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Philadelphia House Delegation praises expanded state Child and Dependent Care Enhancement Tax Credit

Health Committee advances Cephas bill to strengthen doula services in Pa.

(22 hours ago)

HARRISBURG, April 17 – The PA House Health Committee today approved legislation authored by state Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., that would extend Medicaid coverage to doula services in the state. Under Cephas’ bill ( H.B. 1608 ), Medicaid would reimburse certified doulas for providing childbirth education and support services, including physical and emotional support, during pregnancy, labor and delivery and up to one year postpartum. “Research has shown that doula support leads to improved birth outcomes, including reduced rates of cesarean sections, shorter labor durations and higher rates of breastfeeding initiation. By providing continuous support throughout and after pregnancy, doulas contribute to safer and more positive birth experiences for mothers," Cephas said. "While some moms can afford doula services without insurance or have insurance that covers it, moms who receive their vital pregnancy care through Medicaid are not so lucky. This leads to a vast inequality in care for women who are already statistically at risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes, with Black women at the highest risk of maternal and infant mortality and morbidity compared to other racial and ethnic groups. This legislation would give these mothers a proven network of support needed to produce better mental and physical health outcomes during their birthing journey.” The bill also would establish a Doula Advisory Read more

 

Cephas: Cleaner Mass Transit is an Opportunity for Economic Growth

(1 day ago)

Philadelphia House Delegation Chair Rep. Morgan Cephas stands with Blue-Green Caucus colleagues, environmental advocates, and labor leaders to unveil legislation that would reduce emissions by mass transit while also bringing good-paying jobs to families across the commonwealth. Read more

 

House Philadelphia Delegation applauds ‘ghost gun’ settlement with city

(Apr 12, 2024)

PHILADELPHIA, April 12 – Philadelphia House Delegation Chair Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., today said she was relieved to learn that two major suppliers of ghost guns have reached an agreement with the city to stop selling their deadly products that have been entering Philadelphia at an alarming rate. Under the settlement, which comes about 10 months after the city filed a lawsuit against Polymer80 and JDS Supply for negligence, the two sellers have agreed to stop selling these parts online and in stores within the city for four years and at gun shows for two years. Polymer80 also will make $1.3 million in payments to the city to fund local efforts to address gun violence. “I am relieved to see these companies taking some responsibility for the devastation that their deadly products have inflicted upon our city and on countless numbers of grieving families and terrified residents,” Cephas said. “I applaud Mayor Parker and her administration for the city’s strong position in this fight and will continue to work with my colleagues at the state level to enact the many reforms that are needed in the fight against gun violence. “While this settlement is good news, it’s just the tip of what’s needed to reduce deadly gun violence across Pennsylvania. I continue to call on the Pennsylvania Senate to pass the gun safety reform measures sent to them by the House this legislative session. Read more

 

Pennsylvania’s MOMNIBUS addresses Pennsylvania’s maternal mortality through investments

(Apr 12, 2024)

Black Pennsylvanians had the highest pregnancy-associated mortality ratio at 148 per 100,000 live births, which is nearly twice as much as white Pennsylvanians who had a PAMR at 81 per 100,000 live births, highlighting racial disparities in maternal health care. Read more

 

House passes Bullock, Cephas homeowner protection legislation

(Apr 08, 2024)

HARRISBURG, April 8 – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives today passed legislation ( H.B. 657 ) introduced by state Reps. Donna Bullock and Morgan Cephas, both D-Phila., which would provide consumer protection against unfair realty agreements for homeowners by establishing prohibitions and requirements for these agreements. “Too often, I hear the horror stories of unscrupulous realty companies preying on unsuspecting homeowners and vulnerable neighborhoods by trapping them in questionable realty agreement contracts and then suing them should they try to cancel the agreement,” Bullock said. “It’s our hope that with this legislation we can ensure homeowners are no longer subjected to these unsavory and underhanded practices.” Under this legislation, unlawful agreements that include certain forbidden content would be deemed unenforceable in Pennsylvania and in violation of the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Act. “Pennsylvania homeowners spend their lifetime working hard to build home equity and create generational wealth but are too often vulnerable to dishonest realty companies looking to scam them out of that wealth,” Cephas said. “Pennsylvanians deserve protections from fraud, and should they fall victim to predatory practices, then they deserve to have the damages recovered.” The bill will now go to the PA Senate Read more

 

