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Central Pa. state representatives laud I-83 South Bridge funding

(12 hours ago)

HARRISBURG, July 17 – Three central Pennsylvania House Democrats said they are pleased to welcome historic federal funding for replacement of the John Harris Memorial Bridge. The Federal Highway Administration’s $500 million Large Bridge Project Grant, secured by the Shapiro administration through the Biden administration, is the largest grant in state history for a transportation project, according to Gov. Josh Shapiro . According to PennDOT , the I-83 South Bridge is reaching the end of its serviceable lifespan. In addition to replacing the bridge, the Lemoyne interchange will be reconfigured, the South Third Street bridge in Lemoyne will be replaced, and the viaduct from the Susquehanna River to Cameron Street, including the Front Street/2nd Street interchange, will be reconstructed. “We greatly appreciate the federal and state governments working together to secure this truly historic funding,” said state Rep. Patty Kim, D-Cumberland/Dauphin . “Investing in the greater Harrisburg region is always a wise move. Enhanced infrastructure not only improves daily commutes but also drives economic growth, connects us to opportunities and ensures a resilient and thriving region for generations to come.” “This historic infrastructure funding for the I-83 South Bridge will enhance transportation safety and reliability, create local jobs, and bolster our economy, without Read more

Hanbidge and Cephas measure creating child care tax credit for PA businesses included in state budget’s tax code

(Jul 11, 2024)

“This child care tax credit is an innovative step for Pennsylvania families and businesses. It will help employers retain employees and help employees continue working while ensuring that their children receive high quality child care,” Hanbidge said. Read more

Ciresi highlights historic investment in education, cyber charter reform in PA budget

(Jul 11, 2024)

HARRISBURG, July 11 – After his vote to approve the state budget tonight, state Rep. Joe Ciresi highlighted its progress in delivering historic education funding and investing in Pennsylvanians without raising taxes as the reasons for his support. Pennsylvania’s 2024-25 budget includes $1.3 billion in funding for public schools statewide, including reforms to the state’s cyber charter school law to require transparency in advertising and reducing special education overpayments by better aligning tuition to the real cost of educating students. Ciresi had proposed cyber charter reforms in his H.B. 1422, which passed the House with bipartisan support last year. “This budget delivers historic progress for public education, investing more than a billion new dollars in our schools and relieving overburdened property taxpayers,” Ciresi said. “Even though we have more work to do, we’ve also taken an important step for the first time in reforming our broken charter school law by ensuring transparency in cyber charter school advertising, providing relief to school districts paying for mandatory charter school costs, and returning $60 million each year back to the taxpayers. Our successes in delivering more funding for local schools has given them more resources for students and let them rely less on property taxes, and I look forward to seeing that continue with this budget.” Locally, the budget increases funding for Montgomery Read more

PA House passes legislation to stop proliferation of ‘health deserts’ across PA

(Jul 11, 2024)

The state House passed legislation today authored by state Reps. Lisa Borowski and Paul Takac that would protect communities from losing access to vital health care services due to health system consolidations and closures, by providing the state attorney general with tools to shield Pennsylvanians from corporate mergers that would devastate the availability of health services and increase patient costs. Read more

Hanbidge, Cerrato bill safeguarding freedom of speech headed to the governor

(Jul 10, 2024)

"The passage of House Bill 1466 marks a significant victory for free speech and the protection of public participation in Pennsylvania,” Cerrato said. Read more

Ciresi proposal waiving vehicle fees for decorated and injured veterans heading to governor’s desk

(Jul 10, 2024)

