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Roebuck: $110K in grants awarded to fund Clark Park project

Advisory group urges setting aside money for maintaining schools

(May 23, 2018)

HARRISBURG, May 23 – Subsidizing public school building maintenance to maximize taxpayer investments is among the recommendations in a report released today by the Public School Building Construction and Reconstruction Advisory Committee, said state Rep. Joseph Markosek, D-Allegheny. Markosek, a member of the PlanCon committee and Democratic chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said he’s confident the recommendations will yield a more efficient, more cost-effective blueprint for the state’s subsidy of public school construction and renovation projects. “The committee conducted extensive interviews around the state, gathering input from school officials, parents, board members, architects, contractors and energy specialists,” Markosek said. He added that meetings such as the one held at Plum Borough School District’s O’Block Jr. High School provided critical information that helped inform the committee’s final recommendations. The recommendations pertaining to building maintenance are especially important, according to state Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee and also a PlanCon member. "I'm especially pleased that, for the first time, the committee is recommending that 20 percent of any PlanCon funds be put aside for maintenance efforts, which is timely in light of the disturbing Philadelphia Inquirer series about city schools ,” Roebuck said. Read more


Roebuck plans to introduce bill to protect tenants

(May 10, 2018)

PHILADELPHIA, May 10 – State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., plans to introduce legislation to protect tenants' right to advance notice of eviction, and he is also co-sponsoring other legislation designed to protect tenants' rights. " Recent events at Dorsett Court and Admiral Court in my district , along with the draft report by the city's eviction task force, have spotlighted the need for improvements to state law as well as city and court procedures, to make sure renters are protected," Roebuck said. "I live only a few blocks from Dorsett Court and Admiral Court and I'm concerned for the residents, as well as other renters who may face a similar threat of eviction in the future." Pennsylvania's Landlord and Tenant Act permits leases that waive a tenant's right to a written notice before they are evicted or locked out. Roebuck's planned legislation would ban that type of language in future leases, an issue mentioned by the city task force draft report . Roebuck also is a co-sponsor of two bills to protect tenants' rights. Currently, landlords are not required to provide notice to tenants when a foreclosure notice has been delivered to the property owner. House Bill 958 and H.B. 961 would compel landlords to provide fixed-term tenants with a certified copy of a foreclosure notice before the termination date specified in the notification – at least 60 days under H.B. 958 and at least 90 days under H.B. 961. Read more


Pa. lawmakers weigh measures to clear criminal records for some

(May 09, 2018)

“Consciously, we have been sending people back to crime by systematically denying them a second chance,” said Pennsylvania state Rep. James Roebuck of Philadelphia, who said he’s been working on the measure for 15 years. Read more


Roebuck, state representatives advocate for second chances

(May 08, 2018)

PHILADELPHIA, May 8 – During a news conference today at Philadelphia City Hall, state Reps. James Roebuck, Morgan Cephas and Angel Cruz, all D-Phila., promoted legislation that would expunge the records of people who have been wrongfully convicted, arrested for mistaken identity, committed a nonviolent crime, or acquitted and are seeking expungement to get a second chance. “Consciously, we’ve been sending people back to crime by systematically denying them a second chance,” said Roebuck. “My legislation ( H.B. 2294 ) rectifies Pennsylvania’s unfair and inflexible expungement law for those who have been wrongfully convicted and subsequently exonerated by allowing their record to be expunged and requiring all fees associated with the expungement process to be waived by the court having jurisdiction over the matter.” Cephas said she wants to make sure students are able to apply to post-secondary institutions without the fear of rejection based on a minor infraction committed in their youth. Her legislation ( H.B. 2210 ) would amend the Public School Code to allow school districts the ability to expunge student suspension records for nonviolent offenses upon the completion of community service or a resource-based alternative and if the student exhibits good behavior over a period of time, as to be determined by the school district. “We must consider the consequences that suspensions for extremely minor infractions have on our Read more


Roebuck supports redistricting reform

(May 04, 2018)

