Bullock badge visibility bill passes PA House

(Mar 20, 2024)

HARRISBURG, March 20 – A bill ( H.B. 1399 ) introduced by state Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., that would require law enforcement to have their badge, with all pertinent identifiable information, visible at all times passed the Pennsylvania House by vote of 201-0 today. “This is a really simple bill that would go a long way toward building police and community relations and ensuring that there is day-to-day law enforcement accountability,” Bullock said. “There is no reason to be out in the community with a badge covered or partially obstructed by tape or bands. Pennsylvanians deserve to know, and be able to identify, the officers tasked with keeping communities safe.” The legislation was prompted by on-the-ground reports of badges being covered during protests after the tragic killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, said Bullock. The bill now heads to the PA Senate for consideration. Read more

 

Eviction reform for Philadelphia passes PA House

(Mar 20, 2024)

HARRISBURG, March 20 – Legislation ( H.B. 287 ) sponsored by state Rep. Rick Krajewski, D-Phila., that would overhaul Philadelphia’s eviction process passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives today and now heads to the Senate for consideration. This legislation was introduced by Krajewski in partnership with Reps. Morgan Cephas, Tarik Khan and Roni Green following a series of shootings last year that occurred during evictions carried out by Philadelphia’s landlord-tenant officers. It would change Philadelphia’s eviction system by creating an oversight board, involving behavioral health professionals, and banning “surprise evictions” in which tenants are not given notice of the date and time of evictions. Krajewski said H.B. 287 would reform the unaccountable behavior of the LTO, the only private entity performing evictions in Pennsylvania, and provide a model for publicly accountable evictions that can be replicated statewide. “Philadelphia’s violent, for-profit eviction system is an outlier statewide and desperately needs to be reformed. By ending surprise evictions, creating oversight and accountability for eviction agents and ensuring tenants have access to basic support, we can help prevent the shootings we saw last summer from ever occurring again.” Krajewski said. “I call on my Senate colleagues to pass this commonsense and urgently needed Read more

 

Nelson introduces bills to address students' mental health

(Mar 20, 2024)

NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE State Rep. Napoleon Nelson D-Montgomery County www.pahouse.com/ Nelson Nelson introduces bills to address students mental health HARRISBURG, March 20 – State Rep. Napoleon Nelson today introduced a package of three bills to go along with a previous bill aimed at addressing the growing mental health crisis in school aged children. The Creating Pathways for Information Sharing between Counties and School Districts Act, introduced as H.B. 2101 , would direct the Department of Human Services to create pathways of communication between county agencies and school districts to share information relating to traumatic events. The Establishing the Trauma-Informed Records Program Act, which was introduced as H.B. 2109 , would establish trauma records as an eligible trauma-informed approach for school districts to receive funding under the School Safety and Security Grant Program. The Establishing a School Mental Health Supports Policy in Our Districts Act, introduced as H.B. 2110 , would require school entities to develop a comprehensive student mental health support plan. According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the pandemic negatively affected the mental health of many children and Read more

 

Comitta, Abney Introduce Pennsylvania Climate Emission Reduction Act

(Mar 20, 2024)

Pennsylvania will establish its own cap-and-trade program to reduce harmful emissions, lower consumers’ electric bills, and create clean energy jobs under legislation introduced today by state Senator Carolyn Comitta and state Rep. Aerion Abney. Read more

 

Central PA Delegation to discuss Main Street Matters initiative with small business owners

(Mar 20, 2024)

READING, March 20 – Leaders of the PA House Central Pennsylvania Delegation today announced that they will host a small business walking tour in West Reading to highlight the Main Street Matters program and discuss the concerns and challenges faced by business owners in the area. The tour will include Fadia Halma, a regional director at the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, legislators, community leaders, city officials, and small business owners, among others. WHAT : Small business walking tour. WHEN : 11 a.m. Thursday, March 21. WHERE : Tour will start at Say Cheese! Restaurant, 600 Penn Ave., West Reading. Media coverage is invited. Read more

 

