Pisciottano chairs roundtable discussion on improving mental health for high school students

(Mar 03, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 3 – State Rep. Nick Pisciottano, D-Allegheny, brought together school professionals, mental health advocates, human services professionals and legislators for a discussion on how resources can be allocated to better serve Pennsylvania students, during a PA House Democratic Policy Committee hearing today. Strengthening teachers and support staff was a natural part of the discussion that highlighted how the pandemic has exacerbated existing systemic issues with providing services to students, teachers and staff. “Our high school students have had to overcome so many challenges during the pandemic, including virtual schooling, a lack of real social interaction and constant disruptions to daily life during the most turbulent periods of growing up. It’s imperative we do all we can to support their mental health needs as they mature into young adults,” Pisciottano said. “This policy hearing was very helpful in hearing from a variety of experts on how state and local officials can best help students and work with our schools to give them the tools they need moving forward.” Michael Fiore, school social worker/home and school visitor for Council Rock School District, and Dr. Mike Ghilani, superintendent of West Jefferson Hills School District, shared the struggles students face and their efforts to make swift changes to policies and procedures that have had lifesaving impacts on students. Ghilani shared a tragic case Read more

 

Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg joins bishops in discouraging Johnson & Johnson vaccine

(Mar 03, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Diocese of Harrisburg announced its support for the position of the United States Conference of Bishops (USCCB)’s on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Read more

 

Mental health of students the focus of Wednesday’s virtual House Democratic Policy Committee hearing

(Mar 02, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 2 – State House Rep. Nick Pisciottano, D-Allegheny, will host a virtual hearing to discuss the mental health of students during the current pandemic. The hearing will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, March 3. To view, the media and public can tune in to www.pahouse.com/policycommittee or the committee’s Facebook page -- @PADemPolicy. Media inquiries may be submitted via email to policy@pahouse.net . Pisciottano will be joined by committee Chairman Ryan Bizzarro and Democratic Policy Committee members to focus on the mental health of our high school students, notably during the current pandemic. This meeting is part of a weekly series focused on education, ensuring a quality education for all Pennsylvania children. Read more

 

Snyder and Bizzarro laud news of decision to include teachers, educators in priority 1A phase for vaccine

(Mar 02, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 2 – State Reps. Pam Snyder and Ryan Bizzarro, who recently urged the Pennsylvania Department of Health to update the Phase 1A category of vaccine eligibility to include more at-risk populations, were thrilled to hear news that department will allow teachers and other education professionals to be included in that category. Governor Tom Wolf confirmed at today’s press conference related to COVID-19 recovery efforts and the COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program. The official announcement from the Pa. Department of Health will come on Wednesday. Snyder, D-Greene/Fayette/Westmoreland, and Bizzarro, D-Erie, sent a letter last month to acting Pennsylvania Health Secretary Alison Beam urging her to include several at-risk populations –such as teachers, school personnel and corrections officers – into the Phase 1A category to receive the vaccine. That same letter also urged her to implement further changes regarding prioritization, including limiting smokers to only people 65 or older, which would put senior citizens and high-risk workers at the top of the list while still allowing at-risk smokers access. That letter was signed by more than 30 legislators. “This is certainly good news for our teachers and school staff, many of whom have had to be working in classrooms for some time and in close proximity to our young people and other staffers,” Snyder said. “However, we Read more

 

Reforms needed to address Charter Crisis

(Mar 02, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 2 – The charter school crisis has only worsened through the COVID-19 pandemic and a public hearing hosted by state Rep. Mary Isaacson examined the statewide impact on public schools. "Our Pennsylvania Constitution requires that we provide for and maintain a thorough and efficient public education system," said Isaacson, D-Phila. "That constitutional mandate doesn't disappear when there's a global pandemic. COVID-19 has had a huge impact on school districts' budgets throughout our commonwealth, presenting new challenges to meet the constitutional mandate. Being able to have a discussion now with administrators on the front lines of dealing with the impact of COVID-19 and the charter school funding crisis was an important step in working toward solutions." The committee heard testimony from Uri Monson, CFO for the Philadelphia School District, and superintendents statewide including Dr. Shane Hotchkiss, Bermudian Springs School District and chair, Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators Legislative Committee; Ken Berlin, Wattsburg School District, Erie County; Richard Scaletta, General Mclane School District, Erie County; Dr. Brian Bliss, Solanco School District, Lancaster County; David Burkett, Fannett Metal School District, Franklin County; and Jim Estep, Mifflin County School District. “Testifiers were economically and geographically diverse, yet they could agree that the current approach Read more

