Featured News

Philadelphia House Delegation unveils three new subcommittees

McClinton announces $4.5 million to make critical upgrades to Francis J. Myers Rec Center

(Apr 22, 2022)

PHILADELPHIA, April 22 – Pennsylvania House Democratic Leader Joanna McClinton announced today $4.5 million was approved to invest in much needed upgrades to the Francis J. Myers Recreation Center in southwest Philadelphia. The grant was awarded through the state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program and will be used to invest in: Environmental remediation to the site. Significant improvements to the roof, exterior masonry and building envelope. New windows and doors. Updated plumbing, mechanical systems, and electrical, including fire alarm and fire protection. Increased building accessibility, including an elevator. “The Francis J. Myers Rec Center is a critical hub that many of our neighbors, especially our young people, rely on in southwest Philly,” said McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware. “As we face the challenges of gun violence and work to find effective solutions, it’s places like Myers Rec that play a vital role in our fight to protect our neighborhoods by providing our children with important activities, resources, and a safe space to frequent. I am so grateful for all that they do for our community and am excited for the upgrades that these dollars will make happen.” RACP is administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational, and historical improvement projects. RACP projects Read more

 

Young announces almost $1M for safe pedestrian and bicycle paths

(Apr 22, 2022)

HARRISBURG, April 22 – State Rep. Regina Young, D-Phila./Delaware, today announced that the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission will be receiving $990,000 from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for Surface Transportation Block Grants. These funds are to be used to improve transportation alternatives and enhance mobility and public accessibility across the state. “As we work to improve FDR Park, we need to also make sure the surrounding area keeps up with these enhancements,” Young said. “This money is going to help our neighbors get from A to B in the most efficient way possible and provide much needed safety improvements and guidance to local schools.” The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission secured $540,000 to help the City of Philadelphia Streets Department improve pedestrian and bicycle connections to the Navy Yard by installing a shared-use side path along the western side of South Broad Street from FDR Park to the Navy Yard. In addition, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission has secured another $450,000 to help the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Transportation, Infrastructure and Sustainability, in partnership with the Streets Department, to provide a pedestrian and bicycle safety curriculum to local middle schools; develop a bicycle and pedestrian safety learning e-module for students; create conceptual design plans that create slow zones around schools; Read more

 

House Philadelphia Delegation congratulates city for infrastructure awards

(Apr 20, 2022)

HARRISBURG, April 20 – The Pennsylvania House of Representative’s Philadelphia Delegation congratulated the City of Philadelphia on its receiving state funds to go ahead with several street and school projects and upgrades for ADA improvements and cyclists around the city. Gov. Tom Wolf and state Transportation Secretary Yassmin Gramian today announced the approval of funding for 64 projects to improve transportation alternatives and enhance mobility and public accessibility across the state, five of which are destinated for Philadelphia. The Office of Transportation, Infrastructure and Sustainability and Streets Department will receive: $1 million for a streetscape, side path/trail and intersection safety upgrade project that completes a major gap in the Philadelphia and Circuit trail network. Upon completion, trail users will connect to the Pennypack Trail and the East Coast Greenway, safely allowing passage from Northeast Philadelphia neighborhoods to the national East Coast Greenway (both completed portions and soon-to-be constructed portions). $1 million to replace painted pedestrian areas on Chestnut Street, with concrete pedestrian islands to elevate pedestrian safety along the corridor and expand the project area west to 63rd Street. $1 million for Logan Square sidewalk modernization at the Swann Memorial Fountain, including updating eight outdated ADA ramps and replacing approximately 18,000 square feet of Read more

 

Cephas announces Medicaid extension for postpartum care, highlights new money for maternal health initiatives

(Apr 18, 2022)

PHILADELPHIA, April 18 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas joined state Sen. Tim Kearney and Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Acting Secretary Meg Snead today at the Maternity Care Coalition in Philadelphia to highlight the implementation of Opt In PA, an initiative extending Medicaid support for postpartum individuals from 60 days to one year across the state. President Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan Act included a provision that gives states an option to extend Medicaid coverage up to one year postpartum; the Pa. Department of Human Services made the decision to opt into this provision, extending that coverage from 60 days to one year. Implementation was effective April 1. “Constituents who use Medicaid should contact their providers to see how this impacts them and their care,” said Cephas, who co-chairs the General Assembly’s Women’s Health Caucus and serves on the Pennsylvania Commission for Women. Cephas also discussed a recently committed $25.6 million in American Rescue Plan funding for a new maternal and child health initiative in Pennsylvania called the COVID-19 Nurturing Maternal and Child Health Initiative. The initiative recognizes the impact the pandemic had on Pennsylvania communities and makes strategic investments to implement innovative and informed improvements into the public health continuum. NMCH will reach millions of more birthing parents and children through doula services, targeted services, healthy eating Read more

