Grant Memo: Agricultural, Educational, Environmental, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities

(May 16, 2024)

NEWLY LISTED PROGRAMS Department of Conservation and Natural Resources: Wild Resource Conservation Program Who May Apply: Counties, municipalities, educational institutions, non-profit organizations, conservation districts, and municipal authorities. Individuals, state government agencies, and for-profit businesses may be eligible depending on the project. Use: Grant applications will be accepted for species surveys, conservation, and management. Funds: Funding comes through the Wil Resource Conservation Fund and a portion of the Environmental Stewardship Fund. Grant size varies, but the average grant award is $30,000. Application Deadline: July 1, 2024 More information: DCNR website Department of Community and Economic Development: Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) The NAP is broken down into five components: The Neighborhood Assistance Program Tax Credit, the Special Program Priorities, the Neighborhood Partnership Program, the Charitable Food Program, and the Enterprise Zone Program Tax Credit. Please visit the link below for specific information on each component. Who May Apply: Depending on the program, eligible applicants include neighborhood organizations that hold a ruling from the IRS as nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organizations, and organizations operating as food banks, food pantries, or emergency food providers. Use: Use varies by program, but priorities for this funding Read more

 

Venkat introduces legislation to ease restrictions on physician assistants and eliminate print statement fees

(May 15, 2024)

HARRISBURG, May 15 – State Rep. Arvind Venkat, D-Allegheny, has introduced bills that would put a flexibility component in place for physician assistants and the supervising physicians they work with and prohibit banks or other financial institutions from charging clients a fee for a paper copy of a statement. The first two pieces of legislation ( House Bills 2294 and 2295 ) would amend the physician licensure acts in Pennsylvania and allow physician assistants to work with either classification of physician, a Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. Current law on the books mandates that physician assistants and supervising physicians must be licensed by the same state medicine board as the supervising physician. “Cutting all the red tape and connecting medical professionals with patients that need their skills and expertise to recover is one of the foundational tenets of health care and my work as a physician-legislator,” Venkat said. “Doctors want to help as many people as they can, and my bills help to break down the barriers to this mission.” Venkat’s additional legislation ( H.B. 2292 ) would ban entities from assessing an additional fee, as high as $5 monthly, to customers who request a print version of a statement from a given entity. The bill would also specify that any person or entity would still be allowed to create incentives for a consumer to select an alternative to a paper statement. Read more

 

Grant Memo: Agricultural, Educational, Environmental, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities

(May 08, 2024)

NEWLY LISTED PROGRAMS Department of Education: Public School Environmental Repairs Program Who May Apply: School districts, area career and technical schools, charter schools, and regional charter schools that operate school buildings. Use: Eligible projects include, but are not limited to, the remediation and/or abatement of lead in water sources and paint, asbestos, and mold inside school buildings of eligible school entities. Funds: Up to $75 million in state funds will be competitively awarded. There is no minimum funding request. The maximum funding request is $10 million. One application per entity will be accepted, but the application may consist of more than one project in more than one school building. Application Deadline: June 30, 2024 More information: PDE Website Department of Agriculture: Farm-to-School Grant Program Who May Apply: Any school district, school, charter school, private school, or center with pre-K classes, kindergarten classes, elementary classes, or middle school classes through 8 th grade that participates in a Federal Child Nutrition Program. Use: The purpose of the Farm-to-School Program is to educate prekindergartners through eighth graders and their families about the importance of choosing healthy, locally produced foods and increase awareness of Pennsylvania agriculture. Eligible projects will achieve this purpose. Funds: $500,000 is available for Read more

 

Venkat’s health care reimbursement legislation approved by committee

(May 08, 2024)

