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Pa. could pass a ‘lemon law’ for homes to protect residents from shoddy construction

House Democratic Policy Committee to hold public hearing on COVID-19 Plans for Long-Term Care Facilities Thursday in Capitol

(Jul 14, 2020)

HARRISBURG, July 14 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, announced today that the House Democratic Policy Committee will hold a public hearing on COVID-19 Plans for Long-Term Care Facilities as part of Disability Pride Philadelphia’s Virtual PA 2020. The hearing will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, July 16 in Room G-50 Irvis Office Building in Harrisburg. The media and public are invited to attend and watch the livestream at www.pahouse.com/live . The hearing was requested by state Rep. Joe Hohenstein, D-Phila., to explore how the disability community has been impacted by COVID-19 in long-term care facilities Testifiers and members will participate in person and remotely. Testifiers will include: Sarah Boateng , executive deputy secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Health Keara Klinepeter , special adviser to the secretary of Health, Pennsylvania Department of Health Kristin Ahrens , deputy secretary of the Office of Developmental Programs, Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Matt Yarnell , president, SEIU Healthcare PA Emma Graham , certified nursing assistant Elyse Ford , vice president, District 1199C Misty Dixon , chief executive officer, Center for Independent Living of North Central PA Justin Bell , nursing home survivor For more information about the Policy Committee and testimonies, go to Read more


Hohenstein: Unlawful firework shows must stop

(Jul 01, 2020)

Hohenstein: Unlawful firework shows must stop My office has received dozens of complaints about nighttime fireworks that are adding even more stress to our already overwrought neighbors. For many people, fireworks are a fun and exciting way to celebrate Independence Day. In the words of one my constituents: “The near-constant barrage of M80s and professional-grade fireworks from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. is exacting a toll on this community. Pets are terrified. Essential employees can't sleep. People with PTSD are having flashbacks impacting their mental health. We cannot go on like this.” Fireworks are available for legal purchase by Philadelphia residents but there are regulations that limit where they can be used. State police guidelines say: You must be more than 150 feet away from any “occupied structure” — defined as “any structure, vehicle or place adapted for overnight accommodation” or business — whether or not any people are present there. You cannot set them off on public or private property without express permission of the owner. You cannot set them off from, within or toward a building or vehicle. You cannot set them off if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. And, keep in mind, local municipalities may have regulations that differ from state or federal guidelines. These rules mean that almost every Read more


Hohenstein Supports Essential Immigrant Workers

(Jun 29, 2020)

Pa. state Rep. Joe Hohenstein reminds us of the important role that immigrant workers play in our daily lives and their need of a voice in Harrisburg. Hohenstein says immigrant workers have helped our families throughout the COVID-19 pandemic by providing everything from healthcare to food. Read more


Hohenstein: Fireworks Displays are Causing Unease, Unrest in Our Communities

(Jun 23, 2020)

Pa. state Rep. Joe Hohenstein is calling on his fellow Philadelphians to be good neighbors and consider the consequences of late night fireworks displays. He says the explosions are causing anxiety for many neighbors, including veterans suffering from PTSD, seniors, children and even pets. Read more


Hohenstein disappointed with Republican leaders for staying quiet about positive COVID-19 test

(May 28, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, May 28 – Today, state Rep. Joe Hohenstein, D-Phila., released the following statement after Republican leadership had been notified one of their own members tested positive for COVID-19 and failed to alert the Democratic party, Capitol staff, and Capitol police about a positive Covid-19 test. “We all need to take care of each other to get through this pandemic. It is disappointing that common decency was pushed aside, and lives were put at risk,” Hohenstein said. “Republicans have been fighting to reopen the economy, claiming that businesses will stick to CDC guidelines to keep customers safe. How can we believe that when even elected legislators are ignoring the rules? “I work closely with some of the Republicans who have been self-isolating from their families over the past week. If I’d known about the potential exposure, I would not have spent the holiday weekend with my daughter close at my side. I also fear that my participation in Memorial Day ceremonies may have risked our veterans, after they have sacrificed so much for us. My trust is shattered. “One of the core testimonies of our Quaker heritage is to act with integrity. We should be whole and undivided during this time, but we are falling prey to more partisan thinking. I pray that God has mercy on all of us if this secrecy results in an outbreak at the Capitol.” Read more


