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Pennsylvania faces tight window to comply with federal ID law

(Jan 23, 2017)

HARRISBURG, PA -- Stoked by privacy concerns and anger over what states rights legislators called federal overreach, Pennsylvania lawmakers five years ago overwhelmingly passed a law opting out of the federal Real ID Act. Now they have 136 days to undo it. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday gave Pennsylvania until June 6 to comply. Read more


Neilson resolution to remember Holocaust victims

(Jan 20, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 20 – State Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., announced he has introduced a resolution to remember the lives lost under Germany’s Nazi regime. House Resolution 32 recognizes Jan. 27, 2017 as “International Holocaust Remembrance Day” in Pennsylvania. Neilson said this day is recognized each year in the U.S. to honor Holocaust victims and educate people about the history of the Holocaust to help prevent future acts of genocide. Read more


Neilson: Seeking a REAL ID extension is a good start, legislative fix still needed

(Jan 19, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 18 – State Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., today applauded Gov. Tom Wolf and legislative leaders in the House and Senate for seeking an extension to give the state time to comply with the federal REAL ID requirements, while reminding them that a legislative fix is needed to address the federal government’s concerns. In a letter sent last week, addressed to the Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Charles Johnson, Wolf and legislative leaders in both chambers requested an extension to give the commonwealth time to resolve compliance issues. “Repercussions from our state’s noncompliance with these security standards will soon be interfering with the lives of Pennsylvanians and it will only get worse,” Neilson said. “We need to fix this and we need to fix this now. The only way to do that is by repealing the noncompliance legislation the General Assembly passed in 2012.” Read more


Neilson sworn in to serve the 174th Legislative District

(Jan 03, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 3 – State Rep. Ed Neilson was sworn into office today to represent Northeast Philadelphia’s 174th Legislative District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. “As a new session begins, I am ready to serve the people of Northeast Philadelphia,” Neilson said. “It is an honor to serve as their advocate in the House.” Neilson’s resume is familiar to most throughout the city and state. He previously served as an at-large member of Philadelphia City Council and in the executive offices of former Gov. Ed Rendell, as well as being a long-time member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Neilson also is a family man with his wife Doris and five sons. Read more


Neilson explains impending REAL ID deadline

(Dec 30, 2016)

Boarding a plane is going to get a lot more complicated for Pennsylvania residents come January 22, 2018. NBC10's Lauren Mayk has more details about the Real ID program and what you should do before the deadline. Read more


PA Power Switch: Ask the right questions

(Dec 30, 2016)

In Pennsylvania, you can choose the company that generates your electricity – also known as your electric supplier. This means that you have the power to switch to a competing supplier who can offer the lowest price, or provide a specific service you want, such as “green” or renewable energy. Read more


Neilson announces 2017 House Scholarship Program

(Dec 28, 2016)

State Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., announced the application process is now open for students to apply for the Pennsylvania House Scholarship Program. Neilson said the program is open to graduating high school seniors who are Pennsylvania residents with plans to attend a Pennsylvania college, university or career school as a full-time student. Students must have attained a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade-point average in high school to be eligible. Other factors taken into consideration are a student’s commitment to community, leadership qualities, extracurricular activities and financial need. Read more


Pa. needs a real solution to its REAL ID woes

(Dec 14, 2016)

Imagine walking into a federal building, like the federal courthouse in Center City, and being told that your Pennsylvania driver's license is not a valid form of identification to gain entry. Imagine trying to board a domestic flight, not just in Pennsylvania but at any airport in America, and being turned away at security because a Transportation Department-issued identification card is no longer sufficient proof of identity. Read more


Neilson office is Toys for Tots drop-off point

(Nov 10, 2016)

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 10 – State Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., today announced his constituent service office is a drop-off location for this year’s U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots campaign. Residents may drop off new or unopened toys until Dec. 16 at Neilson’s constituent service office at 16 Old Ashton Road. The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots campaign collects toy donations each year to be distributed to needy children, meant as a message of hope to the less fortunate and help in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens. More information can be found online at www.toysfortots.org. Neilson’s office also will be collecting new or gently used winter coats and other winter accessories for local children and families in need until Nov. 21. More information is available by calling Neilson’s office at 215-330-3714. Read more


Neilson announces school safety grant for Politz Hebrew Academy

(Nov 03, 2016)

