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Carbon capture and Pennsylvania’s energy future focus of Wednesday hearing in Philadelphia

(Jul 20, 2021)

PHILADELPHIA, July 20 – Carbon capture and its place in limiting greenhouse gas emissions and contributing to the green economy will be explored at a hearing hosted by state Rep. Joe Hohenstein. The hearing will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, July 21 at the Port of Philadelphia, 3460 N. Delaware Ave., 19134. The media is invited to attend and media inquiries may be submitted via email to policy@pahouse.net . Hohenstein, D-Phila., will be joined by Vice Chair Mary Isaacson and members of the House Democratic Policy Committee to discuss nationwide efforts to support carbon capture and its impact on the economy and environment. Information about this and other House Democratic Policy Committee hearings can be found at www.pahouse.com/policycommittee . ### CONTACT: Nicole Brunner The Office of State Representative Ryan Bizzarro Phone: 717-645-7316 Email: nbrunner@pahouse.net Read more

 

Prescription drug pricing reforms essential for public health, and economy

(Jul 12, 2021)

HARRISBURG, July 12 -- State Representatives Emily Kinkead and Eddie Day Pashinski today hosted a public hearing to discuss the need for drastic reforms to drive down the costs of prescription drugs for the well-being of Pennsylvanians who rely on medications for an improved quality of life. The hearing, a meeting of the Policy Committee’s Subcommittee on Progressive Policies for Working People, included testimony on how prescription drug pricing is calculated, some of the cost drivers and legislative action needed to regulate pricing. Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler, chair of the subcommittee, and legislators from across the state joined both in person and online for the discussion. Sean Zmenkowski, a constituent services advisor for Rep. Kinkead, shared his experience as a type one diabetic reliant on insulin to survive and the career choices he has had to make in order to maintain access to life-sustaining medication. “Far too many Pennsylvanians have to make painful choices regarding life-saving medications – going without or rationing their medicine – either option is inexcusable,” said state Rep. Emily Kinkead, D-Allegheny. “I remain committed to working with my colleagues to come up with solutions, including a prescription drug importation program, to ensure the prescription drugs our residents need are accessible and affordable. It’s clear we need long-term solutions to help our residents, and we can make it happen.” Read more

 

Kinsey, Guzman to introduce bill that would mandate encoding ammunition for retail sale with serial numbers in Pa.

(Jul 01, 2021)

HARRISBURG, July 1 – State Reps. Stephen Kinsey and Manuel Guzman today announced that they will soon introduce legislation that would mandate ammunition manufacturers to encode ammunition for retail sale with serial numbers, making the bullet a more useable piece of evidence for law enforcement to solve more crimes in the wake of increasing gun violence. The bill would also require manufacturers to provide the serial numbers to the Pennsylvania State Police, who would be responsible for keeping a database on all encoded ammunition sold in Pennsylvania and allow law enforcement to easily trace the ownership of any ammunition involved in a crime. “Our commonwealth has experienced an uptick in gun violence, and very few of these crimes have resulted in an arrest or conviction because all that’s left at the crime scene is a victim and spent shell-casings,” said Kinsey, D-Phila. “Our bill that would require every piece of ammunition sold in this state to be encoded with identifying serial numbers -- much like the guns they’re discharged from. It is time for us to keep track of these lethal weapons and ensure that we have the tools necessary to convict individuals who use their firearms for unlawful purposes.” “Police investigations involving firearms go cold over a lack of evidence too often,” said Guzman, D-Berks. “By encoding ammunition, we will provide a much-needed tool in the fight to reduce firearm Read more

 

Resolution calling for National Infrastructure Bank introduced in Pa. House

(Jun 30, 2021)

