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2015

December 1, 2016:  Pennsylvania Moment: Senator Blake suggests making a donation to your local food bank as one way to make this a happy holiday season for all.

November 2, 2016:  Pennsylvania Moment: Registration has opened for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Senator Blake says the LIHEAP program is designed to help low-income Pennsylvanians pay for heat this winter and get needed repairs to furnaces and other heating equipment.

October 27, 2016: Senator Blake has good news for people whose work depends on the seasons, such as construction workers. A law that made it more difficult for those workers to qualify for unemployment has been fixed.

October 5, 2016:  The month of October is set aside to increase awareness about Breast Cancer and Domestic Violence.  Senator Blake has information on both topics.

September 27, 2016: The Pennsylvania Senate today welcomed the 2016 Triple A Champion Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders baseball team to the State Capitol.  Here’s more with Senator Blake who introduced team officials and players on the Senate Floor.

September 2, 2016:  Pennsylvania Moment: The deadline to register to vote in this November’s Presidential election is October 11th. Senator Blake reminds state residents that they can now register online to vote (register.votespa.com).

August 5, 2016:  Pennsylvania Moment: Senator Blake reminds drivers to watch out for highway workers, police and emergency personnel who may be on the shoulder of the road.

July 8, 2016: The Pennsylvania Senate has adopted a resolution designating the third Saturday in July as “Anthracite Heritage Day” in the Commonwealth, to celebrate the rich history of anthracite coal mining in northeastern Pennsylvania.  Here’s more with Senator Blake, a cosponsor of the resolution, who says this year’s celebration will be held Saturday, July 16.

July 5, 2016:  Pennsylvania Moment:  Lyme disease has been found in all 67 Pennsylvania counties. Senator Blake has some simple tips to help everyone avoid Lyme disease this summer, as well as the West Nile and Zika viruses carried by mosquitoes.

June 13, 2016: Pennsylvania Moment: With summer coming, more bicycles will be on Pennsylvania roadways. Senator Blake has safety tips for motorists and bicyclists on how to share the road.

May 6, 2016:  Pennsylvania Moment: May is national Pet Month. Senator Blake says one of the best things you can do for your dog is get a license.

May 6, 2016:  Pennsylvania Moment: May 30th is Memorial Day, and May 21st is Armed Forces Day. Senator Blake says veterans, their families and survivors should check and make sure they are receiving all of the benefits to which they’re entitled.

April 13, 2016: In remarks on the Senate Floor today, Senator Blake paid tribute to the City of Scranton which will celebrate its 150th anniversary on April 23rd.  Listen here to the senator’s tribute.

April 6, 2016:  April is SEXUAL ASSAULT AWARENESS MONTH in Pennsylvania. Senator Blake 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 6, 2016:  April is AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH  in Pennsylvania.  Senator Blake says state law requires insurance coverage for autism treatment, and there’s a website listing the services offered to help those with autism.

April 5, 2016: Villanova Wins!  Senator Blake, a true-blue Villanova fan, salutes his team in remarks on the Senate Floor.

April 4, 2016: Senator Blake gave a shout-out today to Villanova University’s men’s basketball team as they play tonight for the NCAA Championship against North Carolina in Houston, Texas.  Listen here to the senator’s Senate Floor remarks.

March 17, 2016:  Pennsylvania Moment: Senator Blake says one of the best ways for people to help their communities is to volunteer as a firefighter or emergency responder.

March 16, 2016: A bipartisan group of state lawmakers say they’ve reached an agreement on legislative redistricting reform principles and hope to reach consensus on a specific bill soon. Here’s more with Senator Blake who spoke at a State Capitol news conference today to stress the urgency for the state legislature to act soon on redistricting reform.

March 14, 2016:  Senator Blake has co-sponsored a resolution marking March as “Irish American Heritage Month” in Pennsylvania.

February 19, 2016:  State lawmakers will begin hearings on the 2016-17 budget without having a 2015-16 budget in place. Senator Blake, vice-chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, says it’s not a good situation.

February 12, 2016: The Pennsylvania Senate has adopted a resolution designating February as “Turner Syndrome Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania.  Here’s more with Senator Blake, sponsor of the resolution, who says its purpose is to raise awareness and provide support to those women living with this rare chromosomal disorder.

