Baltimore events troubling but not surprising

(May 04, 2015)

The events of Baltimore are troubling but not at all surprising. What I wonder today, after watching yet another American city burn is this: who or what, is most responsible for this upheaval? Read more


A 4 a.m. closing time? Lawmaker wants to extend your night at the bar

(Apr 14, 2015)

Bars could stay open until 4 a.m. under a new proposal that would create an "extended use" permit. "This legislation would create a more attractive Pennsylvania and further a goal of appealing to young professionals and millennials who can greatly improve our local economies," said Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Philadelphia. "This bill would put our city on par with some of the largest cities in the country as far as having a healthy, vibrant nightlife." Read more


Pa. Lawmaker Wants to Extend Sale of Alcohol to 4 a.m.

(Apr 14, 2015)

Will the last call for alcohol soon be two hours later for Pennsylvania? That’s what one Philadelphia lawmaker is proposing. Read more


Harris to introduce legislation authorizing extended liquor sales

(Apr 13, 2015)

State Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phlia., announced today that he plans to introduce legislation which would amend the Liquor Code to allow businesses to apply for extended use permits, which would authorize the sale of alcohol beyond 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. Read more


Bold Budget Will Help Our Community

(Mar 04, 2015)

State Rep. Jordan Harris outlines the bold vision Gov. Wolf presented in his budget and says he’s ready to fight to make the plan a reality to deliver better schools, jobs that pay family-sustaining wages and a better future for Philadelphia and the entire commonwealth. Read more


Harris: Privatization bad for Philadelphia, bad for Pennsylvania

(Feb 26, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 26 – State Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., today stated he will be voting against H.B. 466, the liquor privatization bill, due to the negative impact it will have across Pennsylvania and specifically in Philadelphia. “This bill is simply the wrong choice at the wrong time for Pennsylvania,” Harris said. “Our state is facing a budget deficit approaching $2 billion, and the other side of the aisle has decided now is the appropriate time to sell off an asset that brings in $80 million annually to the General Fund budget. This is simply not the time to entertain this idea. “In addition, nearly 4,000 hard-working Pennsylvanians will suddenly be without a job. These are family-sustaining jobs that provide good benefits and a living wage. The inclusion of minor grants for furthering their education and additional points on a civil service test for employees who lose their job do not go nearly far enough to ensure that our state store workers are taken care of. “The bottom line is that House Bill 466 is not the answer for Pennsylvania, and I refuse to vote for decreased income for the General Fund and increased unemployment throughout our state.” Read more


Harris: It’s time to move Pennsylvania forward with Gov. Wolf

(Jan 20, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 20 – State Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., issued a statement today following the inauguration of Gov. Tom Wolf: “Pennsylvania is at a crossroads right now. The past few years have not been kind to our school districts, our local economies or our citizens. We are facing an estimated $2.3 billion deficit heading into our next budget, and that number could increase. “With that in mind, I believe Tom Wolf is the person we need to lead us away from the devastating funding cuts we’ve seen under the previous administration. As Governor Wolf said today, his administration will be about 'jobs that pay, schools that teach and government that works.' All of these are issues that plague Pennsylvania currently and I believe that we can work together to fix them. “We need to put families back to work and allow people back into the employment pipeline. This means following through with legislation I’ve introduced before and will introduce again to reform our criminal record expungement laws and give Pennsylvanians the best possible chance to succeed. “With all that in mind, I would like to congratulate Governor Wolf and his family on this momentous occasion. I look forward to working with him and his staff over the next four years, along with my fellow legislators on both sides of the aisle, as we work to improve our state and grow our economy. Elections are partisan, but governing must be a partnership, and Read more


The dying American dream of equality

(Jan 08, 2015)

