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House members to introduce resolution honoring Congressman John Lewis

House Democrats working for more government transparency

(Jul 27, 2020)

HARRISBURG, July 27 – House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody, Democratic Whip Jordan Harris and Democratic Appropriations Chairman Matt Bradford welcomed the decision by Gov. Tom Wolf to let an open records measure become law and said the legislature should pass other pending bills to bring additional transparency to Pennsylvania government. More than a year ago, House Democrats proposed bills to add new dimensions of openness to state government, including: Comprehensive campaign finance reform, including better disclosure of groups or individuals responsible for independent expenditures made in support of candidates (H.B. 795 sponsored by Dermody). Tighter limits and better reporting of gifts to public officials and employees from special-interest lobbyists seeking to gain unfair advantages (H.B. 1291 sponsored by Rep. Tina Davis). Improvements to voting and election processes (more than a dozen bills were introduced by multiple Democrats, including a comprehensive omnibus measure, H.B. 1560, sponsored by Rep. Chris Rabb). A bill to prohibit lobbyists from also working as paid campaign consultants (H.B. 1421 sponsored by Rep. Tina Davis). “At the start of the pandemic, under truly extraordinary circumstances, the Wolf administration had to delay responding to Right-To-Know inquiries,” Dermody said. “However, since May they have again been responding to these requests. “Governor Read more

 

House members to introduce resolution honoring Congressman John Lewis

(Jul 23, 2020)

HARRISBURG, July 23 – This week, state Reps. Stephen Kinsey, Jordan Harris, and Malcolm Kenyatta, all D-Phila., announced they will be introducing a resolution honoring Congressman John Lewis, who died on July 17. “Congressman Lewis was an integral part of the Civil Rights movement and a leading voice in the advancement of economic and social justice. His life was devoted to activism and advocacy for equal justice in America, and his actions have inspired so many today,” Kinsey said. “The next generation of leaders will continue to follow his legacy and help us achieve the equality that Congressman Lewis pictured.” “Congressman John Lewis was truly a giant of the Civil Rights movement and, beyond that, a moral compass in the United States House of Representatives,” Harris said. “Few have been able to have such a profound effect on the centuries-long struggle for equality and dignity for our Black and brown communities, but Congressman Lewis was a beacon of hope and righteousness that shined through very dark clouds in our nation’s history. It’s an honor to be fraternity brothers with Congressman Lewis in Phi Beta Sigma, and we will ensure his legacy will not be forgotten and, instead, will continue to energize and mobilize generation after generation that will carry on the mantle of this fight.” "The life and service of John Lewis was immensely influential in my own Read more

 

Face the State | PA Department of Education Sec. Pedro Rivera, Rep. Jordan Harris

(Jul 20, 2020)

This week on Face the State we are taking a deeper dive at the reopening of Pennsylvania schools, as part of our Project Education Initiative. Later in the show, Rep. Jordan Harris joins the program with what’s next in the state’s response to COVID-19 and police reform. Read more

 

House Democratic leaders urge U.S. senators to support HEROES Act

(Jul 15, 2020)

HARRISBURG, July 15 – Pennsylvania House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody, Democratic Whip Jordan Harris and Democratic Appropriations Chairman Matt Bradford, on behalf of the entire Pa. House Democratic Caucus, today sent a letter to U.S. Sens. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., urging them to support the HEROES Act. The U.S. House of Representatives in May passed the HEROES Act to provide much-needed continued relief to Americans through the COVID-19 pandemic, and the U.S. Senate has failed to take action. The full letter is as follows: Dear Senator Casey and Senator Toomey: It has been nearly two months since the U.S. House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act to support Americans as they weather the unprecedented health and economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, yet the Senate has failed to take action on this important legislation. With cases rising across the country and again in Pennsylvania -- creating an even more serious strain on our health care systems and testing capacity as we move toward fall -- federal leadership is desperately needed to help Pennsylvanians get the care they need and the protections they deserve. In May, the Pennsylvania General Assembly worked with Governor Tom Wolf to pass an interim, partial budget, but the fate of many essential services depends on your actions to provide additional support to states. The budgetary challenge caused by the coronavirus pandemic is Read more

