Governor signs Burns bill to preserve in-state tuition for students of reassigned military families

(Nov 09, 2023)

“Military families make huge sacrifices, including having to leave the comfort and stability of the communities they love when they are deployed out of state,” Burns said. “But a student whose family is reassigned should not have to forfeit the benefit of the in-state tuition rate they anticipated because their parent is fulfilling their duty to our country." Read more

 

Rabb highlights voting and electoral reform legislation prior to Tuesday’s municipal elections

(Nov 06, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 6 – On the eve of tomorrow’s municipal election, state Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., is highlighting multiple election-related bills that would make Pennsylvania’s election process fairer and function better while expanding and strengthening voting rights. “Tomorrow’s election will have large implications for Pennsylvanians both locally and across the commonwealth,” Rabb said. “And that’s why it’s important that we optimize our system to engage every eligible voter, especially our young people, who so frequently don’t or can’t make their voices heard.” Rabb introduced three pieces of legislation that would improve youth voting and civic engagement by allowing 16- and 17-year-old individuals to pre-register to vote, requiring the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to notify eligible individuals of their opportunity to preregister to vote when applying for a driver’s license or an identification card, establishing same-day voter registration, prohibiting rejection of a ballot based solely on signature analysis and removing the 15-day deadline to register to vote; providing for voter registration in high schools and comprehensive civics and voting rights education, including completion of a civics issue-based capstone research project; and lowering the voting age to 16 years old. “Voting is a civil right Read more

 

York tour highlights tourism, economic development in region

(Nov 02, 2023)

“For long-time residents of York County, the presence of iconic brands and businesses throughout our region might not seem all that unusual,” said Rep. Carol Hill-Evans, who represents portions of York County and hosted the Policy Committee tour and discussion. “When you travel outside central Pennsylvania, however, you quickly realize how fortunate we are that so many iconic brands have either called York home or continue to call York home. It’s an impressive list of businesses and brands.” Read more

 

PA House Democrats approve legislation to increase nonprofit security grant program to $10 million

(Nov 02, 2023)

United as a caucus, Pennsylvania House Democrats passed legislation this week to expand the state’s Nonprofit Security Grant Fund Program. The increase in vital funding doubles the budgeted amount from $5 million to $10 million. Read more

 

Rabb highlights legislation for Indigenous Peoples' Heritage Month

(Nov 02, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 2 – In celebration of Indigenous Peoples' Heritage Month, 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 will be reintroducing the resolution this session. “Symbolism matters -- particularly when it’s tethered to substantive action around land back measures and other related matters. 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 intellectual property by non-Native American groups to claim Native American patterns and tribal names as well as other cultural heritage and intellectual property. He also is 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 to address policy concerns, sovereignty issues and land back initiatives. More than 60 schools across Pennsylvania still utilize derogatory Native mascots Read more

 

Schweyer, Isaacson appointed to PHEAA board of directors

(Nov 02, 2023)

Representatives Schweyer and Isaacson are trusted leaders on the education issues impacting Pennsylvania, especially on college affordability and access. They are well suited to serve on the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency board and ensure that the needs of Pennsylvania’s families are represented. Read more

 

Hohenstein introduces LNG Task Force minority report

(Nov 01, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 1 – State Rep. Joe Hohenstein, D-Phila., introduced a minority report as part of his membership on the Philadelphia LNG Task Force during a meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 1. The task force was created by the Pennsylvania General Assembly last year and tasked with examining and making recommendations regarding obstacles, economic feasibility, economic impact and security that would be involved with making the Port of Philadelphia a liquified natural gas export terminal. When authorizing the task force, the General Assembly allowed for the submission of a rebuttal to the task force’s majority report by any member of the task force. Hohenstein said he was glad that head of the task force, state Rep. Martina White, R-Phila., accepted the minority report into the official record. “This is a complex topic with many stakeholders holding a variety of views and strong opinions,” Hohenstein said. “And it is my belief that this report accurately addresses the concerns with placing an LNG facility within the geographical area covered by the Philadelphia Port, resulting in the conclusion that there is simply no suitable location for an LNG facility in Philadelphia or Southeastern Pennsylvania. “The commonwealth should be engaged in a transition away from fossil fuels because of the need to address climate change. As such, I plan to propose the formation of a task force to review the state’s energy policy Read more

