Schlossberg, Schweyer: Tour further highlights needs of service providers, nonprofits

(May 13, 2021)

LEHIGH, May 13 – At a tour of the Lehigh Valley Center for Independent Living, PA House Democrats saw first-hand the strain on nonprofits that provide services to people living with disabilities and shared how the PA Rescue Plan could alleviate some of those challenges with an investment of federal funding. The tour, led by the center’s executive director, Amy Beck, highlighted how empowering people living with disabilities is an integral component of operation. LVCIL is one of 17 centers for independent living in the state. Centers are governed, managed and staffed at all times by a majority of people with disabilities. State Rep. Mike Schlossberg said, “This pandemic has exposed significant injustices and shortfalls in our world. In most of our communities, access to emergency resources starts with the friendly face and compassionate heart of community-based nonprofit organizations. While performing miracles, these organizations have seen their bottom lines take enormous hits. The staff are overworked and underpaid. Volunteers have put their health on the line with no expectation of personal gain. The Pennsylvania Rescue Plan will offer these organizations, serving our most vulnerable neighbors, extra support to offset increased expenses and lost revenue from contributions or events so they can meet demand in our community.” “The PA Rescue Plan provides a unique opportunity for us to invest in humans, not government,” added state Read more

 

PA House Dems to tour Lehigh Valley Center for Independent Living, identifying where PA Rescue Plan can help

(May 11, 2021)

ALLENTOWN, May 11 – The pandemic further strained those providing services to our most vulnerable Pennsylvanians and state Reps. Mike Schlossberg and Pete Schweyer will explain how proposed investments of over $350 million via the PA Rescue Plan would close the service gap by helping the helpers provide much-needed services. The media are invited to join members for the tour of Lehigh Valley Center for Independent Living at 1 p.m. Thursday, May 13, followed by a 2 p.m. opportunity to discuss the impact investments with legislators and Lehigh Valley Center for Independent Living. The PA Rescue Plan aims to ensure federal American Rescue Plan funding is invested for immediate impact and long-term success. Additional information about the plan is available at www.pahouse.com/parescueplan . Read more

 

Schweyer Continues Push for Minimum Wage Increase

(Apr 29, 2021)

At a virtual press event with the Pa. Department of Labor and Industry, state Rep. Peter Schweyer continues to push for raising Pennsylvania's minimum wage, which is lower than surrounding states and doesn't reflect the value of the labor our workers are providing. Read more

 

Schweyer: We Must Protect our Food Processing Workers

(Apr 28, 2021)

Pa. state Rep. Peter Schweyer joined Carmen Dominguez, a meatpacking worker from Allentown, as she shared her experiences in the food processing industry during the pandemic and the need for additional worker safety protections. Read more

 

Schweyer: We Can Disagree on Policy, But Not Facts

(Apr 26, 2021)

At a meeting of the Performance Based Budget Board discussing tax credits, Pa. state Rep. Peter Schweyer says that both chambers and parties should be able to disagree on policy, but not on facts, and urged continued cooperation as they move forward with additional hearings. Read more

 

Schweyer, Schlossberg announce $100,000 in funding for homeless assistance and prevention

(Apr 20, 2021)

ALLENTOWN, April 20 – As part of the ongoing efforts to assist people and families experiencing homelessness in the city of Allentown, seven organizations will share a portion of $100,000 in federal CARES Act funding. “There is no question that life during the pandemic has been especially challenging, but the difficulty of those challenges has risen exponentially for those Pennsylvanians facing homelessness,” state Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, said. “This is critical funding to ensure these entities can continue their dedication to helping those in need.” The following organizations will each receive a portion of the grant funding: Allentown City: Valley Youth House - Rapid Rehousing. The Lehigh Conference of Churches - Rapid Rehousing. Allentown Rescue Mission - Emergency Shelter. Salvation Army Hospitality House - Emergency Shelter. Sixth Street Shelter - Emergency Shelter. YMCA Warming station - Emergency Shelter. Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence: Turning Point of Lehigh Valley - Emergency Shelter. State Rep. Mike Schlossberg, also D-Lehigh, added, “Health and housing are so critically connected. When somebody’s housing is in doubt, it makes it difficult to stay safe and healthy. In the midst of a pandemic, this becomes more pronounced as families in crisis end up in overcrowded Read more

