Conklin to introduce bill to close corporate realty transfer loophole

(May 11, 2020)

HARRISBURG, May 11 – In an effort to ensure corporations and large businesses are held accountable and pay their fair share, state Rep. Scott Conklin has announced his intent to introduce a bill that would close a realty transfer loophole in Pennsylvania. Conklin, D-Centre, said a recent incident in Butler County occurred, where a business was sold after the creation of subsidiaries which were transferred – along with the property – to the new owner. He said the parties involved used a loophole in state law that resulted in the reduction of the amount of realty transfer fees required to be paid to the municipality and the state. “ Hard working Pennsylvanians should not have to pick up the tab for out of state corporations,” said Conklin. “Such incidents, like the one that occurred in Butler County, clearly highlight the need for my legislation, because these businesses should not be allowed to get away with fleecing taxpayers who are left to make up the difference.” More information on Conklin’s pending legislation can be found at this link: https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20190&cosponId=31740 Read more

 

Warren bill to end child marriage in Pa. now law

(May 08, 2020)

HARRISBURG, May 8 – State Rep. Perry Warren, D-Bucks, announced that his legislation, which prohibits marriage before the age of 18, was signed into law as Act 18 today by Gov. Tom Wolf. “With Governor Wolf’s signature, Pennsylvania becomes the third state to protect its children by ending child marriage, and sets an example for other states, including Minnesota, whose legislature this week also unanimously voted to end child marriage and where the bill awaits its governor’s signature,” Warren said. “I am honored to be a part of Pennsylvania’s leadership in protecting our children.” The bipartisan bill, H.B. 360, which was jointly sponsored by Rep. Jesse Topper, R-Bedford/Fulton/Franklin, sets the minimum age at which a marriage license may be issued to 18. Previously under Pennsylvania law, a marriage license could be issued to an applicant younger than 16 with court approval. A marriage license also could have been issued where an applicant is older than 16 but younger than 18 with the consent of a parent or guardian. Warren said it was the overwhelming support from colleagues on both sides of the aisle in both chambers that helped this bill become law. He said Topper and Sen. John Sabatina worked hard to raise awareness of this child protection issue in the legislature and throughout the state. “Thank you to Representative Topper and on the Senate side to Senator Read more

 

Kenyatta to host ‘Education in the era of COVID-19’ Virtual Town Hall

(May 08, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, May 8 -- State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., will host a Facebook LIVE virtual town hall titled “Education in the Era of COVID-19” from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, May 14. The town hall will examine the topics of state education funding, crisis preparedness, the digital divide, mental health supports and educational disparities. The town hall will include speakers from the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, Commonwealth Association of School Administrators, Philadelphia Student Union and a member of the state Special Education Advisory Council, Cecelia Thompson . The Philadelphia School District has also been invited. Online viewers will be able to offer live questions and comments during the townhall by attending through Kenyatta’s official legislative Facebook page . “The COVID19 pandemic crisis has changed the way we have been able deliver education to our children,” Kenyatta said. “It has also raised questions about our preparedness and ability to do so in the future in a productive and effective way. We must also deal with those systemic and ongoing socioeconomic challenges in education that have been exacerbated by this crisis.” Kenyatta, a graduate of Philadelphia public schools said, “I look forward to hearing from our informed guests on the many issues around schooling and education in the era of COVID-19.” Read more

 

Ciresi introduces bills to provide banking support for small businesses and nonprofits

(May 08, 2020)

HARRISBURG, May 8 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, today announced that he is sponsoring a pair of bills that would help small businesses and nonprofits throughout the state. The legislation would create the COVID-19 Banking on Small Business Program and COVID-19 Banking on Nonprofits Program within the Department of Banking and Securities to provide cooperation between small businesses and nonprofits and banks and credit unions for loan deferrals, repayment plans, and loan modifications. “Many of our small businesses and non-profits are contemplating closing their doors,” Ciresi said. “They do not have the same resources as larger corporations, and many times they are missing out on pandemic relief banking opportunities only because they do not have an attorney or financial specialist on call 24/7. If we want to give them a chance to survive this pandemic, we need to make sure they have the same chances at extensions of credit and deferred loans as the bigger corporations. I am working on this pair of bills to support our hardworking small business owners and the nonprofits that need this help the most.” The two bills would direct the attention of small businesses and nonprofits to the good work that banks and credit unions are already doing to help businesses stay afloat through extensions of credit or financial assistance in the form of deferred loans or new repayment options. Eligible small Read more

 

Kenyatta applauds Wolf’s rent and mortgage suspension, calls for lengthier freeze

