ERIE, Oct. 22 – A state plan in the works to waive liquor license fees for Pennsylvania’s struggling bars, restaurants and clubs during 2021 will bring an important measure of relief for these critical local businesses, state Reps. Ryan Bizzarro, Bob Merski and Pat Harkins, all D-Erie, announced today. The lawmakers said the administration’s plan – which is awaiting final approval from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board – would allow local restaurant and bar owners retain the critical capital they need to stay afloat. “Months of operating under pandemic restrictions have exacted a devastating toll on our area’s family restaurants, bars and clubs, and some creative solutions were definitely needed to help them survive,” Merski said. “Last week, I joined several colleagues in asking the governor to work out a fee waiver plan. “Although it’s not a cure-all for the huge financial challenges that lay ahead and a restaurant relief package is needed as soon as possible, the waiver will help these local mom-and-pop businesses that are so very important to our local economy, and any relief we can provide now is a good thing.” Bizzarro said, “I am happy to see progress being made to support the service industry. These savings will provide great relief to the local restaurants, bars and clubs that have served as a backdrop for many of Read more
In 2019, Pennsylvania officially designated October as Dwarfism Awareness Month, with Oct. 25 named Dwarfism Awareness Day. After seeing a concert skit by Zac Brown Band using a little person in a way that was widely seen as degrading, Nick Sorensen, a local member of Little People of America , reached out to State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro and soon, they were working to create and pass the bill that made this a reality. Read more
HARRISBURG, Oct. 20 – The state House today adopted state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro’s House Resolution 1024 designating Nov. 22, 2020 as Veterans Suicide Prevention and Awareness Day. Bizzarro, D-Erie, said he was approached by Erie County resident Wendy Ridge to work on this resolution recognizing Pennsylvania veterans lost to suicide and to bring awareness to the need for resources and the resources currently available to veterans and their families. “I thank my colleagues for recognizing that our heroes are hurting and that we must support them by acknowledging the reality that we are losing an estimated 22 veterans a day to suicide. The 22 is significant because it helps us to remember those lost. We remind those left behind that we are there for them during these difficult times,” Bizzarro said. House Resolution 1024 urges family members and care providers to initiate free and confidential conversations with Veterans Health Administration Providers via the Veterans Crisis Line at 800-273-8255, online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/chat or via text to 838255. “This pandemic had added many additional layers of stress and anxiety to those serving our armed forces and their families. It is more critical than ever to recognize veterans’ suicide as a public health crisis. We have to work earnestly to make sure these men and women who have given our nation so much know there is Read more
State lawmakers Ryan Bizzarro, Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, all D-Erie, have announced coronavirus relief grants totaling over $330,000 have been awarded to local fire and EMS companies. Read more
HARRISBURG, Oct. 19 – Today the Pennsylvania House of Representatives unanimously adopted a resolution introduced by state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, that will bring awareness to epilepsy by designating November 2020 as National Epilepsy Month in Pennsylvania. The resolution aims to educate the public on those experiencing seizures and improving the quality of life for those living with the disease. More than 3.4 million Americans have epilepsy and more than 50,000 die annually because of epilepsy or direct complications from it. “With awareness and detection, epilepsy can be treated and managed. Clearing up misinformation and reducing stigma will help people better understand the disease and save lives,” Bizzarro said. “I thank my colleagues for their support of this resolution. House Resolution 979 also highlights the role several state and local organizations play in finding a cure and overcoming the challenges created by epilepsy. The Epilepsy Association of Western and Central Pennsylvania and the Epilepsy Foundation of Eastern Pennsylvania work across the Commonwealth on epilepsy advocacy and assisting those diagnosed with how to manage this disease. Several local organizations also assist those diagnosed with epilepsy, such as The AJO Forever Foundation, asking people to remember #AJO as they “pay it forward” with random acts of kindness to raise awareness; and The Epilepsy Read more
