Ciresi bill encouraging historical renovation across PA passes state House

(Apr 15, 2024)

HARRISBURG, April 15 – A bill by state Rep. Joe Ciresi to create a pilot program to help fund the renovation of historic buildings across Pennsylvania passed the House today. Under H.B. 1573 , a two-year program would be administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development to help communities facing the challenges of updating and repurposing historic buildings, an expensive but worthwhile task in the commonwealth, said Ciresi, D-Montgomery. “Pennsylvania is home to some of the country’s most historical and beautiful communities, but with them come the high costs of renovation of older buildings,” he said. “Many of these buildings lack accessibility and weren’t built to meet modern building codes. With this grant program we will support reinvestment in our downtowns, assist with community revitalization, preserve historic properties and neighborhood character, and create jobs.” Improvements would be evaluated based on their ability to facilitate income-generating use of the property, their contribution to economic and community revitalization, and historic preservation and commercial or recreational opportunities for the public. Specifically, the program would help bring mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire-protection systems up to code through the installation of modern equipment such as sprinklers, efficient HVAC systems, elevators and extra stairs. Additionally, grants could be Read more

 

Shusterman celebrates passage of H.B. 1853

(Apr 15, 2024)

“We’re always looking to improve the lives of seniors in Pennsylvania,” Shusterman said. “By encouraging communication between the Department of Health and nursing home staff, we hope that the exchange of ideas and information between these two groups will lead to a unified effort to provide the best senior care possible. I want to thank my colleagues for their support of this legislation, including my fellow state Representative Kristin Marcell for her co-sponsorship and effort in delivering this legislation.” Read more

 

House passes Kinkead resolution to study PA crime and justice codes

(Apr 12, 2024)

The Joint State Government Commission would establish a bipartisan task force to study the PA Crimes Code, Sentencing Code, Judicial Code, and all statutes, consolidated and unconsolidated, that carry a criminal penalty for language that is duplicative, inconsistent, unenforceable, carries improper offense grading, or is outdated for modern society under a concurrent resolution introduced by state Rep. Emily Kinkead that the PA House passed on Tuesday. Read more

 

Burns bill would name Cambria Township bridge after longtime Ebensburg mayor

(Apr 11, 2024)

HARRISBURG, April 10 – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives has unanimously approved a bill introduced by state Rep. Frank Burns to name a bridge in Cambria County as the Michael G. Tsikalas Memorial Bridge. Burns’ bill would name the bridge that carries U.S. Route 22 over Howells Run in Cambria Township after Tsikalas, a WWII veteran and longtime Ebensburg mayor. “Tsikalas was a fixture in Ebensburg. Whether it was from his time at the Hi-Way Diner, or as mayor of Ebensburg or grade school football coach, everyone knew him,” said Burns, D-Cambria. “Before that, he was a World War II veteran who stormed Omaha Beach on D-Day. Naming this bridge in his honor pays tribute to his service.” While serving in the U.S. Navy, Tsikalas fought on the front lines as he was in one of the first amphibious land cruisers to land on Omaha Beach on D-Day. After the war, he worked at the Hi-Way Diner for 40 years and served as Ebensburg mayor for 20 years, where he oversaw the Lake Rowena Revitalization project and the start of the Ebensburg Main Street Program. He also served as Cambria County prothonotary for 20 years and coached football for over 30 years at Holy Name and Ebensburg elementary schools. He passed away on May 18, 2022, at the age of 95. The bill now goes to the state Senate for consideration. Read more

 

Burns bill to increase pool of mortuary inspector candidates passes House

(Apr 11, 2024)

HARRISBURG, April 11 – The state Senate has received a bill introduced by state Rep. Frank Burns that would help ensure that funeral homes in the state are operating safely and according to state law. Read more

 

Gergely’s bill to advance PA health care initiative heads to governor’s desk to become law

(Apr 11, 2024)

