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Summer 2020 Newsletter

Pennsylvania at a crossroads – We must reforge our social compact

(Apr 27, 2020)

We live in a commonwealth – a society that is supposed to exist for the common good, with a government that is supposed to look out for the health, safety and welfare of the people. Read more

 

Davis announces $114K in Continuing Education Equity Grants

(Apr 22, 2020)

HARRISBURG, April 22 – Today, the state Department of Education awarded its first round of equity grants to assist school districts in purchasing technological equipment that would allow for remote learning and continued education during the COVID-19 crisis, announced state Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny. “COVID-19 brought a stop to our normal day-to-day lives, but it’s important all children have the resources they need to learn now and, in the future,” Davis said. “So, it gives me great pleasure to announce these grants, which will directly benefit our children and their families and allow for the remote learning of hundreds of students. The grants awarded today will guarantee that students who once lacked sufficient access to resources will now have the equipment and support they need.” 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 percentage of students lacking access to resources were given priority in receiving these grants. Davis said the following school districts received funding: Duquesne City School District: $8,900 South Allegheny: $8,350 Steel Valley School District: $75,900 Young Scholars of McKeesport: $21,762 Continuing Education Equity Grants are designed to help provide access and inclusion for Read more

 

Davis holds virtual news conference discussing Right-to-Repair bill

(Apr 22, 2020)

HARRISBURG, April 22 – State Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, on Wednesday held a virtual press conference centered around his Right-to-Repair bill, a measure that would give power back to the consumer and has the potential to save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. “The right to repair your own device, which you bought, seems like a practice that should be commonplace, given the fact you purchased the product with your own money,” Davis said. “Unfortunately, that’s not the case here in the commonwealth. This legislation would amend this issue, giving consumers the ability to make self-repairs on their own.” Davis’ bill, H.B. 2326 , would require original equipment manufacturers to provide necessary information to assist consumers in repairing the digital devices they own. It also would grant consumers access to the software, parts and instructions required in making self-repairs safely. Davis said his legislation is all-encompassing in regard to self-repair, but noted its extreme importance to the current healthcare crisis surrounding COVID-19 and ventilators, which has been a heavily reported topic since many manufacturers have been withholding repair manuals. “This is legislation that goes far beyond the current health crisis affecting the nation. But make no mistake – this is a bill that could help fight the COVID-19 pandemic in Pennsylvania and save the lives our Read more

 

Davis requests House committee hearing about UC problems

(Apr 20, 2020)

HARRISBURG, April 20 – – Addressing the backlogged and highly delayed response within the unemployment compensation system, state Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, is calling for the House Labor and Industry Committee to hold a hearing with Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry Secretary W. Gerard Oleksiak. “As legislators, we told residents help would be available to them, and we are going to follow through on that promise,” Davis said. “My office continues to hear from residents daily who are experiencing long delays with receiving benefits during this pandemic and that alone is completely unacceptable. We need to resolve the ongoing problems plaguing the Unemployment Compensation system.” Davis wrote a letter to committee Chairman Rep. Jim Cox requesting an immediate virtual hearing with Oleksiak. “I think state residents deserve to know why this is taking place, especially during this pandemic. They deserve to know why the Department of Labor and Industry is struggling to provide the benefits they deserve and what it is doing to rectify this situation. This, at the very least, is owed to Pennsylvanians struggling to get by during this pandemic,” Davis said. Read more

 

Davis demands action in processing unemployment claims

(Apr 17, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, April 17 – Amidst growing desperation by workers waiting to receive unemployment benefits, state Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, reiterated demands that the administration address the delays and problems that have plagued the system and prevented timely delivery of those benefits. “Our working families are suffering, they are struggling because they are not getting access to the unemployment compensation benefits to which they’re entitled,” Davis said. “The problem has been compounded for self-employed, independent contractors and gig workers, who are still waiting for directions on where to file. “Our workers have given their all to make Pennsylvania strong and productive, and now they are asking that the system respond by providing the assistance they need because of this pandemic. So far, the system has been mired in red tape. We need real solutions now – today – to cut the tape and get these benefits flowing. Lives are depending on it.” Davis said he and his colleagues have been doing all they can to address the issue but are hitting a wall. “I asked the Labor secretary what the department needs from the legislature to streamline this process and get results and the answer is ‘nothing,’” Davis said. “That’s not an acceptable answer. We all stand ready to help, but we can’t do that without more guidance and information from the Read more

 

Rep. Austin Davis 4 8 2020 letter unemployment compensation

(Apr 17, 2020)

Letter to DLI secy. 4 8 2020 unemployment benefits Read more

 

Additional updates on the COVID-19 pandemic

(Apr 14, 2020)

Last week I introduced critical legislation that seeks to support our medical professionals on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic Read more

 

Davis introduces legislation aimed at providing support for health care workers fighting COVID-19

(Apr 07, 2020)

