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Rabb crop grant program bill passes the House

Rabb, PennEnvironment speak about PA’s ‘F’ grade on plan to spend $118 million Volkswagen settlement, urge shift to green energy investments

(Sep 17, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 17 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., today stood with PennEnvironment to urge Pennsylvania to improve its current F grade on a plan to spend a $118 million settlement it received from Volkswagen following an emissions scandal. “Right now, Pennsylvania is wasting an opportunity to lead the charge toward renewable energy,” Rabb said. “Volkswagen did no favors for our environment when it misled customers and installed software intended to cheat emissions tests in more than 500,000 cars it sold to consumers in the United States. Now, Pennsylvania is adding insult to injury by failing to responsibly invest settlement money paid out by Volkswagen – money that could be invested in electric vehicles.” Rabb and PennEnvironment discussed various ways that Pennsylvania could redeem itself by choosing green investment options. “While it’s disappointing that Pennsylvania’s first thought wasn’t to invest this settlement money in options that will be both environmentally and economically responsible, there is still time for Pennsylvania to properly steward this money,” Rabb said. “I offer every encouragement I can muster that Pennsylvania see the error of its ways and choose to invest the settlement money in electric vehicle charging infrastructure and electric transit. These worthwhile, environmentally responsible options will be an investment in our Read more

 

Rabb announces $75,000 grant for Woodmere Art Museum outdoor recreation area, which will include sculpture garden, walking paths

(Sep 17, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 17 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., today announced that the Woodmere Art Museum has been awarded a $75,000 state grant to help fund the construction of an outdoor recreational space. “This grant is not only a vehicle by which Woodmere Art Museum can put its plan to build this outdoor recreational space into motion, but it’s also a gesture of the tremendous value of art and environmental stewardship,” Rabb said. “Visitors to Woodmere Art Museum will be able to enjoy another green space in our city while also feeding their appetite for arts and culture.” The $75,000 grant was awarded Monday by the Commonwealth Financing Authority, which holds fiduciary responsibility over the funding of programs and investments in Pennsylvania's economic growth. The CFA is unique among state agencies in that project approval requires five affirmative votes, four of which must come from the legislative appointees who compose the board, along with the secretaries of the Department of Community and Economic Development, the Office of the Budget and the Department of Banking and Securities. The CFA provides funding for a multitude of projects that help businesses succeed, including those focused on development, water quality, energy infrastructure and more. The grant awarded to Woodmere Art Museum focuses on greenways, trails and recreation. The total cost of the Woodmere Art Museum outdoor Read more

 

Rabb introduces state-based slavery reparations bill on 400th anniversary of enslaved Africans arriving to North America

(Aug 30, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 30 – State Rep. Christopher Rabb, D-Phila., introduced legislation that would establish a reparations plan to combat systemic racism impacting Pennsylvanians of African descent on the 400 th anniversary of enslaved Africans arriving to Virginia in 1619. “For many other disenfranchised groups, the United States government has provided reparations and our commonwealth must follow suit,” Rabb said. “I am proud to introduce this bill for our commonwealth to atone for its role in this heinous institution that has resulted in generations of systemic racism bolstered by public policy and culture practice statewide.” Rabb said that slavery in Pennsylvania has been documented as early as 1639, with Philadelphia becoming the region’s largest port for importing enslaved Africans. “Many of the colonists who settled Pennsylvania tolerated slavery, including William Penn who owned 12 enslaved people. These people were responsible for building his colonial estate, Pennsbury Manor. Additionally, despite the Gradual Emancipation Act, passed in 1780, no enslaved person was ever emancipated, with many living and dying in bondage,” Rabb said. “Pennsylvania has always been a willing enabler of the subjugation of an entire race of people and this subjugation has been maintained statewide through institutional racism.” The bill outlines a state-based reparations plan that would have four parts: A formal Read more

 

