MONROE, Aug. 28 – State Rep. Maureen Madden, D-Monroe, is being credited with getting a $150,000 state aviation grant for improvements to the Pocono Mountains Municipal Airport for design replacement of the fuel farm. Madden said the airport serves thousands of travelers and business professionals each year. “I am pleased with this grant funding because it will ensure that our local airport obtains the equipment it needs for safe operation and it’s a huge transportation aviation economic investment that brings thousands of dollars in return to our area, “Madden said. Madden said most airports, such as the Pocono Municipal Airport have their own dedicated oil depots, usually referred to as” fuel farms” where aviation fuel is stored prior to being discharged into aircraft fuel tanks. Fuel is transported from the depot to the aircraft either by road tanker or a hydrant system. As of April 2019, Pennsylvania ranks 13 th in the country in the number of public-use aviation facilities with 127 airports, heliports and seaplane bases. Funded through PennDOT’s Aviation Transportation Assistance Program, Aviation Development Program and the Multimodal Fund, airport grant investments are meant to expand aviation-related operational and economic opportunities statewide. Read more
LATROBE, Aug. 28 – Approximately $2 million in state grants will be used to make significant improvements at McVille Airport in Armstrong County and at the Arnold Palmer Regional and Rostraver Airports in Westmoreland County, state Rep. Joseph Petrarca, D-Westmoreland, Armstrong/Indiana, announced today. Arnold Palmer Regional Airport will receive $1.5 million in state grants for hangar site development and ground access improvements. A total of $375,000 has been awarded to Rostraver Airport to repair its access road and make improvements to the aviation fuel farm and helipad. McVille Airport will receive $150,000 for construction of a building to store and protect airport maintenance equipment. “These vital investments in our airports will support jobs and economic development in our communities in Armstrong and Westmoreland counties,” Petrarca said. “Making these needed improvements in our regional airports ensures they will continue to operate safely and provide additional expansion and growth opportunities.” The airports are among 29 across Pennsylvania that will receive over $13 million in state investments from the state Transportation Department's Aviation Transportation Assistance Program, the Aviation Development Program, and the Multimodal Fund. As of April 2019, Pennsylvania ranks 13 th nationwide in the total number of public-use aviation facilities, with 127 airports, heliports, and seaplane bases. Read more
ALLENTOWN, Aug. 28 – State Rep. Jeanne McNeill, D-Lehigh, announced today that Lehigh Valley International Airport has been awarded $2.8 million in state grant funding. The funding will be used to continue development of general aviation hangars so the airport can continue to serve its growing number of passengers. Lehigh Valley International is one of 29 airports to receive a combined total of more than $13.7 million in state grants. “Right now, hangar space between New York and Philadelphia is in great demand and with this funding Lehigh Valley International will be able to meet that need while continuing to provide a positive economic impact in the region,” McNeill said. “This is an investment in a major asset which boosts area businesses and creates jobs, and that’s a win-win.” The state grants are distributed through the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Aviation Transportation Assistance Program, Aviation Development Program, which comes from the state’s jet fuel tax, and the state’s multimodal fund, which finances development and improvement of transportation assets. More information on aviation in the state is available by visiting www.penndot.gov . Read more
State Reps. Summer Lee and Ed Gainey, both D-Allegheny, co-hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee at Hawkins Village in Rankin. Read more
EBENSBURG, Aug. 27 – Bucking a ruling by the state Office of Open Records, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is taking state Rep. Frank Burns to court to dodge Burns’ attempt to find out how many liquor licenses the state agency has available for auction. Burns, D-Cambria, said that in legal papers served on his office, the LCB clings to its belief that the number of liquor licenses it plans to auction is “confidential proprietary information or a trade secret subject to protection from public disclosure.” The LCB wants Commonwealth Court to rule in its favor. “Since fewer than 10 percent of Office of Open Records rulings are appealed to court, I’m even more baffled at why the LCB is being so secretive,” Burns said. “The OOR sided with me , shooting down every one of the LCB’s arguments on why the public shouldn’t know this information. It’s amazing that they’re now spending taxpayer money to fight this in court.” After Burns was initially rebuffed by the LCB, which refused to comply with his Right-to-Know Law request seeking a countywide breakdown of the total number of licenses the public agency has available to auction, he followed protocol and asked for a ruling by the OOR, which issued a final determination and order in his favor on July 24. Burns said that, to his amazement, the LCB is still trying to maintain secrecy, to the point of arguing that, Read more
