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State Rep. Chris Rabb to introduce resolution that would designate Pennsylvania as a Hidden Heroes state

Rabb joins officials to highlight legislation protecting Pa. pollinators

(Jun 21, 2024)

State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., state officials and industry experts held a news conference today at Jenkins Arboretum and Gardens to highlight the importance of Pennsylvania’s pollinators. Read more

 

Rabb legislation would combat ‘greenwashing’ in Pa.

(Jun 14, 2024)

HARRISBURG, June 14 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., is drafting legislation that would prohibit corporations from using deceitful and manipulative practices known as “greenwashing” in Pennsylvania. “For decades now, corporations have taken advantage of environmentally-conscious consumers by intentionally marketing their products in a manner that makes them appear better for the planet than they really are. This devious and manipulative practice is known as ‘greenwashing,’” Rabb said . “You often see it when companies use terms such as ‘net zero,’ ‘low carbon’ or ‘cleaner energy,’ even if those claims are not based in reality or are aspirational at best.” This legislation would ensure that there is truth in marketing by amending the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law to explicitly prohibit deceptive environmental marketing claims. “As we increasingly experience the drastic effects of our warming climate, such as more intense storms, floods, droughts and wildfires, the last thing Pennsylvania consumers need is to be lied to as they try to make informed purchasing decisions,” Rabb said. "Corporations should not be allowed to lie to consumers and pretend that dirty and polluting products are healthy or sustainable, but the reality is these deceptive greenwashing practices Read more

 

Rabb supports startups in impacted communities with amendment

(Jun 12, 2024)

HARRISBURG, June 12 – The Pennsylvania House Finance Committee today approved legislation that would allow tech and bio-tech startups with unused net operating loss carryover to sell the tax benefits for use by other taxpayers subject to the Corporate Net Income tax. The bill passed with an amendment included by state Rep. Chris Rabb that would make sure businesses in impacted communities are explicitly included in opportunities created by this legislation. Rabb said his amendment improves the legislation while maintaining its scope and ensuring that startup owners who live in impacted communities are affiliated with technology-centered entities and have operations that address clean energy production or provide offerings that relate to energy efficiency or environmental resiliency efforts. “A lot of start-ups are technology-based firms that can create good, sustainable jobs. We are fortunate to have institutions that support this work; yet, we have brain drain. Our workforce is being pulled into other states because we haven’t fostered an environment that supports them,” Rabb, D-Phila., said. “I am particularly interested in those businesses that have a disproportionate influence on communities that could benefit the most from technologies whose residents have been most harmed by predatory business models. “We can use good judgment and data to find and support the types of businesses that have the most Read more

 

Rabb introduces legislation establishing Freedom School Grant Program

(Jun 11, 2024)

HARRISBURG, June 11 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., recently introduced legislation ( H.B. 2405 ) that would establish the Freedom School Grant Program. The Freedom School Grant Program would provide grants to schools and other organizations to help them establish more Freedom Schools , which were created in the 1960s by the nonprofit Children’s Defense Fund to provide well-rounded educational opportunities to Black children who were not given such opportunities in Mississippi public schools, Rabb said. “These schools improve reading, language skills and interpersonal relationships; strengthen families; connect children to medical and other needed social services; and develop the skills needed to improve conditions for children and families in their communities,” Rabb said. “They are an exceptional tool for building success and equity and for bridging the gaps in educational opportunity.” Today, 24 states have faith-based organizations, schools and school districts, community-based organizations and nonprofits, colleges and universities, and juvenile detention facilities that offer Freedom Schools. However, Pennsylvania has only one Freedom School, which is why legislation is needed to expand and enrich the breadth of learning so valuable to students across the state, Rabb said. Read more

 

Rabb, House Democrats Fixing Education Funding Disparities

(Jun 10, 2024)

PA state Rep. Chris Rabb has been working to fix the Commonwealth’s broken, unconstitutional, racist system of education funding since taking office seven years ago and now, finally, legislation promising full and fair funding to all PA school districts has passed in the #PAHouse. Read more

 

Rabb Fights to Stop “Greenwashing” in PA

(Jun 04, 2024)

As more Pennsylvanians are trying to make environmentally conscious purchases, PA state Rep. Chris Rabb wants to make sure that the companies selling those goods and services are being honest in their claims of environmental friendliness and sustainability. Rabb has introduced legislation to protect PA consumers from “Greenwashing,” a manipulative practice used by many corporations to market their products as green, net-zero, or 100% natural. Read more

 

Rabb highlights legislation protecting against predatory rent-to-own companies

(May 30, 2024)

