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House Democrats stand with union workers for manufacturing jobs

(1 hour ago)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 21 − House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody said members today welcomed United Auto Workers Local 677, currently striking for job security, benefits and wages at Mack Trucks manufacturing plants, to speak about the ongoing battle to rebuild the middle class. “We couldn’t be prouder to stand in solidarity with these hard-working Pennsylvanians as they fight to make sure the economy helps everyone, not just the corporate executives down in North Carolina,” Dermody said. “You can’t sustain the middle class without these workers on the job, and we’re ready to do what we can to support them.” Dermody said the workers were invited by Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, home of the United Auto Workers Local 677, whose members work at Mack Trucks facilities throughout Pennsylvania. “There’s nothing more American than a Mack truck, unless you’re talking about a union job that pays a wage you can raise a family on, offers benefits to support that family, and makes sure every worker has a chance to retire and let a new worker join the team,” Schweyer said. “These men and women want to get back to work, the local managers want these hard-working professionals back on the lines, and the greater Allentown area needs these people shopping and supporting local businesses. I have their backs 100 percent.” “It’s been nearly 40 years since a Read more

 

Driscoll bill to assist families of fallen first responders passes House

(1 hour ago)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 21 – State Rep. Mike Driscoll, D-Phila., applauded today’s House passage of his realty transfer tax legislation that would assist the family members of police, fire and other first responders who've died in the line of duty. "Thankfully, the number of families who lose a loved one as a first responder and therefore are eligible for the Emergency and Law Enforcement Personnel Death Act benefits is relatively low," Driscoll said. "But relief from this tax burden for their beneficiaries will continue to show our appreciation for the dedication and sacrifice of Pennsylvania's first responders and their families." House Bill 269 would exclude a surviving spouse or minor children of a first responder who receive benefits under the Emergency and Law Enforcement Personnel Death Benefit Act from paying the realty transfer tax, if their family home is sold within five years of the first responder's death. "First responders have made a tremendous commitment to our communities and are ready and willing to put their lives on the line every day," Driscoll said. "Offering their family this bit of relief is the least we can do to help repay that sacrifice." Driscoll’s legislation now awaits consideration in the Senate. Read more

 

Daley, Policy Committee discuss Waters of Pennsylvania

(2 hours ago)

“With over 85,000 miles of rivers and streams and 99,000 acres of lakes, our state features some of the nation’s most beautiful and bountiful waterways. With that abundance, though, comes crucial challenges that we must face together in order to keep our waters clean and pollutant-free.” Read more

 

Sappey, Policy Committee examine stormwater management and infrastructure

(Oct 16, 2019)

State Rep. Christina Sappey, D-Chester, hosted a House Policy Committee hearing at the East Bradford Township Building on severe weather’s impact on infrastructure and stormwater management. Read more

 

Daley to co-chair Policy Committee hearing about the Waters of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg on Monday

(Oct 15, 2019)

Daley requested the hearing to discuss issues facing rivers, dams, the fishing and outdoor recreation industry and agriculture all related to the waters of Pennsylvania. Read more

 

House Democratic Leader Applauds Governor’s Action on Climate Crisis

(Oct 04, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 4 − House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody applauded Gov. Tom Wolf’s Executive Order directing Pennsylvania to begin the process to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. RGGI is a market-based collaboration among nine Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change while generating economic growth. “The governor is demonstrating the leadership Pennsylvanians are looking for from their elected officials to address the climate crisis,” Dermody said. “ A long-range plan to reduce carbon emissions will also significantly reduce other toxic air pollutants that cause asthma and disproportionately impact the health of children the elderly and the poor. The House Democratic Caucus will continue to work with Governor Wolf to ensure our air is clean and electricity prices remain affordable.” Read more

 

Delloso, Policy Committee examine jobs, labor market

(Oct 03, 2019)

State Rep. David Delloso, D-Delaware, hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing at IAM AW Local Lodge 1776 on jobs and the labor market. Delloso requested the hearing to discuss ways Pennsylvania can improve the job market. Read more

 

Delloso to host Policy Committee hearing on Jobs and Labor Market Thursday in Essington

(Sep 30, 2019)

State Rep. David Delloso, D-Delaware, will host a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing on Jobs and the Labor Market Thursday, Oct. 3 in Essington. Read more

 

