Shusterman, Sappey and Howard to host virtual panel on human trafficking in Pennsylvania

(Jul 20, 2020)

PAOLI, July 20 – State Reps. Melissa Shusterman, Christina Sappey and Kristine Howard invite constituents to their online panel to bring awareness to human trafficking, with an emphasis on how it can happen anywhere, and to teach people how to identify trafficking situations. The discussion will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 30. A livestream will be available on each of the three representatives’ websites. Anyone who wishes to participate in the discussion by emailing questions to be answered live must RSVP online. Upon submitting an RSVP, the office will send instructions on where to submit questions and introduce the panelists. Shusterman, Sappey and Howard said that they wanted to shed light on this issue after the recent arrests of three Malvern residents for abducting and trafficking a 14-year-old girl. Additionally, the United Nations recognizes July 30 as World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. “Human trafficking happens in every state throughout the nation, yet many people think it doesn’t happen in their neighborhood,” Shusterman said. “Predators often times exploit these feelings of safety and security, which result in tragic, traumatizing losses. We all need to do our part and learn how every one of us can help to shut down these sex trafficking rings that so often target Pennsylvania’s women and girls.” “The issue of human trafficking is so Read more


Howard to introduce resolution to create task force to study remote learning: Stresses need to determine best practices during COVID-19 pandemic

(Jul 08, 2020)

HARRISBURG, July 8 – State Rep. Kristine Howard, D-Chester, today announced that she is introducing a resolution to create a task force to study the effects of remote learning on students. “The COVID-19 pandemic required schools to provide an extended period of remote learning without the planning necessary to ensure that all students’ educational needs would be met,” Howard said. “Given the extraordinary situation schools found themselves in, they had to deliver remote learning ad-hoc to students of varying means, abilities and circumstances. “The problem is, we don’t know how effective this style of learning is and the areas which need improvement. This is a serious gap in our knowledge that has immediate and long-term effects on our children.” According to Howard, in the coming academic year, many students will once again engage, at least partially, in remote learning. Howard is concerned that since there has been little research done to examine the effects of remote learning on educational outcomes and student wellbeing --including its impacts on students of differing geographic, linguistic and socioeconomic backgrounds—neither schools nor parents can be assured that the students will receive the education they need to advance in school. “Given the uncertainty of how long our schools will be relying on remote learning, we need to act now to identify best Read more


Continued halt to immigration enforcement is essential to stemming the pandemic

(May 06, 2020)

As Pennsylvania – and the United States as a whole – begins the process of reopening, we enter a time of hope. We will leave our homes, see friends and loved ones, reclaim our former lives. In the coming weeks and months, we will move closer and closer to normality. Yet, to borrow an old phrase, we can’t go back there again. The world is irrevocably changed. In the short-term, we must continue social distancing and practicing vigilant hygiene. We should also take comfort in the fact that we are learning for the future, and that we have shown – as a state, a country, and a planet – we can come together to protect each other. As we have learned, there are many things we can all do as individuals to stem the tide of this virus. But there are other protective measures outside the grasp of individuals. Back in February, I sent a letter to members of the U.S. Congress, urging an immediate halt to immigration enforcement activities as we deal with the spread of COVID-19, as those fearing deportation would have a strong incentive not to seek medical care. Subsequently, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) and other prominent senators also sent a letter to the President’s Coronavirus Task Force, expressing their “deep and urgent concern,” and shortly thereafter, Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced its Enforcement and Removal Operations division would “delay Read more


COVID-19 Legislation

(Mar 26, 2020)

Covid-19 legislation Read more


Rep. Howard applauds ICE decision to halt immigration enforcement activities in face of coronavirus pandemic

(Mar 21, 2020)

MALVERN, March 19 – State Rep. Kristine Howard (D-Chester) applauded the decision of U.S. immigration authorities to halt enforcement activities as the nation deals with the coronavirus, an approach Howard proposed to members of Congress in a February 28th letter . “This enormous swath of the population is less likely to seek medical treatment for fear of legal repercussions and deportation,” Howard said. “Allowing people to live in fear not only jeopardizes their own health, but the health of every individual in the state, the nation and the world.” As a direct result of Howard’s outreach, U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) and other prominent senators sent a letter to the president’s Coronavirus Task Force, expressing “deep and urgent concern,” and calling on the Department of Homeland Security to “immediately stop all civil immigration enforcement activities occurring in or around public health departments, hospitals, medical clinics and centers, or coronavirus testing sites or laboratories.” Immigration and customs enforcement officials announced its Enforcement and Removal Operations division will “delay enforcement actions” and use “alternatives to detention” amid the outbreak. ICE is halting enforcement across the nation, with the exception of efforts to deport foreign nationals who have committed crimes or who pose a threat to public safety. “I am Read more