House committee approves Burns’ ‘American Made Jobs Plan’ to bring back manufacturing

(Mar 20, 2024)

Burns, D-Cambria, said his “American Made Jobs Plan” is a package designed to end our economy’s heavy reliance on China and other countries and reverse decades of unfair trade policies, driven by corporate greed and special interests, that have helped wipe out the middle class in Pennsylvania and Cambria County. Read more

 

Neilson bill to protect consumer privacy passes House

(Mar 19, 2024)

Legislation authored by state Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., to enhance consumer privacy and limit the collection of consumer data was voted out of the House today. House Bill 1201 would inform consumers of their rights when it comes to personal data and require certain businesses to protect them by limiting the amount of data collected. “In an increasingly all-digital world, consumers deserve to know if their data is used for targeted advertising or if it’s sold to a third party,” Neilson said. “Every keystroke or mouse click is a way for companies to collect data, and most people don’t even realize this is happening.” “Consumers in Pennsylvania don’t want companies that they don’t even use or know about to have their personal data, especially if there isn’t an easy way to fix incorrect information in the data collected,” Neilson added. He said that Pennsylvania is behind other states who already have laws that protect consumers’ privacy, and this legislation would go a long way to make Pennsylvania a state where people can feel safe doing business online. Neilson said that the Attorney General would have exclusive authority to prosecute violations under the legislation should HB 1201 be signed into law. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration. Read more

 

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

(Mar 19, 2024)

NEWLY LISTED PROGRAMS Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs: Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Drop-In Centers Who May Apply: Existing organizations that have the capacity to provide or expand drop-in center services for individuals with SUD, including single county authorities, DDAP licensed treatment providers, organizations that offer clinical services and recipients of DDAP’s prior funding opportunities for Drop-In Centers. Use: To expand drop-in center services for individuals with SUD. Funds: Up to $6,575,000 is available. DDAP expects to award approximately eight grants totaling $750,000 each. Application Deadline: April 12, 2024 More information: DDAP Website PROGRAMS OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS: Department of Agriculture: Farm Vitality Planning Grant Who May Apply: Farmers, prospective farmers, and others may apply. Use: Strategic business planning to expand or diversify farms or support transition of ownership. Funds: $500,000 in funding is available. Grants shall not exceed $7,500. Application Deadline: Applications will be received until funds are exhausted. More information: Pennsylvania Bulletin Commission on Crime and Delinquency: Recruitment Incentives for Law Enforcement Who May Apply: Local law enforcement agencies, campus or university police, railroad or street railway police, airport authority police, and county park police. Use: Funding is explicitly to support Act 120 training and recruitment Read more

 

House committee OKs Freeman bill to provide voters with earlier information on campaign contributions

(Mar 19, 2024)

"The change would provide earlier disclosure and greater transparency on who is contributing to candidates for the General Assembly," said Freeman. "This is information voters should have access to earlier in a campaign than they currently do." Read more

 

House Consumer Protection, Technology and Utilities Committee unanimously approves community solar bill

(Mar 19, 2024)

HARRISBURG, March 19 – The House Consumer Protection, Technology and Utilities Committee today approved legislation to create a community solar program ( H.B. 1842 ); legislation to protect minors using social media; and resolutions on data privacy and safe digging. “We introduced community solar to bring home the many benefits – new jobs, new energy savings for residents, new economic opportunities for farmers and other landowners – while broadening the state’s energy portfolio,” Matzie said. “But we also drafted this legislation with an eye toward protecting consumers and ratepayers who don’t participate. I’m excited that the bill is headed for a House vote.” Matie said the committee also approved: H.B. 2017 , which would add mental health protections for minors using social media. H.R. 300 , Matzie’s resolution designating April 2024 as Pennsylvania 8-1-1 Safe Digging Month. H.R. 289 , recognizing January 21-27, 2024 as Data Privacy Week in Pennsylvania. Matzie said he introduced the Safe Digging Month resolution to remind Pennsylvanians to call the 811 hotline before performing excavation projects that could affect utilities. “Anyone doing digging – whether they’re a contractor, business owner or homeowner – Read more

