Conklin: $696,080 in state grants awarded to local projects

(Mar 16, 2023)

Projects include street improvements, Mo Valley EMS Read more

 

Burns: $792,000 in state grants awarded to local street projects

(Mar 16, 2023)

Funding will help Croyle Township repave two roads Read more

 

Burns: $2 million in state grants awarded to local projects

(Mar 16, 2023)

Projects range from floodwall repairs & public pool renovations to police cruiser purchase Read more

 

Wind turbines for PA's Lake Erie?

(Mar 15, 2023)

“The lakeshore benefits our region in so many ways, from recreation to tourism to commerce, but we have yet to tap another resource with tremendous potential – the capacity for wind generation,” Merski said in the announcement. Read more

 

Merski bill would bring benefits of renewable wind energy to Lake Erie region

(Mar 14, 2023)

ERIE, March 14 – State Rep. Bob Merski, D-Erie, has introduced legislation to develop areas of Lake Erie for wind generation, allowing the region to reap the economic benefits of this clean, renewable energy source. “The lakeshore benefits our region in so many ways, from recreation to tourism to commerce, but we have yet to tap another resource with tremendous potential – the capacity for wind generation. Plans have been approved in Ohio for a pilot project to build several wind turbines about 8 miles off the Cleveland shoreline. I believe it’s time for Pennsylvania to harness this powerful resource that would bring family-sustaining jobs and new revenue to our region. “Of course, it is critical that we remain good stewards of the land. With careful planning and design, I believe we can minimize any risk to the natural environment and cut our carbon footprint at the same time.” Merski said his H.B. 254 would establish the Lake Erie Wind Energy Development Act, to create a competitive process and award a permit lease to develop certain areas of the lakebed for wind energy generation, with a 2% royalty on gross revenue going to Erie County and several other government entities for lake- and county-related projects. The bill is in the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. Read more

 

Conklin named majority chair of State Government Committee

(Mar 09, 2023)

Position puts lawmaker on frontlines of democracy, election reforms Read more

 

Conklin calls for monitoring of domestic abusers

(Mar 09, 2023)

Says ‘Traci’s law’ could save lives, protect families Read more

 

Matzie: Governor’s budget plan ‘a good first step’

(Mar 08, 2023)

HARRISBURG, March 8 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver, issued the following statement in response to Gov. Josh Shapiro’s budget address Tuesday: “As always, the governor’s budget proposal acts as a framework to be debated and negotiated in the coming months. But, in my judgment, it’s a solid foundation with several key areas that I support. “This budget calls for no new taxes, cuts business taxes and eliminates the cell phone tax. It expands eligibility and increases rebate amounts for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program. It contains significant funding opportunities and increases for police, fire and EMS. It implements a new tax credit for those who want to become cops, nurses and teaches, and would also raise the state’s minimum wage. “Perhaps most importantly, there are education increases across the board, from pre-K through higher ed, that would bring tens of millions of additional dollars to Beaver County schools. All while keeping $5 billion in the state’s Rainy Day Fund. “I was further encouraged to hear the governor highlight his support for bringing a hydrogen hub to Southwest PA and reaffirm his commitment to assisting those affected by – and holding Norfolk Southern accountable for – the recent train derailment. “Again, this is just the first step in what may be a long process, but Read more

 

Harkins: Legislative Audit Advisory Commission accepts audit of General Assembly’s 2022 finances

(Mar 08, 2023)

HARRISBURG, March 8 – State Rep. Pat Harkins, Majority Chairman of the bicameral Legislative Audit Advisory Commission, announced that the commission met yesterday and accepted the independent audit of the General Assembly’s finances for 2022. Harkins, D-Erie, said that as majority chairman, he will continue to ensure the commission fulfills its responsibility of keeping the public informed about the General Assembly’s finances. “I have had the honor of co-chairing the commission with Chairman Dunbar over the years, and I appreciate and respect his insight and knowledge with regard to budgets and finances,” Harkins said. “As the new majority chairman, I will strive to make sure we continue to keep the public fully informed about the finances of the Pennsylvania House and Senate.” Harkins said the audit the commission reviewed – conducted by the independent certified public accounting firm Boyer & Ritter LLC – revealed a $261.5 million reserve as of June 30, 2022. The LAAC is responsible for conducting the annual financial audit under Article VIII, Section 10 of the Pennsylvania Constitution. In addition to Harkins, other commission members include State Rep. George Dunbar, R- Westmoreland; state Sens. Maria Collett, D-Bucks/Montgomery, and Chris Gebhard, R-Berks/Lancaster/Lebanon; public members Peter Barsz and Phil Rudy (appointed by the House); and public members Gregory Jordan and Ira Weiss (appointed Read more

 

Merski appointed to Professional Licensure Committee for 2023-24 session

(Mar 08, 2023)