February 10, 2016: Pennsylvania Moment: Time for parents and students to begin the process of applying for college loans and grants.  Senator Blake says Pennsylvania’s Higher Education Assistance Agency can help.

February 9, 2016:  Gov. Tom Wolf unveiled a $32.7 billion proposed Pennsylvania budget for 2016-17, but  Senator Blake says the state won’t get out of its fiscal crisis until lawmakers deal with passing a realistic 2015-16 budget.

January 8, 2016:  Pennsylvania Moment: Senator Blake says Pennsylvanians who need health insurance have a new affordable option: the Health Choices program.

2014

December 5, 2014: In an effort to close the “skills gap” that Pennsylvania is experiencing, Senator Blake is forging a partnership between the business and education communities in Northeastern Pennsylvania.  Here’s more with the Lackawanna County Democrat who held his 3rd annual education-economy summit this week with nearly 200 educators and business people attending:

December 3, 2014: Senator Blake, Democratic Vice-Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, says the $2 billion plus state budget deficit disclosed at today’s mid-year budget briefing by the Corbett Administration should be laid at the feet of Gov. Tom Corbett and his Republican allies in the state legislature.  Here’s more reaction from Senator Blake:

December 2, 2014: Pennsylvania Moment:  Senator Blake says a good way to get in the spirit of holiday giving is to help out your local food bank.

November 5, 2014: Pennsylvania Moment: Senator Blake says the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is now taking applications to help those who cannot afford to heat their homes this winter.

October 17, 2014:  Senator Blake says lawmakers in Harrisburg have put new limits on how long the state will aid Pennsylvania’s financially-distressed cities.

October 7, 2014:  Pennsylvania Moment: Senator Blake says the state Department of Aging has a toll-free hotline anyone can call to get answers to questions about how to care for an aging loved one.

September 16, 2014: A state Senate committee has approved legislation that would bring an end to school property taxes in Pennsylvania.  Here’s more with Senator Blake, Democratic Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, who says the legislation is flawed but who voted for the measure in committee to continue the process forward.

September 15, 2014:  Senator Blake took to the floor of the Senate to honor a slain state trooper, the victim of an ambush outside a state police barracks. The trooper lived in Dunmore.

September 8, 2014: Pennsylvania Moment: The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) covers the health needs of all Pennsylvania’s children. Senator Blake says all parents should check to see if their children are eligible

August 28, 2014: Senator Blake is calling a U.S. Army proposal to shut down a Pennsylvania National Guard brigade headquartered in Scranton “ill-advised and dangerous.”  Here’s more with the Lackawanna County Democrat, a member of the General Assembly’s Military Installations and Base Development Caucus, who’s very disappointed in the Army’s planned reduction.

August 5, 2014:  Pennsylvania Moment- As students head back to college, Senator Blake reminds them — and their parents — to explore all the possibilities when it comes to paying for higher education.

August 1, 2014: A decision by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to cancel session next week could end up being good news for an economic development program that was supposed to be voted on but with which some state lawmakers are not happy.  Here’s more with Senator Blake, a member of the Senate Local Government Committee, who agrees with expanding the Community Revitalization & Improvement Zone Program but says the bill excludes Scranton and too many other communities from even competing for economic development.

July 25, 2014: Senator Blake is very excited that the City of Scranton has been selected as one of just 10 finalists in the nationwide “On The Way to Wellville” competition.  Senator Blake participated in the festivities last week welcoming the judges from the Health Initiative Coordinating Council (HICCup) to Scranton.  Senator Blake talks about the challenge of promoting fitness and a better quality of life for Scranton residents:

July 24, 2014: In an effort to continue the Pennsylvania Lottery’s growth in sales and revenue, Senator Blake is supporting legislation that would adjust the state lottery’s profit margin.  Here’s more with Senator Blake, the Democratic Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, which has oversight of the Pennsylvania Lottery.

July 7, 2014:  Pennsylvania Moment:  Senator Blake tells senior citizens how they can get help paying for their prescriptions.

June 5, 2014:  Pennsylvania Moment:  Sen. Blake advises Pennsylvania’s veterans to call the Veteran’s Hotline and check on the benefits they’ve earned.

May 9, 2014:  Pennsylvania Moment: Sen. Blake talks about PennDOT’s Yellow Dot program, designed to help both people with special medical conditions and first responders at an accident scene.

