The weather is steamy and so is the climate in Harrisburg where leading budget negotiators have yet to compromise on their positions for the 2015-2016 fiscal year.
The state budget is now three weeks late.
But not everything is hot or combustible in the 1st Senatorial District, and this month’s First District Connection will share a few good stories with you. Please take special note of the stories about Broad Street Ministry and July 23rd’s jobs opportunity for veterans, military personnel and their families.
Stay cool! I promise to keep you informed as soon as Pennsylvania’s budget is adopted.
Sen. Larry Farnese
One SLAPP Hurdle Cleared
It physically hurts to be slapped in the face and it hurts emotionally and financially to be SLAPPed by a lawsuit that only wants to drain your resources and shut you up.
But my proposal to stop Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation – Senate Bill 95 – is one major step closer to becoming law.
The full Senate voted overwhelmingly in favor of the bill June 30 and sent it to the House where it is awaiting consideration by the judiciary committee.
If signed into law by the governor, SB 95 would enable the courts to decide if a lawsuit has been filed against an individual or an organization for the sole purpose of stifling free speech.
Specifically, my proposal would set up a motion to dismiss that would allow for an expedited response in the courts to quickly determine if the lawsuit is frivolous, or a SLAPP.
Had my anti-SLAPP measure been the law of the commonwealth in 2013, the Old City Civic Association, a stalwart for good citizenship and community spirit, would not have had to close because a frivolous and expensive lawsuit threatened them.
New Hat for Me
I was please to accept the appointment by Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa recently to serve as my caucus’ chairman of the Senate Community, Economic & Recreational Development Committee.
Sen. Sean Wiley had been the chairman of the panel, but he stepped down as Philadelphians elected John Sabatina to replace the 5th District’s Mike Stack, who now is Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor.
Job Opp for Veterans
If you are a veteran who needs a job or a better job, then make sure you head to the Linc tomorrow for a “Veteran Opportunity Expo.”
Between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on July 23, companies from throughout the Delaware Valley will be showcasing their wares and looking for veterans, transitioning military personnel, reserve members and spouses to fill important and good-paying jobs.
This is a FREE event and companies like the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Drexel University, Planet Energy and Main Line Health will be there looking for veterans and others who need jobs now.
Change your plans if you need to and make it a priority to be there. To register, visit recruitmilitary.com/Philadelphia.
Broad Street Ministry Summer of Service: Philadelphia
Broad Street Ministry was created as a broad-minded faith community with a mission to cherish creativity, extend inclusive hospitality, and work for a more just world through civic engagement. Through its Hospitality Collaborative, Broad Street Ministry partners with best-in-class social service organizations to provide vulnerable Philadelphians with meals and stabilizing services like a mailing address, access to free medical care, personal care items, pro bono legal aid, and clothing.
In 2015, Broad Street Ministry will provide 90,000 healthy, delicious and professionally prepared meals to 5,000 unduplicated individuals in a manner that turns away no one, emphasizes human dignity, and minimizes trauma-based responses.
While it can be hard to find volunteers in August, there is no shortage of guests at the ministry. Last year, BSM saw a drastic increase in the number of guests coming through its doors. While other organizations that serve meals often close down for part of August because of the heat and the difficulty recruiting volunteers, BSM will be open throughout the month.
If you’re interested in volunteering for this great service or just want to learn more, visit www.broadstreethospitality.org, follow them on Twitter at #SOSPHL. The SOS stands for Summer of Service: Philadelphia.
Why not end your summer on a high note of helping Philadelphia actually become what we claim, the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection?
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