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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

 

Green collar jobs and clean energy investments focus of PA Rescue Plan hearing

(May 10, 2021)

PHILADELPHIA, May 10 – House Democratic Leader Joanna McClinton today hosted a public hearing highlighting her caucus’s proposal to invest federal funding to help Pennsylvania recover, restore and reimagine, starting with investments in green collar jobs. The House Democratic Policy Committee hearing, held at the Community College of Philadelphia, focused on investments in clean energy and how the proposed $50 million investment would get Pennsylvanians back to work in jobs that pay livable wages. The committee heard testimony from: Dr. Donald Guy Generals, president, Community College of Philadelphia; Michael Neill, apprentice training director, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 98; Brian Myers, assistant apprentice training director, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 98; and Anna Shipp, executive director, Green Stormwater Infrastructure Partners, Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia. “Green collar jobs are high-tech, high-wage and the fastest-growing career sector in any industry,” said McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware. “By investing in the clean energy industry and supporting job training to get workers on the job, the PA Rescue Plan is creating a greener future in more ways than one.” State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, chairman of the Policy Committee added, “The last year doesn’t have to cripple our future. We can use federal dollars to help make Pennsylvania a leader in Read more

 

Powering Green Collar Jobs focus of Monday hearing with Democratic Leader Joanna McClinton

(May 06, 2021)

PHILADELPHIA, May 6 – The Community College of Philadelphia will serve as the backdrop for a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing hosted by Democratic Leader Joanna McClinton on The PA Rescue Plan: Powering Green Collar Jobs. The hearing will be held at 9 a.m. Monday, May 10 at the Community College of Philadelphia, P avilion Building,-- located at 1700 Spring Garden St., Philadelphia . Press and attendees should enter in front of the building on 17th St. 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

 

House advances Klunk, Cephas bill to protect workers from sexual harassment

(May 05, 2021)

HARRISBURG, May 5 – To further protect workers from sexual harassment and retribution from exposing such behavior, the House today unanimously approved bipartisan legislation sponsored by state Reps. Kate Klunk, R-Hanover, and Morgan Cephas, D-Phila. Specifically, H.B. 938 would forbid employers from requiring employees and potential employees to sign nondisclosure agreements related to sexual harassment as a stipulation of employment. This would ensure workers who face sexual harassment in the workplace can exercise their voice to report such egregious offenses they may suffer at the hands of a co-worker or a superior. Employees and employers would still be able to voluntarily enter into such agreements. The bill also would clarify that nondisclosure agreements formed during the hiring process are to be considered involuntary, while those created during the settlement of a harassment case may be considered voluntary. “Far too often victims of workplace sexual harassment are dissuaded from coming forward with allegations because of nondisclosure agreements that essentially end investigations into these offenses before they even start,” Klunk said. “This leads to a culture that prevents justice from being served and aggressors being held accountable.” “Too many Pennsylvanians have had their sense of comfort and livelihoods ruined because they were victimized in the workplace and faced further abuse for speaking out. We Read more

 

McClinton applauds the first COVID-19 vaccine clinic in southwest Philly

(May 04, 2021)

House Democratic Leader Joanna McClinton is applauding the collaborative effort that brought the first COVID-19 vaccine clinic to southwest Philadelphia today. McClinton’s office joined the offices of state Sen. Anthony Williams and city Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson along with Congressman Dwight Evans and Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon at the New Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church, where Rite Aid administered the Moderna vaccine to roughly 55 people, adding to the more than 1.2 million doses that have been given in Philadelphia. “The COVID-19 vaccine is key to helping us build real immunity, protect each other from the virus and get on the pathway to normalcy. Today’s clinic was the latest effort to ensure our communities of color have access to this critical opportunity,” said McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware. “Our office is blessed to work with dedicated community partners and leaders who share our commitment to put the health of our neighbors first and make events like this possible.” Along with the vaccine, McClinton is also fighting to help her communities make it through the pandemic safely by pushing the House Democrats’ PA Rescue Plan that would ensure the more than $7 billion in federal funds allocated to the commonwealth through the American Rescue Plan gets to the people hardest hit by this health crisis. “Our initiative would invest in our local businesses, working families, schools Read more

 

VIDEO: McClinton Stresses the Importance of the COVID-19 Vaccine

(Apr 29, 2021)

In her ongoing efforts to protect her communities during this health crisis, House Democratic Leader Joanna McClinton is stressing how important the COVID-19 vaccine is to building real immunity to the virus and moving Pennsylvania past this pandemic safely. Read more

 

Cephas seeks to establish Behavioral Health Crisis Response Units in Pa.

