Featured News

Philadelphia House Delegation praises approval of increase in public transit funding

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

 

Khan to roll out healthcare workforce legislative package

(Mar 14, 2024)

HARRISBURG, March 14 – State Rep. Tarik Khan, D-Phila., today announced that he plans to introduce two bills to help address shortages of healthcare workers so that all Pennsylvanians can receive high-quality medical care. These bills would provide for the recruitment and retainment of nursing faculty members and health care preceptors. The first bill would establish the New Nursing Faculty Grant Program to provide grants of up to $10,000 per year for newly employed, full-time nursing faculty members. The second bill would establish the Pennsylvania Health Care Preceptor Deduction to incentivize qualified individuals to serve as preceptors for advanced practice nurses, physicians, physician assistants and registered nurses by providing a $1,000 tax deduction for doing do. “As a nurse practitioner, I know how important it is to keep our healthcare workforce supply strong,” Khan said. “Recruiting nursing faculty is often difficult, and healthcare preceptors are often hard to find. Our bill will help ensure critical support for both nursing faculty and healthcare professional preceptors.” The nursing faculty grant program is modeled after a Maryland program that was highly successful. The second bill would make Pennsylvania the sixth state to take action to incentivize medical professionals to enter preceptorships. Nearly 80,000 applicants across the nation were not Read more

 

Young presents $425,000 to Colwyn Borough to improve infrastructure

(Mar 13, 2024)

State Rep. Regina Young, D- Phila./Delaware, today presented a check for $425,000 to Colwyn Borough for Walnut Street sanitary sewer improvements. Read more

 

Young presents $400,000 to Tinicum Twp. to improve infrastructure

(Mar 11, 2024)

State Rep. Regina Young, D-Delaware/Phila., today presented a check for $400,000 to Tinicum Township leaders for the replacement of the Jansen Avenue water main.The funds were awarded by the Commonwealth Financing Authority's H2O PA Program, Small Water and Sewer Program, a division of the Department of Community and Economic Development.“So much of our infrastructure in Southeastern PA is rapidly aging. When these systems fail, it causes major interruptions for residents and businesses, ultimately affecting our economy,” Young said. “These investments are crucial to maintaining water service for our communities, which is essential to public health and safety.” Read more

 

Main Street Matters

(Mar 08, 2024)

It was a great morning touring Fishtown businesses with DCED Secretary Siger as part of Governor Shapiro’s Main Street Matters initiative! Our local small businesses are the pulse of each of our neighborhoods and Main Streets, and I am proud to stand behind Governor Shapiro and Secretary Siger in bringing home state resources to make certain they thrive. Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation offers remarks on recent shootings

(Mar 07, 2024)

HARRISBURG, March 7 – Members of the Philadelphia House Delegation expressed their concerns for their communities and sympathy for the victims and families affected by four separate shootings in the city on or near SEPTA buses over the course of four days from March 3-6. Many of the victims in these shootings were youth, including a student from Imhotep Charter High School, 1 7-year-old Dayemen Taylor , who was killed Monday, March 4 at Ogontz bus stop; and eight students from Northeast High School who were shot yesterday, March 6 near a SEPTA bus station at Rising Sun and Cottman avenues. “My heart aches in light of news of several youth-involved shootings across the city of Philadelphia over the last few days,” said Philadelphia House Delegation Chair Morgan Cephas. “My deepest condolences go out to the families and communities enduring unimaginable loss. Each young life taken represents a future unfulfilled, a potential that will never be realized. We must come together, not only to grieve, but to take immediate, collective action against the epidemic of gun violence tearing at the fabric of our city. Together, we can and must build a safer, more hopeful future for all our children.” State Rep. Anthony Bellmon issued the following remarks on the shooting that occurred yesterday on Rising Sun and Cottman avenues, which is in his legislative district, and the need to invest in Read more

 

Gallagher, Khan, Warren call for PA to update insurance laws around colorectal cancer screenings

(Mar 05, 2024)

