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Bizzarro, Merski, Harkins renew demand to move Erie to green, open phase

(20 hours ago)

ERIE, June 3 – Renewing their demand to open Erie County, state Reps. Ryan Bizzarro, Bob Merski and Pat Harkins, all D-Erie, have written to Gov. Tom Wolf urging him to add the county to the list of others moving to the “green” phase of the state’s reopen plan on June 5. The lawmakers say they hope the letter – co-signed by state Sens. Dan Laughlin and Michele Brooks; state Reps. Curt Sonney and Brad Roae; and local mayors and county executives – will bring swift action. Bizzarro said, “We’re continuing to push the administration to move Erie to green, for the sake of our small businesses and local economy. Each day that goes by makes it that much harder for these businesses to get back on their feet. To be sure, the health of our residents is priority No. 1, but we must not ignore the health of our local economy, which is hanging in the balance.” Merski said, “Keeping Erie in the yellow is doing nothing to keep residents safer; it’s only hurting our local businesses. Surrounding counties – including those in Ohio and New York – are fully open, forcing Erie consumers to travel elsewhere for services. It only creates unnecessary competition for our business community and increases the risk of spreading the virus. “What’s more, the numbers don’t support the continued restrictions: Statistics from our local health department show that our county Read more

 

Bizzarro, Merski, Harkins issue statements on weekend Erie protests that turned violent

(May 31, 2020)

ERIE, May 31 – State Reps. Ryan Bizzarro, Bob Merski and Pat Harkins, all D-Erie, issued the following statements today in response to reports that peaceful community protests over the death of George Floyd turned violent last night in Erie: Bizzarro said, “ The events of the weekend, and the senseless acts against black Americans, are weighing heavily on our nation and our community. The injustices and struggles people of color continue to endure are disgraceful and must end. While I may never fully understand all the challenges they face, I stand firmly against racism. “Protesting is an important part of implementing change, but I believe our community must do so peacefully and without causing harm to others or property. I am calling for peace and unity in our community and for us to join together in support of our black neighbors, family and friends. They are afraid for their sons, daughters, fathers, mothers and more. We must be there to comfort and support them in this time and emerge with a new respect and camaraderie so we can make meaningful and bold steps to eradicate racism.” Merski said, "This weekend in Erie, peaceful protests over the death of George Floyd erupted into violence. It isn’t hard to understand the anger: George Floyd’s death at the hands of police was brutal and senseless – and sadly, a familiar reality for so many Americans of color. "While Read more

 

Merski, Bizzarro, Harkins: Decision to keep Erie County in yellow phase ‘the wrong move for our county’

(May 29, 2020)

ERIE, May 29 – State Reps. Bob Merski, Pat Harkins and Ryan Bizzarro, all D-Erie, issued the following statements in response to Gov. Tom Wolf’s announcement today that Erie County will not be among the Pennsylvania counties moving to the green reopen phase of the state’s reopen plan on June 5. “I am extremely disappointed in the governor’s decision to keep Erie County in the yellow, restricted phase,” Merski said. “Although our county saw a brief spike last week, the numbers have stabilized, and we are ready for the next steps in reopening. “I have been fighting for our county to move into the green phase because I’m convinced that our residents are able to do the right thing. Erie County residents have been doing their part to slow the spread of COVID-19 by wearing masks and social distancing, and will continue that responsible behavior in the weeks to come. We have done what was asked of us. It’s time to let Erie open all of its doors.” Bizzarro said, “I’m calling on the governor to reconsider his decision, which I believe is the wrong move for our county. Erie residents are responsible, resourceful and careful. Our business owners understand how to keep residents safe, and our community is aware of social distancing and other safety protocols. They want to get back to supporting our community and our local economy. It’s time to get Read more

 

Terminating disaster declaration does little for public safety, phased reopening

(May 28, 2020)

Rep. Ryan Bizzarro expresses his opposition to HR836. Read more

 

Bizzarro supports bill to assist volunteer fire, EMS companies

(May 28, 2020)

HARRISBURG, May 28 – Volunteer fire and emergency medical service companies would receive a one-time crisis grant with the passage of S.B. 1122, state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, announced today. The bill, unanimously passed by the state House, establishes the Fire Company and Emergency Medical Services Grant Program. A total of $50 million in Federal CARES Funding earmarked for fire and EMS companies would be awarded thanks to the program. “Volunteer fire and EMS companies are the backbone of our emergency response. This pandemic has crippled their ability to raise funds needed to uphold public safety. I am proud to support this legislation to support these heroes, especially during this trying time,” Bizzarro said. The bill now awaits the governor’s signature for enactment. Read more

 

Bizzarro resolution recognizes esports in Pa.