Op-ed: The Road to Recovery Goes through the Frontlines

(May 20, 2020)

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all of us, and though our immediate future remains unclear, one thing is for certain — we are all in this together. It saddens me to witness the politicization of this crisis. What should be a joint struggle for the greater good has become a contentious debate pitting lives against livelihoods. For some, the public health impact is the priority. For others, the social and economic impacts take precedence. But regardless of how we each feel, we must all recognize that we all have a stake in how we move forward. T hose of us in government have a duty to serve the public as best as we can, and to ensure that the cure – social distancing and stay-at-home orders – does not cause more harm than the disease itself. Our best policies moving forward must include input from our workers who are operating on the frontlines of this crisis: nurses, EMTs, doctors, police, firefighters, delivery and postal workers, grocery store clerks, pharmacists, transit workers, in-home and nursing home caregivers, and maintenance and sanitation workers, among others. But of all the legislation that has been up for vote in Harrisburg, almost none of it has directly addressed worker safety – and by extension public safety. The voices of frontline workers have been ignored. Instead, since Pennsylvania’s state of emergency began, our docket has been dominated by special interests whose sole focus is Read more


Hohenstein Puts Health & Safety of Pennsylvanians Before Profits

(Apr 17, 2020)

Pa. state Rep. Joe Hohenstein continued his efforts to combat COVID-19 and protect Pennsylvanians by voting against legislation that would unnecessarily put lives at risk. Read more


Resolution by Hanbidge, Hohenstein urges U.S. Congress to act on legislation to cover hearing aid costs

(Apr 15, 2020)

“My support for this resolution is my way of recognizing the generosity of those who helped me. Along with Representative Hanbidge, I will continue to work for greater access to hearing aids so that people with hearing loss can have access to the opportunities with which I have been blessed.” Read more


Hohenstein says House GOP move puts profits over human lives

(Apr 06, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, April 6 – Today, state Rep. Joe Hohenstein, D-Phila., released the following statement in response to H.B.s 2400, 2376 and 1874, which House Republicans introduced to reopen select industries closed by Gov. Tom Wolf’s COVID-19 mitigations efforts: “I am more than simply opposed to House Bill 2400 and the others like it – I believe they make a fundamental statement that the GOP thinks company profits are more important than human life. That’s why I felt compelled to travel to Harrisburg during the stay-at-home order and give a statement during today’s House State Government Committee meeting. This flippant attitude toward worker safety shouldn’t be treated as normal. “Eventually we will have to loosen restrictions on commercial and economic activity, but right now it’s important to protect vulnerable populations from exposure by reducing points of contact between people wherever possible. There’s no possible way for workers to safely return to retail stores and construction sites without risking their safety. That’s not a risk that I’m willing to take.” Read more


Farnese, Hohenstein to introduce emergency sick pay legislation

(Mar 18, 2020)

With the federal response still clouded by politics, state Sen. Larry Farnese and Rep. Joe Hohenstein will introduce state legislation to provide emergency paid sick leave for Pennsylvania workers affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and response. “While drastic action was necessary to stem the spread of this dangerous virus, equally aggressive action must be taken to help those who are suffering the economic consequences of our mitigation policies,” Farnese said. “We must recognize their sacrifice to public health.” The bills are designed to enhance and further the provisions of the U.S. House-passed Families First Coronavirus Response Act. “It’s time to recognize paid sick and family leave not only as sound and humane economic policy, but also as fundamental public health policy,” Hohenstein said. “While we have known this for years, this pandemic should drive home for long-time opponents the need to motivate workers to stay home when sick.” The lawmakers have begun circulating co-sponsorship memos for companion legislation in each chamber that will provide: Emergency paid sick leave for all employees not covered by the federal bill. Extended paid sick leave for an additional 4 days to cover the full two-week quarantine period as the federal bill only covers 10 days. Extended leave for those laid off or whose workplaces Read more