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Kenyatta aims to modernize TANF program on 25th anniversary in new bill

Reps. Kenyatta, Cephas introduce legislation to ban Pennsylvania from imposing undue regulations on women’s reproductive health

(Oct 07, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 7 – State Reps. Malcolm Kenyatta and Morgan Cephas, both D-Phila., are introducing legislation to prohibit PA from imposing undue regulations on women’s reproductive health. This legislation would protect the health care women get and their access to safe abortions. It also would prevent women from being denied the right to an abortion. “Abortion is health care, and health care is a human right,” Kenyatta said. “Abortion care should be able to be accessed without any barriers, and we should put that into law.” Cephas said, “Women’s reproductive health issues are a major problem in our country, with extreme laws or proposals across the nation to restrict reproductive healthcare. Women of color suffer from it the most.” Executive Director of Planned Parenthood of PA, Signe Espinoza, joined the lawmakers at a news conference yesterday at the state Capitol to discuss the importance of having this protection in Pennsylvania. Read more

 

Victim, advocates urge lawmakers to decriminalize HIV during hearing

(Oct 06, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 6 -- Pennsylvania has laws on the books that criminalize or control behaviors through HIV-specific statues and regulations. During a hearing today, PA House Democrats heard testimony from a victim of these laws and those advocating for change. “HIV is not a crime but there are outdated laws that make it a crime in Pennsylvania,” said Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Philadelphia. “We cannot have people losing lives and livelihoods because of this.” The victim who spoke at the hearing was Julie Graham, a resident of Cumberland County, who described the impact of these laws on her life after she was charged with four crimes, including two felonies, based on allegations by a man she had dated who claimed she didn’t disclose her HIV status. Due to these allegations, she faced personal and professional consequences that forever impacted the trajectory of her life. “I support and applaud your courage and advocacy to testify here today,” said Rep. Mary Isaacson, D-Philadelphia, who was the Co-Chair of the Policy Committee and host for the hearing today. “Being HIV positive is not a crime and we must do better in supporting those in Pennsylvania who are living with HIV.” PA House Democratic Policy Committee Chair, Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, was also in attendance and added: “HIV decriminalization is important to the entire Democratic Caucus and I am grateful to the testifiers who came today to speak on Read more

 

Hearing: Decriminalizing HIV

(Oct 05, 2021)

Pennsylvania is one of 22 states that have laws that criminalize or control behaviors through HIV-specific statutes and regulations. This has serious consequences for Pennsylvanians that Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta will explore as he hosts a hearing about decriminalizing HIV in Pennsylvania. The hearing will be held October 6 at 9:30 a.m. in 414 Main Capitol in Harrisburg. The media and public are invited in-person or to watch online here. Media inquiries may be submitted via email to policy@pahouse.net. The agenda and written testimony can be found here. Read more

 

Kenyatta, Rabb introduce bill to limit military equipment going to local law enforcement

(Sep 28, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 28 – State Reps. Malcolm Kenyatta and Chris Rabb, both D-Phila., on Monday introduced legislation (H.B. 1923) that would limit local law enforcement’s ability to procure military-grade weapons and equipment. Kenyatta said his bill would prohibit local law enforcement’s access to certain military-grade weapons and equipment they have been able to access under the National Defense Authorization Act of 1997. The Department of Defense has been providing military equipment to law enforcement agencies through the 1033 program, which transfers excess military equipment to U.S. police forces. Tear gas and rubber ammo are the types of items law enforcement agencies would be limited in acquiring from federal military surplus, and local police would be required to maintain a database and be approved by local authorities. “Law enforcement can protect and serve the communities in which they operate without military-grade weapons and equipment, which only increases tensions between communities and law enforcement and lead to distrust,” Kenyatta said. Rabb agreed. "Law enforcement agencies do not need military-grade weapons and equipment to achieve their primary responsibility, which is to keep safe the communities they take an oath to serve," Rabb said. "We have enabled our law enforcement agencies to become militarized and create war zones in our communities over the past several decades. “Our Read more

 

Now open for applications: Public defender, prosecutor, humanities, gun violence, and library funding opportunities

(Sep 08, 2021)

STATE PROGRAMS NOW OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS: Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency: Public Defender Training Initiatives Grant (Funding Source: Federal Funds) Who May Apply : Any organization that can demonstrate a history of providing training and technical assistance to public defenders in Pennsylvania. The applicant agency must also demonstrate the ability to provide training at a statewide level. Use : To provide training and technical assistance to public defenders in Pennsylvania. Funds : $550,000 will be distributed in total. PCCD expects to fund one grant over the two-year project period. Application Deadline : September 28 More Information : Click on https://www.pccdegrants.pa.gov/Egrants/Public/OpenAnnouncements.aspx . Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency: Prosecutor Training Initiatives Grant (Funding Source: Federal Funds) Who May Apply : Any organization that can demonstrate a history of providing training and technical assistance to county prosecutors. The applicant agency must also demonstrate the ability to provide training at a statewide level and become certified by the Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Board as an accredited CLE provider. Use : To provide training and technical assistance to prosecutors and law enforcement professionals on legal issues relevant to adults and juveniles. Funds : $870,000 will Read more

