House Democratic Policy Committee to hold briefing about “The Vanishing Trial” Thursday in Capitol

(Sep 04, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 4 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, announced today that the House Democratic Policy Committee will hold a public briefing on “The Vanishing Trial” film and the implications of Pennsylvania’s harsh sentencing laws on plea bargaining and trials. The briefing will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 10 in Room G-50 Irvis Office Building in Harrisburg. The media and public are urged to watch the livestream at www.pahouse.com/live . Requested by state Rep. Tina Davis, D-Bucks, the briefing will feature a showing of “The Vanishing Trial” and testimony from policy experts. Presenters will speak remotely while committee members will participate in person and remotely. Speakers will include: K. Celeste Trusty , Pennsylvania state policy director, FAMM. Marirosa Lamas , former superintendent, SCI-Chester. Chester Hollman , legal assistant, Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project. Nyssa Taylor , criminal justice policy counsel, ACLU-PA. Following the briefing, testimonies and full briefing video will be posted at www.pahouse.com/policycommittee . Read more

 

Enough is enough: stopping gun violence takes a collaborative effort that must put children first

(Sep 03, 2020)

It may seem impossible, but Rep. Joanna McClinton explains in her latest op-ed the actions needed to stop the senseless gun violence plaguing Philadelphia. Read more

 

Let’s empower consumers by creating labeling standards, regulations for CBD

(Sep 02, 2020)

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is everywhere these days. We see it for sale in pharmacies, corner stores, grocery stores and online. Since the legalization of hemp at the federal and state levels, there has been some confusion regarding CBD, which is hemp’s most popular extract. With CBD’s popularity exploding due to its medicinal uses – treating conditions like epilepsy, chronic pain and anxiety – I believe that regulation of CBD is necessary. Although CBD has no psychoactive properties, there is currently no legal standard for what constitutes CBD, nor are there any labeling standards to inform consumers of exactly what they are purchasing. People should be able to make informed decisions about the items they’re purchasing. To address the issue, I will be introducing legislation that would legally define “hemp extract” to include CBD and direct the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to create labeling standards and other regulations to help inform and protect consumers who purchase or are considering purchasing products containing CBD. This legislation would help to end the confusion and mistrust surrounding CBD and the products in which it is used. Read more

 

House Democrats fight to keep renters, homeowners Safe at Home

(Aug 31, 2020)

The House Democratic Housing Working Group announced a package of bills to protect people across Pennsylvania as the state’s moratorium on evictions and foreclosures expires Read more

 

McClinton brings community residents, leaders, and police together to address recent surge in gun violence

(Aug 28, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 28 – Less than a week after a 23-year-old man was shot and killed in broad daylight, state Rep. Joanna McClinton brought community residents, leaders and law enforcement together Thursday night to address the recent surge in gun violence. “No one should fear for their life when they leave their home or be scared to let their child go outside to play,” said McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware. “However, when a person is gunned down in the middle of the day in our neighborhood, how can you not be alarmed? The gun violence is out of control, and it’s our responsibility to be proactive to stop the bloodshed.” Individuals from across the neighborhood joined McClinton for the outdoor conversation along Christian Street that included city councilmembers and the 18 th Police District, along with officials from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office and state Sen. Anthony Williams’ office. “Stopping this culture of killing and strengthening public safety must include a collaborative effort involving elected officials, law enforcement, local leaders and the people who live here – especially our young people,” McClinton explained. “Gun violence is a community problem that requires a community solution.” McClinton added a critical step to reducing crime is by getting children on the right path from the beginning. She is currently working on legislation Read more

 

Briggs: Pandemic, election demonstrate need for media literacy curriculum

(Aug 21, 2020)

