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, Brooks announce $2.85 million in grants to benefit local families

(Oct 26, 2022)

HERMITAGE, Oct. 26 – State Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, and state Sen. Michele Brooks, R-Crawford/Mercer/Erie/Warren, announced four Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grants totaling $2.85 million were awarded to Mercer County. The grants will benefit our local economy and families. The Joy Cone plant expansion project received $1 million. Joy Cone employs more than 670 individuals, with 140 of those positions having been created since October 2020. With the current expansion plans, Joy Cone intends to hire an additional 90 employees in the next year. “I appreciate the opportunity to work with Joy Cone, who recently celebrated 100 years in our community, as the company continues to add jobs and exponentially expands its facilities here in Mercer County. It’s always a sense of pride when seeing their world-famous products being used while watching a favorite movie and even when I’m in Harrisburg,” Brooks said. Penn-Northwest Development Corporation will receive $500,000 to repair the roof of a 130,000-square-foot facility, as well as replace the lighting in the facility and the above-ground concrete to allow for manufacturers to run production lines, enabling the building to remain an important part of the manufacturing resurgence. “The Sharon industrial building renovation project will expand the region’s ability to attract a significant manufacturer and a source of good-paying jobs, while Read more

 

Sainato: $3.5 million awarded for major plant expansion

(Oct 26, 2022)

NEW CASTLE, Oct. 26 – A $3.5 million grant from the state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program will fund a major addition to the Steelite facility in Neshannock Township, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. “It’s extremely exciting to see Steelite continue expanding in our district,” Sainato said. “Securing the current funding will allow the plant to expand its operations to meet increased demand by erecting a pre-engineered steel building. The grant will support site development; purchase and construction of the building; and related electrical, HVAC and plumbing systems. “These are the kind of changes to the landscape that fund new jobs, fuel new economic growth and spell new progress for our region.” Read more

 

Harkins, Merski: $3 million awarded to construct new zoo veterinary center

(Oct 26, 2022)

ERIE, Oct. 26 – A $3 million state grant will fund construction of a new veterinary center at the Erie Zoo, state Reps. Pat Harkins and Bob Merski announced today. The lawmakers, both D-Erie, said the grant to the Erie Zoological Society – supported through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program – will fund work on comprehensive facilities to ensure animal health. “The funding we helped secure today will support a landmark area attraction – our amazing Erie Zoo – by funding a state-of-the-art veterinary center,” Harkins said. “Once constructed, the new center will contain animal treatment, quarantine, and isolation spaces; surgical and imaging suites; veterinary offices; drug storage facilities; and even some limited public viewing areas. It’s going to be exciting watching the new facility take shape.” Merski said, “The Erie Zoo delights and teaches kids of all ages, attracts thousands of visitors, and generates substantial tourism revenue for our region. But maintaining hundreds of animals outside of their natural habitat brings critical responsibilities. The funding awarded today for the new veterinary center will ensure those animals receive the best possible care. We are proud to have the zoo in our district and to have helped secure this funding." Read more

 

Longietti delivers farewell remarks in state House chamber

(Oct 24, 2022)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 25 – State Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, addressed colleagues in the Pennsylvania House chamber today as he prepares to retire from the state legislature after nearly 16 years in office. Longietti, D-Mercer, thanked his wife, Tina; his mother, Pearl; his legislative staff; his fellow legislators; and the people of his district for their faith and trust. He spoke of the importance of relationships guided by respect on both sides of the political aisle and of the importance of his faith. “I want to give thanks to God for the opportunity to serve in this position,” Longietti said. “I am convinced that it is only by His grace that I got here and stayed here for almost 16 years. And when I say grace, I say unmerited favor, because I did not earn this blessing. He chose to bestow it on me, and I am grateful.” Longietti also spoke of the importance of decorum, of standing up for his profession and of the value of traveling the state and getting to know and understand people and culture in other parts of the state. “I am proud that I followed the rules on the House floor. The Speaker has a tough job to do. But we are called on to follow the rules of decorum. The institution is larger than us. I have never been gaveled down by the speaker, and I think that is a good thing. “I have always defended our profession. Being a politician is a profession. It takes skills, and those skills are honed over time. We should Read more

