Featured News

Summer 2020 Newsletter

Licensing fees waived for bars, restaurants through 2021; Making sure our first responders get the support they need; $23 million investment in Clairton's water, wastewater system

(Oct 23, 2020)

Today, Gov. Tom Wolf announced that his administration is requesting the state Liquor Control Board to waive licensing fees through 2021 for bars and restaurants in the commonwealth. Read more

 

Davis supports waiving license fees for bars, restaurants through 2021

(Oct 22, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 22 – State Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, today released the following statement regarding Gov. Tom Wolf’s announcement that his administration and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board will waive licensing fees through 2021: “Today our bars and restaurants received some very welcoming financial news. The waiving of licensing fees through 2021 is going to help more bars and restaurants than we know. In fact, it’s estimated that more than 16,000 bars and restaurants, hotels, clubs and catering clubs could see upward of $20 million in relief. “But most importantly – it’s going to allow these establishments to retain the capital they need to make it through this global pandemic. COVID-19 was unexpected and, quite frankly, we were unprepared for a health crisis of this extent. However, that doesn’t mean that the restaurant industry, especially our family-owned businesses, should be forced to shutter their doors. “Capacity restrictions have been unpopular and hard to navigate in Pennsylvania. But these restrictions are saving lives. Unfortunately, the winter months are going to make it extremely hard on the restaurant industry. The waiving of licensing fees, though, will help these businesses during this very uncertain time. “Lastly, I’d like to thank Governor Tom Wolf for listening to our request last week to waive these fees. It’s clear by Read more

 

Davis bill designed to benefit fire, EMS amended into bill that will overhaul Office of the State Fire Commissioner

(Oct 21, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 21 – State Rep. Austin’s Davis’ H.B. 1819 , which would strengthen fire and EMS services through the creation of a state fire commission, was rolled into another House bill that passed the state House Wednesday. The amended bill that passed the House, H.B.1673 , would overhaul various elements of law governing fire and emergency medical services in the commonwealth. Crucial elements of Davis’ H.B. 1819 were included in the final version of H.B. 1673. “Reforming the Office of the State Fire Commissioner is important on so many levels, most notably so that we can ensure our volunteer fire and EMS agencies are receiving the proper administrative support they want and need,” Davis said. “This was a bill of great importance to me, and I’m grateful portions of my legislation were integrated into the finalized version of House Bill 1673, which will benefit our fire and EMS services immensely.” The portion of H.B. 1673 that addresses the OSFC, and relates closely to Davis’ bill, expands the duty of this office in many ways. The bill would convert the Fire Safety Advisory Committee into the State Fire Advisory Board, changing its composition and duties, and consequently disbanding the existing committee. The board would be composed of 14 voting members, the majority and minority chairs of House and Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness committees as non-voting members, and additional Read more

 

State lawmakers Davidson, Davis introduce legislation to protect people who carry life-saving medication

(Oct 21, 2020)

State Reps. Margo Davidson, D-Delaware, and Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, introduced Lloyd’s Law Wednesday. The bill would end the practice of permitting insurance companies to deny coverage because family members, social workers and other Pennsylvania residents carry or at one time carried the life-saving medication naloxone in attempt to prevent fatal opioid overdoses of others. Read more

 

Davis announces $23 million investment in Clairton’s water, wastewater system

(Oct 21, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 21 – Clairton’s sewage system will receive major improvements thanks to a $23 million state loan announced today, said state Rep. Austin Davis. Davis said the loan, approved for Clairton’s municipal authority and awarded by the Pennsylvania Infrastructure and Investment Authority, or Pennvest, will provide a much-needed reduction in combined sewage overflow and the elimination of sanitary sewage overflow. “It’s important we keep our wastewater plants up-to-speed and utilize state dollars granted to our communities so that we can ensure residents are getting top-of-the-line water and wastewater services,” Davis said. “I’d like to thank the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority for supporting this substantial loan, as I know it will be put to good use in Clairton and positively impact those in the community.” Davis said the project will include the installation of four bioreactor basins, two effluent water storage tanks, four flow/storage clarifiers and two chlorine contact tanks. He added that these installations will increase the biological treatment capacity at Clairton’s wastewater plant and increase available flows from 6 million gallons per day to 10.83 million gallons per day. Davis said the $23 million low-interest loan awarded today to Clairton is to be paid back at 1% interest over 20 years. Read more

 

