Bullock natural hair braider bill approved by PA House Professional Licensure Committee

(Nov 15, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 15 – A bill ( H.B. 1820 ) introduced by state Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., that would create a license exemption for natural hair braiding passed the PA House Professional Licensure Committee today. The legislation would exempt hair braiders from having to obtain a cosmetology license to practice braiding. “Natural hair braiding has been commonplace in the African American community for centuries,” Bullock said. “The techniques have been passed from generation to generation and are learned from early childhood and do not require formal training to do. Natural hair braiding does not involve any chemical treatments, applying heat, cutting or coloring of hair.” More than 33 states have exempted hair braiders from licensing laws, recognizing that natural hair braiding is a safe, cultural practice that is distinct from hairdressing and barbering. “Natural hair braiding doesn’t require formal training and continues to be a technique used often within the African American community,” said state Rep. Regina Young, D-Delaware/Phila., a co-prime sponsor of the legislation. “This legislation recognizes natural hair braiding as a safe and natural cultural practice that should not require license to practice. Natural hair braiding requires simply this: a comb, a brush and a head full of hair to work with.” Read more


Truancy: A reflection of the state of education in Pennsylvania

(Nov 15, 2023)

The Pennsylvania House Democrats have drafted and passed significant, bipartisan legislation that would give our students hope and show them that we are not only fighting for their education — but their futures as well. Read more


Bullock Fighting for Better, Safer Public Schools

(Oct 31, 2023)

As Chair of the PA House Children and Youth Committee, Rep. Donna Bullock knows that quality education plays a key role in the development of tomorrow’s leaders. She and her colleagues in the House Democratic Caucus are fighting to expand the teaching pool, reduce class sizes, and clean up toxic school buildings. Read more


PLBC honors former chair Bullock

(Oct 19, 2023)

NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus www.pahouse.com/PLBC PLBC honors former chair Bullock HARRISBURG, Oct. 18 – The Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus today honored its former chair – state Rep. Donna Bullock, D–Phila. Bullock stepped down as chair earlier this month to focus on her work chairing the House Children and Youth Committee. Bullock guided many PLBC initiatives, including the annual Crystal Bird Fauset Awards, honoring women within state government and Speaker K. Leroy Irvis Day of Action, where business owners, public officials and organizations gather to discuss, learn, and network legislative bills, community concerns and visit the Capitol Complex. “I would like to thank my colleagues for putting their trust and faith in me when they elected me to serve as chair of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus. I worked hard every day to ensure that their trust was well founded,” Bullock said. “Every moment was an honor and a pleasure. And it was endlessly fulfilling to be able to advocate for the people, places and spaces that make up Black Pennsylvania. “As I take on new challenges and opportunities, I will continue to advocate every day and in every way for the Read more


PLBC, PLLC say criminal justice system failed Irizarry family; encouraged by charges being refiled

(Sep 26, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 26 – Members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus and Pennsylvania Latino Caucus said they are disappointed to learn that a Philadelphia judge on Tuesday dismissed all charges against former police officer Mark Dial for his involvement in the shooting death of Eddie Irizarry last month but are encouraged to see that charges have been re-filed by the District Attorney’s office. “Yet again, another crime victim, another child, another sibling, another human being let down by our criminal justice system. It is our duty to stand together and demand justice for the family of Eddie Irizarry; they deserve nothing less,” said state Rep. Danilo Burgos, D-Phila., chair of the Pennsylvania Legislative Latino Caucus. “We are deeply disappointed by this decision. Dial, a former police officer, fired his gun six times at close range. The fact that all charges were dropped is enraging. We demand accountability and transparency in this process. This is not a closed case,” said state Rep. Jose Giral, D-Phila., who represents the district where the killing occurred. “We keep talking about the wrongful use of deadly force by the police, and this is an unfortunate example of that. We are on the victim’s family’s side; we are on the side of justice.” “Make no mistake, we are not surprised by this failure to deliver justice to the Irizarry family. Read more


PLBC Chairwoman Donna Bullock Remarks on Somber Anniversary

(Sep 15, 2023)

The members of the PLBC reflect on one of the darkest days in our country's history as a time to honor the strength and struggles of Black Pennsylvanians yesterday and today. Read more


Bullock, local law enforcement distributes free gun locks

(Aug 10, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 10 – State Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., partnered with 22nd Police District Capt. Michael Goodson, Philadelphia Sheriff Rochelle Bilal and the Philadelphia Anti-Drug/Anti-Violence Network to distribute free gun locks Wednesday evening. Bullock, Goodson and Bilal walked the 1600 block of North 29th Street and the surrounding blocks giving out 100 free gun locks to residents, encouraging gun owners to be responsible when storing their firearms. “One life lost is one too many and we lose too many people to guns in this city almost daily,” Bullock said. “Whether intentional or accidental, shootings take lives and upend worlds, leaving victims with trauma and long and painful roads to recovery. It’s long past due for the state legislature to come together to pass and sign into law meaningful gun safety legislation. Our need for immediate and substantive action is why we were out Wednesday night passing out gun locks. We cannot afford to do nothing and wait while Senate Republicans sit on their hands.” Read more


