Featured News

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

Rabb and others introduce legislation untangling real estate titles 

(May 13, 2022)

HARRISBURG, May 13 – State Reps. Chris Rabb, Donna Bullock and Joe Hohenstein, all D-Phila., introduced legislation that would untangle real estate titles. An unclear or “tangled” title occurs when a property deed bears the name of someone other than the apparent owner or occupant. This most commonly happens when the recorded owner dies and a relative inherits the property but fails to record a new deed. “A tangled title makes it difficult, if not impossible, to sell the property, take out a home equity loan, obtain homeowner’s insurance, or participate in local home repair programs,” Rabb said. “This increases the risk of a property’s deterioration and foreclosure, and resolving a tangled title can be tedious and expensive. With this legislation we want to fast track this process and make it easier for folks to deal with real estate titles. “ Rabb also stressed that this legislative package addresses the enduring racial wealth gap that plagues our nation due to the unnecessary loss of such family assets. “Making this process easier by untangling real estate titles will help Black families, who often are most harmed by this issue, hold onto these assets,” he said. Rabb plans on introducing two bills to address this issue: The first bill will establish the Unclear Title Grant Fund and appropriate $50,000,000 to provide grants to Read more

 

Rabb: Outdated State Laws Punish Innocent Pennsylvanians

(Apr 20, 2022)

As a consumer of legal medical cannabis himself, Pa. state Rep. Chris Rabb is working to ensure that innocent Pennsylvanians aren’t wrongfully prosecuted under current, outdated DUI laws. He shares this testimony from “Annie,” who asked to remain anonymous, because it echoes the concerns of many Pennsylvanians. As things stand, a legal user of medical cannabis can take a small amount of medicine and weeks later, with traces of cannabis still in their system, be subject to arrest on a DUI charge if pulled over by law enforcement —not because they’ve driven impaired, but because state laws haven’t caught up with the science. Read more

 

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

(Apr 13, 2022)

HARRISBURG, April 13 -- State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila, is advocating for formal acknowledgement of the extraordinary work of caregivers of Pennsylvania’s veterans through the Hidden Heroes campaign. “Many times, a veteran’s caregiver is a spouse, parent and other loved ones whose lives are transformed, their goals set aside, and they rearrange their lives to help the ones who sacrificed the most for us,” Rabb said. “We need to recognize that these women and men are heroes and sacrifice more than we currently understand.” The Hidden Heroes campaign is an initiative through the Elizabeth Dole Foundation that seeks to raise awareness of the struggles of these special caregivers. It also seeks to establish a national registry where veterans and their caregivers can access resources available to them. Read more

 

State Rep. Chris Rabb reappointed as chair of Equity Committee

(Apr 06, 2022)

HARRISBURG, April 6 -- State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., has been unanimously reappointed as the chair of the PA House Democratic Caucus Equity Committee. “I am honored to be reappointed chair of the Equity Committee,” Rabb said. “As elected officials, we should be examining all of our decisions through the lens of equity, from the words we use to the votes we cast and the legislation we draft. We need to think about what the outcome means for everyone, not just a select few.” Created by an amendment to the House Democratic Caucus bylaws in 2018, the Equity Committee evaluates and makes recommendations regarding social equity issues related to policy, membership, personnel, legal, procurement, communications and appropriations. “The Diversity and Inclusion Council’s Advisory Board unanimously reappointed Representative Rabb as the primary advisor for the council,” Indira Ridgeway, chair of the Diversity and Inclusion council, said. “The council is very excited to work with him and the board to provide programing to the caucus that highlights diversity in cultures, generations and identities.” Read more

 

State Rep. Chris Rabb introduces bill that would modernize candidacy requirements for special elections

(Apr 05, 2022)

HARRISBURG, April 5 -- State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., is again seeking support for legislation that would seek to remedy structural flaws in the nomination process for special elections, notoriously known for low voter turnouts. According to Rabb, the requirement for candidates to adhere to their political party’s process impedes prospective candidates from attempting to run in special elections. Originally introduced during his first term in office, the bill would standardize the nomination process by requiring people interested in becoming a candidate in a special election to: • File their candidacy with the political party within each county of the legislative district. • Pay a $250 filing fee. • Prepare, or opt-out of preparing, a short video announcing their candidacy, which would be posted on the website of the PA Department of State and the county party with which candidate is affiliated. “This legislation would establish transparency, accountability and inclusivity in the special election process,” Rabb said. The legislation will also require political parties to publicize and hold a meeting accessible to any eligible voter in the special election whether in person or remotely, with the majority of eligible committee people present, to consider each individual who seeks consideration as a candidate in a special election. Read more

