Latest News

Longietti hosting Oct. 6 flu shot clinic

(Sep 21, 2022)

HERMITAGE, Sept. 21 – State Rep. Mark Longiett i, D-Mercer, is hosting a free flu shot clinic in partnership with Primary Health Network from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 6 at the Greenville Knights of Columbus , 170 Clarksville St. (Route 18) in Greenville. “With fall here, it’s time to start thinking about getting the flu vaccine,” Longietti said. “It’s a quick, simple step that can cut your flu risk in half – or prevent serious complications from occurring if you do get the flu. The shot is also safe – it cannot give you the flu and will not increase your risk of getting COVID-19 or other illnesses. I encourage everyone to consider scheduling an appointment at our upcoming clinic. “There will also be Moderna COVID-19 vaccines and boosters available.” 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 or calling (724) 699-9211 and selecting option 1. 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: House unanimously passes legislation to establish first responder tuition and loan assistance program

(Sep 21, 2022)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 21 – A tuition and loan assistance program to help the state recruit and retain volunteer first responders is one step closer to becoming law after legislation including the proposal passed the House unanimously today, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced. Sainato, who is Democratic chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, said he introduced the program as an amendment to H.B. 1178 – which also would strengthen the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Grant Program and provide extra funding to firefighters and EMS workers from the recently passed Fireworks Law – to address a growing public safety issue. “A Senate commission report showing that the number of Pennsylvania’s volunteer first responders has declined by nearly 90% – from about 300,000 in the 1970s to as few as 38,000 in 2018 – was a wakeup call that we need commonsense, bipartisan solutions to attract young people back to volunteer public safety jobs,” Sainato said. “Helping pay their tuition at state schools in exchange for service would be an effective recruiting tool that would ensure an ongoing supply of volunteers. “The House’s vote today moves us one step closer to establishing that program and other measures to begin building back the ranks of volunteers while also supporting paid municipal fire and EMS services.” The program, which would be established within the Read more

Longietti, Brooks: Nearly $500,000 awarded for Mercer County recreational projects

(Sep 20, 2022)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 20 – New grant funding of nearly $477,000 will expand recreational opportunities for Mercer County residents, state Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, and state Sen. Michele Brooks, R-Crawford/Mercer/Erie/Warren, announced today. The city of Hermitage will receive $230,904 for a dek hockey facility. The grant will fund excavation, installation of a concrete pad, decking, a rink, boards, lighting, fencing and other amenities. “Serving on Jamestown Borough Council, I saw firsthand how important these spaces were for local families to spend time together. There has been widespread interest and a demand from the community and surrounding area families for such a facility to enhance recreational opportunities for both youth and adults,” Brooks said. “In addition to expanding recreational opportunities for families, it will also help to attract others to the area – resulting in positive economic impacts.” Longietti said, "Hermitage residents have expressed a strong interest in new recreational options. Funding for the hockey facility is a great investment that will introduce residents of all ages to a new sport while also boosting the local economy as visitors to the rink patronize area shops and businesses." The second grant, in the amount of $220,854, will be allocated to the Mercer County Park Renovation project to renovate a 40-year-old park behind the Shenango Township Read more

Merski, Harkins: $400,000 awarded for Erie watershed restoration projects

(Sep 20, 2022)

ERIE, Sept. 20 – Two Erie watershed restoration projects are receiving $400,000 in funding from the Commonwealth Financing Authority, state Reps. Bob Merski and Pat Harkins, both D-Erie, announced today. The lawmakers said two grants of $200,000 each to the city of Erie will fund projects to restore Garrison Run and Cemetery Run streams, both designated as impaired by the state Department of Environmental Protection because of excessive sediment pollution. “Pollution in tributaries that empty into Presque Isle Bay can have broad consequences beyond the immediate stream banks, and Garrison Run is a stream with a long history of sediment pollution,” Merski said. “Reducing the sediment load is critical to improving water quality, protecting the health of delicate ecosystems and curbing the pollutants that flow through to the bay and lake. “The new grant will help the city achieve those goals by funding restoration work on approximately 1,200 linear feet of Garrison Run on the fenced property of the Erie Wastewater Treatment Plant along Port Access Road.” Harkins said a second grant will help the city address sediment pollution in Cemetery Run Stream. “So much of our region’s health depends on the health of our watershed,” Harkins said. “Improving water quality in our streams and tributaries means less impact to the shoreline, safer recreation and fishing for Read more

Sainato: $250,000 awarded to help rehab Neshannock community center

(Sep 20, 2022)

NEW CASTLE, Sept. 20 – A $250,000 grant to Neshannock Township will help fund renovations to the Hutchison Community Center in Pearson Park, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. Sainato said the grant from the Commonwealth Financing Authority’s Greenways, Trails, and Recreation Program will help modernize the building, which has been falling into disrepair. “Without periodic upgrades, aging buildings can burden taxpayers and create health and safety hazards,” Sainato said. “The Hutchison Community Center has been serving our community for decades, but the building has developed problems we can no longer afford to ignore, including mold, plumbing and roof leaks and outdated and inefficient kitchen and HVAC equipment. “The grant awarded today will help fund work to repair the roof; create an ADA accessible entrance and bathrooms; and upgrade the kitchen, HVAC systems, and wiring for a security system.” Sainato said the total project cost is $661,080, of which the township has committed $411,080. More information about the Greenways, Trails, and Recreation Program is available at: Read more

