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Philadelphia House Delegation reacts to adoption of state budget

Kinsey hosts Lt. Gov. Davis and local organizations for roundtable discussion on gun violence

(Jul 13, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, July 13 – Today, state Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., hosted a roundtable discussion on gun violence with Lt. Gov. Austin Davis at Grace Baptist Church of Germantown. Kinsey and Davis were joined by local organizations that provide support and services for victims of gun violence, including Cease Fire, Every Murder is Real, Men Who Care of Germantown, 7G’s, New Journey and Mothers in Charge. Other Philadelphia Delegation members and local officials who participated in the roundtable included state Reps. Darisha Parker, Morgan Cephas, Anthony Bellmon, and Ben Waxman; City Councilmembers Cindy Bass and Anthony Phillips; staff from state Sen. Art Haywood's office and state Rep. Chris Rabb's office; Sheriff Rochelle Bilal; School District of Philadelphia Chief Safety Officer Kevin Bethel; 35th District Police Captain Myesha Massey; police officers from the 14th District; and Adara Coombs for the city of Philadelphia managing director's office. Today’s roundtable was part of Davis’s statewide safer communities tour, highlighting local efforts -- funded by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency -- that are working to address gun violence and make Pennsylvania’s communities safer. “Governor Shapiro and I believe that government can and should be a force for good in our lives, that we can do big things – if we work together,” Davis said. “As public Read more

 

Bellmon, McClinton school conflict resolution bill passes House

(Jul 07, 2023)

HARRISBURG, July 7 – Today, legislation ( H.B. 1448 ) introduced by state Rep. Anthony Bellmon, D-Phila., and Pennsylvania House Speaker Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, passed the House and is headed to the Senate for consideration. The bill would r equire public schools to provide instruction on conflict resolution to all students. The instruction would include topics such as skills of conflict resolution; respect for different cultures, races, and beliefs; effectively managing emotions; and how to resolve differences peacefully. The bill also would require the instruction to be age-appropriate and incorporated into an appropriate area of study. The Department of Education would compose a list of evidence-based model programs schools could use to provide this instruction to students. Bellmon said that teaching conflict resolution in schools can help reduce violence. “In areas across the commonwealth, such as Philadelphia, we’re seeing far too many young lives taken by gun violence,” Bellmon said. “It’s imperative that our children know that conflicts can be resolved in a non-violent way, and that’s why I introduced this bill that can help prevent unnecessary violence and even save lives.” McClinton echoed Bellmon’s sentiment. “Everyone has a role in keeping our communities healthy and safe, and by equipping our youngest Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation pleased with increased funding on budget priorities

(Jul 07, 2023)

HARRISBURG, July 7 – As we close out this week with the passage of the 2023-24 state budget, the Philadelphia House Delegation today expressed that the spending plan is far from ideal, but still delivers major support to disadvantaged families in Pennsylvania. Delegation Chair Morgan Cephas explained that the delegation is pleased to see the inclusion of some of their top priorities for Philadelphia. “We certainly praise the nearly $1.7 billion (7.6% increase) for the School District of Philadelphia,” Cephas said. “We also voted to support $7.5 million to fund indigent defense for the first time in Pennsylvania history, ensuring public defenders have the resources they need to provide legal representation to defendants who cannot pay for it on their own, among other wins. We are moving the state in the right direction,” she added. State Rep. Danilo Burgos, vice-chair of the delegation, pointed out that the budget showcases the commitment of the House Democratic majority with Pennsylvanians, while managing to evade the unnecessary impasses of a bipartisan legislature. “Not a perfect budget; we wished it could have gone further in some areas and programs, but I am proud to say that we didn’t bargain our principles and that we prioritized our school system,” Burgos said. “I am appreciative of the investments in apprenticeships Read more

 

Cephas releases statement on enactment of Act 5 of 2023

(Jul 06, 2023)

"Pennsylvania families deserve our utmost attention and the finest health options available to preserve their health and the health of their babies." Read more

 

