Smith-Wade-El and Hohenstein introduce legislation to create Office of New Pennsylvanians

(Oct 17, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 17 – State Reps. Ismail Smith-Wade-El, D-Lancaster, and Joe Hohenstein, D-Philadelphia, today outlined their new legislation, House Bill 1630 , that would create an Office of New Pennsylvanians to support, attract and retain immigrants in the commonwealth. The lawmakers were joined by representatives from CASA, Church World Services, Lancaster City Council, IU13 Lancaster-Lebanon Refugee Center and Nationalities Service Center–Philadelphia at a Capitol news conference to discuss the bill. “Immigrants have made Pennsylvania the powerhouse it is,” Smith-Wade-El said. “Yet, despite foreign-born workers comprising over 8% of our state’s workforce and paying $3.3 billion yearly in state and local taxes, they are scapegoated and bear the brunt of punitive policies that drive them from our state. We’re the ones who lose out the most—at the expense of losing skilled workers, entrepreneurs, consumers, and community leaders. “Our bill would create an Office of New Pennsylvanians that would support, attract and retain immigrants in the commonwealth,” he said. “Immigration is what makes Pennsylvania strong,” Hohenstein said. “Our collective ability to come together from all different backgrounds and perspectives for the betterment of the commonwealth is truly wonderful. That’s why it’s particularly unfortunate that so often our immigrant communities face the brunt Read more

 

Legislators, PA Coalition for Trans Youth, TAKE, NEPA Stands Up rally for safe and equal schools

(Oct 17, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 17 – State Reps. Joe Hohenstein, D-Phila.; Nancy Guenst, D-Montgomery; Paul Takac, D-Centre; Ismail Smith-Wade-El, D-Lancaster; Tarik Khan, D-Phila.; the PA Coalition for Trans Youth; Transgender Advocates Knowledgeable Empowering; NEPA Stands Up and allies held a rally for safe and equal schools on the state Capitol steps in Harrisburg on Tuesday. Speakers highlighted a package of bills that would protect students from gender-based discrimination, bullying and harassment, and provide inclusive accommodations and curriculum. The package includes: Legislation introduced by Guenst that would create a statewide policy for all public schools to prohibit student discrimination and harassment based on actual or perceived sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression through anti-discrimination and harassment prevention and early intervention policies to create a supportive and equal opportunity learning environment. “Our children deserve to step into their learning environments across the commonwealth feeling safe and respected. No child should be made to feel less than their peers due to the real or perceived distinction of belonging to classes that do not currently hold statewide protections,” Guenst said. “This legislation would bridge the gaps currently being filled by individual school districts through policies that cover a wide spectrum; Read more

 

Solomon’s open primaries legislation voted out of House State Government Committee

(Oct 17, 2023)

Solomon said today’s vote is a step forward to embracing over 1.2 million disenfranchised voters in Pennsylvania, who are currently unaffiliated with any political party. Read more

 

Sturla to host House Housing & Community Development Committee roundtable on housing development in Lancaster on Monday

(Oct 17, 2023)

LANCASTER, Oct. 17 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, announced today that he will be chairing and hosting a House Housing & Community Development Committee roundtable on housing development at 2 p.m. Monday, Oct. 23 at the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce, Rooms 2E/2F,115 East King St., Lancaster. Sturla, who serves as majority chair of the committee, will be joined by Republican Chair Rich Irvin, R-Huntingdon/Franklin, and other committee members from across the state. They will hold a discussion with local organizations and developers about Lancaster’s housing development efforts and how the state can provide support. Panelists will include: Barbara Wilson , executive director, Lancaster City Housing Authority. Dana Hanchin , president and CEO, HDC MidAtlantic. Shelby Nauman , CEO, Tenfold. Chad Martin , executive director, Chestnut Housing. Lisa Greener , executive director, Community Basics, Inc. Chris Ballentine , community relations manager, Willow Valley Communities. David Martens , president, Zamagias Properties. Benjamin Lesher , president and founder, Parcel B Development Company. Matthew Richards , principal, Bowery Development Company. John Dantinne , owner/president, George St. Properties. Rob Bowman , president, Charter Homes and Neighborhoods. Brad Mowbray , senior vice president and managing Read more

 

