State representatives across Pennsylvania are pushing for a simpler solution to help you book your COVID-19 vaccine. Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 12 – State Rep. Joe Hohenstein will host a House Democratic Policy Committee meeting to hear how state officials and workers at long-term care facilities can work together during the pandemic to improve safety for staff and residents. The hearing will be held virtually from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16 and can be viewed at www.pahouse.com/policy or via the Policy Committee’s Facebook account -- @padempolicy. The media and public are invited to tune in. Media questions can be submitted at firstname.lastname@example.org . Specifically, Chairman Ryan Bizzarro, Hohenstein and members of the Policy Committee look forward to learning more on the state Department of Health’s efforts to protect vulnerable populations and their caregivers. COVID recovery efforts are part of the House Democratic Policy Committee’s objectives for the 2021-22 Legislative Session. Read more
HARRISBURG | Feb. 8 – General consensus among testifiers at today’s House Democratic Policy Committee highlights that vaccine supply and scheduling limitations are the primary source of delays in Pennsylvania vaccination efforts. “Pennsylvanians need a more streamlined approach to ensuring we can get people vaccinated and return to some semblance of normal,” Bizzarro explained. Those tasked with administering vaccines at the state and county levels, including pharmacies, reiterated that there are not enough vaccines being allocated to meet demand, especially with the recent expansion of the 1A group. County officials shared the strain they have experienced with dwindling employee complements expected to tackle the pandemic and other ongoing public health issues that remain. Keara Klinepeter, executive deputy secretary at the Pennsylvania Department of Health; Barry Niccolai, executive director of Centerville Clinics; and Vicky Kistler, director of health for the city of Allentown, provided deep insight into how the state and local governments are working to distribute the vaccines that Pennsylvania does receive. “I greatly appreciate the efforts at the state, local and business level to join forces and do everything in their power to secure vaccines from the federal government and efficiently distribute them,” Bizzarro said. Hospital system representatives, including Dr. Charles Barbera and Kathy Reeves, shared their concerns Read more
STATE PROGRAMS NOW OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS: Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development: Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) (Funding Source: General Fund) Eligibility : 501c3 nonprofits Use : Tax credit program to encourage businesses to invest in projects by eligible nonprofits to serve low-income individuals and improve distressed areas. Projects can include affordable housing, community economic development, community services, education, neighborhood conservation, crime prevention, job training, or charitable food assistance. A special-priority category this year is COVID-19 Pandemic and Social Justice Issues, which can include a variety of COVID related services as well as projects that strive to increase awareness of or improve social justice issues within marginalized communities in Pennsylvania. See guidelines for more information. Funds : State tax credits up to 80%, depending upon the program category, for businesses that donate to the nonprofit. Application Deadline : May 28. Applicants submitting a solicitation plan in lieu of firm commitments must have their contributors confirmed by August 31, 2021. More Information : Click on https://dced.pa.gov/programs/neighborhood-assistance-program-nap/ . Applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss their projects prior to application with their Regional DCED Office: https://dced.pa.gov/dced-regional-offices/ . Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Read more
ERIE, Feb. 3 – State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro said he is happy to announce Governor Tom Wolf has directed $2.25 million in Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority funding to Erie. “Bringing your tax dollars back to the region is an important part of community revitalization and economic recovery. This low-interest loan will make a big impact on the region and draw in millions in private investment for the development. Even more, the construction project will generate an additional economic boom to the region,” Bizzarro explained. The low-interest loan awarded to AnDi LLC. through Enterprise Development Center of Erie County Inc. will fund the purchase of 12.32 acres located in Fairview Business Park in Fairview Erie County. The company intends to build a 95,500 square-foot beverage facility for use by Allegheny Beverage Company; 10,000 square feet will be used as office space. The lease agreement stands at 15 years for the $7.85 million project. The loan will be contingent on the new facility retaining 70 employees from its current Erie-based facility, and the creation of an additional 10 full-time jobs within three years. “This is a great opportunity for local businesses to expand and increase job opportunities,” Bizzarro said “This funding is coming at a time when our community needs it the most and will be a welcome part of economic recovery from this pandemic.” Additional information about Read more
A distribution facility planned for the Fairview Business Park has received approval for a $2.25 million 15-year loan, Gov. Wolf announced Wednesday. Read more
