Education officials, advocates call for adequacy and equity in basic education funding at Samuelson virtual hearing

(Sep 01, 2021)

BETHLEHEM, Sept. 1 – Citing that only a small portion of overall education is run through the Fair Education Funding Formula, state Rep. Steve Samuelson held a virtual hearing to learn more from educators and advocates on how Pennsylvania can fulfill its constitutional obligation to provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of public education to serve the needs of the Commonwealth. “Adequate state funding can make education resources more equitable based on the way we choose to allocate money,” Samuelson said. “The Fair Funding Formula was approved in 2016 but has not yet been fully implemented. We made progress this year with $100 million in Level Up funding distributed to underfunded districts like the Bethlehem Area School District. We need to continue efforts to fully implement the Fair Funding Formula.” Sean Brandon, Budget Analyst for the House Appropriations Committee began his presentation noting the importance of that constitutional commitment and shared how the Fair Funding Formula and budget practices allocate funds to school districts across the state. Joseph Roy, Bethlehem Area School District Superintendent and Karen Beck-Pooley, Bethlehem Area School District Director, shared from a district-level perspective of how they use the state funds received, noting challenges with charter school reimbursements and rising special education costs. Communities of color are disproportionately Read more

 

Fairly funding education focus of Samuelson hearing Wednesday

(Aug 31, 2021)

Bethlehem, Aug. 31 – Pennsylvania regularly falls at the bottom nationally when it comes to adequately funding basic education and state Rep. Steve Samuelson is hosting a public hearing to discuss how the fair funding formula can help better serve students and the economy. The hearing will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 1 online at www.pahouse.com/policy . The public and media are welcome to tune in online. Media inquiries may be submitted to policy@pahouse.net . Samuelson, D-Northampton, will be joined by Policy Committee Chairman Ryan Bizzarro and members of the House Democratic Policy Committee, to further discuss how education investments ultimately result in economic returns to the state in the form of a more prepared workforce and productive citizens. Level Up funding from the current fiscal year will also be discussed. Read more

 

Samuelson announces $612,567 in state funding for Bethlehem, Bethlehem Township

(May 25, 2021)

NORTHAMPTON, May 25 – State Rep. Steve Samuelson, D-Northampton, today announced the award of $312,567 in state funding for local EMS, law enforcement and recreation projects and $300,000 for blight remediation in the 135 th Legislative District. Samuelson said the following local projects are receiving state funding through grants approved by the Commonwealth Finance Authority at its meeting today: $300,000 – City of Bethlehem - The Bethlehem Redevelopment Authority was awarded Blight Remediation Program funds for three blight remediation projects located in the city. Funds will be used for renovations, demolition, environmental cleanup, permitting, acquisition, site preparation and administrative costs. $160,000 – City of Bethlehem to purchase maintenance equipment for the Bethlehem municipal golf course. The funding will pay for lawn maintenance and upkeep. $85,120 – Bethlehem Township – The Bethlehem Township Volunteer Fire Co. Emergency Medical Services to purchase a replacement AED defibrillator and stretcher. $67,447 – Bethlehem Township to purchase a 2020 F-150 Police Responder with K-9 upgrades and equipment for the Bethlehem Township Police Department. The Commonwealth Financing Authority was established in 2004 as an independent agency of the Department of Community and Economic Development and holds fiduciary responsibility over the funding of programs Read more

 

10 House Democrats outline rules reform legislation at news conference

(Apr 26, 2021)

HARRISBURG, April 26 – State Rep. Steve Samuelson was joined by nine House colleagues at a virtual news conference today to discuss a package of House rules reform legislation designed to support procedural rules that provide a more transparent and collaborative process. Samuelson said these proposed changes to House rules will bring fairness and balance to the legislative process, improve the working of House committees, and ensure that bills with broad bipartisan support get a vote. “We are committed to openness and transparency,” Samuelson said. “These rules changes would increase opportunities for public input on legislation, reduce partisan gridlock and ensure that the House and its committees stay focused on the needs of our constituents. We need to eliminate legislative roadblocks to allow for more open debate.” House Democratic members participating in the news conference were Samuelson, D-Northampton; and Reps. Joe Webster, D-Montgomery; Bob Freeman, D-Northampton; Tim Briggs, D-Montgomery; Kevin Boyle, D-Phila.; Jennifer O’Mara, D-Delaware; Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster; Elizabeth Fielder, D-Phila.; Pam DeLissio, D-Phila.; and Mike Zabel, D-Delaware. The rules reform legislation: H.R. 30 – Bipartisan Support Demands an Open Vote, sponsored by Samuelson. This amendment would guarantee that any proposed legislation sponsored by more than the 102 members required to pass a bill in the House get an up-or-down vote in the Read more

