Paying college athletes can help close economic gaps

(21 hours ago)

Going to college is a time to assert yourself into being the best version of yourself. For some, this means annually making the dean’s list or landing an exciting internship. For others, it’s working toward making it to the big leagues – literally. Time and again, college athletes have showcased their stellar abilities on the court or in the field, granting them a sizable fanbase and dedicated following. Jerseys featuring their name and number may be sold or players may be featured in NCAA video games, however, the athlete doing all the work does not get to reap any of these benefits. Instead, the money goes to the Fortune 500 companies that profit off these athletes through branding equipment and advertisements during televised events. Currently, college athletes may not profit from the use of their own name or likeness, or their potentially prominent and influential social media presence. Whereas, many of their fellow classmates are already doing exactly that. Millennials are making a living by simply posting on social media. For example, gamers livestream themselves playing the latest video games and beauty gurus share makeup tutorials. The possibilities are endless, and they make money. However, college athletes are barred from leveraging their own popularity and seizing the same opportunities as their classmates using the image that they’ve built for themselves as renowned athletes. This constraint also prohibits college Read more

 

Shusterman announces $64K in traffic safety improvements in Schuylkill Township

(Oct 04, 2019)

PAOLI, Oct. 4 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, announced today that Schuylkill Township will receive a $64,455 grant through the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s “Green Light-Go” program. Shusterman said the funds will be used to upgrade vehicle detection technology at two intersections along Valley Forge Road. “This will increase safety, efficiency and traffic flow at busy intersections,” Shusterman said. “I’m proud that I could help bring these funds back to the district to alleviate a problem that I know has been a burden to many constituents.” Questions or concerns may be directed to Shusterman’s office by calling 484-200-8260. Read more

 

Southeastern PA lawmakers: Pennsylvania must join RGGI states now

(Oct 03, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 3 – A plan to finally add Pennsylvania to the Northeast’s carbon trading market is being met with praise from state lawmakers in southeastern Pennsylvania. Gov. Tom Wolf this morning announced that his administration will put its weight behind adding the commonwealth to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the nation’s first competitive carbon-credit market to incentivize clean emissions across the northeast states’ energy-industry sector. Companies that innovate and produce clean energy will keep credits in the market, which are ante’d by all participants and lost by those that fail to meet modern benchmarks on pollution. “I applaud Governor Wolf for his leadership,” said state Rep. Carolyn Comitta, D-Chester. “We must take strong action to stop climate change and shape a healthy future for our children. Joining RGGI positions Pennsylvania to protect our children’s future while strengthening our economy.” Comitta is one of 31 early sponsors of House legislation that backstops the governor’s order. “It’s time that Pennsylvania steps up to become a leader in fighting climate change and grow our economy through this partnership with neighboring states,” said state Rep. Margo Davidson, D-Delaware, chair of the House Southeast Democratic Delegation. “RGGI is a win for the environment, our neighbors and families and our economy.” Read more

 

Shusterman invites servicemen and women of the 157th to veterans’ breakfast

(Oct 02, 2019)

PAOLI, Oct. 2 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, invites her constituents who have served in any branch of the U.S. military to her veterans’ breakfast. The breakfast will be at 9 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 17 at the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge. Shusterman asks those interested to RSVP by calling her office at 484-200-8260 by Oct. 9. “Veterans have sacrificed so much to protect our rights and freedoms, and we can always do more to repay them,” Shusterman said. “This free breakfast is meant to honor you and all you’ve done for our country, and is my staff and I’s way of thanking you for your service.” Residents who are not sure if they live in the 157 th legislative district can verify they are eligible to attend the breakfast by clicking the following link: https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/findyourlegislator/#address Questions may be directed to Shusterman’s office by calling 484- 200-8260. Read more

 

Shusterman presents citation to Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust president

(Sep 27, 2019)

PAOLI, Sept. 27 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, presented Pattye Benson, president of the Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust, with a House citation in honor of the trust's 15th annual historic house tour yesterday. The historic house tour, which will take place this Saturday, is a longstanding community tradition. This year, the money raised will go toward the completion of the Jones Log Barn project, which will serve as a “living history center.” “I’m honored to be a part of this long-loved tradition, and I was proud to present the citation to Pattye Benson on Thursday,” Shusterman said. “I look forward to seeing the interactive history center once it’s completed because I know it will be an asset to our community.” Click here for a photo of Shusterman and Benson. Click here to buy tickets for the 15 th annual historic house tour. Read more

 

