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Comitta's Corner: Fall 2019 Newsletter

Comitta Stands Against Sexual Harassment and Abuse

(Dec 11, 2017)

Pa. state Rep. Carolyn Comitta joined women of the Pennsylvania House and Senate to take a stand against sexual harassment and abuse and discuss proposed legislation to better protect victims. Read more

 

Comitta announces West Chester University to receive funding to train military veterans to be teachers

(Nov 28, 2017)

WEST CHESTER, Nov. 28 – State Rep. Carolyn Comitta, D-Chester, announced today that West Chester University will receive approximately $112,000 in funding under the federal Troops to Teachers grant program as part of a more than $272,000 award shared with Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. The universities will partner with Allegheny Intermediate Unit, Delaware County Intermediate Unit, Pittsburgh Public Schools and Chester Upland School District to prepare military veterans to be teachers. “I am very pleased that West Chester University has been awarded this important funding to help assist veterans and address Pennsylvania’s growing teacher shortage,” Comitta said. “This program meets two critical needs and I am very proud that West Chester was selected.” The Troops to Teachers grant program, managed by the Defense Activity for Nontraditional Education Support, provides institutions with the funding needed to implement an alternative post-baccalaureate program to prepare eligible veterans to teach in one of Pennsylvania's subject shortage areas. Additionally, it aims to provide hard-to-staff schools with appropriately certified teachers. The program will enable veterans to gain critical skills and experience in the classroom, and help them with everything from navigating the certification process to securing a job in the field. Certification costs will also be discounted, and application processing Read more

 

Comitta announces $250,000 grant for conservation easement in Birmingham, Westtown townships

(Nov 14, 2017)

WEST CHESTER, Nov. 14 – State Rep. Carolyn Comitta, D-Chester, announced today that Natural Lands Trust Inc. will receive a $250,000 grant through the Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program to acquire a conservation and trail easement for a half-mile trail and public parking on the Moore property, located in Birmingham and Westtown townships. The grant comes from the Commonwealth Financing Authority, an independent agency of the Department of Community and Economic Development to administer Pennsylvania's economic stimulus packages. “I’m pleased and thankful that the Moore property’s natural and historical benefits will be preserved for years to come with the help of this grant,” Comitta said. “Congratulations to Natural Land Trust for successfully applying for these funds.” The Moore property is 88.1 acres and contains fields, open meadows, woodlands, steep slopes, several tributaries to Radley Run, and Osborne Hill, which is associated with the Revolutionary War’s Brandywine Battlefield. According to Natural Lands Trust, the total project cost is $2,274,375. Act 13 of 2012 established the Marcellus Legacy Fund, which allocates funds to the CFA for planning, acquisition, development, rehabilitation and repair of greenways, recreational trails, open space, parks and beautification projects using the GTRP. Program grants cannot exceed $250,000 for any project, and a 15 percent match of the total project cost is Read more

 

Comitta congratulates 3 area schools for National Blue Ribbon selections

(Oct 25, 2017)

WEST CHESTER, Oct. 25 – State Rep. Carolyn Comitta today congratulated three West Chester area schools, St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish School, Saints Simon and Jude School and West Chester East High School, for their selection as National Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education. The award is based on each school’s overall academic performance, or the progress on closing the achievement gap among sub-group students. This year, 18 schools in Pennsylvania were selected among 342 recognized nationwide. “This is an incredible achievement by the students, teachers, staff and administrators of each of these schools,” Comitta said. “I have seen firsthand the impact that our schools can have on our young people and am proud that three of our local schools are being recognized nationally for their excellence. Congratulations to all the winners and thank you for everything you do to prepare our students for life and to join the 21 st century workforce.” Since 1982, the National Blue Ribbons Schools Program has recognized more than 8,500 schools across the nation and more than 420 schools are nominated each year. On Nov. 6-7, USDE will hold an award ceremony in Washington, D.C., honoring the Blue Ribbon Schools. To learn more about the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program, please visit https://www2.ed.gov/programs/nclbbrs/index.html Left: Rep. Comitta with Principal Monica Malseed at St. Maximilian Kolbe. Read more

 

Health Insurance Open Enrollment Information for 2018

(Oct 24, 2017)

