Welcome to the Philadelphia House Delegation!

The Philadelphia House Delegation is comprised of members from the Pa. House of Representatives who are committed to working together for the benefits of their constituents in Philadelphia and the citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

As a delegation, we are pleased to offer you this website, reflecting our delegation members’ interests, and various efforts in Harrisburg and in the communities throughout Philadelphia.

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Rabb, Polinchock introduce bill to remove DUI penalties for legal medical cannabis use

(Sep 21, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 21 – State Reps. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., and Todd Polinchock, R-Bucks, have introduced legislation that would ensure the rights of the more than 500,000 medical cannabis patients in Pennsylvania, protecting them from DUI penalties. “I believe that people with a medical need for cannabis, who have acted courageously to seek help for their medical condition and have been granted use of medical cannabis, should be protected from DUI penalties for their legal medical cannabis use,” Rabb said. “I know I’m not the only lawmaker in the General Assembly who has been contacted by constituents concerned that their responsible use of medical cannabis may expose them to targeting by law enforcement when they drive. “A medical cannabis user can take a miniscule amount of medicine for their ailment and weeks later, with traces of cannabis still in their system, be subject to arrest on a DUI charge if pulled over — not because they’ve driven impaired, but because our state laws haven’t caught up with the science,” Rabb continued. “And, if you think you don’t know someone who falls into this category – a person who has been prescribed medical cannabis and who drives and is fearful of the potential DUI charge they could face – you’re wrong. I am a card-carrying medical cannabis patient, and I drive regularly, including in and around Philadelphia and to Harrisburg conducting the Read more

Cruz proposes bill to ban deceptive tactics in police interrogations

(Sep 07, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 7 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., has proposed a bill that would ban deceptive tactics in police interrogations. Under state law, police officers are permitted to use deceptive tactics to secure a confession or incriminating statement. Practices that attempt to get suspects to confess to a crime, even if they didn’t commit one, have become commonplace during custodial interrogations. This is due to the assumption that only the guilty would confess. “My legislation would prohibit law enforcement officers from using deceptive interrogation tactics against any individual suspected of a crime. No innocent suspect should be pressured into confessing to a crime they didn’t commit,” said Cruz. According to The Innocence Project, more than 30% of wrongful convictions that have been overturned by DNA evidence as a result of false confessions, were attributed largely to deceptive interrogation tactics. Cruz said that deceptive tactics do not ensure that any statement provided by the accused is valid. "Presenting false information and misleading a suspect can lead to the accused admitting to a crime they did not commit," he said, pointing to the recent case where three Philadelphia cops were charged for their role in the wrongful conviction of Anthony Wright. Wright was falsely convicted of rape and served a 25-year sentence. One of the factors that led to Wright’s conviction was that he signed a Read more

Brooks and Fiedler Demand Accountability in Response to District’s Mishandling of Flood Response

(Sep 02, 2021)

“The events this morning were not a trivial matter. As elected officials, and as parents and grandparents of Philadelphia public school students, we were extremely frustrated and disappointed at the District's mishandling of this morning's two-hour delay of school openings in response to widespread flooding. Like caregivers across the District, we received a notification at 8:40 a.m. that schools would be delayed by two hours. Start times vary across the district, with some starting at 7:30 a.m. or 8:30 a.m., and others at 9 a.m. This notification came not only after many schools had already started, but after many families had dropped their children off at school and gone to work. This flagrant disregard for caregivers — many of whom are already juggling multiple schedules, school start-times, and jobs — unnecessarily threw so many lives into further chaos during an already difficult time. “This last-minute decision made by the District is just one example of a pattern of disrespect for our school communities, poor planning, and poor communication with families across the city. This gross mishandling of a natural disaster comes on the heels of the District’s attempt to send students back into SLA Beeber, where active asbestos remediation efforts posed serious health risks to children and active construction would have required students to use portable, outdoor toilets. While SLA Beeber families organized and won a plan for a Read more

Women’s Health Caucus condemns Texas’ ban on abortion

(Sep 02, 2021)

Members of the Women’s Health Caucus said they want to remind Pennsylvanians that, while they are standing in solidarity with those negatively impacted by the new Texas law, abortion remains legal in Pennsylvania, and Gov. Wolf has guaranteed a veto if any restrictive legislation reaches his desk. Read more

Three House Dems to introduce legislation requiring eviction, foreclosure protections during COVID-19 emergency following U.S. Supreme Court ruling

(Aug 31, 2021)

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 31 – Reps. Elizabeth Fiedler and Rick Krajewski, both D-Phila., and Rep. Sara Innamorato, D-Allegheny, will introduce legislation to protect Pennsylvanians struggling to stay housed during the ongoing COVID-19 emergency from evictions and foreclosures. “Hundreds of millions of dollars of unused Emergency Rental Assistance Program funds are still available to tenants and landlords who desperately need the funds,” Fiedler said. “That’s why we will be introducing legislation to protect tenants from evictions related to the COVID-19 emergency. We know that homeowners are still struggling, too, and we know that this legislation would put in place protections for homeowners facing mortgage foreclosure. “Our legislation would ensure that tenants and homeowners behind on their payments are connected with assistance programs before they are evicted – helping people stay in their home, assisting renters and landlords in paying their bills, and protecting individual and public health,” Fiedler added. Specifically, the bill would require landlords seeking to evict for nonpayment to first apply for Emergency Rental Assistance Program funds and provide tenants with information about the program in the tenant’s language of choice. It would require courts to grant a continuance of 60 days until the application for rental assistance is approved or denied. It would require mortgage servicers to stop foreclosure Read more

