A very good afternoon!
It’s been cloudy and rainy here but the rain is promising to stop by the weekend. Just in time for some great events in the First Senatorial District!
Bills dealing with the 2016-’17 state budget hit the Capitol this week as the House returned to session (the Senate will be in session the next 2 weeks). Groups wanting restored dollars from the legislature also hit Harrisburg this week.
Many people, including me, are hoping for a positive budget process during the next two months – and an on-time budget for the start of the fiscal year, July 1.
Our work to end legal discrimination in Pennsylvania continues, despite the worst efforts of some groups. And, I hope you can join me May 12 for a special town hall.
Remember: you may call my district office, 215-952-3121, or visit us at 1802 S. Broad St., if you have questions or need help with anything.
Flushing the Notion of ‘Bathroom Bill’
It turns my stomach – yours, too, probably – when someone turns a good and noble effort into something tawdry and complete opposite of what you intend.
Such is life with my bill to end discrimination in Pennsylvania. The so-called “PA Family Institute” is calling it a “bathroom bill” and is believing it will allow people who mean harm into opposite sex restrooms.
As I told the lancasteronline.com, the group’s characterization is “misinformed and irresponsible.”
My bill, The PA Fairness Act, would not change the fact that separate restrooms exist for men and women. What it would do is allow a person to use the restroom that matches the gender that person lives each day. Nothing in this proposal would change the fact that it is illegal to enter a restroom to harm or harass people or invade their privacy.
Senate Bill 974 includes “sexual orientation” and “gender identity or expression” in the list of protected classes, and it is an overdue measure that an overwhelming majority of Pennsylvanians support. A 2015 Susquehanna Research Group poll showed 74 percent of Pennsylvania voters support updating the law to protect gay and transgendered people from discrimination. This issue goes even beyond civil rights.
Fighting for More Ed $$
Wanted to thank the group, Public Citizens for Children and Youth, for traveling to the Capitol yesterday to fight for implementation of a fair education funding formula.
As they argued, this is a critical time in the budgeting process and our children need support.
Besides the fair funding formula, which has already been recommended, PCCY is working to restore basic education funding cuts, open access to high quality pre-kindergarten, and ensure reading proficiency by 3rd grade.
Click here to learn more about this good advocacy group.
Town Hall May 12
Hoping you can join me at 7 p.m., Thursday, May 12, at Beth Zion-Beth Israel on South 18th Street for a town hall meeting with the Center City Residents Association. Our agenda is to talk about the issues on your mind and the possible solutions and ideas you are thinking about.
Center City Residents Association is a wonderfully active community organization that works to safeguard the unique historical and residential character of its neighborhood. And they’ve been around since 1947!
To RSVP or for more info, call 215-952-3121. Beth Zion-Beth Israel is at 300 S. 18th St., Philadelphia.
Looking forward to meeting and talking with you on the 12th.
South Street Festival May 7!
If you like to eat, like to be entertained, and like South Street – make plans for this Saturday as the annual South Street Spring Festival opens.
According to VisitPhilly.com, the free festival will delight all-ages, span 12-plus city blocks with 125 vendors and more than 30 participating restaurants, 40 bands, 3 stages, and 7 performance areas.
The festivities will run along South Street (beginning at Front and concluding at 8th) and will also branch off from 2nd and South streets heading west up to Pine Street.
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