Lawmakers look at ways to attract, retain EMS volunteers

State Rep. Perry Warren hosted a policy committee hearing Thursday morning in Lower Makefield, at which state and local officials discussed options for attracting new volunteers to struggling local EMS groups and bringing in new funds.

State representatives and emergency service experts agree local first responders “aren’t crying wolf” when they sound the alarm on the difficulties of staying afloat.

State Rep. Perry Warren, D-31, of Newtown Borough, headed a House Democratic Policy Committee on Thursday morning at the Yardley-Makefield fire station off Stony Hill Road in Lower Makefield to hear those concerns and discuss solutions. Joining him were two fellow Democratic state representatives, and state and local officials with knowledge of the recurring difficulties EMS providers face.


Morrisville Municipal Authority awarded $1M grant to improve wastewater treatment facility

MORRISVILLE BOROUGH >> A $1 million state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant will cover a portion of the costs of the initial infrastructure improvements needed to improve its wastewater treatment facility.

The existing facility, located in Morrisville, serves about 40,000 customers, including most of Lower Makefield Township, all of Morrisville and Yardley boroughs and a portion of Falls Township.

The grant will help fund the cost of design, bidding and construction of a pump station and infrastructure conveyance system, including installation of a 30-inch force main, a 42-inch gravity main and road restoration. It is an integral component to a new wastewater treatment facility to be constructed nearby.


Newtown Business Person Honored During Year Of The PA Woman

A Newtown woman was honored in Harrisburg as part of a ceremony marking 2018 as the “Year of the Pennsylvania Woman.”

Eileen Steele Slezak, the business manager and co-owner of Rick Steele’s Gulf Service on Newtown-Yardley Road, was recognized by Warren Thursday.

The business has been in her family for three generations and opened by her father in 1970.


State Rep. Warren Introduces Bill To Expand Gun Background Checks

Newtown's State Rep. Perry Warren, a Democrat representing the state's 31st District, has introduced a bill that would expand background check requirements in Pennsylvania by eliminating all exceptions to the requirement except for family transfers.

Currently, the Crimes Code requires background checks for the sale of all handguns, or sales conducted by a federally licensed dealer. Background checks are not required for the private sale of "long guns," Warren's office explained in a press release.

"I've introduced this legislation to ensure that we are doing everything we can to protect the residents of the commonwealth by preventing unauthorized people from purchasing firearms," Warren said in the statement. "As a representative and vice-chairman of the House PA SAFE Caucus I have always been – and will continue to be – an advocate for legislative initiatives that respect the Second Amendment while promoting gun safety."


Families of Cosmo DiNardo's victims stand with lawmakers pushing for tougher gun laws

Relatives of two of the four young men who were murdered by Cosmo DiNardo one year ago stood with lawmakers Tuesday to push for stricter gun laws, measures lawmakers say could have prevented their sons’ brutal slayings.

At the Solebury Township building, three miles from where the killings took place, relatives of Jimi Patrick and  Tom Meo  joined State Reps. Helen Tai (D., Bucks) and Perry Warren (D., Bucks) to announce the potential legislation, which would require gun owners to securely store their firearms while living with someone who has been involuntarily committed for mental health treatment.

DiNardo, who had been involuntarily committed for treatment of schizophrenia, used his mother’s .357-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun in the killings, according to authorities and court documents. Through an attorney, the DiNardo family declined comment Tuesday.


Proposed state laws call for gun owners to secure their firearms in the wake of Solebury slayings

Lawmakers were joined by family members of the four men shot and killed on a Solebury farm last year as proposed gun safety legislation was outlined.

At this time last year, the quiet, rural community of Solebury was still reeling in the wake of the slayings of four young men who were shot to death and buried on a secluded farm.

Back then, Helen Tai was a Solebury Township supervisor. She could only look on as the grisly details of the killings of Jimi Patrick, Dean Finocchiaro, Thomas Meo and Mark Sturgis emerged.


