Building Safer Communities, Offices Closed for Memorial Day

(1 day ago)

Dear Neighbor, The House was back in Harrisburg for another busy session week this week, and I’ll share some updates on our work below. We are now in recess until June 5, when the real heavy lifting begins as the House and Senate begin our final preparations for budget debates. This Memorial Day weekend, I hope everyone finds some time to relax and be with loved ones as we remember and honor the U.S. service members who have given their lives in wars throughout our nation’s history. It looks like we’ll have nice weather here in the 155th Legislative District to take advantage of Fish-for-Free day at Marsh Creek State Park on Sunday, May 28, attend the Downingtown Borough Memorial Day Parade on Monday, or visit one of our nearby parks, trails, and preserved open spaces. My district office will close at noon on Friday, May 25 and will be closed on Monday, May 29, in observance of Memorial Day. Read more


Rabb, Friel Otten announce legislation instituting zero-emission standards for space and water heaters

(May 19, 2023)

HARRISBURG, May 19 – State Reps. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., and Danielle Friel Otten, D-Chester, have introduced legislation that would adopt zero-emission standards for space and water heaters in Pennsylvania. “For Pennsylvania to be the climate leader we want it to be, and to meet our long-term climate goals, we need to take decarbonization seriously,” Rabb, a founding member of the PA Climate Caucus, said. “By reducing the amount of energy needed in buildings through energy efficiency upgrades, reducing carbon content of energy resources and appliances, and shifting energy usage with available technology, we can be one step closer to reaching our climate goals as well as saving money, improving both indoor and outdoor air quality, and reducing health risks associated with pollutants found in buildings.” This legislation would require that beginning Jan. 1, 2030, all new space and water heaters for new construction and replacement of worn-out equipment in existing buildings sold in the commonwealth meet the zero-emission standards. “Heating systems and water heaters have a long lifespan, so it’s important to plan now for the technology we’ll be living with seven, 10, or 25 years from now,” Friel Otten, chair of the PA Climate Caucus, said. “Energy-efficient, zero-emission systems may have a higher upfront price tag, but failing to adopt new standards would Read more


Uwchlan Hills visit; Primary Election held

(May 19, 2023)

Dear Neighbor, The House has been in recess these past two weeks, and I have enjoyed spending time back in the district before session picks up again for budget season. I had the opportunity to meet with some of our younger constituents, attended a policy hearing in neighboring Delaware County, and headed to the polls on Tuesday for the primary election. Read more


Otten to host June 24 blood drive at Lionville YMCA

(May 10, 2023)

EXTON, May 10 – Patients count on American Red Cross blood donations year-round, but summer activities and vacation schedules can lead to a drop in donor appointments. To help avoid critical blood shortages and fill the urgent need for donations, state Rep. Danielle Friel Otten has partnered with the Red Cross and the Lionville YMCA for a Community Blood Drive. The blood drive will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 24 at the Lionville YMCA, located at 100 Devon Drive in Exton . Interested donors are encouraged to schedule their appointments in advance at 1-800-Red Cross (1-800-733-2767) or via the American Red Cross website with sponsor code “District155.” “My team and I are committed to helping the Red Cross meet hospital and patient needs through blood donations,” said Otten, D-Chester. “A simple blood donation can help save the life of someone who could be a co-worker, loved one or neighbor. I encourage all healthy and eligible donors to donate blood. If you’re unable to donate at this event, please help us spread the word and consider donating at the next nearby opportunity. Every donation helps.” Approximately 36,000 units or pints of red blood cells are needed every day in the United States. While blood donations are a critical and integral part of medical care, only about 3% of age-eligible people donate blood yearly. However, one donation can save up to three Read more


PA House Passes Fairness Act, Bill Signing, and more!

