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Relief to restaurants, bars & clubs to help workers a top priority in House Democratic legislative package

Relief to restaurants, bars & clubs to help workers a top priority in House Democratic legislative package

(Jul 27, 2020)

HARRISBURG, July 27 -- Citing the distressing impacts COVID-19 is having on Pennsylvania’s restaurant industry and a recent Yelp survey showing more than half of restaurants could close permanently due to the virus’ impact, Democrats in Harrisburg have crafted a legislative package aimed at providing relief to community business owners and the workers that cook and serve our food. The package includes nine bills that would provide grants to local restaurants, bars and clubs, reduce and eliminate specific licensing fees, extend discounts to licensees and protect businesses by guaranteeing their insurance pays out in future emergencies. These efforts will provide direct relief to an industry of Pennsylvania businesses the virus has hit hard, House Democratic leaders said. Restrictions put in place have been necessary in the state’s response to COVID-19. The leaders said they recognize the hardship the virus has continued to place on the restaurant industry. Restaurants have served as the backdrop of many life occasions and special moments and they need support more now than ever. The House Democratic package includes: Earmarking CARES grant funding from the federal government to be directed to small, community restaurants instead of national chains to ensure those dollars are invested back into the region. ( Rep. Joe Ciresi, Montgomery County & Rep. Tina Davis, Bucks County ) Earmarking CARES grant Read more

 

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

 

Rep. Frank Dermody, Sen. Lindsey Williams announce $3 million grant for Harrison Twp project

(Jul 17, 2020)

Project will focus on improvements to the intersection of Route 366 and Pleasant Avenue 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

 

Dermody votes for jobs, legislative consultation on RGGI pact

(Jul 09, 2020)

Says legislature and administration should work together to develop a plan for Pennsylvania’s energy future. Read more

 

Unemployment Compensation Virtual Town Hall Thursday, June 4

(Jun 03, 2020)

Unemployment Compensation Virtual Town Hall Thursday, June 4 Harrisburg, PA – The Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) is hosting a live virtual town hall from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM this Thursday, June 4, 2020, to share information about Pennsylvania’s regular unemployment compensation (UC) and other new COVID-19-related benefits programs. How to participate A livestream for people with smart devices or computer access will be online at https://access.live/PAlabor . Those without internet access can listen by calling 1-833-380-0719 , however access is limited so we ask that they be reserved for individuals who need them. Participants will be able to ask questions live during the town hall. At the beginning of the event, the moderator will explain how to submit questions. To protect participants’ personal confidential information, questions about individual claims cannot be answered during the town hall. Pennsylvania recently implemented all of the new programs under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act : Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) – for self-employed, gig workers, contractors and others not normally eligible for UC. Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) – additional 13 weeks of benefits to people who exhaust their regular UC. Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) – extra $600 per week for Read more

 

House members condemn failure to report possible Capitol COVID-19 exposure

(May 27, 2020)

HARRISBURG, May 27 – Democratic Leader Frank Dermody said he and other House members were absolutely shocked to learn that a colleague received a positive COVID diagnosis more than a week ago, with several other colleagues self-quarantining this week, while no notice was provided to the people working closely with them at the Capitol. Dermody said several House members who have regularly attended session in Harrisburg throughout the pandemic were noticeably absent yesterday. Under a temporary House rule, all members may vote by proxy so that they don’t have to risk travel and gathering in person at the Capitol. “While we are pleased to learn that this House member seems to have recovered, it is simply unacceptable that some House Republicans knew about this for more than a week and sat on that knowledge,” he said. “Knowing how House members and staff work closely together at the Capitol, we should have been made aware of this much sooner. We should not have learned of it from a media report,” Dermody said. “In the last two weeks alone, there were six days of voting session here at the Capitol and more than 15 separate meetings of House committees voting on dozens of bills. For those members who journeyed to the Capitol in person, each of these meetings raises the risk of possible exposure. “What makes this situation even more galling is that some House members, a vocal few, have attempted to 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

 

Dermody praises Wolf’s leadership in war on COVID-19

(May 11, 2020)

