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 www.primary-health.net 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: https://dced.pa.gov/programs/greenways-trails-and-recreation-program-gtrp/ 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 RepMerski@pahouse.net 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: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-246-million-awarded-to-support-small-businesses-across-pennsylvania/ . 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

 

Merski, Harkins: $20 million awarded to power Erie business growth, innovation

(Sep 13, 2022)

ERIE, Sept. 13 – Erie businesses will have access to fresh infusions of capital thanks to nearly $20 million in funding to Ben Franklin Technology Partners Central & Northern Pennsylvania, state Reps. Bob Merski and Pat Harkins announced today. The lawmakers, both D-Erie, said the funding from the state Department of Community and Economic Development will allow Ben Franklin to make equity investments and loans to fuel area businesses and jobs. “There is so much talent and vision in the Erie business community, and those natural assets combined with an energetic, talented workforce have given birth to dozens of exciting enterprises,” Merski said. “The funding awarded today will mean more capital flowing to new and emerging businesses, which will continue growing Erie’s reputation as a welcome business climate and a place to invest.” Harkins said, “The investment in Ben Franklin Technology Partners means existing and emerging companies in our community can look forward to fresh infusions of funding. It’s a perfect investment in our area’s natural potential that will allow local business owners to spread their wings, create more jobs and keep our economy expanding.” The funding was awarded under the Direct Venture Investment program, which provides funding to economic development organizations to provide seed and later-stage capital for existing and emerging Read more

 

State Rep. Bob Merski's Fall 2022 Newsletter

(Sep 12, 2022)

State Rep. Bob Merski's Fall 2022 Newsletter Read more

 

Sainato: More than $550,000 awarded to fund major Lawrence County park improvements

(Sep 06, 2022)

NEW CASTLE, Sept. 6 – Major improvements are coming to two Lawrence County recreational areas thanks to $553,900 in grant funding, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. Sainato said the funding – administered by the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Community Conservation Partnerships Program – includes $374,800 for improvements to Pearson Park in Neshannock Township and $179,100 for further development of Quaker Falls Recreation Area in Mahoning Township. “The grants we secured today are going to fund major improvements that will offer residents new ways to enjoy the outdoors,” Sainato said. “The grant to Neshannock Township will help fund a pedestrian walkway, pickleball courts, comfort station and operations facilities for Pearson Park, while a second grant to Lawrence County will help fund walkways, a pavilion and observation areas for Quaker Falls Recreation Area in Mahoning. “Both projects will also include installation of fencing, landscaping and ADA access, so everyone in our community has a chance to enjoy the scenic beauty and fresh air these beloved outdoor areas have to offer.” More about the funding is available here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/governor-wolf-announces-historic-90-million-investment-to-improve-recreation-community-revitalization-across-pennsylvania/ Read more

 

Merski, Harkins: More than $500,000 to improve, expand Erie natural attractions

(Sep 06, 2022)

ERIE, Sept. 6 – Erie parks, greenspaces and other natural attractions will receive a boost from more than $500,000 in state funding, state Reps. Bob Merski and Pat Harkins, both D-Erie, announced today. The lawmakers said the funding was approved by the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and will be used to rehabilitate and expand parkland and improve area attractions. “The investments we make in our natural attractions can be as important as the ones we make in concrete,” Merski said. “Expanding our parks and greenspaces makes our communities more livable – it brings more places for families to play and exercise together, for kids to learn and discover nature, and for visitors to enjoy our unique attractions. That’s a win for residents and for tourism, as well.” Harkins said, “Erie has an abundance of natural beauty and one-of-a-kind attractions. The funding we helped secure today is going to help restore or expand attractions folks visit to gather together and enjoy free time. I’m delighted we were able to help secure funding for the special places that improve quality of life for residents.” The projects approved include: $92,500 to Western Pennsylvania Conservancy for acquisition of 108.5 acres for addition to State Game Lands (for Erie/Warren counties). $91,240 to Union City Borough for rehabilitation of Read more

 

Merski, Harkins: Nearly $250,000 awarded to boost security for two Erie organizations

(Sep 02, 2022)

