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

PLBC calls for reforms for adult use cannabis in Pennsylvania

(Jul 09, 2024)

HARRISBURG, July 9 – The Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus today laid out a plan for reforming Pennsylvania’s adult use cannabis laws, with a focus on criminal justice reform and social equity. “It is time that we invest in the restoration of communities that have been impacted, we return incarcerated persons to their families, and we provide entrepreneurs with a pathway to lead in this emerging marketplace,” said PLBC chair, state Rep. Napoleon Nelson. The PLBC is advocating for expungement of prior cannabis offenses and the reimbursement of assets forfeited during cannabis-related arrests to be included in any legislation that would legalize marijuana for recreational use. “So many stakeholders and lawmakers in other states have already affirmed these moral imperatives and we are convinced that Pennsylvania will do the same,” Nelson said. “We’re in a commonwealth that has a number of dispensaries, none of which I believe are owned by Black folk — zero — unacceptable,” said state Rep. Chris Rabb, co-founder of the PA Cannabis Caucus. “The origins of the racist war on drugs and cannabis prohibition have been directly and insidiously connected to Black folk and to any number of people who have been marginalized over generations.” “To do so while thousands of Pennsylvanians have their lives, Read more

 

Rabb encouraged by movement on adult use cannabis

(Jul 09, 2024)

HARRISBURG, July 9 – After joining colleagues from the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus for a news conference on adult use cannabis today, state Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., said he is encouraged by the continued groundswell of support among state legislators for equitable and inclusive adult use cannabis legalization. Rabb, founding member of the PA Cannabis Caucus and founding chair of the Pennsylvania House Democratic Equity Committee, has been a long-time advocate and ardent supporter of smart and truly equitable adult use cannabis legalization. “We have to get this right. It’s not about being the next state to legalize cannabis; it’s about being the best,” Rabb said. “We’re going to get it done right when people who are closest to the pain say, ‘this is good;’ it’s not going to be the lobbyists and it’s not going to be the industry elites. “We must commit to establishing a truly independent, autonomous quasi-governmental entity free from the political vicissitudes of the legislative and executive branches that abound. It is one thing to say we are going to set aside some money, but if you don’t empower and generously fund an independent and autonomous entity to steward those funds to do the things that our legislature has failed to do for generations, all is for naught. “The entity that oversees the broad array of social equity measures must be Read more

 

Rabb: Addressing Land Loss, Forced Sale of Inherited Property

(Jul 03, 2024)

PA state Rep. Chris Rabb's legislation to provide additional protection to inheritors to prevent forced sales of inherited properties is one step closer to becoming law. Rabb's Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Acts passed in the PA House and will now go to the Senate for concurrence. Read more

 

PA House passes Rabb, Nelson legislation to help families inheriting properties without a will

(Jul 02, 2024)

HARRISBURG, July 2 – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives today passed legislation ( H.B. 2232 ) sponsored by state Reps. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., and Napoleon Nelson, D-Montgomery, that would establish the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act in Pennsylvania. The legislation would make sure all inheritors are informed when one inheritor wants to sell their share of the property. It would also require the court to appoint a neutral appraiser to determine the property's fair market value. And it would provide other inheritors the right of first refusal to buy the share of the person who wants to sell. “When a loved one passes, it is utterly heartbreaking and an immense challenge to overcome. When they don’t have an estate plan in place it can lead to some difficult decisions and uncomfortable situations for the person’s heirs,” Rabb said. “This leads to the person’s heirs taking ownership of the property as tenants-in-common -- a form of ownership that frequently leads to heirs losing their land through forced partition sale and to families losing immense inherited wealth to real estate speculators.” This legislation would provide additional due process protections to prevent Pennsylvanians from the forced sale of inherited property, Rabb said. This bill will now head to the state Senate for consideration. Read more

 

Pa. House Judiciary Committee approved Rabb restorative justice legislation

(Jun 28, 2024)

HARRISBURG, June 28 – The Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee approved, with bipartisan support, legislation ( H.B. 1849 ) sponsored by state Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., that would allow for restorative justice practices to be used in the state’s criminal legal system as a voluntary, pre-trial diversion option. “Restorative justice is an approach to criminal justice that seeks to understand and repair the harmful consequences of a criminal act, focusing on the restoration of the victim and mending damaged relationships, as opposed to punishing the offender,” Rabb said. “Ample research has been conducted on restorative justice and it has consistently shown to result in higher rates of victim satisfaction, lower rates of recidivism and enhanced offender accountability. “By emphasizing accountability and reconciliation, we can find a better approach to harm reduction that will allow our communities to heal, centering the concerns of victims and redemption of those who caused the harm while also reducing the cost and case load in our court system.” The bill will now go to the House floor where it will await a vote. Read more

