Latest News

Harkins applauds governor’s executive order urging passage of worker safety bill

(1 day ago)

ERIE, Oct. 21 – State Rep. Pat Harkins, D-Erie, issued the following statement today in response to Gov. Tom Wolf’s executive action urging passage of H.B. 1976 , Harkins’ workplace safety legislation, also known as the Jake Schwab Worker Safety Bill. “I was encouraged to hear Governor Wolf call on lawmakers to pass my worker safety bill and eliminate a gaping hole in protections for our state’s public workers. The men and women who make up Pennsylvania’s workforce give it their all – whether they work for public or private employers – to support their families and keep our communities running. “But shockingly, although they do the same work, only some of them are safe from workplace dangers. That’s because basic safety protections exist for private-sector workers only. Public employees – from police to corrections officers to public transit workers – are left to fend for themselves. “My bill is named for Jake Schwab, a public transit mechanic who died just days before Thanksgiving because the equipment he needed was unavailable at his job site, leading to an explosion. Unlike mechanics in private garages, Jake was not protected by the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and Pennsylvania has no state plan imposing comparable standards to protect public employees. “It’s my hope that with renewed attention focused on this critically needed piece of legislation, the families Read more

Burns: $4.2 million approved for local water projects

(Oct 20, 2021)

State funding will help local projects go forward Read more

Matzie: More than $3 million secured to remove and replace lead service lines in Aliquippa’s water system

(Oct 20, 2021)

AMBRIDGE, Oct. 20 – State funding of more than $3.1 million will allow the city of Aliquippa to continue eliminating a potential lead risk in the city’s drinking water, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. Matzie said the new funding from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority will finance the second phase of a project to remove and replace lead service lines – work made necessary after testing revealed concerning lead levels in some residents’ drinking water. “After water sampling in 2020 showed lead in residents’ drinking water, replacing the system’s lead service lines with copper lines became an immediate priority,” Matzie said. “In spring, we secured initial funding to replace 184 lines. That was a step in the right direction, but more work remains to eliminate the threat to all residents. “Securing this additional $3 million will allow the water authority to replace 275 lead service lines, including the lines on the customers’ side. People need to be able to put concerns over the safety of their drinking water behind them, and this funding brings us one step closer to that.” Matzie said the funding to the Municipal Water Authority of Aliquippa includes a combination of $1.9 million in grant funding and a $1.2 million low-interest loan and that without it, residents would have faced an estimated 3% Read more

Harkins, Merski: Nearly $700,000 in tax credits awarded to expand affordable rental housing

(Oct 14, 2021)

ERIE, Oct. 14 – Erie residents will soon have greater options for affordable rental housing, thanks to nearly $700,000 in federal tax credit funding awarded today, state Reps. Pat Harkins and Bob Merski announced. The lawmakers, both D-Erie, said the funding to GMA Development Group, LLC, for Royal Homes development sites in Erie will fund construction of 26 units. “Lack of affordable housing is a persistent problem for Pennsylvania’s low-income households, and too many families already spend more than half of their income on rent, leaving little left over for groceries, prescriptions and other necessities,” Harkins said. “Securing this funding will help expand housing options that give families livable options. It won’t solve our housing shortage overnight, but it’s a good start.” Merski said, “A stable, permanent place to call home is such an important foundation in life, but not all families have easy access to safe, affordable housing. The tax credits awarded today should help boost the supply of affordable rental units for Erie families.” The Low Income Housing Tax Credits are administered by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency and were approved by the agency’s board. The funding is part of a package of $43.6 million awarded statewide for the construction of 1,974 affordable multifamily rental units. More information on the awards is Read more

Matzie: $2.4 million awarded to fund Beaver County affordable rental housing

(Oct 14, 2021)

