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Philadelphia House Democrats’ statement on Fairmount house fire

Rabb, Hanbidge urge measures to better understand impact of electric vehicles in Pa. before enacting legislation to charge fees

(Apr 12, 2021)

HARRISBURG, April 12 — State Reps. Chris Rabb and Liz Hanbidge have reintroduced legislation to study the costs and benefits of electric vehicles to better understand the impact of the vehicles in Pennsylvania. “Studies have shown that electric vehicles emit significantly less greenhouse gas than gasoline-powered vehicles,” Rabb, D-Phila., said. “With climate change upon us, we know electric vehicles offer a huge benefit in that they mean cleaner air and less pollution. When it comes to the fees that electric vehicle owners will be charged – specifically regarding the motor vehicle tax – Representative Hanbidge and I believe additional information is needed, and that’s why we’re urging a study.” “Studying the impact of electric cars on our commonwealth allows us deeper insight into how we can best utilize this exciting technology to create better and cleaner transportation opportunities for our communities." Hanbidge, D-Montgomery, said. Despite their positive environmental impact, electric vehicles do not pay the state motor vehicle tax, which is attached to gasoline prices. Because the funds from the motor vehicle tax are used to repair and maintain state roads and bridges, the state legislature has considered proposals to create an annual electric vehicle road use fee to alleviate any discrepancy in this funding. Rabb and Hanbidge have reintroduced a resolution that would direct the Legislative Read more

 

BioTech Innovation Organization, Pfizer share vaccine efficacy, role in COVID-19 recovery

(Apr 12, 2021)

HARRISBURG, April 12 – As Pennsylvania expands vaccine eligibility, the House Democratic Policy Committee heard from the manufacturers tirelessly working to develop safe and effective vaccines for global use. At a Policy Committee hearing today, testifiers included representatives from Biotechnology Innovation Organization and Pfizer, who provided details on the technology behind the development of the COVID-19 vaccines and how the United States can reach herd immunity. Chairman Ryan Bizzarro and state Reps. Patty Kim and Darisha Parker facilitated the hearing, where Amy Walker, director of Infectious Diseases Policy for Biotechnology Innovation Organization and Lisa Coen, senior director, Vaccine Public Affairs with Pfizer, shared insight into the science behind the creation of COVID-19 vaccines, ongoing research, development and trials. Walker shared that five presidents, both Democratic and Republican, have been vaccinated, highlighting that the vaccines have received bipartisan support. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to have conversations based on science and fact. These vaccines will save lives and I encourage everyone eligible and interested to take the advice of scientists and medical professionals and help put this pandemic behind us,” Bizzarro implored. “It is important for us to hear this testimony today, especially for my constituents,” Parker said. “Communities of color have battled COVID extra Read more

 

Kim, Parker to lead Monday’s Policy Committee hearing on crushing COVID-19

(Apr 09, 2021)

HARRISBURG, April 9 – The committee will hear from the biotech industry and COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers at a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing hosted by state Reps. Patty Kim and Darisha Parker. The hearing will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, April 12 . The media and public are invited to watch online at www.pahouse.com/policy or on the committee’s Facebook page--@PADemPolicy. Media inquiries may be submitted via email to policy@pahouse.net . Chairman Ryan Bizzarro, Vice Chair Mary Isaacson and members of the House Democratic Policy Committee will join Kim and Parker to discuss how supply is catching up with demand and how vaccine distribution is meeting the needs of Pennsylvanians seeking vaccination. Additional hearing information will be available by clicking here or visiting www.pahouse.com/policycommittee . Read more

 

Investment in health, safety and jobs focus of Policy Committee hearing on Pa. toxic schools

(Apr 08, 2021)

HARRISBURG, April 8 -- Schools statewide are in urgent need of upgrades for the health and safety of students and staff, and today’s meeting of the House Democratic Policy Committee’s Subcommittee on Progressive Policies for Working People highlighted what actions the state can take to address toxic schools. The public virtual hearing, hosted by Subcommittee Chair Elizabeth Fiedler and state Sen. Vincent Hughes, brought together educators from across the state, healthcare and legal professionals, and labor experts to discuss the implications of inaction and benefits of investment in school safety. Policy Committee Chairman Ryan Bizzarro explained, “Pennsylvania schools need repair. Addressing these concerns will put our skilled laborers to work at family sustaining wages and set children and educators up for good health and success now and in the future.” “Most of Pennsylvania’s schools were built in the 50s when the knowledge of safe materials was limited,” Fiedler said. “But there are plenty of schools built even before that. Those old buildings pose so many health problems to our children, teachers and the community at large where they are.” “While we are in the middle of conversations to make upgrades and accommodations to our schools because of COVID, let’s take this time to discuss what overall solutions are available to make these sick buildings healthy for our kids and everyone who Read more