HARRISBURG, Aug. 27 – State Rep. Jerry Mullery, D-Luzerne, is asking residents to sign a petition to keep the White Haven Center open. Mullery said he opposes the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services’ decision to shutter the White Haven Center. “We need to let the Wolf administration know that hundreds of residents, their families and more than 400 caregivers are affected by this heartless move,” Mullery said. The Luzerne county lawmaker is directing people to his website, Facebook and Twitter accounts to add their name to the petition. “I want the governor to hear loud and clear the voice of those opposed to his decision, Mullery said. “Since he has yet to accept my invitation to visit the center, we must take our message to him.” Mullery is urging residents, their families and members of the community at large to offer or submit testimony at a Sept. 12 public hearing. The hearing, at St. Patrick’s Church in White Haven, will begin at 5 p.m. People interested in testifying should call 570-443-4201. Those wishing to submit written testimony can email RA-PWRAStateCenters@pa.gov . Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 23 – Joined by community leaders; the Philadelphia Department of Commerce; the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development; Councilman Curtis Jones Jr.; and Felecia Parker-Cox, congressional aide to Congressman Dwight Evans; state Rep. Morgan Cephas announced more than $1.8 million in state and local grants that were awarded for various commercial corridor projects throughout the 192nd Legislative District . “The funding for these projects is providing a multitude of community development and jobs along our commercial corridors,” Cephas said. “I’m proud to see these investments being made to the district and honored to have been a part of making them happen.” Wynnefield Overbrook Revitalization Corp. received a $20,000 Keystone Communities Program Grant that will be used to revitalize and make improvements along commercial corridor and community properties. “"My organization has been working with Representative Cephas over a number of years and because of her support, you can now see the significant improvements in our business corridors and the neighborhood," said Gerald Murphy, president of the Wynnefield Overbrook Revitalization Corp. Overbrook West Neighbors was awarded a $200,000 Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency PHARE Fund grant for the West Philadelphia Handyman Project, which makes improvements to low-income senior housing. "Today, Overbrook West Neighbors CDC, Read more
ERIE, Aug. 26 – With some area schools starting today and others scheduled for just after Labor Day, state Rep. Bob Merski, D-Erie, is reminding residents that this is the last week of his “Back- to-School Supplies Drive” to help families in need. “We’ve had an excellent response to our school supply drive so far, which is a testament to our community’s wonderful, caring spirit,” Merski said. “In addition to saying a hearty thanks for what we’ve collected so far, I want to remind everyone that the drive ends this Friday, Aug. 30, and that we can still use more supplies. “Although many families try to budget for back-to-school shopping, buying all the necessary supplies can put a dent in tight budgets – especially for families with multiple kids in school. Donating to our drive is a great way to help make sure that all kids in our community start the school year off feeling prepared and confident in the knowledge that they have the tools they need to succeed.” Merski said residents can donate new school supplies to one of these three locations between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.: Merski’s district office, 3901 Liberty St.; his Summit Township satellite office (open Tuesdays only), 1230 Townhall Road W.; or the Belle Valley VFD Station 36, 1514 Norcross Road. Merski said the following items are especially helpful: Markers, including highlighters, color markers, dry-erase markers and Read more
