House unanimously adopts Bizzarro resolution to raise awareness about form of soft-tissue sarcoma

(May 07, 2019)

HARRISBURG, May 7 – The House unanimously adopted a resolution Monday designed to raise awareness about undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma – one of a group of soft-tissue cancers expected to kill more than 5,000 Americans this year, according to the resolution’s author, state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie. “According to the American Cancer Society, about 12,750 Americans will be diagnosed with UPS and other soft-tissue sarcomas this year,” Bizzarro said. “It’s found most often in the arms and legs and can cause fast-growing masses that can affect the bones and muscles. The primary treatment is surgery, but as with all cancers, early diagnosis is key.” Bizzarro said because UPS and other forms of sarcomas are relatively rare, it’s important to raise awareness about them, especially because the causes of UPS are still largely unknown. “Knowledge is important in the fight against cancer,” Bizzarro said. “Because soft-tissue sarcomas are relatively rare, this can slow advances in treatment and cure. We all know someone who has fought a long and difficult battle against cancer, whether it’s a common or less common form. I urge everyone to support programs and organizations that are working to enhance research and awareness of UPS so we can combat this diagnosis with a stronger hand in the future.” Read more

 

Merski: Grant of more than $5,200 will enhance two Erie senior centers

(May 06, 2019)

ERIE, May 6 – Two popular Erie senior centers will benefit from a $5,213 grant, state Rep. Bob Merski, D-Erie, announced today. The grant – part of the state Department of Aging’s 2018-19 Senior Community Center package of grants – will fund enhanced resources at the GECAC R.B.W. Central City Senior Center and the Erie West Senior Center. Greater Erie Community Action Committee’s Agency on Aging oversees both centers. “I know this funding is going to be extremely helpful to the centers, which work so hard to provide area seniors with the resources they need to stay active and remain connected to the community,” Merski said. “Our seniors have spent their lives enriching our community. This funding allows us to do something in return by ensuring that they have access to the programs and resources so important to their well-being and vitality.” Merski noted that the grants, funded by the PA Lottery, may be used to make needed refurbishments to facilities or to create new programs or services to help seniors maintain their independence and wellness. Kim Malone, GECAC’s director of center services, expressed appreciation for the grant. “We’re very grateful for the opportunities the state provides,” Malone said. “The centers are wonderful places for our seniors to go, and any opportunity that permits enhancements to the buildings or programs is great news. We know our legislators have a Read more

 

House unanimously passes Bizzarro resolution naming May ‘Youth Art Month’ in Pennsylvania

(May 06, 2019)

ERIE, May 6 – Calling attention to the importance of art education is the goal of a resolution the House passed unanimously today, according to the author, state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie. Bizzarro said he introduced H.R. 289, designating May 2019 as “Youth Art Month” in Pennsylvania, to raise awareness about the many positive benefits of exposing students to the visual arts. “Multiple studies show that kids who are exposed to the arts in school have better test scores and lower disciplinary rates,” Bizzarro said. “What’s more, because art is based on self-expression and isn’t focused on ‘one right answer,’ it has a great motivating effect on kids and enhances creativity and critical thinking, which are extremely important skills for adulthood. It also makes kids more empathetic by connecting them to the larger world outside. “Unfortunately, when budget challenges arise, art classes are often the first to be cut. It’s my hope that by raising awareness about the importance of art education, we’ll help ensure that kids have continuing access to this important subject.” Youth Art Month is part of a national effort organized by the Council for Art Education to emphasize the importance of art education. The event is celebrated annually across the country with public art displays in schools, libraries and art centers. Read more

 

Merski: Erie fire, rescue services to receive more than $41,000 in state grants

(May 06, 2019)

ERIE, May 6 – Erie fire and EMS services are receiving $41,623 in grants, state Rep. Bob Merski, D-Erie, announced today. “Erie’s firefighters and emergency medical workers answer the call tirelessly, despite tight budgets that can limit resources,” Merski said. “It’s my hope that these grants will ease some of those financial challenges and provide needed equipment, training and other resources that reinforce these essential front-line workers.” Merski said the grants – provided by Pennsylvania's Fire Company and Emergency Medical Service Grant Program – are as follows: Belle Valley Fire Department Inc. – fire company – $12,502. EmergyCare Inc. – EMS – $7,155. Perry Hi-Way Hose Company – fire company – $14,811. Perry Hi-Way Hose Company – EMS – $7,155. The state Fire Company and Emergency Medical Service Grant Program is administered by the Office of the State Fire Commissioner. In addition to funding equipment and training, the money can be used for repairing, building or renovating facilities and for repaying debt related to equipment purchases or facility building and maintenance. Read more

