Ciresi praises $17,000 special education workforce grant awarded to Pottstown School District

(21 hours ago)

HARRISBURG, July 22 – Pottstown School District was awarded a $17,200 workforce grant from the PA Department of Education to develop a new generation of special education teachers, state Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, announced today. “Kids in special education classes need teachers who are specially trained to understand their unique needs and provide the necessary support so they can flourish intellectually, socially and emotionally in school,” Ciresi said. “Especially important in light of a statewide teacher shortage, this money will create new learning opportunities for Pottstown School District students. By raising awareness of career paths and job opportunities in special education, this will help recruit the teachers needed to provide a top-notch education for all students.” The Developing Future Special Educator grants will help local education agencies design and implement student-focused experiential learning opportunities for supporting students with disabilities and learning about career opportunities in the field of special education. The program builds on the department’s efforts to develop a teacher pipeline and retention program to guarantee that learners of all abilities across the state are guaranteed access to a top-notch education for years to come. Read more

 

Gov. Shapiro signs Rep. Warren's insurance and corporate bills into law

(21 hours ago)

NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE State Rep. Perry Warren D-Bucks County www.pahouse.com/Warren Gov. Shapiro signs Rep. Warren's insurance and corporate bills into law HARRISBURG, July 22 – In the midst of state budget negotiations, Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro signed into law two bills introduced by state Rep. Perry Warren. House Bill 2096 , now known as Act 45 of 2024, codifies the surplus insurance lines fee structure for personal surplus lines transactions. House Bill 1716 , signed into law as Act 59 of 2024, clarifies shareholder rights set forth in Pennsylvania’s Title 15 Corporations and Unincorporated Associations statute. Both bills passed unanimously in both the House and the Senate. “Neither of these new laws is controversial or flashy,” Warren said. “Rather, they both clarify and streamline the conducting of insurance and corporate business in Pennsylvania.” The surplus lines insurance market serves customers who need rare, specialty or high-risk insurance coverage unavailable on the regular market in Pennsylvania. High-risk flood insurance is one common example. To ensure that Pennsylvania insurance agents serve this specialty market, Act 45 permits and caps the fee that may be charged for placing a surplus lines policy. Act 59 clarifies language of Title 15 with Read more

 

Sappey urges Aqua customers to attend public input hearing

(21 hours ago)

KENNETT SQUARE, July 22 – State Rep. Christina Sappy has requested from the Public Utility Commission a public input hearing regarding the proposed rate increase for water and wastewater by Aqua PA Inc. The PUC has granted this hearing request, which will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 8 at the New Garden Township Municipal Building, 299 Starr Road, Landenberg, PA 19350. Sappey urges all customers who will be impacted by this potential rate increase to attend and participate in the hearing. Following the Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate coming out against the proposed rate increase, Sappey filed a formal complaint with the PUC regarding this proposed 18.7% rate hike for Aqua PA Inc. and Aqua PA Wastewater Inc. “Many Aqua customers are still coping with a substantial rate increase from 2022 which, for some, tripled their wastewater bills. It’s imperative that residents speak up now to let both the PUC and Aqua know how a rate hike of this magnitude would impact their monthly household budgets,” Sappey said. Interested residents are encouraged to visit the PUC’s website at puc.pa.gov for information on how the hearing will be conducted. People with questions may contact Sappey’s office by calling (484) 200-8264 or by emailing repsappey@pahouse.net with “Aqua rate increase hearing” in the subject line. Sappey represents Read more

 

Two Friel initiatives folded into Pa. budget deal

(Jul 19, 2024)

HARRISBURG, July 19 – Legislation to allow employer contributions for PA 529 accounts, as well as a plan to reform state law regarding net operating losses, each passed in the state budget deal signed last Thursday in Harrisburg. Originally planned as two bills by state Rep. Paul Friel, H.B. 1745 and H.B. 1483 respectively, the language and effect of his initiatives is now law under budget legislation. The first change would amend the state Tax Code to add the 529 Tuition Account Program Tax Credit, allowing for employer contributions to PA 529 College and Career Savings Program accounts. “We need new, creative solutions to help families afford a college education for their students, and for the commonwealth to invest into our workforce. Looping employers into the tuition savings process will help facilitate both,” Friel said. Meanwhile, the budget included a change to the Net Operating Loss tax deduction proposed by Friel, from 40% to 80%, which aligns with the federal standard to make Pennsylvania-based businesses more competitive. “The goal of the legislation is to ensure that Pennsylvania is an attractive place to start and grow a business, and this change goes a long way to accomplish that,” Friel said. Read more

 

Borowski applauds Gov. Shapiro’s signing of free speech legislation

(Jul 18, 2024)