ERIE, Sept. 2 – Several Erie facilities will benefit from enhanced security thanks to $245,000 in federal grant funding, state Reps. Bob Merski and Pat Harkins announced today. The lawmakers, both D-Erie, said the funding – awarded through the federal Nonprofit Security Grant Program – includes $150,000 to Chabad Lubavitch of Erie County, Inc. and two separate grants totaling $95,000 to the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. “I’m glad this funding is available to shore up protections against those who would seek to spread hatred and violence,” Merski said. “I also encourage everyone in our community to stand together and send a strong message that hate will find no safe harbor here in Erie.” Harkins said, “People should never have to feel threatened where they live, work, or pray. It’s my hope that this funding and the stronger security it provides will bring the peace of mind everyone deserves in our community.” The grants are part of a package of $4.2 million awarded statewide to protect diverse communities targeted by hate crimes. The program, administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, provides funding for target hardening and physical security enhancements, with a focus on organizations that are at high risk of a potential terrorist attack. More information about the funding is Read more

 

Merski’s office can help residents applying under Pa. Marijuana Pardon Project

(Sep 01, 2022)

ERIE, Sept. 1 – The state Board of Pardons will be accepting applications for the new PA Marijuana Pardon Project through Sept. 30, and state Rep. Bob Merski wants residents to know that his office is available to help. Merski, D-Erie, said the project can offer a fresh start for residents with minor, non-violent marijuana offenses on their record. “The new marijuana pardon project can be life-changing for people who want only to resume productive lives in our community,” Merski said. “Convictions for minor offenses like these can end up derailing school and career plans, cutting off access to housing and other critical assistance and preventing folks from getting back into the fold of our community to raise families, be trusted neighbors, and give back. “People convicted of possession or use of a small amount of marijuana are eligible to apply, and there is no limit regarding the age of the conviction. I encourage anyone who believes they may qualify to apply, and to contact us for help along the way. Our community is stronger when we work together to lift each other up.” Merski said residents eligible are those with one or both of the following convictions: Possession of Marijuana (Title 35 Section 780-113 Subsection A31) Marijuana, Small Amount Personal Use (Title 35 Section 780-113 Subsection A31I) The link to apply for the pardon is pa.gov/mjpardon Read more

 

Longietti: Sharon schools awarded nearly $75,000 to expand access to fresh produce

(Sep 01, 2022)

HERMITAGE, Sept. 1 – Sharon grade-schoolers will benefit from healthier school snacks, thanks to grant funding that will bring more fresh fruits and vegetables to area schools, state Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, announced today. Longietti, who is Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee, said the funding awarded under the USDA’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program includes $35,700 to Case Avenue Elementary School, $21,140 to Musser Elementary School, and $17,780 to West Hill Elementary School. “ Educators will tell you that adding more fresh fruits and vegetables to school menus brings students multiple benefits, including better concentration and memory, higher test scores, and fewer illnesses, among other plusses,” Longietti said. “This funding is a great investment to help kids achieve more during the school day.” Funding priority was given to the schools with the highest rates of students eligible for free and reduced-price meals. More information about the grants is available here , and a full list of the schools receiving funding is available here. Read more

 

Sainato: More than $100,000 awarded to boost fresh produce for New Castle schools

(Sep 01, 2022)

NEW CASTLE, Aug. 31 – Nearly $103,000 in grant funding will expand the supply of fresh fruits and vegetables available to New Castle students, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. Sainato said the funding awarded under the USDA’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program includes $52,150 to the Harry W. Lockley Early Learning Center and $50,750 to Washington Intermediate School. “We have known for years that nutritious, natural snacks sharpen focus and reduce hyperactivity in kids, while the additives in junk food do just the opposite,” Sainato said. “Securing this funding is going to bring more of the right kind of fuel to keep Lawrence County students healthy, engaged and learning.” Funding priority was given to the schools with the highest rates of students eligible for free and reduced-price meals. More information about the grants is available here , and a full list of the schools receiving funding is available here. Read more

 

Merski, Harkins: Nearly $375,000 in grant funding will bring fresh produce to Erie elementary schools

(Sep 01, 2022)