 

Bizzarro announces more than $114,000 in fire and EMS grants

(May 06, 2019)

ERIE, May 6 – State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, announced the awarding of $114,410 in state grants to eight fire and EMS companies in the 3 rd Legislative District. “Our area firefighters and medical rescue workers stand between our community and any kind of danger — from fires to hazmat incidents to medical emergencies – even as departments face financial constraints and units are asked to do more with less,” Bizzarro said. “I’m so glad our efforts in securing these grants were successful because the funding should help defray costs and provide essential resources to help our first responders continue their life-saving work.” Bizzarro said the grants are as follows: Central Erie County Paramedic Association Inc . – EMS – $12,667. Edinboro Volunteer Fire Department – fire company – $14,811 / EMS – $7,155. Kearsarge Fire Department – fire company – $13,326. Lake Shore Fire Department – fire company – $12,172 / EMS – $5,007. McKean Hose Company – fire company – $12,337 / EMS – $7,155. Millcreek Paramedic Service – EMS – $7,155. West Lake Fire Department – fire company – $14,151. West Ridge Fire Department – fire company – $13,986. The grants are provided by Pennsylvania's Fire Company and Emergency Medical Service Grant Program, which is administered by the Office of the State Fire Commissioner. Read more

 

Harkins announces grant of more than $14,800 to Erie Fire Department

(May 06, 2019)

ERIE, May 6 – The Erie Fire Department is receiving a grant of $14,811, state Rep. Pat Harkins, D-Erie, announced. The grant is provided by Pennsylvania's Fire Company and Emergency Medical Service Grant Program, which is administered by the Office of the State Fire Commissioner. “Our firefighters never hesitate to be on the front lines, regardless of the emergency, and even while having to work under tight budget constraints,” Harkins said. “These first responders deserve the best for their courageous service, and this funding will help address some of the financial challenges they are facing.” Harkins added that in addition to funding equipment and training, the money can be used for repairing, building or renovating facilities and for repaying debt related to equipment purchases or facility building and maintenance. Read more

 

Bizzarro, Harkins, Merski: $1 million will fund new housing for Erie County residents with disabilities

(Mar 27, 2019)

ERIE, March 27 – New housing is on the horizon for Erie County individuals with disabilities, thanks to $1 million in funding from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, state Reps. Ryan Bizzarro, Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, all D-Erie, announced today. The money will be used to fund the EHCA New Community Homes project, which will construct group homes for Erie County residents with physical and intellectual disabilities. “The many individuals in our area who live with disabilities are integral members of our Erie community,” Bizzarro said. “They’re our friends, our families, and our coworkers, and they have remarkable achievements to contribute. The funding announced today will ensure that they have housing that provides them with both the independence and support they need to thrive.” “I’m very pleased about this funding,” Harkins said. “The money will allow for construction of group homes that provide Erie County’s individuals with disabilities a true home environment while also providing the necessary medical, social and emotional support they need to live with dignity.” Merski said: “The measure of a community is how it provides for all residents of all abilities. The funding announced today will make sure our community is an inclusive one that offers the benefits of a warm, supportive living environment for all residents.” RCAP is administered by the Office of the Read more

 

House Democrats sponsoring bills to improve access to career & tech ed programs in Pa.

(Feb 19, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 19 – State Rep. Pat Harkins, D-Erie, joined fellow House legislators today in support of a bipartisan package of legislation that would enhance the quality of career and technical education programs throughout Pennsylvania. Read more

 

Bizzarro, Harkins, Merski: More than $460,000 in grants will boost industries, apprenticeship programs in Northwest Pa.

(Feb 07, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 7 – More than $460,000 in state grants will expand job training opportunities for Erie County residents, while helping regional industries become more competitive, according to state Reps. Ryan Bizzarro, Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, all D-Erie. Five grants – all part of the PAsmart initiative – will connect students and other area job seekers with regional employers in the advanced manufacturing, plastics, and building and construction industries. Apprenticeships are a major focus of the initiative. “Apprenticeships in high-tech industries are especially exciting because they introduce students to jobs in a real-world setting that teaches real-world skills,” Bizzarro said. “For example, students doing a pre-apprenticeship program in the plastics industry will get both an overview of the industry and specific training on working with injection-molding machinery.” “Programs like these are incredibly valuable because they offer young Pennsylvanians an opportunity to earn as they learn,” Merski added. “Students gain skills and confidence while working under the guidance and encouragement of a mentor, which is the ideal setting for developing career and technical skills.” Harkins agreed, saying, “There’s no replacement for on-the-job training, particularly where high-skill careers are involved. Registered apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs are a win-win for everyone Read more