 

Police Reform Working Group issues statement on Vice President Pence’s visit with the Fraternal Order of Police

(Jul 09, 2020)

In response to Vice President Mike Pence visiting with the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 5, the Police Reform Working Group, made up of state and county elected officials and advocates, released the following statement:“As members of the Police Reform Working Group, we believe that the path to achieving community safety and racial justice in Pennsylvania must be two-fold. First, we must improve our current system of policing through accountability, oversight, and tangible policy changes that will diminish instances of police brutality against all citizens, but especially against the Black community. Second, we must work with communities to transform and re-envision policing itself through bold systemic changes that center around those most impacted by police violence and structural racism. Read more

 

They were arrested for having some weed in Pa. Their mugshots still follow them online

(Jul 01, 2020)

For almost 36 straight hours, Justin Stineman said, he lived and partied like a rock star.Stineman, 23, a local rapper from Lititz, Lancaster County, who performs under the name Nexus The League, said his parents were away in Italy. So he decided to play a show and host an after-party, which finally wrapped up on Jan. 22, 2018.Next, Stineman said, he and others dropped his friend off at work in Harrisburg at 7 a.m. Stineman said he was falling asleep on the way back. Later, he said, he went to take a 10-minute nap in the car, which was parked across from his home on East Lincoln Street. Read more

 

Action on police reform the first step, but many more to come

(Jun 30, 2020)

In response to the Pennsylvania Senate passing H.Bs. 1841 and 1910, state Reps. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., House Democratic whip, Joanna McClinton, D-Phila., House Democratic chair, Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., Philadelphia Delegation chairman, Dan Miller, D-Allegheny, Allegheny Delegation chairman, Dan Williams, D-Chester, Summer Lee, D-Allegheny, and Chris Rabb, D-Phila., released the following statement:“In Harrisburg, the legislative process can often be slow and grinding. However, in times of crisis, slow and grinding is unacceptable. The passage of these two police reform bills in only a month’s time reflects the fact that when people take to the streets and demand action from their elected officials, we as a General Assembly are capable of working deliberatively and quickly. Read more

 

Pa. small businesses can apply for ‘grants, not loans’ starting on Tuesday

(Jun 30, 2020)

Starting at 9 a.m. Tuesday, the window opens for applications from Pennsylvania small businesses to tap a $225 million grant program that is intended to help them recover their losses from the COVID-19 pandemic and reopen their doors.The COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance program announced earlier this month by Gov. Tom Wolf, will accept applications for 10 days before closing until the second of four rounds of grant distributions begins in early August. Read more

 

Pennsylvania lawmakers advance policing reforms

(Jun 25, 2020)

Pennsylvania lawmakers endorsed bills Wednesday that would overhaul law enforcement hiring, training and use of force procedures in the wake of a national reckoning over police brutality and systemic racism.House Bills 1841 and 1910 sailed through the lower chamber with unanimous support after several impassioned speeches from members of the Black Legislative Caucus – whose floor protest two weeks ago put legislative action into motion. Read more

 

2 Pennsylvania Police Reform Bills Unanimously Pass Through House On ‘Historic Day’

(Jun 25, 2020)

Pennsylvania is taking a first step toward responding to cries for police reform. The bipartisan action comes amid the unrest over the deaths of Black Americans at the hands of police.The calls for police reform and accountability are being heard loud and clear as thousands of protesters continue to demonstrate in Philadelphia and throughout the commonwealth. Read more

 

Philadelphia lawmakers lay out path for a ‘Just Recovery’ in Pa.

