Matzie: Consumer Protection Committee approves bill that would allow Pa. to take the reins on carbon capture

(2 hours ago)

HARRISBURG, June 25 – The state House Consumer Protection, Technology and Utilities Committee today unanimously approved legislation that would allow Pennsylvania to gain regulatory control over the carbon capture process, Committee Chair Rob Matzie announced. Matzie said the process – aimed at reducing the impact of CO2 emissions – captures those gases at the source and injects them through specially designed wells into deep underground rock formations in a procedure known as geologic sequestration. “This is a good bill for PA workers, the economy and our environment,” Matzie said. “Carbon capture can reduce CO2 emissions, support our entry into other clean technologies like hydrogen hubs, create jobs and generate new investments. Right now, however, the federal government is in charge of issuing permits for carbon capture projects. Other states have started taking the initiative and applying to the EPA to gain the power to regulate those projects, and it’s time for Pennsylvania – as an energy leader – to join them. This bill will start the ball rolling.” Matzie said the legislation ( S.B. 831 ) would direct the state to apply to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for primary enforcement authority over carbon dioxide underground injection wells, also known as Class VI wells. The bill, Read more

 

Matzie encourages municipalities, community groups to apply to Digital Connectivity Technology Program

(Jun 21, 2024)

AMBRIDGE, June 21 – State Rep. Rob Matzie is encouraging local municipalities, nonprofit groups, libraries and other community organizations statewide to apply to the newly opened Digital Connectivity Technology Program. Matzie – who is chairman of the PA House Consumer Protection, Technology and Utilities Committee and a board member of the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority – said the PBDA will be purchasing and distributing $20 million in laptops so communities can make that technology available for residents. “Everything we’re doing on the broadband authority is focused on one main goal: ensuring folks have quick, reliable, affordable access to the wealth of opportunities available online – from job openings and state programs to telemedicine and shopping,” Matzie said. “We’ve made great progress getting the infrastructure and funding in place for areas that have lacked those high-speed connections, but affording hardware like laptops and computers is still a barrier for some households. “This program will allow community organizations to obtain laptops and make them available for residents. I’m urging municipalities, libraries, nonprofits – every group eligible – to apply as soon as possible.” Matzie said eligible applicants include community organizations such as libraries, municipalities, workforce Read more

 

Matzie: Up to $100K in funding secured to boost digital literacy in Beaver County

(Jun 17, 2024)

AMBRIDGE, June 17 – New grant funding of up to $100,000 from the state Department of Labor and Industry will support programs by the Literacy Pittsburgh organization to ensure residents in Beaver County and around the region have the computer skills they need to succeed, state Rep. Rob Matzie announced today. Matzie – who is chairman of the PA House Consumer Protection, Technology and Utilities Committee and a board member of the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority – said the funding will help residents get the skills required for good jobs and community connections. “Knowing how to use a computer holds the key to so many important life opportunities, from finding and qualifying for good jobs to locating essential programs and services,” Matzie said. “That’s why the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority has been working to ensure that the infrastructure and funding are in place to provide residents with access to high-speed internet. But the other essential part of the equation is that folks need to have the skills to take advantage of those connections. “The new funding to Literacy Pittsburgh to enhance their digital literacy programs is an important step toward that goal.” The grant is part of a package of $4.9 million in funding to organizations statewide. More information is available here: Read more

 

Matzie: More than $365,000 awarded to Southwest Pa. historical societies

(Jun 14, 2024)

