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Philadelphia House Delegation lauds passage of equitable school funding

Fiedler celebrates $175 million in school facilities funding

(Dec 14, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 14 – On Wednesday, the Pennsylvania legislature approved $175 million from the state budget in additional funding to help fix school buildings across the Commonwealth. State Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler, D-Phila., who has been a long-time proponent of fixing school buildings, advocated for the funds. “Many school buildings are in huge need of repair and remediation. Getting this work done is critical to the health and safety of everyone in schools,” Fiedler said. “We have a long road ahead to make sure every school is a safe, healthy, modern learning environment. This additional funding is a step in the right direction to finally addressing this issue that has weighed on our Commonwealth for too long.” Pennsylvania has some of the oldest schools in the country. The average school building is around 70 years old and was built when lead pipes and asbestos were standard building materials. Discoveries of asbestos and other toxins have led to school closures across the Commonwealth, including seven Philadelphia schools in 2023 alone. In the same year, 100 schools statewide closed due to excessive heat. Read more

 

Cephas, Davis laud final passage of Dignity for Incarcerated Women legislation

(Dec 13, 2023)

The bill creates important protections, including restricting shackling and solitary confinement; providing trauma informed care training of corrections officers interacting with pregnant and postpartum women; and providing up to three days of post-delivery bonding time between a mother and newborn child, among other protections. No one should be deprived of respect or be forced to risk their health or the health of their child. Read more

 

Bipartisan bill to foster dual enrollment in PA heads to Gov. Shapiro’s desk

(Dec 13, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 13 – Today, legislation (H.B. 1258) introduced by state Reps. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila.; and Jill Cooper, R-Westmoreland, passed the PA House on concurrence. The bill now heads to Gov. Josh Shapiro’s desk. The bill would improve the funding mechanism for dual enrollment programs by removing the requirement that students enrolled in such programs be removed from the school’s average daily membership count. Under the current funding mechanism for public schools, schools lose out if a child chooses to take a college level course – even if the student remains physically at the school. “Education is a tool that is meant to empower our students and give them greater opportunities to succeed in life. Dual enrollment programs provide high school students an opportunity to take college-level courses and earn college credits,” Kinsey said. “School districts should not lose out on funding because their students enroll in one of these courses that propels their academic career while still at the high school.” “This change incentivizes school districts to have dual enrollment programs, and I am happy that Harrisburg will be fostering innovation in our schools. In the end, this expands opportunities available to our young people,” Cooper said. “Representative Kinsey is an experienced legislator, and it was an honor to work with him on this.” Read more

 

Green Protecting Children from Lead in Drinking Water

(Dec 12, 2023)

Pa. state Rep. Roni Green spoke on bipartisan legislation she introduced that would address lead contamination in drinking water in Pennsylvania schools. Green says this legislation would correct a long-standing problem in schools across the commonwealth. Read more

 

Senate advances Cephas bills out of committee

(Dec 11, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 11 – Today, two bills introduced by Philadelphia House Delegation Chair, state Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., were approved by Senate committees and moved to the full Senate for consideration. Both bills passed the House earlier this year. These two bills include: House Bill 900 , known as the Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act, was voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee with unanimous support. The bill would create important protections for pregnancy and postpartum people who are incarcerated in Pennsylvania helping to restore dignity and codifying a number of current policies and practices that are already in place in the Department of Corrections and at the federal level . Along with Cephas, State Reps. Tina Davis, D-Bucks, and Mike Jones, R-York, and a series of stakeholders including Ardella’s House, Dream.org and the American Conservative Union, championed the bill. House Bill 1478 , which would amend the Public School Code allowing school districts to utilize a Public Health Dental Hygiene Practitioner to fulfill requirements of Section 1403 of the Public School Code relating to dental screenings and dental hygiene. This legislation would provide school districts more flexibility regarding fulfilling the requirements of Section 1403. This bill was approved by the Education Committee. “The health and well-being of Pennsylvanians is of the utmost Read more

 

Fiedler, Hanbidge celebrate signing of Pelvic Exam Consent bill

(Nov 27, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 27 – Today, state Reps. Elizabeth Fiedler , D-Phila., and Liz Hanbidge , D-Montgomery, joined Gov. Josh Shapiro for the ceremonial signing of H.B. 507 , which requires medical facilities in Pennsylvania to obtain consent before performing pelvic, prostate or rectal exams on anesthetized patients. The bill was officially signed into law on Nov. 21 by Shapiro as Act 31 of 2023. "Patients in Pennsylvania will finally have the right to make decisions about exams performed on their bodies while under anesthesia. This legislation ensures informed consent for invasive pelvic and rectal exams, at last giving patients the decision-making power that we all deserve about our own bodies,” Fiedler said. “I’m grateful to my colleague, Representative Hanbidge, for her work on this bill, and I thank Governor Shapiro for signing it into law.” “Performing a pelvic, rectal or prostate exam unknowingly on an anesthetized patient isn’t only invasive, but it’s also a breach of trust. Our legislation abolishes this archaic practice, thereby strengthening the trust that Pennsylvanians have in medical professionals, protecting bodily autonomy and highlighting the importance of consent,” Hanbidge said. “Patients expecting to go under anesthesia should never have to worry about being objectified for ‘learning purposes,’ and now thanks to my co-sponsor Representative Fiedler, Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation praises designation of Kevin Bethel as new police commissioner of the city

