Recently, the Federal Communications Commission voted to dismantle regulations that required internet companies to provide equal access to the internet, an idea known as net neutrality. Without net neutrality protections, internet service providers will be able to control what content you see and how fast you see it. This will have serious social, educational, and economic implications across the Commonwealth. Consumers will have less choice and may be required to pay more for the limited content chosen by providers. The economy will suffer as innovation is stifled and small businesses struggle to get on even footing with their larger competitors. Democracy will suffer as information is no longer free-flowing and is instead only the message of those who paid the most.
I do not believe we can afford to wait until Congress acts on this, which is why I am proposing to enact statewide net neutrality in Pennsylvania. My bill would prohibit internet service providers from limiting access to lawful content, engaging in paid prioritization, or otherwise interfering with lawful content available to users. It would also prohibit state agencies and subdivisions from awarding contracts, grants, or tax credits to internet providers who fail to comply with net neutrality.
I hope my colleagues in the House and Senate see how important free, open access to the internet is and bring net neutrality protections back for Pennsylvanians.
PA Supreme Court decision on Redistricting
Earlier this week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck down the Congressional Redistricting Act of 2011, finding it clearly, plainly and palpably violated the Pennsylvania Constitution. This is an important decision that recognizes Pennsylvania’s districts are some of the most gerrymandered in the United States. This decision also means that the current Congressional maps may not be used in the May 2018 primary elections.
A new congressional districting plan is anticipated to be available by Feb. 19, 2018. The General Assembly has been charged with submitting a new plan by February 9, 2018, so my colleagues and I will be hard at work over the next few weeks. If the Governor accepts the General Assembly’s map, it must be submitted to the Court by February 15, 2018. If the General Assembly does not submit a plan by February 9th or the Governor does not approve the plan by February 15th, the Court will create a plan based on the evidentiary record of the Commonwealth Court proceedings and submissions by the parties of the case.
Senior Photos Taken in my Office FREE for the SEPTA Key Card
Pennsylvania residents of the 1st Senatorial District who are age 65 and older are invited to have their picture ID taken and application processed for the new SEPTA Key Senior ID card. Please bring a photo ID, driverís license or other document that verifies proof of age.
Please call my office at 215-952-3121 for an appointment.
Upcoming Events in District
Center City Restaurant Week | January 14 - 26, 2018
Philadelphia Car Show | January 27 - February 4, 2018
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Explore the automotive industry’s latest creations at the Pennsylvania Convention Center during the 2018 Philadelphia Auto Show.
The Philadelphia Auto Show features hundreds and hundreds of concept, classic, luxury and exotic cars on display, with every major vehicle manufacturer represented. All vehicles are arranged by category, making it easy to navigate the 700,000-square-foot display floor.
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Super Bowl | February 4, 2018
The Birds are going to the Big Game!! Start making your plans now and remember to celebrate responsibly.
Pathway to Pardons | February 8, 2018
On Thursday, February 8 from 6 – 8 p.m., along with Lt. Governor Mike Stack, I will be hosting a Pathways to Pardons event at the Community College of Philadelphia,Center for Business and Industry located at
1751 Callowhill Street in Room C2-28 in Philadelphia.
This event is geared towards individuals who want to learn in more detail about our commonwealth’s pardoning process. Many individuals have made bad decisions in the past and have a misdemeanor or felony conviction on their record but have served their punishments, rehabilitated themselves, and as contributing members to their communities and society, are seeking a pardon. The Pathways to Pardons event will allow these individuals wishing to learn about pardons to engage with experts in attendance on the pardon process and what to expect as they seek a pardon.
To RSVP for this event, email pardonsRSVP@pasenate.com or contact Senator Farnese's District office at 215-952-3121.
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Northern Liberties Annual Winterfest | February 11, 2018
Beat that cabin fever
with a family day out! Join neighbors at the 2018 Winterfest held on February 11, 2018 from 1 pm - 5 pm hosted by North Bowl located at 909 North 2nd Street Philadelphia, PA 19123. Tickets include bowling, food, wine, beer, and soda. Free for kids under 12! Plus fabulous raffles
for some pretty cool stuff!
This event supports the Northern Liberties Neighbors Association whose mission is to provide services and programs beneficial to all residents and businesses in the neighborhood, encourage the preservation and beautification of our public spaces, and to plan and monitor the growth of the neighborhood. For more info email email@example.com.
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