 

Krajewski, Daley introduce bill to protect insured dependents’ privacy

(Apr 08, 2021)

HARRISBURG, April 8 — State Reps. Rick Krajewski and Mary Jo Daley have introduced legislation that would protect the privacy of insured dependents by allowing them to opt-in to privately receive confidential health information. “Imagine forgoing pursuit of potentially life-saving health care simply because you're worried that information you want kept private might get shared," said Daley, D-Montgomery. "That's a sad reality in Pennsylvania right now, and it's why Representative Krajewski and I are hopeful this bill to protect the medical information of insured dependents across the commonwealth receives the attention it deserves." Krajewski, D-Phila., said the need to protect insured dependents’ privacy was brought to his attention from a constituent who is a medical student and has seen firsthand the consequences of leaving dependents vulnerable. “This constituent had patients who chose to not seek sensitive care, like sexually transmitted infection or HIV testing and mental health treatment, for fear their insured parent or guardian would find out,” Krajewski said. “Health care is a human right, and any barrier to health care needs to be addressed and resolved so that no one is left unable to get the care they need. “I think this also has implications for people who are LGBTQ+, specifically trans people who may seek hormone replacement therapy that’s covered by insurance,” Read more

 

Rabb reintroduces legislation that would repeal the death penalty in Pa.

(Apr 06, 2021)

Noting that capital punishment is not only an ineffective way to deter crime, but is also very costly to taxpayers and deeply flawed because people sentenced to death have later been exonerated, state Rep. Chris Rabb has reintroduced legislation that would repeal the death penalty in Pennsylvania. Read more

 

McClinton partners with Walmart to present $2,000 grant checks to four local nonprofits

(Mar 29, 2021)

House Democratic Leader Joanna McClinton partnered with Walmart to secure and present $2,000 grant checks this afternoon outside of her office in Southwest Philadelphia to four local nonprofits. McClinton said the funding was made possible through Walmart’s Local Community Grants program and went to the following organizations: The Common Place. African Cultural Alliance of North America. Greater Hope Ministries. The Black Brain Campaign. “My top priority is and has always been the health and safety of my neighbors, and I’m blessed to have local organizations who share my commitment – especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware. “From critical resources and mental health help to educational and emotional support, these nonprofits are the boots on the ground working tirelessly to put our most vulnerable communities first. Investing in their success is investing in the success of Southwest Philly.” “The Walmart Foundation is proud to support these organizations in Philadelphia,” said Jason Klipa, director of public affairs and government relations for Walmart. “They are doing excellent work in their communities and one of the core pillars of Walmart is to help give back in the communities we serve.” McClinton previously worked with Walmart to present $6,000 in grant funding in December to Read more

 

Racism on Pennsylvania high schools and college campuses creates barriers to opportunity

(Mar 26, 2021)

How far have we come, and how far do we have to go to diminish -- and possibly eradicate -- racism in high schools and college campuses? Our hearing on racism on the topic pulled the curtain on the continued systematic injustice towards minority students on high school and college campuses and the lack of diversity in educators. In some Pennsylvania school districts there is a blatant lack of effort to recruit and retain educators of color and that is problematic. The historic limited access to education for people of color is still happening. Students shared their stories of the mental, physical and emotional toll their experiences with racism and discrimination have had on their well-being. Fortunately, these students turned their painful experiences into meaningful advocacy. Their testimony showed the challenge facing educational institutions in Pennsylvania. Educators, including teachers and administrators play a large role in dispelling hate in their schools. It’s imperative that they are reflective of the communities that they represent but the statistics show, they don’t. While students of color make up 33 percent of Pennsylvania’s population, less than 5 percent of teachers are people of color. Across the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education faculty, 4 percent are Black, 3 percent are Hispanic and just 6 percent are Asian. When students see a diversity that reflects them in their educators, it shows promise. It shows Read more

 

