Shusterman to host inaugural town hall meeting April 1

(Mar 21, 2019)

State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, announced she will host her inaugural Town Hall meeting from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, April 1 at the Tredyffrin Public Library, 582 Upper Gulph Road, Stafford. Read more


House Democrats fight for seniors and families by delivering on Promise of Care

(Mar 20, 2019)

HARRISBURG, March 20 – House Democratic lawmakers, in response to widespread concerns about patients and clients in nursing homes, assisted-living facilities and long-term care homes not getting the quality care they deserve, announced a comprehensive package of bills to protect seniors and give family members the vital information they need to make the right choice for their grandparents and parents. As pension plans increasingly become a thing of the past and families become smaller and unable to care for elderly relatives in their own homes, House Democrats believe people need to know the long-term care options for their loved ones are the best possible – because, someday, we’ll all need a place to call home. While most facilities do a good job caring for patients and clients, as well as providing a stable place of employment for healthcare professionals, seniors, families and potential employees need the facts and protections these bills would deliver. The Promise of Care package includes: Making a Home truly a Home (Sponsored by Rep. Angel Cruz): A long-term care home shouldn’t feel like a hospital ward. This bill creates a voluntary Culture & Quality of Life Certification Program that would reward homes that go the extra mile to offer a rich, life-affirming program that treats residents like the individual people they are. Reporting Requirements when a Resident Passes (Two bills sponsored by Rep. Frank Burns): People Read more


House adopts 'Rosie the Riveter' resolution to honor women workers during WWII

(Mar 19, 2019)

State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, was joined Monday by fellow legislators to adopt H.R. 106, designating March 21, 2019, as Rosie the Riveter Day in Pennsylvania. Read more


Chester, Delaware lawmakers urge Wolf to halt Mariner operations until safety protocols are in place

(Mar 11, 2019)

HARRISBURG, March 11 – Pennsylvania lawmakers representing 11 House districts and three Senatorial districts across Chester and Delaware counties have signed a letter to Gov. Tom Wolf asking him to impose a moratorium on the transmission of natural gas liquids products through the Mariner East pipeline system until the mandated protocols are in place for local responders to properly manage a pipeline emergency. Chester County Emergency Services and local school districts along the pipeline, including Downingtown Area School District, Rose Tree Media School District and West Chester Area School District have requested Energy Transfer Partners' subsidiary SPLP to provide its Emergency Response Plan for the Mariner East project, which the responders and school districts need to complete their comprehensive All Hazards Emergency Response Plans and fulfill their statutory requirements under Title 35 of state law . The letter urges Wolf to preserve the health, welfare and safety of constituents who live, work and raise their families in the high-consequence areas of Chester and Delaware counties within the impact radius of Mariner East. “We have pipelines currently transporting highly volatile products through our communities, and our local first responders are not able to adequately plan their emergency response or mitigate our risk because the operator has failed to cooperate with repeated requests for their Emergency Response Plan,” said Read more


Shusterman, Policy Committee discuss common-sense gun reform and violence prevention

(Mar 07, 2019)

PHOENIXVILLE , March 7 — State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee public forum at the Phoenixville Borough Building to discuss common-sense gun reform and violence prevention efforts. Shusterman was joined by her colleagues from across the state including Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. Legislators, stakeholders and the public discussed legislative efforts that could improve violence prevention efforts and a path of realistic goals moving forward. “We need to protect our children and communities. It is frustrating after our nation and state has faced such grave tragedy at the hands of senseless gun violence, that action has not been taken to better protect our citizens,” Shusterman said. “We’re talking about simple measures that won’t infringe on the rights of gun owners.” Sturla added: “I think we have to make it clear that enacting common-sense gun safety measures will go a long way in protecting Pennsylvanians. We aren’t taking guns away from legal, responsible gun owners; we’re trying to implement efforts that would keep them out of the hands of criminals." Panelists who participated in the hearing included: Shira Goodman, executive director, Ceasefire PA; Marybeth Christiansen, state legislative lead, Moms Demand Action; Erin Buchner, Chester County local lead, Moms Demand Action; Star Cummin Bright; gun violence Read more