What's the concern about this year's Open Enrollment Period? The Open Enrollment period has changed from 3 months to 6 weeks. Open Enrollment goes from Nov 1st through Dec 15th. The current Administration has slashed marketing & outreach budgets for this year by 90% and in-person outreach & enrollment assistance by 43%. With a shortened enrollment period and reduced resources, this means people will more likely miss deadlines and ultimately lose their health coverage if they don't take action before this year's Open Enrollment deadline of Dec 15th. Who needs to sign up for insurance during the Open Enrollment Period? If you don't have health insurance from another source, you must sign up during Open Enrollment. Other sources of insurance include: your employer or your spouse's employer, government coverage such as Medicaid, Medicare, or Veterans' benefits, or your parents' insurance if you're under 26. If you don't have insurance and miss Open Enrollment, you may not be able to sign up for coverage and may have to wait for a year to sign up. This will leave you with no coverage unless you qualify for a special enrollment period or for government programs like Medicaid or CHIP. Special enrollment includes: divorce, marriage, birth or adoption of a child, death of a spouse or partner that leaves you without health insurance, your spouse or partner who has you covered loses his/her job and Read more

 

November 2017 Constitutional Amendment Ballot Question FAQ

(Oct 12, 2017)

House Bill 1285 (HB 1285), introduced by Representative Maloney, is an amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution. HB 1285 was approved by both Chambers of the General Assembly during both the 15/16 Legislative Session and the 17/18 Legislative Session, and is now scheduled for public vote via referendum on November 7th, 2017. Below are some frequently asked constituent questions and their answers: Read more

 

Resident questions answered during tele-town hall

(Sep 21, 2017)

Many thanks to everyone who participated in my tele-town hall meeting last night, especially members of the PUC, who were most helpful in addressing issues regarding pipelines. Read more

 

Comitta: Your Vote Is Your Voice

(Sep 12, 2017)

Pa. state Rep. Carolyn Comitta attended a rally in support of two bills that would end gerrymandering in Pennsylvania. Read more

 

Invitation to Participate in Online Safety Survey

(Sep 08, 2017)

Roads and public safety are some of the things that constituents contact me about the most. I invite you to share your thoughts on highway safety, traffic safety enforcement, and driving behaviors through an annual online survey located on PennDOT’s website and Facebook page . “Safety is our top priority and we value continued public engagement in making our roadways safer,” said PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards. “The results help us gauge public knowledge and attitudes on highway safety, and potentially allow us to adjust our safety activities so we can further reduce crashes and fatalities.” The brief survey will be available until September 27 and focuses on highway safety issues such as seat belts, impaired driving, speeding, motorcycles, and distracted driving. People completing the survey may remain anonymous, but are asked to provide their gender, age, and county of residence. Last year, 6,619 people responded to the survey. Among last year’s results, respondents noted that in the previous 60 days, 79 percent of them had not driven a motor vehicle within two hours after consuming alcoholic beverages. Also, 92 percent of drivers indicated they used a seat belt all or most of the time. Over 90 percent of respondents indicated they rarely or never talk on a hand-held cell phone, text, or check email while driving. However, the most commonly addressed topic in participant comments included the high frequency of observing Read more

 

Comitta: There's still work to be done for women's equality

(Sep 06, 2017)

This Saturday, Aug. 26, is Women’s Equality Day, marking the anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed women the right to vote.Today, outside of the voting booth, other obstacles for women remain. Limited access to top level positions and pay inequity for women hold everyone back.In 2020, we will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. While the challenges women face 100 years later are different, we nevertheless experience inequality. Read more

 

Comitta announces Senior Expo, invites vendors to participate

(Aug 21, 2017)

WEST CHESTER, Aug. 21 – State Rep. Carolyn Comitta, D-Chester, announced that she will hold her 2017 Senior Expo in October. The Senior Expo will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 21 at West Chester East High School, 450 Ellis Lane. “There are so many opportunities and programs for seniors in our community, and this fun, free event will bring them together to make them easily accessible,” Comitta said. The event will feature nonprofit organizations, state and local government agencies and others offering information and services geared toward older adults. Vendors and senior service providers interested in participating in the expo can contact Comitta’s office at (610) 696-4990. Read more

 

Comitta wants to hear what you think about Pa.'s state budget

(Aug 14, 2017)

As your representative, I would like to hear what you think about the Senate proposed revenue bill. Please take a few minutes to fill out this short survey. Read more

 

Mariner East 2 Pipeline Construction Update

(Jul 26, 2017)

Last week I joined those calling for a halt to drilling on the Sunoco Mariner East II pipeline, and I want to let you know that our voices were heard. Today, three judicial measures were announced that forces the Mariner East 2 project to be accountable and place on hold all scheduled drilling. • The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced it will enforce a Consent Order and Agreement (COA) with Sunoco Pipeline L.P. (Sunoco) for violations associated with projects in West Whiteland and Uwchlan townships, Chester County. Click here for more details. • The Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board ordered all drilling operations associated with the construction of the Mariner East 2 Pipeline halted. The temporary order will remain in effect until a full hearing and further investigations have been completed. The hearing is scheduled for August 7, 2017. Click here for more details. • In West Goshen Township, an advisory law judge for the PA Public Utility Commission has ordered to halt all horizontal directional drilling and current construction along its Chester County route. Click here for more details. I remain committed to protecting the safety of the people I represent. That is why I took action on this issue and have announced proactive legislation that would create better communication and safety measures pertaining to pipelines. I will continue to keep you informed. For more information regarding this matter or any other Read more

