Featured News

Pennie's Open Enrollment Period is now open

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

 

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant portal reopens Saturday, April 24th

(Apr 23, 2021)

The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced that the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant application portal will reopen on Saturday, April 24. Updated documents and guidance will be available today (Friday, April 23rd) by clicking here . This is a grant program established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act. The program includes over $16 billion in grants to shuttered venues, and is administered by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance. Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue , with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees. Eligible entities include: Live venue operators or promoters. Theatrical producers. Live performing arts organization operators. Museum operators. Motion picture theater operators (including owners). Talent representatives. Other requirements of note: Must have been in operation as of February 29, 2020. Venue or promoter who received a PPP loan on or after December 27, 2020, will have the SVOG reduced by the PPP loan amount. Read more

 

Sims announces $50K greenways, trails and recreation program grant for Schuylkill River Development Corporation

(Apr 21, 2021)

PHILADELPHIA, April 21 – State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., announced today that the Commonwealth Financing Authority has awarded a $50,000 grant to the Schuylkill River Development Corporation. “Creating, expanding and maintaining green space in the urban core of Philadelphia and in a dense area like my legislative district is a priority for me because green space and recreational opportunities are tied to the quality of life for residents and to the health our area’s economy,” Sims said. “The Schuylkill River Trail is a vital recreational asset, a fact that came into clearer focus during the COVID-19 pandemic. I am proud to support the trail’s continued improvement and ecological restoration.” The $50,000 Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program grant will be used for bulkhead restoration along the Schuylkill riverbanks, which will protect against erosion. Act 13 of 2012 established the Marcellus Legacy Fund and allocates funds to the Commonwealth Financing Authority for planning, acquisition, development, rehabilitation and repair of greenways, recreational trails, open space, parks and beautification projects using the Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program. Funding can be used for projects that involve development, rehabilitation and improvements to public parks, recreation areas, greenways, trails and river conservation. Visit the Department of Community and Economic Development’s website to Read more

 

Sims, one of 60 state leaders chosen for Council of State Governments national task force, will shape policy solutions

(Apr 13, 2021)

HARRISBURG, April 13 – State Rep. Brian Sims announced Tuesday that he has been invited to join the Council of State Governments’ new two-year Healthy States National Task Force to assist states with a variety of health and well-being challenges, all of which have been intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic. “I am honored to have been selected to serve on this task force and to work with my colleagues across the United States, as well as with thought leaders who are experts in their field, to determine best practices for policies surrounding health,” said Sims, D-Phila. “I look forward to digging into this work to outline real policy solutions to impact many facets of public and fiscal health to improve life for people in Pennsylvania and beyond.” The national task force will develop public policy resources and solutions to address state policy challenges in the areas of fiscal health, human health, economic and workforce health, and civic health. It will be composed of approximately 60 state leaders from all three branches of government across the country. Sims was selected to join the group because of his expertise and commitment to policy change and improvement. Beginning this year, members of the CSG Healthy States National Task Force will work for two years to oversee research and analysis on selected policy areas, identify bipartisan policy solutions, develop case studies and provide an outline of recommendations Read more

 

Join me, Sen. Saval and the Washington Square West Civic Association for a cleanup and shred event

(Apr 06, 2021)

You’re invited to join the 2021 Philly Spring Clean Up presented by Washington Square West Civic Association, Senator Saval and me from 9 to 11 a.m. THIS SATURDAY, April 10. Read more

 

Lawmakers: Legislation is hateful attempt to ignite culture war in Pa

(Apr 05, 2021)

Say proposed bill is disingenuous, harmful Read more

 

LGBTQ+ Sponsored Forum on Protections for Pennsylvanians

(Mar 29, 2021)

Join me and community partners to talk about what the lack of protections have meant for Pennsylvanians and the road to passing effective equitable legislation. Read more

 

The Road to LGBTQ Equality in PA Event

(Mar 09, 2021)

Join State Representative Brian Sims and partners from the Persad Center to discuss the long overdue road to LGBTQIA+ Equality in PA. Read more

 

