Sainato demands answers from state in vaccine rollout hearing

(Feb 08, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 8 – State Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, demanded answers at a House Policy Committee meeting on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, urging state officials to bring greater consistency and accountability to the process. Sainato cited missteps that have created logistical problems and questioned why the state does not have a centralized system in place. “At today’s vaccine rollout policy hearing, I demanded answers regarding why the state decided to adopt the CDC’s recommendations several weeks ago to expand the list of people eligible to get the vaccine when we did not have the assurance that there were enough doses coming in to take care of those people,” Sainato said. “We added about 4 million people to the eligible list, but with 160,000 or 175,000 people actually receiving vaccines, it will take months before we even get to the next round. Now, many first responders, frontline workers and eligible teachers in the classroom can’t even get the vaccine. We need accountability and transparency regarding how this poor decision was made – and how to prevent similar missteps in the future. “I also demanded answers regarding why there is no centralized system for vaccine distribution in place. Right now, vaccine distribution is a mess. There are so many older adults who have no computer access and who are unable to get on a list. It Read more

 

Sainato lauds passage of bill to involve National Guard in vaccine rollout

(Feb 05, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 5 – State Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, applauded the unanimous House passage of a measure that would enlist the state National Guard to speed the state’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout. House Bill 326 originated in the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, and Sainato, who is Democratic chairman of the committee, said it is the first step toward shoring up a state rollout plan that has been sluggish and frustrating to residents. “The No. 1 issue in our state right now – and a matter we need to resolve before we can get our economy going and keep our residents healthy – is to get these COVID-19 vaccines in people’s arms and to do it as quickly as we can,” Sainato said. “I have been hearing from seniors and other residents with illnesses in our community who are eligible for the vaccine but can’t even get an appointment or get on a list to get the vaccine. It’s time to do something about that. “Later, there will be time to analyze what went wrong with the rollout. But now is not the time for finger pointing; now is the time to mobilize. We have one of the largest and most talented National Guards in the nation, and they are ready to help assist with the rollout and make it the efficient operation it needs to be. Passage of this legislation is going to be the first important step in that direction.” Read more

 

As Pa.’s vaccine rollout stumbles, House will vote on whether to turn it over to National Guard

(Feb 04, 2021)

Residents have been encountering frustration and delays over a vaccine rollout that is leaving some eligible residents without access even as their neighbors in adjacent counties are able to get the vaccine. Read more

 

State Grant Programs Now Open for Applications: March 8 Update

(Feb 02, 2021)

STATE GRANT PROGRAMS NOW OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS: STATE GRANT PROGRAMS NOW OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS: Pennsylvania Council on the Arts: Creative Communities (Funding Source: General Fund) Who May Apply : Lead applicant must be a unit of government, nonprofit 501(c)3 or 501(c)6) organization. Required partnership of at least two organizations, one of which will serve as the lead applicant. Please note: Creative Communities projects are currently underway in the following counties: Crawford, Indiana, Lancaster, Lehigh, Mercer, and Philadelphia. Counties without existing projects will receive priority. Use : To provide multi-year funding to community-driven, arts-based projects that serve as catalysts for livability, economic development, and community connectedness. Funds : Up to $25,000 per year for up to four years. Application Deadline : March 19 More Information : Click on 2021_PCA_Creative_Communities_Letter_of_Interest.pdf (pa.gov) . Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency: Nonprofit Security Grant Program (Funding Source: F ederal Funding ) Who May Apply : 501(c)3 nonprofits, including religious institutions. Must be at a high risk of a terrorist attack based on the following: (1) Substantiation of prior threats or attacks (from within or outside the U.S.) by a terrorist organization, network, or cell against the applicant based on their ideology, beliefs, or mission; (2) Read more

 

Sainato elected secretary of House Democratic Caucus’ Northwest Delegation

(Jan 28, 2021)

NEW CASTLE, Jan. 28 – State Rep. Chris Sainato announced today that he has been elected secretary of the House Democratic Caucus’ Northwest Delegation, which represents the interests of the region’s residents in the state legislature. Sainato, D-Lawrence, said he plans to ensure that the needs of Lawrence County residents are heard in Harrisburg. “Reviving our local economy and boosting job opportunities for residents have always been top priorities, but the pandemic and related restrictions have created an entirely new wave of challenges – from helping business owners keep their doors open to helping working families keep food on the table. The delegation is our region’s voice in Harrisburg, and we need a strong, clear one now more than ever. “In my new leadership role, I’ll be working with my colleagues to make sure our voices are heard on behalf of working families here in Lawrence County and throughout the region.” Sainato said his colleagues on the delegation include state Reps. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, who is chairman; state Bob Merski and Pat Harkins, both D-Erie, who are vice chairman and treasurer, respectively; and Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie; Mark Longietti, D-Mercer; and Scott Conklin, D-Centre. Read more