Ryan Bizzarro, D-3rd Dist., who is serving as chairman of the House Democratic Policy Committee, said Monday it's incumbent upon federal ... Read more
House Democratic Policy Committee hosts a hearing to discuss the 2020 Presidential Election Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 21 – Today, the House Democratic Policy Committee heard from an array of testifiers on how hate speech, lies and misinformation played a role in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and how those who’ve taken an oath of office may have played a part. “As public servants, we are held to a higher standard. The people deserve better from their public officials than manipulative rally cries fed by blatant lies,” Bizzarro said. Professor Gerry Gendlin, who works in Edinboro University’s History and Politics Department; Shira Goodman of the Anti-Defamation League; Dr. Lauren Bairnsfather, Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh; and Frederick Lawrence, Georgetown Law, all provided perspective on the how hate speech fueled the Capitol attack and insight into the role that those who’ve taken the oath of office had in it. “One of the most poignant remarks of the day was, just because it isn’t illegal, doesn’t mean it isn’t wrong. We heard today about how many of the elected officials that fueled the flames of insurrection took things just to the line. Wrong is wrong and we must call on our colleagues to acknowledge the role they played in that deadly day,” Bizzarro said. Congresswoman Susan Wild recounted her experience fleeing violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6. Congressman Conor Lamb highlighted his efforts to investigate and define the movements that are perpetuating hate. “I Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 19 – The House Democratic Policy Committee today met virtually to hear from state and county officials on their 2020 election experience and to discuss recent false allegations of election fraud. “The consistent theme from testifiers was that election staff was professional, diligent and facilitated a secure election. Our county election workers need the legislature to address pre-canvassing issues and streamline operations between the in-person and mail-in systems. Fortunately, many of these efforts have been put forth by my colleagues and we look forward to advocating for these commonsense measures,” Bizzarro said. The committee heard from Jonathan Marks from the Department of State on election security; Andrew Szefi, Allegheny County solicitor; Al Schmidt, Philadelphia city commissioner; and Bob Harvie, Bucks County election commissioner on their experiences through the 2020 election and improvements that could be made to streamline future elections. Testimony was also submitted by the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania that included recommendations for election reform that reinforced the need for pre-canvassing and additional time to process mail-in ballots. Dominion Voting Systems submitted their voting process for the record. “Ultimately, the people who carry out these elections are doing their job. They are Republicans, Democrats, independents; but more importantly, they are our neighbors, family Read more
HARRISBURG | Jan. 19 – In continued efforts to defend democracy and uncover how the Jan. 6 attacks on our nation’s Capitol will impact it moving forward, the House Democratic Policy Committee will discuss the intersection of the constitution, the ethics act and culpability of those who incite or participate in violence and disinformation campaigns. The meeting will be held virtually from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21 and can be viewed at www.pahouse.com/policy or via the Policy Committee’s Facebook account --@padempolicy. The media and public are invited to tune in. Policy Committee Chairman Ryan Bizzarro and members hope to gather information on the oath of office, the spread of false information in regards to our recent elections, and what criminal violations may have been committed by those attempting to discredit American democracy. Gerry Gendlin, constitutional law professor, will discuss the history of constitutional remedies to sedition. Shira Goodman, Anti-Defamation League, and Dr. Lauren Bairnsfather, Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh, will discuss decoding hateful messaging and symbolism. U.S. Reps. Susan Wild and Conor Lamb will share their experience while under siege in the Capitol on Jan. 6. Frederick Lawrence is a hate crimes expert and will discuss the evolution of hate crimes and community and legal response. The meeting is one in a series addressing the false allegations of election fraud that Read more
