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Legislative Roundup

Solomon endorsed by PA Professional Fire Fighters Association for AG; Hogan appointed to Stop-and-Go Legislative Task Force; Fitzpatrick announces U.S. military service academy nominations for Class of 2028

State firefighters group chooses Solomon in AG race

Jared Solomon

State Rep. Jared Solomon, a Democratic candidate for attorney general, received the endorsement of the Pennsylvania Professional Fire Fighters Association, an organization representing more than 8,000 career professional firefighters, emergency medical technicians and paramedics.

“Jared Solomon has cut through the political noise in Harrisburg to ensure that Pennsylvania’s firefighters have the resources we need to keep our neighbors safe,” said Robert Brooks, president of the Pennsylvania Professional Firefighters Association. “As our next attorney general, we know he’ll always put public safety above politics and protect the union way of life in Pennsylvania.”

“Having the support of the Pennsylvania Professional Fire Fighters Association means so much to me because Pennsylvania’s firefighters are amongst the bravest men and women I know,” said Solomon, who chairs the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee. “As AG, my mission will be the same as theirs: protect the public.”

Other unions endorsing Solomon are United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776, Philadelphia Firefighters’ and Paramedics’ Union IAFF Local 22 and Pittsburgh Fire Fighters IAFF Local No. 1.

Solomon has also been endorsed by VoteVets as well as 20 members of the legislature, including House Majority Leader Matt Bradford, Caucus Whip Dan Miller and Caucus Secretary Tina Davis and Sen. Tina Tartaglione.

Meanwhile, Solomon entered 2024 with more than $1 million cash on hand.

The primary election is April 23.

Solomon is one of five Democrats running for attorney general. The others are former Bucks County Solicitor Joe Khan, Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer, former Auditor General Eugene DePasquale and former Defender Association of Philadelphia chief Keir Bradford-Grey.

Candidates running in the Republican primary are state Rep. Craig Williams and York County District Attorney Dave Sunday. ••

Keir Bradford-Grey

Bradford-Grey makes ballot

Last week, Keir Bradford-Grey filed enough signatures with the Secretary of State’s office to qualify for the ballot, becoming the first candidate running for attorney general to do so.

“I am humbled by the outpouring of support we’ve seen all across Pennsylvania,” she said. “Thanks to volunteers in Erie, Pittsburgh, Scranton, Philadelphia and everywhere in between, voters will be able to support an attorney general who will always fight for them – and we’re just getting started.”

She has called for all Democratic counties to hold off on endorsing candidates in the race and to let voters decide whom they want to be their nominee through an open primary process.

“If we want to demonstrate that we are the party of all the people, then we should give the people the loudest voice, and that’s on primary election day,” she said.

Bradford-Grey has been a state and federal defender for more than 20 years. She was the first black lead public defender in Philadelphia and Montgomery County. ••

Khan gains endorsements

The liberal Indian American Impact, the Bucks Country Democratic Committee and former state House Speaker Mark Rozzi have endorsed Joe Khan in his bid for attorney general. Khan, the son of a Pakistani-Indian immigrant, would be the first Asian American elected statewide in Pennsylvania history.

“Joe Khan’s 24-year career as a local and federal prosecutor, public interest lawyer and county solicitor has uniquely prepared him to lead the attorney general’s office and keep Pennsylvanians safe from threats to crime, corruption and attacks on our rights,” said Taher Hasanali, interim executive director of Impact. “Joe’s election as the first South Asian and Asian American elected to statewide office in Pennsylvania would also mark an important milestone for representation for one of the fastest-growing communities in the commonwealth.”

The Bucks County Democratic Committee chairman, state Sen. Steve Santarsiero, said in a statement, “As Bucks County Solicitor, Joe was a pioneer in helping us protect our environment, our workers and our right to vote – especially when it came under attack by Donald Trump in 2020. Joe has been tireless in supporting other Democratic candidates – especially during our sweep of the Central Bucks School Board races – and we are excited to support him today.”

Rozzi, who dropped plans to run for auditor general, said, “The stakes in 2024 couldn’t be any higher, so I am committed to ensuring that we elect Joe Khan as our next attorney general. He’s the battle-tested champion whom we need to protect our kids, take on corruption and defend our rights as he’s done for 24 years.”

Khan formerly served as Bucks County solicitor and ran for district attorney of Philadelphia in 2017.

Khan and his two sons, Sam and Nathan, live in the Central Bucks School District. For 10 years, he served in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. He began his career in the Philadelphia district attorney’s office. He is currently a partner at Curtin and Heefner in Bucks County. 

Khan has raised more than $650,000, with $314,068.26 cash on hand at the end of 2023.

