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House Democratic Leaders: Republican COVID-19 hypocrisy continues to put Pennsylvania at risk

(Oct 01, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 1 – Following a second positive COVID-19 test by a Republican representative who has been regularly present in Harrisburg, House Democratic leaders issued the following statement decrying the continued political gamesmanship, disregard for CDC guidelines and hypocrisy of House Republicans putting members, staff and the communities they go home to at risk: “We wish the representative a speedy recovery as he battles this serious virus. “It’s unfortunate, however, that once again House Republicans brought members and staff to the Capitol to continue the charade of working for Pennsylvania while doing nothing to truly help our state. In the past few weeks we have done hardly anything legislatively to increase the pay for essential employees, work to fix our election code as we speed toward the upcoming General Election, provide PPE for frontline workers or provide funding for grants to help struggling small businesses. “Among other things, Republican leadership did find time to continue their purely political attacks on Governor Tom Wolf and hold a hearing today, which ironically ended early due to the positive COVID-19 test, to attack Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine over her successful mitigation tactics that have saved thousands of lives in Pennsylvania. “They also passed bills to name multiple bridges and authorize transfers of several pieces of state-owned land and positioned a resolution for a final Read more

 

House Democratic Leader Dermody's statement on House postponement

(Oct 01, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 1 – Democratic Leader Frank Dermody made this statement regarding today’s postponement of House session: “Today we learned that a House colleague tested positive for COVID-19 and the House adjourned until Oct. 19. I thank the Speaker’s office and Republican leader for providing quick notification to Democratic leaders under guidelines established earlier this year by the Bipartisan Management Committee. “First and foremost we are concerned about people’s safety and contact tracing is being carried out so that any House members, staff or possibly even Capitol visitors who should self-quarantine can be advised. This is yet another reminder that the virus is not going away and all of us need to keep following the simple steps such as washing hands, watching our distance from others, wearing masks and staying alert. “The news of another COVID case at the Capitol was very disheartening, especially when some inside the Capitol still resist taking proper precautions. We hope the legislator affected will recover quickly.” Read more

 

House Democratic Leader Dermody says Republican effort threatens democracy

(Sep 30, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 30 – Democratic Leader Frank Dermody said a stealth attack on Pennsylvania voting and voters is positioned to advance through a House committee today and could receive action by the full House as soon as Thursday. The State Government Committee is scheduled to vote today on House Resolution 1032 establishing a House Select Committee on Election Integrity empowered to conduct unlimited investigations of the upcoming election including the ability to subpoena election officials from anywhere in the state. “This dangerous and unprecedented power grab by one caucus in the General Assembly holds the potential to create massive chaos by interfering with an election while it’s in progress. It aligns with by the Trump campaign itself,” Dermody said. “If the resolution passes, this new committee would be given a blank check for expenses and the immediate legal power to compel the appearance of election officials in the midst of an intense period when they should be preparing for the election and then counting the votes.” The previously unknown measure was introduced on Monday by Rep. Garth Everett, Republican chairman of the committee set to consider it today. It authorizes all costs of the new select committee’s work to be paid for by the House’s chief clerk. The House speaker would name the select committee chairman, presumably another Republican. “The wording of the resolution is vague Read more

 

House Democrats fight to protect people’s health and access to care

(Sep 25, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Sep. 25 – This week, PA House Democrats reacted to the relentless attack on the Affordable Care Act by President Trump and Republicans in Harrisburg and Washington, D.C. by publicly calling for a vote on four bills to make sure people don’t lose their access to health care and insurance – coverage that’s more vital than ever in the era of COVID-19. “While Republicans are focused on nothing more than trying to force working people back into dangerous situations by undoing the virus mitigation efforts that have saved thousands of lives, we are focused on people’s safety, jobs and health,” House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody, D-Allegheny/Westmoreland, said. “President Trump has had the Affordable Care Act in his sights since Day One, and now he and congressional Republicans are looking to tilt the Supreme Court right before a decision that could end the ACA. Nothing matters more than making sure people can afford to see a doctor when they get sick, and it’s time for the majority party here in Pennsylvania to join us and put those people first.” “Now, more than ever, people need to know they can continue to see their doctor and get the care they need without having to worry about insurmountable medical bills,” House Democratic Whip Jordan Harris, D-Phila., said. “Unfortunately, we can be called back to Harrisburg at the drop of a hat to play political games, but not to deal with this Read more

 

Get your senior fair in a box here!