HARRISBURG, June 30 – State Reps. Ed Neilson, Mary Jo Daley, Eddie Day Pashinski and Joe Ciresi announced the introduction of a resolution urging Congress to establish a National Infrastructure Bank to repair, enhance and revolutionize the country’s infrastructure while creating 25 million living-wage jobs. "Throughout my entire professional career, I have been deeply rooted in the labor sector," Neilson, D-Phila., said. "I know the value of those jobs to the people who work in them, and I know how vital those jobs are to our economy and the well-being of our communities. Right now, our commonwealth's infrastructure is in crisis. A National Infrastructure Bank would allow us to support various industries , create jobs and address the issue of our aging and deteriorating infrastructure." The NIB would be a separate institution from the Federal Budget, set up as a government-sponsored lending, deposit-money bank, and capitalized with existing treasuries held by the public sector – not new tax dollars. According to the Coalition for a National Infrastructure Bank, this process of using government-backed private capital to finance these most-needed projects has been successfully used to restore our country’s economic stability four times throughout the U.S. history. Legislation – H.R. 3339 – has been introduced in Congress to create this NIB but has not yet been voted on. In Pennsylvania, H.R. 113 – with Read more

 

Philadelphia, Southeast House members call on WHYY board of directors for fair collective bargaining agreement, fair wages

(Jun 29, 2021)

PHILADELPHIA, June 29 – Twenty members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from the Philadelphia and Southeast delegations sent a letter in support of the workers at public media station WHYY. The letter, sent to the CEO and the WHYY board of directors, called for a fair collective bargaining agreement, fair wages and predictable, fair work schedules. As public media consumers, lawmakers and Philadelphia region residents, the House members said WHYY clearly is a valuable piece of local community journalism for the region that needs to support its workers. A former WHYY reporter and producer, state Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler, D-Phila., said, “As a reporter at WHYY for a decade prior to being elected in 2018, I saw firsthand many of the conditions that workers are talking about. It’s unacceptable and troubling. Many of the current workers were my colleagues when I started as a freelance reporter at WHYY years ago. Today, my state House colleagues and I stand in solidarity with them. They are important, valuable parts of the news and information that consumers receive. It is their labor that has helped build WHYY’s brand; they deserve to be treated fairly and respectfully.” The letter, which was emailed to the WHYY leadership on Tuesday, and which Fiedler, the Philadelphia Delegation secretary, will hand deliver on Wednesday, can be found here . In the letter, members of the Philadelphia and Southeast delegations outline low Read more

 

Kenyatta seeks to commemorate Jan. 6 as Democracy Observance Day in Pa.

(Jun 29, 2021)

HARRISBURG, June 29 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., today announced that he will soon introduce legislation that would commemorate Jan. 6 -- the date of the deadly right-wing insurrection at the U.S. Capitol earlier this year -- as Democracy Observance Day for Education, Remembrance, and Vigilance, to be referred to as Democracy Observance Day in Pennsylvania. January 6, 2021 was the day when a violent mob of domestic terrorists stormed the federal Capitol and forcibly entered the building, while Congress was meeting to officially tally the Electoral College votes of the 2020 general election, forcing lawmakers and their staff to barricade themselves in secure locations. Insurrectionists also assaulted law enforcement officers. Kenyatta said that this dark day is a day to never be forgotten in America and should serve as a reminder to all Pennsylvanians of how democracy was threatened, the blood spilled in pursuit of protecting it and what is required of citizens to preserve it. “These aggressors who pillaged offices and wreaked havoc upon the People’s House shook the foundation of our democratic republic, revealing how fragile democracy is. As Americans, we must be steadfast in protecting the soul of this nation in the face of conspiracy theories, lies and violence,” Kenyatta said. “My bill would also call for Pennsylvania to also use this day as a time of remembrance by uplifting those who risked their lives to defend Read more

 

Five House Democrats introduce Fair Share Tax Plan to increase taxes on income from wealth, decrease tax on income from wages and interest

(Jun 24, 2021)

