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Preston & Steve’s Camp Out for Hunger Food Drive

My staff and I are honored to participate in Preston & Steve’s Camp out for Hunger Food Drive to benefit Philabundance and hungry families throughout the Philadelphia area. More than 700,000 people in Philadelphia do not know where their next meal will come from, which is a very unsettling fact. We will have 2 drop off locations for donations. Donations are being accepted now through December 2nd. The first will be located at my District Office at 1802 S. Broad Street, and the second is at Bok located at 800 Dudley Street. For more information and ways to participate please visit my website or contact my office at 215-952-3121.

Preston & Steve’s Camp Out of Hunger Food Drive

Affordable Care Act Insurance Enrollment Event – December 4, 2019

I will be hosting an Affordable Care Act Insurance Enrollment Event on December 4, 2019 from 4-7PM at the Whitman Library – Free Library of Philadelphia located at 200 Snyder Ave. This event will have certified ACA enrollment specialists to help you purchase health insurance through the federal individual marketplace. To enroll, please bring a government-issued ID and your W-2 or pay stub. Please visit my website or contact my office at 215-952-3121 for more information and details.

Affordable Care Act Insurance Enrollment Event – December 4, 2019

Shredding Event – December 7, 2019

State Representative Brian Sims and I will be hosting a community shredding event on Saturday, December 7, 2019 from 9AM-Noon at Segar Park located between 10th and 11th Streets on Lombard Street as part of Washington Square West Civic Association’s Annual Clean Up. Feel free to bring any papers you no longer need for safe disposal. Please bring PAPER ONLY. Paper clips and staples are allowed, but binders, binder clips, and books cannot be shredded. For more information and details please visit my website or contact my office at 215-952-3121. For more information on how to get involved with Washington Square West Civic Association, click here. To register to volunteer and get involved in the annual cleanup, click here.

Shredding Event – December 7, 2019

Taking A Stand Against HB 321

On Wednesday, November 21, 2019 I proudly stood with my colleagues to fight HB 321 on the Senate floor. The PA Senate passed HB 321, which is just another attack on a woman’s right to choose. Fortunately, this bill was vetoed by Governor Wolf.

For the video of my floor remarks, please visit my website.

Minimum Wage Increase– SB 79

A minimum wage increase is needed immediately for more than 358,000 Pennsylvanians. The current minimum wage of $7.25 per hour does not allow for improving skills or education and is currently pulling down wages in both entry level and career jobs. The minimum wage in 2018 is less than 32% of median wage, which is the lowest point since the last time Pennsylvania raised the minimum wage back in 2006. ALL our neighboring states including Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and New York have already raised the minimum wage. SB79 proposes to increase the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.50 over the course of the next 3 years. The economic impact from the full phase-in to $9.50 per hour from increased wages and new spending is estimated to be nearly $1 billion. For more information on SB79 and increasing the minimum wage, click here.  

PA & Surrounding States Minimum Wages

Addressing Homeless Youth in Philadelphia

On November 11, 2019, I joined State Representative Donna Bullock, State Senator Maria Collett, and other advocates to raise awareness of homeless youth here in Pennsylvania. Last year there were 36,823 homeless school children in Pennsylvania, a 22% increase in 1 year. In that same year General Assistance was eliminated, I shudder to think what the increase in homelessness may be next year.

By raising awareness, we are shining a spotlight on this issue, but every day of the year we should be working to protect children experiencing homelessness.

For the full press release and more information, please visit my website. The video from the press conference can be found by clicking here.

$250,000 in State Funds for City Park Project Announced

On Monday, November 18, 2019, I had the pleasure to announce along with State Representative Maria Donatucci, that the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) has awarded $250,000 for the continued development and improvements to FDR Park. The Philadelphia City Treasurer Department of Parks and Recreation was awarded $250,000 for the construction of stormwater management measures, installation of play equipment with required safety surfacing, ADA access, landscaping, and other improvements to the park.

For the full press release and more information, please visit my website.

Pumpkin Fest

World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims

I want to thank everyone who joined us on Sunday, November 17, 2019, at that World Day of Remembrance for road traffic victims to be with those who have lost loved ones. Last year in Pennsylvania, there were 201 pedestrian fatalities. We must work together to make sure that number reaches zero.

My bill, Senate Bill 565, would help reduce pedestrian and bicyclist deaths and injuries by changing the PA vehicle code to allow for parking protected bike lanes on state roads.

The bill is currently in the Senate Transportation Committee.  For more information and details on SB 565, click here.

World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims

Over $2 Million in Tax Credits for Community Development Projects Announced

On Friday, November 15, 2019, I had the pleasure to announce that community development projects in the 1st Senatorial District have been awarded over $2 million in state tax credits. The tax credits come through the Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. For projects to be eligible for NAP funds, they must serve distressed areas or support neighborhood conservation.