Howard Congress Letter

(Mar 19, 2020)

Congress Letter re: ICE Read more


COVID-19 Helpful Resources

(Mar 19, 2020)

In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic affecting Pennsylvania, we wanted to provide you with the following resources and information to help you and your family in the days ahead. Please note that this webpage will be updated as needed with additional information and resources. State Services and Resources The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has created a COVID-19 guide to assist everyone. It includes information on social distancing, mental health resources, unemployment, food assistance, changes from PennDOT and resources for small business: For individuals : For families : For businesses : COVID Support for PA Businesses : The following provides information and and links to federal, state, local and private resources. **Self-employed, independent contractors, gig economy workers: Apply here for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits .** Information from the PA Dept. of Labor and Industry on the federal CARES Act: The following link provides you with Read more


Howard applauds House Democrats’ landmark ethics, voting and campaign finance reforms

(Mar 09, 2020)

HARRISBURG, March 9 – State Rep. Kristine Howard, D-Chester, is urging the passage of legislation designed to strengthen democracy by improving access to voting, reducing the power of big-money corporate special interests, and ensuring lawmakers put the people’s interests first in Pennsylvania. “A democracy is only as strong as its people, and the people show their strength at the polls,” Howard said. “The people are made up of more than deep-pocketed special interest groups. We must ensure everyone has access to the polls, and that everyone’s voice is heard. Otherwise, ‘a government of the people, by the people, and for the people’ is an empty phrase.” Howard’s sentiments echoed those of House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody, D-Allegheny: “Nothing breaks down the people’s trust in their government and their elected officials like seeing deep-pocket donors get what they want while regular working families are left with nothing but the bill to pay. “It’s time Pennsylvania took a leading role when it comes to honest elections, getting more people to the polls and making sure your voice counts more than special interest dollars.” Dermody noted the Citizens United decision first opened the floodgates of hidden money into U.S. elections 10 years ago, and a combination of partisan gerrymandering, attacks on voting rights and foreign influence on elections has Read more


Howard: Local Chester County museums awarded $13K in state grants

(Mar 04, 2020)

Malvern, March 4 – State Rep. Kristine Howard, D-Chester, today announced Historic Sugartown Inc. and Historic Yellow Springs received a combined $13,270 in state grant funding. The funds were awarded by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission’s Cultural and Historical Support Grant Program. The program provides general operating support to Pennsylvania museums and official county historical societies that are not directly supported by other state agencies operating support programs. “To know who we are today, we must know who we were,” Howard said. “To know where we are going, we must know where we came from, and I’m glad to see this money will help these villages preserve and educate the public on Chester County’s rich historical roots.” Preserved by Historic Sugartown Inc., Historic Sugartown is a restored and preserved 19 th century rural crossroads village that allows visitors to experience how life and business were conducted. Historic Yellow Springs is a living village that preserves 275 years of American history and focuses on the village’s history and promotes the arts, education and the environment. Historic Sugartown Inc. received $4,000 and Historic Yellow Springs received $9,270 in state funding. For more information about this program, visit . Read more


Winter 2020 NL

(Feb 27, 2020)

Winter 2020 NL Read more


We must work together to eradicate the opioid epidemic

(Feb 24, 2020)