HARRISBURG, April 7 – Looking to provide a much-needed safety net for frontline medical professionals fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, state Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, introduced legislation Tuesday that seeks to ensure these workers have the support they need during this ongoing crisis. “COVID-19 has created a significant burden for health care workers,” Davis said. “Health care workers across this Commonwealth are on the front lines battling this virus every day. They selflessly continue to fight to save the lives of our families, friends and neighbors. As government leaders we need to ensure they have the support they need during this difficult time – it’s the least we can do.” Davis said his legislation would do the following: Invest in urgently needed personal protective equipment to help protect frontline health care workers and their patients from infection. Establish mental health supports for frontline health care workers, many of whom are working long hours under extreme stress and personal hardship. Create a childcare grant program for frontline health care workers to ensure they are able to afford high-quality childcare as they work to save lives. This legislation is expected to be considered by the House in the near future. Read more

 

Resources for businesses, business owners during COVID-19 health crisis

(Apr 03, 2020)

Do you have questions about the available resources that can assist your business during the COVID-19 pandemic? Read more

 

Davis calls upon President Trump to utilize Defense Production Act

(Apr 02, 2020)

HARRISBURG, April 2 – State Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, released the following statement Thursday, which calls upon President Donald Trump to put the full power of the federal government into producing protective equipment by utilizing the Defense Production Act to the greatest extent possible: “The rise of COVID-19 cases statewide has called for drastic measures. Governor Tom Wolf and the state Department of Health have done an amazing job and have been transparent and up front since the beginning. However, more needs to be done – at the federal level. “In Pennsylvania alone we have more than 7,000 cases of COVID-19 and 90 deaths. We’re learning more and more about this virus each and every day, who is more susceptible for severe illness, and how contagious this virus truly is. Despite this information, we’re sending our medical professionals into harm’s way without the proper protective equipment. “It’s unconscionable that in the United States of America our healthcare workers and other front-line responders are being put in danger because of a lack of personal protective equipment. That is why I’m calling upon President Trump to utilize the Defense Production Act, in hopes of getting our first responders and medical professionals the protective equipment they need during this truly trying time in our country. This, of all things, needs to be a main priority as we try to Read more

 

Fill out the 2020 census!

(Mar 30, 2020)

In Pennsylvania, everyone counts and April 1 is National Census Day! Read more

 

Davis: Emergency legislation shortening school year, ensuring financial assistance to schools and employees passes House

(Mar 25, 2020)

HARRISBURG, March 25 – Emergency legislation that shortens the school year and ensures financial assistance to schools and their staff as part of the commonwealth’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic unanimously passed the state House on Wednesday, announced state Rep. Austin Davis. “There’s no way to plan for something of this magnitude,” Davis said. “But what we can do is work together to ensure students aren’t penalized for something they couldn’t control.” Davis, D-Allegheny, said the legislation – Senate Bill 751 – also passed the Senate and will now go to Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk to be signed into law. The COVID-19 crisis in Pennsylvania led to a statewide, two-week school closure on March 13. That order was extended Monday through April 6, with the possibility of continued extensions to ensure student and staff safety from the highly contagious respiratory disease. These continued extensions, Davis said, will make it hard for school districts to reach the state-mandated 180 instructional day school year. This measure waives that mandate and also allows for the shortening of hours required for a career and technical program, days for preschool instruction, and the 12-week requirement for student teachers. Davis added that any school staff member Read more

 

Allegheny County, six other counties issued Stay at Home Order

(Mar 23, 2020)

Today, Gov. Tom Wolf issued a “Stay at Home Order” for Allegheny County and six other counties across the commonwealth. Read more

 

Check out our Community Resource Guide

(Mar 17, 2020)

Income Support:If you are employed in Pennsylvania and are unable to work because of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), you may be eligible for Unemployment or Workers’ Compensation benefits. The Department of Labor & Industry will continue to provide important employment benefit updates as the situation evolves. UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION (UC) BENEFITSYou may be eligible if: • Your employer temporarily closes or goes out of business because of COVID-19•Your employer reduces your hours because of COVID-19• You have been told not to work because your employer feels you might get or spread COVID-19• You have been told to quarantine or self-isolate, or live/work in a county under government recommended mitigation efforts Read more

 

Davis: Offices closing to walk-ins; staff available via email, phone

(Mar 16, 2020)

HARRISBURG, March 16 – State Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, on Monday announced that his district offices in Clairton, McKeesport and Munhall will be closed to walk-ins until further notice. Davis’ announcement is in response to the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the nation and countries worldwide. " We’re in the midst of a situation that calls for drastic measures,” Davis said. “While I will continue to provide updates, talk with constituents and uphold my oath of office to keep the best interests of our community in mind, I’m going to be closing my office to walk-ins to protect the health and safety of residents and staff." Davis said residents can still reach his office through phone or email at RepADavis@pahouse.net. Davis’ McKeesport office can be reached at 412-664-0035 ; Clairton at 412-233-2505 ; and Munhall at 412-476-3046 . Read more

 

Miller, ACHDD seek to support school districts, families, first responders and small businesses during outbreak

(Mar 13, 2020)