Madden, Kenyatta lead discussion on racism on high school and college campuses

(Mar 25, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 25 -- Education and shattering social norms are key in combatting racism in high schools and colleges, as evidenced by testimony at today’s House Democratic Policy Committee hearing hosted by state Reps. Maureen Madden and Malcolm Kenyatta. The Monroe and Philadelphia County legislators led today’s discussion bringing together state officials, students and educators to brainstorm solutions that aim to help break cycles of systemic racism via policy development and implementation. “How do we start conversations that help people understand that freedom of speech should not be a free pass for racism? We all deserve to be respected and the blatant hate and disrespect for others is impacting lives. Hate has no place in our education system. Students go to school to learn, grow and often overcome any barriers the hand that life has dealt them. I’m grateful for this forum today to learn what’s happening in our education system and what lawmakers can do to overcome the racism in our schools,” Madden shared. “Terms like ‘diversity quota’ and ‘affirmative action applicant’ are just some of the covertly racist insults that disparage the merits of students and faculty of color in academia. Ultimately, these slights have devastating effects on the emotional and mental health of these students and faculty, thereby straining their likelihood to graduate and excel at these institutions,” Read more

 

Madden, Kenyatta to examine incidents of racism on high school and college campuses at Thursday’s public hearing

(Mar 23, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 23 – Recent incidents of racism involving students at the high school and college levels will be discussed at a House Democratic Policy Committee virtual hearing hosted by state Reps. Maureen Madden and Malcolm Kenyatta. The hearing will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, March 25. To view the hearing, the media and public can tune in to www.pahouse.com/policycommittee or the committee’s Facebook page -- @PADemPolicy. Media inquiries may be submitted via email to policy@pahouse.net . Madden and Kenyatta will be joined by committee Chairman Ryan Bizzarro and Democratic Policy Committee members to hear from educators, state officials and advocates on how to curb racism with meaningful policy reforms. Additional hearing information will be available by clicking here . Read more

 

With no increase to Pa.’s minimum wage since 2009, Boyle reintroduces legislation to allow municipalities to raise their own minimum wage

(Mar 23, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 23 – In an effort to work around lawmakers’ failure to enact a statewide minimum wage increase for more than a decade, state Rep. Kevin Boyle, D-Phila./Montgomery, has reintroduced a bill that would give municipalities the ability to raise their own minimum wage. “No one should be working 40 hours or more a week and still be unable to pay their bills, feed their family or make ends meet,” Boyle said. “But our failure to act in the legislature has put too many people who have a family to support in this predicament. “The impact of the coronavirus has only made matters worse,” Boyle continued. “It’s time that we give the hardworking people in Pennsylvania – like minimum wage earners who work in the hospitality industry and health care who were so important we deemed them ‘essential’ during this global pandemic – the dignity that comes with earning a living wage, and we can do that by giving municipalities the power to do what’s best for the people who live in their locale.” The 2006 amendment to Pennsylvania’s Minimum Wage Act prohibits individual municipalities from setting their own wages. Boyle said that prohibition is outdated and ignores the differences in the cost of living and other factors from one city or town to the next, and that’s why he has introduced this legislation to repeal that section of the 2006 act. “My legislation Read more

 

Rabb lauds Gov. Wolf’s solar energy announcement, calls for support for 100% renewable energy

(Mar 22, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 22 – State Rep. Chris Rabb on Monday lauded Gov. Tom Wolf’s announcement of a major clean energy initiative that will produce nearly 50% of state government’s electricity through seven new solar energy arrays – the largest solar commitment by any government in the U.S. announced to date – and called for support to get Pennsylvania to 100% renewable energy by 2050. “I was thrilled to hear the news of this historic initiative by Governor Wolf to invest in renewable energy,” said Rabb, D-Phila. “Science has made it clear that climate change is real, it’s happening and the consequences to Earth and its inhabitants – our children, grandchildren and future generations – will be severe if we don’t take immediate measures to change course. “This action from Governor Wolf deserves applause, but the climate crisis that’s underway requires more from us,” Rabb continued. “Which is why I’ve previously introduced bipartisan legislation to transition Pennsylvania to 100% renewable energy by 2050 , and why I’m still asking for support for that goal.” Rabb said a transition to 100% renewable energy is what’s best for the environment and it would be a boon to the economy, creating family-sustaining, green-collar jobs by harnessing a newly skilled workforce and giving Pennsylvania’s academic institutions and other stakeholders the Read more

 

Krajewski: Dignity and forward thinking needed with approaches for incarcerated parents