(May 08, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, May 8 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., today applauded Gov. Tom Wolf’s executive order that halts foreclosures and evictions until July 10, but also announced he is drafting legislation that would extend the freeze for an additional six months. Kenyatta praised Wolf’s order, calling it a great start in ensuring that Pennsylvanians will not lose their homes during the pandemic. However, with the July 10 grace-period ending just two months from now, Kenyatta said that assurance is only short-lived. Kenyatta said the economic shockwave stemming from the pandemic will outlast the order’s two-month provision. “Pennsylvanians who have been unemployed will be fiscally stunted, and realistically, the timeframe for many to gradually recoup their finances after months of lacking steady income will surpass July. It could easily go on until the end of the year,” he said. Kenyatta called for a lengthier mortgage and rent payment freeze to allow for Pennsylvanians to financially rehabilitate. “As lawmakers, we can’t allow renters and homeowners to relive the fears and dread of homelessness. We can’t allow those struggling to rebuild their lives to be casted into a downward spiral of financial ruin because they missed mortgage or rent payments out of desperation,” he said. “This incredibly trying time has upended countless lives in various ways, Read more

 

Hanbidge sponsors legislation to honor frontline and essential workers

(May 08, 2020)

“Frontline workers have continued to perform their duties – often with limited protective gear – through long hours, daunting stressors and at great risk to their health and the health of their families,” Hanbidge said. “They do this so our great commonwealth can continue to function from the comfort and safety of our homes." Read more

 

Deasy introduces resolution that calls for freeze in utility rate increase proposals

(May 06, 2020)

HARRISBURG, May 6 – Noting the sudden and unexpected loss of income incurred by Pennsylvania residents and small business owners due to COVID-19, state Rep. Dan Deasy, D-Allegheny, has introduced a resolution urging the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to put a freeze on all requests for utility rate increases through 2020. “Residents are experiencing financial hardships, unemployment rates are through the roof, and the public and state assistance offered to families and small businesses is but a small drop in a bucket to address the of loss of income and financial insecurity because of COVID-19,” Deasy said. “You’d think during a time like this, we’d see more compassion, but unfortunately that’s not the case, especially with utility companies. Rate increases are the last thing our struggling residents and businesses should have to worry about, which is why this resolution is so crucial during this global health crisis,” Deasy said. Aside from the increase proposals, Deasy said he was even more disappointed in the scale of which some companies were trying to raise their rates, with at least one company seeking a 24% rate increase. Deasy is the second western House Democrat in recent weeks to call on the PUC to investigate or freeze rate increase proposals received from utility companies. State Rep. Austin Davis, also D-Allegheny, called on the PUC last week to investigate a rate increase proposal Read more

 

Frankel ‘horrified’ by legislator’s comments re: Nazi Party

(May 04, 2020)

Says comments could be read as encouragement by extremist groups Read more

 

Bizzarro votes to expand COVID-19 testing as state heads back to work

(May 04, 2020)

Legislation critical to ensuring public safety and stopping the spread of coronavirus Read more

 

Kenyatta: I proudly stand with Temple Allied Healthcare Professionals Union, all workers

(May 01, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, May 1 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., expressed his support for the Temple Allied Healthcare Professionals Union striking today in front of Temple University Hospital, located in Kenyatta’s 181 st Legislative District, to demand hazard pay, personal protective equipment and testing availability: “In every period in history, the labor movement has been a paramount force in dismantling systems of oppression and guaranteeing rights and protections for American workers. In the wake of this pandemic, labor is once again demonstrating that reputation,” Kenyatta said. “I stand in solidarity with Temple University Hospital workers, who have been fiercely fighting on the frontlines of this pandemic. These people have gone above and beyond in ensuring our communities receive exceptional care in sanitized environments, all the while putting themselves, and their families, at risk. It is time to give them what they are owed!” Kenyatta stressed that there is power in numbers in the efforts to make the demands of striking workers concrete, saying, “We can be victorious in this fight if we band together as a collective in thwarting this capitalistic system that grossly and consistently prioritizes profits over lives. In Harrisburg, I have been fighting for many of the provisions the union is demanding today for all workers across Pennsylvania on the frontlines of this crisis. As lawmakers, we also Read more

 

Bizzarro lauds House passage of bill to reopen local lawn and garden stores

(Apr 30, 2020)