ERIE, Oct. 15 – A $1,499,225 million grant will allow the Northwest Pennsylvania Innovation Beehive Network to expand and serve more area entrepreneurs and businesses, according to state Reps. Ryan Bizzarro, Bob Merski, and Pat Harkins, all D-Erie. The lawmakers said the grant to Penn State University from the Appalachian Regional Commission will fund a project to expand the Beehive’s reach and services, helping it to spur new businesses and support existing ones throughout the region and beyond, into Southern New York and Ohio. “The Beehive is a one-of-a-kind resource that harnesses the talents of our area’s best minds and pools resources to provide specialized expertise and services to businesses and entrepreneurs,” Bizzarro said. “Securing this funding means that the collaborative’s grant-funded centers will be able cast a wider net and serve more businesses and entrepreneurs, generating more economic activity and jobs for our region.” Merski agreed, saying, “With the new funding, more area businesses, inventors and entrepreneurs will benefit from the Beehive’s unique faculty and student-based services, which include everything from graphic design and video production to consulting and market analysis. The new project is going to help the collaborative expand into new services and areas as it supports hundreds of businesses, helps create new ventures and leverages thousands in private Read more
ERIE, OCT. 8 – Urgently needed money is on the way to local first responders thanks to a COVID response program that state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro championed in the House of Representatives. Over $234,000 will be distributed to 11 agencies that showed a need to help pay expenses since the COVID-19 pandemic started. “I heard from my local fire companies about everyday costs and new expenditures they were having trouble with, thanks to COVID-19,” explained Bizzarro. “Their usual means of fundraising were wiped out by the virus, but the emergency calls kept coming and so did the bills. Starting as a member of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee and through its passage in the House, I pushed to make sure Act 26 came to be as quick as possible.” The money will be used by the companies for the cost of operations like utilities or fuel, and for items like personal protective equipment, disinfecting materials and more. Receiving funding in the 3 rd Legislative District is: Edinboro Volunteer Fire Department - $25,342. EmergyCare EMS - $15,048. Fairview Fire Department - $23,151. Fairview Fire Department EMS - $15,048. Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Department - $24,384. Kearsarge Fire Department - $24,110. Lake Shore Fire Department - $23,014. Lake Shore Fire Department EMS - $10,453. McKean Hose Company - $23,151. West Lake Fire Department - $25,068. West Ridge Fire Department - $25,342. Read more
ERIE Oct. 7 - Pennsylvania will be a key battleground state in this election, and we all can agree: every citizen 18 years of age and older has the right to vote and do so safely this November, whether that be in-person or by mail. Regardless of who you're voting for, every vote will be counted. Every vote matters, and it is both our democratic and civic duty to shape our future by exercising our right to vote. Because of COVID-19, experts anticipate a large number of mail-in ballots, which take time to count. In fact, we saw this in our primary election. This means that instead of the projected winners we are all used to seeing reported on election night, it is very likely that the results of the general election will not be known in time for the 11 p.m. news – and there is no legal requirement they have to be known on Election Day. It’s vital to be patient and allow every vote to be verified and counted as we have throughout American history. Until those votes are finished being tallied, we must respect the integrity of our democratic process and wait patiently for the final certified results. 2020 will be an election like no other, with projected historic turnout and public health challenges. Every vote cast must be counted, and the democratic will of the majority must be respected. This is the cornerstone of American democracy. Attempts to erode this cornerstone of democracy are underway. Recently, Republican members of Read more
Our state lawmakers are reacting to the news of President Trump and the First Lady testing positive for Coronavirus. Read more