AMBRIDGE, Oct. 14 – Beaver County residents will have greater access to affordable housing, thanks to more than $2.4 million in federal funding awarded today, state Rep. Rob Matzie announced. Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, said the funding to Hudson Companies for the Wayne Court Development in Ambridge includes approximately $1.25 million awarded under the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program and nearly $1.19 million from the National Housing Trust Fund. “For low-income families, housing expenses can eat up a huge chunk of the budget, and that problem has been growing as Pennsylvania families are facing rising rents and a shortage of affordable housing,” Matzie said. “The low-income tax credits awarded today will help offset this trend by bringing more low-cost housing options into the mix.” The federal tax credits are administered by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency and were approved by the agency’s board. The funding is part of a package of $43.6 million awarded statewide for the construction of 1,974 affordable multifamily rental units. More information on the awards is available here . Read more

Matzie pleased by DEP denial of PennEnergy request to withdraw water from Big Sewickley Creek

(Oct 13, 2021)

AMBRIDGE, Oct. 13 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, issued the following statement regarding the state Department of Environmental Protection’s denial of PennEnergy’s request to withdraw 3 million gallons of water daily from Big Sewickley Creek: “I am pleased by the denial. DEP noted no less than seven areas of concern and deficiencies in the application by PennEnergy Resources to withdraw water from the Big Sewickley Creek, which flows through a portion of my legislative district. “While the clock on the appeal process begins, I am hopeful that PennEnergy finds a different source of water rather than go against the wishes of the communities and many individuals who care deeply about any possible damage to this valuable water source. In most cases, I believe we can have energy extraction and maintain a clean, healthy environment. I do not believe this is one of those cases. “Regardless of any decision by a regulator or the courts, abandoning the plan to withdraw water from Big Sewickley Creek should be the decision by PennEnergy Resources -- not because it’s the most sound business decision, but because it’s the right thing to do.” In a July letter to DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell, Matzie called on the department to deny PennEnergy’s request, citing concerns that withdrawing high volumes of water from the creek would escalate existing drought and Read more

Rep. Longietti's latest newsletter now available online

(Oct 08, 2021)

My latest newsletter is now available online and offers a look at recent legislation, new funding, and pictures from around the district! You can read it here. Read more

Burns, family hold ceremony honoring local hero

(Oct 08, 2021)

Dysart man killed when destroyer was sunk off Italy during WWII Read more

Longietti hosting Oct. 15 flu shot clinic

(Oct 07, 2021)

HERMITAGE, Oct. 7 – State Rep. Mark Longiett i, D-Mercer, is hosting a free flu shot clinic in partnership with Primary Health Network. The clinic will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 15 at the Greenville Knights of Columbus , 170 Clarksville St. (Route 18) in Greenville. “Getting a flu shot now allows folks to get a jump on protection and shore up their immunity before flu activity starts ramping up in winter,” Longietti said. “This year, the clinic will also offer a limited number of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, so residents who have not yet received the COVID-19 vaccine – or who are eligible for a third Moderna shot based on compromised immunity – will have an opportunity to get that, as well.” Longietti said participants must bring a valid photo ID and insurance card to receive a shot. Pre-registration is preferred (though not mandatory) and can be done by visiting www.primary-health.net or calling (724) 699-9211 and selecting option 3. Residents with questions may also call Longietti’s district office Monday through Friday at (724) 981-4655 or his satellite Greenville office on Tuesdays or Thursdays at (724) 588-1005. Read more

Sainato bill would extend disabled veteran tax exemption to surviving spouses

(Oct 07, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 7 – A bill recently introduced by state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, would expand the property tax exemption currently available to Pennsylvania’s disabled combat veterans so that it also benefits the surviving spouses of service members who were killed in action or passed away after receiving a disability rating. Sainato, Democratic chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, said he introduced H.B. 1953 – which would amend the state constitution – because he believes Pennsylvania needs to do more to recognize the sacrifices made by military spouses. “Military service resulting in disabling injury or death has a profound, life-altering impact on a service member’s spouse,” Sainato said. “Unfortunately, our laws do not do enough to recognize that sacrifice. Currently, Pennsylvania provides a property tax exemption for veterans who suffered disabling injuries in combat, but our state constitution limits that exemption to the veteran service members themselves. “That limitation creates an unfair result: it deprives the spouse of a military member who died from their injuries an important benefit they would have been guaranteed had their service member spouse survived, but with disabling injuries. My bill would correct that inequity and amend the state constitution to make the property tax exemption available to Read more