 

Bizzarro bill would deter theft, quick resale of electronic devices

(Feb 06, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 6 – Legislation introduced this week by state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, would help deter the theft and quick resale of stolen electronic devices – a problem being fueled by the ongoing opioid addiction epidemic. House Bill 403 would require pawn shops and other secondhand dealers that purchase electronics to retain the seller’s name and address and report that information, together with the devices’ serial numbers, to the district attorney’s office so the devices could tracked and recovered. "The opioid addiction crisis claims a lot of innocent victims, and homeowners are among them," Bizzarro said. "Every day, addicts burglarize homes for electronics, which they then resell for quick cash to feed their addiction. My bill would help to deter these thefts while also working to make the crime victims whole." Bizzarro added that the dealer reporting requirement has worked for other stolen property. "We know this kind of reporting works because after Pennsylvania enacted similar requirements for precious metal dealers, jewelry thefts decreased,” Bizzarro said. “There’s every reason to believe the same would work for electronics." The bill would exempt nonprofit donation centers. Read more

 

Harkins: Governor’s budget a bold approach

(Feb 05, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 5 – Reacting to Gov. Tom Wolf’s address this morning on his proposed 2019-20 budget, state Rep. Patrick Harkins, D-Erie, said: “I was encouraged by the governor’s emphasis today on education and workforce development. In many ways, I think his address reflects a bold approach. A number of his proposals include measures that I’ve been pushing for during my 12 years in the House and in my work as Democratic chairman of the House Labor Committee. “A number of the governor’s proposals can make a positive impact, not only in the areas of education and labor, but in addressing the everyday problems facing Pennsylvania’s working families.” Read more

 

Merski: Governor’s budget strong on education

(Feb 05, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 5 – Reacting to Gov. Tom Wolf’s address today, state Rep. Bob Merski, D-Erie, expressed enthusiasm for aspects of the governor’s proposed 2019-20 budget, and particularly its focus on education. “I was encouraged to hear the governor speak about the importance of funding basic education,” Merski said. "As a former educator for more than 20 years, I’ve seen firsthand the impact of a strong pre-K to grade 12 program. Instilling fundamental concepts in kids at the earliest possible age leads to better grades, stronger self-confidence and achievement in life. So an investment in public education is truly an investment in the future of the commonwealth. “Funding is also important to ensure that the curriculum keeps pace with the changing demands of the modern workforce. As today’s jobs become increasingly complex, developing a curriculum doesn’t mean the same thing it did 30 years ago. There are increased demands for STEM courses, computer sciences and other tech-intensive classes that kids need in order to be prepared. “I also support the governor’s proposed investment in workforce development. It’s clear that investing in our future generation of workers through enhanced career and tech training will yield returns in the form of a better-prepared, more competitive workforce. “Now starts the work of reaching across the aisle to agree on a budget that works for everyday Read more

 

Bizzarro: Governor’s budget proposals that invest in students, workers are sound

(Feb 05, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 5 – Reacting to Gov. Tom Wolf’s address today on his proposed 2019-20 budget, state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, said he was encouraged to hear the governor’s emphasis on education and career training opportunities for Pennsylvanians. “I support a number of the governor’s proposals because they’re investments, first and foremost, in the people of Pennsylvania,” Bizzarro said. “By emphasizing education, workforce training, and fair pay, the governor is recognizing that our state’s economic well-being is closely tied to the opportunities we provide our working families. “I agree with the governor’s continued focus on public education funding. With today’s jobs becoming more and more technologically demanding, it’s critical that we provide our kids the best possible start through preK-12 programs that keep pace with essential STEM subjects and other technology-based curricula. “The same is true for the governor’s proposals to invest more in workforce development through technical and career training programs. By investing in young Pennsylvanians who are preparing to enter the workforce, we’re investing in the commonwealth’s economic future. “To be sure, these proposals are just a blueprint, and we have a lot of work ahead of us. I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and work out the concrete details with my colleagues on both sides of the Read more

 

