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LIHEAP: Expanded Home-Heating Assistance is Available to PA Renters, Homeowners

Kenyatta, Lewis unveil Fighting Chance Act legislation

(Mar 26, 2019)

HARRISBURG, March 26 -- Working to cut government red tape and reform the criminal justice system, freshmen state Reps. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., and Andrew Lewis, R-Dauphin, today unveiled their Fighting Chance Act legislation at a state Capitol press conference. The bill would require state agencies overseeing occupational licensure and the Board of Probation and Parole to reduce red tape by 25 percent over the next three years, with the intent to eliminate unnecessary barriers for people trying to get into these important, licensed occupations. “Pennsylvania has the potential to be the top state in the nation for jobs and opportunity, but we won’t achieve that goal without significant government reform,” Lewis said. “For example, our state has thousands of outdated regulations governing occupational licensure that are keeping good people out of the workforce and hindering our small businesses growth. We believe we can change that through the Fighting Chance Act.” The bill also aims to reform the criminal justice system by calling for the removal of barriers to employment for people who have paid their debt to society. “People who are incarcerated have to perform all types of work in the institutions in which they’re being held,” Kenyatta said. “If you have the training and expertise to do the work of an electrician, plumber, or barber, you should be able to get back to work when you have paid your debt. Read more


Kenyatta applauds order to remove Glen Mills School students from site

(Mar 25, 2019)

HARRISBURG, March 25 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., today said he supports the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services’ order for the emergency removal of all children currently remaining at the Glen Mills School in Delaware County. “I’ve said from Day One, that if there are any violations of criminal law regarding the care of youth at Glen Mills, that those who are responsible need to be held accountable,” Kenyatta said. “I’m happy to see the state take action to remove all children from Glen Mills and hope that it is done in a safe and expeditious manner. I also look forward to the results of all investigations that are pending. Today is a good day for the safety of our kids, a good day for the advocates and elected leaders at the state and local level who have fought for the protection of youth. I am happy to have been able to lend my voice toward elevating the need to examine tragic situations such as those alleged to have occurred at Glen Mills, or other places that dare to abuse the trust we put in them to care for our children.” Under the DHS order, all children residing at the school will be removed and relocated as soon as it can be safely accomplished. DHS’ Office of Children, Youth, and Families (OCYF) delivered the order to the Glen Mills School today. Prior to this, counties, states, and judicial systems with children at Glen Mills were notified that the emergency removal order would be Read more


Kenyatta: Statement on Temple University mumps outbreak

(Mar 22, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, March 22 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., today addressed concerns about the outbreak of mumps at Temple University. “I’ve been in consistent communication with Temple University concerning the recent mumps outbreak,” Kenyatta said. “And I’ve been assured that they are taking this issue extremely seriously. I’m heartened by the free walk-in clinics that they’ve set up as an additional step to address the continued spread. If you or anyone you know is showing symptoms, act swiftly. Please visit the free emergency clinic, contact Temple Health Services or your primary care physician immediately. Ensuring we have up-to-date vaccinations is the most important step we can take and I encourage you to do so.” Next week, Temple Student and Employee Health Services will offer walk-in clinics at which the Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine will be available at no charge. No appointments are necessary. Upon presentation of a current OWLcard, all Temple students, faculty and staff are eligible for the MMR vaccine. The clinics, offered in conjunction with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 27 and Friday, March 29 in Mitten Hall’s Great Court. The mumps outbreak in Philadelphia has grown every day this week; the number of cases rising to 59 probable cases, with 15 additional cases confirmed. These numbers are much higher than in Read more


Kenyatta Fights To Strengthen Cybersecurity

(Mar 19, 2019)

Pa. state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta continues his push to strengthen cybersecurity across the commonwealth. He questioned Auditor General Eugene DePasquale in a public hearing on the importance of protecting families online and the good paying job opportunities that are created by cybersecurity. Read more


PA Is Better When It’s Fair

(Mar 19, 2019)

