State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, will participate in the Humane Society of the United States and Erie Leadership “Advocate We Love’ award to Erie animal advocate Jessica Carlson. The event is 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at the ANNA Shelter, 1555 E. 10 th St., Erie, Pa. The Humane Society of the United States’ Puppy Mills Campaign will present one of their 14 annual ‘Advocates We Love Awards’ to Carlson for her work with numerous local advocacy groups including the Erie Puppy Mill Awareness Group. Bizzarro will present information on legislation, H.B. 13, formerly H.B. 869, which includes animal protection, known as “Libre’s Law.” Additional presenters include: Ruth Thompson, Founder and Director at the Anna Shelter; Bob Merski, Erie city councilman; Jay Breneman, chairman, Erie city council; Kristen Tullo, Pennsylvania State Director at the HSUS; and Jessica Carlson, award recipient. Media coverage is invited. Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 13 – State Rep. Thomas Caltagirone, D-Berks, introduced a legislative package to bring the fight against pediatric cancer to the foreground in Pennsylvania. Caltagirone said that he will build from the momentum gained last session when the House unanimously passed the first part of the package, a bill that would establish a check-off box on Pennsylvania's state income tax form where a taxpayer could voluntarily contribute no less than $5 for pediatric cancer research within the commonwealth. This session, that bill is H.B. 46 . The other bills in the package are: H.B. 404 , which would establish a Pediatric Cancer Research registration license plate that would be made available through the state Department of Transportation; H.B. 407 , which would allow Pennsylvanians to donate to pediatric cancer research on their vehicle registrations and driver’s license renewals; and H.B. 408 , which would establish tax credits for businesses that are researching and pursuing a cure for pediatric cancers. The bills to establish avenues for donations would go toward Pennsylvania leaders in the fight against childhood cancers, including: The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Cancer Center; Penn State Hershey Pediatric Hematology/Oncology; Abramson Cancer Center, the University of Pennsylvania; and the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. House Bill 408 would allocate $10 million in tax credits per year over the Read more
A representative from the American Legion Service Office Outreach program will be in Flynn's office from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 22. Read more
I had the pleasure of speaking with Junior Girl Scout Troop #41889 at Hillsdale Elementary School for their "Inside Government" badge. It's an honor be able to help these young girls further their understanding of government and how it works! Read more
http://citizensvoice.com/opinion/thwart-animal-abuse-by-supporting-house-bill-13-1.2153410 Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 10 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., will host a telephone town hall at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27. “Constituents’ phones will ring at 7 p.m., and they can have their voice heard right from the comfort of their own home,” DeLissio said. “Just answer the call and listen in!” Constituents can listen to DeLissio live on the phone, ask questions and participate in polling questions. Focus of the discussion will be Gov. Tom Wolf’s recently proposed budget for 2017-18. The teletown hall is her seventh by phone and her 61st town hall overall since she began to serve as state representative in 2011. “In teletown halls past, we have had upwards of 500 constituents on the line. It is a convenient and innovative way to communicate, and I hope as many people as possible take advantage of being on the call. “To assure we have your number in the database, don’t hesitate to call the office ahead of time to confirm your number.” DeLissio’s district office phone number is 215-482-8726. “I am always energized by speaking with constituents,” DeLissio said. “I look forward to hearing from those who participate. What happens in Harrisburg affects our daily lives, and constituent input and feedback is important.” Read more
Schuylkill County area lawmakers Representatives Neal Goodman (D-Schuylkill), Jerry Knowles (R-Berks/Carbon/Schuylkill), Mike Tobash (R-Schuylkill/Dauphin) and Senator David G. Argall (R-Schuylkill/Berks) thanked Gov. Tom Wolf and Department of Corrections Secretary John Wetzel for their decision to keep SCI Frackville open and for listening to their case to keep the facility running. Read more
