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State/County - Bensalem Township

Santarsiero Response to Resolution Designating February 15th “Love is Love Day”



The following is a press release from state Steve Santarsiero

Adolescence is tough. For LGBTQ+ youth, this time of growing up can be even more difficult, even dangerous. LGBTQ+ folks are often targets for harassment, just by being who they are. The sad reality is that 39% will consider suicide, and 18% will attempt.

However, there are always beacons of hope. The Rainbow Room, located in Doylestown, is one of those beacons, and provides an atmosphere of acceptance and love for LGBTQ+ youth. For many young people in my district, the Rainbow Room is quite literally a life-saver.

In celebration of the prom that the Rainbow Room will be hosting on February 15th, state Representative Wendy Ullman (D-143) and I were asked to pass a resolution recognizing this day as “Love is Love Day” in the Pennsylvania House and Senate. Sadly, we were not able to bring this resolution, SR 307, to the floor. We were unable to receive unanimous consent from our Republican colleagues.

We can disagree in this chamber on many issues, and we do, but one thing on which we should never disagree is that every Pennsylvanian deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. It is not okay that in Pennsylvania, in the year 2020, it is still perfectly legal to discriminate against members of the LGBTQ+ community. We should all be ashamed of that, and actively fight to make our Commonwealth an inclusive place for all residents, especially our children.

I am a person of faith. In my role as state Senator, I do not often speak publicly of my religious faith, as I am also a strong believer in the separation of church and state. However, I will say that faith is not an excuse to discriminate, disrespect, or marginalize any members of our community. It is truly a perversion of faith to wield it as a weapon to be used against our most vulnerable.

I have faith that change is coming. I have faith that our LGBTQ+ children will be able to grow up in a world of acceptance, respect, and love. I have faith that there will always be people who will stand up for the dignity of others.

Love is love, with or without a resolution.

For more information on Senate Resolution 307, click here.

To view Senator Santarsiero’s full floor address, click here.

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Human Interest - Bensalem Township

Bucks Co Appoints New CEO of Library System




Bucks County has a new library system director.

The Bucks County Free Library (BCFL) Board of Directors appointed Dana Barber as the library system’s new chief executive officer at their June 17, 2024 board meeting.

She assumed the role beginning on July 15.

Barber has served as director of the Margaret R Grundy Memorial Library in Bristol Borough for the past 10 years, with a focus on creating strategic partnerships to enhance library services.

She received the 2023 Certificate of Merit from the Pennsylvania Library Association in recognition of her leadership skills.

“I’m looking forward to working with the dedicated team at BCFL to continue to enhance library services and foster meaningful relationships with patrons and partners,” Barber said.

Barber is excited by the new opportunity to share her vision for public library services as leader of the county system.

“Our libraries are vibrant community hubs providing access to high-quality information, essential support and education, and equitable spaces. They truly are for everyone!” she said.

Outgoing Chief Executive Officer, Martina Kominiarek, has served as the library’s CEO for more than 20 years.

“With Dana at the helm, I’m confident we’ll continue to thrive and innovate, serving our communities in even more dynamic and impactful ways,” she said.

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Human Interest - Bensalem Township

Rep Davis: We’re Addressing Constituent Complaints on Proposed Aqua Rate Increase




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State Rep Tina Davis said recently we have heard your concerns regarding the proposed AQUA rate increase and I have signed on to a letter to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission opposing AQUA’s request.

“Aqua made the request to the PUC, citing the need to improve the system’s infrastructure. While I agree that improvements are needed, customers’ bills currently include distribution system improvement charges, indicating that funds are already being allocated for the infrastructure updates.”

Also, the net income of Essential Utilities, AQUA’s parent company, grew 7% in 2023, therefore, it is apparent that the company is profitable and financially stable, Davis said

What can you do about this? Here is the link where you can file your concerns with the PUC regarding this proposal.

The PUC will also schedule public hearings on the proposed rate hike. Please follow my Facebook and X pages as we will update when the dates of the hearings are announced. she said.

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Human Interest - Bensalem Township

Prokopiak Measure to Increase Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program Becomes Law as Part of State Budget Package




State Rep. Jim Prokopiak’s bill that will help Pennsylvania’s economy by expanding the state Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program was included in a Fiscal Code bill, which was signed into law by Gov. Josh Shapiro on July 11.

Prokopiak initially proposed expanding the Historic Preservation Tax Credit from $5 million to $20 million, starting in 2025 as H.B. 2358. The language of the legislation was added into the Fiscal Code bill, which is part of the state budget package. 

 “Investing in preserving our historic structures does two things,” Prokopiak said. “It not only helps to better tell the story of our commonwealth’s history, but it also is an economic driver as it helps turn these structures into income-producing properties.”

 Every $1 million invested into an historic rehabilitation project generates 6.4 direct jobs and 5.6 indirect jobs in Pennsylvania, which outperforms every other industry, according to Prokopiak.

 Of the 37 states that have a similar tax credit, Pennsylvania had the fourth-lowest cap of $5 million. The increased investment is necessary, as the need for funding is greater than the cap, Prokopiak said. For the 2022-23 fiscal year, 31 projects requesting a total of $12.7 million in tax credits were forwarded to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission for approval of the projects’ rehabilitation plan. With the annual program cap set at $5 million, 22 of those projects were ultimately awarded credits, using 100% of the total amount available.

 Prokopiak represents the 140th Legislative District comprising Falls, Morrisville, Tullytown and part of Middletown in Bucks County.

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