HARRISBURG, May 6 – State Rep. Arvind Venkat’s bill that would require health insurers to offer multiple payment options to in-network health care providers for payment for clinical services and disclose any associated fees with each method of payment was unanimously adopted by the PA House Insurance Committee today. The legislation, H.B. 1867 , would eliminate electronic credit card reimbursements being the sole method of payment and allow health care providers to choose the payment option best suited to their needs. Electronic credit card reimbursements with mandatory fees would only be permitted if the in-network health care provider agrees to that arrangement. “Administrative fees associated with only having electronic credit cards as the means of payment unnecessarily drains agreed-upon reimbursements received by hard-working doctors, nurses and other health professionals who have dedicated their lives to safeguarding the health of our community,” Venkat, D-Allegheny, said. “Let’s get our health care providers the full compensation they deserve and continue to support them in all their efforts.” According to a ProPublica article , almost 60% of medical practices said they were compelled to pay fees for electronic payment at least some of the time. These fees can also cost larger medical practices $1 million a year, and small clinics can lose as much as $100,000 due to the fees. The legislation now moves to the full Read more

 

A bill in the Pa. legislature could end non-compete agreements for most doctors

(Apr 30, 2024)

When Dr. Lorraine Rosamilia left her job at a dermatology practice in State College, she said the non-compete she'd signed 17 years ago banned her from working within 30 miles of her former office. Read more

 

The FTC banned non-compete agreements. Experts say Philly doctors should wait to shred their contracts.

(Apr 29, 2024)

Doctors should wait to rip up the employment contracts prohibiting them from going to work for competitors, experts are advising, even though the Federal Trade Commission voted last week to bar employers from imposing such restrictions on employees. Read more

 

Venkat praises over $728,000 in grant funding for local schools

(Apr 25, 2024)

PITTSBURGH, April 25 – State Rep. Arvind Venkat, D-Allegheny, announced that several educational institutions in the 30th Legislative District have been awarded a total of $728,022 in federal and state grants. The funds, facilitated by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, will be utilized for a combination of aspects, which include school-based mental health support, behavioral health support, physical security enhancements, and school personnel needs. Grant recipients are: Avonworth School District: $157,938. Hampton Township School District: $172,629. North Allegheny School District: $247,455. A.W. Beattie Career Center: $70,000. Eden Christian Academy: $5,000. Nazareth Prep: $75,000. “As a physician-legislator, I am committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of our students,” Venkat said. “Thank you to bipartisan colleagues for their collaboration on getting these essential dollars to our next generation of Pennsylvanians.” A total of $155 million in federal and state school safety funding has been approved by the School Safety and Security Committee, part of the PCCD, in appropriations for the 2023-24 fiscal year budget. Full lists of grant awardees, public and nonpublic schools, statewide can be found here . Read more

 

Frankel, Venkat: House passes bill to bar noncompete agreements in health care employment

(Apr 17, 2024)

HARRISBURG, April 17 – The PA House today passed legislation introduced by state Reps. Dan Frankel and Arvind Venkat that would prohibit medical employers from using restrictive noncompete agreements that prevent doctors, nurses and other medical professionals who leave a job from practicing elsewhere. The lawmakers, both D-Allegheny, said they introduced H.B. 1633 to end an unfair practice that limits options for providers, disrupts patients’ long-term relationships with their trusted physicians and makes it more difficult for Pennsylvania to attract talented medical professionals. “This legislation deals with employment contracts for health care providers, but it’s really about patient care – it protects the long-term patient-care giver relationship that builds trust and improves outcomes,” said Frankel, who is majority chairman of the House Health Committee. “We know it’s not always easy to find the right health care provider, and it’s important that our laws not interfere with your ability to maintain that crucial relationship.” Venkat said, “As a physician-legislator, I know that noncompete covenants unnecessarily restrict patient access to the clinician of their choice and make Pennsylvania a less desirable place for health professionals to practice. I am proud to have worked with Representative Frankel to pass this bipartisan legislation through the state House to improve patient access in Read more

 

Rep. Venkat's April 2024 Newsletter

(Apr 16, 2024)

Rep. Venkat's April 2024 Newsletter Read more

 

Governor wants to spend $4 million on medical debt

(Apr 10, 2024)

