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2020 Capitol Scenes Calendar

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

 

Matzie: More than $146,400 to help those struggling with opioid use disorder return to work

(Jul 02, 2020)

AMBRIDGE, July 2 – Beaver County residents struggling with opioid use disorder will benefit from a $146,444 grant to fund employment support services, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced . Matzie said the federally funded Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration grant will support services such as vocational assessments, resume writing, interviewing skills, job placement and transportation assistance related to employment. “Opioid use disorder has robbed decent, hardworking people of formerly productive lives,” Matzie said. “So many want simply to get back on their feet and recover their independence. With this funding, we can offer them the skills and resources they need to take that first and most important step – gainful employment.” Life’s Work of Western PA will use the grant – which is part of a package of $2 million in SAMHA funding to 14 organizations statewide – to provide services to residents struggling with opioid use disorder in Beaver, Allegheny, Westmoreland, Washington, Fayette and Greene counties. The grants are administered by the state Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs. Read more

 

Matzie: House passes police reform bills to improve officer hiring, training

(Jun 24, 2020)

HARRISBURG, June 24 – The House today unanimously passed two bills that would improve policing in the commonwealth by ensuring hiring agencies have full access to a candidate’s background information and by enhancing officer training, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced. “These are common-sense bills that set us on the path to real reform,” said Matzie, who said he voted for both bills because they promise to improve law enforcement’s ability to hire and maintain the best-qualified people for the job. Matzie said H.B. 1841 would require employers to disclose employment information to law enforcement agencies conducting background checks and also create a database to track officer disciplinary actions so agencies would be aware of potential red flags before hiring an officer who has separated from another agency. “Most employers conduct background checks,” Matzie said. “In an area as critical as law enforcement, it’s only practical that important information would be included in those checks.” Matzie said a second bill, H.B. 1910 , would require mandatory training for officers on interacting with people of diverse racial, ethnic and economic backgrounds and on the use of force and de-escalation methods. It would also require officers to be evaluated for post-traumatic stress after a lethal use-of-force incident. “Police officers have a Read more

 

Matzie: Nearly $36,000 to Center at the Mall

(Jun 24, 2020)

AMBRIDGE, June 24 – Beaver County’s largest community senior center is receiving $35,858 in funding, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. Matzie said the grant to Center at the Mall will allow the center to enhance operations for the many active seniors it serves. “ Community centers like Center at the Mall are a lifeline to social activity, nutrition, fitness and other programs that keep our senior community healthy and engaged,” Matzie said. “The pandemic has removed so many of these activities for our seniors, but as restrictions lift, we can expect them to return. “This funding is going help the center enhance and improve its operations so when life returns to a closer version of normal, our seniors will return to an even better, more enriching experience.” The grant is part of a package of $2 million in funding -- appropriated by the General Assembly from the Pennsylvania Lottery -- that is going to 60 senior centers statewide. In all, there are more than 500 senior community centers throughout Pennsylvania that provide a variety of offerings, such as nutritious meals, educational opportunities, transportation services, financial and insurance counseling, and exercise programs. Proceeds from the Pennsylvania Lottery help to fund these programs every year. More information on senior community centers is available by visiting this link: Read more

 

Matzie: More than $31,000 in federal funding to fight homelessness

(Jun 23, 2020)

AMBRIDGE, June 23 – Beaver County residents struggling with homelessness will benefit from more than $31,000 in federal funding for critical resources, including affordable housing and emergency shelter, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. Matzie said that in addition to a grant totaling $31,125, Beaver 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. “Job losses and a slowed economy caused by the pandemic have left hardworking families in our community in immediate need of help,” Matzie said. “Securing this funding will help those who need a safe, clean place to call home.” 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 that do not already receive a direct allocation of Emergency Solutions Grant funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Read more

 

Matzie: Nearly $400,000 in funding to support opioid testing, law enforcement coronavirus response

(Jun 10, 2020)

AMBRIDGE, June 10 – Beaver County will receive $284,994 in federal funding to support the costs of opioid testing and analysis over two years, while county law enforcement will have access to federal funding of up to $109,414 for coronavirus response efforts, state Rep. Rob Matzie announced today. Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, said the grant from the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Program – administered by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency – will fund a project to allow the county to identify the geographical distribution of drugs and develop protocols leading to improved community detection, response and treatment. “Even as we’re working toward a vaccine for COVID-19, we know there is no simple cure for the opioid addiction epidemic, which threatens to continue claiming lives long after we’ve eliminated the threat from the virus,” Matzie said. “Thankfully, we have strategies to combat the epidemic. “Laboratory drug testing funded by this grant will be key to helping us understand the geographical distribution of drugs being used in our county. That knowledge will help health care providers better treat patients they are likely to encounter and will enhance law enforcement efforts to investigate and identify emerging threats.” In addition to the opioid program funding, Matzie said county law enforcement will have access to nearly $110,000 Read more

