Featured News

Philadelphia House Delegation praises expanded state Child and Dependent Care Enhancement Tax Credit

Philadelphia House Delegation calls for bold changes in eviction process

(Jul 20, 2023)

HARRISBURG, July 20 – After the third eviction-related shooting since March in Philadelphia, members of the Philadelphia House Delegation today said the organization is determined to help end the practice of private contractors performing eviction services in the city to avoid more violent incidents. “The imminent threat of being displaced from home can put anybody into a rage and despair mode. If you add to this scenario people without the proper training, carrying guns to handle evictions, the outcome can be fatal,” said Delegation Chair Morgan Cephas, who is organizing upcoming hearings in August about the evictions with state Rep. Mike Sturla, chair of the PA House Housing & Community Development Committee. “Philadelphia’s landlord-tenant officer has temporarily stopped evictions, but this is a turning point: evictions must be handled by public officials and our delegation will be working to introduce legislation to regulate this process. We are ready to establish policies that would support critical demands in this system, like proper protocol and de-escalations practice to protect the safety and integrity of the tenants,” she added. State Rep. Rick Krajewski, who will be introducing a bill addressing the subject, explained that the mercenary mentality of private contractors working for the city's landlord-tenant officer serves no public good. Krajewski indicated that Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation pleased with increased funding on budget priorities

(Jul 07, 2023)

HARRISBURG, July 7 – As we close out this week with the passage of the 2023-24 state budget, the Philadelphia House Delegation today expressed that the spending plan is far from ideal, but still delivers major support to disadvantaged families in Pennsylvania. Delegation Chair Morgan Cephas explained that the delegation is pleased to see the inclusion of some of their top priorities for Philadelphia. “We certainly praise the nearly $1.7 billion (7.6% increase) for the School District of Philadelphia,” Cephas said. “We also voted to support $7.5 million to fund indigent defense for the first time in Pennsylvania history, ensuring public defenders have the resources they need to provide legal representation to defendants who cannot pay for it on their own, among other wins. We are moving the state in the right direction,” she added. State Rep. Danilo Burgos, vice-chair of the delegation, pointed out that the budget showcases the commitment of the House Democratic majority with Pennsylvanians, while managing to evade the unnecessary impasses of a bipartisan legislature. “Not a perfect budget; we wished it could have gone further in some areas and programs, but I am proud to say that we didn’t bargain our principles and that we prioritized our school system,” Burgos said. “I am appreciative of the investments in apprenticeships Read more

 

Cephas releases statement on enactment of Act 5 of 2023

(Jul 06, 2023)

"Pennsylvania families deserve our utmost attention and the finest health options available to preserve their health and the health of their babies." Read more

 

Infrastructure, Housing, Transportation, and Safety Funding Opportunities

(Jul 05, 2023)

Below are several grant programs that are currently open for applications. PROGRAMS NOW OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS: Historical & Museum Commission: Cultural and Historical Support Grant Program Who May Apply: Museums that are in Pennsylvania with annual operating budgets exceeding $100,000 (excluding capital and in-kind services) and at least one full-time professional staff person and that are not supported by other state agency funding programs and official County Historical Societies designated as the official historical society for the county. Use: The goal of this program is to strengthen Pennsylvania’s museums and allow applicants to determine how to use funds for operating expenses. Eligible expenses include, but are not limited to, salaries, benefits, insurance, food service, travel, professional development, marketing, and equipment. Funds: Grant awards range from $2,500 to $65,000. Application Deadline: November 7, 2023 More information: PHMC Website Department of Community and Economic Development: Pennsylvania Strategic Investments to Enhance Sites (PA SITES) Program Who May Apply: Municipality, Economic Development Organization, Redevelopment Authorities, Municipal Authorities, Industrial Development Agencies. For-profit businesses are not eligible to apply for the PA SITES Program. However, an eligible applicant may apply for a site owned and controlled by the Read more

 

Cephas slams recent SCOTUS decisions

(Jun 30, 2023)