 

PA House Children & Youth Committee unanimously approves Krajewski legislation protecting rights of children of incarcerated parents

(Mar 19, 2024)

HARRISBURG, March 19 – A bill ( H.B. 285 ) introduced by state Rep. Rick Krajewski, D-Phila., that would protect the rights of children of incarcerated parents was unanimously approved by the Pennsylvania House Children & Youth Committee today. Under current law, most child welfare agencies seek termination of parental rights after 15 months of placement in foster care. Many children whose parents are incarcerated lose their right to see, speak with or know their parents and families – even after their parents return home from incarceration. Krajewski’s legislation would ensure that parental incarceration is not the sole basis on which a court’s decision for involuntary termination of parental rights is made. This would add to existing exclusions such as environmental factors and medical care if found to be beyond the control of the parent. “I understand firsthand how difficult the experience of having a parent who is incarcerated can be for a family, especially a child,” Krajewski said. “The uncertainty of when you will see them again, the emotional impact on loved ones, the financial setbacks to a family and the damage done through the unnecessary severance of a child’s connection to their parent are all hardships no one should face, yet so many in our Commonwealth suffer through. “Incarceration has a traumatic impact on a family, for Read more

 

Children & Youth Committee approves Green’s Playground Safety Act

(Mar 19, 2024)

HARRISBURG, March 19 – The Pennsylvania House Children & Youth Committee today approved legislation ( H.B. 1443 ) sponsored by state Rep. Roni Green, D-Phila., that would make playgrounds in Pennsylvania safer. The Playground Safety Act would require the Department of Community and Economic Development to adopt regulations that would establish safety standards for the design, installation and maintenance of all playgrounds operated by Pennsylvania as well as public, private, and charter elementary and secondary schools, and approved child-care facilities. It would also establish a statewide advisory council on playground safety to give recommendations for the implementation and enforcement of playground regulations, standards, inspections and creation of safety plan models. “Playgrounds are hubs of fun, where children and families can play and enjoy the outdoors, and communities can congregate and grow,” Green said. “They play an important role in the development and long-term health of children. That’s why we must ensure that our playgrounds are safe. Far too often, playground equipment is prone to reaching unsafe temperatures due to intense sun that can lead to burns and discourage play. We need to fix that and make sure kids can play free from discouragement and worry.” The legislation now advances to the House floor where it will await a vote by Read more

 

Munroe’s social media safety bill voted out of committee

(Mar 19, 2024)

NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE State Rep. Brian Munroe D-Bucks County www.pahouse.com/Munroe Munroe’s social media safety bill voted out of committee HARRISBURG, March 19 – A bill aimed at keeping teenagers and young children safe on social media that was written by state Rep. Brian Munroe and three teenagers from his district was approved by the House Consumer Protection, Technology & Utilities Committee today. “We are one step closer today to helping to protect our children on social media as a result of this vote today,” Munroe said. “I look forward to the full House voting on this bill, which will hopefully happen shortly." Munroe crafted the legislation after meeting Max Jin, Luka Jonjic and Dylan Schwartz when they were students at Tamanend Middle School in 2023. The three, who are now students at Central Bucks High School South, won an award from C-SPAN for their documentary, America’s Silent Struggle: Social Media’s Impact on Teens’ Mental Health . “I believe the movement of H.B. 2017 out of committee is a symbolic step toward a brighter future online,” Jinn said. “And I am grateful that we now have a direct opportunity to ensure the safety and mental well-being of our fellow Read more

 

Pielli bill to help seniors stay in their homes passes House

(Mar 19, 2024)

“As a former Court Appointed Guardianship Attorney, I saw clients who lost their homes as a result of unpaid property taxes,” Pielli said. “Too often, these were individuals with cognitive impairment or those who were otherwise incapacitated and could not pay tax bills without assistance. Tragically, these same individuals sometimes had the financial means but were so impaired they were unable to keep up with payments. It is simply unfair to leave these people to try and pay these bills alone." Read more

 

House Transportation Committee weighs new legislation in voting hearing

(Mar 18, 2024)

