House Democrats Introduce Eviction Record Sealing Legislation

(Nov 13, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Nov.13 – State Reps. Ismail Smith-Wade-El, D-Lancaster, Elizabeth Fiedler, Rich Krajewski and Majority Appropriations Committee Chairman Jordan Harris, all D-Phila., held a news conference today to highlight their legislation, House Bill 1769, that would seal some records in certain cases such as no-fault evictions. “We all deserve a safe, warm place to call home, but for millions of renters across the commonwealth, one mistake or emergency can lead to an eviction,” Smith-Wade-El said. “After evictions, households can struggle for months to find housing, which can break up families, risk employment, and lead to homelessness. This legislation would help give Pennsylvania’s renters a fair chance at finding housing by establishing procedures for limited access to eviction records. This legislation is a commonsense step that would make it easier for working-class Pennsylvanians to access housing.” According to the legislators, as soon as an eviction is filed, it becomes a permanent mark on someone’s background, making harder to find housing. The record remains even if the case was withdrawn, the tenant endured domestic violence, or the court found in favor of the tenant. Evictions disrupt workforce development for large swaths of communities and strain existing social support systems throughout the state. These records can put vulnerable people in difficult and dangerous situations, putting survivors of domestic violence Read more

 

PA House Democrats approve legislation to increase nonprofit security grant program to $10 million

(Nov 02, 2023)

United as a caucus, Pennsylvania House Democrats passed legislation this week to expand the state’s Nonprofit Security Grant Fund Program. The increase in vital funding doubles the budgeted amount from $5 million to $10 million. Read more

 

House Democrats Secure Funding, Tuition Freeze for State-Related Universities, Ensuring an Affordable World-Class Education

(Oct 31, 2023)

The House passed House Bill 612, providing a 7% increase in funding to Penn State University, the University of Pittsburgh, and Temple University and a 25% increase in funding for Lincoln University. The bill also freezes tuition increases at the universities for the 2024-25 school year. This week the House also passed legislation with overwhelming support that would ensure greater transparency by making the state-related universities subject to certain provisions of the state’s Right to Know Law. Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation weighs in on the impact of public education hearings in the city

(Oct 26, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 26 – The Philadelphia House Delegation today praised the ongoing joint hearings conducted by the House Appropriations and Education committees on delivering funds for schools statewide. The Pennsylvania Education Tour and hearings are part of an effort to help public schools and get a pulse of the state’s school funding structure. This week, the tour made two stops in Philadelphia: Tuesday at the School District of Philadelphia and Wednesday at the Community College of Philadelphia’s Library and Learning Commons. Philadelphia House Delegation Chairwoman Morgan Cephas explained that it is critical to examine the issues impacting schools in the city and state in order to find effective solutions that would guarantee fair investments and infrastructure for the schools. “We needed to hear the testimonies of parents, education experts and community leaders and revisit the root of the issues affecting our schools. This is why these hearings are so important. We are committed to improving this state’s failed school funding model,” Cephas said. “Our sons and daughters deserve quality and equality in education regardless their socioeconomic status,” she said. Rep. Jordan A. Harris, House Appropriations Committee chair, indicated that the hearings in Philadelphia addressed key concerns that will drive the necessary changes. “We Read more

 

House Majority Leadership sound SOS on education in Centre County

(Aug 02, 2023)

“As we’ve visited communities around Pennsylvania, one thing is clear: every community – rural, urban or suburban – they all want the best opportunities for their students,” Speaker Joanna McClinton, D-Phila/Delaware, said. “And as a state we owe them that much. It is enshrined in our Constitution. We need to start living up to the promise we make our students and the promise we’ve made in our state’s future.” Read more

 

PA House Democrats’ ‘Save Our Schools’ tour makes stop in Berks County

(Aug 01, 2023)

The House Democratic leadership team and Policy Committee joined students, teachers, and education advocates in Reading Tuesday morning for a tour of two local high school buildings and a discussion on education inequality in Pennsylvania. Read more

 

Harris issues statement on mass shooting in Kingsessing

(Jul 04, 2023)

“Last night an individual armed with a weapon of war and clad in body armor killed five innocent people and injured two children in a seemingly senseless and random act of violence. Our community is mourning today and will continue to mourn until something is done about the public health crisis that is gun violence in Pennsylvania.“This morning I visited the site with my colleagues from both the city and state level. We talked to neighbors who are scared to be in their own community. We saw the bike on the corner a child left behind and has yet to come back and reclaim. We can’t allow this to become routine. I will continue to communicate with city officials and state leaders and stress the utmost need to work together to stop these senseless tragedies from occurring. Read more

 