HARRISBURG, May 11 – Democratic Leader Frank Dermody issued this statement after listening to Gov. Tom Wolf’s remarks today about COVID-19 recovery efforts: “The governor is doing everything he must to lead us in this war against a deadly enemy. Pennsylvanians have made untold sacrifices and ending the fight now would betray all those efforts and weaken our defenses. “It’s beyond reckless to assume that areas of our state are in the clear without any evidence to prove that. The enemy waits silently for the next chance to attack. Rash decisions made against the weight of medical advice will open the door for even more tragedy. That must not happen. “For everyone’s health and for thousands of lives that are at stake, we must keep doing what we can already see is working. We are winning this long fight, step by step. I applaud the governor’s courage and know that with his continuing strong leadership, we will carry on to victory.” ### 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

 

Statement from House Democratic Leader Dermody on the effort to protect people’s health insurance

(Apr 26, 2020)

HARRISBURG, April 26 -- House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody, D-Allegheny/Westmoreland, issued the following statement on the House Insurance Committee taking up key bills sponsored by Democrats to protect health insurance coverage: “Imagine a world where surviving COVID-19 meant your insurance company could drop you for having a pre-existing condition. “As attacks on the Affordable Care Act continue at the federal level from special interests and President Trump, PA House Democrats have fought for a vote on several bills that make sure healthcare protections remain for all Pennsylvanians. “Because of our efforts, the House Insurance Committee has now scheduled these bills for consideration on Monday, April 27 and we will not stop until they are signed by the governor. “We can’t return to the days when you could be turned down for coverage, not covered at all, or forced to pay out of pocket for skyrocketing prescription drug prices. “So far, more than 40,000 people in our Commonwealth have contracted COVID-19. A COVID-19 diagnosis is a pre-existing condition. Without the ACA, anybody receiving this diagnosis can be denied coverage and prevented from getting the affordable care they need. “Making sure these bills become law is now more important than ever. Access to health care for working families and people with pre-existing conditions Read more

 

House Democrats join Gov. Wolf to get vital funding to Pa. hospitals

(Apr 10, 2020)

HARRISBURG, April 10 – House Democrats supported today’s action by the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority to deliver up to $450 million in immediate financial relief to the state’s hospitals caring for people during the COVID-19 crisis. “The federal CARES Act will deliver hundreds of millions of dollars to hospitals, but when that money will arrive is uncertain. The surge in cases is happening now and hospitals need this help now because the virus caseload intensifies each day,” Democratic Leader Rep. Frank Dermody, D-Allegheny/Westmoreland, said. “By making state financing available quickly, hospitals will be able to get doctors and nurses the equipment and supplies they require to handle the surge and save as many lives as possible. This funding is a vital lifesaving tool to help us weather the worst part of the storm,” Dermody said. At an emergency meeting today, the PENNVEST board approved a low-interest, short-term loan program to help hospitals bridge the gap until federal money arrives. The loans will be repaid to PENNVEST using part of that federal funding. “Democrats in the House and Senate are proud to work with Governor Wolf on this. It’s allowing overburdened hospitals to save more lives and keep their staff safer,” Dermody said. “Millions of people are doing their part by staying at home and flattening the curve. Frontline workers and Read more

 

Fill out the 2020 census!

(Mar 30, 2020)

In Pennsylvania, everyone counts and April 1 is National Census Day! If you haven’t already, don't forget to fill out your census form. Our population count determines our voice in government and how much federal funding we’ll receive for education, health care, transportation and more. Whether you respond online, mail or by phone , participate and help shape PA’s future. Your responses are anonymous and protected by law. To learn more, visit pa.gov/census #PAcounts #2020Census Read more

 

COVID-19 Helpful Resources

(Mar 23, 2020)

In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic affecting Pennsylvania, we wanted to provide you with the following resources and information to help you and your family in the days ahead. Please note that this webpage will be updated as needed with additional information and resources. State Services and Resources The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has created a COVID-19 guide to assist everyone. It includes information on social distancing, mental health resources, unemployment, food assistance, changes from PennDOT and resources for small business: https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/ For individuals : https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/#ForIndividuals For families : https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/#ForFamilies For businesses : https://dced.pa.gov/resources COVID Support for PA Businesses : The following provides information and and links to federal, state, local and private resources. https://www.pahouse.com/News/?id=113388 **Self-employed, independent contractors, gig economy workers: Apply here for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits .** https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/#ForBusinessesUtilities Information from the PA Dept. of Labor and Industry on the federal CARES Act: https://www.uc.pa.gov/COVID-19/CARES-Act/Pages/default.aspx The following link provides you with 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