 

Longietti, Brooks: Sharpsville secures $9.8M to upgrade water system

(Oct 19, 2022)

HERMITAGE, Oct. 19 – The borough of Sharpsville is receiving $9.8 million to fund a project to replace approximately 20,000 feet of aging water mains, state Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, and state Sen. Michele Brooks, R-Crawford/Mercer/Erie/Warren, announced today. The lawmakers said that the funding from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority – which includes a grant of nearly $6 million and a low-interest loan of $3.8 million – will fund much-needed upgrades along streets serving both residential and commercial customers. “Sharpsville’s water distribution infrastructure is aging, and the last major overhaul happened more than a decade ago,” Longietti said. “This new funding will allow the borough to replace about 20,000 feet of 50- to 70-year-old lines prone to leaks and breaks, as well as a limited number of suspected residential lead service lines. The work will help eliminate water pressure problems and service disruptions and keep clean water flowing reliably to more of the community.” Brooks said, “This funding will help to pay for vital waterline improvements so more than 2,150 homes in Sharpsville Borough and South Pymatuning Township will have reliable access to water, be it for drinking or for providing life-saving fire suppression during emergencies. However, it’s rather costly to make the waterline improvements that are necessary in Sharpsville. The PENNVEST funding Read more

 

Merski, Harkins: Erie secures $18 million to eliminate lead water drinking risk

(Oct 19, 2022)

ERIE, Oct. 19 – Safer drinking water is on tap for more Erie residents, thanks to new funding of $18 million that will allow the Erie City Water Authority to replace more of the city’s lead-containing water service connections, state Reps. Bob Merski and Pat Harkins announced today. The lawmakers, both D-Erie, said the funding from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority – which includes a $14.9 million grant and a $3.1 million low-interest loan – will allow the water authority to continue eliminating a serious potential hazard in the water supply. “The most critical infrastructure investments we make are the ones that eliminate health and safety risks,” Merski said. “Last year, we secured Pennvest funding for the first phase of a project to remove lead-containing service connections from the water system. More of those lead-containing components remain, however, and their rapid corrosion continues to threaten the safety of our drinking water. The new funding will allow the water authority to replace another 2,700 connections serving nearly 7,000 residents.” Harkins said, “Lead-based components in the water system pose a health threat – even at low levels – and the risk is especially dangerous to children. In this case, the danger comes from aging lead gooseneck pipe fittings, which can leach lead into the system as they deteriorate. The funding awarded today Read more

 

Merski, Harkins: $50,000 awarded to fund Erie County broadband expansion study

(Oct 17, 2022)

ERIE, Oct. 17 – A $50,000 grant will fund a broadband expansion feasibility study to help Erie identify coverage gaps and develop ways to expand internet to address those gaps, state Reps. Bob Merski and Pat Harkins announced today. The lawmakers, both D-Erie, said the Erie Area Council of Governments will contract with an expert to perform the study and with the Erie County Department of Planning and Community Development to provide economic impact data and Geographic Information System services. “I’m encouraged that we have funding in place to study which areas of the county are still facing unreliable internet access,” Merski said. “Even as access has improved in many places, residents and business owners in the eastern and southern parts of the county have continued to struggle with spotty coverage and access. It’s critical for us to pinpoint where strong connections are lacking so they can be brought up to speed.” “Fast, reliable internet isn’t a luxury – it’s an essential connection that opens doors to jobs, education, and community connections,” Harkins said. “We need to make sure all those connections are in place so communities have the access they need.” The project will serve 16 communities over the course of a year. The funding is part of a package awarded under the Appalachian Regional Commission, Power Initiative Grants. More Read more

 

Burns praises family’s commitment to service

(Oct 07, 2022)

