Legislators Announce Agenda for Women’s Health

(Dec 12, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 12 – The Women’s Health Caucus, a bipartisan, bicameral legislative group supporting women’s health issues, today introduced this session's Pennsylvania Agenda for Women’s Health in a news conference. The agenda is a package of bills supported by the caucus. Caucus co-chairs state Sen. Judy Schwank, D-Berks; and state Reps. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, and Frank Farry, R-Bucks, were joined by outside advocates to discuss the agenda. The Agenda for Women’s Health covers a broad range of proposals that advance three main goals to enhance the health and well-being of women, families and communities: safety and dignity; economic security; and access to health services across the lifespan. “The Women’s Health Agenda is about empowering the 6.5 million women living in Pennsylvania,” Schwank said. “These bills will help them, and, in turn, help Pennsylvania prosper. The ability for our state to grow culturally and economically depends on how we face new challenges. The Women’s Health Caucus recognizes that we cannot afford attitudes and practices that hamper, stifle and waste the talent, skills and creativity women – and sometimes only women – can bring to the table.” Women’s Health Caucus co-chair Sen. Chuck McIlhinney, R-Bucks, said: “Members from all political parties have a shared interest in empowering women to live healthier, happier lives. It is encouraging Read more

 

Frankel, health advocates: Obamacare open enrollment starts Wednesday, Nov. 1; Opportunity to get covered or find a better plan

(Oct 30, 2017)

PITTSBURGH, Oct. 30 – House Democratic Caucus Chairman Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, and health advocates today promoted the upcoming open enrollment period for Affordable Care Act coverage. " Even with the shorter time period this year and a steep cutback in advertising , open enrollment is still an opportunity for many Pennsylvanians to get covered or find a better plan. I don't want anyone in western Pennsylvania to miss out," Frankel said. Leslie Bachurski, director of consumer navigation at the Consumer Health Coalition, said, “The key things people should know about the Affordable Care Act are that the law has not changed and that open enrollment has been shortened to only six weeks. People have a lot of questions right now, and navigators are a great local resource for getting the facts straight. Our navigators are working hard to be available in the community during open enrollment and help the enrollment process run as smoothly as possible.” People can shop for plans on www.healthcare.gov or find a local navigator at https://localhelp.healthcare.gov . The Squirrel Hill Health Center hosted today's news conference. CEO Susan Friedberg Kalson said, "Squirrel Hill Health Center welcomes the opportunity to highlight the upcoming open enrollment period for ACA Marketplace insurance plans. In addition to providing comprehensive primary medical, behavioral health and dental services to all, regardless of insurance status or Read more

 

Equality Caucus: Shame on Pa. senators for putting transgender kids at risk

(Oct 18, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 18 – Leaders of the legislature's LGBT Equality Caucus said the state senators who voted today to deny health care to transgender young people should be ashamed of themselves. "Shame on every senator who voted to add discrimination against trans young people to what had been a simple, clean, bipartisan renewal of the Children's Health Insurance Program, a commonsense, popular program that covers hundreds of thousands of kids in Pennsylvania," said co-chair Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny. House Bill 1388 passed the House 194-0 in June. Today, the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee voted to add an amendment that would deny reimbursement for gender or sex reassignment surgery, transition services, including physician's services, inpatient and outpatient hospital services, prescription drugs or even counseling services. Co-chair Sen. Daylin Leach, D-Montgomery/Delaware, said, "You wouldn't deny a child an appendectomy, or a cast for a broken leg, or reconstructive surgery for a cleft palate. Why block some of our most vulnerable kids from getting vital medical care? This amendment is evidence of a profound lack of understanding of transgender children's medical needs." Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., the only out LGBT member of the legislature, said, "This bill picks on some of the most vulnerable children in Pennsylvania. This bill is the opposite of pro-family. This bill would cut off funds for Read more

 

Frankel: Trump health care sabotage means higher premiums, less coverage

(Oct 13, 2017)