 

State Rep. Chris Rabb introduces legislation to protect consumers against predatory rent-to-own companies

(Mar 31, 2022)

HARRISBURG, March 31 -- State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila, introduced legislation that would ensure protections for low-income consumers from becoming victims of predatory and abusive rent-to-own contracts with corporate chains who use the criminal court system as retribution. Rent-to-own companies often resort to using the taxpayer-subsidized criminal court system in lieu of a collection agency to recover money from low-income individuals who can no longer afford to make payments and who are unable to cover the costs of effective legal counsel, according to Rabb. Rabb said by resorting to using criminal courts to threaten individuals who are struggling to make payments, “the RTO industry is contributing to the criminalization of poor people. It’s leading to a revival of the long abolished ‘debtor’s prisons.’” “There is no reason to permit this predatory practice and make consumers pay more than what is owed and more than they can afford,” Rabb said. “It’s time we stop making the poor pay more and protect them from abusive RTO contracts.” This legislation would make sure these predatory practices would be prohibited. Read more

 

State Rep. Chris Rabb to introduce legislation allowing for electronic petitioning for candidates

(Mar 29, 2022)

HARRISBURG, March 29 -- State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila, plans to introduce legislation that would allow candidates for elective office to collect signatures needed for their nomination petitions electronically versus solely by handwritten signatures. This legislation would triple the number of signatures required to run for any office and would require political candidates to collect at least five signatures in every subdivision of a district. It also would direct the secretary of the commonwealth to create an internet portal for qualified voters to access and sign a nomination petition for a candidate in all state, federal and local offices. “This legislation would bring our nomination process into the 21st century,” Rabb said. “It would modernize and much improve the candidate petitioning process for candidates, voters and government employees while promoting a more efficient, cost-effective and equitable way of encouraging civic engagement.” March 28 was the last day to circulate and file petitions for the May 17 primary election. Read more

 

State Rep. Chris Rabb applauds decision to adjust minimum wage for tipped workers

(Mar 24, 2022)

HARRISBURG, March 24 -- State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila, applauds the decision to adjust the wage threshold to more than quadruple what far too many hardworking people across Pennsylvania earn as tipped workers. Under this new rule, adopted unanimously by the Independent Regulatory Review Commission on Monday, tipped workers can only be paid below minimum wage if they make over $135 per month in tips — a threshold which used to be just $30. “I stand in solidarity with the tens of thousands of people earning a poverty wage of $2.83 per hour — far below the state minimum wage of $7.25 per hour — which too is an unacceptably low wage floor,” Rabb said. “Nobody should work full time and still live in poverty while billionaires expand their wealth at a record pace during this pandemic.” Rabb has introduced legislation that would protect vulnerable members of the workforce. HB 15 would increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour indexed to inflation, strengthen worker protections against wage theft and expand eligibility to classes of workers originally excluded from the federal law enacted in 1938 that created the minimum wage. These marginalized workers include incarcerated workers, gig workers and workers with intellectual disabilities. Rabb has also recently circulated a resolution to conduct a cost/benefit analysis for employer incentives relating to instituting a four-day workweek. Read more

 

State Rep. Chris Rabb introduces bill to study benefits of a four-day work week

(Mar 21, 2022)

HARRISBURG, March 21 -- State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila, has introduced a legislation that would task the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of moving commonwealth employees to a four-day work week. Many companies around the globe have started pilot programs concerning a four-day work week and the results have been promising. There are reports of better work/life balance, higher morale among employees and less spending on child care, Rabb said. “One hundred years ago, When the five-day work week was granted to us by labor activists who fought to not work their lives away it was considered a huge victory,” Rabb said. “Now times have changed; we have different family dynamics that changed our ability to work a five-day work week and it’s time we help give people their most precious commodity back – their time. Because everyone deserves to work to live and not live to work.” Rabb added that elected officials owe it to taxpayers to explore any cost-saving measures that can enhance state government’s efficacy, while still providing the level of service they both need and deserve. Read more

 