PBMHC commemorates Black Maternal Health Week with resolution, events

(Apr 08, 2024)

The resolution would recognize Thursday, April 11 to Wednesday, April 17 as Black Maternal Health Week. The House Human Services Committee unanimously reported the resolution of out committee. Read more

 

DAs in Delaware and Chester counties call on state Senate to act on ghost guns

(Apr 08, 2024)

The Chester County District Attorney on Friday joined with his counterpart in Delaware County to applaud legislation that was adopted by the state House of Representatives banning the sale of so called “ghost guns” and their individual parts and making it a crime to do so. Read more

 

Philadelphia lawmakers, others call on state Senate to act on gun safety measures passed by House

(Apr 04, 2024)

PHILADELPHIA, April 4 – Members of the Philadelphia House Delegation today joined gun safety advocates to call on the state Senate to take up legislation ( H.B. 777 ) passed by the House last week that aims to eliminate the proliferation of “ghost guns” in Pennsylvania and crack down on those who buy or sell them, along with other gun reform bills passed by the House in this legislative session. The bill, sponsored by state Reps. Morgan Cephas and Malcolm Kenyatta, both D-Phila., would make selling or purchasing a firearm or firearm parts without serial numbers a felony. Cephas said these untraceable firearms are a main driver of crime, especially in Philadelphia. “Ghost guns are far too easily obtainable in Philadelphia, leading to day-to-day gun violence that has no end,” Cephas said. “For far too long, the Pennsylvania legislature has been singularly focused on what we do after crimes are committed with guns, rather than the unfettered access to these deadly, untraceable weapons. I am thankful that the House, under our new Democratic majority, moved this commonsense legislation to the Senate and now call on our state senators to give it the attention and consideration it deserves.” House Speaker Joanna McClinton noted the other gun safety bills sent over to the Senate in addition to H.B. 777, including legislation that would allow for the temporary removal of firearms from Read more

 

House sends bill to crack down on ‘ghost guns’ to Senate

(Mar 27, 2024)

HARRISBURG, March 27 – The PA House today passed legislation ( H.B. 777 ) that aims to eliminate the proliferation of “ghost guns” in Pennsylvania and crack down on those who buy or sell them. The bill, sponsored by state Reps. Morgan Cephas and Malcolm Kenyatta, both D-Phila., would impose felony charges on anyone who sells or purchases a firearm or firearm parts without serial numbers. Cephas said these untraceable firearms are a main driver of crime, especially in Philadelphia. “Ghost guns are far too easily obtainable in Philadelphia and in our neighboring municipalities, leading to day-to-day gun violence in our communities that has no end,” Cephas said. “For far too long, Pennsylvania has remined singularly focused on what we do after crimes are committed with guns, rather than the unfettered access to these deadly weapons. I am thankful that the House is now moving legislation to be proactive in preventing gun violence in our communities through commonsense reforms like making it harder to sell or buy ghost guns and untraceable firearm parts.” Cephas added that the state must act because municipal governments are prevented from doing so under state law. “The preemption of local action has been a significant barrier to reducing gun violence in Philadelphia and other municipalities who are desperate to end the scourge of gun Read more

 

PBMHC applauds Shapiro’s Medicaid expansion for doula services

(Mar 27, 2024)

“Doulas address Black maternal mortality and morbidity by reducing complications and improving maternal health outcomes. With the Department of Human Services’ expanding doula services, the state will allow doulas to enroll as Medicaid providers, making these services more affordable for low-income Pennsylvanians. With Black women 3.5 times more likely to die during pregnancy-related complications, we must ensure that they have access to services that would aid them during their pregnancies. We thank Gov. Josh Shapiro, Secretary of Human Services Val Arkoosh, and the administration for advancing policies that address Black maternal health, and the PBMHC will work toward advancing PA’s MOMNIBUS – a legislative package introduced to boldly address maternal morbidity and mortality – to the governor’s desk.” Read more

 

Philadelphia City Council holds hearing on maternal deaths and health disparities

(Mar 26, 2024)

“A lot of what we’re talking about today won’t see the light of day in Harrisburg, because it’s so divided,” Representative Cephas told the committee. “But trust and believe: A lot of things that you are doing here in Philly — so, for example, the Philly Joy Bank — they’re replicating across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.” Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation praises approval of increase in public transit funding

(Mar 20, 2024)

Today, members of the Philadelphia House Delegation were an integral part of the state House of Representatives’ approval of a proposed increase in recurring funds for public transportation in Pennsylvania. Read more