Universal background checks failed by 1 vote, but gun control supporters could still win

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A bill requiring universal background checks for gun purchases failed to move out of a Pennsylvania House committee in June by just one vote.

For advocates of gun control reform, that 14-13 vote in the Judiciary Committee was a heartbreaker.

But for state Rep. Perry Warren of Bucks County, it was also a reason for some optimism.

“I thought, ‘Gosh that’s close,'” the Democrat said Thursday.

That’s why Warren plans to introduce his own universal background check bill: so that if an opportunity arises — maybe a member’s change of heart or a shift in committee makeup — there will be legislation to vote on. There’s already plenty of public support: 86 percent of Pennsylvanians want enhanced background checks, according to a March 2018 F&M poll.


State Rep. Perry Warren preparing gun bill, requiring background checks for all firearms

A lone vote kept a previous bill, which would have required all guns be bought or transferred in front of a licensed firearms dealer or county sheriff, from advancing out of a House committee last month. State Rep. Perry Warren now plans to introduce a similar bill in case any change in legislative terrain results in it reaching the full House floor.

State Rep. Perry Warren intends to give a gun safety measure a second chance, after lawmakers narrowly decided against advancing a previous bill out of committee.

House Bill 1400 would have required universal background checks for all gun transfers or purchases, beyond just short-barreled guns — closing what lawmakers have christened the “long gun” loophole. But the bill failed to reach the full House floor by a 14-13 vote last month in the House Judiciary Committee, 13 months after the bill was introduced and referred to the committee in May 2017.


Child Marriage Is Legal In 48 States. These Women Are Asking Why.

Over the past two years, at least 20 state legislatures have considered whether to ban marriage under 18. Only two have actually done it.

Brigitte Combs was legally married at a courthouse in San Marcos, Texas, in 1984. She was barely 15, and her seven-months-pregnant stomach showed in her blue-and-white sundress. She didn’t quite understand what she was doing there. She thought she was already married. A year earlier, at 14, Combs and her then–37-year-old husband had taken part in a spiritual ceremony as devotees of Hare Krishna. Now the teenager stood before a judge while her mother, who had arranged the marriage, provided the parental signature required to legalize the union.

With that, Combs became a stepmother to a boy four years younger than she was. She couldn’t even drive. Yet Combs didn’t resist the marriage initially. She saw it as a twisted way to escape her parents’ rigid home. Before they were married, she said, her “betrothed” introduced her to strawberry milkshakes and took her to her first movie, John Travolta’s Staying Alive. She thought if she got married and moved out, maybe she could finally enroll in school — something her parents forbade.


Bill to protect NJ-PA tax pact advances

The legislation would require majorities in both the New Jersey Assembly and Senate to approve ending the pact rather than allowing the state’s governor to unilaterally withdraw. Ending the deal could impact some 46,000 Bucks County residents who work in the Garden State.

New Jersey legislation that would make it harder to end the more than 40-year-old tax reciprocity pact that prevents Pennsylvania residents who work in New Jersey from paying income taxes to the Garden State, and vice versa, has been approved in the New Jersey Assembly.

It has now been sent to New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy to consider signing into law.


$32.7B budget package speeds through Pennsylvania House

HARRISBURG — A $32.7 billion spending package for Pennsylvania’s approaching fiscal year began speeding through the state Legislature on Wednesday with little public debate, a stark change from the first three budgets hashed out by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and the House and Senate’s huge Republican majorities.

The centerpiece of the no-new-taxes plan unveiled just a day earlier won overwhelming House approval, 188-10. It was negotiated behind closed doors by Republican majority leaders with Wolf, and was slated for a Senate vote on Friday.

The new fiscal year begins July 1.


State recognizes community theaters with own week

State Rep. Perry Warren, D-31, celebrated the local performing arts scene Wednesday by recognizing the importance of community theater organizations and their positive impact. He invited local community theater representatives to the state capitol and introduced House Resolution 916, which formally recognized the week of June 3 as community theater week in Pennsylvania.

