Freeman introduces bill to let housing authorities set up police departments

(Sep 28, 2023)

"All public housing authorities should have the ability to set up their own police force in order to better combat crime. A public housing police force also would greatly enhance community policing efforts, making public housing projects safer for their residents and their families, especially children and the elderly," Freeman said. Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation members seek justice for unfair Eddie Irizarry ruling and condemn looting in city

(Sep 27, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 27 – In the wake of a disruptive wave of looting that hit Philadelphia Tuesday night, Philadelphia House Delegation members condemned the episode and emphasized that seeking justice in the Irizarry case must be separate from the looting. The chaos unfolded shortly after the announcement that a judge had dropped all charges against former Philadelphia police Officer Mark Dial, who fatally shot Eddie Irizarry. The deadly incident involving Irizarry occurred after a traffic stop. “What we saw last night is a pure and simple act of vandalism. Under no circumstances can we correlate protesters and looters. There is no possible excuse for destroying public property,” said delegation chairwoman Morgan Cephas. “We express our solidarity to the victim’s family, and we will keep monitoring the Irizarry case. This needs to be resolved in court, not on the streets of Philadelphia. We would also like to extend our support to the business owners impacted by this unfortunate episode,” Cephas added. Rep. Jose Giral, who represents the180 th Legislative District where the deadly incident took place on Aug. 14, highlighted that he is deeply concerned about the way the Irizarry investigation was conducted. “It is absolutely outrageous that those charges were dismissed. We need accountability to right the wrongs that occurred today and provide Read more

 

House passes O’Mara bill to increase access to photo identification for people living with disabilities

(Sep 27, 2023)

"My bill would allow those living with persistent, specific health conditions to renew their license/ID from home. Everyone deserves access to a state-issued ID, and this legislation will help ensure that,” O'Mara said. Read more

 

Democrats introduce legislative platform to support grandparents raising grandchildren

(Sep 26, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 26 – Pennsylvania House Aging and Older Adults Committee Majority Chair Patty Kim was joined by fellow Democratic state representatives and grandparents’ rights advocates in the Capitol on Tuesday to introduce a legislative platform to support grandparents and kin caregivers raising young relatives in Pennsylvania. “In Pennsylvania today, grandparents or other relatives are the primary caregivers for an estimated 202,000 children whose parents are absent for a number of reasons,” said Kim, D-Dauphin, Cumberland. “These grandparents and relatives are doing truly heroic work taking care of these vulnerable children, but they need critical financial, educational, and health care supports from the state to help them raise their grandkids. Our legislative package will go far in ensuring that caregivers have short term emergency help and that children remain with their grandparent and kin caregivers.” The legislative program includes: Kim’s H.B. 1688, which would establish a grant program to allow Area Agencies on Aging to assist in specific instances where grandparents need short-term emergency help to address the personal care needs of the grandchild who is living with them. Many grandparents supporting grandchildren are low-income households depending upon social security, Medicare and Medicaid. They aren't always equipped to address emergency personal needs of the child or children for whom they are caring. Read more

 

Rabb announces legislation amending CHRIA to ensure public health transparency

(Sep 22, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 22 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., today announced that he has drafted legislation ( H.B. 1704 ) that would amend the Criminal History Record Information Act to ensure disclosure of public health and community safety risks. Public health reports from 2016 and 2023 revealed that there is an extensive list of contaminants in the Dimock water supply in Pennsylvania. However, CHRIA prohibits the Office of Attorney General from disclosing the results of its independent report analyzing the Dimock water supply. This legislation would provide exceptions for CHRIA that allow the public to be notified of public health and community safety risks and would require the Office of Environmental Justice to investigate information pertaining to potential or prospective harm to public health. Should the Office of Environmental Justice find there is a public health risk, it would be required to provide a notice on its publicly accessible website, which would state there is a public health risk and include a summary of the public health risk. “The public has a right to information regarding potential health hazards,” Rabb said. “We cannot allow polluters to pollute our environment anywhere across our commonwealth under the veil of benign government bureaucracy.” Rabb is a founding member of the Pennsylvania Climate Caucus and serves on the board of the National Caucus of Read more

 

Open Primaries Would Strengthen Democracy in Pa.