(Sep 23, 2020)

Your health and wellbeing is very important to me, which is why I have worked hard to make sure the protections prompted by COVID-19 don’t keep you from getting the helpful information and resources you’ve come to expect each year from my Senior Fair. Many state, federal and local agencies, as well as companies that offer service to seniors, have given me the materials they normally hand out at the fair, and it’s all been assembled into a “Senior Fair in a box .“ To sign up to receive one of these boxes, give my office a call at 724-274-4770. I know you may have plenty of questions about how you and your family can stay healthy in the time of COVID-19, which is why I also held a live event you can watch here: As we navigate these unprecedented times, know that I continue to be here to serve you and our community. If I can ever be of help with state services or programs, please contact my office at 724-274-4770. I’ve also assembled some helpful links below that can help with a variety of issues for seniors: PACE - Prescription Assistance: https://www.aging.pa.gov/aging-services/prescriptions/Pages/default.aspx Medicare Cost-Savings Programs: https://www.aging.pa.gov/aging-services/medicare-counseling/Pages/medicare-cost-savings.aspx COVID-19 Resource Guide for Older Adults: https://www.aging.pa.gov/Pages/covid-guide-for-older-adults.aspx Pennsylvania Attorney General Senior Safety tips: Read more

 

Miss my Tele-Town Hall? Click here to listen to the discussion.

(Aug 26, 2020)

Find out what our friends and neighbors had to say about the issues that matter. Read more

 

House Democrats share governor’s vision for relief and reform

(Aug 25, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 25 – House Democratic leaders released the following statement on the fall legislative agenda outlined by Gov. Tom Wolf, which responds to the needs of Pennsylvania families for economic relief and government reform and includes many ideas brought forward by House Democrats: “As we continue to move forward in Pennsylvania’s path to recovery, we stand united with Governor Wolf in his efforts to protect the health and welfare of all Pennsylvanians in the face of a continuing global pandemic. “Much of the governor’s legislative agenda is shared by House Democrats, as we’ve pushed for paid parental leave, increased access to personal protective equipment for frontline workers and removing special interest influence from our elections, among other proposals outlined by the governor. These goals are aimed at creating a safe, healthy and prosperous Pennsylvania that works for all of its people. “Unfortunately, we’ve spent far too much time with a Republican-led legislature determined to pick fights that only undermine the health and safety of our state. Rather than face this public health crisis head on, Republicans have taken it upon themselves to ignore science and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and pretend the pandemic is over. Instead of authorizing hazard pay for frontline workers or providing housing and utility assistance to struggling Pennsylvanians, valuable Read more

 

House Democratic Leaders defend election integrity and the United States Postal Service

(Aug 15, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 15 – House Democratic leaders responded to attacks on the integrity of elections, the ability of Pennsylvanians to be confident in vote-by-mail ballots and the future of the United States Postal Service in a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and the Members of the Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation. The text of the letter is copied below: Louis DeJoy, Postmaster General United States Postal Service 475 L’Enfant Plaza SW Washington D.C., 20260 Dear General DeJoy, Benjamin Franklin’s resume included two incredibly important jobs: Speaker of the Pennsylvania Assembly and Postmaster General of the United States. In either role, Mr. Franklin would have been as appalled at the outrageous attack on the United States Postal Service as we are. The USPS is enshrined in the United States Constitution and is literally a lifeline for millions of Americans who count on their mail carriers to bring medicine and money, to maintain the commerce of the nation and, now more than ever, to allow at-risk citizens to exercise their constitutional right to vote safely and securely via a mail-in ballot. Slowing down mail service, removing automated sorting machines and even removing mailboxes from corners will force people to make a terrible choice: risk having their ballot thrown away because it didn’t arrive on time, or risk a crowded polling place with the potential of a COVID-19 infection. This is Read more

 

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

 

House Democratic Leaders: Republican COVID-19 hypocrisy continues to put Pennsylvania at risk
Oct 01, 2020

House Democratic Leader Dermody's statement on House postponement
Oct 01, 2020

House Democratic Leader Dermody says Republican effort threatens democracy
Sep 30, 2020

House Democrats fight to protect people’s health and access to care
Sep 25, 2020

Get your senior fair in a box here!
Sep 23, 2020

Miss my Tele-Town Hall? Click here to listen to the discussion.
Aug 26, 2020

House Democrats share governor’s vision for relief and reform
Aug 25, 2020

House Democratic Leaders defend election integrity and the United States Postal Service
Aug 15, 2020

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