RESCHEDULED: Policy hearing on stormwater management with Shusterman

(Sep 26, 2019)

PHOENIXVILLE, Sept. 26 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman’s House Democratic Policy Committee hearing on residential stormwater management originally scheduled for Friday, Oct. 4 has been rescheduled to Friday, Dec. 13. The hearing will run from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 13 at the Upper Providence Township Building, 1286 Black Rock Road in Phoenixville. For updates regarding the hearing, visit the official Facebook event page. Questions or concerns may be directed to Shusterman’s office at (484) 200-8260. Read more

 

Legislators fight to bring back General Assistance Fund

(Sep 24, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 24 – Joining advocates, former recipients of General Assistance and state senators, state Reps. Malcolm Kenyatta, Melissa Shusterman and Elizabeth Fiedler repeated the call for the General Assembly to restart the program that many vulnerable residents depended on in the commonwealth. “Ending General Assistance was one of the cruelest legislative decisions that has been made in this body since I became a member. There is no logical excuse or argument for denying support for the most vulnerable communities when they needed it most. It was like kicking them while they’re down,” Kenyatta, D-Phila., said. “That is why I’ve introduced House Bill 1709 to bring this vital resource back. I’m urging my colleagues across the aisle to understand the severity of the harm this has caused for Pennsylvania families and fix it now.” Kenyatta is the main sponsor of H.B. 1709, which would provide emergency relief to those Pennsylvanians who previously received support through the General Assistance Fund. The program provided $200 a month in cash assistance to those who were unable to work, those caring for loved ones who were sick or disabled, veterans, victims of domestic violence and those receiving treatment for substance abuse, among others. In June, the General Assembly voted to end the program, despite the pleas from many, including Kenyatta and Shusterman, Read more

 

Shusterman announces completion of accessible train station

(Sep 23, 2019)

PAOLI, Sept. 23 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, today announced that the Paoli train station has completed modifications to increase accessibility throughout the facility. Modifications at the Paoli station include a new center high level platform, elevators, and ramps; a pedestrian overpass; parking lot improvements; ADA improvements to the existing station building; and improvements to the existing rail infrastructure. These modifications bring the Paoli station into full ADA compliance. Shusterman made remarks at toady’s ribbon cutting celebrating these upgrades, highlighting that passengers who require a fully accessible facility will now be able to access the Paoli train station and utilize regional transportation services for the first time in the station’s history. “Together, SEPTA and Amtrak partnered to make modifications that bring this facility into compliance with Department of Transportation Accessibility standards and the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act,” Shusterman said. “These types of projects are what set our district as a leader in Pennsylvania time and time again.” A photo of Shusterman at the Paoli station ribbon cutting can be found here. Read more

 

Shusterman returns to Harrisburg today, outlines legislative priorities

(Sep 17, 2019)

State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, returns to Harrisburg today to start the post-budget legislative session. Earlier this year, which was Shusterman’s first time in session, she introduced five bills and two resolutions , and co-sponsored 91 bills and 37 resolutions. Her resolution declaring March 21 as “Rosie the Riveter Day” in Pennsylvania was adopted by the House unanimously. Shusterman also serves in the following roles: secretary of the House Judiciary Committee. Intellectual Disabilities and Autism Caucus co-chair. Democratic chairwoman of the House Travel and Tourism Committee’s Subcommittee on Arts and Entertainment. Aging and Older Adult Services Committee member. Additionally, Shusterman is deputy whip for the House Democratic Caucus. Shusterman was the first freshman legislator to earn this title. “Today is the first day back in session since we passed the budget on June 28th,” Shusterman said. “I’m ready to hit the ground running and continue to fight for the issues my district is most passionate about.” Prior to the start of today’s legislative session, Shusterman spoke at a Moms Demand Action rally, emphasizing the need for Extreme Risk Protection Order laws to prevent suicides. Shusterman said in the coming weeks, she plans on introducing three bills that would increase firearm Read more

 

Shusterman co-hosts successful all-abilities morning at Elmwood Park Zoo

(Sep 09, 2019)

