Otten, Shusterman announce $428K Recreation and Conservation grant

(Oct 15, 2020)

ROYERSFORD, Oct. 15 — State Reps. Danielle Friel Otten and Melissa Shusterman today announced that Royersford secured a $428,000 Recreation and Conservation grant to rehabilitate an area trail. Funding comes from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and will go toward increasing ADA access, landscaping and other related site improvements on the Royersford Trestle Bridge. “I’m glad to see this project gaining more momentum,” Shusterman said. “Restoring this trail creates a great outdoor recreation opportunity for community members, and I’m pleased that this funding will help everyone of all abilities utilize it.” “Restoring the Royersford Trestle Bridge will make pedestrian and bicycle travel a safe, easy and appealing option between Royersford and the Borough of Spring City, just across the Schuylkill River,” Otten said. “This expands opportunities for business and community while providing us with a new way to enjoy our beautiful surroundings. Strengthening ADA access ensures that all residents will be able to benefit from this project.” The investments are among 41 grants supported by the Keystone and Environmental Stewardship funds, ATV and Snowmobile restricted accounts and federal Pennsylvania Recreational Trails funds awarded statewide, totaling approximately $7.6 million for trail projects including planning, construction and rehabilitation, as Read more

 

Shusterman, House Democratic Policy Committee examine 2020 vote

(Oct 08, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 8 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman hosted the Pennsylvania House Democratic Policy Committee for an online hearing today examining the progress that state and county officials have made securing the 2020 general election in Pennsylvania. Shusterman hosted the hearing at the request of committee Chair Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. Testimony was heard from: Jonathan Marks , deputy secretary for elections & commission, Pennsylvania Department of State. Bill Turner , acting director, Chester County Voter Services. Vic Walczak , legal director, ACLU of Pennsylvania . Pat Christmas , policy director, The Committee of Seventy Carol Kuniholm , vice president of government and social policy, League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania. The full hearing is available to watch at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ILAO2YScj8&feature=emb_logo . “Ensuring that this fall’s election takes place securely and does so with the confidence of Pennsylvania voters is the most important work happening at all levels of government right now,” said Shusterman, D-Chester. “My House colleagues and I are laser-focused to ensuring that Pennsylvania’s voting procedures and personnel are dialed in and that the sanctity of our democracy is protected. “Having heard from this expert panel today, I am confident in telling my constituents that they can trust the integrity of this Read more

 

House Democratic Policy Committee to hold virtual hearing on voting issues Thursday

(Oct 05, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 5 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, announced today that the House Democratic Policy Committee will hold a public hearing on voting issues. The hearing will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 8. The media and public can watch the livestream at www.pahouse.com/live . Requested by state Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, the hearing will feature testimony from county and state officials about their preparation for the general election. Testifiers and legislators will speak remotely. Testifiers will include: Jonathan Marks , deputy secretary for elections & commission , Pennsylvania Department of State. Bill Turner , acting director, Chester County Voter Services. Sara Mullen , associate director/director of advocacy & policy, ACLU PA. Lauren Cristella , chief advancement officer, The Committee of Seventy. Carol Kuniholm , vice president of government and social policy, League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania. Following the hearing, testimonies and full hearing video will be posted at www.pahouse.com/policycommittee . Read more

 

Shusterman condemns House resolution that may alter Pennsylvania’s election results

(Oct 02, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 2 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, issued the following statement regarding House Resolution 1032: “District 157, I have received your calls and emails, and stand with you in opposition to House Resolution 1032,” Shusterman said. “The resolution would create a committee with the power to investigate, review and make recommendations concerning the regulation and conduct of the 2020 election. This new body would consist of five members, three from the Republican majority in the House and two from the Democratic minority. “Representative Everett, who proposed the bill, has stated the following regarding the committee’s proposed regulatory power: “‘The intent of the resolution is to do this post-election,’ Everett said. ‘And look and see what was good, what was bad, what we can do better.’ (Source: The Washington Post) “While improving the efficiency of our elections is a noble intention, this bill is written in a way that has caused worry and concern from legislators and constituents alike. In its current form, the bill leaves too many factors open for misinterpretation and potential abuse of power. “Despite Representative Everett’s statement that the intention of the resolution is not to implement any of its regulatory powers until after the election, this is not written outright in the legislation. In Read more

