Featured News

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

Kenyatta Applauds Passage of #PAFairnessAct

(May 02, 2023)

Moments after the passage of the Pa. Fairness Act, LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta expressed his gratitude to his Democratic colleagues and the 2 Republicans who voted in favor of the bill. Pennsylvania is the only state in the northeast without LGBTQ+ nondiscrimination laws on the books and this legislation would finally fix that oversight. Read more

 

Fairness Act passes PA House

(May 02, 2023)

HARRISBURG, May 2 – Today, the Fairness Act (H.B. 300) passed out of the Pennsylvania House and is headed to the Senate for a future vote. Below is a quote that can be attributed to the co-prime sponsors of this bill: Reps. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila; Jessica Benham, Dan Frankel and La’Tasha D. Mayes, all D-Allegheny; Ismail Smith-Wade-El, D-Lancaster; and Greg Scott, D-Montgomery. “Today is a historic day, as we take a critical step to make Pennsylvania fairer. The Fairness Act is as simple as it is substantive. H.B. 300 would protect LGBTQ+ Pennsylvanians from facing discrimination and allow all individuals in the commonwealth to file complaints with the PA Human Relations Commission. “Now, we call on the Senate to quickly consider and pass this legislation and send it to Governor Shapiro’s desk.” Read more

 

Kenyatta: Pa. is Better when it is Fairer

(Apr 26, 2023)

As Co-Chair of the LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus, Pa. state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta is overjoyed to see the #PAFairnessAct moving through the House. The Fairness Act would provide protection from discrimination in housing, employment and education based on gender identity, sexual orientation or expression. Kenyatta says it has taken 22 years to reach this point and he hopes to see the Fairness Act on the Governor’s desk in the near future. Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation applauds win on gun safety

(Apr 26, 2023)

HARRISBURG, APRIL 26 – The Philadelphia House Delegation today announced that an important set of firearm safety bills was approved by the PA House Judiciary Committee today and is on its way to consideration by the full House. The package of legislation, which cleared its first key committee, is aimed at securing prompt reporting of theft or loss of firearms, keeping guns secure around children, regulating background checks, and repealing provisions relating to the sale or transfer of firearms, among other regulations. Philadelphia House Delegation Chair Morgan Cephas explained that this is a remarkable day for the delegation as another hurdle in efforts to deflate gun violence has been cleared. “This victory is long overdue. We are finally moving gun violence bills out of the Judiciary Committee. We have relentlessly fought for these bills”, Cephas said. “In a republican majority there was no chance for any kind of gun reform, but the time has come, and we couldn’t be more optimistic about this process. State Rep. Darisha Parker indicated that the bill on Safe Storage (H.B. 731) would help to save lives. Parker proposed consolidating statutes for firearms and other dangerous articles, providing for locking device for firearms. "There is no reason that anyone should lose a loved one because of a mishandled firearm," Parker said. "My legislation would Read more

 

PA LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus holds rally for Fairness Act

(Apr 26, 2023)

HARRISBURG, April 26 – Today, the PA House LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus, chaired by state Reps. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., and Jessica Benham, D-Allegheny, held a rally on the PA Capitol steps in Harrisburg promoting the Fairness Act (H.B. 300), anti-discrimination legislation currently moving through the state House. House Bill 300 would prohibit discrimination in PA based on sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity/expression. On Monday, the bill was voted out of the House Judiciary Committee and is headed for an eventual vote by the full House. Today’s rally saw a huge turnout of legislators, advocates and the public. Kenyatta and Benham were joined by the other co-prime sponsors of H.B. 300, state Reps. Dan Frankel and Latasha D. Mayes, both D-Allegheny; Ismail Smith-Wade-El, D-Lancaster; and Greg Scott, D-Montgomery; to speak on their bill. “Pennsylvania is better when it’s fairer. Passing the Fairness Act is the right thing to do for our families, our commonwealth and for our economy. This legislation was first introduced 22 years ago -- leaving committee once before -- and never receiving a full vote,” Kenyatta said. “It’s time for that to change. Pennsylvanians are good and decent people. They know every single one of us should be treated with dignity and respect. We have a chance to deliver on that basic principle and we will.” “The Fairness Act is as Read more

 

‘Fairness Act’ reported out of House Judiciary Committee

(Apr 24, 2023)

