Philadelphia House Delegation commends appointment of Pedro Rosario, first ever Latino deputy police commissioner in the city

(Jan 12, 2024)

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 12 – Members of the Philadelphia House Delegation today expressed their satisfaction for the appointment of Pedro Rosario, a 29-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department who will serve as deputy commissioner of the department’s Kensington Initiative. “Winds of change keep blowing in Philadelphia and we cannot be more excited about the outcome,” said Rep. Morgan Cephas, chairwoman of the delegation. “Mayor Cherelle Parker started strong. She is not only vowing to fight the overdose crisis and the drug market in Kensington; Parker is taking the bull by the horns. The designation of Rosario to work on specific duties in Kensington is a bold action that has our wholehearted support,” she added. Rep. Jose Giral, who represents the180 th Legislative District in the Kensington area, is confident that Rosario will be an effective commissioner, based on Rosario’s expertise and solid credentials. Giral witnessed his work firsthand while Rosario was assigned to the 24 th Police District. “I have known Pedro Rosario for a long time. I met him while I was a member of the Police Advisory Commission and this conferred me the opportunity to work hand in hand with him and the 24 th Police District,” Giral said. “Rosario is boots on the ground from day one because he knows exactly all the particulars of the issues impacting our Read more

 

2024–25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®): What You Need to Know:  

(Jan 12, 2024)

2024–25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA ® ): What You Need to Know: There are major changes to the 2024–25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA ® ) form. The new FAFSA form is now available. On average, it takes about 30 minutes to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA can be completed online at https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa. The 2024–25 FAFSA form will expand eligibility for federal student aid. What You Can Do Now : Watch the “2024–25 FAFSA FAQs” playlist to better for a look at what has changed on the new form. Use the Federal Student Aid Estimator to get an estimate of what your aid could be once the FAFSA is completed. If you did not submit a 2023–24 FAFSA form, make sure to create your StudentAid.gov account —and remember your username and password so you can access and submit the 2024–25 FAFSA form when it’s available. Find out if your parent(s) or spouse will need to be contributors (contribute their info on your FAFSA form). If your parent(s) or spouse will need to contribute to your form, make sure each contributor creates their own StudentAid.gov account . Watch our “Preparing for the FAFSA Form” to better understand what information and documents you’ll need to complete the FAFSA form. 2024–25 FAFSA ® Deadlines : Read more

 

Schlossberg: BEF Commission report builds on Level Up proposal for permanent solution

(Jan 11, 2024)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 11 – Today, Pennsylvania’s Basic Education Funding Commission delivered a report recommending significant investments to close the gaps between schools and deliver property tax relief to homeowners shouldering the largest burdens. State Rep. Mike Schlossberg released the following statement: “The majority report approved by the commission recognizes what my Level Up proposals attempted to resolve: Pennsylvania’s poorest school districts need more support from the Commonwealth to better serve our students. With an antiquated school funding system that relies on local property taxes to pay for education, districts with lower property values are always going to struggle to fulfill their obligations. It results in higher property taxes for homeowners and small businesses and short-changes students. By increasing the state’s share of funding to those struggling districts, allocating resources to new school construction, and providing property tax relief for homeowners, we can set a stronger, new course for Pennsylvania’s students. Level Up took a few big steps in addressing those issues, but it was never a permanent solution. Implementing this report IS the permanent solution. “I would like to take a moment to thank Education Committee chair Representative Pete Schweyer for his work and leadership on behalf of the House. With Senator Nick Miller also on the commission, the Read more

 

House Democratic Leaders laud significant, targeted investments proposed in education funding report

(Jan 11, 2024)

Pennsylvania House Democratic Leaders today issued the following statement on a report and recommendations passed by the Basic Education Funding Commission today: Read more

 

RACP, Health, Environmental, Public Safety, Transportation, and Redevelopment Opportunities

(Jan 09, 2024)

