Featured News

Johnson-Harrell, Policy Committee meet to discuss gun violence as a public health epidemic

Merski: School supplies still needed as drive enters final week

(Aug 26, 2019)

ERIE, Aug. 26 – With some area schools starting today and others scheduled for just after Labor Day, state Rep. Bob Merski, D-Erie, is reminding residents that this is the last week of his “Back- to-School Supplies Drive” to help families in need. “We’ve had an excellent response to our school supply drive so far, which is a testament to our community’s wonderful, caring spirit,” Merski said. “In addition to saying a hearty thanks for what we’ve collected so far, I want to remind everyone that the drive ends this Friday, Aug. 30, and that we can still use more supplies. “Although many families try to budget for back-to-school shopping, buying all the necessary supplies can put a dent in tight budgets – especially for families with multiple kids in school. Donating to our drive is a great way to help make sure that all kids in our community start the school year off feeling prepared and confident in the knowledge that they have the tools they need to succeed.” Merski said residents can donate new school supplies to one of these three locations between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.: Merski’s district office, 3901 Liberty St.; his Summit Township satellite office (open Tuesdays only), 1230 Townhall Road W.; or the Belle Valley VFD Station 36, 1514 Norcross Road. Merski said the following items are especially helpful: Markers, including highlighters, color markers, dry-erase markers and Read more

 

Davis to hold policy hearing Thursday on state’s minimum wage

(Aug 26, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 26 – State Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, will hold a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing on Pennsylvania’s minimum wage. The hearing will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 29 at the Munhall Borough Building, Council Chambers, 1900 West St., Munhall. The media and public are invited to attend. Davis requested the hearing to discuss the state’s current minimum wage status, how it compares to neighboring states and the benefit of increasing wages to reflect the current cost-of-living. He will be joined by legislators from across the state. The current agenda is: 10 a.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks 10:10 a.m. Panel from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry Bryan Smolock , Director of the Bureau of Labor Law Compliance. Kelley Martini , Policy Director. 10:40 a.m. Panel Two: Darrin Kelly , President, Allegheny/Fayette Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO. Diana Polson , Policy Analyst, Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center. Sarah Fishbein , Vice President, SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania. Bobbi Linskens , Member, Restaurant Opportunities Center. James Conway , Member, Restaurant Opportunities Center. 11:30 a.m. Panel Three: Jeff Shook , Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work. LaSain Latimore , Member, One PA. Jennifer Rafanan Kenney , Acting Executive Director, Pittsburgh United. Dawn Plummer , Executive Director, Pittsburgh Food Read more

 

Comitta announces annual senior expo, still time to reserve vendor space

(Aug 26, 2019)

WEST CHESTER, Aug. 26 – State Rep. Carolyn Comitta, D-Chester, will hold her third annual senior expo from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 14 at West Chester East High School, 450 Ellis Lane in West Chester. This event is free and open to the public. Attendees will learn about local services available to seniors regarding health and wellness, transportation, affordable food and housing programs and more. SEPTA will be available to help seniors apply for a SEPTA Senior Key Card. There will also be nursing students from Delaware County Community College providing free blood pressure screenings. “Whether you are a senior, have elderly parents, or just want to know about the resources in our community, there is something for everyone,” Comitta said. “In previous years, residents have stated they came not looking for anything in particular yet left with useful resources and information that they shared with their friends, family, and neighbors. I hope to see you on September 14!” There is still time and space available for organizations to reserve a spot at the event. Vendors or organizations interested in participating in the fair can call Comitta’s office at 610-696-4990 or email repcomitta@pahouse.net . Read more

 