The natural-gas industry in Pennsylvania spent more than $7 million last year in lobbying expenses and more than $62 million in lobbing expenses since 2007 to influence the Pennsylvania Legislature, according to state Rep. Greg Vitali’s recent report: “Marcellus Money and the Pennsylvania Legislature.” Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 10 – State Rep. W. Curtis Thomas, D-Phila., is looking to his colleagues to support more accountability and transparency for beneficiaries of the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program. “There is public money filtering into our schools, so there should be more transparency,” Thomas said. “When it comes to the education of our young people in this commonwealth, whether it’s a public school or a charter, they are being treated differently and we shouldn’t allow that to happen.” Thomas said the reporting requirements on funding received by the schools should be the same across Pennsylvania. “In a time of budget deficits, accountability is needed on every dollar the state spends. This should be particularly true for education dollars, yet recipients of the OSTC are free from reporting requirements that every other school has to abide by,” Thomas said. “While the majority of schools would have to report a physical alternation between students to the police, there is nothing to stop these beneficiaries from sweeping the incident under the rug. While almost every school must accept children with intellectual disabilities, these schools are free to reject them at their own discretion. This disparity, especially when it’s funded with public dollars, cannot stand.” The Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program provides tax credits to eligible businesses contributing to an opportunity Read more
EBENSBURG, Feb. 10 – A 2017-18 state budget proposal that achieves $2 billion in cuts and savings is conceptually preferable to one that relies on sales and income tax hikes, said state Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, who has consistently opposed new taxes. Burns said he believes that Gov. Tom Wolf, who introduced his latest budget this week, has grasped a well-documented reality in the 72 nd Legislative District that also applies to wide swaths of Pennsylvania. “The working people of my district have made it known time and again – to me and anyone else who will listen – that they don’t want higher taxes, period,” Burns said. “The reality is, they are working and they are tired of carrying people who aren’t working. That’s why I refused to support the governor’s prior attempts to raise the sales and income taxes.” Two years ago, Burns was one of 13 House Democrats who broke party ranks to end a nine-month state budget impasse between Democrat Wolf and Republicans who control the state House and state Senate. That dispute centered on Wolf’s desire to raise the sales or income tax, or a combination thereof, to close a $1.2 billion shortfall. “The irony is, if the governor had promoted this $2 billion in cost savings and spending cuts two years ago, instead of holding out for higher taxes, we could have avoided a big fiasco – and the state would have had an $800 million surplus each of Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 10 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., announced she will hold mobile offices hours for her constituents throughout the 192nd Legislative District. “I made a commitment to bring state services directly to the doors of my constituents in their neighborhoods,” Cephas said. Cephas said her staff will be available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. the first, third and last Thursday of every month at the following locations: Feb. 16 Overbrook Library, 7422 Haverford Ave., 19151 Feb. 23 Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. District Office, 5398 Wynnefield Ave., 19131 March 2 Wynnefield Library, 5325 Overbrook Ave., 19131 March 16 Haddington Library, 448 N. 65th St., 19151 March 23 Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. District Office, 5398 Wynnefield Ave., 19131 April 6 Overbrook Library, 7422 Haverford Ave., 19151 April 20 Haverford Library, 5543 Haverford Ave., 19139 April 27 Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. District Office, new location TBD May 4 Haddington Library, 448 N. 65th St., 19151 May 18 Wynnefield Library, 5325 Overbrook Ave., 19131 May 25 Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. District Office, new location TBD June 1 Haverford Library, 5543 Haverford Ave., 19139 June 15 Overbrook Library, 7422 Haverford Ave., 19151 June 22 Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. District Office, new location, TBD Cephas noted her staff will offer the services that are also offered at her main office, such as assistance with the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program, Read more
State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., said today she is reminding eligible residents in her district that 2016 Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program applications are now available in her district office. "This is an important program available for citizens across the Commonwealth, as it provides rebates to both those who own their homes and those who rent," DeLissio said. "Structured to provide relief to seniors and those who are disabled, this initiative offers financial aid to those who may otherwise be struggling.” The application deadline for eligible residents to receive a rebate on their paid 2016 property taxes or rent is June 30. “The free application materials are available at my district office, and my staff is available to offer assistance in their completion and submission to the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue,” DeLissio said. The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians 65 or older, widows and widowers 50 or older and people with disabilities 18 or older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters . Half of Social Security income is excluded ; and cost-of-living adjustments cannot be the basis to solely disqualify an applicant. The maximum standard rebate is $650, but supplemental rebates for certain qualifying homeowners can boost rebates to $975. The Revenue Department automatically calculates the supplemental rebates for Read more
