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

$4.9 million in state funding awarded to support housing initiatives in Allegheny County

(Jun 10, 2021)

Funding comes from reality transfer tax, Marcellus Shale Impact Fees Read more

 

Davis: Ending disaster declaration leaves too many questions about providing aid and federal funding

(Jun 10, 2021)

McKEESPORT, June 10 – State Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, issued the following statement regarding the House vote on H.R. 106, which ends the emergency COVID-19 declaration: “I voted against this legislation because there are too many questions on how ending the disaster declaration would impact programs, like SNAP funding, unemployment benefits and federal funding. “The state is already 100 percent open, but withdrawing the disaster declaration could hurt Pennsylvanians and create uncertainty for people who are struggling to stay in their homes and apartments, shut off utilities for thousands of families, take food away from school children, remove the national guard from long-term facilities and send away doctors and nurses who have come out of retirement to help battle the virus and administer vaccinations. “We need to protect federal funding and make sure we are getting aid to those who need it as we come out of this pandemic.” Read more

 

Pa. Legislative Black Caucus condemns Zappala actions

(Jun 04, 2021)

HARRISBURG, June 4 – State Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., chair of the PA Legislative Black Caucus, along with members of the PLBC today condemned the actions of Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala to ban plea deals for clients of attorney Milton Raiford because Raiford said publicly he felt the DA’s office was systemically racist in dealing with defendants of color. In an email made public, Zappala ceased plea deals for anyone Raiford is or would be defending moving forward, pending a decision by him. “For the district attorney of any county to say the office will cease plea deals across the board for an attorney’s clients because that attorney has disagreed with the DA publicly is abuse of power, period,” Bullock said. “But in this particular case, a Black lawyer and his clients, many of them people of color, are being treated differently because the DA refuses to face the criticism of systemic racism in our criminal justice system. This is disgraceful, appalling, disturbing and unacceptable, and needs to be remedied immediately. A full investigation needs to be launched as well with the findings made public.” “Over the past several years, we have seen the systemic inequality and bias of the criminal justice system laid bare,” said state Rep. Austin Davis, chair of the House Allegheny County Delegation and a PLBC member. “This past week, we have seen just how local this issue truly is in the Read more

 

Kinkead: Allegheny County DA Zappala’s actions are reprehensible and must be immediately addressed

(Jun 04, 2021)

PITTSBURGH, June 4 – State Rep. Emily Kinkead, D-Allegheny, issued the following statement regarding Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala’s public comments against Milton Raiford, a Black attorney who spoke out against racism in the criminal justice system. “It is undisputed that our criminal justice system has real, systemic and systematic issues of racism and Allegheny County is far from immune. DA Stephen Zappala’s decision not to address these issues but instead to instruct his staff not to offer plea deals to attorney Milton Raiford’s clients after he voiced concerns about these issues betrays public trust in their ability to receive equal justice in Allegheny County, not to mention violating attorney Raiford’s free speech rights. “To potentially punish clients because of the statements their attorney made is beyond reprehensible and must be addressed immediately. This latest action raises additional concerns as to how the district attorney’s office has conducted its business, notably in how it has treated clients of other attorneys, including those with whom DA Zappala may have disagreed, now or in the past. “Several of my colleagues in the state House and Senate today have joined me in signing a letter , urging DA Zappala to take immediate actions that would work to restore public confidence in the district attorney’s office, including rescinding the action taken against attorney Read more

 

Davis: $100,000 grant awarded to Carnegie Library of Homestead

(Jun 02, 2021)

MUNHALL, June 2 – State Rep. Austin Davis announced today that The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission awarded $100,000 in grant funding to the Carnegie Library of Homestead in Munhall. Davis said the grant will be used for the Carnegie Library of Homestead’s continued upgrade of its fire protection systems. The project includes installing a fire sprinkler system in the music hall, which will provide protection for the thousands of people who attend performances and events held at the music hall each year. The Carnegie Library of Homestead is the oldest Carnegie library in continuous operation in its original structure in the U.S. “Carnegie of Homestead has been a cornerstone of learning and improved the quality of life in the Mon Valley since it was built in 1898,” said Davis, D-Allegheny. “I’m pleased to see the funding will help to preserve and protect the music hall, which has been a special place for community events, from graduations to dance recitals, as well as an economic driver for the area by bringing in nationally known entertainment.” The funding comes from the Keystone Historic Preservation Grant Program, which supports the preservation, rehabilitation, and restoration of historic sites that are eligible or listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The PHMC awarded a total of more than $2.3 million to 54 projects across the state. Read more

 

Davis: Nearly $325,000 in grants awarded to Mon Valley blight remediation projects

(May 25, 2021)