HARRISBURG, April 24 – Today, The Fairness Act (H.B. 300) was voted out of the House Judiciary Committee 12-9 and will now head to the House floor for a vote. Prime sponsors of the bill, state Reps. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila; Jessica Benham, Dan Frankel and Latasha D. Mayes, all D-Allegheny; Ismail Smith-Wade-El, D-Lancaster; and Greg Scott, D-Montgomery; issued the following statement following the Judiciary Committee vote. “The Fairness Act has been in the works for years and never received fair consideration. With today’s vote in the Judiciary Committee, we took a huge step toward making Pennsylvania fairer for our LGBTQ+ residents. “As H.B. 300 heads to the house floor for a vote, we are ready to defend the rights of LGBTQ+ Pennsylvanians. “Most Pennsylvanians believe what we believe; Pennsylvania is better when it’s fairer. We hope our colleagues in the House can see eye to eye with us and most Pennsylvanians, so they can meet this monumental moment for our commonwealth and pass H.B 300 out of the House and to the Senate.” Read more

 

Pa. House Democrats mount new push to pass LGBTQ+ nondiscrimination bill

(Apr 18, 2023)

The Fairness Act — which seeks to amend Pennsylvania’s Human Relations Act to include sexual orientation and gender identity protections in housing, education, and public accommodations — was introduced in the state House on April 14.The prime sponsors of the bill, HB300, are state Reps. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Philadelphia; Jessica Benham, Dan Frankel, and Latasha D. Mayes, all Allegheny County Democrats; Ismail Smith-Wade-El, D-Lancaster, and Greg Scott, D-Montgomery. Read more

 

Democratic lawmakers issue statement on introduction of “Fairness Act”

(Apr 14, 2023)

HARRISBURG, April 13 – Today, the Fairness Act , whose prime sponsors are state Reps. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila.; Jessica Benham, Dan Frankel and Latasha D. Mayes, all D-Allegheny; Ismail Smith-Wade-El, D-Lancaster; and Greg Scott, D-Montgomery, was introduced as H.B. 300. The following joint statement can be attributed to the members listed above: “Every single Pennsylvanian deserves to live with dignity and respect. For far too long, LGBTQ+ folks across the commonwealth have faced horrific discrimination for who they love, how they identify and who they are. “In 2020, in the landmark decision of Bostock v. Clayton County, the United States Supreme Court ruled that an employer cannot discriminate against an individual because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. While this decision was a historic victory for civil rights, it does not prevent someone in our state who identifies as LGBTQ+ from being denied housing, education or access to public accommodations. These protections must be codified into law. “Lack of a comprehensive anti-discrimination law in Pennsylvania is a deterrent for workers and businesses who could help grow our economy, and its passage is long overdue. Discrimination in any form degrades us all. We can and must do better. “That is why we are introducing the Fairness Act (H.B.300) to prohibit discrimination in our state based on sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression. “We Read more

 

Workforce Development, Infrastructure, and Housing Funding Opportunities

(Apr 13, 2023)

STATE PROGRAMS NOW OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS: Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry: DEI in the Building and Construction Trades Grant (Funding Source: General Fund) Who May Apply : Organizations that serve as sponsors or intermediaries of Registered Apprenticeship and/or Pre-Apprenticeship in the building and construction trades. Use : To develop diverse talent pipelines and reach underrepresented populations within the building and construction trades. Funds : $1 million in total program funding. Application Deadline : April 26, 2023 More Information : Click on https://www.dli.pa.gov/Businesses/Workforce-Development/grants/Pages/default.aspx . Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT): Public-Private Partnerships (P3) Program (Funding Source: State, Federal, & Private Funding) Who May Apply : Private companies. Use : To develop innovative ways to deliver transportation projects across a variety of modes including roads, bridges, rail, aviation, and ports. Funds : Varies by award. Application Deadline : April 30, 2023 More Information : Click on https://www.penndot.pa.gov/ProjectAndPrograms/p3forpa/Pages/default.aspx . Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry: Youth Reentry Grant (Funding Source: General Fund) Who May Apply : Read more

 

Kenyatta introduces Teacher Retention and Recruitment Tax Credit legislation

(Apr 12, 2023)

