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

Miller, Roebuck introduce online learning equity bill for students in acute poverty

(Jul 15, 2020)

HARRISBURG, July 15 – COVID-19 resulted in the closing of schools statewide this past spring, a move that at the time had bipartisan support and echoed actions taken across our country, but it was one that also shined a bright line on the inequality embedded in many of our school districts across the state. This gross inequality allowed for more well-funded and financially supported districts to open online weeks if not almost two months ahead of neighboring districts that had less funding and less financial support. State Reps. Dan Miller, D-Allegheny, and Jim Roebuck, D-Phila., on Thursday introduced legislation (H.B. 2705) that would offer a path forward to make sure school districts in the future are not delayed in opening online due to uncertainty of access to technology, and that every child who is from a home living in acute poverty has the necessary technology provided to them to make them ready for online learning from day one. “COVID-19 is an unprecedented emergency that no district, state, or likely, nation was prepared to address,” Miller said. “However, we must learn from our experience this spring and we must make sure that no child or school district will be delayed from accessing or providing online education in the future due to financial hardship. It is unjust that our wealthier school districts can be up and running, while our more economically challenged school districts have to go door-to-door, hat-in-hand for Read more

 

Lee urges local organizations to apply for Covid-related grant programs

(Jul 14, 2020)

Grants can help nonprofits, businesses weather coronavirus crisis Read more

 

Frankel: Republicans shut down debate on constitutional amendment

(Jul 13, 2020)

Majority’s actions akin to ‘bulldozing over’ discussion, debates Read more

 

Matzie: More than $146,400 to help those struggling with opioid use disorder return to work

(Jul 02, 2020)

AMBRIDGE, July 2 – Beaver County residents struggling with opioid use disorder will benefit from a $146,444 grant to fund employment support services, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced . Matzie said the federally funded Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration grant will support services such as vocational assessments, resume writing, interviewing skills, job placement and transportation assistance related to employment. “Opioid use disorder has robbed decent, hardworking people of formerly productive lives,” Matzie said. “So many want simply to get back on their feet and recover their independence. With this funding, we can offer them the skills and resources they need to take that first and most important step – gainful employment.” Life’s Work of Western PA will use the grant – which is part of a package of $2 million in SAMHA funding to 14 organizations statewide – to provide services to residents struggling with opioid use disorder in Beaver, Allegheny, Westmoreland, Washington, Fayette and Greene counties. The grants are administered by the state Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs. Read more

 

Matzie: House passes police reform bills to improve officer hiring, training

(Jun 24, 2020)

HARRISBURG, June 24 – The House today unanimously passed two bills that would improve policing in the commonwealth by ensuring hiring agencies have full access to a candidate’s background information and by enhancing officer training, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced. “These are common-sense bills that set us on the path to real reform,” said Matzie, who said he voted for both bills because they promise to improve law enforcement’s ability to hire and maintain the best-qualified people for the job. Matzie said H.B. 1841 would require employers to disclose employment information to law enforcement agencies conducting background checks and also create a database to track officer disciplinary actions so agencies would be aware of potential red flags before hiring an officer who has separated from another agency. “Most employers conduct background checks,” Matzie said. “In an area as critical as law enforcement, it’s only practical that important information would be included in those checks.” Matzie said a second bill, H.B. 1910 , would require mandatory training for officers on interacting with people of diverse racial, ethnic and economic backgrounds and on the use of force and de-escalation methods. It would also require officers to be evaluated for post-traumatic stress after a lethal use-of-force incident. “Police officers have a Read more

 

Rep. Lee: Today’s votes a good first step, but more needs to be done

(Jun 24, 2020)

Bills would increase training, expand background checks for police Read more

 

Gainey votes for police reforms, urges further action by House

(Jun 24, 2020)

Bills would increase training, expand background checks Read more

 

Matzie: Nearly $36,000 to Center at the Mall

(Jun 24, 2020)

AMBRIDGE, June 24 – Beaver County’s largest community senior center is receiving $35,858 in funding, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. Matzie said the grant to Center at the Mall will allow the center to enhance operations for the many active seniors it serves. “ Community centers like Center at the Mall are a lifeline to social activity, nutrition, fitness and other programs that keep our senior community healthy and engaged,” Matzie said. “The pandemic has removed so many of these activities for our seniors, but as restrictions lift, we can expect them to return. “This funding is going help the center enhance and improve its operations so when life returns to a closer version of normal, our seniors will return to an even better, more enriching experience.” The grant is part of a package of $2 million in funding -- appropriated by the General Assembly from the Pennsylvania Lottery -- that is going to 60 senior centers statewide. In all, there are more than 500 senior community centers throughout Pennsylvania that provide a variety of offerings, such as nutritious meals, educational opportunities, transportation services, financial and insurance counseling, and exercise programs. Proceeds from the Pennsylvania Lottery help to fund these programs every year. More information on senior community centers is available by visiting this link: Read more

