Deasy introduces resolution that calls for freeze in utility rate increase proposals

(May 06, 2020)

HARRISBURG, May 6 – Noting the sudden and unexpected loss of income incurred by Pennsylvania residents and small business owners due to COVID-19, state Rep. Dan Deasy, D-Allegheny, has introduced a resolution urging the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to put a freeze on all requests for utility rate increases through 2020. “Residents are experiencing financial hardships, unemployment rates are through the roof, and the public and state assistance offered to families and small businesses is but a small drop in a bucket to address the of loss of income and financial insecurity because of COVID-19,” Deasy said. “You’d think during a time like this, we’d see more compassion, but unfortunately that’s not the case, especially with utility companies. Rate increases are the last thing our struggling residents and businesses should have to worry about, which is why this resolution is so crucial during this global health crisis,” Deasy said. Aside from the increase proposals, Deasy said he was even more disappointed in the scale of which some companies were trying to raise their rates, with at least one company seeking a 24% rate increase. Deasy is the second western House Democrat in recent weeks to call on the PUC to investigate or freeze rate increase proposals received from utility companies. State Rep. Austin Davis, also D-Allegheny, called on the PUC last week to investigate a rate increase proposal Read more

 

Frankel ‘horrified’ by legislator’s comments re: Nazi Party

(May 04, 2020)

Says comments could be read as encouragement by extremist groups Read more

 

Bizzarro votes to expand COVID-19 testing as state heads back to work

(May 04, 2020)

Legislation critical to ensuring public safety and stopping the spread of coronavirus Read more

 

Kenyatta: I proudly stand with Temple Allied Healthcare Professionals Union, all workers

(May 01, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, May 1 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., expressed his support for the Temple Allied Healthcare Professionals Union striking today in front of Temple University Hospital, located in Kenyatta’s 181 st Legislative District, to demand hazard pay, personal protective equipment and testing availability: “In every period in history, the labor movement has been a paramount force in dismantling systems of oppression and guaranteeing rights and protections for American workers. In the wake of this pandemic, labor is once again demonstrating that reputation,” Kenyatta said. “I stand in solidarity with Temple University Hospital workers, who have been fiercely fighting on the frontlines of this pandemic. These people have gone above and beyond in ensuring our communities receive exceptional care in sanitized environments, all the while putting themselves, and their families, at risk. It is time to give them what they are owed!” Kenyatta stressed that there is power in numbers in the efforts to make the demands of striking workers concrete, saying, “We can be victorious in this fight if we band together as a collective in thwarting this capitalistic system that grossly and consistently prioritizes profits over lives. In Harrisburg, I have been fighting for many of the provisions the union is demanding today for all workers across Pennsylvania on the frontlines of this crisis. As lawmakers, we also Read more

 

Bizzarro lauds House passage of bill to reopen local lawn and garden stores

(Apr 30, 2020)

HARRISBURG , April 30 – State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro said the state House today voted on legislation that would authorize local lawn and garden centers to reopen by providing them a waiver to the governor’s business closure order. H.B. 2429 provides for worker safety precautions and would allow community businesses to provide lawn and garden equipment and supplies during the pandemic. “I understand the need to implement mitigation and public safety efforts; but our local businesses should be extended the same opportunities to operate as some of the big-box and chain stores currently operating in our communities. They deserve to stay afloat during this pandemic and this bill would do just that,” expressed Bizzarro. “Our friends, family and neighbors will be able to get back to work in a safe environment and we can keep our business local when possible. That means more now than ever.” The bill would require lawn and garden centers that open to implement safeguards, including following social distancing requirements, providing workers with personal protective equipment and other safety measures, and regular cleaning of facilities. The bill now awaits state Senate consideration. Read more

 

Warren liquor reform bill passes House

(Apr 29, 2020)

