Featured News

Women Leading the 175th

Issacson seeks to strengthen whistleblower protections for harassment victims

(Dec 20, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 20 – Rep.-elect Mary Louise Isaacson, D-Phila., is planning to introduce a bill that would extend the amount of time that the Whistleblower Law allows for employees to report harassment. "Many individuals who have experienced harassment in the workplace are not able to immediately report their experiences due to a variety of reasons," said Isaacson. "This legislation will ensure that employees are able to have their complaints appropriately heard when they are ready to tell their stories." The bill would give employees up to two years to report an incident of sexual harassment, discrimination, or other workplace harassment. Currently, victims only have 180 days. Additionally, this legislation would grant individuals who file a complaint the right to trial by jury and the recovery of punitive damages. Read more

 

Issacson to introduce bill to destroy unclaimed confiscated weapons

(Dec 20, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 20 – Rep.-elect Mary Louise Isaacson, D-Phila., is planning to introduce a bill mandating that law enforcement agencies across the Commonwealth return confiscated weapons or destroy those unrecovered by the rightful owners. "Firearms used in acts of crime are often confiscated by law enforcement only to be later sold," said Isaacson. "By destroying unclaimed confiscated weapons, we can ensure that no one is profiting off of a former crime or using the same weapon to conduct another one." This legislation would require law enforcement to make a reasonable effort to identify and return all firearms to their rightful and lawful owners. If an owner cannot be identified within 120 days, the firearm would be destroyed. The legislation would not require that a confiscated or recovered firearm be destroyed if it is evidence in an ongoing investigation, criminal prosecution, or civil litigation. Individuals who are prohibited from possessing a firearm would not have their weapons returned to them. The bill would require that all confiscated weapons be destroyed at facilities in Pennsylvania. Read more

 

Issacson will introduce legislation to protect children from lead exposure

(Dec 20, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 20 – Rep.-elect Mary Louise Isaacson, D-Phila., is planning to introduce legislation that would require all Pennsylvania children to be tested for lead at ages 1 and 2. "Pennsylvania's children are at a higher risk for lead exposure than children in 47 other states," said Isaacson. "By requiring the testing of blood lead levels at ages 1 and 2, we can both prevent and catch the irreversible and harmful health and behavioral complications of childhood lead poisoning." This legislation was inspired by a 2015 Pennsylvania Department of Health Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Report, which tested the blood of 28 percent of Pennsylvania children under age 2. The report found that 5 percent of children tested had at least one elevated blood lead test result. Most lead exposure happens in older homes that were built with lead-based paint. Pennsylvania ranks third in the nation for housing built before 1950, so many children may be at risk without knowing it. Issacson also expressed concern over an area of her 175 th district where young children have come in contact with lead contaminated soil. Read more

 

Issacson: Philadelphia real estate assessors should be certified

(Dec 20, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 20 – Rep.-elect Mary Louise Isaacson, D-Phila., is introducing legislation that would require all real estate assessors in Philadelphia County to be certified. "Philadelphia is the only county in the state in which assessors do not need to be certified," stated Isaacson. "Philadelphia homeowners deserve to receive assessments from a professional that has been both formally educated and trained, especially given the increased median values across the city." Real estate assessors typically undergo 90 hours of course study and take an examination to become a certified assessor. They are also required to take 20 hours of biennial continuing education courses. This legislation would remove Philadelphia’s exemption from these requirements. Assessors currently practicing in Philadelphia would have up to 3 years to obtain certification. Issacson stressed that this is a particularly important time to build trust in the assessment process, because Philadelphia properties have shown a 10.5 percent increase in median market values overall. Read more

 

Issacson to introduce bill giving tax credits to student loan borrowers

(Dec 20, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 20 – Rep.-elect Mary Louise Isaacson, D-Phila., is planning to introduce legislation that would establish a tax credit for interest paid on student loans. "Pennsylvania has the second highest average debt per student in the country," said Isaacson. "This tax credit will help ease the burden on citizens who are doing their best to pay off their student loan debt - the necessary advances they had to take out on their future success." The bill would provide for a tax credit up to $2,500 per individual on interest paid during a calendar year for the life of the loan. The credit would be available to individuals making up to $75,000 and couples up to $155,000. In Pennsylvania, borrowers owe $53.7 billion in total student loan debt. The average amount of debt per student is $35,759. Read more

 

Issacson to introduce bill establishing a lead paint abatement grant

(Dec 20, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 20 – Rep.-elect Mary Louise Isaacson, D-Phila., is planning to introduce legislation that would establish a grant program to help Pennsylvania residents offset the costs of lead paint removal. “Many homes in Pennsylvania were built before the lead paint ban was imposed nationwide,” Issacson said. “Unfortunately, this has forced a lot of Pennsylvanians to pay for expensive lead paint removal or risk exposing their families to toxins. These grants will help ease parents’ worries that their homes are poisoning their children.” The program would award grants on a competitive basis, with primary consideration given to municipalities that demonstrate a financial need and prioritize assistance to low-income households and households with children under age 6. In 1978, the federal government banned the use of lead in the production of paint, as it was proved to be a neurotoxin capable of harming adults and children. Young children are especially susceptible to lead exposure, which can cause permanent cognitive and developmental damage. Pennsylvania ranks third for homes built before 1950, which means many of these older homes may still have dangerous lead paint. Read more

 

Veterans services

(Dec 01, 2018)

Below are a number of programs and services available to help veterans and their families. Please share this list with any veterans in your life. Veterans Temporary Assistance Temporary help is available for veterans and their beneficiaries who need aid for essentials such as shelter, fuel, clothing and food. If eligible, a veteran or their beneficiary can qualify for up to $1,600 in a 12-month period. The Disabled Veterans Real Estate Tax Exemption Program Any honorably discharged veteran who is 100 percent disabled, a resident of Pennsylvania and has financial need can apply for this program, which provides real estate tax exemption on principal dwellings. Educational Gratuity Program Children of honorably discharged veterans with service-connected disabilities or children of veterans who died in service during a period of war or armed conflict qualify for up to $500 per semester/term to help defray educational costs. Military Family Relief Assistance Program Eligible Pennsylvania service members and their family members who have a direct and immediate financial need as a result of circumstances beyond their control can apply for up to $3,500 in grants. This program is available for active and past service members. Veterans’ Trust Fund Grant Program Grants are available for veterans’ services organizations, non-profit organizations with a mission of serving Pennsylvania veterans, individual eligible counties and the State Read more

 

Heating aid via LIHEAP now open

(Dec 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