EBENSBURG, Jan. 10 – For the first time in recent history, the Democratic chairman of the influential House Appropriations Committee today visited state Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, to gain a firsthand assessment of the 72 nd Legislative District and its most pressing needs. State Rep. Matt Bradford, from Montgomery County in eastern Pennsylvania, came to Burns’ district in one of his first official acts of 2019 since being elevated to the key committee chairmanship in November. “I cannot emphasize enough how much I appreciate Representative Bradford, a longtime House colleague of mine, coming to get a firsthand view of our district and its needs,” Burns said. “This is a first during my tenure as a state representative, and it’s an honor to welcome a House member of his stature who wants to help.” Burns said Bradford’s committee plays a pivotal role in forming recommendations for state budget and fiscal-related matters, and is integrally involved in the annual budget process. He said the committee also has jurisdiction over the state budget process, the offices of Auditor General and state Treasurer, and the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority. “We can’t forget about our small towns and rural districts across Pennsylvania, which is why coming to Representative Burns’ district was important to me. We’re committed to keeping their needs on the radar as our committee moves forward with Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 10 – Students from low-income families will have a chance to explore career pathways in the manufacturing and health care industries, thanks to a $157,160 grant to a local workforce development board, state Reps. Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, both D-Erie, announced today. The funding to the Students in the Workplace project will offer about 400 low-income middle and high school students a real-world look at jobs in manufacturing and health care through programs such as job shadowing and career tours. “This grant is going to open doors for area students by bringing them into a real-world setting and letting them envision the possibilities,” Harkins said. “When it comes to career planning, there’s no better way to stimulate kids’ minds than to let them see and experience the real working world beyond the classroom.” Merski agreed, noting, “As essential as classroom learning is, there’s no substitute for letting kids interact with employers and employees in the field. This grant is going to provide for experiences such as job shadowing, soft-skills training and career tours, which will allow students to determine what careers truly excite them and how their own skills match up with real-world opportunities.” Harkins and Merski noted that in addition to providing students a real-world look at manufacturing and health care careers, the project aims to help area businesses and schools partner to Read more
EBENSBURG, Jan. 10 – Patton Borough will benefit from a $21,260 state grant to stabilize an area of stream bank along Chest Creek, state Rep. Frank Burns announced today. Burns said the state Department of Environmental Protection’s Growing Greener program funding will help protect Patton Borough from future flooding – and will repair damage that followed unprecedented rain and flooding across Pennsylvania last year. “These state funds will repair and restore fish habitat and also prevent future erosion along Chest Creek,” said Burns, D-Cambria. “It’s a vital investment to protect and restore a substantial section of stream bank to ensure residents enjoy this area for recreational use and enjoyment for years to come.” Burns said the grant will stabilize 300 linear feet of stream bank and will assist the area in reducing and controlling storm water, and to rebuild from last year’s weather-related devastation. Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 10 – An $115,641 business education partnership grant will provide Allegheny County students with hands-on exposure to careers in the building and construction industry, announced state Rep. Dan Miller, chairman of the Allegheny County House Democratic Delegation. “This grant money will have a positive impact on students from all House districts encompassed within the delegation,” Miller said. “The delegation is happy to announce this funding, as we all understand the importance of providing students with a means-to-an-end when it comes to choosing their prospective career paths. “Students looking to get involved in the building and construction industry will find the programs created by this funding to be not only rewarding, but also extremely informational and influential as they look to solidify their futures in the workforce.” Miller said the Three Rivers Workforce Development Board will join forces with PARTNER4WORK, a Pittsburgh-based workforce development organization, to carry out the three-pronged project. The first phase will include bringing together 14 building and construction unions, local colleges, businesses, students and others at the March 29 Building On … Careers in the Building and Construction Industry conference in Pittsburgh. The second phase involves the creation of the Summer in Trades internship program, which will provide students with hands-on experience and insight into the Read more
State Rep. Jared Solomon is hosting a special bipartisan town hall at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17 at St. Williams Hall Argyle and Robbins, 6200 Rising Sun Ave., Philadelphia, 19111. State Rep. Tom Mehaffie, R-Dauphin, will be in attendance as well, to discuss the causes of and remedies to hate in our social and political discourse. "After what happened at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh and other recent hate-crimes, we must work together to stop it," Solomon said. "Rep. Mehaffie and I will be doing a similar event in his district in Central PA so I can hear the perspective of his constituents." District staff will be on hand at the town hall to help with any individual concerns or questions. Light refreshments will be served. Parking will be available behind the hall on Argyle Street. Please contact the district office to RSVP by clicking here , calling 215-342-6340 or by coming to the office at 7012 Castor Ave. between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, or Saturday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 10 – A $100,000 Business-Education Partnership grant will help keep Mercer County educators, families and students abreast of the latest high-priority career pathways and jobs, state Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, announced today. The grant to the West Central Workforce Development Board will allow the board