 

Matzie: More than $31,000 in federal funding to fight homelessness

(Jun 23, 2020)

AMBRIDGE, June 23 – Beaver County residents struggling with homelessness will benefit from more than $31,000 in federal funding for critical resources, including affordable housing and emergency shelter, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today. Matzie said that in addition to a grant totaling $31,125, Beaver County will share in more than $1.72 million in funding being distributed to 20 counties throughout the central and western portions of the state. “Job losses and a slowed economy caused by the pandemic have left hardworking families in our community in immediate need of help,” Matzie said. “Securing this funding will help those who need a safe, clean place to call home.” The funding – administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development – is provided through the federal Emergency Solutions Grant program and is part of a package of nearly $5.5 million that will fund rapid rehousing, homelessness prevention, street outreach, and emergency shelter, among other resources. Priority for funding is given to applicants representing areas of the commonwealth that do not already receive a direct allocation of Emergency Solutions Grant funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Read more

 

Lawmakers call for vote on PA LGBTQ+ civil rights bill

(Jun 16, 2020)

Today, members of the LGBTQ Equality Caucus sent a letter requesting a committee vote for H.B 1404 Read more

 

Lee, Miller vote to advance police accountability bills to House

(Jun 15, 2020)

Lawmakers say unanimous, bipartisan vote today is just the start and more must be done Read more

 

Reps. Wheatley, Gainey and Austin Davis issue statement on passing of former state Rep. Bill Robinson

(Jun 10, 2020)

HARRISBURG, June 10 – State Reps. Jake Wheatley, Ed Gainey and Austin Davis, all D-Allegheny, have issued the following statement on the passing of former state Rep. Bill Robinson: State Rep. Jake Wheatley: “Bill Robinson was committed to our community, and his service did not end after he left the General Assembly. He continued to work to the benefit of all residents in the city of Pittsburgh and beyond. My deepest sympathies go out today to his family and loved ones.” State Rep. Ed Gainey: “ It was with a heavy heart that I learned of Bill’s passing. He was one of those individuals who broke the mold, and who everyone seemed to know. From his time in the legislature, to his work on the city and county councils and throughout our community, Bill showed younger generations what it meant to serve, and was an outstanding role model for so many. I pray for him and for his family, and our entire community. We have lost so much these last few months, but we must remain strong and continue our long march toward justice, freedom and equality.” State Rep. Austin Davis: “Today, we remember the legacy and life of Bill Robinson, a true trailblazer and tireless public servant. Bill served our community at the city, state and county levels, always fighting to improve the condition of the African Americans in our region. Many of the African American elected officials in our region today stand on his shoulders and have walked in the Read more

 

Matzie: Nearly $400,000 in funding to support opioid testing, law enforcement coronavirus response

(Jun 10, 2020)

AMBRIDGE, June 10 – Beaver County will receive $284,994 in federal funding to support the costs of opioid testing and analysis over two years, while county law enforcement will have access to federal funding of up to $109,414 for coronavirus response efforts, state Rep. Rob Matzie announced today. Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, said the grant from the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Program – administered by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency – will fund a project to allow the county to identify the geographical distribution of drugs and develop protocols leading to improved community detection, response and treatment. “Even as we’re working toward a vaccine for COVID-19, we know there is no simple cure for the opioid addiction epidemic, which threatens to continue claiming lives long after we’ve eliminated the threat from the virus,” Matzie said. “Thankfully, we have strategies to combat the epidemic. “Laboratory drug testing funded by this grant will be key to helping us understand the geographical distribution of drugs being used in our county. That knowledge will help health care providers better treat patients they are likely to encounter and will enhance law enforcement efforts to investigate and identify emerging threats.” In addition to the opioid program funding, Matzie said county law enforcement will have access to nearly $110,000 Read more

 

Black Pittsburgh lawmakers’ protest forces action

(Jun 09, 2020)

Historic disruption of legislature causes speaker to call for special session as lawmakers vow to keep pressure on Read more

 

Demanding action, Braddock lawmaker, members of PLBC take protests to state House chamber, disrupt voting session

(Jun 08, 2020)

Rep Lee issues call to action as members disrupt voting session Read more

 

Matzie issues statement regarding Beaver County moving to green June 12

(Jun 05, 2020)

AMBRIDGE, June 5 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, issued the following statement in response to Gov. Tom Wolf’s announcement today that Beaver County will move to the “green” phase of the state’s reopen plan next Friday, June 12. “We were disappointed that we didn’t go into green for this week as our numbers continued to improve and all surrounding counties received the go-ahead. However, with no counties going from yellow to green after at least two weeks, it wasn’t a total surprise. “I believe the public and our businesses are positioned to accelerate our recovery. We will continue to utilize necessary safeguards to protect ourselves and those we may be in contact with under guidelines. We are ready to safely and responsibly move to the green phase.” Read more