ERIE, Aug. 31 – More fresh fruits and vegetables are headed to Erie elementary schools, thanks to $372,400 in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, state Reps. Bob Merski and Pat Harkins announced today. The lawmakers, both D-Erie, said funding under the USDA’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program includes $331,450 to elementary schools in the Erie City School District and $40,950 to the Iroquois School District. “Snacks like raw fruits and vegetables are quite literally brain food for kids – proven to help them focus better, retain more information, and perform better on tests,” Merski said. “They also help boost young immune systems to keep illness at bay. I am thrilled that we were able to help secure this funding so our students can reap the benefits of more nutritious snacks.” Harkins said, “ Getting more fresh produce into our local schools can do so much for students – in addition to increased school performance, getting kids snacking on fruits and vegetables instead of junk food helps them form healthy habits from a young age – hopefully, lessons that will last a lifetime. Funding priority was given to the schools with the highest rates of students eligible for free and reduced-price meals. More information about the grants is available here , and a full list of the schools receiving funding Read more

 

Harkins: Time to start treating our caregivers fairly

(Aug 23, 2022)

At a recent rally at the state Capitol, certified nursing assistant Shelley Robinson recalled what happened when the nursing home she worked for ran out of food. “Workers were using their own food stamps to run to the store and buy milk and cereal for our residents. We took turns buying snacks for our diabetic patients so their sugar would stay stable. Our paychecks bounced. We are here to take care of our residents, but who is taking care of us?” Robinson’s story isn’t unique, and it isn’t new. Long before the pandemic, workers at Pennsylvania’s more than 700 nursing homes faced understaffed, overworked conditions – in some cases caring for more than 30 patients at a time. This year, we took a huge step toward changing that dynamic by passing a state budget that increases the Medicaid reimbursement rate and allocates hundreds of millions to long-term care facilities statewide. The funding – which has the potential to dramatically boost staff recruitment and retention – should open the door to progress and cooperation. Instead, as several thousand workers attempt to negotiate new union contracts, we are hearing reports that administrators are withholding key information, refusing to negotiate fairly and threatening to fire workers if they strike. That’s totally unacceptable. With lives at stake, home administrators need to start dealing fairly with workers – now. Sounding the alarm Caregivers Read more

 

Longietti hosting Oct. 6 flu shot clinic
Sep 21, 2022

Sainato: House unanimously passes legislation to establish first responder tuition and loan assistance program
Sep 21, 2022

Longietti, Brooks: Nearly $500,000 awarded for Mercer County recreational projects
Sep 20, 2022

Merski, Harkins: $400,000 awarded for Erie watershed restoration projects
Sep 20, 2022

Sainato: $250,000 awarded to help rehab Neshannock community center
Sep 20, 2022

Longietti to host September ‘mobile office’ sessions
Sep 15, 2022

Merski to host virtual Pardon Project Town Hall at noon Sept. 16
Sep 14, 2022

Sainato: More than $1 million awarded to boost Lawrence County businesses
Sep 14, 2022

Harkins: Nursing home strike settlement a victory for resident care
Sep 13, 2022

Merski: Greene Township firefighters awarded $8,500 to fight brush fires
Sep 13, 2022

Merski, Harkins: $20 million awarded to power Erie business growth, innovation
Sep 13, 2022

State Rep. Bob Merski's Fall 2022 Newsletter
Sep 12, 2022

Sainato: More than $550,000 awarded to fund major Lawrence County park improvements
Sep 06, 2022

Merski, Harkins: More than $500,000 to improve, expand Erie natural attractions
Sep 06, 2022

Merski, Harkins: Nearly $250,000 awarded to boost security for two Erie organizations
Sep 02, 2022

Merski’s office can help residents applying under Pa. Marijuana Pardon Project
Sep 01, 2022

Longietti: Sharon schools awarded nearly $75,000 to expand access to fresh produce
Sep 01, 2022

Sainato: More than $100,000 awarded to boost fresh produce for New Castle schools
Sep 01, 2022

Merski, Harkins: Nearly $375,000 in grant funding will bring fresh produce to Erie elementary schools
Sep 01, 2022

Harkins: Time to start treating our caregivers fairly
Aug 23, 2022