 

Kim and DHS secretary highlight beginning of LIHEAP season

(Nov 01, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 1 – State Rep. Patty Kim, D-Dauphin/Cumberland, joined Department of Human Services Secretary Valerie Arkoosh and representatives from the Public Utility Commission at a news conference at the Tri County Community Action offices in Enola today to highlight the beginning of LIHEAP season. “As the cold weather sets in, financially vulnerable Pennsylvanians may need assistance paying for heat to ensure the health and welfare of their families,” Kim said. “From young families to seniors on fixed incomes, LIHEAP has been a lifesaver, ensuring that utility companies don’t cut off heat in the dead of winter and put lives at risk. I urge qualifying Pennsylvanians to apply for LIHEAP online through COMPASS or at their local county assistance office.” The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, known as LIHEAP, season began Nov. 1 and provides cash grants to low-income families to help them pay their heating bills. Households in immediate danger of being without heat can also qualify for crisis grants . The cash grant is a one-time payment sent directly to the utility company/fuel provider to be credited on the recipient’s bill. These grants range from $300 to $1,000 based on household size, income and fuel type. Households experiencing a heating crisis may be eligible for additional benefits through the LIHEAP crisis program. Emergency situations include: Broken heating Read more

 

Giral lauds passing of bill that would honor recipients of the Borinqueneers Congressional Gold Medal with registration plate

(Nov 01, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Nov.1 – State Rep. Jose Giral, D-Phila., today praised the passage of his legislation that would honor the recipients of the Borinqueneers Congressional Gold Medal with a special registration plate. House Bill 826 would add a special plate for passenger cars or trucks available for an additional $26 above the normal registration fee. The Congressional Gold Medal was awarded in 2016 to the 65 th Infantry Regiment, a Puerto Rican unit of the U.S. Army nicknamed “the Borinqueneers.” “The Borinqueneers' valor and dedication to the Unites States deserve recognition and remembrance. I am glad to be able to honor their courage,” Giral said. “Such a unique registration plate featuring the Borinqueneers can serve as a reminder of the sacrifices made by these Puerto Rican veterans, as well as a symbol of the enduring bond between Puerto Rico and United States,” he added. “The special registration plate would be a powerful way to commemorate their service and ensure their legacy lives on for generations to come.” The 65th Infantry Regiment is the first Hispanic unit and the sole unit from the Korean War to receive the Congressional Gold Medal. The regiment is also credited with the last battalion-sized bayonet assault in U.S. Army history. Read more

 

Rabb, others celebrate passage in committee of bill repealing Pennsylvania’s death penalty

(Nov 01, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 1 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., and advocates held a news conference Tuesday to celebrate the successful bipartisan approval of his bill in the PA House Judiciary Committee that would repeal Pennsylvania’s death penalty. The action marked the first time in nearly 25 years that such legislation has been voted on in the Pennsylvania General Assembly. In 2019, Rabb held a similar news conference featuring two death row exonerees, Jimmy Dennis and Kirk Bloodsworth , when the then-majority chair of the Judiciary Committee in the PA House refused to take up this bill and when Republicans held what would be a 12-year majority, which ended earlier this year. Rabb has reintroduced legislation ( H.B. 999 ) that would repeal the state’s death penalty four times since taking office in 2017. His call to action comes after Gov. Josh Shapiro announced upon taking office that he would not issue any execution warrants during his term. “One innocent life taken at the hands of the state is one too many . The fact that the state has put even one innocent person to death is simply egregious,” Rabb said. “Furthermore, the appeals process when a person is sentenced to death is long and costly, lasting decades and often resulting in their death via old age rather than lethal injection. “The risks are grave and the injustices Read more

 

