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Rozzi and others call on Senate Republican leadership to allow vote on statute of limitations

Lawmakers in Pa. asking for help for victims of child abuse

(Mar 09, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Lawmakers asked district attorneys Wednesday to help victims of child sex abuse get closure after the Altoona- Johnstown diocese child sex abuse scandal, and said it's a problem throughout the state. Rep. Mark Rozzi said, "We're talking about an epidemic here in the state of Pennsylvania." Rozzi is asking district attorneys in Pennsylvania to set up child sex abuse hotlines in their jurisdiction. Read more

 

Rozzi calls for DAs to take action on child sex abuse cases

(Mar 09, 2016)

HARRISBURG, March 9 – State Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, and Rep. Tom Murt, R- Montgomery/Phila., held a news conference today and called on district attorneys throughout the commonwealth to pursue every lead possible that could produce evidence – including the subpoena of records in child sex abuse cases – and to conduct grand jury investigations wherever multiple allegations arise. “It is unacceptable to look at the statute of limitations, shrug our shoulders and decided there is nothing to be done,” Rozzi said. “That is why I am asking prosecutors across the commonwealth to seriously consider any and all legal opportunities that may lead to new evidence or charges in similar child sexual abuse cases. I am also calling on these prosecutors to establish grand juries – similar to the one that uncovered the truth about the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown – wherever multiple allegations arise. ” Murt said, “Make no mistake, as ugly and as painful as the latest child sex abuse scandal is, this is not the last one we will hear about. It is an excellent example where documentation, e-mails, all kinds of notes, are in official church records.” Rozzi also urged county prosecutors to set up child sex abuse hotlines within their jurisdictions. Rozzi reported that the hotline established by the Office of the Attorney General, which can be reached at (888) 538-8541, has received approximately 150 calls since it began operating last week. “After I read the grand jury report on the Dioce Read more

 

Rozzi Discusses Church Sex Abuse with Al Jazeera

(Mar 08, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Mark Rozzi, a longtime advocate for extending the statute of limitations on sexual abuse cases and a victim himself, speaks with Al Jazeera America about the recent Altoona-Johnstown case, his fight for victims, and his call for an investigation of the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania. Read more

 

Rozzi: Statue of limitations shouldn’t protect perpetrators uncovered in new grand jury report

(Mar 01, 2016)

TEMPLE, March 1 – In response to today’s announcement by Attorney General Kathleen Kane, state Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, is again calling on the chairmen of the House Judiciary Committee and leadership in the General Assembly to move statute of limitation reform legislation that was reintroduced almost one year ago. At a news conference today, Kane released grand jury findings that revealed, over a period of four decades, hundreds of children were sexually abused by priests and religious leaders in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. Despite overwhelming evidence of the abuse, no charges could be filed due to expiration of time limits set by law. As children, most victims did not have the wherewithal to come forward. For those who did, the pervasive cover-up by the archdiocese, in collusion at times with law enforcement and prosecutors, prevented claims from being filed on a timely basis. "The Altoona-Johnstown Diocese tragedy is no different than what happened in Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and many other cities and towns across the country," Rozzi said. "We know the epidemic of child sex abuse is not just a Catholic problem, but let’s be clear. The lobbyists against reform bills have institutional risk management, as opposed to the welfare of children, as their main priority and they have the ear of some of my colleagues." In light of these findings, Rozzi is asking his colleagues to contact Judiciary Committee Chairmen Ronald Marsico and Joseph Petrarca to call Read more

 

Property Tax/Rent Rebate forms available at my office

(Feb 15, 2016)

Forms for Pennsylvania’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program for the 2015 tax year are available at my district office – and my staff is ready to help you file yours for free ! The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians 65 or older, widows and widowers 50 or older, and people with disabilities 18 or older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters. Half of Social Security income is excluded and the maximum standard rebate is $650. Claimants must reapply for rebates every year because they are based on annual income and property taxes or rent paid each year. Spouses, personal representatives or estates may file rebate claims on behalf of deceased claimants who lived at least one day in 2015 and meet all other eligibility criteria. The oft-extended deadline to apply for a rebate on property taxes or rent paid in 2015 is June 30, 2016, and the rebates normally are distributed by the Deparment of Revenue beginning July 1. So, the sooner you file, the sooner you will receive your money. Read more

