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Dermody: Companies getting tax dollars for projects must deliver on promise of good wages for workers

Ravenstahl: Essential workers deserve essential protections

(12 hours ago)

Legislator proposes bill ensuring women and men on front lines of COVID crisis have resources if sickened Read more

 

Burns skeptical of governor’s medical supplies redistribution order, as Cambria records first COVID-19 death

(14 hours ago)

Burns, D-Cambria, fears that Wolf’s order may rob Conemaugh Health System of badly needed supplies Read more

 

Isaacson introduces legislation to allow Unemployment Compensation applicants to receive PIN electronically

(1 day ago)

HARRISBURG, April 8 – With a record number of Pennsylvanians applying for Unemployment Compensation benefits after suffering a loss of wages because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rep. Mary Isaacson has introduced legislation to allow those applicants to receive their Personal Identification Number, or PIN, electronically. “Life for so many Pennsylvanians has been upended,” Isaacson said. “People are worried about how they will pay their bills, how they will be able to afford the things they need in the midst of this pandemic, and their ability to receive Unemployment Compensation benefits in this chaotic time is hampered by an antiquated system. “Right now, the only way a person filing for Unemployment Compensation can receive their PIN is through snail mail,” Isaacson continued. “But we can and must do better for Pennsylvanians in need. That’s why I’m introducing legislation to require the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry to create an electronic delivery method for PINs needed for the unemployment compensation system, to provide people with another option.” Isaacson’s legislation would give Unemployment Compensation applicants the option to select to use the electronic delivery method during the application process, with traditional mail delivery being the default method. Since March 15, more than 1.1 million people have filed for Unemployment Compensation in Pennsylvania. ### Read more

 

Wheatley: Pa. needs better demographic data on COVID-19 cases in order to effectively respond, curb virus’ spread

(1 day ago)

PITTSBURGH, April 8 – Citing concerns that minority populations are more likely to be at high risk for contracting COVID-19 and less likely to have access to healthcare resources – including testing – state Rep. Jake Wheatley said he will be introducing a bill to require state agencies to collect better data to address health disparities during the current pandemic. Wheatley, D-Allegheny, said he is concerned that low-income communities of color aren’t effectively being tracked and that’s significantly hampering efforts to curb the virus’ spread. He added that minority populations have higher rates of chronic diseases, such as asthma, hypertension and heart disease, which puts them at higher risk for contracting the virus. “Several cities in the U.S., including Philadelphia, Detroit and Chicago, are showing that minority populations are dying of COVID-19 at higher rates,” Wheatley said. “In order for our state to better respond to this pandemic, it’s vital we have the correct data. My legislation would require the state departments of Health and Human Services to work closely with local officials and private labs to ensure correct data is being collected.” More information on Wheatley’s bill can be found here . Read more

 

Burns urges local schools to apply for COVID-19 remote learning grants

(1 day ago)

State Rep. keeps fighting for Cambria County students, families Read more

 

Kenyatta: Trio of bills will have disastrous consequences as pandemic reaches its peak

(Apr 08, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, April 8 – Today, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., expressed disapproval of bills (H.B. 2400, H.B. 2376, and H.B. 1874) introduced by House Republicans that would reopen industries that are classified as non-life saving in Gov. Tom Wolf’s COVID-19 mitigation efforts: “It’s absolutely ludicrous to even contemplate going against everything state, national and global medical experts are urging residents to do to reduce the spread of this fatal virus,” Kenyatta said. “Opening businesses that are not essential during a time when this pandemic is soon poised to reach its peak will have disastrous consequences. For one, our health care systems will be overloaded with the inevitable uptick of new cases, compounded by the existing cases it’s already struggling to quell. Additionally, these bills lack foresight into offering provisions like paid sick leave and hazard pay for these employees who will be most at-risk for exposure. However, I expect nothing more from the same members of our legislature who denied many of these employees fair pay by voting against increasing the minimum wage, but are now conveniently coding them as essential for cheap profit. “We’re battling a very dangerous, yet invisible threat that is an unprecedented occurrence in our lifetime right now, which incites feelings of confusion and fear among so many Pennsylvanians who are looking to us as legislators for the Read more

 

Rep. Kenyatta pens letter to Gov. Wolf urging relief for essential workers in Pa.