HARRISBURG, April 11 – State Rep. Matthew R. Gergely’s bill to protect plasma donated throughout Pennsylvania and preserve its suitability for use in health and medical forums passed the state Senate unanimously this week. The legislation (H.B. 1795) would require that source plasma, specifically, undergoes extensive testing upon donation and before it is ultimately integrated into essential pharmaceuticals. Gergely’s bill, co-sponsored by state Rep. Tim Briggs, D-Montgomery, would also allow more focus to be devoted to developing such pharmaceuticals by eliminating a signification portion of subsequent testing conducted in labs during the clinical development phase. “Plasma centers are a priority for me, as there are many in the communities I represent. Safeguarding healthy and viable plasma not only enhances quality of life for residents, it will save lives throughout the 35th District and the commonwealth at large,” said Gergely, D-Allegheny. “A huge thanks to Rep. Briggs for his collaboration and to the members of the Senate for all their efforts in getting this legislation to Governor Shapiro’s desk.” “We're on the verge of securing a lifeline for those battling serious medical conditions. With this bill’s imminent passage into law, we affirm our commitment to ensuring that every drop of plasma donated in our state is a beacon of hope for those in need,” Briggs added. “Let's Read more

 

PA House adopts Paul Robeson Day resolution

(Apr 10, 2024)

HARRISBURG, April 10 – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives adopted a resolution ( H.R. 331 ) today sponsored by state Rep. Rick Krajewski and state Rep. Chris Rabb that declares April 9, 2024, as “Paul Robeson Day” in Pennsylvania. The resolution recognizes Robeson, one of Pennsylvania’s most extraordinary artists and champions of social justice, by recognizing his birthday, April 9, as “Paul Robeson Day,” said Krajewski. “At a time when the threat of fascism feels realer than ever, when workers, Black and Brown people, immigrants, LGBTQ+ folk and marginalized communities across the world are suffering from systemic oppression, we could all learn from the values of humility, compassion, empathy and solidarity espoused by Paul Robeson,” Krajewski said. Krajewski was joined on Tuesday by leaders from the Paul Robeson House and Museum in West Philadelphia who traveled to Harrisburg to celebrate Robeson’s 126th birthday. “We are so excited to see this resolution adopted, and to see it happen around his birthday celebration,” said Janice Sykes-Ross, executive director of the Paul Robeson House & Museum. “As Paul Robeson said, ‘Artists are the gatekeepers of truth.’ They continue to change the world. This is an example of one of those truths.” Read more

 

Otten bill to expand early intervention services passes House

(Apr 10, 2024)

HARRISBURG, April 10 – State Rep. Danielle Friel Otten’s bill to provide early intervention services to children born to mothers struggling with postpartum depression passed the Pennsylvania House today. House Bill 1593 would expand services to children from birth through two years with mothers diagnosed with or at high risk for postpartum depression, ensuring that these vulnerable children and their families have access to the support they need. Early intervention services can reduce a family’s sources of stress and encourage healthy relationships among children, families and caregivers. Otten, D-Chester, introduced the legislation with a co-prime sponsor, state Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., who chairs the PA House Children and Youth Committee. “Welcoming a new baby should be a joyous time for a family,” Otten said. “And yet the reality is that a new baby can also mean sleepless days and nights, isolation from friendships, anxiety about stretched finances or missed career opportunities, and physical, hormonal changes that trigger postpartum depression.” “There’s an abundance of research that shows that a child’s development in the earliest years of their life is significantly impacted by the tenor of their earliest formative relationships with their family and loved ones,” Bullock said. “By supporting children and mothers throughout this delicate time and Read more

 

Shusterman & Davis family law arbitration bill heads to governor’s desk

(Apr 10, 2024)

State Reps. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester, and Tina Davis, D-Bucks, are excited to announce that H.B. 917 passed the state House of Representatives with full bipartisan support and sent it to the governor.The bill has seen unanimous, bipartisan support throughout the legislative process, from the House’s initial consideration of the bill last year, to its consideration in the Senate, and again with today’s unanimous concurrence in the House. Read more

 

Pielli’s artificial intelligence content disclosure bill passes PA House

(Apr 10, 2024)