 

House Democratic Policy Committee: funding and consistency would improve student outcomes

(Mar 02, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 2 -- State Reps. Liz Fiedler and Rick Krajewski hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing Monday to highlight how an education budget focused on the people could best impact Pennsylvania students, especially the neediest populations. The committee heard testimony from a panel of pre-k advocates, including Shalonda Spencer, director of Public Policy and Government Affairs, Trying Together; Damaris Alvarado-Rodriguez, CEO of Children's Playhouse Early Learning Center; and De’Wayne Drummond, president, Mantua Civic Association Parent Engagement Specialist, Head Start at Philadelphia School District. The panel shared concerns regarding workforce retention, low pay and the need for additional funding so they can increase pay for workers. The panel also described the devastating mental and emotional toll COVID-19 has taken on them, and on childcare center workers and families. They called for renewed investment in the care and education of Pennsylvania’s youngest residents. “I am deeply invested in the equitable education of Pennsylvania’s children from birth on up. As a mother, it’s personal for me and as a legislator, it’s my mission to ensure our children have access to high-quality care and education,” Fiedler explained. “We must draw a line and refuse to let some children be viewed as less valuable than others by the General Assembly. That starts by valuing the labor of the Read more

 

COVID-19 vaccine registry in Pa. is critical

(Mar 02, 2021)

The legislation, co-authored by state Reps. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, and Pam Snyder, D-Greene/Fayette/Washington, would direct the department to establish and maintain the registry and provide access to providers who register to access the registry. Read more

 

COVID vaccine phase 1A expands throughout the commonwealth to include more at risk populations

(Mar 02, 2021)

The 1A COVID vaccine category is expanding throughout the commonwealth to include more at risk populations. Read more

 

COVID/Charter Crisis focus of Tuesday’s virtual House Democratic Policy Committee hearing

(Mar 01, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 1 -- House Democratic Policy Committee Vice Chair Mary Isaacson, D-Philadelphia, will host a virtual hearing to discuss the charter school crisis exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The hearing will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 2 . To view, the media and public can tune in to www.pahouse.com/policycommittee or the committee’s Facebook page -- @PADemPolicy. Media inquiries may be submitted via email to policy@pahouse.net . Isaacson will be joined by committee Chairman Ryan Bizzarro and Democratic Policy Committee members to examine the impact charter school enrollment during the COVID-19 pandemic has had on public school budgets. The meeting is one in a series collecting information that will help Pennsylvania better recover from COVID-19 and improve access to quality education. Read more

 

Rep. Bizzarro: Apply now for small business paycheck protection

(Mar 01, 2021)

ERIE, March 1 -- State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, is urging local small businesses to look into new Paycheck Protection Program loans that can help keep people employed during the COVID-19 crisis. “I heard from many Erie County business owners who told me their stories of frustration in 2020 as they tried to get help keeping their business going during the pandemic,” said Bizzarro. “One of the biggest complaints was that large companies were gobbling up the relief money, leaving nothing for them. I took those complaints to the federal level, and now I’m glad to see helpful changes.” President Joe Biden announced last week that the U.S. Small Business Administration is running an exclusive PPP loan application period for small businesses or nonprofits with less than 20 people, or sole proprietors, until March 9. This will give lenders and community partners more time to work with the smallest businesses to submit their applications, while also ensuring that larger PPP-eligible businesses will still have plenty of time to apply for and receive support before the program expires March 31. “Better targeting of money to help our mom-and-pop businesses is important. They make up the bulk of our economy while taking the hardest hits during the pandemic,” Bizzarro said. Bizzarro is urging qualifying businesses to apply before the March 9 time frame exclusively set aside Read more

 

Rep. Bizzarro kicks off cookie season with Girls Scouts of Western Pa.

