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State Rep. Jared Solomon introduces bill to address staff shortages in Philadelphia Police Department

Kinsey cautiously optimistic about Wolf’s 2017-18 budget proposal

(Feb 07, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 7 – State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., praised Gov. Tom Wolf’s “sensible” approach to the 2017-18 state budget, introduced by the governor today during an address to a joint session of the General Assembly. Kinsey said Wolf's proposed budget would build on the last two state budgets by boosting investments in education and fighting the opioid crisis while keeping spending increases below the rate of inflation and making significant inroads in eliminating Pennsylvania's ongoing fiscal deficit. “Governor Wolf’s proposal would invest more than $200 million in schools, funding that is badly needed and especially in Philadelphia, without a broad-based tax increase,” Kinsey said. “The proposal would offer reforms to save the state more than $2 billion, while still being able to expand the school breakfast program so students from disadvantaged backgrounds can start the day ready to learn. I applaud Governor Wolf for his commitment to our schools and students.” Kinsey said Wolf’s budget proposal would also fully fund the coming year's pension obligations to avoid further debt, reduce waiting lists for intellectual disability services, and streamline and simplify services through health and human services agency-related consolidation. These savings and efficiencies are targeted at saving the state as much as $2.1 billion. “Today's address by Governor Wolf is just a starting Read more


Cephas applauds positives in governor's budget address

(Feb 07, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 7 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., released the following statement in response to Gov. Tom Wolf's 2017-18 budget address: “As a freshman legislator, I am beyond ecstatic that I was able to attend my first budget address for the commonwealth of Pennsylvania and to hear some of the priorities for Philadelphia and particularly the 192nd Legislative District discussed in the governor’s budget address. “With my experience in government, I realized early on that you can always tell a society's priorities by looking at their budget and their investments. “As Governor Wolf mentioned in his budget address, there is no greater priority than educating our young people, protecting our seniors and putting people to work. The governor is looking to work together with the General Assembly to build the foundation started last year by providing more funding for education – from pre-K to college – in this year’s budget. “One of my main priorities for my district is helping our seniors. I applaud the governor for making these citizens a top priority in his budget by working to assure they continue to get the highest quality of care and services in our commonwealth. “Pennsylvania must also move ahead with job creation. Governor Wolf indicated there are 82,000 more people working than there were two years ago. That number must remain on an upward path. “To the governor’s credit, Read more


Neilson: House adopts resolution declaring February as 'National Senior Independence Month' in Pa.

(Feb 06, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 6 – The state House of Representatives today adopted a resolution sponsored by state Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., that raises awareness for the number of senior citizens in the commonwealth who live independently, well after retirement. House Resolution 20 designates February 2017 as “National Senior Independence Month” in Pennsylvania. Neilson said this awareness month seeks to get seniors and their families thinking about steps they can take and services that are offered that allow older Pennsylvanians to remain in their homes and communities. “Older adults have faithfully provided for current and future generations as pillars of our families, leaders in our communities and defenders of our nation, so we must do all we can to allow them to live their lives the way they want, for as long as they want,” Neilson said. “Individualized services and support systems can be enhanced to help maintain their dignity, independence and self-determination as they age.” According to the AARP, 78 percent of adults over the age of 45 would prefer to stay in their current residence as long as they possibly can and 80 percent of adults 45 and older would prefer to remain in their local community for as long as possible. Read more


McClinton to hold monthly mobile office dates in Darby and Yeadon

(Feb 01, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 1 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, announced that she will begin holding regularly scheduled mobile office hours for her constituents in Darby and Yeadon beginning this month. McClinton and her staff will be available from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the first Tuesday of every month at the Darby Recreation Center, 1022 Ridge Ave., Darby, starting Feb. 7. She and her staff will also be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the first Thursday of every other month starting in March at the Yeadon Public Library, 809 Longacre Blvd., Yeadon. McClinton and her staff will offer the services that are always available at her main office, such as applying or renewing state Transportation Department items, completing applications for birth and death certificates and applying for numerous state programs. "I am thrilled to provide these mobile services to my constituents," McClinton said. "This is a perfect opportunity for me and my staff to offer these services to as many people conveniently as possible. I would like to thank the Darby Recreation Center and the Yeadon Public Library for providing the space for this outreach." McClinton added that her main office remains open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at 6027 Ludlow St., Unit A. For more information on the new monthly mobile hours, contact McClinton's office staff at (215) 748-6712. Read more


