Featured News

Pennsylvania needs a 'Just Recovery' -- see what House Democrats are doing to ensure an economic recovery that works for everyone

Rep. Bizzarro bill would give school districts flexibility with required instructional days in cases of disaster, emergency declarations

(17 hours ago)

HARRISBURG, July 15 -- In an effort to gives schools the flexibility to prioritize student and faculty safety during disaster and emergency declarations, state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro introduced legislation that would give school districts the authority needed to adjust the 180-day instruction requirement. In the case of disaster or emergency declaration by the governor, House Bill 2704 would authorize individual school districts to request an exemption from the 180-day requirement. The bill would permit brick and mortar schools to include virtual education days in meeting the 180-day requirement. “Pennsylvania’s school districts need flexibility to quickly respond to emergent situations. Student safety and quality learning opportunities should remain at the forefront of decision making. My bill would allow schools to include online learning days as part of the 180-day requirement,” explained Bizzarro. “If necessary, they would also have the ability to reduce the number of required instructional days.” If enacted, a school district would submit an exemption request to the Pa. Department of Education for consideration. The Pa. Secretary of Education would then decide if the school district made bona fide effort to provide a reasonable number of instruction days. “A statewide response is not always reasonable and can put more children at a disadvantage. For example, each region of the state has Read more

 

House Democratic leaders urge U.S. senators to support HEROES Act

(18 hours ago)

HARRISBURG, July 15 – Pennsylvania House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody, Democratic Whip Jordan Harris and Democratic Appropriations Chairman Matt Bradford, on behalf of the entire Pa. House Democratic Caucus, today sent a letter to U.S. Sens. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., urging them to support the HEROES Act. The U.S. House of Representatives in May passed the HEROES Act to provide much-needed continued relief to Americans through the COVID-19 pandemic, and the U.S. Senate has failed to take action. The full letter is as follows: Dear Senator Casey and Senator Toomey: It has been nearly two months since the U.S. House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act to support Americans as they weather the unprecedented health and economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, yet the Senate has failed to take action on this important legislation. With cases rising across the country and again in Pennsylvania -- creating an even more serious strain on our health care systems and testing capacity as we move toward fall -- federal leadership is desperately needed to help Pennsylvanians get the care they need and the protections they deserve. In May, the Pennsylvania General Assembly worked with Governor Tom Wolf to pass an interim, partial budget, but the fate of many essential services depends on your actions to provide additional support to states. The budgetary challenge caused by the coronavirus pandemic is Read more

 

Schlossberg mental health bill to help first responders heads to governor

(22 hours ago)

HARRISBURG, July 15 -- Bipartisan legislation introduced by state Reps. Mike Schlossberg, D-Lehigh, and Frank Farry, R-Bucks, that would establish an emergency responder mental wellness and stress management program in Pennsylvania is headed to the governor’s desk. Read more

 

Williams’ police reform bill signed into law

(1 day ago)

HARRISBURG, July 14 – A police reform bill sponsored by State Rep. Dan Williams, D-Chester, that would bring about the most significant changes to Pennsylvania policing in at least 40 years was signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf today as Act 59 of 2020. Williams’ H.B. 1910 will update police training in several areas, including recognizing and reporting child abuse; de-escalation and harm reduction techniques; interacting with individuals of diverse racial, ethnic, and economic backgrounds; and appropriate use of force. House Bill 1910 is one of 19 bills that members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus urged be considered by the House. The bill was recently passed unanimously by the House and the Senate, along with H.B. 1841 , which would require employers to disclose employment information to a law enforcement agency that is conducting a background investigation of an applicant. H.B.1841 was also signed into law by the governor. “A resounding cry for justice for all citizens has risen up throughout our commonwealth and our nation,” Williams said. “The General Assembly has responded to this impassioned demand to protect the vulnerable by passing these two police reform bills unanimously and by the governor by signing them into law. “I’m proud that my bill will enhance the training the police receive so they can better serve the public and expand the reporting system to Read more

 

Ciresi condemns House blocking debate, amendments on constitutional amendment

(Jul 13, 2020)

“This extraordinary decision was a shameful abuse of legislative power,” Ciresi said. “While all bills deserve to be properly debated and discussed, and potentially improved through amendments, this is especially true for amendments to the constitution itself. To push through a bill of this magnitude without a public hearing or discussion, while refusing to even consider amendments that my colleagues worked hard to draft, is unacceptable.” Read more