PITTSBURGH, Oct. 13 – House Democratic Caucus Chairman Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, today said President Trump's latest actions to undermine the Affordable Care Act's protections are sabotage. "President Trump is responsible for the mess he is creating. It's the Pottery Barn rule: 'you break it, you own it,'" Frankel said. "The president's actions at the end of this week are a one-two punch aimed at dismantling health care access for millions. First, he signed an order allowing for plans that don’t provide essential health benefits and now we know that he will withhold crucial cost-sharing payments, which is likely to throw the health care marketplace into turmoil. "The requirement for essential health benefits matters because Pennsylvanians have been confident that if they buy health insurance, it will allow them to access the care they need, including maternity care, mental health services and emergency room coverage. "Most importantly, the requirement ensured that children can go to the dentist and the eye doctor, to make sure that any problems get caught early so they can grow and thrive. These types of basic care are essential to health coverage. "Now, the Trump administration is destroying that promise by allowing junk plans to count as 'insurance' again. So we'll go back to the bad old days of people often not finding out about holes in their coverage until it's too late. Read more

 

Frankel Stands up for Crime Victims

(Sep 26, 2017)

Pa state Rep. Dan Frankel offered an amendment to exempt victims of crime – including children and veterans - from a bill (H.B. 1095) that would impose new requirements on people who need public assistance. The Republican-majority House narrowly voted down his amendment. Read more

 

Frankel urges Congress to pass comprehensive DREAM Act in light of President Trump’s ‘callous’ decision to end DACA

(Sep 06, 2017)

PITTSBURGH, Sept. 6 – House Democratic Caucus Chairman Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, released the following statement regarding President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program: “As has been the case far too often over the last eight months, I am disheartened and frankly, disgusted, over President Trump’s decision to end DACA and upend the lives of hundreds of thousands of hard-working, tax-paying young people in the United States. “This action is callous and showcases a vacuum of true leadership to address the needs of our society in the 21 st century. “In light of the president’s decision, I will lend my voice to other community leaders to call on Congress to pass a stand-alone DREAM Act that creates substantive, lasting and compassionate changes to immigration policy. “The numbers speak for themselves: Ending DACA means 800,000 young people, including 6,000 Pennsylvanians, who’ve spent the majority of their lives in the United States will be denied the right to live in the only country many of them have ever really known. It also means a loss to Pennsylvania of more than $350 million in gross domestic product from the labor and market participation of young people who earn their livelihoods and build a life here. “We need to speak out loudly for our values. If we, as a nation, believe in the ideals of growth and enterprise, then how do we benefit Read more

 

Frankel, Wheatley, colleagues, faith leaders call for action on Pa. hate-crimes legislation

(Aug 21, 2017)

PITTSBURGH, Aug. 21 – House Democratic Caucus Chairman Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, colleagues and faith leaders held a news conference today at Freedom Corner to discuss the aftermath of the Charlottesville, Va., domestic terror attack and to call for action on hate-crimes legislation in Pennsylvania ( H.B. 505 / S.B. 96 ). "The hatred and ugliness displayed by white supremacist groups in Charlottesville, which culminated in murder, has been followed by a lack of leadership from the White House. So it is more important than ever that state and local leaders and all people of good will do what we can. In Pennsylvania, one of the the most important things we can do is to restore several protections that were only struck from our hate-crimes law on a technicality," Frankel said. "These protections were added in 2002 on a bipartisan basis and were struck from the hate-crime law by the state Supreme Court in 2008 not on the merits, but only because of the state Constitution's single-subject rule for bills. The state House and Senate should vote on legislation that would restore the inclusion of actual or perceived ancestry, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, and gender or gender identity. The law currently covers hate crimes committed because of the victim's race, color, religion or national origin." State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, said, "It's fitting that we are at Freedom Corner today, since this has been a Read more

 

Frankel renews call to strengthen Pa. hate crimes law in light of Charlottesville tragedy

(Aug 14, 2017)

PITTSBURGH, Aug. 14 – House Democratic Caucus Chairman Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, released the following statement regarding the tragic events in Charlottesville, Va., this past weekend: "I am heartbroken over the hatred and ugliness that was displayed by white supremacist groups in Charlottesville, Virginia, this weekend, and I am saddened for the family of Heather Heyer, who was the victim of a domestic act of terrorism while expressing her freedom of speech. "Recent events serve as an important reminder that we need stronger protections in Pennsylvania, in light of the apparent uptick in neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups. For that reason, I’m calling on Republican leaders in the Pennsylvania General Assembly to schedule a vote on legislation to strengthen our hate crimes law ( H.B. 505 / S.B. 96 ). We must show our unity and resolve on this issue by passing meaningful legislation that will help protect all Pennsylvanians from heinous acts of hate. "There is an instilled duty in all of us to address this hatred we see around us, and to challenge those who seek to destroy our land of unity, peace and equality. We must all do more each day, including our president whose anemic response to Saturday’s tragic events calls into question his fitness for the job and his understanding of American values. He failed to call evil by its name and to strongly condemn those fully responsible for this weekend’s violence. I’d recommend Read more

