Ciresi announces $1.58M in grants for affordable housing projects

(17 hours ago)

HARRISBURG, June 14 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, today announced $1.58 million in PA Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Fund awards for affordable housing and homelessness prevention projects in his legislative district. “I am very glad that these deserving projects have been funded in this round of PHARE grants,” Ciresi said. “Housing affordability is a major issue and a struggle for many people in our area. Everyone needs safe and secure housing in order to thrive. I believe this funding will help strengthen the social net in our communities, build strong families, and set individuals on the way to financial success.” $80,000 Access Services Recovery Oriented Rapid Rehousing Access Services will use funds to support five recovery orientated rapid rehousing units. These units will be targeted to individuals exiting substance abuse recovery settings or street homeless individuals struggling to maintain sobriety due to homelessness. $125,000 College Student Basic Needs Program Affordable Housing Scholarship Fund – TriCounty Community Network on behalf of the College Student Basic Needs Program The College Student Basic Needs Program will use the funds to assist under-resourced college students experiencing housing and food insecurity to stay in school, succeed academically, graduate and obtain better paying employment. One program provides housing scholarships for rental assistance to avoid Read more

 

Rabb legislation would combat ‘greenwashing’ in Pa.

(18 hours ago)

HARRISBURG, June 14 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., is drafting legislation that would prohibit corporations from using deceitful and manipulative practices known as “greenwashing” in Pennsylvania. “For decades now, corporations have taken advantage of environmentally-conscious consumers by intentionally marketing their products in a manner that makes them appear better for the planet than they really are. This devious and manipulative practice is known as ‘greenwashing,’” Rabb said . “You often see it when companies use terms such as ‘net zero,’ ‘low carbon’ or ‘cleaner energy,’ even if those claims are not based in reality or are aspirational at best.” This legislation would ensure that there is truth in marketing by amending the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law to explicitly prohibit deceptive environmental marketing claims. “As we increasingly experience the drastic effects of our warming climate, such as more intense storms, floods, droughts and wildfires, the last thing Pennsylvania consumers need is to be lied to as they try to make informed purchasing decisions,” Rabb said. "Corporations should not be allowed to lie to consumers and pretend that dirty and polluting products are healthy or sustainable, but the reality is these deceptive greenwashing practices Read more

 

Long-awaited substance use recovery grant program passes Pa. House

(22 hours ago)

The Pennsylvania House on Wednesday passed a bill establishing a lifetime grant program for substance use recovery. Read more

 

Rabb supports startups in impacted communities with amendment

(Jun 12, 2024)

HARRISBURG, June 12 – The Pennsylvania House Finance Committee today approved legislation that would allow tech and bio-tech startups with unused net operating loss carryover to sell the tax benefits for use by other taxpayers subject to the Corporate Net Income tax. The bill passed with an amendment included by state Rep. Chris Rabb that would make sure businesses in impacted communities are explicitly included in opportunities created by this legislation. Rabb said his amendment improves the legislation while maintaining its scope and ensuring that startup owners who live in impacted communities are affiliated with technology-centered entities and have operations that address clean energy production or provide offerings that relate to energy efficiency or environmental resiliency efforts. “A lot of start-ups are technology-based firms that can create good, sustainable jobs. We are fortunate to have institutions that support this work; yet, we have brain drain. Our workforce is being pulled into other states because we haven’t fostered an environment that supports them,” Rabb, D-Phila., said. “I am particularly interested in those businesses that have a disproportionate influence on communities that could benefit the most from technologies whose residents have been most harmed by predatory business models. “We can use good judgment and data to find and support the types of businesses that have the most Read more

 

Central PA Delegation to champion fair funding for schools at Millersville rally

(Jun 12, 2024)

