House Democrats to Republican colleagues: ‘Stop the charade’

(Sep 20, 2021)

House Democratic leadership issued the following statement today calling on legislative Republicans to drop their radical anti-health agenda and come to the table for an honest discussion on helping Pennsylvanians recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.“Pennsylvania is currently experiencing a steady increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations with a positive testing rate that indicates substantial or high community spread of the virus. Our hospital system is strained and emergency rooms in both central Pennsylvania and southwestern Pennsylvania recently have been forced to divert ambulances simply because they couldn’t accept additional patients. Read more

 

Rep. Bizzarro Secures Grant for LECOM Police K-9

(Sep 10, 2021)

ERIE, September 10 ­ – To help law enforcement in Erie tackle the wide array of possible threats they can face, state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro has secured a $50,000 grant to launch a K-9 program for Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine’s (LECOM) Police and Security Department. “Protecting all the people and facilities from possible threats at a place like LECOM is a big job,” Rep. Bizzarro said. “Adding a police dog to help deal with explosives detection or other searches will go a long way to helping those officers keep us safe.” The LECOM K-9 program would allow officers to conduct searches of suspicious items or vehicles during a bomb threat scenario or help search for missing or wanted persons. The scent-detection ability of the dog could be expanded in the future to include detecting COVID-19. This specialized law enforcement tool wouldn’t just benefit LECOM; this shared community resource will enhance Erie County’s emergency and terror threat responsiveness. Police departments from surrounding communities can request help if they found themselves in a situation that a K-9 would be needed. “LECOM in the third largest law enforcement agency in Erie County,” Bizzarro said. “They work with their neighbors to help when it’s needed and I’m glad to make this happen for us all.” “We would like to thank Rep. Bizzarro for securing this funding which will safeguard the Read more

 

Rep. Bizzarro Holds Flu Shot Clinic Friday

(Sep 09, 2021)

ERIE, September 9 – To help neighbors have easy access to an annual flu shot, state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro has teamed up with Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine to hold a flu shot clinic this Friday, September 10 th from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at his district office, 1101 Peninsula Drive, Suite 213 in Erie. “Locally and nationally, doctors are worried about what a flu season combined with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic could do to our healthcare facilities,” Bizzarro said. “Just like a COVID-19 vaccine, getting a flu shot now can help you avoid a serious case of the disease later, and keep our local hospitals from being overwhelmed.” Anyone in need of a flu shot is welcome to come to the clinic. Participants are asked to bring their insurance card and to wear a mask during the clinic. “Let your friends know – offer to bring them along,” Bizzarro said. “The more people we can vaccinate now means less spreading of the disease this Fall and Winter.” Read more

 

Bizzarro: Local service agencies awarded money in fight against addiction

(Sep 08, 2021)

ERIE, Sept. 8 ­ – Nearly $1 million was awarded to Erie County agencies to help treat people facing substance abuse and mental health issues, state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, announced today. “Too many of our neighbors continue to struggle with drug use and mental health problems, and the struggle to find help is a big problem,” Bizzarro said. “The cost to our communities is high, and I’m glad to see these tax dollars coming to Erie County and help people get their lives back on track.” The money was awarded Wednesday during a meeting of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. Among other initiatives approved in Erie County: $299,733 to Family Services of NW PA for their ongoing Erie Opioid Misuse Prevention Project. The money will be used to continue evidence-based approaches to engage young people in substance use and other problem behaviors. Family Services of NW PA is in the third year of a five-year pilot program working with local schools, non-profits and more to address the circumstances that can lead kids into trouble and build protections that can help them avoid those risks. $484,618 to five college/universities for the Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) Project, one of which is at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. State opioid response money is being used to fund a comprehensive and Read more

 

Education officials, advocates call for adequacy and equity in basic education funding at Samuelson virtual hearing

(Sep 01, 2021)

