Wheatley introduces bill to protect public school districts from lawsuits due to COVID-19 related operational changes

(Mar 31, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, March 31 – Public school districts statewide have had to make significant adjustments in how they educate students during the current COVID-19 pandemic, and state Rep. Jake Wheatley said his measure would help protect districts from frivolous lawsuits. Wheatley, D-Allegheny, said that House Bill 2375 would prevent legal actions against districts for operational changes that they have had to make due to the coronavirus pandemic in the current 2019-20 school year. “A school district’s primary job is to educate students – and many districts have had to be flexible in implementing ways to continue to teach, due to the restrictions that many families face,” Wheatley said. “My goal is to ensure that these districts can continue to operate as best as they can without fearing legal action due to a situation completely out of their control.” Wheatley added that his effort isn’t an attempt to restrict parents’ rights, but to help protect the state’s public school districts during a vulnerable time. Read more

 

Fill out the 2020 census!

(Mar 30, 2020)

In Pennsylvania, everyone counts and April 1 is National Census Day! If you haven’t already, don't forget to fill out your census form. Our population count determines our voice in government and how much federal funding we’ll receive for education, health care, transportation and more. Whether you respond online, mail or by phone , participate and help shape PA’s future. Your responses are anonymous and protected by law. To learn more, visit pa.gov/census #PAcounts #2020Census Read more

 

COVID-19 Helpful Resources

(Mar 18, 2020)

In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic affecting Pennsylvania, we wanted to provide you with the following resources and information to help you and your family in the days ahead. Please note that this webpage will be updated as needed with additional information and resources. State Services and Resources The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has created a COVID-19 guide to assist everyone. It includes information on social distancing, mental health resources, unemployment, food assistance, changes from PennDOT and resources for small business: https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/ For individuals : https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/#ForIndividuals For families : https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/#ForFamilies For businesses : https://dced.pa.gov/resources COVID Support for PA Businesses : The following provides information and and links to federal, state, local and private resources. https://www.pahouse.com/News/?id=113388 **Self-employed, independent contractors, gig economy workers: Apply here for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits .** https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/#ForBusinessesUtilities Information from the PA Dept. of Labor and Industry on the federal CARES Act: https://www.uc.pa.gov/COVID-19/CARES-Act/Pages/default.aspx The following link provides you with Read more

 

Miller, ACHDD seek to support school districts, families, first responders and small businesses during outbreak

(Mar 13, 2020)

HARRISBURG, March 13 – State Rep. Dan Miller, chairman of the Allegheny County House Democratic Delegation, and fellow ACHDD members on Friday announced their legislative priorities to support Pennsylvania during the coronavirus outbreak, including the need to support low-income and working-class families without paid family leave or the ability to work from home. Miller, as well as state Reps. Austin Davis, Dan Deasy, Tony DeLuca, House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody, Dan Frankel, Ed Gainey, Sara Innamorato, Bill Kortz, Anita Kulik, Summer Lee, Brandon Markosek, Adam Ravenstahl, Harry Readshaw and Jake Wheatley issued the following statement in response to Friday’s statewide school closure: “The delegation, first and foremost, wants to be supportive of the school districts during this time. It is clear that both they and the governor are motivated by an abundance of concern for the health and safety of both their students and staff. We respect their decision and will work to support their needs in Harrisburg. However, while the closure may have been a necessary step, it is not without its subsequent challenges -- and those challenges must be addressed by the legislature. “At a minimum, in order to help people across Pennsylvania, Harrisburg should prioritize the following items for discussion and vote: Paid family leave legislation. Emergency funding for childcare support. Assistance for Read more

 

Wheatley: MWDBE event postponed

(Mar 12, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, March 12 – Out of an abundance of caution due to concerns related to COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, state Rep. Jake Wheatley today announced that the Minority Women and Disadvantaged Business Event, scheduled for Monday, March 23, has been postponed until Monday, May 11 . The day’s events will begin with an 11 a.m. news conference in the Capitol’s Media Center, followed by a free and open networking mixer at noon. These events will be followed by several issue and industry-focused workshops and governmental engagement opportunities throughout the Capitol complex. There is free bus transportation with limited seats leaving from Pittsburgh at 6 a.m. and arriving back from the Capitol at 8 p.m. Please call The People’s Office at 412-471-7760 to RSVP or for more information. Agencies scheduled to take part in the MWDBE event include the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency and the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. Wheatley invites everyone to participate in the event by using the #MBETakeover2020 hashtag in Harrisburg. Read more

