Latest News

Guenst elected secretary of House Democrats’ Southeast Delegation

(10 hours ago)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 26 – State Rep. Nancy Guenst, D-Montgomery/Phila., was elected by her peers to serve as secretary of the Pennsylvania House Democratic Caucus’ 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 secretary is tasked with keeping accurate records and minutes of meetings of the delegation. “I am very happy to serve the caucus in any way I can,” Guenst said. “I appreciate the support of my colleagues in the Southeast Delegation and look forward to continuing to work together to represent the needs of our region.” Guenst represents the 152 nd District, which includes part of Philadelphia, as well as Bryn Athyn, Hatboro, Lower Moreland Township, Upper Moreland Township and part of Upper Dublin Township in Montgomery County. She serves on the House Agriculture, Children and Youth, Game and Fisheries, and Human Services committees. Read more

Lawmakers, activists discuss bill to protect Chester Water Authority customers

(13 hours ago)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 26 – State Reps. Leanne Krueger and John Lawrence were joined by local activists and union representatives at a news conference Tuesday at the state Capitol, where they discussed legislation to protect the customers of municipal and authority-owned water or wastewater systems in the acquisition process. Krueger, D-Delaware, and Lawrence, R-Chester/Lancaster, have introduced legislation ( H.B. 1936 ) to amend Section 1329 of the Public Utilities Law to prohibit the use of that section for the sale of municipal or authority-owned water or wastewater systems to private companies using the valuation procedure outlined there unless the system is in financial and/or operational distress. Chester Water Authority is a financially stable utility being pursued by Aqua Pennsylvania for acquisition. “Sales through Section 1329 always drive up rates for customers, so those sales should be limited to distressed systems that truly need assistance,” said Krueger. “Chester Water Authority is not in financial or operational distress. If passed, this bill would prevent Aqua from marking up an offer price to take over CWA and passing those costs on to ratepayers. I will continue fighting to protect CWA customers.” “Chester Water Authority’s Board unanimously rejected a buyout offer,” said Lawrence. “Thousands of CWA ratepayers have spoken out against a Read more

Shusterman, Hill-Evans to introduce Child and Adult Care Food Program Supplement to help feed care facility participants

(1 day ago)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 25 – State Reps. Melissa L. Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, and Carol Hill-Evans, D-York, have announced they will introduce a bill to provide additional food funds for care facilities enrolled in the Child and Adult Care Food Program, a federal program that compensates care facilities for meals served to participants. “Care facilities across the state deal with incredibly high operating costs,” Shusterman said. “Unfortunately, the federal program meant to help them feed our neediest citizens does not go nearly far enough to alleviate the extraordinary costs they face. It’s time for Pennsylvania to supplement this vital program.” Hill-Evans agreed. “Pennsylvania’s economy is stronger when our most vulnerable residents have access to essential resources,” Hill-Evans said. “By ensuring our care facilities have adequate funding, we would enable more Pennsylvanians to enter the workforce.” According to the PA Department of Education’s website , participating facilities are eligible to be reimbursed for up to two meals and one snack per participant, per day. The new bill introduced by Shusterman and Hill-Evans would expand that. Currently, participating facilities also receive federally donated commodities, nutrition education materials and annual training workshops. The following care facilities are eligible to participate in the CACFP: Licensed, nonprofit, non-residential Read more

Cruz calls on Berks County officials, Department of State to correct mail-in ballot instruction error affecting 17,000 Latino voters

(Oct 21, 2021)

Berks County recently sent 17,000 Spanish-speaking voters mail-in ballots with an instruction page that says their ballot should be returned by Nov. 18, instead of the actual upcoming municipal election date of Nov. 2. Read more

Ciresi announces $3.7 million grant to replace Pottstown lead service lines

(Oct 21, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 21 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, announced today that the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority has approved a $3.71 million grant to fund the Pottstown Borough Authority’s 2021 Lead Service Replacement Project. The project will replace lead lines in older homes, eliminating exposure to lead materials. “I am very glad that PENNVEST has made this investment in the future of Pottstown Borough as this funding will ensure that my constituents will have a modern and safe infrastructure for years to come for something as fundamental as drinking water,” Ciresi said. “This work to eliminate lead and other harmful contaminants from drinking water is crucial to the health and well-being of our residents, children, and future generations.” The funds will be used to fund a project to replace approximately 8,400 linear feet of lead service lines and 700 linear feet of water service curb stops throughout Pottstown Borough. The authority has already contracted work in 2019 and 2021 to replace some of the existing lead service lines throughout the borough to provide safe drinking water to the residents of the area. The 2021 Lead Service Replacement Project will complete this effort in the remaining sections of the borough that are designated as being in critical condition. “This grant provides the funds necessary to continue the efforts of the Pottstown Read more

