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Sims and Rabb announce bill to hold Phila. police accountable

(Jun 02, 2022)

PHILADELPHIA, June 2 – State Reps. Brian Sims and Chris Rabb, both D-Phila., today announced that they would be introducing a bill that would reform the Pennsylvania Heart and Lung Act to hold out of duty Philadelphia police officers more accountable. Heart and Lung Act benefits are meant to provide financial stability and security for police officers and other emergency personnel if an injury prevents them from working. “The level of corruption revealed through recent investigative reporting is, frankly, disgraceful,” Sims said. “It’s time to hold these bad cops accountable for their actions. Now it’s on us as government officials to act and demand that taxpayer dollars are spent fairly. At a time when gun violence continues to climb and police budgets continue to inflate, it is unconscionable to have so many taxpayer dollars go to those who are not upholding their oath of service.” “This is about rebuilding trust in a system that has been abused for decades,” said Rabb. “As public servants, we have a responsibility to ensure that the public’s money is being spent in a transparent, responsible, and effective manner. For these officers to abuse the system and think they can get away with it is shameful. They are taking money directly from their fellow officers and their neighbors as taxpayers.” This bill would ensure these benefits are reserved for those who genuinely need them by ensuring Read more

 

Sims Announces $5 million in state grants to his district

(Apr 25, 2022)

PHILADELPHIA, April 25 – State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., announced two $2.5 million dollar grants in his district that will be used to improve two important community institutions. The first grant was awarded for renovations to the William Way LGBT Community Center, one of the most important institutions for Philadelphia’s LGBTQ+ communities. The project will improve ADA access to the front of the existing building, create an event space for 300 people, and improve on myriad other services that the center offers. The second grant has been awarded to The University of the Arts Performance and Exhibition Student Center. The project will transform the lower level and third floor of Gershman Hall into an updated performance and exhibition space to include a new film screening room, collaboration center and renovated auditorium. Sims said he is thrilled to see these grants come to his district and is thrilled to see the way that these two vital institutions in the 182 nd Legislative District will use these funds to serve the community in an enhanced capacity. “The William Way Center is one of the most important lifelines for LGBTQ+ communities here in Philadelphia, and I am so pleased to see that they will be able to offer an even more robust array of services to the communities they serve.” Sims said. In addition, he stated that “Philadelphia is home to several incredible institutes of Read more

 

PA legislators highlight name change legislative package intended to ease name change process for transgender Pennsylvanians

(Apr 11, 2022)

HARRISBURG, April 11 – Members of the Pennsylvania House and Senate joined advocates for the LGBTQ+ and Transgender Community Monday, April 11, 2022, for a press conference to discuss their package of bills to update Pennsylvania’s antiquated name change laws that will ease the burden for transgender Pennsylvanians who wish to change their given name to their chosen name. The need for this legislative package became clear when Sen. Katie Muth (D-Berks/Chester/Montgomery) co-hosted a Senate Democratic Policy Committee with Senators Amanda Cappelletti (D-Delaware/Montgomery), Tim Kearney (D-Chester/Delaware) and Lindsey Williams (D-Allegheny). Testimony at the hearing from those who have struggled through this process made it clear that swift legislative reform the name change process and remove some of the legal barriers the LGBTQ+ community faces when living as their authentic selves. "There are far too many barriers for the transgender community in Pennsylvania across the board – legally, socially and economically. As lawmakers, we can and must take bold steps to make life more equitable and inclusive in the Commonwealth. Now is the time to stand with and in support of transgender Pennsylvanians, which this legislative package will accomplish. In addition, changing our outdated and lengthy name change process will make Pennsylvania more efficient as a state,” said Senator Amanda Cappelletti (D-17). “Taking this step just makes Read more

 

LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus condemns House Education Committee’s passage of H.B. 972

(Mar 29, 2022)

A bill that would discriminate against LGBTQ+ students by restricting their ability to participate in their school’s sports programs as the gender they identify with passed the PA House Education Committee Tuesday, despite opposition from members of the LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus that sit on the committee. Read more

 