April 30, 2014: Everyone agrees….Pennsylvania’s local property tax system is flawed and obsolete, but a bill that would eliminate school property taxes and raise the state’s sales tax and personal income tax is also raising concern among state lawmakers. Here’s more with Senator Blake, Democratic Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, which held a hearing on the proposed legislation today at the State Capitol.

April 29, 2014: Senator Blake spoke today at a State Capitol news conference held by the PA Assistive Technology Foundation which provides low-interest loans to people with disabilities to help them purchase everything from hearing aids to wheelchairs to adapted vehicles.  Here’s more with Senator Blake who says state support of the organization is important so it can continue to help people remain independent.

April 5, 2014:  Pennsylvania Moment:  Senator Blake says authorities can be alerted to child abuse by anyone anytime of the day or night.

April 4, 2014:  Pennsylvania has a trust fund designed to provide money to help build and repair housing in local communities.  But Senator Blake says the trust fund doesn’t have enough funds.

March 5, 2014:  Pennsylvania Moment: Sen. Blake reminds you that March 31st is the deadline to sign up for health insurance provided by the federal Affordable Care Act.Pennsylvania-Moment-

February 21, 2014:  Senator Blake speaks about his annual Legislative Breakfast, a way for him to keep local elected officials updated on the budget process in Harrisburg.Sen.Blake-Legislative-Breakfas

February 14, 2014:   A Senate Resolution, sponsored by Senator Blake,  declared February “Turner Syndrome Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania.Turner-Syndrome-Awareness-Mont

February 7, 2014: Pennsylvania Moment:  Senator Blake says Pennsylvania’s Career Link offices can connect the unemployed to businesses that need workers.Pennsylvania-Moment-

January 30, 2014:  Senator Blake joined with fellow Senate Democrats to outline their budget prioritiess for the upcoming year.  Senator Blake concentrated his attention on a problem that’s plagued Northeast Pennsylvania for far too long:  a slowing economy and high unemployment. Senate-Democratic-Budget-Prior

January 28, 2014:  Senator Blake, Democratic Chairman of the Senate Finance Commiittee, says the panel is looking at ways to expand the Pennsylvania Lottery and produce more revenue to pay for expanding state programs for senior citizens.lottery-expansion-blake

January 15, 2014: Senator Blake is supporting a Senate Democratic effort to help Scranton and other financially struggling cities and municipalities in Pennsylvania with economic development and job growth.  Here’s more with the senator on legislation to expand the City Revitalization & Improvement Zone (CRIZ), a new state program designed to drive significant economic development and bring people back to our cities.CRIZ-Expansion-Bill-Blake-Rema

January 2, 2014: Pennsylvania Moment: It’s never too early to begin saving for your child’s college education. Senator Blake says the state Treasury has a plan that can help now and in the future.Pennsylvania-Moment-

2013

December 15, 2013: Pennsylvania Moment:  Senator Blake suggests celebrating the holidays by donating to your local food bank.Pennsylvania-Moment-

December 10, 2013: Legislation introduced by Sen. Blake to help veterans who are employed by the City of Scranton more quickly participate in its pension program have won the Senate’s approval.Sen.Blake-Veterans-Pension-Cha

November 20, 2013:  On the floor of the Senate, Senator Blake explains his vote on the Transportation Funding Bill.Transportation-Funding-Bill-Vo

November 15, 2013:  Pennsylvania Moment: Senator Blake says now is the time to apply for home heating assistance.Pennsylvania-Moment-

October 22, 2013:    Senator Blake, speaking on the floor of the Senate, commended two Dunmore police officers for their heroic actions at a fire scene in the borough on September 21st.  Officers William Bonavoglia and Eugene Ruddy are credited with saving the lives of people who lived in the building.Sen.Blake-Salutes-Dunmore-Poli

October 15, 2013:  Pennsylvania Moment:  Senator Blake says now is the time to find out if your child qualifies for free or low-cost health care.Pennsylvania-Moment-

October 15, 2013: Although there’s broad support in the Pennsylvania Senate for eliminating school property taxes, a report by the state’s Independent Fiscal Office says Senate and House legislation that would increase the state’s personal income tax and sales tax would both come up short.  Here’s more with Senator Blake, the Democratic Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, which held a hearing on the legislation today at the State Capitol.Prop-Tax-Relief-Hearing-Blake-