The House Transportation Committee, led by Majority Chair Ed Neilson, held a meeting today to vote on two pieces of legislation that he said are vital to Pennsylvania’s transportation sector. House Resolution 322, introduced by state Rep. Kyle Mullins, would encourage Congress to allow people aged 18-20 with a Commercial Driver’s License to participate in interstate commerce activities. “We are facing an increasing shortage of qualified truck drivers not only in Pennsylvania but across the county.” Neilson said. “In 2022, our state’s truckers moved 897 million tons of freight, valued at $1.1 trillion which speaks volumes about their value to our state’s economy.” Neilson said Pennsylvania ranks fifth in the country in freight moved. As part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration launched the Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot Program to expand the pool of qualified CDL drivers. The committee also voted on H.B. 816, authored by state Rep. Jose Giral. It would require that tow truck operators in Philadelphia provide photographic evidence of violations to vehicle owners who wish to appeal the towing and storage fees to the Parking Hearing Examiner. “Philadelphia citizens already have a soured opinion about their ability to park anywhere in the city without the fear of financial burden caused by a towed vehicle,” Neilson said. “I hope this legislation will Read more

 

Bullock, Young natural hair braider bill passes PA House

(Mar 18, 2024)

HARRISBURG, March 18 – A bill ( H.B. 1820 ) introduced by state Reps. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., and Regina Young, D-Delaware/Phila., that would create a license exemption for natural hair braiding passed the PA House unanimously today. The legislation would exempt hair braiders from having to obtain a cosmetology license to practice braiding. “Natural hair braiding has been commonplace in the African American community for centuries,” Bullock said. “The techniques have been passed from generation to generation and are learned from early childhood and do not require formal training to do. Natural hair braiding does not involve any chemical treatments, applying heat, cutting or coloring of hair.” More than 33 states have exempted hair braiders from licensing laws, recognizing that natural hair braiding is a safe, cultural practice that is distinct from hairdressing and barbering. Last year, a Commonwealth Court determined that the state’s licensing requirements for natural hair braiding were unreasonable. “Natural hair braiding doesn’t require formal training and continues to be a technique used often within the African American community,” Young said. “This legislation recognizes natural hair braiding as a safe and natural cultural practice that should not require license to practice. Natural hair braiding requires Read more

 

Prokopiak takes the oath of office

(Mar 18, 2024)

HARRISBURG, March 18 – Surrounded by his family, Jim Prokopiak was sworn in today as the state representative of the 140 th Legislative District in Bucks County. Prokopiak won the special election on Feb. 13 to fill the remainder of the term vacated by John Galloway, who was elected district judge in November. “I am ready to serve the people of the 140 th District,” Prokopiak said. “There are many issues important to our residents and our local neighborhoods and I am set to work in Harrisburg toward a solution to these problems.” Prokopiak will retain Galloway’s former office at 8610 New Falls Road in Levittown. The phone number for his office is (215) 943-7206. His email address is RepProkopiak@pahouse.net . Prokopiak comes to the job with a wealth of experience, having served on the Falls Township Board of Supervisors from 2002-2009 and as a member of the Pennsbury School District board from 2021-2024. “I have already begun working on behalf of the residents in my district,” Prokopiak said. “PennDOT is already repairing roads that were flagged by residents contacting my office.” An attorney by trade, Prokopiak studied and received his undergraduate degree at West Chester University. He then graduated from Temple University Beasley School of Law. He and his wife, Gail, have three Read more

 

Smith-Wade-El: $1.8 million in state grants awarded to Lancaster SD

(Mar 15, 2024)

HARRISBURG, March 15 – State Rep. Ismail Smith-Wade-El, D-Lancaster, today announced that the Lancaster School District has been awarded more than $1.83 million in grant funding though the Pennsylvania Department of Education to help create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments and to prevent and respond to acts of bullying, violence, and hate in schools. Read more

 

Ciresi: $1M in state grants awarded to Pottstown School District

(Mar 15, 2024)

