Shusterman elected as third vice chair of Southeast Delegation

(Nov 30, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 30 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, was elected by her peers to serve as third vice chair to the Pennsylvania House Democratic Caucus’ powerful Southeast Delegation. The Southeast Delegation is the Pennsylvania House’s largest delegation, comprising legislators from Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Lancaster, York and Dauphin counties. The delegation’s leadership structure is divided into two levels with vice chairs who serve the entire delegation and regional vice chairs who are responsible for their geographical area. “I’m honored to be a vice chair for the Southeast Delegation . I look forward to working with my colleagues throughout the southeastern corner of the commonwealth and lifting up the voices of fellow community members as I take on this leadership position,” Shusterman said. Shusterman proved to be an outspoken advocate for individuals living with disabilities, women’s health, reducing gun violence, environmental conservation and small business owners throughout her first term. Shusterman said she looks forward to bringing these issues to the forefront of the delegation as she begins work as a vice chair in 2021. Read more

 

Shusterman: This budget fails to put Pennsylvanians first

(Nov 23, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 23 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, released the following statement on why she voted against the budget that the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed by a 104-97 vote Friday evening. “I voted against this budget as I believe it grossly misuses over $1 billion in CARES Act dollars. Congress distributed this funding so that state legislatures can extend it as a lifeline to individuals, small businesses and nonprofits still recovering from this year’s economic hardship brought on by COVID-19. However, majority leaders who put this budget together used this money to fill holes in our spending plan. “This budget that passed the House takes these one-time stimulus funds to pay our normal obligations because we failed to build up the Rainy Day Fund. Using one-time funding to cover recurring costs is fiscally irresponsible because it does not ensure that we’ll have enough money to pay these bills next year. “Meanwhile, families are still struggling to pay their mortgage or rent, catch up on bills and access affordable daycare. Restaurants and other small businesses are trying to survive off limited resources based on reduced activity. Rather than putting Pennsylvanians first, this spending plan is riddled, once again, with budget shortcuts. “This plan relies too heavily on one-time fixes and does not put us in a sound, stable position for June when we Read more

 

House unanimously adopts Shusterman resolution honoring small business development centers

(Nov 18, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 18 – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives unanimously adopted state Rep. Melissa Shusterman’s House Resolution 1084, which honors small business development centers throughout the commonwealth. Shusterman said that Pennsylvania’s SBDCs guided entrepreneurs throughout the COVID-19 public health crisis to ensure their long-term success. Located throughout the state, SBDCs provide services to get businesses started and help them continue on the path to success. This includes helping a business establish and utilize e-commerce, which has become a necessity during the pandemic. “Small businesses are the backbone of our communities. When they need assistance or advice, small business development centers are the ones to help them, especially during these unprecedented times,” Shusterman said. “These centers have helped create over six thousand businesses since 2011 and generated over $3 billion in sales. As this is an extremely difficult time for small business owners, we need to thank those dedicated to helping them succeed.” Questions may be directed to Shusterman’s office by calling (484) 200-8260 or emailing RepShusterman@pahouse.net . Read more

 

Shusterman: $414K in Safe Schools grants awarded

(Nov 16, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 16 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, helped announce today more than $7 million in state Safe Schools grants, with $414,607 headed to schools educating students in her legislative district. The Pennsylvania Department of Education awards the competitive grants to prevent and reduce violent incidents, to purchase safety and security-related equipment and to provide for training and compensation of school resource and police officers. “Our students deserve every opportunity to succeed, and that includes safe spaces to learn and grow. I am so pleased to see area schools awarded with this critical funding, and know that it will go a long way toward ensuring a sense of security for our students, faculty and staff alike,” Shusterman said. For the full 2020-21 awards by school district, visit here: https://www.education.pa.gov/Schools/safeschools/fundinggrants/Pages/default.aspx . More information about the types of grants awarded and on the program applications is available online: School Police Officer . School Resource Officer, Municipality . School Resource Officer, School Entity . Equipment Grant . Program Grant School Resource Officer, Municipality-Police Department Application . Read more

 

Shusterman thanks military service members this Veterans Day

(Nov 10, 2020)

PAOLI, Nov. 10 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, extended her thanks and appreciation for Montgomery and Chester counties’ veterans by hosting a drive-thru lunch. Shusterman said that the drive-thru lunch replaced her annual veteran’s breakfast to ensure that those who served can still be recognized while following COVID-19 safety guidelines. “Although we’re still in the era of social distancing, I wanted to personally thank the servicemen and women of the 157th Legislative District in a safe, accessible way,” Shusterman said. “This contactless lunch was a token of my appreciation for veterans’ and active duty military members’ service, but know that my office is always ready to assist you and connect you with the many veterans’ programs that our commonwealth has to offer.” Shusterman added that in lieu of visiting veterans in hospitals and long-term care facilities this Veterans Day, her staff and she delivered care packages to veterans in facilities throughout her district. Photos from Shusterman’s drive-thru lunch can be found on her legislative Facebook page. Read more

 

Shusterman brings home over $800K in relief for small businesses impacted by COVID-19

(Oct 26, 2020)

PAOLI, Oct. 26 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, brought home $800,000 benefiting 40 local businesses throughout her legislative district in the form of COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business grants. “I’ve worked with my colleagues and the Wolf administration to establish the COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business grant program and ensure the long-term success of small businesses throughout the commonwealth,” Shusterman said. “It’s been the most difficult year imaginable for many small business owners, so I’m proud to help bring nearly $1 million in relief back to the 157th Legislative District.” Since taking office, Shusterman has secured $6.27 million in grants for her district. This funding has benefitted small businesses, schools, local infrastructure, environmental conservation, veterans and first responders, seniors, historical preservation, and more. “Part of my job as our community’s elected representative is to ensure our neighborhoods get their fair share of funding. I’m proud to help bring over $6 million back to the district, but I’m still fighting for more to ensure our local businesses will emerge strong from the economic impacts brought on by COVID-19.” To support local restaurants and bars, Shusterman said she stands with Gov. Wolf and called on the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to waive liquor Read more

 

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 elected as third vice chair of Southeast Delegation
Nov 30, 2020

Shusterman: This budget fails to put Pennsylvanians first
Nov 23, 2020

House unanimously adopts Shusterman resolution honoring small business development centers
Nov 18, 2020

Shusterman: $414K in Safe Schools grants awarded
Nov 16, 2020

Shusterman thanks military service members this Veterans Day
Nov 10, 2020

Shusterman brings home over $800K in relief for small businesses impacted by COVID-19
Oct 26, 2020

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