Merski, Harkins: City of Erie FD receiving $250,000 for fire safety apparatus

(1 day ago)

ERIE, Aug. 11 – A $250,000 grant to the City of Erie Fire Department will help fund apparatus for the city’s public safety operations, state Reps. Bob Merski and Pat Harkins announced today. The lawmakers, both D-Erie, said the grant will help the department meet critical needs. “Erie’s firefighters are some of the most dedicated out there, but they can’t do the job without a full complement of working equipment,” Merski said. “Apparatus requires constant maintenance, and outdated equipment is costly to replace. This funding is going to help replenish resources the department badly needs.” Harkins said, “Our community’s firefighters risk their lives for us when they go out into the front lines. Securing this funding is going to help ensure they have equipment they can count on as they work to protect the rest of us.” The funding is being administered through the state Department of Community and Economic Development. Read more

 

County Election, Rail Freight, and Environmental Education Funding Opportunity For Your District

(Aug 08, 2022)

STATE PROGRAMS NOW OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS: Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development: Election Integrity Grant Program (Funding Source: General Fund) Who May Apply : Pennsylvania counties. Use : To support the work of county governments and their election offices. Funds : Funding is allocated proportionally based upon the number of registered voters within the county in the previous primary election. Application Deadline : August 15, 2022 More Information : Click on https://www.esa.dced.state.pa.us/Login.aspx . Pennsylvania Department of Transportation: Rail Freight Assistance Program (Funding Source: Multimodal Transportation Fund) Who May Apply : Freight railroads, freight railroad-served shippers, and economic development entities. Use : To support investment in rail freight infrastructure. Funds : The maximum state funding for a RFAP project is 70 percent of the total project costs, not to exceed $700,000. Application Deadline : September 2, 2022 More Information : Click on https://www.penndot.pa.gov/Doing-Business/RailFreightAndPorts/Pages/Grants-and-Loans.aspx . Pennsylvania Department of Transportation: Rail Transportation Assistance Program (Funding Source: General Obligation Debt) Who May Apply : Freight railroads, freight railroad-served Read more

 

Longietti: More than $1.2 million awarded to boost Mercer County early education programs

(Aug 02, 2022)

HERMITAGE, Aug. 2 – Mercer County families will see expanded access to early education programs thanks to more than $1.2 million in new grant funding, state Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, announced today. Longietti, who is Democratic chairman of the PA House Education Committee, said the funding from the state Department of Education’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning will strengthen area Pre-K Counts and Head Start Supplemental Assistance programs. “When it comes to success in life, so much depends on the quality of a child’s early learning experiences,” Longietti said. “Attention span, independent thinking, confidence among peers – all of these skills and others start forming in young minds before a child ever steps through the kindergarten door. I’m thrilled by this new funding because it will increase the number of Pre-K Counts slots available to our community and ensure that local Head Start programs – which also provide critical nutritional and health benefits – have the resources they need to continue.” Longietti said the funding includes the following grants: Head Start More than $1.1 million to Community Action Partnership of Mercer County Pre-K Counts $80,000 to Building Blocks Child Center $35,000 to Zion Education Center Inc. More information on the funding is available here: Read more

 

Sainato: More than $3 million awarded to fund Lawrence County early education programs

(Aug 02, 2022)

NEW CASTLE, Aug. 2 – Lawrence County early education programs are receiving more than $3 million in funding to bolster resources for area preschoolers, state Rep. Chris Sainato announced today. Sainato, D-Lawrence, said the funding from the state Department of Education’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning will open up new Pre-K Counts slots and help Head Start programs manage increased operating costs. “It’s hard to overstate the importance of early learning programs and the related nutrition, health and socialization benefits they provide for young, developing minds,” Sainato said. “Studies show kids who have access to these resources from an early age are much more likely to succeed in life, and thanks to this new funding, we can ensure more kids in our district will have that access.” Sainato said the funding includes the following: Pre-K Counts Lawrence County Social Services Inc. - $400,000 Pre-K Kids Learning Center Inc. – $200,000 TROB Enterprises, LLC/dba Sweet Pea Patch – $200,000 Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program Lawrence County Social Services – more than $2.2 million More information about the grants is available here: Read more

 

Merski, Harkins: More than $3 million awarded to bolster early education

(Aug 01, 2022)