 

Southwest House Democrats issue statement regarding RestorePA

(Jan 28, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 28 – State Rep. Pam Snyder, D-Greene/Fayette/Washington and chairwoman of the Pennsylvania House Democrats’ Southwestern Delegation, has issued the following statement regarding comments made by Gov. Tom Wolf today on RestorePA. This statement is made on behalf of the delegation, which includes state Reps. Frank Burns, D-Cambria; Robert Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny; and Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence: “Pennsylvania’s small businesses and citizens absolutely need relief, and we applaud Governor Wolf for continuing to pursue efforts to generate and deliver COVID relief. However, the pandemic prescription he proposed today is misguided. “Targeting a single industry with another layer of taxes – our oil and gas industry that employs tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians – is a nonstarter. This industry was deemed an essential industry by Governor Wolf last year, has produced the materials to manufacture the PPE that allowed us to respond to the pandemic, and is now producing the byproducts that are fueling the manufacturing, storage, and distribution of the vaccine to Pennsylvanians. This is not just a tax on the oil and gas industry, it would be a tax on our pandemic recovery. “The administration and all four caucuses need to get together to work on a plan that can actually pass in both chambers of the General Assembly.” Read more

 

Sainato: Union Area SD awarded $21,000 food service equipment grant

(Jan 26, 2021)

NEW CASTLE, Jan. 26 – A $20,887 state grant to Union Area School District will allow Union Area High School to purchase a new electric conveyor oven for the school cafeteria, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. Sainato said the funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Education should reduce cooking times, increase yields and help the school produce appetizing meals. “Proper nutrition is critical for learning and having state-of-the-art cafeteria equipment allows schools to ensure quick and efficient preparation of meals that are fresh, nutrient-rich and enticing to students,” Sainato said. “The high school will use the grant to purchase an electric conveyor oven, which is especially helpful for producing fast cooking times and moist, flavorful meals. “I’m excited about the new investment, which should help cafeteria staff do their work more efficiently, save costs and allow for a broader range of menu options.” The funding is part of package of $875,000 in competitive grants awarded to 59 elementary, middle and high schools statewide. Funding for food service equipment grants is made available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and awarded to schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program. Schools can use the grants to purchase new refrigerators, freezers, stoves and dishwashers. More information on the Read more

 

Sainato: More than $15.6 million to Lawrence County schools to support continued learning during pandemic

(Jan 15, 2021)

NEW CASTLE, Jan. 15 – Lawrence County school districts will receive approximately $15.65 million in federal funding under the CARES Act to ensure students have the resources they need to continue learning during the pandemic, state Rep. Chris Sainato announced today. Sainato said the funding will help the districts overcome ongoing challenges created by the pandemic. “Our schools have faced extreme financial burdens because of the pandemic, and those will continue in the months ahead,” Sainato said. “This funding is going to help ease those burdens and allow our dedicated educators to continue providing quality curriculum. “The funding can also be used to ensure that our students have the safest possible learning environment, to bolster after-school programs and to support food service, technology equipment and other essential resources. I’m encouraging school districts to apply as soon as they are able.” Sainato said districts will receive the following funding: Laurel School District - $720,600. Mohawk Area School District - $1.25 million. Neshannock Township School District – $494,882. New Castle Area School District - $8.88 million. Shenango Area School District - $1.42 million. Union Area School District - $914,362. Read more

 

Sainato: More than $262,000 awarded to expand freight rail track capacity

(Jan 12, 2021)

NEW CASTLE, Jan. 12 – A $262,500 state grant will enable New Castle Industrial Railroad to expand its main line track capacity, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. Sainato said the grant approved by the State Transportation Commission is a critical investment in Lawrence County’s rail infrastructure. “Successful commerce relies on efficient channels of distribution, and that means having sufficient network of track to keep goods flowing,” Sainato said. “Funding from this grant will allow New Castle Industrial Railroad to construct additional track to minimize slowdowns and ensure the smoothest possible flow of products and materials. The project will also create new jobs for our community.” Sainato said the project will fund the construction of a new 3,200-foot siding that will expand the railroad’s main line track capacity and accommodate increased interchange traffic with CSX and NS railroads. The grant is part of a package of $31.3 million to 26 projects through the Rail Transportation Assistance Program and the Rail Freight Assistance Program. Pennsylvania has 65 operating railroads, which is more than any other state. PennDOT is committed to working with private rail operators and rail-served businesses to construct new rail lines and assist in maintaining and improving Pennsylvania’s roughly 5,600 miles of freight Read more