October 8, 2013: Creating jobs and fueling Pennsylvania’s economy were the topics of a Senate Democratic Policy Committee hearing today in Scranton as state lawmakers were joined by venture capitalists, economic development analysts, and public policy experts.  Here’s more with Senator Blake, a member of the Senate Committee on Community, Economic and Recreational Development, who hosted the policy committee hearing at the University of Scranton’s Loyola Science Center.Innovate-In-PA-Hearing-Blake-W

October 1, 2013: The Senate Democratic Policy Committee will hold a public hearing October 8th in Scranton on the state’s new “Innovate in PA” tax credit program.  Here’s a public service announcement being aired on local radio stations to invite interested citizens to the hearing.  It’s with Senator Blake who says Senate Democrats will also discuss their plans for creating jobs and improving the state’s workforce development program.Blake-Policy-Committee-Hearing

September 18, 2013:   When a city gets into financial trouble, the state takes over and tries to steer it back into financial health.  But cities are finding it difficult to get out from under state control.  Senator  Blake says a task force is coming up with ways for cities to take control of their own finances again.act-47-update-blake

September 15, 2013:  Pennsylvania Moment: Senator Blake reminds drivers to be watchful for police and emergency personnel working by the side of the road.steer clear

August 15, 2013:  Pennsylvania Moment: Senator Blake says your summer vacation driving will be easier if you follow this tip before you start.pennsylvania-moment-sen.blake-august’13

August 2, 2013: Although a bid from a foreign-based private lottery operator interested in taking over management of the Pennsylvania Lottery has been extended until the end of August, Senate Democrats say it’s time for Gov. Corbett to give up his privatization scheme.  Here’s more with Senator Blake, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee which has oversight of the state lottery.lottery-contract-bid-extended-blake-webcuts

July 31, 2013: Former Pennsylvania Governor and U. S. Ambassador William Scranton, Jr. is being remembered as one of the most remarkable, distinguished, humble, accomplished, dedicated and respected public servants to ever come out of Lackawanna County.  Here’s more with Senator Blake who also recalls Gov. Scranton saying several years ago that passenger rail service was the most important economic development project needed in Scranton and northeastern Pennsylvania.gov-scranton-remembered-blake-webcuts

July 30, 2013: A new Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice was sworn into office today in a ceremony at the Luzerne County Courthouse.  Here’s more with Senator Blake, who says Justice Correale Stevens is highly qualified to serve on the state’s highest court.stevens-swearing-in-blake-webcuts

July 15, 2013:  Pennsylvania Moment:  Senator Blake reminds motorists to be aware of bicyclists on Pennsylvania’s roadways this summer.pennsylvania-moment-sen.blake-july’13

July 11, 2013: A new state program that’s intended to help finance start-up or early stage companies that will create technology-related jobs in Pennsylvania is being funded as part of the new state budget.  Here’s more with Senator Blake, Democratic Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, who’s a strong supporter of the “Innovate in PA” economic development program.innovate-in-pa-funding-blake-webstory

July 10, 2013: Senator Blake today joined state and local officials for the groundbreaking of a $42 million highway project near the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport that will improve traffic safety and lead to new economic development opportunities for the region.  Here’s more with Senator Blake who talks about turning an obsolete unsafe interchange into a new road linking the airport with the Grimes Industrial Park — and who thanked local and state officials for their help in getting the project underway.penndot-airport-project-blake-webcuts

July 3, 2013:   Senator Blake talks about how passage by the Senate of the Fiscal Code insured some funding for his INNOVATE PA program.innovate-in-pa-program-funded-sen.blake-07-03-13

July 3, 2013:   Senator Blake reacts to the Senate’s vote to approve the state’s Welfare Code bill without including language requiring the expansion of Medicaid in Pennsylvania.medicaid-reversal-sen.blake-07-03-13

June 30, 2013:   Senator Blake was among a bipartisan group of state Senators who passed legislation by a 40-10 vote that will implement Medicaid expansion in Pennsylvania. The language for expanding Medicaid was included in the welfare code bill, which also contains several provisions key to Governor Corbett’s proposed budget. The legislation will now be sent to the House of Representatives for final passage and, if approved, sent to Governor Corbett for his signature. Pennsylvania is eligible for $4 billion annually in federal funds to provide insurance to low-income working individuals as a result of the Affordable Care Act.medicaid-expansion-sen.blake-06-30-13

