PLBC lauds accreditation for Cheyney University

(Nov 26, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 26 – Members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus released the following statements after the announcement of Cheyney University receiving accreditation: “The retention of Cheyney University’s accreditation is not only welcoming news for the university, but also for African American students here in the commonwealth and across the country. The Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus has historically worked with Cheyney University over the years and is committed to doing what we can to foster the education process and success of all people across the commonwealth. With this accreditation, Cheyney University will remain a viable educational resource to students now and for years to come. I’m proud of the work our legislative leaders have done to support the efforts of Cheyney University and thank the leadership of Cheyney’s President Aaron Walton along with Governor Tom Wolf, Senate Appropriation Chairman Vincent Hughes, House Democratic Whip Jordan Harris, House Democratic Education Chairman Jim Roebuck,” said Rep. Stephen Kinsey, PLBC Chairman. “As a former chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, the PLBC and I were very involved in investigating and helping to form solutions to right the ship at Cheyney and I’m proud that that same passion has been continued by current PLBC Chairman Stephen Kinsey and his leadership team. Collectively, we’ve been working with leaders in state Read more

 

Caltagirone to host joint HDPC-PLBC hearing on affordable housing Monday in Reading

(Nov 26, 2019)

State Rep. Tom Caltagirone, D-Berks, announced he will host a joint House Democratic Policy Committee and Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus public hearing on affordable housing on Monday, Dec. 2 in Reading. Read more

 

Fitzgerald introduces legislation to protect gun owners, promote public safety

(Nov 25, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 25 – State Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald, D-Phila., announced she has introduced a series of bills designated to protect law-abiding gun owners, children and residents in the commonwealth. “It’s unfortunate that anyone could potentially become a victim to gun violence here in Pennsylvania. Whether accidental or intentional, one life lost is one too many. We must put commonsense legislation in place to prevent senseless killings from occurring in the future,” Fitzgerald said. “My three bills would preserve the rights of Pennsylvanians who are carrying guns legally, safeguard our children from being killed accidentally and enforce a ‘cooling-off’ period for a person who may have experienced an unpleasant incident in their life and who looks to potentially commit an act of violence.” The bills introduced by Fitzgerald are: H.B. 2076 – Would require driver’s licenses and photo identification cards to indicate a person possesses a concealed carry permit. H.B. 2077 – Would require all firearms be safely stored whenever they are not in use. H.B. 2078 – Would establish a 72-hour waiting period for purchases of semi-automatic assault rifles. Fitzgerald is a member of the PA SAFE Caucus , which is made up of 70 members of the PA House and Senate who believe in reducing all types of violence in society through Read more

 

McClinton applauds passage of legislation outlawing sexual extortion

(Nov 21, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 21 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, today applauded the passage of bipartisan legislation she co-sponsored, which would outlaw sexual extortion in Pennsylvania and empower law enforcement and victim services organizations to help victims of this serious sex crime who previously fell between the cracks. “Finally, victims of this horrific crime will have an avenue to seek justice and perpetrators of sexual extortion – which the Department of Justice has said is the most significantly growing threat to children – can be held accountable,” McClinton said. “I am elated to see this legislation receive bipartisan support in both the House and Senate, and I look forward to seeing Governor Wolf sign it into law.” McClinton introduced H.B. 1402 with Rep. Tedd C. Nesbit, R-Mercer/Butler. The House passed it unanimously in June. The Senate unanimously passed the bill on Wednesday after making small improvements to the legislation. Today, the House unanimously passed the bill on concurrence, and it’s headed to Wolf’s desk for his signature. McClinton said previously that by specifically adding sexual extortion as a crime, we can protect individuals from people in power who demand sexual acts, images or videos from victims, usually for something of value to the victim. “Now, would-be perpetrators will not be able to lord intimate photos or other Read more

 

Bullock commemorates Youth Experiencing Homelessness Week, Red Shirt Day

(Nov 21, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 20 – Today, state Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., hosted a news conference alongside state Sen. Larry Farnese to recognize Educating Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness Week in Pennsylvania, as well as Red Shirt Day, which raises awareness about homelessness across the state. “Homelessness has a profound impact on children’s success in school and later in life,” Bullock said. “It’s incredibly important to raise awareness of this issue so that teachers, administrators and other educators can offer support when it’s needed most.” “The number of youths experiencing homelessness increased by 22% this year. While we don’t know what factors are driving this, we know that these students need to be supported, that they have a right to an education and as much stability as we can possibly provide,” Farnese added. “That’s why we are here today and why Red Shirt Day is so important -- to assure these kids that they are not alone.” During the 2017-18 school year, more than 36,000 students were identified as experiencing homelessness or having inadequate housing. Bullock and Farnese were joined by advocates against homelessness, including Nikki Johnson-Huston; Thomas Jackson, a policy and research analyst with People Emergency Center; Ameera Sullivan, guidance counselor at Strawberry Mansion High School in Philadelphia; and Sonia Pitzi, Region 3 coordinator Read more