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 3 – State Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., announced today that safety at Politz Hebrew Academy will be enhanced thanks to a $40,000 state grant. Politz Hebrew Academy, located in the Bustleton neighborhood, will receive $40,000 from the state's Safe Schools Initiative Targeted Grant Program. The grant will assist the school in paying for salary and other compensation for a school resource or police officer's position for the school year. Up to $2,000 of the grant may be used for approved safety training. "It is crucial that students feel safe in school. A secure environment is needed for education to truly happen," Neilson said. "These funds will help us further our goal of providing a quality education to every child in the community." Neilson said the grants will be formally announced Friday by state Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera. Safe School Initiative grants are competitive grants awarded by the state Education Department to help school districts prevent and reduce school violence through school resource and police officers, prevention programs and security-related technology. Read more


Neilson applauds passage of payroll debit card legislation

(Oct 26, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 26 – State Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., today applauded the final passage of legislation that would allow employers to pay wages through debit cards while also providing protections to limit fees on employees accessing those wages. Senate Bill 1265, which is similar to legislation Neilson introduced in the 2013-14 legislative session, would allow employers to pay wages through check, electronic fund transfer or payroll cards. "This legislation will help Pennsylvanians who are unable to open or maintain a bank account to still have convenient access to the wages they earn," Neilson said. "While a traditional bank account still has its advantages, these debit cards will allow employees to avoid the high cost and other fees associated with check cashing and money orders." This legislation, which now heads to Gov. Tom Wolf for his expected signature, would establish requirements and parameters for employers to use payroll debit cards in the payment of employee wages and penalties for those employers found to be in violation of the law. Read more


Neilson raises awareness about dyslexia, effective interventions

(Oct 19, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 19 – State Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., today held a news conference to highlight October as “Dyslexia Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania and to urge his colleagues in the General Assembly to consider legislation to help students born with the learning condition, in the next legislative session. Neilson spoke at the news conference, which he cohosted with the Pennsylvania Dyslexia Literacy Coalition, about his family’s experiences with dyslexia. “Often children like my son, who was eventually diagnosed with dyslexia, are afraid to speak up and tell their teachers or even their parents that they are having trouble reading,” Neilson said. “It is our job as legislators to raise awareness not only of the learning condition, but also the importance of early detection and interventions we know to be effective.” Neilson also gave an informal update of the Dyslexia and Early Literacy Intervention Pilot Program, which was created as a result of legislation he introduced in 2013. “While the pilot program is still in its early stages, initial indicators suggest there is plenty of reason to be optimistic,” Neilson said. “Once we have the official report from the program and we can establish the benefits of early detection and intervention, it is my hope that we will be able to roll it out statewide. In the meantime, I will be working with my colleagues in the House and Senate to prepare additional bills for the next legislative session to help promote literacy throu Read more


Neilson Fights For Dyslexia Awareness

(Oct 19, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Ed Neilson hosted a news conference today to highlight his efforts to raise awareness of dyslexia throughout the state and to highlight October as Dyslexia Awareness Month. Read more


Neilson: BLOCS donation will help students throughout Philadelphia region access quality education

(Sep 27, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 27 – State Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., today said he was pleased to learn that the Business Leadership Organized for Catholic Schools, an Educational Improvement Organization, received a donation that will enable it to help provide students throughout Philadelphia access to a quality education. UnitedHealthcare presented representatives from BLOCS today with a ceremonial check for $600,000 during a student assembly at Our Lady of Calvary Catholic School. The funds will be used to further BLOCS’ mission of providing financial assistance to families in need, bolstering school infrastructure and expanding education opportunities for families in the Philadelphia area. “Every child deserves a high-quality education, and the donation from UnitedHealthcare will help make that a reality for children across the Philadelphia region,” Neilson said. “These funds will make a quality education, like the one offered by Our Lady of Calvary school, obtainable for families that would otherwise have little choice in their child’s schooling.” Our Lady of Calvary School is one of over 150 Catholic schools to benefit from partial student tuition scholarship funding from BLOCS. At today’s assembly, representatives from UnitedHealthcare and BLOCS joined with school and city officials for a Health Bee competition. The Jeopardy-styled competition pitted two teams composed of Our Lady of Calvary students against each other as they answered questions about health, fitness and nut Read more