NEWLY LISTED PROGRAMS Commission on Crime and Delinquency: PAYS Survey Design Consultant Who May Apply: Applicants must meet the qualifications listed in the program guidelines, but any non-profit, for-profit, or academic organization is eligible. Use: The primary purpose of this project is to contract with an expert in the practice of surveying youth and adolescents to help inform necessary and appropriate revisions to the Pennsylvania Youth Survey (PAYS). Funds: Funding is provided through the State Violence and Delinquency Prevention Program stream. PCCD expects to fund one grant not to exceed $200,000. Application Deadline: February 12, 2024 More information: PCCD Website Commission on Crime and Delinquency: Oversight of the 2025 and 2027 PAYS Administrations Who May Apply: Applicants must demonstrate their ability to conduct the tasks outlined in the program guidelines, but non-profits, for-profits, institutions of higher education, or others are eligible. Use: The primary purpose of this project is to provide direct oversight of the administration of the Pennsylvania Youth Survey (PAYS) for the 2025 and 2027 survey administration periods. Funds: Funding is provided through the State Violence and Delinquency Prevention Program stream. PCCD expects to fund one grant not to exceed $125,000. Application Deadline: February 12, 2024 More information: PCCD Website Commission on Crime and Delinquency: 2024/25 Justice Assistance Grant Read more

 

Khan leads a bipartisan group of state legislators to introduce infrastructure bill designed to help local governments update municipal facilities

(Jan 09, 2024)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 9 – State Rep. Tarik Khan, D-Phila., led a bipartisan group of state representatives in announcing plans today to introduce legislation calling for a grant program to assist municipalities with making essential renovations to municipal facilities. Khan was inspired by his retired civil engineer father, Zia Khan, a municipal employee who spent his life building and renovating municipal buildings in Philadelphia. “We have many well-loved buildings in our communities, like our libraries, rec centers, and police and fire stations. These buildings need some love back in return,” said Khan. “We believe our bipartisan bill is a win-win-win. A win for the community who get services in these buildings, a win for the workers who serve in these buildings, and a win for our labor community who will be repairing and renovating these buildings.” Named the "Public Facilities Infrastructure Grant Program," this program would provide municipalities with funding to help maintain, repair, renovate and reconstruct municipal buildings and facilities, public libraries, and recreational facilities. The bill has prevailing wage protections for workers and will require at least a 50% match for each grant application. State Rep. Alec Ryncavage, R-Luzerne, who also is a co-prime sponsor of this legislation, said he feels strongly about the need to revitalize and Read more

 

Kenyatta introduces bill package recognizing Jan. 6 as Democracy Observance Day in Pennsylvania

(Jan 05, 2024)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 5 – On the eve of the third anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, raid on the U.S. Capitol Building by domestic terrorists, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., introduced a legislative package that would recognize Jan. 6 as Democracy Observance Day in Pennsylvania. “Everyone should remember January 6 as a day that shook our nation and democracy to its core,” Kenyatta said. “We must remember – not forget – what happen that day, why it happened, and the individuals who fed into the lies that led to this dark day in American history.” Kenyatta’s legislative package includes three bills: H.R. 287: This would amend the Legal Holiday Law to establish Jan. 6 as Democracy Observance Day in Pennsylvania. H.B. 1946: This legislation would amend the Banking Code to establish Jan. 6 as Democracy Observance Day in our state. H.B. 1945: This is a resolution urging Congress to declare Jan. 6 as Democracy Observance Day for Education, Remembrance and Vigilance. Kenyatta said this legislation would also serve as a reminder of what happens when elected officials feed into claims and opinions rather than facts, and how their actions influence those around them and in their respective communities. “We had 60-plus – 60-plus – House members sign a letter to throw out Pennsylvania votes. We had top officials Read more

 

Matzie to introduce legislation to examine PIAA policy, practices, finances and structure with view toward comprehensive overhaul

(Jan 05, 2024)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 5 – State Rep. Rob Matzie announced today that he will be introducing legislation to analyze the policy, practices, finances and structure of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, with an eye toward overhauling how the PIAA operates and makes decisions. Matzie, who is the vice chairman and longest-serving member of the Pennsylvania Athletic Oversight Committee, said he is introducing his legislation in response to his and other lawmakers’ concerns – particularly involving the ways in which PIAA classifies schools for competition – that can impact the fairness of those competitions and endanger student athlete safety. “This is an issue we worked on two years ago, but after Aliquippa was successful in their appeal, I believed the issue was solved,” Matzie said. “The board, in reversing the initial decision, gave the impression that they would be open to changes to the formula. They indeed did, making it worse by removing player safety as a consideration. Now that this issue has reared its ugly head again, it’s time for the legislature to act.” Matzie said that because of a flaw in the classification formula that PIAA uses to determine the athletic levels at which high schools will complete, schools like Aliquippa that voluntarily play up in a higher classification are then pigeonholed by the association into that Read more

