Latest News

Sanchez, Schlossberg officially introduce LGBTQ+ Panic Defense bill

(1 day ago)

While similar bills have been introduced in previous legislative sessions, the Sanchez/Schlossberg legislation would extend beyond the “gay” and “trans” terminology to include all members of this marginalized community by prohibiting the court system from allowing a defense of this nature in consideration of serious provocation or insanity. Read more

Schlossberg, Schweyer: Tour further highlights needs of service providers, nonprofits

(May 13, 2021)

LEHIGH, May 13 – At a tour of the Lehigh Valley Center for Independent Living, PA House Democrats saw first-hand the strain on nonprofits that provide services to people living with disabilities and shared how the PA Rescue Plan could alleviate some of those challenges with an investment of federal funding. The tour, led by the center’s executive director, Amy Beck, highlighted how empowering people living with disabilities is an integral component of operation. LVCIL is one of 17 centers for independent living in the state. Centers are governed, managed and staffed at all times by a majority of people with disabilities. State Rep. Mike Schlossberg said, “This pandemic has exposed significant injustices and shortfalls in our world. In most of our communities, access to emergency resources starts with the friendly face and compassionate heart of community-based nonprofit organizations. While performing miracles, these organizations have seen their bottom lines take enormous hits. The staff are overworked and underpaid. Volunteers have put their health on the line with no expectation of personal gain. The Pennsylvania Rescue Plan will offer these organizations, serving our most vulnerable neighbors, extra support to offset increased expenses and lost revenue from contributions or events so they can meet demand in our community.” “The PA Rescue Plan provides a unique opportunity for us to invest in humans, not government,” added state Read more

PA House Dems to tour Lehigh Valley Center for Independent Living, identifying where PA Rescue Plan can help

(May 11, 2021)

ALLENTOWN, May 11 – The pandemic further strained those providing services to our most vulnerable Pennsylvanians and state Reps. Mike Schlossberg and Pete Schweyer will explain how proposed investments of over $350 million via the PA Rescue Plan would close the service gap by helping the helpers provide much-needed services. The media are invited to join members for the tour of Lehigh Valley Center for Independent Living at 1 p.m. Thursday, May 13, followed by a 2 p.m. opportunity to discuss the impact investments with legislators and Lehigh Valley Center for Independent Living. The PA Rescue Plan aims to ensure federal American Rescue Plan funding is invested for immediate impact and long-term success. Additional information about the plan is available at www.pahouse.com/parescueplan . Read more

PA Rescue Plan, $1.7 billion investment in workers’ focus of House Democratic leaders’ rally in State College Wednesday

(May 11, 2021)

STATE COLLEGE, May 11 – The workers who have been hit hardest by the pandemic need support. The PA House Democratic leadership team is hosting a rally Wednesday to make the case for workers’ rights to a fair wage, hazard pay and paid family and sick leave and how the PA Rescue plan would do just that. The rally will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 12 at The Borough Building, 243 S. Allen St., State College . The media is encouraged to attend. The PA Rescue Plan includes more than $1.5 billion for job training, hazard pay, wage boosts for direct-care workers and job creation efforts to kickstart the economy in communities across the state. The PRP aims to ensure federal American Rescue Plan funding is invested for immediate impact and long-term success. Additional information about the plan is available at www.pahouse.com/parescueplan . Read more

Sanchez, Schlossberg aim to close LGBTQ+ Panic Defense loophole

(Apr 08, 2021)

While similar bills have been introduced in previous legislative sessions, the Sanchez/Schlossberg legislation would extend beyond the “gay” and “trans” terminology to include all members of this marginalized community by prohibiting the court system from allowing a defense of this nature in consideration of serious provocation or insanity. Read more

Reps. Rozzi, Gregory encourage survivors to show support for PA legislative action

(Mar 31, 2021)

For years, Reps. Jim Gregory and Mark Rozzi have worked together on a bipartisan compromise after previous efforts to pass similar legislation for a retroactive window for victims failed repeatedly. Read more

Racism on Pennsylvania high schools and college campuses creates barriers to opportunity

(Mar 26, 2021)