Pa. state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta joined his colleagues to unveil a new exhibit in the State Capitol Building supporting the LGBTQ community and stood up for a diverse workforce. He explains why fairness is critical to people across the Commonwealth. Read more


3/5/19 – Toxic Poverty – Philadelphia

(Mar 08, 2019)

Materials from House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing hosted by State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta and State Rep. Danilo Burgos. Read more


Kenyatta, Burgos discuss eliminating toxic poverty at Policy Committee hearing

(Mar 05, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, March 5 – State Reps. Malcolm Kenyatta and Danilo Burgos, both D-Phila., hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing to discuss the health impacts of deep poverty and how to reverse the trend. The freshmen legislators brought together legislators from across the state, including Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, and local officials and advocates to discuss how they can work together to create better opportunities to break the cycle of toxic poverty. “Poverty is a public health crisis and we must address it as such. Toxic poverty systemically diminishes educational opportunities for our kids and in communities hardest hit,” Kenyatta said. “Securing a family sustained job that can build generational wealth and lift folks out of this cycle is too often out of reach. Today’s discussion further emphasized that eradicating poverty is the moral and economic issue of our time and brought light to how we can work together to invest our resources in educating our communities, children and adults, and reduce the need for correctional and unnecessary medical costs.” “The poverty cycle is hard on families. It’s a depressing cycle that is difficult to overcome,” Burgos said. “If we can work together as a community to empower people, address the mental and physical toll poverty takes on individuals and help lift them up, we can make real change that improves life for Read more


Kenyatta introduces bill to strengthen protections against cyberattacks

(Mar 04, 2019)

HARRISBURG, March 4 – With the ongoing attempts of cyberattacks targeting Pennsylvanians, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., has introduced legislation that would help protect the commonwealth’s cyber infrastructure. “From email and phone scams to personal data breaches, it is unconscionable the number of attempted cyberattacks occurring in Pennsylvania. With everyone constantly connected on their phones, computers and other electronic devices, the amount of potential attacks will only increase,” Kenyatta said. “We have to protect Pennsylvanians’ personal information and the creation of the Cybersecurity Innovation Commission would do just that.” House Bill 225 would create a Cybersecurity Innovation Commission to safeguard Pennsylvania’s data by conducting cybersecurity audits, improving security and privacy standards and analyzing the protocols. The commission also would work with businesses to make sure they are up-to-date on the newest technology. During recent House Appropriations Committee budget hearings, officials with the Governor’s Office of Administration testified that while they follow national federal guidelines and best practices to defend the commonwealth against cyberattacks, they still have seen an increase in the number of threats, with 18 billion in 2018. According to the Insurance Information Institute, Pennsylvania ranks 18th in the nation for the amount of identity theft cases. Read more


Kenyatta, Burgos to discuss toxic poverty at Policy Committee public hearing Tuesday in Philadelphia

(Feb 28, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 28 – State Reps. Malcolm Kenyatta and Danilo Burgos, both D-Phila., are hosting a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing to discuss the health impacts of deep poverty and how to reverse the trend. The hearing will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 5 at Warnock Village, 2850 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia. The media and public are invited to attend. The freshmen legislators requested the hearing to bring together local officials and advocates to discuss how they can work together to create better opportunities to lift Pennsylvanians out of poverty. They will be joined by legislators from across the state, including Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. The current agenda is: 2:00 p.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks 2:10 p.m. Dr. Loren Robinson , Deputy Secretary for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Pennsylvania Department of Health 2:40 p.m. Octavia Howell , Officer, Philadelphia Research Initiative The Pew Charitable Trusts 3:10 p.m. Panel of Advocates 3:40 p.m. Closing Remarks The meeting is one in a series being held across the state on House Democrats’ Plan4PA, which is focused on putting people first, good jobs, healthcare access, quality schools and jobs training, and a fair economy. Additional information about the plan is available at www.plan4pa.com . More information about the Policy Committee is available at www.pahouse.com/policycommittee . Read more