 

PACE prescription programs benefit seniors

(Feb 10, 2016)

PACE, PACENET and PACE plus Medicare are Pennsylvania's prescription assistance programs for older adults, offering low-cost prescription medication to qualified residents, age 65 and older. As of this year, the legislature passed a law excluding Social Security Medicare Part B premiums from being counted towards income levels. Read more

 

Rozzi: End the Budget Crisis

(Feb 09, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Mark Rozzi says it's time for lawmakers to put people before politics and take Pennsylvania down a path where schools are funded, those in need get help and our homeowners don't face higher property taxes every year. Read more

 

CHIP offers kids protection and parents peace of mind

(Jan 29, 2016)

Pennsylvania has a Children's Health Insurance Program that provides free and low-cost health insurance to children. CHIP is not welfare – it covers children of working parents whose employers don't offer coverage and who can't afford private insurance. If you can't afford health insurance for your children, chances are they are eligible for CHIP. Read more

 

Pa. Treasury could be holding your unclaimed property

(Jan 01, 2016)

Each year, the Pennsylvania Treasury receives millions of dollars of unclaimed property. It is estimated that roughly one in 10 Pennsylvanians has unclaimed property. Read more

 

PA Power Switch: Ask the right questions

(Dec 30, 2015)

In Pennsylvania, you can choose the company that generates your electricity – also known as your electric supplier. This means that you have the power to switch to a competing supplier who can offer the lowest price, or provide a specific service you want, such as “green” or renewable energy. Read more

 

Rozzi sets up Santa program for local less-fortunate families

(Dec 15, 2015)

TEMPLE, Dec. 15 – State Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, reminds constituents in his district there is still time to make the holidays more festive for local families in need. In an effort to help less-fortunate families during the holiday season, Rozzi’s office is coordinating the wish lists of needy families in the 126th Legislative District with area organizations and other community partners. "This holiday season is supposed to be one of joy and fellowship, but it is hard to celebrate when you are struggling financially, which is why my office is collecting Christmas wish lists from families in need. We will match those families up with other families and organizations wishing to ‘adopt’ them for the holiday," said Rozzi. “To date, we have already helped 34 local families make this Christmas extra special for their children, and we are not done yet.” Rozzi’s office is coordinating the gift-giving efforts. Presents obtained will be given to parents in the less-fortunate families so they can give them to their children on Christmas. "If you would like to participate, please contact my office and we'll do our best to match you up with another family who'd like to help,” said Rozzi. "We do not want credit for the gifts; that's why the parents will be the ones acting as Santa for their children. We just want happy families this holiday season.” To help facilitate the "adoptions," Rozzi has created the following Facebook page offering more information: http://on.fb.me/1XT4Ls9. Read more

 

Rozzi: Start Saving for College NOW with PA 529

(Dec 02, 2015)

If a college education is in your child’s future – even if that child is still in diapers – you may want to check out the two PA 529 College Savings Program options. To find out more or to enroll just visit www.pa529.com or call 1-800-440-4000. The Pennsylvania Treasurer's Office started this plan to help parents pay for future college costs by letting account owners save for tomorrow’s college expenses at today’s plan rates. Read more

 

Rozzi sets up Santa program for local less-fortunate families

(Nov 05, 2015)

