Parker and Hill-Evans host menstrual equity news conference

(1 hour ago)

State Reps. Darisha Parker and Carol Hill-Evans stood again with Speaker Joanna McClinton, menstrual health professionals and Pennsylvania students to spread awareness about period poverty and advocate for the Senate to pass legislation to help this important issue. Parker and Hill-Evans authored legislation, H.Bs. 850 and 851, to make period products more accessible for low-income women. “We need to speak about periods bluntly,” Parker said. “No more euphemisms or hiding tampons in our sleeves to use the restroom. “It’s crazy that this natural biological process – a beautiful one that has the power to create life is still considered a taboo subject,” Parker continued. “It’s not just a financial issue but barriers to period products can lead to substantial health issues for women and perpetuate a cycle of poverty that can be impossible to escape from.” The lawmakers said that H.B. 850 would allow for women who participate in the SNAP or WIC program to purchase expensive period products using these programs, which Parker said would help empower women to take charge over their own bodies. “Tampons and pads aren’t a luxury for us,” Parker said. “We don’t choose to participate in our periods every month, these are products we need to preserve our dignity and participate in all of life’s important milestones.” Read more

 

House passes Frankel bill to boost oversight of medical marijuana testing labs

(19 hours ago)

HARRISBURG, May 21 – Pennsylvania medical marijuana patients are a step closer to better protections after the PA House today passed legislation introduced by state Rep. Dan Frankel that would strengthen the Department of Health’s oversight of the independent laboratories that test cannabis products to be dispensed under the state’s medical marijuana program. Frankel, who is majority chairman of the House Health Committee, said he introduced H.B. 2208 to ensure patients have the full confidence they deserve that the products dispensed are safe, effective and free of contaminants. “Every day, Pennsylvanians fill prescriptions at their pharmacies without worrying for a second about whether their medications are contaminated or inaccurately labeled,” Frankel said. “With this legislation, we are taking action to ensure that level of confidence in our medical marijuana program. “Patients deserve to know that cannabis products are what they say they are in terms of THC levels and that they are uncontaminated by mold, pesticides or heavy metals.” Frankel’s bill would provide for improved compliance testing, product audits, statistical analyses, transparency and inspections of labs, which serve as the last line of defense to prevent patients from unknowingly consuming substances that can have both immediate and long-term health consequences. Frankel said that in Read more

 

Waxman, prison-reform advocates push to make Scandinavian unit permanent fixture statewide

(19 hours ago)

HARRISBURG, May 21 – Today, state Rep. Ben Waxman, D-Phila., was joined by multiple prison-reform advocates for a Capitol news conference to discuss State Correctional Institute Chester’s Scandinavian unit, also known as “Little Scandinavia.” Little Scandinavia is a pilot project modeled after prisons in Scandinavia, where the core values are safety, transparency and innovation, with a focus on normality and reintegration into the community upon release. The unit provides a quiet environment where residents live in single-person cells with a shared kitchen surrounded by outdoor green space and plants. Waxman spoke on the importance of permanently funding this unit so that it can become a fixture at state correctional facilities across Pennsylvania. “It's time for a shift in how we handle corrections in PA. Little Scandinavia isn't just a program, it's a new horizon in rehabilitation and human rights. This model focuses on transformative care, not just incarceration. In the next state budget, I will strongly advocate for us to include funding that would make the Scandinavian Unit a permanent fixture in our state’s corrections system.” Bryan Widenhouse, senior policy associate for Families Against Mandatory Minimums, stated his belief that Little Scandinavia can help lower the recidivism rate in Pennsylvania. "For decades I sat in prison and listened Read more

 

Steele bill that would provide needed blood pressure monitoring devices to pregnant women passes PA House

(20 hours ago)

“Hypertension and related disorders are a leading cause of maternal, neonatal and fetal health complications and death. Early identification and intervention is critical to the health of the mother and baby,” Steele said. “Remote blood pressure monitoring is a reliable, effective strategy in getting control of the mother’s blood pressure and avoiding costly and preventable complications.” Read more

 

Pa House passes bill expanding access to menstrual hygiene products

(May 20, 2024)

“This legislation would remove barriers for those who menstruate and utilize these programs. Period poverty disproportionately affects communities of color, so this bill would address that systemic problem,” Parker said. “We need to provide dignity amongst women and girls. It’s sad many have to deal with scarcity of feminine products and diapers.” Read more

 

Health advocates speak out in support of Smith-Wade-El’s Legionnaires disease legislation

(May 17, 2024)

