Cash is being given to General McLane School District for greater access to technology and reliable Internet. Read more
House Democratic leadership issued the following statement today calling on legislative Republicans to drop their radical anti-health agenda and come to the table for an honest discussion on helping Pennsylvanians recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.“Pennsylvania is currently experiencing a steady increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations with a positive testing rate that indicates substantial or high community spread of the virus. Our hospital system is strained and emergency rooms in both central Pennsylvania and southwestern Pennsylvania recently have been forced to divert ambulances simply because they couldn’t accept additional patients. Read more
ERIE, September 10 – To help law enforcement in Erie tackle the wide array of possible threats they can face, state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro has secured a $50,000 grant to launch a K-9 program for Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine’s (LECOM) Police and Security Department. “Protecting all the people and facilities from possible threats at a place like LECOM is a big job,” Rep. Bizzarro said. “Adding a police dog to help deal with explosives detection or other searches will go a long way to helping those officers keep us safe.” The LECOM K-9 program would allow officers to conduct searches of suspicious items or vehicles during a bomb threat scenario or help search for missing or wanted persons. The scent-detection ability of the dog could be expanded in the future to include detecting COVID-19. This specialized law enforcement tool wouldn’t just benefit LECOM; this shared community resource will enhance Erie County’s emergency and terror threat responsiveness. Police departments from surrounding communities can request help if they found themselves in a situation that a K-9 would be needed. “LECOM in the third largest law enforcement agency in Erie County,” Bizzarro said. “They work with their neighbors to help when it’s needed and I’m glad to make this happen for us all.” “We would like to thank Rep. Bizzarro for securing this funding which will safeguard the Read more
ERIE, September 9 – To help neighbors have easy access to an annual flu shot, state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro has teamed up with Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine to hold a flu shot clinic this Friday, September 10 th from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at his district office, 1101 Peninsula Drive, Suite 213 in Erie. “Locally and nationally, doctors are worried about what a flu season combined with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic could do to our healthcare facilities,” Bizzarro said. “Just like a COVID-19 vaccine, getting a flu shot now can help you avoid a serious case of the disease later, and keep our local hospitals from being overwhelmed.” Anyone in need of a flu shot is welcome to come to the clinic. Participants are asked to bring their insurance card and to wear a mask during the clinic. “Let your friends know – offer to bring them along,” Bizzarro said. “The more people we can vaccinate now means less spreading of the disease this Fall and Winter.” Read more
ERIE, Sept. 8 – Nearly $1 million was awarded to Erie County agencies to help treat people facing substance abuse and mental health issues, state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, announced today. “Too many of our neighbors continue to struggle with drug use and mental health problems, and the struggle to find help is a big problem,” Bizzarro said. “The cost to our communities is high, and I’m glad to see these tax dollars coming to Erie County and help people get their lives back on track.” The money was awarded Wednesday during a meeting of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. Among other initiatives approved in Erie County: $299,733 to Family Services of NW PA for their ongoing Erie Opioid Misuse Prevention Project. The money will be used to continue evidence-based approaches to engage young people in substance use and other problem behaviors. Family Services of NW PA is in the third year of a five-year pilot program working with local schools, non-profits and more to address the circumstances that can lead kids into trouble and build protections that can help them avoid those risks. $484,618 to five college/universities for the Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) Project, one of which is at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. State opioid response money is being used to fund a comprehensive and Read more
BETHLEHEM, Sept. 1 – Citing that only a small portion of overall education is run through the Fair Education Funding Formula, state Rep. Steve Samuelson held a virtual hearing to learn more from educators and advocates on how Pennsylvania can fulfill its 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. “Adequate state funding can make education resources more equitable based on the way we choose to allocate money,” Samuelson said. “The Fair Funding Formula was approved in 2016 but has not yet been fully implemented. We made progress this year with $100 million in Level Up funding distributed to underfunded districts like the Bethlehem Area School District. We need to continue efforts to fully implement the Fair Funding Formula.” Sean Brandon, Budget Analyst for the House Appropriations Committee began his presentation noting the importance of that constitutional commitment and shared how the Fair Funding Formula and budget practices allocate funds to school districts across the state. Joseph Roy, Bethlehem Area School District Superintendent and Karen Beck-Pooley, Bethlehem Area School District Director, shared from a district-level perspective of how they use the state funds received, noting challenges with charter school reimbursements and rising special education costs. Communities of color are disproportionately Read more
