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, Dec. 8 – State Reps. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., and Dan Miller, D-Allegheny, today announced they are drafting legislation that would prohibit the use of public money to bust unions. “Unions are the backbone of our communities and have a rich and storied history in our state, from the coal mines of the northeast to the steel mills of Pittsburgh. Union workers built this state and have for years been the protectors of the working class,” Miller said. “Now, with economic inequality on the rise, we need to stand up to support our unions and send a strong message that our commonwealth stands not only with them but, more importantly, with the working families and communities who rely on them.” Modeled after similar legislation in New Mexico, the legislation would amend the Public Employee Relations Act to prohibit public and state-related employers from spending taxpayer dollars for union avoidance or union busting services or activities. “It is impossible to tell the story of economic progress in Pennsylvania without the inclusion of unions, which have been a keystone in the fight for improved workplace safety, increased wages, employer-provided healthcare and retirement benefits.” Rabb said. “In keeping with our state’s history, we should ensure that union votes are able to be made free from intimidation by public or state-related employers who would seek to infringe upon that right using taxpayer Read more
Pa. state Rep. Chris Rabb and the Shutdown Berks Coalition received word that the Biden Administration will end its contract with ICE in Berks County on January 31st, 2023. Rabb says detention centers like this only serve to further marginalize the immigrants and asylum seekers that bring so much to our diverse country. Read more
HARRISBURG, Nov. 28 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., announced today that he intends to introduce legislation during the 2023 session that would establish an election integrity board to combat election disinformation. This legislation would give the new board the ability to perform oversight and combat election disinformation, ensuring that candidates for public office accept election results. Election denialism and disinformation are destructive forces in the country. “Nationwide, over 100 election-denying candidates won primaries this year. Such individuals continue to perpetuate unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud, despite evidence confirming that our elections are highly secure,” Rabb said. “This rhetoric falsely impugns the legitimacy of our elections for the sake of partisan politics, sowing doubt about the validity of results. “Pennsylvanians deserve elections where legitimate issues are the focus and quality candidates present their positions in good faith. Baseless claims and conspiracy theories meant to disrupt elections have no place in the democratic process.” Read more
HARRISBURG, Nov. 28 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., announced today he is drafting legislation that would empower municipalities to utilize funding and investment in green banks. As part of the federal government’s Inflation Reduction Act, the $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund will go toward providing financial assistance to green banks, which are nonprofit organizations focused on the deployment of low- and zero-emission products, technologies and services. Pennsylvania needs to ensure it is well-positioned to capitalize on the opportunity, Rabb said. “The Pennsylvania Constitution enshrines the right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment,” he said. “Pennsylvania’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. Therefore, it is our collective duty to conserve and maintain our natural resources.” Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 22 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., announced today he is introducing wide-ranging legislation to honor and protect Native American culture and history. Rabb said he is highlighting his spate of Native-centered legislation in November, which is Native American Heritage month, to bring awareness to the continuing and widespread disregard for indigenous peoples, their history and culture, and the misappropriation thereof and how Pennsylvania can substantively right these wrongs. In 2021, Rabb authored a resolution that would have amended the rules of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to include a formal land acknowledgment at the beginning of each legislative week. In 2018, Rabb introduced a bill to formally abolish Columbus Day and replace it with Indigenous Peoples’ Day ( H.B. 2110 ), legislation he has reintroduced twice. “Symbolism matters -- particularly when it’s tethered to substantive action. That’s why rhetoric must be followed by redress,” Rabb said. With the involvement and affirmation of tribal leaders, Rabb has also put forth legislation to protect Native American trademarks by preventing the use of Pennsylvania state trademarks by non-Native American groups to claim Native American patterns and tribal names as well as other cultural heritage and intellectual property. “With the name change of the Washington NFL team to the Washington Commanders, one small step has been taken to Read more