BETHLEHEM, Sept. 1 – Citing that only a small portion of overall education is run through the Fair Education Funding Formula, state Rep. Steve Samuelson held a virtual hearing to learn more from educators and advocates on how Pennsylvania can fulfill its constitutional obligation to provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of public education to serve the needs of the Commonwealth. “Adequate state funding can make education resources more equitable based on the way we choose to allocate money,” Samuelson said. “The Fair Funding Formula was approved in 2016 but has not yet been fully implemented. We made progress this year with $100 million in Level Up funding distributed to underfunded districts like the Bethlehem Area School District. We need to continue efforts to fully implement the Fair Funding Formula.” Sean Brandon, Budget Analyst for the House Appropriations Committee began his presentation noting the importance of that constitutional commitment and shared how the Fair Funding Formula and budget practices allocate funds to school districts across the state. Joseph Roy, Bethlehem Area School District Superintendent and Karen Beck-Pooley, Bethlehem Area School District Director, shared from a district-level perspective of how they use the state funds received, noting challenges with charter school reimbursements and rising special education costs. Communities of color are disproportionately Read more

 

Fairly funding education focus of Samuelson hearing Wednesday

(Aug 31, 2021)

Bethlehem, Aug. 31 – Pennsylvania regularly falls at the bottom nationally when it comes to adequately funding basic education and state Rep. Steve Samuelson is hosting a public hearing to discuss how the fair funding formula can help better serve students and the economy. The hearing will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 1 online at www.pahouse.com/policy . The public and media are welcome to tune in online. Media inquiries may be submitted to policy@pahouse.net . Samuelson, D-Northampton, will be joined by Policy Committee Chairman Ryan Bizzarro and members of the House Democratic Policy Committee, to further discuss how education investments ultimately result in economic returns to the state in the form of a more prepared workforce and productive citizens. Level Up funding from the current fiscal year will also be discussed. Read more

 

Schweyer to highlight Allentown’s Neighborhood Improvement Zone at Policy Committee tour Tuesday

(Aug 30, 2021)

LEHIGH, Aug. 30 – The benefits of Pennsylvania’s Neighborhood Improvement Zone program will be on display for policy makers at a Democratic Policy Committee tour hosted by state Rep. Peter Schweyer. The tour -- from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 31 -- will begin at the IBEW Local 375, 101 S. 7 th St., Allentown. The media is encouraged to attend. Lawmakers from across the state, including Chairman Ryan Bizzarro, will join Schweyer for a look at how the NIZ -- currently funded by 97% state tax revenue and 3% local revenue -- has worked to attract developers and revitalize downtown Allentown. Media inquiries may be submitted to policy@pahouse.net . Read more

 

McNeill to host public hearing Monday on community impact of fireworks law updates

(Aug 26, 2021)

WHITEHALL, Aug. 26 -- Updates to the state fireworks law have had many unintended consequences that impact public safety and are putting a strain on law enforcement throughout the state, and state Rep. Jeanne McNeill is hosting a public hearing to discuss what the legislature can do. The hearing will be held at 1 p.m. Monday, Aug. 30 at the Teamsters Local 773 Union Hall, 3614 Lehigh St., Whitehall. The public is welcome, and the media is encouraged to attend. McNeill, D-Lehigh, will be joined by Policy Committee Chairman Ryan Bizzarro and members of the House Democratic Policy Committee, many of whom have similar concerns amidst increases in community concerns and pyrotechnic related accidents. McNeill, along with state Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, has introduced H.B. 988 aimed at repealing the most recent changes to the fireworks law and reinstating provisions as they existed pre-Act 43. Media inquiries may be submitted to policy@pahouse.net . Read more

 

$10K wildfire grant coming to Edinboro

(Aug 18, 2021)