(Mar 19, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 19 – The House Democratic Policy Committee’s Subcommittee on Progressive Policies for Working People hosted a roundtable discussion focusing on incarcerated parents and the impact of incarceration on families. Led by Subcommittee Chair Elizabeth Fiedler, state Reps. Rick Krajewski and Summer Lee facilitated the meaningful discussion bringing together advocates and formerly incarcerated individuals to discuss ways to best serve our communities and the families impacted by the criminal legal system. “The trauma of family separation impacts the children and families of those incarcerated, and specifically the parent-child bond, as well as the whole community,” Fiedler said. “Those impacts are immediate and severe and they are deep and long-lasting. We deserve a legal system centered on people- and community-focused models of care that operate with transparency and accountability. We must take steps to a better future for our families.” "We live in a society that doesn’t exercise humanity when we look at or talk about incarcerated people," Krajewski said. "So often, we forget that these people have family members who are trying to carry on while they are incarcerated, often including children who are especially vulnerable.” Lee added, “We sometimes lose how incarceration impacts so much more than just the individual. Entire families and Read more

 

Cephas introduces legislation to combat maternal mortality, calls on state leaders to pursue provision in American Rescue Plan

(Mar 18, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 18 – Continuing her efforts to quell maternal morbidity, state Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., has recently introduced several bills that would make maternal health care in Pennsylvania more equitable across racial and socioeconomic lines. The bill introductions come in the wake of the U.S. House of Representatives passing the American Rescue Plan, which allows states to extend Medicaid to up to 1-year postpartum. Cephas, who serves as vice-chair of the PA Women’s Health Caucus and treasurer of the Women’s Caucus, has been at the forefront in the fight to combat maternal mortality across Pennsylvania, said health care is the most disparate it has ever been, with race-based and class-based implicit biases and discrimination that results in compounding the effects of iniquity felt by marginalized and underserved patients. “Women of color are still three times as likely to die giving birth than other women -- this is racism in medicine at play and it’s unacceptable,” Cephas said. “Access to quality and affordable care should never be based on skin color, income or Zip code, and my legislation would help abolish these discriminatory practices that result in highly fatal outcomes from our medical systems. I look forward to working with my colleagues and the administration to ensure that we take advantage of the opportunity presented to us so that Pennsylvania’s women have access to Read more

 

Cephas introduces legislation to combat maternal mortality, calls on state leaders to pursue provision in American Rescue Plan

(Mar 18, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 18 – Continuing her efforts to quell maternal morbidity, state Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., has recently introduced several bills that would make maternal health care in Pennsylvania more equitable across racial and socioeconomic lines. The bill introductions come in the wake of the U.S. House of Representatives passing the American Rescue Plan, which allows states to extend Medicaid to up to 1-year postpartum. Cephas, who serves as vice-chair of the PA Women’s Health Caucus and treasurer of the Women’s Caucus, has been at the forefront in the fight to combat maternal mortality across Pennsylvania, said health care is the most disparate it has ever been, with race-based and class-based implicit biases and discrimination that results in compounding the effects of iniquity felt by marginalized and underserved patients. “Women of color are still three times as likely to die giving birth than other women -- this is racism in medicine at play and it’s unacceptable,” Cephas said. “Access to quality and affordable care should never be based on skin color, income or Zip code, and my legislation would help abolish these discriminatory practices that result in highly fatal outcomes from our medical systems. I look forward to working with my colleagues and the administration to ensure that we take advantage of the opportunity presented to us so that Pennsylvania’s women have access to the care they need and Read more

 

L&I Announces $2.6 Million Available To Prepare Students For Good Jobs In The Post-Pandemic Economy

(Mar 17, 2021)

"The schools-to-work program will create local career pathways in our communities throughout Pennsylvania," Rep. Jared Solomon said. "This law establishes a program that will provide incentives to schools and local businesses to collaborate in dynamic partnerships providing work-based learning opportunities, apprenticeships, and jobs for high school students during the school year, the summer and after graduation. 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." Read more

 

Rabb reintroduces legislation to raise the minimum wage in Pa. and expand it to apply to vulnerable members of the workforce

(Mar 12, 2021)

