House unanimously adopts Bullock’s resolution to raise awareness about community revitalization in Pa.

(Oct 02, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 2 – Days before the annual kick-off of “Love Your Avenue Week,” state Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., today announced that her resolution designating the week of Oct. 4-10, 2020, as “Love Your Avenue Week” in Pennsylvania —an effort to raise awareness about community revitalization — was unanimously adopted by the House. Throughout the year, Bullock said, communities across Pennsylvania host various initiatives, such as corridor clean ups, festivals, parades, and sidewalk sales to mark the occasion. “‘Love Your Avenue Week’ enforces a sense of pride among residents in their communities. It’s especially notable in the 195 th Legislative District, where we have a huge celebration along Girard Avenue,” Bullock said. “However, the pandemic has put a damper on many of these plans, ultimately coming as a blow to the strength of countless business corridors. The adoption of my resolution not only serves as an ongoing reminder as to how critical these central local businesses are, but also raises awareness to how dire community support is during these times.” Bullock pointed to the Pennsylvania Downtown Center as among the proponents for revitalization. PDC is the only statewide nonprofit dedicated solely to the revitalization of the commonwealth’s core communities. By providing outreach, technical assistance and educational services, the PDC assists communities in Read more

 

Webster calls on all House members to wear masks after latest positive COVID-19 test of a colleague

(Oct 01, 2020)

For the safety of the community at large and to prevent further spread of COVID-19, I encourage all individuals over the age of 2 to wear masks unless your health care provider has exempted you. More than 200,000 Americans have already died during this pandemic, and we know that mask wearing is an important way to prevent others from becoming infected if one is unknowingly carrying the virus. Read more

 

Frankel: Will House Rs take COVID-19 seriously?

(Oct 01, 2020)

News of lawmaker’s positive test comes amid contentious committee hearing Read more

 

Harkins calls for renewed focus on safety after Republican colleague tests positive for COVID-19

(Oct 01, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 1, – State Rep. Pat Harkins, D-Erie, issued the following statement after a Republican House member tested positive for COVID-19, forcing session to adjourn: “Today, the state House of Representatives was forced to adjourn because a Republican member of the legislature tested positive for COVID-19. My colleagues and I sat with that member on Tuesday at a committee voting meeting. “Yet again – for the second time since the pandemic arrived – the state’s business has come to a halt in Harrisburg amidst efforts at contact tracing and fears that the virus may have spread. “It’s an interruption we can scarcely afford, as Pennsylvanians are looking to us to help protect their interests and come up with solutions to the many issues we face. “It’s also an incident that highlights the foolishness of making one’s own rules, of ignoring safety experts and officials and disregarding simple safety protocol. “Everyone wants this pandemic to end. Everyone wants to move forward. But there is a right way and wrong way. As much as we would like to believe that this pandemic over, it’s not. We can move toward normal, but we can’t rush headlong into the void. “I urge my colleagues on the other side of the aisle who are complaining that restrictions are overblown and that it is time to return to normal to remember that there can be no normal without Read more

 

Conklin releases statement regarding House postponement

(Oct 01, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 1 – State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, issued the following statement regarding today’s postponement of House session due to state Rep. Paul Schemel, R-Franklin, announcing he tested positive for the COVID-19 virus: “Yet again, the people’s business was shut down, because House members who believe that COVID-19 is a hoax refuse to wear a mask on the House floor, not to mention House leadership continues to hold up any action on a masking resolution. Now, just weeks before Election Day, every member exposed to Representative Schemel must quarantine for 14 days. “I pray for a speedy recovery for him, but what is it going to take to get House leadership to enforce masking rules at the state Capitol? “The people’s business has now been placed on hold until Oct. 19 because of their political grandstanding. We face serious challenges in the coming months, and it’s time for these cynical games to stop! “We must enact safe measures to keep the House open and working for the people we were elected to represent.” Read more

 