HARRISBURG, June 30 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas today expressed her disagreement with three U.S. Supreme Court decisions recently announced on affirmative action, LGBTQ rights and students loan forgiveness. Cephas condemns the rulings of the Supreme Court and described the decisions as an unfortunate series of obstacles thrown in the way of social justice and equality. “In light of yet another wrongful outcome from the Supreme Court, I raise my voice on behalf of the underrepresented communities that have been systematically harmed with these decisions”, Cephas said. Cephas explained that minorities, people of color and people of low-income backgrounds have been fighting relentlessly for fairness, but the Supreme Court has chosen to ignore decades of struggles. “It was a dark day yesterday when the Supreme Court ruled on affirmative action. The Supreme Court is banning race-conscious admissions, in the cases of Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina and Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard College. The race component won’t be taken into consideration for college admissions,” Cephas continued. Today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in 303 Creative, Inc. v. Elenis is a ruling that Cephas regards as a threat to the freedoms of LGBTQ+ individuals in the country, she said. “This decision simply grants a green light for Read more

 

House LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus & Philadelphia House Delegation condemn Moms for Liberty event in Phila.

(Jun 29, 2023)

HARRISBURG, June 29 – The Pennsylvania LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus and Philadelphia House Delegation are condemning the upcoming Moms for Liberty summit that’s scheduled to take place in center city Philadelphia today through July 2. Moms for Liberty is a right-wing hate group that advocates against school curriculum that mentions LGBTQ+ rights, race and ethnicity, critical race theory and discrimination. LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus Co-Chairs Jessica Benham, D-Allegheny, and Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., who also serves as Philadelphia House Delegation treasurer, each issued comments condemning this summit. “I’m extremely disappointed to see this summit take place in our city. Our city shouldn’t be a backdrop for hate,” Kenyatta said. “We can’t allow the type of rhetoric and ideology that far-right groups, like Moms for Liberty, promote prevent us from becoming a more fair and equal society.” “Hate has no home in Pennsylvania,” Benham said. “I believe most of our state’s residents find it embarrassing that Pennsylvania’s largest city will host one of the nation’s most hostile anti-LGBTQ+ groups during the month of Pride. Alongside my colleagues in the LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus, I am eager to continue fighting back against the hateful rhetoric and policies pushed by groups like Moms for Liberty.” Philadelphia House Delegation Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation praise reopening of I-95

(Jun 23, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, June 23 – The Philadelphia House Delegation today expressed satisfaction on the reopening of Interstate 95 today ahead of the originally scheduled two-week timeline. Philadelphia House Delegation Chair Morgan Cephas said that the group, which toured the site this morning, values the immediate response and leadership of Gov. Josh Shapiro and expeditious work of crews from the Philadelphia building trades. “Our tour this morning gave us an up-close look at the incredible work being done here,” Cephas said. “It's only by the hard work of our local trades, facilitated by coordination with state, city and federal officials, that we're able to get this major artery through our city re-opened so much earlier than anyone expected,” Cephas added. “Our city is in awe and gratitude of the speedy engineering and production of our Philadelphia building trades members and contractors.” Pennsylvania House Speaker Joanna McClinton said that she celebrates the collective effort that made possible the reopening of six lanes of traffic that will keep the City of Brotherly Love up and running for locals and hundreds of visitors. “Philadelphia is a hub for everything from commerce to health care to recreation,” said McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware. “So, today’s reopening of I-95 is great news for our neighbors, people who visit our Read more

 

Legislation to better track maternal morbidity sent to Shapiro to become law

(Jun 22, 2023)

The Pennsylvania Women’s Health Caucus is applauding the unanimous House passage of legislation that would ensure proper data collection on maternal morbidity as lawmakers work to reduce the alarming number of pregnancy-related deaths in the state. The bill now heads to Gov. Josh Shapiro for his signature. Read more

 

Kinsey Fresh Food Financing Initiative bill passes House

(Jun 21, 2023)

