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2020 Capitol Scenes calendar

Longietti: $5,000 grant to support community library’s continued programs, safe operations

(7 hours ago)

HERMITAGE, Aug. 5 – A grant of $5,000 will help the Community Library of the Shenango Valley continue offering residents virtual programs and services, while also providing a safe and sanitary environment for visitors, state Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, announced today. Longietti said the grant, administered by the Pennsylvania Humanities Council through the PHC CARES program, will provide critical pandemic relief. “As the only library system serving the 40,000 residents of our region, the Community Library of the Shenango Valley has served as an essential hub for learning, entertainment and community activity," Longietti said. "Even after the pandemic forced a temporary closure, the library continued serving thousands virtually – through online resources and digital media – despite the loss of fundraising to support operations. “Securing this funding is going to help the library continue serving our community by funding upgraded videoconferencing and social media platform accounts, equipment to boost Wi-Fi capabilities, and planned virtual summer reading and other virtual programming. Additionally, now that the library has reopened its doors, the grant will fund cleaning and sanitization supplies to ensure the safest possible environment for staff and visitors. It’s a great investment in a well-loved community institution.” The grant is part of package of $780,500 in Read more

 

Nearly $81,000 in COVID safety funding to Thiel College, Laurel Technical Institute

(Aug 03, 2020)

HERMITAGE, Aug. 3 – Grant funding of $80,828 will help two Mercer County postsecondary schools ensure students can return to safe learning environments this fall, state Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, announced today. Longietti said that Thiel College will receive $68,858 and Laurel Technical Institute-Sharon will receive $11,970 to ensure both schools can put into place the necessary planning and preparation to keep students and staff safe from COVID-19. “Learning, like everything else during the pandemic, may take on a slightly different look as safety mandates require distancing and other measures pose challenges to traditional classroom learning,” Longietti said. “But our area students are resilient, energetic, and eager to learn, and our instructors and administrators are creative and dedicated to making this work. “With funding that may be used for protective and sanitizing equipment, barriers and structural modifications, and online technology, I am confident that our students will be well-protected when they return this fall.” The funding is part of a package of $28 million in federal funding administered by the state Department of Education and was based on both the shares of total enrollments by each postsecondary sector and the number of socio-economically disadvantaged students served by institutions. Read more

 

Longietti Named Government Official of the Year

(Jul 30, 2020)

Pa state Reps. Mark Longietti and Tim Briggs received the 2019 State Government Official of the Year Award from the Life Sciences Advocacy Group for their work in making Pennsylvania an attractive state to start and grow a life sciences company. Read more

 

Sainato, Longietti call on governor to lift 25% capacity for restaurants, bars

(Jul 28, 2020)

HARRISBURG, July 28 – Calling it unnecessarily restrictive and damaging to the local economy, state Reps. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, and Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, have written to Gov. Tom Wolf urging him to lift his recent restriction imposing a 25% indoor capacity on restaurants and bars. The lawmakers’ letter calls on Wolf to restore the previous 50% capacity guidelines, saying the new restriction does more harm than good. “The governor is punishing all restaurants and bars for the failure of a few bad actors who are failing to comply with safety guidelines,” Sainato said. “The problem with that approach is that it hurts everyone while failing to get at the root of the problem. “It’s noncompliance with safety procedures – not a particular number of patrons – that jeopardizes community health. We should be focusing on cracking down on the bad apples, not enforcing an overreaching measure that threatens to drive our local restaurants and bars out of business.” Longietti agreed, saying “Reducing the maximum patron capacity to 25% won’t help keep anyone safer; it will merely threaten the viability of restaurants and bars that are trying to comply and do the right thing. “The restriction is especially difficult for our local restaurants and bars because they must compete with businesses in nearby Ohio, which are operating Read more

 

Delegation urges Wolf to reconsider restaurant restrictions

(Jul 28, 2020)

Lawmakers ask Wolf to rescind 25% occupancy limit to help local businesses Read more

 

Hazard pay grants now available to support frontline workers

(Jul 17, 2020)