 

Ten House Democrats to hold news conference on rules reform legislation 11 a.m. Monday, April 26

(Apr 23, 2021)

HARRISBURG, April 23 – State Rep. Steve Samuelson, D-Northampton, will be joined by nine House colleagues to discuss a package of House Rules Reform legislation for a virtual news conference at 11 a.m. Monday, April 26. The news conference will be live streamed at www.facebook.com/repsamuelson . House Democratic members participating in the news conference include state Rep. Samuelson, D-Northampton; state Reps. Joe Webster, D-Montgomery; Bob Freeman, D-Northampton; Tim Briggs, D-Montgomery; Kevin Boyle, D-Phila.; Jennifer O’Mara, D-Delaware; Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster; Elizabeth Fielder, D-Phila.; Pam DeLissio, D-Phila.; and Mike Zabel, D-Delaware. Members of the media can access the event at 11 a.m. Monday by clicking here. Read more

 

Boscola and Samuelson Announce $2.875 Million State Grant for Lead Water Line Replacement for the City of Bethlehem

(Apr 21, 2021)

State Senator Lisa Boscola and State Representative Steve Samuelson today announced a $2.875 million grant was approved for the City of Bethlehem for the replacement of lead water lines with new steel pipe was approved by PENNVEST “This PENNVEST grant will enable Bethlehem to replace a large amount of lead pipes with galvanized steel and by doing so reduce public exposure to lead in drinking water,” Boscola said. “This is an important project as we continue to work to provide cleaner drinking water to our community. It is another example of the Commonwealth partnering with a local government to assist with a critically important public safety project.” “This funding will allow the city to replace about 250 lead service laterals at homes that are about 100 years old and still have lead pipe connections to water mains,” Rep. Samueslon stated. “Removing lead from water lines is essential to public health. The city is being proactive in protecting the public, and we appreciate PennVEST’s support of this project.” “This project to replace nearly century old lead water pipes in our City is an urgent need for Bethlehem and these funds will certainly assist,” Bethlehem Mayor Robert Donchez stated. “Without the leadership of Senator Boscola and Representative Samuelson, the City would not be able to move as expeditiously on this beneficial and important Read more

 

Schweyer, prime co-sponsors introduce bill to repeal Pa. fireworks law

(Mar 19, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 19 – State Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, along with state Reps Jeanne McNeill, D-Lehigh, Robert Freeman, D-Northampton, Steve Samuelson, Mike Schlossberg, all D-Lehigh, and Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, today introduced a bill which would repeal Pennsylvania’s law allowing residents to purchase and set-off powerful fireworks. “For the past few years, I, along with many of my neighbors have been awakened at all hours of the night from the loud barrage of fireworks near my home and with the Fourth of July holiday approaching, it is time again to address this problem,” Schweyer said. “This goes beyond the borders of Allentown. Many of my colleagues in the House from Philadelphia to Easton and Pittsburgh to Erie have all shared similar fireworks problems in their communities. This legislation would repeal the most recent changes made to the fireworks law and would provide all municipalities more power to enforce the law and help restore quality of life back to city residents.” "As the Memorial Day weekend draws closer, followed by the July Fourth holiday, so too will the inevitable calls and complaints to my office about fireworks activity," McNeill said. "Last summer, as noted by conversations I had with many residents throughout Lehigh County, it seemed as though the COVID pandemic produced an uptick in pyrotechnic use. This increased nighttime activity added to the stresses in our communities: upsetting pets, Read more

 

House Democrats fight to increase transparency and accountability, make sure the people come first

(Jan 04, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 4 – A group of 10 House Democrats announced the introduction of changes to the Operating Rules of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to reduce the impact of partisan politics, make sure ideas with broad public support get a fair hearing, and restore the people’s faith in government after the damage done by extremists in Washington, D.C., and Harrisburg. The People Before Politics plan was crafted with this central idea: lawmakers work for the people, not the other way around. It focuses on openness, transparency and citizen control of the legislative process. The People Before Politics plan includes the following proposals: Amendment 1 – The Voice of the People, sponsored by Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila. This amendment would make sure each House member has an opportunity to speak at a designated time during the first full session day of the week on any topic, similar to how the U.S. House of Representatives allows members to speak. This change would end the requirement of “unanimous consent” so often abused by extremists to silence members and prevent legislative topics bottled up in committee from being heard by the people. Amendment 2 – Let the People See, sponsored by Rep. Jennifer O’Mara, D-Delaware . This amendment would restore the rule requiring a full 24 hours before final passage of any bill, including all bills amended in the House chamber or in committee, or sent over from the state Read more