HARRISBURG, Aug. 26 – State Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, will hold a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing on Pennsylvania’s minimum wage. The hearing will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 29 at the Munhall Borough Building, Council Chambers, 1900 West St., Munhall. The media and public are invited to attend. Davis requested the hearing to discuss the state’s current minimum wage status, how it compares to neighboring states and the benefit of increasing wages to reflect the current cost-of-living. He will be joined by legislators from across the state. The current agenda is: 10 a.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks 10:10 a.m. Panel from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry Bryan Smolock , Director of the Bureau of Labor Law Compliance. Kelley Martini , Policy Director. 10:40 a.m. Panel Two: Darrin Kelly , President, Allegheny/Fayette Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO. Diana Polson , Policy Analyst, Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center. Sarah Fishbein , Vice President, SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania. Bobbi Linskens , Member, Restaurant Opportunities Center. James Conway , Member, Restaurant Opportunities Center. 11:30 a.m. Panel Three: Jeff Shook , Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work. LaSain Latimore , Member, One PA. Jennifer Rafanan Kenney , Acting Executive Director, Pittsburgh United. Dawn Plummer , Executive Director, Pittsburgh Food Read more
WEST CHESTER, Aug. 26 – State Rep. Carolyn Comitta, D-Chester, will hold her third annual senior expo from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 14 at West Chester East High School, 450 Ellis Lane in West Chester. This event is free and open to the public. Attendees will learn about local services available to seniors regarding health and wellness, transportation, affordable food and housing programs and more. SEPTA will be available to help seniors apply for a SEPTA Senior Key Card. There will also be nursing students from Delaware County Community College providing free blood pressure screenings. “Whether you are a senior, have elderly parents, or just want to know about the resources in our community, there is something for everyone,” Comitta said. “In previous years, residents have stated they came not looking for anything in particular yet left with useful resources and information that they shared with their friends, family, and neighbors. I hope to see you on September 14!” There is still time and space available for organizations to reserve a spot at the event. Vendors or organizations interested in participating in the fair can call Comitta’s office at 610-696-4990 or email firstname.lastname@example.org . Read more
HARRISBURG, Aug. 26 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster and Democratic Policy Committee Chairman, today announced his reappointment to the Special Education Funding Commission. “It is due to the important work of the Special Education Funding Commission and its reports that we have a better understanding of the long-term impact state funding has on the ability of schools to meet the needs of children with disabilities,” Sturla said. “I look forward to continuing to work on this commission, as well as the Basic Education Funding Commission, to ensure that together we are making the best recommendations for our children and increasing their chances at opportunities. It’s crucial that we take a strong interest in helping students achieve academically and fulfill their individual potential based on their needs.” The Special Education Funding Commission has held public hearings throughout the state starting in 2013, receiving testimony from dozens of witnesses, including students, parents, educators, and national experts. All of which emphasized the long-term impact of investments in schools to set up the highly complex and costly set of supports and services needed to address all children’s needs. Close to 320,000 children with disabilities, 18 percent of Pennsylvania students, receive special education services in Pennsylvania public schools. The range of disabilities is comprised of speech impairments, learning disabilities, Read more
HARRISBURG, Aug. 23 – In response to a BuzzFeed News story that claims major home and auto insurers around the country have urged law enforcement to intimidate and prosecute customers to boost company profits and avoid paying claims, state Rep. Tony DeLuca, Democratic chairman of the House Insurance Committee, released the following statement: “The accusations, and I reiterate, the accusations made by this news organization claiming the existence and use of a co-opt plan by major insurance companies and law enforcement to falsely prosecute insurers to boost company profits – which, as a result, pay police salaries – are unfounded and false. “As Democratic chairman of the House Insurance Committee, I work closely and am in-tune with the rules, regulations and practices upheld by the state’s Insurance Department. The department would never tolerate actions that suggest the insurance industry is misusing fraud reporting, and it surely would act if brought to its attention. “Moreover, the Insurance Fraud Prevention Authority was enacted to assist insurers in reporting fraud, not tear down the system. This story suggests the opposite, claiming the relationship between insurers and law enforcement in Pennsylvania goes deeper than arresting and prosecuting criminals who deceptively steal money from state residents. This, among others, is another false accusation made on behalf of this news organization. “In 2018, there were Read more
