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: Nearly $1 million awarded to expand housing assistance

(Jun 10, 2022)

ERIE, June 10 – Erie County organizations are receiving $970,000 in funding to expand housing-related services for families in need, state Reps. Bob Merski and Pat Harkins announced today. The lawmakers, both D-Erie, said the funding from the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Fund will address a range of different needs that open doors for residents. “This funding will strengthen programs across the board for residents facing housing challenges,” Merski said. “Some of those dollars will support our most vulnerable residents, including folks in crisis, by strengthening resources for area shelters, while other funding will support home repair programs and programs to help families working toward first-time homeownership. All of the funding comes at an important time, when folks are still building back from the impacts of the pandemic.” Harkins said, “The stability that comes with having a home gives parents and caregivers the peace of mind to know their kids are safe, gives families the support of a caring community and provides people with the freedom and confidence to find work. Securing this funding today is going to help get those keys to self-sufficiency into the hands of more Erie residents in need.” The funding includes: $200,000 to Greater Erie Community Action Committee for the Corridor of Opportunity program. Read more

 

Longietti: Mercer County programs receiving more than $130,000 for housing counseling, ‘Lots to Love’ programs

(Jun 09, 2022)

HERMITAGE, June 9 – Mercer County organizations are receiving $133,000 from the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Fund to support a housing and budget counseling program and help continue the successful Lots to Love program, state Rep. Mark Longietti announced today. Longietti, D–Mercer, said the funding includes $40,000 to the Community Action Partnership of Mercer County to support programs that help lower-income residents acquire the money management and budgeting skills needed for home ownership. “Community Action Partnership has played a key role in helping low- and middle-income families in our community navigate the path to home ownership through housing counseling and an incentive-based budget counseling program that matches participants’ investments,” Longietti said. “The funding awarded today is going to ensure the partnership can keep that program and those incentives flowing to low-income families needing them.” Longietti said an additional $93,000 will allow the organization to continue the successful Lots to Love program. “Lots to Love has been incredibly successful at helping the City of Sharon repurpose vacant lots in ways that invite investment and development,” Longietti said. “Securing this additional funding will bolster the program to continue stabilizing neighborhoods and also help Community Action Partnership create a Read more

 

Sainato: $800,000 awarded for Lawrence County affordable housing, blight-fighting projects

(Jun 09, 2022)

HARRISBURG, June 9 – Four projects to fight blight and expand affordable housing are receiving a combined $800,000 in funding from the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement fund, state Rep. Chris Sainato announced today. Sainato, D-Lawrence, said the funding comes at an important time. “With housing costs rising, expanding the supply of affordable housing is more important than ever, especially for seniors and others on a fixed income,” Sainato said. “The funding awarded today will expand these important programs and also fund the blight remediation needed to encourage further development.” A breakdown of the funding: $300,000 to the Lawrence County Department of Planning and Community Development for a blight removal program that works with stakeholders to identify “tipping-point” neighborhoods in which public intervention has the potential to kickstart private investment. $250,000 to the Redevelopment Authority of Lawrence County to support the Countywide Housing Rehabilitation and Blight Removal Program being implemented. $200,000 to Urban Commonwealth CDC Inc. for the proposed New Horizons Senior Living project, a 55+ mixed income housing development in New Castle. $50,000 to Housing Opportunities of Beaver County Inc., to expand the first-time homebuyer program in Lawrence Read more

 

Erie awarded $37,500 for historical site survey, Old Customs House renovation

(Jun 09, 2022)

ERIE, June 9 – Erie is receiving two grants from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission: $25,000 to fund a historical site survey and $12,500 for the first phase of a project to preserve the Erie Art Museum’s Old Customs House, state Reps. Bob Merski and Pat Harkins announced today. The lawmakers, both D-Erie, said the survey will help bring more of Erie’s past to light. “While much of Erie’s rich history is memorialized in treasures like the Brig Niagara, Presque Isle Light and Dickson Tavern, other markers of our past have yet to be discovered and preserved,” Merski said. “The survey funded by this grant is going to help us identify all historic resources within the city – including sites and landmarks that may be eligible for National Register of Historic Places designation – so they can add chapters to our unique story.” Harkins said the Old Customs House renovation is an important preservation project. “The Old Customs House contains more than 400 of the Erie Art Museum’s pieces and hosts several exhibitions yearly, but the structure is nearly two centuries old, and in significant need of preservation. This funding will help get that important project underway.” The funding is part of a package of Keystone Historic Preservation Grants awarded statewide and funded through the Keystone Recreation, Read more

 

Longietti: Nearly $90,000 awarded for program to bolster restrictive probation, reduce recidivism among nonviolent offenders

(Jun 08, 2022)

HERMITAGE, June 8 – Mercer County is receiving $89,997 to support a restrictive probation program designed to reduce recidivism and improve outcomes among substance use disorder offenders, state Rep. Mark Longietti announced today. Longietti, D–Mercer, said the funding from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency is an effective way to help nonviolent offenders transition back to the community. “Restrictive supervision probation programs help lower recidivism rates by giving people convicted of nonviolent drug- and alcohol-related offenses the treatment they need for a fresh start,” Longietti said. “The funding awarded today will ensure the Mercer County program has the staff, drug-testing equipment and supplies, and laboratory fees needed to vigilantly monitor offenders and keep them on the path to remaining drug and alcohol free.” The funding was recommended by PCCD’s County Adult Probation and Parole Advisory Committee. More about the committee is available here . Read more

 

Sainato: More than $250,000 awarded to strengthen support for child assault victims, bolster probation and parole services

(Jun 08, 2022)

HARRISBURG, June 8 – Lawrence County programs to treat child victims of sexual or physical abuse are receiving $200,000 from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, while the county is receiving an additional $51,174 to enhance adult probation and parole services, state Rep. Chris Sainato announced today. Sainato, D-Lawrence, said $200,000 in funding to the Children’s Advocacy Center of Lawrence County will help expand available services and reduce treatment waiting times. “With certain funding ending, the Children’s Advocacy Center has been forced to cut back on the services of some of its full-time therapists,” Sainato said. “At a time when there is already a waiting list of 30 children each month, with many waiting six months for treatment, any further reduction in resources could be disastrous. “Children who have been traumatized by sexual or physical abuse cannot afford to wait. This funding is going to help ensure these child victims receive the trauma-focused, evidence-based mental health services they need as soon as possible.” Sainato said the additional funding of more than $50,000 for adult probation and parole resources will strengthen supervisory services and evidence-based programs. Read more

 

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

Merski, Harkins: Nearly $1 million awarded to expand housing assistance
Jun 10, 2022

Longietti: Mercer County programs receiving more than $130,000 for housing counseling, ‘Lots to Love’ programs
Jun 09, 2022

Sainato: $800,000 awarded for Lawrence County affordable housing, blight-fighting projects
Jun 09, 2022

Erie awarded $37,500 for historical site survey, Old Customs House renovation
Jun 09, 2022

Longietti: Nearly $90,000 awarded for program to bolster restrictive probation, reduce recidivism among nonviolent offenders
Jun 08, 2022

Sainato: More than $250,000 awarded to strengthen support for child assault victims, bolster probation and parole services
Jun 08, 2022