HARRISBURG, April 13 -- State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila, is advocating for formal acknowledgement of the extraordinary work of caregivers of Pennsylvania’s veterans through the Hidden Heroes campaign. “Many times, a veteran’s caregiver is a spouse, parent and other loved ones whose lives are transformed, their goals set aside, and they rearrange their lives to help the ones who sacrificed the most for us,” Rabb said. “We need to recognize that these women and men are heroes and sacrifice more than we currently understand.” The Hidden Heroes campaign is an initiative through the Elizabeth Dole Foundation that seeks to raise awareness of the struggles of these special caregivers. It also seeks to establish a national registry where veterans and their caregivers can access resources available to them. Read more
HARRISBURG, Sept. 8 – State Rep. Chris Rabb has introduced legislation to provide relief to college students trapped in a lease agreement if their college cancels on-campus instruction because of COVID-19. Read more
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is everywhere these days. We see it for sale in pharmacies, corner stores, grocery stores and online. Since the legalization of hemp at the federal and state levels, there has been some confusion regarding CBD, which is hemp’s most popular extract. With CBD’s popularity exploding due to its medicinal uses – treating conditions like epilepsy, chronic pain and anxiety – I believe that regulation of CBD is necessary. Although CBD has no psychoactive properties, there is currently no legal standard for what constitutes CBD, nor are there any labeling standards to inform consumers of exactly what they are purchasing. People should be able to make informed decisions about the items they’re purchasing. To address the issue, I will be introducing legislation that would legally define “hemp extract” to include CBD and direct the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to create labeling standards and other regulations to help inform and protect consumers who purchase or are considering purchasing products containing CBD. This legislation would help to end the confusion and mistrust surrounding CBD and the products in which it is used. Read more
The Police Reform Working Group, a collection of local and state elected officials and advocates, issued the following statement in response to a Pennsylvania House Republican Policy Committee hearing on law enforcement interactions with the community:“We appreciate the House Republican Policy Committee shining a light on how law enforcement interacts with communities around the state. This is a necessary discussion that is long overdue and it’s encouraging to hear presenters today acknowledge that police reform is necessary. Read more
The Northwest Philly legislator is introducing a bill that would pay ex-prisoners an annual stipend for each year they wrongly served in prison. Currently they receive nothing. Read more
Aug. 22 email. Read more
Aug. 17 email. Read more
Aug. 7 email. Read more
HARRISBURG, Aug. 5 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., has introduced House Bill 2745, which provides for an annual payment from the Commonwealth to an exoneree for every year that exoneree was wrongfully incarcerated. Read more
July 31 email. Read more
July 24 email. Read more
HARRISBURG, July 23 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., celebrated Thursday after a measure he authored banning police officers from engaging in sexual activity with people in their custody was signed into law, but said more must be done to further protect people in police custody. “It is unconscionable that we needed a law to prevent police officers from sexually assaulting people in their custody,” Rabb said. “But as we are seeing more clearly today than ever before, substantial reforms are needed to protect people who come into contact with police officers, and we cannot take that fact for granted.” Rabb said the legislation signed into law on Thursday banning police officers from engaging in sexual activity with people in their custody was fast-tracked in the state Senate through the tireless advocacy of his colleague, state Sen. Katie Muth. He also praised state Sen. Larry Farnese, who introduced a version of Rabb’s original bill , which was added as an amendment to the legislation that was enacted on Thursday. But further action to pass H.B. 2709 – which would protect people who are being sexually trafficked and end up in police custody from deceitful acts by some law enforcement – is needed, Rabb said. Rabb recently introduced the legislation with state Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila. Rabb has credited engaged and passionate community members, especially young people, for the progress that has been made Read more
July 15 email. Read more
In response to Vice President Mike Pence visiting with the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 5, the Police Reform Working Group, made up of state and county elected officials and advocates, released the following statement:“As members of the Police Reform Working Group, we believe that the path to achieving community safety and racial justice in Pennsylvania must be two-fold. First, we must improve our current system of policing through accountability, oversight, and tangible policy changes that will diminish instances of police brutality against all citizens, but especially against the Black community. Second, we must work with communities to transform and re-envision policing itself through bold systemic changes that center around those most impacted by police violence and structural racism. Read more
July 9 email. Read more
HARRISBURG, July 7 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., today said he is honored that legislation he introduced 18 months ago to stop sexual assaults in police custody is on its way to becoming law. Rabb said his measure (H.B. 1807) to close a dangerous loophole that has allowed police who sexually assault a person in custody to use sexual consent as a defense was amended into legislation (H.B. 256) relating to corrections institutions. “This is another victory for Pennsylvanians who took to the streets across our commonwealth demanding real police accountability,” Rabb said. “While we have a long way to go in order to change the system and right the wrongs of the past and present, we must commit ourselves to destroying its toolbox, tool by treacherous tool.” Rabb’s H.B. 1807 was among nearly 20 Democratic bills that were presented to House Republican leadership on June 8 when a handful of Black legislators commandeered the Speaker’s rostrum demanding immediate legislative action on police violence and police accountability. After bipartisan negotiation, House Republican leadership agreed to support four Democratic bills, which have now been passed unanimously in both chambers of the General Assembly, including Rabb’s legislation (amended into H.B. 1841) to create a game-changing statewide law enforcement misconduct database. “Police officers are supposed to use their authoritative power to protect the public, Read more
Email from July 1, 2020. Read more
State Rep. Chris Rabb (D-Phila.), who wrote much of the bill that would create a statewide database for police personnel files, said despite FOP opposition, he’s feeling confident that real changes are possible.“It’s a cumulative effect of oppression, and everybody hits a boiling point at some point,” he said. “As long as there are continued, organized mass protests, and there are consequences for inaction and indifference. We’re going to have a series of measures to substantively address these issues.” Read more
Email from June 25, 2020. Read more
HARRISBURG, June 24 – State Rep. Chris Rabb today expressed tremendous gratitude to his House colleagues for their unanimous support of H.B. 1841 which would improve police accountability and safety. “This is personal to me,” Rabb said, before quoting a passage his great-great-great-grandfather, Rev. Amos Noë Freeman, co-authored with four other men, including Frederick Douglass, for the Colored National Convention in July 1853. ‘ We ask that in our native land, we shall not be treated as strangers, and worse than strangers. ‘We ask that, being friends of America, we should not be treated as enemies of America. ‘We ask that, speaking the same language and being of the same religion, worshipping the same God, owing our redemption to the same Savior, and learning our duties from the same Bible, we shall not be treated as barbarians.’ Rabb, whose legislation to require law enforcement to keep detailed personnel records to improve transparency and accountability was added as an amendment to H.B. 1841, said he had just recently learned of that passage co-authored by his great-great-great-grandfather. Reading his ancestor’s dreams, and seeing his children grow in the world today – where Black people are still working so hard to be treated as friends and not strangers, including by law enforcement officers who are sworn to serve all members of the community –has Read more
The State House unanimously passed two bills that aim to curb police brutality.The first bill, presented by Representative Chris Rabb, would set up a data base for all police officers so those with checkered pasts are weeded out.The other would improve training and screening of police officers. Read more
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