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

Open Primaries Would Strengthen Democracy in Pa.

(Sep 22, 2023)

Prestigious newspaper editorial boards, Pennsylvania’s past five governors and more have voiced their support for open primaries. As representatives of the people of Pennsylvania, we must ensure everyone’s voice is heard.We hope our colleagues in the General Assembly will realize that bringing more people into the electoral system ensures faith in the democratic process. Read more

 

Support rises for Rabb and Solomon’s open primary legislation

(Sep 14, 2023)

Support continues to grow for voting access legislation authored by state Reps. Jared Solomon and Chris Rabb, both D-Phila. Philadelphia’s prestigious newspaper of record, The Philadelphia Inquirer, recently endorsed their bill to bring more voters into Pennsylvania’s election process. Rabb and Solomon said that the fastest growing group of voters in Pennsylvania are unaffiliated voters. Their proposed legislation would open primary elections to unaffiliated voters, which make up more than one million voters in Pennsylvania. “As a strong and established advocate of voters’ rights, I don’t believe there should be any one disenfranchised or a so-called second class of voters,” Rabb said. “Independent voters have a right to cast their ballot and be a part of the democratic process.” Solomon reiterated, “Opening the closed primary system in Pennsylvania would allow over one million more people to participate in the democratic process. An open primary system would go a long way to create more civic engagement, introduce fresh ideas and promote a healthy democracy.” Due to bipartisan support across the state, demonstrated in polling data, Rabb and Solomon are calling on the House State Government Committee to call this bill for a vote and move the bill to the House floor. According to Rabb and Solomon, 30 states have chosen to include unaffiliated voters in their primary elections, allowing voters who Read more

 

Rabb announces legislation to establish Incarcerated People’s Benefit Fund

(Sep 07, 2023)

“It is our duty as legislators to secure fair treatment for all Pennsylvanians — regardless of circumstance,” Rabb said. “We must act with compassion and ensure that justice-involved individuals receive the rehabilitation and resources necessary to successfully reenter their communities.” Read more

 

Pennsylvania taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to pay for Big Oil’s actions

(Aug 25, 2023)

Addressing the climate crisis cannot be separated from the fight for racial and economic justice. Whether it’s extreme heat , flooding or crumbling infrastructure, we know that our increasingly volatile climate is hitting our most vulnerable residents the hardest. That’s why it’s critical that we thoughtfully — and urgently — invest in protecting our communities from the impacts of our changing climate. According to a recent study by the Center for Climate Integrity, it will cost more than $15 billion to stave off a limited scope of climate impacts in Pennsylvania by 2040. While the report only calculated the cost of adapting to eight climate impacts, the scale of these costs on local governments is shocking. In Philadelphia alone, the annual cost of responding to eight climate change impacts will exceed spending for 40 of the city's 48 departments, including the Departments of Public Health and Human Services. Every summer, more cooling centers must be activated to protect our residents from extreme heat. Just a few weeks ago, intense rains caused flash flooding in my district of Philadelphia and beyond, killing at least six people in Bucks County. The impacts of this climate crisis are felt by our communities every day and will continue to get worse if we don’t act with urgency. Our state is projected to get hotter and rainier in the years ahead. The demand for cooling centers will Read more

 

Rabb Working to Stop Widespread Book Bans

(Jul 20, 2023)

Pa. state Rep. Chris Rabb talks about his proposed legislation that would protect public school students from book bans. Read more

 

Rabb: Addressing Root Causes of Bigotry

(Jul 11, 2023)

