Featured News

Philadelphia House Delegation praises approval of increase in public transit funding

Neilson introduces resolution to extend Gov. Shapiro’s emergency declaration

(Jun 16, 2023)

State Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., chair of the PA House Transportation Committee, has introduced House Resolution 154, which seeks to extend Gov. Josh Shapiro’s emergency proclamation for the safe and prompt rebuilding of Interstate 95, one of the busiest highways in Pennsylvania, carrying an average of 160,000 vehicles daily. Read more

 

Kinsey 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline bill passes House

(Jun 14, 2023)

HARRISBURG, June 14 – Today, legislation ( H.B. 1305 ) introduced by state Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., passed in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and will head to the state Senate for future consideration. Kinsey said the bill would establish sustainable funding for Pennsylvania’s 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline in line with Gov. Josh Shapiro’s budget proposal. The lifeline was launched in July of 2022 and allows anyone in the U.S. to call, chat or text 988 to receive support and resources during a suicide, mental health or substance use crisis. The proposed legislation would be similar to how communities fund 911 by creating a monthly fee on all wireless devices to ensure these emergency services will not experience any funding gaps. “With the ongoing mental health crisis affecting Pennsylvanians across the commonwealth, it’s crucial we ensure such a critical resource in 988 is funded sustainably so they can be reliable to help folks suffering with their mental health,” Kinsey said. “Today, we took a step toward strengthening and solidifying this lifeline that can help so many. I now urge my colleagues in the Senate to get this bill to the governor’s desk so it can be signed into law.” Read more

 

State Reps. Fiedler, Schweyer, Merski, Hill-Evans and advocates urge PA Legislature to fund school facilities in 2023-24 state budget

(Jun 14, 2023)

HARRISBURG, June 14 – State Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler, D-Phila., hosted a news conference in the state Capitol Rotunda Wednesday and called on legislators to fund school facilities in Pennsylvania. “We have a unique opportunity to finally invest in fixing toxic schools across Pennsylvania,” said Fiedler. “It’s long past time we prioritize the health of our students, teachers and school staff. We have some of the oldest schools in the nation right here in Pennsylvania, and many of them have unsafe conditions that are simply unacceptable. I am committed to investing state dollars to remediate and repair our schools.” Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, chair of the House Education Committee, reminded everyone that school buildings are learning environments. “The quality of a school building has a direct impact on a child's ability to learn,” he said. “This year's House budget begins to address our toxic schools, but there's much more work to be done. We can't delay any longer -- our children deserve better.” State Rep. Carol Hill-Evans, D-York County, commended the bipartisan support behind funding school facilities. “We are building bipartisan support for funding school facilities within this year’s budget,” she said. “The House sent a version of the budget to the Senate last week. Our proposal used Governor Josh Shapiro’s budget proposal as a starting point Read more

 

Waxman celebrates House passage of his measure to reduce cell phone bills

(Jun 13, 2023)

HARRISBURG, June 13 – State Rep. Ben Waxman, D-Phila., today celebrated the passage of his legislation that would reduce cell phone bills for families across the state. “ This is about providing financial relief to individuals and families across the entire state ,” Waxman said. “ We all rely on cell phones for communication, work, and staying connected to loved ones. They have become an essential part of our lives, and it’s only fair that we work to alleviate the excessive tax burdens placed on Pennsylvanians.” Waxman’s legislation would exempt cell phone service from the 6% sales and use tax, as well as the 5% gross receipts tax. This legislation follows Gov. Josh Shapiro’s state budget plan and would save Pennsylvania families an estimated $124 million per year. According to Waxman, Pennsylvania has the seventh highest combined rate of taxes and other government fees and surcharges on cell phone bills at 16.62%. At this time, 68% of American households do not have a landline and rely solely on cell phones for voice communication. Waxman said lower-income households and younger individuals are more likely to be wireless-only. Further, 15% of Americans use cellular data on their smartphones as their only method of accessing the internet, as these families do not have broadband internet service. For more information, those interested can contact Waxman’s Read more

 

House Bipartisan Caucus rolls out agenda at news conference

(Jun 13, 2023)