LANCASTER, May 17 – Local and state health experts joined state Rep. Ismail Smith-Wade-El, D-Lancaster, at a news conference on Thursday to support his legislation (H.B. 2145) aimed at preventing Legionnaires disease. Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia that is caused by Legionella bacteria, which is naturally occurring in freshwater, including water that supplies public water systems. If left untreated, the disease can be fatal. Pennsylvanians who are at increased risk for complications with this disease include people over 50, those who smoke or have lung disease, and those who live with cancer or are otherwise immunocompromised. “All Pennsylvanians have a constitutional right to clean water, but too many people in low-income housing are drinking water contaminated by the Legionella bacteria,” Smith-Wade-El said. “This bill seeks to a public good ensuring that everyone in Pennsylvania can enjoy their right to clean, healthy water.” Smith-Wade-El’s legislation would establish guardrails to ensure public safety and prioritize root cause solutions to ensure water is properly tested and treated before it enters homes and buildings for human use. The legislation also aims to equip consumers with the information and tools necessary to manage their risk of the disease through notifications of water system disruption events that can lead to greater Legionella bacteria exposure. State Rep. Carol Hill-Evans, D-York, Read more

 

Smith-Wade-El speaks in support of eviction reform at Philly Town Hall

(May 17, 2024)

LANCASTER, May 17 – On Wednesday evening, state Rep. Ismail Smith-Wade-El joined Philadelphia Councilwoman Kendra Brooks and state representatives from the city—Jordan Harris, Elizabeth Fiedler and Rich Krajewski—and over 60 community members in South Philadelphia to speak about his eviction sealing bill, H.B. 1769 and other legislative eviction reform initiatives. “Home is where life begins for Pennsylvania families – for all of us,” said Smith-Wade-El. “When our children get up in the morning to go to school, they should do so from a bed in a home that is safe, warm and dry. Real educational equity would ensure that all children have a home to go home to so they have the stability needed to grow and flourish socially and academically. Inaccurate, unscrupulously distributed eviction records haunt families and make children homeless, even in cases when the judge found in the tenant’s favor. It’s time to put a stop to that.” “The harm of eviction records falls most heavily on Black women and their children, and the damage ripples out into our classrooms, our schools and our communities,” said Councilwoman Kendra Brooks of Philadelphia City Council. “We can’t expect our young people to succeed in school during the day if they don’t have a safe place to lay their head at night.” State legislators spoke in support of H.B. 1769, which would increase access to affordable housing Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation reacts to passing of former Rep. James Roebuck

(May 16, 2024)

Chairwoman of the Philadelphia House Delegation Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., released the following statement on behalf of the delegation on the passing of former state Rep. James Roebuck, who represented the 188th Legislative District in West Philadelphia from 1985-2020. Read more

 

Roebuck’s death mourned by members of Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus

(May 16, 2024)

HARRISBURG, May 16 – Members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus released the following statements regarding the passing of former PLBC Chair James R. Roebuck: Said PLBC Chair Napoleon Nelson (D-Montgomery): “James R. Roebuck was a true statesman, a lawmaker who was a tireless advocate for his West Philadelphia neighbors and for every resident of this Commonwealth. “His legacy, particularly as a champion of our education system and the young people that he poured his soul into, will undoubtedly leave its mark on our society for generations. His long-lasting tenure as the Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee perfectly embodied our caucus’s approach to lifelong learning. It is heartening to see his life being celebrated by colleagues and community leaders throughout Pennsylvania. In 2021, the PA Legislative Black Caucus renamed our student scholarship in his honor. Nearly two dozen high school students from Black and brown communities from across the state will be awarded an investment in their continued academic pursuits in the coming week, a fitting testament to the inspiring work of Chairman Roebuck. “His impact as a pioneer, mentor and friend within the PA Legislative Black Caucus will undoubtedly be remembered and cherished. We have lost a true thought leader, a shining example of servant leadership that current and future members will surely aspire to. Our Read more

 

Venkat introduces legislation to ease restrictions on physician assistants and eliminate print statement fees

(May 15, 2024)

