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

Cephas, Kenyatta and Innamorato hold hearing to discuss plan to help low-income tenants facing eviction amid COVID-19

(Oct 09, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 9 – In their ongoing efforts to keep people in their homes, state Reps. Morgan Cephas, Malcolm Kenyatta and Sara Innamorato held a public hearing today to discuss legal aid for tenants facing eviction amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The three brought members of the House Democratic Policy Committee and experts together to discuss legislation they are introducing to provide legal representation to low-income tenants facing an eviction hearing. "A study from the Center for American Progress shows nearly 90% of landlords and property managers across the country have access to legal representation compared to just 10% of tenants. And in most eviction cases, tenants without representation lose," said Cephas, D-Phila. "This ultimately comes down to fairness and the need to prevent our most vulnerable neighbors from being tossed out on the street. Our plan aims to connect them with the quality protection they need to help keep a roof over their head, especially during this health crisis." “The CDC’s moratorium will only stave off evictions until the end of the year, but the threat of a large-scale housing crisis still looms, so we must act now,” said Kenyatta, D-Phila. “During these uncertain and incredibly stressful times in which medical experts are urging everyone to stay at home, Pennsylvanians should be able to take solace in having a home of their own to retreat to. Read more

 

Rep. Innamorato, state Sen. Williams announce conservation grant funding for local projects

(Oct 09, 2020)

Public investments in conservation and greenspace in our communities are a welcome move Read more

 

Gainey, Wheatley sponsor weekend event at CCAC

(Oct 07, 2020)

Wellness/street fair coincides with Allegheny County voter access efforts Read more

 

Ross Twp., Girty’s Run projects awarded $155,000 in enviro grants

(Oct 02, 2020)

Projects involve creek restoration, river conservation plan Read more

 

Frankel: Will House Rs take COVID-19 seriously?

(Oct 01, 2020)

News of lawmaker’s positive test comes amid contentious committee hearing Read more

 

Matzie: House unanimously adopts resolution designating October 2020 as ‘Agent Orange Awareness Month’

(Sep 30, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 30 – The House today unanimously adopted state Rep. Rob Matzie’s resolution designating October 2020 as “ Agent Orange Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania. Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, said he introduced H.R. 1019 to keep the spotlight on a critical health issue affecting thousands of Pennsylvanian veterans. “In addition to brutal combat conditions, U.S. troops in Vietnam faced an equally deadly but invisible hazard that would wreak havoc on veterans and their families for decades – exposure to Agent Orange,” Matzie said. “The herbicide, which U.S. forces sprayed to eliminate cover and destroy crops, was contaminated with the deadly chemical dioxin. “After the war, the toll of Agent Orange manifested itself in severe skin rashes, cancers, diabetes, birth defects and a litany of other health issues. Passage of the Agent Orange Act in 1991 relaxed proof requirements for certain illnesses presumed to be caused by the chemical, although some conditions with a suspected link – including the form of aggressive brain cancer that killed John McCain – are still not covered. “Vietnam veterans make up the largest group of veterans in Pennsylvania today. Nearly half a million served during the Vietnam War era, and an estimated 172,000 directly participated in the war . We owe it to the thousands who have died or suffered Read more

 

Matzie: House unanimously adopts ‘Rail Safety Week’ resolution

(Sep 29, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 29 – The House today unanimously adopted state Rep. Rob Matzie’s resolution to raise awareness about the high toll of deaths and injuries from train collisions. Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, said he introduced H.B. 1002 – designating Sept. 21-27 as “Rail Safety Week” in Pennsylvania – to call attention to a preventable hazard that kills and injures too many motorists and pedestrians each year. “Unfortunately, Pennsylvania again this year made the top 15 list of states with the greatest number of highway-rail grade crossing collisions and pedestrian trespassing casualties,” Matzie said. “Perhaps most disturbing, the commonwealth ranks fourth in the nation when it comes to pedestrian trespass deaths and injuries, with 29 deaths and 23 injuries in 2019. That’s an increase from the year before. “People who are walking at night or distracted while on their cell phones may easily fail to appreciate the degree of danger near tracks. For example, pedestrians may not realize that trains overhang tracks by at least three feet in all directions, with loose straps from rail cars extending even further so even if pedestrians are in the right-of-way next to the tracks, they can still be hit. “It’s also important to remember that it can take a mile or more for a train to stop, so that by the time a locomotive engineer sees someone on the tracks, Read more

