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PCC News Release on Behalf of PA Bishops in Response to Recent Anti-Semitic Acts

PENNSYLVANIA CATHOLIC CONFERENCE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – August 12, 2020                            Contact: Al Gnoza   717-585-1548   PCC CONDEMNS RECENT INCREASE IN ANTI-SEMITIC ACTS   HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference (PCC), on behalf of all the Catholic B
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Capitol Staffers Like Jon Castelli Provide Continuity in State Government

For every lawmaker you see or hear about at the Pennsylvania Capitol, there are many more staff members that work behind the scenes. Many of those staffers have been at the Capitol for years, even as elected officials come and go. Jon Castelli is the Executive Director of the House Ur
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Testimony From Dr. Philip Fromuth to the PA House Education Committee on Re-Opening Schools

TESTIMONY of PHILIP J. FROMUTH. Ph.D. to the PENNSYLVANIA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES EDUCATION COMMITTEE JUNE 17, 2020     Good afternoon Chairman Sonney and members of the House Education Committee.  Thank you for the opportunity to be with you to share a few thoughts about t
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Testimony From PCC Education Director Sean McAleer to PA House Education Committee on Re-Opening Schools

Good afternoon Chairman Sonney and members of the House Education Committee. Thank you for the opportunity to share a few needs that all Catholic and nonpublic schools will face this fall in re-opening their school year. My name is Sean McAleer, I am the Director of Education for the
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Rep. Aaron Bernstine Pushing Transparency Bill and “Marky’s Law”

PA Rep. Aaron Bernstine (R-Beaver, Butler, Lawrence) is not one to pull punches or mince words. He will tell it like it is. So it is no surprise that Bernstine is backing a bill to make local government in Pennsylvania more transparent. Transparency was the basis of his campaign when
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Rep. Bob Merski Takes Pride in ‘Giving Back’

Rep. Bob Merski (R-Erie) has seen just about every side there is of Catholic education. “K through 8, I went to Holy Family, educated by the Sisters of St. Frances,” he told me on a recent phone interview. “Then I went to Cathedral Prep, which is the all-boys Catholic school here in E
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PA Sen. Ryan Aument Confident of Lancaster Co.’s Ability to Conduct Business Safely

When you spend time talking with lawmakers in Pennsylvania, you realize how much they care about their residents, the people they serve. That has become especially evident over the past several months as these legislators find out how much their people have been suffering from the pan
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Sen. John DiSanto and Staff Having a Very Busy Summer

Lawmakers have long been called public servants because they work for the people. Never has that been truer than for these past four months when the pandemic and resulting shutdown sent countless numbers of frustrated Pennsylvanians to their local reps and senators for help. “Been ver
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Megan Martin: Front and Center in the PA Senate and Very, Very Busy

She may be the most recognizable person in the Pennsylvania Senate, and very likely one of the hardest-working people connected with the chamber. I’m talking about Megan Martin, the Secretary of the Senate and the first woman to serve in that position. She is also the Parliamentarian,
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Sen. David Argall Explains Support of Senate Bill 1166 to Limit the Length of Emergency Declarations by PA Governors

One of the more substantive debates in the PA Senate this summer has been over Senate Bill 1166, which was designed to put a limit on the length of an emergency in Pennsylvania that was declared by the Governor. One of the big supporters of that bill has been Sen. David Argall (R-Berk
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PA Sen. Judy Schwank Trying to Help Residents on Several Fronts

Lawmakers and government officials have faced many issues and challenges over these last couple of months. But two of the more pressing problems as far as state Senator Judy Schwank (R-Berks) is concerned are the troubles with the state unemployment system and the question of how to e
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Rep. Russ Diamond’s on Judicial Reform Passes First Round Through General Assembly

  It was on July 15th that the PA Senate passed House Bill 196, by Rep. Russ Diamond (R-Lebanon). It would call for appellate court judges in Pennsylvania (Commonwealth, Superior and Supreme Courts) to be chosen by district. Now they are chosen by total vote across the entire sta
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PA Rep. Rob Kauffman Talks About the Balance Needed in Helping Communities

Rep. Rob Kauffman (R-Franklin) has been around long enough in public service to appreciate a good challenge. He’s been seeing exactly that–right along with the rest of us these last couple of months. But as a public servant, his challenge has been a bit tougher. “I’m in my eight
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PCC Applauds Supreme Court Rulings That Reaffirm Religious Liberties

  The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference applauds the Supreme Court’s decisions in Little Sisters of the Poor v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and in Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru and St. James Catholic School v. Biel. In both cases, the Court reaffirmed the
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PA House Passes Bill to Curb PA’s Rushing Into Cap and Trade Program

By Al Gnoza The PA Catholic Conference did not take a position on House Bill 2025, but it is such an important issue for so many Pennsylvanians that we have been covering it and are providing this update.    On Wednesday the PA House approved HB 2025, which is sponsored by Rep. Jim St
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The Funding Picture for PA’s Catholic Schools

By Al Gnoza   We at the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference once again applaud the job that all of our schools did over the past several months to continue to provide quality education to our students across the state. We thank teachers, students, parents and administrators for thei
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PCC Release on Passage of SB 637 on Professional Licensing For Ex-Offenders

PCC APPLAUDS PASSING OF LEGISLATION TO GIVE EX-INMATES A SECOND CHANCE HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference (PCC) applauds both the PA House and Senate for this afternoon’s passage of SB 637–sponsored by state Sen. John DiSanto (R-Dauphin, Perry)–which wi
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PCC Supports Bill to Give Offenders Second Chance

The PCC supports Senate Bill 637 by Sen. John DiSanto, which removes employment barriers for certain residents who are convicted of crimes unrelated to their intended profession. We believe this type of legislation helps people turn their lives around. As it stands now, our laws deny
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PCC Press Release on Dr. Philip Fromuth Testifying Before PA House Committee

  HARRISBURG, PA – The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference today highlighted testimony given to the PA House Education Committee by Dr. Philip Fromuth, the Superintendent of Catholic Education for the Diocese of Allentown and the Moderator of the Education Department of the PCC. The
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Kennedy Catholic Announces Appointment

Kennedy Catholic Family of Schools is proud to announce that Mr. Mark Ferrara will be stepping in to the role of President! Mr. Ferrara brings 40 years of professional educational & most recently, serving as a superintendent & consultant. Welcome, Mr. Ferrara!
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Archbishop Nelson Perez Presides Over Ordination

  From Archbishop Nelson Perez: On Saturday morning at the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter & Paul I had the honor of ordaining 13 men to the Diaconate – nine men were ordained as Permanent Deacons and four men were ordained as Transitional Deacons for the Archdiocese of Phil
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Bishop Bambera Offers Reflections on the Death of George Floyd, Friday June 5th

A lesson on walking together as brothers and sisters:   Reflections on the death of George Floyd June 5, 2020 In the immediate days following the brutal killing of George Floyd, the world reacted with horror to the images of his struggle to breathe and to hold on to life. Countless nu
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Bishop Persico of Erie on the Evil of Racism

Pentecost statement on racism from Bishop Lawrence Persico On this Pentecost Sunday, we pray that the Holy Spirit enlighten the hearts and minds of all people to see that racism in all forms is an evil. We should not be surprised by the riots that have taken place across the country,
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Statement of the Sisters of the Order of St. Basil the Great on the Death of George Floyd

Sr. Dorothy Ann Busowski, OSBM Provincial Superior The Sisters of the Order of St. Basil the Great express deep sorrow and regret at the needless death of George Floyd. This occasion demands prayer, reflection, and urgent attention to the present moment. In a spirit of mourning we add
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Bishop Schlert of Allentown Offers Guidance During Unrest

In his Homily on Pentecost, Bishop Alfred Schlert spoke of the fruits of the Holy Spirit and how they should guide us, and should guide our country, during these difficult times. Here are excerpts from that Homily: “If Jesus is the body of our Church, the Holy Spirit can be said to be
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Bishop Malesic of Greensburg On the Death of George Floyd