 

Schweyer: Three weeks remain to apply for home heating assistance

(Apr 05, 2021)

HARRISBURG, April 5 – State Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, is reminding residents that the window to apply for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program closes at the end of the month. “Many Pennsylvanians are living on fixed incomes or have household budgets that are being pushed to the limit,” Schweyer said. “Programs like LIHEAP are available for these families to get some much-needed financial relief and ensure their homes will have warmth when cold weather arrives.” LIHEAP assists lower-income families in paying their heating bills in the form of a cash grant. Households in immediate danger of being without heat are eligible for crisis grants. It is available for both renters and homeowners. The application period for LIHEAP cash and crisis benefits ends Friday, April 30. Schweyer added, “Anyone interested in applying can contact my office at 610-791-6270 to schedule an appointment at my district office – 1501 Lehigh St., Suite 206 in Allentown -- or through local county assistance offices.” Masks will be required to be worn during those appointments and CDC safety guidelines will also be in place while inside the office. Applications can also be downloaded from the Department of Human Services website. In addition to helping families sign up for LIHEAP, Schweyer and his staff are available to assist visitors with any state government-related Read more

 

Lack of internet access widens Pa. digital divide; House Democratic Policy Committee focuses on needs and solutions

(Mar 30, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 30 – The House Democratic Policy Committee today hosted a virtual public hearing that challenged public officials to reimagine the education system to ensure quality, reliable internet access and equipment for students as part of an educators’ toolbox. The hearing, hosted by state Representatives Jordan Harris, Pam Snyder, Peter Schweyer, Morgan Cephas, brought together educators and communications experts on what is needed to help create a bridge that closes the digital divide. “Ultimately, a public-private partnership and investment will be needed to overcome the digital divide. Quality internet access and devices are an essential part of a quality 21st century education and Pennsylvania students and educators should be set up for success,” Policy Chairman Ryan Bizzarro said. Hillary Linardopoulos, legislative representative for the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers; Lawrence Jones, CEO of Richard Allen Prep; and Dr. Robin Cooper from the Philadelphia Principals Union, shared their experience throughout the pandemic and the challenges their educators faced before and throughout the pandemic in keeping children and educators connected for a quality education. Cooper noted broadband access and educational supports have a direct impact on student opportunities and career potential. “At the start of the pandemic, there were about 3,000 Allentown School District households that didn’t have access to the Read more

 

Schweyer: Allentown City School District, local charter schools to receive over $90M in federal funding

(Mar 29, 2021)

ALLENTOWN, March 29 – State Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, today congratulated the Allentown City School District and two Allentown charter schools who are expected to receive federal funding totaling $93.17 million to help return students to classrooms. “The COVID-19 pandemic dealt a significant toll on students, their families and school districts across Pennsylvania,” Schweyer said. “These federal dollars will ensure that our schools have the necessary equipment, training, and support to allow students and faculty to return to a safe and clean learning environment.” Schweyer said the breakdown of the federal funding for schools in Allentown is as follows: Allentown School District - $88.1 million Roberto Clemente Charter School -$3.15 million Arts Academy Elementary Charter School - $1.92 million The funding is part of the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) Fund passed by Congress and signed by President Biden. The money can be used for food service; professional training; technology purchases; sanitization and cleaning supplies; summer and after-school programs; mental health supports and more. At least 20% of this money is meant to address learning loss and the social, emotional, and academic needs of Read more

 

Bridging the digital divide focus of Tuesday and Wednesday House Democratic Policy Committee hearings

(Mar 29, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 29 -- Education, employment and healthcare outcomes are relying more on internet connectivity and access and the House Democratic Policy Committee is hosting two hearings to explore the impacts on Pennsylvania’s economy. The first hearing—with a focus on education – will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 30 and hosted by state Reps. Jordan Harris, Pam Snyder, Peter Schweyer and Morgan Cephas. The second hearing will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 31 and hosted by Rep. Rob Matzie, Democratic chairman of the Consumer Affairs Committee. The latter hearing will examine creating a more connected state for an improved business climate and healthcare access. The public and media are encouraged to watch online at www.pahouse.com/policy . Media inquiries may be submitted via email to policy@pahouse.net . Read more