Recently, several constituents have asked about how I voted on the 2011 congressional map and where I stand on redistricting reform. Context is everything: in 2011, Republicans controlled the governor's office and the state House and Senate. Democrats faced a choice between bad or worse. At the time, the least worst option appeared to be the plan I reluctantly voted for, which maintained Philadelphia's influence in three congressional districts rather than two. Thankfully, the 2014 election of Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf restored some balance to state government, and a recent state Supreme Court decision, which I support, has given Pennsylvanians a much more competitive map. In addition, I support legislation to establish an independent commission to provide a nonpartisan process for redistricting Pennsylvania's state Senate, state House and congressional districts. However, an extremist committee chairman has blocked and then gutted the bill, so many of us took our names off it in protest. To seek another shot at fairness, my Democratic colleagues have reintroduced the redistricting bill and 87 other bills under new bill numbers. We are urging the Republican speaker to do the right thing and refer these bills to other committees, where they would have a chance of a fair hearing and a vote. I will co-sponsor the redistricting bill under its new bill number, and I hope it will receive fair consideration this time. State Rep. James Roebuck 188th Legislative Read more


Roebuck Working to Develop Strong Workforce

(May 01, 2018)

Democratic Chairman of the Pa. House Education Committee, state Rep. James Roebuck applauds his House colleagues for passing his legislation that would expand career and technical education opportunities for students to best prepare them for the workforce. Roebuck explains why CTE is so crucial to the success of to developing a strong workforce in Pennsylvania. Read more


Roebuck workforce development bill passes House

(May 01, 2018)

HARRISBURG, May 1 – The House approved legislation, authored by state Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila, that would amend the Workforce Development Act by adding at least one member to each workforce development board. House Bill 2206 is one of a nine-bill package aligned with House Democrats’ Plan4PA to give Pennsylvania students a quality education that would jumpstart their careers in vocational and technical job fields. The package was a result of a series of recommendations made by the House Select Subcommittee on Technical Education and Career Readiness. Roebuck, Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee, said his legislation would enhance the quality of career and technical education programs throughout Pennsylvania by establishing partnerships between career and technical education (CTE) programs and workforce development boards (WDB). “It was discovered during the subcommittee’s hearing process that each WDB engages with CTE in various ways across the commonwealth, and given that WDBs are the channel through which employment information and data flows from the state to local school districts and Career and Technology Centers; the partnership between these entities needed to be addressed,” Roebuck said. “The legislation passed would bolster our efforts to ensure that we provide each Pennsylvanian a pathway to economic independence and entry into the American middle class.” Related legislation passed by the Read more


House Education Committee advances legislation to improve access to career & tech ed programs in Pa.

(Apr 18, 2018)

HARRISBURG, April 18 – State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee, today announced a bipartisan package of legislation that would enhance the quality of career and technical education programs throughout Pennsylvania. This nine-bill package aligns with House Democrats’ Plan4PA to give students throughout the commonwealth a quality education that would jumpstart their careers in vocational and technical job fields. “As Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee, I am committed to improving the delivery of Career and Technical Education programs to those who need them most,” Roebuck said. “Just last year, more than 67,000 Pennsylvania high school students were able to participate in CTE programs. This bipartisan package of legislation – especially my two bills – would build upon the success we have already achieved, while also giving stakeholders a voice to make much-needed changes.” In 2015, the House unanimously adopted H.R. 102 to establish the Select Subcommittee on Technical Education and Career Readiness. The subcommittee, co-chaired by state Rep. Patrick Harkins, D-Erie, made several recommendations that resulted in this package of legislation. “I’m encouraged by our bipartisan package of bills that would enhance secondary and post-secondary career training and technical education resources for young Pennsylvanians preparing to enter the Read more


House unanimously adopts Gainey/Roebuck resolution memorializing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. assassination

(Apr 10, 2018)

HARRISBURG, April 9 – The House today unanimously adopted a resolution introduced by Rep. Ed Gainey, D-Allegheny, and Rep. James Roebuck, D-Philadelphia, memorializing the 50 th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Members of the historic Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity — to which King belonged — were present in the House chamber as H.R. 747 was adopted and were recognized for their work in carrying on Dr. King’s legacy of civil rights advocacy and community service. “With Dr. King’s passing, we lost one of the world’s most passionate voices for civil rights and justice through peaceful protest,” Gainey said. “Thankfully, his words live on to inspire new generations of advocates, who work every single day to realize his dream of peace and racial equality.” “The life of Martin Luther King stands as a testimony of an individual’s ability to change a society,” Roebuck said. “His spirit continues to guide us, even 50 years after his death. We remain deeply indebted to his vision, commitment and sacrifice.” King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, on the balcony of Memphis’ Lorraine Motel, which is now the home of the National Civil Rights Museum. Sixteen years earlier, in 1952, he pledged Alpha Phi Alpha’s Sigma chapter, where he and his fraternity brothers had already begun pondering how to improve the lives of African American citizens. The Read more