HARRISBURG, Aug. 23 – State Rep. Christina Sappey will host a House Policy Committee public hearing in October to examine the numerous negative impacts to state and local infrastructure brought about by increasingly severe weather in Pennsylvania. The hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15 in the East Bradford Township Building, 666 Copeland School Road in West Chester. Sappey, D-Chester, requested the hearing to discuss the issue of severe storms and best-practices for managing them. She will be joined by fellow House members, including Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. “It’s no secret that our roads and bridges are failing, and the increase in severe storms that we are experiencing is exacerbating the problem,” Sappey said. “We all have witnessed the aftermath and dealt with the consequences of flooding, erosion and washed-out roadways.” According to the National Weather Service, Chester County received more than 22 inches above normal rainfall in 2018. The severity and number of storms also have been increasing across the commonwealth. “Since taking office, I have met with many municipal officials throughout the 158 th Legislative District,” Sappey said. “Plain and simple, we need to address how we handle stormwater. It’s a serious safety concern and a top priority for me. “I hope to see you for this important discussion.” Read more
FOLSOM, Aug. 23 – State Rep. Leanne Krueger invites community members to a Pet Expo, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 7 at the Folsom Fire Co., 411 Sutton Ave. Krueger is co-hosting the event with state Sen. Tim Kearney. The event will feature pet resources, including information on Victoria’s Law and other animal-related legislation, pet-related vendors, light refreshments, a low-cost vaccine clinic and more. A pet costume parade will be held at noon. The low-cost vaccine clinic will be offered by Providence Animal Center on a first-come basis. Dogs must be leashed. The clinic is not recommended for cats for their safety, since the clinic is outdoors. The clinic will offer one-year shots including Dewormer, Distemper, Bordetella, Rabies, Lepto, Canine Flu and Lyme, as well as microchips. Pets are welcome but must be leashed. Anyone with questions can call Krueger’s office at 610-534-6880. Read more
ABINGTON, Aug. 23 – State Rep. Ben Sanchez, D-Montgomery, will hold his annual Senior Fair from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Rydal Park on Wednesday, Sept. 4. This event is free and open to the public. Attendees will learn about state and local resources that are available to Montgomery County seniors in areas such as health and wellness, transportation, affordable food programs and more. “This year’s Senior Fair will feature over 50 vendors and connect attendees with the programs and services that they need to lead healthy, productive lives,” Sanchez said. “This is a convenient, ‘one stop shop’ event that brings the community together, and I’m looking forward to meeting with constituents.” In addition to the government and exhibitor information, the Senior Fair will also feature several door prizes, a catered lunch and refreshments. For more information on the Senior Fair, please call Sanchez’s office at (215) 517-6800 or visit the official Facebook event page. Read more
DOYLESTOWN, Aug. 23 – In response to requests from legislators, civic and environmental groups and the public at large, the state departments of Environmental Protection and Conservation and Natural Resources have agreed to perform further study on how any changes to Lake Nockamixon Dam could affect Tochickon Creek before changing the waterway’s designation, state Rep. Wendy Ullman, D-Bucks, announced today. “Thanks to our collective efforts, any DEP reassement of this treasured waterway must await new findings and up-to-date data,” Ullman said. According to Ullman, DEP had earlier proposed downgrading Tohickon Creek as a trout-stock-fishery designation, which would have a serious negative impact on tourism and property values. Working with the Tinicum Conservancy, Ullman had encouraged local residents to petition DEP to designate the Tohickon Creek as Exceptional Value in order to protect all existing uses of the stream and safeguard the quality of its water. Over 900 public comments were received. In the interim, Ullman has had conversations with DCNR Secretary Cindy Dunn and DEP Director of Legislative Affairs Gregory Kauffman to push for further evaluation of Lake Nockamixon Dam and Tohickon Creek. The letter Ullman received from DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell agreeing to this request for further study says: “The stream evaluation of Tohickon Creek is currently at the draft report stage. Further evaluation of the Lake Read more
