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Rep. Austin Davis elected chairman of Allegheny County House Democratic Delegation

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Frankel lauds plans for vaccine registry, encourages ongoing equity efforts

(Feb 24, 2021)

State Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, sent a letter to Gov. Tom Wolf and Acting Health Secretary Alison Beam Wednesday afternoon urging them to continue moving forward with plans to create a statewide COVID-19 vaccine registry Read more

Miller, Benham to introduce bill to create new Pa. Department of Accessibility and Inclusion

(Feb 10, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 10 – State Reps. Dan Miller and Jessica Benham, both D-Allegheny, are planning to introduce a bill that would create the Pennsylvania Department of Accessibility and Inclusion. “Nearly one in four Pennsylvanians have a disability, and despite the best intentions of many, most have only seen modest improvements in their lives and opportunities,” said Miller, a member of the House Autism and Intellectual Disabilities Caucus. “This department would be committed to providing government services and opportunities that are accessible to every Pennsylvanian.” Miller and Benham, who are both part of the Allegheny County House Democratic Delegation, said the bill would consolidate several existing programs under the new department. It would also create a cabinet-level secretary position in the governor’s administration. “Having a secretary dedicated to the needs of people with disabilities would go a long way in helping the governor’s office craft much-needed policies,” Benham said. “This is a way for Pennsylvania to make sure progress is made and that what matters to people with disabilities is considered.” Miller and Benham are seeking co-sponsors for their planned legislation. Read more

Frankel, Democratic Health Committee members prioritize healthcare equality and access; abortion rights headed into 2021

(Feb 09, 2021)

‘Health care is a human right, and we have a long way to go to fulfill that promise’ Read more

Wheatley, Hughes recognize National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in Pennsylvania

(Feb 05, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 5 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, and state Sen. Vincent Hughes, D-Philadelphia/Montgomery, are recognizing Sunday, Feb. 7 as National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in Pennsylvania. National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day began more than two decades ago as a grassroots effort with hundreds of organizations. This yearly initiative encourages Black people to get tested in the hope of putting an end to the disease. “While the current pandemic has taken center stage as it relates to public health, the HIV/AIDS epidemic is far from over,” Wheatley said. “Nearly 1.2 million people nationwide are living with the virus; 14% of those don’t know they’re infected. African Americans have accounted for 42% of the diagnoses in 2018, the most recent statistics available, while they comprise just 13% of the overall population nationwide. With treatment and medication, people are living longer lives, but sadly, there’s still no cure and prevention remains the best option. That’s why it’s so important to get tested.” “As we remain in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and its disproportionate impact on Black and brown people, let us not forget the that we must remain vigilant in the fight against HIV/AIDS, which has plagued the Black community for years,” Hughes said. “Getting tested, knowing your status and practicing safe behaviors are just as important now as they have ever been. We Read more

Wheatley and Lt. Governor Fetterman: It’s time to legalize it

(Feb 04, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 4 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley has joined Lt. Gov. John Fetterman in urging the legislature to consider his updated measure to legalize adult-use cannabis. Wheatley, D-Allegheny, said this renewed effort includes a call to action on his website, www.repwheatley.com , where Pennsylvanians can click on, fill out and automatically send a message to their state representative and state senator and make their voices heard. “Both Lieutenant Governor Fetterman and I have heard from thousands of Pennsylvanians over the past few years who have made their support clear for this initiative,” Wheatley said. “Not only would this measure provide millions in much-needed revenue and create jobs, but it also includes a provision to expunge cannabis-related offenses for non-violent offenders. My bill would also be a boon to our agriculture industry and support grant programs to help our communities and our minority- and women-owned businesses. The governor is also on board with legalizing adult-use cannabis because he also sees its multi-pronged benefits to our great state. Bottom line: Pennsylvanians have waited long enough – it’s time.” “It’s time for legal weed in Pa.,” Fetterman said. “This is common sense criminal justice reform that will also generate billions when Pennsylvanians need it the most. It’s time to stop spending millions per year to ruin the lives of Read more