HARRISBURG, June 21 – Today, legislation ( H.B. 580 ) introduced by state Reps. Stephen Kinsey, Danilo Burgos and Morgan Cephas, all D-Phila., passed the Pennsylvania House and will now head to the Senate for future consideration. This legislation would re-establish the Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative , a program that operated from 2004 to 2010 and provided grants and low-interest loans for the construction, rehabilitation or expansion of grocery stores, farmers markets and other healthy food retail establishments in low- to moderate-income areas in need and other underserved communities. “Today, we in the Pennsylvania House affirmed our commitment to ensuring all communities in our state have access to healthy, nutritious and fresh food,” Kinsey said. “I’m glad to see us one step closer to bringing back the Fresh Food Financing Initiative- now, I urge my Senate colleagues to get this bill to the governor’s desk so it can be signed into law, and we can bring back this necessary initiative.” “I am proud to see that our efforts have paid off,” Burgos said. “We are now a step closer to providing more fresh food purchasing options to residents in underserved areas. Fresh food cannot be accepted as a privilege of a few. We are moving legislation forward for the benefit of all Pennsylvanians.” “We are determined to make the commonwealth a Read more

 

Cephas and Daley taking Pa. reproductive rights conversation to White House

(Jun 15, 2023)

HARRISBURG, June 15 – State Reps. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., and Mary Jo Daley, D-Montgomery, announced that they will be representing the commonwealth at today’s Legislative Convening on Reproductive Rights at the White House. They will be two of three Pennsylvania state representatives participating in the panel. Cephas and Daley will join 83 legislators from 41 states across the country to highlight state-level attacks on reproductive rights, as well as state efforts to protect and expand access to abortion care. Pennsylvania Speaker of the House Joanna McClinton will also be in attendance. Cephas said the panel, which will be held ahead of the one-year anniversary of the Dobbs decision, signifies a singular opportunity to talk about her extensive work on the subject and how the commonwealth stands in the face of other states. “I am excited to join colleagues to discuss legislation that we have advanced to secure reproductive rights in our state and the challenges we have faced along the way,” Cephas said. “We have been tirelessly working to keep abortion safe and legal for all Pennsylvanians against extremist attacks on reproductive rights and we will continue championing the state to provide resources, access, and funding to improve services. We are determined to protect patients and providers.” Daley, co-chair of the Pa. Women’s Health Caucus, expressed that it is her honor to join Read more

 

House Health Committee reports out key bill to improve Black maternal health

(Jun 14, 2023)

The first step in combating maternal morbidity and mortality is proper data collection. Accurate and regular tracking is essential for comprehensive research on this complex medical issue. We need to fully understand the outcomes of birthing people as we work to improve maternal care and maternal health outcomes. Read more

 

Cephas, Davis legislation protecting incarcerated women passes House

(Jun 13, 2023)

Reps. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., and Tina Davis, D-Bucks, today celebrated the passage of legislation to protect pregnant or postpartum incarcerated women. Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation Reacts to I-95 Collapse Emergency

(Jun 11, 2023)

Chairwoman of the Philadelphia House Delegation Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila. stated, “First off, we want to send appreciation to all of the first responders on the scene of this crisis. Our delegation will remain in contact with the attending agencies and be of assistance where possible. We encourage all Philadelphians and commuters to stay informed of the changing dynamics around I-95 and surrounding streets in the Northeast.” Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation calls for thorough investigation on teen fatally shot by state trooper and prevention of more tragedies

(Jun 07, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, June 7 – The Philadelphia House Delegation today stated that the group is closely following the death of a teenager killed in the city Sunday by a state trooper during a drag race on I-95. The organization expressed concern about issues involved in this incident as they could develop into more tragedies. Philadelphia House Delegation Chair Morgan Cephas indicated that it is essential that the state police and the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office collaborate hand-in-hand for transparent scrutiny. The delegation also hopes for accountability and answers to many of the critical questions surrounding the deadly shooting. “We extend our deepest condolences to the family of the victim, and we are looking forward to seeing all the facts that resulted in this death,” Cephas said. “As a delegation, we see two sides of this tragedy -- the first one is a family mourning in our city, the second is an unfortunate series of issues that are prompting us to take bold action and work fast on prevention. “It is alarming to see more and more illegal drag racings on city streets and interstates, car meetups and large unregulated gatherings all over the city. The aftermath of these scenarios is always the same: property damage, assault and participants throwing objects at the police. “As we head into the summer, we need to take control of these Read more

 

Kinsey Fresh Food Financing Initiative bill approved by House Committee

(Jun 06, 2023)