Davis: $407K grant awarded for rehabilitation of Great Allegheny Passage

(Oct 15, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 15 – A portion of the Great Allegheny Passage in the Mon Valley will undergo rehabilitation thanks to $407,000 in state grant money awarded Thursday, announced state Rep. Austin Davis. Davis, D-Allegheny, said approximately 1.1 miles of trail spanning the Munhall, Homestead and West Homestead boroughs will undergo rehabilitation from Waterfront Drive to the Homestead-Grays Bridge. “This is yet again another great example of what state funding can do for our community,” Davis said. “This project alone will not only benefit residents looking to utilize the passage, but it also will enhance tourism across the Mon Valley, which means more foot traffic and money spent in our community. I look forward to the completion of this project.” Davis said the rehabilitation project will include the installation of ADA access points, landscaping, sign installation and other site-related improvements. The investments are among 41 grants supported by the Keystone and Environmental Stewardship funds, ATV and Snowmobile restricted accounts and federal Pennsylvania Recreational Trails funds awarded statewide, totaling approximately $7.6 million for trail projects, including planning, construction and rehabilitation, as well as for ATVs/snowmobiles. A complete list of the grants is on the DCNR website . Read more

 

Clairton redevelopment project, fueled by state tax credits, begins

(Oct 09, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 9 – Today, state Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, attended a ground-breaking ceremony for the Clairton Inn Project in downtown Clairton. The event took place at the corner of Miller and St. Clair avenues, where a proposed mixed-use redevelopment site will transform the majority of a block into a vibrant center full of apartments and retail space. Davis said it will be one of the biggest non-industrial investments in Clairton in modern times. Davis, who played an instrumental role in securing tax credits from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency so that this project could become a reality, said he was elated Friday to finally see the redevelopment initiative underway. “Residents in Clairton not only want, but most definitely deserve, a revitalization project of this magnitude,” Davis said. “Once complete, downtown Clairton will offer and provide a mix of opportunities for everyone. I’m just grateful I had a chance to take part in a project that will positively impact the lives of residents living in our community.” Specifically, Davis said the redevelopment of the key “main street” block at the corner of Miller and St. Clair avenues will provide needed affordable housing and opportunities for new and established businesses, including a new potential home for the Clairton Public Library. Mon Valley Initiative, a nonprofit community housing Read more

 

Davis announces upwards of $270K in emergency funding to 11 fire companies in Mon Valley

(Oct 09, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 9 – State Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, announced that 11 fire companies in his legislative district will be receiving $270,349 in emergency funding for operational expenses incurred because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Davis said the grants, awarded by the Office of the State Fire Commissioner, will bring needed funding to help offset expenses related to the global pandemic. “Fire companies rely on community events to fund their programs, but the COVID-19 pandemic obviously put a stop to this lifeline that keeps our first responders’ stations up and running,” Davis said. “To make matters worse, first responders must now wear PPE and other equipment to safeguard themselves, rescue victims and their families from potential COVID-19 exposure. The funding received today will most definitely allow fire companies in the Mon Valley to be more at ease knowing funding is on its way,” Davis said. The grantees include: City of McKeesport Fire Department - $25,342. Clairton Volunteer Fire Department - $23,094. Coulter Volunteer Fire Co. - $23,014 Duquesne Volunteer Fire Department - $23,288. Duquesne Annex Fire Co. - $23,151. Munhall Volunteer Fire Co. No. 2 - $34,377. Munhall Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1 - $24,384. Rainbow Volunteer Fire Co. - $23,699. Versailles Volunteer Fire Co. - $22,740. Read more

 

Important info about November election

(Oct 08, 2020)

Due to an abundance of questions regarding the upcoming election, I want to provide you with a general list of Q&As to help ease your concerns. Read more

 

Money coming back, reinvested in our community

(Sep 25, 2020)

We’ve seen a substantial amount of funding awarded to our community in recent weeks! It’s always exciting to announce news like this, but it’s even more rewarding to see the funding reinvested back into the community. Read more

 

Davis Looks to Balance COVID-19 Protections, Enjoying School Sports

(Sep 23, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 23 – State Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, released the following statement on today’s House vote to uphold Gov. Tom Wolf’s veto of a bill that would allow school districts to decide how many fans attend high school sporting events amidst the COVID-19 pandemic: “What took place in the House chamber today was not legislative by any means. It was simply an opportunity to take a jab at the governor and make an already difficult situation worse. “It was a waste of taxpayer money, especially since county health and PIAA officials stand in unison and agree with the state’s current restrictions because they, too, understand the seriousness of how the virus could spread at a sporting event. “There is no obvious answer or solution to this problem, otherwise we’d already have the proper mandates in place. But I do believe there is a middle ground and legislative compromise available, which is why in the near future I plan to introduce a sports-related bill that will address the wants, needs and safety of commonwealth residents in regard to sporting events amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. “I’m committed to working with everyone to find a way to compromise on this situation. It’s my hope that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle feel the same.” Wolf’s veto of H.B. 2787 was sustained by a 130-71 vote in the state House. Read more