Kinsey issues statement on state budget passage

(Jul 06, 2023)

HARRISBURG, July 6 – House Democratic Human Services Chairman Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., issued the following statement on the passage of the 2023-2024 fiscal year state budget. “I’m proud to support Governor Shapiro’s budget, a budget that provides investments in education, our workforce, families, and businesses throughout Pennsylvania,” Kinsey said. “It is a budget that will provide relief to seniors by expanding the states property tax and rent rebate program by raising the maximum rebate from $650 to $1,000, while increasing the eligibility limit to $45,000 for renter and homeowners. And, $50 million to help with home repairs for homeowners. “The 2023-24 budget included a $567 million boost for basic education. It also provides $50 million for special education, $16 million for state grants for college students, $125 million for school safety grants, and $100 million in Level Up funding to support PA’s poorest schools. In addition, this budget includes $100 million to help address school needs, and $46.5 million for the universal free breakfast program. “However, as House Democratic Chairman of the Human Services Committee, I recognize that we as a state have more work to do and that we need to invest more dollars to ensure that many of our most vulnerable citizens get the support that they need as well as increasing the wages of those staff who work to provide such Read more

 

Kenyatta applauds Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program expansion efforts

(Jul 06, 2023)

HARRISBURG, July 6 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., announced today that H.B. 1100 to expand Pennsylvania’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program is heading to Gov. Josh Shapiro’s desk for his signature. This bill will expand eligibility for the PTRR Program by increasing the income cap to $45,000 for both homeowners and renters, as well as increase rebate amounts. “The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program has been very helpful to seniors, individuals with disabilities and low-income households in my district and throughout the state,” Kenyatta said. “It allows them to stay in their homes while money is put back in their pocket. “Voting on this bill was one of the most important votes I’ve taken in my time as a legislator. Programs like PTRR must be available to people who are struggling to stay in their homes and pay their bills. I’m glad to see we’ve taken all the right steps to expand eligibility to more Pennsylvanians and keep our communities intact.” Kenyatta said that he looks forward to seeing the bill signed into law so that an additional 175,000 Pennsylvanians can get the help they need. Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation Gun Reform & Gun Violence Reduction Legislation

(Jul 05, 2023)

Gun Reform & Gun Violence Reduction Legislation sponsored by members of the Philadelphia House Delegation. Read more

 

Pennsylvania lawmakers want to crack down on catalytic converter thefts

(Jul 03, 2023)

"One of the unfortunate things is it's very easy to steal one of these converters out from a car without even having to break into the car," the lawmaker said. "It's problems in parking lots and in individual communities and neighborhoods, right on the streets." Read more

 

Pa. House passes bill to counter catalytic converter thefts

(Jul 03, 2023)

Car owners should not have to foot the bill for someone stealing from them, and for many households, the cost of replacing a stolen catalytic converter is burdensome,” Isaacson said. “For many Pennsylvanians, their car is a part of their livelihood. This legislation provides several important deterrents to ensure that consumers in the commonwealth have the highest level of protection from theft. Read more

 

Giral Working Against Drug Abuse

(Jun 30, 2023)

PA state Rep. Jose Giral is working to create a statewide program to help local pharmacies to hold their own drug take back events to help people safely dispose of dangerous prescriptions drugs in their home. Part of the effort is to educate pharmacists in best practices and safety measures. This is part of Giral's efforts to reduce opioid abuse in his community and across PA. Read more

 

Cephas slams recent SCOTUS decisions

(Jun 30, 2023)

HARRISBURG, June 30 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas today expressed her disagreement with three U.S. Supreme Court decisions recently announced on affirmative action, LGBTQ rights and students loan forgiveness. Cephas condemns the rulings of the Supreme Court and described the decisions as an unfortunate series of obstacles thrown in the way of social justice and equality. “In light of yet another wrongful outcome from the Supreme Court, I raise my voice on behalf of the underrepresented communities that have been systematically harmed with these decisions”, Cephas said. Cephas explained that minorities, people of color and people of low-income backgrounds have been fighting relentlessly for fairness, but the Supreme Court has chosen to ignore decades of struggles. “It was a dark day yesterday when the Supreme Court ruled on affirmative action. The Supreme Court is banning race-conscious admissions, in the cases of Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina and Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard College. The race component won’t be taken into consideration for college admissions,” Cephas continued. Today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in 303 Creative, Inc. v. Elenis is a ruling that Cephas regards as a threat to the freedoms of LGBTQ+ individuals in the country, she said. “This decision simply grants a green light for Read more