HARRISBURG, April 29 – State Rep. Perry Warren, D-Bucks, announced his liquor reform bill, H.B. 327, passed the House today with overwhelming bipartisan support. The bill would amend the Liquor Code to clarify the process for a referendum on whether to allow for the sale of liquor in their municipality in a primary, municipal or general election. “The passage of this bill, coupled with Act 48 enacted last year, streamlines the process for residents’ right to decide whether to permit alcohol sales in a municipality,” Warren said. “This bill is about modernizing the state liquor system to better suit the needs of Pennsylvanians.” House Bill 327 also has a COVID-19 emergency provision which would allow licensed restaurants and hotels that have lost more than 25% of their average monthly sales during the disaster to sell prepared beverages or mixed drinks for off-premise consumption in quantities of 4 oz. to 64 oz. during the disaster emergency and mitigation period. “This amendment will support our local restaurants selling food, beer and wine for curbside pickup and takeout during this time of crisis by allowing them to expand the products they can provide to consumers. I thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for supporting this legislation.” Lower Makefield Township has scheduled a liquor referendum for the June 2, 2020 primary election. The bill now goes to the Senate for vote on the Read more

 

Bipartisan bill to end child marriage in Pa. sent to governor

(Apr 29, 2020)

HARRISBURG, April 29 – State Reps. Jesse Topper, R-Bedford/Fulton/Franklin, and Perry Warren, D-Bucks, announced that their legislation, which would prohibit marriage before the age of 18, unanimously passed the House today and is now on its way to the governor’s desk. “Simply put, House Bill 360 is a child protection measure. Child marriage typically involves a teenage girl, whose life hasn’t even begun, being forced or coerced into marrying an older man,” Topper said. “Some of the many stories I’ve heard from survivors of child marriage involve these girls becoming victims a second time. In these instances, they are modern day slaves in the human trafficking trade.” “With the abolition of child marriage, Pennsylvania is safeguarding its children,” Warren said. “This bill will help ensure the long-term health of children and improve their health and educational and job opportunities.” Warren added, “I am deeply gratified that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in both chambers came together to protect Pennsylvania’s children, and special thanks to Representative Topper and Senator John Sabatina who worked so hard to raise awareness of this child protection issue in the legislature and throughout state.” Topper said studies have shown that a child who marries before 18 is often not in control of the decision, and a child under Read more

 

Conklin to introduce ‘Shared Sacrifice’ legislation

(Apr 29, 2020)

HARRISBURG, April 29 – State Rep. Scott Conklin has announced his intent to introduce legislation to suspend cost-of-living adjustments for members of the General Assembly and state administration officials. Conklin, D-Centre, said as many Pennsylvanians remain out of work and are making tough choices as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it makes sense to suspend these adjustments for a period of at least three years to offset some of the state’s anticipated revenue losses. “We can’t ask Pennsylvanians to make sacrifices and tighten their belts if we aren’t willing to do the same,” Conklin said. “Current estimates show that we will have a $4 billion shortfall in revenues as we head into the next fiscal year, and we will need to itemize every penny to ensure necessary programs and essential services can be provided. As elected officials, it’s imperative we need to do our part to ensure we don’t add an additional financial burden on our already cash-strapped residents.” More information on his forthcoming legislation can be found at this link: https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20190&cosponId=31687 . Read more

 

Burns amendment providing emergency funding to more fire departments adopted by House

(Apr 28, 2020)

Legislation provides $30 million to volunteer fire, EMS companies Read more

 

Kinsey, PLBC applaud Wolf on calling for race and data with COVID-19 tests

(Apr 27, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, April 27 – In a statement released today, state Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, along with its members, commended Gov. Tom Wolf for calling for more free and accessible testing, and for health care providers and medical facilities to follow the Department of Health’s mandate to include race and ethnicity data in demographics provided to the department with COVID-19 test results. “Race and ethnicity have long been factors that essentially predestine a person’s quality of life, and in the wake of a pandemic, these factors have determined the accessibility of tests, the level of care, and overall survival outcomes. It’s a reality that’s all too familiar for people of color,” Kinsey said. “I commend Governor Wolf for his efforts in addressing these deep-rooted systemic ills by pushing Pennsylvania to be among the few states to collect this critical piece of data, which will help our commonwealth to be able to better identify contraction points and mitigate spread in these communities, ultimately saving lives.” The chairman added, “The data collected surrounding this widespread event will be incredibly valuable for our ongoing efforts in the dismantling these disparities moving forward.” Read more