House Democrats Secure Funding, Tuition Freeze for State-Related Universities, Ensuring an Affordable World-Class Education

(Oct 31, 2023)

The House passed House Bill 612, providing a 7% increase in funding to Penn State University, the University of Pittsburgh, and Temple University and a 25% increase in funding for Lincoln University. The bill also freezes tuition increases at the universities for the 2024-25 school year. This week the House also passed legislation with overwhelming support that would ensure greater transparency by making the state-related universities subject to certain provisions of the state’s Right to Know Law. Read more

 

Anti-hate crimes legislation passes Pennsylvania House

(Oct 31, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 31 – Legislation to expand and strengthen Pennsylvania’s anti-hate crimes statutes won bipartisan passage out of the Pennsylvanian House Tuesday, putting Pennsylvania on track to take action amid a nationwide spike in criminal activity fueled by hatred. State Reps. Dan Frankel and Napoleon Nelson, sponsors of the bill package, called on the Senate to act quickly to signal to all vulnerable groups that Pennsylvania’s state government stands with them. “The conflict in Israel has Jewish and Muslim Pennsylvanians feeling afraid – afraid to leave home, afraid to practice their faith, afraid to gather with their communities at a time when such events would bring them the most comfort,” said Frankel, D-Allegheny. “The vast majority of Pennsylvanians want this commonwealth to be a welcoming, diverse place for all, and that is the call legislators answered today.” Frankel noted that once the legislative package becomes 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, “Look at the headlines about what’s happening at our colleges, and you’ll see why kids don’t feel safe on campus – especially if they’re black, brown, Jewish, Muslim … the list of groups experiencing the rise in ethnic intimidation continues. I Read more

 

Bill geared toward investigating, reporting, identifying hate crimes passes House

(Oct 31, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 31 – On Tuesday, a House bill co-sponsored by state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., that would strengthen law enforcement’s ability to investigate and identity hate crimes, passed the state House. Specifically, H.B.1024 , which is part of a larger anti-hate crime bill package, would provide training geared toward accurately investigating, identifying and reporting crimes of ethnic intimidation to police departments across the state. “I’m disgusted to have to report that in 2023 hates crimes and discrimination are on the rise, especially antisemitism and Islamophobia. The worst part of all this? Experts say the actual number of hate crimes is much larger than what we’re seeing on paper,” Kenyatta said. “That’s a major problem that calls for an immediate response, which is why I supported this legislation. It’s my hope we’re able to move the remaining bills in this bill package through the state House in the near future. These numbers should be trending down – not up.” According to data obtained by the Pennsylvania State Police, the commonwealth saw a sharp increase in hate crimes in 2021. In addition, the Department of Homeland Security noted in a 2020 threat assessment that white supremacist extremists remain the “most persistent and lethal threat to the homeland.” In response to this assessment Read more

 

Cephas joins governor in ceremonial bill signing of legislation to ensure proper data collection on maternal morbidity

(Oct 31, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 31 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas, co-chair of the Black Maternal Health Caucus , participated today in the ceremonial bill signing of Act 5 of 2023 into law, which adds “severe maternal morbidity: to the list of reportable events within the Pennsylvania Department of Health. “I am still beyond excited about seeing Act 5 signed into law by Governor Josh Shapiro,” said Cephas, who also is a former chair of the Women’s Health Caucus and who has championed the issue for years. “This a collective effort to prevent maternal morbidity in the commonwealth. Act 5 will help reduce the growing and alarming number of maternal deaths,” Cephas added. “I praise the efforts of Senator Judy Schwank who is leading this remarkable win. The collected data on maternal morbidity will facilitate a better understanding of risk factors and key patterns linked to this issue,” Cephas said. Senate Bill 262 , who has Schwank as its prime sponsor, is part of a package of bills aimed at addressing maternal morbidity and mirrors legislation authored by Cephas (H.B. 1362 ) in the past two legislative sessions and is a key part of her efforts to reduce Black maternal mortality and improve Black maternal health in Pennsylvania. Read more