 

2021 Capitol Scenes calendar

(Dec 08, 2020)

2021 Capitol Scenes calendar is available to download. Read more

 

Renter and homeowner aid available

(Jun 30, 2020)

Renters and homeowners who were financially impacted by the economic slowdown related to the coronavirus pandemic will be able to access applications for rent and mortgage relief beginning Monday, June 29. At that time, applications will be accessible from a red banner on the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency’s website at www.PHFA.org . Homeowners who became unemployed after March 1 or who suffered at least a 30 percent reduction in annual income due to reduced work hours and wages related to COVID-19 may be eligible for financial assistance to help with missed mortgage payments. To qualify for the Pandemic Mortgage Assistance Program, the applicant must be an owner-occupant of their residence, the dwelling must consist of one or two separate units, the mortgage must be at least 30 days delinquent, and the applicant-homeowner’s annual household income must not exceed the Area Median Income for their county of residence adjusted for the number of people in their home. For renters to be eligible for financial assistance under the CARES Rent Relief Program, they will need to document at least a 30 percent reduction in annual income since March 1 related to COVID-19, or they must have become unemployed after March 1. If unemployed, they must have filed for Unemployment Compensation. Their household income cannot exceed the Area Median Income for their county of residence adjusted for the number of people in their home. For more information Read more

 

Small Business Assistance grants available

(Jun 25, 2020)

Applications are expected to be available June 30 for a new program aimed at providing critical funding to local businesses hurt by the coronavirus. Read more

 

Fill out the 2020 census!

(Mar 30, 2020)

In Pennsylvania, everyone counts and April 1 is National Census Day! If you haven’t already, don't forget to fill out your census form. Our population count determines our voice in government and how much federal funding we’ll receive for education, health care, transportation and more. Whether you respond online, mail or by phone , participate and help shape PA’s future. Your responses are anonymous and protected by law. To learn more, visit pa.gov/census #PAcounts #2020Census Read more

 

COVID-19 Helpful Resources

(Mar 26, 2020)

In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic affecting Pennsylvania, we wanted to provide you with the following resources and information to help you and your family in the days ahead. Please note that this webpage will be updated as needed with additional information and resources. State Services and Resources The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has created a COVID-19 guide to assist everyone. It includes information on social distancing, mental health resources, unemployment, food assistance, changes from PennDOT and resources for small business: https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/ For individuals : https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/#ForIndividuals For families : https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/#ForFamilies For businesses : https://dced.pa.gov/resources COVID Support for PA Businesses : The following provides information and and links to federal, state, local and private resources. https://www.pahouse.com/News/?id=113388 **Self-employed, independent contractors, gig economy workers: Apply here for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits .** https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/#ForBusinessesUtilities Information from the PA Dept. of Labor and Industry on the federal CARES Act: https://www.uc.pa.gov/COVID-19/CARES-Act/Pages/default.aspx The following link provides you with Read more

 

Closure List Exemptions

(Mar 20, 2020)

The PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) has established a new resource account where businesses and staff can submit questions on exemptions regarding the closure of physical locations for non-life-sustaining businesses in the Commonwealth. Businesses seeking exemptions from closure: Please contact ra-dcexemptions@pa.gov . Other questions about closures can be directed to ra-dcedcs@pa.gov . For more COVID-19 business information, DCED has set up a web site that continually will be updated as information becomes available: https://dced.pa.gov/resources . Read more

 

Lehigh Valley school districts awarded $625K in school safety grants

(Feb 27, 2020)

State Reps. Bob Freeman, D-Northampton, Jeanne McNeill, D-Lehigh, and Steve Samuelson, D-Northampton, announced that seven school districts in Northampton and Lehigh counties have received a total of $625,000 in school safety and security grants. The following school districts were awarded funding: Bethlehem Area School District -- $385,000 Catasauqua Area School District -- $35,000 Easton Area School District -- $45,000 Salisbury Township School District -- $35,000 Saucon Valley School District -- $40,000 Wilson Area School District -- $40,000 Whitehall-Coplay School District -- $45,000 “This funding will go far with enhancing anti-violence efforts in schools,” Freeman said. Lawmakers said the funding will be used to fund a counseling psychologist and for mental health and behavioral services and for other security system programs. “We can’t take anything for granted anymore in schools as far as safety is concerned so our teachers and students must be prepared,” McNeill said. Samuelson said the demand for school safety funding is a priority. “A safe learning environment ensures the overall development of a child,” Samuelson said. The funds will be provided through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency’s School Safety and Security Committee. This committee is the result of Act 44 of 2018 , and is responsible for Read more