 

Bizzarro: More than $720,000 in emergency funding headed to Erie County

(Apr 24, 2020)

The grants represent the first round of emergency funding being directed to local communities Read more

 

Solomon provides over 300 free comfort meals to Northeast Philadelphia communities

(Apr 23, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, April 23 – To offer some relief during COVID-19, state Rep. Jared Solomon, D-Phila., teamed up with community partners to provide hundreds of free cooked meals from popular local restaurants to various communities in Northeast Philadelphia. “We’re experiencing unprecedented and troubling times. Many residents have had their entire livelihoods upended, and others are still working on the frontlines during this pandemic,” Solomon said. “With all that’s going on, I wanted to help bring back a sense of normalcy and thank all our frontline workers through delicious comfort food staples from our community.” Solomon joined Matt Rossi, owner of Nick’s Roast Beef on Cottman Avenue, and later, Orlando Jacome, owner of Tio Pepe, at their respective restaurants in providing over 300 free meals to hundreds of residents, including medical professionals and other frontline workers. Read more

 

Bullock announces more than $500K in education equity grants

(Apr 23, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, April 23 – State Rep. Donna Bullock announced today that education equity grants totaling more than $500,000 have been awarded to schools in her district to provide access and inclusion for all learners. “Education is the key to opportunity for all of our students,” Bullock said. “Unfortunately, educational opportunities are not equal for all of our students. But grant awards like these help to bring equity to the table, enabling more students to have more access to the tools they need to be their best.” Grants were awarded to: Philadelphia City School District, awarded $500,000. Frederick Douglass Mastery Charter School, awarded $37,926. The grants, Continuing of Education Equity Grants, are designed to help provide access and inclusion for all learners by bridging the gap for students who are currently limited in their ability to participate in continuity of education, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, which administers the grants. The grants may be used to purchase computer equipment like laptops, tablets and internet hot spots, or used toward providing instructional materials like paper lessons and coursework. Schools with the highest percentages of students lacking access to resources were given priority in receiving the grants. ### Read more

 

Women’s Health Caucus chairs ask Gov. Wolf to veto S.B. 857

(Apr 22, 2020)

The original intent of S.B. 857 was to expand the use of telemedicine; however, it is the view of the Women’s Health Caucus that the bill that passed the House and Senate mostly along party lines this week would be harmful to women’s health. Read more

 

Solomon to provide free food to Northeast Philadelphia communities tomorrow

(Apr 22, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, April 22 – In light of COVID-19, state Rep. Jared Solomon, D-Phila., will team up with community partners to provide free meals to various communities in Northeast Philadelphia. At 11 a.m. Thursday, April 23, Solomon will join Matt Rossi, owner of Nick’s Roast Beef on Cottman Avenue, to provide free meals to hundreds of residents at the restaurant, 2210 Cottman Ave., 19149. Meals will be distributed in the parking lot across the street. At noon, Friday, April 24 , Solomon will provide free meals to 300 people with Orlando Jacome, owner of Tio Pepe Restaurant, at 6618 Castor Ave., 19149. Media coverage is invited. Read more

 

Frankel to introduce systemic testing, tracing bill for Pennsylvania

(Apr 22, 2020)

Legislation will urge reinvestment in health care capabilities to address COVID-19 threat Read more

 

Reps. Kenyatta, Burgos and Fiedler urge Congress to include undocumented workers in any COVID-19 response legislation

(Apr 17, 2020)

