The maximum standard rebate is $650. The program is supported by the Pennsylvania Lottery and from slots gaming revenue.
Applications are available online through the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue at www.revenue.state.pa.us, or by calling 1-888-222-9190. Rebates will be distributed starting July 1.
Since the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program’s 1971 inception, older and disabled adults have received more than $5.9 billion in property tax and rent relief.
Neilson said constituents can get help filling out the application by visiting his district office, located at 16 Old Ashton Road.
While at the office, eligible residents can also apply for a SEPTA Read more
HARRISBURG, June 6 – State Rep. Greg Vitali, along with a coalition of interest groups, today held a news conference to urge Gov. Tom Wolf to support proposed natural gas drilling regulations (Chapter 78 surface regulations), and to express disapproval of the forced resignation of DEP Secretary John Quigley. Vitali, the Democratic chairman of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, said that environmental supporters believe the regulations are on the chopping block, but so far Gov. Wolf has refused to commit to supporting them. He added that the forces that are trying to stop the regulations are the same forces that led to Quigley’s forced resignation. "Secretary Quigley was forced to resign because he was too effective," Vitali said. "He helped usher the regulations through the process, which upset many people in the drilling industry." Vitali questioned what Quigley’s resignation means for other important environmental policies that he had been working on, including the state’s Clean Power Plan, methane regulations, climate change, the Chesapeake Bay strategy and additional funding for the Department of Environmental Protection. Myron Arnowitt, state director of Clean Water Action, said his organization urges the legislature and the governor to support the drilling regulations. He said that after 30,000 public comments, 12 public hearings and approval by the Independent Regulatory Review Commission, Read more
HARRISBURG, June 6 – State Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Luzerne, today said that the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program deadline to apply for a rebate on property taxes or rent paid in 2015 has been extended from June 30 to Dec. 31. Pennsylvanians 65 or older, widows and widowers 50 or older, and people with disabilities 18 or older qualify for the benefits under the program. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters. Half of Social Security income and any COLAs are excluded. The maximum standard rebate is $650, but supplemental rebates can boost the amount up to $975. "Rebates for this program still will be distributed beginning on July 1," Mullery said. "My staff can help residents find out if they are eligible and assist with filling out the necessary paperwork. “I urge residents to get their applications in as soon as possible so they can receive their rebates quickly.” Mullery said constituents can get help by visiting his office between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Friday at 156 S. Market St., Nanticoke or call 570-740-7031. Residents can also stop by his Freeland office between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Friday at 532 Centre St. The number is 570-636-3500. The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program is one of five programs supported by the Pennsylvania Lottery. Since the program’s Read more
HARRISBURG, June 6 – At a Capitol news conference today, state Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, announced he is introducing House Bill 2114, known as the Pennsylvania Water Resource Act. The Pennsylvania Water Resource Act would enact a water resource fee on 4.4 billion gallons of daily water withdrawals in Pennsylvania that has the potential to generate $245 million annually, based on current usage rates. The bill would exempt the 1.5 billion gallons of daily water withdrawals for agricultural and municipal water usages. “The Pennsylvania Constitution makes it clear that Pennsylvania’s public natural resources belong to the people of the commonwealth. This bill ensures that entities that are currently using our water for free would pay a nominal fee that will be used to fund water-related programs and projects while freeing up money for the General Assembly to close structural deficits in the state budget,” Sturla said. Water withdrawn from commonwealth waterways in excess of 10,000 gallons a day is already required to be reported to the Department of Environmental Protection. House Bill 2114 would result in a charge of 1/100th of a cent per gallon if water is withdrawn for use and eventually returned to the source. Water withdrawn and not returned beyond 10,000 gallons a day would be charged 1/10th of a cent per gallon. Revenue generated from H.B. 2144 would be used to fund water-related programs and general governmental operations in the Read more
AMBRIDGE, June 6 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, today said that the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program deadline to apply for a rebate on property taxes or rent paid in 2015 has been extended from June 30 to Dec. 31.