 

Rep. Frankel's Telephone Town Hall - July 27, 2017

(Jul 28, 2017)

Rep. Frankel talks to thousands of area citizens about the issues that matter during his Telephone Town Hall Read more

 

Pa. LGBT Equality Caucus: Trump adding to string of broken promises, this time to trans service members

(Jul 26, 2017)

HARRISBURG, July 26 – Members of the Pennsylvania legislature's LGBT Equality Caucus are denouncing President Trump's announcement that he will discriminate against transgender people who serve or wish to serve in the U.S. military. State Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, co-chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus, said, "This is discrimination, adding to a string of broken Trump promises, this time one he made to LGBT Americans, and it's a waste of tax dollars and the talents and abilities of thousands of Americans who just want to serve their country. "A news report has already confirmed this morning that this is just a cynical political ploy . And it's unlikely to work, as former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory's example shows – he lost re-election in 2016 in a swing state after discriminating against LGBT citizens. I would add that the health-care cost argument is false , like so many other things the president says or tweets. In addition, 18 other countries allow transgender people to serve – including several of our NATO allies and Israel – and who takes security more seriously than Israel? Sen. Daylin Leach, D-Montgomery/Delaware, co-chair of the caucus, said, "Thousands of transgender Americans currently serve honorably in our military, yet President Trump claims they are a 'disruption.' Perhaps when he claimed he would have the LGBTQ community's back, he was already planning to stab them in Read more

 

Frankel to hold telephone town hall July 27

(Jul 19, 2017)

PITTSBURGH, July 19 – State Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, invites residents of the 23rd Legislative District to participate in a live Tele-Town Hall meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 27. The district includes part or all of these Pittsburgh neighborhoods: Squirrel Hill, Shadyside, Greenfield, Oakland, Point Breeze and Regent Square. Residents of Frankel's district will receive an automated phone call at about 7 p.m. that day inviting them to join the meeting. To participate, people simply need to remain on the line once they receive the call. "This is a great way to bring district residents into a community discussion in a more convenient way for them, without them having to leave the comfort of their homes,” Frankel said. "I look forward to talking with my constituents about a variety of issues that have an impact on them and their families. I enjoy meeting with constituents in person as well, and groups that would like to invite me to speak should contact my office at 412-422-1774." During the live event, Frankel will discuss and take questions on a variety of state issues, and participants will be asked to weigh in on poll questions using their touch-tone phones. Anyone who doesn’t have a chance to speak during the phone meeting will be able to record a question at its conclusion. Questions will be forwarded to Frankel's office for a future response. Those interested also may email questions to Frankel before the Tele-Town Read more

 

Frankel: Pa. needs to know impact of health-care repeal; urges Senate to include his amendment

(Jun 30, 2017)

HARRISBURG, June 30 – House Democratic Caucus Chairman Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, was disappointed that House Republicans voted down an amendment he offered Thursday to require a proposed new independent state Medicaid director's office to issue a report on how the repeal of the Affordable Care Act would affect Pennsylvanians. "I’m amazed that House Republicans refused to include my common-sense amendment, but I hope the Senate will be wiser and agree that this study should be an essential duty for the proposed office," Frankel said. "I have not decided whether I can support this bill even if my language is added because the bill greatly limits the role of the governor, who is accountable to voters statewide, in making decisions about Medicaid in Pennsylvania." The Republican-controlled House is moving H.B. 1354, which would create the new Office of the Independent Medical Assistance Director to oversee the state's Medicaid program. On Thursday, the House defeated along party lines Frankel’s amendment, which would have required the new director to issue a report within 60 days of his or her confirmation about the impact of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act on Pennsylvania and its residents. "We know that more than 700,000 Pennsylvanians have gained Medicaid coverage thanks to its expansion under the Affordable Care Act," Frankel said. "We have to know the impact of a repeal, especially if it cuts Read more

 