Many Scholarships Are Available

(Mar 28, 2018)

This is not a complete list of all available scholarships. Please also consult with your college or university financial aid office. PHEAA GRANT Program (no repayment) PHEAA Loan Forgiveness PHEAA Ready To Succeed Scholarship Program (RTSS) PHEAA Other Education Aid/ Special Needs PHEAA Aid for Military and Pennsylvania National Guard PHEAA State Work-Study Federal Government Student Aid Programs OTHER SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITIES Scholarships for PA State System of Higher Education students Fitz Dixon Memorial Scholarship - Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education Foundation Highmark Scholarship Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program Music scholarship list and other scholarships ROTC Scholarship (available also through various colleges - check with anticipated colleges) National Association of Black Journalists Scholarships The Roothbert Fund Scholarships More Than 70 Free Scholarships Searches Page International students help and scholarships NACME Scholarship Program (National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering) Black Excel’s List of 200 Free Scholarships for Minorities Peterson’s Find the Perfect Scholarship Alpha Kappa Alpha Scholarships National Scholarships Free Scholarship Database Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Scholarship and Internships Morris K. Udall Foundation Scholarships for leadership, public service, and commitment to issues related Read more


Spring 2018 Newsletter

(Mar 14, 2018)

Newsletter includes: Roebuck legislation becomeslaw – Could mean tuition savings for many; Roebuck secures $4.25 million for local improvements Read more


Roebuck: Invest in Education, #QualitySchools

(Feb 08, 2018)

Democratic Chairman of the Pa. House Education Committee, state Rep. James Roebuck, reacts to Gov. Wolf’s budget proposal, agreeing with increased investments in education and workforce development. Read more


Roebuck applauds Wolf education funding boosts in upcoming proposal

(Feb 05, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 5 – State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee, applauded the education funding proposals Gov. Tom Wolf plans to make in Tuesday's budget address. "I'm pleased at the progress we have made together with Governor Wolf in restoring the Corbett-Republican education cuts to K-12 and higher education. As we return local control for Philadelphia public schools, something I have long supported, I also want to see more state funding returning as well, and for that to be driven through the new fair funding formula I took part in developing," Roebuck said. Wolf has announced that his address Tuesday will reaffirm his commitment to increasing funding for public education at all levels. Since Wolf took office in January 2015, Pennsylvania has made sustained investments in education, including restoring the cuts made under the Corbett administration, increasing the number of children able to attend pre-kindergarten by nearly 50 percent and enacting a fair funding formula. Wolf’s 2018-19 budget proposal for education will include: $100 million increase in basic education; $40 million increase in Pre-K Counts and Head Start; $20 million increase for special education; $15 million increase for the State System of Higher Education; and $10 million for career and technical education. Roebuck said the governor's goals fit well with the House Democrats' Plan For PA. Read more


Roebuck backs 'Pa. Promise' tuition plan

(Jan 31, 2018)

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 31 – State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee, recently helped to unveil the "Pennsylvania Promise" plan at the state Capitol. "This bold proposal would fit well with the House Democrats' Plan For PA, which has a goal of making higher education and training more affordable for everyone. I have long supported restoring and increasing funding for both K-12 and higher education, and we have been making gains on both under Governor Tom Wolf," Roebuck said. The Pennsylvania Promise plan would: cover two years of tuition and fees for any recent high school graduate enrolled full-time at one of Pennsylvania's 14 public community colleges, including the Community College of Philadelphia; cover four years of tuition and fees for any recent high school graduate with a family income less than or equal to $110,000 per year accepted into one of the 14 universities in the State System of Higher Education, including Cheyney and West Chester; provide four years of grants ranging from $2,000 up to $11,000, depending on family income, for students accepted into a state-related university such as Temple, Lincoln or Penn State. finance the expansion of grant aid to adults seeking in-demand skills and industry-recognized credentials, as well as college credit. Video of Roebuck speaking in support of the proposal can be viewed on his website – www.pahouse.com/Roebuck -- or Read more


