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

Rabb: Agrivoltaics Could Bring Economic Relief to Struggling Farmers

(Nov 15, 2023)

PA state Rep. Chris Rabb explains the importance of his resolution to study the efficacy of helping farmers to install solar panels on their farmland. Agrivoltaics is the coexistence of solar and traditional farms occupying the same space and Rabb says it could bring the economic boost farmers need to survive today’s challenging economy. Read more

 

Rabb: Why PA Needs Emancipation Day

(Nov 15, 2023)

Though PA played a pivotal role in the abolition of slavery, state Rep. Chris Rabb explains that the path to freedom in the commonwealth was a long and often unfair journey. Rabb’s legislation would establish a new holiday called Emancipation Day, a day to acknowledge the ongoing struggle for Black liberation in a society that continues to impose barriers to their advancement. Read more

 

Rabb resolution to study agrivoltaic farming approved by PA House Local Government Committee

(Nov 15, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 15 – A resolution ( H.R. 224 ) introduced by state Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., commissioning a study on agrivoltaic farming was approved with bipartisan support by the Pennsylvania House Local Government Committee today. The resolution would direct the Joint State Government Commission to conduct a study on what benefits agrivoltaic farming, which allows for dual use of the same land to farm and to collect solar energy, could offer Pennsylvania and what opportunities exist for agrivoltaic farming to expand in Pennsylvania. Established in 1937, the Joint State Government Commission is the primary non-partisan research organization serving our state legislature, providing lawmakers with a readily available mechanism for conducting interdisciplinary research and analysis that can inform robust, evidence-based legislation. “My hope is that this resolution passes by year’s end,” Rabb said. “This prospective study can lead to a bipartisan bill that will bring agrivoltaics to Pennsylvania to help struggling family farmers and preserve farmland while incentivizing clean energy projects to create more green collar jobs and promote environmental resiliency across our commonwealth.” Read more

 

Rabb Fights for Reproductive Rights

(Nov 14, 2023)

Looking back on PA’s history as a refuge for people fleeing slavery in other states, state Rep. Chris Rabb explains why he is in favor of legislation that would protect the reproductive rights of women and the medical professionals providing treatment. Read more

 

Rabb highlights voting and electoral reform legislation prior to Tuesday’s municipal elections

(Nov 06, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 6 – On the eve of tomorrow’s municipal election, state Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., is highlighting multiple election-related bills that would make Pennsylvania’s election process fairer and function better while expanding and strengthening voting rights. “Tomorrow’s election will have large implications for Pennsylvanians both locally and across the commonwealth,” Rabb said. “And that’s why it’s important that we optimize our system to engage every eligible voter, especially our young people, who so frequently don’t or can’t make their voices heard.” Rabb introduced three pieces of legislation that would improve youth voting and civic engagement by allowing 16- and 17-year-old individuals to pre-register to vote, requiring the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to notify eligible individuals of their opportunity to preregister to vote when applying for a driver’s license or an identification card, establishing same-day voter registration, prohibiting rejection of a ballot based solely on signature analysis and removing the 15-day deadline to register to vote; providing for voter registration in high schools and comprehensive civics and voting rights education, including completion of a civics issue-based capstone research project; and lowering the voting age to 16 years old. “Voting is a civil right Read more

 

Rabb highlights legislation for Indigenous Peoples' Heritage Month

(Nov 02, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 2 – In celebration of Indigenous Peoples' Heritage Month, state Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., is highlighting a series of wide-ranging legislation focused on honoring Native American culture and history while protecting the rights of Indigenous peoples. In 2021, Rabb authored a resolution that would have amended the rules of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to include a formal land acknowledgment at the beginning of each legislative week. He will be reintroducing the resolution this session. “Symbolism matters -- particularly when it’s tethered to substantive action around land back measures and other related matters. That’s why rhetoric must be followed by redress,” Rabb said. Rabb recently reintroduced legislation to protect Native American trademarks by preventing the use of Pennsylvania state intellectual property by non-Native American groups to claim Native American patterns and tribal names as well as other cultural heritage and intellectual property. He also is drafting legislation that would establish an independent, autonomous commission on indigenous affairs that has the budget and authority to work with the commonwealth on programs and funding opportunities to address policy concerns, sovereignty issues and land back initiatives. More than 60 schools across Pennsylvania still utilize derogatory Native mascots Read more

 

Rabb, others celebrate passage in committee of bill repealing Pennsylvania’s death penalty