HARRISBURG, April 12 – State Reps. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., and Steve Samuelson, D-Northampton, are introducing legislation to help recruit and retain teachers in Pennsylvania schools. According to a report published earlier this year by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, the pipeline of newly certified teachers has plunged by 67% since 2011. In Philadelphia alone, there were more than 200 unfilled teaching positions going into the current school year. To combat this trend, Kenyatta and Samuelson are introducing legislation to create the Teacher Recruitment Tax Credit for new teachers who receive their certification and find employment as a teacher. In addition, this legislation would create the Teacher Retention Tax Credit for existing certified and employed teachers. This credit would provide a one-time Personal Income Tax credit of up to $2,500. This legislation builds on Gov. Josh Shapiro’s plan to address teacher shortages, which included the Personal Income Tax credit of up to $2,500 every year for up to three years for any newly certified teacher. Kenyatta stressed how showing teachers forms of appreciation, like the $2,500 Personal Income Tax credit, can help keep them in Pennsylvania classrooms. “Education is the building block for our children’s futures, and a crucial element in them receiving a quality education is having qualified teachers that remain in their classrooms for continued periods of Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation applauds appointment of JoAnne Epps as acting president of Temple University

(Apr 12, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, April 12 – The Philadelphia House Delegation today announced that the organization praises the election of JoAnne Epps as acting president of Temple University and that it remains closely monitoring the transformative efforts of the Special Committee of the Board. “We are pleased with the appointment of Epps as acting president. The board of trustees made this election by unanimous vote, and it is certainly a clever decision,” said the delegation’s chair, state Rep. Morgan Cephas. “Epps has a proven track record of excellency, unparalleled leadership and expertise. We are looking forward to our collaboration. “We are celebrating this appointment, and we are taking action in favor of the university. Our goal is to help protect the stability of the institution.” On the same note, state Rep. Joseph C. Hohenstein, delegation secretary, highlighted some of the qualities that makes Epps an exceptional choice. "JoAnne Epps has my full support as the new interim president of Temple University," Hohenstein said. "She's spent over half of her life there teaching and making a true difference in young individuals’ lives right here at Temple. We're grateful that she has chosen to put her retirement on hold while the university finds its feet." Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, delegation treasurer, pointed out that he has known JoAnn Read more

 

Kenyatta, Benham, Burgos and Flick introduce bipartisan ‘Marriage Equality’ bill

(Apr 11, 2023)

HARRISBURG, April 11 – State Reps. Malcolm Kenyatta and Danilo Burgos, both D-Phila., Jessica Benham, D-Allegheny, and Jamie Flick, R-Lycoming/Union, are introducing legislation to protect the right of marriage equality against further high court cases that could erode that right and to clean up the statute to be in line with the U.S Supreme Court case of Obergefell v. Hodges . Marriage was only recently extended to same-sex couples across the United States. While numerous states had previously recognized the right of same-sex couples to marry, it was the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges on June 26, 2015, that made it clear that marriage, and all its privileges and responsibilities, should be available to all. Despite the landmark ruling, and same-sex marriage being legal in Pennsylvania, the commonwealth, as well as many other states, retain outdated, unconstitutional and unnecessary sections of law that prohibit marriage equality. This legislation would update Pennsylvania’s current laws by repealing the section of law that only recognizes marriage as being between a man and woman. Kenyatta, who serves as co-chair of the Pennsylvania LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus, said it’s important for the statue of Pennsylvania’s law regarding marriage to reflect Obergefell v. Hodges. “As the first openly LGBTQ person to get married during their tenure in the General Assembly, I know how special it is, to not Read more

 

‘Temple has to succeed’: Where does Temple University go from here?

(Apr 10, 2023)

Following the resignation of Temple University’s president and months of controversy, key stakeholders reflect on how the university got here and where it should go next. Rep. Kenyatta was one of those stakeholders quoted in this article. Read more

 

State Reps. Kenyatta, Bullock and Burgos introduce legislation to increase state oversight of Temple University

(Apr 03, 2023)

HARRISBURG, April 3 – State Reps. Malcolm Kenyatta, Donna Bullock and Danilo Burgos, all D-Phila., are introducing legislation to increase state oversight of Temple University to help address violence near the campus. In the last four years, the number of shootings within the Temple campus patrol area nearly tripled, going from 11 in 2018 to 26 in 2022. This year, 2023, there have already been multiple shootings, including one that killed Temple police officer Christopher Fitzgerald. In addition to this, Temple’s enrollment has declined 16.5% since 2017. Recently, Temple University President Jason Wingard resigned from his position, causing an upheaval in the school’s leadership. To combat the issues Temple faces, the lawmakers are introducing legislation to increase the number of state-appointed board members to the Temple University Board of Trustees by giving one more appointment to the governor, the president pro tempore of the Senate, and the speaker of the House of Representatives. The legislators said that more state-appointed board members on the Board of Trustees would ensure that the state has greater oversight over the important decisions before the board and can guarantee that state money is being used effectively. Kenyatta, a Temple alum, said that as a state-related university, Temple enjoys many benefits of state funding each year, and the school should receive more oversight from the state to ensure the safety of Read more

