State lawmakers offer support for Pennsylvania’s Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange during their service

(Feb 21, 2024)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 21 – Today, state lawmakers introduced legislation that would create a task force on Agent Orange -- a blend of herbicides used during the Vietnam War. Agent Orange was banned when evidence of the harmful and sometimes deadly results of exposure to it began to emerge. Those who were exposed to Agent Orange are at risk of developing cancers, neurological and psychological conditions, and other long-term effects to the skin and heart. Exposure to Agent Orange can also cause reproductive health problems and birth defects in the children of veterans, including spina bifida, hip dysplasia, and congenital heart disease. The task force would comprise several members of military organizations and members of the PA House and PA Senate to investigate and form recommendations on how best to communicate with veterans affected by Agent Orange concerning the treatment options available to them. This bipartisan legislation was introduced by state Reps. Paul Takac, D-Centre; Mike Cabell, R-Luzerne; Brian Munroe, D-Bucks; Dane Watro, R-Schuylkill/Luzerne; Tarik Khan, D-Phila.; Zachary Mako, R-Northampton/Lehigh; Chris Pielli, D-Chester; and Abby Major, R-Armstrong/Westmoreland. “We owe all those who have served our country, especially those who have been harmed as a result of their service, not only our profound respect and gratitude but an enduring commitment to serve and support them and their families. That, Read more

 

Pa. House Housing & Community Development Committee approves Bullock, Cephas homeowner-protections legislation

(Feb 20, 2024)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 20 – During a voting meeting today, the Pennsylvania House Housing & Community Development Committee approved legislation, H.B. 657 , co-sponsored by state Reps. Donna Bullock and Morgan Cephas, which would provide consumer protection against unfair realty agreements for homeowners in the commonwealth by establishing prohibitions and requirements for these agreements. “All too often, I hear the horror stories of unscrupulous realty companies preying on unsuspecting homeowners and vulnerable neighborhoods by trapping them in questionable realty agreement contracts and then suing them should they try to cancel the agreement,” Bullock said. “It’s our hope with this legislation that we can ensure that homeowners are no longer subjected to these unsavory and underhanded practices.” Unlawful agreements that include certain forbidden content would be deemed unenforceable and in violation of the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Act, should this legislation become law. “Companies seeking to swindle home equity from Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable homeowners must be stopped,” Cephas said. “Pennsylvanians deserve protections from such unsavory realty companies, and should they fall victim to such companies then they deserve to have the damages recovered.” The legislation will now go to the full House, where Read more

 

Committee hearing focuses on improving public transportation

(Feb 20, 2024)

“Public transportation is a critical lifeline for residents in my district, it is the one thing that connects us as a community,” said Rep. Waxman, who requested and hosted the hearing. “What makes my district in Philadelphia unique is we have more residents that rely on public transit to get to work and their daily needs like doctor appointments, but we also have one of the most active districts for visitors traveling into our district through public transportation.” Read more

 

Guzman welcomes state funding for local fire, EMS companies

(Feb 16, 2024)

READING, Feb. 16 – State Rep. Manuel Guzman, D-Berks, today announced $63,325 in state funding to improve services of fire and EMS agencies in the 127 th Legislative District that he serves. The grants come from the Fire Company and Emergency Medical Services Grant Program, administered by the Office of State Fire Commissioner. “The safety and peace of mind of our community relies on local first responders. Funding these agencies is crucial and this is certainly one of my priorities,” Guzman said. “I will continue advocating to ensure that local fire companies and EMS providers are efficiently funded.” The grants were awarded to: Kenhorst Volunteer Fire Company No 1. - $14,423. Keystone Fire Co No 1 of Shillington - $16,951. City of Reading Dept of Fire and Rescue Services / Fire - $16,951. City of Reading Dept of Fire and Rescue Services/ EMS - $15,000. Act 91 of 2020 authorized the Fire Company and Medical Services Grant Program until June 30. Recently, Gov. Josh Shapiro proposed increasing the program’s funding to $60 million. Read more

 

PA House, Senate Dem Policy Committees convene joint hearing on eviction sealing

(Feb 15, 2024)

The Pennsylvania House and Senate Democratic Policy Committees teamed up for a joint hearing Thursday morning to gather testimony on the need for eviction sealing in Pennsylvania. Read more

 

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

(Feb 15, 2024)

Today, members of the Philadelphia House Delegation held a news conference at the Early Learning Literacy Academy highlighting the expansion of the state Child and Dependent Care Enhancement Tax Credit. Read more

 

House Consumer Protection, Technology and Utilities Committee hears testimony on community solar bill

(Feb 15, 2024)

“Having an all-energy portfolio that isn’t reliant on a single source is important for PA’s energy independence and for ensuring that we continue to export energy now and in the decades to come," Matzie said. "But, as with all legislation we review, our committee is going to act deliberately and carefully, getting a dialogue moving and ensuring that any legislation we advance is crafted to protect PA consumers.” Read more

