Frankel: As Pa. faces opioid crisis and $730 million in unfinished budget work, state Senate GOP focusing on … guns and abortion

(Sep 27, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 27 – House Democratic Caucus Chairman Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, labeled the state Senate's Republican majority "shockingly out of touch" for spending time on far-right gun and abortion bills when the legislature needs to act on the heroin and opioid crisis and $730 million in unfinished state budget business. "The heroin and opioid crisis is devastating families and communities across the state. Just today, we learned that the rate of babies born with drug addiction issues in Pennsylvania has shot up about 250 percent from 2000 to 2015. And last week, state police said a Johnstown police officer had an opioid overdose and had to be revived with naloxone -- while on duty . This is a widespread, urgent problem and the legislature has to do more this fall to address it," Frankel said. "In addition, the legislature still has $730 million in unfinished state budget business to handle this fall . The state Senate's Republican majority is shockingly out of touch in choosing to spend time on what would be the nation's strictest abortion ban and a bill to force taxpayers to fund NRA lawsuits against local gun-safety laws. "State Senate Republicans are providing great examples of why people are fed up with Harrisburg." ### Read more

 

Frankel pleased budget deal closes most Pa. tobacco tax loopholes

(Jul 13, 2016)

HARRISBURG, July 13 – House Democratic Caucus Chairman Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, said the budget package the legislature is completing today finally closes most of Pennsylvania's tobacco tax loopholes, a change Frankel has long advocated. "I'm glad we are finally closing the tobacco tax loophole for nearly all tobacco products except for cigars, although I would have preferred that we go with experts' recommendations to tax tobacco by price rather than weight. It is the best we could do under the current composition of the legislature. Even so, ending these exemptions is a major step forward for public health and for tax fairness," Frankel said. "Studies have shown that higher prices for tobacco products discourage young people from using them and getting hooked into a longtime addiction, and closing these loopholes avoids putting more of the tax burden on other taxpayers. "The revenue bill that closes the tobacco loopholes is the largest piece of finishing the budget. Another prolonged budget process like last year's would benefit no one. This budget agreement gets us on the road to restoring more of the Corbett-Republican cuts to education and human services, and Democrats look forward to restoring more of those cuts as the Wolf administration continues," Frankel said. The revenue bill (H.B. 1198) passed the House and Senate today, and now goes to Gov. Tom Wolf, who said he will sign it into law. ### Read more

 

Frankel: $100,000 state grant will help complete Frick Environmental Center

(Jul 01, 2016)

HARRISBURG, July 1 – State Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, today announced approval of a $100,000 state grant he sought to help complete the Frick Environmental Center . "I'm proud to help secure funding for this center, which will be both a welcome facility and a gateway to Frick Park that will help learners use the park as a classroom," Frankel said. The project is a partnership between the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and the city of Pittsburgh. According to the conservancy, the center was designed with input from more than 1,000 residents and stakeholders at a series of public meetings, and it will: Use 40 percent less energy than a typical building of its size in the Northeast; Power all electrical systems using energy generated from solar panels; Filter and treat all wastewater before releasing it naturally on site; Be constructed using materials that are produced locally whenever possible and safe for both humans and the environment; and Balance a spirit that promotes appreciation and protection of the environment and a public space that is functional and welcoming. The center will be the first municipal-owned Living Building Challenge-certified structure in the world. The conservancy will manage the facility and ensure that best management practices (BMPs) for energy efficiency and green infrastructure are used, to serve as a model. In all, there will be more than 20 green infrastructure BMPs on site, including the solar Read more

 

Frankel Fights For Women's Rights

(Jun 30, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Dan Frankel and members of the legislature's Women's Health Caucus today called for Pennsylvania to repeal a strict abortion law to comply with a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision and to put women's health first. Read more

 

Frankel, Schwank praise Supreme Court decision on Texas anti-abortion law

(Jun 27, 2016)

HARRISBURG, June 27 – Two co-chairs of the legislature's Women's Health Caucus praised today's U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down a Texas abortion law that caused all but a few clinics there to close. The number of clinics in Pennsylvania also dropped after a more limited version of the stricken law was enacted here in 2011. State Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, said: "Today’s 5-3 decision by the Supreme Court clearly exposes the sham arguments made by abortion opponents that restricting access to safe, legal abortion is somehow in the best interest of women and their health. "The motivation for these draconian legislative proposals – requiring hospital admitting privileges for abortion providers and requiring expensive construction overhauls of abortion facilities – has been clear to many of us for a long time," said Frankel, the WHC House Democratic chair. This should also put the brakes on Pennsylvania efforts to pass additional abortion restrictions . It’s great to see the United States Supreme Court strike down the terrible law in Texas." Sen. Judy Schwank, D-Berks, said: "Today's ruling is an important victory for a woman's constitutional right to make her reproductive decisions. It reinforces very clearly that government cannot burden this right simply by claiming it is protecting women's health. "Those who want to restrict reproductive rights now know for sure that they Read more