HARRISBURG, July 10 – An omnibus transportation bill (HB 2301) including language from a bill introduced by state Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, to waive vehicle title and registration fees for veterans who were captured, injured or received the Congressional Medal of Honor while serving has been sent to the governor’s desk. The proposal had been previously introduced by Ciresi as a standalone bill (HB 105), which passed the House unanimously in April. With its inclusion in and the passage of HB 2301, it is now on its way to be signed into law. “When veterans return home, the impact of their traumatic experiences are further compounded by financial hurdles such as relocation, finding new homes, applying for jobs and registering their vehicles,” Ciresi said. “These heroes deserve our compassion and gratitude, and that’s why I introduced this legislation to help relieve some of the pressure by waiving vehicle registration fees. By permanently removing registration fees for veterans who were injured, captured, or received our highest military decoration, we would show our permanent appreciation for their sacrifices and service.” Currently, recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor, seriously injured veterans, and former POWs pay a $10 vehicle registration processing fee. Under the recently passed legislation, this fee will be removed, and they will no longer be subject to titling fees. For recipients of the Purple Heart, Read more

Ciresi, Marcell bipartisan bill to allow intermediate units to own facilities for instructional use passes the House

(Jul 09, 2024)

HARRISBURG, July 9 – Bipartisan legislation ( H.B. 1526 ) introduced by state Reps. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, and Kristin Marcell, R-Bucks, which would allow Intermediate Units to own facilities for instructional space passed the state House today. IUs are regional educational service agencies created by the legislature in 1970. IUs provide high-quality programs to K-12 public school districts and non-public/private schools. Intermediate units also serve as liaisons between school districts and the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Pennsylvania’s 29 intermediate units provide special education, professional development, and technical assistance services to school districts, charter schools and private schools. Every year, more than 175,000 students and 50,000 educators receive services and training from IUs, meeting a variety of needs for students and school districts. Currently, IUs are only permitted to own office space and warehouse facilities, a limitation that prohibits them from owning facilities used for instructional space; a limitation that does not apply to school districts, area career and technical schools, or charter schools. Many IUs operate classrooms and other instructional spaces as providers of important special education, pre-school programs and other educational services. All these instructional facilities must be leased, burdening IUs with rental costs that sometimes greatly exceed what it would cost the IU to purchase and own the Read more

Bipartisan bill strengthening Pennsylvania’s election code passes the House

(Jul 09, 2024)

"Ensuring a standardized and timely certification process for election results is crucial to upholding the integrity of our democracy,” Sanchez said. Read more

Brennan bill to prevent cardiac arrest death in students passes House

(Jul 03, 2024)

“Undiscovered heart conditions that affect the cardiovascular system, as well as sudden blows to the chest – common occurrences in many youth sports – are the most common causes of cardiac arrest in kids, and schools with AEDs and a plan increase the chances of survival to up to 80% from this usually fatal condition,” said Brennan. “Supporting a commonsense, inexpensive remedy to an urgent health issue ought to be an obvious choice, so I’m expecting fast concurrence from the Senate.” Read more

Ciresi bill to outlaw early termination fees for deceased persons signed into law

(Jul 02, 2024)

HARRISBURG, July 2 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi’s bill that protects a deceased person’s family or estate from being charged early termination fees when canceling certain service contracts and vehicle leases was signed into law last Friday as Act 29 of 2024. “Death comes with many burdens for the survivors, but one of them shouldn’t be termination fees,” Ciresi said. “It’s hard enough to lose a family member, but it is just salt in the wound for a grieving relative to have to pay an early termination fee because the customer has died. And it is simply gross that companies profit off a person’s death through these fees. My legislation prohibits cable, phone, telecommunications, utility, and other companies from imposing early termination fees on a recently deceased person’s family for services that would no longer be used.” Act 29 requires that written notice along with a copy of a death certificate be provided to end such leases or contracts without financial penalty. Ciresi has championed the legislation in previous sessions. This session, the bill had 24 co-sponsors, including both Democrats and Republicans. Ciresi said he was grateful to his colleagues for their support of this bill to provide additional protections for consumers. “Act 29 is going to help many, many Pennsylvania families during their time of grief by removing one less hassle as they settle their loved one’s Read more