 

Cephas and Kenyatta bill would protect residents from ‘ghost guns’

(Mar 31, 2023)

HARRISBURG, March 31 – In an effort to protect the safety of all Pennsylvanians and provide the commonwealth’s law enforcement officials the tools that they need to protect residents, state Reps. Morgan Cephas and Malcom Kenyatta, both D-Phila., introduced House Bill 777, that would ban the manufacturing, sale, and possession of ‘ghost gun’ parts in the commonwealth. “Without necessary regulations of these firearms, individuals ineligible to possess firearms under state and federal law would easily be able to get their hands on these deadly weapons,” Cephas said. “We urge support for this Gun Ghost legislation in order to ensure the safety of our friends, families and neighbors. We must ban the production and distribution of these firearms.” Kenyatta explained that while these devices should already be illegal under current federal law, it falls on members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to act and protect Pennsylvanians from the danger these firearms pose to public safety. “Ghost guns are one of the main drives of gun crimes in our city — they are unaccountable and too frustratingly simple to obtain,” Kenyatta said. “Putting an end to the gun violence crisis in our city means getting serious about ghost guns. Ending the runaway gun crimes on our streets is my number one priority. Now is the time to get these weapons out of our community.” Rep. Cephas has also Read more

 

Benham, Kenyatta and Smith-Wade-El introduce bill to protect minors from conversion therapy in PA

(Mar 31, 2023)

HARRISBURG, March 31 – State Reps. Jessica Benham, D-Allegheny; Izzy Smith-Wade-El, D-Lancaster; and Malcom Kenyatta, D-Phila., have introduced legislation (H.B. 575) to protect minors from conversion therapy. “There is an overwhelming amount of evidence that tells us efforts to change an individual’s sexual identity through so-called ‘therapy’ causes serious harm to their mental health,” said state Benham, who co-chairs the PA LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus. “It is shameful that in 2023 Pennsylvania still allows the abhorrent practice known as conversion therapy to occur, and I am looking forward to outlawing it to protect and affirm LGBTQ+ youth across our Commonwealth.” “Conversion therapy is anti-gay bias masquerading as science,” said Smith-Wade-El. “This abusive practice has caused immense harm on patients, including depression, trauma, drug use, homelessness and suicide. It reinforces the idea that there is something psychologically wrong with LGBTQ people because of their sexual identity. It’s long past time that PA joins 20 other states and the District of Columbia in banning this abhorrent practice to protect the physical and psychological well-being of LGBTQ minors.” The legislation, the Protection of Minors from Conversion Therapy Act, seeks to address harms associated with conversion therapy by prohibiting a mental health professional from engaging in this archaic treatment with an Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation amplifying tactical pressure on gun safety reforms

(Mar 30, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, March 30 – The Philadelphia House Delegation today announced that the organization is aggressively working on key actions that will boost prevention efforts and regulate reckless gun access in the commonwealth as part of a strategic plan to put a halt on the gun violence crisis that is assaulting the city. Philadelphia House Delegation Chair Morgan Cephas, who was not able to attend today’s news conference, explained earlier that the delegation was implementing a strategic plan to put a halt on the gun violence crisis that is assaulting the city. “Ending gun violence is a top priority for us. We're approaching this with a multi-pronged strategy, working closely with our state and city stakeholders. We cannot wait any longer to take action. Gun violence is preventable,” Cephas said. Rep. Danilo Burgos, vice chair of the delegation, explained that the institution has also formed a strong alliance with gun control advocacy groups in order to amplify efforts to combat gun violence. “Gun violence is not a responsibility that pertains to one person or one organization, this is a task for all of us,” Burgos said. “Public safety is everyone's responsibility. We are grateful to count on the powerful input of organizations like CeaseFire PA and Every Murder is Real, but also families of victims and survivors of gun violence who are incessantly raising awareness about this issue,” Burgos said. On Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation looking ahead to protect tap water safety

(Mar 27, 2023)