 

Krajewski, Fiedler call for funding parks, recreation centers in PA

(Apr 14, 2022)

HARRISBURG, April 14 – State Reps. Rick Krajewski and Elizabeth Fiedler introduced the Pennsylvania Recreational Infrastructure Revitalization Act this week. The bill, which is in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives awaiting a vote, would allocate $500 million from American Rescue Plan funds to repair and invest in parks and recreational spaces throughout the state. Krajewski and Fiedler said that they believe that this funding is important to improve community safety and well-being. “The young people and community of West and Southwest Philadelphia deserve a park and recreation center where they can safely play, recreate, meet, learn and have fun,” Krajewski said. “With gun violence ravaging our communities, we need to invest in our public spaces to allow at-risk youth to enjoy community and leisure.” During the pandemic, the usage of parks and recreational spaces increased by 20%. Parks and recreation centers are valuable public resources that provide opportunities for children, youth and families to play and recreate. Research finds that well-designed and -maintained urban parks can reduce gun violence, improve safety, and keep residents healthier, while poorly designed and maintained parks lead to more crime, according to the bill’s co-sponsorship memo. “Parks are a valuable part of our communities. It gives people a place to be outside, exercise and socialize,” Fiedler said. “As the usage of parks Read more

 

Cephas, Tartaglione announce $25.6M in funding for maternal, child health

(Apr 14, 2022)

PHILADELPHIA, April 14 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas and state Sen. Christine Tartaglione, along with fellow lawmakers and the Wolf administration, today announced $25.6 million in American Rescue Plan funding to be allocated for a new maternal and child health initiative in Pennsylvania. The funding announcement also coincides with Black Maternal Health Week, April 11-17 . “With the promise in this funding, we are putting money into solving maternal mortality and working to address the social determinants of health that contribute to the crisis we are experiencing across Pennsylvania," Cephas said. “The administration’s opting Pennsylvania into extended Medicaid was a major move to start solving part of the crisis now, as well. That program began April 1, and the initiatives we’re announcing today are going to reach millions of more birthing parents and children through doula services, targeted services, healthy eating pilot programs and lead remediation.” “Our democratic counterparts in the US House and Senate sent Pennsylvania billions of dollars in the American Rescue Plan to reinvest to strengthen our commonwealth,” Tartaglione said. “We cannot let the historic opportunity afforded to us pass without making life-changing and crucially needed investments in historically disinvested communities. The allocation of this grant money will help Temple Woman’s and Infant’s Hospital finally open Read more

 

State Rep. Chris Rabb to introduce resolution that would designate Pennsylvania as a Hidden Heroes state

(Apr 13, 2022)

HARRISBURG, April 13 -- State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila, is advocating for formal acknowledgement of the extraordinary work of caregivers of Pennsylvania’s veterans through the Hidden Heroes campaign. “Many times, a veteran’s caregiver is a spouse, parent and other loved ones whose lives are transformed, their goals set aside, and they rearrange their lives to help the ones who sacrificed the most for us,” Rabb said. “We need to recognize that these women and men are heroes and sacrifice more than we currently understand.” The Hidden Heroes campaign is an initiative through the Elizabeth Dole Foundation that seeks to raise awareness of the struggles of these special caregivers. It also seeks to establish a national registry where veterans and their caregivers can access resources available to them. Read more

 

State Rep. Chris Rabb reappointed as chair of Equity Committee

(Apr 06, 2022)

