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Philadelphia House Delegation: police accountability reforms are coming

Sims to hold March 25 town hall meeting

(Mar 16, 2015)

PHILADELPHIA, March 16 – State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., will soon hold his second town hall meeting of 2015 for residents of the 182nd Legislative District. The meeting will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. March 25 at the Trinity Center for Urban Life, 22nd and Spruce streets, in partnership with the Center City Residents' Association. Sims will give a legislative update, talk about this session’s priorities, and take questions from the audience. "This is another opportunity to ask me about issues that matter to you so I can better represent you in Harrisburg," Sims said. Residents who plan to attend the town hall meeting can RSVP to Sims' office at 215-246-1501, on Facebook at http://on.fb.me/1E12aAe or by email to RepSims@pahouse.net . The 182nd District includes Rittenhouse, Fitler and Logan squares, the Gayborhood and parts of Washington Square West, Bella Vista, Hawthorne, Graduate Hospital and Queen Village. Sims said, "New Governor Tom Wolf has proposed a bold plan to tackle the challenges former Governor Corbett left, including the need to restore vital school funding that was cut, a deficit of about $2 billion, and a drastic decline in Pennsylvania's job-creation record. The Wolf plan will and should be subject to public debate, and deserves full and fair consideration in Harrisburg. In addition, I will continue working with allies from both parties to reintroduce and co-sponsor legislation on other important Read more


Cruz applauds governor’s appointment of Latinos

(Mar 06, 2015)

HARRISBURG, March 6 – Citing the importance Latino culture in Pennsylvania, state Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., thanked Gov. Tom Wolf today for appointing several Latinos to prominent positions in his administration. The appointments include: Pedro Cortes – Secretary of the Commonwealth Pedro Rivera – Secretary of the Department of Education Jose Molina – Governor’s Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs. “The appointment by Governor Wolf of these very distinguished Latinos in prominent positions in his administration makes it clear that the governor is going to lead with input from a diverse group of highly qualified individuals,” Cruz said. “With the continued rising Latino population in Pennsylvania, this is a welcome course of action, and I would like to thank Governor Wolf for his effort to bring voices from all points of view to the table.” Read more


Youngblood: Wolf’s bold budget plan sets new course and puts ‘People 1st’

(Mar 03, 2015)

HARRISBURG, March 3 – Below is a statement from s tate Rep. Rosita C. Youngblood regarding Gov. Tom Wolf’s 2015-16 budget proposal: "I was energized by Governor Wolf’s budget plan outlined today because it sets a new course for Pennsylvania by focusing on the issues that will put people first. His aggressive approach – which looks to solve the significant issues facing our commonwealth, not just cover them up with one-time band aids, while trying to undo the damage of the last four years – is impressive to say the least. It’s a comprehensive proposal that will provide our people with jobs that pay, schools that teach and a government that works. "I stand with Governor Wolf on his plan to provide dedicated state funding for our schools – and once again making the commonwealth a true partner in educating our kids. I also applaud his dedication to creating a fairer tax system that removes the burden of property and wage taxes and ensures that corporations will pay their fair share. And I commend his efforts to reverse the trend facing our state’s pension system by actually solving the crisis while respecting the value of our state and union workers. "All-in-all, I believe that Governor Wolf’s budget proposal will greatly impact the people of Philadelphia and all residents of this commonwealth. It’s bold, aggressive and challenging, especially amid the political realities Read more


Philadelphia Delegation Newsletter

(Mar 02, 2015)

Check out the Philadelphia County Delegation Newsletter. Read more


Boyle and Miccarelli Announce Formation of Pennsylvania Future Caucus

(Mar 02, 2015)

HARRISBURG – State Representatives Kevin Boyle, D-Mont./Phila., and Nick Miccarelli, R-Delaware, have joined to form the Pennsylvania Future Caucus. Working with the Millennial Action Project (MAP), the Pennsylvania Future Caucus will seek to form a bipartisan coalition of political contemporaries in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives that are dedicated to finding common ground solutions to the problems facing the commonwealth. Miccarelli and Boyle will co-chair the Pennsylvania Future Caucus and hope to recruit their Millennial Generation colleagues to join them in this new caucus. Both lawmakers have cited the need to bridge the political divide and work towards engendering a spirit of teamwork in the Pennsylvania House as a means to end the partisan gridlock that often stalls legislation in the chamber. “Many of our millennial cohorts have expressed their dissatisfaction with the perceived inability of government to address the problems facing Pennsylvania,” said Miccarelli. “What is often mistaken as political apathy among millennials is really an expression of frustration at the lack of progress and results. The Future Caucus will help to open a dialogue amongst younger lawmakers that share a desire for progress rather than platitudes.” “There is a certain lack of trust in government among the younger generations as evidenced by lower voter turnout and involvement,” added Boyle. “By uniting our Read more