 

Sainato reappointed Democratic chairman of House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee

(Jan 12, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 12 – State Rep. Chris Sainato announced today that he has been reappointed Democratic chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee for the 2021-22 legislative session. Sainato, D-Lawrence, said he embraces the opportunity to help guide the committee as it navigates additional challenges this year created by the pandemic. “I’m incredibly honored to be reappointed to serve Pennsylvania’s veterans and first responders as Democratic chair of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee,” Sainato said. “It is because of the courage, commitment and sacrifice of both groups that we live in freedom and safety. “Developing ways to minimize the ongoing impact of the pandemic will dominate VAEP’s agenda this year. COVID-19 rivals some of the toughest enemies our veterans and first responders have battled. Thankfully, all six state veterans’ homes have begun vaccination of residents and staff. Getting that vaccine into the arms of all Pennsylvania veterans will remain a top priority as we work to guide policy and pass legislation to protect those who have spent their lives protecting us. “The pandemic has struck a double blow for our police, fire and other first responders by adding risks and challenges on the job, while at the same time shuttering venues and suspending events that are essential for fundraising. In the year ahead, I will be working with Read more

 

Sainato: Nearly $5,000 awarded to Lawrence County senior center

(Jan 07, 2021)

NEW CASTLE, Jan. 7 – A state grant of nearly $5,000 will help a beloved Lawrence County senior center continue operating, state Rep. Chris Sainato announced today. Sainato, D-Lawrence, said the grant to the Lawrence County Area Agency on Aging – awarded by the state Department of Aging – will benefit Challenges: Options in Aging, in New Castle. “For seniors, the key to staying healthy is staying engaged,” Sainato said. “In our community, so many older adults find outlets for their energy and interests at our local senior center, which offers opportunities for socializing, wellness classes and countless other opportunities for a fuller, healthier life. “The funding announced today is going to help our Lawrence County center weather the economic hardships created by the pandemic so that it will be able to continue operating and, once the pandemic is no longer a threat, offer the full range of services and activities our seniors deserve and have come to love.” The grant is part of a package of $2 million in funding to the state’s 405 Agency on Aging-affiliated senior community centers. The funding – appropriated by the General Assembly from the Pennsylvania Lottery – may be used for COVID-19 mitigation, capital improvements and renovations, programs and services, technology, nutrition services, marketing and outreach, and rent and utilities. More information Read more

 

Sainato sworn in for 14th term representing Pa.’s 9th Legislative District

(Jan 05, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 5 – S tate Rep. Chris Sainato was sworn in today at the state Capitol in Harrisburg to begin his 14 th term serving the 9th Legislative District. In reaffirming his commitment to serve, Sainato, D-Lawrence, said funding will be a major priority in the year ahead. “The past year has been one of the most challenging our community has ever faced, and residents and small businesses alike have felt the effects of the pandemic keenly,” Sainato said. “In the year ahead, I will be focused on getting our small businesses and working families the funding they need to get back on their feet. “I feel so fortunate to represent a community as compassionate, resourceful and resilient as ours. And I plan to make sure our district has the leadership and resources it needs to heal and move forward.” Sainato said that his staff continues working tirelessly and can assist residents with a variety of services, such as veterans’ issues, driver and vehicle services, applications for home heating or property tax/rent rebates, unemployment compensation issues, and many other services. The office is operating by appointment only during the pandemic. Residents needing assistance should call the office at (724) 656-1112. Staff may be able to handle the request by phone. If the matter requires in-person attention, residents can schedule an appointment. More information is Read more

 

$1 million grant will fund new training center for electrical trade

(Dec 23, 2020)

NEW CASTLE, Dec. 23 – A $1 million grant from the state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program will fund a state-of-the-art electrical apprenticeship training center for Lawrence County, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. Sainato said the grant will give area electrical apprentices the advantage of learning their trade in a high-tech setting. “The new facility is going to bring state-of-the art training to a new generation of electricians, who will benefit from digital media and other high-tech training tools,” Sainato said. “The center is going to help ensure that our workers enter the workforce armed with the most marketable skills. In addition to benefiting young workers entering the field, the project for the training center is going to create new jobs, which will help stimulate our local economy. It’s great news all around.” Sainato said the project will involve the construction of a state-of-the-art, 20,000-square-foot electrical apprenticeship training center on a six-acre parcel in Lawrence County. The building's HVAC system with use a geothermal heat pump and electricity will be generated from a solar-array located on the property. The new center will include outdoor training areas to comply with recent COVID-19 guidelines, a 150-stall parking lot and other site improvements. Sainato said that the building’s classrooms will be Read more