Neilson and Dawkins fight to give poll workers a raise for Election Day

(Sep 21, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 21 – State Reps. Ed Neilson and Jason Dawkins, both D-Phila., urged their colleagues in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to amend legislation under consideration today to raise the minimum pay for poll workers on Election Day. Neilson’s amendment would have increased the minimum compensation for individuals serving as judges or inspectors of election from $75 to $150. Clerks and machine operators would have seen their minimum compensation raise from $70 to $140. “The hard-working men and women who serve our communities on Election Day are a vital component in preserving our democracy,” Neilson said. “Without them, the integrity and efficacy of our elections would be nonexistent.” Dawkins’ amendment would have set a fixed rate of pay for judges of election, inspectors of election, clerks and machine operators at a minimum of $10.10 per hour. "Poll workers have not seen a pay increase in 10 years, while legislators in Harrisburg get one every year," Dawkins said. "This is unfair, and the time has come to provide fair pay to the people who serve our communities and make sure our elections run effectively and efficiently." Philadelphia City Commissioner Lisa Deeley said she was disheartened to see efforts to ensure fair wages for hard-working poll workers throughout the state defeated. “One must consider the rationale of the legislators who voted no. Would they work a 14-hour day and earn $6.78 per hour as an inspector of election, or $7.14 Read more


ROOSEVELT BLVD.: Can Speed Cameras Tame America’s Most Dangerous Highway?

(Sep 19, 2016)

Pedestrians are a major problem on the boulevard because it cuts through busy neighborhoods, forcing people to walk across it. State Rep. Ed Neilson (D-Northeast) noted his own district has two schools right on the highway. Read more


Summer 2016 Newsletter

(Aug 11, 2016)

Over the summer, I supported the passage of a state budget plan that funds education at record levels, without a broad based tax increase. I will be the first to admit that this budget is far from perfect, but it is a solid step in the right direction especially for our schools and students. Read more


Neilson: Don't Reward Nuisance Bars

(Jun 24, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Ed Neilson speaks on the house floor, questioning the merits of a proposal to legalize Video Gaming Terminals in Pennsylvania. Read more


Neilson: VGTs would harm Philadelphia and surrounding communities

(Jun 22, 2016)

HARRISBURG, June 22 – State Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., today said he voted against an amendment that would have resulted in an explosion of gambling across the commonwealth because it would harm Philadelphia and further embolden nuisance bars throughout the city. “I don’t have a problem with gaming,” said Neilson, who is the only Philadelphia member to sit on the House Gaming Oversight Committee. “I do take issue with any legislation that would allow 75,000 video gaming terminals to pop up across the state basically overnight.” House Bill 2150 was originally introduced to regulate the fantasy sports industry in Pennsylvania and protect consumers using their services. However, an amendment, which Neilson opposed, was offered in the House that would have allowed the use of video gaming terminals at liquor establishments and truck stops. That amendment was unsuccessful. “If the VGT legislation had been amended into this bill and it became law, obviously revenues from the casinos and the lottery would have been affected, which would have directly impacted the amount of funds available for property tax relief and senior programs like PACE. Even a 10 percent loss in casino revenues, which I think is a modest estimate, would have led to serious funding issues and the inevitable loss of casino jobs,” Neilson said. “We have seen that trend in every state that has allowed these machines to take root in their communities. But my largest concern has been and continues to be about t Read more


Neilson announces Property Tax/Rent Rebate deadline extension

(Jun 06, 2016)

PHILADELPHIA, June 6 – State Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., announced today that the application deadline for the popular Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program has been extended to the end of the year. "This extension allows everyone who is eligible the opportunity to apply for the rebate program," Neilson said. "I encourage residents to stop by my district office to find out if they qualify and for assistance with applying to take advantage of this rebate on 2015 property taxes or rent." The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program is available to eligible Pennsylvanians 65 or older; widows and widowers 50 or older; and people with disabilities 18 or older. Homeowners are limited to a $35,000 maximum annual income, while renters' income may be no more than $15,000, although applicants may exclude half of their Social Security income. The maximum standard rebate is $650. The program is supported by the Pennsylvania Lottery and from slots gaming revenue. Applications are available online through the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue at www.revenue.state.pa.us, or by calling 1-888-222-9190. Rebates will be distributed starting July 1. Since the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program’s 1971 inception, older and disabled adults have received more than $5.9 billion in property tax and rent relief. Neilson said constituents can get help filling out the application by visiting his district office, located at 16 Old Ashton Road. While at the office, eligible residents can also apply for a SEPTA Read more