(Sep 22, 2023)

Prestigious newspaper editorial boards, Pennsylvania’s past five governors and more have voiced their support for open primaries. As representatives of the people of Pennsylvania, we must ensure everyone’s voice is heard.We hope our colleagues in the General Assembly will realize that bringing more people into the electoral system ensures faith in the democratic process. Read more

 

Philadelphia House and Senate Delegations join Unite Here Local 634 in fight for a dignifying contract

(Sep 21, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, Sep. 21 – In light of recent demands presented by city school workers to the Philadelphia School District, members of the Philadelphia House and Senate Delegations today expressed their steadfast support for members of Unite Here Local 634. The delegation members, who participated in a rally held earlier today by the school workers, stated that they are fighting along with the union for a dignifying contract that could guarantee livable wages for workers before their current collective bargaining agreement expires on Sept. 30. “Workers are clamoring for the elementary right to get a fair salary to pay for rent and buy food for their families,” said delegation chairwoman Morgan Cephas. “They are requesting respect. These are employees pleading for provisions that are plain-to-see needs and commonsense demands. Their voices can longer be ignored. The countdown starts for fair pay and transparent terms in a new bargaining agreement,” added Cephas. State Sen. Nikil Saval, chair of the PA Senate’s Philadelphia Delegation, explained that the food service and student climate staff throughout schools provide vital care for Philadelphia children from the moment they walk through the doors. “These workers are the lowest paid in the school district; they are paid so little that the district is currently in violation of the city wage ordinance,” Read more

 

Allegheny Dems call out GOP for holding universities’ funding hostage

(Sep 21, 2023)

PITTSBURGH, Sept. 21 – As Pennsylvania’s four state-related universities continue operating without state assistance they regularly receive through the state budget to keep in-state tuition affordable for more than 70,000 students, Democratic officials today joined students from the University of Pittsburgh in Schenley Park for a news conference discussing the consequences of delaying the state funding. The House last met in July, when Republican leaders and a handful of extremist members stymied legislation providing funding to Pitt, Penn State, and Temple universities, forcing the schools to begin the semester without assistance from the state. Lincoln University’s appropriation passed the House but remains stalled in the Republican-controlled Senate. This funding is appropriated annually through the state budget process. “As a graduate from their law school, I’m lucky to know firsthand that the University of Pittsburgh is a prestigious institution offering world class opportunities and resources to prepare our future leaders for successful careers in myriad fields. For dozens of years, their unparalleled programming has been made possible with help from state funding. Unfortunately, Republican leaders in the legislature are now holding this money hostage, using college students as pawns to advance unpopular culture war positions that many of their own constituents disagree with,” said state Rep. Emily Read more

 

Frankel unveils bill to protect PA workers from secondhand smoke

(Sep 20, 2023)

“Fifteen years ago, this commonwealth took an enormous step forward in ensuring that our workers are not forced to breathe in toxic smoke – it’s time to finish the job,” Frankel, D-Allegheny, said. Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation Leadership expresses condolences after passing of JoAnne A. Epps, acting president of Temple University

