Ending Gerrymandering by Empowering Citizens to Create Districts
I have introduced legislation to completely reform how Pennsylvania creates districts for federal and state legislative elections.
As background, after the census is conducted every ten years, states create new congressional and state legislative districts to accommodate population shifts. Far too often this process is controlled by politicians who are able create districts that heavily benefit the political parties. This is often referred to as “gerrymandering.”
Currently in Pennsylvania, the boundaries of our state’s congressional districts are created by legislative action in a bill that is sent to the Governor for approval. In addition, Pennsylvania’s constitution requires our state House and Senate districts to be drawn by a Legislative Reapportionment Commission comprised of a few state legislators. Both processes are overtly partisan, allowing politicians to essentially control how all districts are created.
My proposal, Senate Bill 1023, calls for an 11-member citizen commission to create congressional districts and provides for a new, transparent process for the drawing of the boundaries for these districts. The new citizen-driven process outlined in my legislative proposal can also be used for redrawing state legislative districts once the Pennsylvania constitution is amended.
We must put an end to gerrymandering and allow the people to control how districts are created. Simply put, citizens should pick their legislators, not vice versa.
You will be able to find a news story about my election reform proposal HERE.
Protecting Against the Corona Virus
Want to make sure you’re properly informed about Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)? I’m pleased to provide a link to the CDC’s COVID-19 page on my WEBSITE. With useful information on how the virus spreads, prevention and treatment, risk assessment, and FAQ’s for travelers, there is no better source of information on this subject.
The Inn at Grace Winery
The Grace Winery is a hidden gem right in Glen Mills. I was pleased to be able to go on a tour of the property with the owner Chris LeVine. The winery is named after famous actress turned real life Princess of Monaco Grace Kelly, Chris’ Aunt.
My Affordable Housing Bill Passes Senate
I am pleased to report that at the end of January, the Senate unanimously passed my legislation to expand affordable housing in our state.
My legislation, Senate Bill 30, would establish a state housing tax credit to incentivize private investment to create new and preserve existing affordable rental housing.
I worked closely on this legislation with the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania. According to the Alliance, there is a tremendous shortage of affordable housing in our state. Senate Bill 30 will help expand the number of affordable housing units and help struggling families find a home.
Seniors, individuals with disabilities, families and children benefit from a greater availability of affordable housing. In addition, my legislation will promote job creation associated with the return of blighted and abandoned homes to productive reuse.
The state housing tax credit in my legislation would mirror and be used in conjunction with the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC). Federal LIHTC is the main vehicle for the creation and preservation of affordable rental housing in Pennsylvania and across the nation.
It is important to note that every dollar invested in housing results in nearly $20 in economic impact, including jobs in the community. The federal affordable housing tax credit has proven to be very successful, and the state should incentivize investments to make affordable housing more widely available for Pennsylvanians.
You will find a news article about my affordable housing legislation HERE.
More information about my legislation can be found HERE.
Honoring Korean War Veterans
In conjunction with Senator Pat Toomey, I invite eligible Korean War veterans to apply for the prestigious Ambassador for Peace Medal. Established by the South Korean government, the Ambassador for Peace Medal will be awarded to veterans in a future presentation ceremony in our area. Medals will be provided posthumously to family members with proper documentation
Eligible veterans must complete an application and provide a copy of their DD214 for verification purposes by the Korean Consulate. The short application form more information can be found HERE.
The deadline for application is Friday April 3, 2020.
Victory Brewing Company selected for Hall of Fame
Congratulations to Victory Beer on being named to the Chester County Business Hall of Fame by Chester County Economic Development Council! Employing more than 300 people in Pennsylvania, including in Kennett Square, Victory is a pioneer in the craft beer industry.
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Season Still Open
The state Department of Human Services is reminding Pennsylvanians that the 2019 2020 Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) season is still open. LIHEAP helps low-income families pay heating bills via a cash grant. The cash grant is a one-time payment sent directly to the utility company/fuel provider to be credited on the bill. Grants range from $200 to $1,000 based on household size, income and fuel type. Households in immediate danger of being without heat can also qualify for crisis grants.
Visit the program’s website to learn more about the assistance, including the income requirements. Applications are accepted online using COMPASS, by paper or in-person at your local county assistance office.
Assistance for Veterans
I partner with the Pennsylvania American Legion every month to assist local veterans at my Brookhaven office. A representative from this organization will be helping veterans with issues on:
Date: Wednesday, March 25th
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Location: Senator Killion’s Brookhaven Office, 4110 Edgmont Avenue, Brookhaven, PA
I encourage veterans and their families who have questions about benefits and programs to schedule an appointment during these assistance hours. Appointments can be made by contacting my office at (610) 447 – 3163. This service is offered the fourth Wednesday of each month.
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