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

 

$300,000 awarded for a new ambulance in McCandless, Franklin Park

(Apr 01, 2024)

“Our first responders provide lifesaving services every day for our community, and we must ensure that they have the resources they need to keep our communities safe,” Venkat said. “As an emergency physician who works with EMS, a former member of the MFPAA Board, and now as our state representative, I advocated vigorously for this grant and am glad that it has come to fruition to the benefit of our community.” Read more

 

More than $310,000 to make McCandless more accessible for pedestrians

(Mar 27, 2024)

“With McCandless ranked as largely below average for walkability and most errands requiring a car, these funds will make McCandless more accessible for pedestrians,” Venkat said. “In 2022, more than 7,500 pedestrians died in the U.S., the highest since 1981. These investments in McCandless will ensure that we enhance our community’s walkability, as well as safeguard lives.” Read more

 

House passes Venkat legislation to address food allergens in restaurants

(Mar 26, 2024)

“I introduced this legislation after speaking with my constituent Kathy Briden of Franklin Park, whose son Matthew tragically died after accidentally being exposed to peanuts while eating at a restaurant in Allegheny County,” Venkat said. “Nearly 50% of deaths caused by food allergies occur at restaurants and retail food establishments. These deaths are preventable. House Bill 1869 would help ensure food safety at restaurants, protecting millions of Pennsylvanians with food allergies.” Read more

 

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

(Mar 26, 2024)

NEWLY LISTED PROGRAMS 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 PROGRAMS OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS: Department of Agriculture: Farm Vitality Planning Grant Who May Apply: Farmers, prospective farmers, and others may apply. Use: Strategic business planning to expand or diversify farms or support transition of ownership. Funds: $500,000 in funding is available. Grants shall not exceed $7,500. Application Deadline: Applications will be received until funds are exhausted. More information: Pennsylvania Bulletin Commission on Crime and Delinquency: Recruitment Incentives for Law Enforcement Who May Apply: Local law enforcement agencies, campus or university police, railroad or street railway police, airport authority police, and county park police. Use: Funding is explicitly to support Act 120 training and recruitment activities for law enforcement officers that will take place between Oct. 19, 2023 and June 30, 2025. Funds: $14 million in Read more

 

What could happen to Pennsylvanian’s ACA health insurance if Trump wins?

(Mar 25, 2024)

“It’s estimated that one in five Americans, predominantly those who are Black, Hispanic and of the working poor, had no insurance before the Affordable Care Act, and the result was the real loss of life and the real harm that was done from not being able to access healthcare,” State Rep. Arvind Venkat (D-Allegheny) said during a press conference on Thursday. Read more

 

Pennsylvania bill would eliminate $400 million in medical debt

(Mar 22, 2024)

“The beautiful thing about medical debt relief is that you can acquire, you can purchase medical debt for pennies on the dollar,” said Venkat. “It’s substituting for what is now a very broken system with debt buyers and debt collectors.” Read more

 

Local Elected Officials Urge U.S. Senate to Move Forward with Adeel Mangi’s Historic Judicial Nomination, Condemn Islamophobic Attacks

(Mar 20, 2024)

HARRISBURG, March 20 – A group of Pennsylvania state and local elected officials today issued a statement urging the U.S. Senate to move forward with considering President Joe Biden’s nominee Adeel Mangi to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which is based in Philadelphia and covers the tri-state area. If confirmed, Mangi would become the first Muslim American to serve on a federal appeals court and just the third Muslim American federal judge. State Reps. Tarik Khan (D-Phila.), Arvind Venkat (D-Allegheny), Patty Kim (D-Dauphin, Cumberland), and Jason Dawkins (D-Phila.); state Sens. Nikil Saval (D-Phila.) and Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia); Montgomery County Commissioner Neil Makhija and Philadelphia City Councilmember Nina Ahmad said the following: “As Asian-American and Muslim-American elected officials representing diverse communities in Pennsylvania, we stand with and strongly support President Biden’s nomination of Adeel Mangi to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Mr. Mangi is an excellent candidate and highly qualified individual whose nomination is now at risk due to a right-wing smear campaign tainted with Islamophobic rhetoric and outright lies. “We are extremely disturbed that the nomination of a highly qualified judicial nominee would be in doubt because of the fact he is Muslim. Hate has no place in Read more