Bethlehem, Aug. 31 – Pennsylvania regularly falls at the bottom nationally when it comes to adequately funding basic education and state Rep. Steve Samuelson is hosting a public hearing to discuss how the fair funding formula can help better serve students and the economy. The hearing will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 1 online at www.pahouse.com/policy . The public and media are welcome to tune in online. Media inquiries may be submitted to email@example.com . Samuelson, D-Northampton, will be joined by Policy Committee Chairman Ryan Bizzarro and members of the House Democratic Policy Committee, to further discuss how education investments ultimately result in economic returns to the state in the form of a more prepared workforce and productive citizens. Level Up funding from the current fiscal year will also be discussed. Read more
LEHIGH, Aug. 30 – The benefits of Pennsylvania’s Neighborhood Improvement Zone program will be on display for policy makers at a Democratic Policy Committee tour hosted by state Rep. Peter Schweyer. The tour -- from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 31 -- will begin at the IBEW Local 375, 101 S. 7 th St., Allentown. The media is encouraged to attend. Lawmakers from across the state, including Chairman Ryan Bizzarro, will join Schweyer for a look at how the NIZ -- currently funded by 97% state tax revenue and 3% local revenue -- has worked to attract developers and revitalize downtown Allentown. Media inquiries may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org . Read more
WHITEHALL, Aug. 26 -- Updates to the state fireworks law have had many unintended consequences that impact public safety and are putting a strain on law enforcement throughout the state, and state Rep. Jeanne McNeill is hosting a public hearing to discuss what the legislature can do. The hearing will be held at 1 p.m. Monday, Aug. 30 at the Teamsters Local 773 Union Hall, 3614 Lehigh St., Whitehall. The public is welcome, and the media is encouraged to attend. McNeill, D-Lehigh, will be joined by Policy Committee Chairman Ryan Bizzarro and members of the House Democratic Policy Committee, many of whom have similar concerns amidst increases in community concerns and pyrotechnic related accidents. McNeill, along with state Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, has introduced H.B. 988 aimed at repealing the most recent changes to the fireworks law and reinstating provisions as they existed pre-Act 43. Media inquiries may be submitted to email@example.com . Read more
ERIE, Aug. 18 – The Edinboro Volunteer Fire Department has been awarded a $10,000 grant to increase community protection from wildfires, state Representative Ryan Bizzarro announced today. “Our fire departments respond to so many calls each year, and the specialized training and equipment they need comes at a cost,” Rep. Bizzarro explained. “I’m glad to see this money coming to Edinboro to ease the financial burden of keeping us all safe.” The EVFD can use the money for training and equipment purchases directly related to fighting brush and forest fires. This includes purchasing protective clothing or equipment, radios, installing dry hydrants, wildfire prevention and mitigation work, training wildfire fighters, or converting and maintaining vehicles. “I’m always grateful to our neighbors who volunteer their time to answer the community calls for help," Rep. Bizzarro said. “This grant will help continue their need to be properly equipped and trained to protect people and property in and around our forests and open spaces.” Edinboro was one of three Erie County Departments to be awarded the grant; Albion Volunteer Fire Department was also awarded $10,000, with $5670 awarded to Greenfield Township Volunteer Fire Company. The grant program targeted local firefighting forces in rural areas and communities with fewer than 10,000 people. 109 departments Read more
Philadelphia, Aug. 17 – State Rep. Donna Bullock is convening a meeting of the House Democratic Policy Committee and Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus to discuss the role of labor in police reforms. The hearing will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, August 18 at Temple University, Fox Gittis Room, 1776 N. Broad St., Philadelphia . The Fox Gittis Room is located just off the Broad Street Lobby, Alumni Hall at the Liacouras Center. The media and public are encouraged to attend. Masks are required. Additional information about this and other House Democratic Policy Committee hearings is available at www.pahouse.com/policy . Read more