 

Kenyatta addresses closing of Pratt Early Childhood Center due to toxic conditions

(Nov 21, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 21 – Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila, issued this statement following the closing of Pratt Early Childhood Center due to asbestos and the School District of Philadelphia’s calls for Harrisburg to help fund its recently unveiled environmental safety plan for toxic hazard remediation in all its schools: “The calls from the parents, teachers, students and the School District of Philadelphia are being taken very seriously,” Kenyatta said. “No parent should have to fear sending their child to school and no child should ever be at risk for exposure to toxic materials while learning in an environment that is presumably safe. The health and safety our students and staff are my top priority and I’ve been working tirelessly to secure more funding to remove toxic hazards in schools in our community and across our city. “Just hours prior to learning about the abrupt closure of Pratt elementary school, I met with Governor Tom Wolf to discuss allocating more funds for our schools, in addition to the $4.3 million the governor provided in July.” To date, Kenyatta said, the governor has invested a total of $11.9 million for lead paint alleviation in schools across the city over two years, with $7.6 million provided last year. Since June 2018, through a combination of state funding and $11 million provided by the Philadelphia School District, 32 elementary schools have undergone lead paint stabilization by the Read more

 

Reps. Burgos, Toohil Achieve Big Win for Insuring the Spanish-Speaking Community

(Nov 20, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 20 – The Pennsylvania Insurance Department recently issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) with the goal to be able to offer, for the first time, insurance licensing educational materials and examinations in Spanish and Chinese, according to Reps. Danilo Burgos, D-Phila., and Tarah Toohil, R-Luzerne. “The option to offer these exams in Spanish is most welcomed and long overdue. My district has a very diverse population with many Spanish-speaking constituents. The Spanish educational materials and exams will benefit these citizens to help them navigate the system to easily access the information when they need it,” said Burgos. “I have many Spanish-speaking constituents who are finding it difficult to take the insurance class and pass the final exam to obtain a state license,” said Toohil. “By offering the educational materials and tests in Spanish, we are bolstering Pennsylvania’s insurance industry with new agents and allowing the minority populations greater access to the financial safety net that insurance can provide.” The two legislators met recently with Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman to discuss the department’s efforts to seek a vendor to offer the educational materials and exams in the two languages. “As a department, we are committed to advancing consumer protections through our licensing programs and remain dedicated to educate Read more

 

Hill-Evans to host Community Safety Town Hall

(Nov 20, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 20 – State Rep. Carol Hill-Evans, D-York, will host a Town Hall on Community Safety at 5:30 p.m. today. The Town Hall will take place in City Council Chambers at York City Hall, 101 S. George St., York, Pa. 17401. “This meeting is an open house to discuss safety, security, and policing legislation in our communities and campuses," Hill-Evans said. “These measures directly affect our neighborhoods, and we want to hear from the community what their greatest concerns are.” For more information, those interested can call Hill-Evans’ district office at 717-848-9595. ### Read more

 

Legislators, advocates help raise awareness for bone marrow donor need

(Nov 19, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 19 – Inspired by a Pennsylvania teen who is in need of a bone marrow transplant, state Rep. Stephen Kinsey, chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, hosted a news conference to bring attention to the crucial need of bone marrow donors, especially people of color. Kinsey was joined by Sen. Larry Farnese, D-Phila.; Rep. Carol Hill-Evans; Sarah Speed, a cancer mom; and Michael Garbin from Be the Match. The news conference was held in honor of Juwan Adams, a senior at Abington Senior High School who has been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and who is currently waiting for a donor match. “At a 23% match rate currently, there is a crucial need for bone marrow donors among African Americans,” Kinsey said. “Juwan’s story is one of several that must be heard. Many of our young people are battling life changing diseases and require so much more than basic medical care. It’s important that everyone looks into being a donor if their health permits them, so they can be a hero for those who need and await lifesaving procedures.” Farnese said, “My father suffered from cancer and was the recipient of a bone marrow transplant, so I know how important these lifesaving registrations are. I hope that today’s event brings awareness about how easy it is to register and encourages my colleagues in Harrisburg and my constituents back home to sign up Read more

 

