Spring 2015 Newsletter

(May 06, 2015)

State Representative P. Michael Sturla's Spring 2015 Report to the 96th. Inside: Policy Committee update, upcoming events and more. Read more


PCN Call-In Program, PA Budget

(May 04, 2015)

With the June 30th state budget deadline less than two months away, negotiations between legislative leaders and the Administration are expected to become more frequent. Rep. Mike Sturla (D- Lancaster) and Rep. Stephen Bloom (R- Cumberland) join us to talk about the PA Budget. Topics include state pensions, property tax, and Gov. Tom Wolf's proposed tax shifts. Read more


Raise the wage, boost the economy

(Apr 02, 2015)

An increase in the state's minimum wage would lift many low-wage workers out of poverty and provide a boost to local economies. Rep. Sturla co-hosted a recent House Democratic Policy Committee hearing on the issue. Read more


Harkins, Policy Committee examine commonwealth’s commitment to education funding

(Mar 23, 2015)

Requested by state Rep. Pat Harkins, D-Erie, the House Democratic Policy Committee held a public hearing today on Gov. Tom Wolf’s education funding proposal to collect input from local school superintendents and a fair education funding advocate. “House Democrats and I believe the key to a better future starts with a solid education that requires a stronger investment from the state,” Harkins said. “Hearing the testimonies of our local superintendents brings the need for, not only more funding, but also a fair funding formula into clear focus.” Read more


Dawkins, HDPC discuss education funding

(Mar 09, 2015)

PHILADELPHIA, March 9 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., served as co-chairman of today’s House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing on education funding in Philadelphia. Dawkins requested the hearing, citing the need for a fair education funding formula that would give students in urban districts an equal opportunity at a quality education in Pennsylvania. "As a new legislator, the oath of office is fresh in my mind," Dawkins said. "We have a constitutional obligation to provide a quality education to all Pennsylvania children. We need to do everything in our power to uphold that commitment, regardless of where students live." Those testifying at the hearing included: Pedro Rivera, acting secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Education; Philadelphia City Council members Maria Quinones-Sanchez, 7th District, and Jannie Blackwell, 3rd District; Isaiah Thomas, associate dean of students at Sankofa Freedom Academy Charter School; Helen Gym, co-founder, Parents United for Public Education; Nelson Diaz, partner at Dilworth Paxson LLP; Brett Schaeffer, communications director and policy analyst at the Education Law Center; Dr. Joan Duvall-Flynn, Education Committee chair of the PA State Conference of NAACP Branches; and Bishop Dwayne Rouster, executive director of Philadelphians Organized to Witness Empower & Rebuild (POWER). Dawkins said each panelist contributed a meaningful perspective on the commonwealth’s need Read more


Sturla: Wolf budget a great start

(Mar 03, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Mike Sturla said the 2015-16 budget proposed by Gov. Tom Wolf signals a return to responsible leadership in the governor's office and a willingness to move Pennsylvania forward and rebuild its middle class. Read more


Sturla commends Wolf on bold plan for citizens of Pa.

(Mar 03, 2015)

HARRISBURG, March 3 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, today released this statement on Gov. Tom Wolf's proposed 2015-16 state budget following his address to the General Assembly: "I commend Governor Wolf for proposing a bold budget that would finally resolve our Commonwealth’s structural deficit instead of continuing to kick the can down the road with budget gimmicks. "The governor’s budget looks out for the citizens of Pennsylvania, not the special interests of Pennsylvania. Those criticizing his plan are looking out for those special interests by trying to defend the status quo of unsound budgets. Pennsylvanians elected a new governor because they want a fresh start, not more of the same. "I believe Governor Wolf’s plan will deliver property tax relief, effective investments in education, increased economic development, and meaningful pension reform that puts Pennsylvania back on the right fiscal path and benefits the citizens of Pennsylvania." Read more


Free assistance with Pa. Property Tax/Rent Rebate application available in Sturla’s office

(Feb 10, 2015)

