Dawkins to introduce legislation requiring PTSD testing for law enforcement

(Aug 29, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 29 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., today said he is currently seeking co-sponsors for his legislation that would assist with maintaining the mental health of law enforcement officers in the commonwealth. The legislation would require police officers to undergo Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder evaluations every other year and within 30 days of an incident in which lethal force is used. “Being in law enforcement is a very demanding and stressful job. These brave men and women put their lives on the line every day to keep our families and communities safe,” Dawkins said. “That demand can certainly take a toll on a police officer mentally and with dangerous consequences.” Dawkins noted there are numerous incidents that can cause PTSD in police officers, such as hostage situations, dangerous drug busts, fatal crashes, and other cases that involve serious injury or death to the people involved in the incident. Other stressful situations that could trigger PTSD include working long hours, handling people’s attitudes, waiting for the next call and not knowing how the situation will play out, and even politics within the police department. “While many of these factors seem to be a part of the job, the repeated exposure can be unhealthy for a police officer,” Dawkins said. “Many times, they suffer in silence and rein in their own emotions to serve the community. “By requiring our law enforcement Read more

 

Fitzgerald to host Unclaimed Property Day in district office

(Aug 17, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 17 – State Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald, D-Phila., today announced she is inviting residents to discover if they have any unclaimed property waiting for them. The representative will host an Unclaimed Property Day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 30 in her district office at 7178 Ogontz Ave., 19138. Fitzgerald said her staff will search the database for residents to see if they have unclaimed property belonging to them. Residents can also get assistance with filling out their claim forms. “My staff is happy to help residents go through the process to find out if they have any property that rightfully belongs to them,” Fitzgerald said. "It’s a good idea for residents to check annually if they are owed money as the Treasurer's Office estimates that roughly one in 10 Pennsylvanians has unclaimed property." The Pennsylvania Treasurer's Office reports it is currently holding $2.3 billion in unclaimed property, which includes things such as closed bank accounts, uncashed checks, lost stocks and bonds, contents of safe deposit boxes, and unexpired gift certificates and gift cards. Read more

 

Rabb to introduce bill to create more transparent and accountable Pa. budget process

(Aug 07, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 7 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., announced he will introduce legislation that would require the leaders of Pennsylvania’s executive and legislative branches to hold daily public hearings on the state budget whenever there is a budget impasse. The bill would require executive and legislative leaders to hold public hearings if comprehensive spending and revenue bills for the upcoming fiscal year have not been introduced by June 19. These leaders include the governor, state treasurer, secretary of revenue, auditor general, Independent Fiscal Office director, and majority and minority leadership for both the House and Senate. These individuals would be required to participate in hearings until such legislation is introduced. “It’s been six weeks after the House overwhelmingly passed a spending plan, and we still don’t know how we are going to pay for it,” Rabb said. “On Friday, our state treasurer had to extend to the Commonwealth a $750 million line of credit to prevent us from running out of money. We are only in the second month of the fiscal year and our schools and county agencies are already at risk of experiencing funding shortfalls. This is not responsible budgeting and it certainly is not how to run a government.” Rabb said he wants Pennsylvanians to see democracy in action and require all relevant parties work together to meet the needs of the Commonwealth. Hearings would be required to last at Read more

 

Cruz calls for volunteers for districtwide tire cleanup

(Jul 28, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, July 28 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., is seeking volunteers to join him and the Philadelphia Streets Department to collect improperly disposed of tires throughout the 180th Legislative District. The Tire Roundup will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 5. People who are interested will meet at Cruz’s district office at 3503 North B St., Unit 7, 19134. For more information, call Cruz’s office at 215-291-5643. “Tires that are lying around our neighborhoods are not only an eyesore, but they are a potential health hazard. They collect water and become breeding grounds for insects that can cause West Nile virus and other illnesses,” said Cruz. “I urge everyone to join me in making our community look better and healthier by collecting tires so they can be disposed of properly.” The Philadelphia Streets Department’s Sanitation Division developed the tire roundup program in 1995 to address the serious problem of illegally discarded tires throughout the city. Read more

 

Rabb introduces first-of-its-kind legislation to reverse school-to-prison pipeline in Pennsylvania

(Jul 27, 2017)