Statement from Bishop Edward C. Malesic on death of George Floyd Like most people, I too was shocked and saddened by the brutal treatment and death of Mr. George Floyd and join the call for an end to racism. On this Feast of Pentecost, we hear Jesus tell his disciples, “Peace be with
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Bishop Zubik of Pittsburgh Urges Calm Across the Nation

Statement from Bishop David Zubek of the Pittsburgh Diocese “Watching a peaceful protest against racial injustice break down into violence in Pittsburgh, I am sending out an urgent call for calm as we work for justice. I ask all believers to pray and act for peace, unity and tha
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Archbishop Nelson J. Perez Offers Thoughts on Recent Violence

STATEMENT OF MOST REVEREND NELSON J. PÉREZ REGARDING THE DEATH OF GEORGE FLOYD The hearts of Americans across the country are joined together in collective mourning following the tragic, disturbing, and unnecessary death of George Floyd. In the name of the people of the Archdiocese of
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Bishop Gainer of Harrisburg Comments on Recent Events Across the Nation

Bishop Gainer Calls for Peace, End to Racism  HARRISBURG, Pa. – Bishop Ronald W. Gainer released the following statement in response to the brutal killing of Mr. George Floyd, a Minnesota man killed while being arrested by a Minneapolis police officer. “As a Catholic, I was shocked an
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PCC Calls For Adherence to Moratorium on Evictions and Foreclosures

HARRISBURG, PA – The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference today responded to reports of residents facing evictions from their homes for not being able to pay rent during the pandemic. The PCC is urging the PA Supreme Court to instruct all courts to continue to follow Governor Wolf’s morat
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PCC News Release on Bill to Discourage Encouragement of Suicide

PA CATHOLIC CONFERENCE PRAISES PA HOUSE FOR PASSING BILL TO STIFFEN PENALTIES FOR THOSE WHO ENCOURAGE SUICIDE HARRISBURG, PA – The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference today praised the PA House for its passage of HB 1827, which increases criminal penalties for those convicted of aiding o
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PCC News Release on Passage of Bill to Amend Food Liability Act

PA CATHOLIC CONFERENCE APPLAUDS HOUSE PASSAGE OF BILL TO AMEND FOOD LIABILITY ACT HARRISBURG, PA – The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference today thanked the PA House for passing House Bill 2477, which amends the Donated Food Liability Act. The bill will protect those who donate food from
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OpEd From the PCC on Attempts by the Wolf Administration to Try to Divert CARES Act Funding From Catholic and Other Nonpublic Schools

By Eric Failing In late March, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act for short. In part, it calls for $13.2 billion to be provided for K-12 education across the country, with an estimated $523.8 million for Pennsylvania, according to the U
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Press Release from PCC on Wolf Administration’s Efforts to Divert CARES Act Money From Catholic and Other Nonpublic Schools

PA CATHOLIC CONFERENCE URGES WOLF ADMINISTRATION TO NOT DIVERT CARES ACT FUNDING FROM PRIVATE SCHOOLS HARRISBURG, PA — The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference today urged Governor Wolf to halt his administration’s efforts to divert federal CARES Act money away from private sc
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Getting an Update from Principal Ben Tolerico of Holy Cross High School of Dunmore

Written by Albert Gnoza   This past March was unlike any of us have ever seen, that is for sure. A lot of people’s worlds would be turned upside down. But Catholic schools around the state moved quickly to right their ships. Right indeed. Those in the right places of leadership s
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Checking in With Principal Pat Nickler of Geibel Catholic Junior-Senior High School

I have thought on more than a few occasions, that if this pandemic and resulting shutdown would have occurred way back when I was in grade school, who knows how we would have kept up with learning. I shared that thought with Principal Pat Nickler of Geibel Catholic Junior-Senior High
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Chatting with Principal Lisa Panighetti of Our Lady of Peace School in Erie

In talking with Catholic school principals across the state over the last couple of weeks, I have been inspired by their upbeat attitudes in the face of challenging times. The level of empathy and affection for their students has also been great to see. That is especially evident at O
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Talking with Principal Alisia McNamee of St. John Neumann Regional Academy

There have been two main variables to deal with in the successful transition to on-line learning across Pennsylvania—students having some type of computer at home and the teachers being able to make the adjustment in delivering their lessons. St. John Neumann Regional Academy in Willi
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Checking in With Principal Alice Einolf of Berks Catholic High School

Berks Catholic High School was in a good position to transition to on-line learning when schools were shut down several weeks ago. Still, some adjustments had to be made. “About four years ago our school went one-to-one with I-pads,” said Alice Einolf, the Principal at Berks Catholic.
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An Update From Principal Jane Wagner of Blessed Sacrament School in Erie

Many of the Catholic schools around the state were in a good position to adapt to on-line learning in March because their students all had some kind of laptop computer. Some others had to scramble to equip kids with these devices. “We’re just a population of working-class
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No Stoppage in the Learning at Lancaster Catholic High School!

We’ve been thoroughly impressed at how the Catholic schools around Pennsylvania have kept up instruction with few or no days off after the shutdown. This came as many public schools took at least two weeks off. One of the schools that kept on top of learning and didn’t mis
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Talking with Principal Ben Althof of Greensburg Central Catholic High School

In talking with Catholic school principals around the state it seemed like the key to making the transition to on-line learning in March was having a one-to-one situation with the students. That is, each student had their own laptop computer. “We’ve been one-to-one for fiv
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Getting an Update from the Notre Dame H.S. of Easton Principal Andrew D’Angelo

School administrators may be used to making changes here and there, but this was a pretty dramatic change. It was in mid-March that Governor Wolf was shutting down all schools in Pennsylvania. No one knew for how long at the time, but schools like Notre Dame High School of Easton were
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Talking with St. Gregory School Principal Nancy Pierce

You have to give a ton of credit to our Catholic school administrators across the state. They had much of the groundwork in place before the schools were shut down in March and they could see what was happening in the distance. “We had an inkling that this was going to happen so
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Catching Up with Principal Doreen Dougherty of Holy Redeemer H.S.

  How are things going at Holy Redeemer High School in Wilkes Barre? “So far, so good,” says Principal Doreen Dougherty. “Our biggest efforts were trying to mobilize through distance learning in a relatively quick time period.” That happened in March when
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PCC Press Release on PA House Passage of Marriage at 18 Bill

PA CATHOLIC CONFERENCE APPLAUDS HOUSE PASSAGE OF MARRIAGE ACT HARRISBURG, PA — The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference applauds today’s passage of House Bill 360, which, in addition to addressing some covid-19 related concerns, establishes 18 as the minimum age for marriage in Penn
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PCC Press Release on Governor’s Veto of Telemedicine Bill

PCC LAMENTS GOVERNOR’S VETO OF TELEMEDICINE BILL  HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference today lamented Governor Wolf’s veto of the Telemedicine Bill that had passed the House and Senate. “This is very distressing,” said Eric Failing, the Executive Di
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Closed buildings Not Slowing Down St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy

  Who would have thought that preparation for using snow days to educate grade school kids would have such an impact on schools in a year where there really wasn’t that much snow across Pennsylvania?  Yet preparation for bad weather actually left many PA Catholic schools in
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Bishop Carroll High School Didn’t Miss a Beat With Shutdown

When the big shutdown hit across the state several weeks ago, Bishop Carroll High School in Ebensburg didn’t stop. They merely shifted gears. The groundwork was already in place for on-line learning since the school was in a “one-to-one” situation. “Each studen
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Bishop McCort High School Keeps Right on Rolling, and Educating

When Governor Wolf shut down schools across the country back in March, Catholic schools like Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown were ready. “Our parents, teachers and students have had to adapt to this new type of learning, on-line and I’m going to be honest with you,
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PCC Press Release on PA Senate Passage of Telemedicine Bill