HARRISBURG, March 30 – State Rep. Chris Rabb has introduced legislation that would provide protections for consumers against predatory rent-to-own companies. “These predatory companies often use the taxpayer-subsidized criminal court system as a de facto collection agency to take money they claim is owed to them for household and other items, which they leased to people who could not afford to purchase the items in full at point of sale,” said Rabb, D-Phila. “And often even despite the fact that the company has recovered the cost of the property, they will seek criminal charges and use threats of jail time to collect money in excess of the value of the leased property. “It is just another way that companies use institutional violence to squeeze as much as they can out of our most vulnerable populations,” Rabb said. The legislation ( H.B. 2359 ) would ensure that these predatory practices would be prohibited by giving the courts the ability to cap the demand at $50 if the lease of property has exceeded the retail value. Read more

 

Healing Communities through Restorative Justice

(May 20, 2024)

Restorative justice is a philosophy of criminal justice that seeks to repair the harmful consequences of a criminal act, focusing on the restoration of the victim rather than prioritizing punishment of the offender. Read more

 

PA House adopts Rabb resolution to study best practices for body camera footage

(May 09, 2024)

HARRISBURG, May 9 – A resolution ( H.R. 113 ) introduced by state Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., that calls for a study of best practices regarding body-worn cameras by law enforcement was adopted on a bipartisan vote by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Wednesday. The resolution directs the Joint State Government Commission to study how body-worn camera footage is currently used, stored, secured, indexed and accessed. It also requires the commission to prepare a report assessing the cost of filming, storing and reviewing complete body-worn camera footage, provide recommendations on how to ensure that footage is used for the benefit of all and shielded from cyber threats, and establish an advisory committee comprising individuals who have expertise and experience in fields, positions and situations relating to criminal legal matters, cyber security, ethics and law enforcement. “The bipartisan call to provide body-worn cameras to law enforcement agents has been a hallmark priority that promotes increased transparency and accountability for law enforcement and civilians alike. However, with the adoption of this resolution, we can look forward to substantive research on clear, consistent and equitable protocols for how we process footage from these cameras,” Rabb said. “Recommendations produced by the Joint State Government Commission stemming from completion of this study have the potential to inform Read more

 

Spurred by student protests, Rabb highlights legislation to prohibit law enforcement use of crowd control agents

(May 02, 2024)

HARRISBURG, May 2 – Prompted by disturbing reports of law enforcement using excess force to disperse protestors on college campuses across the country, state Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., is highlighting legislation ( H.B. 1107 ) that would prohibit law enforcement from using crowd control agents, such as chemical weapons and rubber bullets, to quell crowds. This legislation would prohibit the use of chemical weapons by law enforcement, including all types of tear gas, pepper spray, pepper balls, mace and any other crowd control agents composed of chemical compounds intended to cause some form of harm to a person. “As we’ve seen time and again, if you give law enforcement tools to inflict force, they will use them to excess. They did during the George Floyd protests and they are doing so today,” Rabb said. “The only way to prevent this is to prohibit the use entirely. These internationally recognized weapons of war have absolutely no place being used against American citizens peacefully protesting injustice and exercising their constitutionally protected rights.” Until summer 2020 amid the Black Lives Matter protests, the Philadelphia Police Department had not used chemical agents since 1985, Rabb said. Tear gas and pepper spray are both considered ‘riot control agents.’ They are toxic chemicals that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes as Read more

 

Bill passes PA House authorizing new environmentally sustainable, water-based cremation

(May 02, 2024)

HARRISBURG, May 2 – By a strong bipartisan vote of 138-63, the PA House passed a bill ( H.B. 1172 ) that would allow Pennsylvania-based funeral homes to provide water-based cremation. The bill, introduced by state Reps. Mary Jo Daley, D-Montgomery, and Chris Rabb, D-Phila., would amend current state law to expand the definition of cremation to include the process known as alkaline hydrolysis – better known as aquamation. “Cremation is typically seen as a more environmentally friendly alternative to burial, but that is not necessarily the case,” Rabb said. “In order to cremate a human body by flame, as is the current method, heat in excess of 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit is necessary. Creating that amount of heat takes immense energy and emits as much carbon dioxide as a 1,000-mile trip by car.” Alkaline hydrolysis is a method of cremation that uses an alkaline solution and a pressurized steel chamber to break the body down to its bare minimum. The combination of the alkaline solution, pressure, and heat creates ash similar to flame cremation. “When people think that cremation offers a greener end of life than a full burial does, it’s important to remember that the temperatures required in traditional cremations create large energy bills and excess pollution. This legislation aims to provide Pennsylvanians with interment choices that are not only kinder but also environmentally sustainable Read more

 