ERIE, Aug. 1 – Erie County students will benefit from new early education resources thanks to more than $3 million in funding, state Reps. Bob Merski and Pat Harkins announced today. The lawmakers, both D-Erie, said the funding will open up new PA Pre-K Counts slots and help grantees in the Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program defray increased operating costs. “The resources we invest in early childhood education bring some of the greatest, longest-lasting returns because they fund programs that shape developing minds,” Merski said. “As a teacher for more than two decades, I have seen firsthand the difference that having the right start in life can make for a child. I’m delighted that this funding is coming to the county to open up new PA Pre-K Counts slots and bolster Head Start programs.” Harkins said, “Study after study shows that kids who have access to programs like Pre-K Counts and Head Start thrive more fully, learn essential skills earlier and have a better overall chance of succeeding in the world. Today’s funding to enrich those programs is terrific news for students, parents, educators and our entire community.” The following grants were awarded to benefit students in the First and Second Legislative Districts: Pre-K Counts grants Child Development Centers, Inc. $400,000. Dr. Gertrude A. Barber Center, Inc. $80,000. Read more

 

Housing, Public Health Infrastructure, and Clean Energy Funding Opportunities

(Jul 18, 2022)

STATE PROGRAMS NOW OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS: Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs: Pregnancy Support Services Grant (Funding Source: Federal Funding) Who May Apply : Any entity that is able to serve pregnant or postpartum women in recovery from SUD. Use : To provide support services to pregnant women and postpartum women in recovery from Substance Use Disorder (SUD). Funds: Awards up to $600,000. Application Deadline : July 29, 2022. More Information : Click on https://www.ddap.pa.gov/Documents/Funding%20documents/GIFA%2022-03%20Pregnancy%20Support%20Service.pdf . Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection: Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant (Funding Source: General Fund) Who May Apply : School districts, municipalities, nonprofit organizations, and businesses in Pennsylvania. Use : To assist in a transition to cleaner fuel transportation. Funds : Up to $300,000 per applicant. Application Deadline : There are two application periods. The program will collect and review all applications submitted by August 26, 2022, and again by December 16, 2022. More Information : Click on https://www.dep.pa.gov/Citizens/GrantsLoansRebates/Alternative-Fuels-Incentive-Grant/Pages/default.aspx . Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency: Statewide Victim Witness Training Project 2023 Read more

 

Longietti serving Seventh District residents through Nov. 30

(Jul 15, 2022)

HERMITAGE, July 15 – State Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, issued the following statement to confirm that although he will be retiring from the legislature, he and his staff remain available to help residents through the end of his current term on Nov. 30. “Earlier this year, I announced my decision not to seek a ninth term in office. Although I will be retiring from the state legislature, I want to ensure that the residents of our district understand that my talented staff and I remain available to serve their needs through the end of November, whether it’s for application assistance, answers to questions or help with any other state-related matter. “Folks can stop into my Hermitage office located at 2213 Shenango Valley Freeway between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday or call 724-981-4655 for help or an appointment.” Residents can also get help through Longietti’s satellite office, located at 182 Main St. inside the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce Building. The office is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, by appointment. Residents can call 724-588-1005 to schedule. Longietti announced in February that he is leaving the state legislature after eight terms in office. Read more

 

Longietti: $348,000 awarded for improvements to key Sharon intersection

(Jul 13, 2022)

HERMITAGE, July 13 – The city of Sharon is receiving $348,000 for major upgrades to the traffic signal located at the intersection of West State Street and Irvine Avenue, state Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, announced today. Longietti said the funding will allow the city to modernize a key intersection located at the base of the business district. “The new funding will allow the city to overhaul signal equipment at the West State Street-Irvine Avenue intersection in ways that greatly improve traffic flow and safety,” Longietti said. “The work will include installation of new mast arms to improve signal visibility, pedestrian signals with countdown features to enhance crossing safety, controllers that operate based on traffic demand to better regulate traffic flow, and emergency vehicle preemption features that provide responders right-of-way to improve response times and reduce the risk of collisions.” Longietti said the improvements will complement other upgrades to Sharon’s business district. “The city has been revitalizing the State Street corridor and recently completed a streetscape project to add new ADA ramps and pedestrian-level lighting at the eastern section. As Downtown Sharon continues experiencing a revival, with new shops bringing increased pedestrian traffic, the signal safety enhancements are all the more important.” Longietti said the grant – which funds most of Read more

 

Harkins, Merski: Nearly $1.5 million awarded for Erie traffic signal upgrades

(Jul 13, 2022)

