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Philadelphia House Delegation reacts to adoption of state budget

Philadelphia House Delegation supports work of Stop and Go Legislative Task Force

(22 hours ago)

As the Stop and Go Legislative Task Force completes their two days of public hearings at City Hall, the Philadelphia House Delegation voiced their support of the group’s work to put an end to the nuisance establishments in the city. The task force convened two days of public input from law enforcement, state agencies, local officials, business owners and residents. Stop and Gos are convenience stores or neighborhood delis that also sell beer and liquor, usually without the proper licensing and oversight. People who purchase the alcohol can consume it right outside of the establishment. Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation reacts to adoption of state budget

(Jul 12, 2024)

On Thursday, all Philadelphia House Delegation members voted to approve the state budget for the 2024-25 fiscal year. Chairwoman of the delegation, state Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., said that the budget is far from perfect, but is a solid compromise that will see historic school funding thanks in large part to the recommendations of the Basic Education Funding Commission, housing assistance, support for public safety and one-time funding to bolster SEPTA. Read more

 

Hanbidge and Cephas measure creating child care tax credit for PA businesses included in state budget’s tax code

(Jul 11, 2024)

"This tax incentive will go a long way in having more employers include financial assistance for child care in their strategic business plans, creating a more stable workforce in Pennsylvania while continuing to help families re-enter the job market,” Cephas said. Read more

 

‘We need reform’: State Rep. calls for change in Philly Sheriff’s Office amid reports of growing dysfunction

(Jul 10, 2024)

“It seems like this is so ministerial and bureaucratic in nature. Why can’t we do this?” Solomon asked. “Our communities deserve a lot better.” Read more

 

Gov. Shapiro signs Philly tow truck driver accountability bill into law

(Jul 09, 2024)

Known as Act 43, the bill -- sponsored by Pa. State Rep. Jose Giral, D-Phila. -- will require tow truck drivers to provide photographic evidence of a violation before they can tow or remove a vehicle.“I am pleased to see this commonsense measure signed into law,” Giral said in a statement shortly after the bill was signed into law.. “This will benefit everyone involved, the courts, drivers and towing companies, and will ensure greater accountability and transparency in our city.” Read more

 

Bill would ease debt and tax bills for student borrowers

(Jul 02, 2024)

HARRISBURG, July 2 – As Pennsylvania lawmakers work to finalize the state budget and tuition bills are hitting mailboxes for the fall semester, two state lawmakers are looking to provide needed financial relief to student borrowers. State Reps. Jennifer O’Mara, D-Delaware, and Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., have introduced legislation ( H.B. 2476 ) that would exempt tuition reimbursement from the personal income tax, as well as codify that student loan forgiveness is not taxable income. According to the lawmakers, current and former college students in the U.S. have taken out approximately $1.75 trillion in student loans. Pennsylvania borrowers have an average of $39,375 in debt, making the state the third-highest average for student loan debt. The cost of both public and private four-year colleges has tripled since 1980, even when accounting for inflation, contributing to the need for students to take out more loans. “Pennsylvania is a state where borrowers struggle with student loans more than most,” O’Mara said. “It’s even more disheartening when they are handed a tax bill for what relief they do get from their employers in the form of tuition reimbursement. Students are constantly evaluating their career and financial paths to include ways to make college more affordable. When they find an employer who wants to help with those costs in exchange for getting a great employee, they shouldn’t be Read more

 

Burgos bill to get fresh foods to PA schools clears House (Spanish version included)

(Jul 01, 2024)

HARRISBURG, July 1 – State House lawmakers today passed legislation introduced by Rep. Danilo Burgos, D-Phila., that would get more fresh fruits and vegetables into schools while supporting locally grown products. Burgos’ bill ( H.B. 2420 ) would establish the Keystone Fresh Program, which would include three grant programs to provide opportunities for school districts, farms, food hubs, and local food aggregators to incorporate locally grown fresh foods into Pennsylvania schools. “ Schools across Pennsylvania serve more than 157 million lunches per year , providing critical nutrients to children across the state and making them one of the largest potential markets for agricultural producers in Pennsylvania,” Burgos said. “Despite having a child nutrition budget of more than $729 million per year, schools self-report that they spend less than 2% of those funds on Pennsylvania-grown foods. Local food purchasing incentive legislation , like the Keystone Fresh Act, would address this problem by establishing a grant program incentivizing schools to purchase, promote and serve local foods in their meal programs.” According to Burgos, similar LFPI programs in 16 other states have been an effective and innovative strategy, increasing the quantity of local foods served in school meals and creating an essential market for farmers. Research has shown LFPI programs generate a local Read more

 

Cephas' bill would address implicit bias in Pa. health care

(Jun 26, 2024)