HARRISBURG, March 8 – State Rep. Bob Merski, D-Erie, announced today that he has been appointed to serve on the House Professional Licensure Committee and reappointed to seats on the House Gaming Oversight, Game and Fisheries and Insurance committees. “I am excited by the chance to serve on the Professional Licensure Committee,” Merski said. “Licensing is a critical part of so many trades and professions, and the committee is the starting point for important laws like the one enacted last year to make the process run more smoothly for veterans. We will also be working with Governor Josh Shapiro on his recent executive order to make the licensing process more efficient and improve response times. “I am also looking forward to returning to the House Insurance Committee. The insurance industry is not only an important economic driver for our region, but a topic that ultimately impacts every family that calls our community home. We will be working to advance legislation and policies that promote continued good business practices here at home and throughout the state.” Merski said an important part of his work on the Game and Fisheries and Gaming Oversight committees will entail reviewing legislation to ensure that revenue from some of the state’s most popular recreational activities is invested back into programs that benefit residents. “It’s important to make sure this revenue comes back to Read more

 

Harkins appointed Majority Chairman of House Gaming Oversight Committee

(Mar 08, 2023)

HARRISBURG, March 8 – State Rep. Pat Harkins announced today that he has been appointed majority chairman of the PA House Gaming Oversight Committee. “I’m excited to lead the committee because gaming revenue plays such an important role in funding commonwealth projects and programs, from economic development to tax relief,” said Harkins, D-Erie. “At the same time, we need responsible oversight to make sure those funds are invested wisely and also that there are supports in place for treatment and prevention of compulsive gambling, especially as the internet and sports betting have broadened the reach of gaming. “I’ll be working hard as committee chair to ensure that any legislation we advance furthers those goals.” The Gaming Oversight Committee works with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and the Department of Revenue to evaluate bills that affect gaming in Pennsylvania. This includes the kinds of gaming allowed in the commonwealth, as well as rules for casinos and using the proceeds of gaming in Pennsylvania. Harkins previously served as Democratic chairman of the House Gaming Oversight Committee in the 2017-18 Legislative Session. He then served as Democratic chairman of the House Labor and Industry Committee for two years before returning as Democratic chairman of the Gaming Oversight Committee during the 2021-22 session. Read more

 

Harkins lauds governor’s focus on education, career training, workers

(Mar 07, 2023)

ERIE, March 7 – State Rep. Pat Harkins, D-Erie, issued the following statement in response to Gov. Josh Shapiro’s budget address today: “As I listened to the governor outline his budget priorities, several messages resonated with me. The governor spoke about making a significant down payment on equitable public school funding. For decades, Erie students have been forced to compete with fewer resources than students in other parts of the state, all because the state has failed to commit a fair share of funding. I was encouraged to hear the governor recognize the need for a major investment in our public schools and a collective effort to devise a fairer system. “As co-chair of the Early Childhood Education Caucus, I was also reassured to hear the governor speak about the importance of early learning and investment in programs like Pre-K Counts. A recent poll showed nearly all Pennsylvanians believe early education is important and that a majority support greater investments in these programs, which are so essential for giving kids the right start in life. “At the other end of the educational spectrum, the governor outlined plans to invest more in career and tech ed. Erie’s labor force has been shrinking, and we have a growing skills gap we need to address. We can do that by expanding public-private workforce development programs that attract and equip young job seekers. With federal Read more

 

Merski: Governor’s budget priorities will move us forward

(Mar 07, 2023)

HARRISBURG, March 7 – State Rep. Bob Merski, D-Erie, issued the following statement in response to Gov. Josh Shapiro’s budget address: “As a former teacher, I was encouraged to hear Gov. Shapiro talk about his commitment to fair education funding. Last year’s historic budget investment in our public schools was a great starting point, but it is going to take a sustained, large-scale investment to achieve the kind of overhaul needed after years of underfunding. “With the recent Commonwealth Court decision declaring Pennsylvania’s public school funding unconstitutional, there can be no clearer mandate: Now is the time to fix Pennsylvania’s public schools and ease the burden on local taxpayers by demanding the state finally make the commitment our students deserve. “Beyond funding for academic resources to level the playing field, other aspects of our schools need attention – many are literally falling apart. I was encouraged to hear the governor speak about the need to repair our aging school buildings. I recently introduced legislation with several colleagues that would make it possible for school districts to address hazards like poor ventilation, peeling paint, leaky roofs, structural defects and other problems posed by dilapidated facilities. “The governor also expressed his commitment to increasing funding for community revitalization, and I strongly support this aspect Read more

 

Burns named majority chair of Professional Licensure Committee

(Mar 07, 2023)

Will use leadership position to encourage economic development, consumer protection Read more

 

Conklin: Shapiro budget will make key investments for PA

(Mar 07, 2023)

Says education, environment key to commonwealth’s future Read more

 

Merski, Harkins: Nearly $900,000 secured to support area business

(Mar 03, 2023)

