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Relief to restaurants, bars & clubs to help workers a top priority in House Democratic legislative package

Wheatley, Hughes recognize National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in Pennsylvania

(Feb 05, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 5 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, and state Sen. Vincent Hughes, D-Philadelphia/Montgomery, are recognizing Sunday, Feb. 7 as National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in Pennsylvania. National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day began more than two decades ago as a grassroots effort with hundreds of organizations. This yearly initiative encourages Black people to get tested in the hope of putting an end to the disease. “While the current pandemic has taken center stage as it relates to public health, the HIV/AIDS epidemic is far from over,” Wheatley said. “Nearly 1.2 million people nationwide are living with the virus; 14% of those don’t know they’re infected. African Americans have accounted for 42% of the diagnoses in 2018, the most recent statistics available, while they comprise just 13% of the overall population nationwide. With treatment and medication, people are living longer lives, but sadly, there’s still no cure and prevention remains the best option. That’s why it’s so important to get tested.” “As we remain in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and its disproportionate impact on Black and brown people, let us not forget the that we must remain vigilant in the fight against HIV/AIDS, which has plagued the Black community for years,” Hughes said. “Getting tested, knowing your status and practicing safe behaviors are just as important now as they have ever been. We Read more

 

Wheatley and Lt. Governor Fetterman: It’s time to legalize it

(Feb 04, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 4 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley has joined Lt. Gov. John Fetterman in urging the legislature to consider his updated measure to legalize adult-use cannabis. Wheatley, D-Allegheny, said this renewed effort includes a call to action on his website, www.repwheatley.com , where Pennsylvanians can click on, fill out and automatically send a message to their state representative and state senator and make their voices heard. “Both Lieutenant Governor Fetterman and I have heard from thousands of Pennsylvanians over the past few years who have made their support clear for this initiative,” Wheatley said. “Not only would this measure provide millions in much-needed revenue and create jobs, but it also includes a provision to expunge cannabis-related offenses for non-violent offenders. My bill would also be a boon to our agriculture industry and support grant programs to help our communities and our minority- and women-owned businesses. The governor is also on board with legalizing adult-use cannabis because he also sees its multi-pronged benefits to our great state. Bottom line: Pennsylvanians have waited long enough – it’s time.” “It’s time for legal weed in Pa.,” Fetterman said. “This is common sense criminal justice reform that will also generate billions when Pennsylvanians need it the most. It’s time to stop spending millions per year to ruin the lives of Read more

 

Wheatley: Governor’s budget proposal a bold step forward for PA

(Feb 03, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 3 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, released the following statement regarding Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed 2021-22 budget unveiled today: “Once again, Governor Wolf has made a bold attempt to push our commonwealth and its many kings and queens of the General Assembly forward. He has put forth a reasonably straightforward budget proposal that attempts to put equity and fairness at the center and begin to modernize our very outdated and insufficient revenue structures, while simultaneously focusing on our hard-working men and women. “Some legislators will focus on those elements they believe will make easy political points, but we should applaud our governor for being bold and focusing on our state’s future and not on its past. “I am looking forward to working with this administration as we move ahead over the next few months and embark on ways to bring our families and communities' interests to the budgetary process. Whether it's enacting an adult-use cannabis legalization system; further reforming our criminal justice system; or leading the charge to bring more Pennsylvanians tax relief while also finding the needed revenues to continue long term investments in our educational system, childcare systems and workforce systems, I'm here to be an advocate, partner and active participant. “Governor Wolf has set the stage and laid out a pathway forward. Now, it’s time to see if Read more

 

Wheatley sworn into office, returns with new chairmanship

(Jan 12, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 12 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, has been sworn in for another two-year term in the House and has also been named as the Democratic chairman of the House Professional Licensure Committee. He previously served two terms as Democratic chairman of the House Finance Committee. “I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues on several issues – among the most urgent is securing much-needed relief for residents and minority-owned businesses who continue to be adversely impacted by the ongoing pandemic,” said Wheatley. “I’ve seen firsthand how the pandemic has led to extreme stress and anxiety, especially for people who want to work and have either struggled, due to no fault of their own, to get or renew the proper licensing for their respective occupations. I see this committee being among the most vital in directly impacting our workforce. A strong workforce is going to be the foundation toward our state’s recovery, and we need to do all we can to make the licensing process for employees and businesses as smooth and efficient as possible to keep Pennsylvanians working.” Wheatley added that, based on a recent national study , 41% of Black-owned businesses, 32% of Latino-owned businesses and 26% of Asian-owned businesses shut down between February and April 2020, compared to 17% of white-owned businesses during that same time period. Wheatley was first elected to the Pennsylvania House of Read more

 