HARRISBURG, June 13 – Today, the Pennsylvania House Bipartisan Caucus hosted a news conference dubbed “Meet Me in the Middle” where they rolled out their agenda for this legislative term. This caucus was formed in 2021 by state Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., and state Sen. Greg Rothman, R-Cumberland/Dauphin/Perry, who served as a state representative at the time. It was formed as a platform to bring Democratic and Republican members together to listen to people, organizations and businesses across the Commonwealth and work collectively to address issues facing Pennsylvania. Currently, in the Pennsylvania House, Democrats hold a one-seat majority, making bipartisanship extremely important in getting bills passed. Co-chairs of this caucus include Kinsey and state Reps. Jill Cooper, R-Westmoreland; Patty Kim, D-Dauphin/Cumberland; and Jamie Flick R-Lycoming/Union. They each gave their remarks on how this caucus can help cut through some of the partisanship in Harrisburg and move Pennsylvania forward. “I started this caucus with my former colleague as I saw how the political division boiling in Harrisburg was negatively affecting the lives of everyday Pennsylvanians,” Kinsey said. “We don’t have to agree on everything, but working together in a bipartisan fashion and listening to the people of our commonwealth is very important in moving Pennsylvania forward. I firmly believe Read more

 

Dawkins Moving the Needle on Minimum Wage

(Jun 13, 2023)

Pa. House Labor and Industry Committee Majority Chairman Jason Dawkins says workers earning minimum wage have waited long enough for a raise. Dawkins and his Democratic colleagues voted to advance legislation that would increase the minimum wage to $15/hr. over the next three years. Read more

 

Why some lawmakers think this will be the year Pa. raises its minimum wage

(Jun 13, 2023)

At the moment, Pennsylvania’s wage floor is $7.25 an hour — the same as the federal minimum. The legislature last increased the state’s minimum wage in 2006, and every neighboring state currently has a higher wage floor. Read more

 

Green Votes to #RaiseTheWage

(Jun 13, 2023)

As a lifelong supporter of workers rights, Pa. state Rep. Roni Green voices her support for a long overdue raise in the state's minimum wage. In a House Labor & Industry Committee meeting, Green called out the fear mongering of the House GOP, calling for a living wage so that hard working Pennsylvanians can support themselves and their families. Read more

 

The Pa. legislature should make speed cameras permanent

(Jun 13, 2023)

Although our speed camera enforcement program is having a dramatic impact on public safety on Roosevelt Boulevard, it is set to legislatively expire in December unless the General Assembly acts to make it permanent. Currently, State Rep. Ed Neilson has sponsored legislation that would do just that, while also permitting the use of automated enforcement cameras to protect children on school buses and in designated school zones. Read more

 

Gallagher celebrates House passage of Keystone Saves

(Jun 12, 2023)

HARRISBURG, June 12 – State Rep. Pat Gallagher, D-Phila., today celebrated the passage of his legislation that would establish Keystone Saves, a voluntary employee retirement savings program that would expand access to private sector individual retirement accounts (IRA) to the over two million Pennsylvania workers who currently have no opportunity to save for retirement at their place of employment. “ Unfortunately, more and more Pennsylvanians are reaching retirement age without enough savings to age gracefully after a lifetime of hard work ,” Gallagher said. “ We’re working in a bipartisan manner to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to save for retirement. With many employees lacking employee sponsored retirement plans, there have to be more options for retirement. This is one more step to giving Pennsylvanians more independence and preparing them for life on a fixed income.” The State Treasurer’s Retirement Security Task Force Report highlighted the vast number of Pennsylvanians who are unprepared for the financial challenges of retirement. It’s a problem not just for retirees but also for the commonwealth as financially unprepared retirees are projected to cost the state an additional $14 billion in social services between 2015 and 2030, an average of nearly $1 billion per year. Additionally, lower consumer spending by retirees over this same time is estimated to cost the state Read more

 

Neilson Thanks First Responders at I-95 Disaster

(Jun 12, 2023)

At a Pa. House Transportation Committee meeting one day after the collapse disaster on Interstate 95 in Philadelphia, Chairman Rep. Ed Neilson thanks the first responders and officials who came to Northeast Philadelphia to assist in the response and recovery. Read more

 

Boyle bill protects access to mental health screenings and other preventive health care

(Jun 12, 2023)

