Longietti bids farewell, provides 7th District contact information

(Nov 29, 2022)

HERMITAGE, Nov. 29 – State Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, issued the following statement as he prepares to retire from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives: “My eighth and final term representing our district ends on Wednesday, Nov. 30. To help facilitate the closure of my offices, staff operations at both the Hermitage and Greenville locations will end at the close of business on Tuesday, Nov. 29, and our telephone numbers and email addresses will no longer function after that time. “I want to thank the people of our community for their trust, confidence and friendship over the past 16 years. I also want to reassure residents that their state-related needs will continue to be met. “Residents who have state-related questions or problems or who need help with state-related forms and applications should contact state Senator Michele Brooks’ district office at 100 Hadley Road, Suite 9, Greenville, PA 16125. The office phone is 724-588-8911, and the contact email is www.senatorbrooks.com/contact . “Residents may also contact the Harrisburg office of state Representative Parke Wentling at 107 Ryan Office Building, Harrisburg, PA 17120. The office phone is 717-783-5008, and the contact email is www.repwentling.com/contact . Contact information for Representative Wentling’s local district office is not available at this time but is expected to be announced in the near future.” Read more

 

Merski, Harkins unanimously re-elected to Northwest Delegation leadership roles

(Nov 15, 2022)

ERIE, Nov. 15 – State Reps. Bob Merski and Pat Harkins, both D-Erie, were unanimously elected today to continue in leadership roles in the state House’s Northwest Democratic Delegation, with Merski re-elected to serve as chairman and Harkins elected to serve as secretary for the 2023-24 legislative session. Both lawmakers said they plan to continue steering the delegation in ways that will help the region’s working families. “It is an honor to be unanimously chosen to lead the Northwest Delegation as chairman,” Merski said. “We are ready to work for the region and the commonwealth to deliver for workers, families, seniors and businesses. The northwest region is the farthest from Harrisburg, but we are a strong voice collectively for the people of northwest Pennsylvania.” Harkins said, “We are anxious to get to work with Governor Josh Shapiro and to go to bat for the people of the commonwealth, and particularly the Erie region. Issues affecting our region’s working men and women, including job safety and working conditions, will be among our top priorities.” In addition to Merski and Harkins, the Northwest Delegation includes state Reps. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, who was unanimously elected to serve as treasurer, and state Rep.-Elect Paul Takac, D-Centre, who was unanimously elected to serve as vice chair. The delegation is a coalition of House lawmakers representing Erie and northwest Pennsylvania. Read more

 

Sainato delivers farewell remarks in state House chamber

(Nov 15, 2022)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 15 – State Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, addressed colleagues in the Pennsylvania House today in advance of his retirement from the legislature after 14 terms. Sainato, who served for 11 years as Democratic chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, expressed gratitude to his staff and emphasized the importance of constituent service. “It’s so important to know how to take care of people and treat them respectfully. People relied on us, and we were there for them,” Sainato said. “And while helping neighbors is gratifying in itself, I was also grateful for the privilege of advocating for the people of our district and being their voice in Harrisburg.” Sainato also stressed the importance of bipartisanship and said he was thankful for the many working friendships he formed with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, particularly during his committee work. “It has been an incredible privilege to sit with such dedicated servants on both sides of the aisle as we have worked for the people of Pennsylvania,” Sainato said. “For the past 28 years, I have been thankful for their friendship and our collaboration. You always try to build relationships on both sides of the aisle, because at the end of the day, that’s how you get things done. “In 2011, I got one of the greatest privileges of all when I became a chairman of the Veterans Affairs and Read more

 

Merski announces $30,000 grant to Wesleyville Borough

(Nov 07, 2022)

ERIE, Nov. 7 – A $30,000 grant to Wesleyville will fund needed upgrades to the Borough Hall kitchen, state Rep. Bob Merski announced today. Merski, D-Erie, said the funding from the Department of Community and Economic Development will allow the borough to have a kitchen that is safer, more useful and more energy-efficient. “The current kitchen in Wesleyville’s Borough Hall is 70 years old and desperately in need of renovations,” Merski said. “I was thrilled to be able to secure the new funding, which will allow the borough to upgrade the kitchen into a commercial-grade kitchen that meets current Health Department codes. “The new, energy-efficient kitchen will allow groups like the Wesleyville VFD to host a wider range of events and community fundraisers, and the kitchen will double as a shelter in the event of an emergency. It’s a great investment that will keep folks safer and ultimately save taxpayer dollars.” Read more

 

Merski delivers $264,000 for Greene Township projects

(Nov 06, 2022)