Sturla reappointed to Special Education Funding Commission

(Aug 26, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 26 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster and Democratic Policy Committee Chairman, today announced his reappointment to the Special Education Funding Commission. “It is due to the important work of the Special Education Funding Commission and its reports that we have a better understanding of the long-term impact state funding has on the ability of schools to meet the needs of children with disabilities,” Sturla said. “I look forward to continuing to work on this commission, as well as the Basic Education Funding Commission, to ensure that together we are making the best recommendations for our children and increasing their chances at opportunities. It’s crucial that we take a strong interest in helping students achieve academically and fulfill their individual potential based on their needs.” The Special Education Funding Commission has held public hearings throughout the state starting in 2013, receiving testimony from dozens of witnesses, including students, parents, educators, and national experts. All of which emphasized the long-term impact of investments in schools to set up the highly complex and costly set of supports and services needed to address all children’s needs. Close to 320,000 children with disabilities, 18 percent of Pennsylvania students, receive special education services in Pennsylvania public schools. The range of disabilities is comprised of speech impairments, learning disabilities, Read more

 

DeLuca condemns BuzzFeed story accusing insurers, police of working together to falsely prosecute customers for profit

(Aug 23, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 23 – In response to a BuzzFeed News story that claims major home and auto insurers around the country have urged law enforcement to intimidate and prosecute customers to boost company profits and avoid paying claims, state Rep. Tony DeLuca, Democratic chairman of the House Insurance Committee, released the following statement: “The accusations, and I reiterate, the accusations made by this news organization claiming the existence and use of a co-opt plan by major insurance companies and law enforcement to falsely prosecute insurers to boost company profits – which, as a result, pay police salaries – are unfounded and false. “As Democratic chairman of the House Insurance Committee, I work closely and am in-tune with the rules, regulations and practices upheld by the state’s Insurance Department. The department would never tolerate actions that suggest the insurance industry is misusing fraud reporting, and it surely would act if brought to its attention. “Moreover, the Insurance Fraud Prevention Authority was enacted to assist insurers in reporting fraud, not tear down the system. This story suggests the opposite, claiming the relationship between insurers and law enforcement in Pennsylvania goes deeper than arresting and prosecuting criminals who deceptively steal money from state residents. This, among others, is another false accusation made on behalf of this news organization. “In 2018, there were Read more

 

Sappey to hold policy hearing on local government challenges with stormwater management, infrastructure

(Aug 23, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 23 – State Rep. Christina Sappey will host a House Policy Committee public hearing in October to examine the numerous negative impacts to state and local infrastructure brought about by increasingly severe weather in Pennsylvania. The hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15 in the East Bradford Township Building, 666 Copeland School Road in West Chester. Sappey, D-Chester, requested the hearing to discuss the issue of severe storms and best-practices for managing them. She will be joined by fellow House members, including Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. “It’s no secret that our roads and bridges are failing, and the increase in severe storms that we are experiencing is exacerbating the problem,” Sappey said. “We all have witnessed the aftermath and dealt with the consequences of flooding, erosion and washed-out roadways.” According to the National Weather Service, Chester County received more than 22 inches above normal rainfall in 2018. The severity and number of storms also have been increasing across the commonwealth. “Since taking office, I have met with many municipal officials throughout the 158 th Legislative District,” Sappey said. “Plain and simple, we need to address how we handle stormwater. It’s a serious safety concern and a top priority for me. “I hope to see you for this important discussion.” Read more

 

Krueger invites community to Pet Expo September 7

(Aug 23, 2019)

FOLSOM, Aug. 23 – State Rep. Leanne Krueger invites community members to a Pet Expo, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 7 at the Folsom Fire Co., 411 Sutton Ave. Krueger is co-hosting the event with state Sen. Tim Kearney. The event will feature pet resources, including information on Victoria’s Law and other animal-related legislation, pet-related vendors, light refreshments, a low-cost vaccine clinic and more. A pet costume parade will be held at noon. The low-cost vaccine clinic will be offered by Providence Animal Center on a first-come basis. Dogs must be leashed. The clinic is not recommended for cats for their safety, since the clinic is outdoors. The clinic will offer one-year shots including Dewormer, Distemper, Bordetella, Rabies, Lepto, Canine Flu and Lyme, as well as microchips. Pets are welcome but must be leashed. Anyone with questions can call Krueger’s office at 610-534-6880. Read more