(Jun 18, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, June 18 – Philadelphia lawmakers today held a virtual news conference to lay out the steps the Pennsylvania legislature must take to create a just recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure the calls for racial justice demanded by Pennsylvanians across the state are acted on. State Sen. Vince Hughes and state Reps. Jordan Harris and Jason Dawkins each addressed aspects of a plan to ensure a living wage and a fair return to work for all Pennsylvanians, great schools and a superior education for all from pre-school through college; career and technical training; access to quality health care and testing; a roof over every head; tax cuts for working families to ensure no one is taxed into poverty; and safe voting options and integrity to guarantee every voice is heard and every vote is counted. The lawmakers said all of these things should be available to all Pennsylvanians, especially marginalized communities that have suffered most during the COVID-19 pandemic and at the hands of a systemic system of bigotry and racism in not just law enforcement, but also in education, health care, housing, wages and working conditions. “The current crisis, both the COVID-19 pandemic and the civil unrest stemming from systemic racism, have shown that the way things were simply wasn’t working for too many Pennsylvanians,” Harris said. “We can’t go back to a broken system. Instead, we must reform nearly all aspects of our Read more

 

Harris to introduce legislation ending law enforcement qualified immunity

(Jun 11, 2020)

Citing the disproportionate damage being done to minority communities in Pennsylvania by excessive use of force, state Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., House Democratic Whip, will soon be introducing the Ending Immunity for Excessive Use of Force Act that would eliminate blanket qualified immunity for the use of unjustified or excessive force that results in serious bodily injury or death. Read more

 

Police Reform Working Group looks forward to working with Mayor Kenney

(Jun 09, 2020)

The Police Reform Working Group, a collection of elected officials and advocates working to bring accountability and transparency reforms to law enforcement, released the following statement in response to Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney’s commitment to police reform: “To bring about true and meaningful law enforcement reform, we must work together with leaders at all levels of government so the voices of those we represent can be heard and forward-thinking change achieved. We’ve already had several conversations with Mayor Kenney’s administration and those discussions have been promising. We appreciate the mayor’s willingness to listen and believe that his announcement today is the first step in what will be a long, but productive, journey to reform. Read more

 

Police Reform Working Group releases statement on progress toward reform

(Jun 04, 2020)

The Police Reform Working Group, a collection of elected officials and advocates working to bring accountability and transparency reforms to law enforcement, released the following statement on Gov. Tom Wolf’s adoption today of their request for a state-level deputy inspector general aimed at improving law enforcement conduct, as well as Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s, along with the Fraternal Order of Police’s, support of a confidential database to track complaints against police officers: Read more

 

Philadelphia elected officials call for state, local reform of community-police relationships

(Jun 02, 2020)

In the midst of civil unrest across Pennsylvania ignited by the murder of George Floyd, elected officials from Philadelphia introduced a series of much-needed reforms aimed at improving community/police relationships. Read more

 

Philadelphia House leaders applaud passage of $2.6 billion in CARES funding

(May 29, 2020)

House leaders from the Philadelphia Delegation led by Democratic Whip Jordan Harris, Democratic Chairwoman Joanna McClinton, Philadelphia Delegation Chairman Jason Dawkins, and Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus Chairman Stephen Kinsey, today applauded the passage of legislation that would deliver $2.6 billion of federal coronavirus aid to Pennsylvania’s hardest hit communities and help small businesses, schools and seniors. Read more

 

House Democrats oppose budget that would hike property taxes

(May 26, 2020)

HARRISBURG, May 26 – Democratic Leader Frank Dermody, Democratic Whip Jordan Harris and Democratic Appropriations Chairman Matt Bradford commented about today’s House vote on a partial state budget (H.B. 2387) which all 93 House Democrats opposed: “In a bipartisan rejection House Democrats stood united against the incomplete budget bill passed today. We have many questions with no answers about a $25 billion spending plan we didn’t even see in writing until today. “It’s clear that this budget doesn’t account for a multibillion-dollar revenue gap and just pushes the day of reckoning off until late November. How will the unprecedented deficit be closed? “The current plan fails to take care of homeowners struggling to pay school property taxes and will cause tax bills to increase by more than $300 million. Until we get more answers for the people we represent, Democrats will not support an incomplete budget that doesn’t meet the people’s true needs.” Read more

 

Democrats seek more support for Pennsylvania workers

(May 21, 2020)