 

Youngblood’s resolution honoring 200th anniversary of the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf adopted by full House

(Jul 13, 2020)

HARRISBURG, July 13 – State Rep. Rosita C. Youngblood, Democratic House secretary, today applauded adoption by the PA House of a resolution she introduced that honors the 200 th anniversary of the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf. “The Pennsylvania School for the Deaf has a longstanding and honorable history of educating children across our commonwealth living with hearing impairments,” Youngblood, D-Phila, said. “The school’s distinguished success proves that all children possess the affinity to learn and thrive when they’re provided the support they need, which is why I’m proud to etch the recognition of the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf in or state’s history.” The PSD, Youngblood said, has roots in her home city. In 1820 businessman David Seixas, after becoming concerned with the welfare of deaf children he encountered on the city streets, began educating them in his home on Market Street in Philadelphia. His altruistic deeds spurred the 200-year tradition of continued excellence in deaf education. House Resolution 792 recognizes the PSD and its bicentennial commitment to educating and empowering children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Continuing its distinct tradition of excellence, the teachers at PSD are devoted to their students and strive to prepare and encourage them to be confident in knowing that every individual has the aptitude to contribute great things to Read more

 

Freeman introduces bill to help quiet fireworks

(Jul 09, 2020)

HARRISBURG, July 9 – Responding to concerns from residents about the proliferation of fireworks being discharged beyond the Independence Day holiday, state Rep. Robert Freeman introduced legislation this week that would give municipalities more authority to regulate the use of fireworks and would increase penalties for violating those regulations. Read more

 

Kenyatta ensures Black communities hard hit by pandemic are at the forefront of COVID-19 mitigation efforts

(Jul 09, 2020)

HARRISBURGH, July 9 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., said his efforts to ensure the Black community is represented in Pennsylvania’s efforts to continue to understand COVID-19 came to fruition on Tuesday as the House passed legislation to begin the epidemiological study of the deadly virus. Adopted as an amendment to a bill (H.B. 2450) that would establish an independent COVID-19 State Epidemiology Advisory Council tasked with making policy recommendations under the direction of epidemiologists appointed by deans of select accredited state universities, Kenyatta’s legislation would require that the council’s policy recommendations and final report also be focused on the disparate impacts of COVID-19 on specific racial and ethnic groups, particularly Black and brown communities. “This is a win and significant step toward effectively mitigating the pandemic here in Pennsylvania, especially in our Black and brown communities,” Kenyatta said. “We know that race and ethnicity are playing a key role in the spread of this deadly disease and that Black and brown communities are disproportionately affected. “In seeking solutions, it is crucial for this council of epidemiologist to be deliberate in the approach to understanding how this virus spreads, with a keen focus on critical demographics. I am proud my legislation received overwhelming bipartisan support, an acknowledgement that we Read more

 

Kenyatta ensures Black communities hard hit by pandemic are at the forefront of COVID-19 mitigation efforts

(Jul 09, 2020)

HARRISBURGH, July 9 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., said his efforts to ensure the Black community is represented in Pennsylvania’s efforts to continue to understand COVID-19 came to fruition on Tuesday as the House passed legislation to begin the epidemiological study of the deadly virus. Adopted as an amendment to a bill (H.B. 2450) that would establish an independent COVID-19 State Epidemiology Advisory Council tasked with making policy recommendations under the direction of epidemiologists appointed by deans of select accredited state universities, Kenyatta’s legislation would require that the council’s policy recommendations and final report also be focused on the disparate impacts of COVID-19 on specific racial and ethnic groups, particularly Black and brown communities. “This is a win and significant step toward effectively mitigating the pandemic here in Pennsylvania, especially in our Black and brown communities,” Kenyatta said. “We know that race and ethnicity are playing a key role in the spread of this deadly disease and that Black and brown communities are disproportionately affected. “In seeking solutions, it is crucial for this council of epidemiologist to be deliberate in the approach to understanding how this virus spreads, with a keen focus on critical demographics. I am proud my legislation received overwhelming bipartisan support, an acknowledgement that we Read more

 

Women’s Health Caucus reacts to SCOTUS ruling on contraceptive coverage

(Jul 08, 2020)

