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Sims commends Gov. Wolf’s budget

Sims, Risk Assessment Task Force applaud postponement of new tool vote

(Jun 11, 2018)

HARRISBURG, June 11 – State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., today applauded the Pennsylvania Sentencing Commission’s decision to postpone the vote on the risk assessment tool, scheduled for this Thursday. “The commission made the right decision,” Sims said. “If the tool can’t be shown to be accurate enough for courts to use and if we don’t know whether the tool is fair to racial minorities, if it doesn’t actually identify candidates for alternative sentencing but only people who might get accused and arrested, we can’t move forward – at least not without further information. “Along with the Risk Assessment Task Force, I look forward to working with the commission in the future to ensure equal treatment for defendants and develop fair and unbiased instruments. We cannot have a fair criminal justice system within our state if the guidelines we use are imbalanced and unfair.” The Risk Assessment Task Force was created by Sims and Philadelphia criminal defense attorney Marni Snyder in spring 2016 to bring together a diverse field of practitioners, scholars, jurists and advocates concerned about the implementation of risk assessment tools in criminal case sentencing. It includes both prosecutors and members of the defense bar, to evaluate the proposed tools from a balanced perspective. Read more


Frankel, Sims: Supreme Court ruling shows need for Pa. Fairness Act

(Jun 04, 2018)

HARRISBURG, June 4 – Leading pro-LGBT legislators in Harrisburg say today's U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a discrimination case shows the need to pass the Pennsylvania Fairness Act. The bipartisan legislation ( H.B. 1410 / S.B. 613 ) would include sexual orientation and gender identity or expression in the types of discrimination banned statewide in the workplace, housing and public accommodations. "This is about much more than cake – this is about people being denied a job or a place to live just because of who they are. That's still legal in much of Pennsylvania, it's wrong and it's time to fix it," said state Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, co-chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus in the legislature. Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., the first out LGBT person elected to the legislature, said, "The U.S. Supreme Court decision appears to be narrow, based in large part on comments made by some Colorado officials. The door is still wide open for states to protect their LGBT residents and visitors, and Pennsylvania should act. The people are ahead of the legislature: Polls have shown consistent 70-percent support for this in Pennsylvania for eight years. The Fairness Act has bipartisan support in the legislature, and there should be hearings and votes on it." Frankel, lead House sponsor of the bill, said, "Many Pennsylvanians are stunned when they learn state or federal law doesn't already protect LGBT people in the Read more


4/27/18 – House Bill 1243 – Philadelphia

(Apr 27, 2018)

Materials from public hearing hosted by State Rep. Brian Sims. Read more


Sims to host House Democratic Policy Committee hearing on equal pay Friday in Philadelphia

(Apr 24, 2018)

PHILADELPHIA, April 24 – As part of the House Democratic Caucus’ Plan4PA, state Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., will host a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing on House Bill 1243 calling for equal pay regardless of gender or other factors. The hearing will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, April 27 at the Kimmel Center, Hamilton Gardens, 300 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102 . Sims requested the hearing to spark discussion on strengthening the Equal Pay Law to provide additional protections for all employees and to ensure wages are based on education, training and experience. The measure is part of House Democrats’ Plan4Pam focusing on putting People First with good jobs and family sustaining wages. Sims will be joined by state legislators from across the state, including Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. The current agenda is: 10:00 a.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks 10:10 a.m. Panel One: Susan Carty , President, League of Women Voters Pennsylvania Heather Arnet , CEO, Women & Girls Foundation Barbara Price , Public Policy Co-Chair, American Association of University Women (AAUW) of Pennsylvania Terry Fromson , Managing Attorney, Women’s Law Project 10:50 a.m. Panel Two: Andrea Mead , Chief of Staff to the First Lady, Office of Governor Tom Wolf Rebecca Rhynhart , Philadelphia City Controller Melissa Robbins , Delegate, Pennsylvania NOW 11:20 a.m. Closing Remarks Read more


Sims Studying Equal Pay Issues

(Apr 20, 2018)

In his ongoing fight for equal pay, Pa. state Rep. Brian Sims is holding a public hearing to figure out the best ways to close the pay gap for women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ communities. Read more


Sims Fighting to End Gun Violence

(Apr 16, 2018)

At a House Judiciary Committee special meeting on gun violence & public safety, Pa. state Rep. Brian Sims talks about the scourge of gun crimes in Philadelphia and his bill that would fairly regulate the sale of ammunition in the Commonwealth. Read more


Sims: It’s Time to Fix This

(Apr 11, 2018)

Equal pay advocates came together in Harrisburg rallying for change, where Pa. state Rep. Brian Sims expressed frustration over the unnecessary gender pay gap that still exists in workplaces throughout the state. Read more


Pa. legislators call for action on Equal Pay Day

(Apr 10, 2018)