ERIE, March 3 – State Reps. Bob Merski and Pat Harkins today announced $896,000 in new grant funding to expand support for Erie businesses served by the Innovation Beehive Network – a partnership among Erie universities and the Erie County Public Library that provides specialized services to area businesses and entrepreneurs. The lawmakers, both D-Erie, said the funding – awarded by the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority – includes $200,000 each to Edinboro University Foundation, Gannon University, Mercyhurst University and Penn State University and $96,000 to Erie Regional Library Foundation. “Erie’s reputation as a favorable business destination has been expanding nationally thanks in part to innovative partnerships like the Beehive Network, which provide specialized services to help young businesses grow,” Merski said. “The network already has a track record of success thanks to the talented folks involved. Today’s funding will help it continue to grow so it can attract and serve more businesses.” Harkins said, “Our library and universities have amazing resources and talented people committed to this network. I’m excited about today’s funding, which is going to enhance those resources and strengthen the collaborative as a whole. Like all startups, the young businesses served by the beehive face special financial and logistical Read more

 

Merski: Our schools are falling apart, here's one thing we can do about it

(Mar 02, 2023)

Kids can’t learn – and teachers can’t teach – in rundown buildings. My colleagues and I are introducing legislation to remedy that. Read more

 

Merski, fellow lawmakers announce legislation to invest in school facilities

(Mar 01, 2023)

HARRISBURG, March 1 – State Reps. Bob Merski, D-Erie; Elizabeth Fiedler, D-Phila.; Bridget Kosierowski, D-Lackawanna, and Tarik Khan, D-Phila., today partnered with state Sen. Tim Kearney, D-Delaware, to announce legislation addressing toxic school buildings in Pennsylvania. Gathered outside the lieutenant governor’s office, Merski, Fiedler, Kosierowski and Khan said they plan to introduce legislation to fund the school construction program PlanCon to address the school facilities crisis in Pennsylvania. The lawmakers’ legislation would fund the maintenance program within the traditional PlanCon program for vital projects including repairs to roofs, HVAC systems, boilers, plumbing and electrical wiring . Under the legislation, the lawmakers propose opening applications only to the new Maintenance Program created under Act 70 for a temporary 3-year period. After this period, the Department of Education would re-open the program for traditional PlanCon projects, with the Maintenance Program returning to its 20% share of available funding. The lawmakers announced they are also introducing another piece of legislation to address toxic school buildings. This legislation would make changes to the commonwealth’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program to make it easier for public schools to submit applications for building improvements. Their Read more

 

Merski, Harkins: Erie County Public Library secures $41,608 grant

(Feb 24, 2023)

ERIE, Feb. 24 – A new state grant of $41,608 will fund improvements to the Erie County Public Library, state Reps. Bob Merski, and Pat Harkins, both D-Erie, announced today. The lawmakers said the funding was awarded under the Keystone Grants for Library Facilities, which is administered by the state Department of Education. “Our Erie Public Library serves the community in so many ways,” Merski said. “Beyond the books, it’s a place where neighbors can connect for events and classes, where kids are inspired by the power of storytelling and where residents with limited access can find the resources they need. I’m thrilled we were able to help secure more funding for this essential Erie resource.” Harkins said, “Every new investment in our library helps ensure that this amazing community center can keep its door open to the students, families and neighbors who have come to rely on it. It brings us together, and we need to ensure that it remains the powerful resource it is.” The grant is part of a package of more than $4 million in competitive grants to 21 public libraries statewide funded through the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund. The state Department of Education administers the public library portion of this program, which is funded from a portion of the state’s realty transfer tax. Grants pay up to 50% of Read more

 

Harkins, Merski: Mercyhurst Prep awarded state school safety grant

(Feb 10, 2023)

Grants can be used to fund safety equipment, programs Read more

 

Conklin: $696,080 in state grants awarded to local projects
Mar 16, 2023

Burns: $792,000 in state grants awarded to local street projects
Mar 16, 2023

Burns: $2 million in state grants awarded to local projects
Mar 16, 2023

Wind turbines for PA's Lake Erie?
Mar 15, 2023

Merski bill would bring benefits of renewable wind energy to Lake Erie region
Mar 14, 2023

Conklin named majority chair of State Government Committee
Mar 09, 2023

Conklin calls for monitoring of domestic abusers
Mar 09, 2023

Matzie: Governor’s budget plan ‘a good first step’
Mar 08, 2023

Harkins: Legislative Audit Advisory Commission accepts audit of General Assembly’s 2022 finances
Mar 08, 2023

Merski appointed to Professional Licensure Committee for 2023-24 session
Mar 08, 2023

Harkins appointed Majority Chairman of House Gaming Oversight Committee
Mar 08, 2023

Harkins lauds governor’s focus on education, career training, workers
Mar 07, 2023

Merski: Governor’s budget priorities will move us forward
Mar 07, 2023

Burns named majority chair of Professional Licensure Committee
Mar 07, 2023

Conklin: Shapiro budget will make key investments for PA
Mar 07, 2023

Merski, Harkins: Nearly $900,000 secured to support area business
Mar 03, 2023

Merski: Our schools are falling apart, here's one thing we can do about it
Mar 02, 2023

Merski, fellow lawmakers announce legislation to invest in school facilities
Mar 01, 2023

Merski, Harkins: Erie County Public Library secures $41,608 grant
Feb 24, 2023

Harkins, Merski: Mercyhurst Prep awarded state school safety grant
Feb 10, 2023