AMBRIDGE, June 14 – New funding of more than $365,500 from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission will support the work of museum and historical societies throughout Southwest Pennsylvania, PHMC Commissioner Rep. Rob Matzie announced today. Matzie, D-Beaver, said the funding is part of a package of more than $2 million in Cultural and Historical Support grants awarded statewide to Pennsylvania museums and historical societies. “Serving on the PHMC and helping to secure this funding is important to me,” Matzie said. “The work our historical societies and museums do isn’t just about preserving documents and artifacts. It’s about highlighting the art, architecture and writings of our ancestors that give us insights into their talent and ingenuity. We’re making sure those pieces of our past are around for future generations to understand and explore.” Matzie said that the funding includes $41,266 to the New Brighton Historical Society in Beaver County and 10 additional grants totaling $324,235 to organizations in Allegheny, Cambria, Greene, Indiana and Westmoreland counties. More about PHMC grant funding is available here: https://www.phmc.pa.gov/Preservation/Grants-Funding/Pages/Planning-Projects.aspx Read more

 

Matzie: Nearly $205,000 secured for Beaver County affordable housing, home modifications

(Jun 14, 2024)

AMBRIDGE, June 14 – New funding of $205,000 from the Pennsylvania Housing and Finance Agency will bring safer, more stable housing for residents in the 16 th Legislative District, state Rep. Rob Matzie announced today. Matzie said the funding includes three separate grants awarded under the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement fund. “Safe, affordable housing means a more secure life, greater access to community services and a better chance at finding a good job,” Matzie said. “Today’s funding is going to help ensure more folks in our district have those opportunities to put down roots and stay rooted in our community. The funds are also going to help residents with mobility issues get home modifications and repairs they need to stay safe.” Matzie said the funding includes: $80,000 to Housing Opportunities of Beaver County for grants, workshops and counseling tools that promote housing stability and sustainable homeownership. (For Beaver and Lawrence counties.) $75,000 to The Salvation Army to help more residents obtain and maintain permanent housing and to address the lack of affordable housing options. $50,000 to Beaver County for a program to provide home modifications for households with mobility and/or safety challenges. Funding for PHARE program comes from Marcellus Shale impact fee, Read more

 

House adopts Matzie’s ‘Pollinator Week’ resolution

(Jun 12, 2024)

HARRISBURG, June 12 – The PA House today adopted state Rep. Rob Matzie’s H.R. 400 – designating the week of June 17 to June 23, 2024, as “Pollinator Week” in Pennsylvania – to highlight the essential role bees and other pollinators play in producing the commonwealth’s foods and sustaining the health of the environment. Matzie, D-Beaver, said he introduced the resolution to call attention to the importance of pollinators; the essential role played by the state’s beekeepers; and the value of collaborative efforts by state, educational and industry partners. “It’s estimated that by pollinating most crops and wildflowers, bees are responsible for one out of every three bites of food we eat – from fruits and vegetables to chocolate, coffee and nuts,” Matzie said. “They also play an essential role in maintaining the health of our environment – including our forests, grasslands and local ecosystems – by promoting floral growth that creates habitats for animals and insects. “Beekeepers play an essential role in all of this by ensuring that bee colonies remain healthy and disease-free.” Matzie said there are also critical collaborative efforts at work. “The Pennsylvania State Beekeepers Association works with the state Department of Agriculture, which registers and regulates each apiary, and with state universities like Read more

 

Consumer Protection Committee approves bills to improve fee transparency, help data breach victims, boost energy & aviation fuel production

(Jun 11, 2024)

HARRISBURG, June 11 – The Pennsylvania House Consumer Protection, Technology and Utilities Committee voted today to send four bills to the full House for consideration, including two bills to strengthen protections for Pennsylvania consumers, a bill to boost energy production statewide, and legislation introduced by Committee Chair Rob Matzie that would encourage the development of Sustainable Aviation Fuel. Matzie was optimistic about the committee’s progress. “Today’s meeting was an important one,” Matzie said. “We moved several bills to protect consumers and other bills that would boost the state’s energy production, including my bill that would jumpstart Pennsylvania’s production of Sustainable Aviation Fuel. I’m looking forward to seeing these bills shepherded through the House.” Matzie said the Pittsburgh International Airport provides a unique opportunity to boost production of SAF – an alternative, bio-based fuel now being used by the aviation industry. “Our airport is unique because there are solar and gas wells right on the property,” Matzie said. “With the necessary resources and the ability to locate production facilities close to the airport, we have an ideal opportunity to meet a growing demand for this fuel, create jobs and reduce our carbon footprint. My bill would ensure we are positioned to take advantage Read more

