Featured News

Rep. Austin Davis elected chairman of Allegheny County House Democratic Delegation

Frankel lauds plans for vaccine registry, encourages ongoing equity efforts

(Feb 24, 2021)

State Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, sent a letter to Gov. Tom Wolf and Acting Health Secretary Alison Beam Wednesday afternoon urging them to continue moving forward with plans to create a statewide COVID-19 vaccine registry Read more

 

Miller, Benham to introduce bill to create new Pa. Department of Accessibility and Inclusion

(Feb 10, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 10 – State Reps. Dan Miller and Jessica Benham, both D-Allegheny, are planning to introduce a bill that would create the Pennsylvania Department of Accessibility and Inclusion. “Nearly one in four Pennsylvanians have a disability, and despite the best intentions of many, most have only seen modest improvements in their lives and opportunities,” said Miller, a member of the House Autism and Intellectual Disabilities Caucus. “This department would be committed to providing government services and opportunities that are accessible to every Pennsylvanian.” Miller and Benham, who are both part of the Allegheny County House Democratic Delegation, said the bill would consolidate several existing programs under the new department. It would also create a cabinet-level secretary position in the governor’s administration. “Having a secretary dedicated to the needs of people with disabilities would go a long way in helping the governor’s office craft much-needed policies,” Benham said. “This is a way for Pennsylvania to make sure progress is made and that what matters to people with disabilities is considered.” Miller and Benham are seeking co-sponsors for their planned legislation. Read more

 

Frankel, Democratic Health Committee members prioritize healthcare equality and access; abortion rights headed into 2021

(Feb 09, 2021)

‘Health care is a human right, and we have a long way to go to fulfill that promise’ Read more

 

Wheatley, Hughes recognize National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in Pennsylvania

(Feb 05, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 5 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, and state Sen. Vincent Hughes, D-Philadelphia/Montgomery, are recognizing Sunday, Feb. 7 as National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in Pennsylvania. National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day began more than two decades ago as a grassroots effort with hundreds of organizations. This yearly initiative encourages Black people to get tested in the hope of putting an end to the disease. “While the current pandemic has taken center stage as it relates to public health, the HIV/AIDS epidemic is far from over,” Wheatley said. “Nearly 1.2 million people nationwide are living with the virus; 14% of those don’t know they’re infected. African Americans have accounted for 42% of the diagnoses in 2018, the most recent statistics available, while they comprise just 13% of the overall population nationwide. With treatment and medication, people are living longer lives, but sadly, there’s still no cure and prevention remains the best option. That’s why it’s so important to get tested.” “As we remain in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and its disproportionate impact on Black and brown people, let us not forget the that we must remain vigilant in the fight against HIV/AIDS, which has plagued the Black community for years,” Hughes said. “Getting tested, knowing your status and practicing safe behaviors are just as important now as they have ever been. We Read more

 

Wheatley and Lt. Governor Fetterman: It’s time to legalize it

(Feb 04, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 4 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley has joined Lt. Gov. John Fetterman in urging the legislature to consider his updated measure to legalize adult-use cannabis. Wheatley, D-Allegheny, said this renewed effort includes a call to action on his website, www.repwheatley.com , where Pennsylvanians can click on, fill out and automatically send a message to their state representative and state senator and make their voices heard. “Both Lieutenant Governor Fetterman and I have heard from thousands of Pennsylvanians over the past few years who have made their support clear for this initiative,” Wheatley said. “Not only would this measure provide millions in much-needed revenue and create jobs, but it also includes a provision to expunge cannabis-related offenses for non-violent offenders. My bill would also be a boon to our agriculture industry and support grant programs to help our communities and our minority- and women-owned businesses. The governor is also on board with legalizing adult-use cannabis because he also sees its multi-pronged benefits to our great state. Bottom line: Pennsylvanians have waited long enough – it’s time.” “It’s time for legal weed in Pa.,” Fetterman said. “This is common sense criminal justice reform that will also generate billions when Pennsylvanians need it the most. It’s time to stop spending millions per year to ruin the lives of Read more

 

Wheatley: Governor’s budget proposal a bold step forward for PA

(Feb 03, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 3 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, released the following statement regarding Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed 2021-22 budget unveiled today: “Once again, Governor Wolf has made a bold attempt to push our commonwealth and its many kings and queens of the General Assembly forward. He has put forth a reasonably straightforward budget proposal that attempts to put equity and fairness at the center and begin to modernize our very outdated and insufficient revenue structures, while simultaneously focusing on our hard-working men and women. “Some legislators will focus on those elements they believe will make easy political points, but we should applaud our governor for being bold and focusing on our state’s future and not on its past. “I am looking forward to working with this administration as we move ahead over the next few months and embark on ways to bring our families and communities' interests to the budgetary process. Whether it's enacting an adult-use cannabis legalization system; further reforming our criminal justice system; or leading the charge to bring more Pennsylvanians tax relief while also finding the needed revenues to continue long term investments in our educational system, childcare systems and workforce systems, I'm here to be an advocate, partner and active participant. “Governor Wolf has set the stage and laid out a pathway forward. Now, it’s time to see if Read more