HARRISBURG, May 21 – Democratic leaders said any review of Unemployment Compensation during the current pandemic should be aimed at fixing problems and putting workers’ needs first, rather than simply blaming the Department of Labor and Industry for factors mostly beyond its control. The House Labor and Industry Committee today received an update on benefits for unemployed claimants from senior leaders in the department including Secretary Gerard Oleksiak. “The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a sudden, widespread economic dislocation and prevented people from working in numbers never seen before,” said Democratic Leader Frank Dermody. “It’s important to understand how the department is responding to the demand for its services while many people are still waiting for unemployment benefits. “It’s also clear that after being starved of resources for years the department is doing its best with the limited tools it has and is intently focused on getting people their benefits,” Dermody said. “We need to get payments in the hands of workers who have earned them,” said Democratic Labor and Industry Chairman Pat Harkins. “I’ve heard from many constituents about their difficulties getting unemployment payments. They are understandably frustrated and I can see why.” Harkins thanked Oleksiak for answering the committee’s questions and being Read more

 

Philadelphia House leaders secure 100,000 face masks for Philadelphians working on the front lines of COVID-19 pandemic

(May 14, 2020)

Calling it an example of working together for the greater good of Philadelphia, House leaders from the Philadelphia Delegation led by Democratic Whip Jordan Harris, Democratic Chairwoman Joanna McClinton, Philadelphia Delegation Chairman Jason Dawkins, and Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus Chairman Stephen Kinsey, announced today a partnership with Lowe’s that has delivered 100,000 essential face masks to frontline workers in Philadelphia. Read more

 

House Democratic leaders denounce Republican for playing politics, wasting tax dollars and sharing fake news

(May 01, 2020)

House Democratic leaders today released the following statement regarding House Republicans’ irresponsible political antics and misinformation campaign that’s putting Pennsylvanians’ lives at risk:“History will not be kind to those that have sown division and discord during a national emergency. Astoundingly, instead of offering reassuring, responsible leadership, constructive oversight and appropriating desperately needed resources in the midst of a global pandemic, House Republicans have focused their efforts on politicizing the reopening process, undermining our faith in public health officials and engaging in a bizarre misinformation campaign by spreading fake reopening plans on social media. Read more

 

House Democrats working for more government transparency
Jul 27, 2020

House members to introduce resolution honoring Congressman John Lewis
Jul 23, 2020

Face the State | PA Department of Education Sec. Pedro Rivera, Rep. Jordan Harris
Jul 20, 2020

House Democratic leaders urge U.S. senators to support HEROES Act
Jul 15, 2020

Police Reform Working Group issues statement on Vice President Pence’s visit with the Fraternal Order of Police
Jul 09, 2020

They were arrested for having some weed in Pa. Their mugshots still follow them online
Jul 01, 2020

Action on police reform the first step, but many more to come
Jun 30, 2020

Pa. small businesses can apply for ‘grants, not loans’ starting on Tuesday
Jun 30, 2020

Pennsylvania lawmakers advance policing reforms
Jun 25, 2020

2 Pennsylvania Police Reform Bills Unanimously Pass Through House On ‘Historic Day’
Jun 25, 2020

Philadelphia lawmakers lay out path for a ‘Just Recovery’ in Pa.
Jun 18, 2020

Harris to introduce legislation ending law enforcement qualified immunity
Jun 11, 2020

Police Reform Working Group looks forward to working with Mayor Kenney
Jun 09, 2020

Police Reform Working Group releases statement on progress toward reform
Jun 04, 2020

Philadelphia elected officials call for state, local reform of community-police relationships
Jun 02, 2020

Philadelphia House leaders applaud passage of $2.6 billion in CARES funding
May 29, 2020

House Democrats oppose budget that would hike property taxes
May 26, 2020

Democrats seek more support for Pennsylvania workers
May 21, 2020

Philadelphia House leaders secure 100,000 face masks for Philadelphians working on the front lines of COVID-19 pandemic
May 14, 2020

House Democratic leaders denounce Republican for playing politics, wasting tax dollars and sharing fake news
May 01, 2020