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

Ravenstahl urges local governments to apply for emergency federal funding

(May 06, 2020)

Federal funding can be used for programs related to homelessness Read more

 

Snyder supports bill to expand COVID-19 testing

(May 05, 2020)

CARMICHAELS, May 5 – In a concerted effort to help Pennsylvania move forward in reopening its economy and to ensure public safety, state Rep. Pam Snyder has voted in favor of a measure to help curb the spread of COVID-19. Snyder, D-Greene/Fayette/Washington, said H.B. 2455 would call for the state to develop a comprehensive testing plan. The bill would also fund research, development and manufacturing of COVID-19 testing equipment and supplies, contact tracing and other measures. In addition, she said the measure would require health care and other essential workers to be given testing priority once the plan is activated. “Such a plan is vital to our collective efforts to reopen our entire state and work together to continue to halt the spread of this devastating virus,” Snyder said. “Medical experts agree that the only way we can truly stop this virus is with a robust, wide-ranging testing program to protect every Pennsylvanian, including our health care and essential workers.” The bill now moves to the Senate for further action. Read more

 

Wheatley supports measure to expand coronavirus testing

(May 05, 2020)

HARRISBURG, May 5 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, voted in support of a bill designed to curb the spread of COVID-19 and help the state move forward in reopening its economy and ensuring public safety. Wheatley said H.B. 2455 would call for the state to develop a comprehensive testing plan. The bill would also fund research, development and manufacturing of COVID-19 testing equipment and supplies, contact tracing and other measures. In addition, she added the measure would require healthcare and other essential workers to be given testing priority once the plan is activated. “We know people want to get back to work, visit their loved ones and support local businesses, but we have to ensure we have a plan in place that protects us and curbs the virus’ spread,” Wheatley said. “I stand ready to work with my colleagues and state officials to make that happen, and this plan is indeed a step in the right direction.” The bill now moves to the Senate for further action. Read more

 

Petrarca supports measure to expand COVID-19 testing statewide

(May 05, 2020)

HARRISBURG, May 5 – State Rep. Joseph Petrarca voted for a bill designed to curb the spread of COVID-19 and help Pennsylvania move forward in its recovery efforts. Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, said House Bill 2455 would have the state develop a comprehensive testing plan. It also would fund research, development and manufacturing of COVID-19 testing equipment and supplies, contact tracing and other measures. In addition, it would require healthcare and other essential workers to be given testing priority once the plan is activated. “We need a strong, wide-ranging testing program to halt the spread of this deadly virus and allow our state – including our businesses – to reopen safely and recover from the effects of this pandemic,” said Petrarca. “This plan would protect all Pennsylvanians, including our healthcare workers and emergency responders, who remain on the front lines in keeping all of safe.” The measure now heads to the Senate for further action. Read more

 

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

(May 05, 2020)

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

 

Sims measure to help nonprofit and charitable organizations during disaster emergency clears House

(May 05, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, May 5 – State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., announced that H.B. 2408 passed in a House vote Monday. The bill includes an amendment introduced by Republicans that borrows the language of Sims’ H.B. 2422. “I am glad that the beneficial language, crafted after discussions with District 182 charitable organizations, is being incorporated into the bill,” Sims said. “I’m also glad that all of my colleagues saw the importance of supporting Pennsylvania’s charitable organizations at this unprecedented time and administratively incorporated this language and unanimously passed it. I look forward to this becoming law.” Sims’ bill, HB 2422, would have increased the cap on endowment withdrawals for nonprofit and charitable organizations upon the declaration of a disaster emergency by the Governor. During the disaster emergency and for a period of one year afterward, the cap would increase from its current 7% to 10%. H.B. 2408 would include the increased cap on endowment withdrawals and would exempt cash payments disbursed by the CARES Act from state and local taxation. It was unanimously passed by the state House of Representatives. It now heads to the state Senate for consideration. 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

 

Ravenstahl votes with working families, helps protect stimulus payments from taxes

(May 04, 2020)

Legislation passed today would exempt stimulus checks, federal loans from state and local taxes 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

 

House Democratic leaders denounce Republican for playing politics, wasting tax dollars and sharing fake news

(May 01, 2020)