Rabb receives national recognition for his environmental leadership

(Aug 07, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 7 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., today announced that he was presented with the annual Rising Environmental Leader Award by the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators at the sixth annual National Forum in Nashville, TN, this week. Each year, the NCEL recognizes state lawmakers for their outstanding accomplishments on environmental issues. The Rising Environmental Leader Award goes to members of the caucus who demonstrate strong leadership on environmental issues early in their legislative careers. Following his election in 2016, Rabb immediately became an active and engaged participant in NCEL. He continues to lead efforts to establish a carbon price and transition to 100% renewable energy in Pennsylvania. He also has introduced legislation as part of the Zero Waste PA package to reduce plastic and other pollutants in the state. He works to combine environmental and social justice issues. “What good is it to humanity that we have a greener planet if only some benefit from inequitable environmental stewardship,” Rabb said. “This is why my advocacy in this space is so deeply rooted in social justice.” Following his recognition for efforts on environmental issues, Rabb also joined the NCEL Board of Directors. NCEL’s board has 14 members and is comprised of a majority of sitting legislators. NCEL Executive Director Jeff Mauk highlighted how leaders such as Rabb are how the caucus continues to strengthen Read more

 

Rabb says firing of officers involved in racist conduct is the ‘right thing to do’

(Jul 18, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, July 18 – State Rep. Chris Rabb said the move by the Philadelphia Police Department to fire more than a dozen police officers who made racist or offensive Facebook posts is the right thing to do. “We rely on police officers to protect us, all of us, and to serve as an example of appropriate behavior in our community,” said Rabb, D-Phila. “Unethical, racist, inappropriate behavior or comments by police officers, like that exhibited by these officers from the Philadelphia Police Department, undermines the public’s trust in an institution that is supposed to serve us all. “Sending the message that such behavior will not be tolerated in any police department is the right thing to do,” Rabb said. “But it’s not enough if those police officers are able to find employment in another community that’s unsuspecting of their past behavior.” Rabb said his legislation, H.B. 1666 , would ensure that officers like those being fired by the Philadelphia Police Department cannot just move on to another department without leadership and the community being aware of their past behavior. Rabb said H.B. 1666 would not stop a department from hiring a police officer who separated from their last job after a pattern of allegations, complaints or charges for inappropriate behavior. But, it would ensure that the hiring departments are fully informed about whom they are hiring. “This legislation would empower Read more

 

Legislators ‘serve up’ support for minimum wage hike in Pa.

(Jul 12, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, July 12 – State Reps. Joanna McClinton, Stephen Kinsey, Chris Rabb, Summer Lee and Sara Innamorato joined advocates and restaurant workers in support of increasing the minimum wage in Pennsylvania. The group marched from the Pennsylvania Convention Center to El Fuego restaurant, where the legislators served food and drink to customers and addressed how a minimum wage hike would improve the lives of thousands of workers in the commonwealth. McClinton said, “Every state surrounding Pennsylvania has increased its minimum wage and yet it remains stagnant here in the commonwealth. It is antiquated and, at this point, disgraceful. Too many Pennsylvanians must continue to work for what amounts to nothing in today’s economy, still struggling well below the poverty line to pay bills and provide for their families. An increased and fair wage would give these people more purchasing power and the ability to afford necessities, contributing more to our overall economy.” Kinsey said, "Our communities of color shouldn't have to choose between paying the bills and putting food on the table. I was proud to join Restaurant Opportunities Centers United and other advocates in fighting to raise the minimum wage across the commonwealth so hardworking Pennsylvanians can afford to support their families and live their lives." Rabb has legislation that would raise the minimum wage in Pennsylvania to $12 an hour , then increase it each year Read more

 

Wolf signs farm bill package with Rabb plan to encourage farming of hemp and other high-priority crops

(Jul 01, 2019)