 

PA House Democrats Launch Effort to Defend Democracy

(Mar 29, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 29 – Responding to the Capitol insurrection in January and the signing of new restrictions on voting rights last week in Georgia, House Democrats are taking action to protect American democracy. Today, a website was launched that summarizes policy proposals to defend democracy as well as links to more information and the ability for people to quickly email their elected officials, noting their support of the bills. The House Democratic Caucus has been working on these proposals since a House Democratic Policy Committee Hearing in January, when members were briefed by legal scholars, hate crimes experts and members of Congress on the language of false conspiracy and election fraud being used to undermine democracy. That same language has shifted from encouraging outright attack to what many perceive as insidiously undermining basic voting rights. “We cannot allow the outrage and disgust of the American people watching an armed invasion of our government to be subverted by a slick rebranding into attacks on our right to fair and free elections” Policy Committee Chairman Ryan Bizzarro said. Members of the House Democratic Caucus have introduced dozens of measures to expand voting rights, preserve election security, protect access to mail-in ballots and polling places, and to clarify and consolidate the often-outdated Election Code. Bizzarro said the site – www.pahouse.com/policy/defendingdemocracy -- will serve as a great Read more

 

Instead of disbanding PASSHE, Chancellor Greenstein should resign

(Mar 19, 2021)

For the better part of the last two years, we have been hearing from PASSHE Chancellor Dan Greenstein that we need to reform the way we manage our Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education or increase the state’s funding for it. Yesterday, he publicly offered another solution: disband the system all together. I am here to offer an even better next step: Dan Greenstein should resign. Despite many in the legislature supporting higher state investment in the PASSHE schools (myself included), he has been unable to secure a greater increase in funding from the state. But candidly, he has not tried very hard. Instead, he has offered his own plan of consolidation, essentially turning six colleges into two. I have participated in several public hearings with the chancellor where he has been, in my opinion, evasive and vague, explaining just how his plan helps Pennsylvania’s students. If he hasn’t been able to convince me – a strong supporter of the PASSHE system – then it stands to reason that perhaps he is struggling to gain support for his consolidation plan. So, he offers what can only be described as a nuclear option: disband the entire system. There are more than 84,000 Pennsylvanians who are learning either full or part time at a PASSHE school, 2,452 of whom reside in Lehigh County. What kind of message is he sending to those students? As someone who has been in Harrisburg for some time, 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

 

Community Conversation with Allentown Police Chief Glenn Granitz Jr.

(Mar 11, 2021)

In this Community Conversation, Pa. state Rep. Peter Schweyer virtually joins Allentown Police Chief Glenn Granitz Jr. to discuss the recent reduction of crime in Allentown and some new initiatives to make the community a better place to live, work, and raise a family. Read more

 

Schweyer: We Need Equity for Poor and Diverse School Districts

(Mar 01, 2021)

At a House Appropriations Committee budget hearing with the Department of Education, Pa. state Rep. Peter Schweyer says the antiquated buildings in the Allentown School District pose health and safety concerns, particularly during the pandemic. Schweyer is asking for the necessary resources to upgrade the school district's infrastructure. Read more

 

Schweyer Pushes for Vaccine Equity

(Feb 25, 2021)

At a House Appropriations Committee budget hearing, Pa. state Rep. Peter Schweyer pushes for vaccine equity, particularly in the Allentown School District, which has unique needs and challenges. Schweyer also calls for additional translations on COVID-19 vaccine materials, saying we aren't adequately reaching large groups of people who speak different languages. Read more

 

