Democrats help move budget process forward

(Mar 23, 2016)

With the proposed Budget from Republican lawmakers sitting on Governor Tom Wolf's desk, Democrats are supporting some of the bill to help move the budget process forward for the schools. Democratic lawmakers are encouraging Wolf to approve enough aid in the the proposed budget to keep schools open. Read more

 

Pa. panel OKs animal cruelty prevention bill

(Mar 23, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A state House committee has approved legislation that says Pennsylvanians can’t keep animals they abused once they’ve been convicted of cruelty. House Bill 869, reported out of the House Judiciary Committee, would require owners to forfeit the animals to a shelter or rescue group. Read more

 

Bizzarro animal cruelty prevention bill heads to House chamber

(Mar 22, 2016)

HARRISBURG, March 22 – The state House Judiciary Committee has approved a measure authored by state Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, D-Erie, designed to curb animal cruelty throughout the commonwealth. Read more

 

Bizzarro votes to end state budget impasse

(Mar 17, 2016)

HARRISBURG, March 17 – State Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, D-Erie, today released the following statement after the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed H.B. 1801, which he said would help wrap up the long-overdue 2015-16 state budget: “Until we can come up with a compromise budget that mathematically works and addresses the real fiscal issues we face in Pennsylvania, this plan is the only option. Time is not on our side. I don’t want to see our schools close, and I don’t want to see massive layoffs. I don’t want to see our nonprofits fold, and I don’t want to see Pennsylvanians denied the crucial services they need. I don’t want the divisiveness of this impasse to loom over this great commonwealth and the people we serve. “This is no way to govern or lead, but it’s the unfortunate reality of the situation we’re in, given the lack of ability to compromise, and lack of political will to address the real issues at hand. We are over nine months into the fiscal year, and we need to make sure our schools are not disrupted by the mass dysfunction in Harrisburg. We have many challenges ahead of us and we cannot overcome them without bipartisan support. “Choosing to support this budget proposal wasn’t an easy decision, but I believe that we as a legislative body, and especially its leaders, should have done better because Pennsylvanians deserve better. But at the end of the day, this job requires you Read more

 

Bizzarro lauds House passage of medical marijuana legislation

(Mar 16, 2016)

HARRISBURG, March 16 – State Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, D-Erie, today applauded the approval of a bill that would legalize the use of medical marijuana in the commonwealth. The Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed S.B. 3 , which would allow patients with serious medical conditions including cancer, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder and glaucoma, to use the drug. “Today’s vote has been a long time coming for so many people, especially in our area,” Bizzarro said. “It’s been heartbreaking to watch parents beg for relief for their children dealing with debilitating diseases, and hear patients tell alarming stories about having to suffer from chronic pain. Patients and doctors should be able to choose the course of treatment that is right for them, including medical marijuana. I am proud to support this measure and hope it will become law soon.” Under the bill, medical marijuana would only be permitted to be used as a pill; oil; liquid; tincture; topical form, such as a gel, cream, or ointment; or through vaporization or nebulization. Medical marijuana is legal in 23 states, in addition to the District of Columbia. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration of House amendments. Gov. Tom Wolf has indicated if medical marijuana legislation reaches his desk, he will sign it. Read more

 

Bizzarro announces new office schedules

(Mar 04, 2016)

ERIE, March 4 – State Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, D-Erie, is announcing changes to the schedules at his McKean and Edinboro offices. The McKean office, located in the McKean Township Municipal Building at 9231 Edinboro Road, will now be open weekdays by appointment only. The office was previously only open Thursdays. Residents can call (814) 835-2880 to schedule an appointment. Bizzarro’s Edinboro office, located in the Edinboro Municipal Building at 124 Meadville St., Suite 222, is now open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. The phone number is (814) 734-2773. "The new schedule will allow my staff and me to more readily help constituents any day of the week,” Bizzarro said. “I encourage anyone who has a question or concern about state government to contact my office. We can assist with Property Ta/Rent Rebate Program applications, questions about PennDOT, and so much more.” In addition, Bizzarro’s main district office is located in the Peninsula Plaza in Erie at 1101 Peninsula Drive, Suite 209. It is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, and from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays. The office can be reached at (814) 835-2880. Read more

 

Property Tax/Rent Rebate forms available at my office

(Feb 15, 2016)

Forms for Pennsylvania’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program for the 2015 tax year are available at my district office – and my staff is ready to help you file yours for free ! The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians 65 or older, widows and widowers 50 or older, and people with disabilities 18 or older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters. Half of Social Security income is excluded and the maximum standard rebate is $650. Claimants must reapply for rebates every year because they are based on annual income and property taxes or rent paid each year. Spouses, personal representatives or estates may file rebate claims on behalf of deceased claimants who lived at least one day in 2015 and meet all other eligibility criteria. The oft-extended deadline to apply for a rebate on property taxes or rent paid in 2015 is June 30, 2016, and the rebates normally are distributed by the Deparment of Revenue beginning July 1. So, the sooner you file, the sooner you will receive your money. Read more