(Apr 08, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, April 8 – In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., today penned a letter to Gov. Tom Wolf, expressing his gratitude for the governor’s swift pandemic mitigation responses, and requested immediate relief and assistance to Pennsylvanians employed in essential industries. In his letter, which was endorsed by the United Food and Commercial Workers union and currently has over 47 signatures -- including leadership and three delegation chairs -- Kenyatta pointed out that Pennsylvanians working at jobs deemed essential are still lacking essential benefits, while they put themselves at risk to ensure many other Pennsylvanians are provided food, medicine, gas and other necessities. “Despite tactics to undermine leadership by the governor and his administration, Pennsylvanians commend his actions in keeping us all safe during this trying time,” Kenyatta said. “Those actions should also include active recognition that many of our neighbors on the frontlines working essential jobs continue to do so without proper provisions like hazard pay and expanded sick leave, among other crucial benefits. These heroes cannot be forgotten, and they deserve assurance and security.” A link to the letter can be found on Kenyatta’s website . Read more

 

Rep. Daley's response to Speaker Turzai's April 2 Inquirer column

(Apr 07, 2020)

Governor Wolf and Dr. Levine are not only battling COVID-19 without adequate reserves, they’re also doing so with an anemic general fund, a frustrating and now dangerous hallmark of your majority’s control. Read more

 

Burns: Grants available to help volunteer fire companies battle wildfires

(Apr 07, 2020)

Grants can be used for equipment, vehicles, radios and training Read more

 

Burns commends creation of Pa. Manufacturing Call to Action portal to combat COVID-19

(Apr 06, 2020)

Saturday announcement dovetails with Burns’ March 18 request Read more

 

Wheatley: Bill would provide emergency relief to affected workers during COVID-19 pandemic

(Apr 02, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, April 2 – In an effort to provide widespread help to essential workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic, state Rep. Jake Wheatley has introduced a measure that would provide multiple levels of assistance. Wheatley, D-Allegheny, said H.B. 2380 would include the following: Provide additional wages to essential workers, including those who make less than $15 an hour. Ban employers from requiring employees to use their Paid Time Off directly preceding a layoff due to a health emergency. Suspend all mortgage and rent payments for workers who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic (beginning April 1, 2020, and ending one month following the end of the state emergency declaration). Landlords would be able to apply for reimbursement for lost rent during this period. Forgiveness of student loans in full for essential employees who work more than 150 hours during the outbreak (with proof of essential employee status and hours worked). The legislation would be paid for by a general bond not to exceed $10 billion, Wheatley added. “Right now, we are living in unprecedented, uncertain times, and it’s vital we take action and respond to the immediate needs of residents who have been impacted by this pandemic, due to their work or the loss of their jobs,” Wheatley said. “We have an opportunity to provide and support thousands of Pennsylvanians during this challenging time, and I urge my Read more

 

COVID-19 support for PA business

(Apr 02, 2020)

COVID-19 SUPPORT FOR PA BUSINESSES FEDERAL Contacts: Visit: https://www.sba.gov/local-assistance/find/?type=SBA%20District%20Office&pageNumber=1 to find your local Small Business Administration (SBA) District Office Programs: Coronavirus Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources Information Visit: https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – Loan Program and Forgiveness to help eligible businesses cover the costs of payroll, health care benefits, rent, mortgage interest, and utilities during COVID-19. Loan has a maturity of 2 years and interest rate of 1.0%. Open to small businesses, restaurants, hotels, tribal businesses, non-profits, independent contractors, and gig economy workers. Contact your local lender to see if they participate in this program! Loan period: February 15, 2020 through June 30, 2020. Visit: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/paycheck-protection-program-ppp . Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Advance Loan – Loans up to $2 million for small businesses (3.75% interest rate) and private, nonprofit organizations (2.75% interest rate) suffering as a result of COVID-19. Loans for fix debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills. Advance of up Read more

 

