Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Robinson-area state Sen. Wayne Fontana plans to propose to the Senate that Pennsylvania recognize a specific week in April as National Library Week.
Wednesday, April 10
Next week marks National Library Week throughout the country. First debuting in 1958, National Library week is sponsored by the American Library Association and observed by libraries nationwide each April. The kickoff will begin on Sunday, April 14, where communities across the United States will recognize of the role of libraries, librarians and library workers and the services and resources libraries and library staff provide to the community. Although all libraries within the Commonwealth have a great importance to the state, the 42nd district is very fortunate to have one of state’s major library systems as a resource, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (CLP). To celebrate National Library Week, I will present a resolution in the …
Monday, April 8, 2013
Weekly updates from Moon-area state Rep. Mark Mustio.
Monday, April 8
This week’s Headline Harrisburg report “uncorks” just some of the government-limiting aspects of liquor privatization that await Pennsylvanians under House Bill 790. First of all, our current state-run liquor system was created in 1933 by then-Gov. Gifford Pinchot, who declared that the PA Liquor Control Board’s mission was to make liquor sales “as inconvenient and expensive as possible.” When you consider that now only two states, Pennsylvania and Utah, still maintain complete control over wholesale and retail operations, the LCB’s original mission statement becomes even more antiquated and prohibitionist. Not surprisingly, the public overwhelmingly and consistently agrees. Opinion poll, after opinion poll, confirms the same thing: …
Friday, April 5, 2013
Significant transportation investments must be made in the coming months, says Robinson-area state Sen. Wayne Fontana says.
Friday, April 5
Pennsylvania has one of the largest highway networks in the country and is one of the most heavily traveled, ranking fifth nationally in miles of state-maintained highways. In March, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) released its first ever Transportation Performance Report which details the Commonwealth’s efforts in safety, mobility, system preservation and accountability. The results of the report underscored the need for a significant transportation investment in the coming months. The Transportation Performance Report highlights how Pennsylvania’s transportation infrastructure continues to deteriorate at an alarming rate without a long-term solution or sufficient investment into the problem. Everything from …
Monday, March 25, 2013
Updates from the state representative's Harrisburg office.
Mustio approves amendment to end state liquor monopoly The House voted this week to advance a measure, which contains my commonsense liquor privatization amendment, to end full government control of wine and spirits sales in the Commonwealth. The major intent of this amended version of House Bill 790 is to make beer distributors operating in Pennsylvania a convenient one-stop shop for all of their customers’ needs with regard to wine, spirits and beer. House Bill 790 phases out Pennsylvania’s current state-controlled wine and spirits stores gradually, as the number of privately operated outlets grows. The legislation would make available 1,200 licenses to sell wine and spirits, with beer distributors given the first opportunity to obtain…
Friday, March 22, 2013
The bill, introduced by Robinson-area state Sen. Fontana, aims to streamline the process of reporting child abuse.
As a response to the Jerry Sandusky and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia child abuse scandals, the Pennsylvania General Assembly created a Task Force on Child Protection in January 2012. The mission of the task force was to review the state’s child protection laws and procedures. After months of testimony throughout the state by various advocacy groups and professionals who deal with child abuse on a daily basis, the task force released their recommendations in November 2012. At a press conference on Tuesday, a bipartisan package of bills was introduced that provide for sweeping reform by updating Pennsylvania’s child protection laws based on recommendations by the taskforce. My longtime proposal, now Senate Bill 31 (SB 31), was part of …
Monday, March 18, 2013
Pennsylvania Rep. Mark Mustio, R-Moon, discusses state efforts to save the Moon Township air wing.
Monday, March 18
Thanks once again to the tremendous response and vigilant efforts of concerned District 44 residents, on March 13, the United States Air Force announced that the 911th Airlift Wing will remain open through at least fiscal year 2014. In late April 2012, my resolution encouraging the President of the United States and U.S. Congress to prohibit the closing of the 911 the Airlift Wing was unanimously approved by the State House and sent to Washington D.C. Just as we did in 2005, my Southwestern Pennsylvania colleagues in the General Assembly, Pennsylvania’s Congressional delegation and a host of state and local officials came together to achieve another huge victory for our military personnel and our local economy. My purpose for advancing …
Thursday, March 14, 2013
This ruling is a victory in favor of hard-working Pennsylvanians, Robinson-area state Sen. Wayne Fontana said.
Thursday, March 14
Last week, the Commonwealth Court ruled that two statutes that stripped money from the successful adultBasic and Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities programs were unconstitutional because they diverted money from the federal Tobacco Settlement to finance items other than health care in the general budget. I consider this ruling a victory in favor of hard-working Pennsylvanians who have found themselves in a position where they lack health care benefits because of Corbett Administration policies of cutting programs for low-income residents. Under the Tobacco Settlement in 1998, tobacco companies agreed to distribute $200 billion over 25 years among Pennsylvania and other states. However, two subsequent laws were enacted that …
Monday, March 11, 2013
Pennsylvania Rep. Mark Mustio, R-Moon, said the state legislature plans to pass a budget on time in 2013.
House budget hearings conclude As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I participated in the final week of hearings at the State Capitol to review the governor’s proposed 2013-14 state budget. Among the agencies and departments testifying were the State System of Higher Education, the Gaming Control Board, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Department of Health, the Department of Public Welfare and Secretary of the Budget Charles Zogby. Watch all my questions to testifiers during the past three weeks by visiting my Video Library at www.RepMustio.com or my Facebook page. On the final day of budget hearings, House members were given the opportunity to testify about their budget…
Thursday, March 7, 2013
"I think the Governor and his administration need to re-evaluate why 21 other states have decided that an expansion would benefit their citizens, yet Pennsylvania does not feel the same," said Robinson-area state Sen. Wayne Fontana.
Thursday, March 7
Last year, the United States Supreme Court ruled that it is up to each individual state to voluntarily decide to expand the Medicaid program as part of the decision on the federal Affordable Care Act, which will begin to cover people on Jan. 1, 2014. Last week, Governor Corbett announced that at this time Pennsylvania will not opt into expansion. Medicaid is the state-federal program created in the 1960s to provide health care benefits for working individuals with income levels below the federal poverty level. An expansion in Pennsylvania would raise the income level of those who qualify for Medicaid to people earning up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level, which is about $15,000 for a single person and $31,000 for a family of …
Monday, March 4, 2013
Pennsylvania Rep. Mark Mustio, R-Moon, shares weekly updates from his Harrisburg office.
State budget hearings continue As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I am continuing to attend hearings at the State Capitol to review the governor’s proposed 2013-14 state budget. This week, the committee heard testimony from the Department of Transportation, the state-related universities, the Liquor Control Board, the Department of Labor, and the Department of State, among others.
The governor has proposed a transportation plan that seeks to raise an additional $509 million for bridges, highways and mass transit during 2013-14 and an extra $1.8 billion in 2017-18 largely through uncapping the Oil Company Franchise Tax and reducing the Liquid Fuels Tax. The Liquor Control Board discussed its plans to enhance revenues …