House Democrats working for more government transparency

(Jul 27, 2020)

HARRISBURG, July 27 – House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody, Democratic Whip Jordan Harris and Democratic Appropriations Chairman Matt Bradford welcomed the decision by Gov. Tom Wolf to let an open records measure become law and said the legislature should pass other pending bills to bring additional transparency to Pennsylvania government. More than a year ago, House Democrats proposed bills to add new dimensions of openness to state government, including: Comprehensive campaign finance reform, including better disclosure of groups or individuals responsible for independent expenditures made in support of candidates (H.B. 795 sponsored by Dermody). Tighter limits and better reporting of gifts to public officials and employees from special-interest lobbyists seeking to gain unfair advantages (H.B. 1291 sponsored by Rep. Tina Davis). Improvements to voting and election processes (more than a dozen bills were introduced by multiple Democrats, including a comprehensive omnibus measure, H.B. 1560, sponsored by Rep. Chris Rabb). A bill to prohibit lobbyists from also working as paid campaign consultants (H.B. 1421 sponsored by Rep. Tina Davis). “At the start of the pandemic, under truly extraordinary circumstances, the Wolf administration had to delay responding to Right-To-Know inquiries,” Dermody said. “However, since May they have again been responding to these requests. “Governor Read more

 

House Democratic leaders urge U.S. senators to support HEROES Act

(Jul 15, 2020)

HARRISBURG, July 15 – Pennsylvania House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody, Democratic Whip Jordan Harris and Democratic Appropriations Chairman Matt Bradford, on behalf of the entire Pa. House Democratic Caucus, today sent a letter to U.S. Sens. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., urging them to support the HEROES Act. The U.S. House of Representatives in May passed the HEROES Act to provide much-needed continued relief to Americans through the COVID-19 pandemic, and the U.S. Senate has failed to take action. The full letter is as follows: Dear Senator Casey and Senator Toomey: It has been nearly two months since the U.S. House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act to support Americans as they weather the unprecedented health and economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, yet the Senate has failed to take action on this important legislation. With cases rising across the country and again in Pennsylvania -- creating an even more serious strain on our health care systems and testing capacity as we move toward fall -- federal leadership is desperately needed to help Pennsylvanians get the care they need and the protections they deserve. In May, the Pennsylvania General Assembly worked with Governor Tom Wolf to pass an interim, partial budget, but the fate of many essential services depends on your actions to provide additional support to states. The budgetary challenge caused by the coronavirus pandemic is Read more

 

E-BLAST: UPDATE: COVID-19 Relief Small Business Assistance Grant Program

(Jun 26, 2020)

The COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance Grant program, which will award grants of up to $50,000 to small businesses that have been economically impacted by COVID-19, announced this week that applications for the program are expected to open on June 30th. Read more

 

Small Business Assistance grants

(Jun 23, 2020)

The Department of Community and Economic Development recently announced details for the COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance Grants. The second round of the grant program opened for applications Aug. 10 and will remain open until Aug 28. A website to assist small businesses has been set up at: https://pabusinessgrants.com/ Eligible businesses must apply through a local Community Development Financial Institution. For a complete list of CDFIs click here , or see more information below. Read more

 

COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Grants

(Jun 22, 2020)

Find your local CDFI to apply. Read more

 

E-BLAST: Montgomery County to move to green phase

(Jun 19, 2020)

Read the latest news on COVID_19. Read more

 

E-BLAST: Update: Safely reopening schools and child care

(Jun 05, 2020)

As you know, Pennsylvania closed school buildings and child care facilities early in our fight to slow the spread of COVID-19. This had a very real impact on our communities and families and, now that we are moving forward in the reopening process in Montgomery County, I know there are many questions and concerns. To that end, below is an update on guidance, issued this week, regarding the reopening of schools and child care facilities. Read more

 

E-BLAST: Montgomery County moving to ‘yellow’ soon

(Jun 03, 2020)

Information about Montgomery County's move to the yellow phase of reopening Read more

 

House Democrats oppose budget that would hike property taxes

(May 26, 2020)

HARRISBURG, May 26 – Democratic Leader Frank Dermody, Democratic Whip Jordan Harris and Democratic Appropriations Chairman Matt Bradford commented about today’s House vote on a partial state budget (H.B. 2387) which all 93 House Democrats opposed: “In a bipartisan rejection House Democrats stood united against the incomplete budget bill passed today. We have many questions with no answers about a $25 billion spending plan we didn’t even see in writing until today. “It’s clear that this budget doesn’t account for a multibillion-dollar revenue gap and just pushes the day of reckoning off until late November. How will the unprecedented deficit be closed? “The current plan fails to take care of homeowners struggling to pay school property taxes and will cause tax bills to increase by more than $300 million. Until we get more answers for the people we represent, Democrats will not support an incomplete budget that doesn’t meet the people’s true needs.” Read more

 

Democrats seek more support for Pennsylvania workers

(May 21, 2020)

HARRISBURG, May 21 – Democratic leaders said any review of Unemployment Compensation during the current pandemic should be aimed at fixing problems and putting workers’ needs first, rather than simply blaming the Department of Labor and Industry for factors mostly beyond its control. The House Labor and Industry Committee today received an update on benefits for unemployed claimants from senior leaders in the department including Secretary Gerard Oleksiak. “The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a sudden, widespread economic dislocation and prevented people from working in numbers never seen before,” said Democratic Leader Frank Dermody. “It’s important to understand how the department is responding to the demand for its services while many people are still waiting for unemployment benefits. “It’s also clear that after being starved of resources for years the department is doing its best with the limited tools it has and is intently focused on getting people their benefits,” Dermody said. “We need to get payments in the hands of workers who have earned them,” said Democratic Labor and Industry Chairman Pat Harkins. “I’ve heard from many constituents about their difficulties getting unemployment payments. They are understandably frustrated and I can see why.” Harkins thanked Oleksiak for answering the committee’s questions and being Read more