HARRISBURG, March 5 – Today, state Reps. Pat Galagher, Tarik Khan, both D-Phila., and Perry Warren, D-Bucks, hosted a news conference at the state Capitol announcing that they plan to introduce legislation that would update state insurance laws to expand coverage for colorectal cancer screenings. Colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths even though it is a very treatable form of cancer when caught early. When detected in its earliest stages, the five-year survival rate can be as high as 90%. The legislators said their legislation would update Pennsylvania’s Insurance Company Law to reduce the age when colorectal cancer screenings are covered to 45 from 50. This legislation also prevents prior authorizations and advance notice for screening colonoscopies for individuals 45 and above. Current law requires health insurance coverage for routine colorectal cancer screenings starting at age 50 based on American Cancer Society standards published in 2008. Multiple other states have updated their law to reflect more recent American Cancer Society guidelines from 2018. The updated recommendations call for people to begin screening at age 45 rather than 50. Gallagher, who is a colorectal cancer survivor, said the legislation could result in more early detections and ultimately save lives. “As a survivor of colorectal cancer, I know firsthand the impact that early detection and proper care Read more

 

Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, House Philadelphia Delegation, LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus release statement on Pennsylvania State Police traffic stop and arrest

(Mar 05, 2024)

PHILADELPHIA, March 5 – Leaders of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, the LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus and Philadelphia House Delegation today issued a statement in response to the traffic stop and subsequent arrest of Philadelphia’s head of LGBT affairs and her husband by a state trooper Saturday. According to news reports, Celena Morrison, the executive director of Philadelphia’s Office of LGBT Affairs, recorded a portion of the arrest of her husband, Darius McLean, on the Vine Street Expressway. State Reps. Napoleon Nelson, chair of the PLBC, Malcolm Kenyatta, co-chair of the LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus, and Morgan Cephas, chair of the Philadelphia House Delegation, said they have been in contact with state and local authorities surrounding the incident. “The video of the traffic stop of Celena Morrison and Darius McLean was deeply troubling,” stated Kenyatta, D-Phila. “We need a full, thorough, and expedient investigation into every aspect of this stop.” “My sympathies go out to the family dealing with the trauma of this incident, and I stand in solidarity with the communities that have experienced their own traumas as a result,” Nelson, D-Montgomery, said. “The investigation that we are expecting will help us determine accountability measures needed and identify necessary policy changes that we can craft at the state level that will enhance community safety at home. Those changes may come in the Read more

 

Ghost guns: Fueling real horror in PA communities

(Mar 04, 2024)

“It’s infuriating to know, as I mentioned during the judiciary committee hearing on HB 777, how quickly I could use my cellphone to purchase a ghost gun without any meaningful checks,” said meeting host Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, who represents portions of Philadelphia. “We are talking about untraceable firearms that can be assembled with ease. They are completely untraceable, and they are legal to purchase without any age requirement or background checks, and they are contributing to gun violence in all communities throughout Pennsylvania – and the nation.” Read more

 

Kenyatta introduces legislation to study impact of ‘benefits cliff’

(Feb 29, 2024)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 29 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., has introduced legislation to study the public assistance benefits cliff, which refers to a situation when public benefit programs phase out quickly for families as household earnings increase. This legislation would direct the Joint State Government Commission to conduct a study and issue a report on the impact of benefits cliffs in Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania, roughly 12 percent of all Pennsylvanians live in poverty, with eight percent living in extreme poverty. “In many instances, Pennsylvanians living in poverty become constrained to a life of poverty due to the ‘cliff effect,’ which perpetuates the poverty cycle, rather than incentivizing individuals to become self-sufficient,” Kenyatta said. “This study should give us a better idea of just how much the benefits cliff affects Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable families, and how we can ensure these families get the most out of important public benefit programs.” Kenyatta is joined by state Reps. Morgan Cephas and Roni Green, both D-Phila., and La’Tasha D. Mayes, D-Allegheny, in introducing this bill. Cephas explained how benefits cliffs impact marginalized communities. “Not only are Black women paid less than white or male counterparts, opportunities to escape this cycle of poverty are fewer – leading to the public assistance Read more

 