HARRISBURG, May 25 – State Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, announced today that two remediation projects in the Mon Valley have been awarded a combined $324,063 in grant funding from the Commonwealth Financing Authority’s Blight Remediation Program. “Blighted properties can be an eyesore and a strain on communities,” Davis said. “The funding secured shows a committed investment to the Mon Valley and will help support projects that rebuild and revitalize these communities, making them better places to live, work and visit.” The projects and the specific funding amount are as follows: $30,000 to Steel Rivers Council of Governments for the Glassport and Versailles Demolitions. The SRCOG identified 12 properties in Glassport and one property in Versailles to be demolished based on the “Allegheny County Market Value Analysis” in 2017, which outlined the impact the demolitions would have on the surrounding market. The funding will be used for demolition, environmental cleanup and engineering costs. $294,063 to the city of McKeesport for the demolition of downtown business district buildings located at 903 5 th Ave., 907 5 th Ave., 911 5 th Ave., 328 6 th Ave., 422 Shaw Ave., 1013 5th Ave. and 1017 5 th Ave. The funding will also be used for environmental cleanup, professional services and engineering costs. The CFA awarded a total of $12 million from its Blight Remediation Read more

 

Davis tours problem roads in the Mon Valley with PennDOT

(May 21, 2021)

McKEESPORT, May 21 – State Rep. Austin Davis joined state Transportation Department District 11 Director Cheryl Moon-Sirianni today on a tour of the Mon Valley to meet with municipal managers and elected officials to discuss road issues in their communities. “Each year, my office reaches out to communities in the Mon Valley to hear what road problems concern them the most,” said Davis, D-Allegheny. “Tours like the one today open up a dialogue with PennDOT by bringing pressing safety issues to its attention and in some cases, getting them resolved.” Davis and Sirianni visited Clairton, Duquesne, Lincoln, McKeesport, Munhall, West Mifflin, Whitaker and White Oak. “These communities are dealing with a variety of road issues, from repaving and potholes, to speed limit signs and catch basins,” Davis said. “Today’s tour is one of the ways I’m working to make sure concerns in my district are heard and finding solutions that can improve infrastructure and safety in our area.” PennDOT District 11 covers 2,570 total road miles, 1,804 total bridges, and four tunnels that span Allegheny, Beaver, Butler and Lawrence counties. Editors/Assignment Desks : Photos from today’s tour are available here . Read more

 

Investment for affordable housing support strategies focus of Davis, House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing

(May 11, 2021)

PITTSBURGH, May 11 – The need for affording housing is a need only exacerbated by the pandemic and Allegheny County Delegation Chairman Austin Davis today hosted a hearing to discuss how the PA Rescue Plan would invest federal funding to bring relief to homeowners and renters. “Wages have not kept up with the rise in housing costs. With the oldest housing stock in the country and a minimum wage that remains stagnant, Pennsylvanians need us to take action in Harrisburg. Today, we learned how the PA Rescue Plan funding would be helpful and the legislative actions we can take to empower local municipalities so that state and local governments and developers can work together to solve this problem.” Testifiers included Larry Swanson, executive director of Action Housing; and Robert Damewood, staff attorney for Regional Housing Legal Services. Swanson advocated for affordable housing assistance as lender forbearance programs come to an end this summer. Damewood shared that over 299,000 Pennsylvania families cannot afford rent and the state desperately needs expansion of affordable, safe and stable housing. He called on the legislature to apply rights in the Manufactured Homes Community Rights Act to renters across the board. “Housing is a human right, period, and the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the fact that too many Pennsylvanians can’t afford to stay in their homes, especially in our communities of color,” said House Democratic Read more

 

Davis to champion PA Rescue Plan’s proposed affordable housing investment at Tuesday hearing

(May 07, 2021)

PITTSBURGH, May 7 – Making Housing Affordable and mitigating the housing hardships exacerbated by COVID-19 will be the focus of Tuesday’s House Democratic Policy Committee hearing hosted by Allegheny County Delegation Chairman Austin Davis. Read more

 

Rep. Davis, advocates introduce legislation to address health insurance coverage gap

(May 03, 2021)

HARRISBURG, May 3 – State Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, today joined the Pennsylvania Health Access Network, Pennie and SEIU Healthcare PA to introduce legislation that could make it easier for thousands of uninsured Pennsylvanians to enroll in health insurance coverage. “The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored many of the old fault lines in our healthcare system,” Davis said. “Access to health care remains a critical barrier in our society. This legislation is an opportunity to knock down that barrier for more than 400,000 uninsured Pennsylvanians, more than 120,000 of whom are children, and help them enroll in healthcare coverage.” Davis said H.B. 1030 could help to close the insurance gap by creating the Pennsylvania Easy Enrollment Program. It would allow Pennsylvanians to check a box on their state income tax returns to connect them to Pennie, the state’s health insurance marketplace, for a free evaluation to see if they qualify for a low-cost plan on the marketplace, the Children’s Health Insurance Program or Medicaid. "Every year, we talk to thousands of uninsured Pennsylvanians who lack easy-to-understand information about the affordable coverage options available to them,” said Pennsylvania Health Access Network Executive Director Antoinette Kraus. “Adding simple questions to the tax filing process already completed by millions and then giving individuals personalized options creates a Read more