State Rep. Chris Rabb’s statement on the Fair Funding Trial

(Mar 10, 2022)

HARRISBURG, March 10 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila, said he stands in solidarity with the Education Law Center, the Basic Education Funding Commission and all plaintiffs in the historic school funding lawsuit currently taking place in the commonwealth. In 2015, the BEFC made a recommendation for a new formula to fund public schools in Pennsylvania. “The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has a duty, enshrined in our state’s constitution, that it must provide an adequately supported education system in which all children have access to a fairly funded and well-supported education – no matter race, class or Zip code,” Rabb said. “We must adhere to the BEFC’s bipartisan recommendation to utilize a fair funding formula immediately.” Rabb has long been a strong proponent for fair funding in public schools and has introduced legislation that would require 100% of state funds be distributed through the fair funding formula. Additionally, the legislation would also expand the duties of the BEFC to ensure the commission also consider ways to provide for school funding that is adequate, equitable and fair. The commission would also make recommendations for ways to increase funding in an upcoming 2022 study. Read more

 

Now open for applications: Student mental health and wildlife funding opportunities

(Mar 07, 2022)

STATE PROGRAMS NOW OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS: Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency: Support for Student Mental Health Needs Program (Funding Source: General Fund) Who May Apply : Nonprofit organizations, school districts, and other school entities. Use : To propose programming and other services to address youth mental health needs that have become apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds : Grants up to $150,000. Application Deadline : March 28, 2022 More Information : Click on https://egrants.pccd.pa.gov/Public/OpenAnnouncements.aspx . Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency: 2022 Resource Center for Prevention Program (Funding Source: General Fund) Who May Apply : Any institution of higher education, nonprofit agency, or for-profit organization. Use : To support Pennsylvania’s Resource Center for Evidence-based Prevention and Intervention Programs and Practices (Resource Center). Funds : One award of $945,000. Application Deadline : April 4, 2022 More Information : Click on https://egrants.pccd.pa.gov/Public/OpenAnnouncements.aspx . Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission: State Wildlife Grant Program (Funding Source: Federal Funding) Who May Apply : Any agency, organization, or entity desiring to participate in the planning or Read more

 

Policy Hearing: Supporting Local Agriculture

(Mar 02, 2022)

The House Democratic Policy Committee held a hearing today in Harrisburg that examined the state of local agriculture, how the legislature can support it, and how it can help address food deserts. Read more

 

Sims, Rabb propose bill to reform act to financially assist injured law enforcement officers

(Mar 02, 2022)

HARRISBURG, March 2 – State Reps. Brian Sims and Chris Rabb, both D-Phila., have proposed a bill that would reform the state law that financially assists injured law enforcement officers. Heart and Lung Act benefits are meant to provide financial security for police officers and other emergency personnel if an injury prevents them from working. If a law enforcement officer is receiving benefits unfairly or abusing the system, they are taking money from the taxpayers, their fellow police officers, and adding to a distrust of law enforcement. The legislators pointed out a recent Philadelphia Inquirer exposé that shed light on a much-needed reform in the ranks of Pennsylvania law enforcement. This article demonstrated that the number of Philadelphia police officers out of duty on injury claims has doubled in the last few years. The article later detailed how some of these injured officers hold down second jobs, play on travel softball teams, and engage in other physically strenuous activities, all-the-while being too injured to return to police work. “We must act in order to guarantee that these benefits are reserved for those who are injured or disabled and genuinely need them,” said Sims. “As public servants, we have a responsibility to ensure that the public’s money is being spent in a transparent, responsible, and effective manner, especially when it comes to the safety of our citizens.” “If law Read more

 

State Rep. Chris Rabb holds press briefing on medical cannabis legislation

(Feb 24, 2022)

State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., held a press briefing today in conjunction with Americans for Safe Access, a group that promotes medical cannabis education and reform. Even though medical cannabis has been legal in Pennsylvania since 2016, Americans for Safe Access’ State of the States report graded the commonwealth a “C” and detailed how the state’s program could be improved across an array of key categories. Rabb said medical cannabis patients need protections so they can consume their prescribed medication without fear of retribution. He has introduced several pieces of cannabis-related legislation, including three bills that would seek to rectify these issues. Employee Protections for Medical Cannabis Patients would prohibit an employee from being terminated due to failing a drug test for medically prescribed cannabis. Pennsylvania employees should not have to worry about losing their employment due to consumption of their prescribed medical cannabis. The Tenant Protections for Medical Cannabis Patients legislation would protect patients from being evicted for possessing and consuming their prescribed medication. Another piece of legislation would remove DUI penalties for medical cannabis patients. The 34 states that permit some degree of cannabis use -- except Pennsylvania, which has a no tolerance policy -- have updated their DUI laws to protect medical Read more

