9/23/19 – PA’s Hemp Industry – Harrisburg

(Sep 30, 2019)

Materials from a public hearing co-chaired by State Rep. Danilo Burgos at the Capitol. Read more


Public Hearing: Youth Mental Health

(Sep 30, 2019)

This hearing will be hosted by State Rep. Danielle Friel Otten. Read more


Sanchez to hold Policy Committee hearing on autism awareness Wednesday in Abington

(Sep 27, 2019)

ABINGTON, Sept. 27 – State Rep. Ben Sanchez, D-Montgomery, will hold a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing on autism awareness next week. The hearing will take place at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2 at the Abington School District Administration Building, 970 Highland Ave. The media and public are invited to attend. Sanchez requested the hearing to discuss what the state legislature could do to increase the understanding and acceptance of individuals on the autism spectrum. Sanchez will be joined by legislators from across the state, including Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. Sanchez is working on legislation that would permit people on the autism spectrum to receive a notation on their driver’s license or identification card indicating their condition. Those scheduled to testify include local school officials, autism researchers, state officials and autism advocates. For more information about the Policy Committee, go to www.pahouse.com/policycommittee . This hearing is part of a series being held across the state on House Democrats’ Plan4PA, which is focused on putting people first by growing good jobs, providing health care access, creating quality schools and providing training for jobs in a fair economy. More information about the plan is available at www.plan4pa.com and hearing materials are at www.pahouse.com/policycommittee . Read more


Burgos, Policy Committee discuss hemp industry in Pa. Capitol

(Sep 23, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 23 – State Rep. Danilo Burgos, D-Phila., co-chaired a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing in the Capitol today on the hemp industry in Pennsylvania. “We know that the hemp industry has a strong future here in Pennsylvania, if it gets the support that it needs,” Burgos said. “Having representatives from the Pennsylvania hemp industry here, along with members of our own state Department of Agriculture and from the state of Kentucky, which has an industrial hemp program, provided a huge opportunity for us to learn more ways to support the hemp industry here in our commonwealth.” Burgos was joined by state legislators from across the state, including Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. He had requested the hearing to discuss the burgeoning hemp industry in Pennsylvania. Testifiers included representatives from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture: Ruth Welliver, director of the bureau of plant industry, and Natalie Krak, policy director; representatives from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture: Keith Rogers, chief of staff, and Doris Hamilton, manager of the industrial hemp program; Steve Bevan, president of GenCanna Global Inc. and chairman of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable; Marielle Weintraub, president of the U.S. Hemp Authority; and Dr. Steven Groff, founding chairman of Groff North America and Farmacy Partners. This hearing was one in a series held across the state on House Read more


9/13/19 – The Public Health Epidemic of Gun Violence – Pittsburgh

(Sep 13, 2019)

Materials from a public hearing hosted by State Rep. Dan Frankel. Read more


9/12/19 – Economic Impact of the Arts – Pottstown

(Sep 13, 2019)

Materials from a public hearing hosted by State Rep. Joe Ciresi. Read more


9/11/19 – Rising Costs of Prescription Drugs – Havertown

(Sep 13, 2019)

Materials from a public hearing hosted by State Rep. Mike Zabel. Read more


9/10/19 – Youth Perspective on Criminal Justice – Philadelphia

(Sep 13, 2019)

Materials from a joint public hearing with the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus. Read more


9/9/19 – State of Foster Care System – Exton

(Sep 13, 2019)

Materials from a public hearing hosted by State Rep. Kristine Howard. Read more


Ciresi, Policy Committee focus on economic impact of the arts

(Sep 12, 2019)

POTTSTOWN, Sept. 12 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing on the economic impact of the arts at the Steel River Playhouse. Ciresi requested the hearing on the arts to learn how to ensure that arts organizations are financially stable, promote attendance and participation in arts programs, and determine what overall work can be done to broaden support for the arts. Ciresi was joined by legislators from across the state. “Today’s hearing was a great example of how we can work together to learn from one another in order to create policy decisions that benefit all Pennsylvanians,” Ciresi said. “With the information we have shared with each other today, we will be able to grow our arts programs and move towards an age of ingenuity, creativity and excitement. The arts lead to higher civic engagement, child welfare, and lower crime and poverty rates. They bring about social awareness and a better understanding of our cultures and the world around us. By introducing our children to the arts, and continuing to stay creative in our older age, we create lasting memories and the foundations for skills that can last a lifetime. In addition, the arts provide for three percent of the nation’s GDP alone, an $800 billion industry. When you consider traveling expenses and local merchants that benefit from strong art programs, the numbers begin to add up quickly economically too.” Read more


Rep. Zabel, Policy Committee discuss rising cost of prescription drugs

(Sep 11, 2019)

“We must get to the point where people who need medicine are able to purchase that medicine without the fear of going broke. The gouging of prices for life-saving drugs needs to be curbed, which is why I’m introducing legislation to cap insulin prices.” Read more


PLBC and Policy Committee listen to youth perspective on criminal justice

(Sep 10, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 10 – State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., and the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus today held a joint hearing with the House Democratic Policy Committee on youth perspective on criminal justice. The PLBC requested the hearing to give youth an opportunity to express their views on the current criminal justice system. “I am grateful to the young people who were present for today’s hearing, as we are working to make changes to our society, including our criminal justice system, so that they will grow up in a better, more just world,” Kinsey said. “We know our system is flawed and unfair but hearing from the experts who testified today gave us invaluable information and insight that can be used to make much-needed improvements. I hope our young people know, after attending this hearing, that their voices are valued.” “Criminal Justice Reform is one of the important Civil Rights issues of our time,” Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., said. “Additionally, many of our young people are affected by it as participants themselves or as a family member of a participant. It’s important to hear their voice as we continue to address this important issue.” The Philadelphia Community Youth Court sits in Harris’ district and is located at the Universal Institute Charter School, where the hearing took place. They were joined by state legislators from across Read more