HARRISBURG, June 24 – State Reps. Chris Rabb, Elizabeth Fiedler and Rick Krajewski, all D-Phila., and Reps. Sara Innamorato and Summer Lee, both D-Allegheny, have introduced a bill to update Pennsylvania’s tax code so it benefits working-class families over the ultra-rich. “For too long, the working people of Pennsylvania have been footing more than their fair share of taxes, with the most financially vulnerable people truly suffering,” Rabb said. “Our legislation seeks to correct that, to fix a broken system and, in so doing, generate funds from the ultra-rich – who are equipped to pay a little more – that can be invested into worthwhile expenditures, like removing lead pipes, growing in clean energy, and supporting child and senior care programs.” “Our neighbors across Pennsylvania are working harder than ever only to keep falling behind,” Innamorato said. “Under our current tax code these hardworking families, many frontline workers, are required to pay a higher percentage of their household budget than the wealthiest Pennsylvanians. This is simply unfair. “We need a tax code that is rooted in fairness, one that rewards work and ends the special loopholes for the richest,” Innamorato continued. “The overwhelming majority of Pennsylvanians would pay less in taxes or see no change under our proposal, but it will generate more than $6 billion in additional revenue. It would be good Read more

 

LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus comments on the Supreme Court ruling that strikes against anti-discrimination laws in Philadelphia, nation

(Jun 22, 2021)

HARRISBURG, June 22 – The LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus has called for statewide anti-discrimination protections after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a private Catholic agency and not with the city of Philadelphia last week, despite the fact the agency had violated a Philadelphia law by refusing to consider placing children for adoption with married LBGTQ+ couples. “This ruling is more evidence that elections matter and that we in Pennsylvania cannot and should not rely on the courts for protections for LGBTQ+ people,” said state Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., co-chair of the LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus. “Because we cannot rely on the right-leaning U.S. Supreme Court, we lawmakers at the state level must pass nondiscrimination laws to protect the people in our commonwealth. “LGBTQ+ rights are human rights, and I will continue to fight for the rights that I and so many others across our state are entitled to,” Sims added. The LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus is a bicameral, bipartisan group of Pennsylvania legislators who advocate for equal protections for LGBTQIA+ Pennsylvanians. “This is obviously a disappointment and a reminder that the battle for LGBTQ+ equality is far from over,” said state Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, who co-chairs the LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus with Sims and state Sen. Katie Muth. “As long as we have Read more

 

Young condemns H.B. 1300 as ‘Voting Rights Suppression Act’

(Jun 16, 2021)

HARRISBURG, June 16 – State Rep. Regina G. Young, D-Phila., in a statement today, condemned H.B. 1300, a 150-page bill that would alter voting deadlines, limit early voting, make mail-in ballot procedures more difficult and mandate IDs for all in-person voters, saying that it as assault on voting rights. “House Bill 1300 is 150 pages of drivel and lies outfitted as policy. Its author and supporters have dubbed it with a virtuous name, the Voting Rights Protection Act, but whose voting rights is it really protecting?” Young said, a day after voting no on the bill’s passage in the House State Government Committee. “House Bill 1300 is really the Voting Rights Suppression Act. It only stands to create obstacles in exercising the right to vote. Measures such as stricter voter ID mandates, signature verification requirements for mail ballots, and limiting the availability of drop boxes, are all attempts to deter people from voting and suppress votes. “Another issue with this bill is that it offers no solutions to streamlining the elections process. For months, Republican and Democratic election officials from across the state urged the legislature to revamp our elections code to allow the elections process to run smoother. One unanimous plea was to enact the pre-canvassing of mail-in ballots, a measure the majority party in the committee said they would review. However, the best they could come up with is H.B. 1300—a slap in Read more

 

Kenyatta calls latest GOP election bill ‘artisanal voter suppression’

(Jun 15, 2021)

HARRISBURG, June 15 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., in a statement today, blasted ongoing efforts by the Pennsylvania GOP to undermine Pennsylvania’s elections with their latest elections bill, House Bill 1300, a 149-page bill that would alter voting deadlines, limit early voting, make mail-in ballot procedures more difficult and mandate IDs for all in-person voters. “You have the same people who have been stoking the raging fire that we’re currently seeing burn up the trust in the sanctity of our democratic process now wanting to come and act like they’re the firefighters,” Kenyatta said, following the Republican-dominated House State Government Committee’s approval of H.B.1300 along party lines. “House State Government Majority Chairman State Representative Seth Grove is drumming up support for his H.B. 1300 by posing it as legislation to increase protections of our state’s elections process. However, Grove is the torcher as it is he who led efforts to undermine those protections. It was Grove who organized the letter—endorsed by his Pennsylvania GOP peers—urging Congress to overturn Pennsylvania’s 2020 General Election results on Jan. 6. “It is Grove who was at the helm of the attempt to get subpoena power to seize those ballots. “It was Grove fronting his pack of rogue lawmaker colleagues here in Pennsylvania and in tandem with their GOP peers across our nation Read more

