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Prescription donation program proposed by Pashinski

(Dec 07, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 7 – State Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Luzerne, plans to introduce legislation that would create the Prescription Drug Donation Program. Pashinski’s proposal would require the State Board of Pharmacy to establish a voluntary program under which health care facilities may donate unused prescription drugs to vendor pharmacies that would repackage and redistribute the donated drugs to community-based clinics that provide primary health care services to financially disadvantaged Pennsylvanians. “The high cost of prescription drugs often discourages people from seeking medical help in the first place,” Pashinski said. “Under my plan, we would increase the availability of prescription medications to Pennsylvania’s neediest residents.” In order for a prescription drug to be donated, it would have to be in the original unopened, sealed and tamper-evident unit dose packaging. Additionally, the legislation would require that entities volunteering to participate must be approved by the State Board of Pharmacy and comply with all applicable laws associated with safety and procedure. Pashinski is seeking co-sponsors for the legislation and will introduce it when the 2017-18 session convenes in January. Read more

 

Senate Republicans desert workers in need of help

(Nov 18, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 18 – House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody said reduced services for thousands of unemployed Pennsylvanians and the imminent furlough of up to 600 workers are the direct result of a refusal to act by state Senate Republican leaders like Scott Wagner. Read more

 

New leadership for Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus ready to advance priorities for African-Americans and people of color

(Nov 16, 2016)

Calling it an extreme honor to have the opportunity to be a strong voice for African-Americans and people of color across the commonwealth, state Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., was elected Tuesday to serve as the chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus. Read more

 

PA House Democrats choose leaders for 2017-18

(Nov 15, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 15 – Returning and newly elected members of the Pennsylvania House Democratic Caucus chose their leadership team today for the 2017-18 legislative session. "As the minority party we face a continuing challenge, but we embrace it and look forward to working with Governor Tom Wolf to keep getting things done," Democratic Leader Frank Dermody said. "House Democrats will continue to fight hard at the Capitol and in our communities for a Pennsylvania that works better for all people, not just the special interests. "We want a Pennsylvania that offers good jobs that support careers and family. We want a state with quality public schools, clean air and water, and a place that offers a fair opportunity for everyone who wants to work hard and make to their life better," he said. "We look forward to working with Democrats and Republicans to fight for policies that support these values and against the worst and most extreme ideas of those who would take Pennsylvania, its economy and its residents backwards." House Democrats elected the following legislators to leadership positions for the 2017-18 term: Democratic Leader Frank Dermody , 33 rd Legislative District (Allegheny and Westmoreland counties). Representative since 1991. Democratic Whip Mike Hanna , 76 th Legislative District (Clinton and Centre counties). Representative since 1991. Caucus Chairman Dan Frankel , 23 rd Legislative District (Allegheny County). Read more

 

Bullock, Petrarca urge observance of youth homelessness with Red Shirt Day

(Nov 14, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 14 – To show solidarity with children experiencing homelessness and the educators who serve them, state Rep. Donna Bullock’s House resolution adopted last month encourages Pennsylvanians to observe this week as "Pennsylvania Education for Youth Experiencing Homelessness Awareness Week." A Capitol news conference today marking the week featured advocates and House members discussing the issue. Pennsylvanians are urged to wear a red shirt on Friday for "Red Shirt Day," which encourages schools and communities to support assistance programs for children experiencing homelessness and brings awareness to the issue. In the 2014-15 school year, data show that 26,273 students in Pennsylvania schools were homeless or without adequate housing. This represents a 9 percent increase from the previous school years. Also, the number of homeless students has risen 18 percent in the last two years. “We are bringing awareness to the prevalence of children experiencing homelessness and to the barriers that prevent them from attending school,” said Bullock, D-Philadelphia. “School is often the one constant in the lives of children moving from house to house, couch to couch, or shelter to shelter. And it's important to not interrupt their education." “In Pennsylvania, there are few resources available to kids who experience homelessness, including a shortage of affordable housing and assistance providers Read more

 