ERIE, July 13 – Erie County motorists and pedestrians will benefit from smoother traffic flow and greater safety thanks to nearly $1.5 million in grant funding to upgrade traffic signals in the city and in Summit and Millcreek townships, state Reps. Pat Harkins and Bob Merski announced today. The lawmakers, both D-Erie, said the funding includes nearly $983,000 for signal improvements in the city, nearly $245,000 for upgrades in Summit township, and another $268,000 for work in Millcreek. “Erie is receiving nearly $1 million to modernize three major traffic signals located along French Street where it intersects with 9th, 10th, and 11th streets,” Harkins said. “The project will include full reconstruction of the signals and ADA ramps. It’s an investment that has been needed for some time to maximize traffic flow and keep motorists, bikers and pedestrians safe.” Merski said nearly $245,000 will fund improvements to multiple intersection signals in Summit. “The new funding to Summit will allow the township to upgrade traffic detection and controller assembly units at nine different intersections along the Peach Street corridor. The work will keep traffic flowing smoother and allow workers to determine when it isn’t flowing efficiently and adjustments are needed. Motorists will benefit from fewer delays and reduced fuel consumption, and everyone will benefit from greater safety.” The lawmakers said that in addition Read more

 

Longietti hosting Senior Health & Education Fair July 21

(Jul 12, 2022)

HERMITAGE, July 12 – State Rep. Mark Longietti is hosting his 15 th annual Senior Health & Education Fair in Sharon on Thursday, July 21. Longietti, D-Mercer, said the fair will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Sharon American Legion, 1395 E. State St. “I love being able to host the fair annually for our community’s seniors because they bring so much energy and enthusiasm to the event,” Longietti said. “As in previous years, this year’s fair will be a great opportunity for folks to learn about the latest state programs and services and to check out multiple exhibits featuring new products and services from local vendors. “There will also be door prizes, free health screenings, free brochures and staff on hand to answer questions. I encourage all of our area seniors to stop by.” Longietti said that there is no need to pre-register and that walk-ins are welcome. Those interested in learning more should contact Longietti’s Hermitage office at 724-981-4655. Read more

 

Historic education funding prompts Harkins’ ‘yes’ vote on budget

(Jul 08, 2022)

ERIE, July 8 – Casting a ‘yes’ vote on the 2022-23 state budget, state Rep. Pat Harkins said the new state spending plan invests responsibly and provides a historic boost for the state’s public schools while holding the line on taxes. Harkins, D-Erie, said that investment stands to be a game-changer for students and taxpayers. “Public education is supposed to be the great equalizer, but for decades, students in Erie and other less-affluent districts have started from an uneven playing field because the state has failed to fairly fund our schools, leaving taxpayers to fill the bill,” Harkins said. “This year, for the first time, we passed a budget that makes real inroads toward leveling the playing field, increasing basic education funding by more than $500 million and special education funding by $100 million. “In addition, the budget allocates $225 million in Level Up funding statewide, including more than $6.6 million to Erie City School District. Those dollars have the potential to change the landscape for historically underfunded districts like Erie by finally delivering the dollars our students deserve.” Harkins said both the Erie City and Iroquois school districts will see double-digit percentage increases over last year’s funding, with Erie receiving increases of nearly $16 million for basic education and nearly $1.4 million for Read more

 

Sainato votes ‘yea’ for budget strong on education

(Jul 08, 2022)

HARRISBURG, July 8 – State Rep. Chris Sainato voted to support the 2022-23 state budget, which has passed the General Assembly and is now headed for the governor’s desk. Sainato, D-Lawrence, said the plan holds the line on taxes while delivering robust funding for public education and programs to help seniors and families with housing and other essential services. “We entered budget negotiations this year with a surplus of state dollars but the same responsibility to invest wisely in ways to help families, seniors and small businesses while protecting taxpayers,” Sainato said. “The budget we passed promises to do that while also delivering a historic boost for public education, including Level Up funding to help underfunded districts like New Castle and reduce the burden on local taxpayers.” Sainato said the plan would deliver more than $4 million in additional funding to New Castle schools, and that schools throughout the district would see the following increases: Laurel School District: $135,200 (1.8% increase) for basic education and $25,200 (3% increase) for special education. Mohawk Area School District: $459,200 (4.5% increase) for basic education and $66,300 (5.3% increase) for special education. Neshannock Township School District: $165,200 (4.9% increase) for basic education and $44,800 (6.3% increase) for special Read more

 

Merski votes for 2022-23 budget, citing historic education funding

(Jul 08, 2022)