Rabb introduces legislation to provide grants, tax credits to restaurants that sell PA Preferred groceries in food deserts

(Oct 01, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 1 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., has introduced legislation to provide grants of up to $50,000 and tax credits of up to $100,000 to restauranteurs who sell PA Preferred groceries to customers in underserved neighborhoods. “ Food deserts have been a problem for a long time,” Rabb said. “Food deserts exist in both urban and rural neighborhoods, and people in those neighborhoods aren’t able to easily access healthy food within their local area, beyond canned goods and pre-packaged foods. In order to improve the health and well-being of our communities, we need to ensure everyone has easy access to healthy foods.” The Food Trust reports that more than 2 million people, including over 500,000 children, live in food deserts across Pennsylvania. This program has two parts – grants and tax credits for enterprising, socially conscious restaurateurs who sell PA Preferred groceries to customers in under-served neighborhoods. The grants of up to $50,000 or tax credits of up to $100,000 would assist qualifying restaurants in fortifying their business operations while offering Pennsylvania-sourced groceries food such as meat, fruit, vegetables, dairy and eggs. Rabb said the program would also create local jobs in economically distressed communities. ### Read more

 

Rabb introduces legislation to empower consumers by creating labeling standards, regulations for CBD

(Sep 30, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 30 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., has introduced legislation to empower consumers by creating labeling standards and regulations for Cannabidiol, or CBD. “CBD is everywhere these days,” Rabb said. “We see it for sale in pharmacies, corner stores, grocery stores and online. With CBD’s popularity exploding due to its medicinal uses – treating conditions like epilepsy, chronic pain and anxiety – I believe that its regulation is necessary.” Although CBD has no psychoactive properties, there is currently no legal standard for what constitutes CBD nor are there any labeling standards to inform consumers of exactly what they are purchasing. Since the legalization of hemp at the federal and state levels, there has been some confusion regarding CBD, which is hemp’s most popular extract. “People should be able to make informed decisions about the items they’re purchasing,” Rabb said. “ To address the issue, I have introduced legislation that would legally define hemp extract to include CBD and direct the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to create labeling standards and other regulations to help inform and protect consumers who purchase or are considering purchasing products containing CBD.” Rabb said he believes the legislation would help to end the confusion and mistrust surrounding CBD and the Read more

 

Rabb introduces legislation to make pre-trial sentence investigation reports mandatory

(Sep 30, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 30– State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., has introduced legislation to reform sentencing procedures by making pre-trial sentence investigation reports mandatory. “ Under current law, there is no requirement to provide a pre-sentence investigation report to a judge who is issuing a sentence,” Rabb said. “That leaves the door open for judges, who are making critical decisions that will affect a person’s entire life, to make an uninformed and often biased determination. That’s just plain unjust.” While current law “allows” the use of pre-sentencing reports, it’s not required. That inevitably results in the use of pre-trial sentence investigation reports to be used and considered inequitably. “A judge who is issuing a sentence should know a defendant’s potential for rehabilitation and community integration to allow them to tailor sentences accordingly,” Rabb said. “It’s time to take a stand on this issue to allow for the fair and equitable distribution of justice.” ### Read more

 

The Pa. Legislative Black Caucus condemns grand jury decision in slaying of Breonna Taylor, continues fight for police reform

(Sep 28, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 28 – Days after a Kentucky grand jury’s failure to indict one of the three police officers involved in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor on charges related to her killing, state Rep. Stephen Kinsey, chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, along with PLBC members, said the decision is a grim reminder of how Black lives — more specifically Black women’s lives — are devalued. However, in the spirit of the esteemed PLBC’s core mission of dismantling systemic racism across the commonwealth, the caucus of legislators collectively vowed to use this pain to fuel their ongoing fight for racial justice and meaningful police reform. Kinsey, D-Phila., a father of four Black daughters, expressed that he is especially saddened. He also dissipated the attempts to vilify her memory by reflecting on Breonna’s life and her dedication to public service as a first responder on the frontlines of this pandemic. “I am a father of four Black daughters and my heart is breaking for Breonna and her family as she reflects my own girls. I see their brilliance, their strengths, and their vulnerabilities. It pains me to know that Black girls and women are denied protection and the privilege of being viewed as whole,” the chairman said. “I want to buck that narrative: Breonna was a caring young woman who had a bright future. She effortlessly juggled enjoying life and a Read more