ERIE, Jan. 15 -- State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, announced that more than $57 million has been dedicated by Gov. Tom Wolf for Erie County schools to help serve their students during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Our schools are doing a great job to keep our kids engaged and learning despite all the obstacles they have to overcome,” Bizzarro said. “Making sure our kids are safe in school, or connected at home, comes at a cost and I’m glad this money will help cover some of that.” The federal relief money was appropriated by Congress in December and can be used to continue food programs, technology upgrades, training, cleaning supplies and mental health supports as well as other education services the schools need. More than $57 million is allocated to Erie County. In the Third Legislative District: $4,645,226 for the Millcreek Township School District. $1,220,716 for the General McLane School District. $1,067,196 for the Montessori Regional Charter Schoo. “Our schools continue to go above and beyond despite the circumstances,” Bizzarro said. “Schools also feed more than brains -- they are community centers for essential food programs too, and I’m glad to see this money go to support that and so much more.” School districts and charter schools must apply to the Pennsylvania Department of Education to receive their share of the money set aside for Erie County. The application process will be posted Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 15 – In light of the recent campaign to spread false information at the state and national levels about the security of elections, the Pennsylvania House Democratic Policy Committee will convene to defend democracy by discussing the 2020 elections process and how it may be protected from future fraudulent attacks. The meeting will be held virtually from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Jan. 19 and can be viewed at www.pahouse.com/policycommittee or via the Policy Committee’s Facebook account: @padempolicy. The media and public are invited to tune in. Policy Committee Chairman Ryan Bizzarro and Democratic Caucus members will hear from a bipartisan group of testifiers on their 2020 election experience and what legislative action they may need to protect future elections from misinformation campaigns and to continue to maintain election security. The meeting will be one in a series addressing the false allegations of election fraud that culminated in the seditious and deadly attack on our nation’s Capitol by insurgent groups. Read more
Citing the dangerous lies spread by some Republicans in the General Assembly regarding the 2020 election, House Democratic leaders today released the following statement demanding accountability and responsibility as the nation moves forward:“What we saw last week was nothing short of an attempted coup, instigated not only by the president of the United States but by Republican enablers at all levels of government. Words matter, and the falsehoods, misrepresentations and seditious rantings we’ve heard from some Republican members of the General Assembly can’t go unchallenged. Our nation can’t heal without consequences for the first invasion of the United States Capitol since the War of 1812. Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 12 -- State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro said he was thrilled to convene an organizational meeting of the Pennsylvania House Democratic Policy Committee and appoint colleagues from across the state to help lead the committee. As the new chairman for the 2021-22 Legislative Session, Bizzarro said the committee will focus on COVID-19 recovery; economic and community development; education; infrastructure and jobs. “Our main priority is working Pennsylvanians. We know this pandemic has ravaged many small businesses and we must craft meaningful solutions that help get people back to work. The pandemic has highlighted many inequities in how funding is distributed, how children are educated and the opportunities we must foster for a thriving state,” Bizzarro explained. “The future of our commonwealth depends on crafting bipartisan solutions to these issues. Our colleagues have had the majority for quite some time and, despite their rhetoric, continue to favor profits over people. It’s time we come together for the benefit of all Pennsylvanians.” The chairman announced that state Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler of Philadelphia will serve as chair of the newly created Subcommittee on Progressive Policies for Working People. The subcommittee will focus on a fair and equitable criminal justice system; clean water and air; quality healthcare for all; housing as a human right; and economic policies that benefit the working class. State Read more
ERIE, Jan. 7- State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, announced that the Greater Erie Community Action Committee has been awarded $49,383 by the Pennsylvania Department of Aging to be used by 10 senior community centers in Erie County. “These senior centers are hubs in the community, serving as a vital link between seniors and the help they need with food, health issues and so much more,” Bizzarro said. “Temporary closure of the centers due to the COVID-19 pandemic have made that mission challenging, and this money can help them now.” The funds can be used for COVID-19 mitigation, capital improvements and renovations, providing programs and services, purchasing technology that could be used to reach seniors in their homes, nutrition services, marketing and outreach or even building rent and utilities. In Erie County, the $49,383 will be split among: LECOM Center for Health and Aging. Mercy Hilltop Center. John F. Kennedy Center. Erie West Senior Center. North East Senior Center. Northwestern Senior Center. R. Benjamin Wiley Central City Activity Center. Union City Senior Center. Tri-Boro Senior Center. Corry Senior Center. “One of the highlights of my year is getting to talk with seniors, and hear about their issues and how I can help each year at my senior fairs,” Bizzarro said. “Even when I had to host them in a drive-thru format because of COVID-19, hundreds lined up to be connected with the help they Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 5 -- Getting Pennsylvanians back to work and helping local businesses recover from the throes of 2020 