 

Lawmakers call on Republican leadership to take up police-community legislation

(Jun 04, 2020)

Pittsburgh-area lawmakers urged House leadership to address numerous law enforcement reform bills that have been languishing in House committees and to add session days if necessary Read more

 

Matzie supports budget-related bills

(May 29, 2020)

HARRISBURG, May 29 – Pennsylvania nursing and personal care homes at the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic would receive more than $630 million in federal CARES Act funding under legislation the House passed unanimously yesterday, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced. Matzie, who has led the charge to investigate and address the spiraling infection and death rates in nursing and long-term care facilities statewide, said he is relieved that a large chunk of $2.6 billion in federal CARES Act funding is going where it is needed most – to address the crisis facing seniors in care facilities. “It is beyond frustrating to read the statistics on mounting deaths and see our seniors being held hostage by this virus without being able to go in and do something to address it,” said Matzie, whose legislation recently prompted the state to begin universal testing in facilities. “Now, thanks to this infusion of funding, we will have the test kits, personal protective equipment, additional staffing and other critical resources to start bringing the situation under control.” Beyond the assistance to nursing homes, Matzie said the CARES Act funding will provide $50 million to volunteer fire and EMS companies, which lost key sources of revenue when the pandemic forced a halt to fundraising efforts. “We ask our first responders to combat any form of disaster, Read more

 

Davis’ legislation advocating for rental assistance rolled into crucial fiscal code bill

(May 29, 2020)

HARRISBURG, May 29 – In May, state Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, began his push to advocate for residents struggling to make ends meet during the COVID-19 pandemic by introducing legislation geared toward providing rental assistance to those in need. On Thursday, portions of his legislation were rolled into the final supplemental fiscal code bill. Davis said he was encouraged and thankful to see portions of his bill included in H.B. 2510, which passed the House on Thursday, and noted he was able to advocate for the inclusion of his legislation through his role on the House Appropriations Committee. “I’m grateful to see portions of my legislation included in this bill, most notably because it’s legislation that will benefit state residents which, by the way, is the reason we’re all here,” Davis said. “It’s my hope that members from both sides of the aisle can continue to work in bipartisan fashion, especially during times of crisis, so that we can do what is best for commonwealth residents.” Davis said his legislation was wrapped into H.B. 2510 under the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency. Specifically, section 191-C dedicates a minimum of $150 million to rental assistance through the proposed COVID Relief Rent and Mortgage Assistance Grant Program. Homeowners or renters may be eligible for assistance if they became unemployed after March 1, 2020, or their annual household income was reduced by 30% or Read more

 

Frankel ‘horrified’ by House GOP failure after member tests positive

(May 27, 2020)

Says House GOP actions and silence an ‘abdication’ of responsibility, leadership amid crisis Read more

 

Miller, Roebuck introduce online learning equity bill for students in acute poverty
Jul 15, 2020

Lee urges local organizations to apply for Covid-related grant programs
Jul 14, 2020

Frankel: Republicans shut down debate on constitutional amendment
Jul 13, 2020

Matzie: More than $146,400 to help those struggling with opioid use disorder return to work
Jul 02, 2020

Matzie: House passes police reform bills to improve officer hiring, training
Jun 24, 2020

Rep. Lee: Today’s votes a good first step, but more needs to be done
Jun 24, 2020

Gainey votes for police reforms, urges further action by House
Jun 24, 2020

Matzie: Nearly $36,000 to Center at the Mall
Jun 24, 2020

Matzie: More than $31,000 in federal funding to fight homelessness
Jun 23, 2020

Lawmakers call for vote on PA LGBTQ+ civil rights bill
Jun 16, 2020

Lee, Miller vote to advance police accountability bills to House
Jun 15, 2020

Reps. Wheatley, Gainey and Austin Davis issue statement on passing of former state Rep. Bill Robinson
Jun 10, 2020

Matzie: Nearly $400,000 in funding to support opioid testing, law enforcement coronavirus response
Jun 10, 2020

Black Pittsburgh lawmakers’ protest forces action
Jun 09, 2020

Demanding action, Braddock lawmaker, members of PLBC take protests to state House chamber, disrupt voting session
Jun 08, 2020

Matzie issues statement regarding Beaver County moving to green June 12
Jun 05, 2020

Lawmakers call on Republican leadership to take up police-community legislation
Jun 04, 2020

Matzie supports budget-related bills
May 29, 2020

Davis’ legislation advocating for rental assistance rolled into crucial fiscal code bill
May 29, 2020

Frankel ‘horrified’ by House GOP failure after member tests positive
May 27, 2020