(Apr 26, 2021)

HARRISBURG, April 26 – On the six-month anniversary of the tragic death of Walter Wallace, Jr, state Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila. announced that she is working to introduce legislation that would require police departments across the commonwealth to establish Behavioral Health Crisis Response Units that could respond to emergency calls in lieu of or as a complement to law enforcement when the nature of the call is related to a behavioral health issue. Cephas’ first introduced the idea immediately following the police shooting death of Walter Wallace Jr., a 27-year-old West Philadelphia man, whose family had called 911 because he was experiencing a mental breakdown in October 2020. Responding officers fired 14 rounds at him, killing him, while he was standing in the street holding a knife. “Today, as we remember the life of our neighbor – a father, son, and friend – we must check in and ensure we continue the work,” said Cephas. “When someone calls 911 because their family member or neighbor is experiencing a mental health crisis, is battling addiction, or dealing with homelessness, they shouldn’t have to fear that the person they want to help will be killed by police. “Just a week after the verdict was announced in the police involved killing of George Floyd, we are hopeful that by making the right investments and demanding accountability, we can make our communities safer for all.” Cephas said her Read more

 

Op-Ed: Shelve the theatrics and address real issues affecting Pa. women and children

(Apr 23, 2021)

Improving women’s health care doesn’t require news conferences designed to parrot tired and untrue talking points. To make a positive difference for all women and children of Pennsylvania, let’s instead focus our energy and attention on evidence-based policies that address bona fide issues and move Pennsylvania forward. Read more

 

Rep. Driscoll, Sen. Sabatina announce $1.57M state grant to help rehabilitate wharf in Northeast Philadelphia

(Apr 22, 2021)

HARRISBURG, April 22 – State Rep. Michael Driscoll, D-Phila., along with state Sen. John Sabatina, Jr., today announced that a $1.57 million state grant has been awarded to Morris Iron & Steel Co. Inc. The funds will be used to repair 1,067 feet of the company’s wharf to help reach its goal of shipping 145,000 tons of metal per year by barge, which would ultimately remove roughly 8,000 trucks per year from the Philadelphia traffic system. Driscoll and Sabatina, representing the 173 rd Legislative District and the 5th Senatorial District, respectively, in Northeast Philadelphia, said the Multimodal Transportation Fund grant will also further rehabilitation efforts of the wharf, which spans more than 2,400-feet. The scrap metal processing business purchased it as a 12-year vacant waterfront property almost two years ago and has since used it to ship 85% of its scrap metal by barge. “We are thrilled to see this funding be used to help Morris Iron make these needed repairs to its wharf, so that the existing structure can continue to operate and accommodate three barges simultaneously,” Driscoll said. “The construction project stands to create jobs, revitalize one of the many wharfs in a port city like Philadelphia, and, in the long run, it will also alleviate traffic congestion on our city streets.” Read more

 

Cephas announces $325K state grant for roadway safety at the Cobbs Creek Golf Course

(Apr 21, 2021)

HARRISBURG, April 21 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., today announced that a $325,000 state grant has been awarded to the Cobbs Creek Foundation to improve roadway safety along two public roads leading to the Cobbs Creek Golf Course, located in her legislative district. The announcement comes days after Cephas announced a $3 million state grant from the Multimodal Transportation Fund awarded to Saint Joseph’s University for increased safety for students, commuters and residents on and near the campus. Cephas, who represents the 192 nd Legislative District in West Philadelphia, said the latest funding, which also comes from the Multimodal Transportation Fund, will be used for primary improvements to two tunnels for golf carts to access both sides of the course on Lansdowne Avenue and Cardington Road. Other improvements include a raised crosswalk with a traffic signal at the driveway entrances to the clubhouse, installing speed bumps, stormwater culverts with associated drainage and guiderails along Lansdowne Avenue and Cardington Road. “In just days, our community has received a total of $3.3 million in state funding — all of which will be used toward improvements in our community,” Cephas said. “Residents and visitors will soon be able to safely enjoy the recreations and accessibility of the Saint Joseph’s University and the Cobbs Creek Golf Course.” Read more

 

Young announces state funding for improvements at the Philadelphia International Airport

(Apr 21, 2021)