Commenting on the budget address, state Rep. Pam DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., believes Gov. Tom Wolf’s approach to the 2017-18 state budget is responsible and different. Read more
http://www.meadvilletribune.com/opinion/columns/column-help-thwart-animal-abuse-by-supporting-hb/article_ffbcda8e-ed4a-11e6-a107-4310700ec828.html Read more
State Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky, D-Delaware, announced today that 16 local fire and ambulance companies in the 161st Legislative District are set to receive $214,974 in state grants. Read more
Rep. Mike Hanna reports that volunteer fire departments and emergency medical service companies in the 76th Legislative District have been awarded grants totaling $310,519.81. Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 9 -- State Rep. Joseph Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, said 23 fire and ambulance companies in the 55 th Legislative District will be sharing $308,865 in state grants. The grants are from Pennsylvania's Fire Company and Volunteer Ambulance Service Grant Program. The grants are funded from gaming revenue and property tax relief funding. "Our fire departments and emergency service providers often spend countless hours fundraising to ensure their equipment and training are up to date so they can help keep us safe," Petrarca said. "These grants help our first responders focus on their service to their communities, which is why this program is so vital. I was proud last summer to vote to extend this program for an additional four years." Grant recipients and amounts awarded in the 55 th District are as follows: Armstrong County Apollo Volunteer Fire Dept. Hose Co. No. 2 -- $12,358 Leechburg Volunteer Fire Co. -- $11,844 Lower Kiski Ambulance Service Inc. -- $13,902 for the fire company; $7,448 for EMS Parks Township Volunteer Fire Dept. -- $12,101 Indiana County Saltsburg Volunteer Fire Dept. -- $12,873 Westmoreland County Avonmore Volunteer Fire Dept. -- $11,844 Bell Township Volunteer Fire Dept. -- $12,616 Derry Volunteer Fire Dept. -- $12,358 Derry Township Volunteer Fire Dept. No. 1 of Bradenville -- $12,873 Free Service Fire Unit No. 6, Read more
State Rep Marty Flynn, D-Lackawanna, said he is pleased that the 2017-18 state budget proposal continues to provide vital services without increasing the cost of government. Flynn said in these hard-pressed financial times for people, it’s also refreshing that the budget proposal does not include any broad-based tax increases. “Many citizens are financially struggling and they do not need more money taken out of their paychecks for increased taxes so I’m happy the proposal holds the line on taxes,” Flynn said. "The proposal protects people’s health and safety and preserves the natural resources and community assets that benefit everyone. “It also targets state investments in workforce development for programs that match worker skills and the jobs businesses need to fill," he said. Flynn said the budget also provides the chance for every child to get a quality education, no matter where their parents live or which school they attend. The budget calls for investing an additional $75 million for pre-K/Head Start, $100 million for basic education, $25 million for special education and a proposed 2 percent increase for the State System of Higher Education. Flynn said many elderly people in his district are concerned about staying in their homes and not being forced to live in community nursing facilities. The governor‘s budget has proposed a program called Community HealthChoices, which is aimed at helping seniors Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 8 – State Rep. Maureen Madden invites residents of the 115th District to an open house at her new Stroudsburg office. Read more
EBENSBURG, Feb. 8 – State Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, has announced the award of $248,975 in state grants to 19 fire and ambulance companies in the 72nd Legislative District. The grants are made possible by the Fire Company and Volunteer Ambulance Service Grant Program, and can be used toward repairing, building or renovating facilities. The money also can be applied toward purchase of new equipment, training and certification of staff, or it may go to repay debt related to equipment purchases or facility building and maintenance. “Our fire departments and EMS providers perform vital work in our communities,” Burns said. “It’s also hard and dangerous work, as I found out when suiting up for a Cambria County Fire School training session. As someone who’s stood shoulder-to-shoulder with them for a taste of what they go through, I am proud to announce this funding to aid their continued operations.” Burns noted that recipients still need to complete and return original signed copies of their grant agreements by May 31 in order to receive their money. He urged any department that needs help with this requirement to contact his nearest district office. The grant list – by department and entity – is as follows. Ashville Fire Company – Fire Company, $14,159. Cambria Township Volunteer Fire Company – Fire Company, $14,417. Carrolltown Fire Company – Fire Company, $12,101. Cresson Area Read more
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