 

Sanchez announces annual Senior Fair on Sept. 4

(Aug 23, 2019)

ABINGTON, Aug. 23 – State Rep. Ben Sanchez, D-Montgomery, will hold his annual Senior Fair from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Rydal Park on Wednesday, Sept. 4. This event is free and open to the public. Attendees will learn about state and local resources that are available to Montgomery County seniors in areas such as health and wellness, transportation, affordable food programs and more. “This year’s Senior Fair will feature over 50 vendors and connect attendees with the programs and services that they need to lead healthy, productive lives,” Sanchez said. “This is a convenient, ‘one stop shop’ event that brings the community together, and I’m looking forward to meeting with constituents.” In addition to the government and exhibitor information, the Senior Fair will also feature several door prizes, a catered lunch and refreshments. For more information on the Senior Fair, please call Sanchez’s office at (215) 517-6800 or visit the official Facebook event page. Read more

 

Ullman: Public engagement saves Tohickon Creek from DEP downgrade

(Aug 23, 2019)

DOYLESTOWN, Aug. 23 – In response to requests from legislators, civic and environmental groups and the public at large, the state departments of Environmental Protection and Conservation and Natural Resources have agreed to perform further study on how any changes to Lake Nockamixon Dam could affect Tochickon Creek before changing the waterway’s designation, state Rep. Wendy Ullman, D-Bucks, announced today. “Thanks to our collective efforts, any DEP reassement of this treasured waterway must await new findings and up-to-date data,” Ullman said. According to Ullman, DEP had earlier proposed downgrading Tohickon Creek as a trout-stock-fishery designation, which would have a serious negative impact on tourism and property values. Working with the Tinicum Conservancy, Ullman had encouraged local residents to petition DEP to designate the Tohickon Creek as Exceptional Value in order to protect all existing uses of the stream and safeguard the quality of its water. Over 900 public comments were received. In the interim, Ullman has had conversations with DCNR Secretary Cindy Dunn and DEP Director of Legislative Affairs Gregory Kauffman to push for further evaluation of Lake Nockamixon Dam and Tohickon Creek. The letter Ullman received from DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell agreeing to this request for further study says: “The stream evaluation of Tohickon Creek is currently at the draft report stage. Further evaluation of the Lake Read more

 

Latest Road Work and Closures in Montco Region - August 23

(Aug 23, 2019)

Route 363 (Trooper Road); Lower Providence Township LANE CLOSURE at Ridge Pike. Every weekday and some Saturdays 9AM- 3PM from 3/25/19-8/30/1, due to Intersection Improvements. Fitzwatertown Road; Abington, Upper Dublin Lane Closures with flagging between Susquehanna Road and Thunderhead Road, weekdays 9AM- 3PM from 3/19/19-8/30/19, due to Utility. Johnson Highway; East Norriton Township FULL CLOSURE between North Hills Drive and Rahway Avenue from 5/13/19-10/1/19, due to Bridge Replacement. DETOUR POSTED. North Lane Road; Whitemarsh Township Road Closure between Hector Street and Butler Pike. Closure during working hours 9 AM - 3 PM from 5/20/19-10/15/19, due to Water Main Work. Croton Road; Upper Merion Township Road Closure between Alder Brook Drive and Sentry Lane, weekdays 9 AM - 3 PM from 5/28/19-9/30/19, due to Water Main Work. DETOUR POSTED. Route 63 (Sumneytown Pike); Upper Salford Township Lane Closure and temporary signal between Long Mill Road and Shady Lane 24/7 from 5/28-19-12/31/19, due to Bridge Replacement. Route 63 (Summneytown Pike), Upper Salford Township Road Closure between Thompson Road and Gerryville Pike from 5/28/19-12/31/19, due to Bridge Replacement. DETOUR POSTED Route 63 (Summneytown Pike); Upper Salford Township Road Closure between Moyer Road and Bergey Road from 5/28/19-12/31/19, due to Bridge Replacement. DETOUR POSTED Jenkintown Road; Abington Township Lane Closure between Easton Road and Read more