 

Rabb: Renewable Energy Happens Here

(Jun 26, 2024)

PA state Rep. Chris Rabb voices his support for legislation that promises to bring clean energy projects and the federal funding to implement them into the commonwealth. Rabb says that this bill, similar to his own green bank legislation , would create extraordinary opportunity to focus on the type of energy we desperately need while also addressing the current climate crisis. Rabb has also introduced legislation that would require Pennsylvania to transition to 100% renewable energy by the year 2050 . Read more

 

Rabb joins officials to highlight legislation protecting Pa. pollinators

(Jun 21, 2024)

State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., state officials and industry experts held a news conference today at Jenkins Arboretum and Gardens to highlight the importance of Pennsylvania’s pollinators. Read more

 

Rabb legislation would combat ‘greenwashing’ in Pa.

(Jun 14, 2024)

HARRISBURG, June 14 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., is drafting legislation that would prohibit corporations from using deceitful and manipulative practices known as “greenwashing” in Pennsylvania. “For decades now, corporations have taken advantage of environmentally-conscious consumers by intentionally marketing their products in a manner that makes them appear better for the planet than they really are. This devious and manipulative practice is known as ‘greenwashing,’” Rabb said . “You often see it when companies use terms such as ‘net zero,’ ‘low carbon’ or ‘cleaner energy,’ even if those claims are not based in reality or are aspirational at best.” This legislation would ensure that there is truth in marketing by amending the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law to explicitly prohibit deceptive environmental marketing claims. “As we increasingly experience the drastic effects of our warming climate, such as more intense storms, floods, droughts and wildfires, the last thing Pennsylvania consumers need is to be lied to as they try to make informed purchasing decisions,” Rabb said. "Corporations should not be allowed to lie to consumers and pretend that dirty and polluting products are healthy or sustainable, but the reality is these deceptive greenwashing practices Read more

 

Rabb supports startups in impacted communities with amendment

(Jun 12, 2024)

HARRISBURG, June 12 – The Pennsylvania House Finance Committee today approved legislation that would allow tech and bio-tech startups with unused net operating loss carryover to sell the tax benefits for use by other taxpayers subject to the Corporate Net Income tax. The bill passed with an amendment included by state Rep. Chris Rabb that would make sure businesses in impacted communities are explicitly included in opportunities created by this legislation. Rabb said his amendment improves the legislation while maintaining its scope and ensuring that startup owners who live in impacted communities are affiliated with technology-centered entities and have operations that address clean energy production or provide offerings that relate to energy efficiency or environmental resiliency efforts. “A lot of start-ups are technology-based firms that can create good, sustainable jobs. We are fortunate to have institutions that support this work; yet, we have brain drain. Our workforce is being pulled into other states because we haven’t fostered an environment that supports them,” Rabb, D-Phila., said. “I am particularly interested in those businesses that have a disproportionate influence on communities that could benefit the most from technologies whose residents have been most harmed by predatory business models. “We can use good judgment and data to find and support the types of businesses that have the most Read more

 

Rabb introduces legislation establishing Freedom School Grant Program

(Jun 11, 2024)

HARRISBURG, June 11 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., recently introduced legislation ( H.B. 2405 ) that would establish the Freedom School Grant Program. The Freedom School Grant Program would provide grants to schools and other organizations to help them establish more Freedom Schools , which were created in the 1960s by the nonprofit Children’s Defense Fund to provide well-rounded educational opportunities to Black children who were not given such opportunities in Mississippi public schools, Rabb said. “These schools improve reading, language skills and interpersonal relationships; strengthen families; connect children to medical and other needed social services; and develop the skills needed to improve conditions for children and families in their communities,” Rabb said. “They are an exceptional tool for building success and equity and for bridging the gaps in educational opportunity.” Today, 24 states have faith-based organizations, schools and school districts, community-based organizations and nonprofits, colleges and universities, and juvenile detention facilities that offer Freedom Schools. However, Pennsylvania has only one Freedom School, which is why legislation is needed to expand and enrich the breadth of learning so valuable to students across the state, Rabb said. Read more

 

Rabb, House Democrats Fixing Education Funding Disparities

(Jun 10, 2024)

PA state Rep. Chris Rabb has been working to fix the Commonwealth’s broken, unconstitutional, racist system of education funding since taking office seven years ago and now, finally, legislation promising full and fair funding to all PA school districts has passed in the #PAHouse. Read more

 

Rabb Fights to Stop “Greenwashing” in PA

(Jun 04, 2024)