HARRISBURG, June 26 – On the heels of a new report detailing racial biases in the U.S. healthcare system, state Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., today emphasized the need for her legislation that seeks to resolve the subconscious biases of healthcare providers in the state so they can improve patient care and adapt practices for the diverse communities they serve. A lengthy report released today by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine laid out the harms of structural racism in the U.S. healthcare system to minority populations and offered solutions to combatting the problem. Cephas’ legislation ( H.B. 2178 ) to address the biases of healthcare providers in Pennsylvania was introduced in April. Under Cephas’ bill, each person applying for a license or certification issued by a health-related board within the Department of State would be required to complete training regarding implicit bias and cultural competence. Such training would, at minimum, include an understanding of implicit bias and include practical techniques to reduce unconscious bias and improve cultural competence. “There is extensive evidence and research of implicit bias in our healthcare system, resulting in the unequal treatment of patients based on race, gender, weight, age, language spoken, income and insurance status, and most often leading to negative health outcomes for poor people and communities of Read more

 

Overbrook Night Market delivers resources, family-friendly fun for nearly 10,000 residents

(Jun 21, 2024)

PHILADELPHIA, June 21 – Nearly 10,000 people of all ages braved the heat to connect with their neighbors, support local businesses and have some family-friendly fun, according to state Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., a coordinator of West Philadelphia’s annual street food festival held last night. “I am so grateful to the many community partners who make The Overbrook Night Market a great event year in and year out,” Cephas said. “Despite the heat, the people came out again this year to celebrate their neighborhood, have some fun and support local businesses, talented artists and our culture. I look forward to its continuing success.” Now in its fourth year, and co-hosted by Overbook West Neighbors Inc., the event featured 35+ food trucks and vendors, a family zone with kids’ activities and three DJs. There was a special appearance by Miss Philadelphia, Tynecia Wilson, and local leaders including City Council Majority Leader Katherine Gilmore-Richardson, Councilmember Jeffery Young, Jr. and District Attorney Larry Krasner. Residents also had the opportunity to connect with resources and local businesses and organizations including PCOM, PECO and MainLine Health, along with Penn Medicine, Independence Blue Cross, Xfinity and Cobbs Creek Foundation. Cephas and her staff also were on hand to help people with state-related programs, services and issues. The mission of The Overbrook Night Read more

 

The latest UArts hearing discusses red flags before closure, a failed move to save the school, and an accusation of ‘cowards’ on the board

(Jun 18, 2024)

High-level University of the Arts administrators tried to halt the university’s abrupt June closure, but were stonewalled and frozen out, one said Monday at a state hearing on the sudden shutdown. Read more

 

Students, faculty, alumni detail UArts closure

(Jun 17, 2024)

“This has been a terrible time for the University of the Arts students, staff and alumni,” said Policy Committee hearing host state Rep. Ben Waxman, who represents portions of Philadelphia including the UArts campus in Center City. “They have been treated in such a way that is frankly unacceptable. The University of the Arts’ leadership has refused to provide information, even after throwing the lives of thousands of people into chaos because of their incompetence.” Read more

 

Democratic lawmakers to introduce bill increasing transparency for institutions of higher education

(Jun 13, 2024)

HARRISBURG, June 13 – State Reps. Ben Waxman, D-Phila., and Bob Merski, D-Erie, announced today that they will be introducing legislation to help prevent abrupt closures of higher education institutions in Pennsylvania. This announcement comes roughly one week after the sudden closure of The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. This legislation would require colleges or universities to provide financial information yearly if they receive commonwealth funds or federal funds distributed by the commonwealth. The lawmakers believe that this proposal would ensure transparency for the commonwealth, students, and staff of higher education institutions and continued good stewardship of taxpayer dollars. The University of the Arts is located in Waxman’s legislative district, covering center city Philadelphia. “When I heard about UArts’ closure, I immediately shared feelings of anger and disappointment with the students who won’t have the same school to attend and faculty who will be losing their jobs,” Waxman said. “I want to ensure no student or school faculty member in Pennsylvania has to go through what those at UArts are going through right now. By requiring these schools to regularly notify us of their financial information, we can create greater accountability and transparency across the board.” The lawmakers say that having this information from schools on a yearly 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

 

Kinsey bill to update reporting requirements for DDAP heads to full PA House

(Jun 12, 2024)

HARRISBURG, June 12 – Today, legislation ( H.B. 2403 ) introduced by PA House Human Services Chair state Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., was approved by the committee and advanced to the full House. House Bill 2403 would update the state Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs’ existing annual reporting requirements. Kinsey said the updates are needed in response to DDAP significantly increasing its coordination with many other state departments to focus on innovations to the drug treatment system, support for grassroots recovery organizations, and emerging harm-reduction strategies with proven outcomes. “With the opioid epidemic in our state, I commend DDAP for expanding its responsibilities and efforts to help combat this epidemic,” Kinsey said. “As DDAP takes on these additional responsibilities, it’s important that we update the requirements of how they annually report to us in the General Assembly. This increased transparency and communication will facilitate meaningful input and contributions to policy discussions, increase awareness of DDAP’s efforts, and ultimately support their initiatives more effectively.” This bill now heads to the full House for consideration. Read more