 

Matzie issues statement regarding Beaver County moving to green June 12

(Jun 05, 2020)

AMBRIDGE, June 5 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, issued the following statement in response to Gov. Tom Wolf’s announcement today that Beaver County will move to the “green” phase of the state’s reopen plan next Friday, June 12. “We were disappointed that we didn’t go into green for this week as our numbers continued to improve and all surrounding counties received the go-ahead. However, with no counties going from yellow to green after at least two weeks, it wasn’t a total surprise. “I believe the public and our businesses are positioned to accelerate our recovery. We will continue to utilize necessary safeguards to protect ourselves and those we may be in contact with under guidelines. We are ready to safely and responsibly move to the green phase.” Read more

 

Matzie supports budget-related bills

(May 29, 2020)

HARRISBURG, May 29 – Pennsylvania nursing and personal care homes at the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic would receive more than $630 million in federal CARES Act funding under legislation the House passed unanimously yesterday, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced. Matzie, who has led the charge to investigate and address the spiraling infection and death rates in nursing and long-term care facilities statewide, said he is relieved that a large chunk of $2.6 billion in federal CARES Act funding is going where it is needed most – to address the crisis facing seniors in care facilities. “It is beyond frustrating to read the statistics on mounting deaths and see our seniors being held hostage by this virus without being able to go in and do something to address it,” said Matzie, whose legislation recently prompted the state to begin universal testing in facilities. “Now, thanks to this infusion of funding, we will have the test kits, personal protective equipment, additional staffing and other critical resources to start bringing the situation under control.” Beyond the assistance to nursing homes, Matzie said the CARES Act funding will provide $50 million to volunteer fire and EMS companies, which lost key sources of revenue when the pandemic forced a halt to fundraising efforts. “We ask our first responders to combat any form of disaster, Read more

 

House Consumer Affairs Meeting March 26, 2020

(May 26, 2020)

The House Consumer Affairs Committee met in Harrisburg to vote on legislation involving rural broadband access and more. Read more

 

Matzie: More than $1 million in funding to help area food banks meet greater demand

(May 21, 2020)

AMBRIDGE, May 21 – Area food banks will receive more than $1.4 million in state grants to help them meet the increased demand and greater food insecurity created by the COVID-19 pandemic, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. “Our local food banks have always been important in helping residents combat food insecurity, but with the onset of this pandemic, their services are more critical than ever – and they are being called on to reach a much larger number of residents,” Matzie said. “Thanks to this funding, these important providers will be able to purchase the additional equipment and vehicles they need to meet this increasing demand safely and efficiently.” Some of the grants include – $200,000 to the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank. $145,027 to Beaver Falls Youth Network d/b/a Tiger Pause Youth Ministry. $133,416 to Faith Restorations. $53,341 to Adagio Health Inc. The grants are administered by the Department of Environmental Protection and are part of a $9.6 million package awarded to 145 food projects throughout the state. Providers may use the funding to purchase equipment such as refrigerated or non-refrigerated trucks, industrial refrigerators and pallet jacks. More information on the grants is available here. Read more

 

Matzie: More than $450,000 in funding to help Beaver County child care providers safely reopen

(May 21, 2020)

AMBRIDGE, May 21 – Federal funding of $450,100 under the CARES Act will help support Beaver County child care providers as they prepare to reopen their doors, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. Matzie said that as Beaver County reopens, it’s important to ensure that these businesses are up and running, with proper protections in place. “As Beaver County businesses begin opening their doors, parents will once again turn to trusted child care providers protect and nurture their kids. But these providers – like other businesses forced to close during the pandemic – have felt the impact of the shutdown profoundly. “Now, as they begin reopening, they face the added challenge of ensuring that the proper safety protocols are in place to protect our kids. This funding is going help ensure that they have the staff, training, equipment and other resources they need to get back up and running while continuing to provide safe havens for our kids.” The funding is part of an initial $51 million round of funding that will go to nearly 7,000 child care centers statewide preparing to reopen In all, Pennsylvania will receive a total of $106 million in funding to support child care providers. The second round of funding will be allocated after completion of a study assessing the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Pennsylvania’s child care providers. Read more

 

Matzie: Governor has listened and responded; Beaver County to reopen May 22

(May 15, 2020)