Bullock, Petrarca: homelessness prevention events in Harrisburg on Monday, Nov. 14

(Nov 10, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 10 – Educating Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness Awareness Week begins Monday, culminating in Red Shirt Day on Friday, Nov. 18, said state Rep. Donna Bullock, who sponsored a House resolution commemorating the week. A news conference in the Capitol Rotunda will take place at 11 a.m. Monday . The news conference will occur during Housing Alliance of PA’s Homes within Reach Conference – a full day of panels and events centering on homelessness prevention that will take place at the Harrisburg Hilton. Slated to speak in the Capitol are: Sonia Pitzi, Office for the Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness Liz Hersh, director, City of Philadelphia, Office of Homeless Services Cindy Daley, policy director for the Housing Alliance Liam Spady, The Advocacy Institute (youth advocate) More information about the Homes within Reach Conference, which is celebrating its 12 th year, can be found here . To show solidarity with children experiencing homelessness and the educators who serve them, Bullock’s H.R. 1112, adopted last month, encourages Pennsylvanians to observe Nov. 14 through Nov. 18 as "Pennsylvania Education for Youth Experiencing Homelessness Awareness Week." Pennsylvanians are urged to wear a red shirt on Friday, Nov. 18 for "Red Shirt Day," which encourages schools and communities to support assistance programs for children experiencing Read more

 

Productive year for the Pennsylvania Legislature

(Oct 28, 2016)

Legislators marked the end of a very productive 2016 legislative year this week with a flurry of activity that saw final passage of new bills to battle the state's opioid crisis, modernize beer sales, approve ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft across Pennsylvania, and improve the state's unemployment system to help thousands of workers and their families and put the unemployment fund on firm financial footing. Read more

 

Galloway: new Unemployment Compensation rules will restore up to 44,000 workers to the program at no additional cost

(Oct 26, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 26 – State Rep. John Galloway, D-Bucks, Democratic chairman of the House Labor and Industry Committee, announced that the legislature today finalized an important update to the state's Unemployment Compensation program. The bill, if signed by the governor, will restore benefits for cyclical workers who currently make too much money during their busy season to qualify for benefits in the down times. When Act 60 of 2012 was passed to help stabilize the UC Trust Fund, part of that change required an employee to earn at least 49.5 percent of his annual earnings outside his highest earning quarter. "This bill removes that stipulation which unfairly hurts workers who made too much money in their busiest season," Galloway said. "Act 60's changes led to the unintended consequence of making these workers ineligible for the compensation they would otherwise be entitled to receive. Construction workers often fell into this trap. This bill drops the earnings requirement back to its pre-Act 60 limit, 37 percent outside the highest earning quarter. This will be a crucial change for these workers and other changes incorporated in the bill mean it will pay for itself and not affect the solvency of the fund." House Bill 319, which was amended in the Senate on Tuesday, received final Senate passage this evening and the House then moved to concur with the Senate changes. In addition to restoring the program eligibility to approximately Read more

 

Sainato bill extending emergency responder death benefit now law

(Oct 26, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 26 – State Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, today said his bill to allow members of the Pennsylvania Civil Air Patrol to receive a $100,000 death benefit is now law. Gov. Tom Wolf signed H.B. 49 today, making it Act 110 of 2016, just a week after the bill unanimously passed the state House on concurrence with the state Senate. The law now extends the death benefit that was available to other emergency responders under Act 101 of 1976. “It’s a great day for Pennsylvania with my bill becoming law,” Sainato said. “Members of the Civil Air Patrol PA Wing provide valuable services and do so daily in the same dangerous environments as other emergency responders. “They are perhaps the nation’s finest force of citizen volunteers, working alongside our state police, fire officials and other emergency service professions – and often placing their own lives in danger to help or save the lives of others. These courageous men and women knowingly risk their lives to respond to emergency situations and certainly deserve the same line-of duty-death benefits we currently afford to other emergency responders.” 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

 