HARRISBURG, July 27 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., said he introduced legislation to create a charitable trust that would help Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable youth from becoming innocent casualties of mass incarceration. “Our most neglected young people continue to be devastated by the school-to-prison pipeline at alarming rates. There are more than 81,000 Pennsylvania children with a parent in a prison,” Rabb said. “That absence, which some psychologists have compared to the death of a parent, through the formative years can have many harmful effects on a child.” House Bill 1674 proposes the creation of the First Chance Trust Fund to provide support services and scholarship opportunities to young people from neighborhoods with the highest rates of incarceration across the state. The trust would not require the use of taxpayer dollars. Instead, it would be funded by a 1 percent surcharge on all vendors that have a contract with the Department of Corrections exceeding $5 million and by private, tax-deductible donations. Other state agencies also would have the option to include such a provision in their contracts. “Studies have consistently shown that investing in educational opportunities can significantly reduce the potential for future incarceration. We need to make these investments, especially within our most disadvantaged communities,” he said. Corrections anticipates it would generate $500,000 to $1 million Read more

 

Cephas, American Red Cross partnering to install smoke alarms, hosting Aug. 12 fire safety event

(Jul 25, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, July 25 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., is partnering with the American Red Cross to host the "Sound the Alarm, Save a Life" campaign. Cephas, along with her staff and community volunteers, will be available to install smoke alarms and provide fire safety tips to residents of the 192nd Legislative District in west Philadelphia. The event will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 12, at Shephard Recreation Center, 5700 Haverford Ave., 19131. “Unfortunately, there are many families in our communities that don’t have working smoke detectors in their homes,” Cephas said. “I encourage everyone in my district who does not have a smoke detector in their home to contact my office to have one installed. “By doing so, we can help prevent house fires because even one fire is one too many.” Cephas said smoke detector installations will be performed on a first come, first serve basis while supplies last. To RSVP for an installation or for more information, residents should contact Gwen at (215) 879-6625. Read more

 

Bipartisan effort to enact Homeless Bill of Rights in Pennsylvania

(Jul 25, 2017)

HARRISBURG, July 25 – State Reps. Isabella Fitzgerald, D-Phila., and Thomas Murt, R-Montgomery/Phila., announced they introduced legislation to enact a “Homeless Bill of Rights” to protect fundamental civil and human rights of homeless people. “Homelessness continues to be an issue in many communities across the Commonwealth. Local codes that outlaw loitering, vagrancy, sitting or lying on the sidewalk, begging, eating in public, and other behaviors disproportionately affect homeless people,” Fitzgerald said. Fitzgerald said House Bill 1664 would protect the homeless population’s rights to move freely in public spaces, and receive equal treatment by all government agencies, employers and health care providers. The legislation would also shield their right to vote and the confidentiality of personal records and information. “Homelessness involves not only individuals but entire families. On any given day, over 15,000 Pennsylvanians are known to be homeless. During one school year, our education system serves approximately 13,000 homeless children,” she added. Murt emphasized there are key rights the homeless population needs to have protected. The Homeless Bill of Rights would establish that no person should suffer unnecessarily, be denied basic rights or be subject to unfair discrimination based on their homeless status. “As the burdens of joblessness grow and the pressures on public resources increase, we have Read more

 

State Reps. Demand Budget Deal

(Jul 20, 2017)

Members of the Philadelphia Delegation came together in the Liberty View Ballroom on the second floor of the Independence Visitor Center to urge Speaker of the House Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny, to call the House back to Harrisburg to wrap up the 2017-18 state budget. Read more

 

Fitzgerald to host National Night Out event Aug. 1

(Jul 18, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, July 18 – State Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald, D-Phila. today announced she will host a National Night Out event for residents of the 203rd Legislative District. It will be held 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 1 at Masjidullah, Inc., 7433 Limekiln Pike, 19138. Fitzgerald said there will be games and activities, food, information about state and local resources and a chance to meet with officers from the 14th and 35th police districts. “Public safety is one of my top legislative interests, so I felt it was fitting to host this event,” Fitzgerald said. “It’s great to have the community come together and have some fun while getting to know the law enforcement in their neighborhood. “This event is a great way for everyone to work together and help crack down on crime.” National Night Out is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; generate support for, and participation in, local anti-crime programs; strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back. Read more

 

Solomon supports 2017-18 state spending plan

(Jun 30, 2017)