Burns proposes ‘American Made’ legislation to create thousands of jobs, reduce reliance on foreign supply chains

(Mar 31, 2020)

Lawmaker crafting bills to bring manufacturing back to U.S.A. Read more

 

Wheatley introduces bill to protect public school districts from lawsuits due to COVID-19 related operational changes

(Mar 31, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, March 31 – Public school districts statewide have had to make significant adjustments in how they educate students during the current COVID-19 pandemic, and state Rep. Jake Wheatley said his measure would help protect districts from frivolous lawsuits. Wheatley, D-Allegheny, said that House Bill 2375 would prevent legal actions against districts for operational changes that they have had to make due to the coronavirus pandemic in the current 2019-20 school year. “A school district’s primary job is to educate students – and many districts have had to be flexible in implementing ways to continue to teach, due to the restrictions that many families face,” Wheatley said. “My goal is to ensure that these districts can continue to operate as best as they can without fearing legal action due to a situation completely out of their control.” Wheatley added that his effort isn’t an attempt to restrict parents’ rights, but to help protect the state’s public school districts during a vulnerable time. Read more

 

Pennsylvanians’ reproductive rights under attack amid pandemic

(Mar 30, 2020)

Lawmaker urges Wolf to defend families’ rights from cynical attacks Read more

 

Snyder: Bill would create new volunteer fire, EMS crisis grants

(Mar 28, 2020)

HARRISBURG, March 28 – State Rep. Pam Snyder, D-Fayette/Greene/Washington, today officially introduced a measure to provide immediate financial assistance to volunteer fire and emergency management service companies. Snyder said House Bill 2374 would establish a one-time program to provide automatic crisis grants to each fire and EMS company in Pennsylvania, once approved by the Office of the State Fire Commissioner and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. These grants would be funded by a one-time transfer of $30 million from the Volunteer Companies Loan Fund, which has been used to balance the state budgets in 2014 and 2016, she added. “Every day, our brave men and women are putting their lives on the line to help us stay safe and assist those in need, especially now during these uncertain times with the current COVID-19 pandemic,” Snyder said. “They aren’t able to conduct their normal fundraising activities, and that’s why this grant program is so vital to help them stay afloat and answer the call.” Snyder added her bill has more than 30 co-sponsors and she anticipates the House will move quickly to consider it. For statewide and regional resources and information on COVID-19, residents can visit the following link: https://www.pahouse.net/snyder/News/?id=113189 . Read more

 

Burns supports $30 million in emergency grants for fire, EMS companies during coronavirus crisis

(Mar 27, 2020)

Bill would provide one-time grants to support their efforts Read more

 

Snyder plans to introduce bill to create one-time crisis grant program to assist volunteer fire, EMS companies

(Mar 27, 2020)

HARRISBURG, March 27 – Recognizing their need for support during the current COVID-19 pandemic, state Rep. Pam Snyder today announced upcoming legislation to provide immediate financial assistance to volunteer fire and emergency management service companies. Snyder, D-Fayette/Greene/Washington, said her bill would establish the creation of a one-time grant program, approved by the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and the Office of the State Fire Commissioner, that would provide automatic crisis grants to each fire and EMS company. These grants would be funded by a one-time transfer of $30 million from the Volunteer Companies Loan Fund, a fund Snyder said has been used to balance the state budgets in 2014 and 2016. “These men and women put their lives on the line each and every day, especially now with the coronavirus pandemic affecting our state,” Snyder said. “At the same time, these same companies are unable to conduct regular fundraising efforts to stay active. My bill would provide this one-time vital assistance to help these first responders keep answering the call for help.” For more information, including resources and additional information on state and regional COVID-19 resources, please visit the following link: https://www.pahouse.net/snyder/News/?id=113189 Read more

 

Kim reminds Pennsylvanians that hate and discrimination will not be tolerated during the COVID-19 public health crisis

(Mar 26, 2020)