Fitzgerald to introduce legislation to insure breast density screenings

(Jan 26, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 26 – State Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald, D-Phila., announced she is currently seeking co-sponsors for her first piece of legislation as state representative. The legislation would extend mandated insurance coverage for ultrasound screening and an MRI if a mammogram indicates dense breast tissue or if a woman is believed to be at increased risk of breast cancer due to family history, or because of her prior personal history of breast cancer, positive genetic testing or other factors as deemed necessary by a physician. “Whether it’s a mother, sister, daughter, wife or a friend, everyone in Pennsylvania has known someone or has been impacted by someone who has battled breast cancer,” Fitzgerald said. “My legislation would allow women to easily get these life-saving screenings to prevent this deadly disease.” Fitzgerald said if her legislation became law, Pennsylvania would be among the first states in the nation to require full insurance without co-pays for all breast screenings and supplemental imaging, including MRI and breast ultrasound, for women with dense breast issue. Read more


Cephas receives committee appointments for 2017-18 legislative session

(Jan 24, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 24 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., announced that she has been appointed to serve on several key House standing committees that will help move the needle in her district for the 2017-18 legislative session. The freshman legislator was selected to sit on the Labor and Industry; Liquor Control; Gaming Oversight; Aging and Older Adult Services; and the Agriculture and Rural Affairs committees. “Given the shifts we are experiencing as a commonwealth and a nation, as a new legislator, I look forward to participating in meaningful dialogue within these committees on issues that have a direct impact to my district and all people of Pennsylvania,” Cephas said. Cephas added that while all of these committees are crucial to the overall demographic trends of the commonwealth, the Labor and Industry, Liquor and Aging committees specifically coincide with a significant portion of her agenda that she has laid out for her first term. “There are many people living paycheck to paycheck at minimum wage jobs. Pennsylvania’s neighboring states have helped their working poor by raising the wage and we are long overdue to join them,” Cephas said. “The commonwealth must also make sure workers have adequate workplace protection rules in place to ensure the safety of the employee and their client. “Philadelphia is home to several bars, restaurants and corner stores that serve alcohol. With the General Assembly Read more


Fitzgerald receives 2017-18 committee assignments

(Jan 24, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 24 – State Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald, D-Phila., announced that she has been appointed to serve on several key House standing committees for the 2017-2018 legislative session. The freshman legislator said she was selected to serve on the Aging and Older Adult Services, Children and Youth, Local Government; State Government; and Urban Affairs committees along with the Committee on Committees. “I am pleased to have been appointed to these important committees and I am eager to get to work with my colleagues on issues that impact my constituents and all Pennsylvanians,” Fitzgerald said. Fitzgerald said while all these committees are crucial in dealing with matters concerning the commonwealth, the Children and Youth and Urban Affairs committees are two that coincide with her community involvement and her neighborhood. “As a member of an organization that is working to effectively and positively impact the lives of our youth, I am committed to actively engaging in dialogue to keep children first in Pennsylvania,” Fitzgerald said. “While children and their well-being is one of my main priorities, I will also work to keep public safety top of mind.” Fitzgerald added residents can stay up-to-date with her work on her committees by signing up for her periodic e-mail updates through her website, http://www.pahouse.com/Fitzgerald . Fitzgerald represents the 203rd Legislative District , which consists of a portion of Read more


Fourth Annual Police Recruitment Drive

(Jan 20, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 20 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., today announced he will host representatives from the Philadelphia Police Department for a recruitment drive from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 2 at his district office, 3503 North B St., Unit 7, Philadelphia, PA 19134. “It’s not easy being a Philadelphia police officer, but it’s truly an important job that our communities rely upon for safety and protection,” Cruz said. “It’s always great to meet with those interested in becoming a police officer by allowing them to come to my office and speak with the Philadelphia Police Department.” Representatives from the Philadelphia Police Department will be on hand to answer questions and provide information. Constituents with questions should contact Cruz’ district office at (215) 291-5643. Read more