HARRISBURG, July 17 – Workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic could see hazard pay through funding advocated for by the Pennsylvania House Democrats. Eligible employers can now apply for $50 million in available grants to offer hazard pay to frontline workers in life-sustaining industries. Throughout the COVID-19 health crisis, the Pennsylvania House Democratic Caucus has fought to support frontline workers and worked to ensure federal CARES Act dollars were allocated as part of the state budget package. Businesses in the following industries are eligible to apply for the grant funding: Health care and social assistance Food manufacturing Food retail facilities Public transit and ground passenger transportation Security services Janitorial services to buildings and dwellings More information on the grants is available here . Since the very beginning of the pandemic, and during 2020-21 budget negotiations, House Democrats have advocated for fair compensation and protections for frontline workers. Democratic state representatives from across Pennsylvania lauded the opening of the new grant program. Northeast Region Rep. Maureen Madden, D-Monroe : "I am a strong advocate for better wages and conditions for all workers. During times of financial uncertainty, hazard pay is crucial for all frontline workers facing increased exposure to the COVID-19 Read more

 

Longietti: $1.7 million grant to fund Farrell roadway improvements

(Jul 16, 2020)

HERMITAGE, July 16 – Several roads in the City of Farrell are receiving a facelift, thanks to $1.7 million in grant funding, state Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, announced today. Longietti said the funding – awarded under the state Department of Transportation’s Multimodal Transportation Fund – will pay for paving, sidewalk repair and additional construction and maintenance work. “The grant money is going to fund much-needed improvements to Farrell’s Idaho Street, Spearman Avenue, and Darr Avenue,” Longietti said. “The work – which will include repaving the roads, preparing ADA curb cuts for intersections, replacing damaged, broken sidewalks and installing a public bike rack – will make travel smoother and safer for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians alike. “It’s great to see this project come to fruition. Farrell residents have been waiting for these improvements and will now get to see their tax dollars returning to our district in one of the most important ways – to bolster our infrastructure.” The funding is part of a package of $30.2 million in grants awarded to fund 27 projects in 23 counties statewide. The PennDOT Multimodal Transportation Fund stabilizes funding for ports and rail freight, increases aviation investments, establishes dedicated funding for bicycle and pedestrian improvements and allows targeted funding for priority Read more

 

New law gives towns, boroughs access to key planning tool for first time

(Jul 14, 2020)

HARRISBURG, July 14 – Gov. Tom Wolf today signed into law a measure that will place a key planning tool into the hands of smaller towns and boroughs for the first time, state Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, announced. Longietti’s bill – now Act 58 – will eliminate an arbitrary size restriction that has permitted cities of all sizes to create redevelopment authorities while prohibiting towns and boroughs from doing so unless they had a population of 10,000 or more. “Redevelopment authorities are true instruments of change – it’s through these essential planning bodies that true progress is made – ideas take shape, blight is cleared, lots and abandoned property are repurposed and real, concrete changes to a community’s landscape take root. “For years, planners in towns and boroughs have tried establishing these boards, only to be told that their population doesn’t meet the size restriction. At the same time, small cities – some no larger than those towns and boroughs – have been permitted to do so. There was no justification for this arbitrary restriction. “I’m truly excited to see this bill finally become law, because it will permanently remove a major impediment to progress in our smaller towns and boroughs and give the green light to revitalizing growth and change.” Longietti said that there are at least 25 cities in Read more

 

Longietti: More than $351,000 to help end, prevent homelessness in Mercer County

(Jul 10, 2020)

HERMITAGE, July 10 – Grant funding of $351,477 will help bring new options to Mercer County residents who have lost access to housing or are struggling to stave off the threat of homelessness, state Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, announced today. Longietti said the grant to Mercer County Commissioners – part of a package of CARES Act funding made available through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – will help address a serious problem made more urgent by the pandemic. “One of the most dangerous aspects of this pandemic is the effect it has had in disrupting residents’ access to vital life resources,” Longietti said. “Hardworking families for the first time are finding themselves suddenly displaced or facing the threat of homelessness, and our most vulnerable residents are finding it harder to find shelter. “This funding is going to help us tackle this alarming trend by providing resources that can help restore housing options for vulnerable residents in need and prevent the loss of housing by hardworking residents who are facing this threat through no fault of their own.” The funding is the first of two allocations of Emergency Solutions Grant CARES Act funding provided through the HUD CARES Act supplemental appropriation. The funding is being administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development. More information about Read more

 

Updated: Longietti: Nearly $2,000 in CARES Act funding to support community event organizer

(Jul 07, 2020)

