Dismantling Affordable Care Act during crisis is unfathomable

(May 11, 2020)

“We are staying with the group … with Texas and the group” might not sound like much, but this sentence could end up costing millions of Americans access to their doctors, even as the COVID-19 pandemic rages. On May 6, President Donald Trump made this declaration, one that essentially means he will continue to support a lawsuit that would completely dismantle the Affordable Care Act. Here is the backstory: Several years ago, a group of conservative states led by Texas banded together to sue the federal government arguing that the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) is unconstitutional. You should know that Pennsylvania is not part of this lawsuit. If these states succeed in this legal effort, the Affordable Care Act would be thrown out immediately. Since the early days of Donald Trump’s time as commander in chief, his Justice Department has refused to defend the ACA in court. Wednesday’s declaration that he is “staying with the group” reaffirms his commitment to this strategy of killing the ACA through the federal court system. And with that, the 20 million Americans who have health insurance through the Affordable Care Act would be left without coverage. Now, we are suffering through the worst pandemic since the Spanish Flu of 1918. COVID-19 has cost 33 million Americans (and counting) their jobs. Along with their lost employment, many of those have seen Read more

 

Schweyer works to protect most-vulnerable during COVID-19

(Apr 27, 2020)

HARRISBURG, April 27 – A new bill which would protect thousands of Pennsylvania’s most-vulnerable residents was introduced today by state Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh. His bill would allocate funding specifically to support homeless organizations that have been exhausting their resources during these unprecedented times to address shelter needs, food security and sanitation efforts. “There is no denying the impact COVID-19 is having on all of us, but it’s effect on our homeless neighbors is impossible to ignore,” Schweyer said. “These folks have little to no health insurance and depend on community organizations for shelter, food and basic sanitation. We have a moral obligation to help our homeless neighbors while getting control of the pandemic. I believe this legislation will go a long way to provide some peace of mind to these folks in these trying times.” Schweyer said H.B. 2451 was referred to the House Human Services Committee for consideration. Read more

 

House Democrats have a plan to make sure PA HEALS

(Apr 24, 2020)

The coronavirus pandemic is the greatest challenge many Pennsylvanians have ever faced or will ever face. For many families, it’s brought personal or financial tragedy. But it has also shown all of us that when we work together, Pennsylvania is strong enough to handle any challenge. Pennsylvanians have been staying home and saving lives. Our state’s amazing nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals are redefining the word “hero” every day. And, our grocery store employees, pharmacists, warehouse workers and truckers have kept PA supplied and moving. We owe it to them, and to each other, to stay the course until the virus is defeated and our workers, families and communities are safe. If we keep making good, commonsense choices based in facts and science, this crisis will be over soon. In the meantime, House Democrats have developed a plan to put People First, reward hard work, support community based businesses and make sure PA is H elping E mployers A nd L abor S ucceed once this crisis has passed. PA HEALS is just the first steps, but they are crucial to an effective start: Local Businesses Matter – Rep. Joe Ciresi This legislation would use $100 million from the state’s Rainy Day Fund to provide 0% interest loans to smaller, local businesses that were shut out of the COVID-19 Working Capital Access Loan Program when it ran Read more

 

Schweyer Fighting to Bridge the Digital Divide

(Apr 03, 2020)

As Pennsylvania schools shift to online learning during the coronavirus pandemic, Pa. state Rep. Peter Schweyer has introduced legislation that would help school districts expand access to online services and equipment to families who need them. Read more

 

Miss my COVID-19 Tele-Town Hall? Listen to the discussion here.

(Apr 03, 2020)

Find out what Congresswoman Susan Wild, Allentown Health Director Vicky Kistler and I had to say to your questions. 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

 

Schweyer to hold COVID-19 Telephone Town Hall April 2

(Mar 30, 2020)

ALLENTOWN, March 30 – State Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, is alerting residents that he will be holding a telephone town hall meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 2 to answer questions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Residents of the 22 nd Legislative District will automatically receive a call on their landlines at the start of the meeting. Those who wish to participate or just listen in can simply stay on the line. “The coronavirus is an unprecedented emergency in Pennsylvania as the number of cases continues to rise,” Schweyer said. “This is having an impact on everyone from business owners and their employees to families, adults and children. I urge anyone who has questions or concerns to join me for this telephone town hall to get answers about the virus.” Schweyer adds he will be joined in the telephone town hall by Vicki Kistler of the Allentown Health Bureau, and if the schedule permits, Congresswoman Susan Wild, D-Lehigh/Monroe/Northampton. Questions may be directed to Schweyer’s office by calling 610-791-6270 or emailing RepSchweyer@pahouse.net . 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

 

Schweyer responds to governor and Health secretary’s Stay At Home Order for Lehigh County

(Mar 25, 2020)

ALLENTOWN, March 25 – State Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, today issued the following response to Gov. Tom Wolf and PA Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine’s Stay At Home order issued to Lehigh County. “This was a difficult but necessary decision and I support both Governor Wolf and Health Secretary Levine’s action,” Schweyer said. “As more cases are being reported in more counties, everyone needs to do their part to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It is very important that residents stay calm, stay home and stay safe.” The Stay At Home order now includes 10 counties: Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Erie, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton and Philadelphia. The amended order for Lehigh and Northampton counties takes effect at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 25 and will continue until April 6. Schweyer said that all county residents should be aware of what is deemed essential for leaving one’s home. The full Stay At Home Order is available to view here . Schweyer also said to be sure to follow his social media pages on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates on the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more

 

Cephas, Harris, Schweyer work to bridge the digital divide, expand educational resources to students in need during COVID-19 pandemic

(Mar 24, 2020)