 

Kenyatta to unveil bill to modernize TANF at news conference Friday

(Aug 26, 2021)

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 26 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., will hold a news conference unveiling a bill he will soon introduce that would modernize the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program by increasing the monthly benefit amount to bring families up to 50% of the federal poverty level and out of deep poverty. The news conference will take place at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 27 in Kenyatta’s North Philadelphia district at Germantown and Lehigh Avenues, 19133 . Activists from Philadelphia Community Legal Services will join Kenyatta in his calls for passage of the legislation. Kenyatta’s bill would require that TANF benefits undergo an annual cost-of-living increase to keep pace with inflation and would ensure benefits continue to be effective at providing financial stability to more than 68,500 Pennsylvania families and children receiving cash assistance -- something he said would be a serious life-improving measure for families and their children’s futures. Kenyatta pointed to a report released this week by the Meet The Need Campaign that found that in 1990, Pennsylvania’s benefit of $403 covered 43% of the federal poverty level, but in 2020 the same benefit covered a mere 22%. Furthermore, when accounting for inflation in this period, the TANF benefit has decreased in spending power by more than 50%. State Sen. Katie Muth has also introduced companion legislation to Kenyatta’s bill in the state Senate. Media Read more

 

New report urges changes to Pennsylvania’s 1990s-era TANF benefit

(Aug 24, 2021)

A quarter-century after President Bill Clinton signed welfare reform into law, recipients and advocates say Pennsylvania’s interpretation of the law traps families in deep poverty.That could change in 2021. Democratic State Sen. Katie Muth and Democratic State Rep. Malcom Kenyatta have both released memorandums saying they plan to introduce legislation to update TANF “??in order to meet basic and essential needs” of recipients. Read more

 

Rep. Kenyatta, Sen. Muth Aim to Modernize TANF Program on 25th Anniversary in New Bills

(Aug 24, 2021)

HARRISBURG, August 20, 2021 – On the 25th anniversary of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (D-Philadelphia) and state Sen. Katie Muth (D-Chester/Montgomery/Berks) announced that they are seeking to introduce companion legislation that aims to modernize the TANF program by increasing the monthly benefit amount to bring families up to 50% of the federal poverty level and out of deep poverty. Read more

 

Kenyatta aims to modernize TANF program on 25th anniversary in new bill

(Aug 20, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 20 – On the 25th anniversary of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., announced that he will introduce legislation this fall that would modernize the TANF program by increasing the monthly benefit amount to bring families up to 50% of the federal poverty level and out of deep poverty. By requiring that the benefits undergo an annual cost-of-living increase to keep pace with inflation, Kenyatta’s bill would ensure benefits continue to be effective at providing financial stability to the roughly 68,500 Pennsylvania families and children receiving cash assistance -- something he said would be a serious life-improving measure for families and their children’s futures. “Eradicating poverty is the moral and economic issue of our generation. No one, especially Pennsylvania’s children, should live in deep poverty, which has long-term effects on their health and well-being for their entire lives,” Kenyatta said. “TANF has served as a lifeline for so many families and children in need for a quarter of a century. As the cost of living increases, the monthly payments from TANF are ineffective at fulfilling the needs of Pennsylvanians relying on it to survive. I urge my colleagues in joining me in ensuring this lifeline meets the moment.” Kenyatta pointed to a report released this week from The Meet Need Campaign that found that in 1990, Pennsylvania’s Read more

 

Kenyatta: Pa. is Better when It’s Fair

(Jul 19, 2021)

Pa. state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta points out that Pa. has yet to pass comprehensive non-discrimination legislation. He says that every single Pennsylvanian should be treated fairly regardless of who they are or who they love and the Pa. Fairness Act would ensure those equal protections. Read more

 

Kenyatta seeks to commemorate Jan. 6 as Democracy Observance Day in Pa.