 

State Rep. Chris Rabb to reintroduce the Fair Share Tax Plan

(Feb 14, 2022)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 14 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila, has co-sponsored legislation with state Reps. Elizabeth Fiedler and Rick Krajewski, both D-Phila, and Sara Innamorato and Summer Lee, both D-Allegheny, to reintroduce the Fair Share Tax Plan. The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy found that the most financially sound citizens pay the least in taxes – while Pennsylvania’s tax system continues to burden financially vulnerable citizens. This legislation would raise $2.8 billion in new tax revenue by doing two things: decreasing the personal income tax on wages to 2.8% from 3.07% and increasing to 6.5% the income tax on passive income from things like net profits, dividends, net gains derived from rents, royalties, patents and copyrights, gambling and lottery winnings and net gains derived through estates and trust. “This bill is vital to struggling Pennsylvania workers who pay a ridiculously high tax rate compared to their more well-off counterparts,” Rabb said. “This legislation would make taxation equitable and fair in Pennsylvania and improve Pennsylvanian’s quality of living.” As a result of this bill, 85% of Pennsylvanians would see a decrease or no change in their taxes. Read more

 

State Rep. Chris Rabb holds dedication ceremony for renaming of Allens Lane

(Feb 14, 2022)

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 14 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila, held a dedication ceremony at Allens Lane to commemorate the memory of Richard Allen. Rabb said Allens Lane was originally named after William Allen, the 26 th Mayor of Philadelphia. But Allen was an enslaver and a British loyalist who was condemned in his own lifetime by abolitionists for his stance in favor of the continued enslavement of Black people. City Council passed a resolution to redirect the street name to honor Richard Allen. Councilmember Cindy Bass, D-Phila, introduced the resolution, under the behest of Rabb. Rabb said Richard Allen was a man of integrity who fought endlessly for racial justice and equality. Born into slavery, he bought his freedom for $2,000 from his enslaver, Benjamin Chew, the namesake of Chew Avenue. Active in his faith community, he led a walk-out from St. George’s Episcopal Church because Black worshippers we’re relegated to the back pews. Allen went on to co-found the Free African Society and the African Methodist Episcopal Church where he become a bishop. It was the first national Black church denomination in the United States. “When we take time to research our history, it gives us a chance to reflect and correct choices made with the inclusion or consideration of a diversity of stakeholders,” Rabb said. “We must closely examine the history we choose to memorialize and honor, especially Read more

 

State Rep. Chris Rabb’s statement on the Washington Commanders name change

(Feb 04, 2022)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 4 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila, hopes the long-awaited change of the Washington NFL team name will inspire Pennsylvania public schools to do the same statewide. “There are two schools in our commonwealth that still embrace the same team’s name once long connected to the NFL team in Washington whose origin is literally rooted in white supremacist-based, government-funded bounties for the killing and mutilation of indigenous peoples. Still, there are over 60 other school names that include ‘Indians’, ‘braves’, ‘chiefs’, ‘raiders’ and ‘warriors.’” Rabb has forthcoming legislation that would ban public schools from using Native mascots and prohibits any entity operating in Pennsylvania from infringing on the rightful intellectual property of Native peoples. “We know the proven trauma inflicted on Native youth when their culture and history is reduced to caricatures,” Rabb said. “Yet, when indigenous peoples and students of various backgrounds speak up to denounce these mascots -they are confronted with racist taunts and threats, we know that apologists for these team names value convenience and privileged nostalgia over concern for those closest to the pain.” Rabb said he has received calls and emails from students across the commonwealth who are dealing with bullying, taunting, Read more

 

Rabb: Full and Fair Education Funding Now

(Feb 04, 2022)

