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Matzie: Nearly $47,000 to Freedom Area School District to ensure online learning

(1 day ago)

AMBRIDGE, Aug. 7 – A $46,900 grant to the Freedom Area School District will ensure students have the resources they need to access online learning, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. Matzie said the funding – administered by the state Department of Education through the Continuity of Education and Equity Grant program – will ensure no student gets left behind when it comes to remote learning. “While online learning can’t replace the benefits of actual classroom experience, it does offer an important way to keep our kids engaged and learning during the pandemic,” Matzie said. “Unfortunately, lack of access to technology or the internet threatens to sideline some students. We can’t let that happen – access to good public education should never depend on a student’s ZIP code. This funding is going to help ensure every student – regardless of financial means – has the tools necessary to participate and thrive. Grants under the CEEG program are designed to help provide access and inclusion for all learners by bridging the gap for students with limited ability to participate in continuity of education. The grants may be used to purchase computer equipment, such as laptops, tablets and internet hot spots, or used toward providing instructional materials, such as paper lessons and coursework. Schools with the highest percentages of Read more

House Democrats in Pittsburgh announce $409K in education funding for Pittsburgh School District

(1 day ago)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 7 – House Democrats representing the city of Pittsburgh announced Friday the disbursement of $409,000 in education funding to the Pittsburgh School District. Allegheny County House Democratic Delegation members who represent the city of Pittsburgh include state Reps. Dan Deasy, Dan Frankel, Ed Gainey, Sara Innamorato, Summer Lee, Dan Miller, Adam Ravenstahl, Harry Readshaw and Jake Wheatley. “This is substantial funding for the Pittsburgh School District,” said state Rep. Dan Miller, chairman of the delegation. “The allotted funding will go toward well-needed resources, and it will ensure students in the district have a better chance of achieving academic success.” The grants may be used to purchase computer equipment, such as laptops, tablets and internet hot spots, or used toward providing instructional materials, such as paper lessons and coursework. Schools with the highest percentages of students lacking access to resources were given priority in receiving these grants. The Continuity in Education and Equity Grants are designed to help provide access and inclusion for all learners by bridging the gap for students who are currently limited in their ability to participate in continuity of education. Read more

Matzie: Beaver County Career and Technology Center to receive nearly $120,000 to ensure safe operations

(Aug 07, 2020)

AMBRIDGE, Aug. 7 – The Beaver County Career and Technology Center is on track to receive $119,044 in federal funding to help the center implement safety plans for students and staff, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. The funding comes from the CARES Act, which authorizes governors to determine the educational use of Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Funds. "Our career and technical students are ready to get on with their lives, but the pandemic and related safety concerns have temporarily derailed education and career planning,” Matzie said. “Now, thanks to this funding, our talented young adults will soon be back on track for learning, and our area employers will be able to count on a continuing supply of well-trained applicants.” The funds may be used for a variety of resources, including protective equipment, hand sanitizer/cleaning products; equipment or technology to take classrooms online; installation of barriers or other protective devices in building structures; and the purchase health apps to assist in contact tracing and monitoring of students. The funding is part of a $10.2 million package allocated to career and technical schools throughout the state. The governor has allocated the money, and schools will be able to access the funds in the next week. Grants were calculated based on the allocation formula for federal Perkins CTC grants, which Read more

Wheatley: Pittsburgh-based company joins state medical marijuana program

(Aug 06, 2020)

State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, announced today that Goodblend Pennsylvania LLC will join the state’s first-in-the-nation research program for medical marijuana. A clinical registrant holds both a medical marijuana grower/processor and dispensary permit and is affiliated with an approved academic clinical research center. Read more

Matzie: $21,500 in COVID-19 relief funding for Beaver County libraries, historic, social service organizations

(Aug 05, 2020)

AMBRIDGE, Aug. 5 – Grants totaling $21,500 will help Beaver County programs, libraries and cultural attractions impacted by the pandemic, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. Matzie said the grants – provided by the Pennsylvania Humanities Council under the PHC CARES Program – include the following: Beaver County Historical Research and Landmarks Foundation – $3,000. Laughlin Memorial Library – $4,500. B.F. Jones Memorial Library – $5,000. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Beaver County – $4,500. Harmonie Associates d/b/a Friends of Old Economy Village – $4,500. “Each of these organizations plays such an important role in our community, from supporting youth in need and engaging residents in learning and community programs, to preserving our history for future generations and spurring tourism that boosts our local economy,” Matzie said. “Unfortunately, each has felt the impact of the pandemic, which has closed doors and put a halt to fundraising events. Securing this funding will help these important programs resume operations and ensure that they do so safely.” The grant is part of package of $780,500 in emergency relief grants under the PHC CARES Program – funded by the CARES Act – to 140 Pennsylvania cultural nonprofits that have been impacted by the pandemic. The goal of the Read more

