ERIE, May 1 – State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro said he is ready for Erie to proceed with great caution to return to a new normal as the Wolf administration today announced Erie will move to the yellow phase of reopening efforts effective May 8. According to the administration’s website, the following restrictions will be in place in the Yellow Phase: Work and congregate setting restrictions will include: Telework Must Continue Where Feasible. Businesses with In-Person Operations Must Follow Business and Building Safety Orders. Child Care Open Complying with Guidance. Congregate Care and Prison Restrictions in Place. Schools Remain Closed for In-Person Instruction. Social Restrictions: Stay-at-Home Order Lifted for Aggressive Mitigation. Large Gatherings of More than 25 Prohibited. In-Person Retail Allowable, Curbside and Delivery Preferable. Indoor Recreation, Health and Wellness Facilities and Personal Care Services (such as gyms, spas, hair salons, nail salons and other entities that provide massage therapy), and all Entertainment (such as casinos, theaters) Remain Closed. Restaurants and Bars Limited to Carry-Out and Delivery Only. “As our region reopens, it’s important that we remain vigilant, wear masks, wash hands and continue to practice social distancing. It’s Read more
HARRISBURG , April 30 – State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro said the state House today voted on legislation that would authorize local lawn and garden centers to reopen by providing them a waiver to the governor’s business closure order. H.B. 2429 provides for worker safety precautions and would allow community businesses to provide lawn and garden equipment and supplies during the pandemic. “I understand the need to implement mitigation and public safety efforts; but our local businesses should be extended the same opportunities to operate as some of the big-box and chain stores currently operating in our communities. They deserve to stay afloat during this pandemic and this bill would do just that,” expressed Bizzarro. “Our friends, family and neighbors will be able to get back to work in a safe environment and we can keep our business local when possible. That means more now than ever.” The bill would require lawn and garden centers that open to implement safeguards, including following social distancing requirements, providing workers with personal protective equipment and other safety measures, and regular cleaning of facilities. The bill now awaits state Senate consideration. Read more
The grants represent the first round of emergency funding being directed to local communities Read more
ERIE, April 20 - - State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D- Erie, announced that Rite-Aid will expand on-site testing to the 5430 Peach St. location in Erie. Testing will be available at no cost to eligible individuals. Patients are required to provide a government issues identification, be at least 18 years of age and must pre-register online at www.riteaid.com to schedule a time slot for testing. Tests will not be administered without an appointment. “I have been working with Rite-Aid and other pharmacies to ramp up testing in our region. Expanding testing capacity will strengthen Erie’s efforts in combating COVID-19. The more testing sites available, the easier it will be for our family, friends and neighbors to get tested and determine a plan of action in getting healthy,” Bizzarro said. According to Rite aid, testing will take place in via drive-up in the store’s parking lot. A self-swab nasal test will be administered. Eligibility for testing will follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. “As testing expands, and our ability to navigate COVID-19, I still encourage everyone to stay home and stay safe. Going out unnecessarily will only extend the hold this virus has on our community.” Bizzarro urges residents to visit his website www.pahouse.com/bizzarro - for information on COVID-19. Read more
ERIE , APRIL 8 -- State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro reached out to Department of Labor and Industry Secretary Gerard Oleksiak to discuss the department’s capacity to expeditiously handle unemployment claims in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Erie County legislator said he is hoping to help ensure the Pa. Department of Labor and Industry has the resources needed to process unemployment claims in a timely manner for the hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians applying. “Our Commonwealth is facing unprecedented times. My office is fielding hundreds of calls on how this pandemic is impacting their lives and livelihood. The UC system has been pushed beyond capacity and I want to make sure that the Department of Labor and Industry has what they need from the legislature to process claims with as little delay as possible,” explained Bizzarro. “It is my hope that we can alleviate challenges faced by the department and the delays to Pennsylvanians applying for unemployment compensation.” A copy of the letter is available here . Read more
Joblessness is being felt all around the region with more than a million unemployment claims being filed in Pennsylvania.Frustrations are mounting while bills are piling up. Here is how local residents are dealing with the process. Read more
State Representative Ryan Bizzarro is demanding action to be taken against Wabtec following images that surfaced showing their “sanitation stations.” Read more
In today’s report County executive Kathy Dahlkemper confirms that Erie County has no new confirmed cases of COVID-19. This leaves the number at 16 cases. Read more
ERIE, MARCH 27 -- Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, released the following statement following news that Congressman Mike Kelly tested positive for COVID-19: “I’m saddened to learn that our Congressman Mike Kelly tested positive for COVID-19. This disease does not discriminate and it’s imperative that we follow recommendations to stay home and stay safe, practice social distancing and only go out if absolutely necessary. Coronavirus is extremely serious, and we must adhere to the strict mitigation efforts if we are going to beat this and protect our family and friends from this terrible virus. “My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family at this time. I hope that no one is further negatively impacted as a result of his diagnosis.” Read more
A Wabtec spokeswoman detailed new procedures that she said not only follow, but exceed CDC guidelines. Read more
HARRISBURG, March 25 – State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, said today the Pa. House voted in support of emergency School Code relief in response the COVID-19 pandemic. Senate Bill 751 provides authority to the secretary of education to close all schools until the pandemic comes to an end and increase the number of allowable flexible institution days. The measure applies to school districts, intermediate units, career and technical, charter and cyber charter schools. Schools must make good-faith efforts to maintain continuity of education to students throughout PDE closures, submitting plans to PDE and posting to their website. The bill also extends the current continuing education deadline by one year for teachers and school leaders. “I am happy to see my recommendation to waive the 180-day requirement for all schools has been included in this legislation. It also guarantees that school cleaning staff will have the materials and protective supports needed to stay safe, as recommended by the CDC,” Bizzarro explained. “In the face of adversity and uncertainty, it’s imperative that we continue to support those who keep our educational system going and enact measures that help our educators and students bounce back quickly from these challenging times.” The bill now moves to the Senate for concurrence. Read more