House Democrats’ aggressive bipartisan agenda results in passage of more than 100 bills to date this year

(Jun 26, 2023)

Harrisburg, June 26 – Just six months into the 2023-24 legislative session, Pennsylvania House Democrats are delivering on their promise to prioritize the issues Pennsylvanians care about by passing more than 100 bills focusing on a variety of critical issues that will improve lives for Pennsylvanians. “I’m proud that House Democrats are continuing to advance a people-first agenda,” Speaker of the House Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, said. “In just the past few weeks our caucus has advanced measures that would make more seniors eligible for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program, plus increase their rebates. We passed an expanded Child and Dependent Care Enhancement Tax Credit -- because when families can afford childcare, more Pennsylvanians can work. We passed tax credits for people in some of the commonwealth’s most in-demand and understaffed professions like nurses, teachers and police. We’re helping all Pennsylvanians save for retirement using our Keystone Saves Program. And we advanced a long-overdue boost in the state minimum wage, which lags every surrounding state and has kept too many Pennsylvanians in poverty.” “After a dozen years of inaction on issues that Pennsylvanians truly care about, we have put forth a diverse, aggressive and bipartisan agenda that will ensure Pennsylvania is a better place to live, learn and work,” said House Majority Leader Matt Bradford, D-Montgomery. “Our Read more

 

Infrastructure, Housing, and Safety Funding Opportunities

(Jun 16, 2023)

STATE PROGRAMS NOW OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS: Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency: Support Families of Child Abuse Victims Who May Apply: Non-profits that specialize in providing service for child abuse victims in Pennsylvania. Use: Implementation of a research or evidence-based trauma training to support non-offending caregivers of child abuse victims. Funds: $250,000 in federal Children’s Justice Act funds. Application Deadline: July 6, 2023 More information: PCCD Website Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency: PA START/STOP Project Who May Apply: Any private non-profit agency, any private for-profit agency, public agency, or unit of local government. Use: The PA START/STOP campaigns aim to increase awareness of the dangers of Opioid abuse, as well as to provide resources to assist parents and caregivers in promoting healthy behaviors among youth to prevent substance use in the first place. Funds: $900,000 in federal State Opioid Response funds. Application Deadline: July 10, 2023 More information: PCCD Website Pennsylvania Department of Transportation: Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside Who May Apply: Local, county, and tribal governments, transit agencies, schools, school districts, nonprofits, and small Metropolitan Planning Organizations. Use: Transportation alternatives, including on- and Read more

 

Harris praises overwhelmingly bipartisan House passage of Clean Slate 3.0

(Jun 05, 2023)

“The bipartisan passage of Clean Slate 3.0 shows that Pennsylvania continues to believe in second chances and expand the folks who can access them,” Harris said. “I’m incredibly appreciative to again work with Representative Delozier on criminal justice reform as well as the advocacy groups from both sides of the aisle who all recognize that this is the right thing to do for Pennsylvania and Pennsylvanians. I hope to see quick passage in the Senate so Governor Josh Shapiro can make Clean Slate 3.0 law.” Read more

 

Pa. state representatives form Black-Jewish Caucus to promote shared goals for social justice

(May 08, 2023)

Citing a storied history of cooperation, and a shared desire to continue promoting social justice, members of the Pennsylvania State House are forming a Black-Jewish caucus. Read more

 

Pennsylvania lawmakers establish Black-Jewish caucus

(May 03, 2023)

State Reps. Jordan Harris and Jared Solomon, both Democrats from Philadelphia, said the new caucus will explore “the historic relationship between the two groups, reignite the current relationship, and work together to promote social justice.“ Read more

 

Pennsylvania State House forms Black-Jewish Caucus

(May 02, 2023)

Concerns over an increase in hate crimes and bigotry have led to a new caucus in the state house. Two minority groups are once again joining forces to be a positive force for good Read more

 

Lawmakers establish legislative Black-Jewish caucus

(May 02, 2023)

Black and Jewish people have come together since the Civil Rights Movement to work together for equity and social justice. We are here to revitalize this relationship to take on the challenges of today. Every legislative victory begins with relationship building and two groups working together to address bigotry will be a great start. Read more

 

Harris to Co-Chair New Black-Jewish Caucus

(May 01, 2023)

Pa. state Rep. Jordan Harris joined Black and Jewish colleagues in the state Capitol to announce the formation of the new Black-Jewish Caucus. Harris and state Rep. Jared Solomon will co-chair the group aimed at exploring past relationships and working together to build stronger, fairer, and safer communities across the Commonwealth. Read more

 

Pa Lawmakers Push for Record Sealing of Non-Violent, Low Level Felonies with Clean Slate Expansion

(Apr 27, 2023)