Rabb convenes PA House Judiciary subcommittee meeting on restorative justice

(Apr 30, 2024)

HARRISBURG, April 30 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., today convened a non-voting informational meeting on restorative justice practices held by the Pennsylvania House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Corrections, chaired by Rep. Emily Kinkead, D-Allegheny. The meeting focused on non-carceral approaches and harm reduction the commonwealth could adopt within the criminal legal system as sentencing alternatives. “Restorative justice is an approach to criminal justice that seeks to understand and repair the harmful consequences of a criminal act, focusing on the restoration of the victim and mending damaged relationships, as opposed to punishing the offender,” Rabb said. “Research on restorative justice has consistently demonstrated higher rates of victim satisfaction, lower rates of recidivism and enhanced offender accountability. By emphasizing rehabilitation and accountability, we can find a better way forward with kindness, compassion, better outcomes and stronger communities.” In collaboration with invested parties among and beyond testifiers who included offenders and victims alike, Rabb said he anticipates a vote on an amended version of his restorative justice legislation — H.B. 1849 — in a forthcoming House Judiciary Committee voting meeting. The meeting can be viewed in its entirety here . Read more

 

Business Resource Newsletter April-May

(Apr 26, 2024)

Local Business Resource Newsletter Read more

 

Rabb, Nelson introduce legislation to help families inheriting properties without a will

(Apr 25, 2024)

HARRISBURG, April 25 – State Reps. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., and Napoleon Nelson, D-Montgomery, have introduced legislation ( H.B. 2232 ) that would establish the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act in Pennsylvania. The legislation would make sure all inheritors are informed when one inheritor wants to sell their share of the property. It would also require a neutral appraiser to determine the property's fair market value. Lastly, it would provide other inheritors the first chance to buy the share of the person who wants to sell. “The passing of a loved one is heartbreaking and challenging on its own, and when they don’t have an estate plan in place it can lead to some difficult decisions and uncomfortable situations for the person’s heirs,” Rabb said. “This leads to the person’s heirs taking ownership of the property as tenants-in-common — a form of ownership that frequently leads to heirs losing their land through forced partition sale and to families losing immense inherited wealth to real estate speculators.” This legislation would provide additional due process protections to prevent Pennsylvanians from the forced sale of inherited property, Rabb said. “This bill is a piece of the puzzle in creating more fair and equitable housing throughout Pennsylvania,” Nelson said. The legislation is currently in the Pennsylvania House Housing and Read more

 

Rabb highlights living wage for all Pennsylvanians legislation

(Apr 10, 2024)

HARRISBURG, April 10 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., introduced legislation ( H.B. 1135 ) that would establish a living wage that includes vulnerable members of the workforce in Pennsylvania. This legislation would increase the minimum wage to a living wage over time with annual cost-of-living adjustments, abolish the sub-minimum wage, protect gratuities from wage theft and expand the universe of beneficiaries to include gig workers, incarcerated workers and neurodivergent workers. “The idea that it is allowable and acceptable to pay classes of working Pennsylvanians, due to their situation or circumstance, less than the minimum wage or a living wage is heinous and unacceptable. Yet, that is what commonwealth law currently allows,” Rabb said. “It’s time we change that and show that we value all work here in Pennsylvania. After all, all work has dignity. And there is no excuse for allowing a poverty wage in our commonwealth.” H.B. 1135 is currently in the PA House Labor and Industry Committee where it awaits a vote. Read more

 

Temple University Agrivoltaics

(Mar 22, 2024)

TU Agrivoltaics Read more

 

Rabb appointed to Interbranch Commission for Gender, Racial and Ethnic Fairness

(Mar 14, 2024)

HARRISBURG, March 14 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., was appointed by Pennsylvania Speaker of the House Joanna McClinton to the Interbranch Commission for Gender, Racial and Ethnic Fairness on Wednesday. “I want to thank Speaker McClinton for appointing me to the commission and thank Executive Director Maraleen Shields for welcoming me to the commission,” Rabb said. “It’s imperative that we raise awareness of the impact that a person’s race, gender, sexual orientation, disability or status has on the fair delivery of justice within the commonwealth. I look forward to working with Director Shields and my fellow commission members as we address bias in the state courts and all branches of state government; and in the process, increase confidence in the fairness of every branch of Pennsylvania government.” Read more

 