 

Concerned state reps tour pipeline sites with governor

(Aug 22, 2019)

WEST GOSHEN, Aug. 22 – State Reps. Carolyn Comitta and Kristine Howard today toured the Mariner East 1 pipeline with Gov. Tom Wolf and Department of Environmental Protection Executive Deputy Secretary Ramez Ziadeh. A high-consequence area, Pennsylvania’s Chester County is disproportionately affected by pipelines, with over 600 miles of pipe crisscrossing the county, including the 80-year-old Mariner East 1 pipeline. Constituents are concerned with safety and transparency. Comitta and Howard are committed to improving lines of communication among elected officials, regulatory agencies, and operators to ensure proper oversight. “Public health and safety must always be our number one priority,” said Comitta, D-Chester. “Our families deserve to be and feel safe in their homes, schools and places of work. It is the job of elected officials to do all we can to protect the people we serve. “We appreciate very much that Gov. Wolf is here in our community listening to the serious concerns of residents who live along the Mariner East pipeline. We will continue to work closely with the governor to keep public safety our top priority.” “Nowhere else in the commonwealth do pipelines zig-zag through so many high-density residential areas as here in our own backyard,” said Howard, D-Chester. “We let Governor Wolf know that Chester County will not be kept in the dark. My constituents – and my family – Read more

 

Ullman: Telephone town hall a success

(Aug 22, 2019)

DOYLESTOWN, Aug. 22 – State Rep. Wendy Ullman, D-Bucks, hosted a telephone town hall on Wednesday evening to discuss the upcoming session in Harrisburg and issues such as transportation, gun safety, the environment, and property taxes. “I appreciated everyone who took the time join the telephone town hall to share what is most important to them,” Ullman said. “I’ll be taking this information with me back to Harrisburg.” The 50-minute town hall was divided into two parts: polling questions on which listeners could vote and live questions from some attendees to which the representative responded. Respondents said that the biggest issue facing the 143 rd Legislative District was roads and infrastructure (57%), followed by access to health care (21%), schools (15%) and jobs (6%). An overwhelming percentage of respondents (88%) voted that gas drilling companies which use hydro-fracking technology should be required to pay their fair share as they do in other states. In order to stop school shootings, 51% percent of respondents said that military-style assault weapons should be banned and 24% said that background checks should be required for every firearm purchase. Sixty-eight percent of respondents voted that Pennsylvania should follow the lead of New Jersey, New York, Ohio and other surrounding states to raise the minimum wage. “Residents in the 143 rd are very informed and passionately engaged with local and state Read more

 

White Haven public hearing a charade, should be canceled, Mullery says

(Aug 22, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 22 – State Rep. Gerald Mullery said the Sept. 12 public hearing regarding the state closure of the White Haven Center should be canceled because it’s nothing more than a charade. Read more

 

Ciresi announces state and private funding for Pottstown H.S. auto program

(Aug 22, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 22 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, today announced that the Pottstown School District will receive additional funding for its high school automotive department and program. A news conference will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 29 at Pottstown Senior High School, 750 N. Washington St., Pottstown, 19464. The school Auto Shop is located on Adams Street across from the Pottstown YMCA. There will be students on hand to greet visitors and point them in the right direction. The Pottstown School District will celebrate and thank its sponsors for contributing to the much-needed automotive alignment equipment that was installed over the summer. This device will allow students to be trained and tested on a vital piece of automotive technology, while helping them prepare to enter the workforce market with employable skills. In addition to Ciresi, who recommended the Pottstown School District for career and technical education funding from the state, the event will feature: Joe Rusiewicz, executive director of the Foundation for Pottstown Education, who helped secure local and private donors. Mike Hewitt, auto tech teacher. Dave Livengood, Director of Career and Technical Education. Stephen Rodriguez, Superintendent of Pottstown School District. Questions can be directed to Ciresi’s district office at 484-200-8265. Media coverage is invited. ### Read more

