Senator Fontana participated in a press conference at the State Capitol last week that discussed several pieces of legislation that have been introduced to improve voter access and participation. Senator Fontana spoke about his Senate Bill 440 (SB 440), which would allow early voting in Pennsylvania.
You can watch Senator Fontana’s remarks at the press conference by clicking here.
Passage of an Important Lead Examination Task Force
A resolution that calls for the Pennsylvania Senate to establish a bipartisan task force on lead exposure has been unanimously approved. Senate Resolution 33 (SR 33) would charge the task force with investigating the scope of the commonwealth’s lead-exposure problem, particularly as it relates to lead in drinking water.
Specifically, SR 33 requires the Joint State Government Commission to conduct a comprehensive review and analysis of Pennsylvania’s laws, regulations, and policies concerning lead exposure, testing, abatement and remediation. The review must also include an assessment of the age of housing and infrastructure, lead exposure threats, and the prevalence of lead in structures in which children spend significant time.
The advisory committee will be made up of:
- The Secretary of Health (or designee);
- The Secretary of Environmental Protection (or designee);
- The Secretary of Labor and Industry (or designee);
- The chair of the Public Utility Commission (or designee);
- The executive director of the Housing and Finance Agency (or designee);
- The Physician General (or designee);
- Two medical professionals with recognized experience in pediatric care and lead poisoning;
- One individual who is a parent of a child with elevated lead levels or who represents a children’s health organization;
- A representative of municipal water authorities;
- A representative of rural water companies;
- A representative of water utilities regulated by the PUC and incorporated in Pennsylvania;
- A representative of a county or municipal health department;
- An individual certified to remediate lead;
- A representative of an urban school district;
- A representative of a rural school district; and
- The executive director of the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania.
The task force will recommend changes to Pennsylvania’s laws, regulations, practices, policies, and procedures on lead, and issue a report within 18 months of the creation of the advisory committee.
Recently, PennEnvironment Research and Policy Center gave Pennsylvania a failing grade in regards to preventing lead in drinking water in schools. I was a co-sponsor and supported this legislation because our state cannot continue to jeopardize the health and safety of our residents due to outdated and ineffective policies. I am hopeful that this task force will assist the state in starting to address ways to reduce lead poisoning in our residents.
Save the Date! – 13th Annual FontanaFest
The 13th Annual FontanaFest will once again be held at Highmark Stadium, home of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds! Save the date – Saturday, August 19 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Once again, parking will be free in the stadium’s West Lot, compliments of Forest City!
The annual community event is perfect for families and children, promoting healthy and active lifestyles by providing many fun activities and crafts. Children will also have the chance to play on several inflatables, an obstacle course, and a climbing wall. All attendees also are provided with the opportunity to engage with several organizations from around the region and receive important information on available services and programs, nutrition, health care, jobs and jobs training.
Stay tuned throughout the summer for updates on the schedule of events, participants, and more!
Table Games Revenue Increases in May
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board announced last week that revenue from table games play in Pennsylvania during May increased approximately 4.4 percent over May 2016. Gross revenue from table games in May was over $74.4 million compared to just over $71 million in May 2016. Total tax revenue from table games play during May was over $12 million.
Combined with May’s slot machine revenue, overall gaming revenue was down just under one percent compared to May 2016.
The state’s gaming industry employs 18,000 people and generates roughly $1.4 billion annually in tax revenue from slot machines and table games. To read more about gaming in Pennsylvania please visit the Gaming Control Board’s website at http://gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov/.
Summer Food Program for Children
Children ages 18 and younger can participate in the Allegheny County Summer Food program which began last week. Summer Food will run in over 80 locations in Allegheny County through August. At these locations children can receive a free breakfast and lunch during the summer recess from school. For more information on the program, including information on locations and times, please call the Allegheny County Department of Human Services at 1-800-851-3838. You may also click here to view a listing of locations.
Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program Extended
The deadline to file for the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue 2016 Property Tax/Rent Rebate program has been extended through December 31. Rebate distribution will begin on July 1 for anyone who returned their completed application by June 30. After June 30, rebates will be distributed as claims are reviewed and processed by the Department of Revenue.
If you filed a paper rebate last year, you should have received a 2016 application by now. If you have not received an application, or did not apply last year and wish to apply this year, applications are available at www.revenue.pa.gov or at my district offices, and my staff would be happy to assist you in preparing your application.
The Property Tax/Rent Rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and over; widows and widowers age 50 and over; and people with disabilities age 18 and over. Homeowners with a maximum yearly income of $35,000 and renters with a maximum yearly income of $15,000 are eligible for a rebate. Keep in mind half of Social Security income is excluded. Some applicants who previously received rebates may continue to qualify despite Social Security cost-of-living adjustments that may have pushed their income past eligibility limits.