June 21, 2013: Legislation that would create a state program to deliver badly needed financing for new and growing businesses in the state has cleared its first major hurdle in Harrisburg.  Here’s more with Senator Blake, sponsor of the “Innovate in Pennsylvania” job-creating program, and Democratic chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.innovate-in-pa-bill-blake-wrapstory

June 19, 2013: On a split vote, the state Senate Finance Committee approved a bill today that would change the pension system for future state workers and school employees.  Here’s more with Senator Blake, the Democratic Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, who voted ‘no’ on the legislation which he says could wind up costing taxpayers more money than the current retirement system.sb-922-pension-bill-blake-wrapstory

June 11, 2013: Senator Blake and advocates for Pennsylvania’s Centers for Independent Living are pressing Gov. Corbett to increase funding in next year’s state budget to help people with disabilities live independently.  Here’s more with Senator Blake from today’s State Capitol news conference.independent-living-budget-blake-remarks

June 3, 2013:  Senator Blake says the budget proposed by Senate Democrats Properly Funds Education, Job Creation, Social Servicessenate-democratic-budget-proposal-sen.blake-06-03-13

May 23, 2013: Expanding the state’s Medicaid program could mean improved health care for many Pennsylvanians, thousands of new jobs in region, and an improved economy statewide.  Here’s more with Senator Blake who hosted a Senate Democratic Policy Committee hearing today at the Commonwealth Medical College in Scranton.medicaid-hearing-scranton-blake-webstory

May 15, 2013: Pennsylvania Moment: Senator Blake says there’s a simple, inexpensive step you can take to bring peace of mind for you and your dog.pennsylvania-moment-sen.blake-may’13

May 13, 2013: The Senate Democratic Policy Committee will hold a public hearing May 23rd in Scranton on expanding Pennsylvania’s Medicaid program under the Federal Affordable Care Act.  Here’s a public service announcement with Senator Blake airing on local radio stations inviting people to attend.policy-hearing-medicaid-scranton-blake-psa

May 13, 2013: Senate Democrats say new high school graduation standards being pursued by the Corbett Administration will threaten graduation for thousands of future high school students and stick school districts and local taxpayers with a costly unfunded state mandate.  Here’s more with Senator Blake who spoke at a State Capitol news conference today in support of a moratorium on the new graduation test standards.graduation-tests-blake

May 8, 2013:  The state’s capital city of Harrisburg is more than 300 million dollars in debt partly because of questionable municipal borrowing practices. Scranton has seen its share of financial problems as well.  Senator Blake has joined with colleagues to  propose legislation to make sure this doesn’t happen to other cities and towns across the state.municipal-finance-bills-blake-web

April 15, 2013:   Pennsylvania Moment: There is help for people struggling to make their mortgage payments. Senator Blake has details.pennsylvania-moment-sen.blake-april’13

March 12, 2013:  Pennsylvania Moment: Thinking about going to college this fall? Believe it or not, now is the time to apply for financial aid. Senator Blake has some helpful information.pennsylvania-moment-sen.blake-mar’13

March 6, 2013: At today’s state Senate budget hearing for PennDOT, Senator Blake asked PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch about the proposed restoration of a passenger rail line from Hoboken, New Jersey to Scranton. It’s an estimated $600 million project that would be shared by Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and the federal government.  Here’s what Senator Blake and Secretary Schoch had to say: penndot-budget-hearing-blake-schoch

February 28, 2013: Although the Corbett Administration continues to defend its push to privatize the management of the Pennsylvania Lottery, Senator Blake says he’s convinced that it would be a bad deal for the state and senior citizens.  Here’s more with Senator Blake, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and Democratic Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee which has oversight of the state lottery program.revenue-budget-hearing-lottery-wrapstory

February 27, 2013: Senate Democrats say they’re skeptical that the Corbett Administration’s pension reform plan for state workers and school employees will reduce the state’s unfunded financial obligation — at least in the short term.  Here’s more with Senator Blake, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, who says the governor’s plan to go to a defined contribution retirement plan could create a larger debt and headache for taxpayers.psers-sers-budget-hearing-wrapstory

