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Rep. Bizzarro bill would give school districts flexibility with required instructional days in cases of disaster, emergency declarations

(18 hours ago)

HARRISBURG, July 15 -- In an effort to gives schools the flexibility to prioritize student and faculty safety during disaster and emergency declarations, state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro introduced legislation that would give school districts the authority needed to adjust the 180-day instruction requirement. In the case of disaster or emergency declaration by the governor, House Bill 2704 would authorize individual school districts to request an exemption from the 180-day requirement. The bill would permit brick and mortar schools to include virtual education days in meeting the 180-day requirement. “Pennsylvania’s school districts need flexibility to quickly respond to emergent situations. Student safety and quality learning opportunities should remain at the forefront of decision making. My bill would allow schools to include online learning days as part of the 180-day requirement,” explained Bizzarro. “If necessary, they would also have the ability to reduce the number of required instructional days.” If enacted, a school district would submit an exemption request to the Pa. Department of Education for consideration. The Pa. Secretary of Education would then decide if the school district made bona fide effort to provide a reasonable number of instruction days. “A statewide response is not always reasonable and can put more children at a disadvantage. For example, each region of the state has Read more

 

Erie legislators laud Regional Response Health Collaboration Program grant

(1 day ago)

HARRISBURG, July 14 -- State Reps. Ryan Bizzarro, Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, all D-Erie, today announced LECOM Health and UPMC Community Provider Services will receive $13.6 million to support COVID-19 readiness and response planning in long-term care facilities. The grants, awarded through the Regional Response Health Collaboration Program approved by the General Assembly, will help improve quality care related to infection prevention and allow long-term care facilities to expand COVID-19 testing to include asymptomatic staff and residents in facilities. “I am thrilled to see this investment in the fight against COVID-19 and protecting our most vulnerable citizens,” Bizzarro said. “Long-term care facility workers and residents need resources to help keep safe and mitigate the spread of this virus. When our health systems work together and the most innovative minds join forces, we can make meaningful progress in preserving the well-being of our community,” he explained. “It’s critically important to get this collaborative effort underway,” Merski said. “The pandemic’s effect on our long-term care facilities has been devastating, and we can’t attack the problem in a vacuum. By combining forces and pooling the best possible resources, professionals and information, we can help these facilities implement the kind of long-term planning and strategies they need to mitigate the Read more

 

Bizzarro vote prioritizes environment, jobs

(Jul 08, 2020)

ERIE, July 8 – Citing his support for giving communities a voice to preserve energy options, family-sustaining jobs and protecting Pennsylvania’s environment, state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, released the following statement on his vote for House Bill 2025 today: “House Bill 2025 is necessary because Pennsylvanians deserve a voice when it comes to navigating energy decisions and their impact on our environment and economy. This legislation gives the General Assembly the ability to look out for the communities we represent and make sure that their livelihood and families are considered before we limit energy choices and cut jobs. “Stable, affordable, and diverse energy sources are needed. We must continue to rely on electricity, clean coal and natural gas while expanding on wind and solar resources. Now is not the time to cut resources and jobs without having a plan to properly transition our workforce into these industries. “Pennsylvania should be taking an ‘all hands-on deck’ approach to ensure we have a robust energy portfolio that keeps our economy thriving and continues to prioritize our air, water supplies and public health. “Energy-sector jobs provide family-sustaining wages that have far-reaching impacts on our communities. Amidst a global pandemic is not the time to slash our energy portfolio and good-paying jobs for hardworking Pennsylvanians. “My Read more

 

Bizzarro: COVID-19 Fire, Rescue and EMS Grants Available

(Jul 07, 2020)

ERIE, July 7 – State Rep Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, announced tod ay that fire companies and emergency service providers throughout Pennsylvania are now eligible to apply for state funding through the Fire Company, Emergency Medical Service Grant Program. The program, administered by the Office of the State Fire Commissioner, will provide financial support to first responders facing operational challenges due to COVID-19. “First responders are consistently on the front lines of the most challenging and dangerous scenarios. COVID-19 is no exception. I’m proud Pennsylvania is committing to the brave women and men who keep us safe with grant funding that will ensure they have the facilities, equipment and training needed to do just that,” Bizzarro said. Eligible paid and volunteer fire companies, emergency medical services and volunteer rescue squads will have until Aug. 7 to apply for the grant to fund operational expenses, cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting equipment and career fire departments may use funds for overtime costs during the COVID-19 emergency. The OSFC will post information regarding submission and approval procedures at www.osfc.pa.gov . Bizzarro urged eligible emergency service providers and fire companies to apply for these funds. Registration questions can be directed to the Office of the State Fire Commissioner, 1310 Elmerton Ave., Harrisburg, by calling 1-800-670-3473 or Read more

 

Emergency service grant program for fire companies and emergency services

(Jul 07, 2020)

State Representative Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, announced today that fire companies and emergency service providers throughout Pennsylvania are now eligible to apply for state funding through the Fire Company, Emergency Medical Service Grant Program. Read more

 

Bizzarro, Merski, Harkins: Nearly $10,000 in pandemic relief to local arts and cultural organizations