 

Davis: U.S. Steel’s broken promises to the Mon Valley

(Apr 30, 2021)

McKEESPORT, April 30 – State Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, issued the following statement following U.S. Steel’s announcement that it will cancel plans for $1 billion in upgrades to the Mon Valley Works steel mill due to the company’s recent environmental sustainability goals: “I have always supported U.S. Steel’s reinvestment project in the Mon Valley Works, which is why I am deeply disappointed that the company has broken its promise to the Mon Valley and its own workers by scrapping a plan that would have made the Mon Valley Works the first project of its kind, provided cleaner air for our community and good jobs that would have helped this area prosper for decades. I believe that we can create family-sustaining jobs and a clean environment. “I remain committed to working with our region’s businesses, communities and elected leaders to continue to improve our region’s long-term economic future and bring sustainable investment and development into our communities.” Read more

 

Davis: Mon Valley recreation projects awarded more than $168,000 in grant funding

(Apr 21, 2021)

McKEESPORT, April 21 – State Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, announced today that the cities of Clairton and Duquesne will receive a total of $168,394 in grant funding from the Commonwealth Financing Authority. The funding was awarded to the following : $143,394 was awarded to the city of Clairton for the Clairton City Park Green Infrastructure. The project includes the design and construction of five rain gardens that will control stormwater runoff, reduce flooding and help protect water quality within the Peters Creek Watershed. $25,000 was awarded to the city of Duquesne for the Polish Hill Playground Project. The project will replace old equipment with new playcenters, new swings and rubber safety surfacing. It also includes new benches, a trash receptacle and installing a drainage system. “Parks are an important part of our communities,” Davis said. “Through this funding, the Polish Hill Playground will receive upgrades that make it a better and safer place for our children to play and Clairton City Park can address flooding issues through the addition of rain gardens. I support funding that improves our outdoor spaces, which makes them more enjoyable for residents in those communities.” The grants were provided from the Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program, which focuses on projects that involve development, rehabilitation and improvements to public parks, Read more

 

Davis legislation to provide fairness for residents living in buildings with single water meter passes key hurdle

(Apr 19, 2021)

HARRISBURG, April 19 – The House Consumer Affairs Committee today voted to approve a bill authored by state Rep. Austin Davis that would provide protection for residents living in multi-unit buildings and complexes serviced by a single water meter. House Bill 376 would amend the Public Utilities definition of “Landlord Ratepayer” to include condominiums, cooperatives and planned communities. It now heads to the full House for further consideration. Davis said the legislation would end the need for homeowners’ associations to collect shares from multiple parties for a single water meter, curtail confusing paperwork and the chance of misuse of these funds, leading to a water shut-off affecting numerous residents. “When the monthly water bill from a multi-unit building with a single water meter is split among the residents, those who conserve water pay too much; while those who waste water pay too little,” said Davis, D-Allegheny. “This legislation would provide a fair way for those residents to pay for what they actually use, as well as offer protection for unit owners and oversight by the Public Utilities Commission.” Davis has two other bills that would provide relief for families struggling with paying for water that have been referred to the House Consumer Affairs Committee. House Bill 370 would create the Low-Income Water and Wastewater Assistance Program and a Read more

 

McKeesport revitalization efforts subject of legislative tour

(Apr 16, 2021)

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

 

$4.9 million in state funding awarded to support housing initiatives in Allegheny County
Jun 10, 2021

Davis: Ending disaster declaration leaves too many questions about providing aid and federal funding
Jun 10, 2021

Pa. Legislative Black Caucus condemns Zappala actions
Jun 04, 2021

Kinkead: Allegheny County DA Zappala’s actions are reprehensible and must be immediately addressed
Jun 04, 2021

Davis: $100,000 grant awarded to Carnegie Library of Homestead
Jun 02, 2021

Davis: Nearly $325,000 in grants awarded to Mon Valley blight remediation projects
May 25, 2021

Davis tours problem roads in the Mon Valley with PennDOT
May 21, 2021

Investment for affordable housing support strategies focus of Davis, House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing
May 11, 2021

Davis to champion PA Rescue Plan’s proposed affordable housing investment at Tuesday hearing
May 07, 2021

Rep. Davis, advocates introduce legislation to address health insurance coverage gap
May 03, 2021

Davis: U.S. Steel’s broken promises to the Mon Valley
Apr 30, 2021

Davis: Mon Valley recreation projects awarded more than $168,000 in grant funding
Apr 21, 2021

Davis legislation to provide fairness for residents living in buildings with single water meter passes key hurdle
Apr 19, 2021

McKeesport revitalization efforts subject of legislative tour
Apr 16, 2021

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