PAOLI, Sept. 9 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, co-hosted Early Access morning at Elmwood Park Zoo on Saturday, Sept. 7. Early Access Morning was an opportunity for individuals with intellectual disabilities and their caretakers to enjoy a low-traffic experience at the zoo with minimal environmental stressors and sensory triggers. It is part of a larger all-abilities event series with Elmwood, the first zoo in the world to earn certification as a Certified Autism Center. The designation, given by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards, is awarded to organizations that have completed a training and review process with the goal to better serve individuals with autism and other sensory needs. “Early Access Morning is a forward-thinking, inclusive concept that sets the standard for all-abilities events,” Shusterman said. “The highly accredited facility conditions, skilled staff and genuine passion for community engagement exhibited here gives me added motivation to keep fighting for children of all ability levels.” Shusterman is a co-chair on the Autism and Intellectual Disabilities Caucus and has been active in the disabilities rights and awareness movements both locally and in Harrisburg. Shusterman has been an avid spokesperson on topics such as assistive technology, the direct support professional crisis and working toward eliminating waitlists for disabilities vouchers. Read more

 

Shusterman Works To Eliminate Waitlist For Care

(Aug 21, 2019)

Pa. state Rep. Melissa Shusterman joined the House Democratic Policy Committee to discuss how to reduce the home- and community-based services’ waitlist. She explains why addressing this issue is critical to those living with autism and intellectual disabilities across the commonwealth. Read more

 

Shusterman calls for legislative special session to address gun violence

(Aug 06, 2019)

PAOLI, Aug. 6 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, is one of several House Democrats urging Gov. Tom Wolf to call a special joint session of the legislature to address gun violence and extremism in the wake of two mass shootings within 13 hours of each other last weekend. Shusterman, accompanied by members of the PA SAFE Caucus , called for a special session to consider legislation in the House and Senate that would address access to guns for people at risk of violence to themselves or others, close the loophole for gun background checks, and to ban assault weapons. “We cannot afford another preventable tragedy in our own backyard. What happened in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio can be avoided here in Pennsylvania, so instead of wallowing in this seemingly never-ending cycle of tragedy, let's end it,” Shusterman said. “We can go into session right now and pass legislation that would make it more difficult to put guns in these people’s hands.” Shusterman and members of the PA SAFE Caucus noted that most public opinion polls reveal that the most Americans support mandatory background checks on gun purchases, as well as other safety legislation. “When two of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history happen within the same news cycle you know our nation is in a dark place. It is clear that we as a society have become numb to such events,” Shusterman said. “I’ve heard the cliché Read more

 

Chester County receives $3.08 million in PHARE funding to support affordable housing

(Jul 12, 2019)

HARRISBURG, July 12 – Chester County’s Democratic state Reps. Carolyn Comitta, Kristine Howard, Melissa Shusterman, Dan Williams, Christina Sappey and Danielle Friel Otten announced that housing programs in Chester County will receive $3.08 million through the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement fund. The PHARE fund is managed by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, and funds are sourced from Marcellus shale fees, realty transfer taxes and the national housing trust fund. Awardees within Comitta’s legislative district will receive the following: Housing Authority of the County of Chester’s Locust Court Windows: $100,000 Charles A Melton Arts & Education Center; Melton Center Expanded Services Program: $200,000 Melton Center Apartments (LIHTC); The NRP Group LLC: $875,000 Safe Harbor of Chester County, Inc.: $150,000 Housing Locator Program through the Housing Authority of the County of Chester: $100,000 Friends Association for Care & Protection of Children’s Homeless Prevention Program $75,000 Gaudenzia Concord Place: $50,000 Chester County Department of Community Development’s Decade to Doorways System Prioritization and Realignment: $350,000 “I am absolutely thrilled to see state funds directed to such incredible programs in our community. These funds will allow our local organizations to continue providing their critical services, as well as expand in order to Read more

 

Shusterman votes ‘no’ to 2019-20 budget, cites missed opportunities

(Jul 09, 2019)

PAOLI, July 3 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, issued the following statement regarding her ‘no’ vote on this year’s state spending plan: “When I was elected to represent the people of the 157th legislative district, I vowed to stand up for commonsense legislation. Topics such as preserving our environment, fighting for Pennsylvanians in need, improving infrastructure and imposing a fracking tax on our out-of-state drillers are among my top priorities. However, the budget that Gov. Tom Wolf signed does not prioritize measures in any of these categories. “In Pennsylvania’s Constitution, residents are guaranteed a right to clean water and air. This budget strips away the funding that went toward preserving that right, our ecosystems and their inhabitants. The health and prosperity of our Commonwealth’s environment are in jeopardy under this budget. Furthermore, it does not allot for any additional DEP staffing to keep up with our environment’s conservational upkeep. “The sweetheart deal this Commonwealth maintains with oil and gas drillers will also go unchanged, and we will remain the only major gas-producing state in America that does not tax them. Funds that would have been collected from this tax would have gone toward much-needed infrastructure upgrades, but they will continue to pillage Pennsylvania for oil and gas and give nothing in return. “This budget also neglects Read more