PCC APPLAUDS PA SENATE FOR PASSING TELEMEDICINE BILL IN SAFE FORM     HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference today applauded the PA Senate passage of Senate Bill 857–Telemedicine– in a form that retains current protections against dangerous drugs identified
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PCC Press Release on Executive Director Eric Failing’s Thoughts on Commemoration of Holocaust

PCC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OFFERS THOUGHTS ON COMMEMORATION OF HOLOCAUST   HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, Eric Failing, today issued some heartfelt comments to honor the Commemoration of the Holocaust. He started off by acknowledging the
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PCC Press Release Calling for Ethically-Based Vaccines to Combat Covid-19

  PCC JOINS U.S. CATHOLIC BISHOPS IN CALLING FOR ETHICALLY-BASED VACCINES TO COMBAT COVID-19   HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference today joined Catholic bishops from around the nation in calling for the development and use of ethically-based vaccines to combat
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PCC Statement on Planned Parenthood Reportedly Continuing Abortion Services During Coronavirus Crisis

PCC CRITICIZES PLANNED PARENTHOOD FOR PROVIDING ABORTION SERVICES DURING ELECTIVE PROCEDURE BAN   HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference today criticized Planned Parenthood for continuing to provide abortion services, despite the fact that Governor Wolf has issued an o
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Talking With Ecker & Son on FaceTime!

Chatting with Rep. Torren Ecker. And Oliver Ecker. I did a virtual visit with the Ecker family this morning–Rep. Torren and his son Oliver! Lol. I asked dad about comments made in House session yesterday by Majority Leader Bryan Cutler on mapping out a recovery from this crisis.
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Rep. Paul Schemel Looking at Planning a Safe Comeback

Talking with Rep. Paul Schemel Thanks to our good friend, Rep. Paul Schemel, for updating us on what's going on with the PA House. They head into session this afternoon, some in person and some remotely. Schemel says lawmakers will be talking about what lies ahead for a safe reco
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Rep. Ryan Warner’s Facebook Post Hits Home For Thousands in PA Who Are Stuck at Home

Talking with Rep. Ryan Warner Early this morning, Rep. Ryan Warner posted a request on Facebook to Gov. Wolf on behalf of small businesses owners in PA. Check it out. It has gotten thousands and thousands of shares, likes and comments. I talked with Ryan about it over the phone this a
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Talking With Rep. Pam DeLissio

Talking with Rep. Pam DeLissio I miss seeing my friend Rep. Pam DeLissio at the Capitol but I got the chance to talk with her over the phone to get an update on what she has been doing, including responding to her constituents. She just had a virtual town hall gathering this week and
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Sen. Doug Mastriano Gives an Update

Talking with Sen. Doug Mastriano This morning I talked with the indefatigable and always gracious Sen. Doug Mastriano over the phone about what he's been doing amid this crisis. Among the topics discussed were how to get small businesses up and running safely and the Governor
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Rep. Barbara Gleim Working to Get Businesses Up and Running Safely

Talking with Rep. Barbara Gleim Thanks so much to PA Rep. Barbara Gleim who talked with me on Zoom this morning about what she and other lawmakers are doing to work for small businesses across the state. They are really feeling the economic effects of this crisis. Thanks again to Barb
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Updates From Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill

Talking with Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill talked with PCC Executive Director Eric Failing and the PCC's Al Gnoza about the questions she is getting from people and businesses during this crisis. She offers encouragement but also some stark realities about
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Talking with Sen. Judy Ward About the Ongoing Crisis

Sen. Judy Ward on FaceTime A FaceTime chat today with our friend, PA Sen. Judy Ward! She talked about the current crisis and reminds us that faith is always very important, but especially so in times like these. Thank you Senator! (I apologize to you viewers if my voice is too loud
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Rep. Frank Ryan Checks in During Crisis

Talking with Rep. Frank Ryan!! My good friend, Rep. Frank Ryan, always has a smile, even in the toughest of times. I talked with him by FaceTime today about how he's staying healthy and very busy in recent days. Posted by Pennsylvania Catholic Conference on Monday, March 30, 2020
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Sen. Scott Martin Gives Update on Dealing With Crisis

Talking with Sen. Scott Martin Thanks so much to Sen. Scott Martin for taking the time to talk with me on the phone about what he and his staff have been doing to help people during this crisis. Sen. Martin is a big friend to the PCC! Posted by Pennsylvania Catholic Conference on Tues
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Rep. Russ Diamond talks with us about ongoing crisis

Rep. Russ Diamond talks about his efforts I talked with Rep. Russ Diamond over the phone about what he and many other lawmakers are dealing with: confusion among constituents about what's coming down from the Governor's office. Posted by Pennsylvania Catholic Conference on M
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Private Noon Mass (Thursday) Will Be Streamed Online From St. Pat’s in Harrisburg

Noon Mass From St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Private mass for broadcast only! https://www.youtube.com/user/hbgdiocese/featured        
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Dioceses in PA Suspending Masses to Fight Coronavirus

Catholic dioceses around the state have begun suspending masses in an effort to slow the spread of the Corona virus. Here is the announcement from the Harrisburg Diocese that came out on Monday.  
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Governor’s Budget: Overspending or Underfunding?

The budget hearings at the Capitol in Harrisburg have wrapped up and it will soon be time for discussion and debate. At the crux of the debate will be the age-old difference in philosophy between Republicans and Democrats: Republicans say the Governor is overspending. Democrats genera
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Student-Musicians from Archdiocese Perform at the PA Capitol

High School band on top…7th and 8th grade below The Archdiocesan All Stars come to the Capitol for a performance. These are the high school students. Posted by Pennsylvania Catholic Conference on Monday, March 9, 2020 The Archdiocesan All Stars come to the Capitol for a performa
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PCC Weekly Recap of Capitol Activity

Time for a wrap up of what went on at the PA Capitol this past week. It was mostly budget hearings! Posted by Pennsylvania Catholic Conference on Friday, March 6, 2020
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U.S. Rep. Scott Perry Takes a New Approach to Tackling Student Loan Debt

I recently checked in with Congressman Scott Perry (PA, 10th District) to find out what he was up to these days, now that the impeachment stuff has ended–at least for the time being.  Turns out he’s been busy working on the peoples’ business. One of his efforts involves a bill t
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PCC and Legislators Monitor Budget Hearings

The PA Catholic Conference has been keeping its eye on the budget hearings in Harrisburg, which have been going on for a couple of weeks now. The different departments in the Wolf Administration are going before the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to explain– and many
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Harrisburg Diocese Hosts Forum on Criminal Justice Reform

The Mercy Matters Committee of the Diocese of Harrisburg hosted another forum this week on social issues, this time on criminal justice reform. Fr. Joshua Brommer and Dan Reisteter of St. Patrick’s Cathedral welcomed state lawmakers Sen. Camera Bartolotta (R-Beaver, Greene, Washington
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Sen. Toomey Visits Sacred Heart Regional School in Allentown to Tout School Choice

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) visited Sacred Heart Regional School in Allentown Friday morning, to tour the facility, see the kids and tout the importance of school choice. “This was just a reminder for me of why and how much I’ve been for decades now, such a passionate advocate for school c
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PA House Republican Leaders Look to Rein in Spending of Wolf Administration

Press release issued today by Reps. Bryan Cutler and Stan Saylor….. HARRISBURG – Citing cost overruns, inadequate response times, and the failure of programs and services to meet core mission objectives, Majority Leader Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) and Appropriations Committ
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Pro-Life Lawmakers Promise to Look Into Item in Governor’s Budget for “Access to Reproductive Healthcare”

When Governor Wolf delivered his budget address at the Capitol, he only shared the highlights, the proverbial tip of the iceberg. There’s just not enough time to go line by line and explain everything that he or any other governor is asking for. There was one item in particular that w
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PA Lawmakers React to Governor’s Budget Proposal