 

Extreme heat tips

(Jul 19, 2017)

Extreme heat tips Read more

 

State pipeline safety legislation proposed by Comitta

(Jul 19, 2017)

CHESTER, July 19 – State Rep. Carolyn Comitta, D-Chester, has announced plans to introduce three new pieces of legislation that would bolster the state’s ability to protect private wells for its citizens, enhance interagency communication and create pipeline siting authority. These bills follow her recent announcement calling for a state Pipeline Safety and Communication Board. “After reading the Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force Report from February 2016 and speaking with residents, municipal officials, first responders, the secretary of Department of Environmental Protection and the chair of the Public Utility Commission, it was clear to me that we could be doing a lot more to ensure better communication and safety as it pertains to pipelines,” Comitta said. “Talking with these agency heads helped to identify what was needed and areas where legislation would be helpful to them. I am happy to respond to this need.” The first bill would address the PUC’s lack of siting authority for intrastate pipelines. A second bill would amend the PUC Confidential Security Information Disclosure Protection Act in order to permit agencies to communicate sensitive information with each other. The disclosure act was passed after 9/11 with the intent to protect information from getting into the wrong hands; however, it overreaches and restricts sharing of certain information between agencies, an unintended Read more

 

Comitta Continues Fight For Pipeline Safety

(Jul 11, 2017)

Pa. state Rep. Carolyn Comitta updates us on her continuing fight for pipeline safety in Pennsylvania Read more

 

Comitta Supports Budget that Helps Schools

(Jul 06, 2017)

Pa. state Rep. Carolyn Comitta voted to pass an on-time state budget that invests in schools, helps communities care for those in need and provides vital tools to battle the heroin epidemic – all without higher sales or income taxes. Read more

 

Comitta Fighting To Keep Pipelines Safe

(Jun 14, 2017)

The creation of a Pipeline Communication and Safety Board is needed, as our state government struggles to keep residents up to date on pipeline construction, operation and maintenance. The Pipeline Communication and Safety Board will ensure timely and effective dissemination of relevant information to help all citizens, and make our government agencies more efficient. Read more

 

REAL ID Frequently Asked Questions

(Jun 13, 2017)

What is REAL ID? Passed by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act established minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards, and prohibits Federal agencies from accepting, for official purposes, licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards. What is Pennsylvania doing about REAL ID? On May 26, 2017, Governor Wolf signed Act 3 of 2017 (SB133) into law, which did the following: Repeals Act 38 of 2012, which prohibited any state agency from complying with REAL ID. Creates a an Opt-in system, where Pennsylvanians can choose to get a standard-issued driver’s license or photo ID that DOES NOT comply with REAL ID, or a new driver’s license or photo ID that DOES comply with REAL ID. Prohibits the Commonwealth from mandating REAL ID for any reason. With the enactment of Act 3 of 2017, the PA Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is currently in the process of working with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to implement REAL ID. How will REAL ID affect me? A standard-issued PA driver’s license and photo ID does not currently comply with REAL ID. As a result of Act 3 of 2017, PennDOT applied for an extension for compliance until October 2020. DHS has recently granted Pennsylvania and six other states a grace period through July 10, 2017. Meaning, a PA driver’s license or photo ID WILL BE accepted to access Federal facilities, military installations Read more

 

Comitta supports pension reform bill

(Jun 08, 2017)

HARRISBURG, June 8 – State Rep. Carolyn Comitta today voted for meaningful pension reform, saying it is past time to address Pennsylvania’s pension crisis. “I am proud to have had the opportunity to vote on this very important issue,” Comitta said. “Senate Bill 1 might not be perfect, but it is an important, positive step to move Pennsylvania forward.” Senate Bill 1 , which passed 143-53 , is expected to save the state $1.4 billion over 30 years. It does so by increasing employee contributions for new hires of the State Employees’ Retirement System and Public School Employees’ Retirement System while reducing benefits, beginning in 2019. Current employees can opt in as well. It would not affect current employees who choose not to opt in or retirees already receiving benefits. The plan offers future public employees a choice among three retirement savings options – two hybrid defined benefit/defined contribution plans and a defined contribution retirement plan. The element of shared risk provides better protection for future generations of taxpayers, Comitta said. Comitta said the bill, which has the support of Gov. Tom Wolf, is the result of years of bipartisan work and compromise. “I’ve spent my entire career working on initiatives that have brought diverse stakeholders together to affect change that improves people's lives, and this is a great example of collaboration,” Comitta said. Read more