HARRISBURG, May 15 – State Rep. Arvind Venkat, D-Allegheny, has introduced bills that would put a flexibility component in place for physician assistants and the supervising physicians they work with and prohibit banks or other financial institutions from charging clients a fee for a paper copy of a statement. The first two pieces of legislation ( House Bills 2294 and 2295 ) would amend the physician licensure acts in Pennsylvania and allow physician assistants to work with either classification of physician, a Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. Current law on the books mandates that physician assistants and supervising physicians must be licensed by the same state medicine board as the supervising physician. “Cutting all the red tape and connecting medical professionals with patients that need their skills and expertise to recover is one of the foundational tenets of health care and my work as a physician-legislator,” Venkat said. “Doctors want to help as many people as they can, and my bills help to break down the barriers to this mission.” Venkat’s additional legislation ( H.B. 2292 ) would ban entities from assessing an additional fee, as high as $5 monthly, to customers who request a print version of a statement from a given entity. The bill would also specify that any person or entity would still be allowed to create incentives for a consumer to select an alternative to a paper statement. Read more

 

Donahue highlights fiscal challenges for independent pharmacies

(May 15, 2024)

“The way the system currently functions, pharmacy benefits managers are supposed to negotiate a reasonable price for prescriptions through Medicaid, but we heard directly from pharmacy owners today that those savings are not being passed on to consumers,” said state Rep. Kyle T. Donahue, who hosted the hearing and represents portions of Lackawanna County. “In this case, the PBMs – a third-party – is not only pocketing taxpayer dollars but they are also driving the escalation of drug prices.” Read more

 

House, Senate Dems Discuss Access to Health Care

(May 14, 2024)

“As a nurse, I saw too many patients arrive at our hospital with advanced disease because they didn’t have access to preventable care earlier. We have to fix this because we deserve better here in the Commonwealth,” Kosierowski added. “We have many challenges to work through, but I’m confident we can find solutions and reduce healthcare deserts in Pennsylvania.” Read more

 

Kenyatta joins community in mourning death of drag persona Daelicious O’hare Mizani

(May 13, 2024)

I am absolutely heartbroken that such a beautiful bright light in our community was extinguished last week,” Kenyatta said. “My thoughts are with his family, friends and everyone in the drag and LGBTQ+ community who was lucky enough to know Daelicious and see his vibrant personality shine through his energetic performances Read more

 

Committee examines patient outcomes, nursing home care

(May 13, 2024)

“My heart breaks for an aging and vulnerable population caught in a current health care crisis,” said Rep. Kyle Mullins, who hosted the hearing and represents portions of Lackawanna County. “Expert testimony detailed the many challenges, and they explained why they hope positive action at the state and federal levels can be made to help our residents.” Read more

 

Pharmacy owners plead for policy reform on PBMs

(May 10, 2024)

Bipartisan bill would help local pharmacies stay in business Read more

 

Fleming’s Mixed-Use Revitalization Program legislation passes House

(May 10, 2024)

HARRISBURG, May 10 – This week the House passed legislation sponsored by state Rep. Justin Fleming that would establish the Mixed-Use Revitalization Program to incentivize the revitalization of blighted commercial properties . “Communities across the commonwealth are seeing a rise in large, abandoned and blighted commercial properties like the Colonial Park Mall in Lower Paxton,” said Fleming, D-Dauphin. “As they stand vacant and fall into disrepair, these looming eyesores are negatively impacting communities by cutting into tax rolls, failing to pay utility bills, deterring traffic to nearby businesses, draining local services, and often posing significant safety concerns. "I believe we can transform these drains on our economy into thriving places to live and work, bringing new restaurants, retail shops, health care facilities, recreational spaces, and residential housing for working families.” Property redevelopment is a financially significant undertaking with large parcels often accruing substantial demolition and site preparation costs. Fleming’s bill would help provide capital funding to developers to purchase these large properties and expedite the redevelopment process. “My bill would establish a dedicated Mixed-Use Revitalization Fund administered through the Commonwealth Financing Authority that would provide matching grants to incentivize the purchase and Read more

 

PA House adopts Rabb resolution to study best practices for body camera footage

(May 09, 2024)

HARRISBURG, May 9 – A resolution ( H.R. 113 ) introduced by state Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., that calls for a study of best practices regarding body-worn cameras by law enforcement was adopted on a bipartisan vote by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Wednesday. The resolution directs the Joint State Government Commission to study how body-worn camera footage is currently used, stored, secured, indexed and accessed. It also requires the commission to prepare a report assessing the cost of filming, storing and reviewing complete body-worn camera footage, provide recommendations on how to ensure that footage is used for the benefit of all and shielded from cyber threats, and establish an advisory committee comprising individuals who have expertise and experience in fields, positions and situations relating to criminal legal matters, cyber security, ethics and law enforcement. “The bipartisan call to provide body-worn cameras to law enforcement agents has been a hallmark priority that promotes increased transparency and accountability for law enforcement and civilians alike. However, with the adoption of this resolution, we can look forward to substantive research on clear, consistent and equitable protocols for how we process footage from these cameras,” Rabb said. “Recommendations produced by the Joint State Government Commission stemming from completion of this study have the potential to inform Read more