Pa. state Rep. Chris Rabb says that though anti-hate crime statutes have been on the books for decades, there is no evidence they have deterred hate-based attacks on person or property. So, as hate-based violence continues to rise across the Commonwealth, existing laws meant to protect people against such harm have been largely ineffectual and disproportionately used by prosecutors against people of color. One of the challenges for those who support such measures is the lack of training and reporting of alleged hate crimes by law enforcement officers. Further, people from impacted communities often do not trust law enforcement to prioritize their concerns. That said, even with full coordination and involvement of law enforcement, the new training requirement put forth in HB 1024 lacks any discussion of the root causes of bigotry that fuels such violent attacks. Rabb will be authoring legislation to accompany HB 1024 and related bills to codify into law a definition of structural violence which is at the heart of the systemic sources of hate, often validated by government policies and practices. Further, his forthcoming bill will address these structural issues through community-centered, evidence-based, non-carceral measures. Read more

 

Rabb condemns hate organizations rallying in Philadelphia

(Jun 30, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, June 30 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila, issued the following statement in response to Moms for Liberty, a hate group with local chapters in Pennsylvania, holding its national convention in Philadelphia today. “A group with hateful views such as Moms for Liberty has no place spewing their hatred and extremist ideology in Philadelphia — the vaunted birthplace of liberty in our nation,” Rabb said. “As a parent, it galls me that there is a concerted effort to deprive children across the commonwealth of learning opportunities and the freedom to see themselves in books and curricula in their schools. “These groups are not motivated by a desire to protect children from age-inappropriate material. That’s merely the thin veil they hide behind. No, they are motivated by a bigoted desire to harm LGBTQ+ youth and students of color by fomenting hatred against their very personhood by deeming their existence to be wrong and unnatural and thus should not be present in books and media. “Groups like Moms for Liberty are exactly why bills like Rabb's anti-book ban bill H.B.1374 , establishing procedures to protect public school students’ right to read and learn, are so important and it is imperative that we pass them into law. Our children deserve to see themselves represented in the media and in books. It validates their experiences and shows them that they are beautiful and not alone in the Read more

 

Rabb: Solar for Schools is a Big Win

(Jun 29, 2023)

PA state Rep. Chris Rabb calls Solar for Schools legislation recently passed by the PA House a big win for education, employment, and the environment. Read more

 

Environmental Resources and Energy committee approves environmental justice legislation

(Jun 06, 2023)

HARRISBURG, June 6 – A bill sponsored by state reps. Donna Bullock, Malcolm Kenyatta and Chris Rabb, all D-Phila., that would require an environmental impact statement be produced before the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection issues a permit for the building of certain facilities in environmental justice areas passed the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee today. “Environmental racism is a longstanding issue in the commonwealth. Facilities that pollute the environment have been built in burdened communities without their consent because they lacked the influence to stop it. Enough is enough,” Bullock said. “By empowering the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to deny a permit application if the environmental impacts are found to be too harmful and requiring DEP to consider public testimony, we are putting the power in the hands of the community.” “Incinerators, landfills, sewage plants — there’s a long history of environmentally harmful facilities like these being built in Pennsylvania’s most marginalized communities, polluting the environment, poisoning the water and lowering property values, disproportionately impacting Black and brown households whose homes are often their own financial asset,” Rabb said. “It’s time to substantially combat environmental racism. A clean environment is a constitutional right that is Read more

 

Rabb Urges Approach to Hate Crimes by Addressing Structural Violence

(May 25, 2023)

Pa. state Rep. Chris Rabb makes comments on Democratic package of hate crimes bills which passed along party lines in the PA House Judiciary Committee. In light of unintended consequences of current hate crimes statutes, Rabb expressed hope that his concerns about their effectiveness can be addressed before final passage. Read more

 

Bill updating Pennsylvania Soil & Plant Amendment Act passes House

(May 23, 2023)

HARRISBURG, May 23 – A bill sponsored by state Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., updating the Pennsylvania Soil & Plant Amendment Act to realign it with the Pennsylvania Fertilizer Act passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives by vote of 201-0. Last year, when the state Fertilizer Law was updated, the registration and tonnage reporting of fertilizer fell out of alignment with the soil and plant amendment program. The bill would realign the product registration process and tonnage reporting with that of fertilizer. It also would change registration requirements so that a company who paid the registration fee under the fertilizer law would not have to pay the fee under the soil and plant amendment law; however, the product would still need to be registered to show that it is a dual-purpose product. “This is a modest but mighty adjustment to improve this statute,” Rabb said. “Bills often go into effect in an imperfect state and we can always be working to improve them.” The bill now goes to the Pennsylvania Senate for consideration. Read more