HARRISBURG , April 30 – State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro said the state House today voted on legislation that would authorize local lawn and garden centers to reopen by providing them a waiver to the governor’s business closure order. H.B. 2429 provides for worker safety precautions and would allow community businesses to provide lawn and garden equipment and supplies during the pandemic. “I understand the need to implement mitigation and public safety efforts; but our local businesses should be extended the same opportunities to operate as some of the big-box and chain stores currently operating in our communities. They deserve to stay afloat during this pandemic and this bill would do just that,” expressed Bizzarro. “Our friends, family and neighbors will be able to get back to work in a safe environment and we can keep our business local when possible. That means more now than ever.” The bill would require lawn and garden centers that open to implement safeguards, including following social distancing requirements, providing workers with personal protective equipment and other safety measures, and regular cleaning of facilities. The bill now awaits state Senate consideration. Read more

 

Warren liquor reform bill passes House

(Apr 29, 2020)

HARRISBURG, April 29 – State Rep. Perry Warren, D-Bucks, announced his liquor reform bill, H.B. 327, passed the House today with overwhelming bipartisan support. The bill would amend the Liquor Code to clarify the process for a referendum on whether to allow for the sale of liquor in their municipality in a primary, municipal or general election. “The passage of this bill, coupled with Act 48 enacted last year, streamlines the process for residents’ right to decide whether to permit alcohol sales in a municipality,” Warren said. “This bill is about modernizing the state liquor system to better suit the needs of Pennsylvanians.” House Bill 327 also has a COVID-19 emergency provision which would allow licensed restaurants and hotels that have lost more than 25% of their average monthly sales during the disaster to sell prepared beverages or mixed drinks for off-premise consumption in quantities of 4 oz. to 64 oz. during the disaster emergency and mitigation period. “This amendment will support our local restaurants selling food, beer and wine for curbside pickup and takeout during this time of crisis by allowing them to expand the products they can provide to consumers. I thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for supporting this legislation.” Lower Makefield Township has scheduled a liquor referendum for the June 2, 2020 primary election. The bill now goes to the Senate for vote on the Read more

 

Bipartisan bill to end child marriage in Pa. sent to governor

(Apr 29, 2020)

HARRISBURG, April 29 – State Reps. Jesse Topper, R-Bedford/Fulton/Franklin, and Perry Warren, D-Bucks, announced that their legislation, which would prohibit marriage before the age of 18, unanimously passed the House today and is now on its way to the governor’s desk. “Simply put, House Bill 360 is a child protection measure. Child marriage typically involves a teenage girl, whose life hasn’t even begun, being forced or coerced into marrying an older man,” Topper said. “Some of the many stories I’ve heard from survivors of child marriage involve these girls becoming victims a second time. In these instances, they are modern day slaves in the human trafficking trade.” “With the abolition of child marriage, Pennsylvania is safeguarding its children,” Warren said. “This bill will help ensure the long-term health of children and improve their health and educational and job opportunities.” Warren added, “I am deeply gratified that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in both chambers came together to protect Pennsylvania’s children, and special thanks to Representative Topper and Senator John Sabatina who worked so hard to raise awareness of this child protection issue in the legislature and throughout state.” Topper said studies have shown that a child who marries before 18 is often not in control of the decision, and a child under Read more

 

Conklin to introduce ‘Shared Sacrifice’ legislation

(Apr 29, 2020)

HARRISBURG, April 29 – State Rep. Scott Conklin has announced his intent to introduce legislation to suspend cost-of-living adjustments for members of the General Assembly and state administration officials. Conklin, D-Centre, said as many Pennsylvanians remain out of work and are making tough choices as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it makes sense to suspend these adjustments for a period of at least three years to offset some of the state’s anticipated revenue losses. “We can’t ask Pennsylvanians to make sacrifices and tighten their belts if we aren’t willing to do the same,” Conklin said. “Current estimates show that we will have a $4 billion shortfall in revenues as we head into the next fiscal year, and we will need to itemize every penny to ensure necessary programs and essential services can be provided. As elected officials, it’s imperative we need to do our part to ensure we don’t add an additional financial burden on our already cash-strapped residents.” More information on his forthcoming legislation can be found at this link: https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20190&cosponId=31687 . Read more

 

Burns amendment providing emergency funding to more fire departments adopted by House

(Apr 28, 2020)

Legislation provides $30 million to volunteer fire, EMS companies Read more

 

Kinsey, PLBC applaud Wolf on calling for race and data with COVID-19 tests

(Apr 27, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, April 27 – In a statement released today, state Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, along with its members, commended Gov. Tom Wolf for calling for more free and accessible testing, and for health care providers and medical facilities to follow the Department of Health’s mandate to include race and ethnicity data in demographics provided to the department with COVID-19 test results. “Race and ethnicity have long been factors that essentially predestine a person’s quality of life, and in the wake of a pandemic, these factors have determined the accessibility of tests, the level of care, and overall survival outcomes. It’s a reality that’s all too familiar for people of color,” Kinsey said. “I commend Governor Wolf for his efforts in addressing these deep-rooted systemic ills by pushing Pennsylvania to be among the few states to collect this critical piece of data, which will help our commonwealth to be able to better identify contraction points and mitigate spread in these communities, ultimately saving lives.” The chairman added, “The data collected surrounding this widespread event will be incredibly valuable for our ongoing efforts in the dismantling these disparities moving forward.” Read more