 

The choice for is clear for educating our children, we need to go big

(Feb 14, 2024)

Please know we are not seeking more money for our schools just for the sake of getting more money. What we are doing is fulfilling the obligation in the Pennsylvania Constitution for all children to receive a quality education. Read more

 

Lawmakers discuss future of artificial intelligence during House Majority Policy hearing

(Feb 13, 2024)

Artificial intelligence was the topic of vast discussion at a House Majority Policy Committee hearing Tuesday morning, including how it’s already impacting everyday life and what comes next. Read more

 

Health Committee OKs Kosierowski medical test results measure

(Feb 12, 2024)

The state House Health Committee recently approved a bill written by Rep. Bridget M. Kosierowski that would balance a patient’s right to access their health information with the important role that medical professionals provide in helping patients understand their test results. Read more

 

Pisciottano introduces bill to fight corporate greed

(Feb 09, 2024)

Open Markets Act would protect consumers, workers and small businesses Read more

 

Kinkead introduces resolution to recognize International Day of Women and Girls in Science

(Feb 09, 2024)

“Celebrating women scientists like Rachel Carson, Marie Curie and Hedy Lamarr is essential to inspiring the next generation of women leaders in STEM,” Kinkead said. “Establishing the International Day of Women and Girls in Science in our state would provide a great opportunity to highlight the significant contributions women have made to the field, which continue to be undermined and ignored. We need to do more to make women and especially young girls feel welcome and included in this field and that’s what this resolution is all about.” Read more

 

Cepeda-Freytiz applauds governor’s 2024-25 state budget proposal

(Feb 08, 2024)

READING, Feb. 8 – State Rep. Johanny Cepeda-Freytiz, D-Berks, today praised Gov. Josh Shapiro’s proposed 2024-25 state budget and emphasized that the spending plan excludes new tax hikes. Cepeda-Freytiz said she is particularly excited for the proposed investments in education, mental health and small, disadvantaged businesses. “This budget invests in education at every level. We are talking about the largest increase in K-12 basic education funding in Pennsylvania history,” Cepeda-Freytiz said. “I hail the $1.1 billion increase in basic education subsidies and significant funding for special education, school safety improvements, and universal free breakfast for 1.7 million students it calls for,” Cepeda-Freytiz said. “I applaud the inclusion of feminine hygiene products at no cost to students. The overall allocations for education would certainly help address decades of disinvestment in this area,” she added. The legislator highlighted that Shapiro continues to support mental health services by proposing investing $10 million for 988 crisis line operations to boost Pennsylvania’s crisis intervention services, among other provisions. “Our community is experiencing challenging times when it comes to mental health,” she said. “I am proud to say that I, along with my colleagues, secured $100 million in the current budget Read more

 

Speaker McClinton, Rep. Davis celebrate expansion of PA’s Childcare tax credit

(Feb 08, 2024)

BRISTOL, Feb. 8 – House Speaker Joanna McClinton traveled to Growing Little Footprints Daycare Center in Bucks County today to laud the expansion of Pennsylvania’s Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, an initiative championed by state Rep. Tina Davis of Bucks County. McClinton and Davis were joined by state Sen. Steve Santarsiero, D-Bucks, state Rep. Brian Munroe, D-Bucks, state Rep. Tim Brennan D-Bucks, Valerie Hamilton, owner and director, Children of God Educational Services and Dan O’Brien, Policy Manager, Education and Family Stability, Children First. Beginning this year, families and caregivers will be able to claim the equivalent of the entire federal credit, giving families the opportunity to claim up to $1,050 for one child, or $2,100 for two or more children. At least 80 percent of households in Bucks County who pay expenses for childcare or dependent care are eligible for this credit. Davis initially introduced the credit as H.B. 1259 , which passed the House with a bipartisan majority on June 12. While legislation awaited consideration in the Senate, Davis helped to amend the language of the bill into the state’s Fiscal Code bill, which passed in December. “One of the biggest challenges working parents face is finding affordable childcare they can depend on while they’re at work – especially when the average cost can be over $1,000 per Read more

 

Salisbury supports governor’s budget proposals to bolster education, infrastructure, historically disadvantaged small businesses

(Feb 08, 2024)

“Many of the governor’s proposals resonated with me, including his proposals for greater investment in our public schools and in our historically disadvantaged small businesses," Salisbury said. Read more

 

In a united front, state reps highlight new Pennsylvania budget priorities

(Feb 08, 2024)

With major increases in funding for education and SEPTA, without any tax hikes, members of the Philadelphia House delegation laid out the major aspirations of Gov. Josh Shapiro's budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Read more

 