ERIE, Nov. 3 – State Rep. Bob Merski today announced $264,000 in new grant funding to support projects in Greene Township. Merski, D-Erie, said the funding from the Department of Community and Economic Development will support projects that include infrastructure upgrades and township improvements and upgrades to the St. Boniface Food Pantry. “I was proud to deliver this funding, which will help Greene Township move forward on projects to improve quality of life for residents,” Merski said. “In addition to infrastructure upgrades and township improvements, the funding will support needed upgrades to the St. Boniface Food Pantry, including replacing the aging cooler and freezer and installing an insulated roll-up garage entry door for food deliveries.” Merski said the funding includes $17,000 to replace the food pantry’s aging cooler and freezer, $15,000 to install an insulated, roll-up garage entry door to assist in food pantry deliveries and the remainder for other township infrastructure improvements and upgrades. Read more

 

Sainato announces $20,000 grant for improvements to Lawrence County Historical Society

(Nov 04, 2022)

NEW CASTLE, Nov. 4 – New grant funding of $20,000 will support needed upgrades to the Lawrence County Historical Society’s research room, state Rep. Chris Sainato announced today. Sainato, D-Lawrence, said the grant – administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development – will fund upgrades to the building’s Medure History Annex. “The Lawrence County Historical Society collects and preserves the documents and artifacts that tell the story of our past, but it also houses a research library that provides students and other residents unique information about family histories, properties, gravesites and much more. I was proud to secure this funding to help the society complete much-needed upgrades to the Medure History Annex, including painting, new furnishings and new carpet in the research room. “It’s important to preserve special community places like this, which keep us connected to our history.” Read more

 

Longietti: $22,000 in tax credits awarded to fight blight, food insecurity in Mercer County

(Nov 04, 2022)

HERMITAGE, Nov. 4 – Tax credits totaling $22,000 will leverage investments in projects to fight blight and address food insecurity in Mercer County, state Rep. Mark Longietti announced today. Longietti, D-Mercer, said FNB Corporation is receiving a tax credit of $13,750 in exchange for its commitment to donate $25,000 to Community Action Partnership of Mercer County to support the Lots to Love Program. “The Lots to Love Program, first launched by Community Action Partnership, is reducing blight in our community through creative programs like Adopt-a-Lot; Sponsor-a-Lot; and Side Lot Opportunity, which allows qualified property owners to acquire adjacent property at little or no cost,” Longietti said. “The new infusion of funding will ensure Community Action Partnership has the resources it needs to continue operating these programs.” Longietti said Hudson Companies and Mercer County State Bank will share in a tax credit of $8,250 in return for their donation of $15,000 to Community Food Warehouse. “Since the pandemic, Community Food Warehouse has seen a 30% increase in residents seeking food assistance, and that trend is continuing as more families deal with the impact of inflation,” Longietti said. “As the county’s main source of emergency food assistance, Community Food Warehouse has a critical role to play, and the new funding – which will help with food purchase, storage and distribution Read more

 

Merski, Harkins: $100,000 secured for new Erie PD motorcycles

(Nov 04, 2022)

ERIE, Nov. 4 – The Erie Police Department will add five new motorcycles to their fleet thanks to $100,000 in new funding, state Reps. Bob Merski and Pat Harkins announced today. The lawmakers, both D-Erie, said the funding will support needed upgrades to the current fleet. “The new motorcycles will be a much-needed, much-appreciated addition for the Erie Police Department,” Harkins said. “I last secured funding for motorcycles for the department more than 10 years ago, and the current fleet is aging. The new motorcycles – which will offer advanced safety technology like upgraded ABS braking systems and better emergency lighting – will go a long way toward helping Erie’s finest stay safe on the job.” Merski said, “The Erie PD protects and serves the community with vigilance 24/7, and they deserve the best, safest equipment we can provide. We’re proud to support them by securing funding that will allow the department to upgrade the fleet with five new motorcycles.” Read more

 

Sainato: $260,000 in tax credits awarded for New Castle projects to help homeowners, boost affordable housing

(Nov 04, 2022)