HARRISBURG, June 30 – State Rep. Jared Solomon, D-Phila., offered the following statement about the 2017-18 state spending plan that passed the state House of Representatives and heads to the governor’s desk: “Today I voted to send a nearly $32 billion spending plan to Governor Tom Wolf’s desk. This is a difficult budget year. In truth, the spending plan does not make the transformative investments I believe our state needs – investments that provide opportunities, jobs, and safety and stability for all our communities. But given the state’s fiscal realities, I believe this plan at least takes steps in the right direction towards those investments, in particular for education and childcare assistance and services, both vitally important issues in my district. “I’ve seen firsthand the need for more resources for the schools in my district – the overcrowding at Spruance Elementary, the decaying building at Carnell Elementary, and the unparalleled diversity at Wilson Middle School. While this plan does not send nearly enough to address these myriad challenges, it is an important down payment. “While today’s vote allows for spending in the new fiscal year starting July 1, we have not yet made the hard decisions about how we are going to pay for all this. I look forward to working with my colleagues in both chambers and the governor’s office in making these decisions in the best interests of the Read more

 

Small Business Summit July 15

(Jun 29, 2017)

Read more

 

Aprobado proyecto sobre 'stop-and-go' en la Cámara de Representantes

(Jun 28, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Junio 27 – El representante estatal Jordan Harris, D-Fila., se expresó complacido con la aprobación de un proyecto de su autoría que atiende la situación actual de los establecimientos que alteran el orden público y deterioran la calidad de vida de las comunidades, conocidos como ‘stop-and-go’. “La proliferación de los stop-and-go a través de comunidades históricamente desventajadas exacerba la violencia y los estereotipos negativos de las personas y las comunidades. Las mismas comunidades donde familias de la clase trabajadora luchan por proveer a sus hijos y seres queridos una mejor calidad de vida”, dijo Harris. “Era necesario que la legislatura actuara en favor de esta población y con la aprobación de este proyecto así se ha hecho”. El Proyecto de la Cámara 1547 fue presentado por los representantes Jordan Harris y Donna Bullock, ambos D-Fila.; y la representante Joanna McClinton, D-Fila/Delaware. La legislación permitiría a la Junta Reguladora de Alcohol (LCB, por sus siglas en inglés) designar áreas saturadas de establecimientos que alteran el orden público, imponer penalidades, multas e incluso revocar licencias. “Estos establecimientos tienen un efecto negativo inmediato en las comunidades en las que operan. A diferencia de negocios responsables, que proveen empleo y entretenimiento Read more

 

Harris 'Stop and Go' bill passes House

(Jun 28, 2017)

HARRISBURG, June 27 – State Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., is pleased the House voted in favor of legislation that would address the issues of nuisance establishments that sell alcohol and disrupt the quality of life in the communities where they operate. “The proliferation of these nuisance establishments throughout economically disadvantaged communities fuels the violence and general disruptions of family life while feeding into the stereotype of poor and dangerous neighborhoods. These neighborhoods are the same places where working-class parents are struggling to provide a decent home and striving to provide a superior quality of life for themselves and their children,” Harris said. “Families should not be forced to feel that their futures are under siege, held hostage by the less than scrupulous business practices. The legislature needed to act accordingly and we did by passing this legislation.” House Bill 1547 was introduced by state Reps. Jordan Harris and Donna Bullock, both D-Phila.; and Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware. The bill would allow the state Liquor Control Board to designate saturated nuisance market areas, where violations would be subject to enhanced penalties, fines and suspensions, and allow the board to remove licenses from those areas. “Nuisance or problem liquor establishments have an immediate and negative impact on their surrounding areas. Unlike many responsibly owned bars and taverns that Read more

 

Kinsey, Fitzgerald applaud ‘stop-and-go’ bill passage in the House

(Jun 27, 2017)

HARRISBURG, June 27 – State Reps. Stephen Kinsey and Isabella Fitzgerald, both D-Phila., today applauded the passage of a bill in the House of Representatives that would address the issue of nuisance establishments that sell alcohol and disrupt communities. House Bill 1547 would allow the state Liquor Control Board to designate saturated nuisance market areas, where violations would be subject to enhanced penalties, fines and suspensions, and allow the board to remove licenses from those areas. Kinsey, who held a public meeting in March with Fitzgerald on the issue of these nuisance establishments, said this legislation is a major step in addressing how these stores disrupt local communities. “The residents of Philadelphia deserve to have the best quality of life possible without the problems caused by stop-and-go issues,” Kinsey said. “I applaud Rep. Jordan Harris and my fellow colleagues from Philadelphia for joining forces to combat this issue head-on with this legislation. “I am encouraged to continue the conversation and bring an end to these unwanted businesses.” Fitzgerald echoed her colleague’s comments. “Between the public meetings and the tireless work by my colleagues, we are moving forward to take action and eliminate the problems with these nuisance establishments,” Fitzgerald said. “I remain committed to working with state and local agencies to reverse the negative trend of consequences Read more

