Legislation to move Pennsylvania's primary election day passes House committee

(Oct 03, 2023)

"Jewish Pennsylvanians shouldn't have to choose between celebrating Passover and going to the polls. We don’t want to have any tension between our religious beliefs and our civic duty,” Solomon said. “My legislation to move up Pennsylvania’s primary election would solve this issue while at the same time giving Pennsylvania more of a say in all future presidential races so that we are in the mix with other early states." Read more

 

Pennsylvania primary: State House committee advances one bill to change the date, rejects another

(Oct 03, 2023)

Kenyatta added that moving the primary from its current April 23 date to April 2 positions Pennsylvania to be part of a regional group of states holding primaries on that date, including Arkansas, Delaware, Mississippi, New York, Rhode Island and Wisconsin. He acknowledged concerns about how changing the date would affect county elections officials and the logistics involved in making a change with just over seven months before the primary. Read more

 

Matzie: House Consumer Protection, Technology and Utilities Committee approves new bills to ban predatory sales practices, protect ratepayers

(Oct 03, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 3 – The House Consumer Protection, Technology and Utilities Committee voted today to send new consumer protection bills to the full House for consideration, including bills that would ban predatory sales practices and protect utility customers, Majority Chairman Rep. Rob Matzie announced. “These consumer and ratepayer protections are the result of months of hard, bipartisan work over the summer,” Matzie said. “Our goal was to get these measures up for House consideration as soon as possible, and I was proud that we came together to do that for the good of the state’s consumers.” The bills approved by the committee today include: H.B. 109 , which would prohibit telecommunications and utility companies from charging early termination fees when a customer dies before completion of a contract. H.B. 636 , which would require sellers to disclose “junk fees” – unexpected, mandatory fees added to the price of goods or services. H.B. 1378 , which would ban “grinch bots” used by scalpers to buy up mass quantities of items for resale at inflated prices. H.B. 1619 , which would address unsafe and unsightly duplicative utility poles. H.B. 1658, which would ban speculative ticketing – a practice that allows ticket resellers to list tickets for sale even though they do not have Read more

 

Kenyatta, Solomon’s election legislation voted out of State Govt. Committee

(Oct 03, 2023)

The legislators maintain that moving up the primary date would give Pennsylvania increased political weight commensurate with the state’s size and importance in deciding elections. Read more

 

Committee OKs Probst bill for wildlife rehab center grants

(Oct 03, 2023)

"Wildlife rehabilitators are essential in treating and temporarily caring for injured, diseased, and displaced wildlife," Probst said. Read more

 

Powell sworn in as PA House representative

(Oct 02, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 2 – State Rep. Lindsay Powell was sworn in by U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan Schwab at the state Capitol today as the new representative for the 21 st Legislative District. “I’m honored and excited to hit the ground running in my new role as a state representative,” said Powell, D-Allegheny. “I’ve collaborated with some of the individuals who I’m pleased to now call colleagues and look forward to working with them to enhance the lives of all Pennsylvanians.” Powell is no stranger to federal and state government. She served as a member of U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer’s and U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries’ staff and acted as the city of Pittsburgh’s assistant chief of staff for nearly five years. Most recently, Powell was director of workforce strategies for InnovatePGH and focused on creating employment opportunities for underrepresented technologists in the Pittsburgh tech ecosystem in that role. Key issues for Powell include safe and dignified housing for all, helping working families, assisting small businesses and strengthening the local economy, and increasing the number of community assets. Powell won the September special election for the vacant House seat after Sara Innamorato resigned. Taking office, she reaffirms the Democratic majority and serves as the first person of color to hold this seat, while also increasing the total Read more

 

Ciresi anti-littering bill passes PA House

(Oct 02, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 2 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi’s legislation (H.B. 1044) today passed the PA House of Representatives. The legislation would update and simplify littering language that appears on vehicle registration cards and applications for driver’s licenses and learner’s permits. “Pennsylvania is a beautiful state, but all too often litter degrades our streets and countryside, threatens public health and negatively impacts community pride,” Ciresi, D-Montgomery, said. “With this bill, I wanted to turn the current, technical wording used on PennDOT documents into something that everyone could understand, make sure drivers clearly understand the penalties for littering, and update the penalty language to include community service. We are all stewards of our commonwealth, and I hope the updated and simplified language on vehicle registration and applications will make Pennsylvanians step up and take responsibility for its care.” Ciresi said littering is a major problem in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Litter Research Study -- conducted in 2018-2019 by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful -- found more than 500 million pieces of litter on roadways statewide. Ciresi pointed out that a significant portion of taxpayer money is being used to clean up litter, citing one 2019 study by Keep Pennsylvania Read more

 