HARRISBURG, June 6 – Today, legislation ( H.B. 580 ) introduced by state Reps. Stephen Kinsey, Danilo Burgos and Morgan Cephas, all D-Phila., to re-establish the Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative was approved by the PA House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee. The Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative was a program operated from 2004 to 2010 that provided grants and low-interest loans for the construction, rehabilitation or expansion of grocery stores, farmers markets and other healthy food retail establishments in low- to moderate-income areas in need and other underserved communities. “Health is the most important aspect of our lives. To live a healthy life, it’s crucial that all people have access to healthy, fresh and nutritious food,” Kinsey said. “Restarting the Fresh Food Financing Initiative would help provide more accessible healthy food options to communities that desperately need it.” “This bill would boost local agricultural products while helping families in need to get access to fresh produce,” Burgos said. “This program is a healthy approach to fight food insecurity and obesity. No one in our state should be deprived of having a balanced alimentation, not under our watch.” “Pennsylvania agriculture contributes $132.5 billion to our state economy annually and supports 593,6000 jobs. It is beyond upsetting to Read more

 

Cephas celebrates third edition of Overbrook Night Market

(May 24, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, May 24 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas,D-Phila., celebrated the third year of The Overbrook Night Market in her district last Thursday. Over 10,000 people joined Cephas for “Rep.’s Night Out” along Lancaster Avenue, between 61st and 63rd streets featuring 37 food truck vendors, a curated family zone with activities for children and families and two DJ entertainment zones, among other attractions. For Cephas the event not only offered an opportunity to enjoy food and entertainment; it also submerged residents into an authentic sense of community. “I am proud to see the way this event brings people together. The people came out again this year and I am truly excited about the future of this annual event,” Cephas said about the festival that registered a series of health and community resources. “The Night Market is an outstanding way to help local small-business owners and advance our economy, but also a fantastic platform to praise our culture while honoring the historic Overbrook and Overbrook Farms neighborhoods of West Philadelphia. This year’s event was a memorable experience for our district and visitors as well,” Cephas added. Cephas was joined by community partner Overbrook West Neighbors and a series of event sponsors including Keystone First, PECO and Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, among other organizations. The event was Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation lauds passing of gun safety bills

(May 24, 2023)

HARRISBURG, May 24 – The Philadelphia House Delegation today expressed satisfaction on the passing of two pieces of legislation aimed at implementing extreme risk protection orders and regulating universal background checks. The firearm safety bills were approved by the House and sent to the Senate. The state House passed H.B. 714 which would expand background checks for firearm purchases. It was introduced by state Rep. Perry Warren. The second bill H.B. 1018 would provide emergency protection for gun owners who are at risk of harming themselves or others. Rep. Jennifer O’Mara is prime sponsor of this legislation. ERPO, or “red flag,” laws temporarily disarm people in crisis to disrupt spontaneous acts of violence against themselves or others. Philadelphia House Delegation Chair Morgan Cephas said that the passing of the bills represents a major step forward in the delegation’s quest for public safety. “Having two gun reform bills pass this House is certainly cause for celebration, however we know there is much more work to be done. Our city, as well as the whole commonwealth, is in crisis and we need the General Assembly to recognize there are commonsense ways to help all Pennsylvanians while not infringing on their rights. “We will continue to work in the House for passage of safe storage and lost-and-stolen reporting -- two of the biggest priorities of our delegation Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation regrets fatal shooting of man canvassing for the city’s primary election

(May 09, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, May 9 – The Philadelphia House Delegation today expressed their condolences to the family grieving the loss of a loved one after one man opened fire at another while both men were canvassing for the city’s upcoming primary election. Philadelphia House Delegation Chair Morgan Cephas described the incident as a senseless loss and said that the shooting is also a sad reminder of the ongoing gun violence crisis impacting the city. “We don’t know yet what led up to this tragedy. Further details on this have not been released, but we do know that a family is mourning one of their own,” Cephas said. “We do know that someone lost their life due to gun violence in our city and it is heartbreaking. As of today, there have been 142 homicides in our city this year. This needs to stop,” Cephas added. Rep. Danilo Burgos, vice chair of the delegation, indicated that the institution urges the community to be part of a collective effort to spread awareness and combat gun violence. “My heart goes out to the victim’s family; I extend my condolences during this difficult time. As a community we must focus on prevention measures and bold regulations. Our delegation is determined to improve public safety and protect our families because our families deserve better, we need peace,” Burgos said. Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, delegation treasurer, shared thoughts of sympathy for the victim’s family. “I Read more