HERMITAGE, July 7 – WaterFire Sharon – a nonprofit fund of the Community Foundation of Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio – will benefit from $1,930 in CARES Act funding, state Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, announced today. Longietti said the funding – awarded through the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts – will help the fund continue operating during the pandemic . “Events organized by WaterFire Sharon bring substantial tourism dollars to our community each year. Like other businesses and nonprofits, however, they are feeling the impact of the pandemic. This funding will help keep the fund operating so it can continue keeping our community an engaging place that attracts visitors.” Pennsylvania arts and cultural organizations received a total of $2.3 million in pandemic relief. Grants were awarded through both the National Endowment for the Arts and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. More information about the funding is available here. Read more

 

Longietti bill to assist municipal planning heads to governor’s desk

(Jun 30, 2020)

HARRISBURG, June 30 – A bill that would provide Pennsylvania boroughs and municipalities of all sizes a critical planning tool is on the way to Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk after it passed the state Senate today, according to the bill’s author, state Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer. Longietti said his H.B. 1860 would eliminate an unfair obstacle facing smaller boroughs and other municipalities: Under existing law, cities of any size are able to create redevelopment authorities, while boroughs and other municipalities must have a population of 10,000 or more to do so. “Redevelopment authorities are true vehicles for progress,” Longietti said. “Because they are empowered to acquire blighted, abandoned properties and authorize revitalization projects, these planning boards can power major, positive changes to a community’s landscape that pave the way for investment, new businesses and affordable housing. “The existing size restriction that prevents many boroughs and municipalities from creating redevelopment authorities has no logical basis and only serves to curtail growth in these communities. I was encouraged when the House passed my bill earlier this year, and I am even more so now that the Senate has done the same. “With the bill now awaiting the governor’s signature, we are finally on the verge of getting boroughs and municipalities access to this incredibly important Read more

 

Longietti: $3,000 mini grant to fund workshops on stormwater management, water conservation

(Jun 26, 2020)

HERMITAGE, June 26 – A mini grant to the Buhl Park Corp. will create opportunities for Mercer County residents to learn more about stormwater management and water conservation, state Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, announced today. Longietti said the grant from the state Department of Environmental Protection will fund the project titled, “DIY Water Conservation: Educational Programs and Public Workshops” -- two hands-on workshops addressing stormwater management, non-point source pollution and the benefits of backyard water conservation. “Mercer County residents have always shown a keen interest in practical, hands-on ways to benefit the community, and the workshops funded by this grant are going to provide that kind of information when it comes to local environmental issues,” Longietti said. “Residents will be able to learn more about the challenges posed by stormwater management and non-point source pollution and about how their own efforts at backyard water collection and conservation can help.” Longietti said one goal of the project is to increase the number of commercial and residential gardens and flower plantings by providing rain barrels in practical locations. The grant is part of a package of $434,168 in Environmental Education Grants to 55 projects that will engage youths and adults in environmental justice, climate change, and/or water quality improvement, expanding Read more

 

Longietti: More than $150,400 in federal funding to fight homelessness

(Jun 23, 2020)

HERMITAGE, June 23 – Mercer County will receive more than $150,400 in federal funding to help residents combat homelessness, an imminent threat of homelessness, or the immediate need to secure safer surroundings, state Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, announced. Longietti said that in addition to a grant totaling $150,438, Mercer County will share in more than $1.72 million in funding being distributed to 20 counties throughout the central and western portions of the state. “Clean, safe housing is a precursor to all other life successes,” Longietti said. “It enables parents to protect and nurture their children, workers to rest and regenerate for a new workday and older, more vulnerable residents a place to live with dignity. “Although the threat of homelessness is not new, the pandemic and related business shutdowns that have slowed our local economy have left more residents than ever feeling the burden – or threat – of losing a home. This funding will work to restore their hope.” The funding – administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development – is provided through the federal Emergency Solutions Grant program and is part of a package of nearly $5.5 million that will fund rapid rehousing, homelessness prevention, street outreach, and emergency shelter, among other resources. Priority for funding is given to applicants representing areas of the commonwealth Read more

 

Longietti urges dairy farmers to apply for relief under new federal program

(Jun 22, 2020)