Proposed bill would help give all Pennsylvanians a fighting chance | Opinion

(Feb 27, 2019)

If they watch pundits on cable news, most Pennsylvanians probably have the impression that Democrats and Republicans can never work together to ensure that everyone in our commonwealth has a fair shot at the American Dream.However, as two freshman legislators from opposite sides of the aisle, we are committed to getting things done – and we have partnered on a bipartisan basis to introduce legislation that would address issues of regulatory reform, criminal justice reform and outdated government mandates in a meaningful way. Read more


Know your rights regarding housing issues

(Feb 25, 2019)

I’m inviting you to learn about your rights by attending my Housing: Know Your Rights event on Tuesday, Feb. 26 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Berean Presbyterian Church, 2101 N. Broad St., Philadelphia, 19122. Renters and homeowners can receive information on their rights as well as on a number of state-related programs, such as help to heat your home and assistance with rent or property taxes. Read more


Kenyatta joins Pa. attorney general to announce Kensington drug bust

(Feb 15, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 15 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., joined Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro on Thursday for a news conference to discuss a major drug bust in Kensington. Yesterday, more than 160 agents and officers representing all levels of law enforcement executed search warrants at 13 residences and of 15 vehicles. Eleven people were arrested in connection with the drug trafficking operation. “The breakup of this drug operation is a testament to what can happen when state, local and federal law enforcement work together. I’m grateful to Attorney General Shapiro and his office for their work,” Kenyatta said. “While we must actively and aggressively pursue criminal justice reform, we must also work to stem this tide of poison flowing into our communities. “I remain dedicated to doing all we can to fund drug treatment programs and workforce development initiatives. We must enhance social services to help folks get off of drugs and remain off of drugs. I stand ready and willing to work with law enforcement to ensure that those who make our communities less safe are held accountable and taken off the streets.” The estimated street value of the heroin, fentanyl and other drugs distributed by this criminal operation is roughly $7.7 million. In addition to 983 grams of crack cocaine and 4,900 grams of heroin and/or fentanyl, agents also recovered three handguns, $13,000 in cash, and a piece of heavy machinery Read more


Kenyatta Connecting Families With Cost Saving Programs

(Feb 13, 2019)

Pa. state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta is constantly working to save families money. He focuses on two free programs, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program and the Property Tax Rent Rebate Program, and explains how they can help cut costs for Pennsylvanians. Read more


Kenyatta Fighting For Clean Environment

(Feb 08, 2019)

Pa. state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta is fighting for families by working to ensure our environment is safe and clean across the commonwealth. Read more


Kenyatta praises federal Green New Deal proposal (with video)

(Feb 07, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 7 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., today applauded the announcement of a federal initiative to combat climate change across the nation. “The Green New Deal proposed today by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York and U.S. Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts is an ambitious and aggressive beginning in the fight against climate change. From record rainfall and deadly wildfires to frigid cold temperatures, these unusual weather patterns are a constant indication that climate change is real and we need to act fast. “Today’s announcement also serves as a reminder that the Pennsylvania General Assembly must look to itself and redouble its efforts on climate change, renewable energy and cutting carbon emissions in the commonwealth. Last summer, Philadelphians dealt with several days of scorching heat, resulting in an increase in pollution and poor air quality and creating breathing difficulties for the young and old. The decline in our climate and increase in pollution is a social justice issue that hits poor and working-class communities the hardest. “The legislature could start by supporting legislation, of which I am a cosponsor, written by my Philadelphia colleague state Representative Chris Rabb. The bill would transition the commonwealth to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050 . He and I, along with many of our fellow lawmakers, agree the change must start now. “I also stood today with Read more


Kenyatta Fighting To Cut Medical Costs

(Feb 07, 2019)

Pa. state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta is fighting for families in Harrisburg by working to make healthcare costs more affordable for his communities. Read more