“Joe’s unmatched legal experience, inclusive vision and uniquely American story have inspired a broad and diverse coalition of supporters who are excited to donate to his historic candidacy,” said campaign manager Jonathan Miller. “At a time that many communities are losing confidence in the Democratic Party, Joe is the candidate who can re-engage these communities and restore faith to support our candidates up and down the ticket.”

Hogan to review stop-and-go stores

State Rep. Joe Hogan has been appointed to the Stop-and-Go Legislative Task Force. He will be one of only two members from the House of Representatives.

The Stop-and-Go Legislative Task Force was recently established to review and analyze the laws, procedures, practices and rules relating to the issues involving stop-and-go establishments. The goal of the task force will be to define and create a liquor license category for stop-and-go establishments that operate within the city of Philadelphia and provide recommendations for regulating these businesses.

“I want to thank Leader Bryan Cutler for trusting me with this appointment,” Hogan said. “Stop-and-go establishments have been a target for crime in the city of Philadelphia for a long time as well as hotbeds for underage drinking. I hope this new task force will establish strong regulations on these establishments so we can bring crime down in Philadelphia and protect legitimate business owners.” ••

Highlighting dangers of CTE and RHI

U.S. Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick and Mark DeSaulnier introduced a resolution to designate Jan. 30, 2024 as National CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) and RHI (repeated head impacts) Awareness Day.

“As research uncovers the dangers of repeated head injury and CTE, especially among athletes, veterans and in domestic abuse survivors, it is critical there is greater awareness and education surrounding the symptoms,” Fitzpatrick said. “I am proud to introduce this bipartisan resolution to recognize Jan. 30, 2024 as CTE and RHI Awareness Day, and I am incredibly grateful for the advocates who champion efforts for research and education.”

This resolution would recognize the doctors and researchers who advance the study of CTE and RHI; recognize the individuals, their families and caregivers who may be suffering from symptoms of CTE; encourage the CDC and NIH to publish concussion education materials and educate the public on the symptoms; and encourage ceremonies and activities that promote awareness of CTE and RHI. ••

A way to combat human trafficking

Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick and Bill Keating introduced the End Banking for Human Traffickers Act of 2024. The legislation would help law enforcement and financial institutions identify and report suspected human traffickers so they can be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

The End Banking for Human Traffickers Act would direct federal banking regulators to work with law enforcement and financial institutions to combat the use of the financial system for human trafficking; increase collaboration among the private sector, law enforcement and experts in financial crimes; require the Financial Institutions Examination Council to review and enhance training and examination procedures to improve the capabilities of anti-money laundering and other efforts to detect financial transactions related to human trafficking; and require the Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons to analyze current United States government and financial institution anti-money laundering efforts and develop recommendations for Congress and regulators that would strengthen anti-money laundering programs to better target and combat human trafficking.

“As Human Trafficking Prevention Month comes to a close, we must remain committed to our duty to disrupt and end this despicable crime, which devastates the lives of tens of millions around the world, including, unfortunately, in the United States,” Fitzpatrick said. “Traffickers utilize the services of banks, credit card companies and money transfer businesses around the world to launder illegal funds. Our bipartisan End Banking for Human Traffickers Act would strengthen collaborative efforts to keep these criminals from being able to use the global financial apparatus for their heinous activities. I am grateful for Rep. Keating’s partnership in this critical effort to both halt traffickers’ access to financial institutions and the ability to exploit their victims.” ••

Fitzpatrick-backed bill passes

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick released the following statement after voting for the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act that expands the child tax credit and assists small businesses. The House passed the tax package with a 357-70 vote.

“I’m proud the House overwhelmingly passed the bipartisan tax package that expands the child tax credit and helps small businesses across our nation,” Fitzpatrick said. “All Americans will benefit from this pro-growth, pro-American bill. The expanded child tax credit will help more than 500,000 children in Pennsylvania. This bill also boosts innovation, allowing the U.S. to be more competitive with China while also helping our small businesses thrive. I commend Chairman Smith and Ranking Member Neal for working together to advance this bipartisan policy.”

The Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act will expand access to the Child Tax Credit and eliminate the penalty for families with multiple children; allow all businesses to immediately deduct research and development investments to encourage innovation in the U.S. and better compete with China; restore full and immediate expensing for investments in machines, equipment and vehicles; increase the amount that small businesses can write off immediately to $1.29 million, an increase above 2017’s $1 million cap; enhance the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, which will increase the supply of low-income housing; and save more than $70 billion by ending the COVID-era Employee Retention Tax Program. ••

Students earn military nominations

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick announced the U.S. military service academy nominations for the Class of 2028.