Rabb highlights legislative remedy on International Wrongful Conviction Day

(Oct 02, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 2 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., is reemphasizing the importance of compensating people wrongfully convicted on International Wrongful Conviction Day. “Today marks the 10 th annual International Wrongful Conviction Day,” Rabb said. “It is a day to remember Pennsylvanians who have suffered at the hands of an unjust criminal legal system, and to reaffirm our commitment to compensating exonerees.” Rabb has reintroduced legislation (H.B. 987) that would help exonerees re-enter society by: Providing monetary compensation to those wrongfully convicted and those wrongfully imprisoned. Providing additional monetary compensation to those wrongfully placed on the state sex offenders registry, on parole or on death row. Establishing a mechanism for additional supports including education, housing, and reasonable reintegrative mental and physical health services. Rabb said he has sought feedback from an array of exonerees to improve his legislation, thereby ensuring a fair and well-guided process from input from experts closest to the pain. “My legislation would do something that should have happened a long time ago: providing compensation and other resources to those who should have never been convicted,” Rabb said. “It’s time the state atones for the consequential Read more

 

Neilson’s plan to give cities greater authority over off-road vehicles passes House

(Oct 02, 2023)

“The safety of our residents and visitors is paramount. HB1338 empowers cities to take decisive action to protect pedestrians, motorists, and the overall well-being of their communities,” Neilson said. Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation praises tentative agreement between Unite Here Local 634 and the Philadelphia School District

(Sep 29, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 29 – Following a tense conflict concerning the Philadelphia School District and city school workers, Unite Here Local 634 announced today that the union reached a preliminary contract agreement Thursday night that would benefit its nearly 2,000 members. The tentative four-year contract, that includes raises, a $500 signing bonus and basic equipment like walkie-talkies, was arranged two days before the current collective bargaining agreement expires Saturday. Philadelphia House Delegation Chairwoman Rep. Morgan Cephas, who participated in a rally held earlier this month by the school workers, said this is great news not only for the union but for the whole community as parents and students are also key in the conflict. “We are pleased to learn this tentative agreement would guarantee raises during the contract period. This is not just an exclusive victory of the union, or the school district, it is also a win for the entire community,” Cephas said. “The demands of the student climate staff and food service workers are elementary. They need livable wages to offset expenses. Our delegation will continue advancing legislation that would protect worker’s rights as well as promoting and supporting every single resource that would help us amplify the voices of all workers of the commonwealth.” Members of Unite Here Local 634 who earn about $15.50 Read more

 

Climate Week in Pennsylvania is Oct. 1-7

(Sep 29, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 29 – October 1-7, 2023, is Climate Week in Pennsylvania, and the bicameral Pennsylvania Legislative Climate Caucus today announced a schedule of events taking place during the week, as well as information about resources and legislation related to climate action in Pennsylvania and throughout the United States. This year’s Climate Week theme, “Empower Local Climate Action,” reflects the importance of addressing the costs and effects of the climate crisis in rural, urban, and suburban communities across the commonwealth. Climate Caucus members in the House and Senate have introduced more than 50 pieces of climate-related legislation this session, including several bills that would empower and support climate action at the residential, municipal, and regional level. Climate Caucus co-chairs state Rep. Danielle Friel Otten, D-Chester, and state Sen. Carolyn Comitta, D-Chester, shared their thoughts on the importance of empowering local climate action and the work that the Climate Caucus is doing during Climate Week and every week. “The impacts of the climate crisis are felt first and foremost at the local level, as municipalities struggle to cope with the costs and challenges associated with stormwater, flooding, extreme weather events, and excessive heat,” Otten said. “We as state legislators have a responsibility to do everything in our power to support local communities and Read more

 

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

 

Legislation to move Pennsylvania's primary election day passes House committee
Oct 03, 2023

Pennsylvania primary: State House committee advances one bill to change the date, rejects another
Oct 03, 2023

Matzie: House Consumer Protection, Technology and Utilities Committee approves new bills to ban predatory sales practices, protect ratepayers
Oct 03, 2023

Kenyatta, Solomon’s election legislation voted out of State Govt. Committee
Oct 03, 2023

Committee OKs Probst bill for wildlife rehab center grants
Oct 03, 2023

Powell sworn in as PA House representative
Oct 02, 2023

Ciresi anti-littering bill passes PA House
Oct 02, 2023

Rabb highlights legislative remedy on International Wrongful Conviction Day
Oct 02, 2023

Neilson’s plan to give cities greater authority over off-road vehicles passes House
Oct 02, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation praises tentative agreement between Unite Here Local 634 and the Philadelphia School District
Sep 29, 2023

Climate Week in Pennsylvania is Oct. 1-7
Sep 29, 2023

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