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Pennsylvania needs a 'Just Recovery' -- see what House Democrats are doing to ensure an economic recovery that works for everyone

Petrarca reminds pet owners to keep their pets safe during hot weather

(Jul 01, 2020)

VANDERGRIFT, July 1 – With summer officially here, it’s important that pet owners take proper precautions to keep their furry friends safe. State Rep. Joe Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, said when the temperatures and humidity begin to rise, it can also adversely affect our pets, especially if they don’t have adequate shelter or water while they’re outside. “Many of us know to not leave our pets alone in a parked vehicle, but unfortunately, we still hear of pets who are neglected and left outdoors who end up becoming ill or worse,” Petrarca said. “If we’re uncomfortable during the hot, humid days of summer, imagine what it’s like for your pet – that’s why it’s so important to follow these tips to keep your pet healthy, comfortable and safe.” Petrarca, who has supported several efforts to protect pets in Pennsylvania, including Libre’s Law , recommends these tips to keep your pet healthy, comfortable and safe during the summer: Never leave your pet in a parked vehicle, even for a minute or even with the air conditioner running. On an 85-degree day, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach over 100 degrees within 10 minutes. In 30 minutes, temperatures can rise to 120 degrees, which can cause your pet to suffer irreversible organ damage or die. Watch the humidity – if humidity is too high, it’s more Read more

 

Ciresi, O’Neal call for investigation into unemployment system failures

(Jun 30, 2020)

“Week after week, year after year, most workers contributed to the Unemployment Trust Fund through payroll deductions,” Ciresi said. “Yet the failures of this system have left too many without income during the COVID-19 pandemic, a time when they need these benefits more than ever.” Read more

 

Freeman bill would allow additional local regulation of fireworks, increase penalties

(Jun 29, 2020)

HARRISBURG, June 29 – Municipalities would have more authority to regulate the use of fireworks and penalties would be increased for violating those regulations under legislation proposed by state Rep. Robert Freeman. Read more

 

Women’s Health Caucus applauds SCOTUS decision to strike down Louisiana law severely restricting abortions

(Jun 29, 2020)

The 5-4 decision in June Medical Services, LLC vs. Russo invalidates the Louisiana law that required a physician performing abortion services to have admitting privileges in a hospital within 30 miles. Read more

 

Kenyatta announces Environmental Education Grant for The U School

(Jun 26, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, June 26 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., today announced that a $2,998 Environmental Education Grant has been awarded to The U School in his 181 st Legislative District. The grant, Kenyatta said, is funded by the state Department of Environmental Protection and will assist in the development of an “Urban Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources” club to introduce 10 th and 11 th graders to career paths in environmental sustainability. “The fight for justice includes environmental justice and equity. It’s a fight that can only be won by empowering communities that have been systemically barred from being stakeholders of their food, water, land and air quality,” Kenyatta said. “Fostering and instilling an interest in environmental sustainability careers among our local youth is a step toward progress, which is why I am thrilled that The U School has been awarded this grant.” The Environmental Education Grants Program engages youth and adults in environmental justice, climate change, and/or water quality improvement, expanding their understanding of these issues in Pennsylvania and providing skills to take responsible action to protect their environment The program was established by the Environmental Education Act of 1993, which mandates setting aside 5% of the pollution fines and penalties DEP collects annually for environmental education Read more

 

Ciresi touts unanimous passage of bill protecting mobile home owners

(Jun 25, 2020)

Ciresi was an early cosponsor of the bill, supported it in the Local Government Committee and authored an amendment that ensures the most recent evaluating manual would be used to properly assess the value of manufactured homes. Read more

 

Delloso reminds residents to stay safe this summer while enjoying the outdoors

(Jun 25, 2020)

State Rep. David Delloso from Delaware County reminds residents to stay safe this summer while enjoying the outdoors. Read more

 

Kenyatta applauds historic passage of police reform bills

(Jun 24, 2020)

HARRISBURG, June 24 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., applauded the historic unanimous House passage of two of 19 bills that aim to provide police reforms. The bills, H.B. 1841 and H.B. 1910, would reform policing practices in Pennsylvania by mandating that police officers undergo PTSD evaluation after resorting to lethal force and creating a database that tracks disciplinary actions searchable by law enforcement agencies evaluating prospective hires. “The passage of these bills in the House is the first to reforming a system that we know is broken. Every Black and brown person in this chamber and across our commonwealth is all too familiar with that gut-wrenching feeling when those red and blue lights pull you over. That feeling is from the uncertainty of not knowing if that encounter will end safely,” Kenyatta said. “I am proud to see this chamber unanimously heed the calls of our citizens who are calling upon us to take action in ensuring lives are protected and law enforcement is held accountable.” In the House chamber, Kenyatta, who is a member of the newly created Police Working Reform Group, gave impassioned remarks about the need to ensure the passage of these two pieces of legislation become one of many steps taken toward progress in reforming policing in the commonwealth. Invoking the names of Antwon Rose, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd—all victims of police Read more