YORK, Aug. 13 – State Rep. Carol Hill-Evans will host a public hearing to discuss legislative efforts to support veterans, especially those experiencing homelessness and PTSD. The hearing will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, Aug. 16 at the York County Fairgrounds, Verandah Room, 334 Carlisle Ave. The public and media are invited to attend. Hill-Evans will be joined by members of the House Democratic Policy Committee to learn more about H.B.s 688 and 698 and other issues faced by veterans. State Sen. Katie Muth, who has companion legislation in the Senate, will also attend the hearing. Media inquiries may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org . Read more
ERIE, Aug. 12 – State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, said he is thrilled to invite seniors and their caregivers to his Ninth Annual Senior Fair and Older Living Expo next week. The event will be held at 9 a.m. Monday, Aug. 16 at McDowell Intermediate High School, 3320 Caughey Rd, Erie. This year, more than 50 vendors and exhibitors will be on site to share valuable information with Erie’s senior residents on vital state information, programs and services. “I’m excited to be able to bring this event to seniors. My staff and I have been working hard to make this year a really great opportunity to connect and help as many people as possible. In addition to the great information to help seniors live healthy and happy lives right here in Erie, Elvis is making a return!” Bizzarro said. More information is available by calling Bizzarro’s office at 814-835-2880 or visiting the office at 1101 Peninsula Dr., Suite 213, in the Peninsula Plaza. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 11 – Reopening Philadelphia’s schools was the focus of a tour and roundtable of the House Democratic Policy Committee hosted by state Rep. Mary Isaacson, D-Phila., on Wednesday. Philadelphia School District Chief Information Officer Melanie Harris led the tour of Kensington Health Sciences followed by a roundtable with legislators to discuss the challenges faced this year and beyond. “Over the last 18 months, we have invested in solutions for students to safely learn virtually from home, and now, with COVID-19 still very much with us and variants on the rise, we are asking school districts — not just in Philadelphia but across the Commonwealth — to create the answers for how our students can safely return to schools and keep them open," Isaacson said. "This is a question that we've never had to answer, one that the CDC is constantly revising as the virus mutates. Today, we heard concerns and sought answers as to how our students will return to classrooms and be provided a quality education in a structured, safe and welcoming classroom when so much is uncertain and ever-changing. Much needs to be done to help our schools navigate these uncharted waters or our children and the next generation are the ones who will be lost.” “The flexibility and resilience of the Philadelphia School District has been impressive,” said Policy Chairman Ryan Bizzarro. Read more
PHILA., Aug. 8 – Philadelphia Delegation Chairman Jason Dawkins is hosting the House Democratic Policy Committee for a tour and roundtable discussion of the former Cancer Centers of America facility, Temple Health's Juniata Park Campus. The tour will begin at 2 p.m. Monday, Aug. 9 at 1331 E. Wyoming Ave., Philadelphia. The hearing is open to the media and inquiries may be submitted to email@example.com . Chairman Dawkins will be joined by Policy Committee Chairman Ryan Bizzarro and members of the House Democratic Policy Committee for a tour of their recently-purchased facility and discuss how the acquisition will impact patient care, healthcare access, and jobs in the region. Visit www.pahouse.com/policy for more information about this and other committee events. ### Read more
Don't miss my 2021 Summer Newsletter! Read more
Local investments to fight blight, plan trails and revitalize buildings Read more
ERIE, Aug. 2 – State Representatives Pat Harkins, Bob Merski and Ryan Bizzarro are welcoming members of the House Democratic Policy Committee for a tour of Lake Erie College of Medicine, the nation’s most applied-to medical school. The tour will begin at 1 p.m. Tuesday, August 3 at 1858 W. Grandview, Blvd., Erie. The media is encouraged to attend and can submit inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org . A roundtable discussion will follow the facility tour, aimed at learning more about LECOM’s impact on education, medical care and Erie’s economy. Information about this and other House Democratic Policy Committee hearings can be found at www.pahouse.com/policycommittee . Read more
The House Policy Committee visits Presque Isle State Park for a tour of the park's project needs and to learn more about its economic impact on the region. Read more
ERIE, Aug. 2 – State Representatives Bob Merski and Ryan Bizzarro are hosting a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing where local breweries, distilleries and wineries will share how they are providing jobs, getting creative in their respective crafts and adapting to regulatory changes. The hearing will be held at 9 a.m. Wednesday, August 4 at the Bayfront Convention Center, 1 Sassafras Pier, Erie, PA 16507. The media and public are encouraged to attend and can submit inquiries to email@example.com . Legislators from across the state will join Merski and Bizzarro for a discussion on how businesses have partnered with other local industries, adapted during the pandemic and what the state can do to support growth and recovery efforts for the industry. Information about this and other House Democratic Policy Committee hearings can be found at www.pahouse.com/policycommittee . Read more
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