State Rep. Chris Rabb is applauding Gov. Tom Wolf for signing the PA Farm Bill today, which includes his efforts to create a grant program that encourages farming of hemp, as well as other high-priority crops. “I’m proud to be part of such a historic day for the commonwealth,” said Rabb, D-Phila. “My contribution to the PA Farm Bill focuses on specialty crops, including hemp, hops, honey and hardwood, that need more attention in terms of specialty research cultivation and commercialization in both rural and urban areas.” Receiving bipartisan support, Rabb’s plan acts as a complement to the federal Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, which awards grants for projects aimed at expanding markets for small producers and sets aside 10% of grant funds for successful applicants from rural and urban communities that have at least 20% poverty for at least 30 years. “Agriculture is Pennsylvania’s most important industry, and we as a legislature must continue finding ways to build bridges and address critical agriculture issues that impact all Pennsylvanians,” Rabb explained. Once enacted, the Pennsylvania Farm Bill package will invest an additional $19 million into Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry to grow opportunities and resources, remove barriers to entry, and cultivate future generations of leaders within agriculture. For more information about the PA Farm Bill and Read more

 

Rabb crop grant program bill passes the House

(Jun 18, 2019)

HARRISBURG, June 17 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., announced that his bipartisan legislation (H.B. 1519) passed the House today in a unanimous vote. “Certain crops, like hemp, hops, honey and hardwood are not eligible for the federal grant program. I believe that this legislation will pave the way for Pennsylvania to become a leader in research, cultivation and commercialization of these valuable crops.” T he bill would establish a state-level grant program to encourage farming of high-priority crops. It would act as a complement to the federal Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, which awards grants for projects aimed at expanding markets for small producers and sets aside 10 percent of grant funds for successful applicants from rural and urban communities that have at least 20 percent poverty for at least 30 years. This legislation is part of Pennsylvania’s first-ever farm bill package, introduced by committee chairmen Rep. Martin Causer, R-McKean, Cameron and Potter, and Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Luzerne. Read more

 

Rabb crop grant program bill approved by House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee

(Jun 06, 2019)

HARRISBURG, June 6 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., announced that his bipartisan legislation (H.B. 1519) was unanimously reported out of the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee yesterday. The bill would establish a state-level grant program to encourage farming of high-priority crops. “There are crops like hops, hardwood and hemp that aren’t eligible for federal grant programs, but they provide significant value to the commonwealth and to the farmers who grow them,” Rabb said. “My goal is for this legislation to be enacted into law so that Pennsylvania can become a leader in research, cultivation and commercialization of these valuable crops — particularly hemp, a form of cannabis, which was recently made legal by Congress through the 2018 federal farm bill.” The bill would act as a complement to the federal Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, which awards grants for projects aimed at expanding markets for small producers and sets aside 10 percent of grant funds for successful applicants from rural and urban communities that have at least 20 percent poverty for at least 30 years. “This is an auspicious moment for me as the newly appointed Democratic vice chair of this committee that my first agriculture bill has been successfully voted out of committee.” This legislation is part of Pennsylvania’s first-ever farm bill package, introduced by committee chairmen Rep. Martin Causer, R-McKean, Read more

 

Rabb calls for end to educational apartheid

(May 17, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, May 17 – On the same day of the historic Brown V. Board of education decision , state Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., held a news conference Friday afternoon in front of the Franklin S. Edmonds Elementary School to discuss the disparities that still exist in the way Pennsylvania funds public education. Rabb, who used the day to discuss educational inequity and how to end educational apartheid in Pennsylvania, announced his legislation to bring fair funding to Philadelphia schools and public schools across the commonwealth. “I am leading the charge to require all state public school funds be distributed through a fair funding formula to certify our kids have the resources and tools needed to give them the best chance at success,” Rabb said. House Bill 961 would require that 100 percent of state funds for public schools immediately be distributed through the fair funding formula that was developed by the Basic Education Funding Commission in 2015. It also would acknowledge that significantly more funding is required to ensure each school district has enough resources to educate its students. While the Basic Education Funding Commission unanimously agreed in 2015 to provide 100 percent funding to public schools through the fair funding formula it developed, only 9 percent of state funds in 2018-19 is currently being distributed to schools through that formula. Read more

 

Rabb leads lawmakers’ call to end the death penalty in Pa.