While Bucks County residents aren’t shy about bleeding green and white for the Philadelphia Eagles, their enthusiasm for community theater can often get lost in the rally chants.

But just like sports make for strong community ties, so do the theaters in towns that bring the arts to Bucks County, officials said.


PECO rate hike hearing set in Newtown

PECO is asking the state’s Public Utility Commission to approve a rate increase that could mean a 3.2-percent increase for residential customers.

The state Public Utility Commission will hold one of five hearings for a proposed PECO rate increase next week at Bucks County Community College in Newtown Township.

If approved, residential ratepayers in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia and parts of York counties could see a 3.2-percent monthly rate increase, or about $40 dollars a year more on the average monthly usage rate of 700 killowatt-hours.



Highways, clean energy and job growth top issues in District 31 town hall

State Rep. Perry Warren was joined by state and local officials to address infrastructure and job creation days before the General Assembly begins the state budget process.

As legislators prepare for the upcoming state budget process, state Rep. Perry Warren told constituents Thursday during a tele-town hall to expect a push on road improvements, job creation and high-speed internet expansion.

More than 2,000 people called in to the meeting during which Warren answered questions from residents about ongoing construction on I-95, potholes and jobs that come with those projects.



Perry Warren sworn in as state representative; announces opening of District 31 office in Yardley

State Rep. Perry Warren was sworn into office as the new representative for the 31st Legislative District during a ceremony at the Pennsylvania Capitol on Jan. 3. He follows in the footsteps of Democrat Steve Santarsiero who gave up his seat to run for U.S. Congress.

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives swearing-in corresponds with the first Tuesday in January, every two years. This year is Pennsylvania’s 201st legislative session.

“I am excited for the opportunity to serve my community and district as its state representative,” Warren said. “I look forward to representing my constituents in Harrisburg while continuing to learn more about the people who call our region home.”



Newtown Borough Council joins Mayor in thanking State Representative-elect Perry Warren for his service

Newtown Borough Mayor Corky Swartz joined the Newtown Borough Council on Tuesday in thanking State Representative-elect Perry Warren for his service on Council and to the borough and to wish him well as he heads to Harrisburg.

Mayor Swartz presented the outgoing councilor with a plaque affixed with a Mercer Tile acknowledging Warren’s service on Council.

“On behalf of the borough council and the citizens of the community I wish you well out in Harrisburg,” said Swartz. “And thank you for serving the borough.”



IN HARRISBURG: 31st District State Rep. Perry Warren appointed to five House committees

State Rep. Perry Warren, D-31, has been appointed to serve on five standing committees in the House of Representatives: Environmental Resources and Energy, Human Services, Insurance, Local Government and Transportation.

“First, I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Transportation Committee,” Warren said. “Pennsylvania has some of the oldest infrastructure in the country, and we must continue working toward improving our roads and bridges, while creating good-paying construction jobs to help boost our local economies.”



Joined by family and friends on the banks of the Delaware Canal, Newtown Borough Councilman Perry Warren announces candidacy for 31st District House seat

Joined by family, friends and supporters along the Delaware Canal Towpath off of East Afton Avenue in Yardley Borough, Perry Warren, a Newtown Borough Councilman, attorney and father of five, announced his candidacy on Monday for the 31st District seat in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

The 31st District includes Lower Makefield Township, Wards 1, 2 and 3 in Morrisville Borough, Newtown Borough, Newtown Township and Yardley Borough.

First elected to Newtown Borough Council in 2009 and re-elected in 2013, Warren, a Democrat, was instrumental in adopting the borough’s non-discrimination ordinance, which proscribes discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. 


Newtown Borough Council's Perry Warren To Run For State Rep.

Democrat Perry Warren, a member of Newtown Borough Council, has announced his candidacy for the 31st District seat in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

Warren is an attorney and father of five. He is seeking the seat being vacated by Steve Santarsiero, who is running for Congress in 2016. Warren was first elected to Newtown Borough Council in 2009 and re-elected in 2013.

Representative Steve Santarsiero joined Warren during his announcement event in Yardley Monday.