“Medical debt is a burden on thousands of Pennsylvanians and raises health care costs for everyone in our state,” Venkat said Tuesday. “As an emergency physician, I have seen patients who died from delaying care due to their fear of the medical debt they had and might further accrue.” Read more

 

Grant Memo: Agricultural, Educational, Safety, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities For Your District

(Apr 10, 2024)

NEWLY LISTED PROGRAMS Department of Agriculture: Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program Who May Apply: Agricultural producers or processors and nonprofits, for-profits, local government entities, and institutions such as schools, universities or hospitals that operate middle of the food chain activities or invest in equipment that will benefit middle of the supply chain activities. Use: Activities that expand capacity and infrastructure for the aggregation, processing, manufacturing, storing, transporting, wholesaling or distribution of targeted local and regional agricultural products Funds: Grants will be awarded to the extent that funds are available. Grant requests shall be between $10,000 and $100,000. Application Deadline: May 15, 2024 More information: PDA Website Department of Health: WalkWorks Grant Program Who May Apply: Municipalities located in either a PA Department of Health State Physical Activity and Nutrition (SPAN) priority county or in communities with an overall percentile rating above 60 in the PA Department of Environmental Protection’s PennEnviroScreen Tool. The 10 current SPAN counties include Clearfield, Erie, Fayette, Greene, Lawrence, Luzerne, Lycoming, Mercer, Northumberland, and Philadelphia. Use: Funds and structured pre-planning assistance will be available to a limited number of municipal and/or multi-municipal applicants to complete the steps necessary to prepare to apply in the future for funds Read more

 

PA Proposals: $4 Million to Erase $400 Million in Medical Debt

(Apr 08, 2024)

While Shapiro included the $4 million in his budget for this initiative, legislation to enact a debt program already exists. Representative Arvind Venkat’s Medical Debt Relief Act passed out of the PA House last summer with some bipartisan support (114-89). Read more

 

Governor wants to spend $4 million on medical debt

(Apr 08, 2024)

“Medical debt is a burden on thousands of Pennsylvanians and raises health care costs for everyone in our state,” Venkat said Tuesday. “As an emergency physician, I have seen patients who died from delaying care due to their fear of the medical debt they had and might further accrue.” Read more

 

Governor Shapiro’s Plan to Wipe Out $4 Million in Medical Debt for Pennsylvania Residents

(Apr 08, 2024)

Representative Arvind Venkat, an emergency room physician and the bill’s prime sponsor, highlighted the success of a similar program in Pittsburgh that eradicated $115 million in medical debt for over 24,000 residents with a $1 million investment. Read more

 

Shapiro highlights proposed budget investment

(Apr 05, 2024)

“As a physician, I am well aware of the importance of not only treating illnesses, but also preventing them, thereby reducing the need for costly interventions down the line. The mission of Community Health Centers like ours goes well beyond providing affordable care to individuals,” said Garrow. “Health Centers play a crucial role in filling the overall gaps in healthcare, serving as a safety net, reaching out to underserved communities, rural areas and populations with limited access to healthcare services. That’s why I’m honored to support Governor Shapiro and Representative Venkat in their efforts to commit to debt relief for low-income Pennsylvanians.” Read more

 

Governor Shapiro and Rep. Venkat Outline Strategy to Clear Medical Debt for Numerous Families Across Pennsylvania During Stop at Mifflin County Community Health Center

(Apr 04, 2024)

Additionally, Governor Shapiro’s proposal advocates for transparent healthcare practices to curtail the accumulation of medical debt. Representative Arvind Venkat, an emergency physician and legislator, emphasized the significant impact of medical debt on healthcare costs and public health. Read more

 

Josh Shapiro calls on PA Senate to pass medical debt relief legislation

(Apr 03, 2024)

“One of the joys of being an ER doc is that I get to care for anyone, no questions asked. But I also get to see the gaps in our health system and in our communities, and medical debt is a prime example of this,” Venkat said at the press conference. “In my nearly 25-year career as an emergency physician, I’ve seen more and more patients who fear seeing a physician due to the cost of health care and the debt that they may accrue.” Read more