NEW CASTLE, Nov. 4 – Newly awarded tax credits totaling $260,000 will leverage investments in New Castle projects to help homeowners, expand access to fresh food and affordable housing and boost homeownership, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced. Sainato said the tax credits awarded under the Neighborhood Partnership Program include $180,000 to First Commonwealth Bank, FNB Corporation and UPMC Health Benefit for their contributions to 10 Thousand Friends of Pennsylvania and $80,000 in tax credits to DON Management LLC and WesBanco for contributions to DON Enterprises, Inc. “The new funding to 10 Thousand Friends will support the group’s efforts to reduce poverty and boost neighborhood stability,” Sainato said. “The funding will support programs to provide down payment assistance to aspiring homeowners, expand food assistance and youth programs, fund neighborhood renewal projects to improve public spaces and assist small businesses, among other projects. “Likewise, the funding to DON Enterprises will aid the group’s work in revitalizing New Castle’s Lower East Side through programs that fight blight, refurbish storefronts, improve neighborhood security and help residents with home renovations. Some of the new funding will support projects to rehabilitate 10 homes in the Elm Street area, demolish one home, and improve a business storefront and Read more

 

Harkins, Merski: Nearly $2 million in tax credits awarded for Erie projects to revitalize distressed areas, expand services for residents

(Nov 03, 2022)

ERIE, Nov. 3 – Tax credits worth $2 million will leverage investments in Erie projects to help working families and spur revitalization in distressed areas, state Reps. Pat Harkins and Bob Merski announced today. The lawmakers, both D-Erie, said the tax credits were awarded under the Neighborhood Assistance Program. “The tax credits we secured are going to leverage investments in projects that breathe new life into distressed areas through programs that fight blight, renovate buildings, and create jobs,” Merski said. “Creative revitalization projects – including projects that establish new, mixed-used spaces -- attract businesses and more investors, and they keep the momentum going on renewal efforts. It’s going to be exciting to see how the new funding changes the landscape and spurs new economic growth for Erie.” Harkins said, “In addition to revitalizing distressed areas, these tax credits are going to leverage investment in projects that improve real-life opportunities for residents, provide safer places for kids to play and socialize, expand affordable housing, and bring more families access to child care and early pre-K programs. Investments in improving people’s lives are the best ones we can make in our communities.” The lawmakers said the funding includes: $567,050 to Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest Pennsylvania to help the food bank strengthen its Read more

 

Sainato: $20,000 grant will fund improvements to New Castle Public Library

(Nov 03, 2022)

NEW CASTLE, Nov. 3 – New grant funding of $20,000 will help the New Castle Public Library expand study areas and work stations and fund painting work for the library’s interior, state Rep. Chris Sainato announced. Sainato, D-Lawrence, said the grant – administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development – will fund practical improvements to a place that has served the community in special ways. “While personal computers and internet access can bring instant information, they can’t replace the value and the simple pleasure of face-to-face, human interactions,” Sainato said. “For a century, the New Castle Library has been a place where residents can go to learn, attend community events, share hobbies and crafts, admire local talent and take their kids for storytelling. It has also been an essential resource for students and others who might lack access to needed information. “I am proud to help the library continue that tradition by delivering grant money that will help fund public seating for study areas and shared work stations and also allow the library to repaint the interior of the first and second floors. We need to make sure the building has the upgrades it needs to continue serving our community to its fullest.” Read more

 

Sainato delivers $50,000 for new animal shelter start-up costs

(Nov 02, 2022)

NEW CASTLE, Nov. 2 – A new facility for the Lawrence County Humane Society is one step closer to taking shape thanks to $50,000 in new grant funding from the Department of Community and Economic Development, state Rep. Chris Sainato announced today. Sainato, D-Lawrence, said the grant will fund startup costs that will allow the Humane Society to move forward with plans to construct a new building on land the organization owns. “The staff at Lawrence County Humane Society’s no-kill shelter works hard to provide safe harbor for homeless, neglected and abused animals and find them loving homes – and many residents in our community have opened their hearts and homes to welcome those animals,” Sainato said. “But feeding, housing and caring for animals in need requires space, and the shelter needs a much larger facility. “I was proud to secure this grant, which will allow the Humane Society to hire an architect to finalize plans and blueprints for the new facility, retain a contractor, and move forward other essential start-up work. A new facility large enough to properly serve our community will mean more stray and abandoned animals will have a chance at a new life.” Lois Winter-McElravy, president of the Lawrence County Humane Society Board of Directors, said the grant will support essential planning and development costs. “This grant is extremely helpful for Read more

 

Longietti: $3.5 million secured for major project to expand Mercer County industrial park

(Nov 01, 2022)

HERMITAGE, Oct. 31 – State Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, today announced $3.5 million in funding for acquisition and development of new manufacturing facilities to expand the Greenville-Reynolds Industrial Park. Longietti said the funding from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program will allow Penn Northwest Development Corp. to acquire and develop the land for a major new manufacturer that would generate new jobs and be a catalyst for further economic development. “I’m thrilled that we were able to secure funding for this project, which is part of Penn Northwest’s New Industry Attraction & Workforce Development Strategy. That initiative is designed to address population and workforce decline in the Greenville region resulting from the closure of the Trinity Rail Division in 2000,” Longietti said. “Penn Northwest has worked closely with the Governor’s Action Team to attract a large manufacturer to expand into the Greenville-Reynolds region with plans to invest $148 million in new manufacturing facilities and hire 277 full-time employees. It will be exciting to see the new facilities completed and the project’s impact in creating new jobs and spurring economic growth for our region.” Read more