Projects to receive tax credits include:

  • Philabundance – To address food insecurity issues as well as education, financial literacy, and housing to lift people out of poverty - $1,801,250
  • Friends of the Rail Park – Upgrades to the Rail Park and community engagement - $55,000
  • Spring Garden Community Development Corporation – To create a green space for seniors living in poverty - $25,988
  • Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC) – For their Mantua Transformation Project to create more affordable housing and continuing work to lift people out of poverty - $75,000
  • New Kensington Community Development Corporation – To increase homeownership and financial literacy in the Kensington neighborhood - $75,000
  • Playworks Philadelphia – To increase children’s access to support services and healthy physical activity - $37,500
  • Project HOME – To increase healthcare access to chronically underserved areas and populations - $56,250

For the full press release and more information, please visit my website.

Eastern State Penitentiary – New Visitor Center Groundbreaking

LGBTQIA+ Resource Fair

On November 14, 2019 I joined State Representative Donna Bullock and representatives from Eastern State Penitentiary in the groundbreaking for a new Visitor Center! I was happy to help provide $1 million in RACP funding to help this tremendous asset to Philadelphia through its work as a vibrant cultural institution.

Bringing RACP funding to Eastern State also helps it become a center of education and conversation about the legacy of criminal justice reform. This RACP funding will make it possible for Eastern State to better accommodate the hundreds of thousands of people that visit every year to learn more about the unique story of this special place while preserving the site for future generations. They have positioned themselves to focus on the challenges of American criminal justice reform, employing the site as an interpretive and educational resource to discuss the legacy of past efforts and the issues that confront us today.

The RACP grant will help make Eastern State more accessible and more functional. Government support for organizations like Eastern State creates and sustains many jobs that help the city’s economy thrive.

Eastern State Penitentiary – New Visitor Center Groundbreaking

Nearly $1 Million in Recreation and Conservation Grant Money Announced for the Region

On November 12, 2019, I had the pleasure to announce that $900,000 in Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Recreation and Conservations Grants have been awarded to two projects within the City of Philadelphia. The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation will receive $400,00 to acquire 2.7 acres within the city to develop a portion of the Delaware River Trail. The Philadelphia City Treasurer Department of Parks and Recreation received $500,000 to further the development of the Schuykill River Trail.

For the full press release and more information, please visit my website.

Crane Community Center in Chinatown

On Friday November 8, 2019 we celebrated the opening of the Crane Community Center in Chinatown! This project is the result of years of hard work by so many stakeholders. The Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation has been an essential partner for many years in making sure that this area of the city is not only a business friendly-area, but a neighborhood that maintains its identity and traditions while cultivating community services.

The opening of the Crane building project, and its commitment to keeping the community an active member in this project and the services the building will offer, is exactly the type of community engagement we need in Philly. The bilingual childcare center, and the community center are two examples of how to promote inclusive development within our city.

As our city-scape continues to advance, making sure that we do not lose our sense of community is essential to keeping our neighborhoods places where young people want to move, families want to raise children, and people continue to live into their golden years.

This community center is for all of us, and I am so happy to be a part of it!

SEnator Farnese

Philadelphia Senior Center – “The Best Day of My Life So Far”

On Friday, November 8, 2019, I had a chance to visit the Philadelphia Senior Center at Broad and Lombard Streets for the 10th Anniversary of “The Best Day of My Life So Far.” This program is a wonderful asset to our community that promotes social interaction and engagement in senior communities through storytelling. I was happy to present a Senate Citation in honor of the 10th Anniversary and wish nothing but success for the future of the program. Thank you for having me!

Taking a Stand on a Woman’s Right to Choose

On November 1, 2019, we took a stand, again, to say Pennsylvania will remain a state where a woman gets to make her own choices about her own body. I will fight every attempt in the legislature to infringe upon a woman’s right to access an abortion.

I am thankful that around this city and state, we have champions who will continue to fight alongside us. Governor Wolf, Mayor Kenney, other elected officials, and advocates such as Planned Parenthood have also fought against this legislation in Pennsylvania.

Taking a Stand on a Woman’s Right to Choose

Local Share Account Program – Opening December 1st

DCEDThe Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) announced the application period for the Local Share Account (LSA) Philadelphia Program from 12/1/19-1/31/20. The LSA intended use is for economic development, neighborhood revitalization, community improvement, and public interest projects in the City of Philadelphia. Eligible applicants include the following entities located within the City of Philadelphia: CDC’s, EDO’s and redevelopment authorities, BID’s/NID’s, not-for-profit organizations with a 501(c) designation, the City of Philadelphia, and the School District of Philadelphia.