HARRISBURG, March 13 – State Rep. Dan Miller, chairman of the Allegheny County House Democratic Delegation, and fellow ACHDD members on Friday announced their legislative priorities to support Pennsylvania during the coronavirus outbreak, including the need to support low-income and working-class families without paid family leave or the ability to work from home. Miller, as well as state Reps. Austin Davis, Dan Deasy, Tony DeLuca, House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody, Dan Frankel, Ed Gainey, Sara Innamorato, Bill Kortz, Anita Kulik, Summer Lee, Brandon Markosek, Adam Ravenstahl, Harry Readshaw and Jake Wheatley issued the following statement in response to Friday’s statewide school closure: “The delegation, first and foremost, wants to be supportive of the school districts during this time. It is clear that both they and the governor are motivated by an abundance of concern for the health and safety of both their students and staff. We respect their decision and will work to support their needs in Harrisburg. However, while the closure may have been a necessary step, it is not without its subsequent challenges -- and those challenges must be addressed by the legislature. “At a minimum, in order to help people across Pennsylvania, Harrisburg should prioritize the following items for discussion and vote: Paid family leave legislation. Emergency funding for childcare support. Assistance for Read more

 

Davis: More than $90K in funding awarded to local synagogue, library for safety initiatives

(Mar 11, 2020)

HARRISBURG, March 11 – A local synagogue and library have been awarded a combined total of $92,393 in state funding to use toward security and safety at both facilities, announced state Rep. Austin Davis. Davis, D-Allegheny, said the Carnegie Library of Homestead and the Gemilas Chesed Synagogue were awarded the funds by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency at its quarterly commission meeting today. The Carnegie Library of Homestead was awarded $71,593 and the Gemilas Chesed Synagogue received the remaining $20,800. “As someone who has strongly advocated for safety initiatives at places of learning and worship, today’s funding is quite rewarding and encouraging on both ends,” Davis said. “Residents’ safety is of utmost importance, especially at locations such as these. If anything, it should be the last place anyone should ever fear for their safety. Today’s funding will work toward easing both tension and concerns when visiting these institutions.” Davis said the grants are provided through PCCD’s Nonprofit Security Grant Fund Program following the passage of Act 83 of 2019 . The act directs PCCD to administer grants to nonprofit organizations who have been or who are likely to be targets for hate crimes. Priority consideration for funding was given to organizations that indicated they – or their membership – were victims of a hate crime Read more

 

Davis: Three Rivers Workforce Development Board awarded nearly $140K in funding

(Mar 05, 2020)

HARRISBURG, March 5 – State Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, today announced that a $137,996 grant was awarded to the Three Rivers Workforce Development Board (Partner4Work). Davis said the grant, awarded by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s Business-Education Partnership program and funded through the federal Workforce Innovative and Opportunity Act, helps young adults develop vital workforce skills by providing them with their first work experience. “Internships are one of many ways to prepare young adults for their future,” Davis said. “This workforce development board excels in that category. I am confident this funding will go a long way in ensuring young adults get the exposure they need to begin their journey on to a new career.” The 2020 SLIP will operate for an eight-week period between May 1 and Aug. 28, 2020. The program will offer wages at a minimum of $10.35 an hour for young adults between ages 16 and 24. Read more

 

Davis: $635,000 in school safety grants coming to Mon Valley

(Feb 26, 2020)

More than a half million dollars in state funding has been awarded to Mon Valley school districts, with the majority of it headed to South Allegheny School District to support and implement school safety initiatives, announced state Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny. Read more

 

Don't forget to opt-in; Fighting for better air in the Mon Valley

(Feb 25, 2020)

According to House rules, I need your permission to contact you during the 60 days before an election in which I am a candidate – also called a “blackout” period. Read more

 

Pennsylvania at a crossroads – We must reforge our social compact
Apr 27, 2020

Davis announces $114K in Continuing Education Equity Grants
Apr 22, 2020

Davis holds virtual news conference discussing Right-to-Repair bill
Apr 22, 2020

Davis requests House committee hearing about UC problems
Apr 20, 2020

Davis demands action in processing unemployment claims
Apr 17, 2020

Rep. Austin Davis 4 8 2020 letter unemployment compensation
Apr 17, 2020

Additional updates on the COVID-19 pandemic
Apr 14, 2020

Davis introduces legislation aimed at providing support for health care workers fighting COVID-19
Apr 07, 2020

Resources for businesses, business owners during COVID-19 health crisis
Apr 03, 2020

Davis calls upon President Trump to utilize Defense Production Act
Apr 02, 2020

Fill out the 2020 census!
Mar 30, 2020

Davis: Emergency legislation shortening school year, ensuring financial assistance to schools and employees passes House
Mar 25, 2020

Allegheny County, six other counties issued Stay at Home Order
Mar 23, 2020

Check out our Community Resource Guide
Mar 17, 2020

Davis: Offices closing to walk-ins; staff available via email, phone
Mar 16, 2020

Miller, ACHDD seek to support school districts, families, first responders and small businesses during outbreak
Mar 13, 2020

Davis: More than $90K in funding awarded to local synagogue, library for safety initiatives
Mar 11, 2020

Davis: Three Rivers Workforce Development Board awarded nearly $140K in funding
Mar 05, 2020

Davis: $635,000 in school safety grants coming to Mon Valley
Feb 26, 2020

Don't forget to opt-in; Fighting for better air in the Mon Valley
Feb 25, 2020