to act as intermediary, convening planning sessions with educators and employers. The goal is to develop a comprehensive strategy that keeps students, teachers and school administrators up-to-date on career pathways and occupations in the area. "The workplace landscape is constantly evolving as new technology brings new demands – and new opportunities – to the job market,” Longietti said. “The funding announced today is critical for ensuring that area educators and students keep pace. With the proper planning, we can make sure education requirements remain current, that students and families have the tools they need to make informed career choices and that local employers attract applicants who are fully prepared to meet job demands. It’s a terrific investment in our future workforce and our economy." The grant is one of 22 awarded to local workforce development boards statewide. The awards were 100-percent federally funded through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act and administered through the state Department of Labor and Industry. Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 10 – A $141,900 grant to a northwest Pennsylvania employment and training program will help working families retain jobs by providing reliable transportation assistance, state Reps. Ryan Bizzarro and Robert Merski, both D-Erie, announced today. The Northwest Workforce Investment Act funding will benefit St. Benedict Education Center EARN participants by removing transportation-related obstacles that can affect their ability to maintain employment. “A reliable means of getting to and from work is critical for working families,” Bizzarro said. “This grant will provide essential support for program participants by helping them with the costs of getting a license reinstated, paying for car repairs or footing the bill for other transportation-related services. The funding will go a long way toward bringing stability in this area for families needing it.” “Programs like this one are all about helping hardworking families succeed as they work to give themselves and their children a better life,” Merski said. “If this funding helps break down the barriers that stand in that way of that, it’s hard to imagine a more worthwhile investment.” Participants become eligible for transportation assistance under the program once they obtain a minimum 20-hour-a-week job. The grant is part of a package of more than $1 million the state Department of Human Services is dispersing to provide greater support to Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 10 – State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, today announced his district has received federal funds to help connect local businesses and students, providing them with job training and related resources for in-demand technical careers in Pennsylvania. Approximately $104,200 in federal Business-Education Partnership funds have been awarded to the Central Pennsylvania Workforce Development Corp., a local workforce development board comprised of nine counties, including Centre County. The funds will be used to educate and increase awareness of technical career opportunities among students, parents, teachers, and school faculty in the region. The grant will also provide businesses the opportunity to better connect with students and school districts about the career pathways they have to offer. “This grant will go a long way to help students and their parents to learn more about their career options after high school,” Conklin said. “I’m pleased the funding will also provide avenues for businesses in our area to reach out to students and school districts to learn about the jobs that are in demand.” A total of 22 local workforce development boards statewide received grants, totaling more than $2.6 million. The BEP program provides career-related experiences and development opportunities through soft-skills development, internships, workplace shadowing and career mentoring, with the ultimate goal of engaging more students in Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 9 – Working families needing transportation assistance to maintain employment will benefit from a $141,900 grant to a northwest Pennsylvania employment and training program, state Rep. Pat Harkins, D-Erie, announced today. The funding to the Northwest Workforce Investment Act for transportation barrier remediation will help St. Benedict Education Center Employment, Advancement and Retention Network participants by removing transportation-related problems that can make it difficult for them to retain jobs. “Our region’s hardworking families are doing everything they can to provide for themselves and their kids,” Harkins said. “But sometimes, the lack of reliable transportation is a huge obstacle to maintaining a job. The funding announced today will help EARN participants with the costs associated with license reinstatement, car repairs or other transportation-related expenses. By breaking down transportation-related barriers, we can help make sure these families have every opportunity to succeed.” Under the program, participants become eligible for transportation assistance once they obtain a minimum 20-hour-a-week job. The grant is part of a package of more than $1 million the Department of Human Services is dispersing to provide greater support to people using locally run Employment, Advancement, and Retention Network or EARN programs. The funding comes from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. Read more
BETHLEHEM, Jan. 9 – State Rep. Steve Samuelson today delivered 3,106 children’s and adult diapers donated by area residents during his holiday diaper drive to the Salvation Army of Bethlehem. Read more
Cresson-based Eternal Remembrance LLC was awarded a $75,000 grant from Ben Franklin Technology Partners, state Rep. Frank Burns announced today. Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 9 – To ensure a safe working environment for everyone, state Rep. Mike Schlossberg believes the state should require all state-contracted entities to have a sexual harassment policy before they do work with the commonwealth. Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 9 – State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., hosted a sock drive from early November to Dec. 14 as a part of his “People for People” campaign. “It may seem like a small gesture, but these socks mean a lot to the people who receive them,” Roebuck said. “Not only are they given to children without them at our local schools during the coldest months, they are provided to the homeless, sick, and elderly in need too. This is a part of a much bigger plan to provide comfort and well-being to those in my community who suffer most. I love it when we can encourage people to come together within their own community for the betterment of others.” Approximately 700 pairs of socks were donated as a result of the drive. Children’s socks were divided up and given to school counselors at participating districts within the 188th Legislative District . The purpose is to allow children with no socks to have them in the wintertime. White socks were given to an organization that goes into the local homeless community offering foot care, such as clipping nails and addressing wounds. These clean, white socks are given after receiving care. Color socks were gift wrapped and donated to the state nursing home. They were given to Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, with stories that they often remember that it is Christmas while unwrapping their socks. More information is available by calling Roebuck’s district office at Read more
State Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., today named Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, Rep. Tina Davis, D-Bucks, Rep. Pam DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., Rep. Marty Flynn, D-Lackawanna, Rep. Patty Kim, D-Dauphin, and Rep. Pam Snyder, D-Greene, as deputy whips for the 2019-20 legislative session. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 9 – State Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald, D-Phila., announced she will host an event to remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy while promoting peace. The MLK Day of Service will be held from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 21 at the West Oak Lane Senior Center, 7210-18 Ogontz Ave., 19138. “Many people see this holiday just as a day off from work or school. I believe Martin Luther King Jr. Day should be celebrated as a day on and not a day off,” Fitzgerald said. “We can best honor his legacy by volunteering to help our fellow citizens and creating opportunities to promote a better community. I hope everyone will join us to celebrate what we have accomplished coming together, and what we envision for the months and years to come.” Fitzgerald said the service project consists of creating banners expressing the vision of a world without gun violence. Projects will be displayed in Fitzgerald’s district office. Fitzgerald added she and her staff will be on hand to answer questions and provide information on state services. Attendees can also meet with staff from the offices of: Councilwoman Cherelle Parker Sen. Art Haywood Congressman Dwight Evans Fitzgerald said representatives from Nicetown CDC NAC & Energy Center will be distributing information on weatherization and weatherization kits. Oak Street Health will be offering resources on healthy lifestyles. Read more
State Rep. Steve McCarter, D-Montgomery, issued the following statement after Gov. Tom Wolf signed an executive order establishing the first statewide goal to reduce carbon pollution in Pennsylvania and the GreenGov Council: Read more
SCRANTON, Jan. 8 – Older residents with questions about Medicare or health insurance coverage should visit state Rep. Marty Flynn’s office during his monthly outreach next week. Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 8 – State Rep. Greg Vitali was recently named Democratic chairman of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee for the 2019-20 session. “We must address the serious threats facing our environment,” said Vitali, D-Delaware/Montgomery. “My focus in the legislature has been on environmental policy, and I look forward to the challenge of chairing this committee.” The committee majority chairman is state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler. Vitali said his priorities include increasing funding for the Department of Environmental Protection, reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas industry, and dealing with the climate change impacts of the threatened closing of the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant. Vitali previously served as a member of the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee for 24 years, spending the last four of those years as chairman. Read more
KING OF PRUSSIA, Jan. 8 – Freshmen Democratic state Reps. Joe Ciresi, Kristine Howard, Melissa Shusterman and Joe Webster will do their parts to keep Valley Forge National Historic Park beautiful this Thursday morning. The quartet, representing Chester and Montgomery counties, will visit Valley Forge National Park at the National Memorial Arch from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Thursday to participate in trash pickup. The trash piles have been growing during the federal government shutdown. Ciresi, Howard, Shusterman and Webster will be joined by staff members from the offices of U.S. Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, D-Chester/Berks, and state Sen. Katie Muth, D-Montgomery. Many national park services, including trash collection, are on hiatus during federal government shutdowns. And this collection of Pennsylvania representatives wants to help to keep the historic park clean. Members of the media seeking more information are advised to contact Mike Hays from Ciresi’s office via cell phone at 215-353-6142 or by email at email@example.com . Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 8 – State Rep. Joe Webster, D-Montgomery, introduced two proposals among a package of House rule improvements sponsored by Democrats. Webster proposed a rule change that would guarantee a debate and an up-or-down committee vote for any bill with 20 co-sponsors from each party. Under his second plan, committees would have the same proportional representation as the House. For example, proportional representation would create an 11-to-nine majority in a 20-member committee. “The people believe that their government is broken and think the special interests matter more than regular citizens, and we wanted to change that,” Webster said. “The Republican majority made it clear – they wanted the status quo, and if we refused to go along, they were prepared to make it even harder for the will of the people to ever become the law of the state.” Other rules improvements House Democrats are pushing for include: Preventing partisan committee chairs from blocking votes on popular bills; Requiring bills with wide bipartisan support, including measures sponsored by more than 102 House members, to get an up-or-down vote by the full House; Giving members the chance to get a priority bill debated in committee; Ensuring that the makeup of House committees reflects the voters’ will; Allowing committee members to vote to choose a chairperson on merit, instead of awarding positions by seniority alone; Ending Read more
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