 

Neilson receives award for his advocacy on Real ID enforcement in Pa. (with video)

(Jun 21, 2017)

HARRISBURG, June 21 – State Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., today was awarded for his efforts on moving Pennsylvania towards enforcement of the federal Real ID Act requirements. The award comes as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, or DHS, this week granted Pennsylvania a Real ID enforcement extension through Oct. 10, 2017, which means Pennsylvanians will not face access issues when entering federal facilities through that date. Neilson said PennDOT estimates Real ID-compliant driver's licenses and identification cards will be available at the customer’s option in 2019. This will allow ample time for people who want a Real ID product to obtain one before the final DHS effective date of Oct. 1, 2020. “The General Assembly made real strides in May to get Pennsylvania in compliance with the federal law and as a result, the Department of Homeland Security granted us with yet another extension to work towards that compliance,” Neilson said. “I am proud to receive the Recognition Award for Homeland Security Leadership and Public Engagement and to have been part of the movement to assure Pennsylvanians would not need to get passports to board a plane or to have access to federal facilities.” Neilson said he had been working since the 2015-2016 session to get legislation passed that would repeal the 2012 state law and require the Department of Transportation and other state agencies to comply with the 2005 Real ID Act. Read more

 

Pa. Turnpike four-week partial amnesty program on toll violations opens July 5

(Jun 19, 2017)

The Pennsylvania Turnpike is offering a 28-day partial amnesty program if you have outstanding violations, including all tolls and fees. If you have outstanding violations and do not make amends or seek amnesty, you are risking suspension of your vehicle registration. A new law that takes effect Aug. 4 allows PennDOT to suspend the vehicle registration of any Pennsylvania motorist who has state toll violations, including tolls and fees, totaling $500 or more or six or more separate instances of violation. Once a driver’s registration has been suspended, violators will owe all outstanding tolls and fees to the turnpike and an additional $91 fee to PennDOT for registration reinstatement. Under the partial amnesty program, toll violations that are newer than 60 days can be settled by paying in full the outstanding toll amount. All other fees will be forgiven. Toll violations older than 60 days that have been referred to collections may be settled by paying in full the outstanding toll amount and a portion of the outstanding fees. In certain situations, payment plans may be available. Please call 1-877-736-6727 to take advantage of the program from July 5 through Aug. 4. Not sure if you have outstanding violations? Please click here for unpaid tolls, but you will need your license number to check. More information about the amnesty program is available by clicking here . Read more

 

Solomon, Bernstine encourage workforce opportunities for Pa. youth

(Jun 13, 2017)

HARRISBURG, June 13 – State Reps. Jared Solomon, D-Phila., and Aaron Bernstine, R-Beaver/Butler/Lawrence, introduced legislation that would help provide opportunities for Pennsylvania’s youth to get a jumpstart in Pennsylvania’s competitive workforce. “Providing our young people with a quality education is a priority for me, and I would like to see them have a chance to get real-world workforce experience while they are still in school,” Solomon said. “This program would help our students obtain a better idea of what path they would like to pursue after high school, whether it’s college or other secondary education or perhaps remain with the company where they received workforce experience.” House Bill 1522 would establish a pilot grant program that would provide incentives to schools and local businesses to collaborate in providing work-based learning opportunities, apprenticeships, and jobs for high school students during the school year, the summer and after the student graduates. In addition, the bill would encourage a dynamic relationship between schools and businesses to create curricula that bring real-life experiences into the classroom that prepare students for life after high school. Solomon said while Pennsylvania offers job training programs and partnerships for adults, there are no prospects for high school students. “By offering our young people with these opportunities, it would benefit them along Read more

 

Dawkins condemns gambling expansion bill

(Jun 08, 2017)

