House advances bills on building preservation, dark money in PA

(1 day ago)

I was back in Harrisburg this week for another productive week of session, with several bills I co-sponsored advancing out of the House and moving to the Senate for consideration. The House will now take a one-week break before we head back to the Capitol on April 29. We have a busy week ahead in the 155th Legislative District, with our Free Paper-Only Shred Event & Food Drive this Saturday, April 20, and Primary Election Day on Tuesday, April 23. Let’s get into it! Read more

 

Teacher stipend program met with incredible demand

(Apr 12, 2024)

With the Eclipse on Monday, the House and Senate both in session, and a number of press events taking place, the Pennsylvania Capitol building was a busy place this week. It was also a successful week for Team Otten, with the passage of one bill in the House and the implementation of another program I advocated for last year. Let’s get into it! Read more

 

Otten, Chester County Food Bank to host Paper-Shredding Event & Food Drive

(Apr 12, 2024)

EXTON, April 11 – State Rep. Danielle Friel Otten, D-Chester, and the Chester County Food Bank have partnered to host a Free Paper-Only Shred Event and Food Drive from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at the Chester County Food Bank, 650 Pennsylvania Drive in Exton. The shred event provides an opportunity for members of the community to safely dispose of documents containing personal information, thereby protecting them from potential identity theft. The food drive will benefit the Chester County Food Bank in their mission of fighting food insecurity and building support for neighbors in need. The two events will take place simultaneously. “Shred events like this are an essential service to our community,” Otten said. “With tax season wrapping up and spring cleaning underway, we often hear from our neighbors here in the 155th Legislative District that they value these opportunities to securely dispose of and recycle their financial paperwork and other sensitive documents. I look forward to partnering with the Chester County Food Bank on this joint event to help prevent identity theft, promote sustainability, and increase donations to the food bank during a challenging time of year for food collection.” Each car will be limited to four file-size boxes at this rain or shine event. Small paper clips and staples are OK, but no binder clips, binders, or cardboard. Drivers are asked to remain in their cars and open Read more

 

Otten bill to expand early intervention services passes House

(Apr 10, 2024)

HARRISBURG, April 10 – State Rep. Danielle Friel Otten’s bill to provide early intervention services to children born to mothers struggling with postpartum depression passed the Pennsylvania House today. House Bill 1593 would expand services to children from birth through two years with mothers diagnosed with or at high risk for postpartum depression, ensuring that these vulnerable children and their families have access to the support they need. Early intervention services can reduce a family’s sources of stress and encourage healthy relationships among children, families and caregivers. Otten, D-Chester, introduced the legislation with a co-prime sponsor, state Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., who chairs the PA House Children and Youth Committee. “Welcoming a new baby should be a joyous time for a family,” Otten said. “And yet the reality is that a new baby can also mean sleepless days and nights, isolation from friendships, anxiety about stretched finances or missed career opportunities, and physical, hormonal changes that trigger postpartum depression.” “There’s an abundance of research that shows that a child’s development in the earliest years of their life is significantly impacted by the tenor of their earliest formative relationships with their family and loved ones,” Bullock said. “By supporting children and mothers throughout this delicate time and Read more

 

Student teacher stipends go live

(Apr 10, 2024)

APRIL 10 - Today in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro joined House and Senate members to announce tomorrow’s opening of the online application period for student teacher stipends through the new PA Student Teacher Support Program . Last year, I introduced legislation to create a Student Teacher Stipend Program, which will help to address our teacher shortage by providing up to $15,000 for aspiring teachers during their student teaching semesters as well as a $2,500 stipend for cooperating teachers who agree to mentor student teachers. I was thrilled when this bill passed the House last June with strong bipartisan support, and even more excited to see it signed into law as part of last year’s budget, with $10 million in funding allocated to ramp up the program. Governor Shapiro has now proposed $15 million dollars to fund the program for the 2024-2025 fiscal year, and the program will be available to student teachers beginning with the 2024-25 academic year. I am hopeful that these initial budget allocations are just the very start of our investment in the Student Teacher Stipend program and in building the teacher pipeline. This morning, my co-prime sponsor Rep. Gina H. Curry and I sent a letter to House Appropriations Chair Jordan Harris requesting $75 million in the Fiscal Year 2024-25 budget to fully fund this program, because every aspiring teacher should receive fair pay for their 12-week student Read more

 

House ERE Committee tours hydrogen facility

(Apr 05, 2024)

I hope everyone had a relaxing holiday weekend and was able to spend some time with family, friends, and loved ones. With the House in recess this week, I was back in the district meeting with constituents and advocacy groups to ensure the voices and needs of our community are heard and well represented in Harrisburg. We return to the Capitol next week with a packed schedule of committee meetings and session days. Let’s get into it! Read more

 

Mobile Mammogram Screenings Coming to Downingtown Library on May 2

(Apr 02, 2024)