 

Shusterman invites area veterans to free drive-thru lunch

(Sep 28, 2020)

PHOENIXVILLE, Sept. 28 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, invites veterans of the 157th Legislative District to a free drive-thru lunch in October. This contactless lunch will take place 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16 at the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, 1601 Valley Forge Road in Phoenixville. Due to COVID-19 safety guidelines, this event will replace Shusterman’s annual veterans’ breakfast. “This free lunch is my way of thanking our community’s veterans,” Shusterman said. “Their service to our country is invaluable, so my staff and I remain dedicated to expressing our gratitude through hosting events like this and connecting veterans with the state resources that they need to lead healthy, productive lives.” To reserve a lunch, call Shusterman’s office at (484) 200-8260. Read more

 

Shusterman co-sponsored resolution declaring September as International Underground Railroad Month unanimously adopted

(Sep 17, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 17 – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives unanimously adopted House Resolution 980, co-sponsored by state Rep. Melissa Shusterman, designating September 2020 as “International Underground Railroad Month” in Pennsylvania. “Our commonwealth has a long, fascinating history of how we worked to free enslaved people through the underground railroad and it’s time we bring this to light,” Shusterman said. “Pennsylvania hosted a series of safe houses, agents, conductors and stations that helped freedom seekers secure their independence in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. “Black history is a subject that is often oversimplified or swept under the rug, so I’m working on the legislative level to raise awareness and educate Pennsylvanians on this matter so we can continue making meaningful changes in the future.” Shusterman added that Pennsylvania played a pivotal role in the success of the underground railroad as thousands of men and women risked their own freedom to help people escape from bondage. Additionally, the American Anti-Slavery Society, an interracial organization dedicated to the entire abolition of slavery in the United States, was founded in Philadelphia in 1833. Read more

 

Supporting those who care for our loved ones: COVID-19 and the DSP crisis

(Sep 17, 2020)

Enduring low wages and working 12-plus-hour days while trying to provide for families and pay bills have always been concerns of direct support professionals. Like most Pennsylvanians working throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, DSPs’ stresses are only growing. In recognition of DSP Week, Sept. 13 – 19, I’m advocating to strengthen Pennsylvania’s DSP workforce and provide them with the necessary tools to succeed on the job and to provide for their own families. DSPs provide around-the-clock care for people living with intellectual disabilities or autism, physical disabilities and seniors. They are as essential to society as frontline health care workers, yet their wages barely keep them out of poverty. Low pay, long days and the challenges many of them face relying on public transportation all feed into Pennsylvania’s DSP crisis. Though this always has been the challenge facing DSPs, the pandemic makes matters even worse for them and those who rely on their care. The low wages and challenges of the job already discouraged many people from choosing a career as a DSP, and the pandemic is only making the work increasingly dangerous. These factors are converging and shrinking the pool of trained professionals available to care for our loved ones. The storm is threatening – if not taking – more lives every day. Neither the vulnerable among us nor the heroic Pennsylvanians who care for them can afford another minute of inaction. Read more

 

Rep. Shusterman's Fall 2020 Newsletter

(Sep 03, 2020)

Rep. Shusterman's 4-page September newsletter highlighting the status of some of her bills, important Election Day information, updates from PennDOT and more. Read more

 

Shusterman announces $244K dedicated to services for students with special needs

(Aug 24, 2020)

PHOENIXVILLE, Aug. 24 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, today announced that four area school districts received grants to heighten their education services for students with special needs who may be negatively impacted by COVID-19 mitigation efforts. The following school districts received Governor’s Emergency Education Relief grants: Phoenixville Area: $40,112 Tredyffrin-Easttown: $69,747 Spring-Ford Area: $129,716 Renaissance Academy Charter School: $5,000 “Many people are going back to school today, whether it’s in-person or online, and it’s crucial that we support students who depend on their school’s special needs programs to help them reach their full potential,” Shusterman said. “This funding will help students overcome some obstacles brought on by COVID-19 mitigation measures and ensure they can continue making progress this academic year.” Grants may be used to provide enhanced synchronous (real-time) instruction to bolster remote services and supports for students with complex needs and to provide services and support to students with disabilities who experienced a loss in skills and behavior and/or a lack of progress due to the mandatory school closures. This funding comes from the $15 million in the commonwealth’s GEER fund and $5 million from the Department of Education’s federal funding Read more