Shusterman introduces bill to help create jobs and boost Pennsylvania’s economy

(Mar 05, 2019)

HARRISBURG, March 5 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman introduced legislation today to ensure that Pennsylvania’s economy is boosted by a state loan guarantee program that assists early and mid-stage businesses. House Bill 719 would ensure businesses using the Second Stage Loan program will create more job opportunities in Pennsylvania, and would ensure that businesses that receive loan guarantees are not only located in Pennsylvania, but stay in Pennsylvania. “The Second Stage Loan Program provides vital assistance to help businesses grow and thrive, and we want to make sure we’re boosting Pennsylvania’s economy, too,” said Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery. “I was elected to bring commonsense legislation to Pennsylvania. This bill would provide a stronger economy and create sustainable jobs in my district and around the state.” The Second Stage Loan Program is a loan guarantee administered by the Commonwealth Financing Authority that guaranteed loans made by commercial lending institutions to life science, advanced technology, or manufacturing businesses. The program provides banks with an extra measure of security to encourage them to provide early stage companies with working capital. Read more


Shusterman to hold Policy Committee public forum on commonsense gun reform and violence prevention Thursday in Phoenixville

(Mar 04, 2019)

Phoenixville , March 4 – State Representative Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester, will host a House Democratic Policy Committee public forum to discuss commonsense gun reform and violence prevention efforts. The forum will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 7 at the Phoenixville Borough Building, 351 Bridge St., 3 rd Floor, Phoenixville . The media and public are invited to attend. Shusterman requested the forum to discuss legislative efforts that could improve violence prevention efforts and give legislators and stakeholders the opportunity to discuss realistic goals moving forward. She will be joined by state legislators from across the state, including Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. Panelists scheduled to participate are: Shira Goodman, Executive Director, Ceasefire PA; Ann Colby-Cummings, Chairperson, Gun Sense Chester County; Marybeth Christiansen, State Legislative Lead, Moms Demand Action; Erin Buchner, Chester County Local Lead, Moms Demand Action; Star Cummin Bright; Gun Violence Survivor and Legislative Lead, Gun SenseUs; Daniel Navin, Military Veteran; Peter Urscheler, Mayor, Borough of Phoenixville; Lalia Norford, Student Activist, Conestoga (Anna Donahue and Kaitlyn Chen); and Christina VandePol, Coroner, Chester County. The meeting is one in a series held across the state on House Democrats’ Plan4PA, focused on putting people first, good jobs, health care access, quality schools and job training, and a fair economy. Read more


House Democrats fight to protect your right to work without fear

(Feb 11, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 11 – To better protect workers, independent contractors and even volunteers at businesses of all sizes, House Democratic lawmakers announced new proposals today to help end workplace discrimination and harassment. The “Work Without Fear – It’s Your Right” plan is designed to give people the tools they need to protect themselves and their coworkers while also helping companies make sure everyone knows the rules. The plan includes: The PA Fairness Act – sponsored by Rep. Dan Frankel, Allegheny County – finally brings Pennsylvania into line with surrounding states by making sure nobody can be fired from a job or denied housing because of who they are or who they love. Until now, we’ve been counting on individual counties and cities to do the right thing and people and our economy has suffered. Give Victims Time for Justice – sponsored by Rep. Margo Davidson, Delaware County, and Rep Mary Isaacson, Philadelphia – gives victims the power to choose when to seek justice and guarantees them a right to trial by jury to seek damages by extending the timeline to file a complaint beyond the current 180 days. Ignorance is No Excuse – sponsored by Rep. Melissa Shusterman, Chester & Montgomery counties, makes sure workers and employers have the facts by requiring Employment Fair Practices notices posted in the workplace to include clear descriptions and examples of abuse so everyone is on the Read more