(May 23, 2020)

HARRISBURG, May 21-- State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, said he is proud to report the House adopted his House resolution recognizing Esports Month in the commonwealth. House Resolution 647 designated February 2020 as Esports Month in Pennsylvania. The industry is estimated to see revenue of $1.8 billion by the end of 2021. Global spectators of the sport are anticipated to reach nearly 650 million by the end of this year. “I am really proud this resolution was adopted and that we can recognize esports. They encourage problem solving skills, tech fluency and encourage an interest in STEM,” Bizzarro said. “While we’re laser focused on safely re-opening Pennsylvania, it’s important that we don’t lose sight of the need to encourage extracurricular activities that can help hone in skills applicable to the digital workforce.” Bizzarro said Edinboro University recently launched its varsity esports program and is ranked as a top school in the nation to procure a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science for Game and Virtual World Development. Read more

 

Erie to receive more than $1 million in CARES Funding for Child Care Provider Support

(May 20, 2020)

HARRISBURG, May 20 -- State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro announced today that Erie Child Care Providers will receive more than $1 million in funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. “Child care providers are the key reason why essential employees are able to work and provide the services and goods we need to survive this pandemic. Our community cannot function without them and we are grateful for their pivotal role-especially amidst this pandemic,” expressed Bizzarro. The $1,011,700 earmarked for Erie Childcare providers was distributed in partnership with the General Assembly. Funds will be distributed to eligible, certified child care providers through regional Early Learning Resource Centers (ELRCs). OCDEL determined eligibility for funding and amount of award based on the type and size of provider, number of active enrollments in Child Care Works (CCW) subsidized child care, child care capacity, and licensure status. A base payment is set by licensure type and capacity and providers can receive additional funding for CCW enrollments and if they operate in a county determined to have moderate or acute capacity issues The attestation form and process for the CARES Act funds for child care providers can be found here . Read more

 

Erie child care providers to receive more than $1 million in funding from CARES ACT

(May 20, 2020)

Today, State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro announced that child care providers across Erie will receive more than $1 million in funding from the CARES act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act). Read more

 

Property tax/rent rebate payments on their way to eligible Pa. seniors

(May 19, 2020)

HARRISBURG, May 19 – State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro said that Gov. Tom Wolf today signed into law a bill that will expedite the distribution of property tax/rent rebate payments to seniors. “Eligible residents who depend on these rebates will receive them earlier than anticipated and at time where there is so much uncertainty, I am happy to report this good news to those waiting for these payments,” Bizzarro said. “The General Assembly moved quickly to get this legislation to the governor and this is a great example of how bipartisanship can best benefit our state.” Property tax and rent rebate payments will now be made immediately instead of waiting until July 1. It also directs the departments of Revenue and Treasury to process 2019 rebate payments for all homeowners and renters who received a 2018 rebate. For anyone who became eligible in the past year, those rebates would also be issued immediately upon receipt of their application instead of waiting until July. Payments are being sent out to those who have already filed for Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program. Bizzarro urges residents who have not yet applied to contact his office at 814-835-2880 for free assistance with the application process. Read more

 

Bizzarro to host virtual COVID-19 Scam Prevention Event

(May 18, 2020)

ERIE, May 18– State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro announced he is partnering with the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office to host a live webcast even to help participants avoid falling victim to fraud and scams related to the novel coronavirus. The live webcast will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 20. Information will be provided on treatment, supply and provider scams, and more. “This is a great event to ensure you’re protecting yourself from those looking to take advantage of citizens in this vulnerable time. It’s unfortunate that these people exist, especially in these times, but arming yourself with this information will help,” Bizzarro said. Participation is limited to the first 100 participants and registrations should be sent to coalitionpathwaysinc@gmail.com . Confirmed participants will receive a link with a passcode for admission to the event. Pennsylvanians who believe they have fallen victim to a scam can submit online complaints to www.attorneygeneral.com/covid19 . Read more

 

Bizzarro vote supports local businesses amid COVID-19 pandemic

(May 14, 2020)