AMBRIDGE, May 15 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, issued the following statement in response to Gov. Tom Wolf’s announcement today that Beaver County will move to the “yellow,” open phase of the state’s reopen plan on May 22. “I’m pleased the governor responded to our requests. The people in our county did their part, and ultimately, the data showed that we were ready for the next phase in safely re-opening our county. “These are unprecedented times. There is no foolproof instruction manual on how to deal with a global pandemic. It is inevitable that some governmental decisions may not work out as intended or be well received. “This announcement, along with the recent action taken by the Department of Health at Brighton Rehab and in long-term care facilities statewide, although long overdue, shows that the administration is listening. “I’m well aware that this phase does not send everyone back to work or reopen every business. But it’s a safe first step back towards life as we knew it.” Read more

 

Matzie bill spurs DOH action on nursing home testing

(May 12, 2020)

AMBRIDGE, May 12 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, issued the following statement today in response to news that the Pennsylvania Department of Health will institute universal COVID-19 testing in nursing homes and personal care facilities statewide. “As a result of my bill, the PA DOH announced a universal testing plan for all nursing homes and personal care facilities. In addition, data will be collected and publicly released in accordance to CMS standards . “Residents, families, staff and the public have lost faith in many facilities regarding their safety and transparency. Although long overdue, this is a positive first step - but just a first step. The task will not be completed until COVID-19 numbers in nursing homes and personal care facilities are brought to zero.” Read more

 

Rep. Rob Matzie talks to WITF's Smart Talk about his bill to require immediate inspection of all long-term care facilities

(May 11, 2020)

Rep. Rob Matzie talks to WITF's Smart Talk about his legislation that would require the immediate inspection of all long-term care facilities throughout the state to help them better respond to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Read more

 

Matzie urges schools to apply for $2.6 million to support continued learning during pandemic

(May 08, 2020)

AMBRIDGE, May 8 – Federal CARES Act funding of approximately $2.67 million has been allocated to area school districts to ensure students have the resources they need to continue learning during the pandemic, state Rep. Rob Matzie announced today. Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, said the funding to seven school districts in the 16 th Legislative District will be critical to helping schools develop and deliver ongoing education and supports. “Soon after the pandemic forced a halt to classroom learning, our dedicated teachers were quickly back on the job, working to provide online and remote lessons,” Matzie said. “But a comprehensive plan is needed beyond those stopgap measures. This funding is going to allow our districts to get back up and running and to re-engineer a reliable, new system of learning that works for any environment. It’s also going to ensure that all kids have the resources they need to benefit from it – regardless of household income. “I’m encouraging our districts to be ready to apply as soon as the federal funding is approved and streamlined applications are posted by the state Department of Education.” Matzie said the following funding is allocated: Aliquippa School District – $794,013. Ambridge Area School District – $517,155. Baden Academy Charter School – $166,873. Central Read more

 

Matzie questions governor’s decision to keep Beaver County closed

(May 08, 2020)

AMBRIDGE, May 8 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, issued the following statement in response to Gov. Tom Wolf’s announcement today that Beaver County will remain in the “red,” closed status, when surrounding counties – including Allegheny County – move to the “yellow,” open phase of the state's reopen plan on May 15. “Beaver County remaining in COVID red status, due to inflated numbers from one nursing home, makes zero sense. I’ve been urging the administration, for over a month, to intervene in the dire situation at Brighton Rehab. I directly informed the Department of Health of my concerns about the lack of transparency with residents, families and the public. “So now, a facility that is responsible for nearly 70% of our county’ total cases, is being used as a reason to hold us back? It’s unacceptable. “We took the directive - stay calm, stay home, stay safe – to heart. We social distanced, wore masks and gloves. “Our businesses suffered; our workers suffered. But we did it to help protect the health and well-being of our friends, families and neighbors. And while far too many of our people tragically died, that tragedy could have been far, far worse. We are ready to move forward. We are ready to start our recovery. We must continue to utilize necessary safeguards to protect ourselves and those we may be in contact with Read more

 

Matzie bill would mandate immediate inspection of nursing homes statewide

(May 04, 2020)