Legislators respond to DEP decision to suspend review of Energy Transfer permits

(Feb 08, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 8 – State Reps. Carolyn Comitta, Danielle Friel Otten, Kristine Howard, Leanne Krueger, Christina Sappey and Melissa Shusterman met with Gov. Tom Wolf and his staff last week to address the growing problems with Energy Transfer’s Mariner East project. Today, those representatives have issued the following statement regarding news that the Department of Environmental Protection has suspended review of all permit applications and other pending approvals for Energy Transfer due to noncompliance: “We applaud the unwavering efforts of community members who continue to make their voices heard and draw attention to serious hazards and areas of oversight that need improvement. "The action taken by the Department of Environmental Protection today is a step in the right direction. "We are grateful for the opportunity to have a seat at the table for our communities and we look forward to continued collaboration with our state agencies and the governor’s staff to put the interests of the people of Pennsylvania first and foremost. There is still a lot of work to be done and we will use every tool available to us to make our community’s voice heard." The same six representatives sent a letter to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission earlier this week, urging action related to a recent sinkhole along the Mariner East 1 pipeline. The letter can be found here. A statement sent last week by the legislators to the Read more


Shusterman appointed to House Judiciary, Tourism, Aging committees

(Jan 28, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 28 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman today announced she was appointed to three House committees, including the powerful Judiciary Committee. Shusterman was also appointed to serve on the Tourism and Recreational Development Committee, and the Aging and Older Adult Services Committee. “I am honored to be placed on the Judiciary, Tourism and Aging committees. I was elected to be a leader for my community, and these committee assignments give me the ability to affect change and provide the transparency that my constituents expect,” said Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery. “I will use these assignments to work with my colleagues in a bipartisan way to meet the needs of my community.” The Judiciary Committee reviews bills related to law enforcement and corrections, and the committee provides oversight for a number of state agencies including the Pennsylvania State Police, Department of Corrections and the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. The Tourism and Recreational Development Committee oversees legislation pertaining to the state’s large tourism industry and has jurisdiction over the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Shusterman is committed to historic preservation and the important role it plays in the tourism industry. The Aging and Older Adult Services Committee reviews bills that affect senior citizens in Pennsylvania and works with the Department of Aging. Shusterman took office Read more


Shusterman named Deputy Freshman Whip

(Jan 17, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 17 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman was named Deputy Whip for the House Democratic Caucus, the first freshman legislator to earn the title. “The freshman class of representatives is full of extraordinary leaders,” said Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery. “It is a strong and diverse group. I look forward to using this role to work with my freshman colleagues and listen to them so we can achieve our goals together.” Shusterman was appointed by House Democratic Whip Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila. “Pennsylvanians sent a historically diverse group of first term legislators to Harrisburg,” Harris said. “I look forward to working with Representative Shusterman to integrate the freshman members into the House as we push forward an agenda to benefit citizens across the commonwealth.” The whip is considered the second-in-command in the caucus and is responsible for making sure that Democratic members attend session and generally understand the specifics of legislation and procedural votes in the House. The deputy whips serve to assist the whip on the House floor in ensuring members are present for votes and in tallying support prior to a vote. “My constituents are looking for me to bring a new level of transparency and reform to our state government,” Shusterman said. “I will use this leadership position to help meet their expectations.” Shusterman, who took office Jan. 1 as Read more


Pa. House Democrats clean up Valley Forge National Park amid federal government shutdown

(Jan 11, 2019)