HARRISBURG, MARCH 26 – State Rep. Patty Kim, D-Dauphin, today said she is joining with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission to push back on hate crimes and advocate for tolerance during the coronavirus, COVID-19 global pandemic. “I want to thank the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and its executive director, Chad Lassiter, for standing behind our Asian-American community," Kim said. "We want to remind Pennsylvanians that it is unacceptable to tolerate racial slurs, xenophobic attacks and harassment, especially during this global pandemic. It’s wrong to shift blame or accuse Asian-Americans for this crisis. Pathogens do not discriminate. I stand ready to help and protect anyone who is being discriminated against during the COVID-19 crisis. Moving forward, do not hesitate to contact my office for direct assistance and to report these instances of abuse and harassment. We stand united together in our fight against hate.” “In response to the many calls received by both the PHRC and the office of Representative Kim, we want you to know that we are taking those communications and responding as quickly as possible,” said Lassiter. “We are setting up a rapid response system that will allow us to address acts of discrimination in this emergency that are initiated based on the COVID-19 pandemic. PHRC is pleased to be working with Representative Kim and other partners to address unacceptable Read more

 

Matzie: House unanimously passes COVID-19 response bills

(Mar 25, 2020)

AMBRIDGE, March 25 – The House today unanimously passed several COVID-19 response bills, including measures that would temporarily remove the 180-day instruction requirement for all schools and push back Pennsylvania’s primary election to June 2, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced. “This is new ground for all of us,” said Matzie, who supported both bills. “There are certain actions the governor can take by himself, but others that need legislative authority. We’re doing our best to address those in a safe, timely, bipartisan manner.” Matzie said the amended S.B. 751 – which authorizes the secretary of Education to close all schools until the COVID-19 epidemic is over and increase the number of allowable flexible instruction days , among other emergency school code changes – provides much-needed flexibility for school administrators until things return to normal. “This will not be a lost school year. Seniors will graduate, kids will learn, employees will be paid and normalcy will return when it’s safe. We’ve given our districts the flexibility they need to navigate through this crisis. The changes will help give clarity to students, faculty, support staff and administration. “From a policy perspective, it’s the right thing to do. But as a parent of a graduating senior, I fully understand and Read more

 

Ravenstahl: Essential workers deserve essential protections
12 hours ago

Burns skeptical of governor’s medical supplies redistribution order, as Cambria records first COVID-19 death
14 hours ago

Isaacson introduces legislation to allow Unemployment Compensation applicants to receive PIN electronically
1 day ago

Wheatley: Pa. needs better demographic data on COVID-19 cases in order to effectively respond, curb virus’ spread
1 day ago

Burns urges local schools to apply for COVID-19 remote learning grants
1 day ago

Kenyatta: Trio of bills will have disastrous consequences as pandemic reaches its peak
Apr 08, 2020

Rep. Kenyatta pens letter to Gov. Wolf urging relief for essential workers in Pa.
Apr 08, 2020

Rep. Daley's response to Speaker Turzai's April 2 Inquirer column
Apr 07, 2020

Burns: Grants available to help volunteer fire companies battle wildfires
Apr 07, 2020

Burns commends creation of Pa. Manufacturing Call to Action portal to combat COVID-19
Apr 06, 2020

Wheatley: Bill would provide emergency relief to affected workers during COVID-19 pandemic
Apr 02, 2020

COVID-19 support for PA business
Apr 02, 2020

Burns proposes ‘American Made’ legislation to create thousands of jobs, reduce reliance on foreign supply chains
Mar 31, 2020

Wheatley introduces bill to protect public school districts from lawsuits due to COVID-19 related operational changes
Mar 31, 2020

Pennsylvanians’ reproductive rights under attack amid pandemic
Mar 30, 2020

Snyder: Bill would create new volunteer fire, EMS crisis grants
Mar 28, 2020

Burns supports $30 million in emergency grants for fire, EMS companies during coronavirus crisis
Mar 27, 2020

Snyder plans to introduce bill to create one-time crisis grant program to assist volunteer fire, EMS companies
Mar 27, 2020

Kim reminds Pennsylvanians that hate and discrimination will not be tolerated during the COVID-19 public health crisis
Mar 26, 2020

Matzie: House unanimously passes COVID-19 response bills
Mar 25, 2020