KING OF PRUSSIA, Aug. 18 – The global pandemic and upcoming presidential election demonstrate the critical importance of teaching media literacy, starting at a young age, said state Rep. Tim Briggs, who has been advocating for the establishment of media literacy curriculum in Pennsylvania schools. “As we are all bombarded with information on a daily basis, particularly through social media, it can sometimes be difficult to discern fact from fiction – and during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s critical to ensure we are consuming accurate information from reliable sources,” said Briggs, D-Montgomery. “I’ve reintroduced legislation to establish a media literacy curriculum in our schools because we need to prepare our youngest citizens with the critical thinking skills necessary to evaluate information and sources. The health of our democracy – and right now, the health of our citizens – depends on it.” House Bill 992, assigned to the House Education Committee since March 2019, would require the Pennsylvania Department of Education to develop an age-appropriate media literacy curriculum for kindergarten through grade 12 that would be made available to school districts throughout Pennsylvania. The curriculum may include, but would not be limited to: developing critical thinking skills; understanding how media messages shape culture and society; identifying targeted marketing strategies; naming Read more

 

Legislation by Reps. Ciresi, Davis would provide financial relief to local bars, restaurants

(Aug 20, 2020)

House Bill 2791, which was assigned to the Commerce Committee after introduction, is also part of a House Democratic legislative package announced last month that seeks to provide relief for the community business owners and the workers who cook and serve. Read more

 

Ciresi calls for additional hazard pay for first responders, frontline workers

(Aug 19, 2020)

“While the recent hazard pay grants provided important support to many of our frontline heroes, we need to do more,” Ciresi said. “Unfortunately, due to program guidelines and funding limitations, many of those putting themselves in harm’s way were left out, including firefighters and EMS. We have a responsibility to them – as fellow Pennsylvanians – to honor their long-term sacrifices and risks with financial assistance.” Read more

 

Merski demands U.S. Postmaster General end cutbacks that threaten to disenfranchise mail-in voters

(Aug 17, 2020)

ERIE, Aug. 17 – State Rep. Bob Merski, D-Erie, is taking U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to task over service cutbacks that threaten to sabotage successful mail-in voting by Pennsylvanians in the upcoming General Election. In a letter to DeJoy , also sent to several members of Congress, Merski cites the recent elimination of Saturday hours at the South Erie Post Office and says the change will directly impact area residents, many of whom will choose to vote by mail or absentee ballots in the weeks ahead. “Residents have already been calling my office to complain about a slowing down of mail at the post office,” Merski said. “These aren’t actions taken to bring greater efficiency – they are deliberate attempts to silence residents who are looking to exercise their constitutional rights through our newly enacted mail-in voting system. “Democracy depends on full participation by the people, but the people can’t have a meaningful voice if their vote becomes lost in the mail. They say justice delayed is justice denied. The same is true of our democracy when actions motivated by partisan politics interfere with the timely delivery of our vote. That’s unacceptable – Americans everywhere have the right to know their ballot will be safely and timely delivered.” Merski is also co-sponsoring a resolution that commemorates the Read more

 

Legislators call on Wolf administration to revoke Mariner East pipeline permits in Chester County

(Aug 14, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 14 – State legislators representing five House districts and three Senatorial districts in Chester County have signed a letter to secretary Patrick McDonnell of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, secretary Dr. Rachel Levine of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and Chairwoman Gladys Brown Dutrieuille of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission calling for an immediate halt to Mariner East pipeline construction and a revocation of Energy Transfer’s permits in Chester County. “Pennsylvanians have a constitutional right to clean water, clean air and the preservation of our state’s vast natural resources, but time and time again, construction on the Mariner East pipeline has violated that right,” state Sen. Katie Muth, Berks/Chester/Montgomery, said. “This latest incident further proves that construction cannot be carried out safely. All state-issued permits for the Mariner East pipeline in Chester County must be revoked.” “In just the past month, we’ve had more than a dozen serious events at Mariner East pipeline sites in Chester County, endangering our waters, ecosystems, and public health and safety,” state Rep. Danielle Friel Otten, D-Chester, said. “We’ve had sinkholes along Business Route 30 at one segment of the Mariner pipeline, hundreds of thousands of gallons of water pouring out of a hillside at another, pipeline Read more

