Featured News

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

House Celebrates Jazz Month

(Apr 21, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Jake Wheatley hosted the second annual celebration of National Jazz Month in Pennsylvania. Rep. Stephen Kinsey, Rep. Patty Kim and Rep. Harry Lewis joined Rep. Wheatley in honoring the music genre and those who have made significant contributions to it in the Commonwealth. Read more


Kinsey honors brother, military personnel

(Apr 14, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Stephen Kinsey honored his brother, Captain Barry Kinsey, who is retiring from the U.S. Army after nearly 25 years of service. Kinsey recognized the sacrifices and challenges that military personnel face while serving their country. Read more


Harris to introduce legislation authorizing extended liquor sales

(Apr 13, 2015)

PHILADELPHIA, April 13 – State Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phlia., announced today that he plans to introduce legislation which would amend the Liquor Code to allow businesses to apply for extended use permits, which would authorize the sale of alcohol beyond 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. "This legislation would create a more attractive Pennsylvania and further a goal of appealing to young professionals and millennials who can greatly improve our local economies," Harris said. "Philadelphia especially has lagged behind other major cities within a short radius as far as nightlife is concerned, and this bill would put our city on par with some of the largest cities in the country as far as having a healthy, vibrant nightlife. "Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and cities in between are world-class cities of higher education and we need to create an environment where the nightlife encourages young people who become educated here to stay in our Commonwealth to live, work and play. While I understand nightlife isn’t the only concern for those making a decision on whether to stay in cities across Pennsylvania or move, I do know that it is a concern, one that we can fix, enhance and as a city, benefit from." Harris’ legislation would charge a business 10 percent of the yearly fee it pays to have a liquor license to have an extended permit license, with 50 percent of that total going to the municipality and 50 percent going to the State Stores Fund. It also Read more


Sims, Conklin: Make Pa. voting easier by making registration automatic

(Apr 07, 2015)

HARRISBURG, April 7 – State Reps. Brian Sims, D-Phila., and Scott Conklin, D-Centre, plan to introduce legislation reforming Pennsylvania's voter registration system by instituting automatic registration of all eligible voters, with provisions for opting out. "Voting is a fundamental right of all Americans, but one which many forgo due to the burdens associated with voter registration, and the time and financial costs resulting from going to the polls. As technology continues its rapid advance, legislators must find efficient and less taxing methods for helping the citizens of Pennsylvania to exercise this fundamental right," Sims said. Conklin said, "Under our proposal, the responsibility of voter registration would be passed from eligible voters onto the Pennsylvania Department of State and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Beginning July 1, 2015, the secretary of the commonwealth would initiate a program to automatically register eligible voters whose information is provided to PennDOT for obtaining a driver’s license or non-driver identification card. The Department of State would use the PennDOT data, which includes information on whether a person is a citizen, to register voters. These newly registered voters would then be sent a postcard with information on how to opt out of registration altogether and how to choose a party affiliation. Under our proposal, a newly registered voter would have 21 days to opt out of Read more


Kinsey bill would make academic fraud criminal offense in Pennsylvania

(Mar 26, 2015)

HARRISBURG, March 26 – Perpetrating academic fraud, like what occurred over two decades involving no-show classes at the University of North Carolina, would be criminally punishable in Pennsylvania under a bill proposed by state Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila. His bill, which will be introduced into the House Judiciary Committee in the coming weeks, would legally define academic fraud as a felony. "When a college or university cheats for its students to keep scholarships or to remain competitive in an athletic arena, it is literally stealing from students and in many cases taxpayers," said Kinsey, D-Phila. "That is a crime, and it’s time we treat it as such." Academic fraud is not currently punishable in criminal courts. Under the proposal, a person would be charged with a third-degree felony if he or she attempted to or helped a student obtain a credit, grade or test score by fraudulent means, or changed a score, grade or credit in exchange for goods or services. A perpetrator involving student athletes would be charged with a second-degree felony if he or she accepted goods or services for teaching a no-show class, steered a student athlete into a no-show class for the sake of athletic eligibility, attempted to or forged a grade or credit, or systematically conducted fraudulent business to ensure a student athlete’s academic eligibility. UNC last year disclosed academic fraud, which is believed to have taken place Read more


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


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


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


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


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