ERIE, Aug. 18 ­ – The Edinboro Volunteer Fire Department has been awarded a $10,000 grant to increase community protection from wildfires, state Representative Ryan Bizzarro announced today. “Our fire departments respond to so many calls each year, and the specialized training and equipment they need comes at a cost,” Rep. Bizzarro explained. “I’m glad to see this money coming to Edinboro to ease the financial burden of keeping us all safe.” The EVFD can use the money for training and equipment purchases directly related to fighting brush and forest fires. This includes purchasing protective clothing or equipment, radios, installing dry hydrants, wildfire prevention and mitigation work, training wildfire fighters, or converting and maintaining vehicles. “I’m always grateful to our neighbors who volunteer their time to answer the community calls for help," Rep. Bizzarro said. “This grant will help continue their need to be properly equipped and trained to protect people and property in and around our forests and open spaces.” Edinboro was one of three Erie County Departments to be awarded the grant; Albion Volunteer Fire Department was also awarded $10,000, with $5670 awarded to Greenfield Township Volunteer Fire Company. The grant program targeted local firefighting forces in rural areas and communities with fewer than 10,000 people. 109 departments Read more

 

Herrin highlights PA childcare needs at public hearing

(Aug 18, 2021)

WEST CHESTER, Aug. 18 -- Strengthening Pennsylvania’s childcare system and supporting children and families was the focus at state Rep. Dianne Herrin’s House Democratic Policy Committee hearing. Herrin’s hearing took a comprehensive look at the vital role quality child care plays in children’s development and Pennsylvania’s economy. “Well-funded early childhood education and high-quality child care set a foundation for the future success of our children,” Herrin said. “This is not just a women’s issue or a family issue, but an issue that impacts all of our communities, our economy, and our long-term success as a society and nation. I believe shining a light on the significant staffing shortage our providers face, insufficient government funding, and need for high-quality care will bring about bipartisan policy solutions that will ensure healthy growth and development of our children. This will benefit all of us.” Betsy Billie, executive director of the West Chester Area Day Care Center, focused on the difficulty of retaining staff and challenges faced through the COVID-19 pandemic. Jonathan Ragonese shared a parent perspective, including the difficulty of balancing costs with work and family expenses. The real cost of quality child care is akin to tuition at a state-funded university. Carol Austin, executive director of First Up and Kimberly Early, director of public policy and advocacy with Read more

 

Police, Labor Relations topic of public hearing hosted by Pa. Legislative Black Caucus Wednesday

(Aug 17, 2021)

Philadelphia, Aug. 17 – State Rep. Donna Bullock is convening a meeting of the House Democratic Policy Committee and Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus to discuss the role of labor in police reforms. The hearing will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, August 18 at Temple University, Fox Gittis Room, 1776 N. Broad St., Philadelphia . The Fox Gittis Room is located just off the Broad Street Lobby, Alumni Hall at the Liacouras Center. The media and public are encouraged to attend. Masks are required. Additional information about this and other House Democratic Policy Committee hearings is available at www.pahouse.com/policy . Read more

 

Herrin to host public hearing Tuesday with focus on quality, reliable childcare access

(Aug 13, 2021)

WEST CHESTER, Aug. 13 – Childcare and families’ access to quality, educational care are the focus of state Rep. Dianne Herrin’s House Democratic Policy Committee hearing. The hearing will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 17 at the West Goshen Township Building, 1025 Paoli Pike, West Chester. The public and media are encouraged to attend. Masks are required for all attendees . Herrin, D-Chester, will be joined by Vice Chair Joe Ciresi and members of the House Democratic Policy Committee to learn more about childcare facilities, the challenges they face and how addressing staffing, program quality and funding can impact the state long-term. “High-quality early childhood education sets up a strong foundation for the success of our children,” Herrin said. “This policy hearing will address the systemic issues facing our early education system, including a lack of affordability for families, too few high-quality programs, and staffing shortages due to low wages for the educators.” Media inquiries may be submitted to policy@pahouse.net . ### ATTENTION NEWS EDITORS: The hearing will be streamed live at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkrhNCoiAF_G-SenampnZFQ Read more

 

Supporting veterans focus of Hill-Evans public hearing Monday

(Aug 13, 2021)

