House adopts Matzie ‘Safe Digging Month’ resolution

(15 hours ago)

HARRISBURG, April 17 – The PA House with overwhelming bipartisan support today adopted state Rep. Rob Matzie’s resolution designating April 2024 as “Pennsylvania 8-1-1 Safe Digging Month.” Matzie, who is majority chairman of the House Consumer Protection, Technology and Utilities Committee, said he introduced H.R.300 to make sure Pennsylvanians understand that calling the 8-1-1 “Call before You Dig” hotline is not just a convenience but a legal responsibility. “State law requires anyone planning to do digging – whether they are a homeowner, a contractor, or an excavator – to dial 8-1-1 at least three days before starting the work,” Matzie said. “Making the free call alerts utilities so they can mark underground pipes and cables before excavation begins. It’s a quick, simple step that protects workers, prevents underground utility damage, minimizes service interruptions and can even save lives.” Matzie said calling the hotline is required even for shallow digging projects and those located directly on a homeowner’s private property. More information is available here: https://www.puc.pa.gov/pipeline-safety/pa-one-call/#:~:text=Homeowners%20and%20contractors%20must%20call,begins%20to%20disturb%20the%20earth . Read more

 

State lawmakers call for support for PA’s telecommunicators

(16 hours ago)

HARRISBURG, April 17 – State Reps. Roni Green and Tarik Khan, both D-Phila., were joined by a bipartisan group of their legislative colleagues, public safety telecommunicators and advocates at the state Capitol today to celebrate “National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week” and discuss how the legislature can work to help Pennsylvania’s telecommunicators and 911 dispatchers. The telecommunicators and advocates who were present included Jack Morgan III, 911 operator from Allegheny County; Sara Slote, dispatch manager, Lancaster County 911; Bill Perkins, state constable; Garrett Rienhardt, recipient of life-saving care; Tyler Griffith, dispatcher; AFSCME members; and Gordon Zimmet, Local 1637 president. At the news conference, the legislators discussed a resolution (H.R. 377), introduced by Green that recognizes the week of April 14-20 “Public Safety Telecommunicators Week” in Pennsylvania. The resolution was adopted by the House later in the day. “911 dispatchers are the point of first contact between the caller and first responders. The speed and efficiency with which they work saves lives. They parse through heaps of information in very chaotic situations and support callers during what is often one of the most difficult moments of their lives,” Green said. “It’s time for the commonwealth to give back to 911 dispatchers the kind of support they give us. My daughter worked Read more

 

Frankel, Venkat: House passes bill to bar noncompete agreements in health care employment

(16 hours ago)

HARRISBURG, April 17 – The PA House today passed legislation introduced by state Reps. Dan Frankel and Arvind Venkat that would prohibit medical employers from using restrictive noncompete agreements that prevent doctors, nurses and other medical professionals who leave a job from practicing elsewhere. The lawmakers, both D-Allegheny, said they introduced H.B. 1633 to end an unfair practice that limits options for providers, disrupts patients’ long-term relationships with their trusted physicians and makes it more difficult for Pennsylvania to attract talented medical professionals. “This legislation deals with employment contracts for health care providers, but it’s really about patient care – it protects the long-term patient-care giver relationship that builds trust and improves outcomes,” said Frankel, who is majority chairman of the House Health Committee. “We know it’s not always easy to find the right health care provider, and it’s important that our laws not interfere with your ability to maintain that crucial relationship.” Venkat said, “As a physician-legislator, I know that noncompete covenants unnecessarily restrict patient access to the clinician of their choice and make Pennsylvania a less desirable place for health professionals to practice. I am proud to have worked with Representative Frankel to pass this bipartisan legislation through the state House to improve patient access in Read more

 

Labor and environmental leaders join House Democrats in announcing joint Blue-Green legislative agenda

(17 hours ago)