February 20, 2013: Senate Appropriations Committee members, both Republicans and Democrats, seem satisfied with answers from State Attorney General Kathleen Kane on her decision to block Gov. Corbett’s outside contract with a United Kingdom based company to manage the Pennsylvania Lottery.  Here’s more with Senator Blake, a member of the committee, who supports Attorney General Kane’s ruling.kane-hearing-blake-webstory

February 11, 2013:  Pennsylvania Moment:  Senator Blake says the Pennsylvania Department of Aging has set up a special phone number to answer your questions about care for the elderly.pennsylvania-moment-sen.blake-feb’13

February 5, 2013:  Senator Blake responds to the Governor’s Budget Address.2013-budget-speech-reaction-sen.blake

January 15, 2013:  Pennsylvania Moment:  Sen. Blake has an important message for veterans about their benefits.pennsylvania-moment-sen.blake-jan’13

January 7, 2013: Senator Blake hosted nearly 200 local residents, educators, medical and economic development professionals from Northeast Pennsylvania at The Commonwealth Medical College in Scranton for an important discussion about the commonwealth’s emerging bioscience industry.  Here’s more with Senator Blake who says the Northeastern Pennsylvania Regional Bioscience Initiative will support future growth in pharmaceutical and clinical research; medical devices and equipment; and in professional, allied health care jobs.bioscience-forum-blake-01-07-2013

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2012

December 18, 2012: Acknowledging the growing problems in financially distressed small cities across the state, including Scranton, Senate Democrats discussed their plans at a State Capitol news conference today to address a wide range of problems impacting aging and distressed communities.  Here’s more with Senator Blake on the Senate Democrat’s Growth, Progress and Sustainability, or GPS plan, to strengthen distressed communities.

December 11, 2012:  Pennsylvania Moment:  Sen. Blake suggests a way you can make this holiday special for families in need.

November 29, 2102:  Senator Blake is joining with a Pennsylvania environmental group in calling for the renewal of federal tax incentives for wind power that are set to expire next month.

November 7, 2012:   Pennsylvania Moment: Senator Blake says those who need help paying their heating bills this winter should apply for LIHEAP assistance as soon as possible.

October 11, 2012:   Pennsylvania Moment:  If you’re looking for help, Senator Blake says there’s a website that will connect you to many of the services the state of Pennsylvania offers.

October 11, 2012: As Pennsylvania’s roads and bridges continue to deteriorate, Senator Blake says time is running out for Gov. Corbett to face the music and come up with a funding plan to keep our infrastructure from falling apart.  Here’s more with Senator Blake who hosted a transportation summit yesterday in Dickson City, Lackawanna County.

October 10, 2012: Senator Blake hosted a transportation summit today in Dickson City where numerous elected officials and transportation agency leaders from across the region talked about the future of transportation infrastructure and services in Northeastern Pennsylvania.  Here are Senator Blake’s opening remarks:

October 4, 2012: Senator Blake says the Commonwealth Court ruling clears up confusion over Voter Photo ID Law.  Here’s a Public Service Announcement with Senator Blake that’s airing on local radio stations.

September 18, 2012:   Senator Blake says Pennsylvania has created a Commission to help protect the state’s military bases from cuts and closure.

September 13, 2012:   Pennsylvania Moment – Pennsylvania is ready to help you find a job. Senator Blake has details

August 28, 2012: Senator Blake says an advisory council’s recommendations to boost manufacturing and develop a skilled workforce in the state are on target, especially the need to invest in workforce education and development.  Here’s more with Senator Blake, a former Deputy Secretary of the state Department of Community & Economic Development.

August 21, 2012: In anticipation of the one-year anniversary of September’s flooding caused by Hurricane Lee, Senator Blake and other state lawmakers gathered at a one of the 17 businesses helped by the Luzerne County Business Recovery Loan Program.  Senator Blake says this is an example of how a crisis can bring people together for the common good.  He says NEPA lawmakers were able to steer gaming revenue into the loan program so that small businesses in the area did not slip through the cracks when it came to providing flood relief.

August 17, 2012:   Pennsylvania Moment: If you see that a senior citizen is being abused, you can do something to help. Senator Blake says there’s a hotline number you can call to report elder abuse.

August 6, 2012: In this tight economy many start-up companies are finding it difficult to obtain “seed money” from banks and traditional lending institutions.  That’s why Senator Blake wants to create a new state program that will provide a predictable source of funding for early-stage venture capital investment.  Here’s more with Senator Blake, sponsor of the legislation, and a member of the Senate Committee on Community, Economic, and Recreational Development.