(Nov 22, 2023)

Members of the Philadelphia House Delegation today praised Mayor-elect Cherelle Parker for announcing Kevin Bethel as her pick for the city’s next police commissioner. Read more

 

Khan Diabetes Awareness Month Resolution adopted by House

(Nov 21, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 21 – A resolution (H.R. 141) designating November 2023 as “Diabetes Awareness Month,” has been adopted by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. The resolution was introduced by state Reps. Tarik Khan, D-Phila., and Donna Oberlander, R-Armstrong. More than 1.1 million Pennsylvanians have been diagnosed with diabetes; that’s 11% of the state’s adult population ( Microsoft Word - ADV_2021_State_Fact_sheets_all.docx (diabetes.org) . “One out of every two Pennsylvania adults have diabetes or prediabetes, and nearly 20% of all adults have diabetes but don’t know about it yet,” said Khan, who is a doctorally-prepared nurse practitioner. “Creating awareness about diabetes is critical, and this bipartisan resolution helps us to educate Pennsylvanians on the need to get tested for diabetes and manage the disease if they have it.” A video about the resolution can be found here: ( https://youtu.be/x8LX97kgKU0 ). “As co-chair of the Diabetes Caucus, I was pleased to have the resolution declaring November as Diabetes Awareness Month pass the House of Representatives,” said Oberlander. “The prevalence of diabetes and the increase in both Type 1 or Type 2 makes it essential to educate and spread awareness to the signs and symptoms so that our constituents can get tested and treatment for better health.” Monica Billger, American Read more

 

Fiedler, Hanbidge pelvic exam bill headed to governor’s desk

(Nov 15, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 15 – The PA House today passed legislation (H.B. 507) that requires medical facilities in Pennsylvania to obtain consent before performing pelvic, prostate or rectal exams on anesthetized patients. The legislation, introduced by state Reps. Elizabeth Fiedler, D-Phila., and Liz Hanbidge, D-Montgomery, now goes to Gov. Josh Shapiro for his signature. In Pennsylvania, medical students are currently permitted to perform these invasive exams on unconscious patients for training purposes. The legislators said this unethical practice undermines patient-doctor relationships, which require a foundation of trust, respect and transparency. “This year, we’ve seen millions of women and people across the country stand up for reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy,” said Fiedler. “It’s never been more important to empower patients to make decisions about their own bodies and lives. I am elated to see this bill pass, and I look forward to Governor Shapiro signing it into law.” “When patients arrive at the hospital for surgeries or treatments that require anesthesia, they are understandably worried or anxious about the outcome of their procedure, rarely thinking that an unrelated internal and intimate exam by a medical student might be part of the process,” Hanbidge said. “House Bill 507 puts the power back in the hands of the patient, giving them the final say in the care Read more

 

Pennsylvania Black Maternal Health Caucus applauds passage of S.B. 500

(Nov 13, 2023)

The bill now heads to the Senate for concurrence. 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

 

Philadelphia House Delegation helps move eviction reform bill following City Hall public hearing

(Nov 02, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 2 – This week, legislation ( H.B. 287 ) introduced by state Rep. Rick Krajewski, D-Phila., to make commonsense eviction reforms in Philadlephia was approved by the House Housing and Community Development Committee on a 14-11 vote. Six Philadelphia House Delegation members, including Krajewski and delegation Chairwoman state Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila. sit on the committee. All six voted to approve the legislation. The bill would require eviction in Philadelphia to (1) be carried out by a public entity, (2) receive oversight from a review board, and (3) involve accompanying behavioral health professionals. Krajewski’s introduction of H.B. 287 comes after three shootings during evictions carried out by Philadelphia’s Landlord-Tenant Officer this summer. Following those incidents, in August, the Philadelphia House Delegation co-hosted a public hearing on the issue at Philadelphia City Hall with the state House Housing and Community Development Committee. “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,” Krajewski said. “Philadelphia's violent, for-profit eviction system is an outlier statewide and desperately needs to be replaced. No one should fear for their life because they can’t make rent.” Cephas celebrated advancement of the bill, she said Read more

 

Philadelphia LNG Task Force Minority Report

(Oct 31, 2023)

LNG Task Force Minority Report 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

 