HARRISBURG, April 21 – State Rep. Regina G. Young, D-Phila./Delaware, today announced that the City of Philadelphia Division of Aviation has been awarded $500,000 in state funding to complete a variety of improvements to ensure timely baggage onloading and offloading at the Philadelphia International Airport, parts of which are located in her legislative district. Young, who represents the 185 th Legislative District, said that the funding, provided by the Multimodal Transportation Fund, will be used for structural improvements to the baggage tug tunnel that will include repairing cracks and spalls in the concrete, wall coating, leak mitigation and a new guide rail installation. Additionally, new signage will be installed, along with traffic control best practices. Upgrades will also be made to the drainage, ventilation, electrical, lighting and fire protection systems. “The Philadelphia International Airport is the area’s major hub for domestic and international travel, and it also one of the area’s largest employers for countless residents in our region,” Young said. “This grant funding will ensure that the airport operates efficiently and safely to accommodate this high volume of travelers and employees.” Read more

 

Sims announces $50K greenways, trails and recreation program grant for Schuylkill River Development Corporation

(Apr 21, 2021)

PHILADELPHIA, April 21 – State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., announced today that the Commonwealth Financing Authority has awarded a $50,000 grant to the Schuylkill River Development Corporation. “Creating, expanding and maintaining green space in the urban core of Philadelphia and in a dense area like my legislative district is a priority for me because green space and recreational opportunities are tied to the quality of life for residents and to the health our area’s economy,” Sims said. “The Schuylkill River Trail is a vital recreational asset, a fact that came into clearer focus during the COVID-19 pandemic. I am proud to support the trail’s continued improvement and ecological restoration.” The $50,000 Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program grant will be used for bulkhead restoration along the Schuylkill riverbanks, which will protect against erosion. Act 13 of 2012 established the Marcellus Legacy Fund and allocates funds to the Commonwealth Financing Authority for planning, acquisition, development, rehabilitation and repair of greenways, recreational trails, open space, parks and beautification projects using the Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program. Funding can be used for projects that involve development, rehabilitation and improvements to public parks, recreation areas, greenways, trails and river conservation. Visit the Department of Community and Economic Development’s website to Read more

 

Rabb introduces package of bills to protect medical cannabis patients, dispensaries from eviction, discrimination

(Apr 20, 2021)

HARRISBURG, April 20 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., has introduced a trio of bills designed to protect medical cannabis patients and dispensaries from eviction and workplace discrimination. “Medical cannabis is medicine, and we must ensure that people who are prescribed medicine don’t have that held against them by their landlords or by their employers, and we must ensure that the providers of that medicine will not be discriminated against by commercial landlords,” Rabb said. “My legislation serves to protect the providers of medical cannabis and their patients, and to help them live without fear.” Rabb’s three bills are: Employee Protections for Medical Cannabis Patients – Would provide protections for employees failing a drug test due to their use of medical cannabis as a qualified patient by forbidding employers from discharging, threatening, refusing to hire or otherwise discriminating against such employees, and allowing such employees to bring a civil action against their employer. Commercial Tenant Protections for Medical Cannabis Dispensaries – Would protect commercial tenants that legally sell or provide medical cannabis by amending the Medical Marijuana Act to prohibit landlords from evicting, threatening to evict, or otherwise discriminating against a commercial tenant for the lawful sale or possession of medical cannabis if the tenant is certified by the commonwealth. Tenant Read more

 

Pedestrian safety at St. Joseph’s enhanced by PennDOT funding, Daley and Cephas announce

(Apr 20, 2021)

"We need to find a safer and more efficient way for our students, faculty and staff to cross City Avenue, and this project wouldn’t be possible without PennDOT’s partnership.” Read more

 

Cephas, Klunk advance bipartisan sexual harassment bill through Labor and Industry Committee

(Apr 20, 2021)

HARRISBURG, April 20 – During the 20th anniversary of Sexual Assault Awareness Month and falling in line with this year’s theme of “Creating Safe Spaces for All Communities,” state Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., today announced that her bill that would bolster protections against workplace sexual harassment for all employees in the commonwealth was unanimously approved by the PA House Labor & Industry Committee. House Bill 938, a bipartisan bill Cephas co-introduced with state Rep. Kate A. Klunk, R-York, would ban the requirement of nondisclosure agreements related to sexual harassment as a condition of getting a job. The bill, however, would not prohibit nondisclosure agreements if both parties voluntarily agree to participate. The bill also would clarify that nondisclosure agreements formed during the hiring process are to be considered involuntary, while those created during the settlement of a harassment case may be considered voluntary. Cephas and Klunk pointed to a range of social media activism campaigns (#MeToo, #ItsOnUs, #TimesUp and #EndRapeOnTheNightShift) that have raised awareness of widespread workplace sexual harassment in various career fields, and the devastating retaliation victims have faced for speaking out. “Recent events that have spurred these key movements shine a light on how under-protected Pennsylvanians are from workplace sexual harassment. However, our bill would provide all employees across our Read more