 

PACE prescription programs benefit seniors

(Feb 10, 2016)

PACE, PACENET and PACE plus Medicare are Pennsylvania's prescription assistance programs for older adults, offering low-cost prescription medication to qualified residents, age 65 and older. As of this year, the legislature passed a law excluding Social Security Medicare Part B premiums from being counted towards income levels. Read more

 

Bizzarro: 2016-17 budget must work for our middle class

(Feb 09, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 9 – State Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, D-Erie, issued the following statement after Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget address for the 2016-17 fiscal year: “It’s no secret that drastic changes are needed in order to move our commonwealth forward. For too long, job growth has been stagnant, schools have been underfunded and property taxes have ballooned. We can’t afford to continue down such a destructive and unstable path. “I applaud the governor's efforts to improve our state’s finances and put the commonwealth on track for a brighter and prosperous future. By getting Pennsylvania back on sound fiscal footing, we will help build a stronger middle class, fully fund our schools and protect older Pennsylvanians. “The road ahead isn’t easy. Hardworking Pennsylvanians, especially in our region, have already had to make tremendous sacrifices to provide for their families and stay in their homes. We need to be cautious about how we budget for the upcoming fiscal year, and remember to put the people of Pennsylvania before politics and gimmicks. Without question, additional revenue is needed. Finding the appropriate way to generate the revenue is the major issue at hand. “Of course, before any major work can begin on next year’s budget, we need to come to a responsible agreement on the current fiscal plan. The people of Pennsylvania deserve better than the stalemate they’ve been forced to deal with. Read more

 

CHIP offers kids protection and parents peace of mind

(Jan 29, 2016)

Pennsylvania has a Children's Health Insurance Program that provides free and low-cost health insurance to children. CHIP is not welfare – it covers children of working parents whose employers don't offer coverage and who can't afford private insurance. If you can't afford health insurance for your children, chances are they are eligible for CHIP. Read more

 

Pa. Treasury could be holding your unclaimed property

(Jan 01, 2016)

Each year, the Pennsylvania Treasury receives millions of dollars of unclaimed property. It is estimated that roughly one in 10 Pennsylvanians has unclaimed property. Read more

 

PA Power Switch: Ask the right questions

(Dec 30, 2015)

In Pennsylvania, you can choose the company that generates your electricity – also known as your electric supplier. This means that you have the power to switch to a competing supplier who can offer the lowest price, or provide a specific service you want, such as “green” or renewable energy. Read more

 

Bizzarro: Governor’s line-item veto a start, but budget far from finished

(Dec 29, 2015)

ERIE, Dec. 29 – State Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, D-Erie, today echoed Gov. Tom Wolf’s call for the legislature to return to session, in light of the governor’s line-item veto of a $30.3 billion budget plan passed by the Senate last week. “By using his constitutional line-item veto authority to substantially scale back more than 100 appropriation lines, Pennsylvania is still without a responsible budget that fully funds our schools, human service and public safety programs,” Bizzarro said. “Simply put: The math just doesn’t add up. It is that simple. The budget sent to the governor is not balanced and will grow the commonwealth’s multi-billion-dollar deficit. This budget spends $30.3 billion without the sufficient revenues to pay for it, and if any governor signed this bill, regardless of their political party affiliation, the commonwealth would end the year over a half-billion dollars out of balance. "Last week, the speaker of the House decided to adjourn and send lawmakers home, instead of staying to pass a compromise plan that would’ve ended the impasse,” Bizzarro added. “We need to return to work and finally pass a responsible budget that works for our state.” Wolf today announced he will line-item veto parts of the budget, including education cuts. In the meantime, he is authorizing the release of emergency funding for key services like schools and human service providers. “While Read more

 

Bizzarro: PA Needs A Real Budget

(Dec 23, 2015)

Pa. state rep. Ryan Bizzarro speaks in favor of moving a state budget forward in the legislative process to get better funding to our schools, human services and others counting on support from the state. Read more

 

Bizzarro laments local GE Transportation layoffs

(Nov 06, 2015)

ERIE, Nov. 6 – State Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, D-Erie, expressed his grave concern over today’s announcement that GE Transportation in Erie will lay off about 1,500 of its 4,500 local workers. “Today’s announcement represents a great loss for our community,” Bizzarro said. “These steady blue-collar jobs help families put food on the table and boost economic growth in our community. We all know manufacturing and related industries have taken a hit in recent years, but we need to do all that we can to preserve these vital jobs in our region.” This morning, GE Transportation announced the layoffs will occur within the next 60 days at its Erie facility. The company pointed to the expectation of lower production volumes next year as the reason behind the decision. Bizzarro said he and other local elected officials stand ready to assist affected workers and families. Read more