 

Rabb commends unanimous affirmative vote for police accountability, safety legislation H.B. 1841

(Jun 24, 2020)

HARRISBURG, June 24 – State Rep. Chris Rabb today expressed tremendous gratitude to his House colleagues for their unanimous support of H.B. 1841 which would improve police accountability and safety. “This is personal to me,” Rabb said, before quoting a passage his great-great-great-grandfather, Rev. Amos Noë Freeman, co-authored with four other men, including Frederick Douglass, for the Colored National Convention in July 1853. ‘ We ask that in our native land, we shall not be treated as strangers, and worse than strangers. ‘We ask that, being friends of America, we should not be treated as enemies of America. ‘We ask that, speaking the same language and being of the same religion, worshipping the same God, owing our redemption to the same Savior, and learning our duties from the same Bible, we shall not be treated as barbarians.’ Rabb, whose legislation to require law enforcement to keep detailed personnel records to improve transparency and accountability was added as an amendment to H.B. 1841, said he had just recently learned of that passage co-authored by his great-great-great-grandfather. Reading his ancestor’s dreams, and seeing his children grow in the world today – where Black people are still working so hard to be treated as friends and not strangers, including by law enforcement officers who are sworn to serve all members of the community –has Read more

 

Ciresi legislation would allow municipal boards to meet remotely during emergencies

(Jun 23, 2020)

“My bill would make sure that local boards and commissions can continue to conduct public business in any situation, be it the COVID-19 pandemic or anything that might happen in the future.” Read more

 

House Democrats ready to work with new Republican leaders

(Jun 22, 2020)

HARRISBURG, June 22 – House Democratic Caucus leaders today congratulated newly chosen leaders of the Republican Caucus and expressed hope that more constructive bipartisan action can take place for the remainder of 2020. “To quote House Speaker Bryan Cutler, ‘This House of Representatives does not have time to waste. At this time, in this hour, and under our watch, our Commonwealth needs the best of what this institution … was designed to be.’ “House Democrats completely agree. Many urgent matters like policing reform, economic justice , criminal justice, support for our marginalized communities and educational equity and adequacy for all children demand and deserve our immediate attention,” said the Democratic leaders. “We also must confront the serious health and financial threats facing Pennsylvanians because of the current pandemic. “It has been 216 days without any action by the House on an increase to the minimum wage that was passed by the Senate. We will continue to work to ensure a sustainable and just recovery from the pandemic crisis, and we expect that the new Republican leaders will work with us on these goals.” House Republicans chose Rep. Kerry Benninghoff of Centre County as the new majority leader, succeeding Peach Bottom Rep. Bryan Cutler who became House speaker today. Additionally, they selected Rep. Donna Oberlander of Clarion County to serve Read more

 

Hanbidge legislation seeks to permanently improve remote meetings during emergency declarations

(Jun 22, 2020)

One bill would add public participation requirements when municipal officials meet remotely, and the other bill would suspend time frames for consideration of applications filed with municipal boards and commissions during emergency or disaster declarations. Read more

 

Rabb prepares to help local businesses apply for COVID-19 relief grant money

(Jun 18, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, June 18 – State Rep. Chris Rabb on Thursday announced his office is preparing to help local businesses that qualify for COVID-19 relief grant funds to apply for those funds. “The effort to save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic has required that people stay home and social distance,” Rabb said. “While that effort has been vital, we all know that the impact on our local businesses has been profound. I am grateful for the opportunity this grant funding will provide local businesses, and I’m excited to help local businesses that wish to access some of this grant funding as they look toward recovery.” The state grants available to local businesses will range from $5,000 to $50,000 and can be used to cover any operational costs associated with COVID-19. The recently enacted state budget includes $2.6 billion in federal stimulus funds through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act. Within that allocation, the Department of Community and Economic Development has been allocated $225 million for this COVID-19 relief program through a distribution to Community Development Financial Institutions . Local businesses in Rabb’s district, the 200 th Legislative District, which include the Zip codes 19118, 19119, 19138, 19144 and 19150, may reach out to Rabb and his staff for assistance now so they are prepared once the grant program opens for applications. Read more

 

Pennsylvania needs a 'Just Recovery' -- see what House Democrats are doing to ensure an economic recovery that works for everyone

(Jun 18, 2020)