 

Seven elementary schools in Mon Valley awarded fresh food grants

(Sep 21, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 21 – Today, state Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, announced that several elementary schools in the Mon Valley were awarded grants to provide students with fresh fruits and vegetables. Davis said the funding was dispersed through the Department of Education and awarded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. The program’s goals are to create healthier school environments by providing healthier food choices, expand the variety of fruits and vegetables students experience, increase fruit and vegetable consumption and positively impact students’ present and future health. “A hard work ethic isn’t the only thing that enables students to excel in the classroom,” Davis said. “Students need options to nutritious food that in part plays a role in their success. The grants awarded today will do just that and set the standard for a healthy diet.” The following elementary schools in the 35 th Legislative District were awarded funding through the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program: Clairton Elementary School. Clara Barton Elementary School. Duquesne Elementary School. Francis McClure Elementary School. Propel Charter School of McKeesport. South Allegheny Elementary School. Young Scholars of McKeesport Charter School. Davis said the program works by giving select elementary schools $50 to Read more

 

Davis: More than $450K awarded for infrastructure, renovation projects in 35th Legislative District

(Sep 15, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 15 – State Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, today announced that a total of $485,501 was awarded to entities in the 35 th Legislative District to help fund their infrastructure and renovation projects. Davis said the funding was awarded through the Allegheny County Gaming Economic Development Tourism Fund and approved by the Commonwealth Financing Authority. “It’s exciting to announce funding to places that are important to our community and that provide residents with a number of needed resources,” Davis said. “It’s my hope this funding goes a long way in helping improve these respective facilities, and I look forward to completion of the projects.” Davis said the grants were awarded as follows: Healthy Village Learning Institute in McKeesport was awarded $85,501 to replace old windows with energy efficient windows to maximize on its newly installed boiler. Steel Rivers Council of Governments in White Oak was granted $100,000 for the construction of retaining walls. Carnegie Library of Homestead in Munhall received $100,000 to help fund the installation of a new ADA-compliant passenger elevator. The City of Clairton was granted $100,000 for the installation of safety lighting. Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank in Duquesne was awarded $100,000 for the installation of sidewalks, parking and ADA-compliant ramps. The funds Read more

 

Restaurants to increase indoor compacity to 50% Sept. 21; H.B. 1737 voted out of state Senate committee

(Sep 09, 2020)

Gov. Tom Wolf announced that restaurants may increase their indoor dining capacity to 50% starting Sept. 21. Read more

 

Davis’ bill that would create environmental liability exemption for land banks voted out of Senate committee

(Sep 03, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 3 – State Rep. Austin Davis’ H.B. 1737 , which would create an environmental liability exemption for land banks, has been voted out of the state Senate’s Environmental Resources & Energy Committee. Davis’ bill now goes to the full Senate for consideration. “I’m encouraged to see this bill making its way through the Senate committee,” Davis said. “This is an important bill that would be beneficial to many across the commonwealth and allow a lot of the current vacated properties to be utilized for better use. It’s my hope the state Senate sees the importance of this bill and promptly passes it through its chamber.” Current law, as defined under the Land Recycling and Environmental Remediation Standards Act, deems a land bank – enacted by a municipality for the purpose of acquiring and redeveloping local property – is subject to enforcement action by the state Department of Environmental Protection. However, the Economic Development Agency, Fiduciary and Lender Environmental Liability Protection Act exempts “economic development agencies” from liability from DEP, so long as they do not contribute or exacerbate contamination at the property. Economic development agencies include redevelopment authorities, municipal authorities and other government and community-based entities acquiring properties. Davis’ Read more

 

House Democrats fight to keep renters, homeowners Safe at Home

(Aug 31, 2020)

The House Democratic Housing Working Group announced a package of bills to protect people across Pennsylvania as the state’s moratorium on evictions and foreclosures expires Read more

 

More than $550K in federal COVID-19 relief funding awarded to area schools, intermediate unit; My testimony opposing PA-American Water’s rate increase request -- and more!