BLACKLICK TWP., Oct. 7 – Joined by community members and local officials, state Rep. Frank Burns today held a ceremony to designate a bridge on state Route 71 over Coal Pit Run in Twin Rocks as the Lanzendorfer Brothers Bridge. “It is a tremendous honor to be here today, to dedicate this bridge in honor of the Lanzendorfer brothers, who have given so much to their nation and their community,” Burns said. “They are an incredible example of what it means to put service over self and to give back to your community and nation. I sincerely hope their example will encourage future generations to do the same.” The Lanzendorfer brothers, eight in all, served their nation during World War II, the Korean War and in peace time. They also served their communities in a variety of public positions, including police chief, postmaster and tax collector, and have been described by Blacklick Township officials as “pillars of the community.” EDITORS NOTE: Photos from today’s dedication may be found here. Read more

 

Merski to host Hispanic Heritage roundtable at 5 p.m. on Oct. 12

(Oct 06, 2022)

ERIE, Oct. 6 – State Rep. Bob Merski will host a live roundtable discussion addressing issues of importance to Erie’s Hispanic community at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 12. Merski, D-Erie, is hosting the event at his 3901 Liberty St. office during Hispanic Heritage Month to highlight contributions by Erie’s Hispanic residents and also to continue a dialog on issues of importance to residents. “The Hispanic Heritage Town Hall we hosted last year was productive,” Merski said. “In addition to highlighting key ways residents of Hispanic heritage have enriched the Erie community and economy, we discussed issues of concern to workers, small business owners and residents. The discussion underscored the need for a continuing dialog on critical issues, including how Erie can be a more inclusive community. “This year, we’re excited to be able to host a live roundtable event that will bring together leaders, groups and residents in for what I’m sure will be another engaging dialog. I encourage everyone interested to stop by and be a part of the conversation.” Those interested in attending should send their name and e-mail address to Merski’s office by emailing RepMerski@pahouse.net or calling 814-455-6319. Read more

 

Merski to host Oct. 7 flu shot clinic

(Sep 29, 2022)

ERIE, Sept. 29 – State Rep. Bob Merski, D-Erie, will hold a flu shot clinic from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Oct. 7 at his 3901 Liberty St. office. Merski, who is hosting the clinic in partnership with Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, said the event is a convenient way for residents to prepare for a seasonal threat. “Early fall is a sensible time to schedule a flu shot, before flu activity starts ramping up,” Merski said. “A simple, safe shot can cut your risk of developing the flu by half or prevent you from getting really sick if you do contract the flu. Visiting our Oct. 7 clinic is a small step that can provide important protection.” Merski said participants must present a valid insurance card to receive a shot. Pre-registration is not required, but visitors will be asked to complete a form on-site. Those wishing to complete the form in advance can pick up a copy at Merski’s 3901 Liberty St. office. Residents with questions should call the office at (814) 455-6319. Read more

 

State Rep. Chris Sainato's Fall 2022 Newsletter

(Sep 23, 2022)

State Rep. Chris Sainato's Fall 2022 Newsletter Read more

 

State Rep. Mark Longietti's Fall 2022 Newsletter

(Sep 23, 2022)

State Rep. Mark Longietti's Fall 2022 Newsletter Read more

 

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

 

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

Longietti, Brooks announce $2.85 million in grants to benefit local families
Oct 26, 2022

Sainato: $3.5 million awarded for major plant expansion
Oct 26, 2022

Harkins, Merski: $3 million awarded to construct new zoo veterinary center
Oct 26, 2022

Longietti delivers farewell remarks in state House chamber
Oct 24, 2022

Longietti, Brooks: Sharpsville secures $9.8M to upgrade water system
Oct 19, 2022

Merski, Harkins: Erie secures $18 million to eliminate lead water drinking risk
Oct 19, 2022

Merski, Harkins: $50,000 awarded to fund Erie County broadband expansion study
Oct 17, 2022

Burns praises family’s commitment to service
Oct 07, 2022

Merski to host Hispanic Heritage roundtable at 5 p.m. on Oct. 12
Oct 06, 2022

Merski to host Oct. 7 flu shot clinic
Sep 29, 2022

State Rep. Chris Sainato's Fall 2022 Newsletter
Sep 23, 2022

State Rep. Mark Longietti's Fall 2022 Newsletter
Sep 23, 2022

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