“This ruling essentially applies to all nongovernmental workplaces, from very large to very small. And employers have a choice about the workaround that ameliorated some of the harm of a total exemption. Women also have choices as potential employees, students and consumers. If someone else’s religious freedom limits your reproductive freedom, choose wisely.” Read more

 

Petrarca reminds pet owners to keep their pets safe during hot weather

(Jul 01, 2020)

VANDERGRIFT, July 1 – With summer officially here, it’s important that pet owners take proper precautions to keep their furry friends safe. State Rep. Joe Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, said when the temperatures and humidity begin to rise, it can also adversely affect our pets, especially if they don’t have adequate shelter or water while they’re outside. “Many of us know to not leave our pets alone in a parked vehicle, but unfortunately, we still hear of pets who are neglected and left outdoors who end up becoming ill or worse,” Petrarca said. “If we’re uncomfortable during the hot, humid days of summer, imagine what it’s like for your pet – that’s why it’s so important to follow these tips to keep your pet healthy, comfortable and safe.” Petrarca, who has supported several efforts to protect pets in Pennsylvania, including Libre’s Law , recommends these tips to keep your pet healthy, comfortable and safe during the summer: Never leave your pet in a parked vehicle, even for a minute or even with the air conditioner running. On an 85-degree day, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach over 100 degrees within 10 minutes. In 30 minutes, temperatures can rise to 120 degrees, which can cause your pet to suffer irreversible organ damage or die. Watch the humidity – if humidity is too high, it’s more Read more

 

Ciresi, O’Neal call for investigation into unemployment system failures

(Jun 30, 2020)

“Week after week, year after year, most workers contributed to the Unemployment Trust Fund through payroll deductions,” Ciresi said. “Yet the failures of this system have left too many without income during the COVID-19 pandemic, a time when they need these benefits more than ever.” Read more

 

Freeman bill would allow additional local regulation of fireworks, increase penalties

(Jun 29, 2020)

HARRISBURG, June 29 – Municipalities would have more authority to regulate the use of fireworks and penalties would be increased for violating those regulations under legislation proposed by state Rep. Robert Freeman. Read more

 

Women’s Health Caucus applauds SCOTUS decision to strike down Louisiana law severely restricting abortions

(Jun 29, 2020)

The 5-4 decision in June Medical Services, LLC vs. Russo invalidates the Louisiana law that required a physician performing abortion services to have admitting privileges in a hospital within 30 miles. Read more

 

Kenyatta announces Environmental Education Grant for The U School

(Jun 26, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, June 26 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., today announced that a $2,998 Environmental Education Grant has been awarded to The U School in his 181 st Legislative District. The grant, Kenyatta said, is funded by the state Department of Environmental Protection and will assist in the development of an “Urban Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources” club to introduce 10 th and 11 th graders to career paths in environmental sustainability. “The fight for justice includes environmental justice and equity. It’s a fight that can only be won by empowering communities that have been systemically barred from being stakeholders of their food, water, land and air quality,” Kenyatta said. “Fostering and instilling an interest in environmental sustainability careers among our local youth is a step toward progress, which is why I am thrilled that The U School has been awarded this grant.” The Environmental Education Grants Program engages youth and adults in environmental justice, climate change, and/or water quality improvement, expanding their understanding of these issues in Pennsylvania and providing skills to take responsible action to protect their environment The program was established by the Environmental Education Act of 1993, which mandates setting aside 5% of the pollution fines and penalties DEP collects annually for environmental education Read more

 

Ciresi touts unanimous passage of bill protecting mobile home owners

(Jun 25, 2020)

Ciresi was an early cosponsor of the bill, supported it in the Local Government Committee and authored an amendment that ensures the most recent evaluating manual would be used to properly assess the value of manufactured homes. Read more

 

Delloso reminds residents to stay safe this summer while enjoying the outdoors

(Jun 25, 2020)

State Rep. David Delloso from Delaware County reminds residents to stay safe this summer while enjoying the outdoors. Read more

 

Kenyatta applauds historic passage of police reform bills

(Jun 24, 2020)