 

To celebrate Earth Day, Rabb calls for support of 100% renewable energy in PA by 2050, urges Pennsylvanians to contact their legislators

(Apr 20, 2021)

HARRISBURG, April 20 – To celebrate Earth Day on April 22, state Rep. Chris Rabb has called for support of his legislation to transition Pennsylvania to 100% renewable energy by 2050. “Earth Day was founded in 1970 to bring awareness to environmental issues, and I could not think of a better way to truly honor the day than to take action to literally save our environment and our planet,” said Rabb, D-Phila. “Earth Day has long been a day when people plant trees, collect litter or take other small steps to help our planet. That action is a beautiful and important thing because we must all act to save our very existence. “But the Pennsylvania legislature has the power this Earth Day to take a huge step in helping our planet – a huge step in what will be a journey to save humanity from climate change – by working to enact my legislation and get our commonwealth to 100% renewable energy by 2050,” Rabb continued. “So, while you’re creating your action plan for how you celebrate this Earth Day, consider calling or emailing Pennsylvania legislators to urge them to enact my legislation, which I’m calling Go 100% Pennsylvania.” Pennsylvania residents can use this website to find their legislator. A list of members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives is here , and a list of senators is here . Rabb, known for his climate activism and for regularly authoring and promoting progressive policies, Read more

 

Phila House Delegation Chair responds to Republican attack on democracy, attempts at voter suppression

(Apr 15, 2021)

HARRISBURG, April 15 – State Rep. and Philadelphia Delegation Chairman Jason Dawkins today made the following statement on behalf of the delegation at the conclusion of the 14th Republican-led State Government Committee hearing on voting in Pennsylvania. “We have watched the Republican leadership in the state House run 14 State Government Committee hearings on voting. The impetus of these hearings was clear at the outset and crystal clear at the end. The Republican majority in Harrisburg intends to push legislation that will suppress voters’ rights by making it harder to vote and intends to continue to force the big lie that the 2020 election was fraudulent while it was not. “The Republican members on the committee showed nothing but contempt for Philadelphia’s hardworking election workers and contempt for Philadelphia’s voters by continuously repeating false and unsubstantiated claims made by the Trump campaign and carried out across the country by those who do his bidding. “Philadelphia’s management of the 2020 election was validated by the courts, and the 2020 election was confirmed by multiple nonpartisan examinations as free, fair and accurate. “Philadelphians deserve to have their voices heard through their vote, and we, the members of the House Philadelphia delegation, will vehemently oppose any legislation perpetuating this direct hit on our democracy and the fair and valid election we all just Read more

 

Sims, one of 60 state leaders chosen for Council of State Governments national task force, will shape policy solutions

(Apr 13, 2021)

HARRISBURG, April 13 – State Rep. Brian Sims announced Tuesday that he has been invited to join the Council of State Governments’ new two-year Healthy States National Task Force to assist states with a variety of health and well-being challenges, all of which have been intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic. “I am honored to have been selected to serve on this task force and to work with my colleagues across the United States, as well as with thought leaders who are experts in their field, to determine best practices for policies surrounding health,” said Sims, D-Phila. “I look forward to digging into this work to outline real policy solutions to impact many facets of public and fiscal health to improve life for people in Pennsylvania and beyond.” The national task force will develop public policy resources and solutions to address state policy challenges in the areas of fiscal health, human health, economic and workforce health, and civic health. It will be composed of approximately 60 state leaders from all three branches of government across the country. Sims was selected to join the group because of his expertise and commitment to policy change and improvement. Beginning this year, members of the CSG Healthy States National Task Force will work for two years to oversee research and analysis on selected policy areas, identify bipartisan policy solutions, develop case studies and provide an outline of recommendations Read more

 

Rabb, Hanbidge urge measures to better understand impact of electric vehicles in Pa. before enacting legislation to charge fees

(Apr 12, 2021)