Fresh Paint Days in Pennsylvania – Grant Applications
Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful is accepting applications for their Fresh Paint Days Pennsylvania program. The annual program, held in partnership with Behr and The Home Depot, is designed to provide community groups with paint and painting supplies to enable them to renew a community structure in need of some attention.
Applications and more information about the program are available by clicking here or visiting http://www.keeppabeautiful.org/grants-awards/fresh-paint-days/. Applications must be submitted no later than July 17. All applications will be evaluated by a review committee with grants awarded in August. Projects must be completed during Fresh Paint Days Pennsylvania, September 1 – 30.
Below are a list of grant criteria and more information about the program.
- Available to any tax-exempt group in Pennsylvania. Private property owners or individual applicants cannot apply.
- Each application is eligible for up to 20 gallons of exterior paint provided by Behr and a gift card for painting supplies.
- Only one building per application is allowed. Applicants can submit multiple applications.
- Once receiving award notification, applicants must provide proof of liability insurance and signed permission to paint from the property owner.
- Required to submit two “before” photos of the intended project.
For more information about the grant program please contact Michelle Dunn at 1-877-772-3673, ext. 113 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Did You Know…
Did you know that since 1990, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful and its volunteers have removed over 126 million pounds of litter from Pennsylvania’s roadways, greenways, parks, forests, and waterways?
Strip District Sammich Showdown
Strip District Neighbors is hosting the Strip Search 2017 Sammich Showdown Food Festival this Saturday, June 24 from noon – 8 p.m. The event features a city-wide showdown between Pittsburgh restaurants in search of the best sandwich in the 'Burgh. Restaurants include Meat & Potatoes, Kelly O's Diner PGH, Spork, Edgars Best Tacos in Pittsburgh, Bull Dawgs, Pittsburgh Sandwich Society, Peppi's Subs-Pittsburgh, Strip District Meats, Lucy's Original Banh Mi and Wholey's Fish Market. There will be live music by Chase and the Barons and Juan Vasquez, as well a beer truck with Southern Tier Brewing Company's Nuskool IPA, Great Lakes Brewing Company's Holy Moses Belgian Wit, Yuengling and Labatt Blue Light, cocktails from Wigle Whiskey and wine from Pittsburgh Winery and party games. Come on out to the Strip to get a taste of Pittsburgh's best sandwich!
For more information, you can visit Strip District Neighbors on Facebook or visit them online at www.stripdistrictneighbors.com.
Downtown Italian StrEAT Festival
Are you a fan of authentic Italian food? Lively entertainment? Meatballs and pizza? Join the Pittsburgh Downtown Community Development Corporation (PDCDC) this summer for Highmark’s Italian StrEAT Festival!
This July 8-9, Penn Avenue between 6th and 9th Streets will be lined with authentic Italian vendors from the region. From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day, take a walk through the festival and experience the tastes, sights, and smells of Italy! The festival will feature live shows by local Pittsburgh performers Chase and the Barons, Right TurnClyde, and Bobby V, as well as a dance workshop by Allegro Dance Company. The event will also feature cooking demonstrations by local chefs, Italian wineries, games, raffles, kids activities, and much more!
You won’t want to miss Emporio’s meatball eating contest which will take place on Saturday, July 8 at 12 p.m. on the festival stage. Participants will see how many meatballs they can eat in seven minutes. The winner will be awarded a $500 gift certificate to Emporio: A Meatball Joint. To sign-up, send an email to email@example.com.
Come back on Sunday, July 9 at 2:30 p.m. to watch DeLallo’s creative pizza contest! Local pizzerias will design and build a unique pizza creation on the festival stage to be assessed by a guest judge. Don’t miss it!
Highmark’s Italian StrEAT Festival hopes to bring a vibrant summer event to downtown Pittsburgh that will not only benefit the community, but provide a place for Pittsburgh families and friends to learn more about the rich Italian and Italian American heritage that has long been a unique part of Southwestern Pennsylvania. All are welcome to join in on the fun. Admission is free!
For more information and updates you can visit www.pdcdc.org or follow the PDCDC on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
More than 327,000 students, from every county in Pennsylvania, attended one of Pennsylvania’s 14 community colleges during the 2015-16 school year.
Offices of State Senator Wayne D. Fontana
| Brookline District
932 Brookline Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15226
Weekdays – 9 am – 5 pm
543 Main Capitol |
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Weekdays – 8:30 am – 5 pm
524 Pine Hollow Road
Weekdays – 10 am – 4 pm
| Beechview Satellite
1660 Broadway Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15216
|Northside (Mobile Office)
Carnegie Library |
1230 Federal Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15212