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Rep. Austin Davis elected chairman of Allegheny County House Democratic Delegation

McKeesport revitalization efforts subject of legislative tour

(20 hours ago)

McKEESPORT, April 15 – As the state legislature considers how to invest federal economic and pandemic relief funding, state Reps. Austin Davis and Matt Bradford, chair of the House Democratic Appropriations Committee, joined Mayor Michael Cherepko today to discuss economic redevelopment efforts in McKeesport, including the ongoing McKeesport Rising Initiative . “When we talk about the McKeesport Rising initiative, we are making reference to our city’s great strides in economic development, infrastructure improvements, neighborhood beautification, and public safety advancements,” Cherepko said. “With all of these things coming together in our community, we are proud to have our progress at the forefront of discussions in Harrisburg. We are excited to share our accomplishments and potential with Chairman Bradford as he visits the City of McKeesport.” The tour included a stop at PurePenn LLC, the largest grower of medical marijuana in the region. Last year Davis helped PurePenn receive a $2 million state grant to expand its facility, which sits on the site of the old National Tube Steel mill. “This facility is one example of redevelopment that’s been successful in the Mon Valley,” said Davis, D-Allegheny. “It has helped to stimulate the local economy and create jobs in an area that has struggled in the wake of the steel industry collapse and during the COVID-19 Read more

 

Davis: More than $970,000 in grants awarded to Mon Valley STEM and computer science programs

(Apr 13, 2021)

HARRISBURG, April 13 – State Rep. Austin Davis announced the state Department of Education awarded more than $970,000 in PAsmart Advancing Grants to two Mon Valley programs to expand access to STEM and computer science in schools. “STEM and computer science programs are an investment in our future,” Davis said. “This money boosts programs that are teaching our children, especially those in underserved areas, important skills that will prepare them for careers in technology as adults.” Allegheny Intermediate Unit received $474,741 for the Diversifying CS Education in PA Through Rural and EL Equity program, a collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University and other IUs across the state that will increase the number of computer science educators using CMU’s CS Academy curriculum. The project will expand the curriculum for Spanish-speaking students and teachers, as well as those in underrepresented and underserved populations. Boys and Girls Club of Western Pa received $495,950 for the collaborative Western Pennsylvania AI Pathways Institute and Teen Accelerator by Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania, Will Allen Foundation and Clairton City School District. It offers a summer introductory program to artificial intelligence to students from underserved populations in western Pennsylvania, helping them earn mircrocredentials from Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy for a pre-apprentice certificate in Read more

 

Mon Valley slated to receive $600,000 in grant funding for infrastructure and tourism projects

(Apr 05, 2021)

McKEESPORT, April 5 – State Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, announced today the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County has awarded $600,000 in Community Infrastructure and Tourism grant funding for several projects in the Mon Valley. Davis said CITF grants provide financial assistance to municipalities, councils of government nonprofit and for-profit businesses to facilitate economic development projects in Allegheny County. Eligible projects include economic development, infrastructure development, job training, community improvement, public safety or improving the quality of life in the community. CITF grants were awarded to the following projects in the Mon Valley: The city of Clairton received $150,000 to purchase and install solar safety lighting. The city of Duquesne received $100,000 to replace the waterline on South Fifth Street between Kennedy Avenue and Priscilla Avenue McKeesport received $250,000 for renovations to the People’s Bank Building, which includes the heating system. Munhall received $100,000 for repairs to the Hays Mansion, including the chimney, bricks, roof, sidewalk, windowsills, and new exterior lighting. “These projects put a spotlight on improving areas and landmarks to make these communities a better place to live,” Davis said. “I want to congratulate all of the applicants and thank RAAC for continuing to invest in the Mon Valley.” Read more

 

Rep. Austin Davis’s spring 2021 newsletter

(Mar 30, 2021)

Throughout this year, I have heard theconcerns of many constituents tryingdesperately to navigate the state’sunemployment system and have workedwith educators to help ensure that allstudents have access to quality educationduring this unprecedented time. I havehad discussions with small businessowners surrounding the challenges theyhave faced and will continue to facefollowing this pandemic. I have heardthe concerns of our most vulnerablepopulations surrounding the vaccinerollout and understand your frustrationswith wanting to return to normalcy. I knowthat these issues have left many of youfilled with stress and worry, but I want toassure you that you are not alone. We areall in this together! Read more