HARRISBURG, April 10 – State legislators and advocates held a rally in the Capitol today to call for action on strengthening Pennsylvania's outdated, ineffective equal-pay law. Today is Equal Pay Day, the symbolic day when women’s average earnings catch up to men’s from the previous year. "Our state ranks 29th in the United States for pay equity. Women in Pennsylvania on average make 79 percent of what men make. It takes women an additional four months and four days to get paid the same as their male counterparts. This is despite the fact that we are just as qualified and have the same amount of experience," said state Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, chairwoman of the Philadelphia County Delegation. "I am fighting for change with my legislation, House Bill 830 . It would ensure equal pay for equal work. The bill currently sits in the House Labor and Industry Committee, where it has remained for more than a year. The facts have remained the same for far too long: women make far less than men here in Pennsylvania and that is unfair and economically self-defeating." Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, co-chairman of the Women's Health Caucus, said, "Mother's Day is coming up next month. Instead of nice words, it's time to deliver something that working mothers and all Pennsylvania working women deserve: equal pay for equal work! I have been hearing from so many women who are angry about what's been going Read more


Sims Putting #PeopleFirst with the #Plan4Pa

(Mar 08, 2018)

Pa. state Rep. Brian Sims is fighting for quality schools, good paying jobs, making sure big business pays their share of taxes and putting people first with the Plan4Pa. Read more


Winter 2018 Newsletter

(Mar 07, 2018)

My winter 2018 newsletter includes details on $3.4 million in state grants for local projects, an overview of the 2017-18 budget, what's happening with sexual harassment in Harrisburg, my legislative initiatives - and more. Read more


Sims Supports Pa. Education Investment

(Feb 08, 2018)

Pa. state Rep. Brian Sims supports Gov. Tom Wolf's budget proposal that invests in education from Pre-K through college and workforce development. Read more


Sims hails education funding increases in Wolf's budget proposal

(Feb 05, 2018)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 5 – State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., praised the education funding increases Gov. Tom Wolf will propose Tuesday in his yearly budget address. "I've been proud to work with Governor Wolf and my Democratic colleagues to restore the funding that Corbett-Republican cuts took from K-12 and higher education, but I want to keep going in the direction of full and fair funding. I support the return of local control of Philadelphia public schools driven by Governor Wolf and Mayor Kenney, but we need to have levels of state funding to help our young people succeed," Sims said. Sims said Wolf's proposal will reaffirm their shared 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. Sims said 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. "The governor's proposals go hand in hand with the House Democrats' Plan For PA," Sims said. Read more


Meet new district office staffer Ashton Adams

(Feb 02, 2018)

A short interview with Ashton Adams, a new staffer in Rep. Sims’ district office: 1. Where are you from? I am originally from a suburb outside of Pittsburgh, and lived there my whole life until I decided to move to Philadelphia to attend Temple University. I had never visited, or had any close relatives living in Philadelphia, so I was excited to start a brand new chapter in a city I had never explored. I studied public relations and political science at Temple University and served as a tour guide there, which allowed me to meet thousands of people from across the country wanting to come to our great city for higher education. 2. What made you want to do this job? While in college, I decided I wanted to do something that would allow me to serve my community and find a career in purpose driven work. While studying political science in college, I began to understand how effective leadership can change lives and ultimately impact generations to come. I immediately knew I wanted to be a part of something larger than myself, while still helping people on a regular basis. 3. What are some of the things you like about Philadelphia? The people! After college, I knew I wanted to stay in Philadelphia because I have met some of the most inspiring, driven and devoted people in the city who are committed to making not only their life better, but the lives of others. Through living and working in Philadelphia, I have definitely realized that Philadelphia really is Read more


State Reps. Miller, Rabb, Sims and Solomon call for prompt action in wake of sexual harassment allegations in Harrisburg

(Dec 22, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 22 – State Reps. Dan Miller, D-Allegheny, Chris Rabb, Brian Sims and Jared Solomon, all D-Phila., today issued the following statement and call for action in the wake of sexual harassment allegations in the Pennsylvania legislature. “The recent reports and allegations emanating from Harrisburg are deeply troubling. For too long, stories of inappropriate behavior have been kept hush-hush, universally acknowledged but rarely acted upon,” the lawmakers wrote to legislative leaders. “It is simply insulting to the character of our Commonwealth that women have to whisper warnings to each other about which legislators they should avoid. In addition, the level of professional harm that far too many women have endured is incalculable. It is vital that we as male legislators reflect on our role in either perpetuating this culture in Harrisburg or analyze our as yet unsuccessful efforts to end it. “It seems rather basic. If you grope someone, you are unfit for office. If you expose yourself to someone, you are unfit for office. If you condition employment or in any way use your office to intimidate or coerce someone into doing something inappropriate, if you are more interested in how a woman looks rather than her skills for the job, you are unfit for office. And, to no less of a degree, if you are silent when such incidents of discrimination and assault occur in front of you, then you are unfit for office. None of these personal Read more