 

Kinkead: Governor’s proposed budget provides strong plan to move PA forward

(Feb 03, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 3 – State Rep. Emily Kinkead, D-Allegheny, issued the following statement regarding Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed 2021-22 budget: “The governor’s budget address laid out a clear path that moves our state forward in the right direction. I was pleased to hear him outline his plans on infrastructure investment, which includes long-overdue expansion of broadband access across Pennsylvania, notably in our unserved and underserved communities, safer roads and bridges, and investments to removing lead and asbestos from many of our aging schools. “Our schools have also suffered for many years due to not being fully funded and the governor’s plan will provide our public schools with the resources they need and deserve. For far too long, homeowners in many school districts have had to bear the brunt of skyrocketing property taxes. Governor Wolf’s plan would ensure our districts receive this vital support and that includes raising the salary for teachers to a $45,000 minimum annual salary. No doubt about it -- our teachers have gone above and beyond, even before the pandemic, and they should be fairly compensated for all they do in providing education and support to our children. “Governor Wolf’s support of the Clean Slate Law was just the beginning as it relates to criminal justice reform in our great commonwealth. I was pleased to hear his plans to reform the bail and probation Read more

 

Davis, state representative and advocate for clean air, heartened by Allegheny County’s report on improved air quality

(Jan 26, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 26 – State Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, released the following statement today regarding Allegheny County’s record-breaking air quality across the region: “Clean air is a fundamental right. Today’s announcement is heartwarming because it highlights that fact. People should not be subjected to subpar air quality simply because of where they live, and I commend the collective efforts of the Allegheny County Health Department, federal, state, and local agencies, industry, and all of the advocates involved in making that a reality. “This is not just a win for environmentalists; it is a step towards equitable living standards, it is a means for protecting the lives of our most vulnerable and it is an example of what is achievable when we all work together. “This is great news, and I am overjoyed by this report, but the fight is not over, and we must all continue advocating for increased air quality across the region, across the Commonwealth and across the country. However, today, we should take solace in the fact that we can breathe a little easier,” Davis said. Read more

 

Reps. Pisciottano and Brown introduce effort to increase stipend for veterans

(Jan 25, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 25 – State Reps. Nick Pisciottano and Amen Brown are leading an effort to boost the state stipend for veterans who are blind, paralyzed or amputees due to their military service. The $150 monthly stipend has not seen an increase for more than two decades. Pisciottano, D-Allegheny, and Brown, D-Philadelphia, said they plan on introducing legislation that would increase the monthly stipend disabled veterans receive to $200 per month. Based on rising costs and inflation, the current $150 a month these veterans receive is worth about $98 a month, reflecting a 34% decrease in value. “These men and women gave so much in service to our country and to keep each one of us safe, including the loss of their sight and their mobility,” said Pisciottano. “Each one of them who suffered life-altering, debilitating injuries is truly deserving of a long-overdue increase to this benefit, a benefit that is well within our state’s budgetary means. I’m proud to partner with Representative Brown to make this happen and I anticipate more of our colleagues will sign on to support this worthwhile effort to provide this assistance to our disabled veterans.” “Our veterans deserve our deep gratitude and a salute for their service and for keeping our imperfect democratic republic safe.” Brown said. “However, what veterans deserve – and need more – is real, tangible assistance from our state and federal Read more

 

Gainey introduces automatic voter registration legislation

(Jan 21, 2021)

Proposal would register people when they access state services Read more

 

Frankel hails federal nomination of Dr. Levine

(Jan 19, 2021)

‘Her science-led leadership has soothed a frightened public’ Read more

 

Matzie: More than $12.6 million in CARES Act funding allocated to district schools to support ongoing learning

(Jan 15, 2021)