Kenyatta eager to start working on governor’s 2019-20 budget proposal

(Feb 05, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 5 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., released the following statement about the 2019-20 budget proposal presented today by Gov. Tom Wolf: “I’m thankful to Governor Wolf for outlining his budget priorities and I’m excited to work with him to ensure the voices of the 181 st District are heard in the process. I’m heartened that the governor has once again requested an increase in funding for education; including $200 million for basic education and $7 million for higher learning. In Philadelphia and across the commonwealth, every child deserves a high-quality education and safe school, no matter what ZIP code they live in. These are our kids and this is our obligation. “Eradicating poverty is the moral and economic issue of our generation and raising wages for the poor and working class people of Pennsylvania is my top priority. I am pleased Governor Wolf wants to begin to make it a reality. By raising the minimum wage, it would enable thousands of people to transition out of poverty and save the commonwealth nearly $120 million, but I know we can and must go further. “ We have to also protect our water and air. I look forward to working with him to make sure we fully fund our agencies such as DEP and ask natural gas drillers to pay their fair share, so we can invest in our aging infrastructure across the commonwealth. “Working across chambers and across the aisle we can get big things done for Read more


Kenyatta receives committee appointments for 2019-20 legislative session

(Jan 28, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 28 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., today announced he was appointed to serve on several House committees in order to better provide for and serve his district for the 2019-20 legislative session. The freshmen legislator has been selected to serve on the Commerce; Liquor Control; State Government; Tourism and Recreational Development committees. “With all of the political discourse we are experiencing across the commonwealth and as a nation, I am ready to charge in head first and push for meaningful discussions within these committees on the issues that have a direct impact on my district and the people I serve,” Kenyatta said. Kenyatta added that while all of these committees are crucial to better serving his district, he plans to use these committees as a platform to push for a raise to the minimum wage of $15 per hour as well as investments in commercial corridors. “I plan to advocate for policies that create good-paying jobs and raising the wage for our workers who have helped to skyrocket production while seeing minimal gains in their savings accounts. Poverty has had a crushing impact on too many Pennsylvanians, and with Philadelphia having a higher cost of living, these low-wage workers are getting even less per dollar than their counterparts across the central part of the state. Essentially, our policies as they are written now ensure that low-wage earners in Philadelphia do not have the same basic standards of Read more


Get free assistance with your Property Tax/Rent Rebate

(Jan 24, 2019)

Forms for Pennsylvania’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program for the 2018 tax year are available – and my office staff is ready to help you file yours for free ! The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians 65 or older, widows and widowers 50 or older, and people with disabilities 18 or older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters. Half of Social Security income is excluded and the maximum standard rebate is $650. Claimants must reapply for rebates every year because they are based on annual income and property taxes or rent paid each year. Spouses, personal representatives or estates may file rebate claims on behalf of deceased claimants who lived at least one day in 2018 and meet all other eligibility criteria. The rebates normally are distributed by the Department of Revenue beginning July 1. So, the sooner you file, the sooner you will receive your money. Read more


Kenyatta sponsors resolution urging end of federal shutdown

(Jan 23, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 23 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., sponsored a resolution directed at the president and Congress urging them to put an end to the partial federal government shutdown. “It is unacceptable that hardworking Pennsylvanians across the commonwealth are experiencing significant hardships due to what has become the longest federal government shutdown in American history,” Kenyatta said. “Pennsylvanians and the American people deserve better. While those of us in state government cannot reopen the federal government, we must speak with one voice about the pain it’s inflicting on our state. Federal workers deserve to get paid, get back to work, and those on SNAP benefits should not have to worry if they will be able to afford their food. This must end!” Currently, Pennsylvania ranks ninth among the states hit hardest by the shutdown based on loss of salaries from federal workers and a loss of income substitution provided through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly referred to as SNAP. Nearly 13,000 of the state’s federal workers have not received a paycheck in the past month. Those deemed as “essential” work without pay, while many others remain furloughed. The Pennsylvania Office of Unemployment Compensation has seen an increase of nearly 850 percent in applications for unemployment benefits in the last week of December as compared to that same week last year. About 1.8 million Read more