“Veterans have served all of the United States, not just one state. Their ability to enjoy the great outdoors should be enjoyed nationally with as little hindrance as possible,” said Pielli, who is an Army veteran. Read more
“I am extremely grateful to have the full support of my colleagues from both sides of the House,” Shusterman said. “I thank Representative Kate Klunk for championing this bipartisan legislation during the last House session. Families settling legal disputes already have a tough time. We can help take the sting out of those proceedings by providing families more options to come to the best resolution that works for them, and House Bill 917 does just that.” Read more
“I am proud to be a part of a legislature that wants to see our state economy flourish, our local businesses grow, and to see more sustainable jobs created and remain here in the Commonwealth,” Shusterman said. Read more
HARRISBURG, May 24 – Legislation to expand and strengthen Pennsylvania’s anti-hate crimes statutes was approved by the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday, marking the first legislative step forward in two decades to address the universally recognized increase in hate-based crimes. Reps. Dan Frankel and Napoleon Nelson, original sponsors of the four-bill package, applauded their committee colleagues' support and vowed to keep advocating for the legislation until it becomes law. “Hate crimes are on the rise, and every day that Pennsylvania’s laws are left unequipped to deal with them is a day that those who would use violence and intimidation to diminish our vulnerable communities are further emboldened,” Frankel said. “Today, the House Judiciary Committee voted for a commonwealth that stands with vulnerable communities and aspires to promote diversity and tolerance.” Frankel noted that once the bills become law, Pennsylvania will join the majority of states that acknowledge the growing scourge of attacks on Americans for who they are, how they look or who they love. Nelson said, “This legislative package is of vital importance. As hate crimes increase across the country, we must protect those who are most vulnerable. I’m happy to have sponsored these pieces of legislation and look forward to doing more to ensure that everyone – regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual Read more
HARRISBURG, May 23 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, today announced the introduction of legislation (H.B. 1244) that will make predictable the cost of recording documents charged by Recorders of Deeds. “My legislation would simplify the recordation process, eliminate the potential for user error, and guarantee predictability for fees, which will benefit consumers, lenders, businesses, attorneys, and others who record documents in the Commonwealth,” Ciresi said. The current method for calculating the cost of recording is dependent on page count, number of names, number of parcels, and number of marginal document references. According to Ciresi, the last-minute addition or removal of a page, or a miscalculation, can lead to the incorrect amount being included for a filing and subsequent rejection, causing uncertainty, delays, and potential harm to those involved in the transaction. In 2016, the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee conducted a review of the fees collected by recorders of deeds. Its findings included: (1) “Fees charged by County Recorders of Deeds are difficult to predict because they can vary based on factors such as the number of pages and the number of names that need to be indexed” and (2) “Many states are moving toward predictable recording fees to avoid delays and penalties at settlement.” “Not only does the current method create potential for surprises Read more
Focusing on prioritizing people over profit, fighting social inequality Read more
HARRISBURG, May 23 – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives on Monday passed historic legislation that would expand background checks for firearm purchases and provide emergency protection for gun owners who are at risk of harming themselves or others, said state Rep. Perry Warren, who sponsored the background-check bill. The bills, which are now with the Senate for consideration, are: H.B. 714 to enact universal background checks, passed 109-92. H.B. 1018 to create extreme risk protection orders, passed 102-99. “It has been a long time coming, but with a new direction in Harrisburg, we took two really big steps this week toward better protecting the public in the face of a growing gun violence epidemic,” said Warren, D-Bucks. “I’m proud to have sponsored the universal background check bill and happy to see it received bipartisan support in the House. We have a responsibility as representatives to do everything we can to make gun sales the safest and most comprehensive they can be in Pennsylvania." Federal and current state laws require checks for most sales by licensed gun dealers, but they do not cover all types of guns or those sold by unlicensed sellers, including online, at shows and to strangers. Warren’s bill would require checks on all avenues of sales and for long-barrel firearms, as well. “I hope that the Senate has the foresight to move this popular and much-needed Read more
“I introduced this bill because I lost my dad to gun suicide, and I want to do what I can to ensure no other family has to go through the tragedy that mine went through,” O’Mara said. Read more
