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Philadelphia House Delegation praises approval of increase in public transit funding

House Philadelphia Delegation applauds ‘ghost gun’ settlement with city

(6 hours ago)

PHILADELPHIA, April 12 – Philadelphia House Delegation Chair Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., today said she was relieved to learn that two major suppliers of ghost guns have reached an agreement with the city to stop selling their deadly products that have been entering Philadelphia at an alarming rate. Under the settlement, which comes about 10 months after the city filed a lawsuit against Polymer80 and JDS Supply for negligence, the two sellers have agreed to stop selling these parts online and in stores within the city for four years and at gun shows for two years. Polymer80 also will make $1.3 million in payments to the city to fund local efforts to address gun violence. “I am relieved to see these companies taking some responsibility for the devastation that their deadly products have inflicted upon our city and on countless numbers of grieving families and terrified residents,” Cephas said. “I applaud Mayor Parker and her administration for the city’s strong position in this fight and will continue to work with my colleagues at the state level to enact the many reforms that are needed in the fight against gun violence. “While this settlement is good news, it’s just the tip of what’s needed to reduce deadly gun violence across Pennsylvania. I continue to call on the Pennsylvania Senate to pass the gun safety reform measures sent to them by the House this legislative session. Read more

 

Khan to introduce bipartisan legislation empowering recovery community organizations

(Apr 10, 2024)

HARRISBURG, April 10 – State Rep. Tarik Khan, D-Phila., today announced he will soon introduce bipartisan legislation to help prevent opioid overdose and support long-term recovery. This legislation would require Medicaid coverage and licensure for recovery community organizations providing peer recovery support services. Recovery community organizations help individuals and their families as they navigate to successful recovery and healthy lifestyles; however, they are currently not a licensable entity type in Pennsylvania, and individuals with substance use disorder only qualify for peer recovery services through Medicaid if they also have a mental illness. “So proud to help lead this effort to increase access to support services for individuals with substance use,” Khan said. “As a nurse practitioner and state legislator, I am committed to supporting recovery community organizations— key allies in increasing recovery and reducing overdoses across the state.” This bill has support from advocates outside the legislature including Robert D. Ashford, executive director for Unity Recovery, and Lauryn Wicks, family member and advocate. "Peer support workers and recovery community organizations are such a critical part of how we respond to substance use and mental health concerns in Pennsylvania,” Ashford said. “This legislation ensures that peers can be paid Read more

 

Pa. Democrats and union workers rally at the Capitol for $20 per hour ‘living wage’

(Apr 10, 2024)

All of Pennsylvania’s neighboring states have a higher minimum wage, but the Keystone State remains stuck at the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour. Workers and state Democratic elected officials say it’s time for that to change. “No more can we say minimum wage, because we don’t do minimum work,” state Rep. Roni Green (D-Philadelphia) said during a rally with union workers at the Capitol rotunda on Tuesday. “The days of minimum wage are gone. We need a living wage.” Read more

 

Kenyatta bill to convey New Freedom Theatre back to organization clears PA House

(Apr 09, 2024)

HARRISBURG, April 9 – After more than 30 years under state conservatorship the New Freedom Theatre is a step closer to being returned to the care of its parent organization thanks to legislation authored by state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., and passed by the PA House today. Kenyatta’s bill ( H.B. 1518 ) would authorize the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission to grant and convey the tract of land that contains the iconic New Freedom Theatre in North Philadelphia to New Freedom Theatre Inc. for $1. According to Kenyatta, the theater that started in a North Philadelphia storefront with the support of the Black People’s Unity Movement in the mid-1960s has worked to chronicle African American History in the performing arts with playwrights and artists including Erika Alexander, James Baldwin, Denzel Washington, August Wilson, Sonia Sanchez, Grover Washington, Jr. and Glynn Turman. It also has provided professional theatrical training to tens of thousands of students over the years. “The New Freedom Theatre is a cultural treasure in the 181st District and the city of Philadelphia. Its deep history and future potential give us hope,” Kenyatta said. “As the theater continues to stand strong in its status as a bastion of Black culture in Philadelphia, its site has preservation needs that come with any structure built in the 1800s. The organization is working to preserve the site’s history so Read more

 

Young bill to keep energy efficiency plans moving clears House

(Apr 09, 2024)