Some would say it would be politically expedient for me to sit on the sidelines and say nothing of the emotionally charged situations involving Eric Garner, Ferguson, and police brutality in general. However, neither during my years in high school football nor in life do I like to sit on the sidelines.Before I was old enough to date or drive a car, well before going to prom, my mother taught me how to safely interact with the police. She, like all the other mothers of black boys in this and every other city, feel it their maternal obligation to ensure that their brown sons know the reality of their life when it comes to interacting with the police.It is a reality loaded with fear. The fear that her son will say the wrong thing, be in the wrong place at the wrong time, look like the wrong person, be dressed the wrong way or move the wrong way and lose his life for it.  Every mother, father, grandparent or caregiver in America has made this one of their primary parenting lessons when raising a black boy. Even non-black parents and guardians of black boys have this same conversation.  It is an inescapable reality for black males that you must be more alert, more respectful, and less offended, when dealing with the police.In my daily work I have found that the police in my area have treated me with respect.  When I have been stopped in my vehicle I have normally been treated fairly. I’ve had the pleasure to work with them as we work together to serve my Read more


Harris looking forward to second term

(Jan 06, 2015)

At a ceremony at the state Capitol Tuesday, state Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., was sworn in for his second term in the state House of Representatives, marking the beginning of the 199th legislative session. "Pennsylvania is facing serious issues that must be addressed, both in Philadelphia and Harrisburg," Harris said. Read more


Hope for Hannah legislation becomes law

(Dec 28, 2014)

Pennsylvania's children have a new protection thanks to Hannah's Law, named after Hannah Ginion of Bristol Township, who suffered from the rare genetic disorder called Krabbe disease. Hannah passed away on Dec. 28, 2014. Read more


Beware IRS phone scams

(Nov 29, 2014)

Recently, my office received information about phone calls received statewide in which an individual claimed to be from the IRS and demanded payment on taxes owed. Please be aware – this phone call is a scam, and the IRS will NOT initiate first contact with you on the phone about taxes owed. Always be wary of unsolicited phone calls in which an individual claims to represent a business or government entity and aggressively demands payment. The IRS does not operate this way and will always send official correspondence through the mail to make its first contact with you. Read more


HEROIN: What you need to know about Pennsylvania’s Good Samaritan Law

(Nov 24, 2014)

Landmark legislation passed during the 2013-14 Legislative Session now allows first responders, including law enforcement, fire fighters, EMS or other organizations the ability to administer a medication known as naloxone, a life-saving opioid-overdose antidote. The law also allows individuals such as friends or family members who might be in a position to help a person at risk of experiencing an opioid-related overdose to obtain a prescription for naloxone. Additionally, Act 139 provides immunity from prosecution for those responding to and reporting overdoses. Read more


In the News: Dept. of Human Services name change better reflects mission

(Nov 24, 2014)

House Bill 993, which renamed the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare as the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, was signed into law as Act 132 during the 2013-14 Legislative Session. According to advocates for the change, renaming the department was long overdue, and as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported, the name change better reflects the department’s mission. Read more


Do you need help paying heating bills?

(Nov 24, 2014)

As we get into the coldest months of winter, many people are worried about affording their increasing heating costs. If you or someone you know qualifies, my office could help you take advantage of a program set up to curtail high home heating bills. Read more


Apply for health insurance by Feb. 16

(Nov 23, 2014)

The open enrollment period for health care coverage is now underway. If you or someone you know is in need of health insurance, please consider visiting the federal Marketplace at Applicants have until Feb. 16, 2015 to enroll. Everyone, no matter what age, needs health insurance. A random accident or unexpected illness could put you in danger of losing not only your good health but also your financial future. Read more


Sign up for the Do-Not-Call list

(Nov 22, 2014)

To register for the Pennsylvania and national do-not-call lists, visit or call 1-888-777-3406. Registration is free. There is a rolling enrollment; individuals may sign up at any time and the registration is good for five years. After that, you can re-enroll. And, signing up on Pennsylvania's list automatically adds those numbers to the national do-not-call list. Read more


Weatherizing your home saves you money on energy bills

(Nov 20, 2014)

Last year’s bitterly cold winter left many people struggling to pay higher-than-normal home energy bills. As we head toward the coldest months of the year, there are ways you can winterize your home to keep heat in, cold air out, and money in your pocket. Many businesses offer professional home energy audits, but you can perform your own by inspecting areas where heat escapes and cold air leaks in. Read more


Check out charities before making holiday donations

(Nov 20, 2014)

While it may be the season for charitable giving, scammers don't take a holiday. The Pennsylvania Department of State offers a simple way to ensure a charity is legitimate and that your donation will be used properly. Read more