 

Merski delivers $250,000 grant for Erie Zoo family restroom, related projects

(Nov 01, 2022)

ERIE, Nov. 1 – State Rep. Bob Merski, D-Erie, today delivered a $250,000 check to the Erie Zoo, representing funding he secured for construction of new family/gender neutral restroom and related projects. Merski said the funding – administered through the Department of Community and Economic Development – will support work that is necessary to help the zoo regain its accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. “The zoo is a beloved resource for Erie families and also a major tourism destination and revenue producer for our region,” Merski said. “The new family restroom and related projects – along with $3 million we recently secured through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program for a new, state-of-the-art zoo veterinary center – are important modernization projects and steps to helping the zoo regain its accreditation.” Merski said that in addition to a new family/gender neutral restroom, the $250,000 grant from DCED will fund related work to refurbish the roof of the existing structure and replace the existing viewing structure with a new one. Read more

 

Sainato: New program will aid our first responders

(Nov 01, 2022)

While the pace of life has picked up, some things still take time – including legislation in Harrisburg. Legislating is an intentionally deliberative process. It takes time for a good idea to earn the support of enough lawmakers to be approved and sent to the governor. And the clock resets every two years. Knowing this tenuous timeline, I was proud a measure I introduced and promoted was unanimously approved in the legislature and sent to the governor’s desk for his signature last week. My measure, which was added to another bill (HB 397), creates a first responder tuition and loan assistance program to help us recruit and retain our first responder volunteers. This is sorely needed in Pennsylvania, where the number of volunteer first responders has declined by nearly 90% – from about 300,000 in the 1970s to as few as 38,000 in 2018. Meanwhile, communities like ours depend on these hometown heroes to respond quickly during emergencies and to help our neighbors in their most vulnerable times. As the Democratic chairman of the Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, I saw this data as a wakeup call. Pennsylvania needs to find a solution to the declining numbers of first responders. The program will be managed by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency and will provide tuition or loan assistance equal to $1,000 per academic year for full-time students and $500 per academic year for part-time students. In exchange, Read more

 

Sainato: $50,000 secured to fund new roof for New Castle Playhouse

(Nov 01, 2022)

NEW CASTLE, Nov. 1 – A $50,000 state grant will fund a new roof for the New Castle Playhouse, state Rep. Chris Sainato announced today. Sainato, D-Lawrence, said the funding from the Department of Community and Economic Development will support a much-needed renovation. “The New Castle Playhouse is a beloved landmark that has been entertaining residents for decades,” Sainato said. “But the rubber roof of the main playhouse theater is in dire need of replacement. I was proud to secure this funding, which will allow the roof to be replaced and ensure patrons can continue enjoying shows in safety and comfort.” Sainato said the total project cost of $75,000 will be supplemented by internal donations. Read more

 

Harkins, Merski announce $8 million secured for new Erie projects

(Oct 31, 2022)

ERIE, Oct. 31 – Two Erie projects will be receiving $8 million in funding, state Reps. Pat Harkins and Bob Merski announced today. The lawmakers, both D-Erie, said the funding from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program includes $5 million to IRG Erie Inc., to support development of a $200 million waste plastic recycling facility on 25 acres in a high-unemployment area of Erie City and $3 million to Enterprise Development Center of Erie County for largescale renovations and construction at the former EMI property. “The IRG recycling facility will put Erie on the map as a leader in plastics and recycling and create hundreds of jobs for the Erie community,” Merski said. “This project has the potential to be a game changer for the East side. This private-public partnership will reuse an industrial site, help the environment and employ people in a growing industry. “In addition, the funding to the Enterprise Development Center will help spur additional economic development by supporting large-scale renovations and construction at the former EMI property. The project is going to help expand our manufacturing and industrial base and invite new industry. Both projects will continue to expand Erie’s footprint as a key region for high-tech manufacturing.” Harkins said, “Both projects are in areas of the city that need a boost. They are former sites where blue-collar jobs Read more

 

Merski: Penn State Behrend awarded $1.5 million for manufacturing center

(Oct 27, 2022)

