Kinsey bill honoring first African American Speaker of Pa. House heads to Senate

HARRISBURG, April 9 – Yesterday, legislation (H.B. 651) introduced by state Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., to honor a former House speaker passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

This legislation would designate the South Lawn of the Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex as the “Irvis Equality Circle” in honor of the late K. Leroy Irvis, who served as the first African American speaker of the Pennsylvania House and also as the first African American Speaker of any state legislature in the United States.

The Pennsylvania Capitol Complex’s South Lawn sits right outside of the “Irvis Office Building.”

“Speaker Irvis broke down barriers that made it possible for future African Americans to be a part of this prestigious body and to represent their communities,” Kinsey said. “It’s important that we honor our commonwealth’s greatest history makers, and it would only make sense to name the South Lawn, right outside the Irvis Office Building, in Speaker Irvis’ name.”

This bill is headed to the Pennsylvania Senate for consideration.