Sainato: More than $1 million awarded to boost Lawrence County businesses

(Sep 14, 2022)

NEW CASTLE, Sept. 14 – Lawrence County businesses will have access to new loan funding thanks to $1.1 million awarded to the Lawrence County Economic Development Corporation, state Rep. Chris Sainato announced today. Sainato, D-Lawrence, said the funding from the state Department of Community and Economic Development will allow the local economic development partner to create or recapitalize revolving loans for small businesses. “The new funding will strengthen resources for small business in our community by expanding access to loan funding,” Sainato said. “Having cash on hand for daily operations and other expenses is more important than ever as businesses continue rebuilding, and this fresh infusion of funding will help with that effort.” The funding is part of a package of $246 million in American Rescue Plan funding awarded statewide under both the Revolving Loan Fund and the Direct Venture Investment programs. Capital programs administered by economic development partners are scheduled to be open by Oct. 17. Small businesses should apply for funding through their economic development organizations. More about the funding is available here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-246-million-awarded-to-support-small-businesses-across-pennsylvania/ . Read more

 

Harkins: Nursing home strike settlement a victory for resident care

(Sep 13, 2022)

ERIE, Sept. 13 – State Rep. Pat Harkins issued the following statement in response to news that striking nursing home employees at facilities owned by Comprehensive Healthcare, Priority Healthcare, and Shenandoah Heights Healthcare have reached contract agreements: “Reports that Pennsylvania nursing home workers have reached a deal with management is the best possible news and a testament to what workers can achieve when they stand together. “When hundreds of employees walked off the job earlier this month, they had reached a breaking point after years of attempting to care for too many residents with insufficient staff and resources. Many had warned that conditions were jeopardizing residents’ safety and health and that the lack of a living wage made it impossible to recruit and retain desperately needed staff. “Tackling these issues was the very reason I joined colleagues on both sides of the aisle to commit $600 million in the new state budget to strengthen nursing home care. “By joining forces and making their voices heard, these workers brought management to the table, and both sides scored a victory by putting aside their differences and coming together to put those dollars to the use for which they were intended. “The new contract agreements should ensure more staff time for residents and better wages and benefits for recruitment and retention of staff. “Laying this Read more

 

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

(Sep 13, 2022)

ERIE, Sept. 13 – A grant of $8,525 to Kuhl Hose Co. in Greene Township will make it easier for firefighters to fight brush fires, state Rep. Bob Merski announced today. Merski, D-Erie, said the funding – part of a package of Volunteer Fire Assistance Grants offered through the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources – will help fight a seasonal hazard that increases over the dry fall months. “Brush fires – especially when they occur near homes or along roadways – can spread quickly to endanger people and property, and dry conditions increase the risk,” Merski said. “As we head into fall, it will be important for firefighters to have the portable tanks and other special equipment needed to combat this fast-moving threat while staying safe themselves.” The grants were awarded on a cost-share basis to qualifying local firefighting forces in rural areas and communities with fewer than 10,000 people. The funding may be used for training and equipment purchases directly related to fighting brush and forest fires. Priority was placed on projects that include the purchase of wildfire suppression equipment and protective clothing. Grants may also be used for purchasing mobile or portable radios, installing dry hydrants, wildfire prevention and mitigation work, training wildfire fighters, or converting and maintaining federal excess Read more

 

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

(Sep 13, 2022)

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

 

State Rep. Bob Merski's Fall 2022 Newsletter

(Sep 12, 2022)

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

 

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

(Sep 06, 2022)

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

 

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

(Sep 06, 2022)

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

 

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

(Sep 02, 2022)

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

 

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

(Sep 01, 2022)

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

 

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

(Sep 01, 2022)

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

 

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

(Sep 01, 2022)

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

 

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

(Sep 01, 2022)

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

 

Harkins: Time to start treating our caregivers fairly

(Aug 23, 2022)

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

 

Merski kicking off back-to-school supply drive

(Aug 18, 2022)

ERIE, Aug. 18 – State Rep. Bob Merski is kicking off his annual back-to-school supply drive Friday, Aug. 19, and the list this year includes some new items. Merski, D-Erie, said donations are especially important now, as more families are struggling with rising prices, and that personal care products and socks have been added to the list of requested items. “School-supply shopping can take a big bite out of a family’s budget, and that’s especially true this year, with prices on the rise,” Merski said. “We partnered with schools in the Erie City, Harbor Creek, Fort LeBoeuf, Iroquois and Wattsburg Area school districts to find out what items are most needed. In addition to traditional supplies, schools are requesting personal care items, such as deodorant, toothbrushes and tooth paste, as well as socks. “Folks in our community have always responded generously to these drives, and I’m encouraging residents who can afford it to considering donating again this year. It can make a big difference to a family in need.” Merski said the following new items are especially helpful: Markers, including highlighters, color markers, dry-erase markers and permanent markers. Pencils, erasers (pencil top and large pink erasers), colored pencils, pencil boxes and pens. Crayons, student scissors and sticky notes. Read more

 

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

(Aug 11, 2022)

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Merski kicking off back-to-school supply drive
Aug 18, 2022

Merski, Harkins: City of Erie FD receiving $250,000 for fire safety apparatus
Aug 11, 2022

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