Rabb highlights special election reform legislation ahead of Tuesday’s election

(Feb 07, 2024)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 7 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., is highlighting special election-related legislation ahead of Tuesday’s Pennsylvania House of Representatives special election in Bucks County. “The process by which we elect people in special elections is as important as regularly scheduled elections. That is why I have reintroduced legislation to modernize the process,” Rabb said. “Tuesday’s special election will decide the fate of who will control the House of Representatives.” Rabb said his legislation, H.B.1831, to modernize the special election process would ensure special elections are timely, cost effective and accessible by requiring that special elections happen sooner when a seat becomes vacant more than 90 days before the next election; requiring automatic mail-in voting for all elections while providing county boards of election the option to establish satellite voting sites ; subsidizing special elections from restitution paid by elected officials who have vacated their seats because of a felony conviction; and allowing candidates to electronically obtain nomination petition signatures. According to data from the Pennsylvania Department of State, the state spent almost $1 million on just five special elections in 2023. “This large expense is unnecessary and does nothing to promote civic literacy or nonpartisan engagement in Read more

 

Rabb releases statement on Montalvo Capitol visit

(Feb 06, 2024)

On Monday, Feb. 5, state Rep. Chris Rabb held a reception in his office for Mr. Noel Matos Montalvo, who in December was released from York County Prison after his 2003 conviction was overturned by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Mr. Montalvo was convicted and incarcerated for over 25 years for a double homicide he did not commit. Numerous DNA tests and forensic reanalysis over the past two decades have all excluded Montalvo as a participant in the 1998 double homicide. “It was an honor to meet Mr. Montalvo in person today and to let him know that there are public servants in our commonwealth who stand with him on the right side of history, fighting to repeal our state’s cruel, ineffectual, costly and biased death sentence,” Rabb said. For four terms, Rabb has introduced legislation to repeal the death penalty. In October 2023, H.B. 999 was reported out of the House Judiciary Committee with bipartisan support and now awaits a House vote. “One person wrongly incarcerated is one too many,” Rabb said. “And now, we have one more person – an exoneree from death row – who is closest to the pain who can help lead the fight to abolish capital punishment in Pennsylvania.” Rabb has also introduced robust legislation in successive terms – currently H.B. 987 – to generously compensate and provide wrap-around services to Pennsylvanians whose liberty was stolen due to wrongful convictions. Read more

 

Rabb highlights Emancipation Day legislation

(Feb 05, 2024)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 5 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., on this day, the first Monday of February, is highlighting his legislation, H.B. 296 , which would establish the first Monday of February as “Emancipation Day” in the commonwealth. “In theory, the passage of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments — otherwise known as the Reconstruction Amendments — should have led to the expansion of civil rights for Black Americans, but in practice we know that not to be the case. Black Americans have had to fight every step of the way and are still fighting to this day for true emancipation,” Rabb said. “As the axiom goes: ‘nobody’s free until everybody’s free.’” Rabb said the bill would acknowledge the ongoing struggle for Black liberation in a society that still poses threats and allows barriers to persist against the advancement of Black people and allied communities of struggle. Rabb reintroduced the bill on Feb. 2, 2023, and it was approved with overwhelming bipartisan support by the House State Government Committee on Nov. 14, 2023. It awaits a vote on the House floor. Read more

 

Rabb joins officials to highlight legislation protecting Pa. pollinators
Jun 21, 2024

Rabb legislation would combat ‘greenwashing’ in Pa.
Jun 14, 2024

Rabb supports startups in impacted communities with amendment
Jun 12, 2024

Rabb introduces legislation establishing Freedom School Grant Program
Jun 11, 2024

Rabb, House Democrats Fixing Education Funding Disparities
Jun 10, 2024

Rabb Fights to Stop “Greenwashing” in PA
Jun 04, 2024

Rabb highlights legislation protecting against predatory rent-to-own companies
May 30, 2024

Healing Communities through Restorative Justice
May 20, 2024

PA House adopts Rabb resolution to study best practices for body camera footage
May 09, 2024

Spurred by student protests, Rabb highlights legislation to prohibit law enforcement use of crowd control agents
May 02, 2024

Bill passes PA House authorizing new environmentally sustainable, water-based cremation
May 02, 2024

Rabb convenes PA House Judiciary subcommittee meeting on restorative justice
Apr 30, 2024

Business Resource Newsletter April-May
Apr 26, 2024

Rabb, Nelson introduce legislation to help families inheriting properties without a will
Apr 25, 2024

Rabb highlights living wage for all Pennsylvanians legislation
Apr 10, 2024

Temple University Agrivoltaics
Mar 22, 2024

Rabb appointed to Interbranch Commission for Gender, Racial and Ethnic Fairness
Mar 14, 2024

Rabb highlights special election reform legislation ahead of Tuesday’s election
Feb 07, 2024

Rabb releases statement on Montalvo Capitol visit
Feb 06, 2024

Rabb highlights Emancipation Day legislation
Feb 05, 2024