July 18, 2012:   Pennsylvania Moment: Pennsylvania is ready to help you find the best route when it comes to summer driving. Senator Blake has the details.

June 29, 2012:  Sen. Blake talks about the 2012 state budget.

June 18, 2012: Senator Blake says, thanks to the CHIP program, no child will be without quality health insurance.

June 14, 2012:  The state Senate unanimously approved legislation that address flooding in the state brought on by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee in September of last year. Sen. Blake says more needs to be done

May 18, 2012: A Lackawanna County lawmaker is urging the state House of Representatives to act quickly on a Senate-passed bill that’s intended to help people pay their mortgages and stay in their homes.  Here’s more with Senator Blake, a member of the Senate Urban Affairs & Housing Committee.

May 16, 2012: Senator Blake and the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, at a community discussion in Scranton today, heard that the safety net for people with disabilities and others receiving social services is at risk if the governor’s proposed state budget cuts are adopted.  Here’s more with Senator Blake.

May 10, 2012:  Senator Blake and the Senate Democratic Policy Committee will hold a community discussion on Wednesday, May 16, in Scranton, on proposed funding cuts for people with disabilities and other social services.

May 10, 2012: PA Moment-Senator Blake says a state program provides certain individuals with rebates on their property taxes or rent, and explains who is eligible.

May 2, 2012:  Senator Blake joined hundreds of people with disabilities, their families, and people who work with the disabled at a State Capitol rally to protest Gov. Corbett’s proposed $168 million cut in human services funding.

May 1, 2012:  The state has moved to establish an asset test for Food Stamp recipients. Anyone under the age of 60  who has more than $5,500 in savings and assets,and anyone over age 60 or disabled and who have $9,000 in savings and assets would no longer qualify.  Senator Blake says this unnecessarily penalizes the poor and the elderly.

March 28, 2012:  Senator Blake — the only member of Pennsylvania’s General Assembly to have a Masters of Social Work degree — joined more than 600 social workers at the Capitol in Harrisburg to call for passage of legislation that would insure that only a licensed social worker can provide social work services.

March 7, 2012:  Senator Blake voices strong objections to Voter ID legislation which passed the state Senate Wednesday on a 26-23 vote, mostly along party lines. Here are his Senate Floor remarks during debate on the bill.

March 1, 2012:  Senate Democrats and health care advocates marked a one-year anniversary Thursday in Harrisburg, but there was no celebration. Rather, it was to remember the more than 40,000 Pennsylvanians who were booted from their adultBasic health care coverage by Gov. Corbett last March. Here’s more with Senator Blake who spoke at a State Capitol news conference to call on the governor and lawmakers to revive the program.

February 21, 2012:  PA Moment: Senator Blake reminds seniors that they can get help paying for their prescriptions.

February 7, 2012:  Senator Blake took to the floor of the Senate to speak against legislation imposing fees on Marcellus Shale gas drilling, saying it doesn’t generate enough revenue or benefits for the Commonwealth or local communities.

February 7, 2012:  Senator Blake gives his reaction to the Governor’s 2012 Budget Message

February 2, 2012:  Senator Blake is pushing legislation in Harrisburg that’s intended to protect the health of student athletes in Pennsylvania from cardiac arrest.

January 27, 2012:  It appears that momentum is building in the Pennsylvania State Legislature to finally abolish a tax loophole that has for many years penalized businesses in the state that pay their taxes to Pennsylvania. Senator Blake will introduce a bill to close the so-called “Delaware Loophole.”

January 25, 2012:  Senator Blake and state Senate Democrats today outlined their spending priorities for the 2012-13 state budget at a State Capitol news conference in advance of next month’s governor’s budget address to the General Assembly.

January 19, 2012:  PA Moment: There’s assistance for low-income Pennsylvanians who need help paying their heating bills, but there’s not as much funding as in years past. Sen.Blake advises you to apply early.

 

2011

December 13, 2011:  It doesn’t take much to lend a hand this holiday season. Senator Blake has a suggestion.

November 30, 2011: Senator Blake welcomes President Obama to Scranton and backs his effort to convince Congress to extend the Social Security payroll tax cut that’s due to expire at the end of the year.