ERIE, Oct. 27 – Penn State University’s Behrend College has been awarded $1.5 million for a new manufacturing center, state Rep. Bob Merski, D-Erie, announced today. Merski said the funding – awarded through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program – will further strengthen Erie’s manufacturing capabilities. “I am proud to have helped secure funding to help Penn State Behrend construct the new Center for Manufacturing Competitiveness, which is part of the school’s ‘Project Resolve’ and will be the eighth building constructed at the Knowledge Park Research Facility,” Merski said. “By offering state-of-the resources for businesses and training students on the latest manufacturing techniques, centers like these play a huge role in enhancing our region’s favorable business climate and keeping Erie competitive. “The new building will feature plastics and metal-casting laboratories; additional space for local manufacturers; and the country’s only fully serviced heavy-haul battery test facility for the locomotive, maritime and mining industries. I can’t wait to see the facility in action.” Read more

 

Sainato supports bill to cut red tape for patients needing medical procedures

(Oct 27, 2022)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 27 – State Rep Chris Sainato voted yesterday for legislation that would make it easier for patients to receive needed medical procedures without added delays caused by insurance-related red tape. Sainato, D-Lawrence, said S.B. 225 – which passed the House and Senate unanimously and now heads for the governor – would also deliver stronger patient protections when claims are denied. “Few things are more frustrating to patients than having to wait for a needed medical procedure because of insurance red tape,” Sainato said. “This bill would eliminate some of those delays by allowing doctors who are treating patients for conditions already covered by insurance to also treat those patients for potential complications that require related procedures – without having to get a second authorization. That means fewer risks and better outcomes for patients. “The bill would also strengthen patient protections by ensuring patients whose claims are denied receive clear explanations and more avenues to appeal those decisions.” Sainato said the bill would: Allow doctors to bill insurers for “closely related procedures” so if a patient is getting care for an already covered issue and the doctor sees a potential complication, they can address the condition immediately without having to get a second authorization for a service. Read more

 

General Assembly passes legislation establishing Sainato’s First Responder Tuition and Loan Assistance Program

(Oct 26, 2022)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 26 – The General Assembly today unanimously passed legislation including a measure drafted by state Rep. Chris Sainato that would create a tuition and loan assistance program for first responders. Sainato, who is longtime Democratic chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, introduced the program, amended into HB 397 , to help the state recruit and retain volunteer first responders, whose numbers have been declining. “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. “Passage of this bill is a terrific example of what we can accomplish when we work together, in a bipartisan fashion, to deliver for the first responders who always answer the call for us.” The program would be established within the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency and would provide tuition or loan assistance equal to $1,000 per academic year for full-time students and $500 per academic year for part-time students. In exchange, applicants would agree to Read more

 

Longietti bids farewell, provides 7th District contact information
Nov 29, 2022

Merski, Harkins unanimously re-elected to Northwest Delegation leadership roles
Nov 15, 2022

Sainato delivers farewell remarks in state House chamber
Nov 15, 2022

Merski announces $30,000 grant to Wesleyville Borough
Nov 07, 2022

Merski delivers $264,000 for Greene Township projects
Nov 06, 2022

Sainato announces $20,000 grant for improvements to Lawrence County Historical Society
Nov 04, 2022

Longietti: $22,000 in tax credits awarded to fight blight, food insecurity in Mercer County
Nov 04, 2022

Merski, Harkins: $100,000 secured for new Erie PD motorcycles
Nov 04, 2022

Sainato: $260,000 in tax credits awarded for New Castle projects to help homeowners, boost affordable housing
Nov 04, 2022

Harkins, Merski: Nearly $2 million in tax credits awarded for Erie projects to revitalize distressed areas, expand services for residents
Nov 03, 2022

Sainato: $20,000 grant will fund improvements to New Castle Public Library
Nov 03, 2022

Sainato delivers $50,000 for new animal shelter start-up costs
Nov 02, 2022

Longietti: $3.5 million secured for major project to expand Mercer County industrial park
Nov 01, 2022

Merski delivers $250,000 grant for Erie Zoo family restroom, related projects
Nov 01, 2022

Sainato: New program will aid our first responders
Nov 01, 2022

Sainato: $50,000 secured to fund new roof for New Castle Playhouse
Nov 01, 2022

Harkins, Merski announce $8 million secured for new Erie projects
Oct 31, 2022

Merski: Penn State Behrend awarded $1.5 million for manufacturing center
Oct 27, 2022

Sainato supports bill to cut red tape for patients needing medical procedures
Oct 27, 2022

General Assembly passes legislation establishing Sainato’s First Responder Tuition and Loan Assistance Program
Oct 26, 2022