Davidson-sponsored bill to help breast cancer survivors passes the House

(Nov 18, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 18 – A bill co-sponsored by Southeast Delegation Chairwoman Margo L. Davidson, D-Delaware, to provide insurance coverage for custom breast prosthetics (H.B. 1457) overwhelmingly passed the House today . “The enactment of this bill would make a positive difference in many breast cancer survivors’ lives,” Davidson said about the bill she co-sponsored with Rep. Meghan Schroeder, R-Bucks. “That’s why I was proud to spearhead this bill through the House.” Currently, most insurers cover reconstructive breast surgery and off-the-shelf breast prosthetics for women post mastectomy surgery. There are some situations where neither of these two options are reasonable. Off-the-shelf prosthetics are not always possible if a woman has an irregular chest wall post mastectomy surgery and not every woman is a good candidate for reconstructive surgery. Though women post mastectomy surgery have an additional option with custom breast prosthetics, some insurers may not always provide coverage. The enactment of H.B. 1457 would enable women post mastectomy surgery to be able to choose the option that best serves them. “The successful passage of House Bill 1457 is a direct result of increasing gender parity in the House,” Davidson said. “This isn’t a Democratic or Republican issue; it’s a women’s issue. Female representatives from both parties came together to help pass a bill that will Read more

 

McClinton announces $80K tax credit for ACHIEVEability

(Nov 18, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 18 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, announced Monday that an $80,000 state tax credit been awarded to ACHIEVEability. “Programs that serve our community by helping our residents get stable employment are doing awesome work,” McClinton said. “This $80,000 will allow ACHIEVEability to make investments in this community that are returned many times over through its WorkSmart West Philly program, which aims to connect people with stable employment. “More than 25% of families in the 191 st Legislative District are living below the poverty line,” McClinton added. “This award will mark the first step toward positive change for many of those families by helping people get connected to workforce development programming, job coaching and other services that will allow them to join the workforce.” The tax credit announced Monday is through the Neighborhood Assistance Program, or NAP, which is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. It’s intended to encourage businesses to invest in projects which improve distressed areas or support neighborhood conservation. For more information about the NAP funding, visit the DCED site online . ### Read more

 

Rep. Williams welcomes affordable housing initiatives in Coatesville

(Nov 18, 2019)

COATESVILLE, Nov. 18 – State Rep. Dan Williams, D-Chester, commends both Gov. Tom Wolf and Habitat for Humanity of Chester County after Wolf announced late last week a $12,750 tax credit for the nonprofit organization for its work in Coatesville. The announcement from Wolf was part of $26.5 million in funding “through the Neighborhood Assistance Program to promote community participation and collaborations among nonprofits, businesses and residents” in distressed or low-income areas. For Habitat for Humanity in Coatesville, that means that the organization – currently the only nonprofit in Chester County serving low- and very low-income families – will soon complete a 46-home single family housing development. “Adequate and affordable housing is a key issue for residents in the 74 th Legislative District,” Williams said. “I welcome all projects that can help to address this inequity, and I thank Gov. Wolf for helping fund the Habitat for Humanity project that helps care for my constituents.” According to the project details, low-income families in Coatesville are faced with high rental rates and limited opportunities for homeownership, which negatively affect the city’s growth and development. However, through volunteer labor and financial and in-kind donations from private and public sources, Habitat for Humanity is soon completing its 46-home project, with one home soon finishing Read more

 

Rep. Kirkland announces nearly $100K in parks and recreation grants for local municipalities

(Nov 15, 2019)

CHESTER, Nov. 15 – State Rep. Brian Kirkland, D-Delaware, announced two grants totaling $97,800 awarded to communities in his 159 th Legislative District to be used toward parks and recreation improvements. The grants are among dozens awarded by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources on Thursday through its Community Conservation Partnerships Program. Within Kirkland’s district in Delaware County, $57,800 was awarded for rehabilitation and further development of Upland County Park in Upland, plus $40,000 to Upper Chichester Township to prepare a Comprehensive Recreation, Park and Open Space Plan. “This is outstanding news for both Upland Borough and Upper Chichester, as our local parks and recreation sites provide a necessary sense of community,” Kirkland said. “I’m glad both municipalities will benefit from this funding to improve and develop these spaces.” At Upland County Park, the funding will help construct a seating of walls, pedestrian walkways, parking area and stormwater management measure, plus the installation of fitness stations and play equipment with required safety surfacing. Additionally, there are site improvements planned related to ADA access, landscaping and more. The Community Conservation Partnerships Program assists local governments, recreation and conservation organizations with funding for projects related to conservation, parks and recreation, including Read more

 