HARRISBURG, April 9 – PA House lawmakers today passed legislation sponsored by state Rep. Regina Young, D-Phila./Delaware, that would make sure energy efficiency plans in the state are not being denied or delayed due to the use of mechanical insulation in them. Act 129 of 2008 requires electric distribution companies to complete an energy efficiency and conservation plan for their distribution areas every five years. Plans must be approved by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to ensure they are cost-effective and reduce energy consumption. Specifically, Young’s bill ( H.B. 491 ) would clarify that the PUC cannot deny a required energy efficiency program application solely because it contains mechanical insulation in its plan. She said the bill is necessary because the insulation material has reportedly been used to reject or delay applications, and that some people have questioned the effectiveness and economic viability of its use. “Mechanical insulation is used to insulate equipment, machines and industrial processes, as opposed to building envelope insulation used in walls and roofs of homes and buildings,” Young said. “It protects workers from burns, reduces noise pollution and is essential for energy conservation in heating and cooling pipes. It is safe and industry standard. “The intent of my bill is to clarify that mechanical insulation is appropriate material so Read more

 

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

(Apr 09, 2024)

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. Read more

 

DAs in Delaware and Chester counties call on state Senate to act on ghost guns

(Apr 08, 2024)

The Chester County District Attorney on Friday joined with his counterpart in Delaware County to applaud legislation that was adopted by the state House of Representatives banning the sale of so called “ghost guns” and their individual parts and making it a crime to do so. Read more

 

Philadelphia lawmakers, others call on state Senate to act on gun safety measures passed by House

(Apr 04, 2024)

PHILADELPHIA, April 4 – Members of the Philadelphia House Delegation today joined gun safety advocates to call on the state Senate to take up legislation ( H.B. 777 ) passed by the House last week that aims to eliminate the proliferation of “ghost guns” in Pennsylvania and crack down on those who buy or sell them, along with other gun reform bills passed by the House in this legislative session. The bill, sponsored by state Reps. Morgan Cephas and Malcolm Kenyatta, both D-Phila., would make selling or purchasing a firearm or firearm parts without serial numbers a felony. Cephas said these untraceable firearms are a main driver of crime, especially in Philadelphia. “Ghost guns are far too easily obtainable in Philadelphia, leading to day-to-day gun violence that has no end,” Cephas said. “For far too long, the Pennsylvania legislature has been singularly focused on what we do after crimes are committed with guns, rather than the unfettered access to these deadly, untraceable weapons. I am thankful that the House, under our new Democratic majority, moved this commonsense legislation to the Senate and now call on our state senators to give it the attention and consideration it deserves.” House Speaker Joanna McClinton noted the other gun safety bills sent over to the Senate in addition to H.B. 777, including legislation that would allow for the temporary removal of firearms from Read more

 

Grant Memo: Agricultural, Educational, Safety, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities

(Apr 02, 2024)

NEWLY LISTED PROGRAMS Department of Transportation: Automated Red Light Enforcement Transportation Enhancements Grant Program (ARLE Program) Who May Apply: Local governments, planning organizations, or Commonwealth agencies. Use: Eligible uses include, but are not limited to, roadway safety, mobility, and capacity upgrades, bicycle and pedestrian improvements, local technical assistance program projects, and traffic signal improvements. Funds: PennDOT anticipates $32 million available with the intent of funding worthwhile projects that can be completed at a relatively low cost. Application Deadline: A pre-application scoping form is required to be submitted by April 30, 2024. Feedback will be provided by May 31, 2024. The application period will be open from June 1, 2024, to June 30, 2024. More information: PennDOT Website Commission on Crime and Delinquency: Intermediate Punishment Treatment Program Who May Apply: Counties Use: Funds for the proposed program must be used to support restrictive conditions that are imposed as part of a county probation sentence and may be used for needed drug and alcohol-related services, and mental health treatment and supportive services for eligible individuals Funds: Funding is contingent upon the availability of funds in the FY 2024-25 budget. Application Deadline: May 1, 2024 More information: PCCD Website Department of Community and Economic Development: Multimodal Transportation Fund (MTF) Read more

 

House sends bill to crack down on ‘ghost guns’ to Senate

(Mar 27, 2024)