Wheatley: Governor’s budget proposal a bold step forward for PA

(Feb 03, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 3 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, released the following statement regarding Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed 2021-22 budget unveiled today: “Once again, Governor Wolf has made a bold attempt to push our commonwealth and its many kings and queens of the General Assembly forward. He has put forth a reasonably straightforward budget proposal that attempts to put equity and fairness at the center and begin to modernize our very outdated and insufficient revenue structures, while simultaneously focusing on our hard-working men and women. “Some legislators will focus on those elements they believe will make easy political points, but we should applaud our governor for being bold and focusing on our state’s future and not on its past. “I am looking forward to working with this administration as we move ahead over the next few months and embark on ways to bring our families and communities' interests to the budgetary process. Whether it's enacting an adult-use cannabis legalization system; further reforming our criminal justice system; or leading the charge to bring more Pennsylvanians tax relief while also finding the needed revenues to continue long term investments in our educational system, childcare systems and workforce systems, I'm here to be an advocate, partner and active participant. “Governor Wolf has set the stage and laid out a pathway forward. Now, it’s time to see if Read more

Kinkead: Governor’s proposed budget provides strong plan to move PA forward

(Feb 03, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 3 – State Rep. Emily Kinkead, D-Allegheny, issued the following statement regarding Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed 2021-22 budget: “The governor’s budget address laid out a clear path that moves our state forward in the right direction. I was pleased to hear him outline his plans on infrastructure investment, which includes long-overdue expansion of broadband access across Pennsylvania, notably in our unserved and underserved communities, safer roads and bridges, and investments to removing lead and asbestos from many of our aging schools. “Our schools have also suffered for many years due to not being fully funded and the governor’s plan will provide our public schools with the resources they need and deserve. For far too long, homeowners in many school districts have had to bear the brunt of skyrocketing property taxes. Governor Wolf’s plan would ensure our districts receive this vital support and that includes raising the salary for teachers to a $45,000 minimum annual salary. No doubt about it -- our teachers have gone above and beyond, even before the pandemic, and they should be fairly compensated for all they do in providing education and support to our children. “Governor Wolf’s support of the Clean Slate Law was just the beginning as it relates to criminal justice reform in our great commonwealth. I was pleased to hear his plans to reform the bail and probation Read more

Davis, state representative and advocate for clean air, heartened by Allegheny County’s report on improved air quality

(Jan 26, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 26 – State Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, released the following statement today regarding Allegheny County’s record-breaking air quality across the region: “Clean air is a fundamental right. Today’s announcement is heartwarming because it highlights that fact. People should not be subjected to subpar air quality simply because of where they live, and I commend the collective efforts of the Allegheny County Health Department, federal, state, and local agencies, industry, and all of the advocates involved in making that a reality. “This is not just a win for environmentalists; it is a step towards equitable living standards, it is a means for protecting the lives of our most vulnerable and it is an example of what is achievable when we all work together. “This is great news, and I am overjoyed by this report, but the fight is not over, and we must all continue advocating for increased air quality across the region, across the Commonwealth and across the country. However, today, we should take solace in the fact that we can breathe a little easier,” Davis said. Read more

Reps. Pisciottano and Brown introduce effort to increase stipend for veterans

(Jan 25, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 25 – State Reps. Nick Pisciottano and Amen Brown are leading an effort to boost the state stipend for veterans who are blind, paralyzed or amputees due to their military service. The $150 monthly stipend has not seen an increase for more than two decades. Pisciottano, D-Allegheny, and Brown, D-Philadelphia, said they plan on introducing legislation that would increase the monthly stipend disabled veterans receive to $200 per month. Based on rising costs and inflation, the current $150 a month these veterans receive is worth about $98 a month, reflecting a 34% decrease in value. “These men and women gave so much in service to our country and to keep each one of us safe, including the loss of their sight and their mobility,” said Pisciottano. “Each one of them who suffered life-altering, debilitating injuries is truly deserving of a long-overdue increase to this benefit, a benefit that is well within our state’s budgetary means. I’m proud to partner with Representative Brown to make this happen and I anticipate more of our colleagues will sign on to support this worthwhile effort to provide this assistance to our disabled veterans.” “Our veterans deserve our deep gratitude and a salute for their service and for keeping our imperfect democratic republic safe.” Brown said. “However, what veterans deserve – and need more – is real, tangible assistance from our state and federal Read more

Gainey introduces automatic voter registration legislation

(Jan 21, 2021)

Proposal would register people when they access state services Read more