Frankel to host policy hearing on gun violence Friday in Pittsburgh

(Sep 10, 2019)

PITTSBURGH, Sept. 10 – State Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, announced today he will hold a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing this week on gun violence. The hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 13 at the University of Pittsburgh, William Pitt Union Ballroom, 3959 Fifth Ave. Media and the public are invited to attend. Frankel requested the hearing to discuss ways to address the public health epidemic of gun violence in Pennsylvania. He will be joined by fellow state legislators, including Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. Testifiers will include: Dr. John Rozel , medical director, resolve Crisis Service, and president, American Association for Emergency Psychiatry. Dr. Deborah Moss , pediatrician and president, Pennsylvania Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Raquel Forsythe , director of trauma, UPMC Presbyterian. Heath Johnson , crime analysis coordinator, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police. Ross Watson, violence prevention program manager, Allegheny County Health Department. Councilperson Erika Strassburger, District 8, Pittsburgh City Council. Lee Davis, life coach and violence interrupter, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health's Violence Prevention Initiative. Nicole Molinaro, president and CEO, Women's Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh. Read more


Howard, Policy Committee examine foster care system

(Sep 09, 2019)

EXTON, Sept. 9 – State Rep. Kristine Howard, D-Chester, today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing on Pennsylvania’s foster care system at the West Whiteland Township Building. Howard requested the hearing to discuss critical issues in foster care with leaders in the field. Howard was joined by legislators from across the state, including Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. “As a former social worker, I saw first-hand the negative impact of the foster care system on many children,” said Howard. “Too many children in the foster care system suffer from emotional, behavioral, developmental and physical issues that go untreated. These issues impact their lives long after they leave the foster care system. “I want to thank all of today’s testifiers for providing critical insights into how we can come together to improve the foster care system in PA.” Sturla added: “It’s critical that we have an open dialogue about issues within the system so we can come up with workable solutions that will improve the lives of foster children.” The committee heard testimony from Debra Schilling Wolfe, executive director, and Sarah Wasch, program manager of Foster Care to College Initiative , UPenn’s Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research; Frank Cervone, executive director, Support Center for Child Advocates; Maryann Piccioni , former Read more


9/4/19 – School Building Toxic Conditions & Emergency Funding – Philadelphia

(Sep 05, 2019)

Materials from a public hearing hosted by State Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler. Read more


9/3/19 – Gun Safety Reform – King of Prussia

(Sep 05, 2019)

Materials from a public hearing hosted by State Rep. Tim Briggs. Read more


Fiedler, Policy Committee examine school building toxic conditions and emergency funding

(Sep 04, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 4 – State Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler, D-Phila., today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing on toxic conditions in school buildings and emergency funding at the Horace Furness High School. Fiedler requested the hearing to discuss what more the state can do to improve conditions in Philadelphia schools for students and staff. The hearing ended with a tour of the high school to see the conditions firsthand. Legislators from across the state joined Fiedler, including Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. “Nearly half of the school buildings in Philadelphia are decades old with antiquated systems, including heating, cooling, lighting and electrical. These basic comforts are in dire need of replacement. In addition, these buildings have mold and other hazards that are creating serious health problems for our children,” Fiedler said. “We need to come up with policies that will ensure our schools receive adequate funding, so our children receive a quality education in hazard-free and safe environments.” Sturla added, “The children in Philadelphia and throughout the commonwealth should not have to learn in unhealthy and outdated conditions. The House Democratic Caucus seeks to provide all students with a high-quality education, so they are prepared to either go on to an institution of higher education or to join the workforce. I thank Representative Fiedler for her leadership in spotlighting Read more


Briggs, Policy Committee examine gun safety legislation

(Sep 03, 2019)

KING OF PRUSSIA, Sept. 3 – State Rep. Tim Briggs, D-Montgomery, today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing on gun safety legislation. Briggs requested the hearing to discuss several bills: H.B 525, to require the safe storage of firearms; H.B. 673, to require universal background checks; and H.B. 1288, to require the reporting of lost or stolen firearms. Testifiers from the law enforcement, medical and social services communities discussed the bills. Briggs was joined by legislators from across the state. “We have to do something to curb the gun violence that is affecting communities throughout Pennsylvania – and we can,” said Briggs, D-Montgomery and Democratic chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. “Today’s hearing was an opportunity to really examine these bills so that we’re prepared to take action when the House returns to session. I’m grateful to the testifiers who helped us explore these issues today, and I’ve urged Judiciary Chairman Rob Kauffman to swiftly bring these bills up for a vote in committee.” The legislators were joined by U.S. Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-PA, who testified from the federal perspective. “America’s gun violence epidemic claims more than 100 lives every day, and our communities have had enough. They know that the safety of our families, friends and neighbors is on the line – and that it’s time to implement common-sense gun safety Read more


Policy Recap: August 2019

(Sep 03, 2019)

A summary of Policy Committee meetings held in August 2019. Read more


8/29/19 – Minimum Wage – Munhall

(Aug 29, 2019)

Materials from a public hearing hosted by State Rep. Austin Davis. Read more