House adopts Cruz resolution honoring Rep. Rosita Youngblood as first African-American female member of House leadership

(Feb 24, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 24 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., thanked House members this week for their unanimous adoption of House Resolution 86 , which honored Rep. Rosita Youngblood, D-Phila., on her accomplishment of becoming the first African-American female elected to a House leadership position. "This is a tremendous honor for Representative Youngblood, and I couldn’t think of a more deserving candidate," Cruz said. "Since taking office over 20 years ago, she has dedicated herself to not only improving the lives of her constituents, but also the lives of women and minorities across the state. I am positive she will continue to be a perfect example of how to use public service for the greater good of her community and all of Pennsylvania." Following her election to an 11th term in the state House, Youngblood was elected by members of the House Democratic Caucus to serve as the Democratic Caucus secretary, becoming the first African-American female to hold a leadership position in the history of the General Assembly. "There are truly no words to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude for the support from my colleagues in the House," Youngblood said. "It is overwhelmingly humbling to be recognized by my peers, colleagues and friends, and I truly appreciate each and every one of them, especially Rep. Cruz, for their kindness and support. To become the first ever African-American woman elected to a House leadership Read more


Cruz applauds governor’s expansion of Medicaid

(Feb 09, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 9 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., Democratic chairman of the House Human Services Committee, praised Gov. Tom Wolf’s announcement today that Pennsylvania would fully expand Medicaid. “I applaud Governor Wolf’s decision to finally do what should’ve been done during the last governor’s term and bring full Medicaid expansion to Pennsylvania,” Cruz said. “The Healthy PA, or lite version of Medicaid expansion which was not nearly as beneficial, was ill-conceived, confusing and unnecessarily complicated. It’s time we moved to a system that will work for Pennsylvania. “This expansion makes complete sense for the people of Pennsylvania. It’s estimated to create between 35,000 and 40,000 jobs and cover hundreds of thousands of uninsured Pennsylvanians, including over 20,000 veterans. Furthermore, it will bring an infusion of federal dollars into our state as we face a nearly $2 billion budget shortfall, thanks to the failed policies of the last administration and the legislature's refusal to enact Medicaid expansion sooner. “It’s really a no-brainer. Pennsylvania will see more jobs, federal funding, and most importantly, healthier citizens. I look forward to working to ensure that the expansion is fully implemented and Pennsylvanians around the state are aware of how to benefit from the expansion.” Read more


Rep. Kevin Boyle Winter 2015 Newsletter

(Feb 05, 2015)

Read Rep. Kevin Boyle's Winter 2015 Newsletter here. Read more


Youngblood, Dawkins: Pa. must strengthen sibling visitation rights

(Feb 04, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 4 – State Reps. Rosita C. Youngblood and Jason Dawkins, both D-Phila., have introduced legislation to strengthen sibling visitation rights and recognize the importance of these relationships on the emotional and psychological development of children. The Philadelphia lawmakers say their proposal (H.B. 338) would simply provide standing in court to siblings who wish to petition for visitation rights, similar to grandparents' rights already provided under state law. The decision to grant sibling visitation rights would still rest in the hands of a judge. Youngblood, who introduced the legislation last session, said studies have documented the importance of sibling relationships in the development and growth of children. She said the bond between siblings is unique and powerful, and provides a structure beyond all other relationships critical to a child's development. "The state already acknowledges the importance of sibling relationships with regard to adoption and foster care, by doing everything possible to keep siblings together in those difficult circumstances," Youngblood said. "The same protection should be extended to all children separated from their siblings, especially in situations where the family structure has significantly changed. Once sibling relationships are established, the bond is an essential part of a child's life and we need to make sure that they have an opportunity to keep Read more


It’s time for Pennsylvania to Put People First!

(Jan 27, 2015)

I believe it’s time to focus on priorities that will help working families, children and our seniors, while building a stronger economy and a better Pennsylvania for all. Families I will focus on policies that provide Jobs that Pay right here in Pennsylvania so that families can work their way out of poverty. That is why I support: Raising the minimum wage, NOW Providing paid sick and maternity leave for ALL workers Strengthening pay equity laws for ALL workers, regardless of sex, race, family status or sexual orientation Students I am committed to investing in our children, from pre-K programs through college, so that we can provide Schools that Teach our students and that provide access to teachers, counselors and programs that will help them succeed. That is why I support: A fair and balanced funding formula for ALL public schools across the Commonwealth Expanding and improving early childhood education investments Helping to make college more affordable Taxpayers I believe that Pennsylvania must move above partisan politics and reach across party lines to have a Government that Works to protect our seniors, our working families and our middle class. We can achieve this by ending policies that benefit wealthy corporations above everyday taxpayers. That is why I support: Passing a reasonable Marcellus Shale tax on natural gas drilling Closing, once and for all, the Delaware Loophole Preserving and expanding state Read more