November 29, 2011:  Pennsylvania businesses interested in exporting their products and services to foreign markets got some good advice and a helping hand this week at an International Business Development Forum held in Scranton, an event sponsored by Senator Blake.

November 21, 2011:  In light of the Penn State University scandal, Senator Blake is hoping to change Pennsylvania’s Open Records Law to include Penn State and the other three state-related universities who now enjoy an exemption to the law.

November 17, 2011:  Senator Blake to Host International Business Development Forum November 29th

November 17, 2011:  The Pennsylvania Senate has approved an eight-bill package of flood relief legislation, including Senator Blake’s measure that could provide local property owners with a break on their real estate taxes.

November 15, 2011:   Senator Blake says the Marcellus Shale Legislation Passed by the Senate Sells Pennsylvania’s Citizens Short

September 26, 2011:  Senate Democrats Roll Out Billion Dollar Job Creation Plan: Pa Works Now

September 2, 2011:  Senator Blake pays tribute to Pennsylvania’s working men and women on this Labor Day weekend.

July 7, 2011:  Senator Blake announces state grant for cancer study in Northeastern Pennsylvania counties affected by Marcellus Shale gas drilling operations.

June 16, 2011:  PA Moment :: Make your summer driving easier. Senator Blake advises you to check with PA 511 before heading out.

June 15, 2011:  Blake Applauds Senate Vote Banning Dangerous Bath Salts

June 8, 2011:  National Spelling B Champ Honored by Senator Blake and the Pennsylvania Senate

May 24, 2011:  PA Moment :: Senator Blake tells what you can do if you suspect abuse of an elderly person.

May 18, 2011:  Senator Blake and other members of the state Legislature have formed a new Military Installations and Base Development Caucus to protect defense-related jobs at military bases and facilities across Pennsylvania.

April 27, 2011:  Sen. Blake speaks on Senate Floor on 2011-2012 State Budget

April 20, 2011:  Senate Democrats, local business leaders trade ideas on job creation and green energy

April 20, 2011:   PA Moment :: If you’re out of work and need help finding a job, Senator Blake has some advice.

April 13, 2011:  A rally in the Rotunda of the State Capitol in Harrisburg asked legislators to maintain the current funding level for services for Pennsylvanians with autism and intellectual disabilities. 

April 13, 2011:  Senate Democratic Policy Committee to hold public hearing on jobs April 20th at Marywood College

March 17, 2011:   Senator Blake says streamlining state government agencies, bureaus, commissions and departments is an important responsibility and its consideration must be done carefully and deliberately.

March 14, 2011:  PA Moment :: Senator Blake says that, thanks to state law, Pennsylvania parents with autistic children can get help paying for their care.

February 23, 2011:  State Senate Democrats announce the details of a major job creation initiative which will not only create permanent jobs but save hundreds of millions in state taxpayer dollars by enhancing and streamlining existing programs.

February 14, 2011:  Sen. Blake joined Sen. Larry Farnese at a press conference calling upon the members of the legislature to focus their attention to the immediate needs of Pennsylvanians.

February 14, 2011:   Blake Stresses Urgent Need for adultBasic Extension, Expansion.

February 14, 2011:  PA Moment :: CHIP makes sure Pennsylvania’s kids are covered when it comes to health insurance. Senator Blake as the details.

January 4, 2011:  John Blake was sworn in as state Senator for the 22nd Senatorial District in Northeastern Pennsylvania, replacing the retiring Bob Mellow. Senator Blake says the number one priority for his district is creating jobs and getting the economy moving again.

 

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Gallery

August 4, 2017: Senator Blake joined a number of local officials to welcome Governor Tom Wolf back to Scranton to tour the success story that is the United Neighborhood Centers' community revitalization effort along Cedar Avenue in South Scranton. August 4, 2017: Senator Blake joined a number of local officials to welcome Governor Tom Wolf back to Scranton to tour the success story that is the United Neighborhood Centers' community revitalization effort along Cedar Avenue in South Scranton. August 4, 2017: Senator Blake joined a number of local officials to welcome Governor Tom Wolf back to Scranton to tour the success story that is the United Neighborhood Centers' community revitalization effort along Cedar Avenue in South Scranton. August 3, 2017: Senator Blake and State Rep. Mike Carroll joined Dupont resident Stanley Knick for his swearing-in ceremony to the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners.

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