Pennsylvanians are now better protected from frivolous lawsuits meant to intimidate them into silence thanks to legislation co-authored by state Rep. Lisa Borowski and signed into law today by Gov. Josh Shapiro. Read more

 

Shusterman bill signed in to law by Gov. Shapiro

(Jul 18, 2024)

“I want to thank my colleagues in both the House and Senate for their support of this legislation,” said Shusterman. “I will always support initiatives to improve the lives of seniors in our Commonwealth. By encouraging communication between the Department of Health and nursing home staff, we hope that the exchange of ideas and information between these two groups will lead to a unified effort to provide the best senior care possible. I’m proud to have this bill signed in to law by Governor Shapiro.” Read more

 

Central Pa. state representatives laud I-83 South Bridge funding

(Jul 17, 2024)

HARRISBURG, July 17 – Three central Pennsylvania House Democrats said they are pleased to welcome historic federal funding for replacement of the John Harris Memorial Bridge. The Federal Highway Administration’s $500 million Large Bridge Project Grant, secured by the Shapiro administration through the Biden administration, is the largest grant in state history for a transportation project, according to Gov. Josh Shapiro . According to PennDOT , the I-83 South Bridge is reaching the end of its serviceable lifespan. In addition to replacing the bridge, the Lemoyne interchange will be reconfigured, the South Third Street bridge in Lemoyne will be replaced, and the viaduct from the Susquehanna River to Cameron Street, including the Front Street/2nd Street interchange, will be reconstructed. “We greatly appreciate the federal and state governments working together to secure this truly historic funding,” said state Rep. Patty Kim, D-Cumberland/Dauphin . “Investing in the greater Harrisburg region is always a wise move. Enhanced infrastructure not only improves daily commutes but also drives economic growth, connects us to opportunities and ensures a resilient and thriving region for generations to come.” “This historic infrastructure funding for the I-83 South Bridge will enhance transportation safety and reliability, create local jobs, and bolster our economy, without Read more

 

Hanbidge and Cephas measure creating child care tax credit for PA businesses included in state budget’s tax code

(Jul 11, 2024)

“This child care tax credit is an innovative step for Pennsylvania families and businesses. It will help employers retain employees and help employees continue working while ensuring that their children receive high quality child care,” Hanbidge said. Read more

 

Ciresi highlights historic investment in education, cyber charter reform in PA budget

(Jul 11, 2024)

HARRISBURG, July 11 – After his vote to approve the state budget tonight, state Rep. Joe Ciresi highlighted its progress in delivering historic education funding and investing in Pennsylvanians without raising taxes as the reasons for his support. Pennsylvania’s 2024-25 budget includes $1.3 billion in funding for public schools statewide, including reforms to the state’s cyber charter school law to require transparency in advertising and reducing special education overpayments by better aligning tuition to the real cost of educating students. Ciresi had proposed cyber charter reforms in his H.B. 1422, which passed the House with bipartisan support last year. “This budget delivers historic progress for public education, investing more than a billion new dollars in our schools and relieving overburdened property taxpayers,” Ciresi said. “Even though we have more work to do, we’ve also taken an important step for the first time in reforming our broken charter school law by ensuring transparency in cyber charter school advertising, providing relief to school districts paying for mandatory charter school costs, and returning $60 million each year back to the taxpayers. Our successes in delivering more funding for local schools has given them more resources for students and let them rely less on property taxes, and I look forward to seeing that continue with this budget.” Locally, the budget increases funding for Montgomery Read more

 

PA House passes legislation to stop proliferation of ‘health deserts’ across PA

(Jul 11, 2024)

The state House passed legislation today authored by state Reps. Lisa Borowski and Paul Takac that would protect communities from losing access to vital health care services due to health system consolidations and closures, by providing the state attorney general with tools to shield Pennsylvanians from corporate mergers that would devastate the availability of health services and increase patient costs. Read more

 

Hanbidge, Cerrato bill safeguarding freedom of speech headed to the governor

(Jul 10, 2024)

"The passage of House Bill 1466 marks a significant victory for free speech and the protection of public participation in Pennsylvania,” Cerrato said. Read more

 

Ciresi proposal waiving vehicle fees for decorated and injured veterans heading to governor’s desk

(Jul 10, 2024)

HARRISBURG, July 10 – An omnibus transportation bill (HB 2301) including language from a bill introduced by state Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, to waive vehicle title and registration fees for veterans who were captured, injured or received the Congressional Medal of Honor while serving has been sent to the governor’s desk. The proposal had been previously introduced by Ciresi as a standalone bill (HB 105), which passed the House unanimously in April. With its inclusion in and the passage of HB 2301, it is now on its way to be signed into law. “When veterans return home, the impact of their traumatic experiences are further compounded by financial hurdles such as relocation, finding new homes, applying for jobs and registering their vehicles,” Ciresi said. “These heroes deserve our compassion and gratitude, and that’s why I introduced this legislation to help relieve some of the pressure by waiving vehicle registration fees. By permanently removing registration fees for veterans who were injured, captured, or received our highest military decoration, we would show our permanent appreciation for their sacrifices and service.” Currently, recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor, seriously injured veterans, and former POWs pay a $10 vehicle registration processing fee. Under the recently passed legislation, this fee will be removed, and they will no longer be subject to titling fees. For recipients of the Purple Heart, Read more