HARRISBURG, April 6 -- State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., has been unanimously reappointed as the chair of the PA House Democratic Caucus Equity Committee. “I am honored to be reappointed chair of the Equity Committee,” Rabb said. “As elected officials, we should be examining all of our decisions through the lens of equity, from the words we use to the votes we cast and the legislation we draft. We need to think about what the outcome means for everyone, not just a select few.” Created by an amendment to the House Democratic Caucus bylaws in 2018, the Equity Committee evaluates and makes recommendations regarding social equity issues related to policy, membership, personnel, legal, procurement, communications and appropriations. “The Diversity and Inclusion Council’s Advisory Board unanimously reappointed Representative Rabb as the primary advisor for the council,” Indira Ridgeway, chair of the Diversity and Inclusion council, said. “The council is very excited to work with him and the board to provide programing to the caucus that highlights diversity in cultures, generations and identities.” Read more

 

State Rep. Chris Rabb introduces bill that would modernize candidacy requirements for special elections

(Apr 05, 2022)

HARRISBURG, April 5 -- State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., is again seeking support for legislation that would seek to remedy structural flaws in the nomination process for special elections, notoriously known for low voter turnouts. According to Rabb, the requirement for candidates to adhere to their political party’s process impedes prospective candidates from attempting to run in special elections. Originally introduced during his first term in office, the bill would standardize the nomination process by requiring people interested in becoming a candidate in a special election to: • File their candidacy with the political party within each county of the legislative district. • Pay a $250 filing fee. • Prepare, or opt-out of preparing, a short video announcing their candidacy, which would be posted on the website of the PA Department of State and the county party with which candidate is affiliated. “This legislation would establish transparency, accountability and inclusivity in the special election process,” Rabb said. The legislation will also require political parties to publicize and hold a meeting accessible to any eligible voter in the special election whether in person or remotely, with the majority of eligible committee people present, to consider each individual who seeks consideration as a candidate in a special election. Read more

 

Let’s Help Ukrainians Transition to Security in PA

(Apr 04, 2022)

People seeking refuge from hostility or persecution have always found a home in Pennsylvania - welcoming them is in our DNA. After all, our commonwealth was born of William Penn’s great “experiment” to establish a community where religious tolerance – an unusual idea at the time- was the guiding principle. Since then, Pennsylvania has greeted refugees from every corner of the globe, escaping every kind of oppression. Pennsylvania grew to embody its 1980’s tagline: You’ve Got a Friend in Pennsylvania. Now, as we watch in disbelief and sadness at the tragedy unfolding in Ukraine, it is time to again open our communities’ doors and hearts to welcome newcomers to our beautiful commonwealth. This is not some crisis affecting strangers on the nightly news. These are our neighbors’ families. This is local. This is real. This is touching our communities. From Philadelphia to Ambridge, and in communities in between, more than 122,000 Ukrainians already call Pennsylvania “home,” the second highest number of any state in the nation. And we want to assure those seeking refuge in our state now due to the current hostility, that they are welcome too. That is why we’ve proposed the creation of the New Neighbors Fund, that would authorize up to $2 million to support services for refugees from Ukraine. The New Neighbors Fund would supplement existing federal investments, and would create a Read more

 

State Rep. Chris Rabb introduces legislation to protect consumers against predatory rent-to-own companies

(Mar 31, 2022)

HARRISBURG, March 31 -- State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila, introduced legislation that would ensure protections for low-income consumers from becoming victims of predatory and abusive rent-to-own contracts with corporate chains who use the criminal court system as retribution. Rent-to-own companies often resort to using the taxpayer-subsidized criminal court system in lieu of a collection agency to recover money from low-income individuals who can no longer afford to make payments and who are unable to cover the costs of effective legal counsel, according to Rabb. Rabb said by resorting to using criminal courts to threaten individuals who are struggling to make payments, “the RTO industry is contributing to the criminalization of poor people. It’s leading to a revival of the long abolished ‘debtor’s prisons.’” “There is no reason to permit this predatory practice and make consumers pay more than what is owed and more than they can afford,” Rabb said. “It’s time we stop making the poor pay more and protect them from abusive RTO contracts.” This legislation would make sure these predatory practices would be prohibited. Read more

 

State Rep. Amen Brown calls for increase in funding for Office of Forensic Science

(Mar 30, 2022)