(May 01, 2019)

HARRISBURG, May 1 – State Reps. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., and Francis Ryan, R-Lebanon, along with Sens. Katie Muth, D-Berks/Chester/Montgomery, and Sharif Street, D-Phila., advocated for the repeal of the death penalty in Pennsylvania during a press conference on April 30 in the state Capitol Media Center. “Studies have shown that the death penalty is not a deterrent,” Rabb said. “If Pennsylvanians can be put on death row and are later found innocent, how can we continue to sentence folks to their death when we know the system is flawed. We need to abolish the death penalty in our state. It’s simply barbaric and outdated.” Lt. Gov. John Fetterman echoed Rabb’s comments and said he is in favor of a death penalty repeal in Pennsylvania. “I wholly support Governor Tom Wolf’s moratorium on the death penalty, and this effort from Representatives Rabb and Ryan will move Pennsylvania to the correct side of history in repealing this inhumane, antiquated, expensive, and flawed system of punishment,” Fetterman said. The House and Senate lawmakers plan to sponsor legislation in their respective chambers to repeal the penalty they believe is “an ineffective deterrent, incredibly costly and flawed system of punishment.” The lawmakers were joined by the following advocates and former inmates who support abolishing the death penalty in the commonwealth: Kathleen Lucas, executive director of Pennsylvanians for Read more

 

Rabb to host Drop & Roll Spring Shredding event

(Apr 18, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, April 18 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., today announced he will host his Drop & Roll Spring Shredding event. The free event will be held from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. April 27 at New Covenant Campus, 7500 Germantown Ave., 19119. “I invite all of my constituents to come out to our free shredding event to help protect their identity and have their personal documents shredded,” Rabb said. “We must do what we can to protect our personal information and prevent identity theft before it starts. Even if we only save one person from having their information compromised, it prevents so much heartbreak that comes along with these crimes.” Each person is limited to two large bags of documents. Documents will be shredded on site. If you have a question about this event or another state-related concern, please call or visit Rabb’s office . ### Read more

 

Rep. Rabb joins in ‘Zero Waste PA’ bill package to address single-use plastics, litter and a ‘throwaway’ society

(Apr 10, 2019)

HARRISBURG, April 10 – State Rep. Chris Rabb today joined other lawmakers and PennEnvironment to announce a package of bills aimed at addressing single-use plastics, pervasive issues of litter and the various environmental harms caused by a "throwaway" society. Legislation in the “Zero Waste PA” package works to address issues created by a disposable society including single-use plastics such as straws, plastic bags and Styrofoam takeout food containers, electronic waste, funding Pennsylvania’s recycling programs and more. "Cigarette litter is among the most toxic of all commonly littered items, containing a multitude of chemicals that leach into our soil and water and are harmful to all living things," said Rabb, D-Phila. "A well-planned deposit program would create a system where enterprises with proven capacity could upcycle them for safe and innovative use. This simple action would have a profound effect on our environment and leave our planet in better condition for future generations." “Every day, unwitting Pennsylvanians are barraged with products that we’re expected to purchase and use, and then throw away. Only, there is no ‘away,’” said PennEnvironment Executive Director David Masur. “Instead, it ends up in landfills where it can cause water pollution, in incinerators that cause air pollution, or blowing around in our neighborhoods in the form of litter. Nothing we use Read more

 

Rabb to host scam, fraud and cyberbullying event

(Apr 05, 2019)