Now open for applications: Substance use disorder awareness, fire and emergency medical services, overdose programmatic collaboration funding opportunities

(Mar 23, 2022)

STATE PROGRAMS NOW OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS: Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency: Intermediate Punishment Treatment Programs (Funding Source: General Fund) Who May Apply : Counties. Use : To support restrictive conditions that are imposed as part of a county probation sentence, needed drug and alcohol-related services, and mental health treatment and supportive services for eligible individuals. Funds : Varies by county. Application Deadline : April 25, 2022 More Information : Click on https://egrants.pccd.pa.gov/Public/OpenAnnouncements.aspx . Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs/Life Unites Us: Life Unites Us Community Award Grant Program (Funding Source: Federal Funding) Who May Apply : Non-profit organizations. Use : To promote knowledge about substance use disorder (SUD) and reduce the stigma associated with addiction by sharing stories from individuals and family members living in recovery and broadcasting a message of hope throughout the state. Funds : Awards range between $5,000 and $15,000. Application Deadline : April 13, 2022 More Information : Click on https://lifeunitesus.com/grant . Pennsylvania Office of the State Fire Commissioner: Fire and Emergency Medical Services Loan Program (Funding Source: Fire and Emergency Medical Services Loan Fund) 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

 

Now open for applications: Homeowner assistance, nonprofit security, Act 13, and clean energy funding opportunities

(Feb 07, 2022)

STATE PROGRAMS NOW OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS: Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry: Clean Energy Workforce Development Grant (Funding Source: General Fund) Who May Apply : Pennsylvania local workforce development board. Use : To assist the department with the creation of programs designed to engage and support businesses in the clean energy sector. Funds : Grants up to $500,000. Application Deadline : March 14, 2022 More Information : Click on https://www.dli.pa.gov/Businesses/Workforce-Development/grants/Pages/default.aspx . Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency: Nonprofit Security Grant Program (Funding Source: Nonprofit Security Grant Fund) Who May Apply : Nonprofits. Use : To enhance security and protect from hate crimes. Funds : Grants awards from $5,000 to $150,000. Application Deadline : March 2, 2022 More Information : Click on https://www.pccd.pa.gov/schoolsafety/Pages/Non-Profit-Security-Grant-Fund.aspx . Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency: Endowment Act – Direct Victim Service Organizations Grant Program (Funding Source: Monetary Penalty Endowments Trust Fund) Who May Apply : Direct victim service organizations. Use : To support residents of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania who have been child victims of sexual Read more

 

LGBTQ+ Caucus responds to Chambersburg Borough Council’s vote to repeal anti-discrimination ordinance

(Jan 25, 2022)

In response to Monday’s vote to repeal an LGBTQ anti-discrimination ordinance by Chambersburg Borough councilmembers, state Reps. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, Brian Sims, D-Phila., and Sen. Katie Muth, D-Berks, all co-chairs of the LGBTQ+ Caucus, released a statement. Read more

 

Lawmakers to seek easier name-change process for LGBTQ+ Pennsylvanians

(Jan 20, 2022)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 20 – Members of the LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus are introducing legislation that would destigmatize and create a safer and easier name-change process for LGBTQ+ Pennsylvanians, especially transgender, non-binary and gender expansive people in the commonwealth. The Pennsylvania LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus is a bipartisan and bicameral caucus made up of members of the General Assembly whose mission is to advocate for equality for LGBTQ+ communities across Pennsylvania. Reps. Brian Sims, D-Phila., Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, and Sen. Katie Muth, D-Berks/Chester/Montgomery, are co-chairs of the caucus. Spurred by a Pennsylvania Senate Policy Committee hearing on the barriers in Pennsylvania for the transgender community in June 2021, members of the caucus worked with stakeholders to draft six key pieces of legislation to update Pennsylvania’s antiquated name change process and provide funding and safeguards for those seeking to change their name. The legislative package is being co-authored by Frankel and Muth, Reps. Nancy Guenst, D-Montgomery/Phila., Emily Kinkead, D-Allegheny, Ben Sanchez, D-Montgomery, Melissa Shusterman, D-Montgomery, and Joe Webster, D-Montgomery; and state Sens. Amanda Cappelletti, D-Delaware/Montgomery, Tim Kearney, D-Chester/Delaware, and Lindsey Williams, D-Allegheny. Co-sponsorship memorandums have been circulated and the LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus is calling on their colleagues in both chambers to sign onto these important Read more