 

Sharpsburg awarded $125,000 grant for Kennedy Park

(Sep 25, 2020)

Project includes parking/pedestrian infrastructure, play equipment, other improvements Read more

 

Matzie: Nearly $316,000 to fund new Ambridge playground, spray park

(Sep 24, 2020)

AMBRIDGE, Sept. 24 – A $315,528 grant from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will fund a major Ambridge playground project including installation of a spray park with water features, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. Matzie said the funding – awarded through DCNR’s 2020 Community Conservation Partnerships Program – will allow development to move forward on the Henning Street project. “This is big for Ambridge and big for our kids,” Matzie said. “Bringing home this kind of money is one of the most important aspects of being a state legislator. “The plans have been in place for a while, but this funding was needed to go forward. Now the borough can move ahead with the project. It will have a new spray park, a concession stand and new playground equipment with safety surfacing. It’s going to be really exciting. “Making sure our communities get the funding they need for projects like this is what I work hard at every single day. Families will have the opportunity to spend time and have fun together here, in Ambridge.” Matzie said the project will also include ADA access, landscaping, and other site improvements. The grant is part of a package of approximately $23.4 million in funding to 158 projects statewide. C2P2 grants fund planning, acquisition and development of public Read more

 

Wheatley announces grant to fund development plan for Fowler Park

(Sep 24, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, Sept. 24 – The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has awarded a $40,000 grant to the city of Pittsburgh to help it prepare a development plan for Fowler Park, state Rep. Jake Wheatley announced today. Wheatley, D-Allegheny, said the funding will allow city officials to prepare a master site development plan for the 11-acre park. “Providing our communities with places to play and relax is so vital to our overall mental and physical health,” Wheatley said. “Our parks make such a vital impact to our residents’ quality of life, and this grant will help the city move forward to develop Fowler Park and continue providing our residents with great places to enjoy for years to come.” DCNR’s Community Parks and Recreation Grants program is funded with a variety of state and federal sources, including the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund, or Key 93, which includes Key-Community and Key-Land Trust; the Environmental Stewardship Fund; the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund; Pennsylvania Trails Fund; Pennsylvania Heritage Area Program; and the ATV Restricted Management Account Fund. More information can be found at the following link: https://www.dcnr.pa.gov/Communities/Grants/CommunityParks%20andRecreationGrants/Pages/default.aspx Read more

 

Matzie: Grants will ensure elementary school students have access to fresh fruits and vegetables

(Sep 22, 2020)

AMBRIDGE, Sept. 22 – Grant funding to two Beaver County elementary schools will ensure students have access to fresh fruits and vegetables for the nutrition they need to stay healthy and succeed in the classroom, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. Matzie said the funding awarded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program includes grants to Highland Elementary School in the Ambridge Area School District and Rochester Elementary School in the Rochester Area School District. “There’s no question that students need a healthy, nutritious diet to learn and thrive,” Matzie said. “Unfortunately, with the pandemic affecting household budgets and store inventories, some families have found it more difficult to keep fresh produce on the table on a regular basis. “Securing this funding will help ensure young students have reliable access to the nutrition proven to promote focus, mental acuity, memory retention and other building blocks of academic success – regardless of household budget or other obstacles.” Matzie said the funding, which was not broken down by district, is part of a package of more than $7 million in grants awarded to 230 elementary schools. Under the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, schools will receive between $50 and $75 per student, based on the federal allocation to the state. Funding Read more

 

Obscure building code blocks bathroom access in Allegheny County

(Sep 21, 2020)

State Rep. Dan Frankel organizes coalition seeking to change regulations Read more

 