HARRISBURG, July 8 – Citing a historic investment in public education, state Rep. Bob Merski cast a “yes” vote Thursday for the Pennsylvania’s 2022-23 budget plan. The plan has passed the Senate and now heads for the governor’s desk. Merski, D-Erie, said the funding can be game-changing for districts like Erie, where decades of underfunding have left students struggling to compete and taxpayers footing the bill for a system that fails both. “Today, we took a huge step forward with a funding commitment that can begin to change the dynamic for our students – and the future of the state,” Merski said. “Quality education doesn’t just ease the burden on taxpayers and help students succeed, it brings lower unemployment, more stable families, better health outcomes and lower crime rates – and taxpayer savings. This is an investment the state has needed to make for some time, and one it can no longer afford to ignore. “The new plan increases funding for basic education by $525 million and funding for special education by $100 million. It also provides for $225 million in level-up funding, which will bring an additional $6.6 million in funding to the Erie City School District. I worked to ensure that there is also funding for continuation of student mental health services.” Merski said districts across the board will see the Read more

 

New law reauthorizes clubs to use 100% of small games of chance revenue

(Jul 08, 2022)

HARRISBURG, July 8 – New legislation signed by the governor Thursday reauthorizes social clubs throughout Erie and the commonwealth to use all of the revenue they receive from small games of chance, state Rep. Pat Harkins, D-Erie, announced today. Harkins, who is Democratic chairman of House Gaming Oversight Committee, said Act 49 of 2022 essentially continues a policy implemented during the pandemic that allowed clubs to use 100% of that revenue for costs rather than having to allocate 60% to public interest programs. “Under the standard rule in effect before the pandemic, clubs were permitted to retain 40% of their small games of chance revenue for costs but were required to use 60% of that revenue for public interest programs and projects,” Harkins said. “A provision implemented during the pandemic eased that rule and permitted clubs to tap 100% of their small games of chance revenue to help them shoulder operating costs at a time when pandemic restrictions and shutdowns dried up fundraising and other key revenue. “The law easing restrictions during the pandemic recently expired, but civic, fraternal and veterans’ clubs in Erie and throughout Pennsylvania are still very much feeling the impact of pandemic-related restrictions. The new law reauthorizing that policy is great news because it ensures that these terrific groups that do so much for our community will have the help they need to continue operating.” Read more

 

Longietti votes for budget, citing historic education funding

(Jul 08, 2022)

HARRISBURG, July 8 – State Rep. Mark Longietti voted Thursday to support Pennsylvania’s new budget plan, saying it spends responsibly while making historic investments in public education. “As Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee, I worked with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to craft a budget that would deliver the kind of meaningful education funding that has been long overdue for Pennsylvania’s public schools,” Longietti said. “The new plan delivers increases of $525 million for basic education and $100 million for special education. It also includes $225 million in level-up funding to help even the playing field for students in underfunded districts, including those in Farrell Area, Sharon City and Greenville Area schools.” Longietti said the new plan – which also includes $95 million each for student mental health and school security programs – includes the following school district funding increases: Farrell Area: $2 million (24.7% increase) for basic education; $100,000 (10.5% increase) for special education. Greenville Area: $836,600 (11.3% increase) for basic education; $102,300 (9.1% increase) for special education. Hermitage: $490,000 (7.5% increase) for basic education; $102,300 (8%) for special education. Reynolds Area: $373,300 (4.6% increase) for basic education; $71,700 (6.7%) for special education. Sharon City: $2.9 million Read more

 

Sainato: General Assembly passes bill to smooth professional licensing path for military members

(Jun 30, 2022)

HARRISBURG, June 30 – The General Assembly has passed legislation to make the professional licensing process more accommodating for service members, according to state Rep. Chris Sainato, one of the bill’s prime sponsors. Sainato, who is Democratic chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, said he and colleagues introduced H.B. 1868 to give military applicants a smoother path through the licensing process. “Returning to civilian life poses a range of challenges for veterans, and many involve adapting to the civilian job market,” Sainato said. “Our bill would help make that transition easier for service members by ensuring that licensing boards consider an applicant’s military training and education and by making the process more convenient.” Sainato said under some of the bill’s provisions: Military applicants would have up to six months to complete continuing education requirements following deployment. Service members and spouses who are deployed when a license is due for renewal would have the option to submit their application before deployment (and DoS will hold it until the renewal window opens). There would be expedited application review for veterans and military spouses and initial licensure fee waivers for military spouses relocating to Pennsylvania. Military experience would be considered when making qualification determinations. Specific guidelines would be Read more

 

Burns: Protect consumers from tech companies selling personal information

(Jun 30, 2022)

Proposes ‘data broker’ registration, easier opt-out process Read more

 

Merski hosting Pride Month virtual town hall on June 27

(Jun 20, 2022)