Sims denounces Senator Leach’s behavior following misconduct allegations

(Dec 19, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 19 – State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., released the following statement regarding the accusations of allegations of misconduct made against state Sen. Daylin Leach: “The allegations made against Senator Leach are disturbing and credible. I fully and completely believe the multiple accounts detailing Senator Leach’s inexcusable and inappropriate behavior. His social media rants over the last 48 hours have been unprofessional, extremely offensive, and are why many women do not feel comfortable coming forward to report harassment. His decision to attack the women making claims in stark and personal terms rather than respond to the merits of the allegations, or in any way apologize for his behavior, disqualifies him from holding office. “Therefore, I am joining with Governor Wolf and several of my House colleagues in calling on Senator Leach to resign his office immediately. “Senator Leach has championed and fought for many of the issues and communities I care deeply about, but those efforts absolutely do not negate the egregious nature of his actions. These women have bravely come forward, with absolutely nothing to gain and everything to lose, to confront this troubling pattern of behavior. “We owe it to these brave women, and the countless other victims of other perpetrators yet named, to eradicate the entrenched misogynistic environment of Harrisburg. That must include Senator Leach’s resignation.” Read more


Sims announces $1.2 million in state grants for local projects

(Nov 14, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 14 – State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., today announced local projects will receive a total of more than $1.2 million in state grants from the Commonwealth Financing Authority. Sims said the state will provide two grants totaling $898,485 for developing park land in front of Park Towne Place Museum District Residences, 2200 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, into an active recreational space, with walking trails and reflective gardens featuring public art. The funding will be in addition to $200,000 in state funding which Sims helped to secure last year. The city's Parks and Recreation Department is partnering with Aimco (Apartment Investment and Management Co.) and the Association for Public Art on the project. Sims said the public-private partnership to improve the park area is consistent with the master plan for the Benjamin Franklin Parkway -- More Park, Less Way, by providing a welcoming open green space along the parkway that will benefit residents, visitors and neighboring cultural institutions. The overall development will also create and retain jobs within the region, he said. Sims said the state also will provide $376,736 to replace the dated headhouse to the 11th Street Market-Frankford Line elevated/subway stop and the heavily used bus shelter next to it on the 1100 block of Market Street. The new headhouse and shelter are intended to increase the visibility of transit assets available to the public. Sims represents the 182nd Read more


Sims hosting health and wellness summit Oct. 28 focusing on LGBTQIA people of color

(Oct 20, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 20 – State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., will host a "Be You" health and wellness summit Oct. 28 that will focus on LGBTQIA people of color, but all are welcome to participate. LGBTQIA stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex and allies. The summit will be held from noon to 3 p.m. Oct. 28 at the William Way LGBT Community Center, 1315 Spruce St. It will include free resources on: Legal rights Meditation Preventing sexually transmitted infections, or STIs At-home workouts PrEP and PEP , which are categories of medication that can reduce the chances of being infected with HIV when taken before or after sex, respectively Quick healthy recipes The summit also will include exhibitors and on-site HIV testing. Workshops at the summit will include: Social justice: your rights when dealing with law enforcement as an LGBTQIA person of color; and your rights legally and inside of the courtroom (domestic violence, discrimination/harassment). Stress management: everyday practices that participants can use to reduce and manage stress, with a focus on workout tips, healthy cooking tips and breathing techniques. Sexual health awareness and sexuality: community conversation aimed at educating participants on STIs by looking at sexual behaviors and how to reduce the risk of the transmission of STIs. Additionally, this conversation will focus on PEP and PrEP as means of HIV prevention and Read more


Equality Caucus: Shame on Pa. senators for putting transgender kids at risk

(Oct 18, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 18 – Leaders of the legislature's LGBT Equality Caucus said the state senators who voted today to deny health care to transgender young people should be ashamed of themselves. "Shame on every senator who voted to add discrimination against trans young people to what had been a simple, clean, bipartisan renewal of the Children's Health Insurance Program, a commonsense, popular program that covers hundreds of thousands of kids in Pennsylvania," said co-chair Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny. House Bill 1388 passed the House 194-0 in June. Today, the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee voted to add an amendment that would deny reimbursement for gender or sex reassignment surgery, transition services, including physician's services, inpatient and outpatient hospital services, prescription drugs or even counseling services. Co-chair Sen. Daylin Leach, D-Montgomery/Delaware, said, "You wouldn't deny a child an appendectomy, or a cast for a broken leg, or reconstructive surgery for a cleft palate. Why block some of our most vulnerable kids from getting vital medical care? This amendment is evidence of a profound lack of understanding of transgender children's medical needs." Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., the only out LGBT member of the legislature, said, "This bill picks on some of the most vulnerable children in Pennsylvania. This bill is the opposite of pro-family. This bill would cut off funds for Read more


Sims Defends DACA

(Sep 13, 2017)

Pa. state Rep. Brian Sims explains how DACA helps not only those who have been brought to this country without their consent, but it also helps our state and national economy by allowing those immigrants who are doing the right thing and working hard to stay in America. Read more


Sims: #CoverPEPandPrEP

(Sep 06, 2017)

Pa. state Rep. Brian Sims has introduced legislation (HB1107 & HB1112) that would require insurance companies in Pennsylvania to cover antiretroviral and preventative HIV medication known as PEP and PrEP. The medication can be prohibitively expensive but is extremely effective in treating and preventing HIV infection. Read more