HARRISBURG, June 24 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., applauded the historic unanimous House passage of two of 19 bills that aim to provide police reforms. The bills, H.B. 1841 and H.B. 1910, would reform policing practices in Pennsylvania by mandating that police officers undergo PTSD evaluation after resorting to lethal force and creating a database that tracks disciplinary actions searchable by law enforcement agencies evaluating prospective hires. “The passage of these bills in the House is the first to reforming a system that we know is broken. Every Black and brown person in this chamber and across our commonwealth is all too familiar with that gut-wrenching feeling when those red and blue lights pull you over. That feeling is from the uncertainty of not knowing if that encounter will end safely,” Kenyatta said. “I am proud to see this chamber unanimously heed the calls of our citizens who are calling upon us to take action in ensuring lives are protected and law enforcement is held accountable.” In the House chamber, Kenyatta, who is a member of the newly created Police Working Reform Group, gave impassioned remarks about the need to ensure the passage of these two pieces of legislation become one of many steps taken toward progress in reforming policing in the commonwealth. Invoking the names of Antwon Rose, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd—all victims of police Read more

 

Rabb commends unanimous affirmative vote for police accountability, safety legislation H.B. 1841

(Jun 24, 2020)

HARRISBURG, June 24 – State Rep. Chris Rabb today expressed tremendous gratitude to his House colleagues for their unanimous support of H.B. 1841 which would improve police accountability and safety. “This is personal to me,” Rabb said, before quoting a passage his great-great-great-grandfather, Rev. Amos Noë Freeman, co-authored with four other men, including Frederick Douglass, for the Colored National Convention in July 1853. ‘ We ask that in our native land, we shall not be treated as strangers, and worse than strangers. ‘We ask that, being friends of America, we should not be treated as enemies of America. ‘We ask that, speaking the same language and being of the same religion, worshipping the same God, owing our redemption to the same Savior, and learning our duties from the same Bible, we shall not be treated as barbarians.’ Rabb, whose legislation to require law enforcement to keep detailed personnel records to improve transparency and accountability was added as an amendment to H.B. 1841, said he had just recently learned of that passage co-authored by his great-great-great-grandfather. Reading his ancestor’s dreams, and seeing his children grow in the world today – where Black people are still working so hard to be treated as friends and not strangers, including by law enforcement officers who are sworn to serve all members of the community –has Read more

 

Ciresi legislation would allow municipal boards to meet remotely during emergencies

(Jun 23, 2020)

“My bill would make sure that local boards and commissions can continue to conduct public business in any situation, be it the COVID-19 pandemic or anything that might happen in the future.” Read more

 

Rep. Bizzarro bill would give school districts flexibility with required instructional days in cases of disaster, emergency declarations
17 hours ago

House Democratic leaders urge U.S. senators to support HEROES Act
18 hours ago

Schlossberg mental health bill to help first responders heads to governor
22 hours ago

Williams’ police reform bill signed into law
1 day ago

Ciresi condemns House blocking debate, amendments on constitutional amendment
Jul 13, 2020

Youngblood’s resolution honoring 200th anniversary of the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf adopted by full House
Jul 13, 2020

Freeman introduces bill to help quiet fireworks
Jul 09, 2020

Kenyatta ensures Black communities hard hit by pandemic are at the forefront of COVID-19 mitigation efforts
Jul 09, 2020

Kenyatta ensures Black communities hard hit by pandemic are at the forefront of COVID-19 mitigation efforts
Jul 09, 2020

Women’s Health Caucus reacts to SCOTUS ruling on contraceptive coverage
Jul 08, 2020

Petrarca reminds pet owners to keep their pets safe during hot weather
Jul 01, 2020

Ciresi, O’Neal call for investigation into unemployment system failures
Jun 30, 2020

Freeman bill would allow additional local regulation of fireworks, increase penalties
Jun 29, 2020

Women’s Health Caucus applauds SCOTUS decision to strike down Louisiana law severely restricting abortions
Jun 29, 2020

Kenyatta announces Environmental Education Grant for The U School
Jun 26, 2020

Ciresi touts unanimous passage of bill protecting mobile home owners
Jun 25, 2020

Delloso reminds residents to stay safe this summer while enjoying the outdoors
Jun 25, 2020

Kenyatta applauds historic passage of police reform bills
Jun 24, 2020

Rabb commends unanimous affirmative vote for police accountability, safety legislation H.B. 1841
Jun 24, 2020

Ciresi legislation would allow municipal boards to meet remotely during emergencies
Jun 23, 2020