Latest News

House passes Frankel bill to boost oversight of medical marijuana testing labs

(4 hours ago)

HARRISBURG, May 21 – Pennsylvania medical marijuana patients are a step closer to better protections after the PA House today passed legislation introduced by state Rep. Dan Frankel that would strengthen the Department of Health’s oversight of the independent laboratories that test cannabis products to be dispensed under the state’s medical marijuana program. Frankel, who is majority chairman of the House Health Committee, said he introduced H.B. 2208 to ensure patients have the full confidence they deserve that the products dispensed are safe, effective and free of contaminants. “Every day, Pennsylvanians fill prescriptions at their pharmacies without worrying for a second about whether their medications are contaminated or inaccurately labeled,” Frankel said. “With this legislation, we are taking action to ensure that level of confidence in our medical marijuana program. “Patients deserve to know that cannabis products are what they say they are in terms of THC levels and that they are uncontaminated by mold, pesticides or heavy metals.” Frankel’s bill would provide for improved compliance testing, product audits, statistical analyses, transparency and inspections of labs, which serve as the last line of defense to prevent patients from unknowingly consuming substances that can have both immediate and long-term health consequences. Frankel said that in Read more

Kinkead welcomes $150,000 for PrimeTime Senior Center

(May 15, 2024)

Lottery funds awarded for ADA improvements Read more

Venkat introduces legislation to ease restrictions on physician assistants and eliminate print statement fees

(May 15, 2024)

HARRISBURG, May 15 – State Rep. Arvind Venkat, D-Allegheny, has introduced bills that would put a flexibility component in place for physician assistants and the supervising physicians they work with and prohibit banks or other financial institutions from charging clients a fee for a paper copy of a statement. The first two pieces of legislation ( House Bills 2294 and 2295 ) would amend the physician licensure acts in Pennsylvania and allow physician assistants to work with either classification of physician, a Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. Current law on the books mandates that physician assistants and supervising physicians must be licensed by the same state medicine board as the supervising physician. “Cutting all the red tape and connecting medical professionals with patients that need their skills and expertise to recover is one of the foundational tenets of health care and my work as a physician-legislator,” Venkat said. “Doctors want to help as many people as they can, and my bills help to break down the barriers to this mission.” Venkat’s additional legislation ( H.B. 2292 ) would ban entities from assessing an additional fee, as high as $5 monthly, to customers who request a print version of a statement from a given entity. The bill would also specify that any person or entity would still be allowed to create incentives for a consumer to select an alternative to a paper statement. Read more

Donahue highlights fiscal challenges for independent pharmacies

(May 15, 2024)

“This is not a Pittsburgh issue or a Scranton issue. In rural areas, small towns, suburbs, and cities, community pharmacies are closing. Unless we enact reforms, we will continue to lose these trusted institutions that provide personalized service to their customers. My legislation will give them a level playing field with the large corporate pharmacies,” said Rep. Benham, who represents portions of Allegheny County. Read more

Grant Memo: Agricultural, Educational, Environmental, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities

(May 14, 2024)

Newly listed state grant programs Read more

Powell: More than $62,000 secured for improvements to Stephen Foster Community Center

(May 14, 2024)

PITTSBURGH, May 14 – The Stephen Foster Community Center is receiving $62,558 for capital improvements and renovations, state Rep. Lindsay Powell announced today. Powell, D-Allegheny, said the competitive grant from the state Department of Aging is a smart investment in a well-loved community gathering place. “The center plays a key role for so many seniors by offering meals and transportation, health and wellness programs, and classes and trips,” Powell said. “Possibly most important, it brings people together for conversation, community engagement, and all the other activities that go hand in hand with healthy aging. “The new funding will help ensure that the many seniors who love and use the center will be able to do so in the safest, most comfortable setting possible. I’m grateful to the center staff and Catholic Youth Organization for all they do to make the center a vital place in so many people’s lives, and I’m thankful to the Department of Aging and our community partners for the new funding that will keep it thriving.” More information about the competitive grants as well as additional, non-competitive grants to area senior centers is available here . Read more

Markosek applauds $45,800 grant for Plum Senior Community Center

(May 14, 2024)

"The Plum Senior Community Center offers exercise, recreational, and cultural programs, as well as daily activities for older adults in our community. Most importantly, it fosters connections and lasting friendships," said state Rep. Brandon Markosek, D-Allegheny. "With this grant, the community center can enhance programs, services, and the facility to better meet the needs of our older community members who benefit from them." Read more

Powell praises $75,000 in grants for community improvements in district

(May 13, 2024)

PITTSBURGH, May 13 – State Rep. Lindsay Powell, D-Allegheny, announced that a total of $75,000 in state grants has been awarded to help communities in Pennsylvania’s 21st Legislative District become safer, easier to navigate and focused on the future. The state Department of Community and Economic Development awarded $50,000 to Reserve Township to finish repairs to Logan Street, which links Millvale Borough to Reserve Township. Powell said this crucial corridor helps facilitate fast travel for each other’s first responders to provide mutual aid and connects residents with area shopping, restaurants and places of worship. These funds will be utilized to install a retaining wall to prevent a future landslide, stabilize the slope, and implement traffic safety improvements to the route. “Reserve Township’s residents and first responders deserve a quick route to and from Millvale Borough because lives literally depend on it,” Powell said. “Our region is prone to landslides, as a result of our beautiful but volatile landscapes, and it was my privilege to bring back these crucial dollars to our neighbors.” “State Representative Powell was instrumental in facilitating a state grant that allowed Reserve Township to rebuild the failing retaining wall and get this route reopened again after a closure of more than two years,” said Jan Kowalski, Reserve Township’s manager. Etna Borough received $25,000 from Read more

Salisbury: More than $2.7 million awarded to restore Chalfant Run watershed

(May 13, 2024)

BRADDOCK, May 13 – More than $2.7 million in new grant money from the state Department of Environmental Protection will fund work to remedy environmental impacts to Chalfant Run caused by acid mine drainage, state Rep. Abigail Salisbury announced today. Salisbury, D-Allegheny, said the grant to Allegheny Land Trust will allow the nonprofit conservation group to address a persistent threat to the watershed and beyond. “Acid mine drainage is a special threat to our region because of the number of abandoned mines that leach heavy metals into the waterways, killing fish, destroying delicate ecosystems and threatening the quality of our drinking water,” Salisbury said. “It’s also a problem that hits close to home, with the impact to Chalfant Run. “Fortunately, there are ways to remediate some of the problems. This new funding will allow Allegheny Land Trust to move forward on a project to construct and manage a passive treatment system that will reduce acidity in the water, remove harmful metals and begin to restore this vital watershed that is so important to our health and the environment.” The funding – awarded under the Abandoned Mine Lands and Acid Mine Drainage Grant Program – is part of $244 million that DEP will receive for Pennsylvania reclamation projects as part of the federal Infrastructure, Investment, and Jobs Act. Read more

Salisbury: $120K secured for Eastern Regional Mon Valley Police Department

(May 10, 2024)

“Police and local officials in Rankin, North Braddock and East Pittsburgh deserve a lot of credit for exercising the vision and planning needed to combine forces into a new regional police department,” Salisbury said. “But like other police and first responder agencies around the state, the new department faces the challenge of securing the needed staff power, training, tech equipment and other resources on a limited budget. The new funding will help ensure these frontline heroes have the resources they need to keep our communities safe.” Read more