From Sen. Scott Martin (R-Lancaster) “I am relieved that the governor is not calling for any broad-based tax increases, given our objections to that. However, future tax hikes are inevitable if we do not control the growth of state spending and borrowing. Medicaid and other social ser
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DEP Responds to Criticism of MS4 Program

The Department of Environmental Protection has sent us its response to a story we ran in which Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Adams, Cumberland, Franklin, York) criticized the MS4 program. In that story, the Senator says it’s the latest effort to take money from the taxpayers. The story got c
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PA Rep. Bob Brooks Brings Wealth of Experience to PA House

  It was just a few hours before the state House would vote on a package of bills to combat human trafficking. A large group of representatives, most of them Republican, took to the steps of the lobby in the Ryan building at the Capitol to show their support for the legislation.
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PCC Thanks PA House Members for Passage of Human Trafficking Bills

The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference today thanked members of the state House for their near-unanimous approval of a package of bills to address the problem of human trafficking. The pictures here are of a news conference that preceded the votes at the Capitol.  There was a huge turno
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PCC and other Pro-Life Groups Urge PA Senate to Keep Abortion Out of Telemedicine

The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference continues to communicate with members of the state Senate to make sure that the pending Telemedicine bill (SB 857) is passed in its pro-life form. This version prohibits the use of Telemedicine for abortion. The Director of the PCC, Eric Failing, s
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Gov. Wolf Announces Security Grants Available to Catholic Schools

The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference worked on the passage of legislation for these safety grants and participated in the bill signing with the Governor back in November. The picture has the Executive Director of the PCC  standing between Governor Wolf and Rep. Stephen Barrar (R-Chest
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Package of Human Trafficking Bills Unanimously Passes PA House Committee

The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference applauded the state House Judiciary Committee for its unanimous passage of a package of bills to address the problem of human trafficking.  Each bill was approved by every representative on the committee. “We can’t thank these lawmakers enough for
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Rep. Frank Ryan Clears Up Misconceptions on Fetal Remains Bill

Rep. Frank Ryan (R-Lebanon) is hopeful that his Fetal Remains Bill that recently passed the state House will gain acceptance in the Senate as well.  House Bill 1890 was voted out of the House in November by a vote of 123-76 but continued to cause quite a stir as Ryan spent much of the
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Who Needs Lobbyists??? Everyone.

The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference is the public affairs arm of the Catholic bishops across the state. In other words, we are lobbyists for all issues that we see as important to the Catholic Church. Lobbyists aren’t always looked upon fondly. But those ‘in the know’ realize their i
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“Hallow” Catholic Meditation App Continues to Grow in Popularity

Back in July we talked with Alessandro DiSanto, one of the creators of the new prayer app “Hallow.” The Notre Dame University and Bishop McDevitt High School graduate had just participated in the launch of “Hallow” some eight months earlier. This week I checked in with DiSanto again a
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Rep. Bud Cook Wants People to ‘C’mon’ to the Mon!

Most of what people hear about what goes on at the state Capitol involves issues that affect residents state-wide, like the budget, minimum wage, pro-life bills and the like. But legislators have to also keep an eye on something else: their district and the people they represent. “I n
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For Sen. Dan Laughlin, PA Sunday Hunting Bill Was Years In The Making

Governor Wolf just signed the bill to allow hunting on three Sundays during the year in Pennsylvania. The bill was sponsored by Sen. Dan Laughlin (R-Erie) and was years in the making for him. “It all started for me about 50 years ago when I asked my dad why we couldn’t go hunting on S
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Rep. Tim O’Neal Makes History in 48th District

Rep. Tim O’Neal (R-Washington) continues an impressive trend in western Pennsylvania politics–of veterans coming back to their native area for a career in public service. O’Neal served in Afghanistan. “My father had served for four years when he was younger but I initially didn’
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PA Senate Passes Down Syndrome Protection Act

The state Senate late Wednesday afternoon passed the Down Syndrome Protection Act, which would prohibit an abortion, based solely on a prenatal diagnosis of Down Syndrome. The vote went 27-22 after it had passed through the Senate Health Committee on Monday. The measure has now passed
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Rep. Mary Jo Daley All About Helping People Whether it’s Borough Council or the State Legislature

For all the times you hear about and see a state legislator discussing a bill on the House or Senate floor, or talking about a certain issue for the media, a lot of their efforts involve one-on-one work with constituents. That includes them and their staff members in trying to help pe
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Rep. Tedd Nesbit Very Active on Bills to Improve Criminal Justice System

Rep. Tedd Nesbit (R-Butler, Mercer) has followed a familiar path to the state Capitol. He began his career as an attorney. “Small-town lawyer, but a former assistant district attorney,” Nesbit told me during a recent visit to his Capitol office. He was kind enough to squeeze in some t
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Rep. Greg Rothman Strong Supporter of Bill to Add School Choice for Harrisburg S.D. Students

PA Rep. Greg Rothman (R-Cumberland) is working to gather support for the bill introduced by House Speaker Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) to offer school choice to students and families in the Harrisburg School District. “We’ve dealt with multi-generational failures in those schools,” Rothm
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Rep. Ryan Warner Truly Sees His Constituents as Family

The state legislature has had fewer session days this fall than in the past. The cynics would say that lawmakers are getting it easy. Those on the inside would know better. “That’s one of the biggest misconceptions. People tend to think that when we’re not in Harrisburg, we’re on vaca
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House Majority Whip Kerry Benninghoff Values the Diversity of Ideas in PA Legislature

Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre, Mifflin) is the Majority Whip in the PA House of Representatives. That is a figurative rather than literal title. “Essentially your job is to make sure you have enough votes to get a bill passed or to stop a bill,” Benninghoff told me during a visit t
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Rep. Tom Mehaffie Believes in Energy Diversity; With Nuclear Energy Being Included

Rep. Tom Mehaffie (R-Dauphin) fought the good fight on behalf of Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant earlier this year. He proposed House Bill 11, which would have allowed nuclear plants to receive funding for producing clean energy. TMI needed the bailout to survive. But despite se
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Sen. Pam Iovino Returns Home to Serve Residents After Serving in Navy

Sen. Pam Iovino (D-Allegheny, Washington) spent 23-years in the Navy. “I loved every minute of it,” she said. But the future state senator didn’t start out with the intention to make it a career. She quickly changed her mind. “I graduated from Gettysburg College and knew I would go on
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Rep. Justin Walsh’s Bill Prohibits Use of Public Assistance Funds on Tobacco

There are currently no restrictions on using public assistant, or the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards to purchase tobacco in Pennsylvania. But a bill sponsored by Rep. Justin Walsh (R-Westmoreland) could change that. House Bill 847 would forbid the use of EBT cards to purchase
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Several Pro-Life Bills Are Alive in the PA Legislature

Any time a pro-life legislator makes any kind of substantive move against abortion, you can be sure there will be a ton of resistance. Much of it will be from the left, but there will also be a fair amount of push back from those within their own ranks. Fellow lawmakers and advocates
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Rep. Wendi Thomas Looking at Mental Healthcare Needs in PA Schools

PA Rep. Wendi Thomas (R-Bucks) has been very concerned about the available care for school students across the state when it comes to the area of mental health. She has introduced a bill along with Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (D-Philadelphia) that she hopes will fulfill whatever needs there
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Rep. Pam DeLissio Goes the Extra Mile in Being Accessible and Meeting With Constituents

Some lawmakers are not big fans of town hall meetings. What if nobody shows up? For others it’s a question of ‘what if someone does show up?’ It’s a setting that can be tough to control, especially if you have some angry constituents. Rep. Pam DeLissio (D-Philadelphia) is definitely n
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Rep. Perry Warren Began Push for Bill to End Child Marriages in PA

Rep. Perry Warren (D-Bucks) is a recently-established “empty nester.” Warren and his wife Liz have five children and the youngest has just left the house. “It made me sad, but they come home a lot,” Warren told me on a recent visit to his Capitol office. In the meantime he has plenty
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Rep. Ben Sanchez Goes From CPA and Attorney to State House