 

Davis: Mon Valley school districts set to receive $41 million in federal COVID-19 relief funding

(Mar 30, 2021)

McKEESPORT, March 30 – State Rep. Austin Davis announced today an estimated $41.1 million in federal funding has been allocated to school districts in the Mon Valley to help them reopen safely and address learning losses as more students and teachers return to classrooms. “ Our teachers and staff should be applauded for continuing to educate our children while also keeping them safe, despite the disruptions caused by the pandemic,” said Davis, D-Allegheny. “This funding will help our school communities continue their commitment to our children by investing in additional resources, including instructional materials, equipment, and facilities, as they navigate the return to safe, in-person learning.” Davis said the funding is part of nearly $5 billion allocated to Pennsylvania in federal relief under the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund. The estimated funding for school districts in the 35 th Legislative District is as follows: Clairton City School District - $4.9 million. Duquesne City School District - $4.8 million. McKeesport Area School District - $16.9 million. South Allegheny School District - $3.4 million. Steel Valley School District - $5 million. West Mifflin Area School District - $5.9 million. School districts and charter schools must use at least 20% of the money to address learning Read more

 

Kinkead introduces measure to help protect residents from landslides

(Mar 30, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 30 – Landslides have devastated families across Allegheny County and are only becoming more of a problem throughout Pennsylvania, so state Rep. Emily Kinkead is spearheading a bill that would create a program to help. Kinkead, D-Allegheny, said H.B. 1054 would establish the Landslide Insurance and Assistance Program with the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. The program would establish a special insurance and assistance funds to ensure Pennsylvanians are properly protected from the destructive and devastating force of landslides. “In my district, an entire house fell off the side of a hill because of landslides and because it was not caused by mine subsidence, there was absolutely no insurance coverage to help the family rebuild their lives from the loss. While landslides resulting from mining practices receive special insurance coverage, those that occur due to excessive rain or snowfall aren’t typically covered, and that leaves far too many residents vulnerable to financial ruin,” said Kinkead. “These landslides can occur anywhere if the right conditions are present. With warmer weather here, it’s vital we take action now on this issue.” Several Allegheny County representatives, including state Reps. Austin Davis, Dan Deasy, Sara Innamorato and Nick Pisciottano, have signed on in support of Kinkead’s bill. “People in my district have seen their share of disruptive landslides. Read more

 

Pisciottano supports bill to protect patients, nurses

(Mar 29, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 29 – Ensuring patient safety and keeping nurses safe are the primary goals behind legislation supported by state Rep. Nick Pisciottano, D-Allegheny, and several members of the Allegheny County House Democratic Delegation. Pisciottano said the pandemic has brought serious safety concerns into the spotlight, as more nurses are being assigned an increasing number of patients, while at the same time, nurse staffing levels in hospitals continue to decline. House Bill 106, also known as the Patient Safety Act, would set appropriate nursing ratios for hospitals dependent upon the severity of the nursing unit’s patient needs. “As our state and nation begin to emerge from the pandemic, it’s critical we look at ways to improve our health systems and put procedures into place to enhance patient and workers’ safety,” said Pisciottano. “Our nurses and health care staff are doing all they can to help keep patients safe, and with the extra demands on their care during the current pandemic, we must join other states in instituting safe patient limits and create working conditions which protect the physical and mental health of our nurses. This measure would significantly raise the standards of care of patients while keeping our nurses safe.” A letter of support for the bill, signed by state Reps. Jessica Benham, Austin Davis, Dan Deasy, Emily Kinkead, Sara Read more

 

As Biden heads to Pittsburgh to talk infrastructure, Mon Valley legislators urge federal investment in two long-awaited projects

(Mar 29, 2021)

Projects would open region for economic turnaround, investment in communities Read more

 