 

Sainato: More than $1.7 million awarded to expand high-speed broadband to more Lawrence County residents, businesses

(Dec 10, 2020)

NEW CASTLE, Dec. 10 – High-speed internet access will be expanding to more than 1,100 Lawrence County residents and business owners after the Federal Communications Commission awarded more than $1.75 million to two companies serving the region, state Rep. Chris Sainato announced today. Sainato, D-Lawrence, said the funding will help bring critical connections to parts of the community that have lacked access. “More than ever, the internet has become a lifeline, connecting residents to critical information and services and giving business owners the ability to compete in the world of online commerce,” Sainato said. “Unfortunately, high-speed access has not been available for more rural areas of our community, which has made life much more difficult for those residents and business owners. I’m encouraged that the funding awarded today is going to help remedy that by bringing more of our community up to speed.” Sainato said the funding includes $973,422 to Windstream Services LLC to provide services to 551 locations and $782,557 to Space Exploration Technologies Corp. to provide service to 553 locations. The funding is part of a package of more than $368 million in auction funding awarded statewide by the FCC. More information about the funding is available here . Read more

 

Sainato: More than $400,000 awarded to support criminal justice, victim support services in Lawrence County

(Dec 09, 2020)

NEW CASTLE, Dec. 9 – Lawrence County programs and services supporting victims of domestic violence and child abuse are receiving state funding of $401,470 to enhance resources, state Rep. Chris Sainato announced today. Sainato, D-Lawrence, said five grants awarded by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency will improve both the investigation and prosecution of these crimes and support for the victims, who are often among the community’s most vulnerable. “This funding will put more resources into the hands of those whose critical work investigate, root out, and treat those victimized by violence and abuse. There is also funding to enhance probation services so that residents who are transitioning from the criminal justice system to the community have the services they need to stay on the right track.” Sainato said the following funding will go for these programs: County Adult Probation and Parole Advisory Committee - improvement of adult probation services Lawrence County Improvement of Adult Probation Services – $46,366. Criminal Justice Advisory Committee - prevention of violence against women Lawrence Crisis Shelter of Lawrence County, STOP Violence Against Women – $125,000. Lawrence County Commissioners, Lawrence County Victim Services Program – $135,130. Crisis Shelter of Lawrence County for 2021-2022 – $47,974. Read more

 

Sainato: $305,000 in tax credits to spur investment in Lawrence County revitalization projects

(Dec 08, 2020)

NEW CASTLE, Dec. 8 – Tax credits totaling $305,000 approved under the Neighborhood Assistance Program will spur investment in projects to clear blight and rehabilitate distressed areas of Lawrence County, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. Sainato said the new tax credits will generate investment in ongoing projects designed to attract residents and small businesses. “The tax credits approved this year will allow us build on progress already underway in New Castle,” Sainato said. “Investments generated by tax credits approved last year laid the groundwork for projects to clear blight, renovate and repurpose abandoned properties, and build a more welcoming environment for small businesses – but we need to keep the momentum going. “This fresh infusion of tax credits from the Neighborhood Assistance Program will provide the impetus for fresh funding to continue bringing depressed areas back to life. The new investment of capital – combined with the talented work of our neighborhood partnerships – will help transform the landscape from vacancy, blight and stagnation to commercial progress, community activity and hope.” Sainato said the following tax credits will spur investment in these projects: $180,000 – 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania – for projects to reduce blight, increase property values, assist at-risk youth, address food insecurity, expand Read more

 

Rep. Chris Sainato's 2021 Capitol Scenes calendar

(Dec 04, 2020)

Rep. Chris Sainato's 2021 Capitol Scenes calendar is available to download. Read more

 

Sainato: $4,000 grant to fund Lawrence County Historical Society

(Dec 02, 2020)

NEW CASTLE, Dec. 2 – State funding of $4,000 will help the Lawrence County Historical Society continue preserving the county’s rich past, state Rep. Chris Sainato announced today. Sainato said the grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission will provide critical support for the society’s operations as it works to archive and preserve items and records of historical importance. “By providing details and anecdotes that make our history come alive, documents and artifacts explain and illuminate our past in a way that textbooks alone can’t,” Sainato said. “The Lawrence County Historical Society plays a critical role in restoring, archiving and displaying these unique pieces of our past so that our region’s unique story is relatable and understandable for future generations. The funding awarded today will help ensure that this important keeper of our past is able to continue in that mission.” Sainato said the funding is part of a package of nearly $2 million in grants awarded to 155 museums and county historical societies statewide under the Cultural and Historical Support Grant Program. Administered by PHMC, the program’s goal is to strengthen the commonwealth’s museum community by supporting the operations of eligible museums and county historical societies that are not supported by other state agency funding programs. Read more