Wheatley: More than $32 million in state grants coming to district

(Dec 23, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, Dec. 23 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley announced more than $32 million in state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grants for the 19 th Legislative District. “This is great news for our portion of the city,” said Wheatley, D-Allegheny. “I was pleased to help bring this funding to the district and I thank Governor Wolf for releasing the funding for these worthwhile projects.” Here is a brief description of each of the projects and amount awarded: Sports and Exhibition Authority of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County -- $2 million for COVID-19 renovations and construction to each of its four facilities, including preventative sanitization, touchless areas, mechanical and air filtration systems and other construction to main entrance and retail food/service areas. Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, downtown – $1 million to renovate its first and second floors for new spaces for children and teens to support creative and connected learning, meeting rooms, adult space and extending the elevator and stairs to the second floor. City’s Edge -- $1.2 million for construction of a community health care center and pharmacy, outdoor space and parking on Lot F, a vacant surface parking lot in the 1400 block of Colwell Street. David L. Lawrence Convention Center -- $2 million for critical roof repairs and new programmable event space, including phase 2 of the fourth floor terrace. Read more

 

Wheatley announces grants to support Pittsburgh museums impacted by effects of pandemic

(Dec 03, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, Dec. 3 – The Carnegie Museum of Natural History and Carnegie Science Center and the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh are among 155 museums and historical centers statewide to receive grants designed to support them during the current pandemic, state Rep. Jake Wheatley announced. Wheatley, D-Allegheny, said each museum has received a $40,000 grant awarded by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission under the Cultural and Historical Support Grant Program . “Our museums and historical centers have certainly felt significant financial impacts during this pandemic, and my hope is that these grants will help them continue their efforts to educate and enlighten visitors,” said Wheatley. “These funds will provide much-needed support to keep their doors open and continue to provide opportunities to share our region’s rich history and culture.” Wheatley emphasized the goal of the program is to strengthen the commonwealth’s museum community by supporting the operations of eligible museums and county historical societies that are not supported by other state agency funding programs. An eligible museum must have an annual operating budget exceeding $100,000 (excluding capital and in-kind services) and at least one full-time professional staff person (or approved equivalent). More information can be found here . Read more

 

Helpful resources for veterans & active duty military during the holiday season

(Dec 02, 2020)

No doubt, this year has posed some significant challenges for many of us, and that includes our veterans and active military personnel. Read more

 

Wheatley: $1.2 million in grants to help homeless in Allegheny County

(Nov 30, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, Nov. 30 – Three Allegheny County organizations will receive a total of more than $1.2 million in grant funding to help individuals experiencing homelessness, state Rep. Jake Wheatley announced. Wheatley, D-Allegheny, said ACTION Housing/Team PSBG, Community Human Services and Pittsburgh Mercy are recipients of “Code Blue” program funding. The program was created by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development through the state’s second allocation of Emergency Solutions Grant Funding from the CARES Act. The funds will be used for emergency shelter and temporary emergency shelter for residents who are experiencing homelessness in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, he added. “The current pandemic and colder temperatures make it imperative that many residents need immediate help to secure safe housing, and this funding is truly a lifeline,” said Wheatley. “The grants will allow these agencies to provide life-saving shelter and also prepare for future needs as the winter season approaches.” For more information on the program, including a full list of grant recipients, residents can visit the following link: https://dced.pa.gov/download/emergency-solutions-grant-cv-code-blue-award-recipients/?wpdmdl=104658 . Read more

 

Wheatley issues statement regarding committee action on H.R. 1100

(Nov 23, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, Nov. 23 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, issued the following statement regarding today’s vote by the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee against performing an audit of the 2020 general election as called for by H.R. 1100 : “Today, the bipartisan, bicameral Legislative Budget and Finance Committee voted 2-to-1 against conducting a risk limiting audit of our state’s most recent election. After substantial discussion, the committee felt that staff would be unable to conduct such an audit and were also unable to find a consultant who could conduct it, given the 60-day to 90-day timeframe. “As the committee’s treasurer, I believe it’s imperative we use our state’s finances and resources in a responsible manner. That is a responsibility shared by each member of this committee. To conduct such an audit, on top of the actions taking place by the Pennsylvania Department of State to certify election results, would truly be an exercise in futility. We currently have processes in place to validate our election results to ensure the process, from beginning to end, was fair. “Today’s actions put an end to a process that was fraught with politics from its inception and would have disenfranchised the thousands of Pennsylvanians who exercised their right to vote. Now is the time to move forward and prepare for a busy and productive legislative session.” Read more

 

Wheatley issues statement on budget discussions

(Nov 20, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, Nov. 20 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, issued the following statement regarding state budget negotiations in the House: “We have thousands of families struggling to find their financial footing because of this raging pandemic that has closed or limited their abilities to feed themselves and their families. Thousands of our students don’t have the ability to access school instruction because of limited access to technology and reliable internet service. We have hundreds of our small businesses and venues still waiting for some financial relief. “To that end, we have $1.3 in federal dollars for the sole purpose of offering some short-term financial relief. Instead, Harrisburg is holding the money so that it can be used toward a sham of a budget. “It's yet another case of those in the state Capitol who fail to understand or care about what’s best for our residents and are only thinking of their own interests. What happened to the belief that, during times of difficulty, we work together to come up with ideas and solutions and collaborate? Instead, there’s a push toward actions that are short-sighted and short-termed. That is what will happen if we continue forward with short-sighted and irresponsible budgeting. “What about closing some of our corporate tax loopholes, or consider emerging industries, such as our cannabis industry, to resolve the state’s $3 billion deficit? There have been Read more