YORK, Aug. 13 – State Rep. Carol Hill-Evans will host a public hearing to discuss legislative efforts to support veterans, especially those experiencing homelessness and PTSD. The hearing will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, Aug. 16 at the York County Fairgrounds, Verandah Room, 334 Carlisle Ave. The public and media are invited to attend. Hill-Evans will be joined by members of the House Democratic Policy Committee to learn more about H.B.s 688 and 698 and other issues faced by veterans. State Sen. Katie Muth, who has companion legislation in the Senate, will also attend the hearing. Media inquiries may be submitted to policy@pahouse.net . Read more

 

Rep. Bizzarro Senior Fair and Older Living Expo returns to McDowell Intermediate Monday, Aug. 16

(Aug 12, 2021)

ERIE, Aug. 12 – State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, said he is thrilled to invite seniors and their caregivers to his Ninth Annual Senior Fair and Older Living Expo next week. The event will be held at 9 a.m. Monday, Aug. 16 at McDowell Intermediate High School, 3320 Caughey Rd, Erie. This year, more than 50 vendors and exhibitors will be on site to share valuable information with Erie’s senior residents on vital state information, programs and services. “I’m excited to be able to bring this event to seniors. My staff and I have been working hard to make this year a really great opportunity to connect and help as many people as possible. In addition to the great information to help seniors live healthy and happy lives right here in Erie, Elvis is making a return!” Bizzarro said. More information is available by calling Bizzarro’s office at 814-835-2880 or visiting the office at 1101 Peninsula Dr., Suite 213, in the Peninsula Plaza. Read more

 

Philadelphia schools share how they are tackling a third pandemic year

(Aug 11, 2021)

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 11 – Reopening Philadelphia’s schools was the focus of a tour and roundtable of the House Democratic Policy Committee hosted by state Rep. Mary Isaacson, D-Phila., on Wednesday. Philadelphia School District Chief Information Officer Melanie Harris led the tour of Kensington Health Sciences followed by a roundtable with legislators to discuss the challenges faced this year and beyond. “Over the last 18 months, we have invested in solutions for students to safely learn virtually from home, and now, with COVID-19 still very much with us and variants on the rise, we are asking school districts — not just in Philadelphia but across the Commonwealth — to create the answers for how our students can safely return to schools and keep them open," Isaacson said. "This is a question that we've never had to answer, one that the CDC is constantly revising as the virus mutates. Today, we heard concerns and sought answers as to how our students will return to classrooms and be provided a quality education in a structured, safe and welcoming classroom when so much is uncertain and ever-changing. Much needs to be done to help our schools navigate these uncharted waters or our children and the next generation are the ones who will be lost.” “The flexibility and resilience of the Philadelphia School District has been impressive,” said Policy Chairman Ryan Bizzarro. Read more

 

Protecting public spaces, expanding infrastructure improvements focus of Driscoll’s public hearing

(Aug 10, 2021)

Phila. Aug. 10 – Open green spaces, waterways, and broadband investments often get left behind in infrastructure conversations, but state Rep. Mike Driscoll partnered with Philadelphia City Councilman Bobby Henon and the House Democratic Policy Committee to have a comprehensive conversation about how they must be considered when making investments. Driscoll welcomed Committee Chairman Ryan Bizzarro and members of the committee for the hearing where coordination amongst efforts was a key part of investment efforts. The hearing included robust conversation from City of Philadelphia officials including Michael A. Carroll, deputy managing director, Anthony Bocchicchio, director of operations for Parks and Recreation and Councilman Bobby Henon. “If the last 18 months has proven anything, it is that our public spaces are a necessary investment that our state must make,” said state Rep. Mike Driscoll, D-Phila. “Our trails, parks, outdoor rec spaces have been utilized during this shutdown caused by the pandemic and it is very apparent that the use of these places will not end. Our tax dollars are meant, in part, to provide funding for our leisure enjoyment and well-being. Today’s hearing and those testifying provided information that proves the enormous worth of these facilities and locations to the commonwealth.” “I want to especially thank Holy Family University for hosting this hearing on their Read more