AMBRIDGE, May 4 – Calling the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on nursing homes a critically urgent situation in which time is costing lives, state Rep. Rob Matzie is introducing legislation that would require immediate inspection of all long-term care facilities throughout the state. Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, said he is introducing H.B. 2481 – which would require the state Health Department to assess infection control and provide testing, reporting and necessary resources – to address an alarmingly high death toll that threatens to grow worse with inaction. “I have been urging the state look into conditions at Beaver County’s Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness Center since the last week of March,” Matzie said. “Recently the facility entered into an agreement with a temporary manager, but the virus continues to spread, and the death toll mounts. The residents, families, staff, leaders in the community and the public at large do not trust that the company is being transparent and doing all it can do to mitigate the spread of the virus. “But it’s not just my county. The pandemic has hit hard statewide, and the nursing homes that care for our parents and grandparents – our most vulnerable citizens – are ground zero,” Matzie said. “ Staff and residents are being infected at much higher rates than the general public in confined, high-risk environments that Read more

 

Lawmaker calls for nursing home inspections as deaths mount

(May 04, 2020)

State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver County, on Thursday announced plans for legislation to force the Department of Health to resume more in-person inspections at nursing homes in order to ensure that residents are being adequately protected. Read more

 

More than $51,000 in funding to equip students for remote learning during pandemic

(Apr 23, 2020)

AMBRIDGE, April 23 – State grants totaling $51,200 will help put computers and other remote-learning tools into the hands of students who are unable to afford them, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. Matzie said the Continuity of Education and Equity grants – including $46,200 to the Aliquippa School District and $5,000 for the Rochester Area School District – are vital to ensure remote learning continues for students in these districts. “Online lessons are an excellent way to keep our students learning during the pandemic, but they’re only effective if kids have the equipment they need to access them,” Matzie said. “The whole point of public education is to put kids on an even playing field and give them a chance to succeed, regardless of their household income. “Securing this funding is going to help make that happen by ensuring that access to education isn’t a matter of whose family can afford a laptop or tablet.” The CEEG grants are administered by the Department of Education and designed to help provide access and inclusion for all learners by bridging the gap for students who are currently limited in their ability to participate in continuity of education. The grants may be used to purchase computer equipment, such as laptops, tablets and internet hot spots, or used to provide instructional materials, such as paper lessons and coursework. Read more

 

Matzie urges community to respond to U.S. Census

(Apr 01, 2020)

AMBRIDGE, April 1 – Calling it critical for securing essential long-term resources and a strong voice in Congress, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, is urging all residents to respond to the U.S. census. “Based on data from the last U.S. census, Pennsylvania receives nearly $27 billion in federal funding each year for important programs that support our communities,” Matzie said. “That funding goes to support our roads, bridges, health care, education, transportation and other critical services. The count also determines the extent of our representation in Congress. Now, it’s time to be counted again. “I’m urging everyone in our community who hasn’t already done so to complete the census. It’s simple, secure and available online. The short amount of time it takes will make a huge difference in the extent of our community’s resources—and the strength of our voice in Washington.” Matzie emphasized that residents do not need to be concerned about safety and security, as census answers can’t be used against an individual, and data security is managed by security experts operating at the highest levels. Moreover the U.S. Census Bureau is prohibited from releasing any information that identifies individuals, and violation of that law can bring a fine of up to $250,000 and/or up to five years in prison. Matzie added that although April 1 Read more

 

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

Matzie: More than $146,400 to help those struggling with opioid use disorder return to work
Jul 02, 2020

Matzie: House passes police reform bills to improve officer hiring, training
Jun 24, 2020

Matzie: Nearly $36,000 to Center at the Mall
Jun 24, 2020

Matzie: More than $31,000 in federal funding to fight homelessness
Jun 23, 2020

Matzie: Nearly $400,000 in funding to support opioid testing, law enforcement coronavirus response
Jun 10, 2020

Matzie issues statement regarding Beaver County moving to green June 12
Jun 05, 2020

Matzie supports budget-related bills
May 29, 2020

House Consumer Affairs Meeting March 26, 2020
May 26, 2020

Matzie: More than $1 million in funding to help area food banks meet greater demand
May 21, 2020

Matzie: More than $450,000 in funding to help Beaver County child care providers safely reopen
May 21, 2020

Matzie: Governor has listened and responded; Beaver County to reopen May 22
May 15, 2020

Matzie bill spurs DOH action on nursing home testing
May 12, 2020

Rep. Rob Matzie talks to WITF's Smart Talk about his bill to require immediate inspection of all long-term care facilities
May 11, 2020

Matzie urges schools to apply for $2.6 million to support continued learning during pandemic
May 08, 2020

Matzie questions governor’s decision to keep Beaver County closed
May 08, 2020

Matzie bill would mandate immediate inspection of nursing homes statewide
May 04, 2020

Lawmaker calls for nursing home inspections as deaths mount
May 04, 2020

More than $51,000 in funding to equip students for remote learning during pandemic
Apr 23, 2020

Matzie urges community to respond to U.S. Census
Apr 01, 2020