“The bill is simple. If it’s AI, it has to say it’s AI,” Pielli said. “People deserve to know if what they’re looking at is real or not when making purchases. This disclosure will be clear and conspicuous in the same medium as the content generated to help consumers make better-informed and more secure purchases. We also hope to curb possible misinformation by malicious authors who knowingly or recklessly generate and spread this content with the goal of fooling the public.” Read more

 

House clears Sappey bill to ensure Pennsylvanians’ access to telemedicine

(Apr 10, 2024)

HARRISBURG, April 10 – State House lawmakers today passed legislation introduced by Rep. Christina Sappey, D Chester, that would require insurers to cover telemedicine. “The COVID-19 pandemic brought to light just how critical telemedicine is in providing access to a variety of healthcare services, particularly in rural areas. Special needs families were able to receive therapies with consistency and many of us found mental health services available through telemedicine,” Sappey said. "Studies show that four out of five Americans have used telemedicine at some point in their life. Data also indicates that more than half of telemedicine visits are for mental health conditions—proving how vital telemedicine is in promoting mental health. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania is one of a handful of states that do not require health insurers to cover telemedicine. This leaves Pennsylvanians at serious risk of not receiving care at all, and that’s unacceptable.” Under Sappey’s bill ( H.B. 1512 ) , a health insurer may not refuse to pay or reimburse a participating health care provider or a covered person for a medically necessary and appropriate covered healthcare service provided through telemedicine. Telemedicine does not include care provided solely through voicemail, email or instant messaging. “I am grateful to my House colleagues for voting to Read more

 

House passes Philadelphia tow truck accountability legislation

(Apr 10, 2024)

HARRISBURG, April 10 – A bill ( H.B. 816 ) sponsored by state Rep. Jose Giral, D-Phila., that would require tow truck operators in Philadelphia to take photographic evidence of the violation for which they are towing or removing a vehicle passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives today. In Philadelphia, vehicle owners are allowed to provide evidence to the parking hearing examiner that their vehicle was towed unreasonably or unlawfully and avoid paying the associated fees, Giral said. However, without clear evidence of a violation, it’s difficult for the vehicle owners to prove their innocence. “This is a commonsense measure that would be a benefit to everyone involved — the courts, drivers and towing companies,” Giral said. “It will ensure greater accountability and transparency and that everything runs just a little bit smoother.” The bill now goes to the state Senate for consideration. Read more

 

Rabb highlights living wage for all Pennsylvanians legislation

(Apr 10, 2024)

HARRISBURG, April 10 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., introduced legislation ( H.B. 1135 ) that would establish a living wage that includes vulnerable members of the workforce in Pennsylvania. This legislation would increase the minimum wage to a living wage over time with annual cost-of-living adjustments, abolish the sub-minimum wage, protect gratuities from wage theft and expand the universe of beneficiaries to include gig workers, incarcerated workers and neurodivergent workers. “The idea that it is allowable and acceptable to pay classes of working Pennsylvanians, due to their situation or circumstance, less than the minimum wage or a living wage is heinous and unacceptable. Yet, that is what commonwealth law currently allows,” Rabb said. “It’s time we change that and show that we value all work here in Pennsylvania. After all, all work has dignity. And there is no excuse for allowing a poverty wage in our commonwealth.” H.B. 1135 is currently in the PA House Labor and Industry Committee where it awaits a vote. Read more

 

Smith-Wade-El and Arkoosh visit Refresh Lancaster

(Apr 10, 2024)

HARRISBURG, April 10 – Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Secretary Valerie Arkoosh joined state Rep. Ismail Smith-Wade-El, D-Lancaster, for a tour of Refresh Lancaster’s mobile unit at Union Community Care last Friday. Refresh Lancaster is a collaboration between Lancaster Emergency Medical Services Association and Lancaster County Homelessness Coalition that offers free weekly showers, hygienic kits, medical care and referrals to social services in a mobile unit at several locations throughout the county. “In my experience working as an activist in Lancaster, I found that many of the people most in need of social services were nervous about approaching state organizations for help,” Smith-Wade-El said. “I wanted to share with Secretary Arkoosh how Refresh Lancaster is successfully reaching out and building trust with these vulnerable members of our community by serving as a low-barrier entryway to the commonwealth’s extensive network of social and health services.” Smith-Wade-El and Arkoosh also toured Union Community Care’s new dental unit where the staff stressed dental care as a critical part of health care. The tour highlighted how managed-care organizations use Medicaid waivers to serve residents in need. “People who are unhoused experience higher health care spending and poorer long-term outcomes, and approachable, empathetic supports and assistance can be a bridge to stability and a Read more