McClinton to co-host Criminal Record Expungement and Sealing Clinic

(Jan 13, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 13 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila/Delaware, announced that she will join Sen. Anthony Williams in co-hosting a free criminal record expungement and sealing clinic. It will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21 at Myers Recreation Center, 5801 Kingseeing Ave., Philadelphia . “Many times, a person’s past comes back to haunt them and ruin their chances of living and improving their lives,” McClinton said. “The event provides a great opportunity for people to clear their name in an effort to better themselves and our community.” In order to participate in the clinic, reservations are required. Those eligible for the expungement and sealing clinic include individuals with: Philadelphia County arrests only; non-conviction charges or summary convictions with no arrests in the past five years; no pending criminal charges. The person also cannot be on probation. Some second and third degree misdemeanor convictions may be sealed. McClinton added to RSVP, people should call Williams’ office at 215-492-2980 or email ewaters@pasenate.com . Read more


Kinsey nominated to West Chester University Council of Trustees

(Jan 12, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 12 – State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., was recently nominated by Gov. Tom Wolf, and confirmed by the state Senate, to serve on the West Chester University Council of Trustees. "This appointment is a tremendous honor and privilege," Kinsey said. "I was in those shoes that tens of thousands of students are walking in today and I understand the importance of receiving a quality education. I look forward to the opportunity to help West Chester continue to move forward and help create even greater opportunities for future generations." Kinsey is a graduate of West Chester University with a degree in elementary education. "I can attest to the value of this great institution," Kinsey said. "Serving on the council is an opportunity to look forward to advancing the university, as well as give back to my alma mater." Kinsey will serve as a member of the Advancement Subcommittee, which will review and recommend to the council actions of the president regarding private sector support and the public image of the university, and serve as the liaison for the Pennsylvania Association Council of Trustees. Each Pennsylvania-owned university has a council of trustees, consisting of 11 members who are nominated and appointed by the governor with the consent of the Senate. Student members of the council are nominated by their respective campus. The trustees are tasked with making recommendations to the chancellor for Read more


McClinton holds one-stop-shop energy forum

(Jan 12, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 12 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, hosted an Energy Forum for area residents to learn about ways they can save money heating and cooling their homes. The forum was held Wednesday, Jan. 11 at the 12th District Police Station, 6448 Woodland Ave. McClinton said nearly 100 individuals were in attendance. "This is a very important issue for so many people who connect with me," McClinton said. "My staff and I were happy to take this information beyond our office walls and bring it all under one roof." Representatives from Philadelphia Gas Works, the Public Utility Commission, Utility Emergency Services Fund, Energy Coordinating Agency, and PECO were on hand to answer questions, explain details of consumer-related programs and provide information on how to save money on heating and cooling costs. McClinton's staff also provided information and helped a number of low-income families apply for the state's heating grant program, LIHEAP. "We're in the middle of winter so the timing could not have been better for those who need help or want to know what they can do to better weatherize their homes," McClinton said. "In addition, this event was a great way to learn about ways to reduce energy costs all year round." McClinton will host a second Energy Forum from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21 at the 18th District Police Station, 5510 Pine St. Read more


Cruz champions donation for John B. Stetson Charter School

(Jan 12, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 12 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., said he recently helped to secure a $2,500 donation for the John B. Stetson Charter School. Cruz said the money donated by Walmart was used to purchase new computers and printers for the school’s community center. “These resources will not only benefit our youth, but all of the residents in the community,” Cruz said. “It is crucial these tools be available and I’m proud to have been a part of securing the donation.” School officials say the four computers that were purchased will be put to good use. “From taking classes online to resume building, the opportunities are endless for the betterment of our community,” said Joanna Esquilin, community outreach coordinator for John B. Stetson Charter School. “We are so thankful that Representative Cruz suggested us for this donation.” John B. Stetson Charter School is a part of ASPIRA, Inc. of Pennsylvania, the largest nonprofit organization dedicated to Hispanic education in the nation. The organization and its charter schools are located in the Hunting Park, Olney and Kensington neighborhoods of North Philadelphia. Read more