Longietti to host September ‘mobile office’ sessions

(Sep 15, 2022)

HERMITAGE, Sept. 15 – State Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, will host a series of “mobile office” sessions this month to provide residents easier access to information on state programs and services. “For folks who have questions or want to learn more about state programs and services, our mobile office sessions will make it easier to get that information closer to home,” Longietti said. “Residents can stop by to learn about various programs such as the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program, find out whether they are eligible and pick up applications. “There will also be information about handicap placards, discounted vehicle registrations for retirees, state prescription assistance, and other programs and services. Copies of the 2022 Senior Guide and various brochures will be available, as well. I encourage anyone needing information to stop by.” The sessions – all held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and open to the public – are scheduled for the following dates and locations: Thursday, Sept 22: West Salem Volunteer Fire Department, 625 Vernon Road, Greenville, PA 16125. Friday, Sept. 23: Clark Borough Building, 2798 Winner Road, Clark, PA 16113. Wednesday, Sept. 28: Pymatuning Township Municipal Building, 256 Edgewood Drive Ext., Transfer, PA 16154. Those interested in learning more should Read more

Merski to host virtual Pardon Project Town Hall at noon Sept. 16

(Sep 14, 2022)

ERIE, Sept. 14 – State Rep. Bob Merski will host a “Learn at Lunch” virtual town hall at noon Friday, Sept. 16 with Secretary of the Board of Pardons Celeste Trusty to help residents learn more about the Pennsylvania Marijuana Pardon Project. Merski, D-Erie, said the event will offer practical information and a chance to ask questions. “The PA Marijuana Pardon Project is a unique opportunity for folks with minor marijuana convictions to get a fresh start, but the deadline to apply is Sept. 30,” Merski said. “I encourage anyone who may be eligible to sign into our town hall Friday. It will be a great chance to learn the program details, find out about eligibility and ask questions of the secretary of the Board of Pardons. “My office is also available to help with the application process.” Those interested in attending the live online Teams event should send their name and e-mail address to Merski’s office by emailing or calling (814) 455-6319. The event will also be livestreamed on Merski’s Facebook page. For more information, those interested can contact Merski’s office at (814) 455-6319. Read more

Sainato: More than $1 million awarded to boost Lawrence County businesses

(Sep 14, 2022)

NEW CASTLE, Sept. 14 – Lawrence County businesses will have access to new loan funding thanks to $1.1 million awarded to the Lawrence County Economic Development Corporation, state Rep. Chris Sainato announced today. Sainato, D-Lawrence, said the funding from the state Department of Community and Economic Development will allow the local economic development partner to create or recapitalize revolving loans for small businesses. “The new funding will strengthen resources for small business in our community by expanding access to loan funding,” Sainato said. “Having cash on hand for daily operations and other expenses is more important than ever as businesses continue rebuilding, and this fresh infusion of funding will help with that effort.” The funding is part of a package of $246 million in American Rescue Plan funding awarded statewide under both the Revolving Loan Fund and the Direct Venture Investment programs. Capital programs administered by economic development partners are scheduled to be open by Oct. 17. Small businesses should apply for funding through their economic development organizations. More about the funding is available here: . Read more

Harkins: Nursing home strike settlement a victory for resident care

(Sep 13, 2022)

ERIE, Sept. 13 – State Rep. Pat Harkins issued the following statement in response to news that striking nursing home employees at facilities owned by Comprehensive Healthcare, Priority Healthcare, and Shenandoah Heights Healthcare have reached contract agreements: “Reports that Pennsylvania nursing home workers have reached a deal with management is the best possible news and a testament to what workers can achieve when they stand together. “When hundreds of employees walked off the job earlier this month, they had reached a breaking point after years of attempting to care for too many residents with insufficient staff and resources. Many had warned that conditions were jeopardizing residents’ safety and health and that the lack of a living wage made it impossible to recruit and retain desperately needed staff. “Tackling these issues was the very reason I joined colleagues on both sides of the aisle to commit $600 million in the new state budget to strengthen nursing home care. “By joining forces and making their voices heard, these workers brought management to the table, and both sides scored a victory by putting aside their differences and coming together to put those dollars to the use for which they were intended. “The new contract agreements should ensure more staff time for residents and better wages and benefits for recruitment and retention of staff. “Laying this Read more

Merski: Greene Township firefighters awarded $8,500 to fight brush fires

(Sep 13, 2022)

ERIE, Sept. 13 – A grant of $8,525 to Kuhl Hose Co. in Greene Township will make it easier for firefighters to fight brush fires, state Rep. Bob Merski announced today. Merski, D-Erie, said the funding – part of a package of Volunteer Fire Assistance Grants offered through the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources – will help fight a seasonal hazard that increases over the dry fall months. “Brush fires – especially when they occur near homes or along roadways – can spread quickly to endanger people and property, and dry conditions increase the risk,” Merski said. “As we head into fall, it will be important for firefighters to have the portable tanks and other special equipment needed to combat this fast-moving threat while staying safe themselves.” The grants were awarded on a cost-share basis to qualifying local firefighting forces in rural areas and communities with fewer than 10,000 people. The funding may be used for training and equipment purchases directly related to fighting brush and forest fires. Priority was placed on projects that include the purchase of wildfire suppression equipment and protective clothing. Grants may also be used for purchasing mobile or portable radios, installing dry hydrants, wildfire prevention and mitigation work, training wildfire fighters, or converting and maintaining federal excess Read more