Sims Committed to Constituent Services

(Feb 25, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb 25- State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., is highlighting his office’s work in helping the people that matter most: constituents. Compared to 2019, Rep. Sims and his staff resolved 366 more constituent cases through written correspondence, 2,499 more constituent cases via email, and 2,052 more constituent cases over the phone in 2020. That adds up to 4,917 more resolved cases in 2020 than in 2019, a 267.23% increase. “The well-being of our constituents is our main priority. My staff works hard day in and day out to make sure any issues facing the residents in our district are resolved as quickly and as thoroughly as possible,” Sims said. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a lot of hardships to the residents of the Commonwealth and caused disruptions in everyone’s lives. Districts in the Philadelphia area were especially hit hard with higher case counts, hospitalizations, and percent positivity rates. Sims said his staff worked hard to resolve issues concerning unemployment compensation, COVID-19 testing, and now, vaccine administration. “Although there is light at the end of the tunnel, the pandemic is still months away from being over,” said Sims. “Anyone that continues to face problems relating to the pandemic, or any other state-related issue, should not hesitate to contact my office.” Residents in the 182 nd District Sims represents can learn more about the Read more

 

PA LGBTQ Equality Caucus denounces U.S. Sen. Rand Paul for bringing his transphobia to the confirmation hearing of Dr. Rachel Levine

(Feb 25, 2021)

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 25 – Members of 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, today condemned U.S. Sen. Rand Paul for the sickening and misinformed transphobic comments he made during the confirmation hearing of Dr. Rachel Levine. Levine, who if confirmed would be the highest ranking openly trans government official at the federal level, is President Joe Biden’s nominee for assistant secretary of Health and Human Services. She previously served as Pennsylvania’s physician general and secretary of Health. State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila, a caucus co-chairman, said Levine’s testimony should have left no doubt about her commitment to public health and her qualifications to take on such a role. He condemned Paul for using an opportunity to learn more about a remarkable woman who helped to lead Pennsylvania through a once-in-a-generation worldwide pandemic to instead spew dangerous hate and bigotry. “As the Biden administration moves forward appointing the top experts that reflect the true diversity of our nation to key positions, sadly bigots like Rand Paul still lurk about our government,” Sims said. “Despite his hateful and transphobic rantings and attempt to demean her during questioning, Dr. Levine did what she’s done time and time again, she answered his hate, Read more

 

Sims, Frankel: House Republicans fail moral test in vote

(Jan 26, 2021)

Failure to pass amendment allows historic opportunity to slip away Read more

 

LGBTQ Equality Caucus announces changes for 2021-2 legislative session

(Jan 21, 2021)

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 21 – 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 organized for the 2021-22 legislative session, according to state Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., a caucus co-chairman. The caucus was formed in 2011 by state Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, to fend off attacks on and fight for the rights of LGBTQ people. Since that time, the General Assembly and the caucus have come to include three out members, including Sims, state Rep. Malcom Kenyatta, D-Phila., and first term state Rep. Jessica Benham, D-Allegheny. “We are off to a very robust start,” Sims said. “The issues and legislation prioritized by the LGBTQ caucus, most importantly LGBTQ equality, have been set aside for too long. But I want members of the LGBTQ community across the commonwealth to know that this caucus, at almost 70 members strong, is poised and ready to fight for the health, safety and well-being of all LGBTQ Pennsylvanians, now more than ever. As elected officials, we are here to represent all of the people of Pennsylvania and we’ll hold all of our colleagues to the same standard. I’m looking forward to the work that this bipartisan group can accomplish this session.” State Sen. Katie Muth, D-Montgomery/Chester/Berks, was elected as chairwoman of the caucus for the current term. She joins Read more

 

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

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant portal reopens Saturday, April 24th
Apr 23, 2021

Sims announces $50K greenways, trails and recreation program grant for Schuylkill River Development Corporation
Apr 21, 2021

Sims, one of 60 state leaders chosen for Council of State Governments national task force, will shape policy solutions
Apr 13, 2021

Join me, Sen. Saval and the Washington Square West Civic Association for a cleanup and shred event
Apr 06, 2021

Lawmakers: Legislation is hateful attempt to ignite culture war in Pa
Apr 05, 2021

LGBTQ+ Sponsored Forum on Protections for Pennsylvanians
Mar 29, 2021

The Road to LGBTQ Equality in PA Event
Mar 09, 2021

Sims Committed to Constituent Services
Feb 25, 2021

PA LGBTQ Equality Caucus denounces U.S. Sen. Rand Paul for bringing his transphobia to the confirmation hearing of Dr. Rachel Levine
Feb 25, 2021

Sims, Frankel: House Republicans fail moral test in vote
Jan 26, 2021

LGBTQ Equality Caucus announces changes for 2021-2 legislative session
Jan 21, 2021