 

PA lawmakers form Progressive Caucus

(May 23, 2023)

Focusing on prioritizing people over profit, fighting social inequality Read more

 

Rabb, Friel Otten announce legislation instituting zero-emission standards for space and water heaters

(May 19, 2023)

HARRISBURG, May 19 – State Reps. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., and Danielle Friel Otten, D-Chester, have introduced legislation that would adopt zero-emission standards for space and water heaters in Pennsylvania. “For Pennsylvania to be the climate leader we want it to be, and to meet our long-term climate goals, we need to take decarbonization seriously,” Rabb, a founding member of the PA Climate Caucus, said. “By reducing the amount of energy needed in buildings through energy efficiency upgrades, reducing carbon content of energy resources and appliances, and shifting energy usage with available technology, we can be one step closer to reaching our climate goals as well as saving money, improving both indoor and outdoor air quality, and reducing health risks associated with pollutants found in buildings.” This legislation would require that beginning Jan. 1, 2030, all new space and water heaters for new construction and replacement of worn-out equipment in existing buildings sold in the commonwealth meet the zero-emission standards. “Heating systems and water heaters have a long lifespan, so it’s important to plan now for the technology we’ll be living with seven, 10, or 25 years from now,” Friel Otten, chair of the PA Climate Caucus, said. “Energy-efficient, zero-emission systems may have a higher upfront price tag, but failing to adopt new standards would Read more

 

Rabb highlights election-related legislation following Tuesday’s special elections

(May 17, 2023)

HARRISBURG, May 17 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., is highlighting multiple election-related bills in the wake of Tuesday’s House of Representative special elections and municipal primary elections in Pennsylvania. “The special elections that occurred yesterday decided the fate of who will control the House of Representatives,” Rabb said. “The process by which we elect people in special elections is as important as regularly scheduled elections. That is why I have reintroduced legislation to modernize the process.” Rabb said his legislation to modernize the special election process would ensure special elections are timely, cost effective and accessible by requiring that special elections happen sooner when a seat becomes vacant more than 90 days before the next election; requiring automatic mail-in voting for all elections while providing county boards of election the option to establish satellite voting sites; subsidizing special elections from restitution paid by elected officials who have vacated their seats because of a felony conviction; and allowing candidates to electronically obtain nomination petition signatures. Rabb also has legislation in the works that would establish rotating ballot positions for candidates , requiring the randomization of each precinct’s list of candidates so that no individual precinct would reflect the same order on the ballot, Read more

 

Lawmakers and workers rights groups want state officials to let Philly set its own minimum wage

(May 10, 2023)

“We are still suffering from those (Reconstruction-era racist) choices today,” said Rabb. “And not just Black and brown folk, everybody who earns a tipped minimum wage across Pennsylvania is suffering.” Read more

 

Pa. House Dems float ‘fair share’ fix to income tax

(May 02, 2023)

“It’s the height of absurdity that the bottom 60% of income earners are, on average, paying nearly double the tax rate of what the richest Pennsylvanians pay,” Rabb said in a joint statement released Thursday. Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation meets with members of Philadelphia City Council Committee on Education to discuss school facilities