HARRISBURG, June 12 – The Pennsylvania House Central Pennsylvania Delegation today announced that the group will raise its voice on behalf of chronically underfunded schools along with advocate groups, educational organizations, legislators, community leaders, students, lawyers, and parents tomorrow, Thursday, June 13. MEDIA COVERAGE IS INVITED. State Rep. Ismail Smith-Wade-El, D-Lancaster, who serves the 49 th Legislative District where the event will take place, indicated that the rally which will begin at 10 a.m. Thursday at Millersville University’s Pucillo Gymnasium, 125 Pucillo Dr., Millersville, is aimed at reinforcing the need to secure sustainable funding for public schools. “This rally will be a loud and clear call to action for colleagues on both side of the aisle and the Senate,” he said about the rally organized in coordination with PA Schools Work, a nonpartisan statewide movement that advocates on behalf of public schools. “We are determined to secure the $1.1 billion increase in Basic Education funding, as projected by Gov. Josh Shapiro in his 2024-25 budget proposal,” Smith-Wade-El added. “Now, following the House passage of a unprecedent $5.1 billion bill that fulfills the recommendations of a bipartisan Basic Education Funding Commission to end funding disparities, we need to make sure that this bill crosses the finish line. Read more

 

Venkat’s opioid overdose awareness toolkit bill passes PA House

(Jun 12, 2024)

HARRISBURG, June 12 – State Rep. Arvind Venkat’s bill that would require the creation of materials to circulate information about the ongoing opioid public health crisis passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives with a bipartisan majority today. The legislation, H.B. 1783 , would require the state Department of Health to consult with the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs to create a poster, to be displayed in public and private settings, which provides information about opioid overdose. The information would include: Signs of an opioid-related overdose. What to do if an opioid-related overdose occurs. Locating an agent to reverse opioid effects. Additional resources. “I’ve treated many patients in the throes of an opioid overdose as an emergency physician, and proactive measures to help stem the tide of this crisis are imperative,” Venkat, D-Allegheny, said. “I’m grateful to bipartisan House colleagues, especially Representative Jim Struzzi (R-Indiana), not only for their affirmative votes, but for their commitment to saving as many lives as possible with this legislation.” The legislation additionally would authorize the creation of a Lifetime Recovery from Substance Use Grant Program to assist in the development, expansion or improvement of recovery support services delivery in Pennsylvania. Spearheaded by state Reps. Jim Gregory, R-Blair/Huntingdon, and Read more

 

House adopts Matzie’s ‘Pollinator Week’ resolution

(Jun 12, 2024)

HARRISBURG, June 12 – The PA House today adopted state Rep. Rob Matzie’s H.R. 400 – designating the week of June 17 to June 23, 2024, as “Pollinator Week” in Pennsylvania – to highlight the essential role bees and other pollinators play in producing the commonwealth’s foods and sustaining the health of the environment. Matzie, D-Beaver, said he introduced the resolution to call attention to the importance of pollinators; the essential role played by the state’s beekeepers; and the value of collaborative efforts by state, educational and industry partners. “It’s estimated that by pollinating most crops and wildflowers, bees are responsible for one out of every three bites of food we eat – from fruits and vegetables to chocolate, coffee and nuts,” Matzie said. “They also play an essential role in maintaining the health of our environment – including our forests, grasslands and local ecosystems – by promoting floral growth that creates habitats for animals and insects. “Beekeepers play an essential role in all of this by ensuring that bee colonies remain healthy and disease-free.” Matzie said there are also critical collaborative efforts at work. “The Pennsylvania State Beekeepers Association works with the state Department of Agriculture, which registers and regulates each apiary, and with state universities like Read more

 

Smith-Wade-El, PA House members & community leaders rally for fair housing legislation, housing budget proposals

(Jun 12, 2024)

HARRISBURG, June 12 – State Rep. Ismail Smith-Wade-El, D-Lancaster, hosted a rally today with other legislators, legal experts and community advocates from across the state in support of fair housing in Pennsylvania. “The lack of affordable housing in Pennsylvania has resulted in evictions and homelessness for many Pennsylvanians,” Smith-Wade-El said. “Every person has the right to a roof over their head. Our rally today called out the continuing inequities in housing in our commonwealth and the legislative and budget initiatives devised to address them. “As Democrats in the PA House, we’re fighting for a person-centered approach to fair housing, from helping the unhoused get back into a safe home, to my bill that would seal no-fault eviction records so people can find housing, to increased support for the Whole Home Repairs program so seniors can fix and stay in their homes,” Smith-Wade-El said. “We understand that having a home to call one’s own is a human right, a matter of justice. I and my colleagues will fight to make sure that every Pennsylvanian can enjoy their fundamental right to a safe and secure place in which to live.” The rally focused on the PA House budget proposal (H.B. 2324), which would increase funding for fair housing initiatives; the need for increased funding for the homelessness assistance program; a House-led proposal to increase PHARE funding to $100 million dollars; the LLC Read more