HARRISBURG, June 8 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., voted against legislation that would dramatically expand gambling in Pennsylvania. Dawkins said the expansion would not only saturate the gambling market at the expense of the Pennsylvania Lottery and the senior citizens programs it supports, it would further threaten the safety and quality of life of residents in the neighborhoods he serves and throughout Philadelphia. House Bill 271 includes authorizing up to 30,000 locations for video gaming terminals at licensed liquor retailers and establishments by the end of 2018 and 40,000 by 2020, as well as gambling tablets or “iGaming” at Pennsylvania’s six international airports, including Philadelphia. Dawkins added the "stop and go" liquor businesses that have been such a problem in Philadelphia would be eligible and that there is no distribution formula for ensuring that Philadelphia neighborhoods are not saddled with the majority of machines. “My concern is about the stop and go locations. It is a fact that 75 percent of gamblers have a drinking disorder. We have a saturation of stop and go’s in Philadelphia and this constitutes another challenge for us,” Dawkins said. “When you live in communities like mine, when you see poverty, addiction and opioid abuse, you can’t understand how we are putting another potential problem in our city. “It’s impossible not to think about our Read more

 

Kinsey condemns gambling expansion bill

(Jun 07, 2017)

HARRISBURG, June 7 – State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., today voted against legislation that would dramatically expand gambling in Pennsylvania. Kinsey said the expansion would not only saturate the gambling market at the expense of the Pennsylvania Lottery and the senior citizens programs it supports, it would further threaten the safety and quality of life of residents in the neighborhoods he serves and throughout Philadelphia. House Bill 271 includes authorizing up to 30,000 locations for video gaming terminals at licensed liquor retailers and establishments by the end of 2018 and 40,000 by 2020, as well as gambling tablets or “iGaming” at Pennsylvania’s six international airports, including Philadelphia. Kinsey said the "stop and go" liquor businesses that have been such a problem in Philadelphia would be eligible and that there is no distribution formula for ensuring that Philadelphia neighborhoods are not saddled with the majority of machines. “Communities in Philadelphia are sick and tired of being targeted by businesses from outside the commonwealth that come to our communities to deteriorate them,” Kinsey said. “I’m opposed to this legislation because in addition to deteriorating our communities, this legislation will damage the property tax relief seniors need to stay in their homes, programs that help senior citizens afford prescriptions and transportation services across the commonwealth, Read more

 

Rabb, Fitzgerald to host free shredding events June 10

(May 30, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, May 30 – State Reps. Chris Rabb and Isabella Fitzgerald, both D-Phila., announced they will host shredding events in their respective districts. The events will be held 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, June 10 at the following locations: New Covenant Campus, 7500 Germantown Ave., 19119 West Oak Lane Charter School, 7115 Stenton Ave., 19138 The event will allow people to protect themselves from identity theft by disposing of unwanted documents that contain personal information, such as Social Security numbers, credit card numbers and bank account numbers. Residents may bring up to two large bags of documents to shred. Read more

 

Dawkins to introduce legislation requiring PTSD testing for law enforcement
Aug 29, 2017

Fitzgerald to host Unclaimed Property Day in district office
Aug 17, 2017

Rabb to introduce bill to create more transparent and accountable Pa. budget process
Aug 07, 2017

Cruz calls for volunteers for districtwide tire cleanup
Jul 28, 2017

Rabb introduces first-of-its-kind legislation to reverse school-to-prison pipeline in Pennsylvania
Jul 27, 2017

Cephas, American Red Cross partnering to install smoke alarms, hosting Aug. 12 fire safety event
Jul 25, 2017

Bipartisan effort to enact Homeless Bill of Rights in Pennsylvania
Jul 25, 2017

State Reps. Demand Budget Deal
Jul 20, 2017

Fitzgerald to host National Night Out event Aug. 1
Jul 18, 2017

Solomon supports 2017-18 state spending plan
Jun 30, 2017

Small Business Summit July 15
Jun 29, 2017

Aprobado proyecto sobre 'stop-and-go' en la Cámara de Representantes
Jun 28, 2017

Harris 'Stop and Go' bill passes House
Jun 28, 2017

Kinsey, Fitzgerald applaud ‘stop-and-go’ bill passage in the House
Jun 27, 2017

Neilson receives award for his advocacy on Real ID enforcement in Pa. (with video)
Jun 21, 2017

Pa. Turnpike four-week partial amnesty program on toll violations opens July 5
Jun 19, 2017

Solomon, Bernstine encourage workforce opportunities for Pa. youth
Jun 13, 2017

Dawkins condemns gambling expansion bill
Jun 08, 2017

Kinsey condemns gambling expansion bill
Jun 07, 2017

Rabb, Fitzgerald to host free shredding events June 10
May 30, 2017