 

Samuelson Promotes Alzheimer's Awareness Month

(Nov 21, 2019)

Pa. state Rep. Steve Samuelson speaks on his House Resolution recognizing November 2019 as National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness and Family Caregivers Month in Pennsylvania. Read more

 

Rep. Samuelson announces $100,000 in state funds for ArtsQuest Community Cultural Center

(Oct 23, 2019)

State Rep. Steve Samuelson announced today that ArtsQuest was awarded $100,000 in state funds toward the construction of two outdoor arts plazas as part of its proposed Community Cultural Center on the site of The Banana Factory. Samuelson said $100,000 in Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program funding was approved today by the Commonwealth Financing Authority. “The new Cultural Center will build upon ArtsQuest’s outstanding record as a beacon for the arts in our community and will bring new performance venues to the South side,” Samuelson said. “The arts plazas to be built with this grant funding will ensure that outdoor venues are an integral part of the new center.” The new funding is in addition to a previously announced $100,000 grant for this project obtained by state Sen. Lisa Boscola in September. With the additional funding secured by Samuelson, ArtsQuest now has $200,000 in Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program funding which will be used for the construction of two arts plazas at the $18.4 million Cultural Center ArtsQuest is developing at The Banana Factory. The new center will include additional studio and gallery space, educational classrooms, event space, offices, a comedy theater and two dance studios. The state’s Greenways, Trails and Recreation program uses a portion of the funding from an impact fee on unconventional natural gas wells approved as part of Act 13 of 2012. Read more

 

Samuelson Helps Secure Grant for Regional Intelligence and Investigation Center

(Sep 26, 2019)

Pa. state Rep. Steve Samuelson joined fellow legislators and the Lehigh Valley District Attorney to announce a $500,000 grant for the Regional Intelligence and Investigation Center. The data shared through this center is a vital tool for local law enforcement and the grant will help keep residents safe. Read more

 

Samuelson Recognizes National Falls Prevention Awareness Day

(Sep 24, 2019)

Pa. state Rep. Steve Samuelson speaks on his House Resolution 456 recognizing September 23, 2019, as "National Falls Prevention Awareness Day" in Pennsylvania. Read more

 

Samuelson Fighting for Redistricting Reform

(Sep 19, 2019)

At a House State Government Committee meeting, Pa. state Rep. Steve Samuelson discusses current redistricting reform legislation and is optimistic that changes could be implemented for the 2021 redistricting process. Read more

 

Education officials, advocates call for adequacy and equity in basic education funding at Samuelson virtual hearing
Sep 01, 2021

Fairly funding education focus of Samuelson hearing Wednesday
Aug 31, 2021

Samuelson announces $612,567 in state funding for Bethlehem, Bethlehem Township
May 25, 2021

10 House Democrats outline rules reform legislation at news conference
Apr 26, 2021

Ten House Democrats to hold news conference on rules reform legislation 11 a.m. Monday, April 26
Apr 23, 2021

Boscola and Samuelson Announce $2.875 Million State Grant for Lead Water Line Replacement for the City of Bethlehem
Apr 21, 2021

Schweyer, prime co-sponsors introduce bill to repeal Pa. fireworks law
Mar 19, 2021

House Democrats fight to increase transparency and accountability, make sure the people come first
Jan 04, 2021

2021 Capitol Scenes calendar
Dec 08, 2020

Renter and homeowner aid available
Jun 30, 2020

Small Business Assistance grants available
Jun 25, 2020

Fill out the 2020 census!
Mar 30, 2020

COVID-19 Helpful Resources
Mar 26, 2020

Closure List Exemptions
Mar 20, 2020

Lehigh Valley school districts awarded $625K in school safety grants
Feb 27, 2020

Samuelson Promotes Alzheimer's Awareness Month
Nov 21, 2019

Rep. Samuelson announces $100,000 in state funds for ArtsQuest Community Cultural Center
Oct 23, 2019

Samuelson Helps Secure Grant for Regional Intelligence and Investigation Center
Sep 26, 2019

Samuelson Recognizes National Falls Prevention Awareness Day
Sep 24, 2019

Samuelson Fighting for Redistricting Reform
Sep 19, 2019