 

Fiedler bill to modernize Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority unanimously approved by committee

(Jun 11, 2024)

HARRISBURG, June 11 — Today, H.B. 2338 , introduced by state Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler, D-Phila. , was approved unanimously by the House Consumer Protection, Technology and Utilities Committee. The bill would update the duties and powers of the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority, which was chartered in 1982 with the purpose of financing energy and energy-related projects. If enacted, H.B. 2338 would enable PEDA to apply for and leverage billions of federal dollars available through the Inflation Reduction Act to incentivize investments in Pennsylvania clean-energy projects. With the federal government now implementing the $550 billion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the $783 billion Inflation Reduction Act, Fiedler said she believes this presents an incredible opportunity for Pennsylvania. “These federal investments can jumpstart energy production in Pennsylvania, create good local jobs, and reduce energy costs for consumers, but only if we have the right vehicle to seize the funds,” Fiedler said. “PEDA, our state’s public energy financing authority, is well-suited to play this role, but first we must modernize PEDA to ensure it can maximize its role as an energy accelerator and job creator.” The legislation’s co-prime sponsor, state Rep. Mandy Steele, D-Allegheny, placed the legislation within the context of the state’s long history of energy production. Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation lauds passage of equitable school funding

(Jun 10, 2024)

Today, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed legislation lauded by members of the House Philadelphia Delegation that would fundamentally change the way that school districts are funded in the state to meet the constitutional mandate of equitably funding schools. Read more

 

Mayes, McClinton join advocates to rally for passage of PA CROWN Act

(Jun 04, 2024)

Call for state Senate to act on legislation to fight hair discrimination Read more

 

Young Honors Marian Anderson With Day in PA

(Jun 03, 2024)

State Rep. Regina Young, D-Phila./Delaware, today announced that the PA House of Representatives has approved her House resolution recognizing June 8, 2024 as Marian Anderson Day in Pennsylvania. Read more

 

Community Budget Briefing in Philadelphia

(May 31, 2024)

Majority Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee Rep. Jordan Harris along with local state Representatives host a community conversation on the 2024-25 state budget in Northwest Philadelphia.More at http://www.HouseAppropriations.com Read more

 

Pennsylvania Lawmakers Stress Need for Diverse Educator Workforce

(May 29, 2024)

State Rep. Regina Young, who represents parts of Philadelphia, hosted the hearing. “Teachers enable a pathway to a greater future for all our young people,” she said. “It was great to hear from the panelists supporting the need for more Black teachers and supporting people of color to become teachers, but it was inspiring to see so many young people in the room who could become the teachers for the next generation. Speaking from my own experience, it’s necessary for students to make that connection with the teachers and mentors who see more in you than you see in yourself.” Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation supports work of Stop and Go Legislative Task Force
22 hours ago

Philadelphia House Delegation reacts to adoption of state budget
Jul 12, 2024

Hanbidge and Cephas measure creating child care tax credit for PA businesses included in state budget’s tax code
Jul 11, 2024

‘We need reform’: State Rep. calls for change in Philly Sheriff’s Office amid reports of growing dysfunction
Jul 10, 2024

Gov. Shapiro signs Philly tow truck driver accountability bill into law
Jul 09, 2024

Bill would ease debt and tax bills for student borrowers
Jul 02, 2024

Burgos bill to get fresh foods to PA schools clears House (Spanish version included)
Jul 01, 2024

Cephas' bill would address implicit bias in Pa. health care
Jun 26, 2024

Overbrook Night Market delivers resources, family-friendly fun for nearly 10,000 residents
Jun 21, 2024

The latest UArts hearing discusses red flags before closure, a failed move to save the school, and an accusation of ‘cowards’ on the board
Jun 18, 2024

Students, faculty, alumni detail UArts closure
Jun 17, 2024

Democratic lawmakers to introduce bill increasing transparency for institutions of higher education
Jun 13, 2024

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

Kinsey bill to update reporting requirements for DDAP heads to full PA House
Jun 12, 2024

Fiedler bill to modernize Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority unanimously approved by committee
Jun 11, 2024

Philadelphia House Delegation lauds passage of equitable school funding
Jun 10, 2024

Mayes, McClinton join advocates to rally for passage of PA CROWN Act
Jun 04, 2024

Young Honors Marian Anderson With Day in PA
Jun 03, 2024

Community Budget Briefing in Philadelphia
May 31, 2024

Pennsylvania Lawmakers Stress Need for Diverse Educator Workforce
May 29, 2024