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Sims to host Policy Committee hearing on comprehensive sex education Thursday in Philadelphia

(Oct 15, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 11 – State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., will host a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing on comprehensive sex education. The hearing will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17 at Thomas Jefferson University, Foederer Auditorium, 2 nd floor -- College Building, 1015 Walnut St, 19107. The media and public are invited to attend. Sims has introduced legislation that would require school districts to incorporate age-appropriate, inclusive and science-based comprehensive sex education into the curriculum of all grade levels, including contraception methods for older students. Sims will be joined by state legislators from across the state, including Policy Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. The current agenda is: 2:00 p.m. Welcome and opening remarks. 2:10 p.m. Panel One: Melissa Weiler Gerber , president and CEO, AccessMatters. Aletha Akers , MD, MPH,FACOG, associate professor of Pediatrics, The Craig Dalsimer Division of Adolescent Medicine. Lynette Medley , MEd, founder/CEO, No More Secrets Mind Body Spirit, Inc. Carlee Warfield , student, Downingtown STEM Academy. 2:45 p.m. Panel Two: Miciah Foster , SistahSpeak! youth project coordinator, New Voices for Reproductive Justice. Dr. Amanda Micucio , general pediatrician, Nemours duPont Pediatrics-Philadelphia. Patricia Fonzi , president and CEO, Family Health Council of Central PA. Read more


Friends of Schuylkill River Park receives $9,324 state grant

(Sep 18, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 18 – State Rep. Brian Sims announced a $9,324 grant will help Friends of Schuylkill River Park updates its Master Plan for the park. The Commonwealth Financing Authority approved the Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program funding to assist with the renovations. Friends of Schuylkill River Park will use the funding to retain a consultant team to lead an in-depth community engagement process to develop a 10 year vision for the park facilities. The total cost of the project is $10,970. The CFA was established in 2004 as an independent agency of the Department of Community and Economic Development to administer Pennsylvania's economic stimulus packages. The CFA holds fiduciary responsibility over the funding of programs and investments in Pennsylvania's economic growth. The CFA consists of seven board members: four legislative appointees and the secretaries of DCED, the Office of the Budget and Department of Banking. Read more


LGBTQ Equality Caucus condemns anti-LGBTQ legislation

(Sep 05, 2019)

As the Pennsylvania House and Senate prepare to return to session this fall, a bicameral group of lawmakers has vowed to fight anti-LGBTQ legislation that is being prepared by some House members. Read more


Sims Stands Up Against Gun Violence

(Aug 16, 2019)

Pa. state Rep. Brian Sims joined Gov. Tom Wolf, Mayor Jim Kenney, the Philadelphia Police Department, and other lawmakers in response to the recent mass shooting in Philadelphia. He explains the action needed to protect families across the commonwealth from gun violence and further bloodshed. Read more


Sims commends first responders after North Philadelphia shooting

(Aug 15, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 15 – State Rep. Brian Sims expressed his support for the Philadelphia Police Department and the medical professionals who rushed to help after six officers were hurt yesterday in a mass shooting. “My thoughts are with the first responders who jumped into action to prevent innocent bystanders from being hurt and the medical staff who worked swiftly to treat the officers who were injured,” Sims said. “This kind of violence needs to stop. We’ve seen 7 mass shootings in the city this year. There is no justifiable reason for one person to have that much fire power. It’s time we take real action to enact sensible gun legislation and make our streets safer.” Sims also commended Police Commissioner Ross and District Attorney Krasner for speaking with the suspect and convincing him to surrender and end the seven-hour standoff. “Unfortunately, we’ve seen that these incidents can happen anywhere and at any time. Nearby, 80 children were held in a daycare and Temple University was placed on lockdown. These mass shootings are affecting people at school, at the grocery store, at the movies, and at church. They’re causing trauma for people of all ages, races, and backgrounds. Enough is enough.” Read more


Rep. Sims announces $7 million in state funding for arts, tourism projects in 182nd District

(Aug 05, 2019)

State Rep. Brian Sims announced today that $7 million in state funding has been awarded to three economic development projects in the 182 nd District. “This funding will go a long way to move these projects toward completion, which will undoubtedly benefit the communities where they will operate,” Sims said. “Increasing access to the arts, supporting inclusive organizations and bolstering tourism in our community will improve quality of life in our district..” Awards from the state’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program were awarded to the following projects: Awards from the state’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program were awarded to the following projects: William Way LGBT Community Center, awarded $1 million for William Way LGBT Community Center Reconstruction . The project will renovate the front portion of the existing building at 1315 Spruce St., while retaining its historic elements, and demolish and replace the rear wings. The project will add 9,800 square feet of usable space, including a 51 percent increase in rental space, and make the building fully ADA compliant. Components of the project include renovation of the front façade to make the building more welcoming; glazing and opening the new rear of the building to provide a second inviting entrance; restoring the historic lobby; creating gender-neutral bathrooms with full height toilet partitions; replacing the elevator for increased handicap access; Read more


