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Pennie's Open Enrollment Period is now open

LGBTQ+ Caucus responds to Chambersburg Borough Council’s vote to repeal anti-discrimination ordinance

(21 hours ago)

In response to Monday’s vote to repeal an LGBTQ anti-discrimination ordinance by Chambersburg Borough councilmembers, state Reps. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, Brian Sims, D-Phila., and Sen. Katie Muth, D-Berks, all co-chairs of the LGBTQ+ Caucus, released a statement. Read more

 

Lawmakers to seek easier name-change process for LGBTQ+ Pennsylvanians

(Jan 20, 2022)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 20 – Members of the LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus are introducing legislation that would destigmatize and create a safer and easier name-change process for LGBTQ+ Pennsylvanians, especially transgender, non-binary and gender expansive people in the commonwealth. The Pennsylvania LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus is a bipartisan and bicameral caucus made up of members of the General Assembly whose mission is to advocate for equality for LGBTQ+ communities across Pennsylvania. Reps. Brian Sims, D-Phila., Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, and Sen. Katie Muth, D-Berks/Chester/Montgomery, are co-chairs of the caucus. Spurred by a Pennsylvania Senate Policy Committee hearing on the barriers in Pennsylvania for the transgender community in June 2021, members of the caucus worked with stakeholders to draft six key pieces of legislation to update Pennsylvania’s antiquated name change process and provide funding and safeguards for those seeking to change their name. The legislative package is being co-authored by Frankel and Muth, Reps. Nancy Guenst, D-Montgomery/Phila., Emily Kinkead, D-Allegheny, Ben Sanchez, D-Montgomery, Melissa Shusterman, D-Montgomery, and Joe Webster, D-Montgomery; and state Sens. Amanda Cappelletti, D-Delaware/Montgomery, Tim Kearney, D-Chester/Delaware, and Lindsey Williams, D-Allegheny. Co-sponsorship memorandums have been circulated and the LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus is calling on their colleagues in both chambers to sign onto these important Read more

 

Sims announces more than $19 million in redevelopment funding for Center City Philadelphia

(Dec 07, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 7 – State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., today announced $19.2 million in state grants were awarded to Center City Philadelphia for redevelopment projects. The projects that were awarded grants were: Broad St. Ministry Renovations 2: awarded $2 million. CP 2023 Construction, Phase 2: awarded $5 million. Curtis Revitalization-1726 Locust St.: awarded $2 million. Drexel Medical Campus at the New College Building: awarded $500,000. Franklin Institute Master Plan 2021: awarded $5 million. Magee Rehabilitation Hospital-Gaspar Outpatient Center Revitalization: awarded $1.25 million. Community College of Philadelphia Main Campus-Student Services Center: awarded $7.75 million. PA Ballet Dance Center: awarded $500,000. “I am thrilled to announce that so many impactful projects in Center City Philadelphia have received these very competitive grants,” Sims said. “This funding is imperative in ensuring that Philadelphia remains a regional leader in academic, medical, and arts and culture advancement.” The Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program is a grant program administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational, and historical improvement projects. RACP projects are authorized in the Redevelopment Read more

 

Sims announces $6.5 million in redevelopment funding for Center City Philadelphia

(Dec 03, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 3 – State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., today announced $6.5 million in state grants were awarded to Philadelphia for redevelopment projects. The Community College of Philadelphia was awarded $3 million, the Academy of Music, Inc was awarded $1.5 million and the Curtis Institute of Music was awarded $2 million. The funds will be used for infrastructure improvements and updates to buildings in Center City Philadelphia. Sims said funding, awarded through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, will help prominent cultural and educational institutions increase the sustainability and safety of their historic buildings. “These institutions are three of the biggest drivers of higher education and arts and culture programming in the region,” Sims said. “Our strategic investments ensure that their work may continue to bolster our local and regional economy.” Community College of Philadelphia will be updating the Winnet Building, Athletics Center and the historic Mint Building. Academy of Music, Inc will be restoring the building’s roof, cornice and gutters, while improving safety for future roof maintenance. Curtis Institute of Music will be improving the building’s energy efficiency, accessibility and life safety through various system and structural upgrades. RACP projects are authorized in the Read more

 

LIHEAP: Expanded Home-Heating Assistance is Available to PA Renters, Homeowners

(Nov 03, 2021)