 

PBMHC co-chairs introduce Pennsylvania’s Momnibus legislative package

(Mar 19, 2024)

“Our Momnibus package is the culmination of years of work to address the critical issues surrounding maternal health and well-being,” Cephas said. “These core areas of increasing access to care, eliminating maternal health deserts, and addressing social determinants of health, guide our focus in this comprehensive platform. This caucus has done an amazing job of developing a multi-pronged approach to achieve health and maternal care equity for birthing people across the state no matter where they live.” Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation reacts to Mayor Parker’s budget proposal

(Mar 14, 2024)

“I am overjoyed to see the mayor’s attitude of action shine through in her first budget proposal to City Council. Her One Philly Budget would invest over $2 billion across five years to make Philadelphia ‘safer, cleaner, and greener, with access to economic opportunity for all,’ including an immediate infusion of $143 million in this upcoming fiscal year.“The mayor’s commitment to transparency and honest dialogue in this process will ensure that the voices of all Philadelphians are heard through community budget briefings and town halls. Our delegation looks forward to working with the mayor and city council with resources, programs and funding needed to uplift all communities across our great city. Read more

 

Grant Memo: Agricultural, Educational, Public Safety, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities

(Mar 14, 2024)

NEWLY LISTED PROGRAMS Commonwealth Financing Authority: Public School Facility Improvement Grant Who May Apply: School entities, defined as a school district or an area career and technical school. Use: Facility improvement projects, including but not limited to roof repair/replacement, heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment, plumbing systems, window repair/replacement, health and safety upgrades, and accessibility projects. Funds: $100 million in total funding is available. Grant requests shall not exceed $5 million per eligible improvement project. School entities may submit more than one application, but no school entity shall receive more than 20% of the total funding available. Application Deadline: May 31, 2024 More information: CFA Website Commission on Crime and Delinquency: STOP Violence Against Women Grant Program Who May Apply: County governments and non-profit victim service agencies are eligible to apply. Faith-based organizations may be eligible to apply under certain circumstances. Use: Funds may be used to support cross-system, collaborative efforts to respond to victims of violence against women crimes. This includes, but is not limited to, personnel and benefit costs associated with specialized units in law enforcement or core direct victim services, supplies and operating expenses related to the STOP project, equipment necessary for implementation, and training or professional development. Funds: A total of $12 Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation offers remarks on recent shootings

(Mar 07, 2024)

HARRISBURG, March 7 – Members of the Philadelphia House Delegation expressed their concerns for their communities and sympathy for the victims and families affected by four separate shootings in the city on or near SEPTA buses over the course of four days from March 3-6. Many of the victims in these shootings were youth, including a student from Imhotep Charter High School, 1 7-year-old Dayemen Taylor , who was killed Monday, March 4 at Ogontz bus stop; and eight students from Northeast High School who were shot yesterday, March 6 near a SEPTA bus station at Rising Sun and Cottman avenues. “My heart aches in light of news of several youth-involved shootings across the city of Philadelphia over the last few days,” said Philadelphia House Delegation Chair Morgan Cephas. “My deepest condolences go out to the families and communities enduring unimaginable loss. Each young life taken represents a future unfulfilled, a potential that will never be realized. We must come together, not only to grieve, but to take immediate, collective action against the epidemic of gun violence tearing at the fabric of our city. Together, we can and must build a safer, more hopeful future for all our children.” State Rep. Anthony Bellmon issued the following remarks on the shooting that occurred yesterday on Rising Sun and Cottman avenues, which is in his legislative district, and the need to invest in Read more

 

Pennsylvania's Black Maternal Health Caucus; Fighting for Futures

(Mar 07, 2024)

In a 2022 March of Dimes report, Pennsylvania had 6 counties classified as maternity care deserts. 14 counties had moderate access to maternity care. Read more

 

Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, House Philadelphia Delegation, LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus release statement on Pennsylvania State Police traffic stop and arrest

(Mar 05, 2024)