Rep. Johnson-Harrell announces $330K in parks, recreation grants

(Nov 15, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 15 – State Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell, D-Phila., announced two grants totaling $330,000 were awarded to the Philadelphia City Treasurer Department of Parks and Recreation for improvement projects in the 190th Legislative District. She said $250,000 was awarded for a project at Tacony Creek. The remaining $80,000 was awarded to develop a 50-acre East Fairmount Park Discover Center project plan. “Our parks are a great resource for the community and provide opportunities to enjoy nature in the city,” Johnson-Harrell said. “I’m glad these improvement projects are receiving this funding so more people can enjoy the outdoor spaces in our community.” The grants are among dozens awarded by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources on Thursday through its Community Conservation Partnerships Program. The Community Conservation Partnerships Program assists local governments, recreation and conservation organizations with funding for projects related to conservation, parks and recreation, including conservation of open space, river conservation and access, and the planning, acquisition and development of public parks. More information can be found here . Read more

 

Roebuck: $110K in grants awarded to fund Clark Park project

(Nov 15, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 15 – State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., announced that $110,000 in state funding has been awarded to the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia for sidewalk improvements in Clark Park. “These funds should help bring pedestrian safety improvements and make the area more accessible for everyone in the community,” Roebuck said. “I am pleased that this grant money was awarded so that more residents can take advantage of the outdoor spaces at Clark Park.” The funds will be used to replace the crumbling sidewalks around the perimeter of the park, including demolition of existing walkways and related engineering costs. The funding was awarded by the Commonwealth Financing Authority through the Multimodal Transportation Fund , which encourages economic development and ensures safe and reliable transportation is available to Pennsylvania residents. The CFA provides funding for projects focused on development, water quality, energy infrastructure and more. To learn more, residents may visit this website. Read more

 

Williams cheers $40K grant for Minch Park rehabilitation in Parkesburg

(Nov 14, 2019)

PARKESBURG, Nov. 14 – State Rep. Dan Williams, D-Chester, announced a $40,000 grant has been awarded to Parkesburg Borough in Chester County for rehabilitation of Minch Park. In support of the project, Williams spoke with members of Parkesburg’s newly created Parks & Recreation Committee this summer about a growing list of projects for Minch Park. This funding, awarded by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources through its Community Conservation Partnerships Program, will go toward the following: Renovation of a comfort station and pedestrian walkways. ADA access, landscaping, project signage, and other related site improvements. “The beauty of our local parks is instrumental in not only how we view our communities, but how we feel about and interact with them,” Williams said. “I’m fully in support of Minch Park’s rehabilitation, and I congratulate my friends in Parkesburg Borough for being awarded this grant. I look forward to enjoying the fruits of these improvements.” The Community Conservation Partnerships Program assists local governments, recreation and conservation organizations with funding for projects related to conservation, parks and recreation, including conservation of open space, river conservation and access, and the planning, acquisition and development of public parks. More information can be found here . Read more

 

Wheatley: Veterans service doesn’t end, neither should support

(Nov 14, 2019)

PITTSBURGH, Nov. 14 – A veteran’s service to our nation doesn’t necessarily end when they take off their uniform. For many veterans their service to our nation continues for years, often as they carry the events, stress and anxiety of their time in uniform with them. Suffering from an undiagnosed, service-connected mental health disorder or traumatic brain injury can often result in difficulties adjusting to civilian life, all too often including struggles with the law. Recently, state Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, introduced legislation that would extend a second chance to veterans who struggle with service-connected mental health disorders or traumatic brain injuries and have run afoul of law enforcement. “Building upon the monumental Clean Slate Law, I want to make sure that veterans who have sacrificed so much for the freedom we enjoy have an opportunity to take control of their futures,” Wheatley said. “This legislation is necessary because as many know, mental health disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder greatly affect how individuals operate in daily life. “This means that an unrecognized, yet very real mental health disorder may have contributed to an individual’s interaction with the law and resulted in this individual having a criminal record.” Wheatley’s legislation, introduced as H.B. 1828 , would not extend the Clean Slate program to violent offenses, but would limit access Read more

 

Youngblood hosts tour of Greater Philadelphia Diaper Bank, draws attention to National Period Day, period poverty and her supply drive