HARRISBURG, May 14 – In support of local businesses and to stimulate Pennsylvania’s economy, state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro today voted for legislation that would issue waivers to the Governor’s business closure to select essential businesses in compliance with CDC guidelines in response to COVID-19 reopening efforts. “I voted ‘yes’ because I believe these businesses can resume operations while practicing the CDC recommended guidelines for safety in mitigating COVID-19. I’m willing to let companies reopen as long as they do their best to keep employees and customers safe. This is not a blank check for ReOpen PA to run all over without masks. People must use their best judgement when they go out and about. Wearing a mask, continuing to practice social distancing, washing hands are all going to help keep everyone healthy and safe,” Bizzarro said. House Bill 2388 would immediately issue a waiver to the Governor’s business closure order to the following businesses: vehicle dealers lawn and garden centers cosmetology salons barber shops messenger service and agent service activities animal grooming services manufacturing operations Businesses would be required to adhere to social distancing practices and mitigation efforts recommended by the CDC. CDC guidelines include employers, employees and patrons wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, Read more

 

Rep. Bizzarro Disappointed in Deer Abuse Sentencing

(May 12, 2020)

Bizzarro hoped law enforcement in Jefferson County would have pushed for felony charges allowed by bill he sponsored. Read more

 

Bizzarro urges area school districts to apply for federal CARES funding

(May 07, 2020)

ERIE, May 7 – State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro is urging regional school districts to apply for federal funding that will help them navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. The Pennsylvania Department of Education submitted an application to the federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. School districts will need to apply for funding upon approval of the state’s application. PDE anticipates approval from the U.S. Department of Education in approximately a week and is working to ensure application processes are streamlined for quick issuance to eligible districts. “As our communities adjust to a new way of educating Pennsylvania’s children, there are many needs to ensure our schools have the tools they need from health and safety supplies to technology. Our teachers and school staff have a whole new set of challenges ahead of them and these funds will help them to prepare,” Bizzarro said. Bizzarro noted that General McLane School stands to receive $269,750 and Millcreek Township $1,055,041 under the CARES school emergency relief fund. Additional information is available here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Education-Details.aspx?newsid=842 Read more

 

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance site fully operational

(May 07, 2020)

ERIE, May 7 – State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro announced the Department of Labor and Industry Pandemic Unemployment Assistance site for self-employed, independent contractors, gig workers and those not typically eligible for unemployment compensation is fully operational. The site, which launched April 18, is now prepared for applicants to file weekly claims dating back to the first week of unemployment. If approved, filers will receive one lump sum of backdated payments to Jan. 27, or the first week workers were unable to work due to COVID-19, whichever date is later. The department will automatically issue the extra $600 per week from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program separately from the PUA payments. Backdated FPUC payments will also be paid in one lump sum. “I realize the frustration and sheer inconvenience these delays have caused workers. I am happy to report that progress has been made and that the workers who need this money the most will soon see relief,” Bizzarro said. Bizzarro urged residents to visit his website at www.pahouse.com/bizzarro for a list of COVID-19 resources including a direct link to the Pandemic Unemployment Compensation site . Read more

 

Bizzarro votes to expand COVID-19 testing as state heads back to work

(May 04, 2020)

Legislation critical to ensuring public safety and stopping the spread of coronavirus Read more

 

Bizzarro votes to expand COVID-19 testing as state heads back to work

(May 04, 2020)

Today State Representative Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, voted to expand critical COVID-19 testing as Pennsylvania heads into a new phase in its ongoing efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Read more

 

Rep. Bizzarro: Erie to begin reopening efforts May 8 per Wolf administration guidelines

(May 01, 2020)

ERIE, May 1 – State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro said he is ready for Erie to proceed with great caution to return to a new normal as the Wolf administration today announced Erie will move to the yellow phase of reopening efforts effective May 8. According to the administration’s website, the following restrictions will be in place in the Yellow Phase: Work and congregate setting restrictions will include: Telework Must Continue Where Feasible. Businesses with In-Person Operations Must Follow Business and Building Safety Orders. Child Care Open Complying with Guidance. Congregate Care and Prison Restrictions in Place. Schools Remain Closed for In-Person Instruction. Social Restrictions: Stay-at-Home Order Lifted for Aggressive Mitigation. Large Gatherings of More than 25 Prohibited. In-Person Retail Allowable, Curbside and Delivery Preferable. Indoor Recreation, Health and Wellness Facilities and Personal Care Services (such as gyms, spas, hair salons, nail salons and other entities that provide massage therapy), and all Entertainment (such as casinos, theaters) Remain Closed. Restaurants and Bars Limited to Carry-Out and Delivery Only. “As our region reopens, it’s important that we remain vigilant, wear masks, wash hands and continue to practice social distancing. It’s Read more