(Jun 29, 2021)

HARRISBURG, June 29 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., today announced that he will soon introduce legislation that would commemorate Jan. 6 -- the date of the deadly right-wing insurrection at the U.S. Capitol earlier this year -- as Democracy Observance Day for Education, Remembrance, and Vigilance, to be referred to as Democracy Observance Day in Pennsylvania. January 6, 2021 was the day when a violent mob of domestic terrorists stormed the federal Capitol and forcibly entered the building, while Congress was meeting to officially tally the Electoral College votes of the 2020 general election, forcing lawmakers and their staff to barricade themselves in secure locations. Insurrectionists also assaulted law enforcement officers. Kenyatta said that this dark day is a day to never be forgotten in America and should serve as a reminder to all Pennsylvanians of how democracy was threatened, the blood spilled in pursuit of protecting it and what is required of citizens to preserve it. “These aggressors who pillaged offices and wreaked havoc upon the People’s House shook the foundation of our democratic republic, revealing how fragile democracy is. As Americans, we must be steadfast in protecting the soul of this nation in the face of conspiracy theories, lies and violence,” Kenyatta said. “My bill would also call for Pennsylvania to also use this day as a time of remembrance by uplifting those who risked their lives to defend Read more

 

Innamorato, Kenyatta introduce legislation to close PA sales tax loophole

(Jun 23, 2021)

In order to create a fairer environment for local businesses, state Reps. Sara Innamorato, D-Allegheny, and Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., have introduced legislation that would close a loophole in a Pennsylvania sales tax law. Read more

 

Kenyatta calls latest GOP election bill ‘artisanal voter suppression’

(Jun 15, 2021)

HARRISBURG, June 15 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., in a statement today, blasted ongoing efforts by the Pennsylvania GOP to undermine Pennsylvania’s elections with their latest elections bill, House Bill 1300, a 149-page bill that would alter voting deadlines, limit early voting, make mail-in ballot procedures more difficult and mandate IDs for all in-person voters. “You have the same people who have been stoking the raging fire that we’re currently seeing burn up the trust in the sanctity of our democratic process now wanting to come and act like they’re the firefighters,” Kenyatta said, following the Republican-dominated House State Government Committee’s approval of H.B.1300 along party lines. “House State Government Majority Chairman State Representative Seth Grove is drumming up support for his H.B. 1300 by posing it as legislation to increase protections of our state’s elections process. However, Grove is the torcher as it is he who led efforts to undermine those protections. It was Grove who organized the letter—endorsed by his Pennsylvania GOP peers—urging Congress to overturn Pennsylvania’s 2020 General Election results on Jan. 6. “It is Grove who was at the helm of the attempt to get subpoena power to seize those ballots. “It was Grove fronting his pack of rogue lawmaker colleagues here in Pennsylvania and in tandem with their GOP peers across our nation Read more

 

LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus introduces PA Fairness Act

(Jun 15, 2021)

In order to extend protection from discrimination to LGBTQ+ Pennsylvanians, lawmakers in the LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus unveiled the PA Fairness Act on Tuesday. If passed, the PA Fairness Act would prohibit discrimination against an individual based on their sexual orientation or gender identity or expression in the commonwealth, providing a long-overdue update to Pennsylvania’s law. Read more

 

Kenyatta applauds Dr. Jason Wingard for making history as first Black Temple University president

(Jun 08, 2021)

HARRISBURG, June 8 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., released the following statement applauding Dr. Jason Wingard on becoming 13 th president of Temple University and the university’s first Black president its 137-year history. Kenyatta also highlighted the importance of activism which led to this historic appointment. “As a proud Temple University alumnus, I applaud Dr. Jason Wingard on his appointment to become the thirteenth president of Temple University and making history as the first Black president in the university’s 137-year history. Dr. Wingard is impeccably qualified and possesses the ability to connect to Black and Brown students and residents of North Philadelphia. “While we applaud Dr. Wingard’s historic appointment, we must also acknowledge the journey of how we got to this point. Activism matters. “I was born and raised here in North Philadelphia, graduated from Temple University and now represent this community in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Through the years, I watched the university prosper at the expense of my neighbors. Since being elected, I constantly challenged Temple University’s mostly all-white leadership on the dire need for diversity among its ranks-- meaningful diversity that mirrors the surrounding communities acknowledges that reality that these predominantly Black neighborhoods have long suffered the effects of economic Read more

 

Krajewski, Kenyatta push back against false voting ‘integrity’ efforts, promote support for enhanced and expanded voting rights for all

(Jun 07, 2021)

HARRISBURG, June 7 — State Reps. Rick Krajewski and Malcolm Kenyatta, both D-Phila., pushed back against the false right-wing narrative regarding voting integrity efforts Monday, instead promoting the need to increase access to voting for all, and especially for those whose voting rights are under attack. “Over the past 18 months, as we have seen unprecedented movements and victories in the fight against police violence, the defeat of Donald Trump, Democratic control of the U.S. Senate and more; we have also seen a steep increase in attempts by the right-wing elite to disenfranchise the marginalized people who have benefited from these achievements,” Krajewski said during the Defending Democracy event he and Kenyatta led. “That is no coincidence. “Government should be by the people, for the people, but as the people have started shaking things up and dismantling the status quo, their rights to choose their elected officials through free and fair elections have come under attack through farcical efforts to question the integrity of our elections,” Krajewski continued. “We will not stand for this misleading misdirection and we wanted to bring this issue into the spotlight so we can examine the ways in which access to voting must be expanded and voting rights upheld.” “Voter suppression tactics have become as American as apple pie, with almost every generation of Black and brown Americans having to combat Read more