(Nov 01, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 1 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., and advocates held a news conference Tuesday to celebrate the successful bipartisan approval of his bill in the PA House Judiciary Committee that would repeal Pennsylvania’s death penalty. The action marked the first time in nearly 25 years that such legislation has been voted on in the Pennsylvania General Assembly. In 2019, Rabb held a similar news conference featuring two death row exonerees, Jimmy Dennis and Kirk Bloodsworth , when the then-majority chair of the Judiciary Committee in the PA House refused to take up this bill and when Republicans held what would be a 12-year majority, which ended earlier this year. Rabb has reintroduced legislation ( H.B. 999 ) that would repeal the state’s death penalty four times since taking office in 2017. His call to action comes after Gov. Josh Shapiro announced upon taking office that he would not issue any execution warrants during his term. “One innocent life taken at the hands of the state is one too many . The fact that the state has put even one innocent person to death is simply egregious,” Rabb said. “Furthermore, the appeals process when a person is sentenced to death is long and costly, lasting decades and often resulting in their death via old age rather than lethal injection. “The risks are grave and the injustices Read more

 

Rabb Continues Fight to Repeal PA’s Death Penalty

(Oct 31, 2023)

PA state Rep. Chris Rabb joined his House Democratic Caucus colleagues and advocates to celebrate the advancement of his legislation that would eliminate the death penalty in PA. Rabb says our justice system is simply too fallible and the benefits too small to continue this practice. Read more

 

Bills to improve voting access for incarcerated individuals draw support from lawmakers, advocates

(Oct 19, 2023)

“Having people closest to the pain informed the policy — that will allow for justice for all,” Rabb said. Read more

 

Rabb announces Fair Share Tax Plan legislation

(Oct 19, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 19 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., announced today that he is preparing to introduce legislation ( H.B. 1773 ) that would establish a fair share tax plan in Pennsylvania, changing the state’s longstanding regressive income tax. According to a 2019 report from the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, 20% of families with the lowest incomes pay roughly 14% of their income on state and local taxes, while those in the top 1% only pay 6%. “It’s truly absurd that the bottom 60% of income earners are, on average, paying nearly double the tax rate of what the richest Pennsylvanians pay,” Rabb said. “This legislation will not only make the tax system fairer, but it will help to reduce the overall budget deficit and raise $6.22 billion in new tax revenue. That’s a win-win-win.” Rabb said the legislation would reduce the state income tax on wages and interest to 1.9% and increase the tax on passive income to 12%, raising $6.22 billion in new revenue. “We have an opportunity to take Pennsylvania’s upside-down tax structure and turn it right side up,” Rabb said. “Everyone should pay their fair share.” Read more

 

Rabb Fights for Justice, Ballots for Incarcerated in Pa.

(Oct 18, 2023)

Pa. state Rep. Chris Rabb speaks on the importance of making sure ALL Pennsylvanians who are eligible to vote are informed of and afforded that opportunity. Read more

 

My Statement on the Conflict in the Middle East

(Oct 18, 2023)

I grieve the loss of lives in Israel and Palestine. I condemn Hamas’s brutal attack on October 7th, which killed more than 1,300 Israelis — including at least 40 Arabs — and injured thousands more. I call for the release of the more than 200 civilian hostages taken back into Gaza and Palestinian political prisoners. I also grieve the thousands of Palestinians in Gaza, including hundreds of children, who have been killed by Israeli bombs since then. It is never acceptable to cause the deaths of civilians. All human life is sacred. We need to find another way to resolve this crisis. I stand in solidarity with my Jewish, Muslim and Arab siblings here and abroad who oppose the slaughter of civilians. If we are ever to end this generations-long cycle of violence, let us do so in good faith by addressing the root causes of this conflict, and ensure that both Israelis and Palestinians can live in peace and security. I join my colleagues in Congress who have called for immediate de-escalation, ceasefire, adherence to International Humanitarian Law and humanitarian aid to Palestine commensurate with the devastation wrought upon Gaza. May our quest for enduring peace and justice prevail. Read more

 

Open primaries legislation voted out of House State Government Committee

(Oct 17, 2023)