 

Wheatley: Three area nonprofits awarded nearly $84,000 to use toward security, safety improvements

(Mar 11, 2020)

HARRISBURG, March 11 – Three area nonprofits have been awarded a total of $83,499 in grants from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency to use toward a variety of security and safety enhancements, state Rep. Jake Wheatley announced today. Wheatley, D-Allegheny, said ACHIEVA, which provides support and advocacy for people with disabilities and their families, received a $24,419 grant. The Center that CARES, an organization that provides support to children and young adults in need, received an $24,000 grant, and Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania was awarded a $35,080 grant. “These funds will ensure that our residents, who come from a variety of backgrounds and who rely on services and support from these community organizations, can do so without being concerned for their safety or security,” said Wheatley. “I’m pleased PCCD is providing these groups with the necessary funds to allow them to upgrade their facilities, provide staff training, or purchase additional technology to keep their clients – and staff – safe.” The grants awarded today are provided through PCCD’s Nonprofit Security Grant Fund Program following the passage of Act 83 of 2019 . The act directs PCCD to administer grants to nonprofit organizations who have been or who are likely to be targets for hate crimes. Priority consideration for funding was given to organizations that indicated they – or their membership Read more

 

Rep. Wheatley invites minority, women and disadvantaged business owners to state Capitol

(Mar 10, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, March 10 – In what’s become an annual tradition, state Rep. Jake Wheatley is again hosting a day at the state Capitol to provide opportunities for established minority, women and disadvantaged business entrepreneurs to gain recognition for their business acumen and gain additional networking opportunities. This year’s MWDBE event will be held Monday, March 23 in Harrisburg. The day’s events will begin with an 11 a.m. news conference in the Capitol’s media center, followed by a free and open networking mixer at noon. These events will be followed by several issue and industry-focused workshops and governmental engagement opportunities throughout the Capitol complex. There is free bus transportation with limited seats leaving from Pittsburgh at 6 a.m. and arriving back from the Capitol at 8 p.m. Seats are limited, and you must RSVP by contacting Wheatley’s office at 412-471-7760 by Friday, March 13 . Agencies scheduled to take part in the MWDBE event include the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency and the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. Wheatley invites everyone to participate in the event by using the #MBETakeover2020 hashtag in Harrisburg. Read more

 

Wheatley: $80,000 in state grants awarded to support museum, historical society

(Mar 05, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, March 5 – The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania each have been awarded a $40,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, state Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, announced today. Wheatley said the grants provide general operating support to state museums and official county historical societies that are not directly supported by other state agency operating support programs. “The museum and historical society add so much to the character and culture of our region, helping us learn not only about our communities’ rich history, but also providing resources for visitors to research their families’ lineage,” Wheatley said. “They play a vital role in keeping our communities interesting and vibrant places to visit, live and work.” The grants are awarded under the PHMC’s Cultural and Historical Support Grant Program. More information can be found at the following link: https://www.phmc.pa.gov/Preservation/Grants-Funding/Pages/Museum-Support.aspx Read more

 

Wheatley announces grant to Pittsburgh organization to help veterans overcome opioid addiction

(Mar 02, 2020)

HARRISBURG, March 2 – A Pittsburgh nonprofit organization has been awarded a $100,000 federal grant to assist in its efforts to help veterans suffering from opioid use disorder, state Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, announced today. Wheatley said the Veterans Place of Washington Boulevard will use the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration funds to create an opioid response program under its veterans’ resource center and to connect veterans to community treatment resources. In addition, the funds will also be used toward education and opioid use disorder prevention efforts. “When our veterans, who have served our country with honor and dedication, return home, we know that there are some who have a difficult time adjusting to civilian life due to addiction,” said Wheatley. “This grant will provide the vital support, including treatment services, that our area veterans need and deserve to help them and their families.” A total of $1 million in SAMHSA grants were awarded to seven programs in Pennsylvania which offer treatment and recovery, homelessness and suicide prevention services, and other services to support veterans dealing with substance abuse disorder. Read more

 

Wheatley: Nearly $1.3 million in grants designed to prevent, reduce violence awarded to local schools and community organization