Matzie introduces bill to trace COVID-19 through wastewater

(Sep 18, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 18 – A bill introduced today by state Rep. Rob Matzie would establish a more effective way to trace and detect COVID-19 before it spreads by creating a system of testing for the virus in wastewater. Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, said his H.B. 2883 would establish the Targeted Outbreak Detection Act, creating a wastewater-testing program that is both cost-effective and more efficient than traditional methods of tracking the virus. “While temperature checks and crowd-size limits are helpful in slowing the spread of COVID-19, these techniques are not practical in the long term,” Matzie said. “Testing for the virus in wastewater would allow health authorities to know if the virus is present before people feel ill and inadvertently spread it, providing a critical way to contain clusters before major outbreaks occur.” Matzie said implementing COVID-19 wastewater tracing would be feasible and relatively simple because testing resources are already in place. “Most wastewater treatment systems are already required to perform routine testing of water samples,” Matzie said. “Sending a portion of those samples, on request, to a designated laboratory to test for the presence of COVID-19 would establish a critical early warning system that would arm health authorities with the data they need to better protect our communities.” Matzie said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is Read more

 

Conservation, watershed, and zoo projects receive $795,000 in state funding

(Sep 16, 2020)

Grants made possible through Allegheny County gaming grants program Read more

 

Grants awarded to help fund health, arts projects in Pittsburgh

(Sep 16, 2020)

$350,000 allocated through gaming grants program Read more

 

Matzie: $175,000 grant awarded for Walker Park stream restoration

(Sep 15, 2020)

AMBRIDGE, Sept. 15 – A $175,000 grant from the Commonwealth Financing Authority will fund sediment removal and stream restoration for Little Sewickley Creek in Leet Township’s Walker Park, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. Matzie said the grant – administered by the CFA and funded by the Allegheny County Gaming Economic Development Tourism Fund – will enhance one of the area’s most beloved natural resources “Little Sewickley Creek is a natural gem,” Matzie said. “For decades, it has been designated as a ‘high quality’ trout stocking fishery – one of few area streams to receive that designation. In addition to fishing, the creek draws the community to Walker Park for hiking, community projects and teaching kids about biodiversity and the beauty of nature. “Recently, sedimentation was identified as an issue affecting the stream’s water quality. This grant is going to help fund removal of sediment runoff and restore the existing stream to ensure that this area treasure is preserved for decades to come.” Matzie said a $100,000 grant to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank will benefit the entire region by funding enhancements – new sidewalks, parking and handicap accessibility ramps – for the food bank’s facility. Read more

 

Wheatley introduces legislation to help live music venues during pandemic

(Sep 14, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, Sept. 14 – Hundreds of live music venues have been adversely impacted due to the pandemic – and many of them have been forced to close their doors – and state Rep. Jake Wheatley is spearheading an effort to assist the industry. Wheatley, D-Allegheny, said his “Save our Stages” measure (H.B. 2984) would earmark federal CARES dollars to create a fund to provide grants to these businesses and keep them afloat. “We have more than 200 of these independent music venues across our state, which last year alone generated nearly $1.4 billion in revenue and $238 million in direct economic impacts in our communities, sustaining our local restaurants and hotels,” Wheatley said. “This industry also provides employment to over 10,000 people statewide -- many who are now unemployed. For all these reasons, it’s vital we provide this much-needed support to ensure their doors remain open for all of us to patronize once this pandemic ends.” More information can be found by clicking this link: https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20190&cosponId=32418 . Read more

 

Wheatley announces nearly $224K in Keystone Historic Preservation grants

(Sep 09, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, Sept. 9 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley announced approximately $223,500 in grants were awarded to the city of Pittsburgh and several museums and historical organizations in the city. Wheatley, D-Pittsburgh, said the following entities were awarded Keystone Historic Preservation grants from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission: Construction category : City of Pittsburgh - $100,000 These funds will be used to rehab the windows of the Oliver Bath House, which is listed on the National Historic Ledger, as part of the overall rehabilitation project to preserve the bath house. Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy - $50,000 Funds will be used to restore the Hartzell Memorial Monument, also known as the “Man, Beast and Bird” fountain/statue in Allegheny Commons Park. The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh - $24,000 Grant funds will be used to support repointing of the granite façade of the Carnegie Free Library of Allegheny building to repair and prevent further water damage. Planning project category: Allegheny Historic Preservation Society, Inc. - $24,500 The society will use the funds to conduct a thorough investigation of the Elks building, an important work of famous Pittsburgh architect Edward B. Lee, including future strategic planning, fundraising and renovation. New Hazlett Center for the Performing Arts - $25,000 The funds will be Read more

 

Wheatley applauds governor, lt. governor in joining call to urge legislature to take up effort to legalize adult-use cannabis