Pielli' wiretap bill passes PA House

(Oct 17, 2023)

State Rep. Chris Pielli, D-Chester, announced today that his legislation (H.B. 1278) to extend the expiration date of Pennsylvania’s wiretap law has passed the state House of Representatives. Read more

 

Probst wildlife rehab center grant bill passes House

(Oct 16, 2023)

“Wildlife rehabilitators are essential in treating and temporarily caring for injured, diseased and displaced wildlife. They also provide essential education in order to mitigate human-wildlife conflicts, which is a health and safety factor, and they promote stewardship of wildlife,” said Probst. Read more

 

Young releases statement on Philadelphia police officer killed Thursday at PHL

(Oct 13, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 13 – State Rep. Regina Young, D-Phila., today released the following statement in response to the shooting death of a Philadelphia police officer Thursday night at the Philadelphia International Airport: “This senseless act of violence took away a husband, a father, a friend. When does it stop? I’d like to send my condolences to the family of the officer who was killed Thursday night and I’m praying for a quick recovery for the other officer who was also shot during this incident,” Young said. “We need to do better – all of us. This is our city, and these are our neighbors. The loss of life experienced in the place we call ‘home’ is unprecedented. And it needs to stop. Violence never has and never will be the answer. Yet we continue to experience this sorrow. “My office remains committed to doing whatever necessary to put a stop to the gun violence in Philadelphia. We will continue to reach as many neighbors as possible to spread this message and turn the tide on what seems to be a daily occurrence these days. “My heart, again, goes out to the family of the officer who lost his life Thursday night. They will continue to remain in our prayers.” Read more

 

Neilson applauds Biden administration’s historic investment in Pennsylvania for hydrogen production

(Oct 13, 2023)

State Rep. Ed Neilson, D-Phila., who serves as chairman of the House Oil and Gas Caucus, applauded the Biden Administration’s announcement today that two hydrogen hub projects in Pennsylvania were selected to receive a portion of $7 billion in federal grants to accelerate the domestic market for low-cost, clean hydrogen. “I was proud to stand next to President Biden today as he made this historic announcement,” Neilson said. “I want to thank the Biden Administration for not only choosing Pennsylvania but investing in our future.” Biden and Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm announced today at an event in Philadelphia that a total of seven regional hubs have been awarded $7 billion as part of the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, signed by Biden in 2021. Two of the selected regional hubs will serve Pennsylvania. The first regional hub is the Mid-Atlantic Hydrogen Hub located in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. The project will receive up to $750 million in federal grants, enabling it to create more than 20,000 jobs for residents in those states. The other project located in Pennsylvania is the Appalachian Hydrogen Hub . In addition to Pennsylvania, it will also include West Virginia and Ohio. This hub will receive up to $925 million in federal grants, which will create approximately 21,000 jobs. “This federal investment will bring thousands of family sustaining, union jobs to Pennsylvania and the greater Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation hails grants awarded to hydrogen hub to further advance Biden’s clean energy plan in PA

(Oct 13, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 13 – The Philadelphia House Delegation lauded today the announcement of federal grants awarded through the Department of Energy to a hydrogen hub located in Philadelphia and emphasized the importance of using renewable energy sources as a path to an environmentally friendly state and country. Two hydrogen projects, Philadelphia area Mid-Atlantic Clean Hydrogen Hub and Appalachian Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub, based in West Virginia, will receive part of $7 billion in federal grants. It is anticipated that President Joe Biden would make the official announcement during a visit to the City of Philadelphia on Friday. Philadelphia House Delegation Chairwoman Rep. Morgan Cephas explained that these grants will play a crucial role in the production and processing of clean hydrogen which would accelerate President Biden’s target of a 100 percent clean electrical grid by 2035 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. “Our delegation applauds the selection of our city to generate and distribute hydrogen fuel. We fully support the President’s energy plan. By generating hydrogen energy not only will we access a more efficient fuel and eliminate unnecessary costs, but we would also improve air quality across our city, affect environmental justice, as well as several other benefits,” Cephas said. “These are significant investments that would help decarbonize the Read more

 

Symposium examines how nonprofits can maximize their missions

(Oct 12, 2023)