 

Madden Alzheimer’s bill approved by PA House Aging Committee

(Jun 12, 2024)

The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Maureen Madden, would establish an infrastructure of full-time state agency positions dedicated to supporting dementia initiatives across Pennsylvania. Read more

 

Benham PBM reform bill clears House Health Committee

(Jun 12, 2024)

Legislation to reel in pharmacy benefit managers advances Read more

 

Venkat’s legislation to ease restrictions on physician assistants voted out of committee unanimously

(Jun 12, 2024)

HARRISBURG, June 12 – State Rep. Arvind Venkat’s bills that would put a flexibility component in place for physician assistants and the supervising physicians they work with were voted out of the House Professional Licensure Committee unanimously today. The legislation ( H.Bs. 2294 and 2295 ) would amend the physician licensure acts in Pennsylvania and allow physician assistants to work with either classification of physician, a Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. Current law on the books mandates that physician assistants and supervising physicians must be licensed by the same state medicine board as the supervising physician. “These bills are commonsense measures that connect more doctors and physician assistants with the patients in need of their skills and expertise,” said Venkat, D-Allegheny. “As a physician-legislator, I’m committed to supporting my peers and helping to remove barriers to the highest quality of care.” The bills now head to the full House for consideration. Read more

 

House passes Kinkead bill to support dairy farmers

(Jun 11, 2024)

“This bill would help a lot of small daily farms that are struggling to survive,” said Kinkead, D-Allegheny. Read more

 

Consumer Protection Committee approves bills to improve fee transparency, help data breach victims, boost energy & aviation fuel production

(Jun 11, 2024)

HARRISBURG, June 11 – The Pennsylvania House Consumer Protection, Technology and Utilities Committee voted today to send four bills to the full House for consideration, including two bills to strengthen protections for Pennsylvania consumers, a bill to boost energy production statewide, and legislation introduced by Committee Chair Rob Matzie that would encourage the development of Sustainable Aviation Fuel. Matzie was optimistic about the committee’s progress. “Today’s meeting was an important one,” Matzie said. “We moved several bills to protect consumers and other bills that would boost the state’s energy production, including my bill that would jumpstart Pennsylvania’s production of Sustainable Aviation Fuel. I’m looking forward to seeing these bills shepherded through the House.” Matzie said the Pittsburgh International Airport provides a unique opportunity to boost production of SAF – an alternative, bio-based fuel now being used by the aviation industry. “Our airport is unique because there are solar and gas wells right on the property,” Matzie said. “With the necessary resources and the ability to locate production facilities close to the airport, we have an ideal opportunity to meet a growing demand for this fuel, create jobs and reduce our carbon footprint. My bill would ensure we are positioned to take advantage Read more

 

Rabb introduces legislation establishing Freedom School Grant Program

(Jun 11, 2024)

HARRISBURG, June 11 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., recently introduced legislation ( H.B. 2405 ) that would establish the Freedom School Grant Program. The Freedom School Grant Program would provide grants to schools and other organizations to help them establish more Freedom Schools , which were created in the 1960s by the nonprofit Children’s Defense Fund to provide well-rounded educational opportunities to Black children who were not given such opportunities in Mississippi public schools, Rabb said. “These schools improve reading, language skills and interpersonal relationships; strengthen families; connect children to medical and other needed social services; and develop the skills needed to improve conditions for children and families in their communities,” Rabb said. “They are an exceptional tool for building success and equity and for bridging the gaps in educational opportunity.” Today, 24 states have faith-based organizations, schools and school districts, community-based organizations and nonprofits, colleges and universities, and juvenile detention facilities that offer Freedom Schools. However, Pennsylvania has only one Freedom School, which is why legislation is needed to expand and enrich the breadth of learning so valuable to students across the state, Rabb said. Read more

