The latest UArts hearing discusses red flags before closure, a failed move to save the school, and an accusation of ‘cowards’ on the board

(Jun 18, 2024)

High-level University of the Arts administrators tried to halt the university’s abrupt June closure, but were stonewalled and frozen out, one said Monday at a state hearing on the sudden shutdown. Read more

 

Students, faculty, alumni detail UArts closure

(Jun 17, 2024)

“Even though these universities are private institutions, we believe we have a moral responsibility as elected leaders to have oversight to ensure tax dollars are being spent correctly and responsibly,” said House Majority Appropriations Chair Jordan Harris, who represents portions of Philadelphia. “When a tragedy like this happens, the students, faculty and staff turn to their leadership – whose presence has been lacking. The House is looking to have more involvement on the front end, so a tragedy like this never happens again in Philadelphia or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.” Read more

 

Grant Memo: Agricultural, Environmental, Public Safety, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities

(Jun 14, 2024)

NEWLY LISTED PROGRAMS Labor and Industry: PAsmart Pathway Innovations to Registered Apprenticeships Grant Program Who May Apply: Organizations that serve as sponsors or intermediaries of new Registered Apprenticeships including businesses, community-based organizations, economic development organizations, industry associations, labor organizations, local education agencies, local workforce development boards, nonprofit organizations, post-secondary institutions, public libraries, and STEM ecosystems. Use: To support the creation and expansion of registered apprenticeship programs that offer earn-as-you-learn opportunities. Funds: $5,000,000 in funding is available. Application Deadline: July 12, 2024 More information: L&I Website Historical and Museum Commission: Historical and Archival Records Care Grant Who May Apply: Nonprofits and local government entities that have been in existence for two years prior to grant request submission. Use: To assist with preservation of historically valuable original documents. Funds: Single organizations can apply for up to $5,000. Projects with multiple organizations involved can apply for up to $5,000 for each organization (2 organizations can apply for $10,000, 3 organizations can apply for $15,000, etc.). Application Deadline: July 8, 2024 More information: PHMC Website Commission on Crime and Delinquency: Act Read more

 

Congratulations to our 2024 graduates!

(Jun 14, 2024)

I had the privilege of giving the commencement address at the Kensington Creative and Performing Arts graduation ceremony. It was an evening filled with celebration, hope and possibility. Read more

 

Democratic lawmakers to introduce bill increasing transparency for institutions of higher education

(Jun 13, 2024)

HARRISBURG, June 13 – State Reps. Ben Waxman, D-Phila., and Bob Merski, D-Erie, announced today that they will be introducing legislation to help prevent abrupt closures of higher education institutions in Pennsylvania. This announcement comes roughly one week after the sudden closure of The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. This legislation would require colleges or universities to provide financial information yearly if they receive commonwealth funds or federal funds distributed by the commonwealth. The lawmakers believe that this proposal would ensure transparency for the commonwealth, students, and staff of higher education institutions and continued good stewardship of taxpayer dollars. The University of the Arts is located in Waxman’s legislative district, covering center city Philadelphia. “When I heard about UArts’ closure, I immediately shared feelings of anger and disappointment with the students who won’t have the same school to attend and faculty who will be losing their jobs,” Waxman said. “I want to ensure no student or school faculty member in Pennsylvania has to go through what those at UArts are going through right now. By requiring these schools to regularly notify us of their financial information, we can create greater accountability and transparency across the board.” The lawmakers say that having this information from schools on a yearly Read more

 

Grant Memo: Agricultural, Environmental, Public Safety, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities

(May 29, 2024)