Rep. Ben Sanchez (D-Montgomery) comes from several different walks of life—he worked as a CPA, an attorney and as a college professor.  But he’s very happy and satisfied with his current path—as a state lawmaker. He was elected to office last November to replace Madeleine Dean who wen
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PA Minority Leader Frank Dermody Working to Get More Bipartisanship

Often-times we hear of partisan battles in the state House and Senate, Republicans vs. Democrats voting along party lines. But there are many instances where there is agreement from both sides of the aisle. One of those instances was in getting a new healthcare exchange that will use
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Rep. Seth Grove Looking to Work on Voting Package, Pension Reform and Pro-Life Bills

Rep. Seth Grove (R-York) says his caucus has some unfinished business they want to take care of from the spring session.  One of the biggest issues on that list will be how to fund voting machines at the county level. Lawmakers have already passed a measure that will provide $90-milli
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Rep. Matt Bradford Looking to Resume Work on Getting Minimum Wage Hike

Rep. Matt Bradford (D-Montgomery) says that one afternoon he was just minding his own business practicing law when he got word that the state representative in his district was not running for re-election. “It was 2008, the Obama year, and a lot of people were getting involved in poli
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Rep. Dan Moul Looking To Update Some Outdated Practices in State Government

PA Rep. Dan Moul (R-Adams) feels that it’s time to go out with the old and in with the new as far as the way many things are done with state government. “We need to fix things with the old to make them fit in with today,” he told me on a visit to his district office in Gettysburg. “So
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Rep. Pam Snyder Tackling the Broadband Issue for Rural Pennsylvanians

Rep. Pam Snyder (R-Fayette, Greene, Washington) has a district that is tucked away somewhere between Pittsburgh and West Virginia. It’s the largest district in the state in terms of square miles, which means it’s very rural. You’re not going to drop in on Rep. Snyder’s district office
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Rep. Jennifer O’Mara: Former Award-Winning Altar Server Now Serving the People of Delaware Co.

Rep. Jennifer O’Mara (R-Delaware) is a product of St. Barnabas Catholic School in Philadelphia. She attended there up until 8th grade and also was an altar server. Apparently she was a pretty good one too! “I was an altar server at St. Barney’s,” she told me on a recent trip to her Sp
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Rep. Donna Bullock: Working Hard for the Community and the Planet

Every time I visit a legislator in their district office I see a lot of activity. The staff members are very busy, either taking calls from constituents or meeting with them in person. The lawmakers are squeezing in meetings and appearances. In fact, they are probably busier over thei
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PA House Speaker Mike Turzai Applauds Appeals Court Ruling in Prayer Case

PA Speaker of the House Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) is praising a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals which will uphold the traditional practice of having a session-opening prayer. “We are pleased that the Third Circuit has found that our prayer complies with the United States Constit
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Rep. Jordan Harris Reaches Across the Aisle and Across the State

Last year the state House passed the Pennsylvania Clean Slate Law, which called for the sealing of criminal records that contained low-level, non-violent misdemeanors and summary offenses. The measure was a bi-partisan effort, authored by Rep. Jordan Harris (D-Philadelphia) and Rep. S
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Pennsylvania’s model program coming up on 25 years showing America at its best!

When you visit the Real Alternatives headquarters outside of Harrisburg, you’re not going to find case-workers and pregnant women looking for help. But the work that is done here makes it possible for those two groups of people to meet each other and have that potentially life-saving
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Rep. Joe Webster Looking at Issues of Property Taxes and Gun Violence

I met Rep. Joe Webster (D-Montgomery) in his Collegeville district office, but Webster has roots that reach all the way back to Philadelphia. “Big Irish-Catholic family, started out in Fairmount, in Philadelphia,” he told me. “My mother had us moved out to Roxborough for my teenage ye
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Rep. Steven Mentzer Doing His Best to Help Residents With the Red Tape

Pennsylvania’s state revenues benefited from a robust economy by recording a huge surplus this year. Rep. Steven Mentzer (R-Lancaster) was very appreciative of that and of the fact that it helped fund human services. Mentzer says human services represents the biggest growth area in th
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Rep. Torren Ecker Started in D.C. but Came Back to PA

Rep. Torren Ecker (R-Adams, Cumberland) says he always had an interest in running for elected office. While in college at George Mason University, he worked on Capitol Hill for Congressman Jo Ann Davis. He figured he’d spend some time in D.C. working in politics. But then the plans ch
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Rep. Mark Gillen: From Educator and Prison Guard to State House

Pennsylvania’s lawmakers come from a variety of backgrounds, but Rep. Mark Gillen (R-Berks, Lancaster) may have the most unique combination there is. He is a former educator with a Master’s Degree in Education from Kutztown University and he is a former corrections officer in Bucks Co
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Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill Working to Make Sure Rural Residents Are Not Under-Counted in 2020 Census

It was last month that members of the PA Senate hosted leaders of Gov. Tom Wolf’s census team. We went to the hearing since the Executive Director of the PA Catholic Conference, Eric Failing, is on the Census 2020 Complete Count Commission. Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York)  raised
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PA Sen. Tim Kearney Motivated by the Duty to Help Residents and Keep Them Safe

The more legislators I meet, the more I find are products of the Catholic school system. Such is the case with Sen. Tim Kearney (D-Chester, Delaware)—16-years in Catholic school. And he served as an altar boy while growing up in New Jersey. Another part of Kearney’s background is bein
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U.S. Rep. Scott Perry Frustrated by ‘Unbridled’ Spending in Washington

                  U.S. Congressman Scott Perry does not sound like a free-spender, and certainly not when it comes to taxpayer money. Yet he sees that happening with his colleagues in Washington, D.C. The law says it’s not supposed to be th
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Deacon Jorge Vera Putting God and Inmates First at SCI Camp Hill

Deacon Jorge Vera has been Chaplain at SCI Camp Hill since February 2nd, of 2014. He remembers the exact date. It would be pretty easy therefore to get an exact count of how many days he’s put in on the job. But it would be a tough task to count the number of people he’s helped and so
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PA Rep. Gary Day Practices What He Preaches: To Get Involved!

Rep. Gary Day (R-Berks, Lehigh) said he recently took stock of his volunteer activities and realized he wanted to spend more of that time and energy helping his parish. Day is a life-long Catholic. “Like many Catholics probably, I feel a little guilty that I could be more involved tha
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Frustration Over Pipeline Prompted Rep. Danielle Friel Otten to Run For Public Office

Rep. Danielle Friel Otten (D-Chester) was one of a number of women that were elected into the Pennsylvania legislature in the 2018 November election. “We currently make up 25% of the legislature,” Otten told me during a visit to her Exton district office. “Still we have a long way to
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Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill Sees “Buyer Beware Act” Going Before Full Senate in the Fall

Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York) has worked hard on a number of issues during her term in the state legislature, but the “Buyer Beware Act” has to be near or at the top of the list. The bill would strengthen penalties for those who patronize victims of human trafficking. Rep. Seth
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Rep. Jim Cox Pushing Bill to Help Fight Opioid Addiction

There has been much stricter oversight in recent years on the administering of opioids. But that monitoring has not been extended to the use of Narcan, which is used to revive people who are suspected to be overdosing on drugs. PA Rep. Jim Cox (R-Berks, Lancaster) is looking to change
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Sen. Doug Mastriano Sponsoring “Heartbeat” Bill in PA Senate

Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Adams, Cumberland, Franklin, York) was elected in May of this year to the Senate seat for the 33rd district. It was a special election to replace Sen. Rich Alloway, who had just resigned. Mastriano was sworn in on June 10th, and immediately started focusing on o
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Rep. Andrew Lewis Works Toward Government and Helping Military Families

It was the changing of the guard in the 105th district in the PA House. Rep. Ron Marsico was stepping down after 30 years of service. Taking that seat would be Republican Andrew Lewis, a decorated combat veteran who was a leader in his family construction business. “Big shoes to fill,
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Rep. Jim Roebuck Still a Teacher at Heart!