As more Pennsylvanians are trying to make environmentally conscious purchases, PA state Rep. Chris Rabb wants to make sure that the companies selling those goods and services are being honest in their claims of environmental friendliness and sustainability. Rabb has introduced legislation to protect PA consumers from “Greenwashing,” a manipulative practice used by many corporations to market their products as green, net-zero, or 100% natural. Read more

 

Rabb highlights legislation protecting against predatory rent-to-own companies

(May 30, 2024)

HARRISBURG, March 30 – State Rep. Chris Rabb has introduced legislation that would provide protections for consumers against predatory rent-to-own companies. “These predatory companies often use the taxpayer-subsidized criminal court system as a de facto collection agency to take money they claim is owed to them for household and other items, which they leased to people who could not afford to purchase the items in full at point of sale,” said Rabb, D-Phila. “And often even despite the fact that the company has recovered the cost of the property, they will seek criminal charges and use threats of jail time to collect money in excess of the value of the leased property. “It is just another way that companies use institutional violence to squeeze as much as they can out of our most vulnerable populations,” Rabb said. The legislation ( H.B. 2359 ) would ensure that these predatory practices would be prohibited by giving the courts the ability to cap the demand at $50 if the lease of property has exceeded the retail value. Read more

 

Healing Communities through Restorative Justice

(May 20, 2024)

Restorative justice is a philosophy of criminal justice that seeks to repair the harmful consequences of a criminal act, focusing on the restoration of the victim rather than prioritizing punishment of the offender. Read more

 

PA House adopts Rabb resolution to study best practices for body camera footage

(May 09, 2024)

HARRISBURG, May 9 – A resolution ( H.R. 113 ) introduced by state Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., that calls for a study of best practices regarding body-worn cameras by law enforcement was adopted on a bipartisan vote by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Wednesday. The resolution directs the Joint State Government Commission to study how body-worn camera footage is currently used, stored, secured, indexed and accessed. It also requires the commission to prepare a report assessing the cost of filming, storing and reviewing complete body-worn camera footage, provide recommendations on how to ensure that footage is used for the benefit of all and shielded from cyber threats, and establish an advisory committee comprising individuals who have expertise and experience in fields, positions and situations relating to criminal legal matters, cyber security, ethics and law enforcement. “The bipartisan call to provide body-worn cameras to law enforcement agents has been a hallmark priority that promotes increased transparency and accountability for law enforcement and civilians alike. However, with the adoption of this resolution, we can look forward to substantive research on clear, consistent and equitable protocols for how we process footage from these cameras,” Rabb said. “Recommendations produced by the Joint State Government Commission stemming from completion of this study have the potential to inform Read more

 

Spurred by student protests, Rabb highlights legislation to prohibit law enforcement use of crowd control agents

(May 02, 2024)

HARRISBURG, May 2 – Prompted by disturbing reports of law enforcement using excess force to disperse protestors on college campuses across the country, state Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., is highlighting legislation ( H.B. 1107 ) that would prohibit law enforcement from using crowd control agents, such as chemical weapons and rubber bullets, to quell crowds. This legislation would prohibit the use of chemical weapons by law enforcement, including all types of tear gas, pepper spray, pepper balls, mace and any other crowd control agents composed of chemical compounds intended to cause some form of harm to a person. “As we’ve seen time and again, if you give law enforcement tools to inflict force, they will use them to excess. They did during the George Floyd protests and they are doing so today,” Rabb said. “The only way to prevent this is to prohibit the use entirely. These internationally recognized weapons of war have absolutely no place being used against American citizens peacefully protesting injustice and exercising their constitutionally protected rights.” Until summer 2020 amid the Black Lives Matter protests, the Philadelphia Police Department had not used chemical agents since 1985, Rabb said. Tear gas and pepper spray are both considered ‘riot control agents.’ They are toxic chemicals that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes as Read more

 

Bill passes PA House authorizing new environmentally sustainable, water-based cremation

(May 02, 2024)

HARRISBURG, May 2 – By a strong bipartisan vote of 138-63, the PA House passed a bill ( H.B. 1172 ) that would allow Pennsylvania-based funeral homes to provide water-based cremation. The bill, introduced by state Reps. Mary Jo Daley, D-Montgomery, and Chris Rabb, D-Phila., would amend current state law to expand the definition of cremation to include the process known as alkaline hydrolysis – better known as aquamation. “Cremation is typically seen as a more environmentally friendly alternative to burial, but that is not necessarily the case,” Rabb said. “In order to cremate a human body by flame, as is the current method, heat in excess of 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit is necessary. Creating that amount of heat takes immense energy and emits as much carbon dioxide as a 1,000-mile trip by car.” Alkaline hydrolysis is a method of cremation that uses an alkaline solution and a pressurized steel chamber to break the body down to its bare minimum. The combination of the alkaline solution, pressure, and heat creates ash similar to flame cremation. “When people think that cremation offers a greener end of life than a full burial does, it’s important to remember that the temperatures required in traditional cremations create large energy bills and excess pollution. This legislation aims to provide Pennsylvanians with interment choices that are not only kinder but also environmentally sustainable Read more