 

House LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus & Philadelphia House Delegation condemn Moms for Liberty event in Phila.

(Jun 29, 2023)

HARRISBURG, June 29 – The Pennsylvania LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus and Philadelphia House Delegation are condemning the upcoming Moms for Liberty summit that’s scheduled to take place in center city Philadelphia today through July 2. Moms for Liberty is a right-wing hate group that advocates against school curriculum that mentions LGBTQ+ rights, race and ethnicity, critical race theory and discrimination. LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus Co-Chairs Jessica Benham, D-Allegheny, and Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., who also serves as Philadelphia House Delegation treasurer, each issued comments condemning this summit. “I’m extremely disappointed to see this summit take place in our city. Our city shouldn’t be a backdrop for hate,” Kenyatta said. “We can’t allow the type of rhetoric and ideology that far-right groups, like Moms for Liberty, promote prevent us from becoming a more fair and equal society.” “Hate has no home in Pennsylvania,” Benham said. “I believe most of our state’s residents find it embarrassing that Pennsylvania’s largest city will host one of the nation’s most hostile anti-LGBTQ+ groups during the month of Pride. Alongside my colleagues in the LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus, I am eager to continue fighting back against the hateful rhetoric and policies pushed by groups like Moms for Liberty.” Philadelphia House Delegation Read more

 

Bellmon, McClinton school conflict resolution bill approved by Education Committee

(Jun 28, 2023)

HARRISBURG, June 28 – Today, H.B. 1448 introduced by state Rep. Anthony Bellmon, D-Phila., and Pennsylvania House Speaker Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, was voted out of the House Education Committee and is headed to the full House for future consideration. The bill would r equire public schools to provide instruction on conflict resolution to all students. This instruction would include topics such as skills of conflict resolution; respect for different cultures, races, and beliefs; effectively managing emotions; and how to resolve differences peacefully. The bill also would require the instruction to be age appropriate and incorporated into an appropriate area of study. The Department of Education would compose a list of evidence-based model programs schools can use to provide this instruction to students. Bellmon said that teaching conflict resolution in schools can help reduce violence. “In areas across the commonwealth, such as Philadelphia, we’re seeing far too many young lives taken by gun violence,” Bellmon said. “It’s imperative that our children know that conflicts can be resolved in a non-violent way, and that’s why I introduced this bill that can help save lives.” This is Bellmon’s first bill to be voted out of a House standing committee. He is urging quick passage in the full House. Read more

 

Kinsey bill to honor K. Leroy Irvis approved by House committee

(Jun 28, 2023)

HARRISBURG, June 28 – Today, H.B. 651 , introduced by state Reps. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., and Patty Kim, D-Dauphin/Cumberland, was unanimously approved by the House State Government Committee and will head to the full House for future consideration. Kinsey’s bill would rename the South Lawn of the Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex as the “Irvis Equality Circle,” in honor of K. Leroy Irvis, who was the first Black speaker of the Pennsylvania House, and of any state legislature in the country’s history since Reconstruction. The Harrisburg community through the “Gathering at the Crossroads” commissioned a monument that now sits outside of the Irvis Office Building on the South Lawn in honor of the old 8 th Ward and the work that Speaker Irvis was able to do while serving in the legislature from 1958 to 1988. The South Lawn sits outside of the K. Leroy Irvis Building. It is bordered by Walnut Street and Commonwealth Avenue. “Speaker Irvis was an important trailblazer in our state’s history, and it’s only right that we continue to honor his legacy,” Kinsey said. “I’m glad to see this bill move out of committee. Now I hope to see my House colleagues vote to honor Speaker Irvis and everything he’s meant to our commonwealth.” “The “Irvis Equality Circle” will remind us that we must protect our fundamental right to vote with Read more