 

Boyle, Kenyatta to introduce legislation to ensure democracy isn't compromised in the November election

(Sep 28, 2020)

Just weeks before the general election, state Reps. Kevin Boyle and Malcolm Kenyatta are introducing legislation to strengthen Pennsylvania's election laws and help ensure democracy isn't compromised in November. "It's no secret that this president will go to great lengths to ensure victory, no matter what the American people want," said House State Government Committee Democratic Chairman Boyle, D-Phila./Montgomery. "With Pennsylvania being a key battleground state, we have a responsibility in the state legislature to close unnecessary loopholes and make sure everyone's vote counts." Boyle said today their proposal would crackdown on so-called faithless electors by amending Pennsylvania's Election Code to require presidential electors to vote for the presidential and vice-presidential candidates who received the highest number of votes in the commonwealth during the general election. Under this plan, which is similar to Colorado and Oklahoma's law, faithless electors who vote against the candidates they vowed to support, would: Face a misdemeanor punishable by fine. Have their vote invalidated. Be replaced. “Faithless electors disregard the will of the people and ultimately tarnish the integrity of our democracy,” Kenyatta Read more

 

PSOH designates Rep. Bizzarro 2020 Legislator of the Year

(Sep 25, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 25 -- State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, said today he is honored to be recognized by the Pennsylvania Society of Oncologists and Hematologists as the 2020 Legislator of the Year. Read more

 

Bizzarro submits resolution designating Nov. 22 Veterans Suicide Prevention and Awareness Day

(Sep 24, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 24 – State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro today introduced a resolution in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives designating Nov. 22, 2020 as Veterans Suicide Prevention and Awareness Day. Read more

 

Dermody on veto override: end the legislative games

(Sep 23, 2020)

Following the House session that included a veto override vote on HB2787, Democratic Leader Frank Dermody issued this statement: “Despite an effort by House Republicans to dismantle an important health protection measure related to school sports, the House voted today to sustain Gov. Wolf’s veto of the bill. “It’s regrettable that the majority party spent so much time and effort on this misdirected effort when many more serious matters demand attention, including providing hazard pay and PPE for frontline workers, time-sensitive election reforms, help for small businesses and ensuring the continuation of health insurance coverage. House Democrats have sought movement on these urgent issues for months while Republicans flailed about in a pointless political skirmish with the governor. “The urgency of serious legislative action on these other issues became even more apparent in the last week with the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the imminent appointment of a Supreme Court nominee who will vote to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. “Today, House Democrats took action to protect Pennsylvania health care consumers by filing resolutions to discharge four bills from the House Health Committee where they have been stuck since April, after previously sitting untouched for more than a year in the House Insurance Committee. In the interest of protecting lifesaving insurance coverage for Pennsylvanians, Democrats will pursue Read more

 

Trumpism threatens judicial independence in Pennsylvania

(Sep 18, 2020)

The radical right agenda has infiltrated the Pennsylvania legislature and threatens the independence of our judiciary. We rely on a fair and independent judicial system to administer equal justice under the law, free from outside pressure and influence. But, as we approach a critically important election, that independence is on the line because of a politically motivated attempt to rig our courts. The most radicalized Republican members of the legislature reign over districts simply because they picked their constituents through gerrymandering. The lack of compromise, civility and gridlock in Harrisburg can be directly linked to gerrymandering. The same radicalized Republicans in control in Harrisburg are pushing H.B. 196, which would amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to create judicial districts for our appellate courts, rather than elect them on a statewide basis. It’s a bad bill that shows a fundamental lack of understanding about the judiciary and its role in our society. Appellate court decisions impact the rights of all Pennsylvanians, from Erie to King of Prussia and everywhere in between. Appellate judges are elected to interpret our laws, not to represent any particular special interests or regional biases. Judges are to be free of influence and not bring their own agenda to the courts. Electing judges from districts drawn by radicalized politicians would make those judges increasingly beholden to special interests instead of the law, Read more