“Navigating government programs can be a frustrating experience for anyone attempting to access a service for the first time,” Salisbury said. “I saw a unique opportunity to bring experts into the room to speak directly to nonprofit organizations and explain the process. The ultimate goal is to help as many people as possible, and today we had a chance to illustrate how organizations can work with government to expand the amazing work they are already doing throughout our neighborhoods and communities.” Read more

 

Smith-Wade-El rallies for tenants’ rights in Steelton

(Oct 11, 2023)

Smith-Wade-El began his morning in Steelton to join state Rep. Dave Madsen, D-Dauphin, and other House Democratic members from central Pennsylvania to advocate for legislation that would improve the plight of tenants in Pennsylvania today. Read more

 

Kim joins PennEnvironment to urge PA to pursue clean energy production

(Oct 11, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 11 – State Rep. Patty Kim joined representatives from PennEnvironment at a news conference at the state Capitol today marking the release of the organization’s new study ranking Pennsylvania 50th in the nation for percent growth in total solar, wind and geothermal generation since 2013. “If the environmental and weather disasters happening worldwide tell us anything, it’s that we must come together now to develop a clean energy economy in Pennsylvania,” Kim said. “Developing a clean energy economy is the best chance to avoid the full devastating impact of climate change. “The PA Legislature can play a key role in fostering a clean energy economy, but too many bills have been stalled in committee,” Kim said. “I’m calling on my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to realize that time is running out fast. Our children’s and grandchildren’s lives depend on us passing smart, commonsense legislation quickly to turn the tide against the onslaught of climate change.” The study, “Renewables on the Rise 2023,” charts the growth of six key clean energy technologies in states over the past decade: solar power, wind power, battery storage, energy efficiency, electric vehicles and electric vehicle charging stations. The report demonstrates that clean energy in the commonwealth is growing at a much slower rate than other states. Since 2013, Pennsylvania has seen a Read more

 

Conklin: House State Government Committee will consider legislation to create open state primaries

(Oct 11, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 11 – The PA House State Government Committee will soon consider legislation to establish open primary elections in Pennsylvania, Majority Chairman Scott Conklin, D-Centre, announced today. Conklin said H.B. 979 , sponsored by state Rep. Jared Solomon, D-Phila., and H.B. 976 , sponsored by state Rep. Marla Brown, R-Lawrence, would do away with Pennsylvania’s system of closed primaries – which exclude voters who are registered as unaffiliated with a political party – and establish open primaries that permit unaffiliated voters to participate. “There are as many as one million unaffiliated voters in Pennsylvania, and their numbers have been increasing,” Conklin said. “These voters pay taxes and help fund our electoral system, yet they’re excluded from key local, state and federal primary contests. “Our laws should be framed in a way to encourage broad participation at the ballot box, not to discourage it. Opening up our primary elections, as many other states have done, would ensure that this large and growing segment of our population has a say in who represents them.” Solomon said, “We have the opportunity to give a voice to over a million Pennsylvanians. Opening our primary elections will give people a stake in our democracy, ensuring that all voices, regardless of party, have the opportunity to help shape our state's future.” Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation advocates for increase in Nonprofit Security Grant Fund Program in light of events in Israel

(Oct 10, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 10 – The Philadelphia House Delegation lauded today the deadline extension of the Nonprofit Security Grant Fund Program, operated by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, and advocated for an increase in funds to address hate crimes in the state. The deadline for the program solicitation has been extended to Oct. 30 . Philadelphia House Delegation Chairwoman Rep. Morgan Cephas explained that it is critical to increase funds allocated for the program. “Current tragic events around the world have proven more than ever that we must fund security upgrades at our religious institutions. Our delegation’s top priority is public safety of our city and state, but we need the collaboration of all eligible organizations. We are determined to combat antisemitism and racism in Pennsylvania. “We urge nonprofits included in the categories of race, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity, among others, to take advantage of the Nonprofit Security Grant Fund Program,” Cephas said. The grants are aimed to protect the safety and security of the users of facilities located in the commonwealth that are owned or operated by nonprofit organizations and primarily serve individuals, groups, or institutions that are included within a bias drive category for hate crime as identified by the FBI’s Hate Crime Statistics publication . Qualified expenses Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation, PLBC respond to independent report on alleged racial bias in charter school authorization practices