HARRISBURG, June 12 – Today, H.B. 1050 , introduced by PA House Insurance Committee Chair Kevin Boyle, D-Phila., passed the House Insurance Committee and will head to the House floor for consideration. This bill would require health insurers to cover preventative health care services including mental health treatment without cost-sharing. A similar law is part of the federal Affordable Care Act, which gives Americans access to no-cost preventive health care. But earlier this year, a judge in Texas struck down that part of the Affordable Care Act . If appeals are unsuccessful, millions of Pennsylvanians could lose access to potentially life-saving preventative health care such as cancer screenings, depression and anxiety screenings, multiple vaccines, and annual well-woman visits. Boyle’s legislation would protect Pennsylvanians regardless of what the federal courts do. “We must ensure all Pennsylvanians have access to life-saving preventive health care without having to pay a copay, coinsurance or deductible,” Boyle said. “It’s good to see this bill pass the Insurance Committee, now I hope to see my colleagues do right by the people of Pennsylvania and pass it out of the House.” Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation Reacts to I-95 Collapse Emergency

(Jun 11, 2023)

This morning, the Philadelphia House Delegation responded to the emergency in Northeast Philadelphia where a portion of Interstate 95 collapsed due to a vehicle fire. It appears that there were no injuries in the collapse, but city, state and federal agencies continue to fight the fire and investigate the disaster. Read more

 

Young Preparing Educators for Urban Schools

(Jun 08, 2023)

As a former educator, Pa. state Rep. Regina Young knows the importance of a quality education and how that begins with quality teachers. Young introduced a House Resolution aimed at the creation of urban teaching programs to inform potential educators on the experience of teaching in an urban setting. This will recruit and retain good teachers for city schools that will help ensure students have qualified educators that share their experience. Read more

 

Kinsey resolution urging Congress to end legal slavery passes Judiciary Committee

(Jun 08, 2023)

HARRISBURG, June 8 – Yesterday, House Resolution 128 introduced by state Reps. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., and Carol Kazeem, D-Delaware, urging Congress to end legal slavery was reported out of the Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee. While the 13 th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution abolished slavery, it left a loophole which allows for slavery/involuntary servitude as punishment for committing a crime. Kinsey’s resolution would urge the U.S. Congress to end this loophole. “Slavery is America’s greatest sin, and we can no longer allow it to continue any further in any shape or fashion,” Kinsey said. “The loophole in the 13th Amendment allows for America’s legacy of slavery and racism to continue- we must end it. No one should be forced to work involuntarily. Today’s committee vote for this resolution is a positive step towards fully abolishing slavery and involuntary servitude in our country.” “Slavery has no place in the world today. Yet here in the United States, through a loophole in the 13 th Amendment, we can still force labor on someone as punishment for a crime,” Kazeem said. “This is not what represents the America of today and it’s about time we finally got rid of slavery in our country. We hope our colleagues in the state House will join us in calling on our Congress in Washington to join us in this mission.” H.R. 128 Read more

 

Isaacson announces local Keystone Historic Preservation grants

(Jun 07, 2023)

“2026 is right around the corner, and with such an important celebration to be hosted in our incredible city, Philadelphia, I am honored to see this funding being invested in our country’s history in the birthplace of our nation,” Isaacson said. “I am proud to support these institutions that have made it a priority to preserve our past and welcome in the future.” Read more

 

Kinsey 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline bill approved in Human Services Committee

(Jun 07, 2023)

HARRISBURG, June 7 – Today, legislation ( H.B. 1305 ) introduced by state Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., was voted out of the PA House Human Services Committee. This bill would establish sustainable funding for Pennsylvania’s 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline in line with Gov. Josh Shapiro’s budget proposal. The lifeline was launched in July of 2022 and allows anyone in the U.S. to call, chat or text 988 to receive supports and resources during a suicide, mental health, or substance use crisis. Kinsey, who serves as chairman of the PA House Human Services Committee and a long-time mental health advocate, stressed the importance of ensuring the lifeline is sustainably funded. “The creation of the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline was important to allow folks in the midst of a mental health crisis an outlet to get the help they need,” Kinsey said. “Now, it’s important that we properly fund this crucial lifeline so it can be a sustainable and reliable source of help. “As we see a growing need of mental health situations, this lifeline can be the difference of life and death for many Pennsylvanians who are dealing with the mental health crisis,” he continued. “As H.B. 1305 has passed out of the Human Services Committee and heads to the House Floor, I urge all my colleagues to vote in favor of keeping 988 reliable for all Pennsylvanians who need it.” Read more

 

Chairman Boyle insurance cyber consumer protection bill passes Senate

(Jun 07, 2023)

