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Philadelphia House Delegation praises approval of increase in public transit funding

Fairness Act passes PA House

(May 02, 2023)

HARRISBURG, May 2 – Today, the Fairness Act (H.B. 300) passed out of the Pennsylvania House and is headed to the Senate for a future vote. Below is a quote that can be attributed to the co-prime sponsors of this bill: Reps. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila; Jessica Benham, Dan Frankel and La’Tasha D. Mayes, all D-Allegheny; Ismail Smith-Wade-El, D-Lancaster; and Greg Scott, D-Montgomery. “Today is a historic day, as we take a critical step to make Pennsylvania fairer. The Fairness Act is as simple as it is substantive. H.B. 300 would protect LGBTQ+ Pennsylvanians from facing discrimination and allow all individuals in the commonwealth to file complaints with the PA Human Relations Commission. “Now, we call on the Senate to quickly consider and pass this legislation and send it to Governor Shapiro’s desk.” Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation meets with members of Philadelphia City Council Committee on Education to discuss school facilities

(May 01, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, May 1 – In light of yet another school closing due to environmental hazards, the Philadelphia House Delegation today announced that the institution held a discussion with the Philadelphia City Council Committee on Education to help address the school closings impacting hundreds of students. The meeting was prompted after a sixth school building, Universal Vare Charter School, closed Friday after asbestos was found in the building. All affected schools have shifted to virtual learning. The finding comes as the result of a districtwide inspection prompted by the discovery of asbestos in Building 21, located in West Oak Lake. That building was shut down March 1. Philadelphia House Delegation Chair Morgan Cephas said the delegation is concerned about the ongoing situation of schools having to close, and said the delegation considered the reunion the first step in evaluating strategies and prevention measures with the school district and the board of education. “ Years of disinvested in the schools has led to this upsetting situation; underfunding has taken a toll on these buildings. This is disruptive and frustrating for the parents and students that now have been thrown into a state of disarray,” Cephas said. “We are proposing solutions, but we also have questions and concerns that we need to clarify before we go into budget negotiations. We must wonder, are there other schools slated Read more

 

Boyle champions his insurance cyber security bill passing PA House

(May 01, 2023)

HARRISBURG, May 1 – Today, legislation ( H.B. 739 ) introduced by state Rep. Kevin Boyle that would require insurance companies and agents to develop cybersecurity policies and report cybersecurity events to the state insurance commissioner passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives unanimously. Boyle expressed gratitude to his colleagues for supporting and passing this legislation he championed in the House. “This legislation will go a long way in ensuring insurance consumers’ data is protected online from breachers,” said Boyle, D-Phila. “I applaud my colleagues for joining me to pass this important legislation in the House. Now, it’s up to the Senate to get this bill to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.” This legislation now goes to the PA Senate for consideration. Read more

 

Fiedler, Pisciottano ‘Right to Organize’ bill clears House Labor & Industry Committee

(May 01, 2023)

HARRISBURG, May 1 – Legislation ( H.B. 950 ) introduced by state Reps. Elizabeth Fiedler, D-Phila., and Nick Pisciottano, D-Allegheny, which would give Pennsylvania workers the right to organize, was reported out of the House Labor and Industry Committee today. Currently, the Pennsylvania constitution does not guarantee workers the right to organize and collectively bargain. This legislation proposes to amend Article I of the Pennsylvania Constitution to enshrine these rights for all workers in Pennsylvania. Additionally, the bill would prohibit any other laws that may interfere with or diminish collective bargaining rights. Fiedler said that the passage of H.B. 950 is a step in the right direction for Pennsylvania workers. “Workers fuel our economy. They are the mothers, fathers, aunts and uncles of our commonwealth,” Fiedler said. “Workers deserve to be treated with respect and that’s exactly the goal of this legislation. The Workers’ Rights Amendment will support workers in using their numbers to secure better pay, hours and working conditions.” Fiedler and Pisciottano believe that workplace organizing should be a right, but anti-union employers routinely threaten and scare workers in anti-union workplace seminars, bombard workers with anti-union literature, and bring in consultants that use surveillance technology to sniff out the organizers and fire them. Under the Read more

 

PA LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus holds rally for Fairness Act

(Apr 26, 2023)