Roebuck: Pa.'s Promise of a College Education

(Jan 23, 2018)

Democratic Chairman of the Pa. House Education Committee state Rep. James Roebuck spoke about the release of a report recommending the investment of $1 billion to ensure "Pennsylvania's Promise" of affordable college tuition for qualifying students. Read more


Roebuck works with Wolf to secure $2.75 million for three local projects

(Dec 22, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 22 – State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., thanked Gov. Tom Wolf for agreeing to Roebuck's requests to release a total of $2.75 million in state funding for three local projects. "Governor Wolf is a true partner who understands the needs of Philadelphians, and I was pleased to advocate for these important projects that will benefit our communities," said Roebuck, Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee. The three grants are: $1.25 million for the Community College of Philadelphia to help it substantially increase the capacity of its automotive technology program in west Philadelphia to train more students for well-paying jobs in that field. The project also will allow an increased emphasis on the latest alternative fuels technology and a greater ability to provide a qualified technician workforce for large regional fleets. Construction is expected to begin in January 2018 and be completed in spring 2019. $1 million for the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House's Chestnut Street expansion project: "Many of the families who stay there are financially devastated by their child's illness and treatment, and would have nowhere else to go without the lodging and supportive services of this organization. However, because of increasing demand, they can accommodate only a fraction of the families who need to stay with them, and last year turned away 1,665 Pennsylvania family requests," Roebuck said. Read more


Southwest Philadelphia area state representatives to host joint town hall

(Dec 06, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 6 – State Reps. Jordan Harris, chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, and James Roebuck, both D-Phila., and Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, today announced that they are hosting a joint town hall meeting to address the unique concerns affecting residents of southwest Philadelphia. The town hall meeting will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 14 at the Richard Allen Preparatory Charter School, 5151 Warren St. Harris, Roebuck and McClinton will inform residents of legislative developments in Harrisburg that impact their respective districts. There will also be a “Get to know your rep.” breakout session where residents will be able to ask their representative questions one-on-one. The meeting is open to the community, and constituents with questions should contact Harris’ district office at 215-952-3378, Roebuck’s office at 215-724-2227, or McClinton’s office at 215-748-6712. “We have debated this bill every year that I have been here, and it’s obvious that we have not been listening. Senate Bill 3 seeks to take away a decision between a woman and her doctor. Neither the House Health Committee, nor the Pennsylvania Legislature, have the right to pass legislation that clearly puts women at risk. This is true for men in particular. It’s time to listen for a change to people who are actually experts in the field.” ### Read more


Roebuck, community partners collecting socks for seniors, homeless, students through Dec. 16

(Dec 05, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 5 – State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., and community partners are collecting socks for seniors, homeless people and students in their annual "People for People" sock drive. "It may seem like a small thing, but having a pair of warm socks in cold weather can make a big difference," Roebuck said. "Please help if you can." Roebuck thanked the community partners, who include the Mini Town Watch of the Squirrel Hill Police Substation and the University City Review. New socks are being accepted through Dec. 16 at Roebuck's office, 4712 Baltimore Ave., from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, and at the Squirrel Hill Sub-Police Station, 4619 Chester Ave., from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays. Questions about the sock drive can be answered by Roebuck's office; phone 215-724-2227. ### Read more


Roebuck on Importance of STEM Learning

(Nov 20, 2017)

During a House Policy Committee Hearing, Pa. state Rep. Jim Roebuck expressed the need for STEM courses & experiences, explaining how this type of education gives students the appropriate skills succeed in the workforce. Read more


Roebuck hosting veterans event Nov. 18; Head of Pa. National Guard to speak

(Nov 03, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 3 – State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., will host a free veterans event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18 in the McNeil Science and Technology Center, University of the Sciences, 4320 Woodland Ave., 19104. The featured speaker will be Maj. Gen. Anthony J. Carrelli, adjutant general of the Pennsylvania National Guard. "This is a chance to learn about state benefits available to veterans and to meet your state representative," Roebuck said. "We'll have representatives of state and local government agencies on hand to answer questions." Roebuck is asking veterans to RSVP for the event by calling his office at 215-724-2227. ### Read more