HARRISBURG, March 27 – The PA House today passed legislation ( H.B. 777 ) that aims to eliminate the proliferation of “ghost guns” in Pennsylvania and crack down on those who buy or sell them. The bill, sponsored by state Reps. Morgan Cephas and Malcolm Kenyatta, both D-Phila., would impose felony charges on anyone who sells or purchases a firearm or firearm parts without serial numbers. Cephas said these untraceable firearms are a main driver of crime, especially in Philadelphia. “Ghost guns are far too easily obtainable in Philadelphia and in our neighboring municipalities, leading to day-to-day gun violence in our communities that has no end,” Cephas said. “For far too long, Pennsylvania has remined singularly focused on what we do after crimes are committed with guns, rather than the unfettered access to these deadly weapons. I am thankful that the House is now moving legislation to be proactive in preventing gun violence in our communities through commonsense reforms like making it harder to sell or buy ghost guns and untraceable firearm parts.” Cephas added that the state must act because municipal governments are prevented from doing so under state law. “The preemption of local action has been a significant barrier to reducing gun violence in Philadelphia and other municipalities who are desperate to end the scourge of gun Read more

 

Grant Memo: Agricultural, Educational, Safety, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities For Your District

(Mar 26, 2024)

NEWLY LISTED PROGRAMS Commission on Crime and Delinquency: Intermediate Punishment Treatment Program Who May Apply: Counties Use: Funds for the proposed program must be used to support restrictive conditions that are imposed as part of a county probation sentence and may be used for needed drug and alcohol-related services, and mental health treatment and supportive services for eligible individuals Funds: Funding is contingent upon the availability of funds in the FY 2024-25 budget. Application Deadline: May 1, 2024 More information: PCCD Website PROGRAMS OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS: Department of Agriculture: Farm Vitality Planning Grant Who May Apply: Farmers, prospective farmers, and others may apply. Use: Strategic business planning to expand or diversify farms or support transition of ownership. Funds: $500,000 in funding is available. Grants shall not exceed $7,500. Application Deadline: Applications will be received until funds are exhausted. More information: Pennsylvania Bulletin Commission on Crime and Delinquency: Recruitment Incentives for Law Enforcement Who May Apply: Local law enforcement agencies, campus or university police, railroad or street railway police, airport authority police, and county park police. Use: Funding is explicitly to support Act 120 training and recruitment activities for law enforcement officers that will take place between Oct. 19, 2023 and June 30, 2025. Funds: $14 million in Read more

 

Kinsey applauds $1.8 million for local transportation improvements

(Mar 26, 2024)

PHILADELPHIA, March 26 – Today, state Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., announced that state funding worth $1.8 million was awarded to the city of Philadelphia for streetscape improvements along Germantown Avenue, including for Mt. Airy pedestrian lighting and crossings. Kinsey, who represents Pennsylvania’s 201 st Legislative District, where Germantown Avenue is located, stressed the importance of project funding. “I’m proud to see significant state funding awarded to address this part of Germantown Avenue, where we see a lot of traffic and movement,” Kinsey said. “This funding should go a long way to provide needed improvements that will keep pedestrians and drivers safe at the Mt. Airy crossing.” The funding comes from The Multimodal Transportation Fund administered by the Commonwealth Financing Authority. The MTF provides grants to encourage economic development and ensure that a safe and reliable system of transportation is available to the residents of the commonwealth. Read more

 

Young announces $600,000 state grant for Philadelphia International Airport Terminals D and E exit lane enhancements

(Mar 26, 2024)

PHILADELPHIA, March 26 – State Rep. Regina Young, D-Phila., today announced that $600,000 in state grant funding has been secured for exit lane enhancements at Terminals D and E at the Philadelphia International Airport. The grant, which comes from the Department of Community and Economic Development’s Multimodal Transportation Fund, may be used for the development, rehabilitation and enhancement of transportation assets in the state. “The Philadelphia International Airport is a key transportation asset and economic engine for the Philadelphia region and for the state as a whole, and I am delighted to help bring state funding back to the airport through a variety of grant programs available,” Young said. Young has helped to secure more than $2.1 million in state funding from the Multimodal Transportation Fund for the Philadelphia Airport since first taking office in 2021. “We’re extremely grateful to Representative Young as well as members of the Philadelphia and Southeast delegations in Harrisburg for securing additional grant funding for the Department of Aviation. This new funding will help us make sure PHL can deliver the best experience at each step of the passenger journey through the airport,” said Atif Saeed, CEO of Philadelphia International Airport. “Updating our facilities is especially important as passenger volume continues to increase post-pandemic and we prepare to host many Read more