Rep. Jim Roebuck (D-Philadelphia) sees his share of visitors over the summer in his West Philadelphia district office.  The day I came to see him he was just finishing up a talk with visiting medical students from the nearby Penn campus. “We have a fairly steady number of people come
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Rep. Barbara Gleim Working on Agro-Tourism and One-Year Budget Cycle; And Construction Issues!

Rep. Barbara Gleim (R-Cumberland) is in her first term in the state House and serving on a number of committees, including the Education Committee as secretary. She has some excellent training for that position. I’d better start a new paragraph for her resume in that regard….. Okay, s
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Rep. Clint Owlett Hears From Georgia Officials About How They Passed the “Heartbeat” Anti-abortion Bill

It was the first Friday of August and Wellsboro High School in Tioga Co. was packed with seniors. Not high school seniors. Senior citizens. It was Rep. Clint Owlett’s (R-Bradford, Potter, Tioga) annual Senior Expo. “This is one of the biggest events that we do,” Owlett told me as he t
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Rep. Keith Gillespie is Taking on the ‘Drowning Machines’

Rep. Keith Gillespie (R-York) is looking to make many of the waterways across Pennsylvania safer, by making sure there is ample warning of low-head dams. Many of you may not have heard of them. But for those that have heard of them, it’s usually come about because of some tragedy. “Th
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Rep. Matt Dowling Firm in Support of Pro-Life Issues and EITC

When the co-sponsor list started circulating around the PA House of Representatives for the “heartbeat” anti-abortion bill, Rep. Matt Dowling (R-Fayette, Somerset) quickly signed on. “I have been adamantly pro-life since the time that I was a candidate, through the two sessions that I
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Rep. Marcy Toepel Talks About Her Leadership Role in PA House

With hundreds of members in the PA House of Representatives, there is a big emphasis on leadership in Harrisburg.  One of the leaders on the Republican side is Rep. Marcy Toepel (R-Montgomery), who has been re-elected as the Majority Caucus Chairman. “Every bill is caucused before we
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Rep. Lynda Schlegel Culver Worked Her Way Up to 108th District Seat

There are many and varied pathways that people have taken to get to their seats in the Pennsylvania legislature, but perhaps none more unique that the one taken by Rep. Lynda Schlegel Culver (R-Northumberland, Snyder) to get to her spot representing the 108th district. Actually she’s
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Rep. Stephanie Borowicz Strengthened by Christ, and by the Haters

You may have heard about us talking about the fetal “heartbeat” bill a lot in recent weeks. It would prevent an abortion once a heartbeat is detected. We plan to continue to talk about it in the weeks ahead in preparation for its formal introduction in the Pennsylvania legislature, mo
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Rep. Rosemary Brown Active on a Variety of Issues

Rep. Rosemary Brown will be looking this fall to bring about passage of House Bill 37. That’s her measure to prohibit use of hand-held cellphones while driving on Pennsylvania roadways. The bill passed out of the House Transportation Committee this past session and is now before the f
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Sen. Mike Regan a Strong Believer in Educational Improvement Tax Credit

It was a scorcher on the day that I visited Sen. Mike Regan (R-Cumberland) in his Camp Hill district office but he was happy that it was summer and was getting a break from the Capitol. “It’s good to be out amongst the people in the district for a change,” he said. “When you’re in the
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Rep. Barry Jozwiak Goes From Law Enforcement to Law*maker*

Many lawmakers in Harrisburg come from a law background. While a good percentage of them practiced law, Rep. Barry Jozwiak (R-Berks) spent several years enforcing it. He served 25 years with the Pennsylvania State Police and another 12 years as the Sheriff of Berks County. “I went fro
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Rep. Jeff Wheeland Backing “Heartbeat” Bill and Looking to Institute Voter I.D.

Rep. Jeff Wheeland (R-Lycoming) has an encouraging outlook for those of us who are on the pro-life side of the abortion debate. “I think it’s growing,” he said. “Regardless of what the major news outlets will tell you. I think the conservative pro-life movement is alive and well and g
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A Busy Rep. Patty Kim Works on Criminal Justice Issues

For state lawmakers, time away from the Capitol does not mean time away from the job.  Summer time is a chance to meet with the residents. “We meet with constituents all summer,” said Rep. Patty Kim (D-Dauphin), who hosted me in her Kline Village district office in Harrisburg. “It’s a
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Rep. Dave Zimmerman Still Seeking Religious Exemption to Save Catholic Adoptions

Catholic adoption agencies across the state have been curtailing or stopping their work altogether as a result of a policy by the Wolf Administration that would take away a lot of their power to decide who would be the best parents for adoption. PA Rep. Dave Zimmerman (R-Lancaster) sa
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Rep. Keith Greiner Takes the CPA Approach to PA Government

Rep. Keith Greiner (R-Lancaster) was happy with how the state budget turned out—what was spent and what was not spent. “I thought we had a good pragmatic approach. One thing I was concerned about was making sure we had a surplus to have a significant rainy day fund,” Greiner said. As
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A Recap of What the PA Catholic Conference Did This Legislative Session

The state budget agreement on Friday marked the end of the spring session in Harrisburg. The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference was active on a number of bills during the session—both supporting and opposing. Here is a brief run-down on the more noteworthy issues. Down Syndrome Protecti
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Morning Star Pregnancy Services is on the Front Lines of Pro-Life Effort

While organizations and lawmakers work to curb or put an end to abortion in the various legislatures, the pro-life effort continues on an entirely different front—with pregnancy centers counseling would-be mothers on their options. One of the groups that does that very effectively is
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Alessandro DiSanto: One of the Names Behind “Hallow”

  I remember praying as a kid every night—okay, most nights– before I went to bed. I’d present a list of things I wanted God to help me achieve pretty much through early adulthood.  As I got a bit older, I threw in a few ‘thank yous’ as well for the blessings I had gotten.
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A Recap of What the PA Catholic Conference Did This Legislative Session

The state budget agreement on Friday marked the end of the spring session in Harrisburg. The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference was active on a number of bills during the session—both supporting and opposing. Here is a brief run-down on the more noteworthy issues. Down Syndrome Protecti
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Rep. David Millard Focused on Flooding Issues in Columbia Co.

Oftentimes state legislators can feel themselves being pulled in several directions. They must stay focused on the larger issues like abortion, public and private school funding, and whether or not to raise taxes. But they also have to look out for their districts on issues that are u
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A Recap of What the PA Catholic Conference Did This Legislative Session

The state budget agreement on Friday marked the end of the spring session in Harrisburg. The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference was active on a number of bills during the session—both supporting and opposing. Here is a brief run-down on the more noteworthy issues. Down Syndrome Protecti
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From the Bronx to the Poconos, Sen. Mario Scavello Remains a Strong Catholic

PA Sen. Mario Scavello (R-Monroe, Northampton) has been a life-long Catholic and is now part of the newly-formed Most Holy Trinity Parish. Things are still getting settled there. “We’ve combined three parishes and we’re building a new church right on the grounds of Msgr. McHugh Elemen
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Sen. David Argall Assures Constituents That Work Continues on Property Tax Reform

Several residents came to the town hall hosted by PA Sen. David Argall (R-Berks, Schuylkill) and Rep. Barry Jozwiak (R-Berks) in Strausstown, Berks Co. back on June 21st with a number of questions. But there seemed to be one issue in particular that got the locals fired up the most an
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Rep. Mike Jones Having a Busy Freshman Term

We hear and read this statement a lot in June: “legislators are busy working on getting a state budget done in time.” So how many people actually have a hand in crafting the final state budget? Apparently there aren’t a ton of chairs around the negotiating table. “I think people would
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Rep. Jim Marshall Recalls the Passage of “Chloe’s Law”

It was back in March that Chloe Kondrich and her dad Kurt joined the PA Catholic Conference, legislators and several advocates at the state Capitol to announce the Down Syndrome Protection Act.  House Bill 321 was sponsored by Speaker of the House Mike Turzai  (R-Allegheny) and Rep. K
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Rep. John Hershey Knew His Career Path Early On

There are plenty of examples of legislators in Harrisburg that have taken jobs in public service after spending several years working in other careers. Sen. Maria Collett (D-Bucks, Montgomery) was a nurse and a lawyer.  Sen. Steve Santarsiero (D-Bucks) was a lawyer and a teacher. Rep.
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How One Text Message Made Rep. Daryl Metcalfe Even More Passionate About Being Pro-Life

State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) was sitting in his Capitol office one day when he got a text message from his daughter.  It was the kind of message that Metcalfe had never gotten before. His daughter was pregnant and was sending him an ultrasound recording of her baby. “To be abl
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Rep. Lee James Is Pro-life and Pro-E.I.T.C.