PHILADELPHIA, March 5 – Leaders of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, the LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus and Philadelphia House Delegation today issued a statement in response to the traffic stop and subsequent arrest of Philadelphia’s head of LGBT affairs and her husband by a state trooper Saturday. According to news reports, Celena Morrison, the executive director of Philadelphia’s Office of LGBT Affairs, recorded a portion of the arrest of her husband, Darius McLean, on the Vine Street Expressway. State Reps. Napoleon Nelson, chair of the PLBC, Malcolm Kenyatta, co-chair of the LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus, and Morgan Cephas, chair of the Philadelphia House Delegation, said they have been in contact with state and local authorities surrounding the incident. “The video of the traffic stop of Celena Morrison and Darius McLean was deeply troubling,” stated Kenyatta, D-Phila. “We need a full, thorough, and expedient investigation into every aspect of this stop.” “My sympathies go out to the family dealing with the trauma of this incident, and I stand in solidarity with the communities that have experienced their own traumas as a result,” Nelson, D-Montgomery, said. “The investigation that we are expecting will help us determine accountability measures needed and identify necessary policy changes that we can craft at the state level that will enhance community safety at home. Those changes may come in the Read more

 

Kenyatta introduces legislation to study impact of ‘benefits cliff’

(Feb 29, 2024)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 29 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., has introduced legislation to study the public assistance benefits cliff, which refers to a situation when public benefit programs phase out quickly for families as household earnings increase. This legislation would direct the Joint State Government Commission to conduct a study and issue a report on the impact of benefits cliffs in Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania, roughly 12 percent of all Pennsylvanians live in poverty, with eight percent living in extreme poverty. “In many instances, Pennsylvanians living in poverty become constrained to a life of poverty due to the ‘cliff effect,’ which perpetuates the poverty cycle, rather than incentivizing individuals to become self-sufficient,” Kenyatta said. “This study should give us a better idea of just how much the benefits cliff affects Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable families, and how we can ensure these families get the most out of important public benefit programs.” Kenyatta is joined by state Reps. Morgan Cephas and Roni Green, both D-Phila., and La’Tasha D. Mayes, D-Allegheny, in introducing this bill. Cephas explained how benefits cliffs impact marginalized communities. “Not only are Black women paid less than white or male counterparts, opportunities to escape this cycle of poverty are fewer – leading to the public assistance Read more

 

Cephas Working for Improved Maternal Nutrition & Health

(Feb 23, 2024)

As Co-Chair of the PA Black Maternal Health Caucus, PA state Rep. Morgan Cephas knows that proper nutrition is a key component in the larger effort to lower maternal mortality rates in the commonwealth. In a recent budget hearing Cephas questions Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding about his agency’s efforts to expand their Farmers Market Nutrition Program, as well as improving the redemption of WIC dollars, to better serve expecting birthing people. Read more

 

Health Committee advances Cephas bill to strengthen doula services in Pa.
22 hours ago

Cephas: Cleaner Mass Transit is an Opportunity for Economic Growth
1 day ago

House Philadelphia Delegation applauds ‘ghost gun’ settlement with city
Apr 12, 2024

Pennsylvania’s MOMNIBUS addresses Pennsylvania’s maternal mortality through investments
Apr 12, 2024

House passes Bullock, Cephas homeowner protection legislation
Apr 08, 2024

PBMHC commemorates Black Maternal Health Week with resolution, events
Apr 08, 2024

DAs in Delaware and Chester counties call on state Senate to act on ghost guns
Apr 08, 2024

Philadelphia lawmakers, others call on state Senate to act on gun safety measures passed by House
Apr 04, 2024

House sends bill to crack down on ‘ghost guns’ to Senate
Mar 27, 2024

PBMHC applauds Shapiro’s Medicaid expansion for doula services
Mar 27, 2024

Philadelphia City Council holds hearing on maternal deaths and health disparities
Mar 26, 2024

Philadelphia House Delegation praises approval of increase in public transit funding
Mar 20, 2024

PBMHC co-chairs introduce Pennsylvania’s Momnibus legislative package
Mar 19, 2024

Philadelphia House Delegation reacts to Mayor Parker’s budget proposal
Mar 14, 2024

Grant Memo: Agricultural, Educational, Public Safety, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities
Mar 14, 2024

Philadelphia House Delegation offers remarks on recent shootings
Mar 07, 2024

Pennsylvania's Black Maternal Health Caucus; Fighting for Futures
Mar 07, 2024

Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, House Philadelphia Delegation, LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus release statement on Pennsylvania State Police traffic stop and arrest
Mar 05, 2024

Kenyatta introduces legislation to study impact of ‘benefits cliff’
Feb 29, 2024

Cephas Working for Improved Maternal Nutrition & Health
Feb 23, 2024