House passes Caltagirone bill to fund pediatric cancer research

(Oct 24, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 24 – State Rep. Thomas Caltagirone, D-Berks, said today the House of Representative unanimously passed his legislation that would increase funding for pediatric cancer research throughout Pennsylvania. Caltagirone's legislation, H.B. 1804 , would establish a check-off box on Pennsylvania's state income tax form. Under the bill, the state Department of Revenue would provide space on the Pennsylvania individualized income tax return form where a taxpayer could voluntarily contribute no less than $5 for pediatric cancer research within the commonwealth. Caltagirone noted pediatric cancer is the leading cause of death by disease among U.S. children between 1 and 14, and the average age of death for a child with cancer is 8. Additionally, it is estimated that seven children die each day from cancer nationwide. "This is a huge signal that this effort has support among state lawmakers," Caltagirone said. "As we speak, children are fighting for their lives in Reading, in Berks County and across Pennsylvania. This is the least we can do for them. "This bill is giving the people of Pennsylvania an option. I've talked to doctors, I've talked to researchers, I've talked to families and they will all tell you: every dollar counts." The funding raised by the legislation would be distributed to eligible institutions in Pennsylvania that conduct research relative to pediatric cancer, including: The Read more

 

Sainato bill extends emergency responder death benefit in Pa.

(Oct 19, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 19 – State Rep. Chris Sainato today announced his bill to allow members of the Pennsylvania Civil Air Patrol to receive a $100,000 death benefit is headed to Gov. Tom Wolf for signature into law. House Bill 49, which unanimously passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, extends the death benefit currently available to other emergency responders under Act 101 of 1976. “Those who serve with the Civil Air Patrol are just as crucial in responding to disasters or protecting the public as a firefighter or a member of the National Guard,” said Sainato, D-Lawrence. “The expansion of this benefit will greatly help the families that lose a loved one who is a member of the Civil Air Patrol.” Sainato noted the Civil Air Patrol is a federally supported, nonprofit organization that serves as an official civilian auxiliary arm of the U.S. Air Force. The Civil Air Patrol’s general responsibilities include providing emergency services such as search and rescue, as well as disaster relief operations. Furthermore, the Civil Air Patrol has also been tasked with homeland security missions and performs non-auxiliary missions for various governmental and private agencies, such as local law enforcement and the American Red Cross. Read more

 

Driscoll bill to assist families of fallen first responders passes the House

(Oct 18, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 18 – 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 932 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

 

Snyder legislation would increase broadband speeds dramatically

(Oct 04, 2016)

Rep. Pam Snyder has introduced legislation that would upgrade the state standard for broadband service, increasing broadband download and upload speeds exponentially for many rural residents and businesses. Read more

 

Schlossberg pushes proposals to allow seniors the opportunity to age in place

(Oct 04, 2016)

ALLENTOWN, Oct. 4 – State Rep. Mike Schlossberg, D-Lehigh, hosted a news conference today at Lehigh Valley Active Life to discuss two pieces of legislation he recently introduced that would offer older Pennsylvanians additional resources and enable them to receive health care while continuing to live in their homes. “Allowing a senior to age in place is good for the person and it is sensible public policy,” Schlossberg said. “Preserving an older Pennsylvanian’s opportunity to live in the independence of their home can offer between 72 and 74 percent savings when compared to the cost of a nursing facility and can significantly increase their quality of life.” House Bill 2371 would establish the Caregiver Tax Credit, which would allow taxpayers who qualify for the federal dependent care credit to apply for a tax credit against their state income tax liability. As of 2015, 23 other states have a similar tax credit in place. “As a state, we are getting older. In the past four years, our population over the age of 65 had increased by 8.9 percent and outpaced our overall population growth. It is everyone's responsibility to ensure that older Pennsylvanians have the tools and resources they need to live happy and full lives,” Schlossberg said. House Bill 2372 would establish the Livable Home Tax Credit, which would offer a tax credit for homeowners or construction contractors renovating or building senior-accessible Read more

 

Krueger-Braneky, labor and environmental leaders release study on job creation impact of cutting methane emissions in oil and gas industry

(Sep 27, 2016)

State Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky, D-Delaware, joined Pennsylvania leaders today and released a first-of-its-kind report that estimates that thousands of jobs will be created in the United States by reducing methane emissions in the oil and gas industry. The U.S. EPA finalized standards to limit methane emissions from new and modified sources earlier this year. Read more

 

Petrarca touts bill to modernize state's organ donation law at rally

(Sep 19, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 19 – At a Capitol rally today, state Rep. Joseph Petrarca joined advocates, organ donors and recipients to call for action on his bill to update the state's outdated organ and tissue donation law. "We pass a lot of laws in Harrisburg, but I don't think many have the same effect on people as this bill would," Petrarca said. "We've lost too many of our friends and relatives who were waiting for an organ transplant, and we have the ability to change that. This bill would save lives." Petrarca's bill (H.B. 30) would establish a comprehensive framework for public education on organ and tissue donations, clarify the methods for making such donations, streamline the process of working with law enforcement in deaths under investigation and update the law to reflect the best clinical practices to support donations for transplantation. The law would be known as the Donate Life PA Act. Pennsylvania's Uniform Anatomical Gift Act was enacted more than 20 years ago, and hasn't been updated since. "Even in this day and age with all of the advances in medicine and technology, the number of people waiting for a transplant continues to grow. This measure will make more organs available for those in need," Petrarca said. Public education would include providing information about organ and tissue donation to high schools, and medical and nursing schools. The bill also would reinforce the priority of Read more

 

Putting retirement security within reach of every Pennsylvanian

(Sep 16, 2016)

Pennsylvanians looking for a more secure retirement -- and an easier way of getting there – would get that with the proposed Keystone Retirement Savings Plan. Read more

 

McCarter chairs Policy Committee hearing on infrastructure issues

(Sep 15, 2016)

State Rep. Steve McCarter, D-Montgomery, today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing at Curtis Hall to discuss national and statewide infrastructure issues, including water and sewer infrastructure needs in Montgomery County. Read more

 

Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky hosts HDPC to study graduation exams and high-stakes testing

(Sep 12, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky hosted the House Democratic Policy Committee to her district for a public hearing on the how to improve standardized testing and graduation requirements. Krueger-Braneky says the system, including the Keystone Exams, is failing too many students who are otherwise educationally solid. Read more

 

Prescription donation program proposed by Pashinski
Dec 07, 2016

Senate Republicans desert workers in need of help
Nov 18, 2016

New leadership for Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus ready to advance priorities for African-Americans and people of color
Nov 16, 2016

PA House Democrats choose leaders for 2017-18
Nov 15, 2016

Bullock, Petrarca urge observance of youth homelessness with Red Shirt Day
Nov 14, 2016

Bullock, Petrarca: homelessness prevention events in Harrisburg on Monday, Nov. 14
Nov 10, 2016

Productive year for the Pennsylvania Legislature
Oct 28, 2016

Galloway: new Unemployment Compensation rules will restore up to 44,000 workers to the program at no additional cost
Oct 26, 2016

Sainato bill extending emergency responder death benefit now law
Oct 26, 2016

Neilson applauds passage of payroll debit card legislation
Oct 26, 2016

House passes Caltagirone bill to fund pediatric cancer research
Oct 24, 2016

Sainato bill extends emergency responder death benefit in Pa.
Oct 19, 2016

Driscoll bill to assist families of fallen first responders passes the House
Oct 18, 2016

Snyder legislation would increase broadband speeds dramatically
Oct 04, 2016

Schlossberg pushes proposals to allow seniors the opportunity to age in place
Oct 04, 2016

Krueger-Braneky, labor and environmental leaders release study on job creation impact of cutting methane emissions in oil and gas industry
Sep 27, 2016

Petrarca touts bill to modernize state's organ donation law at rally
Sep 19, 2016

Putting retirement security within reach of every Pennsylvanian
Sep 16, 2016

McCarter chairs Policy Committee hearing on infrastructure issues
Sep 15, 2016

Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky hosts HDPC to study graduation exams and high-stakes testing
Sep 12, 2016