Harkins takes oath to begin seventh term

(Jan 01, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 1 – State Rep. Patrick Harkins, D-Erie, was sworn in today to a seventh term in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. The swearing-in ceremony in the House chamber marked the beginning of the 203rd legislative session. The state constitution mandates that the legislature convene at noon on the first Tuesday of January each year. Harkins said this session he will renew his push for legislation to provide Occupational Safety and Health Administration job safety protection to public workers. The need for this legislation was inspired by Jake Schwab, a mechanic with the Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority, who lost his life due to a workplace incident in 2014. "This is a battle I’ll keep fighting on behalf of our public employees while they are on the job," Harkins said. "It is unbelievable to me that public employees have less protection than private employees. "I will also continue to work with state Representatives Ryan Bizzarro, Bob Merski and Curt Sonney to remain vigilant in our continued quest to monitor and assist the Erie School District with its many challenges, including funding. We have had extensive discussions with House Republican leadership and have communicated with the governor about the dire situation facing our students." Additionally, the representative will renew his push for solutions to the heroin and drug issues in the communities, while seeking revenue streams via his involvement on Read more

 

House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee Newsletter

(Aug 15, 2018)

Click to read the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee newsletter. Read more

 

Sportsmen Update

(Aug 15, 2018)

Click here to read my Sportsmen Update. Read more

 

Summer Senior Report

(Aug 15, 2018)

Click to read my Senior Report. Read more

 

Summer Newsletter

(Aug 15, 2018)

Click to read my Summer Newsletter. Read more

 

Senior Newsletter

(Jul 26, 2018)

Please enjoy reading the online, PDF version, of my senior newsletter. Read more

 

State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro votes to support bipartisan budget, avoid another harmful impasse

(Jun 30, 2016)

HARRISBURG, June 30 – State Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, D-Erie, today voted to send a final state budget plan to Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk that boosts school funding, targets the heroin and opioid addiction crisis, and protects taxpayers from broad-based tax increases. "This budget isn’t necessarily ideal, but it does make strong investments in education and human services during a particularly tough fiscal year," Bizzarro said. "I believe the bipartisan compromise we were able to achieve was necessary to help ensure Pennsylvania will soon have a budget on the books." Under Senate Bill 1073 , basic education would receive a $200 million increase from the previous fiscal year, while special education funding would increase $20 million. As a result, Bizzarro said area school districts are set to receive the following increases: Basic Education Special Education General McLane: $148,439, 1.4 percent $15,239, 1.1 percent Millcreek Township: $493,433, 3.6 percent $50,123, 1.4 percent Erie City: $3,373,571, 5.6 percent $234,418, 2.4 percent "Our schools have been cash-strapped for far too long," Bizzarro said. "This budget will help to restore some of the cuts made by the previous administration so that we can provide the quality education our students deserve." Higher education, including schools like Edinboro University, would receive a 2.5 percent increase in Read more

 

House unanimously adopts Bizzarro resolution to raise awareness about form of soft-tissue sarcoma
May 07, 2019

Merski: Grant of more than $5,200 will enhance two Erie senior centers
May 06, 2019

House unanimously passes Bizzarro resolution naming May ‘Youth Art Month’ in Pennsylvania
May 06, 2019

Merski: Erie fire, rescue services to receive more than $41,000 in state grants
May 06, 2019

Bizzarro announces more than $114,000 in fire and EMS grants
May 06, 2019

Harkins announces grant of more than $14,800 to Erie Fire Department
May 06, 2019

Bizzarro, Harkins, Merski: $1 million will fund new housing for Erie County residents with disabilities
Mar 27, 2019

House Democrats sponsoring bills to improve access to career & tech ed programs in Pa.
Feb 19, 2019

Bizzarro, Harkins, Merski: More than $460,000 in grants will boost industries, apprenticeship programs in Northwest Pa.
Feb 07, 2019

Bizzarro bill would deter theft, quick resale of electronic devices
Feb 06, 2019

Harkins: Governor’s budget a bold approach
Feb 05, 2019

Merski: Governor’s budget strong on education
Feb 05, 2019

Bizzarro: Governor’s budget proposals that invest in students, workers are sound
Feb 05, 2019

Harkins takes oath to begin seventh term
Jan 01, 2019

House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee Newsletter
Aug 15, 2018

Sportsmen Update
Aug 15, 2018

Summer Senior Report
Aug 15, 2018

Summer Newsletter
Aug 15, 2018

Senior Newsletter
Jul 26, 2018

State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro votes to support bipartisan budget, avoid another harmful impasse
Jun 30, 2016