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May 2016

With drug overdose deaths reaching epidemic levels, Senate Democrats today unveiled legislation in Harrisburg to address the opioid addiction crisis in Pennsylvania from prevention through recovery.  Here’s more with Senator Costa who says addiction is a disease that does not discriminate and there is no easy solution to fix the problem.

Senate Democrats are calling for a constitutional amendment that would allow Pennsylvania voters to decide if they want to make changes to the state’s personal income tax.  Here’s more with Senator Costa who spoke today at a State Capitol news conference in support of legislation that would allow voters to change the state’s personal income tax from a flat rate to a graduated tax.

Senator Costa held another of his Telephone Town Hall Meetings on May 10th in which participants were able to ask questions about a wide range of state and local issues as well as listen to a discussion on topics that are important to Pittsburgh and Allegheny County and the state.  You can listen here to the complete town hall meeting.

Pennsylvania Moment: May 30th is Memorial Day, and May 21st is Armed Forces Day. Senator Costa says veterans, their families and survivors should check and make sure they are receiving all of the benefits to which they’re entitled.

Pennsylvania Moment: May is national Pet Month. Senator Costa says one of the best things you can do for your dog is get a license.

Here are Senator Costa’s remarks at the 23rd Annual Police Memorial held in Harrisburg to pay tribute to the five police officers across Pennsylvania who lost their lives while on duty in 2015:

The Pennsylvania Senate has adopted a resolution recognizing Monday, May 2, as “Police Officers Memorial Day” in Pennsylvania and the week of May 15 through May 21 as “National Police Week” in the Commonwealth.  Here’s more with Senator Costa whose resolution is intended to honor the brave law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty.

April 2016

Pennsylvania is seeing a rise in heroin addiction and overdoses.  Senate Democratic Leader Costa hosted a hearing by the Senate Democratic Policy Committee to listen to treatment providers about what needs to be done to make sure addicts receive proper rehabilitation.

April is SEXUAL ASSAULT AWARENESS MONTH in Pennsylvania. Senator Costa says there’s a statewide campaign, “It’s On Us, Pennsylvania,” designed to call attention to and stop sexual assault, especially on college campuses.

April is AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH  in Pennsylvania.  Senator Costa says state law requires insurance coverage for autism treatment, and there’s a website listing the services offered to help those with autism.

The Senate Democratic Policy Committee will hold a public hearing on Thursday, April 7, 10 a.m. in Pittsburgh on Combating Barriers to Opiate and Opioid Addiction Treatment in Pennsylvania.  Here’s more with Senator Costa who’s inviting the public to attend the hearing which will be held in Pittsburgh City Council Chambers, 5th Floor, City-County Building, 414 Grant Street, Pittsburgh.

March 2016

Senator Costa today is reminding Pennsylvanians that they can help our military men and women and their families at tax time by checking a box on their 2015 personal income tax returns to donate all or a portion of their state income tax refund to the state’s Military Family Relief Assistance Program, which provides grants of up to $3,500 to Pennsylvania members of the armed forces and their families who have a direct and immediate financial need as a result of circumstances beyond their control.

Pennsylvania Moment: Senator Costa says one of the best ways for people to help their communities is to volunteer as a firefighter or emergency responder.

In remarks on the Senate Floor today, Senator Costa expressed his deepest sympathy to the families of the Wilkinsburg shooting victims and talked about the problems facing our communities and what the state should be doing to help them and their residents.

The Senate schedule notwithstanding, Senator Costa’s Resolution has declared “Rare Disease Awareness Day” in Pennsylvania.

Senator Costa commends Gov. Wolf who signed an Executive Order on March 7th raising the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.15 an hour for state workers and for employees of businesses that receive future state contracts.

February 2016

There appears to be good news for supporters of a bill in Harrisburg that would legalize the use of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania.  Here’s more with Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa of Allegheny County who’s optimistic that the House of Representatives will soon bring the legislation up for a vote.

Senator Costa held another of his Telephone Town Hall Meetings on February 23rd in which participants were able to ask questions about a wide range of issues including school district spending and property tax relief, local hospital construction projects, and medical marijuana legislation as well as listen to a discussion on topics that are important to Pittsburgh, Allegheny County and the state.  You can listen here to the complete town hall meeting.

January 2016

Pennsylvania Moment: Time for parents and students to begin the process of applying for college loans and grants.  Senator Costa says Pennsylvania’s Higher Education Assistance Agency can help.

Gov. Tom Wolf unveiled a $32.7 billion proposed Pennsylvania budget for 2016-17, but  Senator Costa says the state won’t get out of its fiscal crisis until lawmakers deal with passing a realistic 2015-16 budget.

As the state legislature begins the second half of the current two-year session, Senator Costa held another of his Telephone Town Hall Meetings this month in which participants were able to ask questions about a wide range of issues including the state budget, property tax relief, and telephone scams targeting the elderly as well as listen to a discussion on topics that are important to Pittsburgh, Allegheny County and the Commonwealth.  You can listen here to the complete town hall meeting.

Pennsylvania Moment:  Senator Costa says Pennsylvanians who need health insurance have a new affordable option: the Health Choices program.

Following Gov. Wolf’s line-item veto of the latest Republican-sponsored budget, Senator Costa says the state legislature needs to pass the budget framework all parties agreed to before the Christmas holidays to avoid major problems in next year’s budget.

 

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