(May 05, 2023)

Dear Neighbor, I was back in Harrisburg this week for another busy week of session, committee meetings, and working on legislation with members of our community. I also had the pleasure of visiting the borough of Phoenixville, previously in my legislative district and now represented by my colleague Paul Friel, to see how we can best support our communities and local businesses. Let’s get into it! Read more


Justice for Survivors, Protecting Children and Women

(Apr 28, 2023)

Dear Neighbor, The House reconvened on Monday for a very busy week of session, with a number of bills advancing out of the House with unanimous or strong bipartisan support. Let’s get into it! On Tuesday, the House took up HB 1 from our Special Session earlier this year for final consideration. This legislation would amend the PA Constitution to provide a two-year window in which civil lawsuits alleging childhood sexual abuse may be filed in court notwithstanding otherwise applicable defenses. Rep. Rozzi, who spearheaded the efforts behind this legislation and made it the priority of his tenure as Speaker, once again spoke to the importance of this legislation and the impact it would have on survivors of childhood sexual abuse. In addition, he urged our colleagues in the Senate to pass this legislation without tying it to any divisive partisan issues. The bill ultimately advanced out of the House with vote of 147-54. Its fate is now in the hands of the Senate, which has passed this legislation in previous sessions. Read more


Celebrating Earth Week!

(Apr 21, 2023)

Dear Neighbor, It is Earth Week! This week we celebrate Pennsylvania and its many natural wonders. As home to over 100 state parks and forests, Pennsylvania’s natural landscapes offer shelter for more than 25,000 species of known organisms. In addition, our state parks and forests provide enormous recreational, aesthetic, and environmental benefits to our residents and visitors. None of this would be possible without the dedicated network of staff and volunteers at the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources who have made it their mission to help keep Pennsylvania beautiful. Take a look at some of the Earth Day events taking place in our communities this weekend! Read more


Providing a living wage for Direct Support Professionals

(Apr 14, 2023)

Dear Neighbor, I was in Harrisburg this week for the final days of Budget Hearings, as the General Assembly prepares to hammer out the details of the state’s budget. I look forward to working with my colleagues on a budget that fully funds our schools, invests in our workforce, and reflects the priorities of Chester County and the 155th Legislative District. Read more


Advocating for better options and outcomes for adults with disabilities

(Apr 06, 2023)

Dear Neighbor, I’m back in the district this week for a short break between budget hearings and committee meetings in Harrisburg. Here in the district office, my staff and I are working on introducing and redrafting legislation and serving constituents. On Tuesday, we took our SEPTA Senior Key mobile office to Traditions of America in West Brandywine Township, and on Wednesday, we helped reunite constituents with funds held by the PA Treasury, with an Unclaimed Property event in our district office. Read more


Spring Events Postcard 2023

(Apr 05, 2023)

Spring Events Postcard 2023 Read more


Updates from Harrisburg and home

(Mar 31, 2023)

Dear Neighbor, We are still in the midst of budget season in Harrisburg, as the House Appropriations Committee continues their annual budget hearings. This week we heard from the Pennsylvania departments of Aging, Health, Drug & Alcohol Programs, State, Corrections/Board of Parole & Probation, and Transportation. As a member of the Health Committee and Human Services Committee, I attended the budget hearings for the Department of Health and the Department of Drug & Alcohol Programs, which gave me a better understanding of the areas of priority for those departments and how we can craft legislation to meet those needs and better serve the communities who require the services offered by these departments. Read more


Updates on Lionville Trade Center warehouse proposal

(Mar 24, 2023)

Dear Neighbor,Over the past couple weeks, my staff and I have received a great deal of feedback about the Lionville Trade Center warehouse complex proposed for development on Lionville Station Road in Uwchlan Township. I wanted to take a minute to acknowledge the community’s concerns and share what we know at this point. Read more


Seeking answers in the Norfolk Southern derailment; Local grants awarded to district

(Mar 17, 2023)

The House may not have been in session this week, but I had a busy week traveling the state and meeting with constituents here in the district. Read more


Otten applauds nearly $700K in LSA grants

(Mar 17, 2023)