(Feb 26, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 26 – The Pittsburgh School District, the Manchester Academic Charter School and a community organization designed to help vulnerable youth in Pittsburgh were awarded approximately $1.28 million in state funds by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, state Rep. Jake Wheatley announced. Wheatley, D-Allegheny, said $929,578 in school safety and security grants was awarded to the Pittsburgh School District, with the Manchester Academic Charter School to receive a $55,000 grant. These grants can be used to hire school personnel, including resource officers, counselors, and psychologists, and to purchase security-related technology and equipment. In addition, Family Guidance Inc. of Pittsburgh was awarded a $299,060 community violence prevention/reduction grant for its One2One mentoring program, which matches vulnerable youngsters with an adult mentor. These grants, also awarded by PCCD, support programs to increase community access to behavioral health and related intervention services and reduce community violence. “Making these proactive investments in our schools and in our communities truly makes a difference,” said Wheatley. “Our students deserve a safe learning environment and providing these funds will help them ensure that happens, whether it’s used for needed security upgrades, safety training for staff or to hire additional personnel. Also, supporting community programs like Family Read more

 

Wheatley announces updated legislation on adult-use cannabis

(Feb 18, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 18 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley has introduced updated legislation to legalize adult-use cannabis, which includes provisions to help disadvantaged populations and victims of the war on drugs. Wheatley, D-Allegheny, said residents and other concerned individuals have continuously raised issues with him surrounding access – notably for the low-income working class – to the state’s medical marijuana program. Moreover, this lack of access disproportionately impacts people of color. These issues include lack of reliable transportation to a medical dispensary, failure to find a physician in their community to prescribe cannabis for their health condition, or financial concerns. House Bill 2050 would allow the legal sale of adult-use cannabis through a permitting structure for growers, processors and dispensaries, with a portion of the sale of cannabis earmarked for social programs, including after-school programs for youth, student loan forgiveness and affordable housing. The measure includes his Cannabis Clean Slate initiative, which would allow for the expungement of cannabis-related offenses for non-violent drug offenders. “With one bill, we can accomplish a great deal here in Pennsylvania: undo the damage that’s been caused for over 40 years by an overzealous criminal justice system intent on criminalizing people for minor drug offenses, and create a comprehensive marketplace to legally sell cannabis to Read more

 

Cannabis Report - Chairman Jake Wheatley

(Feb 18, 2020)

Cannabis Report from Chairman Jake Wheatley Read more

 

Wheatley, Hughes hold event recognizing National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in Pennsylvania

(Feb 05, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 5 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, and state Sen. Vincent Hughes, D-Philadelphia/Montgomery, today held an event in Harrisburg recognizing Feb. 7, 2020, as National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in Pennsylvania. “We like to think that the HIV/AIDS epidemic is over, but sadly, that’s far from the truth,” Wheatley said. “Today, over a million Americans are living with HIV/AIDS, including more than 476,000 African Americans. In fact, 1 in 7 people who have HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, are unaware they have it. While people with AIDS are living longer lives, thanks to medication, there is still no cure. Prevention remains the best option.” National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day began 20 years ago as a grassroots effort with hundreds of organizations. The yearly initiative encourages black people to get tested in the hope of putting an end to the disease. Wheatley has introduced H.R. 668 recognizing National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in Pennsylvania. “We have seen significant progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS, however the black community is still disproportionately hurt by this epidemic,” Hughes said. “Despite comprising only 13% of the population, blacks accounted for 42% of new HIV diagnoses in 2018. We must do better for the health and wellbeing of our people. As we develop more effective treatments and continue the search for a cure to HIV/AIDS, it is critical we raise Read more

 

Wheatley: Governor’s proposed budget provides needed investments in early education, infrastructure, criminal justice

(Feb 05, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 5 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, released the following statement regarding Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed 2020-21 budget unveiled Tuesday: “I commend the governor on recognizing this critical need to both support a raise in the minimum wage and the fact that we have to continue to provide the necessary resources to help struggling families with childcare, transportation, and other supports. Of note, I want to thank Tammy Thompson, executive director of Circles of Greater Pittsburgh, for being an advocate for the benefits cliff, supporting working families who still need some subsidy support. "I support Governor Wolf’s commitment to investing in our infrastructure, especially our schools. The $1 billion is needed immediately, but we can't forget that our overall investment in our roads, bridges, water, air and other infrastructure is severely lacking, and we have to address it or continue to lose opportunities and families. "Once again, the governor has shown he understands and has listened to the citizens of Pennsylvania by making real investments in our education system. His push to provide full-time, all-day kindergarten is a testament to that fact. His efforts to help reduce the financial burden on our young people by supporting their college debt and to invest another $405 million in our K-12 system are definitely steps in the right direction. "I join him in his call to Read more

