McKeesport – Sept. 27, 2019 – State Sen. Jim Brewster (D-Allegheny/Westmoreland) said today that PennDOT’s District Executive Cheryl Moon-Sirianni acted quickly, decisively and in the interest of public safety when she ordered the temporary closure of the Route 51 Bridge between Elizabeth and West Elizabeth following a cable support failure.
“The temporary closure of the heavily-used bridge was necessary to avert a crisis,” Brewster said. “District Director Moon-Sirianni took decisive action to protect those who use the Route 51 Bridge in Elizabeth. Safety is a top priority.”
Brewster said he has been assured that repair work will continue on the span and crews will be on scene doing repairs until the bridge can be safely reopened.
“The bridge is a key aspect of the Mon Valley transportation system and must be quickly repaired,” Brewster said. “PennDOT leadership has been open, transparent and acted to protect those who use the bridge.”
Brewster said that PennDOT will provide further updates as work progresses.
McKeesport – September 25, 2019 – Sen. Jim Brewster (D- Allegheny/Westmoreland) will host a free shredding event at the Allegheny Township Municipal Building Parking Lot, 136 Community Road in Leechburg. The event will run from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28.
“Securely disposing of personal documents and records is incredibly important,” Brewster said. “Consumer fraud and identity theft are very real issues that can be prevented by shredding documents that hold personal information.”
Brewster said that documents such as social security documents, personal banking records, credit card statements and medical records may contain personal information and can be shredded at this event it they are no longer needed for one’s personal records.
“I look forward to this event and helping keep people’s personal information secure,” Brewster said.
McKeesport – Sept. 24, 2019 – Sen. Jim Brewster (D- Allegheny/Westmoreland) will host a Senior Wellness and Safety Expo in McKeesport this Thursday, Sept. 26 from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at McKeesport Palisades, 100 Fifth Avenue.
“Hosting this event is an excellent opportunity to provide valuable information to our seniors,” Brewster said. “It is also an opportunity to provide them with beneficial health services and screenings.”
Brewster said that there will be health screenings for hearing, vision, blood pressure, bone density, carbon monoxide and blood glucose. He said that seniors will also have the opportunity to receive a flu shot for free with no proof of insurance required.
Rep. Austin Davis (D- Allegheny) is partnering with Brewster for this event.
“I look forward to seeing many of our senior citizens come out for this fun and informative event,” Brewster said.
Harrisburg – Sept. 17, 2019 – State Sen. Jim Brewster (D-Allegheny/Westmoreland) today said he is pleased that more than $500,000 in state grant funding was approved for an array of recreation projects in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties.
“Our ability to help local communities improve their recreation and public spaces is significantly bolstered by funding that is brought back from Harrisburg,” Brewster said. “These new dollars for the enhancement of recreation projects in both Allegheny and Westmoreland counties will improve the quality of life in our communities.”
Funding was approved for park and recreation projects in Port Vue, Baldwin, Plum, Elizabeth and North Versailles in Allegheny County. Vandergrift and Lower Burrell in Westmoreland County also received state funds for park and pool rehabilitation projects.
The grants were made available through the Commonwealth Financing Authority’s Act 13 program funds. The following program dollars were approved in this round of funding for projects in Brewster’s district in Allegheny County:
- Port Vue Borough Port Vue Athletic Association Recreation Building $53,763
- Baldwin Borough Elm Leaf Park Improvements $50,000
- Plum Borough Logan’s Ferry Park Improvements $150,000
- Elizabeth Borough Streetscape, Riverfront Park Improvements $50,000
- North Versailles Crestas ball field lighting $50,000
In the Westmoreland County portion of Brewster’s district, funding for the following projects were approved:
- Lower Burrell Veterans Central Park Improvements $50,000
- Vandergrift Borough Pool Renovation $165,313
Brewster said that while he is pleased that these grants were approved, he will continue to seek other resources for communities through other state programs.
McKeesport, September 13, 2019 – State Sen. Jim Brewster today announced a total of $811,844 in state funds for four local crime reduction and victim services programs.
“I am committed to using state resources to strengthen local efforts to curb gun violence and help those who are victimized by crime,” Brewster said.
Brewster said the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency this week approved the following grants:
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Harrisburg, September 13, 2019 – State Sen. Jim Brewster today announced a total of $26.5 million in state funds for construction work at the community colleges in Allegheny and Westmoreland County.
“As our community colleges become a more viable and important educational opportunities for area students, I am pleased that state funds are being used to improve and expand their facilities.”
According to Brewster, the state Department of Education has approved $20 million for the Community College of Allegheny County for construction of its Workforce Training Center. An additional $6.5 million was earmarked for the Westmoreland County Community College to modernize its Enterprise Resource Planning System.
The department monies represent 50 percent of the annual capital expense for the projects, with the remainder financed by local sponsorship.
“I will continue to seek state support for projects and programs that enhance our community colleges,” Brewster said.
McKeesport – Sept. 4, 2019 – State Sen. Jim Brewster (D-Allegheny/Westmoreland) welcomed Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf to Twin Rivers Elementary School today to discuss the governor’s comprehensive plan to reform charter schools.
“Our laws governing the operations of charter and cyber-charter schools need to be reformed. We need to bring greater accountability and transparency so that our children are well educated, and our taxpayers protected,” Brewster said.
“For too long, charter operations have been cloaked in secrecy with the law having multiple loopholes and little oversight capability.”
The governor’s plan is a multi-part effort including executive actions to re-write charter regulations and push comprehensive charter reform legislation.
The governor’s plan includes instituting greater transparency in admissions and enrollment policies to halt discrimination, opening charter school operations, mandating ethical standards for charter boards, new auditing and oversight to prevent overcharging taxpayers.
Brewster has long been a legislative champion of charter school reform. For several sessions, he has offered sweeping charter reform bills to rein in out-of-control cyber and brick-and-mortar charter schools. His legislation includes greater oversight by local school districts, financial accountability and built-in protections for taxpayers.
“As a long-time advocate for charter reform, I believe the governor has offered responsible administrative changes and proposed meaningful legislative solutions. Charters need to complement, not compete with, traditional public schools.”
Charter schools should work in concert with traditional public schools and their operations need to be coordinated with local school districts, Brewster said.
The lawmaker also pointed to needed changes in the statewide charter appeal board to improve the charter school law.
Brewster said he was pleased to welcome the governor to the Mon Valley and thanked the governor for making charter reform a priority.