Route 363 (Trooper Road); Lower Providence Township LANE CLOSURE at Ridge Pike. Every weekday and some Saturdays 9AM- 3PM from 3/25/19-8/30/1, due to Intersection Improvements. Fitzwatertown Road; Abington, Upper Dublin Lane Closures with flagging between Susquehanna Road and Thunderhead Road, weekdays 9AM- 3PM from 3/19/19-8/30/19, due to Utility. Johnson Highway; East Norriton Township FULL CLOSURE between North Hills Drive and Rahway Avenue from 5/13/19-10/1/19, due to Bridge Replacement. DETOUR POSTED. North Lane Road; Whitemarsh Township Road Closure between Hector Street and Butler Pike. Closure during working hours 9 AM - 3 PM from 5/20/19-10/15/19, due to Water Main Work. Croton Road; Upper Merion Township Road Closure between Alder Brook Drive and Sentry Lane, weekdays 9 AM - 3 PM from 5/28/19-9/30/19, due to Water Main Work. DETOUR POSTED. Route 63 (Sumneytown Pike); Upper Salford Township Lane Closure and temporary signal between Long Mill Road and Shady Lane 24/7 from 5/28-19-12/31/19, due to Bridge Replacement. Route 63 (Summneytown Pike), Upper Salford Township Road Closure between Thompson Road and Gerryville Pike from 5/28/19-12/31/19, due to Bridge Replacement. DETOUR POSTED Route 63 (Summneytown Pike); Upper Salford Township Road Closure between Moyer Road and Bergey Road from 5/28/19-12/31/19, due to Bridge Replacement. DETOUR POSTED Jenkintown Road; Abington Township Lane Closure between Easton Road and Read more
WEST GOSHEN, Aug. 22 – State Reps. Carolyn Comitta and Kristine Howard today toured the Mariner East 1 pipeline with Gov. Tom Wolf and Department of Environmental Protection Executive Deputy Secretary Ramez Ziadeh. A high-consequence area, Pennsylvania’s Chester County is disproportionately affected by pipelines, with over 600 miles of pipe crisscrossing the county, including the 80-year-old Mariner East 1 pipeline. Constituents are concerned with safety and transparency. Comitta and Howard are committed to improving lines of communication among elected officials, regulatory agencies, and operators to ensure proper oversight. “Public health and safety must always be our number one priority,” said Comitta, D-Chester. “Our families deserve to be and feel safe in their homes, schools and places of work. It is the job of elected officials to do all we can to protect the people we serve. “We appreciate very much that Gov. Wolf is here in our community listening to the serious concerns of residents who live along the Mariner East pipeline. We will continue to work closely with the governor to keep public safety our top priority.” “Nowhere else in the commonwealth do pipelines zig-zag through so many high-density residential areas as here in our own backyard,” said Howard, D-Chester. “We let Governor Wolf know that Chester County will not be kept in the dark. My constituents – and my family – Read more
DOYLESTOWN, Aug. 22 – State Rep. Wendy Ullman, D-Bucks, hosted a telephone town hall on Wednesday evening to discuss the upcoming session in Harrisburg and issues such as transportation, gun safety, the environment, and property taxes. “I appreciated everyone who took the time join the telephone town hall to share what is most important to them,” Ullman said. “I’ll be taking this information with me back to Harrisburg.” The 50-minute town hall was divided into two parts: polling questions on which listeners could vote and live questions from some attendees to which the representative responded. Respondents said that the biggest issue facing the 143 rd Legislative District was roads and infrastructure (57%), followed by access to health care (21%), schools (15%) and jobs (6%). An overwhelming percentage of respondents (88%) voted that gas drilling companies which use hydro-fracking technology should be required to pay their fair share as they do in other states. In order to stop school shootings, 51% percent of respondents said that military-style assault weapons should be banned and 24% said that background checks should be required for every firearm purchase. Sixty-eight percent of respondents voted that Pennsylvania should follow the lead of New Jersey, New York, Ohio and other surrounding states to raise the minimum wage. “Residents in the 143 rd are very informed and passionately engaged with local and state Read more
HARRISBURG, Aug. 22 – State Rep. Gerald Mullery said the Sept. 12 public hearing regarding the state closure of the White Haven Center should be canceled because it’s nothing more than a charade. Read more
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