HARRISBURG, March 15 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi today announced that the Pottstown School District had received $1,057,482 in grant funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Education to help create safe, healthy and supportive learning environments and to prevent and respond to acts of bullying, violence and hate in schools. “You can’t succeed in an environment where you don’t feel supported or safe,” Ciresi said. “This funding will help the Pottstown School District ensure that its schools are safe and welcoming so kids can focus their energies on the thing they are supposed to do in school -- learn.” Through the federal Bipartisan Safer Communities Act Stronger Connections Grant, high-need local education agencies can use funding to promote the social, emotional, physical and mental well-being of students and staff; address family and community engagement; and promote equitable and inclusive policies and practices. A high-need LEA is defined as a school district or charter school that received ESEA Title IV, Part A funding in fiscal year 2022 and meets one or more of the following "high-need" criteria: a high rate of poverty, a lack of mental health supports available to students, high rates of violence and/or traumatic incidents in the school or community, and high rates of school exclusion. “I am very happy that the Shapiro Read more

 

PA Legislative Latino Caucus slams efforts to impose a state fee on international remittances made by migrants

(Mar 15, 2024)

HARRISBURG, March 14 – Members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Latino Caucus today released the following statement on the announcement by state Rep. Mike Cabell, R-Luzerne, that he plans to introduce legislation that would impose a state fee on international remittances made by undocumented migrants. “The idea of imposing an additional 10% fee on money transfers made by immigrants can only be described as absurd and vicious. This proposal clearly discriminates against immigrants; it is targeting a vulnerable group. “This bill is aimed at penalizing people for sharing a marginal percentage of their hard-earned salary with relatives abroad. Where is the logic and humanity in that argument? “Representative Cabell emphasizes that Oklahoma and other states have enacted similar legislation. It doesn’t mean that this is right; he cannot use this as a pass to validate and encourage discrimination in Pennsylvania. “Representative Cabell is also pushing the idea that the revenue will be used to support the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program. We have excellent news for Representative Cabell: Governor Josh Shapiro's expansion of the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program delivered the largest targeted tax cut for seniors in nearly two decades, expanding access to nearly 175,000 more Pennsylvanians and increasing maximum rebates from $650 to $1000. And not a single immigrant was sacrificed in the name of Read more

 

Bullock badge visibility bill passes PA House
Mar 20, 2024

Eviction reform for Philadelphia passes PA House
Mar 20, 2024

Nelson introduces bills to address students' mental health
Mar 20, 2024

Comitta, Abney Introduce Pennsylvania Climate Emission Reduction Act
Mar 20, 2024

Central PA Delegation to discuss Main Street Matters initiative with small business owners
Mar 20, 2024

House committee approves Burns’ ‘American Made Jobs Plan’ to bring back manufacturing
Mar 20, 2024

Neilson bill to protect consumer privacy passes House
Mar 19, 2024

Grant Memo: Agricultural, Educational, Public Safety, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities For Your District
Mar 19, 2024

House committee OKs Freeman bill to provide voters with earlier information on campaign contributions
Mar 19, 2024

House Consumer Protection, Technology and Utilities Committee unanimously approves community solar bill
Mar 19, 2024

PA House Children & Youth Committee unanimously approves Krajewski legislation protecting rights of children of incarcerated parents
Mar 19, 2024

Children & Youth Committee approves Green’s Playground Safety Act
Mar 19, 2024

Munroe’s social media safety bill voted out of committee
Mar 19, 2024

Pielli bill to help seniors stay in their homes passes House
Mar 19, 2024

House Transportation Committee weighs new legislation in voting hearing
Mar 18, 2024

Bullock, Young natural hair braider bill passes PA House
Mar 18, 2024

Prokopiak takes the oath of office
Mar 18, 2024

Smith-Wade-El: $1.8 million in state grants awarded to Lancaster SD
Mar 15, 2024

Ciresi: $1M in state grants awarded to Pottstown School District
Mar 15, 2024

PA Legislative Latino Caucus slams efforts to impose a state fee on international remittances made by migrants
Mar 15, 2024