 

Guzman touts win in establishing Spanish language option for Nurse Aide Assessment

(Jan 04, 2024)

READING, Jan. 4 – State Rep. Manny Guzman today announced that the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services has updated its policy to allow candidates for the Nurse Aide Assessment to take the written oral exam in English or Spanish. The change, which went into effect Wednesday, comes as a result of continuing efforts led by Guzman who had previously introduced legislation that would remove the barrier for people who do not speak English as their first language. “Time after time, I have witnessed how Hispanics are forced to climb unnecessary ladders to achieve their goals,” said Guzman, D-Berks. “Information or services that are critical to them are only provided in English. We need to understand that this is a preventable limitation for hundreds of families in Pennsylvania.” Violet Emory, executive director of the Tec Centro Berks (BLWDC) praised Guzman’s determination and unwavering support in championing this cause on behalf of students at Tec Centro Berks, and students across the entire state. “Guzman’s dedication to leveling the playing field for students with diverse linguistic backgrounds reflects a deep understanding of the importance of equal opportunities in education,” Emory said. “This initiative will undoubtedly have a profound and lasting effect on the workforce in Berks County, opening doors for individuals who may have faced Read more

 

Freeman lease-to-purchase bill would expand affordable home ownership

(Jan 03, 2024)

"One such model, the lease-to-purchase mortgage, allows a household to rent a home for a period before taking on the mortgage and ownership of the property with a portion of each month’s rent set aside in an escrow account and used to cover the down payment and closing costs," Freeman said. Read more

 

Grant Memo: Cultural, Health, Environmental, Public Safety, Transportation, and Redevelopment Opportunities

(Jan 03, 2024)

NEWLY LISTED PROGRAMS Department of Human Services: OCDEL Keystone STARS Continuous Quality Improvement Who May Apply: Eligible childcare providers will be notified via an eligibility letter from their Early Learning Resource Center. Providers must meet the requirements outlined here . Use: Staff qualifications and professional development, early childhood education programs, partnerships with families and communities, leadership and management, and accreditation costs. Funds: Grant amounts vary by provider. Grant funding comes from $12 million of federal Childcare Development Fund funds. Application Deadline: Feb. 15, 2024 More information: Keystone STARS Website Department of Transportation: State Transportation Innovation Council (STIC) Incentive Program Who May Apply: To be eligible for STIC Incentive funding, the STIC or other equivalent task force, committee or group must be formally established with a charter, include public and private members, meet regularly, and comprehensively consider sources of innovation. Use: The State Transportation Innovation Council Incentive Program provides funding to help STICs foster a culture of innovation and make innovations standard practice in their states. Examples of allowable activities include but are not limited to: developing standards and specifications; developing training to facilitate widespread use of innovation, developing memoranda of agreement; preparing a report summarizing the lessons Read more

 

PA House Democrats Deliver: Safer, healthier, more equitable communities

(Dec 29, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 29 – As the House majority in 2023, the Pennsylvania House Democratic Caucus advanced measures to keep communities safer, healthier and make them better places to live for all residents. First, House Democrats championed legislation to strengthen public safety, including keeping 911 services operational, making Pennsylvania roadways safer for drivers and pedestrians, and recruiting more law enforcement professionals. 911 Centers serve residents and first responders 24/7/365 -- often during times of emergency. When funding for 911 Centers was at risk, House Democrats fought for a plan to secure funding to enable them to continue to serve the public and make improvements to the 911 system. Communities across Pennsylvania are struggling to fill police officer positions , but a plan introduced by Rep. Dan Williams, D-Chester, will update some outdated standards used to assess applicants that have made recruiting municipal police officers more difficult and imbalanced statewide. “Vacancies in local police departments hurt our communities and put us all at risk,” Williams said. “This measure will give our local police departments a tool to help solve their vacancies but is only a piece of the puzzle as we need to do more.” This comes after an announcement earlier this year that the Pennsylvania State Police was removing its college credit requirement on a trial basis to attract more Read more

 