 

Democratic legislators applaud state Supreme Court decision to halt evictions

(Mar 18, 2020)

HARRISBURG, March 18 – Following the announcement that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court would be halting all eviction notices, multiple House Democrats, who earlier in the day requested this halt, issued the following statement: “We’re extremely appreciative to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for showing judicious leadership in halting all evictions statewide through at least April 3 and possibly beyond depending on the COVID-19 pandemic. “As we continually urge Pennsylvanians to stay home out of great concern for their personal health as well as the health of their community, it’s unconscionable that they could still be evicted and thrown into a world of instability when stability is what they need most. This halting of evictions doesn’t only help the homeowner or lessee, it helps the entire community. “Far too many people are living paycheck to paycheck and now face the real situation of being out of work for an extended period of time. Ensuring they have a roof over their heads for the foreseeable future isn’t simply the right thing to do, it’s the moral thing to do.” The following House Democratic legislators signed on to a letter, which can be viewed here, requesting the Pennsylvania Supreme Court halt all eviction proceedings: Democratic Leader Frank Dermody, D-Allegheny. Democratic Whip Jordan Harris, D-Phila. State Rep. Mary Isaacson, D-Phila. State 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

 

Dermody comments on House rule change

(Mar 16, 2020)

HARRISBURG, March 16 – House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody said temporary rules adopted today by the House in response to COVID-19 concerns will make it possible for lawmakers’ votes to be recorded even if they cannot attend session in person. “In light of the declared world pandemic and our Commonwealth’s methodical response, this is a good short-term approach to get work done in Harrisburg,” Dermody said. “Once we had a chance to explain our concerns to Republican leaders we were able to reach agreement,” Dermody said. “They also agreed with us there’s no value in quickly throwing together incomplete legislation in the crisis. The governor already has necessary emergency powers under the law to guide the state’s response. “In my view, we need to evaluate the scope of the pandemic and that will take some time,” Dermody said. “We need to be planning much more thoughtful actions that will help the state’s response, not some quick and haphazard actions that haven’t been adequately considered.” Dermody said some areas that may see eventual legislation include: paid sick leave for workers. unemployment compensation for workers dislocated by the health crisis. enhanced food security programs. changes to school attendance requirements. help for small businesses suffering the economic fallout of the crisis, as Read more

 

Relief to restaurants, bars & clubs to help workers a top priority in House Democratic legislative package
Jul 27, 2020

House Democrats working for more government transparency
Jul 27, 2020

Rep. Frank Dermody, Sen. Lindsey Williams announce $3 million grant for Harrison Twp project
Jul 17, 2020

House Democratic leaders urge U.S. senators to support HEROES Act
Jul 15, 2020

Dermody votes for jobs, legislative consultation on RGGI pact
Jul 09, 2020

Unemployment Compensation Virtual Town Hall Thursday, June 4
Jun 03, 2020

House members condemn failure to report possible Capitol COVID-19 exposure
May 27, 2020

House Democrats oppose budget that would hike property taxes
May 26, 2020

Democrats seek more support for Pennsylvania workers
May 21, 2020

Dermody praises Wolf’s leadership in war on COVID-19
May 11, 2020

House Democratic leaders denounce Republican for playing politics, wasting tax dollars and sharing fake news
May 01, 2020

House Republicans continue playing political games with Pennsylvanians’ health insurance
Apr 27, 2020

Statement from House Democratic Leader Dermody on the effort to protect people’s health insurance
Apr 26, 2020

House Democrats join Gov. Wolf to get vital funding to Pa. hospitals
Apr 10, 2020

Fill out the 2020 census!
Mar 30, 2020

COVID-19 Helpful Resources
Mar 23, 2020

House Democratic leaders support Gov. Wolf’s response to state health crisis
Mar 20, 2020

Democratic legislators applaud state Supreme Court decision to halt evictions
Mar 18, 2020

Pennsylvanians are sending a message; House Democrats’ Plan4PA responds
Mar 17, 2020

Dermody comments on House rule change
Mar 16, 2020