HERMITAGE, June 22 – State Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, is encouraging area dairy farmers who have suffered financial losses because of COVID-19 to apply for relief under a new program that can help offset some of those losses. The Dairy Indemnity Program – funded through the federal CARES Act and administered by the state Department of Agriculture – will distribute $15 million in funding to dairy farmers who have suffered financial losses as a result of discarded or displaced milk during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Like other businesses, our dairy farms have been hit hard by COVID-19,” Longietti said. “But our resilient farmers have been facing tough challenges based on market conditions long before the pandemic. This recent disaster merely added insult to injury by shuttering major customers like businesses and schools. “While the new program won’t solve some of the more long-term issues facing our dairy farmers, it will at least help to offset immediate losses to this important industry, which supplies a vital product and contributes billions annually to Pennsylvania’s economy. I’m urging all dairy farmers to determine whether they are eligible and, if so, to apply.” Longietti said that any dairy farm that experienced financial losses due to discarded or displaced milk during the COVID-19 emergency disaster may apply for assistance. E ach farm with a documented loss Read more

 

Longietti urges small businesses to sign up for grant program updates

(Jun 16, 2020)

HERMITAGE, June 16 – With small businesses poised to receive millions in federal coronavirus funding, state Rep. Mark Longietti is advising local business owners about a simple step they can take now to be prepared once the funding becomes available. Longietti, D-Mercer, said applications for the Statewide Small Business Assistance Program – designed to benefit small businesses with up to 25 full-time equivalent employees – are expected to be available by the end of this month, but businesses can sign up now to be alerted when that happens by visiting www.bridgewaycapital.org and completing the online contact form. “This program will benefit our smallest mom-and-pop businesses by providing grants of up to $50,000 to cover COVID-19-related expenses,” Longietti said. “Businesses can use the funding in a variety of ways, from paying rent and utility bills they accrued while closed, to acquiring safety-related items and equipment such as Plexiglas barriers and personal protective equipment. “Timing is critical, however. As our community business owners already know, it’s crucial to stay on top of developments and be prepared to act quickly once applications become available. I’m urging all eligible businesses to sign up now so they can be alerted as soon as that happens.” Longietti said funding for Mercer County businesses will be administered Read more

 

Longietti: Nearly $87,000 to support law enforcement coronavirus response

(Jun 10, 2020)

HERMITAGE, June 10 – Local law enforcement in Mercer County will have access to up to $86,844 in federal funding for COVID-19 prevention, response and preparedness, state Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, announced today. Longietti said the funding will help the many frontline workers in the criminal justice system keep the system running while remaining safe. “Our criminal justice system doesn’t stop because there is a pandemic going on. Our police are out there on the front lines – along with correctional, probation, and parole officers; case workers; court workers; victim service providers and so many others. This funding will help ensure they receive the resources they need – including training, personal protective equipment, supplies, overtime pay and any other resources – to continue their essential work while minimizing the infection risk to themselves and the community.” Longietti said the funding – administered by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency – comes from federal Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding. Of $850 million in CESF funding designated for state and local law enforcement assistance nationwide, PCCD was eligible to apply for a state share of approximately $17.6 million. Of that amount, PCCD said $8 million in CESF dollars is being made available now, based on an “unprecedented need to immediately address” Read more

 

Longietti: Mercer County moving to ‘green’ phase of reopen plan June 5

(May 29, 2020)

HARRISBURG, May 29 – Mercer County will be moving to the “green” phase of the state’s reopen plan on June 5, state Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, announced today. Longietti said the news is especially welcome to residents and small business owners, who were forced to remain under yellow phase restrictions because of a brief spike in cases even as surrounding counties moved to green. “I’m pleased that the governor heard my message,” said Longietti, who recently drafted a letter to the administration that was co-signed by fellow lawmakers and officials. “Our small businesses are ready to reopen, and our residents are ready to go out and support them. It’s time to reignite our local economy. “We are resourceful, smart and resilient, and Mercer County will emerge from this period with momentum and strength to meet the future.” Longietti noted that the green phase of the state’s reopen plan allows remaining businesses – including restaurants, bars, barbershops, hair salons, gyms, casinos, theaters and shopping malls – to reopen at 50% capacity. Barbershops and salons may operate by appointment only, while appointments are strongly recommended for gyms and spas. Organized sports such as youth activities may resume with social distancing, while gatherings of up to 250 people are allowed with social distancing and Read more

 

Longietti offices reopening June 3 for appointments

(May 29, 2020)