HARRISBURG, March 30 -- State Rep. Amen Brown is calling on the City of Philadelphia, Mayor Jim Kenney and the Philadelphia Police Department to increase funding for the Office of Forensic Science to alleviate a backlog of evidence used to solve crimes. Brown said he stands firm in his belief that the Office of Forensic Science is the key to solving crime in the city and putting away dangerous criminals, and that an increase of at least $30 million is needed for relocation of the facility, staffing issues and better security procedures. “The people who work at the OFS are committed to providing objective and reliable forensic results to exonerate the innocent, identify perpetrators of crime, and reveal crime patterns to allow the PPD to solve and prevent crime,” Brown said. “They are performing above the national average but simply are understaffed and don’t have the funding they need to succeed in solving crimes and getting criminals off the streets. My office is committed to working with the city and administration to identify funding for expansion and maintaining a new facility. It is time for a major city and state collaboration that benefits the entire city and especially our men and women in blue who deserve better.” As there has already been a 3% increase in homicides in Philadelphia from 2021-2022, Brown said the time to do this is now. Read more

 

State Rep. Chris Rabb to introduce legislation allowing for electronic petitioning for candidates

(Mar 29, 2022)

HARRISBURG, March 29 -- State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila, plans to introduce legislation that would allow candidates for elective office to collect signatures needed for their nomination petitions electronically versus solely by handwritten signatures. This legislation would triple the number of signatures required to run for any office and would require political candidates to collect at least five signatures in every subdivision of a district. It also would direct the secretary of the commonwealth to create an internet portal for qualified voters to access and sign a nomination petition for a candidate in all state, federal and local offices. “This legislation would bring our nomination process into the 21st century,” Rabb said. “It would modernize and much improve the candidate petitioning process for candidates, voters and government employees while promoting a more efficient, cost-effective and equitable way of encouraging civic engagement.” March 28 was the last day to circulate and file petitions for the May 17 primary election. Read more

 

Now open for applications: Substance use disorder awareness, fire and emergency medical services, overdose programmatic collaboration funding opportunities

(Mar 22, 2022)

STATE PROGRAMS NOW OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS: Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency: Intermediate Punishment Treatment Programs (Funding Source: General Fund) Who May Apply : Counties. Use : To support restrictive conditions that are imposed as part of a county probation sentence, needed drug and alcohol-related services, and mental health treatment and supportive services for eligible individuals. Funds : Varies by county. Application Deadline : April 25, 2022 More Information : Click on https://egrants.pccd.pa.gov/Public/OpenAnnouncements.aspx . Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs/Life Unites Us: Life Unites Us Community Award Grant Program (Funding Source: Federal Funding) Who May Apply : Non-profit organizations. Use : To promote knowledge about substance use disorder (SUD) and reduce the stigma associated with addiction by sharing stories from individuals and family members living in recovery and broadcasting a message of hope throughout the state. Funds : Awards range between $5,000 and $15,000. Application Deadline : April 13, 2022 More Information : Click on https://lifeunitesus.com/grant . Pennsylvania Office of the State Fire Commissioner: Fire and Emergency Medical Services Loan Program (Funding Source: Fire and Emergency Medical Services Loan Fund) Read more

 

State Rep. Amen Brown calls on State Police to act on illegal ATV riders

(Mar 22, 2022)

Impacted areas include Center City, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Fairmount Park and West Philadelphia. Read more

 

State Rep. Chris Rabb introduces bill to study benefits of a four-day work week

(Mar 21, 2022)

HARRISBURG, March 21 -- State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila, has introduced a legislation that would task the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of moving commonwealth employees to a four-day work week. Many companies around the globe have started pilot programs concerning a four-day work week and the results have been promising. There are reports of better work/life balance, higher morale among employees and less spending on child care, Rabb said. “One hundred years ago, When the five-day work week was granted to us by labor activists who fought to not work their lives away it was considered a huge victory,” Rabb said. “Now times have changed; we have different family dynamics that changed our ability to work a five-day work week and it’s time we help give people their most precious commodity back – their time. Because everyone deserves to work to live and not live to work.” Rabb added that elected officials owe it to taxpayers to explore any cost-saving measures that can enhance state government’s efficacy, while still providing the level of service they both need and deserve. Read more

 

State Rep. Chris Rabb’s statement on the Fair Funding Trial

(Mar 10, 2022)