 

Boyle preventive care bill including mental health protections passes House

(Jun 26, 2023)

HARRISBURG, June 26 – Today, H.B. 1050 , introduced by PA House Insurance Committee Chair Kevin Boyle, D-Phila., passed the Pennsylvania House and is headed to the Senate for future consideration. This bill would require health insurers to cover preventive health care services including mental health treatment without cost-sharing. A similar federal law is part of the federal Affordable Care Act, which gives Americans access to no-cost preventive health care. But earlier this year, a judge in Texas struck down that part of the Affordable Care Act . If appeals are unsuccessful, millions of Pennsylvanians could lose access to potentially life-saving preventative health care such as cancer screenings, depression and anxiety screenings, multiple vaccines, and annual well-woman visits. Boyle’s legislation would protect Pennsylvanians regardless of what the federal courts do. “Regardless of what the federal courts decide, we must ensure all Pennsylvanians have access to life-saving preventive health care without having to pay a copay, coinsurance or deductible,” Boyle said. “I urge my Senate colleagues to do right by the millions of Pennsylvanians who need these crucial preventive care services and get this bill to Governor Shapiro’s desk to be signed into law.” According to Boyle, over 80 advocacy groups support this bill because it protects preventive care services. Read more

 

Fiedler, PFT, Phila. councilmembers urge funding school facilities in 2023-24 budget

(Jun 23, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, June 23 – State Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler , D-Phila., hosted a news conference at South Philadelphia High School Friday morning, calling on the Commonwealth to increase funding for school facilities improvements. Pennsylvania "has billions of dollars that should be invested in public infrastructure, job creation and education,” Fiedler said. The Commonwealth is currently sitting on $11 billion in reserve cash. “Governor Shapiro’s budget has proposed $100 million in school facilities funding, which is a great start,” Fiedler said. While Shapiro’s budget proposal did not indicate a method of distribution for these funds, Fiedler has co-sponsored H.B.1408, which provides a vehicle for distributing school facilities funds. Her bill updates PlanCon, a method of funds distribution that has not been utilized since 2016. “I am hopeful H.B. 1408 will get a House vote next week, and I’m committed to pursuing all avenues through which we may remediate and repair our schools across the Commonwealth,” she emphasized, who has spearheaded the issue in the House. Ana Tapia , Sunrise of Philadelphia’s South Philadelphia High School site director, spoke directly to her experience running the school’s after-school program. “Too often we hear on the news that budgets have increased for everything except for schools, after-school programming, and Read more

 

Philadelphia House Delegation praise reopening of I-95

(Jun 23, 2023)

PHILADELPHIA, June 23 – The Philadelphia House Delegation today expressed satisfaction on the reopening of Interstate 95 today ahead of the originally scheduled two-week timeline. Philadelphia House Delegation Chair Morgan Cephas said that the group, which toured the site this morning, values the immediate response and leadership of Gov. Josh Shapiro and expeditious work of crews from the Philadelphia building trades. “Our tour this morning gave us an up-close look at the incredible work being done here,” Cephas said. “It's only by the hard work of our local trades, facilitated by coordination with state, city and federal officials, that we're able to get this major artery through our city re-opened so much earlier than anyone expected,” Cephas added. “Our city is in awe and gratitude of the speedy engineering and production of our Philadelphia building trades members and contractors.” Pennsylvania House Speaker Joanna McClinton said that she celebrates the collective effort that made possible the reopening of six lanes of traffic that will keep the City of Brotherly Love up and running for locals and hundreds of visitors. “Philadelphia is a hub for everything from commerce to health care to recreation,” said McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware. “So, today’s reopening of I-95 is great news for our neighbors, people who visit our Read more

 