Like many of us, PA Rep. Lee James (R-Butler, Venango) is old enough to remember the Roe V. Wade decision on abortion of 1973. He’s made some observations since then. “For many, many years, the over-arching concern has been for women’s health. And that is an important issue,” James sa
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Rep. Aaron Bernstine Proposes P.I.A.A. Bill in Partnership with P.C.C.

State Rep. Aaron Bernstine (R-Beaver, Butler, Lawrence) has introduced legislation that would separate public and private schools for most sports in PIAA state championship play. The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference is fully on board with House Bill 1600 and, in fact, has worked close
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Rep. Curt Sonney Remains a Champion for School Choice

You won’t be able to find many PA lawmakers with free time on their hands during the month of June thanks to the ongoing budget talks. House Education Committee Majority Chair Curt Sonney is feeling the time crunch as well. “The Education Committee is always a very busy committee,” he
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Rep. Frank Ryan Backing Bill to Repeal Death Penalty in PA

PA Rep. Frank Ryan (R-Lebanon) is co-sponsoring a bill to abolish the death penalty in Pennsylvania. It’s a noteworthy move to say the least. Ryan is a conservative and is partnering with one of the more liberal lawmakers in the House, Rep. Chris Rabb (D-Philadelphia). “Chris approach
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PA Rep. Rich Irvin Looking to Hold on to Budget Surplus

Ever since word came out about a budget surplus in Harrisburg, there have been two main factions—those that want to spend it and those that want to save it. You can put Rep. Rich Irvin (R-Centre, Huntingdon, Mifflin) squarely in the “save it” camp. “Even though we have a surplus on th
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PA Sen. Pat Stefano Ready for Busy Month of Budget Work

For many people the month of June is a time for relaxation and enjoyment. It’s time to open the pool. Have cookouts. The kids are off from school. It’s vacation season. For Pennsylvania legislators it’s quite the opposite. They still have a budget to get done. “I used to love June,” s
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Rep. Grove Doesn’t Want To See Budget Surplus Burn a Hole in PA’s pocket

PA Rep. Seth Grove (R-York Co.) is questioning a plan by some Democrats in Harrisburg to spend $125-million in budget surpluses. Grove reacted to comments by Sen. Vincent Hughes’ (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery) that support spending the surplus revenue or tapping tap special fund reserve
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PA Sen. John DiSanto Sponsors Bill To Help Those Who Have Paid Their Debt To Society

PA Senator John DiSanto (R-Dauphin & Perry Cos.) is sponsoring a bill that would help those convicted of a crime try to turn their lives around and pursue a career. It covers occupational licensure reform and it deals specifically with re-doing the requirements for people that nee
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PA Sen. Steve Santarsiero goes from Court to Classroom to Capitol

There are a number of attorneys that have made the jump to holding public office. It seems there have also been a fair amount of teachers who have gone into politics as well. But I can’t recall seeing any elected officials who once worked as attorneys *and* as teachers. Well, PA Sen.
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PA Sen. Maria Collett Has New Job but is Still Helping People

You absolutely can NOT call PA Sen. Maria Collett a career politician. It has become a negative connotation over the years, but it’s something that does not apply in her case. Collett is a freshman Democratic Senator representing Bucks and Montgomery Counties.  She has also been an at
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Rep. Russ Diamond Still the Same–Just More Diplomatic!

Russ Diamond has introduced a constitutional amendment to change the way we elect judges in Pennsylvania. Instead of electing judges for appellate courts—Commonwealth, Superior and Supreme — on a *state-wide basis*, the bill would have the state divided into districts. It would
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Giving 110% Pays Off Big Time for PA Sen. Katie Muth

She is evidence that hard work can pay off.  First-time PA Sen. Katie Muth (D-Berks, Montgomery & Chester Cos.) came from a working class family and displayed an incredible work ethic to stage a stunning upset last fall for her first job in public office. Muth said she originally
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Rep. Steve Barrar Looking to Solve First Responder ‘Crisis’ in PA

“It’s really a crisis that’s occurring—not just in the state of Pennsylvania,” said PA Rep. Stephen Barrar (R-Chester & Delaware Cos.). “It’s occurring nationwide.” Barrar is talking about the scarcity of firefighters and other first responders across the state. He chairs the Hous
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PA Rep. Jim Struzzi Focuses on Pro-Life Issues; Property Tax Relief

The pro-life caucus in the PA House has been very active this session, sparked by a wave of pro-abortion legislation in other states. Freshman PA Rep. Jim Struzzi (R-Indiana Co.) has been right there with his support. “As a father of four children, this type of legislation is very imp
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PA Rep. Matt Gabler: Serving State and Serving Country

Lawmakers in Harrisburg have been approaching school safety from many angles. One bill in particular by Rep. Matt Gabler (R-Elk & Clearfield Cos.) would call for special signal lights to be put on smaller school vehicles. “I had the idea come to me because I have some constituents
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PA Rep. Austin Davis Focused on Mass Transit; Sees Benefit of Severance Tax

PA Rep. Austin Davis (D-Allegheny Co.) is keeping his eye on the highways. And the rails. For the Pittsburgh-area freshman representative, there will be a lot of focus on taking care of mass transit in his district. “A number of years ago we went through significant cuts when the stat
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Two bills by Rep. Jason Ortitay Take Unique Approach to Make Schools Safer

We hear of many of the issues that are being addressed by lawmakers in Harrisburg, especially the ones that are controversial or have lawmakers divided. But there are many more that come and go with little attention and are just as, if not more, important. One key issue in particular
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PA Rep. Brandon Markosek Looking to Strengthen Infrastructure in His District

I checked to see if Rep. Brandon Markosek’s hands were bleeding. They weren’t. Last year that might not have been the case though, when he campaigned for the 25th District seat that he was elected to in November. “During the campaign I knocked on 14,000 doors,” Markosek said. Ouch. “T
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PA Reps. Chris Dush and Dawn Keefer Not High on Lt. Governor’s ‘Pot Tour’

Okay, first of all apologies for the title. It was too easy. I could also have said the pot tour is taking ‘hits’ from legislators, but I didn’t. Funny or not, both puns are true. While Lt. Governor John Fetterman says his just-over-halfway-completed ‘pot tour’ of Pennsylvania’s count
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Sen. John DiSanto Sees Pension Bill Pass, Does Not Favor TMI Bailout

I walked into Sen. John DiSanto’s (15th District, Dauphin & Perry Cos.) office at the Capitol and in the middle of our conversation happened to ask him if he was Catholic. The Senator turned to his wall and pointed to what may be the largest crucifix–outside of a church̵
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No one should feel the need to justify their existence

Twenty-four year old Mikayla Holmgren stood before a gathering at the State Capitol on Wednesday and basically defended her existence on this earth. Why would she—or anybody– ever feel the need to do that? “This world is better with people with Down syndrome,” she said. “I have
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Last two weekly editions of our Catholic Legislative Talk Radio show

https://holyfamilyradio.podbean.com/e/clt009-clt-updates-w-al-gnoza/   https://holyfamilyradio.podbean.com/e/clt008-down-syndrome-abortions-seminarians-interview/      
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PA Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill talks about defeat of ‘Born Alive Bill’ in U.S. Senate