 

Sturla to host 8th annual Back to School Giveaway Sunday

(Aug 22, 2019)

LANCASTER, Aug. 22 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, will hold his eighth annual Back to School Giveaway from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 25 inside Lancaster Barnstormers’ Clipper Magazine Stadium, 650 N. Prince St. During the event, School District of Lancaster students in grades K-8 will receive a free haircut, backpack, uniform, shoes, and book while also enjoying music, food, games and community activities. Students will also be provided a free meal and free ticket to the 5 p.m. Lancaster Barnstormers game. Students must be in attendance and accompanied by an adult to receive items. Over 1,300 students have already registered to attend. Same-day registration will also be available. Sturla’s staff and other community partners will also be on site to field questions about state-related issues and provide information about state programs and other services. ### ATTENTION NEWS EDITORS/ASSIGNMENT DESKS: Media coverage of this event is invited. CONTACT: Jim Dawes Office of Rep. Mike Sturla Phone: 717-787-3555 Email: jdawes@pahouse.net Read more

 

Burns: Homicides dictate halt to state parole hearings until outside review

(Aug 22, 2019)

EBENSBURG, Aug. 22 – Alarmed that several recent state parolees have been arrested for homicide, state Rep. Frank Burns has called for an independent, outside review of the parole process and a halt to new parole hearings until that occurs. Burns, D-Cambria, urgently requested the external review in a letter to Corrections Secretary John Wetzel that was also sent to Theodore W. Johnson, chairman of the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole. “Five recent Pennsylvania prison parolees have been charged with killing six people in just two months. Our process of determining who to release on parole is critically flawed and must immediately change,” Burns wrote. “We cannot sit idly by, watching murder after murder, in the name of soft-on-crime ‘reforms’ that loosen our parole policies. “We should be more focused on protecting innocent Pennsylvanians from senseless death at the hands of convicted criminals that about reducing our prison population at all costs. Please put any new parole hearings on hold until an independent, outside review can figure out why so many unrehabilitated murderers are slipping through your bars and back into society.” Burns noted that he stands with the Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers Association in demanding the review of parole policies and procedures. He called the spate of murders and arrests of recent state parolees “unfathomable” and Read more

 

Schweyer, Penn State Extension to hold spotted lanternfly forum Aug. 28

(Aug 22, 2019)

ALLENTOWN, Aug. 22 – State Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, and Penn State Extension are partnering to hold a public forum on the threat of the spotted lanternfly. The forum will be from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 28 at South Mountain Middle School, 709 W. Emaus Ave . No RSVP is needed. Master gardeners from Penn State Extension will offer updates on combatting the spotted lanternfly and answer your questions. Attendees can learn more about this invasive insect and how they can help control its impact on the community. The spotted lanternfly can threaten Pennsylvania’s agricultural crops such as grapes, hops and hardwoods, and is affecting the quality of life for residents in heavily infested areas, according to the Department of Agriculture. This event is part of a series of public meetings Penn State Extension is holding across the state to inform residents about the spotted lanternfly and what they can do to stop its spread. Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation Members thank Commissioner Ross after 30 years of service