Krajewski Kinship bill unanimously passes PA House

(Jun 22, 2023)

HARRISBURG, June 22 – Today, legislation ( H.B. 1058 ) introduced by state Rep. Rick Krajewski, D-Phila., unanimously passed in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and will now head to the state Senate for consideration. House Bill 1058 would make child custody proceedings more inclusive of potential kinship care providers by requiring courts to solicit and consider the opinions of those who engaged with family finding and kinship care programs. While living with kin (relatives and close family friends) minimizes childhood trauma and increases wellbeing , f ewer than 42% of children receiving care in the state are placed in a kinship home. “This simple change in where a youth calls home can help a child resume attending school, reforge their community connections, and avoid being at-risk for violence. As we're hit by a gun violence crisis, it is essential that we do all we can to keep communities intact and minimize childhood trauma. ” Krajewski said. “We took an important step in moving this legislation out of the House. Now, I urge my Senate colleagues to do the same in their chamber so we can get it signed into law and ensure foster kids find homes with people who will be best for their growth and futures.” Read more

 

Kenyatta cybersecurity coordination bill approved by Commerce Committee

(Jun 22, 2023)

HARRISBURG, June 22 – Today, legislation ( H.B. 1139 ) introduced by state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., was approved in the Pennsylvania House Commerce Committee and now heads to the full House for future consideration. This legislation would create a centralized, integrated system of cybersecurity across all commonwealth agencies and branches with the establishment of the Cybersecurity Coordination Board. The board would gain the knowledge needed to strengthen cybersecurity by conducting audits and analyzing current federal, state and local protocols. “ Identifying and implementing a unified model cybersecurity policy will help to ensure our data systems can bear up under the threat of compromise. Once achieved, Pennsylvanians can take comfort knowing their most sensitive personal data is protected,” Kenyatta said. “I’m glad to see this bill that will protect Pennsylvanians across the commonwealth move to the full House. Now, I call on my House colleagues to move it along to the Senate.” Read more

 

Clean streets, thanks to WeLoveU

(Jun 22, 2023)

Solomon presented a citation to WeLoveU, adding his belief that cleaner neighborhoods are safer neighborhoods. Offering thanks to the volunteers were Joe Bell, vice president and market manager of Beasley Media Group, and Alex Post, WeLoveU’s director of global partnerships. Read more

 

Kinsey hosts Lt. Gov. Davis and local organizations for roundtable discussion on gun violence
Jul 13, 2023

Bellmon, McClinton school conflict resolution bill passes House
Jul 07, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation pleased with increased funding on budget priorities
Jul 07, 2023

Cephas releases statement on enactment of Act 5 of 2023
Jul 06, 2023

Kinsey issues statement on state budget passage
Jul 06, 2023

Kenyatta applauds Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program expansion efforts
Jul 06, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation Gun Reform & Gun Violence Reduction Legislation
Jul 05, 2023

Pennsylvania lawmakers want to crack down on catalytic converter thefts
Jul 03, 2023

Pa. House passes bill to counter catalytic converter thefts
Jul 03, 2023

Giral Working Against Drug Abuse
Jun 30, 2023

Cephas slams recent SCOTUS decisions
Jun 30, 2023

House LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus & Philadelphia House Delegation condemn Moms for Liberty event in Phila.
Jun 29, 2023

Bellmon, McClinton school conflict resolution bill approved by Education Committee
Jun 28, 2023

Kinsey bill to honor K. Leroy Irvis approved by House committee
Jun 28, 2023

Boyle preventive care bill including mental health protections passes House
Jun 26, 2023

Fiedler, PFT, Phila. councilmembers urge funding school facilities in 2023-24 budget
Jun 23, 2023

Philadelphia House Delegation praise reopening of I-95
Jun 23, 2023

Krajewski Kinship bill unanimously passes PA House
Jun 22, 2023

Kenyatta cybersecurity coordination bill approved by Commerce Committee
Jun 22, 2023

Clean streets, thanks to WeLoveU
Jun 22, 2023