 

Up to $400 million in medical debt would be forgiven under Shapiro’s proposed budget. Here is what you need to know

(Mar 15, 2024)

This proposed budget allocation is similar to House Bill 78, a bill sponsored by state Rep. Arvind Venkat, D-Allegheny, that would have accomplished many of the same things. The bill passed the House but got stuck in committee in the state Senate. Siegel was one of the co-sponsors. Read more

 

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

(Mar 13, 2024)

NEWLY LISTED PROGRAMS Commonwealth Financing Authority: Public School Facility Improvement Grant Who May Apply: School entities, defined as a school district or an area career and technical school. Use: Facility improvement projects, including but not limited to roof repair/replacement, heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment, plumbing systems, window repair/replacement, health and safety upgrades, and accessibility projects. Funds: $100 million in total funding is available. Grant requests shall not exceed $5 million per eligible improvement project. School entities may submit more than one application, but no school entity shall receive more than 20% of the total funding available. Application Deadline: May 31, 2024 More information: CFA Website Commission on Crime and Delinquency: STOP Violence Against Women Grant Program Who May Apply: County governments and non-profit victim service agencies are eligible to apply. Faith-based organizations may be eligible to apply under certain circumstances. Use: Funds may be used to support cross-system, collaborative efforts to respond to victims of violence against women crimes. This includes, but is not limited to, personnel and benefit costs associated with specialized units in law enforcement or core direct victim services, supplies and operating expenses related to the STOP project, equipment necessary for implementation, and training or professional development. Funds: A total of $12 Read more

 

Absence of AI hospital rules worries nurses

(Mar 11, 2024)

“One of the problems we’ve seen with AI is that the data goes into the AI platform, it makes a decision, and it gets spit out, but that decision is only as good as the data being used to train the platform,” Venkat said. “Existing biases are being reinforced by the use of artificial intelligence, and especially in the area of health insurance.” Read more

 

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

(Mar 05, 2024)

NEWLY LISTED PROGRAMS Department of Agriculture: Commonwealth Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Who May Apply: State and local organizations, producer associations, academia, community-based organizations, and other eligible specialty crops stakeholders. Use: The purpose of the Program is to enhance, but not replace, the Federal Specialty Crop Block Grant Program by establishing a Commonwealth Specialty Crop Block Grant Program for specialty crops that are not currently eligible for grant payments under the Federal Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, or that are otherwise designated high-priority specialty crops by the Secretary. Funding for the Program will assist the growth, certification of seed and marketing of these eligible specialty crops. Funds: $460,000 in funding is available. Application Deadline: April 19, 2024 More information: Pennsylvania Bulletin PROGRAMS OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS: Department of Agriculture: Farm Vitality Planning Grant Who May Apply: Farmers, prospective farmers, and others may apply. Use: Strategic business planning to expand or diversify farms or support transition of ownership. Funds: $500,000 in funding is available. Grants shall not exceed $7,500. Application Deadline: Applications will be received until funds are exhausted. More information: Pennsylvania Bulletin Commission on Crime and Delinquency: Recruitment Incentives for Law Enforcement Who May Apply: Local law enforcement Read more

 

Tiny taxpayer investment could erase mountain of medical debt, Pa. lawmakers say

(Feb 28, 2024)

House Bill 78, which lays out the program, was passed last year with bipartisan support including every Democrat and 13 Republicans. A companion bill remains unapproved in the state Senate. Read more

 

Pennsylvania lawmakers renew push for medical debt relief program

(Feb 28, 2024)

House Democrats on Tuesday renewed their call for passage of a medical debt relief program for Pennsylvania, a concept that recently gained public support from Gov. Josh Shapiro during his budget address. Read more

 

Pennsylvania lawmakers, advocates call for medical debt relief bill

(Feb 28, 2024)

Pennsylvania lawmakers and advocates call for medical debt relief bill Read more

 