(Jul 06, 2020)

ERIE, July 6 – Five local organizations dedicated to arts, culture and behavioral health will receive $9,650 in CARES Act funding to help stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic, state Reps. Ryan Bizzarro, Bob Merski and Pat Harkins announced today. The Erie lawmakers said the organizations – the Erie Philharmonic, the Erie Playhouse, the Erie Art Museum, Erie Arts & Culture and Stairways Behavioral Health – will each receive $1,930. “These grants will help support the arts in our community and ensure they maintain their position as economic drivers,” Bizzarro said. “The arts are a vital part of our state, and many Pennsylvanians go on to play a role in the industry globally. It’s key that we make sure our arts organizations have the support necessary to bounce back from this pandemic and continue to create and inspire.” Merski said, “The arts enrich our Erie community in so many ways. They bring us together across cultural lines through shared enjoyment of performances, and they encourage expression of diverse stories. They inspire young minds, and they stimulate economic growth by drawing other businesses and commercial activity to the area. Our arts, cultural and behavioral health organizations have been hit hard by the pandemic, and this funding will help provide support they need to continue operating.” Harkins said, “Arts and cultural institutions Read more

 

Nearly $10,000 in pandemic relief to local arts and cultural organizations

(Jul 06, 2020)

Five local organizations dedicated to the arts, culture and behavioral health will receive $9,650 in CARES Act funding to help them stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic, state Reps. Ryan Bizzarro, Bob Merski and Pat Harkins announced today. Read more

 

Arc of Erie 'Be A Hero' Run to Go Virtual This Year

(Jul 03, 2020)

The annual event benefits The Arc of Erie and the Epilepsy Project. Read more

 

Local small businesses respond to interest in COVID-19 relief funds

(Jul 02, 2020)

Ryan Bizzarro and the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority are giving a helping hand during the pandemic. Read more

 

Bizzarro calls for committee consideration of fireworks safety legislation

(Jun 30, 2020)

HARRISBURG, June 30 -- With Independence Day on the horizon, state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D- Erie, is calling on the legislature to move a bill that would revise Pennsylvania’s Fireworks law for the well-being of all Pennsylvanians. In a letter to House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee Chairman Martin Causer, Bizzarro requested that House Bill 1687 receive a hearing and committee vote to move the measure to the House Floor quickly. “I’m cosponsoring this bill because while fireworks are a great display of celebration, there are unintended consequences to the recently loosened restrictions. This bill takes into consideration the impact on those who suffer from PTSD, our veterans, parents and small children and pets,” Bizzarro said. The legislation would provide specific guidance to local governments, allowing them to implement reasonable regulations regarding the sale and use of fireworks and implement constraints on when fireworks can legally be discharged. In the meantime, Bizzarro encourages residents to adhere to the current Fireworks Law ( https://www.psp.pa.gov/public-safety/Pages/fireworks-safety.aspx ) and be considerate of neighbors when celebrating the upcoming holiday. Read more

 

Uptick in Fireworks Complaints Leads to Renewed Push for Changes in Pa.

(Jun 30, 2020)

Harrisburg, Pa. (WENY)-- An uptick in complaints about fireworks in communities across Pennsylvania is leading to a renewed push for legislation to implement more restrictions on consumer-grade fireworks. Read more

 

Video of Violent Fireworks Attack in City of Erie Appears on Social Media

(Jun 30, 2020)

At one point in the video, the victim's hair catches on fire. Read more

 

Pennsylvania unemployment benefits extended

(Jun 30, 2020)

The commonwealth is extending unemployment benefits for 13 more weeks. Read more

 

Our view: Fireworks disturb the Erie peace

(Jun 29, 2020)

Lawmakers plan to address unintended consequences of changed law. Read more

 

Representative Ryan Bizzarro and ECGRA host zoom town hall to help small businesses with COVID-19 relief funds

(Jun 29, 2020)

Starting at 7 p.m. on June 29th, State Representative Ryan Bizzarro and the Erie County Gaming and Revenue Authority will partner together to host a zoom town hall in order to help small businesses with COVID-19 relief funds. Read more

 

Town hall being held for small business regarding COVID-19 relief grants

(Jun 29, 2020)

On June 29th starting at 7 P.M., State Representative Ryan Bizzarro and the Erie County Gaming and Revenue Authority are partnering to host a Zoom town hall to help small businesses with COVID-19 relief funds. Read more

 

Bizzarro to host Small Business Relief Town Hall via Zoom Monday

(Jun 26, 2020)

