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Powerful House Democratic Southeast Delegation Express Opposition to Eliminating Straight Ticket Voting

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PLBC lauds accreditation for Cheyney University

(Nov 26, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 26 – Members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus released the following statements after the announcement of Cheyney University receiving accreditation: “The retention of Cheyney University’s accreditation is not only welcoming news for the university, but also for African American students here in the commonwealth and across the country. The Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus has historically worked with Cheyney University over the years and is committed to doing what we can to foster the education process and success of all people across the commonwealth. With this accreditation, Cheyney University will remain a viable educational resource to students now and for years to come. I’m proud of the work our legislative leaders have done to support the efforts of Cheyney University and thank the leadership of Cheyney’s President Aaron Walton along with Governor Tom Wolf, Senate Appropriation Chairman Vincent Hughes, House Democratic Whip Jordan Harris, House Democratic Education Chairman Jim Roebuck,” said Rep. Stephen Kinsey, PLBC Chairman. “As a former chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, the PLBC and I were very involved in investigating and helping to form solutions to right the ship at Cheyney and I’m proud that that same passion has been continued by current PLBC Chairman Stephen Kinsey and his leadership team. Collectively, we’ve been working with leaders in state Read more

McClinton applauds passage of legislation outlawing sexual extortion

(Nov 21, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 21 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, today applauded the passage of bipartisan legislation she co-sponsored, which would outlaw sexual extortion in Pennsylvania and empower law enforcement and victim services organizations to help victims of this serious sex crime who previously fell between the cracks. “Finally, victims of this horrific crime will have an avenue to seek justice and perpetrators of sexual extortion – which the Department of Justice has said is the most significantly growing threat to children – can be held accountable,” McClinton said. “I am elated to see this legislation receive bipartisan support in both the House and Senate, and I look forward to seeing Governor Wolf sign it into law.” McClinton introduced H.B. 1402 with Rep. Tedd C. Nesbit, R-Mercer/Butler. The House passed it unanimously in June. The Senate unanimously passed the bill on Wednesday after making small improvements to the legislation. Today, the House unanimously passed the bill on concurrence, and it’s headed to Wolf’s desk for his signature. McClinton said previously that by specifically adding sexual extortion as a crime, we can protect individuals from people in power who demand sexual acts, images or videos from victims, usually for something of value to the victim. “Now, would-be perpetrators will not be able to lord intimate photos or other Read more

O’Mara, Vitali, Zabel announce federal grant to improve West Chester Pike

(Nov 06, 2019)

A federal grant of nearly $3 million was recently approved for a project designed to reduce congestion and improve traffic on westbound West Chester Pike at the Interstate 476/Lawrence Road interchange in Delaware County. Read more

Vitali holds public hearing on climate change and joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

(Nov 01, 2019)

HAVERTOWN, Nov. 1 – State Rep. Greg Vitali, D-Delaware/Montgomery, today hosted a hearing of the House Democratic Policy Committee to discuss Pennsylvania joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. “Joining RGGI is the single most important thing Pennsylvania can do to combat climate change,” said Vitali, Democratic chairman of the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. The RGGI is a 10-state cap-and-trade program designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the electric power sector. Speakers included Franz Litz , principal, Litz Energy Strategies, LLC; Chris Hoaglend , p rogram manager, Maryland Department of Environment; M. Gary Helm , lead market strategist, PJM Interconnection; Patrick McDonnell , secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection; John Hanger , president, Hanger Consulting, LLC; Mark Szybist , senior attorney, Climate and Clean Energy Program , Natural Resources Defense Council; Tanya McCloskey , acting consumer advocate, Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate; and Andrew Williams , director, regulatory and legislative affairs , Environmental Defense Fund. All speakers presenting at the hearing were supportive of Pennsylvania joining RGGI. Acting Consumer Advocate Tanya McCloskey remarked, “I believe that using our generation market mechanisms through a program like RGGI is the best means to Read more

Donatucci, Ciresi, Policy Committee look at PA film tax credit

(Oct 31, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 31 – State Reps. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, and Joseph Ciresi, D-Montgomery, today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing at the Museum of the American Resolution on the film tax credit. Donatucci and Ciresi requested the hearing to discuss the economic impacts of the Pennsylvania film tax credit program and what more the state can do to expand the film industry. They were joined by legislators from across the state, including Policy Chair Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. “Pennsylvania has been the backdrop of many popular movies and TV productions, and an attractive incentives program will keep it a viable option for drivers in the film industry,” Donatucci said. “The economic benefits are vast. Expanding the film industry is not only investment in the local arts culture, but also industries, such as the trades and small businesses.” Ciresi added, “When we invest in the arts and provide tax credits to filmmakers, studies show we can benefit through economic opportunity and higher civic engagement. When you consider all of the expenses that will be incurred while filming, the numbers begin to add up quickly between travel expenses and purchases from local merchants. We need to attract more leaders from the film industry to choose Pennsylvania.” Sturla said, “As today’s hearing revealed, Pennsylvania should remain competitive with the many states seeking Read more