 

Kinsey voter intimidation penalties bill approved by Judiciary Committee

(Mar 26, 2024)

HARRISBURG, March 26 – Today, the Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee approved legislation ( H.B. 461 ) introduced by state Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., that would provide enhanced penalties for individuals who intimidate others at a polling place. Pennsylvania law makes polling place intimidation a criminal offense that can lead to a misdemeanor or felony conviction, depending on the circumstances. In addition to requiring a higher burden of proof and a burdensome amount of time and money, a criminal conviction may not lead to the restoration of justice for the person whose right to vote has been violated. Kinsey’s bill would allow a person aggrieved by an individual convicted of polling place intimidation to bring civil action and recover punitive damages, reasonable attorney fees, and other legal costs. “Voting is a fundamental right all Americans have, and when folks go to a polling place to make their voice heard, they deserve to do so in peace without being harassed,” Kinsey said. “This legislation would bring justice to those who try to intimidate, harass, or bother others at the polls.” This legislation now moves to the full House for future consideration. Read more

 

House Democrats Introduce Eviction Record Sealing Legislation

(Mar 25, 2024)

HARRISBURG, March 25 – State Reps. Ismail Smith-Wade-El, D-Lancaster, and Elizabeth Fiedler, Rick Krajewski and Majority Appropriations Committee Chairman Jordan Harris, all D-Phila., today introduced H.B. 1769 that would seal some records in certain cases such as no-fault evictions. “Millions of renters across the commonwealth are struggling to find housing because one mistake or emergency had led to an eviction on their records,” Smith-Wade-El said. “After these no-fault evictions, households often struggle -- sometimes for months -- to find housing, which can result in devastating consequences, including the breakup of families, the loss of employment, and even ending up homeless. This legislation would help give Pennsylvania renters a fair chance at finding housing by establishing procedures for limited access to eviction records. Our Fair Housing Access legislation is a commonsense step that would make it easier for working-class Pennsylvanians to access housing.” According to the legislators, as soon as an eviction is filed, it becomes a permanent mark on someone’s background, making harder to find housing. The record remains even if the case was withdrawn, the tenant endured domestic violence, or the court found in favor of the tenant. Smith-Wade-El said that evictions disrupt workforce development for large swaths of communities and strain existing social support systems throughout the state. These records can put vulnerable Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation praises approval of increase in public transit funding

(Mar 20, 2024)

Today, members of the Philadelphia House Delegation were an integral part of the state House of Representatives’ approval of a proposed increase in recurring funds for public transportation in Pennsylvania. Read more

 

Rep. Ben Waxman, Sen. Nikil Saval, Friends of Rittenhouse Square Celebrate Lawn Restoration Project

(Mar 18, 2024)

Philadelphia, Sunday, March 17— Today State Senator Nikil Saval and State Representative Ben Waxman joined the Friends of Rittenhouse Square to update and celebrate the ongoing work on behalf of one of Philadelphia’s most beloved parks. “Rittenhouse Square is truly one of Pennsylvania's treasures and among the best parks in the nation,” said Representative Waxman. “I am incredibly pleased that the Friends of Rittenhouse Square have received this state funding to help finance their Lawn Restoration Project so that future visitors can enjoy this extraordinary public space for years to come.” “One of the oldest and most successful public spaces in the country, Rittenhouse Square is the heritage of every Philadelphian," said Senator Saval. “Its tall trees, bench-lined paths, and expansive lawns are instantly recognizable—iconic after 300 years of use, and welcoming to all. The Friends of Rittenhouse Square work tirelessly to safeguard the health and vitality of the park for all who love it and depend on it. I’m so proud to support their work.” The people and businesses that make up the Friends of Rittenhouse Square shoulder the bulk of the work that sustains Rittenhouse Square, ensuring the park and neighborhood remain vibrant through regular and seasonal maintenance and special projects to address the ever-changing needs of the park and surrounding community. “Our team works hard Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation reacts to Mayor Parker’s budget proposal

(Mar 14, 2024)

Chairwoman of the Philadelphia House Delegation state Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., issued the following statement today in response to Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker’s first budget proposal and address today in City Council Chambers. Read more

 

Grant Memo: Agricultural, Educational, Public Safety, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities

