HARRISBURG, Feb. 13 – State Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Luzerne, continued his constituent and community outreach service dubbed “One.19” with a visit to Hazle Township. Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 13 – The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is accepting applications through March 15 to fund programs aimed at promoting responsible – and legal – alcohol consumption, announced state Rep. Frank Burns. A member of the House Liquor Control Committee, Burns, D-Cambria, said school districts, institutions of higher education, police departments and municipalities are eligible to apply, as are nonprofit and for-profit organizations. “Nearly $1 million of these alcohol education grants were awarded in the last cycle of funding, so I once again urge eligible entities in our district to apply,” Burns said. “Anything that promotes safe and responsible drinking by those of legal age, while hopefully discouraging and reducing underage drinking, is a positive for us all.” The current grant cycle is for one year, from July 2019 through June 2020. Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis with a maximum award of $20,000. Applications will be received and evaluated by the PLCB’s Bureau of Alcohol Education. The grant application and related information can be found at https://www.lcb.pa.gov/Education/Programs/Pages/Grants.aspx . For additional assistance, contact Burn’s Portage office at (814) 736-7339 and ask for grant writer Britany Blackham. Read more
YORK, Feb. 13 – Veterans and their families who are in need of or interested in benefits assistance are invited to the office of Rep. Carol Hill-Evans. Those interested can schedule appointments between 10 a.m. through 2 p.m. on the third Wednesdays each month – the next being Feb. 20 – at Hill-Evans’ office. An accredited veterans service officer will be available to assist veterans and military families with a variety of issues, including Veterans Administration compensation benefits, health care benefits, survivor benefits, educational opportunities, military personnel and medical records, and more. “We value the service and sacrifice of not only our dedicated military men and women, but also their families,” Hill-Evans said. “We do not want to see our veterans miss out on the benefits available to them. If somebody is hesitant because they fear they might take benefits from younger veterans, they shouldn’t be. The more all veterans utilize these benefits, the more Congress will fund these programs. “These monthly sessions are our small way of helping to give back. Veterans protect our freedoms, and we appreciate them.” Appointments are available by contacting Hill-Evans’ office at 53 E. North St., Suite 3, York, via telephone (717-848-9595) or email ( firstname.lastname@example.org ). People can also find Hill-Evans on Twitter (@RepHillEvans ) and Facebook ( Facebook.com/RepHillEvans ). Hill-Evans was Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 12 – State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., today denounced Google for refusing to remove an app that encourages LGBTQ youth to seek out conversion therapy. “Google's silent refusal to remove this app speaks volumes about the quality of their commitment to the LGBTQ community,” Sims said. “This app specifically targets youth during a challenging period of their lives as they wrestle with their identity in an attempt to connect them to a dangerous practice that is condemned by every reputable professional medical association that exists. Let us be clear, this is abuse -- not therapy. “I would encourage Google executives to meet with victims of this debunked and cruel practice, as I have, to learn firsthand of the lifetime of pain and anguish they continue to enable. Facilitating this abuse is abhorrently wrong. “I have introduced legislation to ban conversion therapy in Pennsylvania so the commonwealth can join the 15 states that have done so to protect youth from this abuse that leads to significantly higher rates of depression, substance abuse and suicidal ideation. Google’s continued failure to remove this app demonstrates it is on the wrong side of history, science and medicine. “I call on Google to join Microsoft and Amazon in immediately suspending this app on its platforms to send a clear message to LGBTQ youth across the country that they are perfect the way they are.” ### Read more
WHITEHALL, Feb. 12 – State Rep. Jeanne McNeill and state Sen. Lisa Boscola today announced their annual Spring Senior Fair will be held from 9 a.m. to noon April 26 at the Whitehall Mall. “We are proud to again host our annual senior fair at the Whitehall Mall,” McNeill said. “Last year, we had more than 500 seniors as well as state and local agencies at our event. The Whitehall Mall offers ample space, plenty of free parking and is accessible by LANTA bus routes 103, 325 and 602, making it a great venue and event for our community and seniors. The free event is expected to include more than 80 different vendors and will offer blood pressure screenings, vision checks, giveaways, refreshments, door prizes and more. Any organization that would like to participate should contact Brenda Pagan in McNeill’s office at email@example.com . Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 11 – A $500,000 state grant will allow the Erie City School District to offer students a greatly enriched curriculum in computer science, state Reps. Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, both D-Erie, announced today. The grant will help the school district provide the foundation for a kindergarten through grade 12 computer science college and career pathway for more than 11,000 students throughout 16 schools. “This grant is extremely exciting,” Merski said. “In the past, students in the Erie City district have had only limited access to computer science and STEM coursework. Fortunately, with the help of this grant, that’s about to change. The funding announced today is going to provide greatly expanded opportunities – including computer technology and programming – that were previously out of reach. The grant is going to provide students access to career opportunities they didn't even know existed. It’s going to bring them up to par with their counterparts in wealthier districts.” Harkins agreed, noting, “The grant is going to allow the district to offer courses that engage students’ minds, with activities like coding, programming, robotics, gaming, networking and cyber security. It’s also going to provide for resources such as new and renovated computer labs and internship opportunities – the kinds of opportunities that provide meaningful college and career pathways.” Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 11 – A $327,000 state grant will promote computer science and STEM learning in Mercer County schools while expanding hands-on career development opportunities for students, state Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, announced today. “Today’s high-paying, family sustaining jobs demand a strong grasp of STEM and computer science skills,” Longietti said. “The funding announced today will help Mercer County schools tailor these classes to the specific demands of the 21st century job market. The grant also will help connect students with educational and career development programs that offer stimulating, hands-on learning and real-world work experience.” The grant recipient – United Way of Mercer County – will use the funding to administer the 4C Catalyst program, a cross-sector partnership of area schools, businesses, workforce partners and community organizations that aims to engage 1,500 students in grades five through nine annually in computer science and STEM education. “We’re extremely excited about this opportunity,” said Jim Micsky, executive director of United Way of Mercer County. “We have been working hard to increase student learning and heighten awareness about STEM. A grant like this provides an opportunity to rally the community behind the importance of STEM training and education, and it will make our community a better place to live and work." The grant, administered Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 11 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, will host an Energy Forum at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12 at the 12th District Police Station, 6448 Woodland Avenue, Philadelphia. McClinton is partnering with the 12th District Police Station to help residents learn how the state and other groups can help them save money during the winter heating season. For more information, those interested may call McClinton’s district office at 215-748-6712. Media coverage is invited. ### Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 11 – Two grants totaling nearly $1 million will enhance STEM and computer science learning and expand career pathways for Beaver County students, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. The grants will benefit the Hopewell Area and Aliquippa school districts. “There was a time when traditional math and science classes were sufficient for students entering traditional engineering and technology-based fields,” Matzie said. “Today, all that is changed. Technology is so much a part of so many different fields that STEM and computer science learning are essential components of a complete education for kids of all ages. “The announced grants will place our students on the right educational and career tracks by enriching school STEM and computer science curricula and providing students opportunities for hands-on STEM learning and real-world job experiences.” The funding includes the following: A $500,000 grant to the Hopewell Area School District for the Beaver County Innovation and Learning Consortium to increase the skill set of teachers and enhance their ability to provide quality computer science and STEM instruction. In addition to shared professional learning and curriculum development, the program will include student internships, job shadowing and career exploration. A $443,078 grant to the Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette Inc. to allow the council and Aliquippa Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 11 – Hoping to promote responsible alcohol consumption by those of legal drinking age, state Rep. Dan Deasy, Democratic chairman of the House Liquor Control Committee, is announcing the availability of funds for programs that seek to reduce underage and dangerous drinking practices. Deasy, D-Allegheny, said the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is now accepting applications through Friday, March 15. “Eligible applicants include commonwealth school districts and higher education institutions, community organizations, municipal police departments, municipal officials and representatives, and nonprofit and for-profit organizations,” Deasy said. “This is an excellent opportunity for those looking to promote safe, responsible drinking at a legal age. During the last grant cycle, the PLCB awarded nearly $1 million in alcohol education grants.” The grant cycle is for one year, from July 2019 through June 2020. Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis with a maximum award of $20,000. Applications will be received and evaluated by the PLCB’s Bureau of Alcohol Education. The grant application and related information can be found at https://www.lcb.pa.gov/Education/Programs/Pages/Grants.aspx . For additional assistance, contact Deasy’s office at 412-928-9514. Read more