(Feb 27, 2021)

ERIE, Feb. 27 -- State Representative Ryan Bizzarro joined Girl Scout Troop 36823 for the start of the 2021 Cookie Season . “I enjoyed spending time with our local Girl Scouts. Their entrepreneurial spirit and excitement were inspiring. I wish them the best of luck in accomplishing their sales goals this year and already know they’ll carry the skills they are developing for a lifetime. And I was glad to stock up on my personal favorites - Samoas and Tagalongs,” Bizzarro shared. The Girl Scouts have partnered with GrubHub , where cookie-lovers can have their orders delivered to their door. “This is an ingenious approach that connects new technologies with distribution and sales efforts. I am confident this collaboration will be fruitful and help troops generate money for future activities,” Bizzarro said. Those looking to support their local Girl Scouts of Western Pennsylvania troop can find their nearest cookie booth by using the Find Cookies tool at gswpa.org . Read more

 

Girl scouts kick off their cookie season with Representative Ryan Bizzarro and a drive thru

(Feb 27, 2021)

Girl scouts kick off their cookie season with Representative Ryan Bizzarro and a drive thru Read more

 

Local Girl Scouts Host Drive Thru Cookie Stand

(Feb 27, 2021)

Local Girl Scouts Host Drive Thru Cookie Stand Read more

 

Bizzarro supporting Girls Scouts of Western Pa. cookie season

(Feb 26, 2021)

ERIE, Feb. 26 – In an effort to empower and support Girl Scouts of Western Pa., state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, is joining Girl Scouts of Western Pennsylvania to kick off cookie booth sales. Bizzarro urges the media to join local Girl Scouts and him at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 27 at 5681 Route 6N, Edinboro . Cookies may also be ordered via GrubHub or by using the Find Cookies tool at gswpa.org. Read more

 

Fiedler, Krajewski to host hearing focused on Pa.’s education budget

(Feb 26, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 26 -- State Reps. Elizabeth Fiedler and Rick Krajewski, both D-Phila., will host Monday’s House Democratic Policy Committee meeting on the state’s early childhood and k-12 education budget. The hearing will be held at 3 p.m. March 1. The public and media may tune in at www.pahouse.com/policy or the committee’s Facebook page --@PADemPolicy. Media inquiries may be submitted to policy@pahouse.net . Policy Committee Chairman Ryan Bizzarro will join Fiedler, Krajewski and House Democratic colleagues for a look at how the education budget should take a fair and equitable approach that provides quality educational opportunities regardless of zip code. This hearing is part of the People’s Budget project which includes public hearings on environmental policy, education and infrastructure. The committee hopes to generate legislative policy that upholds Pennsylvania’s constitutional obligation to provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of public education to serve the needs of the commonwealth. Read more

 

Snyder, House Democratic Policy Committee discuss Powering PA: 21st Century Energy Jobs at Wednesday hearing

(Feb 24, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 24 -- Pennsylvania’s diverse energy portfolio and creating job opportunities in the sector was the focus of today’s House Democratic Policy Committee hearing hosted by state Rep. Pam Snyder. “While the energy environment has certainly changed over the last few decades, it’s imperative we learn as much as possible about future challenges - as well as future careers - in the energy sector,” said Snyder. “Today’s hearing was informative and gives our committee the information we need to continue to work with industry and energy officials to provide family-sustaining jobs, while also ensuring a safe and reliable energy supply for all Pennsylvanians.” Zach Smith of CONSOL Energy highlighted what the company is doing to embrace new technologies and new markets to facilitate a sustainable future for the energy source that would sustain current mining jobs and promote new opportunities in downstream manufacturing. Jackson Kusiak and Micah Gold-Markel of Solar States shared that Pennsylvania is lagging behind neighboring states and that investment in the diversified energy sector could generate hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs. Gold-Markel highlighted that diversity could improve power resiliency and protect Pennsylvania from facing outages as seen in Texas as a result of recent winter storms. Joe Morinville of Energy Independent Solutions included compelling testimony on how solar agriculture could Read more

 

Snyder and Bizzarro push for changes to vaccine prioritization

(Feb 24, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 24 – Citing significant and troubling concerns regarding access to the COVID-19 vaccine for several at-risk populations, including teachers, school personnel and corrections officers, state Reps. Pam Snyder and Ryan Bizzarro have sent a letter to acting Pennsylvania Health Secretary Allison Beam, urging her to augment the Phase 1a category to include those individuals. Snyder, D-Greene/Fayette/Westmoreland, said further changes in prioritization are needed, including limiting smokers to only those 65 or older, which would put senior citizens and high-risk workers at the top of the list, while still allowing at-risk smokers access to the vaccine. “Prioritizing others over our educators and corrections officers is baffling, especially when you consider the close congregate work they perform, and to have them currently placed in the Phase 1b category is insulting,” Snyder said. “It’s also vital that our health care systems be better informed as to the number of vaccines they’re slated to receive, as well as when those vaccines will arrive. These institutions must be kept updated, and to leave them in the dark only further exacerbates the issues we continue to have with the ongoing vaccine rollout process.” “ I am proud to partner with Representative Snyder in helping make sure our most vulnerable populations receive the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Bizzarro, D-Erie. “The Read more