 

Ciresi, Marcell bipartisan bill to allow intermediate units to own facilities for instructional use passes the House

(Jul 09, 2024)

HARRISBURG, July 9 – Bipartisan legislation ( H.B. 1526 ) introduced by state Reps. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, and Kristin Marcell, R-Bucks, which would allow Intermediate Units to own facilities for instructional space passed the state House today. IUs are regional educational service agencies created by the legislature in 1970. IUs provide high-quality programs to K-12 public school districts and non-public/private schools. Intermediate units also serve as liaisons between school districts and the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Pennsylvania’s 29 intermediate units provide special education, professional development, and technical assistance services to school districts, charter schools and private schools. Every year, more than 175,000 students and 50,000 educators receive services and training from IUs, meeting a variety of needs for students and school districts. Currently, IUs are only permitted to own office space and warehouse facilities, a limitation that prohibits them from owning facilities used for instructional space; a limitation that does not apply to school districts, area career and technical schools, or charter schools. Many IUs operate classrooms and other instructional spaces as providers of important special education, pre-school programs and other educational services. All these instructional facilities must be leased, burdening IUs with rental costs that sometimes greatly exceed what it would cost the IU to purchase and own the Read more

 

Bipartisan bill strengthening Pennsylvania’s election code passes the House

(Jul 09, 2024)

"Ensuring a standardized and timely certification process for election results is crucial to upholding the integrity of our democracy,” Sanchez said. Read more

 

Brennan bill to prevent cardiac arrest death in students passes House

(Jul 03, 2024)

“Undiscovered heart conditions that affect the cardiovascular system, as well as sudden blows to the chest – common occurrences in many youth sports – are the most common causes of cardiac arrest in kids, and schools with AEDs and a plan increase the chances of survival to up to 80% from this usually fatal condition,” said Brennan. “Supporting a commonsense, inexpensive remedy to an urgent health issue ought to be an obvious choice, so I’m expecting fast concurrence from the Senate.” Read more

 

Ciresi bill to outlaw early termination fees for deceased persons signed into law

(Jul 02, 2024)

HARRISBURG, July 2 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi’s bill that protects a deceased person’s family or estate from being charged early termination fees when canceling certain service contracts and vehicle leases was signed into law last Friday as Act 29 of 2024. “Death comes with many burdens for the survivors, but one of them shouldn’t be termination fees,” Ciresi said. “It’s hard enough to lose a family member, but it is just salt in the wound for a grieving relative to have to pay an early termination fee because the customer has died. And it is simply gross that companies profit off a person’s death through these fees. My legislation prohibits cable, phone, telecommunications, utility, and other companies from imposing early termination fees on a recently deceased person’s family for services that would no longer be used.” Act 29 requires that written notice along with a copy of a death certificate be provided to end such leases or contracts without financial penalty. Ciresi has championed the legislation in previous sessions. This session, the bill had 24 co-sponsors, including both Democrats and Republicans. Ciresi said he was grateful to his colleagues for their support of this bill to provide additional protections for consumers. “Act 29 is going to help many, many Pennsylvania families during their time of grief by removing one less hassle as they settle their loved one’s Read more

 

Bill would ease debt and tax bills for student borrowers

(Jul 02, 2024)

HARRISBURG, July 2 – As Pennsylvania lawmakers work to finalize the state budget and tuition bills are hitting mailboxes for the fall semester, two state lawmakers are looking to provide needed financial relief to student borrowers. State Reps. Jennifer O’Mara, D-Delaware, and Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., have introduced legislation ( H.B. 2476 ) that would exempt tuition reimbursement from the personal income tax, as well as codify that student loan forgiveness is not taxable income. According to the lawmakers, current and former college students in the U.S. have taken out approximately $1.75 trillion in student loans. Pennsylvania borrowers have an average of $39,375 in debt, making the state the third-highest average for student loan debt. The cost of both public and private four-year colleges has tripled since 1980, even when accounting for inflation, contributing to the need for students to take out more loans. “Pennsylvania is a state where borrowers struggle with student loans more than most,” O’Mara said. “It’s even more disheartening when they are handed a tax bill for what relief they do get from their employers in the form of tuition reimbursement. Students are constantly evaluating their career and financial paths to include ways to make college more affordable. When they find an employer who wants to help with those costs in exchange for getting a great employee, they shouldn’t be Read more