Rabb sworn in for first term at state Capitol

(Jan 03, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 3 – During a ceremony at the state Capitol that opened the 2017-18 legislative session, Rep. Chris Rabb took the oath of office to represent northwest Philadelphia in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. “I am thankful that the constituents of the 200th Legislative District put their faith in me to represent them,” Rabb said. “I am hitting the ground running to work on the issues that matter to them.” Rabb added he will soon introduce legislation that would commit Pennsylvania’s presidential electors to the candidate who wins the most popular votes in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. His legislative interests include fighting for social justice, shared prosperity and public integrity. While his constituent services office won’t be open until sometime later this month, Rabb said residents can email him regarding any state-related issues at Rabb@pahouse.com in the meantime. Rabb also encouraged constituents to sign up for periodic e-mail updates by registering through his website, http://www.pahouse.com/Rabb . Constituents can also stay up to date with news from Harrisburg and Philadelphia by adding him on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/RepRabb and following him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/RepRabb . Read more


Harris looking forward to third term

(Jan 03, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 3 – State Rep. Jordan Harris today was sworn into office for his third term as representative for the 186th Legislative District during a ceremony in the Capitol. The Pennsylvania House of Representatives swearing-in corresponds with the first Tuesday in January, every two years. This year is Pennsylvania’s 201st legislative session. “I am thankful my constituents maintain their trust in me,” Harris said. “I will continue to build on that trust and expand on the work that my staff and I accomplished for the 186 th Legislative District.” During his second term, Harris fought for funding for education in Philadelphia, including for Pre-K, and championed legislation that eventually became law to help expunge criminal records of lesser offenders. Harris said he will continue to fight for more education funding, as well as common-sense gun laws and criminal justice reform. In addition to beginning his third, two-year term as state representative, Harris has been named chairman for the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus. “It’s an honor to have been elected to serve as chairman of this very important caucus,” Harris said. “With the upcoming session, I will see to it that the members of the Black Caucus stand united and be the voice for African-Americans and people of color across Pennsylvania on key issues, including promoting diversity and inclusion in the commonwealth’s workforce Read more


Fitzgerald sworn in for first term at state Capitol

(Jan 03, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 3 – During a ceremony at the state Capitol that opened the 2017-18 legislative session, Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald took the oath of office to represent northwest Philadelphia in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. “I am honored to have the opportunity to represent the residents of the 203rd Legislative District,” said Fitzgerald, who takes office after serving as legislative assistant for former state Rep. Dwight Evans, who now represents the area in Congress. “I’m excited to start working on the issues and problems confronting the constituents in my district and the people of Philadelphia.” Fitzgerald’s legislative interests include youth and public safety; pre-k, basic and higher education; and economic development. “In addition to making these issues a priority in Harrisburg, I am working on legislation that would financially assist women who are in need of more intensive breast screening beyond the mammogram,” said Fitzgerald, D-Phila. “I will fight to continue to bring resources and services to my constituents and keep the agenda moving forward.” Fitzgerald’s constituent service office is up and running at 7178 Ogontz Ave., Philadelphia, 19138. The number is 215-549-0220. She also invites people to visit her website – www.pahouse.com/Fitzgerald – which has links to information on state services and includes a form that enables constituents to email her. Read more