“Pennsylvania is better when it’s fairer. Passing the Fairness Act is the right thing to do for our families, our commonwealth and for our economy,” Kenyatta said. “Pennsylvanians are good and decent people. They know every single one of us should be treated with dignity and respect. We have a chance to deliver on that basic principle and we will.” Read more

 

Fiedler, Hanbidge ‘Patient Consent for Pelvic Exams’ bill passes House

(Apr 26, 2023)

“The more I researched the situation, the more horrified I was,” Fiedler said. “This is an important matter of bodily autonomy and of maintaining trust between doctor and patient..." Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation applauds win on gun safety

(Apr 26, 2023)

HARRISBURG, APRIL 26 – The Philadelphia House Delegation today announced that an important set of firearm safety bills was approved by the PA House Judiciary Committee today and is on its way to consideration by the full House. The package of legislation, which cleared its first key committee, is aimed at securing prompt reporting of theft or loss of firearms, keeping guns secure around children, regulating background checks, and repealing provisions relating to the sale or transfer of firearms, among other regulations. Philadelphia House Delegation Chair Morgan Cephas explained that this is a remarkable day for the delegation as another hurdle in efforts to deflate gun violence has been cleared. “This victory is long overdue. We are finally moving gun violence bills out of the Judiciary Committee. We have relentlessly fought for these bills”, Cephas said. “In a republican majority there was no chance for any kind of gun reform, but the time has come, and we couldn’t be more optimistic about this process. State Rep. Darisha Parker indicated that the bill on Safe Storage (H.B. 731) would help to save lives. Parker proposed consolidating statutes for firearms and other dangerous articles, providing for locking device for firearms. "There is no reason that anyone should lose a loved one because of a mishandled firearm," Parker said. "My legislation would Read more

 

Bill aims to increase max penalty for illegal dumping in Philadelphia

(Apr 25, 2023)

"There is no community in Philadelphia, perhaps across the commonwealth, that has not seen illegal dumping," said Bullock, a Democrat representing House District 195 which encompasses North Philadelphia, Fairmount Park, Strawberry Mansion and other nearby areas.Bullock's bill increases fines for illegal dumping, making the maximum penalty up to $20,000. Read more

 

Fiedler, Madsen, Harris join Steelton-Highspire High School solar tour

(Apr 25, 2023)

HARRISBURG, April 25 – Today, state Reps. Elizabeth Fiedler, D-Phila.; Dave Madsen, D-Dauphin; and House Democratic Appropriations Chair Jordan Harris, D-Phila.; joined a tour of the solar panel array at Steelton-Highspire High School. The tour was hosted by Generation 180, a nonprofit organization working to inspire and equip people to adopt clean energy. Last year, Steelton-Highspire School District unveiled a solar panel field to power the district’s schools and buildings. Fiedler recently introduced ‘Solar for Schools’ legislation that would create a grant program to fund solar energy projects at school districts, intermediate units, community colleges, and career and technical schools. She said she was pleased to see Steelton-Highspire’s new solar panel field. “Today, we got to see how much positive change solar panel arrays can bring to schools like Steelton-Highspire,” Fiedler said. “If we pass Solar for Schools legislation, we can save schools thousands each year in energy costs, bring federal money for green energy projects back to Pennsylvania, generate good-paying jobs for skilled workers, reduce pollution, create opportunities for hands-on education, and inspire a new generation of leaders.” Madsen, whose legislative district includes Steelton-Highspire School District, praised the school’s leadership. “I am proud of Read more

 

Ban on shackling pregnant women, solitary confinement in prison advances in Pa. House

(Apr 19, 2023)

The House Judiciary Committee unanimously reported out House Bill 900, which, in addition to bans on shackling expectant mothers, includes a host of measures to implement best practices, some of which are already in place in federal prisons. Read more

 

Lawmakers acknowledge esports as part of equitable solution

(Apr 19, 2023)

“As we heard today, esports can provide the spark needed by students to encourage academic and emotional development,” said Rep. Danilo Burgos, who represents portions of Philadelphia and is the chairman of the Policy Subcommittee on Progressive Policies for Working People. “One of the most exciting aspects about esports, for me as a legislator and Latino, is its potential for an equitable solution to our strikingly low number of Black and Hispanic workers in STEM-related careers. Esports attract a diverse group of students, regardless of race or gender, and it has proven itself as a gateway into encouraging young people to pursue STEM education as well as STEM-related careers.” Read more