PHILADELPHIA, April 5 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., today announced he will host his Scams, Fraud and Cyberbullying event featuring guest speaker Anthony Luker from the state Attorney General’s Office. The free event will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 11 at Dare to Imagine Church, 6610 Anderson St., 19119. “It’s important that all of my constituents know how to prevent identity theft and stop a scam before it starts,” Rabb said. “Even if we only save one person from having their information compromised, it prevents so much heartbreak and turmoil for the victims. We will continue to do our part educating the public about the latest scams and the technologies that allow them to happen.” Rabb encourages everyone to attend to learn how to spot and avoid the latest scams disguised as debt collection efforts, sweepstakes notifications, tech support offers, and other phone and internet schemes. This event will help attendees to learn and recognize fraud and how to steer clear. ### ATTENTION NEWS/ASSIGNMENT EDITORS : Media coverage of this event is invited. Read more

 

Rabb Working For Probation & Parole Reforms

(Apr 04, 2019)

Pa. state Rep. Chris Rabb joined a bi-partisan group of legislators and advocates to call for reforms to the state's parole and probation laws. He explains why these changes are needed to help Pennsylvania move forward. Read more

 

Rabb sponsors resolution to censure disorderly members

(Apr 02, 2019)

HARRISBURG, April 2 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., today announced his resolution to amend the House rules to create a motion to censure. “All members of the House are here to serve based on the trust that has been given to us by the public and our constituents,” Rabb said. “If a member decides to act without any sense of common decency, it should fall upon all of us in the chamber to demand that order is maintained and a certain level of respect is shown when we are doing business in the People’s House. Rather than waiting for a committee, I want to put the power back in our hands so that we may act swiftly to condemn the words or actions of a fellow member when they choose to dishonor this institution.” Rabb’s resolution would create a motion to censure a member of the House that would require a two-thirds vote to be effective. Currently, to censure a disorderly member, a resolution must be introduced and sent to committee, which can take time or even be used to block a resolution. Rabb continued that although the motion should be taken very seriously, the power to censure should be exercised under the direct control of the House as a whole, not up to a committee. “By requiring a two-thirds vote, we can ensure that the motion is not used aimlessly, and we can now provide for immediate action of the House to enforce its own rules,” Rabb said. Rabb said he plans to push for passage of his resolution next Read more

 

Rabb to be Democratic vice chair of House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee

(Mar 29, 2019)

HARRISBURG, March 29 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., today announced his appointment as Democratic vice chair of the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee. “Agriculture is much more than just farming and putting seeds into the ground. More Pennsylvanians – especially who live in urban areas -- need to understand how important this industry is to our families, to our communities, to our metro areas, and to our state as a whole,” Rabb said. “We must invest more into urban agriculture and inform young people entering the workforce that agriculture offers a diversity of opportunity and isn’t just for rural residents. It can happen in Philadelphia, whether it’s creating a garden, a vertical farm, or working with a food co-op. “We should envision vacant lots as entrepreneurial opportunities for the betterment of communities and the people who live there. By doing so, we can help beautify our neighborhoods and eradicate food deserts that are so predominant throughout Philadelphia. Agricultural issues are also frequently bipartisan matters that can build bridges between rural and urban priorities,” Rabb said. In his role as vice chair, Rabb will be responsible for conducting committee meetings when the chairman is absent and support any subcommittees that may be created. “I am very pleased to have Representative Rabb serving as a vice chair on our committee,” said state Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, Read more

 

Pa. lawmaker plans bill to track police officers' records

(Mar 27, 2019)

The shooting death of Antwon Rose may be inspiring change across Pennsylvania. State Rep. Chris Rabb is pushing a bill that would make it harder for police officers to find jobs after getting fired. That's exactly what happened in the case of Michael Rosfeld, who was hired in East Pittsburgh after being let go by University of Pittsburgh police. Read more

 

PLBC condemns divisive invocation given in the House Chamber

(Mar 26, 2019)