I'm getting reaction today from PA pro-life lawmakers about the US Senate voting down the 'born alive' bill that protects abortion survivors. Here's PA Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill. Posted by Pennsylvania Catholic Conference on Wednesday, February 27, 2019
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PA Rep. Paul Schemel Reacts to ‘Born Alive Bill’ Being Voted Down in U.S. Senate

We’ve been reaching out to pro-life lawmakers in Harrisburg after the U.S. Senate voted against a bill to protect babies surviving abortion. Here’s Rep. Paul Schemel with some reassurance for those of us who were unhappy/angry with that vote. “I was disappointed that
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PA Rep. Dawn Keefer Looking to Introduce Abortion Bill in State House

PA Rep. Dawn Keefer (R-York & Cumberland Cos.) is going to be very active in the pro-life movement in Harrisburg in the coming weeks and months. She will be joining State Rep. Paul Schemel (R-Franklin Co.) in introducing the 20-week rule. “Right now you can have an abortion up to
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Wolf Administration Sees Progress in Battle Against Opioid Crisis in Pennsylvania

It was back in January of last year that Governor Wolf declared a disaster emergency in the opioid crisis. The declaration suspended regulations hindering access to addiction care. It was the first time that a disaster emergency was declared for a public health crisis in Pennsylvania.
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PA Rep. Jesse Topper Looks for an Efficient Government, Not a Costly One

Like many lawmakers in Harrisburg, State Rep. Jesse Topper (R-Bedford, Fulton and Franklin Cos.) will be keeping a close eye on budget talks at the Capitol.  The process started after Governor Wolf unveiled his budget proposal earlier this month. “It’s basically the Governor saying ‘t
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PA Senator Rob Kauffman Part of Large Pro-Life Caucus in Harrisburg

State Senator Rob Kauffman has been hearing a lot from his constituents over one particular issue—and it’s something that’s not even happening in Pennsylvania.  People are reacting to the new abortion law that was passed in New York State. “I’m getting emails from young and old alike,
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Pro-life Lawmakers in PA Look to Reassure Constituents in light of New York Law

Pro-life lawmakers in Pennsylvania continue to react to the recent New York State abortion law. Much of that is in response to concerns from constituents about whether it could happen here. “I’m getting emails from young and old alike,” said PA Rep. Rob Kauffman, a pro-life Republican
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Margaret Egan: 50 years in Catholic Education and Still Going Strong

What do you do after serving for more than thirty years as a fourth-grade teacher?  Well, if you’re Margaret Egan you become a principal! Egan followed up a long stint of teaching by becoming the principal at Saints Peter and Paul School outside of West Chester in 2002. That’s 50-year
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Gasp!! Biblical Quotations Still Adorn Many Walls of State Capitol!!

You will never guess where you can find a wide selection of biblical quotations when you visit Harrisburg. Well, yeah, the bible. But I’m talking a building. It’s the State Capitol of all places–hard to believe in this day and age where there is always someone looking to be offe
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PA Rep. Aaron Bernstine helping the little guy…in the home and in the womb

With the coldest weather of the season upon us, it’s hard to imagine having to live without heat in our homes. Yet that’s what many residents across Pennsylvania have faced, with boroughs across the state being permitted– by law– to turn off power on a resident who could n
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Human Trafficking Bill Racking up Co-Sponsors in Harrisburg

The “Buyer Beware Act” is off to a promising start in the State House and Senate. The bill increases penalties on criminals convicted of certain human trafficking offenses. It was introduced by two York County Republican legislators: Rep. Seth Grove and Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill as H
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Rep. Frank Ryan Continues Life of Service, this time in Public Service

There are lawmakers who may downplay their faith for whatever reason. PA Representative Frank Ryan of the 101st District in Lebanon County is not one of those folks. His faith has always been a big part of his life and he’s not afraid to say it. “I live in a district where faith is a
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School-Choice Champion Philip J. Murren Receives Legislative Award

The Honorable, Philip J. Murren, Esq., Principal in the Law Firm of Ball, Murren & Connell, LLC was awarded the PACAPE School Choice Champion award at a ceremony beginning at 9 a.m. Friday, Jan. 24 at the Willow Valley Resort in Lancaster. Philip J. Murren, Esq. is a principal in
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Blue Ribbon-winning St. Mary Magdalen School Carving Out its Niche

If you’re like me when you think of Catholic Schools, you think of discipline. It’s one of the main reasons that I enrolled both of my children in Catholic school. But ‘discipline’ can take many forms, and it doesn’t have to be punishment. ‘Discipline’ can also mean ‘guidelines.’ Such
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Rep. Carolyn Comitta goes from Educator to Education Advocate

It seems only fitting that Rep. Carolyn Comitta has her district office in what was at one time the junior and senior high school in the West Chester School District. Comitta has spent much of her professional life either teaching, or advocating for education. “It is the foundation fo
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Rep. Thomas Murt all about helping adults and students in need; Praises Archdiocese for their efforts

Rep. Thomas Murt of the 152nd District (Montgomery Co. and Philadelphia) was named this month to chair the PA House Aging and Older Services Committee.  That seems to be right in his wheelhouse.  Murt has long been regarded as a leading advocate for folks with special needs and their
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Sen. Tom Killion Recognizes Catholic Schools on Senate Floor

The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference joined Sen. Tom Killion (R-Chester and Delaware Cos.) in a resolution designating the week of January 27th through February 2nd as Catholic Schools Week in Pennsylvania.  Sen. Killion delivered the resolution as the first piece of business on the S
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PCHA Announces 2019 Board Members

The Pennsylvania Catholic Health Association announced its 2019 Board of Directors, which includes three new members and three directors that have been re-elected to three year terms. They will join nine existing members to make up the current PCHA board. The newly-elected members inc
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PA Catholic Conference Stands with PA Lawmakers on Human Trafficking Bill

The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference on Wednesday announced its full support of the “Buyer Beware Act” to fight human trafficking. The bill is being introduced by two York County lawmakers—Rep. Seth Grove as House Bill 12 and by Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill as Senate Bill 60. Three memb
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PA Rep. Todd Polinchock Ready for a New Kind of Service

The newest group of lawmakers to come to Harrisburg includes State Representative Todd Polinchock, a Republican who won election this past November in the 144th District in Bucks County. It was an opening that was created when long-time officer holder Kathy Watson decided not to run f
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PA Senator Bob Mensch Very Proud of Schools in his 24th District

State Senator Bob Mensch is proud of many things about his 24th district, which covers parts of Berks, Bucks and Montgomery Cos. You can put schools high on that list. “I’m very blessed,” he said. “I have some fantastic schools—public, private and parochial.” I met with Mensch in fron
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The Supreme Court Should Protect Unborn Children with Down Syndrome

Editorial in the “Public Discourse” by the Witherspoon Insitute JANUARY 2, 2019BY O. CARTER SNEAD AND MARY O’CALLAGHAN This Friday, the Court will decide whether to review a case about an Indiana law that prohibits abortions performed solely because the unborn child has Do
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Big Awards for Our Lady of Mercy Regional Catholic School in Montgomery Co.

Well 2019 is upon us, but you could forgive the folks at Our Lady of Mercy Regional Catholic School in Maple Glen, Montgomery County for being sorry to say goodbye to 2018. Specifically, the fall of 2018 was very good to OLM. First, the Middle States Association Commission on Elementa
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A Visit to St. Katharine Drexel Catholic School–a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence

The excitement level was very high the day we visited St. Katharine Drexel Catholic School in Southampton, Bucks County. It was the last couple of days before Christmas break. Parents and kids were moving about the school. Manger scenes that the children had created were sitting on a
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Blue Ribbon Schools

The PA Catholic Conference is highlighting schools that have been designated Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence. There are nine of them in the Philadelphia area. We are reaching out to those schools and to the legislators that represent those districts. Please check for our updates and
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