Legislation to open Pennsylvania’s primaries, authored by state Reps. Jared Solomon and Chris Rabb, both D-Phila., was today voted out of the House State Government Committee. Pennsylvania has a closed primary system, meaning that only voters registered with a given party can vote in that party’s primary election. Voters who are unaffiliated are prohibited from voting in a primary election. Solomon said today’s vote is a step forward to embracing over 1.2 million disenfranchised voters in Pennsylvania, who are currently unaffiliated with any political party. “Open primaries would give these voters a voice,” Solomon said. “By disenfranchising these voters, we are losing a good opportunity to hear new ideas and fresh perspectives.” “I look forward to working with my House and Senate colleagues to ensure that everyone has a voice in our elections,” Solomon continued. “There should be no second-class among Pennsylvania’s electorate,” said state Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., and co-sponsor of the bill. “Over 1 million voters are unduly disenfranchised in our state because they have chosen to exercise their right to remain unaffiliated with our restrictive political duopoly.” “I’m very pleased with the first step taken today and the committee’s agreement to move this legislation forward,” said state Rep. Marla Brown, R-Lawrence. “I Read more

 

Rabb Holds Annual Grown Folks Fall Festival

(Oct 16, 2023)

Pa. state Rep. Chris Rabb welcomed grown and not-entirely grown folks alike to his annual Grown Folks Fall Festival. Rabb says community is what matters and events like this play a vital role in bringing people together. This year’s event featured live music, a DJ, free food, as well as health, government, and nonprofit organizations providing valuable information and resources. Read more

 

Rabb highlights Native-centered legislation in honor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day

(Oct 06, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 6 – In honor of the upcoming Indigenous Peoples’ Day on Monday, state Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., is highlighting a series of wide-ranging legislation focused on honoring Native American culture and history while protecting the rights of Indigenous peoples. In 2021, Rabb authored a resolution that would have amended the rules of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to include a formal land acknowledgment at the beginning of each legislative week. He has reintroduced the resolution this session. “Symbolism matters — particularly when it’s tethered to substantive action. That’s why rhetoric must be followed by redress,” Rabb said. Rabb recently reintroduced legislation to protect Native American trademarks by preventing the use of Pennsylvania state trademarks by non-Native American groups to claim Native American patterns and tribal names as well as other cultural heritage and intellectual property. He is also drafting legislation that would establish an independent, autonomous commission on indigenous affairs that has the budget and authority to work with the commonwealth on programs and funding opportunities that address policy concerns, sovereignty issues and land back initiatives. More than 60 schools across Pennsylvania still utilize derogatory Native mascots. Despite calls from advocacy groups like the National Read more

 

Rabb’s legislation to fix police misconduct loophole adopted by Judiciary Committee

(Oct 05, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 5 – Legislation ( H.B. 1531 ) introduced by state Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., that would strengthen Pennsylvania’s interdepartmental law enforcement misconduct database was adopted by the PA House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. “This closes the major loophole in state law, which allows the majority of bad actors with the worst records of serious misconduct to be hired without the prior knowledge of municipal or county government officials or the public at large, who they are sworn to protect and serve,” Rabb said. The legislation was drafted with the input of law enforcement and experts in the field. “This is a critical opportunity for the legislature to finish the work of substantive police accountability and community safety — particularly in rural and suburban areas where bad actors are most likely to sneak onto police forces,” he said. The bill would update the police misconduct database statute enacted in 2020 by enhancing transparency, accountability and compliance measures. Rabb is serving his third term as a member of the Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee, having taken office in 2017. His original bill in 2018 was the blueprint for what became Act 57 of 2020 . Read more

 

Rabb’s Police Accountability Bill Approved in Committee

(Oct 03, 2023)

Pa. state Rep. Chris Rabb’s Police Accountability bill is one step closer to becoming law.Rabb says HB 1531 will help law enforcement agencies hire the right people for the job & better filter out those applicants with a history of serious, documented misconduct. That was the goal of the bill he introduced in 2018, a version of which became law in 2020. That statute — Act 57 of 2020 — has been highly successful in keeping problematic applicants from getting new jobs in law enforcement elsewhere in the state. His new bill (HB 1531) would build on that solid foundation by assuring compliance by all law enforcement agencies while increasing transparency of the hiring process for the benefit of local officials and the public at-large. Read more

 

Rabb highlights legislative remedy on International Wrongful Conviction Day

(Oct 02, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 2 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., is reemphasizing the importance of compensating people wrongfully convicted on International Wrongful Conviction Day. “Today marks the 10 th annual International Wrongful Conviction Day,” Rabb said. “It is a day to remember Pennsylvanians who have suffered at the hands of an unjust criminal legal system, and to reaffirm our commitment to compensating exonerees.” Rabb has reintroduced legislation (H.B. 987) that would help exonerees re-enter society by: Providing monetary compensation to those wrongfully convicted and those wrongfully imprisoned. Providing additional monetary compensation to those wrongfully placed on the state sex offenders registry, on parole or on death row. Establishing a mechanism for additional supports including education, housing, and reasonable reintegrative mental and physical health services. Rabb said he has sought feedback from an array of exonerees to improve his legislation, thereby ensuring a fair and well-guided process from input from experts closest to the pain. “My legislation would do something that should have happened a long time ago: providing compensation and other resources to those who should have never been convicted,” Rabb said. “It’s time the state atones for the consequential Read more