Important things for you to note:

  • The program can only fund hard costs.
  • This is a DCED-administered program (not CFA).
  • There is a $100 application fee required for this DCED program.
  • Grant request/awards must be between $10,000-$500,000.
  • Projects cannot start prior to approval. We are not accepting requests to consider otherwise.  
  • There is currently $2 Million available.

You can find the new guidelines on the LSA program webpage.

Veterans’ Trust Fund Grant – Now Open

On Tuesday, November 12, 2019, Governor Tom Wolf announced that the 2019-20 Veterans’ Trust Fund (VTF) is accepting grant applications for programs and services benefiting Pennsylvania veterans. The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) will award up to $800,000 in VTF grants to non-profit organizations, veteran service organizations and county directors of veteran affairs across the state. Grant applications must be received no later than 3 p.m. EST on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019.

“Pennsylvania has always held its service members in high regard because of their tremendous sacrifices in defense of our nation and commonwealth,” said Gov. Wolf. “Pennsylvanians routinely contribute to the Veterans’ Trust Fund to show their gratitude and continued support. This fund would not be successful, and our veterans would not be as cared for without these generous donations.”
Up to a total of $150,000 in grant funding is available for new, innovative or expanded programs or services operated by the county directors of veterans affairs or the Pennsylvania Association of County Directors of Veterans Affairs. The areas of emphasis for applicants in this category are veterans’ outreach and veterans’ court programs. 

Up to $650,000 in VTF funding is available to veteran service organizations with 501(c)(19) status and non-profit organizations with a mission of serving Pennsylvania veterans granted 501(c)(3) status under the Internal Revenue Code. Funding priorities for applicants in this category are homelessness, behavioral health initiatives and Veterans’ Courts.

Eligible applicants from either category may also submit applications for programs addressing newly identified, unmet or emerging needs of veterans and their families. 

Since the grant program began in 2013, 155 grants totaling $3,732,860 have been awarded to organizations providing services to veterans in Pennsylvania.

“The Veterans’ Trust Fund is a tremendous program that enables us to grant donated money to organizations that provide direct positive effects on our veterans lives,” said Maj. Gen. Anthony Carrelli, Pennsylvania’s adjutant general. “Donating to the fund is a great option for anyone who wants to do more for Pennsylvania’s veterans. These grants supplement other federal and state programs directing more assistance towards our veterans.”

The VTF is funded by generous Pennsylvanians who voluntarily donate when applying for or renewing driver’s licenses, photo IDs or motor vehicle registrations; purchase Honoring Our Veterans license plates; or make private donations.

The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs is authorized to solicit and accept donations to the VTF on behalf of the commonwealth. Tax-deductible donations can be made online at or mailed to: PA Veterans’ Trust Fund, Edward Martin Hall, Bldg. 0-47, Fort Indiantown Gap, Annville, PA  17003-5002.

To learn more about the VTF and the grant application process, visit or follow DMVA on Facebook at

For more information and details, please also feel free to contact my office at 215-952-3121.


The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is now open through April 10, 2020. LIHEAP helps low-income families pay for their heating bills. You do not need to be on public assistance, and you do not have to have unpaid heating bills. To see if you qualify or for more information, feel free to contact my office at 215-952-3121, or visit the PA Department of Human Services website for more information.


Grants for Farmers and Small Businesses to Save Money and Reduce Pollution

Grant funding for energy efficiency and pollution prevention projects for small business owners and farmers are still available from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) through the Small Business Advantage Grant program.

Pennsylvania farmers and other small business owners with 100 or fewer full-time employees are eligible for the grants. Projects must save the business a minimum of $500 and 25 percent annually in energy consumption, or pollution related expenses.

Businesses can apply for 50 percent matching funds for equipment or materials, up to $7,000, when adopting energy-efficient or pollution prevention equipment or processes. Applications are considered on a first come, first served basis, and will be accepted until fiscal year 2019-20 funds are exhausted, or April 12, 2020, whichever occurs first.

The complete grant application package, which includes step-by-step instructions for completing the online application as well as all related forms, is available by visiting the DEP Small Business Ombudsman’s Office site.

To contact the Small Business Ombudsman’s Office, call 717-772-5160 or email
For more information and details, please also feel free to contact my office at 215-952-3121.

FMNP Market Locator app PA Farmers Market Nutrition Program

Enjoying fresh, Pennsylvania produce is easier than you think. If you have checks for Pennsylvania’s Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program or have received PA Farmers Market Nutrition Program checks during a recent WIC visit, download the FMNP Market Locator app to find your closest participating market.

Download on the App Store »

Get it on GooglePlay »

Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program Deadline ExtendedProperty Tax/Rent Rebates

Applications for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program are now available for eligible Pennsylvanians to begin claiming rebates on property taxes or rent paid in 2018. The deadline to apply for a rebate is June 30, 2019.

For more information and details, please contact my district office at 215-952-3121 or click here.