Philly Dems say boost for SEPTA just one of highlights for city in Shapiro’s budget proposal

(Feb 08, 2024)

On Wednesday, several Democratic members of Philadelphia’s state House delegation held a press conference at Philadelphia City Hall detailing what they view as the highlights of Shapiro’s budget proposal. Read more

 

I-95 disaster emergency proclamation extended until May

(Feb 07, 2024)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 7 – A concurrent resolution of the House and Senate, which extends the disaster emergency proclamation for the I-95 overpass in Philadelphia that collapsed in June 2023 until May 29 took effect today. The disaster declaration allows the state to continue to access emergency funding and follow streamlined rules for repair work. “Interstate 95 is a critical highway for not only Philadelphia and Pennsylvania, but the entire Northeast United States,” said Rep. Anthony Bellmon, who authored the most recent extension (H.R. 279). “It is important that we cut as much red tape as possible to let PennDOT finish the job of rebuilding the highway so it is safe to travel on for years to come.” Bellmon’s measure is the latest of several resolutions used to extend the governor’s original proclamation. The first extension was contained in S.R. 136, introduced by state Sen. Jimmy Dillion, D-Phila., which extended the proclamation until Nov. 1, 2023. That was followed by another extension (H.R. 197), offered by state Rep. Pat Gallagher, D-Phila., which extended the proclamation until the end of February 2024. The Senate adopted Bellmon’s resolution on Monday after the House approved it in December. Read more

 

Rabb highlights special election reform legislation ahead of Tuesday’s election

(Feb 07, 2024)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 7 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., is highlighting special election-related legislation ahead of Tuesday’s Pennsylvania House of Representatives special election in Bucks County. “The process by which we elect people in special elections is as important as regularly scheduled elections. That is why I have reintroduced legislation to modernize the process,” Rabb said. “Tuesday’s special election will decide the fate of who will control the House of Representatives.” Rabb said his legislation, H.B.1831, to modernize the special election process would ensure special elections are timely, cost effective and accessible by requiring that special elections happen sooner when a seat becomes vacant more than 90 days before the next election; requiring automatic mail-in voting for all elections while providing county boards of election the option to establish satellite voting sites ; subsidizing special elections from restitution paid by elected officials who have vacated their seats because of a felony conviction; and allowing candidates to electronically obtain nomination petition signatures. According to data from the Pennsylvania Department of State, the state spent almost $1 million on just five special elections in 2023. “This large expense is unnecessary and does nothing to promote civic literacy or nonpartisan engagement in Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation encouraged by Shapiro Budget Proposal

(Feb 07, 2024)

Today, leaders of the Philadelphia House Delegation said that they are pleased with the direction of Gov. Josh Shapiro’s budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2024-25. Among the many positives, the delegation is excited about the proposed investment in SEPTA and mass transit, as well as equitable education funding for the School District of Philadelphia. Read more

 

State lawmakers offer support for Pennsylvania’s Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange during their service
Feb 21, 2024

Pa. House Housing & Community Development Committee approves Bullock, Cephas homeowner-protections legislation
Feb 20, 2024

Committee hearing focuses on improving public transportation
Feb 20, 2024

Guzman welcomes state funding for local fire, EMS companies
Feb 16, 2024

PA House, Senate Dem Policy Committees convene joint hearing on eviction sealing
Feb 15, 2024

Philadelphia House Delegation praises expanded state Child and Dependent Care Enhancement Tax Credit
Feb 15, 2024

House Consumer Protection, Technology and Utilities Committee hears testimony on community solar bill
Feb 15, 2024

The choice for is clear for educating our children, we need to go big
Feb 14, 2024

Lawmakers discuss future of artificial intelligence during House Majority Policy hearing
Feb 13, 2024

Health Committee OKs Kosierowski medical test results measure
Feb 12, 2024

Pisciottano introduces bill to fight corporate greed
Feb 09, 2024

Kinkead introduces resolution to recognize International Day of Women and Girls in Science
Feb 09, 2024

Cepeda-Freytiz applauds governor’s 2024-25 state budget proposal
Feb 08, 2024

Speaker McClinton, Rep. Davis celebrate expansion of PA’s Childcare tax credit
Feb 08, 2024

Salisbury supports governor’s budget proposals to bolster education, infrastructure, historically disadvantaged small businesses
Feb 08, 2024

In a united front, state reps highlight new Pennsylvania budget priorities
Feb 08, 2024

Philly Dems say boost for SEPTA just one of highlights for city in Shapiro’s budget proposal
Feb 08, 2024

I-95 disaster emergency proclamation extended until May
Feb 07, 2024

Rabb highlights special election reform legislation ahead of Tuesday’s election
Feb 07, 2024

Philadelphia House Delegation encouraged by Shapiro Budget Proposal
Feb 07, 2024