Schweyer to resume monthly veterans outreach with virtual appointments

(Feb 19, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 19 – State Rep. Peter Schweyer is alerting local veterans his monthly support program will resume next month by virtual appointment only due to COVID-19. A representative from the American Legion will be available for virtual appointments at Schweyer’s district office, 1501 Lehigh St., Suite 206. Appointments are available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the third Friday of every month, starting on March 19. The service officer will assist veterans and their families with benefits and services available to them. The representative also will be available to discuss pensions and other compensation, as well as education, health care and death benefits Legion membership is not required; however, anyone interested in speaking with the adviser should schedule a virtual appointment by contacting Schweyer’s office at 610-791-6270. Masks are required and CDC guidelines must be followed during the appointment. Read more

 

Schweyer Discusses COVID-19 Challenges for Local Prisons

(Feb 17, 2021)

In a budget hearing with the Pa. Department of Corrections, state Rep. Peter Schweyer discusses the challenges facing local prisons due to COVID-19. Schweyer asks Secretary John Wetzel about his efforts to protect inmates and staff, and what the legislature can do to provide any additional resources he needs during this pandemic. Read more

 

Schweyer Community Conversation with PPL Electric Utilities

(Feb 05, 2021)

On this episode of Community Conversation, Pa. state Rep. Peter Schweyer sits down with Melinda Stumpf from PPL Electric Utilities to discuss several assistance programs PPL offers to help customers manage their bills during these difficult times. Read more

 

Schweyer issues statement in response to governor’s budget address

(Feb 03, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 3 – State Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, released the following statement regarding the proposals Gov. Tom Wolf unveiled during his 2021-22 budget address today. “The gap between the wealthiest and poorest school districts, the difference in access to health care and economic inequality have always existed and have always been grossly unfair,” Schweyer said. “But those inequities have been exacerbated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We all know this, Governor Wolf included. “I’m tired of waiting for a solution and the people I represent are tired of waiting and hoping that something will happen. I’m tired of watching neighbors and friends struggle to keep the lights on and put food on the table. I’m tired of generational poverty spurred on by underfunded schools and inequitable economic opportunities. “Clearly, Governor Wolf is tired of this as well. It has been said many times that a budget proposal really is a statement of priorities and I’m proud to share Governor Wolf’s priorities here. We must make real, structural changes to help provide people across Pennsylvania an equal opportunity to good schools, family sustaining wages and appropriate health care. “This is only the very beginning of the budget process and as a member of the Appropriations Committee, I will continue to take an active role in Read more

 

Schlossberg, Schweyer: Tour further highlights needs of service providers, nonprofits
May 13, 2021

PA House Dems to tour Lehigh Valley Center for Independent Living, identifying where PA Rescue Plan can help
May 11, 2021

Schweyer Continues Push for Minimum Wage Increase
Apr 29, 2021

Schweyer: We Must Protect our Food Processing Workers
Apr 28, 2021

Schweyer: We Can Disagree on Policy, But Not Facts
Apr 26, 2021

Schweyer, Schlossberg announce $100,000 in funding for homeless assistance and prevention
Apr 20, 2021

Schweyer: Three weeks remain to apply for home heating assistance
Apr 05, 2021

Lack of internet access widens Pa. digital divide; House Democratic Policy Committee focuses on needs and solutions
Mar 30, 2021

Schweyer: Allentown City School District, local charter schools to receive over $90M in federal funding
Mar 29, 2021

Bridging the digital divide focus of Tuesday and Wednesday House Democratic Policy Committee hearings
Mar 29, 2021

PA House Democrats Launch Effort to Defend Democracy
Mar 29, 2021

Instead of disbanding PASSHE, Chancellor Greenstein should resign
Mar 19, 2021

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

Community Conversation with Allentown Police Chief Glenn Granitz Jr.
Mar 11, 2021

Schweyer: We Need Equity for Poor and Diverse School Districts
Mar 01, 2021

Schweyer Pushes for Vaccine Equity
Feb 25, 2021

Schweyer to resume monthly veterans outreach with virtual appointments
Feb 19, 2021

Schweyer Discusses COVID-19 Challenges for Local Prisons
Feb 17, 2021

Schweyer Community Conversation with PPL Electric Utilities
Feb 05, 2021

Schweyer issues statement in response to governor’s budget address
Feb 03, 2021