HARRISBURG, April 17 – On Tuesday, Labor and environmental advocates from across Pennsylvania joined members of the state House of Representatives’ Blue-Green Caucus to announce a joint legislative agenda to combat climate change while creating good-paying union jobs. The 11-bill package would boost clean energy production, advance key conservation goals, and create union jobs in growing clean-energy fields like weatherization and the solar energy industry. Bills in the package would also lower energy costs for consumers, increase funding for public transit, and protect Pennsylvania families and union workers from attempts to privatize water and wastewater systems. The 55 member Blue-Green Caucus, led by state Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler, D-Phila., have been convening labor and environmental leaders to break down imposed barriers that often polarize the groups and instead tapping into their shared belief that strong environmental policies must go hand-in-hand with labor protections. “Everyone, from electricians to clean-air advocates, wants the same thing: a better future for their kids,” said Fiedler. “It’s time to challenge the narrative that labor and environmental interests are at odds. This package of nearly a dozen bills proves we can unite around a vision for a blue-green future.” “Pennsylvanians don’t have to choose between good jobs and protecting the environment,” Read more

 

Haddock living organ donor bill OK’d by House Finance Committee

(17 hours ago)

“Providing financial support to donors will remove an obstacle to the living donation process. This is one way that state government can help those in need of a transplant as well as support the heroes among us who selflessly choose to give the gift of life," Haddock said. Read more

 

Prevailing wage legislation reported out of House Labor & Industry Committee

(18 hours ago)

HARRISBURG, April 17 – The Pennsylvania House Labor and Industry Committee today approved a bill ( H.B. 2153 ) sponsored by state Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., that would update the Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Act to address the issues of split rates and custom fabrication. This legislation would prohibit the practice of paying “split rates” on publicly funded construction projects and ensure that custom fabrication work done by tradespeople away from the main job site is paid to the prevailing wage. “This is as simple as ensuring that companies awarded public construction project contracts are paying their workers fairly and to the prevailing wage standard set by the secretary of Labor and Industry,” said Dawkins, chair of the House Labor and Industry Committee. The legislation now goes to the full House where it awaits a vote. Read more

 

State Reps. Smith-Wade-El, Kenyatta and Benham applaud two state boards’ opposition to conversion therapy

(19 hours ago)

HARRISBURG, April 17 – State Reps. Ismail Smith-Wade-El, D-Lancaster; Malcom Kenyatta, D-Phila.; and Jessica Benham, D-Allegheny, today applauded the Pennsylvania boards of Psychology and Osteopathic Medicine for their recent adoption of new policies opposing the practice of conversion therapy on LGBTQ+ minors. The representatives issued the following statement: “We applaud the state Boards of Psychology and Osteopathic Medicine’s adoption of a new Statement of Policies (SOP) that opposes the use of the discredited, pseudoscientific practice of conversion therapy on minors in Pennsylvania. Conversion therapy, also known as conversion abuse, is a dangerous practice aimed at changing an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression that has resulted in profound physical and psychological harm on patients, including depression, trauma, and suicide. “We hope that the state boards of Medicine, Nursing and Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Professional Counselors will vote in the coming weeks to adopt similar SOPs opposing the use of conversion therapy. “Although we are glad to see esteemed state medical boards gradually take steps to oppose the practice of conversion abuse, this is happening at too slow a rate. It is long past time that Pennsylvania joins the 20 other states outlawing the practice. Our bill, the Protection of Minors from Conversion Therapy Act, would prohibit a mental health Read more

 

Health Committee advances Cephas bill to strengthen doula services in Pa.

(20 hours ago)

HARRISBURG, April 17 – The PA House Health Committee today approved legislation authored by state Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., that would extend Medicaid coverage to doula services in the state. Under Cephas’ bill ( H.B. 1608 ), Medicaid would reimburse certified doulas for providing childbirth education and support services, including physical and emotional support, during pregnancy, labor and delivery and up to one year postpartum. “Research has shown that doula support leads to improved birth outcomes, including reduced rates of cesarean sections, shorter labor durations and higher rates of breastfeeding initiation. By providing continuous support throughout and after pregnancy, doulas contribute to safer and more positive birth experiences for mothers," Cephas said. "While some moms can afford doula services without insurance or have insurance that covers it, moms who receive their vital pregnancy care through Medicaid are not so lucky. This leads to a vast inequality in care for women who are already statistically at risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes, with Black women at the highest risk of maternal and infant mortality and morbidity compared to other racial and ethnic groups. This legislation would give these mothers a proven network of support needed to produce better mental and physical health outcomes during their birthing journey.” The bill also would establish a Doula Advisory Read more