 

Cephas, Davis and Jones resume their fight for incarcerated women

(Apr 19, 2023)

The Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act (H.B.900), a bipartisan effort that passed unanimously, would prohibit the shackling of pregnant women, solitary confinement of pregnant women and provides for trauma informed care training of corrections officers interacting with pregnant and postpartum women. Read more

 

Hearing looks for solutions to illegal ATV use on city streets

(Apr 18, 2023)

“ATVs and dirt bikes have taken our city hostage,” said hearing host Rep. Darisha Parker, who represents portions of Philadelphia. “We have a serious problem facing our city, and we cannot allow it to continue. We convened this hearing to bring in experts to share the city of Philadelphia ordinance and to inform the public about illegal activity and how the public can report it. Based on today’s testimony, we now need to see what kind of role the state can play to curb this problem.” Read more

 

Reps. Cephas, Harris host roundtable to examine repairs of alleyways, driveways, sidewalks

(Apr 17, 2023)

“While we witnessed some of the needs of my community firsthand today, I’m working in Harrisburg to create a program to empower all municipalities throughout the state to create a neighborhood infrastructure repair programs to support working people and working families,” said roundtable and tour host Rep. Morgan Cephas, who represents portions of Philadelphia – including the Overbrook section. Read more

 

Kinsey applauds DDAP funding for regional recovery hubs

(Apr 13, 2023)

HARRISBURG, April 13 – Pennsylvania House Human Services Committee Chair Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., issued the following statement today applauding the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs for announcing $4 million in grant funding for the establishment of nine regional recovery hubs across the commonwealth. “I am very pleased to see this state funding go toward helping address addiction. This is a very pervasive issue across the commonwealth and having recovery hubs in multiple regions from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia and everywhere in between should be very beneficial in helping Pennsylvanians struggling with addiction receive a quality recovery. “I applaud DDAP’s efforts, and as chairman of the House Human Services Committee, I look to build on what they’re doing to address addiction across the commonwealth and provide Pennsylvanians necessary resources for recovery.” People can view the list organizations awarded the funding and the various regions they’ll serve, plus more information about the funding here: Shapiro Administration Awards $4 Million for Regional Recovery Hubs Across Pennsylvania (pa.gov) . Read more

 

Kenyatta introduces Teacher Retention and Recruitment Tax Credit legislation

(Apr 12, 2023)

HARRISBURG, April 12 – State Reps. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., and Steve Samuelson, D-Northampton, are introducing legislation to help recruit and retain teachers in Pennsylvania schools. According to a report published earlier this year by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, the pipeline of newly certified teachers has plunged by 67% since 2011. In Philadelphia alone, there were more than 200 unfilled teaching positions going into the current school year. To combat this trend, Kenyatta and Samuelson are introducing legislation to create the Teacher Recruitment Tax Credit for new teachers who receive their certification and find employment as a teacher. In addition, this legislation would create the Teacher Retention Tax Credit for existing certified and employed teachers. This credit would provide a one-time Personal Income Tax credit of up to $2,500. This legislation builds on Gov. Josh Shapiro’s plan to address teacher shortages, which included the Personal Income Tax credit of up to $2,500 every year for up to three years for any newly certified teacher. Kenyatta stressed how showing teachers forms of appreciation, like the $2,500 Personal Income Tax credit, can help keep them in Pennsylvania classrooms. “Education is the building block for our children’s futures, and a crucial element in them receiving a quality education is having qualified teachers that remain in their classrooms for continued periods of Read more

 

Hearing details support needed for career and technical education

(Apr 12, 2023)

“A college education is not the perfect fit or even a possibility for every student,” said Rep. Roni Green, who hosted the hearing. “I am a product and living proof of that reality, having graduated from Dobbins Technical School, and I can honestly say the education and skills I learned in technical education have helped me throughout my life.” Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation applauds appointment of JoAnne Epps as acting president of Temple University