PA House Democrats Deliver: Investing in a Quality Education for PA Students

(Dec 28, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 28 – Ensuring that Pennsylvania students have access to a quality public education is a top priority for the Pennsylvania House Democratic Caucus. This year, House Democrats championed record investments in K-12 public education while starting action to fulfill their constitutional obligation to adequately and equitably fund public schools. The 2023-24 state budget, which was finalized earlier this month, includes a record $567 million basic education funding increase for Pennsylvania school districts. Additionally, the approved budget includes $175 million to fix school buildings to ensure that students, teachers and staff are learning and working in a safe environment. “For the first time in nearly a decade, the General Assembly has recognized the need for funding that allows school districts to address facility repairs and upgrades,” said House Education Committee Majority Chairman Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh. “As a father of two in the Allentown School District, I have seen firsthand the need for funding so schools can provide the safe and comfortable learning environments that parents expect and children deserve.” The approved budget also includes $100 million for school-based mental health resources for students, $46.5 million increase to provide universal free breakfast to 1.7 million Pennsylvania K-12 students and $10 million to strengthen the teacher workforce through student Read more

 

PA House Democrats Deliver: Improving PA’s Economy for Workers and Businesses

(Dec 27, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 27 – With an aggressive agenda in 2023, the Pennsylvania House Democratic Caucus advanced the commonwealth’s economic outlook and helped working families and seniors across the state by driving policies that return more money to the people who make our local economies thrive. Read more

 

Burns authors resolution to urge Congress to oppose sale of U.S. Steel

(Dec 27, 2023)

“Steel is one of America’s iconic industries,” Burns said. “From good-paying jobs to national security, steel production is part of the backbone of our economy and the fabric of American life. The U.S. cannot afford to be dependent on another country for its access to steel.” Read more

 

New Frankel bill would protect air travelers, TSA workers from gun transport dangers

(Dec 26, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 26 – Air travelers, airport workers and security officers would be better protected from an alarmingly common travel risk – loaded firearms illegally transported through carry-on luggage – under soon-to-be-introduced legislation drafted by state Rep. Dan Frankel. Frankel, D-Allegheny, said he is introducing the legislation – which would penalize gun owners who illegally bring firearms into TSA baggage checkpoints by revoking their permit to carry – to address a deadly risk that persists in airports despite increased fines, warning signs and other preventive measures. “Each year, thousands of air travelers, airport workers and TSA officers face unnecessary danger because of gun owners who attempt to bring firearms through carry-on luggage checkpoints,” Frankel said. “The statistics are alarming – last year, TSA seized about 6,500 guns, and nearly 90% of them were loaded. The owners’ response in 100% of the cases was ‘I forgot.’ “Loaded weapons at baggage checkpoints not only create obvious safety risks, but they cause major airport delays, drain TSA resources and distract security officers from other dangers that could compromise flight safety. “This legislation is not designed to punish the majority of responsible gun owners but to crack down on the irresponsible ones whose actions put fellow travelers at risk. Responsible gun Read more

 

State lawmakers tout budget funding for school facilities

(Dec 21, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 20 – Today, House Appropriations Committee Majority Chairman Jordan Harris, D-Phila., hosted a news conference at South Philadelphia High School discussing school facilities funding in the 2023-24 state budget. The budget includes $175 million for school facility improvements. Pennsylvania has some of the oldest schools in the country. The average school building is around 70 years old and was built when lead pipes and asbestos were standard building materials. Discoveries of asbestos and other toxins have led to school closures across the Commonwealth, including seven Philadelphia schools in 2023 alone. In the same year, 100 schools statewide closed due to excessive heat. Harris stated that he believes this funding will help to address this issue that’s plagued Pennsylvania schools for a long time. “This funding is paramount to improving the health and safety of our educators, students and school staff, Harris said. “This major Democratic priority is a significant investment and critical step toward ensuring that receiving an education in Pennsylvania does not equate to sick or injured students, teachers, or staff. There is more work to do, and we intend to continue our work until every Pennsylvania school is a safe learning environment for our children.” Harris was joined by members of the Philadelphia House Delegation, including state Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler, D-Phila., and members of the House Read more

 