Bullock, Hanbidge legislation to require masks for PA schools, daycare centers

(Aug 31, 2021)

According to the CDC, multiple studies have shown that transmission rates within school settings – when prevention strategies are in place – are typically lower than community transmission levels. Read more

Kenyatta to unveil bill to modernize TANF at news conference Friday

(Aug 26, 2021)

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 26 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., will hold a news conference unveiling a bill he will soon introduce that would modernize the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program by increasing the monthly benefit amount to bring families up to 50% of the federal poverty level and out of deep poverty. The news conference will take place at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 27 in Kenyatta’s North Philadelphia district at Germantown and Lehigh Avenues, 19133 . Activists from Philadelphia Community Legal Services will join Kenyatta in his calls for passage of the legislation. Kenyatta’s bill would require that TANF benefits undergo an annual cost-of-living increase to keep pace with inflation and would ensure benefits continue to be effective at providing financial stability to more than 68,500 Pennsylvania families and children receiving cash assistance -- something he said would be a serious life-improving measure for families and their children’s futures. Kenyatta pointed to a report released this week by the Meet The Need Campaign that found that in 1990, Pennsylvania’s benefit of $403 covered 43% of the federal poverty level, but in 2020 the same benefit covered a mere 22%. Furthermore, when accounting for inflation in this period, the TANF benefit has decreased in spending power by more than 50%. State Sen. Katie Muth has also introduced companion legislation to Kenyatta’s bill in the state Senate. Media Read more

Cephas appointed to Pennvest board of directors

(Aug 26, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 26 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., today announced that she was recently appointed to the board of directors for the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority, also known as Pennvest, and said she aims to address the longstanding environmental challenges that exist in underserved communities throughout Pennsylvania in her new role. “Over the years the presence of lead in our drinking water, the ongoing need to remediate per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in water sources and the importance of repairing miles of old infrastructure throughout the commonwealth have been well-documented,” Cephas said. “With resources potentially coming from the federal government, now is a great time to be strategic by leveraging Pennvest resources to further expand economic and workforce development opportunities.” Since its inception, Pennvest has been committed to serving communities and residents of Pennsylvania by funding sewer, stormwater and drinking water projects throughout the commonwealth through low-cost financial assistance opportunities. These projects not only contribute to improving Pennsylvania's environment and the health of its people, but they also provide opportunities for economic growth and jobs for Pennsylvania's workers. "In my new role, I am excited to examine and approve projects that will create healthy and safe communities across Pennsylvania," Cephas said. Read more

Philadelphia House Delegation responds to opioid emergency declaration lapse

(Aug 25, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 25 – State Rep. and Philadelphia Delegation Chairman Jason Dawkins today made the following statement on behalf of the delegation addressing the Republican denial of an extension on Gov. Tom Wolf’s opioid emergency declaration. “It is shameful that the majority party has decided to allow for the lapse of this very important designation. Opioid addiction is Pennsylvania’s other epidemic and was at one point moving in the right direction, with overdose deaths falling since 2018. But with COVID-19, opioid use is up again, but this time the Republican majority has decided to let the governor's opioid disaster declaration expire, setting up Pennsylvania for yet another healthcare war to wage in addition to COVID. It is shameful, particularly when we know things were working. The Republicans punishing Governor Wolf and trying to cut him out of this process does nothing for the many people who battle this every day. As our city has seen the harsh reality of this as much as any municipality in the commonwealth, it is with much regret that we are witnessing the dismantling of such an important declaration.” The declaration was first signed in January 2018 to help the commonwealth fight the deadly opioid and heroin epidemic and was renewed 15 times, most recently on Aug. 4. Since 2017, when naloxone was made available to first responders, more than 16,000 overdose reversals have been reported, close to 80 trainings conducted and Read more

Kenyatta aims to modernize TANF program on 25th anniversary in new bill

(Aug 20, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 20 – On the 25th anniversary of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., announced that he will introduce legislation this fall that would modernize the TANF program by increasing the monthly benefit amount to bring families up to 50% of the federal poverty level and out of deep poverty. By requiring that the benefits undergo an annual cost-of-living increase to keep pace with inflation, Kenyatta’s bill would ensure benefits continue to be effective at providing financial stability to the roughly 68,500 Pennsylvania families and children receiving cash assistance -- something he said would be a serious life-improving measure for families and their children’s futures. “Eradicating poverty is the moral and economic issue of our generation. No one, especially Pennsylvania’s children, should live in deep poverty, which has long-term effects on their health and well-being for their entire lives,” Kenyatta said. “TANF has served as a lifeline for so many families and children in need for a quarter of a century. As the cost of living increases, the monthly payments from TANF are ineffective at fulfilling the needs of Pennsylvanians relying on it to survive. I urge my colleagues in joining me in ensuring this lifeline meets the moment.” Kenyatta pointed to a report released this week from The Meet Need Campaign that found that in 1990, Pennsylvania’s Read more