Waxman to introduce legislation to decriminalize HIV in Pennsylvania

(Feb 28, 2024)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 28 – State Rep. Ben Waxman, D-Phila., plans to introduce legislation to eliminate a felony penalty for people with HIV charged with prostitution. In Pennsylvania, prostitution is a misdemeanor unless the person has HIV. . In Pennsylvania, people living with HIV have been prosecuted under generally applicable laws for conduct that would not be a crime, or would be a less serious crime, but for their HIV status. For example, Pennsylvania is one of nine states that still subjects people living with HIV to harsher penalties if charged with prostitution. Prostitution is typically a misdemeanor offense; however, people living with HIV in Pennsylvania who are charged with prostitution can be charged with a felony. This would happen even if transmission would not be possible, because no physical contact occurred or the nature of contact is not a method of transmission. “HIV criminalization laws have not kept up with the four decades of progress in the fight against HIV, and do not reflect current scientific knowledge around HIV prevention, transmission, and treatment,” Waxman said. “The harsher criminalization of those living with HIV only stigmatizes those who have contracted this virus as well as the marginalized communities it disproportionately affects.” Waxman said the legislation could also help prevent Pennsylvania from costly legal trouble. On Dec. 1, 2023, the Read more

 

State lawmakers highlight need to alleviate medical debt

(Feb 27, 2024)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 27 – Today, state Reps. Tarik Khan, D-Phila., and Bridget Kosierowski, D-Lackawanna, held a news conference at the State Capitol to discuss the importance of alleviating medical debt for Pennsylvanians who need it most. Last spring, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed legislation ( H.B. 78 ) that would establish the Pennsylvania Medical Debt Repayment Program, which would target the medical debt of low-income Pennsylvanians drowning in it and in need of relief. The legislation is currently sitting in the PA Senate Health and Human Services Committee. Medical debt relief is also a top priority for Gov. Josh Shapiro who, in his state budget address for the 2024-25 fiscal year, proposed investing $4 million to wipe it out for thousands of Pennsylvanians. State officials estimate that roughly 1 million Pennsylvanians carry some amount of medical debt. As of Dec. 2020, Pennsylvanians collectively share more than $1.8 billion in medical debt in a collections stage. “The toll of medical debt is staggering, with some reports showing that nearly half of all adults in the U.S. have gone into debt due to healthcare costs,” Khan said. “Medical debt makes us sicker because it prevents people from seeking preventative care and in some cases skipping healthcare services all together. It’s time the legislature addresses this issue that plagues countless Pennsylvanians.” Read more

 

Committee highlights House steps to address public safety

(Feb 27, 2024)

“The Safe Communities Grant Program is another tool in our toolbox to improve public safety and keep our children and young people safe by directly addressing crime and gun violence in our communities,” Green said. “I am grateful the House supported and passed my bill in July, because this program could help all communities by ensuring public spaces are safe spaces.” Read more

 

Pa. lawmakers extend emergency declaration to keep fixing where I-95 collapsed

(Feb 27, 2024)

News story about Rep. Bellmon's concurrent resolution extending the emergency declaration to keep fixing the overpass in Northeast Philadelphia that collapsed in June 2023. Read more

 

Neilson applauds historic federal investment to upgrade SEPTA’s aging trains on Market-Frankford Line

(Feb 23, 2024)

State Rep. Ed Neilson, chair of the House Transportation Committee, said he is excited that SEPTA will be receiving $317 million in federal funding to replace its aging Market-Frankford Line fleet. SEPTA was awarded $317 million for the project and is evaluating bids from different rail car manufacturers to build new cars for the Market-Frankford Line. The award is the largest competitive federal grant SEPTA has won for a project. “The Market-Frankford Line is a vital route that makes almost 15 million trips per year,” Neilson said. “The trains haven’t been upgraded in 25 years which leads to delays for passengers who rely on this route and even cancellations.” The Market-Frankford Line needs approximately 96 cars to maintain levels of ridership, according to SEPTA. They said they are currently operating with 85. “This investment is a big deal and is long overdue,” Neilson said. Neilson said that as one of the largest cities in the United States, elected officials on all levels of government need to work together with local agencies to ensure that Philadelphians can travel safely and on time throughout the city using SEPTA. Read more

 

Bellmon appointed to Stop-and-Go Legislative Task Force

(Feb 23, 2024)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 23 – State Rep. Anthony Bellmon, D-Phila., has been appointed to the Stop-and-Go Legislative Task Force. Stop-and-Go establishments are convenience stores or delis that also sell beer and liquor. People who purchase the alcohol can consume it right outside of the establishment. This Task Force is comprised of members of the state House and Senate, an appointee of the governor and an ex-officio member of the PLCB, that is tasked with addressing issues around stop-and-go establishments in Philadelphia. “Stop-and-go stores have contributed to many problems in neighborhoods across Philadelphia, which is why we must provide better oversight for them,” Bellmon said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues on this task force to address this issue and work to improve the quality of life of all Pennsylvanians.” Read more