 

Matzie lauds passage of ‘Max Manufacturing Initiative Act’ to boost industry through public-private partnerships

(Jun 05, 2024)

HARRISBURG, June 5 – State Rep. Rob Matzie lauded yesterday’s concurrence vote by the House that will send an innovative manufacturing bill to the governor’s desk. Speaking in support of S.B. 497 – which would establish the Max Manufacturing Initiative Act – Matzie said that by facilitating public-private partnerships, the bill would encourage investment in fields like advanced manufacturing, agriculture, medical technology and biotechnology to create jobs, spur innovation and attract new high-tech industries to the state. “In southwestern Pennsylvania, the regional impact will be significant,” Matzie said. “The potential for the University of Pittsburgh, the city of Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Airport and private businesses to partner with each other in building the next wave of new manufacturing and technologies is limitless. “For our county, it means jobs, jobs, jobs. Good, stable, family-sustaining jobs that we often talk about but rarely have the opportunity to legislate. This is one of those opportunities.” Introduced by Sen. Devlin Robinson, the bill would make it easier for state universities to partner with industry by providing grants and loans to applicants engaged in advanced manufacturing. After the state Senate passed the bill in June 2023, the House passed the bill with amendments in December 2023. The Senate concurred in the House amendments earlier this year and added its own Read more

 

Matzie: House Consumer Protection, Technology and Utilities Committee hears testimony on bill to accelerate state’s energy production

(Jun 03, 2024)

HARRISBURG, June 3 – The Pennsylvania House Consumer Protection, Technology and Utilities Committee heard testimony today about legislation that would help expand the state’s energy production by modernizing the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority, announced Rep. Rob Matzie, majority chairman. Matzie, D-Beaver, said H.B. 2338 aims to ensure that the state’s public financing agency is positioned to tap an unprecedented influx of funding from the federal government under the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. “This is about jobs, jobs and jobs,” Matzie said. “We have talked for a long time about the importance of having a diverse, all-in energy portfolio and the job creation and energy independence that brings. This bill moves us closer to that goal by positioning us to take advantage of hundreds of billions in federal funding coming to the states. “We need to act sooner, rather than later. Fortunately, we don’t have to reinvent the wheel – Pennsylvania already has a mechanism in place with PEDA. Now, we just need to make sure the agency is ready to hit the ground running and seize every bit of our share.” Matzie noted that stakeholders testifying voiced unanimous support for the legislation, which was introduced by state Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler, D-Phila. Other prime Read more

 

Matzie: $50,000 secured for Conway-based food program

(May 24, 2024)

“This program has been a lifeline to families needing access to nutritious foods,” Matzie said. “The new funding will help them continue their vital work on behalf of the community.” Read more

 

Matzie lauds grant of preliminary injunction to keep Quips in Class 4A

(May 23, 2024)

AMBRIDGE, May 23 – State Rep. Rob Matzie issued the following statement today in response to news that Beaver County Common Pleas Judge James Ross has granted Aliquippa School District’s request for a preliminary injunction that will stop the Aliquippa High School football team from being bumped from Class 4A to 5A under the PIAA’s competitive-balance rule: “Today’s ruling is a temporary victory not just for Aliquippa football, but for all student athletes across our commonwealth. The court clearly identified player safety as the primary factor in its determination. This is the core issue that I, and many others, have cited as the overriding reason for the Quips to remain in 4A. “In addition, the court found that Aliquippa ‘has established a likelihood of success on the merits’ of their case, which further speaks to the need for an overhaul of the PIAA competition classification formula. In that light, I will continue to work – through the legislative process if necessary – toward a more fair and equitable method of classifying our schools for athletic competition.” The preliminary injunction was granted pending a final determination on the merits of the case. The team was moved to Class 5A after winning the state title. After losing an appeal with the PIAA, the school district filed suit to prevent the move. Read more