 

Mayes’ legislation to expand Medicaid coverage for blood pressure monitors advances to House

(21 hours ago)

Screenings for hypertension decrease maternal mortality Read more

 

House adopts Matzie ‘Limb Loss Awareness’ resolution

(1 day ago)

HARRISBURG, April 16 – The PA House today adopted state Rep. Rob Matzie’s resolution recognizing April 2024 as “Limb Loss Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania. Matzie, D-Beaver, said he introduced H.R. 299 both to highlight the challenges and triumphs of Pennsylvanians living without a limb and also to raise awareness about prevention. “More than 2 million Americans live with limb loss, and it’s estimated that every single day, more than 300 people in the United States lose a limb. We see many of them navigate the world around them with tenacity and success, but what we don’t see are all the challenges – physical and emotional – they face and overcome every day. “I introduced this resolution to honor the courage and achievements of all Pennsylvanians living without a limb – whether the limb loss resulted from congenital causes, trauma or disease. But I’m also offering this resolution to raise awareness that the No. 1 cause of surgical amputations – vascular diseases such as diabetes and peripheral artery disease – is at least partially within our power to control. “While we can’t control risk factors like age and family history, other risks – including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking, inactivity and excess weight – can be changed or treated. “By learning the risk factors, talking to their Read more

 

Solomon and Kenyatta ‘good ‘government’ legislation passes PA House

(1 day ago)

Legislation (H.B. 1472) co-sponsored by state Reps. Jared Solomon and Malcolm Kenyatta, both D-Phila., passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives today by a 127-74 vote. House Bill 1472 would require campaign finance reports from civic leagues and 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organizations that independently advocate for or against a particular candidate. "Encouraging transparency in campaign finance is critical to restoring trust in government,” Solomon said. “When citizens are informed about where political funding comes from, they can hold elected officials accountable and ensure fair representation for all.” The bill would adjust the threshold for independent campaign expenditures from a minimum of $100 in a calendar year to unrestricted spending, while also lowering the reporting threshold for late independent expenditures from $500 to any amount. "Massive spending by dark money groups to impact our elections undermines our electoral process and erodes faith in our democracy.” Kenyatta said. “Shedding light on political funding sources empowers citizens to participate fully in shaping their government and ensure their representatives work for them.” Both Solomon and Kenyatta said the legislation is one of several bills have they introduced as a part of their “Trust and Transparency” bill package aimed at restoring public trust and improving the campaign finance system. Read more

 

Ciresi bill waiving vehicle registration fees for veterans in PA unanimously passes state House

(1 day ago)

HARRISBURG, April 16 – In recognition of their valiant service to the nation, the PA House today unanimously passed a bill sponsored by state Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, which would waive vehicle title and registration fees for veterans who were captured, injured or received the Congressional Medal of Honor while serving. “Following their service, veterans return home impacted by their experiences and face financial hurdles as they begin the transition to civilian life, including relocation, finding new homes, applying for jobs and registering their vehicles,” Ciresi said. “We owe it to these heroes to relieve some of the pressure by waiving vehicle registration fees. By permanently removing registration fees for veterans who were injured, captured, or received our highest military decoration, we would show our permanent appreciation for their sacrifices and service.” Currently, recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor, seriously injured veterans, and former POWs pay a $10 vehicle registration processing fee. Under H.B. 105, this fee would be removed, and they would no longer be subject to titling fees. For recipients of the Purple Heart, who currently have to pay titling and registration fees in full, they would no longer be subject to paying either. The bill is now on its way to the state Senate for consideration. Read more

 

Ciresi bill encouraging historical renovation across PA passes state House

(Apr 15, 2024)