 

Wheatley: Feb. 14 deadline for grants available to help with census outreach

(Jan 30, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 30 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley said local nonprofit organizations, including religious groups and colleges and universities, are eligible for recently announced state funding to encourage participation in the U.S. Census. "The census is how this country counts its residents and is used as the basis for determining how billions of federal dollars are allocated and federal services are delivered to our local communities," Wheatley said. "But many groups have been historically undercounted, whether it's due to their distrust of the government because of their inequitable treatment, a language barrier, or even a lack of internet access. This grant program is designed to help everyone be counted." The Census 2020 Outreach Grant Program is intended to support grassroots efforts promoting awareness and participation in the 2020 Census in Pennsylvania with a focus on efforts targeting hard-to-count populations, such as non-primary-English speakers, ethnic minorities, immigrant and rural communities, children, the elderly, LGBTQ people and the homeless. Up to $50,000 is available per grant. The funds may be used for local media advertising, sponsoring census-related events in the community, technology rentals for census participation, event costs for outreach activities and administrative costs. Wheatley noted that this is a time-sensitive grant program; the deadline to apply is Feb. 14. For more information, visit Read more

 

Wheatley: Pittsburgh School District to receive PAsmart grant to support science and technology education

(Jan 17, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 17 – The Pittsburgh School District has been awarded a $35,000 PAsmart grant designed to advance science and technology education from pre-kindergarten through grade 12, state Rep. Jake Wheatley announced today. Wheatley, D-Allegheny, said the grants represent one component of Governor Tom Wolf’s PAsmart initiative, which will provide $20 million to bring computer science and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education to students and provide professional development for educators. “These truly are smart investments in our state’s future,” Wheatley said. “This latest component of the PAsmart program will be instrumental in providing our students with the science and technology education and skills they will need for high-demand jobs and also effectively meet the needs of local businesses.” A total of $5.7 million in grants were awarded to help schools statewide introduce and expand computer science training. The funds will also be used to provide educators from pre-kindergarten through grade 12 with the necessary computer science training. More information on the PAsmart initiative can be found at this link: https://www.pasmart.gov/ . Read more

 

Wheatley: Community College of Allegheny County and Point Park University awarded funds to combat campus sexual assaults

(Jan 17, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 17 – The Community College of Allegheny County and Point Park University each will receive a $30,000 grant to raise awareness of and prevent campus sexual assaults, state Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, announced today. The funds originate from the national “It’s On Us” campaign, created four years ago by President Obama, to educate college students about sexual violence and assault, Wheatley said. Pennsylvania was the first state in the country to create its own statewide “It’s On Us” campaign, he added. “Each student on our college and university campuses deserves to learn in an environment that is free from any and all forms of violent or threatening behavior, and that includes sexual assault,” Wheatley said. “These funds will not only provide violence-prevention education to students and staff, but also ensure resources are there to help survivors of these crimes.” Since its inception, Pennsylvania has received nearly $4 million in “It’s On Us” grants to create sexual assault prevention and education programs at campuses across the commonwealth. More information can be found at the following link: https://www.governor.pa.gov/its-on-us/ . Read more

 

Wheatley: Driver’s license restoration bill approved by committee

(Jan 15, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 15 – A measure to create a restoration period to help Pennsylvania drivers with suspended licenses was unanimously approved by the House Transportation Committee, state Rep. Jake Wheatley announced today. Wheatley, D-Allegheny, said that H.B. 80 would enact a one-year restoration program, giving affected drivers the opportunity to pay off fines and costs either through a payment plan or by completing community service. He added PennDOT estimates that over a million suspended driver’s licenses exist in Pennsylvania, and the suspensions and increased fines create significant burdens that can quickly spiral out of control. “I have heard firsthand of drivers who received a suspension, who then were faced with impossible decisions: how will they get to work, or what will they do if their child gets sick,” Wheatley said. “Do they take a chance and drive to work or to the doctor’s office, risking additional suspension penalties, or do they struggle to find adequate transportation? My bill would provide a solution and real help for these affected drivers.” Wheatley added that this restoration program, modeled after a similar program in California, would break the vicious cycle of suspensions, fines and penalties, but would still require affected drivers to serve the suspension for the underlying offense. The bill now heads to the full House for consideration. Read more