 

Matzie: $50,000 secured for Ambridge business district improvements

(May 23, 2024)

AMBRIDGE, May 23 – A $50,000 grant from the Department of Community and Economic Development will fund improvements to a core downtown business corridor in Ambridge, state Rep. Rob Matzie announced today. Matzie, D-Beaver, said the work funded is part of the Merchant Street Façade Revitalization Initiative and will build on improvements to the heart of the borough’s business district. “We’re seeing more and more investment in this core downtown Ambridge area, and those projects – façade work, streetscaping, and other improvements – are gradually changing the face of the business district in ways that draw more pedestrians, stimulate more business activity, and rekindle interest by new businesses and investors,” Matzie said. “This latest grant will allow the borough to continue transforming the landscape in the best possible ways.” The funding is part of a package of grants awarded under the Keystone Communities Program. More information is available here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/in-bedford-county-governor-shapiro-and-secretary-siger-visit-small-businesses-announce-nearly-7-million-to-support-pennsylvanias-main-streets-and-communities-across-the-commonwealth/ . In March 2023, Matzie announced new funding of $400,000 from the Commonwealth Financing Authority to fund new streetscape improvements along Merchant Street. Read more

 

Consumer Protection Committee approves bill to set energy efficiency and water conservation standards for appliances sold in Pa.

(May 01, 2024)

HARRISBURG, May 1 – The House Consumer Protection, Technology and Utilities Committee yesterday approved H.B. 1615 , which would set energy efficiency and water conservation standards for new residential and commercial appliances sold in Pennsylvania, state Rep. Rob Matzie announced. “This is a good, commonsense bill that will benefit consumers,” Matzie said. “Nobody has to replace anything, nobody has to buy anything, nothing is banned. Appliances meeting these standards are already on the market and competitively priced. Implementing the standards for new appliances sold here in Pennsylvania could save consumers nearly $250 million annually on their utility bills by 2030.” The bill passed by a vote of 17-8. The committee also heard testimony on H.B. 1977 , which would require businesses to clearly post notice of any surcharges on credit and debit card transactions in a location easily visible to consumers, and H.B. 2186 , which would help protect consumers from gift card scams by requiring retailers to post signs warning consumers about these scams and train employees on how to identify and respond to gift card fraud. “Today’s hearing was an important consumer protection hearing addressing fees when it comes to using your credit or debit card at a point of sale as well as the gift card scams that are happening, not only here in Read more

 

Matzie: Nearly $140,000 secured for District 16 school food service equipment upgrades

(Apr 29, 2024)

ALIQUIPPA, April 29 – Food service equipment upgrades are coming to schools in the 16 th Legislative District thanks to $137,800 in new funding from the PA Department of Education, state Rep. Rob Matzie announced today. Matzie said the funding includes two separate grants of $44,400 each to Aliquippa School District, $33,500 to Hopewell Area School District and $15,500 to Beaver Valley Intermediate Unit 27. “School food service upgrades like these allow our school cafeterias to ensure that food is stored, prepared and served quickly and at optimal temperatures,” Matzie said. “That means kids get the freshest, most appetizing meals possible; school food service workers are able to serve large numbers of students quickly; and taxpayers benefit from savings achieved by modern, energy-efficient equipment. It’s an excellent investment all around.” More information about the funding is available here: https://www.media.pa.gov/pages/education-details.aspx?newsid=1460#:~:text=Harrisburg%2C%20PA%20%2D%20The%20Pennsylvania%20Department,food%20service%20equipment%20for%20cafeterias . Read more

 

Matzie: Nearly $1.2 million secured for area school security and mental health resources

(Apr 26, 2024)