“One of my most important duties as a member of Congress is nominating qualified young women and men from Bucks and Montgomery counties to our nation’s prestigious service academies,” he said.

The following students received an academy nomination:

Maggie R. Borek (Germantown Academy, Naval Academy); Aiden D. Carey (U.S. Naval Academy Prep School, Naval Academy); Daniel J. Carey (Pennridge, U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Air Force Academy); Mina S. Cho (Hatboro-Horsham, Naval Academy and U.S. Military Academy); Caleb A. Christian (Council Rock South, U.S. Military Academy and Air Force); Matthew J. Colajezzi (U.S. Naval Academy Civilian Preparatory at Bucks County Community College, Naval Academy); Stephen L. Cross (La Salle High, Naval Academy and Air Force); Justin C. Davidyock (Pennington School, U.S. Military Academy); Veikko J. Eskelin (Auburn, Naval Academy); Reed C. Finch IV (New Hope-Solebury, Air Force); Matthew R. Gorman (Conwell-Egan, U.S. Military Academy); Angela M. Henry (Villa Victoria, U.S. Military Academy); Heera S. Kalidindi (Central Bucks South, Naval Academy); Tyler J. Kennedy (Central Bucks East, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Naval Academy and Air Force); Leo H. Kim (North Penn, Air Force); Conor J. McFadden (Central Bucks West, Naval Academy); Sacchith R. Miryalkar (North Penn, U.S. Military Academy and Air Force); Cortney R. Neverosky (Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, Naval Academy); Daniel C. Nipper (Holy Ghost Prep, Air Force); Holly M. Pason (Palisades, U.S. Military Academy, Merchant Marine and Air Force); Benjamin M. Primich (Pennsbury, Merchant Marine); Arjun A. Ray (Groton School, U.S. Military Academy); Garrett E. Rector (Central Bucks South, U.S. Military Academy and Air Force); and Jacob T. Strockoz (Pennsbury, Merchant Marine). ••

Davis holding heart fair

State Rep. Tina Davis will sponsor the Love Your Heart Fair from 10 a.m. to noon, Friday, Feb. 23, at the Bristol Township Senior Center, 2501 Bath Road.

“Heart disease is the leading cause of death in Pennsylvania,” Davis said. “This event will help to connect the residents of the Bristol area to resources to help manage their heart health.”

In addition to health screenings and other activities, Davis and her staff will be on hand to answer questions about government-related programs such as health insurance and PACE/PACENET, the state’s prescription assistance program, and provide information on other state-related programs and services.

Pre-register by emailing RepDavis@pahouse.net or calling 267-580-2660. ••

Farry office hours in Bensalem

State ​​Sen. Frank Farry (R-6th dist.) is offering satellite office hours the first Wednesday of every month, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Bensalem Township Municipal Building, 2400 Byberry Road, Bensalem.

Farry’s staff will be on site to assist with state government services; Property Tax/Rent Rebate applications, birth and death certificate applications, SEPTA Senior Key card registrations and renewals; and unemployment issues. ••

Lower South supervisor meeting schedule

The Lower Southampton Township Board of Supervisors meets at 7:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month at the Township Building, 1500 Desire Ave., Feasterville. The next meeting is Feb. 14. ••

Commissioners meeting 

The Bucks County Commissioners meet on the first and third Wednesdays of the month at 10:30 a.m. at the Bucks County Administration Building, 55 E. Court St., in Doylestown.

The meetings are broadcast on the county’s YouTube channel.

The next meeting will be Feb. 21. ••

Bensalem Council meeting schedule

Bensalem Township Council meetings are generally held on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7 p.m. in the Municipal Building at 2400 Byberry Road, Bensalem.

Meetings can be viewed live on Comcast Xfinity Channel 22 in Bensalem and on Verizon Fios Channel 34 throughout Bucks County. They can also be streamed live on the Bensalem Township YouTube channel.

The schedule is Feb. 26, March 11, March 25, April 8, April 29, May 6, May 20, June 10, June 24, July 8, July 22, Aug. 12, Aug. 26, Sept. 9, Sept. 23, Oct. 15 (Tuesday), Oct. 28, Nov. 12 (Tuesday), Nov. 25, Dec. 4 (budget meeting) and Dec. 16. ••

Bensalem school board meeting schedule

The Bensalem Township Board of School Directors holds meetings on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at the Dorothy D. Call Administrative Center, 3000 Donallen Drive, Bensalem.

The next meeting will take place on Feb. 27.

The public is invited to attend.

Future meetings are on March 26, April 30 (fifth Tuesday), May 28, June 25, Aug. 27, Sept. 24, Oct. 22, Nov. 26 and Dec. 17 (third Tuesday). ••

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