 

Khan Celebrates Grant Funds for Roxborough Community

(Feb 23, 2024)

Pa. state Rep. Tarik Khan presented a grant of $75,000 to the Roxborough Development Corporation. Khan says that these funds will be used to help repair sidewalks and parking lots, expand parking lanes and improve the tree line on streets in the community. Read more

 

Pa. House Housing & Community Development Committee approves Bullock, Cephas homeowner-protections legislation

(Feb 20, 2024)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 20 – During a voting meeting today, the Pennsylvania House Housing & Community Development Committee approved legislation, H.B. 657 , co-sponsored by state Reps. Donna Bullock and Morgan Cephas, which would provide consumer protection against unfair realty agreements for homeowners in the commonwealth by establishing prohibitions and requirements for these agreements. “All too often, I hear the horror stories of unscrupulous realty companies preying on unsuspecting homeowners and vulnerable neighborhoods by trapping them in questionable realty agreement contracts and then suing them should they try to cancel the agreement,” Bullock said. “It’s our hope with this legislation that we can ensure that homeowners are no longer subjected to these unsavory and underhanded practices.” Unlawful agreements that include certain forbidden content would be deemed unenforceable and in violation of the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Act, should this legislation become law. “Companies seeking to swindle home equity from Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable homeowners must be stopped,” Cephas said. “Pennsylvanians deserve protections from such unsavory realty companies, and should they fall victim to such companies then they deserve to have the damages recovered.” The legislation will now go to the full House, where Read more

 

Committee hearing focuses on improving public transportation

(Feb 20, 2024)

“Public transportation is a critical lifeline for residents in my district, it is the one thing that connects us as a community,” said Rep. Waxman, who requested and hosted the hearing. “What makes my district in Philadelphia unique is we have more residents that rely on public transit to get to work and their daily needs like doctor appointments, but we also have one of the most active districts for visitors traveling into our district through public transportation.” Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation praises expanded state Child and Dependent Care Enhancement Tax Credit

(Feb 15, 2024)

Today, members of the Philadelphia House Delegation held a news conference at the Early Learning Literacy Academy highlighting the expansion of the state Child and Dependent Care Enhancement Tax Credit. Read more

 

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

Khan to roll out healthcare workforce legislative package
Mar 14, 2024

Young presents $425,000 to Colwyn Borough to improve infrastructure
Mar 13, 2024

Young presents $400,000 to Tinicum Twp. to improve infrastructure
Mar 11, 2024

Main Street Matters
Mar 08, 2024

Philadelphia House Delegation offers remarks on recent shootings
Mar 07, 2024

Gallagher, Khan, Warren call for PA to update insurance laws around colorectal cancer screenings
Mar 05, 2024

Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, House Philadelphia Delegation, LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus release statement on Pennsylvania State Police traffic stop and arrest
Mar 05, 2024

Ghost guns: Fueling real horror in PA communities
Mar 04, 2024

Kenyatta introduces legislation to study impact of ‘benefits cliff’
Feb 29, 2024

Waxman to introduce legislation to decriminalize HIV in Pennsylvania
Feb 28, 2024

State lawmakers highlight need to alleviate medical debt
Feb 27, 2024

Committee highlights House steps to address public safety
Feb 27, 2024

Pa. lawmakers extend emergency declaration to keep fixing where I-95 collapsed
Feb 27, 2024

Neilson applauds historic federal investment to upgrade SEPTA’s aging trains on Market-Frankford Line
Feb 23, 2024

Bellmon appointed to Stop-and-Go Legislative Task Force
Feb 23, 2024

Khan Celebrates Grant Funds for Roxborough Community
Feb 23, 2024

Pa. House Housing & Community Development Committee approves Bullock, Cephas homeowner-protections legislation
Feb 20, 2024

Committee hearing focuses on improving public transportation
Feb 20, 2024

Philadelphia House Delegation praises expanded state Child and Dependent Care Enhancement Tax Credit
Feb 15, 2024