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Port Matilda Emergency Medical Services dedicates new ambulance in honor of Conklin

(14 hours ago)

PORT MATILDA, May 20 – As Pennsylvania observes National EMS Week to recognize the lifesaving work of its frontline medical responders, Port Matilda Emergency Medical Services expressed its own appreciation for state Rep. Scott Conklin on Saturday by naming a new ambulance after the lawmaker. Conklin, D-Centre, expressed thanks during the ceremony – held to recognize his longtime support for EMS workers – but said the spotlight should remain on the first responders who continue to serve the community with vigilance despite work that can be risk-filled and challenging. “I am deeply humbled that the first responders at Port Matilda EMS have chosen to dedicate this ambulance in my name, but they are the true heroes,” Conklin said. “They are the ones who stand ready 24/7 to render lifesaving care, regardless of the dangers or challenges involved. “We can never do enough for our EMS workers and other first responders, and we can never thank them enough. But we can do everything in our power to support them and try to ensure that they have the resources they need to carry on their lifesaving work.” At the ceremony, Port Matilda EMS staff thanked Conklin and recognized his support and efforts to strengthen resources for first responders. Read more

Health advocates speak out in support of Smith-Wade-El’s Legionnaires disease legislation

(May 17, 2024)

LANCASTER, May 17 – Local and state health experts joined state Rep. Ismail Smith-Wade-El, D-Lancaster, at a news conference on Thursday to support his legislation (H.B. 2145) aimed at preventing Legionnaires disease. Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia that is caused by Legionella bacteria, which is naturally occurring in freshwater, including water that supplies public water systems. If left untreated, the disease can be fatal. Pennsylvanians who are at increased risk for complications with this disease include people over 50, those who smoke or have lung disease, and those who live with cancer or are otherwise immunocompromised. “All Pennsylvanians have a constitutional right to clean water, but too many people in low-income housing are drinking water contaminated by the Legionella bacteria,” Smith-Wade-El said. “This bill seeks to a public good ensuring that everyone in Pennsylvania can enjoy their right to clean, healthy water.” Smith-Wade-El’s legislation would establish guardrails to ensure public safety and prioritize root cause solutions to ensure water is properly tested and treated before it enters homes and buildings for human use. The legislation also aims to equip consumers with the information and tools necessary to manage their risk of the disease through notifications of water system disruption events that can lead to greater Legionella bacteria exposure. State Rep. Carol Hill-Evans, D-York, Read more

Smith-Wade-El speaks in support of eviction reform at Philly Town Hall

(May 17, 2024)

LANCASTER, May 17 – On Wednesday evening, state Rep. Ismail Smith-Wade-El joined Philadelphia Councilwoman Kendra Brooks and state representatives from the city—Jordan Harris, Elizabeth Fiedler and Rich Krajewski—and over 60 community members in South Philadelphia to speak about his eviction sealing bill, H.B. 1769 and other legislative eviction reform initiatives. “Home is where life begins for Pennsylvania families – for all of us,” said Smith-Wade-El. “When our children get up in the morning to go to school, they should do so from a bed in a home that is safe, warm and dry. Real educational equity would ensure that all children have a home to go home to so they have the stability needed to grow and flourish socially and academically. Inaccurate, unscrupulously distributed eviction records haunt families and make children homeless, even in cases when the judge found in the tenant’s favor. It’s time to put a stop to that.” “The harm of eviction records falls most heavily on Black women and their children, and the damage ripples out into our classrooms, our schools and our communities,” said Councilwoman Kendra Brooks of Philadelphia City Council. “We can’t expect our young people to succeed in school during the day if they don’t have a safe place to lay their head at night.” State legislators spoke in support of H.B. 1769, which would increase access to affordable housing Read more

Guzman welcomes $104,000 in state funding for senior community centers

(May 15, 2024)

READING, May 15 – State Rep. Manuel Guzman, D-Berks, today announced $104,759 in state funding to improve resources and services for older adults in the 127 th Legislative District that he serves. The announcement of the grants took place Tuesday at the Berks Encore Reading Center in Berks County, one of this year’s competitive grant recipients. Guzman joined Jason Kavulich, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Aging, Berks community leaders and the Berks County Area Agency on Aging to welcome the grant. “This significant investment will certainly enrich the lives of our growing senior population,” Guzman said. “This funding will be used for upgrading facilities and towards enhancing nutrition services, among other necessities. I am glad to make a difference in our seniors’ lives,” he added. The center’s grant will be used for capital improvement and renovations. Forty-five senior community centers from 26 counties across the Commonwealth received one of the department’s 2023-24 competitive grants that combined, totaled $2 million. The grant funding is appropriated by the General Assembly with proceeds from the Pennsylvania Lottery. Read more

Fleming’s Mixed-Use Revitalization Program legislation passes House

(May 10, 2024)

HARRISBURG, May 10 – This week the House passed legislation sponsored by state Rep. Justin Fleming that would establish the Mixed-Use Revitalization Program to incentivize the revitalization of blighted commercial properties . “Communities across the commonwealth are seeing a rise in large, abandoned and blighted commercial properties like the Colonial Park Mall in Lower Paxton,” said Fleming, D-Dauphin. “As they stand vacant and fall into disrepair, these looming eyesores are negatively impacting communities by cutting into tax rolls, failing to pay utility bills, deterring traffic to nearby businesses, draining local services, and often posing significant safety concerns. "I believe we can transform these drains on our economy into thriving places to live and work, bringing new restaurants, retail shops, health care facilities, recreational spaces, and residential housing for working families.” Property redevelopment is a financially significant undertaking with large parcels often accruing substantial demolition and site preparation costs. Fleming’s bill would help provide capital funding to developers to purchase these large properties and expedite the redevelopment process. “My bill would establish a dedicated Mixed-Use Revitalization Fund administered through the Commonwealth Financing Authority that would provide matching grants to incentivize the purchase and Read more