NEWLY LISTED PROGRAMS Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs: PA Statewide Drug and Alcohol Toll-Free Call Center Who May Apply: Applicant must be able to manage a statewide 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year Drug and Alcohol (D&A) Toll-Free Call Center. Use: DDAP will enter into a grant agreement with one entity to manage and oversee all aspects of the D&A Call Center to provide confidential referral services to consumers and their families seeking drug and alcohol treatment and who are experiencing difficulty as a result of substance use disorder (SUD). Funds: Up to $6,788,000 for five years for one grantee through DDAP’s Substance Use Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Services Block Grant federal funding. Application Deadline: June 18, 2024 More information: DDAP Website PROGRAMS OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS: Department of Agriculture: Farm Vitality Planning Grant Who May Apply: Farmers, prospective farmers, and others may apply. Use: Strategic business planning to expand or diversify farms or support transition of ownership. Funds: $500,000 in funding is available. Grants shall not exceed $7,500. Application Deadline: Applications will be received until funds are exhausted. More information: Pennsylvania Bulletin Commission on Crime and Delinquency: Recruitment Incentives for Law Enforcement Who May Apply: Read more

 

Everyone deserves a safe and stable home

(May 17, 2024)

Safe, affordable and accessible housing should not be a luxury for the well off but a human right for all people in our community. It’s why I am constantly working as your state representative to enact public policy that opens housing to more people, including those who have been evicted, often because of financial hardships caused by low wages and childcare issues in an economy that is not fair for everyone, especially for Black mothers and their children. Read more

 

Grant Memo: Agricultural, Educational, Environmental, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities

(May 14, 2024)

NEWLY LISTED PROGRAMS Department of Conservation and Natural Resources: Wild Resource Conservation Program Who May Apply: Counties, municipalities, educational institutions, non-profit organizations, conservation districts, and municipal authorities. Individuals, state government agencies, and for-profit businesses may be eligible depending on the project. Use: Grant applications will be accepted for species surveys, conservation, and management. Funds: Funding comes through the Wil Resource Conservation Fund and a portion of the Environmental Stewardship Fund. Grant size varies, but the average grant award is $30,000. Application Deadline: July 1, 2024 More information: DCNR website Department of Community and Economic Development: Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) The NAP is broken down into five components: The Neighborhood Assistance Program Tax Credit, the Special Program Priorities, the Neighborhood Partnership Program, the Charitable Food Program, and the Enterprise Zone Program Tax Credit. Please visit the link below for specific information on each component. Who May Apply: Depending on the program, eligible applicants include neighborhood organizations that hold a ruling from the IRS as nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organizations, and organizations operating as food banks, food pantries, or emergency food providers. Use: Use varies by program, but priorities for this funding Read more

 

Ending Racial Profiling, Distracted Driving

(May 13, 2024)

The House passed and sent to the governor legislation that would require the State Police and larger police departments to collect profiling data during traffic stops and report any searches conducted. This data is important to ensure all drivers are treated equally under the law and to end racial profiling. Read more

 

Heard It From Harris: State Police Now Outfitted with Body and Vehicle Cameras

(May 03, 2024)

On March 4 the House Appropriations Committee met with the Pennsylvania State Police for their budget hearing. This hearing immediately followed high-profile incidents with the State Police in our region. At the hearing, PSP Commissioner Christopher Paris assured me and the committee that they would expedite resources to have body camera operations for Philadelphia and Southeastern Pennsylvania troopers in the next few weeks. Read more

 

Pennsylvania State Police roll out body cameras to Philly-area troopers

(May 01, 2024)

Amid continued calls for increased police accountability and transparency, the Pennsylvania State Police announced that it has issued body cameras to all troopers in Philadelphia, Montgomery, and Delaware Counties. Read more

 

Agricultural, Educational, Safety, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities

(May 01, 2024)

NEWLY LISTED PROGRAMS Commission on Crime and Delinquency: Indigent Defense Grant Program Who May Apply: Counties Use: Salaries and benefits for staff, recruiting efforts to find/retain staff, training and development courses for staff, efforts to improve data collection, and any cost associated with gaps or needs in providing indigent defense, among other things. Funds: A total of $6,750,000 is expected to fund up to 67 grants (one in each county). Application Deadline: , May 23, 202d4 More information: PCCD Website Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (via Department of Homeland Security): Nonprofit Security Grant Program Who May Apply: Non-profit organizations may apply as a sub applicant through PEMA. PEMA is the direct applicant to the Department of Homeland Security. Use: Funds are to be used to enhance the protection of soft targets/crowded places. Funds: $274,500,000 in federal funds are available for this national funding opportunity. $3,277,500 in funding is targeted toward Pennsylvania. Application Deadline: May 29, 2024, at 5 p.m. More information: PEMA Website Historical and Museum Commission: Historical & Archival Records Care Grant Who May Apply: Local government entities and nonprofit organizations Use: Projects must relate to some aspect of Pennsylvania’s history and funds may be used for preservation of Read more