Ciresi introduces legislation to fund PPE in schools, ensure safe in-person instruction

(Oct 19, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 19 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, introduced legislation today to establish a grant program for the 2021-22 school year that would allow schools to purchase face masks, other additional personal protective equipment, and cleaning and sanitizing supplies, as well as allow them to make modifications necessary to ensure appropriate social distancing. “There are over 3,000 people hospitalized with COVID-19 right now and we’ve lost too many over the course of this pandemic,” Ciresi said. “We’ve got to remain vigilant and do everything we can to make sure our schools are safe spaces for our children. That’s why I’ve introduced this legislation, which would help schools provide effective, high-quality masks for their students and staff, as well as any other PPE or supplies they need to hinder the transmission of the virus and create a safe environment for learning.” Ciresi’s legislation is similar to Act 30 of 2020, which created grants for schools to purchase PPE and cleaning supplies in the previous school year but has since expired. Funding would be available to help both public and nonpublic schools. Read more

Galloway introduces legislation to include digital wallets in Breach of Personal Information Notification Act

(Oct 18, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 18 – As a longtime proponent of consumer protections, state Rep. John Galloway is introducing legislation that would seek to include digital wallets in the Breach of Personal Information Notification Act. “Digital wallets have made it so easy for us to pay for everyday things, but there is a great risk that digital wallets could be easily hacked, and our savings stolen from us,” Galloway, D-Bucks, said. “My legislation would protect Pennsylvanians by making sure that they are notified as soon as their wallets have been hacked so they can begin to take steps to protect any other electronic data that may have been exposed as well as immediately start the process of repairing the damage caused by the hack.” The legislation is now being circulated for co-sponsors and will be introduced soon. Read more

Lawmakers introduce legislation to ensure paid time off for workers experiencing pregnancy loss

(Oct 15, 2021)

“The loss of a pregnancy is devastating, physically and mentally, and can trigger negative long-lasting effects in the lives of those who experience it and aren't able to get the help they need,” Hanbidge said. “Often in our society, working people are forced to return to work too soon after this difficult experience." Read more

Otten calls for halt of Mariner East pipeline following Attorney General Shapiro’s filing of 48 criminal charges

(Oct 05, 2021)

“Attorney General Shapiro is sending a clear message to Energy Transfer and other pipeline operators: You cannot operate in Pennsylvania and play by your own set of rules. If you break Pennsylvania law, you will be tried in a criminal courtroom in Pennsylvania." Read more

Krueger, Lawrence introduce bill to protect water system customers

(Oct 01, 2021)

CHESTER, Oct. 1 – At a news conference at Chester Water Authority headquarters, state Reps. Leanne Krueger and John Lawrence today discussed their bill to protect the customers of municipal and authority-owned water or wastewater systems in the acquisition process. Krueger and Lawrence have introduced legislation, H.B. 1936 , to amend Section 1329 of the Public Utilities Law to prohibit the sale of municipal water or wastewater systems to private companies using the valuation procedure outlined there unless the system is in financial and/or operational distress. Earlier this year, Krueger and Lawrence hosted a bipartisan legislative hearing in Harrisburg to discuss that section of the law, particularly as it related to the Chester Water Authority, a financially stable utility being pursued by Aqua Pennsylvania for acquisition. “It became clear during that hearing that sales through Section 1329 always drive up rates for customers,” said Krueger, D-Delaware. “To protect consumers, we should ensure these sales are limited to distressed systems – those that truly need outside help to meet financial or operational safety best practices.” “Ratepayers bear the financial impact when a municipal water or sewer system is sold,” said Lawrence, R-Chester/Lancaster. “Rates have doubled or even tripled for some ratepayers, even when the system servicing their home is in good repair. This legislation addresses this issue Read more