Bizzarro denounces foolhardy liquor privatization plan

(Jun 30, 2015)

HARRISBURG, June 30 – State Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, D-Erie, today voted against the Republican-crafted liquor privatization plan, which passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives on concurrence. “My colleagues on the other side of the aisle acted against their own constituents’ wishes today,” Bizzarro said. “Poll after poll has shown that Pennsylvanians want more convenience, better selection and decent pricing – not the absolute privatization of our state wine and spirits stores peddled in House Bill 466.” Bizzarro pointed out that privatizing the system is fiscally irresponsible, citing the plan’s projected revenue loss over the long term. “Once the system is completely divested, the state loses out on $80 million in annual profits, and the resulting new annual revenue from license fees and business taxes would be much lower,” Bizzarro said. “The state simply cannot afford to give up such a reliable source of revenue.” In addition, a study conducted under former Gov. Tom Corbett concluded that privatization would force more than 2,300 full-time workers to lose their jobs and be forced onto unemployment. “In good conscience, I could not support a plan that would rob thousands of Pennsylvanians of their family-sustaining jobs,” Bizzarro said. “Not only would these workers have a difficult time finding other jobs with similar benefits, but unemployment costs would Read more


Bizzarro condemns Republican state budget plan as ‘Corbett 5’

(Jun 27, 2015)

HARRISBURG, June 27 – State Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, D-Erie, today voted against the Republican state budget plan for 2015-16, saying it continues the previous administration’s harmful cuts to education and the middle class. “This budget is another smoke-and-mirrors plan that makes no commitment to restoring Republicans’ disastrous cuts to our schools,” Bizzarro said. “Under Governor Wolf’s budget proposal, schools in our region could have used increased funds to institute quality early childhood education programs and reduce class sizes. But the plan that passed today again shortchanges our students and makes these initiatives even less of a reality.” Bizzarro added the plan, loaded with gimmicks, would not provide the historic property tax relief Wolf proposed, furthering the burden on the middle class and senior citizens. “Many of our seniors are struggling to stay in the homes where they’ve raised their families,” Bizzarro said. “Pennsylvanians have made it clear that they want and need property tax relief, and it is time we give it to them. Unfortunately, this plan doesn’t do that.” Bizzarro added he is committed to making sure a budget that returns Pennsylvania to a sound fiscal footing is ultimately enacted. “Governor Wolf’s bold proposal laid out commonsense ideas to fund our schools, grow jobs, and help our taxpayers,” Bizzarro said. “But this Read more


Bizzarro Stands Up For Students and Homeowners

(Jun 27, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro voted “no” on a bad Pennsylvania budget that does nothing to help restore school funding cuts that have hurt students in our area and does nothing to reduce property taxes for homeowners. Read more


Bizzarro commends Gov. Wolf's decision to exempt volunteers from paying background check fees

(Jun 10, 2015)

HARRISBURG, June 10 – State Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, D-Erie, today lauded Gov. Tom Wolf’s announcement to waive state background check fees for volunteers working with children. “The governor’s action today is encouraging for our volunteers who dedicate so much of their time to improving our communities,” Bizzarro said. “I am proud we will be able to continue protecting our children, as well as give some assistance to the volunteers who help them every day.” Read more


Our view: Pa. needs same-day voter registration

(Jun 10, 2015)

ERIE, Pa. -- It's time to modernize Pennsylvania's election system, and state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro has proposed one way to do so -- allowing same-day voter registration. Read more


Easier voting a landslide win

(Jun 08, 2015)

Last fall, when Pennsylvania voters ousted a sitting governor for the first time in a century and a half, a resounding majority of the electorate skipped the historic occasion. This spring, when Philadelphia Democrats chose from an array of candidates for the city's highest office, the landslide - some 70 percent - was for doing something else. Meanwhile, nearly a fifth of the state's adults aren't even registered. Read more


Editorial: We need same-day voter registration in Pa.

(Jun 08, 2015)

In last month’s primary, voter turnout across the state was was 19 percent. Nineteen percent. Eighty-one percent of the voters eligible to cast ballots in that election – in which voters chose judges and county commissioners and state appellate court judges – sat this one out. Read more


Bizzarro: Volunteer emergency responders shouldn’t have to pay background clearance fees

(Jun 04, 2015)