 

E-BLAST: COVID-19 Update: Property Tax/Rent Rebates arriving early

(May 20, 2020)

Latest news on COVID-19 and the Property Tax/Rent Rebate program. Read more

 

E-BLAST: COVID-19: Help is available for utility bills

(May 18, 2020)

Information on the new LIHEAP Recovery Crisis program Read more

 

E-BLAST: COVID-19 Update

(May 15, 2020)

Latest update on COVID-19 Read more

 

House Democratic leaders denounce Republican for playing politics, wasting tax dollars and sharing fake news

(May 01, 2020)

House Democratic leaders today released the following statement regarding House Republicans’ irresponsible political antics and misinformation campaign that’s putting Pennsylvanians’ lives at risk:“History will not be kind to those that have sown division and discord during a national emergency. Astoundingly, instead of offering reassuring, responsible leadership, constructive oversight and appropriating desperately needed resources in the midst of a global pandemic, House Republicans have focused their efforts on politicizing the reopening process, undermining our faith in public health officials and engaging in a bizarre misinformation campaign by spreading fake reopening plans on social media. Read more

 

House Republicans continue playing political games with Pennsylvanians’ health insurance

(Apr 27, 2020)

Following an attempt by House Democrats to bring up legislation aimed at protecting Pennsylvanians’ health insurance, House Republicans used political gamesmanship to effectively kill any chance of the bills coming up for a vote in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. House Republicans today re-referred Democratic bills from the House Insurance Committee to the House Health Committee to avoid voting for popular measures to protect people’s health. House Democrats last week announced their intention to force these bills out of the Insurance Committee and to the full House for a vote due to inaction by that committee. Read more

 

E-BLAST: COVID-19: Phased reopening plan; Unemployment updates

(Apr 24, 2020)

Latest COVID-19 updates Read more

 

COVID-19 resources for PA business

(Apr 07, 2020)

COVID-19 SUPPORT FOR PA BUSINESSES FEDERAL Contacts: Visit: https://www.sba.gov/local-assistance/find/?type=SBA%20District%20Office&pageNumber=1 to find your local Small Business Administration (SBA) District Office Programs: Coronavirus Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources Information Visit: https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – Loan Program and Forgiveness to help eligible businesses cover the costs of payroll, health care benefits, rent, mortgage interest, and utilities during COVID-19. Loan has a maturity of 2 years and interest rate of 1.0%. Open to small businesses, restaurants, hotels, tribal businesses, non-profits, independent contractors, and gig economy workers. Contact your local lender to see if they participate in this program! Loan period: February 15, 2020 through June 30, 2020. Visit: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/paycheck-protection-program-ppp. Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Advance Loan – Loans up to $2 million for small businesses (3.75% interest rate) and private, nonprofit organizations (2.75% interest rate) suffering as a result of COVID-19. Loans for fix debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills. Advance of up to $10,000 for small business owners experiencing loss of revenue. Loan advance will not have to be repaid! Apply here: Read more

 

E-BLAST: COVID-19 Updates and Resources

(Mar 29, 2020)

Updates and resources for navigating the COVID-19 outbreak. Read more

 

House Democratic leaders support Gov. Wolf’s response to state health crisis

(Mar 20, 2020)

HARRISBURG, March 20 – House Democratic leaders said criticism of Gov. Tom Wolf’s decision to use emergency powers to shut down non-life-sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania is off-base in light of the most up-to-date medical guidance for dealing with COVID-19. “This unprecedented national public health emergency demands leadership from all levels of government. This is a matter of life and death, without hyperbole. That’s a reality we all need to confront. In conjunction with top medical professionals, the governor is leading our state and working to make the best decisions based on medical evidence. Every hour we see more of that evidence in front of us. “Now is the time to reduce people’s contact in order to lessen the impact of this crisis and reduce its duration. Simply put, the action taken by the governor, which is strongly supported by Secretary of Health Rachel Levine, will save lives. Taking swift action sooner rather than later will lessen the long-term impact on businesses and help our employers and employees return to normal as soon as possible. “The governor is facing impossible choices and is making decisions based on the advice of medical experts. We will continue to work and offer help and guidance to all affected employees and employers. We thank all the business owners who have led the way in this effort and helped prevent the spread of the virus, as well as the medical Read more

 

Pennsylvanians are sending a message; House Democrats’ Plan4PA responds

(Mar 17, 2020)

By the PA House Democratic leadership team When we return to Harrisburg after spending time in our legislative districts, we always bring back with us a pretty simple and clear message from the people we represent. The families, local business owners and community leaders we speak with at home want a Pennsylvania where public officials are fighting for them, not just the special interests and politically connected who lobby at the state Capitol every day. Working families are tired of struggling day after day to get by while big corporations and special interests get all the breaks. Our neighbors tell us it’s time for Harrisburg to stop putting politics ahead of the people, and it’s time to for us to stand together for a Pennsylvania that works for all of us. That’s why PA House Democrats have made the priorities we share with the people we represent the engine that drives our Plan4PA policy agenda. We want to grow our economy and create Good Jobs everywhere. That’s why our Plan4PA calls for jobs that pay real wages and support families. Our plan protects workers, gives them a voice in the workplace and a chance to retire. It supports careers and financial stability, not just a temporary job and the constant fear of insecurity. We want people to have access to Affordable Health Care so they can visit the doctor when they are sick. That’s why our Plan4PA Read more