 

Legislation ending for-profit evictions in Philadelphia reported out of House Housing & Community Development Committee

(Oct 31, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 31 – Legislation ( H.B. 287 ) introduced by state Rep. Rick Krajewski, D-Phila., that would overhaul Philadelphia’s eviction process was approved by the House Housing and Community Development Committee today and now heads to the House chamber for consideration. This legislation was introduced by Krajewski in partnership with Reps. Morgan Cephas, Tarik Khan and Roni Green following a series of shootings that occurred during evictions carried out by Philadelphia’s landlord-tenant officers. It would change Philadelphia’s eviction system by requiring that evictions be carried out by a public entity, receive oversight from a review board and involve accompanying behavioral health professionals. “Evictions are the worst day in someone’s life, and we need to do everything we can to make sure they’re carried out safely and with compassion. Philadelphia's violent, for-profit eviction system is an outlier statewide and desperately needs to be replaced,” Krajewski said. Krajewski said H.B. 287 would halt the unaccountable for-profit behavior of the LTO, the only private entity performing evictions in Pennsylvania, and provide a model for publicly accountable evictions that can be replicated statewide. The bill is supported by the Philadelphia City Council, the mayor of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office Read more

 

House passes Ciresi bill to expand EV charging infrastructure

(Oct 30, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 30 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi’s, D-Montgomery, legislation that would help create more EV charging stations throughout Pennsylvania at no cost to the Pennsylvania taxpayer passed the House today. House Bill 1474 would add electric vehicle charging infrastructure projects as an eligible project type under Pennsylvania’s Property-Assessed Clean Energy program (C-PACE). C-PACE, which was created by Act 30 of 2018 , has facilitated over $250 million in investments in energy efficiency, clean energy, conservation, and other projects by connecting property owners with long-term financing. The investments are funded entirely through private capital, so it would not impose any financial burden on the commonwealth or local governments, according to Ciresi. “My House Bill 1474 would help develop Pennsylvania’s EV charging infrastructure at no cost to the taxpayer at a time when electric vehicles are becoming more prevalent on our roads and highways,” Ciresi said. “This legislation would unlock financing to install charging stations throughout the commonwealth—from places of employment, restaurants, apartments, hotels, shopping centers to tourist attractions. More charging stations makes it easier for everyone to operate these energy-efficient, environmentally friendly vehicles in Pennsylvania, whether you’re a resident running errands or business traveler or tourist visiting our state.” The bill has Read more

 

House Education Committee addressing real needs of students and their families, not culture wars

(Oct 30, 2023)

As chair of the Education Committee, we will continue to focus on ensuring that our students have equal access to a top-quality system of education, in buildings that won’t poison our kids, and with the right number or qualified teachers. We will work to make college and career and technical school more accessible. Read more

 

Cephas to participate in ceremonial signing of bills aimed at addressing maternal morbidity

(Oct 30, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 30 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas, co-chair of the Black Maternal Health Caucus , announced today that she will join the ceremonial signing of Act 5 into law by Gov. Josh Shapiro. The package of bills would help create better reporting of maternal morbidity data. Senate Bill 262 , sponsored by state Sen. Judy Schwank, is part of a package of bills aimed at addressing maternal morbidity and mirrors legislation (H.B. 1362 ) authored in the state House by Cephas in the past two legislative sessions. WHAT : Ceremonial bill signing of Act 5 . WHO : Gov. Josh Shapiro, State Rep. Morgan Cephas , and state Sen. Judy Schwank . WHEN : 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31. WHERE : Governor’s Reception Room, PA Capitol. Media coverage is invited. Read more

 