(Sep 19, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 19 – The Philadelphia House Delegation Leadership today express their condolences following the passing of JoAnne A. Epps, acting president of Temple University. “We are deeply shocked and saddened by the sudden death of JoAnne Epps. Epps was an incredible woman who had an immensurable impact in our city. Epps’ contributions and legacy in the field of education will be remembered and continue to influence many,” said the delegation’s chairwoman, Rep. Morgan Cephas. Rep. Danilo Burgos, vice chair of the delegation, said that Epps made a genuine difference and connection with young people through her kindness and mastery of teaching. “My most sincere condolences to the Epps family,” Burgos said. “We will always be in awe of her powerful legacy. Her dedication to propel excellence in education for our community was unparalleled.” Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, delegation treasurer, highlighted that he knew Epps since he was just a teenager, as a Temple student. He explained that his impression of Epps never changed. “I met JoAnne Epps when I was a 17-year-old freshman at Temple University. Though our titles have changed over the years one thing never did, and that was she was always a friend and a mentor. I am devastated for her husband and her family and the entire Temple community. The world is a missing one of its bright lights with Read more

 

Policy Committee hears testimony on concerns in Latino community

(Sep 15, 2023)

“I learned so much from our panelists this morning, and I appreciate the work they are doing in our communities – specifically breaking down the stigma associated with mental health and particularly with the mental health needs of our children,” Speaker Joanna McClinton said. “So I appreciate all of our testifiers who are working to help people with challenges and needs. They placed a spotlight directly on the need for more services because of the positive impact they have in our communities in Philadelphia as well as throughout the entire state.” Read more

 

The first hearing to fix Pennsylvania’s education funding system showed it will be a tough task

(Sep 15, 2023)

"Thus, we are here trying to figure it out, so that we can make sure we are educating our children and not losing another generation," Isaacson said. Read more

 

Matzie: House Consumer Protection, Technology and Utilities Committee reviewing bills to safeguard PA consumers, ratepayers

(Sep 15, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 15 – The House Consumer Protection, Technology and Utilities Committee is moving swiftly to strengthen safeguards for PA consumers by reviewing bills to ban predatory sales practices and protect utility ratepayers, Majority Chairman Rep. Rob Matzie announced today. Matzie said the committee’s most recent efforts are aimed at banning predatory practices that make it difficult for consumers to afford or obtain concert tickets and other high-demand items. “We’re seeing consumers targeted by increasingly predatory practices,” Matzie said. “From speculative ticketing – in which resellers list tickets before they even have them in hand – to ‘grinch bots’ – which scalpers use to buy up mass quantities of tickets and other high-demand items for resale at inflated prices – consumers are being left out in the cold. The committee is working quickly to keep pace by reviewing bills my colleagues and I have introduced, including my bill to ban speculative ticketing. We can’t afford to wait around as new threats emerge.” Matzie said the committee is also examining bills to help protect utility consumers. “Factors driving utility rates are complex, but that doesn’t mean we can’t examine ways to contain costs and improve conditions for consumers,” Matzie said. “The committee recently reviewed a bill to Read more

 

Why Pa. Senate Majority Leader Joe Pittman should approve a bill on menstrual hygiene

(Sep 15, 2023)

Menstrual hygiene products are a necessity. HB 850 allows recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) to purchase menstrual products with those benefits. In our region, the stakes could not be higher. Nearly two million Pennsylvanians were using SNAP benefits as of September 2022; in Philadelphia, between 450,000 and 500,000 people receive these benefits. Read more

 

Caregiver workforce crisis discussed in latest House Majority Policy hearing

(Sep 14, 2023)

People living with disabilities, their caregivers and advocates testified about the current caregiver workforce crisis to members of the House Majority Policy Committee during a hearing Thursday afternoon. Read more

 

Support rises for Rabb and Solomon’s open primary legislation

(Sep 14, 2023)