 

Shusterman announces over $1 million in grants to improve storm and wastewater infrastructure

(Aug 18, 2020)

PHOENIXVILLE, Aug. 18 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, today announced that three neighborhoods throughout her legislative district each received grants to help upgrade water, sewer, storm sewer and flood control infrastructure. The money will be distributed through two grant programs funded through the Commonwealth Financing Authority . H2O PA grant: $650,000 awarded to Phoenixville Borough to upgrade its wastewater treatment plant. PA Small Water and Sewer grants: $300,000 awarded to Schuylkill Township to make improvements to its stormwater collection and conveyance system along Paul Lemen Drive. $420,750 awarded to Upper Providence Township to replace the deteriorated storm sewer system along Carolina Drive. “This funding will help communities throughout our area enhance the safety measures in place to help us overcome extreme weather conditions like the recent tropical storm Isaias,” Shusterman said. “Chester and Montgomery counties experienced major home and roadway flooding from this storm, and I’m confident that completing these three projects will help prepare our communities to better mitigate the impacts of future disasters.” For more information, contact Shusterman’s office at (484) 200-8260. Read more

 

Shusterman demands accountability on most recent Energy Transfer incident

(Aug 14, 2020)

PAOLI, Aug. 14 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, called for Energy Transfer’s permits to be pulled in Chester County and for Energy Transfer to cover expenses associated with its recent spillage of drilling mud. Energy Transfer is the company working on the Mariner East pipeline project. Shusterman signed onto a letter addressed to the Pennsylvania departments of Environmental Protection and Health, and the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission demanding action after Energy Transfer spilled approximately 10,000 gallons of proprietary drilling mud into Marsh Creek Lake earlier this week. This spill polluted residents’ drinking water, Marsh Creek State Park’s recreation area and wildlife habitats, so Shusterman is advocating to halt its construction in Chester County. The letter also suggested that DEP and DOH require Energy Transfer to cover the cost of private well testing for Upper Uwchlan Township residents and any necessary treatment to decontaminate affected residents’ water supply with no conditions such as gag orders or non-disclosure agreements. “This is not the first incident where Mariner East has harmed our community’s residents and environment, and if their carelessness continues to go unpunished, it more than likely won’t be the last,” Shusterman said. “Time and time again Mariner East threatened our constitutional right to clean air and Read more

 

Chester County Legislators' Letter to DEP, DOH and PUC

(Aug 14, 2020)

Chester County has been plagued yet again by a recent string of Mariner East pipeline construction incidents. Read more

 

Shusterman, Krueger draft bill to help Pennsylvania nonprofits survive COVID-19

(Aug 13, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 13 — State Reps. Melissa Shusterman and Leanne Krueger have introduced legislation to establish a $100 million COVID-19 Nonprofit Assistance Grant Program. Their legislation, H.B. 2739 , would allocate funds from COVID-19 restricted receipts to the Department of Community and Economic Development to fund grants to be distributed to 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations statewide. “Between shutdowns, stay-at-home-orders and businesses now operating at a limited capacity, nonprofits missed out on opportunities to host annual fundraisers that they typically depend on to stay afloat,” Shusterman said. “We need to help them survive this difficult time because many people depend on nonprofits for their own survival. Whether they’re connecting individuals in need with housing, employment opportunities, food or health services, we cannot turn our backs on those most vulnerable to the economic effects of COVID-19.” “Nonprofit organizations play such a vital role in our communities, and their work is even more critical during this health crisis,” Krueger said. “Nonprofits help connect families to resources they need during difficult times, offer us opportunities to experience arts and culture, and so much more. The pandemic has deeply impacted these organizations. Our legislation to create a grant program dedicated to nonprofits will go a long way toward helping them continue their valuable Read more

 

Shusterman authors legislation to prohibit annual cost-of-living adjustment for lawmakers

(Aug 04, 2020)

