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Cruz demands investigation of child behavioral health facilities statewide

Need a Puerto Rico birth certificate? Cruz can help

(Mar 15, 2019)

Pa. state Rep. Angel Cruz is providing assistance for anyone in need of a Puerto Rico birth certificate. Read more

 

Cruz appointed to PHEAA Board of Directors

(Feb 05, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 5 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., has been appointed to the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency Board of Directors by House Speaker Michael Turzai. "PHEAA is a national leader in creating greater access to higher education," Cruz said. "I am honored to have the opportunity to serve on the board of directors and begin working to make higher education more affordable for every Pennsylvanian." Cruz has represented the 180 th Legislative District since 2001. Currently he also serves as the Democratic chairman of the House Human Services Committee. The PHEAA Board of Directors consists of 20 members: eight from the Senate, eight from the House, three non-legislative members and the Secretary of Education as a member ex officio. Board members serve six-year terms, with the possibility of reappointment. Read more

 

Get free assistance with your Property Tax/Rent Rebate

(Jan 24, 2019)

Forms for Pennsylvania’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program for the 2018 tax year are available – and my office staff is ready to help you file yours for free ! The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians 65 or older, widows and widowers 50 or older, and people with disabilities 18 or older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters. Half of Social Security income is excluded and the maximum standard rebate is $650. Claimants must reapply for rebates every year because they are based on annual income and property taxes or rent paid each year. Spouses, personal representatives or estates may file rebate claims on behalf of deceased claimants who lived at least one day in 2018 and meet all other eligibility criteria. The rebates normally are distributed by the Department of Revenue beginning July 1. So, the sooner you file, the sooner you will receive your money. Read more

 

Cruz to host information sessions on Medicare changes

(Jan 07, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 7 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., will host two information sessions to discuss Medicare benefits changes starting in 2019. The events will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 18 and Feb. 4 at his district office, 3503 North B St., Philadelphia, 19134. “Medicare provides critical health benefits for thousands of seniors in Philadelphia. And whether they’re new to the program or are already enrolled, 2019 will bring many changes. With this event, we will make sure that seniors are up to date with premiums, prescription and therapy costs, deductibles, home health care, and many other topics so they can get the most out of their coverage,” Cruz said. Cruz’s staff will be on-site providing information and answering questions on the state-related concerns people may have. For more information, contact Cruz’s office at (215) 291-5643. Read more

 

Cruz announces $100k supporting Proposed Heart of Kensington Project

(Dec 19, 2018)

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 19 – On Monday, state Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., announced $100,000 in tax credits approved through the Neighborhood Assistance Program to support Impact Services Corp. with their proposed Heart of Kensington Project. “I can’t wait to see the progress we will be able to make with the money for this project,” Cruz said. “This project builds on our neighborhoods’ existing strengths, and the collaboration between residents creates stronger ties within the community. Each of these geographic zones bring their own sets of challenges, but if we can get the community and city agencies on the same page and working together, we will create the change we want to see. Enriching lives in the process.” Impact Services Corp. will receive $100,000 to support the proposed Heart of Kensington Project encompassing five census tracts around the Heart of Kensington, at the intersection of Kensington and Allegheny Ave. The five geographic zones being focused on include Hope Park, Indiana Avenue Corridor, McPherson Square, Tioga-Harrowgate, and the K&A Commercial Corridor. In order to provide a healthier and safer community for residents, an outreach strategy building on community resilience will build on health and safety, education, economic opportunity, housing, and a connected community. Some examples include community Narcan training, the Kensington CLEAN campaign, new investments and development of the K&A Read more

 

Cruz and Burgos announce $200k supporting revitalization projects

(Dec 19, 2018)

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 19 – On Monday, state Rep. Angel Cruz and state Rep.-elect Danilo Burgos, both D-Phila., announced $200,000 in tax credits approved through the Neighborhood Assistance Program to support community revitalization projects for Nueva Esperanza, Inc. and Hispanic Association of Contractors and Enterprises, Inc. “It’s always exciting to see money going back into the community,” Cruz said. “Thanks to these tax credits, HACE and Nueva Esperanza will be able to stand by their commitments to helping low-income communities with meaningful projects that promote economic and community development. I will continue my fight for meaningful investments for the future success of our neighborhoods.” “We’re building on progress that’s already being made here,” Burgos said. “Some of these areas are at the epicenter of the opioid crisis and require urgent care. It’s going to take coordinated efforts between the City of Philadelphia, Conrail, and the community to continue the resident engagement, beautification, and stabilization of these projects and neighborhoods.” HACE will receive $120,000 to continue implementation efforts of its Good Lands 2025 Neighborhood Plan in the Fairhill and St. Hugh neighborhoods of Philadelphia. This community was already struggling with poverty, unemployment, and crime, and has recently become a hot-spot for opioid abuse. In 2017, the land was cleared and fenced, Read more