 

PA House Democratic Leader letter to Postmaster General DeJoy

(Aug 14, 2020)

PA House Democratic Leader letter to Postmaster General DeJoy Read more

 

Let’s champion adaptability, not blame, when we talk about a plan for reopening our schools

(Aug 14, 2020)

I read state Rep. Kerry Benninghoff’s recent column on the need to prioritize our children’s safety, not politicize it. While I believe Rep. Benninghoff is sincere in his concern for children throughout the commonwealth, I think he and many others in his party are missing the mark when they talk about what our children need from us as this school year gets underway. Read more

 

Kinsey, Webster and PLBC members amplify call to remove Montco Commissioner Joe Gale

(Aug 13, 2020)

JEFFERSONVILLE, Aug. 13 – State Reps. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus; and Joe Webster, D-Montgomery, along with PLBC members state Reps. Margo Davidson, D-Delaware, and Patty Kim, D-Dauphin, today participated in a “Free from Hate” news conference led by PA Women Rise at the West Norriton Municipal Center. The group’s “Free from Hate” platform was centered around increased demands for the ousting of Montgomery County Commissioner Joseph Gale for his comments earlier this summer referring to people involved in the Black Lives Matter movement as terrorists. To further amplify their demands, the state legislators unveiled Webster’s H.R. 920 , which would impeach Gale and which Webster introduced in response to the offensive statement. “In our quest to free our communities of hate, we must condemn actors like Commissioner Gale who used his official capacity to perpetuate hate by vilifying residents’ calls for equality and justice,” Kinsey said. “Instead of being an active agent of change in upholding those calls, Gale chose to side with the powers of oppression. His actions demonstrate his complacency with injustice, making him unfit to serve the public, and for that, Gale must be removed immediately.” Concurring with Kinsey, Webster acknowledged the solidarity among lawmakers and community members, and also Read more

 

Women’s Health Caucus calls for investigation into ‘Real Alternatives’ nonprofit

(Aug 13, 2020)

The WHC chairs called the actions of the nonprofit into question, writing, “For more than 20 years, an organization known as Real Alternatives has been enriching itself and its executives, mismanaging state-appropriated funding, and potentially misdirecting that funding for advertising and legal services, including using Pennsylvania dollars in other states.” Read more

 

Shusterman, Krueger draft bill to help Pennsylvania nonprofits survive COVID-19

(Aug 13, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 13 — State Reps. Melissa Shusterman and Leanne Krueger have introduced legislation to establish a $100 million COVID-19 Nonprofit Assistance Grant Program. Their legislation, H.B. 2739 , would allocate funds from COVID-19 restricted receipts to the Department of Community and Economic Development to fund grants to be distributed to 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations statewide. “Between shutdowns, stay-at-home-orders and businesses now operating at a limited capacity, nonprofits missed out on opportunities to host annual fundraisers that they typically depend on to stay afloat,” Shusterman said. “We need to help them survive this difficult time because many people depend on nonprofits for their own survival. Whether they’re connecting individuals in need with housing, employment opportunities, food or health services, we cannot turn our backs on those most vulnerable to the economic effects of COVID-19.” “Nonprofit organizations play such a vital role in our communities, and their work is even more critical during this health crisis,” Krueger said. “Nonprofits help connect families to resources they need during difficult times, offer us opportunities to experience arts and culture, and so much more. The pandemic has deeply impacted these organizations. Our legislation to create a grant program dedicated to nonprofits will go a long way toward helping them continue their valuable Read more

 

Frankel: Legislature must take action to address health inequalities during pandemic

(Aug 13, 2020)

Disparity report suggests numerous concrete actions legislature can adopt Read more

 

Ciresi legislation aims to improve PA students’ living standards

(Aug 11, 2020)

“A student’s first off-campus apartment is an exciting and crucial step in his or her growth, but most student tenants are unaware of their rights as tenants or what to do if they experience an unsafe condition in their apartment,” Ciresi said. “This leads too many of our young people living in unsafe conditions or being treated unfairly by landlords.” Read more