Fleming: $2.4M in state grants for water infrastructure and arts projects

(Dec 20, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 19 – State Rep. Justin Fleming, D-Dauphin, announced today that he helped secure $2,428,357 in state funding to support water infrastructure projects and a community arts organization in the 105th district. “I am glad I was able to help bring back our tax money to our district to help rehabilitate and replace critical sanitary and storm sewer infrastructure so that our water remains clean and healthy,” Fleming said. “I am also glad that the arts in our community will be supported by a grant to the Harrisburg Community Theater.” Funds distributed through the H2O PA Program provide for single-year or multi-year grants to municipalities or municipal authorities to assist with the construction of drinking water, sanitary sewer and storm water projects. Act 54 of 2022 appropriated $205.4 million of American Rescue Plan Act funds to the H2O PA – Water Supply, Sanitary Sewer and Storm Water Projects Program. $893,773 for Susquehanna Township’s Fox Run Trunk Line and Force main sanitary sewer improvement project $1,400,826 for Lower Paxton Township’s PC-3E sanitary sewer and storm sewer replacement/rehabilitation project. Funds distributed through the Small Water and Sewer program provide for small water, sewer, and storm system water infrastructure projects. Act 54 of 2022 appropriated $105.6 million of American Rescue Plan Act funds to the PA Small Water and Sewer Program. $112,150 for Lower Read more

 

Lehigh legislators, officials applaud law to add judge to Court of Common Pleas

(Dec 20, 2023)

Based on court statistics, Lehigh has some of the highest caseloads among similar counties but has as many as five fewer judges comparatively. Read more

 

Smith-Wade-El helped secure $3.36 million in state grants

(Dec 19, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 19 – State Rep. Ismail Smith-Wade-El, D-Lancaster, announced that he helped secure $3,360,383 in state grants for the 49th District. “I am very proud to have helped to secure $3,360,383 in state grants to assist with projects to improve our infrastructure and water quality and support the arts in our communities,” Smith-Wade-El said. “This is a great example of our tax dollars being brough back into the community to improve quality of life—from improving the quality of the water we drink to expanding opportunities to utilize our creativity.” Funds distributed through the Small Water and Sewer program provide for small water, sewer, and storm system water infrastructure projects. Act 54 of 2022 appropriated $105.6 million of American Rescue Plan Act funds to the PA Small Water and Sewer Program. $149,715 for the Low and High Service Pumping Station-DCED Water-DPW for equipment upgrades at the pump station located at 150 Pitney Road, Lancaster. Funds distributed through the H20 PA Program provide for single-year or multi-year grants to municipalities or municipal authorities to assist with the construction of drinking water, sanitary sewer and storm water projects. Act 54 of 2022 appropriated $205.4 million of American Rescue Plan Act funds to the H2O PA – Water Supply, Sanitary Sewer and Storm Water Projects Program. $3,132,000 for Phase 2 transmission line installation for the replacement Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation commends appointment of Pedro Rosario, first ever Latino deputy police commissioner in the city
Jan 12, 2024

2024–25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®): What You Need to Know:  
Jan 12, 2024

Schlossberg: BEF Commission report builds on Level Up proposal for permanent solution
Jan 11, 2024

House Democratic Leaders laud significant, targeted investments proposed in education funding report
Jan 11, 2024

RACP, Health, Environmental, Public Safety, Transportation, and Redevelopment Opportunities
Jan 09, 2024

Khan leads a bipartisan group of state legislators to introduce infrastructure bill designed to help local governments update municipal facilities
Jan 09, 2024

Kenyatta introduces bill package recognizing Jan. 6 as Democracy Observance Day in Pennsylvania
Jan 05, 2024

Matzie to introduce legislation to examine PIAA policy, practices, finances and structure with view toward comprehensive overhaul
Jan 05, 2024

Guzman touts win in establishing Spanish language option for Nurse Aide Assessment
Jan 04, 2024

Freeman lease-to-purchase bill would expand affordable home ownership
Jan 03, 2024

Grant Memo: Cultural, Health, Environmental, Public Safety, Transportation, and Redevelopment Opportunities
Jan 03, 2024

PA House Democrats Deliver: Safer, healthier, more equitable communities
Dec 29, 2023

PA House Democrats Deliver: Investing in a Quality Education for PA Students
Dec 28, 2023

PA House Democrats Deliver: Improving PA’s Economy for Workers and Businesses
Dec 27, 2023

Burns authors resolution to urge Congress to oppose sale of U.S. Steel
Dec 27, 2023

New Frankel bill would protect air travelers, TSA workers from gun transport dangers
Dec 26, 2023

State lawmakers tout budget funding for school facilities
Dec 21, 2023

Fleming: $2.4M in state grants for water infrastructure and arts projects
Dec 20, 2023

Lehigh legislators, officials applaud law to add judge to Court of Common Pleas
Dec 20, 2023

Smith-Wade-El helped secure $3.36 million in state grants
Dec 19, 2023