are at the top of state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro’s legislative priorities for the 2021-22 legislative session. The session marks the official start of Bizzarro’s fifth term serving the Pennsylvania House of Representatives; and his first as a member of the House Democratic Leadership team. “This year, Pennsylvanians need the General Assembly to come together like never before to craft meaningful solutions that get people back to work and rebuild our local economies. I am honored to take the oath of office to continue serving our community in Erie. Serving as Policy chairman will help amplify the voice of our community,” Bizzarro said. “Pennsylvania’s small and local businesses need our support to help them recover from this pandemic. I look forward to advocating to rebuild their businesses and getting people back to work safely. I am looking forward to working with my colleagues across the aisle to making that happen.” Bizzarro’s district includes McKean and Washington townships, Edinboro and McKean boroughs and part of Millcreek Township. He encourages residents to visit www.repbizzarro.com to learn more about how his staff may provide support. Residents can contact his primary office located at 1101 Peninsula Drive between 8:30 a.m. and Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 5 -- The PA House Democratic Caucus leadership team issued a joint statement today as state legislators formally began the 2021-22 Legislative Session: “With 202 members of the House of Representatives due to be sworn in, we celebrate the diversity of our great state and reflect on the shared values common to almost all Pennsylvanians. Yet we also mourn the tragic loss of Representative Mike Reese, whose sudden passing reminded all of us how precious life is. “The importance of the top priorities that House Democrats have consistently promoted -- good jobs with fair pay, quality schools, affordable housing, accessible health care, a safe environment and protection of democracy -- are being highlighted and tested in many ways during this devastating pandemic. “We see the beginning of this new legislative session as a chance to elevate people over partisanship and make gains toward these common goals in all of Pennsylvania’s unique communities – east and west, large and small, urban, suburban and rural. “Democrats in the House hope that our Republican partners will work with us to help people stay in jobs, get back to work and go to school safely; equip healthcare workers properly to battle this pandemic; ensure Pennsylvanians are not evicted from their homes in the middle of a public health crisis; and send targeted relief to the many businesses ravaged by this pandemic. Read more
ERIE, Dec. 23 -- State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, announced that $1.5 million from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program has been awarded today for continued upgrades to the UPMC Park clubhouse. “The investment in UPMC Park will make it the crown jewel in minor league baseball,” Bizzarro said. “The announcement earlier this month that the SeaWolves were staying was great news for the Erie region, and this money helps secures the team and the economic benefits that come with it.” Casey Wells, Erie Events executive director, said he is “thrilled that the money is coming for our clubhouse improvements.” Wells continued: “This is the final piece to get our facility up to Double-A standards, which will ensure professional baseball in Northwest Pennsylvania for many years to come.” “We are excited to continue bringing family fun and Major League Baseball’s stars of tomorrow to Erie,” said Erie SeaWolves President Greg Coleman. “We’d like to thank Governor Wolf, Attorney General Josh Shapiro, Representative Ryan Bizzarro and our local Erie delegation for their continued support of the SeaWolves and the Erie community.” The new grant money will be used for the demolition, renovation and expansion of the team clubhouse adjacent to UPMC Park. A 2018 Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant invested $12 million to improve the visitor experience at the baseball stadium. Read more
ERIE, Dec. 17 – State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, announced today that grants awarded by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection will fund projects totaling $184,000 for preservation efforts in Erie. “This funding is critical for our local governments to maintain the necessary research and support good stewardship of Pennsylvania’s natural resources. I’m proud to advocate for funding that will help Erie officials do that by keeping waterways clean and highlighting the educational and economic impact our natural resources have on the region,” Bizzarro said. These Erie entities will receive funding for the following projects: Erie County Department of Planning $75,000 to support efforts focused on local data-driven decision making to develop meaningful strategies for stewardship of coastal resources. $9,000 to help local municipalities regarding the Bluff Recession Setback Act. Regional Science Consortium at Tom Ridge Center at Presque Isle $50,000 to support water sampling from 28 locations along the coastline of Lake Erie, Presque Isle State Park, Presque Isle Bay and drinking water facilities. Erie Bird Observatory $50,000 to research migratory birds’ habits in the Lake Erie Coastal Zone and to maximize understanding for study, education and tourism outreach. Coastal Zone grants are awarded to projects Read more
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