 

New Agricultural, Educational, Safety, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities

(Apr 30, 2024)

Below are multiple state grant programs that are currenctly open for application. Please contact my office if you have questions. NEWLY LISTED PROGRAMS Commission on Crime and Delinquency: National Incident-Based Reporting System Compliance Efforts Who May Apply: Local law enforcement agencies, campus or university police, railroad or street railway police, airport authority police, and county park police. Use: Funds for the proposed program shall be used to improve reporting of crime statistics by upgrading technology infrastructure to report incident-based crime data to the FBI’s NIBRS. Funds: $10 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funding is available. PCCD expects to fund approximately 50 grants with budgets not to exceed $200,000 over the two-year project period. Application Deadline: June 13. 2024 More information: PCCD Website Department of Environmental Protection: Growing Greener (Watershed Restoration and Protection) Plus Program Who May Apply: Incorporated watershed associations, counties, county conservation districts, council of governments, tax-exempt corporations under 501(c)(3) of the IRS code, educational institutions, or municipal authorities. Use: Projects that reduce nonpoint source pollution—especially nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment pollution from agricultural and stormwater runoff. The Department is particularly interested in design and Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation praises increased transparency by PA State Police

(Apr 29, 2024)

HARRISBURG, April 29 – The Philadelphia House Delegation today applauded the Pennsylvania State Police for following up on their promise to expand the use of body cameras to the officers in Troop K serving the Philadelphia region. During a public hearing with the House Appropriations Committee on the 2024-25 state budget in early March, State Police Commissioner Colonel Christopher Paris assured the committee that resources would be expedited to Southeastern PA for body camera recordings to be implemented on all officers. “Transparency is critical in officer-involved incidents. The cameras now worn by Troop K and used in their vehicles will assist in that transparency and create accountability in the unfortunate use of force,” said delegation chairwoman Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila. “This is about protecting our communities and protecting officers, giving everyone a little more peace of mind when issues arise.” House Majority Appropriations Committee Chairman Jordan Harris, D-Phila, recounted the pledge to expedite body cameras by PSP leadership during the committee’s public hearings on the state budget. “On March 4, 2024, the Appropriations Committee met with the Pennsylvania State Police for their budget hearing. This hearing immediately followed high-profile incidents with the PSP in our region; Commissioner Paris assured me and the committee that they would expedite resources to have Read more

 

Excited for the summer opening of Vare Rec Center

(Apr 26, 2024)

One of the highlights of my job as your state representative is to bring state funds back to the community through my work in Harrisburg and by having strong partnerships with local officials and organizations. The Vare Recreation Center is one of those labors of love. Over the years I’ve helped to secure almost $1 million in state funding for this project and I am thankful for Philadelphia Council President Kenyatta Johnson’s work to secure Rebuild funding and the efforts of our friends at the Make the World Better Foundation. Read more

 

Supporting Black Mothers

(Apr 19, 2024)

This week at the Capitol I joined in recognizing Black Maternal Health Week, an annual effort held from April 11-17 to raise national awareness about Black maternal morbidity and mortality rates, health conditions affecting Black mothers, and improving lives. To help address the maternal health crisis in Pennsylvania, I support a package of eight bills – known as the Pennsylvania Momnibus – that would improve maternal health outcomes for Pennsylvanians, especially Black mamas. Read more

 

Budget bills introduced

(Apr 12, 2024)

As chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, I am honored to have a major role in the development of our state’s annual budget. All budget bills must start in the House, and I was delighted to introduce this year’s budget bills (House Bills 2333-2337) into the legislative bill system this week. I take my role in this seriously, but there’s always a laugh to be had, especially when I navigated my first year of this process. I will keep you updated as the budget moves forward throughout the spring. Read more

 

Legislative update on gun safety bills, state programs available for application

(Apr 05, 2024)

Gun safety is not a partisan issue. When a gun goes off, when the bullet leaves the chamber, it doesn't ask for party registration. The truth is that the bills sent to the Senate are commonsense measures that have garnered bipartisan support. It’s time for Senate leaders to stop playing political games and act on them. Read more

 

Philadelphia lawmakers, others call on state Senate to act on gun safety measures passed by House

(Apr 04, 2024)

PHILADELPHIA, April 4 – Members of the Philadelphia House Delegation today joined gun safety advocates to call on the state Senate to take up legislation ( H.B. 777 ) passed by the House last week that aims to eliminate the proliferation of “ghost guns” in Pennsylvania and crack down on those who buy or sell them, along with other gun reform bills passed by the House in this legislative session. The bill, sponsored by state Reps. Morgan Cephas and Malcolm Kenyatta, both D-Phila., would make selling or purchasing a firearm or firearm parts without serial numbers a felony. Cephas said these untraceable firearms are a main driver of crime, especially in Philadelphia. “Ghost guns are far too easily obtainable in Philadelphia, leading to day-to-day gun violence that has no end,” Cephas said. “For far too long, the Pennsylvania legislature has been singularly focused on what we do after crimes are committed with guns, rather than the unfettered access to these deadly, untraceable weapons. I am thankful that the House, under our new Democratic majority, moved this commonsense legislation to the Senate and now call on our state senators to give it the attention and consideration it deserves.” House Speaker Joanna McClinton noted the other gun safety bills sent over to the Senate in addition to H.B. 777, including legislation that would allow for the temporary removal of firearms from Read more

 

State Grants Awarded; House Gets at Ghost Guns

(Mar 29, 2024)

As chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, it is my duty to oversee funding earmarked in the state budget for grant programs like the Multimodal Transportation Fund. As state representative for the district, it is my honor to help bring these state dollars back to projects in our community. These grants will improve Philadelphia’s transportation infrastructure and the well-being of our communities. Read more about the grants awarded Tuesday for our community. Read more

 

The latest UArts hearing discusses red flags before closure, a failed move to save the school, and an accusation of ‘cowards’ on the board
Jun 18, 2024

Students, faculty, alumni detail UArts closure
Jun 17, 2024

Grant Memo: Agricultural, Environmental, Public Safety, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities
Jun 14, 2024

Congratulations to our 2024 graduates!
Jun 14, 2024

Democratic lawmakers to introduce bill increasing transparency for institutions of higher education
Jun 13, 2024

Grant Memo: Agricultural, Environmental, Public Safety, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities
May 29, 2024

Everyone deserves a safe and stable home
May 17, 2024

Grant Memo: Agricultural, Educational, Environmental, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities
May 14, 2024

Ending Racial Profiling, Distracted Driving
May 13, 2024

Heard It From Harris: State Police Now Outfitted with Body and Vehicle Cameras
May 03, 2024

Pennsylvania State Police roll out body cameras to Philly-area troopers
May 01, 2024

Agricultural, Educational, Safety, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities
May 01, 2024

New Agricultural, Educational, Safety, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities
Apr 30, 2024

Philadelphia House Delegation praises increased transparency by PA State Police
Apr 29, 2024

Excited for the summer opening of Vare Rec Center
Apr 26, 2024

Supporting Black Mothers
Apr 19, 2024

Budget bills introduced
Apr 12, 2024

Legislative update on gun safety bills, state programs available for application
Apr 05, 2024

Philadelphia lawmakers, others call on state Senate to act on gun safety measures passed by House
Apr 04, 2024

State Grants Awarded; House Gets at Ghost Guns
Mar 29, 2024