It’s long past time Pennsylvania worked for everyone, and House Democrats are committed to making it happen. It’s time to focus on What Pennsylvania Needs: A Recovery for Everyone. We want everyone to thrive because we’re all in this together. The COVID-19 emergency forced a stopgap budget through in May. We need to fix it and make sure our recovery leaves no one behind and does it fairly and with justice. Our economy should work for everybody and not just the well-connected. Legislators must finish this budget and ensure that every one of us can care for our families, earn a fair return for our work, and secure health care, housing and a good education. That’s what Pennsylvania needs to ensure recovery from the pandemic-created recession. It’s time to embrace a new path forward for all Pennsylvanians. Here is what PA House Democrats will be fighting for: A FAIR DAY’S PAY FOR A HARD DAY’S WORK The COVID-19 pandemic has put it into the sharpest focus in decades: our frontline essential workers in hospitals, long-term care homes, grocery stores, food services and countless other industries aren’t getting paid a fair wage. They’re not getting it because some politicians have tried to divide us. The PA House Democratic Caucus is determined to work together, not just to protect and reward frontline workers during this crisis, but to ensure that everyone -- with no exceptions --can secure fair pay, a safe Read more

 

Kortz: Carnegie Mellon, University of Pittsburgh awarded funding for projects to address state’s response to COVID-19 pandemic challenges

(Jun 17, 2020)

HARRISBURG, June 17 – Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh have been awarded nearly $100,000 in funding through the Manufacturing PA Innovation Program COVID-19 Challenge to help the state in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, state Rep. Bill Kortz announced. Kortz, D-Allegheny, said both universities were awarded funding for the following projects: University of Pittsburgh was awarded $25,000 through its partnership with Du-Co Ceramics Co. for its Rapid Manufacturing of Polymer-Derived Ceramic Films for Respirator project. The university also received $25,000 for its work with The ExOne Co. for its Reusable N95 Filters via Metal Binder-Jet 3D Printing project. Carnegie Mellon, through its partnership with Allegheny Health Network, was awarded $24,986 for its Scalable Manufacturing of Nasopharyngeal Swabs to Address Pennsylvania’s Need for COVID-19 Testing project. In addition, Carnegie Mellon was awarded $25,000 for its work with the University of Pittsburgh for its Accelerating the Availability of a COVID-19 Vaccine by Mass Spectrometry Characterization of Immunogens project. “We have great institutions of higher learning across our state, and this innovative program provides them the opportunity to help our first responders and health care providers with the resources they need, now and in the weeks to come,” said Kortz. The program, developed through the Pennsylvania Department of Read more

 

Rabb to join virtual Juneteenth roundtable June 19

(Jun 16, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, June 16 – State Rep. Chris Rabb will speak about the effort to reform Pennsylvania’s criminal justice system, including recent movement on legislation that would improve police accountability, during a virtual roundtable event at 1 p.m. Friday, June 19. “It is gut-wrenching that in 2020 – 155 years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation – we must fight so hard for justice,” Rabb said. “It is devastating that there are Americans out there who can watch a video of police killing a Black man named George Floyd and continue to resist that police accountability is necessary instead of looking for solutions to a very obvious problem. “But I am hopeful that soon, meaningful legislation addressing police violence will be enacted into law, since a couple of bills aimed at police accountability and training were recently unanimously voted out of the House Judiciary Committee,” Rabb said. “I believe that it is possible to use legislation to address systemic issues of racism, and I am committed to doing just that.” Rabb will join For Our Future Pennsylvania for an in-depth virtual town hall about the state of criminal justice reform in Pennsylvania at 1 p.m. on Friday. The discussion will happen on Zoom, and people interested may RSVP online at https://actionnetwork.org/forms/join-us-juneteenth-roundtable-for-justice/?source=Event%20Build__email_org_rsvp-invite . Read more

 

Lawmakers call for vote on PA LGBTQ+ civil rights bill

(Jun 16, 2020)

Today, members of the LGBTQ Equality Caucus sent a letter requesting a committee vote for H.B 1404 Read more

 

Kenyatta presents first check from his newly launched microgrant program for businesses impacted by civil unrest

(Jun 16, 2020)

PHILADELPHIA, June 16 – In efforts to repair damage to local businesses in the wake of days of civil unrest across the city, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., along with members of the local business community in his 181 st Legislative District, on Friday presented a $500 check to one affected business owner. Kenyatta presented the check to Rich Kim, a COVID-19 survivor and community contributor, to assist him with repairs to his property that was destroyed in a fire during the first night of the recent uprisings on May 31. Funding for the check, the first of many, was made available through a newly launched microgrant program created by Kenyatta and Richie Juniors and administered by Beech Companies. “Rich has endured so much over these last few months. He and his family have suffered from both the health and economic impacts of the pandemic and have now faced the brunt of the recent uprising,” Kenyatta said. “Rich has been an asset to this vibrant community. He has donated food to residents in need and our first responders. I am proud of Temple University, Beech Companies, and Richie for stepping up to make this funding possible to pay it forward to the Kim family on their road to recovery. “We will continue this initiative because small businesses are the backbone of our communities and it’s crucial that we do more to foster their growth,” Kenyatta added. Read more