 

Bizzarro: More than $720,000 in emergency funding headed to Erie County

(Apr 24, 2020)

The grants represent the first round of emergency funding being directed to local communities Read more

 

Solomon provides over 300 free comfort meals to Northeast Philadelphia communities

(Apr 23, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, April 23 – To offer some relief during COVID-19, state Rep. Jared Solomon, D-Phila., teamed up with community partners to provide hundreds of free cooked meals from popular local restaurants to various communities in Northeast Philadelphia. “We’re experiencing unprecedented and troubling times. Many residents have had their entire livelihoods upended, and others are still working on the frontlines during this pandemic,” Solomon said. “With all that’s going on, I wanted to help bring back a sense of normalcy and thank all our frontline workers through delicious comfort food staples from our community.” Solomon joined Matt Rossi, owner of Nick’s Roast Beef on Cottman Avenue, and later, Orlando Jacome, owner of Tio Pepe, at their respective restaurants in providing over 300 free meals to hundreds of residents, including medical professionals and other frontline workers. Read more

 

Bullock announces more than $500K in education equity grants

(Apr 23, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, April 23 – State Rep. Donna Bullock announced today that education equity grants totaling more than $500,000 have been awarded to schools in her district to provide access and inclusion for all learners. “Education is the key to opportunity for all of our students,” Bullock said. “Unfortunately, educational opportunities are not equal for all of our students. But grant awards like these help to bring equity to the table, enabling more students to have more access to the tools they need to be their best.” Grants were awarded to: Philadelphia City School District, awarded $500,000. Frederick Douglass Mastery Charter School, awarded $37,926. The grants, Continuing of Education Equity Grants, are designed to help provide access and inclusion for all learners by bridging the gap for students who are currently limited in their ability to participate in continuity of education, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, which administers the grants. The grants may be used to purchase computer equipment like laptops, tablets and internet hot spots, or used toward providing instructional materials like paper lessons and coursework. Schools with the highest percentages of students lacking access to resources were given priority in receiving the grants. ### Read more

 

Women’s Health Caucus chairs ask Gov. Wolf to veto S.B. 857

(Apr 22, 2020)

The original intent of S.B. 857 was to expand the use of telemedicine; however, it is the view of the Women’s Health Caucus that the bill that passed the House and Senate mostly along party lines this week would be harmful to women’s health. Read more

 

Conklin to introduce bill to close corporate realty transfer loophole
May 11, 2020

Warren bill to end child marriage in Pa. now law
May 08, 2020

Kenyatta to host ‘Education in the era of COVID-19’ Virtual Town Hall
May 08, 2020

Ciresi introduces bills to provide banking support for small businesses and nonprofits
May 08, 2020

Kenyatta applauds Wolf’s rent and mortgage suspension, calls for lengthier freeze
May 08, 2020

Hanbidge sponsors legislation to honor frontline and essential workers
May 08, 2020

Deasy introduces resolution that calls for freeze in utility rate increase proposals
May 06, 2020

Frankel ‘horrified’ by legislator’s comments re: Nazi Party
May 04, 2020

Bizzarro votes to expand COVID-19 testing as state heads back to work
May 04, 2020

Kenyatta: I proudly stand with Temple Allied Healthcare Professionals Union, all workers
May 01, 2020

Bizzarro lauds House passage of bill to reopen local lawn and garden stores
Apr 30, 2020

Warren liquor reform bill passes House
Apr 29, 2020

Bipartisan bill to end child marriage in Pa. sent to governor
Apr 29, 2020

Conklin to introduce ‘Shared Sacrifice’ legislation
Apr 29, 2020

Burns amendment providing emergency funding to more fire departments adopted by House
Apr 28, 2020

Kinsey, PLBC applaud Wolf on calling for race and data with COVID-19 tests
Apr 27, 2020

Bizzarro: More than $720,000 in emergency funding headed to Erie County
Apr 24, 2020

Solomon provides over 300 free comfort meals to Northeast Philadelphia communities
Apr 23, 2020

Bullock announces more than $500K in education equity grants
Apr 23, 2020

Women’s Health Caucus chairs ask Gov. Wolf to veto S.B. 857
Apr 22, 2020