Senator Santarsiero, Representatives Galloway and Davis Announce $110,000 for Bristol Borough Watershed Restoration 

BUCKS COUNTY – September 21, 2022 – State Senator Steve Santarsiero (D-10) and State Representatives John Galloway (D-140) and Tina Davis (D-141) announced today that Bristol Borough will receive $110,000 in state funding for a watershed restoration project benefitting the Borough.

The project will create a vegetated swale at the wooded area between Green and Howell Streets in Bristol Borough. The existing swale has severe erosion, little-to-no vegetation in the flow area, and sediment buildup.

“As we see increased rainfall and flooding impact the residents of Bristol Borough, it is clear we need to implement solutions that help protect the homes and businesses in the area, while combating the devastating effects of climate change,” said Sen. Santarsiero.  “Vegetated swales, like the one that will be constructed on Howell Street, will use native plants to help manage stormwater runoff, filter pollutants and improve water infiltration.”

Converting the existing stormwater swale to a vegetated bioswale will help effectively treat and control the runoff going into the swale by filtering out pollutants and sediments, slowing runoff, and promoting infiltration. Native plants with deep roots and grasses will assist in building up the soil structure and allow water to infiltrate the ground more easily.

“This money will provide critical assistance to Bristol Borough in reducing the impact of heavy rainfall on our communities by constructing the Howell Street Vegetated Swale,” Rep. Galloway said.  “We need support from our local, state and federal government to prepare our communities’ infrastructure for the increasingly violent impact of climate change. This state grant is a step in the right direction.”

“As we are affected by increasingly violent storms, we must be innovative and resourceful in our approaches to mitigating their impact on our communities,” Rep. Davis said.  “It’s not enough to have innovative ideas—we need the money, too, to make these ideas reality, and the Commonwealth has thankfully provided critical fiscal support to Bristol Borough so it can implement one such innovation to its infrastructure.”

Bristol Borough Manager James Dillon echoed the environmental impact of the project saying, “Borough Council will be grateful for this grant, which will be used to benefit the environment.”

For more information on the Watershed Restoration and Protection Program, visit the DCED website.

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Senators Santarsiero, Collett Ask Governor to Allow Businesses in Personal Service Industry to Operate During Yellow and Green Phases of Reopening

BUCKS COUNTY – May 28, 2020 – Senators Steve Santarsiero (D-10) and Maria Collett (D-12) were joined by State Representatives Perry Warren (D-31), Tina Davis (D-141), John Galloway (D-140) and Wendy Ullman (D-143) in asking Governor Wolf to issue an executive order permitting personal services businesses, such as barbers and salons, located in counties in the yellow or green phase to reopen with enhanced safety measures. 

The letter references a plan for reopening of the personal service industry used in neighboring Ohio, developed by a personal services workgroup at the request of Ohio’s Governor. The Ohio plan includes a list of requirements and best practices for businesses to implement, such as maintaining six feet of social distancing (except between the client and employee when appropriate), requiring employees to wear facial coverings (with some exceptions), requiring businesses to clean high-touch items after each use, and requiring employees to wear gloves and dispose of gloves in between tasks.

“During a productive call with 45 barbers and hair stylists from across the Commonwealth, they shared the process for reopening their industry that is being implemented in Ohio,” said Sen. Santarsiero.  “Based on the precautions they recommend, paired with the hundreds of hours of training that licensed professionals in the industry receive in sanitation, sterilization and hygiene, I believe it is time to safely reopen this sector of Pennsylvania’s economy.”

“I have heard from many hair, nail, and tanning salon owners in my district, the majority of these salons being women- and minority-owned, who are ready and able to implement these expanded safety guidelines and return to serving our communities,” said Sen. Collett. “It is important that we continue to generate and propose creative solutions and compromises so that businesses in yellow phase counties can begin to resume operations and rebuild while we continue to protect the public health.”

The full text of the letter to Governor Wolf can be found here.

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Senator Santarsiero, Representatives Davis and Warren Announce Legislation to Combat Patient Brokering

BUCKS COUNTY − June 10, 2019 −  In front of the former office of Liberation Way in Yardley, an addiction treatment center accused of defrauding patients and health insurance companies, state Senator Steve Santarsiero (D-10), and state Representatives Tina Davis (D141) and Perry Warren (D-31) introduced SB 713 and HB 1018, legislation that would charge fraudulent addiction treatment facilities in Pennsylvania with a felony at the state level.

“Patient brokering, a practice relied upon by Liberation Way, essentially trades patient referrals for kickbacks,” Sen. Santarsiero said. “This facility was unregulated and ill-equipped to be of any help to the patients seeking treatment. This legislation would create three different felonies relating to the number of patients affected. It is my hope that by putting a stop to patient brokering, people in need of treatment will have access to real resources and programs that will help them into recovery.”

In the House, Rep. Davis introduced HB 1018, which mirrors SB 713. 

“I strongly believe we need to pass this legislation immediately,” Rep. Davis said. “People’s lives are at stake and we cannot allow profiteers to take advantage of families when their loved ones are in this vulnerable state. They demand our support and protection.”

“The addiction crisis is tremendous and it effects all of our communities,” Rep. Warren said. “Every dime that is allocated to preventing opioid addiction and encouraging recovery should be spent on recovery and prevention, not on bribes, kickbacks, and brokering. Regulations like this benefit the centers and organizations that do it the right way.”   

Senator Santarsiero and Representatives Davis and Warren were joined by Bryan Kennedy, CEO of Independence Lodge, and Michele Butler, a New Britain resident who has witnessed what happens when addiction treatment facilities are left unregulated and unsupervised.

“Patient brokering is an unethical and inappropriate practice,” Kennedy said. “It hurts our field, it hurts our programs, and most importantly, it hurts our patients.”

“My neighbors and I believe this bill is an important step in building regulated, transparent, effective, and affordable systems of treatment for people struggling with addiction,” Butler said. “What we have witnessed and continue to witness is the devastation businesses built on brokering and fraud create. We are here today to put an end to these practices.”

“This industry, like so many others, is rife with people who are trying to take advantage through unscrupulous business practices like patient brokering,” Santarsiero said as he ended the press conference. “By passing Senate Bill 713 and House Bill 1018, we can make a difference on the state level.”   

Video of the press conference can be found here.

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