 

Jobs and healthcare access focus of Temple Health Juniata Park Campus Tour Monday

(Aug 08, 2021)

PHILA., Aug. 8 – Philadelphia Delegation Chairman Jason Dawkins is hosting the House Democratic Policy Committee for a tour and roundtable discussion of the former Cancer Centers of America facility, Temple Health's Juniata Park Campus. The tour will begin at 2 p.m. Monday, Aug. 9 at 1331 E. Wyoming Ave., Philadelphia. The hearing is open to the media and inquiries may be submitted to policy@pahouse.net . Chairman Dawkins will be joined by Policy Committee Chairman Ryan Bizzarro and members of the House Democratic Policy Committee for a tour of their recently-purchased facility and discuss how the acquisition will impact patient care, healthcare access, and jobs in the region. Visit www.pahouse.com/policy for more information about this and other committee events. ### Read more

 

Summer 2021 Newsletter

(Aug 05, 2021)

Don't miss my 2021 Summer Newsletter! Read more

 

Erie County projects to receive almost $500,000 in state funding

(Aug 03, 2021)

Local investments to fight blight, plan trails and revitalize buildings Read more

 

Erie Delegation to tour LECOM Tuesday

(Aug 02, 2021)

ERIE, Aug. 2 – State Representatives Pat Harkins, Bob Merski and Ryan Bizzarro are welcoming members of the House Democratic Policy Committee for a tour of Lake Erie College of Medicine, the nation’s most applied-to medical school. The tour will begin at 1 p.m. Tuesday, August 3 at 1858 W. Grandview, Blvd., Erie. The media is encouraged to attend and can submit inquiries to policy@pahouse.net . A roundtable discussion will follow the facility tour, aimed at learning more about LECOM’s impact on education, medical care and Erie’s economy. Information about this and other House Democratic Policy Committee hearings can be found at www.pahouse.com/policycommittee . Read more

 

House Democrats to Republican colleagues: ‘Stop the charade’
Sep 20, 2021

Rep. Bizzarro Secures Grant for LECOM Police K-9
Sep 10, 2021

Rep. Bizzarro Holds Flu Shot Clinic Friday
Sep 09, 2021

Bizzarro: Local service agencies awarded money in fight against addiction
Sep 08, 2021

Education officials, advocates call for adequacy and equity in basic education funding at Samuelson virtual hearing
Sep 01, 2021

Fairly funding education focus of Samuelson hearing Wednesday
Aug 31, 2021

Schweyer to highlight Allentown’s Neighborhood Improvement Zone at Policy Committee tour Tuesday
Aug 30, 2021

McNeill to host public hearing Monday on community impact of fireworks law updates
Aug 26, 2021

$10K wildfire grant coming to Edinboro
Aug 18, 2021

Herrin highlights PA childcare needs at public hearing
Aug 18, 2021

Police, Labor Relations topic of public hearing hosted by Pa. Legislative Black Caucus Wednesday
Aug 17, 2021

Herrin to host public hearing Tuesday with focus on quality, reliable childcare access
Aug 13, 2021

Supporting veterans focus of Hill-Evans public hearing Monday
Aug 13, 2021

Rep. Bizzarro Senior Fair and Older Living Expo returns to McDowell Intermediate Monday, Aug. 16
Aug 12, 2021

Philadelphia schools share how they are tackling a third pandemic year
Aug 11, 2021

Protecting public spaces, expanding infrastructure improvements focus of Driscoll’s public hearing
Aug 10, 2021

Jobs and healthcare access focus of Temple Health Juniata Park Campus Tour Monday
Aug 08, 2021

Summer 2021 Newsletter
Aug 05, 2021

Erie County projects to receive almost $500,000 in state funding
Aug 03, 2021

Erie Delegation to tour LECOM Tuesday
Aug 02, 2021