As winter approaches and we prepare to spend even more time indoors, utility bills are only going to get more expensive. Additionally, we know that the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn have made it difficult for many to keep up with home energy bills. No Pennsylvanian should ever have to worry that their heat will be shut off during the coldest and darkest months of the year. The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a federally funded program administered by the Department of Human Services (DHS) that provides assistance for home heating bills so Pennsylvanians can stay warm and safe during the winter months. Assistance is available for both renters and homeowners. LIHEAP helps some of the commonwealth’s most vulnerable citizens — children, older Pennsylvanians, people with disabilities, and low-income families — make ends meet. Anyone who may need help, or anyone who has loved ones or neighbors who could benefit from this program, is encouraged to apply for LIHEAP today. APPLY FOR LIHEAP LIHEAP FACTS How do I apply for LIHEAP? Depending on preference, different options are available to apply for LIHEAP: Apply online: Pennsylvanians can apply at www.compass.state.pa.us . Paper applications: Call the LIHEAP Helpline at 1-866-857-7095 to request a paper application. Paper applications can also be downloaded from the DHS LIHEAP web page . County Assistance Office (CAO) services are available if clients Read more

 

Pennie's Open Enrollment Period is now open

(Nov 03, 2021)

The 2022 Open Enrollment Period for Pennsylvanians seeking health insurance coverage through Pennie is now open (as of Monday, Nov. 1) and will remain open through Jan. 15, 2022 . Pennie connects customers with financial aid and helps them shop for, compare and purchase health insurance. Nearly everyone qualifies for savings because of the American Rescue Plan. Pennie was created through legislation in 2019, moving Pennsylvania from the federal-based exchange to a state-based marketplace, which helped residents save hundreds – and, in some cases, thousands – of dollars on health insurance. Customers may see additional savings when enrolling in a 2022 Pennie plan because of the American Rescue Plan, according to state Rep. Tony DeLuca , Democratic Chairman of the House Insurance Committee. If you have questions, Pennie has answers via its FAQ page . Visit Pennie.com or call 1-844-844-8040 for more information. While open enrollment continues through Jan. 15, 2022, the last day to enroll for coverage starting Jan. 1 is Dec. 15, 2021 . Visit the Pennsylvania Insurance Department website for more information on how to get health insurance. Read more

 

PLBC condemns book bans at start of national Banned Books Week

(Sep 27, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 27 – State Rep. and Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus Chair Donna Bullock, D-Phila., was joined by members of the PLBC, LGBTQ+ Caucus, Latino Caucus and Equity Committee today to denounce the banning of books on diversity from schools in the commonwealth. This action was spurred in part by the overturning of a year-long book freeze in a York County school district and the new push by Republican state lawmakers to ban critical race theory, which is not taught in any district in the state currently. Two students who led the protest on the book freeze in Central York School District, Edha Gupta and Christina Ellis, spoke at the news conference. “Banning books on diversity is the direct result of this Republican manufactured crisis on critical race theory,” Bullock said. “This fearmongering has parents and school districts scrambling to stop something that doesn’t exist. Part of the negative effect of this overreaching response is children are kept from reading books that reflect their diverse school community and world around them. “If we continue to allow groups to pedal this misinformation, this ban will only be the tip of the iceberg. We owe our children more than that and we are calling out districts that minimize or restrict information through book bans or perpetuate this made-up crisis that is merely a political platform.” Pennsylvania is one of a growing list of states trying to enact a CRT ban, Read more

 

LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus condemns bill that discriminates against athletes

(Aug 04, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 4 – A bill that would discriminate against LGBTQ+ students by restricting their ability to participate in their school’s sports programs as the gender they identify with was condemned by the LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus after a House Education Committee hearing on the proposed Republican legislation, according to the caucus’ co-chair, state Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila. House Bill 972 would prohibit trans girls and women from playing scholastic and collegiate sports. “Republicans are again advocating for open discrimination against LGBTQ+ youth masked as a bill to protect girls and women,” Sims said. “As a former collegiate athlete, I know that LGBTQ+ kids, like all kids, see countless positive outcomes from engagement in sports. The opportunity to build skills, foster friendships and learn to work as a team are essential in development, especially for Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable population, trans kids. The trans community is at higher risk of being victims of assault and experiencing depression, anxiety and, tragically, suicide. The fact that the majority party would aim to subject trans and non-binary youth to further exclusion and harassment is sickening and it is also illegal. We should be striving for inclusion in Pennsylvania, not sending a message of hate to LGBTQ+ youth and their families.” “Republican leaders are holding a hearing on a pretend issue and on a bill that stands zero chance of Read more

 

Why I voted NO on the budget

(Jun 29, 2021)

I voted against this budget because even though we have billions in surplus, it does not fully fund public education, our crumbling school facilities or our working families still trying to recover. 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

 

LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus introduces PA Fairness Act

(Jun 15, 2021)

In order to extend protection from discrimination to LGBTQ+ Pennsylvanians, lawmakers in the LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus unveiled the PA Fairness Act on Tuesday. If passed, the PA Fairness Act would prohibit discrimination against an individual based on their sexual orientation or gender identity or expression in the commonwealth, providing a long-overdue update to Pennsylvania’s law. Read more