Pa. state Rep. Chris Rabb has been fighting for fair and equitable education funding since taking office in 2017. The pandemic further exposed and exacerbated the need for investments in school infrastructure. He anticipates that Gov. Tom Wolf's budget proposal for 2022-23 will include the Governor's full support of full and fair funding of Pa. schools. He says that fair education funding is not just an issue that needs to be addressed in his district or Philadelphia, but across the state. Read more

 

State Rep. Chris Rabb to introduce resolution making Feb. 3 Emancipation Day, a state holiday

(Feb 03, 2022)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 3 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila, introduced a resolution to make Feb. 3 Emancipation Day, an official state holiday. PA Legislative Black Caucus Chair State Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila, is the co-prime sponsor of the bill. The holiday would celebrate the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s ratification of the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery in America – changing the lives of African Americans within and beyond Pennsylvania forever. While Pennsylvania was one of the first states to vote to ratify the amendment in 1865, too often we forget that slavery was not completely abolished until the 13th Amendment was ratified. Our state’s complicity in slavery and subjugation of Black people was long and troubled despite consistent dissent from a multiracial group of abolitionists for centuries, starting with the Germantown Quaker Petition in Philadelphia in 1688, the first formal protest chattel slavery by a religious order in the English colonies. “I believe in celebrating parts of our history that honor true liberty and justice, but only in context,” Rabb said. “While the 13th Amendment abolished slavery – we cannot forget that it would be another century before African Americans even had a semblance of equality.” Rabb said the resolution honors the fruit of the collective labor of Black Pennsylvanians and their allies in the cause of freedom and racial equity who fought for generations Read more

 

Rabb to introduce bill that would cut at heart of Commonwealth’s illegal drug trade

(Jan 26, 2022)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 26 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila, is planning to introduce legislation with co-prime sponsor state Rep. Emily Kinkead, D-Allegheny, that would amend the state’s current Drug Delivery Resulting in Death statute. Rabb and Kinkead both serve on the PA House Judiciary Committee. One bill would eliminate criminal prosecution of friends, family members and intimate partners who share drugs that result in a fatal overdose while focusing criminal liability on people who commercially sell illegal drugs. “Substance use should be recognized for what it is – a health issue – not a criminal justice issue,” Rabb said. “This bill would arrest and convict the real criminals instead of villainizing people who are battling with an illness.” A second bill would require the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing to conduct a study regarding how the Drug Delivery Resulting in Death statute is affecting communities and individuals. Read more

 

Rabb and others introduce legislation untangling real estate titles 
May 13, 2022

Rabb: Outdated State Laws Punish Innocent Pennsylvanians
Apr 20, 2022

State Rep. Chris Rabb to introduce resolution that would designate Pennsylvania as a Hidden Heroes state
Apr 13, 2022

State Rep. Chris Rabb reappointed as chair of Equity Committee
Apr 06, 2022

State Rep. Chris Rabb introduces bill that would modernize candidacy requirements for special elections
Apr 05, 2022

State Rep. Chris Rabb introduces legislation to protect consumers against predatory rent-to-own companies
Mar 31, 2022

State Rep. Chris Rabb to introduce legislation allowing for electronic petitioning for candidates
Mar 29, 2022

State Rep. Chris Rabb applauds decision to adjust minimum wage for tipped workers
Mar 24, 2022

State Rep. Chris Rabb introduces bill to study benefits of a four-day work week
Mar 21, 2022

State Rep. Chris Rabb’s statement on the Fair Funding Trial
Mar 10, 2022

Now open for applications: Student mental health and wildlife funding opportunities
Mar 07, 2022

Policy Hearing: Supporting Local Agriculture
Mar 02, 2022

Sims, Rabb propose bill to reform act to financially assist injured law enforcement officers
Mar 02, 2022

State Rep. Chris Rabb holds press briefing on medical cannabis legislation
Feb 24, 2022

State Rep. Chris Rabb to reintroduce the Fair Share Tax Plan
Feb 14, 2022

State Rep. Chris Rabb holds dedication ceremony for renaming of Allens Lane
Feb 14, 2022

State Rep. Chris Rabb’s statement on the Washington Commanders name change
Feb 04, 2022

Rabb: Full and Fair Education Funding Now
Feb 04, 2022

State Rep. Chris Rabb to introduce resolution making Feb. 3 Emancipation Day, a state holiday
Feb 03, 2022

Rabb to introduce bill that would cut at heart of Commonwealth’s illegal drug trade
Jan 26, 2022