Report Issues with Nuisance Bars

PECO – News Release

PECO Urges Customers to Be Aware of Scams During Holiday Season  

National Scam Awareness Week is November 17-23, which seeks to raise awareness and provide customers with essential information to fight back and protect themselves. 

PHILADELPHIA (November 20, 2019) – With the holiday season quickly approaching, PECO is reminding customers to always be on alert for potential payment scams targeting utility customers. Scams occur throughout the year, but the company has seen an increase in scam reports during the holiday season. With holiday shopping and family gatherings planned, scammers are using the holiday season to trick utility customers into providing their personal or financial information and making false payments under the pretense of keeping their service active. 

PECO is joining more than 100 utility companies across the United States and Canada in the effort to protect customers from scams targeting customers of electric, natural gas, water, and other utilities. Collaborating companies have joined together for a fourth year and designated November 20 as “Utilities United Against Scams Day.” Utility Scam Awareness Day is part of the week-long National Scam Awareness Week, an advocacy and awareness campaign focused on educating customers and exposing the tactics used by scammers. PECO and its sister Exelon companies, Atlantic City Electric, BGE, ComEd, Delmarva Power, and Pepco are committed to educating customers and putting a stop to scamming.

“The personal and financial safety and security of our customers and their information is our top priority,” said John McDonald, PECO senior vice president and COO. “We want to provide our customers with information that can help protect them from scamming attempts and we won’t stop until every customer can feel safe about who is on the other end of the line, or on the other side of the door.”

When scams occur, a customer typically receives an unsolicited phone call from an individual, who falsely claims to be a company representative. The scammer warns that the customer’s service will be terminated if they fail to make a payment – usually within a short timeframe through a prepaid debit card or other direct payment method.

Scammers have even duplicated the telephone systems of some companies, so when customers call the number provided by the scammer, it sounds like a legitimate business. Some scammers also use caller ID “spoofing” to replicate a utility’s phone number. 

Red flags for scam activity

  • The scammer often becomes angry and tells a customer his or her account is past due and service will be shut off if a large payment isn’t made – usually within less than an hour.
  • The scammer instructs the customer to purchase a prepaid debit or credit card – widely available at most retail stores – then call him or her back to make a payment.
  • The scammer asks the customer for the prepaid card’s receipt number and PIN number, which grants instant access to the funds loaded to the card.

How to protect yourself

  • Utility representatives will never ask or require a customer with a past due balance to purchase a prepaid debit card to avoid disconnection.
  • Customers can make payments online, by phone, automatic bank withdrawal, mail, or in-person.
  • Customers with a past due balance will receive multiple shut off notifications – never a single notification one hour before disconnection.
  • If a customer ever questions the legitimacy of the call, they should hang up and call PECO directly at 1-800-494-4000.

Don’t Get Scammed: Customers can avoid being scammed by taking a few precautions:

  1. Never provide your social security number or personal information to anyone initiating contact with you claiming to be a utility representative or requesting you to send money to another person or entity other than your local utility providers.
  2. Always ask to see a company photo ID before allowing any utility worker into your home or business.
  3. Never make a payment for services to anyone coming to your door.

Any PECO customer who believes he or she has been a target of a scam is urged to contact their local police, and call PECO immediately at 1-800-494-4000 to report the situation.

Upcoming Events

Holiday Light Show at Fashion District Philadelphia – Now through December 31st

Holiday Light Show at Fashion District PhiladelphiaFashion District Philadelphia will celebrate its first holiday season since opening in September with a Holiday Light show. The light show will run through the end of the year. The show is timed up to music from Philly POPS and is a five-minute show that runs every 30 minutes from 4PM until closing.

Thanksgiving Day Parade – Thursday, November 28, 2019 from 8:30am-12pm

The City of Philadelphia will host its 100th Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thanksgiving morning starting at 8:3AM. The parade will begin at 20th and JFK Blvd., continue east on JFK to 16th Street, turning left at 16th street to the Ben Franklin Parkway, and continuing northwest up the Parkway and concluding at the Art Museum Steps. The route is Free and open to everyone! The parade can also be viewed live on 6abc until 12PM. Fore more information and details, click here.

Thanksgiving Day Parade

Christmas Village in Philadelphia at LOVE Park – November 28th to December 24thChristmas Village

Christmas Village in Philadelphia will once again take place in the newly renovated LOVE Park. This fun-filled, Bavarian Christmas inspired pop-up market is fun for the whole family to enjoy. Vendors will include handmade items, seasonal gifts, food and drinks, music, and more. The Christmas Village will be open from Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve.

For more information and details, click here.

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Offices of State Senator Larry Farnese | Contact Me
1802 S. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19145
Phone: 215-952-3121
Fax: 215-952-3155
543 Main Capitol | Box 203001
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3001
Phone: 717-787-5662
Fax: 717-787-4531