ALIQUIPPA, April 26 – Nearly $1.2 million in new state funding is coming to bolster school security and expand resources for student mental health in the 16 th Legislative District, state Rep. Rob Matzie announced today. Matzie, D-Beaver, said the competitive school safety and security grants awarded by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency will bolster resources for students and school staff throughout the region. “Our kids deserve to spend their school days learning, developing confidence and discovering their abilities, and this new funding of nearly $1.2 million will ensure they do so in the safest, most secure environments possible," Matzie said. “We have worked hard to help keep these grant programs well-funded because we know these dollars are going to support one of our most important priorities – ensuring students and school staff are safe and free to focus on the business of learning and teaching.” Matzie said the grants – which include both school safety and mental health funding – include: $172,548 to Ambridge Area School District. $168,502 to Central Valley School District. $166,517 to Hopewell Area School District. $151,288 to Freedom Area School District. $150,426 to Aliquippa School District. $139,931 to Rochester Area School District. $74,500 to CLASS Academy. $70,000 to Beaver County Career and Read more

 

Matzie urges local governments, nonprofits and service providers to participate in broadband survey

(Apr 25, 2024)

AMBRIDGE, April 25 – With more than $1 billion coming to expand high-speed internet in Pennsylvania, state Rep. Robert Matzie is urging local governments, nonprofit organizations and internet service providers to participate in a critical survey to ensure those dollars reach their intended targets. Matzie – a board member on the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority and majority chairman of the House Consumer Protection, Technology and Utilities Committee – said the BEAD Challenge will provide essential feedback to ensure the new funding is allocated properly. “With major broadband infrastructure in place and new funding of more than $1 billion on the way, PA is finally poised to bring essential high-speed internet connections to the unserved and underserved areas that so desperately need them,” Matzie said. “But it’s critical to ensure that the funding goes to the areas where it’s most needed. We have to get this right. “I’m urging local governments, nonprofits and service providers to complete the BEAD Challenge to ensure those dollars are put to the best use.” Matzie said complete information about how to submit a BEAD Challenge is available at this page: https://www.broadband.pa.gov/funding/broadband-equity-access-and-deployment-bead-program/bead-challenge-process/ . The new broadband funding comes from the Broadband Equity, Access and Read more

 

House adopts Matzie ‘Safe Digging Month’ resolution

(Apr 17, 2024)

HARRISBURG, April 17 – The PA House with overwhelming bipartisan support today adopted state Rep. Rob Matzie’s resolution designating April 2024 as “Pennsylvania 8-1-1 Safe Digging Month.” Matzie, who is majority chairman of the House Consumer Protection, Technology and Utilities Committee, said he introduced H.R.300 to make sure Pennsylvanians understand that calling the 8-1-1 “Call before You Dig” hotline is not just a convenience but a legal responsibility. “State law requires anyone planning to do digging – whether they are a homeowner, a contractor, or an excavator – to dial 8-1-1 at least three days before starting the work,” Matzie said. “Making the free call alerts utilities so they can mark underground pipes and cables before excavation begins. It’s a quick, simple step that protects workers, prevents underground utility damage, minimizes service interruptions and can even save lives.” Matzie said calling the hotline is required even for shallow digging projects and those located directly on a homeowner’s private property. More information is available here: https://www.puc.pa.gov/pipeline-safety/pa-one-call/#:~:text=Homeowners%20and%20contractors%20must%20call,begins%20to%20disturb%20the%20earth . Read more

 

House adopts Matzie ‘Limb Loss Awareness’ resolution

(Apr 16, 2024)