 

Delaware County lawmakers call for investigation into violence against Black Lives Matter supporters

(Aug 07, 2020)

HARRISBURG (August 7, 2020) – Today, a group of state lawmakers from Delaware County called for District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer to investigate violence and intimidation aimed at Black Lives Matter supporters during a march in Ridley Township on Saturday, August 1 st . State Sens. Tim Kearney and Anthony Williams as well as State Reps. Leanne Krueger, Margo Davidson, David Delloso, Brian Kirkland, and Joanna McClinton signed the letter, which details how peaceful protesters were met with violence and intimidation by a group of counter-protesters. The letter calls for Delaware County’s District Attorney to investigate the counter-protesters’ actions and the Ridley Township Police Department’s response. “I was proud to participate in the Black Lives Matter protest and stand with people of all races and all ages against systemic racism,” said Sen. Tim Kearney . “But I was disturbed by the hate and intimidation that I witnessed firsthand from counter-protesters. We are better than that. We need to make sure our community feels safe when peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights.” “I join others across our community in expressing horror that this demonstration of love and support for Black lives was met by a menacing group with a mission to taunt and intimidate peaceful protesters,” said Rep. Leanne Krueger . “Instead of actively protecting the First Amendment rights of our Read more

 

Rabb introduces bill to compensate exonerees

(Aug 05, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 5 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., has introduced House Bill 2745, which provides for an annual payment from the Commonwealth to an exoneree for every year that exoneree was wrongfully incarcerated. Read more

 

New Ciresi legislation promotes cost-saving local government cooperation

(Aug 04, 2020)

“With strained budgets, local governments and school districts throughout Pennsylvania are looking for ways to provide necessary services without raising taxes,” Ciresi said. “We have a real opportunity to improve local government and reduce property taxes through back-office reform and shared services, allowing us to do more with less while keeping our local representation and community identity." Read more

 

House Democratic Policy Committee to hold briefing about “The Vanishing Trial” Thursday in Capitol
Sep 04, 2020

Enough is enough: stopping gun violence takes a collaborative effort that must put children first
Sep 03, 2020

Let’s empower consumers by creating labeling standards, regulations for CBD
Sep 02, 2020

House Democrats fight to keep renters, homeowners Safe at Home
Aug 31, 2020

McClinton brings community residents, leaders, and police together to address recent surge in gun violence
Aug 28, 2020

Briggs: Pandemic, election demonstrate need for media literacy curriculum
Aug 21, 2020

Legislation by Reps. Ciresi, Davis would provide financial relief to local bars, restaurants
Aug 20, 2020

Ciresi calls for additional hazard pay for first responders, frontline workers
Aug 19, 2020

Merski demands U.S. Postmaster General end cutbacks that threaten to disenfranchise mail-in voters
Aug 17, 2020

Legislators call on Wolf administration to revoke Mariner East pipeline permits in Chester County
Aug 14, 2020

PA House Democratic Leader letter to Postmaster General DeJoy
Aug 14, 2020

Let’s champion adaptability, not blame, when we talk about a plan for reopening our schools
Aug 14, 2020

Kinsey, Webster and PLBC members amplify call to remove Montco Commissioner Joe Gale
Aug 13, 2020

Women’s Health Caucus calls for investigation into ‘Real Alternatives’ nonprofit
Aug 13, 2020

Shusterman, Krueger draft bill to help Pennsylvania nonprofits survive COVID-19
Aug 13, 2020

Frankel: Legislature must take action to address health inequalities during pandemic
Aug 13, 2020

Ciresi legislation aims to improve PA students’ living standards
Aug 11, 2020

Delaware County lawmakers call for investigation into violence against Black Lives Matter supporters
Aug 07, 2020

Rabb introduces bill to compensate exonerees
Aug 05, 2020

New Ciresi legislation promotes cost-saving local government cooperation
Aug 04, 2020