 

Bizzarro resolution honors ‘National Epilepsy Awareness Month’

(Oct 28, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 28 – November 2015 marks "National Epilepsy Awareness Month" in Pennsylvania, thanks to a measure authored by state Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, D-Erie, that the state House approved today. "Epilepsy is the third most common neurological disorder in the United States, behind stroke and Alzheimer’s disease," Bizzarro said. "For those of us who aren’t among the 5 million Americans living with the disorder, we can’t imagine what it must be like to live every day knowing that a seizure may strike at any time. I hope we can bring more awareness to this disorder, and let people who are suffering from it know that they’re not alone." Epilepsy is characterized by recurring seizures, and affects people of all ages. Up to 50,000 Americans die each year from seizures and related causes, while about 200,000 new cases of epilepsy are diagnosed each year. Bizzarro also cited the ongoing work of the Epilepsy Foundation in Pennsylvania in his H.R. 211 . "I commend all our Epilepsy Foundation chapters throughout the state for connecting our communities with helpful resources like support groups, training for first responders and school staff, and educational conferences," Bizzarro said. "By working together, we can help prevent and control epilepsy throughout Pennsylvania." Read more

 

Bizzarro to hold flu shot clinic at Erie office

(Oct 06, 2015)

ERIE, Oct. 6 – State Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, D-Erie, today announced he will host a flu shot clinic from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 14 at his constituent service office, 1101 Peninsula Drive, Suite 209 in the Peninsula Plaza. “Since the flu season can begin as early as October, now is an ideal time to get your flu shot,” Bizzarro said. “The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months or older, so every generation of your family can be protected by getting the vaccine.” Bizzarro said representatives from LifeWorks Erie will be on hand to administer vaccines to everyone between the ages of 9 and 99. He said most shots will be covered through insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid, so people should bring their insurance cards. No appointment is necessary. For more information, please contact Bizzarro’s office at (814) 835-2880. Read more

 

Bizzarro: Protect Pa. Newborns

(Oct 02, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro has introduced a bill that would require hospitals to screen for adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) in newborns. ALD is a debilitating disease that is fatal when left untreated, and can otherwise lead to the loss of voluntary muscle function, hearing, and vision. Screening for ALD could be performed using the same heel pinprick newborns already undergo under the Newborn Child Testing Act. Read more

 

Bizzarro legislation would add ALD to Pa. newborn screening list

(Sep 29, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 29 – State Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, D-Erie, today announced he recently introduced legislation that would increase the number of genetic diseases hospitals must screen newborns for in Pennsylvania. Bizzarro’s H.B. 2012 would add adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), a lysosomal storage disorder, to the list. "Just last session, the previous governor signed into law a measure adding Krabbe and five other Lysosomal Storage Disorders to the list of diseases newborns are screened for," Bizzarro said. "Unfortunately, ALD didn’t make the cut. The good news is that ALD can be detected through the same heel pinprick newborns are already subject to under the Newborn Child Testing Act, so there’s no reason we can’t also screen for this potentially devastating disease." ALD is an inherited metabolic disorder that affects the nervous system and can be fatal if not treated before symptoms arise. Affected patients possess a mutated gene that allows for fatty acids to build up in plasma and tissues throughout the body, which can cause issues with the adrenal gland and brain damage that may not be apparent until adulthood. Bizzarro added about one in 17,000 boys is affected by ALD, while females are only carriers of the disease. The disorder can be effectively treated with a bone marrow transplant only when children are diagnosed and treated before they show symptoms. Without treatment, patients lose voluntary muscle function, Read more

 

Pa. House approves Bizzarro’s 'Light the Night' measure

(Sep 25, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 25 – State Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, D-Erie, today announced the Pennsylvania House of Representatives has unanimously adopted his H.R. 210 , designating September 2015 as "Light the Night Walk Month" in the commonwealth. "Each year, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society hosts 'Light the Night Walks' across the country, where participants raise beautiful colored lanterns into the night sky as they walk," Bizzarro said. "These important events help to honor blood cancer survivors, and raise awareness about these diseases. As a childhood cancer survivor myself, I am especially grateful to my colleagues for their support of Pennsylvania’s cancer patients and their families." The organization’s Western Pennsylvania & West Virginia chapter held its annual Light the Night Walk in Erie last evening at Jerry Uht Park. Other Pennsylvania walks are set for Pittsburgh, Johnstown, and Uniontown, among other locations. According to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, approximately every 3 minutes a person in the United States is diagnosed with a blood cancer. The three main types of blood cancers are leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Since the organization was founded in 1949, it has allocated more than $1 billion for blood cancer research and patient services. Read more