(Nov 14, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 14 – State Rep. Rosita C. Youngblood is working to bring awareness and provide relief for the one in four people nationwide who struggles to afford menstrual hygiene products. Toward this effort, she introduced legislation to recognize “National Period Day,” to end the stigma that surrounds menstruation, and on Wednesday, she hosted a tour of the Greater Philadelphia Diaper Bank, which works in partnership with the National Diaper Bank Network and the Alliance for Period Supplies, to show other legislators the work that is being done, as well as the existing need for period products in their communities. “Periods are a fact of life,” Youngblood said. “But there’s a stigma when it comes to talking about them. That silence has led to many people who are unable to afford period products living in shame because they need help with something that society is unwilling to talk about. I introduced legislation to change the conversation. I hope that we can talk about this issue and we can find solutions to help the people in need get the health care supplies they need.” Youngblood is also hosting a period supply drive at her office, 310 W. Chelten Ave., 19144. For more information about the drive or to make a donation, contact Youngblood’s office at 215-849-6426. ### Read more

 

Davis: $221K awarded for park rehabilitation projects in Munhall

(Nov 14, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 14 – State Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, announced Thursday that the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources approved a $221,000 grant to fund the rehabilitation of three parks in Munhall. “Local parks are more than locations that offer recreational activities. In fact, they’re places where communities come together,” Davis said. “So we need to ensure we’re capitalizing on opportunities to enhance and beautify our parks. This funding will help preserve and improve these recreational spaces for our families for years to come.” Davis said Trautman Street Park, Video Drive Park and Vine Street Park all will undergo rehabilitation projects. The installation of play equipment with the required safety surfacing will occur at both Trautman Street Park and Video Drive Park. Both projects also will include ADA access, landscaping and other site-related improvements. Davis said further development will occur at Vine Street Park, including the construction of pavilions, ADA access, landscaping and other site-related improvements. The grant was among dozens awarded by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources on Thursday through its Recreation and Conservation program. The program assists local governments, recreation and conservation organizations with funding for projects related to conservation, parks and recreation, including conservation of open Read more

 

Hill-Evans announces $230K awarded to YMCA of York

(Nov 14, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 14 – State Rep. Carol Hill-Evans, D-York, today announced that a $230,000 grant will be awarded to the YMCA of York to construct additional pavilions and install more play equipment and ADA access ramps. “It’s always great to see these organizations that help so many being awarded additional funds with which to do good,” Hill-Evans said. “These improvements to our community will be felt by many. With more equipment to play on and additional safety measures, our kids will be able to use these facilities for years to come. With ADA access more available, more kids will feel like they can play and get involved.” The development of the YMCA of York will include construction of a pavilion and parking area; installation of play equipment with required safety surfacing and fencing; and ADA access, landscaping, project signs and other related site improvements. DCNR’s Bureau of Recreation and Conservation assists local governments, recreation and conservation organizations with funding for projects related to conservation, parks and recreation, including conservation of open space, river conservation and access, and the planning, acquisition and development of public parks. More information can be found here . For additional details, call Hill-Evans’ district office at (717) 848-9595. ### Read more

 

PLBC lauds accreditation for Cheyney University
Nov 26, 2019

Caltagirone to host joint HDPC-PLBC hearing on affordable housing Monday in Reading
Nov 26, 2019

Fitzgerald introduces legislation to protect gun owners, promote public safety
Nov 25, 2019

McClinton applauds passage of legislation outlawing sexual extortion
Nov 21, 2019

Bullock commemorates Youth Experiencing Homelessness Week, Red Shirt Day
Nov 21, 2019

Kenyatta addresses closing of Pratt Early Childhood Center due to toxic conditions
Nov 21, 2019

Reps. Burgos, Toohil Achieve Big Win for Insuring the Spanish-Speaking Community
Nov 20, 2019

Hill-Evans to host Community Safety Town Hall
Nov 20, 2019

Legislators, advocates help raise awareness for bone marrow donor need
Nov 19, 2019

Davidson-sponsored bill to help breast cancer survivors passes the House
Nov 18, 2019

McClinton announces $80K tax credit for ACHIEVEability
Nov 18, 2019

Rep. Williams welcomes affordable housing initiatives in Coatesville
Nov 18, 2019

Rep. Kirkland announces nearly $100K in parks and recreation grants for local municipalities
Nov 15, 2019

Rep. Johnson-Harrell announces $330K in parks, recreation grants
Nov 15, 2019

Roebuck: $110K in grants awarded to fund Clark Park project
Nov 15, 2019

Williams cheers $40K grant for Minch Park rehabilitation in Parkesburg
Nov 14, 2019

Wheatley: Veterans service doesn’t end, neither should support
Nov 14, 2019

Youngblood hosts tour of Greater Philadelphia Diaper Bank, draws attention to National Period Day, period poverty and her supply drive
Nov 14, 2019

Davis: $221K awarded for park rehabilitation projects in Munhall
Nov 14, 2019

Hill-Evans announces $230K awarded to YMCA of York
Nov 14, 2019