Bill to establish volunteer no firearm purchase list passes House Judiciary Committee

(Sep 24, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 24 – State Rep. Maria Donatucci today said her bill that would help address people with mental health issues and firearms has been voted out of the House Judiciary Committee. House Bill 165 would establish a voluntary "no firearm purchase list" that the Pennsylvania State Police would maintain. A person could request to be placed on the list for at least one year and up to five years. State police also would inform a person 20 days before his or her time ends on the list and provide a way for reenlistment should that person desire. “This bill is similar to legislation that created the existing voluntary gambling self-exclusion list. It would help people who are struggling with mental or physical health issues and who fear they may be a danger to themselves or others,” Donatucci said. “House Bill 165 would also give health care providers, family and friends the opportunity to suggest that a person who is dealing with mental health issues to voluntarily surrender their firearms. If my legislation could save at least one life, then it is truly worth it.” House Bill 165 now goes to the full House for a vote. Donatucci is a member of the PA SAFE Caucus , which is made up of 70 members of the PA House and Senate who believe in reducing all types of violence in society through adequate funding for mental health services; stronger tools for law enforcement; Read more

 

Legislators fight to bring back General Assistance Fund

(Sep 24, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 24 – Joining advocates, former recipients of General Assistance and state senators, state Reps. Malcolm Kenyatta, Melissa Shusterman and Elizabeth Fiedler repeated the call for the General Assembly to restart the program that many vulnerable residents depended on in the commonwealth. “Ending General Assistance was one of the cruelest legislative decisions that has been made in this body since I became a member. There is no logical excuse or argument for denying support for the most vulnerable communities when they needed it most. It was like kicking them while they’re down,” Kenyatta, D-Phila., said. “That is why I’ve introduced House Bill 1709 to bring this vital resource back. I’m urging my colleagues across the aisle to understand the severity of the harm this has caused for Pennsylvania families and fix it now.” Kenyatta is the main sponsor of H.B. 1709, which would provide emergency relief to those Pennsylvanians who previously received support through the General Assistance Fund. The program provided $200 a month in cash assistance to those who were unable to work, those caring for loved ones who were sick or disabled, veterans, victims of domestic violence and those receiving treatment for substance abuse, among others. In June, the General Assembly voted to end the program, despite the pleas from many, including Kenyatta and Shusterman, Read more

 

House votes to mandate ethics requirements for Act 47 coordinators

(Sep 23, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 23 – The state House of Representatives today passed legislation that would require compliance with ethics statutes for Act 47 coordinators appointed to assist financially distressed municipalities, according to the bill’s sponsor Rep. Robert Freeman. Read more

 

House OKs Mullery bill to increase penalty for body-gripping traps

(Sep 19, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 19 – The penalty for illegally setting body-gripping traps would be increased under legislation that passed the House of Representatives unanimously today, according to the bill’s author, state Rep. Gerald Mullery. Read more

 

Bizzarro bill to improve charitable fundraising heads for House vote

(Sep 19, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 19 – Legislation that would help non-profit organizations host more successful fundraising events for charity is heading to the House chamber for a vote after being added to another bill approved by the House Liquor Committee today, state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, announced. Bizzarro’s H.B. 1406 would address a major obstacle affecting nonprofit organizations hosting charitable fundraising events: A provision of the state Liquor Code governing special occasion permits prohibits the companies these non-profits hire to plan and organize the events from managing the funds. As a result, the fundraisers are not as efficient or successful as possible. Bizzarro said his legislation would change all that. “Non-profit organizations such as churches and community groups often turn to event planning and organizing companies because of their expertise when it comes to fundraising events,” Bizzarro said. “Unfortunately, the law prevents these organizers from managing the funds, which greatly affects the success and efficiency of these events. My legislation would remove that obstacle by permitting event organizers and planners to collect and manage the funds as long as the non-profit organization is the primary host of the event and the funds are being raised for a charitable purpose. “I’m delighted that this legislation is advancing to the House. Successful fundraising events are Read more

 

Ciresi, Policy Committee focus on economic impact of the arts

(Sep 12, 2019)