Frankel Recognizes Pride Month

(Jun 21, 2017)

Pa. state Rep. Dan Frankel spoke after the first-ever PA House adoption of a resolution recognizing LGBT Pride Month. He's also sponsoring the Fairness Act, which would ban anti-LGBT discrimination statewide in employment, housing and public accommodations. Read more

 

Frankel announces $28,517 state grant for Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum

(May 30, 2017)

HARRISBURG, May 30 – State Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, today announced the award of a $28,517 grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission to the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum Trust Inc. Frankel said the Cultural and Historical Support Grant comes from a five-year-old program designed to strengthen Pennsylvania’s museum community by supporting general operations of entities not supported by other state agency funding. “Soldiers & Sailors will use this money to redesign the front lawn and patio spaces into an environmentally friendly space for quiet reflection to honor our veterans,” Frankel said. “I believe this investment in Soldiers & Sailors will enhance the community’s ability to learn about the missions and sacrifices made by members of all the Armed Forces.” Frankel, who wrote a letter of support for the project, said Soldiers & Sailors will use the money for its Remembrance Park project, which seeks to create a tranquil setting for reflection on the sacrifices of veterans from all branches of the service in the form of an Honor Garden and Veterans Plaza. “I strongly believe Soldiers & Sailors demonstrates a commitment to make one of Pittsburgh’s oldest landmarks an example focused on the future so it can be enjoyed for generations to come,” Frankel noted. The maximum any museum could receive under the program is Read more

 

LGBT Equality Caucus backs agency non-discrimination proposals

(May 25, 2017)

HARRISBURG, May 25 – Members of the legislature's LGBT Equality Caucus today submitted public comment in favor of a state agency's proposals to interpret existing law on sex discrimination to protect LGBT people from discrimination, as several courts and agencies have already done. The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission , which enforces state non-discrimination law, is accepting public comment through Friday on its proposals to update how it interprets the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act. That law bans discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations based on several categories, including sex. The commission also proposes to make a similar update to how it interprets the Pennsylvania Fair Educational Opportunities Act. State Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, co-chairman of the LGBT Equality Caucus, said, "While I still believe we need the Pennsylvania Fairness Act signed into law to avoid any ambiguity, I fully support these proposals to interpret existing laws to include anti-LGBT discrimination. As Equality PA noted in its public comment, a federal appeals court stated, 'Any discomfort, disapproval, or job decision based on the fact that the complainant -- woman or man -- dresses differently, speaks differently, or dates or marries a same-sex partner, is a reaction purely and simply based on sex... It would require considerable calisthenics to remove the 'sex' from 'sexual orientation.'" The bipartisan Read more

 

Frankel reintroduces Pa. Fairness Act with bipartisan support, urges Turzai to send it to a committee that will give fair hearing

(May 17, 2017)

HARRISBURG, May 17 – State Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, co-chairman of the legislature's LGBT Equality Caucus, will reintroduce his proposed Pennsylvania Fairness Act in the House, again with bipartisan support. The bill would include sexual orientation and gender identity or expression in the types of discrimination banned statewide in the workplace, housing and public accommodations. Frankel is urging House Speaker Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny, to send the bill to a committee where it can get a fair hearing, not the State Government Committee chaired by anti-LGBT Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler. Frankel said, "Pennsylvania polls for the past eight years have shown consistent 70 percent support for providing our LGBT relatives, friends, neighbors and co-workers with the same protections as the rest of us. Many Pennsylvanians are stunned when they find out state or federal law doesn't already protect LGBT people in in the workplace, in housing and public accommodations such as being able to eat in a restaurant or to get a hotel room like everyone else," Frankel said. "It's past time to fix this. More than 40 local governments across the state have decided to stop waiting on Harrisburg or Washington, but the legislature should do the right thing and provide these commonsense protections statewide. This would help us to compete for jobs and residents with all the other northeastern states, which already have these protections, and give us an Read more

 

Frankel: Trump should scrap anti-LGBT 'right to discriminate' order

(May 03, 2017)

