Latest News

Sanchez, Schlossberg aim to close LGBTQ+ Panic Defense loophole

(Apr 08, 2021)

While similar bills have been introduced in previous legislative sessions, the Sanchez/Schlossberg legislation would extend beyond the “gay” and “trans” terminology to include all members of this marginalized community by prohibiting the court system from allowing a defense of this nature in consideration of serious provocation or insanity. Read more

Reps. Rozzi, Gregory encourage survivors to show support for PA legislative action

(Mar 31, 2021)

For years, Reps. Jim Gregory and Mark Rozzi have worked together on a bipartisan compromise after previous efforts to pass similar legislation for a retroactive window for victims failed repeatedly. Read more

Racism on Pennsylvania high schools and college campuses creates barriers to opportunity

(Mar 26, 2021)

How far have we come, and how far do we have to go to diminish -- and possibly eradicate -- racism in high schools and college campuses? Our hearing on racism on the topic pulled the curtain on the continued systematic injustice towards minority students on high school and college campuses and the lack of diversity in educators. In some Pennsylvania school districts there is a blatant lack of effort to recruit and retain educators of color and that is problematic. The historic limited access to education for people of color is still happening. Students shared their stories of the mental, physical and emotional toll their experiences with racism and discrimination have had on their well-being. Fortunately, these students turned their painful experiences into meaningful advocacy. Their testimony showed the challenge facing educational institutions in Pennsylvania. Educators, including teachers and administrators play a large role in dispelling hate in their schools. It’s imperative that they are reflective of the communities that they represent but the statistics show, they don’t. While students of color make up 33 percent of Pennsylvania’s population, less than 5 percent of teachers are people of color. Across the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education faculty, 4 percent are Black, 3 percent are Hispanic and just 6 percent are Asian. When students see a diversity that reflects them in their educators, it shows promise. It shows Read more

Madden, Kenyatta lead discussion on racism on high school and college campuses

(Mar 25, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 25 -- Education and shattering social norms are key in combatting racism in high schools and colleges, as evidenced by testimony at today’s House Democratic Policy Committee hearing hosted by state Reps. Maureen Madden and Malcolm Kenyatta. The Monroe and Philadelphia County legislators led today’s discussion bringing together state officials, students and educators to brainstorm solutions that aim to help break cycles of systemic racism via policy development and implementation. “How do we start conversations that help people understand that freedom of speech should not be a free pass for racism? We all deserve to be respected and the blatant hate and disrespect for others is impacting lives. Hate has no place in our education system. Students go to school to learn, grow and often overcome any barriers the hand that life has dealt them. I’m grateful for this forum today to learn what’s happening in our education system and what lawmakers can do to overcome the racism in our schools,” Madden shared. “Terms like ‘diversity quota’ and ‘affirmative action applicant’ are just some of the covertly racist insults that disparage the merits of students and faculty of color in academia. Ultimately, these slights have devastating effects on the emotional and mental health of these students and faculty, thereby straining their likelihood to graduate and excel at these institutions,” Read more

Madden, Kenyatta to examine incidents of racism on high school and college campuses at Thursday’s public hearing

(Mar 23, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 23 – Recent incidents of racism involving students at the high school and college levels will be discussed at a House Democratic Policy Committee virtual hearing hosted by state Reps. Maureen Madden and Malcolm Kenyatta. The hearing will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, March 25. To view the hearing, the media and public can tune in to www.pahouse.com/policycommittee or the committee’s Facebook page -- @PADemPolicy. Media inquiries may be submitted via email to policy@pahouse.net . Madden and Kenyatta will be joined by committee Chairman Ryan Bizzarro and Democratic Policy Committee members to hear from educators, state officials and advocates on how to curb racism with meaningful policy reforms. Additional hearing information will be available by clicking here . Read more

Kinkead, Pashinski introduce bill to help Pennsylvanians save money on medications

(Mar 08, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 8 – In an effort to help more residents reduce their prescription drug costs, state Reps. Emily Kinkead and Eddie Day Pashinski have introduced legislation that would direct the Pennsylvania Department of Health to study the potential savings of importing less expensive medicines from Canada. Kinkead, D-Allegheny, and Pashinski, D-Luzerne, said H.B. 833 would also design a potential prescription drug importation program in Pennsylvania when the study demonstrates significant cost savings for consumers. “Pharmaceutical companies claim the costs are driven by market forces and due to the high cost of research and development of new medicines, but those and other arguments they pose lack validity,” said Kinkead. “Drug companies want to enjoy a monopoly to discourage competition, to the detriment of our consumers here in Pennsylvania, including many who rely on life-saving medications and are forced to ration or forego medications they simply cannot afford. That’s reprehensible, and we already know of other states already implementing such programs. It’s time we do the same.” "The increasing cost of prescription drugs is driving up health care expenses, which is driving up every Pennsylvanian's cost of living," Pashinski said. "This legislation makes sure Pennsylvania is developing a long-term solution to this problem. We can potentially save the state and consumers millions of dollars by Read more

Let’s be patient; Make sure every vote counts

(Nov 05, 2020)

As of this writing, there are approximately 750,000 Pennsylvania votes that need to be counted. That is more than 750,000 Pennsylvanians who lawfully casted their vote and deserve to be heard. Counting every citizen’s legal, timely vote is imperative. As workers securely make progress on tallying the results, we must be patient. This process may take several days, but the integrity and sanctity of the vote in our state must be maintained. Last Fall, in a bipartisan showing, the Pennsylvania General Assembly agreed to allow for mail-in ballots. Since then, House Democrats have made many efforts to help clarify any confusion about the process and give local election boards the tools needed to securely and expeditiously process votes cast by mail. Unfortunately, our Republican colleagues chose political gamesmanship over a genuine effort to ensure a smooth election. Their inaction failed to allow for the early processing of ballots received – as 32 other states permit-- and, in turn, why there is a delay in knowing the outcome of this election. The ambiguity in the law did not address their local official’s concerns; nor does it protect every Pennsylvanian’s constitutional right to vote and our obligation to make sure those votes are counted. Now, more than ever, we must ensure that we uphold the freedoms guaranteed in our state and nation’s constitution. In these unprecedented times, the voters must have the final say, not the candidates or Read more

McNeill calls for movement on bill to benefit first responders, frontline workers

(Aug 21, 2020)

State Rep. Jeanne McNeill, D-Lehigh, is calling for additional funding to assist first responders and others working in essential and frontline jobs who were omitted from the hazard pay grants awarded by the Department of Community and Economic Development earlier this week. Read more

Kosierowski announces more than $104K in grant awards to multiple school districts

(Aug 20, 2020)

State Rep. Bridget Kosierowski, D-Lackawanna, announced today more than $104,000 was awarded to seven area school districts to enhance educational services for special education students who may be negatively impacted by pandemic mitigation measures. Read more

McNeill: More than $945K awarded in COVID-19 safety grants

(Aug 07, 2020)

State Rep. Jeanne McNeill announced today that $947,864 in federal funding has been allocated to several area schools and Career and Technical Education centers in her district to assist with implementing public health and safety plans. Read more