 

COVID Safety and Recovery in Public Transportation at the center of House Democratic Policy Committee hearing

(Feb 23, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 23 -- Chairman Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, said the House Democratic Policy Committee heard compelling testimony about public health and safety efforts in public transportation during today’s hearing. “The vitality of our public transit systems is important to our commonwealth’s success. People need to get to work safely and on time. It’s also a key factor in business development decisions when companies are making decisions on where to set up shop,” Bizzarro explained. “COVID has created unimaginable challenges and communities across the commonwealth have been resourceful in keeping things operating as safely as possible.” The committee heard testimony from Leslie Richards, general manager of SEPTA, and Katharine Kelleman, CEO of the Allegheny Port Authority. Both shared regional transportation funding concerns. Richards, former secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, shared the need for additional funding mechanisms to ensure they have the dollars needed to maintain public safety efforts and protect vulnerable populations. “Today’s discussion highlighted the need to invest in infrastructure that would put Pennsylvanians to work and improve public transit,” said Bizzarro. “Our recent hearing on the National Infrastructure Bank could provide solutions to the concerns today’s testifiers brought to light and I look forward to continuing to advocate for projects Read more

 

Snyder, House Democratic Policy Committee to discuss Powering PA: 21st Century Energy Jobs at Wednesday hearing

(Feb 23, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 23 – Job opportunities in the energy industry will be the focus of Wednesday’s House Democratic Policy Committee hearing, according to state Rep. Pam Snyder, host of the discussion. The hearing will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24. The public and media are encouraged to tune in virtually at www.pahouse.com/policy or the committee’s Facebook page -- @PADemPolicy. Snyder, along with Democratic Policy Committee Chairman Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, will be joined by House Democratic colleagues to learn more from testifiers on ongoing efforts to create and maintain employment opportunities that pay family-sustaining wages, and develop educational and training opportunities that improve the commonwealth’s financial and environmental outlooks. The hearing is one of many the committee intends to host that reinforce this session’s objectives of COVID recovery, creating jobs and delivering affordable training, infrastructure, education, economic fairness, and community development. Read more

 

Process behind Vaccinating Local Residents

(Feb 23, 2021)

With the lack of vaccines in the commonwealth, people are frustrated with not being able to schedule a vaccine even if they fit the phase 1-A criteria. Read more

 

Pisciottano chairs roundtable discussion on improving mental health for high school students
Mar 03, 2021

Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg joins bishops in discouraging Johnson & Johnson vaccine
Mar 03, 2021

Mental health of students the focus of Wednesday’s virtual House Democratic Policy Committee hearing
Mar 02, 2021

Snyder and Bizzarro laud news of decision to include teachers, educators in priority 1A phase for vaccine
Mar 02, 2021

Reforms needed to address Charter Crisis
Mar 02, 2021

House Democratic Policy Committee: funding and consistency would improve student outcomes
Mar 02, 2021

COVID-19 vaccine registry in Pa. is critical
Mar 02, 2021

COVID vaccine phase 1A expands throughout the commonwealth to include more at risk populations
Mar 02, 2021

COVID/Charter Crisis focus of Tuesday’s virtual House Democratic Policy Committee hearing
Mar 01, 2021

Rep. Bizzarro: Apply now for small business paycheck protection
Mar 01, 2021

Rep. Bizzarro kicks off cookie season with Girls Scouts of Western Pa.
Feb 27, 2021

Girl scouts kick off their cookie season with Representative Ryan Bizzarro and a drive thru
Feb 27, 2021

Local Girl Scouts Host Drive Thru Cookie Stand
Feb 27, 2021

Bizzarro supporting Girls Scouts of Western Pa. cookie season
Feb 26, 2021

Fiedler, Krajewski to host hearing focused on Pa.’s education budget
Feb 26, 2021

Snyder, House Democratic Policy Committee discuss Powering PA: 21st Century Energy Jobs at Wednesday hearing
Feb 24, 2021

Snyder and Bizzarro push for changes to vaccine prioritization
Feb 24, 2021

COVID Safety and Recovery in Public Transportation at the center of House Democratic Policy Committee hearing
Feb 23, 2021

Snyder, House Democratic Policy Committee to discuss Powering PA: 21st Century Energy Jobs at Wednesday hearing
Feb 23, 2021

Process behind Vaccinating Local Residents
Feb 23, 2021