 

Shapiro seeks support to clear $400 million in bad medical debt

(Apr 02, 2024)

“That is as good a return on state dollars that we’re likely ever to see,” Venkat said Tuesday. Read more

 

Grant Memo: Agricultural, Educational, Safety, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities

(Apr 02, 2024)

NEWLY LISTED PROGRAMS Department of Transportation: Automated Red Light Enforcement Transportation Enhancements Grant Program (ARLE Program) Who May Apply: Local governments, planning organizations, or Commonwealth agencies. Use: Eligible uses include, but are not limited to, roadway safety, mobility, and capacity upgrades, bicycle and pedestrian improvements, local technical assistance program projects, and traffic signal improvements. Funds: PennDOT anticipates $32 million available with the intent of funding worthwhile projects that can be completed at a relatively low cost. Application Deadline: A pre-application scoping form is required to be submitted by April 30, 2024. Feedback will be provided by May 31, 2024. The application period will be open from June 1, 2024, to June 30, 2024. More information: PennDOT Website Commission on Crime and Delinquency: Intermediate Punishment Treatment Program Who May Apply: Counties Use: Funds for the proposed program must be used to support restrictive conditions that are imposed as part of a county probation sentence and may be used for needed drug and alcohol-related services, and mental health treatment and supportive services for eligible individuals Funds: Funding is contingent upon the availability of funds in the FY 2024-25 budget. Application Deadline: May 1, 2024 More information: PCCD Website Department of Community and Economic Development: Multimodal Transportation Fund (MTF) Read more

 

Pa. House tackles child welfare, crowns a state candy, and axes an old law on bridge safety

(Apr 01, 2024)

Physician-lawmaker Rep. Arvind Venkat (D-Allegheny) said in a memo seeking cosponsors for House Bill 1869 that nearly half of fatal allergic reactions to food happen at restaurants. The bill would require food allergy awareness posters to be displayed in employee areas of restaurants. It would also require menus to list food allergens and request customers to inform their servers of any allergies. Read more

 

Grant Memo: Agricultural, Educational, Environmental, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities
May 16, 2024

Venkat introduces legislation to ease restrictions on physician assistants and eliminate print statement fees
May 15, 2024

Grant Memo: Agricultural, Educational, Environmental, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities
May 08, 2024

Venkat’s health care reimbursement legislation approved by committee
May 08, 2024

A bill in the Pa. legislature could end non-compete agreements for most doctors
Apr 30, 2024

The FTC banned non-compete agreements. Experts say Philly doctors should wait to shred their contracts.
Apr 29, 2024

Venkat praises over $728,000 in grant funding for local schools
Apr 25, 2024

Frankel, Venkat: House passes bill to bar noncompete agreements in health care employment
Apr 17, 2024

Rep. Venkat's April 2024 Newsletter
Apr 16, 2024

Governor wants to spend $4 million on medical debt
Apr 10, 2024

Grant Memo: Agricultural, Educational, Safety, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities For Your District
Apr 10, 2024

PA Proposals: $4 Million to Erase $400 Million in Medical Debt
Apr 08, 2024

Governor wants to spend $4 million on medical debt
Apr 08, 2024

Governor Shapiro’s Plan to Wipe Out $4 Million in Medical Debt for Pennsylvania Residents
Apr 08, 2024

Shapiro highlights proposed budget investment
Apr 05, 2024

Governor Shapiro and Rep. Venkat Outline Strategy to Clear Medical Debt for Numerous Families Across Pennsylvania During Stop at Mifflin County Community Health Center
Apr 04, 2024

Josh Shapiro calls on PA Senate to pass medical debt relief legislation
Apr 03, 2024

Shapiro seeks support to clear $400 million in bad medical debt
Apr 02, 2024

Grant Memo: Agricultural, Educational, Safety, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities
Apr 02, 2024

Pa. House tackles child welfare, crowns a state candy, and axes an old law on bridge safety
Apr 01, 2024