YOUR PUBLIC SERVANTS AT WORK: Oct. 27, 2016

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Taylor Named CORA 2016 Civic Champion

State Rep. John Taylor (R-Northeast) has been named CORA Services’ 2016 Civic Champion.

CORA’s Champion Awards are presented each year at the Champions for Children Celebration to recognize individuals and organizations that have been instrumental in partnering with CORA Services to create a brighter future for children and families in the Philadelphia region. This year’s award will be presented on Nov. 22, at the Union League of Philadelphia.

STATE REP. Jim Roebuck, minority chairman of the Penna. House Education Committee, congratulates SAP N. America representatives and their nominator, SpArc Phila., for winning Community Employer of the Year award at the Penna. Advocacy & Resources Conference Conference in Harrisburg. At the award ceremony are, L-R, Peg Monaghan, SAP global storage coordinator; Roebuck; Michele Harvey, SAP program director; and Laura Princiotta, CEO of SpArc Phila. Photo by Bonnie Squires

STATE REP. Jim Roebuck, minority chairman of the Penna. House Education Committee, congratulates SAP N. America representatives and their nominator, SpArc Phila., for winning Community Employer of the Year award at the Penna. Advocacy & Resources Conference Conference in Harrisburg. At the award ceremony are, L-R, Peg Monaghan, SAP global storage coordinator; Roebuck; Michele Harvey, SAP program director; and Laura Princiotta, CEO of SpArc Phila. Photo by Bonnie Squires

“John Taylor epitomizes what it means to be a ‘legislator’ and ‘representative for the people’ of the commonwealth in today’s world,” said Mary Doherty, managing director of the community services division at CORA Services. “He is tireless in his advocacy for rights and opportunities for all, he is a coalition builder in Philadelphia and in Harrisburg, and he is truly a champion for children, families and communities.”

Taylor was also recognized for creating meaningful legislation to combat drug and alcohol use, and his effort in the House to expand the use of Recovery High Schools for youth in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction.

“This is a very special honor from a very special organization,” Taylor said. “I am humbled to receive this award and to work with such a great organization.”

Councilman Green Introduces Medical-Marijuana Bill

In order to prepare for the new state law that allows medical marijuana in Pennsylvania, Councilman at Large Derek S. Green has introduced a bill updating the city’s zoning code to allow for medical-marijuana growers/processors and dispensaries. This bill is being co-sponsored by 6th Dist. Councilman Bobby Henon.

The Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act allows for people suffering from ALS, autism, cancer, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, PTSD, and other conditions to use, with a physician’s recommendation, marijuana in the form of pills, oils, topicals, tinctures, vapors, or liquids. Under the act, it is unlawful to grow medical marijuana, except by a State-approved grower/processor, to smoke marijuana, or for dispensaries to sell medical-marijuana products in an edible form. However, patients may incorporate medical marijuana products into food to aid digestion.

Driscoll Bill Passes for Responders’ Families

State Rep. Mike Driscoll (D-Northeast) applauded House passage of his realty-transfer tax legislation that would assist the family members of police, fire and other first responders who’ve died in the line of duty.

“Thankfully, the number of families who lose a loved one as a first responder and therefore are eligible for the Emergency and Law Enforcement Personnel Death Act benefits is relatively low,” Driscoll said. “But relief from this tax burden for their beneficiaries will continue to show our appreciation for the dedication and sacrifice of Pennsylvania’s first responders and their families.”

HB 932 would exclude a surviving spouse or minor children of a first responder who receive benefits under the Emergency and Law Enforcement Personnel Death Benefit Act from paying the realty transfer tax, if their family home is sold within five years of the first responder’s death.

“First responders have made a tremendous commitment to our communities and are ready and willing to put their lives on the line every day,” Driscoll said. “Offering their family this bit of relief is the least we can do to help repay that sacrifice.”

Driscoll’s legislation now awaits consideration in the Senate.

Domb Opens Northeast Philly Office

Philadelphia City Councilman at Large Allan Domb announced the opening of a satellite office at 3294 Red Lion Road in the Northeast section of Philadelphia this morning. The office space is located within the district office of Pennsylvania State Rep. Michael Driscoll.

“I am hopeful that Philadelphia residents in the Northeast section of the city will visit my office and consider my staff as another resource if they need assistance with city-related matters or concerns,” said the councilman. “I am grateful to Rep. Driscoll for partnering with me and my office so as to have a presence in this vital part of our city.”

A member of Domb’s staff will be in the Northeast office every Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The office welcomes city residents during these scheduled hours.

Domb was honored by the Philadelphia Public School Retired Employees Association during the organization’s Annual Fall Luncheon. PPSREA, which represents more than 4,000 members previously employed at the School District of Philadelphia, presented Domb with the award in acknowledgement of his ongoing commitment to donate his City Council salary to public schools in the City of Philadelphia. To date, the councilman has donated to nine schools across the city, with additional schools to receive donations in the future.

Neilson Pushes Dyslexia Month

State Rep. Ed Neilson (D-Northeast) is highlighting October as “Dyslexia Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania and urging his colleagues in the General Assembly to consider legislation to help students born with the learning condition, in the next legislative session.

Neilson spoke about his family’s experiences with dyslexia. “Often, children like my son, who was eventually diagnosed with dyslexia, are afraid to speak up and tell their teachers or even their parents that they are having trouble reading,” Neilson said. “It is our job as legislators to raise awareness not only of the learning condition, but also the importance of early detection and interventions we know to be effective.”

Farnese Announces $3M for Center City Projects

Two Center City redevelopment projects will receive $3 million in assistance from a state program aimed at fostering cultural and economic growth, State Sen. Larry Farnese (D-S. Phila.) announced.

The grant funding for the projects will be funded through the state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program.

The Independence Visitor Center, located in Independence National Historical Park, will receive $2 million toward its modernization project to enhance visitors’ experiences at the center.

SLS International Hotel & Residences, a 47-story, mixed-use development including a hotel and residences and located on the corner of Broad & Spruce Streets will receive a $1 million RACP grant.

“Center City is seeing a surge in redevelopment and these grants will help continue that momentum,” Farnese said. “Not only will these projects attract new visitors and residents to the city, they will provide great places for them to stay when they get here. With a tourism market so prevalent, this is a win-win for Philadelphians.”

Farnese also announced two popular cycling and outdoor-recreation trail projects will receive more than $1.7 million in grant funds needed to improve safety for residents.

“It’s exciting when we have the chance to bring grants funds home that provide recreational opportunities for families and their children,” Farnese said. “These projects are further evidence of our commitment to invest in the things that our residents enjoy and keep people coming back to Philadelphia.”

Tartaglione Reports $2M for Nueva Esperanza

A $2 million state grant was approved for Nueva Esperanza, Inc. to renovate and build on its campus in North Philadelphia, State Sen. Christine M. Tartaglione (D-Kensington) said.

“This grant is excellent news,” Tartaglione said. “The funding will allow renovations to occur and new construction to take place at the campus.”

Tartaglione said the state grant will address various needs on Esperanza’s 7-acre campus. The project includes the addition of a middle-school gym, theater and removal of a blighted building.

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