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Legislative Roundup

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee announced its Spotlight Candidates, including Anna Payne, who is challenging Rep. Joe Hogan, and Anand Patel against Rep. K.C. Tomlinson

State Rep. K.C. Tomlinson

Dems target Hogan, Tomlinson

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee announced its Spotlight Candidates in Pennsylvania to protect the Democratic majority in the House.

One of the candidates is Anna Payne, who is challenging Rep. Joe Hogan (R-142nd dist.), who won his seat two years ago by 76 votes.

Another is Anand Patel, who is challenging Rep. K.C. Tomlinson (R-18th dist.), who was re-elected in 2022 with 52 percent of the vote.

Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee President Heather Williams issued the following statement:

“It’s no exaggeration to say that this is the most important year in state legislative campaign history. Reproductive freedoms, LGBTQ+ rights, gun safety and democracy itself are all on the line, and Pennsylvania Republicans are poised to launch an assault on the freedoms we hold dear. Donald Trump’s MAGA agenda is being decided and implemented in the states – building Democratic power in state legislatures has never been more important.

“That’s why we’ve recruited a stellar slate of candidates running for both the Pennsylvania House and Senate. Our DLCC Spotlight candidates are products of their communities whose values and lives are interwoven within their neighborhoods. They are veterans, working parents, immigrants and business owners, and they’re already out in their communities knocking on doors and having conversations with voters. Some of them are stepping up to run for office for the first time and are ready to meet this moment, while others already have a strong record in elected office of delivering for their constituents.

“Strong state legislative campaigns across the state will change not just the future of Pennsylvania, but also the country. Turnout at this ballot level will drive success up and down the ballot, helping ensure a Biden victory in a key battleground state. The stakes couldn’t be higher.” ••

Education forum for candidates

All Bucks County state House candidates have been invited to a forum on education on Thursday, Sept. 12, at 7 p.m. at Bucks County Community College’s Newtown campus.

BCCC social science faculty member Bill Pezza will moderate the live, non-partisan forum to educate voters ahead of the Nov. 5 election.

The NAACP Bucks County Branch and the League of Women Voters of Bucks County have partnered with BCCC.

All 20 candidates running for the 10 state House districts in Bucks County have been invited.

Pezza will pose questions solicited from the public in the weeks leading up to the forum.

The “Candidates Forum: Education in Pennsylvania” will be open to the public and streamed live on the college’s YouTube channel.

Candidates by state House district (asterisk denotes incumbent):

• 18th: Kathleen C. Tomlinson* (R), Anand Patel (D)

• 29th: Tim Brennan* (D), Steve Mekanik (R)

• 31st: Perry Warren* (D), Bernie Sauer (R)

• 140th: Jim Prokopiak* (D), Candace Cabanas (R)

• 141st: Tina Davis* (D), Noah Boyd (R)

• 142nd: Joe Hogan* (R), Anna Payne (D) 

• 143rd: Shelby Labs* (R), Eleanor Breslin (D) 

• 144th: Brian Munroe* (D), Daniel J. McPhillips (R)

• 145th: Craig Staats* (R), Vera Cole (D)

• 178th: Kristin Marcell* (R), Emma Rosenthal (D) ••

UFCW 1776 backs Casey

The Executive Board of UFCW Local 1776 has unanimously endorsed U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr. for re-election, announced Wendell Young IV, president of 1776.

“Working families have so much at stake in this election, especially regarding the U.S. Senate race here in Pennsylvania,” Young said. “When it comes to protecting workers’ rights, their healthcare, retirement security and access to a safe workplace, the choice is clear: Bob Casey is the only candidate in this race who supports those values.”

Young noted that Casey has consistently received overwhelming support from Local 1776 and union workers across Pennsylvania.

“No one will fight harder for Pennsylvanians than Sen. Casey, and we must do everything we can to ensure Bob continues that fight in the U.S. Senate,” he said.

Young highlighted that he was especially happy to see Casey’s “Pregnant Workers Fairness Act” enacted during his current term, noting that women make up a majority of UFCW 1776’s membership in Pennsylvania.

“Sen. Casey fought for nearly a decade to ensure women in the workforce received basic accommodations during pregnancy,” Young said. “Now it is the law of the land and a prime example of what drives Sen. Casey’s policy positions: a commitment to workers.” ••

Secondary cockpit barriers on aircraft

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick announced that provisions from his Saracini Enhanced Aviation Safety Act were included in the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2024, which passed the House with overwhelming support.