LANCASTER, May 17 – The Luis Munoz Marin Senior Center will receive a $26,374 state grant, state Rep. Ismail Smith-Wade-El announced today. The center was one of 48 senior centers in the commonwealth that was awarded a 2022-23 Senior Community Center grant through the Pennsylvania Department of Aging. The grant money can be used to update and modernize facilities, provide health and entertainment programs, upgrade technology, or enhance nutrition services. “For years, the Luis Munoz Marin Senior Center has offered our diverse and multi-lingual senior community a place to connect with others, to learn, to enjoy a hot meal, to receive wellness and mental health services, and more,” Smith-Wade-El said. “This grant money is richly deserved and will help Luis Munoz Marin Senior Center enhance its services to continue helping our seniors thrive and live independently.” The Luis Munoz Marin Senior Center is the largest social services center in Lancaster and the only one that cooks hot food on-site instead of using pre-packaged meals prepared at a different location. Annually, the center provides more than 32,000 hot meals – both breakfast and lunch – for seniors and other individuals in the community who otherwise would not have eaten that day. Named after the Puerto Rican poet, journalist and politician who became the first democratically elected governor of Puerto Rico, the Luis Muñoz Marin Senior Center provides Read more
EDDYSTONE, May 15 – Speaker of the House Joanna McClinton highlighted the positive contributions the Delaware County Health Department has accomplished and ways it has impacted the community just a year after being launched in April 2022. “From West Nile Virus to tracking Delco health trends, the Delaware County Health Department is laying the foundation for a healthier county” said Speaker McClinton, who represents portions of Delaware County and Philadelphia. “With new threats to public health emerging every day, I’m proud to support the work of the Health Department to identify, educate, and lead in protecting our community” said McClinton, who brought the House Majority Policy Committee in for a roundtable and tour Monday in Delaware County. During the first days of the pandemic in Pennsylvania, on March 6, 2020, the governor held a press conference to announce two confirmed presumptive COVID-19 cases – including one case in Delaware County. The county had not yet developed its own health department, and it relied on neighboring Chester County to help inform citizens. It exposed a weakness in Delco and for many of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. Before it created its own health department, Delco was the largest county – by population – without its own health department. Even after its creation, only Bucks, Chester, Montgomery and Philadelphia run their own county-wide health departments. Other counties Read more
“Since the fall of Roe v. Wade, states throughout the nation stripped the rights to access to reproductive health care and limited what had previously been readily available for nearly 50 years,” said Krueger, who represents portions of Delaware County and is a member of the House Majority Leadership Team, serving as the House Majority Caucus Administrator. “This decision not only threatens public health in states that limited access to reproductive health care, but it also threatens public health in states like Pennsylvania – where abortion is safe and legal – by overwhelming health systems with the increased demand coming from out of state to receive essential health care.” Read more
“Homelessness and its devastating aftereffects on families and children can no longer be overlooked,” said Rep. Melissa Cerrato, who co-hosted the event. “We know figures for children experiencing homelessness are under reported, so it’s promising to see the success of Family Promise, an organization that accepts and provides service to all people.” Read more
HARRISBURG, May 9 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, yesterday introduced legislation (H.B. 1137) to pay down the unfunded liabilities in the state and school employees’ pensions systems using state surplus funds to relieve tax burdens on local taxpayers and school districts. “While our teachers and state employees deserve the retirements they were promised, the unfunded liabilities in our state pension systems – accumulated years and decades ago – increases costs for our taxpayers and school districts as we work to pay that down,” Ciresi said. “My bill would help provide relief by using our state’s surplus funds to reduce these unfunded liabilities, saving taxpayers money in the long term and speeding up progress on addressing our public pensions.” According to Ciresi, the state pension systems— the Public School Employees’ Retirement System and the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System —generate billions of dollars for the economy every year. In 2020 for example, PSERS and SERS supported about 55,000 jobs and provided about $1.2 billion in state tax revenue . Although the pension systems provide a yearly financial windfall, local taxpayers and school districts are required to pay down the pension systems’ unfunded liabilities. These payments significantly increased since pension reforms in 2010 which, in addition to reforming benefits, prompted expanded pension Read more
Lt. Gov. Austin Davis visited Delco Tech to discuss ways the Shapiro Administration's proposed budget would benefit the school. He was joined by state Reps. Leanne Krueger, D-161, of Nether Providence; Dave Delloso, D-162, of Ridley Park; Gina Curry, D-164, of Upper Darby; Jennifer O’Mara, D-165, of Springfield; and Lisa Borowski, D-168, of Middletown. Read more
“Because of the Wage Tax, many surrounding suburban areas are losing significant tax revenue to support their police, fire, EMS and schools,” Munroe said. “My legislation would spread revenue across the region, which is home to many commuters and where their contributions ought to be shared.” Read more