(Aug 27, 2020)

This week, a combined total of $566,212 in federal COVID-19 relief funding was awarded to multiple school districts and an intermediate unit in our community. Read more

 

Police Reform Working Group issues statement on House Republican Policy hearing on law enforcement; calls for further legislative action

(Aug 27, 2020)

The Police Reform Working Group, a collection of local and state elected officials and advocates, issued the following statement in response to a Pennsylvania House Republican Policy Committee hearing on law enforcement interactions with the community:“We appreciate the House Republican Policy Committee shining a light on how law enforcement interacts with communities around the state. This is a necessary discussion that is long overdue and it’s encouraging to hear presenters today acknowledge that police reform is necessary. Read more

 

Fiedler, Davis, Cephas stand up for renters and homeowners facing payment challenges due to COVID-19

(Aug 26, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 26 – To help renters and homeowners struggling with payments as well as small landlords, today state Reps. Elizabeth Fiedler and Morgan Cephas, both D-Phila., and Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, introduced a measure that would expand the Pennsylvania Housing and Finance Agency’s Rental and Mortgage Assistance Program. “For too many renters and homeowners with mortgages the COVID-19 crisis has gone beyond a health emergency to a housing emergency, and it’s time for the state to step up and offer substantive relief,” Fiedler said. “Our proposal will cut the red tape and get the help into the pockets of the people who need it the most, and we hope it will move quickly through the legislature.” “A program people in need can’t access is worse than not having a program at all,” Davis said. “Everyone we’ve heard from made their voices clear – renters need help, homeowners in debt need help, small landlords need help, and they can’t wait any longer. We’re going to deliver that help and we know this need goes far beyond political parties and county lines.” Cephas agreed, saying, "As the COVID-19 crisis continues, so do the economic burdens for families struggling to pay the bills and keep a roof over their heads. Our legislation will help break down barriers and help ensure homeowners, small landlords and renters have access to financial relief that's Read more

 

Davis testifies in opposition to Pennsylvania-American’s rate increase request at PUC’s public input hearing

(Aug 26, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 26 – On Tuesday, state Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, testified before the Public Utility Commission in opposition to Pennsylvania-American Water’s recent rate increase request. In May, Davis sent a letter to PUC, urging the commission to investigate Pennsylvania-American Water’s rate increase proposal and to hold a public hearing on the matter. The utility company, Davis said, began the process of examining needed investments to continue to ensure safe and reliable water and wastewater services before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. But he said he found it alarming when the company continued to push for an increase during a global pandemic and following an already approved rate increase from PUC in 2018. At Tuesday’s public input hearing regarding the request, Davis’ verbal opposition to the increase fell on similar grounds. “I understand the need to source for investments so Pennsylvania-American Water can continue to provide quality, safe and reliable water and wastewater services to residents,” Davis said. “What I can’t understand, though, is the reasoning behind the continued push for an increase during the current public health crisis. “The financial hardships alone in recent months have had a crippling impact on our economy and residents alike. Our neighbors are fighting to keep their heads above water, not be submerged in Read more

 

Licensing fees waived for bars, restaurants through 2021; Making sure our first responders get the support they need; $23 million investment in Clairton's water, wastewater system
Oct 23, 2020

Davis supports waiving license fees for bars, restaurants through 2021
Oct 22, 2020

Davis bill designed to benefit fire, EMS amended into bill that will overhaul Office of the State Fire Commissioner
Oct 21, 2020

State lawmakers Davidson, Davis introduce legislation to protect people who carry life-saving medication
Oct 21, 2020

Davis announces $23 million investment in Clairton’s water, wastewater system
Oct 21, 2020

Davis: $407K grant awarded for rehabilitation of Great Allegheny Passage
Oct 15, 2020

Clairton redevelopment project, fueled by state tax credits, begins
Oct 09, 2020

Davis announces upwards of $270K in emergency funding to 11 fire companies in Mon Valley
Oct 09, 2020

Important info about November election
Oct 08, 2020

Money coming back, reinvested in our community
Sep 25, 2020

Davis Looks to Balance COVID-19 Protections, Enjoying School Sports
Sep 23, 2020

Seven elementary schools in Mon Valley awarded fresh food grants
Sep 21, 2020

Davis: More than $450K awarded for infrastructure, renovation projects in 35th Legislative District
Sep 15, 2020

Restaurants to increase indoor compacity to 50% Sept. 21; H.B. 1737 voted out of state Senate committee
Sep 09, 2020

Davis’ bill that would create environmental liability exemption for land banks voted out of Senate committee
Sep 03, 2020

House Democrats fight to keep renters, homeowners Safe at Home
Aug 31, 2020

More than $550K in federal COVID-19 relief funding awarded to area schools, intermediate unit; My testimony opposing PA-American Water’s rate increase request -- and more!
Aug 27, 2020

Police Reform Working Group issues statement on House Republican Policy hearing on law enforcement; calls for further legislative action
Aug 27, 2020

Fiedler, Davis, Cephas stand up for renters and homeowners facing payment challenges due to COVID-19
Aug 26, 2020

Davis testifies in opposition to Pennsylvania-American’s rate increase request at PUC’s public input hearing
Aug 26, 2020