HARRISBURG, March 27 – The Philadelphia House Delegation today expressed its position on the challenges faced by the city following the Delaware River pollution incident occurred Friday when 81,000 gallons of acrylic latex polymer were spilled in the river by a chemical processing plant. “We are relieved to say that Philadelphia’s water remains safe to drink -- that it has not been impacted by the chemical spill caused as a result of equipment failure at a Trinseo PlC plant,” said the delegation’s chair, state Rep. Morgan Cephas. “This opens a door to adjustments and an exhaustive reevaluation of our emergency plan when it comes to critical situations like the one we experienced this past weekend. “The Pennsylvania Constitution guarantees the right to pure water for all Pennsylvanians. While it appears we may have avoided an environmental catastrophe in this situation, our city and state must be prepared for potential disasters in the future,” Cephas said about the spill that happened Friday in Bucks County. Danilo Burgos, vice chair of the delegation, emphasized that as the city moves forward, the Philadelphia House Delegation will diligently collaborate with city officials to improve the emergency response to similar health threats. “We have been closely monitoring the situation and we know that that this incident has raised concerns with our residents. We want to make sure that they know that public Read more

 

Kenyatta applauds more than $600,000 in state funding for investing in local infrastructure awarded in district

(Mar 21, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, March 21 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., announced that three local projects in his legislative district have been awarded a combined $652,857 from the Commonwealth Financing Authority to invest in infrastructure. The awarded projects are: $500,000 to PIDC Financing Corporation on behalf of the Caring People Alliance to rehabilitate the community pool and the supporting infrastructure at the R.W. Brown Boys & Girls Club. $100,000 to PIDC Financing Corporation on behalf of The Behavioral Wellness Center at Girard to purchase a traveling medical unit. The proposed project will purchase a recreational vehicle and transform it into a mobile assessment unit to diagnose and treat opioid use disorder. $52,857 to PIDC Financing Corporation on behalf of North Broad Renaissance to purchase two sidewalk sweepers . The sidewalk sweepers will allow for the expansion of NBR's Clean and Safe program. The sweepers will operate six days per week to clean 4 miles of sidewalks on North Broad Street between Spring Garden Street and Germantown Avenue. “Infrastructure is an area that my district, and the entire city of Philadelphia, desperately needs addressed,” Kenyatta said. “With it being such an important issue, I was very pleased to see more than $600,000 in state funding awarded to address it in my district. The three projects that were awarded this funding will be Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation appraises impact of Shapiro budget plan on city

(Mar 17, 2023)

Our delegation structure allows us to resourcefully cover all critical areas of Philadelphia, as we advance legislation to improve the lives of working families. We want to make sure that we as delegation get a precise pulse from our city and foster a sense of community with our neighbors. Read more

 

Kenyatta Applauds Passage of #PAFairnessAct
May 02, 2023

Fairness Act passes PA House
May 02, 2023

Kenyatta: Pa. is Better when it is Fairer
Apr 26, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation applauds win on gun safety
Apr 26, 2023

PA LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus holds rally for Fairness Act
Apr 26, 2023

‘Fairness Act’ reported out of House Judiciary Committee
Apr 24, 2023

Pa. House Democrats mount new push to pass LGBTQ+ nondiscrimination bill
Apr 18, 2023

Democratic lawmakers issue statement on introduction of “Fairness Act”
Apr 14, 2023

Workforce Development, Infrastructure, and Housing Funding Opportunities
Apr 13, 2023

Kenyatta introduces Teacher Retention and Recruitment Tax Credit legislation
Apr 12, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation applauds appointment of JoAnne Epps as acting president of Temple University
Apr 12, 2023

Kenyatta, Benham, Burgos and Flick introduce bipartisan ‘Marriage Equality’ bill
Apr 11, 2023

‘Temple has to succeed’: Where does Temple University go from here?
Apr 10, 2023

State Reps. Kenyatta, Bullock and Burgos introduce legislation to increase state oversight of Temple University
Apr 03, 2023

Cephas and Kenyatta bill would protect residents from ‘ghost guns’
Mar 31, 2023

Benham, Kenyatta and Smith-Wade-El introduce bill to protect minors from conversion therapy in PA
Mar 31, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation amplifying tactical pressure on gun safety reforms
Mar 30, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation looking ahead to protect tap water safety
Mar 27, 2023

Kenyatta applauds more than $600,000 in state funding for investing in local infrastructure awarded in district
Mar 21, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation appraises impact of Shapiro budget plan on city
Mar 17, 2023