 

Wheatley: Duquesne University to receive $78,000 opioid use prevention grant

(Jan 08, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, Jan. 8 – Duquesne University has been awarded a $78,305 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services grant designed to prevent and reduce the use of opioids by college students, state Rep. Jake Wheatley announced today. Wheatley, D-Allegheny, said the university’s grant is part of the federal $55.9 million SAMSHA grant awarded last year to Pennsylvania to support the statewide response to the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic. A total of 13 higher education institutions were awarded grants to expand existing preventive programs or to create initiatives with key local stakeholders. These projects can include increasing access to overdose reversal trainings, grief support and raising campus awareness on the dangers of opioid abuse. “We can play a significant role in saving lives on our college campuses through educating young people on the risks of opioid use and also providing them with training on how to administer naloxone,” Wheatley said. “With college-aged students among the hardest hit demographics in Pennsylvania, it’s imperative we continue to fight this epidemic and save lives through prevention and treatment.” For more information on Pennsylvania’s efforts to combat the opioid crisis, including county resources and treatment information, please visit https://www.pa.gov/guides/opioid-epidemic/ . Read more

 

Wheatley: Hilltop neighborhood receives state funds to support, restore buildings in business district

(Dec 31, 2019)

PITTSBURGH, Dec. 31 – A South Pittsburgh-based nonprofit has been awarded a $41,000 state grant to restore and support two anchor buildings in the Hilltop neighborhood of Allentown, state Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, announced today. Wheatley said the $41,026 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s Keystone Communities program will be used by the Hilltop Alliance to stabilize and enhance the two buildings in the first block of Allentown’s East Warrington Avenue business district. “This grant will help ensure communities and neighborhoods like Allentown remain vibrant centers for business and culture, with the combined goal of economic development and enhancing the overall quality of life for residents and visitors alike,” said Wheatley. “Such investments help these neighborhood communities preserve and protect its heritage for generations to come.” The Keystone Communities program, administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, supports local initiatives designed to grow and stabilize neighborhoods and communities, foster effective public-private partnerships, and enhance the overall quality of life for residents. More information on the program can be found here . Read more

 

Wheatley introduces bill to protect public school districts from lawsuits due to COVID-19 related operational changes
Mar 31, 2020

Fill out the 2020 census!
Mar 30, 2020

COVID-19 Helpful Resources
Mar 18, 2020

Miller, ACHDD seek to support school districts, families, first responders and small businesses during outbreak
Mar 13, 2020

Wheatley: MWDBE event postponed
Mar 12, 2020

Wheatley: Three area nonprofits awarded nearly $84,000 to use toward security, safety improvements
Mar 11, 2020

Rep. Wheatley invites minority, women and disadvantaged business owners to state Capitol
Mar 10, 2020

Wheatley: $80,000 in state grants awarded to support museum, historical society
Mar 05, 2020

Wheatley announces grant to Pittsburgh organization to help veterans overcome opioid addiction
Mar 02, 2020

Wheatley: Nearly $1.3 million in grants designed to prevent, reduce violence awarded to local schools and community organization
Feb 26, 2020

Wheatley announces updated legislation on adult-use cannabis
Feb 18, 2020

Cannabis Report - Chairman Jake Wheatley
Feb 18, 2020

Wheatley, Hughes hold event recognizing National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in Pennsylvania
Feb 05, 2020

Wheatley: Governor’s proposed budget provides needed investments in early education, infrastructure, criminal justice
Feb 05, 2020

Wheatley: Feb. 14 deadline for grants available to help with census outreach
Jan 30, 2020

Wheatley: Pittsburgh School District to receive PAsmart grant to support science and technology education
Jan 17, 2020

Wheatley: Community College of Allegheny County and Point Park University awarded funds to combat campus sexual assaults
Jan 17, 2020

Wheatley: Driver’s license restoration bill approved by committee
Jan 15, 2020

Wheatley: Duquesne University to receive $78,000 opioid use prevention grant
Jan 08, 2020

Wheatley: Hilltop neighborhood receives state funds to support, restore buildings in business district
Dec 31, 2019