Sims, Philadelphia legislators on impending Hahnemann University Hospital closure

(Jun 26, 2019)

HARRISBURG, June 26 – State Rep. Brian Sims, along with members of the Philadelphia House and Senate delegations, have released the following statement on the impending closure of Hahnemann University Hospital: “The Philadelphia House and Senate delegations have come together to request emergency funding from Governor Wolf to address the dire situation at Hahnemann University Hospital. HUH is a vital health care provider for Philadelphians and the surrounding communities, and members of the legislature are committed to working with stakeholders to find a solution to ensure that HUH remains a fully functioning hospital. “In order to understand the means necessary to prevent closure, we have requested that the owners of HUH, American Academic Health System, submit to an audit and agree to a state-appointed independent monitor to oversee operations and financial management. "The closure would immediately impact the Philadelphia region through the loss of good paying jobs and an economic driver in the city, as well as throughout the commonwealth. We will do everything in our power to work with state, local and institutional partners to prevent the loss of this historic institution.” The Philadelphia legislators sent a letter to the governor Tuesday, asking for his assistance in keeping Hahnemann University Hospital from closing. Read more


Sims joins legislators to unveil anti-discrimination legislation

(May 06, 2019)

HARRISBURG, May 6 – State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila, today partnered with Reps. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, and Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., along with Sen. Larry Farnese, D-Phila., to announce the introduction of legislation to help combat discrimination in the commonwealth. The legislation (H.B. 1404 and S.B. 614) would update Pennsylvania’s current nondiscrimination law – originally written in 1955 – to ensure that all residents, regardless of race, color, religion, ancestry, age, sex, national origin, disability -- and now sexual orientation, gender identity and expression – can participate in and contribute to the state’s economy. “It’s unacceptable that today, there are Pennsylvanians who must be afraid that they’ll lose their job or home simply because of who they are. As some of my colleagues have been advocating for this legislation for the past 20 years, it’s time we get serious about it. It’s literally lifesaving,” Sims said. It is currently legal in Pennsylvania to fire someone and deny them housing or business services solely based of the person being gay or transgender. A recent survey of Pennsylvania residents showed that 73 percent incorrectly believe discrimination against gay and transgender people in the workplace and in housing and business services is already illegal. The same study found 78 percent of Pennsylvanians are in support of updating the current Human Relations Act Read more


Sims Rallies For Police Reform Legislation

(Apr 30, 2019)

Pa. state Rep. Brian Sims joined advocates from across the commonwealth to rally for police reform legislation. He explains why taking action now is critical for Pennsylvanians. Read more


Sims Rallies For Equal Pay

(Apr 29, 2019)

Pa. state Rep. Brian Sims joined advocates in Harrisburg to push legislation that would ensure equal pay for women in the workplace across Pennsylvania. He explains why this issue should be a non-issue in the commonwealth. Read more


Sims Pushes Police Reform Legislation

(Apr 25, 2019)

Pa. state Rep. Brian Sims unveiled his plans to change the way that cases of police use of deadly force are prosecuted. His bill that would appoint a special prosecutor in these cases was rolled out as part of a package of bills backed by the Pa. Legislative Black Caucus. Read more


Coalition of legislators unveils bills aimed at reforming police procedures

(Apr 16, 2019)

State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, and PLBC members were joined by a coalition of legislators from around the state for a press conference to unveil a package of legislation aimed at streamlining police procedures and improving police-community relations at noon today in the Capitol Media Center. Read more


Sims joins in ‘Zero Waste PA’ bill package to address single-use plastics, litter and a ‘throwaway’ society

(Apr 10, 2019)

HARRISBURG, April 10 – State Rep. Brian Sims today joined other lawmakers and PennEnvironment to announce a package of bills aimed at addressing single-use plastics, pervasive issues of litter and the various environmental harms caused by a "throwaway" society. Legislation in the “Zero Waste PA” package works to address issues created by a disposable society including single-use plastics such as straws, plastic bags and Styrofoam takeout food containers, electronic waste, funding Pennsylvania’s recycling programs and more. “Plastic bags are spending a full millennium in landfills, blowing around our streets, getting caught in our street trees, clogging our inlets and floating around in the Schuylkill and Delaware rivers in perpetuity,” said Sims, D-Phila. “It’s past time we find a way to move on from using non-biodegradable plastic bags. Until we do, a modest fee of two cents on each plastic bag given out to consumers at retail establishments would serve as a reminder for everyone to think twice before taking a bag and would offer a needed revenue source for Pennsylvania’s recycling programs.” “Every day, unwitting Pennsylvanians are barraged with products that we’re expected to purchase and use, and then throw away. Only, there is no ‘away,’” said PennEnvironment Executive Director David Masur. “Instead, it ends up in landfills where it can cause water pollution, Read more