 

PLBC, PLLC say criminal justice system failed Irizarry family; encouraged by charges being refiled

(Sep 26, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 26 – Members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus and Pennsylvania Latino Caucus said they are disappointed to learn that a Philadelphia judge on Tuesday dismissed all charges against former police officer Mark Dial for his involvement in the shooting death of Eddie Irizarry last month but are encouraged to see that charges have been re-filed by the District Attorney’s office. “Yet again, another crime victim, another child, another sibling, another human being let down by our criminal justice system. It is our duty to stand together and demand justice for the family of Eddie Irizarry; they deserve nothing less,” said state Rep. Danilo Burgos, D-Phila., chair of the Pennsylvania Legislative Latino Caucus. “We are deeply disappointed by this decision. Dial, a former police officer, fired his gun six times at close range. The fact that all charges were dropped is enraging. We demand accountability and transparency in this process. This is not a closed case,” said state Rep. Jose Giral, D-Phila., who represents the district where the killing occurred. “We keep talking about the wrongful use of deadly force by the police, and this is an unfortunate example of that. We are on the victim’s family’s side; we are on the side of justice.” “Make no mistake, we are not surprised by this failure to deliver justice to the Irizarry family. Read more

 

Rabb announces legislation amending CHRIA to ensure public health transparency

(Sep 22, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 22 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., today announced that he has drafted legislation ( H.B. 1704 ) that would amend the Criminal History Record Information Act to ensure disclosure of public health and community safety risks. Public health reports from 2016 and 2023 revealed that there is an extensive list of contaminants in the Dimock water supply in Pennsylvania. However, CHRIA prohibits the Office of Attorney General from disclosing the results of its independent report analyzing the Dimock water supply. This legislation would provide exceptions for CHRIA that allow the public to be notified of public health and community safety risks and would require the Office of Environmental Justice to investigate information pertaining to potential or prospective harm to public health. Should the Office of Environmental Justice find there is a public health risk, it would be required to provide a notice on its publicly accessible website, which would state there is a public health risk and include a summary of the public health risk. “The public has a right to information regarding potential health hazards,” Rabb said. “We cannot allow polluters to pollute our environment anywhere across our commonwealth under the veil of benign government bureaucracy.” Rabb is a founding member of the Pennsylvania Climate Caucus and serves on the board of the National Caucus of Read more

 

Rabb: Agrivoltaics Could Bring Economic Relief to Struggling Farmers
Nov 15, 2023

Rabb: Why PA Needs Emancipation Day
Nov 15, 2023

Rabb resolution to study agrivoltaic farming approved by PA House Local Government Committee
Nov 15, 2023

Rabb Fights for Reproductive Rights
Nov 14, 2023

Rabb highlights voting and electoral reform legislation prior to Tuesday’s municipal elections
Nov 06, 2023

Rabb highlights legislation for Indigenous Peoples' Heritage Month
Nov 02, 2023

Rabb, others celebrate passage in committee of bill repealing Pennsylvania’s death penalty
Nov 01, 2023

Rabb Continues Fight to Repeal PA’s Death Penalty
Oct 31, 2023

Bills to improve voting access for incarcerated individuals draw support from lawmakers, advocates
Oct 19, 2023

Rabb announces Fair Share Tax Plan legislation
Oct 19, 2023

Rabb Fights for Justice, Ballots for Incarcerated in Pa.
Oct 18, 2023

My Statement on the Conflict in the Middle East
Oct 18, 2023

Open primaries legislation voted out of House State Government Committee
Oct 17, 2023

Rabb Holds Annual Grown Folks Fall Festival
Oct 16, 2023

Rabb highlights Native-centered legislation in honor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day
Oct 06, 2023

Rabb’s legislation to fix police misconduct loophole adopted by Judiciary Committee
Oct 05, 2023

Rabb’s Police Accountability Bill Approved in Committee
Oct 03, 2023

Rabb highlights legislative remedy on International Wrongful Conviction Day
Oct 02, 2023

PLBC, PLLC say criminal justice system failed Irizarry family; encouraged by charges being refiled
Sep 26, 2023

Rabb announces legislation amending CHRIA to ensure public health transparency
Sep 22, 2023