 

Rabb convenes PA House Judiciary subcommittee meeting on restorative justice

(Apr 30, 2024)

HARRISBURG, April 30 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., today convened a non-voting informational meeting on restorative justice practices held by the Pennsylvania House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Corrections, chaired by Rep. Emily Kinkead, D-Allegheny. The meeting focused on non-carceral approaches and harm reduction the commonwealth could adopt within the criminal legal system as sentencing alternatives. “Restorative justice is an approach to criminal justice that seeks to understand and repair the harmful consequences of a criminal act, focusing on the restoration of the victim and mending damaged relationships, as opposed to punishing the offender,” Rabb said. “Research on restorative justice has consistently demonstrated higher rates of victim satisfaction, lower rates of recidivism and enhanced offender accountability. By emphasizing rehabilitation and accountability, we can find a better way forward with kindness, compassion, better outcomes and stronger communities.” In collaboration with invested parties among and beyond testifiers who included offenders and victims alike, Rabb said he anticipates a vote on an amended version of his restorative justice legislation — H.B. 1849 — in a forthcoming House Judiciary Committee voting meeting. The meeting can be viewed in its entirety here . Read more

 

Business Resource Newsletter April-May

(Apr 26, 2024)

Local Business Resource Newsletter Read more

 

Rabb, Nelson introduce legislation to help families inheriting properties without a will

(Apr 25, 2024)

HARRISBURG, April 25 – State Reps. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., and Napoleon Nelson, D-Montgomery, have introduced legislation ( H.B. 2232 ) that would establish the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act in Pennsylvania. The legislation would make sure all inheritors are informed when one inheritor wants to sell their share of the property. It would also require a neutral appraiser to determine the property's fair market value. Lastly, it would provide other inheritors the first chance to buy the share of the person who wants to sell. “The passing of a loved one is heartbreaking and challenging on its own, and when they don’t have an estate plan in place it can lead to some difficult decisions and uncomfortable situations for the person’s heirs,” Rabb said. “This leads to the person’s heirs taking ownership of the property as tenants-in-common — a form of ownership that frequently leads to heirs losing their land through forced partition sale and to families losing immense inherited wealth to real estate speculators.” This legislation would provide additional due process protections to prevent Pennsylvanians from the forced sale of inherited property, Rabb said. “This bill is a piece of the puzzle in creating more fair and equitable housing throughout Pennsylvania,” Nelson said. The legislation is currently in the Pennsylvania House Housing and Read more

 

PLBC calls for reforms for adult use cannabis in Pennsylvania
Jul 09, 2024

Rabb encouraged by movement on adult use cannabis
Jul 09, 2024

Rabb: Addressing Land Loss, Forced Sale of Inherited Property
Jul 03, 2024

PA House passes Rabb, Nelson legislation to help families inheriting properties without a will
Jul 02, 2024

Pa. House Judiciary Committee approved Rabb restorative justice legislation
Jun 28, 2024

Rabb: Renewable Energy Happens Here
Jun 26, 2024

Rabb joins officials to highlight legislation protecting Pa. pollinators
Jun 21, 2024

Rabb legislation would combat ‘greenwashing’ in Pa.
Jun 14, 2024

Rabb supports startups in impacted communities with amendment
Jun 12, 2024

Rabb introduces legislation establishing Freedom School Grant Program
Jun 11, 2024

Rabb, House Democrats Fixing Education Funding Disparities
Jun 10, 2024

Rabb Fights to Stop “Greenwashing” in PA
Jun 04, 2024

Rabb highlights legislation protecting against predatory rent-to-own companies
May 30, 2024

Healing Communities through Restorative Justice
May 20, 2024

PA House adopts Rabb resolution to study best practices for body camera footage
May 09, 2024

Spurred by student protests, Rabb highlights legislation to prohibit law enforcement use of crowd control agents
May 02, 2024

Bill passes PA House authorizing new environmentally sustainable, water-based cremation
May 02, 2024

Rabb convenes PA House Judiciary subcommittee meeting on restorative justice
Apr 30, 2024

Business Resource Newsletter April-May
Apr 26, 2024

Rabb, Nelson introduce legislation to help families inheriting properties without a will
Apr 25, 2024