 

Bizzarro lauds House passage of bill to reopen local lawn and garden stores

(Apr 30, 2020)

HARRISBURG , April 30 – State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro said the state House today voted on legislation that would authorize local lawn and garden centers to reopen by providing them a waiver to the governor’s business closure order. H.B. 2429 provides for worker safety precautions and would allow community businesses to provide lawn and garden equipment and supplies during the pandemic. “I understand the need to implement mitigation and public safety efforts; but our local businesses should be extended the same opportunities to operate as some of the big-box and chain stores currently operating in our communities. They deserve to stay afloat during this pandemic and this bill would do just that,” expressed Bizzarro. “Our friends, family and neighbors will be able to get back to work in a safe environment and we can keep our business local when possible. That means more now than ever.” The bill would require lawn and garden centers that open to implement safeguards, including following social distancing requirements, providing workers with personal protective equipment and other safety measures, and regular cleaning of facilities. The bill now awaits state Senate consideration. Read more

 

Bizzarro: More than $720,000 in emergency funding headed to Erie County

(Apr 24, 2020)

The grants represent the first round of emergency funding being directed to local communities Read more

 

REP. BIZZARRO: RITE-AID Expands COVID-19 Testing Efforts in Erie

(Apr 20, 2020)

ERIE, April 20 - - State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D- Erie, announced that Rite-Aid will expand on-site testing to the 5430 Peach St. location in Erie. Testing will be available at no cost to eligible individuals. Patients are required to provide a government issues identification, be at least 18 years of age and must pre-register online at www.riteaid.com to schedule a time slot for testing. Tests will not be administered without an appointment. “I have been working with Rite-Aid and other pharmacies to ramp up testing in our region. Expanding testing capacity will strengthen Erie’s efforts in combating COVID-19. The more testing sites available, the easier it will be for our family, friends and neighbors to get tested and determine a plan of action in getting healthy,” Bizzarro said. According to Rite aid, testing will take place in via drive-up in the store’s parking lot. A self-swab nasal test will be administered. Eligibility for testing will follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. “As testing expands, and our ability to navigate COVID-19, I still encourage everyone to stay home and stay safe. Going out unnecessarily will only extend the hold this virus has on our community.” Bizzarro urges residents to visit his website www.pahouse.com/bizzarro - for information on COVID-19. Read more

 

Bizzarro, Merski, Harkins renew demand to move Erie to green, open phase
20 hours ago

Bizzarro, Merski, Harkins issue statements on weekend Erie protests that turned violent
May 31, 2020

Merski, Bizzarro, Harkins: Decision to keep Erie County in yellow phase ‘the wrong move for our county’
May 29, 2020

Terminating disaster declaration does little for public safety, phased reopening
May 28, 2020

Bizzarro supports bill to assist volunteer fire, EMS companies
May 28, 2020

Bizzarro resolution recognizes esports in Pa.
May 23, 2020

Erie to receive more than $1 million in CARES Funding for Child Care Provider Support
May 20, 2020

Erie child care providers to receive more than $1 million in funding from CARES ACT
May 20, 2020

Property tax/rent rebate payments on their way to eligible Pa. seniors
May 19, 2020

Bizzarro to host virtual COVID-19 Scam Prevention Event
May 18, 2020

Bizzarro vote supports local businesses amid COVID-19 pandemic
May 14, 2020

Rep. Bizzarro Disappointed in Deer Abuse Sentencing
May 12, 2020

Bizzarro urges area school districts to apply for federal CARES funding
May 07, 2020

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance site fully operational
May 07, 2020

Bizzarro votes to expand COVID-19 testing as state heads back to work
May 04, 2020

Bizzarro votes to expand COVID-19 testing as state heads back to work
May 04, 2020

Rep. Bizzarro: Erie to begin reopening efforts May 8 per Wolf administration guidelines
May 01, 2020

Bizzarro lauds House passage of bill to reopen local lawn and garden stores
Apr 30, 2020

Bizzarro: More than $720,000 in emergency funding headed to Erie County
Apr 24, 2020

REP. BIZZARRO: RITE-AID Expands COVID-19 Testing Efforts in Erie
Apr 20, 2020