PAOLI, Aug. 4 -- State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, will soon introduce both a resolution and a bill aiming to discourage or prevent lawmakers from collecting their annual cost-of-living adjustment for the next three years. Shusterman’s bill seeks to amend the Public Official Compensation Law to prevent a cost-of-living adjustment for members and leaders of the General Assembly until 2023. Furthermore, her legislation would prevent a cost-of-living adjustment if, at any point in the previous year, the state unemployment rate was greater than 10%. Her resolution would urge members of the General Assembly to refuse a cost-of-living adjustment for the next three years under these same circumstances. “Millions of Pennsylvanians have collected unemployment compensation since mid-March because of the economic hardships brought on by COVID-19, and many claimants encountered obstacles that severely delayed their payments,” Shusterman said. “Lawmakers cannot, in good faith, accept this payment while the people we represent and work for continue to struggle.” Shusterman also introduced H.B. 385 in January 2019, which would suspend legislators’ pay in the event of an untimely budget. “Our constituents would not be paid if they did not do their jobs, so legislators must be held to the same standard -- especially when so many people are struggling to make ends meet. We Read more

 

Shusterman supports progress on repairing several state highways in Montgomery County

(Jul 28, 2020)

PAOLI, July 28 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, applauded a more than $7.9 million state investment toward repairing and resurfacing 14 state highways in Montgomery County. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has contracted with Highway Materials, of Flourtown, Montgomery County, to resurface 35 miles of state highways. In Shusterman’s district, this includes Route 113 (Black Rock Road) at Yeager Road in Upper Providence Township. “This important resurfacing project is vital to maintaining our transportation network and overall infrastructure within our community,” Shusterman said. “I’ve heard from many residents that roads throughout the county need to be improved, so I’m pleased to share progress that PennDOT made on achieving this.” Click here to view all the projects funded by this contract. Read more

 

Summer 2020 4-page Newsletter

(Jul 27, 2020)

These last few months have been far from easy forPennsylvanians. I recognize the sacrifices you’ve made tomitigate the spread of COVID-19, from social distancingto wearing masks, and I sincerely thank you. Read more

 

Shusterman, Sappey and Howard to host virtual panel on human trafficking in Pennsylvania

(Jul 20, 2020)

PAOLI, July 20 – State Reps. Melissa Shusterman, Christina Sappey and Kristine Howard invite constituents to their online panel to bring awareness to human trafficking, with an emphasis on how it can happen anywhere, and to teach people how to identify trafficking situations. The discussion will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 30. A livestream will be available on each of the three representatives’ websites. Anyone who wishes to participate in the discussion by emailing questions to be answered live must RSVP online. Upon submitting an RSVP, the office will send instructions on where to submit questions and introduce the panelists. Shusterman, Sappey and Howard said that they wanted to shed light on this issue after the recent arrests of three Malvern residents for abducting and trafficking a 14-year-old girl. Additionally, the United Nations recognizes July 30 as World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. “Human trafficking happens in every state throughout the nation, yet many people think it doesn’t happen in their neighborhood,” Shusterman said. “Predators often times exploit these feelings of safety and security, which result in tragic, traumatizing losses. We all need to do our part and learn how every one of us can help to shut down these sex trafficking rings that so often target Pennsylvania’s women and girls.” “The issue of human trafficking is so Read more

 

Hazard pay grants now available to support frontline workers

(Jul 17, 2020)

HARRISBURG, July 17 – Workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic could see hazard pay through funding advocated for by the Pennsylvania House Democrats. Eligible employers can now apply for $50 million in available grants to offer hazard pay to frontline workers in life-sustaining industries. Throughout the COVID-19 health crisis, the Pennsylvania House Democratic Caucus has fought to support frontline workers and worked to ensure federal CARES Act dollars were allocated as part of the state budget package. Businesses in the following industries are eligible to apply for the grant funding: Health care and social assistance Food manufacturing Food retail facilities Public transit and ground passenger transportation Security services Janitorial services to buildings and dwellings More information on the grants is available here . Since the very beginning of the pandemic, and during 2020-21 budget negotiations, House Democrats have advocated for fair compensation and protections for frontline workers. Democratic state representatives from across Pennsylvania lauded the opening of the new grant program. Northeast Region Rep. Maureen Madden, D-Monroe : "I am a strong advocate for better wages and conditions for all workers. During times of financial uncertainty, hazard pay is crucial for all frontline workers facing increased exposure to the COVID-19 Read more