 

Sims announces more than $19 million in redevelopment funding for Center City Philadelphia

(Dec 07, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 7 – State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., today announced $19.2 million in state grants were awarded to Center City Philadelphia for redevelopment projects. The projects that were awarded grants were: Broad St. Ministry Renovations 2: awarded $2 million. CP 2023 Construction, Phase 2: awarded $5 million. Curtis Revitalization-1726 Locust St.: awarded $2 million. Drexel Medical Campus at the New College Building: awarded $500,000. Franklin Institute Master Plan 2021: awarded $5 million. Magee Rehabilitation Hospital-Gaspar Outpatient Center Revitalization: awarded $1.25 million. Community College of Philadelphia Main Campus-Student Services Center: awarded $7.75 million. PA Ballet Dance Center: awarded $500,000. “I am thrilled to announce that so many impactful projects in Center City Philadelphia have received these very competitive grants,” Sims said. “This funding is imperative in ensuring that Philadelphia remains a regional leader in academic, medical, and arts and culture advancement.” The Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program is a grant program administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational, and historical improvement projects. RACP projects are authorized in the Redevelopment Read more

 

Sims announces $6.5 million in redevelopment funding for Center City Philadelphia

(Dec 03, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 3 – State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., today announced $6.5 million in state grants were awarded to Philadelphia for redevelopment projects. The Community College of Philadelphia was awarded $3 million, the Academy of Music, Inc was awarded $1.5 million and the Curtis Institute of Music was awarded $2 million. The funds will be used for infrastructure improvements and updates to buildings in Center City Philadelphia. Sims said funding, awarded through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, will help prominent cultural and educational institutions increase the sustainability and safety of their historic buildings. “These institutions are three of the biggest drivers of higher education and arts and culture programming in the region,” Sims said. “Our strategic investments ensure that their work may continue to bolster our local and regional economy.” Community College of Philadelphia will be updating the Winnet Building, Athletics Center and the historic Mint Building. Academy of Music, Inc will be restoring the building’s roof, cornice and gutters, while improving safety for future roof maintenance. Curtis Institute of Music will be improving the building’s energy efficiency, accessibility and life safety through various system and structural upgrades. RACP projects are authorized in the Read more

 

LIHEAP: Expanded Home-Heating Assistance is Available to PA Renters, Homeowners

(Nov 03, 2021)

As winter approaches and we prepare to spend even more time indoors, utility bills are only going to get more expensive. Additionally, we know that the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn have made it difficult for many to keep up with home energy bills. No Pennsylvanian should ever have to worry that their heat will be shut off during the coldest and darkest months of the year. The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a federally funded program administered by the Department of Human Services (DHS) that provides assistance for home heating bills so Pennsylvanians can stay warm and safe during the winter months. Assistance is available for both renters and homeowners. LIHEAP helps some of the commonwealth’s most vulnerable citizens — children, older Pennsylvanians, people with disabilities, and low-income families — make ends meet. Anyone who may need help, or anyone who has loved ones or neighbors who could benefit from this program, is encouraged to apply for LIHEAP today. APPLY FOR LIHEAP LIHEAP FACTS How do I apply for LIHEAP? Depending on preference, different options are available to apply for LIHEAP: Apply online: Pennsylvanians can apply at www.compass.state.pa.us . Paper applications: Call the LIHEAP Helpline at 1-866-857-7095 to request a paper application. Paper applications can also be downloaded from the DHS LIHEAP web page . County Assistance Office (CAO) services are available if clients Read more

 

Pennie's Open Enrollment Period is now open

(Nov 03, 2021)