(Sep 03, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 3 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, today issued the following statement in response to Gov. Tom Wolf and Lt. Gov. John Fetterman urging legislators in the House and Senate to consider several bills, including his measure ( H.B. 2050 ) to legalize adult-use cannabis: “For over a year, I have urged my colleagues in both chambers to meet me at the table to discuss legalization. Unfortunately, my bill and others continue to languish in committee, while our state faces an unprecedented budget shortfall. "It’s clear and the people of the commonwealth have spoken: the time to legalize is now. Through my bill, legalization of adult-use cannabis would provide millions of dollars of revenue, create jobs and support grant programs to help minority- and women-owned businesses. It also includes a provision, called the Cannabis Clean Slate initiative, which would expunge cannabis-related offenses for non-violent offenders. "During today’s news conference, Lt. Governor Fetterman said nearly a quarter of a million Pennsylvanians have been arrested for nothing more than consuming a plant that’s legal in several areas of our country. Those same people find it tougher to get a job, pass a criminal background check, or get a business loan – all because of possession or use of cannabis. That, in and of itself, is indeed criminal. "For those who are fearful that such a move would put children at Read more

 

Wheatley to introduce resolution to recognize September as ‘Hunger Action Month’ in Pa.

(Aug 31, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 31 – With one in nine Pennsylvanians struggling with hunger and the current COVID-19 pandemic leading more families and individuals toward food insecurity, state Rep. Jake Wheatley is urging all Pennsylvanians to play a role in helping those in need. To that end, Wheatley, D-Allegheny, plans to introduce a resolution that would recognize September as “Hunger Action Month.” “The current pandemic has exacerbated food insecurity issues across our state, and according to Feeding America, more than 1.4 million Pennsylvanians are experiencing severe hunger, and nearly 400,000 of those are children,” Wheatley said. “My goal with introducing this resolution is to shed light on the persistent problem of domestic hunger in our state and across the nation. “Every one of us can do something to help – whether it’s volunteering at your local food bank, donating to food pantries, or holding a food drive or raising money to help organizations providing food to those who desperately need our help.” While the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Women Infants and Children program feed millions in need across Pennsylvania and nationwide, many who are struggling with hunger are unlikely to qualify because they are either employed or have incomes slightly above the poverty line, Wheatley added. More details on his resolution can be found at the following link: Read more

 

Cephas, Kenyatta and Innamorato hold hearing to discuss plan to help low-income tenants facing eviction amid COVID-19
Oct 09, 2020

Rep. Innamorato, state Sen. Williams announce conservation grant funding for local projects
Oct 09, 2020

Gainey, Wheatley sponsor weekend event at CCAC
Oct 07, 2020

Ross Twp., Girty’s Run projects awarded $155,000 in enviro grants
Oct 02, 2020

Frankel: Will House Rs take COVID-19 seriously?
Oct 01, 2020

Matzie: House unanimously adopts resolution designating October 2020 as ‘Agent Orange Awareness Month’
Sep 30, 2020

Matzie: House unanimously adopts ‘Rail Safety Week’ resolution
Sep 29, 2020

Sharpsburg awarded $125,000 grant for Kennedy Park
Sep 25, 2020

Matzie: Nearly $316,000 to fund new Ambridge playground, spray park
Sep 24, 2020

Wheatley announces grant to fund development plan for Fowler Park
Sep 24, 2020

Matzie: Grants will ensure elementary school students have access to fresh fruits and vegetables
Sep 22, 2020

Obscure building code blocks bathroom access in Allegheny County
Sep 21, 2020

Matzie introduces bill to trace COVID-19 through wastewater
Sep 18, 2020

Conservation, watershed, and zoo projects receive $795,000 in state funding
Sep 16, 2020

Grants awarded to help fund health, arts projects in Pittsburgh
Sep 16, 2020

Matzie: $175,000 grant awarded for Walker Park stream restoration
Sep 15, 2020

Wheatley introduces legislation to help live music venues during pandemic
Sep 14, 2020

Wheatley announces nearly $224K in Keystone Historic Preservation grants
Sep 09, 2020

Wheatley applauds governor, lt. governor in joining call to urge legislature to take up effort to legalize adult-use cannabis
Sep 03, 2020

Wheatley to introduce resolution to recognize September as ‘Hunger Action Month’ in Pa.
Aug 31, 2020