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School Safety

There have been 11 school shootings in America since this academic year began where at least one person was hurt. Parents are scared to send their children into the classroom and children are too frightened to focus on learning.

Make Schools SafeWe have to do more to protect them and make them feel safe.

We’re taking that charge seriously at the state level here in Pennsylvania, and I want to update you on our progress. Last year, we allocated $60 million in the budget for school safety and violence prevention programs. That money is now flowing into our communities – including major funding for the Woodland Hills School District and the Community Empowerment Association in our area.

We also instituted “Safe to Say,” a program that allows students and teachers to report threats and learn about warning signs before something happens. I also have a bill to require every school district to employ a school counselor. Often, there are mental health issues behind these shootings and access to a counselor may prevent them.

I’ll keep pushing that legislation and additional funding for prevention programs and will keep you updated.

Elliot Howsie confirmed by the PA Senate

Howsie was appointed by Governor Tom Wolf following Senator Costa’s recommendation and was today confirmed by the full Senate unanimously.

Elliot Howsie I was honored to recommend Elliot through this process, and we saw he had a broad range of support from folks who have worked with him for years or just recently met him. Elliot has the unique blend of work and life experience that will make him a valuable addition to the bench. I know he’ll be a wonderful judge and administer fair justice in his new role.

Howsie grew up in Wilkinsburg, and after graduating from Central Catholic High School, he attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he earned his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in criminal justice. 

As he pursued his master's degree in criminal justice, Elliot worked in social services teaching decision making and reintegration skills to the children at Shuman Juvenile Detention Center.

Elliot went on to serve as an Assistant District Attorney for five years in the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office, where he focused on prosecuting cases involving child abuse. After leaving the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office, he established his own law firm. He worked as a sole practitioner specializing in criminal defense as well as personal injury cases in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, the Pennsylvania Superior Court, and the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. ​

In 2012, he was appointed by Allegheny County Executive, Rich Fitzgerald, to be Allegheny County’s first African American Chief Public Defender. 

UPMC/Highmark Divorce

Highmark/UPMCIn April, I signed on to an amicus brief supporting the Attorney General’s lawsuit against UPMC. Many of my western Pennsylvania colleagues in the House and Senate also signed. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on May 16 on this issue.

I have also sent a letter to Senator Scavello, asking that he immediately hold a hearing on my legislation to compel health systems to accept payment from any willing insurer. If he does not move forward with my bill, I will proceed with a discharge resolution to force it to the floor.

The UPMC Highmark consent agreement will end in June. We have no time to wait.

Shredding Event

On May 11th, I’ll be hosting another free shredding event in Bloomfield. Check out the information on my website.

Free Shredding Event

In the 43rd

Our tour of the 43rd district continues! I hope you’re enjoying the new episodes every Wednesday. Check out this one at Duolingo. It’s a high tech firm that created the app that will teach you any language for free. They’re based right here in Pittsburgh!


Coming up this month, we have episodes with the Bakery of Society of Pittsburgh in Mt. Oliver, Johno’s Art Gallery in the South Side Slopes, and more!

Facebook/Twitter Facebook Twitter Instagram Stay Connected

If you haven’t visited my Facebook page, join the conversation by ‘liking’ the page and follow me on Twitter and Instagram. Plenty of information is available on these pages about community events and issues affecting our friends and neighbors.  If you have questions or concerns, send me a direct message or post you thoughts.

Offices to Serve You

  Forest Hills
1501 Ardmore Blvd. | Suite 403
Pittsburgh, PA 15221
Phone: (412) 241-6690
Fax: (412) 731-2332
8:30 am – 4:30 pm
2306 Brownsville Rd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15210
Phone: (412) 884-8308
Fax: (412) 886-2080
8:30 am – 4:30 pm
314 E. Eighth Ave.
Homestead, PA 15120
Phone: (412) 462-4204
Fax: (412) 462-4543
8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Harrisburg Office
Senate Box 203043
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Phone: (717) 787-7683
Fax: (717) 783-5976
8:30 am – 5:00 pm