 

Frankel, Sims hail bipartisan Pa. Senate action on nondiscrimination bill

(Jun 22, 2016)

State Reps. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, and Brian Sims, D-Phila., praised today's bipartisan, historic state Senate committee vote that sent a nondiscrimination bill to the full Senate. Read more

 

Frankel: Stop Discrimination Against LGBT Community

(Jun 22, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Dan Frankel stands with Gov. Tom Wolf and other advocates to call on the legislature to pass equal protections for LGBT citizens. In Pennsylvania, members of the LGBT community can still be denied employment, housing, and other basic rights afforded to others in the general population. Frankel is co-sponsoring the Pennsylvania Fairness Act, H.B. 1510, which would update Pennsylvania’s nondiscrimination law to ensure all residents have equal rights regardless of race, color, religion, ancestry, age, sex, national origin, disability and now, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. Read more

 

Frankel Putting Women’s Health First

(Jun 21, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Dan Frankel stands up for women’s reproductive rights by opposing a law that would make Pennsylvania’s laws the most restrictive in the nation, banning all abortions after 20 weeks regardless of medical need. Read more

 

Frankel Tribute for Orlando Victims

(Jun 21, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Dan Frankel pays tribute to the victims of the Pulse Nightclub mass shooting in Orlando, Florida on June 12, 2016. Frankel calls for renewed efforts for protections for the LGBT community in the wake of the attack. Read more

 

Frankel, Sims ready House petition in hopes of freeing nondiscrimination bill

(Jun 09, 2016)

HARRISBURG, June 9 – State Reps. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, and Brian Sims, D-Phila., are planning to pry a bipartisan nondiscrimination bill out of a committee whose chairman has refused even to hold a hearing on it. Frankel is lead House sponsor of the proposed Pennsylvania Fairness Act (H.B. 1510/S.B. 974). The legislation 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. Frankel and Sims have filed a discharge petition, which allows a simple majority of the House to free a bill from a committee where it has been stalled. They can call for the vote as soon as Wednesday. Frankel said: "Poll after poll over the years has shown consistent support of 70 percent or more in Pennsylvania for this commonsense, nondiscrimination legislation. Most Pennsylvanians don’t want their gay or transgender family members, friends, co-workers or neighbors to get fired or denied a home, a hotel room or a restaurant table just because of who they are. They know that's wrong. "Most Pennsylvanians know being gay or transgender has nothing to do with someone's ability to fix a car or a computer, for example. And thanks to the coverage of anti-LGBT bills Read more

 

Frankel: Protect Our Clean Water

(Jun 06, 2016)

At a Capitol news conference today, Pa. state Rep. Dan Frankel comments on the importance of House Bill 2114, known as the Pennsylvania Water Resource Act. Frankel says the potential revenue generated could help Southwestern Pennsylvania deal with the impacts of fracking and a major water/sewer infrastructure upgrade. Read more

 

Frankel, Pa. physician general to speak in Pittsburgh on transgender issues

(May 31, 2016)

PITTSBURGH, May 31 – House Democratic Caucus Chairman Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, will speak on an Allegheny County Bar Association panel about transgender issues along with Pennsylvania Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. June 9 at the Omni William Penn Hotel. Frankel is prime House sponsor of the proposed Pennsylvania Fairness Act , which would make it illegal statewide to fire someone or deny them housing or business services due to sexual orientation or gender identity. Levine is a professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at the Penn State College of Medicine and the highest-ranking out transgender person ever to serve in Pennsylvania government. They will be joined by Michael Silverman, executive director of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund. To RSVP by the Saturday deadline or for more information, please contact Alysia Keating at akeating@acba.org or 412-402-6658. Those interested should note that there is a fee for non-ACBA members to attend. ### Read more

 

Frankel: Education Cuts Must Be Restored

(May 12, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Dan Frankel attended a Pennsylvania House Democratic Policy Committee hearing in Philadelphia to talk about the drastic cuts to education over the years and why that not only needs to be reversed, but why the funding needs to be fairly distributed across all of Pennsylvania's school districts. Read more

 

Frankel Advocates for Firearms Safety

(May 10, 2016)