ERIE, June 26 – Small business relief is available in the form of state grants and state Representative Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, is partnering with the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority to host a Zoom town hall connecting local businesses with relief opportunities. The workshop will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, June 29 via Zoom. The meeting ID is 991 9658 6146 and the password is 648682. The meeting can also be accessed via this link: https://zoom.us/j/99196586146?pwd=KytHSkNtMjBQYStrV1Z1dFo4TTQ1QT09 “This workshop will help Erie’s local businesses apply for grants that will help them recover from the hit taken as a result of COVID-19. I encourage business owners to apply as soon as possible to give them the best chance at getting a grant,” Bizzarro said. There is a total of $200 million available for small, main street businesses that closed or were negatively impacted by COVID-19. Businesses with less than $1 million in revenue and fewer than 25 employees are eligible to apply Grants will be awarded through local community development financial institutions and based on a percentage of revenue and will be awarded in amounts from $5,000 to $50,000. “It’s terrific to see the value and purpose of CDFIs being put into action to help our small businesses recovery across PA,” said Perry N. Wood, EdD., executive director of ECGRA. “We salute Rep. Bizzarro for organizing Read more

 

Erie Reps. Urge Residents to Be Cautious Amid Green Phase Designation

(Jun 26, 2020)

Erie County is finally in the Green Phase. But as more businesses reopen, lawmakers urge residents to be cautious. Read more

 

Bizzarro reminds residents of fireworks regulations

(Jun 24, 2020)

Fireworks can be a great display of celebration, but there are unintended consequences to the recently loosened restrictions. We must remember to be good neighbors and especially consider our veterans whose PTSD may be triggered. I’m a cosponsor of House Bill 1687 that addresses concerns for our veterans, parents with small children and pets. I think revisiting reasonable controls including time restrictions can allow people to enjoy fireworks without causing stress or harm to our community. The July Fourth holiday is just around the corner and my office has received calls regarding concerns about firework activity. Our frontline workers, specifically those who are called upon to protect and serve, from our police departments to fire companies, have already seen an increase in demand for their services as our communities continue to come back to life amid a global pandemic. As such, the added burden placed by the uptick in pyrotechnics across our communities is not making their jobs any easier, or our streets any safer. I recently read of an incident in the Bronx where police officers responded to what was reported as gunshots only to find a teenager had been struck in his chest while lighting off fireworks. While fireworks are available for legal purchase by Pennsylvania residents, there are regulations and laws that limit where they can be used. Those who are caught violating existing use laws do face citations but Read more

 

Bizzarro, Merski, Harkins: Erie going green June 26 ‘the best possible news’

(Jun 19, 2020)

ERIE, June 19 – State Reps. Ryan Bizzarro, Robert Merski and Pat Harkins, all D-Erie, issued the following statements in response to news that Erie County will be moving to the green phase of the state’s reopen plan on Friday, June 26. “To say that this has been a trying period for Erie is an understatement,” Bizzarro said. “It’s hard to remember a time when our community’s endurance and patience were tested more severely, or for so long. “Our delegation fought hard to move Erie to green, but ultimately, it was the people of Erie, doing their part to slow the spread of the virus, that made the difference. To be sure, we face a long road ahead. But with the rest of our businesses soon free to reopen, a community ready and willing to support them and a small business grant program on the horizon, we will soon be forging a path to revitalization.” Merski said, “We fought for weeks to move Erie to green, and the announcement today that this is finally happening is the best possible news we could have received. The pandemic and related shutdowns stopped our economy in its tracks, placed a huge burden on business owners and working families, and left many in our community feeling isolated. Getting into the green will help change all that by lifting most restrictions. “Businesses already running at 50% occupancy will be able to run at 75% occupancy; barbershops and hair Read more

 

Rep. Bizzarro bill would give school districts flexibility with required instructional days in cases of disaster, emergency declarations
18 hours ago

Erie legislators laud Regional Response Health Collaboration Program grant
1 day ago

Bizzarro vote prioritizes environment, jobs
Jul 08, 2020

Bizzarro: COVID-19 Fire, Rescue and EMS Grants Available
Jul 07, 2020

Emergency service grant program for fire companies and emergency services
Jul 07, 2020

Bizzarro, Merski, Harkins: Nearly $10,000 in pandemic relief to local arts and cultural organizations
Jul 06, 2020

Nearly $10,000 in pandemic relief to local arts and cultural organizations
Jul 06, 2020

Arc of Erie 'Be A Hero' Run to Go Virtual This Year
Jul 03, 2020

Local small businesses respond to interest in COVID-19 relief funds
Jul 02, 2020

Bizzarro calls for committee consideration of fireworks safety legislation
Jun 30, 2020

Uptick in Fireworks Complaints Leads to Renewed Push for Changes in Pa.
Jun 30, 2020

Video of Violent Fireworks Attack in City of Erie Appears on Social Media
Jun 30, 2020

Pennsylvania unemployment benefits extended
Jun 30, 2020

Our view: Fireworks disturb the Erie peace
Jun 29, 2020

Representative Ryan Bizzarro and ECGRA host zoom town hall to help small businesses with COVID-19 relief funds
Jun 29, 2020

Town hall being held for small business regarding COVID-19 relief grants
Jun 29, 2020

Bizzarro to host Small Business Relief Town Hall via Zoom Monday
Jun 26, 2020

Erie Reps. Urge Residents to Be Cautious Amid Green Phase Designation
Jun 26, 2020

Bizzarro reminds residents of fireworks regulations
Jun 24, 2020

Bizzarro, Merski, Harkins: Erie going green June 26 ‘the best possible news’
Jun 19, 2020