AMBRIDGE, Jan. 15 – Schools in the 16 th Legislative District will be able to apply for approximately $12.62 million in federal CARES Act funding to ensure students have the resources they need to continue learning during the pandemic, state Rep. Rob Matzie announced today. Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, said the funding to eight school districts in the district will help ensure schools have the resources they need to continue offering quality education. “The pandemic’s economic impact has strained resources all around, and school districts are no exception,” Matzie said. “The districts have faced a ton of challenges, from providing safe on-site instruction to ensuring an effective remote curriculum, and I want to commend school officials and our dedicated teachers, aides and other school staff. This funding is going to speed the resources to our districts they need to ensure our students are safe and do not fall behind.” Matzie said the following funding is allocated: Aliquippa School District – $4,032,121. Ambridge Area School District – $2,297,093. Baden Academy Charter School – $875,776. Central Valley School District – $1,173,585. Freedom Area School District – $1,096,991 Hopewell Area School District – Read more

 

Pisciottano signs on to effort to provide rent, mortgage relief for those impacted by pandemic

(Jan 13, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 13 – Newly sworn-in state Rep. Nick Pisciottano has joined House Democratic leadership in co-sponsoring a measure designed to help Pennsylvanians struggling to pay their rent or mortgage during the current pandemic. Pisciottano, D-Allegheny, said the Pennsylvania Housing Energy Lessee Protection Strategy , or PA HELPS, is a $974 million proposal that would keep people in their homes, thus avoiding evictions and foreclosures, and it also would help local landlords. PA HELPS would direct the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services to set up an easy-to-use program to quickly provide assistance to those in need. “We have thousands of Pennsylvanians, including many in my district, who continue to struggle to pay their rent or mortgage as this pandemic continues, and they can’t afford to wait any longer for the help they need and deserve,” said Pisciottano. “This proposal would do just that and remove the fear and anxiety they’ve been experiencing and allow them to stay safely in their homes.” The $974 million in funding included in the proposal is composed of $852 million in estimated federal aid allocated to Pennsylvania for emergency rental assistance. It also includes $122 million that would be redirected back from the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. In November, the $122 million that was originally earmarked toward rental and mortgage relief was instead used to close a Read more

 

Markosek: Port Perry Bridge project to receive $1M state grant

(Jan 12, 2021)

Grant to fund repairs to 117-year-old railroad bridge in North Versailles Read more

 

Wheatley sworn into office, returns with new chairmanship

(Jan 12, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 12 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, has been sworn in for another two-year term in the House and has also been named as the Democratic chairman of the House Professional Licensure Committee. He previously served two terms as Democratic chairman of the House Finance Committee. “I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues on several issues – among the most urgent is securing much-needed relief for residents and minority-owned businesses who continue to be adversely impacted by the ongoing pandemic,” said Wheatley. “I’ve seen firsthand how the pandemic has led to extreme stress and anxiety, especially for people who want to work and have either struggled, due to no fault of their own, to get or renew the proper licensing for their respective occupations. I see this committee being among the most vital in directly impacting our workforce. A strong workforce is going to be the foundation toward our state’s recovery, and we need to do all we can to make the licensing process for employees and businesses as smooth and efficient as possible to keep Pennsylvanians working.” Wheatley added that, based on a recent national study , 41% of Black-owned businesses, 32% of Latino-owned businesses and 26% of Asian-owned businesses shut down between February and April 2020, compared to 17% of white-owned businesses during that same time period. Wheatley was first elected to the Pennsylvania House of Read more

 

Kinkead announces committee assignments

(Jan 11, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 11 – Today state Rep. Emily Kinkead announced she has been chosen to serve on four standing House committees. Kinkead, D-Allegheny, will be serving as a member of the Agriculture, Appropriations, Human Services, and Judiciary committees. “I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues on these committees, which cover a wide range of issues, including agriculture - considered one of our state’s top industries - to oversee the state’s budgetary process, ensure our social services programs are providing the support our residents need and deserve, especially during the ongoing pandemic, and review measures related to the oversight of law enforcement agencies and our corrections system,” Kinkead said. “We certainly have a great deal of work ahead of us in this new legislative session, and I’m excited and looking forward to hitting the ground running to making real, meaningful differences in the lives of our residents.” Kinkead is among 25 new members in the House who were recently sworn into office. For assistance with a variety of state-related services, including property tax/rent rebate assistance, help with unemployment compensation, or home heating help, please visit her website at www.pahouse.net/kinkead . Read more

 

Pisciottano announces committee assignments

(Jan 11, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 11 – State Rep. Nick Pisciottano announced he has been named to serve on three standing committees in the PA House of Representatives. Pisciottano, D-Allegheny, will serve on the Commerce, Labor & Industry, and Tourism & Recreational Development committees. “It’s no secret that our communities have been devastated by the current pandemic and serving on the Commerce and Labor and Industry committees will provide me with an opportunity to help with unemployment compensation issues, protect workers’ rights and assist our small businesses with much-needed relief and support,” said Pisciottano. “With tourism considered the second-largest industry in our state, and many of my constituents working in this industry, I am proud to have a voice at the table to promote and expand our tourism and recreational opportunities here in Allegheny County.” Pisciottano is among 25 new members in the House who were recently sworn into office. For assistance with a variety of state-related services, including property tax/rent rebate assistance, help with unemployment compensation, or home heating help, residents may visit his website at www.pahouse.net/pisciottano . Read more