 

Matzie introduces bill to trace COVID-19 through wastewater

(Sep 18, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 18 – A bill introduced today by state Rep. Rob Matzie would establish a more effective way to trace and detect COVID-19 before it spreads by creating a system of testing for the virus in wastewater. Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, said his H.B. 2883 would establish the Targeted Outbreak Detection Act, creating a wastewater-testing program that is both cost-effective and more efficient than traditional methods of tracking the virus. “While temperature checks and crowd-size limits are helpful in slowing the spread of COVID-19, these techniques are not practical in the long term,” Matzie said. “Testing for the virus in wastewater would allow health authorities to know if the virus is present before people feel ill and inadvertently spread it, providing a critical way to contain clusters before major outbreaks occur.” Matzie said implementing COVID-19 wastewater tracing would be feasible and relatively simple because testing resources are already in place. “Most wastewater treatment systems are already required to perform routine testing of water samples,” Matzie said. “Sending a portion of those samples, on request, to a designated laboratory to test for the presence of COVID-19 would establish a critical early warning system that would arm health authorities with the data they need to better protect our communities.” Matzie said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is Read more

 

Rep. Bizzarro resolution designates September 2020 ‘Light the Night Walk’ Month

(Sep 17, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 17 – The state House today unanimously adopted state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro’s H.R. 978 recognizing the importance of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s ‘Light the Night Walk’ events. Bizzarro, a leukemia survivor, introduced H.R. 978, which designates September 2020 as “Light the Night Walk Month” in Pennsylvania, raising awareness of blood cancers and support of survivors and their families. “Light the Night walks help to bring light to the darkness of cancer, showing support of those living with cancer and bringing awareness to blood cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma,” Bizzarro said. “These events are a community display of care to those living with cancer – and their families – and a way to remember those who lost their battle.” The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society reports the events have generated more than $1.3 billion to critical research initiatives aimed at identifying treatments and potential cures for blood cancers. As a result of COVID-19, 2020 Light the Night events will be held virtually. Bizzarro said he encourages those interested in participating to visit www.lightthenight.org for information. Read more

 

Boyle joins Wolf in calling for swift passage of legislation to ensure counties are prepared ahead of Nov. 3 general election

(Sep 15, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 15 – State Rep. Kevin Boyle, D-Phila./Montgomery, today joined Gov. Tom Wolf in urging swift action on legislation that would provide the support county election officials need to make sure Pennsylvanians can vote safely and have their ballots timely counted. Boyle, Wolf and other public officials met in York today to outline the legislation the General Assembly should pass this month to improve the mail-in ballot process ahead of the Nov. 3 general election and give county officials the time they need to count ballots and return election results quickly. “The House State Government Committee is planning to meet this Wednesday to discuss legislation related to the election code. We have an opportunity in committee this week to make vital, time sensitive changes to allow counties more time to pre-canvass mail ballots so they can return election results timely on Election Day,” said Boyle, who serves as Democratic chairman of the committee. “Immediate action is needed to address the enormous volume of mail-in ballots expected to be cast. We need to ensure that Pennsylvania does not become a national embarrassment on Election Day. “To that end, I am introducing several amendments this week during committee, to expand counties’ ability to pre-canvass mail-in ballots, and to expand county residents’ eligibility to serve as poll workers.” Boyle said the committee is Read more

 

Cephas Discusses Fight to Pass Safe At Home Bills on CBS 21's Face the State

(Sep 14, 2020)