Pa. lawmakers approve declaration to aid repair work for I-95 bridge collapse

(Oct 25, 2023)

Article on Rep. Gallagher's emergency declaration resolution's adoption in the Pennsylvania Senate. Read more

 

Kinsey bill to ban police chokeholds approved by House Judiciary Committee

(Oct 19, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 19 – Legislation introduced by state Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., to ban police chokeholds was approved by the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday and heads to the full House for future consideration. House Bill 462 would outlaw the use of the standard chokehold in making an arrest as well as any action that inhibits breath or the flow of blood to the brain due to physical position. Kinsey originally introduced this bill in 2020 following the killing of George Floyd, who died due to asphyxiation brought about by sustained pressure on the neck by law enforcement officers. “We’ve seen far too many cases where individuals senselessly lose their life due to chokehold during an arrest- whether it be George Floyd, Eric Garner or anyone else, it must stop,” Kinsey said. “To clarify, this bill still allows police to take the necessary steps in making an arrest or dealing with a civilian, it just eliminates the dangerous and unnecessary tactic of chokeholds.” Read more

 

Gallagher bill to modernize Pennsylvania’s acupuncture law passes House

(Oct 18, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 18 – Today, House Bill 1490 , introduced by state Rep. Pat Gallagher, D-Phila., passed the House and will head to the Senate for future consideration. This bill would amend the Acupuncture Licensing Act to provide title protection for licensed acupuncturists and practitioners. It also would provide an opportunity for acupuncturists licensed in other states to attend or conduct educational events, as well as volunteer in the commonwealth in an emergency. Finally, it would require continuing education for license renewal, bringing acupuncturists in line with requirements in other states and other licensed healthcare providers in Pennsylvania. “As acupuncture has become a fast-growing therapy for people suffering from different types of pain, it’s important we modernize practices and ensure patients are getting the care they need,” Gallagher said. “Today’s House vote was a great step for this bill, now I urge my Senate colleagues to get it to the governor’s desk.” Read more

 

Cephas, Curry, Mayes launch Pennsylvania Black Maternal Health Caucus

(Oct 18, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 17 – State Reps. Morgan Cephas , D-Phila.; Gina H. Curry , D-Delaware; and La’Tasha D. Mayes , D-Allegheny, today launched the Pennsylvania Black Maternal Health Caucus at a news conference in the Capitol Media Center. Joining the launch event were advocates from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Community Health Workers and AmeriHealth Caritas/Keystone First, along with a series of other stakeholders from across the state. The Pennsylvania Black Maternal Health Caucus seeks to address disturbing trends of Black maternal mortality and morbidity and pass the Pennsylvania MOMNIBUS, a legislative package modeled after the federal MOMNIBUS legislation to change the trajectory of maternal health outcomes in Pennsylvania. “I am thrilled to be a part of the Black Maternal Health Caucus as this is a subject close to my heart, a cause that I have been championing for years,” Cephas said. “We join forces to bring visibility to Black maternal health as a critical issue and cause of action. We want to advance legislation and solutions by working with our colleagues in both the House and Senate. One of the keys focuses of our work will be proper data collection, as initiated with Act 5 of 2023 signed into law by Governor Josh Shapiro. Accurate and regular tracking is essential for comprehensive research on medical issues linked to Black maternal health. We need Read more

 

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

 

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

 

Fiedler celebrates $175 million in school facilities funding
Dec 14, 2023

Cephas, Davis laud final passage of Dignity for Incarcerated Women legislation
Dec 13, 2023

Bipartisan bill to foster dual enrollment in PA heads to Gov. Shapiro’s desk
Dec 13, 2023

Green Protecting Children from Lead in Drinking Water
Dec 12, 2023

Senate advances Cephas bills out of committee
Dec 11, 2023

Fiedler, Hanbidge celebrate signing of Pelvic Exam Consent bill
Nov 27, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation praises designation of Kevin Bethel as new police commissioner of the city
Nov 22, 2023

Khan Diabetes Awareness Month Resolution adopted by House
Nov 21, 2023

Fiedler, Hanbidge pelvic exam bill headed to governor’s desk
Nov 15, 2023

Pennsylvania Black Maternal Health Caucus applauds passage of S.B. 500
Nov 13, 2023

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

Philadelphia House Delegation helps move eviction reform bill following City Hall public hearing
Nov 02, 2023

Philadelphia LNG Task Force Minority Report
Oct 31, 2023

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

Pa. lawmakers approve declaration to aid repair work for I-95 bridge collapse
Oct 25, 2023

Kinsey bill to ban police chokeholds approved by House Judiciary Committee
Oct 19, 2023

Gallagher bill to modernize Pennsylvania’s acupuncture law passes House
Oct 18, 2023

Cephas, Curry, Mayes launch Pennsylvania Black Maternal Health Caucus
Oct 18, 2023

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

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