Dawkins named to five key House committees

(Jan 20, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 20 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., announced he has been appointed to serve on five standing committees in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives during the 2015-16 legislative session. "I am eager to take on these responsibilities," Dawkins said. "The committee process is an integral part of how a bill becomes a law." Dawkins was named to the Commerce, Health, Human Services, Urban Affairs, and Aging and Older Adult Services committees. "These committee appointments will allow me to address key issues that are facing my district, such as strengthening our commercial corridors and improving services and protections for our senior population," Dawkins said, "I also look forward to bringing my experiences working with Philadelphia’s City Council to the Urban Affairs Committee, where I will not only be an advocate for the City of Philadelphia, but seek to address the challenges facing urban areas throughout our commonwealth. I look forward to getting to work, and being a voice on the wide range of issues, such as health care and development, that impact our neighborhoods." ### Read more


Donatucci named to key House committees

(Jan 20, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 17 – State Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, today announced that she has been named to several important standing committees in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for the 2015-16 legislative session. “I believe my committee appointments match both my interests and the needs of the 185 th Legislative District,” Donatucci said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues on these panels to help advance the issues most important to our constituents.” Donatucci was named to the House Appropriations, Labor and Industry, Liquor Control, Transportation, and Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness committees. She will also serve as a member of the House Democratic Policy Committee and will retain her post as a Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Caucus. “The Corbett administration’s fiscal policies have unfortunately led to a significant projected budget deficit in Pennsylvania,” Donatucci said. “As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I am committed to making sure we are allocating our funds wisely so the state can regain its fiscal health once again.” Donatucci noted she is also eager to monitor legislation related to the state’s transportation infrastructure as a member of the Transportation Committee. “Philadelphia is one of the major transportation hubs of the state,” Donatucci said. “Residents and visitors have easy access to our Read more


The dying American dream of equality

(Jan 08, 2015)

Some would say it would be politically expedient for me to sit on the sidelines and say nothing of the emotionally charged situations involving Eric Garner, Ferguson, and police brutality in general. However, neither during my years in high school football nor in life do I like to sit on the sidelines. Before I was old enough to date or drive a car, well before going to prom, my mother taught me how to safely interact with the police. She, like all the other mothers of black boys in this and every other city, feel it their maternal obligation to ensure that their brown sons know the reality of their life when it comes to interacting with the police. It is a reality loaded with fear. The fear that her son will say the wrong thing, be in the wrong place at the wrong time, look like the wrong person, be dressed the wrong way or move the wrong way and lose his life for it. Every mother, father, grandparent or caregiver in America has made this one of their primary parenting lessons when raising a black boy. Even non-black parents and guardians of black boys have this same conversation. It is an inescapable reality for black males that you must be more alert, more respectful, and less offended, when dealing with the police. In my daily work I have found that the police in my area have treated me with respect. When I have been stopped in my vehicle I have normally been treated fairly. I’ve had the pleasure to work with them as we work together to serve my district. Read more


Cigarette tax helps with funding the School District of Philadelphia

(Nov 30, 2014)

After months of anticipation, a bill was signed into law that gave authority to the city of Philadelphia to enact a $2-per-pack cigarette tax. The School District of Philadelphia has lost $608 million, or $3,007 per student in education program funding since Gov. Corbett took office in 2011. School funding for Philadelphia on a whole has been cut by $1.13 billion, or $5,619 per student. According to district officials, the additional revenue collected from the cigarette tax will generate $49 million, helping to prevent further cuts to vital staff, services and resources. Read more


Education Funding Formula

(Nov 29, 2014)

Pennsylvania is one of only three states that create a budget without using a statewide education funding formula, according to the Education Law Center. The end result is increased taxes on already cash-strapped municipalities. The governor signed a bill into law in June 2014 that requires the creation of a basic funding formula commission to help provide better funding to schools across Pennsylvania. As a result of Act 51, a 15-member bipartisan, bicameral commission, including Rep. James Roebuck of the Philadelphia Delegation, is tasked with developing a formula to determine how much individual school districts will receive in state funding. The commission is holding hearings throughout the Commonwealth, getting input from advocates and education experts to create a formula to fund education. The new formula will take into account relative wealth, local tax effort, geographic price differences, enrollment levels, local support as well as other factors. Read more


Tax Fairness for Philadelphia

(Nov 28, 2014)

At a Capitol news conference in January 2013, Rep. Cherelle Parker outlines the Philadelphia Delegation of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives' property tax fairness package for Philadelphia homeowners. Read more