 

Shusterman announces major repairs to Tredyffrin bridge

(Jul 08, 2019)

TREDYFFRIN, July 8 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, announced today that a bridge in her district will soon receive much-needed repairs, thanks to Pennsylvania Department of Transportation funds. The bridge in Tredyffrin on Route 252, otherwise known as Bear Hill Road, over Norfolk Southern Railroad will soon be under construction. According to PennDOT, the focus of this project involves repairs to address the poor condition of bridges in Chester, Montgomery and Bucks counties to maintain safe and efficient conditions for travelers. This bridge improvement project is financed 100 percent with state funds. “Protecting our infrastructure, and making lives easier for the people who use it, is a top priority,” Shusterman said. “Repairing and maintaining our bridges will ensure safe daily travel and prevent major issues from occurring in the future.” Construction is expected to begin this summer and finish by late 2020. ### Read more

 

Reps. Shusterman and Kenyatta team up to return emergency relief program for those hurt by elimination of General Assistance

(Jul 03, 2019)

HARRISBURG, July 3 – With the General Assistance program and the lifeline it provides to more than 11,000 Pennsylvanians set to expire on Aug. 1, state Reps. Melissa L. Shusterman and Malcolm Kenyatta are introducing legislation to provide emergency relief to those previously receiving General Assistance. “We must help our most vulnerable citizens,” said Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery. “Our neighbors who relied on the roughly $200 a month General Assistance provided are veterans and their caregivers, victims of domestic violence, adults receiving substance abuse treatment and grandparents caring for their grandchildren. “The benefits of the program for our neediest neighbors far exceeded the cost,” Shusterman said. “That’s why Representative Kenyatta and I are introducing legislation to create a new Emergency Relief fund.” Funding for the Emergency Relief program would come from the state’s general fund. Kenyatta, D-Phila., said he and Shusterman plan to visit one another’s districts and hear from the people who’ll be hurt when the General Assistance program ends. “Those who stand to lose out when General Assistance ends are real people,” Kenyatta said. “We want to hear their stories and see their faces. We want them to know we will do all we can to help them achieve stability and self-sufficiency, and we believe an Emergency Relief program is a way to give them a hand Read more

 

$200 can make all the difference for struggling Pennsylvanians

(Jun 25, 2019)

A few days ago, House Republicans voted to eliminate a state program that provides roughly $200 per month to Pennsylvania adults who are temporarily or permanently unable to work. This General Assistance program costs $50 million per year and helps more than 10,000 Pennsylvanians. While $200 a month may seem insignificant to some in the legislature, it serves as a financial lifeline to our commonwealth’s most vulnerable residents. Adults with temporary or permanent disabilities, those caring for a severely ill or disabled loved one, adults in full-time substance abuse rehabilitation programs, displaced domestic abuse survivors and people waiting for their social security benefits to kick in, these are the populations that benefit from receiving $200 a month. These cash grants increase quality of life and allow for “dignity purchases,” in other words, the everyday things that we take for granted. In fact, this $200 is spent on necessities such as transportation, housing and toiletries. It keeps a roof over peoples’ heads, the lights on, and food on the table. Many of my colleagues welcome a $200 per diem to live and work comfortably during their time in Harrisburg, a practice that I have personally chosen to reject. Simply put, there is an irony here that is difficult to ignore. Surely, if $200 is justifiable when considering the comforts and needs of legislators, $200 a month for our most vulnerable citizens is a no-brainer. Our local Read more

 

Shusterman announces personal paycheck suspension until budget passage

(Jun 17, 2019)

HARRISBURG, June 17 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, announced today she will suspend her paycheck until a budget is passed as the state legislature commences budget season. “If my constituents don’t go to work, they don’t get paid, and I hold myself to the same expectation. I do not deserve to get paid unless I execute my job duties and serve my community, period,” Shusterman said. Throughout June, state legislators will be in the Capitol every week to complete the state budget. However, the budget process officially began in February when Gov. Tom Wolf delivered his budget address to the General Assembly. Budget proposals from the governor are rarely fully adopted, but they do form the foundation of what will be debated during weeks of budget hearings in the House Appropriations Committee. During these hearings, Republican and Democratic members may ask questions of the administration. These hearing occur in both the state House and Senate. Following discussions, leaders from all caucuses and the administration work to find a compromise that will both cover Pennsylvania’s bills and responsibly invest in our future. “At times, budget season can grow cumbersome because we can stay here well into the night debating. However, it is our job to work together to reach an agreement. If we can’t do that, then we should not be getting paid because we aren’t doing what we were elected to do, which is serve Read more