(May 01, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, May 1 – In light of yet another school closing due to environmental hazards, the Philadelphia House Delegation today announced that the institution held a discussion with the Philadelphia City Council Committee on Education to help address the school closings impacting hundreds of students. The meeting was prompted after a sixth school building, Universal Vare Charter School, closed Friday after asbestos was found in the building. All affected schools have shifted to virtual learning. The finding comes as the result of a districtwide inspection prompted by the discovery of asbestos in Building 21, located in West Oak Lake. That building was shut down March 1. Philadelphia House Delegation Chair Morgan Cephas said the delegation is concerned about the ongoing situation of schools having to close, and said the delegation considered the reunion the first step in evaluating strategies and prevention measures with the school district and the board of education. “ Years of disinvested in the schools has led to this upsetting situation; underfunding has taken a toll on these buildings. This is disruptive and frustrating for the parents and students that now have been thrown into a state of disarray,” Cephas said. “We are proposing solutions, but we also have questions and concerns that we need to clarify before we go into budget negotiations. We must wonder, are there other schools slated Read more

 

Rabb Welcomes Formation of Black-Jewish Caucus

(May 01, 2023)

Acknowledging the similar and sometimes interwoven past of the Black and Jewish communities, Pa. state Rep. Chris Rabb stood with House colleagues to support the formation of the Black-Jewish Caucus in the state Legislature. Rabb says this is about more than embracing cultural identities and practices, this is an opportunity to further the fight against white supremacy, anti-Black racism and anti-Jewish bigotry — hate that threatens the entire Commonwealth. Read more

 

Rabb announces reintroduction of tax fairness bill with colleagues

(Apr 27, 2023)

HARRISBURG, April 27 – State Reps. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., announced today that he is drafting legislation 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 the height of absurdity 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 work to reduce the overall budget deficit. That’s a win-win. Everyone should pay their fair share.” One of the following three versions of the Fair Share Tax Plan will be turned into legislation: Option 1 would decrease Personal Income Tax on wages and interest from 3.07% to 2.8% and increase the income tax on passive income from things like net profits, dividends, net gains derived from rents, royalties, etc. to 6.5%, raising $2.6 billion in new tax revenue. Option 2 would decrease the income tax on wages and interest to 1.9% and increase the tax on passive income to 12%, raising $6.22 billion in new tax revenue. Option 3 would be a compromise between options 1 and 2, by decreasing the income tax on Read more

 

Rabb Fights for Fairness in Pa.

(Apr 26, 2023)

In a meeting of the House Judiciary Committee, Pa. state Rep. Chris Rabb expresses his feelings of gratitude leading up to a vote on the Pa. Fairness Act. Rabb says too many Pennsylvanians have been treated as second class citizens and this legislation would help to end the bigotry so often present in society. Read more

 

Open Primaries Would Strengthen Democracy in Pa.
Sep 22, 2023

Support rises for Rabb and Solomon’s open primary legislation
Sep 14, 2023

Rabb announces legislation to establish Incarcerated People’s Benefit Fund
Sep 07, 2023

Pennsylvania taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to pay for Big Oil’s actions
Aug 25, 2023

Rabb Working to Stop Widespread Book Bans
Jul 20, 2023

Rabb: Addressing Root Causes of Bigotry
Jul 11, 2023

Rabb condemns hate organizations rallying in Philadelphia
Jun 30, 2023

Rabb: Solar for Schools is a Big Win
Jun 29, 2023

Environmental Resources and Energy committee approves environmental justice legislation
Jun 06, 2023

Rabb Urges Approach to Hate Crimes by Addressing Structural Violence
May 25, 2023

Bill updating Pennsylvania Soil & Plant Amendment Act passes House
May 23, 2023

PA lawmakers form Progressive Caucus
May 23, 2023

Rabb, Friel Otten announce legislation instituting zero-emission standards for space and water heaters
May 19, 2023

Rabb highlights election-related legislation following Tuesday’s special elections
May 17, 2023

Lawmakers and workers rights groups want state officials to let Philly set its own minimum wage
May 10, 2023

Pa. House Dems float ‘fair share’ fix to income tax
May 02, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation meets with members of Philadelphia City Council Committee on Education to discuss school facilities
May 01, 2023

Rabb Welcomes Formation of Black-Jewish Caucus
May 01, 2023

Rabb announces reintroduction of tax fairness bill with colleagues
Apr 27, 2023

Rabb Fights for Fairness in Pa.
Apr 26, 2023