Philadelphia House Delegation praises more than $3.6 million in grant funding for education

(Aug 04, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 4 – Members of the Philadelphia House Delegation today expressed their satisfaction after the Shapiro administration announced that $13.5 million in federal grant funding has been awarded to 26 school entities to support expectant and parenting learners. Pennsylvania’s Education Leading to Employment and Career Training Program is a federally funded program that works with intermediate units, school districts and charter schools to coordinate the continuity of educational services for people under 22 who are expecting or parenting a child and provides community resources to allow them to obtain a high school diploma or equivalent. The School District of Philadelphia was awarded more than $3.62 million. Delegation Chair Morgan Cephas explained that the group is pleased to see the inclusion of The Philadelphia School district in this program as it will help boost ongoing efforts to provide educational assistance to expectant and parenting youth. “ELECT is an outstanding program that helps schools keep this segment of the student population in school without disruptions. This is crucial in a student’s efforts to obtain a high school diploma or high school equivalency certificate and secure post-graduation employment, education, or training. “If we want more financially independent adults, more empowered parents, we need to start by helping our young Read more


Children & Youth Committee Newsletter Summer 2023

(Aug 04, 2023)

Recapping Children & Youth Committee happenings from the early 2023 Legislative Session Read more


Philadelphia House Delegation expresses support for Brewerytown community shattered by grief

(Jul 28, 2023)

State Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., who represents the Brewerytown community reflected on the tragedy and conveyed support for the family in their time of pain. “We should not be losing our children to unfortunate accidents like this,” Bullock said. “These terrible tragedies underscore the need to safely store and lock your firearms. A loss like this weighs heavily on the soul of our community. My heart is with the family and those who stopped to help during this very difficult time.” Read more


PLBC calls for equal pay for Black women

(Jul 27, 2023)

HARRISBURG, July 27 – The Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus is calling for an end to the wage gap for Black women on this Black Women’s Equal Pay Day. State Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., chair of the PLBC, said Black women make 67 cents on the dollar compared to their white male counterparts. Black Women’s Equal Pay Day is recognized each year on a date corresponding with the amount of time it takes Black women working full-time, year-round to catch up with a white man’s salary from the previous year, on average. “As of today, we are just now catching up with what white men made last year,” Bullock said. “We have closed the gap some from last year, but make no mistake, this is still far, far from equal. Black women, regardless of experience, education or location, continue to be paid unequally for their work and suffer the brunt of the effects of structural and institutional racism and sexism. “The wage gap is the result of a workplace culture entrenched in racism and sexism, and it will persist until we’ve successfully rectified that toxic culture which imposes obstacles for Black women to consistently overcome. Today and every day, the fight for equal pay continues. It doesn’t just go away when the sun comes up tomorrow. We’re ready and won’t stand for it any longer.” Read more


PLBC releases statement on PA budget passage

(Jul 06, 2023)

HARRISBURG, July 6 – The Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus released the following statement on the passage of the Pennsylvania state budget. “In the search for perfection, it can be human nature to sometimes lose sight of good. This budget is far from perfect, and it falls short in some areas that are of high priority for Black communities across Pennsylvania,” state Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., chair of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, said. “However, we believe that there are some areas where it measures up, too. “This bill will invest significant money in the recently minted Whole Home Repair Program, in solving the Black maternal health crisis, in uplifting historically disadvantaged small businesses, in sickle cell research, in the Pennsylvania Prison Society, in establishing the Indigent Defense Advisory Committee and in overall violence intervention and prevention programs. “As well, we will continue to work with Governor Josh Shapiro’s administration to revisit the budget to supplement it with additional funding for proven and effective gun violence intervention and prevention programs that didn’t make it into the budget. “We believe that to address institutional inequalities, we must intentionally invest in equitable solutions, and this budget is a start toward that goal.” Read more


Bullock releases statement on PA budget passage

(Jul 05, 2023)

HARRISBURG, July 5 – State Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., majority chair of the Pennsylvania House Children and Youth Committee, released the following statement on the passage of Pennsylvania’s 2023-24 General Fund budget. “I am glad that we were able to pass a budget that puts an emphasis on supporting the state’s young people. In my role as majority chair of the Pennsylvania House Children and Youth Committee, I fought for investments in our children and youth,” Bullock said. “It’s my desire to see young people and families thrive in Pennsylvania. “Not only did we increase funding for public schools in general and increase funding for the Philadelphia School District by 7.6%, we also were able to expand access to and the affordability of childcare by increasing the state’s childcare tax credit. We also continued investments in maternal and child health, free school breakfast programs, and early intervention services. “The budget is not perfect, they never are, but it does make significant investments in the state’s most important resource: people. Budgets are statements of values and House Democrats showed that we value education and working people and that we want to build a state that is safe, with good jobs and boundless opportunity.” Read more