Gergely introduces bill to enhance quality of donated plasma in PA

(Oct 30, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 30 – State Rep. Matthew R. Gergely, D-Allegheny, introduced a bill today that would ensure plasma donated throughout the state is suitable for subsequent use in health and medical forums. The legislation (H.B. 1795 ) would require that source plasma, specifically, undergoes extensive testing upon donation and before it is ultimately integrated into essential pharmaceuticals. Gergely’s bill, co-sponsored by state Rep. Tim Briggs of Montgomery County, would also allow more focus to be devoted to developing such pharmaceuticals by eliminating a signification portion of subsequent testing conducted in labs during the clinical development phase. “Plasma is vital for treating rare diseases, chronic conditions, and emergencies like trauma and burns,” Gergely said. “My bill would help ensure that PA has a safe and sustainable plasma supply necessary for bettering and saving countless lives.” “In a world where plasma can mean the difference between life and death, we cannot afford to hinder the flow of this precious resource,” Briggs added. “By proposing legislation to align Pennsylvania's laws with federal standards for source plasma donation centers, we are taking a crucial step toward ensuring a reliable plasma supply for our state.” In 2017 alone, approximately 30 million liters of source plasma were collected in approximately 40 million procedures in the United States, per a work published Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation weighs in on the impact of public education hearings in the city

(Oct 26, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 26 – The Philadelphia House Delegation today praised the ongoing joint hearings conducted by the House Appropriations and Education committees on delivering funds for schools statewide. The Pennsylvania Education Tour and hearings are part of an effort to help public schools and get a pulse of the state’s school funding structure. This week, the tour made two stops in Philadelphia: Tuesday at the School District of Philadelphia and Wednesday at the Community College of Philadelphia’s Library and Learning Commons. Philadelphia House Delegation Chairwoman Morgan Cephas explained that it is critical to examine the issues impacting schools in the city and state in order to find effective solutions that would guarantee fair investments and infrastructure for the schools. “We needed to hear the testimonies of parents, education experts and community leaders and revisit the root of the issues affecting our schools. This is why these hearings are so important. We are committed to improving this state’s failed school funding model,” Cephas said. “Our sons and daughters deserve quality and equality in education regardless their socioeconomic status,” she said. Rep. Jordan A. Harris, House Appropriations Committee chair, indicated that the hearings in Philadelphia addressed key concerns that will drive the necessary changes. “We Read more

 

Governor signs Burns bill to preserve in-state tuition for students of reassigned military families
Nov 09, 2023

Rabb highlights voting and electoral reform legislation prior to Tuesday’s municipal elections
Nov 06, 2023

York tour highlights tourism, economic development in region
Nov 02, 2023

PA House Democrats approve legislation to increase nonprofit security grant program to $10 million
Nov 02, 2023

Rabb highlights legislation for Indigenous Peoples' Heritage Month
Nov 02, 2023

Schweyer, Isaacson appointed to PHEAA board of directors
Nov 02, 2023

Hohenstein introduces LNG Task Force minority report
Nov 01, 2023

Kim and DHS secretary highlight beginning of LIHEAP season
Nov 01, 2023

Giral lauds passing of bill that would honor recipients of the Borinqueneers Congressional Gold Medal with registration plate
Nov 01, 2023

Rabb, others celebrate passage in committee of bill repealing Pennsylvania’s death penalty
Nov 01, 2023

House Democrats Secure Funding, Tuition Freeze for State-Related Universities, Ensuring an Affordable World-Class Education
Oct 31, 2023

Anti-hate crimes legislation passes Pennsylvania House
Oct 31, 2023

Bill geared toward investigating, reporting, identifying hate crimes passes House
Oct 31, 2023

Cephas joins governor in ceremonial bill signing of legislation to ensure proper data collection on maternal morbidity
Oct 31, 2023

Legislation ending for-profit evictions in Philadelphia reported out of House Housing & Community Development Committee
Oct 31, 2023

House passes Ciresi bill to expand EV charging infrastructure
Oct 30, 2023

House Education Committee addressing real needs of students and their families, not culture wars
Oct 30, 2023

Cephas to participate in ceremonial signing of bills aimed at addressing maternal morbidity
Oct 30, 2023

Gergely introduces bill to enhance quality of donated plasma in PA
Oct 30, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation weighs in on the impact of public education hearings in the city
Oct 26, 2023