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Burgos and Guzman call on President Biden to waive a federal law to allow essential fuel shipments to Puerto Rico

(Sep 29, 2022)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 29 – State Reps. Danilo Burgos, D-Phila, and Manuel Guzman, D-Berks, today sent a letter to President Joe Biden requesting to waive the maritime shipment restrictions stated in the Jones Act to help restore power in Puerto Rico. In the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona, the island is struggling to get the necessary loads of fuel to move forward. The Jones Act requires that ships transporting goods between United States ports be made in America and owned by American companies. The lawmakers, who lead the Pennsylvania Latino Caucus, emphasized that this Act, also known as Merchant Marine Act of 1920, is narrowing the survival chances of victims of Fiona. “The Jones Act is one of the core factors limiting the recovery of the island against the backdrop of Hurricane Fiona. A clock is ticking for all the people impacted by this natural disaster,” Burgos said. “We urge President Biden to ease the burden for Puerto Ricans, regardless of political or statehood status, and manage this situation with the same urgency that would involve any of the 50 states in the country. This is a matter of survival and empathy.” Guzman explained that the island-wide power outrage has left an estimated 320,232 homes and business without power, relying on generators on a daily basis, which has worsened the living conditions of residents of the Caribbean Island. “As of today, according to LUMA Energy which operates Puerto Rico’s Read more

Pashinski, O’Mara introduce legislation with bipartisan support to reform hospital closure process

(Sep 23, 2022)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 23 – State Reps. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Luzerne, and Jennifer O’Mara, D-Delaware, introduced legislation on Friday that would bring more accountability to the process of hospital closures to ensure that Pennsylvanians can receive uninterrupted care and that hospital systems must honor their duty to their patients, staff, and the communities they serve. The legislation is a companion to State Sen. Carolyn Comitta’s S.B. 1324 , introduced earlier this month. “When hospitals and health care facilities close or drastically reduce services with little or no notice, their patients, doctors, nurses, and staff suffer,” Pashinski said. “We’re witnessing this firsthand in Luzerne County with the sudden announcement that First Hospital intends to close by October without any apparent plans in place to provide for continuity of care or help their staff transition. This bipartisan, bicameral legislation would be a significant step toward ensuring health care facilities planning to close provide local communities and government agencies the time, information, and opportunity they need to adequately address these significant impacts and plan for related challenges.” “Pennsylvania law needs to improve how it handles for-profit health systems, especially during shutdowns,” O’Mara said. “We need more time to study to find out the impact that closures have on communities, as well as on what Read more

Sappey, Bullock and Rabb introduce resolution recognizing September as Transcontinental Underground Railroad Month

(Sep 21, 2022)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 21 – State Reps. Christina Sappey, D-Chester, Donna Bullock, D-Phila., and Christopher Rabb, D-Phila., have introduced H.R. 229 , recognizing September 2022 as “Transcontinental Underground Railroad Month” in Pennsylvania. Sappey had introduced resolutions commemorating the month in previous legislative sessions and this year was joined by colleagues Bullock and Rabb. The language of the document was drafted with support from the Legislative Black Caucus and the House Equity Committee. “The Underground Railroad is a significant freedom movement in American history and an integral component in the advancement of African Americans,” said Sappey. “I am proud to reintroduce this resolution and pay tribute to those who have taken great risks for freedom.” The trans-Atlantic slave trade began as early as the 15th century, introducing a system of slavery that was commercialized, racialized and inherited. People were forcefully abducted from Africa, enslaved in the American colonies and exploited to work in the production of crops, such as tobacco and cotton. During the era of slavery in the United States, the Underground Railroad served as a route to freedom for enslaved African Americans from throughout the United States, including Pennsylvania. While the Gradual Abolition Act was adopted by the Commonwealth in 1780, it required individuals who were slaves before 1780 to remain enslaved, allowing the Read more

Krueger: Three local projects receive more than $473K in state grant funding

(Sep 20, 2022)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 20 – State Rep. Leanne Krueger announced today three grants totaling $473,816 in state funding through the Commonwealth Financing Authority . Brookhaven Borough received $211,140 through the Greenways, Trails and Recreation Grant Program to i nstall field lighting at Samson and Memorial parks to allow both baseball and softball games to be played into the early evening hours. It will also allow other types of community events to take place into a later hour of the day. “I am pleased to see Brookhaven Borough receive this funding,” said Krueger, D-Delaware. “Back in February, I met with parents who advocated for field lighting so more children can play baseball and softball. This state grant will benefit everyone who uses these fields.” Nether Providence Township received $122,676 through the Greenways, Trails and Recreation Grant Program for Phase I of trail development in Houston Park. This project will install a trailhead, a small parking area including an ADA-compliant space, a trail connection to the athletic fields, and the partial restoration of a historic bridge. Nether Providence Township also received $140,000 through the Watershed Restoration and Protection Grant Program for the Houston Community Park streambank restoration project along Ridley Creek. The township will restore and stabilize a portion of the streambank and Read more

Howard applauds more than $158,000 in state funding

(Sep 20, 2022)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 20 – State Rep. Kristine Howard, D-Chester, announced today Malvern Borough was awarded $158,249 in Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program funding for the Randolph Woods Preserve’s phase 1 improvements. The preserve is a 43-acre park within the Malvern Borough park system. The phase 1 improvements include the construction of an ADA-compliant trail and boardwalk, ADA-compliant pedestrian bridge, ADA-compliant parking area, nature-based play area, six benches, a bike rack and four picnic tables, the planting of eight trees and best management practices for stormwater control. “Randolph Woods is a personal favorite of my staff and mine, and I’m very pleased to see Malvern Borough receive this funding,” said Howard. “These planned updates include several ADA-compliant improvement projects, which will allow even more people to access and enjoy this beautiful park.” The Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program funds, provided through the Commonwealth Financing Authority , can be used to develop, rehabilitate and improve public parks, recreation areas, greenways, trails and river conservation. Anyone with questions should contact Howard’s office at (610) 251-1070 or RepHoward@pahouse.net . Read more