TEMPLE, Nov. 5 – State Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, is doing his part to make the holidays more festive for local families in need. His office is coordinating the wish lists of needy families in the 126th Legislative District with area organizations and other families desiring to help the less fortunate during the holiday season. "My office is collecting Christmas wish lists from families in need, and we will match them up to other families and organizations wishing to 'adopt' them for the holiday," Rozzi said. "We are looking for families in the 126th District who are struggling financially, who may need help in ensuring their children have gifts under the tree to open on Christmas morning. So, if you would like to participate, please contact my office and we'll do our best to match you up with another family who'd like to help." Rozzi said that his office will not purchase the gifts, but simply coordinate the gift-giving efforts. Presents obtained will be given to the parents in the less-fortunate families so they can give them to their children on Christmas. "We do not want credit for the gifts, that's why the parents will be the ones acting as Santa for their children. We just want happy families this holiday season," he said. To help facilitate the "adoptions," Rozzi has created the following Facebook page for more information: http://on.fb.me/1XT4Ls9. Those interested in participating also may contact his office at 610-921-8921. Read more

 

Rozzi measures recognize commitment of military and their families

(Oct 25, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 30 – State Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, has introduced several bills designed to facilitate job opportunities for military members and their families. “Our commonwealth is home to military service members and families representing every branch of the armed forces, and military service members make noble sacrifices for the American people every day,” Rozzi said. “We cannot honor the men and women in uniform enough for that. It is important that we also address the personal support systems of our service members – their families.” Rozzi's first bill (H.B. 1675) would offer military spouses greater ease in obtaining the transfer of their professional license to Pennsylvania. "The lives of military spouses are marked by frequent deployments, relocations and extended periods of single parenthood. These unique circumstances post a significant obstacle to the maintenance of professional licenses. House Bill 1675 would allow military spouses to move more rapidly and efficiently into the workforce by providing a streamlined process for transferring their professional license to this state," Rozzi said. His second bill (H.B. 1678) would create the Veteran's Entrepreneurial Training and Support Program to provide small-business services to veterans and reservists, with the goal of helping them obtain the necessary skills to create, manage and operate a small business. "It is critical that we pursue policies that stimulate the economy, move businesses forward and crea Read more

 

Rozzi, volunteers to rehab Veterans Grove starting Oct. 17

(Oct 15, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 15 – State Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, the Berks County Monument Preservation Committee, Reading JROTC and Berks County will begin a project to rehab and beautify Reading's City Park Veterans Grove. The work will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 17. "Veterans Grove is an area of the park dedicated to the men and women who fought for our country, and we should not let that memorial to them deteriorate," Rozzi said. "These monuments were erected in their honor, but there isn't any funding in place for their perpetual care, and the elements are taking their toll. Unfortunately, the city of Reading just isn't in a financial position to maintain the monuments and markers. Our goal with this project is to clean and spruce up the area to help extend the life expectancy of these memorials." Rozzi and about 30 volunteers will extensively clean the monuments, in some cases, removing decades of dirt and grime from their facades. They will wax the bronze plaques to remove dirt and extend their life expectancies, and prep and paint the large gun stands. Landscaping work also will take place, including adding mulch and planting perennials and grasses, edging the walkways, and picking up trash. "We want to make sure that Veterans Grove in Reading City Park remains a proper tribute to our veterans. It's the least we can do in their honor and memory," Rozzi said. Rozzi said he expects the work to be completed before Veterans Day. Read more

 

Rozzi: Say ‘No More’ to Domestic Violence

(Oct 13, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Mark Rozzi takes part in the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence's honoring of women and men who’ve died as a result of domestic violence in the past year. Rozzi reads the names of those who’ve lost their lives in Berks County and says it’s time to bring more awareness and encourage people to say “no more” to domestic violence and sexual assault. More information about this issue can be found at www.pasaysnomore.com. Read more

 

Rozzi, Monument Preservation Committee and Wilson Student volunteers to restore veterans monument Thursday

(Oct 13, 2015)