 

Chester County receives $1.25 million in grants to increase security measures, help crime victims

(Jun 14, 2019)

HARRISBURG, June 14 – Chester County’s Democratic state Reps. Carolyn Comitta, Melissa Shusterman, Kristine Howard, Danielle Friel Otten, Dan Williams and Christina Sappey announced that $1.2 million worth of grant funds from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency will be distributed across the county to increase safety and help crime victims. Within Comitta’s legislative district, Domestic Violence Center of Chester County will receive $531,835 to provide direct services for domestic abuse survivors. Additionally, the Crime Victims’ Center of Chester County, Inc. will receive $624,328 to meet the needs of crime victims. “I am grateful for the grants awarded to the Crime Victims’ Center of Chester County and the Domestic Violence Center of Chester County. These local organizations have a tremendous impact across our county, and they deserve our full support to continue to provide critical services to residents,” Comitta said. Represented by Shusterman, Phoenixville Borough will receive $7,685 to install security cameras at their police department’s impound lot. “I’m proud to work with my colleagues to bring state money back to Chester County,” Shusterman said. “I’m confident that this initiative will make our communities safer by curtailing crime in and around the impound lot.” Howard’s district, including West Pikeland and Easttown townships, will receive grants Read more

 

Shusterman announces preservation grant awarded to Wharton Esherick Museum

(Jun 10, 2019)

MALVERN, June 10 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, announced today that a Keystone Historic Preservation Grant worth $25,000 has been awarded to Wharton Esherick Museum to expand upon its educational outreach and programming. The funds come from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, which supports preserving, protecting and promoting historic and archaeological resources in Pennsylvania. Wharton Esherick Museum said they plan to use these funds to connect the two buildings on the property, Wharton Esherick Studio and Sunekrest, and eventually integrate Esherick’s 1956 Workshop, to create a master campus. Currently, the museum’s studio serves as its sole event and exhibit space. Wharton Esherick Museum’s executive director, Julie Siglin, said she’s looking forward to the upgrade, as the museum will be able to hold more visitors at a time and wheelchair accessible ramps will also be installed. “With the addition of Sunekrest, the museum is poised to expand its footprint by creating a master campus with increased exhibit and programming space, and improved accessibility,” Siglin said. “This planning process will allow us to explore the true breadth of that mission as we consider new ways to interpret his work and influence, beyond the walls of the studio.” “I’m excited to see this project completed,” Shusterman said. “It’s a Read more

 

Paying college athletes can help close economic gaps
21 hours ago

Shusterman announces $64K in traffic safety improvements in Schuylkill Township
Oct 04, 2019

Southeastern PA lawmakers: Pennsylvania must join RGGI states now
Oct 03, 2019

Shusterman invites servicemen and women of the 157th to veterans’ breakfast
Oct 02, 2019

Shusterman presents citation to Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust president
Sep 27, 2019

RESCHEDULED: Policy hearing on stormwater management with Shusterman
Sep 26, 2019

Legislators fight to bring back General Assistance Fund
Sep 24, 2019

Shusterman announces completion of accessible train station
Sep 23, 2019

Shusterman returns to Harrisburg today, outlines legislative priorities
Sep 17, 2019

Shusterman co-hosts successful all-abilities morning at Elmwood Park Zoo
Sep 09, 2019

Shusterman Works To Eliminate Waitlist For Care
Aug 21, 2019

Shusterman calls for legislative special session to address gun violence
Aug 06, 2019

Chester County receives $3.08 million in PHARE funding to support affordable housing
Jul 12, 2019

Shusterman votes ‘no’ to 2019-20 budget, cites missed opportunities
Jul 09, 2019

Shusterman announces major repairs to Tredyffrin bridge
Jul 08, 2019

Reps. Shusterman and Kenyatta team up to return emergency relief program for those hurt by elimination of General Assistance
Jul 03, 2019

$200 can make all the difference for struggling Pennsylvanians
Jun 25, 2019

Shusterman announces personal paycheck suspension until budget passage
Jun 17, 2019

Chester County receives $1.25 million in grants to increase security measures, help crime victims
Jun 14, 2019

Shusterman announces preservation grant awarded to Wharton Esherick Museum
Jun 10, 2019