Sappey announces more than $239,000 for environmental projects

(Sep 20, 2022)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 20 – State Rep. Christina Sappey, D-Chester, today announced two grants totaling $239,037 were awarded to projects in the 158 th Legislative District. The funding was provided through the Commonwealth Financing Authority ’s Act 13 grant programs. Kennett Square Borough will receive $125,000 through the Greenways, Trails and Recreation Grant Program to restore Red Clay Park. The borough is proposing a transformative urban green space, trail, and ecological restoration project in the heart of the community. The project includes the removal of invasive species along the creek and stabilization of the streambank through riparian buffer plantings. In addition, the borough will construct creek access and new portions of trailways with picnic tables and welcome signs. “I was happy to support Kennett Square Borough’s application for these funds,” said Sappey. “The Red Clay Park and Creek Restoration Project will provide environmental and recreational benefits in an optimal location, creating key pedestrian connections to Kennett High School, the YMCA, the new library, Anson B. Nixon Park, local businesses and more.” Over the past decade the borough, in partnership with the Kennett Trails Alliance, has advanced the Kennett Greenway, a planned 14-plus-mile pedestrian and bicycle loop to connect the borough to everyday destinations. The greenway will run through 30 Read more

Guzman and Burgos join efforts to aid people affected by Hurricane Fiona in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic

(Sep 19, 2022)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 19 – State Reps. Manuel Guzman, D-Berks, and Danilo Burgos, D-Phila., today announced they are joining forces to help people affected by severe flooding and damages caused by Hurricane Fiona in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. The lawmakers, who lead the Pennsylvania Latino Caucus, thanked Governor Tom Wolf for deploying two members of PA Task Force 1 to Puerto Rico to support Hurricane Fiona response. They also urge Wolf to use the full force of his power to help the islands of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. “The flooding has already impacted the water system and many families are now homeless. Puerto Rico is still suffering from the lingering effects of Hurricane Maria and currently experiencing an island-wide black out,” Guzman said. Guzman and Burgos call on Gov. Wolf to use PEMA to immediately offer humanitarian assistance to these islands. Pennsylvania has the fourth largest population of Puerto Ricans outside the island. “A lot of people are suffering the effects of Hurricane Fiona. As a legislator I feel compelled to work diligently to provide resources and the necessary help to people impacted by this natural catastrophe. To help them is also to help the people that I represent in my district because they are concerned about the well-being of their relatives back home in the islands,” Guzman said. Burgos emphasized that it is crucial to receive the support of PEMA because it would Read more

Shusterman urges colleagues to vote “NO” on the Animal Welfare Board bill

(Sep 15, 2022)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 15 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, is urging her colleagues in the legislature to vote “no” on S.B. 907. The bill would create a Domestic Animal Welfare Board to review existing laws and regulations related to the keeping and handling of animals and to make recommendations for legislative and regulatory changes. “While having a board oversee animal welfare may sound like a good thing, I fear that this board will be packed with members who represent the pet sale industry and not animal welfare experts,” said Shusterman. “We must do all we can to strengthen our animal protection legislation and letting those who support puppy mills have a say will weaken the animal protection laws we already have here in Pennsylvania. I urge my House colleagues to vote no on this legislation.” Senate Bill 907 is currently sitting in the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee. Read more

Democratic lawmakers introduce bill to stop wage theft in PA

(Sep 13, 2022)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 13 – State Reps. John Galloway, D-Bucks, Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, and Pat Harkins, D-Erie, today announced their introduction of H.B. 2810 to stop wage theft in Pennsylvania. The bill is based on recommendations from a 2022 report from the Joint Task Force on Misclassification of Employees, which was created under a bill authored in 2020. Misclassification of employees occurs when a business wrongfully classifies a worker as an independent contractor even though the nature, type and oversight of their work determines they should be considered an employee under the law. The report found that by misclassifying employees as “contractors” the workers are deprived of wages, workplace health and safety, and unemployment protections. It amounts to tax fraud and costs the commonwealth millions of dollars in lost revenue annually. Misclassification can impact industries from home health care to construction to online businesses, like Uber and Lyft drivers. “For years, I’ve been fighting to end corporate price gouging on workers in the commonwealth,” Galloway said. “Too many companies are cooking the books and using dirty tricks to take money out of the hands of workers and put it into stock buybacks, shareholder dividends, and corporate executive perks instead of putting the money back into the communities. When HB 2810 is passed, Pennsylvania’s workers will have the Read more

Krueger applauds $42,000 in funding to provide fresh produce for students

(Sep 02, 2022)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 2 – State Rep. Leanne Krueger, D-Delaware, announced today that two elementary schools in the 161 st Legislative District were awarded grants to provide healthy snacks to children. The following schools will receive funding through the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program : $21,980 for Main Street Elementary School in Chester-Upland School District. $20,020 for Woodlyn Elementary School in Ridley School District. “I am pleased to see this funding allocated for two of our local elementary schools,” said Krueger. “Studies show better nutrition leads to better test scores. This grant will help keep students engaged and focused in the classroom.” Schools with the highest rates of students eligible for free and reduced-price meals were given funding priority. Schools must use the funding to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables and must develop a plan to establish partnerships to reduce other costs. The goal of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program is to introduce children to fresh fruits and vegetables and encourage healthier school environments by promoting nutrition education. Anyone with questions can contact Krueger’s office at (610) 534-6880. Read more