Matzie: More than $5.2 million in COVID safety funding to regional universities, colleges, tech institutes

(Aug 05, 2020)

AMBRIDGE, Aug. 5 – Grant funding totaling more than $5.2 million will help ensure students and staff returning to universities and tech schools in Southwest Pennsylvania this fall will benefit from the safest possible learning environments, announced state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny. Matzie said the funding – which includes nearly $300,000 to the Community College of Beaver County – will allow administrators to move forward with plans to protect students and staff from COVID-19. “Securing this funding means that the Community College of Beaver County and other schools in the Southwest region of the state will have a wide range of safety options at their disposal,” Matzie said. “Schools may use the funding for resources such as cleaning and sanitization supplies, personal protective equipment, barriers and other structural modifications and technology to support online learning.” Matzie said that of more than $5.2 million going to schools in the Southwest region of the state, nearly $2.7 million will go to schools in Allegheny County, while approximately $2.5 million will go to schools in Beaver, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Indiana, Lawrence, Washington and Westmoreland counties. Administered by the state Department of Education, the federal funding was based on both the shares of total enrollments by each postsecondary sector and the number of Read more

Readshaw agrees with call to raise capacity for restaurants, bars

(Jul 28, 2020)

Pennsylvania state Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, said he supports a letter written by colleagues urging Gov. Tom Wolf to lift a restriction that imposes a 25% indoor capacity on restaurants and bars. Read more

Rep. Wheatley to introduce bill to give restaurants, bars, taverns a break on penalties, fees for sales tax payments, including liquor tax

(Jul 27, 2020)

HARRISBURG, July 27 – In an effort to help restaurants, bars and taverns impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, state Rep. Jake Wheatley has announced he will soon introduce legislation that would eliminate penalties and fees for delayed sales tax payments and provide a grace period for paying the 6% liquor sales tax for these businesses. Wheatley, D-Allegheny, said the businesses, who lost significant amounts of revenue after closing their doors for months to help prevent the spread of the virus, deserve this break. “It’s imperative that restaurants, bars and taverns be given a financial break for being responsible and doing their part during the state’s emergency declaration,” Wheatley said. “With many of these businesses beginning the process of reopening, removing these additional fees would give them some additional breathing room and go a long way to help them recover from their losses and get back on their feet.” Back in May, Wheatley and state Rep. Dan Deasy, also D-Allegheny, sent a letter to the governor , requesting that liquor license fees be waived for restaurants and bars due to the devastating financial impacts they’ve experienced due to the pandemic. More information on his pending legislation can be found at this link: Read more

Deasy to introduce legislation to help restaurants weather COVID crisis

(Jul 24, 2020)

Bill would remove barriers to outdoor dining, encourage people to patronize struggling restaurants Read more

Wheatley: Legislation would address systemic racism, address poorer health conditions, economic outcomes among people of color in Pa.

(Jul 21, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, July 21 – Calling it a dire public health crisis, state Rep. Jake Wheatley has announced his intent to introduce a bill to address racial inequities among Black, Brown and Indigenous communities in Pennsylvania. “Study after study continues to show definitive links between higher rates of chronic health conditions, like high blood pressure and diabetes, among our Black, Latino and Native American residents,” said Wheatley, D-Allegheny. “Racism is truly a public health problem, leading to higher levels of stress and significantly reduced access to medical and social services, among other impacts, resulting in increased levels of disease, disability, and death. As we continue to demand changes to address systemic racism in Pennsylvania and across the nation, we must also respond to this public health crisis – because lives are truly at stake.” Wheatley’s legislation would create a racial equity task force within the Pennsylvania Department of Health, in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. This task force would oversee the review of policies and provide recommendations to the governor and the General Assembly on efforts focused on reducing the disparities between people of color and white residents statewide. More information on the bill can be found at the following link: Read more