HARRISBURG, March 10 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila, said he stands in solidarity with the Education Law Center, the Basic Education Funding Commission and all plaintiffs in the historic school funding lawsuit currently taking place in the commonwealth. In 2015, the BEFC made a recommendation for a new formula to fund public schools in Pennsylvania. “The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has a duty, enshrined in our state’s constitution, that it must provide an adequately supported education system in which all children have access to a fairly funded and well-supported education – no matter race, class or Zip code,” Rabb said. “We must adhere to the BEFC’s bipartisan recommendation to utilize a fair funding formula immediately.” Rabb has long been a strong proponent for fair funding in public schools and has introduced legislation that would require 100% of state funds be distributed through the fair funding formula. Additionally, the legislation would also expand the duties of the BEFC to ensure the commission also consider ways to provide for school funding that is adequate, equitable and fair. The commission would also make recommendations for ways to increase funding in an upcoming 2022 study. Read more

 

Corridor Safety Enhancement Grant 2022

(Mar 09, 2022)

The Corridor Safety Enhancement Grant supports nonprofits in enhancing public safety on and around commercial corridors in the neighborhoods that they serve. All projects should aim to amplify a positive and inviting atmosphere of public safety. This in turn could increase foot traffic, reduce stress for business owners, attract new businesses or promote available commercial real estate within business districts or corridors Read more

 

Now open for applications: Student mental health and wildlife funding opportunities

(Mar 07, 2022)

STATE PROGRAMS NOW OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS: Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency: Support for Student Mental Health Needs Program (Funding Source: General Fund) Who May Apply : Nonprofit organizations, school districts, and other school entities. Use : To propose programming and other services to address youth mental health needs that have become apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds : Grants up to $150,000. Application Deadline : March 28, 2022 More Information : Click on https://egrants.pccd.pa.gov/Public/OpenAnnouncements.aspx . Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency: 2022 Resource Center for Prevention Program (Funding Source: General Fund) Who May Apply : Any institution of higher education, nonprofit agency, or for-profit organization. Use : To support Pennsylvania’s Resource Center for Evidence-based Prevention and Intervention Programs and Practices (Resource Center). Funds : One award of $945,000. Application Deadline : April 4, 2022 More Information : Click on https://egrants.pccd.pa.gov/Public/OpenAnnouncements.aspx . Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission: State Wildlife Grant Program (Funding Source: Federal Funding) Who May Apply : Any agency, organization, or entity desiring to participate in the planning or Read more

 

Small marijuana convictions cost time, money and livelihoods

(Mar 02, 2022)

Pa. state Rep. Amen Brown does not want small marijuana convictions to keep anyone from accessing affordable housing, the federal or state programs they pay into, or take away their chances at a job. Read more

 

McClinton announces $4.5 million to make critical upgrades to Francis J. Myers Rec Center
Apr 22, 2022

Young announces almost $1M for safe pedestrian and bicycle paths
Apr 22, 2022

House Philadelphia Delegation congratulates city for infrastructure awards
Apr 20, 2022

Cephas announces Medicaid extension for postpartum care, highlights new money for maternal health initiatives
Apr 18, 2022

Krajewski, Fiedler call for funding parks, recreation centers in PA
Apr 14, 2022

Cephas, Tartaglione announce $25.6M in funding for maternal, child health
Apr 14, 2022

State Rep. Chris Rabb to introduce resolution that would designate Pennsylvania as a Hidden Heroes state
Apr 13, 2022

State Rep. Chris Rabb reappointed as chair of Equity Committee
Apr 06, 2022

State Rep. Chris Rabb introduces bill that would modernize candidacy requirements for special elections
Apr 05, 2022

Let’s Help Ukrainians Transition to Security in PA
Apr 04, 2022

State Rep. Chris Rabb introduces legislation to protect consumers against predatory rent-to-own companies
Mar 31, 2022

State Rep. Amen Brown calls for increase in funding for Office of Forensic Science
Mar 30, 2022

State Rep. Chris Rabb to introduce legislation allowing for electronic petitioning for candidates
Mar 29, 2022

Now open for applications: Substance use disorder awareness, fire and emergency medical services, overdose programmatic collaboration funding opportunities
Mar 22, 2022

State Rep. Amen Brown calls on State Police to act on illegal ATV riders
Mar 22, 2022

State Rep. Chris Rabb introduces bill to study benefits of a four-day work week
Mar 21, 2022

State Rep. Chris Rabb’s statement on the Fair Funding Trial
Mar 10, 2022

Corridor Safety Enhancement Grant 2022
Mar 09, 2022

Now open for applications: Student mental health and wildlife funding opportunities
Mar 07, 2022

Small marijuana convictions cost time, money and livelihoods
Mar 02, 2022