 

It’s time for Pa. budget to reflect LGBTQ+ priorities

(Jun 09, 2021)

HARRISBURG, June 9 – The Pennsylvania LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus, a bipartisan and bicameral caucus made up of members of the General Assembly who advocate for equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer residents, has released an open letter to Gov. Tom Wolf, and state Senate and House leadership, urging them to include funding for LGBTQ+ communities in this year’s state budget. “Each year we negotiate a budget that should support all Pennsylvanians and ensure that the commonwealth is inclusive and competitive place to live and work,” said Rep. Brian Sims, Caucus co-chair. “Unfortunately, our budget has historically excluded LGBTQ+ communities in Pennsylvania and it’s time that we prioritized and empowered the people, places and organizations that make Pennsylvania the diverse and vibrant place that it is.” Highlighting critical issues in health care, housing and education that LGBTQ+ Pennsylvanians have to endure, lawmakers emphasized the need for immediate action. “I knew when I became co-chair of the LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus this year that although the wind may be at our back, there is a fight to be had to enact even the most basic protections in Pennsylvania for our LGBTQ+ family,” said Sen. Katie Muth, Caucus chair. “Spending priorities should align with equitable policy that actually improves the lives and well-being of our queer communities. Make no mistake, sexual minorities Read more

 

LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus Budget Letter

(Jun 09, 2021)

LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus open letter to the governor, state Senate and House leadership, highlighting health care, housing, and education needs. Read more

 

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant portal reopens Saturday, April 24th

(Apr 23, 2021)

The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced that the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant application portal will reopen on Saturday, April 24. Updated documents and guidance will be available today (Friday, April 23rd) by clicking here . This is a grant program established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act. The program includes over $16 billion in grants to shuttered venues, and is administered by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance. Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue , with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees. Eligible entities include: Live venue operators or promoters. Theatrical producers. Live performing arts organization operators. Museum operators. Motion picture theater operators (including owners). Talent representatives. Other requirements of note: Must have been in operation as of February 29, 2020. Venue or promoter who received a PPP loan on or after December 27, 2020, will have the SVOG reduced by the PPP loan amount. 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

 

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

 

Join me, Sen. Saval and the Washington Square West Civic Association for a cleanup and shred event

(Apr 06, 2021)

You’re invited to join the 2021 Philly Spring Clean Up presented by Washington Square West Civic Association, Senator Saval and me from 9 to 11 a.m. THIS SATURDAY, April 10. Read more

 

Lawmakers: Legislation is hateful attempt to ignite culture war in Pa

(Apr 05, 2021)

Say proposed bill is disingenuous, harmful Read more

 

LGBTQ+ Sponsored Forum on Protections for Pennsylvanians

(Mar 29, 2021)

Join me and community partners to talk about what the lack of protections have meant for Pennsylvanians and the road to passing effective equitable legislation. Read more

 

The Road to LGBTQ Equality in PA Event

(Mar 09, 2021)

Join State Representative Brian Sims and partners from the Persad Center to discuss the long overdue road to LGBTQIA+ Equality in PA. Read more

 

LGBTQ+ Caucus responds to Chambersburg Borough Council’s vote to repeal anti-discrimination ordinance
21 hours ago

Lawmakers to seek easier name-change process for LGBTQ+ Pennsylvanians
Jan 20, 2022

Sims announces more than $19 million in redevelopment funding for Center City Philadelphia
Dec 07, 2021

Sims announces $6.5 million in redevelopment funding for Center City Philadelphia
Dec 03, 2021

LIHEAP: Expanded Home-Heating Assistance is Available to PA Renters, Homeowners
Nov 03, 2021

Pennie's Open Enrollment Period is now open
Nov 03, 2021

PLBC condemns book bans at start of national Banned Books Week
Sep 27, 2021

LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus condemns bill that discriminates against athletes
Aug 04, 2021

Why I voted NO on the budget
Jun 29, 2021

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

LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus introduces PA Fairness Act
Jun 15, 2021

It’s time for Pa. budget to reflect LGBTQ+ priorities
Jun 09, 2021

LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus Budget Letter
Jun 09, 2021

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant portal reopens Saturday, April 24th
Apr 23, 2021

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

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

Join me, Sen. Saval and the Washington Square West Civic Association for a cleanup and shred event
Apr 06, 2021

Lawmakers: Legislation is hateful attempt to ignite culture war in Pa
Apr 05, 2021

LGBTQ+ Sponsored Forum on Protections for Pennsylvanians
Mar 29, 2021

The Road to LGBTQ Equality in PA Event
Mar 09, 2021