HARRISBURG, Sept. 30 - - The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency is encouraging eligible local governments to apply for their share of 2020 Federal Emergency Management Agency non-disaster mitigation grant program funds, state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro announced today. The grants require a letter of interest be submitted to PEMA by 5 p.m. Oct. 15, 2020. Eligible organizations will be applying to PEMA as sub-applicants and PEMA will be the statewide applicant to FEMA. “These grants could help fund hazard mitigation projects and help reduce claims related to flooding. It’s important that local governments who qualify for these grants apply to make sure Erie communities get their fair share of federal funding back to the region,” Bizzarro explained. The FEMA Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities grant, which replaces FEMA’s Pre-Disaster Mitigation grant, is open to local governments with a FEMA-approved Local Hazard Mitigation Plan for pre-disaster mitigation activities. Applications must be submitted to PEMA by 5 p.m. Nov. 18, 2020. Full grant details are available here: https://www.pema.pa.gov/Grants/BRIC/Pages/default.aspx . Funding from FEMA Flood Mitigation Assistance is available to eligible local governments participating in the National Flood Insurance Program. Eligible projects include project scoping, community flood mitigation projects, technical assistance, flood Read more
HARRISBURG, Sept. 28 -- State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro said he is thrilled to see an investment in Decontamination Specialty Equipment, helping it to grow family-sustaining job opportunities in the Erie region. The $100,000 investment comes from Ben Franklin Technology Partners, based in central and northern Pennsylvania and funded by the commonwealth budget. “When companies outside of the region recognize the rich resources that I see in our community, it’s vastly rewarding. I thank Ben Franklin for recognizing the great value Decontamination Specialty brings to the state and beyond,” Bizzarro said with gratitude. The investment will help fund Decontamination Specialty Equipment with its efforts in engineering, designing and sourcing decontamination equipment, including portable decontamination generators and integrated room decontamination systems. Pharmaceutical, research and health care markets rely on such equipment. “This investment will also help create and sustain jobs that pay quality wages that families can live comfortably on, exactly what our economy needs,” Bizzarro said. Read more
An Erie company has received a $100,000 investment helping it to grow family-sustaining job opportunities in the region, state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro (D-Erie) announced Monday. Read more
HARRISBURG, Sept. 25 -- State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, said today he is honored to be recognized by the Pennsylvania Society of Oncologists and Hematologists as the 2020 Legislator of the Year. Read more
A statewide doctors’ association has named their 2020 Legislator of the Year.The Pennsylvania Association of Oncologists and Hematologists named State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro the recipient of their award. Read more
HARRISBURG, Sept. 24 – State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro today introduced a resolution in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives designating Nov. 22, 2020 as Veterans Suicide Prevention and Awareness Day. Read more
State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro introduced a resolution in the PA House of Representatives designating November 22nd as Veterans Suicide Prevention and Awareness Day. Read more
HARRISBURG, Sept. 23 -- State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro affirmed his support of high school sports, and Pennsylvania school districts’ authority to make decisions regarding whether or not sports-related activities will resume, with a vote to override Gov. Tom Wolf’s veto of H.B. 2787. The vote was 130-71, five votes short of the number needed to override the governor’s veto. “The Pennsylvania Department of Education came to the conclusion that schools are capable of making their own decisions regarding a return to sports. The governor’s interjection and failure to listen to his own administration’s recommendation leave me puzzled,” Bizzarro resolved. “While no doubt, the governor’s efforts have saved lives in the beginning of this pandemic, we now know more about COVID-19 and how to carry out mitigation efforts that help us have some sense of a new normal.” “Districts across the state are better equipped to determine how safety measures, including wearing masks and social distancing, can be done in their stadiums and gyms. We trust them with the care of Pennsylvania’s children every day they go to school; they should be trusted in their efforts to maintain some normalcy in what’s been a trying time for our communities,” Bizzarro explained. Read more
Today, State Representative Ryan Bizzarro is holding his eighth annual Senior Health Fair, and like many events in 2020, this year’s health expo is going to look a little different. Read more
State Representative Ryan Bizzarro held his eighth annual Senior Health Fair.This year those who participated in the Senior Health Expo did not have to leave their car Read more
A local butcher is receiving $350,000 in funding to continue serving the Erie area. Read more
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