POTTSTOWN, Sept. 12 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing on the economic impact of the arts at the Steel River Playhouse. Ciresi requested the hearing on the arts to learn how to ensure that arts organizations are financially stable, promote attendance and participation in arts programs, and determine what overall work can be done to broaden support for the arts. Ciresi was joined by legislators from across the state. “Today’s hearing was a great example of how we can work together to learn from one another in order to create policy decisions that benefit all Pennsylvanians,” Ciresi said. “With the information we have shared with each other today, we will be able to grow our arts programs and move towards an age of ingenuity, creativity and excitement. The arts lead to higher civic engagement, child welfare, and lower crime and poverty rates. They bring about social awareness and a better understanding of our cultures and the world around us. By introducing our children to the arts, and continuing to stay creative in our older age, we create lasting memories and the foundations for skills that can last a lifetime. In addition, the arts provide for three percent of the nation’s GDP alone, an $800 billion industry. When you consider traveling expenses and local merchants that benefit from strong art programs, the numbers begin to add up quickly economically too.” Read more

 

Rep. Zabel, Policy Committee discuss rising cost of prescription drugs

(Sep 11, 2019)

“We must get to the point where people who need medicine are able to purchase that medicine without the fear of going broke. The gouging of prices for life-saving drugs needs to be curbed, which is why I’m introducing legislation to cap insulin prices.” Read more

 

Legislators vow to fight Pa. Commission on Sentencing's risk-assessment tool

(Sep 06, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 6 – Following their votes today to reject the new risk-assessment tool by the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing, state Rep. Joanna McClinton and Sen. Sharif Street said they vow to push for their legislation that would repeal the commission’s mandate to create a such a tool. “I voted to reject the risk-assessment tool because I have serious concerns that it is not the best way to reduce recidivism and keep people safe in my community and across the Commonwealth. I strongly believe that the mandate requiring the commission to create a new risk-assessment tool needs to be repealed and I will continue to work closely with Senator Street and my colleagues to pass legislation that would abolish that mandate,” McClinton said. Under this risk-assessment tool passed Thursday, when a person scores high- or low-risk based on the risk-assessment instrument, they would be flagged for further assessment of their risk of recidivism and need for treatment or support. The plan permits county probation departments to put these people through whatever assessment they use. Street said, “For almost a decade, the sentencing commission has worked – under a legislative mandate – to create a risk-assessment tool with the goal of reducing costs and decreasing the prison population. Senator Greenleaf, author of the original legislation, has denounced this version of the risk-assessment tool as having the adverse effect of its Read more

 

Fiedler, Policy Committee examine school building toxic conditions and emergency funding

(Sep 04, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 4 – State Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler, D-Phila., today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing on toxic conditions in school buildings and emergency funding at the Horace Furness High School. Fiedler requested the hearing to discuss what more the state can do to improve conditions in Philadelphia schools for students and staff. The hearing ended with a tour of the high school to see the conditions firsthand. Legislators from across the state joined Fiedler, including Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. “Nearly half of the school buildings in Philadelphia are decades old with antiquated systems, including heating, cooling, lighting and electrical. These basic comforts are in dire need of replacement. In addition, these buildings have mold and other hazards that are creating serious health problems for our children,” Fiedler said. “We need to come up with policies that will ensure our schools receive adequate funding, so our children receive a quality education in hazard-free and safe environments.” Sturla added, “The children in Philadelphia and throughout the commonwealth should not have to learn in unhealthy and outdated conditions. The House Democratic Caucus seeks to provide all students with a high-quality education, so they are prepared to either go on to an institution of higher education or to join the workforce. I thank Representative Fiedler for her leadership in spotlighting Read more

 

Bullock first ever Pa. legislator to attend energy academy in Colorado

(Aug 21, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 21 – State Rep. Donna Bullock today said she is the first and only legislator to represent Pennsylvania during this week’s Clean Energy Legislative Academy in Breckenridge, Colo. The four-day conference brings together a bipartisan group of state legislators and their staff from across the country to learn about emerging energy issues and resources they will need to develop effective clean energy policy in their states. “I’m honored to represent Pennsylvania at this important and informative conference. I plan on learning as much as I can from the seminars and panels and legislators from other states,” Bullock said. “Pennsylvania needs laws that will help fight climate change and convert to renewable energy. I want to bring my experiences from this conference back home to not only share with my colleagues, but to craft legislation that would provide better, efficient energy policies for now and our future.” The Clean Energy Legislative Academy will hit on such topics as climate and air quality, securing our energy future, financial markets response to climate risk, and getting to 100% innovation in clean energy technology. Read more