How far have we come, and how far do we have to go to diminish -- and possibly eradicate -- racism in high schools and college campuses? Our hearing on racism on the topic pulled the curtain on the continued systematic injustice towards minority students on high school and college campuses and the lack of diversity in educators. In some Pennsylvania school districts there is a blatant lack of effort to recruit and retain educators of color and that is problematic. The historic limited access to education for people of color is still happening. Students shared their stories of the mental, physical and emotional toll their experiences with racism and discrimination have had on their well-being. Fortunately, these students turned their painful experiences into meaningful advocacy. Their testimony showed the challenge facing educational institutions in Pennsylvania. Educators, including teachers and administrators play a large role in dispelling hate in their schools. It’s imperative that they are reflective of the communities that they represent but the statistics show, they don’t. While students of color make up 33 percent of Pennsylvania’s population, less than 5 percent of teachers are people of color. Across the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education faculty, 4 percent are Black, 3 percent are Hispanic and just 6 percent are Asian. When students see a diversity that reflects them in their educators, it shows promise. It shows Read more

Madden, Kenyatta lead discussion on racism on high school and college campuses

(Mar 25, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 25 -- Education and shattering social norms are key in combatting racism in high schools and colleges, as evidenced by testimony at today’s House Democratic Policy Committee hearing hosted by state Reps. Maureen Madden and Malcolm Kenyatta. The Monroe and Philadelphia County legislators led today’s discussion bringing together state officials, students and educators to brainstorm solutions that aim to help break cycles of systemic racism via policy development and implementation. “How do we start conversations that help people understand that freedom of speech should not be a free pass for racism? We all deserve to be respected and the blatant hate and disrespect for others is impacting lives. Hate has no place in our education system. Students go to school to learn, grow and often overcome any barriers the hand that life has dealt them. I’m grateful for this forum today to learn what’s happening in our education system and what lawmakers can do to overcome the racism in our schools,” Madden shared. “Terms like ‘diversity quota’ and ‘affirmative action applicant’ are just some of the covertly racist insults that disparage the merits of students and faculty of color in academia. Ultimately, these slights have devastating effects on the emotional and mental health of these students and faculty, thereby straining their likelihood to graduate and excel at these institutions,” Read more

Madden, Kenyatta to examine incidents of racism on high school and college campuses at Thursday’s public hearing

(Mar 23, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 23 – Recent incidents of racism involving students at the high school and college levels will be discussed at a House Democratic Policy Committee virtual hearing hosted by state Reps. Maureen Madden and Malcolm Kenyatta. The hearing will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, March 25. To view the hearing, the media and public can tune in to www.pahouse.com/policycommittee or the committee’s Facebook page -- @PADemPolicy. Media inquiries may be submitted via email to policy@pahouse.net . Madden and Kenyatta will be joined by committee Chairman Ryan Bizzarro and Democratic Policy Committee members to hear from educators, state officials and advocates on how to curb racism with meaningful policy reforms. Additional hearing information will be available by clicking here . Read more

Kinkead, Pashinski introduce bill to help Pennsylvanians save money on medications

(Mar 08, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 8 – In an effort to help more residents reduce their prescription drug costs, state Reps. Emily Kinkead and Eddie Day Pashinski have introduced legislation that would direct the Pennsylvania Department of Health to study the potential savings of importing less expensive medicines from Canada. Kinkead, D-Allegheny, and Pashinski, D-Luzerne, said H.B. 833 would also design a potential prescription drug importation program in Pennsylvania when the study demonstrates significant cost savings for consumers. “Pharmaceutical companies claim the costs are driven by market forces and due to the high cost of research and development of new medicines, but those and other arguments they pose lack validity,” said Kinkead. “Drug companies want to enjoy a monopoly to discourage competition, to the detriment of our consumers here in Pennsylvania, including many who rely on life-saving medications and are forced to ration or forego medications they simply cannot afford. That’s reprehensible, and we already know of other states already implementing such programs. It’s time we do the same.” "The increasing cost of prescription drugs is driving up health care expenses, which is driving up every Pennsylvanian's cost of living," Pashinski said. "This legislation makes sure Pennsylvania is developing a long-term solution to this problem. We can potentially save the state and consumers millions of dollars by Read more