Featured News

College affordability: Tips to help you get a higher education

Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program deadline is Dec. 31

(Dec 17, 2018)

The deadline to file a state Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program application is Dec. 31. The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians 65 or older, widows and widowers age 50 or older, and people with disabilities age 18 or older. The maximum standard rebate is $650, but supplemental rebates can boost it to $975. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters, but please don’t assume you are not eligible. Half of Social Security income is discounted, and people are not disqualified from rebates solely because of Social Security cost-of-living adjustments. Applications for rebates for 2018 rent or property taxes will be available in early February 2019. Please share this information with anyone you think may benefit. Read more

 

Heating aid via LIHEAP now open

(Nov 02, 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

 

Senior prescription program expanded to help more people

(Oct 23, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 23 – Thousands of additional Pennsylvania seniors will be able to receive help paying for their prescription medicines thanks to a new state law. Act 87, signed into law today, increases seniors’ access to the state’s prescription drug assistance program (PACENET) by raising the program’s income limits to keep pace with rising costs. The law increases the maximum income limit for PACENET to $27,500 for individuals and $35,500 for married couples. In addition, the new law allows pharmacists to fill partial prescriptions so PACE/PACENET participants’ refills can be synchronized for the same day. It’s estimated this expansion will allow for an additional 17,000 seniors to be eligible for PACENET statewide. The new law supports the priority of putting people first in the House Democrats’ Plan for Pennsylvania , which focuses on working together to build a stronger Pennsylvania through good jobs, affordable health care, quality schools and a fair economy. Read more

 

Pennsylvania receives extension for REAL ID

(Oct 11, 2018)

Pennsylvania has been granted a REAL ID enforcement extension by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through August 1, 2019. This extension means that Pennsylvania residents will not face access issues when entering federal facilities or boarding domestic commercial aircraft through at least that date. REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and photo ID cards will be available from PennDOT at the customer’s option beginning March 2019. PennDOT is encouraging customers to pre-verify for REAL ID the required documentation as soon as possible, giving them ample time to prepare. More information about what documents will be required is available on PennDOT's Driver and Vehicle Services website . More information about REAL ID, including frequently asked questions , can be found at www.dmv.pa.gov . Read more

 

Neilson raises awareness about dyslexia, early interventions

(Sep 26, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 26 – State Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., joined in a rally today with the Pennsylvania Dyslexia Literacy Coalition to highlight dyslexia and thank his colleagues in the state House of Representatives for unanimously adopting H.R. 1044 designating October 2018 as “Dyslexia Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania. Dyslexia is a neurological condition caused by a different wiring of the brain that affects people of all backgrounds and intellectual levels. There is no known cure for this condition, and individuals diagnosed must learn coping strategies. Research indicates that dyslexia has no relationship to intelligence, however it can make reading and comprehension more difficult. “My youngest son got lucky that someone identified and diagnosed him with dyslexia early. We need to encourage our children to tell their teachers and parents if they’re having trouble reading,” Neilson said. “It is our job as legislators to raise awareness about this learning condition, and the importance of early detection and interventions that we know have been effective.” People with dyslexia, or developmental reading disorder, experience problems confusing letters or learning what sounds go with certain letters; have trouble learning how to speak or determining the meaning of a simple sentence; and may include difficulty in correctly performing math operations or memorizing number facts. Symptoms include slow or inaccurate reading, Read more

 

Bridge to happiness

(Sep 12, 2018)

A news conference took place on Sept. 7 in the park, followed by a ribbon cutting on the road. Driscoll was joined by state Sen. John Sabatina Jr.; state Rep. Ed Neilson; City Councilman Bobby Henon; PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards; city Departments of Streets Commissioner Carlton Williams; and representatives of Lt. Gov. Mike Stack, state Sen. Tina Tartaglione and U.S. Rep. Bob Brady. Read more

 

Neilson lauds reopening of the Frankford Avenue Bridge

(Sep 07, 2018)

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 7 – After five months of construction, state Rep. Ed Neilson applauded the reopening of the Frankford Avenue Bridge that crosses the Pennypack Creek. Neilson attended the ribbon cutting for the reopening, which was officiated by PennDOT and the city of Philadelphia. “Many people have been anticipating the reopening of this bridge, myself included, and it is great to see that happen, ahead of schedule too,” Neilson said. “In the past two years, the state has invested nearly $1.8 billion in my district and surrounding areas for construction and improvement projects. The work done on this bridge is yet another great investment for the people of Northeast Philadelphia and the surrounding communities.” During the five-month closure, crews repaired part of the stone arch, reconstructed damaged stone masonry walls, rebuilt sidewalks and replaced the bridge barrier with a new crashworthy bridge barrier. Built in 1697 and reconstructed in 1893, the U.S. 13 (Frankford Avenue) bridge is a three-span stone masonry and concrete closed spandrel arch structure. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the bridge is 73 feet long, 50 feet wide and carries about 14,745 vehicles a day, including SEPTA’s Route 66 trolley. Read more

 

Neilson to host shredding and e-recycling event on April 28

(Apr 18, 2018)