(Apr 12, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, April 12 – The Philadelphia House Delegation today announced that the organization praises the election of JoAnne Epps as acting president of Temple University and that it remains closely monitoring the transformative efforts of the Special Committee of the Board. “We are pleased with the appointment of Epps as acting president. The board of trustees made this election by unanimous vote, and it is certainly a clever decision,” said the delegation’s chair, state Rep. Morgan Cephas. “Epps has a proven track record of excellency, unparalleled leadership and expertise. We are looking forward to our collaboration. “We are celebrating this appointment, and we are taking action in favor of the university. Our goal is to help protect the stability of the institution.” On the same note, state Rep. Joseph C. Hohenstein, delegation secretary, highlighted some of the qualities that makes Epps an exceptional choice. "JoAnne Epps has my full support as the new interim president of Temple University," Hohenstein said. "She's spent over half of her life there teaching and making a true difference in young individuals’ lives right here at Temple. We're grateful that she has chosen to put her retirement on hold while the university finds its feet." Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, delegation treasurer, pointed out that he has known JoAnn Read more

 

Neilson meets with SEPTA officials to discuss challenges and initiatives

(Apr 11, 2023)

This is a huge update for SEPTA that will take the system we have now and upgrade it to run more efficiently, decrease delays and run more direct routes to get the people who rely on public transit where they need to go, when they need to be there. I look forward to working with SEPTA to implement these updates and provide support where it’s needed. Read more

 

Roundtable examines importance of direct support professionals

(Apr 11, 2023)

HARRISBURG, April 11 – State lawmakers held a House Majority Policy Committee roundtable discussion today on the importance of ensuring direct support professionals can earn a living wage. “Direct support professionals provide a critical service to our communities,” said state Rep. Tarik Khan, who hosted the hearing and represents portions of Philadelphia. “As we learned today, ensuring our government enables direct support professionals to earn a living wage should be our No. 1 objective in helping these professionals continue to provide the care we know is essential, not only to people with disabilities but also to their community.” The roundtable featured G.N. Janes, the CEO of Valley Community Services; Michael Anderson, an advocate and homeowner; Carrin Butts, a direct support professional who assists Anderson; and Dr. Josie Badger, the founder of Badger Consulting Inc. Direct support professionals are people who support people with disabilities by assisting them. “We’ve created a system that is an obstacle course,” Policy Committee Deputy Vice Chair Rep. Melissa Shusterman said about the many difficulties direct support professionals are encountering. “We have to address so many aspects just to get things back on track, and yet there is still so much more we need to look at, including reduced costs for transportation or how to provide affordable housing or improving benefits – like paid sick Read more

 

Fairness Act passes PA House
May 02, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation meets with members of Philadelphia City Council Committee on Education to discuss school facilities
May 01, 2023

Boyle champions his insurance cyber security bill passing PA House
May 01, 2023

Fiedler, Pisciottano ‘Right to Organize’ bill clears House Labor & Industry Committee
May 01, 2023

PA LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus holds rally for Fairness Act
Apr 26, 2023

Fiedler, Hanbidge ‘Patient Consent for Pelvic Exams’ bill passes House
Apr 26, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation applauds win on gun safety
Apr 26, 2023

Bill aims to increase max penalty for illegal dumping in Philadelphia
Apr 25, 2023

Fiedler, Madsen, Harris join Steelton-Highspire High School solar tour
Apr 25, 2023

Ban on shackling pregnant women, solitary confinement in prison advances in Pa. House
Apr 19, 2023

Lawmakers acknowledge esports as part of equitable solution
Apr 19, 2023

Cephas, Davis and Jones resume their fight for incarcerated women
Apr 19, 2023

Hearing looks for solutions to illegal ATV use on city streets
Apr 18, 2023

Reps. Cephas, Harris host roundtable to examine repairs of alleyways, driveways, sidewalks
Apr 17, 2023

Kinsey applauds DDAP funding for regional recovery hubs
Apr 13, 2023

Kenyatta introduces Teacher Retention and Recruitment Tax Credit legislation
Apr 12, 2023

Hearing details support needed for career and technical education
Apr 12, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation applauds appointment of JoAnne Epps as acting president of Temple University
Apr 12, 2023

Neilson meets with SEPTA officials to discuss challenges and initiatives
Apr 11, 2023

Roundtable examines importance of direct support professionals
Apr 11, 2023