House Democratic leaders today released the following statement regarding House Republicans’ irresponsible political antics and misinformation campaign that’s putting Pennsylvanians’ lives at risk:“History will not be kind to those that have sown division and discord during a national emergency. Astoundingly, instead of offering reassuring, responsible leadership, constructive oversight and appropriating desperately needed resources in the midst of a global pandemic, House Republicans have focused their efforts on politicizing the reopening process, undermining our faith in public health officials and engaging in a bizarre misinformation campaign by spreading fake reopening plans on social media. Read more

 

Petrarca announces passage of bill to reopen local lawn and garden centers

(Apr 30, 2020)

VANDERGRIFT, April 30 – A bill passed by the House today would allow local lawn and garden centers to reopen through a waiver to the governor’s business closure order, state Rep. Joseph Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, announced. Petrarca said he voted for H.B. 2429 to help local garden centers and lawn stores compete against big-box stores and support the local community. “I know our local lawn and garden businesses have been hurting since the pandemic began, and the business closure affecting them couldn’t have come at a worse time, with prime gardening season approaching,” said Petrarca. “What made it worse was having big box stores open for business selling lawn and garden items. This bill would provide a safe way for them to operate, stimulate our local economy and allow more of our residents to get back to work.” Petrarca added that the legislation would require lawn and garden centers to implement safeguards, including social distancing requirements, providing workers with personal protective equipment and other related safety measures, and mandate regular cleaning of facilities. The measure now heads to the state Senate for consideration. 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

 

Petrarca: Area hospital receives emergency COVID-19 funding

(Apr 30, 2020)

VANDERGRIFT, April 30 – Indiana Regional Medical Center has been awarded funds to assist with needed resources to continue providing patient care during the current pandemic, state Rep. Joseph Petrarca announced today. Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, said Indiana Regional Medical Center will receive $10 million through the Hospital Emergency Loan Program . The program allows hospitals to use the funds to purchase equipment, including personal protective equipment, and for staffing as needed. “Our healthcare teams are truly the unsung heroes in this pandemic, and this vital funding will ensure Indiana Regional Medical Center has the resources it needs to continue providing qualify, life-saving care to its patients,” Petrarca said. “The fight against COVID-19 is far from over and taking these actions to safeguard our healthcare workers in combatting this virus remains a top priority.” The funding for the program was dispersed by PENNVEST and is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development through the Pennsylvania First Program. 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

 

Snyder applauds passage of bill that includes funds to help volunteer fire, emergency management service companies

(Apr 28, 2020)

HARRISBURG, April 28 – A bill that includes immediate financial assistance to volunteer fire and emergency management service companies passed unanimously in the House, state Rep. Pam Snyder announced. Snyder said her amendment, which originated from her bill introduced last month and included in House Bill 2413 , would establish a one-time program to provide automatic crisis grants to each fire and EMS company in Pennsylvania, once approved by the Office of the State Fire Commissioner and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. These grants would be funded by a one-time transfer of $30 million from the Volunteer Companies Loan Fund. “Every single day – especially during this current time – our brave men and women across our state are putting their lives on the line to keep us safe and assist people in need,” Snyder said. “Because of the pandemic, they’re not able to conduct their normal fundraising activities to stay active, and this grant program will help them continue to answer the call. I am extremely grateful for my colleagues’ support in making this happen.” The bill now heads to the Senate for further consideration. 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

 

Ravenstahl urges local governments to apply for emergency federal funding
May 06, 2020

Snyder supports bill to expand COVID-19 testing
May 05, 2020

Wheatley supports measure to expand coronavirus testing
May 05, 2020

Petrarca supports measure to expand COVID-19 testing statewide
May 05, 2020

Ravenstahl votes to expand COVID-19 testing as state heads back to work
May 05, 2020

Sims measure to help nonprofit and charitable organizations during disaster emergency clears House
May 05, 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

Ravenstahl votes with working families, helps protect stimulus payments from taxes
May 04, 2020

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

House Democratic leaders denounce Republican for playing politics, wasting tax dollars and sharing fake news
May 01, 2020

Petrarca announces passage of bill to reopen local lawn and garden centers
Apr 30, 2020

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

Petrarca: Area hospital receives emergency COVID-19 funding
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

Snyder applauds passage of bill that includes funds to help volunteer fire, emergency management service companies
Apr 28, 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