 

Isaacson announces more than $3.3M in PHARE funding for 16 organizations in 175th District

(Jun 15, 2021)

State Rep. Mary Isaacson announced more than $3.3 million in Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement, of PHARE (PHARE) funds, has been awarded to 16 organizations in the 175th Legislative District. Read more

 

Isaacson announces $100K historical grant awarded in 175th District

(Jun 14, 2021)

It's always wonderful to share that grant dollars are coming back to our district! This award is one of 54 awarded to organizations through the state. Learn more about all the awards here . Read more

 

Young connects 125 Bartram high school grads to in-demand trades careers during graduation rehearsal

(Jun 10, 2021)

PHILADELPHIA, June 10 -- State Rep. Regina G. Young, D-Phila./Delaware on Wednesday hosted a career fair connecting 125 graduating high school seniors to in-demand trades careers at John Bartram High School in Southwest Philadelphia. During their final graduation rehearsal, the soon-to-be graduates had the opportunity to network with the city’s largest employers, such as SEPTA, the Philadelphia International Airport, the Philadelphia Shipyard, Associated Builders & Contractors, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 98. “Trades and technical careers have been and continue to be integral to our society. As our economy slowly regains footing in the wake of the pandemic, this ever-expanding field has proven to be sustainable and lucrative, generating opportunities for all,” Young said. “I’m thrilled to see high school graduates celebrating both an end to their high school career and the beginning of a bright future as productive adults in our society. I am especially proud to see this career fair serve as a model in connecting pupils across all 67 counties to the endless career opportunities in trades.” Vice President of Workforce Development at Associated Builders & Contractors Vincent Console expressed delight that 15 graduates have followed up with the offer to join the apprenticeship program. “I wanted to thank Representative Regina Young and Bartram Read more

 

Women’s Health Caucus: Choice is crucial, and we will keep fighting anti-choice legislation

(Jun 09, 2021)

If you are ever faced with an unwanted or nonviable pregnancy, make no mistake: You have the right to choose how to handle it. The ultimate decision must be yours, and we will fight to ensure that remains true. Read more

 

Rabb introduces legislation to fund all Pa. public schools fully, equitably

(Jun 09, 2021)

HARRISBURG, June 9 – State Rep. Chris Rabb has introduced legislation to fund all public schools throughout Pennsylvania fully and equitably to ensure that every child in the commonwealth can succeed. “Access to a high-quality education is the single best, long-term investment we can make in our children – and for our society – with public dollars,” said Rabb, D-Phila. “That many children throughout Pennsylvania are starting out their life’s path without the resources they need because legislators in Harrisburg haven’t done the work to ensure they have every opportunity for success is unacceptable. My legislation would ensure that public education funding is fully and fairly distributed to districts throughout our commonwealth.” Rabb has circulated a forthcoming bill he has introduced twice before that would require 100% of state funds to be distributed through the fair funding formula effective immediately, acknowledging that our most underfunded school districts need significantly more funding to ensure that they have enough resources to educate their students. The other bill in the package would expand the duties of the bipartisan Basic Education Funding Commission to ensure that the commission consider ways to provide for school funding that is both equitable and adequate, as well as make recommendations for ways to provide increased funding for Pennsylvania’s schools to be reflected in their upcoming Read more

 

Kenyatta applauds Dr. Jason Wingard for making history as first Black Temple University president

(Jun 08, 2021)