Allegheny County rental relief program now accepting applications

(Mar 15, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 15 – Financial assistance is now available to help Allegheny County residents struggling to pay rent or utilities during the COVID-19 pandemic as part of a program that is partially funded by legislation members of the Allegheny County Democratic Delegation helped to pass. The Allegheny County Emergency Rental Assistance program has a total of $79.9 million to distribute to eligible county residents. Of that funding, $43 million came from Act 1 of 2021, which Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law last month. Eligibility requirements for the program include: having at least one person who qualifies for unemployment, has lost income or suffered financially due to COVID-19. being at risk of experiencing homelessness. having a total income below 80% of the Area Median Income for Allegheny County. ACDD Chairman state Rep. Austin Davis, as well as state Reps. Jessica Benham, Dan Deasy, Tony DeLuca, Dan Frankel, Ed Gainey, Sara Innamorato, Emily Kinkead, Anita Kulik, Summer Lee, Brandon Markosek, Robert Matzie, Dan Miller, Nick Pisciottano and Jake Wheatley, issued the following statement: “People living in Allegheny County have been struggling for over a year during this pandemic. This program has been a long time coming and helps provide direct relief to those who’ve been scrambling to pay their rent and bills during this Read more

 

Davis encourages folks to apply for rent relief on Monday

(Mar 12, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 12 – State Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, is encouraging Allegheny County residents who are struggling to pay rent and utilities to apply for financial assistance on Monday. The Allegheny County Emergency Rental Assistance program is being administered by the county Department of Human Services. It will distribute the combined $79.9 million in federal funding to eligible county residents who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. That includes folks who: have at least one person who qualifies for unemployment, has lost income, or suffered financially due to COVID-19. are at risk of experiencing homelessness. have a total income below 80% of the Area Median Income for Allegheny County. “Even as vaccines become more available and we start looking to return to ‘normal,’ many of our families and neighbors are still struggling with basic needs. This program is a lifeline for many folks in the Mon Valley who continue to face hardships,” Davis said. “If you or someone you know is having trouble affording rent and utilities, please apply or share this program with them.” Starting Monday, applications can be submitted online through Allegheny County’s website or compass.state.pa.us . Drop-in centers with internet access and computers will also be available across Read more

 

Allegheny County Delegation announces $1.5 million in security grants for nonprofit organizations

(Mar 10, 2021)

Members of the PA House Democratic Allegheny County Delegation said $1.5 million will be awarded to nonprofit organizations across the county for security projects. Read more

 

Allegheny County Democrats urge businesses to apply for hospitality relief funding when available

(Mar 05, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 5 - Members of the House Allegheny County Democratic Delegation are urging hospitality business owners to apply for funding doled out through the COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Relief Program. Earlier this year, the state legislature unanimously approved $145 million for this program. The money has been split up among the state’s 67 counties. Allegheny County is receiving $13.7 million through the program. Restaurants, bars, and other hospitality businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19 can apply for grants up to $50,000. Allegheny County is working with local Certified Economic Development Organizations and Community Development Financial Institutions to establish an application portal that will go live on March 15. Funds will be disbursed to grant recipients by July 31. Allegheny County Delegation Chair Austin Davis, as well as state Reps. Sara Innamorato, Brandon Markosek, Jessica Benham, Dan Deasy, Tony DeLuca, Dan Frankel, Ed Gainey, Emily Kinkead, Anita Kulik, Summer Lee, Robert Matzie, Dan Miller, Nick Pisciottano, and Jake Wheatley issued the following statement: “The hospitality industry has arguably been the hardest-hit industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. The governor initiated the transfer of the $145 million for this program, and lawmakers came together in a bipartisan fashion to make the money available to bars, restaurants, and other Read more

 