 

Wheatley announces $291K in school safety grants, urges colleagues to do more to help schools, communities during ongoing pandemic

(Nov 16, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, Nov. 16 – While announcing $291,725 in Safe Schools Targeted Grants awarded to area schools, state Rep. Jake Wheatley is also renewing a call to do more to help schools and school districts impacted by inequities in funding and support that have been laid bare in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “While these grants will certainly help our schools’ efforts in providing a safe learning environment for students and staff, I also implore my colleagues in the House to work together to create a funding source to address the digital and racial divides that have been exposed during this ongoing pandemic,” said Wheatley. “We have many schools across our state that lack affordable, reliable broadband access, as well as the vital resources necessary to support our students and families in need who continue to struggle to make ends meet. We can and must continue to do more.” The grants, awarded by the state Department of Education, are aimed toward preventing and reducing violence. The funds can also be used to purchase safety and security-related equipment and provide training and compensation of school resource and police officers. Under this program, the PDE’s Office for Safe Schools offers four types of safety grants: equipment grants of up to $25,000; program grants of up to $20,000; school police officer grants of up to $40,000; and school resource officer grants of up to $60,000. The grants are designed to Read more

 

Legalizing adult-use cannabis to provide second chance, reform criminal justice system | Editorial

(Oct 21, 2020)

Earlier this year, House Bill 2050 was introduced – a measure to allow for the legal sale of adult-use cannabis through a permitting structure for growers, processors, and dispensaries.There are several great components contained in this bill, including provisions to help our youth, support affordable housing, and provide resources to help minority and women-owned businesses. In addition, it would provide a much-needed influx of revenue to our state at a time when we face significant economic challenges.Unfortunately, one component of the bill that got lost in the media attention following its introduction is the Cannabis Clean Slate initiative, which would provide for the expungement of cannabis-related offenses for non-violent drug offenders. Read more

 

Wheatley introduces “Return Your Rights” legislation

(Oct 16, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, Oct. 16 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley has introduced a measure designed to end the cycle of branding nonviolent offenders, who have paid their debt to society, for their past mistakes. Wheatley, D-Allegheny, says H.B. 2942 would ensure their full rights as citizens are restored, provided they have served their time and paid all fines, fees and restitution. His bill would allow offenders to vote while in prison and once they are released. In addition, Wheatley’s measure would provide for the expungement of nonviolent felonies under the state’s The Controlled Substances, Drugs, Device, and Cosmetic Act and allow nonviolent offenders who have completed their sentence and paid any fines or related costs to obtain a firearm license. “When nonviolent offenders serve their time and have paid their debt to society, sadly it’s not uncommon for them to be subsequently denied basic rights and privileges that many of us take for granted,” said Wheatley. “While we’ve made some strides in recent years to implement meaningful criminal justice reforms, including the passage of clean slate legislation in 2018, we can and must do more. They deserve a second chance.” More information on the bill can be found at the following link: https://legis-pahofr.msappproxy.net/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20190&cosponId=30908 Read more

 

Gainey, Wheatley sponsor weekend event at CCAC

(Oct 07, 2020)

Wellness/street fair coincides with Allegheny County voter access efforts 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

 

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

 

Police Reform Working Group issues statement on House Republican Policy hearing on law enforcement; calls for further legislative action

(Aug 27, 2020)

The Police Reform Working Group, a collection of local and state elected officials and advocates, issued the following statement in response to a Pennsylvania House Republican Policy Committee hearing on law enforcement interactions with the community:“We appreciate the House Republican Policy Committee shining a light on how law enforcement interacts with communities around the state. This is a necessary discussion that is long overdue and it’s encouraging to hear presenters today acknowledge that police reform is necessary. Read more

 

Wheatley, Hughes recognize National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in Pennsylvania
Feb 05, 2021

Wheatley and Lt. Governor Fetterman: It’s time to legalize it
Feb 04, 2021

Wheatley: Governor’s budget proposal a bold step forward for PA
Feb 03, 2021

Wheatley sworn into office, returns with new chairmanship
Jan 12, 2021

Wheatley: More than $32 million in state grants coming to district
Dec 23, 2020

Wheatley announces grants to support Pittsburgh museums impacted by effects of pandemic
Dec 03, 2020

Helpful resources for veterans & active duty military during the holiday season
Dec 02, 2020

Wheatley: $1.2 million in grants to help homeless in Allegheny County
Nov 30, 2020

Wheatley issues statement regarding committee action on H.R. 1100
Nov 23, 2020

Wheatley issues statement on budget discussions
Nov 20, 2020

Wheatley announces $291K in school safety grants, urges colleagues to do more to help schools, communities during ongoing pandemic
Nov 16, 2020

Legalizing adult-use cannabis to provide second chance, reform criminal justice system | Editorial
Oct 21, 2020

Wheatley introduces “Return Your Rights” legislation
Oct 16, 2020

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

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

Police Reform Working Group issues statement on House Republican Policy hearing on law enforcement; calls for further legislative action
Aug 27, 2020