Environmental Resources and Energy committee approves environmental justice legislation

(Jul 03, 2023)

Environmental racism is a longstanding issue in the commonwealth,” Bullock said. “Facilities that pollute the environment have been built in burdened communities without their consent because they lacked the influence to stop it." Read more


PLBC releases statement on Supreme Court affirmative action ruling

(Jun 29, 2023)

HARRISBURG, June 29 – Members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus said today they are disappointed with the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the cases of Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina and Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard College , which found Harvard and UNC’s admissions process unconstitutional, dismantling affirmative action and ending the consideration of race in the application process. Affirmative action in higher education was put in place in the 1960s, allowing admissions departments to consider race as a factor during admissions to enfranchise historically and systemically disadvantaged populations. Affirmative action's significance extended beyond the boundaries of higher education and had become a useful tool to remedy the racial and socioeconomic disparities that hinder access to quality education, economic opportunities and social mobility. It was an imperfect and partial solution that did help Black and brown students receive admission to institutions they were more than qualified for but otherwise would not have had access to due to racial discrimination and feigned blindness to Black talent. “This is an incredibly disappointing day for higher education in America. This continued rolling back of rights and norms and standards by the U.S. Supreme Court is a distressing trend. I will fight to make sure our children in Pennsylvania have the same rights and Read more


Bullock Working to Ensure Equity in Pa. #Cannabis Industry

(Jun 27, 2023)

As Chair of the Pa. Legislative Black Caucus, state Rep. Donna Bullock knows the damage outdated cannabis laws have done to communities of color. That’s why she is standing with her colleagues and advocates to forward legislation that would ensure an inclusive environment in Pennsylvania’s budding cannabis industry. Read more


PA House passes WIC online eligibility legislation

(Jun 22, 2023)

HARRISBURG, June 22 – A bill ( H.B.665 ) sponsored by state Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., that would clarify that eligibility documentation may be submitted online to Women, Infants and Children prior to an eligibility meeting passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives by a vote of 176-27. This legislation would give applicants to WIC the option to submit documentation electronically to a local WIC program agency prior to their eligibility appointment. “The goal should be to make the process as accessible as possible for every person that needs access to this important nutrition program,” Bullock said. “Pennsylvania's families deserve a modernized, accessible system that works for them and not against them.” The bill will go to the Pennsylvania Senate for consideration. Read more


Pennsylvania eyes WIC modernization

(Jun 20, 2023)

“As the system is now, we are failing to maximize the benefits that WIC can provide for our single parents and struggling families,” Bullock said. “This legislation will help to modernize and update the process from top to bottom and get the people who need assistance the assistance they need.” Read more


State Government Committee approves resolution on Juneteenth

(Jun 20, 2023)

HARRISBURG, June 20 – The Pennsylvania House State Government Committee held a voting meeting Tuesday, where it reported H.R. 152 out of committee and to the House chamber. This resolution would recognize June 19, 2023, as Juneteenth in Pennsylvania. The first Juneteenth was June 19, 1865, when the last of the enslaved people located in Galveston, Texas, were informed of the Emancipation Proclamation. “Juneteenth is a beautiful day and a celebration of self-improvement, of African culture and respect for all cultures. The holiday’s meteoric rise in recent years goes to show just how important it is to people throughout the country and how important it is to continue to help spread this important tradition,” state Rep. Donna Bullock said. “This day of pride is incredibly significant to many Pennsylvanians, and as such, it deserves to be recognized in the commonwealth.” Read more


PA House passes WIC modernization legislation

(Jun 12, 2023)

HARRISBURG, June 12 – A bill ( H.B.664 ) sponsored by state Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., that would establish a Women, Infants and Children State Advisory Board passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives today by a vote of 155-48. This legislation would establish the WIC State Advisory Board within the Pennsylvania Department of Health and task the board with advising the department on ways to increase WIC enrollment and utilization, improve service quality and outreach, and enhance technology used for the program. “We need to ensure that we’re taking full advantage of the federal funding we receive for WIC in the commonwealth,” Bullock said. “As the system is now, we are failing to maximize the benefits that WIC can provide for our single parents and struggling families. This legislation will help to modernize and update the process from top to bottom and get the people who need assistance the assistance they need.” The bill will go to the Pennsylvania Senate for consideration. Read more