 

Pa. House Labor & Industry Committee hears testimony on worker misclassification

(Jun 11, 2024)

HARRISBURG, June 11 – The Pennsylvania House Labor and Industry Committee held an informational meeting today to hear from industry experts on the harmful effects worker misclassification has on Pennsylvania workers. The committee heard testimony from Christopher Hallock, deputy secretary, Bureau of Safety and Labor-Management Relations, Department of Labor and Industry; Paul Prendergast, East Atlantic State Regional Council of Carpenters; Minister Rosilynn Gilliard, a driver with Spark Driver; and Julia Simon-Mishel, supervising attorney with Philadelphia Legal Assistance. “Misclassification is a significant issue affecting Pennsylvania’s workforce and economy. A misclassified worker is denied essentially all workplace protections, most of which apply only to workers who are employees,” Hallock said. “Since 2023, approximately 300 misclassified employees were injured, resulting in $450,000 in lost compensation. Already in 2024, as of May 27, there have been 6,455 misclassified workers, resulting in $100.3 million in underreported wages and $1.7 million in underreported UC tax contributions.” “In the construction industry, misclassification is unfortunately all-too-common,” Prendergast said. “This is not a union or non-union issue, a public vs. private construction issue, or even an issue solely for the victimized workers. Misclassification of workers is an Read more

 

Conklin introduces bill to update Pennsylvania’s recreational vehicle law

(Jun 11, 2024)

“The RV industry is different enough from the automotive industry that Pennsylvania has separate laws governing RV manufacturers and dealers,” Conklin said. “But areas of the law – particularly as it relates to warranty services – need to be updated to better protect consumers and provide clearer guidance for dealers. “My bill would accomplish that by adding provisions that ensure more efficient warranty repairs, more consistent rate-setting and prices for warranty service and stronger consumer protections from rogue dealers who host pop-up-style RV events.” Read more

 

Powell introduces bill requiring medical insurers to cover consultations between physicians

(Jun 11, 2024)

HARRISBURG, June 11 – State Rep. Lindsay Powell, D-Allegheny, has introduced a bill that would help Pennsylvanians access the consultations and care they need, while keeping the price of this treatment low. Powell’s legislation ( H.B. 2385 ) would mandate that consultations between doctors, often done virtually, are covered under health insurances policies statewide. “The collective knowledge of more than one medical professional is often vital when our neighbors receive care. Interprofessional consultations are one tool physicians employ to effectively diagnose and treat patients,” Powell said. “This bill would help ensure that costs facing patients are reduced and would provide better peace of mind on the path to recovery. The burden of scheduling additional doctor appointments would also be removed and save patients considerable time and money.” The bill has been referred to the PA House Insurance Committee. A related bill Powell has introduced would prohibit employers in Pennsylvania from denying medical benefits to workers who are on strike. That legislation is co-sponsored by state Rep. Dan Miller, D-Allegheny. Read more

 

Merski bill would ban misuse of artificial intelligence in campaigns

(Jun 11, 2024)

HARRISBURG, June 11 – State Rep. Bob Merski and colleagues have introduced legislation that would prohibit the misuse of generative artificial intelligence in campaigns. Merski, D-Erie, said he and several colleagues introduced H.B. 2353 to impose needed guardrails on the use of misleading digital content that jeopardizes the integrity of the electoral process. “The freedom to go into the voting booth and choose candidates who reflect our values and beliefs is at the very heart of our democracy,” Merski said. “But the proliferation of AI-generated ‘deepfakes’ impersonating public officials and political candidates to spread disinformation threatens to undermine the whole point of free and fair elections. “We have to act now to protect the sanctity of our elections by erecting sensible guardrails for how generative AI may be used in campaigns. Fourteen other states have already recognized the threat and passed legislation. It’s time for Pennsylvania to step up and do the same.” Merski said the bill would establish the Fraudulent Misrepresentation of a Candidate Prevention Act, which would create civil liability and potential court penalties for disseminating an AI-generated impersonation of a candidate within 90 days before an election that is designed to misrepresent their words, actions or beliefs. Addressing First Amendment concerns, Merski noted that Read more