(Oct 06, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 6 – Leaders of the Philadelphia House Delegation and Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus today received an independent report commissioned by the Philadelphia Board of Education nearly two years ago that examined alleged racial bias in the charter school application process. In late 2021, the Philadelphia Board of Education commissioned an independent investigation concerning allegations of racial bias in charter school authorizing practices as alleged by some Black charter leaders, and whether the charter renewal process caused discriminatory effects on Black-led and Black-founded charter schools. Philadelphia-based law firm Ballard Spahr LLP led the investigation, and the Ballard firm engaged the Center for Urban and Race Equity, or CURE, to assist in its analysis. The 190-page report was released at 5 p.m. today. Philadelphia House Delegation Chairwoman Rep. Morgan Cephas said that while the report does not appear to reveal evidence of intentional, overt racially discriminatory acts by the school district or its leaders or find racially discriminatory effects of the charter renewal process, the report does include a series of recommendations based on the work of the investigation and is encouraging the school district to engage quickly with state lawmakers, local officials and the public to ensure a better path forward. “The Philadelphia House Delegation is committed to Philadelphia Read more

 

Rabb highlights Native-centered legislation in honor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day

(Oct 06, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 6 – In honor of the upcoming Indigenous Peoples’ Day on Monday, state Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., is highlighting a series of wide-ranging legislation focused on honoring Native American culture and history while protecting the rights of Indigenous peoples. In 2021, Rabb authored a resolution that would have amended the rules of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to include a formal land acknowledgment at the beginning of each legislative week. He has reintroduced the resolution this session. “Symbolism matters — particularly when it’s tethered to substantive action. That’s why rhetoric must be followed by redress,” Rabb said. Rabb recently reintroduced legislation to protect Native American trademarks by preventing the use of Pennsylvania state trademarks by non-Native American groups to claim Native American patterns and tribal names as well as other cultural heritage and intellectual property. He is also drafting legislation that would establish an independent, autonomous commission on indigenous affairs that has the budget and authority to work with the commonwealth on programs and funding opportunities that address policy concerns, sovereignty issues and land back initiatives. More than 60 schools across Pennsylvania still utilize derogatory Native mascots. Despite calls from advocacy groups like the National Read more

 

Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus installs new officers

(Oct 06, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 5 – The Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus announced its new officers after a reorganizational meeting this week. The following members were installed as officers: Chairman, state Rep. Napoleon Nelson, D–Montgomery Vice Chair, state Rep. Darisha Parker, D–Phila. Secretary, state Rep. Ismail Smith Wade-El, D–Lancaster Treasurer, state Rep. Justin Fleming, D-Dauphin Outgoing chair state Rep. Donna Bullock, D–Phila., passes the baton to Nelson. Bullock will continue to focus on issues facing Pennsylvania’s children and youth; she chairs the PA House Children & Youth Committee. “We are grateful for Representative Bullock’s leadership, and I look forward to building on the momentum we have to achieve real results for minority communities throughout this Commonwealth,” Nelson said. “I am humbled by this honor.” Bullock guided many PLBC initiatives, including the annual Crystal Bird Faucet Awards, honoring women within state government and Speaker K. Leroy Irvis Day of Action, where business owners, public officials and organizations gather to discuss, learn, and network legislative bills, community concerns and visit the Capitol Complex. “Chairing the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus has been a wonderful and fulfilling experience,” Read more

 

Ciresi announces nearly $385K in state funding for park improvements

(Oct 05, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 5 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, announced today that Royersford Borough has been awarded $184,800 and West Pottsgrove Township, $200,000 in state funding by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. “These well-deserved awards will improve Royersford’s Victory Park and West Pottsgrove Township’s Old Timer’s Park to enhance the experience for all of their visitors and make sure they can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of ability,” Ciresi said. “Continued state support for our local parks will have visible impacts in our communities, including an improved baseball field for West Pottsgrove and accessible pathways, tables and benches, and play surfaces throughout Royersford’s Victory Park.” The grant money will be used for the following projects: $184,800 for Royersford Borough to rehabilitate Victory Park. The funds will help renovate the outdoor stage, construct a pedestrian walkway, install play equipment with required safety surfacing and fencing, install ADA access, landscape, install project signage and make other related site improvements. $200,000 for West Pottsgrove Township to rehabilitate the Old Timer’s Field Park. The funds will be used to renovate the baseball field and parking area, construct stormwater management measures, install fencing and lighting and ADA access, landscaping, project signage and make other related site Read more