LANCASTER, Feb. 10 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, today reminded constituents to stop by his Lancaster office for free help in completing an application for Pennsylvania’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program, which has a June 30 deadline. “Instead of going to a company that charges a fee to help fill out a Property Tax/Rent Rebate application, my constituents can contact my office to get the free assistance they deserve for this important state program,” Sturla said. “While the deadline typically is extended from June until December, there is no need to wait to apply.” The state’s rebate program benefits eligible residents 65 or older; widows and widowers 50 or older; and people with disabilities 18 or older. The income limit for eligibility is $35,000 a year for homeowners or $15,000 annually for renters, and half of Social Security income is excluded. The maximum standard rebate is $650, but supplemental rebates for qualifying homeowners can boost rebates to $975. The program is supported by the Pennsylvania Lottery and from slots gaming revenue. Sturla also said seniors across the state in past years were targeted and sent a mailing with a California postmark from the “Senior Advisory Center” offering assistance for $39; however, his office can help those eligible to apply for free. Residents in the 96th District (all of Lancaster city and parts of Manheim and Lancaster townships) interested in more Read more


Sturla begins 2015-16 House session, looks forward to new start

(Jan 06, 2015)

“We certainly have a lot of challenges facing us during the new session, and I look forward to working with Governor-elect Tom Wolf in getting rid of the multibillion-dollar budget deficit left by the previous administration, as well as re-establishing tax fairness and restoring state education funding.” Read more


Hope for Hannah legislation becomes law

(Dec 28, 2014)

Pennsylvania's children have a new protection thanks to Hannah's Law, named after Hannah Ginion of Bristol Township, who suffered from the rare genetic disorder called Krabbe disease. Hannah passed away on Dec. 28, 2014. Read more


HEROIN: What you need to know about Pennsylvania’s Good Samaritan Law

(Nov 24, 2014)

Landmark legislation passed during the 2013-14 Legislative Session now allows first responders, including law enforcement, fire fighters, EMS or other organizations the ability to administer a medication known as naloxone, a life-saving opioid-overdose antidote. The law also allows individuals such as friends or family members who might be in a position to help a person at risk of experiencing an opioid-related overdose to obtain a prescription for naloxone. Additionally, Act 139 provides immunity from prosecution for those responding to and reporting overdoses. Read more


In the News: Dept. of Human Services name change better reflects mission

(Nov 24, 2014)

House Bill 993, which renamed the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare as the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, was signed into law as Act 132 during the 2013-14 Legislative Session. According to advocates for the change, renaming the department was long overdue, and as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported, the name change better reflects the department’s mission. Read more


Do you need help paying heating bills?

(Nov 24, 2014)

As we get into the coldest months of winter, many people are worried about affording their increasing heating costs. If you or someone you know qualifies, my office could help you take advantage of a program set up to curtail high home heating bills. Read more


Apply for health insurance by Feb. 16

(Nov 23, 2014)

The open enrollment period for health care coverage is now underway. If you or someone you know is in need of health insurance, please consider visiting the federal Marketplace at www.HealthCare.gov. Applicants have until Feb. 16, 2015 to enroll. Everyone, no matter what age, needs health insurance. A random accident or unexpected illness could put you in danger of losing not only your good health but also your financial future. Read more


Sign up for the Do-Not-Call list

(Nov 22, 2014)

To register for the Pennsylvania and national do-not-call lists, visit http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/dnc.aspx or call 1-888-777-3406. Registration is free. There is a rolling enrollment; individuals may sign up at any time and the registration is good for five years. After that, you can re-enroll. And, signing up on Pennsylvania's list automatically adds those numbers to the national do-not-call list. Read more


Weatherizing your home saves you money on energy bills

(Nov 20, 2014)

Last year’s bitterly cold winter left many people struggling to pay higher-than-normal home energy bills. As we head toward the coldest months of the year, there are ways you can winterize your home to keep heat in, cold air out, and money in your pocket. Many businesses offer professional home energy audits, but you can perform your own by inspecting areas where heat escapes and cold air leaks in. Read more


Check out charities before making holiday donations

(Nov 20, 2014)

While it may be the season for charitable giving, scammers don't take a holiday. The Pennsylvania Department of State offers a simple way to ensure a charity is legitimate and that your donation will be used properly. Read more