 

Sainato: Legislature passes bill to help veterans, fraternal clubs during pandemic

(Nov 20, 2020)

NEW CASTLE, Nov. 20 – Veterans and fraternal clubs and other service organizations struggling to meet operating expenses during the pandemic are one step closer to greater relief after the General Assembly passed a bill that would allow these clubs to use all revenue from Small Games of Chance temporarily, state Rep. Chris Sainato announced today. Sainato, D-Lawrence, said he co-sponsored H.B. 777 – which passed the House unanimously today and heads to the governor – to help these organizations stay afloat while revenue is scarce. “Our local VFWs, American Legions and other fraternal clubs do so much for our community,” Sainato said. “From a social standpoint, they are beloved places for veterans and other like-minded residents to gather, but they are also so much more. For decades, they have been a reliable source of support for charitable community causes and events. “Now, most have been ravaged by the pandemic, which has dried up sources of revenue, and are struggling just to stay alive. Currently, the law requires clubs to give 60% of their Small Games of Chance revenue to charity and permits them to keep the remaining 40%, but under current circumstances, it’s not enough to help these service organizations keep going. “The bill we passed today would allow clubs to tap into the remaining 60% of that money and use it to pay employees, rent, utilities and other basic operating expenses. It’s a way to help Read more

 

Sainato urges residents to ‘stay safe, call first’ for services

(Nov 20, 2020)

NEW CASTLE, Nov. 20 – To curb community spread of COVID-19, state Rep. Chris Sainato is urging residents needing assistance to “stay safe and call first” for services or an appointment, reminding residents that his district office is operating by appointment only during the pandemic. Sainato, D-Lawrence, said his office remains open – as it has throughout the pandemic – and emphasized that staff can handle many services and requests over the phone. “As pandemic numbers have ticked upward and we’re entering flu season, it’s critical for residents – and particularly older adults or those with vulnerable family members – to avoid unnecessary outings and practice social distancing,” Sainato said. “To prevent crowding and slow community spread, my district office is continuing to offer services by appointment only, until further notice. “My staff remains on the job, and residents needing assistance should call the office at (724) 656-1112. Staff may be able to handle the request by phone. If the matter requires in-person attention, residents can schedule an appointment to come in. The goal is to get folks the help they need without forcing them to venture out in freezing temperatures or wait around a crowded office.” Sainato said in addition to calling, residents can also email csainato@pahouse.net for assistance. Read more

 

Sainato demands answers from state in vaccine rollout hearing
Feb 08, 2021

Sainato lauds passage of bill to involve National Guard in vaccine rollout
Feb 05, 2021

As Pa.’s vaccine rollout stumbles, House will vote on whether to turn it over to National Guard
Feb 04, 2021

State Grant Programs Now Open for Applications: March 8 Update
Feb 02, 2021

Sainato elected secretary of House Democratic Caucus’ Northwest Delegation
Jan 28, 2021

Southwest House Democrats issue statement regarding RestorePA
Jan 28, 2021

Sainato: Union Area SD awarded $21,000 food service equipment grant
Jan 26, 2021

Sainato: More than $15.6 million to Lawrence County schools to support continued learning during pandemic
Jan 15, 2021

Sainato: More than $262,000 awarded to expand freight rail track capacity
Jan 12, 2021

Sainato reappointed Democratic chairman of House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee
Jan 12, 2021

Sainato: Nearly $5,000 awarded to Lawrence County senior center
Jan 07, 2021

Sainato sworn in for 14th term representing Pa.’s 9th Legislative District
Jan 05, 2021

$1 million grant will fund new training center for electrical trade
Dec 23, 2020

Sainato: More than $1.7 million awarded to expand high-speed broadband to more Lawrence County residents, businesses
Dec 10, 2020

Sainato: More than $400,000 awarded to support criminal justice, victim support services in Lawrence County
Dec 09, 2020

Sainato: $305,000 in tax credits to spur investment in Lawrence County revitalization projects
Dec 08, 2020

Rep. Chris Sainato's 2021 Capitol Scenes calendar
Dec 04, 2020

Sainato: $4,000 grant to fund Lawrence County Historical Society
Dec 02, 2020

Sainato: Legislature passes bill to help veterans, fraternal clubs during pandemic
Nov 20, 2020

Sainato urges residents to ‘stay safe, call first’ for services
Nov 20, 2020