Climate Change/RGGI Public Hearing is Nov. 1 in Havertown

(Oct 25, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 25 – State Rep. Greg Vitali, D-Delaware/Montgomery, will host a hearing of the House Democratic Policy Committee on Nov. 1 entitled “Climate Change: Should Pa. Join RGGI?”. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is a 10-state cap-and-trade program designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the electric power sector. “Pennsylvania is a major greenhouse gas emitter and joining RGGI would be perhaps the most important thing that the commonwealth could do to curb its emissions”, said Vitali, Democratic chair of the House Environmental Resource and Energy Committee. On Oct. 3, Gov. Tom Wolf signed an executive order directing that Pennsylvania commence development of a RGGI-compatible program. The hearing will start at 10 a.m. at the Haverford Township Administration Building, 1014 Darby Road, Havertown, 19083, in the Commissioners Meeting Room. Vitali will be joined by state legislators from across the commonwealth, including Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. Speakers include Franz Litz , p rincipal, Litz Energy Strategies, LLC; Chris Hoaglend , p rogram manager, Maryland Department of Environment; M. Gary Helm , lead market strategist, PJM Interconnection; Patrick McDonnell, secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection; John Hanger , president, Hanger Read more

Donatucci, Ciresi to host Policy Committee hearing on film tax credit October 31 in Philadelphia

(Oct 24, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 23 – State Reps. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, and Joseph Ciresi, D-Montgomery, will host a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing on the film tax credit next week. The hearing will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 31 at the Museum of the American Revolution, 101 South 3 rd St., 19106. The media and public are invited to attend. Donatucci and Ciresi requested the hearing to discuss the economic impacts of the film tax credit program and what more the state can do to grow the film industry. They will be joined by legislators from across the state, including Policy Chair Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. The current agenda is: 10 a.m. Welcome and opening remarks. 10:10 a.m. Carrie Lepore, deputy secretary for Office of Marketing, Tourism and Film, DCED. 10:25 a.m. Panel One: Sharon Pinkenson , executive director, Greater Philadelphia Film Office. M. Night Shyamalan , filmmaker. Angela Miele , vice president of state tax policy, MPAA. 10:55 a.m. Panel Two: Nancy Glass , CEO/executive producer, Glass Entertainment Group. Mark Wiley , writer and producer. David Haas , member of board of directors, Wyncote Foundation. Mike McCann , board member, Pennsylvania Film Industry Association. Jeff Rotwitt , CEO and president, Sun Center Studios. 11:30 a.m. Panel Three: Thomas O’Donnell , president, Theatrical Teamsters Local 817. Read more

Daley, Policy Committee discuss Waters of Pennsylvania

(Oct 21, 2019)

“With over 85,000 miles of rivers and streams and 99,000 acres of lakes, our state features some of the nation’s most beautiful and bountiful waterways. With that abundance, though, comes crucial challenges that we must face together in order to keep our waters clean and pollutant-free.” Read more

Davidson creates Intergovernmental County Legislative Summits to increase transparency on federal, state & county issues

(Oct 10, 2019)

UPPER DARBY, Oct. 10 – State Rep. Margo Davidson, D-Delaware, in her role as chair of the House Democratic Caucus Southeast Delegation, has launched an intergovernmental public forum to increase transparency on federal, state and county issues in southeastern Pennsylvania. These intergovernmental forums are held on a county-by-county basis, with the first taking place in Delaware County in June and the second in Montgomery County last week. At the summit, Montgomery County Democratic elected officials met with members of the public to give updates about county-wide improvement projects and participated in discussions concerning critical issues facing the commonwealth, including the economy, education, jobs, health care and the environment. Montgomery County regional vice chair, state Rep. Liz Hanbidge, executed Davidson’s plans for the Montgomery County Legislative Summit and leveraged the experience of a wide range of state and federal officials from Montgomery County for an informative and wide-ranging summit. Davidson and Hanbidge welcomed U.S. Congresswoman Madeleine Dean, Montgomery County members of the House Democratic Caucus' Southeast Delegation, state senators, county leaders and members of the public Monday for the first-ever Montgomery County Legislative Summit. "As chair of the House Democratic Caucus Southeast Delegation, I understand the critical role this summit plays in achieving the delegations' Read more

Southeastern PA lawmakers: Pennsylvania must join RGGI states now

(Oct 03, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 3 – A plan to finally add Pennsylvania to the Northeast’s carbon trading market is being met with praise from state lawmakers in southeastern Pennsylvania. Gov. Tom Wolf this morning announced that his administration will put its weight behind adding the commonwealth to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the nation’s first competitive carbon-credit market to incentivize clean emissions across the northeast states’ energy-industry sector. Companies that innovate and produce clean energy will keep credits in the market, which are ante’d by all participants and lost by those that fail to meet modern benchmarks on pollution. “I applaud Governor Wolf for his leadership,” said state Rep. Carolyn Comitta, D-Chester. “We must take strong action to stop climate change and shape a healthy future for our children. Joining RGGI positions Pennsylvania to protect our children’s future while strengthening our economy.” Comitta is one of 31 early sponsors of House legislation that backstops the governor’s order. “It’s time that Pennsylvania steps up to become a leader in fighting climate change and grow our economy through this partnership with neighboring states,” said state Rep. Margo Davidson, D-Delaware, chair of the House Southeast Democratic Delegation. “RGGI is a win for the environment, our neighbors and families and our economy.” Read more