HARRISBURG, Nov. 21 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., today released the following opinion/editorial in cooperation with the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators: Governments from across the globe recently came together in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, for the 27th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27), to identify the next steps the world’s governments must take to address the worsening impacts of climate change. But it isn’t just federal governments who will ensure we meet our global climate goals. States are also vitally important. This past week, I traveled to COP27 with a delegation of state legislators from across the United States. We worked to shine a light on the way our home states are leading efforts to combat climate change and equitably transition to a clean energy economy. In the wake of consequential midterm elections and a new report that the U.S. has warmed 68% faster than the planet as a whole, U.S. states are more ready than ever to lead in the passage and implementation of strong climate policy. Some may be still asking why state governments matter in the fight against global climate change. After all, addressing climate change will require an all-hands-on-deck approach with buy in from all nations. But local and state climate policy solutions are critical. The impacts of climate change are not uniform and result in different types of burdens depending on Read more
In a meeting of the Pa. House Judiciary Committee, Republican legislators pushed forward their plan to impeach Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner. Many Philadelphia Democratic members call these efforts a witch hunt and a politically motivated overreach, pointing to a lack of substantive facts and due process. Read more
HARRISBURG, Nov. 15 – The House Judiciary Committee decided by partisan vote Tuesday to move forward with H.R. 240 , otherwise known as the resolution to impeach District Attorney of Philadelphia Larry Krasner for misbehavior in office. State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., said the decision by Republicans in the PA House is the height of absurdity. “This resolution is nothing more than partisan drivel, put forth in the dying days of a lame duck session. It is a political stunt with far-reaching potential consequences. Not only does it deprive Philadelphians of their agency as voters, but it sets a dangerous precedent where this constitutional body is removing local elected officials from office because of disagreements over how policy is enacted,” Rabb said. “I hope the irony of giving district attorneys broad discretion to operate and then getting upset when they use said discretion is not lost on everyone.” A vote on the House floor on the resolution is likely to be held on Wednesday, as it is the last constitutionally mandated session day before the new term. Read more
Pa. state Rep. Rabb wants to remind you that The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, LIHEAP, application season is now open. Call his district office at 215-242-7300 and his skilled staff will work with you to get you and your family the help they need. Read more
HARRISBURG, Nov. 2 – With Election Day just under a week away, state Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., today is highlighting a package of election-related legislation that would reshape the way elections are conducted in Pennsylvania. “The election process is the keystone of our democracy, and I believe every eligible voter has the right to a process that is easy to use, understand, access and trust,” Rabb said. “There are too many systematic deterrents and structural flaws that disenfranchise current and potential voters. This legislation will break down those barriers and springboard our fragile participatory democracy toward a more equitable, inclusive and efficient electoral system.” The legislation is as follows: Making Election Day a state holiday , which would remove Columbus Day as a holiday and replace it with an Election Day holiday, ( H.B. 2112 , H.B. 2113 and H.B. 2114 ). Rotating ballot positions , which would establish a randomized candidate ballot position rotation system to ensure no candidate has an unfair advantage based on the luck of the ballot position draw, ( H.B. 1797 ). Electing the president by popular vote , which would authorize the Commonwealth to join the Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote and thereby guarantee the presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes, ( H.B. 270 ). Modernizing the system by which the collection of signatures for Read more
PHILADEPHIA, Nov. 1 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., today applauded the awarding of $1 million in state grant funding to the Weavers Way Cooperative Association for its Weavers Way Germantown Development project. The project will restore the building at 328 W. Chelten Ave. by renovating the façade with new storefront windows and an easy-to-access vestibule; as well as building a new roof, plumbing, fire suppression and mechanical systems; and upgrading the electric and lighting. The funds will be used to cover construction costs and initial store inventory. Read more
HARRISBURG, Nov. 1 – On the last day to apply for a mail-in or absentee ballot in Pennsylvania, state Reps. Rick Krajewski and Chris Rabb, both D-Phila., and civil rights groups reacted to a new report, which found that 42,976 people in Pennsylvania will be formally disenfranchised. The report is by The Sentencing Project, which found that across the country, 4.6 million people, or one in every 50 adults, will be barred from voting in the 2022 midterms due to a felony conviction. In Pennsylvania, only those incarcerated for a felony conviction are ineligible to vote. The 45.4% who will be disenfranchised are African American in a state that is less than 12.2% Black. In addition, advocates warned that thousands of Pennsylvanians currently held in local jails will be unable to vote despite being legally eligible to cast a ballot. A 2021 report by All Voting is Local, Committee of Seventy and Common Cause PA found that only 52 people had requested mail-in ballots in the 2020 general election using an address associated with one of 18 county jails. At the time, nearly 25,000 people were held in jails across the 67 counties. Reactions to the report included: "Felony disenfranchisement is a manifestation of how we dehumanize people in the carceral system,” Krajewski said. “We value retribution over rehabilitation. Punishment over restorative justice. And because we believe people who make mistakes should be penalized, it also means that we Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 27 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., today announced that $500,000 in state grant funding has been awarded to Wissahickon Valley Park in Northwest Philadelphia. The Friends of the Wissahickon are set to receive $500,000 in grant funding to help Wissahickon Valley Park accommodate the recent influx of visitors. The money will go toward the construction or adaptive reuse of existing park restrooms and amenities, such as water bottle filling stations, litter receptacles, bike parking stations, hand sanitizer dispensers and diaper changing tables. “People want many things from their state government, among them is quality recreation. By funding this project, we are making a commitment to bettering the lives of everyone living in our community,” Rabb said. “Grant funding like this is just a small step in our continuing journey toward a more equitable society.” Read more
HARRISBURG, Oct. 26 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., and Rep. Mary Jo Daley, D-Montgomery, announced today that they are drafting legislation to expand the environmentally friendly options available to Pennsylvanians for after-death care. “This is about increasing green options for Pennsylvanians such as the use of alkaline hydrolysis, also known as water-based cremation,” Rabb said. “It would also allow for a process called natural organic reduction, where the body is placed in a large vessel with straw, wood chips and other natural materials. The body then decomposes naturally, with the process sped up by the presence of microorganisms.” The process used in natural organic reduction uses one-eighth the amount of energy of a more traditional cremation and creates soil that is perfectly safe for gardens, trees and general land use. Cremation is viewed as an environmentally friendly alternative to burial; however, that’s not necessarily the case as the process required to cremate a body needs heat in excess of 1,600 degrees. The amount of energy required to generate heat above 1,600 degree is massive and emits about as much carbon dioxide as taking a 1,000-mile-long road trip in a car, Rabb said. Rabb is a member of the PA Climate Caucus. Read more
Armed with the strongest of beliefs that no one should be forced to give birth, Pa. state Rep. Rabb rallied to defend abortion rights. He explained that no government has a place in anyone’s uterus and vowed to continue to fight to keep it that way. Read more
A recent Supreme Court ruling says your mail in ballot might not be counted if the date is not written on the envelope. Your vote matters! Watch this short video and make sure your vote gets counted. Read more
Rep. Chris Rabb on WHYY's Radio Times discussing reforms to the Heart and Lung Act. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 19 – State Reps. Chris Rabb and Brian Sims, both D-Phila., introduced legislation in February that would inject more transparency into the Heart and Lung Act benefits system. As news organizations report on the city controller’s audit of the Philadelphia Police Department, Rabb said he has legislation ready that would address one major flaw outlined in the audit. Some of the controller’s recommendations include improving the accuracy and consistency of the data collected and tracked related to Heart and Lung benefits and having the police department work with the Office of Risk Management to design a better process for identifying instances where investigation and action is required against officers who abuse the system. “Too often, as investigative reports have found, there are so-called injured officers holding down second jobs, playing on travel softball teams and engaging in strenuous physical activity, all while supposedly being too injured to perform police work,” Rabb said. “Each time a law enforcement officer unfairly benefits from and abuses the system, they are taking money from not only taxpayers, but also their fellow police officers, as well as sowing distrust with the public.” This legislation would make it more difficult for officers to abuse the system by requiring that the physicians who evaluate injured officers are chosen independently. As things stand, the Fraternal Order of Read more
Building a stronger community by bringing people together is what Pa. state Rep. Rabb’s Grown Folks Fall Festival is all about. This year the “grown folks” enjoyed music, dancing, food, and much more, all while gaining valuable information about state services and programs available to those who need them. Read more
HARRISBURG, Oct. 10 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., announced today that he has authored legislation that would establish uniform procedures for school boards to follow before being able to restrict students’ access to books. “Book bans are an attempt to censor educators and restrict the information and educational materials that students can have access to in school,” Rabb said. “In addition, these effectively unilateral decisions made by school boards are extremely harmful to LGBTQ+ youth and students of color given that the subjects discussed in these so-called ‘inappropriate’ and ‘explicit’ books often discuss many serious and real issues impacting these communities.” Efforts taken to ban books are often unpopular among both teachers and students, Rabb said. However, elected school boards continue to run roughshod despite protests by education professionals and students themselves. His legislation would require the Pennsylvania Department of Education and school boards to participate in, at minimum, two public hearings moderated by professionals with ample knowledge of the books in question prior to any vote to ban them. Pennsylvania has the unfortunate designation of being the state with the second-largest number of books that are currently banned from its school libraries and curriculum. Rabb participated in a Freedom to Read news conference at the state Capitol during Banned Books Week Read more
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