EBENSBURG, Feb. 11 – Municipalities and organizations may want to take note of several varied competitive state grant programs with open application windows that close in the next month or so, according to state Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria. “I urge anyone and everyone who thinks they may be eligible to make application, because you’ll never know unless you try,” Burns said. “That’s why I’ve consistently touted these grant opportunities as a way to have more of your tax dollars returned to our communities.” For the past several years, Burns has made a priority of informing and encouraging government, nonprofit and other eligible entities to apply for available grants – and has offered the assistance of his own in-house grant writer. Burns said Brittany Blackham, who fills that role, can be reached in his Portage office at (814) 736-7339 to provide information or help with the following grant applications: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission: Keystone Historic Preservation Eligibility: Municipalities and nonprofit organizations. Use: Community preservation projects or construction grants for publicly accessible, government/nonprofit-owned historic buildings. Application Deadline: March 1 More Information: https://www.phmc.pa.gov/Preservation/Grants-Funding/Pages/Planning-Projects.aspx or Read more
Snyder: Protecting corrections officers focus of new legislation HARRISBURG, Feb. 11 – Continuing her push to further protect corrections officers, state Rep. Pam Snyder, D-Greene/Fayette/Washington, is joining two House colleagues to introduce a series of bills to bolster their safety. Partnering with state Reps. Gerald J. Mullery, (D- Luzerne) and Neil Goodman (D-Schuylkill), Snyder is sponsoring House Bill 44 , which would provide corrections officers the opportunity to submit written testimony or testify in person at parole hearings. The bill is currently before the House Judiciary Committee. Snyder said additional bills to address officer safety are forthcoming, including a measure to allow corrections officers to carry Tasers, and a separate bill requiring the state Department of Corrections to establish a staffing plan to ensure no guard is left alone on duty, except during unforeseeable emergency circumstances. “Two years ago, we were successful in enacting a law in Pennsylvania to allow corrections officers to carry pepper spray while on duty, but we can always do more to protect them,” Snyder said. “It’s a dangerous job and they deserve as many additional protections as possible.” In 2016, Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law Act 174 , a measure introduced by Snyder, requiring the DOC to issue canisters of pepper spray to all officers working in medium- and high-security state prisons. The law also requires officers to be Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 11 – To better protect workers, independent contractors and even volunteers at businesses of all sizes, House Democratic lawmakers announced new proposals today to help end workplace discrimination and harassment. The “Work Without Fear – It’s Your Right” plan is designed to give people the tools they need to protect themselves and their coworkers while also helping companies make sure everyone knows the rules. The plan includes: The PA Fairness Act – sponsored by Rep. Dan Frankel, Allegheny County – finally brings Pennsylvania into line with surrounding states by making sure nobody can be fired from a job or denied housing because of who they are or who they love. Until now, we’ve been counting on individual counties and cities to do the right thing and people and our economy has suffered. Give Victims Time for Justice – sponsored by Rep. Margo Davidson, Delaware County, and Rep Mary Isaacson, Philadelphia – gives victims the power to choose when to seek justice and guarantees them a right to trial by jury to seek damages by extending the timeline to file a complaint beyond the current 180 days. Ignorance is No Excuse – sponsored by Rep. Melissa Shusterman, Chester & Montgomery counties, makes sure workers and employers have the facts by requiring Employment Fair Practices notices posted in the workplace to include clear descriptions and examples of abuse so everyone is on the Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 8 – State Reps. Carolyn Comitta, Danielle Friel Otten, Kristine Howard, Leanne Krueger, Christina Sappey and Melissa Shusterman met with Gov. Tom Wolf and his staff last week to address the growing problems with Energy Transfer’s Mariner East project. Today, those representatives have issued the following statement regarding news that the Department of Environmental Protection has suspended review of all permit applications and other pending approvals for Energy Transfer due to noncompliance: “We applaud the unwavering efforts of community members who continue to make their voices heard and draw attention to serious hazards and areas of oversight that need improvement. "The action taken by the Department of Environmental Protection today is a step in the right direction. "We are grateful for the opportunity to have a seat at the table for our communities and we look forward to continued collaboration with our state agencies and the governor’s staff to put the interests of the people of Pennsylvania first and foremost. There is still a lot of work to be done and we will use every tool available to us to make our community’s voice heard." The same six representatives sent a letter to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission earlier this week, urging action related to a recent sinkhole along the