As schools remain closed, state Reps. Morgan Cephas and Peter Schweyer are introducing legislation to help connect all students with the critical resources they need to continue their education during the COVID-19 pandemic. "Advanced technology has made it possible for young people to learn outside of the classroom. However, not all families are able to afford these services and devices," said Cephas, D-Phila. "Access to quality education should not be based on your ZIP code, especially during times of crisis. This is just another way I am working ensure children in our communities have access to the same tools as everyone else." The bill would allocate grant money to school districts to provide or expand access to technology and technological equipment, like laptops or tablets, for students who do not have the means to purchase them or are unable to access the Internet from home. “As a parent of two children in the Allentown School District, I know that so many of our talented kids only have access to technology at school," said Schweyer, D-Lehigh. "When the need arrives when schools need to be closed, we must make sure students have the tools they need to continue their studies, regardless of their economic circumstances. This legislation will help close the digital divide for those less fortunate 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

 

Schweyer announces changes to district office operations effective March 13

(Mar 12, 2020)

ALLENTOWN, March 12 – State Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, is alerting residents that his district office will close to the public and operations will be by telephone, mail and email only starting Friday, March 13 to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19. "We are continuing to monitor COVID-19 with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the PA Department of Health and the Allentown Health Bureau," Schweyer said. "Out of an abundance of caution and safety for residents of the district and my staff, this is a necessary course of action to prevent the spreading of the coronavirus." Schweyer adds if residents have state paperwork to drop off, a box will be located outside the office. Residents are also advised to take precautions to protect themselves from COVID-19, such as the following: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (time to sing Happy Birthday song twice). Cover coughs or sneezes with your elbow or use a tissue. Do not use your hands . Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available. Clean surfaces frequently, including countertops, light switches, cell phones, remotes, door handles, stair rails and other frequently touched items. Avoid touching your hands to your face, eyes, nose and mouth. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Clean and disinfect surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or Read more

 

Schweyer Bill Would Allow Hiring of More Humane Officers

(Mar 12, 2020)

Pa. state Rep. Peter Schweyer visited the Lehigh County Humane Society to promote several pieces of animal welfare legislation including his bill which would provide increased funds to hire more humane officers across the state. Read more

 

Animal protection supported by Schweyer, Schlossberg, McNeill

(Mar 11, 2020)

ALLENTOWN, March 11 – Today, state Reps. Mike Schlossberg, Peter Schweyer and Jeanne McNeill joined leaders from the Lehigh County Humane Society and The Humane Society of the United States in a call to advance legislation to better protect animals from abuse in Pennsylvania. Read more

 

Schweyer: One month remains for home heating assistance applications

(Mar 10, 2020)

ALLENTOWN, March 10 – State Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, is reminding residents there is only one month left to apply for the state’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. “Many families and seniors are living on fixed incomes which are stretched thin,” Schweyer said. “LIHEAP grants can make a big difference for families to ensure they can stay warm in the cold fall and winter months.” 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 April 10. Schweyer adds anyone interested in applying can obtain paper applications at his district office – 1501 Lehigh St., Suite 206 in Allentown -- or through local county assistance offices. 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 services or answer any questions. For more information on LIHEAP, residents may call 610-791-6270. Read more

 

Schweyer Secures Grant to Help Allentown Food Bank

(Mar 09, 2020)

Pa. state Rep. Peter Schweyer visits the Syrian Arab American Charity Association in Allentown to highlight building repairs made possible through grant money he helped secure from the state. Read more

 

Rep. Schweyer brings home $7,451 historical grant to Lehigh County

(Mar 05, 2020)

ALLENTOWN, March 5 – State Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, today announced the Lehigh County Historical Society was awarded $7,451 from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. “This grant will allow the Heritage Museum to continue providing educational programming and exhibits that allow current generations to learn about our rich history here in Lehigh County,” Schweyer said. Cultural and Historical Support Program grants provide general operating support to Pennsylvania museums and official county historical societies that are not directly supported by other state agency operating support programs. An eligible museum must have an annual operating budget exceeding $100,000 and at least one full-time professional staff person. The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission is the official history agency of the commonwealth. Read more

 

Schweyer Discusses Minority Enrollment at PASSHE Schools

(Mar 03, 2020)

Pa. state Rep. Peter Schweyer discusses the status of minority and disadvantaged student enrollment at our PASSHE schools during a state budget hearing in Harrisburg. Read more

 

Schweyer introduces bill to provide support to humane societies

(Mar 03, 2020)

HARRISBURG, March 3 – State Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, introduced legislation Monday that would provide financial support to ease the stress on Pennsylvania humane societies. “While great progress has been made with Libre’s Law, which increases the penalties for those who abuse animals, the justice and rehabilitation for these animals takes an immense amount of time and resources,” Schweyer said. “This bill will help alleviate the heavy financial burden placed on humane societies and their officers.” Under H.B. 2283 , an Animal Cruelty Investigation Fund would be established with the state treasury. Individuals convicted of animal cruelty would be assessed an additional $5 which would go toward training, equipment and expenses for humane society police officers. Schweyer said the funds would also go toward the medical care and food and shelter costs for animals rescued from abuse. “Many of our humane societies are mainly funded by donations and every cruelty case further depletes already thin-stretched budgets,” Schweyer said. “As legislators, we have a duty to protect all living things, especially those which cannot defend themselves. We need to recognize this difficulty and offer support.” The bill is awaiting referral to committee. Read more

 

Schweyer calls for investigation into arrest

(Mar 03, 2020)

HARRISBURG, March 3 – State Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, issued the following statement regarding the arrest of Franklin Urrutia-Cordon. Read more