Pennsylvanians 65 or older, widows and widowers 50 or older, and people with disabilities 18 or older qualify for the benefits under the program. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters. Half of Social Security income and any COLAs are excluded.
"Rebates for this program still will be distributed beginning on July 1," Matzie said. "I encourage residents to find out if they’re eligible as soon as possible so they don’t miss out on these helpful rebates."
Constituents can also obtain applications and get help filling them out by visiting Matzie’s district office at 1240 Merchant St., Ambridge or by calling 724-266-7774.
The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program is one of five programs supported by the Pennsylvania Lottery. Since the program’s 1971 inception, older and disabled adults have received more than $5.6 billion in property tax and rent relief. The expanded portion of the rebate program is paid for with revenue from slots gaming.
For more information about the program, go to www.revenue.pa.gov.
AMBRIDGE, June 3 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, today announced that the Beaver County Historical Research and Landmarks Foundation and various other projects across the state have been awarded grants from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.
The Beaver County Historical Research and Landmarks Foundation has been awarded a PHMC Cultural and Historical Support grant of $4,000. In total, 137 organization from 56 counties applied for and are receiving $1,997,605 worth of Cultural and Historical Support grants. Grant recipients were required to meet organizational requirements to be eligible for the grants, which are based on a calculation that uses the recipient’s operating budget.
PHMC also awarded 30 organizations today with $1,233,114 in Keystone Historic Preservation grants. The program is used to fund the preservation, rehabilitation and restoration of historic sites that are eligible for or listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
“Pennsylvania’s legacy is rooted in important historical moments and breathtaking cultural offerings, and preserving the institutions that protect and promote these historic sites is important to both our state’s economy and its heritage,” Matzie said. “These funds will allow future generations to experience our state’s rich history.”
In total, PHMC awarded $3.23 million today to historical projects across the state through both grant programs.
Matzie has served on the Pennsylvania Historical and Mu Read more
Rep. Pam Snyder's House Bill 2123 would provide fairer reimbursements to localities maintaining roadways once part of the state highway system. The reimbursement rate, which hasn’t been increased in 10 years, would increase the maintenance payment from the state Transportation Department to $6,000 a mile from $4,000. Read more
HARRISBURG, June 2 – State Rep. Greg Vitali, along with a coalition of legislators and environmental and other interest groups, will hold a Capitol news conference Monday to urge Governor Wolf to support proposed natural gas drilling regulations (Chapter 78 surface regulations), and to express disapproval of the forced resignation of DEP Secretary John Quigley. These drilling regulations have been strongly opposed by the conventional drilling industry and Quigley was a strong advocate for the regulations. The news conference will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, June 6 in the Capitol Media Center. Media coverage is invited. The news conference will be streamed live at www.pahouse.com/live . The stream will start shortly before the news conference begins. ### Read more
EBENSBURG, June 2 – Municipalities in the 72 nd Legislative District are reminded by state Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, to apply by June 30 to be eligible for 2016 Automated Red Light Enforcement grants for traffic safety projects. Burns said fines from red light violations in Philadelphia supply the funding, which an eight-member committee then distributes statewide for relatively low-cost projects that improve safety, enhance mobility and reduce congestion. “These can be improvements to traffic signals, roadways at intersections with traffic signals, or school zones – or such things as guiderails or roadside safety enhancements,” Burns said. “I want to make sure our municipalities are aware of this grant opportunity, and offer them application assistance by contacting any of my constituent service offices.” However, it’s a competitive selection process, with Burns noting $5.5 million was awarded to 18 municipalities for 23 projects in the last round of funding, which garnered 194 applications seeking $41.5 million. More information is available by visiting the traffic signals page under “Travel In PA” at www.penndot.gov , or emailing RA-PDSIGNALFUNDING@pa.gov Online applications can be filled out at: https://www.dot34.state.pa.us/ARLE/Module/PADOT/BOMO_Default.aspx Read more
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