Quiet and deadly, people from all walks of life are afflicted by opioid addiction. Every day, 192 American lives are lost to opioid overdose. These victims have families, friends, communities. This epidemic affects more than those who abuse the drugs – it devastates the lives of everyone in its orbit. Sadly, our society is alarmingly susceptible to this deadly habit. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , Pennsylvania has one of the highest overdose-related death rates in the country, behind only Ohio and West Virginia, as of 2017. That same year, Chester County alone saw 107 deaths as a result of the horrors of this epidemic. And the deaths are only a part of the picture. Since the start of 2018, there have been more than 21,000 ER visits in Pennsylvania alone for opioid overdoses. Solving this crisis requires “all hands on deck.” A united, bipartisan effort is essential to treating those currently addicted and to implementing preventative measures that will halt this epidemic. We must collaborate with law enforcement, healthcare providers and our schools to provide a holistic solution. Profit-obsessed pharmaceutical manufacturers have created a line of products that undercuts patients’ wellbeing, all too frequently replacing existing problems with new ones. It is my personal mission to continue fighting this crisis on behalf of those battling addiction, as well as their loved ones. Along with other Read more


Howard to host Policy Committee hearing on opioid epidemic Monday in Exton, followed by constituent listening event at 6 p.m.

(Feb 18, 2020)

NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE State Rep. Kristine Howard D-Chester Howard to host Policy Committee hearing on opioid epidemic Monday in Exton, followed by constituent listening event at 6 p.m. EXTON, Feb. 18 – State Rep. Kristine Howard, D-Chester, will host a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing on the opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania. The hearing will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, Feb. 24 at West Whiteland Township Building, 101 Commerce Drive. Howard will also hold a listening session for constituents at 6 p.m. at the same location. Discussion will center on what Pennsylvania has done and plans on doing to address the ongoing opioid crisis. Howard will be joined by fellow legislators from across the state, including Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. The current agenda is: 2 p.m. Welcome and opening remarks 2:10 p.m. Panel One: Nathan Schenker , first assistant public defender, Chester County Vince Cocco , assistant district attorney, Chester County 2:45 p.m. Panel Two: Vincent H. Brown , executive director, Chester County Department of Drug and Alcohol Services Jamie Johnson , deputy director, Chester County Department of Drug and Alcohol Services Karen Archambo, clinical Read more


We must continue bipartisan efforts to end human trafficking

(Feb 10, 2020)

For many, the phrase human trafficking conjures images of elsewhere. They may have heard that the U.S. Department of State estimates some 12 million victims of human trafficking worldwide. But not here, surely. Not in my backyard. Yet sadly, terrifyingly, it is here. The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape estimates over 100,000 U.S. citizens are victims of human trafficking each year, plus tens of thousands of undocumented citizens are suffering forced labor within our borders. More shockingly still, the Philadelphia area has been identified as a major American hub for human trafficking. Traffickers profit from abusing and exploiting others, most often through forced labor and sex crimes. These traffickers wield immense power over their victims by forcing them into extreme dependency. That these appalling acts happen today, in our own community, is mind-boggling. Something must be done, and I am happy to say that my fellow legislators – on both sides of the aisle – and I recently voted nearly unanimously on the following bills to support victims and to toughen penalties for human trafficking: H.B. 161 – Would amend the Crimes Code to increase the grading for a conviction for dealing in infant children from a first-degree misdemeanor to a first-degree felony. H.B. 2174 – Would amend the Crimes Code to ensure it affords victims of human trafficking the same protections contained Read more


Gov. Wolf’s commitment to pipeline safety is good news for Chester County

(Feb 07, 2020)

With pipelines crisscrossing my district, I was very happy to hear Gov. Wolf include pipeline safety and oversight initiatives in his 2020-21 budget plan. Pipeline safety and accountability are enormous concerns in Chester County, and I have worked to ensure those concerns are heard in Harrisburg. In addition to meetings with Energy Transfer Partners, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and the Public Utility Commission, I also met with Gov. Wolf multiple times to discuss my concerns – and those of my constituents – regarding this issue. Additionally, at my invitation, the governor visited Chester County to tour pipeline sights. The seeds of these meetings bore fruit this past week, as evidenced in the governor’s budget address. The governor has displayed a deeper insight in these matters, and I am very enthusiastic about his prioritization of pipeline issues and his call for immediate legislative action to address glaring gaps in existing law: As it stands, no state agency has authority to review intrastate pipeline routes, essentially allowing pipeline operators to site through densely populated high-consequence areas. Pipeline operators are not currently required to provide pertinent information to schools and childcare centers located near pipelines. Operators are not required to provide residents and municipalities with notification regarding drilling activities at least five days in Read more