(Mar 14, 2024)

NEWLY LISTED PROGRAMS Commonwealth Financing Authority: Public School Facility Improvement Grant Who May Apply: School entities, defined as a school district or an area career and technical school. Use: Facility improvement projects, including but not limited to roof repair/replacement, heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment, plumbing systems, window repair/replacement, health and safety upgrades, and accessibility projects. Funds: $100 million in total funding is available. Grant requests shall not exceed $5 million per eligible improvement project. School entities may submit more than one application, but no school entity shall receive more than 20% of the total funding available. Application Deadline: May 31, 2024 More information: CFA Website Commission on Crime and Delinquency: STOP Violence Against Women Grant Program Who May Apply: County governments and non-profit victim service agencies are eligible to apply. Faith-based organizations may be eligible to apply under certain circumstances. Use: Funds may be used to support cross-system, collaborative efforts to respond to victims of violence against women crimes. This includes, but is not limited to, personnel and benefit costs associated with specialized units in law enforcement or core direct victim services, supplies and operating expenses related to the STOP project, equipment necessary for implementation, and training or professional development. Funds: A total of $12 Read more

 

Central Cambria School District discusses ‘going solar’ during tour with Fiedler, labor leaders

(Mar 14, 2024)

EBENSBURG, March 14 – Yesterday, state Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler, D-Phila., and labor leaders toured Central Cambria School District and spoke about potentially installing solar panels. Owning a solar array could save the district money on dramatically rising energy costs. Fiedler introduced state Solar for Schools legislation in May to help districts fund the construction and maintenance of solar panels. Visitors heard from district officials about their financial challenges and how solar projects have cost similar school districts hundreds of thousands of dollars. Dr. Jason Moore, superintendent of the Central Cambria School District, said owning a solar array would benefit the district financially, allowing them to eschew volatile market-price energy in favor of cheap renewables. “The work our teachers and staff do each day to support kids and families is only possible with adequate funding,” Moore said. “But in the last school year, our electric bills alone totaled over $540K, an amount that equates to roughly seven teachers’ salaries and benefits. I’d love to know our school can generate its own electricity and not have to worry about that number each month. With the help of Solar for Schools, we could!” Also on the tour were labor leaders, school board members and faith groups, including: Sarah Hammond, legislative director of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO; Alexander Tomasko, Read more

 

House Philadelphia Delegation applauds ‘ghost gun’ settlement with city
6 hours ago

Khan to introduce bipartisan legislation empowering recovery community organizations
Apr 10, 2024

Pa. Democrats and union workers rally at the Capitol for $20 per hour ‘living wage’
Apr 10, 2024

Kenyatta bill to convey New Freedom Theatre back to organization clears PA House
Apr 09, 2024

Young bill to keep energy efficiency plans moving clears House
Apr 09, 2024

Kinsey bill honoring first African American Speaker of Pa. House heads to Senate
Apr 09, 2024

DAs in Delaware and Chester counties call on state Senate to act on ghost guns
Apr 08, 2024

Philadelphia lawmakers, others call on state Senate to act on gun safety measures passed by House
Apr 04, 2024

Grant Memo: Agricultural, Educational, Safety, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities
Apr 02, 2024

House sends bill to crack down on ‘ghost guns’ to Senate
Mar 27, 2024

Grant Memo: Agricultural, Educational, Safety, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities For Your District
Mar 26, 2024

Kinsey applauds $1.8 million for local transportation improvements
Mar 26, 2024

Young announces $600,000 state grant for Philadelphia International Airport Terminals D and E exit lane enhancements
Mar 26, 2024

Kinsey voter intimidation penalties bill approved by Judiciary Committee
Mar 26, 2024

House Democrats Introduce Eviction Record Sealing Legislation
Mar 25, 2024

Philadelphia House Delegation praises approval of increase in public transit funding
Mar 20, 2024

Rep. Ben Waxman, Sen. Nikil Saval, Friends of Rittenhouse Square Celebrate Lawn Restoration Project
Mar 18, 2024

Philadelphia House Delegation reacts to Mayor Parker’s budget proposal
Mar 14, 2024

Grant Memo: Agricultural, Educational, Public Safety, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities
Mar 14, 2024

Central Cambria School District discusses ‘going solar’ during tour with Fiedler, labor leaders
Mar 14, 2024