ERIE, June 20 – In honor of Pride Month, state Rep. Bob Merski, D-Erie, is hosting a virtual town hall at 7 p.m. Monday, June 27 to discuss topics of importance to LGBTQIA+ people in Erie. “June is Pride Month, and while it is important to celebrate the achievements and contributions of LGBTQIA+ people, it’s equally important to continue talking about the concerns, biases and issues many people still face,” Merski said. “Our virtual town hall will be a forum for folks to discuss issues that can impact opportunity and quality of life for LGBTQIA+ residents. Those are issues for our entire Erie community to address, but an open dialog is the first step. I encourage everyone to sign on and be part of that dialog.” Those interested in attending the live online Teams event should send their name and email 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 – @RepMerski . For more information, contact Merski’s office at (814) 455-6319. Read more

 

Longietti: Nearly $400,000 awarded for ‘Digital Passport’ learning project

(Jun 15, 2022)

HERMITAGE, June 15 – United Way of Mercer County and the Mercer County Career Center are receiving a $389,898 PAsmart Advancing Grant from the state Department of Education for a program that will teach area students the kinds of STEM and computer science skills needed for high-demand regional careers, state Rep. Mark Longietti announced today. Longietti, who is Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee, said the “Digital Passport” program will help expand opportunities for all students – including those in underserved areas. “Collaboration will help guarantee the program’s success,” Longietti said. “Partners in the project have the knowledge and experience needed to build a curriculum that aligns with the specific needs of our region’s high-demand employers. The program will also reach students in underserved areas to ensure they have the same opportunities. “In addition to putting students on a promising career path, the program will help ensure that our region’s employers have the continuing pool of talented applicants they need to stay competitive. It’s a winning proposition all around.” Longietti said the grant is part of a package of nearly $20 million in PaSmart Advancing Grants awarded to schools statewide and designed to bolster computer science and STEM learning. More information about the grants is available here: Read more

 

Merski kicks off 2022 flag takeback program

(Jun 14, 2022)

ERIE, June 14 – With Flag Day here, state Rep. Bob Merski, D-Erie, is kicking off his annual flag takeback program, which allows residents to drop off their worn, torn or tattered American flags to be properly retired. Merski, who sponsors the program in partnership with Summit Township, said residents enjoy the convenience of being able to drop off flags ready to be retired. “Our flag takeback program is entering its fourth year, and we’re proud to provide this popular seasonal service to help folks prepare for the Fourth,” Merski said. “Residents can leave their faded, tattered flags with us and have the peace of mind of knowing they will be properly retired, with all the respect Old Glory deserves.” Merski said residents can drop off flags at the following office locations: District office - 3901 Liberty St., 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Summit office - 1230 Townhall Road W., 12:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. every Tuesday. The program will run through July 4. ATTN EDITORS/ASSIGNMENT DESKS: Rep. Merski’s comments about the program are available here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/6lb9gws1wy4r76s/060822%20Merski%20Flag%20Collection.mp4?dl=0 Read more

 

Merski, Harkins: City of Erie FD receiving $250,000 for fire safety apparatus
1 day ago

County Election, Rail Freight, and Environmental Education Funding Opportunity For Your District
Aug 08, 2022

Longietti: More than $1.2 million awarded to boost Mercer County early education programs
Aug 02, 2022

Sainato: More than $3 million awarded to fund Lawrence County early education programs
Aug 02, 2022

Merski, Harkins: More than $3 million awarded to bolster early education
Aug 01, 2022

Housing, Public Health Infrastructure, and Clean Energy Funding Opportunities
Jul 18, 2022

Longietti serving Seventh District residents through Nov. 30
Jul 15, 2022

Longietti: $348,000 awarded for improvements to key Sharon intersection
Jul 13, 2022

Harkins, Merski: Nearly $1.5 million awarded for Erie traffic signal upgrades
Jul 13, 2022

Longietti hosting Senior Health & Education Fair July 21
Jul 12, 2022

Historic education funding prompts Harkins’ ‘yes’ vote on budget
Jul 08, 2022

Sainato votes ‘yea’ for budget strong on education
Jul 08, 2022

Merski votes for 2022-23 budget, citing historic education funding
Jul 08, 2022

New law reauthorizes clubs to use 100% of small games of chance revenue
Jul 08, 2022

Longietti votes for budget, citing historic education funding
Jul 08, 2022

Sainato: General Assembly passes bill to smooth professional licensing path for military members
Jun 30, 2022

Burns: Protect consumers from tech companies selling personal information
Jun 30, 2022

Merski hosting Pride Month virtual town hall on June 27
Jun 20, 2022

Longietti: Nearly $400,000 awarded for ‘Digital Passport’ learning project
Jun 15, 2022

Merski kicks off 2022 flag takeback program
Jun 14, 2022