 

Heating aid via LIHEAP now open

(Nov 01, 2018)

The 2018-2019 Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program – LIHEAP – is accepting applications for heating assistance grants. LIHEAP offers cash grants of $200 to $1,000 that are sent directly to the utility company to defray heating costs for eligible households, and crisis benefits of up to $600 for households in immediate danger of being without heat. Remember: These are grants and do not have to be repaid. This season’s income guidelines for both LIHEAP cash and crisis grants are $18,210 for an individual, $24,690 for couples and increases for each additional person in the household. Please click here for more LIHEAP information. Please consider visiting my office if you need help filing a LIHEAP application. Besides my office, LIHEAP information is available by: Contacting local County Assistance offices by phone or in person. Calling the LIHEAP Client Helpline at 1-866-857-7095 or PA Relay at 711 for the hearing impaired. Applying online at https://www.compass.state.pa.us . Read more

 

Lawmaker calls for random drugs tests in House, Senate

(Oct 10, 2018)

State Rep. Angel Cruz says he offered his proposal, House Bill 620, as an amendment to Senate Bill 6, a measure that would require drug testing of people who receive public assistance benefits. Read more

 

Cruz urges lawmakers to lead by example with drug testing legislation

(Oct 09, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 9 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., held a news conference today to discuss his legislation that would require members of the House and Senate to be tested for illegal drugs. Cruz introduced his legislation as House Bill 620 and as an amendment to Senate Bill 6, which would make changes to the government assistance system in Pennsylvania, including a requirement to drug test individuals who receive those benefits. Cruz stated that he believes members of the General Assembly should be drug tested because they are paid with taxpayer money, as well. “I’ve introduced this legislation in three legislative sessions and I will continue to introduce it in future sessions, if necessary,” Cruz said. “If we are going to say that recipients of taxpayer money should be drug tested, then that should extend to us as well.” House Bill 620, and the corresponding amendment to Senate Bill 6, would require members to receive drug testing within three months of taking the oath of office. Under the proposal, any members who fail a drug test, refuse to take one or show evidence of tampering with a test would be subject to an ethics investigation. Testing would occur again for members during each subsequent term in office. Read more

 

House adopts Cruz resolution designed to acknowledge multi-culturalism

(Sep 26, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 26 – The state House of Representatives today unanimously adopted two resolutions introduced by Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., aimed at bringing awareness to Pennsylvania’s cultural diversity. House Resolution 1016 designates Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 as “Hispanic Heritage Month” in Pennsylvania while H. R. 1017 commemorates October 2018 as “Indigenous Peoples’ Month” and the week following the second Monday in October as “Indigenous Peoples’ Week,” in Pennsylvania. “Indigenous people are the foundation of this Commonwealth and our nation, so it is important to always remember their sacrifices and honor their contributions,” Cruz said. Cruz noted that Latinos are the largest minority ethnic group in the U.S. today, with about 900,000 residing in Pennsylvania in 2016. “Unfortunately, in today’s climate and throughout history, the contributions of minorities have often gone unnoticed in our country. My resolutions ensure that we recognize Pennsylvania’s rich history of diversity.” ### CONTACT: Daniel Bixler House Democratic Communications Office Phone: 717-787-7895 Email: dbixler@pahouse.net Read more

 