Bullock sworn in to serve 195th Legislative District

(Jan 03, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 3 – State Rep. Donna Bullock today was sworn into office as representative for the 195th Legislative District during a ceremony at the Pennsylvania Capitol. The Pennsylvania House of Representatives swearing-in corresponds with the first Tuesday in January, every two years. This year is Pennsylvania’s 201st legislative session. “I am excited for the opportunity to continue representing and fighting for the residents of the 195 th District, both at home and in Harrisburg,” Bullock said. “We have new challenges ahead in this upcoming session and I am ready to work with my colleagues to bring positive change to the commonwealth.” In addition to beginning her first, full two-year term as state representative, Bullock has been chosen to serve as vice chairwoman for the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus. “I am honored that my peers selected me to serve in this position for such a very important caucus,” said Bullock, D-Phila. Bullock said residents are encouraged to sign up for periodic e-mail updates by registering through her website, www.PaHouse.com/Bullock . Constituents can also stay up to date with news from Harrisburg and Philadelphia by adding her on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/RepDonnaBullock and following her on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/RepDonnaBullock . Read more


Bullock to host Environmental Justice Mixer on Thursday

(Dec 06, 2016)

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 6 – State Rep. Donna Bullock will hold an Environmental Justice Mixer and Update from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8 at Community Futures Lab, 2204 Ridge Ave. The event is free and open to the public. The meet-and-greet reception is in honor of the 25th anniversary of the 17 Principles of Environmental Justice, which were adopted at the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit held Oct. 24-27, 1991 in Washington, D.C. The principles have served as the defining document and basis for the grassroots movement for environmental justice. In the spirit of the adoption of the 17 principles, this event is a gathering of contemporary environmental and social-justice professionals, activists and community members to connect with one another and continue expanding a network of people who are fighting for environmental justice in Philadelphia. Light refreshments will be provided, and Bullock will share an environmental legislative update from her first term in Harrisburg. Read more


Philly.com Letters: Not enough needy Pa. families getting help: Bullock

(Oct 03, 2016)

One of the biggest problems facing public assistance is that it is overregulated when subjected to politics. Read more


Bullock, Sturla co-host meeting on Fair Chance Housing

(Jul 20, 2016)

PHILADELPHIA, July 20 – State Rep. Donna Bullock and House Democratic Policy Chairman Mike Sturla today hosted a public hearing on Bullock’s Fair Chance Housing legislation, which would prohibit landlords from asking certain questions about a tenant’s criminal background. Bullock, D-Phila., said that her legislation would model a recent policy change within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that disregards criminal records as a condition for housing approval. "Too often, individuals who have criminal histories – and have turned a new leaf – find it difficult to find adequate housing," Bullock said. "As a basic right, and a condition of successful recovery, access to housing should not be based on one’s prior violations or indiscretions." "Our neighbor Ohio has had success with programs aimed at assisting those with arrest histories," Bullock said. "The nationwide recidivism rate is 49.7 percent; Ohio’s is 27.5 percent. My proposal is a modest pivot toward changing how the commonwealth rehabilitates those with arrest histories." "I applaud Rep. Bullock for her dedication to helping those looking to make a fresh start," said Sturla, D-Lancaster. "Access to housing is a basic need. Discriminating against those looking to get back on their feet and reintegrate in to society only serves to make them feel as though they need to turn back to old Read more


Bullock to host Policy Committee hearing on Fair Chance Housing Wednesday in Philadelphia

(Jul 18, 2016)

PHILADELPHIA, July 18 – State Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., will host a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing on her Fair Chance Housing legislation, which would prohibit landlords from asking certain questions about a tenant’s criminal background, at 3 p.m. Wednesday, July 20 in the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Perelman Building cafe (corner of Fairmount and Pennsylvania avenues). Requested by Bullock, the hearing will be co-chaired by House Democratic Policy Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. Bullock said that her legislation would model a recent policy change within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that disregards criminal records as a condition for housing approval. The hearing agenda is as follows: 3 p.m. Welcome and opening remarks 3:10 p.m. Panel One: Phyllis Chamberlain, executive director, Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania Angela McIver, CEO, Fair Housing Rights Center in Southeastern Pennsylvania 3:40 p.m. Panel Two: Rasheedah Phillips, managing attorney, Community Legal Services Patricia McGlone, social worker/community education coordinator, Community Legal Services 4:10 p.m. Dina Schlossberg, deputy director/senior attorney for multi-family housing, Regional Housing Legal Services 4:30 p.m. Closing remarks Read more