 

Spring 20201 Newsletter

(May 17, 2021)

My Spring 2021 Newsletter is here! Read more

 

Kenyatta: Pass the Pa Rescue Plan

(May 06, 2021)

Pa. state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta talks about how investments in the Pennsylvania Rescue Plan would support frontline and essential workers, help kids get back to school safely, and create more jobs and opportunities for economic growth. The Pa Rescue Plan is the key to Pennsylvania's recovery after the pandemic. Read more

 

Reps. Kenyatta, Snyder urge legislature to provide COVID-19 relief for Pa. businesses, unveil new bill to expand business interruption policies

(May 04, 2021)

HARRISBURG, May 4 – Today state Reps. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., and Pam Snyder, D-Greene/Fayette/Washington, held a news conference at the state Capitol, urging the state legislature to immediately vote on H.B. 1223 , a bill they recently introduced that would expand business interruption policies to acknowledge losses suffered during the governor’s disaster declaration. The legislators said that their bill seeks to provide business interruption insurance coverage to establishments that suffered financial loss due to pandemic closings by aiming to: Clarify that business interruption policies in effect as of the date of the governor’s disaster declaration (March 6, 2020) include coverage of perils related to COVID-19. Allow insurers to receive reimbursement for business interruption insurance claims paid due to COVID-19. Provide a mechanism to make funds immediately available for such reimbursement. Kenyatta, who represents parts of North Philadelphia, said protecting these businesses would, in turn, protect the livelihoods of countless residents across Pennsylvania. “Countless local businesses — generationally owned and community mainstays — have been forced to permanently shutter because of the devastating effects of this economic crisis. This has also resulted in loss of income for both family business owners and employees,” Kenyatta said. “We can no longer be idle in protecting working people, and our bill Read more

 

Kenyatta: Untruths About Election Fraud Have Real Consequences

(Apr 15, 2021)

Wrapping up the last of 14 hearings of the House State Government Committee, Pa. state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta spoke out against false claims of election fraud by many Republicans. He says changes to election rules should make voting easier and more accessible, not disenfranchise more voters. Read more

 

Reps. Kenyatta, Cephas introduce legislation to ban Pennsylvania from imposing undue regulations on women’s reproductive health
Oct 07, 2021

Victim, advocates urge lawmakers to decriminalize HIV during hearing
Oct 06, 2021

Hearing: Decriminalizing HIV
Oct 05, 2021

Kenyatta, Rabb introduce bill to limit military equipment going to local law enforcement
Sep 28, 2021

Now open for applications: Public defender, prosecutor, humanities, gun violence, and library funding opportunities
Sep 08, 2021

Kenyatta to unveil bill to modernize TANF at news conference Friday
Aug 26, 2021

New report urges changes to Pennsylvania’s 1990s-era TANF benefit
Aug 24, 2021

Rep. Kenyatta, Sen. Muth Aim to Modernize TANF Program on 25th Anniversary in New Bills
Aug 24, 2021

Kenyatta aims to modernize TANF program on 25th anniversary in new bill
Aug 20, 2021

Kenyatta: Pa. is Better when It’s Fair
Jul 19, 2021

Kenyatta seeks to commemorate Jan. 6 as Democracy Observance Day in Pa.
Jun 29, 2021

Innamorato, Kenyatta introduce legislation to close PA sales tax loophole
Jun 23, 2021

Kenyatta calls latest GOP election bill ‘artisanal voter suppression’
Jun 15, 2021

LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus introduces PA Fairness Act
Jun 15, 2021

Kenyatta applauds Dr. Jason Wingard for making history as first Black Temple University president
Jun 08, 2021

Krajewski, Kenyatta push back against false voting ‘integrity’ efforts, promote support for enhanced and expanded voting rights for all
Jun 07, 2021

Spring 20201 Newsletter
May 17, 2021

Kenyatta: Pass the Pa Rescue Plan
May 06, 2021

Reps. Kenyatta, Snyder urge legislature to provide COVID-19 relief for Pa. businesses, unveil new bill to expand business interruption policies
May 04, 2021

Kenyatta: Untruths About Election Fraud Have Real Consequences
Apr 15, 2021