House adopts Cruz resolutions to promote awareness of child diseases

(Sep 26, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 26 – The state House of Representatives today unanimously adopted resolutions introduced by Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., that are designed to draw attention to newborn screening of treatable childhood conditions. All three resolutions designate the awareness for September 2018 in Pennsylvania: H.R. 1013 for “Newborn Screening Awareness Month;” H.R. 1014 for “Leukodystrophy Awareness Month;” and H.R. 1015 for “Krabbe Disease Awareness Month.” “As part of my continued advocacy on behalf of children and families affected by these diseases, I want to raise awareness about Krabbe, leukodystrophies and the necessity of newborn screening,” Cruz said. “It is essential that families and health professionals are aware of the importance of early detection.” If caught early, many diseases which are screened for can be treated and symptoms mitigated. Cruz noted that his newborn screening legislation, Act 148 of 2014, expanded newborn screening in Pennsylvania and he continues to push for additional screening, as well as a more efficient newborn screening program in Pennsylvania. ### CONTACT: Daniel Bixler House Democratic Communications Office Phone: 717-787-7895 Email: dbixler@pahouse.net Read more

 

Cruz Remembers Victims of Hurricane Maria

(Sep 25, 2018)

Representative Angel Cruz leads The PA House of Representatives to observe a moment of silence to honor the victims of Hurricane Maria one year later. Read more

 

Cruz to celebrate Puerto Rican festivities kick-off on Sept. 20

(Sep 18, 2018)

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 18 – State Rep. Ángel Cruz, D-Phila., will host a flag-raising ceremony at noon Thursday, Sept. 20 at Antonio Pantoja Charter School, 4401 N. American St., to mark the beginning of Puerto Rican festivities in Philadelphia. "Starting on the twentieth, and for two weeks following, hundreds of people will gather to enjoy music, dancing, and food to celebrate our heritage across Philadelphia,” Cruz said. “However, 2018 is special. We will commemorate the first anniversary of Hurricane Maria and pay tribute to the nearly 3,000 victims of the massive storm. I invite everyone to come and be part of this year's celebration to demonstrate that we remain committed to the American citizens of Puerto Rico and to rebuilding the island stronger than ever.” The Puerto Rican Day Parade – to be held from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30 at the Benjamin Franklin Parkway – is Philadelphia's oldest and largest outdoor event celebrating Puerto Rican and Latino heritage. The parade draws thousands to show island pride on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. This year’s theme is “Renacer de Puerto Rico,” the rebirth of Puerto Rico. Read more

 

Cruz seeks volunteers for districtwide tire cleanup

(Jul 30, 2018)

PHILADELPHIA, July 30 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., is seeking volunteers to join him and the Philadelphia Streets Department to collect improperly disposed tires throughout the 180th Legislative District. The Tire Roundup will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 25. People who are interested will meet at Cruz’s district office at 3503 North B St., Unit 7, 19134. For more information, call Cruz’s office at (215) 291-5643. “Tires that are lying around our neighborhoods are not only an eyesore, but they are a potential health hazard. They collect water and become breeding grounds for insects that can cause West Nile virus and other illnesses,” Cruz said. “I urge everyone to join me in making our community look better and healthier by collecting tires so they can be disposed of properly.” Cruz added they are looking for residents who have a truck to help canvass neighborhoods to remove these illegally dumped tires. The Philadelphia Streets Department’s Sanitation Division developed the tire roundup program in 1995 to address the serious problem of illegally discarded tires throughout the city. Read more

 

Cruz: 2018-19 budget boosts education, human services without tax increase

(Jul 03, 2018)

PHILADELPHIA, July 3 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., said he voted in favor of the $32.7 billion state spending plan for 2018-19, citing emphasis on education, career training, school safety and human services. “I’m very pleased with this year’s budget process. The bill passed includes significant increases in funding for our schools and major investments to enhance job growth and workforce development. It protects essential services for our most vulnerable citizens and maintains funds for public safety, transportation, and other essential services families depend upon –without increasing the tax burden for Pennsylvanians. “I’m thrilled to see $140 million more allocated for basic, special and early education; and $40 million for career and technical education – to create new apprenticeship programs and develop STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers. “In a separate bill we committed $60 million to school and community safety. A long overdue investment for schools to fund violence-prevention programs, police officers and other initiatives. Unfortunately, gun violence in schools is a reality and we must work proactively to keep our kids safe. “We were able to maintain long-term care programs to provide both physical health and support to seniors and citizens with physical and intellectual disabilities, as well as access to quality child care. Read more

 

Cruz’s mental health legislation to combat gun violence moves forward

(Jun 20, 2018)