The bill includes Sec. 350, language from the Saracini Enhanced Aviation Safety Act, which mandates the installation of secondary cockpit barriers in all commercial passenger aircraft, thereby ensuring the safety of Americans while fortifying defenses against potential terrorist attacks similar to 9/11.

The Saracini Enhanced Aviation Safety Act was named in memory of Capt. Victor Saracini, a Lower Makefield resident who lost his life when his plane was hijacked and flown into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

Fitzpatrick has worked alongside Saracini’s widow, Ellen, to enhance the security of the skies and aircraft for pilots, flight crews and passengers. While the previous FAA Reauthorization legislation in 2018 included Fitzpatrick’s amendment requiring all newly manufactured aircraft to install a secondary barrier, obstacles from the aviation industry impeded the retrofitting of existing aircraft fleets with this safety feature. Fitzpatrick and Ellen continued to work to ensure all aircraft fleets, both currently in service and newly manufactured, are held to the same safety standards.

“This victory stands as a significant milestone in improving aviation safety while honoring the legacy of Capt. Victor Saracini and all the American heroes we tragically lost on Sept. 11,” Fitzpatrick said. “I am profoundly grateful for Ellen’s resilience and unwavering dedication to being an unrelenting champion for air safety and for the support of Sen. Casey and my colleagues in our ongoing initiative to safeguard our skies. For years, we have fought together to ensure the horrific events of 9/11 are never able to happen again, and today marks a pivotal advancement in fulfilling that critical mission. We celebrate this step forward and look forward to continuing our work to further fortify the safety of our skies.”

“Twenty-three years after the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, Congress has finally enacted a requirement for secondary cockpit barriers to be installed on all passenger aircraft operating in the United States,” said Ellen Saracini. “Reaching this milestone, after a long journey of advocacy and lobbying efforts in the honor and memory of Vic, leaves me feeling relieved but also somewhat sad that it has taken so long for the wheels of Congress to finally move in the right direction. I am grateful that my friend and congressman, Brian Fitzpatrick, has never given up on our pursuit to get the Saracini Enhanced Aviation Safety Act across the finish line. While our work to ensure implementation of the law and installation of the barriers will continue, I applaud the House of Representatives for prioritizing this bipartisan, commonsense measure to finally secure the safety of our skies for future generations. So much was taken from us on that fateful day, but we can rest assured that very soon this type of murderous terror will not be possible on U.S. aircraft.” ••

Post office renaming honors flood victim

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick announced his bill with Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman to rename the Washington Crossing Post Office the “Susan C. Barnhart Post Office” passed the House of Representatives.

Susan Barnhart was one of the seven victims who lost their lives in the flash flooding on Route 532/Washington Crossing Road last July. She was an employee of the Washington Crossing Post Office and resident of Titusville, New Jersey. 

“I am thrilled that the House has passed my bipartisan bill to rename the Washington Crossing Post Office the Susan C. Barnhart Post Office. Last July, our community experienced a devastating tragedy when a violent flash flood claimed the lives of seven innocent people. Among those we lost that fateful day was the extraordinary Susan Barnhart. Though she lived across the river, Susan spent many years serving our community and was cherished by all. As a model citizen, dedicated public servant and a beacon of warmth and kindness, Susan was a positive and joyful presence that customers and colleagues looked forward to seeing every day. Her loss, along with that of the other victims, has left an unimaginable void in our community, but through this dedication, her spirit and legacy will continue to inspire us all,” Fitzpatrick said.

“This is not only a memorial of Susan’s death but a fond remembrance of her boundless passion and energy for life,” said Susan’s sister, Lynda Barnhart. “Susan’s joy was helping others, always with a warm smile, and she left a lasting impression on everyone she met. She was devoted to her work at the Post Office and genuinely cared for her customers and co-workers — it was never just a job to her, and she consistently went above and beyond to help others. Still, almost a year later, people are sharing stories with us about how they would visit the Post Office just to experience her smile and service. Susie made everyone she encountered feel special and brightened their days — this dedication perfectly honors her memory and spirit.” ••

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 June 12. ••

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 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 June 25.

The public is invited to attend.

Future meetings are on Aug. 27, Sept. 24, Oct. 22, Nov. 26 and Dec. 17 (third Tuesday). ••

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 June 19. ••

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