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

 

Samuelson Hosts Annual Senior Fair

(Sep 17, 2019)

Pa. state Rep. Steve Samuelson hosted his annual Senior Fair and Hispanic Heritage Month celebration at St. John’s Windish Lutheran Church in Bethlehem, connecting area seniors with information about the many programs and services that are available to them. Read more

 

Summer 2019 Newsletter

(Sep 05, 2019)

Read my Summer newsletter here! Read more

 

REAL IDs are now available

(May 16, 2019)

As you may know, REAL ID is now available for Pennsylvanians who want one. Effective October 1, 2020, Pennsylvanians will need a REAL ID to enter federal facilities that require identification, a military installation and board a domestic commercial flight. To get your REAL ID, gather the following documents: Proof of identity: (original or certified copy of a birth certificate or valid, unexpired U.S. Passport or passport card. Social Security Card Two proofs of current, physical PA address: examples include current, unexpired PA license or ID, PA vehicle registration, auto insurance card, or utility bill with the same name and address. Proof of all legal name changes: Certified marriage certificate, court order or divorce decree issued by your county’s family court. Visit one of the 12 PennDOT REAL ID Centers to receive your REAL ID at the time of service or your local PennDOT Driver License Center to receive your REAL ID within 15 business days. You DO NOT need a REAL ID to: Drive. Vote. Access hospitals. Visit the post office. Access federal courts. Apply for or receive federal benefits, such as Social Security or veterans’ benefits. A REAL ID driver's license or photo ID costs a one-time fee of $30, plus a renewal fee ($30.50 for a four-year, non-commercial driver's license or photo ID). More information on REAL ID is available here . Read more

 

Rep Samuelson joins bipartisan effort to push for more transparency in the legislative process

(Jan 30, 2019)

A group of House Democrats and Republican lawmakers have proposed several reforms to the House rules at the start of the 2019-2020 legislative session. Samuelson and his colleagues first proposed the House rules forms on Jan. 1. They said they will continue working with Democratic and Republican colleagues willing to jointhem and good government groups to improve the legislative process. Read more

 

Get free assistance with your Property Tax/Rent Rebate

(Jan 23, 2019)

Forms for Pennsylvania’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program for the 2018 tax year are available – and my office staff is ready to help you file yours for free! Read more

 

Holiday diaper drive collects over 3,000 diapers for Salvation Army of Bethlehem

(Jan 09, 2019)

BETHLEHEM, Jan. 9 – State Rep. Steve Samuelson today delivered 3,106 children’s and adult diapers donated by area residents during his holiday diaper drive to the Salvation Army of Bethlehem. Read more