Mariner East 1 pipeline. The letter can be found here. A statement sent last week by the legislators to the Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 8 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Philadelphia, will host her 81 st Town Hall meeting on Thursday, Feb. 28 at Green Lane Methodist Church, 470 Green Lane, Philadelphia, 19128. The event starts at 7 p.m. The 81 st Town Hall will feature an overview of the following: 2019-2020 state budget proposal, which was announced earlier this week by Gov. Tom Wolf; the legislative priorities of the Pa. House, the Pa. Senate and the Governor’s Office; and the Philadelphia Delegation platform, a historic first. The Town Hall is easily accessible by bus routes 9 and 27, and there's plenty of free parking. DeLissio hopes for another packed house. Her 80th Town Hall had approximately 90 attendees. As always, folks from all parts of the 194 th Legislative District are welcome, and more information can be obtained by calling DeLissio’s office at 215-482-8726 or visiting www.pahouse.com/DeLissio . Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 8 – State Rep. Pam DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Philadelphia, announced today that more than half a million dollars in state funding through the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has been allotted to help upgrade City Avenue in Philadelphia. In total, City Avenue Special Services District (CASSD) will receive $626,386 in grants for road and pedestrian safety improvements. “We are extremely appreciative of Representative DeLissio’s support in obtaining this important grant, which will allow us to complete Phase II of the City Avenue Project,” said Terence Foley, executive director of CASSD. The goal of the improvements is to enhance pedestrian safety all along the City Avenue corridor. The enhancements are part of a long-term Streetscape and Safety Improvement Program of The City Avenue District. Spanning across Philadelphia and Lower Merion Township in Montgomery County, the CASSD is the first multi-jurisdictional special services or business improvement district in North America. This project was among 50 that were awarded grants from the state’s Multimodal Transportation Fund. Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 8 – Deer hunters could apply for their licenses online and the penalty for illegally setting body-gripping traps would be increased under two bills introduced this week by state Rep. Gerald Mullery. Read more
State Rep. Thomas Caltagirone, D-Berks, and the House Urban Affairs Committee this week unanimously approved a bill that would give first-time homebuyers a tax deduction for money saved toward the purchase of a home. Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 8 – State Rep. Carolyn Comitta said today that she looks forward to reviewing Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed 2019-20 budget as a member of the House Appropriations Committee. “I’m pleased to see the governor’s plan to continue to boost our investment in education, starting with early childhood programs. Providing children with quality education programs from an early age is key to preparing them for a successful future,” said Comitta, D-Chester. “With my recent appointment to the Appropriations Committee, I’ll be reviewing the entire budget proposal in more detail and look forward to helping the legislature adopt a plan that works for all of us.” The House Appropriations Committee, which reviews bills that regulate state spending, will hold a series of hearings on the governor’s budget proposal beginning Monday, Feb. 11. Comitta was also recently appointed to the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. As pipeline projects have cut through her district, Comitta has been a strong advocate for putting the health and safety of residents first. She recently convened a meeting of multiple state and federal agencies to give residents the opportunity to ask questions about the safety of pipeline projects. “Serving on the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee gives me a greater opportunity to advocate for pipeline safety on the community’s behalf,” Comitta said. Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 8 – Nearly $325,000 in state grants will expand job-training opportunities for students and job seekers in western Pennsylvania, including Mercer County, while helping area industries grow more competitive, state Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, announced today. The grants, which are part of the PAsmart initiative, will be used to identify local needs and connect students and other job seekers to regional industries, with a focus on strengthening and expanding apprenticeship programs. “Apprenticeship programs are excellent ‘earn while you learn’ opportunities for young Pennsylvanians,” Longietti said. “They provide hands-on training plus the guidance and support of a mentor, which helps students gain confidence as they acquire real-world skills. The programs are also great for area employers because they allow businesses to tailor training to their specific needs.” The funding – which is shared among multiple legislative districts – includes: A $280,555 Ambassador Network grant to Thomas P. Miller and Associates to convene a consortium of partners to identify needs, provide quarterly webinars and technical assistance and promote apprenticeship growth and retention. A $43,252 Next Generation Manufacturing Industry Partnership grant to NWPA Job Connect to create a partnership in the advanced manufacturing industry. The Ambassador Network grant is administered by the state Department of Labor Read more
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