PITTSBURGH, May 3 – State Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, co-chairman of the legislature's LGBT Equality Caucus, said President Donald Trump should permanently scrap reported plans to sign an anti-LGBT "right to discriminate" executive order, as he's expected to do Thursday . "Under the guise of 'religious liberty,' President Trump could try to create a right to discriminate against LGBT people in the workplace, in housing and public accommodations such as being able to eat in a restaurant or to get a hotel room like everyone else. Our Constitution already protects freedom of religion, under the First Amendment the president recently said he wants to alter. But our Constitution and our federal and Pennsylvania laws don't yet protect LGBT Americans in the workplace, housing or public accommodations. "The president should get on the right side of history, drop the proposed executive order and instead support the bipartisan Equality Act that was reintroduced this week in Congress . Pennsylvania polls for the past eight years have shown consistent 70 percent support for providing our LGBT relatives, friends, neighbors and co-workers with the same protections as the rest of us. When Vice President Pence was governor of Indiana, public and business backlash forced him to backtrack quickly on a 'right to discriminate' law there – a lesson the Trump-Pence administration should learn from. "I'll soon be Read more

 

Frankel Fights To Keep Local Residents Safe

(Apr 25, 2017)

Pa. state Rep. Dan Frankel speaks on the House Floor in support of an amendment to allow local municipalities to govern themselves in respect to firearms laws. Read more

 

Frankel: Never Forget the Holocaust

(Apr 24, 2017)

Pa. state Rep Dan Frankel reminds us all that the horror and the tragedy of the Holocaust must be remembered and honored so it can never happen again. Frankel spoke in Governor Tom Wolf’s Capitol ceremony marking the 2017 Civic Commemoration of the Holocaust in Harrisburg. Read more

 

Frankel remembers Rooney as a leader, champion of Pittsburgh

(Apr 13, 2017)

PITTSBURGH, April 13 – House Democratic Caucus Chairman Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, released the following statement on Pittsburgh Steelers owner and Hall of Famer Dan Rooney, who passed away today at age 84: "Dan Rooney had a major impact on the city of Pittsburgh throughout his life. He ensured that the Steelers stayed in Pittsburgh and helped turn our city into a top-tier sports town. Just as important, he was pivotal in ushering in the reinvention of Pittsburgh. He truly loved this town. "But Dan was also someone who was completely engaged with politics and keeping people involved in the process. I can remember him coming in to Soldiers and Sailors Hall in 2008 to encourage students to stay in line and vote. That’s the kind of leader and motivator Dan Rooney was. "I will miss his friendship but I will always remember him as a guiding force that positioned the city of Pittsburgh as a national and international leader in both sports and civic engagement." ### Read more

 

Legislators Announce Agenda for Women’s Health
Dec 12, 2017

Frankel, health advocates: Obamacare open enrollment starts Wednesday, Nov. 1; Opportunity to get covered or find a better plan
Oct 30, 2017

Equality Caucus: Shame on Pa. senators for putting transgender kids at risk
Oct 18, 2017

Frankel: Trump health care sabotage means higher premiums, less coverage
Oct 13, 2017

Frankel Stands up for Crime Victims
Sep 26, 2017

Frankel urges Congress to pass comprehensive DREAM Act in light of President Trump’s ‘callous’ decision to end DACA
Sep 06, 2017

Frankel, Wheatley, colleagues, faith leaders call for action on Pa. hate-crimes legislation
Aug 21, 2017

Frankel renews call to strengthen Pa. hate crimes law in light of Charlottesville tragedy
Aug 14, 2017

Rep. Frankel's Telephone Town Hall - July 27, 2017
Jul 28, 2017

Pa. LGBT Equality Caucus: Trump adding to string of broken promises, this time to trans service members
Jul 26, 2017

Frankel to hold telephone town hall July 27
Jul 19, 2017

Frankel: Pa. needs to know impact of health-care repeal; urges Senate to include his amendment
Jun 30, 2017

Frankel Recognizes Pride Month
Jun 21, 2017

Frankel announces $28,517 state grant for Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum
May 30, 2017

LGBT Equality Caucus backs agency non-discrimination proposals
May 25, 2017

Frankel reintroduces Pa. Fairness Act with bipartisan support, urges Turzai to send it to a committee that will give fair hearing
May 17, 2017

Frankel: Trump should scrap anti-LGBT 'right to discriminate' order
May 03, 2017

Frankel Fights To Keep Local Residents Safe
Apr 25, 2017

Frankel: Never Forget the Holocaust
Apr 24, 2017

Frankel remembers Rooney as a leader, champion of Pittsburgh
Apr 13, 2017