HARRISBURG, April 12 — State Reps. Chris Rabb and Liz Hanbidge have reintroduced legislation to study the costs and benefits of electric vehicles to better understand the impact of the vehicles in Pennsylvania. “Studies have shown that electric vehicles emit significantly less greenhouse gas than gasoline-powered vehicles,” Rabb, D-Phila., said. “With climate change upon us, we know electric vehicles offer a huge benefit in that they mean cleaner air and less pollution. When it comes to the fees that electric vehicle owners will be charged – specifically regarding the motor vehicle tax – Representative Hanbidge and I believe additional information is needed, and that’s why we’re urging a study.” “Studying the impact of electric cars on our commonwealth allows us deeper insight into how we can best utilize this exciting technology to create better and cleaner transportation opportunities for our communities." Hanbidge, D-Montgomery, said. Despite their positive environmental impact, electric vehicles do not pay the state motor vehicle tax, which is attached to gasoline prices. Because the funds from the motor vehicle tax are used to repair and maintain state roads and bridges, the state legislature has considered proposals to create an annual electric vehicle road use fee to alleviate any discrepancy in this funding. Rabb and Hanbidge have reintroduced a resolution that would direct the Legislative Read more

 

BioTech Innovation Organization, Pfizer share vaccine efficacy, role in COVID-19 recovery

(Apr 12, 2021)

HARRISBURG, April 12 – As Pennsylvania expands vaccine eligibility, the House Democratic Policy Committee heard from the manufacturers tirelessly working to develop safe and effective vaccines for global use. At a Policy Committee hearing today, testifiers included representatives from Biotechnology Innovation Organization and Pfizer, who provided details on the technology behind the development of the COVID-19 vaccines and how the United States can reach herd immunity. Chairman Ryan Bizzarro and state Reps. Patty Kim and Darisha Parker facilitated the hearing, where Amy Walker, director of Infectious Diseases Policy for Biotechnology Innovation Organization and Lisa Coen, senior director, Vaccine Public Affairs with Pfizer, shared insight into the science behind the creation of COVID-19 vaccines, ongoing research, development and trials. Walker shared that five presidents, both Democratic and Republican, have been vaccinated, highlighting that the vaccines have received bipartisan support. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to have conversations based on science and fact. These vaccines will save lives and I encourage everyone eligible and interested to take the advice of scientists and medical professionals and help put this pandemic behind us,” Bizzarro implored. “It is important for us to hear this testimony today, especially for my constituents,” Parker said. “Communities of color have battled COVID extra Read more

 

PA Rescue Plan, $1.7 billion investment in workers’ focus of House Democratic leaders’ rally in State College Wednesday
May 11, 2021

Green collar jobs and clean energy investments focus of PA Rescue Plan hearing
May 10, 2021

Powering Green Collar Jobs focus of Monday hearing with Democratic Leader Joanna McClinton
May 06, 2021

House advances Klunk, Cephas bill to protect workers from sexual harassment
May 05, 2021

McClinton applauds the first COVID-19 vaccine clinic in southwest Philly
May 04, 2021

VIDEO: McClinton Stresses the Importance of the COVID-19 Vaccine
Apr 29, 2021

Cephas seeks to establish Behavioral Health Crisis Response Units in Pa.
Apr 26, 2021

Op-Ed: Shelve the theatrics and address real issues affecting Pa. women and children
Apr 23, 2021

Rep. Driscoll, Sen. Sabatina announce $1.57M state grant to help rehabilitate wharf in Northeast Philadelphia
Apr 22, 2021

Cephas announces $325K state grant for roadway safety at the Cobbs Creek Golf Course
Apr 21, 2021

Young announces state funding for improvements at the Philadelphia International Airport
Apr 21, 2021

Sims announces $50K greenways, trails and recreation program grant for Schuylkill River Development Corporation
Apr 21, 2021

Rabb introduces package of bills to protect medical cannabis patients, dispensaries from eviction, discrimination
Apr 20, 2021

Pedestrian safety at St. Joseph’s enhanced by PennDOT funding, Daley and Cephas announce
Apr 20, 2021

Cephas, Klunk advance bipartisan sexual harassment bill through Labor and Industry Committee
Apr 20, 2021

To celebrate Earth Day, Rabb calls for support of 100% renewable energy in PA by 2050, urges Pennsylvanians to contact their legislators
Apr 20, 2021

Phila House Delegation Chair responds to Republican attack on democracy, attempts at voter suppression
Apr 15, 2021

Sims, one of 60 state leaders chosen for Council of State Governments national task force, will shape policy solutions
Apr 13, 2021

Rabb, Hanbidge urge measures to better understand impact of electric vehicles in Pa. before enacting legislation to charge fees
Apr 12, 2021

BioTech Innovation Organization, Pfizer share vaccine efficacy, role in COVID-19 recovery
Apr 12, 2021