PHILADELPHIA, April 18 – State Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., will host a free community shredding and e-recycling event from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, April 28 at St. Jerome’s Parish, 3031 Stamford St., 19136. Unwanted items that should be shredded include credit card statements, credit card applications, bank statements, canceled checks, income tax information, insurance records and retirement or pension fund information. Documents will be shredded on site, and all material collected will be recycled. There is a limit of three bags or boxes per person. Residents are also encouraged to bring old televisions, computer monitors or other electronic equipment to be disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner. More information can be obtained calling Neilson’s office at 215-330-3714. Read more

 

Winter 2018 Newsletter

(Feb 20, 2018)

Winter 2018 newsletter Read more

 

Neilson rejects bill that would eliminate workers’ rights

(Dec 13, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 13 – State Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., voted against legislation that targets workers’ voluntary contributions to the unions that represent them. Senate Bill 166, also known as the paycheck protection bill, was intended to limit unions’ political donations by prohibiting state, county and local governments from using their payroll systems to let workers voluntarily ask their employers to deduct money for their respective union’s political action committees. The House defeated the bill, 102-90. Neilson said the legislation would have taken back achievements and rights acquired after decades of efforts and advocacy through contract negotiations and the collective bargaining process. “This was an attack on our union worker rights and an attempt to silence their voice in the political process,” Neilson said. “Senate Bill 166 would have put in danger workplace democracy and it would have translated into the weakening of the rights of public sector employees. Workers would not have been able to have a voice for themselves to fight against efforts to privatize or eliminate their jobs. We could have potentially lost thousands of jobs.” He also indicated that states subjected to paycheck protection and similar policies experience higher rates of poverty, greater risk of worker injury and fewer benefits. “We cannot allow such policies to take root in our commonwealth. Our legislature needs to shift its Read more

 

Neilson Fighting for a New Way for Pa.

(Dec 06, 2017)

Pa. state Rep. Ed Neilson is fighting for a new way forward that focuses on good jobs, good schools and a system that finally puts working people first. The Plan for PA is about building a better future with job training, fair taxes that take the burden off workers and higher pay and benefits. Read more

 

Philadelphians inducted into Pa. Voter Hall of Fame

(Nov 21, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 21 – State Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., announced today that four residents of the 174th Legislative District were inducted into the Pennsylvania Voter Hall of Fame. The Pennsylvania Voter Hall of Fame recognizes constituents for voting in 50 consecutive general elections. The inductees are Barry Lebowitz, Sol Stark, Dennis Stadler and Marlene Nimmo. Finding eligible Philadelphians was a concerted effort between City Commissioner Lisa Deeley and Neilson. “Voting in 50 consecutive general elections is no small feat,” Neilson said. “In fact, this is the kind of engagement we need. Every time we vote we make history, we make a difference. That’s why it is so important. If you care about your kids’ education, if you care about health or public safety, you must follow the example of these four committed citizens and make sure that your voice is heard.” Deeley said, “The democratic process is the cornerstone of our great nation, which is why it was my great privilege to be involved with this induction of four Philadelphia citizens into the Pennsylvania Voter Hall of Fame. These four voters have enthusiastically lived up to their civic duty and serve as an example for others to get more involved in the electoral process.” Only 53 citizens from Philadelphia County have been inducted in the commonwealth’s Voter Hall of Fame out of a total of 23,592 inductees. In addition to the four people from Read more

 

Neilson to distribute produce vouchers to low-income seniors

(Aug 29, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 29 – State Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., announced he will be providing free produce vouchers for eligible low-income seniors in his Legislative District. The vouchers will be distributed from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 12 in Neilson’s district office at 16 Old Ashton Road, 19152. Neilson said the vouchers are through Pennsylvania’s Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, which provides low-income seniors with fresh, locally grown fruits, vegetables and herbs from approved farmers in the commonwealth. “This program is especially important for seniors because as we age, it is vital to be health and nutrition conscious,” Neilson said. “These vouchers will allow seniors who may not normally be able to afford fresh produce the opportunity to benefit from the nutrition that fresh fruits and vegetables provide while also supporting local farmers.” Neilson added in order to be eligible for the vouchers, seniors must be 60 or older by Dec. 31 of the program year with a household income of less than $22,211 for singles and less than $30,044 for married couples. Residents interested in obtaining the produce vouchers must bring identification. While an appointment is not needed, residents can save time on the day of the event by calling Neilson’s office at (215) 330-3714 to schedule a time to go and pick up the vouchers. Read more

 

Neilson receives award for his advocacy on Real ID enforcement in Pa. (with video)

(Jun 21, 2017)