 

Kenyatta, Solomon bill proposing April 2 primary election date passes House

(Oct 05, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 5 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., today announced the passage of H.B. 1634 , which would change the presidential primary date in Pennsylvania to the first Tuesday in April. “I’m grateful my colleagues noticed the importance of this bill and the potential impact it could have on the commonwealth,” Kenyatta said. “Pennsylvania currently is one of the last states to vote in the primary. While this bill doesn’t contain the same date as the Senate proposal — it is a way forward that advances our shared goal of an earlier primary in presidential years. I urge the Senate to give it thoughtful consideration and a quick vote.” State Rep. Jared Solomon, D-Phila., a co-prime sponsor of H.B. 1634, echoed Kenyatta’s remarks. “With this legislation passing out of the House, we are one step closer to Pennsylvania becoming a heavyweight in the political arena,” Solomon said. “And as someone whose faith is incredibly important to me and my family, I'm grateful that I will no longer have to choose between my civic duty and my religious obligations.” Historically, Pennsylvania’s presidential primary election takes place during Passover, which hasn’t been convenient for some residents who participate in the Passover holiday, Kenyatta said. If signed into law, H.B.1634 would rectify this issue for all future presidential Read more

 

Rabb’s legislation to fix police misconduct loophole adopted by Judiciary Committee

(Oct 05, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 5 – Legislation ( H.B. 1531 ) introduced by state Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., that would strengthen Pennsylvania’s interdepartmental law enforcement misconduct database was adopted by the PA House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. “This closes the major loophole in state law, which allows the majority of bad actors with the worst records of serious misconduct to be hired without the prior knowledge of municipal or county government officials or the public at large, who they are sworn to protect and serve,” Rabb said. The legislation was drafted with the input of law enforcement and experts in the field. “This is a critical opportunity for the legislature to finish the work of substantive police accountability and community safety — particularly in rural and suburban areas where bad actors are most likely to sneak onto police forces,” he said. The bill would update the police misconduct database statute enacted in 2020 by enhancing transparency, accountability and compliance measures. Rabb is serving his third term as a member of the Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee, having taken office in 2017. His original bill in 2018 was the blueprint for what became Act 57 of 2020 . Read more

 

Smith-Wade-El and Hohenstein introduce legislation to create Office of New Pennsylvanians
Oct 17, 2023

Legislators, PA Coalition for Trans Youth, TAKE, NEPA Stands Up rally for safe and equal schools
Oct 17, 2023

Solomon’s open primaries legislation voted out of House State Government Committee
Oct 17, 2023

Sturla to host House Housing & Community Development Committee roundtable on housing development in Lancaster on Monday
Oct 17, 2023

Pielli' wiretap bill passes PA House
Oct 17, 2023

Probst wildlife rehab center grant bill passes House
Oct 16, 2023

Young releases statement on Philadelphia police officer killed Thursday at PHL
Oct 13, 2023

Neilson applauds Biden administration’s historic investment in Pennsylvania for hydrogen production
Oct 13, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation hails grants awarded to hydrogen hub to further advance Biden’s clean energy plan in PA
Oct 13, 2023

Symposium examines how nonprofits can maximize their missions
Oct 12, 2023

Smith-Wade-El rallies for tenants’ rights in Steelton
Oct 11, 2023

Kim joins PennEnvironment to urge PA to pursue clean energy production
Oct 11, 2023

Conklin: House State Government Committee will consider legislation to create open state primaries
Oct 11, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation advocates for increase in Nonprofit Security Grant Fund Program in light of events in Israel
Oct 10, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation, PLBC respond to independent report on alleged racial bias in charter school authorization practices
Oct 06, 2023

Rabb highlights Native-centered legislation in honor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day
Oct 06, 2023

Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus installs new officers
Oct 06, 2023

Ciresi announces nearly $385K in state funding for park improvements
Oct 05, 2023

Kenyatta, Solomon bill proposing April 2 primary election date passes House
Oct 05, 2023

Rabb’s legislation to fix police misconduct loophole adopted by Judiciary Committee
Oct 05, 2023