HARRISBURG, June 8 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., released the following statement applauding Dr. Jason Wingard on becoming 13 th president of Temple University and the university’s first Black president its 137-year history. Kenyatta also highlighted the importance of activism which led to this historic appointment. “As a proud Temple University alumnus, I applaud Dr. Jason Wingard on his appointment to become the thirteenth president of Temple University and making history as the first Black president in the university’s 137-year history. Dr. Wingard is impeccably qualified and possesses the ability to connect to Black and Brown students and residents of North Philadelphia. “While we applaud Dr. Wingard’s historic appointment, we must also acknowledge the journey of how we got to this point. Activism matters. “I was born and raised here in North Philadelphia, graduated from Temple University and now represent this community in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Through the years, I watched the university prosper at the expense of my neighbors. Since being elected, I constantly challenged Temple University’s mostly all-white leadership on the dire need for diversity among its ranks-- meaningful diversity that mirrors the surrounding communities acknowledges that reality that these predominantly Black neighborhoods have long suffered the effects of economic Read more

 

Krajewski, Kenyatta push back against false voting ‘integrity’ efforts, promote support for enhanced and expanded voting rights for all

(Jun 07, 2021)

HARRISBURG, June 7 — State Reps. Rick Krajewski and Malcolm Kenyatta, both D-Phila., pushed back against the false right-wing narrative regarding voting integrity efforts Monday, instead promoting the need to increase access to voting for all, and especially for those whose voting rights are under attack. “Over the past 18 months, as we have seen unprecedented movements and victories in the fight against police violence, the defeat of Donald Trump, Democratic control of the U.S. Senate and more; we have also seen a steep increase in attempts by the right-wing elite to disenfranchise the marginalized people who have benefited from these achievements,” Krajewski said during the Defending Democracy event he and Kenyatta led. “That is no coincidence. “Government should be by the people, for the people, but as the people have started shaking things up and dismantling the status quo, their rights to choose their elected officials through free and fair elections have come under attack through farcical efforts to question the integrity of our elections,” Krajewski continued. “We will not stand for this misleading misdirection and we wanted to bring this issue into the spotlight so we can examine the ways in which access to voting must be expanded and voting rights upheld.” “Voter suppression tactics have become as American as apple pie, with almost every generation of Black and brown Americans having to combat Read more

 

Rabb will introduce legislation to ban police use of control agents like tear gas, pepper balls, mace and rubber bullets

(Jun 03, 2021)

HARRISBURG, June 3 – State Rep. Chris Rabb said he will introduce legislation to ban police from using crowd control agents like tear gas, pepper balls, mace and rubber bullets. “Debilitating weapons of war have no place being used against civilians,” Rabb said. “And crowd control agents like tear gas and rubber bullets are exactly that, weapons of war. But even some of those agents were banned for use in warfare by the 1925 Geneva Protocol, so there’s absolutely no reason they should be used on civilians in our communities in Pennsylvania.” Rabb said that until last year, during demonstrations by protestors after George Floyd was murdered by police in Minnesota, police in Philadelphia had not used tear gas in 35 years. His forthcoming legislation would ban the use of crowd control agents by law enforcement in Pennsylvania. As a member of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, I acknowledge this commonwealth exists on the tribal lands of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Lenape, Munsee, Shawnee and Susquehannock. Read more

 

Kinsey, Fitzgerald host news conference highlighting progress in combatting COVID-19 in Northwest Philadelphia

(Jun 02, 2021)

WYNCOTE, June 2 – State Reps. Stephen Kinsey and Isabella Fitzgerald, both D-Phila., today hosted a news conference at Oak Street Health to highlight the progress of the Northwest COVID-19 Coalition in closing the racial and ethnic disparity gaps in Philadelphia’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution. “From low survivability outcomes resulting in lack of access to adequate health care to being severely underrepresented in both testing and vaccine access, communities of color have been among of the hardest hit throughout the course of this pandemic,” Kinsey said. “As a legislator, I could not stand idle as my neighbors and community were suffering, which it was prior to bringing medical professionals, faith-based leaders and community activists together to form this grassroots coalition. We have been tirelessly informing residents on safety updates, expanding access to testing and, now, vaccinations. While I am thrilled about the success in seeing the number of vaccinated residents steadily climb, our work is far from over. We’re still encouraging folks to get vaccinated if they haven’t yet done so.” “At the outset of the pandemic and in the days that followed, it was very apparent where communities of color stood in terms of getting adequate health care, testing and eventually vaccines,” Fitzgerald said. “With numbers rising at an alarming rate, we felt it was incumbent upon us to Read more