State Rep. Morgan Cephas discussed her fight to pass Safe At Home legislation to protect homeowners, renters and small mom and pop landlords on CBS 21's Face the State. Read more

 

Burgos, Hohenstein and Isaacson join advocates to promote legislation to help undocumented individuals apply for a driver's license

(Sep 08, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 8 – State Rep. Danilo Burgos, along with state Reps. Joe Hohenstein, Mary Isaacson, all D-Phila., today joined the Driving PA Forward Coalition at the Saint Francis of Assisi Church to highlight their legislation to help undocumented individuals apply for a driver's license. “Our bill is about making Pennsylvania roads safer by requiring that all residents pass the mandatory written and vision examinations and road test to obtain a driver’s license,” Burgos said. “An additional benefit is that the revenue generated from application costs to PennDOT and purchases on car insurance policies would greatly benefit Pennsylvania’s economy -- a much needed relief as our economy struggles to gain stability in the wake of the pandemic.” Concurring with Burgos, Hohenstein pointed to immigrants comprising a substantial population of Pennsylvania’s workforce, especially as essential workers during the pandemic. "It’s not an exaggeration to say that immigrants have a large role in keeping our country running," Hohenstein said. "One in six people fulfilling essential roles during the pandemic is an immigrant. Many are our doctors, nurses and healthcare providers. Others are farm workers who sow, tend and harvest our food. Others prepare and serve us our food. All should have access to an official driver's license from the state in order to continue Read more

 

Rabb: We must remove roadblocks and allow undocumented people to get driver’s licenses, learner’s permits

(Sep 08, 2020)

State Rep. Chris Rabb called for support for legislation that would remove roadblocks preventing undocumented people from getting driver’s licenses and learner’s permits, making it impossible for them to legally drive. Read more

 

House unanimously adopts Bullock’s resolution to raise awareness about community revitalization in Pa.
Oct 02, 2020

Webster calls on all House members to wear masks after latest positive COVID-19 test of a colleague
Oct 01, 2020

Frankel: Will House Rs take COVID-19 seriously?
Oct 01, 2020

Harkins calls for renewed focus on safety after Republican colleague tests positive for COVID-19
Oct 01, 2020

Conklin releases statement regarding House postponement
Oct 01, 2020

Rabb introduces legislation to provide grants, tax credits to restaurants that sell PA Preferred groceries in food deserts
Oct 01, 2020

Rabb introduces legislation to empower consumers by creating labeling standards, regulations for CBD
Sep 30, 2020

Rabb introduces legislation to make pre-trial sentence investigation reports mandatory
Sep 30, 2020

The Pa. Legislative Black Caucus condemns grand jury decision in slaying of Breonna Taylor, continues fight for police reform
Sep 28, 2020

Boyle, Kenyatta to introduce legislation to ensure democracy isn't compromised in the November election
Sep 28, 2020

PSOH designates Rep. Bizzarro 2020 Legislator of the Year
Sep 25, 2020

Bizzarro submits resolution designating Nov. 22 Veterans Suicide Prevention and Awareness Day
Sep 24, 2020

Dermody on veto override: end the legislative games
Sep 23, 2020

Trumpism threatens judicial independence in Pennsylvania
Sep 18, 2020

Matzie introduces bill to trace COVID-19 through wastewater
Sep 18, 2020

Rep. Bizzarro resolution designates September 2020 ‘Light the Night Walk’ Month
Sep 17, 2020

Boyle joins Wolf in calling for swift passage of legislation to ensure counties are prepared ahead of Nov. 3 general election
Sep 15, 2020

Cephas Discusses Fight to Pass Safe At Home Bills on CBS 21's Face the State
Sep 14, 2020

Burgos, Hohenstein and Isaacson join advocates to promote legislation to help undocumented individuals apply for a driver's license
Sep 08, 2020

Rabb: We must remove roadblocks and allow undocumented people to get driver’s licenses, learner’s permits
Sep 08, 2020