PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 29 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio’s Tele-Town Hall, conducted over the phone on Jan. 21, reached hundreds of constituents.
The call’s recipients listened in, asked questions, and participated in four opinion polls.
“At the peak of the call, we had over 400 constituents on the line,” DeLissio said. “This was exciting, as it is such a great way to dialogue with my constituents without anyone needing to leave their home.”
The call offered an opportunity to ask questions pertaining to any state-related topic. The range of questions was diverse and the answers informing, she said. Questions were asked about the status of the 2015-16 budget.
DeLissio said that rank and file members are not directly involved in the negotiations, however they are able to provide feedback and input to their caucus leadership.
“There are numerous parts to the 2015-16 budget that are still to be resolved,” she said. “My feedback included the recommendation of the use of a mediator to get a full budget in place. I made that recommendation in late November via a letter to the governor and to the House leaders. I still believe that this is the pathway to a successful conclusion of the interminable budget negotiations.”
Questions on the phone also included the adequate funding of basic education and the use of the Basic Education Commission’s recommendation for a funding formula.
“We also discussed my single-payer health care legislation, House Bill 1688, which was introduced in early November,” she said. “A single-payer system would ensure the provision of health care without the restrictions of networks. Co-pays and premiums would also be eliminated.”
A fuller discussion of the legislation will take place at one of her future town hall meetings.
Also covered was the availability of Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program forms and other Pennsylvania state tax forms, all of which are available in DeLissio’s district office, along with voter registration forms, SNAP, LIHEAP and Medical Assistance applications, and numerous other state-related forms and brochures.
“My office staff is always willing and able to assist with the filling and the filing of these forms, all for free,” she said.
A number of the Tele-Town Hall participants were interested in the state’s efforts for job creation. DeLissio’s upcoming town hall meeting scheduled for April 14 will feature Department of Labor and Industry Secretary Kathy Manderino as a guest speaker. During that meeting, her 55th town hall meeting, DeLissio will discuss job growth in the commonwealth and vocational rehabilitation services, as well.
“As always, I advocated for constituents to become members of their local civic organization to address, in particular, the myriad of local zoning, traffic and development issues that are the responsibility of local government,” she added.
Town halls are scheduled through June and can be found on DeLissio’s website at www.PAHouse.com/DeLissio. Of particular note, DeLissio will be repeating her popular shred event on April 9 and again on April 16.
“It is always fun to recognize familiar voices while on the call and to get the feedback from my office staff afterwards about how many callers stayed on the line listening,” DeLissio said. “There were almost 100 folks who stayed on the line for its entirety, and many left messages at the end with valued remarks on their level of interest and appreciation.”