 

Tougher distracted driving law passes Pennsylvania House

(Apr 10, 2024)

House Transportation Committee Chairperson Ed Neilson (D-Philadelphia) noted that Paul Miller Jr.’s parents Eileen and Paul Sr. have pushed for the expanded distracted driving law for 14 years. Eileen Miller was in the House gallery for the vote Tuesday, Neilson said.“Right before coming to the floor, she said something to me that I’d like to share with you and it’s about distracted driving. It does not discriminate. The loved one lost could be yours,” Neilson said. Read more

 

Grant Memo: Agricultural, Educational, Safety, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities For Your District

(Apr 10, 2024)

NEWLY LISTED PROGRAMS Department of Agriculture: Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program Who May Apply: Agricultural producers or processors and nonprofits, for-profits, local government entities, and institutions such as schools, universities or hospitals that operate middle of the food chain activities or invest in equipment that will benefit middle of the supply chain activities. Use: Activities that expand capacity and infrastructure for the aggregation, processing, manufacturing, storing, transporting, wholesaling or distribution of targeted local and regional agricultural products Funds: Grants will be awarded to the extent that funds are available. Grant requests shall be between $10,000 and $100,000. Application Deadline: May 15, 2024 More information: PDA Website Department of Health: WalkWorks Grant Program Who May Apply: Municipalities located in either a PA Department of Health State Physical Activity and Nutrition (SPAN) priority county or in communities with an overall percentile rating above 60 in the PA Department of Environmental Protection’s PennEnviroScreen Tool. The 10 current SPAN counties include Clearfield, Erie, Fayette, Greene, Lawrence, Luzerne, Lycoming, Mercer, Northumberland, and Philadelphia. Use: Funds and structured pre-planning assistance will be available to a limited number of municipal and/or multi-municipal applicants to complete the steps necessary to prepare to apply in the future for funds Read more

 

Khan to introduce bipartisan legislation empowering recovery community organizations

(Apr 10, 2024)

HARRISBURG, April 10 – State Rep. Tarik Khan, D-Phila., today announced he will soon introduce bipartisan legislation to help prevent opioid overdose and support long-term recovery. This legislation would require Medicaid coverage and licensure for recovery community organizations providing peer recovery support services. Recovery community organizations help individuals and their families as they navigate to successful recovery and healthy lifestyles; however, they are currently not a licensable entity type in Pennsylvania, and individuals with substance use disorder only qualify for peer recovery services through Medicaid if they also have a mental illness. “So proud to help lead this effort to increase access to support services for individuals with substance use,” Khan said. “As a nurse practitioner and state legislator, I am committed to supporting recovery community organizations— key allies in increasing recovery and reducing overdoses across the state.” This bill has support from advocates outside the legislature including Robert D. Ashford, executive director for Unity Recovery, and Lauryn Wicks, family member and advocate. "Peer support workers and recovery community organizations are such a critical part of how we respond to substance use and mental health concerns in Pennsylvania,” Ashford said. “This legislation ensures that peers can be paid Read more

 

Pa. Democrats and union workers rally at the Capitol for $20 per hour ‘living wage’

(Apr 10, 2024)

All of Pennsylvania’s neighboring states have a higher minimum wage, but the Keystone State remains stuck at the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour. Workers and state Democratic elected officials say it’s time for that to change. “No more can we say minimum wage, because we don’t do minimum work,” state Rep. Roni Green (D-Philadelphia) said during a rally with union workers at the Capitol rotunda on Tuesday. “The days of minimum wage are gone. We need a living wage.” Read more

 

Kenyatta bill to convey New Freedom Theatre back to organization clears PA House

(Apr 09, 2024)