Grants available as of Tuesday, Feb. 27

(Feb 27, 2024)

Grants available as of Tuesday, Feb. 27 Read more

 

State lawmakers highlight need to alleviate medical debt

(Feb 27, 2024)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 27 – Today, state Reps. Tarik Khan, D-Phila., and Bridget Kosierowski, D-Lackawanna, held a news conference at the State Capitol to discuss the importance of alleviating medical debt for Pennsylvanians who need it most. Last spring, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed legislation ( H.B. 78 ) that would establish the Pennsylvania Medical Debt Repayment Program, which would target the medical debt of low-income Pennsylvanians drowning in it and in need of relief. The legislation is currently sitting in the PA Senate Health and Human Services Committee. Medical debt relief is also a top priority for Gov. Josh Shapiro who, in his state budget address for the 2024-25 fiscal year, proposed investing $4 million to wipe it out for thousands of Pennsylvanians. State officials estimate that roughly 1 million Pennsylvanians carry some amount of medical debt. As of Dec. 2020, Pennsylvanians collectively share more than $1.8 billion in medical debt in a collections stage. “The toll of medical debt is staggering, with some reports showing that nearly half of all adults in the U.S. have gone into debt due to healthcare costs,” Khan said. “Medical debt makes us sicker because it prevents people from seeking preventative care and in some cases skipping healthcare services all together. It’s time the legislature addresses this issue that plagues countless Pennsylvanians.” Read more

 

Food Allergy Protocol in Restaurants; PA Bill Mandates Signage & Menu Notices

(Feb 26, 2024)

"The legislation that we passed today, House Bill 1869, would require restaurants in our commonwealth to have a display for their employees in a written manner about food allergies," said Venkat. Read more

 

Roundtable meeting held to discuss concerns over public transit

(Feb 23, 2024)

"I think too often we think of public transit as an urban issue. As someone who represents suburban communities, I really want to learn more about how we can be an integrated region. Because that's when we have a thriving economy for everyone," Rep. Arvind Venkat said. Read more

 

Shapiro plan would wipe out $400M in medical debt

(Feb 23, 2024)

Venkat’s bill passed the state House 114-89 without a specific price tag attached but hasn’t advanced in the GOP-controlled state Senate. The future of Shapiro’s proposal is tied up in the coming budget debate. Read more

 

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

$300,000 awarded for a new ambulance in McCandless, Franklin Park
Apr 01, 2024

More than $310,000 to make McCandless more accessible for pedestrians
Mar 27, 2024

House passes Venkat legislation to address food allergens in restaurants
Mar 26, 2024

Grant Memo: Agricultural, Educational, Safety, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities For Your District
Mar 26, 2024

What could happen to Pennsylvanian’s ACA health insurance if Trump wins?
Mar 25, 2024

Pennsylvania bill would eliminate $400 million in medical debt
Mar 22, 2024

Local Elected Officials Urge U.S. Senate to Move Forward with Adeel Mangi’s Historic Judicial Nomination, Condemn Islamophobic Attacks
Mar 20, 2024

Up to $400 million in medical debt would be forgiven under Shapiro’s proposed budget. Here is what you need to know
Mar 15, 2024

Grant Memo: Agricultural, Educational, Public Safety, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities
Mar 13, 2024

Absence of AI hospital rules worries nurses
Mar 11, 2024

Grant Memo: Agricultural, Educational, Public Safety, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities
Mar 05, 2024

Tiny taxpayer investment could erase mountain of medical debt, Pa. lawmakers say
Feb 28, 2024

Pennsylvania lawmakers renew push for medical debt relief program
Feb 28, 2024

Pennsylvania lawmakers, advocates call for medical debt relief bill
Feb 28, 2024

Grants available as of Tuesday, Feb. 27
Feb 27, 2024

State lawmakers highlight need to alleviate medical debt
Feb 27, 2024

Food Allergy Protocol in Restaurants; PA Bill Mandates Signage & Menu Notices
Feb 26, 2024

Roundtable meeting held to discuss concerns over public transit
Feb 23, 2024

Shapiro plan would wipe out $400M in medical debt
Feb 23, 2024