Pa state Rep. Dan Frankel says expert testimony about House Bill 1010 in front of the House Democratic Policy Committee today shows guns purchased at gun shows shouldn't be treated any differently than guns purchased from brick-and-mortar retailers, and background checks to keep guns out of the hands of people living with mental illness or criminals needs to happen. Read more

 

Frankel Marks Holocaust Remembrance Days

(May 02, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Dan Frankel speaks in support of H.R. 833, a resolution designating May 2 through 8, 2016, as "Days of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust" and May 5, 2016, as "Holocaust Remembrance Day" in Pennsylvania. Read more

 

Frankel: House approves police grant program with addiction recovery, heroin antidote included

(Apr 12, 2016)

HARRISBURG, April 12 – House Democratic Caucus Chairman Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, praised Monday’s passage of H.B. 176 , the first bill in the country to establish a framework for a statewide grant program to promote police-assisted addiction recovery programs. The bill now heads to the state Senate, where Frankel hopes it will be taken up quickly. "Individual police departments across the country and in Pennsylvania are looking for ways to help citizens into drug treatment; state government should be there to provide resources, training and guidance to help them," said Frankel, author of the grant language that was successfully amended into the bill last week. Frankel said that while California and New Mexico have passed legislation to help police address mental health issues, H.B. 176 is the first bill aimed at helping police respond to the growing opioid epidemic. The legislation would establish a grant program under the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency to assist local police departments, regional police departments and the Pennsylvania State Police. The Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs would work with the PCCD in administering these programs. Grants could also be used by police departments to buy naloxone and train their officers. Frankel’s effort would help better link law enforcement to the professionals who already operate on a county level through drug and alcohol single-county authorities. Read more

 

Frankel: Social Workers Deserve Better

(Apr 12, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Dan Frankel speaks in support of social workers at a rally at the state Capitol in Harrisburg. Frankel says these caring professionals help those who can’t help themselves, and calls for better resources to help social workers do their jobs. He supports legislation that would update social worker licensing requirements and reflect the changes that have taken place in the industry over the years. Read more

 

Frankel: Stop HB1948

(Apr 11, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Dan Frankel says if signed into law, H.B. 1948 would lead Pennsylvania to have the most restrictive abortion law in the country. He says women should have the right to make decisions about their own bodies, especially in cases when their unborn children face severe medical issues. Read more

 

Frankel praises Wolf executive orders to expand non-discrimination

(Apr 07, 2016)

HARRISBURG, April 7 – State Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, praised Gov. Tom Wolf for signing two executive orders on LGBT non-discrimination, including one that will expand protections to employees of state contractors. Wolf signed two orders today. One reaffirms existing protections against discrimination in the executive branch, where most state employees work. The other order will ban discrimination based on race, gender, creed, color, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression in the awarding, selection or performance of any contracts or grants issued by state agencies. Frankel said: "I am proud of Governor Wolf for acting to protect tens of thousands of people who work for state contractors, and to make sure LGBT Pennsylvanians' tax dollars aren't used to discriminate against them. It's wrong to fire someone simply because they're LGBT. Being gay or transgender has nothing to do with someone's ability to fix a car or a computer, for example. For about eight years, a consistent 70 percent of Pennsylvanians have supported updating state law to ban this type of discrimination against our family members, friends and neighbors. "At a time when some states like North Carolina and Mississippi are passing anti-LGBT laws, Governor Wolf is moving Pennsylvania forward and making our state more attractive and competitive for visitors, workers and businesses. Now the legislature needs to pass the bipartisan Pennsylvania Fairness Read more

 

Frankel: Pa. House GOP rushing anti-abortion bill, strictest in nation

(Apr 06, 2016)

HARRISBURG, April 6 – State Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, said the House Republican majority is rushing an abortion ban, just introduced late Friday, that would be the nation's strictest. "It is wrong to rush through a bill that affects women's health so intimately and involves such a deeply personal choice. We need time to hear from the medical community on House Bill 1948. We need time to scrutinize this! This late-term abortion ban would be the nation's strictest because similar laws have been put on hold or struck down in every other state where they have passed," Frankel said. Frankel is supporting a motion today to postpone consideration of the bill to June 15. On Monday, a motion in the House Health Committee to postpone the bill to hold a public hearing failed on a tie vote. "Republicans had total control of state government from 2011 through 2015 under Governor Tom Corbett. Yet they did not pass this ban on late-term abortion during those four years. They have yet to give a good reason why they are racing to do so now. Cynical minds may point to the April 26 primary election. "House Republican leaders made the House wait more than a year to vote on the medical marijuana bill that passed the state Senate 40-7. Their priorities are backward." ### Read more