ERIE, June 4 – Joined by volunteer firefighters and emergency medical services providers at West Lake Fire Department, state Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro today voiced his support for legislation that would exempt emergency responders from paying more than $47 in fees for state and federal background clearances. Bizzarro discussed H.B. 1081 , which would excuse volunteer and paid firefighters and EMS providers from paying the $10 state Department of Human Services child abuse clearance fee, in addition to the $10 Pennsylvania State Police criminal background clearance fee. It would also waive FBI clearance fees, totaling nearly $30, provided the emergency responders have lived in Pennsylvania for the past 10 years and have clean records. “Our volunteers put their lives on the line for us every day, while saving the commonwealth billions of dollars,” Bizzarro said. “We rely on them to keep our communities safe, even though many volunteer organizations’ budgets are suffering. Instead of potentially deterring many interested people from signing up to volunteer, we should ease the burden of these fees so our courageous men and women can continue to help improve our state.” According to Bizzarro, the fees are the unintended consequences from recent changes to the state’s child protection laws. “One of our most important jobs is to protect our children,” Bizzarro said. “However, we also need to look out for those caring Read more


Bizzarro wants action after poor voter turnout

(Jun 02, 2015)

State Representative Ryan Bizzarro says the time is now for Pennsylvania to implement same-day voter registration. Bizzarro held a news conference in Harrisburg today, urging the adoption of a bill he introduced earlier this year. Bizzarro says the bill would boost voter turnout by making registration easier. Read more


Bizzarro introduces bill for same-day voter registration

(Jun 02, 2015)

ERIE, Pa. -- HARRISBURG -- Erie County voter turnout in the May 19 primary was 21 percent -- a low percentage that's typical of nonpresidential election years. State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, of Millcreek Township, D-3rd Dist., said he thinks more people would vote if they could register on the same day as a primary or election, rather than the current system, which requires them to register at least 30 days before casting ballots. Read more


Bizzarro calls for same-day voter registration at Capitol news conference

(Jun 01, 2015)

HARRISBURG, June 1 – Voting rights advocates joined state Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, D-Erie, at a news conference at the state Capitol today on Bizzarro’s legislation to make the electoral process easier through same-day voter registration. Read more


Pa. lawmakers push same-day voter registration

(Jun 01, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – State lawmakers are pushing legislation that would allow Pennsylvanians to vote on the same day they register. Pennsylvania would become the 13th state to permit same-day voter registration under House Bill 13. Read more


Same-day voter registration bill pushed as way to increase turnout

(Jun 01, 2015)

Legislation that seeks to boost voter turnout by making exercising this constitutional right more convenient in Pennsylvania is being pushed by two Democratic House members and several organizations. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, and lists 28 Democrats as its co-sponsors, would allow voters to register to vote at their county courthouse or polling place on the day of the election. Read more


Bizzarro: State awards grant to local small business

(May 29, 2015)

HARRISBURG, May 29 – State Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro today announced that GeorgeKo Industries Inc. in Erie County received a $9,500 Small Business Advantage Grant from the state. The plastic parts manufacturer is one of nearly 140 businesses statewide that will install energy efficiency or pollution prevention projects using grants provided by the state Department of Environmental Protection. DEP recently awarded more than $980,000 to 139 small businesses for those purposes. Read more


The case for same-day voter registration

(May 27, 2015)

Here's a simple question: Did you vote in the primary on May 19? If you did, I commend you for exercising your basic right to elect our leaders and make your voice heard. But if you didn't vote, I'd encourage you to ask yourself why you didn't. Were you too busy? Did you forget? Are you unregistered, and did you find the voter registration process in Pennsylvania a bit inconvenient and antiquated? Read more


Bill aims to stiffen penalties for animal cruelty offenders

(Apr 29, 2015)

A recent case of animal cruelty is sparking local discussion regarding penalties in place for those who abuse, neglect and torture animals. In the State of Pennsylvania, first-time animal cruelty offenders receive a summary offense. However, legislation making it's way through Harrisburg would impose a harsher punishment, if passed. Read more


Pa. House approves Bizzarro bill to help prevent elder abuse

(Apr 22, 2015)

State Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, D-Erie, said the state House of Representatives today unanimously passed his legislation to provide extra protection against elder abuse committed by people acting with power of attorney. Read more


Pa. House OKs Bizzarro bill to protect against elder abuse

(Apr 21, 2015)

HARRISBURG, April 21 – State Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, D-Erie, said the state House of Representatives today unanimously passed his legislation to provide extra protection against elder abuse committed by people acting with power of attorney. Read more


Global Youth Service Day

(Apr 21, 2015)

Today more than 500 students committed their day to the service of others at Global Youth Service Day. Students from various schools and youth centers completed service projects throughout Erie to help make the community a better place to live. Read more


Veterans treatment courts would offer rehabilitation instead of jail time for nonviolent offenders

(Apr 16, 2015)

State lawmakers are working to create a hybrid of drug and mental health courts for veterans across the Pennsylvania to keep nonviolent servicemen and women out of jail and in treatment. Read more