Latest News

Education officials, advocates call for adequacy and equity in basic education funding at Samuelson virtual hearing

(Sep 01, 2021)

BETHLEHEM, Sept. 1 – Citing that only a small portion of overall education is run through the Fair Education Funding Formula, state Rep. Steve Samuelson held a virtual hearing to learn more from educators and advocates on how Pennsylvania can fulfill its constitutional obligation to provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of public education to serve the needs of the Commonwealth. “Adequate state funding can make education resources more equitable based on the way we choose to allocate money,” Samuelson said. “The Fair Funding Formula was approved in 2016 but has not yet been fully implemented. We made progress this year with $100 million in Level Up funding distributed to underfunded districts like the Bethlehem Area School District. We need to continue efforts to fully implement the Fair Funding Formula.” Sean Brandon, Budget Analyst for the House Appropriations Committee began his presentation noting the importance of that constitutional commitment and shared how the Fair Funding Formula and budget practices allocate funds to school districts across the state. Joseph Roy, Bethlehem Area School District Superintendent and Karen Beck-Pooley, Bethlehem Area School District Director, shared from a district-level perspective of how they use the state funds received, noting challenges with charter school reimbursements and rising special education costs. Communities of color are disproportionately Read more

Fairly funding education focus of Samuelson hearing Wednesday

(Aug 31, 2021)

Bethlehem, Aug. 31 – Pennsylvania regularly falls at the bottom nationally when it comes to adequately funding basic education and state Rep. Steve Samuelson is hosting a public hearing to discuss how the fair funding formula can help better serve students and the economy. The hearing will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 1 online at www.pahouse.com/policy . The public and media are welcome to tune in online. Media inquiries may be submitted to policy@pahouse.net . Samuelson, D-Northampton, will be joined by Policy Committee Chairman Ryan Bizzarro and members of the House Democratic Policy Committee, to further discuss how education investments ultimately result in economic returns to the state in the form of a more prepared workforce and productive citizens. Level Up funding from the current fiscal year will also be discussed. Read more

Kosierowski lauds funding awarded to NEPA

(Aug 05, 2021)

State Rep. Bridget M. Kosierowski joined Gov. Tom Wolf and Sen. Marty Flynn outside Café Rinaldi in Old Forge to highlight a total of $2.3 million in state grants awarded to Lackawanna County restaurants adversely affected by the pandemic. Read more

Prescription drug pricing reforms essential for public health, and economy

(Jul 12, 2021)

HARRISBURG, July 12 -- State Representatives Emily Kinkead and Eddie Day Pashinski today hosted a public hearing to discuss the need for drastic reforms to drive down the costs of prescription drugs for the well-being of Pennsylvanians who rely on medications for an improved quality of life. The hearing, a meeting of the Policy Committee’s Subcommittee on Progressive Policies for Working People, included testimony on how prescription drug pricing is calculated, some of the cost drivers and legislative action needed to regulate pricing. Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler, chair of the subcommittee, and legislators from across the state joined both in person and online for the discussion. Sean Zmenkowski, a constituent services advisor for Rep. Kinkead, shared his experience as a type one diabetic reliant on insulin to survive and the career choices he has had to make in order to maintain access to life-sustaining medication. “Far too many Pennsylvanians have to make painful choices regarding life-saving medications – going without or rationing their medicine – either option is inexcusable,” said state Rep. Emily Kinkead, D-Allegheny. “I remain committed to working with my colleagues to come up with solutions, including a prescription drug importation program, to ensure the prescription drugs our residents need are accessible and affordable. It’s clear we need long-term solutions to help our residents, and we can make it happen.” Read more

Kinkead, Pashinski to discuss driving down drug costs

(Jul 08, 2021)

HARRISBURG, July 8 – The runaway costs of prescription medication will be the focus of a virtual hearing of the Subcommittee on Progressive Policies for Working People hosted by state Reps. Elizabeth Fiedler, Emily Kinkead and Eddie Day Pashinski. The hearing will be held at 1 p.m. Monday, July 12. The media and public are invited to watch online at www.pahouse.com/policy or on the committee’s Facebook page--@PADemPolicy. Media inquiries may be submitted via email to policy@pahouse.net . Kinkead, D-Allegheny, and Pashinski, D-Luzerne, will be joined by Subcommittee Chair Elizabeth Fiedler, D-Phila., and members of the House Democratic Policy Committee to discuss innovative approaches to reducing drug costs, providing pathways to low-cost prescriptions, and how drug costs factor into Pennsylvania’s healthcare framework. Information about this and other House Democratic Policy Committee hearings can be found at www.pahouse.com/policycommittee . Read more

Northeast Delegation membership

(Jul 07, 2021)

Madden and McNeill take the helm of Northeast Delegation

(Jul 07, 2021)

HARRISBURG, June 14 – State Rep. Maureen Madden, D-Monroe, has been selected to serve as chairwoman of the Northeast Democratic Delegation of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for the remainder of 2021-22 legislative term. Madden took over the chair position when delegation chairman Marty Flynn, D-Lackawanna, was sworn in as a state senator last week. State Rep. Jeanne McNeill, D-Lehigh was appointed to serve the remainder of Madden’s unexpired term as vice-chairwoman. Both Madden and McNeill were appointed by the delegation’s 14-member board. Madden, who has now gained seniority as chairwoman, said she is dedicated to move the delegation forward on many issues important to the Northeast. “The Northeast Delegation will be tackling important issues that matter to everyone, such as equity in education, social programs, senior services, diversity, gun reform, equal pay, voting rights, health care and workplace safety regulations,” Madden said. “We must continue to work together on both sides of the aisle and mend our divisions so we can provide unified, effective change for the people of Pennsylvania.” McNeill said she will be at the forefront of debates on issues that affect her constituency and the delegation. “I t’s an honor that my colleagues have selected and entrusted me with the responsibilities of Read more

McNeill announces nearly $102K in funding for fire, emergency medical services

(Jun 30, 2021)

State Rep. Jeanne McNeill, D-Lehigh, announced today that a total of $101,962.25 will be awarded to local volunteer fire and emergency medical services companies. Read more

A Magic Act: The Republicans Make Your Money Disappear ... Again

(Jun 23, 2021)

It is no secret that I was new to politics when I was sworn into office in April of 2019. As a registered nurse and a mother of four, I am used to navigating through everyday chaos. This last year we have all had to find a way to navigate through the deadliest pandemic in 100 years, and it has not been easy.  Read more

McNeill: Let’s make mental health the priority it should be

(Jun 23, 2021)

As budget talks continue in Harrisburg, state Reps. Mike Schlossberg and Jeanne McNeill, both D-Lehigh, are hopeful that this week’s negotiations and debate will also involve thoughtful consideration of H.B. 1690, legislation that would address the shortage of mental health services in underserved areas. Read more