 

Representatives host Delta Day at state Capitol

(May 03, 2023)

HARRISBURG, May 3 – State Reps. Gina H. Curry, D-Delaware, La’Tasha D. Mayes, D-Allegheny, and Morgan Cephas, D-Philadelphia, said that they were proud to host Delta Day at the state Capitol on Tuesday. Delta Day is celebrated by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated, which was founded in 1913 by 22 collegiate women on the campus of Howard University. Today, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated is one of the preeminent service-based sororities, with predominantly more than 300,000 Black members and more than 1,000 chapters worldwide. The sorority has maintained a commitment to social activism, academic excellence and civic engagement. Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated has 29 chapters in Pennsylvania. On Delta Day, members from throughout the commonwealth come to the Capitol to connect with elected officials, advance legislation and serve as a voice for others. “The women of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated continue to be magnificent examples of servant-leaders with their commitment to their communities,” Curry said. “That is why I introduced H.R. 100 to recognize and honor the members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated on Delta Day.” “This was the first year back after three years of meeting virtually for Delta Days in Harrisburg,” Mayes said. “It was a great opportunity for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated members to come to our Capitol to lead the conversations Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation meets with members of Philadelphia City Council Committee on Education to discuss school facilities

(May 01, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, May 1 – In light of yet another school closing due to environmental hazards, the Philadelphia House Delegation today announced that the institution held a discussion with the Philadelphia City Council Committee on Education to help address the school closings impacting hundreds of students. The meeting was prompted after a sixth school building, Universal Vare Charter School, closed Friday after asbestos was found in the building. All affected schools have shifted to virtual learning. The finding comes as the result of a districtwide inspection prompted by the discovery of asbestos in Building 21, located in West Oak Lake. That building was shut down March 1. Philadelphia House Delegation Chair Morgan Cephas said the delegation is concerned about the ongoing situation of schools having to close, and said the delegation considered the reunion the first step in evaluating strategies and prevention measures with the school district and the board of education. “ Years of disinvested in the schools has led to this upsetting situation; underfunding has taken a toll on these buildings. This is disruptive and frustrating for the parents and students that now have been thrown into a state of disarray,” Cephas said. “We are proposing solutions, but we also have questions and concerns that we need to clarify before we go into budget negotiations. We must wonder, are there other schools slated Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation calls for bold changes in eviction process
Jul 20, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation pleased with increased funding on budget priorities
Jul 07, 2023

Cephas releases statement on enactment of Act 5 of 2023
Jul 06, 2023

Infrastructure, Housing, Transportation, and Safety Funding Opportunities
Jul 05, 2023

Cephas slams recent SCOTUS decisions
Jun 30, 2023

House LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus & Philadelphia House Delegation condemn Moms for Liberty event in Phila.
Jun 29, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation praise reopening of I-95
Jun 23, 2023

Legislation to better track maternal morbidity sent to Shapiro to become law
Jun 22, 2023

Kinsey Fresh Food Financing Initiative bill passes House
Jun 21, 2023

Cephas and Daley taking Pa. reproductive rights conversation to White House
Jun 15, 2023

House Health Committee reports out key bill to improve Black maternal health
Jun 14, 2023

Cephas, Davis legislation protecting incarcerated women passes House
Jun 13, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation Reacts to I-95 Collapse Emergency
Jun 11, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation calls for thorough investigation on teen fatally shot by state trooper and prevention of more tragedies
Jun 07, 2023

Kinsey Fresh Food Financing Initiative bill approved by House Committee
Jun 06, 2023

Cephas celebrates third edition of Overbrook Night Market
May 24, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation lauds passing of gun safety bills
May 24, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation regrets fatal shooting of man canvassing for the city’s primary election
May 09, 2023

Representatives host Delta Day at state Capitol
May 03, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation meets with members of Philadelphia City Council Committee on Education to discuss school facilities
May 01, 2023