 

Kinkead sworn in for first term in office

(Jan 05, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 5 – State Rep. Emily Kinkead, D-Allegheny, has been sworn into office for her first term representing the 20 th Legislative District. “I was proud and honored to take the oath of office today and I am committed to being your voice in Harrisburg,” said Kinkead. “We have a lot of work ahead of us in this session, and that includes helping people who are out of work and struggling due to the pandemic. I am committed to fighting for the changes we need, including raising our state’s minimum wage, affordable health care, criminal justice reforms and supporting much-needed economic development in our communities. I promise to work together with my colleagues to bring needed relief and changes to benefit all residents of our great state.” Prior to her election in November 2020, Kinkead worked as an attorney in private practice. While earning her law degree at the University of Pittsburgh, she interned with a legal aid clinic in Eldoret, Kenya, protecting the rights of HIV+ individuals and victims of domestic and gender violence. She also interned at Neighborhood Legal Services in Pittsburgh, helping low-income tenants in landlord-tenant disputes and at the Pitt Law Immigration Clinic, assisting clients seeking asylum in the United States. Prior to entering private practice, Kinkead clerked for Commonwealth Court Judge Michael Wojcik. She is an active volunteer with the Junior League of Read more

 

Matzie sworn in to seventh term representing PA’s 16th Legislative District

(Jan 05, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 5 – State Rep. Rob Matzie was sworn in today at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, taking the oath of office to begin his seventh term representing the people of the 16 th Legislative District. As he renewed his commitment to the district, Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, said the health of residents and the local economy are top priorities. “My top priority in the months ahead will be continuing to address the COVID pandemic and preparing for the recovery, both on the health front and the economic front. “As always, I will continue to support strong education funding at all levels, as well as job training and economic development opportunities for our communities. “Finally, I am proud to have been reappointed Democratic chairman of the House Consumer Affairs Committee. My focus will be on expanding broadband access and to fully – and safely – develop our state’s natural energy resources.” Matzie said his office – which is operating remotely during the pandemic – can help with a wide variety of state services, including prescription drug assistance, children’s insurance, unemployment compensation, driver and vehicle services, home heating and property tax/rent rebate applications, veterans’ issues and more. Residents should call the office at 724-266-7774 for assistance More information is available by Read more

 

Gainey: $580,000 grant awarded to Wilkinsburg water project

(Dec 30, 2020)

Grant will address runoff, improve Nine Mile Run stream quality Read more

 

Frankel lauds plans for vaccine registry, encourages ongoing equity efforts
Feb 24, 2021

Miller, Benham to introduce bill to create new Pa. Department of Accessibility and Inclusion
Feb 10, 2021

Frankel, Democratic Health Committee members prioritize healthcare equality and access; abortion rights headed into 2021
Feb 09, 2021

Wheatley, Hughes recognize National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in Pennsylvania
Feb 05, 2021

Wheatley and Lt. Governor Fetterman: It’s time to legalize it
Feb 04, 2021

Wheatley: Governor’s budget proposal a bold step forward for PA
Feb 03, 2021

Kinkead: Governor’s proposed budget provides strong plan to move PA forward
Feb 03, 2021

Davis, state representative and advocate for clean air, heartened by Allegheny County’s report on improved air quality
Jan 26, 2021

Reps. Pisciottano and Brown introduce effort to increase stipend for veterans
Jan 25, 2021

Gainey introduces automatic voter registration legislation
Jan 21, 2021

Frankel hails federal nomination of Dr. Levine
Jan 19, 2021

Matzie: More than $12.6 million in CARES Act funding allocated to district schools to support ongoing learning
Jan 15, 2021

Pisciottano signs on to effort to provide rent, mortgage relief for those impacted by pandemic
Jan 13, 2021

Markosek: Port Perry Bridge project to receive $1M state grant
Jan 12, 2021

Wheatley sworn into office, returns with new chairmanship
Jan 12, 2021

Kinkead announces committee assignments
Jan 11, 2021

Pisciottano announces committee assignments
Jan 11, 2021

Kinkead sworn in for first term in office
Jan 05, 2021

Matzie sworn in to seventh term representing PA’s 16th Legislative District
Jan 05, 2021

Gainey: $580,000 grant awarded to Wilkinsburg water project
Dec 30, 2020