HARRISBURG, May 3 – State Reps. Gina H. Curry, D-Delaware, La’Tasha D. Mayes, D-Allegheny, and Morgan Cephas, D-Philadelphia, said that they were proud to host Delta Day at the state Capitol on Tuesday. Delta Day is celebrated by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated, which was founded in 1913 by 22 collegiate women on the campus of Howard University. Today, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated is one of the preeminent service-based sororities, with predominantly more than 300,000 Black members and more than 1,000 chapters worldwide. The sorority has maintained a commitment to social activism, academic excellence and civic engagement. Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated has 29 chapters in Pennsylvania. On Delta Day, members from throughout the commonwealth come to the Capitol to connect with elected officials, advance legislation and serve as a voice for others. “The women of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated continue to be magnificent examples of servant-leaders with their commitment to their communities,” Curry said. “That is why I introduced H.R. 100 to recognize and honor the members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated on Delta Day.” “This was the first year back after three years of meeting virtually for Delta Days in Harrisburg,” Mayes said. “It was a great opportunity for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated members to come to our Capitol to lead the conversations Read more
HARRISBURG, May 3 – State Rep. Smith-Wade-El, D-Lancaster, praised yesterday’s passage in the House of the PA Fairness Act, which would outlaw discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. “I’m honored to be a co-prime sponsor of this important legislation—The PA Fairness Act,” Smith-Wade-El said. “This moment is 22 years and hundreds of elections in the making as Democrats have repeatedly tried to pass legislation that would make Pennsylvania a more equitable place to live and work for our LGBTQ+ community. During this time, many LGBTQ+ Pennsylvanians have found themselves to be second-class citizens, at best, in the commonwealth—worried if they would lose housing or a job or their lives because of who they love or who they are. “Pennsylvania for too long has lagged behind other states in outlawing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. That must stop. Thanks to the Democratic majority in the House, we have been able to pass this historic legislation. We’ve got to keep fighting so this legislation passes the Senate. The Fairness Act gets Pennsylvania closer to a place where everyone's rights are protected, where citizens would be wrapped in freedom, equality, fairness and justice which is love spoken out loud. I look forward to that day when the Act is signed into law, and Read more
HARRISBURG, May 2 – Today, the Fairness Act (H.B. 300) passed out of the Pennsylvania House and is headed to the Senate for a future vote. Below is a quote that can be attributed to the co-prime sponsors of this bill: Reps. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila; Jessica Benham, Dan Frankel and La’Tasha D. Mayes, all D-Allegheny; Ismail Smith-Wade-El, D-Lancaster; and Greg Scott, D-Montgomery. “Today is a historic day, as we take a critical step to make Pennsylvania fairer. The Fairness Act is as simple as it is substantive. H.B. 300 would protect LGBTQ+ Pennsylvanians from facing discrimination and allow all individuals in the commonwealth to file complaints with the PA Human Relations Commission. “Now, we call on the Senate to quickly consider and pass this legislation and send it to Governor Shapiro’s desk.” Read more
HARRISBURG, May 2 – The House yesterday passed state Rep. Joe Ciresi’s red-tape cutting legislation that would make it easier for relatives to claim a deceased person’s property being held by the state. According to Ciresi, the Pennsylvania treasury holds some $4 billion in unclaimed property, such as uncashed checks, lost stocks or bonds, or closed bank accounts. Due to an inconsistency in inheritance law, some categories of relatives have a harder time legitimately claiming that property on behalf of their deceased relatives. Under current law, surviving spouses, children, parents and siblings can file for unclaimed property using a notarized sworn relationship affidavit, saving them the effort and expense of having to open or re-open the deceased’s estate. But grandchildren, nephews, nieces and others cannot claim by affidavit even if they are the closest surviving relative. “My legislation would change Pennsylvania’s law for claiming unclaimed property to match the existing intestate succession law, making it easier for grandchildren and other relatives to claim money held in the name of their deceased relatives,” Ciresi, D-Montgomery, said “This would only apply to situations where an affidavit can already be used to claim: for properties under $11,000 and when no estate was ever opened or five years have passed since it was opened.” Ciresi learned about this issue from the work his staff was doing trying to Read more
HARRISBURG, April 28 – State Rep. Patty Kim, D-Dauphin, will join legislators, community members and fellow Asian Americans to celebrate the start of Asian American and Pacific Islander Month on Monday, May 1, in the Capitol’s East Wing Rotunda. Dancing will precede the opening remarks at 10:40 a.m. The program will officially begin at 11 a.m. The following is the run of show. Pennsylvania Legislative Asian Pacific American Caucus RUN OF SHOW – AAPI Heritage Month Celebration/PLAPAC Formation 11 a.m. Monday, May 1, 2023, PA Capitol Building, East Wing Rotunda TIME ACTIVITY 10:40-10:50 AM Performance - Nandanik Dance Troupe 10:50-11:00 AM Performance - Nandanik Dance Troupe 11:00-11:05 AM Chair. Kim – Welcome/Resolution/Caucus Announcement 11:10-11:15 AM LT. Governor Austin Davis – Brief Remarks 11:20-11:25 AM House Speaker Joanna McClinton – Brief Remarks 11:30-11:35 AM Secretary Akbar Hossain – Personal Story/Acknowledge Staff 11:35-11:40 AM Senator Saval/Senator Maria Collett - AAPI Curriculum 11:40-11:45 AM Representative Tarik Khan – Legislation/Personal 11:45-11:50 AM Read more
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