KING OF PRUSSIA, Jan. 11 – Four freshman Democratic state representatives spent Thursday morning picking up trash at Valley Forge National Park, helping to keep the historic site beautiful during the ongoing federal government shutdown. State Reps. Joe Ciresi, Kristine Howard, Melissa Shusterman and Joe Webster were joined by the staffs of U.S. Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, D-Chester/Berks, and state Sen. Katie Muth, D-Montgomery, at the National Memorial Arch. The newly sworn-in lawmakers said President Trump’s partial government shutdown means more than 800,000 hardworking Americans, including those who usually keep Valley Forge National Park looking spectacular, are furloughed and entering a financial bind. Friday, which was supposed to be a payday for federal employees, instead marks the record-tying 21 st day of the shutdown. For national parks, that means nobody on site to collect trash or service restrooms. So the four first-time Pa. representatives came together at Valley Forge to take a stand and lend some helping hands. “This is really about true public service and stepping up when there is a need in the community,” said Ciresi, who’s asked members of his staff to volunteer at least once a month with a service organization of their choice. “I didn’t run for office to sit at a desk in Harrisburg. Valley Forge is near all of our districts, so it’s up to us and all of you to help keep it beautiful.” Added Read more


Shusterman sworn in for first term as state representative

(Jan 01, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 1 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman was sworn into office today for her first term as state representative of the 157th Legislative District during a Capitol ceremony for The Pennsylvania House of Representatives. As a legislator, Shusterman said that she will prioritize bringing transparency to the role of representative, addressing Pennsylvania's infrastructure deficiencies, investing in public schools and reaching across the aisle to end partisan gridlock, as well as strengthening protections for the environment. Her efforts blend with the broader Plan for PA , which seeks to build a stronger economy for working families instead of serving special interests. “It’s time to get to work; it’s time for ordinary citizens to have a voice in their government,” said Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery. “I’m excited to use the same skills that made me successful in business to proactively advocate for reforms in the legislature that prioritize common sense over politics.” Prior to being elected to the state House, Shusterman launched a digital video company and raised her son as a single mother. Since then, Shusterman has successfully grown her business, working with organizations across Pennsylvania and the country, while residing in Schuylkill Township with her husband, Hans, and son, Paris. “As a fourth-generation area resident, I am honored to represent the people of Montgomery and Read more


Veterans services

(Dec 01, 2018)

Below are a number of programs and services available to help veterans and their families. Please share this list with any veterans in your life. Veterans Temporary Assistance Temporary help is available for veterans and their beneficiaries who need aid for essentials such as shelter, fuel, clothing and food. If eligible, a veteran or their beneficiary can qualify for up to $1,600 in a 12-month period. The Disabled Veterans Real Estate Tax Exemption Program Any honorably discharged veteran who is 100 percent disabled, a resident of Pennsylvania and has financial need can apply for this program, which provides real estate tax exemption on principal dwellings. Educational Gratuity Program Children of honorably discharged veterans with service-connected disabilities or children of veterans who died in service during a period of war or armed conflict qualify for up to $500 per semester/term to help defray educational costs. Military Family Relief Assistance Program Eligible Pennsylvania service members and their family members who have a direct and immediate financial need as a result of circumstances beyond their control can apply for up to $3,500 in grants. This program is available for active and past service members. Veterans’ Trust Fund Grant Program Grants are available for veterans’ services organizations, non-profit organizations with a mission of serving Pennsylvania veterans, individual eligible counties and the State Read more


Heating aid via LIHEAP now open

(Dec 01, 2018)

The 2018-2019 Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program – LIHEAP – is accepting applications for heating assistance grants. LIHEAP offers cash grants of $200 to $1,000 that are sent directly to the utility company to defray heating costs for eligible households, and crisis benefits of up to $600 for households in immediate danger of being without heat. Remember: These are grants and do not have to be repaid. This season’s income guidelines for both LIHEAP cash and crisis grants are $18,210 for an individual, $24,690 for couples and increases for each additional person in the household. Please click here for more LIHEAP information. Please consider visiting my office if you need help filing a LIHEAP application. Besides my office, LIHEAP information is available by: Contacting local County Assistance offices by phone or in person. Calling the LIHEAP Client Helpline at 1-866-857-7095 or PA Relay at 711 for the hearing impaired. Applying online at . Read more