HARRISBURG, June 21 – State Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., today was awarded for his efforts on moving Pennsylvania towards enforcement of the federal Real ID Act requirements. The award comes as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, or DHS, this week granted Pennsylvania a Real ID enforcement extension through Oct. 10, 2017, which means Pennsylvanians will not face access issues when entering federal facilities through that date. Neilson said PennDOT estimates Real ID-compliant driver's licenses and identification cards will be available at the customer’s option in 2019. This will allow ample time for people who want a Real ID product to obtain one before the final DHS effective date of Oct. 1, 2020. “The General Assembly made real strides in May to get Pennsylvania in compliance with the federal law and as a result, the Department of Homeland Security granted us with yet another extension to work towards that compliance,” Neilson said. “I am proud to receive the Recognition Award for Homeland Security Leadership and Public Engagement and to have been part of the movement to assure Pennsylvanians would not need to get passports to board a plane or to have access to federal facilities.” Neilson said he had been working since the 2015-2016 session to get legislation passed that would repeal the 2012 state law and require the Department of Transportation and other state agencies to comply with the 2005 Real ID Act. Read more

 

Neilson: House votes to put Pa. on track to federal Real ID law compliance

(May 24, 2017)

HARRISBURG, May 24 – State Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., said the House today approved compromise legislation that moves Pennsylvania toward compliance with federal Real ID regulations. Neilson said today’s passage of S.B. 133 was the first of many steps that need to be taken to secure Pennsylvanians’ identity documents and before the state can issue the Real ID-compliant IDs. “It is important to remember that the federal Real ID law was passed by Congress after the 9/11 terrorist attacks to ensure that every state was issuing IDs that were secure from counterfeit and fraud,” Neilson said. “In the past 16 years, we have done a lot to make this country a safer place, but we have done very little to secure our identity documents. This is the first step to ensuring all identity documents issued by Pennsylvania are safe, but only the first step of many.” Senate Bill 133 repeals the 2012 state law and requires the Department of Transportation and other agencies to comply with the 2005 Real ID Act. PennDOT will be required to provide eligible applicants the option of receiving a standard driver license or photo identification card, or one that is Real ID compliant. More details about PennDOT's implementation of the program will be available in the future. “Before anyone pats themselves on the back for beating the June 6 deadline, we need to realize that there is no guarantee the Department of Homeland Security will grant Read more

 

Neilson disappointed in vote on Real ID bill

(May 22, 2017)

HARRISBURG, May 22 – State Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., said today he is disappointed in the 140-54 vote in the House of Representatives on a bill originally meant to put Pennsylvania in compliance with the Real ID Act by the June 6 deadline that was granted by the Department of Homeland Security. Senate Bill 133 was amended earlier this month by the House State Government Committee and would create a two-tiered system, which would issue residents a standard-use driver’s license/photo ID card unless they request a Real ID-compliant card and pay the additional, and yet undetermined, fee. The legislation as written would also force those seeking a Real ID-compliant card to cover the cost of the enhanced security efforts. Neilson said the bill does nothing to move Pennsylvania into full compliance. “This bill in its current form creates even more potential hurdles in meeting the June 6 deadline,” Neilson said. “Governor Wolf and his administration had indicated that this bill will not do enough to ensure Pennsylvania is up to par with federal law and I fully agree with him. It’s unfortunate that the bill did not come to the House as it was written.” Neilson said he has been a strong advocate for repealing the Real ID Act. He sponsored legislation last session and H.B. 150 this session that would put Pennsylvania in compliance with the federal law. “Repercussions from the noncompliance legislation would potentially Read more

 

Harrisburg must resolve REAL ID mess

(May 09, 2017)

Pennsylvania is currently facing down a deadline, one that should never have been an issue in the first place, with consequences that could potentially impact thousands of residents in this commonwealth. Read more

 

Neilson invites constituents to his senior expo

(Apr 13, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, April 13 – State Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., today reminded his constituents that they’re invited to his senior expo from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, April 28 at Cannstatters, 9130 Academy Road. Neilson said there will be free health screenings, giveaways, music, light refreshments and ways to discover valuable resources they can use. “This event is a great opportunity for seniors in the community to come out and learn more about state programs that are available to help them lead happier, healthier lives,” Neilson said. “We’ll be hosting multiple local and state agencies, and my staff and I will be on hand to answer any questions that may arise.” Neilson said constituents with any questions should contact one of his district offices at (215) 330-3714. Read more

 

Senior Expo April 28

(Mar 28, 2017)

Read more

 

Neilson, House members advocate for ‘My Work, My Choice’

(Mar 13, 2017)

HARRISBURG, March 13 – A bipartisan group of legislators from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives today rallied to prevent individuals with disabilities from being forced to sit in the community and leave day programs and sheltered workshops where they are comfortable. Following the rally, the House Human Services Committee conducted a hearing on the topic to gather more information. The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) proposed changing how it administers its home- and community-based waivers. To be eligible, individuals with disabilities would be forced to spend time in the community away from sheltered workshops and day programs where they currently go. The initial proposal would have required individuals to spend 75 percent of their time in the community, rather than being segregated at day programs or sheltered workshops. This requirement left many day programs and sheltered workshops wondering how they would continue to operate if individuals can only participate essentially one day out of five. While an alternate proposal to have individuals spend 25 percent of their time in the community has been advanced, some unanswered questions remain. “All Americans deserve the right to work and should have the liberty to keep a job they love,” said Rep. Eric Nelson (R-Westmoreland). “We need more people working, not less. Clelian Heights and the Blind Association in my legislative district meet the needs of individuals with Read more