Support continues to grow for voting access legislation authored by state Reps. Jared Solomon and Chris Rabb, both D-Phila. Philadelphia’s prestigious newspaper of record, The Philadelphia Inquirer, recently endorsed their bill to bring more voters into Pennsylvania’s election process. Rabb and Solomon said that the fastest growing group of voters in Pennsylvania are unaffiliated voters. Their proposed legislation would open primary elections to unaffiliated voters, which make up more than one million voters in Pennsylvania. “As a strong and established advocate of voters’ rights, I don’t believe there should be any one disenfranchised or a so-called second class of voters,” Rabb said. “Independent voters have a right to cast their ballot and be a part of the democratic process.” Solomon reiterated, “Opening the closed primary system in Pennsylvania would allow over one million more people to participate in the democratic process. An open primary system would go a long way to create more civic engagement, introduce fresh ideas and promote a healthy democracy.” Due to bipartisan support across the state, demonstrated in polling data, Rabb and Solomon are calling on the House State Government Committee to call this bill for a vote and move the bill to the House floor. According to Rabb and Solomon, 30 states have chosen to include unaffiliated voters in their primary elections, allowing voters who Read more

 

Pa. could pass a ‘lemon law’ for homes to protect residents from shoddy construction

(Sep 11, 2023)

State lawmakers from Philadelphia are trying to pass new legislation that would help prevent rowhomes from being damaged by adjacent demolitions and reduce defects in newly built houses. Read more

 

Testifiers detail need for Community Development Financial Institutions in PA

(Sep 08, 2023)

The House Majority Policy Committee convened a hearing Friday afternoon to discuss the need for Community Development Financial Institutions and support for workforce development in certain Pennsylvania communities. Read more

 

Pennsylvania lawmakers consider data privacy bill

(Sep 08, 2023)

In a March memoranda prior to bill’s introduction, the HB 1201’s prime sponsor, state Rep. Ed Neilson said that consumers have a right to data privacy and to know how their information is being used online.“In the near future, I intend to reintroduce legislation that gives consumers rights when it comes to their personal data and requires certain businesses to protect consumer privacy and limit the collection of consumer data,” Neilson said in March. Read more

 

Neilson: PA Needs New Ideas For Funding Transportation

(Sep 08, 2023)

Throughout the trip, we all agreed that transportation is a nonpartisan issue – a people issue – that must be addressed. The lack of funding to fix our infrastructure in a timely manner before roads and bridges become a safety concern is a real problem from one end of the state to the other. Read more

 

Freeman introduces bill to let housing authorities set up police departments
Sep 28, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation members seek justice for unfair Eddie Irizarry ruling and condemn looting in city
Sep 27, 2023

House passes O’Mara bill to increase access to photo identification for people living with disabilities
Sep 27, 2023

Democrats introduce legislative platform to support grandparents raising grandchildren
Sep 26, 2023

Rabb announces legislation amending CHRIA to ensure public health transparency
Sep 22, 2023

Open Primaries Would Strengthen Democracy in Pa.
Sep 22, 2023

Philadelphia House and Senate Delegations join Unite Here Local 634 in fight for a dignifying contract
Sep 21, 2023

Allegheny Dems call out GOP for holding universities’ funding hostage
Sep 21, 2023

Frankel unveils bill to protect PA workers from secondhand smoke
Sep 20, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation Leadership expresses condolences after passing of JoAnne A. Epps, acting president of Temple University
Sep 19, 2023

Policy Committee hears testimony on concerns in Latino community
Sep 15, 2023

The first hearing to fix Pennsylvania’s education funding system showed it will be a tough task
Sep 15, 2023

Matzie: House Consumer Protection, Technology and Utilities Committee reviewing bills to safeguard PA consumers, ratepayers
Sep 15, 2023

Why Pa. Senate Majority Leader Joe Pittman should approve a bill on menstrual hygiene
Sep 15, 2023

Caregiver workforce crisis discussed in latest House Majority Policy hearing
Sep 14, 2023

Support rises for Rabb and Solomon’s open primary legislation
Sep 14, 2023

Pa. could pass a ‘lemon law’ for homes to protect residents from shoddy construction
Sep 11, 2023

Testifiers detail need for Community Development Financial Institutions in PA
Sep 08, 2023

Pennsylvania lawmakers consider data privacy bill
Sep 08, 2023

Neilson: PA Needs New Ideas For Funding Transportation
Sep 08, 2023