HARRISBURG, April 17 – State Reps. Malcolm Kenyatta, Danilo Burgos and Elizabeth Fiedler, all D-Phila., introduced a resolution urging Congress to also acknowledge the roughly 10 million undocumented workers in any COVID-19 financial response legislation. The resolution comes as the federal government issues portions of the historic $2 trillion financial assistance package to individuals and businesses to help mitigate the adverse economic impacts resulting from the pandemic. “There are roughly over 10 million undocumented people living in America paying billions of dollars in state and federal taxes yearly, yet many will never benefit from the services they constantly contribute to,” said Kenyatta, who represents the 181 st Legislative District. “In this time of desperation, our government should not be complicit in watching this vulnerable population that has time and again proven themselves to be a pillar of America’s economy continue to suffer.” Burgos, representing the 197 th District, concurred with Kenyatta saying, “Undocumented immigrants consistently pay about 8 percent of their income in taxes, a sizeable percentage for many who are relegated to working low-paying jobs with no benefits. These workers produce many of the essential goods we heavily rely on, even more so during this pandemic, yet they receive nothing for their labor.” Adding to Burgos’ assertion, Read more

 

Resolution by Hanbidge, Hohenstein urges U.S. Congress to act on legislation to cover hearing aid costs

(Apr 15, 2020)

In Pennsylvania, hearing aids are only required to be covered for Medicaid recipients under age 21, while all other populations in need of hearing assistance are forced to pay for hearing aids out of pocket, with the average cost being $2,300. Read more

 

Burns protects PA workers, puts people’s lives before profits

(Apr 14, 2020)

Sides with medical experts on coronavirus timeline Read more

 

Amazon is playing whack-a-mole with coronavirus price gouging and it’s harming Pennsylvanians | Opinion

(Apr 13, 2020)

When you need it to stay safe from a dangerous virus, it’s simply not right for companies to continue enabling people to prey on the emergency. These companies form the backbone of online retail and have an obligation to stop illegal price gouging now and put strong practices into place to stop it from happening in the future. Read more

 

Deasy introduces resolution that calls for freeze in utility rate increase proposals
May 06, 2020

Frankel ‘horrified’ by legislator’s comments re: Nazi Party
May 04, 2020

Bizzarro votes to expand COVID-19 testing as state heads back to work
May 04, 2020

Kenyatta: I proudly stand with Temple Allied Healthcare Professionals Union, all workers
May 01, 2020

Bizzarro lauds House passage of bill to reopen local lawn and garden stores
Apr 30, 2020

Warren liquor reform bill passes House
Apr 29, 2020

Bipartisan bill to end child marriage in Pa. sent to governor
Apr 29, 2020

Conklin to introduce ‘Shared Sacrifice’ legislation
Apr 29, 2020

Burns amendment providing emergency funding to more fire departments adopted by House
Apr 28, 2020

Kinsey, PLBC applaud Wolf on calling for race and data with COVID-19 tests
Apr 27, 2020

Bizzarro: More than $720,000 in emergency funding headed to Erie County
Apr 24, 2020

Solomon provides over 300 free comfort meals to Northeast Philadelphia communities
Apr 23, 2020

Bullock announces more than $500K in education equity grants
Apr 23, 2020

Women’s Health Caucus chairs ask Gov. Wolf to veto S.B. 857
Apr 22, 2020

Solomon to provide free food to Northeast Philadelphia communities tomorrow
Apr 22, 2020

Frankel to introduce systemic testing, tracing bill for Pennsylvania
Apr 22, 2020

Reps. Kenyatta, Burgos and Fiedler urge Congress to include undocumented workers in any COVID-19 response legislation
Apr 17, 2020

Resolution by Hanbidge, Hohenstein urges U.S. Congress to act on legislation to cover hearing aid costs
Apr 15, 2020

Burns protects PA workers, puts people’s lives before profits
Apr 14, 2020

Amazon is playing whack-a-mole with coronavirus price gouging and it’s harming Pennsylvanians | Opinion
Apr 13, 2020