 

Shusterman authors legislation to help small businesses strengthen online presence

(Jul 13, 2020)

PAOLI, July 13 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman has drafted legislation (H.B. 2535) to help local businesses strengthen their online sales capabilities as Pennsylvania continues social distancing practices. Shusterman said her legislation would require the Department of Community and Economic Development to provide technical support and guidance to Pennsylvania businesses with five or fewer employees. Shusterman said her bill would particularly help micro-businesses survive the economic shutdown brought on by COVID-19 as well as help them expand their reach, allowing them to better compete against big-box stores. “The survival of small businesses throughout the Commonwealth is an integral part of our overall economic prosperity,” Shusterman said. “My bill aims to help these businesses thrive as they’re working to get back on their feet and if we experience a second wave of COVID-19 in the fall. If businesses are once again ordered to close, it’s the legislature’s job to implement creative, tangible solutions to ensure that they can stay afloat.” House Bill 2535 has gained bipartisan support from legislators throughout the Commonwealth, including state Rep. Sara Innamorato, D-Allegheny. “I hear from our Main Street business owners on how hard it can be, even under normal conditions, for them to be financially successful,” Innamorato said. “At a time when social Read more

 

Shusterman advocates for extension on eviction and foreclosure moratorium

(Jul 08, 2020)

PAOLI, July 8 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, signed onto a letter with 43 fellow legislators urging Gov. Tom Wolf to extend Pennsylvania’s eviction and foreclosure moratorium to the end of 2020 and provide additional support to renters, landlords and home owners. The moratorium currently in place is set to expire on July 10. Shusterman said that since a second wave of COVID-19 in the fall is possible, she will be fighting to ensure that no one gets evicted while the novel coronavirus continues to spread in the commonwealth and the country. “I’m calling on the governor to extend the protections in place for both renters and homeowners as our future with COVID-19 is as uncertain as this virus is deadly,” Shusterman said. “We cannot expect all Pennsylvanians to become financially stable in the next two days while millions are still collecting unemployment compensation. We need a six-month plan in place so that people do not need to worry about homelessness while we’re still battling a global pandemic.” The letter can be viewed on Shusterman’s website. For more information, contact Shusterman’s office at (484) 200-8260. Read more

 

Otten, Shusterman announce $428K Recreation and Conservation grant
Oct 15, 2020

Shusterman, House Democratic Policy Committee examine 2020 vote
Oct 08, 2020

House Democratic Policy Committee to hold virtual hearing on voting issues Thursday
Oct 05, 2020

Shusterman condemns House resolution that may alter Pennsylvania’s election results
Oct 02, 2020

Shusterman invites area veterans to free drive-thru lunch
Sep 28, 2020

Shusterman co-sponsored resolution declaring September as International Underground Railroad Month unanimously adopted
Sep 17, 2020

Supporting those who care for our loved ones: COVID-19 and the DSP crisis
Sep 17, 2020

Rep. Shusterman's Fall 2020 Newsletter
Sep 03, 2020

Shusterman announces $244K dedicated to services for students with special needs
Aug 24, 2020

Shusterman announces over $1 million in grants to improve storm and wastewater infrastructure
Aug 18, 2020

Shusterman demands accountability on most recent Energy Transfer incident
Aug 14, 2020

Chester County Legislators' Letter to DEP, DOH and PUC
Aug 14, 2020

Shusterman, Krueger draft bill to help Pennsylvania nonprofits survive COVID-19
Aug 13, 2020

Shusterman authors legislation to prohibit annual cost-of-living adjustment for lawmakers
Aug 04, 2020

Shusterman supports progress on repairing several state highways in Montgomery County
Jul 28, 2020

Summer 2020 4-page Newsletter
Jul 27, 2020

Shusterman, Sappey and Howard to host virtual panel on human trafficking in Pennsylvania
Jul 20, 2020

Hazard pay grants now available to support frontline workers
Jul 17, 2020

Shusterman authors legislation to help small businesses strengthen online presence
Jul 13, 2020

Shusterman advocates for extension on eviction and foreclosure moratorium
Jul 08, 2020