HARRISBURG, June 20 – State Rep. Angel Cruz’s latest effort to curb gun violence is moving forward, after his mental health legislation was voted out of committee today and now heads to the full House for consideration. “Senseless killings are constantly happening in our streets and taking the lives of those we love most,” said Cruz, D-Phila. “Closing mental health loopholes is one tool, among many others I’m proposing, to help us ensure that guns do not get into the wrong hands.” Cruz, Democratic chairman of the House Human Services Committee, said his bills (H.B. 2266 & 2267) would update procedures to require officers and judges to report mental health notifications to the Pennsylvania State Police within 72 hours instead of the current seven days of adjudication, treatment or involuntary commitment. Once the information is received, PSP would be required to submit it to the Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS). “Cutting this timetable is critical in making sure that our background checks systems for gun purchases have the most up to date information,” Cruz explained. “Lives are at stake and my legislation would strengthen our laws to better protect our communities.” These bills join a number of others he’s authored to prevent senseless gun violence across the commonwealth, including: H.B. 1771 – would establish a statewide gun buyback program; H.B. 657 Read more

 

Cruz Celebrates Juneteenth

(Jun 19, 2018)

As he celebrates Juneteenth Day, Pa. state Rep. Angel Cruz is calling on the President to extend these freedoms to families who are fleeing to the United States in hopes of leading a promising life, but are instead ripped apart and thrown in cages like animals at the border. Read more

 

Cruz raises awareness about little-known virus that can be deadly for Pennsylvania’s children

(Jun 05, 2018)

HARRISBURG, June 5 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., is commending colleagues for supporting his efforts to raise awareness about a little-known but common virus that can be deadly for Pennsylvania’s children. “Cytomegalovirus causes a higher number of long-term health problems and childhood deaths compared to more well-known conditions, such as Down syndrome, fetal alcohol syndrome and spina bifida,” Cruz said. “Hundreds of babies born with the illness end up losing their battle, while thousands of others develop permanent problems, such as vision or hearing loss and developmental disabilities.” Because it can be passed down from a mother to her unborn child, the virus is considered the most common congenital infection in the United States. “By adopting my House resolution to make June 2018 CMV Awareness Month (H.R. 898) , we are sounding the alarm about the warning signs while raising red flags that it can be caught with early testing, which is exactly what I’m fighting for through separate legislation,” Cruz explained. His bill (H.B. 746) would require infants who fail their newborn hearing screening or by request of their parent or guardian to be tested for CMV. While children are at risk, the virus also infects people of all ages, with most adults showing moderate to no symptoms, but who are still forced to deal with the illness for the rest of their lives. ### Read more

 

Cruz: $1M grant awarded to Esperanza Health Center

(Jun 05, 2018)

PHILADELPHIA, June 5 – Following approval by the state Office of the Budget, state Rep. Angel Cruz announced a $1 million grant has been awarded to Esperanza Health Center to help fund construction for the new Kensington Health Center. The new facility will be built in the former bank building at 861 E. Allegheny Ave. and will be a state-of-the-art center providing primary medical and dental care as well as mental health and enabling services. “Anytime there is an opportunity to transform blight into some resourceful and sustainable in our community is a welcomed addition,” Cruz said. “I applaud Esperanza Health Center for making investments in our neighborhood that will not only improve the quality of life but also create jobs and help the economy.” "Esperanza Health Center is thrilled to receive this RACP award to help us build our comprehensive primary health care center. We are excited to invest in the health of this community and hope to be an anchor organization in the rebuilding of Kensington,” said Susan M. Post, executive director of Esperanza Health Center. “This project will allow us to provide high quality, faith-based primary health care and dental care to thousands of additional. We are thankful for this support to Esperanza Health Center and the people of Kensington." Construction is slated to begin this summer with the new health center expected to open in early 2019. RACP is administered by Read more

 

Cruz to team up with the Philadelphia Police Department to help recruit officers

(May 31, 2018)

PHILADELPHIA, May 31 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., is again teaming up with the Philadelphia Police Department to host two officer recruitment drives from 9 a.m. to noon June 15 and June 28 at his district office, 3503 North B St., Unit 7. “Our men and women in blue put their lives on the line to protect our neighborhoods from the senseless violence we see play out on our streets far too often,” Cruz said. “This is my way of helping them best protect our neighborhoods, while providing great job opportunities for those interested in serving the community and being a role model for the younger generation.” Those with questions about either event should contact Cruz’s office at (215) 291-5643. Read more