HARRISBURG, April 15 – A bill by state Rep. Joe Ciresi to create a pilot program to help fund the renovation of historic buildings across Pennsylvania passed the House today. Under H.B. 1573 , a two-year program would be administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development to help communities facing the challenges of updating and repurposing historic buildings, an expensive but worthwhile task in the commonwealth, said Ciresi, D-Montgomery. “Pennsylvania is home to some of the country’s most historical and beautiful communities, but with them come the high costs of renovation of older buildings,” he said. “Many of these buildings lack accessibility and weren’t built to meet modern building codes. With this grant program we will support reinvestment in our downtowns, assist with community revitalization, preserve historic properties and neighborhood character, and create jobs.” Improvements would be evaluated based on their ability to facilitate income-generating use of the property, their contribution to economic and community revitalization, and historic preservation and commercial or recreational opportunities for the public. Specifically, the program would help bring mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire-protection systems up to code through the installation of modern equipment such as sprinklers, efficient HVAC systems, elevators and extra stairs. Additionally, grants could be Read more

 

Shusterman celebrates passage of H.B. 1853

(Apr 15, 2024)

“We’re always looking to improve the lives of seniors in Pennsylvania,” Shusterman said. “By encouraging communication between the Department of Health and nursing home staff, we hope that the exchange of ideas and information between these two groups will lead to a unified effort to provide the best senior care possible. I want to thank my colleagues for their support of this legislation, including my fellow state Representative Kristin Marcell for her co-sponsorship and effort in delivering this legislation.” Read more

 

House passes Kinkead resolution to study PA crime and justice codes

(Apr 12, 2024)

The Joint State Government Commission would establish a bipartisan task force to study the PA Crimes Code, Sentencing Code, Judicial Code, and all statutes, consolidated and unconsolidated, that carry a criminal penalty for language that is duplicative, inconsistent, unenforceable, carries improper offense grading, or is outdated for modern society under a concurrent resolution introduced by state Rep. Emily Kinkead that the PA House passed on Tuesday. Read more

 

Burns bill would name Cambria Township bridge after longtime Ebensburg mayor

(Apr 11, 2024)

HARRISBURG, April 10 – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives has unanimously approved a bill introduced by state Rep. Frank Burns to name a bridge in Cambria County as the Michael G. Tsikalas Memorial Bridge. Burns’ bill would name the bridge that carries U.S. Route 22 over Howells Run in Cambria Township after Tsikalas, a WWII veteran and longtime Ebensburg mayor. “Tsikalas was a fixture in Ebensburg. Whether it was from his time at the Hi-Way Diner, or as mayor of Ebensburg or grade school football coach, everyone knew him,” said Burns, D-Cambria. “Before that, he was a World War II veteran who stormed Omaha Beach on D-Day. Naming this bridge in his honor pays tribute to his service.” While serving in the U.S. Navy, Tsikalas fought on the front lines as he was in one of the first amphibious land cruisers to land on Omaha Beach on D-Day. After the war, he worked at the Hi-Way Diner for 40 years and served as Ebensburg mayor for 20 years, where he oversaw the Lake Rowena Revitalization project and the start of the Ebensburg Main Street Program. He also served as Cambria County prothonotary for 20 years and coached football for over 30 years at Holy Name and Ebensburg elementary schools. He passed away on May 18, 2022, at the age of 95. The bill now goes to the state Senate for consideration. Read more

 

Burns bill to increase pool of mortuary inspector candidates passes House

(Apr 11, 2024)

HARRISBURG, April 11 – The state Senate has received a bill introduced by state Rep. Frank Burns that would help ensure that funeral homes in the state are operating safely and according to state law. Read more

 

Gergely’s bill to advance PA health care initiative heads to governor’s desk to become law

(Apr 11, 2024)

HARRISBURG, April 11 – State Rep. Matthew R. Gergely’s bill to protect plasma donated throughout Pennsylvania and preserve its suitability for use in health and medical forums passed the state Senate unanimously this week. 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, D-Montgomery, 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 centers are a priority for me, as there are many in the communities I represent. Safeguarding healthy and viable plasma not only enhances quality of life for residents, it will save lives throughout the 35th District and the commonwealth at large,” said Gergely, D-Allegheny. “A huge thanks to Rep. Briggs for his collaboration and to the members of the Senate for all their efforts in getting this legislation to Governor Shapiro’s desk.” “We're on the verge of securing a lifeline for those battling serious medical conditions. With this bill’s imminent passage into law, we affirm our commitment to ensuring that every drop of plasma donated in our state is a beacon of hope for those in need,” Briggs added. “Let's Read more

 