West Chester, PA (April 2, 2024) –To help more women access breast cancer detection services, state Senator Carolyn Comitta and state Representative Danielle Friel Otten are partnering with Fox Chase Cancer Center to offer mobile mammography screenings at Downingtown Library on Thursday, May 2 nd . “Since many women do not experience symptoms at the onset of breast cancer, early detection is critical to saving lives,” Comitta said. “I am proud to partner with Rep. Otten to bring mobile mammograms directly to our community. By making screenings easier, more convenient and more accessible for our neighbors, we hope more women will not only get mammograms, but also commit to getting them every year.” About 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime and it is the second leading cause of cancer death in women. However, when detected early and in the localized stage, the 5-year survival rate is 99%. “An annual mammogram screening remains one of the easiest steps women age 40 and above can take to prioritize their health and detect breast cancer as early as possible,” Otten said. “Early detection often means a better prognosis and less extensive treatment. Women’s Health Month serves as an essential reminder to empower women to make healthy decisions for themselves and inspire those around them. I am proud to partner with Senator Comitta to bring this essential, life-saving service to our community.” Read more

 

Bill encouraging community solar passes House

(Mar 28, 2024)

The House returned to Harrisburg for another busy week of session to deliver results for the people of Pennsylvania. We passed several bills that I was proud to support as a cosponsor, including one that would empower our communities to create community solar projects and another that would protect our communities from the dangers of untraceable ghost guns. Let’s get into it! Read more

 

New Energy and Consumer Safety Legislation in the Works

(Mar 22, 2024)

The House returned to Harrisburg on Monday for a packed week of committee meetings, legislative hearings, and several productive days of session. Additionally, I circulated two sponsorship memos to garner support for a new energy proposal in Pennsylvania and an alcohol consumer safety bill. Let’s get into it! Read more

 

Otten, Abney prepare House bills to enact Shapiro administration energy plan

(Mar 20, 2024)

HARRISBURG, March 20 – State Reps. Danielle Friel Otten and Aerion Abney have begun circulating House legislative sponsorship memos advancing the Shapiro administration’s bold new energy plan for Pennsylvania, which was announced last week . The legislators each introduced a core component of Gov. Josh Shapiro’s initiative: the Pennsylvania Reliable Energy Sustainability Standard (PRESS) and Pennsylvania Climate Emission Reduction (PACER) Program . PRESS would continue the successful elements of Pennsylvania’s forward thinking but outdated Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards while making them more inclusive -- adding nuclear power and next-generation technologies such as fusion, as well as incentivizing lower emissions for gas-fired power plants. It would require Pennsylvania to get 50% of its electricity from a diverse range of energy resources by 2035, including 35% from solar, wind, small modular reactors, and fusion; 10% from sources like large hydropower and battery storage; and 5% from natural gas and other alternative fuels. “Sustainable standards are a conversation that’s been underway since my first year in the legislature, and I’m extremely glad that a serious discussion has come to the forefront,” said Otten, D-Chester . “The collective attention on this issue is promising. As a lead sponsor on the governor’s proposed plan in the House, I feel well positioned to assure that Read more

 

Gov. Shapiro unveils his energy plan

(Mar 18, 2024)

While the House has not been in session, our team has been busy raising awareness and working toward solutions on several legislative issues by holding a series of Policy Committee Hearings, including my own last week on the Basic Education Funding Report. Read more

 

Fulfilling the promise of education for PA kids

(Mar 08, 2024)

Last year, a Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Judge issued a ruling that declared Pennsylvania’s school funding system unconstitutional. This case was the result of a lawsuit filed on behalf of parents, school districts, the Pennsylvania State Conference of the NAACP, and other statewide organizations, arguing that the Commonwealth’s funding of K-12 public education is inadequate and violates the Pennsylvania Constitution. Read more

 

Unfair education funding and its problems detailed by experts

(Mar 05, 2024)

After years of chronic underfunding, experts detail issues, need for change Read more

 

Supporting our student teachers in PA

(Mar 04, 2024)

With budget hearings underway in Harrisburg and events taking place across the district, Team Otten has had a busy week! Read more

 

Budget hearings begin in Harrisburg

(Feb 23, 2024)

This week marked the start of budget hearings in Harrisburg, as our state agencies make their cases to House and Senate leadership and committee members for funding in the next state budget. Read more

 

Legislative fixes can help reduce gun violence

(Feb 16, 2024)

This week, House Democrats once again defended our majority in the PA House of Representatives with the election of Jim Prokopiak in the 140th House District in Bucks County. Read more

 

Winter 2024

(Feb 12, 2024)

Winter 2024 Read more

 

Shapiro Unveils His Second State Budget

(Feb 09, 2024)

On Tuesday, Governor Shapiro delivered the second budget address of his term, laying out a proposal that prioritizes education funding, economic development, and better opportunities for all Pennsylvanians. Read more

 

Reproductive Rights Take Center Stage in Court

(Feb 02, 2024)

In the House of Representatives, I have had the honor of serving on a variety of committees and caucuses, bringing light to issues that have previously gone unattended and working with my colleagues on legislative solutions. Whether it be advocating for a clean and reliable energy grid or working to address our teacher shortage crisis, I have had the privilege of working with some incredible people on both sides of the aisle. And it is truly a gift to work with the brilliant, passionate, and wise women of the Pennsylvania House and Senate. Read more

 

Gearing up for budget season

(Jan 26, 2024)

While the House may not be in session, my team and I have been working hard to prepare for the upcoming legislative year. Over the past few weeks, while I have been going back and forth between Harrisburg and the district for legislative hearings and meetings, my District Office staff has been diligently working to deliver excellent constituent services and help me get ready for budget season. Read more