 

Hanbidge and Schemel bill updating state Slayer Statute signed into law

(Jul 02, 2024)

A bill by state Reps. Liz Hanbidge, D-Montgomery, and Paul Schemel, R-Franklin, to protect Pennsylvania seniors from abuse has been signed into law. Read more

 

Sappey bill to create permanent Office of Child Advocate passes PA House

(Jul 01, 2024)

HARRISBURG, July 1 – State House lawmakers today passed legislation ( H.B. 2175 ) introduced by Rep. Christina Sappey, D Chester, that would create a permanent Office of Child Advocate in Pennsylvania to help combat child abuse and child exploitation. Created through an executive order by Gov. Tom Wolf in 2019 over concerns related to complaints of abuse of children in congregate care facilities, the primary role of the Office of Child Advocate is to prevent child abuse and neglect. “OCA provides our state’s most vulnerable children with a direct line to assistance, serving a critical role in our government to ensure the children of Pennsylvania have a voice,” Sappey said. “Because it was established by executive order, the office ever remains in peril of being dissolved by future administrations. To better protect the children of Pennsylvania, the Office of Child Advocate should be codified as a permanent independent agency, as my bill would do.” According to Sappey, 34 other states have created permanent OCAs. The Joint State Government Commission Advisory Committee on Services to Children and Youth and the Pennsylvania Juvenile Justice Task Force are among groups that have recommended OCA be a permanent office. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration. Read more

 

Daley bill to foster Ireland-Pennsylvania relations passes Pa. House

(Jun 28, 2024)

HARRISBURG, June 28 – The state House today passed a bill that would create a Pennsylvania-Ireland Trade Commission, announced its sponsor, state Rep. Mary Jo Daley. House Bill 2132 , which passed with Republican and Democratic support, would boost Pennsylvania’s economic prospects through fostering international trade and cooperation with Ireland. “Pennsylvania has a rich history of innovation, industriousness and cultural diversity,” said Daley, D-Montgomery. “By establishing a trade commission specifically focused on Ireland, we can tap into the unique opportunities that this partnership presents. Ireland, known for its robust economy and advanced technology sector, offers a gateway for Pennsylvania businesses to expand their reach and increase their competitiveness on the global stage.” Daley said that a Pennsylvania-Ireland Trade Commission could also serve as a bridge, fostering diplomatic relations and ensuring that Pennsylvania remains a key player in international trade discussions. “Strengthening our ties with Ireland would also enhance cultural and educational exchanges, enriching our communities and fostering a greater understanding between our citizenries,” she added. “This can lead to more student exchange programs, joint academic ventures and cultural festivals that celebrate our shared heritage.” Irish companies have nearly 400 locations in Read more

 

Ciresi praises $17,000 special education workforce grant awarded to Pottstown School District
21 hours ago

Gov. Shapiro signs Rep. Warren's insurance and corporate bills into law
21 hours ago

Sappey urges Aqua customers to attend public input hearing
21 hours ago

Two Friel initiatives folded into Pa. budget deal
Jul 19, 2024

Borowski applauds Gov. Shapiro’s signing of free speech legislation
Jul 18, 2024

Shusterman bill signed in to law by Gov. Shapiro
Jul 18, 2024

Central Pa. state representatives laud I-83 South Bridge funding
Jul 17, 2024

Hanbidge and Cephas measure creating child care tax credit for PA businesses included in state budget’s tax code
Jul 11, 2024

Ciresi highlights historic investment in education, cyber charter reform in PA budget
Jul 11, 2024

PA House passes legislation to stop proliferation of ‘health deserts’ across PA
Jul 11, 2024

Hanbidge, Cerrato bill safeguarding freedom of speech headed to the governor
Jul 10, 2024

Ciresi proposal waiving vehicle fees for decorated and injured veterans heading to governor’s desk
Jul 10, 2024

Ciresi, Marcell bipartisan bill to allow intermediate units to own facilities for instructional use passes the House
Jul 09, 2024

Bipartisan bill strengthening Pennsylvania’s election code passes the House
Jul 09, 2024

Brennan bill to prevent cardiac arrest death in students passes House
Jul 03, 2024

Ciresi bill to outlaw early termination fees for deceased persons signed into law
Jul 02, 2024

Bill would ease debt and tax bills for student borrowers
Jul 02, 2024

Hanbidge and Schemel bill updating state Slayer Statute signed into law
Jul 02, 2024

Sappey bill to create permanent Office of Child Advocate passes PA House
Jul 01, 2024

Daley bill to foster Ireland-Pennsylvania relations passes Pa. House
Jun 28, 2024