In 2018, former Governor Tom Wolf signed clean slate legislation into law. Since the passage of the Pennsylvania Clean Slate Law, ten other states have launched similar programs. Pennsylvania’s Clean Slate program currently seals the records of non-violent misdemeanors following a waiting period of ten-crime-free years. Since automated sealing began in 2019, over 40 million cases have been automatically sealed, and over 1.2 million people have had a record sealed. Read more

 

Why Pa. Clean Slate law could extend to felonies

(Apr 27, 2023)

It's a chance to start again. Lawmakers in Harrisburg say a new bi-partisan bill would empower people with low-level non-violent felony charges on their record, making it easier to reenter society."No one should be judged by their worst day," said State Representative Jordan Harris, a Democrat who serves Philadelphia. Read more

 

Fiedler, Madsen, Harris join Steelton-Highspire High School solar tour

(Apr 25, 2023)

HARRISBURG, April 25 – Today, state Reps. Elizabeth Fiedler, D-Phila.; Dave Madsen, D-Dauphin; and House Democratic Appropriations Chair Jordan Harris, D-Phila.; joined a tour of the solar panel array at Steelton-Highspire High School. The tour was hosted by Generation 180, a nonprofit organization working to inspire and equip people to adopt clean energy. Last year, Steelton-Highspire School District unveiled a solar panel field to power the district’s schools and buildings. Fiedler recently introduced ‘Solar for Schools’ legislation that would create a grant program to fund solar energy projects at school districts, intermediate units, community colleges, and career and technical schools. She said she was pleased to see Steelton-Highspire’s new solar panel field. “Today, we got to see how much positive change solar panel arrays can bring to schools like Steelton-Highspire,” Fiedler said. “If we pass Solar for Schools legislation, we can save schools thousands each year in energy costs, bring federal money for green energy projects back to Pennsylvania, generate good-paying jobs for skilled workers, reduce pollution, create opportunities for hands-on education, and inspire a new generation of leaders.” Madsen, whose legislative district includes Steelton-Highspire School District, praised the school’s leadership. “I am proud of Read more

 

Reps. Cephas, Harris host roundtable to examine repairs of alleyways, driveways, sidewalks

(Apr 17, 2023)

“Alleyways, driveways and sidewalks are public-use spaces,” Rep. Jordan Harris said. “Homeowners, however, are struggling to provide the generational upgrades and repairs necessary to many of these pathways used by the community. We’ve seen it throughout the commonwealth and here in my home in Philadelphia." Read more

 

State lawmakers react to Gov. Shapiro’s budget proposal

(Mar 08, 2023)

“This is about investing in Pennsylvania and investing in Pennsylvanians,” Appropriations Committee Chair Rep. Jordan Harris (D) said. Read more

 

House Democrats Introduce Eviction Record Sealing Legislation
Nov 13, 2023

PA House Democrats approve legislation to increase nonprofit security grant program to $10 million
Nov 02, 2023

House Democrats Secure Funding, Tuition Freeze for State-Related Universities, Ensuring an Affordable World-Class Education
Oct 31, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation weighs in on the impact of public education hearings in the city
Oct 26, 2023

House Majority Leadership sound SOS on education in Centre County
Aug 02, 2023

PA House Democrats’ ‘Save Our Schools’ tour makes stop in Berks County
Aug 01, 2023

Harris issues statement on mass shooting in Kingsessing
Jul 04, 2023

House Democrats’ aggressive bipartisan agenda results in passage of more than 100 bills to date this year
Jun 26, 2023

Infrastructure, Housing, and Safety Funding Opportunities
Jun 16, 2023

Harris praises overwhelmingly bipartisan House passage of Clean Slate 3.0
Jun 05, 2023

Pa. state representatives form Black-Jewish Caucus to promote shared goals for social justice
May 08, 2023

Pennsylvania lawmakers establish Black-Jewish caucus
May 03, 2023

Pennsylvania State House forms Black-Jewish Caucus
May 02, 2023

Lawmakers establish legislative Black-Jewish caucus
May 02, 2023

Harris to Co-Chair New Black-Jewish Caucus
May 01, 2023

Pa Lawmakers Push for Record Sealing of Non-Violent, Low Level Felonies with Clean Slate Expansion
Apr 27, 2023

Why Pa. Clean Slate law could extend to felonies
Apr 27, 2023

Fiedler, Madsen, Harris join Steelton-Highspire High School solar tour
Apr 25, 2023

Reps. Cephas, Harris host roundtable to examine repairs of alleyways, driveways, sidewalks
Apr 17, 2023

State lawmakers react to Gov. Shapiro’s budget proposal
Mar 08, 2023