PA House adopts Paul Robeson Day resolution

(Apr 10, 2024)

HARRISBURG, April 10 – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives adopted a resolution ( H.R. 331 ) today sponsored by state Rep. Rick Krajewski and state Rep. Chris Rabb that declares April 9, 2024, as “Paul Robeson Day” in Pennsylvania. The resolution recognizes Robeson, one of Pennsylvania’s most extraordinary artists and champions of social justice, by recognizing his birthday, April 9, as “Paul Robeson Day,” said Krajewski. “At a time when the threat of fascism feels realer than ever, when workers, Black and Brown people, immigrants, LGBTQ+ folk and marginalized communities across the world are suffering from systemic oppression, we could all learn from the values of humility, compassion, empathy and solidarity espoused by Paul Robeson,” Krajewski said. Krajewski was joined on Tuesday by leaders from the Paul Robeson House and Museum in West Philadelphia who traveled to Harrisburg to celebrate Robeson’s 126th birthday. “We are so excited to see this resolution adopted, and to see it happen around his birthday celebration,” said Janice Sykes-Ross, executive director of the Paul Robeson House & Museum. “As Paul Robeson said, ‘Artists are the gatekeepers of truth.’ They continue to change the world. This is an example of one of those truths.” Read more

 

Otten bill to expand early intervention services passes House

(Apr 10, 2024)

HARRISBURG, April 10 – State Rep. Danielle Friel Otten’s bill to provide early intervention services to children born to mothers struggling with postpartum depression passed the Pennsylvania House today. House Bill 1593 would expand services to children from birth through two years with mothers diagnosed with or at high risk for postpartum depression, ensuring that these vulnerable children and their families have access to the support they need. Early intervention services can reduce a family’s sources of stress and encourage healthy relationships among children, families and caregivers. Otten, D-Chester, introduced the legislation with a co-prime sponsor, state Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., who chairs the PA House Children and Youth Committee. “Welcoming a new baby should be a joyous time for a family,” Otten said. “And yet the reality is that a new baby can also mean sleepless days and nights, isolation from friendships, anxiety about stretched finances or missed career opportunities, and physical, hormonal changes that trigger postpartum depression.” “There’s an abundance of research that shows that a child’s development in the earliest years of their life is significantly impacted by the tenor of their earliest formative relationships with their family and loved ones,” Bullock said. “By supporting children and mothers throughout this delicate time and Read more

 

House adopts Matzie ‘Safe Digging Month’ resolution
15 hours ago

State lawmakers call for support for PA’s telecommunicators
16 hours ago

Frankel, Venkat: House passes bill to bar noncompete agreements in health care employment
16 hours ago

Labor and environmental leaders join House Democrats in announcing joint Blue-Green legislative agenda
17 hours ago

Haddock living organ donor bill OK’d by House Finance Committee
17 hours ago

Prevailing wage legislation reported out of House Labor & Industry Committee
18 hours ago

State Reps. Smith-Wade-El, Kenyatta and Benham applaud two state boards’ opposition to conversion therapy
19 hours ago

Health Committee advances Cephas bill to strengthen doula services in Pa.
20 hours ago

Mayes’ legislation to expand Medicaid coverage for blood pressure monitors advances to House
21 hours ago

House adopts Matzie ‘Limb Loss Awareness’ resolution
1 day ago

Solomon and Kenyatta ‘good ‘government’ legislation passes PA House
1 day ago

Ciresi bill waiving vehicle registration fees for veterans in PA unanimously passes state House
1 day ago

Ciresi bill encouraging historical renovation across PA passes state House
Apr 15, 2024

Shusterman celebrates passage of H.B. 1853
Apr 15, 2024

House passes Kinkead resolution to study PA crime and justice codes
Apr 12, 2024

Burns bill would name Cambria Township bridge after longtime Ebensburg mayor
Apr 11, 2024

Burns bill to increase pool of mortuary inspector candidates passes House
Apr 11, 2024

Gergely’s bill to advance PA health care initiative heads to governor’s desk to become law
Apr 11, 2024

PA House adopts Paul Robeson Day resolution
Apr 10, 2024

Otten bill to expand early intervention services passes House
Apr 10, 2024