HARRISBURG, April 9 – After more than 30 years under state conservatorship the New Freedom Theatre is a step closer to being returned to the care of its parent organization thanks to legislation authored by state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., and passed by the PA House today. Kenyatta’s bill ( H.B. 1518 ) would authorize the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission to grant and convey the tract of land that contains the iconic New Freedom Theatre in North Philadelphia to New Freedom Theatre Inc. for $1. According to Kenyatta, the theater that started in a North Philadelphia storefront with the support of the Black People’s Unity Movement in the mid-1960s has worked to chronicle African American History in the performing arts with playwrights and artists including Erika Alexander, James Baldwin, Denzel Washington, August Wilson, Sonia Sanchez, Grover Washington, Jr. and Glynn Turman. It also has provided professional theatrical training to tens of thousands of students over the years. “The New Freedom Theatre is a cultural treasure in the 181st District and the city of Philadelphia. Its deep history and future potential give us hope,” Kenyatta said. “As the theater continues to stand strong in its status as a bastion of Black culture in Philadelphia, its site has preservation needs that come with any structure built in the 1800s. The organization is working to preserve the site’s history so Read more

 

PLBC proposes legislation to help with fair housing

(Apr 09, 2024)

HARRISBURG, April 9 – Members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus spoke at a news conference today regarding legislation that would create a fairer housing market. April serves as National Fair Housing Month, bringing awareness and advocating policy for individuals that have been discriminated against and wrongfully evicted, and educating residents on their housing rights and the resources available to them. House Bill 96 , introduced by state Rep. Donna Bullock, would prohibit landlords from inquiring or requiring disclosure about certain arrest records of potential tenants as a condition of a lease. “In Pennsylvania, a person can be denied a rental property based off a conviction or even just an arrest — it doesn’t matter if it was years ago or even decades ago. Many times, individuals who are denied a lease were never convicted, completed a deferred judgement or have long since turned their life around. And when landlords use this tactic, it’s overwhelmingly used to be discriminatory toward Black and brown Pennsylvanians,” Bullock said. “We must pass legislation that prohibits landlords from inquiring or requiring disclosure of certain arrest records — such as juvenile records, arrests with no conviction, convictions older than seven years and convictions that aren’t felonies or misdemeanors — as a condition of a lease. Housing Read more

 

Ciresi bill encouraging historical renovation across PA passes state House
Apr 15, 2024

Shusterman celebrates passage of H.B. 1853
Apr 15, 2024

House passes Kinkead resolution to study PA crime and justice codes
Apr 12, 2024

Burns bill would name Cambria Township bridge after longtime Ebensburg mayor
Apr 11, 2024

Burns bill to increase pool of mortuary inspector candidates passes House
Apr 11, 2024

Gergely’s bill to advance PA health care initiative heads to governor’s desk to become law
Apr 11, 2024

PA House adopts Paul Robeson Day resolution
Apr 10, 2024

Otten bill to expand early intervention services passes House
Apr 10, 2024

Shusterman & Davis family law arbitration bill heads to governor’s desk
Apr 10, 2024

Pielli’s artificial intelligence content disclosure bill passes PA House
Apr 10, 2024

House clears Sappey bill to ensure Pennsylvanians’ access to telemedicine
Apr 10, 2024

House passes Philadelphia tow truck accountability legislation
Apr 10, 2024

Rabb highlights living wage for all Pennsylvanians legislation
Apr 10, 2024

Smith-Wade-El and Arkoosh visit Refresh Lancaster
Apr 10, 2024

Tougher distracted driving law passes Pennsylvania House
Apr 10, 2024

Grant Memo: Agricultural, Educational, Safety, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities For Your District
Apr 10, 2024

Khan to introduce bipartisan legislation empowering recovery community organizations
Apr 10, 2024

Pa. Democrats and union workers rally at the Capitol for $20 per hour ‘living wage’
Apr 10, 2024

Kenyatta bill to convey New Freedom Theatre back to organization clears PA House
Apr 09, 2024

PLBC proposes legislation to help with fair housing
Apr 09, 2024