The 2022 Open Enrollment Period for Pennsylvanians seeking health insurance coverage through Pennie is now open (as of Monday, Nov. 1) and will remain open through Jan. 15, 2022 . Pennie connects customers with financial aid and helps them shop for, compare and purchase health insurance. Nearly everyone qualifies for savings because of the American Rescue Plan. Pennie was created through legislation in 2019, moving Pennsylvania from the federal-based exchange to a state-based marketplace, which helped residents save hundreds – and, in some cases, thousands – of dollars on health insurance. Customers may see additional savings when enrolling in a 2022 Pennie plan because of the American Rescue Plan, according to state Rep. Tony DeLuca , Democratic Chairman of the House Insurance Committee. If you have questions, Pennie has answers via its FAQ page . Visit Pennie.com or call 1-844-844-8040 for more information. While open enrollment continues through Jan. 15, 2022, the last day to enroll for coverage starting Jan. 1 is Dec. 15, 2021 . Visit the Pennsylvania Insurance Department website for more information on how to get health insurance. Read more

 

PLBC condemns book bans at start of national Banned Books Week

(Sep 27, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 27 – State Rep. and Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus Chair Donna Bullock, D-Phila., was joined by members of the PLBC, LGBTQ+ Caucus, Latino Caucus and Equity Committee today to denounce the banning of books on diversity from schools in the commonwealth. This action was spurred in part by the overturning of a year-long book freeze in a York County school district and the new push by Republican state lawmakers to ban critical race theory, which is not taught in any district in the state currently. Two students who led the protest on the book freeze in Central York School District, Edha Gupta and Christina Ellis, spoke at the news conference. “Banning books on diversity is the direct result of this Republican manufactured crisis on critical race theory,” Bullock said. “This fearmongering has parents and school districts scrambling to stop something that doesn’t exist. Part of the negative effect of this overreaching response is children are kept from reading books that reflect their diverse school community and world around them. “If we continue to allow groups to pedal this misinformation, this ban will only be the tip of the iceberg. We owe our children more than that and we are calling out districts that minimize or restrict information through book bans or perpetuate this made-up crisis that is merely a political platform.” Pennsylvania is one of a growing list of states trying to enact a CRT ban, Read more

 

LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus condemns bill that discriminates against athletes

(Aug 04, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 4 – A bill that would discriminate against LGBTQ+ students by restricting their ability to participate in their school’s sports programs as the gender they identify with was condemned by the LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus after a House Education Committee hearing on the proposed Republican legislation, according to the caucus’ co-chair, state Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila. House Bill 972 would prohibit trans girls and women from playing scholastic and collegiate sports. “Republicans are again advocating for open discrimination against LGBTQ+ youth masked as a bill to protect girls and women,” Sims said. “As a former collegiate athlete, I know that LGBTQ+ kids, like all kids, see countless positive outcomes from engagement in sports. The opportunity to build skills, foster friendships and learn to work as a team are essential in development, especially for Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable population, trans kids. The trans community is at higher risk of being victims of assault and experiencing depression, anxiety and, tragically, suicide. The fact that the majority party would aim to subject trans and non-binary youth to further exclusion and harassment is sickening and it is also illegal. We should be striving for inclusion in Pennsylvania, not sending a message of hate to LGBTQ+ youth and their families.” “Republican leaders are holding a hearing on a pretend issue and on a bill that stands zero chance of Read more

 

Why I voted NO on the budget

(Jun 29, 2021)

I voted against this budget because even though we have billions in surplus, it does not fully fund public education, our crumbling school facilities or our working families still trying to recover. Read more

 

LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus comments on the Supreme Court ruling that strikes against anti-discrimination laws in Philadelphia, nation

(Jun 22, 2021)

HARRISBURG, June 22 – The LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus has called for statewide anti-discrimination protections after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a private Catholic agency and not with the city of Philadelphia last week, despite the fact the agency had violated a Philadelphia law by refusing to consider placing children for adoption with married LBGTQ+ couples. “This ruling is more evidence that elections matter and that we in Pennsylvania cannot and should not rely on the courts for protections for LGBTQ+ people,” said state Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., co-chair of the LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus. “Because we cannot rely on the right-leaning U.S. Supreme Court, we lawmakers at the state level must pass nondiscrimination laws to protect the people in our commonwealth. “LGBTQ+ rights are human rights, and I will continue to fight for the rights that I and so many others across our state are entitled to,” Sims added. The LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus is a bicameral, bipartisan group of Pennsylvania legislators who advocate for equal protections for LGBTQIA+ Pennsylvanians. “This is obviously a disappointment and a reminder that the battle for LGBTQ+ equality is far from over,” said state Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, who co-chairs the LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus with Sims and state Sen. Katie Muth. “As long as we have Read more