HARRISBURG, March 17 – State Rep. Danielle Friel Otten, D-Chester, today announced $699,500 from the Commonwealth Financing Authority has been approved for Local Share Account grants in the 155th Legislative District. “These investments are needed to maintain our sewage systems, remove pollutants and repair flooding damage,” Otten said. “As our municipalities work to meet the challenges of population growth, higher operating costs, and the increasingly severe weather events we’ve experienced across the commonwealth, I’m grateful to see these funds going toward necessary repairs and cleaner, more efficient operation of local sewer and water treatment systems. New backup generators will ensure reliability, while restoration, repair and replacement projects provide the proper upkeep to keep these systems fully operational for years to come.” The CFA approved funding for the following projects: $350,000 for West Brandywine Township Municipal Authority’s Pump Stations Generator Replacement. The municipal authority operates three sewage pump stations around the clock to convey wastewater into the sewer system for treatment. The proposed project will replace the 13-year-old backup power generators at Culbertson Run and Friendship Village and the 20-year-old backup generator at the Ashberry pump station. The new generators will provide reliable standby power at the pump stations. Read more


Climate Caucus and Budget Priorities

(Mar 10, 2023)

Dear Neighbor,We are back in the full-swing of things in Harrisburg, as we returned for the third consecutive week of session – and it was a busy one.The bipartisan, bicameral PA Climate Caucus has reorganized for the 2023-24 legislative session and elected new officers in both the House and Senate. I am excited to return as the House co-chair and eager to work with my Senate counterpart, Sen. Carolyn Comitta, who will now serve as Senate co-chair. In the House, Rep. Nancy Guenst of Montgomery County returns as vice chair, and newly elected Rep. Paul Takac of Centre County will serve as Secretary. Read more


Congratulations to Speaker Joanna McClinton

(Mar 03, 2023)

Dear Neighbor, This week was a historic week in the state House, as Representative Joanna McClinton of Philadelphia was sworn in as the first woman, first Black woman, and only the second Black member ever to serve as Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. (The first was K. Leroy Irvis, who was first elected Speaker in 1977.) Read more


Pa. Legislative Climate Caucus announces 2023 leadership and legislative priorities

(Mar 03, 2023)

Harrisburg, March 3 – The bicameral, bipartisan Pennsylvania Legislative Climate Caucus has elected new officers for the 2023-24 legislative session. In addition, caucus members this week sent a letter to Gov. Josh Shapiro highlighting their priorities for the 2023-24 legislative session ahead of the governor’s 2023 budget address. The following members have been installed as Climate Caucus officers for 2023-24: Co-chairs: State Sen. Carolyn Comitta, D-Chester, and State Rep. Danielle Friel Otten, D-Chester Vice chairs, State Sen. Art Haywood, D-Montgomery/Phila., and State Rep. Nancy Guenst, D-Montgomery Secretaries: State Sen. Amanda Cappelletti, D-Delaware/Montgomery, and State Rep. Paul Takac, D-Centre The caucus’s letter emphasizes the need to mitigate future impacts of climate change on communities and advance the causes of environmental, economic and educational justice in the Commonwealth, particularly in marginalized rural and urban communities that have been disproportionately affected by both severe weather and industrial pollution. Among its priorities, the caucus advocates for the restoration of full funding to the Department of Environmental Protection; continued funding for the Whole Home Repairs program; investments to increase resiliency and emergency energy storage capacity in communities; a commitment to codifying, funding and empowering the Office of Environmental Justice and the Read more


Pennsylvania Climate Caucus Budget Letter to Gov. Shapiro

(Mar 02, 2023)

Dear Governor Shapiro,As state legislators, we see firsthand the devastating impacts of climatechange and pollution on our communities, from the enormous costsassociated with stormwater damage and severe weather incidents, to thedisplacement of families and businesses whose homes or storefronts aredestroyed by flooding, to the serious public health consequences arisingfrom polluted air and water. Read more


House passes historic justice reform for child sexual assault survivors

(Feb 24, 2023)

This week, members of the House returned to Harrisburg to complete the special legislative session requested by Governor Wolf in January to finally bring justice for victims of childhood sexual abuse. House Democrats used our new majority – ultimately joined by more than half of the House Republicans – to stand up once again for the rights of survivors. Read more


Holding corporate polluters accountable

(Feb 17, 2023)

Dear Neighbor, On Wednesday I was back in Harrisburg meeting with my colleagues in the Democratic Caucus to prepare for our first week of session since the House recessed in early January following the cancellation of session days intended to bring justice to victims of childhood sexual abuse. In that time, House Speaker Mark Rozzi conducted a statewide listening tour, seeking input from residents and good-government advocacy groups on how to break the partisan gridlock in the House. Read more