Members from Philadelphia and of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus today condemned a divisive opening prayer delivered Monday in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Here’s a selection of quotes. Rep. Stephen Kinsey, PLBC chairman: “On a day that should have been celebrated, we found ourselves confused and mortified. The swearing-in of Representative Movita Johnson-Harrell as the first Muslim woman to ever serve in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives was overshadowed by the outrageous remarks made by the Republican member. This is disgusting behavior. I choose to celebrate the diversity of our caucus, and welcome Representative Johnson-Harrell with open, loving arms. I believe our Democratic Leader Frank Dermody said it best, ‘It was beneath the dignity of the House.’ There is no room for hate.” Rep. Donna Bullock, PLBC vice chairwoman: “It is unfortunate that prayer was used to intimidate and divide. As our state legislature becomes more diverse, as we elect more women, more people of color, and people of different faiths and experiences, our ability to work together for all Pennsylvanians will be tested. I pray that my colleagues come to understand that Pennsylvania's diversity is our strength, not the enemy.” Rep. Summer Lee, PLBC treasurer who represents a portion of Allegheny County: ”We want to foremost, recognize and celebrate the historic victory and swearing-in of Read more

 

Rabb seeks support for interdepartmental police hiring reform bill

(Mar 26, 2019)

HARRISBURG, March 26 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., today announced he is currently seeking co-sponsors for his forthcoming legislation that would crack down on police violence and misconduct by making it harder for “pariah police” to job-hop across Pennsylvania. Rabb’s circulation of the co-sponsorship memorandum comes in the wake of a not guilty verdict in the trial of Michael Rosfeld, the ex-East Pittsburgh cop charged with shooting and killing 17-year-old Antwon Rose II, who was unarmed. Rosfeld previously had been dismissed with cause from the Pittsburgh University Police Department a few months before joining the East Pittsburgh Police Department. “This officer’s knee-jerk reaction in this incident was illogical and tragically ended the life of a young black man. It could have been prevented had the officer’s previous transgressions been thoroughly investigated before he bounced from one police department to another,” Rabb said. “Police officers are supposed to be well trained to protect and serve in any given incident. The commonwealth must help ensure police departments secure as much relevant information as possible on anyone who is looking to join their ranks.” Rabb said his legislation, which is modeled after a similar law in Michigan, would require law enforcement agencies to keep detailed personnel records that include all criminal, civil and ethics substantiated complaints, as well as the Read more

 

Rabb, PennEnvironment speak about PA’s ‘F’ grade on plan to spend $118 million Volkswagen settlement, urge shift to green energy investments
Sep 17, 2019

Rabb announces $75,000 grant for Woodmere Art Museum outdoor recreation area, which will include sculpture garden, walking paths
Sep 17, 2019

Rabb introduces state-based slavery reparations bill on 400th anniversary of enslaved Africans arriving to North America
Aug 30, 2019

Rabb receives national recognition for his environmental leadership
Aug 07, 2019

Rabb says firing of officers involved in racist conduct is the ‘right thing to do’
Jul 18, 2019

Legislators ‘serve up’ support for minimum wage hike in Pa.
Jul 12, 2019

Wolf signs farm bill package with Rabb plan to encourage farming of hemp and other high-priority crops
Jul 01, 2019

Rabb crop grant program bill passes the House
Jun 18, 2019

Rabb crop grant program bill approved by House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee
Jun 06, 2019

Rabb calls for end to educational apartheid
May 17, 2019

Rabb leads lawmakers’ call to end the death penalty in Pa.
May 01, 2019

Rabb to host Drop & Roll Spring Shredding event
Apr 18, 2019

Rep. Rabb joins in ‘Zero Waste PA’ bill package to address single-use plastics, litter and a ‘throwaway’ society
Apr 10, 2019

Rabb to host scam, fraud and cyberbullying event
Apr 05, 2019

Rabb Working For Probation & Parole Reforms
Apr 04, 2019

Rabb sponsors resolution to censure disorderly members
Apr 02, 2019

Rabb to be Democratic vice chair of House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee
Mar 29, 2019

Pa. lawmaker plans bill to track police officers' records
Mar 27, 2019

PLBC condemns divisive invocation given in the House Chamber
Mar 26, 2019

Rabb seeks support for interdepartmental police hiring reform bill
Mar 26, 2019