State Rep. Chris Rabb, along with Reps. Jessica Benham, D-Allegheny; Manuel Guzman Jr., D-Berks; Carol Hill-Evans, D-York; Sara Innamorato, D-Allegheny; Emily Kinkead, D-Allegheny; Rick Krajewski, D-Phila.; Summer Lee, D-Allegheny; Danielle Friel Otten, D-Chester; Joe Webster, D-Montgomery; and Napoleon J. Nelson, D-Montgomery, has introduced legislation to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour and expand it to apply to vulnerable members of the workforce. Read more

 

McClinton commends a $75,000 grant to invest in security enhancements at The Common Place

(Mar 11, 2021)

House Democratic Leader Joanna McClinton is applauding a $75,000 state grant awarded to help the nonprofit organization The Common Place enhance safety precautions at its facility that serves children and families in southwest Philadelphia. McClinton said the funding was made possible through the Nonprofit Security Grant Fund Program, and can be used for various security improvements, including: Safety and security planning. Security-related technology, such as metal detectors, protective lighting and surveillance equipment. Threat awareness and response training. “The Common Place is a critical resource that provides care and assistance to so many across southwest Philly,” said McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware. “Investing in their safety is investing in the safety of our young people and the families who turn to the nonprofit for educational, social and spiritual support. I will continue working to secure funding for The Common Place and other local organizations like it that play crucial roles in moving our neighborhoods forward.” McClinton added the grant for The Common Place was part of just over $5 million announced yesterday by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency to fund security enhancement projects for 130 churches, synagogues and other nonprofit organizations serving diverse communities across Pennsylvania. More information Read more

 

Breaking down information barriers key to supporting communities of color through COVID-19 pandemic, vaccine efforts

(Mar 11, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 11 – Trust and inclusive policies are key in getting COVID-19 vaccines distributed to communities of color and members of the House Democratic Policy Committee heard from multiple researchers, doctors and advocates on how to execute those strategies. Read more

 

Legislative proposal seeks to protect vulnerable inmates from COVID-19

(Mar 09, 2021)

State Reps. Rick Krajewski, D-Phila., and Ed Gainey, D-Allegheny, are introducing a bill that would protect elderly and ailing inmates from contracting COVID-19 by granting them a reprieve of their prison sentence. Read more

 

Rabb, Hanbidge urge measures to better understand impact of electric vehicles in Pa. before enacting legislation to charge fees
Apr 12, 2021

BioTech Innovation Organization, Pfizer share vaccine efficacy, role in COVID-19 recovery
Apr 12, 2021

Kim, Parker to lead Monday’s Policy Committee hearing on crushing COVID-19
Apr 09, 2021

Investment in health, safety and jobs focus of Policy Committee hearing on Pa. toxic schools
Apr 08, 2021

Krajewski, Daley introduce bill to protect insured dependents’ privacy
Apr 08, 2021

Rabb reintroduces legislation that would repeal the death penalty in Pa.
Apr 06, 2021

McClinton partners with Walmart to present $2,000 grant checks to four local nonprofits
Mar 29, 2021

Racism on Pennsylvania high schools and college campuses creates barriers to opportunity
Mar 26, 2021

Madden, Kenyatta lead discussion on racism on high school and college campuses
Mar 25, 2021

Madden, Kenyatta to examine incidents of racism on high school and college campuses at Thursday’s public hearing
Mar 23, 2021

With no increase to Pa.’s minimum wage since 2009, Boyle reintroduces legislation to allow municipalities to raise their own minimum wage
Mar 23, 2021

Rabb lauds Gov. Wolf’s solar energy announcement, calls for support for 100% renewable energy
Mar 22, 2021

Krajewski: Dignity and forward thinking needed with approaches for incarcerated parents
Mar 19, 2021

Cephas introduces legislation to combat maternal mortality, calls on state leaders to pursue provision in American Rescue Plan
Mar 18, 2021

Cephas introduces legislation to combat maternal mortality, calls on state leaders to pursue provision in American Rescue Plan
Mar 18, 2021

L&I Announces $2.6 Million Available To Prepare Students For Good Jobs In The Post-Pandemic Economy
Mar 17, 2021

Rabb reintroduces legislation to raise the minimum wage in Pa. and expand it to apply to vulnerable members of the workforce
Mar 12, 2021

McClinton commends a $75,000 grant to invest in security enhancements at The Common Place
Mar 11, 2021

Breaking down information barriers key to supporting communities of color through COVID-19 pandemic, vaccine efforts
Mar 11, 2021

Legislative proposal seeks to protect vulnerable inmates from COVID-19
Mar 09, 2021