ERIE, March 23 – State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, released the following statement today calling on Wabtec to adhere to CDC guidelines and do their part to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. “The decision by Wabtec to remain open without properly protecting its workforce during this pandemic shows a lack of judgement and general disregard for its employees and our greater Erie community, as we all work together to limit the spread of COVID-19. Employee health, proper workplace disinfecting per the CDC guidelines, and social distancing should be fundamental concerns facing each and every business across Pennsylvania, particularly as non-life-sustaining entities. My office has received constituent calls from management and hourly employees about a lack of sanitizing protocols that could facilitate unnecessary spread of the COVID-19 virus. “While the PA Governor’s office has granted a waiver to Wabtec, with the health of our community in mind, I am calling Wabtec officials to take efforts to test every employee that arrives to work at the Erie County plant, sanitize the facility per CDC guidelines, and take the necessary steps to prepare the facility for employees to return to work safely (per CDC guidelines) and without anxiety of unnecessary exposure to them and their community. This virus outbreak is not a time for corporate America to put profits above people. These are our neighbors and families, and we must consider Read more
State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, released the following statement today calling on Wabtec to adhere to CDC guidelines and do their part to mitigate the spread of COVID-19."The decision by Wabtec to remain open without properly protecting its workforce during this pandemic shows a lack of judgment and general disregard for its employees and our greater Erie community, as we all work together to limit the spread of COVID-19. Read more
Business owners and their employees in Erie and across the state continued to seek answers Monday about how Gov. Tom Wolf would define non-life-sustaining business. Read more
State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, released the following statement today regarding the safety and health of Wabtec employees during the COVID-19 pandemic: Read more
ERIE, March 18 – State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, announced today that organizations throughout Erie County will receive state grant dollars totaling $178,225 for business development and 2020 Census efforts. GR8T Manufacturing was awarded $168,946 in PASmart Next Generation Industry Partnership grant funding from the Pa. Department of Labor and Industry. The funds will be used to improve community business to business partnerships, promote manufacturing careers and branding the region. Census 2020 Outreach grants were awarded to Edinboro Community and Economic Development Corp., and Culture, Arts, Festival, and Events of Erie in the amounts of $4,279 and $5,000 respectively. The grants, awarded through the Pa. Department of Community and Economic Development may be used for census-related outreach including local media buys, community census events, and event-related costs. “It’s important that in this time, we continue to work together to invest in our community. I’m excited to see how GR8T Manufacturing uses this grant to improve business partnerships and career opportunities in our region,” Bizzarro said. “Now, more than ever, it’s time to ramp up efforts to ensure our community’s voice is heard in the 2020 census. I urge everyone to make sure they fill out the Census when it becomes available and answer those nine questions. They will have an impact on how our community is represented and Read more
ERIE, March 16 – State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, announced today that effective midnight tonight his legislative offices will be closed to the public until further notice. “We must take this pandemic seriously and act in the best interest of our most vulnerable populations. My staff will be available by phone to assist with state-related issues and we will be practicing social distancing,” Bizzarro said. “There is a lot of information coming from state resources, including recommended restrictions and unemployment compensation. We have to look out for our neighbors as well as ourselves in this time.” Bizzarro also called on residents to avoid going to non-essential businesses including: Community and recreation centers. Gyms including yoga, barre and spin facilities. Hair salons. Nail salons. Spas. Casinos. Concert venues. Theaters. Bars. Automobile dealerships. Sporting event venues. Golf courses. Retail facilities including shopping malls. At the recommendation of Gov. Wolf, restaurants are urged to only offer carry-out and delivery. “By avoiding these places, we can help mitigate the spread of this highly contagious virus. Please limit public exposure to trips to the pharmacy, grocery store or healthcare providers if necessary. While there are no confirmed cases in Erie at this time, it’s important that we stay Read more
Millcreek township is the recipient of over $100,000 in grant money from the department of community and economic development. Read more
ERIE, March 13 – State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, released the following statement commending Gov. Tom Wolf for closing Pennsylvania’s K-12 schools: “Each school district across the state faces a different level of threat and challenges. I applaud Governor Wolf for recognizing the threat that COVID-19 poses to public health and safety and for taking action that prioritizes Pennsylvania’s children, teachers and school staff. “Earlier today, I circulated a co-sponsorship memo for legislation that would allow school districts to request a waiver for the 180 days of school mandate. Hearing the governor include in his announcement today that school districts will not be penalized for not meeting the requirement is a sigh of relief for all Pennsylvania districts. “I still plan to pursue support for my legislation calling for districts to work in concert with the Department of Education so that requests to adjust the mandated school days can be handled quickly. Enacting this legislation will ensure that this pandemic and any future disruptions do not tie the hands of our educators and impact Pennsylvania children’s educational experience.” Read more
ERIE, March 12 – State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, announced the Pa. Department of Community and Economic Development awarded a $130,000 grant to Millcreek Township. The Department issued the grant via its Strategic Management Planning Program and funds will match investment from Millcreek Township that will be used to purchase updated financial software and develop a sub-area plan. “This grant will help Millcreek with their comprehensive plan, Embrace Millcreek. The funding will allow for improved software vital to township operations and get the ball rolling on projects to help determine redevelopment options for Presque Isle. Erie is growing and I’m proud to work with Millcreek to help capitalize on our region’s valuable resources,” expressed Bizzarro. The Strategic Management Planning Program is administered by DCED and provides matching grant funds to help municipalities develop comprehensive financial plans to establish short- and long-term financial objectives. Read more
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