Miller, Davis legislation would increase transparency in law enforcement videos

(Feb 26, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 26 – State Reps. Dan Miller and Austin Davis, both D-Allegheny, are introducing legislation to provide more transparency and accountability when it comes to police videos and recording of law enforcement in Pennsylvania. Act 22 of 2017 approved the use of body cameras by law enforcement. While Miller and Davis believe the law has protected both officers and the public, they also believe it has shortcomings that need to be addressed. “Act 22 was an important bill that I believe has helped de-escalate some situations and improve safety,” Miller said. “But at the same time, it decreased transparency by restricting the public’s ability to access police video previously subject to the state’s Right to Know Law and made it more challenging to get any footage from law enforcement in a variety of ways. Our legislation would reverse much of that and make other important changes.” Miller and Davis’ legislation would: Return all non-body camera police video to the purview of the Right to Know Law, as was the case before Act 22. Increase the amount of time a person has to request body camera footage from 60 to 180 days. Increase the ways a person may formally request such footage. Increase response time for such requests. Increase appeal rights by providing for review by the Office of Open Records. Develop a uniform request form. Protect and enshrine the right of citizens to record police Read more

 

COVID-19 Vaccine Registry Act solution to PA vaccine registration troubles

(Feb 15, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 15 – In response to challenges faced by eligible Pennsylvanians seeking to get vaccinated, Reps. Ryan Bizzarro, Pam Snyder, Jennifer O’Mara, and Austin Davis are introducing legislation that would streamline the registration and notification process. The Vaccine Registry Act would direct the Pennsylvania Department of Health to create a statewide database of people who are eligible and willing to accept the vaccine and permit them to schedule for themselves, their spouses or significant others, and their families. Registrants may also provide evidence of risk status and proof of eligibility and make note of how far they are willing to travel to be vaccinated. Vaccine providers would be required to commit to accessing the registry and prioritizing registrants for scheduling appointments, to prevent people from spending hours trying to find and sign up for available appointments. “We cannot flounder any longer without a plan which allows people to easily register for vaccine access for themselves and their families, the frustration is real and growing and we cannot wait any longer. I look forward to working with the Department of Health and Governor Tom Wolf on this creative solution for a centralized system that recognizes the independence of our providers,” said Bizzarro, D-Erie, and chairman of the House Democratic Policy Committee. Snyder, D-Greene/Fayette/Washington, added: Read more

 

Davis commends educators for providing safe in-person learning during COVID-19 pandemic

(Feb 12, 2021)

McKEESPORT, Feb. 12 – State Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, is thanking school district leaders in the 35 th Legislative District for providing a safe environment for students to return for in-person instruction, following months of school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Davis sent a letter to all school board members and superintendents to show his appreciation and let them know their leadership and efforts implementing proper safety protocols have not gone unnoticed. “The COVID-19 pandemic has required us to completely change how we live our daily lives and has posed a myriad of challenges on our educational systems,” Davis said. “When the governor ordered schools to be closed in March, educators were left with limited guidance on what the next steps to educating our youth would be. “It’s through the hard work and dedication to students that school districts in the Mon Valley have been able to overcome obstacles to help students learn at home and now back in the classroom, while also keeping everyone safe. “I want our educators to know their efforts have not gone unnoticed and I’m proud to work with school leaders and will continue to be a resource for districts so we can ensure our children continue to have access to quality education, which is paramount to shaping the future of our youth and creating tomorrow’s leaders,” he said. “Together, Read more

 

Drop boxes at Davis’ offices for Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program assistance

(Feb 10, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 10 – State Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, has made drop boxes available at his offices in McKeesport and Munhall to help eligible homeowners and renters applying for a rebate on property taxes or rent paid in 2020. 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, and half of Social Security income is excluded. “I want to help eligible homeowners and renters get much-needed money back in their pockets,” Davis said. “It’s free to apply to the program and my offices are available to help them navigate the application process.” Residents who want assistance with completion of their Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program applications should place the following documents in an envelope with their name, address, and phone number in the drop boxes: Homeowners Paid property taxes for school, city or borough and county. All 2020 income information. Renters A completed rent certificate or rent rebate report. All 2020 income information. Those documents will be mailed back to the applicant once the rebate form is completed. For assistance with filing for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program or help with other questions, residents may contact the McKeesport office at Read more

 

