PA Officials Address Evolving Overdose Crisis

(Oct 21, 2021)

State Representative Ryan Bizzarro (D-03) of Erie says the COVID-19 Pandemic played a large role in the evolution and severity of the now polysubstance overdose crisis. Read more

 

Monthly Veteran's Assistance Program Returns to Erie County

(Oct 21, 2021)

Representative Ryan Bizzarro has announced the return of the Veteran’s Assistance Program in Erie County. Read more

 

BIZZARRO: Veteran’s Assistance Program returns to Erie County

(Oct 20, 2021)

ERIE, Oct. 20 – The pandemic put a halt to many in-person events and programs, including the Veteran’s Assistance Program in Erie County. This Thursday, Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, brings the program back. Read more

 

State Rep. Bringing Back Monthly Veteran's Assistance Program

(Oct 20, 2021)

State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro (D-Erie) is bringing back the monthly Veteran's Assistance Program to his office starting Thursday, Oct. 21. Read more

 

Main Street pandemic recovery focus of hearing

(Oct 14, 2021)

PHOENIXVILLE, Oct. 13 – At the top of the legislative agenda for House Democrats is helping Pennsylvanians stay safe and recover from the pandemic. That means prioritizing small, community businesses like those in Phoenixville. “The Borough of Phoenixville provides a rich case study for how a community of business owners, non-profit organizations, and residents came together to preserve its main street through the challenges of COVID-19,” said Rep. Shusterman, D-Chester. “I am pleased to host this event and invite the public, press, and my fellow legislators to hear their stories. I believe these insights will be critical to our Commonwealth's ongoing economic recovery.” House members participated in a hearing on the business impact of Covid prior to a tour of Phoenixville. During the formal hearing municipal leaders and small business owners spoke of operating through the pandemic, despite hardships. During a tour of downtown Phoenixville small businesses, House members spoke with owners who worked with local government to make sure that the pandemic restrictions didn’t lead to closure. “We need policy that prioritizes small businesses and communities throughout Pennsylvania,” said Chair of the Democratic Policy Committee, Rep. Bizzarro, D-Erie. “The legislature has the ability to deploy funds allocated to communities like Phoenixville, and serve as liaisons for municipal leaders to work together with Read more

 

Victim, advocates urge lawmakers to decriminalize HIV during hearing

(Oct 06, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 6 -- Pennsylvania has laws on the books that criminalize or control behaviors through HIV-specific statues and regulations. During a hearing today, PA House Democrats heard testimony from a victim of these laws and those advocating for change. “HIV is not a crime but there are outdated laws that make it a crime in Pennsylvania,” said Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Philadelphia. “We cannot have people losing lives and livelihoods because of this.” The victim who spoke at the hearing was Julie Graham, a resident of Cumberland County, who described the impact of these laws on her life after she was charged with four crimes, including two felonies, based on allegations by a man she had dated who claimed she didn’t disclose her HIV status. Due to these allegations, she faced personal and professional consequences that forever impacted the trajectory of her life. “I support and applaud your courage and advocacy to testify here today,” said Rep. Mary Isaacson, D-Philadelphia, who was the Co-Chair of the Policy Committee and host for the hearing today. “Being HIV positive is not a crime and we must do better in supporting those in Pennsylvania who are living with HIV.” PA House Democratic Policy Committee Chair, Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, was also in attendance and added: “HIV decriminalization is important to the entire Democratic Caucus and I am grateful to the testifiers who came today to speak on Read more

 

Hearing: Decriminalizing HIV

(Oct 05, 2021)

Pennsylvania is one of 22 states that have laws that criminalize or control behaviors through HIV-specific statutes and regulations. This has serious consequences for Pennsylvanians that Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta will explore as he hosts a hearing about decriminalizing HIV in Pennsylvania. The hearing will be held October 6 at 9:30 a.m. in 414 Main Capitol in Harrisburg. The media and public are invited in-person or to watch online here. Media inquiries may be submitted via email to policy@pahouse.net. The agenda and written testimony can be found here. Read more

 

Rep. Bizzarro: $583,153 awarded to area hospitals providing care to those with substance use disorder

(Oct 05, 2021)

Erie, PA, Oct. 5 – Cash is being given to Allegheny Health Network in Erie County and surrounding hospitals to improve outcomes for individuals in recovery from substance use disorder (SUD). State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro announced today that assistance is coming to Erie County to address substance abuse disorders impacting the region. ” We know that o nly 17% of Pennsylvanians who were dependent on or used illicit drugs receive treatment they need,” said Rep. Ryan Bizzarro. “We must commit resources if we are to combat addiction and help those struggling to recover from addiction.” These funds expand access opportunities to those seeking Medication Assisted Treatment and focus efforts on assisting those who received treatment and are recovering. Pennsylvania’s Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) administered these funds as part of $55 million awarded to Pennsylvania through the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant Program COVID-19 Supplemental Awards. ”Pennsylvania’s disaster declaration for opioid addiction might have ended but the work to help those struggling with substance abuse disorder continues ,” Bizzarro said. For information about how Rep. Bizzarro is fighting for Pennsylvania’s education policies and programs please visit RepBizzarro.com . Read more

 

Rep. Bizzarro: $635,300 Grant Awarded to General McLane School District

(Oct 01, 2021)

Cash is being given to General McLane School District for greater access to technology and reliable Internet. Read more

 

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

 

PA Officials Address Evolving Overdose Crisis
Oct 21, 2021

Monthly Veteran's Assistance Program Returns to Erie County
Oct 21, 2021

BIZZARRO: Veteran’s Assistance Program returns to Erie County
Oct 20, 2021

State Rep. Bringing Back Monthly Veteran's Assistance Program
Oct 20, 2021

Main Street pandemic recovery focus of hearing
Oct 14, 2021

Victim, advocates urge lawmakers to decriminalize HIV during hearing
Oct 06, 2021

Hearing: Decriminalizing HIV
Oct 05, 2021

Rep. Bizzarro: $583,153 awarded to area hospitals providing care to those with substance use disorder
Oct 05, 2021

Rep. Bizzarro: $635,300 Grant Awarded to General McLane School District
Oct 01, 2021

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