 

Kenyatta calls US Supreme Court ruling a major victory for civil rights in America

(Jun 16, 2020)

HARRISBURG, June 16 – Minutes after the United States Supreme upheld that Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 that bars sex discrimination also provides protections for sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta issued an emotional statement, calling the decision a major victory in the fight for civil rights for LGBTQ Americans: “I’m still collecting my thoughts and fighting back tears, but the Supreme Court’s Title VII decision is a powerful moment for progress and the LGBTQ community,” Kenyatta said. “America has never lived up to its creed — ever. All men and women have been created equal but have never been treated equally or protected equally under the law. This decision changes that. “Three weeks ago, I told my coming out story on the House floor and today I can say confidently to our LGBTQ kids that you matter and who you are will not limit your possibility,” he said. Kenyatta, D-Phila, the first openly gay man of color to serve in the General Assembly in Pennsylvania’s history and a member of the governor’s LGBTQ Affairs Commission, expressed hopefulness that the court’s ruling will further elevate the visibility of LGBTQ Americans to better assess and mitigate their plights. He pointed to a bill he introduced months prior to the U.S. Supreme Court landmark decision that would Read more

 

Wheatley applauds state’s efforts to update state contracting process to improve opportunities for diverse businesses

(Jun 16, 2020)

PITTSBURGH, June 16 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley applauded Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan to improve opportunities for minority, women, LGBT, veteran and disabled-owned businesses to compete for state contracts. Wheatley, D-Allegheny, said the governor’s changes, part of his Diversity, Inclusion and Small Business Opportunities in Commonwealth Procurement and in Pennsylvania’s Economy executive order, would accomplish the following: Each competitive state procurement would use goal setting for small diverse businesses, with the intent of achieving a 26.3% state contract spending with SDBs. This would replace the previous scoring process used by the Pennsylvania Department of General Services to evaluate submitted proposals for construction projects over $300,000 (as of June 15) and for goods and services solicitations over $250,000 (beginning Aug. 17). DGS will set a goal of 4.6 percent of state contract spending to veteran-owned businesses through its Veteran Business Enterprise program, as recommended by the 2018 Statewide Disparity Study , which examined disparities in the state’s contracting system and made improvement recommendations. State agencies will be required to have at least 15% of their contract spending to go to eligible, state-certified small businesses through the Small Business Reserve program under DGS. This program helps all qualified businesses to compete as prime contractors on state contracting Read more

 

Petrarca reminds pet owners to keep their pets safe during hot weather
Jul 01, 2020

Ciresi, O’Neal call for investigation into unemployment system failures
Jun 30, 2020

Freeman bill would allow additional local regulation of fireworks, increase penalties
Jun 29, 2020

Women’s Health Caucus applauds SCOTUS decision to strike down Louisiana law severely restricting abortions
Jun 29, 2020

Kenyatta announces Environmental Education Grant for The U School
Jun 26, 2020

Ciresi touts unanimous passage of bill protecting mobile home owners
Jun 25, 2020

Delloso reminds residents to stay safe this summer while enjoying the outdoors
Jun 25, 2020

Kenyatta applauds historic passage of police reform bills
Jun 24, 2020

Rabb commends unanimous affirmative vote for police accountability, safety legislation H.B. 1841
Jun 24, 2020

Ciresi legislation would allow municipal boards to meet remotely during emergencies
Jun 23, 2020

House Democrats ready to work with new Republican leaders
Jun 22, 2020

Hanbidge legislation seeks to permanently improve remote meetings during emergency declarations
Jun 22, 2020

Rabb prepares to help local businesses apply for COVID-19 relief grant money
Jun 18, 2020

Pennsylvania needs a 'Just Recovery' -- see what House Democrats are doing to ensure an economic recovery that works for everyone
Jun 18, 2020

Kortz: Carnegie Mellon, University of Pittsburgh awarded funding for projects to address state’s response to COVID-19 pandemic challenges
Jun 17, 2020

Rabb to join virtual Juneteenth roundtable June 19
Jun 16, 2020

Lawmakers call for vote on PA LGBTQ+ civil rights bill
Jun 16, 2020

Kenyatta presents first check from his newly launched microgrant program for businesses impacted by civil unrest
Jun 16, 2020

Kenyatta calls US Supreme Court ruling a major victory for civil rights in America
Jun 16, 2020

Wheatley applauds state’s efforts to update state contracting process to improve opportunities for diverse businesses
Jun 16, 2020