Rep. Davis calls for COVID-19 vaccine central registry

(Feb 08, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 8 – State Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, is urging the Pennsylvania Department of Health to start a central registry for the distribution of COVID-19 Vaccine. Davis, the Vice-chair of the House Democratic Policy Committee, asked the agency to provide a central location where Pennsylvanians can register for a vaccination during that committee’s virtual hearing today on the state’s vaccine rollout. “I think it would make this process significantly easier for folks if they had one place to go to get on the list and then somebody would reach out to them,” Davis said. “It’s not going to work any other way. It’s creating too much chaos and confusion among people.” Pennsylvania Department of Health Executive Deputy Secretary Keara Klinepeter said in the hearing the Governor’s office is considering the option and other ways to make it easier for Pennsylvanians who want to be vaccinated to do so. “A central registry can work here in Pennsylvania,” Davis added. “I’m advocating in the strongest terms that the state Health Department creates one. It would make things easier and it’s just the right thing to do.” To watch state Rep. Davis’ full remarks from today’s hearing, click here . For the latest information about COVID-19 vaccines in Pennsylvania, visit http://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Vaccine . Read more

 

Davis issues statement on Gov. Wolf’s budget address

(Feb 03, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 3 – State Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, today issued the following statement regarding Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget address: “The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the lives of every Pennsylvanian last year, and today Governor Wolf outlined a plan with an emphasis on helping people get back to work and providing recovery efforts that would help hard-hit businesses get back on track. “Today’s proposal shows support for workforce development and puts forward a path to raise the minimum wage, touching on key issues that are important for working-class families in the Mon Valley. The pandemic has shown how critical it is for people to be able to provide necessities, like food and shelter, for their families. “I’m also encouraged to see the governor is also addressing the digital divide in schools by removing barriers that would close that gap, as well as making sure school buildings are safe from lead, asbestos and other hazardous materials for when students are able to return to classrooms. “ The governor has laid out a plan that’s focused on bettering the lives of all Pennsylvanians and falls in line with my priorities for our region, which includes putting people first, creating family sustaining jobs and ensuring every child has access to a quality education. I look forward to assessing this budget proposal in the coming weeks as member of the House Appropriations Read more

 

Addressing the frustrations about COVID-19 vaccine scarcity

(Feb 01, 2021)

Click the image to learn more. Read more

 

A breath of fresh air; Remembering those we lost; Celebrating Maternal Health Awareness Day

(Jan 27, 2021)

I’m happy to report that Allegheny County reported record-breaking air quality across the region on Tuesday! Read more

 

McKeesport revitalization efforts subject of legislative tour
20 hours ago

Davis: More than $970,000 in grants awarded to Mon Valley STEM and computer science programs
Apr 13, 2021

Mon Valley slated to receive $600,000 in grant funding for infrastructure and tourism projects
Apr 05, 2021

Rep. Austin Davis’s spring 2021 newsletter
Mar 30, 2021

Davis: Mon Valley school districts set to receive $41 million in federal COVID-19 relief funding
Mar 30, 2021

Kinkead introduces measure to help protect residents from landslides
Mar 30, 2021

Pisciottano supports bill to protect patients, nurses
Mar 29, 2021

As Biden heads to Pittsburgh to talk infrastructure, Mon Valley legislators urge federal investment in two long-awaited projects
Mar 29, 2021

Allegheny County rental relief program now accepting applications
Mar 15, 2021

Davis encourages folks to apply for rent relief on Monday
Mar 12, 2021

Allegheny County Delegation announces $1.5 million in security grants for nonprofit organizations
Mar 10, 2021

Allegheny County Democrats urge businesses to apply for hospitality relief funding when available
Mar 05, 2021

Miller, Davis legislation would increase transparency in law enforcement videos
Feb 26, 2021

COVID-19 Vaccine Registry Act solution to PA vaccine registration troubles
Feb 15, 2021

Davis commends educators for providing safe in-person learning during COVID-19 pandemic
Feb 12, 2021

Drop boxes at Davis’ offices for Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program assistance
Feb 10, 2021

Rep. Davis calls for COVID-19 vaccine central registry
Feb 08, 2021

Davis issues statement on Gov. Wolf’s budget address
Feb 03, 2021

Addressing the frustrations about COVID-19 vaccine scarcity
Feb 01, 2021

A breath of fresh air; Remembering those we lost; Celebrating Maternal Health Awareness Day
Jan 27, 2021