 

LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus introduces PA Fairness Act

(Jun 15, 2021)

In order to extend protection from discrimination to LGBTQ+ Pennsylvanians, lawmakers in the LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus unveiled the PA Fairness Act on Tuesday. If passed, the PA Fairness Act would prohibit discrimination against an individual based on their sexual orientation or gender identity or expression in the commonwealth, providing a long-overdue update to Pennsylvania’s law. Read more

 

It’s time for Pa. budget to reflect LGBTQ+ priorities

(Jun 09, 2021)

HARRISBURG, June 9 – The Pennsylvania LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus, a bipartisan and bicameral caucus made up of members of the General Assembly who advocate for equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer residents, has released an open letter to Gov. Tom Wolf, and state Senate and House leadership, urging them to include funding for LGBTQ+ communities in this year’s state budget. “Each year we negotiate a budget that should support all Pennsylvanians and ensure that the commonwealth is inclusive and competitive place to live and work,” said Rep. Brian Sims, Caucus co-chair. “Unfortunately, our budget has historically excluded LGBTQ+ communities in Pennsylvania and it’s time that we prioritized and empowered the people, places and organizations that make Pennsylvania the diverse and vibrant place that it is.” Highlighting critical issues in health care, housing and education that LGBTQ+ Pennsylvanians have to endure, lawmakers emphasized the need for immediate action. “I knew when I became co-chair of the LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus this year that although the wind may be at our back, there is a fight to be had to enact even the most basic protections in Pennsylvania for our LGBTQ+ family,” said Sen. Katie Muth, Caucus chair. “Spending priorities should align with equitable policy that actually improves the lives and well-being of our queer communities. Make no mistake, sexual minorities Read more

 

LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus Budget Letter

(Jun 09, 2021)

LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus open letter to the governor, state Senate and House leadership, highlighting health care, housing, and education needs. Read more

 

Sims and Rabb announce bill to hold Phila. police accountable
Jun 02, 2022

Sims Announces $5 million in state grants to his district
Apr 25, 2022

PA legislators highlight name change legislative package intended to ease name change process for transgender Pennsylvanians
Apr 11, 2022

LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus condemns House Education Committee’s passage of H.B. 972
Mar 29, 2022

Now open for applications: Substance use disorder awareness, fire and emergency medical services, overdose programmatic collaboration funding opportunities
Mar 23, 2022

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

Now open for applications: Homeowner assistance, nonprofit security, Act 13, and clean energy funding opportunities
Feb 07, 2022

LGBTQ+ Caucus responds to Chambersburg Borough Council’s vote to repeal anti-discrimination ordinance
Jan 25, 2022

Lawmakers to seek easier name-change process for LGBTQ+ Pennsylvanians
Jan 20, 2022

Sims announces more than $19 million in redevelopment funding for Center City Philadelphia
Dec 07, 2021

Sims announces $6.5 million in redevelopment funding for Center City Philadelphia
Dec 03, 2021

LIHEAP: Expanded Home-Heating Assistance is Available to PA Renters, Homeowners
Nov 03, 2021

Pennie's Open Enrollment Period is now open
Nov 03, 2021

PLBC condemns book bans at start of national Banned Books Week
Sep 27, 2021

LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus condemns bill that discriminates against athletes
Aug 04, 2021

Why I voted NO on the budget
Jun 29, 2021

LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus comments on the Supreme Court ruling that strikes against anti-discrimination laws in Philadelphia, nation
Jun 22, 2021

LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus introduces PA Fairness Act
Jun 15, 2021

It’s time for Pa. budget to reflect LGBTQ+ priorities
Jun 09, 2021

LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus Budget Letter
Jun 09, 2021