 

Merski, Policy Committee investigate ways to grow technology workforce

(Aug 19, 2019)

ERIE, Aug. 19 – State Rep. Bob Merski, D-Erie, held a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing today at Mercyhurst University to discuss ways Pennsylvania can bolster its technology workforce. “It’s clear that the tech industry is only continuing to grow, fueled by businesses’ demand for state-of-the-art information technology and cybersecurity services,” Merski said. “Cities like Erie are quickly becoming home to startup tech companies that bring jobs and help stimulate the economy.” Joining Merski were legislators from across the state, including Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. Sturla added: “Companies need highly skilled workers to compete, and bridging the skills gap is especially challenging in the tech field, which is constantly evolving.Today’s hearing on how we can bolster our tech workforce to keep pace with demand was a great first step.” Testifiers included Dr. Leanne Roberts, provost and vice president for academic affairs, Mercyhurst University; Steven Mauro, vice president of academic administration, Gannon University; and Karl Sanchak, president and CEO, Erie Innovation District. The hearing was one in a series being held across the state on House Democrats’ Plan4PA, focused on putting people first by growing good jobs, providing health care access, creating quality schools and providing training for jobs in a fair economy. More information about the plan is Read more

 

Burns on the forefront of strong anti-bullying efforts

(Aug 19, 2019)

CRESSON, Aug. 19 – Building on his ground-breaking anti-bullying efforts from last year, state Rep. Frank Burns announced a two-pronged approach to curb bullying in schools during a news conference today at Penn Cambria High School. Burns, D-Cambria, laid out an aggressive package of legislation coupled with a pilot program that puts part of his anti-bullying plan into action in the real world. “With thousands of students in Cambria County heading back to school, I knew this was the time to redouble my efforts to address bullying,” Burns said. “Being taunted, tortured and terrorized by other students is far more prevalent than most people think. We cannot let another school year go by without addressing this epidemic.” Burns said he is reintroducing a bold proposal first put forth last year that would penalize the parents of habitual bullies with a fine of up to $750 and/or community service if the parents fail to do their part to stop their child’s destructive behavior. The measure garnered worldwide attention for its unusual approach: holding parents accountable for repeated acts of bullying. Additionally, Burns plans to introduce the Pennsylvania Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights, modeled after a similar law in New Jersey. Burns’ bill lays out the rights of students, parents and schools as they relate to bullying and builds on the Safe2Say anonymous violence and bullying reporting program that was implemented in schools Read more

 

House Democrats stand with union workers for manufacturing jobs
1 hour ago

Driscoll bill to assist families of fallen first responders passes House
1 hour ago

Daley, Policy Committee discuss Waters of Pennsylvania
2 hours ago

Sappey, Policy Committee examine stormwater management and infrastructure
Oct 16, 2019

Daley to co-chair Policy Committee hearing about the Waters of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg on Monday
Oct 15, 2019

House Democratic Leader Applauds Governor’s Action on Climate Crisis
Oct 04, 2019

Delloso, Policy Committee examine jobs, labor market
Oct 03, 2019

Delloso to host Policy Committee hearing on Jobs and Labor Market Thursday in Essington
Sep 30, 2019

Bill to establish volunteer no firearm purchase list passes House Judiciary Committee
Sep 24, 2019

Legislators fight to bring back General Assistance Fund
Sep 24, 2019

House votes to mandate ethics requirements for Act 47 coordinators
Sep 23, 2019

House OKs Mullery bill to increase penalty for body-gripping traps
Sep 19, 2019

Bizzarro bill to improve charitable fundraising heads for House vote
Sep 19, 2019

Ciresi, Policy Committee focus on economic impact of the arts
Sep 12, 2019

Rep. Zabel, Policy Committee discuss rising cost of prescription drugs
Sep 11, 2019

Legislators vow to fight Pa. Commission on Sentencing's risk-assessment tool
Sep 06, 2019

Fiedler, Policy Committee examine school building toxic conditions and emergency funding
Sep 04, 2019

Bullock first ever Pa. legislator to attend energy academy in Colorado
Aug 21, 2019

Merski, Policy Committee investigate ways to grow technology workforce
Aug 19, 2019

Burns on the forefront of strong anti-bullying efforts
Aug 19, 2019