 

Policy Committee vets Fiedler, Krajewski’s administrative fix that would have major impacts on Pa. renters

(Jun 02, 2021)

HARRISBURG, June 2 – Today’s roundtable discussion hosted by state Rep. Rick Krajewski further cemented the need for action on how eviction records are handled in Pennsylvania. Krajewski was joined by state Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler, chair of the Subcommittee on Progressive Policies for Working People and members of the House Democratic Policy Committee to discuss how eviction proceedings impact tenants long-term and shared how their legislation would establish eviction expungement procedures. Fiedler explained: “I’m proud to hold his hearing to draw attention to a bill I have, with Rep. Krajewski, that would give people who have faced eviction through no fault of their own, the chance to have their record sealed and move on with their life. An eviction filing can lead to a domino effect of traumatic life-changing events that start with losing your home, and can include losing your community, your support system, your children’s school, your employment and more. We need to do everything we can as a society to prevent that from happening to adults, senior citizens, children and all families.” The committee heard testimony from Catherine Anderson, supervising attorney, eviction diversion program, Philadelphia Legal Assistance; Gale Schwartz, associate director, policy and strategic initiatives, Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania; Anne Wright, chief technology officer, RentHelpPgh; Nicolás Pastore, former legislative intern, Read more

 

Carbon capture and Pennsylvania’s energy future focus of Wednesday hearing in Philadelphia
Jul 20, 2021

Prescription drug pricing reforms essential for public health, and economy
Jul 12, 2021

Kinsey, Guzman to introduce bill that would mandate encoding ammunition for retail sale with serial numbers in Pa.
Jul 01, 2021

Resolution calling for National Infrastructure Bank introduced in Pa. House
Jun 30, 2021

Philadelphia, Southeast House members call on WHYY board of directors for fair collective bargaining agreement, fair wages
Jun 29, 2021

Kenyatta seeks to commemorate Jan. 6 as Democracy Observance Day in Pa.
Jun 29, 2021

Five House Democrats introduce Fair Share Tax Plan to increase taxes on income from wealth, decrease tax on income from wages and interest
Jun 24, 2021

LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus comments on the Supreme Court ruling that strikes against anti-discrimination laws in Philadelphia, nation
Jun 22, 2021

Young condemns H.B. 1300 as ‘Voting Rights Suppression Act’
Jun 16, 2021

Kenyatta calls latest GOP election bill ‘artisanal voter suppression’
Jun 15, 2021

Isaacson announces more than $3.3M in PHARE funding for 16 organizations in 175th District
Jun 15, 2021

Isaacson announces $100K historical grant awarded in 175th District
Jun 14, 2021

Young connects 125 Bartram high school grads to in-demand trades careers during graduation rehearsal
Jun 10, 2021

Women’s Health Caucus: Choice is crucial, and we will keep fighting anti-choice legislation
Jun 09, 2021

Rabb introduces legislation to fund all Pa. public schools fully, equitably
Jun 09, 2021

Kenyatta applauds Dr. Jason Wingard for making history as first Black Temple University president
Jun 08, 2021

Krajewski, Kenyatta push back against false voting ‘integrity’ efforts, promote support for enhanced and expanded voting rights for all
Jun 07, 2021

Rabb will introduce legislation to ban police use of control agents like tear gas, pepper balls, mace and rubber bullets
Jun 03, 2021

Kinsey, Fitzgerald host news conference highlighting progress in combatting COVID-19 in Northwest Philadelphia
Jun 02, 2021

Policy Committee vets Fiedler, Krajewski’s administrative fix that would have major impacts on Pa. renters
Jun 02, 2021