Equal Pay Rally April 8 in Harrisburg

(Apr 02, 2019)

HARRISBURG, April 2 – Equal pay advocates and lawmakers from across the state will rally with state Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., at 1 p.m. in the Capitol Rotunda on Monday, April 8. Sims said he organized the rally to highlight the pay disparities among men and women in the state, largely due the fact that Pennsylvania has not updated its Equal Pay Act since 1959. On average, Pennsylvania women earn 80% of what men earn in equivalent jobs, with Black women and other women of color facing much wider pay gaps than their white counterparts. Sims said that without a policy fix, Pennsylvania women will not achieve pay equity until 2068. Sims and Rep. Tina Davis, D-Bucks, are re-introducing legislation that would make long-overdue updates to Pennsylvania’s Equal Pay Law. The bill would broaden the terms “employee” and “wages” to include more people and wage benefits, protect employees from retaliation when inquiring about wage information and ensure wages are based on bona fide factors. Pennsylvania workers also would have the ability to collect unpaid wages when an employer is found to violate the law. “When people work hard and follows the rules, come payday, they should be taking home the same amount as their colleagues for doing the same job,” Sims said. “Yet, we all know women across this Commonwealth that aren’t earning equal pay for equal work. In fact, our broken system will often discourage workers from Read more


Sims: Remove Barriers to Higher Education and Training

(Mar 29, 2019)

Pa. state rep. Brian Sims talks about his experience at Bloomsburg University and his commitment to education in Pennsylvania. Read more


Sims condemns Google for hosting conversion therapy app

(Feb 12, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 12 – State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., today denounced Google for refusing to remove an app that encourages LGBTQ youth to seek out conversion therapy. “Google's silent refusal to remove this app speaks volumes about the quality of their commitment to the LGBTQ community,” Sims said. “This app specifically targets youth during a challenging period of their lives as they wrestle with their identity in an attempt to connect them to a dangerous practice that is condemned by every reputable professional medical association that exists. Let us be clear, this is abuse -- not therapy. “I would encourage Google executives to meet with victims of this debunked and cruel practice, as I have, to learn firsthand of the lifetime of pain and anguish they continue to enable. Facilitating this abuse is abhorrently wrong. “I have introduced legislation to ban conversion therapy in Pennsylvania so the commonwealth can join the 15 states that have done so to protect youth from this abuse that leads to significantly higher rates of depression, substance abuse and suicidal ideation. Google’s continued failure to remove this app demonstrates it is on the wrong side of history, science and medicine. “I call on Google to join Microsoft and Amazon in immediately suspending this app on its platforms to send a clear message to LGBTQ youth across the country that they are perfect the way they are.” ### Read more


Sims: Get Tested for HIV Now

(Feb 07, 2019)

Pa. state Rep. Brian Sims joined his colleagues in Harrisburg to encourage people across the commonwealth to get tested for HIV. He gives us an up close look at the quick and easy process. Read more


Sims: Wolf's Budget is Good for PA's Workforce

(Feb 07, 2019)

Pa. state Rep. Brian Sims is responding to the governor’s budget, commending him for his commitment to funding education, creating good paying jobs, and strengthening our workforce. Read more


Get free assistance with your Property Tax/Rent Rebate

(Jan 24, 2019)

Forms for Pennsylvania’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program for the 2018 tax year are available – and my office staff is ready to help you file yours for free ! The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians 65 or older, widows and widowers 50 or older, and people with disabilities 18 or older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters. Half of Social Security income is excluded and the maximum standard rebate is $650. Claimants must reapply for rebates every year because they are based on annual income and property taxes or rent paid each year. Spouses, personal representatives or estates may file rebate claims on behalf of deceased claimants who lived at least one day in 2018 and meet all other eligibility criteria. The rebates normally are distributed by the Department of Revenue beginning July 1. So, the sooner you file, the sooner you will receive your money. Read more


Sims condemns SCOTUS decision on transgender military ban

(Jan 22, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 22 – State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold President Trump’s transgender military ban: “I am disgusted by the Court’s decision, but I am not surprised. Verdicts like this are exactly why special interests and the far-right took the unprecedented action of blocking former President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court for 293 days. “In the months and years to follow, the Supreme Court will issue countless more decisions which will impact nearly every imaginable aspect of our nation. With each decision, it is critically important to remember the genesis of this era in our nation’s history. “As the son of two lieutenant colonels, I’ve witnessed the dedication and sacrifice exhibited by our service members all across our nation. I cannot fathom the pain and indignity our transgender military members feel in the wake of this morning’s unconscionable decision. “It is equally important to note that the commander in chief who issued this order not only evaded military service during the Vietnam War but also is under investigation for conspiring with a hostile foreign power to elevate his own interests over those of our nation. “We owe these soldiers and veterans our gratitude as well as our commitment to ensuring that this shameful moment in our history is never repeated again. This ban has been Read more