 

House passes O’Mara bill supporting first responders with PTSI

(May 08, 2024)

“My dad was a firefighter in Philadelphia – he was my hero – and he died by suicide in 2003. First responders are heroes, but they’re not superheroes," O'Mara said. Read more

 

Munroe’s bipartisan social media bill passes House

(May 08, 2024)

NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE State Rep. Brian Munroe D-Bucks www.pahouse.com/Munroe Munroe’s bipartisan social media bill passes House HARRISBURG, May 8 – State Rep. Brian Munroe’s bipartisan bill that he wrote with three teenagers to empower parents to help their children navigate social media passed the House today. House Bill 2017 , which passed 105-95, now heads to the Senate for consideration. “This bill will not solve all problems with social media, but what it does do is give parents a tool to help prevent bullying and other problems associated with these platforms,” Munroe said. Munroe crafted the legislation after meeting Max Jin, Luka Jonjic and Dylan Schwartz when they were students at Tamanend Middle School in 2023. The three, who are now students at Central Bucks High School South, won an award from C-SPAN for their documentary, America’s Silent Struggle: Social Media’s Impact on Teens’ Mental Health. The bipartisan legislation would put the following safeguards in place: Strengthen proof-of-age verification on social media platforms by requiring consent from a parent or legal guardian for anyone younger than 16 to open a social media account and notify Read more

 

Bill to prohibit use of hand-held devices while driving passes General Assembly

(May 08, 2024)

State Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., chair of the PA House Transportation Committee, today announced that legislation (S.B. 37) that would prohibit the use of hand-held devices while operating a motor vehicle in Pennsylvania has passed both chambers of the General Assembly and is now on its way to Gov. Josh Shapiro’s desk for signature to become state law. “The data shows that distracted driving is the cause for more crashes than driving under the influence now,” Neilson said. “In the past, we confronted DUIs with harsher penalties because we recognized the danger it caused.” “I’m happy we did the work to get this bill passed and treated it with the same amount of alarm,” Neilson continued. Under the legislation, the penalty is a summary offense: a $50 fine and no points on the driver’s license. The bill also promotes education efforts by requiring minors to learn about distracted driving and have at least one question on the driver’s exam be about distracted driving, Neilson explained. “Today, Pennsylvania joins 26 states, including all of our border states, in recognizing the dangers that come with distracted driving by passing legislation that would include not only deterrents but an opportunity to get educated about the dangers of distracted driving in Pennsylvania,” Neilson said. Neilson added that the bill is also known as Paul Miller’s Read more

 

Parker and Hill-Evans host menstrual equity news conference
1 hour ago

House passes Frankel bill to boost oversight of medical marijuana testing labs
19 hours ago

Waxman, prison-reform advocates push to make Scandinavian unit permanent fixture statewide
19 hours ago

Steele bill that would provide needed blood pressure monitoring devices to pregnant women passes PA House
20 hours ago

Pa House passes bill expanding access to menstrual hygiene products
May 20, 2024

Health advocates speak out in support of Smith-Wade-El’s Legionnaires disease legislation
May 17, 2024

Smith-Wade-El speaks in support of eviction reform at Philly Town Hall
May 17, 2024

Philadelphia House Delegation reacts to passing of former Rep. James Roebuck
May 16, 2024

Roebuck’s death mourned by members of Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus
May 16, 2024

Venkat introduces legislation to ease restrictions on physician assistants and eliminate print statement fees
May 15, 2024

Donahue highlights fiscal challenges for independent pharmacies
May 15, 2024

House, Senate Dems Discuss Access to Health Care
May 14, 2024

Kenyatta joins community in mourning death of drag persona Daelicious O’hare Mizani
May 13, 2024

Committee examines patient outcomes, nursing home care
May 13, 2024

Pharmacy owners plead for policy reform on PBMs
May 10, 2024

Fleming’s Mixed-Use Revitalization Program legislation passes House
May 10, 2024

PA House adopts Rabb resolution to study best practices for body camera footage
May 09, 2024

House passes O’Mara bill supporting first responders with PTSI
May 08, 2024

Munroe’s bipartisan social media bill passes House
May 08, 2024

Bill to prohibit use of hand-held devices while driving passes General Assembly
May 08, 2024