HARRISBURG, April 16 – The PA House today adopted state Rep. Rob Matzie’s resolution recognizing April 2024 as “Limb Loss Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania. Matzie, D-Beaver, said he introduced H.R. 299 both to highlight the challenges and triumphs of Pennsylvanians living without a limb and also to raise awareness about prevention. “More than 2 million Americans live with limb loss, and it’s estimated that every single day, more than 300 people in the United States lose a limb. We see many of them navigate the world around them with tenacity and success, but what we don’t see are all the challenges – physical and emotional – they face and overcome every day. “I introduced this resolution to honor the courage and achievements of all Pennsylvanians living without a limb – whether the limb loss resulted from congenital causes, trauma or disease. But I’m also offering this resolution to raise awareness that the No. 1 cause of surgical amputations – vascular diseases such as diabetes and peripheral artery disease – is at least partially within our power to control. “While we can’t control risk factors like age and family history, other risks – including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking, inactivity and excess weight – can be changed or treated. “By learning the risk factors, talking to their Read more

 

Matzie: $700K secured for major Aliquippa building project

(Apr 11, 2024)

ALIQUIPPA, April 11 – The city of Aliquippa has received a $700,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency to support a major project that will transform the former St. Joseph School into affordable residential units and retail space, state Rep. Rob Matzie announced today. Matzie, D-Beaver, said the funding – awarded through the Community Revitalization Fund Program – will support the city’s growth and revitalization efforts in the wake of its exit from Act 47 distressed status. “As Aliquippa embraces its new independence and forges a path to a stronger, more resilient future, a key part of those efforts will include securing state investments that help revitalize and rebuild the downtown into more productive spaces,” Matzie said. “This new funding from PHFA is going to help fuel that change by supporting a major project that will add jobs; expand affordable housing; and transform the landscape in ways that invite new businesses; stimulate pedestrian traffic; and restore the kind of healthy, vital activity that goes along with building a stronger local economy. “I’m grateful to PHFA and to the state and local partners who worked with us to secure this funding, which will be key to seeing this project through to completion.” Matzie said that the completed site will include 11 new and affordable residential units; retail space that will be Read more

 

Matzie: Consumer Protection Committee approves bill that would allow Pa. to take the reins on carbon capture
2 hours ago

Matzie encourages municipalities, community groups to apply to Digital Connectivity Technology Program
Jun 21, 2024

Matzie: Up to $100K in funding secured to boost digital literacy in Beaver County
Jun 17, 2024

Matzie: More than $365,000 awarded to Southwest Pa. historical societies
Jun 14, 2024

Matzie: Nearly $205,000 secured for Beaver County affordable housing, home modifications
Jun 14, 2024

House adopts Matzie’s ‘Pollinator Week’ resolution
Jun 12, 2024

Consumer Protection Committee approves bills to improve fee transparency, help data breach victims, boost energy & aviation fuel production
Jun 11, 2024

Matzie lauds passage of ‘Max Manufacturing Initiative Act’ to boost industry through public-private partnerships
Jun 05, 2024

Matzie: House Consumer Protection, Technology and Utilities Committee hears testimony on bill to accelerate state’s energy production
Jun 03, 2024

Matzie: $50,000 secured for Conway-based food program
May 24, 2024

Matzie lauds grant of preliminary injunction to keep Quips in Class 4A
May 23, 2024

Matzie: $50,000 secured for Ambridge business district improvements
May 23, 2024

Consumer Protection Committee approves bill to set energy efficiency and water conservation standards for appliances sold in Pa.
May 01, 2024

Matzie: Nearly $140,000 secured for District 16 school food service equipment upgrades
Apr 29, 2024

Matzie: Nearly $1.2 million secured for area school security and mental health resources
Apr 26, 2024

Matzie urges local governments, nonprofits and service providers to participate in broadband survey
Apr 25, 2024

Matzie: $2.5 million awarded to strengthen District 16 broadband connections
Apr 18, 2024

House adopts Matzie ‘Safe Digging Month’ resolution
Apr 17, 2024

House adopts Matzie ‘Limb Loss Awareness’ resolution
Apr 16, 2024

Matzie: $700K secured for major Aliquippa building project
Apr 11, 2024