(Aug 21, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 21 – Following Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross Jr.’s abrupt resignation on Tuesday, state Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., chairman of the Philadelphia Delegation in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and its members thanked Ross for his nearly 30 years of service to the city in law enforcement. “It has been an esteemed honor to stand beside Commissioner Ross in our efforts to improve the lives of all Philadelphians, especially to combat the increasing gun violence in the city,” Dawkins said. “Members of the delegation thank him for his nearly three decades of dedicated service to the city of Philadelphia. “However, we are disheartened to hear of the new accusations against the police force. As members of the House of Representatives, we take any charge of sexual harassment, gender or racial discrimination very seriously. “We trust that new leadership within the Philadelphia Police Department, presently under acting Commissioner Christine M. Coulter, will continue to work to overcome any issues of discrimination or harassment existing within the department.” Read more

 

Donatucci disappointed by refinery closure and layoffs

(Aug 21, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 21 – In response to the shutdown of the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery yesterday and the resulting layoffs, state Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila., issued the following statement: “The Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery has been vital to our economy for over 150 years. Closing this site, which is the largest of its kind on the East Coast, is a nearsighted solution that doesn’t fully consider the impact of the loss of 1,000 good, family-sustaining jobs at the refinery, as well as thousands of jobs at other companies that are affected by the refinery’s operations. Also, thousands of people across the region will see increasing prices at the gas pump and for in-home oil heating. “The refinery has filed for bankruptcy before and I worked with many parties to prevent its shutdown and save jobs then. I’m disappointed that a solution couldn’t be reached at this time to help PES stay open for the employees and contractors who worked there. Although a handful of staff will be kept on board to keep the refinery stable until its fate can be determined, our community will feel the impact of this loss immediately. I always try to find the balance between the environment and economics and I’m continuing to look for a viable solution. “I am hopeful that more answers will emerge about the cause of the fire and the future of the refinery site as the investigation wraps up and the PES Refinery Read more

 

Burgos to host End of Summer Blast on Aug. 31

(Aug 21, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 21 – State Rep. Danilo Burgos, D-Phila., will host his End of Summer Blast, a communitywide festival, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31 at Rivera Recreation Center, located at 3201 N. Fifth St., 19140. “The End of Summer Blast is a great way to celebrate the end of the summer and to kick-off the upcoming school year,” Burgos said. “I’m proud to host this event to celebrate the 197 th Legislative District community.” The event will include: Food. Face painting. Live performances. Amateur boxing tournament. Burgos and his district office staff will be available to answer questions about state issues and programs. Read more

 

Merski: School supplies still needed as drive enters final week
Aug 26, 2019

Davis to hold policy hearing Thursday on state’s minimum wage
Aug 26, 2019

Comitta announces annual senior expo, still time to reserve vendor space
Aug 26, 2019

Sturla reappointed to Special Education Funding Commission
Aug 26, 2019

DeLuca condemns BuzzFeed story accusing insurers, police of working together to falsely prosecute customers for profit
Aug 23, 2019

Sappey to hold policy hearing on local government challenges with stormwater management, infrastructure
Aug 23, 2019

Krueger invites community to Pet Expo September 7
Aug 23, 2019

Sanchez announces annual Senior Fair on Sept. 4
Aug 23, 2019

Ullman: Public engagement saves Tohickon Creek from DEP downgrade
Aug 23, 2019

Latest Road Work and Closures in Montco Region - August 23
Aug 23, 2019

Concerned state reps tour pipeline sites with governor
Aug 22, 2019

Ullman: Telephone town hall a success
Aug 22, 2019

White Haven public hearing a charade, should be canceled, Mullery says
Aug 22, 2019

Ciresi announces state and private funding for Pottstown H.S. auto program
Aug 22, 2019

Sturla to host 8th annual Back to School Giveaway Sunday
Aug 22, 2019

Burns: Homicides dictate halt to state parole hearings until outside review
Aug 22, 2019

Schweyer, Penn State Extension to hold spotted lanternfly forum Aug. 28
Aug 22, 2019

Philadelphia House Delegation Members thank Commissioner Ross after 30 years of service
Aug 21, 2019

Donatucci disappointed by refinery closure and layoffs
Aug 21, 2019

Burgos to host End of Summer Blast on Aug. 31
Aug 21, 2019