HARRISBURG, June 7 – Today, H.B. 739 , introduced by PA House Insurance Committee Chair Kevin Boyle, D-Phila., passed the PA Senate and will head to Gov. Josh Shapiro’s desk to be signed into law. This legislation would require insurance companies and agents to develop cybersecurity policies and report cybersecurity events to the state insurance commissioner. “I want to give gratitude to my colleagues in the Senate for passing this important piece of legislation that will go a long way in ensuring insurance consumers’ data is protected online from hackers,” said Boyle. “I look forward to seeing this bill signed into law to protect our consumers every day who purchase insurance products in the commonwealth.” Read more

 

Krajewski kinship care legislation clears House committee

(Jun 07, 2023)

HARRISBURG, June 7 – Today, the House Children and Youth Committee voted to report to the full House for a vote H.B.1058 , introduced by Rep. Rick Krajewski D-Phila., which would make child custody proceedings more inclusive of potential kinship care providers. Krajewski said that when a child is taken from their home and into the custody of a county youth agency it can be a deeply traumatic experience. Living with kin – such as relatives, grandparents, and close family friends – is better for children, minimizing childhood trauma and increasing well-being. Despite this, only 42% of Pennsylvania’s children receiving care are placed in a kinship home , and potential kin providers can be excluded from consideration because of implicit bias, family poverty and red tape. This bill would require that in child custody proceedings, courts solicit and consider the opinions of those who engaged with family finding and kinship care programs. This would ensure that courts are fully aware of the strengths and qualifications of potential kinship providers before they place a child in a county youth agency. “As advocates of Kinship Care for youth in Pennsylvania, we believe this bill would strengthen support systems for young people in the child welfare system,” wrote Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children and Community Legal Services of Philadelphia in a joint letter of support for H.B.1058. Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation calls for thorough investigation on teen fatally shot by state trooper and prevention of more tragedies

(Jun 07, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, June 7 – The Philadelphia House Delegation today stated that the group is closely following the death of a teenager killed in the city Sunday by a state trooper during a drag race on I-95. The organization expressed concern about issues involved in this incident as they could develop into more tragedies. Philadelphia House Delegation Chair Morgan Cephas indicated that it is essential that the state police and the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office collaborate hand-in-hand for transparent scrutiny. The delegation also hopes for accountability and answers to many of the critical questions surrounding the deadly shooting. “We extend our deepest condolences to the family of the victim, and we are looking forward to seeing all the facts that resulted in this death,” Cephas said. “As a delegation, we see two sides of this tragedy -- the first one is a family mourning in our city, the second is an unfortunate series of issues that are prompting us to take bold action and work fast on prevention. “It is alarming to see more and more illegal drag racings on city streets and interstates, car meetups and large unregulated gatherings all over the city. The aftermath of these scenarios is always the same: property damage, assault and participants throwing objects at the police. “As we head into the summer, we need to take control of these Read more

 

Neilson introduces resolution to extend Gov. Shapiro’s emergency declaration
Jun 16, 2023

Kinsey 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline bill passes House
Jun 14, 2023

State Reps. Fiedler, Schweyer, Merski, Hill-Evans and advocates urge PA Legislature to fund school facilities in 2023-24 state budget
Jun 14, 2023

Waxman celebrates House passage of his measure to reduce cell phone bills
Jun 13, 2023

House Bipartisan Caucus rolls out agenda at news conference
Jun 13, 2023

Dawkins Moving the Needle on Minimum Wage
Jun 13, 2023

Why some lawmakers think this will be the year Pa. raises its minimum wage
Jun 13, 2023

Green Votes to #RaiseTheWage
Jun 13, 2023

The Pa. legislature should make speed cameras permanent
Jun 13, 2023

Gallagher celebrates House passage of Keystone Saves
Jun 12, 2023

Neilson Thanks First Responders at I-95 Disaster
Jun 12, 2023

Boyle bill protects access to mental health screenings and other preventive health care
Jun 12, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation Reacts to I-95 Collapse Emergency
Jun 11, 2023

Young Preparing Educators for Urban Schools
Jun 08, 2023

Kinsey resolution urging Congress to end legal slavery passes Judiciary Committee
Jun 08, 2023

Isaacson announces local Keystone Historic Preservation grants
Jun 07, 2023

Kinsey 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline bill approved in Human Services Committee
Jun 07, 2023

Chairman Boyle insurance cyber consumer protection bill passes Senate
Jun 07, 2023

Krajewski kinship care legislation clears House committee
Jun 07, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation calls for thorough investigation on teen fatally shot by state trooper and prevention of more tragedies
Jun 07, 2023