 

PA House Children & Youth Committee approves Bullock bill to protect youth personal data online

(Jun 11, 2024)

HARRISBURG, June 11 – The Pennsylvania House Children and Youth Committee approved a bill today introduced by state Rep. Donna Bullock that would create safer online experiences for Pennsylvania’s youth. The bill ( H.B. 1879 ) would establish the Online Safety Protection Act, which would require businesses with an online presence to complete a “data protection impact assessment” before offering new online services, products or features that are likely to be accessed by children under the age of 18. It would also prohibit companies from using a child’s personal information; collecting, selling or retaining a child’s geolocation; profiling a child by default; and leading or encouraging children to provide personal information. “While it may be impossible to safeguard our children from every negative online experience, this legislation would be a step toward ensuring Pennsylvania children are protected within the digital world,” Bullock, chair of the House Children and Youth Committee, said. “It’s common sense to create standards for online services to follow that are age-appropriate for our youth and prioritize their privacy over profits.” The bill will now head to the House floor to await a vote. Read more

 

Guzman praises new significant funds to be allocated for the Reading and Governor Mifflin School districts

(Jun 10, 2024)

HARRISBURG, June 10 – State Rep. Manny Guzman, D-Berks, today praised the House passage of H.B. 2370 that would ensure fairness in the way that public schools across the state are funded and help close the historical financial gaps for Reading and Governor Mifflin school districts, located within his legislative district. Guzman, who also serves as chair of the Central Pennsylvania Delegation, said that under the current proposal, Governor Mifflin School District would see an additional $19.6 million to address chronic underfunding and property tax relief over seven years, a boost of $4,670 per student, while the Reading School District would be welcoming an additional $271 million to address chronic underfunding and property tax relief over seven years, a boost of more than $15,000 per student. “This is a massive victory for the Reading and Governor Mifflin school districts and an immense satisfaction for me as legislator,” Guzman said. “This win comes as the outcome of relentless individual and collective efforts focused on addressing inequities in funding,” he added. “Not only we are providing equity to every single student in the state, but we are also reducing the taxpayer burden. This plan provides $3.7 billion in saving to taxpayers over seven years to public schools. “This bill also would make thorough adjustments to laws governing cyber charter schools The wins Read more

 

Ciresi announces $1.58M in grants for affordable housing projects
17 hours ago

Rabb legislation would combat ‘greenwashing’ in Pa.
18 hours ago

Long-awaited substance use recovery grant program passes Pa. House
22 hours ago

Rabb supports startups in impacted communities with amendment
Jun 12, 2024

Central PA Delegation to champion fair funding for schools at Millersville rally
Jun 12, 2024

Venkat’s opioid overdose awareness toolkit bill passes PA House
Jun 12, 2024

House adopts Matzie’s ‘Pollinator Week’ resolution
Jun 12, 2024

Smith-Wade-El, PA House members & community leaders rally for fair housing legislation, housing budget proposals
Jun 12, 2024

Madden Alzheimer’s bill approved by PA House Aging Committee
Jun 12, 2024

Benham PBM reform bill clears House Health Committee
Jun 12, 2024

Venkat’s legislation to ease restrictions on physician assistants voted out of committee unanimously
Jun 12, 2024

House passes Kinkead bill to support dairy farmers
Jun 11, 2024

Consumer Protection Committee approves bills to improve fee transparency, help data breach victims, boost energy & aviation fuel production
Jun 11, 2024

Rabb introduces legislation establishing Freedom School Grant Program
Jun 11, 2024

Pa. House Labor & Industry Committee hears testimony on worker misclassification
Jun 11, 2024

Conklin introduces bill to update Pennsylvania’s recreational vehicle law
Jun 11, 2024

Powell introduces bill requiring medical insurers to cover consultations between physicians
Jun 11, 2024

Merski bill would ban misuse of artificial intelligence in campaigns
Jun 11, 2024

PA House Children & Youth Committee approves Bullock bill to protect youth personal data online
Jun 11, 2024

Guzman praises new significant funds to be allocated for the Reading and Governor Mifflin School districts
Jun 10, 2024