TEMPLE, Oct. 13 – State Rep. Mark Rozzi, along with the Berks County Preservation Committee and student volunteers from the Wilson High School Interact Club at Wilson High School will clean and beautify the military monuments and plaques and the surrounding areas in Charles Evans Cemetery in Reading. The volunteers will begin the work at 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 15 at the cemetery, 1119 Centre Ave., Reading. "I continue to be amazed at the support we are getting from all corners of the county, both financially and physically," said Rozzi, D-Berks. "With the Preservation Committee still in its infancy, we continue to make strides towards ensuring these memorials all over the county are well cared for and show the respect which the honored men and women deserve for their sacrifices." In addition to caring for the county's historical monuments, the Berks County Preservation Committee also seeks to educate about them. “We are also rolling out an educational piece, where local historians will be speaking to and teaching our volunteers about the eras and battles the monuments on which we are working. We are excited to hopefully get young folks and adults alike excited about what these monuments represent," said Preservation Committee and Fund President Chad Schlanger. “My students are excited to team up with the Preservation Fund and Representative Rozzi and do this valuable work. Community Service at its core is our mission and this fits perfectly with what my students want to Read more

 

At Capitol event, Rozzi commemorates victims of domestic violence

(Oct 13, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 13 -- State Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, participated in a ceremony held today by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence honoring the Pennsylvania victims of domestic violence killed over the past year. This is the second consecutive year for PCADV’s ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda, as it commemorates October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the commonwealth. Rozzi was accompanied by over a dozen members of the General Assembly, family members of victims of domestic violence and advocates against domestic violence, including the executive director of PCADV, Peg Dierkers, who delivered the ceremony’s opening remarks. "It doesn’t matter what socio-economic status you come from," Rozzi said. "Anyone can be a victim. We need to do more to help them." In an act of commemoration, Rozzi and the other legislators read the names of the 120 Pennsylvania victims of domestic violence killed in the past year. To help pay tribute to the victims, advocates against domestic violence pieced together a puzzle of an image of Pennsylvania, the pieces of which presented the names of the past year’s victims. Dierkers called domestic violence an “issue for everyone,” with the number of cases “still at epidemic proportions.” She emphasized the need for Pennsylvanians to come together in standing up to domestic violence. “Each loss of life is a loss for all,” she said. Also in attendance was the Commonwealth’s Victim Advocate, Jennifer Storm, and the CEO of th Read more

 

Rozzi: Help Child Abuse Victims Now

(Sep 21, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Mark Rozzi says child sex abuse victims must be given more time to get justice against their abusers. His H.B. 661 would raise the age for an adult victim of child sex abuse to file a civil claim from 30 to 50 years old, among other things. Rozzi, a victim of child abuse himself, adds it takes some victims years, and even decades, to come forward with their stories of abuse, so there shouldn’t be an expiration date barring them from seeking action against perpetrators. Read more

 

Rozzi joined by advocates, stakeholders to modernize child sex abuse statutes of limitations

(Sep 21, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 21 — State Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, held a Capitol news conference today to highlight the drastic need for reform of Pennsylvania’s archaic laws affecting victims of child sexual abuse. Rozzi was accompanied by state Sen. Rob Teplitz, D-Dauphin/Perry; Rep. Louise Williams Bishop, D-Phila.; Rep. Tom Murt, R-Montgomery/Phila.; and prominent reform advocates to discuss their respective bills, which are largely modeled after previously introduced legislation that would modify the statute of limitations to allow victims to seek civil action against perpetrators. Rozzi’s House Bill 661 and Teplitz’s Senate Bill 582, which is an identical Senate companion bill, would raise the age for an adult victim of child sex abuse to file a civil claim from 30 to 50 and permit previously time-barred victims to bring suit. "Five million dollars has been allocated in our state budget to ensure the Pope’s safety this week in Philadelphia," Rozzi said. "Hours were spent in last month’s 'mock' House session decrying how we don’t care about funding for rape victims and yet not one finger has been lifted in the past ten years by our leaders to enact laws which will actually stop the culture of abuse in this commonwealth." "There’s no expiration date on the pain survivors endure, there should be no expiration date on when they seek justice," Teplitz said. "Our legislation is a fair and reasonable reform measure that needs to be considered now." Bishop’s House Bill 655 would el Read more