HERMITAGE, May 27 – State Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, is reopening his offices for appointments beginning June 3 and is encouraging residents to call now to schedule a time. Longietti said both his district office in Hermitage – open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday – and his satellite office in Greenville – open 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays – will be taking appointments. “Since the pandemic forced us to close temporarily to foot traffic, my staff and I have been serving residents over the phone and online, but we are looking forward to resuming in-person services so we can help residents with hands-on projects such as filing property tax and rent rebate applications and other forms. I’m encouraging residents to call now to begin setting up appointments.” Longietti said both offices are putting procedures in place to reopen safely. “We have installed plexiglass barriers, and we will be limiting the number of residents in the district office waiting room to two, in addition to the person being served at the counter. Appointments at the Greenville office will be spaced out to prevent residents from having to wait. We are also encouraging residents to wear masks. As long as the virus is a threat, the safety of our residents and staff remains priority No. 1.” Residents can reach the district office at (724) Read more

 

Longietti offices reopening June 3 for appointments

(May 27, 2020)

HERMITAGE, May 27 – State Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, is reopening his offices for appointments beginning June 3 and is encouraging residents to call now to schedule a time. Longietti said both his district office in Hermitage – open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday – and his satellite office in Greenville – open 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays – will be taking appointments. “Since the pandemic forced us to close temporarily to foot traffic, my staff and I have been serving residents over the phone and online, but we are looking forward to resuming in-person services so we can help residents with hands-on projects such as filing property tax and rent rebate applications and other forms. I’m encouraging residents to call now to begin setting up appointments.” Longietti said both offices are putting procedures in place to reopen safely. “We have installed plexiglass barriers, and we will be limiting the number of residents in the district office waiting room to two, in addition to the person being served at the counter. Appointments at the Greenville office will be spaced out to prevent residents from having to wait. We are also encouraging residents to wear masks. As long as the virus is a threat, the safety of our residents and staff remains priority No. 1.” Residents can reach the district office at (724) Read more

 

Longietti urges Wolf to reopen Mercer County

(May 26, 2020)

HARRISBURG, May 26 – State Rep. Mark Longietti is calling on Gov. Tom Wolf to add Mercer to the list of counties moving to the “green” phase of the state’s reopen plan on May 29. In a letter co-signed by several other Mercer County lawmakers, Longietti urged Wolf to amend his May 22 order, which authorized 17 western Pennsylvania counties to move to the green phase but excluded Mercer County. “Mercer County residents have been patient,” Longietti said. “We have followed safety protocol and flattened the curve, and the data supports that. Now, we’re ready and waiting to reopen. Our small businesses are ready. Our residents are ready. Our entire community is ready and able to open in a safe, responsible manner so that we can recharge our local economy. “Continuing the restrictions on Mercer County is senseless; our metrics are in line with the criteria to move and with data from many surrounding counties. And if Mercer County remains in the yellow, our residents will only start crossing county lines, taking business away from our own local mom and pop stores. “Our message to the governor is clear: It’s Mercer County’s turn to open. We are ready and waiting. And it’s time for the governor to go ahead and make that happen.” Read more

 

Longietti: $5,000 grant to support community library’s continued programs, safe operations
7 hours ago

Nearly $81,000 in COVID safety funding to Thiel College, Laurel Technical Institute
Aug 03, 2020

Longietti Named Government Official of the Year
Jul 30, 2020

Sainato, Longietti call on governor to lift 25% capacity for restaurants, bars
Jul 28, 2020

Delegation urges Wolf to reconsider restaurant restrictions
Jul 28, 2020

Hazard pay grants now available to support frontline workers
Jul 17, 2020

Longietti: $1.7 million grant to fund Farrell roadway improvements
Jul 16, 2020

New law gives towns, boroughs access to key planning tool for first time
Jul 14, 2020

Longietti: More than $351,000 to help end, prevent homelessness in Mercer County
Jul 10, 2020

Updated: Longietti: Nearly $2,000 in CARES Act funding to support community event organizer
Jul 07, 2020

Longietti bill to assist municipal planning heads to governor’s desk
Jun 30, 2020

Longietti: $3,000 mini grant to fund workshops on stormwater management, water conservation
Jun 26, 2020

Longietti: More than $150,400 in federal funding to fight homelessness
Jun 23, 2020

Longietti urges dairy farmers to apply for relief under new federal program
Jun 22, 2020

Longietti urges small businesses to sign up for grant program updates
Jun 16, 2020

Longietti: Nearly $87,000 to support law enforcement coronavirus response
Jun 10, 2020

Longietti: Mercer County moving to ‘green’ phase of reopen plan June 5
May 29, 2020

Longietti offices reopening June 3 for appointments
May 29, 2020

Longietti offices reopening June 3 for appointments
May 27, 2020

Longietti urges Wolf to reopen Mercer County
May 26, 2020